TWEEDING THE TREND – FOR STRENGTH AND STYLE

TWEEDING THE TREND – FOR STRENGTH AND STYLE

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Tweed has always been a rather classic addition to our wardrobe, and always remains in mode, merely by its established stance in British fashion for both men and women.

We used to joke that tweed and brogues were a united front for the traditionalists and the upper-class hunting set, because of its durable nature, and so tweed has always carried the air of sophistication and conformity.

I remember my Mother taking me to John Lewis in the early 90s and ‘forcing’ me to try on a ‘sensible’ tweed coat, which she purchased with great pride.  I wore it reluctantly for several years, when it came into its own when I went to work in the creative sector several years later, as more of an early ‘vintage’ piece due to its style which had come back into fashion – again!

In recent years tweed has been sown into avant-garde jewellery, as part of high end designer costumes combined with traditionalism.  So it is already crossing generations and gender by its sheer determination to remain in situ in our wardrobe.

We can hardly say that tweed is making a comeback as it never really goes away, but it certainly has an eminence on the catwalk as we edge toward Winter.

Here are some great Tweed buys for Winter

French Connection £195

 

Stella McCartney tweed jacket – £995

 

Kate Spade – £375

 

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THE EVOLVING EMBLEM OF TARTAN –FOR REBELS AND ROYALS

THE EVOLVING EMBLEM OF TARTAN –FOR REBELS AND ROYALS

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Some years ago when visiting a distant relative in Mississippi, I noticed a Coat of Arms hanging on their living room wall displaying a rather distinguished tartan crest of our family tree, dating back to the 17th century.

It made me think about tartan and its origins and the significant role in symbolising clans and heritage, and the part it is still playing even within our own Royal Family.  Kate, Duchess of Cambridge recently wore a Black Watch tartan outfit when visiting St Andrews school in Berkshire, and Prince Charles is famous for donning his tartan kilt at a variety of events in Scotland.

It is not surprising that tartan keeps making a comeback in our fashion industry, and the Burberry plaid is actually recognised by the Tartan Organisation in Scotland.

This Winter you will see the return of tartan in both high end labels and on the High Street, which is good as it always seems to hold its charm and resonate with most generations.

Versace have a stunning outfit embellished within its layers, as only they can portray, and if your budget stretches to those heights, you can only indulge in the splendour of this stunning and actually ageless outfit.

Warehouse are doing a smart but stylish reversible tartan trench, a snitch at £99 which can adapt nicely with jeans or as a smarter work coat.

Next Lipsy have an adorable tartan mini-kilt at only £40 and , and you have to check out the morgan tartan asymmetric skirt from Preen By Thornton Bregazzi at £745, and more can be found on www.shopstyle.co.uk and www.farfetch.com.

If you just want a hint of tartan, dress any outfit with a classic tartan scarf for Winter.

Within its history, tartan has also symbolised the Rebel and the Royal, and this is reflected in all aspects of its evolvement in fashion, either being worn regally with its classic bent, or with a more daring punk influence.

It just gives us food for thought, and also gives us the confident to explore and include this heritage emblem within our own ‘brand’ of fashion to bring it home and make it our own.

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LEGENDS OF THE CAT WALK

LEGENDS OF THE CAT WALK

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Now that the weather has started to cool down, the Autumn Glotime fashion police are hotting up and discovering that the new season is lurking just around the corner.

We know that the Royal Wedding has given the British fashion industry quite a boost as the World looked on and studied the look of legends as they stepped through the Palace doors to celebrate as Harry and Meghan tied the knot.

It could also be that Prince Charles now supports the British Fashion Council, that we are now seeing a return of both Tartan the Balmoral headscarf on our catwalk.

https://www.dunedincashmere.co.uk/item/100_pt_-cashmere-woven-scarf-dalton/a04375/thomson-camel

As well as the scarf, the headdress is also back – and we wonder if it is a kickback in recent controversy regarding the Burkha!  But the balaclava and also the beret are both contenders this Autumn/Winter and if you are not a fan of the traditional headscarf you can’t go wrong with the multi-coloured wraps that are appearing in Accessorise.

https://uk.accessorize.com/view/product/uk_catalog/acc_5,acc_5.9/5871249900

If you want to be safer and follow a more classical line, then Everlane The Cashmere Scarf in Navy is a great investment.

https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-cashmere-scarf3-navy

If you have a secret Bet Lynch squirrelled away, then why don’t you bring her out for the colder climes and invest in one of these sumptuous animal print coats.  You may shock the more feint hearted, but their loss is your gain, and you could win some great brownie points as you sweep into the board room a la Joan Collins or just appear in your local pub without going behind the bar to pull pints!

https://www.victoriabeckham.com/aw18m-ct-fit-8600b-orange-brown.html

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THE BEAUTY OF STAR BRAS

THE BEAUTY OF STAR BRAS

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Why didn’t I think of this, and patent it!  For years I have been struggling with backless bras and strapless bras and then when ‘revealing the straps’ came in, I thought, problem solved.

