Thursday, January 25, 2018

These Are Hip-Hop's Realest Fashion Styles

From bucket hats to full-body tattoos, hip-hop fashion changes like the wind. Here's our guide to some of the most pivotal and influential trends.

Hip-hop fashion has evolved at a rate of knots since the sound first emerged from New York City's Bronx neighbourhood in the middle of the 1970s and styles have ranged from city to city, coast to coast and scene to scene. Our handy cut-out-and-keep guide to hip-hop trends focuses on those that have stood out most, those that have never gone away and those that continue, from time to time, to make comebacks. Will Chance The Rapper's dungaree overalls stand the test of time like these have?

The b-boy years

The first hip-hop uniform was worn by rappers, DJs, breakdancers and graffiti artists alike. The early '80s b-boy look, which emerged on the east coast, comprised of Kangol bucket hats, chunky street-tuff gold chains and name-plate necklaces, shell-toe trainers with 'phat' laces, and black (sometimes leather) tracksuit tops.

Sportswear companies such as Le Coq Sportif, Adidas and a couple of other now-defunct brands ruled the streets. Run-D.M.C. probably wore it best, but The Fat Boys, Ultramagnetic MCs, Schoolly D, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and many, many more also rocked the look.

Black pride

After a few twists and turns that took in an early gangster rap style inspired by Latin American gang culture and the preppy flower-power look of De La Soul, hip-hop fashion became entwined with a growing interest in black pride and socially conscious hip-hop.

Towards the end of the '80s hip-hop acts such as Public Enemy, Eric B And Rakim, Brand Nubian, Main Source, Queen Latifah, KRS-One, Salt-N-Pepa and more began celebrating their African heritage, as well as revisiting black nationalist movements such as the Black Panthers. Paramilitary fatigues mixed with the black nationalist colours of yellow, red, black and green, and even the jewellery took on meaning, with Salt-N-Pepa's gold door-knocker earrings connected to Africanism.

Ghetto fabulous

Next came hip-hop's most ostentatious trend, which outstrips even the Courvoisier-guzzling bling period of the early '00s for flashiness. In a style that suggested extreme wealth, in the mid-'90s hip-hop's biggest stars started wearing increasingly extravagant attire.

Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy, aka Puffy, aka P Diddy, aka Diddy, aka Love) turned the trend into something straight-up slick and called it ghetto fabulous, but he, Snoop Dogg, Notorious B.I.G. and 2-Pac began by mimicking the old-school gangster look of Al Capone and the prohibition era's most notorious. That means fedoras and bowler hats, double-breasted suits and alligator-skin shoes. Snappy.

The baggy years

After the concepts and show-off years, hip-hop fashion simplified in the mid-to-late '90s. Out went suits and uniforms and in came low-slung baggy jeans, snapbacks, work boots, puffer jackets, Tommy Hilfiger threads and – a hip-hop perennial – sportswear.

The Wu-Tang Clan rocked this look, as did Gang Starr, Missy Elliot and others. Later on, Dirty South rappers such as Nelly and Ludacris would add do-rags and basketball tops, while female rappers Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown eschewed the baggy style altogether.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Open Thread: This Week in Style News

Each week, the Open Thread newsletter will offer a look from across The New York Times at the forces that shape the dress codes we share, with Vanessa Friedman as your personal shopper. The latest newsletter appears here. To receive it in your inbox, register here.

Hello and happy Friday. It’s been quite a week.

First there was the red carpet revolution at the Golden Globes. You might have noticed a difference in our coverage and slide shows (no name-checking of brands) and I’d be really curious to hear what you thought.

Then there was the furor over Michael Wolff’s book on the Trump administration, “Fire and Fury,” with its many juicy, controversial revelations, including the astonishing tidbit about how, exactly, the president achieves his hairstyle.

I’ll let you discover that for yourself, but suffice it to say in involves scalp reduction surgery, and then an elaborate comb-up-and-over.

Amid it all, understandably, a genuine piece of fashion news got a little lost: the first designer appointment of the new year. Diane von Furstenberg named Nathan Jenden her new chief design officer (I know: C.D.O.; brings up strange, recessionary nightmares). He starts with a bang — and not a lot of time to settle in — at New York Fashion Week next month.

