The reason I had a momentary “I must be growing old” blip (don’t worry, I am still twenty-one forever) is that I have recently acquired some clothing in colours that I have never really been keen on before.
I don’t know why, but suddenly burgundy has become a new feature in my wardrobe!
But that’s not all. Jack bought me a camel coloured winter coat…and I also have a beige waterproof.
What has happened to me? Am I actually finally growing up?
When I stay over at Jack’s, I need to pack myself a little overnight bag. I don’t leave any of my personal clothes in Jack’s rooms. (He has four male housemates and a housekeeper goes in…so I prefer not to leave anything of mine around – except my favourite mug.)
Last time I stayed over…I somehow forgot to pack any fresh clothes into my overnight bag. I had just packed underwear, my toiletries bag, and pyjamas because it was my time of the month.
Jack said he did not mind if I went clothes-less while we were working together. Instead I resorted to wearing the same clothes…and throwing my blouse into the washing machine and then tumble drier with the boys laundry – which has left my blouse an odd colour.
But we had to go out on Sunday and I was worried about the impression I would make. Jack said to me, “Why don’t you wear your sparkly dress?”
Cue my completely blank face. It turned out that a dress I have not worn for months was hanging up in Jack’s closet, obscured by white plastic. Jack had taken it to the same dry-cleaners he uses. I think I remember an event last autumn before we had another lock-down. I had forgotten all about that dress. It is a charity shop designer bargain.
But boy is it sparkly!! So as it was clean, on it went and I felt like a right wally on Sunday when I was over-dressed. I think it was better than being under-dressed. But my goodness…have I learnt my lesson after my epic packing failure.
I am definitely NOT a follower of fashion. But I think I have developed a sense of my style, the kind of clothes I like to wear, and make me feel great.
A very big part of my style is dresses….oh how I love my dresses. But I know at this stage that I suit knee-length fit and flair dresses, which are mostly one colour, or pain, but a little patterning is fine. I don’t seem to suit a dress which is all patterns.
You may remember that Jack bought me a couple of dresses at the end of last year, inculuding this one….
Oh how I love wearing this dress. It is so comfy, so feminine, so me!
Well….I wore it for work one day. I was a little worried about it, because it it does not match the plain black/grey/neutral palette that seems to be adopted in the office. But, there are no rules to say you cannot wear colour, or have a little embroidery in your clothing…so I went for it.
After lunch, one of the women who works on the same floor as me said “such a pretty dress”. I smiled and said, “thank you, I was worried it might be a little too hippy-ish”. She said, “no, no, no – it’s a lovely dress.”. I replied, “I do love my dresses”. She then called me a trend-setter!!
A trend-setter – me!!! Whoop whoop!!!
I….despite knowing nothing about fashion….have found a style that makes me feel great…and it turns out…I am a trend-setter!!! lol!!!
In my NHS role, I wore a uniform. Everyday I wore the same (I had three uniforms so I always had a clean one to put on). Before I went to work, I did not wake up and face the headache of a decision – what do I wear?
There are plenty of clothes in my wardrobe that are suitable for the office environment, but oddly, I have the same sensation every morning – that delusional feeling that is very hard to reason away of “I have nothing to wear”.
I have a serious weakness for new dresses. “New” to me that it is. I am especially happy if they come from charity shops – WIN WIN! – when it comes to so many tick boxes.
But every now and then Jack has “gifted” me with a new new dress. I seem to be growing fussier though. Perhaps it is because “my style” of dresses does not seem to be in fashion right now. I see lots of pretty dresses – but they don’t appeal, or I can tell they won’t suit me.
Jack had three dresses sent to me and he said he was happy for me to keep or return one, two or all three dresses, for a certain upcoming event. I am too nervous to write about it in case the spread of this variant changes the plans dramatically.
So, these were the three dresses….
I liked all three. They are beautiful dresses. One went back, and two I am really keen on. Can you guess? I will give you a clue. One really is a very obvious choice for me based on my current wardrobe. Jack should have known that if I looked at these dresses before, there is one that would definitely appeal to me. One was not what I would ever pick, but the dress was better than the picture, and when I tried it on I was amazed at how great it looked.
