“The concept is simple: the amplified party shoe has simply expanded to involve over-the-top accessories.”
Dressing for a night out can take a lot of inspiration, especially in the winter when the wind is blowing hard and the rain is pouring down. For years, a pair of heels has been my go-to pick-me-up. I’ve used them to lift both the mood and the outfit; to bulk up denim or give an edge to a more reserved seam.
But what about those days when you just don’t want to waver? When putting on heels seems a bit too far? I admit that it happens to me more and more, and I’m going to put it down to the weather and the fact that I like to walk, rather than approaching the idea that age makes me sane .
I discovered the answer. When you want to feel party ready but don’t want to wear heels, you’re just channeling what I’ve heard, into not particularly flattering, “trash-chic” fashion slang. It’s been all over the catwalks, but it’s a trend that lends itself to real life too. Because the concept is simple: the amplified party shoe has simply expanded to involve exaggerated accessories.
* Stylish rubber boots to accompany you in all weathers
* New Zealand winter takes on the Coastal Grandmother style
* Why natural fragrances are the new sensation
Pick just one (the punchier and more quirky the better) and pair it with something more understated. The effect should be an effortless blend of the absurd and the understated.
When you’re feeling a little dull or just want comfort, it works surprisingly well. The other night, I wore my favorite bottle green shirt (part floaty top, part comforter) over my faded black jeans and flat boots – so comfy so far.
To bring it all to life, I carried a bag I bought to soothe my inner magpie: it’s showy gold crackle leather with the same high-shine quality as the inside of a crisp package. It had the desired effect, diverting the gaze from some fairly classic garments and garnering a few compliments on top of that.
It’s a styling move that works because adding something jarring brings the unexpected: a little pep. As is so often the case with style, fashion editor’s fashion editor, Diana Vreeland, said it well when she said, “A little bad taste is like a nice touch. of paprika.
It’s very current. At Louis Vuitton, garish floral ties added the needed boost to the camel tailoring. At Gucci, quirky accents were everywhere, an exuberant bow on a jacket here, a pair of bright yellow leather mittens worn with a long red dress there.
And then there were the hats at Marni. They ranged from a devilish doll draped over the crown to string tiaras and colorful knit headwear – each adding their own touch of unexpected curiosity.
But perhaps the most inspiring wild accessory pairing I’ve seen so far was the standout molded sunglasses Nicole Kidman wore while running around Paris before her Balenciaga runway debut. Batman’s style was so striking that a British newspaper mistook the goggles (surely the season’s most copied accessory) for a mask.
Kidman wore a fairly unremarkable pair of baggy jeans and a black ’90s scoop-neck bodysuit with them, letting his glasses do the talking. The effect was ridiculously cool with seemingly very little effort.
As we know, one of the most confusing things about cool is that trying too hard can kill it. Which makes it an easy win. Wearing a totally quirky accessory allows for the best of all worlds: you can indulge in the extraordinary without sacrificing comfort or, seemingly, losing your cool.
Whatever treasure you stumble upon – a loud handbag, a huge brooch, a jeweled scarf, crazy glasses or a crazy hat that just sparks joy – consider it a fashionable distraction. And when in doubt about the styling outcome, keep Vreeland’s words in mind: “Too much good taste can be boring.”