A guide to style and good tailoring

Hi welcome to my own unique perspective on what constitutes style and individualism. The vast majority of the photos are taken using a mobile phone camera and I have no make up on.......

I'm in my late 30's and I'm also a widow which probably explains why I look so god damn hot in black, well that and being an ivory skinned pale red head! It also documents my wardrobe, so many people seem fascinated by my clothes and compliment me for how I look wearing them.

It is one woman's campaign against Jeans, Tracksuits and Ugg Boots!

More importantly it's about altering your view on life and trying to do the right thing even though it isn't always the easiest.

This blog is a story in taking pride in yourself and not letting yourself go, or settling for second best because you know what girls? No one really is better than someone if they don't treat you like a Queen................

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sweet like Candy, Cupcakealicious

Tonight I am going out for a curry with everyone from work so I wanted a dress that was fun and would put everyone in the mood. You can't do better than a cartoon "snack attack" print. It's month end so it's "go go go".
This dress is just fun, it makes me giggle; it also makes me want to spin around but that's what fuller skirts do to you. It is good fun playing spot the food there are ice cream sundaes, lollipops, cherries, cup cakes, ice cream sodas, hot dogs and french fries and hats before you really even start looking.

I am going to wear one of my fluffy woolen red boleros with it so that I don't get cold. I want everyone to have  fun tonight and I am hoping that the dress gets everyone in the mood from the start.

Circle skirts are great when you are eating out, wiggle dresses and pencil skirts aren't so forgiving. The print is practical fun and chirpy and the red shoes and red bolero will take it from day to night nicely. It finished just above the knee so it is on the short side for a skirt for me. (It is all about the right tool for the job ... the clue is in the name when you want short, you wear shorts)

Dress: Snack attack by Folter
Shoes: Aldo

Photos: Marvellous Marv the Hardware Hippo and Best Friend in the Universe

Sorry No Video just a direct link to the song

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Pre-raphaelites and the water nymphs of the Rhine

Today's dress is called Lorelei, which is the name given to Sirens or Mermaids that live in the river Rhine. From being a little girl I adored mermaids (as well as Dragons - never really a fairy person though. I have a theory about this too). I think this is because I like swimming in open water.

Many folktales record marriages between mermaids (who might assume human form) and men. In most, the man steals the mermaid's cap or belt, her comb or mirror. While the objects are hidden she lives with him; if she finds them she returns at once to the sea. In some variants the marriage lasts while certain agreed-upon conditions are fulfilled, and it ends when the conditions are broken. They sometimes lured mortals to death by drowning, as did the Lorelei of the Rhine, or enticed young people to live with them underwater.

Immortalised by J W Waterhouse, The Mermaid as with many of the women he painted had Auburn or Red Hair. The pre raphaelites were on to something when it came to choosing women to be painted or depicted as an "archetype". So I am glad that Disney stuck with the red hair theme for Ariel, from Disney's The Little Mermaid

This dress is fabulous, the vamp collar brings in the femme fatale of the Lorelei and the tight fitting pencil skirt which is narrow at the bottom tapers like a fishes tail. The box pleats at the back reminds me of the fold away fins that mermaids have, and the colour. That speaks for itself.

I would never ever entice you to drown (far from it!) but I might encourage you to jump right in!

Dress: Lorelei in Rust Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Photos: Marvellous Marv the Hardware Hippo and Best Friend in the Universe

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

You don't need to "puff" some things up, they speak for themselves

In 1856 Queen Victoria introduced the Victoria Cross Britain's highest military decoration, which relates back to the two posts from last week For the love of lost causes and Bonus Blog: If you are going to watch Zulu

The point of the Victoria cross is you don't need to "puff" them up, they speak for themselves. Just like the movie line delivered by Wellington re Napoleons horse -  'I don't need a white horse to puff me, by God!'

