Minimalist dressing…

So I’ve been reading a lot recently about the new minimalist “grown up” way of dressing that people are embracing at the moment and have to say I’m kind of relieved! On my last few shopping expeditions I’ve definitely been heading down a path that I’m not familiar with… shock horror… a simpler look. In the past I’ve been attracted to anything crazy, spotted, printed and covered in bows… But on recent trips to some of my favourite usually “easy buy” stores, such as Topshop and Urban Outfitters (places where you don’t have to think about purchases too much because the prices aren’t outrageous and stuff generally just fits), I haven’t really seen very much that I’ve “had to have”. It started at the beginning of the year when I was in Topshop and I took a crate-load of items into the fitting-room, emblazoned with Eiffel towers, bows and wild patterns and I have to say I wasn’t terribly keen on any of them (ok, ok – I admit I did buy a pale pink and white striped sweater with “Paris” written across the front but it was much more refined than the jewel-emblazoned one I thought I’d love!). 

© Tea | Dreamstime.com

However, I also think this is down to the weather, as summer clothes just aren’t getting a look-in at the moment because even when the sun does shine at lunchtime if you’re sporting a really summery ensemble you look like an oddity by 6pm when you turn blue with cold – so, pretty floral dresses with their backs cut out etc have been a no no! However, I really have noticed that I’m more than happy to buy things that in the past I may have thought were somewhat “boring”(!)… as usually I’ve been drawn to clothes with more “personality” rather than just a simple top or dress… Yet, I’m definitely beginning to see the benefits of having such simple pieces – you can certainly get more wear out of them! Some items in my wardrobe I’ve barely worn more than once because they’re too memorable to bring out again and again… and due to Facebook and our obsession with recording almost every moment of our lives on our cameras and i-phones if you’re photographed in your new favourite frock – after looking at the photos a couple of times you feel as though you’ve worn said favourite frock 10 times – even though it’s actually only had one outing! However, a simple denim shirt dress with a tan belt and mac or an over-sized t-shirt dress with leggings and a cropped leather jacket can be worn again and again. I’m thinking cut and fabric as opposed to crazy statement…

I was beginning to think it’s because I’m “maturing” fashion-wise…. Surely not – I’m only 31!! Maybe when my clients ask me can they still wear leggings aged 27, it’s beginning to rub off? No… I doubt it – Carrie Bradshaw and Gwen Stefani are still my fashion barometers – if they can wear “stuff” as fabulous 40-somethings, then so can I! Anyway, I know it’s not that – perhaps it’s due to the recession (sorry to mention the “R” word) I feel we’re definitely thinking more about price per wear. People are still buying, they just can’t justify a new top to wear every Friday night like they used to. Maybe you could say that we’re becoming a bit more “moral” with our spending – so we want to get something that’s more useful which often means it’s slightly more “understated” and “classic” in its styling… 

I think it’s very important to point something out here – when I say “understated” and “classic”, I’m not talking a black cotton v-neck and chinos… I’m thinking… maybe a silk cami with a ¾ sleeved-blazer, skinny motorcycle jeans, McQueen handbag and studded ankle boots – simple, but still with an edge … just to clarify! 

Looking back I should have known when I bought Chanel’s “Particuliere” nail-varnish at the beginning of the year, which is beigy/browny and très chic, that this season’s dressing would be more minimalist (I so wish I’d bought 100 bottles of this because everyone loves it – and now it’s as hard to come by as Manolo Blahnik Mary-Janes prior to their re-launch last year! You know, the the ones that Carrie thought were an “urban shoe myth” in SATC!)… But where should you head for this more simplistic look? Well, Cos has some fantastic pieces which are simple but definitely with a twist and that’s why fashion editors love the brand – they’re easy to layer and put your own stamp on with statement jewellery and accessories (visit www.cosstores.com). Also, of course Zara is where you should go to buy trench coats, peg-leg trousers and silk dresses (www.zara.com). Banana Republic is also doing this look brilliantly – check out www.bananarepublic.gap.eu/. Don’t forget, to add interest, mix fabrics: silks, cottons and linens – and work neutral colours with summer brights and vice versa. Actually thinking about it, this way of dressing doesn’t have to be dull in the slightest – oh goodness, maybe I actually am growing up after all!

3 thoughts on “Minimalist dressing…

  1. Mitzi

    I am totally with you Fiona. I have bought a fabulous jacket from Jigsaw and am amazing handbag from Russell and Bromley – I have compliments about both whenever I wear them – particularly the handbag which is two toned black and silver sequins and I love it!

    By the way the dresses that I bought with you are also still getting comments – mainly from people who can’t believe I am actually wearing a dress! I am amazed that everyone noticed that I didn’t wear them…..

    Keep up the informative blogs, I enjoy reading them.

    Mitzi x

  2. Fiona Huntingford

    Hi Mitzi,

    Thank you so much for your message – it’s lovely to hear from you!

    I know the R&B handbag you mean and it is stunning, you’ll get so much wear out of it. And I’m so pleased about the compliments you’re getting on the dresses – I told you that you looked good!

    Have a great summer…

    Best wishes,

    Fiona. x

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