Midi Connection.

A short history of MIDI.
A short history of MIDI | Rings, Topshop/H&M; Nails, Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips in Side Swiped

I’ve not been one for jewellery for a long time. In fact, I was 16 the last time I wore anything with regularity: a pair of large silver hoops that travelled down the trend funnel from J-Lo to me. Since then, metal hasn’t seemed to get on with my skin, and rings in particular I have never worn. Until I bought a pair of gold/diamante midi rings from H&M for a wedding party: £2.99 wouldn’t be bad for a one-off, but actually they came with none of the usual strange rashes or urge to pull them off my fingers that I’m used to. My birthday arrived the next week, and with it a bit of money to spend up town. To Topshop it was for their ridiculous gold-toned jewels, and then back to H&M for turquoise and thin silver.

The ones that started it all
The ones that started it all | Rings, H&M; Nails, China Glaze

I don’t know how much anyone really notices my hands, but I am very excited that I can get a bit of metal on there now to compliment nailz. I’m also working up to necklaces and earrings, so keep your eye out for sparkle a-comin’…

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Here It Comes.

The great ball in the sky! For some reason everyone’s bitching about ‘this summer so far’, but let’s not forget that a) it’s only June and b) there have been some very decent days of sunshine. This is what I wore for one of them, doing nothing more than going to Boots, tutting at crowds on Brick Lane and coming back home again.

Summertime sadness | Denim jacket, Free’P’Star; Polka-dot jacket, Urban Outfitters; Vest, H&M; Culotte shorts, ASOS; Shoes, Topshop

I’m looking down because in the rest I was all crazy eyes, not because I was contemplating anything in particular. In fact the crazy eyes may have been down to a small (ish) hangover, which seems to inspire me to dress up to work through the pain. I figured out this super ~styling trick~ for my jackets by seeing them piled on top of each other, which just goes to show you shouldn’t always be tidy.

Give me life

On my lips I was wearing Maybelline Color Elixir in ‘Signature Scarlet’ (part of an overexcited Target spree), which goes on nice and doesn’t stick to the dry bits on my lips. Here’s a big photo of me being super happy with that (it also lasted pretty well through that can of Rubicon Suncrest, if you were wondering).

CHEEZ WIZ | Sunglasses, Topshop

If you were paying attention in my last post you might recognise that I accessorize/ruin all my ‘summery’ outfits with the same denim jacket. It is my barometer for what I consider a good level of heat, and I like that it comes from Paris whilst being the least Parisian item of clothing ever. Long may it reign, and not rain. SUMMER!

Aries.

Hi guys! Remember me? Back to complain about tricksy December stealing my days away in a fog of present shopping, present wrapping and 24-hour night. No apology for absence – it’s not the Aries way.

Nope, it doesn't say 'Arles'
Nope, it doesn’t say ‘Arles’ | Necklace, Urban Outfitters; Sweatshirt, Holly Fulton for Topshop

I’ve been spending more time than ever in shops on a one-for-me, one-for-you Xmas shopping basis, but I bought this necklace from Urban Outfitters a couple of months back and it’s reminding me to Stay Tru. Which means a whole load of new (and needed) basics, but also velvet tartan trousers. Trying to shop on headlong instinct rather than thought-out themes, and attempting to make winter dressing a little less predictable in the process.

Now it’s time to brake the spending and look at what I actually want to wear right now, so I’ll get posting. In the meantime, anyone got a spare £124 for this Goodhood beaut?

Colder.

I’ve been writing this for a while, but today someone linked to an apocalyptic weather piece illustrated with pictures from Scandinavia/Russia/Photoshop of people drowning in snow, so no time like the present. How to survive winter the HT way!

Lush Popcorn Scrub and Nuxe Reve de Miel

For winter mouf | Popcorn Scrub, £5.25 Lush; Reve de Miel stick, £6 Marks and Spencer

Dry lips don’t just look bad, they feel bad. As someone who will bleed for the cause if I don’t use lip balm in the winter, I feel like I can confidently recommend these two. Scrub yr lips with sugar, then eat it. Eat it up, dead skin and all – or just wipe it off if you prefer non-cannibalistic beauty routines. Then put on this lovely stick, which isn’t shiny so you don’t look like cd:uk era Cat Deeley. That’s it! And don’t get me started on Vaseline.

Body Shop Camomile Cleanser

For winter cheeks | Cleanser, £12 The Body Shop

This stuff will clean your face real good. And if for whatever reason you don’t want to clean your face, use it with cotton wool to take off your makeup. It’s the consistency of coconut oil, which you could use to much the same effect – just don’t try and fry your eggs in this stuff.

