Last week we had a look at some sparkly party gear so I thought – to balance things out a bit – we would do some comfy and cosy clothes. I, for one, know which I prefer. In fact, the thought of having to dress up properly with heels and makeup and all that jazz kind of gives me the fear. I know I’ll have fun once I’m ‘out out’, but my natural habitat is very much more on the let’s-go-to-the-pub-for-a-roast spectrum. Although saying that, I do love a fancy festive lunch in a nice restaurant in town at this time of year. I like going out in the daytime for many reasons, but these are the top three. 1. You can wear a nice dress or a smart outfit but you don’t have to doll up too much. 2. You don’t have to cook your own food. And 3. You can be home early and even if you’ve had a drink, the chances of getting a hangover the next day are low because you’ll have sobered up by bedtime.
I had a lovely early Thanksgiving lunch at The Connaught hotel in Mayfair the other week and I’m hoping to put a few more things in before Christmas. If you are in London during the festive season I would highly recommend stopping for a drink in one of the high-end hotel bars. You don’t need to be a guest, you will be treated like one and you can pretend you’re loaded and can afford to stay there just by buying a cocktail and enjoying the lavish surroundings. They also have wonderful Christmas decorations to marvel at. My favourites for this are Claridges, The Berkeley, The Soho Hotel and (of course) The Savoy.
But this week’s fashion inspiration is more casual than that. We are looking at everyday outfits with the emphasis on comfort over everything else. Right up my street…
GRAB A GILET
This is my new favourite thing when working from home. When I worked in an office I used to have an ’emergency cardigan’ on the back of my chair (hands up who also has one of those!) because there would always be an ‘air-con chill’ at around 3pm. Now that I work from home and there is no air-con, I can just go and get changed if I get cold, plus I can wear Uggs or slippers all day, but what I love to pop on is a gilet. I have a fleecy one like this and it gives the perfect amount of extra warmth when needed. Plus I really like it and I think it looks cool. This might even be a ‘coastal grandma’ vibe. Or in the UK sense, a ‘seaside Susan’.
2. La Redoute ruffle collar seersucker shirt
3. Uniqlo lambswool ribbed crew neck jumper
5. Aspiga stitch detail hi top trainers
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve managed to sneak some corduroy on to almost every blog post over the past 4–5 weeks. I should have just got it over and done with by doing a full corduroy post, but no, I feel like I need to make my point over a longer period of time as it is THE fabric of the season. As we rush headlong into winter, now is also the time to dig out those Fair Isle knits. I know I moaned about Boden using very young models recently but, annoyingly, I still can’t fault their designs. There are some really lovely sweaters online right now. This cardigan is one of them. It has gold thread running through it to make it even more festive. Also, at the time of writing, these fleece-lined Grenson Nanette boots are 45% off at The Outnet. That is a ‘cosy winter’ good deal if I ever saw it.
1. Boden chunky fairisle knit cardigan
2. Anya Hindmarch multi pocket small satchel
3. Converse sherpa fleece reversible jacket
4. Seasalt Porfell tapered corduroy trousers
5. Grenson fleece lined Nanette boots
SUPER SOFT SWEATERS
If there’s any fabric that is both the height of luxury AND the height of comfort then that has to be cashmere. It’s not cheap, but choose wisely and it should last you for years. I think the high street does some excellent cashmere knitwear. The best places to look, in my opinion, are Arket, COS and Uniqlo. At the pricier end is Reformation who, like Arket, use recycled cashmere and responsible wool in the making of their knitwear. For a cheaper alternative to cashmere, I like merino wool. It’s not as soft but (for me) it’s never itchy and still keeps you lovely and warm.
1. Arket oversized cashmere roll neck jumper
2. M&S textured single breasted long line coat
4. Penny Grace knitted lambswool wristwarmers
TOASTY TEDDY COATS
I know they are impractical, as rain doesn’t mix with fluffy coats very well at all, but for warmth, comfort and joy they go to the top of the snuggly-coat charts. Just check the weather forecast before you leave the house.
1. Fund Wild & Precious cream jumper
2. TAE boutique cashmere stripe wristwarmers
3. Cos faux shearling cream teddy jacket
4. Jigsaw Delmont washed black crop jeans
EASY SWEATER DRESSES
Another thing I like to wear at home is a good sweater dress. No waist restrictions, throw it over your favourite pair of leggings or wool tights. For reference, my favourite pair of leggings is still the Spanx ‘Look at Me Now’ ones. They are more expensive than a lot of high street leggings, but cost per wear (I’ve had mine for two years) is very good. Same with Falke tights. The merino ones are great for winter. Remember, nothing will let you down like a cheap pair of tights.
1. APC black leather Geneve bag
2. Barbour fairisle knitted jumper dress
3. Karen Millen longline teddy coat
4. Iris and Ink Isabella knee high boots
Nothing says pure comfort more than a pair of shoes or boots that are fleece lined. Be it slippers, hiking boots or your classic Dr Martens, your feet will be so toasty you will never want to take them off. I am so happy that the Ugg boot has made a bit of comeback this year and that it is now not just socially acceptable, but positively fashionable, to wear your sheepskin Birkenstocks out of the house.
1. Rae Feather personalised sheepskin slippers
2. Birkenstock Boston shearling mink slip ons
3. Air & Grace Lush sheepskin boots
4. Ugg black ultra mini sheepskin boots
5. Sorel Out and About Conquest waterproof boots
6. Air & Grace Camino khaki suede and sheepskin boots
7. Dr Martens faux fur lined Chelsea boots
8. The White Company faux fur lined rain boots
BONUS VELVET SUIT
Ok, so this is more suited to that posh lunch I long for, but I couldn’t pass by this velvet suit from Hush and not mention it. I would dress it down slightly for daytime wear by adding a pair of Converse and an excellent tote bag. I’ve got really into wearing my Converse again recently. They do go with everything, don’t they?
2. Hopeful embossed leather bag
4. Hush Carina velvet trousers
5. Converse Chuck 70 vintage canvas hi tops
If you’re getting overwhelmed with Black Friday deals right now, I am with you. I am attempting to compile my annual comprehensive list of all the discounts and any codes that go with them. So subscribe to the mailing list for that. I will send it out on Thursday evening.