Category Archives: outfits

2013: A Year in Outfit Posts

What I wore in 2013

Is it just me or does every year pass by quicker than the last? When I was looking back at the last 12 months of outfit posts, I couldn’t believe the dresses, events and occasions that feel like a shiny new memory but belong back in the depths of January or February.

When I first started Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion, I never used to appear in any photos, choosing instead to showcase new purchases in the huge window of our old flat, so this is the first year I’ve been able to summarise the year in twelve outfits. Here’s my 2013 in a stylish nutshell…

Outfits from January, February and MarchJanuary – February – March

The year kicked off with a collaboration with Dr Martens, thoughts on ‘Sunday best’ beauty and a trip to London to see the new Tim Walker exhibition at Somerset House, which lead to finding this beautiful dress in Spitlefields Market. February had a Wild West theme as I found my first pair of heeled boots, and March was a fashion show affair, courtesy of Cabot Circus and Harvey Nichols.

Outfit posts from April, May and JuneApril – May – June

April was the month I celebrated my birthday and being nominated for Bath in Fashion’s Blogger of The Year award. Even though I didn’t win, it was wonderful to be able to attend so many events – including a Norman Parkinson retrospective at Milsom Place – and work with brands such as Toast. In May Mr Ship-Shape and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary (didn’t he do well picking out this dress?) and caught some sun in this floral lace t-shirt and a vintage skirt. June was all about one thing for me; Glastonbury. This was my sixth year at the festival and to mark the event I took part in a Cabot Circus style challenge to find the perfect festival outfit. Mission accomplished!

Outfits worn in July, August and SeptemberJuly – August – September

Bristol thrives in summer and although I did jet off to Italy for a long weekend, there was plenty to keep me busy in Bristol, including St Paul’s Carnival and unleashing my inner ‘Sandy’ for Joules. August was full of more festivals, tips on how to photograph outfits in public and this blog’s fourth birthday. September saw me attend my fist ever vintage kilo sale which resulted in needing a major wardrobe reshuffle, and fantasies of running away to join the circus.

Outfit posts from October, November and DecemberOctober – November – December

The last three months have been a whirlwind. In October I attended the Pretty Nostalgic Gathering at KingsWeston House and bought my first pair of Whistles trousers. In November we visited Berlin and took a vintage dress along for the ride and I also went a little bit overboard in Topshop, which leads us to December. This month was one of firsts – the first time wearing a cropped piece of clothing since I was in primary school, and our first time hosting Christmas. Now we’re about to ring in the New Year from the Welsh countryside with hot chocolate and long walks – bliss.

A big thank you to everyone who reads Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion and I hope you stick around for 2014. I love reading round-up posts so if you’ve done something similar, please share your link in the comments below.

Happy (almost) New Year and see you in 2014!

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Vintage Dresses and Christmas Markets

Vintage dress and HM mach

Glastonbury Festival is the last place I’d expect to find decent, work-friendly vintage, but this summer I did just that when my friend Ceri and I stumbled across a stall selling all their vintage dresses for a fiver. Needless to say it didn’t take much convincing for me to have a rummage and unearth this beauty.

This geometric print, three quarter length sleeve dress – complete with pockets – was made by Hardob, a now defunct German clothing brand, from what I gather, and is most probably from the 1970s. It was in great condition and after attempting to try it on over my clothes while not covering it in an obligatory layer of mud, I decided it had to be mine.

Vintage dress and HM mac

The trade-off for buying garments from this decade is that they’re often made from polyester, which isn’t the most pleasing fabric out there, but it does mean that dresses like this won’t object to being thrown into the washing machine instead of hand washed.

I wore this dress, along with an H&M trench coat and Zara studded boots, to Saturday’s Picton Street Christmas Fair. The road was heaving and while we were there we saw some fantastic circus acts, including a trapeze artist and fire poi.

I don’t know if it’s the mild weather or the looming responsibility of cooking Christmas dinner, but I’m still not feeling especially ‘Christmassy’ yet – I suspect the numerous Christmas jumper themed parties coming up this week will change all that though!

Are you buying any gifts from Christmas markets this year?

Vintage Hardob dress – a Glastonbury festival stall / Trench coat – H&M / Cable knit socks – M&S / Green quilted shoulder bag – River Island / Studded tan brown cowboy boots – Zara

Trapeze artist at Picton Street Christmas MarketVintage dress mac and red hairPicton Street Christmas marketRiver Island quilted shoulder bagMistletoe for saleCircus skills at Picton Street Christmas market

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Playing with Proportions

Zara cropped sweatshirt and Topshop skirt

Eight years ago, if you’d told me I’d be wearing a cropped sweatshirt I’d have laughed in your face and then pulled down on the hem of my baggy jumper even further.

