Friday 29 October 2010

I had some brand new shoes, they were all red but they gave me the blues.

A bit of a different Friday Frock today, dipping this blog’s toe into workwear for the very first time! EXCITING RIGHT.

Oh, the dreaded workwear. It used to be my least favourite thing to find outfits for, and I inevitably settled on black bootleg trousers and v-neck jumpers. No offence if this is your daily uniform but… BORING. I never felt particularly smart in the ensemble, and was always envious of the women in my offices of the past who managed to pull off smart, comfortable and stylish.

It was a couple of years ago that I made a pact with myself to give up trousers. I hate trousers – they never fit properly, they tend to be unflattering on me and I can NEVER get the length right. Despite being only 5’1 the short ones are always too short and the normal ones are always ridiculously long. So: skirts. All the way.

And, of course, as soon as I inflicted this rule, I found myself embracing workwear. Who doesn’t feel smart in a skirt and heels? The a-line shape is an hourglass girl’s best friend, TRUST ME.

Dress: H&M
Shoes: New Look
Belt: M&S
Cardigan: Matalan
Necklace: GOGO Philip

This H&M dress is one of the smartest work outfits I have – it always gets wheeled out for conferences (handily, I have it in grey too). However, for an average day in the office I tend to jazz it up – I just love navy and red together.

The shoes were purchased in the New Look sale last December. They were £3, and I very nearly didn’t buy them, but at the last minute grabbed them (when I say my sister and I took armfuls of shoes to the till, I mean it literally). The cost per wear must be pennies by now – I wear them at least once a week. They’re super comfy, great for adding a splash of colour to a drab outfit and, really, can you ever have enough pairs of red shoes?

“Red shoes, no knickers…”

Oh, shush.


Sunday 24 October 2010

Pumpkins scream in the dead of night.

It probably isn't surprising that I'm a total child about Halloween. Given my affinity for fancy dress (I JUST LOVE IT) any annual event that celebrates the activity is fine with me.

With all that said, I'm not actually dressing up this year due to a woeful lack of invites. It's fine, I'm going out dancing instead (sans devil horns). However, if you're struggling to find costume inspiration this year, I thought I'd share my favourite recent costume (so good I wore it twice!).


It's the easiest - and most effective - fancy dress I've ever done. It's pretty much all about the lipstick, to be honest, but adding tight pin-curled ringlets and paaaale, super matte makeup really completes the effect. And if you're anything like me, you'll have an epic collection of cute dresses to choose from.

Also, it's good for freaking out kiddies. WIN.

This costume was thought of before I heard of Jonathan Coulton, but now that I have, this song pretty much says it all.

Friday 22 October 2010

You know that I would love to see you in that dress.

I got today's Friday Frock in Topshop at the beginning of the year in the sale. YAY SALES. I love it - as I love anything polka-dotted - but it has this odd seam right down the front that bugged me.

So I added BUTTONS! I fake being good at customising - I'm really not. The only sewing I can do is buttons, and the only buttons I ever add are red ones. I have three dresses that I've added red buttons to. Basically because red buttons make everything better.

I wore this ensemble to the Hendricks Gin Event last week. Red tights are a little bold for me, but you know what? I LOVE THEM.

Accessorised with my gorgeous new Dorothy Perkins shoeboots, which may get a post all to themselves, because I AM OBSESSED WITH THEM. They make me feel like a pixie!


Tuesday 19 October 2010

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Last Wednesday, I headed into London for a 10:30 brunch appointment... with Hendrick's Gin. Needless to say, I left my car at home - which was wise, as I was greeted with the above - a Red Snapper - basically a Bloody Mary, but made with gin instead of vodka.

Before I hit the cocktails too hard, I got the chance to explore the Hendrick's Carriage of Curiosities. Putting together something like this must be such fun. Their horseless carriage - situated in a disused petrol station just off Clerkenwell Road - was jampacked with interesting things like a book that opened itself, a stuffed albino hedgehog and a tickle machine.

Hendrick's is smoother than your average gin, which suits me - the bitter aftertaste has always put me off a little. Also, I don't like tonic. But I've discovered that I DO like Red Snappers, and I also like the Hendrick's Buck - which is the magical combination of Hendrick's, lemon juice and ginger ale. Seriously, I had like six of these. Before lunch. And two Hummingbird cupcakes.

This car is amazing. Sorry for the dreadful pictures - at the time it was locked - but it has a teacup holder! And a gin-holder in the boot!

Fiona and I trying it out....

