It is immaterial whether you are buying a hat for Pesach, for a simchah, for a visit to Ladies Day or even; Lady Sacks, for that wedding, millinery this season is again all about nostalgia. And the prettiest and most alluring are inspired by the 1920s and the late 1950s/early '60s, two eras placed firmly in the fashion spotlight by the hit TV dramas Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men.
It has to be admitted that several of spring/summer's trends may not be the most appropriate when it comes to dressing for shul this Pesach, or for formal events like weddings, bar/batmitzvahs and Royal Ascot. Head-to-toe denim, slouchy trousers, jumpsuits and shorts all come to mind.
But several of spring's key trends, happily, will work when a bit of glamorous formality is required.
There's good news and even better news if you are a curvy girl - if you wear size 16 or above, that is - and you want to replenish your spring/summer wardrobe.The good news is that plus-size clothing has, to a major extent, lost its ghettoisation - at least for those seeking up to‑ size 20 - with many high street brands now routinely offering their entire collections up to size 18.
Last spring, there were few coat dilemmas: the trench coat ruled. All we were required to do was choose the length (mini, knee-length or cropped) and we were sorted. End of... But this spring doubts are popping up like crocuses over what is the definitive spring cover-up.
As I imagine you will have noticed, there are still - despite the recession - so many It Bags (or, as I prefer to call them, Iconic Designer Bags, or IDBs) that the only people capable of distinguishing a genuine IDB from what is simply a gorgeous bag from, say, Reiss, LK Bennett or River Island, are the accessories editor at Vogue and the interns who take care of the accessories cupboards at the
The female world divides into those who spend a lot on shoes and those who spend a little… I am sorry to disappoint/disillusion readers, but I am in the latter camp.
Yes, I know all the arguments in favour of pricey shoes - they camouflage a Primark outfit making it look as if it came from Browns, they are "noticed" in chi-chi shops and ritzy restaurants marking you out as well-dressed rather than a chav, and a real lady always wears "good" shoes, etc.
But, really, what a lot of anachronistic twaddle, intended to make us slaves to the idea that only designer shoes will do.
Yes, readers, we are all still deeply infatuated with the boyfriend. The boyfriend jacket, that is, also known as the blazer and occasionally as a tuxedo when it has a roll collar in place of revers. Last year, it was the hottest jacket shape on and off the catwalk, and this year the boyfriend is still strutting its stuff in the high street and all the leading stores.
I concede that the idea of splurging on suede and leather for spring and summer feels distinctly counter intuitive. Both fabrics seem to fit into a winter wardrobe far more appropriately than into a summer one.
If you expect clarity from the JC on trousers for Spring, you are - and I say this with the utmost regret and humility - in for a disappointment. The fashion editor is as confused as most of you and, indeed, as most of the designers, who cannot seem to agree on what is the hot trouser shape for the Spring season, offering, in place of clarity, a smorgasbord of choice.