Tuesday 10 December 2019

The end of the dress challenge...thank goodness!

I'm definitely fed up with the wearing of dresses now; so here's a few more cheats in that I've already worn  these dresses on previous blog posts...

Day 17

This one has gone to be re-donated. I don't like it on me and its tight around the arms. Worn here with a kimono bought for 5.00 and checked leggings which also went to be re-donated - too thin.

Day 18

This dress is by Wallis and made of very thin material. I love the sleeves
 and the bright colours so this one's a keeper. Waistcoat by Next charity shopped; and black boots by Sainsbury's.

Day 19

This one is also made of very thin material. I bought it for 1.00 in the 3:16 charity shop and wore it on my birthday trip to London in March this year. I was frozen; even though I wore it with leggings (from M&S retail). Black ankle boots present from my daughter as was the leather biker jacket.

Day 20

Everything charity shopped but can only remember where the spotted blouse and cardi came from; a little town in Cornwall; when I went away in May half term last year; with my daughter and the two grandchildren. I can't remember the name of the little town we visited. The blouse is by South and was on the 1.00 rail...the cardigan is from my Barnardo's, I think. Grey boots online retail and all jewellery charity shopped.

On Wednesday, my youngest grandson came home from hospital; his implant was removed successfully.

My group were walking far away again (that's three weeks on the trot).  I just walked to Queen's Park, then along the river to Great Denham and Kempston then home. It was a 7 mile walk  in length and it stayed dry throughout although it was grey and dismal day; but there was a short burst of sunshine. while I was out.  I walked past this Gurdwara on  my way to get to the river...

On Thursday, I led my 5 mile amble and there were 6 of us. Another grey, dank day but it didn't rain and the walk was very pleasant. In the afternoon I went to see the grandson who was fine; only saying his jaw hurt after the operation. We played board games and card games all afternoon and his mum went off to do her shopping. He's delighted he has a week off school to recuperate! When I got home after this I changed into the above outfit and went and did my shopping.

I swam on Friday, the usual 30 lengths. It felt very good to be back in the water and at one point I had the whole section entirely to myself. It was bliss. I went to my Barnardo's to look at the 'Everything 99p' sale only to find it was 'Everything 1.00' sale. I bought a couple of items for the grandsons; a pair of purple cords for me; a summer top by Monsoon and a brown M&S jacket. I spent 5.00 in total.

Day 21

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday, OH and I went for a rummage to Newport Pagnell. I went mad and bought a fake Astrakhan coat by M&S for 25.00 in the RSPCA charity shop. I fell for the sleeves and the fit of it. I have two warm winter coats; one of which makes me look like a box on legs, so that one is being re-donated and the new one will replace it.

 This was what I wore on Saturday which was very chilly day.

Dress by East; can't remember. Jacket  by Roman; 1.00 rail in Wellingborough about 6 years ago. Boots by Sainsbury's retail. The dress is made of wool ;  is fully lined and is very warm. It's a boring colour so I like to jazz it up with other colours. You can't see it in these photos but I wore it with bright orange tights. 

This was me ready for the off. Wool wraparound coat bought in the Cat's Protection League; scarves and gloves charity shopped also. I'd been to town in the morning to run some errands and picked up a little brooch with two birds on it for 1.00 in an animal charity shop. I pinned it straight to the coat.

I went for a walk with my daughter on Sunday morning of 5 miles and we saw a Barn Owl -  in bright daylight! I was so thrilled...
This is what I changed into. Cords from my Barnardo's; top from 1.00 rail somewhere - I don't like it on me, so it will be re-donated. Cardigan from the independent charity shop in town and the Bjorn clogs were found in the Cat's Protection League some weeks back. I wore them round the house and found them very comfortable.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Monday comes around before you know it. I wore this to volunteer on Monday.
All jewellery charity shopped and headscarf from Primarni.

Brown skirt by M&S: 1.00 rail somewhere, same with the pink top. Next jacket about 7 or 8 years old and originally charity shopped. Underneath I had thick woollen tights; it was -1 degree when I took the middle grandson to school on Monday morning and it took a long time to scrape all the ice off the car...

Boots; gift from daughter.

The 1.00 sale had gone extremely well and a lot of stock was cleared so we were busy reorganising and re-stocking the rails. I found myself another red beret - I'd left my other one in the caravan and it's definitely beret weather...

Day 22

All jewellery charity shopped and headscarf.

The foodbank was busy as always but there were lots of us in and I got away a bit earlier. Knitted dress by Phase Eight; can't remember where I got it from; probably the 1.00 rail in the Barnardo's in Ampthill. Leggings retail in Store 21 sale some years ago, boots from my Barnardo's and jacket from Barnardo's in Ampthill.