Jenden, who is British and went to Central St. Martin’s and the Royal College of Art, has a history with DVF. He was creative director of the brand from 2001 to 2010 — he and Von Furstenberg used to take their runway bow together — when he left to concentrate on his own line, which launched in 2005. That didn’t go so well, and most recently he was creative director of Bebe.

Meanwhile, DVF also couldn’t settle down without him, going through three designers in the last seven years.

Now both sides are older, wiser and have presumably realized what they missed without the other — which is probably a good thing in these days of crazy designer churn. A lot of fashion success is dependent on relationships (designer with founder, designer with C.E.O., designer with design studio, brand with consumers) and it takes time to build that kind of trust and understanding.

Anyway, enough with the lectures! Let’s see how it all plays out next month.

For now, I offer the following reads: Amber Tamblyn’s searingly honest Op-Ed about getting dressed for an awards ceremony; an inside look on how the experts pack for the men’s wear season; and the latest, weirdest slogan clothes. Have a good weekend!

Your Style Questions, Answered

Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion-related question, which you can send to her anytime via email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.

Q: My son is in college in Maine, and the temperature is frequently below zero. It seems like every woman is swathed in an ankle-length black puffer coat from November to March, so why do men have so few choices in outerwear that is knee length or longer? Have you come across any knee-length down coats for men? — Amy, Pelham, N.Y.

A: It’s true: Though dress coats hit at the knee and great coats (especially those that are military-inspired in heavy wool) can be even longer, in general men got the short end of the stick in the coat-length sweepstakes. It’s pretty clear this is one of those sexist fashion things — a long coat is somehow seen as not manly, unless maybe you live in Russia and it is fur. Because real men…have weatherproof legs? Or something.

Given that all sorts of gender rules are loosening up when it comes to clothing these days, however, a warmer time may be on the horizon. In the meantime, however, I asked Matthew Schneier, our deputy fashion critic (currently in Milan at the shows) for his advice. Here’s what he said:

“Where men’s outerwear is concerned, even the hardiest coats seem to come only to somewhere above the knee. To test the theory, I looked around at a range of brands known for their tough winter-wear (the North Face, Canada Goose, Moncler, Duvetica, Stone Island) and struck out at every one. Even L.L. Bean (which knows something about Maine winters, being headquartered there!) didn’t offer much that dropped below the waist. I suspect it’s that floor-length outerwear is pretty unwieldy, especially where there’s snow and slush on the ground, and many men (at the expense of their body temperatures) chafe at the idea of something long enough to be mistaken for women’s wear.

My solution, for what it’s worth, is to pile on the underlayers. Thermal-wear has come a long way since the days of heavy waffle weaves in one color (though I love those, too). I swear by Uniqlo’s Heattech line, which I wear, tops and bottoms, basically all winter. They’re thinner, softer and warmer than their predecessors, cheaper by far than a new coat, and they disappear under clothes. Friends report that there was a run on them at the New York Uniqlo stores last week when the weather was wretched here. I wouldn’t know; I order mine, as can you, online.” — VANESSA FRIEDMAN

Monday, September 18, 2017

In Fashion, the Beauty (and Challenge) of Looking Back

THE ARCHIVES OF BALENCIAGA, the 100-year-old fashion house, are held in a raw concrete warehouse space in Paris. There are 6,000 items in total — sculptural silk ball gowns and cocoon-shaped coats and a tobacco-brown chenille-embroidered lace coat once owned by Wallis, Duchess of Windsor — all shrouded in calico garment bags. Especially delicate pieces are wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to protect against dust and moths and are laid to rest in cardboard boxes referred to in the business as ‘‘coffins.’’ Balenciaga’s haute couture maison, formerly located on the Avenue George V, was a chapel dedicated to the worship of fashion as art; here, in its cavernous catalog of designs past, the atmosphere is of a crypt — or even a shrine.

