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.
There are times when I think I should probably just say to hell with it, and get rid of all my clothes that aren’t black, white, or grey, because it seems as if that’s all I’ve been wearing for a while now, and I’m yet to get bored with it. Every night, I think I should wear some colour the next day, and then the next day rolls around, and I try, really I do, and then I kind of go into this anxiety spiral about OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR, and then I give up and pull out something black, white, or grey, and suddenly it all seems easier. And that’s when I crossly tell myself that I should just give up on the colour already — even though I do, in fact, love colour — and fully embrace my monochromatic being.
Then I spot one of my Desigual dresses, and think, oh hell no. Not giving those up. I’m just going to accept that I’m apparently in a very, very long monochrome phase, and wait it out. To be fair, it could be that I just need some reasonably consistent spring weather to get me back into the colour groove. In the meantime, I’ll just be here in my comfort zone, waiting it out.
Jacket: People Tree. Thrifted, new with tags, and ethically made, which is like the feel-good trifecta. This is my slightly-warmer-weather replacement for my heavy grey wool/cashmere blend Jaeger coat. I realised over the course of this seemingly endless winter just how bloody useful that coat is, and I was pretty pleased to find this, and figure out how to use it in much the same way. I don’t think the crappy photo is showing it very well, but it’s a collarless empire waist coat with three big buttons up top, and then open down to the hem. I’d describe the material as super heavyweight sweatshirt-style fabric. Super comfortable, and a very good weight for the sort of low/mid-50s F weather we’ve been having.
Scarf: All Saints. TK Maxx got another shipment of All Saints in, and I’ve acquired a few lighter-weight scarves (black, grey, white, cream, or a mixture of all of the above) at a hugely discounted price from AS’s usual obscenely expensive one. (Seriously, they can, with a straight face, charge in the neighbourhood of £100 for a viscose scarf. Hahahaha, right.)
Long-sleeve tee: Gap. Could there POSSIBLY be a more me garment? Faded black and grey STRIPES. It’s also at least a size, and probably two, too big, which is also me, with the oversized-and-drapey thing I’ve been working of late.
Pants: Uh, Gap calls these jean leggings, or something like that, but really, they’re just heavy ponte and cut like skinnies. Remixed.
Chelsea boots: Deichmann. These are totally different from my Faith Chelsea boots, I swear! These have no pleats along the uppers, and a buckle on the side.
Warm enough today to ditch the winter coat, but possibly still slightly too cold for the tanks to have been the best idea. Still, I just needed a fairly casual outfit, and this is what happened. I’m still mad about neutral and slouchy, and I’ve, ahem, added a few spring-and-summer slouchy ‘n grey things to my wardrobe over the last few weeks that I am eager to wear, but well, what are you going to do, freeze?
There are, in fact, many people who appear to be embracing the freezing option, but you will not find me in their number. Yet. Give it a few more weeks, and I’ll probably be wearing sandals if there isn’t actual snow on the ground. In the meantime, it’s still all boots.
Jacket: Zara, remixed. I love this jacket so much, and this is only the second day I’ve been able to wear it since purchasing.
Green tank: Marks & Spencer. Olive green is such a great neutral, and I plan on wearing more of it.
Slate grey tank: All Saints. One of those huge, drapey cutaway tanks I’d never wear alone, due mostly to the size of the armholes, the deep neckline, and the racer back exposing far more of me than I’m willing to share, but they’re great layering pieces.
Necklaces: Found skeleton key worn as pendant, and globe watch fob from Religion. Remixed.
Jeans: Premium Skinny, Gap outlet, so very remixed. No longer even pretending these are proper skinnies, since they do work well as straight legs.
And here’s the outfit post, since you could really only see my shoulders in the scarf video post. I wore this dress and these boots back in January, although I mixed it very differently then. I think I like this iteration better, if only because it includes what for me is WILD pattern mixing, in the form of the pink leopard-print pony skin belt. (That’s TWO articles of pony skin now in my wardrobe. No actual ponies were harmed in the making of my belts, I am pleased to say.)
This dress is just a bit too big, but I’m keeping it anyway, because I like it a lot, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t meant to be fitted in the first place, so it doesn’t look weird in the hips or anything like that.
Grandpa cardigan: Gap, remixed. This is totally different from my other pink Gap grandpa cardi, I promise.
Button flowers: Gifted by the radiant Megan Mae, remixed.
