How to wear clothes articles - The Guardian - Page 4 - the Fashion Spot
 
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28-09-2005
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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday September 3, 2005
The Guardian




There is a very simple formula behind every successful fashion trend. Essentially you take two names or phrases that each conjure up strong, but wildly different, mental images. Then you put them together in one concept, the more preposterous the better. "The Mitford girls go to Ibiza", say, or "The Great Gatsby meets The OC". Almost any piece of fashion writing - and mea most definitely culpa on this one - will contain at least one such piece of sartorial nonsense. The elements don't have to have an affinity; in fact, the mental jarring you get when you try to blend two images that fight is part of the impact. It doesn't have to be a good combination; it just has to sound good. Catchy, like a Crazy Frog ringtone, rather than melodious.

Sometimes these crazy cocktails turn out to be delicious. John Galliano is the Heston Blumenthal of conjuring beautiful dishes from unlikely fashion ingredients: his last couture show, based on connections he saw between Dior's classic 1947 New Look collection and traditional Peruvian dress, was a triumph. The formula for creating a trend out of unlikely pairings has its roots in sound style principles. Most classically chic looks have at their core the chemistry of opposites. The Hitchcock blonde in belted pencil skirt is compelling because the look is poised between strict tailoring and the feminine charm of curves and curled hair. Female style icons who have pulled off men's clothing, from Diane Keaton in Annie Hall to Bianca marrying Mick in a white suit, have exploited dramatic tension between masculine and feminine. Sex symbols from Marilyn Monroe to Britney Spears have played off doe-eyed innocence against a siren's pout. You need a bit of contrast to make clothes into fashion, rather than costume. So stop s******ing at the back.

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28-09-2005
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I do like reading those Guardian articles..... the first thing I flick to when I get that hefty magazine. Oh actually....I read the Rise section first....since I'm supposedly job hunting........

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02-10-2005
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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday October 1, 2005
The Guardian




Whatever do you mean, you still haven't bought a puffball skirt? What's the matter with you? Honestly, sometimes I don't know why I bother. Haven't you seen the date? You know, little words, bottom of every page? It's October, for goodness sake. Autumn. I was prepared to let September go, as an amnesty period for boho. But as of today a zero-tolerance policy on floaty layers will be enforced.

If you're now kicking yourself for splashing out on that expensively wafty dress, remember that fashion's trend metabolism has speeded up to the point where fads spark and die in two months and are back on the radar again within 18. Pack it away at the back of the wardrobe, and cheer yourself up with some retail therapy.

I was joking about the puffball. (Sort of.) Start with a pair of round-toed, high-heeled black court shoes. You might already have some: leather, patent, velvet, it doesn't really matter. The toe must be round, though: somehow, the round toe makes the neatness of black pencil skirts and belted jackets look retro in a knowing, postmodern way, whereas with a pointy toe the same outfit looks as if you've stumbled back into the world having been locked in your office since 1992. With a round toe, you need a thick heel, not a stiletto (your feet, as well as your look, will reap the benefits). And one at least three inches high, too - any lower and they look horribly practical.
Such a shoe is not just excellent workwear; it will do overtime for evening. Get the right pair and you can wear them with a simple, structured party dress (Kate Moss paired them with a coffee lace cocktail dress for a New York gala) for an evening look that won't feel overdressed for drinks at 6.30pm. What are you waiting for?

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02-10-2005
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what style conscious woman hasn't already been wearing round toe pumps for at least a year now?......

it's well written...i like it...
thx helena...

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02-10-2005
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the high st. has been swarming w/round toe pumps for atleast 12 months now !
& i bought a puffball skirt a few days ago . . .

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02-10-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helena
I have that really dumb habit of standing on invisible high heels when I try on clothes, and so long as I do that, the jeans look OK. But when I have to stand (flat) on my own two feet, I come down to earth with a bump. You have been warned.[/size][/font]

this is funny...

the obvious solution is to wear the jeans with heels...
most likely a heeled boot with the jns tucked in...


i guess this is really just a fun column...
where she basically pokes gentle fun at 'fashion victims' and trendsters...

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02-10-2005
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^^^ exactly its very tongue in cheek

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02-10-2005
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Thanks again Helena! Love her ascerbic wit and writing style .

My wardrobe is,and has long been,all round toe pumped up.

I shall leave the puffball skirts for those who were too young to wear them the first time round.Fortunately,I was never tricked into wearing them the first time round either,and that's about the only thing I am proud of when it comes to my 80's fashion choices .

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02-10-2005
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great thread!- many thanks...

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02-10-2005
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i love this thread and these articles... just cause i am a lil slow and not scurred to admit it.. where are these articles originally from? a magazine or something.. someone pm me the answer if you understand my question

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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday October 8, 2005
The Guardian



Call me a soft southerner who fritters away her money on cloakroom tips, but I do love a nice coat. I would take a coat over a jacket any day.

I prefer the slightly theatrical nature of a coat (especially a pretty one worn over eveningwear) to the prosaic, just-enough-warmth logic of a jacket. Having a beautiful coat is often seen as an indulgence, because you take it off once you've got where you're going. But this is part of why it feels like a luxury. And anyway, a coat does get seen: it's what you make your entrance in, whether at a meeting or on the doorstep at a party - and, as we all know by now, first impressions count.



What's more, a coat simplifies a winter wardrobe. First, so long as you buy a knee-length one, rather than a short, mid-thigh version (ugly with knee-length skirts), you can wear it with skirts as well as trousers. (Both are comic with long dresses, though.) If the colours clash, just do it up, or belt it around you. (You might not want to wear a lime green skirt with a pink jacket, but an inch of lime skirt peeking from beneath a pink coat looks fabulous in a Dries Van Noten kind of way.) Second, if you wear a warm coat and closed-toe shoes and skirts that cover your thighs, you can get pretty much all of the way through autumn and into the first days of winter without having to wear tights. Bare calves (but not thighs) with a nice coat and elegant shoes is, I think, a good look. Very Manhattan fashion editor. But this could be a personal quirk, born of being someone who feels claustrophobic in tights. And, I admit, I'll likely be changing my tune come January.

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22-10-2005
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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday October 22, 2005
The Guardian

Occasionally, a trend comes along that you just really, really like. One that you think will suit you, chime with what you want your wardrobe to say, and fit in with your life.
But be warned: this is when you need to be very careful, because in fashion a little goes a long way. Overdoing a trend is like using capital letters in text messages: it looks shouty and gauche.
Having recently spent a month at catwalk shows, with several hundred other women who spend a month at catwalk shows, here are my personal guidelines for how not to overdo this season's trends:

1) Capes are fine. Cropped trousers are fine. But both together will make you look like a principal boy.

2) If you are wearing a pencil skirt with a blouse, think twice about sheer tights, or you can end up looking a bit of a typing pool-sexpot cliché. Opaque tights, or bare legs, will look more natural.

3) If you're working a groomed, ladylike look, with cinched-in clothes and proper accessories, don't match this with a chignon and an over-powdered face: lighten the mood with downplayed hair and make-up.

4) Never, ever wear skinny jeans with a waistcoat while carrying a Balenciaga Lariat bag, unless you want the world to know you are a witless Primrose Hill wannabe.

5) Victoriana blouses look great with jeans. Do not wear one with a long skirt, thinking you look all Rochas, because you will instead look as if you've wandered off stage from an am-dram costume drama.

6) Similarly, do not wear a full-tiered skirt with an embellished military coat, unless you are auditioning for Dr Zhivago.

7) Never follow fashion journalists' "rules of the season", because these are a sure-fire route to victimhood.


Last edited by helena; 22-10-2005 at 01:33 PM.
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22-10-2005
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How to wear clothes

Jess Cartner-Morley
Saturday October 15, 2005
The Guardian

The fairy godmothers of fashion have waved their magic wands once more, sprinkling a sugar coating of desirability on to a motley crew of must-haves. There is a certain style of rather camp-looking military coat - swashbuckling in its wide skirts, with velvet and frogging and epaulettes and toggles - that seems to be in every other shop window I pass. This coat brings to mind Lord Nelson and Pete Doherty, neither of whom has ever been a sartorial role model, to my mind (never could stand a man in a silly hat); I don't want one. So today, instead, here is my three-item alternative autumn shopping list, chosen, radically, on the basis of usefulness rather than trendiness:

1) A pretty, lightweight knit top. Nice knitwear is ideal for going out straight after work because, unlike a shirt, it won't look creased and jaded by 6pm. Button cuffs or shaped necklines lift knitwear above the generic "woollies" category. Ivory and cream look inviting on the hanger, but are unflattering on many winter skin tones; toffee or caramel is a better bet.

2) A pencil skirt. This is cheating, because pencil skirts are fashionable, but that makes them even more useful: they look appropriate for the office, but have enough hip-factor to work at night, too. A fine wool is the most useful fabric (satin is great for cocktails, but only really works with heels after dark). And to look truly elegant, it should end just below, not above, your knees.

3) A long-sleeved evening top. Now that faded tans and cooler nights render strappy tops obsolete, you need a garment that signals, to the person waving at you across the cinema foyer, that you've been looking forward to this evening and have made an effort, and not that you're a wanton exhibitionist with delusions of grandeur. (If you are, then go buy the Doherty/Nelson coat.)


Last edited by helena; 22-10-2005 at 01:32 PM.
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22-10-2005
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I really enjoyed reading these! I think she sums everything up in a way i like! Thanks for posting!

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22-10-2005
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thanks for that

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