Cover-loving & Colour-blocking

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Get used to this cover because you will be seeing it a lot the next few months. I’m really excited about reading this book and this cover brings together some of my favorite colours, and provided me with a template for an outfit.

I am currently obsessed with a few things actually, but a nice grey unstructured winter coat is very high on that list. Or like why don’t I have a grey cashmere kimono jacket already? That would also work really well for me. Or both. My grey in the mix was my big old grey scarf that has been taken out of storage and been used a fair bit because the mornings have been on the cold side. I did not have red trousers (although I have had some in the past and contemplated many more.) Pink blouse? Check. Although falling to pieces because of poor quality and intense “wearage”. And then that green!! Love it! This jacket is one of my fave pics of clothing and I swear, it goes everything. The skirt you see me wearing in this rather unflattering  photo (but still the best of the ones I took: I only go into Zara to take sefies nowadays) is made of an old dress that a friend bought for a fancy dress party. Welcome to my life; where friends ask me to help them make thrashed second-hand dresses into outfits and “pay me” by letting me have the outfit when they have thrashed it some more. IMG_4492

A totally fair deal by the way. Some of my best pieces of clothing has been made of fabric people intended to throw away. This has got a bit of shimmer to it, gold speckles.

In addition to preaching the usefulness of an absinth green jacket I will also tell you that I have found that a red necklace is a very useful accessory. I say the more ethnic looking, the better. I had one for years, it was painted wood and I literally had to touch up the colour on it (with nail polish) from time to time because it wore off I used it so much. Then one day it gave up. This is my replacement for now. I need something a little less dazzling and a bit chunkier I think.Over all this outfitr had great colours, and they looked excellent worn together like this.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, or anyone, that this combination of colours got me going.

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Exhibit A: I’ve had this on my wall for like to years now and I bought it for a reason. I have one dress that I made before buying this that I have already showed you. Now that it’s a bit colder I’ve brought out another crazy creation in the same colour scheme, but this has a bit of wool in it so I only wear it fall/winter.

Exhibit B: This dress also has purple in it so it goes with everything. The red is really a tomato red, same as with the skirt, but oddly enough it’s a shade that works for me. So the dress, again sorry for the bad picture, is pretty basic three-quarter arm, it’s got pockets because when I make dresses and skirt I try to make them with pockets when I can. This fabric is very nice and soft, something that my mum found in a drawer somewhere. It may come from a flea market. What you cannot see in this pic is that there is a 10 centimeter trim on the bottom, in the same fabric but flipped around so the pattern goes against the rest of the dress which is a very nice contrast actually. I should wear like a pink coat with this dress is what I’m thinking now, or a pink cardigan. I always need a cardi.

So yeah, a lot of crazy colours going on. In patterns or individually, I just bring it to the max with these ones,  and I have a feeling that some of this might actually be trendy right now, like pink and red together, I saw that in Vogue. I need a pair of red trousers, I think tomato red culottes would look awesome on me. I also kick myself for not buying the tomato red Filippa K dress that I tried on a few years ago. I have regretted that many many times. I also need to go out and buy a new  pink blouse because I don’t know how to dress without having one on hand. The light grey coat might happen. Although mostly I’m excited that it’s gotten a bit colder, I have shifted the items in my closet and some of my dearest dresses are back in rotation. I’ve missed them.

-Suss

 

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Monday&Mustard&Oxblood&Jade

Fashion inspiration comes from all over in my case but as I’ve mentioned many times before, books more often than almost anything else. It’s a cover, a description or a phrase.

The colours are ones she has never been in the habit of wearing-oxblood, mustard, jade- and Mrs Chappell thinks she cannot quote like it, what with such hectic colour in the girl’s cheeks and lips, such spark in her eyes; everything about her seems brighter, sharper, fuller.

The quote is from The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock that I read (and blogged about) the other week. It has stayed with me as I often say of books i.e. I have thought about it, drawn inspiration from it, gone back and looked at the pages. In this case I had underlined the words in my first reading so had no trouble finding it.

