Gentlewoman Style – It’s Right Up My Street

Say hello to tailoring, denim and monochrome (a.k.a MY DREAM)


Over the Christmas break I got a head-start on one of my many New Year’s resolutions (see the list here) and polished off a couple of books. The first one that I really got stuck into and only took about four pre-sleep reading sessions to finish was ‘The New Garconne: How To Be a Modern Gentlewoman’ by Navaz Batliwalla, the writer behind DisneyRollerGirl. It had been swimming around in my ‘Recommended For You‘ section on Amazon since its release and I’m so glad that I finally stuffed it into my cart. It’s a hard one to pin down exactly what type of book it is, so when Mark’s Step-Dad asked what I was reading I replied with ‘It’s a book about cool woman, who live in cool places and styling stuff’. That’s word vomit if I ever saw it. Since I finished reading it I think hope I can provide a slightly more comprehensive overview…


The book is split into four sections. Chapter one gives a glimpse into the history and definition of garconne style and the women who first embraced it. The second section comprises of 14 interviews with really bloomin’ chic and cool women from all over the word who have their s**t together; both in a style sense and an entrepreneurial sense. If I could have Bella Freud’s jumper collection, with Polly Morgan’s creativity, Kris Kim’s home and Sophie Hersan’s denim stash – that’s the dream. Chapter three ‘The Style Codes’ is where I got my pen and notebook out to make notes. It catalogues the modern garconne’s working wardrobe components and where it’s best to source each item from. Finally the last section features personal recommendations from those ‘in the know’ about where to shop for everything from food to stationery, where to eat, where to stay and visit in cities all over the world. Move over TripAdvisor… 


The part I enjoyed the most was the chapter detailing the what’s what of garconne style staples. You know that stuff just sings out to me. I’ve been trying recently to buy less, but buy better and to stop buying trend-led pieces that come a couple of months later I no longer wish to wear. I want to invest in high-quality pieces that I’m pulling on and buttoning up in 10 years time. As I get older, my style has honed in and it’s an easier process to get to grips with. There were quite a few items mentioned in this chapter that I already own and love my version of, but there were a few areas that I feel like I need to make a purchase in.

I quite fancy some trousers. Not jeans, not leather leggings, but proper trousers – in black obviously. I’m currently scouring the Joseph website for the perfect cut. I’m in need of some flat shoes too, like some kind of loafer. Sandra is making me lust after the Gucci ones badly – just look at this post! I’d also quite like a nice necklace as most of mine have tangled into a big, impossible to untie knot and most of them made my neck green anyway. Finally I need to invest in some good, non-hole-ridden intimates. Calvin Klein and Base Range here I come. Gentlewoman style – you’re right up my street… 


Photos by Lauren Shipley