concordia-wrap-m-w15.media. Kit & Ace Grey.00
Kit and Ace

‘Being comfortable is the most important thing – and I don’t mean slobby!’ Iris Apfel’s gravelly New York voice announces down the phone at me* and I know exactly what she means. Comfort is crucial and so is fit. I don’t want shoes that I can’t walk in or jackets that pinch my armpits, I can’t stand trousers that go up my bum and other places. I want to feel comfortable, relaxed and just smart enough. Brands like Me + Em  and Kit and Ace are perfect for this kind of relaxed, grown-up dressing. Not being much of a posh pilateswear-clad Goopster, I liked Kit and Ace in spite of my cynical self (the brand was founded by the wife and the son of the CEO of lululemon). The shop on Redchurch Street, London, is a temple of ‘technical luxury.’ Full of separates that are easy and effortless and smart enough for that all-important business coffee.

me and em navy jacket
Me + Em cropped seam detail jacket, available HERE

Ditto the Me + Em store on Connaught Street. Here are clothes that are business-smart and chic and allow you to get on with your day.

constance-pant-s-w15.Kit & Ace.Black.00
Kit and Ace

 And here’s some more stuff that’s just smart enough:

*Iris Apfel is one of the Inspirational Women in my book Style Forever.

28 thoughts on “Comfortable, relaxed and just smart enough

  1. Kit and Ace doesn’t make tops that are larger than 38″ in the bust and Me + Em doesn’t make inseams that are longer than 32″! I don’t like companies that have limited sizing. That’s not comfortable for someone like me who is 5’10” and has a 40″ bust line!

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Beth – I didn’t look closely at the sizing at Kit and Ace. I’m 5′ 10″ too but have a long body and so Me + Em trousers are OK. Have you tried Winser London? – good for tall people and their sizing is generous.

  2. I think “softly structured” styles are going to continue to be popular, as we’ve come to expect some degree of comfort and ability to move in our clothing, even if it’s meant to go to the office or out on the town. Love that top jacket!

  3. Yes…I am sure all these look great and fit well on taller “stick figure” women….but those of us who are 5’4″ and size 12 without long legs and flat stomachs really aren’t considered. Too bad since tons of us have tons of money to buy clothes!

  4. I recently came across your blog site and just love it. I’m in my 50’s and it’s so nice that someone is focusing on our age bracket and not compromising on style. (a miracle!)
    I also have a quite ample bust, but still think that I am getting fashion ideas. I don’t have a ton of expendable cash as I have one daughter in college and another soon to be, so I probably wouldn’t be buying from any actual designers’ clothing lines. But the ideas are inspiring me to look at clothing differently. And to experiment a little more.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  5. I buy nearly all my tailored trousers at MeandEm, am 5′ 9″ and a size 16 (UK) – find their fit amazing. But an XL in Kit and Ace is a 10 (US)… Just silly.

  6. A wonderful post. I love all the items and I totally agree‚ being comfy is most important and to be stylishly comfy is my idea of sartorial bliss

  7. I am 5’6 and a 12/14 and pretty much all my casual jeans and trousers are now Me and Em. Great fit and fabric. Their boxy cut sweaters with slim arms and layer shirts are also very flattering. Their dresses are too short for non skinnies like me as they are above rather than on the knee, and some of the stuff is just too north London – sorry but those cropped side stripe trousers will definitely be 70% off in the sale- but they are my first port of call these days for put together casual. Love the j crew jacket btw.

  8. These are truly wonderful designs… Elegant, wearable, chic and so versatile. But for the price, I would make a bee-line to the ever fabulous COS and buy a few more pieces for the same price…. In sizes all the way up to XL. Love your blog, by the way! ❤️

  9. I agree that the softer relax styles are the future…but please do us shorties a treat and show an issue meant for us. We care about looking put together also.
    Thanks so much.
    jeanne

    1. Being only 5′ tall and size 12 I really agree with this request. However I love the TNMA blog and the fabulous clothing featured.

