Hooray for the return of Sloane Ranger style! Loafers, silk scarves and Barbour jackets are back and cooler than ever thanks to a new generation of VERY fashionable celebrity fans
- Sloane Ranger style is back and cooler than ever thanks to new fashionable fans
- Alexa Chung, Bella Hadid and Olivia Palermo have all adopted the 80s look
- Loafers, Barbour jackets and silk scarves have been given a modern twist
- Princess Diana, Fergie and Susannah Constantine were original Sloane Rangers
In their ’80s heydey, Sloane Rangers could be been trotting up and down the King’s Road, impeccably dressed in pearls, a pair of loafers and a pashmina wrapped around their shoulders.
Although the style was definitely distinctive, it was never ‘cool’. In fact, it was described by social commentators at the time as ‘middle-aged dressing for young people’.
But things are different in 2020. Clothing and accessories that were once Sloane Ranger signature pieces are now in vogue – and in Vogue – and have been given a thoroughly modern twist by designers like Gucci, Valentino and Celine.
The most admired of today’s millennial fashionistas are also fans, the Daily Telegraph noted, with Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo and Bella Hadid all stepping out in looks either knowingly or unknowingly inspired by the likes of Fergie and Lady Diana Spencer.
Supermodel seal of approval: Bella Hadid has been spotted in penny loafers in recent weeks, as seen in New York last month. The shoes, once paired with sensible skirts, are now worn with baggy jeans as the Sloane Ranger style made popular in the ’80s comes back into fashion
Barely there: Actress Nicola Peltz, 25, better known as Mrs Brooklyn Beckham-to-be, is among the Insta-famous 20-somethings who have taken to wearing their scarves as handkerchief tops. Previously they were worn as countrified head coverings by Sloanes
Trend-setter: Alexa Chung, 36, has taken the Barbour, once a must-have for Sloane retreats to the company, and given it a revamp that is chic enough to be worn in the city without irony
Hooray, they’re here again! Who were the original Sloane Rangers?
LADY DIANA SPENCER
Lady Diana Spencer was the ‘archetypal’ Sloane Ranger, according to the authors of the Sloane Ranger handbook. Born into the aristocracy, Lady Diana developed a signature style that included pussy-bow blouses (right) and twee skirts that fell below the knee
Jostling for position for Sloaney queen bee was Diana’s close friend Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart and financier Sir James Goldsmith
King of the Hooray Henrys was James Hewitt, who became a household name after he revealed his affair with Princess Diana. Pictured, Hewitt in a linen suit at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor, a Sloane stomping ground
Now best known as a TV presenter and stylist, Susannah once made headlines as the girlfriend of Princess Margaret’s son Viscount Linley. Pictured, Susannah at his wedding to Serena Stanhope in 1993, wearing a dress, blazer and a sensible pair of heels
Trend-setter Alexa, 36, has taken the Barbour, once a must-have for Sloane retreats to the company, and given it a revamp that is chic enough to be worn in the city without irony. Her latest collection is her third with the brand and prices range from £259 to £479.
Meanwhile Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana in the upcoming series of Netflix’s The Crown, has paid tribute to the woman she portrays with a string of 80s-inspired outfits complete with puffball sleeves and oversized collars.
Sloane Ranger fever has also taken hold across the pond, where Bella Hadid has stepped out in leather loafers and Olivia Palermo has shown how a silk scarf – once tied around the head a-la-the Queen – can be re-purposed as a face covering for the fashion-conscious in the age of Covid-19.
Sex And The City star-turned-shoe-designer Sarah Jessica Parker is another fan.
Just like Lady Di: Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana in the upcoming series of Netflix’s The Crown, has paid tribute to the woman she portrays with a string of 80s-inspired outfits complete with puffball sleeves and oversized collars. Pictured, in Valentino in March
Peter Pan perfection: Emma Currin, pictured in Venice last week, has embraced oversized collars and 80s-inspired looks that would not have looked out of place on Princess Diana
The key to nailing the Sloane Ranger 2.0 is all in the styling. Bella, for example, wears her loafers with a slogan t-shirt and baggy jeans. Actress Nicola Peltz, 25, better known as Mrs Brooklyn Beckham-to-be, is among the Insta-famous 20-somethings who have taken to wearing their silk scarves as handkerchief tops.
Headbands, popular with original Sloane Sarah Ferguson, among others, should now be chosen in lighter colours with more bejewelled detailing, as seen on Katherine Ryan’s stylish character in Netflix show The Duchess.
Of course, for the original cohort, being a Sloane was more than just a sense of fashion: it was a way of life.
The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook, published in 1982, was the bible for everything one needed to know about dressing, living, breathing Sloane.
Safety first: Olivia Palermo has shown how a silk scarf – once tied around the head a-la-the Queen – can be re-purposed as a face covering for the fashion-conscious in the age of Covid-19
Silk scarf style: Sex And The City star-turned-shoe-designer Sarah Jessica Parker is a fan
The Handbook, by Peter York and Ann Barr, claimed to update Nancy Mitford’s famous etiquette guide to the upper classes, Noblesse Oblige. Sloanes were more upper middle class, showing how society had broadened, although not by very much.
Sloanes did not leave London’s SW3, SW5, SW7 or SW10 (the postcodes around Sloane Square and Fulham Road) except to retreat to their country homes in Gloucestershire or Wiltshire on a Friday afternoon.
Anything unfamiliar to Sloanes was honkingly funny, and this included North London, intellectuals, career angst, people who wore black, and gold taps.
One step ahead: Headbands, popular with original Sloane Sarah Ferguson, among others, should now be chosen in lighter colours with more bejewelled detailing, as seen on Katherine Ryan’s stylish character in Netflix show The Duchess (pictured)
Pink perfection: MIC star Binky Felstead models a pink headband with a bikini on Instagram
Professionally, they held lowly positions with the absolute self-confidence of a class who ran the Empire.
They were shop assistants – so long as it was Peter Jones, The General Trading Company, Harvey Nichols or Liberty – chalet girls or receptionists for Savills, the posh estate agent.
Although these high-flying, celebrity Sloanes are unlikely to go the whole hog and adopt the lifestyle, it is clear they have bought into the clothes.
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