Sunday, 14 October 2018

Revisiting Fashion Feng Shui

Having gone through my Autumn colour swatch from Style Yourself Confident, and having discovered that I loved most of the 33 colours it contained, I realised that I would need to be sensible and choose just a few of them for my Autumn wardrobe. However, how was I going to decide which ones were my best colours? I decided to revisit Fashion Feng Shui to see if that would help.

Click on the link above if you want to find out more about the five Feng Shui types: it's a post I wrote four years ago, as well as posts describing each type. Most of us are a mix of the different types, both in the way we look and in our personalities. In my case I have the rectangular shape of a Wood type, with the hair and eye colours of a Water and the skin colour of a Metal. What about the essential me though? I'm mainly a sporty, casual Wood, but I do like the creative elements of Water and occasionally I can be a dramatic Fire!
Floral and stripes are typical Wood patterns

Wardrobe for a Wood

As you can see above, blue and green are ideal colours for a Wood. Dark colours suit Water types, whereas light colours are best for Metals. You won't be surprised to hear that red is a good colour for Fires! As for those Earth types, yellows and browns in particular suit them.

By revisiting Fashion Feng Shui, I am hoping that my evolving wardrobe will not only contain clothes in Autumn colours that go well with my personal colouring, but also clothes that reflect my authentic self and my intention, as described in Feng Shui terms. Parisian chic anybody? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Neutrals will form the basis of my Autumn wardrobe and I've gone for dark chocolate brown, olive, camel, autumn grey and marine navy. I have several greens and blues in my palette, but I particularly like the lime green and jade green as well as turquoise, teal blue and dark periwinkle blue. Finally, I am adding in bright orange red and dark tomato red for when I fancy a bit of drama, plus oyster and gold for a more elegant look!

My intention is first to shop my wardrobe, as I know that I have lots of clothes in Autumnal colours already. I've reduced the 33 colours to the 14 given above, which may still be too many. I intend working on my Autumn 33 over the next few days, so watch this space to discover which items of clothing I select and which of the 14 colours make the final cut!

Thursday, 4 October 2018

End of my colour journey?

Over the six years since I started writing this blog, I have taken various colour analyses, both online and in person, with varying results. Putting it into "seasonal" terms I have been both a Jewel Winter and a Spring. When it comes to "tonal analysis", I have been classified as: warm and soft; soft, warm and medium; or (in what I felt was a very detailed analysis using 7 Steps to Style) as warm, smoky and deep aka Enigmatic. Warm and soft would appear to be a common theme - apart from my Jewel Winter result, that is!

The one thing that I've found consistent in my search for my most flattering colours is that there have been colours in each system (whether seasonal or tonal) that really don't suit me! How can that be? I think that may be the reason why I have continued with the search to discover my best colours. Recently I came across Pamela Graham of Style Yourself Confident, who uses both seasonal and tonal analysis, depending on which system suits the individual best.

I have to say that I like Pamela's approach and have been very impressed with the results.  I was happy to be told that I'm an Autumn, as it's a season that I really love. Pamela sent me loads of photos and explained how she came to her decision as well as giving me comprehensive booklets full of helpful advice.

Going back to the question of whether I am warm (which did seem the most frequent response) or cool, here are the two colour palettes with me in the centre.

In case this isn't that obvious, the next two examples show me surrounded by Winter and Autumn colours. I think it's a lot clearer which set of colours suit me best.

Although I had liked many of my Winter colours, the icy ones did me no favours at all, so it was a relief to see the Autumn colours, many of which already feature in my wardrobe, and to feel confident that I would be happy to wear them all.

 Pamela is very down to earth and realises that we can't afford to throw away all the clothes in our wardrobes that are in the "wrong" colours so she has given me lots of practical advice. The important thing is to wear the most flattering colours near my face. Luckily I already have brown, camel, olive green and some navy in my wardrobe, which are all good Autumn neutrals to form the basis of my Autumn wardrobe. I can then build on this with some of the lovely accent colours in my palette: turquoise, teal blue, jade green, salmon and dark tomato red all appeal to me.  I'm looking forward to developing my new Autumn wardrobe and will share my findings with you in future blog posts.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Family celebrations & holiday in Ljubljana

Faced with the challenge of packing for six days in the UK plus five in Ljubljana, with one day in Alicante both before and after my holiday, I tried not to panic. I had the advantage of a suitcase in the hold, which meant I wasn't limited in the number of clothes I could pack, however my trip was going to include a visit to north-east England as well as Slovenia. The solution, you won't be surprised to hear, was to create a travel capsule with plenty of layers.

