October 1st, 2007

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?

10 thoughts on “October 1st, 2007

  1. Funny, we were in Lakeside yesterday shopping for mother in law’s birthday present and it became apparant to me how badly I need a new winter wardrobe. Maybe after Ally Pally I’ll treat myself to a wee shopping trip. Boden and Toast are my all time favourites..

  2. Oh lovely stuff, but I’m afraid that I’d need to have the odd decimal place moved to afford some of those things.

    I’m a marks and sparks lady myself, I find their jeans tend to fit.

    I must admit I’ve just got tee shirts and jumpers – shop bought ones, as I’ve just been at University and throwing clay for the last few years. Anything that is not super hard wearing or does not cost too much just used to get ruined.

    I bought myself some nice things over the summer, and I’ll have to get knitting myself those jumpers I’d started.

  3. yes….Boden….and did you see those lovely scarves and hats……what about a pattern for one of those?!

  4. I tend to have to choose between yarn or clothes, unfortunatly not those gorgeous clothes, and yarn often wins!!!

  5. 100% with you on the hatred of shopping, and the boon of the internet… except that I now find myself actually buying clothes. Good for my wardrobe, not so much for my bank balance. Oh dear.

    Very happy indeed with my new winter boots, though. Now just don’t let me anywhere near Irregular Choice – the line between “want” and “need” is getting a little blurry… and I’ll thank you not to wave Toast at me so temptingly. Mind you when something is *really* too much for me, it’s a lot easier than all those shops that are affordable, except I sort of shouldn’t.

    I always wish my hands had a turbo switch when the weather changes; all those jerseys I’d been thinking about for ages are suddenly needed NOW. Maybe this year I’ll actually get one finished before the end of winter. (As I say every year.)

  6. I also hate shopping…unless it’s for yarn. I go with your taste in clothes though Dee. I quite like charity shops…have picked up a few gems there. I love my PJs most of all. Best thing in the world …coming home from work, knowing you don’t have to go out again….bath…PJs and socks, glass of red! Usually the illusion is shattered by one of the kids needing a lift somewhere about 10pm. I have been known to go out in my PJs with a coat over! Eleanor x

  7. oh god, Dee, I’m beginning to think we’re some kind of clones :D…. donĀ“t get me started on hating shopping… whatever it’s for! thank god for the net.
    Hope the cold is disappearing fast…