When I visited the archive in the spring of 2017, the debut fall 2016 collection of Balenciaga’s latest artistic director, Demna Gvasalia, had just arrived. The conservation team, led by archive manager Gaspard de Massé, was unfolding the clothes while wearing white cotton gloves. (Acids from human skin erode the textiles.) These contemporary pieces, whose likenesses had barely departed store racks, are treated with as much reverence as a one-off couture gown by Cristóbal Balenciaga himself, who founded the house in 1917. In this space, these humble garments are transmogrified ­— from contemporary clothing to preserved specimens. The archive team discusses how to stabilize specific pieces: for instance, by running threads from waist to hem to support dresses with unusually curved skirts, which threaten to buckle and distort if they’re not held in place. Those that can be laid flat, are — in one coffin, billows of tissue cosset one of Gvasalia’s evening dresses, a silver strapless style in a sequin-embroidered fabric created by the Swiss textile company Jakob Schlaepfer. Matching boots are stored in another room devoted to modern accessories. The Sisyphean task of the conservation team is to ensure Balenciaga’s clothing — past, present and future — survives, even as time conspires against it.

PARIS IS A CITY where history has always been hallowed — perhaps more so than the present — and where the oldest (and many of the largest) fashion empires are based. Rituals like Balenciaga’s are undertaken by fashion brands across the world, but the archives of Parisian houses are especially sacrosanct. Some are stored in actual museums — Lanvin’s archives reside at the Palais Galliera, the fashion museum formally known as the Musée de la mode de la Ville de Paris. Others seem to be: Off the Avenue Montaigne, in the archive of Christian Dior, a handful of dresses dating back to 1947 (Dior’s debut) are displayed in temperature-controlled vitrines, exhibiting the label’s heritage.

In an industry whose catalyst is relentless novelty and perpetual newness, this zealous reverence for bygone fashions seems incongruous. While these archives — cold and dark, with their shrouds and cardboard ‘‘coffins’’ — may resemble repositories for the dead, the pieces cataloged inside are anything but. Despite the near-religious fervor devoted to their preservation, past styles aren’t viewed by brands as relics, but rather as the foundation for future creations.

These days, the archive is the petri dish for designs of the future. History in the hands of these houses has become a valuable, marketable commodity to build upon, cultural capital that can’t be bought. This past winter, the fall 2017 collections in Paris were distinguished by each house’s attention to their native silhouettes, tropes and trademarks. Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello veiled breasts with a panel of gauze in a velvet dress that originated in an identical style in Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 1992 haute couture collection; Julien Dossena of Paco Rabanne used that label’s still-futuristic-looking metal mesh alongside chain-linked constructions directly drawn from 1967 designs; and Maria Grazia Chiuri riffed on Christian Dior’s penchant for navy blue, offering another iteration of the label’s signature curvaceous suit jacket. (It was named Bar in 1947, and still is today.) Finally, Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga women’s wear show made the ultimate statement — he rejected the contemporary entirely and closed with nine gowns that recreated looks, in their entirety, from ’30s and ’40s Balenciaga collections. Ghosts, resurrected.

It’s significant to note that the above designers are creating clothing under someone else’s name, for labels collectively dubbed ‘‘heritage brands.’’ Purchasing their goods as a consumer — or as a luxury-goods conglomerate — is to buy into their history. These houses don’t plea for recognition; they have already earned it. Familiarity, in fashion, breeds not contempt, but contentment. If customers are familiar with a name, they’re more likely to invest in it than in an obscure up-and-coming brand. Immediate recognition is the reason conglomerates overwhelmingly choose pre-existing fashion labels as vehicles for young talent instead of backing new ventures.

Karl Lagerfeld was arguably the first to revive an age-old, old-age designer label when he was appointed artistic director of Chanel in 1982. Lagerfeld produced styles that immediately read as Chanel, trading on classic components of Gabrielle Chanel’s repertoire: bouclé tweed suiting, pearls, chains, camellias. ‘‘There would be no Chanel without the history of Chanel. I don’t have to do it consciously, I do it unconsciously,’’ says Lagerfeld, via email. It’s an interesting turn of phrase; perhaps he means to say that he doesn’t have to try to be Chanel because Chanel’s style is so expansive — she invented an entire wardrobe, from the little black dress to the chain-strapped purse to the two-tone shoe. ‘‘There are lots of things people think are native to the house which are born since I’m here,” Lagerfeld says. ‘‘My job is to make believe. There is no other way for a fashion house to survive.’’

