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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Pout Hits The Wine!

OK peeps, I've got something new to show you today! 
I've been thinking of wine recently.  No, not the fall-down-water, but the colour. 
Wine is so warm and rich and perfect for this time of year.  I'm seeing it with grey and with black, of course, but also brown which is not a colour that I would automatically pair it with.  Well, at least not since my school days. I'm thinking gym slips and knickers, peeps!

My colour inspo was a scarf I accidentally bought off Amazon.  I'd been a-searchin' round for pressie ideas and in the blink of an eye I discovered that I'd pressed the 1-click-buy.  Has that happened to you?!
 It was incredibly cheap and the picture confirming the purchase was of a grey, wine and ivory combo.  So in the days before it arrived my thoughts strayed to that colour combo.  On reflection, I think that was the default scarf on the site as when it arrived, it wasn't the scarf pictured all the way through the confirmation and shipping process emails I'd been getting.  But hey-ho.

The scarf's got a lot of brown in it.  Well, there's an idea, thought I.  And as I'm applying the 3-ways-2-wear principle (catchy, huh?)  to this new item in my wardrobe, I began experimenting.

First with grey, my original plan.

For starters, let me introduce you to my new "dress".  It's a snuggy-winter knit.

It's a bit (a lot!) shorter than I would normally wear.  My knees have nowhere to hide.

It's sleeves are long, so the dress has in-built mittens!

I've discovered from these pics that these grey boots don't lend themselves to anything but jeans and trousers, which they do extremely well, BTW. 
Top tip, consider the diameter of the ankle boot top when getting your legs out, ladies.
 I tried with a different shade of grey opaques a few days later, toning in more with the colour of the boots but still the tight ankle of the boot brought down the look.  Oh dear, is Gabor calling?  In a half size larger?

Silver goes beautifully with the wine and grey combo.  I wore a silver leaf pendant, layered with my lovely new silver necklace from my special little people.  How I do love it; it's rapidly becoming a go-to.

Here's the scarf.  Yes, The Photographer could have told me that the scarf was trailing on the ground!  But at least it's showcasing well.

So that was my day of wine and grey, accessorised with a plethora of strewn autumn leafage.

Then today I've moved on to brown.

I pushed the boat out and  bought some M&S chocolate opaques and they are a perfect match for my old brown Gabor knee boots (which I love, so supple a leather and they are lined in a softer and lighter suede, so scrummy!).

I chose a chunky wooden necklace, a pressie from one my lovely readers, La Duchesse.
As the look I'd chosen was informal, I paired it with a brown leather wrist band.  You can't see it in any of the pics, though, but it's there, you will just have to trust me on this one - and you know you can!

And then I played around with my new blanket scarf.

The Photographer With Fashion Views declared this look "messy".

And it got rapidly messier.  I tried the casual draping over the shoulder again. This time it didn't touch the floor, purely by luck rather than Photographer vigilance.
I have a friend who rocks the pashmina-over-the-shoulder look.  You know, that Judi Dench look, so casually elegant.  I just can't hit it, though, it always looks a bit strange on me.  Are you someone who does this casual draping thing?  Any tricks you can share?

I think the scarf goes so well with this outfit.  It picks out both the wine and the brown.  I just need to get my head around the blanket scarf thing.  It seems too big, cumbersome.  Like I'm draping myself with, errr, a blanket.  And as that is not normally my wont, I struggle.  Seems a bit period drama to me.  Perhaps I should check out how Cathy wears it in her Wuthering Heights look.  I wonder if she Instagrams it? Or Pins it?

Turns out Cathy wasn't into blanket scarves after all.

On to another of my challenges.  What I am discovering is that it's quite difficult to keep a bardot doing what it says on the tin.  Keeping off the shoulder.
The bardot neckline shifts around, up and down.  Now generally I see this as a good thing, as it presents me with the gift of so many neckline options, changes.  I like change.  The Photographer doesn't like that I like change.  It usually means us shifting around furniture.  And occasionally shifting it back again, if I find my improvement isn't actually an improvement.

