Buttercup's Frocks

Musings on personal style by a fatshionista of a certain age

  • 1st June
    2014
  • 01

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No, I haven’t finished marking my second (and final) lot of student work yet. I am playing hooky, tumblr. Infuriatingly I photographed each of the three outfits I wore to the World’s Loveliest Giftshop® this week, only to accidentally delete two of the shoots in their entirety. Seriously, one minute they were there and I was just about to open them in preview, then I clicked when I shouldn’t have and there they were; gone. This is the shoot that survived so I thought I’d better post it right quick lest disaster strike yet again. Because I’m having that kind of luck this week.

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Just today, for instance, I was sitting at the bottom of my garden taking a well earned breather and enjoying the sunshine, eyes closed, arms stretched along the back of my wooden bench, communing with what passes for nature in the west London suburbs. At the precise moment this tragedy occurred, Miss Izzy, (who, in case you don’t know, is the clumsiest cat ever to draw breath), was sitting on the back of said bench. Since I was chillin’, I have no clue if there were any outside influences but, all of a sudden, Izzy realised she was in the process of falling off said bench and, scrabbling gracelessly like the ill-co-ordinated doofus she is, decided this could be avoided by sticking all twenty of her boathooks into anything within grabbing distance – one  of which happened to be my hand – and then she fell off anyway. That’s twelve pounds of plummeting cat with one claw still deeply embedded in the middle joint of my index finger; not the fleshy underside but the top, bony part.

I’ll… just leave you to imagine what that felt like. 

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So, you’ve seen this ASOS frock before but not for a couple of years, and I’ve styled it differently this time around. I really like the juxtaposition of the floaty girly chiffon and the rough and ready denim. I think I’m the only gal in the fatosphere who doesn’t have a leather/faux leather jacket but this is my take on that tough-but-tender look.

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One of the problems of working in a lovely shop is the temptation to buy stuff, and I’ve been eyeing up this rather unusual necklace for a while. 

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We have it in three colourways, (the others are corals and shades of aqua, turquoise and lime) and I’ve been umming and aahing for weeks. But having seen how great it looks with this dress, I think I might be finally ready to commit. 

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Fortunately I get a very generous discount though I try not to take it for granted.

  • 23rd May
    2014
  • 23

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Hey, tumblr. You’ve probably noticed my posts have become a little few and far between of late. This is because, professionally speaking, this is my busiest time of year and it just got even busier. And not in a good way given I am a) A world class worry-guts, and b) A world class stress-bunny. I have, for instance, been trying to find time to get this post done for almost a fortnight and I’m only doing it now as a short displacement exercise to avoid tackling the teetering pile of student grading from hell I have to get done - um - today. At least that’s the plan. So, without further ado, here it is.

I’ve never really felt this frock. As you know I have a bit of an issue with navy, even though it suits me. It was also a bit of an impulse buy made with the mindset “it’ll be good for work when I don’t want to wear jeans and it’s too cold to wear a summer dress” – and, while it’s certainly fulfilled those criteria fine well, I remain nonetheless unjazzed. A situation not improved by seeing a septuagenarian rocking it in a decidedly non-Advanced Style manner at the Royal Academy the day after I acquired it. But that’s no matter as this post is primarily about the accessories I’ve used to lift it out of “meh” territory. Particularly these shoes:-

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There are no words to describe how much I love them. Sure they’re not exactly the wacko Fluevogs of my dreams, (they’re made by Ara in point of fact),  but they are orthotic friendly and, unlike my customary Hotter Shakes, they don’t look like toddler or little old lady shoes. In fact I think they’re quite elegant. And I can walk miles in them with no ill effects, which is always a plus. They also immediately put me in mind of this old piece on the now defunct Manolo For The Big Girl blog. Miss Plumcake, amusing as she was, always did have a knack for putting her foot in it and, even back when I didn’t have to wear Old Git shoes, her assertion that “cutesy” footwear like this signified professional loser-dom seriously got up my hooter; and Lord knows there’s plenty of room up there.

