Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Zen approves

And suspects Sam will as well!

Seen at style is style; picture originally from calivintage

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


I was going discreetly to refrain from posting about this so soon after documenting my last bout of extravagance, but since an early birthday visit to Sam revealed my lapse, I suppose I might as well tell the other Lemm ... and anyone else reading this blog, whoever they may be.

I was wandering around Covent Garden the other night, wondering what to do, when I saw a sale sign in the Oasis shop window and decided to pop in. And discovered that the Rosalind Kemp trompe l'oeil collection I squealed about last year was on sale!

I am ridiculously pleased because the original prices were, er, ridiculous -- or at least far beyond my touch. I wouldn't actually pay £30 for a tank dress no matter how cute, but £10 I don't mind stretching to.

It was interesting seeing the pieces in the flesh (or fabric, as the case may be) as opposed to only in pictures. It become obvious, for example, that the T-shirt dress pretending to be a trenchcoat is too short for me to feel comfortable wearing it as a dress.

It's not a complete disappointment, however -- it does indeed have pockets, as I suspected!

I am wondering whether I could wear it with shorts, or whether it would look funny or as if I wasn't wearing anything underneath it. Sadly I left all my shorts at home and have yet to find a worthy substitute here ...

These knit shorts I tried on in Zara probably aren't it.

Grey & white polka dot cardigan - Marks & Spencer; owl necklace - gift from sister; white lace T-shirt - TK Maxx; teal tights - Dorothy Perkins; white oxfords with lilac ribbon laces - Robert Clergerie; amazing knit shorts - Zara

Though they are kinda cute! But how often could you wear horizontal-striped high-waisted knit shorts? No. I will keep looking.

- Zen

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Catching up

Being a working woman is bad for my wardrobe ... and I mean "bad for my wardrobe" in a "the engines cannae take it, captain!" kind of way, not in a "my wardrobe is too empty" kind of way.

But after a week of being all :|-faced in the office, you do feel the need for some whimsy. Polka dots and bright tights are the themes of my weekends.

Navy blue polka dot dress - New Look; purple jade necklace - gift from parents; grey and white polka dot cardigan + mauve tights - Marks & Spencer; white shoes with lavender ribbon ties - Robert Clergerie

Ruffle cardigan - Avellini; white lace T-shirt - Nic and Jess; deceptively worn-looking denim shorts - Quiksilver (all via TK Maxx)

This second set of photos is somewhat deceptive; besides the postbox-red tights, I wasn't actually wearing any of these clothes while going around this weekend. I was just trying them on in TK Maxx. I only bought the lace T-shirt in the end, though I suspect the outfit only looked nice because the lace T-shirt looked nice with the grunginess of the shorts. I've been wanting shorts but these were too big for me around the waist. Bye bye, shorts!

The other thing I bought at TK Maxx were evidence of a certain optimism on my part.

I've never been especially keen on the look of Birks, but they are pretty comfy, and I found the almost-apple-green shade of these attractive. (They are not quite Granny Smith green. Maybe they are pistachio?) They make me think of summer and shorts in pale colours. I then got quite concerned that I wouldn't know what to wear them with, since pale colours and shorts are pretty much the opposite of what predominates my wardrobe at the moment (lots of black and Srs Bzness clothes). A quick search on Wardrobe Remix and turned up the following hints.

1. The best accessories for Birkenstocks are sunshine and bare legs.

Sheng Mae L.@ lookbook (incidentally I am in awe of how cool and comfortable this girl looks, considering this photo was taken in Malaysia!)

2. Simplicity is key. It spoils it if you look like it took ages to think of what to put on; Birks are a "throw 'em on and go" kind of shoe.

3. If you've got to break the bare legs rule, make sure you show a bit of ankle at least.

meligrosa again!

4. Nerd it up! Birkenstocks are not cool shoes. The sooner you embrace that fact, the better for all concerned.

Inspiring stuff! I'm all excited now. Forget the spring season -- roll on summer!

- Zen

Monday, 8 March 2010

Bibbidi bobbidi shoes

P and I went to the Macmillan Cancer Support vintage sale in Oxford. I was looking forward to some shopping, but once I was in there I didn't really feel like it. You know the feeling? It wasn't oppressively crowded, but there was a fair number of people, enough that you felt embarrassed to be standing in front of a rack for too long. Not so much Angels sale, but quite a lot like Marble Arch Primark on a Thursday night.

I didn't want to buy anything black, and I didn't want to buy anything too experimental -- working seems to have revived my interest in simplicity. I didn't want to have to try anything on because the fitting rooms were basically a part of the room sectioned off by screens where people tried things on -- not that semi-public same-gender nudity bothers me so much; it was more that there probably weren't any hooks for me to hang my coat on while I was at it. And when it came down to it, it just seemed like it would be nicer strolling around in the sunny, blue-skied outdoors than fighting off some mum to get to a vintage Jaegaer dress.

(One thing that was nice about the sale was that there was a good range in terms of ages. I have a feeling that if it'd taken place in London it would have been way more hipsters in their twenties and thirties, and way fewer mums and grannies stocking up on cheap clothes.)

So it was really good luck that I saw what I wanted within the first five minutes.

White oxfords with lilac ribbon ties! I love how they have this twee ballerina colour scheme, smacked onto the no-nonsense long-toed shape of a men's shoe. They definitely scratch the itch for masculine shoes in sweet colours that I've been having ever since seeing these pink Irregular Choice brogues on Susie Bubble.

I really like the idea of satin ribbons as shoelaces, too.

They've certainly had better days -- they don't seem to have been worn much, if at all, because before I got them they didn't have the horizontal creases along the front that happen when you walk in oxfords. But they're a bit grimy, and the leather on the tips of the toes is flaking off. But hey, I figured a bit of wear wasn't a big deal for £5.

And the best part? Actually, the best part is just that the shoes make me smile, but it does add to the smugness factor that I saw this on the sole when I picked them up:

This is the second time I've scored a Branded Item for £5 without hardly trying! 5 must be my magic number or something.

(If you haven't heard of Robert Clergerie, don't worry; I wasn't sure what he was either. I suspected he was expensive, though, and it turns out I was right.)

- Zen