Apropos that, I told him this morning that I like that he has a good attitude.  He tells me what I see as good attitude is actually pragmatic subservience.  What are your thoughts on that bombshell, ladies?!!

And whilst we're in Photographer Corner, as he was taking the abundance of wine and brown shots he muttered "I can see this being one of your posts that I won't be reading". 
 OK, scrub what I said about "good" attitude earlier, this is downright bad/recalcitrant attitude!!

But how I have digressed.  I was talking about the Bardot neckline.  I have discovered that a pin slipped into the back of the dress sort of disciplines this cheeky strumpet of a collar.
My bardot seems to be holding fast with this tweak.  It's still sitting smartly as I type.  If this good pin work continues, I'm going to make it a permanent feature with a few deft stitches.
Once again, the Dotty P design team will thank me for this little innovation.

So, grey done; brown done.  Black to come.

But I also want to see how this baby performs with jeans.  You see, it is actually sold as a sweater, but on my 5' 3" and-a-bit frame, it can become a dress as well as a sweater.  One of the few benefits of being vertically challenged.  Ooops, digressing again, Pout!
Yes, back to those jeans.  The dress/jumper (drummers?!) would go beautifully with blue or grey jeans, of course. 
But I see it with some tight faux leather or waxed black jeans.  I haven't clicked the Nordstrom buy button on the former (sorry Mrs R, I still think they will bring too much attention to my trotters).  I haven't clicked the M&S buy button on the latter either.  Perhaps it's not so much that I am a wimp when it comes to the more risquรฉ of legwear, but that I'm a bit dubious about sizing (more on that in another post ... hopefully).

Right my dear friends, I've rambled enough and The Photographer wants his trunch.
 Before I sign off, here's what the dress looks like on the optimum body, a tall slim model.

You see, they style it as a jumper, albeit a very long one.

It's under £20 and can be found here.  Such a rich colour and so snug.  The grey is selling out fast.

I leave you with more wine and grey.  Just when I was strutting my stuff in my wine and grey ensemble above, the clever Janice of The Vivienne Files only went and posted on grey and wine here.  What do they say about great minds?!

A couple of pieces sprang out at me from her post.

This beauty is from Dotty P so is close to home.  Most versatile and something that would fit
nicely into our wardroes, eh?  Certainly it's manna to my wine themed wardrobe.

This gorgeous wine cashmere number from L L Bean is divine. Pricey, but if you're reading this, TP, and in your view I've been nice rather than naughty ... or perhaps it works the other way round with blokes?!!

Whoa, stop your friskiness, Pout.  Let these lovely people close this post and get on with their busy lives.  And you go downstairs and get The Photographer his trunch!!!!

A la perchoine.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

How to Milk A Birthday

Hi dear readers.  Hope you are having a super weekend.  Some of you may be tearing around in pre-Thanksgiving  preparation, some may be taking a breather before Christmas prepping starts in earnest.  Whatever you're doing, hope your staying warm and healthy.

I've been enjoying some nice times.  Like a birthday!

Exciting presents to open.

The anticipation of discovering what's inside a prettily wrapped package.

An "oooh" as I recognise Clarins red.

Look, a super Clarins 12 days chest filled with goodies!

Another package revealed a beautiful long silver necklace from two very special little people!

These are just a snapshot of the lovely presents I received from loved ones.  Birthdays ain't bad eh?!

Birthdays are fun.

I don't care that I'm a year older if this is how it feels.

I wore a Zara top.  Zara calls it a dress, albeit a very short one.  On dinky old me, it's a very long shirt.  Here I am showing you another of my lovely presents, a very special locket.
This pic is fuzzy, taken with a smart phone.  I must take some better pressi shots shortly.

