Transitioning into autumn with Badger

transitional_badgerPlease note that this post is a product review, and the featured dress was provided free of charge by Badger Womenswear.

It’s warm.  It’s chilly.  It’s too hot for a coat but too cold for bare legs.  Welcome to autumn in Britain, a time when transitional pieces come into their own.

Dressing at this time of year is all about judicious layering and wearing those ‘transitional’ pieces: items that see you through, literally, the transition into a new season.

I have been getting a lot of wear out of a Great Plains dress from independent Brighton boutique Badger.  British brand Great Plains specialises in quality basics and easy to wear dresses and knitwear. In Sussex, but haven’t been to Badger yet?  You’re missing out.  Nadia and her team stock a great range of brands including leather jackets from legendary label Matchless, plus Scandi-cool pieces from Ilse Jacobsen, Becksondergaard and Numph.  Add tights from Falke (definitely one of my go-to brands) and funky jewellery from Hultquist, and your look, transitional or otherwise, is pretty much sorted.

This dress is a great easy-to-wear piece – and the essence of ‘transitional’.  It has long sleeves, so it’s warm, but it’s also tunic shaped so can be worn bare-legged with heels now (as I did last week in London) –

transitional_tube

Or with leggings and brogues, as I did today –

transitional_brogues

And later, when the temperature starts to bite, tights and ankle or knee high boots.  And it’s monochrome (regular readers will know that I rarely deviate from my fave black and white…) Best of all, it’s an incredibly forgiving shape if you’re having an ‘off’ day.  It’s not bulky either, so my trusty All Saints biker can be worn easily over the top…

transitional_bikerOther things to know:

  • it’s machine washable (yay!) on cold (max 30 degrees)
  • it’s a polyester / cotton mix (68% / 32%)
  • iron on the reverse only (not that it needs it)

transitional_pocket

Go and discover this and other great pieces at Badger – you won’t be disappointed. And if the man in your life is in need of something new, menswear is next door !

Badger is at 25-26 Bond Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1RD

01273 325421 (Womenswear)

 

 

 

 

Eleven steps to effortless elegance, every day

effortless-elegance-4Elegance is defined as being ‘graceful and stylish in appearance or manner’.  This is quite a feminine definition, but I firmly believe that elegance can apply equally to men too.  (In fact, I stepped into the beautiful Flemings Hotel in Mayfair this week, for a preview of Winser London’s A/W collection, and the man who greeted me simply oozed effortless elegance.)  Nevertheless, it certainly describes something that is intangible.  And elegance is not just about what you wear, it’s about how you wear it and, even more importantly, how you behave while doing so.

It’s telling that when we talk about elegance, we often cite icons from the effortless-elegance-3past, rather than our contemporaries. Now it’s true, there are incomparable men and women (particularly from the mid twentieth century) who practically embody the word (Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Mason, Katharine Hepburn… I could go on) but there are plenty of modern examples too. Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba are elegant. Mark Ronson has abandoned youthful trendiness for grown-up elegance. Mr Beckham certainly has it. And so do the Duchess of Cambridge, Joanna Lumley, Catherine Deneuve and Aung San Suu Kyi. Jane Fonda certainly has it at the age of 78.  Yes, many of these women are older; designer Bruce Oldfield once said that elegance comes with age: women in their 50s, 60s and beyond wear ‘simple good quality clothes… they just get it right’.

effortless-elegance-1But let’s face it, modern life is not exactly conducive to appearing or, for that matter, behaving elegantly.  It is all about comfort and convenience.  Eating on our sofas in front of the television.  Not engaging in meaningful conversation as a result.  Table manners are neglected (are there such things as sofa manners?)

Now I’m not suggesting we return to the stiff formality of years gone by. But in these uncertain and divisive times, wouldn’t it be nice to restore a bit of old-school propriety?  There are some simple things we can all do to up our elegance stakes.  Here are my eleven…

 Eleven steps to effortless elegance

  1. Wear clothes that fit you properly.  Without a good fit, you will never achieve elegance
  2. Get items altered if you need to, to make them fit (modern high street sizing is erratic and inconsistent)
  3. Keep it simple.  Less is always more – particularly when it comes to accessories
  4. Women: if you can’t walk in high heels, don’t
  5. Think about ‘polish’ rather than ‘flash’.  Covering yourself in designer logos does not suggest elegance – in fact it indicates the opposite
  6. Remember that clothes that are cheap, look cheap.  Buy less, but buy better
  7. You don’t have to be dressed up to the nines to look elegant.  A crisp white shirt and dark jeans often does the trick (for both men and women)
  8. Make an effort: pay attention to the way you dress (and behave)
  9. Watch your manners.  Going out of your way to make others feel comfortable will ensure that you are, too
  10. Always be gracious: courteous, kind and pleasant

and finally…

  1. Retain an air of mystery.  Don’t reveal everything (literally and figuratively).

 effortless-elegance-2

 

Everyone needs a stylist, part 3: making it easier to look great

making it easier_louiseMany people think it’s somehow negative to hire a personal stylist.  That they’re admitting that they don’t know how to dress or that they look awful. Nothing could be further from the truth.  In previous posts, I’ve talked about honesty and objectivity, and saving time and money.  Here’s reason number three: I make it easier for you to look great.

Yes, I’m an investment.  But I also make dressing well easier for you.

  • I help you to understand what works for you and what doesn’t.  That way you can disregard the noise and distractions of trends, styles and colours that don’t work, and concentrate on the ones that do
  • I help you to focus – equipped with your ‘gap list’ (that I work with you to produce) you will making it easier_gap listknow exactly which items you need to buy to make your wardrobe work harder for you. Shopping is easier, and this approach saves you time and money too !
  • If you absolutely hate shopping (or even thinking about clothes) I make the whole process easier by taking away the pain.  I do the research, I scout options for you, I bring you items to try on without you having to worry

One of my clients, Susan, told me she ‘dislikes shopping intensely’.  After we worked together she said, ‘On our shopping trip, [Samantha] had already scouted a few options for me and selected certain shops so it was very focused.  I achieved more than I expected:  a wedding outfit, an informal but professional work style and new basics to go with everything I already own.’

And Amy: ‘Sam had prepared a rail of clothing for me, full of pieces I probably would never have picked up and I ended up buying most of them because they looked great!  I now have a capsule wardrobe of clothes that really work.  Sam has such a great eye for pulling together a look that is modern in a classic way without being slavishly trendy.’

I can make dressing well easier for you, too. Contact me today.

lucy needs a stylist