So we will leave being puffed up to sleeves because that's appropriate! This is a 1940s style jacket and skirt and it makes me feel like the stars from the silver screen. When it comes to real power dressing I think the puffed up long sleeve beats the shoulder pads by a long way. I like the upright neck and the plunge cut to the jacket. The buttons are gold with a black centre. The design is well over 70 years old yet it is still a show stopper! I've teamed it with a fuchsia pink bustier for contrast.

Suit: Puff Up Jacket and Skirt by Bettie Page Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Photos: Marvellous Marv the Hardware Hippo and Best Friend in the Universe

Monday, 28 January 2013

Keeping it private the lego way....one brick at a time

Happy Birthday Lego! Keeping techies entertained since 1958! Lego we love you :) (It might have been invented in the 1930's but it wasn't patented until 1958).

Seriously you can't go wrong with a lego technics set. The word 'lego'  means to play as well, and we all remember our inner child at times. It keeps you young at heart. The four bright pink buttons on today's dress remind me of the "plugs" on the top of the lego bricks and hours building fantastic things as a child.

Not only is it the Birthday of Lego, it is also Data Protection Day! A topic close to my heart, I never cease to be amazed at the material people leave on their PCs (and Macs) which isn't even password protected let alone encrypted. Come on people raise the standards.

Pwned - Don't let it happen to you - oh and girls you know all these pictures that you send to guys and guys the same goes for you, the kind your mother wouldn't approve of. Well neither do IT. The paperwork it generates is phenomenal!! 

Choose strong passwords that contain capitals, numbers, and symbols. Don't tell people them. Build security from the ground up, just like lego, one brick at a time.

The light grey and pink make this a soft dress which goes with the woolen material. It is based on the "captain" dress, but it has longer sleeves. I have said it before and I will say it again. I love this basic design!

The ribbon outlining the geometric collar draws attention to your face and shoulders, the contrasting buttons are super cute and the belt nips you in nicely. The collar finished with a V gap at the back and their is a small slit in the skirt.

Dress: Ashley Pencil skirt by Bettie Page Clothing
Shoes:  Borrowed in honour of the shoe goddess Bernice from the extensive collection of Marvellous Marv

(Bernice - Priscilla - QOTD, packs 4 suitcases of shoes for a trip to the outback - Bernie rocks!! Though when it comes to moisturiser it's the gospel according to Mitsy)

( Techies in our own little way we've got your backs covered ;) )

Photos: Marvellous Marv the Hardware Hippo and Best Friend in the Universe

Sunday, 27 January 2013

TVs, Lamps it's all photoelectric mosaics

Today seems to be a mosaic day in 1880 Thomas Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp and then in 1926  John Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated a pictorial transmission machine called television.

Early televisions (and until recently) relied on Cathode Ray Oscilloscopes to fire electron at the screen to produce the picture, which is why TVs and magnets were so much fun! The photoelectric mosaic is the picture you see on the TV screen so today's dress is in a print called mosaic and it is black and white just like the early TVs.

This is a pencil dress and matching bolero from Vivien of Holloway. I do like the cut of all of her dresses they really do enhance your curves, and the pencil skirt is a nice difference to the sarong wrap dress which I like so much. This dress looks lovely if you accessorise it with red (necklace, belt and shoes)

Dress: Halterneck Pencil Dress in Mosaic by Vivien of Holloway
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Sometimes it's a game of chess

We often forget is that it is the Queen that is the most powerful piece on the board. Queens rock :) Anyway rather exciting today in 1907 the Culinan diamond was found, swoon they form part of the crown jewels.

It is interesting that historically Queens seem to lead us through period of great change, Elizabeth 1st, where we went from the poorest nation (bar Scotland) to the richest, Victoria where we just had amazing ideas and fantastic names - Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Capability Brown not to mention our current queen who will hopefully fingers crossed become the longest reigning monarch. How good will that weekend party be? Chez Marv is pre-booked.

Here's to the hellbunny black and white check sweetheart swing dress, I love the way the check moves laterally on the top and then on the diagonal on the skirt; it is just like the moves of the rook and the bishop both of which are required to emulate the mobility and fire power of the queen. The heart shaped pockets reminds us of the softer side of the queen too.

