Red shoes, No knickers

Rise to the occasion Archive



October 2018



A fool every Fall

Autumn always manages to sneak up and surprise me.  I am constantly singing the praises of Summer. Waxing lyrical to anyone and everyone about how I feel more alive in the Summer. How my body is always more at ease with fewer clothes on, when it’s brown and when it’s not clenched and taut in order to fend off the cold. I spend as much time as possible outside riding my bike, swimming in open air pools, ponds and the sea. My legs are free, the sunnies are on and I am in my element.

As soon as the August bank holiday ends however I am officially in mourning. I’m complaining about the darkness creeping in, the cooler nights and the arrival of conkers. I lament about how much I love the long, lazy warm days of Summer and how I don’t think I will possibly be able to survive the next nine months.

Then I actually stop and look around me and I see the beauty in Autumn. This is what always catches me unawares. It’s a stunning season. I look up at the brilliant blue skies that somehow feel even brighter than a cloudless July day and realise that my sunnies are still being worn. I am in awe of the fiery red, vivid orange and toast brown leaves that either gather round my feet or shape the landscape in front of me. The crispness in the air means a change of clothing that, I am loath to admit, I’m actually ready for. A bare leg with an oversized knit. Cute ankle socks and heavy brogues. Sweatshirts and pencil skirts. Light coats that are part of your outfit rather than a necessity or a ‘just in case’. Then I look in the mirror.

Oh Jesus! What a frikkin’ state!

No. I can not do Autumn. I can not do in betweenness. I am all or nothing I’m afraid. I’m either a simple cotton dress and flip flops or seventeen layers, a cashmere scarf, an oversized coat and a hat kinda gal. This ‘is it warm/is it going to rain/or is it actually cold?’ malarky catches me out every year and I look a fool. That bare leg and an oversized knit? It just doesn’t work. My legs started to lose their colour due to the reality of them having not seen real sunshine since mid July and are now pale and motley.

My face on the other hand still has the malasma stains of too many summer’s spent with not enough SPF applied. This means my dirty face can’t take much make up and so a pillar box red lip is unable to distract from my uncooked chicken legs. The tube in October and November is far too hot for ‘the Autumnal sloppy knit that makes you feel cosy’. Also you can forget about heading down the tights route this early on. ‘Swamp ass’ is a phrase I’ve discovered recently and is also an unpleasant sensation I’ve discovered recently.

Florals are out of place, cashmere is too much. Boots are unnecessary and jackets aren’t enough.

I am sartorially lost in this tricksy season that lulls me into a false sense of security with it’s gorgeous changing colour scheme and it’s desire to start hunkering down in our homely on trend hygge.

Bring on a full-blown freezing Winter….Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d say!

 ~ Some Autumn/Fall fashions I try to emulate each year ~

Posted in Colour blocking, Inspiration, Rise to the occasion



October 2013



Rise to the occasion ~ Cocktail week


It’s been a while since I’ve had to Rise to the Occasion ~ HA! Who am I kidding! Every Wednesday is dress up day for me!! No but seriously, I mean an actual occasion when other people might dress up with me. London cocktail week seemed like the perfect opportunity as we had a personally selected liquor  for our store and served Elderflower and Prosecco cocktails for a couple of days. In my head I merged cocktails and couture as I headed to my closet.


{grandma wyn’s burberry trench coat, hobbs cardi, #diditmyselfdidnti may dress, gifted belt and net skirt, m&s petticoat & sunnies, kg heels, reworked leather bag from rokit {remember her from here?}}


I’d been wanting to wear this Did It Myself, Didn’t I dress, by May, all summer but there just never seemed the right occasion. It’s racer back, tight and short. Had I taken her to old Sunny Spain she might have got an airing but alas she didn’t make the cut. Teaming her with not one but two skirts {you know I love a double skirt action HERE, HERE& HERE} I added a slip and a gifted net skirt to make my outfit wearable, comfortable and cocktail ready.


