So here we are in January again. January always feels like the month that style forgot. If November is a free fall into the season of overindulgence, sparkle and glitz, January is the month to take stock; we dress for comfort rather than glamour and hide as much flesh away as possible. For anyone who is not a glossy magazine editor, it is unthinkable to start buying for the spring when we have almost certainly not yet had the coldest winter weather. If you are a sensible and forward thinking type of gal then you might buy a fabulous classic coat in the sales at half price which you can then feel smug about for the next two months and the following winter. Or more likely your sale purchases will amount to a pair of metallic Nike hi-top trainers, a show stopper sequin mini dress from All Saints and a ‘Gatsby’ bun decorator (don’t ask, I haven’t attempted to use it yet but it’s a new place to attach jewellery so why not?) While all these things are 60% off, they are unlikely to ever see the light of day once you have peeled them off your bedroom floor on New Year’s Day.
2013 has been a year of change for me and mostly the changes have been positive. I am forging a career as a stylist, I have moved house and the biggest commitment of all – I have a new fringe. I have great hopes for 2014.
When I look back over the last twelve months from a style perspective, it is interesting to see there were fewer crazy fads than usual. Perhaps this is down to the economy and the trend towards investment rather than on a whim buying. It has always been said that hemlines rise with stock prices but last year, despite the austerity, all lengths of skirt were in the shops.
Here are the fashion stories I will remember 2013 for:
1.Gorgeous midi length fifties style full skirts were primed to be de rigeur but they were surprisingly tricky to source on the high street. I eventually found versions in Cos and Coast but the one I actually bought was a bargainous £39.99 in H&M. I wore it with a little cashmere jumper and New Look ankle boots. Good old H&M, rarely do they fail to come up trumps.
2.Talking of H&M (and everyone was) the collaboration with Isabel Marant in November was possibly their most sought after yet. It’s not my style and yet even I spent hours trying to order stuff from the collection. I wore the £69.99 dress on Christmas day and it was much admired. Well worth the effort and proof if it were needed that the British high street really is head and shoulders above any other – New York included.
3.There was (and still is) the cropped jumper but did anyone see any living and breathing examples of this extremely risky look? The teenagers near me who flocked to concerts on Clapham Common in their Hunter wellies and their buttocks hanging out of their cut-offs, avoided the cropped top. Maybe this was due to the unusually hot weather but if so, why the wellies?
4.Amongst my friends and family, the ‘onesie’ was the item most reviled and yet alarmingly the item most likely to survive to this season. Onesies are babygrows for adults. This makes me think of bald middle aged men in dodgy sex clubs wanting to be spanked. If this is not a good enough argument against them then how about the fact that even on babies the babygrow is a pain in the arse when you need to take them off in a hurry?
5.And while we’re on the subject of nightwear, I was reminded of the short lived silk pyjama look. Did anyone not posing for a ‘streetstyle’ photo actually do this one? Did they accessorise with slipper type shoes? And did they go sans underwear? No, I don’t know either. All I can think is how inappropriate an outfit it would be for a first date.
6.I will just pat myself on the back for just a moment and remind you that I scoffed at the very idea that flat ugly shoes would leave the high heel redundant. The sale racks are currently groaning with the strain of so-called ‘man-repeller’ footwear. Last weekend I tested this theory by holding aloft a single thick soled lace up style whilst calling out to the Knitwear King, “What do you think of these?” across a branch of Office. He pretended he didn’t know me.
7.In a year where black is everywhere, I have rediscovered navy and tried very hard to embrace colour. I am more convinced than ever that there is a right red for everyone and it’s been very frustrating that 2013 was the year of the orangey red which is not my red. It was also the year of salmon, peach and coral and they are not my anything. Thank the lord I am officially too old to be a bridesmaid.
Yes, it’s been fun but I’m looking forward to the year ahead. While there is the worry of a high maintenance fringe which curls itself the minute the gloom descends, there has also never been a better choice of hats on the high street (I’ve just found a perfect Annie Hall inspired one on ASOS for under £25).
And I may have to wait until April to discover what place, if any, my son has been offered when he starts primary school in September but at least I’ve done the legwork. Literally. If you see a blonde in stilettos taking measurements of catchment areas by how many metre long strides she can fit in between the school gates and her front door in Battersea, it’s not me. I’m soo over catchment areas.
Happy New Year and thank you for following!