Tag Archives: jackets

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

Jackets

I was interviewing today, so I thought I’d wear a jacket, given that the interview candidates would all be wearing them.

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Jacket – charity shop
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Top – Gap
Skirt – made by me from a Clothkits kit
Shoes – Arche

I’m undecided about jackets. I know they’re supposed to look more professional, and I wear them a lot in the winter because I really need an extra layer for warmth and I don’t really like how cardigans look with my jersey dresses, but come warmer weather I seem to abandon them almost completely in favour of cotton cardigans and shawls. And when I do wear jackets, I’m not sure they really do look any smarter!

Bored now

I am so very bored of my winter clothes. I’ve been wearing the same things for nearly seven months now, and there are only so many ways to combine a dozen dresses and half a dozen jackets. Separates would help, but I appear not to have any winter separates any more, as fashion for the last couple of years has been all about dresses and although there have been nice skirts I have been completely unable to find any smart tops (or, come to think of it, any tops at all) which work with skirts; they’re all long and drapey instead of trim and fitted. Maybe for next winter I’ll make myself half a dozen long-sleeved Birgittes and a few nice A-line skirts as a change from the dresses.

Today I really wanted to wear something different, but it turns out that the only things I haven’t been wearing regularly are skirts and tops I last wore about two years ago, and just didn’t feel right any more. So I ended up falling back on an outfit I last wore about two weeks ago, because I was already wearing the olive-green tights and couldn’t be bothered to change them.

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Scarf – Godiva
Jacket – Jigsaw
Dress – charity shop
Tights – Debenhams
Boots – Duo

In praise of amateurism

I don’t watch a lot of TV, and have never been keen on ‘reality’ TV, so I wasn’t planning on watching The Great British Sewing Bee last night. But then so many people on Twitter and Ravelry were praising it I thought I ought to at least give it a try before dismissing it, and ended up watching it on iPlayer. It had some interesting bits, but I don’t see why everything has to be a competition these days, and why someone always has to be the ‘best’. It seems as though doing something because you enjoy it isn’t enough any more, and amateurs are encouraged to put themselves forward to be judged by the standards of people who do this professionally.

Now, I think I’m a pretty good knitter, and aspire to be a reasonable dressmaker. But the main reason I knit is because I enjoy it; I love the colours and softness of the yarn, and the way the process of knitting is calming and restful, and how wonderful it is to have a beautiful, unique handknitted item at the end of it. I don’t quite love the process of dressmaking yet (though I did quite enjoy making my Birgitte on Sunday, so I’m getting there!) but I do love knowing that my dressmaking skills will mean I never end up with the same dress as someone else in the office again, and that I can have clothes which are not only beautiful and unique but in styles and shapes which suit me, whether or not those happen to be in fashion. Of course, I love it when people compliment the things I’ve made, but what they think isn’t really the point; I do it because it makes me happy.

Of course, we all do things for different reasons, and I guess there are people who want to get that kind of validation of their skills. And of course there are plenty of people who would like to earn a living from their hobbies (I definitely don’t. Work is stressful, and I think things I enjoy doing for fun would just become stressful too if I did them for money. Rather like the way doing a degree in English Literature has left me prone to long periods when I can’t read for pleasure at all). And lots of people seem to have enjoyed the programme; it just wasn’t my thing at all and I don’t really see the attraction of the competition format. Then again, I don’t like competitions generally; I find them far too tense. I think I’ll stick to Doctor Who in future!

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Shawl – Godiva
Jacket – Jigsaw
Dress – Gap
Tights – Accessorize
Boots – Gabor

Hazy shades of winter

I definitely wasn’t going to head outside to take outfit photos this morning, as the combination of a heavy frost and the slushy remains of yesterday’s snow made the going underfoot decidedly treacherous! Something about the grey jacket and the silvery colours of the shawl seemed to echo the harsh wintery sunlight, clear and crisp but lacking warmth and cheer.

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Shawl – Forest Canopy
Jacket – Jigsaw
Dress – Mary Portas
Boots – Gabor

I used to think winter was such a beautiful season. I even looked forward to it, those wonderful mid-afternoon sunsets with the black skeltons of trees outlined against a sky burning gold and orange and red in glory, the tang of cold air taking my breath away. And I guess it is still beautiful, in a wonderfully minimalist way, but as the years go by and I increasingly understand how much the lack of daylight affects my depression, I can’t love it like I used to. I can’t remember the last winter sunset I saw, anyway; normally I’m at work, with a window that faces north onto a narrow street. I occasionally see sunrises on my way to work, but I don’t have the time to linger and drink them in. And I just want spring to come.

