Release your inner mob wife 

Love it or hate it — winter is here. And as guest writer Tara Eales discovers, this season brings with it some fantastic fashion opportunities. Swap your ugg boots for a stylish pair of loafers and raid your Grandpa’s closet because this season is all about retro styling. 

IMG 4952 002Loro Piani’s winter window in ParisI’ve never been a fan of winter weather. Probably because I grew up in Queensland where a hoody and trackies were all you needed to make it through the season. Like, why bother? I learnt during my Fashion Design degree that wearing open toe shoes is an absolute, no, no in winter, but in North Queensland thongs were acceptable all year long. After a welcome move to Sydney, holidays down south, and a further move to the US I realise that you can make some fabulous fashion statements during the colder months. And now that the menopause fairy has kissed me, I’m embracing winter fashion more and more, enjoying that little extra coverage! 

There are a couple of trends this winter that I’m absolutely loving. Namely, the ‘Eclectic Grandpa’ and ‘Mob Wife’ aesthetics. I think I’m attracted to these because I love a bit of retro styling and I’ve been doing a lot of successful thrifting lately. I have friends in Balmain that I know will rock the eclectic grandpa look. Think gorgeous tailored wool mix pants – high waisted or slouchy, flared or tapered, pleated or flat front. A fine yarn dyed stripe would be nice too. Team these with a crisp long sleeve blouse and woollen vest or cardi. You’re in luck if you wear glasses, some fine wire frames will work a treat. 

And for the feet? Some loafers are preferred but as I’ve been a slow adopter of these, I’d go for some ‘very fancy’ ballet flats. (I have met a gorgeous lady in Austin who uses the word fancy to describe anyone or anything that is fashionable. I am now a big fan of this word.) 

A long belted trench coat or oversized blazer will add extra warmth if necessary. If you don’t mind a moth ball scent, I encourage you to visit some second-hand or thrift shops, you never know what you might find. Alternatively, you can literally have a look in your grandpa’s closet! As the colour palette involves many shades of grey, I would accessorise with silver. Invest in a fabulous silver bag, boots or flats. These accessories will carry you into spring as well – hence the word “invest”! 

I’ve seen a bit of double belting around too which looks great with the above mentioned slouchy pants or a tweed pleated teeny weeny skirt. (I will definitely not be sporting the latter!) This same feel can be achieved with an asymmetric waistband. I’m really liking the colour palette for winter too. Black is being replaced by a dark ink navy which sits beautifully alongside espresso, dark grey, olive and white. According to Pantone colour fashion trends, highlight colours are mustard, red, orange, sky blue, plum and various shades of green. Overall, a fabulous palette that reminds me of home – Australia and its stunning landscapes. 

My husband has been telling me to watch the Sopranos for years. I finally succumbed on the show’s 25th anniversary and I am now obsessed with the mob wife trend. Big hair, big gold earrings, big cocktail and pinkie rings, big watches, big luxurious fur jackets, leather and animal print, animal print and more animal print. You get the gist. 

We have had season after season of fine, understated jewellery and quiet luxury branding. I am a designer from the 90’s when brands were appliquéd loud and proud so I’m loving the resurgence. Adorn your drinking hand with an oversized cocktail ring, (the rules are that it must be able to be seen from the other side of the room whilst sipping on your cocktail!). You can still wear your finer necklaces but pick ones with more interesting chain links and wear multiples of them. You can even throw a set of pearls in the mix. You only need one feature piece – maybe it’s a faux fur, maybe it’s pleather pants or a jumpsuit, just remember to team with some bold gold earrings and a statement lip. 

I might even pull out my gold clip-on earrings from my wedding! I understand Oroton is experiencing a comeback. 

These are trends that I have seen and love, but remember, fashion is declaring who you are and who you want to be.
Now, back to The Sopranos...

By Tara Eales

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