When it comes to date night, John and I aren’t hard to please; give us a fish and chip supper, a bottle of fizz (be it Dandelion & Burdock, or Cava) throw in a good night of television and we’re happy to stay in. It’s not that we don’t enjoy going out, it’s just not something we do often. When we do go out, I face the inevitable question of what to wear. What do you wear when going out is no longer whiling away the small hours in clubs and bars, but a slightly more subdued, sometimes classier affair?
With the seemingly early arrival of summer, John decided that we were going out. “Like, out out?” I asked, adding an emoji of shock. To which, he replied with a thumbs up sending my head spinning with a multitude of outfit conundrums: tights or no tights, coat or jacket, heels or flats? How could dressing be so hard? Thankfully, before I could answer myself, the postman arrived, bringing with him my new ASOS ‘Long Time’ ballet flats. With metallic heart shapes adorning the front, how could this not be divine intervention?
It was love at first sight. I have to admit, I didn’t trawl the ASOS site for hours on end (because that would be uncharacteristic behaviour for me, ahem) I just happened to be innocently reading Diana’s blog and found the perfect summer shoe. Perfect for my style and most importantly, perfectly priced. I love how Diana chose to style her shoes with neutrals, but for me, I knew I wanted to inject a pop of colour- I just can’t help myself!
Since my last post, I’ve rediscovered my love of retro-inspired clothing or maybe it’s since I got my hair cut that little bit shorter? Whatever the motive or inspiration, I’m developing a more ladylike style (I seem to be wearing a lot of Marks and Spencer pieces, past and present, at the moment). When Radley got in touch, asking if I’d like to choose a handbag from their collection, I wasn’t sure I’d find a bag to match my style. After all, I usually wear a leather satchel but this felt like the perfect opportunity to try something new.
So, I chose Radley’s Clerkenwell medium zip-top grab bag from their handbag collection simply because of its classic style and colour. Described as coral, it’s a bright, summery mix of orange and pink. Inside, the bag has a grosgrain lining, two slip pockets for a phone and a purse. Like any leather bag, it’s definitely an investment piece but its size means it could be worn for date night or day to day wear. I’m definitely enjoying a change of style and wonder where this new ladylike style approach will lead!
What do you wear for date night?
// Floral dress :: Car boot find (originally Marks and Spencers) //
// Trench coat :: Primark (old) //
// Bracelet :: c/o People Tree //
Archive by Alexa – The Eliza Dress
Unless you’ve been living under a fashion rock, #ArchivebyAlexa at Marks and Spencers can’t have passed you by without forcing you to take a detailed look, a sudden, unexpected trip to Marks and Spencers or time out browsing the M&S website. Fashion fans may have been intrigued by the range because of its celebrity curator, but for me, it was this re-imagined tabbard that caught my attention.
The Eliza dress is just one piece taken from Marks and Spencer’s archive and re-imagined by Alexa Chung to form part of #ArchivebyAlexa. Originally designed in the 1950s, Eliza was based on a tabbard; thankfully, its reincarnation was re-imagined by Alexa to feel vintage but perfectly practical for modern life. The dress now includes three-quarter length sleeves, a generous cut over the hips and striking black edging (instead of blue).
In my last post, I mentioned how unhappy I’d started to feel in some of my clothes. Since then, I’ve had a ruthless clear out, trying everything on and I’ve started to sell what I no longer wear, or don’t feel comfortable in, over on my Instagram selling page (click shop to see). I’ve also been browsing in high street shops searching for my next investment pieces.
This is the first investment piece I’ve bought. At £45, I’m expecting to own this dress for a number of seasons and wear it all year round. In winter, I want to wear it with dark tights, boots and a leather but in summer, it’s long enough to wear with bare legs. I love the style as it indulges my love of Paisley prints, but it’s also designed for curves. I’m wearing the size 10, after finding the 12 was too big. It’s comfortably fitted on the top, and floats over the hips. The fabric tie nips in the waist, it’s perfection. I cannot find any faults.
Have you bought any pieces from the #ArchivebyAlexa range?
// Pom pom loafers :: Primark //
// Brass bracelets :: People Tree //
// Red satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
LINDY BOP MATILDA DRESS :: THIS OLD THING
As I mentioned in my recent Buyer’s Archive post, I’ve reached a real turning point with my attitude towards clothes and to prove it, I’ve started to clear out a large proportion of my wardrobe. My personal style hasn’t changed, but how I feel in my clothes has taken a swift turn: a turn that I never expected. No, I’m not creating a capsule wardrobe but I am trying to curate a wardrobe of clothes that make me feel confident, sassy and most importantly, comfortable in my own skin.
