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Wednesday 30 January 2019

What I've Been Wearing Lately

Hi my lovelies, are you feeling the love for spring yet?  It's around the corner, honest! (see what I did there, I  !'ed!!).
The daffs are out along the hedgerows but sadly none have popped up in Pout Gardens yet.
But what I find amazeballs-uplifting at this time of year is the winter phenomenon of the days drawing out.  That first day in early January when I look out of the window at 5 p.m. ... and it's still light.  That event in our seasonal cycle fills my soul with child-like enthusiasm, joy and hope.  So, if you live in the northern hemisphere, I defy you to not feel that love for upcoming spring right now!

Now, on to the matter in hand.  The important stuff.  Outfits.
My weekly Wednesday roundup.

Let's start with a coat.  It's been cold  (yeah, it's January, what were the chances?).
This cosy camel car coat (Dotty P) has been much in play and with winter white scarfage and taupe boots (Jones) I think it creates quite a classic look for winter eh?

More classic dressing,  black jumper and jeans.  The necklace is a jumble sale find from the 90s and worn with the dangly earrings (also from the 90s) .  This fancy jewellery took a plain classic jumper and glammed it up a little,  n'est pas?

I'm getting a bit repetitive with this week's round up as some of these outfits charged into my JEANS AND A NICE TOP POST, HERE   But these are my outfits of late so I make no apology for this as is is what it is.

But the  beaded top leads me to where I took the outfit ... to this table laden with yummy nibbles!  Drinks and nibbles at the neighbours' house.  "I'll keep it simple" she'd said when she invited me.  When I arrived to this sight, I immediately whipped out the camera 📷.  "Well, this is simple, for me" she said.
 She's an amazing cook, so just imagine what she rustled up for her "simple" supper last year - READ ABOUT IN WINE WITH THE NEIGHBOURS, HERE

With the benefit of Insta hindsight I realised that my January had been one long grey, black and winter-white knitwear fest, so I remedied that.  I added a bright blue summer cardi to go to Bro's house for birthday cake and coffee.  Which was fine as his house is toasty-warm during the day, unlike Tight-Pout's.  So later in the day a HUGE extra cardi layer was added to this ensemble, rather than turn on the heating off-timer!

My message here is clear and two-fold: 1.  A simple addition of one item of bright colour can liven up a bleak January outfit, and 2.  If your house is cold, go to someone else's!

Winter white Monsoon sweater dress, brown suede waistcoat (machine washed, Terri!) with brown tights and accessories.

I did a flat lay of my accessories on the waistcoat backdrop as I wanted to show you my old boots.  These brown leather Gabor boots (together with their black rellies) are simply 
the. comfortable-est. boots. I have ever walked in.  
They are more than 15 years old and 
I. have. never. repaired. them.  
Add to this their butter-soft suede bang-on-trend mustard lining as seen in this pic and you have the loveliest boots this side of The Pecos!

Liberation Themed Ball - doesn't TP look good as a spiv, ladies?!

And finally!  I've been doing a challenge on Insta this month and this day's subject was "midi dress".  I really couldn't be bothered to go hunting round in the archives for a midi dress that I didn't really want to wear that day anyway (and I'm not sure I even own one). So I cheated and used a photo from more than ten years ago (it's ok, I fessed up to my cheating!).

The dress was charity-shopped, and I have to say it ended up being much used as it really was a quite lovely dress.  All other items are "model's own".  I was particularly innovative with the "fox fur stole" - I simply left my faux fur collar/scarf thing draped over my shoulder.  I think it worked.
And Vronni, check out the headscarf!!!!

So my dears, that concludes this week's round up.  And what is of note in today's post is that my !-exclamation mark is demonstrably back in Pout World!!!!
I think it was facing up to a blogging crossroads on my blogaversary that got me feeling quite empty yesterday, quite lacking in puff, and finding nothing to, well, exclaim about. 

But, Tomorrow is Another Day and we  would be wise to remember those Hollywood-immortal words on a meh day, eh peeps?

Cr: Anne Cummins

Let's wake up tomorrow and smell the spring daffs!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

I've Lost My "!"

It's the 3 year anniversary of The Pouting Pensioner.  Yay.
Just yay.  For I seem to have lost my "!".  Don't get me wrong , it's still on my keyboard but I've felt deflated here of late, like I've lost my posting exclamation mark, but metaphorically.

First, let me take you back to 2016.

First outfit pic posted 29 January 2016 (see sidebar link).

My latest pic, posted 26 January 2019.

I like to think that my day-to-day style has improved over these three years, and that was the key driver to setting up this blog, after all.
And getting my style mojo back over this time has been a blast.
But now I find myself at a blogging crossroads.
And I know I'm not unique, for how many times have I read of other bloggers losing their mojo, taking a sabbatical or stopping blogging all together?

Which direction do I take?
Monetizing the blog would allow me to invest in a more secure and bespoke whizzy site and creatively increase traffic, but it's not for me for several reasons.  
So I'll be trying things differently in subject matter and regularity in the coming weeks to see what works for me, and for you, so your feedback will be most welcome.

The stand-alone joys of creating good copy and making fun friendships through comments are not enough, as over time I need to  feel that I'm upping my game to keep my personal motivation and momentum going.  This blog needs to bring me joy.
But I need to know that my blog brings you joy too,  for I don't want you doing a Marie Kondo job on me.   (Ooh, I almost felt an "!" moment then ...)

So yes, I'm at a blogging crossroads.   Which way do I go? 
I have some ideas.  TP's given me his suggestions; one was to post more scenic stuff so I can do that now ...

The sea whipped up after Saturday night's gales.

Perhaps  you could help me with some feedback on the bits of my blog you have enjoyed (and even those not so much) since you started popping in? 
I thank you in advance for helping finding Mary's "!" mojo.

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Saturday 26 January 2019

Jeans 👖 and a Nice Top

What's the dress code?   If I'm asking a girl friend for guidance on what to wear to an invite these days it's no longer "smart casual" but "jeans and a nice top".
It's the new teensie's dress code and I guess smart casual now sounds a bit nineties , a bit last century.   Do you agree?

So more and more in the teensies my head is telling me to wear jeans and a nice top, or JAANT to give it a whizzy acronym.

I struggle to find jeans that fit me in my wardrobe these days having lost a bit of weight, but certainly it's a nice struggle and it's not going to deter me from wearing jeans and a smart top when the occasion calls for it.  
So I bought some new jeans!  See JEANS ON TRIAL, HERE.

And armed with my surprisingly addictive distressed jeans I've put some nice tops through their paces.  All shopped from my wardrobe.
The aim of this little exercise is to find some go-to outfits that I can roll out at a moment's notice when time is short or when my outfit head is having a day off.  I look on this little exercise as a training day.

I had to find outfits for two dates yesterday, coffee at the golf club and drinks with the neighbours.  Let's see how my training went.

The Talk Through


(30 secs)

The Try Ons

(4 mins)

The Detail

Lace and silk ruffles tops from M&S

Leoprint (Zara), boho (Primark), dress/shirt floral thingey (Zara)

Floral frilled blouse from Zara

Black jersey and chiffon tunic and top, M&S, black frilled linen top from East

Zara silky print pussy bow

I asked Instagram for help in tieing this very long bow and received some very helpful suggestions which I will try out and show you soon.

Monsoon jersey/chiffon/beaded top

 Those that didn't make the video

They were the also-rans (meaning they seemed rather meh!)
JonesofNewYork cashmere cardi, Zara silky tunic, Madeleine cashmere cardi and lace cami.

My socialising is unflinchingly casual these days.  I have about 2-3 slightly dressier functions a year.  The rest are very casual, very JAANT.   
Right now  I'm  wearing on rotation coated jeans, black and distressed jeans - I'd add grey  to the mix if I had a pair that fitted.  I'm attempting to remedy that.

My tops, dresses and skirts still look ok even though I'm down a dress size or two, but jeans show the weight loss and obviously look pretty awful.  I've taken jeans in in a previous life, running new seams down the legs but it doesn't really work as there's a lot of clumping around double seams and pockets in the top bit of the jeans.  So new jeans are the cost of slimming down because I think jeans are the biggest indicator of weight loss and I want them to be with me on this journey!

So I'd better add some go-to JAANT outfits with my new jeans  for an easy teensies life.  Are there any here that you think I should add to my arsenal?

Here's the shortlist put together by The Photographer With Fashion Views for drinks with the neighbours.

And this is what I we eventually settled on..  Easy wearing with a touch of sass.

This was my choice for coffee.  A black jumper dressed up with old jumble sale jewellery.  I wore black knee boots (Gabor).

The cool thing about this day's dressing was that for the evening drinks all I had to do was switch tops and tweak jewellery, hair and make-up.  A moment's work - my kind of dressing!

Do you find yourself reaching for JAANT outfits more and more?
Do you have any go-tos?  Any faves?

Perhaps I've helped with some inspo for next time your dress code is jeans and a nice top,  or JAANT.

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

What I've Been Wearing Lately

This post will be brief.

When I say "this post will be brief" the sighs of relief collectively can be measured on the Richter scale.  So this is a shout out to the Richter guys, no earthquake acommin' today, just a brief post from The Pout alert.

Yes it's a relief to all that I won't be rambling on incessantly today because, what can I say about my cosy suite of the last week?  Other than warm, snuggly, comfortable?

My Week in Mostly Cashmere

Monsoon wool sweaterdress, Brown accessories. 
 Layers* at the ready because I endure the coldness of my daytime house.  The heating is programmed to come on at 4.30pm, and that is that - this lady is not for turning, or for turning it on earlier!

The #10yearchallenge2019 on Insta was well supported and I joined in the fun, the fun being to share a 2009 photo in juxtaposition with one ten years on.
Left 2009; right 2019.  Nuff said.

Using ingenious editing wizardry I can still share my OOTD with you, despite this being a bad hair day.  The cashmere cardi is from JonesofNewYork and the scarf from The Cashmere Shop. 
It's only recently dawned on me that I've collected rather a lot of cashmere over the years.  These pieces are from 2008 (Phoenix) and 2006 (London) respectively.

Yes, more cashmere and a navy/grey embellished scarf.

I decided to document the many outer layer changes through an average day.  There are three.
1.  Quilted coat for grocery shopping.
2.  Long grey East cardi for day time warmth (see above*).
3.  Brown suede waistcoat slipped under jacket for windcheater effect.

NB: the suede waistcoat has been machine washed (Yes, Terri!), along with my suede skirts.  My only caution was to wash each piece separately for fear of colour runs but none of the pieces look any lighter so I'm guessing there was none.

Indoors daytime cosiness in a long brown cardi (East) over white l/sl T.  Brown/navy version of The Cashmere Shop pompom scarf.
I wore my distressed jeans (loving 'em) tucked in my old Gabor brown boots.  Perhaps this is passe now but this was warm and cosy so do I care?!   Are you still tucking in?

Then more layers.
1.  Camel car-coat (threw that in as it sounds so early 1960s eh?!).
2.  Leoprint furry snuggles of hat and collar.
3.   Long brown cardi changed for thigh version (cashmere merino, Woolovers) to fit under 3/4 length coat to go for walk.

And that is it, my week in wool, of which mostly cashmere.  If you are in the northern hemisphere, I'm guesing most of you will be reaching for a woolly most days right now.  Am I right?
With the exception of my lucky sista KELLYANN in sizzlin' hot Florida of course, who goes jumper-crazy on the few rare chilly days Floridians get in winter!

A la perchoine, 
Mary x.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Jeans 👖 on Trial

Oh jeans!  A necessity in modern day life but such a fag to get right for one's shape and one's stage in life.  Yes, jeans shopping and the ubiquitous try-ons can sometimes be an ordeal.  So I filmed my recent try-on session, hopefully to reduce the amount of chat on this page for you.  

A picture speaks a thousand words so I guess a video clip speaks trillions.  It certainly seems I'm speaking several millions of words about a few pairs of humble jeans! 
But be warned, I'm a filming rookie.  A vlogging neophyte.  Movie Maker edited out my head (perhaps a message there?) - a complete waste of make-up!  So it's not the best of videos but please bear with me for the world purportedly loves a trier and I'm hoping you're feeling the love today ! 

Next coated leggings and jeans

I bought coated leggings and bikers jeans a few years ago.  I love them still but if I'm being critical then both pairs are a little too baggy on me for their style these days (having lost a bit of weight).  Add to the slightly disgruntled mix the fact that the black bikers have a two horizontal seam styling across the thigh which turns me into Michelin Man when sitting (which I do quite often!) and you have a Pout in the market for a pair of smaller sized and plain coated leggings.

Taupe leggings. 

These coated leggings were marketed as taupe

And looked taupe on the model

but IRL were a sludgy rose madder and a lighter shade of the berry leggings I own.  The subtle nature of this shade difference made them a profligate purchase.

Black jeans.

Coated jeans.  High waisted = √.  Thick heavy fabric = X.

Black leggings.

Black version of my coated leggings but a smaller size than my berry leggings, resulting in very little creasing on the leg, so a √.
A Goldilocks moment!

The Keepers

I've worn the black coated leggings loads already.  IMHO, coated jeans and leggings bring a smarter and edgier guest to the party, so I feel a little dressier and funkier when I wear them.  Adding them to a black modal vest to create a column and continuing the light touch with a winter white cashmere cardi and some pretty silver jewellery created a comfy yet smart outfit for dinner with a friend.

Jeans from M&S and Next

As with the coated leggings, I only have one pair of jeans that fit me these days and those are light wash and have frayed bottoms, and not totally jeans for all seasons and all outfits.  So I was in the market for some wintry jeans.

The longer the try on, the messier hair!

Mid-rise jeans will always present a challenge to the mid-life muffin top!

The Next high-rise were almost-keepers because of what it said on the tin, but the wash and fit were close to what I have already.

An inch or two popped off these regular length jeans will get rid of the pointy leg look and soften the style for my shape and age.
But I'm not a fan of ripped jeans.  Hmmnnn ....

The Keepers

The distressed jeans!  They are a deep wash winter denim shade.

And though wintry in shade, they are quite lightweight which is my weight of choice all to year round.

The worn out bits are on the sides.

The rips aren't visible full-frontal.

Teamed with a cashmere paisley pompom scarf in pretty shades of blue and mauve, an oatmeal cashmere mix longline jumper from Next and taupe ankle boots from Jones.
These cashmere and leather classics tone down and offset the edgier distressing and bring balance to this outfit.  IMHO, of course.

So there you have it.  My try on reaped a pair of black coated leggings and a pair of distressed (argghhh!) jeans.  Both have already slipped very nicely into my everyday. 

I hope sharing my try on experience is 1. entertaining and 2. remotely helpful to you as we all need jeans, eh ladies?!
I haven't gone through all the faff of online links as 1. You're probably not interested and 2. I like to encourage you to shop your wardrobe.
But I did need new leggings and jeans because, hey, I've lost some weight and I want jeans to be with me on this journey!

So if you are shopping your wardrobe, which I rather hope you are, my offerings today are two outfits.  A daytime and a slightly posher evening outfit.  Examples of how to make the on-trend elements of distressed jeans and coated leggings work in the more mature lady's wardrobe by mixing classic styles with these edgier pieces.  I hope you enjoy this post and can relate to it.  Please let me know in the comments section, because otherwise I'll sit up here in my garret for days worrying that you didn't 🤔😑🙄😒😥.

And there was me thinking a video would reduce the chat on this post ... !

A la perchoine, 
Mary, x.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

What I've Been Wearing Lately

Hi peeps! It's all about the knitwear this week.
I could call this post "Six Jumpers and a Cardi".
For that is what it is, essentially.
So I've decided to tag this month #jumperjanuary2019 because jumpers have been pretty much my top of choice this chilly month.

If you are living in the northern hemisphere, most of you will be reaching for a jumper on a regular basis..  There is something about a jumper that makes so much sense when it's cold outside.  Even with today's cleverly insulated and heated homes, there's still a need for jumpers inside and out.  My home isn't heated during daytime so I wear either a jumper or a heavy cardi indoors.  And then all that is needed for the outdoor stuff is a coat or jacket and the woolly hat set and I'm done.  Makes life easy.

So let's see what jumperage I've reached for without a second thought.

Woolovers cashmere/merino jumper, M&S skinnies, Gabor boots , grey/taupe glass beads were a present many years ago.

I bought this cashmere/merino and it’s mate at Woolovers a few years ago and this side of Christmas I start reaching for them, each and every year.  They're long, not bulky yet warm and the collar can be buttoned up to a snug high polo neck when the going gets really cold.
Woolovers is a good source of natural fibre knitwear, though it has got more pricey in recent years.  However, the good news is they do great sales and I stalk certain items until they hit the rock-bottom price I want to pay, and if it doesn't hit that price, well me and the woolly were just not meant to be!

M&S puffa jacket, brown fur scarf a present, black fur collar thieved from a coat, hat from NZ

I played around with fur collars, much to TP's delight.  Not.
And from my hat stash I pulled out this lovely black leather and fur beanie hat.  It's got a thin quilted lining too so it's extremely snug.  I bought it in New Zealand in 2000, from a sheepskin shop on South Island where the winters are snowy, so they certainly know how to make warm hats.

As I age, when I am about to go out of the house I remember my mum's words, that you lose a huge percentage of body heat through your head.  So I am mindful of her wise words and from December onwards tend to wear a hat.  Needless to say, I've built up quite a selection!

Next cashmere mix V neck jumper, Next coated leggings, Accessorize bag, Jones boots, charity scarf.

For a Sunday lunch with girlfriends I wore berry coated jeans, and teamed them with a berry leather cross-body I picked up in the Accessorize sale at £14.  (Oh did somebody say this was a no-spend January?!) I followed the berry through with my charity shopped berry silk print scarf.  On my head.   Yeah, wild eh?!

At these lunches we hand over any souvenirs we've brought back from our travels.  What with one thing and another I didn't really travel in 2018, so it's been a one-way flow of pressies for me - every meet-up is like a mini birthday.  Here, a beautiful silk bag from India and a useful notebook from New York.

Oatmeal cashmere mix jumper from Next, pompomed paisley scarf from The Cashmere Shop, taupe boots from Jones

OK, more wildness here.  I bought some distressed jeans! ( yeah, about this no-spend thing ...)
I'm not a fan of the distressed look (are you?) but these M&S mid-risers were the only denim around I fell for, and they're darned comfy too so I've had to bite the bullet and live with the tiny tears on each thigh.  TP told me that Bertie the Cat told him it was kinda strange that someone would pay full price for damaged goods and I have to say I sorta agree with, ahem, Bertie.

Jumper from Woolovers, East scarf, M&S skinnies, Pikolino boots.

I enjoy wearing this East embellished paisley wool shawl, a present some years ago from those same girlfriends I lunched with above.  But I was feeling perhaps not at my best, as I draped the shawl around me at home, then masked myself cowboy-style when I left the house.  There will be days when a scarf needs to be used for purposes other than warmth or colour.

Jumper from Madeleine, M&S skirt, belt and opaques, Gabor booties, fur collar a present about 15 years ago.

My sartorial week has been mostly grey, black and with touches of white.  But on this day I went totally crazy and off piste … I wore caramel!  I teamed a M&S leoprint jersey skirt with a Madeleine cashmere asymmetric jumper.  I added a belt which was thin enough IMHO to avoid looking like "a sack tied in the middle" (TP's most detested look).  Adding a fur collar and Gabor heeled booties gave this outfit a distinct 40s vibe, I thought.  

Spookily I then read Jules' comment on my previous post in which she referred to Ingrid Bergman and the whole 40s look so I suggested she check out this look.  It brings elements of our beloved 40s into a modern day outfit and is a way to incorporate a favourtie dress style into your every day.
Whaddya think, Jules?  And you, dear reader?  Do you fancy trying this look?

M&S skinnies, Woolovers cashmere/merino jumper, Gilet from M&S yonks ago, boots Gabor, Leather/suede tote bag a present (M&S), woolly hat set from local department store (Creaseys), beret from Primark.

I went a bit American here. wearing a quilted gilet over the winter white verion of the grey jumper above.  (We Brits aren't that much into vests.)  It was all I needed for the mild weather on the day.  I muffled up with the woolly hat set for a walk, then poshed myself up in beret and new tote for my mattress-buying errand.

And I came home having ordered a hopefully very comfy mattress to replace my old lumpy one of 16 years.  And a new bed.  And a new carpet.  And a whole new decorating project.  
(Oops, there are some  serious spends here!)
For having started with the new mattress, it all became a little "Don't spoil the ship for a h'penth of tar" and not wanting to let the side down, I realised the whole room needed to be brought in line with my smart new mattress.  Even though it can't be seen until  linen change day, I know it looks smart and I want the rest of the room to come up to muster too.

Buying the bed wasn't as totally outrageous as it sounds.  Old Bed has underbed storage and because it's a small bedroom, each time I do a season switch I have to shove the laden bed in different directions in a confined space in order pull out the underbed drawers.  And the bedstead is pretty enough, in brass and marble, but it rattles about each time Bertie so much as lifts a paw or tweaks a whisker.  So it doesn't make for a good night's sleep and hasn't for 16 years, yet I have lived with it.

I am counting the disrupted sleeps until the mattress arrives (as of today, just 1 !!) but New Bed will take 7-8 weeks to arrive.  New Bed is super-whizzy and I can't wait to tell you all about it.  It has underbed storage, but with a very modern twist.  That's all I'm saying right now, you'll have to wait for the reveal!

So have you found yourself doing this?  Ending up with a whole load of stuff and work when you started out needing something simple and singular? 

Gosh, how I get distracted.  What am I like?  I start out with a simple OOTD post and here I am talking about a bedroom makeover!  I'd better move swiftly on to my last outfit and let you good people get on with your busy lives eh?!

Coated leggings from Next, modal vest from M&S Limited Collection, Madeleine cashmere cardi, Gabor boots, jewellery gifted or inherited.

Here we have black coated leggings from Next, which I'll probably detail in another post as they deserve a post of their own as they're new (OK, shall we just forget about this no-spend January ...?)
The leggings and M&S modal vest are topped with a cashmere winter white cardi from Madeleine, which I bought (there's that word again!) but in the sale last autumn (phew!).  I only cut the tags off for this outing.
And here's the thing.  We were going out for a meal with a friend and I told TP he had free rein to chose my outfit.  (Yeah risky, I hear ya!).  I told him to imagine me as his Barbie doll but I don't think the cross-gender toy thing worked for him.  Or maybe it did because he came up with this combo and I think he was spot on.  It was warm, comfy and smart (IMHO).  I layered on some lovely silver pieces, added a pair of Gabor Pollyana boots and Bob was most definitely your uncle.

A reader mentioned recently liking me best in column dressing like this, head to toe same-colour underpinnings with a different coloured third piece drape.  TP found the look slimming, and I thank TP and my reader for their input, because I do really think this look works on most people and even makes me look reasonably presentable!

And there you have it, peeps, my week in outfits. You know, I started out doing these What I've Been Wearing Lately posts, thinking that they would be easy posts to put together.  You know, a few photos, a little description and  perhaps where I took the outfit, and a quick sign off.  But how many times have I said this, I get chatting with you sweeties and then end up with a post the size of a small novel!
Hope you can bear all my chat.  If not, perhaps just looking at the pictures might be an easier alternative!

I finish with a plea as I haven't done one for a while.  If you can see your way clear, how's about following me by email or subscription which is easy to do in the right hand side bar.  And if you just can't get enough of my smiley face on my erratic posts, then you can always pop over to  INSTAGRAM or PINTEREST and follow me there.  It makes so much sense not to miss a post eh?

A la perchoine,
Mary X.