Bring Your Own Blanket

With this rather unpredictable British Summer we’ve been enjoying of late, it seems we are facing yet more style questions and decisions. Not just whether to wear bare legs, tights or leggings….always go bare after June I say…..but now we have another accessory to consider, the blanket.

I went to a friends 40th birthday party at the weekend which was, as any June party would be, hoping for fine weather or at least to be warm and dry enough to enjoy the garden and not all be huddled around the kitchen table. So, very sensibly, my friend sent an email to the ladies of the party asking us all to bring our own blankets as she only had a few and was sure knees would need to be kept warm if we were to enjoy the garden. I rather liked this request, it made me smile and then the question entered my dreadfully affected fashion head, what kind of blanket should I take??? Now, being rather partial to blankets and quilts, I have quite a few, of all varieties. I went through a crochet blanket phase – buying not making – and found quite a few fabulous, brightly coloured vintage “granny” offerings through Ebay and little antique shops. And then there are the ubiquitous Cath Kidston checked picnic blankets, of which I also have a few. All I must add, have been picked up in the CK online sale and from one of my new favourite places, Bicester Village. If you haven’t been there, you must.

And then there are my growing collection of Indian quilts which are bright and colourful and quite possibly my most precious home ware possessions. So you see my dilemma. All these are blankets and quilts to be proud of but are they right for a 40th birthday party in a London garden will some very chic ladies in attendance and one or two cocktails. I ruled out the Cath Kidston ones immediately. They suit my country life perfectly but will remain my guilty “oh I just buy her stuff because the children love it” secret.

There was also the matter of my outfit to consider. I’m a person who spends perhaps too much thought on how things look together. Shoes, jacket, bag, scarf…all important accessories to coordinate and the blanket needed to treated in just the same way. If I was going to spend the evening in the garden with my blanket, it simply had to match my outfit. So that meant the crochet offerings were also quickly ruled out.

In the end I went for a beautiful grey throw sort of blanket with embroidered flowers running along the hem. It was understated and warm and complimented my grey silk dress and black and white brogues beautifully. Not that anyone will have noticed, but I did and that’s all that matters in situations such as these.

So there it is. Apparently there have been quite a few wedding invitations sent recently with the same “bring your own blanket” footnote and I personally think it’s a pretty wonderful addition to the British Summer dress code. So bring out your blankets, but remember they may end up saying more about you than you think.

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