I have far too many clothes, certainly way more than is decent. I’d like to blame nearly 20 years as a fashion journalist, but actually I am just addicted to shopping. This is NOT A GOOD THING. Still, until I am hypnotised to resist the lure of Net-a-Porter, the least I can do is ensure that anything I do buy is economically smart, vaguely useful and unashamedly joy-inducing (I appreciate that all of these are relative concepts).
One benefit of no longer being an editor-in-chief is that I can now dress like me and not like an EIC. That means a bit more casual, a bit less ‘fashion’ and a lot less concerned about keeping up with the most sartorially advanced peer group in the world. Once you take fashion out of the equation and figure out what you really love wearing (and not what you pray to the fashion gods will pass muster on the front row), the whole thing becomes a lot more enjoyable.
At the risk of extreme basic b****ery, left to my own devices I’d probably wear blue jeans (or their shorts equivalent) and a white tee - or variations thereof - every day. Once you find your denim holy grail (mine is a high- or mid-rise, slightly cropped cigarette leg with plenty of stretch, probably by J Brand), getting dressed becomes a breeze. It is a cruel hand of nature that I look dreadful in black (no idea why, I love it on other people but on me it’s draining and life-sapping) so lighter-coloured tops (light-reflecting white, basically) are always on my radar. On casual days that means a tee, specifically a V-neck tee (a 32DD chest and crew necks don’t mix) that’s not see through (call me prudish but I don’t always want to flaunt said 32DDs). Years of research have led me to narrow it down to two options: Rag & Bone’s The Vee (it’s loose fitting so I buy the S) and Boden’s The Cotton V-Neck Tee (again, I get the small - although I am more normally a medium). I reckon I have price-per-worn these into oblivion
This summer I found myself sticking to the white-and-blue equation by mixing in various white tops that added a bit of zhuzh to the country pubs that form the background of 99% of our summer in Sussex on the south coast of England. For day (although fully fancy enough to transition into night), Self-Portrait’s broderie anglaise blouse looks harder work than it is. It’s actually super-easy to wear thanks to the loose empire line cut and the pre-dropped shoulder (no fiddly elastic to contend with). It hits at hip length (about 58cm in this case; I get pretty forensic about these things as I only really shop online) and basically looks like you’ve made more effort than you have (mine’s a US size 6). Slightly amped-up is my puff-sleeved top from Turkish label Piece of White. I love the period drama-like feel of the deep square neck - eat your heart out Anne Boleyn - and the heavy poplin construction is injected with a slight stretch. It’s a high-impact piece that, again, doesn’t look too try-hard in a low key setting but would absolutely carry its own in a chichi wine bar, or similar. Mine’s a size 38 and generously cut. Finally, I am OBSESSED with L’Agence’s three-quarter sleeve blouses, particularly the Dani and Jil styles (the Jil is 2in shorter in the body). If you can get past the prices, which are a bit galling, these are perfectly cut, intelligently designed shirts that you’ll wear forever (I had to restrain myself after going to put on my Dani for the third consecutive day). If I had my way, all sleeves would be three-quarter and, like the L’Agence styles, hems would hit at hip-length so you can wear untucked without looking like a slob, or tuck in and not have to wedge yards of fabric down your pants (and I mean that across both British and American usage).
So, complexion-flattering white on top; easy blue denim on the bottom. It might not be new, but it works for me.