Few have heard of the name Sloane Ranger, a term which emerged in the 1980s, describing an affable Chelsea citizen who generally congregated at Sloane Square. Many have brushed it off as a moment in time, but the ‘Sloanes,’ who were typically born into money, privately educated and sported a preppy country style that included everything from Barbour jackets to Gucci loafers to velvet headbands and Harris tweed, are still at large, albeit very discreetly at large.
Possibly the most key figure of the movement was Princess Diana (pre-royal wedding) because of her casual preppy style, subsequently being dubbed a ‘supersloane’ and featuring on the front cover of the popular Official Sloane Ranger Handbook by Ann Barr and Peter York. Her rise to fame was instrumental in popularising this look and the book is still known as a Sloaney version of the Debretts Handbook to this day.
Some popular figures have tried to imitiate or revive the Sloane, ‘Made in Chelsea’ television show being one. But transparancy about the shows ‘cast’ caused people to sometimes be dubious as Sloanes do not like to show off or even portray their breeding or financial status. Their effortless style is quietly chic and they are polite in all they do. Sloanes are never flashy or ostentatious, although they did put style on the map.
While the Sloane Ranger may not exist in its original form today, its influence continues to shape popular culture. The brand itself has seemingly splintered into the likes of the Eco Sloane, Turbo Sloane, Chav Sloane, Millennial Sloane- basically the Sloane look but with a super twist added for good measure! These groups are marked by differing fashion choices, economic distinctions and social standing. However, the core elements of the original style continue to be seen in the likes of Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Eddie Redmayne, James Blunt, Emma Weymouth, Lady Kitty Spencer and the Manners Sisters.
Here we have curate some of our favourite looks for the ultimate and orignal Sloane Ranger look…
Sloanes like to adorn country wear in the city, and of course, the name Harris Tweed is synonymous with a Sloane. Add a cashmere pullover (that you bought in the sale at Harrods) or a classic Oxford shirt, and this unisex look is the go-to Sloane style. £195
The Quilted Jacket (AKA The Cotswold Mink)
The quilted jacket (it’s Barbour naturally, darling) may be seen as a rain accessory to be used only in the deepest depths of the Cotswolds but Sloanes like to adorn this little number in all weathers for country escapades or city adventures. This is a limited edition Emma Bridgewater piece which you can wear for afternoon tea in Peter Jones whilst deciding whether to get engaged to Rupert or Harry. £179
It’s summer and it’s time to attend the Chelsea Flower Show, Henley Regatta and Wimbledon (as well as Aunties garden parties which she’ll kill you if you don’t attend). Enter the almighty Blazer, a Sloane essential which can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Slightly preppy, most definitely classy and always Navy, Sloanes do not do throw away fashion so it’s a keeper. ‘Oh, this old thing? I’ve had it for simply yeaaaars!’ £149.95
The Velvet Headband
Sloanes normally inherit their accessories from family through the generations (pearls from Granny, diamonds from Mummy) so they do not splash the cash on jewellery- but there is one fundamental component that is crucial Sloane attire- the 80’s Alice velvet headband. In 2019, this piece saw a real revival with many having jewels or ribbon interwoven but the classic Sloane keeps it simple with a black or navy number. The time has arrived to channel your inner Fergie… £18
A leather loafer will take you far in Sloane world, specifically, if it is a Gucci (Russell and Bromley will also give you gusto when entering the postcode of SW1). Sloanes love their loafers and brogues and although Gucci does them in a variation of bright colours, the classic colours for a Sloane Ranger are Black, navy, brown, tan or if they were feeling extremely naughty, burgundy. £575
A scarf is an essential item for Sloanes, and they wouldn’t be seen dead without it. In the country, they wear it ‘Babushka’ style, just on the edge of the chin as the Queen has for most of her life, and for the city it is a knot around the neck. Sloanes would normally have a Hermes printed number (a Gucci is of course entirely acceptable too), nothing too ‘ghastly,’ perhaps something ‘a bit horsey,’ and although they love a dash of designer, to have a name or emblem shown on the item would be committing the ultimate Sloane crime- probably resulting in them being banished from Sloane world forever! £345
The Pleated Skirt
To wear a mini skirt, or let’s be frank anything above the knee, in Sloane world would definitely be the height of gossip. It may even get back to mummy. Sloane women are not tarty but ultra-chic and feminine, and therefore the pleated skirt is the perfect attire to wear on any given day (as well as a few frills and a pussybow). Sloanes do not mind a high street store but it would have to be ‘a classic’, Marks and Spencers being one of them, and is safe as houses when it comes to durable, stylish womenswear. £29.50
Sloanes love jumpers. But not just any old baggy pullover will do the trick. It has to be cashmere and it has to be fitted. Just like their scarves and other items, Sloanes will keep their cashmere forever- or at least until the pesky moths get at it. Even then, they will mend and fix, only splurging on an updated piece when the old one is no longer wearable. Sloanes have no qualms whatsoever in attending the Harrods sale (in fact its an insider secret) but other than that ‘Marks and Sparks’ will work extremely well. £89
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