A broken wrist, and my new favourite clothing brand in the whole wide world

Photo on 31-07-2016 at 19.12 #2
The cast, the lilac scarf, the cool blue label

Last Friday, Annabel broke her wrist.

The story is not interesting, I just fell over on a dodgy bit of pavement in Notting Hill. My best friend Bumble was with me, and insisted upon hospital.

It hurt averagely, but as usual I presumed I was overreacting because I am, by nature, a hypochondriac. I’m so used to doctors saying ‘errrr, you’re fine’, that I would never truly expect to hear them to say, ‘errr, yes your wrist is very obviously broken’.

But that’s what they said, one X-Ray and five hours in A+E (ER for you Americans) later.

At first I was quite excited to be getting a cast, because of all the sympathy, but it’s quickly become a massive bore.

IMG_9439

Aside from the fact that my bone has been aching persistently for five days now, there are loads of things you can only do with both hands functioning.

For example: open jars, chop things, un-cork wine, use a knife and fork, tie your hair up in a ponytail, get toothpaste onto your toothbrush, type normally, shower comfortably, roll over in your sleep, drive etc.

But anyway, on with the show. I’m here today to write about fashion.

I don’t write about fashion really. Which is weird because I do like clothes. But only if they are black. I wear black almost exclusively.

When you take the colour/pattern aspect out of choosing clothes, what remains at the very front of the line is texture and cut. That, for me, is where the magic happens.

Over time, I’ve whittled it down to a few choice brands which consistently churn out well-cut sooty articles that feel nice and don’t cling in the wrong places.

GAP does the best stretchy black jeans. ASOS nails the staple T-shirts. TNA does the best slouchy jumpers. Bond’s and American Eagle Outfitters battle it out for the best comfy black underwear. Free People and For Love & Lemons do the best lacy black dresses.  Brandy Melville does the best floaty pj-ish trousers.

Then, in LA, while my wrist was still working, I came across a brand that made me want to chuck away everything I own and convert entirely to its church, such was my delight.

It’s called Kit + Ace, and no, they aren’t paying me to rave about it. But their impossibly cool marketing person Marnie – who they are paying, and who I mentioned here (thin, beautiful, kind, pulls off jaunty hats) – did score me a few freebies, to my immense joy.

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Marnie, wearing black

Basically this brand is the best in the universe at slouchy, cashmere-infused tops. They do a few lovely dresses and other stuff but their tops and jumpers are where they truly triumph.

Just enough cashmere in the mix to make everything divinely soft, but not enough to make it sweater-ish.

Just enough of a silky consistency to make it smooth, but not enough to make it slippy.

Just enough streamlining to make it look tailored, but never clingy.

Slouchy enough to lounge around at home in, but still easily dressed up.

Here are some examples. Most of them aren’t black, just so you can see them better, but they pretty much all come in black.

Also, you can chuck this stuff in the washer and dryer and it won’t get fucked up!

Even though it’s cashmere (how?).

ALSO, their label isn’t a normal label. It’s a ludicrously long blue silk sewn-in ribbon. I find this to be charming.

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Kit + Ace is just as good in every respect (if not better) than Alexander Wang and James Pearse et al.  but costs half the price. Which doesn’t make it cheap. Just reasonable for what it is. Tops start at £20 and run up to £100+.

The problem is, it’s very hard to appreciate how great these clothes are just from looking at them online because a) black comes out craply in photos and b) you can’t stroke them, and the feel of them is what’s most important.

But take it from me, it takes quite a lot to impress me when it comes to black tops – as I said, I’ve been studying them for many years – but this stuff is seriously impressive.

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They also have really good stealable man stuff

I even fell in love with an item that was not black. A delicate lilac scarf.

When Marnie gave it to me, I thought ‘oh how nice of her, I shall never wear this because it is lilac’, but it grew on me quickly and now I take it everywhere with me.

It’s particularly good for wrapping myself up in on planes.

Here it is again.

Photo on 31-07-2016 at 19.12 #2

Speaking of planes, I’m taking a short break from those. For the next month, I’m doing shifts on the MailOnline Travel desk in London . It’s great. The other day I dedicated an entire article to photos of baby animals.

My next voyage will be to Nevada. Stay tuned.

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