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First time fashion

Ready for an adventure? Us too! At Muddy we’ve committed to new experiences this summer (both cultural and clothes related, natch).

Remember your first kiss like it was yesterday? (Er, yup, behind the tree after the school disco, thanks Philip Duttfield). Or your first proper job? Your first hangover, your first holiday with the girls or the first love of your life?

First times are delicious because they’re new, unknown and exciting. But as the years go on, it’s easy to shrug “been there, done that” as the world spins faster, the juggle gets harder and the trousers squeeze ever tighter (like, I can’t actually breathe).

At Muddy Stilettos, lots of us have committed to personal ‘firsts’ this year, so if you too are feeling like shaking up your life, read on for our plans – with a side serving of style courtesy of hush’s new summer drop. Let’s do this!


My first time learning to sail

Sail away (clockwise from main image): rainbow maxi dress, £65; rose gold aviators, £85; white canvas trainers, £36; Panama hat, £79. All available at hush.

I’m not someone blessed with a great sense of direction – my husband’s favourite game when we leave a restaurant is still ‘which way is the car?’ So I’m slightly nervous about my plan to harness the wind, nail the difference between port from starboard (um, one word is longer than the other?) and skipper my own yacht on the high seas.

I decided at the beginning of this year that I needed to be more active, get out of my everyday routine and, importantly, find ways to unwind. My work life is fun but frantic, my home life is chaotic (my 10-year-old congratulated on me being ‘early’ when I picked him up 20 minutes late last week), and I can’t remember the last time I had a full day off.

Sailing, I’ve decided, is the solution! I’m already brilliant as a guest – catching a tan, choosing the music and looking on while everyone else does the hard work. But I’m bored of being the bystander (OK, by-sitter). I love the sea with the passion of someone stuck in the most landlocked part of Britain, I’m desperate for more adventure and travel, and I want to keep learning new skills – I fear applying sunscreen doesn’t quite cut it anymore. It’s so freeing to hop on a boat, lift the anchor and travel on wind and whim. And you know what? If it has to be in the Maldives, I’m prepared to make that sacrifice.

Hero Brown, Editor-in-Chief


My first visit to a new continent

Indian summer (clockwise from main image): embroidered sleeve dress, £75 and round Panama hat, £79 with woven bag, £65; shell friendship bracelet/anklet, £35; zebra sandals, £69; yellow beaded earrings, £30. All available at hush.

How often are you really, truly, utterly selfish? I totally recommend it as an experience! Last year I needed to get off the non-stop hamster wheel of my life – working, cooking, organising. I needed something for me for a change. So instead of going away with my family to celebrate my 50thbirthday, I left them at home, grabbed my backpack and headed to Peru to walk Machu Picchu with a group of girlfriends.

I didn’t feel guilty. I felt freedom. It was one of the most exciting, life-affirming fortnight of my life – a heady mix of physical exercise, good company, amazing food, and, yes I admit it, a posh hotel at the end of the trip (hey I’m selfish, not stupid).

When I arrived home, I decided on a new challenge right then and there. This year I’m heading to a brand new continent. Bright, vast India, daunting and electrifying in equal measure, is my destination – a place that felt too exhausting to contemplate with children but that feels like the ultimate adventure with a group of friends (and the perfect excuse to indulge my love of fashion brights). India is vast, of course, so (*cough*) I may have to go back several times. But to start with I’m taking in Old Delhi, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur, plus a few days in Goa for a forensic examination of whether the beaches are as beautiful as everyone says. I know, I’m a real trooper.

Sascha Way, Muddy HQ


My first time doing Glastonbury as a grown-up

Fun fest (clockwise from main image): Local Tourist tee, £35 with denim shorts, £45; beaded cross-body bag, £65; yellow hat, £65; cateye sunglasses, £85. All available at hush.

I was a teenager back in 1989 when I last went to Glastonbury Festival. The Waterboys and Suzanne Vega were headlining, and my abiding memory is getting ferocious heat stroke. That was the year I hung up my Glastonbury boots for good and turned my attention to clubbing.

But 30 years on from my burn-out, and with my own children now really into music, I’ve had a change of heart. There’s something thrilling about revisiting an experience of your youth but making it better. I was one of the lucky ones to get tickets for Glasto next month (fate, it must be fate), and I’m going to make the most of my luck by taking my kids with me.

Comfort and style are my calling cards this year – I’ve booked a pre-erected teepee (of course, I’m not attempting a tent, that way madness lies) and I’ve pre-planned my wardrobe. Anticipating hot weather (I’m not making the same mistake twice) denim shorts and a cool retro tee will do the trick.

I’m seeing it as a chance to bond with my children too. A few years ago my (then) 13-year-old son and I watched Primal Scream together at a local festival and we had a really special moment, dancing and laughing together in the pouring rain. I’ve never forgotten it. There’s nothing like being in the middle of a crowd of people when you’re singing the same lyrics and feeling the same exhilaration. Music is such a great connector, and to share that with my children – and go back to a dry teepee afterwards – is pretty much my idea of heaven.

Jo Sutherland, Muddy HQ


My first overseas weekend away without the kids – and it’s to the coolest city in Europe

Go with the flow (clockwise from main image): white lace dress, £89; blue beaded earrings, £35; woven bag, £65; orange sandals, £65. All available at hush.

My husband and I are travellers. We’re skiers, surfers, city-breakers, dedicated holiday-makers. We’re also parents to a toddler, the indomitable Harriet, who’s since taken our pre-children Top 10 “gotta visit” tourist list, ripped it up and chewed it to a pulp.

Going on holiday with a toddler feels not much different to being at home – you’re still a hostage to sleep times and faddy eating. Well, not this year – we’re handing Harriet over to grandma and heading off on our first adults only overseas weekend abroad. Woohoo!

What’s more, we’re doing it in style. Lisbon happens to be the hottest city in Europe right now. Never mind the fuss about romantic Paris or Rome’s Colosseum-sized charms, Portugal’s prize jewel boasts beaches 20 minutes from the centre (awesome surfing apparently), some of the oldest city architecture in the world and also cutting edge design, including the new groovy contemporary art museum MAAT. This feminine embroidered dress will be perfect for taking me from exploring the medieval backstreets in the day to dinner in the trendy Baixa district at night. No 5pm mealtimes for me this weekend, I plan to be out very, very late – because I can!

Katrina Harper Lewis, Editor


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