Discover more from The Rhubarb Society
Vol. 24 - The Issue By You
little luxuries, wardrobe essentials, and the return of the intern
Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope everyone is well and has had a good week. In case you missed it, The Sticker Shop has officially opened, and Team Rhubarb have made sure there are enough Rhubarb stickers to go around after selling out of the last two drops in less than a day. Two new accessories are also in production and will be added to the Rhubarb Boutique very soon (!!). As most of you know, I have spent most of this week in Paris after coming (and going) twice in 5 days. The first half of the week was spent with Christophe Robin, the haircare brand I swear by (and with whom I have a long-term partnership and discount, which is ‘Tamsin’ for 20% off). The second half of the week was spent with Trudon (mine and Henry’s favourite luxury candlemaker) in various Parisian establishments to celebrate their 380th birthday and latest fragrance launch. My midweek 24 hours in London were filled with meetings, doctor appointments and physiotherapy, which means I’ve barely had time to blink, let alone sit down and decompress. Luckily, the Eurostar journeys have provided ample time for me to write this week’s newsletter, and even more fortunately, an earlier Instagram story Q&A I did with you all has provided me with the topics. Therefore, this issue has been entirely dictated by you, the readers. I have taken a handful of topics that you wanted me to talk about, and as my week has been filled with French luxury, I thought it would be best to start there.
For me, little luxuries are the bread and butter to a more joyful life. What easier way to spark joy and happiness than by ensuring that you have something a *little* special to look forward to each day. Little luxuries certainly don’t have to be expensive (although it doesn’t hurt if they are), but they should definitely be something worth pausing over in your daily routine. As somebody who likes to indulge in both little and large luxuries very frequently, I have an extensive list that I am going to share with you all. Take what you need from this, and feel free to share your own.
A Morning Coffee with a Twist - Depending on my mood, if I want a little treat I’ll either make myself a coffee with condensed milk or order an iced matcha with vanilla syrup from Blank Street. For something non-caffeinated, I’ll mix the aime mocha glow collagen supplement with hot, frothy oat milk.
Fresh Flowers - This is a non-negotiable luxury for me. Whether they’re from the local supermarket, a flower stall, or my weekly Freddie’s Flowers delivery (you can use Tamsinw87 for a free box), they all give me the same joy. I’ve recently started playing with flower arranging by buying flowers from the supermarket and styling them with chicken wire, and flaying (not sure whether this word is technically correct) the petals.
Dior Lip Oil - I have one in every handbag. I love how juicy and glossy these are, and they bring me an inordinate amount of joy. I probably reapply my lip oil 10 times a day. My favourite shade is coral.
Silk Hairtie - An important but often overlooked luxury is the humble hair tie. It can be used often, but its impact on hair is often an afterthought. Switching to a silk one is so much better for your hair and also a nice way to elevate an everyday basic. I love the ones from BeautyPie, but if you aren’t a member, you can also get great ones from Slip.
Shower Products - Assuming you wash every day (an assumption I hope to be right about), it’s important to have something small that makes the experience feel a little more indulgent. I personally love having fresh eucalyptus tied to my shower. It costs less than £10 and lasts me over a month. Maybe you’d like an indulgent body wash? I’m currently using one from Sundae that comes in a squirty cream can. Maybe you want a product that’s visually appealing or that smells like an expensive spa. I love Universelle Buly for its chic packaging. Byredo is also great if you prefer a more minimalist approach. ESPA is fantastic for the spa smell and feeling.
Marvis Toothpaste - I think expensive toothpaste is the pinnacle of ‘a little luxury’ because it seems so unnecessary to purchase, but it does so much to lift my mood. Brushing teeth can feel like such a chore, and it is so generally uninspiring but seeing my beautiful tube of Marvis makes my twice-daily ritual a little less mundane. The green and classic silver are my favourite flavours. The others are a bit too funky for me.
Candles - Being able to light a candle of any size and means at any point of the day and in any room of the house is the perfect little luxury. Luckily, the current candle market means that there’s a range to suit every budget, and even luxury candlemakers offer smaller sizes as an entry point. Obviously, Trudon is my favourite for luxury candles (Ernesto is my favourite scent), and the jars are so beautiful that you can reuse them for years to come. I also stand by the fact that BeautyPie does the best affordable candles with unmatched quality for the price point. I have a combination of both in every room in my home.
