The Collective

How To Do Jet Set

holding brown luggage

I’m going to ‘fess up here. Such is my obsession with holiday clothing that I don’t think I could go on long enough a holiday to justify the amount of kaftans, pretty wisps of broderie anglaise, baskets, hats – oh God how many straw hats?? – stripe linen beach towels (at least 10 of differing stripe widths) and a myriad colours.

Some women love jewellery, heels and designer handbags, I was born wired to collect raffia.

My mother has no idea why anyone would want to get dressed up for a holiday. For her, a holiday is the chance to totally slob out and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Read More…

Don’t Underestimate The Classics

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A funny thing is happening in fashion right now. Clothes – wardrobe must-haves such as the trench, a great stripe shirt, the right pair of boyfit jeans, a pair of monk-strap brogues- items that would once upon a time have been written off as boring classics are having a moment. Of course, they’re hardly ever referred to as such because if you see how many of these items are merchandised on designer websites, they are described variously as spliced trench coats, asymmetric/ deconstructed shirting – and all the handiwork of some of the hottest talent in fashion right now. Read More…

The Great Wedding Guest Conundrum

RSVP

Few social occasions are more likely to throw you into a sartorial tailspin than dressing for a wedding. Is knee-length your safest bet? Or should you throw caution to the wind in a midi-calf dress? Will the photographer mistake you for the bride if you turn up in white or cream? And why are MOTBs (mothers-of-the-bride) nearly always swayed by scarlet, or worse still saccharine pastels?

What role you have as a guest will be a major deciding factor in what you wear. Deciphering the invitation is also crucial to making an informed style choice — if the bride is saying her vows barefoot in a field, then clearly no one is going to bat an eyelid when you turn up hatless in a maxi dress. If the nuptials are at St. Paul’s, then hippy dippy is not the way to go. Read More…

Why We All Need To Listen To Our Gut More

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Austria’s Mayr and Vivamayr clinics, which specialise in gut health, have proved divisive. Some are sceptical of the draconian measures which dictate that for the duration of your stay you should chew on (slightly stale) spelt bread (forty times per morsel) and “eat” rather than drink the evening herbal teas. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted but after visiting the original F.X Clinic on the shores of Lake Worthersee ten years ago, I vowed to return every year.

What I loved was at the heart of it all was a philosophy that was steeped not in gobbledy gook or new fangled health ideas, but the sort of wisdom or common sense that has travelled down generations.

The science bit goes something like this: Dr Franz Xaver Mayr (1875-1965) concluded that a healthy bowel was the key to good health and beauty.

Not only did he believe in daily moderate exercise and fad-free home cooking eaten at regular times during the day (the smallest of which should be eaten in the evening) but most of all he believed that you should chew. Lots.

An early student of the digestive system, decades before an entire publishing industry focusing on the gut was invented, Dr. Mayr believed you should chew every morsel that you ate at least 40 times.

Read More…

Your Spring Wardrobe Starts Here

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What can I tell you about fashion this spring? Quite a bit as it turns out. After what feels like an interminably long February I don’t blame you for wanting to peel off layers of 70 denier tights and chunky cashmere. It’s going to be a while before we’re digging out those pool slides but in the meantime, here are the items that are going to add vim and verve to your spring wardrobe, which won’t make you resemble a mutton or worse still, a popstrel, and more importantly which won’t cost the earth.

The trench coat

Without doubt one of Planet Fashion’s Duracell bunnies – the trench coat is enjoying yet another revival this spring and it’s not hard to figure out why: what else works over a pair of jeans or trousers, your workaday outfit and yet manages to add an edge to a cocktail dress. It’s the best trans-seasonal buy when ‘four seasons in one day’ weather is very much the norm. Read More…

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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It’s Febuary and social media is awash with mantras to get out there, carpe diem and step out of your comfort zone. “Blah, blah, blah,” you say to yourself on a morning when all you want to do is wear a duvet to work or better still, roll back under the covers.

It’s the sort of rousing rhetoric that doesn’t always sit so comfortably with a cynical Brit sensibility and yet, and yet….until I tried it for myself I had no idea how empowering or alive, straying outside my comfort zone would make me feel. Read More…