Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Though it might not seem it looking back on my winter outfit posts to date, I am actually an old hippy at heart, partial to a shaggy gilet, folk inspired print dresses, jangly baubles and long cascading earrings. 

I bought this silk print dress from Warehouse a couple of winters ago.  It was no doubt inspired by Freda Gianni's brilliant collection for Gucci in the winter of 2008 which was all very "glamorously bohemian Seventies Russian hippie" and inspired me to try combining a vibrant folkloric print dress with a furry gilet and knee high boots.

Regardless of whether this look is so three years ago or even whether boho chic is in or not, I still love dressing like this in winter.  As a self confessed outfit repeater, I drag this look out when I want an easy way of indulging my more bohemian sartorial spirit (which is usually in hibernation until summer) whilst keeping toasty warm.

The only change is now I have smartened it up with a pair of suede, shearling lined clog boots, courtesy of the My-Wardrobe sale.  They're somewhat of a luxe upgrade from the battered old Topshop biker boots I used to wear with this outfit and much warmer too.  I'm still keeping an eye out for anything shearling lined in the sales to buy and keep for next winter because boy, does that stuff keep you warm!

And a minimalist snood won't do as a winter warming accessory for an old hippy in folk costume.  A shawl with a bit of family history is much more appropriate.

Do you have pieces in your wardrobe that feel more like old friends who have shared important parts of your life with you?  This crocheted fringed wool shawl that I inherited from my dear old grandmother's closet just after she died is one such piece holding pride of place in mine.

I brought it with me to Spain when I went out there to live for a couple of years and it was always the thing I reached for to wrap around my shoulders and neck to keep me warm in winter, or to use as a wrap over a slip of a summer dress when the sea breeze started up in the evenings.  It even doubled as a practice skirt tied around my waist on rehearsal days when my real one was still in the laundry basket.

I believe this shawl has a bit of magic of its own, imparted by the charming lady who was its previous owner and who, like her granddaughter, loved to dance.  My grandmother also had a reputation for being popular with the boys.  As I walked through the narrow Andalusian cobbled streets, an artful flick of her shawl to send the fringes flying as I wrapped it closer around my shoulders would, on more than one occasion, elicit an admiring "Olé!" from male passersby.  As well as a memento of my grandmother, I like to think of it as my good luck charm and that I am adding to its history as a garment by living in it as she once did. 

In monetary terms this shawl is probably worth nothing, but the treasure trove of memories now woven through its tired threads makes it beyond invaluable to me.  I'd like to think it will live to see the day when a granddaughter of mine takes it on her travels.

Shawl, inherited from my Grandmother; Wool Turtleneck, By Malene Birger; Silk floral print dress, Warehouse; Shearling Clog Boots, D&G; Tights; Uniqlo Heattech, Falke; Necklace, Accessorise; Earrings, Warehouse


  1. Wonderful story about your grandmother's shawl! :)

    I can see why this is a go-to outfit for you! It's fab and does look oh so warm! The floral print dress is beautiful!

  2. I'd be most curious to know how those men interpret the "flick of the shawl." I wonder if it is a sort of coded language as fans once were. In any case, I love the print on this dress no matter what year it came out.

  3. That's such a lovely tale and an amzingly beautiful outfit. I want every bit of it, you look fabulous. xxx

  4. I immediately thought of that same Gucci collection when I saw your picture! I was just thinking the other day, that I'd like a wardrobe full of "old friends." I like having great things that are 5+ years old. That scarf has a fantastic history!

    -ps. I'd like to see your McQueen dress!

  5. I think this sort of thing is timelessly stylish, I adore that kind of folk print. The story behind the shawl is lovely x

  6. O Veshoevius, this ensemble is so rich and lovely and comfortable-looking...and timeless, no matter where *fashion* stands on boho chic. I love the idea of putting a gorgeous little print dress over warm black top and leggings or opaque tights. Even slim black jeans.

    I desperately want some bigger antique goldtone jewelry now, atop a little print dress this opulent, but have no idea where to find such a thing in my price bracket. The February US Elle tells me that bold 1970s florals will be "in" this warm season, so I'll keep my eyes open.

