Please help us continue to provide you with free, quality content by whitelisting SchmidtClothing.com from your ad blocker, or create an account to continue.
Already have an account? Sign in.
Refresh the page when you have disabled your ad blocker.
If there’s one fashion statement that’s taking over, it’s sequins. These shiny, ornamental sew-ons, create a shimmery look and today’s fashionistas just can’t get enough.
Sequins are trashy and flashy, and they may not be easy for everyone to wear. Here are some tips that will help you pull them off.
What Can Sequins Be Worn On?
Sequins can be worn on just about any item of clothing from pants to tops to dresses and skirts. They are the perfect design elements for shoes handbags, jewelry and other accessories. This makes it easy for you incorporate them to add a touch of glam to your outfit or go completely over the top.
Introducing Sequins into Your Wardrobe
If you aren’t used to sequins, you can take baby steps until you are ready to fully embrace them. For example, you may wear a top with small sequin designs or a purse with sequin elements.
Then you can try wearing one fully sequin piece such as a skirt or shirt before going full on sequins.
Can Sequins Be Worn During the Day?
Sequins have a dressy look, and you may wonder if they are daytime appropriate. The answer is yes, as long as you give them a certain vibe.
To give sequins a casual look, pair them with casual items. For example, you can wear a sequin skirt with a t-shirt or sneakers, or you can wear a sequin top with a pair of jeans.
The color of your sequins can also make a difference. For example, silver sequins will always look super dressy, while black and copper sequins have more of a toned-down look.
How Should I Wear Sequins to Formal Events?
When it comes to formal events, there really is no wrong way to wear sequins. You can do a full-on sequin gown, you can match a sequin top with a ballgown skirt, and you can bring them out with heels.
If the event is semi-formal, the daytime looks listed above make the perfect transition.
Match Sequins with Sequins
Sequins are being shown more often on the runway and designers are matching sequins with sequins for a full-on effect. If you want to try your hand at the style, here are some helpful tips.
Find Complementary Colors: It goes without saying that you will want your sequined pieces to match, but when it comes to sequins, there are extra considerations. For example, blue and red match perfectly on most occasions but if you match a bright red sequined piece with a bright blue sequined piece, you may be going overboard. It’s best to pair light and bright colors with darker tones or play it safe and stick to neutrals.
Pair One Overly Sequined Piece with a Less Sequined Piece: If you are looking for something to wear with an item that’s all over sequins, go with something that tones it down a bit. For instance, you can match a fully sequined top with a pair of pants that has a few sequined accents.
Layer Sequins: Layering is big this year and layering sequined pieces is even bigger. Think of layering a sequined jacket over a sequined dress or shirt. You can also put a sequined shirt under a fully sequined or somewhat sequined sweater.
How to Care for Sequined Items
If you have ever worn sequined items, you will notice that they shed easily. While you can’t prevent this from happening, there are steps you can take to keep shedding minimal.
Never put sequined pieces in the washer or dryer. Hand wash them, spot treat them or take them to a dry cleaner instead.
Sequins should never be ironed. If you plan be wearing a lot of sequined items, you may want to invest in a steamer.
Never store sequined clothing in a drawer or stuff them into a tight space. They should be hung or placed in a storage area where they have plenty of room to breathe.
Sequins are the ultimate in glam. Now that you know how to wear them, will you be daring to integrate them into your seasonal wardrobe?
By: The Art Institutes Filed under: Fashion
- Share This:
With so many different dress codes out there, it can be difficult to know what to wear, even when the type of dress requested is stated on the invitation.
Laura Hunt, an image, fashion, and beauty consultant at Freeway Fashion, says you should always ask what to wear if you’re invited to an event with an unfamiliar dress code.
“ Depending on how well you know the person who sent the invitation, you can place a call to them directly,” Hunt says. “If not, there is usually a contact person listed on the invite, including a contact number. If you are not comfortable placing a phone call, you can send an email. ”
Hunt and Tannya Bernadette, a wardrobe stylist and 2009 Fashion Marketing graduate from The Art Institute of Seattle, decode what to wear for the following dress codes.
Women : Wear a pencil skirt or dress pants, paired with a silk or button-down top and high heels.
Men: Opt for dressy trousers, paired with a collared shirt and loafers.
When to wear it: office parties, happy hours, business luncheons.