It wasn't so cold on Tuesday and there was quite a lot of sunshine. I went for a swim in the afternoon as I was leading the bus walk on Friday and wouldn't have time to fit a swim in.

In the evening we went to see my brother playing at The Stables. It was a lovely evening and we went backstage for a drink with Julian and some of the band members afterwards. I wore the trouser suit I found in Sandy, the coat I bought in Newport Pagnell from M&S and my wool, embroidered scarf bought in St. Neots earlier this year. OH took the photos using his phone camera; they're still not very good I'm afraid...

Everything charity shopped including the pink leather gloves.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought the shoes for 1 euro in the St. Vincent's charity shop in Donegal Town.

I recce'd the walk I'll be leading on Friday on Wednesday. It was a cold day but again bright and sunny. The sun had real warmth to it when I felt it on my face. The walk was 7.4 miles. When I got back I went into town to run some errands and then went to have a look at the Castle Road charity shops. I bought some deep red leggings by Joseph for 1.99 and a pair of boots from H&M for 2.99. I also picked up a pink cat brooch for 99p all from The Children's Society.

Everything charity shopped including jewellery and headscarf.

Cardigan by Next; from my Barnardo's; top by Liz Claiborne, 1.00 rail somewhere; trousers by F&F. Grey boots; online retail.

Ready, steady, go!!

In the evening we went to watch a live screening from the Garrick Theatre in London of Shakespeare's 'The  Winter's Tale'. It was simply wonderful. Kenneth Branagh was Leontes, Miranda Raison (from 'Spooks') as Hermione and Judi Dench as Paulina. The screening lasted almost three hours and I was captivated all the way through. There is no one like Shakespeare for laying bare the human condition in all its joys and sorrows. There are a few more live theatre screenings next year including; 'Cyrano De Bergerac' with James McEvoy in February; 'Welkin' with Maxine Peake in May and 'The Comedy of Errors' in May. I look forward to them all. It's so much cheaper and there's no travel to London involved watching theatre performances this way!

It was a red day on Thursday. Everything charity shopped.

Except the boots from Primarni. Can't remember where the top came from but the jeggings by Joseph; charity shopped in The Children's Society yesterday. The cardigan was from the Independent Charity shop in town.

The top is by Wallis and was a 1.00 rail bargain.

All jewellery charity shopped and the headscarf.

I did the food shopping in the morning and went to Ampthill in the afternoon for a rummage. I bought a book and an earring holder, both for 50p in the RSPCA. I saw nothing that grabbed my fancy...I was very disappointed in the Barnardo's in Ampthill. It looked such a mess and there was nothing on the rails of any interest; the 1.00 rail has now been relegated to a huge bin where I did  have a rummage, but it was all just tat. Disappointing.

I was pleased with this 50p earring holder, though! I put my 'fancy'
earrings on it.

I led my bus walk on Friday; missed one of the footpaths as I was chatting to someone (naughty me) so we came the long way round doing 8 miles in the end. There were 13 of us; I wasn't really expecting anyone to turn up as it was grey and miserable day. They're a hardy lot the Ramblers! It did rain a bit but only light drizzle and we rewarded ourselves with a stop in a local cafe at the end. I had Frangipane cake which was delicious. This cafe is only a couple of hundred yards from my house and the cakes are to die for. I go very rarely because it wouldn't be good for my waistline if I went more frequently!

I changed into this to do the school run:

Black and grey - very boring! All jewellery charity shopped.

Boots; online retail. Skirt by Hennes (pre H&M?) 1.00 rail British Heart Foundation; top by Oasis; 1.00 rail somewhere earlier this year; cardigan charity shop in Donegal. I like the neck on the top; it's not quite a polo neck it's shorter and I prefer this length to a polo neck on me as I have a short neck as well as short limbs...

Whilst sorting out something suitable to wear for the London Walk to see the lights and decorations on Saturday; I had a count of the tunics I possess. I counted 38 and this doesn't include some linen tunic/shirts I wear in the summer! It's safe to say I have over 40 in total. I thought I would set myself another challenge and attempt to wear all of them beginning this week. I won't to commit to wearing one everyday; but I'd like to wear them all over the next couple of months, as it's a good way to decide whether I want to keep all of them - nobody needs 40+ tunics! I will probably include a couple of cheats where I've worn a tunic on a blog post quite recently so here's 2 to get us going!

Days 1 & 2 Tunics

The London walk was very interesting and according to my step counter (I forgot to set my walking app) I walked the equivalent of 12 miles. I was extremely tired by the time I got home. This is what I wore:

Day 3 - Tunic

Jeans by Next; charity shopped. White shirt by Gap and floral tunic by Anthology both charity shopped but can't remember where. Grey boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Our walk took us down Oxford Street, round and through Hyde Park to Pimlico, then Sloane Square, Chelsea where we stopped for lunch. Then to South Kensington back through Hyde Park to Marble Arch.

