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Friday 31 January 2020

How To Style A Chunky Jumper #4

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the chunky jumper is what to wear over it.  Because if you're wearing a jumper of this proportion then it's pretty likely to be darned cold outside and the jumper alone isn't going to cut the mustard.


Outerwear is a problem for chunky knits.  The outer layer has to be very thin and roomy to cope with the chunkiness inside.  
1. Because one doesn’t want to double up on the bulk and 
2. The jumper is very warm so the outerwear has by be lightweight to prevent boiling up! 
And there’s a 3. Double thick arm covering means arm movement is akin to that of Hulk or a TV Gladiator.

So this would be the ideal overcoat, colour wise.  But it’s fitted.  I’ve tried it and I look like Pink Puffball Gladiator!

An oversized quilted coat provides warmth outdoors but as it is loose fitting and the fabric is relatively thin, it allows for movement even though my chunky is hidden in there somewhere!

I can just about get away with a thin puffa, but this makes for double-puff and is so much not a good look that it’s best kept off your screens. 

So the chunky comes with a warning, these jumpers add a lot of bulk, obvs,  and that may not be your bag, your jam, your thang.

And there you have my tips on styling the chunky jumper, in bite-sized posts. 
In summary:
How to wear a chunky jumper?
Well, it's all about balance, proportion. 
A chunky top needs a slim line bottom. 
Jeans need to be skinny. 
Skirts must be slimline.
Skirts need to be shorter or longer length - avoid in between. 
And try offsetting the masculine line of the jumper with florals. 

I hope this has helped you style your chunky jumper.
How do you wear yours?
Or have you avoided the chunky style like the plague?

Wishing you the happiest of weekends,
a la perchoine,
Mary x 

Thursday 30 January 2020

How To Style A Chunky Jumper #3

Yesterday I styled my chunky knit with a knee length leather skirt.  Let's add even more yin and yang to the mix with florals.

I'm styling the chunky with a skirt but this would work equally well thrown over a lightweight floral midi dress - it's your choice, just work with what you have in your wardrobe when trying out stylings for a new piece you're introducing in there. 

Floral Midis

But firstly, let me just say this.  This chunky is very stretchy.  I washed it after just a couple of wears to see if I could reduce the stretch.  But I couldn’t. 

Proportionwise, a midi skirt is just about perfect.  And florals offset the masculinity of the jumper.
The slim line of this floral skirt is the perfect foil for the chunky top line. 
Add to this the length of the midi cut and you have a pretty good balance of length and width, IMHO. 

Add a biker and a pompom hat and you’re ready for a warmer winter day.  Which I was. 

Please join me tomorrow when I cover the challenge this type of jumper brings to outerwear!

A la perchoine,
Mary x 

Wednesday 29 January 2020

How To Style A Chunky Jumper #2

Yesterday I talked about jeans as a go-to bottom half choice for the chunky.
Today let's bring in a touch of femininity to offset the masculine line of the chunky knit.  
Yin and yang and all that eh.


Yes, I believe the feminine shape of a skirt offsets the slight masculinity of the chunky top shape. 
A simple shape works to avoid extra bottom bulk.  But be careful with the length.  
Shortish, yes.  Longish, yes.  In the middle, no!  Trust me, I tried and the result is extremely boxy in shape.

.  So here  I wore my chunky with my straight black leather skirt, not too short as to showcase my never-to-be-shown knees, but merely providing a little bottom pelmet to the chunky.  
The knee boots gave this OOTD a 60s vibe, reminiscent of the early 60s Sloppy Joe - does anyone remember that one?!  

I kept the jewellery to zero and simply accessorised with a cute hot pink bag from Accessorize, a Christmas pressie!

Join me tomorrow when I up the feminine vibe, adding florals to my chunky. 

A la perchoine, 
Mary x.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

How To Style A Chunky Jumper #1

Chunky jumpers are everywhere this winter eh?
They’re the ultimate cosy go to, but I would say go there with caution as they do come with their challenges, namely bottoms!

I've been styling my chunky pink autumn buy these past few months, and it's fair to say I've struggled a bit with its bulk.  So I thought you mighty be struggling too and you'd like to see the formula that evolved through my multiple wears of  the chunky knit.


