I’ve been growing my cashmere collection for years. It’s a great way to buy knitwear because your early investment pays off many fold if you look after it well. I’ve lost count of the cheap sweaters that have lasted one season and ended up in the bin, so now, it’s cashmere whenever possible (with the exception of the occasional sparkly Xmas jumper).
I’m always on the lookout for great cashmere basics and until recently, didn’t know that Damart has a great range of purse friendly cashmere. They sent me this fabulous edge to edge long length cardigan to review and I have to say it is a (Christmas) cracker! Warm and cosy, yet light and very wearable, I just know it’s going to be a wardrobe staple, not just this year, but for a few years to come. What I like best of all is that it has pockets! Who doesn’t love a cardi with pockets.
My oldest cashmere piece is seven years old and I’ve kept it soft and bobble free by hand washing and using a cashmere comb. I aim to increase my stock by one piece a year and usually buy in the sales as it can be pricey. Good cashmere tends to keep its shape so no baggy sleeves or shapeless garments.
I chose grey because it literally goes with everything in my wardrobe. As we have just moved house and most of my stuff is in suitcases, I’m working on a capsule wadrobe (for the first time in my life!) of black and grey with the odd splash of red and gold.
PS: I know some of you have been asking for photos of our new home. Well BT only got our internet started yesterday (a three week wait in this day and age!) so I’ve not been blogging. However, I will soon be posting pictures of our stuck in the seventies home for your amusement!
We visited in March when the weather can be very unpredictable – it was 30 degrees when we arrived but by the end of the week, plunged to eight degrees at night. This is not a dressy place so a casual wardrobe is the way to go. I was strongly tempted to go full on boho, but decided to temper my choices to be age appropriate. I can keep my boho stuff for yoga classes!
These are my top tips for what to wear:
- I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but take sensible shoes. I have a pair of superlight trainers which take up little space or weight in your 20 kg Sensimar Thomson allowance, and although not particularly stylish, save a lot of heartache in the long run. Wearing trainers allows you to properly explore – so just do it! Having said that, there’s no way my fashion sense would let me travel in them.
- Travel in mules – easy to slip off for security and I pack a pair of cosy socks to wear once we are in flight. My mules are silver, go with everything and are the only pair of shoes I needed for evenings. Mine are from Dune.
- Daytime ‘hanging out’ shoes are my silver Office sliders – metallics just go with everything and these take me from pool to lunch, to a short walk out. I wouldn’t walk more than three miles in them, but I have my trainers for that.
- A long tunic style shirt for sightseeing – keeps you cool and is modest. Mine is by East.
- Pool wear – to be honest, I’m not much of a sun lover, but do take one cossie, one bikini and a sarong which is more than adequate for the amount of time I spend by the pool.
- A cardi – it’s cool at night. I always travel with a cashmere cardi which I wear on the plane with a large cashmere scarf that doubles as a blanket. Mine is a burgundy colour from Isle.
- Jeans: one blue, one white. These are great for casual evening dressing and I just take a couple of pretty tops in silk or cotton. My favourite, pictured, is orange silk from Monsoon.
- One dress. You never know when a dressy opportunity may present itself, so I have a Phase Eight black stretch dress which rolls up crease free for packing. It doesn’t matter if I don’t wear it, but it’s a useful option.
- Now, I did say not too much boho, but I did indulge a bit with a fringed, embroidered kimono which was useful for covering up when out and about. Morocco is a Muslim country and it’s important to be respectful and not flash too much flesh, so this was perfect. It’s advised to keep your shoulders covered when out, so anything light over a vest top would work.
- I would never wear shorts, but my advice if you do, would be keep them knee length.
- My khaki walking pants – not a great look, but I don’t go walking on holiday without them. Light as a feather and don’t show the dirt!
- I carried my trusty leather hobo bag and it was perfect: you need lots of space for shopping! I bought this in New York last year and worried about the pale colour, but it really is so useful.
- A teeny shoulder bag. Enough to carry my iPhone and to keep over my shoulder when in the hotel.
That’s pretty much it for clothes – I didn’t take much jewellery (and nothing of value) as I knew I would buy some bits in the souks – which of course I did. I also succumbed to some rather lovely slippers. Happy packing!
Some of my evening outfits from our cruise.
Dress: Phase Eight (charity shopped) Shoes: New Look (charity shopped) Earrings Debenhams.
Dress: Phase Eight Cardigan: M&S (charity shopped) Watch: Debenhams Jade Earrings: Bought in Hong Kong a couple of years ago
Dress: M&S Shoes: Alexon (charity shopped) Earrings: Bought in Tenerife last year
Top: Phase Eight Skirt: Alexon (belonged to my mother) Shoes: New Look (charity shopped) Earrings as before
Chiffon Blouse: charity shopped Trousers: charity shopped Shoes: Carvela Pearls: Bought in an antiques shop in Bridport this summer.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my cruise wardrobe. Dressing up was such good fun!
