A foreign fashion authority recently told me that the best thing about the way British women shop is their loyalty. Apparently in other parts of the world, shoppers are flippant when it comes to brands, and will actively seek the next, newest name rather than returning to something they love, and know will fit them well. How foolish, right?
The Duchess of Cambridge, out in Manchester today to attend the Children’s Global Media Summit, was wearing two new pieces from two old favourite British brands. Her coat (L.K. Bennett’s £495 Delli in a heritage check) and dress (Goat’s £450 festive red Elodie tunic) offered silhouettes that she’s tried and tested before, but with updated fabrics and small design twists for now.
Boring, you might think at first. But isn’t that the smartest way to shop? Goat’s founder, Jane Lewis, seems to think so. “Style should be effortless,” Lewis previously told The Telegraph. ''When I put something on I think, 'Does it look good?' and, 'Is it going to work for me today?'”
What could be more effortless than knowing inherently that this shape of dress worked for you - and with those tights, these heels and that same jacket cut - on a previous occasion? Finding personal style formulas that are unique to you and suit your shape will eliminate all fuss when getting dressed in the morning, meaning that even on days when you have no idea what to wear, you’ve got something on standby. You must update the look in some way, though - this isn’t a case for literal uniforms.
“I had an all-in-one in my first collection when I started Goat 14 years ago and I include at least one virtually every season because I like to wear them so much myself,” Lewis said of her own formula piece, which she owns in dozens of incarnations. “I turn to them time after time, for practically every situation.”
Being brand loyal only serves this idea of easy shopping - Kate first discovered L.K. Bennett’s well-proportioned Ami midi coat back in 2011, and it worked, so why not return to pick from their 15 new season designs when she needed an update for formal occasions? Likewise, Goat has 70 variations of flattering figure-skimming mini dresses online and ready to buy right now.
So where do you go when you're looking for that one critical item that makes up your personal style formula? The place you bought it last time, of course.