It was Monday morning and I wanted to wear the black faux leather skirt I bought on my outing to Madison Rose.  I went through an intense trying-on session attempting to find an outfit that said "I will collaborate effectively with you on that project" but also "don't mess with me, I am a Tough Lady", aka my attitude to life and everything in it on a Monday.  I can usually convey the latter sentiment with my resting facial expression, but just to be safe, today I wore this jacket and I did not take it off...except for in the photos for this blog post.  

What I particularly like about this skirt is its length.  It hits me right above my ankle bone, so although I don't exactly look like a giant (and let's be real, it would take legitimate wizard magic to make me look tall), it's still flattering - and it's fun to swish about in.  Sometimes I walk Extra Purposefully on my way to the bathroom in these sorts of skirts so that I can pretend I am doing something important, rather than just washing mandarin pith off my hands.  The faux leather is soft and surprisingly light, so it's perfect for this time of year in Wellington. 

Let's collaborate effectively!

Let's collaborate effectively!

Nope, distracted by my swishy skirt, sorry. 

Nope, distracted by my swishy skirt, sorry. 

I love longer skirts and I think they can be a really chic alternative to trousers at work.  There are no concerns about what will happen if you have to reach for a cup on an unreasonably high shelf/crawl under your desk to plug your laptop charger in.  

The bright pop of yellow and the ruffle fills in the black and lifts the overall outfit, and it balances the volume of the skirt.  I often avoid pleated skirts with a fitted waistband like this one, because the smooth band followed by the volume of the pleat creates a weird bulge.  The massive ruffle paired with a cropped jacket that hit at the waist effectively deleted that effect. 

My jacket was a cheap, impulse decision from Cotton On about two years ago and it's turned out to be an excellent purchase.  It's made of a waxed cotton type of fabric, so it's absolutely no warmer than wearing a long sleeve shirt, but the proportions and details on it make it a real work horse in my wardrobe.  As it ages it is wearing, which I love, and I hope to get at least a couple more years of wear out of it.  Buying cheap clothes on impulse from chain stores is problematic for several reasons, but at least in this case that's balanced by my obsessive love of this jacket.  No landfill for this poorly manufactured garment! 

This shirt was a SaveMart find, and originally featured extremely stupid frills over the shoulder.  It was easy enough to tuck those under and tack them down with a careful line of stitching.  In the past I've also removed sleeves entirely from jackets and closed up the seams again, rejigged hemlines and mended seams on items I've liked and which have had some potential.  By hiding the sleeves, I removed some unnecessary volume in the shoulder which makes it easier to wear with cardigans and jackets.

You can see in these photos that I could probably do with a smaller size in this shirt - it could fit a little better in the body and around the arms.  I bought it despite this, not only because it cost a princely $5 or so, but also because the neck fit perfectly and the shoulder seam was just on the edge of my shoulder.  When I buy tops I look carefully at the fit in the shoulder.  That's where the proportions really need to work well, to prevent it from looking like you're wearing someone else's clothes.  You can go another way with this and wear certain items deliberately oversized - but that's a post for another day. 

Truthfully, I'm not very good at thinking about what colours suit me, but I strongly suspect that this particular shade of yellow is not the best for me.  Luckily, I live in a time where slathering a variety of creams and powders on my face to alter my appearance is totally normal, so I just amped up the blush and bronzer and then, honestly, decided that actually people don't look at you that closely and in any case, I have a giant ruffle on me.  Nobody cares if you look sickly on a Monday, amiright?

Jacket: Cotton On, Shirt: SaveMart find, Skirt: Zara purchased from Madison Rose, Earrings: random junky shop that no longer exists, Shoes: Formentini purchased from Kirks (RIP)