NOT LETTING AGE DEFINE MY LIFE OR STYLE

Seasonal Skinny Wk 8: Oversized Tartan Shirt & Leopard Print Tie

Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
No, it's an oversized shirt.
And in an eye-catching tartan to boot!
Have I got your attention???
If you're going to go BOLD, you might as well go LARGE as they say!

Oversized Tartan Shirt, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

Oversized Tartan Shirt, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

But before we get onto the main event, we should just rein in the excitement a wee bit.  There's also another part to the outfit. I know, I give and give.

T'was a crisp Autumnal day on Sunday and as Tall Brown Fox and I were going to be out pretty much all afternoon and evening, another layer was required.  As the shirt is a long length one a short jacket didn't feel right.  Although it's fun to play around with proportions, I knew we'd be coming home when the temperature was dropping so my petite duster coat was just the job.

I um'd and ah'd about dusters when they started appearing in the Spring.  This time my indecision about them worked in my favour.  Couple of weeks ago this one was below half price in the ASOS sale.  It's a looser style than a trench which feels right with the style of the outfit.

And I'll still be able to get a few more weeks wear out of it by throwing over my Plaid Cape for an extra layer before it hibernates over Winter.

Petite Asos Duster Coat, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

Petite Asos Duster Coat, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

But really the star of the show (sorry duster for only playing a small supporting role this time) is the shirt, so let's see it sans the duster.

Although this checked skirt follows hard on the heels of week 7's checked skirt with my Autumn Seasonal Skinny Jeans, I think you'll agree it's sufficiently different enough in colour, style and personality for them to run back to back, without looking like I'm just being sartorially lazy and lining up all my checked shirts in a row to wear for the next month!

Plus, I'd been itching to wear it, especially as Tall Brown Fox and I were a couple about town on Sunday.

Oversized Tartan Shirt, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

Most men will tell you that an awesome shirt needs an awesome tie.  Yes, ties easily cross gender bounderies.  With the shirt being BOLD, it needed a BOLD centre piece accessory.  I tried a long line necklace but it was overpowered by the shirt.

Too much of a one sided conversation.  

With this scarf tie, the shirt now had a partner worthy of debating with, and the conversation revved up no end.  In fact it was yak, yak, yak.  At one point I had to shush them to be quiet!

I picked up this scarf tie only a couple of weeks ago for a bargain busting £2 in the sale.

Oversized Tartan Shirt, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

Oversized Tartan Shirt, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

I thought the dark green of the bag would be a good contrast against all three main pieces; duster coat, tartan shirt and jeans. It was a thrift find from a local charity shop.  The vertical stitching and the faux buckle were unusual features which caught my eye.

The only downside to the bag is that there are no internal pockets to put keys, travel pass or phone in. I spent most of the day, having to rummage around in the depths of the bag to find anything. Everything I needed seemed to sink to the bottom!  Still, at £1.99 I'm not really going to complain!

And my wedges booties are back out, having had their debut on the blog not long ago in my Autumn Pastels & Plaid Cape post.

Green Handbag, Burgundy Jeans, Taupe New Look Ankle Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Green Handbag, Taupe New Look Ankle Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Seasonal Skinny
Petite Asos Duster Coat
T K Maxx Oversized Tartan Shirt,
New Look Leopard Print Tie (sale)
New Look Wedge Boots & Ivory long sleeve top (old)
Green bag (old, thrifted)

Back in the duster coat, here I am standing under the bright, unmissable orange sign of the Barbican Centre, right in the heart of the City of London.  The centre is a hothouse of cultural delights from music, dance, concerts and exhibitions.

We were there not just to get a photo of me standing under a floating orange disc, but because I'd booked tickets to a major exhibition that has only just opened this month at the Centre, focusing on the work and lives of Charles and Ray Eames.

Charles and Ray are considered to be among the most influential designers of the last century. If you haven't heard about this extraordinary couple before, you've probably at least sat on one of their famous chair designs - the stacking chair - used the world over.

