Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Jean genies

There are some good sales on already, and best of all you don't need to trudge out in the snow to browse them. Trilogy (great website by the way) has some top jeans on sale – usually in sales you'll only find the really duff shapes and odd colours discounted, but here you'll find the best J Brand skinnies (for example, black skinny jeans, above, at £125 down from £170). My-wardrobe also has some good jeans discounts, and so does Matches (eg high-rise grey skinny jeans, below, £135 down from £195).

Maybe you're keen to follow trends and go with flares in the new year. J Brand tend to lead the way in jeans shapes right now, and the word is that their Love Story flares are the look of the summer. For me, flares are a flash in the pan trend that won't last more than a few months. They might look cool on, say, the Olsen twins, a flattering, laidback look paired with a white T-shirt and a Starbucks – but they live in sunny LA. But here, who who wants trousers that drag through the rain/mud/snow? I've tried Hudson flares and the truth is that all that fabric flapping around is kind of annoying. They absorb all sorts of stuff from the pavement, but you can't roll them up out of the way. They only look good with a very neat silhouette on the top, such as a fitted T-shirt or top – otherwise everything just looks too big. And they make cycling positively dangerous. Skinny jeans have taken the high street by storm as they not only look slick and neat, but they don't trail and get ripped round the edges like long bootcuts or looser styles. Besides, the only reason flares are being plugged is that designers always head for the direct opposite, and for seasons now it's been about the rock-chick, sprayed-on trousers, thanks to labels like Balenciaga and Isabel Marant with her bold red biker numbers. Maybe it's just that they're too 70s for me, bringing back lurid memories of maroon, cord and velour.

What do you reckon? Skinnies all the way, or are flares worth a go?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Coming in from the cold: Reiss

Reiss has been looking a little tired for a while now, to me. The clothes are a bit officey, and the prices a bit high, especially when compared with the store's hipper high-street neighbour, Whistles. For winter, though, there are a few pieces that stand out and I reckon it might be time for another look.

For Wang-esque stripes, there's a black and grey jersey dress at £71, reduced from £89. The white crochet lace dress (£195) gives a nod to Erdem (though, it has to be said, not many people can carry off a dinky little white dress like this without looking like an overgrown cake decoration). More sophisticated is the Katerina silk dress, above (£195), available in black or a ravishing 'pacific blue', an elegant and flattering floor-length gown that would look super-glam for a New Year's Eve party, maybe paired with a tuxedo jacket or a dramatic choker. The sleek Cristal (£159) fitted dress and the Elizabeth fisherman rib jumper (£125) stand out too as chic wardrobe additions. There is 20% off certain lines online at the moment.