Archive for the ‘The Big Wide (Style) World’ Category


Jacket envy

October 29, 2009

Jackets.  Specifically, blazer-type jackets.  They’re everywhere.  Ever since I first found my face squished up against walls of maroon courduroy jackets at indie gigs circa2003 (and saw the track marks left down my cheeks afterwords) I feel that the ever-growing army of casual blazer-wearers has been sent on a mission to mock me.  I don’t know what it is about my body shape, but try as I might, I can never find a blazer that looks quite…right.

I used to think that it was due to an unfortunate shoulder-to-back ratio (one being averagely broad, the other being unnaturally short) and there may be some truth in that.  However, the recent crop of jacket styles has reminded me is that the problem I have with jackets is quite possibly the same problem that I have with most “fashion” clothes:  boobs.

Item 1:  “The Boyfriend Jacket”

“Oversized” (yet miraculously not on the arm or the shoulder), unfitted, long jackets are pretty much everywhere…

…on the high street:

velvet topshop blazer[Velvet boyfriend jacket, Topshop, £85, available here]  I have extreme love for the whole velvet thing.  I tried on a long velvet skirt in a charity shop yesterday – needless to say, I was reminded how no one over a size 8 should never wear an elasticated waist.  Ever.

…on teh internets:

asos boyfriends

[Gabrille Ravelo Pink Contrast jacket, £120, asos, Asos Ruched Sleeve Blazer, £50, asos].  Wearing a navy blazer no longer means you’re a Tory :).

…on celebrities:

rb boyfriendRachel Bilson, long time supporter of the boyfriend jacket.

Now I’m not going to patronise you by saying any more about this ubiquitous and resilient trend, except for this…WHERE ARE MY BOOBS MEANT TO GO??!?!  My actual boyfriend’s jacket probably wouldn’t look to awful on me, but these (like so many trends around at the moment) are about flowing delicately down a long silhouette, unimpeded by anything as inconvinient as a pair of breasts.  Boo.

Item 2:  The Structured shoulder:

metallic jacket

[Simon Wang Metallic Puff Shoulder Jacket, £95, asos]

Can you imagine that with a pair of 34Ds inside?  You can have a maximum of two things jutting out of any outfit.  Add boobs to that outfit, and you would have four things jutting out, which would just be a ridiculous catastrophe of over-juttage.  You’d end up looking like a dodecahedron.  And it’s not just the extreme structured shoulder, shoulder pads of any kind have the same effect.  It’s just too…busy.

I’ve picked out two extreme examples, but I pretty much always have the same problem.  Now, my issue with the lack of boob-space in fashion is a rant for another post, but for now I can show you how I’ve managed to get around it…by wearing a jacket two sizes too small:


[Jacket, H&M many moons ago; skirt, American Apparel; t-shirt, New Look; tights, Falke]  My camera has decided that it never again wants to talk to my computer so I’m giving phone photos a go – hence the weirdness!

I can’t get it done up, or even close, but as long as I leave it open it sits nicely on my shoulders, without all that stuff flapping around the front that almost-but-doesn’t-quite go over my chest.  And it looks way better than when it supposedly “fit” me.

Maybe there’s hope for me and the jacket yet.


It’s a nice day for a….red carpet appearance?

October 22, 2009

Last week, Nicola Roberts wore this to the highlight of any serious British fashionista’s calander..The Pride of Britain Awards.

nicola wedding

As I’m sure you’re aware, that is a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress worn by Carrie in the SATC film (*shudders at the rememberance of that piece of cinematic excrescence*).  Now the first thing that comes to my mind is that it is a truly dedicated fashionista (see how I use that instead of ‘fame whore’?  That’s because I like Nicola and I’m not Perez Hilton) who decides to wear such an obviously headline grabbing outfit, at an awards ceremony that’s supposed to be about the “inspriation stuff” done by “ordinary people”.

But the second thing is of course:  is this going to become a trend?  Are we going to start seeing more wedding dresses on the red carpet?  I’ve been wracking my brains trying to remember who it was, but I’m sure there was a picture of another celebrity recently wearing another wedding dress like it was any old gown.  The best I can come up with is this:


…worn by Emmy Rossum (I know, who?) at a recent event, which people seem to be accusing of being a wedding dress, but I think it has to be certifiably wedding-intended in order for this game to work.

I suppose it makes sense – if you’re going to spend thousands of pounds on a designer gown, it might as well be a wedding dress.  And given that the ‘white wedding’ has become a pretty meaningless tradition, why not wear these beautiful garments devoid of their symbolic baggage?  Is it in fact a feminist statement?

I think I’m taking it a bit far so I’m going to end on an even more confusing note by posting this image of Dita Von Teese in a Christian Lacroix wedding dress in a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar Russia.

dita wedding

Try wearing THAT to an afterparty at Mahiki.


Deceptively comfortable?

October 19, 2009

There’s been mumerings about these Alexander McQueen shoes in some feminist corners of the internets, and they’ve been one of the most-pictured items from the fashion weeks:

amcq shoes

Now I’m one of the first people to wonder at how on earth so many women manage to go around all day in any heel above an inch (I think this is to do with having short legs.  In order to keep up with people I can’t totter, I have to stride).  But I reckon the model’s feet are almost flat inside these cocoons.

For real killer boots, one need look no further than ones local friendly fetish retailer for a pair of these bad boys:

ballet boots



A bit of a Fearne Cotton

October 13, 2009

Cotton, Fearne (n):  a British TV presenter and ‘style icon’.

“A bit of a Fearne Cotton” (n): 1.  Someone who has good ideas and is definitely going in the right direction but just doesn’t get quite it right.  2.  An outfit which suggests that the person wearing it may be such a person.


Exhibit A:  Love the dress, the statement shoulders show clear psychic abilities (she wore this in 2007!), and the length shows off her awesome legs.  The dolly stripper shoes stop it from looking too cutesy, as do the black tights.  That necklace might also be a good choice, but I can’t tell.  Why?  BECAUSE SOMEONE THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO PUT LONG HAIR OVER THOSE SHOULDERS.


Exhibit B.  Those round-the-head headband things that push your hair up and make you look like Frankenstein should not be worn by anyone over the age of 18, and only then because they can get away with blaming it on youthful indescretion.  Black socks.  Under.  Shiny gold tights.  That’s like the kind of thing I would do….