The recent change in weather has got me thinking about my autumn/winter wardrobe, which is woefully inadequate. When you work from home, sweats and socks tend to make up the backbone of your wardrobe. It always makes me laugh when I read pieces in fashion magazines suggesting comfortable but chic lounge wear for around the house. Yes, I’m going to wear a belted linen tunic over skinny jeans, or a cashmere wrap jacket over silk palazzo pants, instead of washed-a-hundred-times-until-they’re-super-soft pj’s, and I’ll wear full makeup too, because I have my standards to keep up…… Yes, ok…….
However, for the days when I do make it out the house, a little clothes shopping has become necessary. But I hate, detest, loathe, shopping. How some people find it therapeutic is beyond my comprehension. Even back in the days when fashion was my business, I didn’t really enjoy shopping, it was just a necessary evil. But thanks to the Internet, I can get my shopping over with from the comfort of my sofa. WWW = What WouldIDo WithoutIt?
There was a time when I prided myself on being one jump ahead of the trends, but I’ve grown rather tired of fashion in the last few years. It’s so…. clonish. I still love vintage fashion though, especially the 1930′s-1950′s. That whole shabby chic, Cold Comfort Farm meets I Capture the Castle, slightly eccentric faded grandeur look. Battered tweeds, ditzy silk prints, threadbare velvet, washed until it’s sheer cotton. A baggy Aran sweater worn over a tea dress. Flannel trousers, a crisp cotton shirt, and a Fair Isle tank top. A flippy velvet skirt with wellington boots. None of which I would wear, but I’m creating an atmosphere here.
And there are several shops out there who are on the same wavelength. Boden, Toast, Celtic Sheepskin, Noa Noa, Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley, The White Company. Just looking through their catalogues is a delight (especially Boden – the witty comments make the copy as much of a treat as the photos).
Because these shops have an old-fashioned, hand-crafted style to them, they combine beautifully with hand knits. Imagine these trousers with a crisp cotton shirt, rolled up at the sleeve, and a Fair Isle tank top in mellow autumn shades. Or jeans tucked into these boots, with a tweedy cable knit sweater over the top. Or this fabulous dress, with a silk lace shawl flung over the shoulders. Or even (slightly closer to reality here) these pyjamas, with decadently soft cashmere socks…..
Of course, I haven’t the time to make all these knits (although I’m getting faster – sleeve two of Tony’s sweater is now complete!), the money to buy all those items, or the social standing or lifestyle to wear such opulent outfits. But a girl can dream, can’t she?