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Details Ditails

I was thinking last week that it would be wonderful to be able to dress like Dita von Teese. Not the nipple tassles and G-strings when she’s doing her burlesque act, (I may have lost weight, but I don’t quite have the body for that, and it’s not exactly work-appropriate attire for my job) but the perfectly put together style she has when not working. Her hair is always styled in some fabulous 1940s or ’50s do, nails manicured, painted red lips and carefully selected accessories. It’s the attention to detail I love.

When researching how to achieve some of those old-school hair styles Dita wears, I came across this fabulous blog, where there was detailed instruction on how to achieve a rockabilly hairstyle, and the woman’s outfits are all so retro cool.

There’s such commitment to achieving a particular look. I imagine it takes a lot of time to create such a fully realised style. But I am intrigued about the level of work and commitment and time involved, so I think I might attempt a week of detailed dressing.

Blair Waldorf epitomises that ultra detailed style I’d like to achieve. She tends to have lots of accessories, particularly favouring a headband. I actually tried on this blue and white dress when I was in New York, but while it looks amazing on Blair Waldorf, on me, not so much.

Her and Chuck are the perfect sartorial match. He is also all about attention to detail, and their outfits are often coordinated.

I went shopping on the weekend and about bought some cute vintage-style dresses, peep-toe heels, a ruffle-neck shirt and a mint-green hooded vintage coat. I think the fact that all my purchases apparently require hyphens may mean I’m getting the hang of detailed dressing.

I guess we’ll see tomorrow morning whether being able to wear a highly detailed level of style to work is achievable for mere mortals like myself…


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High-flying style

I recently flew down to Blenheim for a weekend away. It’s always a very small plane that you fly on, that seats about 20 people, and I was sitting right up the front, so had a good view of the pilot.

Being a pilot is something that doesn’t really appeal to me at all. I love flying and the freedom it affords, but I would far prefer to be a passenger than pilot. It didn’t look overly intensive flying the plane for the most part, which surprised me. In fact, if you didn’t have all of those dials in front of you, it looks less intensive than driving a car.

It was the style of the pilot that caught my eye, though. There’s something so classic about aviator style. Aviation-influenced classics such as aviator sunglasses and leather bomber jackets continue to be a big influence in fashion today. The pilot wore Ray-Bans, the classic blue shirt with lapels and an oversized gold watch.

I love the look of an oversized masculine-style watch on a woman. It’s a style that was pushed strongly by stylist Rachel Zoe. Like all her other oversized accessories – think large sunglasses, large bag – I think the point was to make the woman look smaller in comparison. The picture below is actually Taylor Jacobson, Zoe’s assistant, wearing a vintage Rolex.

The large watch does make the watch look dainty, but the strong masculine style offers a good variety of styling opportunities, as you can have it looking plain and simple, or can dress it up to look more feminine but not fussy.

That simple style aesthetic is a hallmark of aviator Amelia Earhart, whose androgynous style is still very contemporary.

Earhart is being played by Hilary Swank in a new bio-pic, Amelia.

I love the leather bomber she wears here. I bought this copper-coloured vintage one with lapels at Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg for the bargain price of $28.

The aviator-style sunglasses, as worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun (remember when he didn’t seem crazy?), have been a massive trend over the last few seasons, and along with the classic Wayfarers they have been a big part of the reinvigoration of the Ray-Ban brand. It was only a few years ago when Ray-Bans were sunglasses only your dad would wear.

Model Agnyss Deyn here shows off goggle-inspired sunglasses here.

These geek-chic Persol aviator reading glasses are a strong aesthetic, but if you suit the aviator style, they could look pretty cool.

Leonardo Di Caprio’s played a pilot in two films. Here he epitomises that clean-cut man in uniform look as a con man in Catch Me If You Can.

He looks far more rugged here as Howard Hughes in The Aviator. I love the lace-up boots, like those which Amelia Earhart was wearing above.

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Why can’t you just wear that for the rest of the presidency?

I’m feeling inspired by political dressing at the moment, US First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady of France Carla Bruni (it doesn’t hurt to be a supermodel to make things look good).

These women seem to have found the balance between looking appropriate but not looking dowdy. They seem to have a mix of aspirational and achievable style.

The title for this post comes from an interview with Michelle Obama in The New York Times discussing her husband’s views on her wardrobe:

He’s always asking: “Is that new? I haven’t seen that before.” It’s like, “Why don’t you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet.”

She teasingly imitated him: “You didn’t need any more shoes. The shoes you had on yesterday were fine. Why can’t you just wear that for the rest of the presidency?”

Michelle’s style seems to align perfectly with the image her and her husband project. She looks practical and modern, but never boring. Her signature belt, which Barack apparently calls her ‘Star Trek belt’, is I think a perfect representation of the strength and femininity of Michelle Obama – it’s a strong aesthetic, but the cinched belt shows off her waist.

Where Michelle Obama tends to wear a lot of strong colours, which look amazing with her skin tone, Carla Bruni favours more muted tones of grey and navy with the occasional pop of purple.

She very much looks like she’s dressing for the part, and her clothes, mainly by Dior, have a very vintage feel to them, particularly with the pill box hat when she met the Queen, where she takes obvious inspiration from Jackie Kennedy.




I love the symmetry of this picture of Bruni with Princess Letizia of Spain. Although it would be improved by the princess also wearing Louboutins.

The first ladies of fashion caused a bit of a frenzy when earlier this year the Obamas went to France.









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