What I Wore Wednesday – Working Wardrobe

Hello all,

I’ve been participating in a Autumn (Fall) fashion challenge throughout October over on Instagram. Organised by my favourite blogger Molly of Still Being Molly it has been a fun way to get me thinking about my wardrobe and the choices I have. As I mentioned in my last post I’m not entirely happy about my weight, I have so many beautiful clothes that I currently don’t fit. This challenge whilst making me think in new ways about the clothes that do fit is also helping me to focus on my eventual aim to fit into all my lovely clothes (especially my frocks) again.

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My weekday wardrobe is a mixture of smart-casual skirts, dresses and trousers. I tend to buy most of my clothes from Next (Tall selection online and very good delivery service), M&S, Monsoon, La Redoute, BHS and White Stuff. I am tall (5ft9 with long legs) and not skinny (top heavy) so shopping can be difficult.

I’m the librarian at an Further Education College library so I have to look smart as I’m managing the library but I also want to look approachable to the students. I tend to wear a bit of colour and although I have suits and more formal clothes I tend to keep them for more formal meetings rather than my day to day job.

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Day 21 of the #SBMFallFashionChallenge called for some animal print… I’m not really an animal print sort of girl.. but I do make an exception for wee owls… (all part of the looking approachable to students aim, I mean someone wearing colourful owls can’t be scary, can they?)

image3I tend to wear a low heel or flats for work. I have dodgy knees and a condition in my feet called plantar fasciitis which means I have to wear special insoles in my shoes so my requirement for work shoes is that I can get my insoles into them and that they look smart. I’m really sad that my favourite pair of teal heels are going to have to go to shoe heaven soon as the patent is all scratched and white scuff marks are showing – not so good for work! My shoes below come from New Look and are several years old. Most of shoes come from M&S (good old Marks & Sparks!) and Clarks.  I have 3 pairs of heels from Monsoon that have been excellent work shoes back when I was teaching as well. I recently bought a pair of shoes from Hotter and they are very comfortable and don’t look like Granny shoes so I’m keeping an eye out for sales with them. image1

Layers are really vital in my place of work. The building dates from the early 1960s and can either be freezing or boiling hot. The windows are double height, floor to ceiling, leak and let the wind in.. but they also act like a greenhouse on sunny days. To combat this I’ll usually have a top and a cardigan or blazer and a scarf which I can put on or take off according to the climate during the day. I also keep a fleece in the office for extremely cold days (luckily only about 3 days a year). image2 (1)

So my tweaks for something super smart like this dress below (Next Tall) which is part of a suit would be, cardigan, coloured shoes, scarf and pretty jewellery.


My wardrobe is much the same as my teaching days and most of the same rules apply.

* Be comfortable, clothes which are not comfy or you feel unhappy in will just distract you from work.

* Keep covered up. Flesh on show with skirts that are too short or cleavage are not appropriate.

* Dress in a way that suits your personality but also suits the job and how you want to be perceived. Ie. I love colourful things but some of my wacky clothes are just not suited for work. I want to be perceived as friendly but also in control so hence the smart but a little bit casual apparel.

* Accessorize (if you want to). I love my scarves and jewellery and to me they finish off my wardrobe so I am very happy to purchase little bits and bobs (a scarf wherever I go) to complement lots of my existing clothes. They allow me to put my own stamp on my smart clothes.

* Don’t wear scuffed, broken, tired clothes. Yes you have had those shoes for years, yes they did the job well, yes they go with a million things in your wardrobe but if they are a bit past it then they have to be excused from you work wardrobe because people won’t know your connection and history with that item, they will just see a scruffy person who doesn’t care.

Anyway that is just some of my own thoughts. I spend 36+ hours of my week at work so I do have a large ‘workdrobe’ and I enjoy my clothes (although I am definitely not fashionable). For more working wardrobe inspiration I suggest you look at Fashionably Employed blog.


What I wore Wednesday

What I wore Wednesday

This week has been all about nice bright colours. I admit I am not very fashionable, I do think I have my own sense of what suits me and I try to just stay on the right side of the crazy-rainbow-lady line. I have certainly calmed down from my earlier years. My idea of a great outfit to wear on my first year of university Christmas meal out was a long denim skirt (but as I am tall it only went to mid calf), a bright pink t-shirt, stripy pink knee high socks and original Kickers boots. I LOVED those boots. I have a black patent pair now that I don’t wear very often but they are good in the winter. I also had quite long hair (my hair stayed long until early 2008 when it got chopped and has remained short-ish ever since!) and my idea of styling my long hair was to wear it in pigtails. I had just turned 18, I loved colour, stripes and frogs. I still love all of those things but in a more toned down way.

