Call it military, call it utility, call it equestrian, but I think this whole look can be summed up in two words: country club. I'm talking about the recurring A/W trend which sees the fashion world layering up in chunky knits, tweeds, wools, leathers and furs in ensembles not much different from those you see posh English people, who usually live in old manors and own giant farms, wearing.
When I think of the country club look, I think of soon-to-be-princess and wife of Prince William, Kate Middleton. So, if you want to pull of the country club look, keep Kate as your inspiration rather than the folks of British comedy Last of the Summer Wine. The muted colour palette of olives, khakis, beiges, browns and burgundys must be used wisely to avoid looking drab as well as to avoid dressing like the typical English farmer or even worse, my grandpa (granny chic is in but unfortunately the grandpa look is not cool...well at least not yet).
So what are we talking about here? Think checked and plaid button up shirts, flower prints, woolen and tweed skirts, woolen capes, jumpers and cardigans, shearling coats and waistcoats, fur/shearling trimmed leather boots and also touches of leather and faux fur.
The country club look was all over A/W 2010 catwalks - Dior, Hermes, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs, Pringle of Scotland, Oscar de la Renta, Dries van Noten, Burberry Prorsum, Kenzo, Fendi, Michael Kors, Maxmara and Topshop Unique. And each fashion house put their own unique twists on the look.
I think Dior summed up what I am talking about perfectly! No doubt about it the outfits sported by the Dior models had a masculine feeling, but feminine accessories and makeup took away the harshness and made them look softer. This look screams English gentleman!
The chunky knits and waistcoats were a little English farmer but the bowler hats and capes added a more sophisticated, Sherlock Holmes feeling to the look.
Oscar de la Renta's take on the look was a little more military but the use of fur adds a touch of luxury. The palette was mainly khakis and greens.
There were two main looks at Rag & Bone going on: one was military/hunter and the other was highlander/farmer.
Aside from the, erm, interesting animal ears and moose/deer antlers, the look at Topshop Unique was, how can I say it, unique. It made me think of girl scouts (i.e. Brownies) brandishing hunting rifles.
How to join the country club
- Now that winter has finally hit Doha, jumpers and cardigans are now possible! Wear a jumper or cardigan belted over a floral skirt or maxi dress with some vintage-style lace up boots with a chunky heel for the perfect ladylike country club look.
- Avoid looking drab by mixing up your colour palette...wearing all brown, all grey or all khaki will look, quite frankly, boring. So stick to only one piece of khaki clothing and mix things up by adding burgundys, navys, creams and beiges.
- Afraid the look is too masculine? Then add some sparkly jewellery - drop earrings, bracelets and rings - a la the models at Dior.
- Accessories? It's all about fur/shearling trimmed bags and boots, as well as slouchy leather satchels and box-like totes, brown and tan coloured leather belts, and utility style and vintage style leather boots with chunky heels.
- This look is versatile - it can be done for casual, office and evening wear - how? If you're looking for something casual, try the look mentioned in (1) or go for a cardigan worn open over a checked shirt teamed with khaki coloured skinny jeans. For an office-worthy look, opt for a utility style dress belted over opaque tights, and again some lace up boots with chunky heels. What about evening? Look smart and sophisticated in a waistcoat worn over a pair of tweed or woolen tapered trousers or pencil skirt. If the weather's chilly you may want to wear a light knit under that waistcoat.