I know! Nothing for weeks and then two posts in a row.
The good news about what to wear this AW is that you don’t need to wear any uncomfortable footwear, or show off your waist or wear anything tight or loud or shiny. Because you aren’t going anywhere.
The BAD news is that you don’t need to wear any uncomfortable footwear, or show off your waist or wear anything tight or loud or shiny. Because you aren’t going anywhere.
The good/bad news is though we don’t need these sprauncy clothes, we can still be current. In fact sometimes it is more vital and important for our mental health to feel current and modern in our down-time clothes than it is in our smart clothes.
Anyway, when I say “what to wear”, what I mean is “what I will be wearing” and what I will be wearing is as follows.
Thick leggings from Lululemon
I have a clutch of stretch-cotton leggings from TopShop that I bought after Sam was born but the fact is that those cotton leggings just don’t hold you in, they’re not very flattering and they go baggy in the knees. I have got a pair of navy blue Lululemons that I’ve had for about 4 years and they’re terrific and cosy so I have recently got myself another pair, in black.
Joggers from Hush
The washed Lindsey joggers are the best – cut very generously but without pockets so no bulk on the hips. I take a size 8 in these and usually my bum comes up a solid large 10/small 12. I imagine after this past year your jogger game is pretty strong, but if you never got round to it, do it now.
A half-zip sweater
I’ve come to realise that I wear one sweater, constantly, all winter. 2018 it was a boxy yellow one from Other Stories. 2019 was a boxy grey one from Sessün. This year it’s going to be this one from Isabel Marant Étoile. Now, look, obviously I don’t expect you to spend this much on a sweater but to be up to date, you really need a half-zip. Something more affordable can be found in the men’s section of Boden, which is really where I should have gone for mine, but I what can I say, I had PMT and it was late and I was possibly tipsy.
Fashionable teen Alice who lives 2 doors down from me has had her half-zip for about 18 months now, so it’s high time it filtered up to adults.
Socks and Birkenstocks
The most very, very chic and fashionable women I know are doing this, so if you’ve got half a mind to dive in, do. I have only recently discovered that Birkenstock do a “narrow” fit, and having spent 5 years sloshing about in my too-big navy pair, I have recently bought a black “narrow fit” pair and it’s a revelation.
As the weather turns, I plan to wear my new black narrow 2 strap Arizonas with an assortment of socks, sourced from the usual places – Toast, Boden – or if I’m really feeling sorry for myself, Brora.
I’m not quite feeling what coats should be yet. Now I am no longer pushing a buggy around or standing in playgrounds in Arctic temperatures, my Canada Goose long parka thing has slightly lost its edge. What I mostly do now is get in and out of my car with an assortment of children and a Canada Goose would take up most of the space in my new tiny clown car.
(It’s a Toyota Aygo, if you are interested, and when I say “new” I mean it’s new from a second hand place). Driving while wearing a Canada Goose is also almost impossible. I imagine I will find myself often borrowing Giles’s Canada Goose gilet and wearing it over my mad Isabel Marant thing. But I am also a big fan of those large checked jacket thingies. The zenith of this style – possibly even the original – is from the Carrier Company but HM also do an excellent dupe.
Just be aware that the Carrier Company comes up absolutely enormous, so size well down.
A brief yet boring note now about hyperlinks, which I haven’t used for a while: not all of the links I have included here are affiliate links, but some are – this means that if you clink on the link and buy something, the brand will give me a small percentage of your basket. Thanks to those mysterious “cookies” on your computer, this link stays active for a week! An entire seven days. So even if you go back tomorrow to, say, Boden and only load up on knickers for your kids, I will still get a cut if you use the same device you used to click through from this blog.
Isn’t it sneaky… no wonder some bloggers make a living from this. It’s all still paid for by the brand, mind you, but if for any reason you are creeped out by this, remember to clear your cookies regularly.
Every winter I nick one of my husband’s beautiful merino jumpers, which is mother gives him regularly and which he never wears. They are just the right level of slouch.
Husband also unexpectedly gave me, at the start of lockdown, those amazing Sweaty Betty leggings, with the really high waist. I practically live in them! I feel so… contained and ready for anything in them. I’m wearing them right now. I have already put an order in for another pair for Christmas.
