Very Ralph

Hello my lovely readers. What a treat it was to watch the documentary Very Ralph that aired on Sky Atlantic on the 15th of November. If you didn't see it then I urge you to find it on catch up TV. I was totally enthralled for the duration and duly inspired. It was like a running buffet of every delicious food you could possibly imagine, only it was clothes not food. And not just clothes, of course, as Ralph Lauren encompasses an entire lifestyle brand - his vision is breath-taking. In the words of Vogue 

'Very Ralph' Is A Future Classic – And The Most Stylish Documentary Of The Year

Today's outfit is my attempt to recreate a look I had a fleeting glimpse of amidst the technicolour fashion fest. Ralph is all about elegance, understatement and flair. Here's my rustic translation of his style. That little mocking voice in my head was all set to tell me that I'm not 6 foot tall, nor a willowy young beauty with legs like bean poles and for me not to make a blooming fool of myself with my copycat efforts, when I just said "so what?" and got on with it anyway. That's the whole point of fashion isn't it? To inspire us to copy.

Designer fashion this isn't, but the magic of Very Ralph caught my imagination, firing me up to find an outfit that echoes his ethos. Ralph's main influences were the film stars he saw in the movies as a young man. 

I've shopped my closet for this outfit, but more than that, the clothes are all second hand. The beautiful woollen Oxford Bags are by Escada but I have to admit that the luxury brand makes my eyes water at the their prices. The rust frilled blouse (no label) adds a feminine touch to the otherwise masculine look. I bought the burnished leather bomber jacket (House of Leather) a couple of years ago and seemed to pick myself a bargain at only £20. The nude leather belt (another second hand purchase at £5) is as good as new, by Country Casuals.

I bought these high heeled brogues in Portugal about five years ago and especially love the ribbons. I can't read the brand name now as it's too smudged. They're wearing well.

All my jewellery is pre-loved too. I'm doing well with my luxury-for-less look today!

My friend Jilly and her dog Boo photo-bombed us, in the nicest way possible of course.

And she returned the favour by capturing Steve and I together which doesn't happen often enough. Please let me know what you think of the documentary. I loved it, but want to hear your opinion too.

Thanks for dropping by. See you next time!

Anna x


From the archive

This shoot is from Polly's reign, a happy reminder of the heckling and laughter before she jumped ship, leaving me for another department and abandoning me to another winter of flying solo. I felt ambivalent about this outfit when I reviewed the photos, but at this stage I can see that beggars can't afford to be choosers. Today the grey skies, a gusting wind and heavy showers have sabotaged any thoughts I had of trying to do a shoot on my own. Pink fluffy jumper and rainbow mini skirt will have to wait for another day I think. Hahaha, and you think I'm joking, don't you!

Everything apart from the trousers is preloved. The leather jacket was a purchase in Harrogate in April and this is its first outing. The brand is House of Leather, London. The leather has a shiny gleam and looks well nourished as if it has been polished or fed with cream or wax. The elastic is taut showing no sag from age, fitting well at the cuffs and waist. I think I paid about £15 for it and am happy with that for the quality.

I paid £20 for the leather Radley bag and again this is in immaculate condition. It was a recent charity shop find, from Truro I think. Rings are preloved too.

The mustard trousers are advertised as culottes, showing how vertically challenged I must be. Yes, I'm laughing at my own jokes, sorry! See them here on the Zara site where the model is clearly tall and leggy and wearing them with high heels too. I bought them with the intention of wearing them with my latest crush - yes my tartan boots, but somehow that didn't work. My sunglasses are by Quay Australia and the roll neck was an eBay purchase years ago.

I like the mustard alongside the pony skin leopard print of these Oxfords (from Office and second hand). I've recently bought a pair of vintage high heeled boots that may work better with these trousers though. I've just sent them off to be re-heeled, so you'll have to wait to see how that pans out later. 

The white socks weren't me paying homage to Michael Jackson, more a momentary lapse in concentration when I was rummaging in my sock drawer. Later that morning I had to admit the error of my ways and nipped home to change them for black ones which merged much better with the shoes. Hah! And I consider myself a stylist, eh? Well actually, no I don't.

My summation of this look is that these wide, slightly cropped trousers do me no favours at all - well not with flat shoes that's for sure. I have short legs and these only serve to highlight that. But I do love them (both legs and trousers) none the less and will be trying to improve on this offering in due course. 

I'll leave you with this shot taken from my office window. That swirling bright light seemed to create a face in the clouds - does that look like a cute doggie to you?

Til next time, take care!
Anna x

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