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Fashion Style Guide

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What I wore this week: an army-green shirt

You and I, we don’t do toss-everything-out-and-start-again new season wardrobe overhauls, do we? And not just because we can’t be bothered or don’t have time. We can’t be bothered, because it sounds super dull, and our leisure hours are full to the brim with messing about on the internet, like all normal people. But it’s not only that. We see the endless churn of New Looks and Must Haves for what it is: more airtime filler than real plot development.

What we do (don’t we) is the odd strategic update, where you have to buy one item – or dig it out from the back of the wardrobe – and retire one in exchange. And then try it on with a couple of things. So we’re talking one quickfire shopping trip, which can be incorporated in the aforesaid messing about on the internet, and five minutes of wardrobe overhaul.

Photograph of Jess Cartner-Morley in an army-green shirt

photo: red bridesmaid dresses

Today I bring you one such update. You need an army-green shirt. A bit oversized, and with a bit of heft to the fabric. Military detailing (epaulettes, hardware) I leave to your discretion. This is to replace the denim shirt in your wardrobe, and – if you give it a chance – in your heart. You wear it exactly the same ways as the denim shirt: open, as a kind of casual blazer, with a white T-shirt and black jeans; or tucked into jeans for that ironic normcore vibe. (It does the job of a denim shirt better than an actual denim shirt, because you can wear it with jeans without the tiresome double denim debate.) Or – see picture! – the army shirt does the denim shirt thing of loosening up an otherwise stuffy look. With heels and a fitted skirt, a silky blouse had started to look a bit obvious, which is why we started wearing this look with a denim shirt last year.

As with everything in life, timing on these mini updates is everything. Move too soon, and the impact is lost, because nobody except Alexa Chung gets how cool you are. Leave it too long, and you look like you’re copying everyone else. The aim is to nail the look when it’s in the air, but before it’s everywhere, and for the army-green shirt, that moment is now. On its coat-tails, you can float into the new season with no effort. Strike now.

see also: blue bridesmaid dresses