Women: Avoid wearing denim, tennis shoes, and cotton tees. Instead, opt for silk pants, dress pants, or a skirt. Pair with a patent leather flat, or one with nice embellishments such as a bow, buckle, or a print.
Men: Wear trousers and a dress shirt with a leather loafer, oxfords, or a slip-on shoe. Pair with a blazer or sport coat. Avoid showing up with wrinkles or clothes one size too big, too small, or in a non-coordinating color. A tie is optional.
When to wear it: church, dinner, or an invite received via phone or e-mail.
COUNTRY CLUB CASUAL
Women: Choose an open-necked or polo shirt. You can also opt for dresses and skirts with minimal accessories.
Men: Wear an open-necked or polo shirt, paired with khakis. Accessorize with leather shoes and a belt.
When to wear it : cruise lines, the country club, friend’s home for dinner, nice restaurant.
Women: Put on a skirt, khakis, or dress pants paired with long sleeve or three-quarter sleeve tops. A casual dress and flats are options as well.
Men: Wear a button-down or a polo shirt, paired with khakis, or dress pants. If you so desire, layer with a v-neck sweater, a blazer, or a sport coat. A tie is optional.
When to wear it: company party, daily work attire, business lunch meetings.
Women: Wear a shorter dress with some frill. The classic little black dress makes for great cocktail attire, and is the easiest to show your personality by accessorizing to suit your mood.
Men: Wear a dark suit, coat, and tie. Opting for dark jeans paired with a jacket and tie is also acceptable at some cocktail events, depending on how casual the atmosphere is.
When to wear it: adult birthday parties, evening social events.
Women: Wear a dress that would be appropriate for brunch or afternoon tea. It should fall to, or slightly above, the knee, and not be too sparkly or low-cut. Incorporate a jacket or shawl to cover the arms.
Men: Opt for a dark suit, paired with a French-cuffed, crisp white shirt. You can go with or without a tie. Opting for a vest instead of a tie adds to the informality of the look.
When to wear it: daytime engagement parties, business breakfasts, afternoon tea.
Women: A floor-length ball gown is a must. Accessorize with opera length gloves, glamorous jewels, and up-do hairstyles.
Men: Wear a short or waist length black tailcoat (tails should reach the back of your knees,) white bow tie, starched white shirt, and a cummerbund (optional). Sport high-quality black pants.
When to wear it: charity fundraisers, government ceremonies, weddings, the opera.
Women: Gussy up in a floor-length ball gown. A very dressy cocktail dress may be acceptable depending on the venue of the event.
Men: Wear a dark suit or a tuxedo without tails. Pair with a white shirt and a tie, or a bow tie with or without a vest and a cummerbund.
When to wear it: charity fundraisers, political dinner parties, weddings.
CREATIVE BLACK TIE
Women: Dress up in a long gown, cocktail dress, or snazzy separates. Accessorize with the latest trends, such as feathers, sequins, sheer fabrics, and capes. Show off your personality with every detail.
Men: Incorporate trendy prints in with your tie and a dressy shirt. Mix fabrics such as a silk blazer and a dress shirt to create a formal, yet interesting, look.
When to wear it: galas, silent auctions, weddings, and formal dinners that have a fun atmosphere.
WARM WEATHER BLACK TIE
Women: Wear a long gown with white gloves and minimal jewelry.
Men: Wear a white dinner jacket, in a worsted wool, gabardine, linen, or cotton fabric material. Pair this with a white dress shirt, bow tie, a cummerbund, and nice black leather shoes.
When to wear it: formal events that are held outdoors, such as a cruise line or country club dinners, weddings, and galas.
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Women: Look glamorous in a long gown, cocktail dress, or luxurious separates. Accessorize with items such as long gloves, clutches, and jewelry to top off the whole look.
Men: If you own a tuxedo, put it on. If not, wear a suit in a dark color such as charcoal or black, paired with a white dress shirt, and a solid colored tie. Make sure patterns are kept to a minimum and shoes are shined. Accessorize your look with a pocket square and cuff links.
When to wear it: elegant events such as galas, silent auctions, weddings, formal dinners.
Author: Laura Jerpi
Dress codes not only apply to events, but they can also apply to your place of employment or profession.
