For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

4 Reasons to Try New Things | Navy, Pink and Lilac outfit, for work.

Fake Fabulous | Boden Navy mini, second female silk blouse, lilac COS cardigan, Navy gipsy tights.

Never in a million years!

Up until a few months ago the thought of wearing navy and lilac would have left me cold.
Lilac was one of my "Never in a million years!" colours and nothing quite screamed Frumpy and Boring like navy and lilac together.

Navy blue reminded me of those polyester uniforms, from the 80's. Worn by the ladies who worked in the travel agents, or at the local bank.
And, lilac was something my great grandma would have worn for church.
These colours were definitely not for me!

Fake Fabulous | Boden Navy mini, second female silk blouse, lilac COS cardigan, Navy gipsy tights, pink cambridge satchel, french sole pumps

I have to tell you that one of the (many) great things about blogging is that it really keeps your mind open to new things:

  • Styles that I would not have looked twice at.
  • Colours that used to make me baulk.
  • Combinations that I did not think were 'my style'.
  • Shops that I would never (ever) have set foot inside.
  • Different ways of wearing my clothes that I would never have tried.

All of these things are open to me now.
Anything is possible!

I recently found some inspiring lilac outfits on pinterest.
There were some very interesting lilac-based colour combinations (lilac with pale grey and yellow, for example).
So I decided that lilac need not be frumpy, or boring.
I was determined to give it a try.

I started this look with a cardigan....

But, hang on a minute! 

Are cardigans not the epitome of frumpiness?

I agree that a cardigan may not be the obvious place to start when trying not to look frumpy.
They do have a bad reputation.
A reputation for being shapeless, dowdy and drab.
Not a great place to start for tackling a potentially frumpy colour.

Well fear not! Apparently, cardigans are back in style.
Cardigans are cool again.

{To be honest, living in Scotland means cardigans are always in style for me}

Cardigans are en vogue!
That is good enough for me.

After finding this COS cardigan in a charity shop, for less than the price of a coffee, I slowly began to warm to this lilac colour.

I decided to team this little lilac cardigan with a mini skirt and silk blouse.

Is a mini skirt, on the over 40 woman, not a bit sad and desperate looking?

Wearing a miniskirt, over 35, is one of those things the fashion police warn us about.
"Don't do it, you will look pathetic."

Well this fashion rule is one (of many) that I choose to ignore.
I like mini skirts, especially with opaques.
I will continue to like this look (on all ages) for the foreseeable future.

So, the mini skirt stays.

{See this spotty mini styled with 4 patterns, and also with a cape and boots.}

Fake Fabulous | Boden Navy mini, second female silk blouse, lilac COS cardigan, Navy gipsy tights, pink cambridge satchel, french sole pumps

I felt that this outfit needed a little more in the way of colour and pattern.
A purple, navy and pink blouse was just the ticket.
This delicate silk blouse was another great charity shop find.
It is so beautifully made, and it cost me £1!
£1 for pure silk blouse (by second female) with a beautiful handle and wonderful details, like a hidden placket, I would have been a fool to resist it's charms.

The blouse and the cardigan were a fine enough gauge to allow me to tuck them into my skirt, which is a great way to wear a cardigan if it is a bit shapeless and frumpy.
Adding a skinny suede belt pulled everything together.

I wanted to keep the rest of my look simple so some navy opaques and ballet pumps gave the whole outfit a more classic feel.
Perfect for work.

Adding a pink watch and satchel, finished things off nicely.

