Lorraine's Blog: The High Street Jacket

My day often starts with a 9.30am breakfast



(Jacket and scarf by Cos, trousers by Marks & Spencer, blouse by Uniqlo, shoes by J. W. Anderson for Aldo Rise, sunglasses by Linda Farrow Luxe at coggles.com)


That’s the earliest time I can get into work after dropping my children off at school – so I need to factor who I’m meeting into what I’m wearing when I leave the house. There’s probably not many jobs where you have to think about your appearance in as much detail as this, but if you work in fashion planning ahead is not self-indulgent or a luxury – it’s a must.

Frankly, I’m of the opinion it’s the professional thing to do in any job, but personally why would I head off to meet a designer and not wear one of their pieces if I owned one? How impolite would that be? I’m supporting the industry, trying to spread the message about how great London designers are in particular and also being the external face of ELLE, so I need to think ahead and be mindful of my day’s outfit (it’s the unwritten bit in my job description). After all, I wouldn’t work at Audi and not have a driving licence would I?

I only mention this today because, occasionally, I encounter the opinion that women who apply this kind of detailed thought to their appearance are in some way intellectually inferior to others who don’t, or that it is frivolous to care about what you look like and to spend time and money on making it right. This attitude has annoyed me for some time.

The thought that it is somehow letting the sisterhood down to worry about the right height heel for a capri pant is illogical. It’s unfair to be critical of women who enjoy looking good and who earn the money to spend as they chose on fashion they like. When you work in fashion, obviously what you wear is to some extent a business decision because you’re supporting the industry that supports you. But to imply that it is somehow demeaning to be interested in clothes generally is an unfair argument. I hate to witness women in positions of power avoiding engagement with fashion and all the joys it brings because they are worried others (men) will criticise them for it or they will go down in anyone’s intellectual estimation.


I’m only arguing this now because I recently read a newspaper piece criticising the decision to allow a journalist from a woman’s magazine to cover the Prime Minister’s trip to Washington – the inference being that journalist was only interested in what the first wives were wearing and that that in itself wasn’t important. Let’s not forget fashion from retail upwards is one of the world’s biggest businesses and employers – its reach, influence and historical importance is huge. We should respect that on every level and be proud to be a part of it. I don’t ever excuse my love of fashion and neither should you. So, now I’ve got that off my chest you want to know who I had breakfast with don’t you?

Well, I can’t really say right now, but watch this digital space for some exciting news later in the year. For my meeting I road-tested my new Cos jacket, which I think works with everything (especially the scarf in one of my favourite spring neons).

My fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis is always telling me to never underestimate the transformative powers of a pussy bow blouse (honestly, she does say that kind of thing). Mine is a couple of seasons old from Uniqlo of all places and is exactly the right shape to soften the jacket.

Tomorrow I am challenging myself to wear orange – it’s not going to change the world but it may brighten up my day.

I have a collection of wedges which would rival Rachel Zoe's. These are £590 from Casadei.

(Collar by H&M, £14.99)

I've had a tea with several PRs wearing 'the collar' and I think I like it.


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Looking at A Cup of Jo: A stylish blog for modern mums.

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