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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Birds on Shirts

Hello, dear readers.  Hope you are enjoying your Sunday.  It's a bit wet and grey here.  A perfect day for sitting in my garret and chatting away with you!

I recently picked up on a blogger's maxim (can't remember whose) that when she buys something she thinks first "can I wear this in at least three different ways".
Well. I bought my Zara shirt recently and I've already notched up a few ways.
And when one of my blogger besties mentioned that she had some sort of shirt and bird arrangement, we said "hey, let's collab".  I'm looking forward to seeing what the lovely Anna has in her aviary.

Before we get started, I need to apologise for the rather weak photos.  It was a windy day and the place I found that gave a little shelter had me backing up against the sun. 
But I wanted to give you outdoorsies as the shirt has birds on it and I wanted the birds to be in their natural habitat!

OK, well what springs to mind with a shirt like this is jeans.  Striped shirt and jeans, It's a heavenly pairing.

Here, the shirt is simply worn with M&S jeans and old Jones nude heeled loafers.

In some shots you will see me attempting to batten down the shirt tails as these little birdies just wanted to fly!  Eventually, hands firmly in pockets seemed the best way to keep these shirt ends in check.

The shirt is made with a striped fabric adorned with beautifully embroidered cranes.  Their little feet are mustard, so instantly in the shop I was thinking jeans and mustard cardi as one of my three ways.

And then, with mustard and stripes done, here the cardi appears to be tossed aside like a worn-out teddy.
Now you may see me in a callous light at this point, tossing used items aside, but in my defence, know that Mr Tipper Truck, my teddy of 49 years, is lovingly placed on the bed next to me as I type.  So if any of you dear readers were concerned about teddies in my care being abandoned, rest assured that was just a figure of speech - no teddies have been callously discarded during or prior to the writing of this post.
Tip'a Truk (for he has reinvented himself as a rap-teddy) is not for tossin'!

Ooops, The Pout is off on one of her digressions again.  Focus, Pout!!!

My second way to style the shirt is influenced by one of my blogger besties across the pond.

Kellyann wore her shirt , also striped, with jeans, a chunky handbag and cute booties.
You can see that I'm not a handbag person any longer - just look how I'm holding my Gianni Conti brown leather bag.  So very handbag-newbie!
Why oh why did I not copy Mrs R's pose, so much more glammly nonchalant.

Back to my crane shirt.  It's got that longer in the back arrangement.  Think I will come to appreciate that more and more as I develop my old lady derriere.

And then I thought, hey Kellyann made a feature of her statement necklace.  So I quickly pulled back the collar to do the same.

Hers is one of those pretty floral statement pieces that I just wish I could find.
I worked the look with what I have, that being the old belt hardware necklace; I thought the matching was subtle as its bronze elements echo the brown leather in the shoes and bag.

OK, that's look No. 2 sorted.

For my third look I switched shoes to metallic toe flatties.

I added a navy linen mix cardi.   And I attempted to hold down those flying birds again!

I added a matchy matchy bag, a light stone Tula bag.

Over the shoulder is how I feel most comfortable with a bag.  If I have to wear one.  These days I make sure I am wearing deep pockets and leave those bags at home most days.  In my dotage, it's one less removable item to worry about leaving in a restaurant.

I have to say I have worn this shirt quite a lot since it came home with me, and each time the base is a pair of jeans.

But my fourth way was with white jeans, seen here in Brugge.  My accessories are an old battered Tula backpack ... oh yes, and a carrier bag filled with Belgian chocolate :-)!

The above are everyday casual outfits (not tailored!) and based around the old faithfuls, blue jeans.
However,  I have been getting truly excited about styling this shirt with my Next linen summer skirt, seen here.  Maybe this stripey shirt would work with it, maybe with a trendy half tuck ... and pearls.  Yes, I fancy another attempt at floral and pearls.
However, my focus has been on the house this week and I've had no time to experiment further.

