HOW TO STYLE: THE STOMPER BOOT

This week I have been thinking more and more about all the unworn clothes and shoes in people’s wardrobes as lockdown in the UK continues (and in warehouses all over the country, as retail remains largely closed for now). More than ever, we should be working with an all year round wardrobe that lasts. This will mean slowing down the fashion chain, enjoying our purchases and having less seasonal changes with items that can be worn many ways. We may be staying home more at the moment but the day will come when we can start to socialise again and what will we do? Go back into the wardrobe of old items that have sat largely unworn, or go and buy more?

So, in this vein, I wanted to choose an item that can be worn now at the end of the Winter season and for the weeks to come into Spring. This should show that every purchase can be mixed and matched and tried for different occasions.

This week I have styled the stomper boot five ways. A fairly new chunkier ankle boot on the footwear scene, with a sturdier sole and bags of attitude. Comfort and style is a must have for me personally, so I knew I wanted a pair as soon as they started to pop up.

When getting out for the daily walk they can be worn casually to toughen up a simple jumper and jeans but what I love is how they also add edginess to a soft, fluid dress. They’ll be a purchase that can be worn over and over. We might not be stomping down the high street just yet, but go online and you’ll find these styles at Cos, Ganni, Mango and ASOS.

The pair I have featured are Stradivarius and cost £45.99.

LOOK 1: TOUGHEN UP PRETTY DRESSES

It’s simple fashion maths. Take a pretty, feminine dress and add tough chunky boots, you’ll get a look that is practical and cool.

Try mid, midi or maxi lengths. I particularly love the contradiction of this look so the floatier, more ruffled, ultra feminine the dress is, the better. (You’ll then go on to wear the dress with sandals when it warms up).

A lightweight denim jacket adds structure to the upper half and don’t forget to add a flash of colour with accessories or make up.

Dress @ Stella Nova / Jacket @ Arket / Bag @ Hill & Friends X Label Mix / Necklace @ Cult of Youth

LOOK 2: ADD EDGE TO SPORTY DAYS

And….this is how I am wearing these boots! ON REPEAT. (Yes, I have these actual boots. Leggings. Yep, and the t-shirt too).

I wanted to include a look that is really wearable and suiting a new shift in lifestyle right now. I am home more, with my children and I seek comfortable, practical clothes I can move in and also feel good in. I also like the switch up from trainers to feel more pulled together / stylish and less ‘gym ready’. Keeping a neutral palette in simple shapes ensures all of these items can be mixed with other outfits too. I can personally say that the leggings are perfect for any new mums too, a nice deep waistband and great price point makes them a great post-partum purchase (try saying that quickly!).

T-Shirt @ Monki / Jacket @ La Redoute / Bumbag @ Sandro / Leggings @ Mint Velvet

LOOK 3: CONTRAST WITH LIGHTER TONES

Could this be the ultimate work from home outfit? Smart, considered and chic. A definite step up from loungewear. This two piece is perfect for any capsule wardrobe. It’s classic enough to not date, feels modern when worn with the contrasting boots and a silk neck tie and can be worn together, or as separates. I would even recommend layering the top under shirts too… it offers so much choice. The boots bring it up to date and less prim, creating a monochrome look that you’ll stand out in.

Top & Trousers @ &other stories / Scarf @ Arket / Bag @ Mango

LOOK 4: COMPLETE UTILITY COOLNESS

The stomper boot with its attitude and cool edge is made for a utility style look. Perhaps the more obvious way to wear, I think this is a chance to layer up and play with texture to keep it interesting and new. A soft, fine knit with leather look trousers is the base to this outfit. Core styles such as these are perfect to build on with accessories and jackets. The formula for never tiring of your wardrobe! With the suede studded belt and a khaki parka, this outfit is an effortless way to do weekend style. Top tip: roll the hem of the trousers to show the narrowest part of the ankle as the boots are fitted.

