Alexa Chung: The Icon of Preppy Style
Jun 20, 2017
For years she has been the definition of 'pretty n cool, girl next door'. As well as being a successful model, she has also developed a fan following for her impeccable style and has graced best dressed list here and across the Atlantic. She is a muse to designers, with Mulberry naming their satchel bag after her, to big high street stores, such as M&S, who launched a collaboration with her last year, and finally now she has also launched her own eponymous label Alexachung.
To celebrate everything fashion about this iconic British f-row'er we’re taking a look at ten of Alexa's looks over the years that show her inspiring but accessible style which always manages to retain that girly-preppy signature that she has become so known for while still showing versatility in adapting itself to every occasion.
HER VERSION OF STREET
Paying homage to Chung’s everyday chic roots, first on our list is this off duty look she seems to rock on a regular basis. Chung’s effortless, throw-it-together outfit is something which you could easily recreate at home with a pair of mid blue jeans, a quality grey t-shirt and a long line blazer-coat. She balances street casual with formal by wearing a tailored black blazer with formal detailing such as the pockets and slim lapels with some laced up Converse and keeps the jeans on the casual side with a lighter shade and a bit of grunge. This is a perfect all season look because the jacket can be lightweight or heavy, that's all you would change to take it to any street around the world, all year round.
Stripes are oh-so preppy and cool and almost always in fashion, but people are scared of them for good reason. Very few people love wearing a bold stripe pattern, wear them the wrong way or the wrong thickness, and it could be game over before you even step foot out of the door. Chung however rocks the stripped look in a shirt dress which is the perfect combo. An oversized shirt dress always has this laissez-faire vibe and so a formal stripe is great for smartening it up especially when you have gone with conservative navy and white. The hint of colour at the waist is a great touch for adding a little shape and fun and the patent boots compliment so well because they pick out the colour in the belt without drawing attention away from the dress. This outfit emphasises Chung’s long legs but also gives her curves by cinching in her waist and leaves her looking feminine but not over-done.
Not a typical choice for a red carpet event but it works and is true to her style. Again she has opted for a monochrome palette and a long, tailored silhouette to keep an element of classic in this outfit. In this case, Chung dazzled onlookers at the MET awards, by turning up in a fully sequinned jumpsuit. She sparkled and shimmered in the flash of the paparazzi’s cameras flash, making her look like a living, walking disco ball. The subtle details of the cut keep it quirky, the ankle skimming trouser length and the shorter sleeve length add a awkward, slightly geeky vibe which keeps this simple shape modern. The trouser length also means she can dress up the outfit by showing the delicate shoe. If it wasn't for the head to toe embellishment, it could have been a piece of loungewear but this is what she does so well - mixing the safe with some stand out details which make every one of her outfits sing. The low dropped neckline combined with the sparkles also give a feminine feel to the otherwise masculine playsuit, something we know she knows exactly how to pull off!
CUTE REBELChung, has never been known to rebel against anything, but just because on paper she’s a goody two shoes, doesn’t mean that she can’t dress like a rebel in public. Not one for following the constraints of fashion, Chung likes to mix up her style on a regular basis and this all black number channels a sense of teenage rebellion while also referencing an intellectual 20’s 'grown-up' wardrobe, who would have known the two would look so good together right? Pairing a graphic t-shirt with a floaty feminine skirt and the beret is the perfect travelling to Paris on the Eurostar look, which Chung pulls off flawlessly.
Alexa does the British country look very well but always with a twist. This look is so elegant, feminine and classy but if you wore it to a formal event like Ascot or a summer wedding you would definitely stand out and not blend in with every other person in their standard fare. When people think about frills, they think of the dreaded dress your mother used to pull out for special occasions. But Chung, as always, pulls off frills by keeping it simple in white, and balancing it with an A-line skirt in a neutral delicate print which holds its weight against the frilly top and is not overpowered by it. The simple black, rather functional accessories add a touch of strength and attitude to the otherwise very pretty look. It is absolutely stunning, subtle but makes a statement at the same time .... not too mention it all looks rather comfortable for an all day event. Inspiring style!
This is the look that Alexa invented and made completely hers and to which we have to pay homage. First of all the jumpers, high necks, and cute collars - they are a regular feature throughout her style. In this look she teams her signature grey sweater in a classic fit with a cute collar and wears it with a floral skirt. The looks smacks of English Rose and the substantial chocolate leather bag resonates with that tried and true feeling. This is no-frills pure prep school style, and sometimes when you are walking down Sloane Square on a nice day, nothing else is needed!
This look is surprising because you think it would not be something Alexa would wear but when you look closer it totally makes sense. When you think of PVC or PU leather, you think of something sordid or garish or trashy but somehow she makes it cute! Always original and at the same time influenced by vintage Brit style, Chung’s look is a throwback to the 70’s - especially that psychedelic, coloured fur colour. It's just a hint of a flamboyant time but its there and there is also nothing more British than a mac! Now.... how does Alexa make it hers? She has that Alexa signature collar shape, keeps the rest of the colours neutral, keeps the top and jeans she is wearing slim fitting and pairs it all with some smart ballet flats with just a hint of embellishment.
It takes a great deal of confidence to wear a white dress, other than on your wedding day, often in fear that your favourite red wine is going to make a lovely splattered pattern down the front of it. White speaks for itself, it speaks of confidence, freedom and simplicity. And who says you can't wear it with chunky dark boots just as Alexa has in this picture? Chung shows us exactly how to do white the smart casual way which allows you to sit front row at LFW but isn’t too OTT that you can’t go for drinks on a rooftop bar afterwards. Chung’s layered white woollen number is perfect for any season, perfect for a work meeting as well as date night. This is why everyone needs a little white dress as well as a little black one!
BRIT 60’S VIBE
As we noted, Chung loves a good bit of vintage and especially likes to reference eras gone by of Brit fashion. Here Chung is definitely channelling those 60’s silhouettes, colour and fabrics from head to toe. Again she has those nautical stripes, that are truly timeless, and teams it with a mini skirt with a slight A-line, very 60s - and a suede camel coloured coat - again classic 60s. Inspiration from the past does not have to be a big statement - it could be, as Alexa shows, just a nod to a colour or fabric or a shape. And the colour inspo - like the camel in this look - can be just one piece of the look; keeping the rest of the colour neutral keeps it current. This picture could have been taken in the 60s of any Brit fashion icon walking down Carnaby Street ... that is how well this is put together. Chung looks good in everything but she definitely has something to teach us about referencing and wearing vintage - much like another famous Brit style icon, Kate Moss.
HER VERSION OF CORPORATE
Off course it wouldn’t be right of us to end the blogpost without showing you exactly how Alexa manages to translate her tomboyish “off duty” look for her more formal TV Presenter/Model events. Chung takes a simple silhouetted playsuit, in a work appropriate but never boring blue, and teams it with a pair of almost-flats and a small shoulder bag and does cool corporate. This could be something you can wear to a similar formal event or to work, even in the City. There is always a way to bring more of 'you' to work and not to hide your sense of style behind a corporate uniform and still be appropriate. If you want to smarten it up even more than just add a blazer, find a matter fabric and replace the casual shoulder bag with a satchel or briefcase.
So there you have a few examples of one of our favourite fashionista's inspiring style. The truth is there are so many more Alexa gems in the back catalogue that we could easily do a Part 2 and we may well have to!
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