Monday, January 3, 2011

Rule Britannia

Note: this post is the last in a series in which the Bitches attempt looks from the Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style using clothes from our own closets.

Posh Eclectic - What's it mean?

If California Casual is quintessentially an American born 'n' bred look, then Posh Eclectic belongs squarely to the Brits. To me, it embodies a kind mad cap, devil-may-care-evening-gown-with-Wellies glamor that I imagine certain of Britain's upper crust likes to engender when:
A. Proving to the hoi polloi that they are most certainly not snooty, they're lovably dotty, why just look at how we pair our furs with tattered jeans! or
B. Embarking once and for all on the downward slope of the journey towards fun on mental instability.

Pirate: This look is all about blending styles - it's the name you give it when your dress is mod but your jewelry is rock and roll. . . or when your entire outfit came from Anthropologie. It's the look when things that don't look like they should look good together still look good together - like the fancy dress and the grandpa cardigan. This may sound like a catch-all style, but it's more polished than that. Posh Eclectic definitely takes a little time to think through.

Posh Eclectic Icons

Moi: To me, Kate Moss can serve double duty with this one, due in large part I think to her tendency to mix a variety of different styles into one look:

As well as to somehow manage to always look just a tad disheveled, regardless of the time of day or occasion:

I would also include Russell Brand in this category, although I'm sure he'd protesteth that, no, no, no! he is really rock and roll.

: She's probably an unfair posh eclectic icon since she makes her own clothes (and lord knows she's heavy on the eclectic), but I favor Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Her personal style and her fashion lines combine traditional glamour with far-out outrageousness in ways that are equal parts quirky and elegant.

Plus she is just cool. She is the mother of the Punk Rock movement, and at 69 is still a fearless couturier.

The Pieces

Moi: Posh Eclectic is just that: beautifully detailed items made from luxurious or luxurious-looking fabrics (velvet, silk, lace, satin, fur) that are put together with other luxurious items in a kooky or off kilter way. This is the time to pull out the ol' Edwardian-style velvet jackets, fitted tweed blazers, English riding pants, ruffled silk blouses, circle skirts, vintage silk dress, Fair Isle cardigan, and fur gillets. In fact, if there's one style that just begs for anything fur, it's Posh Eclectic. Footwear includes lace up granny style booties, Wellies, t-strap sandals, and retro-looking wedges. As far as accessories go, just about anything goes, but this is the time to show off your grandmother's velvet and cameo choker, that tangled metal and pearl necklace, and Victorian jet bracelet.

Pirate: . . . or, you could just go spend some money at Anthropologie. Pretty much all their looks embody the glamorous-paired-with-weird that inexplicably looks really great and well-assembled.

Putting It All Together


BB Dakota faux fur vest, unknown stretch lace ballet top, thrifted faux pearls, Gap boot cut jeans, Yellow Cab NYC silk satin pumps.

BCBG silk cropped kimono jacket, Tracy Reese lace pencil skirt, Jessica Simpson Astor slingback peep toe pumps.

BCBG velvet cropped jacket, unknown lace camisole, Anthropologie chandelier drop necklaces, Garnet Hill jersey ruffled skirt, Hue tights, Born riding boots.

Pirate: If yo're putting new things together in your closet for the first time and pairing styles you're not sure about, it can be a big risk. So, um, yeah: sometimes pulling off the Posh Eclectic thing takes some balls.

BCBG "Natany" OTK boots, BCBG runway tutu, BCBG sculpted jersey top, BCBG faux fur shrug

But sometimes, it's just a matter of pretending. As in, I'm pretending I'm going to the stables for my morning constitutional, but really, I'm going to work.

J Crew riding pants, Vince Camuto "Fivvy" boot, BCBG drape-front cashmere cardi, J Crew silk ruffled blouse

Rock and Roll + Gamine = Posh Eclectic

Vince Camuto "Fivvy" boots, Ted Baker asymmetrical kilt, Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater, J Crew "Professor" Blazer, Gap neck scarf

Final Thoughts on this Look

Moi: I am waiting for the day when I have occasion to pair a lame evening gown with my Frye harness boots and coyote fur stole. And when everyone at the grocery store shoots me weird looks, I will tell them, "Pfffft. What know ye of Posh Eclectic fashion! Now get that straight jacket away from me."

Pirate: Be fearless; take risks in your closet. If you think it might look good together, try it. So long as it fits you and looks good on you, chances are very good that you can pull it off. Even if you don't, there's nothing wrong with a good learning experience.

Up next: well, shoot. we're out of looks in the Lucky Book. Maybe it's time to field questions from the audience -- feel free to Ask The Bitches anything - we love questions!