Style Me May: Week Two

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Last week's verdict: must try harder. So in that spirit, I finally got my arse in gear and took some actual photographs on an actual camera, which means you're getting some proper pictures instead of teeny tiny thumbnails designed to camouflage the crapness of last week's photographic catastrophes. I'm not sure the outfits themselves are any better, but you can't have everything. So, how did I get on this week?

Day 8: Fresh lipstick colour. I'm going to come out and admit it: lipstick scares the crap out of me. It's just so in your face.  Plus it gets on your teeth. Plus it always seems to fade really quickly and leaves me looking like a deranged maiden aunt still waiting for her lover to come home from the war. But the rules of Style Me May must be obeyed, so I had a good old rummage around in my makeup bag and came up with a surprisingly large selection of past lipstick rejects.

I eased myself into it by wearing a pale pinky-peachy one to work, which elicited exactly zero comments. Not even a raised eyebrow. Hmm, I thought, maybe lipstick isn't so scary after all. So, giddy with the success of my first lipstick choice, I decided I had to go big or go home. It was time to embrace red.

I think it's safe to say I was the only person walking my dog in the park that evening who had decided pillarbox red lippy was the way to go, but you know what? I kind of rocked it. In your FACE, lipstick!

Day 9: Used to scare you.  I could have just worn red lipstick again, but that wouldn't be any fun, would it? I actually wore a variety of formerly scary things that day. Navy tights and black patent shoes! Gasp! A gold ring on one hand and a silver one on the other! THE HORROR! But none were so singularly terrifying as running shoes and a pair of leggings.

What's scary about that, you might ask? Well, as someone who viewed P.E. lessons as state-sanctioned torture and couldn't even run for a bus until the age of 25, physical exercise was second only to speeded-up footage of plants growing (*shudder*) on my list of Very Scary Things. Add to that the sheer humiliation of being out in public wearing an item of clothing that clings in all the very wrong places (hello, crotch) and you've potentially got yourself a pretty traumatic experience. But that was the old me. Now that I know I can run for more than five minutes at a time without dying - sometimes as long as seven whole minutes! - the running shoes have lost their power over me.

I'm still a bit scared of the leggings, but to be honest I'm more scared of shorts. Chafing. Ouch.

Day 10: Classic white shirt. If ever a challenge was designed specifically with my life in mind, it would be this one. "What's that you say? A white shirt? But I'm a lawyer, I can't wear plain white shirts to wo- oh. Oh yes, so I can." To be honest, though, I don't particularly enjoy wearing shirts to work. I find them uncomfortable and I cannot for the life of me find one that doesn't gape at the bust to reveal my oh-so-glamorous work bra. Nice. Even worse, wearing a shirt reminds me that I'm just another corporate drone and not, in fact, Ally McBeal. Damn it. Nevertheless, I threw on my white shirt, wiggled into a high-waisted checked pencil skirt, chucked on a black blazer with a pearly brooch and called it a day. Another challenge successfully negotiated.

Day 11: Colour below the ankles. Then the week started to go a little bit wonky. Not that I didn't do the challenges - I did! I promise! I just didn't do the best job in the world of taking pictures of them. For example, on Day 11 I wore deep pink patent flats, smart black trousers, a deep pink fitted sweater with black bead detailing on the shoulder, and a string of sparkly black beads wrapped thrice around my neck. Sound nice? It was! But you'll just have to take my word for it, because I got completely soaked on my way home and had to change immediately into something cosy and dog-walking-appropriate. Hence the socks. Which still count, but aren't quite as stylish as I'd hoped.

Day 12: Garden party. Another semi-disaster. I have an extensive array of floral frocks that would be absolutely perfect for attending a garden party. Unfortunately, on Day 12, I was attending a puppy party. Floral frocks are generally not encouraged for wandering around on the beach. I did wear something vaguely garden-related - a long floaty tunic covered in a colourful butterfly print (butterflies like gardens, right?) with a green cardigan (gardens are green, right?) - but I'm not sure my look screamed "garden party". It's fine though, because I was clearly just saving all my best moves for...

Day 13: Seen on a style blog. I'm not a huge reader of style blogs - I tend to find them a bit soulless, and they struggle to hold my attention. But Atlantic Pacific has survived more than one blog purge, so it was my natural choice when looking for inspiration for this challenge.

Blair always manages to strike the right balance between achievable and aspirational. While I might not always want to recreate a whole look, I can take little details or quirks and apply them to whatever I have in my wardrobe. In fact, regular readers might remember this is not the first time I've imitated one of her looks. It is, however, the first time I've photoshopped a San Francisco street scene into the background, like so:

I'm not going to lie to you. I'm inordinately proud of this picture. Don't tell me my photoshopping is crap and my nails are unpainted and my hair is three feet too short - I DON'T WANT TO KNOW. I just want to look at it and marvel at its awesomeness/ridiculousness.

Day 14: All about the eyes. My mother and I have the same eyes. Not literally - she has her own pair - but they are a very similar colour, a colour I have heard her lovingly describe as "a nothing colour". Thanks, Mum. I prefer to think of them as "versatile". Depending on the lighting, the makeup, the colour of my clothes, they can be blue, or grey, or green. Or, fine, a dull, North-Sea-on-a-rainy-day, nothing kind of colour. But I try to counteract the nothingness by wearing colours that bring out some semblance of spark, and the best colour for that, in my humble opinion, is teal. Teal is my friend. It makes my hair shine, my skin glow, my eyes zing and it takes twenty pounds off me (*possible slight exaggeration).

I'm extra proud of this outfit because (a) the top is over five years old - hoarding FTW - and (b) it's actually a V-neck that I'm wearing backwards. Surely I must get some sort of bonus points for that? It's too low-cut to wear to work the right way around, and actually I find a high neck with a low scoop back is a very flattering style with my short hair. I did have to stick a brooch on there though, just in case anyone thought I had just accidentally put it on backwards. You can never be too careful.

All of which brings me to...

WEEK TWO VERDICT: Highs and lows.

SO. How did you guys get on? Anyone feeling inspired to start wearing their clothes back-to-front, or going on imaginary photoshop holidays to far-flung cities?

8 boats moored

  1. I wish I'd known about this earlier - it sounds fun!

    And, oooooooooh, yes, great Photoshopping!

  2. Über-impressed by the photoshopping. Plus, am Inspired to do something more interesting with my clothes for today at the corporate coal face in the pouring rain. Unfortunately, the inspiration (and blog reading over breakfast) is bound to make me late....

  3. Great stuff - do you always look this stylish (in which case I'm going to get an inadequacy complex) or is this because of the blog challenge?

  4. Kirsty. You may just be my twin on the other side of the planet. So many times in this post I was nodding and yessing and generally knowing exactly what you meant. Nice! I particularly get the fear of red lippy, too short hair and the leggings with sneakers. You are a brave lady.

  5. Kirsty I am the same about red lipstick! But you OWNED it. I also love the photoshopping. Yay. xx

  6. No offence but we don't want to know about you....we want to know about Colin.

    FYI I have 25 white fitted shirts. I'm a walking clche

  7. You made me laugh out loud, you totally rocked the red lippie look

  8. I think you look great in these and I love the lipstick on you (as I think I have already said) and I did something similar with the garden party and wore a top with bugs and flowers on it!

    I also think the photoshopping is just genius.