Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Colour block holiday

(Firstly: I have a new lens! It takes super-sharp photos! We're now broke! But my blog loves the new lens it tells me.)

Needed brights for the last day of summer today. So out came the fave colours: coral, turquiose and jade green. Plus my lovely bargain-of-the-century Mimco necklace which looks good with everything.

Roll on autumn - you may as well get on with it. I'm looking forward to revisiting my jackets and blazers, scarves and hats all over again.

Jacket: Red Herring
Tank: F+F
Trousers: Very
Shoes: La Redoute
Belt: Asos
Hairband: New Look
Necklace: Mimco at House of Fraser
Watch: Red Herring
Pom pom bracelet: Urban Outfitters
Other jewellery: Asos, Debenhams
Nails: Nails Inc Soho Silk and Barry M Bright Pink
Lips: Revlon Coral

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bowie, Fame and Fashion

My fave Bowie tee, coloured denim and my new Adidas for a sunny Bank Holiday Monday. The hat saved me doing my hair... nuff said.

Aladdin Sane tee: Asos
Hat: Asos
Jeans: Very
Trainers: Adidas from Office
Bag: Star by Julien Macdonald
Belt: Next
Jelly bangles: eBay
Heart charm bracelet: Tiffany & Co
Owl necklace: F+F

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Channelling my inner Mr.T

I might change the name of this blog to Not Dressed in Sheepskin: A Fashion & Weather Blog. This photo doesn't really show how freezing cold it was outside today - August Bank Holiday weekend and of course the weather was biting. This was taken at my uncle's house on top of a hill near Bristol and the wind made it very hard not to look like I was a human popsicle. (How models pose in bikinis in -10 degrees and not show the cold I'll never know.) Anyway the jewellery is what makes the outfit today - and boy that necklace is heavy. My favourite is the gold ladybug ring from Accessorize; teamed with a grey and orange ring manicure it looks divine. And for those who don't like my jewellery - well, I PITY the fool.

Tee: Topshop
Dress (worn as skirt): La Redoute
Shoes & belt: Asos
Necklace: Debenhams. Or Asos. Can't remember.
Orange wristband: Asos
Watch: J by Jasper Conran
Sunglasses: Badgley Mischka
Nail polish: Nails Inc The Thames and Orange Candy (for InStyle) similar

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Somewear Over the Rainbow

Q: How often do rainbows come out when you're taking a photo?
A: Almost never... till today.

It was a race to catch the sun today as the sun was setting and the clouds were moving in, and then a huge rainbow unexpectedly came out just for us. It's a shame my outfit didn't reflect its bright colours, but you can't compete with the beauty of a full rainbow. Today's get-up consists of my Gap skinnies with a jacket from an old Next suit with the sleeves rolled up - suit jackets always look better with brooches. I'm a big fan of brooches; I'd wear all the ones I have (which is a lot) all at once if they didn't poke holes in your jacket/top/shirt. Or take ages to get off before you put said item in the washing basket.

Skinnies: Gap
Jacket: Next
Tee: Topshop
Desert boots: Asos similar
Geek glasses: Asos similar
Belt: Asos similar
Brooches & ring: Accessorize
Earrings: F+F
Watch: Seiko
White & gold wristband: Asos
Leather cuff: Asos
Nail polish: Nails Inc The Thames and Barry M Bright Red

I think they should give me shares in Asos.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Double denim rain dodger

Wow - the weather really is dictating both what I wear (when doesn't it) and how the pictures come out at the moment. As well as torrential downpours today we had beautiful sunshine... only the sun had gone by the time it came to get the camera out. But the double denim worked a treat (layered with tanks underneath the shirt), especially as I was channelling my inner Charlie's Angel today with the high waisted flares. And the red rubber wedges are just too cute. End of.

Shirt: La Redoute similar
Jeans: Asos similar
Red wedges: Asos
Belt: Debenhams
Silver cuff & necklace: F+F
Hexnut bracelet: Asos
Red heart charm bracelet: Asos
Yellow USB wristband: Amazon
Red rose ring: New Look
Nail polish: Nails Inc The Thames and Barry M Bright Red

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

In lieu of the sun

Mother Nature has turned on Blighty again - thunderstorms predicted for the next few days at least. So today's outfit is actually from a couple of weeks ago when the weather was nicer (hence bare legs and a skirt). Didn't realise at the time I'd dressed in such neutral colours, but I think they work because of the different textures. Like the "dead cat" bag as it's been described... the irony of the man-repeller rears its ugly (pretty!) head again. It's one of my favourites.

