Archive of ‘Outfits’ category
[Skirt: Robert Rodriguez * | Shoes: Zara (2010) | Top: ancient, no idea | Clutch: New Look | Sunglasses: House of Harlow]
So, we’re in the car, just driving along, when suddenly Terry pulls up next to a derelict industrial site.
“Let’s take photos here!” says Terry.
“No,” says I.
“But it’ll be really cool,” says Terry. “It’ll look all post-apocalyptic and awesome: the juxtaposition of fashion and decay! Or something.”
“No,” says I, “It’ll look like I’m tripping around a derelict building site in stilettos: the juxtaposition of style blogging and stupidity. Which actually describes my blog pretty well, now I come to think of it.”
“It’s abandoned,” says Terry. “There won’t be any Others there to stare at us.”
And that’s how I came to find myself tripping around a derelict building site in stilettos. And also how I came to climb a steep, muddy hill in those same stilettos to get to it, because honestly, there’s not much I won’t do to escape The Others. Also, I’ve long been claiming that anything other people can do in flats, I can do in heels, and I’d hate to have to contradict myself at this late stage.
So my belt is crooked in some of these, I got building-site dust on my skirt and I was holding my clutch bag upside down at least part of the time, but at least it’s not another country road, hey? “You look like you’re walking away from the building after setting the explosives,” Terry commented when he looked at the last one. Which is certainly ONE way to look at it, I guess…
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[Skirt: ASOS | Cardigan: H&M | Shoes: Vivienne Westwood for Melissa* | Sunglasses: eBay]
Can you believe today was only the second sunny day of the year so far? (The first one was documented here, just in case you’re keeping track… ) Yesterday, I was walking the dog in a winter jacket. (Me, I mean, not the dog. He just wore his own clothes…) Tomorrow, the forecast is for pouring rain. It’s been COLD, in other words. Really, really cold. Also: rainy and miserable. Fun times, people, fun times!
Because of all of this, I’ve been feeling really, really uninspired with fashion lately, which explains the complete lack of posts here this week. Not only was it pretty much impossible to get out and take photos (Because, did I mention COLD? And RAIN?), even if it hadn’t been, I’ve basically been taking refuge in comfort clothes most of the time. Jeans. Sweaters. Those H&M cropped pants that I bought in four different colours, and thank God for that, because I actually can’t remember what I used to wear before I had them. All very boring, very sensible, very WARM. Which has been the main thing, really.
Up until last year, I’d probably just have ignored the weather and worn all of my little cotton dresses and skirts anyway. Because it’s SPRING, dammit. It’s for dresses and sandals and other lovely things, and I WOULD wear them. This year, though? This year I just can’t be bothered. I remember at one point during last year’s disappointing summer (OK, make that at SEVERAL points last summer…), I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t be doing THAT again, and by “THAT” I meant “insisting on wearing sundresses and sandals, even although it’s cold enough for coats and boots”. I slipped up a couple of times that summer (old habits die hard), but so far this year I’ve just not felt that pull to wear something unsuitable in defiance of the weather. It’s very unlike me, and will no doubt make this blog even less interesting than it was to start with, but. … I wore a coat last week, folks. A COAT.
On the plus side, I may have completely given up on the Scottish spring/summer, but I haven’t given up on the warm weather altogether, because next month we’re headed to Miami, to warm our poor, chilled bones in the South Florida sun for a few weeks. Yay! As most of you know, Florida is like a second home to us at this point, but although we’ve visited Miami a few times now, we’ve never actually stayed in the area, so that should be fun. And hopefully HOT. Or hotter than here, anyway, which, let’s face it, won’t be hard.
So, we’re goin’ to Miami. Bienvenido a Miami. And yes, I WILL be quoting Will Smith a lot, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In the meantime, I think I might need a few more pairs of those H&M pants to get me through the rest of the “spring”…
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[Dress: ASOS | Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti* | Belt: Primark - all bought last year]
This is what I was wearing the day we started negotiations on the sale of our house.*
Yes, folks, we got an offer. Yay!
But it wasn’t nearly high enough to allow us to move. Boo!
