There are only two fabrics to contemplate adding to your wardrobe this season and that’s suede and denim. Denim we know: we have it in our wardrobe already, it’s easy, it’s classic, straightforward and even when it gets an “update” it’s not that hard to get to grips with. Because everybody loves denim. But suede is a little bit trickier. First off, because it’s a little more demanding, it has rules – and just like Gremlins should be kept away from water.
But it’s this season’s staple and incarnates the dominant trend there’s just no escaping: the Seventies. Even if you can’t bring yourself to adopt a spot of crochet, or a platform or anything else that ticks that decade’s box, suede will do it – and do it well. But here’s where it gets trickier – on the catwalk, not only did we see it as a super-cool jacket or dress but we saw it layered up: suede squared.
Derek Lam and Chanel were among those putting the best and most wearable cases forward for it. And they went one of two ways. At Chanel, there was a looseness – a shirt was worn with soft suede trousers to make for the ideal lounging-around outfit. Meanwhile at Lam, it was more about structure with stitch details to create a cool stiffness. So which camp are you in?
If the former, then a loose tunic top or dress worn over trousers (suede or not) will do the job. It’ll have a gentle hippy vibe to it, but footwear and accessories will dress it up and down depending on the occasion. Stay away from legions of beads and platforms if you have an aversion to any sense of “summer of love”; instead high-heel boots will provide a sophisticated edge and trainers will give a downbeat run-around vibe.
For the latter, this taps into that retro sportswear mentality that we’ve been seeing permeate through fashion – an A-line skirt with a jacket is just the right amount of suede in one outfit, or a suede bandeau or halter top beneath a suede jacket and teamed with a dinky A-line skirt in leather perhaps. Otherwise, you can do an A-line short skirt, or the longer-length Seventies style with a retro cotton T-shirt beneath and the suede jacket. The thing is to make sure you have at least one other fabric element in the equation so that you don’t look like your official sponsor is suede.
Strands tied around your wrist as an alternative to a bracelet with a jacket will look suitably yet innovatively bohemian, same goes for a choker. As soon as the quota steps beyond two-thirds territory, take something off and think again. A little like the old jewellery philosophy: take the last thing off that you put on.