It’s time – I’m excited to bring you my Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo Autumn 2018 Review. Yet again they’ve identified Midlifechic readers as their core audience and so I’ve had the chance to examine some of the pieces early – I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. For US readers it should be going live for you today too. Just in case you’re a new reader, what’s so great about this Uniqlo collection?
- It consists of a core wardrobe capsule defined by classic Parisian style but always with a contemporary twist
- It’s great quality
- It is somehow produced at Uniqlo’s consistently good price point which in my opinion makes it the most affordable, quality capsule on the high street.
Caveats to bear in mind
- It will most likely be sold out by lunchtime today
- Sizing varies – I’ve made a sizing note on each of the pieces I’ve styled below. Bear in mind I’m a standard UK size 12 in most brands (e.g. Boden, M&S) and I take a regular length in trousers.
Style notes on this year’s range
- You’ll see a continuation of some of the best-selling styles from previous collections but in different colours. This is good – these are staple, timeless wardrobe pieces.
- Some of the pieces reference two of AW18’s key trends – 70s nostalgia and tweed. Your eye may not have adapted to these yet but they’re going to be huge – and easy for midlifers to carry off (more about this next week).
- Hero areas? Look at the shirting in particular. You can’t buy great cotton shirts and blouses like this anywhere else on the high street – certainly not at this price.
- Childrenswear has been introduced for the first time (she says wistfully, wondering if she can encourage a teen to wear a baker boy cap).
So, as I’ve explained this is a fast-moving collection and I have to work with the samples that are available to shoot in the days before it goes live. Back in June I put together a wishlist for Uniqlo and this is the AW capsule that I put together – with these in your wardrobe you would be covered for work and weekend wear.
Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo Autumn 2018 Review
Capsule wardrobe Autumn 2018
- IdLF tweed coat (also available in grey)
- Velvet jacket (also available in navy)
- Ribbed blouson (also available in wine)
- Wide-leg wool mix trousers(also available in pinstripe)
- Cord skirt (also available in rust, natural and brown)
- Indigo jeans (also available in red and natural)
- Extra fine merino sweater (also available in red and natural)
- Pintuck shirt (available in various colours)
- Tie-neck cashmere jumper (also available in red, camel and navy)
- Cashmere tunic-style jumper (also available in royal blue and navy)
- Tweed baker boy cap (also available in navy pinstripe and black and white dogtooth)
- Faux patent cross body bag (also available in wine and navy)
These were the particular looks that I initially wanted to show you today. Unfortunately the samples weren’t available but I thought I’d include them anyway to give you some extra outfitting ideas.
Look 1 – Working wardrobe
Look 2 – 70s retro
Look 3 – Weekend look
So, let me take you through the pieces that I had a chance to review and even though this is in association with Uniqlo, the thing I like about working with them is the fact that they are always happy for me to give you my honest opinions about fit.
Look 1 – tweed
I’m going to talk about this more next week but tweed is a key trend for Autumn. It’s been showing on the catwalks for a while but it’s finally filtered down to the high street. You can either wear it as a single piece or you can be more fashion forward and mix different patterns – it works best if they’re the same texture like the baker boy cap and the jacket here.
So, what do I like about the soft tweed jacket? It’s a soft, non-itchy tweed (70% wool) with good quality faux leather buttons that nip the waist in (in my hurry, I omitted to fasten the top one). It’s half-lined which means it sits well over clothes without adding bulk. I’m wearing the Medium and it fits perfectly.
Soft tweed jacket; tweed baker boy cap; Cashmere tunic-style jumper; Indigo jeans
Dark indigo jeans
Moving on to the indigo jeans. Now in past seasons, I’ve found the jeans and trousers in the IdLF collection to be challenging. Until now they have always been a very low rise in tiny waist sizes and with an extremely tight cut on the thighs. I’m really pleased that Uniqlo has listened to feedback and made some changes. The jeans I’m wearing here are a medium rise and I have the size 30 waist on, I would probably have been fine with a 29. I would describe them as a slim (rather than straight or skinny) cut. The only thing to bear in mind is that they are very long so anyone who doesn’t have giraffe legs will need to have them altered at the hem. However, you can have your jeans (in fact any trousers) altered in-store at Uniqlo for no extra charge, even if you’ve bought them online – more details here.
I’ve tucked them under here by about 4 inches which is why they aren’t sitting quite right. They’re the usual high quality Japanese denim with a decent amount of stretch and a solid, dark indigo dye which is very Parisian and very hard to find. Fit: true to size.
Soft tweed jacket; tweed baker boy cap; cashmere tunic; Indigo jeans
Now this cashmere tunic is a brilliant buy for winter but SIZE UP. It needs to be a looser fit than this so that it skims rather than clings. I’m wearing a medium here and I’m going to order this in both a large and an XL to try – I suspect that the XL will give me the cut I’m looking for. Other than that it’s Uniqlo’s usual good quality – well priced cashmere which always washes well.
