31.10.15

Get Your Greens


(Faux-fur gilet: Topshop; Faux-fur stole: Helen Moore; Belt: from Primark top; Cardigan: H&M; Trousers: ASOS; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Trainers: Nike; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

Because sunny autumn early Sunday mornings are made for snuggling up in three different colours of faux-fur. I've decided too late that blue-green is also the colour I want to wear loads of this season (after painting my bedroom wall a deep teal), so we can add that alongside brown, mustard and also pink. But as the weather gets colder it is definitely the time to wear alllll the colours. Especially when they are belt-able gilets with POCKETS. 

30.10.15

Dramatic


(Coat: Primark; Dress: H&M; Boots: Topshop; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Watch: Michael Kors; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo)

On windy days I naturally like to wear a lot of long blusterous layers, all the better for swooping with. And all the better to swoop with in case some passing time traveller/magician/flying ship captain should be in need of a dramatically overdressed travelling companion. 

29.10.15

So My Colour


(Coat: Simply Be; Top: New Look; Trousers, bag and belt: ASOS; Boots: Topshop; Watch: Michael Kors: Jewellery: Thomas Sabo)

I had to snap these in a hurry as one of my neighbours was confused and watching, but think that the shots came off quite well in a hurry! Perhaps because this colour palette is just so so good; there's something very comforting and luxurious about dressing exactly like autumn. Especially when autumn is so your colour. 




28.10.15

Sensible and Silly


(Jacket and bag: vintage; Dress: Forever 21; Shirt: New Look; Shoes: Topshop; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

Outrageous jackets over sensible outfits seems to be a theme for the week. But when it comes to sensible dresses, I'd buy this one in every colour. 

27.10.15

Down and Up


(Coat and boots: Zara; Dress; ASOS; Bag: Prada; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

There are very few dresses that can dress down a pair of outrageous but simple boots like these, which I'm calling 'Susan Sto Helit shoes' (or slightly supernaturally advantaged governess shoes for the uninitiated). This dress does it. Or do the boots dress down the dress? Either way, they balance out quite nicely in the subtle flesh-flashing stakes. 

26.10.15

Grab and Go


(Jacket: Shrimps; Jumper: H&M; Skirt and shoes: Topshop; Belt: ASOS; Bag: vintage: Watch: Michael Kors; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo)

Oh how relieved I am that the clocks have gone back - it's dark outside before 5pm but at least I won't have to take any more rushed photos as the sun comes up before I hot-foot it to the bus stop. On dim days like that it's quite nice just to put on one of those simple 'street-style' basic outfits - denim, camel, nice lady-like bag - and then grab an outrageous jacket and go. 

24.10.15

Old Classic


(Dress: ASOS; Belt: from Primark top; Boots: Topshop; Coat: Zara; Faux-fur scarf: New Look; Bag: Moss in Camden Passage; Watch: Michael Kors; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo)

And again in keeping with the spirit of the coat post from earlier in the week, here's last season's excellent floral dress. ASOS gives good print at the best of times and while I didn't initially like this one after seeing it in a fair few places (including Pandora Sykes' Wardrobe Mistress column) it - for its reduced price, naturally - eventually landed in my basket. I love this shade of what's probably justifiably called beetroot, which helps if I choose to match it with brown accessories instead of the local black. 

23.10.15

Stevie Nicks


(Dress: H&M; Boots: Topshop; Bag: ASOS; Necklace: Thomas Sabo; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

TL;DR: buy this dress. I'm normally not a fan of maxis because they tend to come out mostly in summer and are of the sleeveless/strappy variety which always make me feel terribly self-conscious. But this one balances proportions perfectly with the slash neck and the high waist. Plus, it has the added advantage of looking about a hundred times better on than it does on the hanger, and it costs just fifteen quid. 


