Remember ...

If not now, when?

Friday 31 May 2019

The Dress That Keeps On Giving

It's this one!

A print dress in autumnal hues.  From East, now defunct - sadly, as it was a source of many of my classic pieces which I pull out year after year.

The Sleeping Beauty in my Wardrobe

This dress was bought in 2002 as an autumn wedding option.  Yes, BITD when I could afford to buy several options for one event!  This dress didn't make it to the wedding (aahhh ...) and perhaps because in my head it was tagged as a wedding outfit I didn't wear it for many years.   For there were no more autumn weddings to take it to (yeah, my outfit choices were rigidly compartmentalised, pre-blog!).
And so it slept in my wardrobe for many, many years.  
Then about 6-7 years ago its Handsome Prince appeared on the scene - I chanced to try it with a knee length brown cardi (also "vintage" East).  I added some brown knee boots and eureka!, this dress was awoken from its long slumber and reinvented itself as a new go-to !

Don't you just love fairy tales with happy endings?!

Today's Outfit

Styled for a May dinner date.

And taken here, to Les Cotils, once a nunnery and now a spiritual retreat and hotel/restaurant.

Selecting Prints

As I've said in the past about scarves, so the same applies to dress prints.
Choosing a print with many colours opens up soooo many options for styling.  A print like this dress's offers up almost infinite pairing possibilities.

The Dress Archives

Here are some of the ways I've styled this little dress during my bloglife.

I picked out the plum hues with a berry cardi and boots in winter.

what-ive-been-wearing-lately HERE, back in December

I've picked out the print's soft pinks with wedge sandals, cardi and bag in summer.

Before the blog got me stretching my styling boundaries, it was always brown I grabbed for accessorising this dress.

A long line cardi and boots here, again in winter.

christmas-lights-and-other-stuff, in 2016, HERE

And with a daring-for-me addition of an under-cardi belt!

in 2016 HERE in brown-florals-in-winter-so-right

The Epilogue

This archive search has been an interesting exercise for me.  I've seen how often I've grabbed this go-to in my bloglife, and how I've styled it slightly differently each time.  And I guess what I've seen is that I've picked out lighter colours from the print to accessorise in summer, and darker in the winter months.  Obvs!

Do YOU ever go through old photos of a dress or other piece, to check out your stylings?  If not, try it!

And Circling Wagons ...

Back to my current styling.  I chose brown for the cardi (East), perhaps as the evening was misty and overcast, but as it is early summer I lightened the mood somewhat with soft taupe heeled sandals and bag.  Sort of colour-transitional.

My Pout Message for Today

So my dears, my message today is hopefully clear.  Choose a print with many colours and with colours you love, and your choice of styling will be infinite.

A la perchoine, 
Mary x.

I do hope you leave me a comment, it's great to hear from you.
And please pop back in a day or two to read my reply eh!!

P.s. I'm getting the house and garden catsitter-ready, so posts will continue to be erratic.  It is what it is ...

Wednesday 29 May 2019

What I’ve Worn Lately

Hello my lovelies.
Today is a special day.  I finally have a Mac desktop!
My son so kindly passed on his 6 year old Mac to me, and it's stinkin' hot!.

Now there will be less of the one-finger keyboard posting from my Kindle and hopefully none of that over time.  But  to get to that point of easy posting I have to play around with the Mac set up, the touchpad mouse, the dinky keyboard.  Thus today is experimental, it being my first encounter with all three.   Plus life is extremely busy right now.   So I will probably keep the words to a minimum. Phew!, I hear you sigh.

Here's a round-up up of what I've been wearing lately.

Chinos and a black chiffon tripped top.

My old cosy cardi on a sunny but chilly evening.

Jeans, white shirt and long for cream cardi, still chilly.

I'm not a white shirt wearer per se, something about what's going on in the balcony area sort of ruins the sleek line.  But I'm experimenting with a loose hi-lo shirt, so let's give the white shirt a chance eh.

Pink sequined T.

Wine print too and white jeans - simple, neat, fresh easy-wear OOTD.

Grey and white striped top.

The dress that didn't suit my shape, and oh those knees!

A jean jacket.

And a jean shirt.

Yes, there's been variations on a theme this past couple of weeks.

There's been white jeans and blue jeans.

There's been coral jeans for golf.

But mainly there have been oh so many variations on the blue jean theme.
well it's that time of year, eh - transitioning.  The most daring I've got has been white jeans in the warmer days.

But there was a break from jeans - a denim skirt with a 70s tweaking, 

Footwear has been my trusty Clarks sandals for walking days.


But mostly it's been my trusty glitzy sandals to the rescue.

And that's me and my everyday outfits today - when life is too busy for narrative, post pics!

What do YOU wear on your feet this time of year?
And are YOU mostly in jeans in transitional months?

A la perchance,
Mary x.


Saturday 25 May 2019

Love The One You're With

Hello my lovelies!

It's that time of year when my mind's a blank when I try to remember what I wore this time last year.
Sometimes I buy something then think "Hey, I've already got something very similar.  Somewhere."  
Which is good because it reaffirms my own personal style and choices.  And then hopefully the piece returns whence it came.

I guess if ALL my season's clothes were stored in ONE place I would save myself the palaver of the buy/return cycle.  
But it is what it is.

When this happens and I find myself with two (or more!) of the same thing, I invariably assure myself that my first piece is still just fine and that I should continue to love the one I have.  Like with these recent purchases ...

White Jeans

I thought I'd pretty much hooked out my summer clothes but could only find one pr white jeans and one pr white trousers.
Hardly enough to keep me going through the summer months eh?
So I went on a white jeans spree and ended up with 5 prs on my bedroom floor. 

Duh, this doesn't make sense.  I managed with just two pairs of white bottoms last summer?  That doesn't sound like me.
Some of my summer stuff just may have strayed into my winter storage cubes, thought I.  And they had.

And thus, seeing six (yes six!) pairs of white jeans and crops fluttering on the clothesline was an immensely satisfying (and money saving!) feeling.

So I'm loving the ones I'm with, like these from Per Una.

And the five new pairs have been returned whence they came. 

Yellow Dress

During my white jeans hunt I found myself lured by this cute Next number.

Credit  Next

But when I tried it on home I of course realised I had one very similar, which I love. 

 Yes, I found my old dress in the white jeans cube stash too!

So my cute yellow gingham shift has been returned whence it came.

Red Dress

Now I don't have a red dress per se and I'd been lusting after one, probably because social media is awash with them this SS19 and thus so is my brain.

I found this one from Peacocks.
Wrong shape and length for me.  Better with a shift dress, thought I.

Credit Next

So I found myself a shift.

It was ok, but just that.  Ok.  No real love.
So red dress and shift were returned whence they came.

And this isn't red, it's pink, but I can live with subtle hue variation.  And the more flattering shape!

So what I've learned from this little exercise is two-fold:

1. Sometimes you keep getting drawn back to the same style, colour or print.
2. When this happens, check your storage cubes, you probably already have it!

As Steve Stills advocates, just love the one you're with!
Good on the purse, good on the environment.

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Thanks for popping by, I hope you leave me your calling card, a comment!
And don't forget to check back for my reply if you've left a comment.

Thursday 23 May 2019

Retirement Dressing: The Unflattering Denim Skirt

I like the idea of like-minded ladies popping in here for an ether catch up during their coffee break, it's nice and casual,  chummy.
So this post is about the length of a mug of coffee!

It's fair to say I’ve worn a lot of denim lately.  Denim is a transitional fabric for all and it's a retirement dressing staple for those having come up through the fashion ranks in the 60s and 70s.

A denim denim skirt is ideal for this time of year, when we're not too sure which way the day's weather is going to go.

<1 minute, or 3 coffee sips

I recently teamed mine with a blue cardi and white modal vest.

I used a thin scarf as a belt, to bring a little print and colour to my OOTD.

Coloured beads echoing the colours of cardi and scarf.

And I just couldn't resist a brooch in similar colours.  It belonged to a dear aunt and is a bead mosaic.  Proper vintage.  So pretty.  And practical too - I anchored it to my bra to prevent bra creep!

It was the first day I got my toes out this year!

I was pretty pleased with this everyday outfit.  I was feeling good.

So I casually asked TP if he liked it too.  Silence.  
Me: "I'm hoping that silence is because you're finishing your mouthful and not because you're wrestling between truth or diplomacy."
(We were having lunch.)
 More silence.  Then, eventually, when the tension in the room was palpable, 
TP: "It's, erhhmmm, not very flattering."

