Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Day 234: Summer's end

              • Teal skirt: H&M
              • Black T: Gap
              • Grey cardi: Matalan
              • Green beads: Primark
              • Wedges: Clarks

I fear that the skirt and bare leg look won't be around for much longer as the season is definitely on the turn. I do enjoy my winter wardrobe, probably more than my summer one, and every year look forward to being able to get out the woollies and thick tights at the summer's end. This year I am feeling a bit different however, and have some trepidation about it. I started my challenge at the beginning of the year, in the depths of winter, and as I cannot shop for anything new I am a bit fearful that I will spend the last few months of my challenge just recycling old items I wore 9 months ago. The countdown is on to try and get as much wear as I can from my summer things and start to identify items which can be adapted for Autumn/Winter. I hope that I have learned enough over the last few months that I will return to these old items with a new and different eye for remixing.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Day 233: Matching grey

            • Grey trousers: Marks and Spencer
            • Purple T: Gap
            • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
            • Shoes: Clarks
            • Beads: East

I am sure I would normally mix black with these grey trousers but since I am trying to cut down on black I went for navy. I think it actually goes quite well.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Day 232: Colour mixing

            • Grey top: Gap
            • Black skinnies: Marks and Spencer
            • Green cardi: Marks and Spencer
            • Tan wedges: Clarks
            • Wooden beads: Primark

The weekend just seems to fly by and all too soon it is Monday morning, again.

I was complimented on my outfit by a colleague at work today which was lovely. Those who know about my blog are increasingly surprised when I appear in something new. Of course these items are not new but have just been found lurking in the back of my wardrobe. Some of them I have never worn at work and some haven't been worn yet this year. I put together colours in this outfit that I might never have before and whilst they are not natural bedfellows I think they worked quite well.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day 231: Striped to the max

I am joining in with Inspiration Monday, although yet again I am taking part at the weekend. 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 another Olivia, Olivia Wilde.

Olivia Wilde


              • Maxi dress: Primark
              • Striped T: Marks and Spencer
              • Suede shoeboots: Clarks

I don't have many horizontal striped items and certainly nothing to create the head to toe look so I thought I would take elements of the styling and incorporate the stripes, the length, the shoeboots and a bit of the leather with the belt. I quite my interpretaion which is interesting as I am not too sure about Olivia's look which I think is maybe a bit too young for me.


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Day 230: Market place

            • Purple lst: Gap
            • Black skinnies: Marks and Spencer
            • Purple cardi: Marks and Spencer
            • Silver pumps: Primark
            • Necklace: East

I was feeling a little tired this morning after last nights escapades so I had a pretty chilled out day. I went to the farmer's market and bought lots of fresh produce, veggies, bread, eggs and treated myself to a hog roast roll for my lunch. The rest of the day was spent catching up on chores and pottering about.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Day 229: Social engagements

            • Patterned tunic: Marks and Spencer
            • Cardi: Marks and Spencer
            • Leggings: Gap
            • Pumps: Primark

I had a leaving do at work today and was meeting up with a friend for dinner so I was quite the social butterfly this evening. I didn't have time to go home after work and change so I wore this outfit all day and into evening and just added some large silver earrings for evening. I felt ok in this outfit but I can see from the images it does not quite work. The cardigan is too big and has become a bit shiny from ironing and the look just isn't smart enough for an evening out.

Oh well, I live and learn.

    Thursday, 25 August 2011

    Day 228: Pansies and prosecco

              • Dress: George @Asda
              • Leggings: Marks and Spencer
              • Cardi: Marks and Spencer
              • Wedges: Clarks
              • Wooden beads: Primarks
              • Tan belt: H&M

    I always feel really comfortable in this dress and there is just something about the look which gives me confidence.

    This was actually my second outfit of the day as I went out after worked and had time to nip home and make a quick change. I had drinks and dinner with some old friends and some new and had a lovely evening.

    Wednesday, 24 August 2011

    Day 227: Not nautical

              • Striped T: Gap
              • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
              • Red skirt: Primark
              • Tan wedges: Clarks
              • Wooden beads: Primark

    This linen skirt has been lurking in my wardrobe for a couple of years and never worn. I decided to create an outfit round it today so I could get the labels of it and give it a shot. Typically it is now a bit big for me so it hangs a bit lower than it should. The material is also quite stiff and as it is fully lined it sticks out rather. I wonder if it will hang differently after the first wash. 

    So I created this look and although the skirt is pretty bright I liked it. I was only in work five minutes, however when someone asked me if I was going sailing. Now I agree the look has a bit of a nautical theme and whilst I am happy with a bit of constructive criticism I thought this was a bit rude! I have definitely worn the navy stripes on the top half before and I am not sure a red linen skirt screams seafaring so I am a touch perplexed and I must confess felt a little self consious for the rest of the day.

    Tuesday, 23 August 2011

    Day 226: Take on tuesday

              • Blouse: Marks and Spencer
              • Black skinnies: Marks and Spencer
              • Grey cardi: Marks and Spencer
              • Wedges: Clarks
      I spent most of the day out of the office at an event and did not get home until after 9.30. On days like this I try to dress smartly as I am represting work, yet I need to appear approachable to the people I will be meeting. I also need to be comfortable for a long day and I wear layers as there is no way of knowing whether the location of the event is going to be ice cold or roasting hot. This outfit was a good choice for the day.

      Monday, 22 August 2011

      Day 225: Girly power

                • Pink/purple skirt: Marks and spencer
                • Flowery T: George @Asda
                • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
                • Silver pumps: Primark

      I am feeling girly in this look today with the flowery top, the pink skirt and silver ballerina pumps, my outfits don't often get more feminine than this.

      I have a busy week ahead with lots going on in and out of the office. It feels like everything is now back to normal after the summer holidays!

      Sunday, 21 August 2011

      Day 224: Inspiration Sunday

      I am joining in with Inspiration Monday, although yet again I am taking part on the weekend. 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 Olivia Palermo.



                • White top: Marks and SPencer
                • Black linen jacket: Marks and Spencer
                • Black shorts: Marks and Spencer
                • Sandals: Clarks
                • Clutch: Primark
                • Beads: Primark

      From what I have seen, Olivia Palermo appears to be a right little madam, however there is no denying the girl's got style. I totally understand why Megan and Nora have picked this look however you can tell by how uncomfortable I look that this style is just not for me. Shorts? Are you crazy?

      I've spent most of this weekend out on the bike so for the most have been in cycling clothes. I have definitely caught the sun again and from the pinkness of my cheeks I think I need to rethink the factor of my suntan lotion!

      Saturday, 20 August 2011

      Day 223: Cycling attire

                • Black T: Gap
                • Black cropped trousers: Marks and Spencer
                • Grey hoodie: Marks and Spencer
                • Trainers: Gola

      I went on a long bike ride today but after last week I avoided the hills and stuck to the canal towpath.

      It is about time I blogged my cycling clothes even though they are far from stylish. I of course, haven't been able to buy any outfits just for cycling so my attire is cobbled together from clothes I already have and usually wear to the gym. I have two requisites for choosing cycling clothes and that is comfort and weather appropriateness. I tend to alternate between pairs of leggings and these trackies and various T shirts and hooded tops. The weather is very mixed at the moment, sunny periods, windy and showery so I always wear layers and carry a cagoule. The wind I find problematic as I am prone to earache in a gale so I have a windproof headband under my helmet. And the helmut is a must and has very cute hints of pink!

      Friday, 19 August 2011

      Day 222: Styled in sepia

                • Black T: Gap
                • Grey skirt: Marks and Spencer
                • Silver pumps: Primark

      So I thought I would try a bit of sepia today, just for a change. I know you can't really see the colours of the outfit but as the top is black and the skirt is grey there's not much to miss. The black top has a little ruffle down each side and the back has button detail so it is a bit fancier than just a plain T. However, it is a pretty relaxed look as I had a day off today.

      Thursday, 18 August 2011

      Day 221: Gifted

                  • Green T: Marks and Spencer
                  • Black trousers: Gap
                  • Cardi: Marks and Spencer
                  • Pumps: Primark
      This cardigan is a new item, although not something I purchased, it was a birthday present from my mum. I didn't stipulate when I started my shopping ban whether I was going to accept gifts or not and I have and don't have a problem with it (not surprising). It was actually lovely to get a new item and with such a distinctive detailing on the back.

      Wednesday, 17 August 2011

      Day 220: Full Time Fabulouso

      Today I have created a look round the theme of inspiration as part of Full Time Fabulous. This month the theme is open as long as it is a visual representation of what inspires. There is so much that does inspire me, that rather than describe everything from family, friends, celebrities, women in the street, magazines, books, film, art, music, architecture, nature, weather, landscapes, the sea, travel and other bloggers.... need I go on, I decided to focus on one thing.

      Whilst I am a proud Scot, in looking round my home there is no denying the influence of another country and that is Italy. I have spent a fair bit of time in Italy and in particular Florence and I love everything about it, the culture, the food, the people, the style, the fashion the weather, the scenery.....

      Today I have created a look influenced by Italian style and here is how it is represented throughout my home.

       Water colours of Florence
                                                        Photograph of the Ponte Vecchio and The Three Graces 

      Details of  Boticelli's Birth of Venus
                                                                                        Florentine skyline and my doorbell

       Olives, pasta and olive oil                            Florentine images

      Paul Gauguin reproduction in oils by an Italian artist, commissioned, purchased and framed in Italy, on one of my trips, and shipped back to Scotland.

                • Black cami: Tu @Sainsbury
                • Yellow top: Gap
                • Black cardi: Marks and Spencer
                • Black skinnies: Marks and Spencer
                • Wedges: Clarks
                • Scarf: Oscar de la Renta
                • Oversize sunnies: Marks and Spencer

      I have made every effort to try to create the look but I wish I naturally had the effortless chic that Italian women posses. I normally refer to this top as mustard but for today's purposes it is ochre or Tuscan yellow. Whilst the silk scarf is Oscar de la Renta (who is originally from the Dominican Republic, don't you know) the pattern is most definitely reminiscent of Italian designer style. And the sunglasses need no explanation.

        Tuesday, 16 August 2011

        Day 219: Dress days

                  • Dress: East
                  • Pink Mary Janes: Primark

          When I last wore this dress I noted how it would be difficult to wear it again in a new way. This time I ditched the pink cardi and changed the shoes, but where do I go from here? I don't own a brown, cream or baby pink cardigan which might all work with the pattern.  Maybe I should try a complete contrast like a red, green or blue? Is a cardi even the only option? Last year I wore it with denim so maybe I could recreate that look? Hmmm, by the time I work this out it could be winter.

          Monday, 15 August 2011

          Day 218: Pink monday

                • White T: Gap
                • Pink cardi/top: Gap
                • Skirt: Marks and Spencer
                • Black jacket: Marks and Spencer
                • Pumps: Clarks

          I haven't really worn this pink Gap top as I think it looks a bit frumpy. I decided to give it another try today and when I planned the outfit I intended to wear it as a cardigan. Unfortunately, when I put it on I remembered that it is quite narrow across the shoulders and because the fabric is thin, with no structure it doesn't hold its shape on my shoulders. So, I had to wear it buttoned up and I think it might be destined for the bin bag of doom!

          Sunday, 14 August 2011

          Day 217: Show time

                      • T shirt: Marks and Specer
                      • Grey cardi: Matalan
                      • Jeans: Matalan
                      • Pumps: Clarks
                      • Necklace

          I finall succumbed and decided I would join in some of the festivities today and went to see a show. I went with my aunt so it was lovely to see her and the play we saw was good. Whether I'll do anything else I am not sure, we'll see.

          Saturday, 13 August 2011

          Day 216: Inspiration Saturday

          I am joining in with Inspiration Monday again, having missed a few weeks, although I am taking part a couple of days early on Saturday. 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 supermodel, Karolina Kurkova.

          Karolina Kurkova


                    • Shirt: Marks and Spencer
                    • White T: Gap
                    • Grey skinnies: Marks and Spencer
                    • Pumps: Primark
                    • Sunnies: Dorothy Perkins

          I only have one pair of white trousers and they are wide legged linen trousers so not quite right for this look. Despite having some doubts about these trousers last weekend I felt they would work well in creating this look, so thought sod it!

          I wasn't in this outfit for long as headed out for the afternoon on my bike so was in my bike gear for much of the afternoon. I haven't got as much use of my bike since I got it as the weather has been so rubbish, but today I was confident it would stay dry. I have been researching all the bike routes and cycle paths locally and was keen for a new adventure so off I went and after much time and effort made it down to Queensferry. Until now I have been pretty much sticking to the canal towpath which is flat as a pancake whereas the route down to the coast put me through my paces with some gruelling hills. The weather, as you might guess, let me down and as you can tell from this picture by the time I arrived I was a bit wet and absolutely shattered. Anticipating the ride home would be even more challenging, shamefully, I decided to take the train home which was an experience in itself. The Ferry Fair was on so there were lots of people enjoying the festivities and the train was mobbed with revellers. I wasn't able to put my bike in the designated bike areas so had to stand with it in the carriage doorway. I was soon spotted by a group of young men who had obviously been partaking in some alcoholic refreshment and they decided to serenade me with a verse or two of Queen's I want to ride my bicycle - mortifying!!

          Friday, 12 August 2011

          Day 215: Cracked it

                      • Green T: Debenhams
                      • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                      • Cardi: Gap
                      • Boots: Clarks
                      • Beads: Primark

          It is Fashion Beauty Friend Friday again and it has been quite some time since I participated so it is good to be back. There have been a few changes to the set up of the group and how it works and I must confess I have got a little lost with where things are at. I think I may be missing some of the emails so I will need to check I am on the right lists and make more effort myself to keep in touch with the group.

          Kendra from Thrifty and Shameless is hosting and the theme today is creative manicures.

          I have talked before of how I am a near reformed nail biter who is prone to lapses. When my nails are good I love to wear nail varnish and I am experimental in my colour choices. This year I have bought more polish and tried different colours since I am on a year long shopping ban as it has been a way of buying something new which can jazz up my outfits. I have had professional acryllics and I have posted about Sparkly polish, my experience of a Shellac manicure and how the Shellac lasted.

          I was keen to try the new crackle effect polish and last week when browsing at the makeup counter one lunchtime I decided to give it a try. I didn't want to spend a fortune as I wasn't sure if I would like it and it isn't really an every day look. I worked out that the key was to get a crackle color which contrasts with the base colour but unfortunately there was little choice and even fewer colours. I picked the black as I knew it would contrast with every colour I own but it is still a pretty bold statement. Rather than starting out and doing a full manicure and finishing with the crackle polish I decided to try it out on top of this mink coloured shade I was already wearing. The finish isn't entirely perfect but with a bit of practice I think it will work quite well and am keen to see how it looks with different shades underneath. I think the black and mink together creates a look which is reminiscent of leopard print.


          Thursday, 11 August 2011

          Day 214: Rainy grey

                    • Orange T: East
                    • Grey cardi: Matalan
                    • Grey trousers: H&M
                    • Black pumps: Clarks
                    • Black flower necklace: East

          I know I was going to try not to talk about the weather but it is having so much influence on how I dress at the moment that I can hardly avoid it. We have had twice the rainfall so far this month than we normally get in the whole of August and we are not even half way through yet. It has not stopped raining in three days and it is absoloutely miserable. It is impossible to wear skirts, dresses or anything which involves light fabrics and little summer shoes. The only way I could wear skirts at the moment is with thick tights and knee high boots and I am not quite ready to go down that road and give up on summer yet. That leaves trousers and I don't have that many pairs of 'work' trousers especially as I am trying to avoid the black trouser look.

          I have been considering ditching these trousers as they are an odd shape and shade of grey which isn't accurately represented in this image. The grey looks quite cheap and I just don't think they create an elegant look. I was determined to downsize my wardrobe during this year and so far I have a large bin bag in to which I have put about half a dozen items just waiting for me to fetch them back out before they get taken to the charity shop. I need to come up with a plan to throw some things out. I know all the rules of how to do this I just find it so hard to make decisions and let go. Maybe I should set myself a target and some deadlines and get to it.

          Wednesday, 10 August 2011

          Day 213: Back on track

                    • Maroon top: Marks and Spencer
                    • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                    • Pink cardi: Debenhams
                    • Boots: Clarks
                    • Beads: George @Asda

          I am so pleased to have finally caught up with all my posts. There is no doubt that blogging daily takes a great deal of time, effort and committment and whilst I have the last two in abundance there is never ever enough time. I have found it pretty frustrating to have fallen so far behind and whilst it happens to everyone occasionally I have never let it get out of hand like that. I am not entirely sure when I lost my way or why but I am determined to get back on track.

          There is no doubt I have lost some readers and for that I am truly sorry. I have also lost a few connections within the blogging world as haven't had the time to read the blogs I love or communicate with those who inspire. I also haven't been participating in some of the regular blogging features and challeneges so have lost a little of my own motivation and inspiration. I'm glad to be back!

