Well, the sunny weather has stayed with us over much of the fortnight (*ahem*) since I promised to get back to posting on here! Today was particularly balmy, and so I enjoyed trying out a new outfit to welcome in the Spring (it will probably be raining again tomorrow, but for today, it's definitely springtime). When my mum visited Oxford a couple of weeks ago, I was excited to find that as a treat she'd brought along a dress and cardigan that she'd picked up for me in one of my favourite shops: Boutique Eleven at the Heart of the Country Shopping Village, just ten minutes down the road from where I live in Staffordshire. A rather large number of the items in my wardrobe (no, we won't ask just how many items there are) come from this charming little shop. As they stock a range of really beautiful and unusual clothes, I seem to get complimented whenever I wear anything I've bought from there -- always a plus. I try to pop in whenever I'm at home, and the lovely lady who runs the shop knows me well enough by now to have an eye for exactly what I'm going to like, and because she usually only gets one of everything in each size, she's often kind enough to keep something back for me if she knows I'm coming up for a visit. Oh, the temptation... So this afternoon, I revelled in sitting in Duke Humfrey's with the sunshine streaming through the old windows and warming my skin in this little number from Sandwich:
It's actually slightly more fitted than it appears on the mannequin, and the streaks of cream and blue lighten up the different shades of brown to give it a real lift: I felt like I should be strolling along a beach in the sunshine eating an ice-cream while I wore it. When the occasional shadow did pass across my desk, I quickly whipped out this cardigan, also by Sandwich:
The photo really doesn't do it justice: in reality, the sludgy grey that appears in this picture is actually a delicious teal to match the stripes in the dress, and it's perfect for a bit of casual cover whenever I am forced to remember that it is still only March. The fact that the cardigan is actually a little bit longer than the dress it's going over also gives a slightly sexier edge to what can often be thought of as a rather boring item of clothing!
Sandwich has become a favourite label of mine since I started shopping at Boutique Eleven: their clothes are always fresh and pretty, and are a great choice for basics with a twist. I discarded my usual heels for once and teamed my new outfit with this cute little pair of flats from Marks and Spencer: I love the combination of camel and black, the patent is practical as well as stylish, and I've spoken before about the fact that I'm a sucker for anything with a bow on it. Sadly I could only find this tiny photo to show you:
I *still* haven't got a new camera sorted out, and, much as I've enjoyed embracing the retro chic of the disposable version (yes, I was pretty amazed to discover they still make them, too), I'm looking forward to getting my hands on something a little more up-to-date. Job for this week, perhaps...
I'll be sharing some more of my favourite fashions with you soon (including the leggings which may make me -- and I never thought I'd write this -- overcome my innate aversion to anything remotely resembling a pair of footless tights). I'm also going to be talking quite a lot about food and drink (never a bad thing, I feel), not to mention flagging up some favourite new websites and blogs and telling you about some recent film and theatre trips. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for more of this lovely sunshine -- I want the excuse to bring out some more of my Winter to Spring wardrobe. After all, to give you another weather-related quote from Sir W (this time from his 1600 essay 'Of Aduise'):
'from the Rayes of this sun proceed all blessings'.