Friday, 24 November 2017

A good coat?

Toutes les french fashion experts say that every chic woman should have a good coat. But what is a good coat? Do you have to pay gazillions for something fashioned from camel hair with a Maxmara label or will Zara do? Is one good coat enough? Surely you need something warm for walking the dog, something fabulous for evening, something classic and then maybe a few others because...well, because they're lovely?

Yes, the truth is I have a terrible weakness for coats and tend to spend more money on them than on anything else (my most recent one was... actually I've blanked it out but somewhere around £450.) I buy one every two years- but, and this is a big but (hear me out here, I am a professional at justifying profligate coat shopping) they last wonderfully well,  I still wear ones that are 30 years old. I also live in Yorkshire so you can pretty much justify a coat from September to May!

I love the idea of classic camel, but when it comes to parting with my pennies I can never resist a bit of Viv. I love Westwood's sculptural shapes and I convince myself that they can lift all sorts of dodgy outfits and hide away any bulgy bits. Which was perfect today. I was having an attack of the fat and uglies. I'm sure we all have them, whatever our size. Those days when your hormones conspire to ensure that everything you try makes you looked like an overstuffed sausage, and you end up with a pile of rejected rags on the floor. That's when a good coat comes to the rescue. I put mine over some black waxed jeans, a cashmere breton and black pointy courts. So, I was ticking off a few more French essentials. And les petites saucissons? Successfully hidden from sight.

Coat -Anglomania, similar here and keep an eye on the Outnet for discounted ones
Black waxed jeans- Boden, mine are old but these are the same I think
Cashmere breton-Jigsaw (old) this is lovely but very spendy and my one did develop a few of those annoying little holes in the front
Shoes- Sam Edelman, I bought these at the end of my last fifty outfit challenge as part of a capsule wardrobe idea

                                                                    Sam Edelman heels

Thursday, 23 November 2017

French fancy

I must confess to a bit of a Mumsnet habit, when I'm meant to be working it is my procrastination destination of choice. Recently I've been following a fabulous thread about dressing like a Parisienne. I love the idea but don't have the body, the bone structure or the iron will to stick to fags and black coffee instead of fromage and vin rouge.

Over the last couple of days I disappeared down a few You Tube rabbit holes. Some willowy french filles told me exactly how to develop a wardrobe of classic, elegant but effortless outfits. Stick to neutrals, choose quality, don't over-accessorise, get a great coat... et voila you're Emmanuelle Alt. Well, that is all great in theory and I love the look but I don't seem to have the je ne sais quois to carry it off. But what I do have is red lippy, which was also on the list. So I thought I'd bung that on and it would be a good start.

Day one and I wore jeans and a black polo-neck. Groundbreaking stuff I know! I also wore a coat that I first had in the last century. I bought it back in the days when M&S still used to sell some amazing stuff at a reasonable price. I wore it into the ground, chucked it on the floor and generally treated it badly and it fell apart. I've mourned its buttery softness for years and this season I decided to hunt one out on Ebay. Some lovely seller had looked after hers much, much better than me and for £25 the coat is mine all mine again.

When I wore it today two separate people stopped me on the street and asked where it was from. That NEVER happens. Was it the coat, or am I giving off mysterious fashion blogger vibes?!

Leather Coat- Vintage M&S (similar on Ebay)
Jeans- Gap girlfriends
Bag: J-Crew (old, 
Faux fur scarf: Helen Moore, mine was from a dress agent but it's still available here

        Boots-Carvela, this season and super-comfortable, reduced to £135 on a Black Friday deal

Jumper-Silk and cotton from Jigsaw. Mine is ancient but they still do them, they're expensive at £90 (and sadly Jigsaw don't seem to do any codes/ seasonal offers) but so soft and last forever.


False start

Despite my big words about accountability, I've made a bit of a false start. The very idea of having to take a picture of what I was wearing and putting it out there to be judged left me paralysed with insecurity. As is abundantly clear in the last lot of posts, I'm no fashion expert. That's why I'm doing this exercise.