Anyway this week my pink floral Kath Kidston bag was out and about, well to my work and back, it is a lovely spring like bag with useful large pockets that was a present a few years ago. I wore it with a floral Ness skirt from last summer (I got it with a good bit of money off thanks to a promotion they ran when Andy Murray won Wimbledon, thanks to him for that!) a navy t-shirt and heels and a blue cardigan. The rest of the week has been dominated by the colour orange, and variations of the colour orange!

Ness and kath Florals Orange Blog

Today I have on black trousers and t-shirt and black heels– why all the black? Because my cardigan is a bright orange patterned affair. It is from La Redoute about 8 years ago now, I save it for the first signs of summer then I bring it out. I really like it, but it is bright and bold! Hence the rest of the outfit being boring black.

Cardigan Orange Blog

Two simple strings of orange seed beads and little hoops are all I need with this outfit. I certainly won’t be missed in a crowd!

Seed neckalce Orange Blog

I tend to use this bag when I am wearing orange or coral. It is about 8 years old as well from an Accessorize sale. The only problem I have with it is that the zip opening at the top is quite narrow. Not ideal for work diary, notepad etc., but I usually have another bag with my lunch and other bits and bobs in it on work days which solves that problem.

Bag Orange Blog

My selection of orange scarves, these are from many varied places, a Hong Kong market, M&Co, with a t-shirt from Next and a couple were gifts from my Mum who shares my little weakness for scarves.

Scarves Orange Blog

I bought this coral top in Next 2 weeks ago. I mean to keep it for my holiday but I have worn it at least half a dozen times already. For work I’ve been wearing it with a navy vest and blue trousers but on holiday I’ll likely wear it with a white vest and shorts. (32C in Hong Kong just now!) I can’t find this exact top on the Next website but they definitely have it in the shops. I’m sure it was £16 and their vest tops are two for £12 just now.

Coral Top Orange Blog

I have a few pretty bits of orange and coral jewellery. The first is this blue necklace. It really is quite ‘chunky’ for me but very nice and I have never seen anyone else wear it even though I’m sure it was from Accessorize 5-6 years ago. It was a gift from my Mum. Pictured with it is a lovely coral necklace I remember buying in a sale about 3 years ago but I just can’t remember where. I like wearing this one with a t-shirt and my pale grey blazer, it jazzes up the outfit. I don’t wear it for work really as a) it can be ab bit heavy for my neck which gets a bit ache-y anyway sitting at a computer all day, and, b) it gets in my way by sitting on my desk and swishing when I am typing, but when out for summer evening drinks, perfect!

Blue chunky and long coral Orange Blog

This coral and gold necklace came from Ollie and Nic in 2009. I used to have earring to match (little gold hearts) and a bracelet but both have gone wandering. I’m sure they will turn up eventually. I wear this necklace a lot, I like the double chain the wee touch of gold. I usually wear silver but I like the wee splash of gold for a change.

Ollie and Nic Orange Blog

Today I am wearing black heels but usually with my orange/coral outfits I wear the following selection of shoes, I am afraid that they are all old though, I do buy new things but I like to wear most of my things until they fall apart:

Shoes Orange Blog

Stripy pumps: New Look

Cream pumps: possibly Brantano

Coral Pumps: Dorothy Perkins (I used to have them in black as well but they fell to bits after a lot of wear)
Coral wedges: Monsoon

So that is my week so far. I plan to wear a bright green dress tomorrow so things aren’t getting any less bright as the week goes on! I’m off to Glasgow for the day with my Mum on Saturday, a trip to the theatre and a nice restaurant will be involved, not sure what the weather forecast is at the moment. Hopefully nice so I can wear a nice blazer instead of a waterproof coat! Maybe it will be an outfit that will incorporate this lovely bright necklace that was actually bought on the ferry over to Belfast a few years ago.

Bright Necklace

Is everyone else feeling the pull towards bright clothes now we are starting to get (almost) summery weather? Even on the rainy May days I still feel the tug, maybe I’ll tempt the sun to come out with my all the orange?


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Wednesday is for What: What’s in a name?

Wednesday is for What.


My first Wednesday blog and this week my topic is What’s in a name?


Next week it will be a What I wore or a What I would Like post. It might even be a combination of both!


