Thoroughly Unmodern.

In all my long years of reading blogs but not writing one, it seemed to me the activity of blogging must be a good way to define what you’re really into. In the few months since I’ve gotten round to setting this up, I’ve found the opposite to be true. There’s the last post about my frivolous distractions (though I’ve done a 180 on that again) but also a growing bank of unpublished drafts, never to be finished since they no longer make sense in my here-there-everywhere narrative. The more I plan, the more scope there is for me to go completely off-piste as soon as I see something shiny.

Still, I am trying – which makes it all the more galling when I go to town with shopping list in hand, and am cruelly DENIED. Cobra-print Monki shirt? Not in the shop. Supercool Zara slip dress? Not over those hips. For the latter point, see also: frustration in the changing rooms of American Apparel, & Other Stories, and Topshop. Undeterred (okay, I was very deterred) I poked around Beyond Retro, where lo and behold I found two things that fit perfectly. So what if one of my finds is a work-inappropriate, barely-there summer dress? St. Michael was looking down on me. The other is at least kinda with-the-program – a high-waisted houndstooth skirt that’s got both respectability and a bit of edge.

Parklife! Jumper, H&M | Skirt, Beyond Retro | Shoes, Dr Martens
Parklife! Jumper, H&M | Skirt, Beyond Retro | Shoes, Dr Martens | Sunglasses, Primark

Precisely zero evidence of dem problematic ~curves~ in this get up, but them’s the breaks. Pretty excited just to wear a jumper, if I’m honest. Accuweather assures me there’ll be one more weekend where I can break out the M&S dress in all its glory, but we’ll see. Best not to make plans, eh?

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The Best Intentions.

Aside from doing a good amount of walking, pub-lunching and holding my phone in the air for signal, I also spent a fair bit of time on holiday tapping out thoughts on A/W style. That whole back-to-school feeling that sees me trying to be all new-year, new-you. It’s why I first plucked my eyebrows fifteen years ago, why I walked into AS-level Psychology with half my hair cut off (literally, these were the asymmetric years) and why I really, really believe I’m gonna grow up this time. I’ll wear ironed clothes and have neat hair and not be distracted by silly crap OH WAIT THERE’S A HOT DOG JUMPER!

Sweatshirts, £28 each from River Island
Sweatshirts, £28 each from River Island

Whatyougonnado? Who knows what is hardwired in my brain to love trash, but it’s a strong urge. I mean, hell I was window-shopping Cos this morning but you just can’t beat it out of me.

Of course, there’s trash and there’s trash. I’m well aware that these River Island doozies have turned up after a long long trickle-down of all-over-print items and I’ve seen some polyester sweatshirts up close – full-on Monets. I’ve also had a bad experience as regards hot dog print – this Ashish for Topshop number had the most bizarre shape that just would not sit right.

We could have been so good together
We could have been so good together

If they’re decent IRL, the decision rests on hot dog vs macaron. I prefer the former to eat a million times over but the sheer brash UFO-ness of the latter is calling out to me. It’s so far removed from the muted, bokeh-laden images of macarons that litter t’internet that I feel pretty alright about it. Elsewhere on my RI browse, I was hoping from the still-life that this little number said ‘Pickles Youth’, but alas it doesn’t. Probs for the best, eh.

Back.

Welsh blowdry
Welsh blowdry

Back in London, and I have been for a few days. Making the switch from a week without internet (not just wi-fi, no nuffin’) to deskbound London makes me realise there’s a whole ‘nother timescale going on here – one which means your intentions to blog one day somehow end up publishing themselves four days later. ANYWAY. I’ve got charity stuff to show you, and a/w musings, and all manner of fun will be had.

For now though, arriving fifteen minutes early for a burgerfest resulted in a purchase which might have kicked off my new season as it will go on, in terms of Boring (Good Boring) and Cheap. A navy piqué sweatshirt from American Apparel for £15 in the sale, the perfect accompaniment to the collars in your life – and I’ve got a lot of them.

Picture above is from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which I highly recommend if you’re a fan of walking on the edge of cliffs/being blown about somewhat. Best topped off with a cheese sandwich and millionaire shortbread from the Spar – just trust me on that one.

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.

Cool!

jumbo

So apparently the heatwave is over, just in time for my British holiday (no it is NOT a bloody ‘staycation’) – but there’s still enough sun for me to wear stuff I bought at the height of stickiness. This H&M dress is a style I’ve been seeking out for years, but have been foiled by overenthusiastic step hems, non-hip-friendly sizing, and general wrong-place, wrong-time. £7.99 later and I’m finally the proud owner of a sack, and no I shall not be Belting It To Emphasise My Waist.

summat
Is that a smile? Cap, Urban Outfitters | Dress, H&M | Bag, Monki | Shoes, Reebok

Despite my friendly photographer declaring the above picture “looks like you have a boob on your shoulder or something” I think it illustrates the outfit alright. Those glowing white things on my feet are actually Reebok Classics, surprisingly hard to wear when you’re not an Ashish model but I’m soldiering on.

