scribbles tagged ‘wardrobe’

Viking jeans

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Bux raised my awareness of discarding clothing as street art in everyday Oslo with a string of spectacular posts.

English people also discard their clothes in public, displayed in artistic ways at eye level. Below we see a pink shoe awaiting a push button signal before hot footing it to the Tandoori across the road.
lone shoe crossing

Viking jeans
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attack of the headless family

Thursday, January 13th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Mini AdultsA strange mutation in body fashion can be seen in the windows of Reading’s large chain stores

Headless mannequins seemingly move towards you in a manner yet more creepy than the infamous Jackson’s mannequins

In the first Elizabethan era the fashion was to dress children in miniature forms of adult clothing.  With heads still attached, though Liz’s dad was keen on perpetuating headlessness

Since then, the English fashions for dressing children have varied greatly.  But generally there has been a clear distinction between styles for different age groups.  Youngsters are dressed distinctively. You could tell the age of a child by the clothes they wore. It looks like this dress fashion is beginning to follow the theme of  the first Elizabethan period, dress children as mini-adult and

Off with their heads!

(whatever age)

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working wardrobe

Monday, January 3rd, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

CulottesIn a bid to update my working wardrobe I ventured into the mahem that is Reading town centre on New Years eve. Jacksons is one of the first stores that I pass on my way into town.

Tweed wool culottes! Just what every quintessentially english gal needs in her working wardrobe

Jacksons store certainly goes where no other family store would dare to go.Trousers disguised as a skirt, in prickly wool, in a classic tweed.  Jackson’s never fails to suprise and delight.

They are the best!

Somehow, I managed to resist this little indulgence…  … will my work-colleagues bemoan my cowardice?

PS 100 word post before the PS
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take a tutu or two

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 | tags:  |

wobbly roller girlsThe luminous green net tutu and orange tights wobbled by, closely followed by the stripey tights on inturned knees.

This dress-non-sense temporarily baffled me. Why so garrish? But when I noticed the big smile on my face.  Thank you for brightening my cloudy day!

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suited, booted and deflated

Sunday, September 5th, 2010 | tags:  |

Looking good in an empty pocketed tairored blue pin stripped designer suit on a sunny day.  Strolling the canal bank to the equally dressed up fancy city offices of a new client.  Without a word, the receptionist buzzed me into the building, then asked  

you’re here for the interview, right?

Luckily no-one else was standing near enough to me to hear the rush of air as I deflated. The receptionist noticed my smile slip and fixed me up with a nice big mug of tea.

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sufficient conformity

Monday, August 16th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Everywhere there are uniforms. Uniforms for

  • Empowered girliness – high heels, short skirt, proudly displayed cleavage
  • IT safe corporateness – khaki cargo pants, branded baggy t-shirt
  • London tube commuter – black and grey tailored and ironed outfits
  • Healthy person – fleece, neoprene, goretex jackets and bouncy footwear
  • Cyclist – lycra overdose, wrap-around glasses, go-faster helmet
  • …..

Prep School UniformThere’s rarely an instruction manual for these uniforms. Working out what’s best is all too much for me. I’ve jumped ship and tend to opt for wearing comfortable clothes that make a token gesture towards the uniforms. Not excelling in displaying any 0ne unifrom, but partially there with all that needs to be conformed-to for social acceptability.

On a good day I’m slightly quirky. More often I exist somewhere in everyone’s experience of visually bland stylessness. 

Apart from my hats.

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getting the foundations right

Sunday, July 11th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Back in the 1990’s I had developed a strong brand loyalty to Sloggi because they produced comfortable, outdoor activity sypporting, stylish, white, underwear.  Sloggi underwear wasn’t cheap but it lasted, it maintained it’s strength and looks.  Sloggi products were sold in  good department stores, the quality town stores.  Stores like Reading town’s Jackson’s.  I had no problem finding Sloggi underwear on the rare occasion I needed to purchase new stuff.

When I lived in the NW US, the quality department stores such as Nordstrum didn’t sell Sloggi.  In a recklessly adveturess streak I branched out into local underwear brands, Victoria Secrets. Nothing special, mass produced femininity. My underwear draw went pink and everso slightly twee.

In Tiverton I picked up my first Sloggi’s since 2000.  They feel and look good.  Back to my favourite high quality foundations…

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foundation garment shortage

Monday, July 5th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

In Reading town its Jacksons

In Tiverton town its Banbury’s

A family run store, named after the family.  Selling everything in tiny departments on split-level floors arranged with a maze-like series of turns and staircases. These stores are Tardis-like, seeming small from the outside then corridor after staircase after turn they get larger and larger.  The staff are normally experienced people with well structured hairstyles or quirky youngters. All are personable.  When leaving the Wendy house this morning I was in the middle of scat-fest.  Things I forgot to bring with my included, pants, watch,  tops to wear.  Banbury’s was just the place to temporarily solve my foundation garment shortage

While searching for the cleverly hidden underware department I stumbles across a Linen top with a print reminiscent of the fabulous Finnish Marimekko Unnikko print.  Yummy.

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good-taste-dar out of kilter

Sunday, June 13th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

I wore a pinky-frilly-ickiest-ever-blouse

positively ICK-ICK-ICKY x 700

a bile-in-the-mouth inducing quotient of 78.35% 

and yet

strangers in the street smiled and said things like 

 nice blouse love. My favourite colour

They sounded so genuine.  My sarcasm detector could be failing its annual service test.  Even people at work commented on how good I looked in this lovelly (cough) blouse

Noone said  ‘wendy, that blouse really isnt you’ or ‘WHAT were you thinking of when you put that on?’

 There is deifintiely a conspiracy to pressure wendy’s into wearing the ickiest of blouses

I will resist

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too hot to be fabulously british

Saturday, June 12th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

spotty dog: Nice jacket, Jack Wills?
wendy: yes, when I got back from the US I felt an overwhelming need to wear something fabulously british, this looked like a boating jacket
spotty dog: but you haven’t worn it since we arrived
wendy: its too hot in Italy, I’ll be fabulously British when we get back home


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EXtreme urban clothing

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Judging by the items in the shop window,   EXtreme urban clothing involves brightly coloured trousers, t-shirts, shirts and trainers.   Compared to the black and grey commuters on the London tube,   this is indeed extreme….

Extreme Urban

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cumulative evidence

Saturday, November 14th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

I have old lady

I wonder what comes  next…

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sizism of the shoulder sort

Thursday, November 12th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

In  the 80’s  I used to  cut the shoulderpads out from new clothes.   This fashion-subversive act enabled  me  to avoid looking like a cast extra from  Dynasty, Falconcrest, Dallas, or an aspiring  USA football team member.    

Apparantly the shoulder-pad  look is returning.   There are rumours that The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) haberdashery department has recently sold-out of shoulder pads.    

I didn’t purchase them.

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old lady’s shoes

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Words of wisdom from  an almost stranger*.  in this case a girl on the commuter  train to London Paddington:

don’t wear Ecco shoes,   they’ll  make you look like a really boring  old person

Ecco SandalsI would have followed this advice


Ooops!   it’s toooooo late

I picked up these little green dudes in a sale,   as preparation for my upcoming HOLIDAY in CAIRO.   They have the phrase ‘pat pending’ on the sole.   Just like the wacky races character.   I love that!   The garish green is pretty darn cool too,   for a wrinkly, if this is what boring old people wear,   then so be it.

* Past tips provided by Alan the hairdresser.   Lucia the hairdresser, an anonymous  manicurist, a Jackson’s sales assistant, a bus stop philanthropist, a mini salesman, Windows Network Diagnostics, Flat Eric  and Reading Police.
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facilitated footwear

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Wendy:   I want Oxblood red please!

Conkers footwear facilitator (CFF): You can have any of these colours, you can have different colours for different feet, different colours for different sections of the boot, what would you like?

Wendy: Oh, Oh, OH,   purple, no green, no this electric blue,   no brown.   Oh!   …   um,   Oxblood red please..

Conkers, TotnessI discovered Conkers shoes in the summer of 1986.   discovered after having been sent there by a bouncy student friend from Newton Abbot who’s boots I couldn’t help but admire.   By the time I found Conkers  they were 9 years old and had a small shop at the top of Totnes High street.

They now have a larger shop half way up  Totnes High street. As a student I couldn’t afford the luxury of a well made, durable, easy to repair, natural tree-rubber soled, funky coloured, personalised pair of shoes. I sulked and promised myself that when I had a job I would come back and treat myself.   I’ve had one job or another for nearly 20 years.   This week I went back to Totnes and now I have a pair of boots being made-up to fit.   I suspect I will be back again…   for purple, or green, or…

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expensive underwear

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

With the internet I can just type the name, make, model, serial-number and colour of my preferred bra  and get an  exact purchasable match in less than one minute.   Excellent,   underwear wooshing its way to the Wendy House.   All is well


The Royal Mail left me a little note to let me know that my ‘package’ was too big to fit through my letterbox.   Not being a larger lady in the underwear department this was a baffling concept.   This meant a trip to the Reading central post-office on Satruday morning during peak Reading shopping traffic congestion.   While listening to Jonathon Ross interview Spandau Ballet I noticed a shop with hand-crafted wood furniture in the window


An hour later I had picked-up my new underwear, removed the ridiculously bulky packaging and bought a hand made ‘gun cupboard’ for my mug collection

Expensive underwear

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jimjams of doom

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Jim JamsPink.   They shout Charlotte across my chest.

