I’ll preface this by saying I have no money to spend on any of these (or any affiliations) but a bit of virtual window shopping never hurt anyone did it? Besides, by my own choice of title, half this blog should be about enjoying fashion, style and design again!
So you’ll just have to humour me in a bit of fantasy shopping for wintery favourites.
1. The Classic Coat
If I had all the money in the world…Alongside doing various good deeds and looking after a goldendoodle puppy (Google it), one of the first things I’d invest in would be a classic Maxmara coat. One that will look good however fashion changes and however wrinkled I may get. I’d get it in both camel and black, naturally…
2. The Proper Handbag
Ever since the Alexa was everywhere in the mid-noughties, I’ve imagined a Mulberry tote hanging off my adult arm… It’d be the Bayswater. In Oak. Potentially with the strap.
In reality, I’d love to get to the adulting stage a few years from now where I could buy a capacious, good-for-everything handbag that’s over £100 – one that doesn’t break the bank but has the quality to last several years. These are some options I’ve seen around:
Michael Kors’ Jet Set Travel Medium Saffiano Leather Top-Zip Tote (try saying that ten times faster…): a Michael Kors design is another item on my inner-teenager’s wish list (thanks Project Runway). This one is a really classic shape, with colourful options that aren’t garish, and it’s actually not a scary price. I’d go for Maroon or Admiral.
Haerfest (pronounced harvest – their website emphasises) is the sort of Instagram-appealing company loads of people probably already know about. They do really classic leather designs, many to be carried by both men and women – like the Two Handle Tote Small. I also love their structured Eva, and their backpacks (which are simple enough to look current even when hipsters no longer do…).
3. Wide Leg Trousers
I have a pair of high-waisted & woolly wide-legged trousers that I bought on a whim at a Topshop sale several years ago (they were £5). They are brilliant. Great for the office because they are a bit different. Great for working at home because they’re soft like joggers (whilst getting me out of just wearing joggers).
They also make the most basic T-shirt, top or shirt look more interesting when tucked in (very 1930s femme fatale – or at least that’s what I tell myself).
4. Quirky Jumper
As I’ve definitely mentioned elsewhere, I curate an interesting collection of jumpers. There used to be a massive Forever21 store in Glasgow, which was my jumper heaven. I got my favourite robots sweater there, and other warm knits that have lasted several winters.
In the January sales at Topshop Oxford Circus one year, I discovered Peekaboo. I fell in love with their jumper with a spy on it (standing under a lamp post) and bought the last one even though it was a size 16 (I’m an 8). I’ve since managed to tactically shrink it.
If wacky character-led jumpers aren’t your thing (I imagine this is fairly niche) then I do have other suggestions:
M&S are good on the jumper (and underwear) departments, obviously. My secret tip for jumpers is that Matalan is surprisingly good for the price. They also do a solid range of Christmas jumpers.
I’d really love to invest in a proper Shetland jumper at some point.
5. Beloved Heels
I went to university in a tiny town on the North Sea (hence the jumper addiction), where the cobbled streets killed my few dalliances with cheap high-street heels.
The closest I’ll get to a heel nowadays is an ankle boot (and knowing I won’t get loads of use out of them, I tend to get them from Primark). I get by with pretty flats but I still want to master staying upright in heels. There are so many beautifully crafted ones:
Classic – Christian Louboutin: to my teenage self, owning a pair of Louboutins seemed to be everything that was glamorous. That idea can now never be shifted. If I could, I’d go for the Simple Pump (in nude Patent and Nappa Shiny), the Décolleté 554 in black, and I also love the French Tutu ones I could never hope to walk in (I’d just sit and look fabulous).
Modern – Sophia Webster: I’m easily sold on any whimsical detailing, and her designs do that really well. She also has the perfect bridal shoes.
Work – Stuart Weisman: I love the Veruka boots. Incidentally, their menswear inspired flats are also gorgeous.
6. A Dream Dress
I’d love to have a night in pretty much any Needle & Thread dress. You just throw them on, simplify everything else, and let them do the talking.
They’re not wildly expensive either, or at least there are good options on the cheaper end of the scale. In a similar price bracket, Alice & Olivia have some great wrap dresses at the moment and there are satin pieces by Nanushka that would look brilliant at a Christmas party (I’ve linked a dress but also check out their separates).
On the more optimistic end of the scale, I’ve always loved Roland Mouret’s structured dresses (hello Royston) and the detailing of Alexander McQueen’s dresses. But the closest I can get to any kind of high-end fantasy is Christian Siriano’s coffee table book, Dresses to Dream About.
If you’re similarly looking to continue the escapism, I recommend you take a look in there…