I don’t own a lot of blouses, possibly because there’s a level of chic formality to them that isn’t often required in my life. I don’t have a job that allows me to wear my pinup clothes to work, so I only own a handful skirt suits and blouses for the rare occasion when I get to channel all my vintage secretary sartorial dreams. Saying that, this mindset of mine does do a great disservice to the humble blouse, which, like most things, can be styled up or down just as easily if only the wearer has a little imagination and style. The Estelle blouse by Heart of Haute definitely benefits from such generosity of styling and wear, because it is doooppppe.
I think we all do it, buy multiple items of clothing that are similar to items we already own. Without realising it you end up with 5 plain red swing dresses, or 3 red based tartan circle skirts. It’s easy to do because when we love a particular colour or dress cut or pattern or print style all we know when we see a new example of it is that we love it, maybe forgetting that that’s why we already have 4 similar items already hanging in our closet. While I absolutely suffer this, I also do the opposite: sometimes I forget that I’ve grown to love something I didn’t used to.
For me, one such thing is mid-toned blues. It’s not a shade range I’m naturally drawn to for my own wardrobe, but I find people react with ardent appreciation when I wear blues. My best friend Giselle loves me in blues and always praises when I wear them, so much so that I think overtime she unwittingly trained me into loving them as well. Sometimes I forget that I now equally appreciate all blues, not just navy, to the point that when I first saw this Hell Bunny Montana print I almost passed it by, my inactive brain sure that it wasn’t ‘me.’ But wait, a small niggle suggested, quiet there at the back, as if waking up from a sleep. Look at that blue though, it said, reminding me that I now appreciate that tone, and the dashes of yellow and brown that mix together almost like gold. The green of mint peas, the navy and the white and the black. The cross-hatching and smudged quality that makes it feel like midnight. It’s beautiful.
So I looked at it again, and again, and again. I kept coming to the conclusion that deer dashing across a beshrubbed plain just wasn’t my typical Miss Amy May style of print.
Some might say if you can’t decide on something then you probably don’t really want it. Not me. I say if in some way you can think of reasons why you shouldn’t or wouldn’t like it, yet it keeps drawing you in, you should go for it. Sometimes the heart wants what it wants, and so does your closet.
You guys know I’m a mustard lover, ditto with tartan as well, so it was downright predictable that I fell in love with the Tiffany-Lee skirt when Miss Candyfloss launched their lookbook a while back. As much as I’m happy to collect tartan and plaids in all manner of colours, it’s not often you find one that’s truly unique. The bold colour combinations and large size of this tartan print means it’s the most unusual one I’ve seen in a while, which is delightful.
Zoe Vine is known for her simple, classic dresses, whether that’s flared or swing. This season’s new line is a continuation of that chic theme, with new velvet and lurex items on offer that are perfect for the winter party season, as well as their first full length gown. For me, though, lover of jewel tones as I am, it’s all about the Isla dress, a rich jewel green flared style that puts me in mind of the elegance, modesty and simplicity of the 1940s.
Some of my favourite items from last year’s AW season by Voodoo Vixen included those from a design collaboration with Rachel Jensen, blonde bombshell blogger and style maven who exudes non-stop glamour and grace. Rachel’s line featured a gorgeous green and navy plaid in 4 stunning pieces, and those pieces are back again this year alongside the same designs in a red toned plaid too (including a new circle skirt, which I reviewed recently.)
Seeing the success of such a lovely line created by a woman who’s as kind and gracious as she is beautiful is wonderful to see, and this season promises a repeat of gorgeous items proffered by another stylish, beautiful and inspiring lady from our community, the adorable Miss Victory Violet.
Ella (her real name) is a true gem in the online vintage-loving community and has always been nothing but lovely when we’ve spoken, so I was very excited to see what her collaboration pieces would look like, especially as I always got the impression she prefers summer style clothing to winter pieces. What would an autumn/winter range created in her tastes look like? As it turns out, it’s all about grey tartan, a true winter love of mine, and it’s delightful.
Sooo…turns out I wore a lot of black and burgundy this month. Did I mean to do it? No. Do I regret it? Also no. It definitely marks a change as I’ve never been one to wear much black, so I’m not really sure how or why this change has come about in recent months. All I can say is that when it’s moody and grey outside it definitely feels more natural now to reach for something dark and sexy, like black, over trying to find something both bright and seasonally appropriate. Saying that, I’m setting myself a style challenge to be a bit more diverse in my outfit choices during October.
One of the things I love most about Autumn is how warm and rich all the associated colours are, even while it cools down outside. We’re not quite there yet but when the leaves begin to turn and the world slowly becomes orange and red and yellow and a bit gold, it fills me with joy. For now, when I look out at my garden there’s only the hint of fall touching just some of the leaves, while our apple trees remain laden with their last offerings.
As it happens, this new outfit from Heart of Haute, with it’s plummy plaid goodness, makes me feel just like picking apples, as well as sipping hot chocolate or snuggling down by a log fire, all in nostalgic sepia tones.
If this dress looks familiar that’s because it is. The Aberdeen dress was first released for AW15, I remember vividly because the first iteration in the green and navy Dublin tartan so enamoured me I ordered it as soon as I first clapped eyes on it online. It came with me to the USA for my October trip to attend a friend’s wedding in Virginia and visit another friend in Texas, and though I massively overpacked for that trip and ordered at least 6 other dresses to greet my arrival at my friend’s house I wore it twice on that 17 day trip. Because that’s the thing about a good dress, one good wear deserves another. And if you’ve got one good dress in a great print or colour, I’m a firm believer that it deserves to be produced in yet another, just so that crazy dress addicts like me can enjoy the same wonderful dress in a second (or third, or fourth!) colour. A colour for every occasion and for every season!
Hell Bunny have humoured me, and every other Aberdeen lover out there, with a new ice blue tartan for our coming winter, so just in case the green/blue Dublin or the white/red Stewart tartans didn’t grab you, this frozen frock can.
We all know it by now: I’m a plaid girl. In winter when it’s cold and dark and (in England at least) wet, plaid fabrics feel comforting and cosy, a consolation prize for the short days and relentless chill. I also love that there’s such a variety of effects that can be achieved with a plaid, dependant upon the colour combinations employed, the fabric type and the way those things interact with the cut of a piece. For the Unique Vintage Delores dress, the black, white and red plaid utilised on one of their signature sleeved designs creates a classic and dramatic look that will have you reaching for it all season long.
If you’re a Voodoo Vixen fan you’ll remember the navy and green check featured in their design collaboration last Autumn-Winter season with Rachel Jensen of the as-formerly-known Chicago Chic Blog. It was a tartan-esque print I loved then and still do now, so I was thrilled to see that this season not only was that dress returning in a new red check colourway but that both the red and green prints were coming as full circle skirts. I honestly wanted both and couldn’t decide which. (Yes, those who know me well know there was a large possibility that I would just get both, but my chock-full wardrobe insisted I make a decision.)
I still love the original green so much and felt it fit better with my usual cold months colour palette preferences, so there was a strong leaning towards the green at first. Ah, but I already have the dress in that colour, so the red would be a smarter choice in terms of wardrobe variation, I reasoned. Plus, my friend Giselle held up the red at London Edge and all but demanded I get it, because, yes, we have the kind of friendship where we get to dictate clothing choices to one another. Those two reasons were perfectly good reasons to opt for the red, enough, you would think, to swing it (pun intended, you’re damn right.)
But let’s not be stupid: the clincher was in finding out the green skirt is called Marienne, and the red…the red skirt is called May. May, the month of my birth, the name of my blog. Decision made, vanity won. May it is! And she’s a beauty.