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 another formula! Dress + cardigan + boots. Not one I’ve relied on heavily this winter (at least I don’t think I have) but a classic that often hits the spot when I’m feeling uninspired.
I’m wearing my cardigan belted here, and for once I felt comfortable with it; for reasons I do not quite understand, I love belted cardigans on other people, but on myself, I often bail at the last minute. I think it may have something to do with my oft-mentioned problems with things being too big in the hips, and this cardi just fitting exceptionally well there for me. In any case, I finally got to wear my silver leather belt, which made me happy! I bought it mostly thinking it would work with some of my white jeans and pants, but it felt right today to hit all the dark colours with a bit of shine.
Allegedly today is the first of spring. Not really feeling like it here, alas, but I have faith it will eventually arrive. At least we didn’t get any of the snow other parts of the country got this week.
Moonstone-and-silver necklace: Gifted by husband, many years ago, remixed endlessly. I finally got a silver polishing cloth and tidied it up, so it’s fit to wear again. Moonstones are SO fragile that you really have to be careful cleaning any metals they’re set in.
Cashmere cardigan: Marks & Spencer’s winter sale. I wanted a shorter v-neck cashmere cardi, and usually the best of M&S’s cashmere gets cleaned out pretty quickly in the Xmas sales, but this one turned up unexpectedly, so score!
Belt: Roma, made in England! (I know nothing about this company, except they make lovely leather belts here in England, and they often turn up at TK Maxx.)
Dress: Boden, thrifted, remixed. Incidentally, the cardigan doesn’t have grey lapels; that’s this dress peeking out. This was my happy discovery dress; I bought it thinking it was just exceptionally silky viscose jersey, only to find it was a silk/cotton blend.
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!
Hell yeah, bring on the studs for visibility! I’ve been keeping an eye out for more double- and triple-wrap belts, and found this one on deep, deep clearance at Zara over the weekend. Not only is it studded and made with fairly heavy and utilitarian-style chains, but the non-hardware part is made of camouflage pony skin, both firsts for me, although given my love of sludgy colours, you’d think I’d have got on board the camouflage thing long ago.
Between the belt and the studded cuff bracelets, I went very subtle on the earrings (small silver stars, hidden by my hair), and decided to forego a necklace entirely, because I am all tasteful and restrained like that. Also it was cold, and I wanted to wear a scarf.
Jumper: Zara. I got this at the same time I got the belt; I’ve wanted a loose-weave cotton jumper for a while, and this sludgy green will fit right into my sludgetone capsule.
Skirt: Gap, remixed. I damn near wore my leather miniskirt with this, but thought that might be going over the top, even for me, when I’m in one of my defiant “screw age appropriate” moods. Also, very cold out there!
Tights: M&S, remixed.
Boots: Debenhams, remixed. I’ve been wearing these a lot lately, due to a nasty blister on my little toe; these are nice and roomy up front, and don’t aggravate it.
(PS, two jars of strawberry-rhubarb jam I made this morning on the counter behind me.)
Hey, did you know French Connection calls this a dress? The stripey bit, that is, and I suppose it is, but even with my very high tolerance for showing a hell of a lot of leg, you’ve got to be kidding me. Fortunately, I planned on wearing it as a tunic when I bought it, so when I put it on this morning, I didn’t freak out at the shortness of it.
The reason I bought is as a tunic is because it matches these awesome leggings I’ve had for ages now, but didn’t have anything that felt quite right to go with them. I knew I had nothing to go with the leggings when I bought them, but I wanted them anyway; I love the colour, and more to the point, they’re made of this ribbed velour-ish fabric that feels just lovely, and looks very textured and rich in tone, even though that’s not quite showing to its best advantage in the photo. The colour is called “tobacco,” and it is a lovely golden olive/brown, which also happens to be one of those weird colours that suits me.
Anyway, that’s a lot to say about a tunic and leggings.
Duster: August Silk, remixed. This was a really good addition to my wardrobe.