Our world has changed dramatically in the last year and the way we dress has changed with it. More and more women are working from home which means their wardrobe needs have changed. You may need to dress professionally from the waist up for Zoom or Skype calls but you still want to be comfy and can include leggings. How to wear leggings after fifty has been an extremely popular post so I’m updating it with some new ideas and fresh resources to find great leggings.
Leggings are hugely popular and one of the easiest garments to get wrong. We’ve been reaching for leggings since they became streetwear in the 70 and ’80s. They now have style details and shapes that resemble pants, so they don’t all look like workout gear.
Are they still in style? You bet. Can you wear them and still look polished? Absolutely! Can any woman wear leggings? Yes!
Here are some ideas and tips to keep in mind to get the look you want. Let’s start with the most important feature of leggings…the fabric.
This is critical because leggings are not the same as footless tights! I’ve seen too many women traversing the airport wearing footless tights as leggings which shows the world way too much. The fabric of leggings needs to be thick, 100% opaque (not see-through), and very stretchy. They should closer to stretch pants than tights. Here are some great fabrics for leggings:
- heavyweight ponte knit
- faux suede
- denim also called Jeggings
- faux leather…no these are not just for young women and yes, they are comfy! I bought these last year at Soft Surroundings last year and love them!
On the subject of faux leather leggings, they’re no different than other spandex leggings and they do breathe and the best fit doesn’t feel or look like a sausage casing.
All of these fabrics need a high spandex or Lycra content so they spring back in the knees and seat, Fabrics with a four-way stretch fit the best and have the best recovery. Darker colors are more slimming and dressy. Patterns are tricky so choose the smallest ones in subtle colors.
Faux Suede leggings have long been a favorite of mine. They give a softer look than faux leather and feel more relaxed. Here are some great options.
Related – How To Wear Leather Leggings over 50
Leggings are meant to be snug but if they feel like a sausage casing, go up one size. You won’t sacrifice the style and they will be more comfortable. Choose high-rise leggings with a wide, no-roll waistband. There’s nothing worse than sitting down and feeling your waistband roll down under your tummy.
Tops To Wear Over Leggings
It doesn’t matter how shapely and fit you are, leggings require a top that covers your crotch and backside. Full stop here ladies. This is critical. Even the heaviest weight leggings look best worn with a top that’s long enough to cover your lady parts.
Leggings look great worn with:
- tunic sweaters
- long line blazers
- tunic-length shirts
- thigh-length blouses
Choose tunics with some shaping through the torso. You don’t want tight, but too boxy is just as unflattering. You’re going for length, not width and bulk. Side slits in tunics and blouses are great for elongating your legs and helping to balance the proportion. Try a knee-length cardigan worn open over a fingertip length blouse. Unbutton lower buttons of longer jackets to show some leg. Beware of extra bulky sweaters which can make your legs look like stick figures and your torso look huge by comparison. Proportion is key here.
Related – Playing With Proportion
Footwear To Wear With Leggings
So what do you wear on your feet? Knee or riding boots are a classic combination. Choose boots in a color similar to the leggings to create a long lean line. Ballet flats are another classic look, think Audrey Hepburn. Low heeled pumps or sandals look great with leggings but beware of the stiletto which is hard to get right and can easily lean toward trashy. Booties are perfect with leggings.
There’s a lot of ink these days in the blogosphere about how older women should be able to “wear whatever the f— they want.” Well, of course, I applaud the sentiment and the theory. But in practice, for me at least, there are some things in my closet that have outlived their usefulness. I have thereby made the conscious decision to be a bit more moderate in my dress than I was in my 40s. That doesn’t mean I intend to go gently into that good night. On the contrary, I intend to continue to annoy people by being more visible every year. But I also refuse to go as a paler version of my younger self.
So — out go the above-the-knee miniskirts. I will wear a shorter tunic but only with tights or leggings or skinny pants. Out with the crop tops (does anyone NEED to see my scars?) and four-inch platforms. Yes, I know platforms are back, but the spectacle of me toppling over and breaking an osteoporotic hip isn’t worth a few more inches of height, in spite of the fact I’m shrinking as I write this. There are plenty of wedge-soled shoes and slightly platformed sandals and sneakers that give me a little height but that share a closer relationship with the ground. And speaking of relating to the ground, as gravity has contributed to the spread of my metatarsals I’ll be damned if I’m going to cram my pre-bunioned toes into pointy shoes. I’d rather build an entire outfit around a pair of very comfortable and expensive flats than sacrifice a fancier outfit for a constant grimace.
