Sunday, March 31, 2013

Whale is the New Black

Today, in a rare and wonderful occurrence,  a whale swam past our house. Turn up the volume so you can hear the blow-hole. (Hee. I said blow-hole.) That is all. Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Seven Pounds of Power

See these? I found these Steve Madden stilettos at TK Maxx (Americans, that's the same as TJ Maxx only British) last week for seven pounds.  Seven. Siete. Sept.  Behold the hotel room victory photo glory, and revel in the five-inch, leather snake-embossed, metal pointy cap-toed splendour.

They're all-leather, and sport on-trend pointy toes. They are taupe and black with a kind of burnished-looking protective toe cap, so are really neutral, and can be worn instead of black pumps for a bit of interest, but without committing to a full-on leopard or zebra print.  And the best part? They are actually pretty darn comfy for a pair of 5-inch heels...which incidentally makes me about 6'3'', so I'll have to remember not to wear these babies when I pose for red carpet photos with Tom Cruise.

That sound you just heard is the Scientologists coming for me. Bring it on, I say. These shoes could take on Xenu himself and still have a little something left over to kick the asses off of a pack of roving body thetans. If you have no idea what any of that means...that's probably a good thing. I had to look it up too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dressing Around a Wild Thing

Behold the wild Sam Edelman Lorissa pump; pictured here in the colour Spanish rose, quite at home in its natural habitat having just fed on a group of tourists who wandered just a wee bit too close to my house. Shhh. Best not to disturb it.

I have been tracking the Lorissa pumps since they first made an appearance on the Sartorial Serengeti last year. I finally found them on sale, and let me tell you, that is not an easy task. They are still well over 200 GBP in the UK when you can find them at all. But if you are in the USA, you can get them on Amazon, and some of the colours are deeply discounted!  Luckily, I have connections on both sides of the pond.  I had always thought I wanted the black ones with the black studs, then was going to go for the off-white, but now I am very glad that my cheapness won out and I got the Spanish rose (on sale), because as it turns out, they are the perfect nude heel with a twist.

Ahh, here we have the Lorissa interacting with its human handler. They are still getting used to each other. It is a process.

I love taking something wild like the Lorissa pump and pairing it with something über-casual, like jeans and a tee. Today's look is what I envision would happen if a bush pilot were needing to refuel her plane, and asked Kim Kardashian, who just happened to be passing-by the hangar, if she would run into town and pick her up a pair of everyday shoes.

The Stuff

Shoes: Sam Edelman Lorissa in Spanish Rose (UK)
Sam Edelman Lorissa Pumps (USA)
Canvas bomber jacket: Whistles (old). Check out this amazing sheepskin shearling aviator jacket.
Tee: Urban Outfitters Cold-Shoulder Graphic Tee (past season). Some similar animal print ones here.
Jeans: Calvin Klein Straight Women's Jeans
Jewellery: (from my own collection)
Rose gold bangle Similar here in 14kMore affordable stainless version here.
Rose gold and smoky topaz ring: Gorgeous 14k version here. Affordable version here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Orange Lipstick + Gray Hair

Orange lipstick. Gray hair. I am totally getting my 1960's little old lady on. And I love it. It works. If you are letting your hair go naturally as I have, or even if you're not, the strong lip is your friend. And if the strong lip is your friend, the orange strong lip is your cool friend who wears sequinned platforms at ten o clock in the morning and still manages to look bed-heady and effortless. Forget what you have been told about avoiding oranges and golds with your silver locks and give this one a go. This is awesome. Go get some.

I went with the drugstore variety, just in case it was something I decided I didn't like. There was a limited range of options at the shop where I went. Not to say there weren't millions of nice coral shades. There were plenty.  But the pinkness of the tone of a natural lip lends itself to turning any shade of orange lipstick slightly coral anyway, so I wanted to start with something really orange.

I came close, and am happy with what I got, but I'm not quite as far into nuclear-retro-orange territory as I would like to be. My choices? A blend of the following (from back to front).

Sephora Lip Attitude (old) G03 Glamour

I have decided that I will continue my search for the perfect shade of fallout-shelter orange. I'll keep you posted. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Stirling Campus Street Style

You guys, it's not even fair how cute and well-dressed university students are these days. I am officially 127,000 years old.

I had some business to attend to this week that took me to the Stirling University campus. The students were a delightful sartorial mix of urban edge, unfaltering femininity, and some really well-placed accessories. I seriously regretted not having a real camera with me, having to rely on my iPhone and the graciousness of the student body for letting me snap their photos while they were in-between classes.

 My own undergraduate days took place in the early 90's at a midwestern university in America. This was during the height of what can only be described as the roll-into-class-in-your-flannel-PJ-bottoms craze, or as I now refer to it, The Dark Ages, 2.0.

Seeing these girls putting themselves together so decisively, right down to their creative uses of colour and accessories, made me realise that those of us who thought we were being cool, minimalistic, carefree, and low-maintenance in the 90s with our flip-flops and our slouchiness...well, we were most likely just being slobs.  These girls are doing it for real.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Theoretical Spring

Sometimes, like many of you, I find myself having to go to these work meetings where the talk seems to be all theory and no actual ideas. You've all heard this type of jargon; action items (doing stuff), PDSA cycles (plan, do, study, act cycles...thinking about doing stuff), interfacing (talking to another human being). These jargon buzzwords tend to send me into fits of giggles, after which I immediately start scanning the room for the nearest exit. It's a miracle anyone will employ me at all, really.

