I read an article in Vogue last month by journalist Pippa Holt, who found it really difficult to dress casually; she loved her striking dresses and vintage one-offs, her heels and jewellery, and the whole idea of jeans-and-trainers dressing was an anathema to her. This struck a real chord with me.
My ‘style’ – if what I wear is as cohesive a concept as that – has changed over the last year. My wardrobe contains a quarter of the clothes it did last September, and inevitably fashion has provided me with a few new obsessions – pleated skirts, silk shirts and ankle boots, to name but a few. Somehow, though, I’m still trying to fit all this together; it’s a little like shaking a kaleidoscope until all the pieces fall into place. That’s the fun of fashion, no?
After my first big clearout, one of the initial difficulties – which I’m sure you can relate to – was how to dress for work. I reverted to my default all-black wardrobe, which, though easy, didn’t do much for my post-London mood. I was reluctant to dig out the leopard print skirts and patent green shoes for running around a library, thinking I should ‘keep them for weekend’ – a philosophy I blame my mother for! Eventually, though, I bit the bullet…and I feel all the better for it.
|Jess Cartner-Morley inspired me to embrace some colour. Thanks, Jess.|
Of course, that had a knock-on effect – I didn’t feel I could wear those clothes at weekend, ‘tainted’ as they were by work. Since I moved to Stockport, we’ve been a little isolated – not always fun, but it does mean you can live in your pyjamas outside of the working week – a comfy choice, but not a particularly creative one! Pippa Holt’s problems were solved by a canny purchase of a casual yet beautiful go-with-everything Céline trenchcoat; us less wealthy types do, I fear, have to take a slightly more prosaic approach…! So the way I saw it, I had to go one of two ways: get more dressed up at weekend (high maintenance) or BRAVE THE JEANS.
Jeans, leggings, jeggings – all simple steps to casual chic – just don’t suit me; this weekend I wore my mid-calf black Zara skirt to bake a chocolate pudding, and felt ridiculously overdressed. (It also had the unfortunate effect of making me resemble a 50s housewife when armed with baking trays.) So, when having a scout around online, I was pleasantly surprised to see that trousers are strong on the high street, not just in Chloé. I’ve eulogised already about the Asos velvet harems, so here are some of my other high street favourites: streamlined and simple, with a luxurious feel…
|American Apparel- they need sexier heels than this, though.|
Sure, powder blue is a brave choice, but worn with a chic blazer and a fine knit t-shirt, I think I might just get away with it…