Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Boathouse


If there is one thing I have certainly learnt over fifteen years of living in England, it is this - never pack your winter clothes away in the Spring!  Who turned off the sun?  If you weren't aware, the UK has been plunged back into wintry weather for almost a month now with grey cloudy days, chilly winds, heavy rain showers and even the odd hail storm.  There's no end in sight either.  Recent news reports have been proclaiming that May will be the coldest and wettest on record!

So much for Spring!  All those lovely pastels and florals I've bought recently in readiness for the greatly anticipated warmth of the new season sadly still await me, slowly gathering dust in my closet. I've been back in my winter wardrobe - coats, scarves, woolly tights, sheepskin hat, boots and all.  Hats off to all you diehards I see shivering on your way to work in your cotton trench coats, spring dresses, polyester thin pastels, bare legs and open toe sandals.  I salute your commitment to ringing in the change of seasons regardless (and secretly wonder if some of you English girls managing to bare flesh in these temperatures have heat conducting plasma running through your venous system instead of human blood).

For those like me who are finding the untimely return of Winter hard to stomach, here's some virtual sun instead! These were taken during the Australian summer (a real summer!) on our recent trip. This is also one of my favourite places, the foreshore in Perth near Matilda Bay. And as these were the last photos I downloaded onto blogger off my old computer before it got stolen please indulge me as I share the entire sequence with you!

Dress: Saloni; Sandals: Accessorize; Bag: Michael by Michael Kors

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Pyjama Party


Terri at Rags Against the Machine is holding a virtual sleepover where everyone showcases their PJs and I am late for the party!  Oh well, these are my pyjamas - it is one p.m. on a Sunday and I am still wearing them while perusing the web.  I'm generally non-functional until past midday on a Sunday after a hectic week of work (which includes Saturdays).  After I've downed two coffees I start to feel like I could actually achieve something, like say the laundry or last night's washing up!

As I am still camera-less, this is a picture of my pyjamas taken in milder climes from our holiday snaps in Spain last summer, which is when I bought these from a company called Oysho, part of the Indetix group that owns Zara I believe.  I bought them to make myself more presentable to my parents on Skype on a Sunday morning video call.  Previously it was battered old tees and track pants!

Apart from being a cute design, they are made out of modal which makes them super soft for sleeping in.  As it has still been freezing at night here, I've also been wearing a pair of Falke grey cashmere leg warmers on my feet which I bagged on sale for £8.  And in winter I add a cashmere jumper from Uniqlo on top!  This may sound extravagant however when it gets really cold here at night it works out cheaper and more environmentally sound than keeping the heating on all night!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Ice Cream Colours


Happy Easter everybody!  Spring is here at last!  Spring means birds, bees, buds, flowers, green shoots, sunny walks in the park and ice cream!

It's hard for me not to get excited about the return of pastels this season when you call them something as mouth wateringly enticing as ice cream colours.  Given that it is Easter and everyone is about to crack open their Easter eggs and indulge their sweet tooth, I thought it appropriate to reflect on how fashion designers have been imploring us for some time to give in to our sartorial sweet tooth and embrace the saccharine sweetness of pastels.

A couple of years ago pastels burst onto the catwalks in the form of sugary shades.  Then a couple of seasons later they reappeared, watered down and icier in tone, relabelled as sorbet shades.  This year there's been some cream and eggs added to that sugary sorbet mix and pastels have emerged with ice cream flavours.  How many ways can you say pastel green in ice cream? Pale mint, spearmint or pistachio?  Cream becomes vanilla, blush pink is now strawberry, rose, bubblegum or candy.  Berry flavours translate into ice blue or lavender and fruity ones into palest peach, lemon sorbet and lime sherbet.

Of course it's all the same really.  Anyone who bought pastels the last time around is likely to have things they can recycle to work the trend again this year.  Whether you call pastels candy colours, sugared almond hues, gelato shades, or ice cream colours it's just another way the fashion industry tries to sell us an old idea with a new label.  And sugar is much easier to market than say "pale and washed out" or "chalky". 

I'm usually quite sanguine about Spring Summer trends but this year I am buying into this one.  Walking into clothes shops lately and seeing all those pastels lined up on the rails in all their macaroon tinted glory has literally made me feel like a kid in a candy store.  I'm on the lookout for pastel shades in icy tones that suit my skin tone - ice pink, mint, lavender and ice blue - and then I want to wear them altogether!  Something in my brain has snapped with the opening of the first daffodils here and I am suddenly craving lots and lots of colour.  Or maybe my senses have just been fooled to think that all those sugary shades hitting the stores right now and delighting my eyes are going to fizz on my taste buds and delight my palate instead when I get around to wearing them.

 

A couple of weeks ago we had an usually warm, sunny spell for this time of year which had Londoners scrambling at the opportunity to wear summery clothes and enjoy the sunshine.  I was expecting to find nothing in pastel hues in my wardrobe, but lo and behold, seek hard enough Veshoevius and ye shall find.  This is mostly shopped from the wardrobe.  I found a patchwork suede coat and a vintage beaded cardigan I've had for years in a similar shade of pale blue. I also pulled out last year's blush pink maxi skirt, which I suspect is going to prove very useful this season! But I couldn't resist this very sweet bird print shell top which is the new purchase.  Oasis - all is now forgiven on your Stargate of last season for bringing a print this unashamedly pretty into my life!  And I'm wearing some vanilla espadrilles (not seen).

