Category Archives: Style

Style: This Old Thing & Shopping My Wardrobe

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I watched Dawn O’Porter’s new programme This Old Thing on catch up over the weekend and I quite enjoyed it. It was fun and interesting and bright. I love vintage clothes and whilst I don’t own an entirely vintage wardrobe, and you would rarely find me exploring a vintage shop of a weekend, I think some of my favourite clothes are the handful simple fifties dresses I own.

Watching the programme made me notice how I had stopped having fun with what I wear. Being away at work for half of the week, when I get home that’s exactly where I want to stay. Anthony doesn’t get dressed if he doesn’t go outside, which makes perfect sense for him, but on watching This Old Thing, I realised that I’d been copying him (who wants to be the only dressed person in the house?!). It wasn’t okay for me anymore. I noticed how sick I was of sitting on the couch in my pyjamas for four days solid, thoughtlessly pulling on jeans and an old jumper to venture to Morrisons. I missed the ritual of getting dressed, opening the wardrobe doors and searching through all the possibilities until I found something that was just right for that day. In fact, I wasn’t even getting that on the days when I was getting dressed because on those days I was living out of a suitcase, my outfits having been hastily picked from a slim selection of clothes which were clean and wouldn’t crease too badly when thrown into my case on a Sunday evening.

My love of getting dressed had also diminished somewhat around the time my finances took a turn for the worse. For one reason or another, over the past few months I just haven’t had any spare cash for spending on myself, certainly not for spending on new clothes anyway. I feel like somehow this is always the case for me. I rarely, very rarely, go shopping. When I do it’s to replace something that has worn out or pick up something for a specific event. Occasionally I treat myself to two or three sale items but the last of such occasions seems like forever ago. This seems to be the way it’s always been for me. The main bulk of my wardrobe dates back to uni. I have cardigans and tshirts that I’ve known longer than Anthony.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have many clothes. My wardrobe and drawers are bursting at the seams. By never throwing anything away and accepting any and all cast offs from my aunties and mum I have amassed an impressive and varied collection.

After watching the programme, my passion had been reignited and on Saturday morning I decided to partake in an activity that I like to call ‘shopping my wardrobe’. Basically, you pull all your clothes out of your various storage solutions and look at them like they are new clothes that you have pulled off the shelves of a lovely boutique – you can’t do this too frequently though because you’ll remember all the clothes and it won’t be as exciting. If you are anything like me, most of the clothes will be new to you as you’ll have forgotten most of them. By looking at the clothes with fresh eyes you come up with new ways to wear them and new items to pair them with. I sort the clothes into piles of things I like, things I don’t like, winter clothes etc. I tried on all the clothes in my ‘like’ pile and then created a new pile of clothes that no longer fit… it’s not all sad news though – I put on a dress that I’d never worn because it was so big it looked silly but now, with my new found…er…bulk…it looks much better(!).

After I had hidden all my unwanted (for now) clothes away at the bottom of my wardrobe, I hung up all my ‘like’ pile and it was actually, a little bit, like I had been shopping. I had several new outfit possibilities largely based around the vintage items in my wardrobe inspired by This Old Thing.

Over the past few days I’ve really been enjoying getting dressed and I took extra care to pick exciting things to wear for work so the momentum would carry on through the week. Hopefully next weekend I can avoid the pyjama slump!

How about you, do you ever ‘shop your wardrobe’? Did you enjoy This Old Thing? I can’t wait for the next episode!

 

Style: Sunday Style #2 (recipe for getting out of your pit)

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It’s spring! We made it! I suddenly want to wear pastel colours and floaty skirts but it is still really, really chilly (or it is where I am anyway). I’m sure many of you can sympathize. Yesterday the weather was absolutely glorious and I went for a walk into the nearest town without a coat (I was wearing a jumper, scarf and gloves, but still – no bulky coat). It felt very good to get outside and blow a few of the cobwebs away.

I love this cropped jumper and I wear it all the time. It’s washed well to say it’s from Primark. The skirt is actually a dress, my graduation dress in fact, and it’s from a little shop in Falmouth called Secrets which I miss every day of my life spent in Manchester. I can’t remember what the make of the dress is and it is so old now that the label has worn and is illegible. I wore my trusty Zara ankle boots with this outfit because I am so tired of wearing my trusty Zara knee boots and I’m not yet ready to venture into non-boot territories at this moment. My necklace is from Forever 21. I’m trying to make an effort to wear more jewelry but my stockpile is low and I’m simultaneously  trying to not spend any unnecessary pennies. It’s a hard life I lead.   

I have been so lazy and lethargic this week. I feel like I’ve hardly done anything productive. I didn’t even take the photos above, they are actually from last Sunday! I’ve spent a lot of time sitting down, wishing I was doing something important or necessary, or even fun but then not doing anything about it. Do you ever get like that? I do it all the time. It’s a vicious circle, I get so lazy that I become too  lazy to break out of my laziness. Then at some point down the line I start feeling really disgusting and I become aware of how much time I’ve wasted and I become further paralyzed by guilt, by the time that that has happened, I usually become conscious of the state of the house… I don’t know about you but I cannot do anything productive unless my surroundings are in tiptop condition. 

That’s why I’ve been so quiet on the blog – I was crippled by lethargy and guilt and stacks of grotty washing up. Today however, I woke up and thought ‘no more’! I can’t fritter my life away wearing a onesie and watching Toddlers in Tiaras. What I usually do in these mad moments is throw myself into the deep end. I make a mammoth to-do list of chores and rules and an hour in I run out of steam and rest my poor lazy-bones on the settee for a triple run of Breaking Amish. Today I’m going to try gently easing myself back into productive life. I’ve made an all encompassing to-do list for the next two weeks but I’m not going to beat myself up about not tackling that today. 

Here’s my recipe for getting myself out of my pit (of laziness).

1) I’m going to have a bath and in the bath I’m going to listen to a Woman’s Hour or Desert Island Discs podcast so I can ever so gently ease myself away from Honey BooBoo and towards current events and the real world. 

2) Then I’ll get dressed in actual clothes, not lounge wear, blow dry my hair and put make up on. I wish I was one of these people who can get things done in pyjamas and a ponytail but I am not. If I get dressed that’s usually half the battle.

3) I’ll do one cleaning task. Probably washing up. Sure, I could attempt to do more but if I pile on too much I’m likely to get overwhelmed. If my aim is to do the washing up I will usually get carried away and blitz the whole kitchen.

4) Get some fresh air. It’s looking a bit gloomy right now so I might not risk a full on walk but getting some fresh air really helps me feel motivated. Perhaps I’ll just have a cup of tea in the garden right now to inspire me for the rest for the afternoon!

I know these tips are silly, but I usually find each of the individual items really helpful when I get into a lazy rut. I’ve never actively tried combining them for ultimate success but I’ll let you know how I get on. Right, now to pop that kettle on.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Style: Sunday Style #1

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I’ll apologise right now for my face in all the photos in this post. I was for the most part barking instructions at Anthony, who was stood in the garden with bare feet and dressed in pyjamas, shivering. These are the best of a very small, very bad bunch. You can see what I’m wearing, which is the main thing, just stick a post-it over my head and you’ll be fine. No nightmares here.

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I love this outfit. I’ve had all the individual pieces for ages now but only just thought of putting them together (I love it when that happens, it feels like you’ve been shopping).

Anyway, this is really comfy to wear for lounging around the house, which is basically all I do on a Sunday, but it still feels like I’ve made an effort and looks sort of put-together.Image

*Trousers: Miss Selfridge

*Shirt: Miss Selfridge

*Jumper: George

*Unphotogenic face: All mine