Yes, the house is getting a good seeing to - a clean and de-clutter.  I have often said in my brutally honest way, that I only seem to really look at the house with a critical eye just before guests come to stay, friends are popping round for drinks ... or even at the mere hint of someone potentially popping in for coffee.
Then, and only then, do I look at the house with the eyes of a visitor.  And what I see needs cleaning, de-cluttering, re-arranging or removing.  Guests will be coming to stay shortly, and when I looked around with that critical eye, I realised that I haven't had one of these must-tidy-the-whole-house events since March.  Six months of turning a blind eye to the mayhem!
 So I have been doing great, if exhausting, things in the house this week.  Bags have been filled for the charity shop, no longer needed items have been identified for onward selling or dumping, things have been re-organised better, or maybe just organised !
Oh, dear readers, I just love this process!   But you probably do this on a on-going rotating basis and you are always house-ready for guests.  I'm probably revealing a bit too much of my slobby side.

And, excitedly, I had a real duh moment yesterday.
We have two double bedrooms.  My eureka moment was hey, instead of switching clothes to and from wardrobes during the seasonal changes (note cleverly avoided use of non-vernacular "transitional"), why not designate them winter and summer bedrooms, keep the seasonal clothes in the appropriate room and the out of season room becomes the guest room.  Oh, it was an idea so cunning that I immediately stuck a tail on it and called it a weasel.  Cunning, because it saves me a HUGE amount of work in autumn and spring.  And I like anything that saves Pout energy!

Oh my, how I have again digressed.  As I often do when chatting away to you guys.  
Focus, Pout!

OK, here's the shirt, hot off the Zara website.

Now, why don't you pop over to Anna's blog here and see what bird she's got fluttering on her shirt.
And then maybe drop me a comment telling me how you style your stripey shirt?

And finally, birds on shirts, flying away with the wind ...  
I leave you with a seminal song.

A la perchoine.

Friday, 22 September 2017

A Life Less Tailored

Hello, my dearies.  How's your belly off for spots?
Don't fret, I'm not going all medical on you, it's an old greeting from the North of England.  Dunno why that sprang to mind. Maybe it's because my head's in a bit of a mess.  I'm facing a dichotomy, dear reader.   Potentially, you may be too, so I'm sharing with you today.

It's this.
When I go shopping, I find myself drawn to


or even

Tailored. Business wear.  But I don't lead that life now.

This is what I should be gravitating towards if, indeed, I need a jacket at all.  Slouchy, to posh up jeans.  But slouchy doesn't excite me the way tailored does.  Oh I love even the sound of that word!

Then we have the supposed slightly less tailored jackets.

Something Chanel-like.

Or military.  I love military but it doesn't love me, sadly.

But it loved my cousin! During our Southampton Zara scavenge she bagged herself the jacket, a blush top and these gorgeous floral trousers.  We wanted a look at them back at the hotel. She looked amazing, even during this quick throw-on in the foyer!
She's younger and still whizz-kidding it.  I'm guessing she still moves in the world of business meetings and corporate entertaining so I can see this jacket fitting into her life just perfectly.

You see, my dear reader, I realised when walking around Zara that my head is still wanting to dress the old me.  The old working me.

These days, if I'm thinking "jacket", it should be preceded by "biker", for retirement life is more biker than business.   I should be getting excited when I see this.  But no, I want neat, tailored.

Perhaps I should not be thinking jackets at all.  I'm retired, therefore my eyes should be lingering over Zara's slouchy cardis and not dreamily dressing Business Pout, she no longer exists.  Yet I found myself wandering around Zara's, mentally dressing myself in a tailored mustard frock coat, perfect for the me of 10 years ago.

And what about evening wear?  I have a special occasion event popping up next month and I believe my jumpsuit is going to jump into my suitcase again.   My no-longer-tanned arms need cover.  Again, I think cover and I think tailored jacket.

I fell for this embroidered jacket.

But the reality is that I should be thinking along the lines of an embellished cardi.

See what I mean about a dichotomy? Whatever part of the brain makes outfit decisions is doing me no favours, it is seriously lagging behind where I am, right here, right now.

And so it continues ...

I was drawn to Zara's frilled shirts.  There were many!

But hey, I think I may just be making a breakthrough here.

For I came out of the store with this far more practical embroidered stripe.  More everyday casual.  A shirt that requires NO IRONING.  Good lifestyle choice, Pout!

Have I finally got it?  That my life is casual?  It has been for some years.  Have I finally caught up with where I am?

No!  For I fell at the next hurdle. I would like a new winter dress.  But my mind wandered ...

... right back to tailored, in dress form!   Event poshwear.  Love this 1940s vibe.

But this is where I should be heading.  A sweater dress.  And maybe a cardi is about as posh as I need to get with dresses and cover.

And don't talk to me about shoes!
I need new ankle boots.  My faithful Gabor nubucks of 4-5 years are starting to look a bit oldbucks.
So I went a-boot-browzin'.

Immediately I am drawn to something like this ...

... heels.  1940s style again.   V. smart.

Or these.

But my brain should be steering me to chunky heels.

At the very least, steering me to a heel like this.

Or more realistically, these warm flatties.

But no, I want those 1940s heeled booties, which will be so impractical for the stomping sort of retirement life I lead these days.

My issue seems to be that I am not transitioning well from classy corporate to relaxed retirement.  Even after all these years.  Is this a taste of the Brexit transition?! 
Maybe I should just go with what I like and stand out from the crowd in my differentness.  Is tailored a look that fits in with a life less corporate?  Is tailored my natural style, my signature look?  Should I listen to my inner tailored lady?

Or should I love the life I'm in and dress in my feared smart casual, something I struggle to "get" even after some years of A Life Less Tailored.

  So, dear reader, my dichotomy: do I dress for the life I have ... or the life I no longer have?!
How have you fared during the transition from workplace wear to retirement wear?
Do you find yourself dressing the Old You?

And now, a song.
Stephen Stills wrote this one with other things in mind but my take is to accept the "now" in life, work with what you've got.  I've found the song somehow calming over the years and calm is what I need until I crack this transitioning from corporate to retirement wear, from tailored to slouchy.  So I give you ...

Love the One You're With

And to paraphrase Stephen's message, "If you can't live in the life you dress, dress the life you're in".

A la perchoine.

Photo credits: Zara, H&M, Ellos, Woolovers, Gabor, Cotton Traders, John Lewis, Poshmark.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Last Dress of Summer

Hello my darling peeps.  Hope you are well and hurricane-free.

A few days ago I squeezed in possibly my last summer dress of summer.  Sad, weepy face.

For Sunday lunch I wore my Roman Originals dress for the first time.
I think I'm in a state of panic.  The seasons switched from summer to autumn so abruptly that I didn't quite enjoy all the summeriness I had planned.
So many dresses, unworn.  Thus every time we get a sunny day, I sling on something summery.  And this was a summery day.

I like this Roman Originals dress.  It's pretty, the fabric hangs well and it's lined.
It's a slip over the head and walk out the door jobbie.
I added my Adesso heels and a little bag I picked up recently in Primani.  It's roomy whilst still neat and it goes so well with my fave summer shoes.  (I'm a matchy gal.)

I mentioned summer weather but hey, it's September, so a girl needs a cardi.  Woolovers.

Good to go.  Before the weather changes!

We sauntered down to the nearby beachside restaurant.

Nice views from our table.  They always seem to give us a window table.  Not complaining!

The Photographer fancied a posh meal so we came here.  These past couple of weeks have been a major headache (long story) and he needed to get away from it all for an hour or two.

So we tucked into some nice fresh, summery food.

We sipped wine and sat back and enjoyed the view.  And chatted.  It's funny how sometimes one can clear the mind of all other matters and focus on what needs to be discussed, away from home. Do you sometimes need to take a few hours distancing yourself from troubling matters, in order to talk them through more clearly?

I think that may just have been my last chance at a summer dress this year though.

The upside of summer's fleeting is this, harvesting the summer's garden fruits.  Here, little peaches and big pears.

And I didn't forget I set you a little puzzle a few posts ago.  Here's the solution.

Move one side of the glass to opposite side, at a right angle, then move the "bottom" of the glass to form a new bottom for the new turned-over glass.  Hope you worked it out.  Me and my cruise mates didn't!   And if you didn't work it out for yourself, you won't from my 'solution' - it reads as total gobbledygook!

Have you tried any Roman Originals dresses?
And have you worn your last dress of summer yet, ladies?

A la perchoine.