NOT LETTING AGE DEFINE MY LIFE OR STYLE

Printed Pyjama Pants at The Proms

A-promming we shall go.  Sorry, excuse me, what did you say?  Promming... What's 'promming'?  

Allow me to explain.  Every summer at the Royal Albert Hall in London, from July to early September there are nightly orchestral, classical concerts, with leading orchestras, conductors and soloists from around the world.  They are affectionally known as The Proms, formally known as The BBC Proms or originally known as The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, named after the conductor of the first concert, Sir Henry Wood in 1895.  Proms concert-goers, particularly those who stand, are known as "Promenaders", but again are affectionally referred to as "Prommers", hence a-promming we shall go! 

Denim Shirt, Printed Trousers & Spotty Bag | PetiteSilverVixen

Tomorrow I'll post about the Prom itself but for now I'll focus on the outfit.  Last night I took my printed blue tile joggers out for the musical spin to the 11th Prom (a semi staged performance of Fiddler on the Roof).  World-reknowned Welsh bass-baritone, Bryn Terfel was playing Tevye, a role made famous by Topol, in the film version.

I bought the trousers only a few weeks ago.  I was looking for a light trouser in a non-floral print as a break from all the florals and these seemed to fit the bill.  I'm still a little undecided about them though.  I call them my pyjama pants as they have a draw-string waist and really do feel as soft and light-weight as pyjamas!  I knew they'd be ideal to wear as

a) inside the hall where the Arena Prommers stand, the temperature can resemble a sauna!
b) everyone sits during the interval to rest their legs.  Unless you're happy to flash your underwear, skirts aren't a great option.
c) these are loose enough there's no fear of seams suddenly ripping when sitting cross-legged!
d) if you want to go glam, you'll look out of place as a Prommer.

Denim Shirt, Printed Trousers & Spotty Bag | PetiteSilverVixen

I rather liked standing in front of the maroon doors at the station, before we boarded the train into town.

I've done some inadvertent pattern mixing here with my spotty bag!  This is my workhorse bag.  I use it practically everyday as it's like the bag Mary Poppins had.  Admittedly, I'm not carrying a hat stand in it as she did, but there's an umbrella (this is a British summer!), water bottle and chocolate eclairs inside.  

Yes, you did read that correctly.  There was a pack of eclairs inside.  With the concert starting at 7pm and having to queue early for 'on the day Prom tickets', it required us to port a 'queue pic-nic'.  Luckily it was cool enough that the eclairs survived the journey, cocooned in my bag. 

Denim Shirt, Printed Trousers & Spotty Bag | PetiteSilverVixen
 
Denim Shirt, Printed Trousers & Spotty Bag | PetiteSilverVixen

Promming cultivates the art of patiently waiting.  And popular Prom concerts, even more so.  A steward told us that some prommers had started queuing that morning!  We rocked up at about 5.30pm, so only had an hour and a half of waiting.  The perfect opportunity for TallBrownFox to kindly take some more snaps.


 Denim Shirt, Printed Trousers & Vans | PetiteSilverVixen

Oh the glamour of outdoor photoshoots.  The napkins from our 'queue pic-nic' are poking up from my backpack! 

But let's focus on the matching necklace and bracelet I'm wearing; this year's birthday present from TallBrownFox.  As I love textures, I was drawn to the hammered, silver plated links.  It's a contemporary design that looks stunning with a little black dress but equally gives an edge to a casual outfit such as this, especially next to the denim shirt.

Denim Shirt, Printed Trousers & Necklace | PetiteSilverVixen
  Denim Shirt & Hammered Silver Necklace | PetiteSilverVixen

Denim Shirt & Hammered Silver Bracelet | PetiteSilverVixen

When promming, comfortable footwear is essential.  I knew I'd be able to travel, queue, stand for 3 hours of the performance and travel back home in my Vans.  Years ago, I had a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors but for some reason I never found them that comfortable, but recently I thought I'd give Vans a go.  Not wanting to pay upwards of £40, I scoured e-bay and found this pair, new, with box for just over £16! 

