In defence of…my wardrobe! Day 24

Today's Outfit

London Baby!

They say great minds think alike. Well, today, I’m getting involved with the #NYNYStyleProject – the brainchild of Alice Langley and Katy Dial. When I read about their idea, I knew instantly they were kindred spirits.

The idea of the project is to get women everywhere to change up their look and experiment with style – exactly my mission statement in my New Year’s resolution to reinvent my post-baby look and wear more of my neglected wardrobe.

The difference is, Alice and Katy have come up with a novel…and very exciting idea. Each month, they’re releasing a list of daily prompts to inspire your early morning dress-up session. Today’s prompt is ‘London’. So here we go…

This outfit, at first glance, might look more Parisian than London but let me explain why this screams London to me. I was wearing this Hilfiger t-shirt the day I climbed the O2…which, incidentally, was also the day I found out I was going to be a mum. So, a fairly momentous occasion for a woman who hates heights, but conquered her fear, and got a very special trophy into the bargain. Also a pretty natural choice for reinventing my post-mummy style…to go back to the very day I became a mum. It was also 2012, and Olympic frenzy was everywhere so there can be no clearer connection to the big smoke – and all its pomp and ceremony – for me.

Pearly King Bracelet

Pukka pearly bracelet

The belt is from the Pied A Terre dress that I blogged about a few days ago. This is the genius of my little voyage through my wardrobe (and the #NYNYStyleProject). It makes you see things in a different way. It sounds simple but, why should the belt stay glued to its parent garment? It won’t suffer separation anxiety.

The skirt is from Next and, even though I’m a bit more shapely than the average stick of celery, I love the form-fitting shape. Curves, I think, do tend to look better the more you show them off…rather than smothering them in a blanket of layers. Though I’m thinking figure hugging, not flesh flashing.

Today's Shoes

My ‘defying gravity’ Aldo shoes

Just to add a little more of London’s legend to the outfit, I went for a bracelet that is reminiscent of pearly Kings and Queens. Subtle? The shoes are also London spoils – I bought them from the Aldo store on Oxford Street and wore them ‘up West’ to see Wicked. Bingo. Direct hit, I think.

Tomorrow’s #NYNYStyleProject prompt is ‘fresh’ but, as you know if you’ve been reading, I just don’t do style on Sundays…but why don’t some of you have a go?

Top of the O2

Clinging on at the top of the O2

In defence of…my wardrobe! Day 6

Gieves and Hawkes Shirt

A little something blue…and borrowed!

While the cat’s away, the mouse will play…with his clothes! I’ll admit, the whole ‘boyfriend look’ passed me by. I was under the mistaken assumption that one had to be waspishly thin to pull it off but, today, with only a full-bodied bumble bee in sight, I’m giving it a go. Except, this pilfered Gieves and Hawkes shirt really should be classified as the ‘husband look’. He’s on a business trip so he’ll never know. Although, worryingly, he has started following me on Twitter…

This morning, I got up an hour before my daughter, full of energy and ready to start our day…excited to ransack wardrobes. So there you have it, there’s something in this clothes malarkey. For the first time in months, I have beans! Okay, coincidentally, Little G started sleeping through the night recently – after nine relentless months of sleep deprivation – so that may have something to do with it too. But, seriously, this little experiment of mine is definitely working. Like any other day, I have a ‘to do’ list (what I have where my brain used to be)…and, at half past ten in the morning, it’s almost complete!

But back to the outfit. I never thought I could rock a buttoned-up shirt. When I was little, my family used to refer to me as ‘no-neck’…I know, how I suffered(!) And remember those giant apples I told you about? There need be no further explanation than that. But, here I am, embracing it…the merest hint of my no-neck on display.

NW3 by Hobbs SkirtThis tweed girl is the main event though. She has been a bit forsaken and had only flirted with fresh air a couple of times even though I’ve had her for about two years. She’s a little bit bell-shaped and, sadly – at certain angles – makes me look ever-so-slightly bell-shaped too. But, sod it. Ding Dong. With a belt and the shirt, I’m happy to tinkle.

Ring and Plait

Scruffy elegance

Accessories are simple today. Just this French ruby and diamond ring I bought from Ebay for £90. I love me some bling, especially paired with the casual scruffiness of this unkempt fishtail braid. You have to give me kudos for trying with that – I’m definitely a hair rookie and don’t have any of the necessary kit (spot the huge hair band in the main pics?).

This outfit is also giving the kiss of life to a pair of Dickins and Jones shoes. They’re just a little bit tap-shoe esque and haven’t really had their moment on the dance floor but one shouldn’t neglect one’s shoes! So here they are…ready to rumba.

Dickins and Jones Shoes

Ballroom glamour

And there you have it. Not changing the world but changing my world…just a little bit. One outfit at a time. Now, Little G and I have some shapes to sort and I’m pretty sure I just heard the Boden catalogue land on the door mat! Old habits die hard.

Today's Outfit

My best bent-legged model pose

In defence of…my wardrobe! Day 1

My ramshackle storage facility

My ramshackle storage facility!

I’m no fashionista. My wardrobe isn’t creaking with edgy, risky or signature pieces. It’s not home to couture and nor is it a trove of quirky high street brands I discovered down back alleys. It’s literally (yes, really, in the literal sense of the word) straining at the seams with the three brands I know I can rely on. NW3 by Hobbs. Whistles. Boden. In that order.

So full is said wardrobe, I generally have a litter of fashion detritus at the end of my bed yet I wear only a small percentage of this booty. I read somewhere that I’m not alone – apparently most women wear only 30% of their wardrobe (contents, not actual wardrobe, I’m assuming).

And that’s not the only mildly tragic fashion fact in my life. In my twenties I took more risks, wore double-denim, bought cheap but brave and lived in boho earrings before they were Helena Christensen trendy. These days, I’m content to let the retailers do the thinking for me. Messrs. Hobbs, Whistles and Boden. In that order. Most days I throw on a whimsical dress or classic Breton stripe and I’m satisfied that I’m ‘on trend’ (let’s say fashion balanced. Not forward, hopefully not backward). So, whilst I look presentable most of the time, there’s not much personality in my sartorial arrangement anymore. At least not mine. Maybe Mr Boden’s. My hair is usually (always) tied in a messy bun and I almost always throw on my ‘go-with-anything’ ankle boots. Even if they don’t go.

It’s a question of time, really. And rusks. Getting showered and dressed is hard enough with an eight month old but getting showered and styled when the whole ensemble will inevitably end up rusk-encrusted by 11am? Please. I see other Mums pull it off: a fishtail braid down the hairline, an artfully-crafted flick of eyeliner, a well-chosen bracelet. It makes all the difference. But, until now, I’ve always favoured an extra cup of coffee – and then perhaps another – to rifling through my accessory drawers.


A discovery

This morning, though, I did open those drawers. Okay, it was only to entertain my daughter whilst I quickly smudged on some eyeshadow but as she tore through the pile of beads,  magpie-like in her fervour, okay, thought I, let’s throw something on.

An Ordinary Outfit

Just a gesture of an idea…

Suddenly, I felt like I’d created my outfit, rather than it being chosen by the bods of the fashion world (picture the scene with the cerulean blue sweater in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’). Okay, it was still only a basic Breton pencil skirt and a plain tee but it was a little bit more special and it was responsible for creating this blog…and the ensuing 30 days of blogging.

This is my three-tiered New Year’s resolution:

1. Make an effort to fall in love with bulging wardrobe for whole month of January.

2. Be more imaginative with masses of unworn clothes, accessorising and reinventing in manner of home-grown stylist.

3. Blog results.

Here we go…