Cold has stopped play – some work outfits from last week

I’ve been suffering from the really bad cold which is going around, which means that I have been living in my p-jays since Sunday, so with little to write about and no back log of saved ideas generated yet, I thought I’d give a round-up of a couple of outfits from the end of last week

 Thursday’s work outfit

 As I haven’t ironed for what seems like a millennium, by the end of last week I was struggling to pull suitable work outfits together.  The company I work for has a dress policy, but depending on the department you work for, depends on whether it is followed or not.  Sometime the policy isn’t even followed in the same department – it’s all very wishy-washy to be honest. 

I work as a PA to a Company Director and as I regularly have to meet and greet guests from reception I always like to ensure that I dress smartly Monday to Thursday, and that sometimes extends to “dress down Friday” if we have a VIP visitor coming in.  I generally stick to dresses and skirts for work which I can dress up or down with jackets and cardigans if I’m going out afterwards.  Dresses are my favourite though as I feel that they are so easy to just pull on and go!

Anyway, due to general malaise on the ironing front, I was only left with couple of ‘dress down Friday’ style skirts and a dress which needed the button sewing back on (I always plan to do stuff like sewing on buttons at the weekend, but then Monday rolls around and it’s still not done – note to self: must get better at planning my personal time!).  I was already running late and so struck with a mild panic I turned to my Tim Gunn mantra and decided to go with a dress-down Friday skirt and “make it work”.

  Work outfit - thurs

The sweater was another outlet bargain from LK Bennett in Portsmouth (£19 from £99 if I remember rightly).  It’s a gorgeous silk mix fine knit with ¾ length sleeves.  I put a navy Primark vest on underneath for modesty/warmth (air-con battle at work anyone??).  The skirt is from White Stuff and I’ve had it for a while.  I usually wear it with funky coloured tights and my Duo brown riding boots.  This time I added my purse friendly and amazingly comfortable caramel court shoes from Marks & Spencer.  These little beaut’s are a mere £19.50, they look exactly like the LK Bennett Sledge Court, as worn by every member of the Middleton family (even the dog; it’s true, I saw it on Mail Online…..) but most importantly I can testify that they are so comfortable that they can be worn for an 8 hour-long girls night which includes about 4 hours of dancing.

Friday’s Outfit

Dress down Friday saw me wearing my Boden dark denim A-line skirt, a multicoloured vest from Next with a Gap cardigan and my brown riding boots from Duo.  The belt was a bargain from Primark for about £3!  Normally, I would have worn this outfit with the vest pulled out over the waistband of my skirt – a hangover from always trying to cover my bum!  However, I decided to tuck it in and stick the belt on and I was really pleased with how it looked.  It’s amazing how my brain tells me to dress in a certain way in an effort to hide my lumps and bumps but in doing that I can often end up looking bigger than I really am.  The sartorial equivalent of putting your head in the sand…..

Friday work outfit

 

Here’s where you can buy the items or similar:

BLENHEIM SKIRT  Product Image Product Image

Everyday A-Line Skirt  Camara Tan Leather ladies-boots list 

 

 

Date Night Outfit

My lovely hubby took me out for dinner on Saturday night and as I had my suede boots out from photographing them for my last blog I thought I’d give them a trip out (I had checked the weather report – no rain was predicted, so it was safe!). 

LK Bennett Dress

I decided to wear my bargain LK Bennett dress which I picked up for a total steal at the outlet store in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.  I wore a black vest from Primark underneath it along with my M&S suck it all in tights.

We had a really great evening, eating, drinking and chatting.  I hadn’t told him that I’ve been doing this blog.  I’m not sure really why, I think it’s because I was worried he might tease me I guess.  Anyway, I had to ask him to take this picture of me, which caused much head scratching but the cab turned up before he could ask more.  Unusually, he remembered and brought it up in the conversation later on in the evening and took advantage of my wine-fuzzled head, so I ‘fessed up.  Of course, my fears were totally unfounded and he was totally supportive and maybe just a touch impressed, which was pretty cool. 

During the day I took advantage of the lovely, sunny, spring weather and walked to the next local town (about a 40 minute walk), to meet a good friend of mine who is having a bit of a bad time of it lately.  I got there a bit early and popped into one of the charity shops and found an amazing, brand new weekend bag by Jasper Conran for Tripp.  Well, I think it might be a laptop bag but it’s really quite big and it zips right open and it’s plenty big enough to fit clothes for one night away.  Not bad for £7.50!  Me and hubby will be away for one night on Saturday (a night in a country manor house which was a wedding gift from my best friend since school), so it will get its first use!Weekend bag 2Weekend bag 3Weekend bag 1

 

Where you can buy a similar outfit:

Lizzie Jersey Printed Wrap Dress  Laurel Black suede ladies-boots list Bodysensor™ 60 Denier Secret Slimming™ Tummy Tuck Tights with Magicwear™ Technology Fairtrade Cotton Rich Strappy Vest with Stay New™ Mood Mini Pearl And Pink Patterned Bead Stacker Necklace

 

 

Skirting the Curvy Issue

I’ve been searching for a navy skirt for my work wardrobe for months, nothing – absolutely nothing –  out there fits my requirements.  For me the perfect navy skirt must be:

  • Knee length – just below the knee but not on or above it –  but also not calf length
  • A classic, French navy – NOT netball skirt navy (who remembers those awful knickers)
  • Not too trendy and quirky, but absolutely not mumsy either
  • A good quality fabric which won’t look shiny
  • Machine washable!
  • Preferably with a bit of stretch
  • Within budget – at a push £50 max

And here’s the clincher………….

  • available in a size 18-20

On the surface my long running search for the perfect navy skirt would be easily fulfilled by an hour or two shopping or a 20 minute search on the internet.  And yet this elusive wardrobe staple still refuses to make itself known.  And I think I know why.

If you’re of a certain size and shape, trying to locate and purchase affordable, good quality, chic and classically stylish clothes is virtually impossible.  If I wasn’t so worried about my ample derriere and thighs and was willing to pay £90 I could visit Planet and buy a pencil skirt, the only style available in navy.  I could also buy one in a couple of styles from M&S for a very reasonable £26, but I’d also risk seeing my nan wearing it and would probably be so charged with static electricity that I’d probably need my own earth wire.

A quick glance at the online sites for Evans and Simply Be, to name a couple, shows the same thing.  Whilst lots of these stores are really starting to cater well for amazing going out wear and fun, ditzy print dresses, obtaining stylish and classic clothing can be really difficult and often shows up more misses than hits.  And those misses only serve to make me feel bad about myself for not fitting into the ideal size 10 or 12.

There was an article in The Mail earlier this month about a new range of clothes at Evans which is being modelled by bloggers who are proud of their shape and write about their style choices.  After reading the article and trying to ignore the vitriolic comments, I clicked through and read a few of the blogs.  Their confidence and appreciation of what they have got really rung a chord with me, in fact I have since read every blog written by Georgina of FullerFigureFullerBust – such was my admiration.  And whilst I love what they’re wearing and the general air of joie de vivre, the gorgeous fashion depicted isn’t what I wear every day in reality, so I set out to find a blog that did serve that requirement.  But I couldn’t find one.

So ultimately this search is what has prompted me to start this blog, can I be alone in this sartorial dilemma?  So whilst I’m on my hunt for the Mary Poppins of navy skirts, which (I imagine?) will make my work wardrobe complete, I’m going to share some of what I believe to be wardrobe hits with the world wide web, and hopefully a reader or two.