Necklace: Debenham’s, remixed. Thank goodness for that archive feature, since I couldn’t remember!
Tunic: French Connection. You know, for all my “omg so short!” thoughts as outlined above, I can well imagine on the right person, this would look great as a casual summer dress, with bare legs and sandals or espadrilles.
Leggings: Marks & Spencer. Oh, I can say more about these; they’re great! Lovely and warm, and they fit like a dream.
Boots: New Look, remixed. It’s been years since I wore these, and they were actually in the giveaway pile, until I really needed something comfortable. (Another blister, sigh.) So they got a temporary reprieve, but they’re not terribly supportive, and I expect they’ll end up going away in the end.
Another Visible Monday rolls around, and here I am. The weather got almost-springlike over the weekend, and the sunshine stuck around today, so I was able to get away with this relatively light suede blazer for my outerwear. I have a lot of coats, and I love them, but wow, it feels good to ditch the heavy wool and not feel as if I’m freezing to death.
I liked this outfit, and felt it suited me, but it did cause me to spend some time contemplating my small handful of fashion personas, none of which I can simply settle on and call my style. This particular look would be leaning towards the ageing prep end of my own personal style spectrum. Also, see “age appropriate, other than the skirt length.” There’s always some killjoy just waiting to tell 40+ women to cover it up, but sod that killjoy anyway. At least I’m wearing opaque tights, right?
Faux Hermes scarf: Tie Rack, remixed. This is not any sort of counterfeit, or anything like that; the Hermes influence is just obvious in the equestrian motif print. One of these days, I’m going to splash out on the real thing, assuming I can ever make up my mind which to buy.
Suede blazer: Lakeland, thrifted, remixed. (I think it’s remixed, anyway. I’ve definitely worn it before.) A bit of fancy stitching on the lapels to this one, although it’s not showing up in the photo. A good find, since this is a great colour fit for my wardrobe.
Ribbed black bateau neck jumper: Monsoon, remixed.
Skirt: Next, thrifted. I’ve wanted something like this for a while, and I lucked into it last week. I’m getting much fonder of A-line skirts all the time; for as much as I love a pencil skirt, I do think A-lines are probably more flattering to my narrow hips.
Two other recent-ish additions to the grey and (sometimes) drapey capsule today. This is my first experiment with actually creating a clothing capsule, and I’m already kind of sold on the concept, which I probably would NEVER have heard of, were it not for style blogging. So, my fellow style bloggers, THANK YOU. I may yet get my wardrobe in shape, and spend far less time agonising over what to wear, and feeling helpless because I can’t make up my mind. I don’t do that every day, by any means, but it happens often enough to be frustrating, and worse, it seems to happen in streaks, where I will end up with a bad couple of weeks before I get my mojo back.
This is why I want capsules; so I can just go ahead and autopilot it, with nothing more to decide, on those indecisive days, than what colour/silhouette to wear, and what is most appropriate for my day. I’m not sure what I’ll move onto after I finish with grey and (sometimes) drapey, but it may be black and white, because I’ll be able to switch out components of each capsule into the other once I get them both more or less done.
Anyway, here’s to grey and drapey!
Necklace: Julien MacDonald for Debenhams, remixed. I love this a lot. Great length for a lot of my open-necked tops.
Jumper: Zara, recent clearance. This has a high/low hemline, a look I’ve approached with extreme caution since it first started appearing. This jumper has great potential to work with a lot of my fitted skirts as well as with skinny bottoms, and I especially like how the hem leaves my belt visible up front. I basically always need a belt, and I don’t always feel like tucking in my shirt, but it can look weird with a top pulled down over the sort of belts I generally favour, so this hemline is a pleasant revelation of sorts to me.
Tank: Uh, I think Primark? Remixed.
Belt: Roma, remixed. Made in England, hurrah!
Skinny jeans: Gap. Clearance rack score; I’ve wanted a pair of printed jeans, but I’ve also not wanted to invest a lot in them, in case I didn’t like them. These were the last pair on the rack, and fortunately, they’re my usual size, and the fit in the thighs and hips isn’t bad at all. Also, I love the stars very much. Close-up of my thigh, just to show the print.
