Dressing up for Spring

Tomorrow the temperature is forecast for 14 degrees!

(Yeah all you Southerns who scoff about Northern weather! Suck it!!!)

Over the past few weeks I’ve been biding my time, getting ready to unleash my inner lady. I’m looking forward to being able to wear dresses in the day, not just in the evening when the public love to throw JD and cokes on me (like someone did when I was wearing the white dress pictured below).

White dress, £22.99 by Forever 21, Bambi necklace also Forever 21

I had to wear this dress with a modesty-sparing nude camisole underneath because the fabric is so unwearably sheer! To protect my lower half I donned tights and a tutu that I bought from the kids section of H&M a few years back. It makes the skirt look huge, but I quite like how that takes the outfit from overly demure into something curious for the evening.

Bag from Tynemouth market, tights by Topshop

I also love the detailing on the dress. Lace is still big for this season, with coloured lace being tipped for popularity, but I like more interesting and/or subtle alternatives such as the netting on this dress (and this ‘teacloth pattern’ shift dress I own from Topshop, who currently stock an amazing array of shift dresses).

The only issue I have now is finding a slip short enough to go under the dress! M&S slips I’ve tried thus far have been woefully long so I’m considering a trip to BHS sometime soon. When I wore the dress before (to a Little Comets and Vinyl Jacket gig), it was with the tutu underskirt, biker jacket and lashings of smokey eye makeup. Next time I want to take the look in an entirely opposite direction, with a fresh face and girly accessories. (Tips for slips much appreciated!)

Today I took my first ‘Spring look’ out on the street, hitting the BALTIC in Newcastle to check out the new exhibitions by George Shaw and Lindsay Seers. I thought I’d match the everlasting Summer staples – florals and nautical inspiration. I also thought I’d cling onto the Mad Men trend before the hysteria dies down.

Rose silk alice band by Stone Bridge, sailor cardigan £10 by Primark, Bag from Tynemouth market, Dress and shoes by Peacocks. Necklace handmade by me!

I’ve done ‘Mad Men’ with the demure nude kitten heels and vintage bag, nautical with the cardigan and necklace (which I made from an old keyring) and florals with the dress and the beautiful rose silk alice band that I was sent by the lovely Melissa and Claire from luxury hair accessories company Stone Bridge. I wouldn’t normally throw so many things together, but I haven’t yet found a jacket to go with the dress so I settled for the cardi and thought I’d try and – in the words of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn – “Make it work”.

I’ve decided to try and get other people to take outfit pics for me when possible so I can get some shots outside – and out of my room. The other day my manager Kevin said that my tripod shot photos from my room ‘made me look like a kidnap victim’. Volunteer photographers out there get in touch!

Oh, thought I’d post this picture because it made me giggle. The BALTIC shop has tons of amazing cards, including designs by cult T-shirt shop Lazy Oaf (and some similar independent designs that the latter also stocks online).

Card, £2.50 from the BALTIC shop

Heehee!

Frivolise me!

I began a game in the Amazing Radio office the other day called ‘Frivolise Me!’

This essentially involves deciding to embark on an activity and then making it decidedly more ‘frivolous’ – for example taking a taxi instead of a bus to town, or buying a fancier product than you usually would. It’s a rather materialistic, entirely unserious game, but one that’s worth a giggle. It was only when my colleague Stevie B replied to one of my tweets that I realised that I had been playing the game without realising!

I headed into Newcastle city centre after work fully intending to try and find this pair of ‘rusty’ paperbag waist shorts from Miss Selfridge ready for Spring, or at least a similar pair for a cheaper price. I decided to try Primark to see if they stocked such a style.

Bag from charity shop

It turns out that they didn’t… but they did have a pair of leather look shorts that I noticed on my way out of the store! Naturally I grabbed a pair in my size, rushed to the changing rooms and had a go with them! Probably not an item on many fashionable Spring ‘must-have’ lists, but an item I gladly bought in place of the ‘safer’ Miss Selfridge option.

Shorts £10 by Primark, pussybow blouse (vintage) from Oxfam, heels by H&M

I do already have some leather look brown shorts from Zara, and fake leather skinny trousers from Topshop, but I couldn’t resist adding these to my growing collection. There’s something I can’t resist about this fabric. It’s less obvious than denim – especially when worn during the day – and  can be dressed up as in the photo above or dressed down as in the photo below.

