It is World Book Day. DiscoNap loves a good book. This is what I wore to go to the library and take out The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and The Little Stranger. Page-turning goodness awaits.
Detail of my lovely unsexy brown smock: chair print!
The dress and hairband are from Topshop and the cardigan is my new Zara purchase. It’s all about pink, especially when it matches your face.
I photographed myself this morning to see if this outfit looked bonkers or not and I’m glad I did. I haven’t previously approved of winter shorts but this is a really comfortable outfit and it is ideal for these days of feeling cold yet sweaty. I sailed serenely through my day instead of tearing off layers every time I changed environment and then having to put them all back on again.
It also proved to be a very popular outfit with the public. Men talked to me; this happens on infrequent and baffling days. It wasn’t even harassment, it was appreciation. And some fashion students photographed me on Brick Lane and said they liked my colour combinations and my tights. This made me extremely happy as I wasn’t sure anyone appreciated colour anymore and that my gift was going to go unnoticed in my own time, only to be revived by critics in the decades to come.
I love blocks of bright colours and so I decided to dress up my mustard-yellow Marimekko bag with some other primary colours. I bought the pleated skirt in Oxfam and it’s completely brilliant. It’s a bit small but it has a panel before the pleats so it sits up high on the waist and then kicks out pleasingly. It’s very man-made, but it feels silky and nice so I shall just stay away from naked flames. The bag is a life-saver as I have to lug my laptop and camera about with me everywhere and I don’t own a rucksack. I am afraid for my knee joints under all the weight!
I went to a lot of events last week for my internship and I felt a bit underdressed at some of them because people had really made an effort. This outfit took me from video art at the ICA, then a gallery full of older people, seeing friends, having dinner at a nice restaurant and then seeing Herman Dune at a student union and I didn’t feel over- or under-dressed at any of the places. I will probably be cracking this out again although for Fashion Week, where I am very lucky to be attending a few things, I am going black, black, black.
Any one have any ideas about “go-anywhere”, no-shame outfits I can try out? And what do I wear for fashion shows?
I finally found a pleated skirt in Oxfam this week and I’ve been testing it out in various guises. I decided to wear it to Come Dine With Me last week and to layer it up into a sort of cocoon dress with a frill. Is this a thing? I must have gotten the idea from somewhere. I ended up swapping the belt for something flowery that had more holes to buckle, which turned out to be a wise move given the three courses and champagne I was forced to have. It really is a hard life.
I got this new blue, pouffy top recently due to the largesse of Mama S and when dear blogpal A saw it she said that I must try it with a belt, in order to create a peplum effect. I decided to give the top a whirl with a few different bottoms to see what the right balance would be with this enormous blouse.
My natural inclination is to stick jeggings on under everything but much as I love my jeggings I think they need to start taking a backseat – they couldn’t withstand washing and are now quite baggy and tatty-looking.
A’s idea was a tight skirt, creating a sort of 40s-era silhouette I imagine. Attempts to buy a tight skirt over the last few days have failed, largely due to limited funds, although I did have a moment of madness over a zipped Herve Leger ripoff in Primark. So I used this tweed pencil skirt, which sort of did the trick.
This kind of tightness and simplicity is probably needed with the big billowy blouse. From a conventional viewpoint of thinking that clothes should flatter your figure, this top really doesn’t do the job and so a tight skirt or trousers on the bottom helps with the ego.
This may be my winner. It’s no more flattering than the other versions, but it has gold and instead of making me feel massive, this one makes me feel coddled but glitzy, like a matryoshka, my favourite of all things. This is lucky as I am broadly the same shape as a Russian doll in this look. I couldn’t resist hoiking the belt up to waist-level but I think I will try the fake peplum look with another, less voluminous, top in the future.
A and I went to Brixton last night to see TV on the Radio, who I’ll happily admit I hadn’t heard anything by before but who were wicked. While we were waiting to be strip-searched and have all our possessions thrown away by security, we took some hurried photos of our outfits. I got the good wall but A has a better face on.
Speaking of faces – the evil pollen is back. I thought it was over for the summer? When can we start wearing corduroy again?
Rocking the black and navy workwear. This is my Dilophosaurus jacket – by rustling the frill I strike fear into the heart of those who would steal frozen dinosaur embryos. High-speed bag closeup:
I’ve finally escaped the tyranny of massive bags with my lovely little apple-print canvas Marimekko bag. I’m going to Finland in two weeks and will hopefully score a new bag from there. I have so many of them, I should do a post on them all.