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Who decided that ouchy shoes with vertiginous heels mark one out as a potential Captain of Industry? Back in their What Not To Wear days Tyrany and Susannah used to bang on ad nauseam about how one simply must wear a heel in order to be taken seriously as an adult. Bitches, I’ve worn flats all my adult life and successfully ran my own company for some years, (an illustration agency, since you ask). I used to go to meetings at big ad agencies and all sorts; nobody gave a flying one about my footwear and they still don’t. Plus, aside from a little arthritis in one of my hyper mobile middle toes, my feet still look like feet, which is a damned sight more than I can say for The Mater, who used to stand for 10 hours a day in four inch stilettos as a young ‘un. No bunions, hammer toes or fallen arches here, ta very much. Suffer for beauty be buggered.

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So, flats righteously defended, on with the show.

In addition to a crapload of university paperwork and lecturing in far-flung places, (Wales! Up North! The Midlands!) I shall be standing in for the World’s Loveliest Boss® at the shop for several days. And while I fully intend to record my my OOTDs for the duration, I probably won’t be posting them till everything else is done and dusted. But, rest assured, I will be thinking of you, tumblr and I have some fine frocks in store for mid June.

Till then, cherish the expression I reserve for shoe fascists.

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Toodles!

  • 10th May
    2014
  • 10

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I’m baa-aaaack! Nothing personal, I promise. I’ve just been crazy busy again. April/May/June is when I do the lion’s share of my peripatetic lecturing and this year’s been no exception. I’m hoping I might even be off to Oslo again later in the year, which I’m very excited about. Since one of my recent visits was to Manchester, you may be interested to know I managed to fit in a flying visit to Simply Be – as their sizing is so all over the place I won’t buy diddly from them online. Now I’m just hoping the weather will settle down so I can take this pretty thing for a spin. Can I just say how chuffed to bollocks I am that Simply Be are opening a London store at last? Not just because anything that adds to the choice available to fats on the high street is a major win, but because I wouldn’t have looked twice at this dress on the website, much less bought it. The colours look washed out and insipid; in real life, however, the print is amazingly vibrant and rich. The fit was craptacular mind; I’ve had to have it taken in a foot around the middle on account of having to size up in order to accommodate my charlies. But speaking of vibrant prints…

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Can you stand it? (Probably not but I’ll press on).

This frock’s about 5 years old and I had it firmly in the sights of my trusty blunderbuss from its shop floor autumn debut to the Boxing Day half-price sale rail. I even cased the joint on Christmas Eve, when they were putting the sale stock out, to make sure I knew exactly where it was going to be when they admitted the teeming hordes. Apart from prices I don’t do things by halves; especially not prints, and there was only one of these left in my size. Of course, according to the Style Police, the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle is a veritable Triumvirate Of Fail: age, adipose and height. Oh my!

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On the age front I caught a handful of older lady bloggers and anons bitching about one of Helen Mirren’s frocks:-

"Floral prints are hard for most women to wear especially as we age", opined one. Another said "prints are so tricky", and another,"I find myself not loving the retro print dress – at our age it seems non-ironic and just dowdy". (Say what? I’m sorry, that print is neither. In fact I wouldn’t even describe it as retro). The blog hostess predictably concurred, “Not only do prints date, they are also memorable: ‘that’ dress again”, to which I say, who gives a toss? If I like it, I like it – and besides, there’s a dozen or more ways one can restyle a garment. Add a belt, change your shoes or your jacket, pair it with another print (or more), pick out a different colour (or more) to accessorize … or, you know, just wear the exact same outfit again an’ it please you. Another commenter brought the bitchfest closer to home, “I see so many oversized prints in fashion magazines, but I’ve wondered how many people can wear them???” Three question marks yet. Lady, anybody can wear them. Anybody. The only thing you need is a fondness for giant prints and a healthy disregard for other folk’s opinions. And, frankly, if you still give a hoot about that at fifty plus, you might as well hang up your sartorial spurs till you croak.