The whole time that the house has been on the market, there’s been only one property we were seriously interested in buying. It’s been pretty nerve-wracking, to be honest. We knew the house we wanted could be sold at any time, but after weeks and weeks of non-stop searching, we hadn’t found anything else in our price range that we were even vaguely interested in buying: not even one. Basically, we needed an offer on our house ASAP, and it needed to be high enough to allow us to make an offer on the new one. If the house we wanted was sold BEFORE we got the offer we needed… we wouldn’t be able to sell at all. (Or we’d have to sell without having anywhere to move to, which isn’t really an option for us for lots of boring reasons I won’t get into, because, boring.) Just to make things even more complicated than they were already, the owner of the house we want to buy was also marketing it for rental, which meant that not only was there a chance that someone would come along and buy it while we were waiting to sell ours, someone could also come along and rent it. Which would suck.
We started negotiations with a potential buyer on Tuesday.
The seller of the house we’re interested in agreed to rent it to someone the same day.
If any of this is sounding familiar to you, then yes, you’re right: it’s familiar because this is JUST OUR LUCK. In fact, you may remember this exact set of circumstances from such scenarios as “the first house we found was sold on the same day ours went on the market” or “Nigel waited years so he could try to sell his house at exactly the same time as us“. Honestly, I’m not in the least bit surprised by it, because it seems that there’s just no other way for things to happen for us. I’ve been predicting all along that we wouldn’t get an offer on our house until the one we wanted to buy was off the market, and oh hey, look, I WAS RIGHT! Again. I may not have much luck with property, but damn, I’m ON FIRE over here with the predictions, seriously!
All is not quite lost, though. Or not yet, anyway. The seller of Potential House #2 has told us he’d much rather sell it than rent it: it’s still possible for him to pull out of the rental, and he’s given us until Friday to get back to him, after which the rental will go ahead, and we’ll lose the house. OUR potential buyer, meanwhile, is trying to decide between our house and another one, and has also said that she’ll give us her decision by Friday, now known in our house as D-Day. Or, actually, let’s call it OMG-Day, yes?
Basically, then, we have 24 hours to sell this house. If we don’t get the offer we need tomorrow (and honestly, I’m not hopeful), we lose the possibility of the only house we were interested in, and will basically be unable to sell ours at all until we find something else.
So, no pressure then. I mean, it’s not like absolutely everything depends on what happens in the next 24 hours, and we’ll lie awake all night talking endlessly over all of the “what ifs”, and getting up early to sit and stare at the phone, waiting for it to ring. Oh no, wait: that IS what’s happening. And we’re already spending most of our time staring at the phone, willing it to ring, and then feeling sick to our stomachs with nerves/excitement any time it does.
Basically, it’s a bit like being in an episode of 24, only with, you know, houses instead of terrorists. And us instead of Keifer Sutherland. If you could all just imagine the sound of a ticking clock at this point, then a 4-way split screen with Terry and I in one box, the potential buyer in another, our seller in the third and, I dunno, let’s put Rubin in the 4th, just for the hell of it. That’s my life right now. I think we can all be grateful that my Twitter account is still hacked at this point, because I can’t even begin to imagine the hysteria I’d be subjecting everyone to over there.
Any good vibes you have going spare would be really welcome around about now…
(*We took the photos BEFORE the negotiating started, obviously. I mean, I didn’t go, “Oh, we have an offer on the house? Quick, let’s run out and document my outfit!”)
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[Jeans c/o 7 for All Mankind // Blazer: Zara // Breton top: Zara kids // Clutch: Dune // Shoes: Primark // Sunglasses: Gucci]
I don’t often wear jeans here on the blog, but I DO actually wear them fairly often in “real life”: in fact, a few years ago, before I got brave enough to start wearing dresses all the time, I wore jeans CONSTANTLY, and it’s really only the fact that I find it so difficult to find pairs I like that stops me still doing it. Now I come to think of it, if my beloved Dorothy Perkins skinnies hadn’t died, this blog probably wouldn’t exist in its current form, so you can either thank jeans for that fact or curse them for it, depending on how you feel.
