New season Miu Miu – these brogues are phenomenal.
(available from mytheresa for a cool £310)
New season Miu Miu – these brogues are phenomenal.
(available from mytheresa for a cool £310)
I’ m not into mindless consumerism, but I’ve been broke for a long time and things are getting ridiculous. Yesterday I went and bought a sorely-needed cardigan and found myself considering haggling with Zara. A visit to Le Grand Topshop revealed lots of pretty things but parting with money for clothes that are already coming apart at the seams aggrieved me too much. I did buy a maxi skirt (I think they look cool again) and a lovely hairband so it wasn’t a total bust.
But after reading this post “Bad New” at favourite new blog No Signposts in the Sea, I really want to buy things I can pass down. I went out the other night and like this blogger, realised a lot of what I was wearing was vintage, inherited from my grandmas: an embroidered clutch bag, a jacket, a Russian scarf and most of my jewellery.
So, it’s not really possible with my money as it is but I’d love to replace these beloved items from my wardrobe that are no longer what they were. The bow shoes above from Topshop and these Shelleys ballet flats that are way past the point of acceptably mangled, I would replace with Ferragamo Varina flats:
This is a very beloved jacket but it’s now too small. Strangely, I found that a sequinned jacket is quite useful for putting over stuff as metallics go with everything; zebra print perhaps not so much. I bought this about five years ago and it was considered a bit weird at the time but now sequinned shoulders are everywhere. I have no idea why someone would name their label S’nob.
This jacket would get replaced with a lovely quilted flowery jacket from Rebecca Taylor. I am over my magpie phase but I still want things to be pretty and not sportswear inspired. Crucially, it also needs to button up: while looking for jackets I found some that don’t do up as a design feature but, calling from the real world designers, jackets need to do this.
More quilting on my only leather bag, from Accessorize, the one I take to interviews:
But I can’t anymore because it’s destroyed and the handles are hanging by a thread:
There is only one handbag designer for me and that is Miu Miu. In Opposite World, I will replace the above bag with its classier sibling, which will presumably last a little longer:
And finally, one of my most loved items: a lace dress that I bought from Joy about 4 years ago. It has done its utmost to survive but now looks very worn and ropey – I have started wearing it as a nightdress because it can’t really go out anymore but even that application is beginning to not really work as the straps are broken. It may find new life as a skirt if I can get my sewing act together.
I did find a very good look-a-like in Topshop yesterday and spent a long time staring at myself in the changing room mirror trying to decide whether to buy it or not. A few years ago, I would have spent that £35 in a flash (although it’s only £30 on the website. But a big part of me looked at the already fraying synthetic lace and thought “who made that? Why does it already look like it’s falling apart? Why does it cost £35 when it’s so transparently poorly manufactured?” It just wasn’t worth it – I’d rather wait (around 20 years is my guess) and get the dream Stella McCartney version or chance upon a good replacement in a vintage shop.
Last week, a survey found that 37% of female shoppers will buy shoes even if they don’t quite fit (it pains me to link to the Daily Mail). On the first read, this probably sounds like utter madness to much of the UK’s population but I imagine that at least some of those reading this will have done this at some point. And the more I think about it, the more it seems like total madness, despite also having done it myself.
I’m always a bit suspicious of these surveys because they tend to be used (especially by those commenting on the Mail website) as a way to pointing an accusatory finger at women’s fashion and ‘how stupid it all is’. Ergo women and fashion are ridiculous. Obviously, this is not the view of yours truly, and riles me no end. But as I mentioned, when I heard about this survey, I could well believe it. I have had moments in shops, inevitably by the sales rack, where I am practically salivating onto a pair of shoes that I have tried on, caressed and thought about buying even though they are the wrong size. And I have done this with shoes more often than with clothes – no-one will tell you that it is tragic to buy the wrong shoes in the same way it seems tragic to think you will lose weight and look better in a smaller sized version of that item of clothing in your hands. But after a certain tender age, your feet will not change size so why do this to yourself? I have convinced myself that it will be ok to squeeze my foot in and I definitely won’t be making that mistake again.
