Friday, August 31, 2012

Greece is Beautiful: Day 3

Woke up in Athens, drove five hours to Lefkada (Lefkos), and will be at the lovely Nidri Beach Hotel until Sunday. Totally family run, the nicest people you could ever meet. We stayed here once two years ago and couldn't get enough of the hospitality. Plus, there's this...

That's Scorpios in the background......where Aristotle and Jackie O went to get away from it all. how cool is That!?

Lace From Space

Today while doing a little internet browsing at one of my favourite high-street retailers, Zara, I think I may have found a happy solution to my fear of lace.

Yes, I have a fear of lace. I tend to have a fear of anything hyper-girly because I think it is going to look ridiculous on my nearly 6-foot frame. I know that thought in and of iteself is ridiculous, but phobias tend to be irrational, don't they?

But check these out....

photos Zara

There is an almost space-age quality to these, probably because of the mock turtle neckline. The first one with the long sleeves looks like it could almost be a part of Uhura's formal dress-white Starfleet uniform.  and that is exactly why I like it. There is a bit of an edge....a toughness to it that is hidden in there amongst the ruffled sleeves and the lace ribbon trim.

The second one is a little softer, but a perfect pairing with distressed denim shorts, as seen here, or even a tough leather pant.

So am I completely cured of my fear of lace? Probaly not. I'm going to the city tomorrow, and am intending on going into the shop and trying these on. I think it is important to have a dry run before committing fully. Wouldn't want to jump in too fast and have a full-on lace-induced panic attack now, would we?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shopping With The Highland Fashionista: Vacation Day 2

Had a lovely day shopping in Glasgow, a rare treat as it is two and a half hours of twisty highland roads away from where we live. I found a few things, and did a lot of laughing as well. Mostly at myself. Mostly.

This first pic is a rack of Cosby sweaters at Urban Outfitters in Glasgow. Seriously.

The green dress...super cute from H&M ....tragic fabric. No dice

The jersey body con floral dress was fun, but not really me. But it's nice to see some colour still exists on the high street.

The floral tank came home with me.

And there I am, in my snake fancy pants.

Flying today. See you in Athens.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Turning Forty-Freakin' One In My Flyin' Birthday Suit!

On Friday, I'm turning forty-freakin' one.  Huh...weird.  I don't really even feel different...I mean, everything is pretty much the same as it was when I was 31.....with the exception of this hair of mine.

In serious need of serum...

And maybe my feet. My feet aren't as cute as they used to be. At least, not to me. I noticed that just today, when I shot the photos for my critically-important  pedicure crisis post.  My second toes (the long one next to the big one) are getting knobby. Huh...gross. And,  I suppose I have to admit that I have reading glasses now too.

But other than that, that's about it.

Anyway, as you are reading this, with or without glasses, I am padding around in Glasgow, preparing to get on a plane to Athens to start our Greek  This, of course, means that one minute, I will be slogging around in the rapidly-cooling, wet Scottish weather for the better part of a day, get on a plane, and land somewhere where it has been hotter than Georgia asphalt for the past few weeks.  Seriously hot. Like, Africa hot.

What to wear.

I am not a fan of shorts on a plane. Eeew. Nor am I a fan of changing clothes in airports. I like to get in, get out, look cool (enough), and not linger in what at certain times of the year is the building equivalent  of a petri dish.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not A Bad Start- Day 0

Hubby and I are big fans of heading to the airport in a relaxed, non-rushed way. We fly on Thursday. And here we are, only two hours from home, on Tuesday. It was a spur of the moment thing when we realised we both had the time off. Anyway, not a bad start to a trip, if I do say so myself.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Biggest Decision I Hope To Have To Make Today

Its consequences of which could be devastating if I get it wrong...

Which of these colours do I want to paint my toenails for my upcoming Greek sailing holiday? 

This is my stash. My entire stash.  Only nine. When did that happen?

Is it shallow? Of course. But I defy any style-conscious gal to hold her hand up and say (while taking a polygraph, naturally) that she has not considered the exact same thing before embarking on a holiday.  I pack light, and I'm only taking one for dire repair emergencies only.

It is a sailing holiday. We are chartering a boat, then taking a few days afterwards to chillax, then (the reason I need it in the first place) returning to Scotland for a wedding the very next day, no time to go home first.  So you can see just how much pressure this poor little nail colour is under. It has to hold up to sun, sea, the deck of a boat, most likely some chlorine, a spilled gin and tonic or two, more sand, even more sea, and then some high, open-toed shoes and a lot of dancing. So you see? This is a big deal.

There can be only one.

This one.
Revlon One Perfect Coral
still wet, no less....and as sloppily applied as ever.

So that's it. Decision made. No going back now. Leaving tomorrow night, but do not despair. The Highland Fashionista has plenty of material lined-up for you while she is away, and depending on internet access, you may expect some dispatches from the boat as well.

Μέχρι την επόμενη φορά!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Wee Spot of Lunch With The Property Brothers

This week, The Highland Fashionista had the privilege of meeting The Property Brothers, of the popular HGTV renovation show of the same name.  Jonathan and Drew Scott were in the UK visiting family (Scottish heritage) and doing a bit of publicity at the Olympics.

Jonathan Scott, Me, and Drew Scott. I'm wearing a Moschino Cheap and Chic menswear-inspired vest,
 H&M tee, Calvin Klein Jeans (that are confirmed to be too big in the waist by this photo,
as I suspected), and Aldo shoes. Not that anyone is looking at what I am wearing in this photo anyway...
....I mean...come ON. Look at these guys!

The Scott brothers are a couple of very intelligent, fun, and talented guys, and we had a lovely wee visit. And holy cow are they cute. And double holy cow are they tall. The Highland Fashionista is 5'11'', and looks positively shrimpy in this photo, even with the wedge booties!

Anyway,  you can catch their show on the HGTV network Wednesdays at 9/8c in the USA (sorry Britain, apparently we're not allowed to view it over here, for reasons that are completely lost on me). 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More New Mitts!

Behold, the latest instalment for my Etsy shop. Fingerless mitt season is nearly upon us!

Horizon Mitts on Etsy

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Look That Is Clearly Trying To Tell Me Something

A while back, when some of the fall ready-to-wear collections were becoming available for pre-order, I found myself lingering for quite some time on this look by Derek Lam.

photo courtesy The Cut

I love the elegance of this look. It manages to have a louche sophistication about it without being too dressed. The top, in particular really held my attention, with all of its hand-knitted chunkiness, wee side vents, and slight shirttail hem....okay, you can't see that part in this photo, but trust me, it's there. Ideally, I would probably try to re-create this look with a skirt with a little less volume. A sort of 90's floor-length loose a-line type thing. But thats just me. I've always been afraid of long, full, Dirndl-like skirts....I feel like if I take my eye off the ball even for a minute, I will be pairing my dirndl skirt with a sweatshirt with a picture of a cat on it and forgetting to take the rollers out of my hair before I get on the bus.

But in the end, I didn't order it (the Derek Lam that is, not the cat sweatshirt). I just couldn't bring myself to spend over a grand on a (albeit fabulous) knit sweater tank that looks vaguely like one I think I owned back in the late 80s, and a skirt I'm sure I could find in a slightly less expensive permutation.

So fast-forward to today.  I was browsing a slideshow of some of the trends for fall on NY Magazine's The Cut....and there it was. The Derek Lam look was back. And it was looking right at me.

So clearly the universe is trying to tell me something. And that something is, that I should not only make that attempt to re-create this look after all, but I should also start to think about other ways I can expand my horizons and incorporate this louche long look into my wardrobe vernacular.

See how I did that there? Some people see the Virgin Mary in their burnt toast, Haley Joel Osment sees dead people......I see outfits.

So this is what I came up with that was already in the closet. The skirt is
actually a silk chiffon halter dress by Max & Cleo that I found on Ebay. The top, a sleeveless mock
turtleneck from Dana Buchman that I have had since the 90's, and an H&M belt. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Language Class - Scottish 101

A wee digression today from the style side of things. The rain that was predicted last week has become a reality,  and stylish picture-taking out of doors is not an option at this moment in time. So on to pursuits of the indoor variety.

In the spirit of all this back to school hype that you can't get away from this time of year,  HF would like to ease you slowly back into a culture of learning after your last few months of summer pursuits, many of which were likely performed one-handed while holding a gin and tonic in the other, or maybe a Linenkugels and a pair of BBQ tongs (hello, Wisconsin!). No, its time to get serious now, put down the bratwurst, and get back to the learnin'.

Today's post was inspired by a particularly amusing piece by the folks at Yahoo on the all-time worst Scottish accents in film.  Go ahead and hover over that last sentence with your mouse and the link will pop-up, and you can see it for yourself. Go ahead, I'll wait...

 As an American in Scotland, this was right up my alley. Movies very rarely get the accent right. Yes, we all expected Mel Gibson's much-publicized revisionist-historian view of the world to produce a bad Scots accent, no surprise there, but with very few exceptions (Mike Meyers being one), nobody else can get it right either. Including me, and I am on what I suppose would be considered the "immersion program".

So to aid you in your journey through the Scots accents and terminology, I have prepared the following module. Pencils-up. There will be a quiz later.

