I’ve fallen out of the habit of taking outfit pictures again. It’s not deliberate, but I’ve been feeling dull and not particularly sartorially inspired and just couldn’t be bothered to go outside and take photos at quarter to seven in the morning.
I always feel a bit uninspired by the time it gets to the fag-end of a season, whether it’s winter or summer. There’s only so many times you can wear the same things without getting sick of the sight of them, after all. But it also struck me today that part of why I’m feeling uninspired may well be that I’ve gone from working in an enviroment where it was fairly common for people to comment on each other’s clothes to one where it just doesn’t seem to happen, and while I don’t think I dress to impress other people I’m so used to hearing things like “that’s a lovely colour” and “there are pussycats on your dress!” that without them I feel as though I must have become dull and frumpy and my outfits can’t be worthy of attention. (Is it even possible to be frumpy in orange tights?)
To be honest, my current working environment is pretty blokeish generally. All the senior managers are male, and so are most of the upper tier of middle managers. I think the overall gender balance in the office is probably fairly evenly split, but women are definitely more often found in lower-level posts. About the only non-work topic of conversation tends to be sport, particularly football, or occasionally drinking. And I don’t feel that I fit in at all, which I’ve been struggling with given that this is the same organisation I’ve worked in for the last seven years and never felt this isolated. It’s funny how different sections of a large organisation can be.
Posted in Outfits
Tagged metro, orange
And the proof of the top is in the wearing. I really like how the print looks with the orange skirt.
Today I had the first session of a six-week mindfulness course which was offered at work. I’m hoping this will give me a useful tool to cope with depression, especially as my mood is slumping as it always does at the end of January and it’s hard work to stay positive. I can see it’s going to be hard work getting the critical voice at the back of my head to be quiet, though; it’s been gabbling away non-stop for as long as I can remember and really doesn’t want to shut up. I have to do various bits of daily practice so it will be interesting to see how that goes. I did try to eat a Tunnock’s tea cake mindfully when I got back to my desk, for a bit of practice, but that didn’t go well at all as I got rather distracted by the stickiness and the need not to cover myself and my desk in marshmallow…
Even though I’ve kind of been in my new job for a couple of weeks now, and will still be doing bits of handover for the old job for a few weeks to come, today was my official Last Day which meant the traditional leaving presentation followed by cake.
It went fine; my dotted line manager said nice things about me, I borrowed from Tolkien and told everyone that I didn’t know half of them half as well as I should like and liked less than half of them half as well as they deserved (which I think is probably true, really), ate some cake and headed home feeling strangely as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
Also, I now have some vouchers for Deramores. What to buy? I’m inclining towards putting them towards a cardigan’s worth of Fyberspates Vivacious…
It’s really strange, how much more comfortable I feel in my new job already, and how that reflects itself in what I choose to wear. In my last job I was always worrying about whether I looked smart enough or serious enough, and spent a lot of time feeling underdressed or sometimes overdressed and worrying if I looked too colourful for anyone to take me seriously. In my new job, where I’m surrounded by accountants instead of fundraisers, I can just throw together an outfit out of co-ordinating and contrasting separates and feel just fine all day.
My orange jacket, which I bought on something of a whim, really has become a favourite this summer. Whoever would have thought that orange was a colour that would go with everything?
Between the jacket and the elephant scarf and purple shoes, I even managed to make navy trousers and a white top feel like me!
For the first time this year, there was a real autumnal feel in the air when I left the house this morning.
It’s been cooler all day than it has been for several weeks, which was actually quite nice because it meant that the office was much more comfortable, and I got to wear one of the summer jackets I bought in June and which spent all of July sitting uselessly in the wardrobe because the weather was far too hot for jackets. (So much for planning my wardrobe in advance – based on last summer’s weather, “more summer jackets” was a really good buying strategy, but this summer it’s been all about blouses which I keep buying in the sales!)
I never used to like orange. For a long time I would have said it was one of my least favourite colours. But then I bought some gorgeous coppery orange yarn from the Knitting Goddess and knitted a shawl in it, and realised how well orange goes with purple, and since then an increasing number of orange garments have found their way into my wardrobe. I have orange tights, two orange jackets, two orange shawls, a couple of orange tops, and now I have knitted myself an orange cardigan.
