'Why Do I Suddenly Want To Dress Like Del Boy?'
The Debrief: Suddenly the Trotters’ style is hot. Only fools would disagree.
As trends so often do, it struck out of nowhere in the middle of the night. Or perhaps I’m thinking of food poisoning. Anyway, I woke up one morning last month feeling empty, feverish and consumed by a single thought: “I MUST HAVE A SHEEPSKIN COAT.”
That day I saw sheepskin coats everywhere. Every second woman on the street seemed to be wearing one, and silently taunting me with it. All my other coats looked wrong – too prim, too flimsy, too tailored, too pink. I wanted a cosy fleece lining and the silhouette of a second division football manager. I couldn’t rest until I’d draped myself in shearling, like a 1981 Nissan Micra.
And so I bought the first sheepskin coat I found on eBay; a light tan thigh-length cocoon number with huge, puffy sleeves that you can barely get a shoulder bag over. I loved it and was scared by it in equal measure. But things didn’t stop there.
Coat accomplished, I found myself with other strange new desires. Sturdy, stretchless denim. Fingerless driving gloves. Pickled eggs. Within a week I’ve gone from the kind of girl who loses her shit over a taffeta midi skirt, to someone who looks themselves up and down in the mirror – stonewash jeans, ribbed polo neck, snaffle loafers, shearling car coat – and thinks ‘now, what would REALLY set this off nicely is a signet ring and a cigar.’
You guys, Derek Trotter is my new style crush. And don’t laugh, because it could happen to any one of you.
Fashion being a slippery enigma, it’s hard to explain exactly what Del Boy’s sartorial appeal is, or why it’s suddenly arrived now. Maybe it’s the androgynous antidote to the several seasons we’ve spent dressing like tween Jackie cover girls in suedette minis and peasant tops. Maybe it’s nostalgia for a time before everyone in Peckham was trying usher you into their rooftop pop-up immersive cinema experience and flog you a £12 artisan hot dog. Maybe it’s just because it’s warm.
And it is really bloody warm. Warm enough to keep you cosy in a Robin Reliant, which means warm enough to leave you sweating rivulets on the Central line. But it just... right. I feel so alive. I feel like I could fall casually through a bar at any moment, and I’m so well padded that it wouldn’t even hurt.
So join me, won’t you? Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to start dressing like Del Boy – without looking a plonker.
Proper sheepskin doesn’t come cheap on the high street, so unless you have a couple of hundred nicker to spend on this lovely Topshop version, you’re going to need to head down the market. Or its millennial equivalent – ASOS Marketplace.
Vintage traders GullyGurls, The Eye of Zoa and House of Jam have some great coats starting at £35. Though to be fair to a real market, they don’t have any giant pants, Zippo lighters or blankets with wolves on them.
Topshop’s mid-blue Mom jeans are the perfect Geography-teacher-on-a-residential-field-trip blue. For full effect, hook your thumbs into the belt loops and whistle some Chas and Dave.
The Polo Neck
I’ve been welded to my black poloneck for at least a year already, but now with Del Boy for inspiration I find I want them in cheerier colours. Orange. Scarlet. Puce. This soft and stretchy rollneck from New Look is available in a very Trotter-esque sky blue, or tan for those who want to channel Morph while they’re at it.
La piece de la resistance, naturelment – you’ll need something that looks solid, heirloom-like, but also as though you might have bought it from Elizabeth Duke at Argos. Urban Outfitters have a sleek modern spin on the signet ring, while this fossil pendant necklace from & Other Stories is a subtler way to go, but it’ll look the business hanging over a polo neck. And there’s nothing subtle about this charm cuff from My Flash Trash, if you can cope with all the yuppie guilt.
So I’ll admit, I’m still working my way up to the flat cap. After all, there’s still last season’s beanie to get more wear out of and rumour has it berets are making a comeback. But when I work up the nerve to go full Del, it’ll be in this handsome tweedy number from John Lewis – which will also come in handy if my next unlikely style crush is Madonna circa 2003. Cushti.
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