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Now then, tumblr, I’d like you to pay particularly rapt attention to my embonpoint here because, according to Liz Jones, exquisitely irritating Style Editor of the Daily Fail, (from whence I get all my fashion tips naturellement),I’m committing a flagrant faux pas: “There is something about a hefty necklace made up of giant baubles that screams: Crepey decolletage — look away now!” she proclaims, in a piece pointing out classic style blunders perpetrated by those of us who are cracking on a bit. While I’m the first to own I’ve got a bit of mid-life wattle action going on, there ain’t nothing crepey about my poitrine, ta very much. But the scolding doesn’t end there. Apparently I’m committing multiple sins in this picture alone, each guaranteed to make me look a decade older. Ms Jones continues: ”never apply mascara to your lower lashes (it will invariably smudge, making your eyes look droopy)”. Bitch, you cray. Have you seen my lower lashes? They’re one of my finest facial features. As for the smudge-and-droop nonsense, I prefer the term comehither myself. Potato; pot-aah-to. The onslaught continues, “In this day and age, no one should pluck their own eyebrows”. *snort*

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But there’s more. Much more. And arbitrary doesn’t begin to cover it.

No matter how tempted you are, never, ever wear a brooch.

Fabric faux pas by the middle-aged fall into one of two categories. The first makes you look older because they’re too young for you, like most garments in leopard print and dresses made entirely of lace. Anything more than a smattering of red is also high risk. 

Linen will make you look older because no one under 40 wears it. 

If you are too  co-ordinated, you will only look older than your years. This applies to nail polish, too; never use the same colour on hands and feet. 

For someone who thinks she’s doing older women a bunch of favours she’s as short sighted as hell. For a kick-off she thinks everybody’s as loaded as she appears to be…

Don’t stint on quality. Nothing screams ‘granny’ like a bargain basement handbag.

Invest in a pair of 10 denier shape-up tights by Wolford, £39. 

Why the hell would I drop forty smackers on one pair of 10 denier tights I’d be guaranteed to rip a hole in before I even got them out of the packet? For the same amount of money I could buy fourteen pairs of these (or ten pairs of these)in a vast array of pleasing colours that will a) fit me and b) last until the end of time.

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Then there’s these little nuggets of nastiness:

No woman over 50 should wear a block heel. They just look too orthopaedic in your later years: much better to go for a kitten heel or a low stiletto.

Because mobility problems are so ageing, aren’t they? 

Care for a side order of sizeism with your ageism?

To avoid looking like an oldie, make sure your jeans have the right amount of stretch. They must not sit too high on the waist and should be cigarette-shaped. After all, the boot cut went out with the pterodactyl.

Not in the twilight world of plus-sized fashion it didn’t. As usual, mes amis, I saved the best for last…

Most of all, you should focus on your bottom. A pouch of fabric around the bum will only illustrate how your buttocks have collapsed.

A disaster plainly on a par with the Fall of Rome.

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  • 27th April
    2014
  • 27

This little holographic handbag from Aldo has been calling to my heart for the past week. I can’t help thinking it would look like a sartorial non sequitur with the majority of my clothes, but it’s terribly cute, do admit.

  • 19th April
    2014
  • 19

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I’m afraid it’s green two weeks running, tumblr, and a very similar shade at that. What’s more you’ve seen this frock before

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In case you’re wondering about today’s headline, that’s not me being self-denigrating. It’s what a troll told me I looked like in this outfit over on the xojane outfit-of-the-week thread this morning. He passed similar judgment on quite a few of us, having patently mistaken the thread for a beauty contest, himself for an authority, and the community for giving a flying one about his opinion.

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I don’t know why, but whenever someone finds my taste offensive enough to scold, belittle or take the piss out of me for it, my immediate reaction is to feel supremely proud. I suppose it’s an extension of the fashion rules thing, even if the purpose of shaming me for my sartorial choices was, in this instance, to point out that I was sadly out of the running for his sexual favours. (I was gutted as you might imagine, given how my ideal man is ageist, racist, and deeply misogynistic). I’m positively kvelling naches to have offended his eye and his undercrackers. It’s my dearest wish to annoy the living feck out of people like that repeatedly and by any means possible. But after the initial pride wears off I start to feel angry – mainly because the distance afforded by the Internet precludes me from punching the blighter in the face. Ah well, c’est la vie. On with the show and tell.

