Saturday, 17 November 2012

making a statement

Dear Reader

Have you noticed how large necklaces have become very popular?  I think they can bring some added "pop" to an outfit, especially one with plain fabric.

One style, that I've seen all over the place from £7.50 - £100 is this one:

I bought one in blue from ebay and I'm very pleased with it.  It doesn't look cheap and hangs nicely.  I wore it today with a (very old) white fitted cotton shirt from Gap and blue jeans, for a smarter weekend look.

I haven't worn the shirt in a very long time, it's probably around 12 years old.  I used to wear it for work, but its been hanging in my wardrobe unworn for c7 years!  I've never been tempted to get rid of it, as it's one of those basics that doesn't really go out of style, and can always come in useful.

Another style of necklace that I like is this one:
Sale-Emerald Green,Kelly Green- Statement Daisy Necklace, Bib Statement Necklace,bridesmaid gift,wedding necklace, - Similar to Jcrew Style

I found this on Etsy in a variety of colours.

There's a really nice costume jewellery shop in Brighton called Sensation that sell statement necklaces.  I have a few and I always feel that they lift my outfit.  The compliments I've had seem to match my opinion too.

Do you like big necklaces, or are you into delicate fine jewellery?

happy weekend


Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Dear Reader

When you open your wardrobe doors what colours do you see?  Through my life the colours I've seen have changed. 

As a teenager and into my early twenties, black was my favourite colour to wear.  Black was my bedrock!  Then I took an active decision to not buy any more black clothes and to bring in more colour. I'm not sure when I came to a decision thatI just wanted to look brighter. 

Now when I look in my wardrobe I see a richer variety of colours.  The downside to this is not everything matches everything else!  Hence owning more clothes than ever!  This is not where I want to be right now, I want to simplify and narrow down but not back to black!

So how do we choose the colours?   Many other blogs advise on a base colour (black, grey, brown, navy) and then introduce secondary colours to compliment.  I think that is a sensible approach.  I would say my base colours for work is mainly grey (I do have some navy dresses though) and for home it is navy blue.  My secondary colours come out in my cardigans, tops, bottoms, jewellery but will mix and match with my base colour.

If you need inspiration then look no further than Pantone who bring out colour predictions for each season.  You will see these colours in clothes, homewares etc.

Pantone Autumn/ Fall 2012 Colours

Pantone Spring 2013 Colours

If you notice the spring 2013 colours are softer versions of the Autumn 2012 colours.  It's not a big variation.  The colour that has appealed to me from the above palettes is the mustard/ gold/ yellow colour.  I have a cardigan from Gap in the colour and some jewellery.  It looks great against navy blue.

Aside from finding inspiration from Pantone, I have my own favourites.  For summer for the past 2 years I've been focusing on clothes in the red, white and blue colour scheme.  I find bright colours suit me, so this is an easy look for me to wear.  Think stripey t-shirts (red and white, blue and white) blue skirts, red skirts and so on.

I quite like having a distinct colour scheme to work from, it makes shopping easier.  Also as it's warm I'm usually wearing just one layer.  I do have some other coloured summer clothes, that work with my red, white and blue clothes.  I find summer the easiest season, as you need less layers!

My autumn/ winter colour scheme is not as rigid yet.  But I am working towards a navy base (I don't want much black/ grey).  I like that yellow/ orange/ red/ pink/ green all look great against navy blue, which gives me lots of secondary interest.

Another admission is that I buy a lot of my clothes in the sales, and this means I end up compromising on colour too much (ie buying colours that don't necessarily match what i have already).  This is something I am going to rein in and become stricter with myself about.  On the plus side it can bring out clothes by adding a colour pop to the wardrobe.  For instance I have an apple green and white patterned summer top, which works well with my denim skirt/ jeans, my mustard yellow cardigan and so on.  I don't have any other apple green in my wardrobe but this went well with other items that I could put it in.

I also have a few deep pink cardigans/ tops that have been workhorses for me as they look great with my grey workclothes as well as navy blue.

My style tip going forward is
1.  Use navy as base colour for winter, and keep secondary colour purchases to match the blue and my other clothes
2. For spring/ summer, stick with the red, white and blue, adding other colours that work with those base ones.
3.  Don't get sucked in my sales, shop sensibly!

Happy reading

Monday, 12 November 2012

my evolving style

Dear Reader

Another strand of going from drab to fab is to work out where I want my style to go to. The end result if you will.  Although there is a lot of beautiful styling going on in a variety of blogs, I must not let myself get sucked into a "look" that isn't me.  I can recognise smart, chic, cool clothes etc but they are not always my taste.

