28 In Style

Blood. Sweat. Sequins.


This Blood Sweat Sequins sweatshirt from Bow & Drape is one of my favourite new pieces. I ordered it as an experiment, because I’ve been thinking about creating a line of customisable shirts and sweaters myself. I wanted to see how Bow and Drape dealt with the engineering issue of attaching letters to fabric (short answer: glue, rather than stitching). Mixing words and fashion combines two of my favourite things, but I find most slogan tops so boring. ‘J’adore.’ ‘La Vie en Rose.’ ‘Love.’  Where’s the humour? Where’s the creativity? Where is the statement? You’ve got prime real estate and that’s all you have to say to the world?  I don’t think so!  Not long ago I ran across Lingua Franca on Instagram and said, “WAIT!  That’s my idea, I wanted to do that!” The slogans are good, but the homespun embroidery and font doesn’t appeal to me at all (neither does the $380 price tag). Bow & Drape has a small range of colours, and I can choose my OWN slogan rather than something that sells to the masses. They mostly do slogans around tacos, pizza, guacamole, and doughnuts. Fine, but I don’t feel so strongly about any of those things that I need to broadcast it.  I think I could do something even better (more colour options and in cashmere for starters), I’m just not sure I have the time in my day to devote to making it work.  Still, the irony of getting something off your chest by putting it ON your chest appeals to me.

Anyway, here is my custom sweatshirt. I’d do a sleeved one next time; I thought this one might work under a blazer. It doesn’t. From the description on their website, I expected it to be more fitted. I’m wearing it with a beloved and old sequin striped skirt which you’ve seen before, ridiculously comfortable Lotus shoes which you’ve also seen before, Hermes accessories which you’ve seen before, and my favourite Miu Miu sunglasses (which I’m thrilled to say I’ve just tracked down second-hand in red glitter after years of online stalking!).  We photographed this near All Saints Road, one of my favourite areas of London. It was horrible when I first lived in London in 2001 (full of crack, hookers, and crime) but is now awash in amazing designer stores and coffee shops. The fact that this house matches my skirt so well is entirely coincidental; like many of my backgrounds, they just seem to happen.

The rest of today’s post is a bit of a mash up. None of the issues are big enough for a separate blog post, but they’re all things I want to tell you about. Here’s what’s happening lately:

Notting-Hill-SequinsSesame Street neighbourhood vibes

Last week I found out that I didn’t make it to the next round of the short story contest I entered earlier this year (I mentioned it here). I didn’t expect to win it by any means, but I thought I’d at least make it past the first cut… definitely not the second. I entered it as an exercise, the same way I’d enter a marathon– never coming close to winning, but getting a lot of benefit from the training. And I did benefit; I learned a lot, mostly about myself. It was interesting to be so focused and sequestered in my ‘writing cave’ for a week. I didn’t enjoy my writing brief at all though. I had to write a romance (complete with ’emotionally satisfying ending’), one of the central characters had to be a locksmith, and there had to be an invitation worked into the storyline. I enjoyed the mental gymnastics– the wrestling and occasionally the dancing with words on a page. I might enter the contest again next year and cross my fingers for a better assignment. Or maybe at some point I will stop faffing about with writing contests and just write a damn book (which will definitely not include a locksmith)!

Speaking of contests, as I type this I’m waiting to hear the results of the UK Blog Awards contest. I was short-listed in the fashion category back in December; April 12 is the announcement evening. I’m thrilled to have been short-listed because that makes me eligible for some expert advice on the technical side of blogging, which I could definitely use.

My son has three weeks out of school for Easter, so my posting schedule is umm, erratic.  The next few posts may not be outfits (as I picture him running around me in circles on London streets while we try to take photos). I do have other topics I want to cover on the blog. One is going to be The Sequinist’s Guide to London; my favourite places (food, jewellery, hats, clothes, etc) that you’d never find out about unless you live here. You can imagine how many times I get asked for recommendations, so I’m going to put it all into one post and update it every few months, just like my Paris one.

