Fashion can be good for you. In tough times, clothes have the power to instil confidence and provide an inner strength when you need it most (meeting with a divorce lawyer?) What you wear can really lift your mood. Fashion, I’ve always felt, is often an external representation of something bigger, something transformative.
Some clothes aren’t good for us, of course.
Some clothes aren’t good for us, of course. Like the white Isabel Marant flares that have hung in my wardrobe for years. They don’t make me feel great, as I can only wear my slim-hipped ‘des pantalons’ when I’m at my lowest weight. I call it my Heartbreak Weight. I fit them last year, but not this. Good in terms of my emotional well-being (I’m clearly happier) but I can no longer wear the goddamn trousers. And yet I keep them. It’s a little sick, so word to the wise, do not keep clothes that make you feel bad. It’s toxic, like a bad relationship, one I need to get over. So, here’s to things that make you feel good. Here’s everything giving me joy right now.
So obvious and yet so difficult to find. I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks for years (Arizona, two straps, like the rest of you). I’ve eyed up sandals by American designer The Row for countless summers, and still, I can’t bring myself to splash out that much cash on a pair of sandals the kids can’t go near. I can already hear my scream, “Get that ice-lolly away from me!” Looking like a total fashion victim at the park with the kids is not something I’m aiming for, so, instead, I bring you Ancient Greek Sandals. Not as comfy (wow, sorry for using the C word) as the old Birks, but a little more elegant and look chic at any time of the day. Even evening, with a dressy short.
Which brings me on to Dressy Shorts
They can be as long and wide as you like, no need for a micro-short. Although saying that, I bought a short-ish black nylon pair that look a bit Prada. I wore them the other evening with my Ancient Green Sandals and a vintage silk blouse. Culottes and shorts feel fresh, especially as waft you waft in the evening air, or in my case need to jump on your bike to a meeting. Head to Cos, Jigsaw, Arket and &otherstories for shorts to wear on bikes. Clothes to wear on bikes, that’s a whole other column. Oh, and high-waisted shorts add length to legs. Should you be interested, if not, Cos has the perfect longer-length short with your name on. (Pictured: Cos knee-length shorts)
Big Fuck Off sunglasses
Head to Le Specs for huge frames to die for (Pictured: Air Heart Caramel Le Specs). Cat-eye sunglasses never go out of style, hence they are my annual go-to, although I have to say, thanks to a good friend, I’m now seeking out bright sunglasses. Hers are huge and red. My kids often ask why I wear sunglasses in the rain. It’s to protect my mascara, obviously. But also, I love the mood enhancing feel of peering through pink or blue lenses. Especially in the rain. With two dogs and two kids.
A life-enhancing colour bringing me so much joy this June. Yes, I have matched my new orange puppy to my hair, tragic, I know but perfect for Insta. May go full on social-media-orange and wear this dress by &otherstories. Orange comes in many tones and variations, so I bet my new orange Cocapoo you’ll find one to suit you. (Picture: & Other Stories orange frock.)
Jane Austen dresses
Let’s start with Ghost. Remember Ghost, as founded in the ’80s by Tanya Sarne and Katherine Hamnett? The company is now owned by businessman Touker Suoleyma, remember him from reality tv? I’m imaging myself swanning around in rural Provence wearing Doen, Stuad and Rixo. Pass the rosé. (Pictured: Ghost Trinity dress.)
By new designer Roxanne First. Good vibes only. Be gone, bad vibes, begone.
The easy elegance of Skandi designer Totême
Founded by husband and wife duo, I invested in a blazer last winter. Oversized, it goes with everything. This easy day dress below will see you through until September. Dress it up with chunky jewellery and heels, dress it down with flats and a straw bag for day. I’ll be wearing mine with tights and knee-high boots in October. (Pictured: Totême gathered waist midi dress)
Sustainable, ethical and truly joyful. Set up by model Liya Kebede, her colourful summer dresses have become a staple in my summer wardrobe. The Lemlem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company set up to help female artisans in Ethiopia and Kenya, works with maternal health non-profit Amref Health Africa and various social enterprises supporting female empowerment by building skills within Africa’s growing textile industry. In other news, I need all three. (Pictured: Eshal plunge neck dress.)
Channel Lauren Hutton in a denim shirt, or any feminist icon for that matter. My old denim shirts are bringing me so much joy this summer and I always throw one in a suitcase to take away on holiday. Throw them over bikinis on the beach, wear with white trousers all summer, keep in your wardrobe forever, cowgirl. (Pictured: Seint denim shirt.)
Not exactly fashion, but there are so many new PJ brands launching and I for one cannot sleep naked. Perhaps because I’m northern. My new favourite is Desmond and Dempsey – the short style. Wearing cotton PJ shorts and a shirt to bed feels both airy and cosy. (Pictured: Desmond and Dempsey Howie pineapple print pyjamas.)
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