Yeah, this mori/natural/lagenlook mashup thing I’ve been up to isn’t going away soon. It seems to have refreshed my interest in clothes, which was lagging slightly, mostly for lack of inspiration. I liked my clothes, I liked getting dressed, I like blogging and commenting, but my personal style was kind of floundering. I’m going to chalk it up to mostly summer being a challenge for me, and move on into the glorious season of layers and wool, but weather just warm enough to not require heavy coats yet.
Also, I am fully embracing my love of neutrals, and only going for a shot of colour when I’m in the mood. I’m pretty sure burgundy is generally considered neutral, despite being such a deep, rich colour, and it’s one I’ve recently gone a little mad over. I think it’s a pretty good colour for me — most of the red/pink/purple spectrum works well with my complexion and hair, and most of all, it just feels kind of new to me, although I’ve worn it plenty in the past. It also pairs wonderfully with other neutrals, of which I have plenty, and I’m hoping to refresh things by mixing in more burgundy and olive, and tossing in a fair amount of white.
Mind you, I’ll never surrender the grey and black, but there’s more to neutral than those old favourites.
Scarf: H&M, remixed. I am so glad to have this; it’s proving quite versatile.
Cardigan: Marks & Spencer, picked up in the current sale. Definitely stocking up on bulky cardigans! They’re great for this time of year.
Tunic: East. Picked up in John Lewis’ summer clearance sale, with an eye to wearing it pretty much like this!
Pendant: Urban Outfitters, remixed. Oh, very remixed, very loved, and very useful with the current style.
Bag: Rowallian, remixed.
Pants: Diesel. Remixed, but first appearance here. OH MY GOD I LOVE THESE. These are my favourite, perfect, casual pants. They’re kind of reminiscent of old-style tent canvas, although somewhat more comfortable, I imagine, and they fit perfectly. They’re cropped, so perfect with pairing with boots like I have here, they’re a great neutral olive brown/green, and they even have a button fly, which always inclines me to love a pair of pants. Also, they’re a boyfriend cut, and fit perfectly in waist, hips AND ass, which is always a challenge for me. Can you see how much I love these pants?
Boots: Ancient stompers, remixed. These will need resoling before too long, and heaven knows, I’ve probably paid more for their maintenance over the years than I did for them in the first place, but when you find a pair of perfectly comfortable boots, they’re worth it.
Usual rushed Thursday, I’m afraid. I’m such a long-term expat that it didn’t occur to me, until I actually looked at my phone, that it’s Independence Day back home, and I’d completely unintentionally worn red white and blue. Serendipity or subconscious? YOU DECIDE.
Happy 4th, US Americans!
Shirt: H&M. I just had the overwhelming urge to wear a Peter Pan collar today, and so that happened.
Cardi: Boden, thrifted, remixed.
Pants: Mango, remixed. I really do love these enormously wide-legged chambray trousers.
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.
You guys, I figured out why we used to wear tapered pants like this back in the ’80s — it’s because they are AWESOME. Yes, to my total shock, this is one trend I’m hopping. They’re far more flattering to my figure than I ever would’ve imagined, although the photos aren’t doing them full credit; it’s all about the drape and flow. Also, these sort of pants are meant to be loose in the thighs and hips, so they’re not fighting with my figure.
I also think the shorter top is helping this look to work; even though it’s pretty boxy, it, too, drapes and flows nicely, and I think visually shortens my long waist a bit.
In conclusion, I love these pants, I love the black and white trend (which for me is more of the same, frankly, but whatever) and I loved the not-foul weather today that allowed me to wear my moto jacket, and not a heavy wool coat. I felt great in this.
Pendant: Thrifted, remixed.
Jumper: M&S, thrifted. Usually I favour the black top/white (OK, this is more like cream) bottom, when I go for something like this, but I switched it up today, and I’m happy with it. I truly love a mock turtleneck or funnel neck jumper.
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.
So my issues with non-denim pants are no secret to people who’ve been following my blog for a while. I want to like them, I want to wear them, but fit is a huge issue for me, and they often make me feel old and dowdy, and like I’m not trying hard enough. I don’t think my feelings are right or fair about this, but nonetheless, they exist, and my commitment to body positivity doesn’t extend to me wearing clothes that actively make me feel bad about my body just to prove a point.
All the same, I am not willing to give up, because when I do get a pair of pants that fit and make me feel good about how I’m presenting myself to the world, I am SO HAPPY about it.
