Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Fourteen or "ROAR"

Yep, there was a lion loose in Essex!  Umm... and then there wasn't.  After all the initial hoohah and tales of country ramblers fleeing from a (potentially) man-eating beast, said beast was swiftly downgraded to 'a large cat'.  Not a 'big cat', just a 'large one'.  A tubby tabby perhaps?  Either way, the police aren't looking for it anymore.

So what has all this got to do with my clothes, then eh?  Nothing, to be perfectly honest!  My own little not-so-fat cat went for an extended holiday to my boyfriend's parents to be kindly looked after whilst we went Up North (well, to the Midlands) to visit my own parents for the bank holiday weekend.  My boyfriend is from London and therefore thinks anywhere north of Watford is a totally different world.  So we went to bingo!  And saw a pub covers band!  And the pièce de résistance, we went to a monkey forest!  Actual real monkeys, not pretend ones, roaming about in the Staffordshire countryside.  Take that, Essex Lion!

Here's a selection of my outfits over the weekend, each featuring some Topshop Petite stretchy Leigh jeans. They're the perfect length and fit for moi so I wear them to death.

Apologies for the washed out colour, but you get the idea, surely.
 Burnout T-shirt: Topshop (Size 8)
Vest (underneath): H&M (Size 8)
Owl Necklace: Urban Outfitters
Bordeaux Leigh Jeans: Topshop Petite (Size 10)
Plimsolls: Primark (Size 5)

And how about a closeup of my freshly done nails?  Aiight.  This is Aqua Cool by Rimmel PRO:

More like a Wedgwood blue in real life.  Wedgwood is also in Staffordshire, fact fans.
Anyone who has been out on the town anywhere in England which isn't London, will know that the majority of girls get absolutely dressed up to the nines - just watch any episode of TOWIE or Geordie Shore to get the idea.  I refuse to adhere to these conventions and so for a Saturday night out in Stafford channelled Camden as opposed to Colchester.  Check me out with not a short skirt, high heel or fake eyelash in sight:

I was only going to a Wetherspoons after all.
The Doors T-shirt: River Island (Size 8)
Acid Wash Leigh Jeans: Topshop (Size 10)
Plimsolls: Primark (Size 5)

In tribute to the forest visit, I wore my Topshop monkey necklace pretty much all weekend. If you want a good look at it, check out Post Four ...  In the meantime, here's one of the real monkeys.  So awesome.

Hey hey, it's a monkey!

There ARE monkeys in the distance there, honest.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Thirteen or "Several Shades of Grey"

Roll up roll up, the circus is in town!  It isn't actually, but the combination in this picture of the bow tie, the red lips and the deckchair stripey big-top-alike backdrop, you'd be forgiven for thinking so.  No water-squirting flowers or clownish flipper feet here though... in fact the boots are a size smaller than usual... most odd.  Is there something afoot with Topshop sizes??  Speaking of which, this Topshop dress is also in a smaller size than usual.  Hmmn. Alas I haven't lost any weight and I certainly don't have Incredible Shrinking Feet, so what's going on, Topshop?  Eh?  Eh?

Dress: Topshop (Size 6)
Necklace: Tatty Devine
Boots: Topshop (Size 3)

I found myself inadvertently reflecting the dull, cloudy weather in this all grey and black outfit, not exactly suited to August.  But then, London's weather has ignored the calendar expectations, so I dressed accordingly.  I decided to wear my fantastic Tatty Devine bow tie necklace, together with the reddest lipstick I could find, to brighten everything up - this one is MAC's Lady Danger.

Lady Danger lipstick by MAC: yep, it really is THIS BRIGHT
I was absolutely delighted to find these boots.  They're incredibly similar to the Ambush boots in Topshop last winter which inexplicably I never bought despite coveting them so... and then seeing pretty much every woman in London wearing them, just taunting me with them, knowing I'd missed out.  Pah.  I got these ones instead and they're fabulous, so there!

Note the cute frill socks, also Topshop
Tatty Devine necklace: SO CUTE!
I had a closeup of London's grey clouds the other day when I was lucky enough to go to the restaurant at the very top of The Gherkin as part of a Searcy's venue viewing 'safari'.  The view was totes amazeballs, obvs.  Although it struck me just how grey London looks from above.  Even the Thames is a greyish shade of sludgey green.  Whatev-uh, check out this incredible view!

The view from 180m high: Tower of London - check.  Tower Bridge - check.
City Hall Goldfish Bowl - check.
I took in several other Searcy's venues that day including 30 Euston Square (still a building site) and the Champagne Bar at St Pancras, amongst others.  In case you're interested, here's some more pics from the day, also featuring my most regular (coerced into) fashion photographer, the lovely Andrea:

At the 30 Euston Square building site.  Not dressed for a rave.

On the platform at Searcy's St Pancras.  Not drinking champagne, unfortunately.

The top of the Gherkin, from below.  Not something you see every day.
Sunday, 19 August 2012

Twelve or "Postcards from the Edge (of Italy)"

It's BOILING in London right now.  You know where else is just as hot, arguably more so? Italy, that's where.  So it's fortunate that I went there for a week's holiday and actually managed to experience some summer after months of endless British rain.  Pedantics would say my timing was off as my trip abroad coincided with the start of the current UK heatwave, but whatevs... I was in ITALY, the land of pizza, pasta, ice cream and a shedload of famished mosquitos.

