I am even wearing yellow! I could not resist this jacket.
Yellow is fun I've decided.
What is your fun colour for spring?
I am even wearing yellow! I could not resist this jacket.
Though I know I don't suit it - yellow makes my skin look sallow, but..
,, with a colour that does suit me next to my face, I think I can get away with it....just.
A little search through the wardrobe uncovered a surprising number of yellow/lime/amber accessories.(photographed on the yes, golden yellow duvet cover on the bed). There are two yellow paintings on the walls, yellow pears and lemons on the dining table, a yellow cushion on the sofa. I'm obessed!
Yellow is fun I've decided.
What is your fun colour for spring?
There is a huge selection of rucksacks on this new-to-me site called Zalando - easy to use, free delivery and returns....I have ordered a small size not dissimilar to this one which I posted about recently.
With reference to yesterday's post, this post epitomizes the 'style' or character I am now working towards in the garden. Simple (if not simple to actually do!).
Katherine asked which garden design books I would recommend. John Brookes Garden Design Book is a favourite. Based on sound principles, he really spells it out. Excellent.
Anything by Beth Chatto is worth devouring. She is an artist with plants, and her word descriptions are poetic. While wonderfully knowledgeable she does not spell out her design princlples in the way that Brookes does - you have to analyse her photographs to figure out what it is that she is doing that makes her work so good. In The Dry Garden is a little diagram of overlapping asymmetrical triangles which represent a system which she has developed and which earned her a string of Gold Medals at Chelsea...
Architectural Foliage by Jill Billington has very good illustrations of design elements.
Rejuvenating a Garden by Stephen Anderton is invaluable if the garden you are working on is not a blank slate. Completely trustworthy advice.
For inspirational design ideas you can't beat Andrea Jones The Garden Source (especially as it has ten photos of our garden in it! Thrilling!)
On a final style note I had my hair cut today. Yay!
I've not posted anything in this category for a long time. (There are lots of posts in August 2014 - see sidebar.)
That may be because since the last time I sorted out my wardrobe I've been very happy with it and needed to buy very little but the odd replacement T-shirt.
However circumstances change and as I have an eye condition that means I can no longer drive and find myself using public transport more often, I am having to re-learn travelling light. (There was a time when I could go away for a weekend with a change of underwear and a toothbrush!)
I found this beautiful Danish backpack in a new shop in Great Western Road in Glasgow called Hoos.
Well, maybe not forever..
If you have picked out your favourite outfit from your clothes and analysed it (see yesterday's post) now you simply need to replicate it.
I know what suits me, what I feel comfortable and confident in and am now asking myself -
Do I have a dressier version of this/a warm enough version/a different coloured version/a smarter version? - whatever my/your lifestyle requires.
This is a good time to make a needs/wants list to take with you when you go shopping.
Phew! My brain is hurting a bit but I think it's been worth it, and I won't have that wedding experience again ever (see here).
Which makes me ask myself what might the wedding or party version of my look be? Narrow silk trousers, silk top, cropped dressier jacket and coloured shoes with a heel? I have three of those items already so might add narrow silk trousers to my shopping list....
Now of course you might say 'but fashions change'. They do, but fashion is about trends and novelty, whereas style is about your personality and about self expression, and your style could be tweaked a little over the years as fashions change....
Tomorrow I will change the subject - promise!
.. now apply brain!
Here is my (current) favourite outfit -
Everyday clothes - nothing very out of the ordinary - but I feel good in it, I feel myself in these clothes, these colours and these proportions. I think they suit me. They are my 'look'.
Applying my rather tired brain (decision making fatigue?) I analysed the outfit -
narrow trousers (jeggings)
standard length T shirt,
short cropped jumper
All in a similar colour range, close in tone, ie not too much contrast to divide up my five foot frame, one pattern maximum. I think proportions are often overlooked - narrow/wide, long/short. Look at the silhouette.
My friend's look is -
short pretty cardigan with three quarter length sleeves
thin patterned scarf
She can put several patterns together successfully, likes skirts with a swirl or seam detail or diagonal cut, and always wears several bracelets. (And always looks lovely.)
What is your look?
I expect you can see where I'm going with this....
My wardrobe and me! (See recent posts under Simply Stylish and Simply Eat)
My posts have been very wordy of late so, simpler today...
Out of my slimmed down wardrobe I've picked out my favourite things
And from these I'm going to pick my very favourite outfit.
Then, I'm going to apply brain!
Meanwhile creating some autumnal still lifes as I move things around in the house..do you change things as the season changes?
EXTRA! EXTRA! A four minute video on why you should spend some time reading today! (Thanks Julia.)
Still clearing! So far we've removed things that don't fit, things that are the wrong season and things that needed fixing (I hope your cupboard isn't bare).