1. The Accent

When I was transferring my nursing license to the UK, they made me take a course for foreign nurses (likely meant for non-English speakers, but there I was) in which they made us listen to a tape of things patients might say in a Glasgow Scots accent, followed by a little beep, after which we were expected to write down what was said. No kidding. I believe I made myself a wee bit unpopular by giggling my way through the entire exercise (but I defy anyone to listen to a tape of someone exclaiming "ma heed hurts an I've been spewin'-up all night!.....beeeeeeeep." and not crack a smile). But I digress. Here is the video-assisted part of your module.  Please hold all questions until the end of the session. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Act of Neutrality

There is something both soothing and sophisticated about a neutral palette, and it just so happens there are some really fantastic pieces by up and coming designers on right now that capture that essence perfectly. Sort of Celine meets Calvin Klein with just a pinch of whimsy and a dash of romance. Here, feast.

And now I also think I need some cobalt blue shoes. Those are fierce with white and taupe. And also maybe a hat....

Monday, August 13, 2012

New (Old) Shoes!

Omigosh! You guys! Check out these amazing vintage moccasins I found on Ebay!

These are made by Circle S, which I believe is a westernwear company, so apparently I am now the proud new owner of a pair of western moccasins (Yee-haaa!). They are made in Brazil, look like they have never been worn, buttery-soft leather, comfortably soft lining with arch support, hand stitching, leather sole...these are all marks of quality that you rarely see these days in retail shops. Needless to say, I am very excited, what with my having the thrift store gene and all.

I love the classic look of a two-tone loafer or moc with a plain button-down and rolled jeans. I like the play on menswear, it's a little bit retro, and a very climate-friendly look for those of us who are not always able to go with the open toes.  And they were in my size...very rare for a vintage pair of shoes. It always seems like vintage shoes are tiny, doesn't it? You always find that perfect pair of vintage Prada mules and they are like, a size -3, as if for a child... or maybe one of Santa's elves. Anyway, these fit like a glove. So clearly not tiny.

Since so many have asked, that is the Sound of Kerrera in the background, and the hills in the background
off my right shoulder is the Isle of Kerrera. The far-off bit of land over my left shoulder is the Isle of Mull,
 part of the Inner Hebrides,  off theWest Coast of Scotland.  And that concludes the tour. Please pass
through the giftshop when you leave. Shirt: Lilly Pulitzer, Jeans: Calvin Klein

New Mitts!

I have been as busy as a little bee.  A knitting,  blogging, stethescope-weilding, tennis-playing bee..... who knits.  Here, have a look. 

Spectrum Mitts made by Highland Fashionista on Etsy

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Last of the Summer Shorts

There is some seriously lovely weather going on right now in the highlands, and like always when the sun is shining and the weather is balmy, people can't stop talking about how it is all going to come to a screeching halt very, very soon. "Make the most of it" they say, "because next week it's supposed to be pretty wet."  So here we all are, the sun blazing down, the light reflecting off of the sea and bouncing off the rolling green cliffs of the highlands, and yet we must all start to think about joining the queue for the long, slow death march back to apocalyptic weather and waterproof outerwear. I think not.

Nope,  I am going to stay outside and wear my two new pairs of thrift store shorts that I found. And I am going to shoot photos directly into all of this brilliant sunshine (rightly or wrongly), simply because I can.  If next week is going to turn into an extended scene from The Day After Tomorrow,  I want to have worn my new shorts for a little while before I die of exposure. 

Shirt:  Lilly Pulitzer, Shorts (thrifted): J. Crew, Belt: H&M

Sandals: Dune

Shorts (thrifted): Tommy Hilfiger, Jacket(old): Nannette Lepore, Tank: New Look

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Makeup For The Short Attention Span

I am a huge fan of a foundation that you can slap-on in about thirty seconds. That's not to say I do not enjoy the ritual of getting ready, I certainly do.  I'm simply dealing in the everyday stuff here; those in-between days where you have to be at work at a certain time,  or maybe the day where you just don't want to run into every single person you know in the produce aisle of Whole Foods looking wan and insipid.  I am a fan of any product that delivers on a promise to make me less wan and insipid in under a minute. Amiright?

Personally, I have two products in my cache that have served me well for this very purpose.

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Finish Powder Foundation (warm sand)
 Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Medium

Both of these products are buildable products. You can use the Bobbi Brown foundation wet or dry. It comes with a wee sponge, but you can also put it on with a brush. I always use it dry (with the sponge) after my moisturiser. It also contains an SPF of 12, although I certainly wouldn't rely on just that to protect me from the rays....outside of Scotland, that is.

The Maybelline BB cream is basically a really nice tinted moisturiser that also contains some silicone elements to function as a face primer, and an SPF 30 sunscreen, which is always a plus. It has a nice, oil-free finish and leaves a subtle glow. Great for summer.

So let us look at each of these in turn, shall we? And remember people, this is science, so please be serious. You at the back of the room, please turn your iPhone off. You can play Temple Run on your own time. Yes, you.

