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Dressing For Dinner

Sunday, 30 January 2011

I'm back! I'm sorry about the lack of blogging this week. The course I was on was brilliant and utterly fascinating but it was pretty much non-stop and left me totally worn out afterwards. The weekend has been equally busy, what with shopping all day yesterday and then celebrating my mum's birthday today so I haven't had a minute to fire up the laptop.

I need some sleep before my brainpower returns so in the meantime here's a very quick outfit post, just something I wore for dinner on the course last week. I've had the top for ages but I don't think I've blogged it before. It's a really tricky shape for me to wear - I've tucked it in and tweaked it a bit here. I know it still looks a bit boxy but it's tons better than the unflattering shape it falls in naturally. The underlayer is quite clingy and the fabric is gathered and a bit pouffy around the hips - not a good look on me!! If I'd tried it on before I bought it I might have thought twice about it but it was one of those things that I saw on the rail (only £10 in the sale!) and loved so much I just had to buy it.

Top - Uttam @ Dorothy Perkins
Cardi - Hawkshead
Skirt - H&M

ps - dress code was "tidy" - how on earth do you interpret that? I figured that as long as I didn't have my skirt tucked in my knickers I'd be ok...

Awards Season

Monday, 24 January 2011

No, I'm not talking Golden Globes or BAFTAS - I'll leave the red carpet photos to other bloggers. I'm talking about blog awards! The Stylish Blogger award is zooming around at the moment, isn't it? Both Cait at Indigo Babushka and Samantha at Corsets, Crafts and Cupcakes have been kind enough to pass it onto me - thanks girls! I have to list 7 facts about goes:

1) I am horrendously bad at getting up in the mornings. I have 4 different alarms set on my phone and a proper alarm clock. They wake me up but I just turn them off and go back to sleep. I think I'd be less prone to this if I didn't have the rather enjoyable ability of being able to pick up dreams where I left them when I woke up. Quite often I'd just rather be back in the dream than awake.

2) I can't reverse in a straight line. Just can't do it.

3) I entertain myself in daydreams by thinking about characters I create. I have a feeling the current story may turn into a novel one day. I just need the discipline to plot it and write it - I think episodically, not coherently.

4) My two most loathed words are moist and moreish. On principle, I won't buy anything that's advertised using the latter word.

5)I have the tattiest hair in all the world. I beat it into submission and then five minutes later it's full of knots again. This, and various childhood hairbrushing traumas are why I actively loathe people touching my hair. It makes me shudder.


6) I can't stop listening to When It's Time by Green Day

7) When I am drunk I am always taking off my specs and putting them somewhere odd (probably because I always think it's a good idea to put more eyeliner on). Tipsy Alex LOVES her eyeliner.

New Year

I think I'm technically meant to pass this onto 7 other bloggers but I'm terrible at keeping track of who has done it and who hasn't. So if you haven't and you want to, consider yourself tagged!

I'm Having A Pride & Prejudice Moment

Sunday, 23 January 2011

You all know I love my job, yes?

Well sometimes I really love my job and this is one of those times. I'm going to be away till Thursday on a 4 day training course which I won't discuss for fear of boring you to death but which I'm very much looking forward to. The fact that it's being held at Pemberley is just an added bonus.

Hehe, any excuse for gratituous Colin Firth pictures...

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just off to pack my bonnet...

Actually, I'm off to flap about what to pack for 3 days in a freezing cold mansion (am thinking many, many jumpers) and 3 dinners (no idea how dressy or not to go with this...). I may have to go and buy some new shoes. Would you believe that I only have ONE pair of sensible flat shoes that my feet won't freeze in?


Friday, 21 January 2011

Recognise the picture? It featured in the dream post of a few days ago. Vix clearly knows me too well as she quite rightly pointed out that a pink room would have no place in any dream house of mine! I used it mainly because I was struggling to find a proper boudoir photo but also because I absolutely love toile.

For those that aren't as in love with it as I am, toile de Jouy is a type of pattern, originating in the eighteenth century in the village of Jouy-en-Josas in France. This is halfway between Paris and Versailles so was very well placed for manufacturing the sort of expensive textiles likely to appeal to the French court at the time. It generally features quite complex pastoral scenes based on a white background and is most common on fabrics but also appears on decorative things like wallpaper and porcelain.

A couple of late eighteenth century examples

I absolutely adore it in country house rooms but they usually have the benefit of being on a somewhat grander scale than your average house and so can get away with slightly more busy designs. If and when I ever get a house of my very own then it won't be anything grand. I definitely want to fit toile in somehow but I'll have to be canny about how I do it.

I think it's a bit like chintz in that people seem to go nuts with it. It can be a tad overpowering at the best of times but a quick google image search will show that it's usually accompanied by swags and pelmets and more occasional tables than you can shake a stick at. For example:

Argh, pattern overload!

This honestly makes me feel queasy

Too fussy, plus I don't understand beds with gazillions of cushions and pillows on them. You only end up throwing them on the floor.

This, toned down by several hundred notches would be really rather nice. As it stands at the moment, I think you'd develop some sort of vicious eye strain just sitting in there.

I still haven't found the perfect room so I'll have to steal some ideas and inspiration from other places instead.

Come on, did you expect me NOT to find a green one? I certainly wouldn't go for that particular style of curtain but I love the colours.

This is excessively pretty wallpaper. Not quite so keen on the white shabby chic features though.

Now this, I absolutely love. It's just so sunshiney. You'd automatically wake up happy in a room like this.

I like the fact that toile is popping up in more modern forms and unexpected places as well. It's not just limited to soft furnishings.

I like this pattern very much - it fits my love for buildings and skylines.

