COS (the sister brand of H&M) is now available to buy online, which has excited me but not my bank balance. In fact, the bank staff are probably rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of my over-spending, so I'm trying to just window shop at the moment (if you want to have a look, it's www.cosstores.com/Store). The simplicity of the garments really struck me, but I also found a strong similarity between the tailoring of a certain dress and belt and the uniform of a private school, Christ's Hospital, near my home town. The belt from COS, seen above, is about £9, and uses the same lurid mustard as the Christ's Hospital socks, although they prefer their belts in tan. The fastening is similar to the gold buttons that Christ's Hospital pupils have on their trademark coats.
Here's the COS dress in all its glory. With a simple cut, slightly A-line, it's wearable and forgiving. The zip detail on the waist is much like a belt, in that it draws the eye to the centre of the figure. Retailing at over £100, it's not an impulse buy, but it's certainly bound to last you a long time.
The Christ's Hospital uniform, seen above (taken from the Independent online), gave the rise to its nickname, The Bluecoat School, as the coats were dark wool and much bluer in origin. Now in a sleek black, they are loved and loathed by its pupils - great for covering up in winter, but not so useful in a heatwave. It's a lot more traditional than most British school uniforms, and I'd never really thought of it as trendsetting until now, but it fits in nicely with AW/11-12's key trends of minimalism, mustard, heritage and classic tailoring. It seems that we could all learn something more from school, then.