Cashmere Clothing - If you want to start small, a pair of cosy cashmere socks is a great gateway drug into the world of cashmere. Otherwise, a cosy cashmere jumper or a pair of joggers is the ultimate little luxury for when you want to relax at home (hot drink in hand and candles lit) or for when you’re out running errands (like picking up eucalyptus for your shower).
A Travel Scent - I have a very sensitive sense of smell which means I’m always hyper-aware of, A) how I smell and B) how everyone else smells. I know we are all secretly thrilled when someone tells us that we smell nice, and I think knowing that you can have access to that wherever you are is a luxury. I always have sample-sized perfumes in my handbags so that I know I’ll never be caught smelling anything less than divine. Le Labo often sells travel samples of their scents in-store for £5 each. A lot of brands also offer travel atomisers for your favourite perfume; otherwise, it’s very simple to decant your favourite scent into a basic one from Amazon. However, a travel scent doesn’t always have to be a bottle of perfume. You could always indulge in a hand cream or a solid perfume in a bar. I also like to travel with an Anatome rollerball with essential oils that, not only smell nice, but work to calm and balance my body.
curating, refining, and perfecting
I get asked often about wardrobe basics, curating a wardrobe, and how I look ‘put together’ (for lack of a better phrase). A few issues ago, I’d written a fairly comprehensive guide to my wardrobe basics that you can read here, so I will not subject you to a rehashing of that. Whilst the staples from that issue still stand, I thought I’d also share some tips and tricks to making your wardrobe and your clothing work for you, in addition to the staples themselves. As Summer slowly creeps up on us, I will also add a few additional seasonal essentials to the list!
Tailoring - As women, we know how clothing sizes, cuts, and fits can change depending on the brand, the time of year, and the direction of the wind. It can be incredibly hard to look ‘put together’ when we’re buying clothes that don’t bother to consider the shapes and sizes we all come in and offer fits that range from ‘Is this meant for my dog?’ to ‘remind me to pack that for DofE’. I get a lot of my clothes tailored, partly because I’m on the shorter side but also because I know it’s instantly going to improve my outfit. I think a common misconception with tailoring is that it’s expensive and fussy, and whilst it can be (depending on what you’re having done), it’s largely very reasonable and easy. I actually get 90% of mine done at my local dry cleaners. I have things shortened and taken in all the time so that it looks like it was made for me. If you’re buying somewhere slightly more expensive than the high street, they usually offer it as a free service. Part of the reason why I love Theory so much is because they will tailor the trousers so that they look like they were made for you. If your budget allows, it is 100% worth prioritising having your staples tailored to fit you. Not only does this elevate your look, but you will get 10x more use out of your wardrobe. When something fits well and looks made to measure, there’s zero chance of your items being left to fade into obscurity in the back of your wardrobe.
Body Type Theories - It’s easy to take outfit inspiration from others and then feel disheartened when you try and emulate said look, and it doesn’t look quite as good. I find it interesting how we’re never taught to dress for our body type, and it’s something that lots of people still don’t understand. The Kibbe Body Theory was something I discovered on Tiktok (surprise, surprise) but it seemed to resonate. A large part of this was seeing different celebrities’ Kibbe types being used as examples, which made the whole theory far easier to digest and understand in comparison to other body theories (remember when we were all being compared to various fruits?). Whilst Kibbe might not be exactly right for you, I think it’s important to understand your body as A) it makes dressing it 100 times easier, and B) it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin. A lot of people use clothes as a way to cover up the things they don’t like about themselves, and if you begin to understand that clothes can be used as a tool to enhance rather than a disguise, then curating your wardrobe suddenly becomes a lot easier (and far more enjoyable). If, understandably, you don’t want to subscribe to a certain body type, try a few variations of outfits that cover all styles and silhouettes and take pictures of yourself. It can be uncomfortable at first, but once you get over seeing yourself standing awkwardly in bizarre outfits, you start to see what works for you.
