Thursday, 30 June 2011

Red and pink H&M dress

A long time ago I bought this wild skirt, and it's been used over and over. I love the colours. Originally I bought a pink and red striped cardigan from the same brand to go with it.

I wore the cardigan out long before the skirt since the material wasn't as durable. Now my beloved skirt is showing signs of wear and tear. It needs to be replaced somehow. During my research I have come across this picture:

And later this beautiful Yves Saint Laurent vintage dress, way out of my price range, and size too!

Finally, a few days ago Kendi from Kendi Everyday did an outfit in the same colours, called Loud and Clear. Hers were two pieces, t-shirt and skirt. I haven't been able to find a red skirt in my size anywhere, so I have thought of a dress from H&M:

Now, I don't look anything like that model!!! But I'm going to give it shot anyway. Only problem is what to style it with. I guess that will be something for you to look forward to, and any suggestions are more than welcome!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The end of harem pants

My Granny turned 91 yesterday - Congratulations!!!! She is still managing all on her own, with a bit of help with meals because of rheumatic hands. I think she is so cool!

Now have a look at the photos:

Compared to the trousers in my previous post these are doing nothing for my thighs or hips. I think they are giving me a Barbapapa like silhouette. Not quite what I was aiming at... Reminds me to always have a look at the back side as well. Anyway, I like the way my arms look, and the colours are fine together.

On the next photo I'm showing my new specs! These are neutral, tomorrow I'll be wearing the decorated ones, also new. The photos are all done by me, with a different camera and a tripod. Considering it's my first time I think I did pretty well.

This is my first go at a self portrait. I only did this one. My husband is a semi professional photographer and he was impressed. That alone just made my day! Now read on:

To all Scandinavian women:

Could you please consider starting a fashion or style blog?

There are so many lovely blogs out there, but the weather up here in the North is so different to Southern California, Florida and other beautiful warm places. That calls for other types of clothes and a much larger variety of outfits. Furthermore, compared to pretty much the rest of the world we have a very relaxed corporate dress code.

It would be lovely to get inspiration from someone nearby, as well as from all the exotic places that one can only dream of visiting on holidays.

What initiated this post is my recent discovery of the Swedish blog Four seasons one wardrobe. It was so great to see outfits based on several items that are actually available to me too. She is good at remixing and have lots of cute outfits. So go to Four seasons one wardrobe and see for yourself! 

Monday, 27 June 2011

Comfortable summer oufit

Today my new trousers were paired with a cheap turquoise tank and a navy shirt that I bought months ago, but never used. The shirt turned out to be too tight when I received it. For some reason it never occurred to me that I could wear it like this. I think it looks fine from the back side as well. To my surprise it was all very comfortable too. With regards to the Dress your best challenge I think my arms look  very nice, and I remembered the lipstick. What you can't see yet is that I have got a new pair of glasses. I'll be wearing them tomorrow.

Looking at the photos above I don't think I'm in any way dressed too young. In fact I find the sandals a bit ageing. I also think that buying the navy shirt was a mistake, both with the size and the colour. But since it's in my closet I'll wear it. As mentioned before my budget is tight, and my closet is very small! Lately I have sold a few things allowing me room and money for a couple of new purchases - the purple cardigan and the trousers. That pair of trousers are giving me about 8 new outfits, so they are worth every penny...

If I only had the money I sometimes think when I look at web shops, or at other blogger's wardrobes. A lot of these very stylish women think that they have a small wardrobe, and they never appear to be wearing their clothes more than once. It makes me think of how little variety I have to offer in the long run, showing outfits on my blog. And how little money I'm spending in comparison!

Do I need a bigger closet and more clothes? Should I just spend more money? How often do people buy new things to wear? Will a larger selection of clothes improve my blog?

Perhaps the answer is to change some of the items in my closet, not just add to the collection. Instead I will have to take the art of remixing to a higher level as well as be dead sure when I buy new things that they fit both my body and wardrobe. Afterall I'm not trying to be the best dressed blogger, just to get a clear definition of my personal style.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Dress your best after dark

Thursday night we had the traditional midsummer night's party with a bonfire. As usual it was cold and windy, not good for showing curves or cleavage. The colours I chose weren't as bold as I would have liked looking at the photo now. At least I didn't have to wear wellies! The dog is my Alaskan Malamute named Congo.

