When the sky turns gray, it’s time to get cozy at home with a cup of cocoa and a well-worn paperback or a classic movie on DVD. Nothing’s more immersive than the vintage hard crime books — all pulpy pages, old-book smell, and scintillating cover art. And nothing’s more glamorous than the fashions of the femme fatales therein. When it’s finally time to get off the sofa, you can get your own film noir look right out of The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep.
The film noir trend was reflected on recent runways collections, most notably by Bottega Veneta. While a little black dress and a red lip are always in style, don’t limit your imagination. If you’re a fan of hardboiled detective films, you’ll see a variety of inspiring women’s costumes. For your own stellar wardrobe, follow the rules:
- Think shapely, not tight. Clothes should accentuate curves while leaving a little to the imagination. The covered curvy silhouette is much more appealing than showing too much skin.
- Opt for deep, rich tones. Black, ochre, eggplant, and crimson are timeless and flattering.
- Pick a statement jewelry piece. Choose one remarkable brooch, bracelet, or pair of earrings, but not all three. The femme fatale is uncluttered and confident, not fussy.
Combine new and vintage items with your current wardrobe to maximize your options. If you don’t already have them in your closet, you’ll want to shop for the following items.
SAVE! Three affordable must-haves:
- Solid crewneck fitted long-sleeve tees. Sized right, these will give the same shapely silhouette as fine-gauge cashmere sweaters. Merona Ultimate Tees, for $12 or less, have just the right amount of stretch, fit well, and can be laundered for years without fading.
- Pencil skirts. Pair your long-sleeve tee with a solid, plaid, or pinstripe skirt that skims the knee. Shop your own closet first, and do some minor mending before searching for something new. If your skirt has pockets, sew them closed for a smoother look around the hips.
- Skirt suits. A hounds tooth or tweed jacket, impeccably cut, and matching skirt are iconic. Shop your local thrift store for the best deal. Then replace the buttons or make other little changes to make it yours.
SPLURGE! Two investment pieces:
- Classic trenchcoat. A quality, double-breasted khaki trench will serve you season after season. Try on as many as it takes until you find the coat that you can live with for years.
- Silk pajamas. A pair of pajamas, cut like a man’s with a button down top and matching pants, can be worn outside the bedroom. Pair the silky top with a structured skirt. Or pair the pants with a black turtleneck and a pair of heels for an effortless party look.
- Signature scent. Your perfume is an important part of your first impression. For film noir style, choose a scent that combines floral notes with exotic spices.
Trade up your cocoa for a cocktail, work your current closet, and create your fall shopping list with film noir in mind. For more inspiration, curl up with a black-and-white Bogey and Bacall flick tonight.