Dress: White Stuff, thrifted, remixed. For casual clothes in muted colours and patterns, I really love White Stuff a lot, although I have to say they run SERIOUSLY big, which is fine — this is a UK 12, which is generally my regular size, but with non-thrifted White Stuff, I usually end up in a UK 10. (I just like to make a note of stuff like that; I always appreciate knowing these things myself.)
Belt: Betsey Johnson.
Tights: M&S, remixed. These are actually a very dark grey, not black, although they seem like it in the photo.
Boots: Marcelle, Duo, remixed. These are breaking in beautifully!
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.
Still truly feeling the grey and drapey. I’ve had a run of thrifting luck lately, as I’ve been building the grey and drapey capsule that’s my current project. I’m not giving up on colour, but I’m looking to have as much variation in silhouette in my beloved monochrome palette as possible, instead of reverting mindlessly to my usual fitted white bottom/black top standard, which I haven’t worn for a while, actually, given the super crappy weather. I’m fine with white trousers in winter, just not when there’s a good chance they’ll get splattered with mud or slush.
So, anyway, I was feeling pleasantly visible today in this outfit, and thus, I am hooking up again with Patti’s Visible Monday project. (Patti is also feeling the grey-clothes-and-tough-boots thing today, too, and looking very sleek and elegant indeed.) Visible Monday is great fun, and I encourage you to check it out.
Necklace: Julien MacDonald for Debenhams, recent Blue Cross Sale purchase. I’ve wanted a star necklace to go with my small star stud earrings, and this one duly turned up. I love when that happens.
Leather vest: All Saints. I have had this quite awhile, and had a hell of a time styling it, mostly because the weather was never just right. It was cold enough to warrant my enormous grey wool coat today, and this actually fit very nicely under it, with the added bonus of extra warmth and when buttoned up, more protection from the elements around the neck. (My neck and hands are where I feel the cold most keenly; if I can keep them warm, I’m good.)
Ribbed Henley tee: Gap. I love ribbed long-sleeve tees so very much.
Belt: All Saints, remixed.
Skirt: H&M, thrifted. Oh man, seldom has something so unpromising on the charity store hanger turned out so very well. Great shape, excellent fit, perfect neutral grey, roomy enough belt loops and waistband for a heavy belt. Totally delighted with this one.
Tights: New Look. I had to take these things off and put them back on, to try to get the stupid seams to run up the sides of my legs. Then they just sort of crept back, and I said the hell with it, and coped. I will not be bothering with these again, and after three different pairs of New Look tights, I have concluded they probably all likely suck, and I’ll be shopping Dorothy Perkins or H&M for my trendy tights. (I’ve had great luck with both places for tights.)
Boots: Duo, remixed. So glad I found these, what with the drapey and grey capsule project and all.
Oh boy, first go with the new Tumblr interface, and I swear, one of these days, I’m going to finally move over to my Wordpress site (currently kept mostly for the ability to post on OpenID sites), because my frustration with the limitations of this platform are beginning to outweigh my laziness. With that said, here I am, and I am going all Visible Monday again this week. Check us all out, ‘round Patti’s gaff! I was feeling plenty visible today, because the weather has finally warmed up enough to wear something other than many, many layers of my heaviest clothes. And my new boots, which I wore last week as well, but here they are again today, only slightly less new, and even more beloved. At long last, my rugged grey boots! They rub a bit at the back of one ankle, but they’re otherwise very comfortable, if kind of heavy and stiff-soled (which I expected) and the ankles are softening up nicely after only a couple of wears, so it’s all good.
Today, since I really had nothing scheduled, after getting the spouse out the door for the week, I decided to really hammer it with my FitBit, and see just how active I could be. As of 10:30 PM, I have 32,439 steps, for 15.22 miles, and 126 floors climbed, and what was I thinking? Basically, I looped around central Liverpool for a good chunk of the day, hitting every flight of stairs I could find, and then doing it over and over again. It was more pleasant than it might sound, since I frequently enjoy super-long walks when I’d like to really clear my head out, but the stairs, holy cow, my legs are feeling it. Normally I average about 50 flights, since we have stairs in our house, and I habitually take stairs when I’m out, as escalators give me vertigo, and I avoid them unless there’s no other option.
Anyway, onto the details:
Jumper: Zara, remixed. I’m still pretty convinced this is slightly too loose and bulky to work perfectly with a belt, but, eh, who cares?
