Style Commandments

By Matthew Beard

She may have neither the figure nor the budget of the average high street shopper but that has not stopped the fashion worshipper Victoria Beckham from dispensing her top 10 “style commandments”. Whether Britain’s women will feel obliged to take note is another matter.

Among other tips, Mrs Beckham advises the purchase of several pairs of sunglasses, rejects the concept of matching underwear, and urges investment in a baggy jumper in case of sudden weight gain. In an article for Glamour magazine, she says women should concentrate on “visualising the overall look” and warns against revealing too much by dressing skimpily.

Beckham, who has her own range of “VB” designer jeans and has featured as a catwalk model, cited among her favourite designers Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce and Gabbana and Christian Dior.

She also has a plan for “bloated” days. “When you’re having a bloated day, always have some emergency figure flatterers,” she says. “Last season, I invested in some Stella McCartney jumper dresses, which are a godsend for when you’re not feeling particularly great about yourself.”

Presumably for the days when she is back to her normal figure, she reveals she wears children’s clothes from Gap and likes to shop in Japan “because they make everything in tiny sizes”.

“I like buying jumpers from Gap Kids and cutting them up because they’re so fitted and can look really cool and Seventies-inspired,” she says.

“I also wear their T-shirts inside out with a pair of my jeans and a fabulous pair of sunglasses. For me that’s a look that just can’t go wrong.”

The number one tip is to “visualise your overall look”. She says: “Rather than looking at a pile of clothes first thing in the morning and wondering what the hell I’m going to throw on, I visualise the overall look I’m going for on that particular day, then pull the pieces together. Doing it that way round will transform the way you look at clothes and the way you dress.”

Perhaps less relevant to women on a more limited budget is her advice to “shop the world”. High Street shopping in Japan and the vintage clothes stores of New York are both recommended. “The best thing about picking up clothes from different countries is it helps to put an individual stamp on your style,” she says.

The fashion era to raid is apparently the 1950s, a decade in which clothes, she says, were “tailored to give a great silhouette. Loads of designers, like Roland Mouret, are carrying that ladylike, grown-up Audrey Hepburn look now. Alexander McQueen’s vintage-style clothes are beautiful – they make you feel so feminine.”

Mrs Beckham urges women to “be brave and customise” such as “cutting the waistband off jeans to make them lower on my hips”. Finally, she says it is mistake to reveal too much flesh. “It’s great to make a statement now and again, but try and stick to a few classic guidelines. I always think if you’re revealing lots of cleavage, you should have your legs hidden. Or if you want to show some leg, wear a jumper dress on top. Don’t let it all hang out; it’s much sexier to leave a little to the imagination.”

Thankfully, on the subject of her husband’s much-ridiculed fashion sense and outfits, Mrs Beckham decided to stay silent.

Posh’s ten commandments:

  1. Visualise your overall look.
  2. Borrow from another era, especially the 1950s.
  3. Shop the world preferably Japan and New York.
  4. Find a fashion failsafe, for example, a baggy Stella McCartney jumper dress.
  5. Accessorise. Get the right bag, shoes or sunglasses.
  6. Invest in timeless classics.
  7. Customise by cutting the waistband off jeans. Or wearing inside-out T-shirts.
  8. Dress from the inside out. Attention to underwear detail might be Agent Provocateur for knickers and Calvin Klein’s T-shirt bras.
  9. Trust in the opinions of few friends.
  10. Don’t let it all hang out; it’s much sexier to leave a little to the imagination.
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