This isn’t about inspiration to try something new for me but rather a coming together of some of my favorite shades (some of which are trendy this season) that I already wanted to wear. In some cases all at once.

This skirt in raw silk (or possibly silk-cotton blend) with embroidery in mustard and oxblood is in my top ten fave skirts. I wear it all year round, with a white blouse and sandals  in summer and darker colours in winter. Just shimmery enough to work day or night. The fabric was a gift from India and it has made me so happy.

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When people think “jade” they often limit the colour to one pale green shade, which I guess is correct in a “colour code” kind of way. However in reality jade is the word used for both “jadeite” and “nephrite”, minerals that exist in a variety of shades in mostly green but also shades of purple. I tend to think of it as either that intense green of this skirt or that lovely pale version , very art deco related, which is a hairsbreadth away from Eau de Nil or mint (love all those shades actually).
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My beloved jacket also qualifies as jade if I’m generous. My nails are in the shade Bordeaux which is pretty much oxblood and they will be so for many weeks to come; I go through one bottle of polish at a time usually. The skirt is part Lacroix fabric that was left over from when a friend reupholstered a few chairs (I helped and considered the scraps  payment, after all “it’s Lacroix sweetie“) and then trimmed with a bit of leather from when I helped another friend shorten a skirt. Waste not, want not. This does look much nicer with a heel but for running errands I put those in the bag and wore my sneaks. There is a bit of yellow in this skirt and looking at what I’ve been wearing lately, and all the lovely mustard coats in the shops, I’m tempted to buy one. For now though I have a few projects lined up as I went through my closet this weekend, trying to organize, see what needs mending and figure out what of to wear.

-Suss

Tuesday & Tablecloths

My love of curtain fabric will never fade but the next best thing is probably tablecloth. Just like with curtains they are often of a robust fabric, many of them have lovely patterns and there is an abundance of them as they are no longer fashionable. Oh, and they tend to get stains rendering them less usable for the table but ever so good for me.

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This is one of my all time fave skirts, if it had pockets it would be perfection but alas not enough fabric.  I use it all year around. The colors (burgundy,beige and a bit of blue) work with a lot and somehow a bohemian skirt is never a bad idea( in fact I have several). It wasn’t exactly as big I needed so there is a bit in the back that is just black( I used something that I had laying around) but as I often wear skirts or sweaters with it nobody notices. And if anyone ever says something the phrase “I upcycled an old tablecloth myself” will be the only response. Most people just admire the fabric and people from Iran will point out that they have something just like that on the table at home, I then show them the stamp on the inside as it is in fact an Iranian tablecloth.

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Having made that one, I was given this fabric, also an Iranian tablecloth, which got turned into a summer dress last year. Now that it’s warmer I’m using it again. I’ve noticed that I probably should take it in as the fabric has become looser and softer with use. Blue and white is a great combo, I often add a belt of some sort for definition and a pop of color as I like it.

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This is an old skirt that I have gotten a fair bit of use out of. Its linen and judging by the colors probably from the 70’s. I made a 50’s design because when I hade taken away the damaged pieces (those stains wouldn’t budge I tell you) the design of the weave lent itself to it. I am thinking about making it into a pencil skirt right now as it’s something that I would have more use of probably, given what else is in my closet at the moment. I do however love wearing it with a white shirt and some sea green accessories or neutral shoes and a hot pink clutch which is such a nice contrast. In my world orange is a neutral.

-Suss

Friday & Feeling like Jackie O.

I have a few unlikely style icons that I look to for inspiration, and a few that are the same as the rest of the world. Like Jackie O during the editor years(and a bit). So we are talking 70’s and early 80’s, an era I love in general. Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, a lot of what Yves Saint Laurent designed and what Loulou de la Falaise wore ( who was Saint Laurent’s muse). Pictures of Charlotte Rampling of that era are the kind of thing that gets me salivating, and I can look of pictures of Ossie Clark dresses all day if I had the time.

But back to Jackie. I did a quick search online and the web has a lot of iconic photos of her out and about. You have probably already seen them before, they are often brought up. What have I been wearing this week then?

None of these outfits are exact replicas of hers, but I feel they are very much in the spirit of her style.