My new summer skirt
Regular readers know that I'm a "jeans and t-shirt" fan, so I only have a few dresses and skirts in my wardrobe, however I discovered this skirt recently in a local shop. I thought I would only wear it in Ljubljana when going out for dinner, however it was lovely and sunny in South Shields for my cousin's Golden Wedding Anniversary celebrations, so I wore it there too.

There be dragons!
 My two daughters, Vicky and Kate, came to Ljubljana with me, so my birthday holiday was extra special. We did a walking tour of the city, which included tickets to the Castle, where we found out about the famous Ljubljana Dragon.

Having lunch in Bled Castle, overlooking the lake
Another highlight of our holiday was a trip to Lake Bled. We walked up to Bled Castle, but splashed out on a taxi for our return trip (our excuse being that it saved valuable sight-seeing time!)

Apart from my green skirt, I packed a pair of jeans (for the UK), smart navy trousers, beige cotton trousers and a lightweight navy patterned pair. I took the tops I had worn for my 10 x 10 challenge, plus a couple more, making sure that they would go with all of my bottoms. My colour scheme was neutrals of navy and beige (plus my olive skirt) with accents of red, orange, coral and blue. I also packed my favourite red trench-coat as well as a short-sleeved coral jumper and a navy cardigan in case it was chilly up north (it wasn't!)

We all loved Ljubljana (even though it was full of other tourists!) as it is a beautiful city, plus the locals were very friendly and spoke good English, though they also appreciated our attempts to speak some Slovenian. We rented an apartment close to the city centre, with the idea that we could cook for ourselves, but there were so many good restaurants beside the river that we ate out most days. This time I had packed some dressy tops for changing into in the evening, so there was no need to do any hand washing!

Although I'm not a travel blogger, I thought I would share some other photos from our holiday in Slovenia.

We enjoyed a boat trip along the Ljubljanica river

One of many lovely squares, with the castle in the background

More like a country scene than a city view!

View from Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle

View of Bled Castle from the lake
Our boat was driven only by manpower!

We went by boat to the island in the middle of Lake Bled

Bled Castle

View over Lake Bled from the castle

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

10x10 challenge - the outfits

The first five days weren't going to be too difficult, as all I had to do was select five different tops to go with my three pairs of trousers. However over the next five days I would need to repeat some of the tops and ensure that I wore them with different trousers, which is when I realised that patterns weren't necessarily a good idea. One to remember when packing for my next holiday!

Yes, I had two patterned trousers and two patterned tops in my ten  items, which definitely won't go together. My three plain tops though are more versatile.

A practical problem arose because of the hot and at times muggy weather, making me a bit sweaty over the ten day challenge (Sorry, too much information!). As I was at home and not on holiday, it was easy enough to wash my clothes when necessary during the ten days, however I cheated when I went out one evening to an event in Jumilla Castle and wore a different outfit that wasn't in my original selection.

I'm now planning an eleven day trip to the UK and to Slovenia.  That's definitely going to be challenging (though I've paid for a case in the hold on my flights) however I've learnt a few lessons from doing this challenge. I'll be packing more than ten items but I'll still be creating a capsule that will mix and match.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Summer 2018: 10x10 Challenge.

I thought it was time that I tried out another challenge and this one is only for 10 days so hopefully it won't be too - er - challenging!

The idea behind this challenge - in case it isn't patently obvious to you! - is to choose 10 items of clothing to wear over the next 10 days, ensuring that you don't repeat yourself and that you create 10 different outfits. I guess that if you have 10 dresses in your wardrobe that you can wear each day it would be quite straightforward, but my wardrobe mainly consists of separates and my "go-to" uniform is trousers and tops.


I chose seven tops as shown above and the following three pairs of trousers, so clearly I need to wear a few tops more than once. The items I selected are mainly cotton and linen and most are loose-fitting, as temperatures in Spain at the moment are in the mid to high 30s (that's degrees Centigrade), so being cool and comfortable is high on my list of priorities

Having chosen my ten items, I immediately realised that I had limited my options a bit by choosing two patterned tops and two pairs of patterned trousers, which clearly won't go together. If this was a holiday capsule I'd make some changes, but as I'm at home and can wash things over the next 10 days it won't really matter.

My plan is to post photos of my outfits, probably in two lots of five, so you can see how it worked out. If you decide to take part in this challenge please let me know how you get on.

