A quick post, because busy as I am, and as maddeningly flaky as Tumblr has been for me lately (it makes my ageing MacBook’s fan start running very fast) I certainly don’t want to miss out on Patti’s Visible Monday!
Scarf: Renato Balestra. The last thing I needed was yet another grey scarf, but the plaid patches seduced me, and I’m glad I succumbed.
Coat: People Tree, thrifted, remixed. NWT, even! I found this right as I was sliding into the whole mori/lagenlook thing, and it’s been a real workhorse.
Jumper: Zara, remixed. Another workhorse.
Lace-bottom tank: Thrifted, remixed.
Skirt: Thrifted. This is going back to the thrift shop, though, since I really didn’t like the fit much, and the corduroy is just a little bit stiffer than I like in a longer skirt.
No grey in sight today! And definitely very visible; the dark conditions for today’s photograph actually managed to mute this very colourful outfit — it was even louder than it looks. Also, alas, both the dress and the cardi are too big, but what the heck, they stayed on, and that’s all that matters on days like today, when a megadose of colour is called for to shake things up just a bit.
Linking up to Patti’s wonderful Visible Monday, and hoping everybody’s off to a good week!
Necklace: Pilgrim, remixed.
Cardigan: Thrifted. I still haven’t managed to find a perfect red grandpa cardigan, but this one will do until that happens.
Dress: Bob Mackie Wearable Art, vintage, thrifted. I’m pegging this as an 80s dress; the tag looks very 80s, the print looks very 80s, the colours, oh yes, 80s, the 100% polyester jersey (normally I abhor polyester, but vintage weirdness sometimes overrides this aversion) is so very 80s, as are the (unseen) puffy sleeve caps. The only thing that doesn’t scream 80s at me is the sizing; this is a large, and I’d expect an 80s large to fit me like a glove, while this is way big on me. A little research suggests this particular line was done with QVC. I think there’s a QVC network in the UK, as well as the one I remember from when I was still living in the States, so I can’t say whether this is an expat dress, or one that was sold here. Either way, I found it irresistible, and snapped it up. Whether I’ll keep it, or try to find it a new home is up in the air, but I had fun wearing it today.
Tights: Remixed, tags long gone. Hey, did you know I own about a zillion pair of tights that aren’t black or grey? Yeah, I tend to forget that myself.
Well, hello! Our holiday in York was spectacular, and I can hardly wait to go back. We both love that place very much — as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my husband went to university there, and we also went there on our honeymoon, so I guess it’s fair to say the place is pretty significant to us. It was also a great place to spend Hallowe’en, as York is said to be the most haunted city in England, and the residents really get into the spirit of it. It rained on Hallowe’en night, but that certainly didn’t stop the damp and cheery goblins, witches, and zombies from their revelries. We mostly holed up in a wonderful pub after an amazing Korean dinner, where I fortified myself with plenty of mulled cider.
I also did a lot of shopping. York is a city with a fine collection of thrift shops, markets, and fair trade emporiums, and I availed myself of them, and starting with today’s outfit, the fruits of my shopping are likely to hit the blog pretty quickly. The pickings in York fit very well into the current style direction, which is hardly surprising, since it’s a layer-happy kind of place.
Hooking up with Patti’s Visible Monday, since, well, I’m visible on the blog for the first time in a couple of weeks. Do check it out, as it’s always inspiring and enjoyable to see what the fabulous participants are wearing.
Looking forward to doing some blog visits, as even though I was having a wonderful internet break, I’m now officially jonesing to see what you’ve all been up to.
Barely-visible cami: All Saints, remixed.
Dress: Purchased from some hippie working a fair trade clothing stall at the central market, York.
Winged insect pendant: Purchased from indy jewellery maker at a Liverpool crafts fair. I swear, if I ever find her card again, I will definitely link to her Etsy shop (out of love!) because she was very nice, and her stuff is very pretty.
Tights: Green Treat. These are made of bamboo, so nicely sustainable, yay! Also, I really like bamboo fibre mixes.
Boots: Fly London, remixed. Breaking in beautifully!
