Kim France and Andrea Linett describe the iconic “posh eclectic” style in their The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style (Conde Nast Publications, 2008) as being “made up of equal parts country-estate frump and the black-sheep aristocrat’s disregard for what’s acceptable.”
This is a look that confidently combines “thrift-store chic, Old Hollywood glamour; and urban sleekness.” If all this seems to suggest women’s fashion combined into a look that lacks easy definability, then understanding of an eclectic style is close.
Essential Women’s Clothes
Look for items, vintage or vintage-inspired, that suggest a particular time period or era. Each piece on its own should be interesting. This is not a fashion style where an unadorned tee shirt will fit into a well thought-out look. Look for books that show fashion styles of the 20th century as a way of familiarizing oneself with clothing styles for women’s fashion.
Lace items and embellished clothing (beading, interesting buttons, or lace accents) add sophistication to this look. If crafty, consider changing the buttons on a blouse or jacket for a funkier look. Consider when a bit of lace, velvet ribbon, or fake fur will add that necessary interesting detail.
Also, be willing to pay to have clothes altered so they fit properly. Because this fashion style mixes distinctly different pieces, the items shouldn’t be oversized or sloppy looking.
Essential Fashion Accessories
Fashion accessories should be vintage or vintage-inspired. Again, this is where knowing a bit of fashion history comes in handy. Shoes and purses should look like they came out of grandmother’s closet. Poke around flea markets and thrift stores for interesting pieces. Don’t buy something just because it looks old. Love it.
Think of interesting ways of wearing vintage jewelry – wrap a necklace around the wrist like a bracelet or wear clip on earrings as a brooch. How many pieces of jewelry a woman can wear when dressed in distinctive items of clothing is a learning process. Check the entire look (including coat or cover up and purse) in a full-length mirror.
Pulling Together a Clothing Style
To avoid looking like one went clothes shopping via time machine, plan on wearing a key clothing piece mixed with one other piece for a distinctive look. The more unique items combined into an outfit, the more wildly eclectic it becomes.
This is a look that willingly combines a float-y cocktail dress with a tweed blazer and chunky ankle boots. The key is to think in contrasts. Make a list of contrasts – light/dark, girly/sophisticated, masculine/feminine, etc. Select one of these dichotomies as the key to an outfit. Light and dark could be interpreted as a pink chiffon dress combines with bead black gothic-inspired jewelry or a summery dress worn with dark tights and a wool sweater.
This look, one the book The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style calls an iconic look, can be mastered by any woman who wants a pulled-together and creative look. This clothing style combines items that contrast one another for a unique look.