Last week I had my first walk around stores in London looking at spring clothes. I wont pretend I didn’t find it hard, there are some gorgeous items wanting to trip me up on my quest to buy nothing new this year. As I wandered through Liberty, COS and Zara, stroking and smoothing as I went I had a different mindset from my usual ‘what can I buy’ one. Being one step removed, I was more analytical. An item had to really sing to make me give it a second look and be practically made from angel hair and fairy wings to make me consider breaking my pledge after nearly five months (almost half way!) Here’s what stood out as better than good.
A really lovely summer dress
I am loving wearing dresses over trousers, a key summer trend and one I can do easily with my existing wardrobe. While cruising Anne Berneckers’ blog recently, I loved the fringed cream tunic worn over jeans (top image), an updated take on the kaftan and more fuel for my Women Wearing White obsession. At Joseph, this super-light Habotai silk dress would kind of work the same look. It has a crinkle, generously-sized look that practically says ‘take me on holiday and you can eat all the pasta you like’ from the rail.
One range I am constantly drawn back to and am SERIOUSLY hoping remains consistently as good next year when I’m back buying clothes is John Lewis’s Modern Rarity. I know that this shirt-weight cotton dress would be hanging in my wardrobe right now if I had been purchasing. If you are listening John Lewis, please keep that Palmer Harding collab going…
The delightful Ace & Jig team have produced a gorgeous summer dress that I hope will be knocking around eBay next year, because I adore this. It looks like something my mum wore in the 70s and is made from wonderful comfy, sustainably sourced cotton. This nearly broke me.
Something in Audrey pink
Oh my, Twin Peaks! I don’t have the necessary channel to watch the new series so I’m going to need someone to invite me round because this is bigger than big. I remember being completely terrified watching TV on my own when the first series aired, a younger MAD was out for the night and I was watching from behind a cushion, deliciously spooked by everything and everyone. That music has haunted me forever.
Anyway, the lovely Sherilyn Fenn is back in the new series and I hope she has negotiated as cracking a wardrobe as before. She was partial to pink many decades before the millennials found it. I love the pink linen shirt from Modern Rarity, it’s long, generously sized and would work for smart and casual alike. Those trousers look useful too.
A wear-everywhere summer jacket
I was asked recently by a broadsheet paper to comment on M&S recruiting a non fashion person (Jill McDonald, currently CEO at Halfords) to be new M.D of clothing, home & beauty. My honest answer to that should have been, who cares any more? We’re over M&S fashion, mostly because other brands have wriggled into the space it once owned. Modern Rarity and Me&Em are good examples. Although small, both make simple, elegant and modern pieces for everyday wear.
I love this khaki jacket, it looks immensely useful and would work smart or casual. You all clearly liked it too as the first batch sold out, but more are expected mid June. Meanwhile you might like to peruse the gorgeous side stripe wide leg jeans while you wait. The excellent selection of all things khaki-smart are difficult to avoid, I think maybe khaki, along with metallic silver, is a new neutral.
I’m also grateful to LTR (long term reader) Monika for sending me a link to the very credible Epitome of Edinburgh website, which carries some of my favourite Japanese designers, such as Blue Blue Japan and Engineered garments. The jacket above is divine, are you trying to break me, Monika?
Some neat sunglasses.
Sunglasses are the new shoes as far as updating your look is concerned. Once a pair of new shoes was all you needed to make your old outfit feel current, but now we’re all wearing trainers with no sign of ever changing, sunglasses have stepped into the ‘boost your trend-esteem’ role. I didn’t count my sunglasses on my New Years Day wardrobe audit, but I’ve got at least three pairs. I’m over the big shade movement, mostly due to them giving me a weight-headache and a constant ridge on my nose, instead I’m liking the lightweight updated aviators, such as the ones from Le Spec here.
The LetMeSee range of reading glasses, which kind of do the same thing in terms of boosting your style credentials, are also cool, I bought pair before my purchasing-purdah and love em.
What are you buying this spring?