Colour Theory - Ah yes, yet another theory (that I learned about on TikTok), but that I still believe is relevant nonetheless. We are talking about our wardrobes, after all. When we are curating a timeless wardrobe filled with essentials that make getting dressed an effortless task, it doesn’t hurt to know that you have options that are going to be undeniably flattering on you in both cut and colour. There are tons of colour theory articles online, and for those on social media, there are even colour theory filters that make the process easier. Whilst I don’t always prescribe to this way of dressing (sometimes you just want to wear a colour that brings you joy, you know?) when you’re thinking about buying your staples such as your crew neck jumpers, it’s nice to know what colours to go for.
Moodboarding - Okay, so you’ve figured out what looks good on you and what you feel most comfortable in, but maybe you still don’t really know where to start when it comes to putting it all together. It comes as absolutely no surprise that I love Pinterest and that I love creating all of my moodboards on there. I use it as a mixture of inspiration and reference and it really helps when I come to consider my essentials for the changing seasons. If Pinterest isn’t for you, a much simpler reference point can be to take a picture of your outfit everyday and file them into an album. When you’re stuck in a rut, you can refer to this for sartorial inspiration. If you’re not a particularly visual person, maybe writing down how you’d like your style (and wardrobe) to look and feel could be a useful starting point. From there, you can begin to compile a list of things you need to make it a reality.
Above all, I truly believe great style is about how you wear it. When someone looks and feels confident in their clothing, it shows. If you’re in the middle of a wardrobe overhaul and looking to build a ‘uniform’ of essentials, make sure that uniform is something that you feel comfortable and confident in, and not whatever is trending on social media or from the ‘new in’ section of a fast fashion chain. If there is one thing that money cannot buy, it’s style, and more often than not, very expensive clothing that is bought for the sake of being expensive ends up wearing the person more than the person wears it.
Summer Season Essentials
a few seasonal extras to consider for your wardrobe
Linen Trousers & Shorts - This comes as no surprise if you read Vol.22, but I will be embracing the lower half linen the minute it’s hot enough. I think you guys sold out the white Abercrombie trousers on sale that I previously mentioned, but the white linen wide leg pants are still available (not on sale), as are their linen shorts (the blue ones are on sale). Linen trousers are a versatile, summer essential that look effortlessly cool with everything from sandals to strappy heels, and most importantly, keep you feeling light and airy in the scorching sun.
Oversized Cotton Shirts - I live and die by my cotton shirts in all shades and styles. I like a finely coloured pinstripe, a pastel coloured cotton, and of course the staple white shirt. You can refer back to this issue for some of my suggested favourites.
Havaianas - I am obsessed with my slim, gold havianas. I know they’re not for everyone but I think they’re really chic and would rather wear them over a ludicrously expensive designer sandal. The nude colours are really flattering on sunkissed legs and they are the most comfortable shoe to flip flop around in when the weather is unforgiving.
A Simple Summer Dress - I never used to be big on dresses because I always struggled to find one that I liked and that was actually flattering to my figure. I always assumed midi and maxi dresses would look horrible on me until I actually tried some that worked for my body. Some of my favourites are from BA&SH (they’ll tailor them for you) and whilst I never liked having my arms and chest fully out, I discovered that their strappy, halterneck maxis were actually the most flattering to my body, despite me avoiding this style of dress for years. I also love Djerf Avenue for their simple strappy midi and maxi dresses. Once you find a style that works for you, buy it in a mini, a midi and a maxi so that you have one for all occasions from garden party to wedding. Simple is best as you can dress it up or down with accessories and get multiple uses out of it.
The White Vest - You can’t go wrong with an iconic Petit Bateau vest. This is worn more as a layering tool so that you have the option to throw a shirt over the top once the weather cools, but also gives your arms the freedom to breathe (and tan) during the day. When thrown together with some baggy blue jeans, a pair of sandals, a jumper over the shoulders and some oversized sunglasses, it just looks so effortlessly cool.
Fuck Off Sunglasses - My personal favourite summer (and all year round) essential is a big pair of fuck off sunglasses. They don’t necessarily need to be black, but they do need to say ‘please leave me alone’. Some of my favourites are from Karen Walker, Celine and more recently, Sunday Somewhere.
Notes From The Intern
Hello… the intern here 👋 - I can only apologise for being somewhat lax in my duties of servitude and furtherance, as it has been a significant amount of time since I’ve been of assistance to you, the members of The Rhubarb Society. This week is a good’n. Trust me.
