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.
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.
AKILA have joined forces with techwear designer Charli Cohen
LA based eyewear brand AKILA have joined forces with UK based techwear designer Charli Cohen to create Halo. A special limited edition capsule collection, AKILA x Charli Cohen Halo drops this Easter Weekend.
AKILA Eyewear are designed to last & handcrafted from eco-friendly plant-based cellulose acetate. Unlike most other eyewear brands, Akila frames are made from cellulose acetate — an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum based plastics.
Charli Cohen was born out of a need for evolved clothing and progression within the fashion industry. They specialise in NEXTWEAR: a concept that looks to the future of fashion, aesthetically, in terms of technology and in terms of sustainability.
ABOUT CHARLI COHEN
Charli Cohen manufacture limited quantities of each style in London, Leicester, Porto and Shanghai. Using premium, responsibly produced technical textiles from Milan, as well as upcycling from military surplus and tacticalwear, Charli Cohen is a brand to follow.
This frame boasts a retro industrial look that combines hard-edged style with ergonomic comfort. Featuring a wrap-around shape, all pairs include a barb-wire chain retainer which can be attached to metal eyelets on each temple or worn as a necklace.
This capsule collection drops Friday 2nd April at AKILA
Lockdown Leads to Local Luxury Sustainable Business Now It’s Mine
Hertfordshire Mother and Daughter Bernie and Rosie Montague decided to capitalise on Rosie’s expertise as an experienced handbag specialist and authenticator to create a local sustainable fashion business. After leaving a prestigious auction house in London, it seemed the right time to create a business and pursue her passion for handbags and accessories.
Now It’s Mine is an exciting new venture established in lockdown. Their philosophy is `Resale not Retail’. It encapsulates their commitment to sustainability by rejecting fast fashion. Not only can people buy the likes of Classic Chanel flap bags and Louis Vuitton monogram classics, people can also consign their preloved designer handbags and accessories AND in the coming weeks there will be a rental service where you can rent any of the beautiful items on the website from 1 day upwards.
Ethical Fashion is the Now It’s Mine Model
Fashion represents 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. It’s incredible but many items are disposed of within a year of purchase, and with the Instagram culture may only be worn once. Wearing one item of clothing for 9 months longer reduces our carbon footprint by 30%. It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a T-shirt, enough for one person to drink for 900 days. The Luxury second-hand market is worth £19bn and is set to grow to £40bn by 2023.
They are currently selling via the website and through Instagram and Facebook. Now It’s Mine will also be launching pop-up shops in St Albans and surrounding areas.
Whilst the website allows them to distribute throughout the UK, they are very much a local St Albans and Hertfordshire business. Now It’s Mine is looking to build a network of luxury fashion lovers who understand the importance of the circular economy.
100% authentic preloved luxury designer bags and accessories
With a plethora of websites selling luxury designer items the risk of buying a ‘Super Fake’ has never been greater. Now It’s Mine offers a solution by guaranteeing to sell only 100% authentic goods. This is demonstrated in their commitment to provide a multilayer formal authentication process and a money-back guarantee.
Visit the website, follow them on Instagram, their Facebook page, and Facebook group. Sign up for their newsletter to hear about the upcoming local pop-up shops and handbag rental service.
`It just makes sense’ said Rosie `we must all be more committed to sustainability. Fast fashion has got out of hand and the quality of the handbags and accessories that we are selling lend themselves to be recycled rather than discarded, by nature they have longevity – they are timeless’
Now It’s Mine can be found at 116 Old London Road, St Albans AL1 1PU