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Header Vanessa Bruno pic credit style.com

Trending: If I Were a Boy

Lorna’s back for round two of ‘Trending’ – this time it’s all about playing with mannish tailoring…

I’m a die-hard girly girl. I wear floral print dresses, I like butterflies, I put ribbons in my hair and I cry a lot. But lately, there has been an unexpected deviation from my feminine ways. Since London Collections: Men in June, I’ve started to wear collared shirts, tailored trousers, and, heaven forgive me, I bought a pair of brogues. I don’t know what’s happening to me, and before I know it, I might fall into the trap of looking like those ladies in the Robert Palmer video for Addicted to Love (although my legs only come up to my hips and not my neck).

For all the romance that some womenswear collections have alluded to for Autumn Winter, they are equally matched by androgyny; think Marlene Dietrich meets Tilda Swinton. Listening to Paula Reid of Harvey Nichols at the store’s press presentation last week, masculine-infused style is already gaining traction in its stores across the UK, with some of its key investment pieces being mannish shoes, wide-legged trousers, oversize coats and biker jackets. We can’t lose the feminine touch altogether this season, so the question is: how can we still look pretty in a double-breasted jacket and slouchy pants?

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Lorna wearing Harvey Nichols’ Caractére long wool blend coat

I am quite concerned that our feminine style risks being camouflaged by bulky overcoats but there is a balance I believe. Victoria Beckham is the best example; her “cape-blazer” illustrated that boyish tailoring can look incredibly sexy when styled with tapered trousers and a killer come-get-me heel.

victoria beckham pic credit
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ictoria Beckham – Cape-blazer (lyst.com)

On the other extreme, Stella McCartney went with the teddy boy look, with an oversized double breasted coats simply styled with ankle boots. My personal favourite though is Vanessa Bruno, who mixed up a three quarter length coat with a collared shirt and mini skirt, resulting in an androgynous look that still manages to channel feminine prowess. I’d sell a kidney to have this outfit in my winter wardrobe.

Left: Stella McCartney double-breasted coat (Style.com) Right: Vanessa Bruno (Style.com)

Without even having to make an investment in this trend, we need to look closer to home first. I’m making a sweeping statement by saying we all probably have some tailoring in our wardrobes which we can reinvent. Blazers are a good start, in dark shades, especially black and navy. Try and avoid the office look here by styling blazers with a wider-leg trouser in a charcoal grey and a crisp white shirt. But if you do want to indulge in a little retail therapy my advice is to go all out on a coat. Labels like Caractére, Pinko and Gerard Darel are championing the Sherlock-esque long coat; a timeless piece that outlives all trends.

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River Island metallic clutch bag (not yet in stores!)

One key point to note is that accessories can play a vital role in keeping this trend girly. Scarves and clutch bags are the most powerful tools in the shed; add a faux fur stole to the look for some old-fashioned glamour and a metallic clutch to bring the look back to the present tense.

- Lorna Weightman

You can still catch Lorna’s first article for PlanetNotion here!

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