One Item Three Ways: The Parka

My mission is to take one item and give it three very different and distinctive looks. I’m choosing the South Core Parka as it’s a coat that’s really practical and wearable and some of you may have one similar to it already. I want to show you a few ways to keep it fresh and modern and totally on trend…so here goes.



Mods in parkas back in the day

1. Sixties Mod

The first look is a nod to the heritage of the parka so it’s little bit Sixties Mod but I still want to keep it fashion and feminine so there’s also un petit Beatnik Français going on (oooh get me and my impressive command of the French language).  Let’s start with a crisp shirt or blouse worn buttoned all the way up, like this South Beaded Collar Blouse which is just gorgeous. I wore it for the filming of the V-Team advert and it’s a great fit. The blouse looks good as it is but you could give it an extra flourish by tying a skinny black ribbon around the neck in a bow. The silhouette wants to be slim so add a pair of Love Label Super Soft Skinny Jeans in black. The right accessories are crucial to this look so wear a skinny belt like this Patent Belt in black  and go girly in footwear with these cute Dune Doze Bow Ballerina Pumps or keep it totally Mod with Fred Perry Moore Leather Brogues. Finish with a clutch bag like this super cool red French Connection Sweetie Clutch Bag. OMG and Oh Mon Dieu, I love this look.

2. Country Heritage

Now let’s take that parka and give it a country Heritage look. Start with a wintery cropped knit like this South Cable Jumper in gold. Tie a short silk paisley scarf in the same tones around your neck and add some shorts in a tweed or cord – you want a country fabric to contrast the utility fabric of the coat and the softness of the knitwear so go for these South Cord Shorts in mustard or plum. Add an Animal Print Belt to keep the look contemporary. Underneath the shorts wear some thick brown tights for warmth – it is December after all. Footwear wants to be high so the look stays fashion and doesn’t actually become something you’d wear on the farm! Go for either of these – Carvela Albert Wedge Shoe Boots or Love Label Bobo Chelsea Ankle Boots in chocolate brown. If you’re feeling particularly fashion add a hat like this Wide Brim Fedora. Oooh, I almost like this look more than the last one. I shall definitely be replicating it for my next daytime date with The Farmer.

3. 90’s Grunge 

It’s all about 90’s Grunge for my final look. This is my most experimental look and it’s for all you Very girls with your finger firmly on the fashion pulse. You may not remember Grunge from the first time around so I’ll give you a super quick lesson from fashion history. Back in the early 90s Marc Jacobs was head designer at Perry Ellis and he was totally inspired by Kurt Cobain and the Seattle indie scene and he showed this collection of long dresses over stripy knits, worn with beanies and flat boots and was promptly sacked for it!

Outrageous lack of judgement I said at the time as I was a young fashion student and a huge fan of this look. I’m bringing that style bang up to date with this outfit by mixing day with night and creating something really unexpected. I LOVE the idea of dressing down a sequinned gown with a parka and this Teatro Sequin Maxi Dress is very vintage in it’s shape and colour, like something you might find in an old dusty trunk from a bygone era. As it’s sooo evening I’d dress it down even further with a Bow Trim Hat & Scarf Set in cream (or black), wrapping the scarf once tightly around the neck and letting the lengths hang down the front of the dress. This outfit definitely needs flat shoes or boots to contrast with the gown. You could go for biker boots or Dr Martens but I really like these new Converse All Star Chuck Taylor Lady Outsider Boots. The colour works perfectly with the look and Converse were a major footwear favourite in the 90s. Just look at images of Kate Moss and Rosemary Ferguson shot by the late Corrine Day for your inspiration. I HEART this look and need that dress in my life.


So that’s three very different ways to wear a parka. Mission accomplished.

Love Kirsty x

29th December 2011
Written by Very_Lauren