These particular jeans were sent to me by 7 for all Mankind, and they’re the ‘Cristen’ skinnies: I picked them mostly because of the mid-rise, which means the waist fits perfectly, unlike low-rise jeans which, without exception, will either give me muffin-top, or will stick out at the back creating a charming “builder’s butt” scenario when I sit down. Man, I hate low-rise jeans. I also liked the fact that the legs are skinny without being legging-like, and although the 32″ inseam means they will obviously have to be hemmed (I’ve just tucked them under for now, because I was impatient to wear them!), that’s par for the course for my short legs, so I’d have been more surprised if it wasn’t the case. These are my second pair of 7s, and once again I was completely enamoured with the soft, stretchy denim, which kind of holds everything in, without making you FEEL like everything’s being held in, if you know what I mean?
Add a Breton top (of which you can never have too many, and don’t let anyone tell you different) and a pair of heels, and you basically have my standard uniform for any time I’m not wearing a dress. Exciting, huh?
* * *
In other news, we have someone coming for a second-look at the house tonight, so as soon as I hit publish on this post, I’m off to throw myself into another cleaning frenzy. This would be exciting anyway (the second-viewing, I mean, not the cleaning frenzy. Although I guess it depends what floats your boat…) because let’s face it, you don’t come back for a second look at a house you DON’T like (Do you? As you know, the behaviour of The Others is a mystery to me…), but it’s even more exciting because the person in question told our agent that she’s “really keen”. GULP.
I’d say we’re not getting our hopes up, but honestly, I would be lying, because the hopes are WAY up here, folks, despite our best attempts to batten them down. It’s hard NOT to feel hopeful when the words “really keen” have entered the conversation, isn’t it? The house we’re interested in is still available (which is a miracle in itself, seriously), so if this person were to make a good-enough offer, it would allow us to make an offer on IT… Obviously there are a lot of “ifs” in this scenario, and also a lot of “buts” and “maybes”, and I’m totally getting ahead of myself, because it may all come to nothing, but… keep your fingers crossed for us? If nothing else, at least it would allow me to replace all of the “OMG I AM SELLING MY HOUSE!” posts with “OMG I AM MOVING HOUSE!” ones instead. A change is as good as a rest, you know…
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[Dress: Stop Staring // Shoes: Christian Louboutin]
One of my favourite things about Dunkeld House Hotel was the fact that it was very much a “dress for dinner” kind of place. As you know, I over-dress for EVERYTHING, and I’ve long-since become accustomed to sticking out like a sore thumb everywhere I go. There are so few opportunities to get “dressed up” these days, and people are so hellbent on being “comfy” at all costs that it can be quite difficult to indulge my love of fashion without feeling like a bit of a freak because of it. People regularly find my blogs having Googled something like “Can I wear jeans to a wedding/christening/other special event?” and I guess when even something like a wedding is deemed denim-appropriate, the act of wearing a dress when you don’t actually HAVE to can seem totally incompressible to some people.
At Dunkeld House, though, I finally felt like I had found my people. It’s extremely rare for me NOT to be the most over-dressed person in the room, but when we went down to dinner on Saturday night I didn’t feel even a little bit out of place, which was a strange and wonderful feeling. Naturally, then, I totally failed to capture this moment in photos: it was starting to get dark by the time we went downstairs, and it was also absolutely freezing outside, so the combination of the flash and my “OMG, hurry up and take the photo so I can go back inside!” look meant that these were the only shots that were even vaguely usable: d’oh!
Anyway, since I’ve (finally!) run out of photos to show you, I guess this is the perfect opportunity to give you the opportunity to go and take some for yourselves. Hilton Hotels have kindly given me a £100 gift voucher for their hotels, to give away to one lucky reader. The voucher is valid for one year, and I’m afraid it can only be used at hotels within the UK, but hey, I guess that’s a good excuse for you to come and try out somewhere like Dunkeld House for yourselves.
You’ll find the instructions for the giveaway in the widget below (Please not that only entries which follow the instructions will be valid: you must follow this site using either Facebook or Bloglovin’, and provide your email address for verification, and so I can contact you about your prize!), and entries are open for one week. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Last time on “Amber Over-Dresses in a Slightly Different Location”, Terry and I had checked into Dunkeld House Hotel and were all ready to start relaxing. The hotel gives you lots of different ways in which to do this: there’s a pool and spa, there are bars and a restaurant, you can go quad biking or off-road driving… that kind of thing.
