The New Neutrals

A breath of fresh air in a world full of too-tight skinny jeans and polyester pencil skirts…

Neutrals. I’m not sure I like the term. I used to love the idea of a monochromatic wardrobe artfully arranged from white to stone to coffee tones, khakis and then greys and blacks. A capsule. Breathable. Something like this >. Where you buy one item and retire another with dignity, understanding the role you play in our over-consumed world and appreciating each purchase you make with a solemnity that Marie Kondo would be proud of.

Unfortunately for ole Marie and the world of order and tidyness, I find I’m going through a period of more is more – bright dresses and silk shirts, mixing prints and stripes, polka dots and textures. Maybe it’s because Summer has rolled around and you feel like colour is the way to go. Or maybe I’m turning into Iris Apfel (hopefully not just yet).

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I feel like there will be a time in my life when I wear silk pyjamas and ornate bejewelled rings, oversized sunglasses and fur coats of many colours. And I will shop only at Liberty and buy mountains of macarons from Ladurée that I feed to my Pomeranians. But for now I’m up and down as to what I want and what my wardrobe is or wants to be, so neutrals do sometimes still exert a pull. Especially as this look has moved away from ‘Out of Africa’ connotations or ‘hessian hippy’ styling to something so chic, so breathable and so relaxed that I can’t help but love it.

It feels quite grown up but still über cool. Like a Céline woman without the severity. There is that severe masculine edge but it’s softened by the natural fabrics and the sway of a wisp of hair or a tasteful feminine bow. She knows who she is, likes to look elegant and put together but be comfortable at the same time. Items aren’t fussy but still detailed and clever. Fabrics are cool and comfortable – linen, organic cotton, stiff crochet and fine knit. There’s a hint of beading, a touch of gold, a knot here, a raffia sandal there. And bags are interesting rather than showy. As if you are carrying a functional sculpture that doesn’t need any fussy zips or statement logos.

It’s all about considered basics which – to give Marie her credit – I do believe in. We should consider what we put together as a look. There should be pride in our appearance no matter what the style. And the joy of head-to-toe neutrals is exactly that. It’s a quietly considered style. A breath of fresh air in a world full of too-tight skinny jeans and polyester pencil skirts. A world where movement is slower, more graceful. Our desks are organised and our lunch is always organic but we brought it from home. A life that doesn’t seem so chaotic. We walk with direction and appreciation. There is no rushing or missed gym sessions. There is always time for a holiday. We are just confidently present. Beautifully put together and effortlessly chic…Hmmm…maybe this is the woman we all want to be…

Get inspired…

Shop the Look…

image credits: Zara / Fashion Editorials / Pinterest / Style Du Monde / Mango / Whistles / Topshop / & Other Stories

Look of the Day

Nothing wrong with a lot of bling and branding…sometimes. Almost never..but in this case paired with black nails and an oversized shirt I am on board!

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image credits: badlands

All Tied Up

Does it sound obvious to say expect the….expected? These days I feel like sometimes we play it a little safe. A little too black on black. The little black dress (firm case and point), an oversized white shirt tucked into a pair of slimfit jeans, a ‘careless’ trenchcoat, ballet pumps or a slouchy Breton knit. The problem with all of these is that yes they are chic, yes they are timeless and work within almost any context, but they are also completely predictable and BORING.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these items but not when you have veered into the realm of obvious. A little too done. Too put together. J Crew on steroids. The problem is that to blend in you are stripping the interest out of your outfit. You really have to style them up (think converse with a ballgown) or look like Kendall Jenner because let’s face it she’s so beautiful can reinvent a ballet pump.

Basically I’ve come to the realisation that these items are like a facelift – it can be subtle but you know she wasn’t ‘born with it’. They are closet staples and you need them to hide the fact that you couldn’t come up with anything more interesting to wear.

So why not go the extra mile? Sometimes a little more effort means exactly that – you are letting the world know that yes you have tried and oh look at that- you are OWNING it. You have moved beyond just ‘throwing something together.’ This doesn’t mean you need to spend millions or that you are leaving the house in a trend heavy ensemble that will be worn once and never revisited again. (I’m talking to you Platform Sneakers). It just means adding something into the mix that is unecessary but says that you care. That you are a little bolder, a little more interesting and a lot less cookie cutter than that Ralph Lauren stripe shirt paired with loafers and Michael Kors sunglasses.

Enter the neck tie. A subtle yet rather refined item. Draped or tied around the neck. Just so. Or so… Or any which way really, I don’t think it matters anymore. The fact of the matter is that you are confident enough to wear one. At any age. Not just for air hostesses or middle-aged Manhattan socialites, it’s making the rounds of the fashion conscious. A colourful piece of silk that catches eye as much as the light. Pair with basics, suits, shirts, or dresses it will work hard and earn its keep. And you don’t need the Hermès version to make this work. Bimba Y Lola, Massimo Dutti even Zara are offering affordable yet clever high street options. Subtle yet sophisticated. Get involved…

 

Go Shopping….

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image credits: style du mond / pinterest / stylecaster / man repeller / the trend spotter / fashion gum / whitney’s wonderland

Dreaming of Sunshine…

& Other Stories has me reaching for my SPF even though the sun’s not shining.

Hello Monday! I trust everyone had a lovely weekend? Did you enjoy the sunshine if you got some? Apparently London was awash with vitamin D. Sadly I wouldn’t know because I was in the Lake District being rained on for 4 days straight. Such a lovely part of the world – just so green and lush and romantic. Think white washed cottages and fields of fluffy sheep. Magical rolling hills, quirky little towns and cosy pubs. But on second glance you realise why it’s so green – it rains non-stop. No not just a spot of drizzle and mist here and there. Solid sheets of rain. So much so that those cute fluffy sheep look a little suicidal. They just want some sunshine. But this weekend they did not get it. And neither did I. So when I saw the latest holiday edit from & Other Stories I nearly cried with longing. Take me away! Where you ask? Anywhere! As long as you can guarantee sunshine I am on board. If not I will just dream of swimsuits and St Tropez…

Here are my favourite pieces with some editorial and blogger inspiration alongside them to get you into the vaycay spirit…

stripes
Swimsuit £35

basket
Basket Bag £65

red dress
Dress £69

sunnies
Sunglasses £17

red suit
Bikini Top £19 Bottoms £19

white dress
Dress £69

Red stripe
Swimsuit £39

Shop the full & Other Stories vaycay collection here >

 

 

image credits: fashioneditorials.com / & other stories / fashion me now / natalie off duty / where did you get that / pinterest