Also, I am going to get back to some makeup posts and my ‘Five Favourite Things’ videos soon.  My makeup and skincare routine is by far the most requested topic from readers, and I apologise for taking so long to address it. The house next door to us has been undergoing a total renovation for over a year. The noise makes videos impossible, and makeup is one thing where you really need to see a video rather than have me describe it.  I dearly hope the builders soon progress to quieter work like painting and wallpapering!

Yesterday, I went to the press viewing for the Winser London Autumn/Winter collection for 2019, which will be online in August. Just when I think I can’t possibly love that brand more, they surprise me, and I fall a little harder. In my opinion, this collection is the best they’ve ever done. The colour range has broadened (their warm cinnamon brown knits are first on my wish list– a colour that works surprisingly well on me as I learned from Red Leopard). Also, they are doing a winter version of those very long side-split coats that sold out for spring (I wore a yellow one here), but in fine-gauge merino wool and in a rainbow of colours; I want every. single. one.  The Gillian Anderson collection has funky new cashmere jumpers and the dreamiest pink alpaca wool coat. There is a cowl-necked, side-split, ankle-length, sleeveless poncho column (I can’t think of any other way to describe it) made of recycled cashmere. It is pure genius. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I want it. There is a brown Harris tweed herringbone coat which I looked for all last winter (with a fine blue stripe in it, perfect with denim) that is so chic it is almost painful. There are lots of new additions to their workwear range (a long pencil skirt and elegant flowing trousers with a matching tailored jacket in olive green almost makes me want to work in a bank again). There are face flattering funnel-neck jumpers in bright colours. There is the perfect chunky knit cream sweater for weekends. I’m going to stop now, but let’s just say I can’t wait to fast forward through summer clothes (my least favourite season) and dive into the sea of Winser London’s AW2019.


Outfit details:
Sweatshirt- Bow&Drape
Skirt- previous season Topshop, also worn here
Shoes- Lotus, also worn here
Cuff and clutch- Hermes


linking to: notdeadyetstyle, nancysfashionstyle, stylesplash, notdressedaslamb

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  • Reply
    Susan B
    April 12, 2019 at 3:57 PM

    Oh, that sweatshirt is Per.Fect! I’m going to have to check out that website. I’m looking forward to your London suggestions….

    • Reply
      April 12, 2019 at 4:47 PM

      They do some superb things once you wade through the millennial food-focused puns! Yes, I was thinking I’d have to work extra fast to get it done before you arrive in Londres. xx

  • Reply
    melissa williams
    April 12, 2019 at 4:05 PM

    Super cute sweatshirt! Did you see my post on all the styles that I saw on repeat while traveling last month? Girrrrllll……the world is in LOVE with the statement tee. Start making those things! And by all means, get to work on that book in all of your spare time ;-)! I’m anxiously waiting to read it and thanks for not putting a locksmith in it- the rules for what you had to write! Gah! I’d have just thrown in the towel stat. Good job for actually entering it and having the discipline to finish! And best of luck on the awards! Looking forward to your “Best of London” post!
    ~Melissa xx

    • Reply
      April 12, 2019 at 4:53 PM

      I did, I need to go comment! I read it on my phone and forget to log in and comment on my computer. I just wish more slogan tops had better slogans. My gravestone could say “Improved the slogans on tee shirts, one shirt at a time”:-) I’ve got to get cracking on my best of London post. It has been sitting in drafts for too long, waiting for an update. Thank you, sweetness. xx

  • Reply
    April 12, 2019 at 4:19 PM

    Lisa, you absolutely HAVE TO start your own line! This tee looks fab with your divine skirt and yes, the background is perfection. I’m looking forward to seeing the new Winser collection too. Enjoy the Easter holiday with your boy xxx

    • Reply
      April 12, 2019 at 4:57 PM

      Thank you so much, Liz… Just to find the time to do my own line, to sort suppliers, to spend allllll the time promoting it on Instagram (grits teeth) and getting it into shops, gahhhhh!

