Seasonal Skinny Wk 4: Teal & Taupe, Vintage Style

After last week's formal wool jacket pairing with the jeans for Date Night, week 4 of my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge has taken a softer look, with a very subtle vintage vibe; the inspiration for it coming from my Gladstone style bag.

Yup, we've gone from hamburgers to handbags in the space of a week!

I've had this bag for quite a while now - another ridiculous bargain of 99p, pre-loved from e-bay. The bag isn't technically a true Gladstone as it's neither leather, nor built over a rigid frame but it has the feel of a Gladstone. Gladstone bags were designed and made by a gentleman called J G Beard in London. He admired the politician William Gladstone, who during his long career was Prime Minister of the UK a staggering 4 times.  Beard named his design after him.

As my bag is soft and only opens at the top, it's really a square-mouthed bag, sometimes known as a kit bag but either way, I think you'll agree that with its shape, print and those bamboo handles, it exudes a vintage feel.

I took the colours and the soft shape of the bag and built the outfit around them.  Once you start looking, you realise there are quite a few colours in the bag; pale yellow, teal, turquoise, green, dark olive, and varying shades of taupe.

I already have a turquoise top and the embroidery anglaise and the delicate floral pattern fit well with the style of the bag.  I wore it back in the summer with my Hawaiian Print Shorts.

It was my Mum's 83rd birthday at the weekend and we went to visit for the day, armed with fizz, food and flowers.  I wanted to show her the bag as it was one she hadn't seen and I knew it would be right up her street.

In her older years, she's become quite a dab hand at thrifting in the local charity shops and we love showing each other our finds.  She's not as mobile as she used to be unfortunately.  However, from time to time her lovely carer, who pops in every day, takes her out so she can hunt down a bargain!

As soon as she saw the bag, her eyes lit up and she said 'oh, I love your bag, can I borrow it!'

You absolutely can, Mum!

The bamboo handles of the bag are a lovely deep caramel so I thought it would be fun to wear my circle stone necklace, to play on that colour.

Necklace against Turquoise Embroidery Anglaise Top | Petite Silver Vixen

When it came to choosing my shoes, it was a no brainer.  A vintage feel bag, cried out for a vintage style shoe - my taupe, semi wedge Mary Jane's.  I've had this style of shoe on and off for years.  It's one of those timeless styles that seems to pop up most years in various guises.

What I didn't know was why they're called Mary Jane.  Apparently, it comes from a comic strip published in the New York Herald!  Back in 1902, in the strip, Buster Brown, the character of Mary Jane wore shoes with a bar across the top of the foot; hence this style of footwear becoming known over the years as Mary Jane's!

The slightly mottled look of the shoes makes them feel older than they really are.  They were another preloved find but the make is a well known and much loved British retail institution - Marks & Spencer!

Marsala coloured skinny Jeans & Patterned Kit Bag | Petite Silver Vixen

Marsala coloured skinny Jeans | Petite Silver Vixen

Bhs Embrodie Anglaise top (SS15)
New Look Cardigan (old)
Necklace from Chile.  A gift from my mum-in-law.
Bracelet from the Emporium of I Forget
Accessorise Gladstone style cloth bag (preloved from e-bay)
M&S Mary Jane Style Semi Wedges (preloved from e-bay)

I'm grateful for many, many things my Mum has given me over the years; not least her wisdom, love, and support.  I also now can fully appreciate (and am thankful for) that I've inherited her love of colour, print and pattern.  I'm truly my Mother's daughter in that regard!

Bound by love, Mother and Daughter holding hands.

Mother and Daughter holding hands | Petite Silver Vixen

You can read all about my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge here.

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Bittersweet Shoes: Review of Topshop Judy Bow Shoes

'Elf & safety warning: for those of a sensitive nature there is one expletive in this review but no strobe lighting and definitely no clowns.

Now on with the review.  The like of which, has never been written.

That moment when you receive the text to say your order has arrived.  Sharp intake of breath.

That moment when after collecting your order, you scuttle home like a demented Gollum, muttering

"My Precious! O my Precious!"

That moment when you open the box and you can see one tip of a toe peeking through the tissue and you actually squeal with excitement.

Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

That moment when you get them out of the box and you sit and stare at them for 5 hours in complete wonder.  Ok, it felt like 5 hours.  Probably only 5 minutes.

That moment when you say; 

"OMG, they are just as divine in real life as when I saw them online."

Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

That moment when you delicately place them side on, just so you can admire them from another angle, for another 5 hours in complete wonder.  Probably only 5 minutes.

That moment when you think, could shoes look any more elegant than these?

That moment when you ponder; if these shoes were chocolate, I'd eat them, they look so blinkin' delicious.

Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

That moment when you sit on the floor and slip them on and you stare at your feet for another 5 hours in complete wonder. Really, actually for 5 hours this time.

That moment when you think you are THE MOST STYLISH WOMAN THAT EVER LIVED.  

Coco Chanel?  Pah.

Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

That moment when you look down .... those of a sensitive nature look away - expletive coming... and say;

"F**k me, could these shoes look any more divine with my cigarette pants than they already do?"

That moment when you realise how many outfits will go off the Richter scale, in terms of sartorial swag, you understand, when you wear these shoes.

That moment when you wish you had a private jet you could hop aboard, so you could fly to Paris and effortlessly swan around the boulevards of St Germain whilst wearing them and receive envious glances and gallic sounds of admiration.

That moment when ...

Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

... you try and take a step and realise that you can't actually walk in the b*ggers.

That moment when you realise that your right foot is slip slopping out of the shoe when you walk, like a bar of soap in well-lathered hands.

That moment when you realise your toes are in pain from the death grip of too narrow a pointy toe, despite what the one review on the website says about them being 'perfect shoes', and 'so cute and comfortable, even with my wider fit feet'.

Wider fit feet?  Crikey, mine are like the greyhounds of the foot world - sleek, I tell you, SLEEK and these are not comfortable.

That moment when your footwear fantasy comes tumbling down, like a jenga tower when one too many blocks have been removed from the stack.

That moment when no amount of toe wiggling and heel glueing is going to make a blind bit of difference and really, you should just resign yourself to that one, indisputable fact, that is stark staring you in the face but which you don't want to accept.

That moment when you realise that you agree with small voice of reason when it says;

"You're going to have to return them."





Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

Judy Bow Shoes, Topshop | Petite Silver Vixen

So au revoir, beautiful Judy Bow Shoes with your leopard pony effect and block heels.  Parting is such bittersweet sorrow. Sadly, you are just not beautiful enough in the way I need you to be, to keep you.

If, by any micro chance, and 'oh, there goes a flying purple pig', someone from Topshop actually reads this - don't fret my lovelies.  I do have pointy shoes I bought from you guys, which ARE divine and are beautiful in the way I need them to be, to keep them and you can read all about them on my recent Date Night.

Have you had any bittersweet shoes?  Pray tell in the comments below.

Tip of the week: if they ain't comfortable, they ain't worth it, however utterly divine they look with your cigarette pants.

Judy Bow Shoes

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Seasonal Skinny Wk 3: Date Night

For week 3 of my Seasonal Skinny Challenge I decided to move up a gear.  Weeks 1 and 2 had been fairly casual with my Spots & Stripes outfit and my Back to School Satchel outfit respectively.

Bizarrely, all week I'd had a craving for a good, meaty burger and as TallBrownFox needs little persuading to go for a burger, we decreed last Friday night to be 'date night', giving me the ideal opportunity for upping the ante of my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge.

As we were only going to a burger restaurant it didn't need to overly fancy.  Normally, I'd reach for my faux leather jacket but as one of the reasons for blogging is to wear more of my existing wardrobe, I resisted the temptation to rely on the usual suspects.  I chose a more formal piece - a wool jacket - to pair with the informal piece - my skinny jeans.

The jacket used to be part of a suit.  The trousers were long ago given to charity as annoyingly, *cough*, they'd shrunk in the wash.  Small voice of reason says 'oh, so nothing to do with the beginnings of middle aged spread then???'.  Pipe down small voice of reason.

I bought the suit on a trip to the States about 15 years ago which is where I discovered Anne Taylor petites.  15 years or so later, the jacket is still going strong; a testament to its quality.  A nipped in waist and tailored detailing of a double flap pocket on one side.

Jacket chosen, I just needed to dress the jeans up a little more with the right accessories.  A black, fringe clutch, jet black, droplet necklace and 'not to be messed with' shiny shoes, added the required oomph to complete the look.

I'm not overly fussed about fringing, if I'm truly honest but I did fall in love with this fringe, suede clutch.  It's a great size - big enough for all your date night bits and bobs but the beauty of this clutch is its versatility.  It can be turned into a crossbody bag, as it has a detached strap.  Genius!

And on our way home, I attached the strap, so I could wear it across my body.  After a few drinks, I didn't want to accidentally leave it behind on the train.  It's kinda like those gloves I wore as a nipper - you know - the ones attached with string to each mitt that you wore under your coat so you wouldn't lose them.

No?  Ah, you're too young then to remember those....  Feast your eyes on the fringing instead.

I've not worn this necklace for ages, so it was overdue an outing.  I like that the drop effect of the 3 centre parts, mirrored the fringe slightly.

Black Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

I don't normally lust after shoes but oh, these were lusted after when I saw them on Topshop's website.  The dainty ankle strap, the block mid-heel, the pointy toes, the croc effect pattern and that colour, oh that colour.  I was pretty much sold on just that oxblood colour alone.  Over the summer I've been doing alot of holiday cover for other teachers so I gave into the lust and treated myself to these.  And I'm very glad I did.  They are so comfortable to wear and can be dressed up or down. 

Up until now, I've only owned two pairs of pointy shoes.  I find it tricky to find ones that don't actually push your big toe and little toe underneath the remaining three other toes, like some gruesome, foot bandaging torture.  With these, my tootsies have wiggle room!

Topshop Oxblood Pointy Croc-Effect Mid-Heel Shoes | Petite Silver Vixen

Topshop Oxblood Pointy Croc-Effect Mid-Heel Shoes | Petite Silver Vixen

Outfit assembled, it was off to hunt down our burgers.  Now, this is a sign I like!  Does what it says on the tin, no mucking about.  No faux burgers here, thank you very much!  

Proper hamburgers is what we were after. Proper hamburgers is what we got!

Burger Sign | Petite Silver Vixen

TallBrownFox threw caution and calories to the wind and ordered a hardshake with his hamburger. A hardshake?  What the heck is a hardshake?  A firm handshake from the waiter once he's taken your order???

No. It's a milkshake, flavour of your choice (in his case, chocolate) with a shot of your choice on the side (in his case, bourbon)!  Here I am, sampling said hardshake.  It was like drinking a liquidised, alcoholic, chocolate muffin mousse.  Heaven!

TallBrownFox had to literally prise the shake back off me so I had to slum it with my vodka tonic instead!

Sipping a Chocolate Milkshake | Petite Silver Vixen

Anne Taylor Petite Wool Jacket (old)
Dorothy Perkins Butterflies t-shirt (old)
Black Necklace from the Emporium of I Forget
Joythestore Leather & Suede Fringe Clutch.  In store but not currently on their website.  Comes in 4 other colours - navy, red, caramel and a purply pink.
Top-shop Oxblood Croc Effect Shoes.  Nude ones here

Do you like mixing more formal, tailored pieces with informal pieces?

And how do you like your hamburgers?  With a hardshake on the side?

You can read about my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge here. 

Styling Statement Shoes with a Shift Dress: Leopard Print & Denim

One of my favourite combinations is leopard print and denim.  Not only do they pair well together but individually, they work equally well with other materials, for example leopard print and leather, denim and suede.

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

Now before we go any further, allow me to give fair warning that this post isn't just going to be about textures but also shapes but don't worry, it won't be a geometry lesson.  Though it is rather appropriate, given that only a couple of posts ago, in my Laid Back Maxi Skirt  post, I ended up wearing quite a few triangle shapes.  See how many you can spot if you read it!

Saturday was a tease, weather wise.  It gave us a fleeting feel of an Indian summer.  The perfect day to wear a light-weight, denim shift dress.  After last weekend's 2 day specialist Pilates course, this weekend was all about taking it easy, running a few errands, with a late lunch at a local café thrown in.

As the dress and the boyfriend cardigan are dark, block colours, it meant I could bring in some lighter pattern mixing with my accessories and shoes.  As one of our errands was shopping for a new fridge/freezer for our kitchen - oh the glamour, London Fashion Week, ain't got nothing on my kind of high-end shopping - it meant heels were out, flats were in.

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

The theme for Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike link party this week over at Not Dressed As Lamb is statement shoes.  My ever so dandy, Leopard Print Chelsea Boots are my statement shoes or to be precise, my statement booties.  I suspect we'll be seeing quite a few high heels linked but I don't subscribe to the idea that a statement shoe has to be high.  In fact, I purposely chose a flat heel, not to be contrary and not just because we were fridge/freezer shopping... well... alright... maybe a tiny bit contrary and anyway, do you know how much fridge/freezer shopping involves standing on your feet, comparing the size of hydrator drawers???

