How Did Dressing Bourgeois Become Cool?

Ditch your tracksuits for midi skirts and knee-high boots

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It’s official—streetwear has become very passé. Last season, the return of tailoring on the catwalk made way for looks that felt starkly elegant. This Fall, time has come to go far beyond suiting. Think pleated trench coats, button ups, and knee-high riding boots. 

Spotted on the Fall 2019 runways at Celine, Burberry and Gucci, to name but a few, it’s safe to say “bourgeois” is the trend du jour. Once deemed snobby and boring, bourgeois dressing is back with a vengeance. 

In French, the term “bourgeois” literally represents the ruling middle class who live in the city. But gradually, bourgeois became synonymous with social and cultural conservatism. And fashion grew to reflect that. Ladylike bourgeois looks have long-been associated with the image of a stuck-up (and hung-up) housewife. 

So why now, in 2019, does dressing bourgeois suddenly feel cool, at a time when socialism is becoming more popular amongst millennials?

Streetwear was born out of countercultures like hip-hop and skateboarding, which was originally defined by its defiant rebellious stance. But as streetwear infiltrated luxury brands, what was once considered nonconformist literally became the mainstream. 

So naturally we’re all looking for something different now. And funnily enough, it seems like old school elegance is what will make us stand out. And don’t worry, the idea of bourgeois can live in your wardrobe; which means that yes, you can dress up like Blair Waldorf but you don’t have to actually become more conservative.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2018Skirt suits, tweed, and tailored overcoats were spotted on Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2018 runway. But Hedi Slimane took the aesthetic to new heights at Celine for the Fall 2019 collection, paying homage to the iconic silhouettes and cuts the brand was famed for in the 1970’s.

Celine 1970sReady to ditch your sneakers and denim and embrace your inner Left Bank Parisian? Here’s how to pull off a nostalgic look that doesn’t feel costumey. We round up the five essential “bourgeois” pieces to own.

The Silk Hair Scarf

The Top Hat

The Culotte and Knee-High Boots Coordination

Ruffles

The Tartan Trench Coat

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