Many years ago, well before the age of the internet, I shopped for most of my clothes at a delightful little boutique in Sussex. With a busy working and family life it was perfect for me; convenient, friendly and helpful.
The lady who ran it knew her regular customers well and did much of her buying with specific clients in mind. Like many of them I was always eager to drop in whenever new stock arrived. The passion for new was compelling; jackets, trousers, dresses, I would avidly seek them out. Decked out in the latest the season had to offer I was quick to discard what had, up until that moment, been my favourites, often feeling that they had lost their lustre. These were then dispatched to an ever bulging wardrobe to hang forlorn and abandoned.
One day she gave me a piece of advice which has stayed with me for the past 25 years, and which has saved me a small fortune. “Remember how you felt when you first wore it” she said. Of course she was right. When I reflected on how delighted I had been when I first looked at a new outfit in the mirror in her boutique I realised that, apart from the passing years, I looked just the same in that outfit. “You should wear your clothes” she said, “If they were beautiful when you bought them they are still beautiful now”. This is certainly the case with classic styles which thankfully do not date. This advice is shared by Lucinda Chambers of British Vogue who has said, "I don't think I buy fashion-of-the-moment things. I buy things I will like when I'm 70".
As the founder of Black.co.uk and BrightByBlack.co.uk I see beautiful accessories as the key to transforming classic enduring styles. I have selected a few of my 'old’ favourite jackets, some bought over 20 years ago, all worn with a simple black skirt or leggings and black camisole top. I have added a sprinkling of our new accessories to give them fresh updated looks.
Moschino circa 1993 Short Pure Wool Collarless Jacket with Cream Silk Lacing
Black.co.uk circa 2014 Cream Chantilly Lace and Cashmere Shawl
St Laurent circa 1999 -Pure Virgin Wool Dress Coat with Satin Collar
Black.co.uk circa 2014 Black and Biscuit Houndstooth Cashmere Ring Shawl
Moschino circa 1994 Pure Virgin Wool Jester Jacket with Velvet Trim and Gold Ball Buttons
Black.co.uk circa 2014 Anchar Hand Painted Silk Applique Cashmere Shawl
Moschino circa 2000 White Cotton Jacket with Ivory Silk Satin Trim
Black.co.uk circa 2014 Shimmering Black Cashmere and Lurex Wrap