Yes, what bottoms to wear with such a chunky top half can be a head-scratcher.  
So I’ve been styling my hot pink chunky and so-soft knit from M&S to find out what works.

  And to make this a quick read in your busy day, I've split the styling into bite-sized pieces.  I'm good like that!

It’s all about balance. 
The bottom half needs to offset the bulk on top to give a balanced look so whatever bottom you choose with this jumper, it must be slim to skinny.  So skinny jeans work well, here in a blue dark wash.

Black skinnies look fabulous, obvs - hot pink and black is a classic combo.  And the leather look of these coated jeans works well against this soft knit, providing a nice variation of textures.

Yes, the results of my intensive testing of the chunky reveal that the skinny line bottom offsets the bulk of the top.  Wider trousers would not work as the result would be a very boxy shape which is very unflattering to most shapes, and certainly to mine!

So whatever type of jeans or trousers you wear with the chunky jumper, keep them figure hugging.
Or to paraphrase Henry Ford, you can wear whatever bottoms you like, provided they're black! 

Please pop by tomorrow and see what skirt line I found works with the chunky jumper.

A la perchoine,
Mary x 

Sunday 26 January 2020

Hats and Scarves - Day 5

Oops!  I totally forgot to post #5 of the challenge yesterday!
Shame because I did so want to a do a consecutive run of 5 challenge posts.  But hey ho eh, this is what you can expect from a hobby blogger?!

My last day of the hat and scarf challenge found me in this little leoprint combo. 

From this pic I’d say I was a little unsure of the slight mismatch of prints. 

So I tried this hat and bag combo. 
It was okaaaaay, but I feared the fedora was no match for the strong winds that would greet it outside.

Then I reverted to the snug hat and muffler slightly mismatched pair and bundled myself into a warm coat.
I say bundled as the thing I have found slightly annoying about this chunky jumpy trend is that most of my coats struggle with the extra bulk.  Have you found that too?

This snuggly stayed on throughout my walk and that made me smile.  And it’s sooo warm.  
Warm and stays put.  Just about all I could ask from a winter hat, and any added stylishness is just icing on the cake. 

Both challenge items are around 20 y.o. 

Then this happened when I went from jalopy to shoppy!
It confirmed my switch of hats had been the right call, cos my fedora could never have coped with this. 

In fact, I’m beginning to think that fedoras in winter in Guernsey just aren’t going to happen for me. 
Guernsey is a small island and is therefore mostly windy so I have to choose my hats for the wind most days.  

Is this the same where you live, the strength of wind a permanent factor in how you hat up?

And here endeth the challenge.  
I do hope you’ve enjoyed following the challenge with me. 
I found it very easy because hats and scarves are my go-to layers of warmth November through to March.   I don’t often post them here because of the wind factor - any hair left out of a snug hat usually whips across my face ... and my face without hair in a pic just ain’t gonna happen!

The downside of a challenge like this is that with daily photos being taken, I have to put on the slap every day, which can become a little too regimented and tedious.  Yes, I could do multiple photos in one day and reduce the make up wearing, but that doesn’t seem in the spirit of a challenge to me. 
So as a reward, this past week I’ve mostly given myself a break from make up ... and it’s been GREAT!!!

A la perchoine, 
Mary x . 

Friday 24 January 2020

Hats and Scarves - Day 4

Hello my lovelies.
For today's hat and scarf challenge I wore hot ginger.

Ginger high-neck chunky jumper, berry coated jeans (that sounds like I've been a messy fruit eater eh?!!).

My challenge elements were an old fur muffler and a cute ginger beret, a Christmas pressie from a French lady so a genuine touch of ooh la la!

On my walk, against some lichen -covered granite which I think was a good accessory for my outfit, a profusion of autumnal hues.
It was really warm for January and the sunniness has distorted the colour in this pic, but who cares when the colours compliment eh?

And this is where I walked ...

... around my 'hood.

Somebody told me that I suit ginger -  I'm now considering a hair colouring ...

My HUGE over glasses glasses, which are closed in on top and sides to block the sun for those with light-refractive cataracts.  Fashion item they are not, but they work beautifully

It was an amazingly beautiful day and I really enjoyed my walk.  I felt uplifted as there was a hint of spring in the air.

