New season, new clothes..

When I arrived home from South Africa last week the autumnal chill hit me full on as I wheeled my luggage trolley out of Terminal 2 and onto the airport concourse. I had left London in August in the last days of the summer heat – it hid the mid-80s the week I departed, and returned at the end of September in sweater weather.

As I emptied my suitcase to sort out my washing I realised there was nothing there that would keep me warm – my winter clothes were vacuum packed away from the moths under my bed, and my boots and closed toe shoes were sealed in plastic bins in my lockup.

So I spent a day last week hauling out the my under bed clothes stash and popping open the bags to reveal…clothes I wasn’t much interested in wearing. Two years after my breast reduction operation I’m still working out what I want to wear, and trying to challenge myself to move away from the silhouettes I wore as camouflage for so many years. There have been quite a few mistakes along the way, but fashion, for me, is about experimentation as well as playing it safe and my loss will be the Sue Ryder charity shop in Camden’s gain.

However, amongst the couriered bags and boxes in my flat awaiting my return, were some clothes for a client shoot that had been sent over by the Jigsaw press office. Amongst the call-ins was this orange-y red coat which hadn’t been on our list. At first sight I rejected it immediately.

But then I thought again.

One of the things I would never have worn with my previous expansive chest was anything in a bright colour. I preferred to blend in to the background, to draw attention away from my oversized top half at all cost. But now that I am in proportion again I can’t help thinking why not? Why not add some colour?

Red, you may have read elsewhere, is the colour of the season, and whilst it’s perfectly simple to buy a great pair of ankle boots, or a bag in pillar box red, why not make your red purchase a coat this season?

Everything in these pictures is from Jigsaw’s AW17 collection – the client shoot ended up being postponed, so I thought I’d shoot the pieces anyway as I liked them so much.

Jigsaw has always had a place in my heart – I bought my very first piece from the Long Acre store when I was just fifteen, a navy cotton box pleated skirt that fell just above my knees, and which I wore with a blue jacket and cream shirt, and followed it up with a beautiful black velvet pencil skirt a year later to wear to sixth form entrance interviews.

Ever since there have always been Jigsaw pieces in my wardrobe, from the stretch pants and huge ribbed sweaters in which I spent my university years, through the neat skirt and trouser suits for my first job, to the beautiful tweeds and coats I’ve invested in in my thirties.  I’ve loved knowing that they work with British mills for many of their excellent fabrics, and that they are a brand firmly rooted in their British heritage.

I paired the coat with patent leather ankle boots – with this season’s kitten heel and pointy toe, bare legs – it’s not winter yet, a buttery-soft and beautifully cut leather pencil skirt (a proper investment buy which will last seasons), and a black woollen sweater.

At the end of the post is a gallery with my edit from the current Jigsaw collection – and do check out their A by Jigsaw range. Shown at London Fashion Week each season, this highly edited and limited edition collection, designed by Collette Brown, (ex-Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana), focuses on beautiful fabrications, with many pieces made in small British mills and factories.

Grace Coat £360
Leather Pencil Skirt £198
Olsen Patent Ankle Boot £175
Clean Knit Ottoman Top £110

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Are the clothes in Sue Ryder yet?! I might pop along if so. I think I am like you pre-op…


I donate pretty much each week! Sneaky heads up: on the 09 November I am hosting a shopping and styling evening there. More info shortly LLGxx


Thank you!

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