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…

The not-too-dressed-up-dress

On a short work trip to Stockholm for a few days, I have these three items with me: the maxi dress from  People Tree’s V&A collection  (now with added breakfast down the front), white leather trainers to take the edge off and a mini cross-body bag  from LK Bennett . Perfect for fitting a phone, purse, cards and passport in. But not the travel plugRead more

Creative Women at Work: Mouchette Bell returns to modelling in her 50s

One thing really did lead to another for freelance fashion editor/ stylist Mouchette Bell. A guest-lecturing position morphed into modelling the student collections at Graduate Fashion Week , where she was spotted on the catwalk by an agent from Models 1. ‘I modelled years ago in the 1980s, for some quite big people,’ Mouchette tells me modestly, goingRead more

Why there are no rules on what to do, say and wear over-40

What connects Julianne, Moore, Vera Wang, Jane Campion, Wendy Dagworthy  and me? We’ve all failed the Saturday Times’ Age Limit Test: what not to do, say and wear over-40. Unless you’re Patti Smith, the age limit for long hair is 50, ‘You will tend to look a bit witchy if you have shoulder-length hair or longer in you’reRead more

You’re never too old for another ear piercing…

The only problem with midlife multiple ear piercing is fastening the bloody sleepers (small hoop earrings). Think threading a needle at twilight without your glasses on, and then some. I can’t remember it being this fiddly 40-years ago but I guess I had more time on my hands then. Anyhow, having another piercing is something  I’ve been considering for a whileRead more

How to wear Harem pants

Partial to a posh jogger or  Harem pant , I was beginning to worry that I’d reached the age of the elasticated waist till I noticed that Barney’s has a category specifically for this type of ‘ slouchy pant .’ That’s all right, then. (Check out the Frame voluminous drawstring linen pair).  My new favourite version of ‘Pyjama Dressing without looking like you’ve given up’ isRead more

What the grown-ups were wearing at Graduate Fashion Week

Over at Graduate Fashion Week, my research was firmly focused on the academics. With ace photographer Lucy Fitter  in tow, the aim was not to find out what we should all be wearing next season but to discover what the lecturers could teach us. What I noticed in the style stakes was that while the students were makingRead more

It’s time to welcome back the slingback

After my Big Wardrobe Workout , I donated a pile of 1990s ‘Fashion Editor’ clothes and shoes to the local charity shop. Mainly wide leg trousers that felt a bit corporate and a pile of trashed kitten heels. The shoes were all quite worn out and tragic-looking and with a style consultant in the house, I wondered why I’dRead more

Where to find a sleeveless summer dress with the Waft Factor

  ‘Every year it’s the same. I’m going somewhere really hot and the only thing it’s comfortable to wear is sleeveless,’ acclaimed author Maggie Alderson  says to me, ‘Loads and loads of women feel the same frustration. It doesn’t matter if you hate your upper arms, when it’s properly hot, you have to go sleeveless. Please can youRead more