Lazy style-lovers' checklist: 15 ways to add instant polish
Saturday 02 October 2010
This season, it's about the 'glossy' look. Here's a checklist for lazy style-lovers...
Buy a camel coat
The fashion crowd don't always practise what they preach when it comes to trends, but the camel coat was popular at London Fashion Week. Crombie or boyfriend styles such as Whistles' "Celeste" version (£225) look the most modern. Or splash out on Aquascutum's updated classic. Aquascutum coat, £1,995; stockists: 0800 282 922
The new neutral nails
Step away from the loud colours and pick a peachy beige, a lilac nude, a muted violet or a pale dirty apricot.
Forget Gok Wan's penchant for boa-constricting his victims with a wide belt. This season belts should be skinny, brown leather and worn over jumpers, cardigans and coats. Buckling a belt, then looping the extra length in a knot, is the newest way to wear it.
Smarten up your denim
Leave the ripped, distressed and possibly traumatised jeans for decorating in. For a smarter take on denim look for mid-rise or high waists and dark washes. Straight indigo jeans reminiscent of Brooke Shields in the famous "nothing comes between me and my Calvins" ads from 1981 look right again, as do Seventies flares or cropped jeans for a more feminine flash of ankle.
Slip your soles back into a pair of courts with a fine stiletto and you'll wonder what the heck the trend for sci-fi platform sandals was all about. An almond toe (rounded point) such as the Shilo shoe from LK Bennett, is classic without being conservative, more flattering on the calves than pointy styles, but more chic than round toes.
Rouge your lips
Nothing creates instant glamour like red lips, and one of the most legendary versions is about to be reintroduced exclusively to Boots in late November: Revlon's Fire & Ice. Launched in 1952, with an ad campaign featuring the model Dorian Leigh, it was billed as a shade "for you who love to flirt with fire ... who dare to skate on thin ice". Red will also lift this season's camel shades.
A perfect canvas
Faking a photoshopped complexion is easier than ever, thanks to new high-tech foundations that look deceptively natural. Two of the best new products are Lancôme's Teint Miracle, which gives skin a luminous appearance and creates a very even, flawless, long-lasting finish, and YSL's Teint Radiance, a good option for those who want something a bit lighter. Both look best when applied with a specialist brush. For on-the-go touch-ups and an adjustable level of coverage, try Bobbi Brown's new Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation while Chanel Pro-Lumière foundation is a tried-and-tested favourite which gives a polished glow.
A single cuff or solid bangle is one of the most clean, modern ways to wear jewellery, and works well with this season's minimal clothes. Margiela's crinkled-effect brass cuff (£195, netaporter.com) is glamorous but cool, while Shaun Leane's resin bangles in turquoise or coral with a gold tip would look very chic with navy and grey (£210, shaunleaneshop.com)
Get glowing skin
First we had super-creams and now it's super-serums, which apparently have a more intensive action, penetrating deeper and boosting the effectiveness of creams. This month Chanel will launch its new Sublimage concentrate, containing the extract of the Himalayan Golden Champa plant to revitalise and detoxify skin (£240). At the less-expensive end, Olay had a waiting list in the thousands for its new Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum, which aims to firm skin (£29.99). chanel.com; olay.co.uk
At Louis Vuitton, ponytails added a modern freshness to womanly Fifties styles, while Stella McCartney's minimal tailoring was enhanced by low ponytails with a side parting. This isn't an excuse to scrape back messy locks, however. Blow-dry hair first with a large round brush to enhance shine and create a sleek, bouncy finish.
Find a scent with a story
There's nothing very enigmatic about wearing a fragrance anyone could identify instantly, so seek out something more rarified and surprising with character behind it. CB I Hate Perfume is an American company with a cult following. It was established by the independent perfumer Christopher Brosius who co-founded Demeter, purveyors of scents such as Dirt, Rain, Play-Doh and Snow, and Liberty are now stocking six of his scents. These include M4 A Room With A View, a violet-based fragrance inspired by a passage from the EM Forster novel which evokes the hills above Florence, and Fire from Heaven, blended from a selection of classic ancient incenses (both £60). Francis Kurkdjian is another intriguing perfumer, who created Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier and opened his first shop in 2009. His newest creation is Lumière Noire pour Femme which has notes of spiced rose, patchouli and narcissus.
Buy a blouse
There's something very sophisticated about a blouse, especially in the age of ubiquitous slouchy jersey. The Seventies are coming back, so look out for a cape-detail style from Warehouse (£45) – or, if you've got a bigger budget, the silk versions from the Chloé catwalk are among the most luxurious around.
Streamline your bag
Take your inspiration from Céline's Classic Box Bag and the Hermès Constance, with their sleek satchel shape and understated clasps, and jettison any big bags. After all, an overloaded sack of swag doesn't makes you look thinner, it just makes you look like a cartoon burglar. Similarly, downsize with a square-not-squashy clutch – a splash of red will look great against navy, grey and camel – or a simple satchel.
Glasses are often an afterthought, but a dated or unflattering pair will ruin an overall look. Giant square geek glasses have had their moment in the sun, making way for cat's-eye frames, but the subtler the shape, the easier they are to wear.
From the mid-thigh down, London Fashion Week could have been mistaken for New York, there were so many glossy, bare legs on display. Whether worn with leather skirts and ankle boots, pencil skirts or shift dresses, the Great British fallback of thick black tights was in short supply. Traitors. For those of us without NY-quality pins, however, the good news is that we can cheat our way to an even skin tone; nude tights are having a comeback. Achieve a convincing bare effect with Falke's toeless Shelina tights in 12 denier, the Naturals range by Pretty Polly and Wolford's Luxe 9.
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