Post Urban Traveller – or at Least, his Wife…

This is the first of Five short blogs introducing the major style themes for the Spring Summer of 2014. As any Fashion magazine will rhapsodise for pages over hemlines, embellishments, cut and possible inspiration sources, these blogs will be very personal and probably not totally positive about all the looks. “Plus ca change” I hear you all mutter…

Let’s get clear about this. I do fashion because you can’t claim to be an image consultant without at least a working knowledge of the subject. You’d expect your accountant to know about tax law, wouldn’t you – even if all you do is hand her over a cardboard box full of invoices and hope that a legible set of accounts appears at the end of the day with a profit that shows at least you’ve made enough to be taxed on? But I certainly don’t have a passion for fashion.

However, if we wish to be taken seriously in anything we do, we need to be perceived as somebody who is abreast of the times. Yes, even if you aspire to be the head of English Heritage, you need to look contemporary. Dr Simon Thurley is rarely seen looking less than immaculately tailored.

(Sorry – that was just an excuse to put his photo in: Simon Thurley – the thinking woman’s crumpet? You don’t agree? Just me again then. But his clothes are wonderful, honestly.)

So today: The Post Urban Traveller – and no – I don’t have a clue where the title came from and I can’t help being reminded of The Time Travellers’ Wife which is one of the most peculiar books I’ve read in the last few years. You thought so too? See – I knew I couldn’t be the only one on that!

Just to save some of you time, I’ll let you know that if, like me, you are short, rounded and curvy, then this is not going to be the best look for you. It’s all about sharp angles, asymmetric lines, powerful boxy jackets and exaggerated proportions. In some ways it follows on from the Punk Grunge look last autumn, but it has definitely grown up and acquired some sophistication.The tailoring is definite and formal, yet minimal, so the best shape to wear it is tall, lean and minimally curved. And yes – I know there are some of you out there, in fact I was talking to one of you yesterday afternoon (Helen, you know who you are!)

So what are we looking at?

Long line boxy blazers for a start. Hobbs has a number of them, like this one


But the really daring look is to do it without sleeves!


And to zip it asymmetrically.

Of course, you need the right dress underneath, so choose a boxy shirt dress


Or continue with the bold angles


Or go with a shift dress in a bold print.


or one with zip detailing (last season’s influence again)


Trousers are slim cigarette pants and shoes – ah, shoes are:


Yup – these are real Marmite shoes, aren’t they? Can’t help feeling that, on the right girl, they’d be stunning. But I’m just not quite sure how many of us are the right girl….

You may have noticed that most of these clothes are unrelentingly monochromatic. Winters and Summers are fine, but for us warm girls, we’re going to be scouring the shops fruitlessly I feel.

So that’s a quick round up of the Post Urban Traveller – and nope – still can’t see how that name fits.

A little competition for you: if you can think up a better name for this look then let me know. The best one (in my egotistical opinion) wins a free place at my fashion update evening (date to be decided) this April. Go on, give those creative brain cells a work out. Be as rude as you wish and I promise not to be offended. Of course, if it’s really rude, then I won’t publish it, but you take that risk.

Next week it’s the Carnival Look. Loads more fun and a lot more wearable for many of us.


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