As my most recent blog post stated, I have recently returned from a skiing trip to Switzerland, it was a good trip but probably the best thing about it was that I discovered an amazing new dress-up character, though the medium of underwear! Now (before you jump to conclusions) I don’t mean knickers and bras, I mean the stuff that goes underneath your outerwear, vis-a-vis: thermals!
Those of you who have noticed the side plait will indeed have guessed that I’m being Katniss Everdeen of the oh so famous Hunger Games Trilogy (or if you’re a Hollywood producer the Hunger Games Quad…Quad…Quadrillity? Quadril? Well you you know what I mean). This dress-up costume actually came about completely by accident; side plaits are actually, in my tried and tested experience, the best way to tame hair into being obediently encased in a helmet. The thermals are of course Lidle’s finest and once I put the whole thing on I looked in the mirror and saw that my holiday had taken on a whole new meaning. I spent all my time on the slopes imagining being chased by fellow desperate killers and singing Lorde’s Yellow Flicker Beat in my head. Then it occurred to me that I couldn’t be a real Katniss without a weapon. I have always wanted to try archery, but that’s more of a kick ass medieval warrior queen fantasy thing and seeing as I do not yet have that skill I decided to use the only weapon at my disposal…
…my knitting! And actually I think if knitting were adopted as a more popular weapon in modern warfare the whole world would be a much better and much woolier place. In fact that wool was used to knit a sparkly tea cosy covered in hearts (which by the way can be found on Etsy very shortly!), the perfect weapon in teaching a broken world that drinking tea together is the true path to loving and accepting each other. I digress. Anyway, look at my proud chins, I could definitely defeat any dictator leader of some American utopian capital.
There’s only one problem: saving Panem can only happen before a days skiing, because I get a bit sleepy afterwards…
This week I will be focusing on Camping Attire – my most favourite of fashions.
So camping attire consists of three major groups of clothing: dress-up, layers and woolwear. These three things combined can make for quite wonderful and sometimes experimental couture creations. See below…
This is a perfect example of combining both the layers and woollen look. One starts off with an outfit (usually a perfectly normal one) and then as the evening cools, instead of changing ones attire to a more temperature appropriate outfit, one simply adds more layers on top of the original outfit. It’s quite an effective way of staying stylish and toasty!
Now the below outfit belongs to the traditional “guess what I’m dressed as” Fashion Fridays example…
This is an example (quite clearly) of Medieval camping, more specifically this was my costumer for our Knights and Princesses themed evening. No medieval princess is complete without something whimisical on her head, a goblet in her hand, an exquisite velvet cloak and some hardcore mist (as the above pictures perfectl demonstrate).
I’m sure that everyone at one point goes through their own dressing-up epiphiny, when you find a dress-up character that makes you feel awesome and you’re genuinely considering dressing up as them every single day. I once met a women who had gone to a dress-up party as Lara Croft and found that she so loved being said Playstation heroine that she proceeded to wear the costume to every single dress up party she was invited to as well as on all weekends (but without her thigh guns – voilence has no place on a Sunday). This moment has happened to me a few times, when I made my Jane Austen dress, when I was given my cloak it was made abundantly clear to me that I was made to wear velvet cloaks, the most recent of these revelations came when I decided to throw a Pirate themed party at this years camping trip…
As you can see, I make an epic pirate. I should, can and will captain a gallion. It’s happening.
I strongly encourage you to strive for your dress-up epiphany! And I strongly advise you to send me photographic evidence of your struggle towards the truth as well as the triumphant truth itself!
So I spent half of last week waiting for that special time in every woman’s month; the special time when your womb reminds you that it’s still there and that it’s really, really angry with you. During those three to four days prior to my “lady time” arriving, I quite simply become a different person. This is what Chris and I lovingly refer to as the Emotional Danger Zone. If you are wondering whether you also suffer from this particular affliction read on for the 12 signs that you are in the Emotional Danger Zone (I started with a nice round 10 but it turns out there are more than I thought):
If you can’t find your keys/phone/lip salve in your handbag, you burst into tears.
If you watch a John Lewis advert you burst into tears.
You want to eat your body weight in cheese.
