Posts from the “Fashion & style” Category

Behind the scenes on Bloom

This stylish, feminine story was set in a period Heritage house in London. We were blessed with a stunning model in Inguna who had a natural energy and brought a sublime sense of happiness to each shot.

Our heritage location featured high ceilings, architectural features and panelling with distressed vintage wallpaper. The fact it had peeled off in areas simply enhanced the overall effect.

We opted for warm, glowing, atmospheric light so that the clothes can be seen clearly and the photos were taken in a portrait style which contrasts well with other stories in our AW13 catalogue.

What was your favourite story from our Autumn season?

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Glad to be Grey

Be it runway, Broadway or ad campaigns, salt-and-pepper blogger Alyson from ‘That’s Not My Age’ elaborates on why going grey is the order of the day…

I have a grey hair, lots of it. Largely in the form of a Mallen Streak  – or what’s known in fashionable circles as the ‘Caryn Franklin’. This sprouted during my twenties, and I subsequently spent many years and a fair amount of hard-earned cash paying someone for a dye job. Until one day, a new hairdresser told me that they liked my silver streak, and advised me to grow it out and make a statement. So I did. And now have what’s referred to as salt and pepper hair – as seen on George Clooney – a mixture of dove grey, blonde and mousey brown. When it comes to grooming, I’m quite low-maintenance and so, fewer trips to the hairdresser’s works for me. And in 2013, going grey appears to be working for quite a few other women too. What with Rhianna posting selfies of her silver extensions on Instagram  –preferable to the pictures of her bikini-clad bum, I know – and Holly Hunter in Jane Campion’s ‘Top of the Lake,’ grey hair is having a bit of a fashion moment.

Whether it’s young whippersnappers tinting their follicles: Pixie Geldof, Kelly Osbourne and Kate Moss have all experimented with erm, shades of grey, or national treasures Dames Helen and Judi keeping it real, today it’s not just silver foxes who are grabbing the limelight. As an advocate of diversity in fashion, for me the good news is that we’re gradually seeing older models in ad campaigns too. Daphne Selfe (83) and Carmen Dell; Orefice (82) have both modeled for decades and are now busier than ever.

Which reminds me, standing at a Heathrow carousel earlier this year, I spotted a woman with a gorgeous grey plait. It was Kristen McMenamy, the 46-year-old supermodel. She looked her age, not all Botoxed and plastic – and she looked amazing. McMenamy looks real, maybe not as real as I did after no sleep and a six and a half hour leg-cramping, economy class flight back from New York, but hey…

So, grey hair is getting more attention, and when women in the public eye like Christine Lagarde and a post-Country File Miriam O’Reilly stay au naturel, this sends out quite a strong message: going grey is part of the ageing process, it happens to us all, get over it. Maybe it’s time Boden showed some grey pride? What do you think – is it time we saw a few older models in the Boden catalogue?!

What to wear

1. Go for grey-on-grey. I love to see a silver lady wearing head-to-toe grey, but it’s all about finding the right shade. My Mallen Streak is very white and so pale dove greys make me look ghastly, darker charcoals are much more flattering.

2. Embrace colour. Use pink or red to perk up a grey barnet – but don’t go overboard, too much fuchsia can end up looking a bit menopausal. Ahem.

3. Go big and bold with accessories a la New York nonagenarian Iris Apfel.

Which silver siren do you most admire? 

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On the sofa with Laura Loveridge – Senior Textile Designer for Mini Boden

Laura Loveridge, what a name! Part of our wonderfully creative Mini Boden team, Laura conjures creatures great and small for the prints featured on our Mini Boden line. Find out what makes her tick… 

Tell us a little bit about what a Print Designer does?

So, working in the Mini Boden department, we’re responsible for drawing and creating the prints that you find on our products, which for me tends to be birds, bunnies, ponies, puppies, kittens and floral.

What did you do BB (Before Boden)?

After studying Textile Design at Nottingham Trent, I took a slight detour into buying for John Lewis. Working in the Childrenswear department. I liked it but often had more interest in the garments themselves than the actual buying process and knew that I wanted to go back into design. Luckily, a job popped up as Textile Design Assistant and I’ve been here for ten years ever since.