      Thank you so much, you’ll love the new Winser collection, I bet. Those long coats are such a dream for us tall gals. xx

  • Reply
    April 13, 2019 at 8:31 AM


    • Reply
      April 13, 2019 at 8:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Nancy! xxx

  • Reply
    April 13, 2019 at 5:49 PM

    What a delightful update on all your goings-on!! I adore the Lingua Franca line — going to suggest to my new embroidery click that we attempt sweatshirts. I have a friend who hates words on things. I’m with you. The right words in the right places are super fun and feel very personal.

    Regarding writing, I really really think we should begin holding each other accountable on a longer, more ambitious project with the goal of taking Dani’s course in 2020.

    And lastly, CONGRATS!! Very proud of your achievement!! xoxo

    • Reply
      April 13, 2019 at 8:06 PM

      I also love Lingua Franca… they do sweatshirts too, at a somewhat better price point. I just can’t get past the font.

      I like your accountability plan. I cannot think of anyone I’d rather do that with than you, Mithra. The NYC Midnight competition was a real eye-opener. Let’s bookmarks this subject for a Skype chat! I’d give anything to do a Dani course.

      Thank you, my love. xx

  • Reply
    April 14, 2019 at 12:34 AM

    I do not like that sleeve length on you…………
    JUST DO IT!!!!!!
    It is APRIL 13th and YOU SHOULD KNOW THE RESULTS!!!!!!
    I hope SPRING is doing HER THING over there in London Town.WE have a bit of SUN here in CALIFORNIA but MORE RAIN next week!
    I look forward to YOUR SHOPPING GUIDE!!!!!!!

    • Reply
      April 14, 2019 at 9:34 PM

      Nope, the sleeve length is terrible. I had an idea to wear it under a blazer which didn’t work and it worked even less well on its own! I need to sew some sleeves on it 🙂

      I do know the results by now and I actually won the Blog Award for Fashion! CRAZY!

      It is really cold and sunny here right now, but is meant to be warm and wonderful by the end of the week. I spent the whole day in my garden chopping back vines, despite the chill. Thank you Elizabeth xxx

      • Reply
        April 15, 2019 at 11:34 PM

        YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!

        GLORY BE!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Listening to THE NEWS TODAY AND ITS HORRIFIC what is happening IN PARIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        What do YOU think THAT MORON in the White House WILL SAY!!!!!!!!??


        WELL DESERVED!!!!

        • Reply
          April 17, 2019 at 10:28 PM

          I can’t believe it either! I’m really really pleased. And surprised.

          Yes, Paris news is so dreadful and of course the comments from the White House were as misinformed as ever.

          Thank you so much. I’m so thrilled about you making the cover of the magazine in that glorious chartreuse dress. If anyone belongs on a cover, it is you… and Banksy of course. xx

  • Reply
    Little Red
    April 16, 2019 at 6:42 AM

    Love the logo on the t-shirt. A long-sleeve one would be good. Are you going to do anymore jewelry pieces?

    If shipping returns back to the UK weren’t so expensive, I’d order more stuff from Winser London. I’m curious to see what the second Gillian Anderson capsule collection will look like. I love the crewneck boyfriend sweater I bought in purple with pink accents. It’s so soft and luxurious against the skin.

    And congratulations on winning the UK Blog Awards for fashion!

    • Reply
      April 17, 2019 at 10:36 PM

      Thanks so much, Little Red! Yeah, I’m kicking myself for not getting a long sleeved one. Who on earth wears a short sleeved sweatshirt, hahaha! My idea really didn’t work.

