Alright, yes: Girls in sunflower dresses and red lipstick are adorable. And every time you see a doe-eyed, big-banged girl in a swing dress you feel the urge to dig up a pair of white frilly socks. It's hard not to. But what if you feel like your style is sweet — but a different kind of sweet? Not the usual youthful, lollipop sweet, but more of a... knitting needles sweet? Let's say, perhaps, granny chic?
In case you hadn't heard, "granny chic" is all the rage at New York Fashion Week — captivating the likes of everyone from Girls star Zosia Mamet to "it girl" Kylie Jenner. While the celebs are opting for subtle greys and whites in their hair, there's no reason why you can't adopt granny chic style into the remainder of your wardrobe.
It could be a hard look to pull off, but if you're armed with a few ground rules, it's simple enough to play with. And even if it doesn't fit in with your "look," it's a fun trend to dabble into for a day. If our wiser, older counterparts have taught us anything, it's to be confident in our looks. Be playful and curious with your style — and who knows, you just might like the whole socks with heels spiel.
1. Oversized Coats Are Key
First thing's first — it's winter and you need a good coat to shrug on top of your dresses. Opt for one that looks like you might have stolen it out of your father's wardrobe — with strong lapels and long sleeves that reach past your wrists. Bonus points if you find one in a vivid color, like mustard or cotton candy pink.
2. Socks With Heels
Wear a thin, ankle length sock with some of your favorite closed-toe pumps, adding instant charm to your midi dress look. Think of it as an extra layer to add interest to your ensemble, and get creative! For example, sheer ankle socks were very in this season, and it added a subtle pop to any look.
3. Get Creative With Your Florals
It's not just enough to put your hair in curls and slap on a floral dress here — oh, no. You need to get inventive with how you style the pattern into your look. Remember, quirkiness is key. For example, try pairing a sheer, lace overlay with a longer knit for interesting proportions, or an intricate floral dress with some playful glitter loafers. Feminine and fun.
4. Try A Head Scarf
Channel your inner Polish grandmother and wrap a pretty silk scarf around your head to keep the February wind at bay. It's much more darling than a beanie, and it gives you a chance to add a touch of unexpected pattern to your winter outerwear.
5. Mix Prints
Are you familiar with Iris Apfel? If you are, then you'll know that the older you get, the more enboldened you feel with your wardrobe choices. Don't be scared of busy prints and embrace them instead. To go a more youthful route, try pairing them in the same color family, like pastel blue.
6. Keep An Eye On Your Proportions
All it takes is one wrong move to go from granny chic to retirement home suave, so to make sure you keep things on the youthful side, watch your proportions carefully. Are you handling chunky knits? Gravitate more towards cropped versions, like this yellow jumper. Or, instead, try pairing the piece with sharply tailored high waist pants or a pencil skirt. Balancing out the more matronly items with sleek counterparts is key.
7. Go With A Kitschy Coat
Don't be scared of loud patterns or bold colors in your outerwear — they're a welcome break from the usual sea of black and grey that's out on the buses and city streets. If you want to tone down the matronliness of a certain print, pair it with sharp pieces like a strong purse or a sleek wide-brimmed hat.
8. Go With Shorter Proportions
Love a good vintage print, but aren't really sure you'd feel comfortable channeling your inner Betty Draper all day? Go for a more modern cut and silhouette by finding pieces with shorter hems, contemporary shapes, or tailored sleeves.
9. Accessorize Modernly
Are you playing with a blouse that has a pattern similar to the one found on your grandmother's couch? Or do you have a dress that could have been a curtain in a 50s suburban home in a past life? Balance out their overly vintage vibes by pairing them with bold, modern accessories. Opt for chunky necklaces, risk taking jewelry and playful, intricate clutches.
10. Have Fun With Texture
Try playing with vintage silhouettes but in contemporary textures, like midi pleated skirts that are made with leather. Or full dresses made out of neoprene. This way you can still have fun with the old-school mood of the piece, but still feel very modern.
11. Say It With Your Glasses
If you don't feel bold enough to try granny chic with your dresses or heels, why don't you try it in a less intimidating way — with your sunnies! Choose an eye-catching mod style and pair it with your flirty summer frocks or minimalist jumpsuits.
12. Play Up Your Heels
Going with a sweet, frumpy sweater or a kitschy dress? Modernize the look by pairing it with bold, fashion-forward heels in a modern shape. It'll tone down the kitsch and give you a chance to playfully mix pieces that should clash together but go oh-so well.
Images: Instagram/Courtesy Users