Posted in Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Inspiration, Outfit city, Rise to the occasion



August 2013



Hot Spanish days…


The dry heat of Northern Mallorca, the warm, aqua waters & the simple yet ridiculously gorgeous food made me so happy. I turned my phone off for a week, read through 3 unfinished books that have sat by my bed for far too long and loved the fact that my summer wardrobe go the catwalk showcasing that it so rightly deserves.

Denim cut offs, loose cotton tops, strapless java print dresses, flowing printed culottes, neon nails & loose, leather flip flops made my days long, languid and lushious…


{orla kiely top, d.i.m.d.i cut offs, m&s sunnies, gap flip flops}







{self designed java print dress, asos bikini, gap flip flops, m&s sunnies}








{sun hat from a shop in covent garden, boobtube from singapore, orla kiely culottes, m&s sunnies, gap flip flops, oasis clutch}



As per usual my fellow travelling gypset was none other than Bestie From Africa who has been taking my photo, applying sun cream to my back, delivering worthy discussions and supplying many laughs for 21 years now.

I couldn’t think of a better travel companion to traipse the world with….and who is always up for a debate on the best nail varnish colour to wear on a beach holiday.


Posted in Bestie From Africa, Outfit city, Red nix trips, Rise to the occasion, Travel



June 2013



Take me to Africa


When the Zimbabwean’s are in town there is nothing I like better than cracking out my African print dresses and showing them how much I love their material.

When Bestie From Africa lived over in Zimbabwe {technically she should now be called Bestie From Streatham} I was very lucky to receive many beautiful gifts in the post. Often it was simply material that she knew I’d like and would make into something fabulous. Other times it was actual dresses. This beauty came to me one birthday with the note attached

‘Yes, it’s huge but it’s the smallest I could find. I know you’ll be able to do something with it’ 

Huge was an understatement. It was probably a size 26! You know I love a challenge. I took it up, I took it in, I chopped the sleeves and I hemmed the shit out of it. Paired with a floral belt it was perfect for these far eastern style wild summer days.


{reworked gifted african dress, belt from this dress, m&s suede wedges and sunnies, vintage bag from rokit}


For wild adventures in the actual Africa and not just a garden in South London check out here

Posted in Africa-ca-ca, Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city, Printastic, Rise to the occasion



June 2013



Wild weather wear


As demonstrated on Tuesday this weather is driving me crazy. One minute I’m wiping my sweaty top lip the next I’m reaching for my umbrella. Finding outfits to look good in when the weather seems to be having a major PMT strop is difficult to say the least and I don’t know what to tell you my Shoelets! There seem to be no wise words of sartorial advice I can depart from these sweet, cherry flavoured lips.

I myself plumped for a jumpsuit ~ light, comfortable and fresh.



{orla kiely jacket, vintage jumpsuit and belt, office flats}




{zelda cave engraved necklace, laura lee ‘tim’ necklace}

What are you throwing together to try and stay cool/dry/warm these days?

Spread the love and let us know.


Posted in Outfit city, PANTS!, Rainy days, Rise to the occasion



June 2013



Bobbi’s wedding


I loved my outfit for Bobbi’s wedding so much.

As I’ve said before {see here} the 60’s are not a decade in which I generally seek out it’s clothing and accessories but….times change my Shoelets, times change. With an ever~expanding~non~decreasing~30~something~ year~old~pot ~belly and a reading to do at the ceremony I headed straight for the gym. I side stepped the gym and jumped into the pool with both feet ~ YEAH!  I had 2 weeks and I worked hard on those legs. With a touch of sun on them from the beautiful weather we had last week I was ready to release these bad boys into the world in a sexy, sweet 60’s shift dress. As I explained here, I love getting my legs out when it’s warm and if I don’t do it now I’m certainly not going to be doing it in 5, 10 years time!