The 'tibetan red' tones well with the more pinky red of my t-shirt.  By bringing in another colour, it breaks up the blue block of the trousers and the denim shirt, whilst still complimenting them.

Printed Trousers & Vans | PetiteSilverVixen

Petite Dorothy Perkins Tile Print Joggers
Warehouse t-shirt
New Look Denim Shirt (old)
Vans
Jane Akester Hammered Necklace and Bracelet
National Trust Oilskin Spot Bag (old)

And what of the performance itself?  There is something quite magical being inside a circular auditorium with a concert orchestra playing and a chorus at full throttle.  You become enveloped in glorious sound.  Here's Bryn leading the cast as they sing the rousing 'Tradition' at the finale.

Fiddler on the Roof is not a sentimental musical.  Its story of age-old traditions being challenged and people being violently and cruelly dispossessed of their homes and land because of their culture and faith is very relevant to today.

Grange Park Opera & Bryn Terfel, sing 'Tradition' | PetiteSilverVixen

The orchestration, the staging, the superlative singing of the chorus and leads, not least the barnstorming, central performance of Bryn's Tevye, made an evening that was poignant, funny, human and thought-provoking.  Bravo to Grange Park Opera, The BBC Concert Orchestra, Conductor David Charles Abell and Bryn Terfel.

Have you ever been to The Proms?  And if so, have you ever prommed, either in the Arena or the Gallery?

Linking with:  /  Turning Heads Tuesday  /  Garay Treasures  /  Confident Twosday  /  Style Swap Tuesday  /  Color and Grace  /  The Wednesday Pants  / 

Summer Evening Drinks: Hot Pink & White

For a relaxed evening of summer drinks I chose an outfit of hot pink and white.  The perfect evening to take out my new hot pink clutch.  Hot pink is wonderful worn at any time of year but I especially love it for summer when paired with white.  The contrast of the two colours is a striking one.

For an evening out sometimes all you need are simple basics.  Here, a spaghetti strap cami, a pair of jeans and sandals are a great foundation upon which to add your key, highlight pieces to finish off the look. You saw these white jeans last month when I wore them in a very different way in my 'peaches & cream' post, showing just how useful white jeans are in a summer wardrobe.

Aztec Clutch, White Jeans, Hot Pink Cami | Petite Silver Vixen

Aztec Clutch, White Jeans, Hot Pink Cami | Petite Silver Vixen

The embroidery on the cami is just enough eye-catching detail that makes the top wearable for both day and night.  The spaghetti straps draw the eye up to the necklace, giving it a frame to float between.  The finishing touch is my statement clutch which stands out against the hot pink and white and I'm good to go!

Aztec Clutch, White Jeans, Hot Pink Cami | Petite Silver Vixen

Aztec Clutch, White Jeans, Hot Pink Cami | Petite Silver Vixen

Aztec Clutch, Necklace, Hot Pink Cami | Petite Silver Vixen

A cascading, multi strand necklace is ideal for a low sitting, scooped neckline.  The beads compliment the delicate embroidery of the cami top and the magpie in me appreciates all the varied colours.  It makes a statement without being a big statement necklace.

Beaded Multi Strand Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

I've never really been into clutch bags and until recently I only owned one.  They've often so small you can barely squeeze a dormouse in them.  Not that I do, understand.  They much prefer to curl up inside teapots.  And I prefer to hook a bag in the crook of my elbow, or be hands free with a cross body bag.  And I'm generally non plussed with regard to tassels. 

Yet, now I own a clutch without a wristlet and with a tassel!  I don't know, you start a blog and all of a sudden your satorial preferences spiral off their axes!  To be fair, the tassel is detachable (always good to have a plan B) and this one is more than roomy enough for phone, lipstick and a dormouse or two.  Just kidding, just kidding!  I wouldn't have bought this full price (£20) but it's currently in the sale.  £7 is much more budget friendly when buying an item you wouldn't naturally gravitate to.  It's a very simple design in that it really is a clutch - no chain or wristlet to hold.  However, I did gravitate towards the striking aztec print and as I love wearing hot pink, there was method in my madness!