Why Boden?

As an outsider and with the company being much, much smaller ten years ago, I’d heard of Boden but didn’t necessarily wear it myself. When the job came up, I did my research and realised it was exactly the sort of company I’d want to work for. To this day, things like the fact that Johnnie is still so involved and knows everybody’s names are testament to the kind of company it is.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

As part of my job, we’re fortunate enough to get travel to locations including New York, LA, Tokyo and Paris, from where we draw lots of inspiration (whilst still trying to keep our British roots.) Nostalgia is really important to us so we tend to do a lot of vintage shopping too. A lot of my inspiration just comes from everyday life and having your eyes open as you never know what you might see.

Are there fashion trends for Childrenswear?

Although certain things will be popular, there’s a lot more free reign when it comes to childrenswear and a lot of the designs boil down to common sense – fishes and sea creatures on boys swimwear for example, or cute animals on tea dresses. We try and do things which capture the imagination of children (things like the farmyard animals featured on the dress below).

What’s the best bit of your job?

Although travelling is great, nothing beats seeing a customer wearing one of your designs. As there are a lot of families in the area where I live, whenever I see a little girl in one of my dresses or a little boy at the pool in swimwear I’ve designed I always grab my husband and say ‘that’s one of mine!’ which is amazing.

What’s the worst part of your job?

It’s quite hard to say – probably keeping on top of administrative stuff when all you want to do is draw and get creative. Also, the frustration of drawings that don’t quite work out or having a good design that doesn’t make the cut for the catalogue. However, because we have a great team, you can often pass on a design that you’re struggling with to a talented collegue and end up with a wonderful result in the end.

How would you describe Boden to someone who doesn’t know it?

I think that I would call it fun, colourful, flattering and surprising in things like the trim or the buttons- clothes that make you happy! They’re practical and long-lasting too.

How would you describe your style?

I’d say it was quite simple – I’ve got masses of jeans, Breton tees and cardis and the odd dress. I like to have good staples and comfortable shoes. But I do like sassy shoes and Boden sandals are my favourites!

What did you want to be when you were little?

Well, I actually wanted to be in the circus! I wanted to be either the tightrope walker or a trapeze artist! I thought it would be fun but then my mum told me you had to travel with them and so that went out the window! After that, I wanted to be a vet.

How would you sum yourself up in a few words?

I’m actually quite sporty – I run in a running club and have done a few marathons over the past few years. I’d also say sociable, spontaneous, creative and honest.

What’s your proudest moment at work?

After 5 and 10 years with the company, Johnnie actually sends you a reward and a handwritten letter which is amazing!

How would you describe your perfect evening?

Having a little girl (and a baby boy on the way!) I’d have to say (after getting a babysitter!) I’d meet up with friends or go out with my husband for good wine and good food and have a little time to myself.

Do you have any bad habits?

Probably not organising my emails! My inbox is creaking so that’s a bit of an issue!

What’s on your reading list at the moment?

I’m reading children’s books to my little girl which is great. I’ve just bought the Julia Donaldson ‘Gruffalo’ series, which she loves because the illustrations are so lovely. I also like to read blogs – my sister Natasha has a blog called ‘Candy Pop’ which I always love to read.

Do you have any favourite bits of Boden?

I love the cropped cashmere cardigans – they’re great for weddings to pop over a dress. I’ve also bought a few great pieces for my little girl from Autumn – the vintage tee dress, the owl and the pussycat tee (which I designed) and the metallic high-tops are amazing.

Who would be your ultimate dinner party guests?

It would have to be funny people! I’d go for David Walliams, Alan Carr and Russel Brand (or maybe Miranda Hart to balance things out!)

Was there an era that you have most affinity with?

I’m a big fan of ‘70s crockery with bold retro florals. They’re display only but they’re nice to have and to mix in with the modern.

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Feast your eyes on this

The Cotswolds called to us and we wellied up and went running – to Alex James’ farm to be precise. A magical land filled with music, merry-go-rounds and food, glorious food. Here are a few of the tastiest titbits from our BIG Feastival weekend.

INTRODUCING: All the fun of the fair!