Dress: Hellbunny sweetheart swing dress
Shoes: Bordello Mary Janes

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

Friday, 25 January 2013

The cutest jail bird

In 1958 the first single to ever to chart at number one was Elvis Presley, with Jailhouse Rock. So having created an excuse I have gone all "cute" bad girl in my capri pants, plus you can dance in this outfit....let's rock :)

I do love my capri pants, I think they are just so much kinder to your legs and bum than jeans and you can't go wrong with your Deadly Dames Dangerous Curve pants which is without a doubt my favourite style.

I got this top from unique vintage. I like it's americana/cowboy crossover. I can't resist gingham and I the contrast white braod outlining on the curve of the bust and bolero style around the neckline just makes this top. I love the lace either side of the buttons and the rouching on the bust and bodice. Just the right balance of "good" girl, "bad" girl. 

It's Friday :) Get The Cure on, get yourself a crunchie and get dancing.

Capri Pants: Dangeous Curves, Deadly Dames in Black
Top: Unique Vintage
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Jailhouse Rock

Thursday, 24 January 2013

LAWS not just mottos! And a barbed-wire fence

Be prepared immortal words that Scouts and Guides round the world recognise as a good advice in the form of a motto. In 1908 the first Boy Scout troup was founded by Baden-Powell, how fab. I loved Brownies, Guides and Rangers. It was great and it did give me some of my more bizarre skills, I can make an entire kitchen out of bits of tree (wood has been processed), string and if you throw in a bit of tin foil then I can cook up a feast. My specialty is the draining board ;) Seriously though, map reading, camping and all those kind of things. It was great......

Be prepared is the law just like RTFM, it goes beyond a motto, which also holds true for the family one "Invicta" ........

So in best "belt and braces" fashion, which is the ultimate in being prepared for wardrobe malfunction I thought I better wear my jumper or pinafore dress today. I think when worn with the white blouse this has the school girl look to it or is that School Mistress (no getting ideas about the use of a capital M Thank You!). Or as James the Sales Director said "School teacher Jen, every day is a school day, how do you know all this stuff?" Marv stopped asking that question a long time ago, hippos are wise and know we show the way and type super fast because we have tails.  Anyway the whole school thing brings AC/DC to mind. Angus Scott rocks!

You can't go wrong with the combination of the fitted pinafore dress and the puff sleeves and the ribbons. What doesn't this dress do or deliver? Seriously you are covered from below the knee to your neck, but WOW! It is just so girly and cute but at the same time super sexy in the right way. I really do love this dress, you can team it with so many things. 

I don't know why but this dress is just somehow striking and different. Just like me ;) hehe

A dress as Sophia Loren so eloquently said "should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view".

Dress: Jumper dress by Bettie Page Clothing
Blouse: Puff Sleeve Blouse in White by Bettie Page Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger  

AC/DC Back In Black

I'm cut loose, from the noose,
That's kept me hanging about

AC/DC You shook me all night long

If American thighs can knock you out, 
I wonder what English ones can do?
Answers on a post card please..........

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Siobhan looking good for an OAP, and my first month

This is a real treat, this is one of my vintage dresses. I very rarely wear my real 50s numbers because they are so precious and well let's face this dress is nearly twice as old as I am, so it deserves to be treated with care.

All my modern reproductions come with names, and I didn't want her to feel left out. She is a beautiful green wild silk with a bamboo print so I called her Siobhan because she reminded me of the emerald isle.

It also marks the first calendar month of the "dress of the day" wardrobe documentary. 1 down 12 to go! And as has been noted, not a single repeat. It seemed fitting that the Siobhan as an original rings in the first month of bringing heel pencil skirts and old fashioned femininity to the world.

I would like to think that I have started to show just how much fun and variety you can have in a 50s style wardrobe. I actually think I get to be more of a chameleon than most women - well except for the quiff and the make up. I wouldn't want Marv thinking I had been monkey-napped.