But it is worth looking at the survey fine print before jumping to conclusions – 4 out of 10 women will ‘put up with uncomfortable shoes if they are in fashion’. Now this is a completely different ball game. It might be daft to buy shoes which are the wrong size but buying uncomfortable shoes that are fashion? Surely, most shoes, especially at the moment, which are in fashion are uncomfortable. If I know a few people who have bought shoes which are the wrong size, then most women I know will put up with uncomfortable shoes for the sake of fashion. Or maybe this is daft too? I like heels but these days, I always have a pair of flats in my bag.
In order to be fashionable, you have to make the effort. And if, in making the effort, you look as if you made no effort whatsoever, then extra points to you for being so effortlessly stylish. But surely, you shouldn’t be buying shoes that actually hurt when you put them on? Or if they’re the wrong size? There is a certain element of fashion houses making us fall in love with their brand/clothes/accessories which means that we will pay over the odds to get our hands on said desirable item, but there is little point in fashion that you’re buying just for the sake of it. And if you can’t wear it, is it really ‘fashion’ anyway? Basically, if the shoe doesn’t fit then it is not worth it, not even for fashion’s sake.
I’ve finally gotten around to putting some of my things on Ebay. Everything is in good nick but my weight and style have both fluctuated over the past year and I’m not sentimental so I am sticking quite a few things online and taking a heap of t-shirts and stuff to the charity shop. I always think when I get rid of stuff that my future daughter will complain at me for getting rid of everything but frankly she can get a job and buy her own stuff.
I have more things to sell but Ebay seems to be having a fail today so they will have to wait.
P.s. one problem with selling on Ebay is that you end up looking at things to buy as well. If I can make £85 from selling stuff online (this may take a while rather than the six days left to run on it) I will buy myself this Marimekko dress with brightly-coloured teardrop shapes.
I am loving yet another French blog and slightly bemoaning the fact that I am bringing the jeggings to Biarritz and generally looking out of place AGAIN in the South of France. Why do French bloggers make our high street clothes look so much better than we do? A case in point is Le Blog de Big Beauty, whose author Stephanie Zwicky sports a fetching array of Dorothy Perkins and New Look – among which these Faith bow, slingback bootie things:
…which remind one of the Chanel ones, non? (RESPECT THE FLUENCY) as seen on Chung and Diane Kruger.
Le Blog de Big Beauty (catchphrase: “Style is not a size, it’s an attitude” which is absolutely embodied by the lovely, whimsical Madame LBdBB). She knows all about proportions and may have finally tipped the balance for me getting a blazer.
Oh god, bring on Autumn. It’s too hot here and I want a blazer.
I have finalised my wardrobe for going to the South of France on Sunday. I’m keeping it simple under duress because I have to share a suitcase with my boyfriend which must be under 20 kilos (not cool J. Not cool.) and therefore have to keep it very capsule. The list:
And assorted underwear, socks, necklaces, hats etc. I think I might need more than half of this suitcase. I also need to buy two t-shirts to make up a shortfall in acceptable t-shirts. Let’s not even discuss the bikini issue.
I am distressed that I cannot take my new wedges as they will be too heavy. They look like this:
So whimsical! That’s me: one of the most dedicated urbanites ever, who likes dressing as if just about to jump in a rowing boat and go for a picnic on a deserted island in the middle of a Scandinavian lake. I have finally reached a place where I realise I look best in blank, minimalist, monochrome clothing, but I see a pair of shoes made of raffia and suede and with a jaunty peach-coloured bow and I forget all that. This is why I look like a bag lady. But I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe! I need to concentrate harder.
I finally escaped the red circles of shame (as arbitrated by my friends and peers) on Saturday by debuting a super-simple Cos knee-length black shift (29 bargainous pounds). I felt really good in it but was quite surprised it got good feedback as it is very minimalist and I thought it might be considered boring.
