“Oooh Madge, love those whorts! Where did you get them?”

March 14, 2011 § 5 Comments

We’re not keen on negativity here at Mannequin World. If you don’t have anything nice to say, and all that… But anything that makes it all less exclusive and wanky is alright by us. I’ve always thought that style shouldn’t be the realm of a clique of skinny, monied harpies, or those who seem to roll out of bed and ooze style (when actually all they’ve done is run through Urban Outfitters smothered in glue).

Dressing oneself isn’t rocket science, but there are those who would have us believe otherwise. Take this trend of creating new garments by sticking two together – the legging that looks a bit like a jean is a ‘jegging’ and the skin-tight, stretchy trouser is now a ‘tregging’. It all bands together to create an “it’s all Greek to me” ethos, which is not what fashion should be about. It should be fun, frivolous, creative and daring – not something that means you need a thesaurus before you open your wardrobe in the morning.

Not that I’m condoning this, but purely for illustrative purposes, here’s a list of cut’n’shut clothes that we’ve have made it onto the high street:

Jeggings: Leggings that looks like skinny jeans (specifically, they have faux jean pockets and sometime **vom** zips)
Tregging: Leggings that looks like trousers (not to be confused with jegging)
Coatigan: Cardigan with a coat appearance – not to be confused with the Cardigown
Cardigown: Cardigan, usually long and belted like a dressing gown. “Like a dressing gown” is the key phrase here, when wondering whether to purchase or not.
Mackets: A cross between a mac and a jacket
Shacket: Jacket that looks like a shirt
Shoots: AKA shoe-boots – I’m actually quite a fan as these are far more flattering to one’s ankle than ankle boots
Mandles: Sandals for men
Skorts: Shorts that look like a skirt  – otherwise known to sensible folk (and those who grew up in the 80s) as culottes
Whorts: Thick shorts, normally worn with tights in winter – “Oooh Madge, love those whorts! Where did you get them?” “I got them from my OH the other week!” I don’t think so. Again, I actually love the shorts n tights winter combo, I am merely pointing out the superfluous nature of these definitions.

And let’s not forget the cosmetics: manscara and guyliner; marketing (as Punt & Dennis point out in their new tour) purely by inserting the word ‘man’ into already established products. Genius. Or not.

So this is why I love this glorious sketch the OH found on YouTube the other day. Watch and giggle…

…In which Badger Madge breaks a rule

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sorry there hasn’t been much Badger action for a while. I had been challenged to not buy anything during the month of January, and had to avoid shops and online so as to not be tempted. I survived, thankfully, and am rather proud of myself.

Dusty quite rightly supports thrifty shopping and generally getting the most out of your current wardrobe pallet. I, however, am a bit of a magpie and can’t resist a the new and the sparkly (unless the sparkly ends up making you look a bit like a big fat opera singer, of course). So I’m blaming the fact that I broke one of my style rules (“Never buy anything that has been in a shop window, or at the immediate front of a shop floor.”) on the enforced no-buying challenge of January and these magpie tendencies: cage a magpie and sooner or later she’ll go wild with diamonds. Or something.

Anyway, I’ve walked past this cute fit and flare tea dress every day on my way to work, and I knew I had to have it. I lasted a week. I love the fit and flare cut – incredibly flattering for us curvy ladies as it accentuates our tiny waists and skims hips/bums and tums. Basically, they hug in all the right places and are set to be huge this summer. They’re already fighting the body con for shop floor space (and winning) in the high street right now.

I’m not usually one for red, but couldn’t resist the art deco-esque print. I’d dress it up with pearls, a jacket and heels (whatever my other half thinks, I reckon it would be fine – avec fascinator – for a wedding) or dressed down with a cosy cardie and brogues or boots. It would even go quirky on its own with a bowler hat and heel brogues. 3 for 1 – surely that’s worth being a rule-breaker for?

Ask the Mannequins: winter warmth v winter chic

January 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m off to New York and I hear it’s rather cold there at the moment. During the winter I tend to hibernate in jeans and jumpers. But what can I wear that’s also warm so those chic Manhattan-ites won’t laugh at me?

Erin, via text

Having just survived the Great NYC December 2010 Blizzard I can report that it is indeed rather cold over there. Most Manhattan girls are currently favouring the duvet coat and scary hardcore snow boots like these.

A hardy winter coat and warm boots are, of course, a must. But I find the devil’s in the details, and – especially in New York’s case – the layering. Once you get this right, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing on top, because you’ll be snuggly underneath!

First some killer leggings – not just any leggings, but these rather lovely tuxedo-style leggings from M&S. Warm enough for wearing under jumper dresses and tucked inside your scary hardcore snow boots whilst trekking around Manhattan, but gorgeous enough to go with killer heels for the evening when you find a cool bar miles away from your hotel. See?

Tuxedo leggings, M&S

Next your head and ears. If you haven’t heard about The Hat Sandwich, then head over to Project Egghead’s website and brush up on Madge’s tips for using layering to keep your head warm. If you’re not a hat person (and many aren’t) then ear muffs are both a cute and functional way of fending off winter ear ache. I liked these from River Island as they’re uber-sweet and preppy.