Top left; this was us gathering at Marble Arch. We walked down Oxford Street and through St. Christopher's Place where you can see the some of the decorations and giant Christmas tree. I spotted this lemon tree growing in a front garden somewhere in the West End. 
Skating at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington - top left and right. Bottom left; The Royal College of Organists; just beside the Albert Hall. Bottom right -'Winter Wonderland' seen from the other side of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. It's a huge funfair and there were queues of thousands waiting to get in!

Top left; a Regency crescent; top right and bottom left; home of Earl Russell (Duke of Bedford) Prime Minister. Middle right; home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and bottom right home of Vita Sackville - West and her husband. I've not long finished a book about Vita, her mother, her daughter and her grand-daughter: 'A Houseful of Daughters' by Juliet Nicholson. I love the architecture in London; there is such a variety of styles and periods.

Day 23 - the final dress!

This is a charity shopped Seasalt dress bought in my Barnardo's for 2.00. It's called 'The Millpool Dress' for reasons that escape me entirely! What has a dress got to do with a millpool for Heaven's sake? Do they hope customers might be more inclined to buy a named dress?

Cranberry plaid tights, charity shopped; grey velvet brogues bought in the Primarni sale a few years back.

All jewellery and head scarf charity shopped.

That's all from me folks - see you in a fortnight!


  1. Those are long walks - the London walk sounded great! - so a cake is the perfect reward. I would fail in a dress challenge because I literally only have 3 dresses! I love them on other people but somehow I can hardly ever feel I can wear one. Your fancy jewellery looks very cool on that jewellery holder.

    1. Thank you.

      I'm a recent convert to dresses, Gail. I used to rarely buy and wear them but they tend to be the first things I look at in the charity shops, now.

  2. Well done on wearing all of your dresses, Vronni! You have quite a collection. I love the Wallis one (such great sleeves), and I also like seeing you in maxis - they are really great on you! Love those wooden clogs too.

    I love all your long walks- that would be right up my alley!

    Glad to hear the grandson is recovering - a whole week off school sounds like heaven.

    Take care of yourself, my dear!

    1. Thank you, Sheila. Maybe one day we might make a walk together!

  3. Bravo for finishing your dress challenge!

    How awesome you spotted an owl in the day!

    The amount of fitness you manage to squeeze into every day really impresses me.

    My favorite dress this time was that yellow Wallis dress with the angel sleeves.


    1. Thank you, Suzanne. The thing is I feel guilty if I don't make an effort to exercise several times a week and I also miss it if I don't walk/swim. As long as I am able to do it I'll carry on!

  4. you always look so glam!
    even in jeans - and your black with gray is´t boring at all....again very chic patterm mixes and color combinations and of cause the head scarves and the jewels are the icing on your fabulous fashion cake.....
    glad your grandson is home again and on the mend!
    i´m impressed by that indian building you came across on your walk....and by the 10 pairs of pearly earrings :-D

    1. Beate, thank you! You're very kind. If you liked that Gurdwara then you would love the temple in Neasden, London. It's absolutely huge and talking of wedding cakes it looks like an enormous one!

  5. Oh those pink leather gloves!!
    I have a longline top from Oasis with the exact same black and grey print as yours, except mine has a high cowl neck and a little "kangaroo" pounch in the front. Sounds awful but it is warm, cosy and surprisingly flattering.

    1. No, it doesn't sound awful, JayCee, it sounds lovely and I bet it's flattering. Because of the neck on my top which I like a lot; it's making me look for more of the same in the chazzas!

  6. Loving the Cat charity coat, so chic and cosy. The Wallis dress is a winner and you look so long and lean in your grey and black ensemble. Great photo of you and your chap, too - you gorgeous pair!
    Glad your grandson's op went well.
    Your eyebrows are looking particularly good at the moment (not that they aren't always!)
    The owner of Seasalt left me a message on an old blog post the other day, turns out that he and his brothers used to work in their Dad's shop in the 1970s - a five minute walk from my house! Know nothing about their clothes except their ethics are supposed to be bang on (unlike the bastard tories!) xxx

    1. I like the sound of long and lean, Vix. If only!

      How interesting about the Seasalt guys. I believe it's called 'Seasalt of Cornwall' and their prices are eye watering...

      OH and I have planned to retire to Ireland when he's due for retirement in a couple of years; but if Boris gets in again I might just be speeding up my plans.