Headband by Topshop, tee £9.99 by Zara, bag £10 from Tyneside metro market

(As you can probably see for yourselves, I’m sticking my tummy out in this photo, delightful eh!?)

I blogged about this Zara tee in my last post. It’s oversized and rather short which means I’ll probably wear a vest top underneath it if I take this outfit further than my bedroom. The headband is a couple of years old. I got in from Topshop in a bid to disguise my unruly hair as a ‘deliberate statement’. It wasn’t deliberate in this photo either, but I have been experiencing a minor revolt from my barnet today! The bag was a wonderful vintage find from Tyneside’s Saturday metro market last Saturday. You can’t tell from this photo but it’s a gorgeous, inky hue with an almost marbled effect. I’m attempting to work more ‘ladylike’ pieces into my wardrobe, and have bought a couple of waist-focused black pieces in the past couple of weeks; a shift dress from Topshop’s sale and a black, elasticated waist dress from Zara that I’m planning to debut at a Little Comets gig this weekend.

So what have you ‘frivolised’ recently? And which do you prefer, denim or leather?

Leather bum

Apparently it was all about winter shorts on the front row of the recent ‘fashion month’ which got me wondering… what makes a pair of shorts ‘wintery’?

The Observer’s weekend magazine solved it for me quite quickly just this Sunday as I read their article on dressing for one’s age. Accompanying the article was a page of high street picks (by catagory, i.e boots.) Apparently, as a 21 year old it is my destiny to wear black leather shorts throughout winter (and pay a hefty sum for the privilege).

I decided that if destiny had started making my style choices, I might as well have some kind of influence on how things panned out (without completely ruining what fate had previously decreed via the pages of OM Magazine.) Thus I headed to Zara, where I had seen these shorts on a previous trip.

 

Top £16 by Topshop, Shorts £29.99 by Zara

 

So yes, apologies for the dim photo, but my ‘twist’ on fate was to choose brown shorts (some might say the colour of ‘Leatherface’ from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that kind of felt relevant due to Halloween being on the cards!) I’ve tucked the slubby breton Topshop top into the shorts in the above pic, although it’s quite short and deliberately oversized which means it particularly goes with slim cut cigarette trousers (I’ve yet to find the perfect pair…sigh).

 

Shirt £7.99 by H&M, Scarf £3 by Primark, Boots £25 by Peacocks

 

Aside from shorts being very much in vogue with the fashion editors at Paris fashion week, they were reportedly worn with bare legs (eek!)

 

 

Vintage jacket from Cancer Research (customised with Tiger Balm logo applique)

 

Ok so there’s a lot of brown in the last outfit, (and it’s not even shade-of-the-moment-camel-shock-horror!), but I do love this jacket. I got it four years ago at a Cancer Research charity shop in Maidstone from their ‘retro rail’. I took out the shoulder pads and stitched on a Tiger Balm appliqued logo that I’d rescued from a hemp tee that had gone wrong in the wash. I might wear this more as a winter-to-spring get up, although time will tell what the seasons will bring weather-wise! On a more realistic side of things I believe I’ll be teaming this shorts up with a creamy opaque pair of tights and these boots, or roughing things up with some tall, woolly tights and my canvas boots (with the bouncy rubber heel that I pray people never notice.)

On a slightly different ‘style’ note I need to find something to wear for a band photo shoot with the new Get Frank lineup – ideas much appreciated!

We’ll be heading into the studio at the end of next week to record our first EP – we’ve made light work of my back catalogue and are ready to go. There’s more of a freeform improvisational feel to some of the tracks and I’m very excited to finally get some proper recordings circulating (I’ve never had any at all so these will be the first). We’re looking for gigs in and around Newcastle too so ideas are again very welcome!



Too young for Mad Men, too old for Rydell High?

I finally have shoes!

My dad and his wife finally made it up to Newcastle so I have shoes and dresses once more… hurrah! Most of the dresses are meant for evening, but there’s a few skirts including the Topshop full circle skirt in the following shots.

Skirt by Topshop, shirt by H&M, belt by Zara

Shoes and socks both by Primark

Headband by H&M, Necklace by ladyluckrulesok.com

I bought the scallop patterned skirt last summer whilst interning at Channel 4 for a bargainous £10. I’ve not worn it too much because I’ve never had a top to wear it with… until now. The full skirt is very much in vogue at the moment, with Mad Men taking the fashion world by storm. I feel the softness of the peasant style shirt and brown belt softens up the look slightly, whilst the just-above-knee length makes the look younger too (more Grease than, say, fifties secretary.)