Touchscreen Gloves

For winter texts | Gloves, Tiger

For obvious reasons. These actually work (apart from the occasional thumb-swipe) and you can get pointlessly expensive ones (Muji, Urban Outfitters), mid-priced (H&M, Tiger) or dirt cheap (Primark). Just be careful with the latter, as their definition of ‘glove season’ is dangerously narrow – try and buy a pair in April when it’s still freezing and you’ll be confronted with a wall of novelty sunglasses instead. And if you don’t have a touchscreen phone, I salute you.

Beanie ‘n’ Scarf

For winter head ‘n’ shoulders | Hat, £2-ish, Amazon; Scarf, Primark

Where all else fails, the beanie ‘n’ scarf combo rings true. Anyone who’s a fan of American Apparel beanies needs to STOP RIGHT NOW and get acquainted with Beechfield via Amazon or eBay, where nothing is over £3.50. Thank me later. The scarf is from Primark last year, and the latest in a long line of tartan scarves I inevitably lose. Only because I love them.

Any further suggestions?

Clodhoppin’.

 Don't look down
Don’t look down

Not sure how much my love for Big Shoes has been documented here, so let’s get to it. The moment creepers made a comeback circa 2008 or so, I was enthused but generally scared. I wasn’t sure about the whole statement, and then I had an eBay disaster when I bought a men’s size 8 pair (grey and blush lovelies, we were never meant to be) so I decided they weren’t for me. Happily enough though, big soles stuck around long enough for all kinds of shoes to get the stacked treatment. I’ve still never had a proper pair of Underground-style creepers, but this lot have been keeping me company for the last few years.

Ramsey Dr Marten Creepers

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Mud = love

These don’t seem so big to me now, but at the time I felt super elevated. You cannot go wrong with cherry red DMs as far as I’m concerned (I also like matching them to my jumper) and they’re classic enough to wear for as long as they survive – which is a long time, thankyou Goodyear construction.

Vagabond Dioon Boots

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For tall days

Here’s where I properly splashed out on Big: 80 quid for heelz when I’d heretofore been notoriously allergic. Vagabond got it right though, and I’ve been running around in these since March/April time. I’ve seen girls all over in variations on the Dioon (they do sandals, shoes and zip-up boots as well) and always smile appreciatively.

River Island Jelly Shoes

image
Rainbow brite

I was able to wear these just once before autumn kicked in, but they’re chunkier than yer average Babe so I’ll shove ’em in here. Lovely icy blue tinge, lovely glitter, comfy as anything, and I really hope I can wear them again before May. Socks are my best friend.

New Look Chunky Loafers

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Tasseltastic

My most recent purchase, and the pair that inspired this post. I was on the hunt for the loafers in this wishlist but they only had size 7, so off to New Look it was to get these beauties. I actually wasn’t sure at first because I loved the other ones so much, but I’ve been completely converted. They stay on my feet (life with big feet/tiny heels is tough) and look badass whatever I’m wearing. £25 well spent.

So there you go: clunky, chunky and unsubtle is where I’m at. Stillettos, flip-flops and ballet flats be damned – gimme some substance!

Stapled Down.

This is what consistency looks like
This is what consistency looks like. Shirt, Uniqlo | Nail varnish, Rimmel

Just replenishing my staples, guys! However popular those “what every woman should own” lists are, and however many times I’ve considered following their advice, my own wardrobe staples have just ended up being stuff I like, and think goes with other stuff I like. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? Crisp white shirt and ballet pumps getOUTTAhere. I’ve worn some form of blue gingham shirt every fortnight or so for the past seven years, and acid nails are a) essential and b) “all the way at the end of your arms, so they can’t clash with your outfit!” That last quote a paraphrase of Scary Spice, who can’t have known the impact her words would have on plastic young minds.

September means excitement about new-season stuff, but also a return to my ‘normal’ clothes – I’m English enough to consider the sun some sort of novelty. I’ll return to my tried-and-tested, that have pulled me through the wind and rain for all these years and have never fallen foul of the charity shop cull. Having said all this, it’s not yet been cold enough to wear the shirt so maybe I’m getting this all wrong. Have a picture of me circa 2009 instead, wearing gingham and holding a plate of Cheez. You’re welcome.

Lessons Lately.