Jumper @ Hush / Jacket @ Zadig&Voltaire / Belt @ AND/OR / Trousers @ Mint Velvet

LOOK 5: GROUND NEON BRIGHTS

A leather biker, blue jeans and ankle boots are the cool girl’s wardrobe heroes. The perfect canvas for adding pops of colour and incorporating a fun element into your outfit. Choosing well-cut styles will suit your shape and make you look balanced, whilst print and colour can show off your personality and incorporate the colours that work best with your skintone. This will make your face look brighter and healthier too. Opt for a cropped denim style to show off the boots!

Jumper @ Jumper 1234 X Label Mix / Jacket @ All Saints / Scarf @ Kettlewell / Jeans @ French Connection

Thanks for reading!

See you next week,

Charlotte X

How to style: The Shacket

Do you ever buy something because you love it and then get stuck for what to wear it with?

Today on the blog, in the first of a new weekly series, I’ll be taking one key item and showing you all the ways you could style and wear it. In the spirit of making your wardrobe work hard, inspire you to mix and match and embrace slow fashion, I felt it was time to get this up and running as we enter a new season. (Also with the promise of having places to go and people to see in the near future!).

First up, the shacket. This one is for you Lynsey.

Have a great week.

Charlotte x

The shacket (yes, that’s shirt-jacket, also called overshirt) has grown in popularity over the past year with so many brands now offering their version across the board from high street to high end.

Think check shirt but better. Looks preppy buttoned all the way up like a shirt, looks cool worn undone like a jacket. There are now plaid, belted, leather, fringed and embellished styles to choose from.

It’s the new alternative way to add on an extra later without the bulk. Perfect for when the season transitions and there’s still abit of a chill.

I particularly love clothes which can be dressed up or down and can be layered up too. Never fear, you won’t get bored easily with this beauty.

So the shacket is now a must have for anyone wanting to build a mix and match wardrobe that can be worn across the year. I would recommend investing here and checking the fabric content, as the right one will prove to be a wardrobe staple and will last.

Here, I am putting the spotlight on this &other stories oversized shirt jacket. At £175 it is an investment for sure and being a wool mix, it’s best suited for when we move from Winter to Spring and when Autumn arrives as it is slightly thicker. Think of this as a jacket as opposed to a shirt or jumper alternative (to justify that price tag!).

It’s classic styling and non-print print will mean it won’t date so can be worn for many seasons to come.

LOOK 1. CASUAL SATURDAY

As a lightweight jacket during the transition into slightly warmer weather, pair with pops of bubblegum pink which sit sweetly with classic blue denim and the brightest white accessories. It feels fresh and modern, taking a heavier garment and keeping the overall look light. For a day out with the kids, comfort and style nailed this Spring.

Jumper @ Hush. Bag @ Whistles. Trainers @ Veja. Jeans @ Arket.

LOOK 2. DAY TO NIGHT

For that elusive day to night conundrum, the nice top and jeans combo never fails. Remember a time when you would need to dress for the office and drinks after work? Nope. Me neither. It feels abit strange to contemplate now, when so many are working from home. Times will shift and work patterns and social lives will change again. When you need your wardrobe to work for all of your commitments in your day/evening, stick to an outfit of well fitting, colour block items and make a statement with accessories. The check print stands out against a pretty white blouse and black jeans. That way you can swap in and out a different pairs of shoes, a lipstick change, a hair accessory easily enough without changing the whole look. Here I’ve layered the shacket over an oversized collar which continue to be on trend. Smart enough for work (zoom calls or in real life). The cropped leg show off some pretty flats to elevatethe classic look. Finish with a hairband to pull it altogether.

Blouse @ Monki. Headband @ &other stories. Shoes @ Kurt Geiger. Jeans @ John Lewis.

LOOK 3. WEEKEND BREAK

The oversized look and feel of the shacket makes it effortlessly cool. To match this attitude team with a chunky knit, leather look trousers and hiker boots. For now, for running around town on errands, until a cosy weekend break is an option. Keeping the outfit colour block, allows the shacket to be the hero.

Jumper @ Baukjen. Beret @ ASOS. Boots @ All Saints. Trousers @ Mint Velvet.

