COS

Can elevated basics help fix the fast fashion problem?



Back to Basics - the rise of blank staples

What’s the appeal of blank staples?

H&M just launched Blank Staples, a line of sub American Apparel plain sweats and tees marketed in the millennial language of muted minimalism to capture the post-COVID, stay-home crowd. Meanwhile, COS (also owned by the H&M group) has launched its Core by COS* collection, which will feature seasonal wardrobe essentials for men and women.

The H&M product (below) actually looks really nice. I’m not a tracksuit kinda girl but I do have a fetish for superior quality heavyweight sweatshirts and hoodies. The Blank Staples line is a collaboration with the media brand Highsnobiety, so is targeting the maturing streetwear crowd who want quieter sporty staples. The product – well-cut sweats*, tees*, hoodies* and track pants* in 460g cotton (sweats) and 240g terry cotton (tees) with zero branding or embellishment – comes in calm neutrals around the £12-£30 mark. In streetwear speak, it’s a ‘drop’ model, meaning when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Where they failed is by not making this gender-netural. Missed a massive trick by excluding women – or womxn even – there, guys!)

Highsnobiety X H&M Blank Staples
Highsnobiety X H&M Blank Staples hoodies
The Core by COS* collection (below) is more varied. Made from sustainably sourced materials, it features a variety of Scandi casual-luxe staples like trench coats, sweats and stripy tees. The kind of stuff you always expect to find at COS but marketed as a standalone edit.

Core by COS

So why is this interesting?

If you didn’t see it, the New York Times has a very good article on the death of fashion as we know it, pointing to the excess production problem and unsustainable thirst for fast consumption. This all started before the pandemic but in the wake of COVID I can see more brands pulling back from capital F Fashion and using these minimalist staple collections as something of a palate cleanser. Even though they may seem unexciting, well-made basics can do as much to reinvigorate your wardrobe as a statement piece. If people are being more careful about how they spend, they’ll want the pieces with longevity. Quality is key here.

Of course, as is inevitable, once all the brands jump on this bandwagon, the consumer will get bored rather quickly. And that’s when they start craving novelty again. It’s this cycle that drives Fashion after all, and it was ever thus. But could the cycle be slowed once they have tasted the pleasure of a more considered pace? Well that’s the $64,000 question. To be continued…

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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Daria Werbowy by David Sims for Paris Vogue; Highsnobiety X H&M Blank Staples x 2; COS
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Buy it now: COS activewear



COS active parka

I’m trying not to write endless lockdown posts but…its hard! While it’s doom and gloom for a lot of sectors, I imagine there’s going to be an upswing in workout and cycling-wear upstarts and collections.

I’ve never been a gym person but I’ve found myself doing almost-daily stretching and barrecore videos (Rod on Psycle Instagram Live is my fave) and even quite enjoying them.

COS has a head start with its new COS Active collection*. It’s a mix of recycled fabrics and seamless designs (I guess they produce less waste?) alongside techno performance fabrics. I’m actually not big on stretchy activewear (leggings – ugh!), so I’m gravitating towards the Prada-esque parka, the cropped engineered jacket and the classic grey hoodlie.

Buy them here*.

P.s. if you’re into cycle stuff, then check out my friend Jacqui’s cycle bag company, Goodordering. She is also now selling these nifty reusable handmade masks.

NOW CLICK BELOW TO SHOP THE POST. (I MAY EARN A COMMISSION ON THE BASKET VALUE OF ITEMS BOUGHT*)…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: COS Active
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman



Shop the post: The late, late gift guide



Hermes Vinyl boombox in swift calfskin and streaming canvas

I don’t think I’ve ever been able to get a gift guide up in time so maybe don’t consider this a gift guide. Maybe it’s more of a self-gifting guide. Or a ‘what to spend your Christmas money on in January’ guide.

Anyhoo, here’s a collection of things that have caught my eye that are useful, beautiful, or somewhere in between. I like supporting new and indie businesses, traditional heritage companies and projects by friends. And obviously I can never resist a book or two… (more…)



AW19 trend report: Quilting



Gabriela Hearst AW19

Here’s something new to explore if you’re a perennially cold-blooded girl but want a change from knitwear. Quilting!

Specifically, this quilted trench ensemble by Gabriela Hearst*, above. (Note: she now has a shop in Brook Street). But also the elevated quilted patchworking at Louis Vuitton (below, great for layering) and this fab Bonny fencing-style jacket from Isabel Marant*. (more…)