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The dreaded ‘Dress Code’

The dreaded ‘Dress Code’

Confession time: I did another order from Everything5Pounds. I have mixed feelings, and this is why. I has been trying to resist fast fashion. Having said that, some of the items from E5P are excellent quality. The other reason for internal disquiet is that the…

Is it really a bargain?

Is it really a bargain?

Fast fashion. Once upon a time, the “skint” reason made sense. If my work shoes broke and there was only enough money for bills and a spare £12, I couldn’t go out and buy patent leather brogues. Buy I could by something for £9 that…

Do I dare to try Project333?

Do I dare to try Project333?

As with my quest to only buy recyclable, cruelty-free cosmetics, the new year has made me think of other changes. Nothing swift, just those slow-burn changes that make an impact over time. One such change that has been bouncing around overactive mind is Project333.
 
This is about having a “capsule wardrobe”. You only have 33 items in your wardrobe collection at a time, and change them every three months. There are some sensible exclusions, such as PJs and undies, but the bulk of what the world sees you in is various combinations of the same 33 pieces. Not only does this project help you to de-clutter, it is also meant to inspire your creativity since you have to make the most of what you have.
 
I’ve decided to give it a go, in a diluted version. Firstly, as it’s based on dressing seasonally and winter started last month, I’ll be doing it for less than 3 months before deciding whether to continue. I’m also including accessories in my exclusion list, at least during my two-and-a-bit-month trial. I really ought to include jewellery, since I have an excessive quantity of it, and the same goes for scarves and wraps. But I’d rather try a wimpy version that works than do the “pure” version and give up within a week. I can always try including it in spring or summer. #Partial333 instead of #Project333 J
 
The 33 items I’ve decided to have for the rest of winter are:
  • 10 tops
  • 7 pairs of jeans/trousers (1x light blue jeans, 2x dark blue jeans, 2x work trousers, 1x black jeans, 1x grey jeans)
  • 7 dresses
  • 6 jackets/cardigans
  • 3 coats
 This will give me 77 basic combinations (10 tops multiplied by 7 bottoms equals 56, plus 7 dresses). Add various combinations of accessories and shoes and there are far more outfits then there are days in 3 months. Maybe this isn’t as scary as I thought?
 
Follow me on Instagram so see my daily combinations as I take on Project333 – with curiosity and a little apprehension…
Not resolutions, just good ideas

Not resolutions, just good ideas

Happy New Year, and all that. You had a good Chrissy? A nice break from work (for some)? Laughed, drank, got fat? Good job. Have you set any new year’s resolutions? Ugh. No. No I have not. You know why? Because I’m really not that…

Coffee and Castles in Carcassonne

Coffee and Castles in Carcassonne

It took until now for us to do what we have proclaimed as a goal for years. We took a budget weekend away to a destination chosen by Ryanair.   That’s not how we’ve worded it before, but it is how it worked out. We…

Tue Review: 3 October 2017

Tue Review: 3 October 2017

Okay, it’s been a whole month since I did an update, AND I haven’t done much towards my goals. But I survived the biggest event of the year for work, and had a wonderful getaway to France!

The getaway was exactly what we had hoped for. With work being so busy, we wanted to have a weekend away somewhere we could take long, curiosity-raising walks and then sit and admire our surroundings. Carcassonne was perfect for that! We walked all around the city walls, ate amazing food and sat in picturesque little coffee shops and stared lovingly at each other in a very cartoony fashion!

 

We plan to have more weekends like that. As many as we can before Ryanair completely falls over…

Brain: I will write a To-Do list.
Action: Is that the most pathetic thing on a to-do list to not have done? Haha, oh well.

Body: I will have two “exercise days” per week.
Action: This, I’m doing well! Averaging 11k steps over the getaway, and I’ve been scooting. Well, not when it was wet, and now I’m waiting for my post-Freshers-flu asthma before returning to the scooting. But the walks around here are soooo peaceful so I should still be able to get enough steps.

Soul: I will express myself creatively for 30 minutes each week.
Action: I might have done this, but I wasn’t really paying attention!!!

Tue Review: 5 September 2017

Tue Review: 5 September 2017

Did I miss a week again? Did I miss two? Yikes! Where does the time go? I’ve definitely been feeling out of sorts lately. There has been so much happening ever since we moved. I often feel as though my actions during the day are…

Beautifying a Business Bod – How to accessorize a suit

Beautifying a Business Bod – How to accessorize a suit

I adore the crisp lines of a good suit. Executives, military, flight attendants; there are plenty of suited and booted looks that can draw you in. No doubt someone has done a study about why some work wear is just so appealing, but for me…

Adding some international flavour

Adding some international flavour

Have you ever looked at a national or cultural outfit and wanted to borrow parts for yourself? Not that you want to encourage commercial cultural appropriation, but something caught you eye. The colour, the lines, the pattern, the fabric – something made you feel good and you wanted to be able to feel it again.
 
It’s easy to take inspiration from something without thinking about or acknowledging the history that may be behind it. Fashion choices such as ladies arm bands or dreadlocks have caused tension, not just in fashion circles but also in society in general. Certainly in the blogosphere!
 
 
Here are some tips for taking inspiration without giving offence:
 
  1. Know what the item/choice actually is and why you like it.
  2. Find out a little about its use in its country of origin.
  3. Work out what element of its significance inspires you so you can share that knowledge and positivity with others and acknowledge the significance.
  4. Honour and respect it.

For example, here is me in a kurti.
 
Why do I like kurtis? Well, I didn’t always. Before I tried wearing one I thought they looked like nightshirts, which I’m not fond of because they feel restrictive. But then I visited family in India. They all were wearing them as standard day-to-day attire and gave me some as a gift. As soon as I started wearing them, I loved them! The giant slits up the side mean they aren’t restrictive, they are as light and comfy as a t-shirt, but they don’t ride up at the back, and they always have a pocket. Plus, they colour and pattern choices are endless! But I particularly liked the plain tones on myself. I felt like I was wearing it as it was meant to be worn – a regular outfit, not a souvenir. The closer I got to my friends and family, the more comfortable I was wearing their clothes (literally wearing their clothes, I’ve been known to borrow outfits on occasion!). Kurtis are normal clothing, and I still wear them this way. Not as a gimmick.
 
Sometimes when someone sees me wearing one for the first time they ask about it, usually by asking if I got it in India. I tell them yes, and about how great it was to live like a local there. In general, people are quite curious about the world. If you have the opportunity to share beautiful stories about the world, I say “take it”.
 
 
Another cultural fashion choice I adore is a headscarf. When I played dress-ups as a kid, I loved the look of a scarf flowing down over my ponytail, like a wedding veil in reverse, or over my head like Red Riding Hood. These days I love the elegance of hijabs, turbans and head wraps. But I don’t wear them. These items have deep cultural significance that I don’t feel I can honour and respect in a way that I feel they deserve. And I definitely do want to be respectful. I also would wish that headscarves of any kind were seen as a positive personal choice, which sadly is not always the case.
 
But scarves themselves are probably part of all varieties of cultural heritage, one way or another. It’s the most basic item of fabric you can have. So I wear mine in hybrid ways and happily tell people why – whether it be me once again tapping into my eastern side, or showing support for friends whose clothing choices are inspired by their faith, or sometimes, just sometimes, literally just wearing a scarf.
 
In any case, respect is always good look.
Tue Review: 15 August 2017

Tue Review: 15 August 2017

I’ve done something small and it’s driving me crazy. I misplaced a key. The last time I used it was only yesterday morning, and yet I can’t remember where I put it. The second-last time I used it, I remember thinking “We really need to…