I think I’ve finally solved the age vs style conundrum. As someone who’s always looked young for her age I’ve got to a point where every time I find myself reaching for the ‘I *Heart* Me’ bags in Urban Outfitters, my inner ‘mutton’ radar goes into overdrive and an invisible hand slaps those bags clean away. Sadly, it seems there comes a time when you can’t wear that stuff any more. Or can you? Well after years (yes I really am that old) of agonising I think I’ve cracked the code and it’s as simple as Mixing It Up.

As long as I keep buying the classic-lady Burberry trenchcoats, Anya Hindmarch Jackie O jackets and straight-skinny jeans I can just about get away with the Mickey Mouse tees and Hello Kitty keyrings. The essential part is how you mix it. I say 2 x smart lady items (eg Anya Hindmarch jacket, Chanel bag) + 1 classic casual item (white Converse) + 1 quirky piece (smily face watch) = age-appropriate but not personality-free.

This I think I can keep up til I’m about 60, obviously increasing the ratio of classy-chic to teen-trash as I go. Once I hit 60 I can wear whatever the hell I want as everyone will think I’m crazy by then anyway. Now if I could just find somewhere selling the Burberry coats at H & M prices I’d be a very happy shopper indeed.

I *Heart* Me bag:
Chanel bag:

Gossip Girl vs Grace Mirabella

My Ibiza week-in-the-sun is fast approaching but I’m not panicking about packing just yet (even though Easyjet only has a measly 22kg baggage allowance. I mean what is that -22 bags of sugar? How many T-shirts and bikinis does that equal?). No, my dilemma is what reading material to take. I’m a self-confessed mag hag. Tuesday to me is Grazia-day, I literally leap out of bed – yes I really am that sad. The first week of the month is my highlight – I make a beeline for Elle (especially the portable mini mag size), Easy Living (for all those How To Relax, How To Manage Your Money, How To Zhuzh Up Your Live-Work Space articles) and Red (gorgeous ‘lifestyle’ fashion shoots featuring dogs, quirky props and hoards of cute little private-school kids). The following week I get UK Vogue, Elle Deco and UK Harpers Bazaar. Next it’s US Harpers Bazaar, US Vogue and Allure. Teen Vogue is a nice surprise which I buy whenever I see it on the news-stand – it doesn’t seem to come out at any set time. Then there’s the last week where I read the dregs of all the aforementioned mags I couldn’t get excited about before (namely celeb interviews and travel pages. And beauty articles about spas – does anyone actually go to spas apart from beauty editors?) So magazines are what I read at home which is why I have a backlog of books to catch up on.

The new Miranda July book of short stories is out now so that would be a good one for the plane (plus OK and Heat. I need some magazines and I only buy crappy ones if I’m travelling). Then I read a recommendation for Grace Mirabella’s autobiography on Cathy Horyn’s blog ( so I need to get that (if it’s half as good as Anna Wintour’s biography, Front Row then I’m totally sold). And Toby Young’s book The Sound Of No Hands Clapping I’ve been meaning to read forever. Finally, the Gossip Girl books. I never read these at the time and I’m certainly way too old now but hell, the TV series is coming out and I want to be ahead of the game. So…how much of the 22kg does that leave for my T-shirts and bikinis?

I’m a see-through plastic bag

What’s the deal with see-through plastic handbags? Lagerfeld did them at Chanel, so did Oscar de la Renta, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana. And they’re a firm favourite with magazines – “I know, let’s do a shoot with a see-through bag and all the bits and pieces inside it – it’ll look so great on the page!” The deal seems to be they’re aimed at the ultimate exhibitionist. What’s the upside of see-through bags? You can see all your stuff. What’s the downside? Er, you can see all your (messy, ugly, so-not-this-season) stuff. Doh! Even if you’re a rich label-whore whose bag-clutter is a roll-call of premium brands – Smythson notebook, Chloe organizer, Vertu phone, Luella sunglasses, yada, yada, yada, surely you’d rather keep your stuff low key and under wraps? Or maybe there’s something ironically chic about saying “I’m carrying expensive shit! Mug me!”


C’est geek c’est chic

I don’t like to gloat and I don’t like to line Luella’s pockets (I dunno why, she just annoys me) but…look what I bought! Functional yet quirky but not very practical because I know it’s going to get grubby within say 10 uses. But it’s nicely made and has lots of inside pockets to organise my stuff. See, I really am a geek! (Note, I didn’t get the charms, they cost extra…)