Saturday, May 26, 2007

How to attract the boys this summer: wear blue

I used to think that wearing anything other than black marked me out as a fashion naïf. I spent my twenties shuffling around Vogue House looking like Morticia’s younger sister in a series of black shift dresses, black pencil skirts, black twin sets, LBD’s – well, you get the picture. Then as age began to take its toll, I had an epiphany: black really only suits the very young and the very old. Next to the face it drains and, frankly, given my cocktail intake, I need all the help that I can get.

Apparently black clothes make up 41% of the British woman’s wardrobe and that doesn’t surprise me: black slims, refines, hones the silhouette and it doesn’t show the dirt. (I feel for the members of the American Navy currently in Manhattan for Fleet Week. Even off duty, they have to wear their dress uniforms. I overheard an officer yesterday complaining that sitting on the subway is an activity best not indulged in white trousers)

Until a couple of years ago colour felt wrong, suburban and cheap, but then designers started playing around with florals, and brighter colours, until fast forward to this season when strong colour seemed absolutely right on the runway. The bright Yves Klein blue that Stella McCartney used looked modern and deeply covetable. And she wasn’t the only one who saw the future as blue: Osman Yousefzada, DKNY, Lanvin and Christopher Kane used a bright blue to great effect too.

Apart from my obsession with black clothing, I’ve always hated bright blue. My school summer uniform consisted of an electric blue nylon skirt and matching jumper. It was beyond hideous with my pale skin, and I swore never to wear the colour after I passed my GCSEs. Which makes it all the more astonishing that my summer wardrobe staple is a cobalt blue cotton dress (£25) from COS. Apart from being immensely flattering in colour and in cut, it acts like a veritable man magnet. I’ve never been a flicky hair, pout over the shoulder kind of girl, so men rarely throw me compliments in the street but, combined with a fake tan, this dress is like catnip for boys. I’m kicking myself for not discovering this years ago.

Top to bottom: Stella McCartney, Osman Yousefzada, DKNY