INTRODUCING: When Boden met Alex James from BLUR!

INTRODUCING: Jamie Oliver’s chum and our favourite food blogger Miss Foodwise with her fave Feastival treat, one of Pizza Pilgrims finest!

INTRODUCING: Sasha from Liberty London Girl added a touch of Boden to her Feastival ensembles. See more stylish snaps over on her blog.

INTRODUCING: Shini of blog Park & Cube who attended Feastival with blogger friends Kit of Styleslicker and Helen of MSQT.

INTRODUCING: Mini Darth and his family including blogger mum Lou from Little Green Shed.

Thank you also to Alyson from That’s Not My Age and Kate from Fabric of my Life for accompanying us on our foodie adventure. Same time next year?

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The story of our print

In addition to bold use of colour, quirky appliqués and cashmere, print and pattern are part of the Boden DNA. Designed primarily in house, our talented creatives conjure these prints with pen and paper before the artwork transforms into the clothes you wear. We chatted to Senior Textile Designer Nicola Breen to bring you this insightful piece on Boden print… 

Print Name: Grape Alium

Designed by: Nicola

The Story: A few summers ago, I popped up to the Boden roof garden to take a snap of the sunset post-work. The garden is a very green space with lots of flowers and I happened to notice the specimen below and so took a photo of it too. Looking at it more, we decided that it would make a great print for Autumn and so our print teams got sketching and the rest is history!

Print features on: The Edie Dress

Print Name: Mustard Sparrow

Designed by: Jess

The Story: With birds one of our favourite animals, we had great fun designing this motif for one of our Boden bestsellers, ‘The Paris Blouse.’ Taking inspiration from real life and an incredible vintage scarf, our print designer Jess spent an age researching and sketching examples (like a genuine Bill Oddie) until it finally evolved into this.

Print features on: The Paris Blouse

Print Name: Verdant Retro Geo

The inspiration for this actually came from a personal trip to the States where I stumbled upon some great 1960s upholstery (the ‘60s has been a key era for us in terms of design inspiration and it’s an era which Johnnie loves) We loved the colour and how the bold, repeat print could be flattering without feeling too psychedelic.

Print features on: The Printed Pocket Top

 

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On the Sofa with Creative Assistant Sarah

Meet creative cat Sarah, daydreamer, wearer of floppy hats and leader of the Virginia Woolf Pack…

 

What do you do?

I work as the Creative Assistant, which may sound like a bit of a cryptic but basically, I’m responsible for making mood boards, compiling research and supporting Justine and Lattika, our Creative Director and Stylist extraordinaire, in any work which they need me to do.

Where were you before BB? (Before Boden)

After University, I went on to work as a photographer for Camden Council and as a runner and casting assistant for the BBC. Working on a few projects, one was a film about human trafficking which really struck a chord. Following that, I photographed and then curated an exhibition on human traffic and earned the chance to show it in Parliament (which was crazy!) I worked with ex-MP Alan Steen for the year after, again covering the same topic, compiling an exhibition which was opened by David Cameron. Just before Boden, I had side-lined into fashion (something which I’ve always loved!) working as an Art Director for an eco-fashion brand.

What’s the best bit about your job?

I think it would have to be creating mood boards with my team. They’re great fun to work with and it’s a real kick to see ideas which start so small take life and then hopefully make it into the company.

What’s the most challenging aspect?

Like a lot of our team, I think the struggle comes in pleasing different people; we often have to create resources which need to please everyone from buyers to designers to Directors and so creating something that’s so versatile can be tough.

How would you describe Boden to someone had never heard of us?

I would say Boden is incredibly British, eclectic and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is refreshing.

Where do you take your personal style from?

love the way Virgina Woolf dressed! I’m a big fan of taking trends and making them your own, be it playing with prints or vintage or sizing.

 

 

What did you want to be when you were little?

A writer. I’ve always loved to write! When I was little I was obsessed with the book ‘Princess Smartypants.’ She was a great character and we had tons in common.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

I would say ‘imaginative, creative and organised’.

What track is on repeat on your iPod?

At the moment it’s Pharrell Williams – he’s having a real moment, it’s going to be the year of Pharrell! I’m also listening to Alt-J a lot.

