THE CHIC LIST: The £4,120 summer it-bag that proves money can’t buy taste – instead here’s how to shop like the most stylish people in the world

A recent trip to the South of France for dinner in Cannes, playground of the world’s super-rich, hammered the above headline home. Too many screaming logos worn together does not a good outfit make, no matter how superficially glossy the wearer.

Look at the Icare raffia tote from YSL that’s been touted as the It-bag of summer – and gifted to several young influencers to try to persuade us this is the case. The bag is gigantic, its logo even more so.

Some of the petite influencers lugging it around look dwarfed by it. When it comes to designer bags, YSL is often more affordable than most, but this comes in at a staggering £4,120.

And don’t get me started on Chanel, which has increased its prices so much that only a handful will be able to afford them. Once considered the beacon of taste and luxury, the house established by Coco Chanel now disregards paying customers so much it makes them queue outside half-empty stores in all weathers – a bizarre modern-day form of humiliation.

Shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren, Jacket and trousers, Theory, bag, Bottega Veneta

This practice, a marketing ploy used by ‘luxury’ brands to make them seem more in-demand, infuriates me every time I see it. Once finally inside the shop, the customer is often made to wait a ludicrous amount of time for a store assistant to come and help. What’s luxury about this experience?

As I get older, I want to buy fewer trend-led pieces and instead concentrate on finding those special items I can wear until threadbare. Pieces I feel will always signify my style. And that means saying no as much as being open and adventurous.

The most stylish people in the world have always been methodical and deliberate about what they wear – and equally ruthless about what they avoid.

I look to Jackie O, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Gianni Agnelli, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Uma Thurman, Catherine Deneuve – not a boring dresser among them, all with classic taste and relentless in the pursuit of the right pieces.

How do you strike that perfect balance between wearing old favourites and looking current?

  • Find the labels or high-street stores that suit your style and body shape – and stick with them.
  • This makes adding refreshing newbies to your existing closet easier. They will fit in more seamlessly, giving older, much-loved pieces a renewed glow.
  • Before investing in anything designer, ask yourself: will I love this in three years? And does it complement and elevate my wardrobe?
  • Shop for designer vintage and mix with new high street. This creates a potent mix of individuality.

Tote perfect

Add a little tennis-core to your summer looks with this navy and cream cotton canvas tote. Ideal for lazy days in the park or trips to the beach.

Vintage gold

One of my favourite pastimes is seeking out chic vintage jewellery to make my outfits unique. I adore this preloved Givenchy bracelet on the Vestiaire Collective website.

How ssssleek!

What’s not to love about these snakeskin mules by St Agni? They’ll add a unique touch to your outfits.