Anyway, two days have passed and I've managed to get a grip of myself. I realised that a) no one is likely to click on my random musings b) even if someone lands on this blog by accident, they're unlikely to give a flying fig what a fifty-year old nobody from Yorkshire is dressed in. So, I'm just going to put on clothes every morning. Different ones. Then take a picture. How hard can that be?

Monday, 20 November 2017

Fifty outfits revisited

I had a bit of a scare today. I did that thing where I turned on my webcam by mistake and caught a shocking glimpse of a tired old woman with a grey complexion and scraped back hair, wearing her PJs at lunchtime. When did that happen?

The truth is that my kids have flown the nest, I frequently work from home and it's all too easy to slob around in joggers or jim-jams. Which is all well and good if it works for you. But I've realised that it actually makes me feel a bit crap about myself.  So, no more. It's been five years since I started the fifty-outfits-in-fifty-days challenge and now that I've reached the big five o myself, it's time to do it again.

It was a really interesting exercise last time and I did rediscover my fashion mojo- but I found that I spent way too much on fast and disposable fashion. Stuff to put together an instant outfit and then forget. I don't know how proper bloggers can keep up with the constant shopping and spending, fifty days did me in! Anyway, I've realised that I tend to wear things for years and years, so it's better if I get fewer items that I love. I'm going to mix and match the stuff I've got into different outfits and see where the wardrobe gaps are. It'll be a mix of high street, vintage, ebay and some lovely bits that I've been given by my family or splurged on myself. If you're looking for a fashion maven to guide you effortlessly through the key items for the next season, this is not the place for you.

I'm putting it out there in a blog to lay down the gauntlet, make myself accountable and to encourage me to be a little less Waynetta and a little more Wintour.


Friday, 4 January 2013

What's in a capsule wardrobe?

So the whole blogging thing has been a bit of a shambles this week as all of us chez Sickofmystylerut are in a post Christmas daze. But now I'm back eating healthily, (I cunningly tidied away all the leftover Kettle chips and chocolates straight into my tummy) the kids are back in school after the weekend and Project Capsule Wardrobe starts on Monday (by which time I can hopefully fit into all my clothes again!)

In the meantime I've been googling and gaining ideas to develop the beginnings of a capsule wardrobe. I've bought a great blazer with leather lapels, which fits perfectly and really hangs well for the price (now only £50 but I paid a little more) in the sale at Mango.

 And following the wise advice of Susie So So I'm going to get some fantastic black pointy courts. I'm tempted by this lovely Sam Edelman pair, in the sale at Matches for £84:

However, I keep coming back to these classic black leather stilettos from Zara, they're cheaper but full price, so less of a bargain- but every time I see someone in them I think they're way more expensive, they're brilliantly cut and comfortable too (and I could get a tan pair too for only slightly more than the Matches pair, two for the price of one!)

While I wrestle with that conundrum, here's a few of my ideas for my new capsule wardrobe. I've pasted pictures that are on sale now but I'll be mostly using items that I already own (remember I said mostly).
What would you put in a capsule wardrobe?

Red coat: Joseph £275 in sale but sold out at Matches still full price at Joseph
Black court shoes: £49.99 at Zara
Cream chunky knit: H&M (can't find online)
Black A-line mini: Jigsaw
Angomania dress (oh how I long for this but my old one will have to do!): MY-WARDROBE new season
White pintuck shirt: Jigsaw
Black chiffon printed shirt: This is Equipment, mine is Zara but old
Jacket: Mango (this season sale)
Outfit inspiration: Marant (this will be me a cheaper version)
Chelsea boots: Topshop (I'd like these but a little higher ideally!)
Trench: Mine is an old Whistles number but this is Patrizia Pepe down to £185 at Flannels
Jeans: Zara
Skinny indigo jeans: Gok at Sainsbury (still no online shop)
Scarf: Ebay
Red drape top: Anglomania  ( I am desperate for this but at well over £100 I am sure I can find a reasonable and cheaper lookalike)
Breton: Zara
Leopard heels: New Look
Black skinnies: Gok at Sainsbury (no online fashion)
White scoop neck (and black): Next
Black cashmere jumper: Uniqlo
Red V neck : Uniqlo
Black polo: H&M

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New wardrobe?