LOOK 4. LUNCH MEETING

Playing with volume is where the magic happens. Wearing over a sleek fitted dress and adding a waist belt will transform the shape and add drama. The simplicity of the dress and the tonal colour palette keeps it looking unfussy yet considered. A flash of orange-red with the grey is a match made in heaven.

Dress @ Whistles. Belt @ Mint Velvet. Boots @ Arket. Bag @ Hobbs.

LOOK 5: CITY EXPLORING

With a soft wool blend finish, layering a denim jacket under with add contrast (and warmth). The crispest white tee and khaki chinos bring together wardrobe staples that work well. Black and white flatform trainers anchor the look and balance out the silhouette of the shacket.

Tshirt @ Hush. Jacket @ LeexHM. Trainers @ Russell & Bromley. Chinos @ Everlane.

LOOK 6. POST WORKOUT

I could not resist an all black option here. A backdrop of black let’s the shacket do all of the talking. Laid back, casual style never looked (or felt better). A lightweight, yet warm rollneck, relzed joggers and a slouchy bag are punctuated by the tough boots. The coolest post gym look there is.

Jumper @ Reiss. Bag @ ASOS. Boots @ Cos. Joggers @ Sweaty Betty.

LOOK 7. DATE NIGHT

Time for the pretty reveal. A more feminine look for a date night or drinks with the girls maybe? The shacket itself makes a statement and will look bold with black skinnies. Just don’t stop there, take off the jacket to reveal an unexpected sheer sleeve, add detail with embellished hair clips and a hot pink velvet shoe completes the statement with tonnes of texture and interest. The finishing touches make for a dressier feel.

Top @ Ted Baker. Hairclips @ Accessorize. Shoes @ ASOS. Jeans @ Zara.

LOOK 8: SCHOOL RUN READY

It’s layering time. The subtle check will play peekaboo perfectly under a padded gilet. Showing how it can be worn in many different ways means you will get maximum use. If it’s school run time again and you want to up your style game, this is your go to look.

Jumper @ ASOS. Gilet @ Zara. Trainers @ Sorel. Leggings @ Mint Velvet.

LOOK 9: DRESS DOWN SUNDAY

The tracksuit, a lockdown essential for sure. When it’s dress down Sunday (or any day) and you want comfort only. A tracksuit becomes an outfit you want to be seen in. Actual exercise optional. Hat and sports socks up the PE teacher vibe.

Sweatshirt @ Joanie. Cap @ &other stories. Socks @ Monki. Joggers @ &other stories.

LOOK 10. SMART CASUAL SUSSED

Play with texture and print for a smart casual look that’s unique to you. Wearing a print shirt need not be off limits. The check is what I would call a non-print. It’s neutral enough to not be jarring. Keeping other prints tonal will totally wor. Adding in metallic elements and fun, conversational prints will give you serious styling points.

Shirt @ ASOS. Earrings @ Orelia. Boots @ Hush. Jeans @ HM.

So that’s 10 looks just to start with of how you could wear the check shacket your way. Dressing up or down means you’ll be going back to it many times, making it work hard in your wardrobe. Totally worth the investment.

Not an ad, but if you need a new shacket here is the link: https://www.stories.com/en_gbp/clothing/jackets-coats/jackets/product.oversized-shirt-jacket-black.0912011001.html

Other brands doing this style well: Arket, Mango, Free People, Isabel Marant and Anine Bing.

TOP TIPS TO TAKE AWAY:

  1. Think of it as a new lightweight outerwear piece and check fabric content (you’re looking for a soft blend, not too stiff for comfort).
  2. Choose a neutral tone or a subtle print for maximum outfit options.
  3. Avoid thinking “it’s casual” or “it’s for best”, you can wear it anytime you fancy.
  4. With the use of a few accessories and layering staples you change the use instantly.
  5. Good fit is essential, ideally neat fitting at the wrist/cuffs, hitting at the hip, pockets in proportion to your frame.
  6. Look out for those pretty buttons (or replace with your own if you’re up for customising), piping details or embellishments to elevate.

