#FashionFridays

Jane Austen!

This is one I’ve been meaning to do for ages because I think it’s my longest standing favourite dress-up, actually may be apart from medieval – they’re pretty close but I think medieval just pips it to the post because of the magical possibilities it provides which dear Ms Austen, alas, cannot. Although she did win out between the two on my wedding dress choice, so it must be pretty neck and neck.

Homemade Jane Austen Costume

Continue reading “#FashionFridays”

Advertisements

#FashionFridays

Hallo, Ich heisse Lieselotte!

I don’t normally do Facebook quizzes (I’m very much not interested in “Finding out which Disney Princess” I am as I believe it would be of great detriment to my relatively well-working brain) but recently one popped up on my feed called “What is your 1920s German name?”, how could I resist? So after answering a series of very thought provoking questions I was told that my 1920s German name is Lieselotte, which understandably I was over the moon about (no one wants to end up with Helga…or Adolph). This test also gave me the excuse (not that I really needed one) to dress up for the day.

I recently made a 20s style dress out of an old bedsheet (I’ve also made a shirt out of the same material, you may remember from a previous #FashionFridays post).

#FashionFridays homemade 1920s style dress Continue reading “#FashionFridays”

How Not To…

…Buy Clothes!

I have mentioned before that this year I have decided to buy no new clothes, for the entirety of its course, but someone recently enquired how on earth I refrain from purchasing said items, so I’ve put together the traditional five bullet point list on How Not To Buy Clothes:

Continue reading “How Not To…”

#FashionFridays!

This week I’ve gone and gotten a little bit wartime on myself (that sounds like a dodgy euphemism).

As I have previously mentioned I am not buying any new clothes this year, I am allowed to buy second hand and vintage and I’m allowed to make my clothes, the problem with this being that I’m too poor to buy vintage clothes and whilst I’m a pretty good sewer I’m certainly not good enough to furnish an entire wardrobe. So I decided to set myself a challenge – I would make a shirt! A shirt without sleeves (there is such a thing as too much of a challenge)! However, this being the first shirt I’d ever made and my patience levels being naturally quite low, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on nice fabric when it could all potentially end up in an oddly attached mess and/or covered in my tears.

This is where the wartime bit comes in, I bought an old bed sheet from a charity shop for £2 in lew of expensive fabric and lo, I did make a shirt!

Recycle a bedsheet into a shirt

How to make a shirt from a bedsheet #FashionFriday

That’s me with Vera by the way, she’s my new bestie.

Recycled bedsheet into a shirt #FashionFridays

Also I have enough bed sheet left to make a dress! And I found a really lovely pattern that was only 75p in a bargain box because it didn’t have an envelope – not altogether sure what the finished product will look like but I’m sure as going to have fun finding out!

It also means that with all included, interfacing and buttons and things, I think I’ve probably managed to get myself a new shirt and matching dress for about £10. I’m really enjoying this whole No New thing!

Make your own shirt

Moral of the story: less money on clothes, more money on fizz. Ooooh yeeeeeh.

How To…

…Dress for Work.

I work from home, so technically I could wear whatever I want to work; my cape, my onesie, my pyjamas (not that I’ve ever done any of the above…ever) but there does come the occasion when I have to leave my home office and venture into the outside world to meet with other business people – for business purposes.

Previously I’ve always known what to wear because I’ve known what was expected of me by the business I was representing, but these days I’m just representing me which poses the question, how should I dress for work?

How to dress for work

Because it took me a while to get into the swing of what I really should be doing with my life I have had the benefit of working for a variety of different types of business, in one of my first jobs out of uni I worked in an office where my immediate boss came into work every day looking like a cross between a slightly musky teenager (despite being around 30 years of age) and a painter and decorator, it seemed all he could do to change out of the t-shirt he’d slept in before moping his way to work to sit with his hood up (I kid you not) in front of his computer screen. Now this didn’t sit well with me, work is important, and you have to get yourself in the zone mentally, if I was to go to a meeting wearing tracky-b’s I’d be in my ‘watching Geordie Shore zone’, which I don’t think would be entirely beneficial. I think it might also appear that I honestly couldn’t care less about the meeting and that would also be very bad.

However, I have worked in a couple of suited-and-booted, office attire, pencil skirts all-round, offices and I have to say that didn’t sit well with me either – quite literally, pencil skirts are not great for spending a day sitting in – they’re not so great for walking either, really not sure why they were invented other than to make bottoms look good, which was probably the crux of why I didn’t like wearing them. I felt a little bit too sexy, in all honesty I probably looked like an incredibly tired mum desperately trying to be smart and fit into her pre-pregnancy, slightly sicked-on work clothes. But I felt quite sexy, and I didn’t think that was the right mental zone to be in either. Heels make your bottom wiggle when you walk, and pencil skirts are tight on your bottom – I’m kind of fine with that on a night out but not really in a business meeting.

I have met many women throughout my life who have had the opposite response and encouraged me to embrace the sexy side of business (in a completely non-illegal way – I’d just like to point out). And I do understand that there are arguments for using ones feminine wiles to a beneficial business outcome (again, I’m talking non-illegal, like cleavage, nice legs and some gentle flirting wiles, not “well they do say I’m great with my hands” wiles) and it has been described to me before as using all the weapons in ones arsenal. I’m not sure how I feel about this and it certainly is a larger subject for another blog post but me myself, I prefer not to think of business as warfare.

