In August, I moved into a place so tiny friends dubbed it Pixie Mansions. This has taken my retail strategy to new levels of rigor. I fell in love with tons of items this year – occupational hazard – but I bought them all how could I have attempted in the past? The no. It is one inside, at least one outside in our house.
If you’re a clothes freak, it’s worth putting things on your wish list so at the end of the year you can giggle wisely over all the items you thought you should have at the time — and have since forgotten. Here are the pieces that made the cut for me and what I learned from them.
Navy wool suit, Raey
Easy to style up with jewels and slingbacks, I wore this minimalist dress everywhere this fall, even to the office. Tight at the bust with a bias cut skirt that skims the thighs, it looks great on tall poles or smaller piriformis. It was too long for me and as there is so much fabric at the hem, it cost more than usual to shorten it – around £30 – but I now wear it with jumpers, boots and short jackets, so that was good money spent.
Lisa wears: fabric jacket, from a selection, Eponine London; wool crepe dress, £525, Raey (matchfashion.com); velvet sandals, £199, Penelope Chiver; earrings with lab grown diamonds and recycled gold, from a selection, Kimai
Geometric cropped jacket, Eponine London
This was the illegal purchase I needed to keep everything from being too safe. A handful of sequins means it sparkles at night, but it’s not so flashy that you can’t wear it during the day.
Red silk dress, Me+Em
I’m not a huge fan of ruffles, but during that hot summer and even now, under a black velvet blazer, cropped vest, or oversized sweater, this was my go-to for low-maintenance drama. Red is flattering and an easy way to up the ante.
Lisa wears: Silk Dress, £247.50, Me+Em; suede boots, £445, Russell & Bromley; brass earrings, £115, Strawberry; all other jewels, by Lisa
Red top with puff sleeves in polyester, Essentiel Antwerp
A bag gem to throw away at the weekend, useful for reviving jeans or velvet trousers. Short sleeves, but loose on the body so there’s room for thermals. The puff sleeves add a fashion edge and the collar looks effective peeking out from a contrasting knit.
Lisa wears: Puff Sleeve Top, £116, Essential Antwerp; corduroy trousers, £270, Cefinn; velvet sandals, £245, Russell & Bromley; brass earrings, £115, Strawberry; pearl and gold plated bracelet, £315, Works completed
Cream tweed jacket, LK Bennett
Lovely with high waisted pants, jeans and dresses, I can imagine wearing it for years. I’ve tried Celine’s versions about 10 times, stalked them on vintage sites, but they still cost nine times as much, and frankly, LK Bennett’s looks better on me — and I love the buttons. Step away from label snobbery and open your minds.
Lisa wears: tweed jacket, £230, LK Bennett; corduroy trousers, £270, Cefinn; velvet sandals, £245, Russell & Bromley; brass earrings, £115, Strawberry; pearl and gold plated bracelet, £315, Works completed
Navy Blue Velvet Rockets, Cefinn
Repeat buying is allowed when you turn to something so often it wears out. I haven’t decided that everything I bought this year is navy, red, or cream, but it does mean it all works together.
Read last week’s column: What not to do as a house guest this Christmas