How to look like Patsy

Peta Rooney has travelled the world during her 40 years in the fashion industry. New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Los Angeles and Tokyo were annual destinations as she explored the latest fashion trends, the must-use fabrics and the colours that would define the upcoming seasons. The goal was to help fashion houses in Australia produce up-to-the-minute designs at affordable prices.

Just for fun, she starts with advice on how to look like Patsy, the style queen from the TV series Absolutely Fabulous played by Joanna Lumley. Patsy exudes confidence and style – and so could you. Peta explains.


We all have our heroes/heroines – those we admire and worship. Mine happens to be Patsy from Ab Fab. I’ve always adored her style. She is nothing if not comfortable in her own skin. So as a challenge, I’ve decided to try to emulate her look.

Let’s start with the hair. Safe to say it should be blonde, with a hint of dark roots, and of course it should be ferociously teased and piled high on top of the head into a beehive or a French roll, terribly dramatic and with a deliciously full fringe. Patsy would call this her ‘bangs’.

Once the hair has been sorted, our next most important task is to achieve the Patsy ‘make-up’. This is not for the faint-hearted. There will be no signs of the natural look in this makeover. Full cover foundation, masses of black kohl exaggerating the eyes, lashings of mascara and then the very necessary glossy red lipstick. Nothing understated going on here!

Patsy’s wardrobe is a throwback to the 1960s and ‘70s, with a touch of the ‘80s ‘power dressing’ era, so let’s grab a ‘fab’ fitted and sexy styled jacket with a hint of a shoulder pad. It will be tailored and fitted at the waist to silhouette the figure.

Let’s add to this a feminine and frilly see-through chiffon blouse in a soft colour or possibly a classic animal print. I see ruffles, long sleeves and a low-cut neckline. We have to highlight our best attributes.?

Patsy also loves a pencil skirt to show off her lovely long slim legs. But if you’re like me and can’t quite carry off this look, we can substitute a slim fitting pair of pants that are tight around the ankle.

Add to this, lethal high-heeled stilettos with a pointy toe. Now we have to think ‘tall’, and feel the confidence surging through us. We’re nearly there.

Finally, to fully complete the ‘Patsy look’ we need a glass of champagne in one hand – Bolly of course, darling – a pair of chic black sunglasses, a pout on our painted lips and a typical Patsy withering look. Go forth and conquer, girlfriends!

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