My current guilty pleasure takes place once a fortnight (which immediately rules out ‘The Only Way is Essex’). During which, you’ll find me curled up on the sofa, eagerly awaiting the sight of this week’s exotic destination. Recently there’s been Belgium, Italy, Singapore and next week we’ll be jetting off (figuratively speaking) to Japan. And just in case you’re still not sure what I’m referring too, I am of course talking about the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Not the most ladylike of sports to follow I’ll admit, but I love it all the same. Which is why I feel qualified in my position as fashion blogger and Formula 1 fan to address an important issue that this season’s drivers seem to be struggling with.
Need I say much more...
Formula 1 as a sport is up there with golf and football in terms of the amount of money being bandied about. Whilst I don’t always agree with everything Beckham chooses to wear (a skirt David, really?!), at least he always looks like he’s trying. Say what you want about Tiger Woods (a lion wouldn't cheat, but a tiger wood...), but even in the midst of a crisis he still manages to avoid the wardrobe disaster taking place above.
So why do Formula 1 drivers get it so badly wrong?!
I must make a quick exception to this remark, not ALL of the drivers are as fashionably challenged as I might be suggesting. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button both do a fairly good job in turning out an outfit that doesn’t leave you reaching for your sunglasses whilst sat in front of the TV. Perhaps this is because they’re dating a famous singer and a lingerie model respectively. Or maybe it’s just because us Brits have a natural sense of fashion (biased? moi?). Whatever the reason, these two keep nicely off the ‘disaster-o-meter’ scale. Unlike their German contemporaries, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, who are quite possibly the worst offenders.
Michael appears to be auditioning for Rambo 5, while Sebastian is on his way to school.
There also seems to be a penchant for the t-shirt, jeans and trainers look among those involved in Formula 1, not forgetting the racer/ski sunglasses - a popular favourite. I can see why the drivers would lean towards a low key comfortable look, since they spend the majority of their time wearing their driving overalls. But just because it’s low key, doesn’t mean it should look like you’re attempting to become the third member of Wham – right Jarno?
Having been inspired by my-wardrobe’s AW11 Style Guide and in an attempt to make this post constructive I’m going to recommend some new looks for these guys to try.
The Knit Issue
I’ve chosen to focus on knits as they can prove to be a great alternative to jackets in the cooler months and in many ways are also replacing the shirt as the core item for men this season. My-wardrobe have identified four key trends that I think can easily be adopted by our Formula 1 stars to add a little bit more panache to the pit lane.
First up, the chunky trend – for the cooler weather tracks (Spa, Silverstone and Hungaroring) these heavy knits would make a welcome change from the sports jackets you regularly see being modelled through the paddock. My picks would be the D&G shawl collar honeybomb knit and the Vince grey cable knit jumper.
Judging by his penchant for bold colours, I think Mr Schumacher will be all over the Fairisle trend, I can easily imagine see him in Barbour’s olive fairisle caister crew knit.
Sebastian Vettel’s fondness of looking like a boy (well he is only 24…) on his way to school could be effortlessly matured with two of the knits from the detailed trend; YMC’s plum Y college shawl cardigan preserves the education vibe whilst the cream lambswool cable crew knit from Polo Ralph Lauren exemplifies effortless cool.
And last, but by no means least... colour… one for all of our F1 drivers, whose fearless attitude towards bright and bold attire makes this the perfect trend for Formula 1. Keep it unfussy with simple, clean lines and soft handles for an autumn rewrite of the summer colour blocks. This red knit from Barbour by To Ki To is a great easy-to-wear shade for those on their first foray into the trend, whilst still conserving the sporting edge that racing drivers seem to love.
That’s all my advice for the time being, but I will be keeping a beady eye on the fashion choices being walked up and down the pit lane next weekend.
All the driver images are courtesy of xpb.cc – thanks guys!