Thursday, May 30, 2013

Botanical Shift

I got this shift at Zara in Dubai. I'm pretty sure that it is supposed to be a minidress, but on me, it barely covers my lady business, and well....that would just be vulgar, now wouldn't it? But I loved the piece dearly, so I strayed from my usual sartorial routine and decided I could do a dress over pants or shorts type of arrangement. I'm not at all a fan of leggings, so as much as I'm sure they would stretch this outfit even further, I'm just not willing to go there. I belong to the Tim Gunn school of thought on leggings.

As you are well aware by now, I love a crazy print, a tunic, structure, and things with a bohemian flair. This satisfies
all of my usual triggers, and yet still feels simple and structured.

The Stuff

Zara shift
DKNY cutoff jeans (old), similar
Hot Diamonds watch (gift), similar
Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet (old),  similar for a steal!
Dune shoes (old), similar

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vacation Inspiration

I like to honour the memories of my favourite vacations by using them as inspiration for looks, accessory purchases, or decorative additions to my home. Once, after returning from the South Pacific, I painted my entire bedroom a vibrant swimming-pool turquoise. This was before I was married...nobody was there to object.

These days, I have a little more restraint. Here are some of my most recent vacation inspiration picks.

Crystal Bay Resort, Koh Samui Island, Thailand
Tory Burch Accessories

Big Buddah, Koh Samui Island, Thailand
From Net a Porter:
Clover Canyon jacket
Michael Kors brocade shorts
Aurélie Bidermann jewellery
Marni shoes

Koh Samui temples
Crystal Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand
Zara top

Scenic walkway en route to Crystal Bay, Koh Samui Island, Thailand
DVF Dress
Susan Foster Earrings
Ileana Makri Ring
Ancient Greek Sandals

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Got a Right to Sing The Blues

Or wear the blues, as it were. Last year, when all of those printed Prada suits were all the rage, I really lusted after one, but lets face it, if you are a person who rarely (if ever) wears suiting, are you going to make your big investment purchase a printed Prada suit with flood-length trousers? Probably not. However, when you see a pair of trousers that you have been looking at that costs £14 actually has a companion blazer on sale for £20, you think, why not? Don't you? I do.

This set if from H&M and yes, it cost £34. Not the sort of thing you will wear every single day or keep forever, but it's fun. I see myself wearing them separately a lot as well. A printed suit for £3,400? No thanks. £34? Yes please.

The Stuff 

H&M jacket and pants
Zara Shoes (old)

This post is happily shared with Plane Pretty's Sunday Style

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bangkok by Night

An edit of snaps of a very busy and constantly moving city. We love Bangkok very much, but inevitably after a few days, you're ready for the gorgeous natural beaches and slower pace of the islands.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Hot Climate Traveller

For many of us living in geographic locations in the world where fifty degrees Farenheit is considered a balmy summer day, dressing yourself for a travel day in which you will end up in a hot climate poses an interesting challenge. You leave your house in bone-chilling cashmere sweater and wellies weather, and end up walking out of the aircraft in what my husband describes as a giant hairdryer. Add to this the potential for over-zealous air-conditioning and any cultural considerations of the place to which you are travelling, and you've got yourself a bit of a sartorial challenge.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, over the years I have been lucky enough to have travelled extensively for both work and play, and have come up with my own formulaic approach to dressing for these types of trips, while still (hopefully) keeping things chic.

Real Clothes

There is no need to spend a lot on technical "travel clothing", which in my opinion is totally overpriced, laughably over-designed, and horrifyingly under-chic. Do you really need trousers that unzip into shorts for a long-haul flight to Hong Kong? No, you do not.

I like to travel to a hot climate in something with cotton or silk in it, that is lightweight, and printed (it hides everything from red wine stains to sweat marks). I like to carry my own wrap if I get cold. Airline blankets give me the heebie-jeebies.


You can leave your jacket in the car. Even in winter, I usually brave the walk across the parking ramp rather than pack something in my case that I know I won't use. I hate a huge carry-on. With the in-seat entertainment systems on long-haul flights, you don't really need much these days.

Make use of the aforementioned wraps or pashminas. I can't stress enough how often they come in handy. Oversized shirts are also a great alternative to a light jacket, as they pack up really small, fit in your handbag,  and you will wear them in other ways during the trip.

The best thing about layering in a hot climate is how useful it is when you are travelling somewhere where local custom might dictate a specific dress code, as there tends to be in a lot of Muslim countries.  Being a good tourist requires one to pay attention to the local customs, especially if you plan to go sightseeing in temples or mosques where covering yourself is a requirement.

On our last day on Koh Samui island, it was hot. It was so hot. We were heading for the airport, where we were catching a flight to Dubai, where dressing "politely", as they call it, is strongly suggested.  I opted for this French Connection dress as my base layer. Note the grumpy look on my face. That's because we were leaving. I'm a poor sport when the vacation comes to an end.

In my bag, I had squirreled-away a few key pieces that I pulled out at the airport in Bangkok and put on before the flight to Dubai, thus enabling me to go right from airport to hotel to dinner without missing a beat. Knees and shoulders covered, potential cleavage safely stowed-away.

