Style Police: Short, back and sides

All rise for Whitney Houston, says JAMES SHERWOOD - not for her vocal acrobatics, but for the fact that she has discovered the perfect little crop cardi

Sometimes you've got to ask yourself what floats your boat. What is it about fashion that really lifts your skirt? Some people get off on waiting too long and spending too much money on what the fashion press call a seasonal essential like the Fendi denim baguette or Gucci's feather- and-bead flared jean. Not Style Police. For us, finding a trend that answers all the season's questions is better than a blind date with Gucci's Tom Ford. It's like that moment when the six lottery balls line up: fashion's answer to multiple orgasm.

This latest fashion moment happened when we were watching Top of the Pops last week. Now we already knew Whitney Houston was fashion-hot when the divine one vamped it up in spray-on black leather bustier and maxi combo by Gianfranco Ferre at the Brit Awards. If you want to be a diva, you've got to act like one and the girl looks good. But on TOTP, Whitney entered the Style Police hall of fame - and all because of a black crop cardigan. Whitney was belting her new single, It's Not Right, But It's OK, and all Style Police could think was, "It's dead right and OK is an understatement, babe".

So you think a black cardi is nothing to froth at the mouth over. Well, Whitney's crop cardigan is this season's Sermon on the Mount. The darling item was tight, long-sleeved and buttoned on the neckline before skimming away into a bolero shape. There is literally nothing to it. Compared with the Goliath spring trends, this little cardigan is the David.

Let's explain. In autumn/winter a shape emerged not seen since Norman Norrell designed Doris Day's Fifties screen wardrobe. The fashion press christened it the Shrug. It was a tiny little shoulder-covering sleeveless cape: looked gorgeous but nobody bought it. Clearly, the concept was great but needed a push. Whitney, God bless her, gave us the answer: the crop cardigan as the cornerstone of your spring/summer wardrobe.

How to wear it

Before we get on to the how, you need a bit more why. The cardigan was the key piece for the past two summer seasons. But it needs to move on. Now look at what we're wearing this time round. The spring dress is either backless, strappy, bustier shape or sheer. There is zero cover and Style Police knows how some of you feel about untoned upper arms. This bolero cardigan is a barely-there layer. It is a new shape: a genuinely fresh dimension.

As a guideline, you're looking at a crop that stops where the Empire line begins: just below the bustline. As a rule, button it down if you have a large chest and leave it open bar the top button if not. Just buy it and try it.

Where to buy it

Now this is what we love about a rogue trend. Everyone's talking about Whitney's top so this is a real "she's gotta have it" story. And what you want, Style Police is honour-bound to get. We called Whitney's stylist, Patti Wilson, in LA who said she bought the little black beauty from Dolce & Gabbana. But panic not. You can always call on Amaya Arzuaga for the season's most delectable knits and Amaya's well on top of the crop cardi trend. Her vamp-red knit cardi (pounds 70) is a killer; especially since we were telling you last week to dive into colour.

Try an old fashion stylist's trick and scour knit supremo The Scotch House to find its small-size cashmere cardi (pounds 225) in lilac, grey or natural. It sits and fits like a crop. If you can bear the wait, Nougat's opus of crop cardis for autumn/winter will be in store in August (just in time for British summer). We're talking a praline or sepia dip-dyed crop for pounds 45, ice-blue lambswool with blanket stitch (pounds 45) or chenille-trimmed neutral at pounds 60.

ADDRESS BOOK

Amaya Arzuaga at Selfridges: 0171 935 9393.

Dolce & Gabbana: 0171 235 0335. Nougat: 0171 631 8444.

The Scotch House: 0171 581 2151.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Upper KS2 Teacher

    £120 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Upper Key Stage 2 teacher ...

    English Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day + ?110 - 130: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher ...

    KS2 Teacher with SEN responsibilities

    £115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: KS2 teacher with SEN responsibi...

    Administrative Assistant

    £60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments