Thursday, 30 June 2011

Day 172: Welcome back jack(et)

            • Cream blouse: Marks and Spencer
            • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
            • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
            • Shoe boots: Clarks
            • Pink jacket: Robertsons

I had a meeting in Newcastle this afternoon so decided to wear something more casual for the train journey. After creating an all navy look this morning I was a bit stumped about what jacket to wear. The weather isn't quite warm enough to manage without, and I am not comfortable in navy and black (which is the shade of many of my jackets). I stood in front of the wardrobe for longer than is healthy waiting for something to jump out at me and this pink jacket stepped up! I haven't worn it for a couple of years because I went off it. As I recall I think I probably wore it too much and with everything and I became bored of it. For some reason I didn't part with it (luckily) and when I tried it on again today I liked how it looked. I am pleased to rediscover an item which is pretty bang on for the weather at the moment yet a light summery colour. I just need to ensure I don't wear it to death again this time and that we maintain a healthy relationship.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Day 171: Pearls and tennis

            • White cami: Marks and Spencer
            • Grey cardi: Matalan
            • Navy palazzo pants: Marks and Spencer
            • Shoe boots: Clarks
            • Pearls and rose quartz necklace: East

Not much to say today - work was busy, made some real progress in a project I am working on which I am super pleased about and then went home and watched the tennis. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Day 170: Sun flowers

              • Pink cardi: Debenhams
              • Grey trousers: New Look
              • Flowery T: George @Asda
              • Tan wedges: Clarks
              • Wooden beads: Debenhams (gift)

The weather today was beautiful and it felt as if summer has finally arrived. It wasn't in the end quite as warm outside as it looked but it is so nice to finally see the sun. It will hopefully last all week and stay for the weekend, fingers crossed.

I do like these trousers but, like the red ones I wore on Sunday, they are very tapered and have a jodpur like shape so are maybe not the most flattering of fits.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Day 169: Bright tights

            • Black jacket: Marks and Spencer
            • Black skirt: H&M
            • Black cardi: Marks and Spencer
            • Flowery pussy bow blouse: George @Asda
            • Purple tights: Marks and Spencer
            • Wedges: Clarks

Back to work after a lovely few days off and I wore the purple tights to try and brighten up this outfit today.
Still wrestling with my fringe, though!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Day 168: Red, yellow and blue

              • Jeans: Gap
              • Mustard top: Gap
              • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
              • Shoe boots: Clarks
              • Belt: Marks and Spencer

I always feel quite brave when I wear this top and whilst I love the colour I am usually more comfortable in jewel tones and I am not convinced it suits my colouring. I do love these suede shoe boots but it is not often a dry enough day for me to dare to wear them.

    Saturday, 25 June 2011

    Day 167: Lunch then laundry

              • Pink cardi: Debenhams
              • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
              • White lst: Matalan
              • Scarf: Gap
              • Boots: Clarks

    Had a lovely day out with family and went down the coast for lunch out. Then headed home to Edinburgh to catch up with some errands, washing and usual weekend chore type activities. Still feeling on a high from Thursday night!

      Friday, 24 June 2011

      Day 166: Cold case

                  • White T: Matalan
                  • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                  • Short sleeved woolly: Il Giorno
                  • Shoes: Clarks

      When Kendi did the 30 for 30 challenge in the past she stated that over garments, coats, jackets etc need not be included in the 30 as they were a top layer worn over your outfit and in some climates absolutely essential for human survival. I note that she does have a few jackets/blazers in her 30 this time around and I am guessing that as she is in a particularly pleasant climate they are there to create a look rather than for warmth. Unfortunately, despite it being a whisper away from July I am still very much in need of over garments, hell I still have my heating on! What I am trying to day is this woolly is allowed OK!

        Thursday, 23 June 2011

        Day 165: Take That

                      • Striped T: Gap
                      • Grey cardi: Matalan
                      • Grey trousers: Gap
                      • Scarf: Gap
                      • Shoes: Clarks

        Another day off the 30 for 30 challlenge although I did incorporate at least one item.  I had big plans today (see below) and was spending most of the weekend with family. I also needed to be prepared for all types of weather and didn't have the time to plan round 30 for 30 properly.

        So what were the big plans? Well my sister and I had tickets to see Take That in concert at Hampden Park and we had an amazing night. They put on the most incredible show and the inclusion of Robbie made it about a gizillion times better! It was the most beautiful evening too which was a huge relief after the rain the night before. It was soooooo good!

        Wednesday, 22 June 2011

        Day 164: Rain break

                    • Black blouse: H&M
                    • Trousers: Marks and Spencer
                    • Boots: Clarks

          I am not wearing a 30 for 30 outfit today and the reason for this is the insane weather. As I mentioned before I hadn't predicted monsoon conditions when choosing my 30 for 30 items and the two pairs of trousers which can stand up to the elements are waiting to be washed. Still, Kendi's new and improved rules allow a degree of flexibility - thank goodness!

          Tuesday, 21 June 2011

          Day 163: Short shrift

                      • Flowery T: George @Asda
                      • Grey cardi: Matalan
                      • Black trousers: Gap
                      • Boots: Clarks

          I finally got around to getting my fringe trimmed and popped in to the salon in my lunch hour and it's too damn short. There is a fine line between it looking ok and it being too short and this has crossed the line! I know if it was any longer then I would be complaining it was left too long and would be needing to go back within a week and so I keep tugging at it as if I can persuade it to grow back!

            Monday, 20 June 2011

            Day 162: Palazzo and purple

                      • Purple T: Gap
                      • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
                      • Navy palazzo trousers: Marks and Spencer
                      • Tan wedges: Clarks
                      • Wooden beads: Primark

            As I mentioned the weather has taken a turn for the worse and the torrential rain is rather restricting my outfit options as there is no way I can wear a skirt in this weather. This has dictated todays outfit choice so, whilst I have purposely left a lot of black out of my 30 for 30 items this predominantly navy look is still rather dull. I did try and mix up the colour a bit by introducing the tan with the shoes and wooden beads. 

            Sunday, 19 June 2011

            Day 161: Spring/Summer 2011 trend challenge - Colour blocking

            So not only is this Day 2 of the 30 for 30 challenge but it has also presented me with the opportunity to create another look as part of my Vogue challenge to create all their key Spring/Summer 2011 trends from the clothes I already have in my wardrobe, since I'm banned from shopping.

            Today I am creating my 9th look and it is one of the biggest key trends of the season - colour blocking. This is one of the biggest challenges for me as colour is not within my comfort zone although I am trying hard to rectify that.

            Vogue UK's Spring/Summer 2011 catwalk report

                      • Purple T: Gap
                      • Red trousers: Gap
                      • Black wedges: Clarks
                      • Black beads: Primark

            I tend to fall in to the default option of mixing colour with black which is lazy and can cheapen the colour so this is a brave look for me, however maybe the black accessories are showing I still have some fear. 

            My fringe is getting so long that I have gripped it back today so need to go and get a trim this week. 

            I think I have proven in the case of Lori's Wardrobe versus colour blocking that a look featuring one of the season's key trends can be created without a visit to the High Street.


            Saturday, 18 June 2011

            Day 160: 30 for 30 part 2

            I was really pleased to hear that Kendi was launching another 30 for 30 challenge as I enjoyed the last one and feel my little shopping ban is due a little boost. I was even more pleased to hear that she has relaxed the rules somewhat. The premis is basically the same in that you have to pick 30 items from your wardrobe and wear only those 30 items for the next 30 days, therefore creating 30 looks and no shopping. I stuck to the challenge pretty religiously last time and by the end of the 30 days I was pretty desperate for it to end. This time it is not so  rigid and there can be flexibility in approach to suit each participant. I am determined to do a 30 day remix and use the 30 items I have chosen in this but I may not  do it for 30 days straight. Last time I had to map out all the events I had over the month and choose items accordingly which was quite limiting and I also had no breaks. This time I am going to attempt it a slightly more leisurely pace.

            After much deliberation here are my chosen 30 items, although I appear to have 29 so I may allow myself one bonus item - like a wildcard I can play part through the challenge. Am I stretching the rules too far? Might be!

            9 tops                                                                                       4 skirts

            5 trousers                                                                               2 dresses

            4 cardigans                                                                             5 shoes                              

            I have tried where possible to choose different items than before and introduce more colours to try and push my remixing capabilities. Funny how despite the careful planning and even after laying everything out to be photographed, it is not until I have posted the images that I see I have chosen similar colour palettes and particularly the skirts and trousers which are pretty much identical hues.

                    • Stripey lst: Gap
                    • Linen trousers: Marks and Spencer
                    • Scarf: Bazaar, Turkey
                    • Suede shoe boots: Clarks

            So here is outfit one and I woke this morning to find a major flaw with all my choices - torrential rain. The weather is ridiculous so I decided to spend the day indoors and dress like it was a lovely summers day. I am also desperately in need of a fringe trim so kirby grips saved the day.

            Friday, 17 June 2011

            Day 159: Florals and crystals

                      • Grey cardi: Matalan
                      • Flowery top: Primark
                      • Jeans: Matalan
                      • Boots: Clarks
                      • Necklace: Swarovski (gift)

            This outfit is a bit disappointing after yesterday's look and post, however I am about to start the 30 for 30 challenge and having not quite yet finalised all my items I am holding some back. Jeans on a Friday I can just about get away with, not because it is officially authorised but because quite a few people wear them and there is therefore safety in numbers.

            This silver necklace is studded with swarovski crystals and is actually double sided. The other side is completely covered in crystals and is much more blingy so I tend to reserve that side until cocktail hour!

            I finished work early today as have had a long and busy week and was due some overtime. It was lovely to have the afternoon to myself and I wondered home via the shops and did some window shopping.

            Thursday, 16 June 2011

            158: Shopping anthropology

                    • Dress: Phase Eight
                    • Pink cardi: Debenhams
                    • Wedges: Clarks
                    • Wooden beads: Primark
                    • Denim jacket: Gap

            I had an important meeting at work today and as I don't work in a particularly corporate environment I believe it is possible to be smart and professional without wearing a business suit. I really liked the outfit and felt professional and confident in it. I have been saving this dress as I am not convinced there are endless options for remixing it (unless you know different and I'd love to hear from you). I have never worn it with this cardi before and the pink was quite bold for me but it works and trying to balance the pattern with a less vibrant colour might have had the opposite effect.  I swear that this outfit made me feel happier today and the mix of colours and pattern actually lifted my mood. I was inspired to be creative with this outfit by a little trip to the shops yesterday and talking of which...

            I am often left comments on my blog about my shopping ban, some saying congratulations for getting so far, some saying they could never do it and some saying how the hell am I managing it? This was the one of the main reasons I set up my blog in the first place as, although not out of control (honest), I felt a drastic measure was needed to curb my shopping habit. One way of sticking to the plan was to blog about it which would add an extra dimension, keep me on the right track, get me to think about the clothes choices I was making and how I presented myself to the world and I hoped it would help me purge my gargantuan wardrobe from the items which weren't working.

            A friend asked me if I was near exhausting my wardrobe yet and in all honesty I probably haven't come close to wearing even half of it. A few weeks ago I received a comment from the lovely Debbie over at Thrifty Girl Vintage:

            I still admire your not shopping for a year pledge. I think that's pretty awesome. Do you have times that it is hard to not buy something new or does it get easier in time? And I wonder if you avoid stores to avoid temptation. I think I would have to. Especially Goodwill. Have you posted about this? I would love to read it if you have.
            So here I am a few weeks from the half way point and whilst I post about my outfits I have rarely talked of the madness which is the shopping ban. So firstly, why did I decide to go for a whole year of no shopping? In all honesty I did not really give much thought to the length of the ban and a year just seemed about right. It was long enough for it to feel like a real challenge, would take me through the four seasons and the end would always be in sight.

            So, how's it been going? Well, without sounding like an addict, I would definitely say that the first few weeks were the hardest. I started during the second week of the year which, with hindsight, wasn't the smartest move as we were in the depths of the January sales and I am a keen sale shopper. Knowing the ban lay ahead I splurged rather in the days leading up to the ban and these new purchases certainly saw me through the beginning. As I have such a vast wardrobe of clothes I initially found it easy to create new looks each day. Within a few weeks, however, I decided to participate in Kendi's 30 for 30 challenge to push myself to remix items from my wardrobe in a more creative way and to get to know more people through the blogging community. I found it tough going and when complete felt relieved to return to the rest of my wardrobe and the task of remixing daily. I decided to continue to participate in a number of bloggers challenges in order to keep me going as it pushes me to consider different looks and keeps me from resenting the fact I can't go out and buy something new.