21.10.15

Outrageous


(Suit and boots: Topshop; Shirt, scarf and bag: ASOS; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

For when you just want to wear something TOTALLY OTT, that's when you reach for the ridiculous accessory. This scarf has been used in so many of ASOS's A/W campaign shots and while it looks super-cool, it feels horrid. Like, bad stiff faux-fur horrid. Which, considering you can get ones of a decent soft texture for half its cost (and it's not like it broke the bank by itself) was a bit disappointing. BUT the stiffness means it keeps its shape and it's definitely more of a posing scarf than one for warmth. And on the posing front, it knocks it out of the park. 

19.10.15

Coat Tricks


(Coat: Zara; Belt and bag: ASOS; Boots: Topshop; Dress underneath: H&M; Watch: Michael Kors)

Basically I'm bunging two outfits into one post as neither outfit sets the world alight but both are all about the outer layers. This is, without a doubt, this year's hero coat. Sure I've got a couple of other stunners - the Simply Be one here being a prime example, with the other one to be cracked out when the temperature drops a little further - but this one is the default. The goes-with-everything. The dress down, smarten up coat, as suitable for a 'country' walk as it is for taking out on the town. Bonus points for BELTING. It's taken me way too long to get round to belting coats. So, that's one option for a classic winter coat - simple tailoring. 


(Coat: ASOS; Jeans and scarf below: Topshop; Trainers: Nike; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Watch: Michael Kors)

Alternatively, you want something a bit more OTT. So here's last year's hero coat, dragged out of storage when it suddenly got cold. Again, took me way too long to get around to having more leopard print (it's basically a neutral, we've all accepted that now) in my life and these coat goes with everything. 


And, of course, everyone needs a good scarf heading into winter. If you're like me, you'll demand one that clashes with everything else. 

17.10.15

Strange Flowers


(Dress, bag and belt: ASOS; Coat: Zara; Shoes: Topshop; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe; Pendant: Thomas Sabo)

Now I love this dress. I saw it in ASOS' magazine ages ago and vowed it would be mine when it finally arrived in stock. But when it did, I was perplexed. Aside from the fact that in person, the fabric is lacklustre in texture at best and cheap-feeling at worst, what's with the split sleeves? On an autumn/winter dress? Sure, one with cutout panels across the torso, but...I'm mystified. Is it reverse-discrimination against people with decent-sized forearms? (Something I often find is the tighest issue with Topshop dresses.) Is it a fondness for Kate Bush-style flailing and a desire to add dramatic effect? Is it just helpful ventilation? 

I still can't work it out. But it fits so well, looks so good on and looks so nice in photographs, it can stay. And I can always sew the sleeves up. 

16.10.15

A Little Twist


(Jacket: Boohoo; Shirt: Zara; Vest and shoes: Topshop; Bag and trousers: ASOS; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

I've always shied away from this shoe shape in the past (they have a reputation for pinching something awful on normal feet so on my flat ones...disaster) but recently the high street has got much better at creating sensible kitten-heeled versions that you can actually strap on and go. They do add a perfect feminine touch to an otherwise quite androgynous outfit. Zara continues to do lovely prints and this strange shirt-jacket hybrid is another example. 


15.10.15

Cool Girl


(Jacket, skirt, vest top and boots: Topshop; Kimono: New Look; Belt: from Primark top; Bag: ASOS; Faux-fur stole: Helen Moore; Watch: Michael Kors: Jewellery: Thomas Sabo)

After too many days of trying to trick the weather into cooling down and only ending up getting mild heatstroke in the process, I gave up and went back to the kind of outfit I'd wear at the tail-end of August. And it worked; much cooler. Not just literally either; two different people remarked that this was 'a cool outfit'. Which, I've come to decode, translates as something they'd happily wear themselves. But there is something very cool about slinging on a denim jacket and a short skirt. 

