Friday, 30 October 2009

Day Eleven - clashing animal prints.

I'm all about the animal prints today. Somebody suggested wearing a nice scarf with my dress and some jeans. And I am doing so today. It was a good idea, I never wear any of my rather extensive scarf collection.
It's once again casual Friday so the dress is over some black skinny jeans with black ballet pumps, an animal print scarf (only £2.50 from Primark) that coordinates with my leopard and then a slightly clashing animal print bangle. Ooooh.
However, in the last couple of days I have begun to get fed up of the project. I'm fed up of this dress. I want to wear something without sleeves again. I want to wear some straps! I know it's to be expected and I am pleased with the amount of variations I have already (and can think of many many more) but just right now, rather fed up. The dress is going a bit baggy too, it's no longer slim fitting. Boo. But I shan't give up. Must keep going!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Day ten... and I have been so radically different. Sort of.

Well my dress doesn't smell today, I did manage to give it a good wash. However, I am noticing bobbles on the knitwear. Bobbles! How can wearing the dress ten times and washing it twice make it start to bobble? I am ruining my beloved dress! In fact, I think I may buy a whole new one when I finish this project. Or, does it count if I buy a new one half way through? It's still technically the same dress. Even though that is kind of against the whole money saving ethos of the project a little bit.
Thanks to friends and such for your comments and ideas. I shall definitely put some of them into place. And my lord do some of you have faith in me. You think I am still going to be doing this come January?! Could I last that long?!
Anyway, today I have layered the dress with a... cardigan. Revolutionary huh?! Just a long grey cardie belted over the top of the dress. The red bow belt is so cute, I love it. Some black tights and my lace up shoeboots finish the outfit. It feels a bit short for work, and I was beeped twice on the way to work this morning (I even got a wa hay hot stuff! from one bloke) so I'm concerned I am giving the wrong impression. Maybe this look would be better for the bar rather than work... good to know I look hot though!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Day nine... and I still smell.

Went out last night so didn't get a chance to wash my dress. I still stink. It's kind of like curry. Nice. So tonight I MUST wash the dress. Febreeze just ain't cutting it anymore.
Anyway, today I have gone the leggy route. Red tulip high-waisted mini skirt, black diamond tights (I still have to be fairly respectable for work) and black court shoes.
But enough with the skirt layering, I've done it to death. Tomorrow I am going to attempt something a bit different. What it will be I'm really not sure! Any suggestions? I refuse to run out of ideas already!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Five fashion websites I wish I could afford to shop in...

A slightly different post to go alongside my outfit of the day post. (Don't want anyone to get bored here, especially me.)
I love internet shopping. With not being able to afford magazines, it's the only way I can keep up with what's hot, what I love, what I wish I could afford to buy and which trends I will wholeheartedly ignore. I just thought I would share my five favourites.
1. Well of course, the best online fashion store in the country. Everything looks wonderful and is certainly affordable. Just check out the great dress my sister is wearing in the picture. I love the buttons on the top and as you can see, it's great for summer but can also be styled for winter.
2. This is a new launch but I see great potential. The store links with the fashion editorial content from The Guardian and The Observer. The stuff isn't cheap but it's certainly aspirational. So in short, scope this site out for great stuff and then find a rip off on the cheap end of the high street!
3. You only need to see previous posts to see how much I love these people. They don't have many stores across the country and their stock in store can be rather minimal. So internet shopping from Bravissimo is most certainly the way to go for the busty lady.
4. When my overdraft is paid off I will certainly be coming here. What a fantastic makeover for Littlewood's Direct. AND it's affordable. I love their celeb ranges (especially Dita Von Teese's uber sexy underwear selection for Wonderbra) and fashion advice from top fashion journos like Louise Roe.
5. Now, I know there are stores all over the country, but I felt I had to include an online shoe shop. And Faith wins, it wins everytime. Before I gave up shopping I would spend my lunch hour perving at the shoes on the site and then I would go into the shop having selected my favourites... the money this place has made out of me is terrifying. Anyway, I digress, it's an easy site to use and postage and packaging is currently free for orders over £40.

Oh and I have just realised, I haven't given an overdraft update in a while. It's £1,210. Not great, but still on track to be debt free by the new year.

Day eight and I smell...

