I know, I’m all over the place right? Last post was about summer buys, now we’re onto woolly jumpers already.
But if being a fashion editor taught me anything it is that you need to buy things not when you need them (although great if the two coincide) but when they are in the shops. When you see them. And maybe you try them on and think “this looks great, but it’s a jumper and it’s August!” Trust me, come the chilly depths of November when you wished you had a jumper, there either won’t be any, or you won’t feel like going shopping or you won’t find what you want. And you will feel wretched.
I buy any winter stuff needed in August/September, summer stuff in April at the latest (obviously with things like children’s shoes, you do need to buy them close to point of use as I have learned to my cost in the past). And then you can just be horribly smug and people can say, as they increasingly say to me (with no real understanding of my life) “it’s alright for you.”
This post will seem like an advert for Uniqlo. I promise that I get no discount from there, have nothing to do with the store. But it does have some really good buys at the moment. (It also has some crap, so just ignore that.)
I buy very few things for myself clothes/shoes wise. I’m not one of those “I have 100 pairs of shoes” girls. But what I do buy is considered and lasts me for a few years until I get sick of it. When you don’t buy much you can afford to update more frequently. Also I split my life between a very urban one where I have to be presentable, and a deeply rural one where I could be ankle deep in chicken shit. I cycle, I do the school run. My clothes need to work quite hard. Sure I have some fancy dresses for cocktail parties, but mostly, mes vetements can’t be part timers.
A few weeks ago I really needed a black V-neck. Something simple, wool but not itchy and not mentally expensive. It would immediately bring cohesion to my wardrobe. I knew this because I had nicked my partner’s one once too often and my 32FF bosom had given it a shape he wasn’t entirely keen on. I went shopping. Nothing. No wool jumpers to be found. Then last Friday, bingo, the shops were full of knitwear, glorious line upon line of them.
The place to go for this sort of thing – simple, fine, reasonably priced knitwear in lots of colours – this season, is Uniqlo. There is a fabulous merino wool V-neck for £19.90. It’s not madly thick, but then you don’t want it to be. You want something that’s a wool layer and you can scrunch up in a ball and put in your bag. It comes in loads of colours and there is also a scoop neck version which may cost more (sorry didn’t look). I got one in black and was so pleased with it, I went back and got one in navy, despite the protestations of my eldest who asked me to also get it in purple. Gloriously, the small fitted me so that also went down very well.
I also might have accidentally bought a few more things. A man’s wool round neck in a lovely chocolate brown. The fit isn’t as good as the woman’s (I got it in XS but it’s still not as good a fit). Again for £19.90.
And there are some really great padded down jackets that fold up into small bags but seem really warm. These will be ideal for cycling.
They also come in longer length versions which are brilliant (I didn’t buy one as I have something similar already). These ultra light down garments manage to look slimming despite all indications to the contrary.
And a waterproof parka that founds up small but somehow (despite being water repellent) also manages to make me look passable.