Friday, 16 August 2019

A handful of Summer outfits

Remember those days when Summers seemed to last forever? School was out and you were feeling giddy at the thought of two months' worth of freedom to be spent doing whatever you wanted.

Looking through rose-tinted glasses, it seems we had more days of proper Summer weather too. Cloudless days segued into balmy evenings, on which we begged to stay up just that little bit longer. Rainy days were few and far between and heatwave temperatures much more bearable. At least that last bit isn't far from the truth, as those crazy +40°C we've just experienced were of record-breaking height in our moderately climed little country.

But those days are long gone and nowadays the Summer months just seem to whizz by, leaving a blurry trail of indistinguishable days, most of which I spent working. But, even if nothing very much has been happening, at least in years to come I'll know what I was wearing!

In those post-heatwave days, we were blessed with some gorgeously sunny but not too warm days.

On the Tuesday (oh my, this is two weeks ago already!) I wore one of my all-time favourite dresses. This delicously swishy 1980s does 1950s dress is such a joy to wear. It came with a belt of its own, but I prefer adding an off-white vinyl one, which is another favourite. If the brooch I pinned to it, with its vase full of embroidered flowers, looks familiar, it's one of the three I found in that Shrewsbury antiques centre. The cardigan was a recent charity shop find.

It was a bit of a stressful week, work-wise, as the bosses were visiting from Miami. I'm not sure if you remember, but earlier this year, I traded in my old boss for two new ones! On the plus side, they are the nicest guys ever, but life is always a bit more hectic when my normal office routine is being disrupted.

Another plus is that they love my vintage outfits! These are some more of the outfits I wore that week. On the bottom left, a floral Diolen dress with a plastic swallow brooch pinned to it, and worn with a navy belt. And on the top right, another 1950s style dress with an abstract print and a tie collar. I wore this one with red accessories, including a plastic butterfly brooch.

When time and weather allows, we take outfit photos in the morning, with me posing in a picturesque corner of our village church. 

The church's origins are 12th century, but only the white sandstone west tower (not pictured) remains from that period. It was extended and renovated in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries, with the latest adaptations daing from 1928-29.

After leaving me at the bus stop, Jos is going for his morning coffee and croissant. It's all right for some, isn't it?

I choose green for Friday's outfit, This was actually my first wearing of this solid green and chevron print frock. Again, I replaced its plain green self-belt with one from my collection in contrasting tan with a cream lacy overlay. The lace theme was repeated in the reddish orange and cream slingbacks.

A vintage orange beaded necklace and faux mosaic butterfly brooch were my other accessories.

When I posted half of the above photograph on Instagram, Goody remarked that I looked like a garden goddess!

Speaking of Instagram, I think I am quite done with it. It was fun posting my daily outfits and reconnecting with people who are no longer blogging, but for the last week it has been giving me more trouble than it's worth, as for some reason it keeps preventing me from liking photos and making comments, giving me Action Blocked messages, as supposedly I have been doing things which are not according to their policy. Heaven knows what they are. Anyway, those of you I am following and are following me on Instagram, it's not that I don't like you anymore!

But I digress, so let's proceed with the matter at hand.

After the week I've had, I was more than happy that the weekend had arrived, even if Saturday greeted us with a blanket of grey.

Raring to get out of the house and walk off the Mid-Summer blues, we went for a stroll in the park which has the added bonus of being near one of our favourite charity shops.

I was wearing the striking midnight blue dress with a heady white and orange flower print, which followed me home from Think Twice in my first week back at work.

On top, the blue blazer with its sprinkling of orange leaves. Charity shopped last year and hardly worn for months on end, it's been making regular appearances these last few weeks. I'm really quite surprised at the number of outfits it seems to work with.

The faux wicker bag was a naughty retail buy from well before #fastfashionseason, and it has been used so many times that I'm no longer feeling guilty about its purchase. The blue flats were a sales bargain from two Summers ago, and almost rival my Cloudsteppers in comfort.

We've reversed roles here, and it seems I'm married to a natural model! The muted browns of Jos's trousers and jacket contrast beautifully with his blue floral shirt. Both the jacket and shirt were charity shop finds. And so was the belt, which he picked up in Shrewsbury!

Here's a closer look at the exotic print of my dress. I added an additional orange flower for further oomph, a tan belt at my waist and the same orange beaded necklace I wore on Friday.

The orange enamel of the ring had a little chip, which I repaired by painting it all over with orange nail polish in a slightly different shade.

I'm making a concentrated effort to wear more bangles and bracelets. During the week, this usually falls by the wayside, as when I do wear them, they have to be removed when I'm at my desk as they hinder my typing.

But as I have more than a box full of them, not wearing them is a bit of a shame, don't you think?

From the park, we ambled towards the charity shop, where pickings were slim but still included some books and a pair of Italian made shoes. And some bracelets, but you'll get to see those later.