I stayed in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region (try saying that after a few too many Proseccos) in northeast Italy and the scenery was breathtaking - picture perfect rustic villages and miles and miles of vineyards stretching off to the distant Dolomites.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it was idyllic.  I spent a day sampling the delights of one of those vineyards and then wobbled off back home by bike afterwards.  Drinking and riding is NOT advisable!  Another day was spent at Lignano beach and yet another in Venice which I swiftly fell in love with.  I hear it is only just a close second to the Vegas Venice, which is also on my list.

I most definitely failed at photographing the majority of my outfits as I was so taken with my surroundings, so let's treat this post as an advert for holidaying in Northern Italy!  Here's what I wore in Venice:

Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square), Venice.  Hotter than the sun.
 Sunglasses: Therapy at House of Fraser
Dress: H&M (Size 8)
Sandals: Topshop (Size 5)

As usual, here's a close-up of the print, no point in keeping it under lock and key, boom boom:

I guess I can show you my vineyard-visiting outfit too, although it's not one of my best.  It was chosen in the knowledge of having to visit said vineyard by vélo (and YES I know that's French, not Italian).

Vest: H&M (Size 8)
Shorts: Fat Face (Size 8)
Vineyards & Dolomites (Humongous)

I'll finish off now with a vertical slideshow of holiday snaps, a pictorial boast, if you will. Starting with my boyfriend sampling some wine at the vineyard:

Not drunk yet?  Er...
Vine time
Still not drunk, no siree
And some more of Venice, where it took an admirable amount of self-control to stop myself recreating Madonna's 'Like a Virgin' video:

Rialto Bridge
Obligatory gondola shot.  No Cornettos here.
I <3 Venice!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Eleven or "Taking it to the Maxi"

There are certain style rules that shorter women are supposed to adhere to.  For example: if one wishes to wear stripes, they should only be of the vertical variety; one should always wear heels to increase one's stature; one should avoid long skirt lengths if one doesn't want to be perceived as akin to an Oompa-Loompa... the list goes on.  Whilst many of these tips certainly do make sense, in this post I shall laugh defiantly in their faces, turn on my (flat) heel and flounce away.

So what have I done that has flouted the Short Rules?  I've had a maxi week!  Yeah... and what?  Admittedly MY only problem with maxi skirts and dresses, which I've mentioned before, is that I invariably have to pay an additional tenner or so to get them shortened.  Some shops do indeed stock petite versions of maxi dresses, but I haven't been fortunate enough to find what I wanted when I was looking.  However, those I have managed to find are oh so cool (of course!).  Here's a couple, the first of which I'm also breaking the horizontal stripe rules, bwahahaa...

Shirt: Primark via eBay (Size 8)
Vest: Topshop (Size 8)
Dress, worn as Skirt: Forever 21 (Size S)
Bag: Topshop
Plimsolls: Primark (Size 5)

Next up, this maroon maxi has made an appearance before, but I love it so and it goes with so much in my wardrobe, it will definitely be on here again.  Bravo, Primark!

T-shirt: Topshop (Size 8)
Skirt: Primark (Size 8)
Converse: Converse (Size 4.5)

Close up of my T-shirt, just 'cos.
Necklace: H&M
Belt: H&M 

I've not finished yet!  There's another maxi skirt that I've had my eye on for AGES but haven't yet justified buying it, mainly because it's not dissimilar to the Forever 21 maxi dress... it's by Sparkle & Fade at Urban Outfitters and I keep seeing people wearing it, so then I'm compelled to go visit it and try it on (more than once, ngngngnnn) and I STILL haven't bought it.  Gah, I just should!  Here it is, so you can appreciate just how fabulous it is and how good it would look on me.  I WANT IT!

Dear Fashion Fairy, I've been good all year, can you leave this under my pillow, pretty please?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Ten or "Kawaii, ne"

One of my favourite subjects to bore people with is the time I spent living and working in Japan.  I was there for three years during the ‘Noughties’ and of course absolutely LOVED it… I wouldn’t have stayed that long, otherwise!  Before I went I thought my time would be well spent researching my constant quest of fashion for short people, where better than going to the source?!  However, it didn’t quite go that way.  Yes, I am indeed the same height as your average Japanese woman, however I had failed to realize that my body shape would be completely at odds with what would be the norm over there… also the regular fashions in the shops just didn’t do it for me – the conservative styles and pastel colour palettes of that time completely jarred with my personal indie-girl (then) style of skinny jeans / retro T-shirts / Converse.

Now a LOT of people have analysed Japanese fashion and culture far better and more in depth than me (as well as a lot more recently!).  However, my main observation at the time were lots of different ‘tribes’:

  • the school girls in their crazily-short skirts and white leg warmers; 
  • the office ladies in their black or navy ultra-conservative suits; 
  • the surfer girls with their bleached blonde hair, fake tan and reverse-panda painted-on white circles round the eyes; 
  • the Victorian-style goths in black or pink frills and lace; 
  • the Manga girls... amongst others. 

Despite the wildly varying sartorial offerings, all these girls seemed to be united in the overriding common theme of Japanese style - KAWAII!!  (That's 'cute' if you didn't already know... by this I mean cute like a kitten, not cute like American for 'attractive').  'Cute' I can work with, it's one of my Japanese hangovers.  Now I LOVE cute... show me an outfit that looks like it belongs on a 5-year old and I'll be wearing it!

Take this outfit below, for instance.  This Primark shirt has My Little Ponies on it, surely it was made for me.

Shirt: Primark (Size 8)
Skirt: American Apparel (Size XS)
Ankle Socks: Topshop
Boots: Primark (Size 4)

Necklace: Topshop

In case you're interested, I've found a couple of examples of the fashion 'tribes' I was talking about..

Manga Mania

Victorian Goth... that's what I call this look, anyways


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