LAGERFELD’S WILDLY successful echoing of Chanel’s history has become the blueprint for labels across the world. Today, designers use archival styles to anchor their individual aesthetics to a brand’s past. You may not recognize Maria Grazia Chiuri’s name immediately, for instance, but you recognize the name and look of Dior in her designs for the house — the wasp-waisted Bar jacket, the wide-spread skirts. The same goes for Paco Rabanne: Julien Dossena is a designer name that resonates mostly among industry insiders, but everyone remembers the house’s chain-mail dresses from ‘‘Barbarella’’ — ‘‘or Jane Birkin, or Françoise Hardy,’’ adds Dossena. All of them, and in turn Paco Rabanne itself, have become synonymous with ’60s Space Age style. In a crowded and confused modern marketplace, immediate recognition — Coco! Bar! Barbarella! — is as good as gold.

From a business perspective, this approach makes sense. But it raises larger creative and cultural questions: namely, who owns history? Does a designer operating under a label founded by another have license to resurrect its forebear’s history for inspiration? It often results in little that is truly, genuinely new. But maybe, right now, we’re not craving something new, but something honest. Some labels will reissue designs with minimal changes, if any — Chanel, for instance, offers multiple versions of the 2.55, the quilted, chain-strapped bag originally designed by Gabrielle Chanel in 1955. Perhaps this is a reflection of a global appetite for vintage, for an authenticity that we believe can only be found in the past.

But maybe backward-glancing isn’t a product of the ideological or philosophical ramifications of our time — a quest for the genuine article — but rather a more practical matter of supply and demand, a need for speed. Fashion designers typically produce four collections a season (bolstered by multiple interim commercial collections), some designing for two or more different labels. (Gvasalia has Vetements, Lagerfeld his namesake line and the co-creative director role at Fendi.) Cribbing from an existing style sheet is an easy fix for an industry demanding ever more from its designers, a practice that’s been employed with increasing frequency since the early 1990s, when journalists began to freely throw around the term ‘‘revival’’ to describe various designers’ close recreations of vintage styles. In the same period, the market for vintage clothing exploded — another example of that thirst for authenticity and, perhaps, a rebellion against fashion’s built-in obsolescence.

But what are the ethics of referencing existing clothing so closely, even if the same label is stitched on the inside? The revival styles we are seeing now are often line-for-line recreations, not mere interpretations. It's largely accepted that a fashion house can freely reference its own past; the name gives designers license, and the physical archives give them access to templates from which to work. ‘‘If you want to know a brand, you have to know the history,’’ Dior’s Chiuri says. ‘‘I really decided immediately, when I arrived here a year ago, that it is like I am a curator for [Dior’s] heritage. And on the other side, I try to give my point of view.’’

IN TRUTH, it’s a delicate balance. Ironically, the strength of a house’s archive (and its worth) can only be measured by the merits of its contemporary designer. Chiuri uses the term ‘‘curator,’’ a word many designers invoke to describe the somewhat uneasy relationship between present and past in their work. Part of their role, at these kinds of brands, is to provide a new point of view on a well-established aesthetic — to reinvent (or at least modernize) the wheel. Designers are tasked with getting the press and consumers excited about something they might have seen many times before.

But does looking back satisfy a designer’s artistic urge to create something new? ‘‘If you think too much about Mr. Saint Laurent, I think the weight is very heavy and you cannot do anything,’’ Anthony Vaccarello says. ‘‘It’s too ‘homage,’ too old.’’ Vaccarello’s approach has been to collage elements from different Saint Laurent looks — his redux of that 1992 dress, for instance, collided the bodice with a miniskirt in the style Saint Laurent showed in the 1960s, rather than copying the full-length original. He remixes, instead of creating faithful reproductions. ‘‘It’s normal for me to live with a huge history because I was born in Rome,’’ Chiuri says. ‘‘I love the archives, I love history, I love memory, but I’m not nostalgic. I want to use that now.’’ Her collections do in fact reference particular Dior styles — her fall 2017 couture collection alluded to specific Dior dresses from every year between the founding of the house in 1947 and 1957, the year Christian Dior died. At its best, archival reference like Chiuri’s intrinsically connects the new with the old, weaving a seamless story that can constantly evolve.

This isn’t necessarily the case for all French heritage houses; the Balmain label, established in 1945, has been revived with only spurious connection to the historical style of founder Pierre Balmain, a lesser-known contemporary of Christian Dior. His look was conservative and decorative — the latter, perhaps, the only link to its contemporary incarnation helmed by Olivier Rousteing, whose trademark is his love of elaborate embellishment. Louis Vuitton had no background in clothing prior to the appointment of Marc Jacobs as its artistic director in 1997; as inspiration for his garments, Nicolas Ghesquière references Vuitton’s past as a luggage-maker — an idea the house will celebrate with an exhibition next month in N.Y.C. dedicated to its heritage — as well as the label’s excellence in leather goods and its abstract notions of functionality.