Following me home from a tourist shop in the steamy southern US city several years ago.   They continue to lure me into long undressed Sunday mornings, afternoons, evening.   Blurring the edges between day and night.   The baggy track-suit-like pants could cover the nether-regions of a fat person.   Down my hips they slide, jostling to trip me up on the decidedly dangerous Wendy House stair-ladder.

Can I escape their clutches?

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Thursday, June 4th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Laundered Dressesfriend: you’re wearing a skirt, I’ve not seen you in a skirt before

I pull open my cosey warm cardigan to reveal that the skirt goes all the way up to my armpits

Wendy: a dress

friend: Oh!

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a spade is a spade

Friday, May 29th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

friend:   that’s a pretty top

Wendy: it goes all the way down to my knees

friend:   lets call it a dress

Wendy: yes, lets

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dickies red hawk action trousers

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |
This product naming style is having a suprisingly persuasive effect on me.  

I want some of  dickies red hawk action trousers,   don’t you?  

They’ve got zipped hand thigh and back pockets.  


They are only £12.95.  


They are sold by Screwfix.   Whereas Diamond Back USA sell toolbelts.   One day I’ll treat myself to my very own toolbelt,   and hang around my house with a powertool or two in it.

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Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

In a rare,  mercifully quick,  shopping moment I replaced 3 pairs of well-worn, too-small, skinny, hipster blue jeans with  new jeans that:

  • fit
  • don’t break along the seams when tugged
  • say  ‘not-a-soccer-mom’
  • tone  with my ‘I’m-a-professional-person’ jackets
  • are not blue
  • chafe to the optimum temperature in all the right places and none of the wrong places

JeansWay too much excitement for one day,   I must lie down and breath slowly lest I become overwhelmed by it all.   You all take care,   don’t over exert yourselves,   its tough out there and a well stitched pair of jeans can help keep things under control.

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imaginary friend

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Years before I read Peter Pan when I was less than 4ft tall I had an imaginary friend.    Without wings, he could fly into my bedroom at night while my unsuspecting family carried-on their downstairs life-after-my-bedtime.   Unlike Peter pan, John wore ordinary clothes:  flared corduroy jeans, t-shirt, jumper and daps.    You could easily miss noticing John in a crowd of shorter children.   John had an ordinary quiet, thoughful, way  about him.   His silences matched mine.   He was good company.

Decommissioned London BusJohn could fly right through the force-field  that protected me from the monsters beyond the wardrobe.    The force-field that looked like bedroom walls but was infact protection that moved with me as I travelled through planet Wendy.   John knew how to co-pilot the big red double-decker bus,   the bus that was cunningly disguised as  my single bed.     Unlike my real friends John didn’t scream or  throw the extra pillow at the slimey poison-tongued Lizards that chased the bus.   John could use his powers of flight to lift the bus out of the swamp.   John was magic,   he could corale the heard of wild unicorns into the wardrobe without saying a single word.     He was my secret, special friend.  

John stopped joining my  evenings when, in my teens, evening adventures moved into the world beyond my parents home.  I wonder if  John’s still out there,   whether he grew up or maybe became someone real.

Sometimes I miss him  


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Jiggling and Jilted

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

In 1978 I was witnessing the dramatic emotional rollercoasters and soap operas stories of my friends while they discovered ‘going out’ with each other. Fascinating. Tearful toilet consultations, betrayals in the school playground, ambushing at the school gates, but worst of all for me – underwear became important. One girlfriend took me aside to provide worldly advice on behalf of my concerned girlfriends. The advice was:

Wendy, you really should wear a bra, they look a disaster

At home I asked mum ˜can I have a bra?, ˜yes dear, if you want. Gosh that was easy. We went to the local M&S   where they measured the relevant pasts of my body and I tried on several   ˜training” bras. Training because evidently I needed to practice bra wearing skills. Even the smallest training bra was less that half empty on me. It seemed silly, mum and I persisted in this pubescently significant purchase, neither of us overtly questioning the need. I wore the elasticated mini-monstrosity to school. At school the straps were twanged by all sundry as we moved between classes. I didn’t wear it again. Disaster was a less painful experience than strap-twang-burns Ever since then I have regularly failed carefully provided training-to-be-female exercises.

