Love is in the air this week. I should start off by saying that I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. If I’m honest, I’m not really a fan of any day where you are expected to do certain things (Christmas being the exception). I don’t like being forced to go out and be jolly on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know the words to ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and I like to be in bed by 11pm. I don’t much care for people singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. Do you join in? Do you nod along? Do you just want it over with so you can get stuck into the cake? And I don’t like forced ‘romance’ on one day of the year. Surely it should be spontaneous, shouldn’t it? Not sat in a restaurant with 23 other couples, being upsold a three-course set Valentine’s menu and presented with a solo red rose wrapped in plastic.
But, being a grumpy old bastard aside, I do love a good ‘theme’, so this week I bring you a few outfit ideas based very loosely on the theme of love. Really it’s just an excuse for some red, some pink and some heart shapes…
DENIM MINI WITH RED ACCENTS
I feel like the denim mini skirt is one of those things you always have in your wardrobe but often forget about. I’ve dug mine out this week to take on holiday. As you read this, if all goes to plan, I’ll be in Jamaica. We went last year and the air con was broken in the hotel we stayed at so, as a (very good) gesture of goodwill, they gave us a free week’s stay to make up for it! (Flights not included, but there was no way I was looking that gift horse in the mouth.) Your trusty denim mini can, of course, be worn in the winter with some 80 denier tights, a pair of brogues or loafers and a pop of red to make it fit into my theme.
1. M&S pure cotton textured jumper
2. Claires gold hoop heart drop earrings
3. Zara wool double breasted coat
4. Boden patch pocket denim skirt
5. Grenson Dina double buckle monk brogues
6. Anthropologie mini knot handle bag
PINK TO MAKE THEM WINK
Although I’m not sure if winking is allowed anymore; like wolf whistles and staring, it’s probably been banned. Pink, I think, is still acceptable though. For boys and for girls. I’m always buying my 15-year-old son pink sweatshirts. Mainly so I can share them, but I also think he suits the colour. He’s commandeered my lilac Maharishi trousers too. They’re back in again this year (see last week’s post), so I should probably steal them back, but to be honest, he looks better in them than I ever did.
1. Bella Freud 1970 mohair jumper
5. Wilson jewellery red enamel heart bracelet
6. Guilhermina square toe ballet flats
WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE
Or all over your jumper in this case. This Boden jumper really shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. It falls on just the right side of that fine line between cool and kitsch. Wear your heart motifs with your wide-leg jeans and 90s trainers.
1. Boden chunky fair isle heart jumper
2. Lulu Guinness red lip coin purse
3. Phase Eight Magsie wide leg jeans
4. Stradivarius cropped felt textured coat
5. Adidas suede Gazelle trainers
SUITED & BOOTED
But, you know, without the boots. Here we are with another 90s look. I had a thought the other day when I was walking the dog: the 90s are as far away from the youth of today as the 60s were from the 90s when we were living them. That actually blew my tiny mind a bit. So it’s not just retro for the kids of today to be wearing our old clothes, it’s actually vintage! I always did love a suit and trainers as an easy way to look smart without being office-like. This suit is from The Frankie Shop but H&M do something very similar for much less.
1. Comme des Garçons Play heart eyes t shirt
2. Sandralexandra Heart of Glass hoop earrings
3. The Frankie Shop pleated tailored trousers
4. Mabel Sheppard reddaisy phone pouch
5. The Frankie Shop oversized blazer
6. D.A.T.E cream leather trainers
I’m really clutching at straws here as I’m not even sure strawberries have anything to do with romance and I’ve left out the fields, but dip them in chocolate, serve them as a dessert and I’m in love so that will do. Plus I just liked this Beulah cardigan worn with the cute Kirstie Le Marque necklace.
1. Beulah strawberry embroidered cardigan
2. Kirstie Le Marque enamel strawberry necklace
3. Karen Millen high rise wide leg jeans
4. Vivienne Westwood heart shape bag (use code KATE15 for 15% off)
6. Gucci Blondie mid heel pumps
SUPERMARKET DRESS & FANCY SHOES
I fully believe in balance when it comes to your wardrobe. It’s perfectly OK to save up and buy a really expensive pair of shoes that you will cherish forever. It’s also OK to wear them with a dress you picked up in Sainsbury’s along with the weekly grocery shop. I can’t stand snobbery and I also can’t stand being told what I can and can’t spend my money on. In fact, talking of love, in our wedding vows one of his was ‘I promise not to get mad if you spend too much on shoes and handbags’. I’m happy to report that he hasn’t yet broken that vow.
1. Tu black denim frill trim short dress
2. Wilhelmina Garcia gold plated enamel ring (use cde KATE15 for 15% off)
3. Carel Paris buckled patent Mary Jane shoes
4. Coast double breasted formal coat
There will be a short break in proceedings next week as I’m concentrating on reading all my books and getting a tan. I will only get burnt, but I live in hope. We will be back in two weeks’ time with some spring freshness for your wardrobes.