I’ve also let go of a lot of the cute hair ornaments I wore when my hair was longer, straighter and sexier because, face it, my hair isn’t ever going to look like that again. And my face doesn’t want it to. I need all the uplift I can get. (Refer to previously-mentioned shrinkage.) So the curly, pert cut that looks like the perm my mother foisted on me when I was a kid is as close a nod as I will give to “trying” to look youthful. Frankly I have no choice; my straight hair caught my reflection in the mirror one day and sprung up into coils. It’s just who I am now.
The one thing I am having trouble letting go of are the handbags: my first Coach backpack — the most expensive purchase I made when I sold my duplex; a Carlos Falchi studded satchel that weighs four pounds empty (I refuse to schlep that much weight on one shoulder any longer); the elegant basket woven Cole Hahn tote with braided handles that my sis gave me for my 50th birthday; the dark green quilted suede bag with the chain strap that I bought at I. Magnin’s going-out-of-business sale; a silk tropical printed tote with bamboo handles from my first trip to Cabo San Lucas. I haven’t been using any of these in great rotation, but you may have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.
I’ve also revisited my jewelry drawer, which over the years has been crammed with impulse-bought costume jewelry like my brass and multi-colored skinny Indian bangles, boho dangly earrings, statement pins — not Madeline Albright-like statements, but little tin ones with messages like “Are We Having Fun Yet?” and toe rings. (I never was much of a bohemian; the toe rings always hurt my adjacent toes.)
There are a few classic sentimental pieces in there like the pearl necklace my aunt Ethel gave me, antique pins from England from my dear friend’s British mum, a silver gecko pin I bought in an antique store in the Czech Republic shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. I’m earmarking them as inheritances for my nieces and their daughters, who will no doubt reject them as being bourgeois and who likely think the Soviet Union is actually kind of cool.
But as far as my new jewelry goes, I’m thinking “minimalism.” And this minimalism comes with a price. I’m following the advice of one of my readers who said, “Whenever it’s time for me to get rid of something that’s worn out or dated I replace it with something similar but of better quality.” So for me, now, quality is king. I recently bought a gorgeous necklace at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco — linked gold little square paillettes that shine and sparkle and elevate everything I wear it with. I also have a pair of gold Tiffany starfish earrings that I kept saving for some “special” day, which I am now wearing to the supermarket. And my gemstone rings are every day adornments, originally purchased because an astrologer told me they’d bring me luck. I guess they have. I’m lucky to be alive, to see what doesn’t work, and savvy enough to keep what does. And I may ask to be buried in these items. I don’t want some ungrateful heir rejecting them as bourgeois.
It’s no secret that fall is a beloved season for weddings. And since 2021 is unofficially known as the year of the wedding boom, there’s a good chance your weekends will be filled with nuptials for your friends and family. With cooler temperatures, picturesque views and low travel rates, fall is a great season for couples to say “I do.” So, if you’ll be attending autumn nuptials, you’ll want to start shopping for fall wedding guest dresses as soon as possible. Since the weather can be unpredictable, determining what to wear as a guest to a fall wedding isn’t always easy. Fall wedding guest dresses are typically characterized by rich jewel tones, long sleeves, heavier fabrics and prints that echo the changing of seasons. However, this doesn’t mean you’re restricted to predictable choices that make you run the risk of sharing the same outfit with another guest or being uncomfortable (think: overheating in a long sleeve velvet gown at an outdoor wedding).
To help you pick an outfit for every wedding on your radar, we’ve rounded up the very best fall wedding guest dresses to wear in 2021. But before you choose your fall wedding attire, look at the invitation to get an idea of the dress code. This is the most important factor to take into consideration when choosing your look. You’ll dress differently for an outdoor wedding in a barn than you would at an urban hotel, so read up on the couple’s requested attire to plan your wedding outfit accordingly.
In this article:
What to Wear to a Fall Wedding
If you’re wondering exactly what to wear to a fall wedding, let the experts help you decide. “Once the fall season hits, we say goodbye to summer brights and start the transition into warm but cheerful color tones,” says Blaire Walsh, Style Director of Rent the Runway. “This season gives guests the chance to play with assorted necklines, unique sleeve cuts and heavier fabrics.”