Grey pearl ear muffs, River Island

Legwarmers were my staple during last weeks crazy NY weather. Worn peeping out of your boots exudes pampered-sloan-girl chic plus they’re soooo warm when trekking around a snowy Central Park.

Leggings, M&S

OK, so far, so straightforward, right? Here’s a secret I’ve been rocking since last winter. Grandma Badger got it right with her silky slips – and H&Ms basic body cons are the modern equivalent. They’re awful on their own if you have a bit of a pot belly, but worn underneath pretty much anything and everything, and they provide substantial warm layering and a smooth silhouette – something that’s tricky to achieve with a thermal vest tucked into your tights. Plus they prevent that annoying static cling that happens with jumper dresses and tights.

Black body con, H&M

Enjoy your time, and may I recommend going to 508 for the cheese fondue and lamb ragu; the Tirimisu cocktail at The View on top of the Marriot Marquis off Times Square (the bar rotates as you sit, so you take in a 360 view of Manhatten); Shorty’s 32 for nibbles and cocktails – and if you want something uber special and have the money for it, The River Cafe

PS Chic Manhatten-ites don’t laugh at those who are (in their eyes) sartorially challenged. Most of them are far too busy exuding an air of absolute boredom they barely have time to notice.

Ask the Mannequins: Which winter hat should I buy?

December 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Which winter hat is best?

Holly B, via Facebook

The bobble hat.

What? You need more? OK. As someone who’s recently shaved their head for charity, I’ve become somewhat of an expert at the winter hat. Due to their current ubiquity on the high street, you should negate the animal hat automatically. But if you insist, first a question. Are you under 16? If yes, then fine, go with the silly animal hat. Those old enough to remember 1998 should be old enough to know better, quite frankly. If that’s not a good enough argument, then Hadley over at the Guardian puts it much better than I can.

Still not convinced? OK, try this…

Terrible animal hat (for an adult), Boohoo

OK then now, you’ve seen sense, let’s look at other stylish hats that are hella more suitable.

If you really must go animal, this one is bear (fnar) able. It’s basically a Russian-style fur hat, but look! It has ears! How ironic will you be wearing that sucker?

Bear hat, River Island

This little beany is great because, in its current styling, conforms to this winter (and every other winter’s) Jack Wills-preppy/military trend. If that’s your thing, then fab. But switch the pin for an antique-style broche, a feather, bow or whatever and you’ve got a rather versatile hat on your hands that’ll see you through many a winter.

Military beany, Bank

Lots of love,

Badger x

Got a dressy dilemma to put to the Mannequins? Send us an email or contact us on Twitter and we’ll do our best to solve it.

Five things: a Badger party look

December 13, 2010 § 3 Comments

Oh gawd. Until this evening I was all set over what I would be wearing to our work Xmas party. I’d found a dress a while ago that I thought about wearing to my headshave, but then decided to relegate it to the Xmas party and wear something slinkier (and less likely to get hair stuck in it – the things you have to consider when shaving your head are many, believe me). Two weeks of missing my bad-ass morning sweat-a-thon later (and therefore with an arse the size of a small African country), and I’m only 60% sure. I love the roushing, and the stunning back, but will it be OK on my pot belly – and can I lose half a stone in two days?

Anyway, assuming I man-up, shut up and just go for it, here are the five things I’m wearing this Wednesday. Argh, yes I know it’s only four things, but I’m going understated. Besides, I’m treating the buzz cut as an accessory it itself.

Earrings, River Island

Another tip for would-be baldies: big earrings are your friend.

Dress, Miss Selfridge

It looks like a posh frock but was such a bargain! And the back makes the dress sexy in a wonderfully understated, grown-up way.

Shoes, New Look

Option to switch to ballet pumps later, allowed.

Clutch, Topshop

Who says I have too many bags already?

So do you reckon girls with a bit of a belly can do slinky numbers? Or must one’s tummy be totally washboard to pull this off? I’ve seen some quite cute outfits like this where there’s a mini-pot, but I’m just not sure – would welcome opinions in the comments below!

#25 Hayley

November 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

This stunning filly demonstrates how to do equine perfectly. Hayley’s jacket is so different, and I especially love her socks over tights winter layering. Add some  quirky brogues and its rosettes all round. Plus it’s Hayley’s birthday, so many happy returns you stylish stunner!

What she’s wearing

Jacket, Boden

Dress, New Look

Jumper and tights, Zara

Socks, Urban Outfitters

Shoes, Office

#24 Badger Madge

November 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

I love the vintage feel of this smock, but even though it’s two sizes down it’s still a bit tent-like on me, hence the belt. I’m also toying with red lip stains at the moment (this is Topshop, but I think it’s a bit full-on for me, being so used to nudes). The full-length cardi is a more flattering length with the smock than one that would fall at the hips, and the pearls make this evening ready.

What I’m wearing

Smock, Miss Selfridge

Cardigan, H&M

Belt, Topshop

Pearls and gold bracelet, Grandma via Mum

Studded bangle, Primark

Boots, Office