Yep, the dress definitely smells today. Which is weird because I went crazy with the febreeze last night.
Also, the outfit I have picked today is, well, wrong. It's a summer outfit. I am wearing a spring/summer outfit in the deep dark days of late October. Navy blue open toed heels do not work when it's raining. And although the navy skirt over the dress does work, the patent butterfly belt just makes me think of summer. The fact I have rolled up my sleeves (to show off some pretty pearl bracelets) is just making me rather cold. I want to pull my sleeves back down.
And I can definitely see stains on the dress. Parts are also going a bit thin from the overwear. Oh, this is not hardwearing durable knitwear I have purchased. But then, what do you expect for 35 quid?

Monday, 26 October 2009

7 Days, 7 ways. Day seven of the Maureen Rice project.

Well, I have an apology to make. On Saturday I went to a party, I drank too much and ended up sleeping at my sister's house (There is an attractive photo of me sprawled out on my sister's hall floor. Amazingly I am not going to put it up here.) Then on Sunday I was, erm, in a bit of a state. And then, as I am indeed so very cultured, I had to meet a friend at the National Portrait Gallery and didn't have time to go home and get myself into a new outfit.
So technically I have cheated. I wore the dress in the same way for two days running (and underwear too, eugh). But I am going to make up for it. Despite the febreezing I am actually quite enjoying myself. So I have decided to continue my challenge until I run out of ideas. Everyday I must wear the dress in a different way, even if it's only slightly different, the outfit must be different in some way. I could last just a few more days, I could last for months on end. Admittedly by then I'm probably going to be wearing some very weird shit.
Anyway, today I wore a variation of my much loved forties theme to cheer up my Monday morning. The big gray skirt again (can you believe this was only a fiver from Primark?) but no shirt this time, instead a big chain pearl necklace (again, only £2.50 from Primark) and some bright pink frilled T-bars, a bit like the Yves St Laurent ones Carrie wears at the end of Season 4 but mine were only £10 from New Look. And the bloke liked it too, and my housemate commented on how nice I looked. A result I think!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

7 Days, 7 ways. Day five of the Maureen Rice project.

OK, It's Saturday. Day for casual dressing. I am just hanging out with my sister today and then we are going to a thai restuarant for dinner.
So for the day I am just going to wear my dress as it is. With some thick opaque tights, some very, very cute snowboots (with pom poms on them!) my tuxedo jacket from Top Shop, my envelope necklace and a patent red, chain, quilted shopper. And when it comes to going to the restaurant I will change my boots for some red and gold platform open toed heels (see pic two).
I washed my dress last night, it's still not quite dry if I'm honest and I have to be at my sisters soon. The only solution I can see? Pull out the hairdryer and dry it that way! I'm going to feel bloody stupid doing it, but needs must.
Oh and I do have some news. Maureen Rice tweeted me last night! She said: "HI.Have just been alerted to your Project. Early days, but looks great. You are more creative/stylish -way better than mine. MRX" And there was me thinking no one read my blog. Wow! I am humbled.

Friday, 23 October 2009

7 Days, 7 Ways. Day four of the Maureen Rice Project.

Today is dress down Friday. So my new challenge, how to make the dress semi-casual. (Because you're still at work, so still have to look kind of smart.)
So I have teamed it with some black skinny jeans, black ballet pumps, a chunky red belt and my envelope necklace.
I quite like this look. I feel the chunky red belt may be an accessory too much but I wanted to keep with the colour, I feel I have been wearing too much black this week. And Gok Wan tells us you can totally change an outfit with a belt.
But my lord did I have some hygiene issues last night. I was kipping round the bloke's house so went home after work and quickly got changed into today's gear. However, I felt the need to febreeze the underarm material of the dress, just to keep the whiffs at bay. Would that febreeze dry? No it god damn wouldn't. I was pretty late to get round his house so ended up just putting the dress on and dealing with the soggy pit feeling. Now my underarms have had a good febreeze too. The most annoying thing? I got to his house and he had only just got home from work. I could have taken my sweet time! Oh and he said: 'your dress doesn't look any different from the other day, have you changed it at all?' !!!!!!
Can I just put this down to men not getting it rather than my failing at my task?
I'm sure little stains are starting to appear on the dress as well, and the material at the elbows is starting to feel a little thinner, just from four days wear. It's not feeling baggy anywhere yet though, I am pleased to announce that the knitwear is staying firm, which is an unexpected delight.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

7 days, 7 ways. Day three of the Maureen Rice Project

As promised, I have added a splash of colour to my dress today. In the form of some very cute forties style pink high heels from faith. They have a red sole too!
I am much happier with today's combo. It's very nun crossed with naughty schoolgirl. I like it! And have had some positive comments from colleagues.
I have layered my dress with a white shirt and a very tight, stiff, flared, gray, high-waisted skirt. Despite wearing more clothes I actually feel slimmer, possibly due to the tightness of the skirt and the shirt has made me realise just how itchy this dress is on my back. Today, no itchiness!
Also, due to the sheer amount of clothes I have on, I feel no need to wear a coat.
To accessorise I have added a single pearl necklace and I wanted to show you a back image as well, so you can see my seamed tights (so love!) and the exposed zip (very on trend) of the skirt. There's a little glimpse of my red hair too, woooo.
The febreeze is admittedly working on overtime but I don't feel *that* disgusting or smelly. People don't seem to be standing far away from me on the tube. I am also working very hard to keep myself clean by showering a lot more than usual so even if my dress may whiff a little, I, on the whole, don't.
Also, another oddity, men seem to be discussing my project with me far more than women do. Admittedly, some have just looked at me as if I am rather odd. Women have just generally said 'great idea! Let me know how you get on,' whereas men seem to consider the concept extremely fascinating. That is until I talk too much about the clothes. Then their eyes glaze over.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

7 Days, 7 Ways. Day two of the Maureen Rice Project.

Today I put a black high-waisted pleated skirt over the dress, some uber high black courts and a burgundy beaded necklace.
I am pleased to say that it does indeed look like a completely different outfit. I am not so pleased to say that I feel a bit fat, and hot. Layering isn't something I do often as 1) I don't tend to feel the cold and 2) I don't like to add bulk to my body, generally because it makes me feel, well, bulky. But this proves that layering is a surefire way to completely change an outfit.
I also feel rather, boring. I'm very black you see.
It's funny, I honestly thought I would love this combo, the shape is so flattering, the colour so slimming. But what this dress needs tomorrow my friends, is a splash of colour.
However, if you ever feel the need to look very conservative, this outfit is the way to go.
P.S. I hope everyone enjoys my pink starry dressing gown in the background here. It's seriously a wonderful item of clothing!
P.P.S. Thank you Matthew1471 for the shoe whore terminology, I shall definitely use in future!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

7 days, 7 ways. Day one with The Maureen Rice project

Day one and already I have spilt some cream sauce down my dress (it was ok, got it off with some enthusiastic rubbing) and had to crank out the febreeze because my underarms are a bit whiffy. This is what happens when you wear jumper dresses on the tube.
However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new dress. I wore it very simply today, just black diamond tights, black cage lace up shoe boots and my favourite gold envelope necklace. Perfect for work and going to lunch with a friend at The Guardian offices (they all look very cool there, I had to dress appropriately).
And you know, I feel good about styling this dress for the next few days. I've had a little sort through my wardobe and I think I can do a lot with it. Layering with skirts and shirts, playing with big belts and clashing shoes. In fact, I'm confident that some people at work won't even notice I've been wearing the same dress for seven days running.
And yes, I'm sorry I've cut my head off in the picture, but it's about the clothes people, not my face/inept photographic skills.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Maureen Rice Project.

 Last week I read an interesting article in The Daily Mail. A journalist named Maureen Rice wore the same dress every day for an entire month. A whole month! Every day she styled it in a different way to make it seem like she was actually wearing different outfits. She called it 'fashion rehab.'  You can read the article here:
Now, despite Rice saying she is 'broke', I couldn't help but feel how financially comfortable she obviously is. As a successful journalist and editor (and before I get negative, I would just like to say, I really enjoy her work) I don't feel she actually needs to give up clothes in the same way some of us do. For a start she went to LK Bennett to purchase her everyday dress at an eye-watering £195 (this is a hell of a lot more than I have ever spent on a dress in my entire life) and who can afford four hour dry cleaning?
Despite her good intentions I'm not sure this is actually feasible in real life and doesn't actually help us poverty stricken lot who can't really afford clothes. (And I mean from Primark, not LK Bennett.)
So I am going to do a mini version to see if the Maureen Rice project actually works. But I'm doing it from the perspective of someone who actually doesn't have any money! The same dress every day for a week. That's 7 days and I'm including the weekend. And I will take a photo of my outfit everyday and show you the 7 different ways I am wearing the same outfit. And I will purchase nothing new. I'm going to do all of this with accessories I already own. However as Rice purchased her everyday dress, so will I. However, unlike her heading to LK Bennett I will go to Dorothy Perkins. 
I know I'm not technically allowed. But I've seen this great black jumper dress with a leopard on the front in Dorothy Perkins for only £35. It would be so versatile, I could wear it casually and for work. 
In the place of pricey 4 hour dry cleaners, I have Febreeze and handwash detergent.  
So tomorrow is day one. I know a Tuesday is a silly day to start a week long project but you have to start sometime. I will monitor how I'm feeling, the state of the dress, people's reactions to me and if I really feel this way of dressing is actually going to save any money. 

