You know what in your wardrobe needs more love? The boring stuff. It’s always the same stuff that hogs the limelight, gets the compliments, and is fussed over. A party dress gets shown off on big occasions, lovingly dry-cleaned and left to lounge around in your wardrobe for weeks. Meanwhile, the hard-working pieces that make or break your day-to-day look rarely win the props they deserve. I’m talking the smart-but-comfortable flats that you wear so often, that stay kicked off inside the front door overnight, ready to be put back on; the jacket that lives on the coat stand rather than in its dry-cleaning sleeve.
I have a grey wool blazer that, outside the very coldest and very hottest months of the year, I have worn about twice a week for the five years I have owned it. But it wasn’t until recently, when I thought I’d lost it, that I realised how much I rely on it. Heck, how much I love it, even. I know, I know, it’s like the plot of a terrible the-girl-next-door-was-there-all-along-you-doofus romcom, except starring a Gucci blazer instead of Jennifer Aniston. Thankfully, after six days of heartbreak, I opened the boot of my car and there she was, my little beauty. (The blazer, not Aniston.)
Anyway – cue schmaltzy music – I will now treasure that blazer as it deserves to be treasured, because I learned the hard way that, without it, my life pretty much falls apart. Every era has a boring-but-brilliant piece that holds a wardrobe together. Once, it was perfect black trousers. Then it was that little cardigan you wore over everything. Then it was a trenchcoat. And right now that certain something is a grey blazer. Grey is the modern neutral, and tailored grey jackets are everywhere. Chic Paris fashionables wear them with high-waisted flares and skinny silk scarves; London art-gallery types with long skirts and pristine trainers. A grey blazer is less formal than a navy one, less sharp than a black one. It is ever-so-slightly dull, and that is exactly the point. This quiet, granite-hued beauty will be your rock. Buy it, start wearing it, and forget about it straightaway. That’s love, that is.
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Fashion assistant: Hannah Davidson. Hair and makeup: Sharon Ive at Carol Hayes Management.