This ensemble was inspired by Kit and Ace, and by a few of my clients who like to dress this way. These clients have denim light wardrobes and enjoy wearing outfits that are avant-garde. The palettes of their wardrobes are very neutral and solid. Black and grey are dominant colours. But every so often there’s a white or brightly coloured item to liven things up. 

Avant-garde outfits can be over the top, maximal, very fashion-forward and complicated to put together. But there are easier versions that can be pulled together with silhouettes and proportions that are more familiar. It’s all about pairing two architectural items in the right palette and finishing off the outfit with trendy footwear and bag. 

Here are the components:

Architectural Bottoms: You’re after a pair of cropped wide leg pants that are full (like culottes) or that taper at the hem (as shown here). Harem pants are another option. You can also layer a black skirt over cropped leggings or cigarette pants. Feel free to substitute the look with an architectural skirt if trousers aren’t your thing. Fabrics can be knitted or woven. 

Cropped Top: Short tops create easy outfit structure when worn with voluminous architectural bottoms, which makes their cropped length important. Silhouettes can be boxy or fitted, and woven or knitted. We don’t think of cropped tops as architectural, but some of the silhouettes can be just that. 

Optional Topper: You’re after another short boxy silhouette to top off the look. Or layer a long cocoon coat over the lot. 

Trendy Footwear: Think sandal booties, oxfords, chunky sandals or flatforms. This is not the time to wear a refined pointy toe ankle strap pump because it deviates from the vibe. 

Accessories: I vote patent tote, upscale backpack or oversized clutch for the bag. Add arty and quirky jewellery pieces if you like jewellery. Finish off with eyewear, headgear and watch as desired.

Ensemble: Easy Avant Garde