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Two Nights in Liverpool

Friday, 31 August 2012

I've been doing some post-work gallivanting this week. It's a joy to live so close to such a vibrant, amazing city. Ten minutes on the train and I'm here:

Wednesday evening saw me rendezvous with my brother as we had an invitation to visit La Tasca and check out their cocktail and mini tapas offer. 

Princess Leia buns and Mojitos are a good combination, yes?

It got top marks from me.  We ate like kings - the staff were lovely and brought over all sorts of different little nibbles for us to try.  I've established I still can't bear olives (does this come with age? If so, I'm running out of time!) but everything else was utterly delicious.  Plus it's always a good sign when cocktails taste like they contain alcohol rather than just fruit juice!  I can report that the mojitos and strawberry daiquiris get my seal of approval.

Then last night I went on a ship!  Well, Liverpool is a maritime city.  It wasn't completely out of the blue - I didn't get chatted up by a sailor or anything. I'm a member of Fact Fifty and we get invited to exhibition previews and other cultural type events throughout the year.  This was a private evening tour of the Kathleen and May.  I know next to nothing about ships but even I can tell that she's been beautifully restored.  I'm the nosy type so I went exploring round the cabin and galley: everything is so neat! I couldn't live on a ship.  They'd make me walk the plank for being so unbearably messy.

When on board a ship, one must naturally pretend to steer it:
Captain (aka Papa) Odd Socks

Or, you know, stick your head in a funnel:

Dress & cat ring - River Island sale
Belt - Primark
Cardi - Matalan
Jacket - c/o French Connection
Shoes - Dorothy Perkins
Bag - John Rocha

I love Liverpool

Note: I wasn't paid for the review but La Tasca did pick up the bill

Turning August Into Autumn

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

In the autumn, a fashion blogger's fancy turns to thoughts of layers*.  And tights.  And knits.  And scarves, hats, boots and all the other deliciously cosy things that have been neatly packed away in vintage suitcases since April.

We class autumn as September-November, don't we?  It may technically still be summer now but I've already given up on it.  It's been warm enough for bare legs about three times all year and I'm officially pronouncing it time to start donning tights and jackets again.  I don't care if it still says August on the calendar.

Now I'm not one of those people who dives headlong into look books at this time of year and starts fantasising about the squillions of pounds they're going to spend on new knitwear.  Mainly because I don't have squillions of pounds.  Partly because I don't have that big a wardrobe/house either.  I mostly have to make do with what I've already got, with the addition of a few nice new bits and bobs.

I've been saying this for months now, I know, but I really am trying to buy better.  That means tracking down things I actually need and filling gaps in my wardrobe rather than adding to my enormous collection of grey jumpers.  Instead of indulging my love for Irregular Choice and buying these, I was practical and bought these .  Actual sensible, waterproof footwear.  Go me.

The one obvious gap in my wardrobe was leather jacket shaped, so when French Connection emailed me and asked if I'd like to review something from their A/W range I knew exactly what to go for

I absolutely love it.  Why have I never owned one before?  I did this with shorts: was absolutely convinced they were not for me, tried them, loved them.  Perhaps I need to expand my clothing horizons a bit more.  Anyway, back to the jacket.  I trust you know I wouldn't be saying this if I didn't truly think it (my opinion is not for sale) but it's beautiful.  Feels fantastic, looks wonderful, makes me feel considerably cooler than usual.  What's not to love?

Jacket - c/o French Connection
Dress - People Tree sale
Boots -  Aldo via ASOS sale
Ring - Primark
Necklace - belonged to my Grandma

*apologies for mangling Tennyson

How to...make a (really easy) floral headband

Friday, 24 August 2012

In just over two weeks I am doing something I have never done before.  I'm going to a festival.  Bestival to be precise, courtesy of the very lovely folk at Echo Falls, and I am majorly excited about it! 

Festival fashion will need quite some pondering.  I go camping a lot so I'm well prepared with waterproofs and warm things, but the daytime will be tricky.  I just don't suit the stereotypical festival stuff - every "must have" list seems to feature cut off denim shorts and fringed things and bralets and I am not wearing any of that.  I'm sure I can get around it though.

The thing that gives me most grief is that I can't wear beautiful headbands.  In an ideal world, something like this Crown & Glory beauty would be the first thing I packed.  Sadly it's not: I have a stupid shaped head.  Headbands end up pinging up the back of it and then either fly off and hit someone in the face or end up perched on top of my head in a rather drunken fashion.  And the ones I would really love to wear, the delicate chain, coin type ones, just end up tangled in my hair with me swearing almightily at them.

Never fear!  I decided that I would make my own.  To solve the pinging problem, I've gone for proper leather thonging that can be tied in a good old knot, will not come undone and will stay securely on my head.  It will work. 

Here's what you need:

Really quick and really easy to make.  Even better, really cheap!  The leather thonging was 89p a metre and 2 metres makes three headbands.  The silky flowers were 89p a bunch.  Now I must admit I didn't price up similar things in the shops but I'm fairly confident they'd be more expensive.  Plus, this way you get to pick exactly what you want in terms of colours and that's always fun.

Even more fun is when your Mum hears about your craft project and gives you a bag full of stuff she just happened to have in a box somewhere.  So I made another one!

