Posts Tagged ‘asos’
[Dress: ASOS (last year) | Shoes: Charlotte Russe (ancient) | sunglasses: eBay]
These aren’t the best photos of me ever taken, partly because direct sunglight + feet-concealing-grass does not the best outfit photos make, but also because I’d let my hair air-dry that morning, and to say it ended up flatter than a pancake would be an insult to flat pancakes everywhere. They’d be all, “Hey, what’d WE do to deserve that comparison, bitch?” and they’d be right. Sorry, flat pancakes.
I think they’re amazing photos of Rubin, though, and they also bring back lovely memories of a sunny Saturday afternoon spent at the first barbecue of the summer, so I think I’ll keep them. Even although this one totally looks like it was shot in a portrait studio, in front of one of those cheesy painted backdrops:
“It… kind of reminds me of the Wizard of Oz,” said Terry, when he looked back at it. I’m not sure if it’s the combination of blue dress + small dog, or whether it’s because it looks, you know, totally FAKE, but I see what he means. All I need is a scarecrow and a tin man and I’ll be all set.
So, either you believe me that this is a real photo, and that all I’ve done to it is to crop and re-size it: no Photoshop whatsoever. OR, this photo is totally fake, which means EVERYTHING about this blog is probably fake, and I’ve been lying to you all along. In that scenario, you can’t believe a word I say from now on, because I’m actually a balding, middle-aged man called Clive, and my secret is OUT. I mean, that’s NOT the case, obviously. If it was, I wouldn’t have given myself flat, and yet strangely frizzy, hair in these photos.
It made you wonder, though, didn’t it?
[Dress: ASOS (last year) | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Belt: vintage | Sunglasses: House of Harlow]
When I was putting this outfit together (Which is a really pretentious way of saying, “deciding which shoes to wear with this dress…”), I realised I was sticking to a formula which I’ve repeated too many times to count, both on this blog, and in real life. It’s a very simple formula, which basically dictates that if I’m wearing some form of black and white (or black and cream/off-white/whatever), then I will always wear red shoes. Like, ALWAYS. Almost as if there are no other colours in the world. Or as if I’m a tabloid newspaper or something.
Now, obviously this wasn’t exactly a revelation for me, but for some reason, this time it gave me pause. I felt like I should probably “mix things up”, “give it a bit of edge”, er, wear something different, just this once. (Sorry, I ran out of fashun-speak…) Either that or just, you know, not bother photographing this one, because, as we all know, if you don’t blog it, it totally doesn’t count. Ahem.
I didn’t actually WANT to wear something different, obviously. But I felt like I probably SHOULD, if only so that this outfit wouldn’t be in exactly the same colour scheme as the last one I posted here. Or any of the kazillionty-one near-identical versions I’ve ALSO posted over the years. “People will say I’m boring and predictable!” I fretted. “And they’ll be right!”
So I went and got out a bunch of other shoes and tried them on. Blue ones. Green ones. Yellow ones. Er, that was pretty much it, really. And you know, they all looked fine. But as I clomped around, “auditioning” them all, I realised that I wouldn’t be wearing them because I WANTED to wear them: I would just be wearing them because I felt like I should – and for the sake of the blog, basically.Which is pretty silly, really. I’ve always said I’d rather have a signature style - even if it DOES mean wearing the same styles and colours over and over (and over and over…) again, rather than feel like I have to wear things I don’t really want to wear, just for the sake of being “different”, and well, now I do. This is part of my “signature” style: it involves black, white and red – ideally with some kind of polka dot print, but if not, stripes will work just as well.
I have a feeling you haven’t seen the last of this combination, folks…
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ASOS skirt // Zara sweater // H&M scarf // Matalan shoes // gifted brooch // Gucci sunglasses c/o Shopbop // Accessorize nude fishnet tights
You know how my clothes have a tendency to meet with unfortunate accidents?
Well, it turns out that’s not always a bad thing.
I mean, it was a bad thing in the case of that dress I ruined, obviously. And the trousers. And, well, the jeans. All of them.
It wasn’t a bad thing in the case of this outfit, though. See, this skirt has always been a little bit…difficult. Last time I photographed it, I wore it with a black top and grey shoes. And honestly, that’s pretty much how I’ve worn it every other time, too. Like I say, it’s difficult, and it’s difficult purely because of the colour, which, despite how it may look in photos, is not silver, or grey, or beige, or pewter, or gold, or brown. Actually, it’s all of those colours. With maybe a little bit of pink thrown in as an undertone.
Now, you’d think this would be a good thing, because technically it should mean that the skirt would work with any one of those colours. Nope. Doesn’t. Or not with any of the pieces I’ve tried it with so far, anyway. And so I kept on wearing it with black, and assumed I would wear it that way until it either fell apart, or met with an unfortunate accident of its own.
Enter this turtleneck sweater.