I could talk about dresses all day long with you….but I can’t I am afraid. I have to go to work!!
Normally each spring I pull out my summer clothes from storage bags under by bed. My winter clothes are taken out of the wardrobe and folded neatly to be packed away for the summer months.
But this year…I didn’t fully do it. I was working six days a week. On my day off I was busy cleaning and doing coursework and talking to family. I didn’t have chance to wear my beautiful summer dresses and sandals.
So here I am…preparing for the cold with my woolies still in the wardrobe…as they have been all year. Sad really.
Did you know that all three parts of THE LEARNERS AT LOVE SERIES are now available on Amazon in both Kindle Connect and Paperback formats. If you click the box below, it will take you to Amazon ❤
Family summer garden party for a special celebration coming up very soon. I opened my wardrobe and groaned, “I have nothing to wear” (which is not true). Jack picked up on my whining and told me he wanted to treat me to a new dress. This is exciting to me because all my dresses came from charity shops or as “hand-me-downs” from friends. New dress!!! It’s like the most exciting thing to happen this year!!!
Do you think I can pick one? Jack is being patient…but he has to place an order very soon to get it on next day delivery. I have narrowed it down to five dresses…but I am stuck now.
I would love your opinion. Bear in mind I am a caramel blonde (my hair is very long at the moment, but I am ringing every salon I can find to ask of I can make a last minute appointment to trim my straggly ends) and of an hourglass figure. That means Dress 2 and 5 are not the style of dress that suit my shape. Anyway…what do you think?
Most of the clothes I packed to bring with me to Australia are old clothes. My lingerie s new and that lovely dress that my friend bought me is new. Most of my clothes are blue (that is because I always choose blues). So to brighten up my wardrobe (or my suitcase) a friend lent me some very pretty items.
Aren’t friends wonderful!!! I am trying to be very careful when I wear the borrowed items. Don’t want to damage such pretty clothes. And I am waltzing around an Australian winter, dressed like a meadow. Caramel is in her own little world of love and flowers and Goldfinch.
I noticed that for this week’s FANDANGO’S PROVOCATIVE QUESTION we are asked: “What’s Your Style?“ So I am linking one of my older posts in which I answered Rory’s questions on style.
I have surprised myself by being able to answer all of the questions in Rory’s latest “Game-On” challenge. Afterall, I have been shopping in charity shops since I was sixteen because as a volunteer, I did not have much spare cash for clothing. I know nothing of what is supposed to be the fashion. I just know what I like and what I think looks good.
Just in case you have not seen them before, these challenges are created by the marvellous A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! and in his post below, he lists all of the rules and explains the challenge:
In my life…oooh, well colour is gorgeous. Goodness, imagine life without colour! Wouldn’t that be boring!
Q2] What is most favourite colour to wear?
Well, I like blues and greeny blues, teal I guess. Any colours at the cooler side of the rainbow.
I use navy as my base colour instead of black. As I think black makes me look too pale and sickly. I team various shades of blues and teals with either neutral items or tan leather or accessories.
I used to have something in every colour going, but ended up with too many clothes, most of which could not make a matching outfit. I have a very small wardrobe now, so I have a capsule wardrobe all based on my favourite colours.
Q3] Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?
Frustratingly…people love me in pink. It is because I am fair with golden hair and I turn pink very easily. My rosy cheeks look amazing in a rosy pink top. Not hot pink, not pale pink, but that rose kind of pink.
I always receive compliments whenever I wear that shade of pink. So, I do have a bit of it in my wardrobe. I have a couple of navy dresses with a bit of pink in the floral print and I team it with a little pink cardi. It is something I would wear when I am feeling a bit low, as I know people will say I really suit that colour.
Q4] Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?
In every day life, if I am out and about, meeting and greeting, socializing, and especially when I am wanting to look lovely for Goldfinch, I love wearing a dress, a beautiful dress, or a day-dress. I just love feeling feminine. Most of my dresses are knee-length or just below and they are “fit & flair” style as it suits me more than a straight cut dress.