It never ceases to amaze me how something as simple as a well-fitting belted white shirt can elevate an outfit from beach to bistro. What's best is that I really do find myself wearing more of what's in my closet when I travel, as opposed to feeling like I have to run out and buy something new for the trip.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

40 is the new 40: My Mom

This week's contributor to the 40 is the New 40 series is none other than my mother, who turned 71 in February.  Mom is a living, breathing example of how radically changing one's style after a certain age is not necessary, and probably not advisable if you have a very distinct personal style, which my mom very much does. She has not really ever changed her passion for clothes or her personal style much (trends notwithstanding), instead choosing to use her superior thrifting and sewing skills to focus on finding well-made clothing that speaks to her and making the garments fit properly. Her sartorial choices...well, the photos speak for themselves.

40 71 is the New 40 

The Highland Fashionista and Style Star of The Week (I still call her Kristin), asked me to send something for her blog.  So last weekend, her sister and I  headed outside to shoot some pictures with a new camera.  Then today, their Dad finished up the task (with his new camera).   

The girls and I have always been ardent thrift shoppers, and many of the things photographed for this blog are thrifted. Over the years, I have tweaked the fit of thrifted items...serging cashmere sweaters into a smaller sizes, letting down coat and jacket sleeves, changing hems on pants and skirts, narrowing sleeves and pant legs that are too wide, and removing collars from shirts. For me, doing those things is almost as fun as the shopping. None of the clothing in these pictures has been altered however, because sometimes things just fit.

Top Photo: thrifted silk skirt, peplum top (TJ Maxx)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

She's Back!

Yep, back from our trip to Thailand. It was amazing. I have photos, but I need to sort them out and edit. I don't want to turn the blog into the internet version of one of those endless enforced vacation slideshows that we have all had to endure at some point in our lives where a friend or neighbor pins you down and won't let you go until you have seen every single last picture of every meal they ate. Enforced fun. Fundatory. Although I do have many, many photos of different plates of curry for those who are interested.

Anyway,  I figured that in order to properly celebrate my return, I'd wear a tux.

Okay, that's a lie. I actually bought this amazing tux jacket by Brazilian designers Clements Riberio the day we left for our holiday while we were walking about in Glasgow before our evening flight. It was on the sale rack at TK Maxx for £20. No foolin'. And it fits great.  Here, take a closer look.

I didn't really know that much about Clements Ribeiro until this year, but I am hooked. Their quirky mixes of print and texture are right up my alley, and they seem to be masters of my favourite types of garments that blend  bohemian edge and tailoring. I'm hooked.

And looking at these photos, I also need a haircut. Like, really bad. Hopefully this week.

The Stuff

Clements Ribeiro jacket via TK Maxx
Seven for all Mankind jeans via TJ Maxx  (old)
No, that's not a typo....TJ Maxx and TK Maxx are the same store in the USA and UK respectively. 
Lilly Pulitzer white cotton shirt (old)
Stuart Weitzman patent pumps (old) via eBay

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Ego Boost: I'm a Winner

Here it is! The first-ever time I won anything fashion-related is now a matter of public record. Come, contribute to my big-headedness and read about my mad fashion skillz over at Today I'm Wearing"s Blog.

Click here for the link

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Glam 40 + Blogger Jetset Life

Ah yes. You know how it is for us bloggers. Constantly circumnavigating the globe, meeting new people, getting invited to all sorts of exclusive premieres, sitting in the front row at fashion week while fighting to maintain an expression of ennui that does not betray our utter excitement to be there at all...

Okay, none of that is true.

Well, a bit of it is true. My husband and I are on a stopover in Dubai on our way back from Thailand, and had the utter privilege to have a lovely night out with fellow blogger Mrs. Jack of All Trades and her husband. We had a great time out on an evening that included lobster nachos, some proper coffee, some lively conversation, and a dancing fountain. I am constantly amazed at what an unexpected gift blogging has been in getting to seize these opportunities to reach out and meet like-minded people the world over. I'm just surprised it took me so long to get out there in the blogosphere. Call me a late bloomer, if you must.

The final photos are some snaps I took of some of the gold necklaces we saw today in the Dubai Gold Souk. Light and understated.....(cough), these babies were impressive. You know, accessories  you reach for when toppling over and throwing your back out from the weight imbalance is totally worth it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Citizen Blooms: A Guest Post

I have been very fortunate while I have been away to have several of my favourite bloggers do guest spots on the blog. You will most likely already know Bella from The Citizen Rosebud, but if you don't, get on over to her blog immediately and get acquainted. She is everything that is right about the web and a champion of and friend to independent bloggers everywhere. This is a photo essay she submitted (I like to think of it as an important contribution to my campaign to browbeat spring into actually arriving in Scotland this year).

Bella is a poet, a writer, and an amateur photographer. When she's not shamelessly cavorting about smelling the flowers, she's blathering on about fashion. She does it all over at

I Won!? Really!?

As I sit here in the Bangkok airport sulking because my holiday is nearly over, I have received word that I am this week's winner of Today I'm Wearing's  Style Star of the Week contest!! Seeing as though I never win anything,  this takes the sting out of having to return to the freezing UK.  The piece will be up on their blog Friday, and you can rest assured that I will be pointing it out  to you.

In the meantime, check this out. When was the last time you saw an airport looking like this? I know, right!?