What does appeal to me in clothes are colours, textures, details and interest. 

In my drab past if I needed a new t-shirt to go with a skirt, I'd just buy a plain one.  Now, I'm more likely to find one with some kind of detail, that just gives it a lift.  It could be an embellishment, or a cut out, or puffy sleeves.  It just moves the top up a notch, in my opinion.  My sister pointed this out to me a few years ago and I haven't looked back!

Bow TopPretty Sleeve TopMilitary Bubble Hem Top
All the above tops are from the Next A/W 2012

I have been focusing in on details in the last few years and that has evolved into colours and pattern  Baby steps but I can see that my style is evolving into a smart casual pretty look (if that is a description).  So one source of inspiration for me is the What Would Emma Pilsbury Wear blog.  I don't even watch Glee but I do like the clothes/ style of the Emma Pilsbury (EP) character. 


What I like about these embellished cardigans is that they do the talking so to speak.  

Where she wears a plain cardigan she has a statement necklace that does the talking.  This look works for me too!

Like EP, I wear a lot of cardigans too.  I mainly buy them from Next, Boden & Gap.  Gap & Next tend to be plain but come in a variety of colours, Boden is pricier but I go for their embelished ones which make me feel like I'm making an effort without trying!  Boden and Gap often run discount weeks, it's worth signing up to their newsletters, Gap usually do 30% off, Boden do anywhere between 10%-25% but they also have good sales.  Next don't discount but are relatively cheap anyway.

EP's other look is big bows.  I think she looks great, but I don't think this would suit me.  My bust is larger than hers, and I think I would feel self conscious too (see what I mean about taking and leaving aspects of other's style?)

 I don't tend to wear blouses (this is due to my laziness when it comes to ironing) but I do think they look pretty with a nice fabric, pattern or neckline.  Something else for me to think about!

To summarise, to attain fabness, I will be wearing more cardigans both plain and embellished, with or without big necklaces, as necessary!  I will start a page of my style rules that will work as my checklist.

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts, let me know what details you like on your clothes.  Do you like large prints, small necklaces, textured fabrics etc etc.  There are so many ways to add interesting detail.

happy reading


Sunday, 11 November 2012


Dear Reader, 

Admission:  I have quite a lot of clothes, most of which I do not wear.

(source: this is NOT my wardrobe but you get the idea!!!)

The purpose of this blog is primarily for me.  It's to motivate me to go through my wardrobe and reassess what I have got.  By that, I mean the following:
  • see what I need 
  • see what items I can match with other items, that I previously haven't
  • pass on anything that does not fit 
  • mend any damaged item.  
  • recycle where necessary.
  • hopefully make myself a bit more stylish with what I have
It's a big task, mainly as I have so little time but if you are like me, and want a change of look, without having to buy a whole new wardrobe, maybe we can enter this journey together?

There are plently of other blogs that are on a similar track.  I'm being inspired by:
These are just a few blogs I've found that are inspiring me to simplify, organise and hopefully become more stylish than ever before.  I'll add more blogs to the sidebar as and when I find them, feel free to recommend in the comments.

So what is my default current look:

Work: fairly smart - tailored dresses and cardigans mainly.  Trousers (pants), blouse/ top and cardiagns.  I don't need to wear a matching suit

Home: Jeans, jeans and jeans and the occasional skirt (I have lots but don't wear them as much as jeans!)

My work look I'm reasonably happy with.  I think I could wear more jewellery and I even recently made a jewellery holder, which I have found an effective way of getting me to wear my jewellery.  It's also made me realise gaps in my jewellery.  I'm getting more into larger, statement necklaces, which can lift a top or dress from nice to fabulous.  I don't wear silk scarves, but they have been floating in my head as something I should try as a look ?  Just writing that seems a bit too adventurous for me!

My home/ weekend look is chaotic.I have some nice outfits to the more laid back jeans and a t-shirt.  This is the area that I am going to work on more.  I want to be less drab and more fab.  For instance, I was staying in today and I'm wearing jeans (premium straight mid blue) and a 3/4 sleeve round neck navy T-shirt - both from Gap:

Slub boxy T
Less baggy version of this top.

So there is work to be done.

My first job is to go through my wardrobe and itemise my clothes.  I'll probably photograph everything, that might make like easier to mix and match maybe?  I'll be back when I have done that.  I'll start with autumn/ winter items, as that is what season I am in now.

I am not aiming to buy a ton of new stuff, if I do have to get anything then I'll need it to fit in with the look I'm going for (still to be decided).

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment.


A drab Claire