Friday, 31 August 2012

Three Fashion Students in Wales

Two of us are heading to London College of Fashion in September, the third is off to do an art foundation. We'd like to think then, that we know our fashion!  We're quite happy dressing for the city, but how do we handle a mini break in a caravan in Wales, complete with rain, mud and the beach? The following photo diary shows you how...

Day 1

Ruth's sparkly sensible shoes
On Monday we went to the zoo, obviously not a fashion parade, but still, I wasn't going to whip the wellies and waterproofs out, especially since it was cracking the flags.That presented it's own problem though, as I'd packed for subzero temperatures... After a minor panic I reluctantly wore the neon pink vest I'd thrown in for slobbing around instead of my oversized jumper and despite protestations from the other two, kept with the leather pants I'd planned. I finished off with my gold and black chunky necklace to make me feel slightly more dressed up, but I still felt like one of Jessie J's backing dancers. Meanwhile, unlike me, (see previous post) Ruth and Francesca both like shorts, so went for the denims. Both were laughing until the sun went in and they finished up with cold legs - cue Ruth's line of the holiday "It'll be fine when that cloud moves". Then there was the penguins who particularly enjoyed soaking and nibbling at Ruth's many tassels, such an impractical top for the zoo, but it did look fab.

Day 2

Fat Cat Cocktails
Fran had trouser issues today. Major trouser issues. The plan for the day was shopping/drinks/dinner/drinks all without going back home, which therefore called for one multipurpose outfit. After my outfit crisis yesterday, this morning it was Fran's turn as she debated between a dress and leather pants. As you can see, she went for the leathers, then spent all day wishing she hadn't. I had little sympathy since I'd survived in mine yesterday, and mine are tighter! Poor Fran though, she finished the day buying a pair of leggings, which she went on to wear back to front and complete with all the sticky labels - those trousers really messed with her head. Ruth once again decided to show off her sparkly sensible shoes today - she's definitely just rubbing it in because I'm still on my sensible shoes mission - and paired them with monochrome patterned jeans and a sheer black blouse. I meanwhile reverted completely to my city girl ways in peplum Dalmatian top, skinny black pants and a blazer. We were shopping and drinking cocktails after all, so I did have an excuse!

Day 3

Today was our last day *sob*, so outfits had to be suitable for the arduous journey home (all 2 hours and 2 trains). Scarred by yesterdays drama, Fran went for comfort in leggings and a jumper and her favourite boots. A good decision, she was much happier today, or maybe that was down to the 'fruity curry' - ask her. I went casual (by my standards) in jeans, with a blouse and blazer and added a necklace I picked up in the sale in Outfit for £2. I did spend all day claiming I looked like the Pat Butcher of the necklace world though; its just very gold and bling. Last night I'd announced while scrolling down Twitter, that Vivienne Westwood is opening her first Welsh store in Cardiff in the near future. Perhaps it was in honour, or perhaps it was just coincidence, but Ruth decided on being a walking advert for Dame Viv today, teaming a snakeskin vest and jeans with Viv shoes, bag and earrings.

So that was that, we survived, how do you think we did!?


The blog's namesake pub!
A very stylish ice cream

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Out of my fashion comfort zone and into... Spain (Shorts and Hats)

I broke tradition this year and went on holiday to Spain instead of France, I know, shocker.

To add to the shocks, whilst there I decided I would attempt 'shorts'.

Now a lot of people know how I feel about shorts; we do not have a good relationship at all... In fact, I see them as spawn of the devil, it's really that bad. They do nothing for me, therefore why should I feel any affection for them? With my broad shoulders it seems that shorts serve only make me look very disproportionate, plus I can't bear this trend for shorts so short that half your bum is on show - not fun.

But then I came across a pair of black, high-waisted, tailored shorts in the sale in H&M, seen in both pictures below. Ever one for a bit of tailoring, and as they were cheaper than an M&S Hoisin Duck Wrap, I decided to push the boat out and give them a go.

And I have to say I grew to quite like them. Protocol stated that for relaxed holiday meals, one wears sandals, so I did, though I'm still convinced they made me look a bit vertically-challenged. On my return home then, I braved the shorts once more (much to the surprise of my friends) this time with heels and I  have to say I liked them even more!

As for being out of proportion, a high necked top just made it even more extreme, but I'm good with that. I often find myself making the hench shoulders look even wider, and it seems that's how shorts have to work for me - now there's a revelation!

That said, I was comforted by the knowledge my shorts were probably some of the least offensive in Spain. One thing I learnt, is that Spanish men wear the shortest swimshorts I have ever seen. By short I mean like indecent, due to their rolled-up-with-excess-fabric-tucked-under nature. They are most often canary hued or failing that, neon orange, lime green or lilac. Their wearers strut along with slightly too much confidence, as though they're some exotic birds of paradise, in groups of varying numbers and often colour co-ordinating. I couldn't help thinking it just wasn't something you would ever see in the UK and though maybe not for the right reasons, I stared.

Anyway, having overcome the shorts obstacle, we had another one to tackle.  My mother had decreed that the climate of this particular region of Spain necessitated a hat... Let's get this clear, I don't wear hats, much as I would like to, for the simple reason that they just look absolutely ridiculous on me! I discovered how to make shorts work for me, but in all honesty, it just wasn't possible to work a hat as you can see from the picture below. I do like the hat, picked up on a 5 minute hat-buying-mission in the sales, but it is just daft and I do look soft. (Note the denim shorts though!)

So, what have I learnt from a foray into the scary worlds of Spain, Hats and Shorts?

1. Spanish men look hilarious in their swimshorts.
2. It is in fact possible for me to wear shorts, with heels, in an extremely out-of-proportion way.
3. I still can't wear hats; I only wore this because it was so big, you couldn't see it was me.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

FD: Wednesday 29th August - A Midi Experiment

We've all seen and read about ladylike trends, most of which I love - everyone knows I'm a sucker for a cropped jacket or a stiletto. But then there's this trend for midi skirts... I'm good with midi length, on a pencil skirt; it's fitted and flattering, but voluminous? I wasn't so sure.

This evening then I dug out my longest, most voluminous skirt (excluding obviously full on maxis!) and played guinea pig as I went out for dinner, all in the name of blogging. Dedication much?

Skirt, as you can see in the picture, is, technically speaking, more knee-length than midi, but it still felt very long indeed, hence the heels. I figured ankle boots might serve to be slightly 'tougher' than shoes, though I still felt a bit like an off duty ballerina, probably not helped by my choice of nude beaded cami to tuck in. In an attempt to find my waist, I added a belt and finished the whole thing with my new boucle jacket (a bit like a safety blanket in this scary voluminous world, and obviously my favourite part of the look).
So what do we think? I'm still undecided so do share your opinion - Midi good or midi bad?