A few things to buy from Toast- particularly if you’re a gardener

toast 01All this talk of fashion week has us quite exhausted already, even before we’ve decided what to wear (hope you all saw Jane’s beautiful Solar System Tatty Devine necklace on our Instagrams yesterday?) Where once I would have invested in some fancy new outfit to look ‘current’  at the shows, after decades of attending, I’m reluctant to invest in anything too fashiony because it looks a teeny bit daft in the real world and in the new austerity-shopping matrix, just doesn’t make sense. NB Accessories, as Jane’s necklace demonstrates, are def the way to go to make a big impact while not investing in a complete new wardrobe.

Back in the real world, what I really want and need, is too look good in the garden, or rummaging around a vintage market, or cooking supper, which is where quite a lot of my real life happens.

There’s a very stylish, black and white, based-in-a-smart-reality feel to a number of catalogues from this season, with a strong grown up feel. COS (which features Julia Peyton-Jones to keep us grown up girls happy), John Lewis and Toast to mention three. The Toast catalogue is called Nourishment and is actually the ‘Men’s and Some Women’s’ version and features interesting people you might really want to know more about, wearing clothes for real life.

Putting the men featured to one side, I loved the women Toast selected. Firstly the Herefordshire bio dynamic farmer Jane Scotter, co founder of Fern Verrow who looks fabulous in her Josie Sweater and Belledune tunic, although its the neck scarf that adds that sense of gardening glamour. You can see Jane at Spa Terminus market in Bermondsay every Saturday to sample her delicious wares.

toast 02And then there’s our favourite gardener and gardening writer  Alys Fowler who told us recently she always tries to dig in a good dress because otherwise she’s be spending her gardening life in rubbish clothes. We think she looks amazing in her brushstroke top and Isla foulard scarf (scarves, gardening ladies, is the way to go for a touch of style it seems).

toast 03Thomasina Miers is pretty glamourous without the help of Toast, but I do like the way they’ve put that Alberton Top underneath the Loopback tunic.

toast 05I attended the Toast press day back in May and was desperate to own the above Alana jacket immediately, it’s beautifully made with lovely bound seams and the fabric felt gently robust. It would be a perfect transitional weekend jacket, more suitable perhaps for looking around gardens and markets than working in them, but as Alys says, there’s no reason why you can’t wear nice clothes gardening, it just means you look nicer while doing it.

Below is my fantasy romantic top, I’m not sure I’d buy this cross stitch blouse as It’s not quite my style but oh, it’s pretty, with lovely smocking hand stitched around the bodice and made from a linen-feel shirting you know would work hard for you. Perfect with jeans for glamourous gardening or cooking and also available in a tobacco/olive version too.

It’s possible -think Diane Vreeland here- this could almost make it to Fashion Week, if teamed with some slim ankle skimming cigarette pants in a bold colour, or even black, interesting flat shoes and maybe a duster coat in posh denim from Marni thrown over the top. Totes Amaze!

But back in the real world, top marks to Toast for an excellent choice of models for its Nourishment catalogue and keep up the good work on the clothes.



  • Lilac in May says:

    Bought my coat from Cos this year, navy, collarless, fabulously plain ,swing style. Alys Fowler always looks fab, and talks such common sense too

  • Monix says:

    Always look forward to the Toast catalogue – such attention to mood and context, a relief after seeing endless cut outs of items on some Internet sites. Love their knitwear but their sizing is all over the shop. I have items in size 12, 14 and 16 ( they are not alone). I also find Jaeger particularily strong this season – hurrah!


  • Amanda says:

    M I’m going to review Jaeger later as it does look great, have you bought? A

  • Monix says:

    Yes, I certainly have bought from Jaeger!
    Two pairs of slim trousers which are cut for women (ie with hips and thighs), a wool/ cotton sweater with leather sleeves, a classic moto leather jacket and a reversible grey/camel edge to edge coat. All fab quality but there is some dodgy mother-of-the-bride looks and some hiddy rose gold trimmings. There are 2 really, really good sales persons, Karen & Fiona – seek them out, they really know their stock and can shift through it to find items that suit.
    M x

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