Monday, 29 November 2010

Yeti In the House and Fashion Blogger Challenges

Greetings.  I am the Abominable Snow Woman.

In case you haven't heard the UK is experiencing another Big Freeze with snow and ice over most of the north and a good dose of it heading steadily south.  The north of the country has copped the worst and depending on who you believe it is either a relatively balmy 0 to -2 degrees Celsius in London tonight with some predictions of snow.  Nothing like the mercury hovering around or below zero to send me running to the wardrobe to layer on the shag pile to keep warm.

Now I fully expect that anyone living in somewhere like Canada or North America is probably sneering by now but oh my God!  I am so cold!  Even wearing Uniqlo Heat Tech everything, two cashmere sweaters, a yeti coat, two pairs of thermal tights and suede trousers, I am still cold when I step outside.  Today I actually googled "shearling trousers" with the full intent of purchasing whatever creation popped up on screen, however hideous.  Suffice to say that I was sorely disappointed to discover they don't exist.

Last year I missed the Big Freeze completely having been overseas.  This year it has arrived early and caught me off guard completely.  I was still mid-way through changing over the clothes in the wardrobe from summer/autumn to full on winter gear.  As Sod's law would have it, the week in which temperatures dive to record breaking levels for November would be the same week that our flat's central heating system would choose to spring a leak and cease functioning properly.  A leak that requires all the floorboards being ripped up to find it!  So, not a great week all round.

To top it off my evening's plans have unfortunately been scuppered by the ongoing tube strike which appears to be running past its promised stop time of six thirty.  Yes, in addition to bad weather and an ongoing brutal recession we have half the nation on strike with gradually increasing civil unrest amongst our student population.  Emigration anyone?

I don't really fancy getting the bus looking like the Sasquatch incarnate so I'm staying in and hoping Mr V gets home in time to walk to our local pub for last orders.  At least on the tube there is always guaranteed to be someone dressed way more outrageously than me and it's about ten degrees warmer underground.

You might have guessed my biggest style challenge is dressing for the cold.  I'm a warm weather person through and through.  Below a certain temperature I am completely out of my depth in deciding what to wear.  My proverbial idea of hell isn't flames, it's ice.

Honestly, I normally just give up and stay in rather than suffer or go out looking, well, like a yeti.  Or worse, I pile on way too many layers to be flattering to my small frame (I gain at least ten centimetres in girth) and I wear the same cosy but boring things on endless loop.  I've decided this year my challenge is that the winter is not going to get me in the fashion doldrums though I am still trying to formulate what my goals should be.

And on that note I would like to pay homage to a few bloggers who have really inspired me with the fashion challenges they have currently set themselves and are posting about.  These ladies have my complete admiration because I am essentially a lame and lazy human being that hates having to do things because I have to and would fail if I ever attempted one of these challenges.

There are various interesting motivations for people undertaking this challenges - wanting to get greater use out of their clothes, enhancing their creativity, saving money, reducing clothes related waste going to landfill and networking with other bloggers doing the same challenge.  The results are inspirational and I keep telling myself that if these girls can rise to these challenges then surely I can pull my sartorial self together and brave a few snowflakes in style!

Cynthia of Be Fabulous Daily is taking the GAAD - that is Great American Apparel Diet to the uninitiated.  No clothes shopping for a year.  Gulp!  I thought I was good cutting up a credit card until I came across her blog, which has made me think about my clothes shopping habits.  A lot!

I'm Not Emily Brown is a blog by a lady after my own heart.  Emily has not one, not two, but five pairs of leather shorts! And she has set herself an impressive challenge in this weather to tear off the accusing price tags and wear one pair of shorts a day.  She has some seriously sassy outfits!

Terri of Rags Against the Machine, Katy of Modly Chic and No Guilt Fashion are all doing the 30 for 30 challenge that a lot of American bloggers seem to be doing - basically sticking to thirty items in your wardrobe for a month and remixing them.  I find this an impressive feat to take on in winter!  Given I am wearing ten items of clothing in one outfit at the moment I would probably get through 30 garments in three days!

Although the idea of not shopping for a year, wearing shorts in near zero temperatures or limiting myself to 30 items in my wardrobe all fill me with true dread, I will say that, although I'm unlikely to sign up to these sorts of challenges, all of these bloggers have succeeded in making me rethink about buying something new or how I might wear something I already have.  So hats off ladies!


In my old age I had forgotten to mention JT Wisdom of Bubbling With Elegance and Grace, who is also another blogger I'm following doing the 30 x 30 challenge!
I've also been reliably informed by Katy of Modly Chic via her twitter feed that coats are not included in the 30 x 30 selection which makes it a bit easier.  Phew!  Still find it an impressive challenge though.


  1. Haha, thanks for the shout-out. I think GAAD would be more of a challenge if I didn't already have enough clothes that I would need five bodies to wear them all out within a year. I just have to use them all. GAAD is calling my attention to the fact that I am one of those people they talk about when they talk about over-consumers, and I hope I will have gotten that in check by the time my next birthday rolls around.

  2. Thanks for the shout out. I think those boots are gorgeous. I'm looking for a pair of pointy toe boots. I hope you stay warm. Have fun shopping at home, and enjoy the pub. Lastly thanks for introducing me to I'm not Emily Brown.
    No Guilt Fashion

  3. Veshoevius--thank you for the mention. Days like you describe, I just want to curl up under many layers, wear wool socks and just stay in bed. Your post reminded me of a poem by the American poet, Robert Frost:

    Some say the world will end in fire;
    Some say in ice.
    From what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

  4. i find dressing for the winter pretty difficult as well. and i too am impressed with all the ladies taking on the 30 / 30 challenge! especially during the winter. if i was doing this it would be 30 pictures of me wearing jeans and my giant black coat that covers everything above midcalf. exciting.. =P

    Vogue Gone Rogue

  5. What a tremendous outfit! I adore those boots but sadly they might be out of the question today, we've got a whole heap of snow.
    My way round the abysmal weather (apart from going to Goa) is lots of colour to cheer myself up. I don't wear jumpers as like you, I'm quite small and feel I look silly. Thermal undies, two pairs of tights and sometimes a jacket under a coat for extra

  6. Beautiful and barbarian !

  7. I have to say i dont think I would have it in me to do any of the afore mentioned challenges. Every morning I stare into my closet willing a new interesting outfit to appear magically in front of my eyes.If I was limited I suppose it might make it quicker but I doubt it! Fair play to them and you!

  8. I love reading your blog - if I had a blog of my own, this is exactly what I would be saying! Fay x

  9. Hey V, came here to reply to your comment (thank you!) in case you didn't see it on my post, and got sucked into reading your post. I've got to go out to the Uniqlo event across town and because I know I have all day - I'm procrastinating like crazy! We (husband & I) were saying when we were walking yesterday that it's not that cold at all, not by NY standards - I mean, yesterday would have been a REALLY NICE DAY in NY - sunny and mild. It's all relative.

    Will check out the other bloggers' challenges. I don't understand: why would American Apparel set up a challenge to not buy anything? Is that why they're in trouble financially? It's a lovely idea but doesn't sound very fiscally intelligent.

    Anyway, here's my reply (and thank you for the head's up re: Friendly Friday. I have joined! I love it!)

    . . .

    Hey V - (I'll put this on your blog too in case you don't happen to see this) - yes that's me in the top shot & the coat is from last year - MOTEL, £79.00 - still being sold:

    I'm not kidding - it is the best thing in my wardrobe! It is SOOOOO warm, like being inside a giant teddy bear. I love it to bits. I've discovered there's also a white jacket that's pretty cool: (I'm really into white right now).

    Which KAtia shoes did you get from My Wardrobe?


  10. p.s. In hindsight maybe that's why I wasn't cold yesterday: I was wearing the Motel faux leopard coat. AND Uniqlo heat tech tights under my H&M nude riding-pants style leggings.

  11. Hola increible mujer de las nieves, Tú estarás guapa en cualquier cosa, pero es cierto que es muy dicifil estar glamourosa cubierta por 7 capas...
    Un abrazo grande y cálido.

  12. I so understand you! We've the really cold weather for the second day now and I'm already fed up! I want spring! I just hate layering and the fact that I feel that I can't breath in all those layers :) People are just not meant to live in the conditions like these :)
    The coat is perfect! Yetis are the best! I hope it's warm too :)

  13. Oh, I love your outfit. The fluffy jacket and the supercool bloomers... Want it all! We just had family from Germany over and they were constantly complaining about the cold. English houses are just not made for temperatures below 10 degrees, I think. xo

  14. I absolutely love anything big and fuzzy! I am feeling sorry for myself as I had to ebay my mongolian coat as I cant even fasten it up ;-( I love this look,with the boots and everything, is is gorgeous.

    I love reading bloggers challenges so thanks for some of these links I havent see before. My fashion challange it the 'fabulous test' I only buy it if it is the most amazing thing in the world and looks totally fabulous, hence I dont waste time and money and random crap which ends up shoved in the wardrobe!

  15. I'm a big fan of your blog so i nearly choked on my morning cup of tea to get a mention in your post, thank you! I'm having serious coat envy, i ADORE your coat!! I'm really in awe of the 30 for 30 girls, i did once manage to live out of a very small ruck sack during the requisite post uni back pack around Australia, it's amazing how you can roll your clothing in to teeny tiny bundles with enough determination!

  16. Brrrrrrr - what an absolute bummer about your central heating. As if it's not bad enough that winter's freeze has come early, you can't even get warm at home!! I had to smile when you described your multiple layers - sounds just like me when the cold really hits hard -I just pile it all on, THEN, hop into bed!! I like your shearling pants idea - maybe Karl wasn't on a bad trip when he came up with Chanel's A/W mood boards this year? ;). I love challenges and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with to keep warm this winter - no pressure eh? ;). Turns out we're going to have a very wet, cool summer here in Queensland - the weather's crazy everywhere. xo

  17. Pretty Yeti! You look like the heroine in an awesome post-apocalyptic winter action movie.

    Shearling trousers sound like a great idea for the right person, which I think you might be. Try searching for "shearling pants," perhaps? I know folks across the pond laugh at us for saying "pants," esp. "khaki pants" (cacky pants) -- but it should bring up a few hits on Google.