(Pondering: at the moment, this is a blog about crafts and clothes, but increasingly I find myself wanting a public forum to talk about mental health issues too, and am wondering if this is an appropriate place for that too…)

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

Still winter

After a brief, tantalising glimpse of spring, today was barely above freezing with a biting east wind that made it feel much colder, and frankly a short-sleeved wool dress and polyester jersey jacket under my winter coat didn’t cut it outdoors. I quite enjoyed the outfit indoors, though; I was very pleased with how the colours worked together.

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Jacket – M&S
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Dress – Boden
Tights – M&S
Boots – Duo

Green day

The trouble with wearing jackets to work is that an awful lot of jackets are dry-clean only (or are labelled as dry-clean only, at least). And while I have a fairly cavalier attitude to washing instructions, good jackets (by which I mostly mean my two Jigsaw jackets) don’t come cheap (even massively reduced in the sale) and I’m loath to risk ruining them, especially as I may not be as lucky looking for replacements in the sale as I was finding the originals. And dry cleaning may remove surface dirt, but it doesn’t deal with water-based stains such as, not to put too fine a point on it, sweat. To be honest, I’m not entirely convinced about the surface dirt, as I never really seem to be able to detect any noticeable change in clothes when they come back from the cleaners apart from the fact that they’ve been hung on a wire hanger inside a plastic bag, but I’m prepared to give that the benefit of the doubt; the inability to deal with sweat, however, is undeniable (and apparently backed up by Science). And I try to walk to work, which tends to result in a healthy glow by the time I arrive in the office; the end result is that my jackets eventually reach the stage where I start to feel nervous about wearing them to work in case the underarms smell bad enough for other people to notice.

I don’t want to stop wearing jackets – I feel more professional in them and I think they suit me. And I don’t want to stop walking to work, because it’s the only form of exercise I’m ever going to get around. So I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only thing to do is to have a ‘walking cardigan’ as well as walking shoes, and carry my jackets to work in my backpack along with my work shoes/boots and my packed lunch. So much for walking to work being exercise that doesn’t need preparation or special clothing!

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Shawl – Galathea
Jacket – Jigsaw
Dress – East
Boots – Gabor

Still, today’s jacket seems to have coped with being folded up in my backpack for an hour, and indeed with my attempts at cleaning it by dunking the underarm regions in a basin of warm water and Soak while attempting to keep the rest of it dry. It would probably wash OK, really…

Monday

Mondays in February are truly evil. Today wasn’t a particularly bad day, but it has still left me shattered and wishing for things I can’t have, like a cat and a glass of wine. Sadly, circumstances being what they are* tea and knitting have to suffice.

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Necklace – made by Helen
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Jacket – Debenhams
Dress – charity shop
Tights – Debenhams
Boots – Duo

Meanwhile I have very nearly finished the latest pair of socks for T and am going to need a new bus-knitting project for tomorrow. Based on what yarn I actually have wound and my total lack of inclination to get the ball winder and swift out tonight, it’s either going to be more socks for T, or a hat for me. But which one? T has had several pairs of socks lately, but I’ve also made myself two hats already this winter…but then yarn I’m planning to use for this one is quite similar colours to the Glasgow School Mitts Roobeedoo made me, and none of my existing hats go with them, so perhaps it should be that…

*husband allergic to cats and me more or less a recovering alcoholic

Very berry

I started today wearing tights that were almost a perfect match for my dress, but they turned out to be ridiculous falling-down tights and by lunchtime I was so fed up with them I went and bought some new tights and changed in the fitting rooms at M&S under the pretext of trying on some ill-fitting and unflattering trousers. (Am I the only person who does this? I have done much the same thing on unexpectedly chilly summer days when I started out bare-legged…) Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any purple tights available in Oxford and the closest I could find was ‘dark grape’, but fortunately it turned out to co-ordinate nicely with the purple and red combination and the red-brown of my boots.

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Jacket – M&S
Necklace – charity shop
Dress – Gap
Tights – M&S
Boots – Duo