The black dress is made out of an old dust ruffle I was given. Why someone would have a black dust ruffle I do not know. Summer is usually all about the white and light summer dresses, and for good reason, but a black summer dress is not a bad idea. This one has pockets in the front and has no zippers or anything. Very good at the beach(without a belt it’s like a tent so very good for using as cabin to change out of a wet bikini) but a nice belt and some bracelets and earrings and I look smart enough to go out to dinner.

I love flared jeans and striped sweaters. Very little to add to that. These are items that I have bought. The jeans are old H&M and the striped top is from Other Stories (two years ago?). And my birch bag is is use all the time now. I must learn not to stuff it full of things because then it will break. Must read small books on the commute!!

Same sandals. A skirt that I bought second hand and is a great colour and quality actually, it’s a heavy cotton. When I’ve worn out the elastic on this it will probably become another skirt. And further down the line possibly pillows. This pale green is a colour I love and the details are hot pink and orange so it really did scream my name. And then just a long sleeve black t-shirt with that. As noticed I do love a boat neckline.

Summer style aside, all of these pieces (with the exception of the sandals) are stuff I use in winter too. I pull up the skirt a bit so not to get it wet and then wear it with black boots and a cashmere sweater. Jeans and top is look that has no season but all of them. The black dress is great with a big grey cardigan and a chunky necklace for that weekend bohemian vibe. Will remember to to take pics and show you when winter comes (which is probably next Tuesday. I live too damn close to the wall).

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Suss

Clothes & Carriages

I visited the royal armoury the other day. Going to a museum in the middle of summer might seem counter intuitive, especially since I actually live in this city and don’t have to scurry through the sights in a weekend. Nevertheless during the middle of the day when the temperature reaches maximum, and the sun is doing it’s worst damage, it’s a good idea to sneak into a place that’s cool and keeps your skin safe from burn better than any SPF. The royal armoury is in the dungeons underneath the royal castle so a very good refuge in those regards, and great stuff to keep you entertained.IMG_3475

I have been to this place a few times in my life as old clothes, their colours, cuts and elaborate detailing is a contained source of inspiration. The clothes on show here are from the royal families through centuries. Not all of it obviously but a lot and some of the best stuff; ermine coats, dresses with lace to die for and coronation outfits that are a joy to behold. I feel now that I need some velvet breeches, I really do. I am no royalist, quite the opposite, but this is our heritage and I’m glad it’s on display.IMG_3472

And the carts and carriages? The historical equivalents of white extra long limousines are lined up and frankly? Rappers still have some way to go to impress me with their SUV:s having seen these. Why isn’t Kanye rolling up in a gold chaise with dragons? He is missing a great opportunity here. Having horses might be a bit of an obstacle I guess but since we have hit peak oil, fuel prices while only go up anyways, at some point horses will seem like a bargain. And given how badly public transport is in Stockholm I might need to get some myself. But I digress.

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Given that there is free admission, loads to see, a very nice shop( don’t underestimate the importance of a good museum shop; they are a great place to buy gifts because you can get stuff that isn’t necessarily available anywhere else) and located in the middle of the city, there is no excuse not to go. They don’t have a café but plenty of places around so you will not die from lack of coffee.

Related:

The royal armoury

Wednesday & What I’ve been wearing

As we have had a bit of sun, but more importantly a lack of rain, in these parts I’ve had the chance to wear a few of my dresses. This is a few of them(i.e. the ones I’ve remembered to take mirror selfies when wearing).