I'd just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who drops by and reads my blog, it is so nice of you :)

And an EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU to Marv AKA Jo for all the lovely photographs you take of me, you are very kind and I hope people appreciate your input and photographic flare, the self portraits are no way near as good.

Dress: Siobhan Emerald green silk with bamboo flower print, dolmen sleeves
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Fun - Tonight
Merv and Marv Rollerskating Anthem.....

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bonus Blog: If you are going to watch Zulu

You might as well dress for the occasion. This top is part of my campaign to reclaim the Union Jack from Ginger Spice.......It will take time, but it can be done! I'm leaving reclaiming Leopard prints from Bett Lynch until I am 50! It's all about picking your battles!

Pte. Thomas Cole: Why is it us? Why us?
Colour Sergeant Bourne: Because we're here, lad. Nobody else. Just us.

I must say Olive military shorts are a pain to find a top that goes with it, the shoes were a quest too, anyway I think the Tara Starlet Bustier works well for those moments of "Team GB" which happen to the best of us.

As you can tell, I think this outfit is fun. It makes me smile! Not to mention laugh, if only because at 37 and 5/6s (which rounds to 38) you should probably have more sense than to wear shorts and a bustier top in the middle of winter.

I felt the need to cheer myself up, the news today upset me talking about suicide. So when the world gets you down, dress up and dance around the house you feel happy in no time :)

Colour Sergeant Bourne: It's a miracle. 
Lieutenant John Chard: If it's a miracle, Colour Sergeant, it's a short chamber Boxer Henry point 45 caliber miracle. 
Colour Sergeant Bourne: And a bayonet, sir, with some guts behind. 

Shorts: Military Style Daisy Dukes by Pin up girl clothing
Top: The Blitz Bustier by Tara Starlet

No really try it films are so
much more fun when you dress
up for them!

Men of Harlech

For the love of lost causes

Some dates seem to stand out more than others, and this is one of them. 

In 1771 The Spanish ceded the Falkland Island to Great Britain, and to this day we are discussing sovereignty.

In 1879 British troops were massacred at Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorke's Drift commenced. Henry Hook was does a great injustice in the film, by all accounts he was a tea total, family man who was devotedly religious. Maligned and called into disrepute for eternity in the name of entertainment. 

Fantastic movie though. 

If that isn't enough then in 1901 Queen Victoria died having reigned for 64 years. Interesting is it not that to this day there has not been a greater number of recorded Victoria Crosses in one Battle, and the person who introduced the highest honour died on the same date as that battle? Synchronicity?

Today I have chosen my Military Pinup Dress in Black and white, I think the choice and the colour speak for themselves.

I like this dress, the shaping and rouching around the bust is particularly feminine and flattering, accentuating your chest, the contrasting ribbon piping and belt gives the dress a formal feel. All in she is a great little number.

Dress: Military pinup in Black and White by Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones

Monday, 21 January 2013

No really witchcraft would make it easier

Today's dress is called Sabrina and when it comes to taking pictures of her, trust me witchcraft would make life so much easier! Have you ever tried taking a picture of your rear view in a mirror? Try it sometime I think I did really rather well.

I love this dress, I like that is has a peplum bow just above your bum, it's fab, it stick out a bit at the sides too. It is good fun if you have a shapely derriere, maybe not so good if you are carrying a "wide load sticker". 

The check top is pretty and it is really very warm I like the roll over wrap neckline too. I just like this dress because it is so unusual and not quite what you expect but yet it somehow works! It's just like magic.

