The Alexa Effect

Alexa Chung is everywhere at the moment: promoting her new book, on the cover of October Vogue, and about to take her place on front rows throughout London Fashion Week. That mix of schoolgirl details and androgynous shapes (always topped with tousled, choppy hair) has launched waiting lists, inspired copycat cuts and fuelled the demand for vintage-inspired looks; Chung is as likely to influence how we dress as any designer. But rather than writing about how to copy her look from head to toe I’ve focused on the accessories that define her style, so that you can interpret them in your own way. After all, Alexa didn’t become a modern day style icon by mimicking someone else.

The Shoes
Alexa’s partly responsible for the return of menswear-inspired shoes over the last few years. We’ve seen brogues and slippers take the floor, looking polished but not try-hard whatever you wear them with, while block heels provide a more feminine approach. I can't decide whether I prefer the scallop trim on Chloe's burgundy-heeled pumps or the double-buckle action on this dove grey pair by ASOS, but the latter is definitely more likely to make it into my wardrobe. You'll easily be able to find any of these styles within Alexa's favourite palette of classic neutrals, but these metallic New Look slippers make a case for experimenting with gold instead. 

Top row, left to right: Chloe, ASOS
Bottom row, left to right: Alexander Wang, New Look, ZARA

The Satchel
For the real deal, head to Mulberry. They created the Alexa satchel in 2009 after she carried one of their vintage men's briefcases in a photoshoot. But there are more affordable options. The Cambridge Satchel Company offers up a mix of classic and quirky colours, and their wares have been spotted slung over the shoulders of Zooey Deschanel and Fearne Cotton as well as Alexa herself. This black version (bottom centre) is emboldened with a flash of leopard print, perfect for throwing over a crisp white shirt.

Top row, left to right: Mulberry, Marc Jacobs
Bottom row, left to right: River Island, Cambridge Satchel Company, ASOS

The Collars
Alexa’s not a fan of plunging necklines, and we love her for it. Her ladylike alternative, the collar, breaks up the black she so often favours and isn’t as fussy as a necklace. Stick to monochrome, in fresh textures like the all-over lace on this white House of Fraser shirt, or embrace new-season checks with Dorothy Perkins. My favourite, though, is the colour blocked Band of Outsiders shirt in cool navy and ice blue.

Top row, left to right: Band of Outsiders, House of Fraser
Bottom row, left to right: Ted Baker, Dorothy Perkins, Alexander McQueen

The Hat
This year Alexa made us all reconsider our usual approach to Glastonbury (denim cut-offs and a parka) when she showed up in a fedora hat and this rather grown-up coat. Et voila, the high street is full of them for AW13. Alexa's gone for leopard print versions in the past, as well as classic monochrome, but this autumnal berry shade is my favourite. I love the ultra-skinny band on this floppy Topshop number, but the thicker ribbons have more of an androgynous feel.

Top row, left to right: Hat Attack, Topshop
Bottom row, left to right: Missguided, Miss Selfridge, Monnier Freres


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