The other day I spoke about my style statement, Sophisticated Anachronism, and how I came up with it. Today I thought I would share with you how I interpret my statement with my personal style. I love styles from bygone eras, and pretty much any bygone era, from the opulent velvets and embroideries of the Renaissance and the Edwardian eras, the sharp tailoring of the 1940’s and the lace and fripperies of the Victorians. Unfortunately, to dress head to toe in outfits inspired by these eras would look like I was about to go to a costume party, rather than my desired aim of appearing chic, stylish and sophisticated.
Instead, I try and live up to the second part of my style statement, anachronism, and mix vintage touches into a more modern sensibility. Below are two outfits based on ones that I wear quite often.
The first outfit has a very modern silhouette as its base. With dark skinny jeans, a striped grey and black knit, a charcoal skinny cardigan and a slouchy leather bag, I could be any one of the young mums I see on a daily basis. To add my hint of anachronism to my outfit, I pinned a collection of vintage and vintage-style rhinestone brooches onto my shoulder like a corsage, and paired it with a pair of delicate mid heel, bow trimmed pumps.
The second outfit starts with the exact opposite base. Starting with a vintage 1930’s style lace jacket/tunic, I decided to toughen it up with modern touches. So underneath I wore a grey marle long sleeve knit top and leggings, and paired them with grey patent heeled ankle booties. I used the same slouchy bag, and added some metal stud bracelets as my accessories.
I can’t create the next two outfits on polyvore since they don’t allow clippings from Etsy, and the two skirts I bought are so unique that I couldn’t find an adequate substitute on Polyvore. Both skirts are from a lovely Etsy seller Couvert who is based in Poland. All the items are handmade, some of them one of a kind and some made to measure.
The first skirt is a dark charcoal crushed wool heavily embellished with lace, ruffles and ribbon. The asymmetrical hem is what drew me to this skirt and the shorter part of the hem hits right at my sweet spot just under my knee, with the long part trailing to mid calf. The skirt has so much going on that I pair it with a plain black, v – neck cashmere sweater; for someone with a flatter chest, a black turtleneck would be even better. Black leather flat motocross style knee boots to add a bit of toughness to counteract the pretty. For jewellery, I keep it simple with my Pandora charm bracelet, a chunky silver ring and a chunky silver necklace.
I love the way Couvert has styled this skirt, with the untucked white shirt, the low slung belt and the chunky knit shrug, but it is all wrong for my borderline plus-sized hourglass shape. Instead, I pair it with an unusual dark chocolate cashmere twinset I have had for about 5 years, but still looks current. The shell part of the twinset is a simple sleeveless tank with a scoopneck and an empire seam under the bust which is incredibly flattering. The cardigan part is actually a shrug/bolero style, with three quarter length balloon sleeves. The volume of the sleeves pair really well with the volume of the skirt. While this outfit has no embellishment in terms of ruffles or lace or ribbons, it has a lot of textural/architectural interest in the intricate folds of the skirt, the subtle self stripe and sheen of skirt fabric, and the softness of the cashmere sweater set, so I keep it really simple with my jewellery, wearing just a large pearl ring. For shoes, I wear a pair of chocolate suede and patent knee high stiletto boots. I love how the suede and patent combo add just one more textural element to the monochromatic outfit.
These four looks are all totally different, and yet, the core of sophisticated anachronism remains. In all of the outfits I feel totally comfortable and at ease and, most importantly, I feel like me!