With Pan we Can

Post by CM

It may seem strange to get your fashion inspiration from a small boy, but hear me out. He’s spirited and courageous, works a pair of green leggings and pixie boots and isn’t afraid to try out a peplum. Yes, he has his faults (pomposity, selfishness, that low V neck) but the boy who never grew up has many other redeeming qualities like loyalty and ability to fly, not to mention his feather tipped cap. Let me introduce you to Peter Pan.


In the original story by JM Barrie Pan was “clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that flow from the tree”, but his appearance has adapted over the years to account for stage and screen productions, from a red outfit of tunic and tights to the more recognisable green.

Traditionally a woman played the part; in fact the Peter Pan Collar was named after the costume worn by Maude Adams in the role in 1905 New York.

Maude Adams
Maude Adams as Peter Pan in 1905

I absolutely love the Peter Pan Collar, it’s so simple yet flattering. Alexa Chung re-popularised it a few years ago and it has since given way to Oxford shirts buttoned right up to the top (a look I’m also fond of) but still nothing can detract me from popping on a collared dress from time to time – they’re so easy to wear and the collar really brings it together, no jewellery or other accessories need jostle for attention.

Red and White Striped with Peter Pan Collar
Red and White Striped with Peter Pan Collar
Peacock Polka Dots with Peter Pan Collar
TM wearing navy lace with Peter Pan Collar
TM wearing navy lace with Peter Pan Collar

I have declared my love of the legging before, and Peter can back me up on their versatility and comfiness. Nothing beats dragging on a pair and sitting crosslegged on a big sofa with a bucket of popcorn between your knees watching Hook. They can also be worn out and about, for a walk or a run, to exercise or simply to stroll around in nonchalantly!

Photo from Fit Sugar
Photo from Fit Sugar

Peter probably hasn’t had any need for heels (we’ll leave that particular fashion statement to Captain Hook) but nonetheless I can’t help noticing his influence in this fantastic pair worn by Kate Moss:

Kate Moss photographed by Rex Features
Kate Moss photographed by Rex Features

I just love the little wings at the top, paired with the floral cape and statement necklace. I feel like if Peter did grow up, to be a lady, this is exactly what she’d wear!

TM has a cute pair of flat knee high pointed boots that look the business, and one of my favourite sets of booties has to be an Irregular Choice pair I picked up years ago; perhaps owing more to Tinkerbell than Pan, but certainly staying in the Neverland realm.

Irregular Choice Booties

My fondness for hats probably hasn’t gone unnoticed, and again I have one which could have come straight from the little man’s head himself. But for a scarlet feather it’s perfect; green and well fitting so as not to fall off when I’m flying through the Victorian London air.


Let us not forget Pan’s shadow. Head to toe black is still the chicest of the chic, and with New York Fashion Week starting today, kicking off three weeks of A/W14 fashion shows, we’re sure to see many media darlings dressed accordingly…

US Vogue's Grace Coddington's got it down. Fly, Grace, Fly!
US Vogue’s Grace Coddington’s got it down. Fly, Grace, Fly!

So a little lost boy can provide us with some sartorial guidance after all! Inspiration is all around and can be found in the most unlikely of places. This month it’s positive to be spotted on the streets and catwalks of New York, London, Paris and Milan, but that’s not where it ends. Go out with an open mind – and think happy thoughts!

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