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  • Down effect. If you want to make an impact at night, this, for now, is the coolest way to do it. For high-end inspiration, research Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo, Carine Roitfeld and Emmanuelle Alt. Go easy on the messy ponytails and day-old makeup effect, though; you do not, under any circumstances, want to look like you are copping out. Asides from conveying the message that you haven’t actually got anything else to wear, it is just plain rude to look as though you haven’t bothered at all. There is a fine line between effortless and grubby – don’t cross it.


    Challenge accepted? Let us begin. Well-cut jeans are the key here, and plenty of them, too. My new style crush, Georgia Byng, the children’s authoress, counsels that if you are going to go down the black jeans route, they must be very black and very new (her husband, half-jokingly, tells how their floor at home is littered with spotless pairs of J Brands, worn just once). If it is the cool factor you want to play

    up, opt for leather or a slightly ripped pair, or even patchworked, Junya Watanabe-style. If you are blessed with Edie Campbell’s slim figure, you can do rolled-up-above-the-ankle jeans with brogues, as she did to great effect at last year’s British Fashion Awards.

    Personally, I am warming towards the idea of a slouchy boyfriend-style jean, perhaps artfully distressed at the knee, because a) they are less judgmental on the legs; and b) they are a good juxtaposition for a fancier top (obviously, you can’t get away with this at an event with royals in attendance). That, or a pair of leather trackpants by Balmain (thank you, God, for making trackpants fashionable again) with a white draped sleeveless top from Givenchy (sleeveless styles are a


    “If you want to make an IMPACT at night, this look is the COOLEST WAY to do it”

    good choice for those who have halfway decent arms). Actually, if you are going to take this route for eveningwear, invest in a few embellished tops. Because, let’s face it, when you are chatting over cocktails or sitting down to an eight-course meal, who is looking at your bottom half anyway?

    If in doubt, though, I would opt for a perfectly cut black or navy skinny jean with an immaculate tuxedo jacket (Saint Laurent’s midnight navy one is ideal). That slightly V-shaped silhouette will always be flattering, whatever the vagaries of fashion. To add glamor, I would carry a killer clutch, perhaps by Stella McCartney or Fendi, with very high but comfy heels (check out the vampish black and white sandals by Christopher Kane). Hobbling, remember, is the essence of ‘not cool’. To pull it all together, I would add a piece of statement jewelry. Contrary to what I said earlier, it is fine to have a messy ponytail and sloe-gin-eyes if you have stupendous diamonds in your ears, as someone (perhaps it was me?) once wisely said.

    How to do

    SMARt/casual

    team denim with glamorous separates for a polished look

    LUXE TUX

    This classic piece upgrades any outfit.

    RIP IT UP

    Distressed details add extra cool factor.

    THE EXTRAS

    Standout accessories make this look evening appropriate.

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