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!
It’s a well-known fact that most people wear 20% of their clothes, 80% of the time. To avoid being a statistic, it’s a wise investment of your time and money to build a capsule wardrobe that centres around great quality basics, allowing you to switch in a few key seasonal/throw-away pieces.
For me, the starting block of this principle is getting the accessories right. In fact, I’m a firm believer that the difference between a “nice” outfit and a “wow” outfit is all in the accessorising. A great example of this is fashionista Olivia Palermo who, most of the time, is actually quite a classic dresser. Her ability to switch well-chosen accessories into her outfits however, amps up the overall effect by several notches and makes her possibly the most “put together” member of today’s fash pack.
Here are my top ten accessories for Autumn Winter. For full details on all of the items shown here, visit our Polyvore set
Number One: The Classic Riding Boot: Buy right and this style will stay in your wardrobe forever. I’ve chosen a black style because it can be styled both casually and smart; whereas I always feel tan varieties lend themselves to a more relaxed vibe. In order to make a sensible investment purchase, choose a style that finishes on, or just underneath the knee. This will increase your ability to wear the boot with a variety of different outfits including skirts, leggings and jeans. Unless you are very slim, mid calf styles cut your lower leg in half at the widest point and over the knee versions (which I love incidentally) can sometimes lose their shape and start to look sloppy. The traditional 1.5″ block heel is the classic option. Don’t worry if you have wider calves (even the most buff of gym bunnies can struggle get boots to fit their developed legs) there are plenty of online retailers offering great styles such as this version by Clarks. Finally, if you don’t do leather, opt for a faux suede style as – generally speaking – they look more realistic.
Number Two: The classic tank watch with leather strap: Watch styles come and go but a classic unisex size tank watch will always ooze style and go with everything. The iconic option is the Cartier, however there are many much more affordable versions such as this one by Belk. Personally I prefer a tan strap to black but the choice is yours and both bottle green and oxblood also look great. Consider your jewellery too – if you wear silver, go for a steel or silver coloured face.
Number Three: The classic leather tote. Clearly black is the easy option here but I personally love shades such as deep teal, bottle green and oxblood. They invariably look more expensive than black and look amazing set against neutrals such as black, camel and grey. As this is your everyday bag, my advice is to not scrimp here and buy the best option you can afford. Cheap linings will rip, so look for styles with a heavy duty cotton inner. Seek out plain, stitched on handles as cheap hardware looks just that and as always, avoid big, blingy logos. Personally I’d opt for a style that had rolled top handles and a detachable shoulder strap. Otherwise choose a bag that has handles that go over your shoulder as well as being handheld. For those of you who don’t buy leather, this option by Target is amazing value and can be reversed for use as a beach bag during the summer months.
Number Four: The cashmere scarf. Not just your friend during the winter months, a lightweight cashmere scarf will save the day when the air conditioning on a flight has you shivering (it also doubles as a pillow) or want something to throw over your shoulders on a cold summers evening. There is one in my bag all year round. Although cashmere is a bit more expensive, it is warm without being bulky and gets softer and cozier, the more it’s used. Camel and grey are great options for use throughout the year – this one by Black is a truly versatile choice at a great price.
Number Five: Aviators. If you are driving in low winter sun or have pesky sensitive eyes (I do) that spout like the Trevi fountain in a stiff breeze; sunglasses are a must all year round. Although there are literally thousands of High Street imitations, the classic Ray Ban Aviator is the go-to option and works with everything. Plus, if you want a prescription version most good opticians stock the brand.
Number Six: French Drop earrings in gold or silver. Our choice from Melinda Maria works with virtually any outfit choice but most importantly, suits all hair lengths as it isn’t too dangly. Conversely, they have enough presence that you could pair them with a black cocktail dress for an evening out. Once again, if you don’t do gold just switch in a silver or rose gold variety.
Number Seven: stacking bangles. As with the earrings, delicate stacking bangles work with virtually everything and are widely available in the High Street. They will pep up the most simple of outfits and are super-feminine. Melinda Maria and Monica Vinader both design great bangles with semi precious stones and that you can collect for your own individual look.
Number eight: Mid height leopard print heel. For me, this is a fashion classic. They key is to choose a classic court style with no embellishments and a muted/delicate print. They look amazing with jeans, fantastic with a formal black dress or pant suit and are a blogger favourite due to this versatility. If you prefer your monochrome accessories, maybe consider opting for a zebra print in black and white. Once again, if you don’t do leather – no problem. There are stacks of great synthetic versions available.
Number nine: Metallic box clutch. Whether it’s gold, rose-gold or silver, a great metallic box clutch will be your best-friend on a night out. Even the most basic of dresses will be transformed with this style (and of course, numbers six, seven and eight on this list) and it’s far more interesting than boring black. So unless you’re attending THE most formal of black (or white) tie events, make metallic your choice!
Number Ten: Western style suede ankle boot. Again a blogger staple , a great mid-tan version of this style will be a style you will go to time again. I even wear mine in summer with my denim shift dresses! Choose a block heel with a height of around 3″ which will (as well as adding a bit of extra height) be comfortable enough to wear all day. Once again, synthetic versions are great nowadays and are plentiful in availability right now.
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