Friday, January 28, 2011

There is no doubt a new dress is a great help in all circumstances.

In a break from tradition, I'm actually going to credit the quotation I've used for today's blog header. The wonderful Noel Streatfeild - the author best remembered for her children's books, but who also wrote a considerable amount of fiction for adults - coined this maxim. I stumbled across it this week while reading Linda Grant's book The Thoughtful Dresser:

I got an email last week from my friend J, she had dashed it off in a hurry having just been struck by her pressing need to recommend this book to me. Am I ever glad she did! I'll give you her description of it, she sums it up far better than ever I could:
There is a book dedicated to being a clothes lover - about that transcendent joy of materials and wearing, buying, looking for and at - clothes and how they shape your world, your image in the world and the sheer unalloyed deep joy of the cut of a skirt or shade of leather... Just get it - if I still had my copy, I would have sent it to you.
It is simply the best treatise on what clothes are - so much more than functionaries of warmth or signifiers of Tribes... It is called 'The Thoughtful Dresser' and I am convinced that you will appreciate it like I did.
Of course, J was absolutely right. I rushed straight to the library and borrowed this and come payday I'll be buying my own copy. Grant's love for clothes and fashion and style comes pouring off the page - she is an incredibly enthusiastic writer with an appealing colloquial style. And she writes about clothes in an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent way, thinking about adornment and the evolution of fashion, and what it means to both men and women to adorn themselves. Included in the book is the amazing story of Catherine Hill, a woman who is testament to the importance of dress and our need to be clothed in beauty. Grant also writes well about just how much fun fashion can be. It's something I have come to discover in recent years, which is why J recommended the book to me, I think. So go and get yourself a copy, and head on over to Linda Grant's blog.
I have not one, but three outfit shots to share with y'all this afternoon so sit down and make yourselves comfortable. Go and get a coffee, maybe. I have one at my elbow. I'll start with what I wore to the Sew Make Believe social on Wednesday night:
Wednesday 26th January 2011
Fever La Caletta dress and Bertie Sardinia shoes
Hhm... I forgot to take the red eye out of this photo. But that's what happens when you're taking photos at night, I suppose. Anyway, you can probably tell from the creases in the skirt that I pulled this out of the wardrobe, it hadn't been worn for a while. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this dress. I love the colour, and it's made from a beautiful silk but it creases like a bitch. Also, despite being a size 12 it comes up very small (see Retro Chick's post on this issue, by the way) Anyway, that's what I wore. I think I've worn this frock all of about four times though so this definitely is one that I might rehome. Incidentally, I had an excellent evening at the social and came home with some delicious treats courtesy of Caroline - a jar of toffee fudge sauce and another of home made pickled onions. Thanks, Caroline!
I was back in the office on Thursday - thankfully that stupid wee bitch next door decided to hold it down on Wednesday night so I got a good night's sleep. It was sunny outside but COLD, so my choice of footwear was not the wisest for Thursday. It stayed dry, though, so small mercies and all that:
Thursday 27th January 2011
Fever Rose Garden dress, Bettie Page belt, grey tights from Dorothy Perkins and Irregular Choice Mermaid shoes
Don't be fooled by my doubtful expression here. I LOVED this outfit. Seriously, it made me really happy. This was my second ever Fever dress and the one that kicked off my love for their clothes. It came with a self-matching fabric belt which I've never been keen on, and I have tried it with a variety of belts, but I love it with this white patent belt from Bettie Page.
Thursday 27th January 2011
Okay, I'm looking a bit cheerier here
I wore the dress with my Tara Starlet petticoat, and I felt very prettily retro all day. I think this look worked well with the Benefit Flirt Alert lipstick I bought before Christmas and the Barry M Nail Paint in bright red I bought after Dollface recommended it.
It was still COLD today but I so enjoyed wearing the Rose Garden dress that I decided to give another spring dress a whirl:
Friday 28th January 2011
Fever Poppy dress, blue tights from TK Maxx and yet more Irregular Choice mermaid shoes
I don't love this outfit quite as much as Thursday's, but this is another dress that benefits from the addition of that Bettie Page belt. And of course it gave me the excuse to wear another pair of Mermaids!
Okay, with that I'm off. The lovely Denise is on her way over bearing cake for an afternoon of tea and cake and chat. I hope to get out and do things this weekend, so I might have more in the way of news the next time I post. Until then, have a lovely weekend!