For us, though, the main attraction of a country house hotel is, well, the country, and Dunkeld House has a LOT of that to offer. The hotel sits on the banks of the River Tay, and is surrounded by the famous Birnam Wood, which Shakespeare aficionados will know from its role in MacBeth. The estate is spread over 280 acres, and we wanted to explore at least a little bit of it while we had the chance, so I did a quick change, and we headed out.
My best advice to anyone planning on visiting Scotland: assume that it will be cold and wet, and pack accordingly. And, you know, it might NOT be cold and wet. We have a saying here that if you don’t like the weather, you just need to wait 15 minutes and it’ll change, so you never know, it might even be warm and dry. Let’s face it, though: the most likely scenario is that it’ll be cold and wet, which is why I may have forgotten to pack my toothbrush, but I DID remember to throw my Hunter boots in the car before we left. It was a rare moment of sense for me, and I have to admit, I felt quite smug as we left the hotel and even more smug when we ended up walking much further than we’d anticipated, reaching the nearby village of Dunkeld, turning back towards the hotel when we realised neither of us had brought any cash with us, and then getting almost halfway back when Terry all of a sudden discovered that his wallet had been in his jacket pocket the whole time. D’oh!
We still had some time to kill before dinner, and we were both feeling hungry by that point, so we headed back to the village AGAIN and had some lunch in a little beer garden with a gorgeous view, which I obviously didn’t bother to photograph, because did I mention we were in a beer garden? (I actually had coffee rather than beer, but still…)
By the time we got back to the hotel we’d done a LOT of walking in those woods, but we’d still only managed to see a tiny part of the estate. What we did see, however, we really loved: the woods at Dunkeld are seriously scenic (we walked by the river most of the time, which was nice and relaxing), and also seriously old. You get a real sense of history walking underneath the branches of the ancient trees, and, the grounds of the hotel are dotted with lots of cool little touches, like the fairytale glade and face-like grotto in the photos above. It was definitely one of the nicest woodland walks we’ve done, and, as an added bonus, all that walking helped us work up a good appetite for dinner, too. Which, coincidentally, will be the subject of tomorrow’s post…
[Trousers: H&M// Jacket: New Look (2011) // Sweater: H&M // Boots: Hunter c/o Sarenza]
[Disclosure: We stayed at Dunkeld House compliments of Hilton Hotels. All opinions are my own.]
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[Skirt: Tibi*// Shirt: George Kids // Scarf: Primark // Sunglasses: eBay // Shoes: Studio TMLS c/o Sarenza // Backdrop: Dunkeld House Hotel c/o Hilton Hotels]
This past weekend, Terry and I were lucky enough to be the guests of Hilton Hotels, at their beautiful Dunkeld House, in Perthshire. Which, OK, isn’t quite the “Highland Fling” of my title, but meh, close enough.
Perthshire is an area we’ve visited a few times in the last couple of years, and it’s a particularly beautiful part of the country, which is only about a 90 minute drive from home, so we were more than happy to be able to see a little bit more of the area. We’ve previously visited Glamis Castle and Blair Castle, but we’d never been to Dunkeld, and we were both instantly charmed by it: it’s one of those picture perfect little villages, from which you could remove the cars and other modern touches and feel like you were on the set of a period drama or something.
I could say the same of Dunkeld House itself, actually. It’s one of those old country houses, set on its own rambling estate, and the giant stone archway you drive under to get to it provides a good clue as to what you’re in for, which is basically a Downton Abbey-meets-Monarch of the Glen” kind of experience. Awesome, right?
Unfortunately, our visit was a fleeting one, so we didn’t have time to check out the pool and spa (This was probably just as well, because Terry couldn’t find his swimming trunks before we left, and it wasn’t exactly a “swim in your underwear” kind of joint…), but we did take full advantage of the opportunity to just relax and switch our heads off for a while. Well, Terry did. My head is almost ALWAYS switched off, as you know, but the fact is, we’ve had a kind of rough start to the year, for one reason and another, and the past few weeks have been particularly stressful, so the chance to just relax and not worry about anything for a while couldn’t have come at a better time. It took me around an hour to get used to the fact that I was actually allowed to use the towels in the bathroom, and to ruffle up the bedsheets if I wanted to (I was joking about the “basket of kittens” thing in my last post – well, sort of – but our house is currently being kept in a constant state of readiness for viewers, which means our bathroom towels are of the “just for show” variety, and when we want to actually dry ourselves, we just use an old rag or something…) (I’m joking, we don’t use the bathroom at all, for fear of messing it up. And we sleep in the car now.), but after that it was all good.
