How to wear clothes articles - The Guardian - Page 2 - the Fashion Spot
 
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10-07-2005
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thank you for posting these helena! they're fun to read.

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no probs - I enjoy reading this column on a saturday morning so thought you'd appreciate it too!!

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thanks for posting!! i love to read them, too....

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Thank you Helena, these articles are great!

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12-07-2005
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just discovered this thread..
its awesome helena! and you're right (of course)-> i enjoy reading!
thanks for sharing!

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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday July 16, 2005
The Guardian


You could hit the sales today, but I wouldn't recommend it. The odds are stacked too steeply against you. Yes, you just might come back trophied and glorious. But, by that logic, you might as well head to Vegas and hit the slot machines. Frankly - unless you have your eye on a piece you have loved through the season and still love - you would do as well panning for gold in the Thames.

</IMG>Instead, the most fruitful kind of shopping you can do today is in your own wardrobe. This kind of home shopping has many advantages. It is free, and there are no crowds or cramped changing rooms. The point of home shopping is to spend a bit of time looking properly at what you have. I can't promise that behind last year's H&M you will find a magic door to a Narnia of Chanel couture, but you may well find the ingredients to freshen up the reflection you're bored with seeing in the mirror.


Layering existing clothes in a different way, for instance, can immediately bring a look up to date, or give a new lease of life to pieces that never quite worked. Maybe, for instance, you have a V- or scoop-neck sweater that you've never really taken to (too unforgiving on the tummy, perhaps). Maybe you have a blouse with a neckline you like, but a fit at the waist that you don't like. Layer the sweater over the blouse, and you have a new look that is current and sleek, cleverer and less fluffy than just a blouse. And then there's the sleeve thing: a shorter sleeve over a longer one, once so wrong, now looks so right. This has given a new lease of life to my short-sleeve knitwear, a category that seems a good idea in theory, but never quite worked. Invest in a pack of tissue paper, and you have the full shopping experience for 50p.

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17-07-2005
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good reading stuff! Thanks

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that was a good one helena...
thx for posting..

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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday July 30, 2005
The Guardian


You know how, for a couple of years, I've been banging on about colour and dismissing black as passé, a fashion cop-out, not a fashion statement? Well, there has been a development. There is no way of saying this without sounding like an Ab Fab cliché, so here goes: black is back. That this has happened at the precise moment when people like me have finally succeeded in nagging you out of black is, of course, no accident - the point of fashion is that once everyone steps into line, the endless march changes direction. Sorry about that.




And another thing. In case you think this sounds easy, bear in mind that (apart from being the same colour, obviously) the new black is completely different from the old black. Back when wearing all black was chic and edgy, before it became an office cliché, black was all about looking pared-down, slightly androgynous: black trousers with black T-shirt; black suit with white shirt. This season's black has nothing to do with minimalism. It is about shape, texture, femininity. Your black jacket needs a strong shape: it can either be triangular and swingy, or cinched at the waist. The black skirt is ultra feminine: puffed and pleated into volume, or pencil slim and super-foxy. Think of a black chiffon blouse with thick ropes of jet-black necklaces, worn under a black wool curvy jacket, with a mismatched black plaited leather belt over the top. Think of bracelet-length sleeves with pretty cuffs underneath, accessorised with watches and gloves and cocktail rings. Chic young Sicilian widow visiting Paris to cheer herself up, rather than 80s Manhattan trader ordering martinis. And, more importantly, make the most of summer colour before the new fashion term starts and black kicks in.

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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday July 23, 2005
The Guardian


Just before the recent Paris haute couture shows, Nan Kempner, fixture of the New York social scene and the couture front rows, died at 74. Kempner was fond of fashion maxims - a favourite was "make the effort". She once said that she made a huge effort with her clothes because she considered herself to be plain.



I was reminded of Kempner a few days after her death, while perusing the front row waiting for a couture show to start. Among the glossy, high-spending wives, groomed and be-ribboned as Crufts candidates, was Emmanuelle Béart, the French actor. In real life, as on screen, Béart is so beautiful it's just silly. She was wearing very little make-up, no jewellery, a black headscarf covering most of her hair, and was dressed in a loose black linen tunic and trousers - probably Armani, but very simple. Needless to say, she outshone her neighbours even before the show got really late and she started working that famous pout. If I was one of those wives, I thought, that woman would really put me off my shopping. I mean, what's the point? But, actually, Kempner was right and there is a point. Not necessarily in the plastic boobs, expensive frock sense of making an effort, as this is so easily trumped - as Béart showed - by the natural gifts it mimics. But in the sense of wearing something that is, in some way, interesting: whether it's non-pedestrian shoes or a skirt that's a different shape from the norm.