Nailed it, and thus, hooking up with the (now!) bi-weekly Visible Monday. This outfit made me very, very happy. I feel as if I got it exactly right, and presented exactly as I wanted. We’re still getting the occasional bit of warm and sunny weather, but definitely headed into proper autumn, and I am so stoked for the many, many, layers I plan to deploy over the next two seasons. Much as I loved the glorious weather we had for much of the second half of summer, I love autumn and winter clothes even more, so I’m digging mine out, looking them over, and deciding where my style journey is going to take me over the next six months or so. Exciting! (For a certain value of exciting, that is.)
Have a great week, and remember to check out Visible Monday.
Can I take a moment to say how happy I am that my hair has grown out enough from the disastrous haircut of late spring for me to be able to get all Viking on it? Because I am.
Jacket: Zara, remixed. This really is one of my favourite jackets.
Necklace: Boots, remixed. Why is it always the cheapest-ass necklaces I find turn out to be my favourites? (See the currently MIA H&M circle pendant, which is actually driving me to clean out my dressing room in order to find it.)
Jumper: Gap, remixed. I would like to replace this with a better cabled or textured cream jumper, but the thing is, this one fits perfectly, and it’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t sausage-ify me.
Bag: Jones the Bootmaker, remixed.
Skirt: George, thrifted. I KNOW. Usually ASDA does cheap and crappy clothes that look cheap and crappy, and the sight of a George label is usually enough to cause an instant pass at the thrift shop, because I know the garment in question is all but certain to fall apart quickly enough brand new, much less previously owned, but this skirt is a total exception; really well-made, and shockingly high in natural fibres. Plus, OMG, that hemline. I love that wonky hemline.
Tights: Dorothy Perkins, remixed. I’m hoping the currently uninspiring crop of tights in DP — and as I’ve said before, DP makes awesome opaque tights — is just a matter of the new colours not being in stock yet, because I am dying to update in trendier colours.
Shoes: Remixed. Still the comfort champs, may they live forever.
Note: There’s a recipe in here; this hasn’t turned into a cooking blog, as such, but when I mention cooking or baking something, and a reader requests the recipe, I always just throw it into the next blog entry. Onward!
Going to the pink and black well again! As mentioned so many times, it’s one of my happy colour combinations, and I always feel pretty great when I indulge. After a long and somewhat trying weekend, it was good to get spiffed up and out there, and I am once again linking up to Visible Monday, with thanks, as always, to Patti for hosting and inspiring.
Commenter Ki requested the blackberry bread pudding recipe, and, well, bread pudding is one of those things I’ve never really bothered with a formal recipe for — it just seems like I’ve always known how to make it — but I’ll give it a go, with the understanding that I’m winging it from memory. It shouldn’t be a problem, though, as bread pudding is one of the most forgiving and adaptable things you can possibly make. So, here you go, Ki!
I used about 400-500 grams of thick-sliced farmhouse white bread I had leftover from the previous week’s summer pudding. It was pretty stale, and I do think stale bread works better in bread pudding, for some reason. You need to tear it up roughly, crusts and all; I don’t worry so much about size, but figure at least half a dozen pieces per slice.
Chuck the bread into a deep bowl, and in another bowl, beat three whole eggs. (Mine were large; had they been medium or small, I’d probably have gone an extra one.) Beat in about 150-200 grams of caster sugar. (I used golden caster sugar; that’s just personal preference, regular white would work as well.) Then I added a pint of semi-skimmed milk, beat that in as well, and about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then I mixed in about 1/3 cup of double cream, because I had it to hand. If I hadn’t had cream in the house I wanted to use up, I probably would’ve used whole milk. (See what I mean about forgiving?)
OK. Pour this mixture over the bread in the other bowl, and leave it to soak in until the bread is thoroughly saturated. Take about half of the bread and custard mixture, and put it in a baking dish. (I used my Pyrex lasagne/casserole dish, which is approximately 8x10 inches.) Sprinkle over your berries. I think I had about 300 grams of blackberries, which left some space between each berry, but not a lot. Then cover with the other half of the bread and custard, sprinkle with demerara sugar, and bake at about 160 C for at least an hour, then turn the heat up to 180 C for another 20 minutes or so to brown it up a bit. If it starts to get a bit too dark up top too early, just cover it with a bit of foil.
