It's been over a year since I turned freelance and the routine of getting up and worrying about affairs that are entirely your own and not that of your boss or company finally feels concrete and settled. If I'm not travelling or buzzing through meetings/events, my days are spent working at home and thus I'm afraid to say that the outfits are appropriately more 'earthed'. That's not to say I've been turning to sweat pants and vests but just that I've repeatedly pulled on the same item of clothing more often than when I was at an office where I had to face peers. I promise this isn't killing the 'I dress for myself' pledge. It's just the sheer fact that when I'm at home doing NOTHING but sitting at my iMac, watching Jeremy Kyle and occasionally wiping my glass desk with Dettol wet-wipes, the occasion just does not call for over-thunked outfitting.
Therefore in this post, I salute these clothing no-brainers that I have turned to this season, day in, day out. These are clothes that have put in some serious graft. I've gotten a ton of wear out of them not only because I've JUST been sitting at home on my arse voraciously attacking the iMac, but also because they've travelled far and beyond with me on trips this year as well as being worn out and about in London. This isn't about basic tees or slubby sweatshirts (so I've excluded things like my NY Mets tee or my Sunspel white t-shirt) but more about pieces that seem to be able to cope in my new work routine where home/work/travel blur into one.
Whistles Leather Skirt – People went mad over the pleated Whistles Carrie skirt which subsequently had to be released in different colours and lengths because of its popularity. I missed out on it but instead invested in this mid-calf leather skirt which has gotten an unbelievable amount of wear considering it's a slightly awkward length and is a heavy leather skirt. I seem to be hellbent on stumping my own height and I often pair this with Converse or other equally height-stunting shoes. No bother, there's something about the volume of this full skirt as well as the shade of grey that means it can be worked into a plethora of outfits, casual and dressed-up. It's also got the deepest of pockets which means I have shoved phone, debit card and keys into it and gone out without a need for bags, a current habit of mine.
Antipodium Trench Coat – Alright this isn't for watching Jeremy Kyle in but it is ever so good for flinging on when i do need to nip out. I've also accidentally flung it on as a nightrobe a few times when the postman calls err‚Ä¶unexpectedly. As per usual, London is blessed with topsy turvy weather that means a spring coat is something of an essential. It is a trench but its cotton mix material (they call it 'salt and pepper' because upclose there are grey and white flecks) makes it heavier than yer' normal garbadine material. It's also a great travelling coat – no sweat when you're going through customs (problem with coats I find is that customs/queueing process makes you hot and bothered) and keeps you cosy onboard if the aircon has gone bezerk. It's got a few quirks going for it. First up the care label says it was designed by a 'sizzling hot stud' – Geoffrey Finch, the designer behind Antipodium can be rest assured that this in itself makes me want to wear the coat more. Oh, and it's called the Parklife trench. 'Nuff said.
Whistles Jacket – What can I say‚Ä¶Whistles have really helped me out this season with mighty useful bits and bobs. This jacket actually reminds me of something that my mother wore in the late80s/early90, an oversized sporty windbreaker with toggles but made out of billowing white silk. This is a viscose/polyester mix but it fulfils the job of a light/airy spring-summer jacket that holds up well when faced with the natural elements. I was also intent on owning something in this cinnamon colour as a way of diffusing my dislike of shades of brown and to my pleasant surprise, cinnamon isn't just a tasty ingredient but a strangely accommodating colour.
ASOS White Leather Shorts – What could have been an oddball item have actually become my equivalent of tracksuit bottoms. I bought them on sale thinking I'd wear them on infrequently. Blame it on the power of the elasticated waistband as I've worn these a ridiculous number of times. My tummy rules all so anything that means I can scoff a few more mouthfuls gets the sartorial thumbs up. I think this is my own slightly warped take on wearing b-ball or surfing board shorts and the fact that they're made out of leather actually seems to make the shape all the more interesting. Again, they have seriously deep pockets for the phone+keys+debit card handbag-free combo.
Tristan Blair Ankle Boots – The full on conversion from hating to loving leopard print is complete and now I can't get enough of the stuff. Australian designer Tristan Blair is known for killer heels and maximum design packed into somewhat mid-range prices but these simpler ankle boots rely on the design of a 'clean' leopard print on calfhair (quite bored of the inevitable confusion over the term 'ponyskin – NO, it's not made out of real ponies). I don't quite know how to explain it but the leopard print isn't razzy or showy but straightforward in its execution. Weirdly they seem to pique the interest of both young and old. Just yesterday, a well-to-do 50-something year-old woman at Waitrose, enquired about them. "Are they comfortable?," she asks. "Exceedingly!," I say. "Oh that's good to know!" Indeed‚Ä¶.