I want to show there can be an alternative interpretation of statement shoes/boots.  They don't have to be ridiculously high heeled or ott in shape or pattern, unless, of course, you want them to be, which is fine.  They can still make an impact by being quietly understated.

Nor do they have to be expensive.  I bought the boots preloved for £11.47!  They are River Island and currently, their plain Chelsea boots are retailing for upwards of £40.  No wonder I'm smiling!

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

I love hearing the stories behind the pieces that people wear, especially what drew them to buy them and as all my accessories in the outfit were either thrifted or a gift, I'm wearing quite a few stories myself!

The necklace hails from Chile, not a place I've visited.  It was a gift from my mum-in-law who went a few years ago. Sadly, I've know idea what the stone is, as she bought it in a local market. The surface of the disc is so beautifully smooth and brings out the caramel colour of the stitching on the neckline.

Brown Circle Disc Necklace, Denim Shift Dress | Petite Silver Vixen

I don't tend to do well with clothes from charity shops (I'm far more successful on e-bay for that) but I am rather good at snapping up jewellery and handbags.  This plaid or check patterned, wooden handle bag was another local charity shop purchase at the princely sum of £4.99.

I chose it for the outfit because I'm drawn to it's texture and shape, as well as its unusual pattern. The red running down it tied in neatly with the red of the boyfriend cardigan. The smoothness of the handles, which are a semi circle shape, matches the smoothness of the necklace, which is a circle.  You might not have even been aware of that on a conscious level but I bet you've now whizzed up to the necklace photo and whizzed down to the bag and gone 'Ah, so they are'!  Being a kinesthetic person I get a big kick out of those sorts of detail.

And whilst we're on the subject of shapes, check out the button on the bag's fastner.

Checked Wooden Handle Bag | Petite Silver Vixen

The bracelets were bought in a local charity shop for a total of £6.  The leopard print one was in the window display but I didn't have time to stop and go in at the time, as I was on my way to one of my Pilates clients. After the session though, I scuttled back wondering if it still might be there and lo and behold, it was! I only had to say 'there's a leopard....'  and the lady in the shop had already pulled out a long grabber stick and was gleefully uttering

'I know which one you mean'.

She delicately and expertly air lifted it out from the window display without knocking anything over.  I was chuffed to bits when it fitted, as most bracelets fall off my arm; the downside of having thin wrists.

I wandered around the rest of the shop and spied the other two I'm wearing.  When I took them to the cash desk to pay, the lady told me they had all been in the same donation which had included roughly 70 pieces of costume jewellery.  Sweetly, she added that she was very glad that I was buying these 3 and thus keeping at least a few of them together!

Leopard Print Bracelet & Amber Glass Bracelets | Petite Silver Vixen

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Check bag & Bracelets | Petite Silver Vixen

These leopard print Chelsea boots make my feet want to jig. They sit low enough on the ankle that you can wear them with dresses and skirts, as well as trousers and jeans.  Even the leopard print in my bracelet is a near perfect match to the leopard print in the boots.

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

How cool is the fact that even the heel is the same pattern as the rest of the boot.  And look closely in the second photo and you'll see they even have a leather knot tassel on the end of the zip.

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Denim Shift Dress from TKMaxx
New Look Red Boyfriend Cardigan (old)
Necklace from Chile; a gift from my mum-in-law when she visited there
Leopard Print & Amber coloured glass Bracelets (thrifted)
Plaid, Wooden Handle Bag (thrifted)
Leopard Print Ankle Boots (preloved)

My thrifted/preloved finds and statement boots hanging out together, enjoying a sunny September afternoon.

Leopard Print Chelsea Boots, Denim Shift Dress & Red Boyfriend Cardigan | Petite Silver Vixen

What do you consider to be a statement shoe?  Have you managed to score some great thrifted or preloved finds - jewellery, shoes or otherwise?  I'd love to hear about them below, if you have.

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Seasonal Skinny Wk 2: Back to School Satchel & Scarf

Red Skinny Jeans, Polka dot Satchel & Taupe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

I was looking forward to last weekend.  Not because I'd be able to put my feet up and relax.  Far from it!  I was going to be exercising the 'little grey cells', as a certain Belgian detective would say.  It was back to school for me for the whole weekend, as I attended a 2 day specialist course for Pilates for the Older Person.