Dress: Sabrina Bettie page clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Running the gauntlet. Sunday in a supermarket

Ah the perils of supermarket shopping on a Sunday. I had an encounter last week it was one of those classic moments, as I rounded the corner in WW2 utility coat and tea dress I came face to face with the perma tanned, fake boobed fake lash black juicy couture ugg boot wearer. She got bonus points for the bubblegum pink lipstick and the furry headband Xena style, the bleach blonde hair comes as standard. Next ensued the best form of silent communication. My face exclaimed "OMG! WTF are you wearing?" as did hers, the difference was I didn't have to punch anyone for eyeing her up ;)

I'm playing it safe this week with secretary in Green. I need my heels to reach the things on the top shelf (and no I am not talking magazines). Not only do you have the "high reach" to think about but you also need to consider what you look like when you have to "bob down" to pick something up, whether it be the change that you invariably drop or to reach something from the bottom shelf.

I think this basic dress design is one of my favourites, it is the same base shape as "The Captain" which I wore the other week. I love the broad geometric design of the collar, the wrap top and the matching buttons on the torso. The matching belt nips it in and finishes the dress off. Secretary in green has longer sleeves than the captain and I like them for being 3/4 length. I find these easier to wear because long sleeves don't always look right on my arms (they are long just like my legs)

Dress: Secretary in Green Pencil Skirt by Bettie Page Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Secretary in Green an all rounder for the gauntlet of the supermarket, bob, bend, weave and reach!

Faith No More seem to fit the bill today!

From Out of nowhere
It's that rounding the corner moment
Mike Patten looked so much better in cycling short than Axl Rose, note to all the guys if you have skinny legs don't wear cycling shorts it is just plain wrong, and women who like men with skinny legs. What are you thinking? 

The gauntlet of the supermarket, if you forget your heels it is in your face and you definitely can't grab it

Can't say I have walked on broken glass, but I have had to crawl across it on my hands and knees. 

What Sunday should be...........

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Strong and White........I'm Talking

Coffee of course. This is the programmers preferred method on caffeine ingestion, and believe me programmers run on sugar or caffeine! In fact programmers are machines that turn caffeine into code.

I have been deep in regular expressions and pattern matching for days............and I have concluded programmers are in a contest with the universe, programmers attempt to make better software that is idiot proof, the universe makes better idiots. So far the universe is winning!

Today's number is called "Iced Coffee" which seems to fit, as it is freezing and I probably consume my body weight in coffee on a daily basis, mum bought it for me because of the name. I wasn't sure what I thought of it at first, it is one of those dresses that you have to see on. 

I love the polka dots on the mustard yellow  and the black pleats on the skirt, finished with buttons The turnover neckline and the cuffs on the sleeve just make this dress. I love it! Just great for grabbing a coffee and engaging in some people watching. 

Dress: Iced Coffee Bettie Page Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

It works for men as well as coffee LOL

Friday, 18 January 2013

Nietzsche's view on birdcages

Every  now and again it does you good to indulge in a bit of Nietzsche, who most people probably know through the phrase "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Which coincidentally appeared at the beginning of the original Conan The Barbarian. 

He also said the following:

Men have hitherto treated women like birds which have strayed down to them from the heights; as something more delicate, more fragile, more savage, stranger, sweeter, soulful - but as something which has to be caged up so that it shall not fly away.

I live in fear of being caged, my spirit diminished not able to be myself. We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry; and I for one have had more than enough of crying. The ability to sing as in the metaphor of the free bird is summed up for me by Rose F. Kennedy, she buried her sons and her husband. She reminds me why it is so important to sing not cry.

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?

And so I shall :) 

Today's dress is called Zoey in Birdcage print. I really like the grey and pink contrasted with the deep waist band which is shaped so it flares out on your curves. The two buttons add interest and guide the eye into the dress. The wrap over neckline is wonderful, nothing is escaping by accident which is as is should be. Wardrobe malfunctions - tsk! The straps are nice and wide so you can easily accommodate your bra straps and they are adjustable. Pinup girl clothing we love you for this :) You are my favourite strappy dress maker for this design feature.

A big THANK YOU to Wendy from Retro Glam, I quested for this dress. They are a fantastic boutique in Canada and really their customer service is superb - I cannot recommend them enough.