Keeping the link to London and referencing previous articles… as your trusty, organised and somewhat OCD intern, I have raided my Google Maps saved links to provide you, gourmet dog owners, with an updated list of our favourite spots for enjoying good food, in the sun, with your beloved woof. This time, however, we’re talking pubs.
A firm favourite for Sunday lunches with Rhubarb, The Grazing Goat does very good beef rump, half chicken and leg of lamb roasts. Warning, bring your appetite; these are all served with Beef-Fat Roast Potatoes, Carrots and Parsnips with Honey Mustard Butter, Spring Greens, Yorkshire Pudding and Gravy. Extra points for the interesting selection of fruity IPA’s on tap.
Ignore The Marylebone pub; if you’re in need of cocktails and a good vibe, check out Home, Marylebone. Not only are they open until 00:00 on any given night, but you can get a space at the bar where they make their own tonics. The food isn’t half bad either; keep it simple with their pizzas, any chicken dish and padron peppers).
A golden oldy for local midweek finance bro’s and renowned for serving the best Guinness outside of Dublin. The Guinea Grill is a proper old school pub-come-steakhouse tucked away down the side of Berkeley Square in Bruton Place. With dining rooms in the back and upstairs (where we were allowed to take Rhubarb), this is one of those pubs you take your friends to when touring London. Although the meat selection is superb, the real stars of the show are the sides available to order, I’d recommend the following: Peas, Bacon & Baby Onions, Pancetta Confit Potatoes, Broccoli with Chilli & Anchovy and Creamed Spinach.
If your other half is into cars (and happens to be a Clarkson fan), head to The Princess Royal for a pint of Hawkstone lager (I personally think the IPA is better). Whilst they are whittling on about Clarkson’s Farm, get stuck into the following dishes which you can share with your woof - Red Prawn Crudo, English Burrata, Chicken Milanese, Grilled Duck Breast, and the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart which is a must.
It would be wrong of me as your trusty intern not to mention The Pelican - first introduced to us by a friend and food connoisseur Last Orders London. The Pelican is your wholesome, hearty and naughty one-stop-shop in terms of London Pubs.
The aesthetic, menu and wine list are beautifully curated with log-burning fires, delicious mains/specials, and a “Captain’s Wine List” available upon request. Head there with a large appetite because you’ll want everything on their menu - I recommend homemade pork scratchings with apple dipping sauce, mincemeat on toast (thank me later) and either the Lobster and Monkfish Pie (this really serves 4) and any of their red meat options. Tamsin loves the leeks and the pumpkin with ricotta.
We have also built up a list of dog-friendly restaurants in London and are happy to go into more detail or answer any more specific questions in the comments section of the newsletter - let me know!
Watch, Read, Listen
If you want daily, uplifting news delivered to you in 5 minutes every morning, then sign up for The Know, a free daily newsletter for women by women. It delivers a mix of culture, relevant news, and feel-good stories from around the world without making you feel overwhelmed or scared by the ampunt of shit that’s out there.
After being infatuated by Hotel Costes, I have been holding onto the feeling of staying there by listening to their playlists (which they are famous for). This one in particular, which is their Best 50 official playlist.
The Intern has been enjoying a BBC film called ‘Page Eight’ which is part of a trilogy starring Bill Nighy. I personally have not seen it and cannot vouch for it but H insists that it’s an easy, fun watch.
As someone who is still immersed in the Succession-verse, I love everything and anything related to the show. In particular, videos like this GQ one that has a psychiatrist breaking down the Roy family dynamics.
I’ve recently finished Jury Duty on Amazon Prime which is a semi reality docuseries that follows a court case in LA. The kicker, however, is that every single person is an actor, except one guy, Ronald, who genuinely believes he is there for jury duty. It’s a hilarious and insane show that takes you in 50 different directions at once. It’s astonishing how all of the actors managed to stay in character consistently whilst having to ad lib in reaction to Ronald. James Marsden is also in it and plays the bigheaded actor version of himself to perfection.
And that’s all from the twenty-fourth issue of The Rhubarb Society! If there’s anything you’re keen for me to discuss, or if you have a podcast topic you’d like me to talk about, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, via email or in my DMs. If there’s anyone you think would be an excellent fit for The Rhubarb Society, please do extend the invitation below.
Tamsin and Rhubarb