The closest I’m getting to Halloween this year

October 31, 2009

I have had this skirt for many, many years.  I’ve always liked lacey stuff, especially black lace – the fact that the shops are now full of it, just as my income has been slashed in half, is proof that the shopping gods either hate me, or are trying to get me to wear what’s actually already in my wardrobe. Like this skirt:


My camera phone doesn’t show it in its full glory, but you get the idea.  The first time I wore it (with a plum coloured vest, a black cardigan and a deep red scarf) an adolescent youth called out “It’s not Halloween yet, love”, which I thought was surprisingly witty.  Indeed, it must have struck a chord, as I have worn this at least 2 Halloweens since.  (Except last year, when my friends and I dressed up as this:

Unfortunately, time has taken its toll on the elasticated waist, and recently I’ve not been wearing it in fear that it will end up around my ankles.  So last night, in honour of All Hallow’s Eve, i got to work with my safety-pin helpers to attach the top to a belt.  Put it on over a playsuit for further security, in case it decides to wander south, et voila:

Photo-0212[Skirt, vintage (Peekaboo); Belt, vintage (Absolute vintage); playsuit, vintage (Beyond Retro) – ooo, get me with the all-vintage outfit]

I bought this playsuit mostly for the 90s neckline.  It makes me think of Bryan Adams videos and Laura Ashley, two things I apparently like thinking about.

So that’s my Halloween outfit sorted.  It’s no lolcat/Amy Winehouse/slutty nurse, but it should keep the youths happy.




Fill my blogroll!

October 30, 2009

Tell me what I should be reading!  Give me more reasons not to get on with what I should be doing!


Speaking of shoes

October 30, 2009

Back when I was a wee undergrad, one of my seminar tutors got leave and for a couple of months we were left intrusted to the new guy.  Now this was all good, and we got a lot out of it, but me and my friend couldn’t actually concentrate because we were distracted week after week by an unbelievable picture on his wall.  I’ve just found out that it was actually the cover image for his latest book:

shoes*emplodes at their awe-inspiring wonderfulness*.  The year later, I left, and he started teaching a module on the History of Fashion.  Just think, if I was born a couple of years later, I could be on my way to being a historian of fashion right now instead of a historian of medicine.  Now to find a way to bring the two together….


It’s just the shoes you wear…

October 29, 2009

The Strokes may have brought them back into the public consciousness in 2001….


….Avril Lavigne may have promptly killed their cool factor a couple of years later…

B1751c1c4AA4e57D__gallery(This photo makes me realise why I was giggling nicknamed ‘Avril Lavigne’ by some strangers in the Dublin Castle when I was 17.  I really did look a lot like that)

…Mine may be looking a little worse for wear…

Photo-0203(This is far from my only pair)

…and they may have been responsible for one of the worst fashion/music crimes ever committed…

london_1calling_2(Converse collaboration with The Clash, celebrating the 30th anniverary of London Calling, more here)

…but to me “Converse All Stars” will always be this song:



Jacket envy

October 29, 2009

Jackets.  Specifically, blazer-type jackets.  They’re everywhere.  Ever since I first found my face squished up against walls of maroon courduroy jackets at indie gigs circa2003 (and saw the track marks left down my cheeks afterwords) I feel that the ever-growing army of casual blazer-wearers has been sent on a mission to mock me.  I don’t know what it is about my body shape, but try as I might, I can never find a blazer that looks quite…right.

I used to think that it was due to an unfortunate shoulder-to-back ratio (one being averagely broad, the other being unnaturally short) and there may be some truth in that.  However, the recent crop of jacket styles has reminded me is that the problem I have with jackets is quite possibly the same problem that I have with most “fashion” clothes:  boobs.

Item 1:  “The Boyfriend Jacket”

“Oversized” (yet miraculously not on the arm or the shoulder), unfitted, long jackets are pretty much everywhere…

…on the high street:

velvet topshop blazer[Velvet boyfriend jacket, Topshop, £85, available here]  I have extreme love for the whole velvet thing.  I tried on a long velvet skirt in a charity shop yesterday – needless to say, I was reminded how no one over a size 8 should never wear an elasticated waist.  Ever.