            There is no doubt that I miss shopping. I work in the city centre and my lunch hours used to be spent walking round the shops and often buying something new to wear. I felt that I had to go cold turkey to start with so completely avoided going anywhere near the shops and I took more lunches at my desk and probably got more work done! I have realised that it is not actually the new items I miss but the thrill of being able to walk into a shop, peruse the rails, trying on multiple items before deciding and then even handing over the cash. I get a thrill from the whole shopping experience and taking something new home to live with me is just one part of it. Why else would I have items still with labels and never worn hanging in my wardrobe?  On a few occasions my family have taken pity on me and have offered to buy items for me, which sounds like a dream come true, however, so far I have not taken them up on this lovely offer. Whilst receiving a gift would be wonderful I realise it wouldn't completely provide the same thrill I get going down the shops.

            As you may know I have had my kitchen refurbished and this major purchase has certainly distracted me from the clothes shopping ban. It has meant that any money I have saved on clothes shopping has gone on the kitchen but it has been well worth it and has helped to satisfy my shopping craving.

            I am certainly enjoying the challenge to create new looks from my wardrobe and I have rediscovered items and outfits I would never have thought of before. I have slowly started to return to the shops as I love fashion and enjoy seeing what looks are in. I seem to have accepted that I can't buy clothes and enjoy the experience for what it is. There is no denying that buying something new to wear makes me happy and I have on just a couple of occasions felt the need to cheer myself up and have headed to the shops determined to shop a smile back on to my face. I have been on the brink of throwing the whole challenge away and have got as far as trying items on but have not yet followed through and made that purchase. There is nothing I have desired that badly and actually leaving the store without some needless item has cheered me up.

            I don't think we have an equivalent to Goodwill and I am not a charity shop shopper however this challenge and reading other blogs has certainly piqued my interest in vintage clothes and I am tempted to try out some thrift window shopping. That would be the ultimate test to walk away from amazing bargains and unique one off pieces and it is something I intend to try.

            Yesterday a new shop opened in Edinburgh - Anthropologie. Now, I have often seen the clothes in magazines and liked them but wasn't sure what to expect from their store. I decided to pop in and see what looks they had and I loved it. On their website they say it is about a way of life and the store was full of beautiful things to wear and for the home. There were lots of tempting items although, in all honesty, beyond my price range but I felt really inspired by the looks, the colours and the fabrics and textures. So inspired was I that I looked anew at my wardrobe today and decided to be bold and create this look.

            Wednesday, 15 June 2011

            Day 157: To ditch or not to ditch

                      • Mauve blouse: Marks and Spencer
                      • Trousers: Marks and Spencer
                      • Shoes: Clarks
                      • Black beads: Primark

            Must get out of the black trousers and a random top habit. I am toying with ditching these trousers so I can't be tempted any more.

              Tuesday, 14 June 2011

              Day 156: Work out

                        • White blouse: Marks and Spencer
                        • Grey cardi: Matalan
                        • Jacket: Marks and Spencer
                        • Trousers: Gap
                        • Scarf: Gap
                        • Boots: Clarks

              This was my outdoor outfit today as we had much better weather and had a team day out visiting a couple of major projects we have been involved in are very excited about.

              Monday, 13 June 2011

              Day 155: Blue monday

                        • Blue lst: Marks and Spencer
                        • Black cardi: Marks and Spencer
                        • Grey trousers: Marks and Spencer
                        • Boots: Clarks
                        • Flower necklace: East

              Back to work again and I have a busy week ahead which is good.

              I see that Kendi is launching another 30 for 30 challenge today and whilst I am really keen to participate I haven't had a chance to pick out my outfits yet and I want to put a fair bit of thought into it. I have started to jot down some ideas but not having a crystal ball for the weather makes the choices that bit harder. Must get it sorted by the end of the week.

              Sunday, 12 June 2011

              Day 154: Shorts and stripes

              It is Inspiration Monday again, although yet again I am taking part on Sunday. Hosted by the lovely Megan and Nora at Two Birds Boutique, every Monday participants recreate or take inspiration from a celebrity look and this week the look belongs to the lovely Liv.