Petite Asos Duster Coat, Burgundy Jeans, Leopard Print Tie | Petite Silver Vixen

If you're in town and you love design, then GO, GO, GO, see this exhibition.  We spent a riveting and stimulating 2 hours immersed in their world and it was worth every second there.  I've already written a post about the exhibition which will be going live on Saturday, so do pop by for that.

You can find out more about The World of Charles and Ray Eames Exhibition,

Here's the background story to my weekly Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge.  

Seasonal Skinny Week 7: Biker Boots & Bling

Last week's Seasonal Skinny post has had to sneak into this week as I wasn't able to post it as usual on Thursday.  Unfortunately, last week was a bumpy ride; we had two pieces of news that skewed us slightly.  Nothing derailling but nevertheless information that pulled us up abit short.  At those times, real life has to take over from blogging.

BUT, better late than never.  Here I am with some biker boots & BLING for you.



Ever have those weekends when it feels all you're doing is flying around like a blue arsed fly, trying to cram in all those jobs you don't have time to do in the week?  Two Saturdays ago was one of those. 

Now I really do wear my Seasonal Skinny outfits at the weekends.  I don't just play dress up with them, take a couple of snaps (ok, 200 photos) and then pop the outfit back in the closet never to be seen again.  No siree.  Because that'd be utterly missing the point of doing this mad style challenge in the first place!

That Saturday required easy dressing.  You know, the kind of casual outfit that will work however you're feeling and whatever your doing, including being a blue arsed fly.  In the past my 'brain not quite engaged yet' outfit has been jeans and a striped long sleeved top.  Or breton if you want to get fancy. However, if that becomes your fallback outfit day in and day out, your creative, sartorial spark begins to fade.  It's an official syndrome - Withering Sparkitis.

To avoid Withering Sparkitis Syndrome, I dug out my checked (plaid for our friends across the pond) shirt.

 

This one is from Lee and is the softest brush cotton it's like being hugged by a baby blanket.  Perfect for Autumnal days when you don't need a jumper along with a jacket but you need just a bit more than a t-shirt.

If you're a little like me and always plump for blues and navys then turquoise and teal ring the changes.  The richness of the darker teal is the right tone against the skinny jeans.

  

A bit of bling livens up the look.  And a strong coloured shirt required a strong necklace. I'm wearing my Majestic Collar necklace I bought recently from Yosa.  The lovely shades of blues, ambers, and greens in the necklace beautifully pick up the colours of the shirt.

My fringe bag is out to play yet again as a nod to the current fringe bonaza.




I slipped on my trusty leather biker boots.  There's just something so right about a checked shirt worn with biker boots!  A close second would be Dr Martens.

I've always had such great wear from Marks & Spencer shoes and boots and these bikers are no exception; they are workhorses. So comfortable, they're barely off my feet during the winter months and have already been to the cobblers a couple of times for reheeling since I've owned them.


Seasonal Skinny
M&S long sleeved top
Lee Checked Shirt (TK Maxx old)
M&S Biker Boots (old) I like these Clarks Leather Biker Boots
Majestic Collar
Fringe clutch from Joy The Store

I have no idea what I'm smiling about here.  I've got my 'I'm trying desperately not to dissolve into a fit of giggles' look on my face.  Tall Brown Fox telling me a dirty joke, no doubt, as I still feel odd having my photo taken.

But thank heavens for the ability to smile and laugh.  It gets you through those bumpy bits of life.


Do you have a fallback outfit?  If so, how do you avoid the dreaded Withering Sparkitis Syndrome?

Linking with High Latitude Style /  Throwback Thursday / Fabulous Friday / Fashion Friday / Fashion Should Be Fun / Passion 4 Fashion / Style Story / Style Nudge / Visible Monday / #iwillwearwhatilike /

Styling Autumn Layers: Swirling Leaves Skirt, Pumpkin & Greens

Olive Waterfall Cardigan, Pistachio Cami, Shirt, Pumpkin Bag, Leaf Patterned Skirt | Petite Silver Vixen

Olive Waterfall Cardigan, Pistachio Cami, Shirt, Pumpkin Bag, Leaf Patterned Skirt | Petite Silver Vixen

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen the below photo I posted about a week ago during the height of our Indian Summer.  I spotted the tree on my way to work.  Look at it, quite rightly, flaunting its leaves in all its cinnamon spice glory.  I don't love the heralding of shorter days but I do love the ever changing canvas of colours this season gives us. 

Then a couple of days ago, I also posted one of fallen leaves.  Don't they look like Autumn confetti? Both photos reminded me that I have a skirt with swirling leaves in these colours - pumpkin and cinnamon.  Up until this weekend, I've not felt very Autumnal but with the leaves finally turning and falling, I'm ready for Autumn now.  It's really arrived.

Tree in Autumn with Cinnamon & Red coloured Leaves | Petite Silver Vixen

Fallen Autumn Leave on concrete | Petite Silver Vixen

I played around with the styling of the outfit.  I knew I wanted a layered effect whilst still showing off the pistachio in the skirt and cami top but layers can be tricky.  Too thick and they can add bulk.

I've had this cami top for ages, bought specially for the skirt but it's not a colour that works on its own with me.  It has to have a companion colour to tone it down, hence the contrasting green.  To allow each shade of green to stand out, rather than compete against each other, I layered a cream shirt in between.

Olive Waterfall Cardigan, Pistachio Cami, Shirt, Pumpkin Bag, Leaf Patterned Skirt | Petite Silver Vixen

Originally, I tied the shirt in front but what looked fun in the mirror, screamed NO, NO, NO on camera!  It only served to make me look really heavy around my waist.  The dreaded bulk. Too much flapping material!  And flapping in this case, is NOT a euphemism for a swear word beginning with 'f'!  It literally was too much material flapping about my midriff.  I don't quite have a long enough torso to work that look.

Darn my short-waistedness!

When faced with a dearth of length, employ the old trick of creating an optical illusion!  By tucking the shirt in but keeping it open the pistachio was a long 'v' in the centre, drawing the eye upwards. Bingo!  Much more streamlined.

To add a little more visual interest, I flipped the shirt cuffs over and slipped on a trio of Autumnal coloured bracelets and one of my favourite necklaces I wore with my Vintage Style Gladstone Bag and Denim Shift dress.

Olive Waterfall Cardigan, Pistachio Cami, Shirt, Pumpkin Tote, Leaf Patterned Skirt | Petite Silver Vixen

Olive Waterfall Cardigan, Pistachio Cami, Shirt, Pumpkin Tote, Leaf Patterned Skirt | Petite Silver Vixen

Leaf Patterned Skirt, Bead & Glass Bracelets | Petite Silver Vixen

A pumpkin coloured bag to fit the season and tone in with the colours of the skirt.  A light counter-point to the greens.

I'm feeling a little smug about this bag - yes, it's my favourite shape - another mini tote.  I work to the school of 'if it ain't broke...'  I'd seen it when it first arrived in New Look back in August.  I bided my time and a couple of weeks ago, it was in the sale and under a tenner!  Looks perfect against the pistachio, nutmeg and cinnamon colours.

Do you fancy a pumpkin latte now?

Pumpkin Tote, Leaf Patterned Skirt, Bead Glass Bracelets | Petite Silver Vixen

The material of the skirt although lined, is quite thin.  Wearing it this time of year really means donning some warm woolly tights or knee high boots.  I want to hold out wearing knee highs for as long as possible though.  Gawd knows they'll be on intensive rotation for at least the next 4 months.

For now I'm sticking with either ankle booties or shoe boots.  Or are they booty shoes or faux boots? Or even,
I'm-hedging-my-bets-and-covering-two-bases-here, footwear?

Pumpkin Tote, Leaf Patterned Skirt, Brown Faux Suede Shoe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Woolly Patterned Tights. Brown Faux Suede Shoe Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

White Stuff Swirling Leaves Skirt (preloved e-bay)
Monsoon Pistachio Cami (preloved e-bay)
Cream Shirt (ancient from the Emporium of I Forget)
Dorothy Perkins Waterfall Cardigan SS15
New Look Mini Tote (sold out online).  Here's a Brown snake winged Tote, River Island
Necklace (gift from my mum-in-law)
Bracelets (thrifted)
Bhs Shoes Boots (AW14)

Throw over a cape or a trench and you're good to go!

Still fancy that pumpkin latte?  Good job I never drink coffee.  I'd be rushing to the nearest coffee shop with all this talk of cinnamon and spices.  I'll see you there though.  You have a latte, make mine a ... green tea.

Olive Waterfall Cardigan, Pistachio Cami, Shirt, Pumpkin Bag, Leaf Patterned Skirt | Petite Silver Vixen

Linking with / Style Nudge  /  Visible Monday  / #iwillwherewhatilike  /  Garay Treasures / Confident Twosday / Turning Heads Tuesday / Style Sessions /Colorandgrace / Style Me Wednesday /

Seasonal Skinny Wk 6: Geek Chic, High Collar Blouse, Beret & Brogues

How to breathe new life into a bygone blouse.

I'm sure we all have items in our wardrobes that were bought decades ago.  Somehow they remain stuck in time either because they were particular to a trend back then or because our working lives change.  They become redundant.  They don't get worn. Yet for some reason we don't part with them.

High Collar Blouse, Beret, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

High Collar Blouse, Beret, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

High Collar Blouse, Beret, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

This blouse is definitely one of those items.  The high collar blouse looked demure when dressed with a pencil skirt, a nipped in jacket and heels for the office.  However, my days of working 9-5 are long gone.  My working wardrobe no longer requires traditional office attire!  My challenge this week was to take the blouse I used to wear in one setting and style it in a completely different way to make it relevant to my lifestyle now, enabling me to still get wear from it.

Victoriana is a trend at the moment, along with the comeback of the pussy bow blouse.  Although this blouse isn't strictly either of those, there are hints of both in it, from the delicate lines of ruffles down the front, the high neck and the thin ties at the neck creating a bow.  It all made me think this blouse's time was ripe for a second act.

Wearing it with a cardigan didn't work.  It needed the structure of a jacket to frame it.  Out for a second time came my Ann Taylor Petite Wool Jacket.  I wore it in week 3 of my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge, when I styled it with these skinnies for a Date Night with Tall Brown Fox.

I started by adding a brooch and doing the jacket up but that felt prissy.  If I'd had a strand of pearls around my neck I'd have looked like a School Librarian circa 1983!  A rather backward step from looking demure with my original pencil skirt.

To mirror the rolled up jeans, I rolled up the jacket sleeves.  A definite improvement.  Then I pushed them up my arms to make the jacket even less formal, allowing me show off a grey and opal bracelet. We were beginning to get somewhere.

High Collar Blouse, Woll Jacket, Diamante Silver Spectacles Brooch | Petite Silver Vixen

Grey & Opal Bracelet, Bamboo Handle Marilyn Munroe Print Bag | Petite Silver Vixen

After the first brooch not looking right, I played around with different ones and the winner by far was my silver, diamante framed specs!  They just fitted with the geeky look of the brogues, the rolled up jeans and sleeves and are a play on the fact that I do wear specs in real life!

The look had some character now.

High Collar Blouse, Diamante Spectacles Brooch | Petite Silver Vixen

The bag needed to match this emerging look. That was an easy choice; my Marilyn Munroe graphic print, bamboo handle bag.

I didn't buy the handbag because I'm an avid Marilyn Munroe fan.  I just happened to be trawling e-bay a couple of years ago for bamboo handle bags as I have a thing for them and this one popped up.  I bought it not just because of the handles but because the images are striking and show how beautiful she looked, especially when she smiled.  Marilyn was a much under-rated actress and on camera exuded an incredible screen presence.  

We also share something in common.  We were born on the same date (not year, obviously)!

The brogues are relatively new; an unexpected purchase in the summer sales.  Not just unexpected because they were reduced but because until recently I had an aversion to wearing brogues (memories of school days - shiver).  Here's how it all happened in my Down to Business with Brogues post from back in August.