How glorious is this design please? I can't stop giggling at the maypole dancers. It's from the utterly wonderful tshirt website Threadless but alas it's sold out. I've got my fingers crossed that they reprint it.

Equally modern and fun is this design from Coco de Mer. It's rather raunchy, hence the small photo (don't want to corrupt any younger readers!). If I was the sort of girl that frittered that sort of money on bras then this one would top my wishlist.

My other problem is that toile designs seem most common in blue, red and pink at the moment and I don't want any of those. I prefer it in green, yellow or even in black and they're not so easy to track down. The hunt is ongoing.

I managed to source these two big pieces of fabric towards the end of last year. I think they're technically curtain fabric but it might be just about possible to make dresses out of them instead - if it's good enough for the Von Trapps it's good enough for me! I know they're both quite busy patterns but I think if I pick the right style of frock, I could look quite chic rather than a piece of walking wallpaper.

A Dash of Red

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

It all went a bit wrong on the picture front today. I'm in fat ghost mode in all of these - I swear the flash kills any slight colour I might have in my face. I know I'm pale but I'm really not that pale!

Sashay!! (Actually, I was walking perfectly normally towards the camera to find out why the self timer wasn't working. I really didn't know I did such weird things with my arms. The flash must have startled them.)

Dress and bag - H&M
Pumps and scarf - Dorothy Perkins

I also wore my newest creation - some chunky knit wristwarmers. I knitted them myself!! I don't care if no-one else is impressed by this. I'm bloody pleased with myself. It must be the world's easiest pattern because I'm really cackhanded with a pair of needles but I did it, wahoo!!

I went to see Love And Other Drugs tonight which I really enjoyed. I'd have liked it even more if I hadn't been surrounded by the most atrocious group of stupid teenagers I've ever seen. Not only did they eat vile smelling food and talk and text all the way through it, they kept asking really loud and deeply ignorant questions about all the characters, squealed and shrieked through all the sex scenes and then topped it off by actually laughing at the people in the film who had Parkinsons disease. Words fail me.

I'm not going back to the Odeon if that's the sort of audience I'll have to be part of. It's back to FACT for me - it's substantially cheaper and the sort of people who go there are a) grown up and b) intelligent. Plus almost of all of them pass the Code of Conduct. I'm there tomorrow to see The King's Speech followed by a satellite Q&A with Colin Firth. Hopefully it will make up for the unpleasantness of today's cinema trip.

Oh Comely

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

As proof of my world champion procrastinatory abilities, I have been meaning to write this blog post since I bought the first issue of the magazine back in...ooh, July? It's now up to issue 4 and I've only just got round to it. The shame of it all.

I am basically not a magazine sort of person. If I have a few pounds burning a hole in my purse I'd rather just buy a book/some sweets/something fun from a charity shop/a bath bomb from Lush. I never spend it on glossy magazines and especially not swanky fashion magazines which I just don't think are aimed at impoverished, unfashionable people like me.

I don't know quite why I picked up the first issue of Oh Comely in the first place. I can only put it down to the simplicity of the cover and the fact that the girl on the cover was refreshingly normal looking.

I remember reading the first issue and thinking that it reminded me far more of reading good blogs than it did magazines. It has a real sense of freshness, charm and quirk and covers so much interesting ground. Even when I'm not familiar with the subject of the articles, they're always well written. Because I am a musical pleb who would rather listen to Radio 4 or 5 than the latest indie group, the stuff about bands does tend to go rather over my head but that's not a major part of the magazine so it doesn't bother me. It's true of blogging though; I'm more than used to doing the computer equivalent of smiling and nodding when people write about music.

Luckily there are always plenty of fascinating articles to read and the illustrations and photography are always gorgeous too.

I even like the fashion shoots. They're beautiful and, shock horror, feature things that I might be able to afford and actually want to wear.

Lots of lovely giveaways in every issue too, hurrah! As further proof of my procrastination, if it were needed, I haven't entered a single one. Not even the Irregular Choice one. What's wrong with me?

Plus there's the odd smattering of recipes and simple crafty things. I've yet to actually attempt any of them but they certainly look good.

And a quiz on the inside back page! I don't know about you lot but I love a good quiz. According to the one in the current edition (not the one pictured above) my perfect book is Cold Comfort Farm. (I saw something narrrrrrrrrrrrsty in the woodshed...) Good choice - I like it muchly and am definitely due a reread.

Last night I had a big glass of wine and curled up on the bed to read the latest issue. Jolly good it was too.

(pj bottoms made by the amazing Char - aren't they fab?!)

Green And Grey

Monday, 17 January 2011

So then, back to work again! I'm still not entirely recovered but if I'd stayed off any longer the buildup of work would have been utterly ridiculous (as opposed to today's mild craziness). To lift my spirits I got my legs out. Are shorts and heels appropriate for the office? In my world they are.

(vain I know, but I'm liking how long my legs look in these photos!)

Shorts & cardi - Gap sale
Vest top - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Kurt Geiger via charity shop
Necklaces - Sunday Girl Accessories (initial) & Accessorize (beaded)
Rings - H&M and Dorothy Perkins

Can't believe it's taken me so long to wear these shoes. I think it's because I'm not a fan of peeptoe shoes. You might well ask why I bought this pair then. The answer(s) would be - a) they are green, b) they're Kurt Geiger and c) they were cheap. Also d) I didn't buy them, someone else did, hence me not actually remembering the price. £5ish? Cheap anyway. And as they're such a dark shade of green I can wear them with black tights and the peeptoe isn't that noticeable. Perfect.

ps - don't know if I was quite clear with the hunky man references in the last post. The one in the coat is my all-time object of lust, Henry Cavill. Oli Townend is the one on the grey horse.

You're all more than welcome at the dream house/shop by the way!