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I seem to have acquired quite a bit of parrot-themed bijouterie over the years.The brooch, which I loooove, was part of an amazing Les Néréides private sale haul I scored a couple of weekends ago. They were knocking everything out for a tenner or, in some cases, less. The parrot brooch was part of a range they brought out about  eight or nine years ago when they first opened in London. 

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Everything was tropical island-themed – birds, palm trees, sea creatures, sailors, exotic blooms, ladies wearing Carmen Miranda headgear and so on – and it all looked authentically 40s to boot. I have never loved any of their ranges as much as I did that one, and the last thing I was expecting to see after all these years was a whole ton of it at 90% off. The bangles and brooches were two for a tenner!

I may have gone a little mad. 

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  • 8th April
    2014
  • 08

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So, here’s a dress you first saw me wearing here, styled a little differently this time around. I love this Coldwater Creek cardi and don’t wear it nearly enough. (Most probably because most of my dresses have fitted high waists and look better with my customary cropped cardies, boleros and shrugs). One Christmas, Kate (who is the kindest and most generous person I know), sent me a CC gift token and this was one of my purchases. It’s the best green ever and reminds me of a blouse my grandmother, (yes, that grandmother, God bless her), crocheted me to go under my purple bibbed hotpants in 1971). She made it out of something rejoicing in the name of Twilley’s Lyscordet, which, apparently, you can still buy. Not only was it exactly the same colour, it had identical sleeves and a very similar deal with the frills. Now, if only I could find a way of replicating the best dress she ever bought me – a brown mini shift dress with an orange kipper tie and matching vertical stripes patterned with tiny hamburgers. 

Ah, pattern.

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Since it’s been a while since I took the merciless piss out of those who like to lay down the law about the way us fats should dress, and since this is quite the most raucous print in my wardrobe, I thought I’d turn my attention to print and pattern this week. Imagine my embarrassment and shame unfettered glee upon discovering that, according to pretty much everybody, I’m Doing It All Wrong

"Here’s where it gets dicey, "says Jae from nomoremomjeans.com, in her piece 4 Things That Make You Look Fat.Patterns are awesome. But patterns can also make you look fat. Some serious zero in on your trouble areas, like HERE I AM. I have a shirt that I really love, but the pattern makes me look like I just ate Thanksgiving dinner. Not cool. Try on clothes and make sure the pattern detracts.”

Hey, you know what can also make you look fat, Jae? Being fat. Needless to say, Jae isn’t. A bit like the woman who wrote this load of tommyrot, (wow, I really am channelling my granny today).

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Likewise the scale of my print is a honkin’ great no-no. Here’s 3fatchicks.com to put me right: "Fashion experts used to recommend that plus-size women wear clothes with large patterns to mask their trouble zones and keep the attention on the clothes instead of the body. Times have changed! A plus-size body is not something to cover up or be ashamed of." (It’s not? Why are you running a weight loss support forum then? Sorry, digressing; my bad), "While large elaborate patterns may keep people from looking at your trouble areas, you don’t want them to be thinking instead about how your shirt looks like a tablecloth. Stick to classic, bold patterns.

Or, better still…

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According to some rando on that hardy perennial, Whats the Worst Plus-Size Fashion Mistake One Can Make? on about.com, I definitely shouldn’t be wearing plains though: “Always wear shirts with some kind of print on it. It take away the attention from your stomach and the size of your breast”

Quite what I do about my other breast they don’t say.

Reese Armstrong, eHow contributor, on What Kind of Prints Look Good on a Plus-Size Woman? is a fan of the daintier print: "For plus size women, a small print on a shirt is the best option. A large print will be overwhelming and bring attention to a larger frame, while a small print will look feminine and complimentary"

…and whoever wrote How To Select A Plus-Size Wardrobe on wikihow.com avidly agrees: “I have noticed a frightful trend in some variety store plus-size apparel sections – gowns and other apparel with HUGE all over shapes and designs." The horror. There’s more, "Should you be petite, choose less massive prints to avoid overwhelming your outfit with pattern. If you would like to include more decorative fabrics in your wardrobe, my best advice would be to pick one clothing article per outfit to have a pattern, (like a skirt, top or jacket, not all three).”

