Monday, 30 January 2012

Turquoise, ruffles, leather


Ruffled blouse: vintage (Retro Rehab, Manchester)
Leather shorts: River Island via ASOS
Swing coat: Topshop
Penny loafers: Topshop
Bowler hat: H&M
Necklaces: vintage
Belt: vintage

One of the pitfalls of using a visit home to take lots of outfit photos is that you have a limited amount clothes you can take with you - especially if you have a pathetic excuse of a weekend bag that barely fits anything in. But alas, we persevere.

I got the blouse a couple of weeks ago from Retro Rehab, on Oldham Street in Manchester. I thought I knew most of the vintage shops in that area by now but I'd actually never noticed this one before. I was offering moral support to a friend of mine who was getting her nose pierced but, once I saw it, I quickly forgot about my role of 'concerned friend' and took on the role of 'crazed vintage shopper' instead. And it's a gem of a shop! They have some really lovely stock and incredible prices, especially compared to a lot of the overpriced vintage shops in the Northern Quarter that cater to the Urban Outfitters hipster crowd*. The shop has a boutique feel, with lovely window displays and everything arranged really nicely - which is a particularly nice surprise if you've just come from Ryan Vintage, which is great for finding bargains but can resemble a bomb site.

They had a sale on but I controlled myself and only got one thing. It was really cold when I was taking the photos so I didn't take my coat off - but that really didn't do it justice, so I took separate photographs of the blouse of it's own:



The colour, the silkiness, the triangles, the ruffles, the fact that it was only £8; ah, it was love at first sight!

And in other news, I was given a Versatile Blogger award from the lovely Mandy of Grace and Viola (her blog is named after her grandmother and aunt, amazing). I'm going to post my facts and pass the award on in a couple of months, once I've been blogging for longer and I have 10 bloggers to pass it onto. But I still wanted to acknowledge it because it was such a nice surprise.

*it amuses me that I wrote that as if I wasn't firmly part of 'the Urban Outfitters hipster crowd'.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Girls on film: Annie Hall


So one thing you should know about me is that I like blazers. A lot. And brogues (hence the blog title), loafers, hats, shirts, trenches, pea coats... basically all menswear. I find that menswear-inspired clothes are much more classic than girly styles, and that really appeals to me. This probably not the right attitude for someone who claims to be interested in fashion but I don't really like trends. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-fashion and I'm not claiming never to follow trends. It's just that I tend to develop long term relationships with my clothes. I don't really go in for impulse purchases - when I buy something I know exactly where it's going to fit in with the rest of my wardrobe and that I'll be able to wear it for years to come. And I know that a navy boxy blazer is going to stay in my wardrobe much longer than a frilly party dress. Not that I'm entirely adverse to a frilly party dress - I'm just likely to wear a boxy blazer over it.

The other thing you should know is that I'm a huge film buff and, honestly, I'm more likely to find style inspiration in a movie than I am in a copy of Vogue. So I decided to start a new feature, looking to favourite films of mine for style inspiration. And where better to start than Annie Hall, one of my absolute favourite films of all time and quite timely since I touched on Diane Keaton's style in an outfit post a few days ago.

For anyone who hasn't seen the film, it's a romantic comedy from 1977, tracking the relationship of comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) from their meeting through to their eventual break up. It's hilarious and touching and if you've never seen it a) what have you been doing with your life?? and b) you really should see it. Also, if you're not familiar with Woody Allen as a comedian/director then it's a really good starting point.



"I love what you're wearing."
"You do? Well, uh, this tie was a present from Grammy Hall."
"Who? Your 'grammy'? What did you do, grow up in a Norman Rockwell painting?"

The film has become iconic not just because Woody Allen is one of the funniest men to ever walk the planet (that's a completely objective fact), but also because of Annie's quirky, menswear inspired outfits. Diane Keaton chose the costumes she wore in the film ("I did what Woody said: I wore that I wanted to wear, or, rather, I stole what I wanted to wear from cool-looking women on the streets or New York. Annie's khaki pants, vest, and tie came from them.") and they pretty much reflect her personal style. Blazers, waistcoats (or 'vests', if you're transatlantically inclined), ties, crisp tailored shirts and that iconic hat. The outfit above is probably the best known from the film, from Alvy and Annie's first meeting, introduced by friends to play a doubles tennis match. Anyone who will wear an outfit like that to the gym, only to change once she gets to there, is definitely my kind of woman.