As a blogger featuring outfit posts, it’d be easy for any reader to assume that I’m oozing body confidence. I’m not. I have never been completely comfortable with my shape, nor size. In fact, I don’t even like having my photograph taken. Naturally, I want my blog to feature polished, appealing photographs but in reality, it’s an edited version of myself: a version I’m happy to share on the days when I make an effort (because most days, I wear my hair in a bun and minimal make up and yes, I’d wear pyjamas if I didn’t have to go to work.)
Despite this, I’ve recently put on weight. Not much, but enough to change my numerical clothes size and make most of my well-loved pieces feel uncomfortable. I’ve published fewer outfit posts around here recently because I’m struggling to find clothes in my wardrobe that still fit! So, I’ve been ruthless in my sort out: selling, donating or chucking anything I won’t (or can’t!) wear anymore. And, in the midst of my wardrobe’s transitional phase, my brother had the nerve to organise a family meal and drinks in celebration of his birthday. Seriously, brothers! I’m joking, but I did genuinely believe that I had nothing to wear! Until, I remembered my summer wardrobe and all of those Lindy Bop dresses, especially the Lindy Bop Matilda dress.
In outfit photographs, I rarely look at the camera because most times I can’t bear to see my gurning face smiling back. Let’s face it, there are style bloggers that came out of the womb with on point poses, I am not one of them. However, give a girl the right dress and she can, erm, face the camera? As we were going out on a Saturday, I decided to dress up and heck, it gave me the confidence boost I needed.
I’m surprised I haven’t featured this dress on the blog before, I’ve owned it for long enough. (I used to also own its red counterpart (worn in the Great British Blogger Bake Off and the Afternoon Tea :: Opus One, Radisson Blu post) until I ruined it in the wash, sniff sniff.) It’s just one of many Lindy Bop dresses, but its the style of Matilda that makes it my favourite. I’ve always loved vintage dresses, original or reproduction and especially those from the 50s, but it’s the cut that makes me smitten: it’s fitted to the smallest part of my body and skims out over my hips (the part of my body I’m least confident with). Let’s just say, this is one dress that I won’t be parting with!
// Lindy Bop Matilda Dress //
// Red heels :: Dune //
// Camera bag :: Accessorize //
// Arrow bracelet :: Purchased when travelling //
March. The month when my love hate relationship with clothes began. Trust me, there’s no one more surprised than I. One moment, I wanted all of the clothes. The next, I found myself clearing out liquidating my wardrobe with gusto, walking past most charity shops and browsing, lots of it, in high street shops. Despite this increased interest in finding new clothes, I bought very little; so little, I almost didn’t write this post.
But, I did because I thought it was important to remember what new threads I was adding to my wardrobe. As you may know, the buyer’s archive is Elise’s series that I joined with the intention of tracking my spending habits. This year, it’s been a useful way to chronicle my many charity shop finds from January and February. However, now that I’m earning a steady wage each month, will this change my belief in second hand fashion? It’s something I’m undecided on, something that I’ve been giving some thought to over the past week or so. Despite all of my Internet browsing, what did I actually buy in March? Not much…
Tu Navy A-Line Skirt £8
Since starting my new job, I’ve swapped a classroom for many different offices and suddenly,what was my school work wardrobe just doesn’t cut the mustard. I need smarter, but I don’t want to lose the fun details. I was instantly drawn to this Tu skirt and added it to my virtual wishlist, when I found it for half price in store, I finally made it mine. As you can see, I plan to wear it with pops of red and maybe mustard.
Urban Outfitters Cooperative Floral Dress, £1.99, Age UK
This month, I visited fewer charity shops but made sure I stayed loyal to my favourites. As part of my wardrobe clear out, I donated much more than ever but found very little. I guess that’s just the way it goes. However, I was very happy to be find this Urban Outfitters dress in Age UK for £1.99. It was perfect for a Sunday walk at Wycoller.
JUNK bag, £1.99, Barnardos
I saw it, I needed it. It was in a pretty rough condition, but after a quick spin in the washing machine it was as good as new. It’s quirky, totally impractical but I can’t help but love it. You can see how I wore it on our day trip to Llangollen.
And, that’s pretty much it. Spare a denim midi pinafore dress that was bought and returned almost instantly. Scores on the door…