The second of my monthly 'fix' articles ( please excuse the fact the last one was in October) in which I scoop up aesthetically lovely and/or practical things (some connected to research for my day job and some not) which have made an impression on/made me happy for the past month and that I think are worth sharing. And in a January that has felt like it's lasted twice as long as it should have , aesthetically lovely and/or practical things are surely the stuff that dreams are made of. Here are fifteen fixes that have helped me limp to the finish line, and will do very well for February and beyond. And while those never ending sales roll there are also some bargains to be had.
Mary Janes with Attitude
While flat Mary Jane's of all shapes and sizes are continuing their rule into next season, I can't quite get on board with the round toe variety. Give me a pointy toe and/or a chunky buckle however and suddenly its serving up far more appealing rock and roll vibes. PS The Ganni's are a Christmas present from my husband that I lusted over all last year. (No of course he didn't choose them.)
2. A Wool Wrap coat
Surely a coat delivery from the Gods: Essentially a dressing gown but one that you're officially encouraged to leave the house in, while looking still looking like a grown up: win win. Here are three current faves- the Wyse I can personally vouch for: purchased in the January sales after using on a job. I'm not taking it off until Spring.
3. Beautiful Looking Cinema
There have been times this month that it has been necessary to leave the house immediately and immerse myself in something that has no relation to normal life. The mad beauty of Poor Things literally refilled me in every way with production by fashion bigwig and Tim Walker collaborator Shona Heath. Elsewhere Saltburn was a joy (albeit a dark one). Note: rejuvenative film utopia is best achieved at a local independent. CineWorld does not cut the mustard.
4. Perfume Rollers
Not a new idea but one that is currently big news. I received le labo Rose 31 in my Liberty advent calendar (the gift that keeps on giving) and am smitten by the concept: not only perfect for a handbag but also allowing us to try a new scent without the price commitment. And as a long term Hermes Citron Noir girl this feels liberating. PS Also loving stress relieving roller balms: Practical in every way.
5. Preloved boutique browsing
I'm not ditching Vinted- I still have feelings, but the stumble across more than a few 'inauthentic' goods lately has my fingers a little burned. My eye has wandered to my favourite curated preloved boutiques that offer to take the trawling out the equation, are manageable enough to keep on top of, and offer the frisson of of the chase to get in first. Manifesto Woman and One Scoop float around my price point sweet spot, and the browse is half the fun even if I miss out ( you know who you are red Gucci loafers).
6. A Good Book
I am in a book group for the first time in my life ( I had always felt slightly lacking that I hadn't been invited into one of these Freemason-esque secret societies) Anyway mine is full of fabulous creative women - We rarely discuss books- but it has propelled me back into reading. Recent loves have been 'I'm sorry you feel that way' , How to kill your Family' and I'm just digging into 'Friendaholic'. Bookworms of the world unite.
7. A Knitted Midi Dress
I will admit as a stylist my method of purchasing has been known to include the low effort option of buying pieces for my own wardrobe after a job. I bought a grass green mango ribbed number last year in this way and it has unexpectedly become one of my MOST worn items- a non jeans daytime option that feels like i'm 'trying' without trying at all: Just what January was made for.
8. M&S Home(ware) Comforts
I will admit M&S hasn't previously been my go to for homeware, but I stumbled across this paint striped frilled cushion via instagram, and immediately had to buy in multiple colour ways. This excellent scallop lamp ( and I find good lamps very tricky to nail) and Bordallo Pinheiro-esque plates are next on the list. Go M&S.
My youngest 'bought' me a pistachio green stripe cotton robe from Honna London for Christmas that I have long drooled over, but while trees are blowing down outside? The cosy robe wins hands down. I'm currently in the green borg check John Lewis that I shopped from my own Xmas Gift guide but hotel style heavyweight towelling is also more than acceptable. ( Note to self: buy the matching pyjamas)
10. A Kilt
Pre Xmas I ordered an excellent vintage midi kilt (marked size 12) off Vinted but was devastated that it turned out to be too small for me as a UK size 8. Now Claudia Winkleman and Sinead McKeefry have single handedly broken the kilt buying internet you need to be fast on the button. (just make sure you ask for measurements if going vintage) When I replace my too small version i'll go midi over cowboys or shorter with black chunky boots.
11. New Year Stationery
I am a creature of habit when it comes to stationery. I've been buying the design letters Arne Jacobson family calendar for the last five years after trawling for something that doesn't have pictures of teacups on; I literally am never without an a4 sized notebook; and paper mate flair is my pen of choice. January absolutely deserves a fresh new everything you love stationery wise for that clean slate/first day of term feel.
12. Gym wear
I've had an open relationship with running for the last 5 years: read one weekly run 'most' Sunday mornings with a friend that we treat as therapy session first exercise second. This year I'm aiming to add weights to this punishing regime ( peri menopause conversations I'm blaming you for this) So new outfit new me and all that. Varley is my current exercise style goal.
13. Female Art
Two female artists painting females both whom I adore. The first is mighty Margo in Margate, whose work I have in nearly every room, headed for world domination with her current Thinking of YOU exhibition in Brighton running until 18th February. The second, the divine Rusty Studio I first spotted on the walls of the gorgeous Rose Hotel in Deal and am determined to invest in this year. Two artists more than capable of raising the January spirits.
14. A Beret
A recent present from my mum that is giving me all the nostalgia. Between the age of about 25 and 30 I was rarely without a beret (worn with a charity shop fur coat, skinny jeans and moccasin boots from a shop in Las Vegas) and I'm feeling like reviving the whole look in entirety this season. On a practical note it serves as the winter alternative to my trusty headscarf that feels a bit unseasonal teamed with a puffer.
15. Finally... A Magazine Subscription
I have re-subscribed to Vogue this January, and the fun of receiving something in the post that isn't a bill, that I can sit and turn pages of IRL is entirely satisfactory, and as most journalism is becoming paid for online, subscribing allows you both. Plus let's all do our bit to keep the magazine industry afloat, because do we really want life to turn into one long scroll through food hacks, cute dogs and plastic surgery? (Just me then)
Thank you for reading and hope these suggestions are helpful !
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