As part of my job, I'm always doing the rounds at press days, seeing what each brand will be producing for the following seasons. It can mess with your head a little bit, especially Christmas press days in July - there is something intrinsically wrong about eating mince pies in the sun.
Anyway, sometimes a brand does personal orders - where you can order pieces at the press day and then receive them at the beginning of the season. This is dangerous for several reasons:
1. Lost on a giddy cloud of stroking next season's finest, you can't possibly live without that coat/skirt/pair of shoes. YOU MUST ORDER THEM NOW.
2. Said giddy cloud means that you end up ordering everything when really you should be ordering one or two pieces. Max.
3. Not having to pay when you place the order means that you feel like you're not really shopping. The bill that comes later seems like a distant spike in your giddy cloud of happiness. But trust me, when it hits you in the face (and the pocket), it hurts.
Having learnt my lesson and despite being surrounded by the most gorgeous cashmeres and cottons at the Chinti & Parker AW12 press day a few months ago, I had to reign it in. Part of my New Year's Resolution package was to buy less but buy better so I would rather spend more money on one item that's well made and will stand the test of time than three cheap versions that fall apart after one wash. And Chinti & Parker certainly fit this bill, with each of the garments that they produce they aspire to fulfill three of the following criteria:
* Organic Fabric
* Carbon Neutral Company
* Made in the EU
* Natural Trims
Anyway, back to what I bought. As sucked in as I was by virtually EVERYTHING, I decided that I would only choose one piece, so drumroll please...
I went for the boatneck striped sweater in Italian cashmere [here]. I mean, come on, it has three things I love: stripes, elbow patches and GREY. There was no way I could resist the soft, cashmere-y goodness of this sweater.
And when my boyfriend asks, I'll tell him it's an investment piece. Right?
Worn with: floral dress, Reformed at Urban Outfitters; watch, Michael Kors; aviators, Ray-Ban; plimsolls, Converse.
Photos: Caroline Leeming