  10. All I look for is inspiration, as I don’t have a ‘ton of money’…..Note the envy!! Love some of them but some would look down right silly on me. Pick & mix is the order of the day. Similar & cheaper can be found elsewhere I’m sure….

  11. Me+Em is another inspirational site – thank you, have just ordered something! Very sad to see the demise of Atterley – another of your brilliant suggestions. You have made this 50+ previously-frustrated shopper very happy with some new ideas! Thanks.

  12. These photographs are sublime and the clothes very elegant but I have to agree with comment made by Jan. If you are not tall, slim (not necessarily skinny) with the posture of a ballerina these clothes are not going to all any good on you. I totally agree with Iris and the happy combination of comfort and style but these clothes will not guarantee this combination who seek to wear them!

  13. Are there any U.S. retailers that sell similar clothing (that would also have a true XL and up to size 16?) and not over the top prices? I am aware of the brands at Nordstroms, Macys etc…more I am wondering about the “hidden jewels” many of us might now know about. Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Nancy, I live in the US too and I’ve found some really nice comfy yet classy clothes at Athleta (the name makes it sound like the clothes are more sporty looking than they actually are). Not sure about the sizing range. It’s owned by The Gap, so the prices aren’t astronomical. Another nice shop for classy casual is Madewell.

  14. I totally agree with Beth … I am 5’11” and a US size 12. I love Everlane offerings but most often if they are not ‘oversized’ by design they are too tight across the shoulders for me. I have sent several emails suggesting that maybe they could include a size 12 or 14. Call it an XL….I don’t really care what it’s called! When an ‘L’ is size 8/10 I am very disappointed. Sometimes I wonder who these firms are using for fit models. I have had some success with COS tops. Love your blog; thanks for all you do.

    1. Patrish, I have spoken to the people at Everlane about their sizing and as much as they’d love to accommodate larger ranges of sizes, they cannot afford to do so right now. I have bought quite a few things from them if they are sized larger too, but their blouses just are too tight in the shoulders for me also. I have been known to shop in menswear before, just because I get tired of everything being so tight.

  15. I live in Vancouver where Kit and Ace launched. I had a lot of hope for them. Much as Lululemon has become a bit over the top trendy, it had brilliant marketing (I’m a copy and content writer) and it turned an unfashionable, “hippy dippy” industry like yoga into a widespread and fashionable trend. When Kit and Ace opened I was so excited! However, I’m really disappointed in their marketing. It’s a shop with classic, grown up clothes (a lot of neutrals to use as stapes) and prices, but its entire site is designed for Millennials. On top of which I’ve never seen an older salesperson. Honestly, for a company founded in part by a woman over 40, I had hoped for more representation. I’m really getting tired of spending my money on companies that don’t even give me the courtesy of acknowledgment.

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  17. Well said Katherine! I gave up going into Reiss – which apparently targets professional women – because I got fed up of being either completely ignored or patronised ( ” is it a present for someone?” ) by the 20 yr olds behind the counter. Maybe I was just unlucky at my local store.

  18. I love Poetry and Wrap… Both catalog shopping from UK (I am in US). Some of their items can be a tiny bit pricey, but they use luxe fabrics (silk, cashmere, linen) and quality construction, are comfortable, and stylish. Especially great for travel, too.

  19. Great feature Alyson. I’ve been struggling with how to do comfortable beyond jeans which are sometimes, even with a jacket, not quite smart enough. Inspired by the looks – and grateful to others for sharing their favourite retailers.

  20. Katherine from Vancouver! I couldn’t agree more, why does it have to be like this? Shopping at our age should be a pleasurable experience. Yet, our choices are so limited, and the shops so poorly thought out, I worked part time for JJill, for 6 to 7 years, while their line is for more mature women, and serves a wonderfully wide range of customers, it’s still not enough!

  21. I am 82 and are often stopped in the street when I am wearing
    My brushed wool Coatigens from East.
    I have them in every gorgeous colour , bright green, bright pink, pansy and violet.

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