When Alexa Chung first started being photographed in 2006, she almost instantly changed the way we dressed. Over a decade (and many pea jackets, navy sweaters, thigh-skimming dresses, ballet flats and denim cutoffs) later, she is still one of the most copied style icons on the planet. There is a reason she has won the British Fashion Awards Style Icon Award three times (and counting).
Alexa has managed to turn her innate style into a business, of course, with sellout clothing collections for AG Jeans and Marks and Spencer, and in 2016, she launched her very own label called AlexaChung. All the pieces in the first collection were exactly what we imagined she’d wear herself—meaning we’ve never had such a clear-cut chance of paying homage to the style setter.
The secret to her enduring coolness, it seems, is always staying true to her trademarks, such as Peter-Pan collars, leopard print, Converse sneakers, miniskirts and simple jumpers. Keep reading to see the style rules we’re certain Alexa swears by.
Style Notes: Alexa is a big fan of statement hairclips, and often layers pearl slides against her parting.
Style Notes: One of Alexa’s go-to fashion week outfits is a pair of straight-leg jeans and a band T-shirt paired with a statement coat. Alexa might have a thing for navy peacoats, but she doesn’t always play it safe when it comes to outerwear—this black PVC coat from her second collection for Marks and Spencer is the perfect example. Fear not, though—there are plenty similar jackets coming out this season (e.g., this Mango coat).
Style Notes: Alexa’s style always has a laid-back London feel—you’ll never see her in a tight dress and heels. One trick she uses to relax a smart dress is to layer a white tee underneath, ensuring she never looks too done.
Style Notes: One of Alexa’s key staples is a navy jumper (often from the men’s department). The Londoner wrote in her style book, “A navy blue jumper is potentially the most boring item anyone could design and yet it’s my most important possession.” Not only does she wear hers with Converse sneakers on the weekend, but the navy crew neck has long been a part of her London Fashion Week wardrobe.
Style Notes: Alexa has been very vocal about her love of Jane Birkin and her ongoing mission to dress like the ’60s icon. “I love her so much that I’m actually almost bored of her somewhat,” she once told Who What Wear. “I google her every day, once a day.” One thing she’s picked up from all that googling is a love of the other Birkin bag (the straw basket).
Style Notes: She might wear a lot of classics, but Alexa is also a big believer that you should have fun with fashion, often in the form of playful handbags as well as tees and sweatshirts. She wore this lilac tongue-in-cheek ear piercing sweatshirt to London Fashion Week and couldn’t help but grin in every single picture.
Style Notes: Alexa made the Barbour jacket a festival staple in her early days at Glastonbury, and in 2016, she added another item to her festival-dressing category: vinyl trousers. Nothing says “I’m camping in VIP” like some impractical PVC.
Style Notes: While most save Wednesday Addams dressing for one night a year—Halloween—Alexa cites the character as one of her main style inspirations and often rocks cute Wednesday plaits. Obviously, her version is slightly less gothic…
Style Notes: Throughout her decade in the spotlight, one thing has remained consistent about Alexa’s style: her love for miniskirts and minidresses. Whether it’s a denim, leather or a super-short sundress, Alexa keeps it short and with a slight A-line shape.
Style Notes: Ballet flats were declared “over,” but always one to stay loyal to her signatures, Alexa has never stopped wearing her black ballet flats.
Style Notes: As Chung wrote in her book It, “My relationship with my denim hot pants is incredibly special.” She always wears her ripped cutoffs in the Glastonbury mud or the Coachella desert, and they are a key part of her summer-in-the-city uniform.
Style Notes: Knotting or flinging your jumper around your shoulders in a public-school way was a styling trick reserved for gilet-wearing Kensington residents until Alexa came along and made it her own. She has been known to do this with a cable-knit crew neck, really working a Princess Diana look.
Style Notes: Velvet remains high up on the fashion food chain, but Alexa Chung has been championing the plush fabric for years. A tailored velvet jacket like Alexa’s will be an investment that will see you way beyond the winter months.
Style Notes: Alexa Chung has been wearing leopard-print coats for as long as we can remember, and she is proof that this print can work as a neutral. Here, she wore a Shrimps leopard-print number with a furry lilac collar.
Style Notes: Alexa has embraced the ’90s slip dress revival, such with this hot pink, lacy NK iMode lingerie slip she wore to her Villoid app launch. To make this work outside the boudoir, she paired it with her faithful Converse trainers—another staple. Alexa wrote about her Converse obsession in her book: “Looking effortless takes a lot of effort. When I get new Converse I dedicate some time at home to shoving mud on them so they don’t look squeaky clean.”
Style Notes: Alexa might have a roster of tried-and-tested wardrobe staples, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t experiment with unlikely combos too. At LFW, Alexa tucked a printed Shrimps shirt into checked trousers.
Style Notes: Another Alexa Chung trademark is her Peter Pan collar. She often wears elegant collared looks in the evenings, too, such as this Emilia Wickstead dress she wore to the 2014 British Fashion Awards.
Style Notes: The Chungster has previously said that she’s “scared of sexiness,” so it makes sense that, to play down the thigh-high splits of this skirt, she adds an oversize shearling leather jacket to keep the tone casual.
Style Notes: Elegant looks are one of the cornerstones of Alexa Chung’s style. To keep this type of outfit fresh, opt for interesting fabrics and colours, such as metallics.
Style Notes: Even Alexa isn’t immune to the power of the blazer-and-jeans formula. It’s one of the only outfits in the world that makes everyone look chic.
Style Notes: While ball gowns aren’t a usual look for Alexa, this Loewe dress bridges Chung’s love for princess frocks and her casual fashion outlook.
Style Notes: Braving bare legs in winter is never fun, and at the Vogue 100 Gala dinner, rule-breaker Alexa proved that you can wear black tights with eveningwear. Follow her lead, and opt for a pair of 10 deniers (hers have cute polka dots). If they are good enough for a gold Prada gown…
And now you know why Alexa’s one of our favourite style icons. (Really though, who isn’t a fan of hers?)