Meet Nanna Anna.
This week it would be her 95th birthday. If there’s a heaven she’s 100% up there – flirting with the eligible men (only eligible, she’s not desperate), drinking gin and eating olives and cutting through the b*llshit with her fantastically forthright opinions.
I miss her all the time. A general underlying feeling that something’s not quite right made worse when life is tough or when I have amazing news to share.
Nanna Anna introduced me to gin and tonic. She took me on trips and said hilariously inappropriate things loudly to embarrass my 13 year old self and she taught me to love clothes.
She had a ridiculously interesting life – an unreliable rock and roll husband, a friendship with Barbara Windsor, she turned down a job with the Krays, she lived in Greece for a while, she set up a dating agency in the days waaaay before Tinder…. And she also always looked fabulous. Not in a particularly elegant grandma way but in her way. She didn’t always have lots of money but she always had lots of style.
People often comment about how much I remind them of her. We look very similar but it’s more than that. I inherited her inability to keep your mouth closed when witnessing an injustice or something you just fundamentally don’t agree with. I inherited the ability to love my son with all my heart whilst still being very much my own person as well as a mum. And I inherited a love of simple style – timeless classics with a bit of quirky edge added to the mix and a preference for a black/grey/white/blue colour palette.
In future posts I’m going to share more about the famous people who inspire me through their style. And how to take inspiration from your style crushes without copying their look. But I think it’s just as important to learn from those close to you who you love and admire. Here are some of the style rules Nanna Anna taught me… the advice I probably rolled my eyes at when I was 17 and dressing like Justine from Elastica but that’s so ingrained now that they’ve become my rules…
1. Invest in good quality clothes and look after them well and they’ll last forever – especially for things like coats and suits and dresses – clothes that are well made fit better and last longer
2. Always focus on being comfortable as well as stylish – embrace jersey, and layers and wedge heels
3. Keep it simple. You don’t need loads of embellishment for an outfit to stand out and look great – a great set of pearls, a big cocktail ring and a strong personality is enough to grab attention!
Nanna I miss you, but I’m sure you’re up there looking as fabulous as ever…