Recently I started watching Sons of Anarchy. A lot of it. I'd never seen SOA until one fateful day in September, when I discovered it on Soph's Netflix. Although I was in Copenhagen and should probably have been working, I crammed an entire season into a week. I watched the last episode of Season 1 just before I was due to head to the airport for London, pausing intermittently to shout at Kev (who was probably thinking I would miss my flight) 'Holy crap, this is SO good. I am SO invested in this!' I have since worked my way through 4 more seasons and I'm currently rationing them off so I don't have to deal with the separation anxiety that will inevitably follow.
In contrast to most shows I watch, SOA delivers a very different sartorial smorgasbord. Generally I find myself watching TV and thinking 'Is Lucy Liu wearing Victoria Beckham to investigate a crime?' (Elementary), or say in Downton Abbey 'The lace work on that dress is so intricate, I bet it sent a costume designer blind getting that right.' Or in the case of Girls 'Hannah…oh come on, really?' SOA on the other hand, they go for the realism, and I respect it. So should you ever want to become an old lady, here's 5 fashion lessons I've learned from Kurt Sutter and team. There's not a lot of plot line discussion, but you know ***SPOILER ALERT***
1. It’s permanently 2001 in Charming
In the early 2000s between the age of 16 and 19 I had a large collection of belts which I wore slung low on my hips over my halter tops. They often had big eyelets in them or oversized buckles, and I seriously thought I was the bees knees. Then I realised I had a waist and those belts were taken to the charity shop, where they were apparently all bought by Gemma Teller-Morrow. When she and Tara aren't filling their busy schedules beating people without mercy, they also go to the Boot Cut Jeans shop to stock up on B*Witched inspired denim and silver jewellery made from old hub caps.
2. Bikers and their extended families do not dress for hot weather
Katy Perry leads me to believe it’s always hot in California, hence the 'Gurls' wear bikinis and daisy dukes. In Charming however, you CAN NEVER WEAR SHORTS. I met a lovely biker from New York last year at the Grand Canyon, and naive little Ebony suggested he might be hot wearing his leather vest and wouldn't he feel more comfortable taking it off. What I now know from watching SOA, is you should never remove your cut. Like...just never. That being said, even the non-bikies in SOA wear head to toe black and a lot of layers. Sometimes, and this is hard for me to say, the porn stars are the only ones who seem to be dressed for California weather.
3. Jax is a total dreamboat
Charlie Hunnam is my favourite male lead on TV since Timothy Olyphant in Justified. I never thought I’d say this about someone who still wears baggy jeans and white sneakers, but Jax has swag. Also, as you know I love chunky jewellery and surprisingly I’m OK with it on men. In this context. REPEAT, in this context. If you’re just rolling around down at the Transport Department, you know renewing your licence, wearing tracksuit bottoms, a full grill and pimp rings, it’s not gonna happen between us.
4. Facial bruising is the new smokey eye
I only trust MAC concealer and if I lived in Charming, I would be investigating if the Pro store sold industrial sized tubs of the stuff. Not a day goes by that somebody does not have a split lip or a black eye in this place. Home invasions, workplace disputes, car crashes, shootings, jealous bitch fights…you got a problem, you resolve it with your fists. No wonder they don't have a Starbucks, heaven forbid someone accidentally get a non fat decaf latte when they wanted a soy macchiato. Smack down would ensure. These women need to hold a yoga weekend, buy some Enya CDs and chill the you know what out.
5. There is no such things as work appropriate attire
I'm aiming this at you Tara. I don't know what they teach you in Old Lady medical school, but wearing a cream cropped pleather jacket with a ratty khaki singlet and a leather wrist cuff is not professional attire. I could put a white lab coat over my pyjamas, but I doubt it would fill people with the kind of confidence it takes to let you cut them open while under heavy sedation. You are a SURGEON. Buy a blazer.
Image via FX