Before I came to university, the concept of having a waist was foreign to me. Although not obviously overweight, I’ve never possessed a flat, washboard stomach, so trends like 90s cropped tops passed by me in a flurry of ‘well why should I pay so much for a t-shirt that’s half finished anyway!?’

But then I found myself living in a house of ten people – including seven girls with seven distinctly different personal styles. We shopped, we borrowed clothes and my waist was eventually coaxed out of hibernation, embracing the trend for wide elasticated waist-cinching belts with aplomb. After university I took up running and yoga and started loosing weight. 50s vintage skirts piqued my interest and I finally started shopping for clothes with waistlines that sat around the middle of my body rather than hanging off my hips.

Today I’ll try almost any trend, and while my midriff remains firmly under wraps, accentuating my waist with a full circle midi skirt and cropped sweatshirt is all part of playing with the figure I have, rather than pinning for a body I’ll never have.

This beautiful powder blue midi skirt was snapped up in the Topshop sale a few weeks ago (where I also bought these beauties) and the cropped grey marl sweater is a recent impulse purchase from Zara, and my first foray into anything cropped since the age of ten, when cropped ‘bra’ tops were all the rage. My silver brogues from Office complete the look, which is one of my new favourites to wear to work.

Are cropped clothes a yeay or a nay in your style playbook?

Zara and Topshop outfitRed ombre hairZara cropped sweatshirt and powder blue Topshop skirtSilve brogues from Office

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Confessions in Knitwear and Tartan

Christmas jumper outfit with George

I have a confession to make. It’s something I’ve toyed with for years but now it’s time to ‘fess up and tell you that, well, I like menswear. A lot.

I’ve been known to coerce my other half into buying things in Zara just so I can pinch them later, and I have a serious crush on Girl in Menswear. If my arms were long enough I’d have snapped up one of H&M’s fisherman style jackets from their S/S13 menswear collection and I’ve even been known to snap up bargains in the boys department (seriously – age 12-13 is pretty much a size 10).

There is something undeniably cosy and heart warming about wearing something that belongs to a loved one – slightly-too-big jumpers, sweatshirts and t-shirts have all made their way into my wardrobe, each one identifiable to a relationship, romantic or otherwise. When a relationship ends, clothing can get caught in the crossfire and the best thing to do in these situations –if you really want that threadbare Idlewild hoodie – is to sneak it into the back of your wardrobe when he’s not looking and feign confusion when questioned.

This fairlise style jumper from George ticks all the boxes but fortunately I don’t have to share it with anyone else! I’m not a huge fan of brightly coloured or cartoon style Christmas jumpers so I naturally gravitated to the wintery fairisle jumpers in George’s menswear collection. This navy and cream number is deliciously warm and is perfect for Sunday afternoon ambles around the city.

I’ve paired it with this tartan skirt from H&M that I bought in Spain seven years ago – each winter it seems to shrink a little more but I can’t quite part with it yet so it’s usually paired with think tights or leggings to tone down the, er, shortness!

Do you have a softspot for menswear – stolen or otherwise?

Fairisle mens jumper – c/o George / Tartan skirt – H&M / Cable knit socks – M&S / Black beanie – Accessorize / Navy boots – Dr Martens

George fairisle menswear jumperAutumn leaves in MontpelierGeorge Asda mens Christmas jumper and HM tartan skirtAutumn leavesGeorge mens jumper and HM skirt

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Topshop Haul and THAT Zara Scarf

Topshop outfit with Zara scarf

I’m reluctant to use the word ‘haul’ in titles because, a) it’s terribly American, and b) there is enough mass consumerism in the world without me adding to it with a high street binging session.

However, when the Mr left me alone for ten days to go gallivanting half way around the world for work, I took out my loneliness on the recent Topshop sale, in a big way. I bought four completely different, mis-matched items, two of which can be seen here.

Sales have a habit of bringing out the best and worst in me – sometimes I’ll find the perfect item that I was waiting to go down in price and other times I’ll be so excited that a top is in my price range that it doesn’t matter if it’s bright orange and covered in enough feathers to keep Big Bird warm.

This digital print rose skirt fits into the latter category – I’ve been after a pencil skirt for a while and although pink isn’t my favourite colour, I’m a sucker for a good floral print, as my collection of floral trousers will attest to. On the contrary, the fine knit grey jumper was a no-brainer. It’s so light and delicate that can be layered with any outfit and the colour goes with almost everything else in my wardrobe – result!

As this was a lazy Sunday afternoon outfit I slung on a pair of beaten up Converse and kept warm with my huge Zara scarf. Since it featured in a previous outfit post, I figured I should at least go to the effort of showing off the other side – a fine herringbone pattern in black and white wool. If you haven’t yet gotten your mitts on one –hurry! I hear they’re selling like hotcakes…

Jumper and pencil skirt – both Topshop / Double sided scarf – Zara / White trainers – Converse / Grey wool backpack – free gift with some German beer Mr Ship-Shape picked up on his travels

Zara herringbone scarfTopshop jumper and grey wool backpackTopshop and Zara outfitTopshop rose print pencil skirt and Converse trainers

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Zara goes to Berlin

Zara tarten scarf and red vintage dress

Guten tag! It’s time for a outfit post from my recent trip to Berlin. Of course the Zara I’m referring to is my favourite New Thing, my reversible tartan/herringbone woollen scarf from Zara. I spotted this beauty a few weeks ago but foolishly didn’t buy it at the time, only to go back to Cabot Circus to find it had gone from the shelves. Luckily, it appeared again the day before we left for Berlin – perfect timing!

These shots were taken outside the Reichstag building after our free walking tour, which I cannot recommend highly enough if you visit Berlin. Starting at the Brandenburg Gate, groups of 15-20 tourists are led on foot around the city by knowledgable tour guides. We saw parts of the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, the Reichstag building and the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt, a square housing two neoclassical cathedrals and the Berlin Knozerthaus.

Our guide, Inken, spoke about her childhood growing up in Germany and the dramatic effect communism had on Berlin. Visiting parts of the Wall and hearing how it went up so quickly really put the history of the city into perspective – seeing normal buildings pockmarked with bullet holes was certainly surreal.

For early November, the weather was similar to the UK, if slightly chillier, so I could get away with wearing this vintage pinstripe dress (one of the dresses I found at the kilo sale) with a pair of black tights and my favourite Chelsea boots. The scarf and bowler hat kept me warm, though the blustering winds did try to sneak off with the latter on more than one occasion…

Auf Wiedersehen for now!

Red pinstripe dress – Judy’s Vintage Kilo Sale / Tartan/herringbone scarf – Zara / Green bowler hat – H&M / Green leather belt – vintage / Leather satchel – c/o Dr Martens / Tan Chelsea boots – c/o Topshop, Cabot Circus

Reichstag building in BerlinBerlin outfit post outside the ReichstagAutumn leaves in BerlinPosing outside the Reichstag buildingZara tartan herringbone scarf

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Outfit Post: Wishing for Whistles

Whistles trousers and maroon blazer

Oh Whistles, how I love thee. After Jane Shepherdson took the British label’s spot as Chief Executive in 2008, the brand has gone from strength to strength, becoming synonymous with buttery-soft leather jackets, quirky prints and beautiful tailoring. There is just one snag though, and that’s the price tag.

Remember fashion’s (still lingering) obsession with pleated midi skirts in 2011? That stemmed, in part, from the brand’s £95 ‘Carrie’ skirt, a sugary pink midi that grabbed the hearts of many, myself included, and spawned a hundred look-a-likes. Then last year there were the royal blue lace panel dresses that were so intricate they deserved the £190 price tag, but again were out of my reach.

Not any more though, oh no. The Whistles trousers I’m wearing here – bottle green silk printed pyjama pants that are the most comfortable trousers I’ve ever owned – cost just £20. The reason? I bought them from the Whistles outlet at Clarks Village, Somerset.

Whistles silk trousers from Clarks Village

S and I went there for a day trip a few weeks ago and while I wasn’t bowled over all the shops, there were a couple that caught my eye, and when I saw Whistles I knew I had to take a look inside.

Understandably with outlet villages, you’re not necessarily going to walk away with current season clothes, but I’d been curious about pyjama-style trousers for ages and hadn’t found a pair that fitted properly. The reason this pair was so affordable (down from an eye-watering £120) was a missing button. However, since a spare button was attached to the label, all I needed was a needle, thread and a spare five minutes and voilà! The trousers are as as good as new.

I wore them this weekend for a trip to St Nicks Market, a Bristol institution packed with every stall imaginable, from pies and falafel to cobblers and stamp collectors. I opted for a mannish look by pairing the trousers with a grey marl jersey t-shirt from Zara and a very old cricket-esque blazer from Peacocks, plus my Dr Martens satchel, Lorus watch and the Topshop Chelsea boots I found for festival season.

I’m pleased as punch with my new trousers –  have you ever found a bargain at an outlet village? Tell me your favourite outlets (online or shopping centres) to shop at?

Silk trousers – Whistles / Grey marl t-shirt – Zara / Cricket blazer – Peacocks circa 2007 /  Maroon satchel – c/o Dr Martens / Chelsea boots – c/o Topshop, Cabot Circus

St Nicks Market, BristolWhistles trousers and Dr Martens satchelCorn Street BristolWhistles trousers Zara t-shirt and Peacocks blazerCobblers ticket stub

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Lazy Sundays at Hengistbury Head

Tuckton Tea Gardens

Last weekend Mr Ship-Shape and I went to Dorset to visit our families. Mine have lived there all my life and his have recently moved, so we took the opportunity to show them one of my favourite places on along the south coast, Hengistbury Head.