But, but…

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There are rules about verbotten shapes in print too. Jess Smith, whomsoever she may be, says, "Avoid clothes with too many prints and patterns. It’s a big no-no to wear large polkadots, (but, but…) overly saturated prints and patterns. This will make you look bigger instead of the other way around.”

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3fatchicks agree, "Round patterns – such as those with balls, flowers, balloons, or any other circular shapes – can accentuate the wrong areas of your body. Straight lines and bold cuts shape your plus-size body a lot better and give you the power to determine how your body looks in any outfit."

Orly? What about if your body happens to be round whatever you dress it in? Paint a small room white and it’s still going to be a small room. It’s just going to be a boring small room.

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As usual I kept the best for last. Yet another rando on about.com, “I cannot stand how some large women will wear those shirts that I like to call token fat shirts, they have prints so chaotic they make you sick…”

That sums this outfit up rather well, I think.

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  • 4th April
    2014
  • 04

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As you can see I’ve had a re-style and my roots done, which got me musing about my crowning glory, or rather the lack of it. As a child my mum, who is a hairdresser, (and therefore my hairdresser), would never let me grow it long. Like, not even a little bit. “I’m not having you screaming blue murder every time I have to brush the tangles out of it!” she snarled, every time I was rash enough to mention it. “I have enough of other people’s kids doing that. Besides, it wouldn’t suit you; you’re not a ribbons and frills type of kid.” Nor was I ever permitted to be when she was in charge of the purse strings. As a bud I was mostly dressed in jeans and dungarees, dark, sludgy colours and “smart tailored clothing” (three words that still strike fear into my very marrow). Even my party dresses were austere affairs. Black, charcoal, midnight blue, relieved if I was lucky by a white lace placket or Peter Pan collar. Thank God for my paternal grandmother who not only made me clothes I wanted to wear, (like the pink satin and tulle ballet tutu of my dreams), but as I got older, also bought me clothes from places my mother didn’t approve of – the cheap but fashion-forward C&A instead of the despised and sensible M&S. Later there were bags of childhood hand-me-downs from her friend Vi’s teenage daughter, which also allowed me to exercise my own taste, but my hair, being my mother’s department, remained resolutely short with a fringe.

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People often mistook me for a boy as a young ‘un, which really did a number on my self esteem, and I’m pretty sure my mother’s frequent, strong, and arbitrary opinions on what people should and should not wear, while haunting me to this day, are directly responsible for my avowed resistance to fashion rules. Thinking about it now I even wonder if my boyish do was why no one ever asked me to be a bridesmaid, even though I longed to be one and we were forever attending weddings. (Needless to say, the main reason why I wanted to be a bridesmaid was so’s I could wear a long frock, surely the pinnacle of girlieness. At 9 years old I was beside myself with jealousy when a school friend said her mother was going to buy her a load of midi-dresses, something my mother predictably pronounced “ridiculous” on a child). To add insult to injury, once I grew old enough to rebel, boys had started to grow their hair too so I still got mistaken for a boy, even in a cloche hat and loon pants. (Let’s just not go there, okay?)

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Much as it pains me to admit it, the Mater was right about one thing – long hair doesn’t particularly suit me and I rarely wore it past my shoulders. For one thing it needed frequent washing and also took forever to dry. Plus, unlike my mum, I haven’t a bone of hairstyling talent in my body, and pigtails, ponies and topknots could all be relied upon to give me a headache and a sore scalp after a couple of hours. Eventually I settled on a flapper bob, which was my signature look for decades.

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The being-mistaken-for-a-bloke thing though continued to dog me for some years. At 18, a yob in the street, pointed at me and laughed to his mate, “Look, it’s Peter Sellers in drag!” Since my dad was a little Sellers-esque, this hit me quite hard. Two or three years later, in full slap and one of my grandmother’s finest lamé cocktail frocks, I was asked by a drunk at a New Year’s Eve shindig if I was a “female impersonator” and, when I rebuffed his advances, told I was “a very bad one”.

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I blush to say it took the (fleeting) love of a (not terribly) good (for me) man in my late 20s to finally convince me of my own femininity. I’ve never had long hair since. Curiously no one’s ever taken me for a bloke or a drag act since either; which is something of a relief. I still like a tutu mind.

