Susannah Frankel: 'I'm not a 'To the Manor Born' kind of person'


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Indy Lifestyle Online

Tweedy jackets, riding boots and jodhpurs are all fashionable, just as they always have been in the autumn. Few designers can resist the allure of the apparently functional and entirely classic good looks of the English aristocracy and that applies to everyone from Coco Chanel, who based much of her aesthetic on that fact, to Vivienne Westwood and, in particular this season, Phoebe Philo, whose Celine pre-collection is as British as fish and chips on the beach.

Quick to pick up on the style is LA-based J Brand, purveyor of some of the finest jeans in the world and now the 'low-rise modern riding pant' (below), basically a cropped skinny crafted in the softest cotton twill with suede knee patches.

Always a sucker for a new pair of jeans – and, yes, I know that I've promised not to buy any more – I find myself strutting around the house in a pair. Were I Mystic Meg I'd predict these will be a big hit, the successor, perhaps, to last year's Houlihans – but I like them better, not least because they don't have dirty great saddle bags at the hips.

"I think you should practise a bit before you wear your chaps to work," says my other half, who is clearly struggling with the technicalities of clothing descriptions, and/or thinks I'm Christina Aguilera.

Not that I'd let a little thing like that put me off. My new trousers are both very flattering and a brilliant colour. It's described as 'vintage stallion', which roughly translates as a mushroom-y brown/grey – perfect for those who like a neutral wardrobe but are, only whisper it, just a little sick of black.

How to wear them? Well, if I said I'd be donning a hacking jacket and a pair of riding boots (Hermès, perhaps?) with my jeans and then galloping off into the sunset, I'd be lying. I'm not a To the Manor Born kind of person and even if I were, that would be too literal. Instead, a black cashmere sweater, or perhaps a white shirt will suffice as, too, will a pair of flat pumps, an ankle boot or even a trainer. Easy, then, and that's worth the price tag alone.

Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor of The Independent