Now of course we have the rather revolutionary backless and strapless bra, fully padded and with reliable adhesive to cling to your skin.  Like all brilliant ideas, it is simple but the answer to a maiden’s prayer, or should I say, that of a rather full on, middle aged, life juggling Mumpreneur like myself.  (A rather flattering rendition recently awarded!).

It really does go with everything, T-shirts and tops for the day, and evening wear of course, and creates the illusion of fabulous jugs, which we all aspire to.

https://www.jmldirect.com/health-and-beauty/clothing/star-bra-backless-strapless-stick-on-bra-with-cleavage-control/.

If you are more of a traditionalist then it is still good to be properly fitted, and many of the John Lewis stores still do a rather comforting and confidential bra fitting service.   They cater for maternity, post op and bog standard, and their prices are still ‘never knowingly undersold’. See John Lewis lingerie

A few years ago I was greeted by a rather lovely elderly assistant who had an immaculate appearance as she had been trained in the old fashioned way, and as she measured me reassured me that to ‘keep my man’ this was the way to go, adding the reason for divorces these days was that women had lost ‘that little secret’ of beautiful underwear.  I didn’t like to disillusion her having been recently separated, so agreed wholeheartedly.  But I did buy a stunning set of bra and panties, which set me back a hundred or so quid, but I still have and wear to this day.

In spite of their recently iffy PR, M & S still have some fantastic lines in lingerie, and you really can’t go wrong with their expertise in the underwear department, and their range is still good. Book a fitting online, and there is no pressure to buy, but you will probably find a bra you like as the choice and prices are good.

M&S Lingerie Sets

 

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THE SEXY HEADDRESS IS BACK – TRUE DEVOTION AND THE HEIGHT OF HAUTE COUTURE

THE SEXY HEADDRESS IS BACK – TRUE DEVOTION AND THE HEIGHT OF HAUTE COUTURE

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

As a truly committed devotee of the heady days of Princess Diana, from her peter pan collars and see through skirts, to the ever plunging necklines of the temptress, I vowed never to go there again after the tragedy of 1997.

Now with the butterfly advent of Meghan Markle, I am feeling those all too familiar pangs of fascination, but vowed not to be swept along in the same way with her obvious flair for fashion.  After all she isn’t Princess Diana, and I am older now so don’t need a Royal  Fashion Icon to follow.

But here I am admiring her style – and particularly her head ware.  Yes, Meghan’s berets are becoming quite a fashion symbol in familiar circles of my peers – a sweeping statement you may think.  But the beret was and has been fashionable for several decades, and even centuries.

Le Beret was worn originally in the Béarnaise countryside of France – usually in black and red.  It has certainly become the staple fashion ‘look’ of  France along with gauloises and the Breton striped jumper.

Celebrities have historically played a role in making the beret popular. It became a fashionable accessory in Hollywood as far back as the 1930s after being worn casually askew by a number of famous movie actresses or ‘A’ listers as we would refer to them today.

From Lauren Bacall to Julia Roberts in more recent times, you can see why as this sexy but classy headdress is both flattering and highly haute couture.

Over the years too it has appeared in some High Street outlets, but not seriously featured, except perhaps as a passing ‘wink’ to more beret centric days in Fashion.

So it is no wonder our Meghan, and did you clock the word ‘our’ – yes already adopted and addicted – has made such an impact, because as well as marrying everybody’s favourite Prince, she also has the knack of carrying off an outfit and putting it on the map.  So with that in mind, I am throwing caution to the wind, getting back on the treadmill of Meghan mania, and am in search of some spectacular head gear – the beret is back and so am I.

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For The Love Of Layering

For The Love Of Layering

Reading Time: 9 minutes

 

We live in a Country where weather is a huge topic of conversation, and so we all need an outfit that will work all day and night regardless of what is going on outside.  Temperature shifts like that call for layering… and I simply adore layering.

The big, fluffy sweaters atop a tight tank. The ripped jeans with patterned tights or fishnets underneath. The bomber jacket over a cropped sweatshirt. The T-shirt paired with a natural-waisted pair of boyfriend jeans, with ankles rolled up, showing off your colorful socks. You really can have fun with layering. I especially enjoy it because I love to keep clothes from prior seasons in my closet, and layering allows me to still wear as part of a layered ensemble what might otherwise be a bit too dated to wear on its own.

You can truly get creative with layering. Almost anything goes, and it can be ridiculously fun! That being said, here are my top five layering rules to remember:

Rule One: The Plot Thickens

Remember that layering adds thickness. If you don’t want to look like an overinflated balloon, be sure to layer thin fabrics underneath thicker ones. Also remember to make the thin layers more form fitting than the top layer. Finally, make sure that top layer has a little bit of breathing room, so you don’t see all the creases and everything else that can accumulate from all the layers underneath, no matter what shape you’re in.