              Liv Tyler


                          • Top: Gap
                          • Shorts: Marks and Spencer
                          • Tights: Marks and Spencer
                          • Wedges: Clarks
                          • Flower: H&M
                          • Sunglasses: Principles

                Liv looks lovely in her outfit which makes me think a bit of Paris. Taking that as inspiration I decided to try out the stripes and shorts, which I would normally shy away from. I also decided to kill two birds with one stone and use the outfit to participate in the Everybody Everywear lace challenge with these tights. I am not sure if they work or are an unnecessary distraction.


                Saturday, 11 June 2011

                Day 153: Vin rouge

                            • Top: M&Co
                            • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                            • Boots: Clarks

                This picture was taken as I got home from a late night with the girls. This was the first and only shot I took and I think I am both a much better photographer and model after a few glasses of the old vino rosso!

                Friday, 10 June 2011

                Day 152: FBFF Summer trends

                            • Pink cardi: East
                            • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                            • Stripey lst: Gap
                            • Pumps: Primark
                            • Necklace: H&M

                Love these shoes - they are my little nod to Chanel.

                It is Fashion Beauty Friend Friday again and today's topic is Summer Trends. 

                I feel that I have talked a lot about this topic recently. Katy posed a similar post topic on Spring trends back in early April and I discussed both the Spring and Summer season trends. Since then I have been trying to recreate them with the items I have in my own wardrobe. I still have a few to do but there are some broader themes beyond clothing styles I am keen to try.

                Colour- bright colours, colour blocking and colour clashing are key looks of the Summer and the colour palette features jewel tones, citrus and aqua hues. I have an ongong battle with colour and I plan to embrace colour over the season and be bold.

                Accessories - belts are big for summer and I have a bit of a love hate relationship with belts. I own a lot but wear them rarely and mainly for the function for which they were invented - holding up my breeks . I find they fight with my curves, however I do think that at time my outfits have a little something missimg and belts may be the answer. I am going to try and work them in to more looks throughout the Summer.

                Beauty - make up colours reflect the bright colours of the season. I don't spend as much time on my make up as I used to and whilst I used to be experimental with colours for eyes and lips I haven't done that so much lately. I vow to wear colour top to toe.

                Hair - I have been growing my hair for the last year and have had it at this length in the past but I never grow it much beyond this length. I intend to persevere with growing it and I am keen to try out some up dos to reflect the catwalk top knots and braided styles of the summer.

                Summer - Now we just need the weather to catch up to the fact that it is supposed to be Summer!

                Thursday, 9 June 2011

                Day 151: Teal time

                            • Black lst: Primark
                            • Teal skirt: H&M
                            • Black wedges: Clark
                            • Green beads: East

                  I like the teal colour of this skirt but definitely went for the easy option in matching it with black today. I did have on black opaque tights initially but soon changed as it just made the outfit that bit more drab. I need to try it again with a brighter shade - it could actually be the ideal skirt to create a colour blocking look very soon!

                  Wednesday, 8 June 2011

                  Day 150: Spring/Summer 2011 trend and Full Time Fabulous challenge - nature

                  Today is the much anticipated Full Time Fabulous June event hosted by the extremely cool Kristy. This is the first time I have participated in an event hosted by this group and the remit was to create a post inspired by a Spring/Summer 2011 trend. It is a topic which is right up my street given my very own Spring into Summer challenge where I have been challenging myself to create all the key Spring/Summer 2011 trends from the clothes I already have in my wardrobe, since I'm banned from shopping for a year.

                  I have been using Vogue UK's Spring/Summer 2011 catwalk report as inspiration and so far have created outfits following these trends: Modern craft, Nude, Cover ups and Nature, Blue, Smart Sportswear, 70s and Denim.

                  Rather than try a brand new look I have chosen to revisit nature as I combined it with cover ups before but didn't really truly investigate what was a key trend on the catwalks. What is interesting about the interpretation of the styles inspired by nature is the bold interpretation, use of pattern and very strong colours.

                  Vogue UK's Spring/Summer 2011 catwalk report

                          • Dress: Marks and Spence
                          • Cardi Marks and Spence
                          • Shoes: Clarks
                          • Belt: H&M

                  My wardrobe is not overrun with florals but I do like the how this dress interprets flowers and butterflies in such a bold pattern and hey I'm wearing colour peeps!