Still coming to terms with the hair, and I think the styling helped a bit with that. Thank y’all so much for saying nice and supportive things about it; I do appreciate it. I have a LOT of my self-image (overly) invested in my hair, so I can take something as trivial as a haircut I don’t like way too hard. And then I get over it, because, after all, it does grow out eventually.
Anyway, the outfit. This is what I wore (with a different coat) the day the lady from the Liverpool Echo photographed and interviewed me for the paper’s style section. Given that I had only a snapshot of a grainy newsprint photo to post of that day’s outfit, I figured I’d take a clearer photo of it for my blog. Also, I like this outfit a lot, and always feel good in it (I’ve repeated it several times, exactly as is, and that’s something I very rarely do) and I figured it would console me in my post-haircut grumpiness. It did!
And the weather was crap (surprise!) so I put on my mac, and realised I’d never featured this frequently-worn item on the blog, so there you go; a 2 photo Thursday!
Shirt: H&M, remixed. I would like to replace this with a much nicer sleeveless button/collar shirt one day, because I’ve overcome my button-up blouse issues enough to make it work investing a bit of money in for better quality, since it’s a definite potential staple basic.
Jumper: Oasis, remixed. It fits better in the neck than this! I forgot to zip up the back before taking the photo.
Ponte skinnies: Gap, remixed. These? Are PERFECT. They’re basically very heavyweight leggings with all the classic 5-pocket jeans styling including a proper zipper, real pockets, and button closure, and therefore enough like “real” pants that I don’t have the knee-jerk LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS COVER THAT SHIT UP response to them, but super-comfy like actual leggings. Very glad to have found these, and they’ve earned their berth in my shamefully overcrowded jeans drawer.
Chelsea boots: Deichmann, remixed. Oh, wait, I wore long boots the day of the style page thing, so this is merely almost the outfit I wore in the Echo. It’s the same outfit in spirit, though, I swear.
Macintosh: All Saints. Total frequent flyer, this one, and making its debut on the blog today.
So here I am, in the tulle skirt I have been trying to find for approximately, oh, FOREVER. I wasn’t actually picky about colour, as long as it wasn’t anything I’d consider unacceptably garish, but I was picky about lots of other things, like it had to be lined, and the lining had to stop somewhere pretty close to the hem. It had to be soft, drapey tulle, and it had to be free of any ornamentation. No ruffles, no lace, and especially no rhinestones or tiny faux pearls. That when I finally found it, it turned out to be grey is just a nice bonus for being so patient.
Given my compulsion to toughen up things that read as ultra-femme to me, all the leather and hardware was probably inevitable. I like very feminine clothes, but fear I might look a bit ridiculous in them, given my height and general angularity. I concede this is an idiotic proscriptive belief and I would love to jettison it on general principles, but once I get an idea into my head about what suits me and what doesn’t, it’s almost impossible to dislodge it. Given how cheerfully I give the finger to most of the likewise proscriptive dictates of so-called “age appropriate” dressing, it does puzzle me that I feel this way.
Also, I just totally love bad-ass rocker chick stuff, what can I say?
Necklace: Pilgrim. I LOVE this company’s stuff so much. I first stumbled upon them at our local outlet mall, and I’ve been slowly amassing a collection of it. Lots of sterling, and lots of high-quality costume jewellery, and as I’m coming more and more to favour small earrings (long ones get lost and/or tangled up in my hair, now that it’s long again) unless I’m wearing some of my “good” studs or smaller earrings, usually I’ve got a pair of their earrings in my ears. I feel weirdly naked without earrings at all, which is another one of those puzzling-to-me quirks of mine. (As usual, I mention things I like, not things for which I’m being compensated in any way for reviewing. Linking out of love!)
Leather moto: Aviatrix, remixed, and oh how happy I am that this was sufficient protection from the weather today! Even over…
Cashmere halter-style jumper: Vince, thrifted, remixed. The existence of a cashmere halter top makes me wonder when, exactly, you’d wear it without a jacket? Warm enough for a halter is possibly too warm for cashmere, and cold enough for cashmere is possibly too cold for bare arms, shoulders and back, at least if you’re me, and a total wimp about what your personal temperature comfort zone is.
