Monday Must Have(s)

So it's a slightly different one from me today. 

Am taking full advantage of London Fashion Week to champion some of the smaller fashion heroes that I have grown to love over the years.

When I started my blog, it was to explore how we, as women progressing into our glory years (sound so much better than "getting old") would like to dress.  At rapidly approaching 40, 7yrs ago, the options on the high street were not good and there were practically no online options, apart from Boden.  The latter all those years ago was a very specific sort of look, as were the choices in store, seemingly designed for women who had children, didn't have an office job and were of a "certain age" - FatFace, White Stuff, Crew, Phase Eight and Laura Ashley (they were the choices on my market town high street...). 

Which really didn't fit the brief of how I wanted to look.  I did want to look younger per se, but I still wanted to look modern.  I still wanted to follow trends without being a slave to them.

And so I started writing.  And it was serendipitous that at that time, retailers also started to wake up and realise women in their 40s were a very different sort of beast from ten or twenty years earlier.  We wanted modern trends in amazing fabrics and were happy to spend money on them.  The magazine editors (who were all of a fabulous "certain" age) got on board too and roll forward seven years - we really do have A Voice.

The large retailers definitely cater towards our generation - it's more than just a cursory nod, we are seen as a serious market to attract.  There are also more online options - websites which design and offer clothes that aren't "what your mum would have worn" but aren't aimed at a much younger market either. 

And then there are the small, start ups.  Those companies which began on kitchen tables and still have a small offering.  They're not large, there are no glossy brochures (although I am partial to something to peruse over a coffee - I KNOW they're horrendous for the environment but we burn them in the chiminea and I don't tend to buy magazines anymore - oh and I also unsubscribe from ones I don't shop at.  And yes I still feel guilty..).

Today I am showcasing six of these lovely companies - they have no idea I'm doing this.  I just thought in the spirit of London Fashion Week - it's a great opportunity to celebrate those who make fashion from the grass roots up. 

All these small companies are run by women I have come to know over the years.  And it is years (ok so the first one is "just" a year).  I have been lucky enough to be sent their products - there is no commercial relationship with these ladies.  There was no specific ask on promoting the products - there never has been.  Every single one, just sent a gift with a note saying they hoped I enjoyed it - there was no other expectation on my part or theirs. 

And I am more than happy to wear and recommend these fantastic products.  They will all be things that you recognise that I do wear on a very very regular (some daily!) basis.  And have worn for years.

I will say that they're not necessarily as cheap as products that you can buy on the high street.  They are very small businesses (some have grown over the last couple of years) and simply don't have the economies of scale of the bigger players in the market.  And the quality is GOOD.  That I will absolutely vouch for.

Starting off with sweatshirts (there are also tees) from the lovely Rae from FWP (French Wine Project - seriously, what's not to love) by Rae.  

These are called sweatshirts but they're more like a fine knit.  A cross between a sweat and a jumper - perfect for this time of year (although I've worn mine all Winter) under a blazer or jacket.

A small is a 10.

Premier Cru Sweatshirts £39 from FWP by Rae

Bio Dynamic Sweatshirt £39 from FWP by Rae

My two favourite jewellery brands which I wear every single day and have done for years and years and years.  Annabel is local to me and first sent my a stack about three years ago it must be.  Still going strong and worn daily.

Bracelets by Bella Jane Jewellery 

And the lovely Amy from Chambers & Beau.  Earrings which I wear every day and necklaces which I sleep in.

Sunrise Necklace from Chambers & Beau from £70

Winging it necklace from Chambers & Beau from £75

Then there is the lovely Clare from Air & Grace who first sent me a pair of these - the Copelands almost two years ago.  Still going strong.

Copeland White Glitter Trainers £149

These i've been wearing for the past 18 months. 

Copeland Calf Hair Trainers £159

And she sent me these when she launched the new style last September.

Flutter Sneakers £149

Two small cashmere brands which have grown over the last couple of years.  The lovely Marielle was introduced to me through a mutual friend and sent me this rainbow stripe Breton three years ago.  She has had to restock it a number of times as it always sells out.  Not a huge surprise as it's simply the perfect navy jumper.  I have worn and washed mine so so much - still as good as the day I was sent it.

Wyse London Ines Breton £220

And finally Orwell+Austen Jumpers from the lovely Jess.   

This I bought about a couple of years ago. 

Je Ne Regrette Rien Slogan Sweater in Oatmeal £195

And this one, Jess kindly sent me this year. 

Navy Mon Coeur Jumper £210

So there we have six small, growing brands which I am so honoured to be able to support.  Ones that I hope you will be aware I genuinely admire, recommend and wear regularly.  

And as if by magic... here I am today.  Trying to be jolly in this utterly vile weather.  Wear bright colours I thought, that will make me think Springlike thoughts.  I'm not going to lie - it didn't really work.  It didn't work at all.  Wash.  Out.  But I tried...  I have chewed my way through Monday.  Bring on a Chinese later (late to the New Year Celebrations but the husband promised them I'd get one in for this evening.  Oh go on then.  Twist my arm).


Sweatshirt - FWP by Rae (gift current)
Flutter Trainers - Air & Grace (gift aw17)
Coat - M&S (from paid partnership aw17)
Bag - Gucci (aw15)
Jeans - Me+Em (gift ss17)

Tomorrow I am off to London for meetings - on weather watch... OOH and I'm also going to try the white boots in Mango.  Look out for the pictures on Insta stories... I'll also be back with a punchy fashion move (yes, even bolder than white boots.  I know what you're thinking.. WHAT??  Yup.  Watch this space!).

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12 comentarios:

  1. I love the Wyse sweater, and the white sneakers, both just a bit different to the norm, and both on my wish list!
    I'm sure they'll be a few who are envious of these wonderful gifts, but considering you've brought them to our attention, I think they're well deserved.
    I've been trying a little spring colour today with red sneakers, and an ancient silk scarf in red, green and turquoise that was my grandmother's (a gift from her old employers in the US, but not really her thing, so I got lucky). Not brave enough for pale jeans though...

  2. I love this Kat it’s lovely. Small businesses grow through word of mouth an people like you promoting them. It’s a great thing to do & the stuff as always it beautiful ❤️❤️

  3. I bought those Air and Grace trainers today AT LAST. Been eyeing them up for ages.

  4. Great to support small growing businesses!
    My husband doesn’t know yet that he is buying me the chambers and beau jewellery for my birthday 🤣
    and my friend has your air and grace glitter trainers which I drool over all the time! 😍

  5. I bought the exact same leopard a&G trainers on your recommendation and seriously...most comfortable trainers ever worn in my life. Also, adore the Rae jumpers but I looked at the weekend and everything seemed to be sold out...hope she’s restocked now this has gone up 😉

  6. Hi there. I’m getting more stock in as quickly as I possibly can. I hate disappointing people and didn’t expect this huge amount of interest but I’m working hard to get stock levels up. Please bare with me. Rae x

  7. I have to say I love my Chambers & Beau pieces, purchased after seeing various items modelled so fantastically by you. And my Bella Jane bracelets (of which my collection is growing!) I daily visit the Wyse Cashmere section and have recently discovered FWP by Rae but yet to purchase from either (although after reading everyone's comments I had better get myself on Rae's waiting list!). The Air & Grace trainers are also on my list although I'm undecided between them and the GGDB, can you offer any assistance or are they too different to compare? The GGDB are very much out of my price range and to even spend £150 on a pair of trainers I need to know they are comfy?

    Fab blog as ever, I wonder what my life would be without you brightening it each day? Thank you Kat

    1. Hi Sarah. I haven't got A&G but can vouch for GGDB being super comfy. Can walk all day in them. I have 4 pairs!!

  8. Hi Kat,

    Totally not related to this post (which I loved, by the way) but a while ago you mentioned that you machine wash your leather trousers and they wash really well...have you ever tried this with your jackets? Any tips? Massive thanks in advance!!! x

  9. I stumbled across FWP through your blog/insta and LOVE their items - so far have bought a fine sweater, t-shirt and hoodie. Love them all but the hoodie is a particular favourite! Good work promoting the other smaller brands too x

  10. Just went online to buy a t shirt from Rae and it’s navy and not black! Which is fine. But I need it to wear with new black high waisted wide legged jeans. Navy and black denim??

  11. Can i ask about sizing in the FWP sweatshirts? Would a Medium be a 12? Large a 14? I checked the measurements but still undecided!