Are you a fine-weather walker?
Or do you heartily trudge around in wetland windy weather?
And his am I doing with my hats and scarves this week?!!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Thursday 23 January 2020

Hats and Scarves - Day 3

So Day 3 of the Instagram hat and scarf challenge I’m participating in and I felt I wanted to brighten up my day. 

And a fuschia pink baggy jumper is the the epitome of bright!

I teamed it with jeans and the scarf element was one I was gifted in the late ‘80s.  So that’s vintage then!
It’s a pretty print in fuschia and blue, linking the two colours together. 

A warm quilted jacket for my morning constitutional, and woolly gloves are a must. 

Here’s my attempt at the flat lay.
Just out of nosiness and with nothing better to do, I recently googled the scarf make and found this exact scarf on eBay!  Nor bad for a 30+ y.o. scarf eh?
If you see one there then snap it up because it’s made from the softest cotton and the print just brings cheer to even the bleakest day.  

 I guess the scarf is still with me because 
1. It shows no sign of wear.  
2.  I love the print and the colours. 
3. It was a GIFT and you don’t chuck those out eh?!

So even though she doesn’t read my blog, I say a big thank you to Eileen for this beautiful and treasured gift. 

The cosy pompon hat is from Next. 

And the sad face is model’s own.  Sad, because she got rained on!

So that’s day three of winter hats and scarves.  Please pop back tomorrow for possibly my fave of the week’s challenge.  Not a hot pink but hot all the same.  Ginger.

A la perchoine,
Mary x. 

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Hats and Scarves - Day 2

Hello me dearies! 

Let’s dive straight in to Day Two of my hats and scarves challenge. 

My outfit colour theme was grey and black with a dash of tan.

The hat is a leather beanie with a broad fur trim.  It has a quilt lining and is very warm and sits snuggly on the head and doesn’t fly off at the first puff of wind.  Which on a windy island is a pretty darn good feature for a hat and pretty much an essential quality for any hat!  
It’s 20 years old and from my working days. And it gets worn every single year.

 The scarf is from Next about 4 years ago. 

Grey high neck chunky jumper, black leather skirt and knee boots finished off my day’s hat and scarf outfit.

I ditched the scarf after poking my head outside to find a mild-for-January day. 

A trusty old camel car coat finished the look which with a skirt - and the mis-marching lengths made me feel a bit school-girlish.   It’s a look that I had when growing out of winter coats as a child.
 Remember that? 
But I see this length mismatch on Pinterest so it must be what the cool kids are currently wearing.

I took the hat into town to do some bits n bobs (errands).   

Now a word about real leather.  Both the skirt and the hat are about 20 years old.  The boots are leather and a couple of years younger.  And they still look as good as the day I bought them.  
You can’t say that about many other materials eh?
I don’t want to get into the whole ethical thing today - and for the record, I’m not a vegan or veggie but eat meat rarely these days.  But just want to say that a faux leather item would look tatty after a couple of years and get discarded - and that’s not good for the environment eh?

Onwards and upwards.  Here are some other outfits this cosy hat has complemented. 

And that’s it for today’s hat and scarf outfit. 

Must dash - I’m off to the hygienist to have some fun, NOT !!!
Although she has got new wizardry that makes for pain-free descaling and we do chat a lot and about pretty much anything so yeah, maybe I’m off to have some fun today!!

Do you have an old faithful, a warm and cosy hat that stays on whatever the weather and that’s been in your wardrobe for years and gets worn every single winter?

Please join me tomorrow for a profusion of pinks!

A la perchoine, 
Mary x. 

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Hats and Scarves - Day 1

Hi my dearies, how’s things with you?
Enjoying some near-Spring weather?  Are you knee-deep in snow?  Or maybe basking in a Southern Hemisphere heatwave?

Here?  Our weather in Guernsey?  Gorgeous chilly sunny days since the beginning of the weekend (and mine starts on Thursday!).  I’ve been loving them and am feeling uplifted.  That is, until yesterday when I got a double-whammy of reoccurring sinusitis and toe pain.  Seems these things are like buses ...