Belt: All Saints. RAAAAR, I am just that tough! Or so the belt allows me to pretend.
Tulle skirt: Miss Selfridge clearance rack. All that effort, and I found it in a totally unlikely place for like seven quid. In GREY, no less! I spent months trying to thrift a tulle skirt, so even though I ended up finding it at a fast fashion shop, I at least feel as if I gave it my best shot.
Various, barely-seen leather/chain cuffs: Pilgrim and Fossil.
I just wasn’t very excited about my clothes last week, so I took a bit of an unplanned hiatus there. I was — briefly — excited about the weather, as we had two cracking days of sunshine and actual warmth, one of which I was even able to enjoy without a coat, but alas, back to boots and scarves today. It wasn’t hideous, but wow, I’d like at least a bit of springtime before summer arrives.
Still, I am here, I am definitely visible, and thus, I am joining in on this week’s Visible Monday, with many thanks, as always, to Patti for hosting, and being a constant source of inspiration — along with the other participants, of course! — to make the effort to start the week off stylishly. (I do have to admit to feeling somewhat jealous at all the lucky souls being stylish in springy clothing, though!)
Sunglasses: Pucci. It doesn’t show, but they have a fabulous blue print on the stems.
Scarf: All Saints. At least it’s not wool! This is just a plain white cotton scarf, of course, but All Saints comes through with slightly off-beat shaping to keep it from being too boring. Also, I would like to note that among my vast collection of scarves, the All Saints ones seem to stay in place the best; seldom do I get wild flapping about, and we get a LOT of wind where I live, so they’re put to the test. I really think it’s something about the construction, and sometimes the fabric just seems to stick nicely to itself. And I got absolutely nothing for saying that; I just like to note when any given company pleases me.
Slash neck jumper: Monsoon, remixed. This is getting as much wear as I thought it would when I was on my seemingly endless hunt for it.
Skirt: Premise. This is a company I’d never heard of, until I found this awesome skirt at TK Maxx. It’s incredibly well-made, and a quick Google search suggests it’s a real company, sort of in the mid-range ready-to-wear category, and not one of those vague names you suspect was just made up for the run of clothing that landed in the discounter. That’s appliqued, not a print, and it’s lined heavy cotton duck. It’s also too damn big in the waist, but can be worn on my hips, and thus as a knee-length skirt instead of a longish mini. In other words, I’m keeping it, because I love it, since I’m able to make it work. I do love my black and white graphics!
Leather cuff: Pilgrim.
Tights: M&S, remixed.
Leather shopper: M&S Autograph, picked up in the recent clearance. A winning round of Retail Chicken on this one; with all the black and grey I wear, it’s going to come in handy.
And then sometimes I like to pretend I’m a bad-ass rocker chick.
Choker: This is actually one of my regularly worn double-wrap leather cuffs. I wanted to wear a choker, or other short necklace with this blouse (it has a deliberately wonky neckline) but nothing I could see was really working for me. I happened to be putting on my bracelets at that point, and thought, huh, I wonder if this would fit around my neck? It did, and perfectly comfortably, too. Remixed.
Leather jacket: Aviatrix, remixed. This was nice and soft to begin with, but it’s breaking in beautifully, and getting softer all the time.
Silk blouse: All Saints. I need to get a better photo of this, when it isn’t covered with a jacket, because the wonky detailing is pretty sweet.
Skinnies: Abercrombie & Fitch, thrifted, remixed. These are my miracle jeans, the only pair of skinnies that have ever fit my ass and thighs absolutely perfectly. I paid like four quid for them at Oxfam.
Shoes: Mystery shoes, remixed. I keep wearing these because they’re giving my poor pinky toes a rest and a chance to heal up a bit. Glad they’re in such a neutral colour!
I love these shorts, and yet, I wore them only once this winter. Given that they’re made of a fairly lightweight wool suiting fabric, perhaps I can get a few more wears in before the weather warms up. Hahahaha, who am I kidding, but for about two weeks a year — and seldom made up of consecutive days, at that — you can basically wear wool year-round in much of the UK.
