October seems to be a bumper month for awareness campaigns. As well as yesterday’s World Mental Health Day, we are mid way through Hospice Care Week.
Hospices provide palliative care to those with life limiting illnesses. This means that patients admitted to hospices do not recover or leave the facility, except perhaps to spend their final few hours at home.
The annual Hospice Care Week is a time of celebration and action intended to raise the profile of hospice care in the UK and change people’s perceptions of them.
My paternal grandmother and aunt were both cared for by a local hospice, as was a friend’s mum. I know that they provide vital emotional support as well as medical supervision during the darkest time that individuals and families face.
Hospices are staffed by doctors, nurses and volunteers, but unlike NHS hospitals, they only receive around one-third of their funding from the government.
As a result, hospices throughout the country rely heavily on charitable giving.
An easy way to support your local hospice during Hospice Care Week and beyond is to frequent their nearest charity shop.
I was delighted when The Myton Hospices, a charity operating three hospices in my area, invited to me to undertake a style challenge at their newest store, Myton Fargo, on Far Gosford Street in Coventry.
I was so amazed and overwhelmed by the fantastic stock that the original terms of the challenge went out the window and I spent a happy day creating a week’s worth of outfits from their racks and rails.
Shortly afterwards, I returned to Myton Fargo with a view to shopping for myself. In honour of Hospice Care Week, I thought I’d share two items from that haul with you. Both chime with current and emerging trends from the catwalk, demonstrating that second hand doesn’t mean out of date.
You can use second hand clothes to create first rate fashion.
AW17 Trend: The Cardigan
I’m not a slavish follower of fashion trends but I do love to watch what’s happening on the catwalks as they can (can, not always!) be a great source of creative inspiration.
However distinctive our own style, we could all do with a new twist or turn sometimes. One way to do this is to see what top designers are doing and integrate elements of that into our look.
It’s not about replicating an outfit top-to-toe, even if we could afford to; rather it’s seeing an idea with fresh eyes.
Case in point this season: cardigans.
For the last decade, they’ve been safe in the stylish hands of Michelle Obama while we all donned sweatershirts and jumpers.
Now, as always happens, the fashion tide has turned. It’s all about cardigans again!
Even as an ethical and minimalist dresser, this lured me in like a siren. Oo yes, I thought. A cardigan is just the thing! (Easily influenced? Me? Perhaps).
Myton Fargo provided just the thing: a gorgeous red wine coloured number. It’s chunky knit incorporates interesting detailing, including what I think is moss stitch on the sleeves (I may be wrong on that!).
It’s an easy wardrobe update that’s also warm and comfortable.
Just look at those buttons!
SS17 Trend: Princess Diana
Princess Diana was a huge style icon during her lifetime and twenty years after her death, her influence is having a renaissance.
Echoes of her famous outfits were evident across the recent Paris Fashion Week, notably in Virgil Abloh’s collection for Off-White, which included Naomi Campbell taking to the runaway in white cycling shorts.
A tad more wearable than cycling shorts is this amazing paste choker. Myton Fargo shared it on their Instagram feed and I actually drove there the following morning especially to buy it.
An over-reaction? Maybe. But it all counts as research, especially having written recently about Princess Diana and costume jewellery!
Nothing has stronger associations with Lady Di than large blue sapphires so it’s a simple style reference – a way of nodding to the trend without going full-blown homage.
Unless, of course, you want to wear cycling shorts. In which case, go right ahead.
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