Those boxy jumpers look so nice but they don’t seem to ever work on me, unless the goal is to look like a stackable square with plenty of storage, in which case they work very well. There’s a shacket somewhere with my name on it though. Winters don’t seem to be that cold recently, I rarely had to summon the Big Coat last year, which is an old black Bench parka that still looks new and ready to start a fight with our kid so I can’t be bothered replacing it.
Re: leggings – it took years but finally all the leggings makers are realising the essential genius of putting side pockets into leggings. About bloody time. Women’s clothes have always been disgracefully short on pockets. One of the main reasons we all love jeans so much is that they have pockets.
I find I use my pockets more than ever now, as I tend to wander around the house listening to podcasts on my earbuds and so I need my phone on me.
YES! I slide my phone in my sweaty betty legging side pocket and do the housework listening to podcasts.
I am also already inculcating my daughters into the joy of dresses and skirts *with pockets*
I always appreciate your use of the word ‘terrific’ in your posts Esther. It’s so upbeat, which is definitely needed today. Thank you!
Yes, this! I absolutely love it too! It’s also sneaked into my vocabulary and I’m sure it’s mostly down to Esther
that’s terrific news!
Ella Jordan says
I live all year round in my hand knitted alpaca/silk jumpers, they’re perfectly boxy, a bit cropped, slight balloon sleeve with the perfect roll neck, ridiculously soft and cosy but super light – I love them so much. I sell them through my Instagram page @ellajordanknits – i’d say support small businesses/brands but it’s just me knitting jumpers 🙂 super sustainable and long lasting though, and alpaca is a sustainable alternative to cashmere. I’ve given them to people who find wool to itchy and they report no issues!
On footwear – these boots from Next are just too good – comfiest things ever, I have the brown for scruffy times and the black for less scruffy times https://www.next.co.uk/style/st383714/643016#643016
Gave in to socks and Birkies many years ago but have just got a pair of their Boston clogs for winter which I have been breaking in. Unfortunately current sock sitch is colourfully stripy and I feel – and almost certainly look – like Pinocchio (from the ankles down, unless poor old P has had a very lardy lockdown). What I have not decided is how much I care.
Treated myself to a really ace radiator dusting brush yesterday. Bet Trendy Teen Alice isn’t up on that one.
I tell you what, Sophie, my radiators are a horror-show. And post-illness I’ve been losing hair like Michael Stipe loses religion for the past 4 months, it’s going to smell like burnt offerings when I put the heating on. You INFLUENCER you.
Love your hyperlink explanation / commentary. I would love to know how many ‘pennies’ some of the bigger (and shiftier) intergrammers and bloggers manage to rake in with their hidden links and swipe-ups…
Lots! I mean, in their defence links and swipe-ups aren’t usually that hidden, they’re right there and they can’t say every time “this is an affiliate link!” because it gets boring BUT a detail I think most people don’t know is that the link stays effective for 7 days afterward and that is worth saying every now and again because I certainly find it a little sinister
Thank you for being upfront about the hyperlink Esther. So …. rare.
I LOVE all your posts and am more than happy for you to get credited for anything I buy for the following seven days even if it’s my children’s PJs! You have single handedly updated my wardrobe. And you make me laugh. A Lot. P.S I also have a tornado.
O bless you Caro xxx
Fashionable teen Tilly who lives in my house has been hankering after a half-zip Patagonia fleece for the past year so this might be the time to give in and get one for her birthday.
O yes Patagonia, they’re all really into that. And Stone Island. Get one for yourself while you’re at it, although you don’t strike me as a Patagonia fleece kind of person. Go wild and get the Marant one. Don’t forget to use the link!!!!!!
My son is into Stone Island. Here is Jersey the government has given every resident £100 to spend locally to boost the local economy during Covid. Even small kids. So my son spent the whole lot on a plain black Stone Island shirt with a teeny tiny logo. And I couldn’t object at all as, as he put it, it was literally free. Even thought £100 on a t-shirt makes me feel a little bit sick. I’ve just got the Hush joggers – don’t panic, I used the link!! – now I’m working from home forever they are my uniform.
