Being a cash-strapped recessionista is one thing – my Visa and I are slowly adjusting to our new lifestyle – but having no money to spend whatsoever is quite another thing altogether! Sadly, through an unfortunate combination of bills coinciding with each other I recently found myself in that very situation. I spent a fortnight living on pesto and pasta which does nothing for either a girl’s spirit or her tummy’s tone!
Still, I had to make the most of it and that is exactly what I did. Approaching autumn is always a favourite time of year of mine. I love autumnal colours – especially this year’s purple’s and blues – and find it easier to find “my” style in the colder seasons (although here in Dublin every season seems cold these days!)
So, being broke and unable to shop I took the opportunity to go through my wardrobe and come up with some new and / or forgotten outfits for the new season. Old clothes can always be re-styled in new ways (my very own version of re-cycling, see how green I am?!) My gorgeous and stylish sister has always had a fabulous knack for layering items brilliantly which is something I never thought I could do until recently. Over the last few months though my confidence has increased and I am much more willing to try new styles, cuts, patterns and combinations, including layering, which really opens up new options for me.
So, I flung open my wardrobe doors with gusto, promptly got hit on the head by a flying sandal and once recovered from the kitten heel mark in my cheek I started pulling things out to see what I could come up with.
Firstly, and with huge glee, I set aside a big pile of stuff I am now too skinny for…woohoo!! They have all gone to a good cause, very important these days, ladies! Next I worked out what I could mix together and arrived at some great and glam combinations – my mint green wrap-over cardi and purple ¾ length sleeve purple top look great with either of my denim minis; a red vest really brings alive my turquoise v-neck short sleeved jumper and they are super flattering with my skinny jeans; the wonder of simple ¾ or long sleeve t’s or polos and opaque tights was endless as I added them to summer dresses to extend their wear into winter. I discovered adding purple tights to my fuchsia pink mini dress looks amazing and really funks it up – might sound mad but trust me, with silver sandals it works perfectly!
The power of accessories also came to the fore here. I discovered putting red shoes and accessories with a purple dress looks brilliant. I absolutely love that colour combination, although I almost killed myself when I wore my gorgeous ‘new’ outfit to a cinema trip in Temple Bar. My red 3 inch t-bars shoes may look fab with the dress but they and cobblestones don’t go well together as I discovered to my peril!
Over recent years I have collected countless colourful scarves, bracelets and necklaces and we won’t even begin on all the shoes and bags I have or we will be here all day. But all of these can easily liven up a dull outfit and bring something boring to life with little effort. Something I love to do is wear colourful shoes (especially red) if I am wearing a black outfit. Suddenly not so boring!!
Happily, I made two fabulous discoveries while having my clear-out / planning session. I found a bag and pair of boots I had bought and put away for autumn. The bag is incredibly soft, brown fake leather (or fleather as I call it!) from Marks and Spencer in a satchel style and quite slouchy with a bag-width pocket with two buckles. It can be worn over the shoulder or across the body and I love it.
Secondly, I found a great pair of shoe-boots from Penneys (€15). They are black layered levels of fleather with four inch killer heels. I was never sure about the shoe-boot trend but loved these on sight. I think if they sit at the wrong point on your ankle they can be really unflattering but, hit the right spot and they can work wonders and these ones do, if I do say so myself!
It has been quite a tough but definitely interesting few weeks and most interestingly it turns out that, such is my level of fashionista / shopaholic-dom that even with no money and without setting foot in a shop or even hitting the internet, I can still manage to acquire new “goodies”!