We are going on a cruise with Celebrity next month and I have to pack two outfits that meet the criteria for ‘Evening Chic’. In previous years I would have chosen a full length gown or something blingy, but as I’ve matured, although I still like a bit of sparkle, I favour a more toned down look.
For my first outfit I’m packing this Phase Eight sleeveless dress. I am wearing Wingz underneath to give the appearance that it has sleeves. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, at 55, my arms are not as firm as they used to be. Secondly, cruise ships are a bit chilly in the evenings and as pashminas seem a bit passé now, I need a cover up. The Wingz were sent to me for the purpose of review and I think they look pretty good with this dress, so I’ll definitely be packing them.
Onto the shoes. These are the Charlotte Olympias that I won last year and try as I might, I just can’t do anything but totter in them. I look ridiculous. If anyone wants to make me an offer they are size four and have never been worn (apart from trying on!). They won’t be making the edit that’s for sure, but I have some black spiky Carvelas that will work.
Next up is to figure out outfit number two!
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I think it’s quite tricky to pack for a hot weather city break because you have to consider temperature, comfort and of course, style. You can’t simply pack as you would for a summer holiday as you may want to visit churches and museums but on the other hand, you want to be put together as opposed to any old t-shirt and jeans.
Here, I’m wearing a cotton tunic from White Stuff which is cool, but covers up a fair bit. The silk scarf is from East and is great for holidays as it weighs nothing and can be used for day or evening.
I usually take a cross body bag when in big cities as I like to feel that my purse and camera are secure.
I take both flat sandals and trainers if we are walking around a big city, so that I can swap to sandals early evening and give my toes some breathing space!
What’s your failsafe city sightseeing outfit?
We’ve just spent a blissful few days in Bardolino on Lake Garda, Italy. No sightseeing, just getting away from it all. On Tuesday night we went to the opera so I chose a pretty frock from Debenhams Collection and my trusty white linen jacket from M&S. The weather was scorching, so the jacket was surplus to requirements really.
The dress is one of my charity shop buys – it cost me a fiver and no doubt after a couple of wears it will go back for someone else to stumble across it. That’s the beauty of charity shops. You can shop guilt free, have lots of different outfits, then give them all back at the end of it to make room for more! I never tire of it and happily spend hours browsing. I also don’t give a monkey’s about who owned it before, or any potential stigma attached to second hand. To me, a charity shop is like a dressing up box: just full of sartorial opportunity! This dress actually came with matching green strappy shoes, but no way I was walking more than a mile in them, so they stayed at home for a more suitable occasion.
Phase Eight is one of my favourite shops for when I need a frock. As we were staying in a posh hotel I figured I could get away with dressing up a bit, so I chose this nautical stripe from this summer’s online sale. The dress is jersey, but lined, so it gives you a bit of structure. It’s also flattering for big boobs and the folds at the waist draw attention from a big tummy.
The jacket is an old favourite from M&S which pulls together pretty much any outfit for when you want to smarten up.
The silver leather clutch is from a boutique in Mallorca and is great for travelling as it packs flat and goes with anything.
The photo is taken at the Old Swan & Minster Mill in Minster Lovell.
I treated myself to this spotty frock from Miss Sugar while I was at the RHS Tatton show a week ago. They had them in numerous colours, but I think green was a good choice for me.
It’s one size and linen, so is cool and comfortable for holidays, packs easily and can be dressed up or down. In this first pic I’ve accessorised it with a silver clutch which I bought in Mallorca and cream leather wedges.
The second outing was my birthday dinner so I smartened it up with a linen jacket from M&S. The pearls are from the Bridport antiques fair and the little jade stick pin came from Hong Kong.
Last night was a themed party: Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. I decided there really was no point in me dressing as I did in my teens, which was boho hippie late seventies style, simply because that’s pretty much normal everyday clothing for me. Instead I went for a nod to a fifties look, with this black and white dress from M&S. I added the oversized pearls and ballerina pumps to complete the outfit. It was a fun night!
This is one of my charity shop buys: a gingham Wrangler shirt dress which I picked up for a couple of quid. I have a really compulsive charity shop habit and can’t pass one – I have to go in! I look for quality items then after a few wears, I re-donate for someone else to have a bit of fun with them. It gives my wardrobe a bit of a boost without costing me a fortune.
The photo is taken in Ness Gardens on the Wirral which we visited last week. Isn’t the planting just fabulous!