Respect for history is important, but when respect becomes reverence, it can prove paralyzing. To chart fashion’s major shifts over the past century is to observe creators at odds with the past. The rejection of pre-existing styles is almost a prerequisite for creating something new and noteworthy. Even Dior’s 1947 debut, a collection firmly based in nostalgic notions of femininity rife with Victorian silhouettes and techniques, represented a break with the fashion that had immediately preceded it: the wartime style of short skirts and squared shoulders. Forever after, it came to be known as the New Look. The same is true of Gabrielle Chanel’s little black dress in the 1920s and the anarchic, aggressive styles of punk. They were all new, back then.

But those were moments that reset aesthetics, notions of luxury and beauty ideals. These happenings are few and far between, and it’s unreasonable to imagine that fashion will throw up many more. Nevertheless, history should not (and cannot) be abandoned. It can act as a Trojan horse, a disguise for radical upheavals, for fresh revolutions. Old tags can hide new tricks — or new looks, to borrow the parlance of Maison Dior. Take Demna Gvasalia: He described his fall Balenciaga collection as an ‘‘homage,’’ but he also likened it to a rite of passage. ‘‘I need to prove that I can come into a house and not just start blatantly building my story without knowing them,’’ he says, ‘‘them,’’ meaning the archives. ‘‘I know that Cristóbal would probably roll his eyes at many of the things I do, but I feel the freedom now to do my own story.’’

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fashion Month, Demystified

Fashion Month — the four-week period twice a year when top designers debut their latest collections in New York, London, Milan and Paris — brings out a horde of photographers intent on capturing interesting clothes, both on the runways in the shows and on the sidewalks outside of them.

But when this season’s shows officially begin on Thursday, the last thing New York Times editors will be thinking about is their own attire. “I think a lot of editors learned a long time ago that comfortable footwear is really key during Fashion Month,” said Isabel Wilkinson, the digital director of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. “Most seasoned editors I see stick very diligently to that mantra.”

Fashion teams from T and The New York Times Styles desk will attend more than 300 runway shows, presentations, parties and store openings in the four fashion capitals. Preparations began months ago for coverage of everything from highly anticipated collections from the likes of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren to celebrity-packed parties like Rihanna’s Diamond Ball, which takes place the last night of New York Fashion Week.

New York Fashion Week began in 1943 as a way for designers to share their new collections with the fashion media and retailers. It has since become part of a monthlong global circuit each September and February that attracts influencers, celebrities, brands, professional party people and lots of social media. The goal of Times editors is to speak authoritatively to the fashion community while recording a larger view of culture across print, web, video, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“We cover fashion this intensely because it’s about the evolution of social statuses and gender roles; it’s so bound up with celebrity and race,” said Choire Sicha, the editor of Styles. “We are obsessed with fashion and we cover it rigorously. Not just because it’s an enormous, important business and because clothes are cool, but because it shows where we’re going as a society.”

Vanessa Friedman, the fashion director of The New York Times, will personally attend approximately 150 shows in New York and Europe. She has been covering Fashion Week for nearly 20 years, and tends to wear the same several dresses, stay at the same hotels and consume the same diet of coffee, candy, bread, the occasional green juice — and Champagne.

But routine allows for focus. “When I’m actually sitting in a show, I am thinking, first, ‘What is this designer actually saying about female identity now?’ ” Ms. Friedman said. “Is it a good idea? If it is not a good idea, why is it not a good idea? And how does that relate to the context of the brand? Does it make sense in the continuation of their heritage and their history? Where they have gone before? And what else is going on in the general fashion scene? Is it part of a trend? If it is part of a trend, what is the trend, and why is it important?”

Reporters typically log 12-hour days, explained Matthew Schneier, a Styles reporter — not counting the parties.

“There’s an unwritten law of Fashion Week that any two shows scheduled back-to-back must be at the farthest possible distance from each other and be scheduled at a time to maximize traffic getting between them,” Mr. Schneier said. “So, a good portion of time is spent in the back of a car, a cab or on the subway, trying to make sense of what you’ve just seen and get down enough sponsor-provided bottled water, protein bars and bodega trail mix to constitute a meal.”

Beyond the runway, the story continues inside the extravagant, invite-only afterparties, explained Denny Lee, a Styles editor. “A lot of them feel like they are P.R.-driven, but there are some that are absolutely lots of fun,” Mr. Lee said. “People just sort of want to let their hair down and have a good time, and you have this professional partying class that comes into New York City and just keeps things going.”

Styles and T work closely to coordinate coverage, and put out a joint newsletter, Open Thread. For Fashion Month, T’s coverage will center on showcasing beautiful images from the events, continually updated on its site, providing readers a way to shop for runway looks, and offering a peek into the world of the creators, Ms. Wilkinson explained.

“We like to do features around the little-known things about creative people — the little moments that aren’t captured, like someone’s strange obsession or weird collection or an unseen room, and giving a fresh perspective on creative people,” she said.

For Ms. Friedman, Fashion Month is like a global tour of modern art galleries.

“Often times you see things that are boring, or derivative, or overly conceptual,” she said. “But when you see something that is really great, that makes you think about your subject in a different way; you forget about everything else and get really excited. That happens each season, and you don’t know when it is going to happen — and that’s what makes it worthwhile.”

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

From Hangover Armour To ‘Seduction Uniforms’: The Only Five Outfits You’ll Ever Need

Torch your wardrobe: a study by Oxfam has found that women only wear five outfits. Yes, mercifully, it seems that everyone has adopted a carousel method to dressing: at least a third of our wardrobes are defunct, while the same pair of jeans, four T-shirts and three jumpers are rolled out without ceremony, ad infinitum. Seven in 10 of us invariably wear the same dress for every special occasion.

Certainly, there is an element of laziness to this approach; obviously, few can afford to replace their whole wardrobe at the flutter of an invitation. But it is also canny, for there are only really five outfits that you need to proceed through life untroubled. Together they form a capsule wardrobe of sorts, although instead of being choreographed according to shape and hue, as outlined in gilded lifestyle magazines, yours is, of course, themed by routine emotional triggers. Here are the only five outfits you really need:

The ‘seeing an ex’ Outfit

Do not affect that you are above this, no matter how “amicable” the split. You’ll want to look unshowy yet untouchable; best to aim for something in the area of “Scandinavian architect”. Ideally, your outfit should be comfortable, but more importantly it must not require regular repositioning to obscure a greying bra strap.

NB: it will not matter what you wear if you spend the evening scanning the room to locate said ex.

The Wedding/Funeral Multitasker

Granted, the crossover here is difficult to execute, unless you have spent many years cultivating the arch eccentricity of Fi in Four Weddings and a Funeral: faultlessly, unfailingly shrouded in black. Typically, weddings call for froth and fancy, whereas funerals are rightfully sterner.

However, there is a sliver where the Venn overlaps, and deft dressers execute it effortlessly. Keep necklines high and hemlines long – you do not want to be trying to tug your dress down while throwing the confetti. Dark florals suggest both wedding bouquets and funeral wreaths. You are multitasking.

The Office Hangover Outfit

Your whole body is draped in a sheen of perspiration. In your dreams, you are in a cocoon or lying entirely naked on a cool bathroom floor. But, on hungover days, your outfit is your armour: to put the office off your scent, you must wear something “directional”, something that employs “clean lines”. Also, crucially, deodorant. Above all, it must also permit stomach space for the stodgy succour of a lunchtime McDonald’s. Red lipstick, the brighter the better, can distract from your red face.

The Seduction Uniform

Contrary to the pervasive imagery of popular culture, this isn’t a red or black dress. Outfits intended to seduce rarely do. But, in this health-conscious, clean-eating age, your best seduction outfit is, obviously, your gym kit. It is also perfect for channelling Beyoncé at a moment’s notice. You might be tempted to don Liz Hurley’s Versace safety-pin dress to impress, but leggings and a sports bra can have much the same effect, just with more structural support. Can also be worn to the gym.

The ‘smart casual’ Outfit

Aha! You have been invited to a “business lunch” or “engagement barbecue”. That’ll be your smart casual look then. Don’t worry – in centuries to come, archaeologists will still struggle to interpret this most loathed of modern dresscodes. For now, best to just stick on a jumpsuit and hope for the best.