Look 2 – Sirène Parisienne
Soft tweed skirt
Now this is an interesting one. Again I’m jumping ahead of next week’s trend interpretation post but it won’t come as big news to you that the midi-length hemline is here to stay. What is coming through as a sub-trend though is a return to the pencil and fluted pencil shape. It makes sense to say that this is an obvious reaction to the ubiquitous floaty, asymmetric hem which is still a very strong look. However I suspect that it’s also the beginning of the Meghan Markle influence on the high street, it’s very much her style.
This soft tweed skirt wasn’t on my original list and was sent through by the Uniqlo team. I didn’t choose it because I thought it would be knee-length but it surprised me. It was very flattering that they included a medium but it is slightly too tight on me and it made me regret my Mini-Magnum holiday habit. So, in this shot you can see that the slip pockets at the hip are gaping slightly. However the tailoring on this is fantastic and as soon as you put it on, you feel like a siren. Mr MC has said that if I don’t buy this, he’ll buy it for me!
Tie-neck cashmere jumper; soft tweed skirt
One of the things I like most about it is that it fastens with a zip at the back but it still has an elasticated waist. You would never know from looking at it because it is finished with a grosgrain band but the added benefit is that if you’re wearing a shirt or blouse tucked into it, it will stay put. The deep slit at the back means that although it’s very fitted, you can still walk in it. It’s 40% wool and the rest is an elastane and polyamide mix – it’s also fully lined. Size verdict – Medium = size 10, L = size 12, (so I suspect that S = size 8 and XS = size 6).
Tie-neck cashmere jumper; soft tweed skirt
Tie-neck cashmere jumper
The cashmere jumper with its simple tie-neck is another of my favourite pieces. It’s less girly than a pussy-bow blouse and so it feels easier to carry off for a midlifer who loves librarian chic but doesn’t want to look like a throwback. It would look great with jeans and ballet flats too. I’m wearing a medium and it was a perfect fit.
Tie-neck cashmere jumper; soft tweed skirt
Look 3 – chic on-trend workwear
Wool blend wide-leg trousers
These trousers are incredible, I feel as though they are the wool wide-legs that I have been hunting down for years. They’re another example of just how much the trouser fit has improved in this range this season. If I picked these up from a rail in somewhere like John Lewis and saw a £150 price tag on them, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Wide-leg trousers are really taking over from the tailored crop. These are made from a very fine wool flannel blend (49% wool, the rest polyamide and elastane) and they are lined down to the top of the calf so they won’t stretch or sag at the knees. On me they are the perfect length for wearing with a low (2 inch) heel but there is no turn-up so the hemline would be easy to alter and don’t forget that Uniqlo offer this as a free service in-store, details here. I’m wearing a 29 inch waist and they’re true to size – I give them an absolute 10 out of 10.
Wide-leg wool mix trousers; Pintuck shirt
Cotton twill pintuck shirt
The pink pintuck shirt I’m wearing is a great example of the simple French cotton shirts that you can only find at Uniqlo (or if you’re shopping in France). You can dress them up for work or down with jeans at the weekend, they’re timeless and people will ask you where you found them. If you look carefully, you will always find the quirky Inès stamp of red stitching on a buttonhole somewhere. I’m wearing a medium and it’s true to size.
And this brings me to the trenchcoat which has lots of Uniqlo’s special features wrapped up in French style. It’s 100% cotton, fully lined and there is also a removable quilted lining in the body of the coat so that you can wear it on colder days. Now the only thing I would say about this is that it comes up big. The trend for coats this season is oversized – the idea being that you will layer up and wear one coat on top of another. Even so you need to size down on this one. I’m wearing the medium and I’ve tied the belt at the back here (its French design means that it has extra belt hooks at the back in just the right place to enable you to gather it back properly – so many trench designs don’t consider this)…
Trenchcoat with removable quilted lining; Pintuck shirt; Wide-leg wool mix trousers
… but this is how big it actually is. Even though it’s a double-breasted style, I would size down one or even two sizes.
Look 4 – lingerie de nuit
You can live the Inès look 24/7 with their new range of nightwear. These pyjamas are a soft breathable rayon with the classic grandad collar that is so key to this range. Feminine without being girly, they’re trimmed at the waist with a drawstring ribbon in spotted grosgrain. I can’t help thinking that these would make a great gift for the season that is rapidly approaching if you’re planning ahead. I’m wearing a medium and they’re quite generous.
So there you go, my overall verdict is that it’s another great collection from Inès de La fressange at Uniqlo, containing the essential wardrobe pieces that are hard to find elsewhere, especially with a cost: quality ratio like this one. I just wish I’d had the chance to try some of the more 70s retro styles. With that, I’m going to leave you to shop – don’t dither on this collection, it doesn’t hang around.
Disclosure: ‘Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo Autumn 2018 Review’ is in collaboration with Uniqlo. However it is unedited and all verdicts, pictures and size considerations are my own.
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