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Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Short(s) Winter

Even though I've mentioned snow a couple of times on my blog this winter, we really have fairly gentle winters here at the Bruton School. It's only really cold for about a month... and, wow, this is that month! Some of my friends love the cold (looking at you, Charlie, Honor, Eve, Rebecca, and Vesper!), but I'm looking forward to the warm weather's return. So this week I'm featuring an outfit I put together for my very first photo shoot with my new friend, Natalie Hadley-Braithwaite -- an outfit that includes SHORTS in the winter!

Natalie is new to our school this semester. One of her favourite things to do is help her dad in his garage, where he repairs and rebuilds classic cars. But Natalie is also a really 'girly' girl -- she loves dresses and make-up and romantic colours and being stylish. She's from a town called Whitby, on the northern coast of Yorkshire, and it gets really cold on the Yorkshire coast in the winter. Natalie's been complaining about how warm the month of January was here. So I decided to go with a really trendy look for her that involves lots of layers, so she can decide how much warmth she wants to layer on.

First, these shorts. You guys, I love these so much. They're pretty much a cabled sweater turned into a pair of shorts. The ribbing at the leg opening keeps them from sagging and losing their shape, the way knits sometimes do. The few sequins give the shorts just a bit of sparkle. I love the winter-white shade.

The leggings layered under the shorts are the same colour as the shorts, and they add a nice layer of warmth. The black boots are simple and clean-lined, without a lot of fancy details. They work together with Natalie's simple black shirt to ensure that the shorts are the star of the outfit.

But you know I can't resist having a pop of colour in this otherwise neutral outfit! So over the black knit shirt I've layered a very lightweight knit vest in a rich plum purple. As we learned in my recent post featuring Autumn in her cardigan and kilt, purple is the go-to colour for green-eyed people. Natalie has really unusual light green-blue eyes, and you can really see how the purple vest brings them out. Also, do you remember the heart necklace I wore on Valentine's Day, that I said belonged to Natalie? Here's the proof that I returned it to her. ;-)

This is a slightly out-of-the-ordinary outfit that you might not be able to wear every day, but if it's not too cold and you're feeling adventurous, it's a really cool look. I hope you think so, too!

Outfit details:
Shorts and leggings: AG Winter White outfit
T-shirt: LynnieJo's
Vest: Our Generation Boho Beauty outfit
Boots: AG Fashion Boots
Necklace: Vintage

Friday, February 20, 2015

Explore in Style

Yikes, I'm really late with this week's post! We got a bunch of snow on Monday night, and it doesn't snow here very often, so everything's been in a bit of a tizzy all week. I did get some great pictures of some of my friends in the snow, but it turns out temperatures way below freezing aren't so great for fashion photo shoots, lol. Instead, I'm going to post a shoot that Tegan and I did with Rowan a few weeks ago. Hope you enjoy! :)

Rowan is practically never inside. She always wants to be outside, looking for new and challenging experiences. So her style tends to be extremely sporty, and many of her clothes are made more for comfort and convenience than they are for style. So my challenge with this outfit was to put together a look that Rowan could wear... maybe not when she's mountain-climbing or bungee jumping, but at least when she's simply out hiking around on a nice day. I started with a gorgeous pair of dark-washed, high-waisted jeans. These are so trendy right now! The fit is perfect for Rowan -- slim, but not so skinny that she can't stretch and move in them.

This bright coral-and-cream striped blouse was my focal point. It's a real attention-getter, especially because the fringed tie at the neck. The colours look amazing with Rowan's creamy skin, warm hair, and amber eyes.

Next I added a rugged canvas hooded vest. The purple lining is an unexpected subtle contrast with the blouse. The vest has pockets for carrying stuff Rowan might need on a hike -- a protein bar, a compass, her keys. The hood is useful if it's a soft day. 

I topped things off with these epic combat boots. Check out the wee pocket on the side -- it's a real pocket, not just for looks! Rowan can tuck a five-pound note in there... you know, just in case she gets tired of walking and needs to hire a cab to bring her home. ;) 

A final picture of Rowan's hair, because I am simply in love with it. Those curls are delicious! I think Rowan looks just gorgeous in this outfit. It's practical and stylish at the same time, proving that you don't have to sacrifice fashion just because you're an athlete!

Outfit details:
High-waist jeans: Maddie's Girls
Striped blouse: Our Generation "Beyond Cozy" outfit
Hooded vest: Vintage (I'm pretty sure it's OG, but Tegan's had it for so long that it she can't remember where it came from, and it doesn't have any tags!)
Boots: Val's Unique Boutique

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

P. S. I Love You

Guess what? Valentine's Day came early for me! On Friday, the postman brought me a whole pile of wonderful valentines from family and friends. So I decided this weekend to put together a Valentine's Day outfit and show you some of the wonderful, thoughtful valentines I received. Hang on to your hats, kids; this post is pic heavy!