Although the shoes are difficult to see, they’re a navy bow detailed pair I got from Primark a couple of seasons ago. I wouldn’t necessarily team them with pink socks, but I want to make the most of getting away with summer before it gets truly cold outside. I might really go for colour as it gets colder with this look and go for bright tights (such as a sheer red, or maybe even a yellow),

I’m very excited about my shoes too as my Dad brought a load up. There weren’t as many has I had originally as I had to have a bit of a clearout… I haven’t counted how many I have yet! I did pick up a new pair of amazing Victorian style boots from Peacocks today for £25. When I saw them online it was love at first sight… In the shop today I went dizzy trying to decide between brown and black but went for brown because I think they’ll be wearable right into Springtime that way… although I’m severely tempted to get the black colour too!

Boots £25 by Peacocks, Socks £2 for 3 pairs from Primark

This is really more of a springtime look, but I figured that I could team this with tights, a cardi/jacket and a wooly beret to keep the look cosy. (Roll on springtime!)

The boots fit perfectly so I’m pondering attempting the walk to work in them. My only worry is that I’ll wear into the heel too quickly… most of my shoes need reheeling as the nails are all exposed at the bottom. I must be pretty tough on them!

Shoe porn is on it’s way soon, I promise!

Hairy times for Holy Mammoth

I had a little spare time before going out to tonight’s Cult Image, Holy Mammoth and Fang Island gig so I got a little silly with my Macbook camera

Tee by Urban Outfitters, skirt by Zara, tights by Topshop, shoes by New Look, belt by Primark

Trying to get the shoes into shot...

Hair flower by Accessorize

Hair; a product of genetics and a bit o' serum

I really need a camera, some ‘this season’ clothes and some sense of dignity.

I also need these shoes in a size smaller as I can’t wear them without tripling up socks – so I won’t be wearing them tonight I don’t think… boo.

Although I could layer up the trainer socks and hope no one notices…. I’ve done that with my ballroom shoes before… except the judges weren’t so impressed!

See you there.


How do you wear yours?

photo-31

This year Topshop are selling the official Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T shirts for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Above are some photos of me wearing mine. I saw this video on the Topshop site and had to have one! The song used is pretty cool…

photo-71

The tee has been updated from the old light blue circle design to a rather ‘now’ mono colourscheme. The oversized look fits in nicely with the ‘baggy top/ leggings look’ that seems to be appearing everywhere. I only wear leggings for drama however I tried on some purple, slightly high waisted ones under my new tee in the Topshop changing rooms and actually quite liked them… Perhaps when student loan comes in I’ll go crazy and get some, but probably shiny black – who knows! I’ve always been a dress or skirt girl but leggings can go under right? In the pics I was desperately trying to show what I was accessorizing the tee with (to go with the TS ‘How will you wear yours’ type campaign.) hence the picture of my purple clad legs in the air!

photo-101

I really want to show you all a picture of my new skirt which is from the charity shop at the end of my road (45 secs walk away!) Its the same pattern that I’ve seen on a lot of scarfs recently. Originally it was a lot longer and I cut it and did a makeshift sewing job of the hem. I was going to wear it as a dress but then thought that I’d wear it more as a skirt… It was £2….result! (Sorry this is an impromptue post so no time to change…)

photo-1

 

I also got a blue cheerleader type skirt from COW on Digbeth high street today for a bargainous £3. I love cobalt blue, particuarly with white…

photo-21

As readers of my blog probably know, I don’t tend to blog about clothes too much, however I’ve developed a bit of a fetish for fashion recently…not so much trends, just drooling over Love magazine and hair accessories in pretty much every shop I go into. You can probably see from the photos that my instruments (there’s more of them on the opp. side of the room to my shoes) and my shoes are fighting it out for space. I probably have about 30 pairs of shoes in my room currently. There’s some on the various ledges and in the hallway. I’m terrible! My collection is probably not worth anything because all of my shoes tend to be sale items. If you ask how much any pairs of my shoes cost, I’ll almost certainly be able to tell you…

Now…go buy that T-shirt (if not for you, for someone else. Its a calorie free, charity earning alternative to the ‘how do you eat yours’ creme eggs…but you can always get creme eggs as well!)

Frank x

ps.

Thankyou to Chris Unitt for buying me a listerine prezzie after my ‘7 things‘ blog. Anyone else wanting to donate, let me know!!!