Friday, 21 September 2012

How to Wear Metallics, from Dawn to Dusk

Metallics are surprisingly versatile, and really shouldn't be confined to your wrists and neckline, or to the 9pm-3am timeslot - they're a great way to add a touch of fun, glamour and stardust to your look throughout the day, and the year.

How I Wear: The Tee
How I Wear: The Jeans
Making Metallics Work For You
This Season's Best Metallic Buys

How I Wear: The Tee


A loose metallic tee looks stunning with casual separates for day - denim, tweed, chocolate leather - after many, many months of searching for a version in the perfect cut, shade and price, I found this one fairly recently and haven't had nearly enough time to explore all its possibilities yet! Warm tones draw this look together and stop it from looking too "party party" (black shorts with killer heels could easily turn it into an evening look). For a more business-like look, you could easily tuck it into a high-waisted pencil skirt and team with a blazer and opaques.

Top: Forever 21 (AW12)
Shorts: Primark (Past Season)
Shoes: Primark (Past Season)


I've combined a typically casual silhouette - loose tee and skinnies - with luxe fabrics and statement accessories (embellished cape and feather-trimmed boots) in a black-and-gold palette to try to create a bit of a rock chick vibe here.

Top: As Above
Trousers: Primark (Past Season)
Cape: Primark (Past Season)
Boots: Primark (Past Season)

This kind of top also looks great tucked into high-waisted flowing skirts for a girlier feel (see one example here).

For more glamour-driven takes on metallic tops and accessories, check out my posts here and here.

How I Wear: The Jeans


I like to tone my metallic skinnies down with a loose, casual top for daytime - an oversized vest or tee for SS, and a chunky knit for AW. The contrast in proportions and textures keeps it acceptable pre-cocktail hour, and also minimises the potential leg-widening effects that sadly come as an occupational hazard when donning gold trousers. I always like to team them with at least a slight heel for the same reason - black brogues add a smart-but-quirky touch to take the disco factor down a couple more notches.

Jeans: AX Paris at New Look (Past Season)
Jumper: River Island (Past Season)
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season)


For a higher-octane take, I've stuck to a simple, neutral-toned, loose top to let the jeans take centre stage, but added higher heels, silk hair tie and a statement bangle stack in a warm-toned metallic and animal print palette to subtly amp up the glamour and add a bit of edge with a tribal vibe.

Jeans: As Above
Top: Primark (SS12)
Shoes: New Look (Past Season)
Bangles: Primark (Past Season)
Scarf: Accessorize (Past Season)

You can experiment to your heart's content with statement accessories when creating a metallic-based evening look - rock chick, disco diva, Baroque princess... Try a more daring top for a sexy twist - black shades with gold accents would look stunning for AW nights - perhaps a sheer shirt (like this one from Primark, below, £14) or a peplum top with Baroque-style embroidery.

Making Metallics Work For You
In terms of picking your perfect shade, golds tone in most effortlessly with warm/tanned skin tones, whilst silvers work well if you're pale, but, to make a statement, try the opposite (this also applies to metallic make-up). Bronze and pewter are great in-between shades which suit everyone and are slightly more subtle and wearable than full-on glitterball shades.

Yes, shiny surfaces and light, bright tones can make things appear larger than actual size. Use metallics judiciously to draw attention to your best assets, or try using darker, more muted metallic tones, like bronze or pewter, in areas of concern, and/or teaming with neutral separates whose tones and proportions flatter - e.g. pair metallic skinnies with tops that have some length and volume to help curtail their leg-swelling properties.

And if you're not quite brave enough to go the whole Queen Midas hog, try a metallic accessory or two to add pep to a neutral ensemble.

This Season's Best Metallic Buys
Uber-embellishment, Baroque print and metallic flocking will be joining the ubiquitious party season sequins and now-classic metallic jeans and tees to make this season a dazzling one!

A metallic jacket is a great way to add a bit of glamour, edge and fun to an autumnal outfit (which you can always remove if it all gets too much!). I've just invested in this bronze Primark biker jacket, above (£25), which looks even better in real life - you wouldn't know it wasn't real leather - the shade is a knockout, but muted enough to retain a sense of casual elegance. I also love their jacquard bomber jacket, below, for an easy, casually glam take on the baroque trend.

Metallic shorts and skirts will look great with tights and chunky knits for day, as well as dressed up for evening - I'm tempted to invest in a pewter-toned leather-look pleated skater skirt, or a sumptuous Baroque number like this one from River Island.

And for a chic alternative to the typical little gold dress, look no further than Sainsbury's! This beautiful Tu shift (£40) will look just as good toned down with a black blazer and opaques for day as it will glammed up with a statement necklace and killer heels for evening.

Tomorrow: How to Wear Sports Luxe

See more posts featuring metallics here

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  1. awww you look awesome :)
    I love metallics!

  2. Hi Sam!

    Oh, you did another remarkable post ;) It's so impressive your composition work and abilities of gathering and producing so many beautiful photos and accompanying texts. So, I'm a fan of your blog :)

    All the best,

    1. Aw thank you Flávio! It's always lovely to hear your thoughts, glad you like :)

  3. Can I still find the cape in primark?

    1. Unfortunately probably not - I got it last year. Fingers crossed they might bring something similar in for party season though!