Thursday, 22 December 2011

today i love... the sales

It's that time of year again: the sales. Always referred to as the January sales, but they're getting earlier and earlier by the year. It's only 22nd December but already a fair few are underway (Kurt Geiger, River Island, ASOS), with many others starting on Christmas Eve, before everyone joins in on Boxing Day. I have to say I love the sales at this time of year. I often suffer from a case of the post-Christmas blues, and what better way to chase away the grey clouds than with a lovely bargain or three? However, there is inevitably some danger involved in Christmas sales shopping. It's the same pitfall which many a Primark shopper has fallen into: the 'it's super cheap, therefore I must buy it' trap. I'm sure every one of us has learned this lesson the hard way, yet when the sales come around the racks and racks of jumbled-up clothes emblazoned enticingly with huge red stickers can cause us to be temporarily brainwashed into forgetting the golden rule: don't buy it unless you love it (seems simple enough!) My top tip would be to identify everything you've been lusting after over the past few months but which you didn't buy for monetary reasons and write them all down to seek out in the sales. Having already loved them at full price you know that you really will be snapping up a bargain. Failing that - if you can't quite remember what you've loved or would just like to be a little more spontaneous - I'd say it's a good idea to identify which key trends and styles will have fashion longevity, so that any impulse buys will at least still be on point for S/S'12, rather than a fad forever consigned to 2011. So here's my guide to what you should be keeping an eagle eye out for, plus my top high street picks, which are either already reduced or I'm hoping will be. For more trend ideas for next season, check out my round-up of the best of Paris Fashion Week here, London Fashion Week here and New York Fashion Week here.

If you've read even one of my blog posts you'll know I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with leather. I love it so much that I often have to stop myself from wearing double or even triple leather. But there's something about the sumptuous, tactile fabric that just adds edge, luxury and interest to absolutely any item. Luckily fashion agrees with me and many a designer label - Acne, Alexander Wang and Theyskens' Theory, to name but a few - made use of this versatile material in the S/S'12 shows. Invest in pieces in classic shapes and colours in the sales and they will be sure to stand the test of time. (FYI I'll just about allow faux leather when it comes to tops, skirts and trousers, but for jackets, bags and shoes, it has to be real.)

Animal print
I'm not big on prints and some of them date very quickly. This season's brief flirtation with polka dots thanks to Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, for example, didn't find favour with me and I expect it will be very short-lived, so I'd give dotty pieces a miss in the sales. The same goes for florals: they're always undoubtedly on trend in spring, but often in very differing forms, meaning that one specific floral print - ditsy florals, for example - could look out-of-date very quickly. With animal print there is no such danger. Done in the right way, it is perennially chic. This season we're especially lucky because snakeskin was such a huge hit in A/W'11, but it will never fall out of fashion's favour. So stock up on all the reduced serpentine goodies while you can. The same goes for leopard: classic, timeless and definitely worth pillaging a few sale racks for.

Regular readers will know I am pretty much in love with metallics. A nice hit of shine can add interest to the simplest outfit while still maintaining a minimalist aesthetic. I'm particularly partial to silver myself, but gold and rose-gold will also stand you in good stead. With designers such as Topshop Unique and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel showing off all manner of molten metallics for S/S'12, I'm confident the pieces below would prove wise investments.

For a long while I was a little tentative around sportswear-inspired clothes - probably because I've always avoided sport in all incarnations. But in the last couple of seasons I've realised that a very slightly sporty edge to a minimalist look can be breathtakingly chic. Phillip Lim's S/S'12 collection was the epitome of this for me: very slightly sporty, but ever so elegant. Along with such designers as Stella McCartney and Alexander Wang, who showed a stunning motocross-inspired collection, he's championing a new breed of sportswear that's a world away from trainers and Adidas stripes. So investing in subtly sporty pieces now will no doubt pay off in the seasons to come.

Since the Hervé Léger bodycon movement overtook the catwalks and red carpets a couple of years back, there's been a backlash against overtly sexy dressing. Designers are now striving to find something a little more subtle: a flash of skin via an unexpected cutout, a pencil skirt rather than a miniskirt, and of course sheer fabrics. Sheer says grown-up sexy: organza, mesh and chiffon are the preserve of the woman who likes to be fashionable and enigmatic rather than outright 'look-at-me'. For S/S'12 sheer fabrics are going nowhere, showing up in collections from the likes of Marios Schwab, Lanvin and Simone Rocha, so scouring the sales for a beautiful sheer dress for New Year's Eve seems like a pretty good idea to me.

The trend for sleek classic tailoring has gathered pace over the past few seasons, with chic Brits Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo pioneering our love of masculine dressing. We've discovered that, conversely, adding a little androgyny into our wardrobes via a well-cut blazer, a chic pair of cigarette pants and a crisp white shirt can actually make us look fantastically feminine. And the clue is in the name: classic tailoring won't be going out of style any time soon. Hunt out some beautifully-cut basics now and you'll still be wearing them for many years to come.



  1. Can we marry? (can do next Thurs)

    have a good xmas :)

  2. great post.. although I don't agree on every point ;)
    for example i do think polkadot is a timeless print, and i think the snakeprint trend will be over very soon.. but we'll see :)



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