In a recent Times article, it presented to us the term ‘Fashion Intelligence’ and explained what it meant and who had it.

Fashion intelligence (FI) is the style equivalent: it’s a flair for putting together clothes that exists independent of money or looks, or even trying.

Real FI is also a kind of physical gift. People with high fashion intelligence have a knack for wearing clothes. They hang right on them, crease in the right way; if they roll up a sleeve, undo a button or add a belt, some chemical reaction takes place and you have perfect rightness. It’s the reason Sofia Coppola wears Marc Jacobs better than anyone else.

I have to acknowledge this notion of ‘Fashion Intelligence’ because it’s what separates the good and the bad fashion apples.  It’s very instinctive when I insist that the Olsen twins have F.I. whereas the Simpson sisters do not.  Or when Chloe Sevigny rocks an outfit, there’s something more behind that oufit than simply a stylist putting it together.  Probably most of you here will sense when you’re in the presence of true F.I. and it seems it’s very hard to fake.  Nicole Richie seems to do a good job of presenting a facade of F.I. but then of course when you know there’s a Rachel Zoe behind her every look, her F.I. level is immediately diminished. 

At the same time though, an article like this serves to reconfirm to a lot of people that fashion is like an exclusive club, you either have an invitation to get in or you don’t, in which case you’ll get turfed out onto the unfashionable streets.  Presenting the notion of F.I. would baffle many into thinking ‘Ok….so do I have F.I.?’ which I have a problem with.  A lot of people have been asking me (and I don’t flatter myself!) how do I put outfits together, is it a skill and so and so forth.  The truth is I have no idea.  I personally never learnt it as a skill, nor did I feel like I got more stylish over time because I’ve had the same approach towards dressing ever since I could afford to buy my own clothes.  Yet, I don’t wish to say that putting together an outfit is something that can’t possibly be taught.

I would hate to pertain to having a high level of so-called ‘fashion intelligence’ and yet I have no idea how to explain why I wear what I wear and the choices I make.  By teaming the words ‘fashion’ and ‘intelligence’ together, begs the question can the ‘skills’ of styling yourself be taught and learnt or is it something intrinsic and instinctive?  I’ve yet to meet a person who began as someone who didn’t have style but then got gradually more stylish but surely these people must exist?  Perhaps F.I. can be developed over time for a lot of people.  Perhaps, for some, they always had it.  Perhaps many people will never have it which is no bad thing.  Funny how a filler article in the Times prompts so many questions.

The chilly wind has begun to blow in London’s direction and I have started to think about coats.  Except, this year, I have actually reached the stage where I have built up a decent coat collection, suitable for most occasions that for once, I don’t have to go through the trauma of looking for yet another ‘perfect’ coat.  So, I would have been sitting back and chillaxing, but then lo and behold, in this week’s issue of Grazia, my heart leapt as this BEAUTIFUL silk chain print volumnious, coat with short sleeves and velvet cuffs cried out to me.  It’s by a label called Boudoir, designed by Central St. Martin’s graduate Disaya Prakobsantisukh from Thailand.  Since, I’m no longer on a perfect coat search (nor the perfect boot search either), it should hopefully mean I can get a headstart on the "Buying the Boudoir Silk Coat for Susie" fund since it costs a sizeable sum of £600!

Oh, but then I look at the Boudoir website and my heart sinks as the rest of the collection is equally attractive and ravishing.  Which means the fund has suddenly become ‘Buying Boudoir’s Entire Collection for Susie’.  It’s one of those labels where nothing is particularly original or innovative but it’s enticing because all the elements are just right and you want to wear every single thing.  It’s a mix of tactile and light fabrics, volume, prints that’s uncompromisingly girly.

Even worse, the site is launching an online store on the 9th of September.  I can see myself tapping my debit card number on the site already.

P.S. If anyone of you is a charitable millionaire, donations are more than welcome for my Boudoir cause!

When I saw this Pringle sweater in Jane magazine being worn backwards like that, it reminded me of girls I keep seeing at gigs who do that – wear their sweaters and cardigans backwards.  I quite like the idea of having the buttons going up backwards and for me, I guess showing off the back is a whole lot more preferable to showing off my non-existent cleavage.  I also like the way the cardigan comes up quite high at the neck at front making people think you’re just wearing a high necked sweater and then surprising people when you turn around.  This could also work with sweaters that have very deep V’s.  On the charcoal cardigan because there were so many gold buttons, I fastened them up to non-matching button holes so that it kind of twisted on itself too.  If it looks a little plain from the front, adding a multi-layered dramatic necklace could work. 

(Background from paulwilloughby.com)

P.S. Excuse the cheesy title of this post – that friggin’ Justin Timberlake song has been on MTV non-stop!

When I saw this Pringle sweater in Jane magazine being worn backwards like that, it reminded me of girls I keep seeing at gigs who do that – wear their sweaters and cardigans backwards.  I quite like the idea of having the buttons going up backwards and for me, I guess showing off the back is a whole lot more preferable to showing off my non-existent cleavage.  I also like the way the cardigan comes up quite high at the neck at front making people think you’re just wearing a high necked sweater and then surprising people when you turn around.  This could also work with sweaters that have very deep V’s.  On the charcoal cardigan because there were so many gold buttons, I fastened them up to non-matching button holes so that it kind of twisted on itself too.  If it looks a little plain from the front, adding a multi-layered dramatic necklace could work. 

(Background from paulwilloughby.com)

P.S. Excuse the cheesy title of this post – that friggin’ Justin Timberlake song has been on MTV non-stop!