Thursday, 28 August 2014

More fun than a fleece








I am the princess of impracticalities when it comes to clothes. Well, nearly… That may be slightly too bold a statement. Yet I have had eye-rolls at my decision to wear cropped jumpers on freezing nights, sighs at my inability to find an umbrella or put on a raincoat when it’s tipping it down, exasperated questions of “but whyyyy?” when I’ve insisted on taking long walks in ludicrously short skirts or cycling in maxi skirts. I tend to smile, shrug my shoulders and acknowledge just how silly it is.

I do know my limits. The cold makes me grumpy, so I love cozying up in plenty of cardigans and layers. I’m currently embracing Edge of Love-esque cable knits and floral skirts, as I tend to do on the approach of each autumn. I’m better than I was too. So much time now spent in front of a computer screen means that items like tight belts or restrictive skirts are out of the question for the working day. I’m typing this in a massive blue jumper and patterned trousers so ridiculously comfortable I feel like I’m still in my pyjamas (you can see the combination here - although the shoes were just for the snap).

I’m also more likely (read always) to be found clomping around in flat boots or brogues than tottering along in vertiginous heels like the ones pictured above. I like to be able to walk with purpose and to dance and run for things when I’m late, rather than being reduced to a sedate swagger.

Heels can feel amazing and glamorous for events or shoots - and I have been known to climb over five-bar gates and tiptoe across fields in five-inch stilettos in the name of this blog. They’re also ace for the very, very occasional evening out – particularly as there’s something rather satisfying in being among the tallest in the room (they put me at well over 6 foot). Any longer than that though, and I start wistfully dreaming about loafers.

It’s just that, there are other times when I do prioritize aesthetic above other, more mundane elements, like whether I’ll be drenched or shivering or windswept or get bike oil all over a new wraparound full skirt (although, actually, I really learnt my lesson with that one and now tie up and tuck all long stuff as near as possible to my knickers to avoid similar embarrassment/ clothes carnage when cycling). Unsurprisingly, I like the way an outfit looks – and will occasionally focus on the overall appearance, to the detriment of pragmatism.

This was fully embodied last Friday when I was at a music festival. I’d chosen to wear a black jumpsuit (a very nice one at that, which will end up on here at some point). It looked fantastic – particularly when accessorized with a liquid-eyeliner-twirly-moustache - but required some gymnast-like wriggling every time I braved one of the grim toilets. The ability to remove layers, half undress and attempt to make sure nothing touches the scarily unpleasant floor of a portaloo is quite the skillset.

Plenty of other people were in one-pieces, so I wasn’t alone in my contortions. Playsuits and jumpsuits are only practical in that you can fling them on and go, but it does always amuse me to see them on lists of festival must-haves (although I find any list of ‘must-haves’ a bit ridiculous). Great as they may be for hours of shimmying and shaking, they’re still stupidly impractical otherwise. Sometimes though, frivolous as it may be, the impractical can be the best of fun. Despite the downsides, I did enjoy jumping around in my jumpsuit that afternoon. 

If an outfit is actually impacting on the quality of an activity because you’re so bloody freezing or miserable, then it’s not so great… No-one could ever describe leather pencil skirts or tiny velvet shorts or silk slips or feathered hats or sequined dresses or flimsy evening coats as sensible or ‘everyday’. But why limit yourself on when and where you wear them? It’s so much more fun than a fleece.

I bought this playsuit - seemingly carefully disguised to look like an indecently short jacket from the front - from a vintage shop recently. It's faded all up one side, but I don't mind. It's beautifully constructed. The heeled sandals are second hand from eBay (and were only put on for the shoot, as per usual), and the hat pictured in one shot is vintage. Adding to the general theme of impracticality, my prop is an old camera that no longer works. Well, sometimes things just look too pretty… 

10 comments:

Ivana Split said...

What a wonderful playsuit!...You know I did think it was an oversize jacket/blazer at first (not that there is anything wrong with that, I like it either way)! The heels are gorgeous...and the bag! I do like how you put everything together and colourwise everything is so well matched (including that old cam).

I really like how you've tackled the area of practical in fashion in this text. I've thought about that subject myself a few times.

Often I wear really silly things when I go hiking. It's not for a purpose of taking photos (though occasionally there might be some and they might end up on the blog) and anyhow there really isn't anyone who can see me (occasionally my husband accompanies me but he sees me dressed silly often enough)....

It is quite possible that sometimes we do dress for ourselves...and we dress a certain way just to have fun...isn't that just very liberating? Not feeling the pressure of fitting in or getting dressed up in a certain way but just being creative and different?

On the other hand, there were days when putting a gorgeous vintage dress and getting dressed up really made me feel better...So, there is charm in that, getting dressed and looking good just for the fun of it...not for a special occasion or anything like that.

Clothes can be as liberating as it can be restrictive. Possible because it has a meaning on its own (just like words) and playing with that meaning can be as fun as word play:)

Miss Grey said...

Oh I can totally relate! When it's rainy I like wearing maxi skirts and a tank top, and when it's sunny I usually go for cardigans.. it's weird. Anyway, I love that you took your time writing a read-worthy blog post in a photo-heavy blogging world we are in right now. So yeah, I hope you could drop by my blog too. I've been in a blogging hiatus for a while but I'm back and trying to catch up with the blogs I already am following (like yours). Have a great day!

http://summerfeels.blogspot.com/

Closet Fashionista said...

That jumpsuit is so cute! I love it paired with the super high heels and cute little purse!
I know what you mean, a lot of times I wear things that are totally impractical, but that's what makes dressing up fun! :D
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Leah said...

I have a weakness for flowy chiffon tops. They're comfortable and pretty. However, I almost always spill something on myself while I'm at work (I work in a residential home for special needs), and I know that I should just put on a junky T-shirt to save my wardrobe from stains. But hey a girl wants to look nice right? This playsuit is super cute! I can't seem to pull off the playsuit look, still looking for one that works.

Yasumi in Worshipblues said...

I love this post!

Dressing for your feelings is a beautiful thing and I wish that more people would do this. I am sure that you have heard this countless times before but I have to say it regardless. You have a look of a muse about you my dear Roaslind and that is before immersing in your eloquent writing. A real muse.

Carlota Antolin Vallespin said...

Oh! I have nothing to say because I agree completely with the text of today. I do the same as you hahaha I dress up with my beautiful items, I put make up and I make the shooting. After that I usually (depending of how uncomfortable is the outfit) change quickly, remove the make up if it is too colorful or extreme. It is like this, I love to be confortable, but I love the beauty of the uncomfortable pieces too. Such a inner fight :)

Your look of today is perfect. I love that it look like a big blazer instead of a playsuit. I love the heels. And, even if it sounds strange, I love how the color is faded. It looks intentional!!

Kisses and love! I hope that, if you visit my blog, you find it interesting ( and grammatically correct).

Vix said...

Tes, I am insanely impractical, too. Although I've made a concerted effort this year to snap up lots of flat boots and shoes so I don't go into a meltdown when I'm having a flare-up and can't walk in any of my platforms.
Love your jumpsuit - they are the most annoying things in the world to wear but look so good! xxx

Izzy DM said...

I'd never have guessed that's a jumpsuit! You look great in it either way. Those gams! Sigh... I don't know if I could any longer fit into something like that or pull it off. I'm just so happy when I can get into my jeans these days without too much muffin top showing :).

However, I can empathize with a lot of this, putting on heels and being (nearly the tallest in a room) for example, although at just under 5'9" I think I'm slightly shorter than you. Having a baby has made me frequently too tired to play with clothes, but when I do, I feel most like me, and my joy (as all true joy is) is infectious. There is also nothing better than style, and living in Connecticut as I do now where people tend to favor status items over style and then going into NYC from time to time and seeing the wild hairdos and just plain fun that clothes can be and people of any economic bracket can have with them (as the rich don't tend to for some reason), I think anywhere you can find joy, however frivolous others might deem that pursuit, is something to cling to fiercely. Long live harmless, happy fun! Hmmm...on that note, maybe I could pull this look off with some tights :). xx
Izzy
www.misadventuresofme.com

Lola Byatt said...

My mum has been loyal to charity shops/car boot sales and very recently ebay for as long as I can remember but it really is your blog that is inspiring me to go out charity shopping, thank you for this.

ps. i always end up forgetting how frustrating playsuits can be until i need the loo xx

Mandy Bajwa said...

Love this outfit... you have a very unique style x

www.mandybajwa.blogspot.com