I was so lucky and grateful to receive such beautiful cards, presents, phone calls and messages from the lovely people I am so thankful to have in my life.

Next day on my Boxing Birthday (oh yes, my family knows how to milk a birthday!), I was invited round to a friend's house for coffee and scones, and yes, more pressi giving :-),

I wore a grey jumper/dress - yes, intriguing eh?  More on on that in an upcoming post.
And I pulled out a few more of my Last Chance Salon items.

These grey trousers are a beautiful hanging weight with cute leather-trim pockets, but they are boot cut and boot-cut stumps my dumpy legs.  So I don't think I've worn them during the 7-8 years I've had them.  They are now part of the LCS programme and I'm going to see how I get on with them.

Of course, I couldn't wait to wear my silver necklace from the GKs.  It's so perfect, just the right length. Yes, I don't just layer pearls; layered here with my brand new silver necklace and an old leaf pendant; more on that in another post too.

Don't know where you're at colour-wise right now, but I'm very happily stuck in a grey and wine groove.  Here a wine-coloured leather bag from 2002.  Have you been trying out wine with grey?  And I'm not talking spillage down your jumper, okay.  I'm talking real wine colours, deep burgundy through to light Beaujolais Nouveaux.  Basically, any red that looks drinkable.  So rich-looking for this time of year.  I'm liking the combo with grey, with black ... I'm even contemplating brown and green!

As Janice of The Vivienne Files told me, I picked the right season to fall in love with this rich colour.

What do you like pairing wine with?
And I know I'm laying myself open to the "cheese" response!

I bought the shoes at the same time as the bag, for an autumn wedding.  Only fitting I pull them out now during LCS season.  Oh and they're pointy, something I'm seeing a lot of online right now.  Yup, keep 'em for 15-20 years and they'll be back on-trend again.

A friend at coffee suggested taking in the trousers.  Despite seeing lots of boot leg and wide leg trousers and jeans around right now, I'm not a slave to trends (as is blatantly obvious!) and if the trousers just plain don't suit my body shape, they really should be for the chop, eh.  Agreed?

Threw over a grey/black/mauve poncho - yup, this is to autumn what the cardi is to summer.  Totally unnecessary.  This poncho stayed in the car whilst I coffee'd and chatted with my friends.

And there you have it, dear readers.  What I did on my Birthday ... and my Boxing Birthday.

I didn't like having a November birthday when I was a child.  I felt I'd drawn the short straw.  All the summer birthday children had fun parties on the beach with swimming and rounders and picnics.  Mine was not a birthday that reaped many parties.  I made up for it when I got older ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽ‰.

No matter which time of year birthdays are celebrated, no birthday is complete without the blowing out of a candle.

And an added bonus, you get to hear me speak a snippet of Portuguese!

So, how to milk a birthday.  Give yourself a Boxing Birthday, oh and we sneak in Birthday Eve too!

Birthday photos by a Guest Photographer, a.k.a. our lovely granddaughter x.

A la perchoine.

(How am I doing, Vronni?!)

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Is It Me Or Is It Them? Part II

Just a quickie today to update you on my Gabor boots story in my last post.

I popped into my local Gabor stockist,

Before leaving for the shop I chose to accessorise my outfit with a cheeseplant leaf.  Then at the shop I slipped into a half size bigger boot, which felt fine and not too big at all.

(Spot the photobomber!  Yes. His Royal Fluffiness decided to muscle in on some of Lady Leoprint's action.)

Unfortunately the shop's choices were limited, as I would expect for a shop on a small island with a small catchment area as they will be limited on how many styles they carry.  So I couldn't find my boot.

But I sported my new Enfields for this little reccie, so snugly comfortable.

During the course of this little sagaette, I realised that Charles Chinkard doesn't offer free returns.  I've never had to return Gabor boots before, so I hadn't spotted that.  Pretty silly not to have done my research thoroughly before placing my bootsfest order, eh?
However, I found the Polyannas on the John Lewis site with free postage either side, ladies, so they're on the way but in a larger size.  Debenhams offers the same terms and they've got a nice grey suede alternative.  So a pretty happy bunny is typing this post today.