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  • 1st April
    2014
  • 01

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So, last weekend saw me checking out the TS store in Kingston Upon Thames again, this time with my friend Sara in tow prior to a chazza shop marathon. Like me, Sara is none to keen on following the herd – in fact we both take some albeit twisted comfort in the fact that being plus-sized in the UK pretty much guarantees you won’t be dressed like the vast majority of the populace. Granted, it’s because the fashion industry treats us like the perennially poor, halitosis-stricken relation but every cloud, tumblr. 

So, any road up, TS – aka Taking Shape, the Australian company that arrived on our shores shortly before Christmas, is apparently not taking off to the degree they’d hoped. And I can sort of see why. Unlike the likes of ASOS Curve, Pink Clove, New Look, H&M and co, they’re not aimed at a youth demographic and most of our higher profile fatshion bloggers are under thirty. (Though, having said that, I did run into Sally from The Human Mannequin in the changing area and rumour had it that Georgina Horne had also visited earlier in the week). TS are also a little pricier, though no pricier than many mainstream high street brands. What really distinguishes them from most other UK plus-size brands though are their shapes and glorious prints.

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While I have to say that some of the shapes do mystify me a little and a lot of the garments seem to be cut for women a great deal taller than moi, on the frock front at least it’s not an endless procession of smocks, skater dresses, swing dresses, bodycon and minge-grazer hems – and, more importantly, their prints are da bomb. Unlike your average Brit, the land of Jenny Kee and Ken Done fears no colours and TS is no exception. I put it down to the quantity of the sunshine and the quality of the light and the fact we don’t enjoy either for ten months of the year on our shores. But, whatever it is, TS are definitely on my wavelength.

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I’d seen this emerald green and black beauty on the website and really liked the shape. Believe it or not this is an XS, (which I believe is a size 14/16) and, although I would have liked to have been able to size up one, it’s got so much stretch it doesn’t really constitute a problem. 

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The fabric, while poly, is delicate and extremely light and a slightly looser fit would even be cool in high summer. Sara pointed out that for all my loathing of manmade fabrics they do tend to soak up colours and lend a clarity to digital prints like nothing else, (apart from maybe that eye-wateringly expensive silk. You know the kind). 

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And it has sleeves. You know how I feel about those. Which means that I don’t have to wear a shrug once it heats up unless I want to. What’s more there are a couple of other frocks I’ve got my eye on. The Everglade Dress looks amazing on and does great things for my colouring but they’ll all have to wait for the sales…unless a rather interesting sounding job opportunity that recently came my way turns out to be a goer. Keep your fingers crossed for me, eh? 

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  • 21st March
    2014
  • 21

So yesterday was my birthday and I look a lot less wobbly than I feel. I just turned the age my dad was when I lost him to oesophageal cancer, which is a sobering thought. Yesterday also marks a year since my last period, (TMI? Please, it happens to everyone. This is what the menopause looks like yo). To add insult to injury, a long friendship officially bit the dust at the beginning of the week, (remember that falling out I wrote about last summer? Yeah, that one), and I’m heading for a world of serious uncertainty and upheaval work wise. Things could be better. But, for this Vernal Equinox baby, a birthday marks a new beginning far more than New Year’s Day. Winter’s officially over and soon we’ll be turning the clocks forward. Plus it’s been a good day in the shop today, my mum gave me the complete boxed set of Black Books and Karen’s on her way for a post-birthday weekend of thrifting, film watching and a meet-up at the V&A with Deanne on Sunday arvo. Onward and upward, eh?

Here’s what I’m wearing today.

You saw this dress in a different colourway here. Though, truth be told I slightly prefer this more unusual, muted version. Plus I’m quite into coral and peachy tones at the moment. Annoyingly I couldn’t find my coral lippy. (First World problems).

For some reason my earrings look really orange in these pics but I promise they’re more or less a lighter version of the bangle on the right. They were also £14.00, which I thought was pretty good. They make them in emerald green and royal blue too.

You must be getting pretty sick of these shoes by now. I know I am but the weather’s still too changeable to bring out my navy and brown suede Mary-Janes, which would be my preference if it didn’t keep threatening to rain again.

