Monday, 23 January 2012

Girls on film: Annie Hall


So one thing you should know about me is that I like blazers. A lot. And brogues (hence the blog title), loafers, hats, shirts, trenches, pea coats... basically all menswear. I find that menswear-inspired clothes are much more classic than girly styles, and that really appeals to me. This probably not the right attitude for someone who claims to be interested in fashion but I don't really like trends. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-fashion and I'm not claiming never to follow trends. It's just that I tend to develop long term relationships with my clothes. I don't really go in for impulse purchases - when I buy something I know exactly where it's going to fit in with the rest of my wardrobe and that I'll be able to wear it for years to come. And I know that a navy boxy blazer is going to stay in my wardrobe much longer than a frilly party dress. Not that I'm entirely adverse to a frilly party dress - I'm just likely to wear a boxy blazer over it.

The other thing you should know is that I'm a huge film buff and, honestly, I'm more likely to find style inspiration in a movie than I am in a copy of Vogue. So I decided to start a new feature, looking to favourite films of mine for style inspiration. And where better to start than Annie Hall, one of my absolute favourite films of all time and quite timely since I touched on Diane Keaton's style in an outfit post a few days ago.

For anyone who hasn't seen the film, it's a romantic comedy from 1977, tracking the relationship of comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) from their meeting through to their eventual break up. It's hilarious and touching and if you've never seen it a) what have you been doing with your life?? and b) you really should see it. Also, if you're not familiar with Woody Allen as a comedian/director then it's a really good starting point.



"I love what you're wearing."
"You do? Well, uh, this tie was a present from Grammy Hall."
"Who? Your 'grammy'? What did you do, grow up in a Norman Rockwell painting?"

The film has become iconic not just because Woody Allen is one of the funniest men to ever walk the planet (that's a completely objective fact), but also because of Annie's quirky, menswear inspired outfits. Diane Keaton chose the costumes she wore in the film ("I did what Woody said: I wore that I wanted to wear, or, rather, I stole what I wanted to wear from cool-looking women on the streets or New York. Annie's khaki pants, vest, and tie came from them.") and they pretty much reflect her personal style. Blazers, waistcoats (or 'vests', if you're transatlantically inclined), ties, crisp tailored shirts and that iconic hat. The outfit above is probably the best known from the film, from Alvy and Annie's first meeting, introduced by friends to play a doubles tennis match. Anyone who will wear an outfit like that to the gym, only to change once she gets to there, is definitely my kind of woman.



I think the collars are a large part of what draws me to Annie's look. Whether they're buttoned right up with a man's tie or open and turned up with a scarf tied around her neck, she really knows how to work a shirt. I really like the scarf with the open neck, it softens an otherwise pretty masculine look. And, while we're on the topic, I really love Alvy's wardrobe too. It's almost entirely tweed blazers, plaid shirts and his signature glasses, but he always looks really great.



Couple's who start to dress alike are usually a little bit creepy but this is just adorable. And, if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. If you've got a lot in common with your other half, why wouldn't you have similar aesthetic tastes too?



"Oh, come on Alvy! You never want to try anything new."
"What do you mean? I suggested you, I and that girl from your acting class should sleep together."
"That's sick!"
"Yeah, I know it's sick but it's new!"

Diane Keaton is a master of layering and there's always so much going on in her outfits, but it never looks too fussy because of the simple, masculine cuts, very Margaret Howell. In fact, every new Margaret Howell collection seems to reference Annie Hall. I don't know whether this is intentional, but you could certainly imagine Diane Keaton wearing Margaret Howell:


Click through to Polyvore for item list. There's a lot of Jigsaw in there - I feel like Annie Hall would wear Jigsaw.


  1. wow, so pretty and inspiring ^^

    just lovely!


  2. Annie is such an icon! Great post x

  3. Just came across your blog - love the boyish look, very amusing post!

    If you have time please check out mine, I'm now a follower of yours!


  4. really love your blog! Annie Hall is a favourite of mine too - they don't make 'em like that anymore!!

    The Bowery Blog

  5. really like this Margaret Howell collection, especially the look with the skirt and the plaid shirt.

  6. "And I know that a navy boxy blazer is going to stay in my wardrobe much longer than a frilly party dress."

    Do you find that this is a repeating theme with fashion? That women's fashion has a much higher turn over than men's and is designed that way as an industry? It's arguable that in recent years this trend is turning, but I find that women's fashion is more susceptible to rapid change.