In the meantime, you lovely readers have fed me much important and interesting information.  Janice tells me feet can ossify as we age and as a result, do get bigger. I've heard tales of backs of boot heels caving in when putting on boots, one particular foot not fitting into boots, and so on.  And Audrey tells me that it is Gabor as she's been through the same thing and thought that she'd tried on two mismatched shoes, so differing were the fits.
Well, you've all been so helpful and enlightening, as ever, and it's good to hear that I'm not alone in these experiences.

It seems that I can't rely on boot sizing any longer.  I can't rely on brands' consistency of sizing, even within a pair.  And something weird is going on with the inner heels of boots.
Or perhaps it's my ossifying feet!

I thank you so much for being the helpful, sharing people you are.

And so the nubuck ankle boot replacement saga continues ...

Buy Carvela Comfort Rida Mid Heel Ankle Boots Online at

And this saga continues too!  Carvela have only gone and produced my dream boots in this punchy statement colour as well as grey and they're gone and lowered the price a tad too!

A la perchoine.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Is It Me Or Is It Them?

Just what is going on?!
Is it me or is it Gabor?

Well, I have no idea to be honest, but I'm on the case.  I realise you need some back story before I tell you just where my case is right now.

You see, I happen to have a bit of a thing about Gabor boots.  Some of you have noticed this. 
I have two pairs of knee boots, brown and black, which I have had for 15 years and which have never been repaired and which still look amazingly good and which still feel beautifully comfortable.  That's how good Gabor boots are.
The knee boots were my intro to Gabor, my foot in the door, so to speak (pun totally intended and even it it weren't, I'd still take credit for it!).

I have a pair of black nubuck Gabor heeled ankle boots, which you see a lot on my blog in winter.  They look good with everything, jeans and trousers, skirts and dresses.  And I can tramp around cities' hard pavements for whole days in these and not feel a thing.   But they are quite old now and aren't cleaning up so well any more. 
Apropos cleaning nubuck, do any of you lovely ladies (and gentlemen, of course) have any magical tricks for cleaning nubuck that you can share?
So, magic aside, I am on the hunt for some replacement black ankle boots.  Leather, so's I can polish them up ... or get someone to do that for me :-).  Some low-heel grey ankle boots would be nice too!
I started my search back here in life-less-tailored, lusting after boots that don't fit my now-lifestyle but resigning myself to the more practical boot choice.
Then the lovely Laurie of Vanity and Me only went and taunted me with these Amien beauties below, reminding me that I'd been "stalking" them online for some weeks.

So what's a girl to do?  Yup, I got on to my fave shoe site, Charles Clinkard and moments later I awoke from my reverie with not just these lusted-after Amien boots but several other pairs.  Well, a girl wants to get value for her postage, eh?

So, Amiens are the boots that got my boot buying ball rolling. 

Then wanting some mid heels greys, Soleros joined my order.

Gabor Pollyanna Womens Casual Ankle Boots

Then reminding myself that the nubucks need a newer mate,  v. similar Polyannas joined the gang.

Enfield Womens Ankle Boots

And Enfield made this a gang of four.

I ordered all four in my regular size, same as my other Gabor boots. Charles Clinkard delivered them quickly and smartly, as they always do.  Such a good service.

So what happened at try on?  You tell me.

Amien just about managed to get on my foot but was unwearably tight.
Solero failed to get on my foot, despite me using a shoe horn.
I so wanted the leather Polyanna to fit. Managed to squeeze myself in but soooo tight.
Good old Enfield fitted perfectly and my feet just slide into them.

NB: when I struggle or am plain unsuccessful getting into the boot, it's always with the left shoe though I've compared my two feet and they look the same.  The back inner heel seems to collapse inward.