So let’s look back on what I got up to last week, as this week I am definitely not in a photographable state with my red eyes, streaming nose and wincing face.  You don’t want to see me like that, do you?

Right, back to the plot.  Last week.  Well, I enjoyed a 5 day  Insta challenge with a group of lovely ladies from South Africa, the UK and the US of A.  It was fun!  And easy!  Not so much a challenge as a theme for me as, through January, I’m mostly in hats and scarves and lo and behold, that was the theme  challenge. 

Day 1

Each day’s outfit was an everyday outfit, chosen for the weather and what I was doing (not a lot!).
My contributions were things I actually wore, so don’t expect any Four Weddings wide-brimmed pastel hats here this week.
Nope.  Not from this uber-casual retiree.  I was all about keeping warm!

So on this cold and windy day I sported black jeans, boots and bag. 

And a winter white cashmere roll neck jumper.  My “challenge” items were the thick knit pompom  hat and tasseled scarf. 

One thing I’ve learned during AW19/20 is that a woolly hat must have a generously loose circumference, like this fave white one.  As such, it gently balances and frames the face, allowing strands of hair to tumble softly down, if that is their wont.  A tighter knit doesn’t complement the face, IMHO, as there’s no space for knitty diversion tactics and the face is left to fend for itself - and on a cold wintry day (often sans makeup and with a month of mince pie noshing stretching my epidermis), well, ain’t gonna lie I need to divert the eye from my face!

I expect you worked that one out yonks ago?  
In my defense, when I worked I only wore this type of  headwear at weekends, preferring a more hat-type hat for workwear, like a cloche or beret .  So I’m pretty new to the casual hat party.   Perhaps you can tell? 

 I took my woolly whiteness for a beach walk.

We met a few bundled up walkers along the way, including a girlfriend who shouted out to me from the headland.  How she spotted me in my bundledupness quite dumbfounded me, as wearing half a small sheep around my face, I was pretty much travelling incognito.  Must have been my pout that gave me away 😊!!!

Hope you enjoyed Day 1 of my hats and scarves challenge.

Please pop back for Day 2 tomorrow when I take it up a notch with a fur trimmed leather beanie and fur muffler.

A la perchoine, 
Mary x. 

Friday 17 January 2020

Beauty Cull 2020 - The Prequel

Hello lovely ladies.  

We’re knee deep in January eh.  It’s a time of reflection and of new beginnings.  It’s also my time to review my beauty products and toiletries.   And with the cold and windy weather we’re having and gardening not on the cards anytime soon, the house is getting some long-awaited attention, and that includes my bathroom cabinet.

I was chatting this morning with the so lovely Janet of The Gardener’s Cottage and she’s going through a bathroom review too.  You can read her post MY BEAUTY BUDGET, HERE,  do pop over.  You’ll enjoy this and ALL of her posts, I’m sure. 

I’ve only just started my annual review/cull/replace and I’ll report back with my findings soon.  You may be doing the same thing, so I thought this an opportune time to repost my post from a few years ago, then you and I can see how my 2020 review compares.  
Will there be repeat buys?  Will there be never-to-be-repeateds?!
Does that sound like a plan?  Fun, even?!!

I’d love to hear how you deal with your beauty review, whether you’re doing a review right now or if you totally ignore best before dates and best after opening dates.  
Please drop me a comment with your thoughts. 

My 2017 Post

Hi guys!  Gosh, I'm sounding so American.  But "guys" sometimes just sort of, well, fits.

Just thought I'd touch base with you on my declutter programme ... and the floodgates decluttering can sometimes open.  My programme continued in the bathroom.   I don't think I dare show you my chuck-out pictures.  Embarrassing.  

All past BBD medication were taken to the chemist for disposal. 

Here's my tidy cabinet.  I'm enjoying it as it won't stay like this for long!

And with medication addressed, I moved on to make up.  Firstly,  all make up and toiletry bags were washed in The Great Make Up Cull of 2017.  Then make up was culled, using the approach detailed below.  The cull exposed so many worries, it opened up The Floodgates of Concern.   There were many but I now give you my two main areas of concern regarding make up.  I have many other areas of concern, but make up is a pretty safe topic to open up about!

