Remember ...

If not now, when?

Friday, 22 September 2017

A Life Less Tailored

Hello, my dearies.  How's your belly off for spots?
Don't fret, I'm not going all medical on you, it's an old greeting from the North of England.  Dunno why that sprang to mind. Maybe it's because my head's in a bit of a mess.  I'm facing a dichotomy, dear reader.   Potentially, you may be too, so I'm sharing with you today.

It's this.
When I go shopping, I find myself drawn to


or even

Tailored. Business wear.  But I don't lead that life now.

This is what I should be gravitating towards if, indeed, I need a jacket at all.  Slouchy, to posh up jeans.  But slouchy doesn't excite me the way tailored does.  Oh I love even the sound of that word!

Then we have the supposed slightly less tailored jackets.

Something Chanel-like.

Or military.  I love military but it doesn't love me, sadly.

But it loved my cousin! During our Southampton Zara scavenge she bagged herself the jacket, a blush top and these gorgeous floral trousers.  We wanted a look at them back at the hotel. She looked amazing, even during this quick throw-on in the foyer!
She's younger and still whizz-kidding it.  I'm guessing she still moves in the world of business meetings and corporate entertaining so I can see this jacket fitting into her life just perfectly.

You see, my dear reader, I realised when walking around Zara that my head is still wanting to dress the old me.  The old working me.

These days, if I'm thinking "jacket", it should be preceded by "biker", for retirement life is more biker than business.   I should be getting excited when I see this.  But no, I want neat, tailored.

Perhaps I should not be thinking jackets at all.  I'm retired, therefore my eyes should be lingering over Zara's slouchy cardis and not dreamily dressing Business Pout, she no longer exists.  Yet I found myself wandering around Zara's, mentally dressing myself in a tailored mustard frock coat, perfect for the me of 10 years ago.

And what about evening wear?  I have a special occasion event popping up next month and I believe my jumpsuit is going to jump into my suitcase again.   My no-longer-tanned arms need cover.  Again, I think cover and I think tailored jacket.

I fell for this embroidered jacket.

But the reality is that I should be thinking along the lines of an embellished cardi.

See what I mean about a dichotomy? Whatever part of the brain makes outfit decisions is doing me no favours, it is seriously lagging behind where I am, right here, right now.

And so it continues ...

I was drawn to Zara's frilled shirts.  There were many!

But hey, I think I may just be making a breakthrough here.

For I came out of the store with this far more practical embroidered stripe.  More everyday casual.  A shirt that requires NO IRONING.  Good lifestyle choice, Pout!

Have I finally got it?  That my life is casual?  It has been for some years.  Have I finally caught up with where I am?

No!  For I fell at the next hurdle. I would like a new winter dress.  But my mind wandered ...

... right back to tailored, in dress form!   Event poshwear.  Love this 1940s vibe.

But this is where I should be heading.  A sweater dress.  And maybe a cardi is about as posh as I need to get with dresses and cover.

And don't talk to me about shoes!
I need new ankle boots.  My faithful Gabor nubucks of 4-5 years are starting to look a bit oldbucks.
So I went a-boot-browzin'.

Immediately I am drawn to something like this ...

... heels.  1940s style again.   V. smart.

Or these.

But my brain should be steering me to chunky heels.

At the very least, steering me to a heel like this.

Or more realistically, these warm flatties.

But no, I want those 1940s heeled booties, which will be so impractical for the stomping sort of retirement life I lead these days.

My issue seems to be that I am not transitioning well from classy corporate to relaxed retirement.  Even after all these years.  Is this a taste of the Brexit transition?! 
Maybe I should just go with what I like and stand out from the crowd in my differentness.  Is tailored a look that fits in with a life less corporate?  Is tailored my natural style, my signature look?  Should I listen to my inner tailored lady?

Or should I love the life I'm in and dress in my feared smart casual, something I struggle to "get" even after some years of A Life Less Tailored.

  So, dear reader, my dichotomy: do I dress for the life I have ... or the life I no longer have?!
How have you fared during the transition from workplace wear to retirement wear?
Do you find yourself dressing the Old You?

Over the years I've read my own message into this song, it's told me to accept the "now" in life, work with what you've got. And thus I've found this Steve Stills' message somehow calming, and calm is what I need until I crack this transitioning from corporate to retirement wear, from tailored to slouchy.

Love the One You're With

And to paraphrase Steve's message, "If you can't live in the life you dress, dress the life you're in".

A la perchoine.

Photo credits: Zara, H&M, Ellos, Woolovers, Gabor, Cotton Traders, John Lewis, Poshmark.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Last Dress of Summer

Hello my darling peeps.  Hope you are well and hurricane-free.

A few days ago I squeezed in possibly my last summer dress of summer.  Sad, weepy face.

For Sunday lunch I wore my Roman Originals dress for the first time.
I think I'm in a state of panic.  The seasons switched from summer to autumn so abruptly that I didn't quite enjoy all the summeriness I had planned.
So many dresses, unworn.  Thus every time we get a sunny day, I sling on something summery.  And this was a summery day.

