2012 December 4

Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson add up to One Direction and they’ve been the biggest celebrity sensation of the past 12 months. It’s not just the pop records that have catapulted them to public attention: there’s the third nipple (Harry) the illicit cigarette smoking (Zayn) having on-off relationships with Hollister model Eleanor Calder (Louis) and so on, but their fashion sense has also been a big feature of their success.

So if you want to dress like One Direction, the trick is to try and pick just one, on which to model yourself.

1.    Zayn is the most snappy, and most easily parodied, dresser of the group: black and white clothing such as varsity jackets, black leather jackets, plain T-shirts (black or white) and glossy hair gel are all part of his trademark look. Go for trainers, especially Converse if you’re aiming for the Zayn vibe.
2.    Harry has the funky oldie look down pat, combining grunge with fogey, go for button down shirts with cords, topped with a beanie and tousled hair, alternatively a tweed jacket with a heather sweatshirt underneath, worn over jeans with ankle boots will do the trick.
3.    Niall’s the cardigan-wearing member of the group and is often seen sporting his favourite garment over a long-sleeved T-shirt and relaxed fit jeans.
4.    Liam is a classic casual dresser, ringer T-shirts and jeans, hoodies and chinos, he doesn’t stray from the tried and tested recipes of simple, comfortable clothing.
5.    Louis is the polo-shirt wearing member of the group, liable to be seen in bright or pastel shirts, along with coloured jeans and he also has a preference for striped T-shirts and, worryingly, braces!

2012 November 6

Really? Well according to Angela Kelly, who has been the queen’s personal dresser for nearly two decades, Queen Elizabeth II has ‘fantastic understanding’ of both clothes and fashion.

Apparently she knows what suits her, is cost conscious and wants to ensure that she doesn’t overspend to look good. Fabrics have to be tested to ensure they don’t crumple and look bad when they have been sat in.

Can the average Joe learn anything from this information?

Yes, actually. Three things:

1.    Know what suits you – fashion’s great and if you’re One Direction you might be able to get away with the retro haircut, statement knitwear, puppy cuddling level of fashion forward that some guys fall for, but generally that’s a really dangerous road to take. If you have a pencil neck then don’t wear V neck T-shirts, if you have a pot belly, slim fit polo-shirts are not your friend. You know it, and no amount of fashion hyping of a particular trend will make that trend work for you.
2.    Don’t overspend – a jacket should cost no more than a seat at a premier league game: more than that and you’re heading for a place where the garment has a higher credit rating than you do! Well, maybe not, but when you’re hesitating about spending ‘that much’ on one item of clothing, it may be better to spread that money over a range of items: eg six decent T-shirts, new socks and pants that will upgrade your entire look, not leave everything else you own looking tatty by comparison to your fashion icon garment.
3.    Test the fabric – you may not have a dresser to crumple things for you, but you can examine the washing instructions and make sure that you do what the label says – it can increase the life of a T-shirt by a year to wash it according to the instructions!