Friday morning was last day before summer holiday at my daughter's school so we had breakfast with her class mates and their families, another tradition. For that I wore my favorite grey dress. Without showing much skin it shows off the bust very nicely. The length of the sleeves are just allowing a few bracelets.

In the evening we all (still the families from my daughter's school class) went to see an open air play. Unfortunately I forgot my phone and thereby the camera at home. With all the panic searching for it I forgot to have my photo taken while there was still proper light for it. After the play - at 10:30 - my husband took the photo that still shows the colours I was wearing. I was practically glowing in the dark!

Again it was cold and very windy so I was wearing leggings underneath my skirt, and could have used warm socks as well!

Then came Saturday morning, and my new trousers! What do you think? Are they too young? Too wildly patterned? I love them and I plan to wear them a lot. In fact they go with so much of my very limited wardrobe that I have ordered an identical pair.

Trousers that fit me are a rare find in this country. To tell the truth I also ordered a pair in a black and white geometric pattern. This way I have doubled the number of trousers in my closet. As for the price it was just around $ 19 a pair.

In the afternoon there was a Ferrari meet up in front of a friend's cafe. The cafe is called Enzo!

Summing it up I think I went overboard on the colours Friday night and the opposite the rest of the time. For the dress your best challenge I did manage to show off a few assets in spite of the extra layers - cardigans and jackets.

As for my style which I have given a lot of thought, I think I fall into the creative category leaning towards the dramatic. Having that established is really important to me. Both to save money when I shop for clothes, and to feel confident and at home in what I wear. So I will be looking for clothes in dramatic colours to mix in a creative way, and see how I feel about that. Not forgetting to smile too!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dressing my best and my Friday outfit

Yesterday I dressed to bring focus to my smile and my forearms as well as my nose. Being home alone meant I did the photos myself, with my Iphone!

The rings are all home made, the amethyst and yellow textile bracelets as well.

 Today my family and I are going to a midsummer nights party with bonfire and live music. Looking outside I will probably be wearing wellies and some waterproof jacket or coat. Umbrella is not going to be an option since it's really windy. I don't see much opportunity to do more than smile with regards to the Dress Your Best challenge.

Now, Friday night I went to a birthday party. In late afternoon the weather changed and my planned outfit was out of the question. I decided to wear my blue shirt, but had problems choosing what to wear with it. Then I remembered having seen Ariel at Artfully Awear doing a post on International Klein Blue, wearing a lovely blue silk top. Having had another look at it I had no problems finding things to go with my shirt: My matching blue suede shoes (from Irregular Choice) and a red jacket in shiny Chinese brocade.

I would never have chosen a jacket that colourful had I not seen Ariel's outfit, but I really think it worked, don't you?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Dress your best!

This week the lovely bloggers at academichic has challenged other bloggers to dress to show off our best body parts. We must each make a list of the five things we love the most about our body.

Sadly it's so much easier to make a hate list, and a long one too!

Now, shouldn't we always dress our best, I immediately asked myself. Yes we should. And now I have a nice "love list" to go by. But I only have five things on that list, and finding those was hard enough. The overall problem is that most women will focus solely on their problem areas and forget their perfectly shaped parts. What if we were to make a list of a hundred things we love about our body?

When I look into the mirror I always see the dark circles under my eyes instead of the beautiful dark teal colour that they have. That's just so negative! From now on I will make one day a week a dress your best day - and try to find new body parts for my love list.

In late August I will be starting a new education, with lots of students much younger than me -  a terrifying thought. So I will need all the self confidence I can get. Having a weekly dress your best day I will be forced to focus on my assets and get a more positive attitude. That will most likely free some energy to be spent on learning new things instead.

I don't think we can loose the hate list completely, but I do think we owe it to ourselves to minimize it. Both in our inner dialogue and when gossipping about other women, which most women do! What if we all started looking for five things we admire in a woman instead of looking for what makes her look "worse" than us?

Anyway, this is my love list:

1) My smile - it says speaks more than words, instantly connects me to others, makes other people smile back. It also makes me look prettier. During the dress your best days I will do my best to wear lipstick to bring focus to my smile and I will SMILE a lot more!

