Harry Styles made a few waves last week when he appeared on the cover of Vogue US wearing a long, tiered lace skirt by Gucci. Styles and Gucci love playing gender-agnostic dress-ups – it’s hardly groundbreaking fashion news – but it rattled the chain of a few right-wing political pundits who think men should dress more manly, whatever that means.
How great if men can start to explore all the fabulous options fashion can offer outside of what has been traditionally considered ‘menswear’. I’d love them to start experimenting more and more, because I know I have officially given up.
“There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”: Read our full December cover story starring @Harry_Styles here: https://t.co/yILujUQQae pic.twitter.com/qwpGKBSQey
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) November 13, 2020
It might be age, it might be ennui, but the fashion wheel has almost exhausted me. I keep buying the same thing.
I am thrilled that Harry is wearing that lace skirt because I’m not going to.
In the constant struggle to downsize my wardrobe, I took an audit last week and was somewhat dismayed to see how many blue button-through cotton shirts I have. I just keep buying them, it must be unconscious. I have pale blue, denim blue, sky blue, navy blue, Prussian blue, blue and white pin striped, blue and white bold stripe. That’s just the cotton. I also have navy blue silk, azure blue chiffon and ink blue shantung. I have lots of blue jeans. Lots of black sweaters. Black silk pants. Lots of leather sandals, and increasingly, lots of baskets. And not much else.
It has become Pavlovian. I find myself on websites with thousands of fabulous new fashion items ON SALE, and there I am, hovering over a pair of low-key tan Greek sandals that I already own. Evaluating some new jeans exactly the same as three other pairs in the closet. Buying another pair of hoop earrings, another black cotton sweater, some more sneakers. Have I found the perfect fashion uniform that works for me, or have I just simply thrown in the towel? I don’t want to turn my back on fashion completely, but I also don’t want to head straight into navy blue Prue and Trude territory.
So how do you make sure basics don’t look boring?
The first rule is to make sure the cut of whatever piece you are buying is a bit cool. The sweater can be a bit oversized; the shirt can have interesting cuffs; the jeans can be on trend. Then you can add a small, personal detail that elevates the outfit – a piece of heirloom jewellery, a great pair of vintage sunglasses, a fab coloured lipstick.
Given that I feel happier in a pair of jeans and shirt rather than a party dress, I try to up the glamour quota in other ways, by accessorising them with a glittery vintage evening bag, some turquoise earrings, or a leopard print sandal. It’s a recipe that works for me, at this stage of my life, keeping my wardrobe basic and my accessories a bit more adventurous.
So, it’s over to you guys. Thanks, Harry.