STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Beatnik Chic

Style Advice of the Week

Beatnik. The term evokes images of slim women, dipped in black cotton, liquid black eyeliner and matte foundation— à la Audrey Hepburn in the 1957 musical, Funny Face.

In the ‘50s, female beatniks faced the gargoyles of conservatism with cat-like coolness. With their rayon turtlenecks and sleek trousers, they represented women ahead of their time—in thought and in dress. This week’s Fashionista pays homage to those revolutionaries. Her look is, at once, beatnik and metropolitan chic.

This Fashionista elected to wear slim-fit jeans—a feminine look that is still sufficiently bohemian. Yet she tears away from the feminine aesthetic by going with a black, distressed denim—a choice that lends austerity to her look. Her leather jacket and vintage, distressed leather oxfords bolster this sense of masculinity.

But wait, what’s that peeking out underneath all that leather? A white blouse. The structure and color of the blouse conjure allusions of purity and virtue, qualities classically associated with femininity. Perhaps just as an innocent a choice, but this blouse serves as the perfect counterbalance to this Fashionista’s rugged pieces. The result is an expert blend of the masculine and feminine.

In step with the beatnik model, this Fashionista went with relatively minimalist accessories: an unfussy ring and an understated, cross-body bag.

But this Fashionista’s “low-key” vibe ends where the brim of her fedora begins. Humphrey Bogart, eat your heart out. While modern men may not be able to graciously rock this accessory, this Fashionista owns it—and the teal hue packs just enough panache to liven up her look.

Want to match her fly? Fedoras have been pulling David Copperfields in the fashion world for the last century, so you’re sure to find one thrifting. If you plan to clad yourself in black, go with a vibrant hat and bold lip like this Fashionista. Not “spring-y” enough for you? Soften this look by cheating with the fedora’s warm-weather complement—the panama hat—and a painterly dress. Voilà. Instant chic.

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