Happy Hallowe'en Blog Fans!

That's right, all three of you :) As my only friends are shopkeepers and in cyberspace, I spent my Hallowe'en at the local patch of woodland taking photos. Poser that I am.
Hope you guys have a treat!

Yesterday's Clothes - Pink and Beans

(Featuring the posing talents of Dangerous Beans, my pet rat.)

Still pretty warm outside, so I opted for a wooly jumper....but it's quite thin, as you can see. It's round-necked, which I'm not that big a fan of - V-necks are more flattering when you are not tall and thin. But it had to do. Plus, it's not black.

Kept the bottom half simple with black trousers (really need to get some decent jeggings) and black boots. Add red lipstick, as always.

Left the rat at home when I went out, though.


Yesterday's Clothes - A Rather Short Lesson

As promised, I have launched an endeavour to actually blog about my own style mishaps as well as everyone else's, so here is...well, it does what it says on the title - a little look at the outfit I wore yesterday.

Yes, I'm so nonchalantly cool aren't I? I'd been on a quest for these shorts for ages (Gap, £35) even though my mother had wisely warned me that the majority of (short) shorts featured in fashion magazines are intended for the ironing board massiv alone (aha, see the irony there?) But having finally found them on my little sojourn to Birmingham, as none of the remotely cool stuff ever comes to the Bristol Gap, I was faced with the tricky task of how to wear them.

As I discovered almost instantly, heels are a must. Unless you have Taylor Momsen's (twig) legs you cannot wear flat shoes with these. I have accesorised mine with my beloved Topshop boots (that I am still practising walking in); possibly not the best idea as they are peep-toed and I am wearing tights, but you get the general idea. Later, when I went out, I wore my trusty black lace-up 'Victorian governess' boots as featured in the Breakfast Club article; far easier to walk in and with almost as much attitude, and thus they worked almost as well.

Now, for the top. If I was going for 'safari chic', or just chic, I would have stuck with a simple white shirt, preferrably light, floaty and see-through (the only way to wear a white blouse to avoid looking like an office worker with a 'capsule wardrobe' issue), but I was not, it is autumn, it is nearly Hallowe'en, and I am 21. There is only so much chicness that can be injected into my look, and wool shorts are about as much as I can take. So I opted for my dearly loved ribcage t-shirt. Sleeveless works well in this case as the top is relatively fitted, but for thinner girls a loose sleeved t-shirt would work too. I'll try that next; I have a great new t-shirt to try with it.

Finally, a simple black jacket finishes off the look, along with a slick of red lipstick. And, of course, some gothic jewelry. We have to balance out the whole neatness of the shorts somehow.

These shorts are a godsend to curvy girls as they flair just at the right point and are generously cut (I got into a 10! A 10!) They help your legs look thinner as a result, it's just up to you how to make the rest of yourself look its best.


TopShop Day

So, as dedicated fans may recall, I hypothesised that Christopher Kane's TopShop collaboration would only look good on a Size 6 ironing board model. But nevertheless, I duly bought the iconic crocodile dress that is now going on Ebay for upwards of £90 (even though stores outside London and Topshop.com are far from stocked out), and bravely decided to wear it last weekend, on a jaunt 'round Birmingham with my boyfriend.
Well....it sort of works. Obviously it would work better if I was a little bit taller, slimmer, had Taylor Momsen's legs....but it's nicely complimented by the fact that my jacket, bag and fabulous studded pumps are also from Toppers.


Hottest thing in the world

I WANT IT. It's Gucci. It's oil-slicked, it's beautiful. It's over a thousand pounds.
It's as if I care......
Sigh. One day.

When pastels are acceptable - how to dress like an Austrian Princess

I admit I've been a bit, well, Gothic of late in my response to colours (and when I say Gothic, I mean the angry kids from South Park) but it took a couple of events today to remind me that colours can convey just as much attitude as an all-black ensemble. These events pointed me in the direction of a certain haven of colour that, nevertheless, packs plenty of attitude. They were a guest on BBC's 'Desert Island Discs' selecting a Siouxsie and the Banshees song as his first disc, and a friend of mine posting a homage to this film on her blog, threesaparty.wordpress.com.
Immediately I poured over the images of the decadence of Sophia Coppola's imagined court of Versailles in Marie Antoinette, gazing at the cakes and the fabulous dresses and noting that only the matronly older characters and the scandalous mistresses wore anything other than whimsical pastel shades.
Kirsten Dunst, being a fabulously coquettish thing herself, shows us how to take these cute and girly outfit and make them cool, chic and sexy - all you need is perfectly flushed 'I've-just-been-rolling-in-the-premium-quality-sheets-with-X' make-up and that glint in your eye that Miss Dunst captures so perfectly here (left).
It is, quite simply, a masterclass in dressing to suit your attitude. Yet Dunst's Marie Antoinette also does the 'bored yet beautiful queen' look well (below right). What she seems to have mastered is the only way to not let an outfit as fantastic as the ones she wears (oh to have been an extra in that film) is to either act as cute as it looks, yet remember how low it's cut and add the wicked glint in your eye, or to look beautifully bored, a total contradiction to the fabulousness happening from your toes to your...erm....shoulders. She is both mistress and mannequin, allowing the clothes to mirror her nature but also allowing them to provide a complimenting contrast to the blank and flawless canvas of her face.