Much as I really like them I can’t quite decide if these earrings are just a tad too huge…

  • 14th March
    2014
  • 14
  • 10th March
    2014
  • 10
  • 9th March
    2014
  • 09

Considering I’ve had the week from hell work-wise with next to no time for myself, I don’t quite know how I managed to make two outfit posts in the space of one weekend – but hey, they say if you want something done, ask a busy person. So, any road up, there’s a bit of a cat-centric theme this time around, not least since my two were hell bent on photo-bombing the proceedings.

In and out, up and down, on and off like a couple of furry hyperactive pinballs. I don’t know what got into them.

Of course the moment I shut the door after her, she was scratching to come straight back in again. 

Anyway, the outfit…

Apart from my re-mixed shoes and my vintage Scandi pendant, the whole lot was thrifted. The ASOS Curve dress is actually a size 26 but I really love the way it fits. It reminds me a lot of the loose, low-waisted dresses I wore in the 80s. The longer length gives it a vaguely 30s feel, especially with the addition of the cardi. I’ve never thought to pair the two together before. I feel like I should be swanning about on a golf course in Le Touquet with a Pimms and a cad in plus fours. 

I’m especially pleased with this white bangle which is the most recent addition to my ever expanding collection. I suspect it found its way into the Northampton branch of Mind because it weighs a ton but I love the asymmetrical shape of it and, for a quid, I certainly wasn’t going to leave it there.

I haven’t worn these catfish earrings for a while. They’re a little bit dainty for me but they’re also light and one of my piercings is unaccountably sore at the minute so I’m erring on the side of less-ouchy. 

Still on the theme du jour I thought you might like to take a gander at my new bag too…

I was alerted to this by my facebook friend Lena in Norway. She offered to bid for it for me as the seller didn’t ship to the UK so although the bag itself only cost eight quid, by the time I’d paid the postage from China to Norway and Norway to here, it ended up being a hell of a lot more. But I think you’ll agree it needed to be mine and I don’t splash out on bags very often.

 

  • 7th March
    2014
  • 07

So, tumblr, I cracked and bought the Monsoon frock I featured in my last outfit post because it was giving me sleepless nights. And, as I’m sure you’ll agree, a frock that causes one to toss and turn is clamouring to be bought. Even if one is vastly overdrawn. In fact, especially if one is vastly overdrawn. Funny how that works.

I am insanely in love with this print, which puts me in mind of Russian lacquerware with its intricate patterns and dramatic, jewel-like punch. I am incidentally of Russian extraction myself on three sides. Regrettably of the peasant not the Imperial variety, hence my build, soulful eyes and hereditary diabetes. Well, can’t win ‘em all. 

(Image cheekily stolen off eBay. Please don’t sue me, eBay seller!)

(Ditto. Actually I tell a lie; I nicked this one off Pinterest. They nicked it off eBay. Whatever. I’m sure you’re getting my drift).

I sized down to a 20 with this one as the 22 really hung off me. So, larger fats, if you fancy it, I reckon a 24 – or even a pear-shaped 26 – could well be in luck. It’s an A-line shift, like a less exaggerated version of the AOS Curve swing dress and is made of medium-weight viscose jersey.

       

Hah! Not Russian Red! (It would have clashed).

When I was little, my paternal grandmother used to have some Russian lacquerware and I was fascinated by it. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, and how much she has influenced my taste, particularly the elements of my taste which some folks might find a little questionable. I have a post about her in the pipeline.

  • 1st March
    2014
  • 01
i fully embrace the concept of the fuck-off brooch. i just bought a gigantic rhinestoned dragonfly that im going to use for this purpose. rock on. -lovehateyourskin

Asked by: Anonymous

I once saw a gob-smackingly chic fat woman waiting for a vaporetto in Venice. I was in my late 20s and still taking baby steps to learn to love my body, and I guess she was late 40s/early 50s. She was wearing a long black coat and a matching turban and apart from her immaculately made-up face, her only adornment was a mahoosive jewel encrusted brooch. Pre-internet, one could go a decade without seeing a positive representation of a plus-sized woman and she instantly became a role model for life. The moment I unwrapped Kate’s gift, I thought of her.