Last week at John Lewis Oxford Street, Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers presented a masterclass to attentive guests on the pillars every wardrobe needs and how to make them work for any age. In partnership with the great British department store, we gained the ultimate insight into your key wardrobe edit and the vast range on offer at John Lewis. With more than 35 years’ experience in the fashion industry and an enviably eclectic sense of style, who better than Lucinda to divulge the ultimate style tips?
1. The key pieces
There are certain pieces that work for everyone, regardless of age. For example, the bomber jacket makes a modern addition to every wardrobe and instantly smartens an outfit yet keeps it cool. John Lewis’s own-brand, Kin, provides a nifty navy number, while Parka London has a more contemporary khaki quilted option for a younger consumer. Lucinda’s other wardrobe staples include ankle socks, a white T-shirt, a Breton top, a biker jacket, wide-legged trousers and skinny trousers, not to mention a duster coat, white shirt and scarves.
2. Customise a cliché
A duster coat or trench coat may seem like fashion clichés, but remember you can play with lengths, swap the belt out for your own or customise the sleeves. Try buying a high-waisted skirt three sizes too big for a longer length if short isn’t your style – as Lucinda did with her Kin skirt on the night – or pair a Toast tunic with Whistles trousers if you’re over 50, while bright young things can leave the trousers out and simply throw on Selected Femme’s white sandals.
3. Learn your foundations
Whatever you want to invest in, there are always options. Make sure you pick a fabric, colour and neckline that suits your shape and colouring. Know which neckline flatters you and learn what your colours are for basics. One size and one colour does not fit all, so experiment and find what works for you. John Lewis offers a complimentary personal styling service, and every personal shopper is now equipped with Lucinda’s top tips. Head in store and gain more insight into her wisdom. Book your complimentary personal styling session here.
4. Shop smarter
When buying, think about longevity. Do you love the piece? Will it become an old friend to you and something you will reach for in five years’ time when all else fails? If yes, buy it. Buy better; why purchase four cheap T-shirts when you can buy one soft and gorgeous Whistles one that will improve with every wash for the same price? Fabric is a wonderful decider, especially as we age. Good-quality fabrics will always stand the test of time and be a valid investment.
5. Don’t be afraid of the washing machine
This is where good-quality fabrics come into their own. The better the fabric, the better it will wash. Cut out dry cleaning by choosing a washed silk and purchase in a larger size so that you can pop it in the wash time and time again. Kin, And/Or and Modern Rarity all use high-quality fabrics that look better with every wear and each brand offers classic staples with a twist. The design team at John Lewis had the modern woman and her busy lifestyle in mind when creating each collection.
6. Make it your own
Once the building blocks are in place, idiosyncrasies come into play. From belts to scarves, hats, earrings and beads, everyone has something – or a few things – that will always make them feel like themselves. Pile it on, as it’s those touches that bring your style to the fore. Lucinda Chambers picked statement earrings, a “bag masquerading as a rug” and a wide Obi-style belt as the finishing touches to her look, which was a mix of Kin and Modern Rarity.
The key player in all of this is John Lewis. The store truly does hold all the ingredients for building your basic wardrobe, not to mention all the embellishments you need to make it your own. Choose from And/Or’s fresh LA-inspired denim, Modern Rarity’s sharp shirting and Kin’s Nordic-inspired silhouettes to make everything you own something you cherish. The womenswear and accessories departments delight with all the hidden gems waiting to be unearthed.
Below are Lucinda’s top picks for summer, all are available in John Lewis stores now:
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