Happy New Year everyone and thanks so much to anyone who has taken the time to read or comment on my ramblings, it means so much and  I wish you all a fabulous 2013!

I've spent the time after Christmas slouching around in leggings and baggy tops to hide the Christmas bloat re-wearing outfits past, I thought I'd spare you the pictures, suffice to say Atlantic Pacific isn't having sleepless nights about having a style competitor!

But with a new year comes a new start. My challenge definitely made me experiment with different looks but it really hasn't made it any easier to get dressed in the morning. Without a go-to uniform I'm kind of lost. In many ways it's harder than before my Fifty outfits in fifty days. Then I just grabbed the boot-cuts and v-neck and I was away. Now I seem to leave a trail of rejected clothes on the bedroom floor every time I get dressed, it's like being a teenager again (but without the pert butt and peachy complexion).

So my new challenge is to figure out which of my fifty outfits worked and which definitely didn't. Then using those styles I'm going to try and put together a...brace yourself for annoying fashion-y term...capsule wardrobe of items that all go together and that I can mix and match into easy outfits for every day. Hopefully I'll use lots of my old clothes topped up with some new essentials ( well, maybe not strictly essential but the sales are on.....)

Fifty outfits in fifty days ...did any of them work?

So this is what I think (but feel free to contradict me because I really am stumbling on blindly here):

Simple lines work better on my small proportions, too much layering or overdoing the big accessories can swamp me. Less is definitely more.

I love pointy midi heels but midi skirts make me look Mumsy and meh! 

Red in pictures looks good, even if it feels uncomfortably bright when I first put it on. So I am going to make a concerted effort to keep on wearing some colour (but I still love black and won't be leaving the dark side.)

The jeans that made my legs look longest were the straight legs-but even so I think prefer the skinnies. I love them turned up with pointy stilettos or long with ankle boots and topped with tailored jackets, trench coats or simple jumpers.

I like little jersey dresses with bikers and boots... in fact, annoyingly, many of the clothes I like the most are the ones I have borrowed from DD, such as the biker jacket, the peg trousers and the blazer. I don't think they look particularly muttony (certainly not as muttony as the Anglomania dress which is mine all mine) so I'm going to be more open to fashion trends and find ways they can work when you're the far side of forty.

Oh, and of course I may well keep dipping into the DDs' wardrobes!

What do you think? Which outfits do you hate? The double denim and burgundy suede skirt are two of my least favourites and I'm not at all sure about the coatigan, it seems to magically mumsify everything it's worn with. I don't think they'll be making the cut into my New Year capsule wardrobe...but what will?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Merry Chr-Issa-mas everyone!

Christmas day and I was up at 5.40. But I certainly wasn't planning my outfit or calming down over-excited children (my gorgeous DDs at the grand old ages of 14 and 15 stumbled down in their onesies at 9am), oh no, I was up before the larks partly because my mouth was parched from a little too much celebrating the night before and partly because I was having my usual stress about whether my Aga would stay hot all day, or whether it would decide to cool down and leave me with a bloody turkey and soggy roasties.

So after a couple of hours shuffling the bird between roasting and simmering ovens, making giblet stock and poking pressies under the Christmas tree I decided to pull on a selection of presents from Christmases past. My Issa dress (much beloved by the Middleton gels) was from my parents last year. It's the perfect shape for Christmas day, sooooo comfy and with cunning twisty draping around the midriff to hide any post prandial...ahem...bulge. With it I wore my classic midi-heel (no painful bunions in the kitchen for me) Louboutin boots, a gift from DH many years ago and later on I was lucky enough to be able to accessorise it with a gorgeous Gill Clements necklace from my lovely brother and his wife, a fab sparkly Anya Hindmarch clutch from DH and of course a glass of bubbly. Merry Christmas everyone!!!

No I didn't have my lips pumped up for Xmas...just a dodgy photo and some rather smudged lippy!

Dress; Issa
Boots: Louboutin
Necklace: Gill Clements
Bag: Anya Hindmarch

Same style Issa dress on the sale at Flannels

Similar sparkly clutch from Anya Hindmarch now on the sale here