AOS Model edit 2

COS dress front and backIt was a visit to Regent St which confirmed what I had suspected for so long. Since reaching my mid thirties I had found it harder and harder to shop on the high street. Where as a few years previous I could have popped into H&M, Topshop or Dorothy Perkins and happily come away with bags full of clothing and accessories, those stores were no longer enough. By Kiesha Meikle

It’s not that the high street had changed very much, it was my own sense of style which had evolved. And I wasn’t alone. I had noticed that my immediate circle of friends had changed too. A conversation with a friend went like this:

Me: I have so much tat in my wardrobe that I never wear. I donated 3 bags of clothing the other day.

Friend: I only buy classics now, I don’t bother with trends at all. This cardigan I’m wearing is about 3 years old.

Me: Bloody hell! That does it.  Chunky heels now, skinny heels next season and on and on and bloody on!  I feel like I have have been sucked into a trend machine, why the hell don’t I just buy what I like instead of buying into what’s ‘trending’?! I have been duped for too long I tell you! No more, no more! Sod it.

Friend: Oh dear. More wine?

Despite a wardrobe that groaned every time I opened the door (I think it was scared I would try and force another piece of clothing in), I still struggled to find something that I really wanted to wear. For too long I had been bored of the ever repeating trend cycle that I had followed.

And then I visited COS. It was actually en route to & Other Stories – I follow them on Instagram and really liked their fun slant on clothing and style (more about them later).

COS dress front and back

The pared back style of each piece makes pretty much everything in COS a doddle to wear. What some men like to call frumpy, I call effortless chic. These clothes are freeing, simple, well cut, made from great material and compliment accessories well. The dresses are my favourite. Many border on utilitarian, but others take this to a whole new level in bold yellows, mint, soft blue and strong green. Now all of this does come at a price. The average dress is around the £80 mark. What you get in return is an outfit you could pretty much wear forever – classically stylish and the accessories are pretty fabulous too.

And Other Stories dressLooking for something with a bit of a quirk? Then & Other Stories will be your next stop. Like COS, pretty much everything in store is effortlessly wearable. For those who are currently loving the fact that there is a ‘cover up’ trend happening this summer, there is so much to choose from – loose fit to structured. Look, this is clothing for the woman who wants both comfort and style, nothing too fussy, nothing to prissy. This is day to night wear, office wear, Sunday lunch wear…and I think that’s why I really love it. This is clothing that you can wear anywhere, for as long as it holds together. Dressed up with accessories or down with a pair of flat sandals…this is clothing that has been designed to work FOR YOU – not the other way around.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am pretty tired of having to work so hard to find stuff I love on the high street, clothes that fit and that don’t require me to live up to them, slim down for them or to research current trends to see if they fit the bill.

Sod throw away fashion…I want to be wearing my current purchases for years to come.