THANK YOU FOR USING THE LINK
If ever I spend money online shopping I always google the brand and the spike to see if I can click through and get you some dosh
beyond the call of duty but so kind, thank you x
Lisa J Eveleigh says
Fabulous tips as always. Last week I escaped to Bicester Village with the autumn and probable lockdown in mind. I bought two pairs of smartish wide-leg track pants from Juicy Couture, one plain grey marl (but feels like cashmere) and a rather groovier pink pair with orange side stripe. £20 and £25 respectively. Won’t be wearing the pink pair outdoors in rural Suffolk lest I damage someone’s retina, but they sure cheer me up at home. Will be wearing both with Uniqlo cashmere cardigans, polo-necks or hoodies. Also some navy blue suede fur-lined moccasins for cosiness since have irrational prejudice against socks with sandals. Keep up the good work, Esther, and I listened to the podcast on the train back – hilarious! Yes, that Winnie-the-Pooh idea of yours was genious, and I’d already put the print version in the scrapbook of journalism and cartoons this year that I’ve been keeping. Lisa Ex
Great recommendations. I love the zipped jumper on the model but on me I fear it would be like when Adrian Mole asked for a zip up cardigan for Christmas and his mum called him a “16 year old Frank Bough”.
Esther, do you know anywhere that does cashmere jerseys with buttons down one side of the neck? Like the sort of thing you’d buy for a child, but I quite like that luxe French toddler look. Eric Bompard used to do them for men but I haven’t seen any for ages. Anyway, I have been nicking my husband’s cashmere half-zips for ages, so it’s good to know that at least I was being trendy as well as lazy!
I know what you mean but I haven’t seen one of those for a bit – I feel like they were big about 4 years ago. They will return though
I can’t believe I have finally caved in and bought joggers (lifelong and peculiar disdain of tracksuits despite being a regular runner), different Hush pair, but used the aff link from here so hope you get something. Also THANK YOU SO MUCH for putting me on to NRG Barrebody, I have been doing her livestream classes for a couple of months and they have literally changed my fitness. At the age of 49 I have a core. Astonishing.
Kath that’s great news about the barre! I’m so pleased to have signed you up. Past 35 I think barre is really the best exercise you can do xxx
I am on the lookout for new joggers since my ancient superdry ones have gone saggy around the bum (not a good look), but the fact that even the leggy models on the hush website have rolled them up makes me fear they will be super long – i’m 5’4” and hush always seems to come up a little big on me anyway. Took the plunge on the lululemon leggings after your school run post, though, and they are fab – who knew leggings could make your legs look slimmer?
I’m 5’ 6” and bought the Hush joggers, they come up to just below my boobs which is not a great look so they’re going back… however I did get some Uniqlo joggers which I’ve found to be perfect and much cheaper! They’re my first pair of joggers and I do feel like I’ve given up on life/style a bit in them, but fortunately the comfort levels outweigh those concerns 👍🏻
That’s funny, I guess it goes to show that even two people the same height can have limbs and bodies put together in so many different ways… I’m 5’6″ and bought those hush Lindsey leggings in an 8 (honestly I need a ‘Wardrobe by Esther’ badge…). They just sit on my waist, and the bottoms are too short on me to roll up properly, i.e. they should be rolled up till the cuff material is hidden. But if I do that they’re halfway up my calf.
I still love them… phone fits perfectly in back pocket
yes it’s good that there are no side pockets to add to hip-width but your phone can slot nicely in the back
first pair of joggers!!! what the hell have you been doing with your life
Ooh thanks, Katie – will have a look at the uniqlo ones, and join you on the giving up on life/style front. I wore a dress to “work” today (in my makeshift desk in my 3 year old’s bedroom – husband nicked the home office first week of lockdown and I still have my clawed it back) to try and vaguely look/feel the part, but just feel a bit silly. And cold. So joggers all the way now…
I’m in desperate need of a warm, smart-ish cardigan that doesn’t look frumpy… Ideally a longer length because I’m 5’9”… please help!
Avoiding looking frumpy in a cardigan is very hard. It’s not the cardigan – it’s you, you have to really pay attention to other things you are wearing to avoid the frump… I don’t have a particular one to hand just make sure it has a detail like large buttons or pockets. Nothing “waterfall”…
Ha! I always suspected it was me… These are wise words, the waterfall cardigan is the root of all evil.
No. It’s not you – IT’S THE CARDIGAN. It’s a really tricky one
Oh my god I can’t believe I literally just contradicted myself in two separate comments. It’s probably you AND the cardigan …