Having thought about it, I very much believe I’ve found the uniform for me – Smart Casual! The middle road of every dinner and party invitation, the ultimate cinema attire and the I’m hungover but having lunch with my parent-in-laws today outfit. You may think that this is not necessarily the right mental zone to channel during a business meeting but I have come to the realisation that how I present myself to potential clients must be a complete representation of the true me. I’m a smart casual kinda woman, even when the invite just says casual, I’m tend to turn up in more smart attire, when the invite says formal, I’d still prefer to be in slacks and flats (although I do tend to go all out – one mustn’t offend). It’s like handing over a business card – it has to represent you and what you do perfectly, and it’s no different with your attire. If I were to turn up to meetings in suits it wouldn’t at all represent what I’m all about. I’m a writer, writing isn’t what I do, it’s what I am, so if I dress completely like myself I’m kind of hoping that will come across! And if the person I’m meeting with has a lower opinion of me not turning up in a suit then we probably wouldn’t have been a right fit to work together anyway.

How to dress for work

So my advice to anybody looking in the wardrobe tomorrow morning and thinking “what to wear, what to wear” is wear what best represents you, lets perhaps go with the best version of you, not the I-really-shouldn’t-have-had-that-extra-glass-of-wine-last-night version. If you’re a suit-up kind of person then go for it, it obviously suits you (ha!) and represents all that you’re about, if you’re tempted to wear tracky b’s then you may be either need more sleep or to review whether the job you’re in is really right for you (if you’re a gymnast, or you work in a gym, or you’re some kind of sports teacher then you’re completely sorted – worry not). Embrace what you’re about, inside and out (rhymed), I honestly believe the day, and the business will be better for it!

How to dress for work

#FashionFridays!

I love old ladies. Not in a weird way, I just love their style. I spent all of last week trying to look like a cool skier person and it’s just not in me, I don’t have the ‘thing’. I call ‘ski pants’ salopettes, my sunglasses are prescription and I burn like a ginger person, the whole baggy ‘ski pants’, cool sunglasses that somehow look good when combined with a slightly grungy hat and a ski-bum goggle-tan just completely passes me by. I tried but it turns out that I’m just more of a woollen jumper, felt hat kind of gal (we all knew that already), so this week I’ve just embraced it.

old lady style fashion fridays

I like to think of this look as an older Audrey Hepburn dressing for a slightly wintery lunch in the garden of her Swiss safe haven, La Paisible. The skirt is from a Holyake charity shop, Holyake is the capital of old people, so I shop there all the time. On the downside it did take me about 3 weeks of airing this skirt in the garden to try and irradicate the smell of old ladies perfume and fag smoke from the 60s – it’s a little less musky now, I’m trying to embrace the scent as just part of the old lady look!

There is also something of espionage about the whole look…

Fashion Fridays Spy Style

As far as I’m concerned a day isn’t complete if you haven’t pretended to be following ‘a mark’ at some point during its unfolding. Plus this coat was also bought for £14 from a charity shop and I only bought it because there is a lady at my Oma’s residential home called Anise who has a mac just like it and I completely love her style, it’s like older Audrey meets older Katherine Hepburn – bliss. Yes I bought this coat to emulate a 72 year old with Alzheimers, but the woman looks good, there’s no two ways about it, I’ve never seen anyone rock Marks & Spencer’s loafers quite like it. Plus (and this is the best bit), I wore this exact outfit to the care home the other day and when I walked past Anise she said “you look good!” Score.

Fashion Fridays Old Lady Style

Happy Friday everyone!

How To…

…Get Seriously Self-Righteous

My new year’s resolution this year was to buy no new clothes for the entirety of 2015, so I thought I would let you know how it’s going; pretty well! The other day I did have to go shopping with my soon-to-be Mother-in-Law (for her wedding outfit!) and it was a little bit like taking a sugar-addicted Diabetic to a Ye Olde Sweet Shop UNTIL I found a top and dress in the French Connection section of John Lewis which was made from exactly the same material that I bought for £3 a metre in Vietnam and have also made a top and a dress from. There are only three differences; that my material is purple not white (although the pattern is EXACTLY the same); some lining choices and that in its complete entirety my dress AND top cost me around £20 to make (including material, pattern, zips and lining, etc) and the French Connection Dress is £125 and the top costs £85. This is EXACTLY why I decided to do No New (well one of main the reasons anyway). I have been walking round with an entirely self-righteous air ever since.

The dress:

Make your own dress!

The top:

make your own clothes

An image of the material the French Connection top and dress is made from:

If you wish to see the remarkable similarities between the four garments I would suggest you type ‘French Connection Nebraska’ into the search section of the John Lewis website.

I know that I was lucky enough to stumble across (quite literally, the market was very small and the stall owners insisted on napping on the floor) this fabric in a far off land but doesn’t it just go to show what we’re actually paying for when we buy expensive dresses from highstreet designers?

I will be posting up more pictures of my No New year shortly but for the meantime I’d just like to say SUCK ON THAT MODERN CONSUMERISM.

#justsaying (/shouting).