So what is in a name? My name isn’t actually Merry but it is close to my real name and the purpose of the name I’ve chosen is to give me a tiny bit privacy and to also motivate me. After all this blog really is all about me trying to be positive and Merry. If I leave out my real name I feel more able to use my voice. I have chosen to stay a little bit anonymous but everything is truthful in this blog and as such there are enough clues that if someone knows me in a personal context they are probably going to twig that it is me writing this blog – that’s fine I am not trying to be a secret agent. That is a career that would never have suited me as I am a truly hopeless liar. People can even tell on the phone if I’m trying a wee white fib. Oh well best to stick to honesty then. 

So why be Anonymous?

 Well I have wanted to do a blog for ages, I have tried in the past, one a travel based one when I lived abroad this failed due to having too much fun on said travels and internet not being readily available. The other was based on food when I set myself a cooking challenge a couple of years go. However my family had a really challenging year and blogging along with my social life fell to the wayside. So this is my third attempt – and funnily enough three is my lucky number!

 Over the last couple of years my own twitter account became clogged with all sorts of people, companies, tv shows, just about anything really and some were people that were related to my work. I just felt that it would be easier to start up a new twitter account and by changing my name it means I’m not instantly connected with my work and people at work are not finding out more about my personal life than needs be. Initially I planned not to talk about library related stuff on my new blog at all but quickly realised that my profession takes up a huge amount of my time and interests and occasionally there will be things that are library related that I’d like to chat about.

 So the little bit of privacy also gives me a little bit of confidence to start blogging without everyone I know looking at my fledgling attempts.


Is it Cowardly? 

Well a bit I suppose and I’m happy to admit that I’m nervous about facing criticism from my friends and family so starting this way eases me into the whole business. One of the main reasons I’ve started this blog is to boost my self esteem and I believe it will help me to achieve my ‘Be Merry and Happy and Healthy’ goals. I wasn’t in a great place this winter (I’ll talk another time about why) and this blog and the name I have chosen just reinforces my message to myself.

 Thoughts on Blogging

 I’m finding new people everyday who blog on a whole range of topics I find interesting.

 Fashion – some of the information I’ve discovered through the fashion blogger world has been really good. So many more options for clothes now both to buy (mostly through shops spoken about by plus sized fashion bloggers) and how to put the things I already own in a more interesting way. I bought a chunky necklace the other day that I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with a few months ago. So great for my wardrobe, not so great for my wallet! I will occasionally post some fashion & accessories related stuff but mostly I’ll just enjoy reading the wide variety of people I have come across. Bloglovin is great for this. 

http://www.amilliondresses.com     @amilliondresses

http://littlebitofwowe.blogspot.se/   @LittleBitOfWowe

http://terribletumbles.blogspot.co.uk/ @thesmyth

 Food – oh so many food blogs. The cakes! Drool…. but food bloggers are also  inspiring me to become more inventive and healthy and sometimes more frugal as well. I’ll definitely post recipes on this blog. I wish there were more Scottish bloggers talking about foodie places to go nearby but I now have a huge list of places for trips South of the border!


http://www.thecakehunter.co.uk/ @thecakehunter

http://www.browneyedbaker.com @browneyedbaker 

Beauty – Not something that I anticipate I’ll ever really posy about because I’m useless in that department but I’ve made a couple of new purchases recently that have worked a treat thanks to reading some great beauty blogs. I still can’t paint my nails to save myself though.

 http://www.essiebutton.com @essiebutton

http://www.ascottishlass.com @laurziecooper 

Travel – Most of my escapades are in the UK now and I regularly do weekend countryside walks. I haven’t really come across many Scottish bloggers yet but if I do I’ll always enjoy tips for great walks or places to explore. I’m off to a more exotic location in June and have been looking through blogs to get some ideas of what to do when we are away.



Home – So many ideas, I wish I was better at DIY! 

http://www.younghouselove.com/ @younghouselove


 Library  –  for this get on twitter and have a look at my ‘Library Folk’ list. So many Library related people around! 

Other – Everyday I’m finding new blogs on interesting topics, from time to time I’ll do a Follow Friday Post.


Anyway I hope some of those links are useful. To answer the question What’s in a name? for me the name I have chosen is a little reminder of who I am and what I hope to be.


Does anyone else blog under a different name? And any blogging tips for this new blogger would be most welcome, as would any other tips on interesting blogs to read.


Thank You! Merry 😎

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