When I look at photos of Emanuelle Alt I experience what I call “an Instagram effect”. Do you know what is it? It’s seeing a gallery of similar outfits, build on similar formula, outfits I’ve seen countless times- yet coveting them every time, without fail.
You may say that I’ve fallen prey to Instagram “sameness” and I guess you could be right. But take a look at the most stylish people on Earth (and Emanuelle Alts is undoubtedly one of them)- 8 times out of 10 they would be wearing a variation on the same outfit.
I’ve been looking for my own style for a long time (you can read all about it here) and sometimes the best way is to tape the looks you love to your closet door, and try to emulate them to see if they suit you. Not all of us are born with innate sense of style and often even those who are will have meandered through trends and fashion traps before they find their own unique formula.
What I love about Emanuele Alt is that she remains unfazed through fashion weeks when so many fashionistas cannot resist temptation to vamp up their looks in an effort to be noticed. For me she signifies sense of worth and inner strength that comes from knowing your body and trusting your own choices. From pouring over countless photos of Madame Alt I wrote down a few rules or rather guidance notes. They are so simple yet so effective- isn’t it a secret of French women after all? So here we are in no particular order:
@ Find your own formula and stick to it. For Alt it’s mostly shirts and slim pants. If you are more of a skirt person, how about a pencil skirt and sweatshirt or a silk shirt? I love the way Alt puts together slim pants, often cropped and overseized tops, often men’s shirts or Uniqlo men’s t-shirts. Personally, I love shirt + pants combination because I have slim legs but carry weight around my upper arms and chest so that formula simply works for me. I learned to differentiate between outfits I love and would love to look good in, and outfit I actually DO look good in. It’s confusing at times but once I learned it, all fell into places. No, I wasn’t podgy after all, I just wore outfits suitable for six foot, seven stone models.
@ Swap stilettos for lower heels. Alt is always photographed in mid heels and she looks like she means business. She doesn’t look like she has time to teeter on sky high stilettos. I’ve discussed this with Trish the other day and we both agreed that we would rather go for a lower heel and look elegant on a daily basis than on occasions when we are able to swap our flats for heels (when we can find a suitable corner behind which to swap shoes that is)(nothing wrong with flats of course but when one is on a short side…you know what I mean). Nowadays I’m happy to spend money on heels I can wear all day, whether I’m in court, seeing a client on the office or going for a dinner with The French.
@ Coats and jackets are your best friends. Alt favours Isabel Marant and Balmain (viva la France) but not all of us can drop several hundreds of pounds on a jacket (wound’t it be nice). I’ve always thought that Zara has really cool cuts even of their fabrics leave a lot to be desired. But in my book cut is a king and if you can get your hands on that sharp blazer, get your buttons changed (try swapping plastic for military gold) and maybe nip and tuck if necessary, you will look a million dollars for a high street price plus a small tailor fee on top. It’s so worth it.
I’ve recently cleared out my closet. It took me the whole of the afternoon, even if my wardrobe is directly proportional to the seize of my London flat- tiny. It was an emotional attachment to my clothes that made me put thing to black bags and take them out again. Ultimately, I’ve applied two tests- first one was whether I would be glad to wear each outfit if I were to be featured in Vogue- no chance of that but you must admit it’s a pretty high threshold. Second was what would Emmanuelle Alt wear? So here I am, wearing yet again my men’s cashmere jumper from Uniqlo and leather pants. How will I run a fashion blog if I own 10 garments in total now? Well, you are just going to have to wait and see..:)
Leather pants- vintage