bally gives us the cousin to miu miu's frazzled librarian: the coolheaded postman
reviewing Bally SS24, a uniform lover's dream! plus—a secondhand outerwear edit of classic trenches and nostalgic leather jackets
I’ll be honest—as much as I want to keep up with fall fashion weeks, I actually find it really tiring. It’s possible to love fashion and not be able to consume/process all the information thrown our way!
There’s just so much fashion week coverage and reporting from all levels of media (and on Instagram, the same 6 second clip of models walking with two rows deep of more people on their phones filming the exact same thing from another angle). I find myself scrolling through new collection slideshows on the Vogue Runway app without feeling genuine inspiration. It takes a lot to cut through the noise, and the Bally Spring 2024 collection delivered. Bally is following the same trajectory as Coach’s youthful rebrand (now a few years in) and Tory Burch’s recent repositioning as a fresh, cool and modern designer.
If you’re like me, your first thought was probably wtf is Bally? I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it. I thought it was a vintage defunct brand that no longer existed because in high school I would see Bally bags at the Alameda Antiques Faire and they were similar to vintage Coach but cheaper.
After googling Bally, I’ve concluded the only things I care to know are: (1) it was founded in 1851 meaning it’s OLD meaning LOTS of online shoppable vintage stock and (2) they’re known for high-quality leather.
A uniform-lover’s dream moodboard
Here’s what captured me about the collection: uniform dressing that isn’t boring, postman aesthetics, the use of reds and blues that feels retro but not “patriotic”, bookish satchels (thinking about how millennials love the crossbody and Gen Z loves the 90s shoulder bag—how does the satchel fit into this?), and the humble baseball cap.
Every piece is extremely wearable. 99% of the pieces are simple garments you could find at any J.Crew or Uniqlo: blue shirts, red sweaters, jeans, white button-downs. But this kind of “simple” dressing is deceptively hard. It’s like when you put on a white tank top, jeans and ballet flats expecting to feel like Zoe Kravitz. Or when your attempt at a “low ponytail” makes you feel like a Founding Father. It’s in the styling tricks, the accessories, and the nonchalant attitude.
Cherry Red Meets its Match: True Blue
The obvious color story of the collection is red and blue. These outfits make a strong case for pairing these contrasting primary colors. Red symbolizes passion and intensity, blue symbolizes stability and trust. It works. I think there a few ways you can pair red and blue without looking “patriotic: wear two shades of blue (ex: navy + sky) or incorporate other neutral color accents (ex: black + brown).
The Case for a Postman Satchel
The satchel is utilitarian above all else. Traditionally, they are designed with multiple compartments for storage, and worn across the body or over the shoulder so it’s easy to carry on the move. I really like how the models are gripping the satchel strap with one hand. You can’t do that with a crossbody and a shoulder bag doesn’t result in the same casual vibe. I saw a TikTok about how milennials grew up wearing crossbodys as their “going-out” bags and Gen Z loves their shoulder bags tucked under the armpit. I’m here for a satchel resurgence. In the mid-2010s I wanted a Cambridge Satchel sooooo bad, and my mom got it for me as a birthday gift.
Head-to-toe Dressing Starts with a Baseball Cap
Baseball caps have an uncanny knack for completing an ensemble. If you look at the images reduced into blocks of color, the cap stylizes the head as a whole with a semicircle of saturated color. It’s what I like to call “head to toe” dressing where you consider the head a part of the body that needs clothes too. These outfits would not feel the same sans cap.
I did a deep dive on the Bally resale market. The outerwear is the good stuff worth looking at. Here’s an edit of ones I would wear, pieces that transform “uniform” basics into something special. Bally is known for their leather, and these six pieces ranging from The Row-esque suede trenches to patent burgundy crop jackets did not disappoint (all linked):
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