Aztec Clutch Bag & Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

Aztec Clutch Bag | Petite Silver Vixen

Gladiator sandals have moved on in design since I bought these two summers ago.  It's all laced style now and those Boden Lille Lace-up points I keep seeing everywhere but I'm not going to discard a pair of sandals simply because they're from a previous season.  They've earned their keep and will do so again this year.  Besides, I'm probably even less non-plussed about laces on sandals as I am about tassels, so these suit me just fine.

Pink Gladiator Sandals | Petite Silver Vixen

Aztec Clutch Bag & Pink Gladiator Sandals | Petite Silver Vixen

In the glow of the setting sun, we head off for a glass of Prosecco.

Aztec Clutch, White Jeans, Hot Pink Cami | Petite Silver Vixen

Monsoon Hot Pink Cami (old)
Bhs Petite White Jeggings
New Look Hot Pink Gladiator Sandals (old)
Dorothy Perkins Aztec Clutch
Necklace from a local independent shop

Are you a clutch fan or do you prefer bags with handles or chains?

Linking with /  The Wednesday Pants  /  What I Wore  /  Style Me Wednesday   /  Southern Elle  / High Latitude StyleFashion Should Be Fun /  Passion4Fashion  /

Embroidered Mandarin Jacket with Linen: Black & Turquoise

We don't always want to wear light or pastel colours in the summer, particularly if like me, you're very fair-skinned.  They can make you look washed out.  But black can often drain what colour you have, particularly if like me, you're very fair-skinned.  So what is one supposed to do?

I thought I'd show you how I style a summer outfit where the two main pieces are black.  It also gives me the chance to debut wearing a skirt; a first on the blog!  I've realised that up until now it's been all trousers and dresses!

I kept 3 key points in mind; light material, one main counterpoint colour to the black - in this case, teal - and chose non-black, non-matching but colour co-ordinated accessories. 

Embroidered Mandarin Jacket & Black Linen Skirt | PetiteSilverVixen

Below I am doing my best 'Angelina Jolie', red carpet look.  Ah, have I got your attention?  You didn't see that coming, did you?  A tasteful slit at the side.  Not quite as sky-high as Ms Jolie's was but then she was wearing a sumptious black velvet, floor length number at the 2012 Oscars and I'm just wearing a black linen skirt in my back garden!

Embroidered Mandarin Jacket & Black Linen Skirt | PetiteSilverVixen

As temperatures rise, linen is so comfortable to wear and feels soft against my skin.  This skirt is a dearly beloved one.  To show how dearly beloved, I bought it when Anne Brooks Petite was still in existence.  When I had my old office job it was trotted out alot so it was good to whip it out of the wardrobe again to style it with the jacket and hey presto, I've an outfit that will work for many occasions in the summer; freelance business meetings, lunches with girlfriends, trips to the theatre.

I don't normally tuck tops into skirts or trousers as I'm so short-waisted but the jacket and the skirt are just the right proportions on me as a petite that I can get away with it.  Plus, by tucking in the cami top I can show off the belt that comes with the skirt.  Ivory discs and black beads, threaded on cord.  Along with the slit, they break up the block of black.  With fun details like these, you avoid the funereal look that wearing black can evoke.

Embroidered Mandarin Jacket & Black Linen Skirt | PetiteSilverVixen

But let's move onto the main event of this outfit; this darling Mandarin style jacket.  I fell in love with it when I stumbled across it on e-bay.  The quality is superb - to be expected from Monsoon - but I sure didn't pay a Monsoon price.  You take a chance online when buying just from a photograph but this had been well looked after and was barely worn.  It's also a quirky twist on the current kimono trend.

Here, black is a great canvas for the delicate, oriental inspired embroidery.  Teal, olive green, blush pink and amber coloured threads swirl gracefully over the jacket's front panels, the mandarin collar and the sleeve edges.  The oriental theme carries through to the loop and knot ties which fasten the jacket.

I like clothes that give you options and this is a versatile little number.  Do the jacket up and pair it with cigarette pants for a sleek evening look.  Perfect for a petite.  Then hand me a Blushing Dragon Cocktail as we watch the sun set. 

Embroidered Mandarin Jacket | PetiteSilverVixen

Embroidered Mandarin Jacket | PetiteSilverVixen

All the accessories I've chosen are colour accents from the jacket which lightens the overall look of the outfit.  I've had this necklace so long I can't even remember where I bought it from.  The metallic strands, and coloured beads tone with the embroidery and the cami top.  It's just enough detail at the neckline and doesn't compete with the jacket's design.  A more 'statement' necklace would have felt too fussy and big with the mandarin collar.

Necklace | PetiteSilverVixen

Both the bag and the bracelets are thrifted.  The centre of the flowers on the jacket are an orange-y/brown so I picked out these two amber bracelets to wear which were bought from a local charity shop.

The bag was a steal at £3.99 and you can bet it wasn't that price when it was originally sold in Next!  When working to a budget, it's so satisfying buying thrifted items in such mint condition.  The bag's an unusual colour in that it's not quite silver, not quite gold.  I call it metallic blush!  The big hoops attaching the straps to the bag, give it slight 60's feel.

Metallic Bag & Amber Bracelets | PetiteSilverVixen


Bag and Wedges | PetiteSilverVixen

Jacket (Monsoon), Bag (Next) and Bracelets all pre-loved or thrifted
Teal Cami Top: Monsoon (old)
Black Linen skirt: Anne Brooks Petite (old)
I previously wore the wedges (New Look, old) in my Tropical Maxi Dress post here

Easy tips for styling black in summer that work for me are:

mandarin style jacket or kimono
chose a bright or dramatic colour to wear in one or two key areas - here it was cami top and shoes - that co-ordinates with the jacket or kimono.
lighter materials for the bottom half work best - linen, cotton
accessorize with colour or metallics - jewellery, bag, shoes.

Mandarin Jacket & Black Linen Skirt | PetiteSilverVixen

Do you wear black in summer? How do you style it in the warmer months?

Finally, did I whet your appetite with the mention of the Blushing Dragon Cocktail?
Ingredients: Vodka + Cointreau + lemon juice + strawberries + raspberries + blueberries + mangoes

Linking with:  /  Turning Heads Tuesday   /  Style Swap Tuesday  /  Confident Twosday  /  Garay Treasures  / Stylelixir  /  The Wednesday Pants  /  Wednesday Blog Hop  /  What I Wore  /  Fashion Should be Fun  /  High Latitute Style  /  Passion4Fashion  /    /

Wearing Butterflies & All Blue | Navy, Cobalt & Denim Blue

A sunlit morning at the end of May, about to be spent meandering around the local village market, emersing ourselves in a weekly activity that goes back centuries.  What better way to experience everyday French life whilst on holiday.

Full length shot Butterfly top, denim jeans and french blue cardigan

The market is always awash with colour.  A petite, French blue cardigan, a patterned top of delicate butterflies, with silver accessories seemed the ideal choice for our foray.  Simple, yet chic.


I freely admit that blue is my favourite colour and I love wearing different shades of blue together. The vividness of cobalt blue just lights up my day.  The cardigan has a very pretty trellis-like pattern down the sleeve, which you can just make out in the photograph.  And even the buttons have their own characteristic.  They have a silver edge.

C'est un cardigan avec je ne sais quoi, mes amis.

Close up of French Blue cardigan and Butterfly Top


I love butterflies in nature but I can take them or leave them when they're on clothes.  However, there was something about the butterflies on this top that attracted me.  Maybe it's because the butterflies are plain white as opposed to coloured, making their shape stand out more against the navy stripes, balancing out the white band at the bottom.  They look as if they've been block printed onto the material by hand.