Fake Fabulous | Boden Navy mini, second female silk blouse, lilac COS cardigan, Navy gipsy tights, pink cambridge satchel, french sole pumps

4 Reasons why it is important to try new things...

  1. Trying new things stops you getting stuck in a rut. An obvious one, but being stuck in a rut is miserable. Rut dwelling is depressing, it saps your energy and confidence. It makes you feel dowdy, sexless, invisible and old.
  2. Trying new things boosts your confidence. Trying a new style, combination or colour takes courage. Overcoming that moment of nervous uncertainty really works wonders at boosting confidence in all areas of your life. Confidence breeds confidence. Courage is a powerful thing!
  3. Trying new things keeps your mind active. Thinking about colour combinations, textures, fabrics and patterns can keep the artistic part of your brain active. This boosts your creativity, which you can apply to all areas of your life.
  4. Trying new things will make you (and other people) smile. I know I have said it before but 'dressing up' and having fun with fashion (especially colour) can lift your spirits and elevate your mood. It really can help you through dark days or add a cherry to the top of the good ones! Everyone that interacts with you is also influenced by your mood. A smile is catching.

Do you regularly try new things?
Or, are you guilty of sticking to the same old, same old?

Are there any specific things you would love to try?

Please share in the comments....or send me an email samantha44blair(at)

Skirt: Boden (this one is plain and slightly longer, this one is nice too)
Blouse: Second Female (this one is pretty, this one has a boho feel and this is a plain one)
Cardigan: Cos (this is nice, from M&S)
Shoes: French Sole
Tights: Gipsy
Bag: Cambridge satchel
Watch: Rotary (this one is lovely)
Belt: Boden (this one is fun)

Get the look:



  1. It is like you are inside my brain woman! LOL I totally agree with everything you have written and love this outfit.

    Creativity truly does breed more creativity. Taking the time to "play" and try things outside our comfort zone makes us grow.

    Thrifting and buying vintage has challenged me to up my creativity game. Just like you wrote, I now consider pieces I never would have considered before. I call it exercising my style brain.

    Great post!


    Loved this post!

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment, Suzanne!
      I am so glad you are in agreement. Although, as you are a vintage/thrift shopper, I guessed that you would be.
      It takes an open mind to rummage through the rubbish to find a gem...or to visualise how a vintage piece will fit into real (modern) life. Quite a skill. XXX

  2. Very cute! I do like your considered approach to pattern and colour - it has inspired me as until recently I rarely wore pattern at all. Also being Scottish I am well wedded to the opaques pretty much year round. Unfortunately as I have rather short legs (and for some reason have developed fat knees in the last year -trying to remedy with exercise) the old mini is quite out of the question - i can rock a pencil skirt and cardi though, haha). So looking at your legs I normally have to go and lie down until the envy passes... Love your blog BTW. x

    1. Thank you ,Home at last. I am glad to hear you are experimenting with a little more pattern.
      As for the "fat knees", I would not worry too much about that. We all have our little imperfections.
      Maybe they are not as noticeable to other people as you think? I HATED my legs for most of my life (Told as a child that they were sparrow shanks or knotty cottons) and I still feel slightly self conscious about them, but I just go for it! I figure that other people do not see them the way I do. Rocking a pencil skirt is super-feminine and super-sexy, especially with a cute cardigan! I sometimes long for curves to add some va va voom to certain looks. XXX

  3. Isn't it funny the colours and styles we (mistakenly) label as frumpy. Although I love purple, I'm like you, lilac has always been a bit meh but here you've created a fun, stylish outfit. I love the skirt and pairing the blouse with it and the cardie pulls the colours together perfectly.
    And yes, keep pushing the boundaries, it expands our creativity. It does also spill over into other areas I feel. If we're willing to try new colours and styles then we're willing to be bolder in living in general! Hurrah to being bolder!

