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.
So pollen punched me in the face mid-week, and the resulting puffy, red eyes and swollen face was just too much for me to bear contemplating getting in front of a camera. Not to mention I just felt like hell. I’m feeling better, and less puffy today, so I am showing myself (and my righteous pattern-mixing) to the world, and thus, linking up with Visible Monday. (Check it out!)
I’m still having trouble getting away from the neutrals, but I’m having fun with layering and playing with different silhouettes. Stipes and polka dots may be the easiest patterns to mix, particularly as neutrals, but it’s still good fun, and you can still get a fairly striking mix going on. Either that, or I’m taking matchy-matchy to extremes, but I like matchy-matchy, so there you go: I’m happy with it.
Have a great week, all!
Scarf: Linea, remixed. I was going to go all out, and mix a bigger floral scarf in, but the weather was fairly warm today, if windy, so I went with something lighter and smaller.
Jacket: Clements Ribeiro. I’ve picked up a couple of boxier jackets recently, to work on my Lagenlook project, and this is a first go with this one. I wore it under my People Tree coat, because it wasn’t that warm, but I can see this getting a lot of wear this summer.
Polka dot tee: Next.
Striped tee: Gap. Not remixed; my other one (seen in the People Tree link above) was a Large, and large on me it is. I love it as a big, slouchy pullover, and it’s great an upper layer, but not so much under things. Since they were on extreme clearance, I went back and picked up a Small for under-layering purposes. I STILL have plenty of room in this thing, so yeah, Gap’s wonky sizing strikes again.
Bag: Cath Kidston, remixed. Worn with the obnoxious label facing my body, not facing the street. God, I hate that, but I loved the bag so much when I bought it that I overlooked my usual violent objection to visible logos.
Skirt: H&M, remixed. I started out in my slouchy black trousers, but then remembered I had these tights, and I obeyed my matchy-matchy instincts.
Tights: Marks & Spencer. These are (mostly) cotton tights, and very awesome indeed.
So this is what happens when my spouse is about and has his fancy-pants DSLR camera close to hand. The sunshine didn’t hurt matters, either.
This is the grown-up version of a look I’ve been wearing my whole life, never get tired of, and in which I feel completely comfortable and totally like myself. I anticipate wearing some version of this for a long time to come. Much like Friday’s look, actually.
Hooking up again to Patti’s Visible Monday, because I felt so comfortable and confident in this outfit. Check us all out!
Leather jacket: Aviatrix, remixed. This was SO worth the long, long search.
Jumper: Fenn Wright Mason. This is a fairly loose linen knit, and alas, you can see the cami I wore under it in this shot, but rest assured, I fixed that before I went out.
Arm candy: Various, remixed, some thrifted, some Fat Face.
So this is what I wore last Monday, and didn’t bother to photograph myself. I was not, in short, feeling particularly Visible, as in up to participating in Visible Monday. It was kind of silly, since I like this outfit, and both my husband and father-in-law were extremely enthusiastic about it, when I wore it a week or so previously, but eh, just wasn’t feeling like it was anything special.
And then somebody from the Liverpool Echo stopped me on Bold Street, and asked if I’d let her take a photo of me for the paper’s style section. As you can see, I said OK. I was assuming it would be for their online edition, and checked, but nothing turned up, and I assumed she’d been out taking photos of lots of people, and I hadn’t made the cut, or it simply hadn’t been published yet.
And then on Wednesday, several people told me they’d seen me in the paper. I don’t get the print version of the Echo, so a frantic search for somebody who did was on, and eventually I got my hands on two copies. So, yes, definitely visible, after all, and thus, linking up with this week’s Visible Monday!
Apologies for the crappy quality, of course; I had to take a photo of it, and it’s cheap newsprint to begin with. Details in the text, but I’ll repeat them here, and the masking is just basic ass-covering of my profession and location.
Sunglasses: Gant. She didn’t ask, so I didn’t say.
Shirt: H&M, remixed. I’ve been wearing this a lot; it’s a fab layering piece.
Jumper: Oasis. Another surprising foray into intarsia knits! This is a big, abstract flower, and apparently my love of black and white graphics is enough to overcome my mixed feelings about intarsia. (Except I still hate actually knitting it myself. My feelings are totally unmixed about that part.)
Jeggings: Gap, remixed.
Coat: Vintage Jaeger, remixed. I wore this so much this winter, and I’m pleased to see that for a small tear in one pocket’s lining (from my keys, no doubt) and some buttons that are going to need re-sewing, it’s still in great shape.
Boots: Debenhams, remixed.
Bag: Marks & Spencer, remixed. I’m right at the point of thinking I just need one of this sort of plain, enormous, leather shopper in every feasible colour, and then I’ll be done with non-fancy handbags forever.
Oh, mercy, the weather. If it’s going out like a lamb, it’s a nasty, vicious, rabid lamb. I more or less abandoned style over the weekend, being so reduced by my hypersensitivity to cold that I actually was sporting my husband’s hideous 80s Berghaus parka whenever I had to leave the house. It’s a revolting shade of 80s teal with 80s purple accents and lining, and oh, so hideous. Not to mention absurdly and unflatteringly huge in the shoulders, arms and chest. It gave me the build of the world’s most tasteless snowman, but at least I didn’t freeze to death in the snow and bitter wind. (I should note that he’s always loathed the colour of the thing, but his late mum bought it for him, and well, it’s warm and he was a deeply broke hippie living in wet and cold Yorkshire at the time. On the list: Two Berghaus parkas in the proper sizes and IN BLACK.)
Today was still pretty darn cold, but at least no precipitation, and even some sun, and frankly, I couldn’t take another day in the parka, so I went with some fairly extreme layering and my heavy grey wool coat. Not only was I happy to surrender my waist, I basically surrendered my entire figure, but I felt more pleasantly visible than I did over the weekend, and thus, I am linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday.
The unseen layers: Usual foundation garments, i.e., bra and knickers, plus slip, plus flocked tights, plus socks in the boots. I also wore a quilted gilet over the jumper, and under my coat, and a heavy wool scarf. Twenty-nine Michigan winters earned me an advanced degree in layering. Shame my hearty pioneer constitution has been weakened by so many relatively mild winters in England, eh?
Black silk blouse: Tag says “Tracy M.,” beyond that I can’t say, thrifted. Silk is so very awesome for layering, being both very light and very warm.
Jumper: Pull & Bear, remixed. I’ve worn this a lot, but always belted before this. A belt would’ve been too restrictive once I got the closely-fitting gilet on.
Lotus Pendant: Melissa Obadash for Finesse, remixed.
Skirt: John Lewis. This is a cabled knit A-line skirt. I doubt you can see much detail, but again, great for warmth.
Boots: Mantaray, Debenhams, remixed. I needed room for the socks! Also, very glad to not need wellies today.
I am, as I may have mentioned, in a wardrobe funk, and having trouble coming up with outfits from my vast array of choices. This means it’s time for a purge, to let go of stuff that’s either no longer me, or never was, but I acquired while apparently thinking I was somebody else. There are a few looks I consistently favour, and feel comfortable and happy wearing, and probably I need to stick to them, and work on refining and updating them as I go.
So I did that today, just gave myself permission to use one of my formulas, and what do you know, it all worked out and I was happy with the results. That my black/white formula is currently on trend is just happy coincidence; I’ll be wearing variations on this forever, I suspect.
Hooking up with the lovely Patti’s Visible Monday, and do be sure to check everybody else out!
Boat neck jumper: Monsoon, remixed. As it turns out, this is not exactly the black boat neck jumper of my dreams, but it’s pretty darn good, and I’m happy to have it. I need one in wool or cashmere, but this will happily see me into summer. No regrets, and much love to the Monsoon clearance sale where I netted it. (I’m liking Monsoon again, after a bit of a dry spell.)
Enamelled daisy pendant: Thrifted, Oxfam, York. This just made me happy the instant I spotted it. When you can buy happy for 99p, you’re doing OK.
Skirt: Warehouse, remixed. I love this so much, but haven’t worn it in the depths of winter, not because I give a toss about whether or not white bottoms are seasonally appropriate in winter or not, but because it’s definitely not warm enough for very cold weather. Glad to have it just warm enough to put it back into rotation.
Tights: M&S, remixed.
Boots: Avignon, Duo, remixed. Still breaking these in, so I’m a little footsore at the moment.
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.)
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.
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.