How to do: Prairie

 

So the questions on all of your lips right now:

Q. What the hell is Prairie?

A. A breakthrough trend for SS16 Yoke blouses, ruffle bib front / high-neck blouses, plaid, suede and fringing, floaty, frilly print dresses. The look is a hybrid of Cowgirl and Victorian lady. So the clothes combine pretty femininity with practicality, ie suitable for church whist-drives OR rustling cattle.

Q. Why would I want to dress like that, you loon?

A. Well, you never know what each day will hold. And besides some of it is really pretty AND interesting, provided you don’t overdo it.

Q. Ok, I’m sold. But how the hell do I give ‘Prairie’ that style savvy nod via my everyday wardrobe without looking like I should be on a Rotary Club float at the Carnival?

A. Prime yourself by checking out these Prairie moments from the SS16 shows and fashion week street styles.

THEN have a read of the handy Prairie checklist to help hone the look we’re aiming for.

THEN have a gander through the key pieces I’ve selected from the virtual High St and decide which takes your fancy.

Ready?

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Fancy any of that? OK so assuming you’ve grabbed yourself some prairie and you’re in the changing room with a bunch of frills, plaid, suede fringing, floral smocks and faded denim.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself these probing questions:

Q1. If I scraped my hair in a bun and affixed some pince nez glasses would I look like I’m about to give a class in ‘calculus’ (whatever that is) to a motley bunch of children with names like Jeb, Silas and Betsey May.

If the answer is yes, then YES MARM – you are good to go!

Q2. If I put my hair in ringlets and grabbed the nearest bible would I look like a mid-western small girl on her way back from Sunday school?

If the answer if YES, you are totally aceing this, congratulations! Ever since Marc Jacobs inaugural collection skipped down the runway, dressing like a small child from a previous century is the very height of fashion.

Q3. Could I wear this and look like I have a starring role in any of the following films, a) Disney’s Pochahontas b) Oklahoma, c) Annie Get Your Gun, d) Carousel e) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?

If answer is yes then ‘Yee-haw’ / ‘How’ *delete where applicable* you’re a bleedin’ pro. What do you even need to read this for?

And the final but v important question:

4. Do I look like I’m about to spend an evening in one of those themed out of town bars you have to drive to (only in America) and embark night of line dancing, pool hustling, downing large frosted tankards of piss weak beer and having a bunk up with a trucker who’s just passing through – in the late 90’s /early noughties?

If the answer to that is yes then um… PUT IT ALL BACK ON THE RAILS LOVE. This can be a bit of a danger zone with Prairie pieces if you’re not careful. As long as you’re not teaming bad highlights with a Rachel-cut you should be safe.

If you don’t fancy having to go through all of this self-interrogation in an actual shop and I can’t imagine you would, then have a scroll through the pieces below.

I’d combine each with a fairly neutral none-Prairie item of clothing, provided you’ve still got some, I mean this Prairie business is all encompassing!

This approach should give you the vibe of ‘I’m a style cognoscenti with my finger-on-the-pulse’ rather than ‘I work at a 19th Century theme park.’

First up:

M&S Ruffle Front Blouse – currently down to £23.60! Yes it’s THAT M&S blouse. The one all the bloggers are wearing. (Maybe don’t wear it to a blogger event?)

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Not to be confused with this M&S blouse (right) from the Alexa Chung range which we’re all waiting for, (next month apparently!) until that happy day you can content yourself with the blue one.

 

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ASOS Mint Ruffle Jumper This is lovely, plus you get to tick off another trend box ‘Ruffles!’

 

Oasis A-Line Suedette Skirt £45 If there’s one thing better than an a-line suede skirt, it’s an a-line suedette skirt. You can put it in the washing machine. I mean who would make a skirt out of suede ffs?

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River Island Faux Suede Tassel Kimono £55 This is pretty much what Doris Day is wearing in ‘Annie Get Your Gun.’ Well done to RI here, wearing their kitsch musical influences on their sleeves.

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Topshop Western Corduroy Jacket £55 Nice transitional piece this, a grungier version of the biker jacket but just the thing to pop on when there’s still a nip in the air. Also comes in faded yellow for that Brokeback Mountain vibe.

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Stories Lace Up Dress £65 Bit of a stretch but I’m calling this Prairie because of the lace up but it could also be nautical, basically it’s cross genre / trend mash up flippin’ lovely just get it.

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Sister Jane Wicca Dress £79 the colour of this means it could straddle prairie OR gothic Victoriana (which I guess is basically the English / European version of Prairie, so hey!)

 

Free People Modern Muse Blouse £88 & Toast Cotton Voile Shirt £95

These fresh cotton blouses are essentially the same thing but either are just the ticket to see you through Spring / Summer.

ASOS Suede Mac £150 This is a classic investment piece, Prairie with a hint of 70’s cop.

Free People Blue Rain Smocked Top £250 such a lovely blue chambray denim with pretty smocking detail, just the thing for lounging around on a hay bale.

Any of these take your fancy? Will you be dipping a toe in Prairie or giving it a wide berth? Or maybe going the whole hog? It’s about time bustles and bonnets made a comeback if you ask me.

As always thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

x

 

 

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