Two more passes and you will have a wardrobe with only things that you can wear and like to wear!
First pass isn't too hard - anything that's just worn out. Stretched necklines or cuffs, baggy elbows, saggy knees or bottoms, bobbled fabric (pet hate of mine - no more acrylic for me..). Let it go! You've had your moneysworth - no need to get the last gasp out of everything. No need to relegate it to gardening/painting either if you've already got plenty in that category like me. Recycle bin.
Take a good look at what's left. And ask if there is anything in there you simply dislike.
This is a hard one for me. I think - but it's perfectly good/I paid good money for it/it was a present from..../so and so made it for me/it's too wasteful to get rid of it, and so on, and on.
Then I remember the reason for this clearout is to have only things I really like to wear.
I can - Keep it as a memento (just not in the wardrobe)
Pass it on to someone I think would want it
I forgive myself and move on.
Feels even better if you can donate it where it's useful. Here are some links to charities which can make really good use of your quality items. The first two help outfit people who are going to job interviews, and the last is a very efficient service to make it as easy as possible for you to donate to a whole range of charites. I'm sure other countries will have equivalent sites.
..as I sort my wardrobe for the new season.
Have you noticed I have stuck with one category - Simply Stylish - for six posts in a row? Amazing for a grasshopper brain like me!
If you are sorting your wardrobe along with me, the next step (last but one before the fun bit!) is to take a few minutes and remove anything that needs fixing before you can wear it. ie anything -
missing a button
needing shortened/lengthened/otherwise altered
The options once you've removed it are -
fix it now
fix it later
get someone else to fix it
get rid of it (donate/recycle....)
To take a walk in the Botanic Gardens click here..
The next step..is easy! Go to your wardrobe and remove anything you won't wear till next summer (or winter if you live in the southern hemisphere).
Here in UK, unless you are planning a sunshine holiday this winter (I wish!) put all the summer clothes in a bag or box clearly labelled and put it somewhere out of the way.
In our very variable climate layering clothes is almost essential so some summer items can be worn all year round under an extra layer.
You might take this opportunity to do some weeding out, or you could just put them all away and make those decisions next summer. It depends on how you're feeling, how much time you've got and maybe on how much extra storage space you've got.
But now you have more space in your wardrobe/cupboard/drawers.
Just two more sleeps till you have a wardrobe with only things you can wear!
Have you time today to go to your wardrobe and take out anything which doesn't fit you?
Warning - this will probably bring up uncomfortable feelings! Guilt at the wasted money/shame at the diet failures/anxiety at the unwanted, univestigated weight loss/anger that you're not as well organised as you want to be.....(add your own).
The key to doing this without angst is Forgive Yourself. If you were with your best friend as she was doing this would you berate her and give her a hard time?
Be kind to yourself.
You made some mistakes along the wardrobe way. We all do! And beating yourself up about it isn't going to help. Neither is looking at them every time you open the wardrobe door, or the drawer or the cupboard shelf!
So, lets try to get some perspective on this, get rid of the things you can't wear, and make more space for the things you can wear and perhaps some replacements that do fit.
If you plan to lose or gain weight and you really like these items put them elsewhere - out of sight - labelled with a date a few months from now when you can review your decision. Nothing's set in stone! This is an ongoing process, and the more you practice the better you'll get at it. And the fewer mistakes you'll make.
More on how to get rid later, but remember the quickest, easiest way and a way which helps others is to give the good items to a charity to deal with.
Tomorrow - more space, more clarity - lovely!
I'm short on photographs in these Simply Stylish posts, but I hope you like the new header. It's a tree I haven't heard of before - Cladrastris kentuckea or Kentucky Yellowood - photographed today at Benmore Botanic Garden which is a beautiful half hour drive from home.
Two questions for you!
First question: What are your feelings when you open your wardrobe door and look at what's in there? Try it, and give yourself a minute to think..
Second question: What, exactly, would you like to feel when you open your wardrobe door? Take as long as you need to answer this one - two minutes, two days, two weeks....
Share your thoughts?
What if your wardrobe was like your own personal shop which only stocks things you like, which fit you and suit you, in all your favourite colours and ready to wear?
You could do this!
I helped a friend to do this today. Very satisfying.
Some tips tomorrow...
A sudden change in the weather (gales forecast for tonight) has me sorting the wardrobe and putting away the summer clothes.
Two things I have never had, and never will have in my wardrobe are often described as essentials. The little black dress and the crisp white shirt.
My reasons are these.
The black dress only suits women with bold dramatic colouring. If you have very dark hair and brown eyes you will look fabulous in it. If you are white blond with bright blue eyes and a clear complexion you will look fabulous in it. Most of us in Britain are neither, but have softer, gentler, more subtle colouring which is overwhelmed by black. The dress wears you, rather than you wearing the dress. For me the go-anywhere useful dress is either a medium grey (I like grey with a bit of colour in it - blueish, or purplish) or a French navy ie not too dark. Much more flattering.
