Last year I wrote an article about the impossibility of finding jeans that fit actual womanly shapes. Since then I have found Donna Ida. I have known about the brand for a while, but I finally got to the store on Elizabeth Street. They offer a full fitting service, and have a fancy yet practical 360-degree mirror situation installed so you can actually see yourself all the way round without dislocating your neck or talking yourself into what-you-can’t-see-can’t-hurt-you spending tactics. Online, their website offers loads of tips and advice, and it really feels like Donna Ida is listening to what you have to say.
They are a multi-brand offer so really do enable you to try as many different labels and styles as possible. And Ida – their own brand – is just brilliant, with a great range of styles, all reasonably priced. The denim feels soft and there is loads of stretch for a structured feel which also means they don’t lose shape in a few days – let alone 25 minutes – like many other denims (J Brand, I’m talking to you). All of the styles have a higher rise for the actual women among us not only craving to not show our knickers every time we bend over, but also to feel sexy and like we are wearing jeans that fit, fit us, and not teenage girls/boys/men/other body shapes. As we all know, one size does not suit all when it comes to jeans.
My choice for this Autumn is the Ivy: a totally Bardot-esque blue, worn with a crisp white oversized shirt, sleeves rolled and unbuttoned to reveal to décolletage. For my shape (Pear FYI) I found the ‘Ivy’ to accentuate my waist, hold on to my butt and with the help of an obligatory turn up due to my lack of height, look incredibly French cute chic with flats. I recently used other styles on actresses Gemma Arterton (Rizzo) and Samantha Barks (Ivy Noir), fitting them perfectly for their shapes too. Tres bien.
In keeping with this Brigitte Bardot theme for autumn, my newest crush is the French market shopping basket, or the ‘Couffin’. I chanced upon one whilst designing a film character and adopted it as my everyday handbag immediately. Apart from being insanely practical to chuck everything in to, I am loving the fact that they are so cheap and accessible. Plus they are not anywhere near ‘on trend’ – in fact you get your own trend for under £20. I am enjoying time away from branded handbags and It-bags and logos, which seem to have reached fever pitch since Jeremy Scott moved to Moschino and Karl is in logoverdrive.
I recommend the East Hampshire-based BasketBasket, they have a great ethos; they’re both fairly trade and made with 100% natural materials, plus they offset their carbon emissions to try and balance out their importation. There are styles which are lined and also fasten at the top for the pickpocket worriers among you.
Finishing touches? Pretty much wouldn’t be Brigitte without a Breton tee, now would it? Brigitte just celebrated her 80th, and this is a look that’s classic, chic and has that certain je ne sais quoi – whether you’re 18 or 80.