What would your karaoke song be?

It would have to be ‘If You Wanna Be My Lover’ by the Spice Girls. At primary school, I was duped into singing it and unfortunately, a boy got the wrong end of the stick and thought I was declaring my love for him. It was awkward.

Tell us your perfect evening

It would have to be a dinner party, especially one with a theme! For my birthday we held one based on ‘A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’ which was great! During the week, I’m a big fan of keeping busy and going to free exhibitions and pop-ups with my colleague Toni, usually around East London.

 

 

So who would be your ultimate dinner party guests?

I think I would ask Oscar Wilde, Russel Brand and Viginia Woolf. I think that Oscar and Russel could cheer Virginia up but then she would outdo them with her wit.

Do you have any bad habits?

I’m a big daydreamer! Also, I’m not as tidy as I need to be. I wouldn’t necessarily call it ‘organised mess’ as I’m certainly not messy. I’m just not that tidy.

What era do you have the most affinity with?

I love the 1920s! Things such as the subversion of gender roles and the Bloomsbury Group were fascinating! I’d love to be there, hanging around in Paris with writers and artists, taking it all in.

What’s your favourite item of Boden?

That would have to be my floppy brown hat from SS13. It’s versatile, it shields you from the sun when it’s too hot and keeps you warm when you’re cold. Quite the investment.

What’s on your Boden wish list for Autumn?

The pencil skirts! There’s an incredible leather pencil skirt set to come for Winter that’s butter soft and will go with everything. I’m excited for the tailoring too.

What’s been your proudest moment at work?

The Autumn/Winter ’13 Press Day. Although it only lasts a day, so much thought and preparation goes into it and there’s a real sense of achievement in pulling it off. And it was like being on an episode of ‘Changing Rooms’ which was great.

 

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Revealing a few fun and playful snaps from behind the seams of a Mini Boden location shoot…

What: The photography shoot for our Mini Boden Autumn story ‘Boys Own’.

Where: Wallingford, a market town just outside of Oxford steeped in history.

Playing on the cheeky, rough-and-tumble feel of our AW13 collection the outdoor, rural setting fitted the bill like a snug colour pop Mini Boden glove.

Shooting at a location bursting with bales of hay and farm animals was a dream come true for our mud loving Mini models and they ran wild (prefect for capturing some super-duper action shots).

The farm was home to lots of pigs, ponies and little lambs. Baaaa!

Meet Percy Piggywigs, our new favourite four legged friend (shhh, don’t tell Sprout).

 

Stay tuned for more behind the scenes snaps or keep an eye on our instagram: http://instagram.com/boden_clothing

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On the Sofa with Senior Artworker Mel

French Canadian Artworker Mel has brought a commonwealth of experience to our production team and has fast become one of the smiliest faces you can spot at Boden Towers. Joining us on the Boden sofa, she talks inspiration, an Instagram addiction and one very special pooch…

Tell us a little about your job at Boden?

Well, I’m an Art Worker! Sitting in-between both design and production, the Art Workers are the last port of call before the catalogues go to print. We’re responsible for taking product information and actually placing it onto the products as well as making sure everything’s accurate, proofed and full of life.

Are there any memorable errors that have occurred over the years?

Well… way back in the early days, a wrong telephone number was printed onto a catalogue and a poor lady was bombarded with Boden calls! But we have a pretty thorough regiment now so that no mistakes can slip through; once we’re happy with the catalogues, we send them to everyone within the company to check including the Director Johnnie and our call centre staff who check all of the pricing.

How long have you worked at Boden?

I’ve been here permanently for just over 7 months, working here on a freelance basis before that. Having worked at other, more insular places in the past, one thing I love about working at Boden is how social everyone is – everybody wants to get to know each other and wants to help you out. It’s like a big family!

What was your career BB? (Before Boden)

Living in both Canada and New Zealand, I initially worked in design before heading into publishing.

Wow, that’s incredible! How does working abroad compare to the UK?

It’s surprisingly similar; no matter whether you’re working on catalogues or magazines, everything still operates seasonally when working in publishing (albeit with slightly more extreme seasons in Canada!)