The pattern is Metro from Twist Collective, which I fell in love with after seeing my friend A’s lovely version, and the yarn is Rowan Classic Cotton Jeans, which is surprisingly light for an aran-weight cotton yarn; I used it for my Hey Teach! a few years ago and liked it enough that I snapped up a couple of packs from Laughing Hens when they put it on sale after it was discontinued.
Of course, knitting with discontinued yarns from stash can be a slightly nerve-wracking experience, and I realised while working the upper back that my 10 balls wasn’t going to be enough to knit three-quarter length sleeves. Luckily for me, Laughing Hens still had some of the yarn in stock so I was able to order two more balls, which were even the same dyelot (though that tends not to be too much of a problem with Rowan yarns anyway, in my experience). In the end I only needed one of them, but better safe than sorry. (I also ordered two more balls of the purple I bought at the same time, so I won’t run into the same problem when I come to knit that.)
I went down a needle size, but still couldn’t get the pattern gauge, and after a bit of maths worked out that if I knitted a size smaller than the pattern said it should come out OK. I also decided to knit the front a size bigger than the back to the armholes and then work extra decreases at the front armholes to make the shoulders match, so in the end I knitted the back, shoulders and arms from the 33″ size and the front from the 37″ size, which came out as a perfect fit. I can pin the front closed, but I suspect I’ll mostly wear it open.
It’s knitted at quite a tight gauge, which makes it nice and structured, and I suspect this is a handknitted cardigan I really would be happy to wear to work, although as I’m now off until a week on Monday I will have to wait for proof of that. I’m very much looking forward to my break; I might even finish my Lady Heather!
It’s almost the end of May, and I’m not sure the temperature even got into double figures today. Even in thick tights, a cardigan and a wool shawl I was definitely on the chilly side. I think I might break out the woollies tomorrow!
Shawl – Aurantium
Shawl pin – Spindlecat
Cardigan – Monsoon
Dress – M&S
Tights – Debenhams
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker
I did get to wear my new shawl pin, which I fell in love with when I saw it in a Ravelry advert and broke my usual rule of not ordering things from the US (because of cost and the risk of getting lost and customs issues) for.
I think I may be turning into a crazy cat lady. But if I can’t have a real cat (and I can’t, because T is allergic to cats) at least I can have cat-themed clothing. I may also have just ordered some Bagpuss-coloured stripy sock yarn, too…
It’s been a difficult week, so I decided to celebrate Friday and it still being mild enough to wear shoes instead of boots with my orange tights.
Shawl – Isaura
Cardigan – clothes swap
Dress – People Tree
Tights – Debenhams
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker
I have really been struggling with depression this week; it’s taken everything I have just to sit at my desk at work and not run away in tears, so I haven’t exactly been at my most productive. And sometimes I wonder, when I feel like this, if work isn’t the thing that’s making me ill. When I read this post by Katie (who dyes beautiful fibre as Hilltop Cloud) I did find myself wondering, is that my problem too? Would I be better if I didn’t have to drag myself in to an office and interact with lots of people even when the thing I most want in the world is to pull a blanket over my head and shut everything out? Is the stress of my job (because it can be very stressful and demanding) too much for me?
I don’t actually think this is the case. I enjoy my job, when I’m not too depressed to enjoy anything; I get a lot of satisfaction out of rising to a challenge and sorting out complicated problems. And while I probably could earn a decent living from doing small business accounts, I suspect I wouldn’t get the same enjoyment out of it. And of course, that would have its own stresses. There’s a lot to be said for a regular salary and paid holiday and sick leave, to say nothing of the scope that a normal office job – even a middle-management role – offers for keeping your head down and focusing on the easy stuff as much as possible when things are tough, which I imagine would be a lot harder if every minute spent poking the internet instead of adding things up equated to actual lost income. And sometimes office conversation is just the thing to raise a smile even on the worst of days.
I seem to have spent a lot of today talking this over with friends, on Twitter and elsewhere. I really am so grateful that I do have friends who offer sympathy and support when things are bad and help me work my way through things. And today I’m particularly grateful for the people who’ve known me for years and are able to offer me insights into myself from an outside point of view and who all tell me that actually, in my case it looks far more as though my mental health affects how I feel about work than vice versa. Which I did know, really; depression can be situational, of course, but I’ve been depressed for most of my life and while bad situations can make it worse, mostly the problem is what’s going on inside my head, not what’s outside it. I learnt that after making some really bad decisions while depressed, and now I know that part of the job of living with depression is learning to try and minimise the effect I let the stuff inside my head have on the things outside me.
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.
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!