On Sunday, the sun was out in full force again, presenting us with a glorious Summer's day. 

It was the first Sunday of August, the day a huge flea market is being held in a nearby village. It used to be a highlight of our Summer season for many years until two years ago, when we were more than just a little disappointed with the quality of the stalls.

After giving it a miss last year, we were now prepared to give it another go.

Sadly, it was another disappointment but although this became clear soon enough we stubbornly persevered, passing stall after stall selling cast-off clothing, toys and general tat under the glaring midday sun.

I was glad I was wearing a hat but forgot to bring a scarf to protect my neck, so that I was forced to buy a reasonable looking one for € 0,50.

As the market wasn't too far from Saturday's park, we decided to return and sit on a bench under some trees, while listening to the gurgling of the stone fountain, which added some additional coolness. 

Playing around with its mirror image, it seems there's a mythical figure hiding in the green!

I was wearing a gloriously cool 1970s cotton Summer frock. When we left the house that morning, one of our opposite neighbours remarked that I looked very "English". 

My accessories that day included a red belt, red and white beaded necklace, vintage metal flower brooch and a stack of bangles. Both the bracelet with its different coloured squares and the ivory coloured carved one were the ones I charity shopped on Saturday

For the longest time, my only find - apart from the scarf - was the vintage plastic brooch depicting Hansel and Gretel. And Phoebe!

Then, as we were nearly at the end of the market, I found two more brooches (top and bottom left) and a Bakelite, Art-Deco style tie pin!

Finally, there was this little vintage crochet handbag. I've used the other handbag, which has been in my collection for a couple of years, for sizing purposes. This one is regular handbag size, so that you can see how tiny the new one is. Too tiny to carry much in it, but surely too cute to be left behind?

Linking Saturday's dress to Nancy's Fancy Friday!


  1. The weather here in London has been awful Ann. Your summery outfits are making me jealous! I actually had to wear a light coat today! I love the Red shoes! xx

    1. I think our weather has been quite similar, Laurie. At the time of writing this post, it was awful here too! xxx

  2. How nice that the new bosses from Miami like your vintage stylings, Ann! It's so nice to be appreciated. So much to love in this post (you sure pack a lot in!):

    - You have so many pretty dresses, but my favourite is the midnight blue/orange/white floral one. You know my taste leans to the bold!
    - The red necklace looks totally different with each outfit it's paired with! Amazing.
    - The red/cream sling-backs are fabulous. Great heel.
    - Jos is a model! He has that hand-in-pocket and the touch-the-hat poses down pat.
    - Phoebe's on a pin!
    - That mirrored image of the fountain is astounding. It's a veritable Rorschach of image - I thought it was fireworks at first (and yes, I see the face!).

    Summer seems to start fading just as we start getting used to the warmth. I don't know about Belgium, but the west coast of Canada/Victoria get a true summer, right up till the end of September. It's often quite hot and lovely, although you feel the autumnal chill in the mornings.

    Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

    1. Thank you Sheila! For the last couple of years, our Summers have been quite mixed, with hot spells and truly awful weather. But our Septembers and Octobers tend to be lovely. I actually love the autumnal chill in the mornings, which makes hot weather much more bearable this time of year! xxx

  3. I'd have snapped up that bag in an instant too! What a shame the flea market wasn't as good as you hoped. I LOVE the midnight blue floral dress, so pretty.

    1. Thank you Gisela! I know you would have snapped up that bag too ;-) xxx

  4. ui - the newest crochet bag is super cute - now you need to go to a summer evening dance to take her out :-D
    is this dapper chap in the photos a dancer??
    you look totally fab in your summer dresses!
    and thats me on this brooch (the painter got the cats mixed up) - attracting tourists with pfefferkuchen - to make goulash for winter out of them ;-DDDD
    oh - and you catched a pic of pan!!
    hugsies - da´ling! xxxxx

    1. Your remark about the brooch made me laugh out loud :-) And yes, it seems I did make a snapshot of Pan! I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed. xxx

  5. Yes, summer used to last forever, when we were younger, wasn't it so? Or at any rate it felt so, I used to always have this feeling that summer would go on forever. I remember that feeling of freedom once the school would end and the sweet anticipation before a new school year. Your collection of dresses always amazes me. I love how you styled them too. You always have such pretty belts and accessories. I love bracelets too but sometimes they are not the most practical, they do tend to get in the way but it seems shame not to wear them. I really like that midnight blue dress with a vivid floral print. The lighter blue dress is gorgeous too, looks great paired with a straw hat with a matching blue ribbon and a basket bag. I also really like your green dress. You look fabulous in all of these summer outfits.

