How to stand out in Winchester

Sometimes all we want is to blend into the crowd. Going about one’s business in the High Street doesn’t require anything spectacular, but neither does that mean we should always just dress to fit in. There are days when we can feel like everyone is wearing the same thing, which is fine, because what would fashion be without the idea of some sort of prevailing style or ‘trend’? But if you want to break away from the masses and do something different, all you need is my list of handy tips.

There’s a trick they use in movies to make actors stand out against the background of a shot, which could be easily applied to everyday life. By using complimentary colours, most commonly teal and orange, the effect is that the person is more noticeable in the frame. Beautiful sea and sky background? The colourist will amp up the orange in the colour of the star’s skin. Orangey-brown hues in a desert backdrop? They’ll ensure that the main character wears a blue shirt and enhance the colour of their eyes. If you want to transfer this to Winchester, just establish what the main colours of the city are: mainly greys, browns and blues. So you could try an orange dress to offset the muted background. Or if you plan to spend the day sunbathing and reading in the cathedral grounds, find the brightest red thing in your wardrobe and wear it with confidence.

Alternatively, stand out in a hat. It is rare these days to see more than a few hats around town, especially when it isn’t so cold you need one for fear of losing your ears! Most people only wear hats on occasions when the weather or a certain outfit calls for them, but you could choose a certain style and wear it everywhere this summer so that you become synonymous with it. Perhaps a wide-brimmed 70s sunhat would be appropriate for this weather, to keep your face from burning. Then again, perhaps a bowler hat worn jauntily with a feather in it is more your style. If you fancy something really outlandish, buy one of those feathered headdresses you can get at Hat Fair and sport it around the Brooks (but only do that if you’re after confused stares everywhere you go). Whatever you choose, people will undoubtedly notice. Then when they see you again, they’ll recognise you as ‘that guy with the bowler’ or ‘that girl in the Stetson’. Whether that’s a good thing or not is questionable, as I tend to recognise Winchester’s eccentrics by their odd hats, but if you like the whimsical look, go for it!

Don’t forget that nothing is more outstanding than confidence and an honest smile, but if you fancy playing dress up so as not to blend in to the crowd then just remember to pull it all off with a good dose of courage. Nobody is going to question your fabulous individual style as long as you look and feel comfortable in it.

words by Alys Key

photographs by Alys Key @FashionMoriarty

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