PURPLE MAKES ANYONE FEEL GLORIOUS

The women we surveyed for our fashion manifesto wanted more style and less haste from the fashion industry. Here's what they said about the clothes in their own wardrobes

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, March/April 2013

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM?

Most of my evening wear—best of all, an Alexander McQueen lime-green evening dress. MM, 54

My Prada handbag still makes me glow every time I use it—and that is every working day. JW, 27

A black Joseph pantsuit, c1998. JOD, 52

A 50-year-old black velvet full-skirted coat with a buckled waist, that belonged to my mother. SF, 51

My Alice Temperley black leather pencil skirt, and a Paul Smith jumper. I’m wearing them to death. AM, 29

An Annette Gortz long skirt made from a tulle of spun metal and silk in a gossamer gold colour attached around the hem to an inner sheath of knitted linen. I have occasion to wear it about once every two years. EHS, 51

WHICH RECENT TRENDS HAVE YOU ADOPTED?

Purple…it makes anyone feel glorious. NHB, 18

Skinny jeans, because they don’t seem to be going away. If something’s ubiquitous, it’s hard to ignore. CB, 31

Jeggings are a fabulous addition to the wardrobe—so versatile, and no tacky skin colour showing through—plus they keep the shape of the legs of a rising middle-aged woman. AF, 53

I can’t think of any. But then when I look down, I see that I’m wearing bright yellow. JL, 30

I love wedge heels. They give you a bit more height but are solid enough not to make you concentrate too hard. JG, 53

Hoods. Much easier than using an umbrella. KL, 78

The ones that were coming back for a second time round—I already had the originals! MC, 49

WHAT IS THE MOST USEFUL ITEM IN YOUR WARDROBE?

My Comptoir des Cotonniers camel ankle boots. LL, 28

Black and white vests from H&M. I probably wear one every day. GG, 29

Acne jeans—they fit like a glove and last for ever. CB, 31

Cashmere jumpers: you can pile them on and they still feel comfortable. RL, 44

A long black mohair coat I found in Oxfam for £14.99. I can throw it over anything, and dress it up or down. JG, 53

AND WHAT'S THE LEAST USEFUL?

A pair of black-patent Miu Miu (extremely) high heels…they’re beautiful, but deeply painful. CB, 31

A black felt fedora (above). I have never looked fantastic in hats, but suspect a “Gossip Girl” marathon made me think otherwise. HH, 22

A bizarre but very smart white coat with white leather spots I bought on sale. It ought to be waterproof. Instead, it’s made of dress fabric. JL, 30

A Roland Mouret dress bought during a hormonal surge, never worn. AM, 51

Read our fashion manifesto, by Rebecca Willis

Photograph Getty