These work for me. I’m not trying to hide or camouflage my figure as it actually is. Yeah, long torso, narrow hips, verging-on-skinny legs. They aren’t the problem; the problem is ill-fitting pants, which these are not. The fit on these is perfect, and I got that fit by sizing down. Every single pair of pants I own and like, as it turns out, are a size smaller than I think I am. I don’t think I have an accurate grasp on the actual size of my body sometimes, and I automatically assume that I cannot possibly be any smaller than my “real” size, which is a modern UK 12/US 8. Why I should be fixated on that number to the point where I find it hard to size down, as necessary, when I will cheerfully, and with no drama or bad feelings, size up, as needed, is beyond me.
And part of this is just the bizarre sizing inconsistency favoured by modern retailers: You just can’t tell anymore. Like, I know that (for me! your experience may be different! bodies are unique!) Gap tends to run big (except when they don’t) and Desigual and Mango small (except when they don’t), and Zara and H&M are all over the damn place, so I tend to start with Mediums at Gap, Zara and H&M, and Larges or XLs at Desigual and Mango, and then I hit this wall, when something like the Mediums are too big at Gap, and I just flat-out refuse to believe I could possibly need to size down beyond Medium because, frankly, I am a Large person. (No, seriously: 6’0”,with the kind of bone structure you might expect of one descended from a long line of giants.) And then I either pass it up, or end up with yet another garment I look at, in one of my pictures, and comment, “yeah, that’s too big.” And either I ignore that, or off to the charity shop the offending garment goes.
I am really, really sick of this cycle. I don’t mind a loose fit, if that’s integral to the style of the garment, but slim-fitting stuff that bags on me, simply because I haven’t bought the right size, is incredibly irritating.
Which brings me, in a long-winded and ranty way, to these pants. I found them at TK Maxx, after trying on a pair of the same size in a 14 (they had no 12s, and 14s do, in fact, fit often enough to be worth a try) which literally fell off me, once I’d buttoned them up. I was a bit morose, because flat! fronted! chinos! with! no! goddamn! pleats! and when poking around through the rack again, I came across the same pants in a 10. I held them up in front of me, and then against my hips. They looked like they’d fit. Maybe a bit of a squeeze doing the buttons up (button fly!), but they’re cotton, and they’ll give and stretch out, much like jeans, I reminded myself. Oh, and also, the 14s were just so crazily big on me that I wouldn’t be surprised if the 12s (if they had any) would be too big as well.
I seriously had to psych myself up to go and try on a pair of pants I was 99% certain would fit perfectly (hey, I thrift, I can eyeball-size pretty accurately), just because they were a size smaller than I think I wear. Like, I dunno, there’s a LAW that says you can’t possibly wear a garment that’s a size smaller than the one you’ve decided you are. It’s as if, for all my awareness of and bitching about sizing inconsistency, I totally forget it exists.
So I tried them on. They fit. I LOVE them, I immensely enjoyed wearing this ensemble today, and I am going to learn to buy pants that fit and then wear them, whatever the label says.
Cardigan: Jackpot, remixed.
Knitted linen tank: Zara, remixed, although it’s been a very long time.
Pendant: Urban Outfitters, remixed.
Cropped chinos: All Saints, via TK Maxx.
Belt: Ganked off a different pair of pants. This is just cheap-o polyurethane pleather, but it fit the loops and the style worked for me.
Scarf: I put this on after the photo was taken. For some idiotic reason, I carried that thing around draped over my arm for a good twenty minutes before putting it on, completely forgetting to wear it in the photo. I don’t know where my head was this morning.
Moccasins: Klackson. I truly wanted to wear heeled sandals today, but the weather was too changeable, and exposing my bare toes to filthy water is something I try to avoid.
Having a go with chinos here, and still not sold on them. I feel as if I looked OK — I am pretty pleased with the colour combination here — but I also kind of feel like I got dressed for somebody else’s life today. I will say that these are awesomely comfortable pants. The fit’s not too bad; they’re a little loose in the waist and I have my usual difficulties with the hips and thighs being a bit big, but these aren’t skinnies, so I kind of expect that.
So, basically, I still have issues with pants. I’m not giving up, because non-denim pants do have a place in my wardrobe, and I didn’t feel awful or even very self-conscious about what I was wearing today, but I didn’t feel like myself, so I guess I’m still working on getting the whole pants thing right for me.
All Gap, except the shoes, which are New Look, and the belt, which is thrifted. Much remixing.