What’s the best bit about your job?

I’m quite a structured and organised person and so it’s nice to have the satisfaction of having the final product in your hand. Also, working on the catalogue, we get to see the new collections before they’ve come out which is always a plus!

What would you say is the most challenging bit of your job?

The short turnaround can be a little tricky sometimes and if someone higher up decides that they’d like to make an amend, we have to work pretty quickly to get things altered which can be stressful.

Once a season is over, is there a little rest period?

Unfortunately not – we’re always pretty busy! When we’re wrapping up one season, we’ll also be starting the next and so there’s never any real lull.

What inspires you in your day-to-day life?

My puppy Gizmo – he’s so energetic and loves to be outside which is great because I love it too. Also, I love people watching, looking at other people’s fashion and style. Art is another one of my interests and I’m a bit of an Instagram addict which is great for finding new photographers and artists and finding new things. Finally, I would have to say food. My husband’s a food blogger (http://digitalgetti.com/) and so we love to cook and take photos. Over time, we’ve managed to accumulate tons of plates from around the world which is great for dinner parties as our guests get to choose their own and they look great in snaps.

 

 

How would you sum yourself up in three words?

Friendly, caring and loving. I’m definitely a people-pleaser and struggle to say no sometimes (especially to Gizmo, my dog!)

What’s the last played track on the ipod?

I’m a big fan of Canadian artist Grimes at the moment.

What would be your ultimate karaoke song?

It would have to be ‘Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani. What other song lets you spell out ‘b-a-n-a-n-a-s’  halfway through??

How would you describe your perfect evening?

Well, it would have to start with champagne, followed by dinner out with my husband and friends in a restaurant where we could take the dog. I love eating outside too and so that would be a perk!

 

 

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?

Initially, I thought that chefs would be a good shout but then I figured that we would be cooking for them and it could be pretty intimidating!  I would have to invite Johnny Depp – he’s interesting, he’s done a lot (and he’s not bad-looking either!)

What’s your favourite Boden item?

My Boho boots – I need to get them resoled because I’ve worn them so much!

 

What book is on your bedside table?

You’ll laugh at this – it’s called ‘The Curse of Lovely: How to say No!’

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On the sofa with Senior Mini & Johnnie B Stylist Lattika

As bubbly as her favourite sparkling beverage, colour-clad Mini Boden whizz Lattika joins us on the sofa to discuss her decade with Boden. Responsible for catalogue styling, stories and one rather snappy tee, read on to find out what inspires her…

Tell us a little about your job at Boden?

Working as part of the Creative Team, I’m responsible for creating stories for the new season’s Mini Boden catalogues and outfitting, overseeing that the collections are represented clearly and on the right ages and that products are presented in the most exciting, fashionable yet commercial way possible.

And how long have you been at Boden?

It must be coming up for ten years now!

That’s incredible! Do you get any kind of prize for working here for so long?

Well, I don’t know actually – I’ll have to look and see! I think I’ve been here from 8-10 years so I’ll have to watch that one!

Have you worked in any other areas during your time here?

I started originally in design, working in Mini, where I’ve always been. Joining a tiny, tiny team, we decided that we needed an injection of logo t-shirts (a now-famous Boden staple) and I was responsible for that.

Any favourite logo t-shirts?

Well, that would have to be one of the businesses best-selling pieces – the Crocodile Tee.

What was your career BB (Before Boden)?

Well, I trained in textiles, specialising in knitwear but had always loved photography too which lead me to a position at Country Living Magazine. Working there, I was responsible for creating monthly craft projects for our readers which was great fun. Following that, I worked for high-end retailer Browns for many years, enjoying some wonderful clothes and a very healthy discount (which I really miss!) before working with Orla Kiely right at the start of her business. With only three of us running things, it was great experience in how to build a brand from scratch, including everything from product development to attending fashion weeks. Although pretty much always working in fashion, I also worked as a waitress for a period (good food and good tips – what’s not to love?).