So, should I be thinking that 1 out of 4 ain't bad?
Has this happened to you?  Your favoured brand suddenly not fitting?
I'd love to hear from you on this as I'm starting to think something awful has happened to my feet.

So has Gabor really changed their sizing or style of boot opening?
Or is it me?   Does shoe size increase with age?

Well, I do love Gabor boots and this lady is not for turning any time soon, so I'm going to size up.  That's where my case is right now.
But I'm just a bit confused from this whole trying on session. 

You see,  I had no trouble sliding into these Jones taupe coloured boots in my regular size (from a recently Jones sale).

Same thing with these grey higher heeled, picked up for a song in a Debenhams sale.

So, I just seem to be struggling with the style or sizing of Gabors. 

And finally, I'd sure like to be fraternising with these babes by Carvela, but at £150 that is not going to happen. Well, perhaps I should qualify that with "... any time soon". 

For, There's Always Tomorrow.  Or the January sales!

A la perchoine.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Chanelling Coco

My blogging mate, the so lovely Anna of Mutton Style, invited me to join her in putting together some Chanel pearl layering.  After a day sorting our my jewellery into colour-groupings,  Anna's email was serendipitous,  her timing impeccable.  Yes, I'd created a neatly stored stash of pearls in one of my jewellery drawers, so it was game on.

But hold on, pearl layering?  I know about pearls layering my lovely Zara top, but not much else.  Time for a bit of research.  Oh how I do love research!

I think of Chanel and I think elegance and timeless dressing.  I think boucle and braid trims.  I think chain belts. I don't immediately think of pearls, but having spent hours drifting around Pinterest thoroughly researched the subject matter,  I now know that was something Coco did with panache.  She piled them on in abundance, more being more, and it's seems that, as always, many have copied her perennial style.

However, pearly layers alone would look indecent on this blog, so I had to think up outfits to go with my pearls.  There are some styles which are synonymous with the house of Chanel and with its founder, Coco.  Join me on my journey as I match some classic "Chanel" outfits with pearls.

Boucle Suits

I had to dig deep in my archives to find a pink boucle suit from Alexon, from yonks ago.  Time for some 2nd lovin' for this pinkie.

I used the jacket on its own in order to create a black column with a skirt from another boucle suit.  It's black.  You can't see the texture.  Trust me, it's textured boucle!
I teamed it with a Next frill-front blouse and Clarks heels with a errrm, with a  "reptile that shall not hiss speak its name" print.
And I started piling on the pearls.

This is a nice mixing up of the two suits.  Sort of brings pink into winter.

Coco showed more restraint here though, just a doubled-up pearl strand.  Elegant, eh?

Of course, those with Chanel-style jackets can try mixing it up a bit with jeans.  I love these looks and I feel some mixing up brewing in my wardrobe too.  And if I am going this route, I will search around for some braid to Chanelify the jacket.
OK, boucle and pearls, in the bag.  What else? 


Well, you can imagine how excited Lady Leoprint was when she realised that pearls and leoprint look pretty fine together.

Out came my ancient black boucle Marina Rinaldi suit, which has an animal print fur trim.

I decided to do some pattern mixing with my animal prints.  I added a Next leoprint jumper.
I piled on more pearls.  I discovered you just keep adding to the pile around your neck.  Peasy.
Then I had a plan ...

Excitedly I discovered that I could create a muff-effect feature .  Cute, huh?
I like this outfit because the pearls and the leoprint tone each other down.  Maybe the layers got a bit messy, though.

So, suits n pearls, done.


My mate Keira guided me towards longer strands for dresses.

My black base is an Artigiano faux-wrap dress.

I introduced some length.  I realised that it's quite a challenge to keep long strands tidy.

But I think I could work on this to tidy up the layering.

So, LBD and pearls.  Classic.  And done.  I felt TP would want to take me places in this outfit.  And probably leave me there!

