As the years roll by and I ricochet towards my, ahem, more advanced 30s, it is time to face facts that some high street shops just aren't age-appropriate.
Don't get me wrong, and to use the first example that springs to mind, Topshop will always hold a dear place in my heart. I still get a little giddy when I descend the escalators at the flagship store in Oxford-Circus-hell and mildly panic at all the goods ripe for the picking, but, Kendall Jenner I am not and in my early twenties I no longer am.
More recently I find my eye drawn to a beautiful top and then on closer inspection release it is smaller than my bag. Skirts have been discarded on sight because I know the slightest movement will cause bum-cheek exposure, and quite frankly no one needs to see that. You'll find me instead poking about downstairs in the concessions area (Oh My Love is a fav), drooling over the Topshop Boutique delectables, or perusing my most favourite section, Topshop Edited. Here, it's calmer and a provides a haven from the baying O-Street crowds and I feel at home here. There's wearable colours (oh, hi navy) that don't scrimp on style, STATEMENT PIECES (my wardrobe loves a statement piece, I'll tell you) and specially selected items that offer something a little bit more subversive.
However, despite my age and reservations about neon laser-cut crop tops, I am not ready to be carted off to some of the more 'sedate' high street shops. I won't name names as that's a little bit mean and I'm very much a champion of the British high street; but they are the kind of places where they generally cater for professional women in their 30's-50's, the price tag is extortionate but the goods leave a lot to be desired in the style stakes if you catch my drift.
Therefore, this can create a bit of a problem when you need (want) a wardrobe overhaul, fancy a treat, have blown your Net-a-Porter budget on christ knows what as there sure as hell is nothing to show for it but you realise there's nowhere really to go. At times I feel I'm stuck in fashion no-woman's land.
Then The Finery London was brought to my attention and my fashion dilemmas were answered. Hallelujah.
Any label founded by a team of former Topshop and ASOS big players was always going to be a winning fashion formula, but the pieces I have seen so far are even better than I imagined would come from such a style-fusion.
Described as 'luxurious, concept-driven design at a genuinely affordable price point' and 'a combination of contemporary-modern with a more vintage, feminine feel' by Brand Director Caren Dowie, the designs are utterly covetable and the look feels grown up and chic without a whiff or dowdiness, swagger not stuffiness; up there with my other high street favourites COS and & Other Stories in terms of affordable, sophisti-cool fashion. Pieces that have the 'forever' feel rather than fair weather trends that come and go.
The debut collection presents some lovely pieces; the Hemming Satin Trapeze Dress in dusty pink satin, the Sumner Striped Shirt with in a semi-sheer fabric provides a subtle but classy 'reveal and conceal' look, proving that sensual doesn't always have to mean flashy.
Emilia Wickstead recently said she loves women to dress where 'sex appeal can come from wearing something fitted without showing off so much skin' and as someone who has always remained firmly in the 'boobs or legs, never both' camp, The Finery London does sexy in classy way. A kind of I'm-in-my-30s-and-fabulous way.
So far, I've ordered the Capella Funnel Neck Tee in Ivory and the Corruna High Waisted Trousers in Pink and I await their arrival with an excited anticipation.
I fell in love with the Knox Camofleur Print Cami Dress at first sight, but alas, someone else in my size must have got their greedy mitts on it and they've run out. I emailed The Finery London Care Team to enquire when it would be in again, and I was super impressed when I got a reply (at 1.43 am no less, they must be shattered) to say it will be in stock again towards the end of the month. Hurry up the end of the month, I have a party to go to.
So, ladies (all the ladies) of a certain age who love great fashion and aren't ready to pack it all in just yet, but don't want to flash your bum cheeks, you'll do worse than heading to The Finery London.
I can't wait to be age-appropriate in my new finery.