Jilted John sang Jilted John the side was going steady (with Susan)

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bless my cotton socks

Monday, January 5th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Since 1981 my dress sense has been significantly influenced by Julian Cope.   As the Guardian recently reported:

Julian Cope arrives on my doorstep looking exactly like he does in all his photos. He is wearing leather trousers, heavy boots (it is midsummer) a flowing camo jacket and The Hat. He politely takes his boots off when asked, but The Hat stays on throughout the afternoon

Julian was the front man for one of the first  bands that I saw live in concert, Teardrop Explodes, the band included Alan Gill who co-rote rewards and joined Teardrop from Dalek I Love you   who’s Compass Kumpas album is one of my favourite vinyls.    Through the years Julian has supplied much worth attenting to including a couple of treasured books (e.g. The Modern Antiquarian).   Fabulous fellow.

Teardrop Explodes sang Rewards

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Nations short tall and small

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

can all be fitted in school uniform at Reading’s BHS.   As their sign says they ‘fit the Nation’.   If the picture is anything to go by,   they fit the nation of boys… I wonder why girls were invisible in their window display,   I looked for a partnering sign but none could be found…

Luckily their online advertisement includes girls in the nation together with boys, ethnicity and unisex,   I wonder why they opted out of this approach for their window displays.  

As ever,   Jackson is ahead of the game with its fabulous schoolwear department.
BHS fit the diverse nation

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temporary outbreak of total clothes rights

Monday, December 15th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

In 1973 my pre-teens were spent enjoying and observing the evidence of early outbreaks of  total clothes rights that came with the flamboyancy of Glam Rock as people on the street took their lead from popsters like The Slade, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Gary Glitter, Roxy Music, Wizzard, and around this time I belatedly discovered The  Bonzo Dog Doo-dah band  and of course….  

The Sweet sang Ballroom Blitz.

I credit them as inspiration for a pair of tight red trousers in my wardrobe that make appearances most winters like Sweet songs in the UK.


The following song’s lyrics were common playground chant’s that probably  significantly influenced the formative years of anyone from my generation  named William…

The Sweet sang little willie

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ANIMAL pants

Monday, October 27th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

Comments on the fragrant wearing of non-specific-animal-print velvet trousers (NSAPVT) in a built-up area.

US:   Awesome pants!

UK: Top trousers!

Asian: (points at the NSAPVT, looks me in the eye  and smiles)

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braziers all round

Saturday, October 25th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

braziers all roundReasons why I love Reading 257:   innovative mall decorations

This display made me smile and envy the people who constructed it for the obvious fun in both conceiving of the idea and implementing it.   Very creative and entertaining.   Excellent job.  I wonder what their christmas decorations will be like?   I will certainly be returning to the Broad Street mall

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Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

When spottydog visited the Wendy House I gave her a full 1 minute tour.   The full  1 mintue tour is the executive version of the 30 second tour.   It is akin to the  15 minute Hamlet only quicker  and with less literary credibility.   As audience, spottydog’s role was to  provide her unique insight into potential lifestyle developments.   Half way through the tour,   near the end:

Wendy:   this is my wardrobe (US = closet.   A closet is a  place where you keep skeletons, hence the title of this post)

Spottydog: that’s orderly

Wendy: its half empty

Spottydog:   its organised by colour and size,   even the shoes

Wendy:   Errrrrmmmmmmm…….     …is that bad?

Spottydog:   its not scatty

Lifestyle development suggestions involved, ‘open the beers’ and  ‘you need more plants’.   Spottydog, spot-on again.

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which festival?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

Bristol Jazz FestivalAccording to the Gaurdian summer music festivals are popular events but there are too many festivals chasing too few ‘star’ acts.   The Observer lists ‘Boutique festivals’ as small-is-beautiful with reportedly shorter queues, higher quality food,   and more child-friendly facilities than large  such as Reading, Glastonbury and t in the park.

On the August Bank Holiday weekend over 80,000 people visited the town of Reading town for the festival.   I snuck out on the train heading west  for the smaller  Bristol Jazz festival.   Wandering towards the train station I passed many Reading  festival attendees in the de rigeur style that involved:

  • denim shorts.
  • personaised wellies.
  • a British variation  on  the grunge theme.
  • NO  suntan
  • sunglasses cunningly repurposed as hair-bands.
  • bum bags (US = fanny-packs)

Reading Music Festival Attendees

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