Seems like there are two ways to go with layering.  Mess 'em up, or keep 'em orderly.

I chose orderly for my next look, wearing a long Rohan jersey dress.  Black, of course.

I realised that by de-cluttering the neckline and adding a medium length to the mix, it created the orderly look that I was going for.  Graduated.

Oh how I would love to go places in this black and pearl number!
And I read that longer length skirts are the thing for AW17, so here I show you something pretty near to bang-on-trend.


Well what about throwing lace into the mix?!

I felt lace needed something soft-coloured.  Pink.

I paired up the suit as nature the designer intended, skirt and jacket now together in pinky union.
The lace top is from Dotty P.

You can see my jewellery cabinet on the right.  Missed a photo opp here, should have opened it up so you could see my brilliant organisational skills at work with jewellery categorisation.  So proud.

I felt that the model had been right to keep the pearls high around the neckline, which is what I did instinctively with this outfit.  
But, dear reader, do you have any ideas where I could take this outfit?  I felt I was all dressed up with no clue as to where to go in it.  It was a smart step to far for a lady in retirement.


I was surprised to see that Chanel did casual too.

Here's Coco in a cream skirt and cardi.  Well, I don't have a skirt that follows this look so, lucky me, I found a pic in ... black.  And I have an abundance of black, eh peeps?!

Firstly, I decided to follow the model's headless queue for consistency.  
I also followed her queue with the limited layering for this outfit, keeping pearls to just a few twisted strands and slightly away from the neck.  I felt that was a good call in terms of balance.

 I wore the black boucle skirt again, with a black M&S cardi.  I added a Next ivory layered blouse. 

I think this is a look that would be soooo nice to wear out somewhere posh for lunch or Earlybird dinner.  But I think what's pulling this outfit down is the a fail in rule-of-thirds dressing.  The outfit would look better with a shorter top, as Chanel and the model demonstrate.  You live and learn, eh?

Again, I see this outfit as having its casual cousin.  Switching the skirt for jeans, tucking in the blouse and keeping the court (pump) heels and I'd have myself a nice smart-casual outfit in the making.

So, what more can I do with my pearl layering?
Well, enough of all these smart lady-wot-lunches outfits, I needed something cosier to slip into so that I could sit in my chilly garret and write up my notes.   So how does this look work for ME-casual?


I took my inspo from this lady.

I threw the lace top over a pair of loose jeans and introduced a bit of gold.  A large pearl pendant on a gold chain.  A necklace of gold and pearl.  I added a loose grey cashmere merino cardi.

And just when the poor Photographer had thought his work was done, I decided to switch cardis.

A shorter Woolovers cardi.

And as The Photographer clicked,

I reflected on the paring back of pearly layering in this outfit, pitched just right.
And I thought, "The Pout did good".  

But not that good, for one last category is missing.


No pearls.  Just this.  Inspo, Miss Monroe.

There you have it, darlings.  I have given you an abundance of pearls, in varying degrees of layering.  And it's been fun.
Through this little exercise, I've learned that one has to play around, add and subtract, to achieve balance that's right for the outfit.  
I've learned that there are times when a mix of pearl sizes and graduation suits the outfit, and there are times when the pearls need some serious mixing up.
Pile it on.  Just like Coco did.

Yes, I've learned a lot on my pearl layering journey.
Did you enjoy the journey with me, dear reader?

So my mind turns to you, dear reader.  
Do you pearl-layer?  More is more?
Or do you think a single strand showcases the pearls, that less is more?
And has my little exercise helped you think up some outfits and how to accessorise them with the pearls from your jewellery box/cupboard or charity shop raid?
As ever, I'd love to hear what you have to share.   There's a comment box below just crying out for you!

 Now, I'm off to Anna's blog to see what styling treats she has for us  here.  Why don't you pop on over too.

A la perchoine.

Pinterest photos were sourced in this post.