July 12, 2024


Clothes that smile

Increase your style confidence in three easy steps — That’s Not My Age

Increase your style confidence in three easy steps — That’s Not My Age


Don’t you love it when an outfit comes together? Of course, this doesn’t happen by magic. I didn’t just throw these clothes on and walk out of the front door. Much like David Hockney in his checked suit and yellow Crocs, some thought has gone into the process. Having a kind of ‘ style mantra’ in your head when you think about what you wear, helps. This could be a phrase or description, such as elegant tomboy,  casual glamour, preppy creative (Hockney),  that sums up what you want to look like, or it could be three adjectives, such as: chic, relaxed and cool. It might just be a matter of identifying the garments you love to wear (jeans and a jacket, yes please). Style is personal. And I do think it’s down to the individual to take responsibility, because when you know your style, a winning outfit combination is never far away.

I’m very much a jeans, jackets and jumpsuit-loving gentlewoman. If I start outfit-building around one or more of my favourite pieces, chances are I can create a feel-good ensemble. When I’m cooking dinner, I follow a recipe. Gradually, as I get to know the formula and the final outcome, I become more adventurous with the ingredients. It’s the same with clothes. When I put an outfit together using my favourite items, I feel grounded. I feel like ‘me’ and not a weird version of myself. If the clothes don’t fit my signature style, I can feel awkward. When I ignore my ‘wardrobe friends’ and start with a skirt or dress, there may well be some faffing around. It takes longer to build an outfit to my taste. Understanding what suits you and what you feel good in, is the key to dressing with confidence.


So, how did this outfit come together? I’m going to try to share the recipe in three easy steps:


T = TONE. The burgundy colour scheme. Here, I wanted to put together a head-to-toe look that wasn’t my usual navy blue or khaki green. It’s winter, I need warming up. But, feeling slightly self-conscious (like a walking Ribena advert), I added a contrasting, vintage tweed jacket to break up the burgundy. And this finishing touch, really makes the outfit.

L = LINE. As well as pushing me back into my comfort zone, the tailored jacket helps pull the silhouette together. The cashmere jumper is an oversized shape and looks sleeker with a jacket on top. I am fond of a clean line. When it comes to the trousers, a straighter style works with the longline jumper and the cropped length shows off my stompy boots.

C = COMFORT. The most important thing! In all senses of the word. By this, I mean wearing clothes that fit your personality as well as your body shape, choosing fabrics that aren’t itchy or scratchy and shoes that don’t squeeze your toes. Get this right and eliminate the faffing.


Time to give yourself some Style TLC. And there’s a new formula, for ya.


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The coated jeans are from a Gap collaboration, last year (Jigsaw has a leather pair HERE and Rag & Bone a pair of leather flares HERE; and 7 for all Mankind has a coated pair of skinny jeans HERE), the cashmere jumper from the Chinti & Parker sale (last year but there’s something similar at M&S) and my trusty Solovair boots. The tweed blazer and handbag are both vintage.