Ahem. In order to keep conditions stable in the experiment, I used the exact same accompanying products for the testing of both foundations. Here are the accompanying products I used to create my "everyday minimal makeup yet rosy and fresh like a daisy" face:

From left: L'Oreal Super Liner in Intense Black

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Show Your Pointy Bits!

Get your minds out of the gutter.

What I was going to say, is that nothing balances an uber-feminine blouse like some serious rock chick jewellery. I have been loving the spiky jewellery trend for a while now, and the up and coming designers featured on have created some seriously awesome pieces. Here, feast. There is some serious creativity going on there, and these are but a very edited-down version of some of my top picks, and I assure you, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


First of all, if you are a person who really, truly has that kind of a reaction to snakes, you should stop doing that immediately. Snakes are beautiful and misunderstood. Here is a link to The Center for Snake Conservation to help you get over it and move on to fearing real things, like lycra leggings.

Second of all, I have new snake pants. Yep.  So International Pants week here at Highland Fashionista HQ is rapidly becoming International Pants Month (I do think about other things, I assure you. Sometimes I think about t-shirts...or maybe socks).

These just sort of happened. I was in a Glasgow shopping centre, feeling sort of despondent over the overall quality of the fabrics and cuts that were on offer. Lots of sheer, flammable material,  and not a lot else. We've all been there. I wasn't really looking for anything at all. Just hoping that something would jump out and inspire me.

I wandered into H&M with an open mind. They always have affordable plays on trends that won't make you feel like an arse for spending a fortune when, a season later, you can't remember what you were thinking when you made the purchase. I even thought I was being silly when I took the python-printed cream skinny jeans off of the sale rack and into the dressing room, certain that they would make my thighs look like the trunks of two giant albino California redwoods.

But actually...

I liked them. A lot, actually. They fit well, and they debunk a few myths that I always thought were true about printed pants as a genre.  I have taken the effort of listing these myths below for your ease of reference.

  1. Printed pants make your legs (and ass) look huge. Nope, although I suppose it depends on the print.  The lovely thing about snake print is that it runs vertically, and is quite elongating to the legs. 
  2. It is difficult to pair a printed pant with anything other than a plain top.  Nonsense. I actually had a fuchsia cabled sleeveless cashmere sweater on with these pants before the photos,  and I would have kept it on had I not spilled almond milk all down the front of it. Python works really well for pattern and texture mixing, because of its subtle gradients. 
  3. Snakeskin pants are best left to the under-thirty crowd.  Shut up. You clearly have no idea who you are talking to. 
So there it is. My new snake pants...a happy, happy accident. Just like the song says, it goes to show you never can tell. 

In conclusion, there will be a few of you who are undoubtedly confused as to why a 40 year-old professional sans children owns a stuffed snake. 

I borrowed it from somebody. 

Fergus the bearded collie claims his property. It has a squeaker in the head and the tail. 

The Sum of All The Parts

Pants - H&M python-print skinny jeans
Tank - New Look

Friday, August 3, 2012


You can see how these things develop, can't you? First the acquisition of my new mint pants, followed by the completion of a pair of like-coloured chunky knit sleeves, and now this. I chose this for my running-out-the-door-in-five-minutes pedicure.

A quick, minty, and completely haphazard non-professional pedicure with my new favourite toenail colour.
Revlon Nail Enamel in Minted

This is not a new polish. I got it about a year ago, used it a few times, and sort of forgot about it. But now, rediscovered, look how fun it is for summer! The perfect companion shade to compliment summer pastels. This would probably be pretty slick on your hands too, but I am not a person who wears colour on her hands. Maybe once in a while I'll do a classic red for a special occasion, but that is the extent of it. My toes get all the love. 

Some other minty-fresh shades that are similar:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Sleeves

Behold my latest creation for my Etsy shop. Because nothing inspires me to create chunky, woollen knitwear like the summer heat of August.

Okay, in Scotland, that statement seems to make more sense than it does when you see it written-down. Anyway...

Slouchy Misty Sleeves by Highland Fashionista on Etsy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Minty Fresh Simplicity

Continuing on with what has apparently become International Pants Week here at Highland Fashionista HQ,  I would just like to issue a (very) brief acknowledgement of a sentiment I expressed earlier last week.  The minty denim trousers, the companion piece to my hot pink pants in my ongoing effort to inject some life into the bottom half of my daily sartorial efforts, have arrived via post. And they are totally fun. A perfect way to feel like you are doing something interesting without being totally overdressed. Perfect for those of us who live in casual remote areas. Behold the minty fresh simplicity.

Random, yes. My hydrangeas are blooming and I wanted to show somebody. 

Shirt, thrift store find, but I think it is Marks and Spencer
Pants,  New Look
Snakeskin belt, thrift store find, but heres a lovely one by Vince Camuto
Wedge shoes (old),  Aerosoles

That is all.