My mum, bless her, has a top which was relegated to the fancy dress box almost immediately after my sister and I banned her from wearing it. Its turquoise, has a butterfly made of multi coloured sequins stuck on it, huge sleeves, and is absolutely hideous. We still tease her. I’ve kept it purely so that every so often we can look at it and laugh.
Despite this sequinned misdemeanour, in general most of my mum’s stuff is great. She has accumulated an excellent collection of woollen jumpers (all high quality, not a Primark jersey in sight), Breton tops and jackets from East. One of my favourite items is a Cornish fisherman’s sweater with enormous pockets (for fish?). My mum is also properly into M&S clothing and has many, many shirts which I’ve also taken a fancy to.
Alexa Chung recently announced she will be launching a collection with M&S of items cherry picked from their archive. I can’t help but think that most if it looks like stuff my mum wore in the eighties – and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Alexa’s Archive collection won’t be available until April and so until then I will continue to cherry pick the archive of my mother’s wardrobe. I would strongly recommend you do the same and have a rummage of your own mother’s, or sister, aunt, any other stylish lady in your vicinity (if they don’t mind, that is). I’ve found it’s a great way to try out a new outfit, without having to buy anything (and in my case can’t afford anyway) as well as trying out a top/shirt/look you ususally wouldn’t go for. It’s also bought my attention to some new labels like Mexx.
Here is how I did it.A Green tunic from Mexx which mum usually does with buttons done up over lose trousers, I wore with black skinny jeans and unbuttoned. I couldn’t find the original, but this one from Madewell is similar, or this from Zara. Madewell is a lengendary US brand who make great staple wardrobe items and now has a store in Covent Garden. Check it out. A Liz Claiborne shirt, unfortunately out of stock, but this £25 from ASOS is not disimilar and has a lovely lace detail on the shoulder.
Mum’s snazzy new shirt, Orvis £79, with h&m jacket and jeans.