I am really pleased with the upgrade in quality and versatility from my new Olympus Pen E-PL3, compared with my old point and shoot, but it's still difficult to take indoor pictures after 4pm in this autumnal light, and the flash is producing some noticeable shadows, so I've just ordered a more powerful flash with a bounce and swivel head, which will hopefully help - it also has an LED for video shooting, so I can show you the AW haul I've (mostly) refrained from wearing until I could record its existence!
But on to the clothes...
I wore this dress the night before my birthday to go on a sundowner champagne and canapes cruise on the Thames (not quite as glamorous as it sounds!) with my mum, nana and BFF. It first hit the high street at the tail end of the summer, but I regretfully decided it was too "red carpet" for my lifestyle... Then I saw it on a blogger at the beach, flowing out behind her as she clambered gracefully over some rocks, and became obsessed... By this time it had disappeared from every Primark in a 15 mile radius, and despite posting people on watch in other cities it seemed I'd missed the boat... Until the week of my birthday (the last week in September), when I walked into my home store to be confronted by a great rack of new arrivals, and alarmed my mother and grandmother with the most excited reaction they'd seen since I unwrapped Ariel's Undersea Hideaway on my birthday some 20 years previously!
Dress: Primark (Current)
Shoes: Primark (Current - Limited Edition - £30)
Necklace: Primark (Past Season)
I've used a bit of artistic license in my recreation - adding my new Gaga-esque heel-less shoes (which precipitated just as excited a reaction as the dress when I walked into the new Tottenham Court Road Primark a couple of weeks ago) and a statement antique gold/feathered necklace for a bit of a Halloween-y vibe... In "real life" I have to wear tights, because it has a tendency to ride up, and it's a struggle to pull on and off over the shoulder/bust area because, despite being "ultimate bodycon", it's not really stretchy! But, for its undeniable beauty, I can make concessions...
The shoes are suprisingly easy to walk in - you don't feel as if your heels are floating in mid-air; it's just like wearing a platform wedge! I did find that the right shoe in every size I tried on dug in beneath my ankle bone slightly, but I think that might be down to my anatomy rather than the shoes... They are by far the most wondrous exemplars of their kind that I have seen anyway, so I forbear...
I wore the outfit below on the following day for my Oxford Street birthday shop-a-thon - the top was a present from mum, along with the scarf - I threw them on over one of my favourite staple all-seasons mini dresses (see more of it in this post), adding a faux sheepskin jacket to tone in with the neutral palette and boho feel, and printed chelsea boots to double up on my leopard accents.
Dress: Primark (Past Season)
Top: New Look (Current)
Boots: Primark (Current)
Scarf: Tu at Sainsbury's (Current)
Jacket: New Look (Past Season)
On another outing for the new top, based on mum's styling suggestion to wear it over nothing but a bra (!), I teamed it with a stretch pencil skirt (also a present from mum, and another prime example of what you can pick up along with your milk and cat food these days) and heeled biker boots to toughen it up.
Top: As Above
Skirt: Tu at Sainsbury's (Current)
Boots: Peacocks (Past Season)
The tea dress is one of my favourite transitional pieces (again, check out this post for more ways to wear). Over-the-knee socks give a classic look a slight edge whilst keeping you warm(er). I added a swing jacket to retain a vintage feel.
Dress and Jacket: Primark (Past Season)
Shoes: Peacocks (Past Season)
Socks: Primark (Current - £2.50 for one navy and one burgundy pair)
On another occasion, I decided to bring a vintage-style dress into the 21st century with a rock-chick/Lana del Rey twist, teaming it with a leopard-print bomber, lace ankle socks and studded ankle boots... Oh OK, this look was actually partly accidental - I reached for the nearest jacket because I was cold - but it works, right?!
Dress and Boots: Primark (Past Season)
Jacket: Primark (SS12, but may still be some in stock)