Marilyn Munroe Print Bag, Marsala Skinny Jeans, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

Marsala Coloured Rolled Up Skinny Jeans, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

Seasonal Skinny
Red Herring blouse (old)  Here's a lovely Mono Print High Collar Blouse from Warehouse
Ann Taylor Petite Wool Jacket (old)
Jones the Bootmaker Brogues
Marilyn Munroe Bamboo Handle Handbag (preloved)
Spectacles Brooch (e-bay)
Grey Wool Beret: New Look (old) Similar Accessorize Soft Lattice Beret

With a little styling, a blouse that was stuck in a time warp has been given a breath of fresh air that's more in keeping with my current wardrobe and lifestyle.  

We've a play on the masculine with the brogues, against the feminine of the high collar blouse.
The rolled up sleeves lessens the formality of the jacket.
The accessories of the spectacles brooch and printed bag are quirky details without making the outfit look costumey.
The finishing touch was the addition of my beret.  And no, I've not added it for effect. I really do wear berets.  
At the last count I owned eleven (although by the time you read this, it's highly likely that there'll have been a winter beret population explosion).

When I was much younger I used to think grey was a boring colour. Not any more!  Here, the varying shades of grey from the silver grey of my beret, the bluey-grey of the jacket, the greenish grey tinge of the brogues and the darker shades in the bag stand out against the rich colour of the skinny jeans and the blouse. 

High Collar Blouse, Beret, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

High Collar Blouse, Beret, Brogues | Petite Silver Vixen

Finally, I leave you with 2 more linking threads.  In her film, How to Marry a Millionaire, in which she starred with the two great Betty's - Betty Grable and Lauren (Betty) Bacall - Marilyn played the role of Pola Debevoise, who despite being extremely short-sighted, refused to wear her glasses, as she thought they'd put off potential suitors.

Here's a still from the movie (courtesy of 20th Century Fox/Getty Images), showing Marilyn finally embracing her diamante framed glasses (rather like my brooch) with her 'millionaire', played by David Wayne.  Aren't they a beautiful, bespectacled couple? 

And look at that high collar blouse she's wearing!

Marilyn Munroe, David Wayne, Still from How to Marry a Millionaire |  20th Century Fox/Getty Images
Do you have any pieces stuck in a 'time warp' in your wardrobe?

Linking with / Fabulous Friday  /  Flashback Fashion Fridays /  Fashion should Be Fun  /  Throwback Thursday  /  High Latitude Style  /  Passion4Fashion  / Style Story / Visible Monday  / Garay Treasures / Confident Twosday / Turning Heads Tuesday / Colorandgrace / Style Me Wednesday / #iwillwearwhatilike /

Styling Autumn Pastels & Plaid Cape: Khaki, Taupe & Pink

When you think of Autumn colours, what springs to mind?  Russet?  Burgundy?  Purple?  Teal? Golden brown? All those traditional Autumnal colours probably.  But what if you want a softer palette?  Can you wear pastels in Autumn?

Absolutely!

Especially if you're sandwiched between two London buses with a tree growing out of your head that makes you look like you're wearing a head piece from a Las Vegas show!


Now I love the rich, deep colours of Autumn but they can look and feel a little heavy on days when it's still warm and there's a big, blue sky above you that seems to go on forever.

Just like this.
Golden Brown Leaves on a tree in Autumn | Petite Silver Vixen

On these days, a lighter palette is called for.  For a day out in town on Saturday with the in-laws, who are in the UK visiting, I chose shades that still acknowledged the current season; khaki, taupe, blush and I carefreely tossed over my denim jacket, a plaid cape in soft, slightly mottled colours of camel, grey, pink and blue.

I have to be careful with certain shades of green as khaki and olive can be unkind next to my face but khaki is a great colour for the lower half of my body, making the blush bag and taupe wedge ankle boots stand out.

Pastel Cape, Denim Jacket, Khaki Jeans | Petite Silver Vixen

It seems capes and ponchos are de-rigeur this season.  You can't land on a blog or walk into a shop without thinking you're at the Cape Crusader Convention 2015!  I'm not a blind follower of anything, never have been but I do take note of trends. However, I only follow a trend if it works for me. Until now I'd stayed away from capes (or ponchos, or wraps or... deary me, so many names!).  Being petite, I couldn't find one that worked for me.  I'd tried countless ones on and every time ended in a cape cul-de-sac.  I was about to give up on embracing this trend when I thought I'd give it one last go. It was the last chance Cape saloon. 

So what changed?  Two small shifts.  That's all it took.

Whilst in TKMaxx last week I tried on a cape in black watch tartan.  Now usually darker colours look good on me and black watch is one of my favourite tartans.  But that one made me look like a disembodied head was stuck on a pic nic blanket. Such a big expanse of dark tartan was too much for my frame.  It completely sucked the colour from my face.  Back to the rack it went.  Then I spied 3 lighter coloured ones and thought... um... I wonder...?

First one on was a pale pink and camel, fringe-less cape.  We moved from an epic F to an improved D-.  But I still felt like a swaddled waif.

Next up was a pale pink and camel, fringed cape.  We did a veritable leap from a D- to a B+.  But a B+ wasn't quite good enough to make me part with my moola.

Final one on was a pale pink, camel and blue fringed cape.  Well knock me down with a feather, it voomed straight to the top of the class.  A++! 


So there we have it.  A fringe and a lighter colour was all it took to avoid me looking like poor Annie orphan.  With the fringe there's less material drowning me and the lighter colour makes the cape look less heavy on my body

If you want your light coloured cape to casually drape open rather than be casually tossed over one shoulder, wear a deeper colour underneath that tones with it for balance. 


Oops, my head piece seems to have slipped to the side.  Back of the chorus line for me.

And to show off my ankle boots abit more, I rolled up the hem of my jeans a couple of times.  It would be a shame to hide the full design of them with their turn over tops.


Taupe Wedge Ankle Boots | Petite Silver Vixen

Here's a lovely close up, showing the soft colours of the cape in a better light.  The raspberry of my top gives the outfit depth against the pale denim jacket and the cape.  Cream or even pale pink would've been too insipid.

And the embroidery anglaise is a contrasting texture to the plaid.

Pastel Wrap, Denim Jacket, Embroidery Anglaise Top, Grey & Opal Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

Although my bag and boots are on the brown-ish spectrum, for my accessories I picked out the grey in the cape with my grey and glass necklace.

Now as luck would have it, only on Thursday I popped into Peacocks as I'd seen an adorable owl patterned snood online that I thought I might buy, and whilst in there, I stumbled upon the grey and opal bracelet. And darn it, if it wasn't very similar in design to my grey necklace!  Both have a big central glass bead with 2 glass teardrops either side.  They now make a very happy pairing together.

And the owl snood?  Yup, that came home with me too, cos I'm a wise old owl.

Denim Jacket, Embroidery Anglaise Top, Wrap, Grey & Opal Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

Grey & Opal Bracelet | Petite Silver Vixen

Regular readers will know I'm big on bags that are multi functional.  This has a grab handle but it also can be worn across the body as it has a detachable strap.  This is such a useful design.  We spent part of the afternoon at the Museum of London and I was able to slip the bag across me and be hands free as we went around the exhibition.

I fell in love with this bag when I saw the gorgeous caramel coloured swirls.  The clasp resembles amber.

Jane Shelton Handbag | Petite Silver Vixen

Plaid Pastel Cape TKMaxx
D Perks Light Denim Jacket & Khaki Jeans
Bhs Embroidery Anglaise t-shirt (old)
New Look Taupe Wedge Boots (these wedge Wallis ones are similar)
Jane Shelton Bag from TKMaxx
Joythestore Necklace
Peacocks Opal Bead Stretch Bracelet


Tip of the week courtesy of Talking Heads and Led Zeppelin:

If you're on the road to nowhere, change direction; you just might find the stairway to 'cape' heaven.

Linking with / Style Nudge / Visible Monday / Style StoryConfident Twosday / Garay Treasures / Turning Heads Tuesday / TARDIS Tuesday / Fresh Fashion Forum / Style Me Wednesday / Color and Grace / Fashion Should be Fun / 40+ Style
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