Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Problemo Numero Uno

Ok, if you take a sneaky peek at the post below I said I would attempt to solve some problems for the audience.

The first one being- what should a 15 year old wear to school for sixth form?

I guess it's a hard shout.

To begin, it depends on your school, your friends and your personal style. For me I come from Suffolk. It's in East Anglia. Pretty much sums up the sort of people who attended my school. My friends were just your average, normal people who made up most of the orchestra, and I'd known most of them for years. They'd seen the neon phase, the boho phase, the emo phase, so by the time it came to sixth form nothing would be able to surprise them...

Starting with the first few weeks, here are the problems-

a) Teenage girls often have minor confidence issues. I should know. Having just hit twenty I had an emotional break-down for about a day and now I strut around thinking I am the hottest thing to have hit St Andrews. If you know St Andrews you know that is a lie, but with the end of being a teenager, came the start of self-confidence. Anyway I'd say it's important to have a few outfits up your sleeve for the first week or so just to get into the swing of things, and choose something you know you look FANTASTIC in. And it'll just help with the friend-making part of things. Confidence is always key my darlings. I know it's nerve-racking as hell to walk into a room with forty people you don't know, but if you're wearing something with absolute confidence no-one will notice. Believe me.

b) You have to take into account that this may be the first time that some of your friends or new people at the school will see you and your awesome style sense. And, if it's a mixed school, you'll want to make a good impression. *Cheeky. Wink.* Make an effort. Aesthetics are important regardless of what people tell you. You don't have to be smothered in make-up or wearing a skirt that barely constitutes as a belt, but being well-presented means you will be taken more seriously than someone who turns up in tracksuit bottoms and a hoody. No no no. That will not do. Plus girls, I'm not a feminist. I play up my best assets and I love a bit of male attention. If you want people to see you differently to how they saw you in high school make them.

c) Start as you mean to go on. Personally for my first day of sixth form I wore a vintage beige and black houndstooth body con skirt, striped Benetton shirt and a military jacket. With a neck scarf and ankle boots. I was said to have resembled an air hostess, but my mates know I LOVE to dress up. I guess it just suited my personality. So in the following weeks I wore floor length kilts, hot pants and smoking jackets. I had friends who dressed up the first day then were in jeans and hoody for the rest of it. Sixth form allows you to experiment every day. Take advantage of that. I had a kimono week, where I had to wear a different kimono each week. Just have a laugh with it!

So there are my main three points. It's a hard call to decide what to wear, but if you experiment at sixth form by the time you get to uni you will have discovered a style which suits you wholly.

My school had some codes such as no slogans, nothing too short, no ripped jean-, that kind of shiz. Also smart-casual. That elusive term that I've grown to detest with a passion. What equals smart-casual? I'd say no jeans or trainers. Apparently they were acceptable.

Similarly 'office wear' is a theme often used by schools to promote a uniform, and I feel to prepare you for the monotony of future life. Cynic that I am, I believe that if you start wearing pinstripe skirt suits at 15 you'll be stuck in them forever.

Thinking on actual outfits. It entirely depends on what suits you and your style. I had a friend who almost solely wore Ralph Lauren shirts and gilets with jeans. She worked it. Other friends raided the charity shops and rocked up in hippy chic styles. Sixth form allows a complete freedom of expression. Look for inspiration everywhere. My current favourite is Skins, purely because the style is so distinctive for each character...
But obviously the acid prints and gold cycle shorts will rarely be allowed to grace the halls of many sixth forms.

Now office wear... that's a hard one. What sort of office are we talking about? Office wear for a fashion magazine say is going to be rather different to the office of a high flying business. One thing- no denim. At least not blue. Black skinnies you may be able to get away with. Shirts are always important. I live in shirts. Depending on what figure you have a body suit tucked into a circle skirt, or a pencil skirt and smart shirt is always good. Silhouette is key my darlings. As always a 'dirty' silhouette will just age you. Smart knee-length dresses won with tights and ankle boots could work just as well. Strangely, think Vanessa Hudgens in High School Musical Three. It's all pretty dresses . And invest in a blazer. It'll be your best friend.

It's worth looking at American TV series for inspiration. Early Gossip Girl series offer a lot, as do 90210. For a younger audience, Pretty Little Liars has some great outfits. Or you could just use them for procrastination...

Just please promise me you won't just wear pinstripes and white shirts.

I hope that suffices!


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