14.10.15

A Tall Order


(Coat: Zara; Faux-fur scarf: New Look; Top, trousers and boots: ASOS; Bag: Sophie Hulme; Watch: Michael Kors; Necklace: Thomas Sabo; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

Now I know not to buy from ASOS Tall (at least I HOPE these are part of the Tall range) again; I've had to turn these trousers up about half a foot and they're still too long! The top, also, isn't quite right - a smaller size would ruin the effect but it has the adverse effect, combined with the trousers, of making me look like I can't get clothes that fit. Like buying mens' oversized pyjamas on purpose. Oh well. A little more turning up is required, plus a white shirt; these trousers (as well as being a divine colour) also have the most wonderful high waistband. 


12.10.15

Into The Woods


(Dress; Forever 21; Top and boots: Topshop; Bag: vintage; Faux-fur stole: Helen Moore; Watch: Michael Kors; Necklace: Thomas Sabo)

Excuse the change of scene - I decided to try a new angle, partly because it was ridiculously dark when I got up (the clocks change can't come soon enough in that regard) and partly because, well, the area around my falling-to-bits-but-still-wonderful block is really quite dramatic and pretty. 

10.10.15

Not-so-hidden Gems


(Coat: Simply Be; Shirt: Zara; Skirt: Topshop: Belt and bag: ASOS; Shoes: M&S; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

Every high street store has a variant on the classic 70s starlet suede and faux-fur jacket going, and the fashion editorials are fawning over all of them. All of them except this one. Likely because it's from plus size store Simply Be, but hey, their loss. It's a far more versatile length than the popular Warehouse version that's like its more popular but more obvious older sister, and the bright bright white faux-fur (which, of course, won't survive my lipstick forever) contrasts so perfectly against the camel shade suede. 

9.10.15

Suits


(Suit and boots: Topshop; Shirt and faux-fur scarf: New Look; Bag: Vintage: Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

Earlier this year, after getting hooked on Suits, I decided my autumn/winter smarter wardrobe was going to be a seasonal twist on the wardrobe of Jessica Pearson. This is what happened. Also comparable with what would happen if the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey had a baby with Bowie. 

8.10.15

Bright Blue and Relaxed Tailoring


(Coat and suit: Zara; Top: H&M; Shoes: Orla Kiely for Clarks; Bag: Vintage; Faux-fur stole: Helen Moore; Watch: Michael Kors; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo and Tessa Metcalfe)

Suits are still, it would seem, everywhere, and there are only more of them joining the ranks for the new season. Wool ones, crepe ones, print ones, plain ones. There's an amazing brocade one in Zara, a brilliantly OTT velvet one not yet in Topshop and a simple but bright crepe one on ASOS that are all jostling for my attention. But this one got there first and will always be special...despite being tougher to style in the colder months. Droopy trousers and relaxed cut blazers are the pursuit of summer. Winter is the time for polish. But thankfully we have autumn to be the in-between, and the season to clash pops of colour (like this amazing scarf - I lived in Helen Moore faux-fur last winter and this one is the perfect addition) with muted tones. 


7.10.15

Simple Dresses and Good Accessories


(Dress: Forever 21; Shirt: Topshop; Boots and bag: ASOS; Watch: Michael Kors; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo and Tessa Metcalfe; Coat: Zara; Faux-fur scarf: New Look)

*borrows phrase from Bethany* hnnnnnnng this dress is SO good. I always shy away from Forever 21 unless I spot something on a mannequin, do a double-take, walk right across the stream of Oxford Street shoppers and make a beeline for it on the racks. That's what happened with this dress. I could probably have risked a size smaller (this is a large - I know, Forever Twentywaif more like) but this way I can cram a wool poloneck underneath it when it gets cold. That side slit though...I love me a simple, easy-to-wear tunic dress that makes me look a bit like I belong in a monastery when worn sans accessories, but can be transformed by what you put with it. The reds and russets in the boots, bag and lipstick elevate it to being so much more than the sum of its, well, part. 

