at the heart of british style
Reposting “At The Heart Of British Style” again because it’s London Fashion Week! And I’m thinking about tweed even though I’m sitting in New York, half-naked, in 80 degree heat in September. And I just love the word “twee.”
This post was written by my friend, Esther, from Style & Conversation. Esther lives in London, so I asked her to help me out with a post, when I realized that my knowledge of British fashion was limited to two stereotypes: tweeds and fascinators.
copycat blow dries
I’m standing outside a London underground station waiting to meet a friend, the sun is shining and finally coats have been replaced with lighter layers. My friend sends me a text, she is running late and so I head to a nearby café to wait, and to people watch.
It’s rare that any of us get a moment to just sit in today’s busy world so I relish the chance to let the minutes pass by along with the rushing crowd. I am – as always – maddened by the volume of black leggings and questionable footwear on display, along with the array of blondes with their copycat blow dries, intentionally messy in an effort to emulate Kate Moss, and an equally unoriginal sense of style. In this vibrant city you can be anyone you want to be and yet far too many insist on being a bad replica of someone else.
But then there are the looks that not only catch my eye but will remain in my mind for weeks to come; the tall, slender woman in her early 50s, her white cotton shirt crisp and tucked into a flowing linen skirt of blue and white stripes, the hem falling just below the knee.
Sparkly gold ankle socks complement the thin, clinking bangles stacked high on her arm and everything is pulled together with brown brogues and a beautiful Mulberry handbag, probably an investment purchase, well-loved but obviously used repeatedly throughout the years.
Then there’s the young woman in a brown, tweed skirt.
Her caramel-colored silk blouse flutters gently in the breeze and she has paired this ensemble with short, studded leather boots and a denim blazer, which makes her look edgy rather than too earthy or twee. She strides along with confidence, catches me looking at her and replies with a stunning smile, outlined by bold, red lips.
To me, these women are the epitome of British style;
thursday, marie hell and personal style
Not Frou Frou
Brown and camel is a classic color combination, especially for Fall. This dress from Marie Hell is a perfect example of the mellowness of the two colors. There’s nothing jarring and showy about it. Brown and camel can look good on blonds, brunettes, and grey haired ladies like me.
This Marie Hell dress is a bit less casual than some others, but there’s no reason this one couldn’t be worn on a casual evening date, after a business meeting.
it always starts with the hat
Awhile ago, Tziporah Salamon told me that “it always starts with the hat.” I’m not sure she meant always always or most of the time always, but I took it to heart. Tziporah said, that when she got dressed, it was the hat that she chose first, then she built the rest of her look. I took it to mean: start with something. You have to admit, that as a style strategy, that’s brilliant.
Even the most indecisive of us can usually pick one thing from the closet to inspire us.
There’s something philosophically clean and minimalist about this approach to dressing, and indeed, life in general. Instead of trying to conjure up some ideal kind of “put together” look, why not take one beautiful thing you love, and let it tell you what it wants to be with? The result will be more organic.
three elements of style
People tell me I have “great style.” It’s humbling, but I’ve come to own it—and in as much as it’s true, I want to share what I’ve learned.
1. A woman with great style has a sense of self.
I was going to say has self-esteem, but I don’t think that’s quite it. Self-esteem is great but it won’t necessarily help you pick out an article of clothing that will flatter you, let alone make you happy. A sense of self is self-knowledge, including the ability to recognize that although you might like—even love—a particular style, it’s simply not for you.