Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wellingtons. Or wellies. Or rainboots.

We had the most beautiful weather in Blighty on Sunday. It was bright and breezy with sunshine that warmed your bum when you stood in it; basically, a perfect autumn day. I wore this to watch my brother taking part in a cycling race: I'm glad I wore my wellies as it took place in the grounds of a country house... lots of grassy verges and muddy patches.

As far as I could see I was the only person wearing a bowler hat and stripy blazer - there's very little chance of me turning up in the same outfit as someone else in the wilds of the Devon countryside. Especially teamed with a neon yellow scarf, which looks like a snood but isn't - I simply tucked the ends down the back of my blazer. I prefer the neatness of a snood sometimes.

Bowler hat: Asos
Scarf: Asos
Blazer: Very
Sweater: Debenhams
Skinnies: Gap
Gloves: unknown
Sunglasses (in hand): Rayban Wayfarers
Wellies: a gift
Socks: unknown

Now something I have realised from reading fashion blogs a lot: in the UK we say snood, Americans say infinity scarf. (The latter makes perfect sense. Snoods were actually some Old English hairnet thing originally.) Also I think maybe wellies (wellingtons / rainboots / gumboots) is a British expression. It got me thinking - when you're learning English as a secondary language, what words are you taught when learning things that the Americans and Brits (and other English speaking countries) name differently? Assuming we're talking fashion, take these examples (please correct me on the American if I'm wrong!):

British: American
Wellies (Wellington boots): Rainboots
Courts: Pumps
Pumps: Tennis shoes
Waistcoat: Vest
Vest: Undershirt
Trousers: Pants
Pants: Panties

How confusing is all that?? It does tickle me every time a blogger comments on my "pants"... of course I know they're referring to my trousers, but if you're "caught with your pants down", the connotations are even worse in the UK than in the US...! (Note: some British girls say knickers instead of pants; I say pants. Some girls insist only boys wear pants.)

Ooh I feel a sartorial dictionary post coming on ;)
If English isn't your first language, which do you say - pants or trousers? I'm intrigued!

Monday, 28 November 2011

It's Lacroix, sweetie

Can't resist an AbFab reference if it's there for the taking! This blazer was my amazing find from the vintage fair in Exeter I went to the other weekend *cue smug sighing*

So yes, I am the proud owner of a Christian Lacroix blazer. It's only from his Bazar diffusion line (I know I shouldn't say only), but very sensibly my head says "long-term investment" while my heart says "love affair". I was admiring it with absolutely no intention of buying when I thought I'd try it on just to see what it was like... and it fit like a glove. Although I'm no expert when it comes to buying designer and I don't have a clue how old it is (Bazar was launched 17 years ago, so no older than that), to me it was a total bargain. So that was it, sold.

What makes me laugh is that I totally think it's a ladies-who-lunch type of blazer - I'm sooo not a lady-who-lunches type at all. At all :)

I also love my brooch, which is (self) made very simply from three buttons glued on top of each other, with a brooch pin on the back. I pinned it to what is actually the belt of the blouse worn as a matching necktie... the blouse is a wrapover style and a little on the boobylicious side; the necktie hides the gratuitous cleavage. As Patsy would have said: Faaabulous, darling.

Blazer: Christian Lacroix (thrifted)
Blouse: Coast
Trousers: Oasis at Asos
Boots: Javari (see the full view of them when I wore them here, here and here)
Brooch: Self-made (three buttons glued on top of each other)
Watch: J Jeans by Jasper Conran
White wristband: Asos
Bracelet on right hand: ReVintage Jewellery (see it closer in this post)
Sunglasses: Badgley Mischka

Linking up to:

Visible Monday with Patti at Not Dead Yet StyleMonday Mingle; Thursdays are for Thrifters at Spunky Chateau and...

Meet Virginia Design

pleated poppy

Thrifters Anonymous

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Magpie girl

I love piling on accessories, and maybe I went a bit overboard with this outfit... no matter, I guess I'm just a magpie at heart. The Mimco necklace was a total bargain in the sale at House of Fraser last year, and this is the first time I've teamed it with my sparkly blue scarf - it's like they were made for each other!

One of the things I love about the season changing is getting to pull out the clothes put away for the previous season and rediscovering clothes you'd forgotten about. Imagine my joy when I found my wool peg-leg trousers again, bought in the spring sales and worn only a couple of times first time around. I wore them the other week in this post but only the top part was visible - here they are in all their glory and I love them with the black wedges. Ain't autumn great?!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend x

Velvet blazer: Very
Trousers: Asos
Tanks: F+F, Warehouse
Belt: Asos
Wedges: Asos
Scarf: F+F
Necklace: Mimco at House of Fraser
Watch: J Jeans by Jasper Conran
Blue ring: Asos
Gold rings (set of three): Asos
Other bangles: Asos, New Look
Sunglasses: Boots similar
Fringed bag: Accessorize
Nails: Models Own Concrete Mixer

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Weight is a Heavy Subject

Q: Judging purely on appearance, which one of these X Factor girl band members do you think is the odd one out? (The one in the middle is not in the band, she's their mentor)

Okay... Do you think it's the girl on the right because she has paler skin than the others? Er, perhaps the one with the over the knee socks, as the others have bare legs...(???) If you're also struggling to come up with something, I'm glad. Believe it or not, one of them has had her appearance publicly torn to shreds recently (I know you wouldn't guess exactly what it was that was criticized if it wasn't for the title of my post) and I'm sure which girl is a mystery to you just by looking at this photo.

If you don't watch the X Factor (UK), just to fill you in this is this year's only girl group Little Mix, who are the first girl group in X Factor history to reach ninth place or above (at the time of writing they are through to the quarter finals). It doesn't sound much, but girl groups here are known for their unpopularity and leaving the competition early. [Watch Little Mix's excellent performance from Saturday here.]

But when I saw how totally fierce they all looked at the London première of Breaking Dawn this week (above), I felt a sense of vindication for one of the girls. It's hard to believe, but Jesy Nelson, second from right (with the fabulous honey-coloured curls), received a flood of disparaging comments a couple of weeks ago... about her weight. And not from the tabloids, either, but more alarmingly via Twitter, i.e. written by the British public themselves. It wasn't the newspapers printing vile comments about her weight, but ordinary people casually tweeting 140 characters or less.

Before addressing the whole Twitter-used-as-a-forum-for-bullying argument, the obvious statement here is, what weight??!!! Personally, I see a girl that's as cute as a button, with fabulous hair, and beautiful eyes. And great legs. (I don't need to go on.) Objectively speaking, she has a round face shape, and she doesn't look like she's a size zero - more slim with curves and healthy looking - no weight "problems" in my eyes. So for anyone newly thrust into the crazy world that is celebrity, is that now enough to deem them worthy of receiving vicious comments about their shape and size?

We've all read a thousand stories in the press where celebrities are criticised for their weight. Too fat, too bony, over exercised, overeating. But when it gets to the stage when the public are tweeting faceless comments about someone's weight (or anything else to do with their appearance, whether it be size, hair colour, age, dress sense, etc.), I feel they're worse than the journalists who at least put their names to what they've written. And let's face it, Twitter is an easy-to-use, faceless medium for the average Joe to employ; you can use any moniker you like and not reveal who you really are.

So of course Jesy eventually read the comments on Twitter; most of us wouldn't be able to help ourselves in her position. Thankfully she had the guts to talk about it on the show and shame the haters. It makes me sad to think that people are really, truly writing this stuff - who in their right mind would actually put time and effort into tweeting awful comments and not give a thought to the person to whom it is directed? Do they think they won't read it, or that they deserve it?

I have a hard time believing that these people exist in real life, I really do. But exist they do - in their thousands, it seems. Like others before her, the weight issue has been dumped on this lovely girl in a very public way. We all have issues with regards to our shape and size (or 99% of us I reckon) at different times, for different reasons. I can't imagine what it must be like to have just one person very publicly criticising anything to do with my shape/appearance/weight, never mind droves of them. Soley for the purpose of this post I thought about reading some of the tweets about Jesy, but then decided against it. Why waste my time and energy - I'd rather spend my time posting a complimentary comment on someone's blog and perhaps brighten someone's day.

This is where I swell up with pride where (fashion) bloggers are concerned. I know I've had a brilliant day many times as a result of reading a wonderful comment on my blog. I am SO thankful to every person who takes the time to write something nice about me or my outfits - how rewarding is it to make someone's day on the other side of the world just with a few words? I wrote a comment on a seasoned blogger's post recently and she replied that it was one of the best compliments she'd ever had... how nice is that?? It made my day in return.

So thank you fellow bloggers, for proving that our little community is a great one, and one to be proud of. I know that some people do post nasty comments on fashion blogs, and I've yet to experience that, but if/when I do I'll kill 'em with kindness as they say... they're only wasting their time trying to spreading their own unhappiness. After many years of reading revolting comments on You Tube videos (they're the worst), blogging has totally restored my faith in the general public and it proves just how easily we can make each other feel fabulous. As for Jesy, I have a feeling she'll have the last laugh because whether Little Mix win or not, I think they're now guaranteed success after the show. With Twitter or blogging or any other medium that allows free commenting, I think as time goes on the worse the criticisms, the bigger the backlash.

The irony for the haters is that I think the twits tweeting about Jesy's weight have only contributed to Little Mix's popularity. Well, this girl group certainly has my full weight of support behind them.
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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

ReVintage with a sneak preview

This is a sneak preview of an outfit post (I'm sooo excited about it), but the star of THIS photo is the fabulous bracelet I bought this weekend from the Exeter "Crikey It's Vintage" fair on Saturday.

