EVERYONE NEEDS - This Pleated Striped Shirt


I've always liked the idea of Cos, but I've never quite been able to make the clothes work on me. I love the boxy silhouettes and the chalky colours, but the dense papery fabrics make me look like I got the zip stuck when trying to escape from a one-man tent. 

However, when Cos opened a store in Bristol I thought I should give the brand another go. I know now that wearing it head to toe isn't for me, so instead looked for separates that I could potentially wear with jeans. Whilst the majority of the current collection is plain, there are some really interesting stripes and prints, and I find these easier for me to wear. So I went in to the changing room armed with every size of this shirt, determined that one would work.


The shape is meant to be much more oversized than I'm wearing it here, but I went for the equivalent of a size 10 (I'm usually a 14). Plus I've tucked the collar under to show more skin (hussey). I've illustrated it both ways above and you can see the collar in more detail here.


The construction of the shirt is a thing of genius, and I can't actually believe it's being sold on the High Street at for only £55. The fabric is striped, and then it's been pleated and sewn down to create a block of navy at the waist. This is not a simple thing to get right, and certainly not at a mass market level. Hats off to Cos and to the tailors who made these pieces! I think it looks great and has a way of drawing in the waist whilst remaining loose and comfortable. This would be a good one for those with a stoma (if you don't know what I'm talking about then have a look at this post).


As my natural style is quite casual and bohemian, I wore this back with an embroidered bag, tassel earrings and flats, but I've suggested alternative outfits above in my illustration.

Wonder why I'm so pleased with myself in this photo? Check out the lampshade in the background.....

Wonder why I'm so pleased with myself in this photo? Check out the lampshade in the background.....

I'm hoping that one day brands will shoot garments on a variety of diverse models, but until then I've decided to illustrate pieces that I love on a variety of shapes and sizes. I created the above artwork with a mix of pencil, watercolour, gouache and ink. I did a call out on social media for people who would be happy for me to base my illustrated UK size 8, 14 and 20 models on them. The size 14 is based on@CallMeSally1More and the 20 @inpolife. The size 8 is from my imagination.

I'd love to know what you think of this post, please leave a comment below.



All photos Remco Merbis. Location The Ethicurean.

The bag was leant to me for the photoshoot by Monsoon.

The jeans are from River Island - I think their Amelie skinnies are fab.

Earrings were lent to me for the photoshoot by Claire Hynes Jewellery.