(Original story published on November 4, 2016, on FashionMagazine.com.)
You know you’re a bonafide It-girl when simple clothing styles, details, and accessories can be deemed as being so you. Take Peter Pan collars, strappy ballet flats, and printed midi dresses, for example. If Alexa Chung didn’t come to your mind, you probably wouldn’t be reading this story.
It’s hard to flip through a glossy or scroll through a social feed without coming across an inspiring shot of the style icon. We see her sporting trendy pieces she dares us to try (kitschy barrettes, loud florals, and ugly footwear), cutesy pieces we’ve come to learn only she can pull off (Amish-inspired dresses, normcore overalls, and rodeo-ready jackets), and cool, wearable pieces worthy of being included in our weekly wardrobe rotation.
And so, in honour of the Brit expat’s 33rd birthday on November 5, we’re taking a look at Alexa Chung’s latest sartorial trends to uncover five prime fashion lessons we can all learn from the style star. But before scrolling through the slideshow, note this: Forget everything you thought was a fashion faux-pas. Now, continue.
1. Find yourself a go-to topper in a loud print.
You may be tired of accessorizing with leopard (you can keep that skinny belt and those ballet flats at the back of your closet), but an everyday coat in everyone’s favourite feline print is an easy way to make an outfit more interesting. Do like Alexa and team yours with a graphic tee (her fave) and a mini skirt (her other fave).
Try: Topshop Leopard Coat, £85
2. Don’t even think twice about wearing short shorts over 30.
Alexa has great gams and likes to show them off—just not in the booty-peeping way we might spot on today’s tweens, of course. Add a sophisticated edge to yours by teaming them with a printed blouse and embellished flat ankle boots.
3. You can also rock your grade school faves over 30.
Top off your baby tee and mini skirt with your cozy cropped cardi circa 1992 for a true 90s-girl look. Extra points if the cardi is bubble gum pink or boasts girly-girl motifs.
4. Graphic tees aren’t just for PSL-lovers.
You may now associate graphic tees with overplayed sayings (“But First, Coffee”?) or photoshoots at the pumpkin patch, but Alexa proves they’re not just for #basics, and can still be your go-to tops of choice. Wear your non-cliché option, a.k.a. one without a cheesy quote, with a mini skirt for the easiest Chung-approved look.
Try: Marc Jacobs Small Folded Bow Tee, $256
5. It is essential to have a few frilly and floral numbers in your wardrobe.
Alexa is frequently photographed at events wearing pretty Erdem dresses fit for a tea party. Take cue from her and build an arsenal of garden party-inspired frocks that you can wear on repeat. Give them an edgier vibe with undone locks and kohl-lined eyes.