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Boden has become rather large as a company and so keeping everyone happy can be difficult. When making decisions, sometimes you just have to block out other people’s opinions and go with what you think is the right thing to do. Also, you’re eternally trying to outdo yourself – each season is like taking an exam, wanting to get a better mark each time. Working seasons in advance, it’s hard to step back and see the big picture and reap the rewards of the moment. Finally, fashion itself is a challenge – with so many trends and competitors around, it can be hard to stay true to your own values and not panic and follow the crowd.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

I draw inspiration from everything. If I’m sat on the tube, a passenger’s outfit might inspire me or what they’re reading or where they’re going. I love to take photos and I love colour and cooking – our garden at home is full of flowers which always inspires me. It might sound like a cliché but everything can inspire you if your eyes are open.

Describe your perfect evening?

I can name two; the first would be to go home, take my coat off, see my children who I haven’t seen all day and have a glass of Proseco. Then, I’d have something great to eat and sit down with a fabulous film and have some peace and quiet. That said, I’m a big fan of doing something arty like going to an exhibition but I rarely get the time. To be able to go along to an exhibition and have the time to really explore it with someone else who really enjoyed it would be perfect too.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?

I’d have Jools Holland to do the music, John Lennon for the stories and maybe Angelina Jolie as I find her a fascinating woman.

What’s your most coveted Boden buy?

Definitely the cropped cashmere cardigan – I’ve had mine for ten years and they just go with everything!

Any tips on Mini must-haves for A/W 13?

I’m rather fond of the Mini boys corduroy jacket, coming in new colours this season. It’s versatile, it’s smart and you can pair it with absolutely anything!

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Grown-Up Style Icons: Linda Rodin

Model, photographer and serial snappy-dresser, Linda Rodin takes no prisoners when it comes to her style. In a simple homage to all things Linda, we join  ‘That’s Not My Age’ blogger Aly Walsh to chat her look, her lifestyle and the joys of wearing black.

Meet this week’s style inspiration, Linda Rodin. She’s a fabulous New York fashion stylist who lives in Chelsea – with her pet poodle Winky (another grey haired beauty) – and is one of Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style stars. For the record, Ari is one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place and I owe him a big thank you. Nearly five years ago, inspired by his amazing street style images of glamorous older folk, I set up That’s Not My Age and have been blathering on about life, style and fashion over forty ever since. Thanks, Ari.

Anyhow. Enough about me, let’s talk about Linda. Her career in fashion started with a bit of this and that, a spot of modeling turned into a stint as a photographer until Rodin’s late sister Christine said, ‘You take the worst pictures but get the best clothes.’ It was at that point Rodin realised her true vocation as a freelance stylist. Though more recently, she’s reverted to modeling, and founded an eponymous skincare line – Rodin is 65, and has amazing skin, so she’s obviously doing something right. Next time I’m over in NYC, I’ll be bulk-buying the stuff.

The silver-haired stylist, who went grey at 35 and has never considered a dye-job, has become something of a pin-up for women of a certain age. A firm favourite on Pinterest’s mature beauty boards, she wisely advises that ‘chasing youth is never going to make you happy and if you start worrying about it, you’re screwed.’ I hear you, Linda. Like a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Jenna Lyons, Rodin mixes vintage and modern pieces to fabulous effect and is rarely seen without a pair of statement sunglasses and her hot pink lipstick. She plays around with embellishment and colour but always in an elegant, less is more kind of way –  a traditional Czech embroidered tunic with dark denim jeans and a pair of eye-catching silver boots, or a faded checked shirt with a ladylike ruffled skirt and some vintage jewellery. It’s the singular way Rodin puts outfits together that I like – mixing flea market finds with modern classics like denim or Breton stripes, finishing off with a flash of vibrant colour or some vintage jewellery. And like all true fashion folk, she knows that there’s always head-to-toe black to fall back on.

Here’s how to embrace elements of Rodin’s signature style:

1. Don’t shy away from clashing prints. Stick to perennial classics like Breton stripes and polka dots and wear them with faded old denim – lots of it.

2. Liven up the simplest of outfits with a pair of head-turning shoes:

3.  Simplify your life with a striking shirt dress and pair of run-around flats.

 

4. At the end of the day – actually, make that the beginning – you can’t beat a pair of figure-flattering black trousers.

What do you think to Linda’s look?

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