As one of the most photographed women in the world; unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have seen countless images of Kate Moss. I’d be willing to bet you’ve probably seen more images of Kate that have been snapped by a pap, rather than actual modelling work (she chooses her campaigns carefully, after all).
Frequently lauded as a style-icon she is admired by both women and girls alike. How does she do it? Well, her look is actually very easy to dissect because she sticks to mainly three very tried and tested formulas…. There’s – probably the most familiar – Rock Chick Kate (leopard print coat, shorts and waistcoat at Glastonbury, logo tees) and which is probably the look that most appeals to her younger audience. Then there’s Ethereal Kate – all blonde flowing hair and diaphanous gowns- (think of her wedding) and finally, Classic Kate.
For the purposes of this Style Autopsy feature, we’re going to focus on “Classic Kate.” Next to the aforementioned Rock Chick look, this comes a close second as her “go to” outfit. The great thing about this style is that it’s very easy to recreate, features items that should really be part of every woman’s capsule wardrobe and therefore it’s incredibly versatile. You could literally create dozens of different looks by combing ten or so key Kate items. Best of all? It is pretty much age-proof – anyone can adapt this look to suit both their age and body shape.
Sticking mainly to a neutral colour palette (black, grey and white feature heavily) with the occasional curve ball of colour or print, this is all about investment dressing. Therefore, this is definitely where to spend the most and focus on quality. So stay away from “trends” and opt for classic shapes, as they will last for years to come.
Finally, when you recreate this look for yourself, think of it as an ensemble piece – one where all of the parts make up a stylish whole; rather than any one item taking centre stage.
So; let’s take a closer look at Kate’s style.
Tuxedo Style Blazer
Although she owns many styles of jackets (mostly always black or grey), it is the classic female-cut tuxedo style blazer that Kate Moss wears most and she has them in both black and white. Both versions look amazing worn with cigarette trousers and heeled pumps at night but are equally at home (dressed down with jeans and loafers) during the day. The white version is particularly useful in the Spring and Summer months.
Although its’ best to buy the best version you can afford, the High Street offers some fantastic options, so take your time to look around and find the best fit and style for you.
Where oh where would she be without her skinnies? It’s perhaps the item we associate with Kate Moss the most. Again, black is the most notable option but she frequently wears them in grey and also in denim colourways. For the purposes of this classic look, avoid any styles with obvious “distressing” (that’s for the Rock Chick version).
If you really aren’t brave enough to wear a skinny jean, choose the slimmest leg you can and ensure it is long enough in the leg to wear with a heel (without flapping around your ankle).
The skinny jean has now very much earned its’ place in the capsule wardrobe of most women and although the High Street is awash with choice here, again, it’s worth spending enough money to ensure a great fit. This is ultimately a garment you’ll wear all year around.
A classic black loafer is a shoe you will wear again and again. Try to choose a style that has some “substance” (a typical Penny loafer style is perfect) and a good sole, rather than something that is more flat, will lose shape and won’t stay on your feet. Look for styles with a more “masculine” edge.
Kate wears many different styles of ankle boot from a flat heel to a high version. For this look choose a style or styles that appeal to you. As this is a “classic” vibe, pick a good quality leather in a neutral colour and with minimal embellishments. If your budget stretches to a couple of pairs, then I’d choose a black high heeled version and a tan suede mid-heeled Cuban style version.
The classic oxford style shirt is a must in anyone’s wardrobe. The Kate version is fitted and not oversized. Do not be tempted to buy a cheap version, which will be thin, discolour easily and won’t look sharp after several washes. This is absolutely one item where you need to buy the best possible option that you can; so expect to pay in excess of £50 to find a really good one. Once again, if your budget allows, choose versions in black and white – you’ll wear them again and again.
Kate Moss owns dozens of pairs of black Christian Laboutin heeled pumps. In the end, the designer actually modified his designer to have a pencil thin stiletto and called it the “so Kate.” The High Street is awash with black heels, so find a price point and fit that works for you. My suggestion is to go for a heel height of around 3” and a classic tapered toe. What we’re talking about here is a classic stiletto type shoe, so forget about current trends and embellishments and keep it simple.
Breton Stripe Top
Like a great friend, a Breton top will never, ever let you down. It will sharpen up a pair of simple jeans and always looks fresh. The best version is a white and navy medium stripe with a three quarter length sleeve. As with all of the items on this list, availability is not an issue and there are plenty of great choices right on the High Street!
Cigarette trousers earned their name when Yves Saint Laurent launched his eponymous “Le Smoking” collection in the late 1970’s. Along with the tuxedo jacket, this style is a true classic with a slim leg finishing just above the ankle, so that they don’t pucker due to excess material. They work particularly well with loafers or the black heeled pumps.
Boyfriend Style Overcoat
What we’re talking about here is a boxy three quarter length coat with a single button fastening. What we’re not talking about is a sloppy style that doesn’t fit on the shoulders or is too big – you don’t want to look like you’ve actually borrowed your boyfriends coat. My own preference here would be a great camel colour as it will look more expensive than black and looks fabulous with other neutrals such as grey, khaki and navy.
Military Style Coat
To avoid overlap with the overcoat, opt for a version that ends at the hip or the top of the thigh. My favourite option is a navy pea coat/double breasted style with brass buttons – tres chic!
A fantastic statement clutch is your go-to evening bag. Think about a structured boxy shape in a metallic or with interesting embellishment. An animal print will also work well. At all costs stay away from obvious logos here and soft or sloppy “pouch” type styles which veer more towards trendy than classic.
Black Bowling Bag
About two years ago, I read an article in Vogue about a visit to Kate Moss’s house and the obligatory gawp inside her wardrobe. The bag section was a sea of black totes, all crammed in next to one another fighting for air. Although there were pops of colour, it was obvious what her go-to bag colour was and apparently the style she carries most during the day is the classic black leather Louis Vuitton bowling bag. There are some great alternatives on the High Street and online – just make sure you avoid blingy logos and buy the best quality version you can. Even if you didn’t spend a lot of money, it needs to look like you did.
Silk Vest Top
Fantastic under a tailored jacket this is a great wardrobe builder for both daytime and nighttime. Try to choose a classic “vest” style and avoid cropped or hi-lo cuts which will date. Cream or ivory is your go-to shade here, although grey and black versions are also fantastic options. Trust me; you will wear this far more than you think you will!