Trying too hard – is it so wrong?



After years of being a low-maintenance miss and laughing at the likes of Victoria Beckham for being coordinated to the hilt, I feel like changing tack. I’m starting to wonder if trying too hard could be a good thing. It’s partly to do with my musings of mutton dressed as lamb, the older I get, the more I ponder this age-old conundrum. Like, just because you’re old, why can’t you have fun with fashion and play dress-up? Why should it automatically mean dressing in Bottega and playing safe? SJP did it on Sex & The City and Madonna has always pushed the boundaries of fashion and taste whatever her age and now Patricia Field (not a quiet dresser herself) has even hooked up with good old M&S to bring her bonkers mutton-madness style to the masses.

So I’m spearheading a new campaign to make Trying Too Hard a trend. Bring on the head-to-toe designer labels! Say ‘yay!’ to Victoria Beckham’s earnest efforts at elegance via the over-coordinated shoe-bag-sunglasses look! Let’s applaude Nancy Del Olio’s daring ways with animal print and red! I think while the economy’s in freefall, we should try to keep fashion fun. I’m planning to make a concerted effort to match at least two colours in my outfits. Red bag with red lipstick? How very Paloma Picasso. Yellow belt with yellow watch? Subtle but fun. Pink T-shirt and pink socks? Why ever not? Go crazy people! When I was in Hermes last week helping a friend buy a tie for the Ivor Novello lunch, the very helpful salesperson was already ahead of the game. ‘Match your pocket square to your jacket lining!” He implored. “It will look so chic!’

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24 Responses to Trying too hard – is it so wrong?

  1. Pamcasso says:

    Yay! love this post! now, gotta say if I had the roland mouret dress custom in pink (which I wouldn’t), I probably wouldn’t pair it with a pink birkin, but hey Posh is totally a barbie girl in her barbie world.

    I like matching to a degree, and it actually seems kind of new after all these years of ‘no, don’t look like you are trying, try to look like you got dressed in the dark!”

  2. WendyB says:

    Well, you know my policy is to go crazy and have fun whenever possible!

  3. enc says:

    I’m thinking about this. A friend and I were just discussing the fact that we really don’t ‘dress’ much anymore. I think I could really step it up.

    I’ve never really been the biggest VB fan, but one can’t accuse her of slacking off. She always tries, and this pink look is really great. No “tart” there.

  4. susie_bubble says:

    Bring it on…. I will try too hard especially for you!

  5. Skye says:

    well, I love pink. And I also love it with more pink but that one combined with her hair, face and her whole attitude is just too much for me. Although I have to admit that it would look a bit weird to wear a black bag instead. mhm difficult decision…

  6. Paris says:

    Say it sista! I love reading about your escapades! I will be trying hard for as long as I can apply make up I can assure you : ) xx

  7. Chic and Charming says:

    I love trying too hard. I’m not above wearing seamed stockings, a pencil skirt, frilly shirt, elbow length leather gloves and a cute little hat out for drinks. It does begin to border on theatrical, but I love it anyway :). I think Dita von Teese is the ultimate example of regularly making “trying too hard” look fabulous.

  8. Make Do & Mend says:

    What a great trend and call to the masses – I’m a new disciple and will spread the word!

  9. Make Do & Mend says:

    What a great trend and call to the masses – I’m a new disciple and will spread the word!

  10. Make Do & Mend says:

    What a great trend and call to the masses – I’m a new disciple and will spread the word!

  11. Make Do & Mend says:

    What a great trend and call to the masses – I’m a new disciple and will spread the word!

  12. the Launderette says:

    “Trying too hard” just shows confidence! Great post and great idea!

  13. MHBass says:

    sounds great! but i think i will try too hard to look mismatched, rather than all co-ordinated :)

  14. laia. says:

    Oh I love that Posh, I won’t even deny that. I’d rather see a million women matching their dress to their bag than doing the “barefoot in the gas station bathroom style” if you know what I mean.

    That being said, I am totally going to do this!

  15. ZEZI says:

    i concur, a wise woman once said it’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. i think it was my mum… or maybe oprah xxx

  16. aziza says:

    (laughs) that’s great. Girls do it here in Atlanta everyday. It’s always shirt + shoes. Sometimes if they’re really snazzy: shirt + shoes + handbag! Or all accessories matching.

  17. fashionaddict says:

    Hahah I’m very guilty of gushing about effortless style – mainly because what’s not to envy about people who make it look so easy? I think “trying too hard” is only sad when someone is trying too hard to be someone they’re not.

  18. kirsty lee says:

    good call!

    i feel so many blogs have the message that ‘effortless style’ is the only way to go.

    good to have maximalism celebrated in this way. i’m right behind it.

  19. Spadger says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Haven’t we all spent hours dressing up at home, only to be brutally shot down on the street by the ‘safe jeans and t shirts’ brigade?

    Now, I’m NOT saying there’s anything wrong with dressing down, ooooh no, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could applaud each other’s more outre fash choices, even when they go a bit tits up?

  20. Rowena says:

    Absolutely – fashion is too fun and life is too short. I want to be the crazy old lady in the purple hat.

  21. CRISTA says:

    haha .. I LOVE this post!!! My boyfriend insinuates that I try to hard .. he doesn’t say those exact words, but I’m pretty sure when he talks about “my off the wall shit” that’s what he means. But I don’t care .. I love awkward stares & pointing!!!!!! KUDOS!!

  22. Diana Coronado says:

    She looks soo Jordi Labanda ahaha

  23. Stylish Thought says:

    So true! Trying to hard should be the mantra of fashion. Isn’t it supposed to be about having fun and experimentation? Let’s all try to hard!

  24. Jael Paris says:

    For me, matching comes too easily. I have to consciously think about mixing it up and contrasting my colors. I’m certainly enjoying my experimentation. I say wear what’s fun.

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