The sweater was not difficult. In fact, it started life as a perfectly ordinary, brownish-beige shade: the type of colour I wear fairly often at this time of year, and which works with just about anything.
Then I decided to throw it in the wash with a bunch of dark colours.
You don’t have to tell me, people: I KNOW. In my defence, I’d washed it with similar colours before, and it had always been fine, but not this time. No, this time it came out different. A grey-ish, brown-ish, tan-ish shade. A greige, basically.
I could probably have done something to fix it. I didn’t really try very hard, though, because the fact was, the altered colour was still a fairly wearable one, so I simply replaced the sweater in the closet, and went about my business, the proud owner of a new (old) greige sweater.
I’d actually forgotten all about it, until last Saturday, when I opened my closet door, and noticed the arm of the sweater and the corner of the skirt both sticking out of the assorted collection of clothing. “Pick us!” they seemed to cry. “Wear us! Let us fulfil our true destiny and go prance along a country road together!”
And so I did. Because that skirt and sweater were now almost identical in colour. I don’t know why I didn’t spot it sooner. All I needed was a pair of shoes to go with them, and, uncharacteristically, my luck was in there too. These shoes, you see, have actually been sitting in the “to be donated” pile for the best part of the last year. Every time I took the pile to actually be donated, though, I would first of all remove the shoes from it, telling myself that, well, you never know, they could just come in handy one day. It was as if strange forces were at work: forces which knew that one day I would dye a sweater, and the sweater would match a skirt, and the skirt would match the shoes, and they would all live together happily ever after.
Or for as long it takes for one (or more!) of them to meet with a not-so-happy accident, anyway…
[P.S. Yes, I had a coat with me...]
Dress: ASOS // Boots: Topshop Barley2 (old) // sunglasses: House of Harlow ‘Chelsea’
A few days after this dress appeared on the ASOS website, I started getting messages from people suggesting that I might want to check it out. It’s not hard to see why that would happen, is it? I mean, a polka dot midi dress WITH LONG SLEEVES? (LONG! SLEEVES!) It might as well have had “Amber will totally buy this” written all over it, no?
And, of course, I DID totally buy it. In fact, the dress was already en route to me by the time the first message flooded in. Well, you find a polka dot dress with LONG SLEEVES, you don’t want to mess about, do you? Or else you find yourself in a “mint green Zara dress” kind of a situation, and lord knows, I think the first time that happened was more than enough for one lifetime. And also the second, third, and eleventy-first times.
Anyway, I ordered the dress, and the dress duly arrived. I excitedly pulled it on, turned to the mirror… and then recoiled in horror, because let me tell you folks, fresh out of the delivery bag, this dress did not look ANYTHING like it did on the ASOS website, or, indeed, like it does in these photos. Mostly because it was almost ankle length on me. Whoops.
See, when most high street brands describe something as “midi”, they’re not being strictly honest. For one thing, most people these days seem to define “midi” as “knee length”, when it should really mean “mid-calf length”, and for another, when brands describe their clothes in terms of length, you always need to mentally add the words “on the model” onto the end of the sentence to get a proper idea of what they’re talking about.
For the most part, this works out pretty well for me, because when a dress is knee length on the model, it’s generally going to hit just below the knee on me, which is a good, almost-midi length. (A true midi would make me look like Mayor Frumpy McFrumpertson, of Frumpton. Trust me, it wouldn’t be good.)
No, when ASOS call something a “midi”, they’re not messing around. It might not be mid-calf length exactly, but it’ll definitely be a length for which I believe the technical term is “pretty damn long“. And it’ll be PDL on the model. Who, as the website helpfully informs us, is 5″10. (I’m not being sarcastic, by the way: I love it when websites tell you what height the model is. It makes it less of a shock when you look nothing like her in the clothes…)
On me, meanwhile? Let’s just say I looked like a member of some kind of strange religious cult which practices extreme modesty, and also: polka dots. Seriously, when Terry saw me in it, he immediately started looking around for the polka dot sister wives. ”Mayor McFrumperston” didn’t even begin to describe it.
Luckily, however, having bought quite a few midi dresses from ASOS recently (and also having realised quite some time ago that I am not 5″10), I had been prepared for this eventuality, and had placed my long-suffering mother on standby to perform the necessary alterations. (Yes, I should just learn to sew, I know…) That’s why the dress you see in the photos is one which has had a really quite shockingly large amount of fabric chopped off the bottom. It’s also a dress which is being worn backwards. Yes, backwards. See, I’m not just short in the leg department. I’m also apparently short in the “neck to chest” department (To make up for this, when they were handing out torsos, they gave me a freakishly long one. I should REALLY learn how to sew…), meaning that any item of clothing that is even vaguely scoop or V-necked will look borderline obscene on me, the neckline serving simply as a frame for my bra, which will be on show at all times. Classy. And also: frumpy! Seriously, folks, this dress had it ALL!
