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

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Ask the Mannequins: provocative pricing

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Is buying a £425 dress [above] madness? It’s important you know it’s from Agent Provocateur and pretty amazing.

Cupcake Rachel, via Twitter

Dresses that cost the best part of half a grand aren’t even the beginning of fashion’s madness, so let’s not judge too hastily. You’ve obviously got the money to spend, but the fact that you’re wondering whether you should – that suggests that you wouldn’t normally have this much cash in hand. Which means that this dress is going to be a one-off. It needs to be a true investment purchase, a luxurious favourite that will see you through occasion after occasion after occasion for years to come.

Is this dress going to do that? Well, it’s black, which is in its favour. It’s styled with minimum fuss (that striking row of buttons aside) – another plus for flexibility and durability. And it’s made of silk/cashmere knit, so it should feel glorious and drape beautifully. All good things. But consider the model above: she looks sexy, but can you see the dress? Not very well with our lass up there writhing and contorting like she’s in the middle of a hot fit.

I’d guess that she’s posed like that because the dress doesn’t actually look that great on. Buttons and knitwear are a ticklish business: because knit fabric is engineered to stretch, it tends to pull and gape around the fastenings, and if the buttons are heavy they’ll make this problem even worse. And for £425, I’d be disappointed if those gold crested buttons were any lighter than newborn kittens.

So I’m suspicious. And then you start to think about what else you could buy with that £425. A classic, sleek dress from a high-highstreet or diffusion line (Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, say) would be half as much and just as sexy, leaving you with money over to buy boots, jewels – hell, even shares if you fancy making this windfall spawn another in a few years time. Imagine wafting round your outgrown home half a decade on, dressed in a gap-fronted shirt dress, mopping up your tears with cashmere as you browse Rightmove and weep over what you could have had. If that sounds sane, by all means go for it.

With love, Dusty x

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