This vintage beauty is made by ReVintage Jewellery by Rebecca in Devon, England, who makes beautiful contemporary pieces out of recycled vintage items. I'd seen her jewellery online and in her etsy shop so I was desperate to see her stall at the fair... it did not disappoint! I took an age to choose one bracelet - I could have bought three or four easily - but this one I chose because I love the colours and am completely intrigued by the man on the pendant charm. I wonder who he is and who put him on a pendant...?

Below are some more designs - as they're made from vintage bits and pieces each piece is a one-off. Makes them so much more special :)


Aren't they just beautiful?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

White collar worker

Showing off my purchase made with my Go Chic or Go Home chic reward: my gorgeous Asos pearl collar! It's taken me a little while to choose what to get, and it's my first ever blogger reward... I'm so chuffed. I've been wanting an embellished collar for a while and finally decided on this beauty - as it's white it should show up beautifully against most coloured tops and sweaters I have. I love how it adds a touch of drama to a plain top. (Thank you, GCOGH!)

This was a bit of a thrown-together-quickly outfit, and sometimes I think they can often be the best outfits, a little like great impulse buys. If I have too long to get dressed (doesn't happen very often, mind) I often end up trying on half my wardrobe and leaving it in a pile on the bed. I tied the side of the blue tank in a knot because the hem seemed a bit out of shape; I also felt like doing something a little unexpected so decided to knot it. I think I like it on the side - who says you have to have it at the front?

Pearl collar: Asos
Blue tank: F+F
Striped top: Primark
Trousers: Dorothy Perkins (very old, read how I DIY-ed them into harem pants here)
Wedges: La Redoute
Bag: Paul's Boutique
Sunglasses: Therapy at House of Fraser
Pearl bracelets: gift
Black bracelets: unknown
Earrings: unknown
Black ring: New Look
Nails: Models Own Utopia

I'm also entering my second Visible Monday on Patti's Not Dead Yet Style blog - I think this pearl collar counts as something that makes me visible, what do you think...? It's a bit of a show-off piece, and that's why I love it :)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Could you be the most beautiful shoes in the world

*Oh how I love my French Connection suede platform heels*

Do I have to write any more than that? Should I add that I love them even more with my patterned tights? I think they have to be my most favourite pair of shoes of all the shoes I own. Why I haven't paired them with these tights before I have no idea, to me this is footwear heaven. If you love them as much as I do and have size 5 (UK) feet, they're still available (at the time of writing) at half price from Go forth and multiply your shoe collection. Your feet will thank you for it.

I will write one extra thing... something I've noticed about these patterned tights: they're a bit of an optical illusion, I think they make your (my) legs look slimmer than, say, solid opaques. The pattern creates a thick dark line around the edge of your leg with a lighter bit inbetween, a bit like the bodycon dresses which are black up the sides with a white strip up the middle (see the Stella McCartney one on Kate Winslet here). Why is it that you realise these things from looking at photos and it's not obvious when looking in the mirror?! I think I may find myself doing some patterned tights shopping at the weekend :)

Shirt: Very
Bow tie: free "belt" with a pair of trousers
Skirt: Mango
Tights: F+F
Heels: French Connection
Bracelets: Asos
Watch: Red Herring
Bird ring: Asos
Gold rings (set of three): Asos
Nails: Models Own Concrete Mixer

P.S. For heels the shoes are super comfy btw, I know you can't exactly go hiking in them but they fit like a glove.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What's it all about, Alfie?

I'm VERY happy to announce that last week (9th November) I became a Great Auntie for the first time to my niece Laura's newborn baby Alfie... and here's the photo to prove it!

We went to see him at the weekend and he was just the most perfect little bundle of baby, all quiet and peaceful. Bless. I never thought I'd become a great auntie at the age of 39 (even though I've been an auntie since the age of 14). Someone I know recently joked that I was far too young: apparently great aunts smell of mothballs, have ten cats and keep furry mints in their handbags. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint on all counts; I do keep mints (chewing gum) in my bag but they ain't furry!

I thought I'd dress up for our first meeting to impress the little man (no weekend jeans for a change) and clash my patterns again, this time a vintage floral dress and polkadots. And I'm showing off my new metallic loafers from Asos: LOVE them!

Congratulations to my niece Laura and Alex: Alfie was just perfect and I wish you all the best (what a lovely family you all make) xoxo

Blazer: Asos
Dress: Vintage eBay
Belt: Vintage eBay
Leggings: Asos
Loafers: Asos
Gold rings: Asos
Watch: J Jeans by Jasper Conran
Sunglasses: Asos
Poppy: Self made (see Friday's post)
Nails: Barry M Mint Green and Models Own Concrete Mixer (ring finger)

I'm linking up to my first Thursdays are for Thrifters at Spunky Chateau - I think my thrifted (eBay) dress and belt fit the bill!
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