Coordinated and Conservative, yet Cool

Coordinated and Conservative, yet Cool

I often reflect that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it that’s the key to how you feel in an outfit.  I’ve written other posts where my basic outfit wasn’t much to write home about (or write a blog about) but the shoes and outerwear have made it so much more fun.  This is one of those outfits.

A midi skirt and a long sleeved blouse sounds like the snooziest of snooze fests, but we know from such epic resources as “that pamphlet on successful home gardening I found at the second hand bookshop” that it can also be a stylish option for a range of activities (including, apparently, gardening).  

I acknowledge that I’m not exactly oozing raw sexual energy in this outfit, but sometimes it’s nice to have a rest from breaking hearts and terrorising the opposite gender, y’know?  Because I believe so strongly that clothes can influence how you feel, when I got dressed in this outfit/costume I immediately felt like a Proper Lady with Guardian, and I ponced about for the day accordingly.  The bell shape of this skirt is perfect for such a fantasy because it doesn’t swish so much as it sways, in a way that makes me think of wearing a hoop skirt or similar Gone With the Wind type number (without the corsets, restricting my ability to eat chips and gravy).

Blatant and unsophisticated colour coordination is the easiest way to build a cohesive outfit, as in this case where I just found every navy and white thing I owned and wore it all at once.  However, there are a few features of this outfit worth mentioning.  The polka dots on the shirt are mirrored in the detail of my shoes, and the pattern of the skirt makes it more special – imagine a plain navy skirt, and suddenly this is very dull indeed.  

As always, outfit proportions are important and this one works because I’ve done the classic “fitted on top, full on the bottom” style.  This is great if you are, like me, rather small on top and then suddenly gain an entire dress size (or two) on the bottom.  Literally, it’s my bottom.  You could have any size bottom in this skirt, just about, and the patterned shirt with the pockets placed over the breasts balances you nicely. 

Inspired by my gardening housewife friend, I rolled up the sleeves to give this a more “I’ll just prune the roses, Harold” casual vibe.  Rolling the sleeves was key, as otherwise there would have just been too much fabric for an outfit intended for a sunny day.  In winter, this skirt is perfect with a fitted, fine merino jersey and a pair of high boots, but in summer it can evolve into a pretty, ladylike option in a heartbeat.  

I found this belt recently at Recycle Boutique and snapped it up on sight, because I have a strong instinct that wide belts are about to return from the Siberia of early 2000s fashion.  They just look so good cinching in a waist or slung around the hips over a flowing skirt.  You read it here first.

Photography skillz kindly supplied by Lucy Revill of The Residents

Skirt: Country Road, a year ago, but if you want to feel ladylike try this option; Blouse, Marcs, here's the same style in red; Shoes, Minx found at Salvation Army, these are fab; Belt, no brand found at Recycle Boutique; Sunglasses, Quay Australia, there are tons of great options

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