If I am gardening or cleaning or decorating or digging trenches…or taking a dog for a walk, or jogging, or hiking up Cadair Idris, I am going to wear something appropriate for the occasion:
PQ5] What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]
Oooooh…it depends on the season.
Now that the cold weather is ahead, I would not be without my 100% waterproof Gortex tan leather boots. Someone gave me some money to go and buy some good winter boots because my old boots were springing leaks and I bought a pair in Clarks in the sale for about £70 and I love them. three years later they are still in almost perfect condition despite how often I wear them in the wintertime.
Also in the winter I love my big thick navy coat.
My big woolly scarf which is navy and teal check.
I have a “go-to” dress when I am not sure what to wear. It is a navy Phase Eight dress, and I love the shape. It is “fit & flare” and it is incredibly flattering and easy to team up with most items in my wardrobe. I found it in a charity shop and snapped it up and I love it.
In the summertime this year I realized how much I needed a pair of pretty, but solid sandals. I found it really hard to find a pair I liked but then one day when I was desperate for more comfortable footwear I found a pair up in Manchester in “Office”. I wrote all about them in this post:
Q6] Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?
I do dress for the weather. I don’t really change my colours drastically…most of my clothes are blue or teal or navy. I might wear more white in the summer.
PQ7] If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?
If my friends tell me (and I often need their advice) that is more of a dressed-up jeans smart casual, I have some pretty tops and jackets that I can team up with jeans.
Left to my own interpretation, if I was told the dress code was smart casual…my first choice would probably be a dress, knowing me. But a dress that was not too glamorous or opulent. A navy day-dress with a thin tan belt. I would probably wear it with smart but flat ballet pumps, which give a dress a more relaxed feel.
Q8] If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?
If it was a business meeting or an interview…
…something more along these lines.
Q9] How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]
I feel rather embarrassed about this. So recently, my sister Milly went up to my flat up in North London to retrieve some things that would be useful to me. Only she brought back so much more than I expected, and for some reason she decided to bring my entire shoe collection. Well, actually, I have a few pairs of footwear up at my parent’s home and at my sister’s homes.
The problem is…I am very good at finding bargains in charity shops after years of practice. Most pairs of shoes I have bought for just £2 or £3. I look after them because they are well-made shoes, and I have a friend who is a cobbler who has helped to keep my shoe collection looking polished!
I can’t face counting them, but I can tell it is at least fifty pairs (I should have a sort out and give some to charity shops, because I don’t need them all – especially not the stilettos!)
Q10] Do you have classic clothing, or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?
I have a black pair of tailored trousers…
and a beige trench-coat…
and a pair of smart black heels…
that I guess could never really go out of fashion.
I feel like they are a kind of Audrey Hepburn look and can be worn by anyone of any age and make them look smart and stylish.
Q11] Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?
I don’t think I am into anything outlandish. I think on the whole my dress sense is rather conservative. I like to wear beautiful dresses, but on the whole I like to wear clothes that are modest, well-made, appropriate for the occasion. I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but I like to be well-presented and look as if I am making an effort.
PQ12] Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?
I don’t think about fashion. I don’t talk about fashion. 90% of what I own I bought in charity shops. It is only good quality footwear and underwear that I am willing to buy new!
But I found one quote which isn’t completely laughable to me.
Q13] Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?
If I am playing hockey…knee high socks.
If I am jogging…little ankle socks.
What are shin socks? I don’t know what they are…are they like socks with shin-pads sewn into them? If so, they would be great for hockey.
If I am wearing sandals…no socks. If there is one crime against style it is socks with sandals – aaaaaagh!!!!!
Q14] Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?
I don’t think my mind is wired to see the connection between colour and music other than they both make life rather exquisitely wonderful! I think they both sensational gifts that make life anything but boring.
I don’t think music influences my dress code. I love colours, but for practical reasons (lack of space), I stick to my capsule wardrobe of blues and teals and tan leather.
PQ15] If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]
I don’t normally dress to music. I might put on some music to get me in the mood for going out, depending on where I am going. I am trying to think of a song about dressing up before going out to somewhere special…this is the tune in my head (probably because I used the word “sensational” in my previous answer):
Q16] How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?
