Nautical and Nice

Asos Floral Skirt and striped topAsos Floral Skirt and striped top Asos Floral Skirt and striped topAsos Floral Skirt and striped topTop: Temt

Belt: Target

Midi Floral Skirt: Asos

Shoes: Lifestride Parigi via Shoebuy

Just a quickie, late on a Monday night before I put myself to bed!

I ordered this Midi Floral Skirt from Asos in the sales a couple of weeks ago, because I loved the full blown roses print and thought there was plenty of items in my closet it would go with.

I sized down, assuming that as it was a pull-on style it would probably be a similar fit to the recent scuba skirts that have been cropping up. The fabric’s a reasonably thin jersey, and that means there’s not as much volume as there would have been with a stiffer fabric, but the skirt’s a full circle so there’s still a lot of flare around the hips.

I love the combination of florals and stripes, and it’s something I’m seeing more and more of on blogs and in magazines. The stripes seem to lift an old-fashioned floral print into something a little more contemporary, where the florals pretty-up the minimalist simplicity of a nautical top.

I suspect this particular top is too loose for this outfit to be 100% successful, and the long sleeves create too even a balance between the two prints. In summer I’ll team the skirt with a closer fitting top that allows the rosy fabric to sing, without overwhelming it.

But of course, it’s winter, and it’s freezing, so this is what you get for now!

Caped Crusader

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Button Cape: Eugenie Cashmere

Top: Laura Ashley

Trousers: Target

Shoes: Miz Mooz

Necklace: Kim Lyons Jewelry

Eugenie has been my favourite purveyor of fine cashmere garments ever since I first discovered them (way back when they were still 8Inkerman)

I bought my first cashmere cardigan from them way back in, oh I don’t know, 2008? and it’s still in my wardrobe now. It started me on a long, self indulgent, and expensive addiction to good quality cashmere clothing.

Every winter for the last couple of years I’ve saved my pennies, then taken to the trip out to Eugenie’s fragrant (seriously, this shop smells amazing) and welcoming store with the express intention of buying one of their legendary button capes.

And every year I end up leaving with a cardigan, instead.

Not this year! This year I put my blinkers on and powered through all the delicious cardigans and made my way down to the rack of capes, and I’m SO GLAD that I did, because I’ve been wearing the crap out of my button-cape since I brought it home.

To start with it’s deliciously soft and snuggly – it’s a heavier and slightly fluffier yarn than the cardigans, and as a result it’s wonderfully warm, and it drapes beautifully.

It’s essentially a long rectangle shawl with a line of buttons along the long edge on each side towards the bottom.

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This deceptively simple configuration results in you being able to wear the shawl in a myriad of different ways!

If you button it on one side and wear the buttons on the shoulder it becomes a poncho. I usually fasten the second row of buttons (under my left arm) and wear it like an asymmetrical vesty shawl type thing. This is how I’m wearing it in the first picture.

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Swivel the line of buttons to your centre front and you have a short, buttoned cape:

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Put that line of buttons at the back, and it’s a longer cape with a cowl neck.

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Button both sets of buttons up along the long side, and you can wear it like a shrug.

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Twist it before fastening, and it makes a dressy cover-up for your shoulders.

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Of course you can always wear it like a pashmina or a simple scarf:

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OK, now I’m just getting silly.

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I’ve rolled it into my handbag for a big of extra coverage in the cinema, draped it over my legs on a chilly plane, wrapped my shoulders in it while reading in bed on a wintery morning. I love it. It’s expensive, but it’s SO versatile.