The Tomboy Does Sexy: 7 Styling Tips From Alexa Chung

Style. She’s got it. We want it. This is how to get it, by the maven who knows best


Alexa Chung wants you to know that she’s over that tomboyish thing she’s been the poster girl for since 2006. “The older I get, the sexier I’d like to look.” No matter how her style evolves, we still want to dress like her. Here’s how.

1. No rules is my rule

“The thing that’s most appealing to me about fashion is that it’s constantly changing. I might inadvertently be trend-led, but I don’t follow trends. That said, ’60s and ’70s- inspired pieces are always going to be cool because they nailed it the first time around. It’s classic already.”

2. Go denim crazy

“It’s nigh-on impossible to find the perfect pair of jeans, so I designed The Brianna for AG. I always want a high-waisted, quite tough denim that looks like a man’s silhouette. I prefer thicker selvedge denim because it makes you feel more held in, as though you’re wearing Spanx. Denim on denim, leopard print (the navy blue of the print world) and denim, military and denim... I like it all.”

3. Work the contrast

“Pairing something tailored with something distressed is generally a good thing. I like denim shirts under blazers or battered boyfriend jeans with a silk blouse.”

4. Know yourself

“It took me a while to figure out what suited me. I look weird in flares and wide-leg trousers, and I wish I didn’t. Most of my wardrobe is based around my skinny legs. I can’t remember any fashion regrets of mine, because what’s the worst that can happen? You get changed, and then it’s OK.”

5. Keep perennial staples

“My wardrobe has an onus on practicality and being responsive to weather. My trademarks are fairly British: There’s always a sensible jacket, and a jumper you could have borrowed from your mum or dad. The things I buy and buy are wool jumpers from [Brit brand] Sunspel. Plus Prada cat-eye sunglasses, black polo necks, overalls and coats. I also love a suit. I’d like to find a tailor and get things made.”

6. Choose risky accessories

“I always like a strange shoe and a weird bag. I love the Louis Vuitton twisted boxes [by Frank Gehry], and I really want a pair of mules with feathers on the toes, like Barbie. I usually carry very little in my handbag: money, phone, charger, maybe a spare pair of contact lenses (because you don’t know where you’ll end up) and my passport. You should always be ready to go on an exotic adventure, or escape the country.”

7. Let your mood dictate your dressing

“I follow my mood when getting dressed: how I want to feel and be perceived that day. Am I in the mood to be looked at or ignored? This theory does depend on what the limitations are: Usually I’m living out of a suitcase, so even if I wanted to look wonderful, most things are dirty or I’m missing something key. But a lot of happy accidents happen out of having limited resources.”

Photography: Jeffrey Hahn 

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