On Uniforms {also, Style Icon: Emmanuelle Alt}

08/03/2012 § 12 Comments

Keep Anna Dello Russo and her fruit fixation, I much prefer the style of Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt.  Mme. Alt and I have much in common: we both tend toward a slightly androgynous look, we both enjoy a smart jacket (and even more so if it has a military feel to it), we’re both near six feet tall and not afraid of a good high heel, we both employ the bro-tuck liberally, we both prefer unfussy hair.  Obviously, we should be best friends.  Obviously.

I can’t tell you how miffed I get when I see comments on pictures of her declaring her boring, or that it is nonsensical she is at the helm at Vogue Paris, because to me, Alt is the essence of Parisienne chic.  Alt knows what she feels she looks best in and has formulated a bit of a uniform around that.  She won’t try out trends simply because they are new, or seek attention by being outrageous.  Alt is style, whereas Dello Russo is fashion.

As I become more comfortable in my own style, I find myself slipping into a uniform of my own, and I’m okay with that.  While it may not be as Balmain-heavy as Mme. Alt’s, I’ve identified shapes I feel most comfortable in and am continually on the lookout for designers that hit my sweet spot, just as she has.  I no longer feel compelled to wear “the new black” or jump on “of the moment” bandwagons because these trends don’t usually represent my personal style.  Increasingly, I find I’d rather invest in pieces that I know I will love now, and years from now — not things I will want to toss out in a season or two.

How do you approach your own style? 
Do you enjoy following the trends? 
Do you have a uniform?

J’adore the Vogue Paris ladies, all wearing the Alt uniform.

Images via Streetfsn, Grazia.it, Vogue Paris and Stockholm Streetstyle.

Try on Mme. Alt’s uniform for size:

Balmain satin-trimmed wool-crepe jacket
Similar High Street alternative here (Asos)

Balmain stretch-leather skinny pants
Similar High Street alternative here (Zara)

T by Alexander Wang classic muscle T-shirt
Similar High Street alternative here (Zara)

Isabel Marant Zoro leather belt
Similar High Street alternative here (Urban Outfitters)

Jimmy Choo Abel pointed patent-leather pumps
Similar High Street alternative here (Nine West)

I’ve just got one question though:
How does she never have a purse?


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§ 12 Responses to On Uniforms {also, Style Icon: Emmanuelle Alt}

  • Crispin says:

    Yeah, Emmanuelle Alt totally knows how to rock it. She is all style and doesn’t chase trends-a true sign of someone who knows how to dress their ass of regardless of the occasion. It’s what we call Sprezzatura in menswear, which is studied nonchalance. Ladies, look to Alt, get rid of the trash bag purse and just be you.

  • Alex says:

    I agree. For me, she’s the epitome of cool.

    • Totally agree. Alex, I’m not embarrassed to admit that were I to happen upon her on the street somewhere, I would probably lose my head…the exact opposite of cool! Many thanks for stopping by.

  • m.e.w. says:

    Summed up perfectly. I fall into the same category as you describe: pretty sure now, in my 40s, what works for me, no longer trying to rock the long locks but content with the boy cut, keeping it simple style-wise to look chic and feel comfortable. Living by the motto, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, which in today’s sweatpant-wearing society is not too difficult. It’s nice to stand out. It’s liberating actually.

  • Nora says:

    tend toward a slightly androgynous look – check
    enjoy a smart jacket – check
    near six feet tall and not afraid of a good high heel – uncheck, 5’6″
    employ the bro-tuck liberally – check
    prefer unfussy hair – check infinity!

    4/5, not bad.

  • memebot says:

    i’ve always wondered that about her not having a bag/purse. not even a little clutch? where do her money/keys/phone/sunglasses go? maybe that’s why she’s always wearing a blazer…the pockets.

    • I think you’re on the right path. If you notice, she’s always ALWAYS got her phone in her hand. Not sure if that is because she is glued to it, or because she doesn’t have a free pocket for it, but I suspect her other essentials are tucked in those amazing jackets of hers…

  • Dianne Hunziker says:

    whats a bro-tuck?

    • In short: business in the front, party in the back. AKA the “half tuck”

      The bro tuck gets its name from haphazardly dressed “bros” (I’m guessing), but really, anyone can wear it.

      For me, it’s pretty much a constant.

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