It’s certain to say that 2020 changed things in fashion, the forecasted trends were overtaken by the demand and popularity for loungewear as the nation worked and played from home. It seemed that everyone turned to online buying of athleisure wear and comfy indoor loungewear as the online stores repeatedly sold out of the favourites!
And as we transition from Autumn into Winter the demand for comfort hasn’t decreased, in fact, the colder, darker nights have seen us reaching for our ‘comfies’ earlier in the evening whilst we settle down indoors with a takeaway and Netflix!
But getting dressed and feeling good even if it is just for indoors or going on an online video call can make us feel lifted, we feel like ourselves again and it gives us that extra touch of self-confidence. Sitting around for a day or so in loungewear is OK, we’ve all done that, right? But any more than a day and well – we don’t feel productive!
I love the well-known quote “Get Up, Dress Up and Don’t Give Up”. I feel so much better when I have made that extra effort to style my hair, wear something I feel good in, and put some makeup on ready for work or an online video call, just as I would if meeting someone in person!
So, what are we all looking to wear this Winter season, and how can we look good and be comfortable too, as I know comfort really is key right now.
Here are my top 5 favourite wearable trends for the 20/21 Winter season ahead:
Joggers – now I know what you are thinking here, but hear me out! There are some really great joggers that give a more elevated look than the traditional gym style jogging bottoms we are all used to. Look out for soft jogging trousers or those with a side stripe (very elongating). Wear them with a blouse, a sweat or a T-shirt and an oversized blazer – add a heel, a chunky or long boot or wear with the trusty trainer.
Blazers – nothing new here I know but a great blazer will take you through day to night, year after year. You can be sat at home in a t-shirt and joggers, throw on a blazer, amp up the lipstick and you are video call ready! Simply one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your wardrobe. Keep it classic in a neutral tone and you will be wearing it for years to come. The trend is for oversized, but this needs to work for you! If fitted is more your style, then go for that instead! Use a belt to cinch in the waist – another key trend this season!
Checks – One of the easiest to wear trends of the season. Look for tartans, ginghams and houndstooth. Clash them or team them with simple basics. Check coats, check shackets (a cross between a jacket and a shirt), check blazers, check trousers …. Or just take a nod to the trend with an oversized check blanket scarf!
Leather / Pleather – the great news is pleather has moved on so far in such a short space of time, so no longer do you feel like you will literally ‘boil in the bag’. Look out for soft buttery feeling pleathers and leathers in the neutral tones this season.
The warm rich beiges and browns are definitely trending, are easy to co-ordinate with other items in your wardrobe, and won’t date! Wear with a warm cashmere knit, a silk blouse or a tee for a more dressed down look.
Super cosy knit – It wouldn’t be a winter edit without a cosy knit. You can never have too many and with so many great styles to choose from, they can take you from daytime into the evening in total comfort. This season I am loving the chunky cable knits, vest tops and cardigans with exaggerated sleeves. Wear with thick leggings, boots and a warm coat!
Style confidence comes from being authentically you from the inside out so take a trend, make it work, and own your style. Stay cosy and stylish.
Kinship Local helps champion local artists after a year of lockdown
Newly opened gift shop Kinship Local in Rowsham has found a positive way to help fellow small creative businesses whose sales may have suffered this last year.
Kinship Local was founded by small business owners Claire Ashton and Jen Burton, who have a passion for championing British made, independently owned, small creatives.
Lovers of good quality, great design, and an eye for the bright and bold, Kinship Local has been working with a range of Pop-Up Makers since opening its doors in June.
Claire explains, “We wanted to offer artists, designers and makers a local space, set amongst our own curated eco-conscious products. We wish to encourage local residents to shop small, shop locally and to support those who make in small batches, who pour their hearts and souls into their products. Step away from the mass made, and embrace the slow made”.
Jen adds, “Choosing to shop and buy from a small independent creative brings so much positivity. The Makers we choose to support in-store have a strong belief and ethic around sustainability and creating less waste, which is so important. Also, with the loss of income last year, it was crucial for us to help drive the local economy by supporting small businesses. We truly believe that you can buy beautiful, buy small and buy local all at once.”
Retail space along the UK highstreets is unattainable for so many smaller retail outlets. So with the support and belief of the team at Wild Raven Farm Shop, Kinship Local has been hugely popular and a happy welcome to local residents.
Since their second week of opening, Kinship Local has offered 3-4 Pop-Up makers every fortnight to showcase a range of products. So far, Bella Bowlicious headbands, Bethan Lily knitted cushions, Tweedles Handmade eco food wraps, Bridie & Bert Towelling Robes, Wild Flora Handmade resin wildflower jewellery, and Sarah McFloof painted pebbles and gnomes have all featured.
This week they welcomed Am & Flo hand-painted peg dolls, Magic Kind clothing, Jennifer Wesley cards and Immy & Boo recycled and repurposed fabric headbands, lavender eye pillows and yoga bags. There is always a mixture of products to inspire and a range of handmade gifts to give.