Taking a ferry out to Christchurch Harbour and Mudeford Quay bought back memories of my GCSE Art project, where hours  were spent taking photos of lobster pots and sketching seashells and driftwood that had washed up on the shore. I used to fantasise about living on one of the beach huts here, though to snap one up today you’d be looking at spending the price of a small house to secure one.

For the brisk walk around Hengisbury Head and back up the river, I wore my new faux leather trousers from Zara – an error given how surprisingly warm it was – plus an old red and black plaid shirt that I picked up in Florida a few years ago. The wind played havoc with my fringe so a chunky knit beanie from Accessorize attempted to keep it in check, and my new scarf, also from Zara, kept the chill of the brisk wind at bay.

Enjoying the last drops of summer walking through trails surrounded by blackberries and watching the waves was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I only hope there are a few more sunny days on the horizon.

Do you have any childhood haunts that you love to visit?

Christchurch Harbour ferryDucks on Christchurch HarbourShip-Shape at Hengistbury HeadWild blackberriesBeach huts at Hengistbury Head

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Welcome to The Greatest Show on Earth

Heartfelt vintage blouse and Zara shorts

On Sunday I kicked off September with a visit to Circomedia’s Sunday Best event in Portland Square.

Circomedia are something of a Bristol institution, housed in a beautiful church overlooking Portland Square, which sits between St Pauls and Cabot Circus, the performance company specialises in contemporary circus and physical theatre. They’re a regular feature at festivals like Glastonbury and watching one performance will have you wishing you could run away to join the circus.

The afternoon was family-orientated but I managed to to blend in with the 10 year olds and try my hand at the trapeze, which was actually scarier than I anticipated, even though I was only five feet off the ground. Extreme concentration was required, see photos below, but it was so much fun and a great way to round off a weekend that had up until that point included three – yes, three – trips to B&Q.

For the occasion I wore the vintage lace blouse I found at Heartfelt Bristol, paired with the Zara shorts I found in their summer sale. The faux gold jazz shoes are an old pair from Primark and the belt is vintage Laura Ashley. The satchel is from Dr Martens and is perfect for keeping my DSLR safe when I don’t want to lug my chuncky camera case around.

Not the most practical outfit, but the afternoon was so much fun that I’m even contemplating signing up for a beginner course. I don’t think there’s any danger of me running away to join the circus just yet but a girl can dream…

Vintage lace blouse – Heartfelt Bristol / Blue and cream striped shorts – Zara / Belt – vintage / Gold jazz pumps – Primark / Leather satchel – c/o Dr Martens

Circomedia Portland SquareHula-hoops at Circomedia Sunday Best eventAttempting the trapeze in Portland SquareCircomedia event at Portland SquareCircomedia Sunday Best eventVintage blouse from Heartfelt BristolPortland Square churchZara shorts and vintage blouse on the trapeze

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Outfit Post: Nautical but nice…

Red Hey Dude shoes from Surfdome

Oh come on, with an outfit like this I didn’t have much choice did I? Despite the fact I think at least three posts in previous years must have bared the same title, I can’t help but reach for the seafaring puns when I wear an outfit like this.

Summer brings out the maritime nature of Bristol, with the Harbour Festival, warm evenings spent drinking next to the harbourside and Sunday walks across the Suspension Bridge. Despite there being a slight chill in the air recently, and the bombardment of A/W13 fashion stories in magazines and ‘back to school’ adverts on TV, I haven’t given up on this year’s summer just yet, so I’m making the most of dresses like this one from Mango.

Hey Dude shoes and Mango dress

I picked it up in the sale a couple of years ago when I was going through a stripe phase and these days it only comes out when the weather heats up. I’ve been looking for a pair of deck shoes to go with it for a while and I couldn’t resist this Hey Dude pair, sent to me by Surfdome.

The cherry red colour and contrasting bright white laces marry perfectly with the nautical theme of the dress, mirrored in the stripy lining of the shoes. The best thing about said shoes, by a brand I hadn’t heard of before perusing the Surfdome website, is how flippin’ comfortable they are – with cushioning inner soles and non-slip sloes. I appreciate that last sentence probably aged me by about fifty years, but when it comes to footwear practicality wins for me every time.

While these shoes may not actually be suitable for sailing, they tick the box for my love of all things nautical and will add a colourful boost to future outfits.

Are you a fan of the nautical look? Share your thoughts below…

White and navy dress – Mango / Red Hey Dude deck shoes – c/o Surfdome

Nautical dress and deck shoes

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