“The Go-To”: A tank top and netted sweater under a long, flowy cardigan, with comfy jeans and ankle high boots. Toddler optional!

Rule Two: Your Bottom is the Tops

Generally speaking, if you do all your layering on your top half, then simplify your lower half with something slimming, like a skirt or trousers. You want people to be able to tell where you start and the layering begins, and vice versa. Simply put, going baggy on both top and bottom will make you look precisely like a potato sack. And an un-stylish potato sack, at that.

“The Classic”: A button-up under a loose sweater, with cuffs rolled up. Note the colorful socks peeking out below the rolled trouser hem!

 Rule Three: Mixing Business and Pleasure

Always mix textures. Always! Example: denim on the bottom; jersey tee, cotton sweater, leather jacket and silk scarf on the top. Get texture crazy. If you wear all of one fabric, you will come off a bit flat and washed out, or – worse yet – appear too matchy-matchy. Wearing all of one texture is to be avoided at all costs, because it will not only make you look drab, it will also add weight. Horror of horrors.

“The Autumn Dress”: A button-up covered by a thick cardigan with winter tights, and boots. Get that short dress out of the closet all year round!

Rule Four: The Long and the Short of It

Have a variety of lengths. You want to make sure your layers have complementing proportionate hemlines that are different from one another. In short, you want people to know you’re layering, as opposed to you just having gained three layers worth of weight. If you layer three tops over one another and they all end at the same length, instead of looking stylish, you will look stockier, boxier and heavier. Avoid.

“Hot Shorts”: They’re not just for summer anymore, especially when you layer with fun, patterned tights and fishnets. Never hurts to throw a scarf in with this ensemble!

Rule Five: Cut from the Same Cloth

Choose appropriate fabrics. For example, when layering a button up shirt under a sweater, make sure the button up is not too heavy, or every button, wrinkle and fold will show through to the top layer. Ew. If your top layer is thick like a cable knit, you can get away with almost anything underneath, but if it’s fine like merino wool, you’ll want a smooth, lightweight shirt underneath – something like a non-slubby silk (satin, crêpe) or lightweight cotton (Batiste, lawn, voile). After all, there’s a reason the saying goes “smooth as silk.”

“Hem-brace the Layers”: Have fun with hems by layering with different textures – lace, sequins, pom poms… whatever!

 Bonus Rule: Cute As A Button (Up)

Simple crew neck sweaters look great with a collared, button up shirt peeking through at the neck, with the cuffs folded up and the hem showing underneath. Make sure the shirt is not too short or too long under the sweater. Ideally, you’ll be able to see the natural split of the shirt at the bottom, but have the lowest button covered by the sweater. Fold the cuffs over the arm of the sweater to give it a cohesive look. Make sure your collar is crisp and don’t let it splay all over the place, or risk looking sloppy, which is a fashion crime. Keep it in place by buttoning it up to the top, or near the top. My favorite secret for layering button ups is to wear a fitted tank top over your button up and under your sweater to hide any visible bumps from seams and buttons. No one will see it, but you’ll look sleek.

“A Layered Approach”: Use thin, soft fabric to pile on the layers, and avoid the bulk. Here, I’ve got four layers on, but manage to still look sleek in the process!

 Personally, I love the effortless layered look of a netted sweater with a tank underneath, and either a cropped jacket or super long flowing cardigan on top, with jeans and ankle boots on the bottom. It’s a look that can work with lots of body types and is easy to throw together, plus is super warm and cozy.

Speaking of warmth, I find that when layering for the cold, merino wool works best. It’s much warmer than anything else out there, and isn’t bulky. It’s a bit pricier than other fabrics, but you can get away with having just one or two for the season, as it’s naturally anti-bacterial and wicks away moisture, so you don’t need to wash it as much as other articles of clothing.

“The Timeless”: A short jacket over a cropped sweater with a tank underneath. Try a metallic tank, instead of a boring basic!

 A Few Layering Combos To Ponder

  • Bring your summer dress into winter by adding an open button up (chambray), a thick cardigan (also open), winter tights and boots.
  • Wear shorts year-round by putting leggings under them. Top with knee high socks and boots for a cute bottom half. Pair on top with a fitted tank and an oversized sweater.
  • You can even layer multiple tights under shorts or a skirt by putting a patterned or shimmery pair under a netted pair. Don’t go overboard with this, or you won’t be able to bend your knees.
  • For a more fitted look, add a thin belt to a cardigan that’s been layered over a form fitting knit top.

The ideas for layering are endless, but keep to the rules above and you should be fine to get as creative as you want. Most importantly, commit to your look so it appears intentional. There’s nothing worse than layering that seems like you’re wearing whatever happened to be clean that day.

“Warm & Cozy”: Wear a turtleneck underneath a sweater, topped with a blazer. You can’t go wrong with this easy and comfy look!

Finally, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns. There are rules on how to do this properly… but we’ll save that for another day.

 

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