This is an outfit I wore to a work do. Yeah, it was possibly a bit out there for the place I was working, but I felt this was pretty toned down for me. And I’m done with dressing to make other people comfortable.
I’ve spent a long time pretending to be someone I’m not, every school dance I wore a standard dress, every family event for years I would just wear jeans and t-shirt or, if I had to smart, a tunic top and jeans. The need to conform to what other people did and what they expected me to do was overwhelming. I knew wasn’t the same as them but, being a teenager, I kind of wanted to be, or at least have somewhere I felt less odd. So I tried, that being the optimum word here, to fit in. It did not work. It was boring and not how I wanted to dress.
Since leaving school, I’ve had space to find myself more. Peer pressure lessens as you move away from your old social groups, I’m not saying it doesn’t reappear when you enter new ones, but you have the chance to find groups that are more like you, or more open to the weirdness and not likely to tell you to change. This being said, it’s not easy. Walking down the street looking different is never easy. I still find it hard to be out and about in full on Lolita or Kodona looks, but I don’t hold myself back.
The fear of being stared at in the street is always going to be there, especially if you are trans or NB, but it should not stop you. Heck, if you know it’s going to happen, stir into the skid; go as weird as you like, you might as well.
I’m not going to say it doesn’t take a lot of courage to do it, not matter how you are presenting yourself, it is still hard to step out of the door, but once you’ve done it the first time, it gets easier the next, until it is your life and that is wonderful.
There’s not a huge amount going on in this look, it’s very simple and bared down. I like that. I think its classic; two colours, black and red – well burgundy if you’re being picky.
This whole look was built around the jacket. I love that jacket. It was a birthday present from my presents and owning it makes me very happy. A burgundy smoking jacket. That’s a piece that will never not look cool. Honestly, people talk about the little black dress, but why not the burgundy smoking jacket? Come on, it’s a staple.
I’d recommend Topman for suit jackets if you’re on a budget. They still aren’t cheap, but you will get a better fit and good quality so you won’t need to worry about it. Honestly a jacket like this is worth spending a more than £20 on.
If you do have a bit more to throw around hit a proper tailors, because holy moly, if I could own a proper tailored jacket, heck a whole suit, I would in a heartbeat. It is more than worth it and it will pay for itself (think of all the drink you’ll get bought, eh?). You can also go vintage, but you may need to get it altered for a proper fit.
Moving on from the jacket, the trousers are the next crucial part of this look.
Leather look skinny trousers are the best thing to appear in high street fashion for years, in my opinion that is. They are just so cool, and no one looks bad in them. They have that magic ability to sculpt your shape without making you look like a sausage shoved in it’s skin. Plus the fact that they are effortlessly cool, especially with the high waist. I also don’t think they look particularly gendered either, they are very andro in my eyes.
With this look, they added a certain punk rock element and kept it more fun and playful, taking yourself too seriously, which, with a velvet blazer, easily could have happened.
These types of trousers are all over the high street at the moment, so you’ll be able to find them super easily.
The shirt, on its own, isn’t that interesting, it’s literally a button down, brushed cotton shirt, but that’s perfect here. You don’t want too much going on and with the added collar pins and chain to just add that touch of interest, you’re onto a winner. I do think that less is more a lot of the time, but that’s just me.
I mentioned the chain, so I’ll quickly touch on the accessories. I only say quickly because they aren’t that many, the collar pins – which are actually just earrings, pro tip that – the chain, with it’s little vial of “blood” on it – just in case I need to give into my vampiric ways – and a gold, faux ear cuff. Just enough gold to give the look a hint of sparkle. Coz who doesn’t like sparkle?
Shoes; black, patent oxfords with socks to match the blazer. The shoes are vintage, and you should definitely try and get your hands on some. Again, they are pretty in at the moment, so grab them while you can at high street prices. Office and Clarks are great for a good long lasting pair of Oxfords, as is Jones.
So, last but not least, the makeup. I think this is the first look where I’ve talked about the makeup, but this look hangs on it. It’s the Kristen Stewart red, smokey eye with a seriously pale base and I cannot get enough of it. I used the Pixiwoo tutorial as a basic start but then modified it for my own face shape and added a smidge of contour and highlight.
That look man.
I think that a really striking makeup with a simple, but classy outfit, is really the best thing for a night out. Or a day out. Or a day in. Well really any time. It’s the best.
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Written by Holly Rose Swinyard