There's a growing warmth in the air that reminds me spring is on the way.
I was out in the garden today clearing the leaves from the pond, raking the browned detritus left over from the winter and noticed the beginnings of shoots coming through the soil. Bulbs planted in the long-forgotten days before Christmas presents. It's such an exciting time of year, change is on the way. And I can't wait.
I bought a Gap white shirt last week in the sale. I have it in mind to wear with skinny jeans, chunky brass bangles [an heirloom passed down from a loving relative], flat pumps [no tights!], and a lovely bright fifties style skirt that I have never found the right outfit for. All these looks are of course not right for the drizzly cold we still have here in England, but from the hint in the air I'm sure it won't be too long.
So I had a little lift in my spirits when I spotted a few labels beginning to show their spring collections - not many mind. Most brands are still flogging the unwanted left-overs of winter, all fake furs, too-tight dresses and dodgy tweeds that never quite made the grade.
Every season I come back to the outfitting in J Crew. It always looks fresh, modern and playful without resorting to fashion over-kill or hipster cliches. Jenna Lyon's [the creative director at J crew] style epitomises easy elegance and it just feels right for me. I still haven't quite found a British brand that matches this, but if you have any tips let me know. Perhaps Reiss is a contender? There is the odd piece I find in Boden, a well tailored jacket or cute capri, but it just doesn't have the same easy cool.
Gap too always hits the right note for me. Great cut on the jeans and trousers, and relaxed separates that work with most things in my wardrobe.
Any new collections caught your eye?