A looked brilliant in real life too. Her eye-makeup matched her dress you know.
Limited edition Selfridges "men at work" sign. No, of course not really.
This isn’t the most fun but it is the most challenging part of my life to get dressed for. I work in publishing so for most of my working life have been allowed to wear whatever I want but now my job is more traditional so suddenly I am stuck in that smart-ish valley between formal and your own clothes.
In some ways having boundaries set upon your appearance can help you be creative but dressing for someone else really isn’t what I’m best at. When I interviewed for this job they commented on how my clothes weren’t smart enough because I was wearing a denim skirt. I really wanted to reject the job with the words “it’s Chloe, bitches” but I really needed the money, so here I am.
Working in the City, I see a lot of heinously, drably and sometimes weirdly dressed people, and a lot of suits paired with trainers. HIDEOUSNESS. But I also see ladies who have run with the aesthetic and look awesome. It’s much better to embrace the semi-smartness than to look like you’d feel happier in a fleece and jogging bottoms. It’s not about skinniness and beauty in this arena either. It’s about well-fitting clothes than project “give me money” (much more important than you think, for young whelks who still want to follow their dreams all the way to the job centre – that’s a bit harsh, but believe me when I tell you that the creative industries aren’t hiring right now).
In fact, workwear suits a lot of people more than weekend clothes do. If you have sticky-out-bits, then tailoring is your friend. I’ve seen some things recently that I like but would be too smart for my home life. Instead, I picture them upon the better S, who has a swishy ponytail, a steamed milk with caramel syrup, a briefcase full of manuscripts and hopefully an assistant who sorts out all the hard work.
This dress is really nice in real life and has an elasticated waistband, which I appreciate. I’ve only recently look in Warehouse for the first time since about the year 2001 and I was pleasantly surprised:
The rules, based on my current colleagues, seem to be:
- waist belts
- raspberry pink
- built-in shirt/jumper combos
I am totally clueless when it comes to workwear, but I might try and document my dressing process for this most important of outfits.
I love this photo. It’s a shame Chuck Bass is dating Vanessa because she is by far the worst character in Gossip Girl. However, the actress who plays her has redeemed herself in this perfect outfit. It simply states “I am cool, gorgeous and I live in New York but I am not so American as never to have heard of Paris”. True story by the way.
- snug-fitting skinny jeans.
- a jolly-coloured sweatshirt. I love sweatshirts.
- a vest sneaking out from underneath.
- brown leather bag and plain, comfy-looking moccasin things. Ugly on their own, they add a sort of androgynous angle to the look, which is why I also like the hat.
- everything is then pulled together by her block of shiny black hair and her TV-actress face with its shiny white teeth.
All the elements are very well-defined and clean. It also comes with an excellent accessory in the form of Chuck Bass, or what he would look like if he was from the 21st century and not a strange Oscar Wilde/Bonfire of the Vanities throwback. I love you Chuck Bass!
Picture courtesy justjared.com.
Picture courtesy of Advanced Style
Continuing my tour of all the world’s most glamorous places, tomorrow I will be going to Bournemouth for work. I have no idea what Bournemouth has to offer but imagine it will involve plenty of napping and little in the way of discos.
When I say “Bournemouth” to people, they have usually responded with “old people”. But let us not forget that, as blog Advanced Style shows, older people can be very cool, with all the insouciance that not giving a crap what you think brings. There’s so much more to style than being thin in expensive clothes. I love the confidence of this lady to the right’s look.
Amazing alternative maternity-wear from cheerful Finnish lady. Please note this is not even a Hallowe'en costume.
Like everyone, I am a big mix of influences when it comes to what I am attracted to style-wise. I’m a bit of a magpie and love things that are shiny and bright, which is probably the London part of me; but then I also love the quietly chic, perfectly tousled, tailored French look.
Then there is the Finnish part of me, which definitely errs on the quirky side of interesting. Finns are big on their design and personal style is important, with the emphasis on the “personal”. School kids are often influenced by the team styles in Japan while 20-somethings are quite into their electro and grunge looks. One thing that is embraced is quirkiness and originality, as illustrated on the website Hel Looks.
This is one of my favourite style blogs because it just documents the slightly off-the-wall outfit decisions of FInland’s young dressers. I love how many people refuse to let go of the 80s; the love of punk and grunge; the beautiful Nordic ladies refusing to go pretty-pretty; and the general emphasis on self-representation over trends. If you ever need reminding why your slightly bonkers look is awesome, go to Hel Looks.