Back in black

A woman all in black in front of a blue fence
I was going to say 'some day I'll learn to pose' but no. Probably won't.

If lockdown's been good for one thing, it's been taking a good look at what clothes I own, and being able to get dressed each day free of wondering whether what I wear is acceptable to other people. (I know, I shouldn't worry about that sort of thing, but I don't like standing out much in public places.) Yesterday I had a chat online with a friend who never used to dress in a very feminine way but is embracing her girly side in her late 30s. She was concerned that a certain hairstyle might be too young for her.

You can look however you want to like, I assured her. 'Too young' is just made up by people who think women should look a certain way, ie young and shaggable (their definition of shaggable), or be invisible. 

And the conversation went on and I swiftly realised I was a bit of a hypocrite, because while I do buy clothes I like, I temper my choices to meet expectations. Yet so many of my favourite bloggers don't wear what people expect women their age to wear, and they look fabulous. So this morning, inspired by my pal and my blogging chums, I decided to put together an outfit I really wanted to wear.

A close up of the face of a woman with red hair. She is smiling into the camera.
The nose piece fell off my favourite glasses so I'm in the backup pair. 

I half-joked in my post about handbags that I was tempted to go the full pre-Raphaelite. Mr Robot tends to disapprove of such things; 'looks like you should be selling crystals in Glastonbury' rivals 'it's a bit Abigail's Party' for comments he's made on clothes in the past. But this morning I went for floppy and floaty, with argyll tights in witchy black and grey, a fossil pendant and a honking great blast of Shalimar to top it all off. In fairness, this dress gets worn regularly and is hardly extravagant, it's just a black crepe tea dress from Monsoon. It's the same one I wore on our anniversary trip to the Hand And Flowers; when in doubt, plain black's always my fall-back.

The cardigan's the first cardi I ever knitted; I swapped the recommended wool yarn for cotton but hadn't really grasped the notion of tension and the fact different fibres knit up differently and the result was me running out of yarn and not understanding why, buying a load more, and ending up with a cardi about 20% larger than it should have been. The sleeves extend a good six inches past my fingertips; after taking these photos one very nearly ended up in my morning porridge.

I have a feeling the pendant was a gift years ago from my godmother. I definitely didn't buy it myself. It doesn't get worn often because it's quite dramatic, but maybe it should.

Anyway, looking at these photos, it's all fairly unremarkable. The only comment anyone would be likely to make is 'your cardi doesn't fit.' (I'm not counting 'who died?' because after my goth years dressed in top-to-toe black that one's worn very thin, and it wasn't original the first time anyone said it.) Dunno what I was so worried about. 'Look however you want to look' is good advice; I ought to take it myself.


  1. Tell Mr. Robot I said, "Shut Up."
    Now, where were we? Oh yes, your lovely outfit and wearing what you like. Well done. And those socks are perfection.

  2. I love this look on you! that cardi has the most brilliant sleeves (clever you, knitting that!) and the black really shows off your gorgeous red hair. The pendant is gorgeous and needs to be worn more.

  3. Good that you're following your own advice! Your pendant is very striking. Well done on making the cardigan yourself - the extra long sleeves are very pre-Raphaelite looking.

    Take care

  4. Believe it or not, but it took me until I was nearing my 5th decade before I started dressing the way I do now. Not that I wasn't interested in clothes - quite the opposite, really - but apart from my punk and new wave years, let's say until the mid 80s, I never really had the guts to stand out.
    You do look great dressed in all-black, but with your amazing hair, you look fantastic in colours like turquoise, teal and emerald green, which I know you've got in your wardrobe.
    The argyll tights are a nice touch, and how gorgeous is that fossil pendant! As for your cardigan, it looks floppy and floaty indeed, and as long as they don't end up in your morning porridge, those massive sleeves aren't too bad either, very cozy indeed, and no gloves needed when nipping outside :-) xxx

  5. lovely attitude!, love that you're feeling more inspired to wear whatever you like. This is a lovely dress and love particularly your pendant, so gorgeous!. Your cardi doesn't look as bad as you described, it's just 'ovesized' and cosy, as I'm concerned. And it has a lovely edge all around, and beautiful sleeves.

    And you've put a smile on my face when I read your remarks about people asking 'who died?' mwahaha. I was also dressed in top-to-toe black for decades and received this kind of 'compliments'.
    I actually think that having some mixed feelings when dressing up is totally Normal!. I also 'temper my choices to meet expectations' and I'm afraid of looking like a crazy art teacher (or even crazier old cat lady) if I wear a golden kimono in the streets of my parochial small city. Eventually I'll get up the courage to do it.
    Lovely post!

  6. I know I'm one of those "I don't give a f**k" people who dresses how she wants! Heh. I get so much positive feedback on what I wear, especially colour, and really, the older I get the less I do give any forks about what people think. I'm long past being seen as shaggable, ha ha!

    I think you look beautiful, Mim - your hair is so gorgeous, you have amazing skin and you look great in black. I love your cardi and the whole outfit has a very Stevie Nicks vibe to me. Mr. Robot needs to be trained to pay you a compliment, not to bring you down!

  7. love your tights btw and your glasses are very cute! i sometimes get snarky comments about my clothes if I go too hippy-but it's not like my chap has the best style either! lol


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