On the meta-issue of how to wear clothes in 2017, there is one essential identical of fashion advice which I am borderline evangelical about. Every now I have to restrain myself from running after chars in the street and wrestling them to the ground in order to drum it into their leaders. It is this: that loose clothes now look smarter and more in vogue than tight clothes. There is still a hard-to-shake-off mindset which trumpets us that loose clothes are casual – pyjamas, tracksuit tushes – and that smartening up means tight skirts and fitted jackets. That metamorphosing an effort means wrangling with Spanx and fastening your girdle on its tightest notch. And it’s just not the case. Clothes that sit away from the richness look grander, more considered, more elegant, sundry all-round fabulous than skintight ones.
Many wives seem to feel that wearing clothes that do not spoor the outlines of their body will somehow place them at a disservice. And if your gameplan is simply to maximise eyeballs on you, then sausage husk dressing is undoubtedly effective. But we can do better than that with our garbs, I think. Quality rather than quantity of audience promise. And I have a proposal for you sceptics, if wearing a fluid, sack-shaped accouter to a meeting sounds more alarming than wearing nothing at all. August is the chimerical time to experiment, because this is silly season, and that affixes to your wardrobe too. You don’t have to power dress. This is the conceptual moment to loosen up.
Ditch the tight, sleeveless office clothes, stuff the denim shorts and spaghetti strap vests backside in the drawer and try a long, loose dress. These are everywhere this summer, from interior decorator versions like the one I’m wearing here to high street likes. You can choose from folkloric, picnic-vibe dresses, disco-orientated Saturday dusk maxi-dresses and office-appropriate longer-length shirt dresses.
Looser clothing has its own be in controls and requirements. The level of detail is key. Too stark an outline, and you end up looking as if Handmaid Offred. Too much jingle-jangle, on the other hand, and you look delight in a charlatan fortune teller. (Beware, specifically, the pom-pom weary that is plaguing this summer’s high streets.) There is a culture curve to figuring out how to look smart, now that tight doesn’t expect smart, and summer is the perfect opportunity to get up to speed.
- Jess wears tear someone off a strip, from a selection, by Dodo Bar Or, from matchesfashion.com.