Two Ways to Incorporate Modern Romanticism Into Your Style

This fall, I’ve been enamored with dressing like a character from a Brontë novel. The Victorian era may have been a time of immense repression for women on multiple fronts, but there is something rather charming about ruffles, puffed sleeves, and high necklines. I am however, by no means advocating the gender inequality of said era, or the uncomfortably restrictive bustles and whalebone corsets that seemed to be a fixture as well. If you’ve fallen in love with the Neo-Romanticism-influenced pieces seen in many FW18 collections and want to successfully incorporate them into your day-to-day wardrobe, I have two ways or levels you might find helpful.


The subtle way involves choosing one to two specific Victorian elements and keeping the rest fairly classic and chic. In this instance, I’ve paired an emerald green Self-Portrait top with a beautiful high neckline and balloon sleeves with caramel dress pants, and swapped the belt that came with it for an ornate one that is part-cowgirl, part-period piece, and 100% unexpected. I kept the textures smooth and silky, letting details like the engraved belt buckles and mock croc leather on my shoes jump out to create depth.


The striking way — which is code for the big way I would go about evoking Romanticism without OD-ing on it — is when almost every item in your look has those Victorian elements, but pared down. Zimmermann’s FW 2018 collection is chock-full of such awesome pieces, so my look was built on them (with the exception of my boots, bag, and accessories). The blouse looks almost dated by itself, but with the addition of the wide belt and asymmetrical pleated skirt, it becomes something modern and fresh. In the two times I had worn this look out, I surprisingly received a plethora of compliments from the least-expected strangers — straight men out and about their business.


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