This cut into nice, cake-like pieces, which I served with the rest of the double cream.
Anyway, onto the outfit details!
Cashmere cardi: Beth Jordan, remixed. This was an end-of-season super bargain at TK Maxx last year. I want to say I paid less than £20 for this thing, and if there’s anything I love more than cashmere, it’s knocked-down cashmere.
Dress; Marks & Spencer, new with tags, thrifted. Oh god, this thrilled me. I wanted one of these dresses — they’re called Fit and Flare, and I thought they’d work really well with my long waist/narrow hips issues, but by the time I saw it in M&S, they were down to pretty much nothing that was even close to my size. (Like, all that was left was UK 8 or UK 20. Not going to work.) Then I found this size UK 12 in the British Heart Foundation shop last week. Retail: £39.50. Charity shop: £7.50. So much win.
Tights: M&S, remixed. Black tights with everything! I’ll break out the colours soon enough.
Holy cow, a Bank Holiday Monday where the weather didn’t suck. The long weekend commenced with my birthday on Friday, which we didn’t actually end up celebrating until Saturday, because Phil was slammed with work, but that was fine with me, and we had such a lovely time on Saturday that it was well worth the wait.
I’m getting near the bottom of the remaining box of summer clothes, and I cannot imagine how it took me so long to get around to this much-loved dress. Oh wait, I can — it makes me feel self-conscious about my less-than-absolutely-flat belly. In the spirit of hitting the second half of my forties on Friday, and realising that I am giving less of a toss with every passing year, I put it on, and within minutes basically forgot I’m supposed to feel self-conscious in this dress. It’s an awesome dress, and I felt awesome in it. (Which, of course, means I’m linking to Visible Monday, with many thanks to Patti for continuing to host and inspire this weekly event.)
Have a great week, and swing by Patti’s blog for another great Visible Monday!
Necklace: Anne Klein II, homegrown vintage, totally remixed.
Cardigan: Gap, remixed.
Dress: East, remixed. Love this, and it’s staying in the collection, although I’m culling heavily right now. I want a smaller wardrobe, because I have things I love that I don’t wear as often as I should. (Should because they make me happy and I love them.) The print on this is fantastic, and Phil is very, very fond of this dress, so there’s two more reasons to make me love it.
I totally loved this semi-accidental outfit, and felt gloriously visible in it today. This photo is not showing it to its full awesomeness silhouette-wise — movement really helps there — but I definitely nailed a look I’ve been working on, one that is very heavily influenced by Gudrun Sjödén, even if I’m, once again, clinging to my neutrals. Which is OK, she does neutrals, too. I’ve long thought this sort of silhouette might assist in giving me the illusion of hips, and this confirms I might very well be right.
With that said, it was still kind of accidental; this skirt is pretty heavily structured — made of thick, ribbed cotton, with stiff pleats coming down from the waistband on one side in front and on the opposite in the back — and it probably wouldn’t occurred to me to wear it with such loose and long top layers had I not just pulled it out of the black skirt section of my wardrobe by accident. I gave it a try, though, since the length was exactly what I wanted today, and I was very pleased with the result. I will wear the skirt again with a shorter and more fitted top eventually, but I’m sure this combination is a repeater as is.
Hooking up with the glorious ladies of Visible Monday, after my longish blogging break, with many thanks as always to Patti for hosting and providing inspiration to kick off the week the right way.
Tunic: Zara. Most of my stripey shirts were either worn out, or just not what I want on this leg of my personal style journey, so I’ve been replacing them. This was a mega-clearance find, and just warm enough for the slightly chilly weather today to stop me from needing to wear a jacket.
Pendant: This is either Mango or Monsoon, and definitely remixed.
Tunic-length flared tank: I have no idea where I got this thing.
Leather cuffs: Oasis, remixed.
Skirt: Moschino Cheap & Chic, and cheap it was; TK Maxx seems to have had a lot of Moschino stuff over the last six months or so, and this was a fantastic bargain for such a well-made skirt. Interestingly, this doesn’t seem to suffer from the usual upscale brand smaller sizing effect; it’s one of my usual range of sizes, and verging on too big.
Tights: M&S, remixed.