If you can’t find any cheese in your fridge you burst into tears.
Chocolate feels like the only thing in the world that truly understands you and your ambitions for life.
When you can’t find any chocolate in your fridge you burst into tears.
Your normal personal space sphere widens by 10 meters and develops a steel exterior so that when your other half tries to affectionately stroke your back you accidentally punch them in the face.
If you accidentally punch your other half in the face, you burst into tears.
When people say the word “exercise” you have to refrain from spitting at (or near) them.
You feel a very strange and intriguing mix between severely angry and quite aroused (the outcomes of this particular feelings “mash-up” are interesting and variable).
You feel like wearing a T-shirt which says “Approach With Caution”.
On top of that t-shirt you feel like wearing a sign which says “Do Not Approach.”
If you can recognise any of these symptoms there is a strong chance that you are also in the Emotional Danger Zone. I recommend you find yourself an empty room, with a TV (sometimes it’s good to cry to John Lewis adverts), some chocolate, some cheese and some elasticated trousers. Hopefully this will help placate the womb – let me know how it goes!
… I hear the student who’s walking past me say, in a rather droll, bored manner, as if she doesn’t find it funny at all, which is presumably why she couldn’t muster herself to say “that’s pretty funny!” instead. She’s also wearing a Barbour jacket, how can students afford Barbour jackets?
I work in an area of Cardiff called Cathays, which for those of you who don’t live in this wonderful city (unfortunate) this is where ALL the students live. I’m pretty sure that if you walked into a letting agency in the area and told them you were over 22 years old they’d laugh you out of there. Most days I escape the small grey box that is my work place to spend my lunch breaks sat in the large window of a “studenty” cafe and “student watch”. Ahh the hilarious (and sometimes disturbing) fashion show that is “student watching”. Here are 10 attire related pieces of advice I wish I could shout at the those higher education loaths that languish past the window daily:
Your blusher is making you look aggressively embarrassed.
You have won a place at university which presumably means you are a generally intelligent person (or, if Michael Gove has had anything to do with your education, you can regurgitate knowledge you’ve temporarily crammed into your brain, which I consider a skill) so why can you not read a calendar? Yes it’s sunny outside but that does not automatically mean it’s warm outside, has no-one ever heard of a “crisp” day? Take those flip-flops and shorts off right this minute and go and find yourself some sensible brogues, a cosy jacket and go and Google “the seasons”.
Those jeans don’t fit, your either going to get chaffing or thrush, either because they are so tight they’re making you waddle or because you shouldn’t rub synthetic (god knows what they add to denim to make it stretchy) fabrics against your special places.
What is so wrong with coats and waterproof weather-protecting fabrics? If it is cold why wouldn’t you wear a coat? If it is raining why wouldn’t you wear a waterproof? I may look like an inner-city rambler in my purple kagool and I can hear your young sniggers as my glasses steam up under my hood but you look freezing and moist, and your silly “handbag” sized umbrella keeps blowing inside out, making you look like a complete knob. This is Wales, buy a Macintosh.
Your “messy up-do” isn’t messy, it’s comical.
LEGGINGS AREN’T TROUSERS! And they’re not as opaque as you think they are either.
You’re not Jesse J. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but even she can barely get away with the current (and unfortunate) 1980s/90s throwback fashions. Your baggy 80s style shirt buttoned all the way up to top and tucked into baggy yet incredibly tiny denim shorts, teamed with your “messy up-do” makes you look like an extra from an early French and Saunders sketch. You could play a bit part in one of the first Jonathan Creek shows because you definitely look like you’ve been styled by a young Caroline Quentin.
If the part of your tights that is darker than the rest (the bit shaped like “gym shorts” that encompasses your bottom bits) is visible under the line of your cut-off denim shorts – then they are too short. My knickers are bigger than what you’re laughably parading as clothes.
You are wearing shoes – why aren’t you wearing socks? You’re making those “I shop in Topman” casual deck shoes look sweaty and uncomfortable. Encompassing your very pale feet with a nice pair of socks would make you look much better, and you’d be warmer, which is important because my Oma says you can catch a cold through bare feet.