Insa Birkenhagen considers the viral fashion trend of ‘The Frazzled English Woman’, and how winter chic may require less time, attention and money than you thought.
In autumn 2022, Russh magazine introduced the term ‘The Frazzled English Woman’, defrosting yet another 2000s fashion trend. However, unlike the y2k aesthetic, which has been drawn mostly from LA celebrity culture of the period, The Frazzled English Woman is primarily taking reference from the quintessential British romantic comedies we know and love - think Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones, Keira Knightly in Love Actually or Kate Winslet in The Holiday. This trend worships the flustered middle-class woman who has a comparatively regular life, a need for practicality, and a preference for comfort.
She adapts to the dropping temperatures with opaque tights, a mid-length skirt and knee-high boots, topping it all off with a thick coat and a skinny scarf. To convey messy effortlessness, The Frazzled English Woman doesn’t only layer her clothes but also relies on different textures; suede, cashmere or fur are always appreciated, as well as the occasional dainty flower print. Her fashion is frazzled yet classy and timeless, having made appearances on the Ready-to-Wear Runways throughout the years. Most recently, Ralph Lauren has presented a similar aesthetic in their Autumn-Winter collections, Paloma Wool’s take on the skirt has now become a staple and in 2022, the aesthetic reached the highest echelons of couture when the esteemed house of Chanel revealed purposefully unpolished scarves and cardigans.
The Frazzled English Woman is all about making it work with the time you can spare and the clothes you already own.
The Frazzled English Woman is all about making it work with the time you can spare and the clothes you already own. It inherently contrasts the 2020s ‘Clean Girl Aesthetic’, which advocated for hyper productivity and determination as a way to banish the temporal vacuum of the pandemic. But now that we have returned to our jobs and social lives, instead of doing Pilates and cleaning excessively, we need a trend that romanticises and embraces the hecticness of everyday. The Frazzled English Woman is a cry for authenticity, finally a trend that can agree with the potential turmoil of the ordinary.