Day Seven

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The final day.  Thank goodness for that!  Not that it hasn't been fun to discover a few unworn things, but it's been much harder than I thought to put outfits together based around them.  My brain doesn't usually work that way.

The one thing I have noticed is that I'm more drawn to green than I realised.  Take a quick look back through the last week or so of posts and you'll see that I'm wearing something green in six out of the seven outfits.  You'd never guess it was my favourite colour, would you?

Today I positively revelled in the fact that it was warm enough for bare legs and bare toes.  I bought these shoes weeks and weeks ago and it just hasn't been hot enough for them yet.  Stupid weather.  Stupid non-existent summer.  I may have to investigate whether wearing them with tights looks stupid or not because they are amazingly comfy; far too much so to be relegated to the summer-only corner of my shoe rack.

Do you like how I've fetchingly accessorised them with a massive, blotchy insect bite on my leg?

Dress - Billie & Blossom, Dorothy Perkins sale
Cardi - Primark
Shoes - H&M
Rings - Next clearance

Day Six

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Hark at me (almost) smiling in a blog photo.  I am happy because I discovered something a) unworn and b) amazing during a bit of a tidying session over the weekend.  House tights!  I do love Henry Holland tights but I'm buggered if I'm paying upwards of £12 for them.  I stalk the River Island sales instead - this pair were £3. Bargain.

I have no idea why they lurked in the depths of my tights suitcase for so long but it may just be that they blended into the background.  There's so much colour going on in there that anything mostly flesh coloured just disappears.  I think that's them in the top right, next to the green pair.  They certainly don't jump out at you in the same way as some of the others.

Anyway, consider them well and truly worn today!

Dress - Closet @ Dorothy Perkins
Shoes & ring - Dorothy Perkins
Tights - H by Henry Holland via River Island sale

Day Five

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Liverpool appears to have avoided the hottest day of the year so far.  I bet all the Southerners reading this are looking at me in horror for daring to wear jeans today but it just hasn't been warm enough for anything else.  Plus my right calf is about two inches fatter than usual due to an evil insect bite so dresses and skirts won't be worn until the swelling has gone down.  Fun eh?

I may not be able to get my legs out but I can debut a new handbag. Well, I say new. It's not. It's vintage and it's from a charity shop, but it's new to me and that's what counts. Lovely, isn't it?

Top - ASOS via charity shop
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Dolcis
Bag - vintage, via charity shop

ps - Some of you may be wondering why yesterday wasn't Day Five.  Well technically it should have been but a day of fence judging is not really conducive to outfit posting.  I wore a waterproof and a high vis vest for most of the day.  I shall try and do better tomorrow.

Day Four

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Be honest with me here. How many things in your wardrobe have you never worn?

I knew when I started this challenge that I didn't have many of them, hence me doing it for a week rather than the full month, but it wasn't until last night that I realised just how much wear I get out of my clothes. There are literally five things in the wardrobe that I have never worn - three of them are dresses that are currently a bit tight over the old wobbly tum and one is a gold sequinned miniskirt which isn't entirely appropriate for anything other than a night out. Of those four, three were bought in the sales and one is vintage from a charity shop. I am clearly more sensible with my money than I realised!

I think it's due to having the shopping mindset of not buying things on a whim.  If I've bought something, it's because I really like it and I've thought about whether I'll wear it and what it'll go with.  Once something has passed this test then I'm usually really excited to wear it and it's very rare that it gets shoved in the wardrobe and forgetten about.

And the fifth thing?  It's this hoody.  Perhaps not something I'd usually put on for an outfit post but you don't see me in trainers etc very often and like I said, I'm scraping the barrel of things to include in this challenge.  I'm not quite sure how I'll last out the rest of the week. It may be time to rope in the accessories - I'm fence judging at an eventing competition on Friday and Sunday and a gold miniskirt will not be suitable!

Plus I can pretend to be a boxer in it.  That never gets old.

I think these trainers are due for the wash or the bin though.  Please excuse their filthy state!

Dress - Primark
Hoody - H&M
Dunlop Green Flash - Schuh
Necklace - gift

Day Three

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

So it's Day Three and I'm rocking the oh-so-stylish wifebeater and open shirt combo today.  Yup, I am no more organised than I was yesterday.  Did you expect anything different?  Have you met me?  I am a complete last-minute lucy. 

I actually rather like it though.  The shirt is ever such a pretty colour and I think it counteracts any potential slob factor.

But what's new about this outfit, I hear you cry.  You have seen the jeans and the boots many times.  Although the shirt is newish, I'm pretty sure I've blogged it before.  Well, the new thing is THIS:

Meet my new bag and the guardian of the #wardrobezoo.  I am not usually much of a handbag sort of girl but you have to agree that she is fairly amazing. Plus she totally reminds me of Owlma from Greenclaws (my favourite kids tv show of all time).

"Twit twoo, twoo, twit twit twoo?"

I'm going to see The Importance of Being Earnest tonight so frankly there is no better occasion on which to debut a new handbag.  Even Lady Bracknell couldn't disapprove of this one.

Shirt - Matalan, gift
Jeans & vest top - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - Aldo, via ASOS sale
Bag - Irregular Choice, via Debenhams