Ahh, back in the day the ONLY answer to ‘What are you wearing tonight?’ was ‘Oh, just jeans and a nice top’. For me it conjures up images of ‘Rachel’ hair, those handkerchief tops with the ties at the back, 7 for All Mankind bootcut jeans and a thick buckle belt. I remember saving up to buy my first pair of those jeans. I almost got enough, but then blew it all on a night out at the Met Bar, so I bought a 2nd hand pair on Ebay instead. If those jeans could talk they could tell you many a tale of overpriced cocktails and minor ’90s celebrities…
Somewhere along the way we moved into more substantial ‘dress-up’ territory, by which I basically mean a dress. You know I love a good dress, but I do tend to wear them more for daywear with a big boot rather than in the evening on a night out. Living in London, a night out is rarely full on dressy, it really does have to be an ‘occasion’ for me to push the boat out. If it’s a standard dinner out, or an evening at the pub with friends, then I think we can revisit ‘just jeans and nice top’, but these days we can all have own hairstyles and avoid a boot-cut at all costs.
While some of the Tops and accessories I’ve featured below are on the the pricey side, I think it’s worth saving for good bags and shoes as in theory they should last forever, the jeans are all high street. I’ve said it before, but I do believe you can get very good jeans for less than £50. You don’t need to spend all your cash on designer brands anymore. Save that for your shoes and bags.
PUFF SLEEVE TOP & JEANS
This is the top style of the season. I have seen more pouffy sleeves around than ever before lately. It’s a strong look so takes some balls (metaphorically) to pull it off (wrong choice of words when accompanied with balls?). Anyway, here’s two different puffy sleeve styles if you’re feeling like you want to give it a go. The pink check & Other Stories top is maybe for the braver ladies, it has a lot of height and width within its pouff. The Mint Velvet number is maybe a simpler take on this trend, plus it goes perfectly with the cute bag I found in Topshop. Jeans are the Editor style from Toppers. They are an excellent jeans fit.
SILK BLOUSE & JEANS
This formula of silk shirt, black jeans, black boots and fancy handbag has been my go to option for dress-up-but-not-too-dress-up evenings out for years. I have two Equipment shirts (both bought on sale), that I have worn on many occasions and it’s so easy. An animal print silk blouse would be an ideal ‘nice top’ to boost your ‘just jeans’. These Harper jeans from M&S are new in, I have to admit, I was worried that wearing jeans from M&S would be a slippery slope towards laughing through the menopause in a ‘fun’ JD Williams Jumpsuit, but, NO! They are an excellent fit, perfect amount of stretch too, I love them.
1. Lily & Lionel Tiger Print Silk Blouse
2. YSL Monogram Leather Cross Body Bag
3. M&S Harper Super Soft Cigarette Jeans
4. & Other Stories Oversized Leopard Print Silk Shirt
5. Mango Croc Effect Ankle Boots
RUFFLE TOP & JEANS
Want to hide your bingo wings / dough belly but still want to look cool? then ruffles are your friends my friends. I know we’re supposed to be all #bodypos these days, but sometimes I’d rather hide my flaws than show them off. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer it that way. I would say if you’re going frou-frou on top then keep the bottom half slim and basic with a pair of black straight leg jeans to balance it out.
1. Top Shop Austin Polka Dot Ruffle Top
2. Zadig et Voltaire Rock Stud Clutch
3. John Lewis & Partners Straight Leg Jeans
4. Top Shop Black & White Ruffle Star Print Top
5. Miu Miu Crystal Embellished Mary Jane Shoes
PRINTED BLOUSE & JEANS
This one is super easy for daytime or evening. In fact, could this be one of those mythical ‘Day to Night’ outfits? I think it might. I know you could add a heel, but I love these flats from Boden with a pair of jeans. The jeans are from H&M, which I’ve recommended in the past as being one of the best places on the High Street for denim. These ones are my favourite ‘Straight High Ankle Jeans’, a style I always go for in H&M as they just seem to work for me.
PUSSY BOW BLOUSE & JEANS
Finally the classic Pussy Bow Blouse. I’m aware that for those of you with large busoms this one could be no starter, but most of these shirts could also be worn with the tie part open or casually tied a little further down with the top button undone, so you might be OK. I love the classic blouse and blazer but with jeans, it says ‘I’m being smart, but not too ‘officey”.I can’t attest to the fit of these Mango jeans but I do like the style and the colour so they get included on that basis.
Due to popular demand next week I will do a trainers post. It’s a little too early for boots, coats and sweaters yet, but I am looking forward to those ones.