I love bright colours, so when I opened the package from my grandma and found this bright pink skirt, I was so excited to build an outfit around it. Rather than reaching for a really romantic top to go with the tutu-style skirt, I decided to try for a more retro look. I'm most drawn to styles from the '60s and '70s, so I opted for a simple '70s-style turtleneck. It was unusually warm this weekend, but if it had been colder, I would have added some plain pale-pink tights. Instead, I just chose pink T-strap mary janes. I topped off my outfit with a pink bow for my hair, a necklace I borrowed from my friend Natalie (you'll meet her soon!), and a purse that was a gift from my lovely Mama.

The tulle skirt, which is made by one of my favourite designers, Janie Jumps, has tone-on-tone polka dots. It's lined underneath with pink cotton. It's so bright and cheerful; I love it. Doesn't my grandma have great taste? I think it's going to be very popular among my friends... I hope they still let me wear it sometimes!

Here is the necklace that I borrowed from Natalie. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

 My sweet Mum sent this awesome balloon. I love balloons! When it starts to deflate, I'll open it up, suck out the helium, and make myself talk funny. :-) Have you ever done that?

Mum's gift also included this cute pillow for my bed. It made me laugh, because I already AM hers, lol! Mum and Mama adopted me when I was only three days old, so I've been Mum's and Mama's daughter all my life. (As an aside, I love this picture Tegan took. The focus and colours are so fun.)

Here's a better picture of the lovely purse my Mama sent. I love that it will match almost anything. Mama tucked a present inside her present: a bunch of tickets to the cinema! Charlie and I can watch movies for months!

Last, but most definitely NOT least, I received the most wonderful surprise: a valentine from my beautiful friend Inky, who lives in the States! Isn't it the cleverest valentine you've ever seen? Can you see how there are two slits cut into the picture where Inky's hand is, and there's a real lollipop stuck through them so it looks just as if Inky's holding it? How cool is that?! She thoughtfully put it in this nifty faux-bois bag, with an "A" for Audra, in case the lolly fell out. I'm going to put the picture of Inky on my bedroom wall. The lolly I'm saving to eat on Valentine's Day. Thank you so, so much, Inky!!! <3

I hope YOU have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Be sure to tell your friends and family how much you love them, and I hope they shower you with love also. And I love you too!

Outfit details:
Skirt: Janie Jumps
Necklace: I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember! It was a gift with a purchase, but I don't remember who so generously gave it. :( 
Balloon: Dollar Tree
Pillow: McDonald's Happy Meal toy

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Burns Night, Belated

Come, bumpers high, express your joy,
The bowl we maun renew it,
The tappet hen, gae bring her ben,
To welcome Willie Stewart. 
You're welcome, Willie Stewart, 
You're welcome, Willie Stewart,
There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May
That's half sae welcome's thou art!
               -- Robert Burns, "You're Welcome, Willie Stewart"

I have a new friend to introduce to you all this week. She's only just started at the Bruton School this term. Her name's not Willie Stewart; it's Autumn MacGillivray. If it hadn't snowed last week and I hadn't been so excited about Eve's outfit, I would have made this post last week. Why? Because 25 January is Burns Night, a day to celebrate Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns, and like Burns, Autumn is Scottish. Have you ever heard of the Loch Ness monster? Well, Autumn is from the town of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, right next to Loch Ness! Sadly, though, she tells me she's never once seen hide nor hair -- scale? -- of the monster.

Today's post features an outfit designed and created by one of my all-time favorite designers, Karen at Forever 18 Inches (link below). Thank you, Karen!

I know, I know, the plaid kilt-style skirt is such a cliché to choose for a Scottish person I've just met, isn't it? *facepalm* But I knew this combination of purples and taupe would be simply stunning on her, so I was delighted when Autumn loved it immediately.

One of the national symbols of Scotland is the thistle, which is a prickly purple flower (well, it's a weed, actually...):

What's more, one of the loveliest sights you can imagine is the purple heather that blooms all over the Scottish Highlands, appropriately enough, in the autumn:

I was thinking about these things when it dawned on me that purple was the perfect colour to highlight new-friend Autumn's dark green eyes.

So this heathered purple cardigan, with its blue tones that contrast with Autumn's red hair, couldn't have been a better choice for her.