As soon as we checked in, I unpacked my overnight bag, so I could find out which essential items I’d forgotten THIS TIME. There were three missing items on this trip, namely:
1. My toothbrush
2. Its close friend and partner, the toothpaste
3. That top that was a pivotal part of the outfit I’d planned for Sunday, and the absence of which is the reason you will only be subjected to three sets of outfit photos rather than four from this trip. Because yes, I managed to change three times in less than 24 hours. You didn’t really expect any less from me, did you?
Once I’d established what I’d forgotten I called down to reception. “Hi!” I said, “It’s the over-dressed redhead who just checked in. You couldn’t send me up a couple of toothbrushes [Terry had forgotten his, too. We suck at packing, seriously.], some toothpaste, and also a black bardot style top, kinda 50s-inspired, would look great with a kicky little silk scarf? You know the kind of thing? Thanks!”
And you know, not five minutes later, someone was at the door with the two toothbrushes and toothpaste. They couldn’t help with the top, but that’s because I didn’t actually say that last bit, obviously. In fact, I didn’t say anything at all: I made Terry phone them instead. I don’t DO phones.
With that little bit of business out of the way, then, we were ready to start with the relaxin’. But that, my friends, is another story for another day, so you’re going to have to tune in later this week for the next thrilling instalment of What Amber Did That One Time She Went to Dunkeld. Assuming you can stand the suspense, obviously…
P.S. If you CAN stand the suspense and stick with me through another couple of posts, I promise to make it worth your while, by giving away a £100 Hilton Hotels voucher on Friday. Deal?
[Disclosure: We stayed at Dunkeld House compliments of Hilton Hotels. All opinions and random acts of stupidity are my own.]
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[Trousers and scarf: H&M (2012) (this season's trousers here) // cardigan: Forever 21 (2011 - similar here) // Shoes: Christian Louboutin]
Don’t worry, I haven’t plumbed new depths in my quest for matchy-matchy accessories with this outfit – or not intentionally, anyway. It was my mum’s birthday last week, and the flowers and gift were for her: we stopped off to snap these photos on the way to see her, and seeing as I was already dressed like a daffodil, with my lemon top and mint pants, I figured a few more flowers wouldn’t hurt. Happy birthday, mum! Sorry for using your gifts as an accessory in my stupid blog photos! And also for dropping the flowers at least twice on the day I bought them, because, yes, I did that too.
See, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to get back into running again after a bit of a break. The store I bought the flowers from is fairly close to the house, so in my infinite wisdom I thought, why drive there when I could RUN instead? I would save fuel! And money! And the environment! And get in a bit of extra cardio into the bargain! What could possibly go wrong?
I realised the answer to that question shortly after purchasing the flowers, when I ran past the mirrored windows outside the shop, and caught sight of myself puffing along, all decked out in my running gear, and clutching a giant bunch of flowers in front of me, like some bizarre Olympic torch. “Wow, this has to be one of my strangest outfits yet!” I thought, as I paused to take in the sight before me. And then I dropped the flowers on the ground, for no real reason I can think of. And again a few minutes after that.
Luckily they made it home relatively unscathed, which is as much as you can hope for if you’re a flower in my care, really. And they may not have quite worked with my shabby running outfit, but at least they looked a little bit better with this one…
[H&M white flared skirt and sweater: both H&M // Belt: New Look // Shoes: Office c/o MyVoucherCodes.co.uk // Sunglasses: Gucci*]
First of all, I have to ask you to please excuse the state of my hair in these photos. One of the fun (by which I mean “not even remotely fun” ) things about living in Scotland is that even when it’s sunny and warm out, there’s almost always a stiff breeze, too. Where we live, it’s windy almost all the time, so no matter how carefully I style my hair, the second I step out of the door I may as well not have bothered. I refuse to complain about it (on this occasion, anyway), though, because YAY, SPRING! Do you SEE that blue sky, people? Seriously, it can be as windy as it wants, if it just stays sunny…
With that out of the way: remember my yellow H&M skirt, which I love beyond reason? This is its twin. This skirt did not come into my possession willingly, though. Oh no. In fact, buying this skirt felt a bit like one of those quests that knights of yore might have to undertake in order to win their lady, except in this case the “knight” was me and the “lady” was an H&M skirt. I KNOW, people. I know.
