Thursday, 13 February 2020

Psychedelic fur

Much as I would like to carry on with my latest travelogue, and relive the first full day of our little Bruges getaway in the process, there's something I need to get out of the way first.

I actually didn't quite finish the month of January yet, so before it totally slips into the mists of time, I am taking you back to last month's final weekend.

I'd been waiting for the temperature to drop into the low single figures - accompanied by a smidgen of frost overnight - to dig out my collection of fake fur.

In fact, I already wore this coat, which I charity shopped for a mere € 8 back in December 2016, in the early hours of this year, as it was the outerwear I wore over my New Year's Eve outfit. 

I've had the scarf, a retail buy, for much longer than that, but I have to admit I'd forgotten all about it until I found it lurking at the back of a drawer. It's been out and about a couple of times since, in spite of the fact that it is sporting two quite substantial holes where it got stuck in a zip many years ago.

My outerwear that day was completed with a pair of burgundy leather gloves, and a new-to-me burgundy beret, both complementing my burgundy boots from Think Twice.

Did I mention it was cold? Nevertheless, it had to be done: I had to remove my coat so that I could show you what I was wearing underneath.

The dress is a handmade vintage one. Or at least I always thought it was handmade until Vix told me she once sold its twin. Whatever the case, I love its psychedelic rust and brown print. Plus, what's not to like about a tie-collar? My blog tells me I last wore it in December 2018, so it was high time I took it for another spin. Incidentally, I wore exactly the same coat with it back then!

But I certainly didn't wear this cardigan, as it was only charity shopped a couple of months ago. I thought its bright neon green leafy pattern would work wonderfully with the dress, and it did, providing a touch of Spring at the same time. The darkest brown in the dress's pattern was repeated in my brooch's frame, while the lady's coppery hair complemented the rusty bits.

To break up the dress's print, I wore my zebra belt, a naughty retail buy a while ago, which has proved its merit several times over by now. The tie collar was tamed with another brooch, this one boasting multi-coloured stones in a star-like pattern.

It was Saturday, so I'm sure you know what we were up to. Yes, that's right, a good old rummage in the charity shops was on the menu.

And did we find anything? You bet we did! 

Two different shops came up trumps by contributing to this happy marriage of handbag and purse. Both are modern: the bag is Esprit and the purse is from an unkown-to-me label called CAS8, but I'm sure you'll agree they have my name written all over them. At € 4 and € 0,50 respectively, they didn't break the bank either, so that it would have been downright criminal not to give them a loving home.

Our chosen charity shops' book departments are usually well worth a browse too. This time my eye was caught by these two gems: a time travel trip back to the 60s on the left and a book on Holga photography on the right. For those are not familiar with Holga, it is the name of a camera, first manufactured in China in the 1980s. They are  made almost entirely of plastic and some even have plastic lenses. It was intended for the Chinese consumer as a low-budget camera, but has since gathered a cult following. It is even said to have inspired Instagram. For those who are interested, you can read up on it in this BBC article.

There's always room for more cheap 'n cheerful jewellery and why buy new when you can find it for less than € 2 in the charity shops. That is, if you are prepared to wade through a mountain of tat. For me, that is the thrill of the chase, finding that one piece of treasure that used to be someone else's trash.

Take my top find of the day, for instance. This orange leather C&A jacket looks virtually unworn, yet here it was, surrounded by and almost drowning in a sea of brown and black leather, most of which had clearly seen better days. While I was trying it on there and then, discovering that it fit me like a glove, people were casting admiring glances in my direction, one or two remarking that it seemed to made for me. On top of that, it complimented the dress I was wearing perfectly.

A slight increase in temperature on Sunday, which was mainly due to the fact that for once the sun had gained the upper hand that day.

I had a craving for green and, browsing my wardrobe, it was clear that this stripy dress, with its ombre effect, neat row of pleats and pussy bow, was trying to catch my attention.

OK, you will do, I told the dress: after all, I haven't worn you since ... oh, I don't know, it's been far too long anyway.

Accessorizing with pink was almost inevitable on this almost Springlike day, so I added a pink woven belt, a pink and green crocheted brooch, a pink plastic ring and bright pink tights!

A pink, lurex trimmed cardigan went on top, adorned with a posy of green flowers. Sadly one of the flowers' petals is missing, which is why I picked it up cheaply at the time.

The sun disappeared behind the clouds a couple of times, but then decided to stay with us for the afternoon. Perfect for a much needed top-up of the vitamin D levels, so we dragged ourselves out of the sofa, grabbed our coats and went outside.

