Unleash your inner scarlet woman

If there’s one colour that cheers me up instantly, it’s red. I think that’s why I prefer flying with Virgin over BA (that and the occasional rudeness of female BA cabin crew of about my age, but that’s a different blog post…). This season I was feeling a little bereft of new seasons experiences. After all I did the brown thing in 1977.  I have more leopard print than a Safari park. And you won’t find more corduroy outside an Alan Bennett impersonators convention. But red, especially a true postbox red, I can always handle more of.

I’m on a thrift shift at the moment, so no more beautiful red things for me right now. But if I were to go wild up and down Oxford Street, here’s what I would be bringing home. And they would ALL be scarlet.

Massimo Dutti Limited Edition Coat, £299. BUY HERE

I spotted this on Instagram and it has such a swagger to it – and it’s such a fantastic colour – think a Vivienne Westwood vibe without the superfluous folds. Yes, I hear you: there’s definitely a hint of Virgin cabin crew about it. But this style won’t easily date and it will suit almost any shape.

As a short aside, there is also a beautiful cornflower blue coat in the same Limited Edition range, with a detachable scarf. It doesn’t fit into my theme and I’m too completist to include it, but I can’t bear not to tell you about it, so check it out here. It’s £299.

Boden Silk Blouse with Balloon Sleeves, £96. BUY HERE

This is a lovely piece. Boden haven’t skimped on the sleeves. And it’s reduced at the moment. Could be a lifelong love affair. I see it tucked into a leather pencil skirt, or with some dark denim. And it’s posh enough for Christmas Day, for those of you who like to plan ahead.

Red Leather Pencil Skirt, John Lewis, £160. BUY HERE

Leather is always worth the investment and in this colour …wakka, wakka. Plus in red leather, wearing a pencil skirt means you have literally zero chance of being mistaken for Virgin cabin crew. Also, not that it will influence anyone reading THIS blog, but for those who like a bit of Markle Sparkle, the lovely Meghan was wearing a similar leather skirt in black, just the other day.

Tartan coat Zara, £89.99. BUY HERE

I have a huge soft spot for tartan. It’s all embedded in my past – Rupert Bear, The Bay City Rollers (Shang-a-lang), then Punk. It never goes out of fashion. Frankly, this coat would cheer up any outfit, while making you feel subtly rebellious.

Rixo London Moss Printed Blouse, £175. BUY HERE

Sometimes block red can be too much of a statement. For a softer take on it, I like this abstract print blouse, complete with pussy cat bow/tie. I like this print too.

Stand, ‘Camille’ teddy bear coat £260. BUY HERE

I’ve hardly ever met anything furry I didn’t like – though I did look after a colleague’s cats once and they really ganged up on me. If I didn’t already own at least half a dozen fake fur coats, this would be top of my list. It comes in a more sober navy for the wimps amongst us, but really?

& OTHER STORIES, red alpaca blend sweater, £69. BUY HERE

I think I have this jumper in yellow. Or something similar. I don’t know. It’s a while since I’ve seen a sweater.  But, Winter is coming. And even before, this is a great way to brighten up those grey October days when the clocks have gone back and you feel like rolling up in your duvet, with some moss up your bum* and hibernating until March. (* To be absolutely clear, this is actually what bears do and not some strange fetish of my own devising)

Max Mara Studio ‘Nurro’ red trousers, £200. BUY HERE

I would wear these with other red items, but then I am a bit attention-seeking. The cut of these is very crisp and although the world’s trousers are heading slouchy, there’s always room for an elegant slim cut, especially with heels.

Keepsake Daylight Red ruffled blazer, £145. BUY HERE

Blazers are big news this season. But I think this ruffled jacket bridges the gap between a preppy jacket and something more interesting. Wear it with something red (it comes with matching trousers) and you will look so Virgin Atlantic, you may as well be Richard Branson. But wear it strategically over a dress or jeans and you will simply look, as we say in the old county, a right Bobby Dazzler.

Max Mara Silk Mesh Dress, £99. BUY HERE

I wanted to show both sides of this dress because it is so very pretty. From the front it is diaphanous and shift like, from the back it blooms into a silky cape. As my US friends say, business in the front, party round the back. Of course I love it in the red, but it also comes in aubergine (though I think my mother would have called it ‘mauve’) and black.

Top Shop red leopard suit, £65. BUY HERE


This little suit covers several trends at once – it’s leopard, red and mannish tailoring. It’s not what lovely Tom at Paul Smith Floral Street would call a “quiet piece” but it is great fun. I don’t know much but I do know this – you will NOT feel Mumsy in this baby!

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