Something for the weekend, madam?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

A new contemporary casualwear line from John Lewis aims to inject your off-duty wardrobe with a dash of sweetness and light, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Christmas trading was up by nearly 10 per cent on 2010, its adverts tug at the heartstrings and, evidently, the pockets of middle England, and the Deputy Prime Minister even thinks its business model should set the precedent for Britain's economic future.

It's safe to say that the British public is in love with John Lewis.

And what better way to reward these ardent customers than with the launch of a brand-new own-label collection – the first of its kind in two years.

As the boundaries of office dress codes blur ever further, for many the workday wardrobe is not much different from weekend mufti: comfort is the goal, whether dressing for the nine-to-five or a pleasant day off. The new range, JL Collection Weekend, sets out to change that by catering specifically to the off-duty woman, with a selection of high-quality casual pieces that can be dressed up or down.

There are, of course, the requisite pieces: slouchy Breton-inspired tops and peg-leg chinos, soft T-shirts and fine-gauge knits. Jo Hopper, head of womenswear buying for the department store, says: "this line is all about easy outfit building; mixing and matching quality pieces and on-trend colours to create a stylish, pared-down summer wardrobe. The aim was to create stylish, fashion-led casuals – it's about leaving the office behind."

By analysing the sales data from the already established womenswear collections, the buyers noticed that there was a voracious appetite for colour after classic accessories in bright shades of leather, such as orange and lemongrass, sold above expectation – an orange purse was even the best-selling item from the whole range.

Building on this success and embracing the trend this season for pastels, classic casualwear pieces have been given a sprinkling of sugary sweetness. Remaining mindful of its customer base though, there is little saccharine here. Instead, the bold colour palette is rooted in reassuringly recognisable silhouettes – hemlines aren't too high, cuts are on the generous side and a certain neatness ensures the overall effect is casual without straying into sloppy territory.

Taking inspiration from the timeless off-duty appeal of Parisian chic and preppy American style, the line intends to provide everything that a woman-on-the-go will need for the new season – whether they're giving their wardrobe an overhaul or just hoping to breathe some new life into old favourites. Cotton and denim pieces are staples here – with coloured denim skirts, pastel shirts and luxurious vests and T-shirts in bright, but in no way garish, hues.

Inspired by the success of the brand's own-label leather, accessories aren't an afterthought either, as scarves, bags and footwear all have the transformative power to add the finishing polish to an outfit. Amanda Scott, head of accessories buying, says: "the range is just as much about accessories as it is clothing, with the key concept being mixing colours and layering. A neutral weekend look can be transformed simply by adding a few key pieces."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

    Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

    Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

    £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower