Yesterday's outfit. No I was not attending a funeral. Could have fooled you huh? I remind myself of Mary Poppins. Just missing a jaunty Victorian hat. Or maybe I look more like the chimney sweep covered in black soot head to toe. Sigh! All black outfit. Again. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200. Go straight to fashion jail.
It so happens I had to look serious and businesslike yesterday and the warmest things I had to hand for a snowy day were all black. This is what I wear to pimp myself out to gain work. Pictures like this make me realise how ingrained hiding my feminity becomes when dressing professionally. Cynthia of Be Fabulous Daily and Mrs Bossa did a very interesting Friday Friday exchange last week about this very issue - of whether appearing feminine at work can hinder how you are percieved professionally.
Be Fabulous Daily also offered up an interesting and related quote by Robert Davies from which I took note. "If you look like an underling, you'll be taken for an underling, because people haven't always time to find out what you really are. So do smarten up." The point being that we can change people's perception of us by changing our appearance. Dress for the job you want not for the job you're in? Though I might do well to replace underling with undertaker and give the statement some reconsideration!
I dug out my wool sailor trousers which have tragically had to be adjusted lengthwise to save the hem from snow and puddles and are now too short for my liking. When it's dry I take the hem down to the floor and wear them with high heels. I bought them from the Kate Moss Topshop range and they've seen me through three winters already. They're holding up well for a high street garment!
I'm also wearing an alpaca wool coat, a cashmere blend jacket, my trusty turtlenecks (two), a Uniqlo Heat Tech thermal, the now obligatory two pairs of tights (wool over Heat Techs) and my umbrella. Thought I'd copy all those 30 for 30 bloggers posing with umbrellas (though I haven't actually seen one yet so I'm obviously out of the loop there). However I actually was carrying mine around all day against the threat of snow showers.
The only flat boots I had were unfortunately my distressed bikers which are incongruous against the other shades of black I had on but as the pavements are encrusted with treacherously slippery ice at the moment I don't dare put anything with heels on. Nor do I feel like spoiling any suede, patent and pony skin boots trudging through puddles of black icy sludge.
I like to think my bikers lend the outfit a kind of dishevelled Dickensien Artful Dodginess - hiding behind a cloak of respectable black are the subversive street urchin shoes, giving away that I'm possibly capable of picking your pockets. But hey who am I kidding? I just don't have any other snow friendly shoe that won't send me toppling over as I brave the newly formed public ice rink that were once the pavements of London.
A word about the blazer which is from the Jil Sander J+ for Uniqlo collaboration. I'm not a minimalist type of gal usually but I was intrigued by an article written by Paula Reid in Grazia magazine publicising the release of the J+ range and the shots for the publicity campaign made the collection look quite impressive. Ms Reid was practically having fashion orgasms over the collection, gushing over the quality and cut for the price. The article quoted Sander herself saying that women came back and bought bagfuls of her first collection for Uniqlo because they had literally fallen in love with their new fashion selves and after seeing what I can only imagine was some miraculous transformation in front of the mirror.
I'm the sort of optimist that likes to believe in a fashion miracle so I bought some pieces online to add to my workwear wardrobe: a blue pea coat, a mannish wool tuxedo jacket and some mannish trousers. I returned all of them. It wasn't that they were not nice and well cut. I just somehow wasn't falling over head over heels with me when I looked in the mirror. Maybe I'm just secretly sick of having to dress like a man for the sake of earning money.
They also didn't pass the Mr Veshoevius test, which is just one of the things I use in deciding whether I keep or return a new purchase I'm feeling guilty about. If I parade for him wearing said purchase and he bursts out laughing I usually keep it as it is a good indication that it is so far forward a fashion statement as to be incomprehensible to the average British male (Yeti coats and feather skirts are good examples). But if he just wrinkles his nose up than it is a kind of "meh" neither here nor there piece and not worth keeping.
I did however also drop by to see the carnage in the Uniqlo on Oxford Street a couple of days after the J+ release. I left with this classically cut blazer in a fifty percent cashmere and wool mix. Its warmth and cut finally convinced me to part with my cash and it looks way smarter than the couple of extra layers of knitwear I usually lump on.
Is it snowing where you are? There is a full blown snowball war occurring in my street at the moment! How are you all coping with the cold weather?
Here are some snaps of the sun drenched fields of France. I write this from the UK now where the end of summer is nigh. The days are gett...
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