Celebrating Life After 40: August Edition
How To Achieve Timeless Style à la Jane Birkin
As the summer winds down, thoughts begin to turn to what to wear for fall. I often hear from clients that they don’t know where to shop anymore. They feel like most brands are focused on very young women (if it makes you feel any better, many women in their 20’s and 30’s feel like this too), and are print-heavy and impractical for “real life”. Hopefully you have a go-to local boutique to pop in and pick up a fun piece now and then, but for what you wear day-to-day, “off-duty”, running errands, casual out to lunch, etc. (in other words, where you see the most people) – the clothes you really live in, there are but few, and many of those brands are fairly expensive. For this reason, I thought I would share with you some recommendations this month. Some you may have heard of and shopped these brands before, and some not! **Scroll to the bottom of this article to check out the shoppable curated selection I put together for you featuring my favorite pieces from these brands that I think you’ll love.
The past is very “in” right now in fashion. Are you familiar with Jane Birkin? She is the personification of French girl chic (she is actually English, but has lived in France for so long, she is now a French citizen, and yes, the famous Birkin bag by Hermès was named after her.
The look is timeless, and is a more relaxed, “cool” version of classic (think Jackie Kennedy). This is why you will see so many women wearing wider leg cropped pants/culottes with tees and slides, long wide-leg washed out denim jeans with flats or sneakers, tanks with a sweater casually thrown over their shoulders, and a great pair of oversized sunglasses. Oversized blazers, oversized white button downs tucked in or tied at the waist, peasant tops, even wrapping a silk scarf around your head or bag handle.
You can use the images of Jane Birkin above to refer to as an inspiration, to see if this is an aesthetic that appeals to you.
We are all very familiar with J. Crew by now, remember getting the original catalogs in the mail in the 80’s? Adored them! We also are aware that this brand has had its share of troubles in the last few years. The good news is that after a few misses, the brand has a new V.P. of Women’s Design, Olympia Gayot, who has a strong personal aesthetic that is translating well to J. Crew. Her instagram is crazy popular (@olympiamarie), and the clothes are once again hitting the mark at a great price point. It also works well for all ages!
Nili Lotan (Pronunciation knee-lee low-tan) is a go-to for many women. The popularity started in New York, especially with the “cool moms in Tribeca” around 2003, and has grown through the years in size and increased brand awareness. It is on the high end of price, and J. Crew is a nice lower price brand with similar style aesthetic, so check out both!
Jenni Kayne is also very popular for women; it started life as a California brand, but grew dramatically during Covid, because of the casual, comfortable style of the brand. The only negative is the price point for many women, and also that not everyone likes dressing in such a casual way, unless they are at home or at the beach. That’s for you to decide, I’m just letting you know what brands women are shopping these days!
Ayr is also a great brand for a casual lifestyle, and the price point hits lower than Jenni Kayne. They are especially loved for their shirts.
Another brand from the past that you might want to take a fresh look at is Rebecca Taylor. Rebecca sold the brand in 2011. In 2019, Vince bought it, along with another brand Parker. Of the three brands, Rebecca Taylor in particular is of interest to me, as an older brand to revisit. I really like some of the dresses, the quality of the fabrics they are using, and the color combinations the design team is choosing. The brand can be at the higher end price wise, but has some great sales and also, some pieces are very reasonable. The collection looks expensive too, I’m not sure how they can charge what they do using some of the fabrics they are using. If you didn’t know, you might think the pieces are designer. The label is more sophisticated than in the past also, less prints, more interesting color palettes, etc.
Cos is the last brand I am going to mention. At The Style That Binds Us, we try to stay away from “fast fashion” for the most part, because of its negative impact on the earth, and Cos is owned by H&M, but Cos itself is one of the more transparent large brands, which helps it stand accountable to its goal of playing a role in creating a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Sleek, chic and architectural in design, it is a go-to brand for those who like to mix their designer pieces with lower priced items; this practice is often referred to as a high/low way of dressing. If fashion insiders and designer label devotees wear it, why can’t we?!
Styles I Recommend