      I may add more jewellery pieces in the future, but different in style. Right now, the fast fashion stores are awash in fabulous sparkly crystal pieces which cost next to nothing. Mine are all handmade in London using Swarovski and really don’t compete well in terms of price. I think people love them, but can find a similar look for a lot cheaper (as they aren’t paying London wages), quite honestly.

      Yeah, the shipping returns are painful, aren’t they? If I lived in the US, I swear I’d import their items and run around the country having trunk shows! I need to find a body double for you in the UK so I can send you photos of how they’d fit on you 🙂 The next GA collection is fab… a bit more fun than the first, but still with those beautiful structured jackets and thick soft cashmere pieces.

      Thank you so much, I’m delighted to have won. xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    April 17, 2019 at 3:32 PM

    I opened your post three times. Now I am going to comment. This is a fab T-shirt and yes I can understand you want it in bright colours. I have two T-shirts with letters. One says Dare not to care (as in “do what pleases you and don’t let people’s remark stop you) and the other one says: Lorem ipsum dolor sit. Which is the start of fake text Desktop publishers use when they have to design but don’t know the text yet. A trade joke.
    Your sequined skirt will always be a marvel.
    You are thinking about creating a line of customisable shirts and sweaters yourself? My my, quite an endeavour. Kudos.

    • Reply
      April 17, 2019 at 10:41 PM

      Your slogan shirts sound great, Greetje! I know exactly the fake text you talk about… all the blog templates use that too!

      Isn’t this skirt a dream?! It is touch too long on me, but too much trouble to hem.

      I’d LOOOOOOVE to have a line of customisable shirts and sweaters, but the real problem is the engineering of the sequins on knitwear in a way that will last with wear and tear and laundering. Embroidery is nice (and easier), but I need sparkle. I’m exploring the possibilities, and deciding if I have the time to devote to a trend that may or may not have had its day after I sink my money into it. We’ll see… xx

      • Reply
        No Fear of Fashion
        April 18, 2019 at 8:32 AM

        Essentiel Antwerp has a good sequins design for their shirts and skirts

        • Reply
          April 18, 2019 at 11:46 AM

          Yes, they do! I have my eye on their lemur sequin t-shirt right now. Maybe I’ll buy it purely for investigative purposes 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    April 18, 2019 at 2:05 AM

    That skirt is glorious with the rainbow colored sequins. I agree, for me it is also hard to find the perfect T-shirt with the graphic design that feels and sounds outstanding. Congratulations on your win. That is wonderful news.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2019 at 11:47 AM

      Thank you Elle! Yes, to find a slogan top that feels perfect it almost HAS to be custom doesn’t it? xx

  • Reply
    May 2, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    What a pretty skirt! The sequins are wonderful!

    • Reply
      May 3, 2019 at 10:32 AM

      Thank you so much! xx

  • Reply
    Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb
    May 24, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    “Sunny day, chasing the – clouds away…” definite Sesame Street vibes! Look, here comes Mr Hooper and Gordon (Gordon was ALWAYS my favourite)!!

    Superb outfit Lisa, it’s almost as if the t-shirt was made for you?!! haha 😉 Just too good with the sequinned skirt, my friend – too good.

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      May 28, 2019 at 3:21 PM

      It really is all Sesame Street in feeling, isn’t it?! Thank you so much, lovely xx

  • Reply
    May 27, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Interested to hear more about your book writing. I too want to write a book , a children’s fantasy. It’s all there I just need to bloody write it AND technical
    Advice on the blog. I am so rubbish … my bf gets so frustrated with me . I’m like Jon Snow … I know nothing !
    Love your outfit , Tracey x

    • Reply
      May 28, 2019 at 3:20 PM

      Oh, the book writing is taking a back seat to everything else right now. I can’t seem to find the head space to do it; I think I have to decide that the book is THE priority before I put my head down and do it. The writing contest was a good way to see what it takes to write and write ONLY, day in and day out. You’ll know when the time is right for your book; it will occupy your thoughts and you’ll be compelled to deliver it! xxx

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