Every now and then, I come across a blog that is very, very special. I know a blog is great when I start scrolling through their archives, and feel a plunging disappointment when there’s nothing left to read. This is exactly what happened when I found Pull Your Socks Up, a fashion blog written by the gorgeous Desiree. I am blown away by this site. Not only does Desiree have the most enviable wardrobe imaginable, but I adore the way she puts outfits together. Her sense of style seems to mirror my own, in that she’s very eclectic and daring, and chooses clothes that make her happy. I truly admire her attitude towards style as well. Desiree is like the woman I want to be when I grow up: gutsy, witty and super-stylish.
1. What prompted you to start your blog?
I’d taken some time off work and wanted to stay sharp by writing a little about what I loved: personal style on a zero budget. Starting a blog was an interesting exercise for me as the internet was already flooded with many wonderful personal style blogs, but by women half my age. I decided to add my voice and share my mantra to “grow old disgracefully”.
(Seriously, these shoes have been flitting about in my dreams).
2. What is the most rewarding part of having your own website?
Discovering some of the most incredible women on the planet. I have made friends with women who share uncannily similar views about ageing without compromise.
3. How would you describe your personal style?
Playful. What you choose to cover and adorn your body with is going to have ongoing impacts on the way you feel about who you are and the health of your self-esteem. Chinos and a grey t-shirt will never convey how I’m truly feeling inside. Neither will head-to-toe high street trends or even a pure vintage “uniform”. I don’t like to be restricted by fashion and style trends so I play dress-ups everyday. Dress-ups that I wear for work and play. My outfits can be made up of pieces spanning 70 years and in various stages of age and disrepair. If an Edwardian blouse or a 1950s veiled hat has some stress tears, I won’t go to great lengths to mend them as I feel they add to the beauty and age of the garment. I’ll wear it anyway.
4. Where do you get your style inspiration from?
My inspiration always comes from whatever I’ve got cooking in my head as a result of what I’m reading, watching or thinking about. Sometimes it’s influenced by music. I feel that as I have four decades of life experience swimming around in my brain, most of what I wear is a conglomeration of those images and feelings that have lived with me.
5. You have such an amazing range of clothing and accessories. How do you store them all?
It’s a constant battle but I feel I’m on top of it at the moment. I store all my tops, blouses and skirts in my bedroom closet. Dresses, vintage slips and suits are stored on mobile rails in a dimly-lit room, while coats, jackets and capes fill my son’s closet to capacity. Hats hang on an old hat rack and on hooks in the wall; veiled cocktail and brimless hats are stacked on a mannequin head and on tall, wide jars to keep their shape.
Peices of clothing that I’m thinking about are hung around my bedroom like paintings. I never expose my clothing to direct sunlight while they’re in storage as nearly everything I own is very old and easily affected by the strong Queensland light.
6. How do you get dressed in the morning? Do you plan your outfits in advance, or do you put them together in a more haphazard fashion?
Time is always a factor, yet I simply cannot plan too much in advance – the outfits never feel right. Often I leave out overnight a pair of tights, or a scarf or skirt I like the look of and start with that piece as my base the next day. I never know where the outfit is going to go from there, it just grows.
For people who aren’t outfit-planners, starting with one piece in mind is a good way to begin building a daily outfit and there’s less chance of tearing it all off at the last minute in frustration, just when you’re running out of time!
7. How do you pull yourself out of a style rut? (good question Vanessa!)
I pull a few things out of my wardrobe that catch my eye and hang them around my bedroom. It’s always something vintage as I’m always inspired by old fabrics, colours and details – anything that jogs a memory or incites a response in me. I’m a fan of old movies – the costumes, sets and props never fail to inspire me to get up to some new tricks!
8. Do you have any items that you’re coveting at the moment?
As I’m not much of an outfit planner, I relish going to flea markets and discovering my next obsession. I never know whether it will be a pair of men’s vintage trousers or tuxedo shirt, or a beautiful, torn blouse from the bottom of a bargain box. Often, planned purchases are disappointing which is why I’m rarely attracted to new clothing and accessories. I’m never disappointed with Vivienne Westwood’s Melissa shoes however. They’re so much fun and comfortable to wear and they never fail to give vintage pieces a lift.
I highly recommend you check out Desiree’s blog. It’s loads of fun, and the perfect way to perk up a dull day or give yourself a shot of style inspiration.