Shirt: H&M. This is basically just a layering piece for me, as it’s sleeveless, and I am never warm enough for bare arms, but it’s proving a damn useful one. I’ve been wearing a lot of collared shirts under my jumpers recently, and it’s a look I find I like, as I’m not generally very keen on necklaces at the moment. (I will like them again soon, I’m sure, it’s just during high scarf season, they get in my way.)
Jumper: Debenhams, picked up at the perma-sale. Now this is an interesting garment for me. I’m not usually into intarsia jumpers — I’m not even very much of a graphic tee wearer — but I loved the stars, and the pink trim, so I tried it on. And I was shocked by how flattering this is on me; crew necks don’t usually play all that nicely with my shoulders and bust, and often bag too much at the hips, but this fits beautifully, and doesn’t make my not-terribly-defined waist disappear. I love every little detail of this jumper, and I’m pleased it’s a cotton knit, so it’ll take me through summer.
Shorts: All Saints, remixed. Boxy, pleated pants, saved by All Saints’ amazing (and characteristic) drape.
Tights: M&S, remixed.
Brogues: Deichmann, remixed. When wearing these shorts with black tights, I like to make sure my ankles and calves are clearly defined to offset the boxiness, so no boots.
Another one of those formulas, this one hearkening back to my post-Goth ’90s self, in a lot of ways. The silhouette’s been updated, though, with boy cut jeans, and a vaguely army-ish jacket with exaggerated lapels and hood. This, like yesterday’s black-and-white look, is something with which I am very comfortable, and also the sort of thing I’ll instinctively reach for on a casual day.
Jacket: Zara. This is nice; it was just heavy enough, over a light jumper, to keep me mostly comfortable outside today. I like the way the hood and lapels play down the width of my shoulders just a touch, or so it seems to me, and the adjustable fit at the waist and flare over the hips also helps to balance my figure a bit. I hope to wear this a lot over the spring.
Largely unseen jumper: Jigsaw, remixed. I’ve worn this twice, on the blog, before now, and both times I misidentified it as being from Whistles.
Scarf: All Saints, remixed.
Belt: Roma, probably remixed. Made in England!
Jeans: Boy Cut, Gap, remixed. When I despair of most pants not playing nice with my body, I console myself with how well a boy cut works for me. They hang nicely from my hipbones, and skim over the rest of my lower body, and they are the most comfortable jeans imaginable. Plus, these have a button fly, and I love those!
Boots: Dr. Martens, Darcie. I was stunned to find out that these came in a UK 9/US 11, and even more stunned to find out they fit me. Like all Docs, they need breaking in, but with the sturdy, cushioned platform effectively shortening the (considerable) height of the chunky heel, they’re amazingly walkable.
Still pretty cold out there, although it looks like we’ll struggle into the low/mid 40s for a while. Still kinda sucks, but a definite improvement. Me, I’m just trying to make the best of it, and I’m planning to work my way through some of my winter clothes I either haven’t worn yet, because I’m on the fence about keeping them, or that I’d like to wear again before winter is finally vanquished. This may take some time.
Here’s the second outing for my slouchy, tapered pants, and I continue to be enchanted by them. The drape and flow of these pants (they’re a nice, mid-weight, cotton/viscose jersey) makes them far more flattering, in motion, then they might appear caught in a snapshot. And, oh heavens, are they comfortable. I’m strongly considering adding a pair of light-coloured (probably white or cream) pants like these to my summer wardrobe, but I’m going to be picky about them, because a lot of the ones I’ve seen have been pretty chintzy in their construction and materials. I hate pocket-show through more than anything else, when it comes to white pants and skirts, so this may take some time.
In other news, a giant Forever 21 shop in central Liverpool is currently in the last phases of construction, and due to open in a few weeks. I know it’s a fast fashion place, but other than that, I have no clue. I’ll be interested to explore; is it anything like H&M? I’ve been avoiding fast fashion as much as possible recently — although I browse a lot, just to get a look at the trends — I really do the thrift first/ethical/local thing as much as I can, but I am curious, as F21 is a place I’ve seen a lot of other (mostly US-based) fashion bloggers mention. I also anticipate that it is going to get SLAMMED with shoppers the very second it opens; it’s got a great location, and there’s surely been a bit of buzz about it.