Tee: Topshop
Skirt: Mango at Asos similar
Shoes: Rocha.John Rocha
Bag: Star by Julien Macdonald
Sunglasses: Badgley Mischka
Feather hairband: Accessorize
Jewellery: Asos, Debenhams

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Summer days, driftin' away

The final throws of summer seem to be with us today, hence this beautiful light on a warm summer's evening. As lovely as the sale-bargain-from-Urban-Outfitters skirt is, its lack of stretch did not lend itself to a barbeque (nom) at my sister's house. It was zipped up for the photo, and then promptly unzipped a little again =aaah=. The clutch lent a gorgeous pop of colour: orange isn't a colour that suits me, but I can get away with it as an accessory or two.

I don't know if we'll be having many more sunny days this year like this one...? Fingers crossed.

Tanks: F+F, Topshop
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Faith
Clutch: Asos
Sunglasses: New Look
Necklace: Debenhams
Orange & gold bracelet: Asos
Leather cuff: Asos

Friday, 19 August 2011

Pyjama schmajama

I've had many comments from colleagues about me forgetting to change out of my PJs when sporting these floral peg legs to work: surprisingly, today was an exception. I definitely think they are man-repellers as the comments only come from men. Meh. But I still love them [the trousers], for being so comfy and going beautifully with my new Topshop shirt, which, according to Grazia this week, is actually a "blirt" (blouse-shirt). Ah, the never ending appeal of sartorial portmanteaus: jeggings, treggings, jorts, burkini, greige...

BTW hello sun, long time no see!

Shirt (blirt): Topshop
Trousers: Asos
Shoes: Very
Belt & necklaces : F+F
Bag: Karen Millen similar
Diamanté & neon pink friendship bracelet: Asos
Diamanté bracelet: Debenhams
Watch: Red Herring
Pom pom bracelet: Urban Outfitters
San Francisco band: SF giftshop
Nail polish: Barry M Bright Pink and Bright Red
Sunglasses: Rayban Wayfarers

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Musing: It IS an age thing

Q: What do the following celebrities have in common?

Cameron Diaz, Dita Von Teese, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, Thandie Newton, Vanessa Paradis
(all photos: InStyle)

A: Apart from the fact they all have great style, killer legs and and the ability to create serious warbrobe envy, all were born in 1972. So they’ll all be turning 40 next year - same as me.

It's not the most obvious fact when you look at them as a group - they don't exactly look like your average bunch of 39 year-olds. But as a woman approaching middle-age, I notice how the media always put age after a celebrity's name, to which I absolutely have no objection. To be honest - I find people's ages really interesting. I'm sure most women love to compare celebrities of the same age and see to whom Mother Nature is being the kindest... and (I hate to admit it) the cruellest.

Like most women, I'm fascinated by the ageing process, but usually not in a good way when it comes to myself. In the last two years or so have I noticed that my jowls are getting looser and my hands aren't as smooth as my 20 year-old niece's. It shows in photos. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror sometimes and if I'm concentrating (or just not smiling) I look extremely dour. But I'm really not; I have a very happy life, a wonderful husband and a stress-free job. It just annoys me that my sagging features don't reflect my happy state of mind.

So to counteract the unwelcome tired look, I make a conscious effort to walk around in public with my chin up (less sagging jowls), a bit of "smizing" (turns my sour face into a softer expression) and good posture (you can lose several pounds just by standing up straight). It all may seem like too much effort, but when you think about it isn't it a good thing? Better posture - good for my back. Head held high? I look more confident. People with happy faces look less fierce and more approachable (Mrs. Beckham I applaud your impeccable style, but you don't look easy to talk to).

I'll admit it. I desperately wish to look younger, not because I want people to actually think I'm 28, far from it. I just want to look less tired, which is what looser skin results in. Apart from the general walking around and trying to look cheery, there's the effort involved with looking after myself with wrinkle creams and sunblock and exercise and getting my five-a-day and... you get the idea. It's never too early to start tackling the onset of ageing; I wish I'd started wearing moisturiser with SPF30 a lot earlier than the age of 33. But I love buying the special creams and I love my homemade wheat-free muesli and I love going for a half hour run (really) because I know I feel better, sleep better and will continue to fit into my Miss Sixty skinny flares.

Being this age is fine with me, in fact I kind of secretly revel in the fact that I'm in the same age bracket as Thandie, Gwyneth and co. They make no apologies for their age: no mumsy dressing, comfortable shoes or elasticated waistbands for them. They're my gauge for what I can and can't "get away with", and I'm amazed at how it's possible to still look so fabulous at 39.

And whilst I'm fully aware that without the Hollywood styling, hours dedicated to Pilates and expert dentistry [ahem-surgery?] the stars probably wouldn't look quite as polished as they currently do - after all, it is their job to look this good - I will always consider them my ageing yardstick. I won't kid myself that I have Cameron's legs, Thandie's beautiful skin tone or Dita's tiny waist, but I won't even consider comfort without style until Gwyneth does.

And if, when she's 80 and succumbs to elasticated waistbands, well, maybe I'll follow suit and hang up my Miss Sixtys once and for all.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A girl can't change her stripes (or her jeans)

I find that stripes seem to go with just about everything, but I mostly love mixing them with florals and other patterns. Today I put on a patterned skirt and belt with these tops (looked fabulous), but upon leaving the house the weather was colder than expected. I quickly changed into my jeans with every intention of changing them for the skirt once I was in my nice warm office... and I'd forgotten to pick up the belt. It didn't look right without it, so instead the outfit was jeans with the cardigan tied up... poo. Anyway loving the hair today - new little pom pom hair bobble was a sale purchase from Asos (seems I'm going through a girly pom pom phase, see yesterday).

Cardigan: Asos
Top: Rocha.John Rocha
Jeans: Miss Sixty
Shoes: New Look
Pom pom hair bobble: Asos
Hexnut bracelet: Asos
Black Tiffany's bracelet: Tiffany & Co
Nail polish: Nails Inc for InStyle Candy Orange similar

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Don't rain on my fashion parade

Just loving our changeable weather we're having at the moment (at the moment = this century). It didn't dampen the joy I felt when finding this statement necklace on Asos in the sale, plus the darling pom pom bracelet from Urban Outfitters which is beyond cute. Just added my favourite brogues to chinos and a tee and I was good to go. They look really bright here but that's why I love them - I call the colour 'neon coral'. (Also note my porcelain Anne Hathaway hand - the light didn't have a lot of warmth in it when this was taken. The 'golden hour' of photography often doesn't make any difference in Blighty!)

Chinos: La Redoute
Tee: Topshop
Brogues: Office similar
Necklace: Asos (now sold out)
Leather cuff: Asos
Pom pom bracelet: Urban Outfitters
Friendship bracelet: Urban Outfitters
Nail polish: Nails Inc for InStyle Candy Orange similar
Umbrella: Bloomingdales

Monday, 15 August 2011

Casual Dressing at the Grand Canyon

This is the last photo I have to post from our fabulous holiday in the States... the location needs no introduction...! However it does look like I'm standing in front of a painted backdrop, in fact every picture taken there does. The weather was pleasantly hot rather than stupid hot (I'm talking about you, Vegas) so it was easier to dress in layers, hence my touristy check shirt and shorts. Those moccasins became a bit of a holiday essential in the end (so comfy)!

Tank: Next
Shorts, belt & hat: Asos
Moccasins: La Redoute
Watch: Red Herring at Debenhams
Bag: Betty Jackson.Black
Sunglasses: Rayban Wayfarers

Friday, 12 August 2011

Flowery Friday

This was today's work outfit... the girls and I found out a little while ago that we had dress-down Fridays at work, but we never actually knew before. But now denim is allowed every day of the week, so when I do wear it I always like to dress it up a little. This kimono top is great for cooler summer days when the weather can't make up its mind. Like today. And yesterday. And tomorrow.

Kimono top:
Tank: La Redoute
Jeans: Miss Sixty
Shoes: Asos
Bag: ebay
Sunglasses: New Look
Jewellery: Asos, Debenhams, F+F

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Get the London Bridge Look

Another outfit from our holiday in the States: behind me is London Bridge in Lake Havasu City. As Londoners ourselves we had to go there to say we'd seen and walked over it... We were greeted by one of the most amazing sunsets I'd ever seen - the photo just doesn't do it justice. Nor does it show how hot it was there, even long after the sun had gone down. I suppose that's what you get when you go to a town in the middle of the desert! This was a slightly more dressed up outfit for going out to dinner that evening... my chicken was NOM.

Tank: La Redoute

Skirt, belt & flip flops: Debenhams
Bag: Betty Jackson.Black

Feather hairband (just seen): Accessorize

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Country Bumpkin

What a beautiful summer's day it was today... sometimes living in the countryside does have its benefits. Somewhat unintentionally, today's outfit seems to fit right into the landscape behind - a sort of 'fashion country bumpkin'. Finally found a reason to wear my gorgeous French Connection platforms: it's Wednesday.

Shirt: Topshop
Dress: Thrifted (total eBay bargain)
Shoes: French Connection
Jewellery: Asos, Debenhams

Monday, 8 August 2011

Musing: OMG vs Meh

'Not Dressed As Lamb'.