    Here are some striking shearling pants, which should defy even your heating system problem:

    Mens Soviet Shearling Wool Bib Pilot Pants. "The pant shell is made from heavy quality cotton, waterproofed, windproof. The pants have thick black real sheep shearling fur lining inside. The pants are perfect for extreme cold weather especially for frosty or snowy regions. In these pants you can stay (even lay down) on the snow a few days and never get cold."

    Though...knowing of your sewing talents...I'll bet you could buy some trousers a size or two up and line them. Easier suggested than done, I realize.

  18. Loving your coat! The challenges are a good way alright to appreciate what you have or might have forgotten about, which happens so easily! That said, there is no way I could the 30 for 30! Baby steps only!
    xxx Comtesse xxx

  19. Your outfit looks so warm and cozy..or maybe I should say warm and fuzzy!

  20. @Cynthia - with regards to needing the five bodies to wear it all and being an over consumer I think I am in a similiar boat. Though GAAD is beyond me I have and am taking steps to improve and reading blogs like yours actually helps keep me on the straight and narrow.

    @No Guilt Fashion - these boots were from Topshop if you have it over there where you are.

    @Terri - thank you for that poem - I love Robert Frost - studying him in high school. Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy evening currently springs to mind looking at the snow out here!

    @kirsty elena - lol! I know 30 days of a big black coat would be about as much as I could offer too! Quite dull!

    @Vintage Vixen - I'm in flats now and still nearly falling over the icy pavements! I think you are hard core to keep warm in just that - I wear all of what you listed and still need something extra!

    @lady sélénite - Barbarian! Mais oui! I like it!

    @jessica - "Every morning I stare into my closet willing a new interesting outfit to appear magically in front of my eyes" Hmmm curious - I do this pretty much every morning too...Thanks for your comment and your visit!

    @fay_stephen - oh thank you! I'm amazed anyone reads what I have to say to be honest. Your comment has warmed me far more than my thermals!

    @Polka Dot - I've tweeted at you to tell Uniqlo they need to up the heat on their "heat generating" heat tech garments. Heat generating my elbow!
    Regards to GAAD - I don't think but Cynthia may have to correct me on this one, that the company American Apparel have anything to do with this challenge - I think it is literally a challenge that is based in America based on people not buying apparel for a year.
    And thanks for the links!

    @sacramento - gracias hija! "es cierto que es muy dicifil estar glamourosa cubierta por 7 capas" jajaja - verdad? Parezco un salchichon gorda!

  21. @Ginta - well I'm glad to hear a European saying that and that it's not just me being a whining Aussie

    @SabinePsynopsis - the bloomers are actually harems stuffed into OTK boots - that's one of the things I love about harems, you can change the look of them by playing around with their volume - I like their ability to morph into something more bloomer like!

    @Pearl Westwood - Thank you and condolences for having to part with your mongolian jacket - good excuse to buy a new one! Your totally fabulous rule is very sensible!

    @I'm not Emily Brown - aaww! Your blog is fab! I'm impressed at your backpacking story! I've never backpacked - sad fact - kudos for living out of a back pack for a year!

    @Pull your Socks Up - yeah furry Chanel trousers! That's what I need - would so complete the look!

  22. Cloud of Secrets - oh my God! They actually exist! They look like ski gear - I'm almost sold! I dunno - maybe with the right shearling aviator jacket it could be Burberried into a Russian aviator nagivating the post apocalyptic ice age. A snowy landscape does feel apocalyptic to me you know - all that life hidden away under a layer of white...
    You are right - I didn't think to type in pants - shows you how long I've been in England as I now associate pants with underwear but in Australia pants is used synonymously with trousers.

    @Comtesse de ferveur - I think that is so true, that it forces you to remember things you can't even remember buying or owning in the first place. And yes baby steps for me too!

    @Italian Postcards, @Jazzy E (hivennn) - thanks for visiting and for your comments, lovely to meet you!

  23. My god, woman, you pull off the most fabulous clothes! And here's me wondering how to style those velvet harems...(Advice from a more daring lady would be much appreciated.)

    As you say, the hardest part is not staying warm - you certainly seem to be trying your damnedest - but staying warm AND feeling stylish. I seem to be drawn to 'cute' things, and as a result end up looking like an errant schoolgirl...!

  24. Veshouvius, This is exactly the post I needed to read right now! A woman who dreads the cold and snow (like me!), but who puts so much fun into the dressing for it. Fabulous! And I've been watching a few of the 30 for 30 remixers, too--in a bit of awe. They are certainly inspiring. I hope the next time around to be one of them. Thanks for some of these links--they'll provide eye-candy and inspiration, I'm sure!

  25. Veshoevius thank you for mentioning me here, appreciate it very much. I can say that 30 x 30 has been really a good experience and enjoying the remix. It really has made me appreciate even more what I have in my closet.

    I simply adore your jacket and the velvet pants with the boots are so chic and look so warm. In my neck of the woods it's cold but not as cold as you mentioned so stay warm and keep looking fabulous.


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