Five things: clogs

March 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ladies, I like to clomp. I will have none of your dainty shoes with their delicate heels that sink between paving slabs and fragile straps that slice into my tender feet. And that is why the fashion mags’ promise that this is the Summer Of The Clog is such sweet music to me – music with a spine-rattling drumbeat of wood on concrete, obviously, but definitely music.

The shoe above is my bet for wooden-soled happiness: they’re from Danish brand Sanita, and they tick all my clog boxes. Neutral colour, flatteringly slanted ankle strap, and a shapely heel – that’s everything I need to make these my regular not-Converse casual shoe (see them here as part of an outfit). After the jump, four more fine examples of carpentry for feet:

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#30 Dusty Mink

March 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

A while ago, I got a follow on Twitter from something called @ModestDresses which led to this website, where all your fashion needs can be fulfilled without breaching LDS modesty guidelines. Obviously I was a bit insulted (Hey! Website! Maybe I like being immodest!) and then intrigued, because some of those dresses are pretty cute. And some of them don’t seem all that modest – this body-skimming confection, for example, is seven shades of Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary and all sorts of buttoned-up sauce. Anyway, the idea of modest dressing must have sunk in, because look at me today. Practically Amish. I mean, I’ve even got an Alice band on.

What I’m wearing

Smock, Uniqlo via charity shop

Clogs, Sanita via TK Maxx

Tights, Gennifer Merino Wool by Transparenze via MyTights

Antler pendant, Tatty Devine

Alice band, Accessorize

Purge

January 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

January is a month to purge. Not your own body, in a tedious, dysfunctional bout of penitent self-denial, but definitely your wardrobe. Christmas outfits, Christmas presents and sales bargains meant that some of my drawers were getting damnably difficult to close. Some stuff had to go. A whole bootful of it had to go, in fact. (Not all clothes.) The things that didn’t quite fit – either on me or with my other clothes – got black sacked and hauled to the charity shops.

I’m not the only person thinking this way, which means that now is a good time to nosey around your local thrift outlet and see what you can find. I returned with a small bag of new-old goodies to replace the things I’d ditched, and even came alarmingly close to re-purchasing one of my ex-possessions. (I nearly slipped up  on the brown patterned knee-length corduroy skirt in the rack above – still nice, but too much a part of my postgraduate student life to every be zipped around my waist again. Just touching it made me come out in a rash of Victorian poetry and close-reading criticisms.) What will you be getting rid of this year? And what bargains have you picked up?

#29 Dusty Mink

January 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love me some stripes and I love me some pockets, so full marks to Mr Mink for putting this cardigan in my Christmas stocking. I note that The Hairpin is lining up nautical stripes for style execution this year, which I can only respond to with a shattered cry of, “Nooooooo!!!” I refuse to give up my stripes, and if I have to become an actual sailor in order to wear them, then godammit I’m running away to sea. The woodland jewellery doesn’t have anything much to do with the ocean-faring colour scheme, but I like the way the little faun on my chest seems to be running towards the pendant antlers, as if to reclaim them.

What I’m wearing

Cardigan, Sessun at Urban Outfitters

Racerback vest, American Apparel

Shorts (not seen), French Connection via Boundary Mill

Tights, Gennifer Merino Wool by Transparenze via MyTights

Boots (not seen), Dr Martens

Antlers pendant and faun brooch, both Tatty Devine

#28 Phoebe

January 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I collared Phoebe for her lipstick and her hat, then fell in love with her classic-mac-and-shiny-DMs combo. When she told me how much of her outfit was thrifted, I knew she was perfect mannequin material. “Don’t say charity shop, say vintage!” she said as I quizzed her, but second-hand clothes mean first-class style in our world. This is an eclectic get-up, but the neutrals pull it all together and it’s accented with a wine-soaked flash of colour from her lips and jacket and that dramatic necklace.

What she’s wearing

Hat, from a charity shop

Necklace, from Maddison in Chippenham

Mac, Burberry via charity shop

Satchel, a Christmas present

Style en pointe

January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

A few weeks before Christmas, I was in a pub with a few friends and friends-of-friends when a very drunk Frenchman leant over and said, “Are you a ballerina? Because you move like a ballerina.” As I’ve got a distinctly un-sapling-like BMI of 25 and was at that moment sucking down my third Jägerbomb, I’m confident that this comment was inspired by neither my physique nor my startlingly graceful movements (I may have missed my mouth slightly with the fourth Jägerbomb).

Instead, it was either a testament to the Frenchman’s refusal to be impeded by reality when thinking of a chat-up line, or (and I prefer this option) evidence of the Awesome Power Of Clothes. Because, in a plain off-white racer back vest and full black skirt, I was dressed a bit like a ballerina that night. And as ballet psychodrama The Black Swan is coming out shortly, with exquisite Rodarte-designed costumes (see Natalie Portman as the Black Swan above, and the designer’s sketches below), I’ll probably be working the tutu and tulle even more this year. The good news is that, if I can be mistaken for a dancer, you won’t need to be Portman-petite to pull this look off. More ballet style coming up soon.

#27 Dusty Mink

January 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

This adorable jumper is my greatest prize from the January sales, and marks a bit of a clothing epoch for me, because it’s my first cashmere jumper. Get that: cashmere, the fabric of adults who can be trusted not to tip their coffee down their front, who own exotic objects like sweater bags and who do a regular handwash. So what if none of those things are actually true of me? I own cashmere now, which means they bloody well could be.

It’s an Antoni & Alison jumper – a brand I always love for its witty design and unsickly cuteness – but the trompe l’oeil bow is, I think, a call back to a much more famous jumper. Elsa Shiaparelli was a couture designer, a contemporary of Chanel’s and an associate of the surrealists. Her bowknot sweater (below) is more detailed (it has faked-up cuffs and shawl collar too) and technically more challenging, because both the light and dark yarns are carried round the whole of the garment (you can download the pattern here if you’d like to knit it yourself), but the A&A version has the same sly sense of visual humour. The big glittery bow on my head just seemed necessary under the circumstances.

What I’m wearing

Jumper, Antoni & Alison Label via TK Maxx

Bow, unknown via TK Maxx

Initial necklace, Tatty Devine (a Christmas present from my brother-in-law and his rather chic wife)

Not shown: jeans, DM boots (as here and here)