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

Ode to Zara

I mean I might as well set up a temple and start worshiping. In my eyes Zara nails it every, single time. Who are these people who rip off designers almost instantaneously (they have a 2 week turnaround time when other brands need 6 months),  shoot everything beautifully, have ridiculously good delivery options and their stores are generally well stocked and easy to shop (learn something here Mango!)? Oh and ps – they don’t waste money on advertising or dressing celebrities. Because, well why would you when you sit at #46 on the Forbes most valuable brand list at a casual $13 billion.

Also their owner literally looks like somebody’s sweet but slightly dilly uncle (check him out here). But don’t let those eyebrows fool you, at one point last year he was the richest man alive, beating Bill Gates’s casual $82 billion (probably because I spend so much money in there).

But lets get back to the clothes. The latest ‘Clean Lines’ story is a dream. It features the beautiful Cara Taylor, the girl who is making me want to chop all my hair off , because she rocks a bob like its nobody’s business. But I pretty much want EVERY SINGLE ITEM. There is such a good mix of nostalgic 80’s sport, Celine-inspired pieces (gotta love a bit of Celine) with the textures and lurex, plastic and and pvc that just need to find a place in your closet. Everything is perfectly paired, right down to the last mismatched earring. Go shop it now before I head into store and buy it all out…You have been warned…

 

shop the full collection here >

image credits: Zara

 

 

Who Runs the World?

Zara. Everyone knows what I’m talking about. The high street powerhouse that has just taken over. They nail it every single time. And it’s not just the clothes, their brand as a whole ticks all the right boxes – the stores, the ad campaigns, the models. It’s just everything you need in your wardrobe and more. Even Olivia Palermo, who seems to have all the designers on speed dial, wears it on repeat. And their latest Spring/Summer 16 collection is no exception. They are ticking off every single trend.

I was out in London on Saturday Night at the new Pergola on the Roof  (go visit when the sun shines, the deliriously happy mood is infectious) and I might as well have been at a Zara launch party. Every girl was rocking it. And I knew because I had just done a major online sweep of my favourite items. Now I know that wearing something everyone else is wearing is pretty passé but the pieces are so good you actually don’t care. You just have to have them. End of.

Here are some of my current favs…

Images: zara.com