Miss Marple checks

08/lug/2017 04:53:59 davisyellow Contatta l'autore

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I believe we may have reached peak gingham. I really like it, but I think I am over it. Over having meetings with grown women who seem to be dressed as Dorothy. Over being on the same tube carriage as two other women in the same Bonne Maman jam jar lid red-and-white check Zara skirt.

So, what to wear instead? With hindsight, we may have been rash to ditch the Breton stripe, as we did last summer in a fit of Brexit-tinged, fist-shaking-across-the-Channel stroppiness. I can’t for the life of me now recall the logic behind cutting our ties with this symbol of a civilised, progressive, cultured, cross-border lifestyle. But never mind: the people have spoken, we are where we are, and we have to make the best of it. Bretxit means Bretxit.

So the Breton is another country and Dorothy has jumped the shark. What’s next? It turns out fashion has a curveball for us all here. The in-crowd are moving on from gingham and into more muted checks. Checks are here to stay, but set to replace the cutesy crossword-puzzle boxes of gingham are the kind of muted, muddled, milky-tea-hued checks worn by Agatha Christie’s finest. In other words, Miss Marple has you in checkmate.

A Miss Marple check is an understated, quiet kind of a look. It is a don’t-mind-me choice, the kind that enables you to eavesdrop unobserved in tea rooms. The colours are soft, smudgy, British countryside shades. Miss Marple is not an obvious style icon – I don’t imagine Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe are turning in their graves – but there is a bluestocking charm to a soft brown check print like the one on the trousers I am wearing here.

The specific Miss Marple I have in mind here is, without doubt, Joan Hickson. No, she would never have worn a cold-shoulder top, or a jazzy monochrome mule. Well spotted. But in her own quiet way, her Miss Marple was resolutely anti-frowsy. Her jackets were well tailored, her buttoned-to-the-neck blouses channelled Alexa Chung, her smart little hats were a tiny bit Coco-Chanel-at-Deauville – she looks sharp. After the perky appeal of gingham, the Miss Marple check has a charm that isn’t immediately obvious. But in the puzzling case of what to wear next, it is worth a little discreet investigation.

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