Life and Style
 

Whether you opt for sugary pastels or classic black, spring’s lightweight tailoring will instantly smarten your wardrobe, whatever the occasion

Leading article: Reality finally bites at Augusta

It was only ever a matter of time before the real world came knocking at the door of the Augusta National golf club. Now it is finally doing so – in the person of Virginia Rometty.

Alexander Armstrong, photographed at the Ivy Club, London WC2

Pedigree chum: Is Alexander Armstrong the poshest man in comedy?

More so than Miranda Hart, Stephen Fry and David Mitchell, Alexander Armstrong seems to be the acceptable face of posh comedy. With his comically large ears (a gift from his father), crinkly smile, affable demeanour and (crucially, perhaps) lack of smarty pants, he's the cuddly side of the upper classes in an age when, rather oppressively, toffs seem to be taking over again. Even Armstrong's overgrown Hooray Henry, 'Harry', in those adverts for Pimm's – alcopops for the privileged – is cherishable. Not that he drinks the stuff in public, he says, for fear of wags shouting, "It's Pimm's o'clock" – one of the great advertising campaigns, by the way, that helps explain some of Armstrong's wider appeal. The more you parody the posh, as the creatives at the advertising agency Mother realised, the more accessible they become to other groups.

Independent Bath Literature Festival: The book has a future – but what will it look like?

Authors ask what happens next for publishing as figures reveal print sales are down 18 per cent

Ready To Wear: Au revoir, Monsieur Pilati, it's been magnifique

Tonight, in Paris, the designer Stefano Pilati will show his swan-song collection for Yves Saint Laurent.

Face to watch: Jessie Ware is preparing to take on the charts with cavernous R&B reverie 'Running', out 26 March

Agenda: Diane von Furstenberg; Jessie Ware; Girls; Franciacorta; Downton Abbey paper dolls

Fashion: A warm Current is blowing in

Jacket, £150, and t-shirt, £25, both by Cos, cosstores.com; trousers, £229, and belt, £225, both by Paul Smith, 40-44 floral street, london wc2, 0800 023 4006

Lapel addict: The new season's first rule - jackets with everything

Styling: Lee Holmes

Pregnant woman attacked by knifeman

A heavily pregnant woman was assaulted by three men, one of whom used a knife to "jab" her stomach, police said today.

<p>1 Bresser Junior Kids</p>
<p>£9.95, conrad-uk.com</p>
<p>These children's binoculars have a tempered-glass finish, so the lens won't break if they slip from little fingers, and x6 magnification.</p>

The 10 Best binoculars

1 Bresser Junior Kids

£9.95, conrad-uk.com

These children's binoculars have a tempered-glass finish, so the lens won't break if they slip from little fingers, and x6 magnification.

To promote its revolutionary new product, Ready Baked Jackets, McCain has introduced 3D fibreglass models of baked tatties at selected bus stops in London, York, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow

Why an innovation in advertising is causing a stink

It was probably only a matter of time before "Smell-vertising" became a reality and it looks like fast-food spud specialists McCain is the first major company to get in on the act.

Fit First Lady wins press-up competition on US chatshow

Michelle Obama accepted a press-up challenge from Ellen DeGeneres on the US comedian's talk show – and won.

Natalie Haynes: Take note, jurors: ignoranceis bliss

Sometimes there are things we just don't need to know. Theodora Dallas, the juror who was sentenced on Monday to six months in jail for causing a trial to be aborted for googling the accused and telling fellow jurors what she'd uncovered, probably now realises that better than most. But if there was a lesson to be learned from her conviction, it wasn't one that could be discerned from the reporting of her case.

Natalie Haynes: It's not just jurors who have forgotten that ignorance is bliss

The thing is that sometimes there are things we just don't need to know. Theodora Dallas, the juror who was sentenced on Monday to six months in jail for causing a trial to be aborted after she Googled the accused and told her fellow jurors what she'd uncovered, probably now realises that better than most. But if there was a lesson to be learned from her conviction, it wasn't one that could be discerned from the reporting of her case.

Ascot dress code turns into a debacle

In a world where flamboyant headpieces and carefully-cut waistcoats are as ubiquitous as the high-society chatter that fills the air, attending races at Ascot is, in the words of one curt official, a formal occasion and "not one where you might dress as you would a nightclub".

Both Mugler and Versace (pictured) gave us pastels galore, sometimes from head to toe

Your new-season shopping list: Menswear essentials

Print, pastel and Fifties references – menswear takes on a new and dynamic aspect for spring, says Lee Holmes

The Greatcoat, By Helen Dunmore

Dunmore's historical novels have been compared to Tolstoy. This wartime ghost story is not in that league, but it does what it says on the dust jacket

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture