Saturday, 31 July 2010

'DI Drake you appear to be drunk in charge of a handbag and dressed like a tart again'

Topshop top, Urban Outfitters skirt, M&S tights, Clarks shoes

I have a confession to make.

Today, I dressed like an 80's hooker. I also had an uncanny resemblance to Alex Drake from Ashes to Ashes, hence top picture.

I didn't mean to do it.

I blame my mother for getting me up very early and therefore the fact I didn't check my reflection before I left the house.

I received this top from my sister yesterday. I should have been forewarned by the fact that she wore it for my 18th birthday party, which had an 80's theme. I wanted to wear it and was aware of how well it would go with my new Clarks shoes that I got on sale for £30 (more to come in a post about the shoes later). However, I didn't think I would be able to wear the shoes since my ankle had been cut up by some other new shoes a few days ago and so had dressed to wear flat shoes. However, I slipped on the blue shoes to indulge my vanity and found that actually they weren't rubbing at my ankle. So, I left them on and ran out of the house since by this point my mother was yelling out of the car. It wasn't until my nan gave me a funny look when I clambered in that I stopped to reconsider my choice of footwear. And then suddenly, in a horrible moment of realisation, it dawned on me that I looked horrifically 80s and tarty. The very tight skirt with the sheer tights and heels just looked so, SO tacky. I haven't worn this skirt so far with heels because I suspected it would look tarty and boy, today my suspicions were proved right. I have had some funny looks from people today and have been pulling my skirt down constantly.

Although, the funny thing is, after taking these photos and looking at it again, I do actually really like the outfit...... even if it's the most 80's outfit ever, and looks slutty, and made me feel terribly uncomfortable. Perhaps I'm just not used to feeling so overtly sexual. Ok, I realise this isn't exactly walking around in stockings and a corset, but for me, with my girly dresses and cardigans, this outfit was pretty damn sexy. I don't mind wearing absurd outfits with more colours than a rainbow but dressing sexily is something I'm not terribly comfy with.

Hhhhhmmmm. Tell me what you think- slutty or not? I don't know. I don't think I'll have the nerve to carry this off again, however much my inner Alex Drake wants to.

(Ooh yes, the face in the top picture is my '80s tart' face. Sexy eh??)

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Frying tonight!!

top from... I can't remember where, it's some obscure brand I bought in an outlet shop and now the top's in the wash, Urban Outfitters skirt, M&S tights, Office shoes, Claire's Accessories earrings

I have a complicated relationship with lipstick.

On the one hand, I love it. I love it's classic 50's lady like connotations, the fact it can look so great dressed down with simple outfits, and I do just love the look of lips densely coloured in red like a child scrawled over their mouth with a fat felt tip pen. I've always loved red as an accent colour, and used to use it a lot in my school artwork. I like the fact it's a colour with so many confusing and contradictory feelings attached to it..... love, hate, anger, passion, blood, war..... yeah, you can tell I used it a lot can't you? It symbolises far too many things in my mind.

But, moving away from my ridiculous pretentious tangent, I can't really be getting on with lipstick. I had braces of some kind for about 5 years and worked as a dental secretary for a year or so back when I was 17. Hence, I have a slightly bordering-on-the-obsessive concern with how my breath smells, whether I have crap stuck in my teeth, my mouth is dry, blah blah blah..... And I also feel like my lips are never as moisturised and smooth as they could be. Hence you can see why I find it difficult to get on with lipstick. I am also somewhat cautious when it comes to make up anyway. I am always terrified of looking like some 15 year old chav who can't apply it properly and so therefore always border on the slightly safer side at the worry of looking cheap and nasty. I've watched countless tutorials about how to apply lipstick, and know all about the lipliner, and applying with a brush, and blotting, but I'm still never entirely sure whether it looks alright or whether I look like that child with a felt tip pen.

Despite really liking the red against my pale skin and dark hair, I was also worried I looked a little like this-

.... ie. a bit dead and vampy.

(Ah, Carry On Screaming... one of my favourite films as a child... let's just say my grandad had a slightly wicked sense of humour and not the best judgement when deciding what was appropriate for a child to watch!)

I think I probably just need to get used to the feeling of lipstick and train myself out of the habit of licking and chewing my lips all the time. So, I am asking you all, what do you think? Worth the effort and extra 10 minutes it takes in the morning??

Ooh, just to say, I am heading off to Austria with my family on Saturday and am hoping to get a few posts written to schedule in while I'm gone before then; however this may not happen and there shall be a blog hiatus of some length whether I get them done or not. I shall be back on the 15th with hopefully lots of exciting stories to tell you.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Did somebody take a neon highlighter to my clothes?

first outfit- Monsoon Fusion dress, M&S tights, Office shoes, Tatty Devine necklace

second outfit- H! by Henry Holland for Debenhams dress, M&S coat, tights and scarf, Dr Marten boots

I THINK I MAY HAVE FOUND MY PERFECT DRESS.... you see that one in the top photo there?? Whilst having a gentle flick through the Monsoon sale rails with my sister I stumbled across this frock. I picked it up, gave it the once over, deemed it to be a nice dress with those all-important sleeves and therefore worth a try on, despite the fact it still cost £35. I also took in this apple green number with pink apples printed all over it. I decide to try the black one on first, due to the fact it's a 12 whereas the green one was a (slightly too big for me but worth trying in a sale) 14. After muchos fiddling about with slips getting stuck on my head and me being lost and confused inside the garment, my head finally finds the correct way out and the dress is on.


What before looked like a nice but fairly ordinary dress suddenly becomes the tea dress I have been searching for all these years. Hell, not the tea dress, THE dress. I understand that some of you may not be able to see this magic. But I just put it on and it felt so perfect. It fitted me so well, made my waist look small, boobs covered just the right amount, nice lace and ruffley details, swishy skirt with enough fabric to skim over my hips but not so much it makes me look podgy, DID I MENTION THE BIRD CAGE PRINT..... Oh, how I love it so.


There was to be an obstacle preventing our love.

When I went to take off the dress in the changing room, I discovered a slight problem- I couldn't actually get the dress off over my head. It would get to the tops of my shoulders and that podgy bit on my arms, and then promptly WOULD NOT BUDGE. There was no wiggling, no breathing in or gymnastics I could do to get it off. It was well and truly stuck.

So, I wriggle back into it and call my sister into the changing room to help me get it off, and with her help we succeed. Now, I admit at this point I think perhaps it was just my being a bit tired and flustered that meant I couldn't get the dress off; anyway, I don't think it's an actual problem and head off with the dress. However, after a late night trying on session (I have this habit of trying stuff on I've bought just before I go to sleep if I'm particularly pleased with a purchase) and the subsequent waking up of Ellie to help me get it off I realise that this is more serious than I realised.

So, a decision had to be made.... to take the dress back or attempt alterations??

My mum and I have a nosey at the dress and decide that an alteration may be possible under the arm. The dress has a side zip that goes to just under the arm in the armpit area. We unpick the rest of the seam so the sleeve is open and I neaten up the edges with a few tiny elf stitches. I then stitch an inch long piece of elastic from the one side to the other, so there's a little triangle of open dress with elastic at the end holding the sleeve together. It looks a little strange, but since it's under my arm nobody can see, and it allows me to get the dress off with relative ease!

I realise now perhaps that was the most boring thing I've ever written on here. Oh well, I don't care... alteration win!!!

Other dress is a Henry Holland one I picked up the other day for £15 in a sale; I love the floral neon print and the fact it looks so good with my patent Dr Martens, which I wore despite it being July because it was a horrible cold rainy day and I wanted to keep my feet dry!

The duffel coat is one I got in a M&S outlet for £19. It's a 14, and so a little on the large side, but at that price I couldn't leave it. I've got a bit of an obsession with duffel coats and what with this one's fabulous colour and toggle flap details, I had to buy it. It's strange, I feel so well prepared for the Aberystwyth rain and wind come September when I return! (note- THE COAT HAS A HOOD- I have been on the search for a nice coat with a hood for I think MY ENTIRE LIFE)

Right, I'll shut up now and just publish this because it's far too long already.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Fiddly florals

first outfit- H&M dress, tee shirt and necklace, Bertie shoes

second outfit- dress and necklace as before, Monsoon cardigan, House of Holland for Pretty Polly tights, Melissa shoes

I had seen this dress in H&M quite a while ago but had deemed it to be too expensive at the time for what would be a fairly fiddly piece to style. When it gets to the summer, if something has sleeves or is down to the knee, I'll deem it worth my money, since these are rare kinds of dresses to be found on the British high street; however, if they look like they require tights and layering, I'll perhaps leave them to be reduced before I buy them. There was only one of these dresses left in the shop; despite it being a size 16, what with H&M's pretty dodgy sizing, I thought it would be worth a try on. Slightly to my shame, it fitted, and I know I wouldn't have got a 12 on, and the 14 may have been pushing it. Whilst I loved the print and piping detail, I was slightly concerned by the fit; despite it being (apparently) two sizes too big it was still on the somewhat stretchy clingy side. But I bought it, thinking I could ask my wise mother for her opinion when I got home. With mum's encouragement and a pair of my sexy-as tummy control pants on, I decided to keep it. I styled it by picking out the colours in the print, which I have realised is my usual method of colour co-ordinating outfits. I think I preferred wearing the cardigan over the tee shirt because I felt a little more covered up; but I definitely prefer the purple tights and blue shoes with the dress. What do you all think?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Follow the yellow brick road...

H&M shirt dress, shoes via charity shop (they're apparently Fiore Collection which I think is Matalan!), Topshop belt, Tatty Devine necklace

Dorothy Perkins tee shirt, H&M waistcoat, Only skirt, ASOS tights, H&M braces and necklace,
shoes as before

These sunshine shoes are my latest charity shop find. They were sat in Oxfam's window calling out to me. I wasn't sure what I'd wear them with but knew that they were just too funky to leave. Surprisingly, considering I have none of this mustard colour in my wardrobe, I've found quite a few things to wear them with. The first outfit is inspired by a colour combination found in a Trinny and Susannah book. I went through a period when around 15 of being quite obsessed with them and their 'What You Wear Can Change Your Life' book . It contains a great section where they give you colour combinations for every colour in the rainbow in an attempt to drag people out of the rut of teaming all colour with black. Despite always dressing a little like a kids TV presenter, I found this advice invaluable. So, kudos to Trinny and Susannah for being awesome. Anyway, that little tangent aside, there was a colour combination of teal, purple and mustard in there that has always stuck in my mind as a really nice combination. However, not having any mustard items, I couldn't exactly put this together; but upon buying the shoes, this was the first thing that popped into my head. I therefore paired them with this H&M shirt dress and teal tights. This belt is also one of my sister's that I usually nick when I'm wearing this dress. I like having the chunky belt (that should go with jeans) over the oversized shirt.

Second outfit was my attempt at weaning braces. I had worn them with the same skirt and a red checked shirt the day before but then I got soaked in the rain on the way to the bus station and outfit was no good to show you. So, I put this on yesterday in an attmept at wearing them again. I'm not sure how well this worked really. I think I may have far too many elements going on in one outfit really, what with the tights and waistcoat and braces. But, I did really enjoy wearing the tights with the new shoes. I picked up this apple necklace for £3 in H&M the other day.

I think I've mentioned how I'd started volunteering at the St Lukes Hospice charity shop in my local town. I've only been in a couple of times so far but am gradually working my way through some of the stock upstairs at the instruction of my boss, sorting out the crap from the sell-able! Anyway, I wanted to mention it again because I have this great boss Sue, and she very kindly brought in for me this pink and navy patterned silk vintage jacket that she didn't wear anymore. I am very excited about wearing it, and just wanted to tell you the news and attempt to build some sort of anticipation, rather than you alljust wondering what crazy combination I'm next going to throw together when I've run out of black tights. But I shall save photos for a post all of it's own, it deserves it. Although, speaking of St Lukes, I popped in for a few hours today when wearing the yellow shoes and found that perhaps they're not the most suitable thing to wear when I'm going there- they have a very rickety narrow staircase and I made a formidable clunking noise as I attempted to get down the steps without falling over my own feet! ( I have a terrible habit of falling up OR down stairs since I tend to run very fast on them. Hence my caution in combination of shoes + narrow staircase + my massive feet that don't tend to fit on steps anyway).

Ooh, and yes people, that IS a new sewing machine sat in the background! I am currently in the process of tidying and clearing my room ready for it to take it's rightful place on my desk. I may post some photos of the nice organised space when I'm done just so I have some proof it was tidy at one point or another!

I think I might finish all posts with 'Ta ta for now, cocoa calls'.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Childhood Reunion

Topshop dress, Dorothy Perkins shirt, really old vest from Tesco, M&S tights, Office shoes, Polly Pocket necklace off Ebay, Accessorize earrings

I don't know if any of you remember me mentioning how there was a dress of the scarf I wore in this post, but it was beyond my budget at that point? Well, upon seeing a sale sign plastered upon Topshop's window, I decided to venture in to see whether I had been lucky enough to have been left with said dress in required size. Unfortunately, they didn't have it in a 12; however, they did have a 10, and I thought it would at least be worth a little trip to the changing rooms, even if chances of it fitting me were slim. I also picked up the skirt in a size 12 and 14 to try on, picking up the 14 since Topshop skirts tend to be insanely short and I thought if it sat a little lower, it would in turn be a little longer. However, the skirt was a complete no go; even with a size 14, the 'waist'band still sat at a funny angle across my tummy and it was still far too short. I know I have quite a lot of quite short stuff, but I've had one of the Topshop chiffon numbers before and they are not comfortable to wear. They tend to slide around and also up, so you have to be constantly readjusting and tugging, which is frankly just embarrassing and a pain in the arse after a while. So, the dress was the only way of obtaining any more of this beautiful print to have in my wardrobe. When I first put it on I was surprised at how spacious it was; even with a 10 and a push up bra on, there was still a bit of wriggle room across the chest area. However, one thing I had unfortunately not noticed beforehand was that the whole chest area was COMPLETELY SHEER. And I understand the whole underwear as outerwear thing, but just to have your bra on show through a dress? I don't understand Topshop, someone please explain! The dress also had a 'lining', apparently to protect your modesty, but the problem was this was pretty sheer too and my black knickers were pretty damn obvious. But, despite all these things, I still came away with the dress swinging in a Topshop bag from my arm. I just couldn't leave the beautiful fabric; despite the many styling challenges the dress seemed to pose, I felt they could be overcome for that lovely print. The sheer top half could be solved by layering a vest underneath, and my mum and I simultaneously had the thought that it would look good with a denim shirt layered over it. So we popped into Dorothy Perkins where I remembered seeing a shirt in the sale, and the outfit was complete.
I have a feeling however that there are several of you out there who have been thinking this whole time, 'Stop wittering on about the dress, tell us about the fricking Polly Pocket necklace!' Yes everyone, I bought a Polly Pocket necklace off Ebay that I had as a child. I am that cool. I just saw it and immediately knew I was going to have to buy it. It makes me happy that I have been reacquainted with one of my favourite necklaces from my childhood. I had to put it on a new chain though to make it longer so it didn't look so childish. And yes, I am fully aware of the hypocrisy of that last statement, but let me be contradictory. The kitsch needs to be a little toned down sometimes.
I really loved wearing this outfit; the dress was actually very comfy, and nice and swishy on rather a warm day (it was too hot for tights really, but I'm a silly bugger). I must say though, silly as this sounds, I didn't like looking so 'on trend'. What with the pastels and the bleached denim, I did feel a little too trend conscious for my own good. Much as I don't want to look like an alien from a strange planet, I don't like looking like everybody else. But I think the Polly Pocket may have saved me from that, and so that £8.99 was definitely worth it.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

I just need a deckchair to complete this outfit...

Miss Selfridge tee shirt nicked from my sister, Laura Ashley cardigan, homemade skirt, charity shop belt, M&S tights, Topshop earrings

Is it sad that I planned an entire outfit around my eyeshadow?? Well, I don't care, because the MAC pigment is INCREDIBLE. I've got it layered over a Benefit cream eyeshadow in Stiletto. It's the most amazing intense violet colour and makes my eyes look really bright and sparkley. It also stays on really well. Usually my eyeshadow flakes a little or creases, but this hasn't at all. It's probably also thanks to the cream eyeshadow underneath, so I must thank Benefit also. I want to wear it every single day. I'm sorry the close up shots aren't great; I tried my best but it's pretty fiddly to take pictures of your own face. I also apologise for looking a little demented in the photo with my eyes looking upwards, but I was trying to show you how the colour contrasted with my irises.
Anyway, this is the skirt I made myself. I'm aware this outfit isn't terribly flattering, but I wanted to wear something purple and wear my new shell belt. I could have done with making the skirt a bit longer and the elastic perhaps a little smaller, so it sat more on my waist than on my belly. If I make another one I shall endeavour to do so. I once again paired the skirt with my ice cream earrings to continue the holiday theme, likewise with the belt. These tights are also some new ones I recently discovered in M&S. I'd had some sheer ones from Topshop, but they were a bit prone to laddering and they also cut into my belly somewhat. These ones from M&S are much more comfortable and better quality. They perhaps aren't the best look with a skirt this short but it was hot, so I don't really care.
I just said to my dad that I'm never quite sure how to finish off my posts. He suggested, 'Ta ta for now, cocoa calls.' So that's how I'm going to end it!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Pink, purple and poetry