    What a wonderful story of affection, memory, and continuing tradition in the shawl. And...even a bit of harmless flirtation, it seems!

  7. cool outfit! I love the pattern on you russian hippie dress :P

    - www.itsanewkate.blogspot.com

  8. i constantly wear one and the same things, as we are such good friends. we simply understand each other without a word. and your dress is amazing - i am in love with its print!

  9. That dress is fantastic--and isn't boho on-trend this spring? According to Neiman Marcus, it is (I think--as if I know what's on-trend or not!). Just looking at that red makes me happy!

    Special pieces like your shawl make dressing meaningful, not just stylish. Love it!

  10. I love this. My inner hippie says "peace out" to your inner hippie.

  11. I think this is my new favorite outfit on you! Thanks for sharing the story of the shawl with us.
    No Guilt Fashion

  12. I LOVE this dress on you, it's just gorgeous. And I really adored hearing the story of the treasured shawl.

  13. I like this so much. It's probably the best way to wear such beautiful dresses in winter. I need to try it myself someday))
    This shawl is so great. I love things which are a part of family history. I have a few shawl I've inharited from my grandmother too and I wear them all the time)

  14. Oh, I inherited a very similar shawl from my grandma, too. I think it's selfmade... I'm all for anti-depression dressing in winter - it really doesn't matter if it's fashionable or hip, as long as it helps to beat the grey and darkness, and this dress surely does!

  15. love it. Your dress is fab and I was IN LOVE with that collection from Gucci when it came out!
    I also adore shawls, especially when they have a history....

  16. Love this russian vibe, the dress is fantastic !

  17. Oh Veshovious, I know exactly what you're talking about with the shawl! I have a scarf , not inherited but my dear closed friend made for me and I've had it for 7 years now.. I have many other scarves, but this is the one I always put on in the winter to keep me warm! :) Clothes can often be so much more than just pieces of garments, right? :)
    Thank you for my 'happy birthday' :)

  18. Of course you had me at babushka. I love this ensemble...looks so much like one I've worn. Comfy, eclectic, fun!


  19. What a rich and wonderful story. I hope your beautiful, soft shawl will be appreciated not for it's monetary worth, but the magic it carries. I have some pieces that I've bought that my daughter can't wait to get her mitts on - she's got her sights set on things that are worth very little, but fill her with happiness. Great idea to snap up those bargains for next year and your dress is glorious! Xo

  20. I love to see all that splash of colour. Wonderful dress and the necklace...yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh
    The photos are fantastic.

    Imagino que estarás emocionada con el festival de flamenco en Londres.
    No te me pierdas para siempre ...
    Besos mil

  21. What a moving post about your grandmother's shawl. I love that it's having another life with you. I'm sure she would love it as well. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

  22. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!

    personally i think it's much preferable to look great rather than 'in style' but meh or worse. (& don't tell, but around here not that many people can recite the main inspirations/themes of the major fashion collections by season and year - it's the veritable sticks!)

    in other fashion news, i was perusin' US Vogue Feb 2011 - article "Gangs of New York' purports to portray the upcoming fab collections of NY-based designers. you'll be thrilled to learn that all the layouts are segregated by race! i sh7t you not, Veshoevius. Caucasian, Asian, and Negro. ugh.

    i'm so glad it's been years since i bought that rag. somehow i can't find that spread on the vogue.com site or i'd link to it - anyone else see it? anyways, you look gorgeous, i can't believe how much i want your hair, that dress + those clog boots - i faint! and grandma's shawl ........ steph

  23. OMG I`m in love with the outfit in the first picture!

  24. Dang. So far this is my fave outfit of yours. What an amazing dress!

  25. I loved the story about your shawl! Almost all of my clothes have similar stories and all kinds of emotional connections, so I can relate.

  26. I have been very touched by all your comments about how you had enjoyed the little story about my gran's shawl and that some of you have similiar items imbued with some history or nostaglia that make them precious to you.

    @tinyjunco - I'm amazed about the Vogue US shoot - might have to buy it when it comes out here to witness with my own eyes!


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