In addition to the requested dress code listed on the couple’s invitation, clues like the venue and the time of the event can offer additional fashion insight. “Location is a huge factor in deciding what to wear,” explains SuitShop co-founder Jeanne Foley. “Look into where the ceremony and reception will be taking place, because that’s the best indicator of determining the level of formality you can plan for.” While you might opt for a casual sundress with a denim jacket for an afternoon barn wedding, for example, an evening soirée at an upscale restaurant would require a more formal look, like a sleek jumpsuit or an embellished midi.
Two resounding trends to come from the pandemic include open-air settings and alternative venues, both of which give guests more flexibility when it comes to choosing an outfit that’s brimming with personality. “As more couples move away from traditional wedding venues, guests can explore prints that feel a bit louder and more modern, including bold floral and animal prints,” explains a representative for sustainable fashion brand Reformation.
Fall wedding guest attire is most notably associated with jewel tones and rich fabrics like silk and textured floral print, and this won’t change any time soon. “This season, expect to see plenty of moody floral prints and deep jewel tones like fuchsia, emerald, mustard, burgundy and plum,” says Kristen Schnars, Director of Merchandising for Lulus. “Saturated pop colors like magenta, hot pink and shades of red are trending this year too.”
When shopping for trendy fall wedding guest dresses, Schnars recommends looking for designs that feature satin silk fabric, floral burnouts and jacquard textures. One-shoulder dresses, asymmetrical ruffled hems and soft draped skirts will dominate this year—but if you’re looking for a reliable silhouette you can re-wear for multiple events, she urges that you can never go wrong with a classic wrap dress.
When shopping for fall wedding guest dresses, it’s important to be mindful of your budget. Whether you’re looking to save some cash or wanting to splurge instead on statement accessories, there are plenty of places to get affordable fall wedding guest outfits. Shop at budget-friendly retailers like Lulus, Nordstrom, ASOS and Abercrombie & Fitch, or rent your outfit from a service like Rent the Runway if you have a particularly busy wedding season. “For anyone looking to bring their fashion A-game without breaking the bank, renting is the perfect solution,” Walsh says. “You get to wear something new to every event without feeling guilty for one-time wears.”
Now that you know exactly what to wear to a fall wedding, it’s time to shop. To help you narrow down the best fall wedding guest dresses, we’ve rounded up 70 options for every style and budget. Below, find the best formal gowns, trendy midis and comfortable jumpsuits that are appropriate for any fall wedding.
Affordable Fall Wedding Guest Dresses
If you get invited to a lot of weddings (or you’re simply a bargain shopper), your budget may be small. Not to worry—there are plenty of affordable fall wedding guest dresses under $150. From jewel-toned minis to boho maxis, shop our favorites here.
Lulus Moriah Satin Wrap Maxi Dress
Mark our words: This gown is about to become your newest fall obsession. “When in doubt, wear a classic wrap dress for a fall wedding,” Schnars recommends. We’re particularly obsessed with this cold-shoulder satin number, which has a pretty ruffled neckline and a flattering tie-waist.
Abercrombie & Fitch Tie-Strap Smocked Midi Dress
This trendy floral print dress is, without a doubt, one of our favorite fall wedding guest dresses for 2021—and not just because it’s part of our exclusive “Best Dressed Guest” collection with Abercrombie & Fitch. This flirty frock is completely on-trend with allover smocked fabric, tie straps and a square neckline, and the ruffled skirt serves as the perfect finishing touch.
ELLIATT Platinum Dress
Florals for fall? We’re completely on board. This floral-print midi dress will turn heads thanks to its moody color palette and rich texture. And with a high leg slit, this fall wedding guest dress is one of our favorite 2021 finds.
UGUEST Long Sleeve V-Neck Dress
If you find yourself needing a fall wedding guest dress fast, we’re here for you. At under $25, this cute fall frock comes in a variety of colors and prints from red floral to navy polka dot. And thanks to Amazon Prime delivery, this outfit will be on your doorstep in two days.
Glamorous Bloom Midi Wrap Dress
If you’re expecting, dress your bump in style with this budget-friendly long sleeve midi floral dress. Bonus: This gown is designed fit your growing bump through all stages of pregnancy, including postpartum, which means you can keep this in your closet long after your baby arrives.
