Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mint and Meow

I found this sweater for 20 pounds at Topshop. This makes my first Topshop purchase (I know, right?) I often go in, but find I have a problem with the quality, and leave empty-handed. This sweater is cotton, so I figured that as an actual, identifiable natural fiber, I couldn't go too far wrong. I'm actually wearing this backwards, something I used to do a lot when I was in Jr. High, but not so much now. Until today. I paired it with minty jeans to keep everything from being too hard-edged. I love the gradient pattern, and the fact that it is slouchy, bat-winged, and oversized. So comfy! And it sets off the silver streaks nicely too. Mee-freakin'-yow!

Sweater: Topshop
Jeans: New Look (past season)
Shoes: All Saints (past season)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vintage Aquascutum Jacket

Holy cow.  What a week for awesome finds it has been. I was in a thrift shop to drop off a donation, had a quick browse around (as one does), and this caught the corner of my eye. It's a beautifully made wool blazer in a traditional check pattern. The fabric has the most lovely silky-smooth hand, and everything about it just felt right, as it often does with a well-made garment. When I pulled it off the hanger to get a closer look, I nearly passed-out.

No. Way! And it was in my size.  Shut UP!!  And they wanted ten pounds for it. GET OUT!!

Victory fist-pump.

Based on the cut, I'm guessing that this jacket is circa late 80s, early 90s, although it is hard to tell because it is in pristine condition. At first I thought I would do what I always do when I get something secondhand; get it tailored. But I have decided to leave it alone. It works. Why mess with it?

Acquascutum jacket: thrifted
Jeans: New Look
Boots: Bare Traps (past season)
Tee: H&M
Sterling and citrine necklace (my own)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Featured Post: Avenue32

Things are all abuzz today here at Highland Fashionista HQ. The good people at luxury shopping e-tailer Avenue32 have been in touch, and asked me if I would be interested in doing a sponsored post in which I, the Highland Fashionista, make a personal wishlist entirely from items available on their website.  I get to pick anything I want.  As a person who considers herself eminently qualified in the areas of putting things into virtual shopping baskets and pressing checkout buttons, naturally I said yes.

The Highland Fashionista's Spring 2013 Wishlist

Black and white is absolutely everywhere for spring. This classic shift will undoubtedly stand the test of time. A classic cut, slimming colour blocking, sexy yet office-appropriate length,  and oragami-overlap split. A forever piece, to be sure. 

Smooth-paneled metal bib necklaces are having a moment. And I want in. Put this with anything, even just a plain tee, and you're dressed. Pair this with a maxi dress, and you are the queen of the resort. 

This is the bag shape right now, and I love it. It's practical, has nice lines, and carries that bit of edge that lets the world know that you are serious in your pursuit of awesomeness. 

What is so very great about the graphic trend is that is is so easy to get it right with just a few really well-appointed pieces. Take these shoes. These are the business.  You can wear these with ankle jeans, you can wear them with a black form-hugging midi dress. The possibilities are endless, and they are very now

Preen Leopard Jacquard Tyler Top

As those of you who follow will know by now,  I love a bit of peplum. This floral red and white is a great way to diffuse a lot of the black and white pieces that are floating around this season. And with a pair of jeans...don't even get me started! Or with a pair of jeans and tall boots.....palpitaitons....

 This one is an Avenue32 buyer's pick, and I readily admit it is my favourite as well.  This ring is unique, edgy, and carries with it just a whiff of danger. I would totally risk poking myself in the eye with this. With my good eye, I would be able to see just how good I look wearing it.  

Of course, I am just scratching the surface with this list. I could go on and on, but like me, you'll probably want to go have a look for yourself.  Thanks again to the lovely folks at Avenue32 for the invite to do a sponsored post. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some serious thinking about a Talon Ring to attend to.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Random Outfit: Dog Walking

Today, much to my delight and relief, the weather was absolutely stunning. A reminder as to why we have chosen to live in the highlands; something that comes into question every year in the dead of winter after months of darkness and driving rain.  We are so very lucky to be where we are.

The beautiful scenery always takes front and center over any sartorial choice you could possibly make, which is why I tend to use it judiciously as a backdrop to my outfit posts. You just can't compete with mother nature. But a dog-walking outfit post is perfect. Nothing fancy, just practical, low-maintenance, drool-resistant fashion.

Yes, that's a poop bag in my hand. An empty one, thank goodness. 

Sweater: hand-knit by my mother in law
Jeans: Calvin Klein
Fingerless Gloves: thrifted, but you can get some on my Etsy site.
Sunglasses: thrifted

Friday, February 22, 2013


Omigosh! You guys!! Look at this dress I found in the sale section at Warehouse when I was in Glasgow this week! Its awesomeness simply cannot be denied! Thirty five pounds. Yup.

I know it's hard to tell with light in the photo, but those are rhinestones, baby! Thing is, this is the kind of dress that you are not going to get to wear all that often when you live in the Highlands, so better that it costs you thirty-five pounds than seven hundred and thirty five.  But make no mistake.....I will wear this. I'll wear it anywhere a cocktail dress is appropriate.

I love that it is gray, and really complements the salt and pepper streaks in this funny old bird's hair. It's loose and comfy, which is as good for doing the Charleston (as above) as it is for making a quick getaway when some stool-pigeon calls the coppers and you have to quickly toss-back your sidecar and make a quick getaway out the back exit into the alley.

Dress: Warehouse
Shoes: Enzo Angiolini
Headpiece: my own (from my wedding)

Highland Fashionista is happy to participate in Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Little Help Here Please?

Presented before you are four different looks. Which one should I wear on Saturday night to an annual dinner? It's not über-formal or anything, but it is festive. I can't decide if I want to go straight-up girly, a little edgy, or comfy yet arty. Help me decide. You can vote using the ballot box at the bottom of the post. If you are in Florida and are having trouble voting, click here and an operator will be standing by. Sorry was just too tempting not to go there.

Diane Von Furstenburg Dress (past season), Enzo Angiolini heels (past season)

H&M brocade peplum top, J. Crew wool and cashmere skirt (thrifted),
Kelsi Dagger wedge booties (past season)

Tibi blouse, Merona (Target) skirt (past season), Vince Camuto sparkle booties

Vero Moda leather-look collar blouse (ASOS), J. Crew cashmere and wool skirt
(thrifted), Nine West boots

Which Look should I choose?
After the 3rd glass of wine, who cares?
Create your own poll

Monday, February 18, 2013

Random Outfit Post: Charity Work

A friday afternoon, cold but clear(ish) day. I'm on my way to go sit at the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) fundraising table for a few hours. I will be asking people for money in my foreign accent as they go about their business on a busy bank holiday weekend. I didn't want to look styled to death or unapproachable.

J. Crew beaded trim merino cardigan (thrifted)
Ralph Lauren wide leg trousers (thrifted)
H&M belt

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Extreme Home Makeover, Kitchen Edition

I hardly ever do posts about home stuff. I'm not sure why, because there's cetrainly plenty to talk about in the style department. Todays post is a quick tour of the facelift hubby and I gave to our kitchen, transforming it from an 80's-late 90s point of view to a more neutral palate with added workspace that will (hopefully) see us well into the years to come.  The procedure went smoothly, and the kitchen is now resting comfortably, looking at least 15 years more modern than it used to.

Music by the awesome Barenaked Ladies

Friday, February 15, 2013

She Who Dares To Upset My Inner Thrift Store Riot Grrl

Today was a good day in the world of thrift. Today I found this dress in one of the local charity shops. 

Again, not warm enough to be dressed like this: for demonstration purposes only.
Jigsaw dress 12 GBP

I have always said that there is no thrift shopping as sweet as the thrift shopping in the United States. I still stand by that statement, today's find notwithstanding. Sometimes I feel like the UK charity shops spend too much time marketing the (mainly) flotsum and jetsum in the shop so that they can justify  putting a bigger price tag on the items. The result of this is that inevitably, they occasionally wander across the fenceline into Ridiculousville.

I saw this dress and knew immediately that it would fit me, and not just because it said size 10 (UK 14) on the tag.  Sometimes you just know, ya know? But look at the tag. Here is how they were "marketing" this dress.

Gothic. Vintage. 90's. No, no, and no.  This is a cotton dress made by British retailer Jigsaw, who are not, nor have they ever been, known for their goth ethos.  Hot Topic they are not. This dress is also nowhere near the nearly twenty years old it would need to be to even qualify as early 90's.  No, my theory is this; this is a dress that was purchased by someone, probably worn once, washed and wrung out and hung dry, and when the person realized how much ironing would go into trying to make it un-wrinkled again, they gave up. Plus, you know how retailers often will use a successful pattern again and again with just a few wee changes when they get a design that works (and by works I mean sells)?

From the Jigsaw website sale section today. Same color and everything. Just sayin'
Jigsaw blue cotton poplin broaderie dress, on sale right this minute.

So while I'm not complaining about having to pay twelve pounds for a dress (which is actually a lot by charity shop standards),  this dress is very likely this past season, and therefore I feel completely within my remit to very publicly cry bullshit on this "vintage early 90's" claim.  Not that it kept me from taking it home, mind you.

Besides, I really like the wrinkled texture. It looks intentional (maybe it is), and it keeps the dress from taking itself too seriously. Perfect for travelling, paired with chucks or sandals. Chucks.... actually that is a bit 90's come to think of it.  But goth? Puh-lease.  Here it is with girly shoes.

Zara shoes (past season)

But wait. Here's where it gets good. When I took the dress to the checkout, the clerk sized me up,  looked me up and down, and with a raised eyebrow said sarcastically "like a little of the 90's goth, do you? You'll have to get some Doc Martens and then you'll have the whole 90's goth thing going on."

Oh really!?

Honey please.  Stand down before you hurt yourself.  The thrift shop is no place for amateurs, and you are in the presence of a thrift kung-fu master.  The 90's were so very much more than just a bunch of Doc Martens paired with deconstructed babydoll dresses. I get that you think this is a pre-makeover Courtney Love thing you are trying to sell me here, but you are out of your depth.  I was in Seattle in the 90's,  at the epicenter.  I used to see Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder at the gas station in West Seattle on a regular basis. My roommate used to come home barely able to speak because she stood in line at the Seattle's Best Coffee counter at the QFC next to the bass player from Soundgarden. We used to lie in wait for the moment when one of us might run into Chris Cornell  in the toilet paper aisle on a Sunday afternoon where he would be captivated by our morning-after unwashed hair and ask us to marry him. Hence, I  feel the need to correct you because I believe you are using the term "goth" when I think what you really mean to say is "grunge".  Yes, the word you're looking for...the one you meant to write on that little tag, is grunge, not goth. Not the same. But then, this dress, taken by itself,  is neither of those things. So here is tonight's homework.

Music appreciation: anthems of the 90's
Category: Alt Rock "grunge"

How it was really done: flannel and hoodies (photo Polyvore), military issue combat boots, mine were complementary when I joined the U.S. Air Force...go figure. Tigi Bed Head Manipulator for that slept-in look, Revlon lipstick in Black Cherry, Vintage suede fringe cross-body bag. 

Highland Fashionista is proud to take part in Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, and Monday Mingle