Dressing by numbers

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Getting dressed seems impossible sometimes, right? Staring at the wardrobe willing for something to magically jump out (and hoping that when it does, it’s a completely awesome, stylish outfit too).

When we’re tired from a late night having just “one more drink”, nosying around instagram or having been up all night with the little people again, it can be difficult to engage the brain and think about what to wear for the day ahead.  Couple that with needing to catch a train/get to a baby massage class/present at a client meeting/tackle the school run (insert daily life goals here), time is not on our side.

We have precisely 12 minutes to get out of the house looking like a presentable pulled together member of society – and for some of us, with minimal porridge in our hair and accomplishing the task with a little one hanging off one leg demanding that we STOP trying to get dressed and pick them up immediately.  For no other reason, other than to make sure they are centre of our world. AT.ALL.TIMES (which of course they are, but really, darling, now isn’t a great time).   With nothing ironed, shaving err… overdue and the sun taking his hat on and off (someone else also seemingly struggling to know what to wear?), it’s all too much trying to find the right outfit.

So, on autopilot, in order to avoid having the whole “what? these aren’t my pjs, didn’t you know, lounge suits are everywhere this season but please excuse the fluffy slippers” awkwardness, we reach for the trusty jeans that are slung over the back of the chair, hoping they survived yesterday’s dinnertime food frenzy, if not the next step is to go looking for our uniform black leggings (gals, maybe not the guys) or in desperate times the dress/suit/onesie we wore 3 days last week and really hope noone notices.

If it were a race between going out of the house naked or throwing on the first thing we can find, the latter usually triumphs (thankfully!) but style can sadly be left stalled at the gate.

Once out of the house, in our mostly clean, uncrumpled outfit we rush to get on with our day…….But how do we feel?

Ready to take on the world?

Ready to handle colleagues/friends/little humans confidently?

or…..a little harassed, slightly awkward, wanting to go unnoticed and willing for the day to be over?

The clothes we wear can really represent how we feel, so what do you want to say?

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When thinking is just too much and dressing by numbers would be helpful, here are our YOU ARE YOU top five tips:

  1. FOCUS: Work with a narrowed selection and the thinking part is done for you.  On Sunday evening pull out 7 outfits that you like and that are suitable for the activities/schedule for the week ahead and cover all eventualities weather wise. Think complete looks head to toe from accessories to shoes.  Keep them hanging in your wardrobe in one place and only choose from these outfits Monday to Friday.  (we suggest 7 outfits for 5 days to offer some variation and choice dependent on your mood). Change it up week to week.
  2. INSPIRE: If you see outfits that you like in magazines, on pinterest or out and about window shopping, use these as inspiration for when thinking up an outfit is just too much.  Take your print outs, photos or tears (that’s industry speak for taking the pages out of a magazine) and hang them on the inside of your wardrobe.  If you have similar styles already in your wardrobe you can start to experiment with what works for you.
  3. ORGANISE: Sure, maybe it’s a little ambitious expecting something to jump out at you, but if you have an unorganised wardrobe, it will make finding the right item much harder.  Try grouping tops/dresses/trousers etc by item to start with.  Then order them into smart/casual/occasion.  You can even go one step further and organise by colour for a complete rainbow effect.  Whatever you feel works for you, but keeping all of your clothes and accessories organised will make life a lot easier when you need to grab and go.
  4. PREPARE: Now, it may not be the highlight of the week but having outfits clean and ironed, ready to go is essential.  Do not attempt to iron your chosen outfit first thing. We repeat: Step away from the iron! Pick a night, designate it to getting washing and ironing up to date. You will then have plenty of options available when choosing what to wear rather than pulling a shirt from the bottom of the laundry basket and hoping for the best.
  5. EDUCATE: Finding your personal style is a game changer.  Knowing the shape, cut, fabrics, proportions and scale which work for you and is the key to dressing well.  Unlock your true potential by booking an “Introduction to YOU” session with us. Contact: info@you-are-you.com and find out more over on the SERVICES section of the site.