The 'shirt' under the purple cardigan is actually another cardigan! It has short sleeves and buttons that keep it closed, though, which makes it great for layering under as well as over other things. It's a lightweight rayon knit, and the texture of the fabric works really plays off the heathered cardigan well. The bright purple of the cardigan could come off as less sophisticated if it were paired with a bright white, but this light taupe shade tames it.

Here's a clearer shot of the gorgeous plaid pleated skirt. Autumn told me that the kilt hose that Scottish men wear with their kilts should be two to three fingers' length below their kneecaps. But since Autumn's a girl and this isn't actually a kilt, we decided to go with textured over-the-knee stockings. The dark brown combat-style boots bring a bit of an edge to the outfit.

There's no way I was going to do anything to Autumn's stunning red hair, except let it fall in its own natural heavy curls. Isn't it the most gorgeous colour you've ever seen?

Tegan and I had such a great time getting to know Autumn a bit during this photo shoot. I can't wait to get to know her even better this term!

Outfit details:
Cardigan, shirt/cardigan, and skirt: Forever 18 Inches
Stockings: AG Addy's Birthday Outfit
Boots: Christmas gift (I think they may have come from

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The snow must go on!

I'm so excited because we finally got some snow! It's been unusually warm here so far this winter. But when I woke up this morning, there was a beautiful dusting of snow on the ground. I knew it would melt by afternoon, so I ran to get Tegan and Eve so that we could take some pictures while it lasted. Fortunately, Eve had some new winter things in her closet that just begged to be modelled. :)

It's hard for me to imagine that I haven't yet introduced you to Eve Meyrick. She's been here at school for months and months, and it feels as though I've known her forever! Eve is from a town on the coast of Wales called Holyhead, in Anglesey. Holyhead is also home to a high-speed ferry that takes people back and forth across the Irish Sea to the port at Dun Laoghaire. Eve's father is one of the ferry captains. (She's promised that I can come visit this summer and we'll take the ferry across to Ireland and meet Rachel for a day out in Dublin!)

As you can see, it was still snowing while we were outside. Eve was toasty-warm in her winter layers... except that I kind of forgot to include gloves. Oops. She was a sport, though, and she didn't complain -- much! She did have a knitted hat to keep her head warm, though.

The most important and visible element of this outfit is the quilted hoodie. Is there anything more cosy than quilting? I think there isn't.

The hood is lined with red and black flannel in an always-classic buffalo plaid. Buffalo plaid always brings to mind lumberjacks in snowy forests. I love this hoodie because the plaid doesn't dominate; it's just a rustic accent to the clean-lined charcoal shirt.

Layers are key in winter, and Eve's got them. Under the hoodie she's wearing a thermal-knit, tunic-length tank with light grey and white stripes. The little plaid patches are so cute! The charcoal grey leggings wouldn't be very warm by themselves, so Eve's wearing them with thick wool boot socks. I love these things. Don't they make you think of sock monkeys?! Her black corduroy boots are lined with a teeny-tiny black, white, and red plaid.

Eve often wears her hair in braids. Rather than simple plain ones, today we jazzed them up! First we made an asymmetric French braid on the left side that pulled her hair back from her face. Then we made a second braid on the right with the remaining hair. Can you see the incredibly detailed six-sided snowflake a little bit above the right braid, and the other one halfway down it? They look like Stars of David!

After that chilly photo shoot, we all came inside for a cup of tea and some breakfast. Lucky Tegan and me... Eve is the most amazing baker you've ever met, and she made us fresh scones with clotted cream and jam. (Those are usually for tea, but the Americans at our school tell us they often eat them for breakfast, and now a bunch of us are getting into the habit of doing it too!) They were SOOOOO good. What do you like to eat and drink after playing outside in the snow?

Outfit details:

Hoodie, tunic, and boot socks: 123 Mulberry Street
Leggings: AG Star Hoodie outfit (retired)
Hat: Chic Doll Boutique
Boots: Doll Up My Doll

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Be Yourself!

Last week I introduced you all to my lovely new friend Rachel. This week I'll introduce you to another of my new friends, who is also Rachel's best friend. Her name is Kinneret Caspi. You say her first name kee-NEHR-et. It's Hebrew, and it means 'lyre'. What is a lyre, you ask? It's a musical instrument, a kind of harp:

Kinneret is from Israel. Like Rachel, she's a theatre person; she loves to act and direct. Kinneret also has really unique fashion sense, and she's not afraid to be herself and look different from other people. I really admire that in her!