I work with quite a few older clients; some of whom are physically fit for their age and others who have limitations because of age related issues.  Also, I'm seeing first hand how the effects of aging along with the loss of mobility and cognitive skills is impacting my own elderly parents, so this is a subject close to my heart.   

Red Skinny Jeans, Polka dot Satchel & Taupe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Red Skinny Jeans, Polka dot Satchel & Taupe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

I was super organised the night before.  I've no idea where this spurt of super organisation came from but if it appears again, I'm going to bottle it, sell it and become a millionaire.  I was a good student and packed my school satchel or rather my burgundy polka dot satchel, the night before.  It's a distant relative of my blue and white polka dot tote from last week.  I'm nothing if not consistent!  They're both oil cloth bags from The National Trust; this one being preloved though.

Notebook and pen, brain fuel snack box of raisins and obligatory dark chocolate squares (I get scratchy if I don't occasionally munch on some dark chocolate squares) and I even included an apple for teacher!

Burgundy Polka Dot Satchel, Notebook, Apple, Snack Box | Petite Silver Vixen

Doesn't the colour of the satchel go so well with the jeans and the scarf?

Red Jeans, Polka dot Satchel & Taupe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Satchel packed, I was ready to put the rest of the outfit together.  First day of the course was going to be theory based - understanding gerontology - which is the scientific study of the problems of ageing from the clinical, biological, historical and sociological aspects.  My usual business attire of leggings and lycra were for the Sunday.

I love it when old favourites come together to make an outfit.  Everything bar the scarf, has lived with me for a while and are old friends.  The jacket is at least 10 years old now but still going strong, the t-shirt I bought two summers ago, boots a few seasons ago. 

As I was up bright and early to head into town, a light jacket and scarf was required.  There's definitely an early morning nip in the air now.  But the jacket is light enough that I won't roast when the temperature warms up during the day.  

Plus the jacket has built in, air conditioning!  I can fold over and button up the jacket sleeves, as I've slightly done.  And if more cooling needed?  Just zhoosh them right up to the elbow!  And extreme cooling?  The technical department says; take the darn thing off!

Red Jeans, Mandarin Jacket, Navy t-shirt, Red Scarf | Petite Silver Vixen

The wooden necklace is the oldest item I'm wearing.  I'd hazard at guess of at least 20 years and where it came from is lost in the midst of time. It's quite a simple design, nothing flashy about it but all the more perfect for that, as it's just the right length for round neck t-shirts.  When I whip off the scarf, there's still an eye-catching detail at the neck.  

Some women are shoe hoarders collectors or bag collectors and although I like both, I'm not an avid collector.  I don't lust after the latest 'it' bag.  However, I profess to being somewhat a scarf hoarders collector.  One of the things I do look forward to about Autumn is that I can start to wear scarves again and I'm always on the look out for new and unusual ones.  

This one was a holiday purchase from a local French market when we visited family in May.  The guy on the stall was wearing the blue one in this design.  He'd tied it around his neck in such a Gallic, insoucient way, I was totally charmed into buying the red one!  A snip at a few euros.

Striped Scarf, Wooden Necklace,Navy t-shirt | Petite Silver Vixen

These are the first pair of ankle boots I've worn this Autumn and are one of my favourite pairs of booties.  I like the cross over detail at the front; they have a cowboy feel without screaming the theme tune to 'Rawhide'.

A little buckle posing went on as the satchel buckles admired the booties buckles and the buckles on the booties reciprocated the admiration.

Polka dot Satchel & Taupe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Polka dot Satchel & Taupe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Seasonal skinny jeans
Jacket (old)
D Perks Navy Hearts & Birds t-shirt
Wooden Necklace from that Emporium of I Can't Remember!
Scarf from French Market Stall this summer
National Trust Polka Dot Satchel (preloved)

I've my 'I'm listening very intently' face on here.  Didn't need to wear it at any point over the weekend, as I was hanging on every word that our 2 excellent educators had to say.  

Turns out my hearts t-shirt was extremely appropriate to wear.  Did you know that the symptoms of women's heart attacks are often missed as they're different to men?  40% of women don't experience the classic signs of heart attack such as the clutching of the chest, so often portrayed in films and on TV.  Symptoms include shortness of breath, stomach aches/nausea, tiredness and dizziness. 

Statistically, women are more likely to die from heart disease than from breast cancer. 

So ladies, make sure you go to your breast screenings when you get invited, look after your bone health but ALSO keep your hearts healthy with good diet and exercise.  Here endeth the lesson.

Find out more about my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge

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