{vintage dress from blackout, barrett’s heels that are 15 years old,chazzer shazzer clutch} 


With big plans to make a fabulous floral head band I was sorely disappointed when I simply couldn’t get my hands on any decent black flowers. ANYWHERE! Everything looked too tacky and cheap so I went with a simple black ribbon around a high bun which in the end was better for the weather and the wild dancing. I was fine with my choice of bunnage until on the Friday night someone asked me what hat I would be wearing as ‘you always do a good hat’ GUTTED! I’m always up for an occasion when something on the top of your hat doesn’t make you look like a plum {see here and here}


What I learnt from this wedding:

1. Make sure what you wear is right for the temperatures of the day. I was really pleased with my dress as it had sheer sleeves ~ perfect for a warm/cool in the shade day. NO jacket required and DEFINITELY NO CARDI! No cardi’s at wedding’s please people! Always a jacket if you have to have a cover up.

2. A double lathering of moisturizer on the legs goes a long way. Slap it on. Slap it on again 20 minutes later. Legs as smooth as a babies bum!

3. WEAR AN SPF! Due to a very early arrival at the venue, an outside ceremony and then a long wait in the sun their were a lot of red faces come Sunday morning.

4. Your handbag needs to contain the following items:

* Make~up ~ Later on a top up or even a revamp is always needed.

*Deodrant ~ I failed on this account but Bestie From The TV came up trumps with a bottle of perfume that I sprayed directly onto my dress. problem solved.

* Tissues ~ didn’t take nearly enough for the amount of crying I did.

* Paracetamol ~ enough for at least 4 people who will undoubtedly ask you for something to kill a headache.

* Gum or a tooth brush ~ a lot of champagne/cigarettes/hog roast baps and 4 hours of dancing leads to bad times in the mouth.

5. Your shoes are the one big thing that you need to get right. Even if your hair is a disaster, your dress creases, you get sereve pits or your hat leaves a mark on your forehead ~ if your shoes are comfortable and can last you for 12 hours then nothing else matters. Up close my 15 year old heels are painful and battered, from a far and on a dance floor they’re priceless.


GO forth and enjoy your summer weddings my Shoelets ~ You’re armed with all you need to know.

Posted in Bobbi's wedding, Chazzer Shazzer chic, Outfit city, Rise to the occasion, Tricks of the trade



June 2013



Bobbi’s wedding: Travelling gal


{vintage leather handbag from bondi beach market, ancient overnight bag i’ve had for 19 years}

I learnt a few things this weekend my Shoelets and I thought there was nothing I needed to know about planning and packing for a 3 day weekend away.  This particular weekend away happened to be up in the Cotswolds for the much anticipated wedding of my good friend Bobbi.

Of course the wedding day outfit itself is thought of months beforehand. Shoes, hair and handbag for this occasion were pre~planned and discussed in length but the Friday and the Sunday outfits also needed just as much thought.  With the weather app for Bourton~on~the~water on my iphone saying sunshine mit a tiny bit of cloud I knew my outfits had to be summery, adaptable and comfortable.



{vintage jacket from nyc, white cotton top from singapore, self designed skirt, m&s wedges}



{laura lee star diamond stud, hexagonal silver ring and triple diamond ring, large silver earring from spain, triple silver band ring from india}


What I learnt from my 3 day jaunt was this:

1. Getting a wax/mani/pedi/haircut/hairdye and what ever else it is that makes you feel a little more pulled together is SO worth it. I had all of those things done and they made me feel great.

2. Make sure the luggage you take is easily transportable. I had to go from bus to tube to train to bus…my faithful weekend bag and over the shoulder handbag served me well and was easy to carry. NICE. Especially if you have a heel. Nothing worse than tottering along with too big luggage. Been there. Done that. Got the bad back.