  4. It does makes me wonder where we get our ideas of "frumpy" & "not me"???
    And I so, so agree with you that blogging (and reading tons of other blogs) has opened my eyes & brain to new things---it's a good thing!
    As for lilac---are you in my mind? I just bought a pair of lilac jeans so we could do a blog series (needless to say I had no lilac in my closet--crazy, I know---yet both Nancy & mom did).
    I've worn my lilac jeans twice already and love the possiblitites!! (besides the fact that our baseball teams colors are purple & black---so it's perfect)
    You look positively fantastic (as usual). I will say, I almost don't consider that skirt a mini because of the tights and it seems longer since it comes up higher than some!!
    You go girl!! jodie

    1. Lilac jeans sound very interesting Jodie. I am looking forward to that post. I know what you mean about the mini not seeming too mini-ish. It is a short one (and it has little side splits too) but the shape of it seems okay, coverage wise. I agree that opaques change the look and make it seem a little more demure. Thank you. XXX

  5. I love the way you wear and combine things to make them anything but frumpy! Such a fabulous outfit! Yet, if you had told me about a "lilac and navy" outfit, I would have been a bit hesitant...

    I am definitely experimenting more thanks to blogging and reading a lot of different blogs and following quite a few people on Instagram. But I know I can be more creative and experiment more! You are definitely a huge inspiration to me to try new things and play around with colors! You do it so very, very well!

    1. Thank you so much Andrea! "Navy and lilac outfit" sounds so unappealing and dull doesn't it? Boring!!! I have come to realise that we can make anything work, as long as we put our own personality into it. I am determined to try some more "frumpy" colours :oD XXX

  6. I don't think I've ever sidelined a color except those I know don't go well with my complexion. Also, I think pastels of all nature enhance gray hair. Since so few of us are allowing gray hair to get a foothold perhaps we've become more adventurous with color (?)
    Although I'm not a blogger I've just recently started following a few fashion blogs. Samantha, you're my first and you'll always have a special place in my heart. You bloggers have really inspired me to think more creatively and let my fashion wild child loose! I also think that "shopping outside the box, at thrift and consignment stores has opened my eyes to ME! I'm not being influenced by slick mass marketing at the mall but by my own style instincts.
    Your lilac and navy outfit is stunning Samantha. The tucked sweater and belt are genius touches.

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment Judy. I am touched that you have been inspired and I hope you continue to experiment and be creative. I have to admit I would LOVE a rummage through these "thrift and consignment stores" that you (and other people) talk about. They sound like lots of fun! XXX

  7. Hi Sam!
    I think of navy as a neutral so any color goes, and I am a fan of lilac, so I love this look. Pretty textured skirt too. I wear mini skirts and will continue to do so, and like that you do too.
    This looks great on you, and I love the lilac bag too

    1. Hi Jess, Thank you so much. I need to open my mind to these previously unloved (by me) colours. I am trying! I am glad you share my love of the mini skirt. I figure that we can keep wearing these forever. There is nothing to stop us from having fun! XXX

  8. Hi Sam!
    I think of navy as a neutral so any color goes, and I am a fan of lilac, so I love this look. Pretty textured skirt too. I wear mini skirts and will continue to do so, and like that you do too.
    This looks great on you, and I love the lilac bag too

  9. amen, sister!!, I'm loving your post, and all those witty words you've written about trying new things and how it keeps your mind active and your comfidence working! hurrah!
    Not a huge fan of navy blue, as it was the color of my uniform when a child. But now I'm giving it a try, and your fabulous navy and lilac combo is very inspiring!. Lovely color combo, lovely layering and lovely mixed prints and textures, really you rock!! And I'm loving all those pink accessories, particularly that lovely satchel!, such a cute detail!

    1. Monica, you are too kind! Thank you so much. I hear you with regards to your uniform. Maybe that is why I don't wear a lot of black? I hope you get into a little more navy, it would look great with your brights. XXX

  10. Always good to know the rules first though. The it's more fun when you break them! Sx

    1. Indeed Sarah! I would rather be seen as a little "too much" than not seen at all. :oD

  11. Yep... you had to eat your words. Nothing frumpy and old fashioned about this outfit. It looks really good. I even love the different prints together (haha).
    Very good look.

    1. Are you coming round to print mixing Greetje!? :oD Thank you for your comment. XXX


Thank you for your comment.
I love reading your thoughts.
Don't forget to tick the "notify me" box!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig