An image of Prue White


Guest Editor: Prue White

2020 was real. Sadly, it was not a nightmare from which we will wake unscathed. Many of us are grieving, for family and friends, jobs, livelihoods and joyous moments that should have been shared, all lost to a year that we won’t get back. And alas, whilst there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, 2021, as yet, hasn’t let up.

When we’re increasingly called upon to be lover and best mate, parent and teacher and a 24/7 chef, it’s easy to get lost in the list. The list of all the things we should be doing at any one moment: the endless washing from all those muddy walks, the endless dishes from consuming every meal and cup of tea at home, the endless demand for video calls when really a phone call would have sufficed. It’s vital that we don’t forget to look after ourselves amongst it all.

And so, I encourage you to slow down and re-connect. Which may sound peculiar when we’re not going anywhere right now, but the joy that can come from dining by candlelight; gazing over our laptops at a £3 bunch of Spring tulips from the Co-op; or wrapping yourself in a cashmere blanket from Johnstons of Elgin, after a brisk, cold walk can’t be over-estimated. Indeed, I am writing this from my sofa with the rain pelting down on the skylight above me with a hot water bottle on my lap, contemplating my own pink tulips, all whilst enveloped in a Johnstons of Elgin cashmere blanket. These little acts of self-love are brightening my afternoon no end.

Whilst we’re talking about self-love, it’s impossible not to consider the new loungewear from Johnstons for 2021 to be a grand gesture in the love stakes. Their loungewear, whilst having been a perennial offering from them for many years, has really come into its own over the last twelve months. Wanting to feel cosy and comforted but also respectable should a Zoom link pop up, uninvited, in your inbox? This collection is just the ticket. It runs the full gamut of soothing colours from shades of ecru, silver and oatmeal, all the way through to a dusty sky blue and a true navy. Classic raglan-sleeved crew-necks, V-necks and hoodies sit alongside new styles such as the boxy ribbed slash neck sweater (incidentally, my perfect piece: it skims over my ever-increasing wine-tummy, whilst flashing enough skin to really flatter the face).

The cardigan is another big hitter in the style stakes. Available in dark navy, natural and ecru, this style is neatly ribbed and slightly longer, stopping at the hips (as an aside, this length is better on straighter figures. If you have curvy hips, you’re better off with shorter styles that stop above your widest point, such as the new raglan-sleeved sweater). Especially when layered over their brand-new cashmere tank top, the cardigan is deliciously warm in these early, cool Spring days.

All of which says nothing of the stellar jogging bottoms in silver birch and true navy. Stalwarts of Johnstons’ loungewear offering, I will be wearing mine with cashmere socks curled up on the sofa as much as I’ll be wearing them with sandals when I dare to venture outside.

When daily life has been so monumentally disrupted, it’s vital for us all to re-connect (both with others and with our own purpose) for us to make it through this globally enforced ‘pause’. And whilst we certainly wouldn’t have chosen a pandemic to be the reason we hit the ‘pause’ button in our lives, I do believe that this moment in time can give us the space to really re-purpose and consider our futures. And, in time, when the dust has settled, I hope that there may be some changes for which we are even grateful.

Prue White offers completely personalised styling and wardrobe consultations online. For details, go to pruewhitestylist.com. Clients using the promotional code PWSJohnstons during February and March 2021 will receive a 10% discount.

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