3. Going to a three day affair normally means there’s going to be an evening do on the Friday night. Take another outfit. I wasn’t actually bothered that I didn’t have anything to get changed into as it meant I could just carry on drinking in the bar but it would have been nice to freshen up and pop on something a little warmer for the evening.

4. DEFINITELY take a different outfit for the morning of the wedding. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t even thought about it! The wedding wasn’t until 3pm so I had to go down to breakfast in my Sunday outfit…and with bare feet! GUTTED!

5……take some more shoes! I had my ever faithful m&s wedges but to put on a heel to go down to breakfast was a little ott!

6. Always pop in a warm layer. Even though the forecast said sunshine and high temps I took my new favourite {see here} and was so grateful I did for 5am on the Sunday morning and for a weary train journey home where we had to stand.


Lessons  learnt for the day of the wedding coming tomorrow……

Posted in Bag central, Bobbi's wedding, Outfit city, Rise to the occasion, Tricks of the trade



May 2013



Rise to the occasion: Princess layer


When a free trip to the theatre {went to see Book of Mormon kids ~ GO SEE!!!} has been on the cards for a while but the weather of Great Britain is sticking a big two fingers in your face there’s only one thing to do:

Emigrate Layer up!

I couldn’t put tights on because I’d told my good self that I wasn’t going to wear tights again until Autumn so the leggage had to be out but the sweet, sweet body was layered up my Shoelets, layered up! Thermal vest, petticoat, dress, cardiganos, kimono, coat, scarf…this weather ain’t got shit on ma style! Don’t let  it get you down either.



{chazzer shazzer coat, gifted scarf & kimono, american apparel yellow cardi, vinatge dress & heels, orla kiely bag}


Posted in Chazzer Shazzer chic, Outfit city, Rainy days, Rise to the occasion



May 2013





May 2013



Man repelling shoes


I will not be wearing these shoes to Bobbi’s wedding. I’ve come to that conclusion this weekend.

Why not? I hear you think. Good question my Shoelets. Good freaking question. I’m not sure I am able to explain it. I love men {I’ve been writing about them over here this week} and I like to feel on a level playing field in every aspect when I’m socialising with them. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t wear a dress, I’m definitely going to be wearing a dress to the ceremony, but if I had a choice I would probably don El panto to hang out with them. It’s not that I don’t want to feel feminine around them, on the contrary, I love the differences between men and women, but for some reason I don’t want to be seen as girly. Do you get me?

Bobbi’s wedding is coming up at the beginning of June and it’s a weekend affair. On being told that on the Friday there was clay pigeon shooting for the men and a trip into town for some pampering for the girls I balked and spat out my dummy. I told Bobbi in no uncertain times {read: I demanded} that I would also be coming clay pigeon shooting and ~ having done it before in the Untied states of Awesome ~ once I work out which eye to close I am really good at it. All women are now invited to the clay pigeon shooting thanks to my demands.

As if the pressure of finding a wedding outfit wasn’t bad enough I now have to think about what to wear for shooting. What does one wear for such an occasion?  Ironically these shoes would be perfect. Their height {I’ll be nearer the pigeons}, great stability and no thin heels sinking into the grass. But these are Man repelling shoes and as much as I love them I know that I am going to be looked at like a fool by most of the men standing around holding fire arms.


Why should it matter? I’m gutted that I’m bothered but I am. I don’t want to be seen as a silly and frivolous and have the fact that I’m going to shoot just as many fake pigeons as they are overlooked because I’m going to totter up in ridiculous shoes. And let’s be honest….these shoes are frikkin’ massive, clowny, clompy and totally ridiculous. I’m not expecting to get laid in them {although that would be highly amusing} but I’d just like to not get judged on my huge shoes.

Am I pre~judging the judges?

Am I being foolish?

Can I wear tweed to go shooting in or is that too much when out of London and somewhere that might not know what an Urban outfitters is?


Posted in Beautiful shoes, Bobbi's wedding, Let's discuss, Rise to the occasion


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