So this sees the second part of my two part series about my top five favourite brands (so ten brands in total) to mix and match when you’re over 40. And these aren’t brands specifically for the over 40s – I don’t really believe in those per se because most brands will do something with a midi-length – if short lengths aren’t your thing – or with sleeves, if sleeveless isn’t your thing or with a high rise jean, if butt flashing isn’t your thing.
But these are my favourite brands – the ones I look to first. And honestly, I could go on forever, so if your “go to” brand isn’t there, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love it – and by all means do tell me about it.
6. Best for print and colour – Boden
I have to say that some shops drive me nuts with their flat colour palette. I guess it applies more so in the winter but a pale, insipid, bland, sludgy colour palette does just not get my fires going. And whilst I absolutely accept that everyone has a different style and a right to choose what they wear, and what suits them, in some ways I think there’s almost an “alternative” (which, as with anything “alternative,” actually becomes as mainstream as the thing that people are reacting against) trend to avoid print and colour and to wear head to toe taupe or grey which is fine but dare I say it – a bit dull? Especially given our weather most of the year.
Andrea belted dress Boden (£85)
7. Best for fashion trainers – Air & Grace
You probably all know by now how much I love wearing trainers – I pretty much live in them. And if you want a pair that just make your back and posture feel as though they’ve come back into alignment, it has to be Air & Grace Whether it’s leopard print, stars, glitter, neon or rainbow you’re after, they have it all. And whilst it’s true that the trainers are more of a financial commitment, if you love them and wear them all the time, the cost per wear is minimal (unlike the cpw of the 10 year old’s new competition gym leotard. Hello £95 per wear. If ever there was a business to go into – that’s it!)
Cru glitter trainers by Air & Grace (£169)
The sole of the trainer comprises three layers of memory and recovery cushioning built into a slight, but indiscernible wedge, that just – for me at least – seems to bring everything back to where it should be (well, not everything. Some things just can’t be fixed without surgery!)
8. Best for cashmere with slogans, bolts and stripes – Orwell & Austen
And this has nothing to do with the fact that I might just have styled the images that appear on the Orwell & Austen site. Nope, nothing at all!
Actually I loved the Orwell & Austen sweaters before Jess asked me to style a shoot and then when I worked with them I loved them even more. There are so many fab designs to choose from and Jess is creating new ones all the time with slogans, lightning bolts, stripes and of course, great colours.
Bowie blue cashmere sweater Orwell & Austen (£199)
9. Best for everyday accessible, affordable, cool pieces – HUSH
The thing that I think HUSH does really well, is fill that “smart/casual” gap in our wardrobes – which is, in fact, often a Grand Canyon sized gap.
As I said at the event that I held with HUSH at John Lewis, the gap between our smartest, and our most casual, pieces has narrowed over the years. We’ve upped our “scruffy” game, whilst what it’s now acceptable to wear less corporate pieces to the office. HUSH does beachy, to everyday, to an evening out and pretty much everything else in between. As well as the nightwear, loungewear and fab basics for which they’re known, we’re starting to see some lace, some chiffon and more print. Plus their leather jackets are amazing.
Marina Dress by HUSH (£79)
And I love this t-shirt which goes with absolutely anything. It doesn’t cling but it’s not oversized, the V is a good depth (ie not too low) and for someone who isn’t a fan of Ts in general, this is one that I can get my head around.
Star Slub V-tee HUSH (£35)
10. Earrings I’m most often asked about – Harry Rocks London
It’s fair to say that there are many, many fabulous jewellery brands out there and I will do a post on them if people would like me to. But in terms of the pair of earrings that I am asked about the most (or one of them – it’s a close call with other pairs) then these are them!
Spiked hoop earrings by Harry Rocks (£60)
And these Harry Rocks butterfly chain with star charm have revolutionised my stud earrings, so they are definitely worthy of mention. They just turn plain studs into something so much more modern and fun and let’s face it, ear-ring backs are frankly pretty lacking in the style stakes most of the time, so I think that these are ingenious.
Now there’s always room for other brands, either within the same category, or separate categories. I haven’t looked at shoes, or bags, or budget brands yet but I really hope that you have found this helpful.
Until next time!