BB Dakota by Steve Madden Darcy Floral Midi Dress
Romantic tones of muted pink and green adorn this ruffled floral print midi, which is a fitting choice for an outdoor bohemian fall wedding.
Last night, Susan and I stopped by Suze's awesome shopping event at Housing Works Thrift Shop to do a little retail damage in the name of charity. I zeroed in on a hot pink sequin jacket and immediately asked Miss Cernek, my official nixer of bad purchases, "Is this wrong or right?"
Her answer was typically wise: "It's genius. But it totally depends on what you wear it with." I bought it (hey, you can't beat $30 for a holiday party outfit–and the money goes to a good cause), and when I got it home, I sifted through my closet to suss out what would make this outfit a Do and what would make it a Don't (with beat up jeans: yes! With a silver skirt: not so much). And you, my dears, are the beneficiaries of my lesson in wearing sequins this season.
WESTWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 16: Actress Anna Kendrick arrives at "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" premiere held at the Mann Village Theatre on November 16, 2009 in Westwood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
DON'T: Impersonate a disco ball. It should go without saying, but sequins make a major statement and need to be used carefully. If you're going to bite the bullet and go for a dress covered in bling, from top to bottom, opt for one that a.) Doesn't have an overly trendy silhouette, like this one-shouldered super-mini b.) Sticks with one color (black, gold, and silver are all classically gorgeous) or a small color family that's definitely complimentary c.) Fits you perfectly. People are definitely going to be looking at you when you're covered in sparkles, and you don't want their first though to be, "Couldn't she find a few more inches of fabric?"
DON'T: Get carried away with the glam factor. The easiest way to look like a 9-year-old Texas beauty queen is to wear your hair in a heavily-shellacked 'do, pile on the sparkly eyeshadow, and accessorize with a metallic clutch and shoes. There is nothing subtle about body glitter, girls. Resist the urge to bedazzle with abandon!
DO: Create contrast. A lot of you were totally loving Sarah Jessica Parker's outfit from our January cover, and it's easy to see why. Pairing something uber-glam, like a sequined jacket, with something totally casual, like distressed jeans, is a totally modern way to do sparkle. Ditto this crisp white blouse with a chic sequined skirt–didn't see that one coming, did you?
DO: Remember that less can be more. Sure, you want to shine this holiday season, but don't forget that there are plenty of subtle ways to do it. Your old LBD will look sassy and brand new with the addition of a pair of sequined tights, a sparkling clutch, or the perfect ruby red slippers. Shop for a few great sequined accessories with a small price but a big impact now:
Tell me, dolls. how do you wear your sequins? Do you favor a tough-meets-femme look, like SJP wore on our cover? Or are you all about getting girly with your bling? Have you bought anything sequined to wear this holiday season yet? What will you wear it with? Discuss!
When we think of sequins, the first thing that comes to mind is usually New Year’s Eve—a holiday when people venture out in their most shimmery separates to celebrate the coming year amid even shinier decorations. Sometimes, this can verge on overkill, but as we’ve shown before, there’s a way to wear sequins that won’t render you a cliché.
What we don’t think about when we think of sequins is their history—as in, where on Earth did these shiny little guys sprinkled throughout our wardrobes come from? Was Michael Jackson—a major arbiter of the style—responsible? Or, perhaps, a ’70s/’80s-era designer? Not even close, actually!
We dug around for the answer, and what we found was entirely unexpected: Sequins can be traced all the way back to the one and only King Tut, who was alive from 1341 to 1323 B.C. According to Smithsonian magazine, when Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922, his garments were covered in “gold sequin-like disks.” Historians believe they were meant to ensure his financial stability in the afterlife.
Evidently, the monetary association held up, as the word sequin is derived from the Arabic sikka, which stands for “coin.” Sewing these discs—usually made of gold or other precious metals—onto clothing worked as a status symbol, and in some cases, they doubled as actual coins for trading. In Egypt, India, and Peru, they were also considered capable of warding off evil spirits.
Eventually, they become purely decorative, popping up on the intricate garments of Victorian women and men and experiencing a resurgence in the 1920s after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. Funnily enough, since sequins were made of gelatin at the time, it was not uncommon to have your sequins melt if your body grew too hot or you got caught in the rain. Let’s pause to imagine all the NYE outfits that would go to waste if that were the case today.
