The Working Woman’s Wardrobe: Gok Wan

I do love Aunty Gok. He has a real understanding of what looks good on real women, not models. So I’d always cast an eye on his collection for Tu at Sainsburys.

The first collection I really didn’t like – the Chinese kimono jackets with floppy sleeves weren’t my style, and the bright red colour-way didn’t suit me either.

I think it might have been collection 3 that really caught my eye, and to be honest, it was because it was being heavily discounted. The blue green colours were much more appealing to me, and the first item I bought was the flare-hem dress (down to £20). I wore it on Fathers Day, with a lime green short sleeved jacket (M&S) and green shoes (Camper, bought in Malaga a few years ago). It attracted lots of compliments.

I wore it again at a formal dinner, with my ecru Office shoes, and a black cardi with diamanté buttons. Again, it got lots of compliments.
I absolutely LOVE this dress – it is wonderfully easy to wea, my favourite features are the packets in the side seams and the funky chunky back zip.   It is easy to dress up or down, it’s very versatile. Washes like a ribbon, dries quickly and doesn’t need ironed. It has rapidly become one of my favourite items in my wardrobe.

The other items I picked from the sale rail were the swing tops – I bought one in black, and one in turquoise, for £6 each.  These are lovely in the hot weather, as they are quite loose.  I wore
the black one with skinny jeans on a trip to London, and took the blue one on a cruise, where it was hard to find something that looked good underneath – bulky shorts were so so wrong.  I like lounging about the house in these tops with Capri length leggings.  Washing is simple, they dry quickly, but they do really need ironing, and they crease easily.
I think the swing tops work best with closely fitting bottom half – legings or skinny jeans.  This combination, with loose black linen trousers, and cropped cardi, was just OK.

Buoyed by the positive comments the dress received, I did something I don’t often do – I bought clothes FULL PRICE from the new collection. And took them for a test run.

First up was the shell top with pleat front.  I bought this in the baby-pink colourway, with dove grey pleated front panel.  I love the subtle and sophisticated colour palette of this collection – much easier to integrate with an existing wardrobe.  The top is a good length, covering the tummy at the front, and wont reveal a muffin-top when you raise your arms, but I felt it kind of short at the back, as it reached half way down my bottom.  The material is polyester, which I usually avoid, and it’s quite sheer, so you need to have a good neutral bra underneath, and I was quite conscious of my back tattoo being visible. The loops for hanging it up are well placed under the armpits, and don’t poke out the way they do on may garments.  I wore it with loose grey  trousers, and felt the co-ordinating front panel helped to elongate my silhouette. The style is quite sophisticated – I think it would work well for an interview, dinner date, theatre visit.  However, my husband felt that the billowing effect of the pleat panels made me look pregnant.


Wrap-front blouse:
I bought this in the grey colour. It comes with a camisole that is quite tight fitting, and being attached to the sheer outer layer it is tricky to get on and off.  The colour is just amazing – a deep smoky grey, almost dark aubergine.  The fine denier of the top layer is really silky and smooth.  It sits neatly, shows off the waist, and looks very classy.  I wore it with my grey Mallorca pearls, and it gathered a few compliments.

Fitted cardigan: I love ¾ length sleeves, as I’m quite petite.  I bought the oatmeal colourway with black bow pattern and hem.  This will be great with black trousers and a black or cream  camisole underneath.  It will also look smart over a sleeveless black dress.  The little bow-shaped top button is cute, but tricky to fasten in a hurry – an important detail for we women of a certain age.  I don’t often do patterns – I still think this has a hint of pyjama about it, and the bow pattern is so recognisable people will know it’s from Sainsburys.

And I’ve just realised that Mini, my cocker spaniel, has managed to sneak into most of those photos – the little diva…..

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