Stars & Stripes

Frocks & Frou Frou Frocks & Frou Frou Frocks & Frou Frou Frocks & Frou FrouTop: Princess Highway

Blazer: Zara (no longer available similar here)

Jeans: Levi’s 512 Skinny

Scarf: H&M (no longer available – similar here)

Shoes: Naturaliser

I was reading an interesting article in the paper a few days ago about how Levi’s was trying to evolve to keep pace with a changing market that put a lot of value in comfort. The “Yoga Pants Effect” is a bit of a pat way to draw a parallel between the fall of profits at Levi’s with the rise and rise of Lululemon (no link, because of their history of disrespecting plus-size consumers), but it certainly holds water for me. I like to be comfortable, and jeans (let’s be honest) aren’t comfortable.

I’ve been wearing my Rockstar jeans since coming back from the US the last time, but as with a lot of Old Navy‘s product the quality reflects the price, and they’re becoming a bit saggy and a bit baggy and rubbing thin between the ol’ thighs.

Anyhoo, the gist of the article is that Levi’s has been working on a new kind of denim to appeal to the “athleisure” market: comfortable, forgiving stretch denim that accommodates a variety of body types, but has a high recovery rate so that the stretch doesn’t result in saggy knees and rumps. So, jeans that feel like leggings, but look – you know – like jeans (And no, I don’t mean these).

Frocks and Frou FrouSo have they succeeded? I’d have to say “yes”! I bought these jeans – they’re the 512 Skinny style – in the post-Christmas sales, and since then I’ve retired every other pair of jeans in my wardrobe.

They’re soft as soft and stretchy, but don’t feel at all syntheticky or unpleasant. They fit beautifully and don’t stretch out at all – I’m not constantly hoiking them up, but they definitely don’t cut in or muffin-top me. They’re comfortable to sit in for long stretches (I’ve flown to and from Perth in them a couple of times) and even though there’s supposedly a “tummy shaping panel” I don’t feel constricted or squeezed at all.

Frocks and Frou FrouI teamed it with a stripey top and blazer. I think I’ve decided that the secret to blazers is not to necessarily try and find one that does up, and rather to look for one that fits snugly around the shoulders. In the past I’ve always bought blazers that fastened around my bust, which invariably meant that they were boxy and shapeless around the rest of my body.

Also, the rare appearance of a scarf! I’ve never really been able to grasp the art of scarf-wearing, despite being inspired every time I see my scarf-master friend, Adele. I think probably my boobs are too big and my neck too short, but this one seems to work fine so maybe it’s all in my head!

Wood If I Could

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DSCF5354_2Top: Big W

Cardigan: Boden

Rockstar Jeans: Old Navy

Boots: Duo

With everyone under the sun carrying mobile phones these days I suspect that wrist watches have gone from being a functional piece of your wardrobe that you would choose according to its features (second hand, date, waterproof) to being much more a fashion statement like a pair of earrings or a pretty necklace.

You’ve got big steel watches with more dials than the cockpit of a jet, super sleek minimalist pieces with no numbers, bright lolly-coloured plastic watches that are usually only good for one season.

JORD do wood watches, and I’ve never seen anything like them before. They’re chunky and a bit rustic, in a lovely “weekend away in the country” kind of way.

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Inspired by the gorgeous hues and patinas found within different types of wood the guys behind JORD (meaning “earth, soil, land” in Swedish) set out to make a range of unique watches that are handcrafted from sustainable, globally sourced woods including bamboo, maple, sandalwood, cherry and teak.

Because each one is made from natural materials they’re all completely individual. They have scratch-proof glass, and stainless steel clasps, so they’re ideal for people who suffer from allergies due to nickel and cheap metals.

JORD is really keen to continue building their brand internationally, and asked whether they could send a watch to me for review.

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I chose the Fieldcrest in Maple, which arrived nicely boxed and packaged.

It’s not the smallest watch; the face is 30mm in diameter in a 39mm setting and the band measures 20mm in width. But as I said above, watches these days are designed to make a statement, and JORD‘s watches certainly do.

It’s a simple and minimalist design that suits today’s casual weekend outfit of boots, jeans and cardigan perfectly.

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