Nikki’s Inbox: Updating the Bad Girl Look

I have lately changed styles and found myself to be very comfortable and fitting into the “bad girl” kind of style (leather jacket, ripped skinny jeans, boots, lots of black, plaid shirts). But there’s only so much I can do and I have sorta run out of ideas on how to keep it interesting and not wear the same outfits over and over while still remaining in the same style. I’m at a loss and I need a way to refresh my wardrobe without going for just the stereotypical look. Could you please help me? If it helps, my measurements are 166cm/46kg and 80cm–65cm-85cm for the bust, waistline and hips.

Alex, 19/Italy


I definitely agree with you, Alex, that leather jackets, ripped jeans, boots and black plaid shirts have become too uniform for “bad girls.” So how does one update these staples?

Lucky for you, darling, that the fashion deities were listening. Several designers introduced new twists and fresh looks that are a bold mix of glam and punk, as well as pieces that are not ripped skinny jeans. Now to translate all that gorgeous runway looks to something you can definitely rock and rip your teeth into!

Not All That Glitters is Metal
Hardware is traditionally a part of the Bad Girl look, e.g., studs, pins, zippers. For a change, how about sporting – don’t cringe now – sequins or knits with metallic threads? It can be just one element of your outfit and not be all-out shiny. Subtlety is key here and you definitely don’t want to look like a walking mirror ball. A cropped metallic knit cardigan looks classy and still edgy when you pair it with your favorite ripped skinnies. You’ll definitely stand out in the sea of black because you make black look better!

A little shine never hurts.
All runway images from Vogue.com

Write Bigger Checks
You can’t do bad without plaid (I clearly have a talent for rapping) and House of Holland decreed in their fall looks that checks ought to be bigger. Corral the buffalo plaid for now, my dear girl, and make way for palm-sized plaids that truly make a bigger statement.

Outsized plaid means it’s truly hip to be square.
Houndstooth in saturated tones or deconstructed checks guarantee second looks.

Hard-Core Cuteness
Can bad girls look cute? Of course! Again, this is another way to avoid looking “stereotypical,” like you said, Alex. Adding an unexpected element is guaranteed to put fun in your outfit as well as making it really distinctive. You can pair this raw-edged plaid mini skirt with your favorite ripped tights or leggings, and then add your leather jacket. The twist is to add assorted pins and brooches with cute designs. If you’re a DIY kind of girl, then even better! Adorn it with designs of your making which really gives it your personal stamp of approval – and you know there’s no other like it in the world!

Accessories and texture add plenty of visual to black.

The Prints and the Faux Fur
Leggings are now seen as a very wearable alternative to jeans but I can only hope people can now tell the difference between tights and leggings. YesStyle carries fleece-lined leggings and jeans so you can still rock your look even during winter. But between the two, leggings can certainly have more personality as they can come in assorted textures and prints.

Leggings are the new pants for most women and they’re a great and vibrant canvas for self-expression, too.

Team your trusty leather jacket with printed leggings for a playful take. But I suggest you take it to the next level by swapping your outerwear for a furry printed or patterned jacket or coat. Nope, not your nonna‘s leopard print but one that’s very now that is done with a boxy cut or a cropped length. The combo of deconstructed and delectable faux fur is guaranteed to turn heads.

(Left) Antwerp-based designer Hyein Seo’s graphic faux fur jackets turn luxury to street style.
(Right) Philipp Plein dressed his models in head-to-toe vinyl and fur.
Images from Vogue.com

Dramatic colors and patterns enhance the luxurious vibe of fur.

Happy holidays and thank you for being your wonderful honest selves, dear readers! Remember to always be grateful and kind. See you in January!

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body, your tastes or personality. You can include a photo (link only please) of yourself or your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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