Don't be fooled by pictures of flowers sprouting from the ground, blue skies and window displays in shops brandishing mannequins dressed in floral prints across UK blogland. Despite officially being Spring it is still cold here in the UK.
Still cold enough in fact for me to crave the warmth of a fluffy gilet over my tops but temperatures have at least thawed to the point where I can wear my leather shorts again (albeit with wool tights) without wanting to run back indoors and change into trousers. Yesterday Mr V and I hit the town for an afternoon of shopping and dinner with some old friends later in Soho. I was desperate to wear something other than the black wool tights, jersey harems and Mongolian fur gilet I've been wearing on endless loop this winter. So out came the shorts and this navy feather gilet I've recently rediscovered.
Whilst perusing the rails in Cos on Regent Street I overheard a young woman complaining loudly to her boyfriend that there was nothing but shapeless black things being sold there, without pulling out a single garment on its hanger for closer inspection. Au contraire! I couldn't have disagreed with her more as I snapped up two of their amazingly soft pocket jersey tees and barely restrained myself from grabbing a great basic black jersey maxi t-shirt dress as well. While I doubt there are many people who could do one hundred per cent of their clothes shopping there, to write off Cos completely is to entirely miss the point about one of the best places for good, quality basics on the UK high street.
I find Cos full of very useful things like great jersey and knitwear in fantastic fabrics and while they may appear shapeless and unobtrusive on a hanger, they sit or drape wonderfully on the body or can be styled up with a belt. Yes, there are a lot of black pieces but they regularly offer versions in good neutral colours like white, navy, beige, nude and grey. For the more adventurous colour mixers, this season they have extended the palette to more daring shades of coral, tangerine and chartreuse.
It's probably fashion's worst kept secret that Cos is where many a fashion editor heads for wardrobe basics. Such plain pieces can seem boring to the untrained eye. But it is their unobtrusive form that lends them their usefulness as staples and layering pieces, allowing them to lay the foundation for an outfit without competing for attention. Their very simplicity means that they don't fight with your more outlandish pieces, like leather shorts, feather gilets and statement necklaces for example!
Navy feather gilet, Kate Moss for Topshop; Wool Turtleneck, Cos; Leather Shorts, Oasis; Wool tights, Falke; Studded cuff, Warehouse; Necklace, Merle O'Grady; Shearling Clog Boots, D&G;