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Sunday 31 December 2017

2017 Flashback - The Outfits

Well, that's my reflective popular posts series done.  Judging from the sheer size of some of the five, you seem to lean towards posts of epic proportions, the kind that need the accompaniment of a cuppa and a footstool!  Today's post is slightly less than epic.

I like analysis.  Within just a few days of blogging, I discovered the stats tools that came with the site and that brought an unexpected bonus to my blogging.  I was ratting it up my own drainpipe!

So, continuing my reflective mood in the last week of 2017, I looked at the numbers on outfit posts.  Here are the posts that had the most hits in their respective months.  Now, unlike FB, IG etc, there is no "like" button on blogger, so this is not a scientific or even good indicator as to which outfits you liked best, just what was visited most.  Still, I was surprised by the popularity of a fair few of the outfits shown below, as probably are you.  But hey, it's analysis in its crudest form and it's kept me amused and off the icy-cold streets so who's to say this little exercise has been a total waste of valuable Pout Time?!


Black and red.


Black and leoprint.


Grey, ivory and black.


Black, white and khaki.


Grey and white.


Grey and ivory, a subtle change from May!


Black and brown, 1968
(My fave pic from the many on this post) 


Black and nude.

Ranking equally was this -  khaki and a riot of red!


Grey and ivory.


Black and brown, 2017, updated with leoprint 50 years on.


Black, ivory.  And a sprinkling of leoprint.
A selection from the many outfits in this particular post.


Wine and denim ... hey, finally a bit of colour again!

So what does this entry-level analysis tell us?
A dress is OK, but only occasionally.
And colour is OK, but only occasionally.

There was a recurring theme through these posts that even I couldn't fail to notice.  Black, grey and ivory with a bit of leoprint thrown in for good measure.  That appears to be what I wear, throughout the seasons and with little exception.  The colour suite was hardly a surprise but what did surprise me was the consistency.  It may not be very exciting but I seem to have got myself a signature colour scheme and it is so neutral that Switzerland would welcome it as its new flagship canton!

Have you ever done a little exercise like this?  It was a perfect little game to play in the bridging days between Christmas and New Year.
Play it on a day when it's cold and wet outside.
Play it when you've worked your little socks off these past few weeks and have earned yourself some downtime.
Play it just because you're worth it.
Will the colours surprise you?  Will you be consistent through the year or will you discover you change through the seasons?

The fact that I was consistent surprised me.  I'm not usually consistent, in anything I do.  But it appears that with colour I am.  Or maybe it's just lack of imagination!

And on that bombshell, I'd like to round off the year by thanking you most sincerely for popping in to my humble old blog through the year.
I'd like to thank those of you who've taken the time to leave comments.  It's through comments that we get to chat, that we get to know each other and get to become bloggy mates and its that bit that makes blogging worth the time and effort.  Otherwise, I'm just typing to the ether.
Blogging can be a lonely place - it's you and your comments that bring it alive, make it 3D.  Please keep popping back next year.  And if you haven't commented previously, why not give it a try in in the new year ...

Why not start with this post?  If you join me in today's little analysis game, I'd love to hear what colours or styles come through for you.  What surprises come through.
Let me know in the comments box.
Oh heck, just tell me about any darned thing in the comments box, you know I love hearing from you!

All that remains is say Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

A la perchoine, in 2018.

Saturday 30 December 2017

2017 Flashback, #1 - The Wedding Outfit

Well, the big night is looming before us.  I'm going to be enjoying an extremely low key New Year's Eve with The Photographer.  V. relaxed with party nibbles and a glass or two of bubbles, maybe a film.  Do you have plans?  PJs or partying?

I've been in a reflective mood this week, sharing with you some of the blog's more popular posts.
Is it just coincidence that two posts featured items from Roman Originals? My jumpsuit and the grey lace number featured (here).  Another pretty RO was my last dress of summer (here).
Here's my togging up process for the wedding of some dear friends back in the summer.

4 June 2017

The following is a post of epic proportions.  So sit yourself down with a cuppa and indulge yourself with today's read.


My Wedding Outfit Finalist

Grey lace dress, Roman Originals here; Artigiano ivory silk/linen jacket from Back In The Day, Adesso heels, also BITD and my ivory beaded clutch ... last worn for MY WEDDING!

The Contenders

Let's cast our minds back to just a short while ago, when I had resigned myself to wearing my lovely silk pink/mauve/orange mix "wedding dress" here for another decade but giving it a teensies twist.
Then along came Laurie and I was sidetracked (but in a very nice way!) by her feature of a gorgeous navy and white dress from Roman Originals.  I'd not come across the brand and inspired by the super-smart dress and the lovely Leslie's styling of it, I hit the website.  And of course, I was tempted to test the brand for myself!

I first started with a grey/pink side-ruched dress.  I also ordered a little chiffon shrug which I thought would be useful with my starting point, the pink silk dress.
I liked the cut of this dress as the ruching seemed to do nice things to the tummy area.  The length was also just right.  Most dresses these past few years have just been too short for me, and I am classed as "petite" - in height, anyway!  The hemlines hover around my ugly knees and bringing them unwanted attention.

I tried it with my M&S white linen jacket.  Then with my cropped grey silk/cotton Woolovers grey cropped cardi which had also arrived.
I liked both these looks but the cardi look would probably be the most worn.  But for a smart restaurant meal or summer party, not for a wedding, in my view.

This was a similar style in mauves but the cut was too boxy for my shape, good length though.  So, a naaah.

Then, I announced to The Photographer that the next try-on might be The One.

 And it was.  I loved it!

Grey was so perfect, for the bride and I have had a running joke on the colour (more on that in the later!) so the dress could be worn in her honour.
I tried the dress with the grey cardi as a potential ensemble for the wedding.  Felt good but I wanted something a little zappier.  I love pink and grey, as you probably know, so I thought about wearing my pink beaded pashmina and pink shoes (more on that later too!).  But it would have involved sourcing a grey clutch and that would be a sidetrack too far.

Now this was a surprise when I downloaded the photos.
I really liked the grey with the Monsoon silk dress.  It really did tone down all that profusion of pinkishness.
And the chiffon shrug just didn't work.   It seemed to scream out "hey, look at my boobies!"

 But my head had been turned by the Roman Originals grey lacy number.

So after the pink silk Monsoon affair having been my go-to wedding dress for the noughties, I think I have found me a new go-to, more in keeping with the teensies.
The side-dangling label was snipped off and it was official.  
Meet my new go-to Wedding Dress.  Thank you soooo much, Laurie.

But this little dress won't be exclusively reserved for weddings.  I think it can go to so many other places, like smart dinners (hint, hint, TP!) 

Now, the dress length was just about acceptable for this ugly-kneed lady, but I saw that the 1 inch hem was edge-stitched to prevent fraying.  So I unpicked the hem and that gained me a little more knee cover.  The little bare-lace hemline also echoed the bare-lace short sleeves, so in effect I think I had added the final design feature this lovely dress deserved.

I added a simple string of pearls and that seemed just the level of jewellery required for this lacy dress.

 I first added my ivory wedding bag to the cardi outfit and tried to convince The Photographer With Fashion Views that it discretely echoed the ivory of the string of pearls around my neck.  He was having none of it and he announced "That bag doesn't go!"

I ran upstairs for this vintage bag I've had for years.  It has a grey background and is strewn with sludgy green beads.  It has an lovely silver clasp which expands to open the bag.  I love it, so did he.
But we both agreed that I'd have to hunt around for some Greenery jewellery and that really was diverting my focus in a very dangerous direction, seeing as the wedding was by now just a day away.
However, I have mentally stored this look and I think I have just the jewellery to try this.  Somewhere.

The Wedding Day Outfit

And then on to the wedding day.  I was ready remarkably early. Uncharacteristically so.   
So what does the devil do with idle hands.  Yes, he got me experimenting with pearls, much to the annoyance of The Photographer, who thought he was getting an easy ride up to that point!

I grabbed my 1973 chunky pearls and played around. 

 But I had to agree with The Photographer With Fashion Views, all the dress required was a simple strand of pearls.

So that is where I ended.  Some pearl and diamond earrings and pearl braceletage and I was done.
Oh apart from showing you the lovely v-back.  And a white bird thing perched on my head!

And dear reader, having travelled this long, arduous and quite traumatic journey together, we have finally reached the culmination of our efforts. 
Me leaving the house in my grey lace and ivory Wedding Outfit.

The Credits

But, of course, in true celeb style, I wouldn't have got out the door without my stylist.
I give you The Photographer With Fashion Views in his Wedding Outfit.

He chose his smartly cut Rohan dark charcoal suit and made quite an exciting decision not to wear a tie.  I think it gives him quite the James Bond look, via Daniel Craig.  I therefore asked him to do the male model thing with the cuff fiddling.   He didn't know what the heck I was talking about!
 So that took a lot of direction until we got to something that gave the impression that he had done this so many times before.  It took almost as long as it took me to get to my Wedding Outfit choice.

I would also like to thank the lovely readers who gave me their views and ideas.  It has been a truly wonderful experience having girl friends to call on for their outfit thoughts.

I would like to thank Janice of The Vivienne Files for being on the same wavelength as me - pink, mauve and orange shouldn't work together, but they do.

And I would like to thank Laurie for coaxing me in the direction of a whole new cache of smashing dresses.

The Wrap-Up

I think the outfit was pitched just right for a 2017 wedding.  I received compliments on the dress, from strangers, and even from The Photographer!

The Wedding

The couple looked so happy, they are truly perfect for each other.  Their gorgeous little son had a whale of a time throughout the day and behaved himself perfectly.
The bride wore an absolutely fabulous dress in cream lace, she looked soooo beautiful.

The wedding was fabulous, such a happy day with some poignant moments.  The day was captured by an amazing photographer.  
The ceremony and reception meal were held in a castle by the sea on a perfect summer's day, with dancing in the evening in a gallery with beamed vaulted ceiling garlanded with flowers.

Image result for castle cornet images

 The ceremony itself was outdoors with a backdrop of twinkling water, skudding sailing yachts, a P&O flagship cruise liner, and our lovely neighbouring islands.  There was even a French naval frigate dashing around - I don't know how the bride had arranged that!

Then the bride's imminent arrival was announced.  Bubbles started flying in the air, courtesy of the couple's cute son's bubble gun!

I should tell you at this point that bride has teased me over the years about me frequently turning up in grey.  So much so that she used to bet on it.  I wore a grey lace dress in her honour.  The bridesmaids arrived at the ceremony wearing, yup, lovely grey lace dresses!  And pink wraps!!

And I should also tell you at this point that the bride is French.  So as soon as the bride walked down the aisle to the opening bars of Le Marseillaise, followed by The Beatles' Love, love, love  harmonies in All You Need Is Love, yes, I cracked.  I laughed, I swayed to the music and I blubbed all in the space of a few seconds.  I instantly "got" the humour of mixing the French bride, her anthem and rom com.  So clever.

Friday 29 December 2017

2017 Flashback, #2 - Blogger Meet Ups

I'm sharing some of my posts from the year.  This post  (first published here) was all about a blogger meet up that almost didn't happen.  

29 October 2017

Hi darlings!  You haven't heard from me for a few days.  I'm back home now and, no surprise, I am kicking off my restart with a post of epic proportions, sort of like a small Enid Blyton adventure - but without the choccie biscuits and ginger beer.  So I suggest you get yourself a coffee and cosy up before you start reading.

Four Two Go to Batemans

So who are our Four?  Anna and Mr Him from Mutton Years Style and Pout and her Photographer.  If one of us took a pet it would make Five, but so dedicated to the legacy of Enid Blyton we are not. 
You've previously met our Four out on their jolly japes in Lewes and Wakehurst.
Continuing their adventures, our Four arranged to meet up to visit another historical place in Sussex (be warned, there are many!).  They chose to meet on the day when Storm Brian pelted his way through most of the UK.
The Pout Two set off from the Sussex coast and had a hairy drive through flooding and debris-strewn roads but made a timely arrival at their destination.

The Mutton Two didn't.  They had decided to have their own adventures, which you can read about here  and  here.

Their drive was hairier still and they found themselves in a place called Heathfield with a motor car that had decided to , err, stop.  They thought at first it was quickly fixable after a short pit stop. 
So what does the Pout do when faced with a short delay?

Why, she eats a yummy cheese scone, of course, whilst she finds where her friends are stuck on the map. 
Hmmnn, not far, it seemed.  About 1.5 inches, as the crow flies.

But not far was too far as without a working car it doesn't get you to this fine building here

Soon the Mutton Two's car stoppage had been upgraded to not-working car status, requiring some emergency AA attention.  Yes, there was much more exciting fun to be had with a broken motor car and a hang-around in a storm-exposed Co-op car park whilst waiting for a friendly AA man and his tool bag of tricks.  And who can blame them?  It certainly makes good copy.

So all hope of a meet up at this historical place was abandoned.  Instead, The Pout Two continued the tour and acted as proxy for The Mutton Two, who were at Brian's mercy in a place called Heathfield.

But where were The Pout Two?  Let's look at the clues.

Here's Mr X whose house it was, BITD.  I'll kick-start you a BIG clue - this one didn't make cakes!

A list of books titles and beautiful animal prints lined the walls.

Desks and cosy reading spaces could be seen; a book casually left to the side of comfy sofa.

An early typewriter and an overflowing waste paper basket.

Ephemera of the time.



More books.  And more books still.
Our gent was obviously an admirer of well written works. If he were around today, he would surely be a reader of The Pouting Pensioner.

So, dear reader, those are my clues.
Who lives in a house like this? Well, here's a big clue.

Yes,  four two went to Batemans, the home of Rudyard Kipling.  Did you guess right?

    I'm sure I don't need to tell you who he is as you are obviously someone who enjoys reading great literary creations if you are reading this Pout post :0) !!

And so the tour continued.

Here we two saw Kipling's school boy gear, his place of ablution and his bed.

We saw his aga, and TP asked our Pout to rustle him up a quick omelette.  Typical!

We saw where he dined with illustrious guests of the time.

Where he enjoyed post-prandial drinks.

The state of the art gadgets he installed.  He liked all the latest gizmos, like electricity.

He certainly did well from his writing.  Here's his Rolls Royce.  I wonder how many more posts I have to write before I get my first roller :-) !!

Mr Kipling's house is now owned by the National Trust.

And as always with these properties, egress is not possible until one has admired the beautiful scares and homewares on sale.  It is nigh on impossible to walk away from these shops without one of these gorgeous scarves in a carrier bag.  However, on this occasion I  succeeded.

It is nice to walk through the gardens, which I did on a previous visit.   But with Brian finding me every time I poked my head outside, these shots represent as far as I ventured.  Eventually Brian caught me proper when returning to the car and belted me with one of his deluges.  Drowned rat, you get the picture don't you.  My carefully coiffed hair ;-) now wet. bedraggled and flat as a pancake.

Whilst all this culture was being taken in and coiffures were being dismantled, The Mutton Two had met with the AA man who had done the business to get the Mutton Motor back on the road.  And that road led to the nearby Star Inn, a delightful 14th century Sussex pub, where they arranged to meet with The Pout Two for a hearty luncheon.

However, The Pout Two's satnav decided to have its own fun.  It chose not to include this pub on its normally reliable Places of Interest section, despite the pub having been there for more than 700 years.

The Pout Two drove and drove with no sighting of the olde worlde pub.  So when a modern-day satnav fails, one has to resort to the olde satnav.  The Pout popped into a hairdresser's and asked the way.  The successful collusion of a receptionist, a barber and the gent whose hair he was cutting resulted in step by step instructions being given on the back of an envelope.  Turns out the pub was in Old Heathfield and we were driving around well, just plain-vanilla Heathfield.

Thanks to the excellent directions of those kindly Heathfield people, The Pout Two found themselves finally reunited with their friends and Two became Four.

Anna and The Pout were united with a bottle of grown ups' ginger beer and all was good.
And the chatting commenced.

We managed to pause the chat long enough to order some fine fare.  

TP's banger and mash and the Pout's starter prawns.  With chips.

We four chatted and chatted.  It's so wonderful what frendships are made in Blogland.  To meet a fellow blogger is special indeed.    And as we have met several times previously, we chatted for Blogland.
At times, most of the time the men talked amongst themselves and Anna and The Pout talked much blogginess.  Outfits, collabs, blogger meets, bot issues, family, work, the universe. 

We paused to take in the splendour of what was around us.
The pub smells welcoming, a lingering smell of old log fires.

We took in the quirkily cosy pub décor.

The decor got blurry.

Wine bottles were mistaken for fuel.

So we thought it time to leave.

Maybe it was for the best.

I'd like to thank the erudite and funny Mr Him and the witty, delightful and stylish Anna for another lovely outing.  It's great to meet up with old friends and The Mutton Two are already feeling like friends we've known forever.  Maybe next time we'll just cut out the middle man and head straight for the pub!

And thank you , dear reader, for joining us on another Four Go To ... adventure.

A la perchoine.