  7. Glad to read you persevered with the dress challenge, even though you were fed up with it in the end. It is the perfect way to curate your wardrobe, though, so I'll be looking forward to seeing how you get on with your tunics. That Wallis dress with the massive sleeves is amazing, I'm relieved that it's a keeper! I don't think that grey dress is boring at all, you've accessorized it perfectly. And I'm definitely loving your new coat, it looks amazing on you. Might as well look a bit glamorous in the cold, don't we? Glad to hear grandson's on the mend.I'm dying to read 'A Houseful of Daughters'. I've got two of Juliet Nicholson's books, but haven't been able to lay my hands on a copy of this one yet. xxx

    1. Oh Ann, I can send it to you if you like. Email me your address...

      Thank you for your comments!

      Yes, I'm always being told I look glamorous; especially on walks but I can't see it myself. I think it's probably because I always wear make up and red lippie!

  8. Wow - what a lot of dresses and tunics! I feel quite frugal in comparison. Also lovely to see your coat. Love the dress with the fluted wide sleeves at the beginning of the blog - interesting as I hardly ever wear dresses during the day. I would definitely wear that grey pleated skirt - looks very good on you. And so amazed at your fabulous capacity for walking - you must do infinitely more steps than I do as I really we stick to the city and the prom!!!

    1. Thank you, Penny! I wish I had less hence the challenge and trying to weed out the ones I feel 'meh' about!

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  10. What a fascinating life you choose to lead. I love seeing the photos of your walks and the stories of your charity rummage "finds". I particularly like the Millpool dress - pockets!! - with cranberry tights. I relate to "taking things for a run" and seeing if they really belong in my closet. I have a lot of clothes and it's a good way to weed out the less desirable. When things are inexpensive, it's easy to get too large a collection. I look forward to seeing the tunic parade. Happy Christmas, Vronnie, from here in Vancouver. xo karen

    1. Fascinating is not a word that springs to mind when I think about my life, Karen. I feel it's very mundane and I'm astonished that people want to read about it! Anyway, I'm very glad they - and you, do. Thank you for commenting.

      I think that is exactly what I do, buy too much because it's cheap. I have curbed my buying lately - of necessity - no room left - and I will be weeding out items.

      Glad you liked the Millpool dress; I like it because it has pockets which are quite rare in women's dresses, I find; but I'm not in love with it.

      Happy Christmas to you and yours, too!

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  12. I've loved your dresses series, Vronni. Days 10 and 23 and your wine day were my favourites. I'm looking forward to seeing all your tunics now. It's an excellent way to systematically wear things you haven't worn for a while and to look freshly at what's ready to be released a new home. I'd love to apply that disciplined process to my wardrobe!
    So glad to hear your grandson's gum op went well.
    If you don't post before, I wish you and OH the very best of christmastimes, hugs Mary x.

    1. Thank you, Mary! I plan on doing maxi skirts when I've finished the tunics...

      Grandson had his hearing implant removed - nothing to do with his gums!

      Have a wonderful Christmas you and TP, too!

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  14. I totally agree with previous comments, your Wallis dress is particularly fabulous, those sleeves are so cool and you styled it brilliantly!. Gorgeous!
    Lots of lovely outfit and I love particularly the mixed prints ones or those more monochromatic with different textures which you're so brilliant at creating!. Also loving your necklaces and accessorizing!, and how you wear your leggings with dresses looking cosy and colorful!
    You look really elegant in your floral suit with all those pink accessories!, fabulous!. Also lovely Thursday oufit in red shades and cool mixed prints!.
    Love to see your 'fancy earrings', they're a little collection!
    And you don't look boring in greys and blacks, you give them your own twist and style and rock them!
    Looking forward to see your tunic collection 'in action' and I totally enjoy to see your challenges and what it's going on!. Those tunics look fab over jeans, love their casual&cool style, and also love the more dressy look over leggings and a blouse.
    And finally, lovely Seasalt dress and lovely subtle color combo, really cool!. I like Seasalt trench coats, but agree that they're eyewatering expensive as you commented!

    1. Thank you so much, Monica!

      To the Queen of layering I thank you for your kind and generous comments. I love colour as you know but I also like blacks, whites and greys. I always feel I'm letting the side down when I wear them...

      Have a great week!

  15. Dear Vronni! I guess you dont read the answers i write on my blog.... So here: no x-mas for me - for religeous reasons - and i would be very happy to not get the wishes in every comment. Just that you know....being new on my Blog.
    And the tree is a lit up bird feeding tree - no Christian intentions.

    1. I do read the comments Beate; but didn't realise you didn't celebrate Christmas for religious reasons; as you say I'm fairly new to your blog!

  16. I have a navy dress with an embossed pattern on it -Laura Ashley 2nd hand - and I'm wondering how many ways I can accessorise it for a different look. Trying hard to resist new purchases of any kind!


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