The butterflies are fluttering and soaring their way to my shoulders, drawing the eyeline upward.  The bonus is that this gives me the illusion of length.  And at 5'1", I need all the length I can get!

And I couldn't resist the scallop shell hem.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I adore scallops. No siree, not at all, *ahem*.

 Torso Shot of Butterfly top and silver necklaces

The silver strands are actually two separate necklaces.  It was fitting that I wore them on holiday as it was a home-coming for them.  I'd bought them on our previous visit to the South of France.


Close up of Butterfly Top and Necklaces

I often pair them as they make more of an impression when worn together.  They compliment each other, without competing against each other.

Ssssh, between you and me, one often sulks when the other one is worn on it's own; better to keep the peace and all.

There's something quite visually satisfying about circles I find.

Silver Necklaces against Butterfly top

On market day you easily walk miles without realising it.  More so in my case.  I love to browse, peruse and ponder each stall, often going back through the market several times (which quite often tests the endurance of TallBrownFox!), soaking up every last detail, so as not to miss anything.

My silver leaf sandals kept my feet cool and comfortable accompanied by my trusty .99p thrifted, silver bag.  These two are pretty much inseparable!  They're so content in each other's company.  Here they are together when I took then on a day trip to Nice.

Front view of Silver Leaf Sandals and Silver Bag


Silver Sandals and silver bag

And from a silver bag to straw ones.

You'll find these colourful shopping baskets in every market.  I love the vibrancy of the colours.  The hot pinks and zesty oranges always catch my eye.  But what amused me on this particular stall were the two bags hanging centrally from the canopy.  Can you see them?

Clue: they're red, white and blue.  Deep in the heart of the Var, I find bags with the Union Jack on them!

PetiteSilverVixen: Market Stall of Colourful Baskets

Back chez nous after a morning of meandering in the market, we savoured our shopping spoils at lunch.  In the market there is a paella stand, where the paella is cooked in enormous pans in front of you.  Chicken, prawns, mussels, baby octopi, squid and red peppers, all cooked in saffron and rice.  I'm drooling as I type.  Excuse me, I just need to mop up my keyboard.

It's become a tradition when we're en vacances that we

a) HAVE to visit the local market
and
b) we HAVE to buy paella from the market.

This is non-negotiable!

And what better liquid to accompany the paella than a glass of the local rosé - L'Oppidum.  Cheers.

I sensibly took off my necklaces before scoffing.  Didn't fancy getting an octopus leg stuck in one of them.  Not a look I could pull off.

Plate of Paella


And for dessert, we indulged in a little sweet and savoury.  We bought delicious, juicy cherries from the market plus two types of le fromage du chèvre - goat's cheese.

The cheese is made by a local farmer.  He has one of the tiniest stands in the market yet he often has the longest queue!  He only sells goat's cheese and clearly has producing it down to a fine art.  The best goat's cheese is produced between March and November, so we were buying pretty much at its peak.

He sells about 6 or so different varieties.  We normally buy them covered in herbs but sadly he'd sold out of those by the time we got there (note to self; get up earlier on market day!).  The one on the left is covered in peppercorns; TallBrownFox favoured this one.  The one on the right is demi-sec; my favourite.  Demi-sec is where a white or yellow rind begins to form on the cheese.  This little sphere of tastiness has probably been aged for about 15 days or so. 

Goats Cheese and Cherries

I'll be doing a separate post on the market itself as French markets are such a cultural experience.  Do you like exploring markets as much as I do?  Do you come back laden with tasty goodies and/or vintage clothes and trinkets?

Linking with /  Turning Heads Tuesday  /  Garay Treasures  /  Confident Twosday  /  Style Swap Tuesday  /  Create 28 Lovely Summer LooksThe Wednesday Pants /  What I Wore  /  Wednesday Blog Hop  /  Color And Grace  /

Summer Dress Chic: Blues & White for Flower Show

On Friday I finally attended an event I've been itching to go to for a few years now; the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.  And what a year to pick.  It's their 25th Anniversary.  If you're going to do it, do it in style, I say!


