Tag Archives: dresses

New year, new start

I realised over the Christmas break that I’ve been missing outfitblogging. Even though it felt like a chore for a while, mostly I enjoyed sharing what I was wearing with the internet and found it gave me a reason to think about my clothes and try to be creative with combinations instead of just wearing the same things again and again. And, although it might be blowing my own trumpet a bit, and it’s not as if I’m out to make a vast stir on the internet, I like to think that writing about how I wear the things I’ve made is the one vaguely original thing I do here; there are lots of craft blogs, and plenty of outfit blogs, but I can’t think of many that combine the two.

So here is today’s outfit. Unusually for me, I ended up wearing a handknitted cardigan for work, partly because I thought it might be chilly in the office after the break (it wasn’t particularly) and partly in an attempt to ease myself into the new year a bit more gently.

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I’ve never been convinced that round-necked cardigans like this really work over my jersey dresses, which all tend to have v-necks and drapey front detailing, and always thought that cardigans which can be worn open or fastened just below the bust are better, but actually I thought this looked OK fastened at the top like this, especially on a day when there was no need to look particularly smart as I was at my desk all day writing handover notes, because I am going on secondment for 15 months to work on a project that I think will be really interesting and, more to the point, will get me away from aspects of my current job which I think have been major contributing factors to the worsening of my mental health issues over the last year or so. So this new year really is a new start, and hopefully being in a less difficult working environment will mean I have more energy for blogging as well as pursuing my hobbies.

Monday blues

The weather has turned distinctly cooler, which is actually quite nice as I’ve missed being able to wear my jersey dresses (it’s just been far too hot for anything that needs a vest underneath). I think they’re far and away the easiest things to wear for work; effortlessly smart and still really comfortable.

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Apart from that, it has not been a great day. But now I’m home, and I have pretty new yarn, and I am about to do my spinning for the day before settling down with pasta and University Challenge. So it’s not all bad.

Back to outfit-blogging

Between being away and things being stressful before that I’d got a bit out of the habit of taking outfit photos. The warmer weather also means I don’t get to include fabulous handknits in my outfits which I want to show off (a couple of people have made remarks to the effect that it must be summer because I’m not wearing a shawl this week), though I can always wear the skirts I’ve sewn (and I really must get round to tackling my lilac-and-white polka-dot Ginger skirt this weekend).

Still, I did take a photo today.

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Jacket – charity shop
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Necklace – Fairtrade shop
Dress – East (modesty panel added by me)
Shoes – Arche

New clothes

I’m trying not to buy too many new clothes, because I already have loads of things and I want to try to make more of my clothes going forward, but when I popped into M&S for some tights last week and saw this dress on sale for £12 I couldn’t resist it.

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Shawl – Isaura
Dress – M&S
Shoes – Clarks

I also surprised myself today by buying a pair of trousers. I think the last time I bought trousers was about three years ago, and I’m mostly happy wearing skirts, but T bought me a top for my birthday that I think will look better with trousers, and it also struck me that a pair of plain trousers might be a good partner for me-made tops in pretty printed cottons which wouldn’t go with my print skirts (this is thinking ahead, and assumes that I have now worked out how to do a Full Bust Adjustment properly, of course). So I have bought a pair of navy blue cotton trousers in a pleat-fronted, tapered-leg style that a couple of years ago I’d have dismissed as unbelievably middle-aged looking, but which now look rather cute and a bit Fifties, and possibly even surprisingly trendy, and which also remind me of a pair of trousers I had in the late 90s that I remember wearing a lot and rather liking. Whether I ever actually wear them remains to be seen, of course!

Friday florals

Today’s outfit was rather thrown together after I couldn’t find the vest to go under the dress I was planning on wearing (I swear my clothes keep disappearing, one of my bras seems to have vanished completely). Unfortunately that meant I didn’t get to debut the fabulous but incredibly expensive shoes I bought in Bath a couple of months ago, but I did get to wear my new dress. I found this in M&S and was amazed to have actually managed to find something with sleeves, a reasonably modest neckline and a skirt that reaches my knees. Exactly the kind of dress I had despaired of finding anywhere!

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Dress and jacket – M&S
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Shoes – Clarks

Anyway, it’s the end of another week, and tomorrow I am off to London to meet up with some knitters. The only trouble is, I have no idea what to wear – I may be managing to ease my working wardrobe into spring but I’m at a bit of a loss for casual wear. Or at least, I’m at a loss about footwear; I really don’t want to wear knee-high boots because I’m sick to death of boots, but I’m not brave enough to wear leggings and shoes with bare feet just yet. I could wear leggings and shoes with handknitted socks, but I’m a little concerned that would go beyond ‘quirky and creative’ into ‘dotty bag lady’ territory. Or would it be OK?