6.10.15

Great Skirts and Good Curves


(Skirt and coat: Zara; Shirt and shoes: Topshop; Bag: Vintage; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo; Watch: Michael Kors)

I'd been hovering around these brilliant faux-leather Zara pencil skirts for a while, debating whether it was finally time to leave my dislike of them on principle on the shelf. I finally took the plunge, buoyed by comments from a new personal trainer that I was in good shape despite cutting absolutely nothing out of my weekly food shop and by knowing it would go brilliantly with, well, everything. More formal and feminine than I usually go for - much preferring the YSL-style grown-up androgynous allure of a trouser suit than the obvious femininity of a figure-hugging skirt - but a definite do. Why work so hard in the gym if you're not going to show it off, after all?


5.10.15

Vintage Gems and Tricky Shades


(Coat and shirt: Zara; Dress and boots: Topshop; Belt: from Primark top; Bag: vintage; Watch: Michael Kors)

This shade of denim was everywhere over the summer but it's actually harder than it looks to match up with other denims on the spectrum. It sits neatly in that difficult bracket between smart and casual, which makes it perfect for this time of year when that definition was pretty much made. It looks, I think, especially good with brown. 


Speaking of brown, I'll gush about it more over coming posts but can we just admire this bag for a bit? I saw it in a vintage shop on the weekend (for a part of town with no major shops Crystal Palace still finds ways to tempt my spendaholic self), picked it up, put it down and went and thought about it...then came back just before the shop closed. The well-versed saleswoman did her best 'everyone was picking that one up, you're lucky it didn't go' line, but by that point it was already coming home with me. And it adds a lovely ladylike contrast to my wardrobe. A diamond buy indeed!

3.10.15

Strange Places and Old Homes


(Coat: Zara; Top, skirt and boots: Topshop; Belt and bag: ASOS; Watch: Michael Kors; Ring: Tessa Metcalfe)

You can tell when I've taken an outfit photo on a Saturday because I get this excellent light. There's no saturation effect on these photos; that's just what happens at this time of day! Does wonders for throwing up the rich red tones in outfits. 


I went back up to Islington (my old stomping ground and home) in this to pick up the final pieces I'd left in the old house and leave my keys behind. It was decidedly weird being back on Upper Street - a place I used to walk up and down pretty much every day - and exploring the little shops and cafes along Camden Passage again. It hadn't changed...but I felt like it wasn't my home any more. Which it isn't, of course. So familiar, and yet so not where I'm meant to be any more. 

I'm writing to the ducet tones of the upstairs neighbours' kids crashing about and somewhere many floors up is the sound of an aggressive bassline. It's a quiet neighbourhood but nobody in the block seems to do quiet Sundays. It's a strange place; big noisy families and dodgy drains, kids playing hide-and-seek on the estate while the paint peels off the walls in the hallways. It needs work, but it's clearly a home for much love. And I'm hoping I settle in fine. 

2.10.15

American Hustle

 (Coat: Simply Be; Skirt and top: Topshop; Belt, bag and boots: ASOS; Watch: Michael Kors; Jewellery: Thomas Sabo)

Ok so I've reached peak '70s. Somebody call Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men and American Hustle and report her wardrobe found (if it was even lost). At least, that's the look I'm going for. Suede, suede and more suede, with some denim to offset. Browns, browns and more browns. Yep, come at me autumn; I've got dressing for you nailed. 

I spotted this Simply Be coat on the ever-stylish Danielle and coveted it a lot. Then I just happened to be walking past the Oxford Street shop and saw they had a discount day on...well, who am I to say no? Goodbye will power, hello beautiful dreamy suede coat. Now I just have to pray for no rain. 

1.10.15

More Sensible


(Coat and shirt: Zara; Skirt: M&S; Boots: Topshop; Belt: from Primark top; Bag: ASOS; Watch: Michael Kors)

Back on more sensible ground while my other Zara coat was at the cleaners. I've of course now reversed my feelings on brown and black but still, the other Zara coat would have been better here...

But thankfully any eyes confused about brown and black would have stopped in their tracks when they spotted this brilliant bag. ASOS's tribute to the Chloe bag of the season, for a miniscule fraction of the price. J'adore.