Dress: Zoey in Birdcage print by pinup girl clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

I love this song, it just makes me smile when I hear it

They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse in your soul

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Storms and the journey of Joan

Twenty two years ago in 1991 - Operation Desert Storm commenced and so began the rehash and replay of the journey of "Joan of Arc"....... Destination Martyrdom. Rehashed, replayed, different characters, different religion. The same pattern with different players.

It somehow amuses me that poor old Joan D'Arc spent most of history as a heretic and witch. Today's dress is called Joannie, it's a reminder that we're a long time dead. Should god exist they're probably not after people killing themselves or other people in their name. An eye for an eye just makes the whole world blind. But then again so does fundamentalism, as the saying goes there is none so blind as those that cannot see.

It takes me back to my Doc Marten day's with ripped fishnets, padlocks, dog collars and safety pins from my nose to my ear! LOL Ahh those were the days.

Joannie is so easy wearing that it is one of the few dresses that can lay claim to having been worn at least once a week for a period of 3 years. It's my "no need to think" dress. I really like the wide bateau neckline with a roll over, I like how it accentuates your shoulders and neck. The dolmenesque sleeves and darts make the most of your bust and the matching belt just nips it in nicely. 

Dress: Joannie in Dusky Rose by Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Kurt Geiger


There can be only one song for today

New Model Army: Here Comes The War 

"Do you think we were born in peaceful times? The whirling dervish spinning faster, faster, the centre cannot hold..........."

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Scotland and a Database, it must be an Act of Union

On this day in 1707 The Scottish Parliament ratified the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.

My Nana Ferguson was Scottish and she had kilts made for us all when we were little girls with Aran sweaters. I remember hating the jumper (it had a tight neck) but I loved the kilt with the pin. Anyway that got me thinking that blue and white would be nice to wear, just as a reminder that we can so easily fragment, and it's when you work together you are great. Independence is a requirement, it's mandatory but you temper it; teamwork and being a pack (especially ones with hippos and monkeys) I think we are better as a United Kingdom of Great Britain........It's just we don't half seem determined to do everything that we can to get rid of the word great!

So blue and white for Scotland and the Act of Union by Stop Staring! I like the simplicity of this dress, the sweetheart neckline and the little button accents on the sleeve, neck and slit and subtle but draw your eye.

Now to appease my inner SQL junkie as UNION is a keyword ......My brain just thinks. The UNION operator selects only distinct values by default. To allow duplicate values, use UNION ALL. Remember UNION ALL is expensive as it generally requires a full table scan.

.....and breathe ..........look glamorous. Here's to Database engines....... VROOOM!!! VROOM!!!

And dare I say GREAT Britain

Dress: By Stop Staring!
Shoes: Schuh

History, Structured Query Language and Style Advice all in one place :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

if (shotOnTarget == TRUE) printf("Sierra Green");

Today's dress needs to hit the mark, she gets one shot.

She needs to work hard because we've got to go from day to night as I am out this evening. Sierra hits the marks, and ironically shares her name with one of the better bullet smiths in the world (custom rounds) so if this baby does get the bulls eye then who knows what will. I'll team this with a black cardigan for the day.

I like this as a going out dress, it is really nicely fitted with big pockets on the hips and the really interesting neckline, it reveals very little but gives the appearance that you are seeing far more than you are. I think this is because the cut out is unexpected and so draws the eye more. The button and the beautiful embroidery all make this a very pretty dress indeed and the neckline highlights your collarbone. The beautiful green highlights my hair and my eyes.

Just nice for a meal out my lads from work who will be the colour of this dress when my Dev station arrives - 64 giga bytes of liquid cooled memory, i7 Core and SSD. They couldn't put it in an alienware chassey :( The motherboard can't cope with the memory............I should call him "bootneck" he's got the grunt power. LOL

Ah the motto of female programmers world wide:

Memory it's just like an orgasm.....So much better when you don't have to fake it ;)

64 gig!! Liquid Cooled...... Swoon ......... 

Dress: Sierra Bettie Page Clothing in Green
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

P!NK You And Your Hand