Not very flattering?  This skirt is 18 years old.  I have been wearing an unflattering skirt for 18 years!

On further interrogation enquiry, I was told that the stiff fabric pouches around the stomach.  Well, over the years I may have thought it might create a kangaroo pouch effect, what with the loose style, stiff fabric and a rigid zip all
converging around the tummy area.  But only occasionally.  
Now I am obsessed by it.  So I'm on the lookout for a replacement denim skirt.  Have you seen any in the shops lately ladies?
Knee length?  Sleek around the tummy.  The flattering kind?!!

Do you have a denim skirt?
How do you style yours?
Do you get any kangaroo pouching too?
And have YOU dared ask your nearest and dearest for their OOTD views?!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

I do endeavour to reply to your comments, so please pop back in a day or two to see what's in your mailbox!

Tuesday 21 May 2019

The Lost Garden of Poutland

BTW, pop back in the week for more posts, but they'll be briefer!!

She Sheds.
Sheds aren't just for men.

If you know me well or use the search tool in the sidebar and see just how many times I've written about sheds on what is essentially a girlie blog, it will be no surprise that I'm super excited about my new shed!

Everything in the garden is rosy.

The ceonothus.

The blossoming cherry tree.

A sneaky self-described fatsia japonica.

The rhubarb.

The whatever -this -is-called!

But not everything in the garden is rosy.  Today I want to bare all and show you the seedier side of my garden.  The bit in the back corner that I turned a blind eye to and ignored its existence for many, many years.


You think this is bad? But it was much worse than this before TP and I set to and called it a project.

Brace yourself, 

for it looked like this. Embarrassing, right?

In effect, it was an unused part of the garden that didn't exist in my mind, yet it gets the afternoon and evening sun in bucketloads.
I was able to ignore it as it's tucked in behind a high solid wall so it was very much out of sight, out of mind.

But soon -

Instead of looking at a mismatch of old fencing and knee high weed,

I'll be sitting in here looking out on a tidy patio
 (and maybe with a G&T for company!).

Instead of The Leaning Sheds of Poutland

there will sit this very upright She Shed.

 The left Leaning Shed holds old furniture that I can't bear to throw away.

I'll clean it all up and do a paint job on that furniture

and use it to furnish my She Shed!

Clever eh?  Still a furniture dumping ground but all looking pretty and in use.
I wish I could say that was my ingenious idea, but it was TP's!

And talking of TP - I told  sweetly asked him to stand here as a yardstick so you can see it's size.  
The Man Shed bit is through that rather plain little door on the right.  Much detritus will be ruthlessly dumped to fit the essential paraphernalia of a garden into the new Man Shed, a space half it's former size.  
I'm guessing I won't be holding each dried up paint pot and asking if it brings me joy ...

I've been using an old table next to the shed to pot up.  Heaven's knows where I'll do that now, for there will be no out of sight area for my messiness!

 Do you find that you get mess-creep in your garden?   I do!
   And as I turned a blind eye to the shed area in the back corner of the garden, so I began ignoring the neighbouring bed in the foreground of this pic.

The bed needs to be reduced to accommodate the new patio so I'm going to keep it simple going forward -  just the existing magnolia tree surrounded by a circle of fragrant lavender.   Simple planting and swathes of colour make more impact, IMHO.  And it will be a doddle to maintain.

So out of one project comes another.   Projects morph.
Do you find that?  Projects breed more projects?
And now I'm not just replacing ugly sheds, I'm reclaiming a HUGE chunk of the garden.
An area that couldn't be seen from the rest of the garden or the house - but going forward I'm going to make sure every darned guest sees it in all its spruced-up glory!

I hope that you don't mind me showing you the warts and all part of my garden today?  Was it a shock to the system?!
But I've pretended it hasn't existed for years and this feels like "coming out".
And now it's going to feel like I've liberated a chunk of garden,  magically increasing the garden's size (or like stealing 10% of garden from my neighbour!).

For this truly is The Lost Garden of Poutland.

A la perchoine,
Mary x.  

I'd love to hear from you.  
Do you have a bit of garden you turn a blind eye to?  
Do you have a She Shed?  
Do you have any garden projects going on or just finished?

And if you are so kind as to leave a comment, please pop back in a day or two because I do put thought and time into replying.