Lacking the energy for a longer walk, we contented ourselves with a leisurely stroll around the site of the old fort in our neighbouring village. Perched on fallen tree branches suspended above the moat were a flight of gangly, pre-historic looking cormorants drying their wings.

Following the path skirting the moat eventually takes you into the creepily atmospheric remains of the fort, where mould and graffiti are vying for attention. 

And there's me, in my fake fur, trying to hide the bags under my eyes and pretending I wasn't feeling as tired as I did.

It's days like these, with their promise of Spring, that make me long for the real thing to come along soon.


  1. Those January weeks are the hardest of the year, I swear! Wearing bright colours this winter has been a godsend for me, and seeing you in your brights lifts my spirits.

    Adoring that faux fur coat - so awesome - and gasping over that amazing orange leather jacket (I'm making "gimme" fingers at the screen, lol). Great score on the Esprit leather bag - that's going to be a workhorse, that perfect size. Your ombre striped dress is incredible - I just love it.

    Hang in there, my dear, spring is around the corner. You can make it! Happy weekend to you, Jos and Phoebe!

  2. I really love your first outfit, Ann! That coat is fabulous and those boots are as amazing! Such a chic winter look! That new orange leather jacket is a fantastic find too! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Ann! XXX

  3. gorgeous dresses and fabulous finds!
    love that bag and the books, and that jacket is a stunner. do give it a good rub with a clear leather care product - leather thends to dry out over the years and if so it tears easily.
    did i tell you that i´m a sucker for printed cardigans?? :-D
    hugsies! xxxxxx

  4. Oooh! I love all your outfits! I love those bright oranges, rusts and greens. Swooning over your orange leather jacket. Yes definitely roll on spring! XXX

  5. Oh that orange leather jacket, what a fab find!
    Sorry I haven't visited much lately, it's been a busy time but I hope to be back on a more regular basis from now on.
    I'm eager for Spring to arrive too...

  6. Good morning, Ann. Sorry, I'm in a bit of a rush this morning so I'll be brief. First outfit is lovely but the green dress is my favourite. Your finds are fantastic. That leather jacket is the perfect colour for autumn/winter. Great bag too. Have a good weekend.

  7. The first printed dress you wore is so wonderful. I really like the faux fur coat you paired it with. Faux fur coats are the best for fending off the cold and they look very chic too. Lovely purple boots and the scarf is beautiful.

    The second green dress you're wearing is so gorgeous. The flower brooch is so lovely, even with one pedal missing. I'm sure there is a way to fix that. I think there is some trick with a matching nail-polish I saw in some DIY video but I haven't tried it myself. Wonderful styling dear! The belt you paired this green dress is fantastic too.

    The orange leather jacket was a great find too. How lovely it also fit the dress you wore on the day you tried it on and bought it was meant to be.

  8. I like your rust dress and I love the orange leather jacket you scored, what a great find! :) I really need to opshop more often! :)

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

    Away From Blue

  9. I'm loving all the orange, great bag and jacket.
    I hope you're battening down the hatches for storm Dennis! xx

  10. What a great orange and brown patterned dress! I almost feel like I had some pieces of similar color and pattern in my closet in the 70s and I'm in love with that green cardigan you've paired with it. I love that coat, too! It's vintage but it's so up-to-date now, too! I can think of a few things I wore back in the day that I wish I'd never given away. Maybe that's why my closet is so stuffed full...what if I give away one more thing that I'll regret in the future? I really need to find more places with vintage clothing because I just love what you found. That orange jacket is a classic and it's perfect with your dress! And the bags - love those, too! What a great green ombre striped dress and it's perfect paired with the hot pinks. And on an off-subject from fashion, aren't cormorants the most fun to watch?


  11. I adore fluffy jackets and yours looks so warm.

    Burgundy boots- how gorgeous! These are the kinds of boots I look out for – unique colours and in a vintage style. I never seem to see burgundy boots anymore. What a find you’ve scored!

    I am gawking over your orange jacket. It certainly seems to be made just for you.

    Oh Ann, I would love to have a rummage through your closet. X

  12. What wonderful outfits you've been wearing. So colourful and always beautifully and colourfully accessorised. You have another beret? It's lovely, btw but how many do you actually have?

    You did very well on your rummage; I had never heard of the Holga camera - everyday's a school day. Loved the necklace, the bag and the purse but the orange leather jacket was such a brilliant find; it's gorgeous.

    It's so good to see those Springlike signs - it won't be long now!

    Hope you have a great week.

  13. Love your top find of the day Ann! That is so on trend for now. I wish I could find gems like you. I might start having a rummage on my visits to London xx

  14. Such great finds.. Love you colorful scarf and the last green dress.