This year, I would like to take it upon myself to add another theoretical construct to the list, the construct being spring.  Spring, or perhaps I should say "spring", is seemingly only happening in theory this year, in magazines and on the runways. And while I know that these photos look like Scotland is awakening with the promise of sprouting tulips and short-sleevedness, I can assure you that it is bloomin' freezing out here.  1 degree Celsius to be exact. One. You missed the horizontal sleet and snow. That was yesterday.  So while I am actually dying to show you the many warmer-weather looks that I have acquired recently, I have no desire to photographically document my own death on this blog, so I'm afraid it will just have to wait.

I can, however, give you a pragmatist's approach to "spring" dressing. Pattern mixing. Accessories, and lots of them. When it's still too cold to take it off... pile it on!

The Stuff

Jeans: SO (Kohl's) Skinny Jeans (old). Similar here.
Top: H&M (past season).This O'Neill tank has very similar colours.
Bead trim merino cardigan: J. Crew (old). Similar one here.
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (old). Similar awesome ones here.
Necklaces (my own); Turquoise bead strand, Carnelian strand and pendant, Murano glass and bead.
Watch: Judith Ripka for QVC
Scarf (last photo): H&M
Bracelet: Kenneth Jay Lane "Ravishing Ram". Similar "Monkey Head" bracelet here.
Rings: Wedding and Anniversary bands (mine), Red Jasper Ring from art fair. Similar here.
Bag: Betsey Johnson. Similar here by Hobo Bags.

For more variations on the "spring" uniform, click here to visit IFB's blogger Project No. 88. 

If you still haven't had enough Spring style, head on over to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday by clicking here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Stuff! Go Shopping!

It may not feel like it yet, but spring is upon us. As part of my spring cleaning efforts, I have added some new stuff at Highland Fashionista Secondhand!  Like a bargain? Love to thrift? Appreciate a well-made garment? You've come to the right place. Have a look...these are just some of the new additions to the shop, and as always, none of them will break the bank.

Visit Highland Fashionista Secondhand via the link at the top of the blog, or just by clicking here

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Booties

These were in the last post, and I meant to mention them before, but cute, non? Got them on sale last week in Glasgow. And they're super comfy. I wore them for the first time to a dinner Saturday night and walked all over town, up and down stairs, and my feet felt brand-new all night long.  Don't you love the tassles? I like how they feel flopping-around down there.

There is clearly bootie karma floating about right now, because my sister found the cutest pair of booties at a consignment store. Check out her fabulous find.

I could go on here about things in the universe that are meant to be and how very uncanny it is that two sisters would both get a crackin' deal on booties in the same few days when they live at opposite ends of the Atlantic, yada...yada....yada....

But the reality is, we come from a family where the women really like clothes. A lot. So how likely is it that the two of us would be out scavenging for clothes in the same few days and happen to find something, and that something happens to be booties? Pretty gosh-darn likely, I'd say. So apologies to all you hidden-meaning enthusiasts out there, but that's not the universe calling-out. That's just our feet.

My booties: Dune
My sister's booties: consigned (unknown brand). Similar ones here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This look is what I refer to as my Scottish uniform. I wear a combination of like-shaped pieces like this a few days out of every week.  Various bits of black stuff. Short over long. Pop of colour. Skinnies. Booties. All methods employed here are foolproof, and flatter just about every body type out there. It may not be pointing towards the future of fashion, but it is modern and effortless all the same. Sometimes, there is a certain security in wearing the thing that you know won't let you down.  This is easy. This works.  This has gotten me out of many a sartorial bind when travelling in colder climes, and therefore I feel that I owe this look a debt of gratitude. Especially this coat. This cropped pea coat goes everywhere with me. If you only buy one coat in your lifetime (yeah, right), make it a modern pea coat.

Coat: Guess cropped pea coat (old). Here is a cute one with a hood!
Sweater: Alexander Wang sleeveless mock neck knit (last season). Here is a similar one on sale
Jeans: Calvin Klein (gifted from Mom), but on sale here!
Sunglasses: H&M

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Self-Directed Study

I was away this week, attending the second part of this course I'm doing for work. At the course, they were clearly unprepared for us. Most of the time that we were supposed to be spending in lectures was turned-into "self-directed study".  So after a few hours of looking busy, I self-directed myself to H&M. I had been looking at these pants online, and decided to "study" them in more detail.

So into the dressing room I went. This is my self-directed study outfit by the way. 

The pants were a resounding success. More so than the course I was supposedly on. They (the pants) came back to the hotel with me, where I proceeded to salsa dance in front of the mirror like a maniac in my new fancy pants. 

Then I decided to try to style them with things that I had in my suitcase. Luckily, I had brought my Equipment cashmere sweater. See how it too likes to dance?  

Sweater: Equipment
Pants: H&M