Mix and match, formal and fun, dark and light, plain and patterned... New Article

Saturday, 10 October 2020  |  Kate

Alternative fashion is fantastic, partly because it has very little to do with actual fashion. You can go your own sweet way, follow your own star, please yourself, wear what suits you, and forget the pressure to dress the way everyone else does. So how do you take the alternative clothing thing to the most-fun level? We thought we'd take a look at how to mix and match with more confidence, verve and flair than ever before, creating looks that get you noticed in the street and remembered wherever you go. Dare you blend sober with light hearted, second-hand with new, unusual with conventional?

Blending old and new

Plenty of us love digging around for alternative clothing treasures in charity shops, something we've been missing since the virus struck. If you still don't feel safe on the high street, going in and out of actual shops, Ebay is a splendid alternative to charity shopping. It's worth taking the time to read all the details, and sellers these days usually provide plenty of it – in-depth measurements, close-ups of the fabric itself, things like that. Blend second hand delights with our vivid, bright alternative clothes and you'll create a unique look, a style all your own. You can also mix and match contemporary high street fashion items with '60s, '70s and '80s styles. Men can go for second hand 70s flares and wear them with a super-smart striped formal shirt, or a pair of vintage white wool cricket trousers worn with an over-dyed patchwork cotton shirt from our store.

Mixing sober clothes with fun stuff

The formal-informal look can be amazing. Calling brave women... a man's suit might not seem very inspiring at first glance. But team it with a brilliant tie dye top or something colourful that's been razor-cut, printed and embroidered, and you create a seriously special look. Or add a floaty blouse for a dramatic contrast with the suit's formality. Turn up the sleeves and the trouser legs if they're a bit long. Hitch the trousers up to your waist with a funky belt. Smother the collars of the jacket with vintage brooches to add sparkle. Think Madonna in the fabulous old movie Desperately Seeking Susan for inspiration. Men can do it too, of course – just team your business suit with a colourful shirt, a tie dye T, or both. And who says blokes can't wear a bit of sparkly jewellery or a necklace? Morrissey did it in the '80s, so you can definitely do it in the twenty twenties! The same goes for a classic ladies business suit. Add striped or flowered tights, sling a broad belt around the jacket to cinch your waist in, drape a luxurious silky scarf around your shoulders, wear the jacket with nothing underneath if you're feeling cheeky. The contrast between severe businesslike looks and frothy accessories is such fun.

Combining conventional with unusual

Some of our alternative clothes come in exciting shapes, things like dipped hems, hi-lo hems and pixie hems, long pointy hoods, flared sleeves, even interesting asymmetry. You can make the most of the drama and contrast by combining these with conventional items. Take one formal pinstriped pencil skirt, the ultimate in ordinary office wear, and combine it with one of our gorgeous printed dresses, belted and worn as a tunic. Take a pair of severely-tailored trousers, sheer class and as posh as you like, and wear them with a beautifully embroidered top featuring appliqué mushrooms, or a colourful, floaty sleeveless tunic. Wear some of our incredibly colourful harem trousers with a pinstriped blouse or shirt, with all the buttons done up.

Go for it – and send pics!

We'd love to see what you come up with. Get creative, then send us photos of you in your alternative fashion finery!

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