And no I'm not talking leopard print. I'm talking a good stripe. First off, this is the one thing that drives the husband bonkers. Utterly mad. When the boys were little, there was nothing I loved more than a pair of those delicious Boden checked baggies and a stripy top. I could see virtual steam coming out of his ears - allegedly so offended he was with their outfits. Snort.
But I think it works.
Clearly we all know that when I have some big occasions coming up, the blog very much starts looking at things which would work for my outfit. I'd like to think I'm that specific, composed and organised but, I'll be frank, it is very much a spray and pray approach. I work on the assumption that if I look at enough options, one of them will jump out at me. Or at the very least, I will remember that I have something very similar in my wardrobe and that would work just as well...
Today it's striped tops. We're not talking Breton here, we will save that little classic for another day. Going back to my gracefully disgraceful pieces that we can chuck on with our classic outfits to bring it into the stripe trend of today. By all accounts, from my exceptionally limited research which involved a flick through Grazia whilst I was having my hair done and a trip to Topshop (I appear to have covered the yoof bases there), it appears that stripes have gone colour a go go.
And, as one who normally eschews anything brighter than khaki (although I clearly have found a little soft spot for red this season), this may come as a bit of an eye opener. Yes, for someone who claims not to actually like anything remotely bright, I've even surprised myself by loving these.
Main reason I think they work is because we're just coming into the time of year when a lot of us are over our Winter Wardrobes. Yet it's too early to start thinking about all things Spring.
So the ideal purchase for now is something that just add that bit of Spring life to our old favourites. Even the old Spring wears from last year can be made to feel like completely new outfits with just the smallest of additions. And that's where our gracefully disgraceful things come in. They are small magic items that make us feel just that little bit better in the greyest of all months - January. And today - it's the bright stripe.
For me - I'm trying to combine it with a new shape of item too - yes, I've done it recently but I'm all over it like a fat dog on cheese (I'm assuming all dogs love cheese?), it's the cropped top. I should really say shorter top as if you look up cropped tops in most high street shops, it basically means knitted bra. Which, at rapidly approaching 43, is not the look I am going for by any stretch of the imagination.
I mean a shorter top that works with high waisted skirts and trousers. In particular my new LK Bennett skirt which I am so pleased with but am still digging my heels in at buying the £145 matching top to go with it...
Plus - thinking about it for lunch and whilst the expensive top is great for a party (and I will no doubt cave as it's perfect for making the skirt into super dressy Occasion wear), I reckon I can get something a little edgier to also make the skirt work (all puke at my naff fashion terms. Whilst we're here, seriously if anyone can think of a term for "on trend" that doesn't make one sound like one has disappeared up one's own backside, I'd be most grateful).
So starting with one that does verge slightly more on the safe with regards to the colours but I like to think that the style takes it far enough away from your traditional breton. The thought of any flesh (or muffin as it would be in my case) appearing with these makes me want to vom, however in the Tall, it should hopefully offer a modicum of decency.
Tall Stripe Crop Jumper from Topshop £26
Multi Stripe Crop Top from Topshop £29
It also doesn't look *that* short. There would be no flesh flashing with this (assuming you don't wear it with low rise jeans. If you do, you're on your own with this one). But would it work with a black and white spot skirt... or will I look like I've got dressed in the dark? I am not asking the husband his opinion on this as he may well have me committed.
They also do this in a different colour way. Personally I am more drawn to the tones in the one above but I'm wondering if this may be better with the basics that I own... I'm not sure though that either of them would go with my spot skirt. DARN it. Maybe if I were a braver person... I'm thinking the black and white one above is probably best. Doesn't stop me hankering after the one above though...
Multi Stripe Crop top from Topshop £29
Also at Topshop but slightly longer now with an unusual zip back. This would be ideal for all our mid rise culottes, jeans and skirts. Definitely back in the more classic comfort zone.
Stripe Zip Back Jumper from Topshop £36
Again, slightly longer and back in some more traditional colours. Two of my favourite colour combos at the minute - camel and navy. Throw in grey and I am in (albeit to some... sludge?) heaven. If you have a lot of navy, this is perfect for breathing a new lease of life into those old outfits. Ideal with jeans and a camel or navy blazer or coat. New outfit - done.
Cutabout Stripe Zip Crew Neck £42 from Topshop
Long and fitted now and this has extra long sleeves which, to an orang-utan like me, is always music to my ears. Almost tempted to purchase as it's such a rarity. Perfect with black cigarette pants for work, kick flares, sneakers and a leather jacket for the weekend. Would also be perfect with a flat fronted A line skirt. Or a pencil. Optiontastic.
Haycroft Clean Stripe Rib Sweater from Finery £45
Getting slightly more adventurous with the colours now. This vaguely looks like something that the German Ski Team would have worn circa 1978 which could be a good or a bad thing. Definitely a vintage vibe to it.
Glamourous Shrunken Fit knit £35
Moving up the ££ ladder now with this from Sonia Rykiel. Love x a million. The price - not so much..
Striped silk and cotton blend sweater from Sonia Rykiel £315
Another looser style at MGSM.
Striped intarsia cotton sweater £270
Different shapes now and this is perfect for over kick flares or skinnies. Team with a pencil skirt for work and layer with a fitted poloneck. Or over a white shirt with cigarette pants. Super versatile for work, play or the school run.
Whistles Structured Knit Jumper with back zip £110
ASOS Striped Tunic was £35 now £22
Another split side complete bargain from ASOS. I adore these colours. Perfect for over those high waisted flares from last Spring. Or (I'd personally wear a vest to eliminate muffin leaking at the sides..) with skinnies. Also gorgeous with wide leg trousers. Now at the moment, I'm all about the crop but I've got some full length ideas up my sleeve too. (my stripey sleeve..)
ASOS Stripe Tunic was £32 now £9.50 Yes - less than a tenner...
But I've kept the best till last. And I'm cheating hugely. HUGELY. As it's an arm stripe only. Pathetic I hear you cry. Yes, pathetic but oh how versatile. My only massive massive bug bear is that it's navy. I NEED it in black...
Harrison Stripe Cuff Jumper in navy from Whistles £95
So come on.. .fess up.. who else is suddenly having a hankering for stripes? I can't get enough of them and am just wondering if I can really get away with one for my spot skirt or whether I'll look like I've raided Helena Bonham Carter's wardrobe.
Super cosy outfit for today with a very relaxed afternoon at home with friends over.
Navy jumper - Autograph at M&S
Indigo jeggings - Zara
Chunky cardigan - Zara
Brown suede boots - Eileen Fisher
Lovely lazy afternoon, back at 'em tomorrow and I'm off up to London for a meeting and a peak at some new season gems which I can't wait to report back on.
In the meantime, planning continues for our night away at the "I fear maybe too cool for us" Soho Farmhouse and my lunch with the girls on Friday. Oh how I love an outfit dilemma....