Pop-Up Partner Beth from Bethan Lily Knitwear says, “Kinship Local has been an excellent opportunity for my business. It’s kept me going and is definitely worth a visit to see all of the other lovely products in the cabin. Jen and Claire have been a pleasure to work with! “
“Since launching my products, both Claire & Jen have updated me daily and share in my excitement of sales and feedback with me….for this, I will always be thankful to them,” says Claire from Bella Bowlicious.
Whilst they are full until the beginning of September, Claire and Jen are looking for more artists and designers to support and champion.
St Albans favourites deny rumours of new High Street in the sky
Late on Tuesday night, three high profile businesses in St Albans were forced to release statements denying involvement in the launch of a Super High Street above St Albans.
Three of the so called St Albans ‘Big Six’ – Chloe James Lifestyle, Must Wine Bar and Mad Squirrel – have all put out statements denying rumours they plan to create a new St Albans High. The remaining three are expected to make statements in the next 24 hours.
The announcement of a new St Albans High Street has caused enormous uproar across Hertfordshire and beyond, with near universal disbelief from shoppers, local residents and politicians – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Unconfirmed plans suggest a monorail system will be constructed to take shoppers from the iconic clock tower to the yet-to-be confirmed new St Albans High Street somewhere above St Albans Cathedral.
Donna Nichol, owner of the popular independent fashion store Chloe James Lifestyle has issued a statement.
“I have absolutely no idea where this has come from and ironically, I cannot see it getting off the ground. We have been welcoming back our customers and have enjoyed the buzz of a busy shop. Why would I want to move my store 30 feet above St Albans?
I have just recently updated the shop window with a new French brand called FRNCH – how will anyone see it? Ignore the rumours and find us where we have been keeping St Albans fashionable for the last ten years.”
Mad Squirrel St Albans have also put out a strong worded statement in response to news of the Super High Street. General Manager James has gone on record and said “Of the 25 beers we have on tap, nothing is that strong”.
“We have been here in St Albans for almost two years and whilst we are accustomed to hearing the occasional bit of nonsense in the taproom, this idea is farcical. Beer and heights don’t mix so we will remain on the ground floor of St Albans in Heritage Close serving the finest beers to St Albans residents.”
Mad Squirrel has quickly established itself as one of the predominant beer destinations in St Albans. With access from the footpath towards the Abbey, it would seem a strange decision from management but when you are around beer all day, anything can happen.
Local resident Isabelle Ringing who we interviewed shopping in St Albans said the idea was nonsense. “St Albans is unique and residents love it the way it is. Why? a monorail? I just can’t get my head around it – we don’t need this nonsense in St Albans.”
Must Wine located on George Street were also quick to release a statement in regards to the rumours. Wine Steward and c0-owner Mike Nuttall explained, “I get the idea – great minds drink alike and the concept of tasting the finest wines with breathtaking views of Hertfordshire is idyllic.
However, the individual who came up with the pour decision of running a monorail above St Albans is clearly on cloud wine.” Must Wine will continue run wine tasting classes on George Street.
As these rumours of a break-away high street continue to spread, the TrendLife team will continue to keep you updated with facts instead of fiction.
St Albans’ favourite Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for reopening
As one of St Albans’ favourite destinations for all things haute couture, we are excited that Chloe James Lifestyle have announced they will be reopening this coming Monday 12th April.
Regular St Albans shoppers will know Chloe James Lifestyle has been a fixture on High Street St Albans for over 10 years. Despite being extremely busy preparing for the reopening, Owner Donna Nichol has shared her thoughts on reopening Chloe James Lifestyle and what changes fashionistas can expect.
What are you looking forward to most at Chloe James Lifestyle?
Personally, I’m really looking forward to the buzz of a busy shop again – lots of chat and laughter and the general feel good vibes of helping people look and feel their best. Nothing beats it! When we reopen, we are going straight back to our normal hours i.e. 10-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday. We can’t wait to open the doors again and welcome our customers back in!
What new changes can we expect at Chloe James Lifestyle?
The shop has had a complete refresh. Every single inch has been cleaned and there are lots of new products for our customers to enjoy, including great gift lines and a new jewellery brand as well as our Spring fashion collections. One of my personal favourites is a new French fashion label called FRNCH which we are currently featuring in our window – the colours are just stunning!
We love what independent businesses bring to St Albans. How do you think shoppers will respond post lockdown?
I believe there’s going to be a real return to shopping small. After all, we are the ones who have carried on throughout the pandemic, finding ways to adapt to our customers’ needs, offering Click & Collect and always being at the end of a phone to help find the perfect birthday gift. We’ve even personally delivered them on a specific date when it was possible!
We’ve also kept our windows vibrant to cheer up the daily walk and many people have said how much they loved this. It’s become apparent to everyone how much small independent businesses add to their community and we really must make sure they don’t disappear!
About Chloe James – Chloe James Lifestyle is an elegant lifestyle boutique based in St Albans specialising in fashion, art, stylish interiors and beautiful gifts.