It should all have been so easy, too. I mean, I ordered the skirt the second it appeared on the H&M website. I wear the yellow one to death, and I thought the white one would be perfect for summer, so I didn’t even bother with my usual “waiting until it goes out of stock” trick. Nope, that skirt was in my basket within seconds of me laying eyes on it, and then, a few minutes later it was joined by a couple of other little basics, like, for instance, a pair of knickers. Well, they were there, I was placing an order anyway…
“This skirt will be my new favourite thing!” I told Rubin, who is the only person who will listen to me most of the time. “It’ll go with every single pair of shoes I own! AND every single top!” And then I sat back to await the arrival of my prechus skirt.
Well, I waited. And I waited. Then I waited a little more. Eventually it occurred to me that rather than doing all the waiting, I should maybe log into my H&M account and see if there was some kind of problem which was causing the delay. So I did. And there was. The problem was the knickers. You see, not long after I added them to my order they’d gone out of stock, and now H&M, in their infinite wisdom, had decided to put a hold on my order while they ran up some new ones.
The skirt, meanwhile, had sold out. I mean, OF COURSE it had.
“Well… that’s OK,” I said doubtfully. “I placed my order BEFORE it sold out, so obviously H&M will have reserved one for me.”
Yeah, dream on, Amber. A few days later my parcel arrived. It contained one pair of knickers, and… that was it. JUST the knickers. No skirt. “Sorry!” said the cheerful little note inside the parcel, “But you didn’t seriously think we’d make this easy on you, did you? Enjoy your new knickers! Also your endless search for that skirt you’ve based your entire summer wardrobe around!”
Well. At this point, a more sensible woman would have simply given up, and accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be between her and the skirt. I may be many things, however, but I am not a sensible woman, so instead, I decided to dedicate my life to refreshing the H&M website, in the hope that the skirt would come back into stock. And eventually it did… two sizes larger than the one I needed. Then one size larger than the one I needed. Then finally, FINALLY… someone returned one in my size, and my quest was over.
The lesson? It pays to be persistent. Also to be a little bit crazy.
My shoes, meanwhile, were a gift from the very kind people at MyVoucherCodes.co.uk , and I just couldn’t resist pairing them with a matching mint green sweater, even although I know my fashion blogger card will probably be revoked for such shameless matchy-matchiness. These are almost sold-out at Office, and I’d loved them from the moment I saw them, so I was very grateful to MyVoucherCodes for stepping in and saving me from ANOTHER endless quest: I just don’t think I could’ve gone through another one so soon.
Mind you, I DID get a pair knickers out of the whole “skirt” situation, so every cloud, people, every cloud…
[Disclosure: my shoes were chosen by me, but provided by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, who are a great source of New Look voucher codes, Dorothy perkins promo codes and Asos discount codes, as well as minty green shoes. All opinions are my own.]
Trousers: Forever 21 (sold out but similar here) // Sweater: thrifted // shoes: Primark // Bag: vintage c/o my mum’s closet // Sunglasses: House of Harlow
There’s still some snow on the hills (And, OK, also on the dales, if we’re going to be completely honest, here…), but when the sun’s out it feels almost like Spring should, so I’m celebrating the best way I know how: by wearing polka dots, obviously.
As much as I love my dresses and skirts, when it comes to these transitional times of year, I always find myself abandoning them in favour of trousers. It’s still too cold for bare legs, you see, but I can definitely get away with bare ankles, and I’ll rather not have to resort to tights if I can possibly help it, so trousers it is.
I found these ones at Forever 21 back in the depths of the winter, when it WAS too cold for bare ankles: they didn’t look right to me with boots or socks, so they’re one of a few items I bought during the winter and have been patiently waiting to wear. Now that the weather’s started to warm up, though, I’ve been making up for lost time, and have worn them twice this week already, which means that this week is already TWICE as good as last week was. Thanks, April: I owe you one!