It was a lovely day, and a fantastic chance to meet some more of my fellow bloggers - I can't go on enough about how lovely all the bloggers are that I've met!! Was especially lovely to hang with Fiona from Save Our Shoes and Natasha Bailie from Natasha Bailie's Vintage Clothing Company (who I've been talking to on Twitter for MONTHS), not to mention Sarah from The Enchanted Hunters and Katie from London Plinth, but it was also lovely to meet Laura from Love Miss Daisy Vintage, and the girlies from Style High Club, Retro Chick, Vintage Secret, Notorious Kitsch and Penny Dreadful Vintage. And I've just realised I used the word 'lovely' a hell of a lot in that previous paragraph. But it really WAS. Thank you, Hendricks! I felt well and truly spoilt (and more than a little wobbly on the train home), and am definitely a convert to gin now. Make mine a double!


Friday 15 October 2010

The Lady of the Hundred Dresses.

I was driving home the other night and debating what to wear this weekend, which got me thinking about dresses. I have a LOT of dresses. I wear dresses almost every day - they're comfortable, pretty, and so easy to accessorize. Tights, cardi = DONE.

A little while ago I counted all the dresses in my wardrobe and the total was OVER FIFTY. Pretty shocking. And then it occurred to me that I have enough dresses in my possession to wear a different dress every week for a year. Over a year. And that little thought turned into...

F R I D A Y - F R O C K S!!

Every Friday, I have decided, I'm going to post one of my dresses. And then probably talk about it a bit.

I'm infatuated with this spotty H&M number. It's actually quite recent - so you may still be able to find it. I'm still at that stage where I want to wear it all the time. And it goes with everything. Belt, or no belt. Black, purple, grey, maroon tights. Heels or boots. Day or night. And it ALWAYS gets compliments.

I wore this last weekend to a friend's birthday celebrations in London. It was casual and comfortable enough to see me through an afternoon's pottering, but smart enough to last through a night of karaoke.

Accessorised with Miss Selfridge butterfly ring and handmade necklace.

I think I've found my Christmas Day dress. :)


Tuesday 12 October 2010

They told me not to step on the cracks.

The blogs are alive... with the sound of a new product. Barry M's Crackle Topcoat has hit, and we have an obsession on our hand.

I nabbed one the other day - and tried it out this weekend. It's only available in black so it looks best over a pale or pastel shade. I sampled it over Barry M's Berry:

Pretty, right? It's super simple to use. You just paint a coat of it over your polish, and as it dries, it separates, causing funky patterns. I was out on Saturday and everyone was like, 'Wow! It looks awesome! God you're patient!' Ha, no. Not that patient.

The effect kind of reminds me of cows. Or dalmatians. It IS crackly, but the word I'd use is splodgy. But it's quite cool, and a great way to get an unusual effect on your nails without loads of faffing. Plus, it's like £3.95 a bottle - and they're 2 for £5 at the mo!

The word I would hesitate to use is unique, because it's not. So far, I haven't seen another blogger mention the precursor to this product, probably because most bloggers were still in primary school in 1997. Cover Girl released a crackle topcoat back then, which worked in a similar way, but the crack effect was much more subtle. If I'm honest, I prefer it - but that's personal taste. In general, I prefer the vintage, aged look to the choppy, modern look.

Overall though, this is a great product, and hopefully a sign that nail polish manufacturers are going to start getting a bit more creative. Barry M are very on top of makeup trends, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next. Or, perhaps this release will get Cover Girl angry and they'll re-release their version to fight back. I HOPE SO.

(I also have no idea if Cover Girl still exists. I know it's long gone over here - but in the States?)

PS - My computer ate the initial draft of this post so I've had to rewrite this from memory. I'm pretty sure all you've missed is something about how I used to work at Superdrug and how makeup is nice. Gutting, right?

Sunday 10 October 2010

Please don't put me through it, my midnight flight.

A little while ago, some friends and I visited Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. I was intrigued as soon as I read about it. Who wouldn't be - an English country house preserved in a state of decline?

I love going round old houses - probably my favourite things to photograph, actually - but it's true that a lot of them are quite similar. Calke Abbey seems as if the last residents just up and left, abandoning everything. Chaotic, but fascinating.

The house itself is such a weird mixture. Some rooms are in semi-darkness, because the condition of the furniture and walls is so bad that they can only take minimal light. Others are better lit, but crammed to the rafters with... STUFF. It made me think of poking around an eccentric relative's house - you know, a crazy great-uncle who never throws ANYTHING away.

Love this wallpaper (yes, it's wallpaper!):

Guess which iPhone app I'd recently become obsessed with when I took this?

Plus, there were stairs that lead to nowhere. I LOVE STAIRS THAT LEAD TO NOWHERE.

PS - Sorry for, yet again, the big gap between posts - my laptop broke! I have lots of posts planned for the next few weeks though, never you fear...
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