Best After Opened (BAO)

Life was simpler before those blasted little open jar icons started appearing on beauty products. Common sense was used back then.  A product was thrown away when it was empty, had dried up, looked dodgy or when I realised I'd bought it in a country I'd visited in the last millennium!

Along came that little icon and opened up yet another area of my life that I should be very concerned about.  Nay, paranoid about.  Because it frequently touches on eyes and those I am uber-paranoid about.

Those little icons are useful - but only up to a point.  For how on earth can you remember when every single item of make up was opened?  
They're bought at various times.  They're opened at various times.  They have varying BAO periods.  The labels are minute so you can't scribble opening dates on them.
I'm still fairly relaxed when it comes to non-eye area make up (I don't see much danger there) but it's a minefield for someone as concerned about eye hygiene as me!

So the test I applied during this latest make up cull was draconian but necessary.  Any eye make up that I bought prior to last summer has been binned.  Most are in the 3-6 months range anyway and this chuck-out gives me a clean slate to work from.

I've devised a simple new make-up control plan.  Buy make up at the beginning of the year then I can easily control opening dates.
I'd be very interested to hear what you put in place to control your make-up's recommended life.
Or is this paranoia restricted to Pout World only?!

Eye Pencil/Crayon Sharpeners

I like eye pencils and a couple of years ago I became a big fan of chunky eye shadow crayons too.  
But I've recently started worrying about the hygiene aspect of the pencil sharpeners needed to keep them in their prime.  During my cull I washed make up brushes, tweezers, scissors, that sort of stuff, all in really hot water with lots of rinsing, but when it comes to those sharpeners I washed, well I see lots of hiding places for germs to lurk and I'm still dubious about using them for eye products again.

As a result of my paranoia, a lot of pencils and crayons have been binned during this purge.  Some have been used only up to the first need for sharpening and around the time when my sharpener paranoia set in.  Many are within their BAOs but need sharpening - so they have to go.  
They have pointlessly given up their lives (see what I did there?!).

How do you keep your eye pencils and crayons hygienically sharpened?  I'm intrigued.

But there is some good news.  Nature's way of compensating for my old age fuss-potting about eye hygiene is that when retired, you tend to use less make up.  In recent years I wear it less frequently and use fewer items.  So my new controlled approach to make up is a doddle and easy on the purse - I need to buy fewer items and they should last me the duration of that dastardly BAO icon!  

So last week I bought a couple of eye shadows, new brushes, eye liner and brow pencil.  
Frequently used foundation, mascara and skincare products are replenished on a rolling programme. 
 And the big news is that apart from a blast of red lipstick for special occasions, I tend not to use lipstick anymore.  I use flavoured Lipsyl or The Body Shop's Born Lippy.  I think they look better on pensioner lips. 

So this is what my streamlined make up bag looks like now.

Neat, huh?

So an embarrassing amount of make up has been culled and it leaves me with two three questions, 
1) Is anybody out there as paranoid as I am about eye make-up hygiene and BAOs? 
2) Anyone know if there are "self-sharpening" chubby crayons on the market? 
3) This hurriedly added third questions is, have you become more of a worrier, more paranoid about things generally as you've got older? Does just about everything in life give you cause for concern these days?
 I certainly have become a worrier (as evidenced in this post) and it's not a nice place to be!  
I'm forever being told "You worry about everything!" or "You're a scaredeypants!"

A la perchoine.

Thursday 16 January 2020

Mittens in a Minute!

Instant gratification, how I do love thee. 

Just a moment’s work and I’ve  gone from cuffs to mittens.
Mittens in Minutes!

Sew a few stitches a thumbs width into the cuffs of your coat (or jumper) and you have mittens to instantly slip on if things get a little chilly.   This makes sooo much sense and the little thumb thing can’t be seen when you’re wearing the cuff  “au naturel”. 

The scarf is also attached to the coat which gives me scarf and mitts transported with ease - and with no fear of losing them!
I added the scarf and the cuffs to turn a pretty unusable sales buy coat into something truly cosy and snug. 

See more details on the hack I did to this coat in my post
and maybe you’ll get yourself some instant gratification too.
Mittens in Minutes!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.