Loafers: Walking Clouds, via TK Maxx, and I have the feeling this is some kind of semi-orthopedic brand, and I totally don’t care what that says about my increasingly fussy feet, these are amazingly comfortable and wonderfully plain, high quality leather loafers with supportive soles, and holy cow, have I been searching FOREVER for something just like them. So very happy to have them!
Yeah, I was apparently relaxed in front of the camera this morning, which is nice. I was also in a good mood, since the eye problem I casually mentioned last week turned out to be a nifty case of allergic conjunctivitis, which cleared up over the weekend, but was pretty nasty at the end of last week, which is why I’m badly behind in my blog commenting and e-mail, because I could barely see straight, and certainly not when trying to focus on a computer screen, or even worse, my phone, which is where most of my e-mail ends up.
Anyway, definitely a Visible Monday this week! I defied the dismal weather, and wore the shorts I wanted to wear today anyway, although I did have to wear tights to stave off the chill. That’s OK, I loved this outfit and felt great in it.
Hooking up again with the radiant Patti’s Visible Monday, and encouraging you, as always, to check everybody out.
Necklace: Pilgrim, remixed.
Coat: Wallis, thrifted, remixed. I am still madly in love with this coat, although the left pocket lining needs fixing, which should be easy enough, even for one of my extremely limited sewing skills.
Tee: Gap. I know a lot of people have complaints about Gap’s quality, but I swear, their tee shirts are among the hardest-wearing I own.
Belt: Petrol. I wanted a wide white belt, and lo, one appeared.
Shorts: I cannot decipher the label of these, but they’re nice.
Bag: Knomo. Metallics are really not something I get into much, but I do like a good, muted bronze, which this is. Also, nice zipping laptop compartment.
Tights: M&S, remixed. Speaking of things that wear like iron…
Shoes: Hush Puppies. These are high-heeled brogues, although, alas, you can’t see much detail. I will try harder next time I wear them!
Still in pants, though the calves and ankles are doing MUCH better, and still visible, on Visible Monday, even if in gradient monotone. (Our gorgeous hostess Patti is looking even more smashing than usual this week, I might add, but I also have a terrible weakness for white sheath dresses.)
Also, Rhoda Morgenstern is kind of my fashion icon at the moment. Yes, I’m dating myself, but I WAS A CHILD when Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda were first being broadcast, I swear. Clearly, they had a huge influence on me that didn’t really come out until later in life.
I felt pretty good in this, even though I was feeling fairly unenthusiastic about yet another day in wide-legged trousers. I am totally over my trouser anxiety, and that’s great, but I’d like to wear them out of choice, not necessity, you know? The rash and about 80% of the swelling has retreated, but I still have a few big honking blisters right around my ankles, and I really don’t want to risk aggravating them by wearing tights or more fitted pants yet. Also, being able to wear clogs is a very good thing, since I was wearing my hideous Smurf-blue garden Crocs when I was stricken with the crud, and only the clog-covered parts of my feet were left completely rash-free, and those blisters I mentioned? They’re located where regular shoes would rub some of them, and ankle straps would rub the others and oh hell no.
Anyway, enough of my whinging, let me urge you to check out the lovely participants in Visible Monday, and then blather about the clothes.
Hair scarf: Thrifted. I have found the secret at last to keeping a scarf in my hair all day: they need to be something a bit rough like cheapo polyester chiffon. Silk just slips right out of my hair, but this thing withstood high winds. All for 25p.
Hoop earrings: Jon Richard Silver, via Debenhams, and seriously, if you like silver, and you live near a Debenhams, this stuff is almost always on discount or clearance. It’s very decent sterling, and I’ve been pleased with every piece of silver I’ve bought from this company. (Just trying to help any silver-loving sisters with access to Debenhams out, not being compensated, of course!)
Graident top: Uh, one of those Italian companies who dumped a lot of stock on TK Maxx recently. This is gorgeous; the top layer is silk chiffon and there’s a cotton/viscose long-sleeve tee under the silk. I am dooming myself to washing it by hand, but it’s worth it.
Long cardi: August Silk, remixed. This has turned into a workhorse.
Linen trousers: Marks & Spencer. I said last week, when I was wearing the white version of these, that I was going back and getting them in black, and so I did.
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.