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How to look like an all-American girl

ss02600_0015_look_11_work-2Could there be anything more quintessentially American than Ralph Lauren style? So New England, so preppy, so lifestyle-envy-inducing. We think of it as Olivia Palermo meets the Kennedys with a soupcon of the Duchess of Cambridge (who isn’t an all-American girl, but has the requisite glossy hair, perfect teeth, and healthy glow).

The joy of this look is that it is beyond trends – so you know you’ll always look pulled-together and quietly chic (this is probably why HRH favours it). Fortunately, for those of us who hanker after this level of polish but don’t a. holiday in The Hamptons and b. have the budget which the former assumes, Polo Ralph Lauren is now available at that most English of institutions, John Lewis. We present the W&W guide to getting the look.

Start with a jacket….

ss02600_0252_look_07_39l-2At Ralph Lauren HQ, this is known as a hacking jacket (something I used to wear back in the day before I realised I was allergic to horses (and, um, discovered boys). Shrug it over your shoulders for that insouciant charm. You’re not looking for anything brash here – but a classic which will work with anything – like this tan herringbone number. For something a little (but just a little, mark you) different, we love this one in soft olive wool (which also makes it perfect for chilly autumnal days).

Wear with… the perfect preppy shirt. If in doubt, opt for crisp white or sky blue and a cable knit sweater. Nothing says heritage like a cable knit. Now, this isn’t an over-sized knit, it’s neat and fitted. You will always look right in classic navy or the softest grey or this season’s colour: caramel.

Slim-fit jeans or trousersss02600_0019_look_04_b-3Classic blue jeans or white denim’s winter cousin, grey. (I am pretty sure the rule of thumb is ‘no white after Labour day’ (the first Monday in September), but American readers, correct me if I’m wrong….) If you like the kindness of dark denim, then try these.

Do feel free to off-set your slim-fit lower half with a looser sweater – make it a fine knit like this one or the poncho [above].

When in doubt, do tone-on-tone

How fabulous does the all-grey ensemble [top] look? I dream of looking this pulled-together. It also simplifies getting dressed in the morning. It also works for weekends – check this out and get the biker jacket (another classic) here.

ss02600_0035_look_09_work-2And then, just add sunglasses.

(Of course.)

This post is in collaboration with John Lewis, and involves a brand we love (because if we don’t love it, we won’t write about it.)

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