Accurate
Accurate

Alongside my outfit I have the results of a scintillating Friday night, spent with a bit of matte topcoat and my Spectacular nail stickers – from ’97, which I cannot bring myself to call vintage. I read somewhere or other that words-on-nails is gonna be A Thing, but I dunno if this is quite what they had in mind. Not sure what the general consensus is on smiley faces with headphones on, as below (and more visible on Instagram) but they’re making me happy.

Happy, and definitely not swearing.
Happy, and definitely not swearing.

Turtle Power.

something something
Monki Elli shoes, £35

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m all about patterns on clothes – but so far it hasn’t really extended to shoes. The tide might be turning, or I might just have been mesmerised by these plasticky beauties. They look a bit like an ashtray, and I’m not sure when that ever wasn’t a good thing.

I’ve missed out on a fair few shoes from Monki – most notably a hairy black pair that were as good as they sound – but now that sweet Swedishness is mine. Monki can do what they will with things I’d always previously considered as out-of-bounds – ask me about elastic on heels and I wouldn’t have anything charitable to say, but now it WORKS. Perfect tortoiseshell hooves, to go with awkward-cool Scandi-inspired outfits. Personally I’m thinking oversized denim jacket, midi skirt and the kind of updo I can achieve one time in ten.

something else
Pleasingly dusty

Heels aren’t a big part of my wardrobe, but I have a feeling of now-or-never with them – or, just maybe, now-and-never-again. Everyone’s making chunky platforms and relatively comfortable, if towering, shoes – I walked miles round Copenhagen in my Vagabond pair, which pack a hefty three inches that translates into almost nothing due to the platform. I’ve also got some heeled jellies (pro tip: River Island sells ’em cheapest) which have had a few outings, but I might just enjoy a couple of years of stomping around at 6’3″ before returning to the Flat Stanley brigade.

something else again
Uplifting.

Just a note on the title – I’m aware that tortoises and turtles aren’t the same thing, but Wikipedia tells me that original tortoiseshell was made from turtles, so THERE YOU GO. Shrugs all round.

I’m On A (Little) Boat.

A nice shirt and a curious cat
A nice shirt and a curious cat

I can’t say I was planning to buy anything this week, but sometimes things just work out that way. Feeling generally sweaty, bored and in the grip of payday fever, I stumbled into Aida on Shoreditch High St and straight into the arms of their summer sale – where I found this dear little cap-sleeved Petit Bateau number. 100% cotton and drop-armholes looked very good to me in my post-work sweat haze (too stinky to try it on) so off the rail it came.

Green dream. Shirt, Petit Bateau | Skirt, Vintage | Shoes, Vagabond | Sunglasses, Primark
Green dream. Shirt, Petit Bateau | Skirt, Vintage | Shoes, Vagabond | Belt, Urban Outfitters | Sunglasses, Primark

Went a bit all-out with the greens in this outfit, because why the hell not? I’ve had this skirt for five years now after finding it in a vintage rummage sale, albeit worn in a few different guises – back in ’08 this was all the rage *cough*. The shoes provide a bit of a counterpoint to all the tropicalia, and complement the full swishiness of the skirt – which also HAS POCKETS just in case you weren’t yet feelin’ it.

This is at its heart the same outfit as the last one I posted – elastic waists are my friend and maybe yours. I’ll worry about variation when I can survive in more than one layer, if that’s cool with you.

Sweet Charity.

I made brief mention of a trip up north in this post, and true to form I did manage to squeeze in a few charity shops. I’ve come to a bit of an impasse with charity shop clothing: I’ve found a load of awesome things over the years (annual trips to rural Wales should take a lot of credit) so now things really have to stand out. I’m also gravitating towards the homewares section nowadays, so I’ve chucked that in in the interests of forcing you to read more.

A glorious cagoule.
A glorious cagoule.

This here reversible deal was pointed out to me as something I’d like, and I think it was the soft cuffs that really sold me. And a real good bit of angel-delight pink. And stripes. And the illusion of practicality. It is actually pretty huge, and the latest in a long line of these sorts of jackets that I always seem to lose/destroy after a few years.

Reach baby reach
Reach baby reach

Pyrex bottle for twee displays of small flowers. Or feeding that baby I had 29 years ago (a bit of Googling showed that half pennies went out in ’84). I do love a bit of moulded glass, me.

Cups of style
Cups of style

This tea set came with two more cups ‘n’ saucers, a sugar bowl and a milk jug, and sits somewhere between the enamel-mug craze and just nice, muted ceramics. This is Wedgwood so I’m looking forward to going down the rabbit hole of collectors’ forums and finding out when it’s from/trying to get the whole set. LIFE IS EXCITING.

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?