…on teh internets:

asos boyfriends

[Gabrille Ravelo Pink Contrast jacket, £120, asos, Asos Ruched Sleeve Blazer, £50, asos].  Wearing a navy blazer no longer means you’re a Tory :).

…on celebrities:

rb boyfriendRachel Bilson, long time supporter of the boyfriend jacket.

Now I’m not going to patronise you by saying any more about this ubiquitous and resilient trend, except for this…WHERE ARE MY BOOBS MEANT TO GO??!?!  My actual boyfriend’s jacket probably wouldn’t look to awful on me, but these (like so many trends around at the moment) are about flowing delicately down a long silhouette, unimpeded by anything as inconvinient as a pair of breasts.  Boo.

Item 2:  The Structured shoulder:

metallic jacket

[Simon Wang Metallic Puff Shoulder Jacket, £95, asos]

Can you imagine that with a pair of 34Ds inside?  You can have a maximum of two things jutting out of any outfit.  Add boobs to that outfit, and you would have four things jutting out, which would just be a ridiculous catastrophe of over-juttage.  You’d end up looking like a dodecahedron.  And it’s not just the extreme structured shoulder, shoulder pads of any kind have the same effect.  It’s just too…busy.

I’ve picked out two extreme examples, but I pretty much always have the same problem.  Now, my issue with the lack of boob-space in fashion is a rant for another post, but for now I can show you how I’ve managed to get around it…by wearing a jacket two sizes too small:


[Jacket, H&M many moons ago; skirt, American Apparel; t-shirt, New Look; tights, Falke]  My camera has decided that it never again wants to talk to my computer so I’m giving phone photos a go – hence the weirdness!

I can’t get it done up, or even close, but as long as I leave it open it sits nicely on my shoulders, without all that stuff flapping around the front that almost-but-doesn’t-quite go over my chest.  And it looks way better than when it supposedly “fit” me.

Maybe there’s hope for me and the jacket yet.


It’s a nice day for a….red carpet appearance?

October 22, 2009

Last week, Nicola Roberts wore this to the highlight of any serious British fashionista’s calander..The Pride of Britain Awards.

nicola wedding

As I’m sure you’re aware, that is a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress worn by Carrie in the SATC film (*shudders at the rememberance of that piece of cinematic excrescence*).  Now the first thing that comes to my mind is that it is a truly dedicated fashionista (see how I use that instead of ‘fame whore’?  That’s because I like Nicola and I’m not Perez Hilton) who decides to wear such an obviously headline grabbing outfit, at an awards ceremony that’s supposed to be about the “inspriation stuff” done by “ordinary people”.

But the second thing is of course:  is this going to become a trend?  Are we going to start seeing more wedding dresses on the red carpet?  I’ve been wracking my brains trying to remember who it was, but I’m sure there was a picture of another celebrity recently wearing another wedding dress like it was any old gown.  The best I can come up with is this:


…worn by Emmy Rossum (I know, who?) at a recent event, which people seem to be accusing of being a wedding dress, but I think it has to be certifiably wedding-intended in order for this game to work.

I suppose it makes sense – if you’re going to spend thousands of pounds on a designer gown, it might as well be a wedding dress.  And given that the ‘white wedding’ has become a pretty meaningless tradition, why not wear these beautiful garments devoid of their symbolic baggage?  Is it in fact a feminist statement?

I think I’m taking it a bit far so I’m going to end on an even more confusing note by posting this image of Dita Von Teese in a Christian Lacroix wedding dress in a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar Russia.

dita wedding

Try wearing THAT to an afterparty at Mahiki.


Silent Style

October 19, 2009

A friend of mine (the lovely Lauren of thepocketrocket) recently paid me the amazing compliment of tagging me as “Clara Bow” in a facebook photo.

me and clara

I’ll save you the near-impossible task of differentiating between us, and tell you that I’m on the left (wearing a grey h&m cardie and an amazing red velvet vintage dress) and cCara’s on the right.

I can tell you that Clara Bow was a 20s film starlet, and one of the first 20th century sex-symbols (according to my GCSE history teacher) , but I don’t know much else.  In any case, I would definitely consider her a sartorial inspiration, especially on the hair front.  So, thanks for the (however overly-kind) comparison my friend!

clara hairclara glam