Luckily, it’s not. A man named Herbert Lieberman worked with Eastman Kodak (yep, of that Kodak) to develop acetate sequins inspired by the acetate film the company had been using. Still quite flimsy, they were eventually coated in Mylar and then dumped entirely for the vinyl plastic renditions we’re used to today (although it should be noted we’re partial to the edible version).
So sequins may occasionally get a bad rap, but next time someone shames you for going all out, feel free to come at them with a little King Tut defense. If that’s not great fodder for holiday party conversation, we’re not sure what is.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite sequined street style looks…
T he pursuit of individual and personal style becomes so much more important as you get older. When I look at my clothes at home, I don’t think my style has changed very much since my early 30s. That was when I settled on something. And if I could be 38 again, I don’t think I would dress any differently than I do now, at 50.
That said, some elements of the way I dress have been constant since I was a teenager, when I became obsessed with a Bruce Weber Vogue shoot based on Edward Weston and his women. I remember taking the magazine into Exeter to get my hair cut like the picture, then buying a fisherman’s jumper in a sailing shop. I bought a grey pencil skirt, dug out my school shoes and ankle socks, got my dad’s overcoat and got the look. I still dress like those pictures in a way.
There’s an abiding perception that the high street doesn’t serve older women very well, but in my view it’s better than it has ever been. The choice is huge – whether that’s Topshop, Uniqlo or Cos. It’s not one stop that gives you everything you want, more that everybody offers something very different.
Topshop Boutique S/S 2016. Photograph: Topshop
Everyone also used to assume that the high street wasn’t very good quality, but that has really changed. It makes a big difference for a grown-up woman buying fashion. You’re looking for something that has a little bit of longevity – not just in terms of style but also physically lasting a little bit longer.
The key is to be true to yourself and confident about what you like. It’s not necessarily about what’s in fashion, it’s what you love for you and your style. I have never been comfortable in structured clothes, for example, and I accept that. I’m lazy in a way. I can’t wear high heels because I can’t walk fast enough in them. I like to feel I can move around and get everything done. I’m also not somebody who scrutinises every detail or seam, looking at the construction. I like clothes that give you the effect of what you want.
Jane Birkin in 1985. Photograph: Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock
Topshop’s Boutique label is a true reflection of what I love now. It’s where I would go for classics: a gorgeous khaki shirt, a camel coat. I think if you want to buy a camel coat, you should always be able to get one, regardless of season or trends. The same with a V-neck jumper and a white cotton shirt. It’s that simple approach to fashion that allows you to dress it up as much as you want, or dress it down. It still leaves a lot of it up to you.
If you start with a very classic approach to your clothes, you can add anything flamboyant to that. If you start the other way round, it’s much harder to tone it down afterwards. Start with the boring bit, then add to make it feel more relevant to what is going on in fashion.
When I was a 25-year-old fashion assistant, I used to look at a 40-year-old fashion editor and think they were ready for retirement, so serious in their Chanel suits and pearls and Manolo Blahniks. But women are loving fashion at all ages now, it’s cross-generational. Think of how jeans have become the norm. My mum wore jeans into her 70s but her mother would never have worn them. Now you can wear leopard print when you’re 60 but it doesn’t mean you look like Bet Lynch – unless you want to. And if you want to wear sequins, you can wear sequins.
Topshop Boutique S/S 2016. Photograph: Topshop
I love seeing women like Jane Birkin who were so influential when they were young in what they wear, and they still are. Of course, there are compromises. You do have to be prepared for that thing that fashion does – when you fall in love with something and it feels absolutely perfect but they change it. It’s a bit like how you can’t get a Levi’s 501 to fit like an old Levi’s 501 because they’ve adapted the design. And you do have to age into your style, like Kate Moss has – retaining your style personality but moving it on so it becomes more relevant to the age you are.
I think, in the end, fashion is always about those little things that you discover. Margaret Howell did a really beautiful blue scarf for the Barbara Hepworth exhibition and I bought one because I loved it, but I had never really worn a scarf before. I was tying it round my neck thinking, “Oh, it feels really different, really grown up, to put a scarf on.” I quite liked that.
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. More information.