by Rowena Howie January 06, 2021
Here in London we are just entering our third lockdown and have been living with some level of restrictions to manage the pandemic for 9 months.
I feel like I've got in to a rhythm with my wardrobe. I have my set go to's and these probably reflect my state of mind as much as my physical needs.
I'm still working, full time, all the time. There is pressure and there are practical needs. I don't have time to think about how I would like to dress, I just need to get dressed! I've pretty much devised a uniform for myself; trousers, blouse, cardigan.
This isn't much different from my pre-pandemic wardrobe (I like to think that the clothing we sell represents an everyday classic style so this makes sense). It's just there is less variety, less occasion to make a concerted effort, fewer people to notice, remark or compliment me on what I'm wearing. I'm dressing for myself.
These high waist, wide leg trouser highlight my smallest part, my waist, even though my lockdown tummy has grown (since this picture was taken). I find the wide elongated leg flatters my figure. I like the room in the hip for slouching on the sofa or cycling to work. Most of all I love the big huge pockets where my plus size iPhone can get lost deep in the fabric. I'm 5'6 btw and I decided to take these up as I'm now pretty much always wearing flats to walk to work.
Most days I will wear my Kensington Trousers in plum or purple. These colours are really rich and joyful meaning I can pair them with any number of white or cream blouses.
I have many of these, most sit patiently waiting to be ironed but there's always at least one ready for when I need to quickly jump on a Zoom call if I've delayed getting out of bed until the very last moment! Sound familiar? I'm not adverse to a nice white t-shirt either, especially if my top half is going to be covered with a cardigan all day.
Though I like one statement piece of colour in my outfit I am not one for lots of colour and print and though I admire people who can make clashing colours and prints look great, I run a mile from it. Some of my favourite blouses are my Liberty prints, but I personally would never wear these with the colourful trousers, it just isn't me. Then I have my go to outfit of my charcoal coloured wool holborn trousers or highgate culottes with my red berries blouse or green floral blouse or my autumn favourite colour, mustard.
With the different colours and textures this brings me a reliable mix of dependable favourites. You know that I can't live without my Emmy cardigans and over the years I've amassed quite a few colours. The Emmy cardigans are different because they are a cropped length meaning they sit exactly at the waistband of high waist trousers like the Kensington's. The close fit is warm and cosy, it also maintains the silhouette rather than wrapping it in bulky ayers.
I really enjoy co-ordinating my cardigan colour with my outfit. Definitely the new green colour for this season is the one getting the most wear, I love it, but it's closely followed by the Aubergine which compliments a lot of the burgundy colours in my wardrobe.
I'm wearing dresses less than normal but the days I do wear them, I revel in that change, I enjoy it. This is made all the better by the fact that it's a purely selfish pleasure, all for me, no occasion necessary. If there is no-one there to notice then I really am dressing for myself.
Of course, with lockdown life I haven't taken many photos recently, I'm not a big one for selfies and with the restrictions there has rarely been people around to take photos of me, so forgive me as many of these have been stolen from the past year's @RevivalRetro Instagram feed.
Some days are more difficult than others though as I struggle with my emotions on how we deal with the circumstances we find ourselves in. If I'm having a difficult day and I can't be off camera working from home then these are the days that accessories come to my aid.
Most days I'll wear a discrete but pretty pair of stud earrings. Other days when I want to make an effort or enjoy a feel good factor I'll put in a pair of stylish dangly earrings. When I'm really battling negativity or fear I'll put on my biggest, baddest pair of earrings, they distract me (and others) from any internal struggles.
These snake earrings are by Rosita Bonita. Not in stock currently but I think we should, they're amazing aren't they. I love them!
The one thing I don't like looking at and haven't pictured is my feet. The biggest change of the pandemic was me moving home. I needed to be within walking distance of the shop because much of the COVID government advice has revolved around work from home unless you can't and then walk or cycle rather than using transport. So every day that I need to go in to the shop to pick and pack and web orders `i am walking an 8km round trip, two and a half hour commute, in every kind of weather. Goodbye pretty heels!
For the fist time in my life I am regularly wearing trainers and I don't like it. I'm like a sullen teenage being told to wear a practical coat. I miss my pretty shoes. Occasionally i get to wear my glorious gold boots but that's about it. Whatever the new normal turns out to be - please let it include some glorious footwear!
Staying warm has been the main thing consideration this season. My big winter investment was a new coat and goodness me I am so glad that I did, it's been a life saver on freezing cold walks to work. It also looks fantastic, so much so that when I was seen on BBC Breakfast wearing it for a Small Business Saturday interview, several people phoned up / went online immediately after and got one for themselves! Good job.
Lover of beautiful things and amazing people. Explorer and Entrepreneur. This is my independent shop, whether you visit our London boutique or browse our online offering it is my vision that our wonderful team is working hard to bring to life.
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by Rowena Howie Nov 11, 2020
by Charlie Martin Oct 23, 2020
The Revival Retro Boutique
30 Windmill Street, London, W1T 2JL (Goodge Street, Tube)