1.Long sleeved dress made of an old curtain. I bought this fabric intending to make a blanket and some cushions. In fact I did, but didn’t use them so it got turned into a dress. It was from a second hand shop and there was only one length, somewhat damaged. Enough to make this however. I use it more in winter because of the sleeves and the colours (which are amazing I think). Probably from the 60’s? IMG_2284 (1)

2. Silk dress with feather print. This is a bit too fancy for daytime according to some. I ignore those people. One of my pet peeves is when buying a nice silk dress from a store they are lined with synthetic fabric. What’s the point rather? This fabric, a nice light silk, was a gift and I had enough of it to line it with silk also, which makes it ideal to wear in summer as it keeps nice and cool. I do love the print but it is one where I feel my glasses don’t match. IMG_3271

3. Remade dutch wax print. This started as a tunic and trousers that my parents got as a gift from a friend. It was folded away in a drawer somewhere until I got my mittens on it. I saved the detail with  the collar and buttons, but fashioned a dress from the rest. Again; lovely colours, it’s got pockets and it’s a nice cotton. And yes; I wear everything with a black cardigan.IMG_3191

4. Long dress made of my mum’s old jacket and skirt. This used to be two pieces that my mum wore in the 90’s. It’s a thin viscose and a some wear and tear(but also the fact that she is several sizes bigger) left enough fabric for a long sleeveless dress. As I’m sensitive to the sun it’s good to have a few longer pieces for summer least I forget to reapply sunscreen. I have worn this a lot and as it was old fabric it’s on it’s last legs sadly. I love the print on this and have a similar print on a woolly winter dress.

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-Suss

7 kimonojackets every woman needs

At this point it is a well known fact that I love a kimonojacket. I’m partial to jackets(and coats) in general which is because they are easy to use and easy to make. When I advocate that people have a kimono-wardrobe I’m only half joking. They make a lot of sense and since a dramatic sleeve is supposedly very trendy now I find myself being a)on point fashion wise and b)in a position to advocate that a kimono sleeve is the kind of dramatic sleeve to consider. They will not go out of style anytime soon.

  1. The actual kimono. I have a vintage one bought in Paris. I’ve used it many times as a dressing gown but also as outerwear. However no pics that I can take of myself will better illustrate the usefulness and beauty of a kimono than these of Life in a Cold climate.
  2. The instead of a blazer one. I have made, out of an old linnen tablecloth that I dyed blue, a jacket and a pair of trousers in a sort of matador style. This is the closest thing I have to a suit. I probably should get a suit to look professional and further my career or whatever, but this works really well and I get a lot of compliments. It is more likely that I at some point make another set like this in pinstripe. Very useful as separates and packs a punch when worn together. Shown here in a more relaxed way with a t-shirt.IMG_3245
  3. The up-cycled one. There is this tradition of mending jackets using Japanese embroidery which was part of what inspired me to make my patchwork jacket that I’ve shown before. I’ve also made a dressing gown from an old worn out Missoni sheet. Due to a combination of cat and my own clumsiness whatever I wear to loaf around the house needs to be washable in 60 degrees. This one is and very soft too. It is more in the ethos of the Japanese tradition then an exact replication of it. As kimono jackets are easy to make they lend themselves to all matter of recycling of materials. I also have one made out of an old tartan blanket from IKEA. Oh and the one I made out of my parents 70’s curtains is well-used. IMG_0494
  4. The leopard print one. I do not have one of these, not yet. It is something I dream of, one of those mad ideas that I get, and the lack of a good leopard print is what’s stopping me. It needs to be just the right size print for it to look good, leopard print is tricky like that. One day it will happen, and it will be glorious.
  5. The Halston rip-off. Halston, that 70’s designer genius, made a kimonojacket in suede. Oh, to have been alive then to see it. ACNE made a similar thing a few years ago, being very open about where the inspiration came from. At some point I will make one in fake-suede. It will look very sexy in say a mint green or a teal with some jeans and a red lip( ha! I wear red lips with everything because RED LIPS!). I’m sure it’s a manrepeller but I do not care, that jacket will happen.
  6. The knitted one. As previously mentioned, they are easy to make. I am no knitter but I do know how to “knit one,pearl one” and that’s all you need. Then I made the different panels(back,two fronts, and the sleeves) in a rather coarse yarn that was only part wool and stitched it all together. It didn’t take that long as I used size 8 knitting pins(that is huge btw). I have a velvet ribbon in the same colour as a belt. Very good as outerwear, mine is in a deep plum so I use it mostly during autumn.
  7. The high-street one. They are often in fashion and buying a nice one with a floral print to use as a cover up during summer is a great idea.

-Suss