I'm a 49-Year-Old Fashion Expert, and I'm Wearing My Favourite Teen Trends Again

Tracey Lea Sayer
·7-min read

If anyone knows whether an item is worth buying or not, it's Tracey Lea Sayer. Having been in the business of fashion for 30 years now, Lea Sayer is a style insider who says it like it is. She wants her clothes to work hard for the money and is a dab hand when it comes to hunting down timeless high street pieces. As well as sharing her knowledge via Fabulous magazine as fashion director she also charts her own wardrobe over at @TraysLounge. Her outlook is about buying less, buying better and re-styling what you already own. This month she shares three items she loved in her teens and has suddenly started wearing again. Over to you, Tray!

I have worked in fashion for 30 years and have pretty much tried all the trends you could imagine. Some have looked great on me and some have made me look like a dog’s dinner, but as I hurtle towards 50 this year I have found myself reaching for the three items that I pretty much lived in as a teenager. No, I am not talking crop tops and spray-on Lycra dresses, although I did have a few of those—I leave them to my teenage daughter now. I am talking about oversized blazers, a great pair of jeans and a big pair of bovver boots. These three items took me through art college and beyond in the '80s. Back then, I shopped men’s second hand blazers at my local charity shops, my jeans were vintage Levi 501s from American emporium Flip and the boots were steel toe-capped Doc Martens that I still regret losing in a house move…

Fast forward to 2021 and here I am again, wearing these three pieces on repeat. I seem to be reliving the signature style I lived in all those years ago. Why? Well, the fact is that it’s timeless. A well-cut blazer and a pair of jeans will never date. The formula is just right for being down the pub (if we can ever go back!) as well as for more casual workplaces, and it never looks try hard. These days I now shop for my blazers at Arket, and I still have a soft spot for a great pair of Levi's with all the great new cuts to choose from—the Ribcage Balloon Leg is a favourite, and some are still available at a few retailers. In addition, I always wear a pair of big comfy boots for my daily dog walk. These three pieces the basis of what I have lived in during lockdown.

Keep scrolling to see how I've been styling out my favourite teen trends…

On Tracey: Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135) and blouse; Massimo Dutti waistcoat; Levi’s jeans; Chloé bag; Zara boots

I always seem to take a bit of inspo from the '70s when I want to dress up a bit. "Jeans and a nice top" has become a bit of a thing but I don’t really suit the current trend for big collars so I tend to go for a less frou-frou look and add some sharp tailoring on top of a pretty blouse.

Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135)

Levi's Balloon-Leg Jeans (£75)

Zara Flat Leather Ankle Boots With Track Soles (£80)

On Tracey: Topshop blazer; Isabel Marant jumper; Ines De La Fressange x Uniqlo jeans; Mango boots

Smart casual has become a bit of a signature style for me. A boxy blazer with darker jeans immediately looks a bit more elevated. Just add a slogan sweat and big boots for a daytime outfit that feels put together but effortless.

Isabel Marant Étoile Moby Logo Jersey Sweatshirt (£190)

Uniqlo Women High Rise Slim Fit Straight Leg Jeans (£35)

Mango Platform Leather Ankle Boots (£100)

On Tracey: Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135); Only Short Hooded Coat (£56); Levi's jeans; Kin at John Lewis bag; Nike React ART3MIS Trainers (£95); Uniqlo socks.

I love sportswear and always try to include elements into my day to day looks. This is a great look for work. I am totally comfy in my love worn Levi’s and trainers. Comfort is definitely key for me as I get older.

Only Short Hooded Coat (£56)

Levi's High Loose Tapered Leg Jeans in Mid Wash (£100)

Nike ART3MIS Trainers (£95)

On Tracey: Ines De La Fressange x Uniqlo coat and jacket; Vanessa Seward x La Redoute shirt; Levi's jeans; Kin at John Lewis bag; Arket socks; COS Cotton Canvas High-Top Sneakers (£59)

I love a bit of layering. A shrunken blazer under a Crombie-style coat makes me look "business" up top but the jeans just take things down a notch so I don’t feel overdressed. Another trick I borrow from menswear is a statement sock—a dash of colour looks surprisingly good with sneakers.

La Redoute Collections Double-Breasted Coat (£99)

Levi's 701 Dark Blue Straight-Leg Jeans (£130)

COS Cotton Canvas High-Top Sneakers (£59)

On Tracey: Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135), scarf and top; Levis jeans; Kin at John Lewis bag; Mango boots.

Jeans and a Breton top is one of my most-worn combinations at this time of year—it's my day-to-day uniform. A boxy blazer and knotted scarf add the finishing touches. It isn’t radical, but it just works.

Kin Grab Cross Body Bag (£45)

La Redoute Recycled Wool Mix Jumper with Breton Stripes (£52)

Arket Woven Cashmere Scarf (£79)

On Tracey: & Other Stories hat; Arket scarf; Uniqlo U jacket; Uniqlo bag; Ines De La Fressange x Uniqlo jeans; Mango boots.

The price-per-wear on these boots have probably works out at about 10p per outing! When I shop I am a stickler for making sure that anything I purchase will work extra hard in my wardrobe. Big boots and jeans always deliver on that.

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Oversized Jacket (£15)

H&M Flannel Shirt (£18)

Cos Chunky Leather Chelsea Boots (£285)

On Tracey: White Stuff Stacey Coat (£99); Arket sweatshirt, French Terry Sweatpants (£69) and socks; Kin at John Lewis bag; Mango boots.

I love the fact that you can add big boots to practically any outfit. Add yours to a slouchy sweats and dress the whole look up with a statement mac. This will elevate your trackies into something super stylish.

White Stuff Stacey Colourblock Mac (£99)

Arket French Terry Hoodie (£69)

Arket French Terry Sweatpants (£69)

On Tracey: Modern Rarity at John Lewis coat; Monsoon dungarees; & Other Stories shirt; Chloe bag; Zara boots.

Everyone thinks that a stylist will know exactly what to wear but sometime I put stuff together completely by accident. Step forward brown and black—my new favourite colour combo. These Zara boots are a little smarter that my other bovver boots but still look tough with their square toe, oversized sole and chunky heel.

Karen Millen Wool Rich Button Belted Double Breasted Coat (£165)

ASOS Design Dungarees in Black Cord (£48)

Zara Flat Leather Ankle Boots With Track Soles (£90)

On Tracey: Arket Half-Zip Bib (£69); Next shirt; Ines De La Fressange x Uniqlo jeans; Mango boots.

I am not very good at doing traditionally "girly" clothes so combining a twee gingham check with big boots and jeans just takes the saccharine edge off the pretty check for me. To be honest I normally apply this to anything feminine that I wear!

Arket Half-Zip Wool Blend Bib (£99)

Next Black Volume Sleeve Blouse (£26)

M&S Collection Sophia Straight Leg Jeans (£30)

Next up, the key S/S 21 trends.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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