I like this Roman Originals dress.  It's pretty, the fabric hangs well and it's lined.
It's a slip over the head and walk out the door jobbie.
I added my Adesso heels and a little bag I picked up recently in Primani.  It's roomy whilst still neat and it goes so well with my fave summer shoes.  (I'm a matchy gal.)

I mentioned summer weather but hey, it's September, so a girl needs a cardi.  Woolovers.

Good to go.  Before the weather changes!

We sauntered down to the nearby beachside restaurant.

Nice views from our table.  They always seem to give us a window table.  Not complaining!

The Photographer fancied a posh meal so we came here.  These past couple of weeks have been a major headache (long story) and he needed to get away from it all for an hour or two.

So we tucked into some nice fresh, summery food.

We sipped wine and sat back and enjoyed the view.  And chatted.  It's funny how sometimes one can clear the mind of all other matters and focus on what needs to be discussed, away from home. Do you sometimes need to take a few hours distancing yourself from troubling matters, in order to talk them through more clearly?

I think that may just have been my last chance at a summer dress this year though.

The upside of summer's fleeting is this, harvesting the summer's garden fruits.  Here, little peaches and big pears.

And I didn't forget I set you a little puzzle a few posts ago.  Here's the solution.

Move one side of the glass to opposite side, at a right angle, then move the "bottom" of the glass to form a new bottom for the new turned-over glass.  Hope you worked it out.  Me and my cruise mates didn't!   And if you didn't work it out for yourself, you won't from my 'solution' - it reads as total gobbledygook!

Have you tried any Roman Originals dresses?
And have you worn your last dress of summer yet, ladies?

A la perchoine.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Posh Cream, Aperol and Scenery by The Pout

Our subject matter this week is how to wear rather 'posh' cream to drink the last Aperol spritz of the season, accessorised with late summer's evening scenery.

That was the remit set by my blogger bestie Anna of muttonyearsstyleandi.
Essentially, posh cream accessorised with scenery and Aperol put in a sartorial context.

It came about when I excitedly told Anna that I'd just had my first APEROL.  Ever. 
You see, Anna's a bit of a fan of this herby liquor and it has been featured more than once on her IG.   Aperol tastes a bit like Campari, I decided, which I hadn't tasted since the early 70s, in a disco club when I was trying to look with it cool!

I stepped over the threshold into Aperollia at a friend's house on Friday evening.  She offered an aperitif choice of prosecco or Aperol.  I spied the bottle and recognising it from Anna's IG, I replied rather excitedly "Both please".  I was charged with the mixology and first tasted my Aperol neat before loading our flutes with prosecco*.  It made a  most intoxicating refreshing drink.

*OK, Anna's subject matter included "spritz" - I found my spritz in prosecco, not soda water (insert slightly inebriated emoji ... hick!), so let's call that an Aperol Fizz.

So that's the Aperol done.  Tick.  
What about the evening scenery bit of Anna's themed post?

Well, this is it.  My hostess is most skilful in the homemaking department.  A pergola leads from the dining area and the conservatory.  She had canopied it.  Lately I've been lusting after researching some of these canopied and draped pergolas on Pinterest, but hadn't seen one in the flesh.  Not until last night.  Now want my pergola canopied too.  Deffo.  Isn't it an attractive sitting spot?  It looks out onto the summer's evening scenery, so I can put a big fat tick next to that element of the subject matter.

Yes,  last night I drank my first ever Aperol and saw my first ever canopied pergola.
Small steps for blogkind ... big steps for this blogger.

OK, let's move on to the 'rather posh cream' bit.

I wore my Zara pearled sweater.  It's posh 'cos it's dripping with pearls.  It's cream.  So that's posh cream.  Tick.
And it's new!  Zara lured me in to her Southampton store  recently - has Zara been luring you lately?

I felt it was the ideal thing to wear for a cosy supper with old girlfriends, the old being that I have known them for 35 years and one of them for 62 years.  R at I met in infants school and went all the way through our school years together, then we all worked together in the 80s.
Go figure, there was much chat around the cosy dining table!

May I just say here that I am loving Zara's work.  I love the way this sweater is designed and made.  The sweater fibre is extremely soft and the pearls are sewn on beautifully.

This is the kind of sweater I have been wanting for ages.  
Posh casual.

It's the kind of sweater you just throw on and walk straight out the door.  No accessories required. 
It's a sweater so it's uncomplicated to wear, yet you feel posh. 
It looks like you've made some effort when in fact all you've done is slip it over your head!

This sweater needs no more that black jeans, black wedged courts by Clarks, and a solitary pearl and "diamond" bracelet.

Aperol Fizz, posh cream and accessorising with scenery.
What more does a gal need to feel good when suppering with old girl friends, eh?

Well, maybe a pleather biker jacket.

Shades, for mystery.

And a smile.

Smile in the comments box if you like this post!

So, that's what I wore for my first Aperol of summer, of EVER!
Now, please do pop along to see how Anna dressed for her last Aperol of summer.

A la perchoine.