Is That On The Record? (Or some 80s detective realness).

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Do you feel that some days all you want to do is chase off after some mystery with your hair blowing in the wind in a dramatic, cinematic fashion? I bl**dy well hope so, because that’s what inspired this look. After watching way too much Ashes To Ashes I felt a need to get my vintage detective/reporter vibes going.

It’s a bit of a break from my usual looks – I actually surprised my mum with it – but I think every so often it’s good to step out of our box and try something a bit new. I mean, it’s not a massive change, but it’s enough to switch it up a little.

I feel that possibly we get too stuck in one way of thinking, one view of ourselves, one idea that we have to present to the world around us, but that isn’t the case. Sure, it’s nice to have those comfy clothes that you can just slip into and know that you can get on with your day, in fact that’s really good and healthy, but it’s worth pushing your boat out a little every so often.

Of course, you can’t go and buy an expensive new piece of clothing just on the off chance that you might like it, or for experiment, so why not try and mix up a few pieces that you don’t think will go together. If you’re someone who likes to keep your looks very separate, maybe mashup those different styles, get some fusion going (see Fusion fashion in this article from a few months back) and I know that some people like to have masculine looks and feminine looks so maybe try and get those “gendered” items together for bit of a different look if you don’t normally cross your streams. Obviously clothes have no gender, but societal pressure does play a part in everything (annoyingly) and it can be a struggle to unsee and unlearn those gendered ideas of who wears what. But that’s why doing stuff like this is important, it can help overcome those ideas. It’s all playing around, working things together and maybe coming up with something you like even more.

This is especially good if you are working out all that gender stuff for yourself, because you don’t have to be “femme” or “masc” or “andro” or any of it – please imagine this in a very frustrated voice – you are you and you can look like whatever you want. Mixing up some looks, finding what suits you, what you like, is important. There is no box that you fit in because boxes are rubbish and stop us letting ourselves out.

For me, experimenting with a look like this is important. It’s not a hyper, crazy stereotyped idea of a feminine look like lolita or a socialised harder masculine look like a suit, it’s vibing in a different way, and I struggled a bit with the look together. I think because it was subtle and I wasn’t making as much of a statement as I usual do with my clothes, it didn’t feel like me. I think that I personally am still learning about my identity and how I approach it, and will probably keep learning for a long time. In a society that tells you so much about gender and sex and what they mean, you have to unlearn a lot of stuff so that you can feel comfortable as yourself and, for me, that has meant sometimes pushing boundaries that are a bit scary.

My experience of my gender and my path will be very different from the next person’s and the next, but I hope that in some way me talking about it is helpful, it’s at least been helpful to me to open up about my journey.

Right. That all got a bit serious, shall we talk about clothes again?

Outfit Breakdown

I like this look, there’s a lot of knit wear and bright colours going on. It’s very 80s.

The green, lightweight jumper is sort of a turtleneck, it’s not that high though. I was surprised that it suited me, as turtleneck jumpers really don’t, so pleasant surprise. I think it’s worth trying out a few different styles of jumper until you find one that works for you. Obviously it would make the look a little different, but it’s worth finding a flattering neckline rather than feeling like it’s not for you. Of course, me being me, I found this one in a charity shop – like do I shop anywhere else? – but this late 80s/early 90s style is very in at the moment and I know that a lot of the high street chains are rocking the turtleneck as well as a few other choice lightweight jumpers like this.

sweaters
Mmm, jumper-y goodness

I would also recommend trying a few different colours if they have them to see which one you like best. I don’t mean “which one suits you” because honestly everyone looks good in all colours, I more mean, you might be surprised that you like a colour you wouldn’t normally pick up. Since we’re talking about experimenting, it’s worth trying something outside your comfort zone colour wise. I mean, it’s not like you have to buy it.

The high waisted chinos are something I’ve had kicking around in my wardrobe all summer and not had an excuse to wear so thank you autumn for helping me out there. Perfect for early to mid autumn, chinos are a great basic piece to help more exciting pieces (in this case, the mustard yellow cardigan) stand out, while making sure the outfit isn’t overpowering. The cute belt helps break up the look and, because I wanted to go a bit more defined in my shape, brings out the waist line. Depop is a brilliant app for finding vintage style pieces like these trousers – it’s sort of like ebay but just for vintage clothes, highly recommend.

Right let’s talk about the cardy. I love it. It’s so bold and bright and fun. I bought it last year to go with some mori boy outfits but it’s ended up being a really versatile piece. As I was saying before, it was something I didn’t think would go with this look but I tried it and it was perfect. The bright yellow compliments the darker green of the jumper and the cream in the trousers but stays as a statement piece and isn’t toned down by them. The big chunky knit makes it look cute and homely, but the style is bit more exciting with the turned up sleeves and the way it hangs off the shoulders. It’s about as dangerous as cardigan can be. Which is honestly not very, but still.

The shoes are my favourite monk straps from Zara. They are platform, a great modern twist on a classic shoe, so rather than aging the look it freshens it up a bit – did I really just type that? Note to self no more freshening. Again these are everywhere at the moment. You can get platform oxfords and brogues and monkstraps, with loads of cool colours and textures and patterns so you can really go to town on the footwear.

It’s a simple look but it’s fun and that’s what’s important.

You can now follow me on Instagram @lilistprince and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person.

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‘Olly Out!

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