Style: Local brands to buy now and love forever

Velvet loves to discover stylish brands working and living on our patch. This month we shine a light on two bobby-dazzlers making their mark on the style scene

Stoned & Waisted

With elements of its collections made in Suffolk, the mischievously named Stoned & Waisted, which started life in 2002 selling precious-stone studded belts and bespoke buckles, now has a wider offering.

The ‘everyday luxury’ pieces include beautiful lightweight shearling dyed in jewel colours and crafted into coats (the company uses shearling that is a by-product of the food industry), waistcoats, jackets and accessories, exquisite knitwear (woven in a small factory in Suffolk), balloon-sleeved blouses, dresses, skirts and trousers and elegant accessories.

Then there’s Stoned & Waisted Hound – think butter-soft leather cross-body leads and the sweetest collars, imprinted with the words ‘the best relationship I ever had’.

Founder and designer Rachel Allpress, a Canadian brought up in California and now happily nestled near Bury St Edmunds, imbues her brand with her love for good design that lasts a lifetime: “I unashamedly pull inspiration from pieces in my own wardrobe I have held onto for over 25 years. Pieces that have stood the test of time and make me stand a little taller – that make me feel special.”

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Laird Utility

A sister brand to the brilliant Laird Hatters shop that sits pretty on Green Street in Cambridge, Laird Utility emerged during lockdown and is the perfect extension to the collection of celebrity-favoured flat caps and fedoras.

Featuring British-built and sustainable slow fashion wardrobe staples, the collection is designed by Alex and Zofia Torun-Shaw who share a love of stylish headwear and the nostalgia captured in movies like The Great Escape and The Godfather.

The clothes combine elements of uniform and military wear for both men and women with a definite urban edge. A brand signature piece, the Indiana Trouser, is inspired by Indiana Jones and made from a cotton military twill – one of the many fine British cloths featured in Laird including Harris Tweed, Loden and English Tweed.

The debut collection includes key wardrobe staples such as a Boatman Coat, Tweed Culotte Trousers, fine corduroy Worker Shirt (this is unisex), Dungger Dress and Harrington Jacket and has a pick-and-mix element to create different looks that are steadfastly stylish for both urban and country living.

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