    1. Thank you Ivana! Even though I loved my months of freedom, I couldn't wait for the new school year to start at the end. I do love my accessories, most of which - and especially the belts - were found second hand. xxx

  6. That historical church is beautiful. So interesting that the building process lasted for centuries, I know of few such churches and it always makes them look very special.

    1. I always seem to take our beautiful church for granted, probably as I have known it since childhood, as I returned to live in the village I grew up in. xxx

  7. Ohhhhhhhhhhh I am in love with these crochetbags. They look amazing. And in this Hensel und Gretel brooch :)
    You look gorgeous in this english style blue cotton dress. It`s so romantic with hat and wicker bag.
    A very huge hug Tina

    1. Thank you so much Tina! I've got a Little Red Riding Hood brooch like that as well! xxx

  8. That is weird about IG. I've heard other people having issues with them. Too many rules. I prefer keeping up with people via their blogs. Feels more authentic to me. IG is such a visual medium. I have a hard time saying much on it.

    I agree that summers seem to slip by in the wink of an eye now. Oh to be a kid again!

    Kind of love that Jos is such a great model. When you've been behind the lens so often you learn a few tricks!

    Love your blue dress and that fab new bag.

    My husband would die over that tie pin. What a great find.


    1. Thank you Suzanne! Blogging is and will always remain my main medium of communication! xxx

  9. I've noticed with IG you have to say, "Shirt" or "Blouse" because "Top" will get flagged as sexual content! Sigh.

    That red dress is a beauty, and perfect for the summer heat. I'm guessing your bosses were thrilled to be away from Miami in August. I have been there in the summer and it is...unpleasant.

    Jos does make a good model!

    Hope you can get a bit more out of summer before it leaves for the year.

    1. Sigh indeed! I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'll persevere, keeping a low profile on IG for the time being. My bosses love coming to Antwerp at any time of year. They say they love to see real trees instead of just palm trees ;-) xxx

  10. Both you and Jos make excellent models! All your frocks are gorgeous, even if our summer's don't last as long as we remember them doing in childhood, at least your dresses keep the Summery vibe alive.
    Your finds are fab, love the titchy blue bag!
    Another of my friends had similar issues with IG. As I use it on the PC my only grumble is being bombarded with people selling stuff! xxx

    1. Thank you Vix! The summers might not last as long as I remember, but I definitely have more frocks to wear ;-) xxx

  11. I totally agree that IG does all kind of stupid things to annoy us. And I hate particularly how it decides by itself what to show.
    And I love your summery outfits, every of your floral dresses is so fabulous and love the accessorizing, the brooches!. Those dresses that your new bosses liked are some of my favourites, and also love the Green one (so fab color). Jos looks really elegant and cool and he has such a great attitude posing!!.
    However my favorite is the 'exotic print' dress with the orange accessorizing. I do love this print and you look particularly gorgeous in those pics!
    Glad that you've decided to wear your bracelets more frequently. I have same issue on typping, so I have to remove my bracelets and put them in a drawer when I come into the office. It makes me feel 'no properly accessorized' when at work.
    And I'm in love with those crochet bags!

    1. Thank you Monica! I'd a feeling the exotic print frock would be your favourite! The largest of the crochet bag, which I've had for a long time, is actually plastic! xxx

  12. We definitely don't have the summers we used to have - nor the winters. But perhaps that's nostalgia kicking in, as all the mediocre days get forgotten and we only remember the good ones.

    I've never had any trouble with IG, but I think I've been lucky there.

    That little bag is really cute! And if you've got lots of use out of the other one, why feel guilty about it? Surely using something loads is the very opposite of fast fashion.

    1. I'm sure it's nostalgia kicking in, but that's exactly what it feels like. Hardly anything fits into that smaller bag, but it was too cute to leave it behind! xxx

  13. You have a fabulous sense of style. Love it!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I've popped over to your blog in the meantime as well! xxx

  14. Those crochet bags are adorable, how did I forget to comment on them before. I have one crochet bag my grandmother made for me when I was a teenager but I need to figure out how to fix it. It would be a shame not to but I still haven't decided on the method, I'm afraid I'll ruin the original design. Your bags inspire me to give it a try!

    1. I'd love to see your grandmother's bag Ivana, so I hope you'll find a way to fix it. xxx

  15. Both bags are lovely. No way to leave the little one behind. Regula

  16. Yes, that's how I remember summer as a child too.
    Your Instagram troubles echo the ones I had when I first tried to set up a Facebook account and infact, despite recently doing it I don't actually use it. Sometimes I just want to unplug totally...but then I'd never get to read any blogs!
    I love the orange/cream slingbacks and the orange leaves blazer, both real gems.
    Jos looks great, you are a talented photographer Ann. xxx

    1. I know what you mean about the unplugging thing, but I'll never ever give up my blog, as it's one of the best things I ever did. I'm on Facebook too, but lately I've mostly been using it to tell people about the latest post on the blog! xxx