Similarly the crisp white shirt. Too harsh on me. The shirt itself looks crisp, but I look faded. Unless your teeth and the whites of your eyes are as white as the shirt it's not a good look! A softish denim blue is my classic shirt.
Of course if you are young and beautiful you will look fabulous in anything, but as I get older I look with a more critical eye and don't accept any fashion statement that begins Everyone should have....
Do you know what suits you best?
If you are an artist and/or are interested in colour you may enjoy this website and this discussion of greys.
I so hope they have my size! They also come in a beautiful blue, violet, and a lovely soft grey - grey with colour in it. (Riva Mannikin.)
Oh, and I've also copied in that list of 'wrong reasons' from yesterday's blog.
I take this notebook with me when I go to the city, and if in doubt about something I go for a coffee and consult it. I believe it has saved me from many a mistake! Love it.
See here and here for my efforts at deciding what suits me best.
Fashion is still my fun.
If you have time you may enjoy a browse through Simply Stylish...(see sidebar).
I've just been to a lovely family wedding in the wrong outfit.
It didn't spoil my pleasure in the happy occasion, but when I took it off after the event I knew I wouldn't be wearing it again.
Where did I go wrong?
It wasn't 'me'.
A perfectly nice dress, a perfectly nice jacket and a pretty pair of shoes - (all bought on separate occasions some time ago) and all bought for the wrong reasons.
I look at some clothes which I never wear and give myself a minute to think why I bought them.
Here are some of the reasons -
I felt like treating myself that day.
It was such a bargain. It was! A pure silk jacket from Fenn Wright and Manson for £15 down from £115! Could I resist? No. Do I wear it? No. Well, once. It is much too dark a colour for me and nothing I have goes with it.
I wanted something different.
I thought it might be useful.
I thought I could slim into it. (Have you done this? I did wear it once and could hardly breathe..)
It is gorgeous. I love it.
But - it's not 'me'.
In How To Be Danish - one of my lovely Christmas books (fascinating!) I found a reference to Copenhagen Cycle Chic which quickly gathered a kind of cult following. Not unlike the Sartorialist, but on bikes.
If you like people watching you will enjoy a browse there (or Edinburgh Cycle Chic, or Melbourne Cycle Chic or.....) Isn't the internet amazing?
And aren't these Copenhagen cyclists a hardy lot!
It is exactly 22 minutes till 2014. I shall drink your health at the bells! Thank you so much for reading and commenting..
The addition of this..
to my current favourite coat (see post here) will see me through to winter. Makes the idea of winter quite bearable!
I've found my buy for Autumn. (See post here.) Not the sweater or jacket I set out to find, but this unlined coat from Topshop. It's just the right weight, is beautifully cut and detailed and the finish is remarkably good (all seams are nicely bound, an extra button inside to make it hang well, the collar sits perfectly..).
(Sorry the photograph isn't of the same standard! It's from Topshop's website)
Perfectly put together, and roomy enough for a warm layer underneath.
I thought the price of £79 was terrific for the quality, and because the popper fastenings were loose they took £20 off. Nice.
Love it with these shoes.
Have you bought anything new for the new season?
I've had fun browsing some fashion sites while considering a special purchase for autumn.
Two Danes is a label I've recently discovered. You can see some of their range here - beautiful beautiful quality (if I can't afford a garment from a brand I like, I sometimes buy a scarf which is what I did with Two Danes last year). If you take a look at this site also check out Masai and Sahara (I bought a scarf there too!) The knits at Forever Amano are gorgeous (thanks Lucille) and the ethical principles of Everlane are laid out clearly in a way which may become more common - even to showing the breakdown of costs of the things they make, and their markup. Their jobs page is interesting! American; I don't think their products are available here yet; classically beautiful bags.
It will be interesting to see if other companies follow their lead in this. Do you think they might?
The season is changing and I am feeling that familiar melancholy that comes upon me as autumn approaches.
I have to find things to do to ward it off lest it should become depressing, and I've decided that one of them this year is going to be to find a beautiful sweater or jacket....comforting and warm, in an arty yarn of natural fibres, probably textured like a cable knit, or moss stitch, or a lovely twill weave, possibly in a richer, warmer colour than I usually wear. Something I can put on top of a finer sweater or long sleeved t shirt. Stylish. Sophisticated.
In real life I'm a painter and gardener and live in rural Scotland, but inside my head (if not in the mirror) I am also stylish, and elegant in an understated 'Eurochic' kind of way! See here.
Have you any plans for autumn purchases?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)