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Top tips for the monetarily challenged

Since my last post I have recieved a whole host of ideas and advice from concerned friends to help me construct a winter wardrobe with no cash what so ever. (They have all seen my wardrobe, I feel there is some concern that I might actually freeze to death when it gets really cold. Or worse, be forced to belt my duvet round my waist and go to work like that. Not only is this impractical but it's also totally unflattering to any girls figure.)

So anyway, I have decided to post my top five ideas below:

1) Sell the clothes you no longer want. What am I doing going to the charity shop with my clothes and giving them away for free when there are women out there who will actually buy them off me?! I have already had two girls say they would like the biker boots mentioned in last post and will actually buy them off me so I then have the money to go and buy a pair that actually do suit me! AMAZING. Why did I never consider this before? Why did I never think about the whole selling your stuff on Ebay thing? Something to bear in mind after my next wardrobe detox methinks!

2) Trade is a charity shop in Brixton that has been recommended to me by two different women.
Apparently you can pick up clothes from Top Shop, Karen Millen, French Connection and more for just a tenner. That's where I will be going when I next get paid and have some contingency fund money!

3) For those who actually like the biker boot style (I'm thinking I can do it, I just need a heel. A big one.) Here's a tip from a friend on how she recreated some from an old pair of boots: "I have had the same pair of tatty old biker boots for... oh this is the 4th year! Well I have regenerated them with a new pair of odour eating insoles (nice). AND my genius is almost unbeaten.. I can't afford a new pair of the trendy 'lovely studs and buckles all over them' boots, so I bought two chunky studded belts from hennies and have simply wrapped them around the boots. £20 instead of £60-100 on new boots. I am very pleased with myself." And so she should be! This is credit crunch fashion at its best.

4) Mix and match, mix and match. I know I've said it before, but I don't think I have ever seriously gone through my wardrobe and done this properly. So last night, I did. I took every piece of clothing I owned and tried it with different items. Who knew a jumper dress could look so different if you just put a flared skirt over it or that you could turn a party dress into a work outfit, just by putting the right jumper and a belt over the top. Last night I created 10 new winter outfits with clothes I already have. Go me.

5) If you don't own a black high-waisted flared skirt, buy one. It goes with EVERYTHING.

Current overdraft total: Erm, same as the other day. I just don't want to look right now. It's a bit depressing.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Shoe Pervert and the need of a winter wardrobe

Just check out Shoewawa for a sneak peak at the new Dorothy Perkins 'Luxe' range. All named after fashionable cities throughout the world. Priced very reasonably at £55-65:
Particularly loving the 'Paris' Shoe Boot, the whole pirate style fold at the ankle is damn cute. An even cheaper version can be found in Primark, where I know the suede is supersoft, probably not real and will probably last about ten minutes. But considering that's how long my attention span lasts, that's probably not that much of an issue.  
Oh ladies and gents I have come to a realisation and it is not a good one. In the recent cold weather I have discovered I need some winter clothes. I have barely any jumpers, my winter coat is falling apart and the biker style boots I bought in a frenzy a few weeks back are not my style at all. Too clumpy and masculine at the shoe. I was seduced by the warm fabric top and the promise of biker style cool. I am not biker style cool. I'm a prance about in your pretty heels, skirt and lipstick kind of girl. I know this, I've known this for years but I won't bloody give up on the promise of 'I don't give a shit androgyny.' How I yearn to be Chrissie Hynde in all her husky voiced finery. Sadly, my boobs are too big and my hair too ginger. (I'm sorry La Roux, you don't pull it off.)  So fifties style little cardies, cute little shoe boots and Mac coats it is for me. 
Oh what to do? I can't afford any winter clothes but the situation is starting to get a little dire. I can't sit in my office in a tiny top wrapped in a pashmina to keep me warm for the next few months. I feel far too wanky, not to mention somewhat impractical. And my contingency fund for the next month is already spent on the dentist and a rather scarily large electricity bill... does anyone have any jumpers I can borrow? 

Current overdraft total: £1,376.22