Back to Basics

I’m back. From Outer Space. Well China at least.
It was a good trip – successful – the customer was happy – orders are up, and interesting new projects for me to work on. In bras – it’s all about comfort. It’s about the shape and support, but without, where possible, underwires. All hail that. There are things to share; I will come back to this soon.

I may show lots of options of clothes or accessories in my blogs – all, and only options that I would happily, gladly and very much like to wear myself, given unlimited budgets, and well, opportunity and occasions to warrant the need for such things.

But with a reality check, I simply don’t the cash or storage space to store EVERYTHING I might lust after – this is where I rely on you dear reader to step up and do some more shopping for me.
But… I do also have this sort of nagging feeling in the back of my head about how much do I actually *need*??? I know, this is me being the writer of a fashion-blog/peddler of goods… (Please don’t ever mention to Mr E-E that I said that I might not *neeeeed* some stuff – I will deny everything.)

As we get get older, hopefully our own sense of personal style cements, we have go-to pieces and a happy making clothes that make us feel, and look good. It doesn’t mean that we don’t ever want to step outside of our comfort zone and try new things, but perhaps we do it in a more measured way, by mixing up and wearing what we already own in a new way or adding in careful pieces here and there, that if we find they are not quite for us, it’s not too much of a financial write-off.

Last week I was shopping in Hong Kong with my boss before we went in to China – we went into a shop where on previous trip six months ago, I had managed to gather a basket full of loot of things that were going to revolutionise my wardrobe. Some bits worked, others were a gamble, and meh, have sort of sat/hung a bit sad and unloved. A frustrating and annoying waste. On this last trip, I toyed with buying a pair of resin earrings that were only probably a fiver, but I put them down – asking myself how many times would wear them and didn’t I have something similar already? Perhaps I’m growing up or something – ahhhh.

What however, is ‘always needed’ is a Breton striped top. Or two, if they are a bargain and super super soft. I did succumb in a store called Giordano – sort of a Gap/Uniqlo-y type store. I wear striped tops a lot. They are all slightly different I assure you… black with white, white with black, navy and white, all very, very different… but one of the tops I bought was even red and white striped. I know. Shocker.

As we’re moving into the layering season I find that striped tops can make other wardrobe pieces work harder – items that might have otherwise been banished to ‘a storage area’ for the duration. Layer a striped top under or over a top and hey presto, warmth and style.

This is an example from the magnificent ‘That’s Not My Age’ on Pinterest – make the the white, or any shirt work harder.

pinterest 'thats not my age'

I love the rolled up sleeves above, with the stripes elbow to wrist showing – it’s not revolutionary but I like doing this with jumpers – it’s ‘almost’ like introducing some colour to a (probably mainly black) outfit. Almost.

This is slim fitting so could be easily layered without adding too much bulk.
Boden Long Sleeve top £19.60-£28.00

Boden Long Sleeve Breton £19.60-£28.00

Or the navy/white colourway… gorgeous with greys and denim.
Boden Long Sleeve Breton £19.60-£28.00

Boden Long Sleeve Breton £19.60-£28.00

A peekaboo flash of ‘colour’** from Pinterest.

pinterest layered

**not really. But it’s more interesting that a solid colour no?

The ever stylish Erica Davies mixes in stripes with prints with colour clashing confidence.

Erica Davies

This roll neck would work to do this…
M&S Cotton Rich Long Sleeve striped top £8.50

M&S Long sleeve striped t-shirt £8.50

Or black with white…
H&M Polo-neck top £12.99

H&M Polo-neck top £12.99

Emmanuel Alt, Editor in Chief of French Vogue wears her Breton top with a blazer & jeans for effortless chic.

Emmanuel Alt, breton stripe + jacket

The Breton Shirt Company specialise in the stripe.
The Breton Grey £37

The Breton Shirt Company, Breton Grey £37

By the Breton Shirt Company again, with the most fabulously named The Picasso £46

The Breton Shirt Company, The Picasso £46

Mixing stripes scales is like playing with print, but in a very safe way (!)
Barbour at Next White & Navy Long sleeve top £40

Barbour at Next White & Navy Stripe Long Sleeve top £40

A wider stripe and more boxy shape with dropped sleeve gives a more casual feel – this would also work over a shirt or plain polo neck. Jaunty scarf optional.
H&M Boat-neck jersey top £9.99

H&M Boat-necked jersey top £9.99

Finally, sit down. Some colour… red and white striped – H&M do it again…
H&M Striped Jersey Top £12.99

H&M Striped jersey top £12.99


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