As you know I’ve been culling my clothes with the aim of establishing a chic core wardrobe and, in fact, have been shamed by the number of you who have said you do it every 6 months. I vow to try this so that it won’t be so painful next time. Anyway, I figured it was time for a reward by doing a bit of online shopping to find some chic core Autumn basics. I know you like a ‘new items’ feature so I thought I’d share my trying on session with you. These are serious rather than frivolous items, new workhorses for my wardrobe focusing on navy. So here are my first 2 orders – more will follow in Tuesday’s post!
I obviously cottoned onto a good thing with this Boden Shirt because there’s now a 12 week wait which means it will go out of stock in the next few days. I love it. It has lovely red stitching down the placket, deep cuffs, is a great cut and is just the right length for tucking in without adding too much bulk. If I have a criticism I would prefer the buttoning to be positioned slightly differently – it’s hard to find a shirt that shows just the right amount of decolletage and the button on this is a little high, but that’s a minor thing. Don’t forget that there’s still 10% off with free delivery and returns until tonight – I actually quite like ordering things that are on delay because you have the thrill of the purchase without having to pay for it and of course it’s a nice surprise when it arrives.
The navy wool Bistro crop trousers are also Boden. I love wearing soft woollen trousers in the colder weather. They’re so much easier to care for than cotton ones; less washing and ironing is always good in my book. I know some reviews say that the pockets add bulk but I think they add a bit of French insouciance to the look. Admittedly they are pricey but I really do think they’re worth it for such a core piece, I know I’ll wear and wear them. Even though I’m usually regular I ordered them in long by the way and also had to size up, they come a bit small.
The navy ankle boots are Autograph from Marks and Spencer (also available in black). They haven’t photographed very well so here’s a close up:
It can be tricky to work ankle boots with cropped trousers. The top of the boot and the hem of the trouser never seems quite right. However the scoop at the front of these boots seems to solve the issue. Having an insolia lining they’re also supremely comfortable and I really like the contrast of the suede and elastic. Again be quick if you want them – there is low stock showing in many sizes. Quote FOOTWEAR20 and you’ll get 20% until 23rd September.
I did order another pair of navy ankle boots from M&S – the stiletto Chelsea boot, in fact I expected these to be the keepers but as you can see, they just didn’t work quite right with the hem. It’s probably me not managing the turn ups properly but I don’t want to have to fiddle about every time I change shoes.
However, if you wear boots with skirts and dresses these would probably be very flattering because they come higher up the leg as you can see:
So, onwards. I think every blogger has a style icon – for many it is Olivia Palermo, for me it is Ines de la Fressange. To me she is the very epitome of chic. You can imagine my excitement when an email dropped into my inbox from Uniqlo announcing their latest Ines de la Fressange collection. Now I missed this last time around and so was determined to order early. I went through the collection, loved everything, filled my basket, went for a quick lunch to think about what I should take out (there was far too much), came back literally 15 minutes later and nearly everything had gone in every size! I was a bit suspicious about the quality as the prices are just so low for something that looks so good, also I haven’t ordered from Uniqlo before – I hold a bit of a grudge against retailers who only have stores in London, just rude not to have at least one branch in Manchester, Leeds or Glasgow in my opinion. Anyway let me show you the Uniqlo images so you can see what I mean (look she’s wearing a pea coat – it’s going to be one of those chic underground trends I tell you!!!!):
and here’s what I managed to order:
Cashmere blend crew neck sweater , can you see the lovely red detail on the inside of the cuff you can either turn it back to reveal it or leave it flat. The thing on the front is the size medium sticker – I was trying to decide which to keep as I was comparing it to this:
Cashmere blend V-Neck sweater (you can also see the detail of the Boden red stitching here). My view of these – amazing quality for the price and great for this time of year as they’re a very fine knit. I tried them on without a shirt underneath and they were a bit unforgiving to wear alone – if you’re thinking of doing that, size up, I think they might be made with diminutive Japanese models in mind. Which did I keep? The crew neck, I just really liked the deep scoop of the neck. They also had a polo neck in the same range which looked brilliant but sold out before my eyes – keep an eye out in case they restock. I also kept this navy twill shirt:
Again great cut, great detail, I love the way it buttons at the neck and the cleavage button is in just the right place to be sassy rather than slutty. It is also beautifully finished with a curved hem so that it looks just as good untucked if you want to wear it loose. The thing I’m kicking myself for dithering over is this tailored jacket:
It was available in a pin stripe but has sold out so I can’t even show you an image. Forget your boxy boucle jackets from Zara – if the cut and quality of these are anything like the rest of the collection then these are the items that really sort out the women from the girls.
Finally for today (yes you can breathe a sigh of relief), as I was doing a Uniqlo order I thought I’d add the ultra stretch jeans that everyone is raving about:
Sorry for the bare midriff but I thought you’d want to see them properly. They are great – so comfortable, they’re proper denim, they aren’t jeggings but it feels as though you’re wearing high quality leggings because they really do stretch in every direction whilst pulling you in at the same time. I also love the fact that they’re dark denim with no distressing or wash effect. I haven’t kept them because I don’t need any new skinny jeans and I’m being very strict with my pared down dressing room but if you’re looking for some, try these.
So, this has been a long one and there’s still part 2 to come on Tuesday; not much time to tell you about my week. I’m pleased with my new haircut, we negotiated and she took more off the back whilst leaving the front longer which makes it easier to manage and takes it away from a bob. I’m not so pleased with my post holiday girth. Typically when I weighed myself on Saturday morning I’d lost enough to not have to go back to Slimming World but then, because I’d had my hair done (poor excuse I know), we went out for a date night and sure enough I ruined it – this has to be the worst thing about hitting the 40 milestone, your metabolism just seems to slow each year after it. Anyway I was very noble and went back to the group on Monday. Now it’s Friday and it isn’t working yet – and we’re going to Pizza express tomorrow night!
A plea for your input
By the way, the people at Gray & Osbourn have been very interested to hear your comments from the pea coat post. I’m actually quite impressed with their attitude, they’re working hard to start catering for a younger 40-something customer base (isn’t it great to be classed as younger). So, given that they’re listening, please could you take this opportunity to add a constructive comment in the comments section below telling them what you’d like to see in their collection, after all we need more retailers to cater for women our age who want to look fabulous. I’m going to start it off by saying I’d like to see them stock more brands like Esprit at entry point prices and more styles that are plain and well cut – maybe they could develop their own brand of core chic pieces further. Even if you just want to say that you agree with me, please, please add a comment – let’s take this opportunity to let them know what we want and to speak to them directly.