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The rules: Dress to de-stress

Date

Maggie Alderson

Model Alessandra Ambrosio chills in casual cut-offs and a sloppy joe, a look that almost anyone can pull off.

Alessandra Ambrosio puts class into casual.

Alessandra Ambrosio puts class into casual. Photo: Splash Photos

And … breathe. The Christmas indulgence is over (and the decorations taken down by today, for the sake of superstition and sanity). The forced fun nightmare of New Year's Eve is behind us and it's far enough into January to start giving up on those boring new year resolutions. It's time to chillax, and just as our clothes unconsciously express who we are and what we aspire to be, you can help get yourself into a mindset by mindfully choosing what to wear.

It's the same principle as ''dress for success'', except what you want to do right now is dress to de-stress.

That's exactly what Alessandra Ambrosio is doing here. A sloppy joe sweater and a pair of cut-offs - it doesn't get any more dressed down than that, and she looks great doing it, too: she looks off duty, not off message.

Of course, as we've previously discussed, Miss Ambrosio (the name!) - the leading Victoria's Secret Angel, for flipping heck's sake - is at the very highest level of would-look-good-in-a-sack womankind, but apart from the extent of the leg display, this isn't a madly challenging look.

And it's not like they're bum-cleavage-revealing hot pants; they're just fairly short cut-offs. I'd happily wear this outfit with my trusty old Calvins, which are hacked off just a few inches above the knee. It would have roughly the same effect. (Roughly …)

What makes it work - apart from her long golden, cellulite-free legs (I'd have spray tan on mine) - is the bold fun of the sweater, which is by an LA-based brand called Wildfox.

Called the ''Seeing Stars Lennon'' sweater, it proved so popular last northern summer that Emma Watson, Halle Berry, Emma Roberts, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale, Ashlee Simpson, Ellie Goulding, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lily Collins and Jessica Simpson have all been seen sporting one. Those are some pretty impressive human billboards to have strolling your brand. And I can see why they all wanted one.

This pullover must be the most comfortable thing you could possibly wear: baggy enough to skin over problem body parts (if you have any), loose enough to prevent overheating, but with enough bulk to keep out stiff breezes when the wind turns on shore in the afternoon.

So that's all good, but any old foul sweatshirt can be that forgiving. Where this number wins out is it's mad pop-art styling, making it holiday fun in clothing form. What you can't see very clearly here is, as well as the cute droopy seams, the sweater has been distressed to have big old holes around the bottom, so it's the upper body equivalent of '80s-style ripped jeans. I'd love one of these jumpers.

All the celebrities I've seen wearing it, in the various colourways - blue, olive, black, purple - have styled it differently. Ashlee Simpson punked it up cutely with skinny black jeans and brothel creepers. Lily Collins New Yorked it with skinny indigo jeans, a felt hat and black ankle boots. Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale wore it as a mini dress, with Converse and gladiator sandals, respectively. Emma Watson had a big linen scarf looped around her neck. Sarah Michelle Gellar went for the black leggings. They all looked great, but Alessandra so looks the best.

The studded cut-offs add a rock'n'roll edge and she's had the wit to tuck a little bit of the front edge of the sweater into the waistband so her body still has some definition beneath the folds.

The chic panama hat and classic black sunnies keep it classy, while mixed ethnic bangles and flat sandals say pure summer holidays. Take a leaf out of her styling book and make the most of yours.

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