Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Swelegencia Spotting at the People's Republic of Disco
I was out and about a couple of weeks ago at the People's Republic of Disco (my very favourite club night) and I spotted some very stylish boys and girls who I thought I'd like to share with you lovely lot. Thanks to all these people for agreeing to my using their photos: you're all utter stars.
First up is this fabulous combination of spots and stripes. Combining patterns is a minefield, but a good rule of thumb, exemplified here with absolute aplomb, is that if you keep the patterns simple, and wear them boldly, then you won't go far wrong. This also works because the scale of the patterns are similar. Imagine tiny dots with those tights, or thinner stripes with that frock and you can see that it wouldn't work. It also helps that the white dots tie in to the white stripes and give the outfit cohesion.
Two ladies now both working a similar look, and since it's a versatile, easy-to-wear and flattering look, I'm going to explain how and why it works. This is a shirt-fronted dress with a fullish skirt and short sleeves, worn with a contrasting belt. It looks curvy and feminine on everyone, even those who have no curves. The fuller skirt makes the waist look small in comparison, as well as skimming over larger thighs and tummies and bums - then, above the waist the sleeves help to balance out that width, making everything look in proportion no matter how small or otherwise your boobs. Then, having created the wide points, the belt is an essential focal point to make the waist look different and narrow. A buckle on the belt is important, it breaks up the horizontal line which, as we know, gives an impression of width. Also helping to detract from the horizontal lines created by the wide hem, sleeves and belt is that flattering V neckline. The buttons also mean that more boobalicious girls can still get a good fit without gaping and straining. Undo the buttons to below the fullest part of your boobs and wear a matching or contrasting vest underneath, or simply show a flash of bra! Want one? The lovely UK site Pin Up Parade have the beauty below available for preorder from their 'Forthcoming Attractions' page. It's £90, available in sizes XS to XXXL. I'm waiting for the sizing guide, but if it fits, I think it might be a good investment for work. Red belt, though.
The next fabulous lady couldn't have been working a more different look.
Man, this girl looks fabulous! It's a little bit Tura Satana, but smarter and more fun. The boots are no-nonsense and fierce, but their length and tightness combine with those skintight jeans to look sexy and feminine. The black jeans blend into the black vest, making the waist look tidy and tiny - and then the knotted shirt adds a little retro 'Calamity Jane' character to the look, meanwhile its comparative fullness and contrasting colour makes the waist look smaller and the boobs look a little larger. I love her glasses too.
Next up, a couple of boys in bowling shirts (and with added smoke machine effect). I love bowling shirts - they sit open at the neck to just the right depth, and they often have vertical lines as here, which we know are flattering. It's an easy-wear retro look for men, and an effortlessly chic one. Try TenPinShop.com for a good selection if you're in the UK.
By the way, have you noticed all the red and black? It's a People's Republic of Disco thing... not compulsory, but much loved...
A gorgeous gal next, in a lovely dress, but that's not why she's here. This dress shows masses of her upper chest, and because of the contrast with her skintone, it creates an uncompromising horizontal line. The solution, as here, is a statement necklace with diagonal lines - almost creating a V neck. I should point out, a long pendant or long string of beads would draw the eye down too far, and give the impression of droopy boobs. This necklace is just about perfect.
I'm making a little more of an effort to get to grips with man-style, and I'm starting by identifying what I like. Two very different looks here, but both very stylish. The chap on the left is more obviously 'on trend' (horrible phrase). There are lots of those flannel-style checks around for men and women, but it's the fitted cut that makes it chic. Also, these checks would be much less flattering if our man wasn't so slim. But the shirt on it's own is just fashionable, it's the horn-rimmed glasses (my grandad had a pair) and extremely sharp hat that make this look totally swelegant. I'll say it again... everyone can suit a hat if they try. The look on the right I love because of the juxtaposition of floral Hawaiian shirt with the leather jacket. But because the shirt is black, the look is again, cohesive. Rock and Roll.
My last style direction might not be on everyone's map, but I hereby declare Swelegant Style Shopping's support for the 'tache. I think the reason that moustaches are more resistant to popular acceptability than the increasingly ubiquitous beard, is that moustaches are more of a statement. It's less possible to blend into the crowd when you have a 'tache, but I'm not about blending in. I also love the adaptability and transience of face fuzz: here today, gone tomorrow. And my lovely late dad had a 'tache, which means they have a very fond place in my heart.
Lastly, as is customary, my outfit for the night. The hat wasn't mine, someone plonked it on my head just before this pic was taken, and then all of a sudden it's a bit Annie Oakley. Sorry about that...