I think the collars are a large part of what draws me to Annie's look. Whether they're buttoned right up with a man's tie or open and turned up with a scarf tied around her neck, she really knows how to work a shirt. I really like the scarf with the open neck, it softens an otherwise pretty masculine look. And, while we're on the topic, I really love Alvy's wardrobe too. It's almost entirely tweed blazers, plaid shirts and his signature glasses, but he always looks really great.



Couple's who start to dress alike are usually a little bit creepy but this is just adorable. And, if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. If you've got a lot in common with your other half, why wouldn't you have similar aesthetic tastes too?



"Oh, come on Alvy! You never want to try anything new."
"What do you mean? I suggested you, I and that girl from your acting class should sleep together."
"That's sick!"
"Yeah, I know it's sick but it's new!"

Diane Keaton is a master of layering and there's always so much going on in her outfits, but it never looks too fussy because of the simple, masculine cuts, very Margaret Howell. In fact, every new Margaret Howell collection seems to reference Annie Hall. I don't know whether this is intentional, but you could certainly imagine Diane Keaton wearing Margaret Howell:


Click through to Polyvore for item list. There's a lot of Jigsaw in there - I feel like Annie Hall would wear Jigsaw.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Red, brown, leather



Black bowler hat: H&M
Red jumper: New Look
Brown leather shorts: River Island via ASOS
Black penny loafers: Topshop
Necklaces: vintage and Topshop.

I've been such a bad blogger, haven't I? I started back at uni two weeks ago and since then it's just been work, work, work. Not that I'm complaining - our latest brief has been really challenging for me and I've really enjoyed coming up with a solution for it - but it hasn't exactly left a lot of time for blogging. I think sometimes when you're working in a creative field, the last thing you want to do in your free time is something else creative. So I've been spending most of my spare time either in Starbucks or wrapped in a blanket watching Roseanne. Standard. I don't normally get burnt out like this, so I'm hoping it's just taking me a few weeks to readjust to uni. I'm going to try harder, you have my word.

Now, onto the outfit. One thing that's changed during the last fortnight is that I'm into hats again. You won't know this, but a few months ago I used to wear hats almost every day. Then when I moved away to uni, I just stopped. I don't know, I guess because I was moving to a completely new city and meeting so many new people for the first time, I just didn't want to feel anymore conspicuous than I already would. And if there's one thing that a hat does, it's make you conspicuous.

But the other day, I was running late for a lecture and it was raining (it's Manchester, so that's not surprising) but that annoyingly fine rain that doesn't really justify an umbrella but will still ruin your hair. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw my old black bowler and it just made sense. And I've barely taken it off since. I've been reading Diane Keaton's memoir (I finished it a couple of days ago, highly recommend it) and so I think that probably influenced the hat revival. She really is the ultimate hat wearer.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Yellow, black, plaid



Black cardigan (worn as a jumper): H&M
Black pleated skirt: Jones & Jones
Yellow plaid scarf: Urban Outfitters (the mens section actually)
Camel coat: Dorothy Perkins
Tan brogues: vintage
Wide tan belt: vintage
Necklaces: vintage and Urban Outfitters

Apologies for the slightly out of focus second photo - would have retaken it but it was freezing! Anyway, lazy outfit for a lazy day. Well not lazy actually, I was busy doing uni work and complaining about the fact I shouldn't have left so much to do in the last few days of the holidays.

Moving on from my organisational inadequacies, how amazing is this scarf? Remind you of anyone? I'll give you a clue. I decided not to go too far with the Rupert the Bear theme and go for a plain black cardigan and skirt, instead of the red jumper and matching yellow trousers. I have a bit of a thing for unconventional style icons. I have absolutely no interest in what Cheryl Cole is wearing but I quite enjoy dressing like cartoon characters. Ah well.