That's what I hope I am at the ripe-old age of 39. I'm also trying not to be predictable mutton either. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a great believer in women of all ages being able to wear whatever they like (as long as it doesn't harm or deeply offend anyone). And I also believe in making the most of what you've got, whether you're a nubile 18 year old or a 40-something cougar.

And while I love - no, adore - reading gossip/celebrity magazines, where I drool over the "Best Dressed" pages and, likewise, recoil in enjoyable horror at the "What Were They Thinking" ones overleaf, I can't help but feel differently when out on the street and seeing women in similar attire. In the past I've found myself judging other women on what they're wearing, but what right do I have to do this? They may well have taken as much time over their appearance as I did that morning, and left the house feeling a million dollars.

It's this feeling that I think every woman should work towards achieving as a direct result of her chosen outfit every day, whether or not the trained eye of a stylist thinks the result looks like Audrey Hepburn reincarnate or a downright mess. If she loves what she's wearing, feels great, then who cares? The fact that her outfit makes her happy is the main thing.

Case in point: Su Pollard. I think she looks bloody amazing.

I know, you're thinking, OH - MY - GOD. I used to think that too, until recently.

The eccentric English actress has always dressed as madly as this, and if you've never seen or heard of her before then all you need to know is Su Pollard was the Lady Gaga of her day. Why on earth would I publish a photo on a fashion blog of someone looking like the teen section of Chelsea Girl had thrown up on her? Well, I also thought she was a walking fashion disaster. During the 80s, whilst I was wearing my white stilettos, electric blue jumpsuit and matching mascara, I wondered how she could even leave the house in the most uncoordinated, migraine-inducing ensembles I'd ever seen. But now that I'm older (and a little bit more tolerant) I can see that bloody hell - she's always looked happy. And didn't seem to care what anyone else thought.

Think how much time and effort went into that outfit. That's not an outfit that just happened to be whatever was to hand that morning - she went all out, guns blazing, I'm-gonna-rock-the-striped-socks-fur-and-feathers-look today. The contents of her wardrobe must be to fashion what Willy Wonka was to chocolate: tacky, over the top and absolutely delicious (in a bonkers way). You've got to hand it to the woman - she accessorises beautifully with all the confidence in the world. And it's not a one-off, this is her whole raison d'être.

Now you're probably still thinking, I don't care, it's still O-M-G. Well, at least it's not 'meh'.
Plain old, boring, lifeless... meh. You know, the outfits where there's no thought, no care, no effort, just total apathy. With unattended-to hair and make-up to match. They're the women I see on the street that I want to drag into the nearest department store and allow to run amok, be free, have a fling with an orange and cerise striped kaftan, tickle the fancy of those cerulean platform wedges, and never darken the door of apathy ever again. Personally, I prefer O-M-G to meh.

Bloggers write blogs because they have something to say. Something they're passionate about. Something they love. So next time you read a nasty, spiteful comment on someone's fashion blog (or, god forbid, think about posting one), think about Su. Deliriously happy in her outrageous colours and fluffy accessories. Is there a single ounce of happiness coming through those nasty words you see on your screen?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Diva Las Vegas

Back to the holiday retrospective: this was taken in the sumptuous (and quite beautiful) reception area of the Paris Las Vegas hotel. Our first evening in Vegas was very hot and somewhat eye-opening, and I wanted to get dressed up more than I had during the rest of the holiday up to that point. I also relished the fact that I was about the only female in the whole of Vegas with a long skirt on...! I'd been coveting a pleated Whistles Carrie skirt for a while and of course never managed to get hold of one - this copy from New Look was a total bargain and pretty fabulous accessorised with a tan.

Skirt: New Look
Tank: F+F
Bag: J by Jasper Conran
Necklaces: Asos, Topshop
Shoes: Faith (a very old fave)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Supermarket Elegance

Awww... I'm so chuffed with this outfit because I popped into Tesco this morning on the way to work and an older gentleman stopped me to say he thought I looked "very elegant" - how sweet was that? I've been posting retrospective photos till now of our holiday in the States but I just had to post this in between as my first 'what I wore today'. (Though to tell you the truth I took the jacket off very quickly as it we're having unusually hot and humid weather here for Blighty). What a nice chap - he made my day!

Jacket & belt: River Island
Tee: Topshop
Skirt: Warehouse (VERY old, but a fave)
Shoes: New Look
Bag: J Jeans by Jasper Conran
Brooch: Miss Selfridge (was attached to a necklace)
Sunglasses: Rayban Wayfarers


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

45 Degrees and counting

Had to take this one inside our AMAZE bathroom in Las Vegas due to the sweltering 45 degrees heat outside... too hot for jewellery or makeup.

Hat: Asos
Moccasins: La Redoute
Tan: California

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