Of course, this is true of any outfit. Whether you like to wear as many colours as possible or to keep your colour palatte muted like me, if you are going to go as outrageous as Marie Antoinette has gone, you need to pick a side - the little-girl-in-a-candy-store joie de vivre or the Anna Wintour-like boredom with everything; your outfit, your shoes, pretty much everything. Anything in between, and the outfit is wearing you.

I just wanted to include this shot. It's yet more proof of how achingly cool Coppola's vision was as she had the chutzpah to put a pair of Converse in the shot, and because of how accurately she has captured the spirit of the 21st Century Converse generation - whimsical, fun-loving and just wanting to have a good time. Let them eat cake, I say. Anything to line their stomachs.


'You can tell Jesus that the Bitch is back' - Georgina Sparks

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the third series of Gossip Girl appeared this side of the pond. I happily swooned my way through the first episode (is it me, or does Dan's slicked-down hair make him look, erm, hot?) and raised my eyebrows at the minimal costume changes. But I'm even more excited about tonight's episode, because it heralds the return of the other champion of lux grunge (move over Taylor Momsen, although for today I have stolen your red check shirt dress and LOVE it) and the ying to Blair Waldorf's brocade-print, cutely pouting yang.
Oh yes, the bitch is back. Georgina Sparks, aka Michelle Trachtenberg (the cute little sister from Buffy who has grown into a willowy, drop-dead gorgeous glossy-haired fashionista with perfect pronounciation and very very shiny hair) saunters back onto the screen fresh from mysteriously scamming a scammer (the two-dimensional Poppy Lifton) out of her stolen cash, and is ready to get revenge on Blair for ratting Georgina out to her parents. Soooo high school, and if we know Georgina, she's got a master plan to take down Queen B. Bring on the catfights and snooty snooping.
And, of course, bring on the OUTFITS! I may be flying in the face of all that's cool here, but I really do think that Georgina is the best dresser of the Gossip Girl crew. The others may get fashion, and the others may have a whole wardrobe of designer to play with (it's quite clear just how much Blair loves playing dress-up, and I don't think she's ever been seen in a pair of trousers) but Georgina, unlike the other GGs, understands the value of selecting a capsule collection of key items (the skinny jeans, the to-die-for leather jackets and statement bag), all in muted colours, and juggling accesories with a flash of colour to make herself stand out, even in her statement massive 'sleuthing' shades. She's obviously clung on to a little bit of Michelle's Buffy days with an abundance of crucifixes, but the luxe edge to all her outfits, combined with ever-shiny hair (seriously, Blake who?) and that amazing pout, places Georgina firmly at the head of the pack in the style stakes. Quite simply, she actually has style, not just a massive designer wardrobe.

Plus, she took Chuck Bass's virginity (if Series One is to be believed - wires do appear to get crossed). So that obviously trumps EVERYTHING.
Update - Well G, thus far I am unimpressed. A few snooty looks, that subtle thing she does with her eyes to show that she's got one over Blair (Tyra Banks would be proud) and a few glimpses of black were all there. But she's yet to get back into her stride as a fully-fledged monster. Damnit. Plus, GG summer fashion is NEVER as hot as when it gets cold in NYC.
But she hooked up with Dan, again, so she and Dan have replaced Blair and Chuck as the best dysfunctional couple on GG. He's becoming egotistical, she's Medusa with waaaaay better hair. It's a match made in Heaven.


Monochrome - a life choice, a good choice?

Oh blog fans, it's a weary world that we live in when even your humble redhead servant cannot provide you with insights into all things stylish and chic on a regular basis. But such is life. Autumn at work is a busy old time, but it is also a busy old time on the fashion circuit so I will renew my efforts. Because, as I pointed out over there in my 'Things I Love' column, my wardrobe has well and truly embraced the onslaught of colder days and (oh joy!) misty mornings, and has gone over to the dark side. I genuinely cannot remember the last time I wore colour except to go the gym (pink gym shorts. Make me look fat. Ah well) - my life has given over into a kaleisdoscope of black, grey and white. I went shopping the other day and bought a dress with RED in it! RED! I must be mad. Next thing I'll be wearing PASTELS! PASTELS!

It's a slippery slope. I've gone for black, I can't go back. My mum despaired of me at first, and made a point of wearing a top identical to one of mine (grey and black stripes) to the gym. As a 'cover-up'. Like I said, not a fan. It's probably because my grandma lives in black (and, come to think of it, is slightly reminiscent of Queen Victoria - small and slightly scary) and because, as a result, my mum is the only one in three generations to wear colours. I admit I will be slightly scuppered when it comes to spring again (yes I think that far ahead, although I know that I will have bought up most of the shops several times over before then and probably have re-invented myself yet again) but it's very hard to do winter layering chic if your wardrobe looks like a charity shop (ie. random bits of everything nice that just don't mesh.) So I have decided that I will, at least until I nervously realise I need to wash my grey and black jeans and need to wear blue demin again (see, this is how bad things have got) stick to a colour pallate that seamlessly blends. Besides, black works on those of us who are vampyrically pale and/or have a standout hair colour. As Toni and Guy proclaims your hair is the ultimate fashion accessory, so the pressure is now firmly on mine to do the talking. It's working for Peaches and Alice, and the fictional fabulousness that is Alicia Billington.

And plus, it leaves me so much more time and scope to experiment with accessories....

'No, damnit, I don't care if jewel colours are in, I can't kick Agent Smith ass looking like something out of Boden.'