Do you ever find yourself stuck in a styling rut? Do you wind up relying on the same outfit combinations as if your wardrobe was made up of a series of uniforms rather than a collection of separates? It’s so easily done, isn’t it? Especially at this time of year when most of us are locked into rigid daily and weekly routines that absorb all of our energies and make imaginative dressing feel like a fond but distant memory.
When I design a new collection, part of the process involves visualising the variety of ways women can wear my cashmere separates. When you invest in a luxury item like a cashmere sweater, you’re buying a garment that will be worn for years, decades even, so it’s important that you embrace as many ways of wearing it as possible. Good quality clothes and clever styling ideas equal wardrobe longevity.
One of my favourite autumn/winter pieces is the Brook hoodie, a 6-ply cashmere sweater with a beautifully tactile waffle knit texture. It’s pillow soft with a cocooning feel, so ideal for days when you want your clothes to soothe and console. But it still had to have that signature Castanea aesthetic – considered and provocative. So I designed the hood with a drawstring tie to create a more architectural shape. I wanted the hood to be a standout feature not simply an add-on that becomes hidden when worn beneath outerwear.
I imagined this piece paired with tailored trousers and an oversized coat, with the cushioning hood exposed. It immediately imbues the look with a contemporary cool. The athleisure influence and the oversized silhouette give it an unstyled air, and nothing looks better than not having tried too hard. This distinctive mix of structure and softness feels so modern and it’s a good rule of thumb when styling any of your Castanea pieces.
For something completely different, I introduced the George vest this season, in both Lunar and Olive Dun. A refined shape made of mid-weight cashmere, it’s an elegant piece that subtly skims the body for a flattering silhouette. Created with a polo neck in doubled-over rib for added cosiness and texture, the George is an incredibly versatile piece, as it can be worn as an over layer, under layer or simply as is for a sophisticated evening wear option.
I designed the perennial favourite Niamh’s cardigan in Olive Dun, too, this season to create a modern version of the traditional twinset when worn with the George. Together, they offer an effortless co-ord, which while feminine, isn’t girly. The cardigan can be belted over the vest, or let hang loose, depending on your mood. Or try styling the cardigan tied over your shoulders as a kind of shrug for a look that feels intentional but relaxed and informal.
There are several other coordinating options in this season’s collection, including the Azul cardigan and George vest in Lunar, with each offering a fresh interpretation of the twinset and more flexible styling ideas. Luxury cashmere should never be saved up for special occasions but worn and loved every day. I hope this collection inspires you to dress and feel your very best.
Love Paula x