(I also need to find some backup knitting for tomorrow, as I’m not sure that the heel and foot of a sock for me is going to be enough.)

Shoes!

Today I decided that I had had enough of boots, and then some, and I was damn well going to wear shoes instead. And it may not be very warm, but it’s still a lot warmer than it was a week ago, so actually it was fine. And I wore the sparkly purple Glasgow School Mitts I got from Roobeedoo rather than full mittens, and that was fine too.

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Shawl – Elektra
Shawl pin – Nova Steel
Dress – East
Tights – Monsoon
Shoes – Clarks

Rosy

Today’s cashmere cardi, wool dress and knee-high boots really felt more like an outfit for January than April, but it’s still freezing cold and was trying to snow earlier. I really don’t know what’s happened to spring this year.

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Cardigan – charity shop
Dress – Boden
Tights – M&S
Boots – Duo

This dress is a much straighter shape than I’d normally go for, especially in a woven fabric, but somehow it works. I have been giving quite a bit of thought to what shapes of clothing actually work for me recently, partly in preparation for the pattern cutting course (if I’m going to end up with my ideal summer frock it will probably help if I start out with some idea of what that ideal actually is!) and partly because I recently bought Amy Herzog‘s new book, Knit to Flatter (I’m not normally a big fan of body-shape driven advice on what to wear, but I have had the disappointing experience of knitting myself things which really don’t suit me before now, and given how long it takes to knit a garment I’m not keen to repeat it, and Amy’s advice is less you-must-wear-this and more ‘these things will do x, and draw focus to y body part, and if you would rather the focus was on z body part try that instead’. And there are some very pretty cardigan patterns in the book, too). I know that I tend to gravitate towards fitted tops and full or A-line skirts, open cardigans or jackets rather than buttoned ones, and fit-and-flare dresses, but when I look at the pictures of me wearing this dress I wonder how much of that is just because that’s what I’ve always worn and felt comfortable in. When it comes down to it, I’m not sure I really have the faintest idea about why some things make me look better than others (or at least make me feel that I look better, which is not necessarily the same thing). And while I think that my perfect summer frock would have a fitted bodice, sleeves and a full skirt (something like Simplicity 2444 or the Sewaholic Cambie if it had proper sleeves), would that really suit me? Honestly, I have no idea. And sometimes I think life was easier before I started being interested in clothes…

Colourful but fuzzy

Today I picked a colourful outfit to ease myself back into work after a five-day weekend. The picture is a little fuzzy as the clock change means that it’s only just light at 6:45am again (on the other hand, it wasn’t quite dark at 8pm yesterday and I think I’m OK with that trade-off, especially as the sun has also reappeared and I left work and walked for half an hour in glorious sunshine, which is pretty much the best treatement for depression ever), and the outfit is a little fuzzy too as the jacket is unstructured boiled wool and the shawl is a cashmere mix. Everyone needs a bit of fuzziness in their lives.

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Shawl – Katika
Dress and jacket – East
Tights – M&S
Boots – Duo

And yes, that is the bright pink boiled wool jacket I bought in a fit of frustration with the weather last week.

Under the weather

I am not feeling 100%. I don’t know if it’s just the effect of the arctic weather or if I’m coming down with something, but I spent most of today feeling like the walking dead and still do, really.

My outfit photos are also weather-afflicted, as I couldn’t take an outdoor picture today because the roof of the bird-table, which I normally balance the camera on, was covered with ice (I watched a collared dove attempting not to slide off it yesterday, not entirely successfully) and even though it isn’t a terribly expensive camera, and is several years old now, it didn’t seem like a good idea to balance it on an icy surface, so I took pictures in the conservatory instead.

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Shawl – Isaura
Jacket – Debenhams
Dress – Gap
Tights – Debenhams
Boots – Gabor

At least the orange tights and shawl provided a bit of brightness on another freezing, grey day!

WEAR ALL THE COLOURS!

Today’s outfit ended up being particularly cheerfully coloured. Which was some compensation for it being a grey Friday at the end of a long week, at least.

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Shawl – Galathea
Jacket – Debenhams
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Dress – East
Tights – M&S
Boots – Duo