How to: Tramp Chic

They may look like they’ve been dragged through a bush backwards, but don’t be fooled – this unkempt look actually takes time. Dressing down and emulating the Caras, Ritas and Kristens of this world is no mean feat. Be warned, it takes a lot of effort to look like you’ve made none. Still keen? Well here are my top 10 tips, inspired by three years at the University of Leeds, on mastering the #noeffort look.


1 First things first. Put that Jack Wills gilet in the bin. You may have lived in it for the last five years, but your public school days are behind you – and must stay that way. You need to look, smell, nay ooze the impoverished vibe. And everyone knows that gilet cost you £115.


2 Get down to a charity shop asap. Keep your eyes peeled for the oversized Eighties throwbacks. Bright geometric shapes, tick. Huge holes, tick. Knitted monstrosities, tick. Item of clothing someone died in, big fat tick.


3 Burn your loafers. No-one in their right mind can master #noeffort in loafers. I repeat – torch them. Instead, get online and design yourself a pair of super-sweet high-tops. The more in your face the better. Lime green and purple? Super sick blud. You could even get your name embellished on the back, or, better still, some drug slang. A ‘Meow’ on each foot. You know, like ‘Meow, Meow’ – nothing says ‘street’ like Class B narcotics.


Throw that TRESemmé away, you won’t need it. Shampoo is now a thing of the past. You’re not going to pull off a top knot with silky locks now are you? Matted, dank and veering towards mini-dreads is the wig you’ll require to fit in. Remember – the hairdresser, scissors and conditioner are now your foes.


But good news – you have a new friend! Say welcome back to the scrunchie. Grab your lank lid and whack it in one of these bad boys. The higher on your head, and the messier, the better.

Though not part of one’s physical wardrobe, one’s voice is still part of one’s appearance. You must kill off any enunciation. The nonchalant drawl is your new tongue. You may have gone to Eton, but you must now speak like you come from the ghetto. Defer to words such as ‘maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate’, ‘siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick’ or ‘Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet’ if you find yourself ‘rutting’.


Time for the skip again. This time for your trousers. Bye bye bootleg. Trackies (tracksuit bottoms) and skinny jeans are in. But – and this is essential – they must have a waist that is at least 8 inches too big. This is, of course, because you don’t wear them around your waist. You don’t even wear them around your hips. No, trousers must be fastened below your backside. You need to have the entirety of your boxer shorts on show –you’ll be quite literally dressed down. Ace.


Make-up. Heroin-chic, is what they called it. When you’ve slept in make-up and been too wasted to wash it off. That’s what your make-up needs to look like all the time. Big dark smudges of eye-liner (both above and below the eye) and clumpy mascara – which should never be removed, just added to. So fit.


Fags. You may not be a smoker, but to complete this look you need to be. Marlboro Lights? I hear you say. Don’t be crazy – Camel Blues would be a pushing it. No, for this look, you need to hit up the rollies. Get that pack of baccy and rizlers and roll up people. Preferably by a bus stop or some other form of public transport – that way as many people as possible will see you. You’ll look so sweet.


10 Finally the key to the ‘so rich you look poor’ look is a tiny ring. Yes, you may look like your homeless, but you need to remind people that this drab metamorphosis is one of choice, not finances. Tah da! Introducing the signet ring! Whack this on your little finger and *taps nose* everyone will know that you are an heir to a whopping estate, have a pad in High Street Kensington and when in London love nothing better than a good ol’ night in Bodos.


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