Monday, 6 September 2010

How to Accessorise with Grace

As I have departed our rainy shores for ten days in Biarritz, I fully expect to come back to proper Autumn.  The rain had arrived and there was a cool nip in the air but the season hadn't properly 'landed' yet. I can't much as I am a bit of a sun-worshipper..Autumn and Winter are my favourite seasons. The crunchy leaves, the dark, carb-loading on things like hot buttered toast and pies, the wonderful coats, tights after the horror of having to remain vaguely bronzed and fuzz free for seemingly weeks on end, the list in endless.

However now we've got our classic wardrobes built up (a little bit anyway) and maybe a nice piece of outerwear to throw over everything, you're probably, unless you're more fortunate than me, broke.  The cupboard is bare, my pockets are empty, my bank account is hollow so how to make merry until the next pay cheque? By adding a few relatively, cheapo touches here and there to update your outfit. Also am welcome and open to suggestions!

I've interspersed this post with images styled by the fabulous Grace Coddington who I am a huuuge admirer of.  The very first picture (above) is of Grace photographed by Lord Lichfield in 1964 working a double helping of 'fantasy fur' and the rest, even though they're from past editions, illustrate this season's trends superbly and can inspire us to get creative with our styling.

The fantasy fur tippet
Last winter we had the snood, but the new neck wear has to be faux fur – shaggy pelts (both faux and real..though I'm not sure I'm so up for that unless it's vintage) dominated the catwalks. If you don’t want to purchase a new coat, a demure fur tippet will update last year’s design. Tame wild fur with silks and pretty prints: drape over a green parka and romantic slip dress, or throw over the shoulders of a slouchy knit and maxi skirt to get the Dries Van Noten look.Oh and according to Mr Karl Lagerfield, it's not 'fake' fur, it's fantasy fur.  Really.
I like this one from ASOS.

 The skinny belt
If this is the season of the waist, then now is the belt’s time to shine. Thinner and plainer and with a stricter colour palette (tan, brown or black), a belt should be worn on the slimmest part of the waist, preferably over a grandad cardigan or knitted jumper. The belt should be buckled, with the loose end knotted through. A cheaper alternative is to tie a ribbon in a bow at the waist.I've never been much of one for belts but spotted a gorgeous skinny leopard print one in Urban Outfitters..I may succumb..

The decorative pin
Jewellery takes a back seat as brooches jazz up outfits while also fulfilling a practical purpose. Buttons have been put out of work as brooches and safety pins hold coats and cardigans – and even skirts and dresses – together. This is an easy one to do at home. Just add a giant safety pin to chunky knits or fasten your coat with one.Or get a wee bit more creative and take a trip to V V Rouleaux to find things to add to your giant safety pin!
From US Vogue (July) featuring Euan McGregor & Natalia Vodianova as a not so perfect 50s/60s Mad Men-esque couple
The ladylike bag
Classic should be your mantra when selecting arm candy, and Céline’s boxy leather shoulder bag is the pinnacle of this look. A structured style adds sophistication to even the scruffiest outfit – look to Mad Men’s Betty Draper for inspiration or the shoot below. Opt for muted colours such as brown, khaki, olive, cream and oxblood for an investment purchase, or a bright pop of tangerine for fun. Clean lines, a simple fastening and a practical handle or strap are essential. Carry it in your hand or tuck it under your arm and accessorise with a swingy ponytail.

I rather like this dress too...

The country cap
From the ubiquitous baker boy to the flattering flat cap, hats embrace the English eccentric trend (there were even Avengers-style bowlers on the Hermès catwalk). Best worn with either modish Sixties’ styles such as graphic prints and minis (see Miu Miu), or a duffel coat and rosy cheeks, this outdoors favourite is cool enough to have an urban edge.

The wide headband
Big, dishevelled hair is a hit for autumn – see Giles, Prada and Chanel. Backcombed bed-hair looks brilliant contrasted with a homespun-looking, knitted headband, or wide Alice band – tease hair into a messy bun or beehive before adding. Wear with an elegant knit and pencil skirt for pure sex appeal.

I have to confess that this selection of pictures does not show a wide headband but DO show dishevelled hair perfectly and is also one of my favourite shoots by Grace for US Vogue in December 2009 starring Andrew Garfield and Lily Cole as Hansel and Gretel with Lady Gaga as wicked witch!

Finally a small selection of random Grace pictures to finish this off, even though it's glum outside, beautiful pictures always cheer me up. x


  1. The nice thing is accessories are a relatively inexpensive way to update one's wardrobe. Things like the fur collar, brooch, lady like bag (depending how much you like the "vintage" look), and belts can all be bought vintage/secondhand/ebay/etsy

  2. So true, tis all about economising for me at the moment..until next month's pay cheque!x

  3. wow, incredible images. and Pret is spot on: it doesn't take a lot of $$ to incorporate these wardrobe essentials; just a keen eye and plenty of vintage shops to browse.


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