Bohemia dress, H&M cardi, M&S vest (although I don't really know why you want to know that, it's just a plain white vest!), Carvela shoes, old necklace of my mum's

This is one of the dresses I bought at the weekend. It's a little unusual for me, both in the colour and in the style. I tend to end up reverting back slightly to my younger hippy self in the summer, just because it's a lot more comfortable and a hell of a lot more flattering. Tiny denim shorts are not for me. I've got things in a similar purpley tone, like this cardi, but this is a little pinker than usual. I tried it on though and really liked the colour with my hair. It's a wrap dress which is why it requires a vest underneath, although I think anyone would need a vest, not just me with my rather large chest! (Ooh look, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). It's also got this really interesting detail on the chest area. I like how it's not just a simple maxi dress, but has the tiers and a long enough wrap around to tie a bow on the front. I've got rather sore feet after being out today with the Carvela shoes on, but it was worth it to wear them with this dress! I really love this old necklace of my mum's, but I don't wear it very often after too many comments about how it looked like a cannabis leaf- oh dear. I loved wearing this dress today- I felt really pretty and girly, and quite summery for me. I also bought these Accessorize earrings today, because I've been trying to get more long earrings since I've been growing my hair and I can now wear longer ones again. I also bought my first bit of MAC make up today. I bought some violet eyeshadow from Bourjois a while ago and really like the purple with my green eyes, but wanted something with a more intense colour, and that I hopefully wouldn't flick all over my face whilst applying it! I asked the ladies at the MAC counter whether they had anything in this sort of colour in a cream eyeshadow; they unfortunately hadn't, but she suggested layering this pigment over a cream eyeshadow which would not only intensify the colour but also help to keep it on. I'm very excited to try it out; I've only ever heard good things about MAC make up, and may adventure back for some lipstick if this stuff turns out to be good.

I've read this post back over now and feel like it's got too many exclamation marks. But hey, I'm in a good mood, I'm going to leave them in. And yes, I did have this photo taken at a train station. Sorry, I forgot to use more picturesque scenery. I've been to Totnes today with my friend Sinead, which is this amazing town about an hour's train journey away. It used to be my favourite place to shop when I was a kid and didn't disappoint when I went back today. But I did manage to curb my purchases today and only bought a couple of books which might be relevant to my dissertation. I found this really old copy of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poetry in a second hand book shop which is great because I'm thinking of doing my dissertation on him. I also bought some silk offcuts from this amazing fabric shop to (hopefully) make some hairbands I can sell on Etsy. I shall post some pictures up here when I'm finished to let you all see what you think. But now I should head off to bed since I am doing my first day volunteering tomorrow and I have a load of ironing to do beforehand! Yes, I know, my life is terribly exciting. I'm sorry, this is what being confined to a small Devon village does to you.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

A rather inarticulate post in which I get far too excited about a trench coat.

M&S coat, Miss Selfridge dress via charity shop, Dorothy Perkins tee shirt (just seen), M&S tights and belt, Office shoes, bag via charity shop, Tatty Devine necklace

This is one of those items that I have had in my wardrobe for a very long time and have yet never worn. When I bought this trench coat I absolutely loved it. However, my reservations about the sandy beige colour on me never really went away and so I have never worn it. But I do just absolutely love all the unusual detailing with the pleats and the collar, and decided the other day that I WAS going to wear it. Then I wore it out yesterday and am kicking myself for not having done it before! I felt so cool for having such an unusual coat. I tried to pair it with other school wear-type items, such as my pinafore and the satchely bag. (And by the way, how fucking awesome is this bag???!! I found it in Oxfam the other day, but I do need to find a strap for it, since as you can tell the pink strap doesn't really go). I tried to make it a bit quirky though with the coloured tights, glasses necklace and metallic brogues. I really really loved this outfit and am looking forward to being able to wear this coat again. Sorry, I'm being kind of gushy about the coat! I'll shut up now. I've got some really nice dresses in sales at the weekend that I'm really looking forward to showing you. Also, starting volunteering at the St Lukes Hospice shop this week so am probably soon going to start coming home with even more random old lady things!
I'm sorry, this post is really inarticulate. I shall endeavour next time to sound more like an English university student and not some excitable 14 year old.