Tag Archives: red

In the red

Yesterday’s lovely weather had me shuffling my wardrobe around, starting to bring summer things to the front and put my winter woollies away at the back until autumn. It doesn’t feel like spring has quite settled in for good yet, though; today was mostly cloudy again and there was a strong breeze, and I didn’t regret giving my red dress another outing, even though I have worn it about once a fortnight since September now.

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Shawl – Isaura
Dress – LK Bennett
Tights – M&S
Shoes – Clarks

(And yes, I picked this dress today because of the Twitter campaign for people who disagreed with the decision to give Margaret Thatcher a ceremonial funeral complete with road closures, adulation and the silencing of the chimes of Big Ben at the taxpayer’s expense to wear red today. I’m not celebrating her death, but I disagree with her principles and hate what she did to the country, and I’m not happy that my taxes are being spent celebrating her life either.)

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

Bright

I wasn’t really feeling in the mood for something as bright as my red dress today, but somehow the only clean camisole I could find was the dark red one I wear under the red dress, so I didn’t have much choice. (Well, I probably did really, but 6:30am on a Monday while slightly discombobulated by the absence of the Today programme due to a strike is not a good time for bright ideas, so the red dress it was.)

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Scarf – Godiva
Necklace – made by Helen
Jacket – Jigsaw
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Dress – LK Bennett
Camisole – M&S
Tights – Monsoon
Boots – Duo

Fortunately, although I started the day in a gloomy state of mind that really didn’t suit the red dress, the light box I asked work to order for me last week turned up mid-morning and within half an hour of switching it on my mood had really improved. Clearly I should have done this years ago, but I was always wary of spending the money on something I wasn’t sure would work, and the only time I can really use one is at work and it took things getting pretty horrendous for me to feel able to speak to my manager about depression; I was worried that if I did I’d just end up being seen as flaky and unreliable, or possibly whiny and demanding, but of course my manager was lovely and ordered the box straight away. I think I’m in love with it, it’s been so long since I felt this cheerful!

Even more cheerfully, it was lovely and sunny today, and when I left work at twenty past five it was actually still light. Maybe spring really isn’t far away…

Breaking the jinx

I don’t know whether it was just adding a jacket, or possibly wearing the Soviet nuclear scientist’s lapel pin I was given by Crinoline Robot, but today I was perfectly happy in my red dress.

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Jacket – Debenhams
Necklace – made by Helen
Pin – giveaway
Dress – LK Bennett
Vest – M&S
Boots – Duo

The pin is tiny, but I love that it’s a piece of genuine Cold War history.

Lapel pin

(Photo borrowed from Crinoline Robot due to my inability to take decent close-up shots – I hope she doesn’t mind, but I really did want to show you the detail.)

I do like red and purple together, and felt particularly chic when I was out and about in my lovely purple coat, with my purple Kipling handbag and the purple laptop bag I just bought to carry my notebook and papers to meetings held in different buildings to the one I work in, because my handbag doesn’t have room and I hate having to carry a notebook and papers around loose, especially in the rain.

November brights

Today’s outfit was an attempt to banish the November blues with red and orange. Sadly, the November blues are not that easy to banish (I’m starting to think the month should be outlawed under the Geneva Convention), but it was a good outfit anyway.

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Jacket and top – M&S
Necklace – charity shop
Skirt – Boden
Tights – Red Herring
Boots – Duo

Parrot among the magpies

Even in a not-terribly-formal office environment like mine, workwear tends towards neutrals. Men, by and large, are in dark trousers and pale shirts, sometimes suits; among the women there tends to be a lot of black and navy, and in the summer quite a lot of beige/cream colours. Sometimes when I’m sitting in meetings (especially when a lot of the other people in the meeting are men) I feel rather like a parrot that’s accidentally ended up in the middle of a flock of magpies.

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Necklace – Fair Trade shop
Dress and cardigan – Monsoon
Shoes – Heavenly Feet

I love colour, and I would hate to be stuck in neutrals all day at work. I think it does set me apart, though. People often remark on how colourful I look, and while the ones who say that to mean definitely mean it as a compliment, I do worry sometimes if the way I dress could be seen as too quirky and playful for a serious professional, and wonder if I should tone things down a bit to fit in more. Though I don’t really feel the need to camouflage myself in the way I did years ago when I had a wardrobe full of suits and always felt that the person I was at work was only a pale shadow of the real me. And, as this mostly happens in meetings where I’m surrounded by men, I wonder if what’s really at play, deep down, is a worry that I look feminine to the point of being girly and that looking feminine isn’t appropriate to a business environment, in which case I should damn well continue to wear what I like and prove that how I look has absolutely no bearing on my business abilities.

Springing forward

Because it’s warm and sunny and the clocks have gone forward, I have put away all my woollies (most of which have had very little wear this winter, given that I no longer work in an office where woolly jumpers are required and it’s been quite a mild winter) and swapped my tweedy skirts for those of my summer skirts which can be worn with tights while the weather’s still on the cool side. And in the process I feel like I’ve rediscovered my wardrobe; I seem to have got through the winter on a very limited set of work-appropriate clothes and haven’t had much chance to play with different combinations, but I seem to have an awful lot of summer things (not quite sure how that happened…).

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Necklace – made by Helen
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Jacket, top, skirt and tights – all M&S
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker