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Wednesday 26 June 2019

My Other Wardrobe

I recently had a break in East Sussex.
It's where my Other Wardrobe is housed. 

One drawback in leaving a wardrobe behind is the shock (nice surprise) when you discover your trousers are too big!

There wasn't enough cardiganage in the wardrobe to save this baggy trousers look.  

Trouble is, they're virtually new M&S chinos and otherwise very nice, but this is what happens when you buy something, don't wear it for a few years and in the meantine, you go and lose some weight.  Nice problem to have.  First world problem, I hear ya.

Today's Lesson

The Problem

But what I learned from this experience has been so useful.
I learned that I have little idea of what is lurking in Other Wardrobe.

It results in me discovering that things no longer fit.

It also results in me packing a full travel capsule each time I visit.
And it results in me wearing the travel capsule because, well, I've gone through the angst of packing (my FOP).  Then lugged a small case on and off aircrafts, in and out of trains, up and down airport and train station stairs ...
You get the picture eh?!  Otherwise wasted effort, and the heavier that little carry on, the higher the potential for multiple nail breaks.  Yikes, that's serious - why place precious nails in a position of high risk?!!!

The Solution

on Baggy Trouser Day I came up with a strategy.  I tried on everything in Other Wardrobe ... and PHOTOGRAPHED every, single. thing.

Now the plan is to look at the photos before travelling, work out a virtual capsule ... and at the airport I will have nothing to declare but my genius!

Have you ever done this?  Photographed everything in your wardrobe?

The Outcome

It was an interesting exercise.  I rediscovered things.  I discovered things that went well with others and more jeans that were totally unwearable (baggy).  And I discovered wardrobe gaps.

Yes, I discovered that my very cautious Other Wardrobe filled mostly with neutrals had been neutralised to an almost somnabalistic state and desperately needed a shot of adrenalin.  Colour.  So next day I bought myself a red top and head scarf.  And the day after I wore it on a very rainy
 day ...

and the red was just the brightness the gloomy day needed.
(The Swedish prawn sarnie brightened the day too!)

The Epilogue

So what a good exercise.  I now know what I've got in Other Wardrobe and what I need.  And what no longer fits - 

- those baggy trousers !

Oh and I brought the baggy trousers home to take them in.  I'll show you my work v.soon.

So how's about it ladies?  
Do you want a photographic log of what you have in your wardrobe?  
Maybe you've already done it?  Maybe you have another method of keeping an overview of what you have and what you need? 
Maybe you run a periodic try-on to check what fits and what needs donating?
 I'd love to hear if you have a system for wardrobe control.
And do YOU adjust or donate baggy trousers?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Turning Norwegian

When I go on holiday, this little boy needs sitting.

So for my recent trip to Sussex I welcomed Norway 🇳🇴 into my home. 

This lovely couple took good amazing care of Bertie, despite the challenges he threw at them!
They sent me reassuring daily pictures and videos of my boy whilst I was away.

But it wasn't plain sailing.  Bertie had plans of his own and his reoccurring cystitis flared up on the day of my departure.  So I didn’t depart.  I waited until vet, TLC and time had done their jobs. 

Meantime, I soon slipped easily into Norwegian life.   Scandinavian style breakfasts with my guests. 

Beautiful home-baked bread each morning.

Watching my guests quickly settle in, here spying a cat climb up the olive tree.

Conversation slipped seamlessly between Norwegian/Danish and English, sometimes mid-sentence.  It was a fantastic opportunity for me to indulge in my passion for Scandinavian languages and a great refresher.

And so the breakfasts continued.  Cheeses, smoked trout, fruit.

Each day the breakfast plates were decorated with whatever freshness was to hand ... basil, chives, a little fruit, tomatoes.


J's bread really was something else and I’ll post on that shortly.  You WILL want to read that post!

R 's  Breakfast included a Gammel Dansk (Old Danish) each day.  It's a sort of fortified spirit.  I remembered it being a traditional tipple to start the day off when I lived in Denmark and the Danes swore a daily shot kept them fit and healthy.  It's nice to see the tradition lives on.  


My guest tells me he always packs a bottle or two when travelling and he's never suffered from any tummy upsets, despite sometimes travelling to pretty dodgy areas of the globe that are known to be tummy-challenging.  Maybe there is something in this Old Danish tradition, after all ...

So I took my trip three days later than planned, and returned back home three days earlier than planned.  There's a certain symmetry in that eh?
Yes, Bertie had further episodes whilst I was away and after the second episode I decided I'd better get back to my boy, despite Son and catsitters handling each event perfectly.  It felt unfair to impose on "the crisis team" any longer

So I decided to turn this pig's ear into a silk purse.
Turn a crisis into a pleasant experience.

I drove the Norwegians to various spots around my pretty island, some being places they wouldn't have otherwise visited.

I had more Scandi breakfasts.

I took them out for fish and chips.

