Flannel & Fringe: A Match Made In Fashion Heaven

The very best fashion mashups always include a healthy dose of down-home style.

Dec 31, 2013 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

Wondering what in the fresh hell to wear for New Year's Eve? I've got a great idea: How about something comfortable and casually glam that you probably already have lurking around in your closet? Like, say, a flannel shirt paired with a slinky, fringe-y skirt? I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I totally got the idea from "The City" star Olivia Palermo. 

 

She worked this look pretty perfectly at the Victoria's Secret fashion show last month, although I do think she should have conferred a little bit more with her date as to what he was wearing. They sort of look like they are going to two different events! Pay close attention to her styling -- the casual, rolled-up sleeves, contrasting camisole peeking out and extra-special, delicate shoes are the details that really nail the whole look. 

This flannel & fringe combo would work well at a New Year's Eve house party or any other festive event where a full-on spangly, sparkly, sequined frock would look out of place or -- even more deadly -- totally uncomfortable and overwrought. I'm planning on working a version of Olivia's look for the rock show I'm hitting up on NYE myself! I am of course giving it my own spin, which includes a chunkier shoe and a dose of glitzy party jewelry that I don't get a chance to wear very often.

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Doesn't everyone do a test run of their party outfit? And then post it on the Internet?

I totally love this look -- and it's a welcome relief from the hordes of girls freezing to death in tiny party dresses, painful heels and no coat on NYE. Those poor babes never cease to depress me. I like something I can dance, run, kick or fight in. I think in order to have a successful night out, you have to be ready to do all of these things! 

There's an easy equation to follow in order to pull this look off successfully. Simply mix any combination of the following that you may happen to have lurking in your closet:

  • Your fave flannel shirt (it can be old, new, shrunken or oversized)
  • An exposed lacy camisole or bra
  • Any fringed, beaded, feathered or sequined miniskirt
  • A decidedly casual, contrasting belt
  • A quirky, colorful clutch
  • Some chunky heels or boots
  • A dose of glitzy/rhinestone "party jewels"

Et viola! Instant comfy, casual, sexy party wear. It's a great way to make a fancy mini take itself way less seriously. I'm constantly buying sparkly, spangly pieces that need to be taken down a notch -- and the most basic garment there is, a simple farmer's flannel, is the very best way do it. 

The sparkly jewelry is what really does the work for you. A healthy dose of glitz offsets the casualness of the flannel, and the lowly flannel acts as a backdrop for you to plug in some more scenery-chewing pieces, like a pop art clutch or a Versace-esque pair of ankle boots.

Mix & match according to this formula with whatever pieces you happen to have on hand. It's not only sort of foolproof -- it's also a great time to trot out a crazy handbag, glittery pair of tights or out-there shoes you've been saving for a "special occasion" without looking like you tried too hard.


A simple flannel shirt allows for all sorts of other radical experimentation with your look. It's pretty hard to screw up -- and a great way to ensure you'll be the coolest chick at any party. Which is the only thing I'm going for when I deign to leave the house, EVER.

Happy New Year!

I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison.