Style Icon: Pauline Black

Pauline Black is an ultimate style icon. The lead singer with Ska band The Selecter, she is unique and stylish, as well as being timelessly beautiful, with a personal style that she has stayed loyal to through a career that has lasted more than 40 years. She is the Queen of ska and is still as instantly recognisable as she was during the heyday of the classic ‘On My Radio’. Pauline showed girls that style didn’t have to mean flesh, and, along with Annie Lennox she put androgyny on the map.

Pauline’s ska look is a style classic. She wore (and still wears, as on Pointless that was shown on Saturday night) tailored suits that made her an incredibly sharp dressed woman. Shirts were buttoned up to the neck, and were sometimes adorned with a ribbon bow or a mans tie. The two tone check was often added to an outfit, either as a headband, or worn as the print of the shirt, with the look being a cool mixture of masculine and feminine.

Another key element to Pauline’s style was the Mod Style Harrington Jacket that added a splash of colour to the often monochrome look. Worn with a trilby hat, or a pair of black shades, the overall effect was striking in it’s simplicity, and in it’s all around cool. Pauline never had to try too hard to look good, she took the simple staples of a shirt and trousers, pulled the collar up, and went onstage, inspiring a whole generation of women who didn’t want to confirm to the pretty pretty style and colours of the early 1980’s.

As I mentioned before, Pauline’s style has not changed since she emerged in the late 1970s. She still sports the trilby and Crombie style hats teamed with classic cut suits and buttoned up shirts, and they still look as fresh and elegant as they did in those early days. 

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