          Tuesday, 9 August 2011

          Day 212: Mix and match

                      • Striped lst: Gap
                      • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
                      • Skirt: Primark
                      • Wedges: Clarks
                      • Wooden beads: Primark
                      • Denim jacket: Gap

          I am joining in with Mix and Match day over at Everybody Everywear which means incorporating pattern mixing in to today's outfit.  I have always been a bit matchy matchy in my approach to styling but since I have been on my year long shopping ban and creating a new outfit every day I have come to take greater risks and have been venturing into the world of pattern mixing. I have found that stripes tend to go with many other patterns and so far they have featured a few times. I am pretty keen to try out some other looks and I should really feature tartan at some point particularly as it is my national dress. I believe the key to pattern clashing is to choose a common accent colour, as I have with navy, and mix very different types of  patterns such as florals and geometrics. 

          I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else wore the look and if they followed these 'rules' but you know what they say rules are made to be broken.

          Everybody, Everywear | Pattern Mixing

          Monday, 8 August 2011

          Day 211: Festival fun

                    • Flowery blouse: George @Asda
                    • Navy cardi: Marks and Spencer
                    • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                    • Silver pump: Primark

          It feels a bit like the whole world has stopped for a holiday, except me. There is about one third of the staff in my office at work and the telephone is hardly ringing and the inbox is spookily quiet.

          It is Festival time in Edinburgh which means as soon as you step outside the door (home or office) you are bombarded with people on holiday going to shows, coming from shows, promoting shows or starring in shows, all not at work. It is impossible to explain just how huge the Edinburgh Festival is, how many people descend on the city for the three weeks and just how mad Edinburgh gets. Some years I embrace it and get involved and other years I skulk around trying not to let it disrupt my life too much. It is 5 days in and I haven't yet made up my mind whether I'm going to be a party animal or a party pooper.  

          Saturday, 6 August 2011

          Day 209: Out and about

                      • White shirt: Gap
                      • Grey trousers: Gap
                      • Shoes: Clarks
                      • Necklace: Primark

          I am not going to start again with the weather rant posts but today was a headscratcher. I had a lovely day out with my mum and the plan was to wander round town, have lunch out and see where the day took us. I needed my walking shoes and whilst it was warm and muggy it ended up raining all afternoon which really put a dampner on proceedings but far from spoilt a lovely day out.

          Friday, 5 August 2011

          Day 208: Back to black

                    • Flowery top: Primark
                    • Black cardi: Marks and Spencer
                    • Trousers: Marks and Spencer
                    • Shoes: Clarks

          Aaahhh! Have I fallen back into the black hole of black work trouser wearing? Possibly or hopefully it is just a one off lapse in concentration! Fingers crossed.

            Thursday, 4 August 2011

            Day 207: Achilles heel

                        • Top: Gap
                        • Cardi: Matalan
                        • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                        • Beads: George @Asda
                        • Shoes: Clarks

            Despite my cheery disposition in this picture I just didn't feel my best today. This outfit is pretty reminiscent of the outfit I wore on Day 200 which worked and I felt confident in but not this one. Whilst it photographs ok something just didn't feel right. I think the shoes were the problem to be honest. These are my  practical shoes. I wear them if I need to walk any distance or if my feet are feeling sore which they often are (don't start me on getting shoes to fit). I walked a lot yesterday in slight heels and my feet are sufferring today. I also have a busy Saturday planned which will involve being on my feet all day so I need to try and give my feet a rest before then. Sometimes I think a heel makes all the difference, not necessarily radically changing the look of an outfit, but to how we carry ourselves and feel inside.

              Wednesday, 3 August 2011

              Day 206: To buy or not to buy

                        • Dress: Marks and Spencer
                        • Jeggings: Marks and Spencer
                        • Cardi: Marks and Spencer
                        • Wedges: Clarks
                        • Beads: Primark

              I was out of the office for most of the day delivering a presentation to one of the organisations we work with. The weather was good and it was a fairly informal event so this outfit was fine for the occasion. This dress looks a lot shorter and almost like a tunic than than when I wore it last as a dress with no layer underneath. It must have shrunk a bit in the wash or maybe it was a tad indecent when I wore it last?

              I popped in to a shop in my lunch hour and before I knew it I found myself with a handful of dresses in the changing rooms. I came so close to buying one of them and it was torturous. I was having a full on row with myself in the changing room, alternatively telling myself just to get it one minute and then trying to talk myself out of it the next. I ended up leaving with nothing which I am sure was the right decision but it will be interesting to see if I have pangs of longing over the next few days for that dress I, for one moment, felt I could not live without.