Actually, to be perfectly honest, the neckline on this isn’t too bad: in fact, I will probably wear it the way ASOS intended at some point, too. But for the most part, I have learned that low necklines are not my friends, and that I much prefer a high neck/low back combination than the other way around. Happily, with the label removed, this dress works both ways, which means it’s ALMOST like having two dresses, but for the price of one, no? No?
Also, while I’m here:
Look, I know it’s just a lens flare. I do. But… can’t we just pretend the aliens are totally after me? Trust me, it’ll make this blog MUCH more interesting if it’s not JUST a fashion blog, but is a “fashion blog where aliens are secretly trying to abduct the blogger” blog. I don’t THINK that’s been done yet, but, well, nothing would really surprise me at this point…
[Usual disclaimer: Yes, I had a coat in the car, which was parked just out of shot. I took it off for a few seconds to grab some quick photos, otherwise I'd have written this 800-word post about my polka dot dress, and you'd all have just been, "WHAT polka dot dress? All I see is a coat?! Could she not just have taken the coat off for ONE MINUTE so we could at least see the dress?!"]
(Dress, ASOS (obviously); shoes, Christian Louboutin. Worn on a Valentine’s dinner date with Terry. The shoes were the first to be rescued in my Shoe Challenge, hence the numbers at the bottom of the image…)
The Friend Friday-ing:
1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Since I started blogging in general, no. Since I started taking photos for my blogs, yes, I think it has, more so with the photos I take for Hey, Dollface! because as it’s a beauty blog, and the photos are done for the purpose of reviewing products, they’re normally extreme close-ups of my face, and I defy anyone to look at photos which are THAT detailed and not want to recoil a little. Trust me, it can be pretty scary. Even the photos I take for Shoeperwoman have changed my image of myself a little: I think just looking at so many photos every week has made me notice things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise!
2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Oh hell, yes, I’m self-conscious about lots of things. I’m not going to tell you what they are, though, because in answer to the second part of the question, no, I don’t talk about them. When I was younger, I did: I was the kind of person who would always point out her “flaws”, so if I had a giant spot on my forehead, say (which I often did), I’d be all, “Hi, everyone, I’m Amber: get a load of this spot! I bet you’ve never seen one as big as this before!” I kind of felt like if didn’t mention those things, people would obviously notice them anyway, and, I don’t know, it would be like they had one up on me, or something. As if they’d be thinking, “Ha! Amber has a huge spot and she doesn’t even know it!” So I would attempt to remove this “power” from them by making sure I always mentioned it first, whatever it was. Pretty stupid, no?
These days I don’t go out of my way to draw attention to the things I’m self-conscious about, particularly not on the Internet. I just don’t think there’s anything to be gained from it, and I’ve also learned the hard way that people on the Internet don’t need me to point out my flaws to them – they’re more than capable of noticing them all by themselves!
3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
Oh, lordy, I have no idea! I think I’m a lot more comfortable about my body image now than I was when I was younger, so I’d like to think I’ll get even more comfortable with age, but who knows: once everything starts heading south, I may be singing a different tune!
4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken?
Yes, I started off taking the aforementioned product review photos for Hey, Dollface, and then last year, when I started the Shoeper Shoe Challenge, I started photographing myself for that. I expect this will come as a surprise to most of the people who read my blogs, but I hate having my photo taken: I always feel really stupid and self-conscious, and this isn’t helped by the fact that I’m a “blinker” – seriously, I can take 10 photos, and in 9 of them I’ll be standing there with my eyes shut and my face all screwed up, so when I’m having my photo taken I have to do this crazy kind of “deer in the headlights” thing where I try to open my eyes as wide as possible and stare like a madwoman. It’s not fun. (Although I guess it might be quite fun to watch…)
(Sometimes I close my eyes deliberately. It’s easier that way.)
5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
That we’re all our own worst critics, and that the things we’re self-conscious about are often things that are really only noticeable to ourselves. I’ve had so many conversations with female friends where they’ve mentioned something they absolutely hate about themselves, and they’re always things I’ve never even noticed about them, and I don’t think anyone else would either. I think that’s probably often the case: we’re all too busy worrying about our own body image to pick apart someone else’s. One of my favourite quotes on this subject is a really famous one from Cindy Crawford, who once told an interviewer, “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford…” I’ve always loved that, because I think it’s so easy to look at other people, and compare yourself unfavourably to them, but the truth is that we’re all struggling with our own set of insecurities, and no one is perfect. Not even Cindy Crawford.
Um, that was Jerry’s final thought for today. Until next time, take care of yourselves – and each other…”
(More Friend Friday answers at Modly Chic, more Friday Frocks on Facebook)
Oh, and for those of you who don’t read Shoeperwoman, a short video of my shoes, filmed by Terry. I do warn you, though, you will feel like you’ve just watched porn after viewing this…