I’m not planning to get all catch-up post on you, but here is some stuff whilst I haven’t really been doing anything worthy of proper blogging:

50p nail wraps are a false economy

>:(
Rage

£1 ones still rule, but I guess they’re half price for a reason. This was after a couple of hours 😥

My bum is stuck in the past

Original short shorts
Original short shorts

No pics of me in them as they are tiny, but these 1950/40s shorts I just inherited from my great aunt fit like a dream. With no stretch. I know I’m far from being the only one with the problem of waist/hips that don’t fit with modern sizing, but oh how these demonstrate the discrepancy.

I’m an ingrate and can’t be bovved with summer anymore.

BORING
BORING

Try as I might, August is always the point I stop caring about sunshine. The new season’s filtering in, and I’m getting excited. As per usual I have exactly the same wishlist: clumpy shoes, dark lips, buttoned-up collars. Post in the making.

About that sunshine – I’m on holiday for the next week so it’ll probs be quiet around here, but I’ll be back with tales of charity shop wins and maybe what I’ve worn to visit ruins.

Something For Nothing.

Free things are pretty much the true way to my heart, so here’s a post all about them. This stuff has all been hanging round my mum’s room unloved for months/years before a recent clearout, which is either an incentive to tidy often or never tidy at all… either way, I have new bits and bobs and here they are:

Bag of wonder
Bag of wonder

I don’t really know what this bag is for and Mum doesn’t know where it came from, but it’s padded and the print is awesome. Makes me lament the lack of true red in my wardrobe right now.

Gold!
Gold!

The jewelled brooch and leaf belonged to my gran and as is my wont, being vintage and refined they’re destined to adorn something modern and gRuNgE. The jewels are a dreamy lido green, as opposed to the blue my camera seems to think. The necklace is of unknown origin, and is required to go under collars. A bit of Grecian/80s edge all in one.

Silver!
Silver!

You know the drill with the brooch, but the hair slides are from H&M at some point in the mid-2000s, and are the one pair remaining from a multipack. I’ve seen them a million times and turned my nose up, but now silver ‘n’ turquoise is all over the place again I quite like them. I disgust myself.

Useful
Useful

I’ve wanted this thing for years. I have a feeling it’s always been around, and it’s remained fascinating. Who doesn’t want to rest their finger on a golden statue/cherub when they’re slapping on the Barry M? I’ve actually used this a couple of times now and it is in fact practical, so I doff my hat to whoever came up with this crazy thing. Apparently there are a load that come with lipstick holders too – who knew?

Being Boring.

Yes, I AM four storeys tall
Yes, I AM four storeys tall. Top, charity shop | Skirt, Topshop Tall | Shoes, New Look | Sunglasses, Primark

The second in a sporadic round of outfit posts, where I’m on my way to eat Alinazik kebab. HI. There’s nothing to be said for any styling going on here – my hair’s the result of doing absolutely nothing, and my wonky top half is a Sunday afternoon special – but this is illustrative of a lot of my warm-weather dressing. Topshop’s skater skirts from the Tall section are about as mini as I want to go in the land of no tights, and grey marl is the best neutral ever. I got the top in Wales for 50p, and my Primark sunglasses for not much more. The faux-Vans are something I bought from New Look because they were cheap and I was bored, but they’re actually a nice everyday summer shoe two years on.

What fruit is this?
Name the fruit

Letting a pattern lead an outfit feels a bit of a cop-out, but my wardrobe does seem to be led by prints I’m into, and easy-to-wear stuff I can use as a canvas. It’s got to the point where it feels weird to go out in block colours, but it might just be the tipping point of pattern fatigue. Except I just tried on a whole host of floral playsuits this weekend… Consistency is hard, alright?

A Vintage Story.

Le chic touristique
Le chic touristique

Here’s a whimsical little tale since I didn’t muster the energy to blog on the weekend (the sun! it arrived!) and I thought I’d sketch out the origins of one of my favourite Tru Vintage T-shirts.

I’m seven years old, we’re in Portugal, and I’ve just learnt to swim in the hotel pool. On a day trip to the Algarve we walk into a beach hut/T-shirt shop run by some dude who knows the value in pester power. Whilst Britain raves in John Major’s back garden (that’s what happened in ’92? right?), mini-me asks for the T-shirt with the pink fish on it. I see: cute fish. Mum sees: an advert for smoking and some fairly tired gender roles.

Sleepin' with the fishes. Backwards.
Sleepin’ with the fishes. Backwards.

Steered in the direction of some TOTALLY BORING palm tree designs, we find that they all swamp me. Mum asks Mr. Beach Hut/T-shirt Shop what they have in mini-me size, and he rolls out… those damn fish. I’m delighted, Mum’s pressganged into paying, and I have kept it ever since in a sort of appreciation for the serendipity I once believed in, and the cold hard salesmanship I now recognise. Yay!