Funnily enough when this photo was taken in the park we saw many small children walking past and the occasional adult with ice cream cones piled high with scoops of brightly coloured ice cream.  Amongst the vanilla and chocolate were bright pink, minty green, and a rather lurid blue.

This outfit is featured over on the "How I Wear My..." series over at Everything Just So which Jill is hosting this week and the theme is colourblocking.  And it is also on Friend Friday's Easter Colours over at Modly Chic.  Head over to these blogs to check out how other bloggers are working colour for Spring.

And if you think I couldn't get any more mileage out of this post I've also submitted it to Everybody, Everywear!

Image 4554

Blush pink pleated maxi skirt, Miss Selfridge; Bird and floral print tank: Oasis; Beaded pale blue cardigan, Vintage; Pale blue suede coat, Chine, Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Friend Friday - One Hit Wonders

Happy April Fool's Day! Thought I'd pretend it's Friday when it's actually Sunday and I'm late with my Friend Friday post, which I started last week and then got waylaid.  This week the Friend Friday crew are talking about "the one-time use phenomenon" on blogs. Says Katy of Modly Chic "I've been reading a number of posts lately about only wearing something once and how many bloggers are accused of this. Seems a good topic for us"

My Wardobe (and then I woke up!) - Source: Lace & Tea
The discussion has stemmed from the reputation bloggers are creating for themselves when they do outfit posts where they are only wearing things once. It could be the case but what is posted on the internet is only ever a momentary snapshot in the time line of an individual's life and what they happen to be wearing.  I am not an outfit of the day blogger but as there are many items of clothing that appear in a post once on my blog that get a lot of use offline, I'd imagine that's the case for most other bloggers too.

1. Are you a one-time wearer?

As much as it pains me to say it yes I am.  Not with all my clothes obviously.  My one-time wearing has nothing to do with blogging and everything to do with buying and owning a lot of clothes I never get around to wearing again. And I have a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot of clothes.  I don't wear things once because I can't stand the thought of wearing something more than once.  On the contrary, I have good intentions to wear them again but then a new season comes along and distracts me.  It's not like I wear something once and throw it away.  No no! I hoard everything promising myself I will wear it again!  What actually concerns me more than the once wears are the ones I haven't yet gotten around to wearing!  Yes, I hang my head in shame - I am a zero-time wearer.  It's one of the reasons I started this blog, to challenge myself to wear the unworn and rarely worn stuff more.  There have definitely been some successes but there's still plenty of mileage in there!

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in my failure to wear one hundred percent of my wardrobe.  I'm sure there are plenty of women out there with things that were bought and either worn once or remain unworn for a myriad of reasons unrelated to blogging.  There are the things that seemed like a good idea in the changeroom that didn't quite work, the things that needed mending after one wear and never got round to being fixed (yep, had a few of them) and the things in which you had your confidence knocked back by an unkind look or comment when you wore it the first time.  Or that special occasion you thought you had didn't materialise.

2. Do you feel the need to purchase something new for an evening out or a special event? 

Yes. Continually.  It must stop. When a special event or evening out approaches I am now repeating this mantra to myself "you have enough evening wear, you have enough evening wear, you do have enough evening wear".  In fact most of my wardrobe one hit wonders are in the evening wear department.  You'd think I had a red carpet event to attend every week looking at my frock collection.  I don't!

3. Re-mixing is something a lot of bloggers are proud of being able to accomplish - are you a re-mixing pro or do you shy away from posting items frequently? Why?

My posting frequency on particular items is unrelated to remixing and is more related to whether I have time to take a photo and write a post.  I have things that have been posted more than once, usually because they are foundation pieces that make up the base of most outfits.  I've also posted the same dress more than once because I happened to be wearing it in a nicer location sometime after I posted it the first time and had better photos.  And yes, I wear outfits that I like more than once. I don't believe that is a crime, but I might not make the effort to feature those in blog posts as it would be like telling the same story to the same friend twice.

I don't remix for my blog per se but reading other blogs does make you think more about mixing things up even if you have no intention of posting your outfit.  Just visiting other blogs and seeing how people are wearing similiar items to ones you own is enough to wield an influence in encourage you to try something different yourself.

4. Do you have a clothing budget or are you an impulse buyer?

I am a dyed in the wool impulse buyer through and through.  My wardrobe looks like five different personalities have been shopping for it.  Sometimes I'll buy something just because I find it beautiful, because I love the design or even sometimes if I think it is collectible. I've gotten much better at budgeting over the years but there's definitely room for improvement!  I've recently imposed a blanket ban on some items - evening wear being one, shoes I can't walk in, and anything black.

5. Do you find yourself bored when reading a blog in which clothing items are often remixed and appear frequently?

I can't say that I've seen bloggers wearing any one item so frequently as to make me say "oh she's wearing that old thing again - yawn!" and switch off.  Most bloggers I keep up with seem to have a lot of clothes to play around with and the ingenuity to keep reworn items looking fresh.  It wouldn't bother me if they did anyway.  As someone who is guilty of wearing thirty percent of her wardrobe eighty percent of the time I can relate more to people who pull out a favourite item more than just a few times.

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