We took time out to watch a slug crawl up a wall on a rainy day.

And I learned how to make tasty bread in a totally revolutionary way!  You REALLY DO need to pop back to read that post!

But mostly I decided to view these unexpected home days as a gift, an opportunity to get to know these special people that little bit better.  And we had a blast!

My Norwegian guests friends have had an impact on me during my unexpected time spent with them.  It's like I've been reminded of my "roots" - yup, more on that in another post too!
 I think I may be giving my life a few welcoming tweaks ...

Life, you're welcome!

Do you find yourself turning a crisis into something pleasant?
Turning a negative experience into something positive?  
Finding that silver lining in the grey cloud hovering overhead?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Coming up: bread baking that will blow your mind!

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Talking Hats!

Today, let's talk about sun hats.  We all need them, right?

The Inspo

During my recent trip to the UK, I found myself pilfering The Photograper's sun hat.  I didn't want my hat days to end.

I like hats, do you?

I think we sometimes avoid them because of their tendency to hair flatten, right?
But I've realised that with a bit of capaciousness in the hat's centre column, pancake head just doesn't happen.  Yeah, that's a duh, I know! 

The Trilby

I was in danger of losing "my" trilby to its rightful owner.  So I headed off to Primark and bought my own trilby for £3.  I love the pattern mixing of stripes and spots on the band trim - it makes this hat soooo cheeky!

I also spotted that there are tabs in the band which will enable me to hook in other scarf trims to bring it into my Matchy Matchy Pout World.

The Sombrero

Causing less of a stir in Pout World was my other £3 purchase.

Not scoring so high on cheekiness but seriously majoring in terms of sun protection.  Lots of shade cast with this one.  Heck, I could fall asleep under my sombrero!

My Favourite

The trilby, of course!

It has a white brim, adding quirky to its cheekiness.

Cheeky Cheeky hat's brim does provide some shelter from the sun's rays so brings a little SPV to the Pout summer, but just not enough brimmage to take a sneaky siesta under as with the sombrero.

Guess you knew this was coming eh?!

This came in a close second ...

... Talking Hats  Heads!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Saturday 15 June 2019

FOP - Fear Of Packing

FOP.  Fear of packing.  Yup, it’s very real in my world, and many of yours too, it would seem from recent comments.
And I may be coming across as someone filled with anxiety, but that’s because I probably am. 

I hate packing.  I panic at the thought of it.  I procrastinate and usually leave it till the last possible moment and pack a mix and match of bland and safe.

For the trip I’m on now I pushed myself to do things differently, right from the packing point - I started packing in good time before my trip to the UK, sooo not me!

Coming to a cinema near YOU ...
Carry On Packing!
(It's possible only British readers will get the joke!)

It started with the shoes.

It started with me thinking shoes.  In my head, I was thinking a comfy pair of sandals for walking and something glitzy for the fun stuff was all I needed.   A lite shoe wardrobe.  But nah, in my case is something very different.  I soon ended up with four pairs, and when that case is a small carry on, there isn’t much room left for anything else.

Holiday update:  I've worn just two pairs so far, the flatties and the glitzy pewter sandals.

And then packing went off-grid!

My travel pack is usually filled with neutrals, black, grey, taupe.

This time I’ve gone off-grid.  I packed colour!
Yellow and green are bursting out from a backdrop of navy and white this trip. 

Holiday update: so far I've worn my travel jeans, white jeans, navy,  and yellow tops, navy long sleeve T, and the cowboy and denim shirts.  That's not bad eh?!

Outfits For A British Summer Holiday

The days have been sunny, overcast ... or deluge.

(yes, that's TP's finger!)

Another thing I’ve done is steered away from my travel-safes when it comes to jewellery. 
This time I’ve teamed jewellery to the outfits because of the strong colours.

Holiday update: this strategy has paid off as so far I've worn three different blue hued necklaces

The Illusion Created By Clear Beads

So talking of necklace hues, I had a duh! moment last summer - if you wear a clear bead, the colour of your underlying top comes through.  So it means that you can pack one necklace , like my mix of blue and clear beads in the top pic and it creates the illusion of uber matchy matchy - 

- and with each change of top it looks like you have a necklace in, say, yellow as here. Not a bad for a £1.50 charity shop buy.

So Today's Top Travel Tip is: 
pack a clear bead necklace to minimise jewellery packing.

So For this holiday I’ve thrown safe packing out the window and gone with navy and white, yellow and green - let’s see how this travel capsule continues to pan out ...

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Get A Shift On!

So today I’m talking briefly in praise of shifts.

It’s not a time for showing off, typing with one hand tied behind my back.
I have to be super careful on the keyboard when writing about shifts, if you get my drift!

This linen dress is lined so quite literally it’s a one and done. 
Petticoats can stay shoved in the back of the undies drawer.

I love the feel of simply sliding into this silky-lined linen shift, adding some sassy heels and a bit of tried and tested jewellery and heading out into the summer evening, poshed up a bit.

And a cardi too ... we are talking British summer evening!

Retirement dressing done a tad posher than the day to day jeans-and-something-on-top retirement uniform.

And as I finally did get away for my June break, just a few days later than booked, I really will keep this holiday post that brief today.
Shifts, for those fancier retirement days.  Perfick!

What's YOUR outfit of choice on your posher summer evenings?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Bedroom Makeover - Almost Done ✔

Well, things have gone a little awry at Chez Pout.
My bag was packed and I was ready to go, but I didn't leave on a jet plane.  Bertie had other plans for me this morning.  You don't need to know the details but suffice to say, I spent my time at the vet, then mopping up and mothering him.

I spent some of my sofa time with him thinking about my bedroom project and how I hadn't shared with you one of my new loves.  So let's do it ...

Taadaahhhh !!!

Meet my new love, my nightstand.

Cute huh?  If you like traditional, that is, which I do.  So it's cute.
I searched high and low to find cabinets which fitted the mood of the space, and fitted the space itself.
This narrow unit is wood, the finish is a soft grey chalk paint and the unit top and drawer inners are left unpainted.

The narrow unit on the left was what I was working with previously.

Now I have ample surface space for water carafe, tissues etc and drawer space to neatly stash medication, hand cream etc etc.
The pair of units gives a more cohesive look to the room.  Do you agree?

My next task is to sort out a nice window dressing.  The blackout blind doesn't quite work and it looks clumsy.
Any suggestions for dressing a dormer window, ladies?

So bedroom project - almost done, ✔.

And back to today.  It's been quite a rollercoaster.
But Bertie seems to be responding well to his medication, so I'm hoping to be able to join holidaying TP soon, claws crossed.

For I really do need to be Leaving on A Jet Plane.

A la perchoine, 
Mary x 

Sunday 2 June 2019

One And Done!

But it’s rarely one piece eh, for a cardi invariably comes too.

One and Done Dressing

There is a glorious feel to slipping on a dress.   Slip on a dress. Why, just those words alone conjure up an image of easeful elegance.
One dress and out the door, no faffing about whether this goes with that.  One and done.  OAD.

Of course accessories need to be considered.  Accessories create extra scope with the one-piece, extra dimension.
Accessories allow for occasion and mood changes.

And then comes cardi selection ...
Ok, one-piece dressing isn't quite the one and done it's cracked up to be but it does make outfit selection a whole lot easier when top and bottom selection is taken out of the equation.


Fear of missing the season.
Not so snappy an acronym as FOMO, I grant you, but this convoluted and clumsy  acronym is still real.

What Happened Last Summer

FOMTS is real because at the end of last summer, I suddenly realised I'd spent a huge chunk of summer in everything but dresses.

  Dresses are a one stop choice, OAD.  They're cool-wear on hot days as there are no tight waistbands to endure when the heat cranks up.
So why they had not been my go tos last year was beyond me.

My Strategy

Well, I don't need to think too much about the whys and wherefores of What Happened Last Summer.
I just need to put a strategy in place to avoid it this summer.
Which I did last week.
I hooked out about 15 or so dresses.  Awesome was the sight of freshly washed dresses in their summer hues, fluttering on the line against a backdrop of season-fresh foliage and deep cerulean sky.

  15 dresses gives me 2 wears per dress month max, as some
days I'll be in jeans, shorts or skirts.
By the end of summer (September) each dress could be worn eight times, max.  Let’s see if that’s how it pans out!

Off To A Good Start


On Wednesday of this week I wore a floral dress with ruffles for a dinner date, shown in my previous post, the-dress-that-keeps-on-giving, HERE.


Friday saw me slipping into yellow floral for a night out with girlfriends.

This duck egg blue cashmere cardi was rejected by The Photographer With Fashion Views. 
It was apparently "the wrong shape for the dress" and the remedy was to "best change into the yellow cardi you usually wear with it, that one works."

 Why I have allowed him to have views on what I wear flummoxes me sometimes, but on this occasion he was right.


The day was HOT, the hottest of the year.

We had a family birthday celebratory dinner (absolutely super!).

I chose an aqua linen shift.  I usually wear it with heels but I felt glitzy sandals would be better for the warm evening

The grey and clear beads on the cardi are echoed through to the beaded sandals.  I felt quite smug about that!

This beaded cardi works so well as an evening cover up, for yes, it really rarely is one and done dressing, is it ladies?
There's always a cover up, always a cardi.

A taupe bag and I was good to go.

In Summary (or, In Summery!!)

So yes, I'm enjoying one and done dressing for summer, and my strategy for dress wearing through the season is working.  But it's early days eh?!!

Now it's your turn, ladies!
Are you a one and done dresser in summer?
And do YOU suffer from FOMTS?
And, AND, do you get good use out of YOUR summer dresses?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.