Anyway, off to start the day!
Scarf: All Saints, remixed. This has been the warm-but-stylish scarf of the winter for sure. It’s an ombre, slightly-felted wool, and it fades from black to a mucky brownish-black, so I thought it would tie in with the boots.
Jumper: Pull & Bear, remixed. Er, yeah, about that fast fashion thing…still, this is getting a lot of wear, holding up, and nothing I intend to dispose of anytime soon.
Belt: Topshop, remixed. Oh, another much-beloved lucky clearance rack find.
Pants: Next, remixed. Tapered pants (these are called “Hareem,” but I don’t really see them as being proper harem-style pants, just very loose-fitting in the upper half and tapered in the bottom) are still a bit edgy, locally, but I think they’re just on the verge of trending in a bigger way. We shall see, I guess.
Well, hello! I wasn’t feeling it for a few days there, and just got dressed without thinking much about it, and then we went on holiday to York, and now I’m back, and freezing my butt off. We’re in the midst of what I sincerely hope is winter’s last stand, and yesterday’s outfit, as shown above, was all about piling on as much wool as possible. As predicted, this merino sweater dress is proving to be a workhorse, and I’m very pleased to have found it.
Most of my sweater dresses have been very straight cut, but this one has an A-line skirt and fitted waist, and is probably far more flattering than the others. I packed this for our holiday, and as Yorkshire was predictably cold and wet, it worked out well, both in keeping me warm, and sort of acting as the anchor piece in the limited monochrome capsule I took with me.
We went to York on our honeymoon, fifteen-odd years ago, and the spouse lived there for a good part of the 80s, while attending university and then being a general hippie. I love the place, and all the time we were wandering about (I was routinely logging 15-mile days, according to my FitBit) I kept wondering why the hell it had taken us so long to return, as it’s only a 2 1/4 hour train ride across the Pennines, and just such a wonderful, magical place.
Naturally, we now want to move there. :) That’ll be a few years down the line, if ever, but in the meantime, it was great to get back, and I look forward to it being far fewer than fifteen years before we return. After the really difficult winter we’ve had, it was a much-needed break, and we both feel much better for having taken it.
Scarf: All Saints, remixed. This is not wool, but silk, and wonderfully warm all the same.
Dress: East, remixed. I try to avoid multiples these days, outside of stuff like tee shirts and tanks, but I kind of wish I’d got this in purple or teal as well.
Tights: Primark. These are fleece-lined, and I can’t imagine they’re going to survive more than a couple of washings, but holy cow, they really do make a huge difference in keeping warm on a bitterly cold and windy day. I thought they’d feel kind of gross, but they felt lovely, so I may grab a better pair from M&S, now that I find I’m OK with the basic concept.
Boots: Debenhams, remixed.
I’ll be around later this evening to catch up with my regular reads, and say hello!
Quick post tonight, as this is pretty much the first extended off-my-feet time I’ve had all day, and I’m about one glass of wine away from bed. But it was a good day to be on my feet so much, since I got to wear these awesome, much-desired new boots! They’re super-comfortable, right out of the box, and above all else, they are long grey boots. I have wanted a pair of long grey boots for a very long time, indeed, and I was delighted to find these in the Duo sale. I’m especially pleased that they’re pretty rugged-looking, and as they’re made of nubuck, they’re going to get more so as time goes on. I will definitely be hitting them with the weather-proofing spray, though, as the line between rugged and trashed is all too easy to cross.
Cashmere vesty/cardigan thingie: Pure Collection, thrifted, remixed. Oh gosh, it was nice to have this today, as it’s still cold, and this was a nice layer of insulation under my big wool coat.
Dress: White Stuff, thrifted.
Belt: All Saints. This is a men’s belt, for sure — it’s a size small, and I’ve got it on the tightest set of holes, so no way is this a women’s belt — and I found it ridiculously marked down at TK Maxx.
Tights: Marks & Spencer, remixed. This colour is called Redcurrant, and it’s a pretty close match for the fuchsia-ish flowers on the dress.
Boots: Marcelle, Duo. Really, really love these a lot already.