Kinneret's taste in clothing is strongly influenced by a Japanese fashion and lifestyle called mori. A mori girl is usually someone who tries to live a very simple life, wears a lot of neutrals and layers, and sort of models herself on earthy forest spirits (mori means 'forest'). Kinneret doesn't adhere much to the mori lifestyle, but she does love the layered clothes, and she always incorporates plenty of neutral, earthy elements in her outfits. She likes to mix them with colours, though, as you can see!

This outfit incorporates neutrals especially in the clean, simple, topstitched linen jumper that Kinneret wears almost like an apron, over her skirt and shirt but under the cardigan. The flower-sprinkled knit Henley shirt adds a natural and feminine element to the outfit. The dark plum colour of the boyfriend-style cardigan really works beautifully with Kinneret's pink-blonde hair.

Mori style is all about long, flowing, loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Kinneret's meadow-green knit maxi skirt definitely fits that description. Her blue-grey ankle boots draw your eye back up toward the blue of her shirt, so they pull things together.

Again in keeping with mori style, Kinneret isn't much for sparkly jewellery and tons of accessories. So she keeps things very simple with a pair of gold hoop earrings and her brown Wayfarer-style glasses.

Her hair is pulled back in an intentionally (!) messy sort of partial braid, tied off with a plain brown elastic, and with a few curls left long to frame her face. When you have hair that is an unusual colour but a pretty low-key personality like Kinneret (and Tegan, Rachel, and Tabitha too!), I think it's often good to keep the style of your hair simple and let the colour speak for itself. Of course, if you have an edgier style or personality, you should rock that green mohawk or shocking-pink spiked hair!

The thing I love best about Kinneret's style is that she takes cues from mori fashion, but she isn't a slave to it. She puts her own twists on it and makes it all her own. You know from the moment you look at her that Kinneret knows who she is and isn't going to let anyone else tell her she should be someone different. I'm glad about that, because I think she's awesome just the way she is!

Outfit details:

Topstitched jumper: Hazel Ann Designs
Henley shirt: AG Weekend Fun outfit (currently on sale!)
Knit maxi skirt: Hazel Ann Designs
Boyfriend cardigan: QTπ Doll Clothing
Ankle boots: AG Everyday Play outfit (retired)
Glasses: Maplelea Brown Glasses
Earrings: 2SistersSewCrafty

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Making New Friends

This school year has seen the arrival of several new girls at the Bruton School. You've already met Rowan and Vesper, who are wonderful, and I'm so happy they're here! But I have four other new friends who haven't yet appeared on the blog, even though some of them have been here since last Hilary term. (*facepalm* I should have introduced them so much sooner!) My new friends are Rachel Gleeson, Kinneret Caspi, Eve Meyrick, and Autumn MacGillivray.

Today I'd like you to meet Rachel. She is from Ireland, waaaay down south in Cork City. This means she has a really distinctive accent that makes me smile. I have to listen hard to understand her sometimes when she's talking fast, but I love the way Rachel talks. She's used to people asking her to repeat things, though, because she lived in Dublin for a couple of years before she came to school here, and she says even Irish people have a hard time understanding a Cork accent sometimes.

Rachel works in theatre a lot. She grew up taking drama classes with her younger brother Jack, and that's where she learned to love costume design. So Rachel knows a lot about how to put together an outfit, and what will look good on someone. This outfit is entirely her doing. You can see how she opted for a neutral dark grey palette, because it works so well with her white-blonde hair. (For those of you wondering, Rachel says it's okay to tell you, yes, it's dyed! But it was this colour naturally when she was very small.)

It was a wintry day when we took these pictures, so Rachel bundled up in a tweedy-looking jersey knit cardigan and a big cosy flecked cowl.

She paired these with black corduroy skinnies and some lovely, faux-fur-topped grey boots. No need for a heavy coat with all these warm pieces.

I just love the way the grey outfit highlights Rachel's unique silver-grey eyes. I think her hair and eyes make her look like a beautiful Elf straight out of Tolkien. Rachel tells me her Granda (that's 'grandfather', if you need a translation!) says she and her brother, who has the same colouring, must be part sidhe -- that is, the faery folk of Irish lore.

Her hairpin is ornately scrolled and sparkly, but not at all weighty, so it doesn't contrast too dramatically with her hair.

For all her love of costume and fashion, Rachel is an academic at heart. Her passion is studying philosophy and theology, because she always wants to know the 'why's of the world. Still, I'm hoping she'll want to be involved with this blog as much as time allows, because she's got amazing style!

Outfit details:

Cardigan: QTπ Doll Clothing
Corduroy skinny jeans: Orange Dot Designs
Cowl: Zellawear
Grey Fur Trim Button Boots: eBay (search that phrase and you'll find them in several shops)
Hairpin: Target (I believe it's Scünci brand)