Friday, 11 November 2016

Urban outfitters - not just for millennials

I always think I'm too old to wear anything you could buy in UO. And I'm clearly not - at the age of 41 and with two kids - their target customer. But I've rounded up five versatile buys, all under £50, that will suit all ages*.

Five under £50

If you're a jumpsuit person (and I'm not) this will see you through the festive season. And if you hate your upper arms, as I do, layer a fine-knit, fitted long-sleeved top underneath for a nod to the 90s. Just leave the ribbon choker at home. £49

This Silence + Noise sweatshirt dress could look like the sort of thing you wear when shlumping around at home. But the slight sheen and drapey, rather than baggy, shape mean you can dress it down with black tights and boots, or wear with bare legs, heels and a bold necklace for evening. You're welcome. £42

This leopard-print bag is pretty clever - it's reversible, looks fairly roomy, and comes in a smidge under fifty. £49

Wear this fisherman's jumper with jeans or a pleated skirt. £42

This is being sold as a dress but clearly they're having a laugh. It's a longish shirt. I'd wear it tucked into high-waisted jeans. In the sale at a bargainous £32

Crikey. I had to scroll past WAY too much fake fur and stretch crushed velvet to find these. Off to drink a large rum and coke and read trashy magazines. Happy Friday!

*over 35s.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Back to basics

Black jeans and a navy sweatshirt today. All about the cut and the fit - this sweatshirt is baggy (I'm wearing a size small) but cropped, perfect with ASOS's Farleigh high-waisted jeans. There's no stretch to these - they're made from proper, stiff denim - and because of that they hold in my pizza-dough tummy. Black and navy is one of my favourite colour combinations - classic and very low-key.

And so to bed. A wailing, teething baby is up every hour or so, and it's going to be a long night.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Shock and awe

Three things about today:
1) I appear to be a giant living in a doll's house.
2) Wow my nostrils are dark, and huge!

Not that it matters today, because all I want to do is cry, sleep and get drunk, but H chose my outfit this morning. I love what she picked. A Tory Burch silk blouse I found in a Lewisham charity shop, and my beloved H&M metallic pleated skirt, bought a couple of years ago for about £15 in the sale.

Off to spend the day reading the news, comfort eating, and panicking.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Today's outfit was assembled while trying to dress a baby intent on escaping from me, and yelling "get dressed!" 37 times at my six-year-old.
I'm wearing an ASOS Tall spotty cotton dress, unlined and almost sheer. I've layered it over a 1960s full slip for warmth. If I like a garment but not its proportions, I'll size up or down, or buy from a brand's tall or petite range. I'm 5' 3", but I love that this dress is so midi as to be frumpy. If it had pockets it'd be perfect.

The jumper which looks like it's made from the hair of 100 dogs is from H&M and ridiculously cosy. Total hygge wear, if you're into that. This one, too. Out of my price range, but SWOON for this whole look, head to toe.

Dark grey tights, black ASOS brogues, scarf my mother-in-law got me. The khaki jacket is from one of my favourite brands, Weekday. I shop the sale and get some great bargains. This was £27, down from £80. It's sold out, but this beauty (again, over budget for me) is versatile and flattering. Be warned, though - their sizing is bonkers. Sometimes I'll be an XS and the item is still too baggy (I'm a size 12.)

It felt like a real wrench not to automatically reach for a pair of jeans this morning. And tomorrow my daughter, H, is dressing me...

Also, I really need to get a phone with a better camera. And a better spot to take photos than my messy bedroom...

Monday, 7 November 2016

Buying the same garment again and again

Do you do this? Over the past twenty years I must've bought a dozen denim skirts. Summery, full chambray ones, vintage 70s pencil ones, high-waisted, A-line, midi, you name it. There are some items of clothing I'm always drawn to (I'm guilty of reaching for the mum uniform of breton top, jeans and Converse far too often) for their comfort and the way they make me see myself. Here are a few.

Sheer tops! For layering over long-sleeved tees, thermal tops (bear with me), under dresses and jumpers. They add detail and a layer without adding bulk. This one (from Dorothy Perkins) has the added bonus of little tufts all over it, and the loose, drapey cut of a T-shirt.
Light chambray denim skirt in Spain, with a loose tunic top (tucked in) and big belt. Any more of these pastries and the belt can come off and the tunic be untucked.

When my vintage 60s dress matched the moquette of a Routemaster. Life goal = achieved. I buy brightly patterned 60s and 70s dresses again and again. They're such an easy outfit, and usually don't even need accessories to make them sing. Black tights, footwear, bag, dress - done. 

A couple of years ago I was honoured to be a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding. This pale blue tulle dress, with grey and pink under-layers, was perfect. The draped neckline, ruching and full skirt were fifties perfection. It was from Etsy, and under £50 I think, a bargain for a true vintage prom dress.

Holiday uniform. T-shirt + gold necklace + bright bag + hat and sunglasses. 99% sure I'm wearing jeans and Saltwater sandals or Keds too. Choosing a few bright accessories and keeping separates neutral (white, black, navy, grey, denim, stripes, leopard print) means that everything goes together. 

This is a blog about clothes. The things I love wearing, the things I'll never wear, the things I used to wear all the time but now hang, untouched, in my wardrobe.

It's not about what's in fashion. Like many women, I keep up with new trends, read magazines, look at style blogs. I know what's new and 'in', but that doesn't necessarily mean I'll wear it. I like what suits me and my lifestyle, and that changes all the time. Currently, tie-neck blouses and necklaces are out as daywear (much as I love them) because my 11-month-old grabs everything and pulls. Instead, I love mannish shirts, jeans that don't show half my bum when I bend over, brogues, rings, loose jumpers. 

What are you wearing these days? Does it suit the way you live? I used to skip off* to my smart publishing job each morning in ballet flats, a Peter Pan collared-top and a vintage A-line skirt (granted, this was a decade ago). Now, I do the school run in slip-on Vans, mom jeans and a parka over my pajama top (not a fashion pajama top - one I actually sleep in). 

I'll be posting about the clothing I love and how I wear it. The stuff I feel too old/fat/mumsy to wear will get a look-in, too. The new trends I'm finally getting around to trying: have you heard that jumpsuits are A Thing? 

*And I did skip! I lived within hearing distance of Big Ben and worked in Covent Garden. Ah, youth.