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A new white shirt is the way to go for a great Spring update. I’m done with knitwear and dark winter colours I want to feel that I’m heading full pelt into spring and there’s nothing I love more than a fabulous statement white shirt. I dress them up, I dress them down, shove on a great piece of jewellery and it’s an instant cool, modern style statement. They’re my go-to fix for a bad day, a fat day or a down in the dumps day, put it on, add a lick of lipstick and you’re done – worth every penny!
Here are five of my Spring launch favourites.
DKNY at Harvey Nichols £375
I know it’s pricey, but it’s totally gorgeous and guaranteed to have people asking you where it’s from. A softer version of a classic and a great length. Works well with jeans or more tailored trousers but be careful with crops because combining with a longer top might make your legs look short.
Cos Stores £69
Cos always has versions of a classic white shirt. I love that the slightly more voluminous body of this one is balanced by the 3/4 length sleeve.
Me & Em £99
I love ME & EM shirts – the fabric quality is always terrific and they seem to have that edge of cut. The clean lines of this simple top look elegant and there are no buttons to pop or gape.
Uterque is a lesser known brand from the Indetex stable (Zara, Massimo Dutti etc). Good fabrics, a better fit than Zara and edgy shapes and styling details – well worth a look for something a bit different.
This sleeve style is going to be everywhere this spring/ summer. Personally, I wouldn’t add jewellery to this – just let the sleeves do the talking.
I have a desire to become fashionably edgy as I get older – it’s sort of that whole ‘when I’m old I shall wear purple’ vibe. a denial if you like of my approaching antiquity and a wish to still be in the game.
The thing is, I’m finding it really hard to achieve and when I think about it, the reality is that ‘edgy’ is not a look I ever did – not even in my 20’s. I was always a classic girl but the lilac cardi and pearls that looked very Jackie O when I was younger now just look boring and granny-like.
I was listening to interior designer Kelly Hoppen being interviewed and she made the point that we are habit forming creatures, that we put the same sort of flowers in the same vase in the same place on the same table and that sometimes we just have to clear the decks and start re-imagining.
It made me think about the way I dress and the ‘uniforms’ I have. I tend to buy versions of the same thing over and over again because it’s easy and it’s safe – if it ain’t broke why fix it? But, the thing is that it’s BORING and ends up making me feel dull and unimaginative and actually kind of old and therin lies the issue – how do I move forward sartorially?
There’s an overwhelming need for comfort (oh God, I can’t believe I said that) and gone are the days of tripping round town in my 5 inch heels. When I was in my thirties and forties and having an ‘on-it’ day, I felt great and got lots of positive attention – nice feeling. Now I’m in my fifties I’d still like to get a bit of that but I’m too self conscious to risk getting it wrong (the dreaded mutton). I know I probably shouldn’t care, but I do.
The stuff we put on our backs sends out all sorts of messages to other people so of course, there’s an element of getting those messages right and to be (dare I say it) age appropriate. In my book, it’s how what we wear makes us feel about ourselves that matters most.
I want to feel good in my clothes, even if I’m at home rather than out and about because I really believe that being bothered has an effect on my self esteem. I’ve gotten a bit lazy and a bit stuck so I may need to find one or two role models but my 2017 resolve is to re-imagine my wardrobe, play with style and push the boundaries a bit because I’m definitely not going down without a fight…
When I was working as a stylist, one of the first things I did with a new client was to help her understand the best colours to wear. This was really important because it bought confidence and helped build a much more individual and adventurous wardrobe. As we age, getting colour right becomes even more important because using the right sort of colour, especially next to the face, is as good as a mini facelift.
There are lots of things to take into consideration but the first and probably most important is to get an idea of your best tones of colour. so here are my top tips on how to work that out:
- Sit in front of a mirror in good daylight when you have no make up on, is your natural skin tone yellowy and warm or blue and cool? If you’re ‘warm’ then you may have coppery or red tones in your hair and yellow or warmth in your eye colour. ‘Cools’ will have ashy tones in their hair and cooler, grey toned eyes.
- Hold something that’s bright white under your chin, close your eyes, when you open them can you see shadows under your eyes? Does the white make you look washed out and grey or does it make your eyes look bright and awake and your skin look clear? Now hold something cream and do the same. Which looks better? If you prefer the white then you’re more likely to suit cooler tones. If the cream looks better then warmer shades will probably work better for you.
- Find a shop that has a good range of colours (Uniqlo is a good option) and take a friend for a second opinion then hold different colours up to your face working out which suit you best. When a colour works well, it gives you a glow and somehow pulls things into focus – you look healthy and clear skinned.
- Gather together the colours that have worked best for you and take a photo of the palette so that you have a record of your colours. It should be pretty clear whether they are a range of warm or cool colours.
If you’re ‘warm’ then great colours for you are oranges, yellow toned reds, rusts and pinks, teals, warm greens and khaki. Good neutrals are browns, warm navy, camel, beige and cream.
If you’re ‘cool’ then your go-to colours are likely to be blues, emerald green, burgundy, cool pinks, purples and lilac. Good neutrals would be black, grey, navy and white.