Pendant: Not sure how well this shows, but it’s a lotus blossom, and it’s very pretty! Melissa Odabash for Finesse, picked up in the recent John Lewis sale. I’ve been wanting another long silver pendant, because my beloved H&M circle is showing its age and heavy wear, and this is actually pretty high quality costume jewellery, so I hope it will age better. Also, lotus!
Belt: Geox, remixed. Very recently worn, too.
Corduroy Skirt: Gap, remixed.
Tights: M&S. This colour is called Anthracite, and it’s a really wonderful dark grey, which may not be showing here very well. These are lovely tights; the velvet finish 100 deniers, and I wish they’d had more of them in my size in the sale, because this is a good grey that’ll work with a lot of my stuff.
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.
Ah, pants. My old fashion nemesis, we meet again. This time, however, I am attempting something new by going totally counterintuitive. Yup, these are baggy. Baggy, pleated, and with side slit pockets, with seriously tapered and cropped legs. The waistband, though covered here, is slightly dropped. They are made of very soft and drapey cotton/viscose jersey, and while not the warmest fabric in the world for a pretty cold day, that bagginess means layering under them is super easy.
Perhaps fighting with everything I think I know about what makes a pair of trousers flattering to my figure worked out, because I liked this look quite a lot, and I wasn’t at all self-conscious about the bagginess. It’s intentional bagginess, and maybe that makes all the difference. I grow increasingly fonder of slouchy silhouettes, and I’ve wanted to work a pair of pants into that, instead of sticking with skirts, skinny jeans, or leggings, and these are what I came up with, courtesy of the Monsoon clearance sale, where the low price and softness of the fabric and construction of these pants convinced me to give it a go, as I figured, at worst, I’d just relegate them to loungewear, if they didn’t work out.
I think I may be converted to this lower body silhouette! These pants feel very ’80s to me, at least in their cut and fabric, if not in the subdued and tasteful neutral colour and print, and maybe that helped me to style them successfully; I’ve been down this road before.
Cardigan: Cynthia Rowley, remixed, and very recently, too. I knew this would be a useful addition to my wardrobe!
Cashmere halter top: Vince, thrifted, remixed. I have been wanting to wear this again, and here it is.
Belt: Geox, remixed. Still in love with the multiple-wrap belts.
Legwarmers: Remixed. The pants are pretty cropped, and I will doubtless wear them as such in the warmer days to come, but these were an utter necessity in the raw weather.
Apparently SNOWMAGEDDON is imminent for much of the country. Us? We’re getting plenty of sleet, hence my sleet-repelling chapeau. It is definitely pretty darn cold, supposed to get colder (and possibly snowier) tomorrow, and I am likely to be Lagenlooking my head off then, because lagen = layers, and layers are definitely needed.
One of the really cool things about thrifting the majority of your wardrobe is that if you decide to hop on a particular trend in an experimental way, it’s a pretty cost-effective way of doing that. I already had a lot of grey separates and dresses, but adding a few more pieces, specifically for trying out the whole Lagenlook thing, has been cheap and easy to do. To be fair, though, Lagenlook, although I didn’t know it had an actual name, is something I’ve worn, on and off, for most of my adult life. I was merely lacking a word to describe it. Many thanks to Megan for bringing it to my notice, and also, she’s had an online birthday shindig, which I “attended,” and possibly you might want to go look, because we all look awesome celebrating her birthday.
Hat: Marks and Spencer, picked up in the recent clearance. I picked up two very nice wool hats dirt cheap during the tail-end of the sale, and I’m very pleased with both. I have decided I am going to wear hats whenever I like from here on in, and not feel weird about it. The other is a semi-floppy purple hat, which I will doubtless wear here soon.
Scarf: All Saints. This is very nice and not-at-all scratchy wool, but it has this vague stiffness to it, and it’s really kind of cool how it ends up draping. Like! The monochrome colour gradient really works with my collection of grey stuff.
Cardigan: Cynthia Rowley. Speaking of end-stage sales bargains, I found this 100% merino wool cardi languishing on the clearance rack, and thus, plugged another wardrobe hole for very little money.
Dress: Boden, thrifted. Oh, man! When I snapped this up, I thought I was getting some exceptionally nice viscose, but it turns out, it’s actually a silk/cotton jersey. Very nice surprise, that.
Tights: M&S, remixed.
Legwarmers: I don’t even know where I got these, but I’ve had them a long time.