It’s interesting how our tastes change – blogging buddy LON often notes when we are out and about that my taste from a few years ago now seems to be the popular taste (disclaimer: of women going to the O2 on a Saturday; these are my sartorial descendants apparently), for example, bright colours and gold; the return of “ugly” prints and patterns like leopard; super-high stipper or tranny heels; a trashy 80s vibe; leggings!
Some of these are now staples: leggings aren’t a trend anymore, they are a handy piece of wardrobe underpinning that can even be worn to work and instantly adds a modicum of modesty to outfits. I find it interesting to think of what the default, most mainstream possible outfit for someone my age is, and how it’s different from three, five or ten years ago. It’s not about early-adopters or those who pop up on the myriad streetstyle websites whose mandate is to photograph very slim people wearing ugly tat.
I don’t think it’s fun either to predict trends or try to be above them, but sometimes you do get a very powerful sense of what you yourself want to be wearing next and you just can’t feel comfortable in your own skin until you sort it out. Perhaps this is just a side-effect of our consumerist approach to clothing – I’m definitely trying to find a way to evolve my wardrobe without doing a lot of spending. However, I’ve always felt emotional about clothes but not entirely because it’s part of how you relate to others. I just feel very strange when I’m not matching on the out- and inside. A major trauma of my childhood was being dictated to by my mother on the clothes front (I had a very idyllic childhood okay).
Regarding my 90s-esque shift, it felt really good to hit on an item that made me feel like myself again (but the new me!) I have Cos to thank, this mighty shop, ignoring what everyone else on the high street is doing and going its own way. I’m pretty sure the 90s will be the next decade to make a comeback a la Alexander Wang or Childhood Flames’ minimalist outfit posts:
As a zillion style advisers and mothers have said – wear the clothes, don’t let them wear you. When I reach for the gold, embellished stuff, something in my head now says “step away from the spangles”, and off to Cos I trot.
For what’s it’s worth then, if you’ve read this far, just for me, I’m off heels. I see far too many women tottering about in uncomfortable shoes with mega-heels. It’s taking the fun out of it. Ladies: take care of your spines. Also, don’t wear heels with tight clothes. Obvious, no?
The other day my good friend F texted me to ask my opinion on the ‘continued popularity of brogues’. I replied to say that everyone seems to have a pair but I just wasn’t getting tired of them – although if you already have a pair, it is tougher to justify the purchase of another pair. She responded that these ones she had seen were so lovely and sufficiently different to her current ones to warrant purchase. And frankly, I encouraged her. I have opined about brogues on here before and by gum, I’ll do it again.
They just go with everything. You wouldn’t think they did but they’re so comfy and if you find the right pair(s), they will go with anything. And much like the leather jacket, a good brogue toughens up a pretty dress just the right amount. A bit edgier than pumps but with a similar practical tone, the brogue is on par with a good sandal for the British summer (because you’ll never know when it might rain).
Here’s the cream of the current crop:
I have really adopted Acne as one of the labels I follow (I don’t intellectualise fashion too much - I just like shopping) and so I wasn’t surprised to see that these excellent shoes belong to them. Fur Coat No Knickers, who brought them to my attention, thinks they are hideous and yet likes them. As I was saying to a slightly offended friend yesterday, adding something that is quite ugly to an outfit sometimes makes it come to life.
Personally, I don’t think they are ugly. They are on the hefty side but I like chunky shoes and I definitely can’t be having with stilettos. I’m basically resigned to spending next month’s fun money on clothes for myself because I hate everything I own and want to destroy it. Because nudity is frowned on in my society, I will need to replace all these destroyed items with new ones. I am leaning towards investing in one thing a month and only getting something fabulous and ideal but if I get rid of everything I will have to do a lot of laundry.
What a quandary.
Anyway, these shoes do not seem to be available in the UK, so this pipe dream is even more detached than usual.