2) My waist - even with my expanding size it's still there. Depending on how I dress it allows me to look slimmer than I actually am. I will wear fitted clothes to show off my hourglass figure and ignore the fact that loose fitting clothes are so much more comfortable in hot summer weather.

3) Bust! When I was younger, untill I got pregnant (1999), I had NOTHING. I would try on the smallest bras and I could never fill them. Now I'm a DD, and I love it! Over the years I have experimented with various ways of showing off cleavage and found that it's not so much about how much is on show as how nicely they are "wrapped". In other words: Fitted tops and dresses!

4) My nose - I like the shape and size. I think it's cute. It's also where my glasses are sitting. Lots of people have issues with their noses. Sometimes a nose is so eye catching that it takes away the focus from the owners lovely personality and otherwise beautiful appearance. I count myself lucky to be blessed with this one.I will honor my nose by wearing glasses with a bit of colour or decoration.

5) My forearms - they always look slender in comparison to my enormous hands. My fingers are so thick that I can only wear mens size rings, like US size 11 ½. Therefore I really enjoy wearing bracelets especially bangles, and lots of them. It's hard work to find some that will go over my big hands, I need a diameter of 2,5". But I have a nice little collection now that I use all the time.

Finally, a big thank you to Academichic! I love this project and can't wait to share it with my friends.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My first attempt at a capsule wardrobe

As promissed yesterday I have photos of the items I have selected for a capsule wardrobe. Imogen Lamport suggests the following:

short sleeved top in colour 1
long sleeved top in colour 2
shirt or blouse in colour 2
cardigan in colour 1
waistcoat, neutral
trousers, neutral
dark denim jeans
skirt, neutral
jacket, neutral
dress, neutral
boots, heeled or flat
heeled shoes, nude
flats, nude or in color 1 or 2
bag in colour 2

For the two colours I have chosen blue and purple. Ideally it should be the same blue and purple colour for all items, something to work at. The important thing is that I have given myself a frame to "work" within. New purchases have to "fit in". Some of the photos are from Itunes Stylebook, and they are not the best, but they will have to do!

The long purple cardigan was bought for just this capsule wardrobe, and it is already a favorite. I have ordered a pair of patterned trousers that I really hope will fit me...

With a few more tops it will be complete. For now I'm happy to use my yellow handbag and my orange ballet flats.  And for winter I already have dark purple boots!

The benefits of creating this capsule wardrobe are that I now use the dress, with the cardigan. Before I had problems with the dress because of the missing sleeves. The same goes for the purple top. I have another purple dress, that is currently just hangning in the closet. It does need a bit of alteration. After that it will be fine with the cardigan as well. Had I not bought the cardigan the money for the dresses and the top would have been waisted. So for one new item I get three other items... A bargain!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Not quite a style revolution!

After a few hectic weeks the evidence er here: No jeans in any of the outfits! There are both day and evening outfits. For one dinner party I managed to put on nail polish to match my jewellery. A first time in about a decade! But it felt great. For an afternoon family gathering I wore harem pants - my first pair EVER. They were so comfortable that i wore them for another dinner party later. I find it impossible to find trousers that fit properly. On one photo I'm wearing a grey pair of trousers, my best, and they are no where near perfect. Therefore the harem pants may be a solution for now. If only they were a bit longer...

The photos: My 11 year old daughter took most of them, some in a hurry which shows!

As the photos reveal I also had a haircut, that could be better!

In my last post I mentioned Imogen Lamport. Since then I have read her book Wardrobe Secrets Revealed. She recommends starting a capsule wardrobe that can be added to later. In the next couple of days I will be posting photos of the items I have chosen.

Finally, on one photo I'm wearing a cobalt blue shirt. Friday night I was going to a birthday party and had another outfit planned, but the weather changed so I had to find something else to wear. I wanted to wear this shirt but had difficulties deciding what to wear with it. I remembered having seen Ariel from Artfully Aware (look a my favorites) doing an outfit with International Klein Blue. That was just the inspiration I neeeded. The jacket I have at one arm is a red Chinese brocade that doesn't photographe well as it's very shiny, but it ended up looking great, Thank You Ariel!