If something I already own and is very useful is wearing out, beyond repair, I start to pop into charity shops to see if I can find something similar to replace it. I do pop into charity shops from time to time, always on the look out for a bargain.
Q17] Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?
Well, I don’t believe I ever wore anything tie-dye. But that is probably because I am a child of the eighties. I think I would have liked it, I liked bright colours and wore all sorts of colours as a child.
I don’t think I would wear it now though…I don’t like to dress in an entire rainbow of colour, I think I would feel too conspicuous.
I don’t have any strong feelings about tie-dye. For those that can pull off wearing the entire rainbow – good for you!
Q18] What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?
I have a raspberry Laura Ashley light cardi. It is pretty.
I wear it with a Laura Ashley skirt which is beige but has a rose print on it.
Everything else in my wardrobe is navy, teal, blue, or neutral colours.
Q19] What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardrobe? How often do you actually wear it?
Well…I think the item that was the most expensive originally is a Windsmoor winter coat which I found in a charity shop with the labels on and snapped up for £20. I feel as if it is one of my best bargains.
I guess the most money I have personally spent was the £75 for the Clarks boots I mentioned earlier in this post.
PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?
Not this time.
Q21] Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired more so?
I don’t feel as if I am “fashionable”. I am not really aware of what is in fashion at any time.
However, I think I have a style. I wear what is appropriate for the occasion – so practical clothes when I am doing practical tasks, and then when I am not getting my hands dirty, I wear dresses. I have always liked beautiful dresses, right from childhood.
I loved running round playing football, climbing trees and riding my bike in shorts and a T-shirt…but I also loved pretty dresses. I explained how my sense of style developed in this post:
“I also had issues about the uniform – well it was grey…as some school uniforms are. I said to Mrs Richardson “Yes, I know all the other children have to wear a uniform, but what I don’t understand is, why do I have to wear a uniform?” I didn’t see myself as one of them, but that I was being forced against my will to be at this school. Well….whatever I said to the teachers, I was allowed to attend school throughout the infants and wear my choice of clothes rather than the uniform. What did I wear? I had so many pretty little girl dresses that had been given to my mum by my dad’s customers and friends. Quite an impressive wardrobe. I remember some of them vividly. Although I also loved wearing shorts and T-shirts at home, I was too proud to wear shorts for school, I did want to be smart. It sometimes strikes me as odd that although I was such a tomboy in so many ways – I always loved my dresses.”
I developed that sense of “style” as a little girl and it has ever left me. Although I have had a life-time of “hand-me-downs” and charity shop clothes, I have always chosen items that I feel comfortable and confidant in. Hardly anyone would have any idea that I don’t buy my clothes first-hand. Stylish on a shoestring!
My new job is lovely…the other staff are lovely… the short walks to and from work are lovely. I am a happy bunny indeed. I am feeling so enthusiastic and energetic and eager about my new job. My old job was draining me.
This morning I have had a feeling that I have not had before work for a very long time. I opened my wardrobe and thought “Ugh! What am I going to wear? I have nothing to wear?”
For the past nineteen months I have had to wear a uniform for work…thus, I never had to decide what to wear. My wardrobe has lots of pretty dresses, most of which I bought from charity shops with the labels still on…
…and lots of clothes to wear while I am working around the house…and when I am determined to be energetic and go hiking or jogging…
But I can’t wear any of these for my new job. I don’t have many in between clothes. I don’t have much that is “business like”. One pair of black trousers and one black pencil skirt.
On Sunday afternoon I went to the local charity shops (there are four within five minutes walk of where I live) and found six smart tops – I paid £20 in total.
When I am confidant that money will be flowing in on a regular basis I think I will have to set aside some of my wages and plan a shopping trip to expand my “business-like” clothing selection.
Until then I have plenty to keep me going. Even more important than the clothes I wear for work are the way I interact with other staff and clients/customers…and being eager to learn their system. And of course, before I even open up my mouth to say something to any of them…what makes the key difference is my SMILE!