Inspired by the sartorial style of Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack, I’d like to try a more striking and gender-fluid approach to dressing. However, I am short and curvy. How can I make a more “gentlemanly” style work for me in the 21st century?
By taking aspects of so-called “masculine” style, Anne Lister - at least as portrayed in the recent BBC1 drama by Suranne Jones - fashioned for herself a practical, individual and imposing look, as required by a woman who means business. Follow her lead by creating a look that works for you as an individual.
Dressing head to toe in fitted black is one sure-fire way to look taller, although navy and grey might be more flattering options. Structure and tailoring are key - choose cuts that suit your shape. Wide-leg trousers with a high or natural waist suit curvy shapes and elongate your legs, so leave the boyish cuts to boyish shapes. Cropped trousers look good with “mannish” flat shoes but you can also try sleek but sturdy boots with a small heel.
As more unisex collections become mainstream fashion, it’s apparent that simplicity is key. Choose jackets with high necks and clean lines then layer simple tees and shirts under. A white shirt or T-shirt makes a classic and skin-brightening contrast. In the series, Suranne Jones sometimes wears a gold cravat - a clever trick for adding radiance.
A unisex fragrance is a must. Acqua Di Parma offers the perfect balance between tradition and modernity, blending citrus fruits, crisp English lavender, rosemary, verbena and rose with warm notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli. Complex and intriguing, like Anne Lister herself.