After some milder weather in London last week we've been plunged back into the cold again here. Although it has warmed up somewhat since the snow storm we had a couple of weekends ago, we're still not out of the single digit maximum temperatures. I've been continuing with a navy blue theme when getting dressed for the cold. To meet a friend in town last weekend I went for a bit of a bird theme with my outfit in a pair of bird print wool trousers I picked up in the winter sales and a feather gilet.
There has been a bit of a furniture reshuffle in the Veshoevius household and I've had to give up the corner by the white wall where I usually take my outfit shots to this bookshelf full of my old fashion magazines. Yep, I collect fashion magazines. One day I'll make some unsuspecting fashion student deliriously happy by giving them a complete collection of Vogue dating back to 1996.
This might seem a crazy thing to be doing to the minimalists and anti clutter brigade out there but I actually quite like having an archive of how fashion has changed over the last sixteen years or so. Ever since my teens I have been a voracious consumer of fashion magazines and despite the explosion of fashion coverage online via blogs, nothing quite replaces the pleasure of opening up and turning the pages of a glossy magazine for me. As I've articulated on this blog before, I quite often take issue with the tone of the editorial and articles within. The main reason I continue to return to them is for the styling inspiration and ideas, the photography and to see the vision of designers showcased (although I will sometimes agree to disagree!).
If you've perused the magazine racks this month you'll have realised that not unlike a flock of migratory birds flying off in search of warmer weather, the fashion press is currently all about spring when it is still mid-winter. Being a regular reader of the fashion press you come to realise how this fashion cycle works. The fashion press has always been the marketing and advertising machine for the fashion industry and its role is to keep sales ticking over all year.
Before a season is even over the cycle starts in earnest by previewing the next season and dissing the last. Woe betide you if you are still wearing it! The new collections are hyped with articles headlined "how to work the latest trend", or "invest now in (insert fashionable piece of the season here)", or "if you just buy one thing this month" and "what you should and shouldn't be wearing now". By season end we are being whipped up into a frenzy about the sales with advice being dished out as to what we should be buying. Then before you even get a chance to enjoy your sales purchases the cycle starts again and you're being told that your bargains are looking tired and "so last season". I've learnt to treat it all as white noise, flip through to the photo shoots and make my own mind up.
That doesn't mean that I don't find myself getting a bit grumpy around this time of year. My winter sale purchases are barely out of their packaging and my credit card is still recovering from Christmas and yet here we are, being goaded to go forth, get in early and shop for new season gear, because surely you wouldn't want to be behind the curve would you? Or worse still, find yourself to be one of those unlucky ones who hasn't got the new "it" piece of the new season because you were too slow and it sold out. Tell me - in these recessionary times are there really that many fashion junkies flocking en masse to the shops this minute to get their mitts on the new season pieces lest they sell out?
I find the retail industry also conspires with the fashion industry to reward the early season shopper. Heaven help you if you suddenly find you need to replace your winter coat about now because you'll find the sales have either ended or are ending with nothing left in your size or preferred colour and all the shops are already full of Spring clothing. Tsk tsk! Silly you! You should have bought it at the beginning of the season!
But is anyone out there really an early season fashion shopper? Are you one of those women that has planned what she's purchasing for spring before winter has even ended? Do you get in early and hoover up key pieces from the pre-collections before they sell out to get you through the tricky trans-seasonal phase? Are you on one of those waiting lists for the new season items so that you get them before anybody else?
Or are you a bit more like me, an eternally seasonally backwards buyer, permanently behind the curve because most of the time the only way I can justify buying nice clothes is when they are on sale, which means I have no choice but to wear them out of season. I try to avoid buying anything at the beginning of a season at full retail price. I'm more likely to buy clothes in the winter sales as summer always tends to be a bit of a damp squib here and I've learnt from bitter experience that summer sales purchases don't get out much. It makes more sense to me to hold off and buy winter pieces I've been eyeing all season when they go on sale because I know there will still be three months when I'll be getting a lot of wear out of them. I also only buy clothes I know I will love and wear for years regardless of what happens to be considered in fashion. If it suits my body shape, my personal taste and I feel good in it I don't see why I shouldn't wear it out of season.
One now very tired fashion cliche that gets bandied about around now in the fashion press which always has me grinding my teeth in irritation is "what feels right for now". Please fashion people, spare me a hefty dentistry bill and stop repeating it like we should be paying attention. Because after two weeks of sub zero temperatures and more surely to come in the next three months, I'll tell you what feels right for now - lots of warm winter clothing, preferably several layers of it, and the fluffier, the furrier, the fuzzier, the better! The last thing I feel like doing at the moment is planning my spring wardrobe. At the thought of having to get undressed in this weather I can't muster up any enthusiasm try on light, airy clothing in the shops.
Are you still in full winter dress mode? Or are you all over the spring collections already? Maybe you live in the southern hemisphere - if so could you stomach trying on a winter coat in the heat of summer?
Linking up this week to Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style.
Trousers: Tibi; Feather Gilet: Kate Moss for Topshop; Wool Turtleneck; Cos; Coat: Kaylee Tankus; Ponyskin wedge heel boots: Pied a Terre