The inspiration for doing this challenge came from Leanne of Classy Yet Trendy, who writes about capsule wardrobes and creates many different e-books. If you click on the above link you can find out more. So - anyone want to join me?

Monday, 30 July 2018

Wedding in Florence & sightseeing in Rome

The wedding in Florence was absolutely amazing, and I am sure that my friend Callie thinks that in the end it was worth all the angst caused by her dealings with bureaucracy both in the UK and Italy! In the photo below you can see the beautiful Villa le Piazzole where the wedding reception and evening celebrations took place, after the wedding mass in the lovely Chiesa dei Santi Apostoli in Florence. I have shared some beautiful photos of Callie and Emilio's wedding on my Facebook page.

My wedding outfit
How did my travel capsule work for sightseeing in Florence and Rome? It proved very versatile, however I hadn't quite allowed for how hot and sweaty I would get walking around the two cities and that I would feel the need to change my outfit every evening after showering, so I needed two outfits per day!  Luckily I was able to wash a couple of tops plus a dress (after a waitress spilt my glass of prosecco over  it in Florence!) I bought the red striped top shown below in the sales in Rome and the one in the second picture was bought in the sales in Alicante, so I had plenty of clothes to wear. The only item of clothing that I never wore was my blue jacket, which I had taken "just in case".

La Bocca della Veritร 
I wasn't as nervous as Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday" when I put my hand in La Bocca - but there again, I hadn't been telling any fibs!

Sight-seeing in beautiful Florence

The Colosseum - where else?
I had booked a tour of the Colosseum on-line, with tickets for entry at 08.45. It was definitely worth arriving early, as it wasn't too hot while we were walking about plus it wasn't very crowded when we entered, though it became a lot busier later on.
I couldn't miss the Spanish Steps!
 It is impossible to see everything in Rome when you're only there for 4 days, though I did visit the Trevi fountain one evening and throw in a coin, so I'm definitely returning some time! I had also booked a tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, which was amazing. A shame, though understandable, that you can't take photos in the Chapel.

Another highlight for me was the Galleria Borghese, which is set in lovely gardens. I rather liked the Rules for the Villa!

I am very grateful to my daughters for joining me on my first holiday without John. Kate came to Florence with me for the wedding (travelling via Rome) and then she flew back to London while Vicky kept me company in Rome. They made it a lovely memorable holiday for me.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Planning a holiday wardrobe

When you're going through hard times it's good to have something special to look forward to, to help you feel more positive. What could be more special than the wedding of my dear friends Callie and Emilio in Florence, Italy? ๐Ÿ’•I'm flying to Italy on Friday 6 July, so it's time to plan my holiday wardrobe.

If you're going abroad for a wedding too, or planning your summer holiday in a hot climate, no doubt like me you are wondering what to pack. There are plenty of blog posts to inspire you, however I've found that many of them are talking about beach holidays and packing lots of swimwear. I'll be in Rome as well as Florence, so I don't think swimwear will be appropriate, do you? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I also hope to fit in some sight-seeing, which may include visiting churches, so I need to have suitable clothes for these activities as well as the actual wedding. Apart from the wedding outfit, my holiday wardrobe will be casual, comfortable and hopefully chic! I am looking at mostly natural fibres, with linen trousers (yes, I know they will crease!), cotton tops and a few mixed fibre items. As usual, I will decide on a colour palette that should let me mix and match my clothes to create different outfits.

This blue and white top is so light and cool that it's a must for my holiday wardrobe! I am
also taking the two pairs of linen trousers shown: the slightly cropped dark grey ones in the middle and the full.length navy ones on the right. As you have no doubt guessed, my neutrals will be
navy and grey.

 Tianna Linen Crop Trouser

Here are the tops that I plan to take, which will add a touch of colour. I am also going to pack the turquoise and striped dresses shown on the bottom row.

No prizes for guessing my favourite accent colours: turquoise, orange and red. I will pack my navy and coral Decathlon shoes for walking, as they are so comfortable, plus two pairs of ballerina shoes for a slightly smarter look in the evenings.

I love Decathlon's ballerina pumps for walking!

Orange ballerinas. I'll take red ones too.

I am adding colour with accessories too. A totally neutral outfit isn't my best look and I need contrast in my outfits. I will also include a wrap and/or lightweight scarf to cover my shoulders if I enter any churches when sightseeing.

How about you? Are you planning a holiday in a hot climate and, if so, any tips to share?

PS I hope to have a photo of my wedding outfit to share with you on my return.