I threw the coat on as an after thought but looking at the photos I'm not sure that mustard and camel is a very good colour combination. I never really wear yellow and I've had a bit of tricky time styling this scarf since I got it. Any tips?

Oh and I've just realised this is the first time the titular brogues have made an appearance in an outfit post. Now you can see that 'beat up' might actually be a bit of an understatement.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Polka dots, navy, rust





Navy polka dot blouse: vintage
Rust coloured wool skirt: Topshop
Tan tassel loafers: Russell and Bromley
Navy tights: New Look
Belt: vintage
Grey swing coat: Topshop
Necklaces: This Charming Girl, Urban Outfitters and vintage

Today I was told I look like a 1960s secretary. I immediately decided I was fine with this. Although, I don't really see it - surely a pencil skirt would be more appropriate if I was going for the whole 'Mad Men' look? But I'm not really into pencil skirts. I think they look amazing on some people but whenever I try one on I feel like I'm trying too hard to be sexy. I don't really 'do' sexy. My style usually fluctuates between a male 1940s film noir detective and a 9 year old girl. Actual grown up lady isn't really part of my arsenal.

I accidentally matched my nail polish to my outfit too - I love it when that happens.

Oh, and I just want to say thank you to anyone who's started following. I'm still really new to this kind of blogging but all your lovely comments have been really encouraging.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Leather, red, print



Cotton reel blouse: Cooperative (at Urban Outfitters)
Black leather shorts: vintage
Grey swing coat: Topshop
Black penny loafers: Topshop
Red tights: New Look
Necklaces: vintage and Topshop

I'm completely in love with this blouse. I saw it a few months ago and thought the print was amazing (cotton reels! Seriously?) but I put my 'responsible student' hat on and walked away from it. Luckily, it was on sale a few weeks later so I nabbed it then. I'm not usually one for ruffles but I loved this too much to let it go. It's still available on the website, in case anyone's interested. As much as I love classics like polka dots and stripes, I can never resist a quirky print.

The leather shorts are probably my favourite piece in my wardrobe. They seem to go with everything and they're good for toughening up pieces that might otherwise seem a bit twee - like a ruffled chiffon blouse with cotton reels on it. I remember my friends and family being a bit perturbed when I brought them home. My best friend worried that I'd 'look like some kind of dominatrix' and my Mum was unconvinced because they were at least two sizes too big for me. But I altered them myself (a fact that I'm still immensely proud of) and now they fit perfectly. Although my family still affectionately refer to them as my 'lederhosen'. They don't really get it...

And the red tights make me feel like Anna Karina and that's always a good thing. I threatened to break into the dance from A Woman Is A Woman at least three times today. Speaking of Anna Karina, I'm thinking of starting a style icon/inspiration type feature so I can properly talk about the people who's style I admire. Or, as I like to call them, 'women I want to be when I grow up'. What do you think?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Fur, stripes, burgundy




Faux fur coat: vintage
Black and cream striped top: Zara
Burgundy chiffon skirt:American Apparel
Black boots: vintage
Necklaces: This Charming Girl and vintage
Brown leather bag: Ollie & Nic

Well, this is me actually keeping a new year's resolution. Generally, I'm against the whole concept of new years resolutions; the way I see it, if you want to change your life then do it now, don't wait until January. But I've been talking about starting a style blog for months and I thought the beginning of a new year would be a good place to start (finally). I decided on the name, created and designed the blog months ago but I guess I needed that extra push to actually start posting.

So hi everyone! I'm Ellie, I study graphic design in Manchester and I like clothes. Those are the basics and you'll learn everything else along the way.

Now, onto the outfit. This is what I wore to meet some family for coffee and then wander around the sales with my Mum. I think it'll become apparent within a few posts that I'm a sucker for breton stripes - blame it on my overexposure to French New Wave films. This skirt is one of my favourites too. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with American Apparel; it's really overpriced, not particularly good quality and the ads are really annoying. But I really love simple, plain coloured basics and they have literally every colour you could ever want. I got this on sale, there's no way I would have paid full price for it. Then there's my trusty vintage boots (the only waterproof shoes I own. Seriously.) and my faux fur coat because this is England in December and I don't have a death wish.