Graduation outfit dilemma

It’s my MA graduation on Tuesday, the final marker of my entire academic life. Graduation outfits are notoriously difficult – the recommendation is to wear black, like a suit, and to wear a shirt so you can attach your gown hood to a button. Well this sounds like a disaster to me – my bust rather precludes the wearing of buttoned shirts, as they never fit properly, and as for having the weight of a hood pulling on one well that sounds like a recipe for said shirt popping open!

So I threw the suggestions out of the window right from the start, but that didn’t mean I had any good ideas. When I was home the other week I found a nice outfit from Ocean Blue, a floral print navy pencil skirt and coral short sleeve blouse which seemed smart but something I would also wear a lot to work. I knew it would also go with a jacket, clutch and shoes that I had;

Ok, so then I fell out with the shoes – I love them, but they absolutely cram your toes and are very uncomfortable to wear for any length of time. Then it got hot, and I realised I’d be ditching the jacket. THEN I was completely thrown because for the third day of staring at my rail thinking that all my workwear was not summery enough, I resorted to pulling out what I considered to be a ‘non work’ dress; the blue one I bought in Italy. Paired with a blue belt to give it some shape and mint heels, and the Dune bag I bought from TK Maxx the other week, I found I’d suddenly landed on another outfit I really liked…

This also felt smart and a bit more summery, but I figured I ought to give the original outfit a chance. I wore it to work the next day, but with different heels. It’s hard to tell but in real life the skirt does have more distinct coral and peach hues in the floral print.

peach shoe

I’m still not convinced though and suspect I’ll be going with the blue dress combo. The skirt is also not as neat in the wearing as I thought; it creases easily around the waistband and moves around a bit. Anyway I have only a few more hours to decide as I’m leaving for Bristol tomorrow morning and don’t really want to take more shoes than I need to!

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Minty Monochrome

I’m loving monochrome or grey highlighted with bright pastels or citrus colours at the moment – peach, orange, lemon, lime – and mint! I snaffled these New Look shoes from mum a while back when she put them in the ebay pile, and although I don’t normally wear pointy toes I do love them. Maybe it’s because I have the nail polish to match!

Houndstooth Debenhams skirt, black cowl neck South top, and chunky black & grey Next necklace to let the mint say it all.

outfit shoes & nails

Shoes Glorious Shoes Marvellous Shoes….

Ok, so we’ve established I might have a scarf habit…. now it’s time to fess up about my shoe habit.

I like shoes. I have a reputation in my office for wearing slightly mad, out-there, colourful shoes. I wear normal shoes too, but it’s my penchant for Irregular Choice, Ruby Shoo, and New Look’s colourful offerings that seems to have stuck.

Living in Cornwall, big stores like Schuh et al are few and far between, and not that big when they do appear. However, we do have a brilliant independent chain called J Shoes and they stock a huge range of everything from wellies to Irregular Choice (yay!). They also almost always have discounted prices, and their sales are epic.

As luck would have it, I had some shopping vouchers from Christmas to spend, so I went down to see what new offerings they had. Oh… the choices! Last week I went on a pre-shopping scout and snapped up these Lunar dark navy and beige canvas pumps for ¬£9.99. I go through a couple of pairs of pumps every summer, and I was looking for some just like these last year. I’ve started wearing them in now, because while lovely and hardwearing, canvas is not feet-friendly!

Lunar Pumps

So today I went down with my vouchers, on a bit of a mission. I got a pair of Irregular Choice ‘Patty’ court shoes in purple. I initially leant towards the pale blue and pink, Cath-Kidston-style colourway, but they only had those in a 7. On reflection I think the purple will go with more and also the Union-Jack design inspiration is more muted, so it won’t date so much. The textured detail is amazing and of course there’s the signature IC patterened soles, it’s just a shame this wears off so quickly!

Irregular Choice detail

Irregular Choice Patty

The second find was a pair of Tamaris leather flats with buckle detail. They’re nice and neutral in navy and tan, and hopefully should fill my “flat, practical but not ballet pump” shoe void. I don’t like flat full shoes, they just never look nice on me. So for casual situations it’s always a toss up between pumps or heeled ankle boots, which can be problematic if the weather, walking and environment are all against me! These shoes are amazingly soft, like buttery leather, and just seem to hug your feet. They look sturdy but need no wearing in at all, I think they might be the comfiest shoes I’ve ever bought.

Tamaris shoesTamaris buckle

Tamaris detail

Finally, I’ll just point out my storage solution for my shoe habit… which I think is absolutely brilliant.
Stacking shoe boxes from Tszuji – they are standard shoe box size but do take my ankle boots, they stack together with tabs, have one-hand opening ends and also carry handles, so if you need to take a change of shoes somewhere you can just detach the box from the stack and away you go! The best bit is that I can see exactly what my choices are for any outfit.

Shoes galore Shoe stack