Striped dress, parasol, shrug and bag

So what does one wear to a flower show?  Well, pretty much anything goes!  It was hot on Friday; the heatwave was still on 'furnace' mode.  Thankfully, not as high as on Wednesday, when temperatures exploded thermometers but still high.  Some folk opted for casual t-shirt and shorts. Others, like me, summer dress chic and then there was everything in between.  I chose a dress because

a) summers in the UK can be 'blink and you miss 'em', so I don't get to wear dresses much
and
b) being a Pilates teacher I can't exactly rock up to class wearing them!

Side view of Striped blue and white dress against floral display
I bought this little beauty only a couple of months ago.  I was mooching in TKMaxx and as I walked past, it said;

'Hello, you need to try me on'.

Now, I'm no fool. I've had dresses say this to me time and again, only to be disappointed in the changing room but this dress was quietly persistent and I did inwardly go 'Oooooo' at the gorgeous blue hues.  Off I duly trotted to the changing room, dress in hand.

Close up of dress; PetiteSilverVixen

'Pockets!', I squealed in delight.  'It's got pockets!' 

'I know', said the dress.  'One reason you had to try me on.  I know you love pockets on a dress.'

Look how I'm on tippy toes!  I'm imagining how the dress would look with heels.  The length was perfect, hitting just below the knee, not drowning me as so many dresses can do.  It was a done deal really.


Close up of dress with hand in pocket; PetiteSilverVixen

What I really like about the dress is that I could easily wear it to a more formal occasion. I'd give the skirt some poof by putting a petticoat underneath, slip on some heels, pop on a fascinator, grab a sparkly clutch and voilà, wedding here we come.

But what made my day, was when a lady walked by me and said 'that's such a pretty dress'.

Blue and white striped dress; PetiteSilverVixen

The dress has a 50's feel to it with the a-line skirt and the box pleats.  Although the material is cotton, it has some weight to it, so the skirt holds its shape.  I like that the horizontal stripes are different widths which is visually more interesting and more flattering than block stripes.  Plus, they don't make me look as if I'm wearing a skirt made of hula hoops.

And the pockets.  I did mention the pockets, didn't I?

Close up of skirt; PetiteSilverVixen

White Necklace; PetiteSilverVixen

This was a day for a wide-brimmed sun hat, worn at a slightly jaunty angle.  This hat holds special memories for me.  I bought it in Australia on honeymoon 5 years ago and it's served me well.

You can scrunch, squash and squish it into a suitcase but it still pings back into shape every time.  It's even washable!

Head and torso shot of dress; PetiteSilverVixen

They were selling parasols at the show.  Although my sun hat and shrug protected my arms, the parasol helped to lessen the intensity of the sun.  There's precious little shade in the park of Hampton Court Palace.

Dress and Blue Parasol; PetiteSilverVixen

Blue Parasol; PetiteSilverVixen

Dress: Kew from TKMaxx
Shrug: Peacocks: SS14
Necklace: Dorothy Perkins
White Sandals: New Look       Bag: Debenhams

And the flower show itself?  INCREDIBLE!

I'll be writing a separate post about it as some of the gardens were spectacular.  In the meantime, here's the Equilibrium Garden.  It won Gold and Best Conceptual Garden.

Equilibrium Garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

The upright groynes, sculpted by the sea and bleached by the sun represent a henge.  Ancient Britons built many henges - the most famous one being Stonehenge.  They were spiritual structures linked to the movements of the sun and moon, especially the solstice and equinox.  The design reflects these ideas and walking around it you certainly felt a sense of equilibrium. 

Linking with: /  Turning Heads Tuesday  /  Style Swap Tuesday  /  Confident Twosday  /  Garay Treasures  / StylelixirTARDIS Tuesday  /  The Wednesday Pants  /  What I Wore  /  The Wednesday Blog Hop  /  High Latitude Style  /  Passion 4 Fashion  /  Fashion Should Be Fun 


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