Boot socks: I think these are M&S, they are remixed, and great on cold days like today.
Boots: Duo, remixed. Not tired of these yet, not even close.
Pardon the weird angle and strange expression today; the skirt wasn’t photographing properly when I faced straight on. It’s got two layers, the top of which has slits all around, and the bottom of which is gauzy and a much deeper shade of brown. I am a woman who loves her sludgy colour palettes.
I am also a woman with a well-documented passion for black and white, and I am beyond gleeful to see them trending. The shops are full of bold graphic black and white prints, and I couldn’t be happier about it, not least because I already have so much of them that, for once, I don’t even have to give a thought about following trends; they are, at last, following my natural inclinations. I am eager for spring, so I can bust out this thrifted beauty again. Heck, I will probably just straight up wear that one again, as is, because it’s one of my all-time favourites.
Also, I look at my summer blonde hair, and glowing complexion in that photo, and want to weep, because it’s still the utter depths of winter. Then again, I have lots of winter clothes I still want to wear, and it is boot season, so I console myself with that.
Scarf: All Saints, surely remixed. I love this scarf so much; the texture kind of makes it stick together really well, and even on an incredibly blowy day like today, that sucker did not attempt to take flight, which, given the way I habitually wrap my scarves, is always a danger.
Jumper: Whistles outlet, remixed. I think I incorrectly identified this as being Jigsaw, the last time I wore it. It’s a sample, it’s definitely a men’s — seriously, this is like a small or a medium, and look how slouchy it is — and it’s a gorgeous cotton/wool mix and I am still smitten with it. I’m definitely getting bolder in my forays into the men’s section, as I am still all about the slouchy silhouettes, except when I’m not and prefer something fitted. :)
Belt: Calvin Klein Jeans. I’m not sure it shows, but this is designed like a heavy chain, except the links are all leather.
Skirt: Marks and Spencer, remixed. Unexpectedly found on the £2 rack at a local charity shop. Very glad to have found it, as I’m very fond of slightly strangely shaped skirts, particularly where the hem is a bit different.
Two photos today, the first pretty bad, but rather important, as I have, at long last, found a black boat neck jumper! It isn’t wool, so I’m still searching, but a nice cotton/viscose mix, which will also be very useful. It’s ribbed, which is great, as I wanted said jumper to be fairly fitted, and there’s a bit of waist shaping as well. I’m pretty happy with it, especially since I have been looking so long for it.
As for the appearance of the outerwear, that’s a reflection of my delight with the weather today; windy and intermittently rainy though it was, the temperature was very mild. I was incredibly pleased to not need to bundle up, and I dearly love this leather moto jacket, and have been itching to wear it again.
Plenty of low-key pattern mixing going on as well.
Jumper: Monsoon, recent sale. This had a 50% discount, which was awesome, but I have been looking for a jumper like this for so damn long, I’d have gone full retail, had I not lucked into finding it at the winter clearance sale. I went off Monsoon for a couple of years there — not much was catching my fancy — but I like them again now.
Pendant: Same as yesterday, but infinitely more viewable today, with the plain black jumper as a background.
Skirt: Gap, remixed. Haven’t worn this in quite a while, but it’s an old favourite. I think this is a good silhouette for me.
Tights: M&S, blah, blah, blah.
Scarf: Boho. I love my black and white graphic prints, oh yes.
Leather jacket: Aviatrix, remixed.
Various bracelets: Black and white bangles are Oasis, and remixed. Mixed metals chain is Star by Julien MacDonald for Debenhams. (Man, Debenhams 70% off sales have netted me a LOT of my costume jewellery.) I like how the mixed metals work with my gold-and-stainless watch.
Boots: Also Debenhams, also 70% off. These are so incredibly comfortable, and have nice, grippy soles.
Tote: Killtec, via TK Maxx. Waterproof, which was good to have today, and another black and white graphic print.