Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Casual Neutrals

I've always thought that the real measure of sartorial creativity (at least, for those of us who love to dress) is not occasion dressing, but rather the more mundane, day-to-day stuff. Anyone can put something together for a special event that you've planned for; you'll have had time to visualise what you might want to wear from the moment you sent in your RSVP, and your "process" of dressing will have already begun by default.

For me, the greater challenge is dressing for a weekday afternoon. You're not working, you've got some errands to run, and you know you're not going to be doing anything spectacular that would require Big Art, but you still want to look and feel like you're wearing something that is uniquely you. It's easy to just grab the same "uniform" over and over again, especially at this time of the year when a majority of us are still freezing our rear ends off. Look around the next time you're out and about running errands. You'll see a sea of black, leggings, boots…not that there is anything wrong with these things per se, but an element of sameness creeps in at this time of year. Everyone is reaching for the safe choice - we're all comfort dressing.

Today I decided to try and create a simple casual errand-running look that ticked a few boxes. I wanted it to be lighthearted, comfortable, and not contain a stitch of black. What I ended up creating was almost like a textured camouflage for the coastal Scottish landscape in which I live, something which may come in handy if the zombie apocalypse happens and I need to lay low for a while, hiding in plain sight.

Rachel Zoe vest, similar / Missoni lurex open cardigan, similar, similar / thrifted tee, similar / thrifted jeans, similar / Converse sneakers / handmade glass ring (old), similar / sterling and gold-plated earrings (old), similar

Friday, February 19, 2016

This Mess

Ah, yes. Here I am, giving it my best Donald Trump face under my mop of unruly hair. I'm starting to realize why the GOP presidential candidate is always so pissed-off at the world; when your hair is constantly trying to stand up and assert itself while you're just trying to go about your day, it can get pretty exhausting. He must be constantly on edge, wondering when that next gust of wind might come out of nowhere and blow that cheese puff-colored, cotton candy mop into something an egret might want to nest in. Comparatively, I have it easy.

Over the last few months, I've been asked a few times to do a post about my hair. In the past, I've done the odd post about my choice to stop dyeing my hair, but lately I've had more than one reader request a hair post, and quite frankly, I have no idea what to do with the request.

Because here's the thing - I do very little to my hair. In fact, I do criminally little to my hair. I'm the girl who, on a rare night out, figures out what she will wear, gets dressed, does her makeup, and with whatever time she has left, the hair gets done. This usually means a hasty blow-dry and a few handfuls of frizz serum, or if I've really planned ahead, maybe a quick smooth-down with a curling or straightening iron. But let me tell you, those days are as rare as a platinum-plated unicorn with gills. When it comes to hair, I'm the worst ever, and the last person who should be dishing-out advice.

So instead, I've decided to respond to this request for a hair post with a hair diary (which my interpretive text tried to change to "hair dirty" just now, which is more appropriate than it will ever know). So here are a few typical "days in the life" of my poor hair. Prepare to be disgusted.

Feb 3, 2016

12:00 pm: Decide to take blog post photos, brush-out unwashed hair. 
17:46 pm: Work out time. Hair up.

Feb 4, 2016
0030 am:  Night shift. Allowed hair to air dry after workout and pulled it back. Did not wash.

0845: Post night shift dog walk in hat. Go to bed after.
1600: Wake up and work out.
1800: Shower. Washed hair. You're welcome.  Added Kevin Murphy Young Again Serum.

February 5, 2016

0120: Back at work. Pulled clean hair back, still wet.
0815: Let down hair from night shift and brush. Still a bit damp (12 hours later). Go to bed.

That's pretty much how it goes when I'm working, and even when I'm not. Of course there are the odd variations on the theme…but these are my three main plays when I'm not wearing it up.

So that's basically it. As far as style secrets, there pretty much are none. I try to wash it as infrequently as I can get away with, and when I do wear it up, I try to use something soft to tie it back (like a hideous old-school scrunchie or something).  I wish I had something more for you here. I wish I had some sort of exotic routine to share - some kind of rare nut oil that I get imported from the Caribbean that is guaranteed to change your hair game once and for all, but I don't.

You'll let me know if something like that comes into existence, won't you?

Monday, February 15, 2016


Looking at my last few outfit-of-the-day posts, I realize that a bit of sameness has somehow crept-into my wardrobe game of late; a kind of comfort-dressing that comes from picking that same uniform that you know will make you feel good at this dark, cold time of year.  It's the sartorial equivalent of craving Kraft Mac & Cheese - you know you need to branch-out and get other things into your diet, but it just feels so right.

So I thought I'd try something a bit dressier today…with layers. Historically, I kind of suck at layers. I find that I don't really think in layers, being the type of person who likes to put on one thing and go. I love a warm-weather vacation, where I can just count the days and put one sundress into the suitcase for each day and be done. That's really my favourite kind of dressing. Easy.