Not all the time - sometimes you need make no effort at all to have some time out, in the same way as, sometimes, when you get on a bus you just need to stare out of the window for a bit to decompress. These couture doyennes might have more money than sense, but then, they do have a lot of money.

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I agree Helena! These are great articles and I love her writing style . More please!

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That was such a beautiful description of Emanuelle Beart. Love her. The articles are great, thank you Helena.

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23-08-2005
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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday August 20, 2005
The Guardian




My personal fashion dilemma of the moment is this: what does one do when proved horribly wrong? You see, much as it pains me to admit it, I have to hold up my hands and say I got it all wrong about shorts. When, at the last two rounds of fashion shows, I was confronted with endless pairs of hotpants and city shorts, I wasn't buying it. No matter that the world's most successful fashion designers thought you lot might want to wear shorts. I was convinced you didn't.

But from where I sit now - in a world where Kate Moss chooses Daisy Duke hotpants for her yearly Glastonbury photocall, and where many sane and gorgeous women of my acquaintance wear city shorts to work (and, I admit through gritted teeth, look good in them, too), it seems I was being a stick in the mud.


And so, I ponder my next move. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, they say - but I am not about to go out and buy a pair of summer city shorts. Even if my knees and my wounded professional pride would allow me, it is now too late in the season. (I had a near miss with a bargain pair of floral-on-white slingback wedges the other day. Very Burberry/Gucci SS05 - but, as such, with a shelflife now of about six hours. In a rare flash of sanity, I realised that I might as well save time by paying for them and dropping them straight at the charity shop, so I turned on my heel and put them back.) But this doesn't get me off the hook, because, believe it or not, shorts are big for autumn, too. The season's most directional piece will be velvet bloomers. These, being the love-child of a pair of shorts and a puffball skirt, are Extreme Fashion at its most perilous. But I've learned my lesson, and I'm not ruling them out.

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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday August 13, 2005
The Guardian


The battle lines between women who go out of their way to look feminine and those who shiver at the very thought have become blurred. At one time, the division in the office between those who based their pared-down look on black trousers and those who favoured a formal feminine guise was stark. But these days, the two camps have integrated somewhat - even in the Guardian offices, where the development is neatly illustrated by a trend for wearing dresses over trousers.



This summer, almost every meeting I've attended has boasted at least one woman wearing this combination. Styles vary, from the festival chic of a vest dress over bootcut jeans with wedges, to the Moroccan summer look of a long tunic over slim trousers with beaded slippers.


Neither of which, of course, is original: the skirt-over-trouser look was so popular about seven years ago that Topshop briefly sold ready-made "skousers". The tunic-and-trousers combination has a history that goes back several thousand years farther. But now that seasons of full skirts and blouses have reintroduced a "girlie" aesthetic into workwear, the combination has come into its own again. From quizzing devotees, I found that, while the primary attractions were practical ("I can cycle without having a Wish You Were Here moment"), a host of other considerations hovered beneath the surface. Adding trousers to a dress solves worries about age- and office-appropriate attire ("I can wear minidresses that I no longer feel comfortable wearing bare-legged") and heads off issues about Dressing Up: "With trousers underneath, I can wear my dresses without feeling like, Look, I'm Wearing A Dress." Whoever said that less was more?

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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday August 6, 2005
The Guardian


"Listen to your skirt. It should rustle." This pronouncement came not from the lips of an Edith Wharton character, but from American Vogue just a month ago, in a guide to the new season. The new vogue is for skirts and dresses that have a shape and a presence all of their own; that, with puffs or pleats, stand proud of the body beneath, and whose fabric has a pomp that announces itself as the wearer walks into a room.



This is the kind of shift that takes a lot longer to get used to than, say, swapping bootcut for drainpipes or velvet for tweed. It goes against the underlying principles by which we've dressed for years. Through summers and winters, our idea of elegance has always had as its template a figure slim as a willow and sleek as an otter. But now it seems that the full-skirt explosion of the past year has not been a red herring after all, but a precursor to a new look. Pared-down is over; puffed-up is in.


I should at this point declare an interest. Apologies if you were expecting a voice of reason against puffball madness: reader, I have already bought one. Admittedly, it is less a full-blown puffball than a gentle airiness and a turned-under turban hem; more the shape of a tall blown-glass vase than a Christmas tree bauble. But it has puff, none the less. I have never before owned a garment that wasn't flat; that had to be hung apart from other clothes in my wardrobe lest it get crushed. But I am getting used to it. I am enjoying the perversely liberating experience of wearing a skirt that is fatter than me. And I am enjoying the sound when I sit down on the bus and my skirt settles around me. Yes, it rustles.

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