Why camel can be a winning style statement - when worn with attitude.
Katie Trotter: camel can be a winning style statement
Every now and then a trend can give us a bit of an itch - not quite bad enough to succumb to a big old scratch - more like a niggle, or an irritating infant (belonging to someone else, of course) giving you a little pinch.
And so it is with camel.
Not quite abrasive enough to scream "buy me, wear me" but enough to make us stand up and give it a bit of airtime. The problem is, there is a common recipe for hitting the mark when it comes to fashion - one must appear to be one-third grown-up with a proper job, one-third a risk-taker and one-third bonkers.
Camel is never going to give us all that. You see, wearing camel is a bit like wearing porridge - like a shiny balloon with a slow puncture - it is never going to give us a leg up to the best-dressed list. It is just too bland for that. Not to mention the fact its name derives, from what has to be said, a rather ungainly animal bearing distinctive fatty deposits, known as humps, on its back.
But, like most things in life, there are upsides. Camel, if worn well, can appear wonderfully unaffected and chic. Think late-Seventies caramel girls - a Charlie girl, or the lovely Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, impossibly elegant and timeless - making black appear like its lazy teenage brother.
A camel coat is in fact a great investment for those of us living in an impossibly hot climate. It means we can hold onto our winter coat much longer than most. Ideal because we need a coat that can span a few seasons, something that won't go out of fashion quickly. Designer-wise, look to Ralph Lauren, Chloé or Céline for inspiration.
Try taking a modern version of the trend - a short duffle version with leather detailing is a fresh take on the look. For daytime try, if you are feeling extra brave to go all out 1970s, a pair of camel trousers, with a pussy-bow shirt or polo neck, and high brown leather boots. If you are not feeling too bold simply throw a camel coat over your shoulders, teamed with a sophisticated black dress and flat brogues.
Believe it or not camel is also the only shade, other than black, that actually looks great when worn from head-to-toe, albeit with some accessories to break it up. Layer different shades together for an understated and relaxed look. Or if you want to mix and match try it with denim or grey, both work really well.
Oh, and I must mention it also looks positively ridiculous on young spritely teenagers with the world at their feet, yet another reason to give it a go.
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