Please accept this, my latest newsletter, as a valentine! It is created with love to you all in the hope that you will have a beautiful and stylish spring. Now the winter sales are finally exhausted, various new trends are surfacing, some of which you can adapt to suit your body shape, age and lifestyle. If you find this difficult to impossible, then you know I'm just a phone call away.
Of course, not every woman finds it easy to find a perfect fit or necessarily enjoys the clothes shopping experience. One of my clients has just this kind of dilemma. In her 40s and a senior businesswoman, she has a firm, athletic body shape and, rather than a size 10 or a size 12, she is more of a size 11. My recommendation was a suit made especially for her by a gifted tailor.
I accompanied her to Alistair of House of Alistair in Saville Row, and having views about what would work for her and her lifestyle, helped her to pick out a fabric, choosing the colour, texture and weight of it, and select a style on simple but chic lines. We even showed Alistair pieces from her wardrobe that had elements we wanted incorporated into the new suit. The result, after fittings at her convenience, was an outfit that is moulded to her body, the sleeves perfectly set to her shoulders, the back of the jacket following the curve of her spine.
Of course, custom-made suits of this standard are not inexpensive and you can expect to pay between £2,000 and £8,000, depending on the quality of the fabric. But bespoke clothes have longevity, they are classic and will not date. It belongs to you in a way that high street fashion does not. My client is thrilled because people have commented - not on the suit - but on how great she looks.
And back in the high street? I mentioned leather jackets In my last newsletter. Biker or flak, these jackets are being used to dress down anything which is - well, dressed up! For example, if you have an outfit for a wedding, you can later sling a biker jacket over it for an evening out. And leather is cropping up elsewhere - from M&S and Zara to Joseph- in shorts, trousers and skirts.
Denim is everywhere, but now you refuse to match: you wear a washed denim shirt over indigo denim trousers. The denim shirt can be worn as a jacket over a tank top, camisole or T-shirt. And the T-shirt should be printed rather than plain, be it an illustration, a slogan, or a fun sports motif.
And this is where I have a little hissy fit relating to a sad trend in men's wear. There was a look that featured wearing unlaced boots with a skinny narrow jean tucked in. I have spotted a number of young men wearing standard or baggy jeans or trousers tucked into unlaced high-topped trainers. It's a version that does not work.
Otherwise, ladies take note that hair is bigger. Put the flat irons away and invest in hair pieces that attach to the crown to boost and lengthen the back. Look out for quilted leather handbags. There will be more quilting in outer wear in the autumn. See too that the corset, a more palatable version of the Madonna look, is replacing the camisole. And for all spring chicks, check denims, florals and check dresses by Vivienne Westwood.