How to wear colour in winter (bring on the cashmere)

Do you have a personal colour scheme? I’m definitely at home in chic-not-shouty blues and khaki greens ; often with a backdrop of stormy charcoal. These are the colours of the British seaside, and I wonder if hailing from Blackpool is the reason for the attraction? Hours of staring at my Instagram feed have confirmed my affinity for coastalRead more

Christmas party dressing and not overdressing

Velvet jackets are a bit like buses, you wait an eternity for one to come along and then two arrive at the same time. Following my New York purchase , I subsequently received a gift voucher from Jigsaw to spend before our stylish Christmas event.  Given my proclivity for Gentlewoman Style , the  navy tuxedo jacket  was always going to catch my eye. And it’s an absolute winnerRead more

Cool colour combinations: navy and mustard

Still thinking about navy – and how a splash of mustard adds warmth to a deep blue winter outfit. To prove it I’m reissuing a photo of my COS swing coat. This winning colour combination has timelessness and travels well (I’m also thinking about my New York trip this week). My  Outstanding Coat is a couple of years old, and aRead more

Navy blue is the grown-up hue

Navy blue is the most elegant neutral, right? If my teens and twenties were an interlude in black, then midlife and beyond is all about navy. The best way to wear this grown-up hue is to combine different textures: try dark denim and cashmere with a fabulous faux shearling over the top. For the next fewRead more

What to pack: travelling in style, all year round

Grace Coddington packs six shirts and six trousers and leaves her address book at home. Patti Smith always takes t-shirts, a black jacket, black pants and her ‘bee socks’  and Joan Didion’s White Album packing list, well,  that’s legendary (two skirts, two leotards and a typewriter, for starters… ). I’m going to be travelling a fair bit over the next fewRead more

Pattern and printspiration: Hassan Hajjaj exhibition

Matching and mismatching pattern and print makes for a joyful combination. (There’s a chapter on mastering contrast and colour in Know Your Style ).  I may be low-key rather than loud when it comes to wearing print, but I do admire a clash-up on other people. And in art galleries. There’s a lovely, free exhibition of culture-blending photographer Hassan Hajjaj’s work at Somerset House .Read more

How to get dressed without the faff factor

The older I get the less I want to faff around with clothes in the morning – or any other time of day for that matter. What I want is an outfit with superb pull-on-and-go properties; so that once I’m dressed that’s it. Absolutely no bother. Bra straps that slip off the shoulder, skimpy tightsRead more

Talking style at Blenheim Palace Literary Festival

Now, this is a first. My very first literary festival. I’ve been invited as a guest speaker to the  Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film & Music 2017  where I will be discussing ‘How to Look and Feel Good’ on a panel with skin expert Abigail James, Harpers’ Bazaar beauty director Katy Young and Harper’s Bazaar beauty editor Sian Ranscombe. And signing copies ofRead more

The Corduroy Comeback

Despite its nerdy, librarian-chic connotations, corduroy is a fabric that has an enduring capacity for cool. For every buttoned-up Wes Anderson star there’s an insouciant Jane Birkin. This autumn, both geeky and relaxed versions of the cut-pile fabric appeared on the catwalk at Prada , Lemaire and Marc Jacobs , leaving me incredibly pleased with the mint-condition, second-hand Margaret Howell corduroy blazerRead more

The not-too-flouncy floral shirt

I thought I wasn’t a print person, but obviously I am. Maybe it’s some kind of Decorative Denial (?) But this summer, I’m not exactly saying pah to pattern. The easiest way to take the frou-frou out of floral prints is to mix things up; juxtapose everyday Gentlewoman Style with hints of 1970s Keith Richards (or Morrissey when we still liked him). This penchant for bohemian hippy/punk garb – a leopard print coat here, a skinny scarf there –  is part of my DNA, it was hardwired to my teenage soul and, like a vinyl record on repeat, is something I always come back to…