This black and white dress (last seen here) is from Zara a few seasons back. As soon as I layered-up this dress with a white shirt and tights, I realized just how much I have been missing by not thinking about layering-up my dresses more often. While there is no doubt that this dress can speak very well for itself, there's something sort of cool about the way it looks with a shirt underneath. I look like I'm on my way to work in one of those creative offices that expects you to look nice but also allows you to bring your dog. While it's still freezing-cold out here, I feel like I'm actually more dressed for the weather with these layers, as inadequate as they may be against the elements without a coat. But I could easily fit a coat on over this look. No problem. I just didn't for the pictures… wouldn't want to go too crazy. I'm just trying to break myself into this whole layering thing gently.

Zara dress (old), similar / Donna Karan tights (old), similar / Dune booties (old), similar / LL Bean blouse (old), similar / Calvin Klein vest via TK Maxx, similar, sterling and mother of pearl ring (old), similar

Shared with: Not Dead Yet Style, Not Dressed as Lamb, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, Style Nudge

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Wee Shout-Out

I'd like to thank the good people at Jewellery of Scotland for including me in their latest blog post highlighting some of the UK's fashion and jewellery bloggers! It's a privilege to be sharing the same internet real estate as so many unique and inspiring bloggers!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Overly Optimistic

Yesterday was the first day where there was some actual sunshine outside, and I enjoyed an entire walk with my dog without getting rained-on. I went back inside, thinking it to be the perfect day to shoot some photos for the blog, and naturally, the clouds came back in the 15 minutes it took me to create a look and run back outside. This is how it works here.

The temperature also dropped significantly within that 15-minute interval, because I would never have chosen these open-toe cage booties had I known that I would be going back outside into a freezing-cold afternoon. I could have easily styled this look with my tall black boots, but I was just so overcome by having seen the sun that I got perhaps a bit overly optimistic.

On the up side, I learned that I really love this dramatic high-low shell blouse underneath this fuchsia merino bolero cardigan that my sister knit for me. The proportions are interesting, and when you live in a windy environment, the top underneath is kind of constantly going "shoosh" around you, which is good for those of us who have short attention spans and are in need of constant stimulation.

And speaking of stimulants, the sunshine also prompted me to abandon the smaller, more minimalist jewelry I have been favouring lately and pile-on the most colourful pieces I could muster. I loved the result, and it wasn't nearly as OTT as I thought it might be. But then, that may have just been the hypothermia impeding my judgement.

hand-knit bolero (made by my sister), similar /  Levis skinny ankle jeans / Kelsi Dagger booties (old), similar, similar /  high-low hemline shell top (old), similar / Happiness statement necklace (last seen here), similar, similar / sterling rings (old), similar here and here

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Outside in My School Clothes

I hadn't a clue what I was doing when I put this look together - I was just sort of "tryin' stuff".  However, the minute I put the ensemble on, I fell in love with it. Probably because the combination of layered sweater vest and 70s-inspired skirt kind of reminds me of something I would have worn to school back in my elementary school days. Here I am, pictured on the playground at recess, trying to win a bet with my school friends that I can stand on one leg longer than anyone else. You're not allowed to touch, and we decided who would go first with one of those origami paper fortune tellers. The losers have to hand over the desserts from their lunchboxes. That's the bet, and I am so going to win.

I've talked about this before, but it sort of came up again while I was putting this look together; high waisted skirts like this one make you have to sort of rethink your shirt game. I am still so accustomed to wearing everything so low on my waist that a lot of my shirts suddenly look awkward and disproportionate when paired with a high-waisted skirt. This sweater vest was the perfect answer to that. It's a cashmere mock turtle neck, and its shorter, by which I mean it sits right at the natural waist, so it's a perfect pairing. I also realised I have been missing a trick by not using this vest for layering. Here in Scotland, you can wear it like this year-round.

Thrifted cashmere sleeveless mock turtleneck, similar / Missoni long-sleeve top (old), similar / thrifted denim skirt, similar / Nine West boots (old), similar / sterling feather bracelet (old), similar / sterling dangle circle earrings (old), similar

Linking up with: Not Dead Yet Style, Not Dressed as Lamb, Elegantly Dressed & Stylish, Style Nudge, Sydney Fashion Hunter

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Quest for the Golden Feets

If you've spent more than fourteen seconds in my presence, you will already know that I am a huge fan of a metallic shoe. They are essentially neutral accessories that go with everything, yet they add a bit of character to a look without having to do much work, which is perfect for travel, day-to-day life, and all other manner of general sartorial laziness.

These shoes sort of fell into my lap…literally. Fate led me to these Sperry loafers at a Nordstrom Rack when one of them fell off the shelf and hit me in the head while I was bent-down looking at much less practical shoes on the bottom shelf.  It was fate…the siren song of the shoe aisle, and I was powerless against its lure.

Plus, they were 35 bucks. So, you know…bargain.

They're nothing fancy, just a lightweight, simple perforated leather with a flexible sole, but they're perfect for air travel days. They slip on and off easily, and can play in a variety of climates. Sometimes, you just need a shoe that you can break into a full-blown sprint in, and these fit the bill. Pairing these with a simple outfit and a few metallic accents (I chose my byzantine necklace and a pair of gold drop earrings), it elevates things ever-so-slightly without getting all worked-up about it.

Sperry Topsiders loafers, similar / Levis Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans / thrifted corduroy jacket, similar / Gap tee / 14 K Byzantine necklace (old), similar / 14K drop earrings (old), similar