As I started writing this, we had begun to go out again. Now we can only go out with 5 others, but that’s better than nothing, so I’m still going to run with this. We’ve all been at home for a very long time, so going out is daunting in more ways than one. The Smiths lyrics from This Charming Man, “I would go out tonight but I haven’t got a stitch to wear” seemed very apt. Have we forgotten how to dress when we go out out? I had this note from Jenny last week…
‘Kate, Please do a blog about what the fuck to wear when you go out for the first time in months, in the evening, to Pizza Express. When you can’t remember how to dress for such a thing and even your jeans and a nice top look weird, as your ‘nice’ tops from 2 years ago look wrong/odd/don’t fit. Not only that but your 40-something hormones are raging and you have lockdown weight. Not only that but everything has puffy shoulders which you hate as it makes your broad shoulders look even broader… that one please’.
Well, I will do my best. I will try not include any puffy shoulders, I can’t guarantee to have the all the answers for this particular request but what I can do is give you a run down of 5 outfits that I would wear. Most of these are failsafe options for my personal ‘What shall I wear tonight?’ question. I hope there’s also something here for you too.
BIG COLLAR BLOUSE
I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. If you want to update your wardrobe to be a bit more ‘2020 Autumn’ then really the only new trend is the big collar blouse. They are everywhere and so there really should be one to suit all tastes and budgets. I know it’s not a trend for everyone, but it’s a very simple ‘fashion’ take on the age old ‘jeans and nice top’. You can layer it up later with a round neck jumper over the top, but wear now with a trench coat and a pair of actual shoes! Yes, actual shoes! Not trainers or boots or sandals. Try a loafer or even a flat pump. To disguise the lockdown weight, do the ‘French Tuck’ into your boyfriend/mom jeans.
ALL BLACK AND BLAZER
Literally my go-to when I’m going out and I don’t want to dress up too much but still want to feel like I’ve made an effort. I know I only featured this Anine Bing Blazer the other week in the sweatshirt blog, but I caved and bought it last week. I can confirm it’s even better than I expected. Not cheap though, so I’ve added some alternatives below.
I do think it’s worth upping the budget a little bit for tailored jackets if you can as you tend to get what you pay for. A £19.99 number from George at Asda is all well and good, but if it wrinkles on first wear and loses its shape so much you go off it, then is that money well spent? FYI & Other Stories, Mango and Boden all do great tailoring. Add slim black jeans and maybe a nice western style boot to elevate to an evening look
MIDI DRESS & BOOTS
In the Autumn this is very high on my list of answers to ‘What shall I wear?’ I find it so easy to throw on a nice (but not too fancy) dress and a pair of Chelsea Boots. This dress from Toast ticks all my boxes and I think I may invest. Flattering shape without being too sack-like, great length, but f a ruffle, but not much. It also has pockets.
I do love a bit of Toast. I find their clothes to be very timeless so you can bring them out every year. I’m looking forward to unpacking my navy Cord dress that I bought last year. maybe not this week though, looks like summer is back for the next few days. If you are new to the ‘Dress and Boots’ trend and wonder how to dip your toe into it (pun intended) then as I mentioned last week, simple Chelsea style boots are an easy entry point. I know not everyone feels comfortable wearing a hiker boot with a dress.
JUST JEANS & HEELS
If you have read this blog for a long time, you will know I’m not a heels person per se, but I do have to be mindful that this blog isn’t all about me (well, it is, but you know ‚branching out). A good pair of heeled boots are a VERY easy evening option. I feel like you can elevate almost any daytime outfit with a good pair of fancy boots.
If this outfit doesn’t work for a Pizza with the girls then I don’t know what does. you’ve got your cardi for comfort, your high waist jeans to suck in the stomach, your smart blazer, your ‘good for any occasion’ bag and your smart ‘I’m out for evening’ boots. Now, if you can only find a Pizza Express that’s still open then you are good to go. I’ll share a bottle of Montepulciano and order an American Hot, but with the original hot green peppers not Jalapeño.thanks. Why mess with the classics?
1. Whistles Oatmeal Cashmere Cardigan
2. APC Genevieve Leather Handbag
3. Everlane Oversized Double Breasted Blazer
4. H&M ‘Washed Blacked Vintage High Jeans
5. Whistles Plum Leather Dalia Lace Up Boots
IF IN DOUBT, WEAR LEOPARD PRINT
Let’s end with my perennial answer to what to wear. When in doubt get the leopard print out. I can’t even tell you the amount of times I’ve gone off piste and tried on a dozen other options and ended up going with the leopard. I have 2 leopard Ganni dresses and they have been worn to weddings, parties, gigs, awards shows… God, remember all those things? Weren’t they fun? Not sure I even appreciated them enough when we had them.
You can’t exactly have party with only 5 other people and I REALLY don’t want to go back to all those Zoom quiz things. A nice meal out with a group of 6 will just have to suffice until the world gets back to normal again and if you want to wear your leopard print dress to Nandos then just go for it!
1. Selected Femme Black Leather Biker Jacket
2. M&S Long Sleeve Cotton Top
3. Somerset By Alice Temperley Large Print Leopard Skirt
4. Hush Hilja Leopard Frill Maxi Dress
5. Air & Grace Jessa Lace Up Boots
Have a lovely week. Do feel free to send me your outfit quandaries, I really enjoyed doing this post. You can email me on [email protected]