Tag Archives: oxfam

Brown belt and internet woes.

“Murder, She Wrote” Series 1 – Episode 8
“We’re Off to Kill the Wizard”

Fashion Tip learned :
Belts make all the difference: even a simple shirt can have that smarter and classier look if you choose the right belt to complement it.

Life Lesson learned :
Never take advantage of your friends or family’s hospitality. As Jessica herself says: “A good guest is like Halley’s Comet: seen and enjoyed seldom and briefly”.

Episode’s Highlight:
Joaquin Phoenix and his sister Summer starring as Jessica’s grand-nephews.

phoenix siblings on msw 1

Ok, ok, I must confess: my boyfriend noticed their names in the end titles and here I am taking all the credit!

Apparently actor Joaquin Phoenix was credited as Leaf Phoenix in his early roles (source: Wikipedia). In 1984 he would have been 10 years old and this small part in Murder, She Wrote is one of his first appeareances on screen, along with his sister Summer. They are both adorable and already so talented!

phoenix siblings on msw 3phoenix siblings on msw 4

In this episode, Jessica is staying with her niece’s family when she gets involved in solving the murder of a very arrogant and unpleasant businessman. He had previously tried to convince her to create a horror attraction for his theme park, but she found this idea totally preposterous!

~~ On a side note, my internet has been down for days. It’s now back but sadly still hiccuping, and my provider’s customer service is frustratingly useless. I sincerely apologise for missing last week posting: I tried my best to write a post this week with the few bit and pieces of research I could do here and there, but I must apologise in advance if updates might be a bit irregular until the problem get fixed… I hope you will be patient with me!~~

In most of the scenes of this episode Jessica is wearing clothes we have seen before (pinstriped shirtdress, buttoned blue shirt, grey tracksuit, floral scarf… and so on) but the first ‘new’ outfit that attracted my attention is this simple pairing of a pencil skirt and double-layered shirts (a striped pink one under a more thick-looking khaki one) all tied together by a lovely brown belt.

khaki belt copy

I really think it is the belt that makes this outfit. Jessica’s brown belt seems to have a round buckle, so I picked this tan belt by Urban Outfitters and this similar belt by Dorothy Perkins, but the choices would be endless.

A pink striped shirt is quite easy to find, so I picked this classic 100% cotton shirt available at M&Co, or this short sleeved one available at Yoox, which has a pretty twist on the theme with an added gold line.

On top of this first shirt, Jessica wears another one, similar to this khaki shirt available at Dorothy Perkins, which is a bit more modern thanks to its shoulder embellishment.

As per Jessica’s pencil skirt, I found this beautiful vintage Valentino on sale at only £80 at Farfetch, which I think it is a great bargain.

I must confess: I had never seen before a skirt suit (or two pieces dress?) quite like the one Jessica is wearing in the next screenshots.

patterned dress copy

As it has proved very difficult to find something like it, I tried to make up for it picking dresses which have at least a somehow similar pattern, such as this skirt suit at Oxfam, this 1970 cocktail dress available at Beyond Retro and this polka dot shirtdress by Ruche.

Under it, Jessica wears a simple white top, such as, for instance, this sleeveless one by La Redoute and a red beads necklace like this lovely hand knotted necklace by Etsy seller BeadDweeb.

I really like Jessica’s airport outfit in this episode.

rainbow scarf copy

Jessica wears a beautiful white pleated skirt, like this vintage 1980s by Etsy seller Wildrose Primitives, or this vintage 1960s by Etsy seller Otra Vez Vintage.

On top of it, complemented by the same brown belt we saw above, she wears a simple navy shirt, like for instance this roll sleeve linen shirt by Matalan or this more casual lightweight cotton shirt available at John Lewis.

As a final touch, Jessica wears a multicoloured scarf with a checkered pattern. Somehow on a similar vibe, I like this pastel vintage scarf by Etsy seller Vintage Threadz and this vintage Vera Neumann scarf by Etsy seller Blue Sky Lane.

Advertisements

Dinner Party at Jessica’s house.

“Murder, She Wrote” Series 1 – Episode 7
“Hit, Run and Homicide”
(Post 1 of 2)

Fashion Tip learned :
If carrying a jumper with you, but not ready to wear it just yet, tieing it around your shoulders is a way to still include it in your outfit, and looks way better than having it around your waist or stuffing it into your bag!

Life Lesson learned :
Helping a friend in distress is a good thing, but being able to do so whilst making them feel that they made it on their own is even better!

~~~

It’s hard to imagine a more interesting dinner party than one where, after feasting on lovely home made food, you get to discuss murder theories over a cup of coffee. And who better than Jessica can organise such an evening?

On a side note, apparently someone thought about putting together a Murder, She Wrote Cookbook with recipes written by cast and crew! Now, this is something that will definitely be on my Christmas wishlist!

In this episode, Jessica has to deal with a car that seems to have a mind of its own (and a criminal one at that) as it can’t help but going around running over defenceless businessmen. Throw in the mix a quirky inventor, a car chase worthy of a Bond movie and Jessica playing arcade games and you will have the perfect recipe for a really fun and original episode!

01 barbecue copy

When invited to her friend’s barbecue, Jessica wears a lovely blue button down skirt, like this one by Etsy seller milkandbread, or this one by Etsy seller UkiDukiVintage.

She completes her simple and yet really pretty look with a blue cable knit jumper, exactly like this one by Woolovers, and  a simple white shirt, like this poplin one available at Zara.

To receive her friends for an informal dinner, Jessica is wearing a lovely pink pin-stiped dress and one of her beautiful scarves.
Of course I could not miss the chance to have also a bit of fun trying to find some of Jessica’s home decor as visible in these scenes.

01 jess dinner party 2b copy

Jessica is wearing a beautiful silk scarf decorated with what looks like pink flowers on a blue background.
I personally think that Oxfam is  great place where to get your accessories, especially scarves. You will sponsor a great cause whilst stocking up on your favourites, such as this lovely handwoven Indian silk scarf.
I also like this floral scarf by Liberty, this one from H&M, this one by UniqLo, this one available at Zalando, and this luxury silk chiffon one available at Boticca, because I think they all have a similar vibe.

I am convinced that Jessica would totally shop at UniqLo. The amount of clothes that I can find in that store that somehow remind me of her style is just unbelievable. This pin-striped dress is not an exception, even though it is available in blue or grey instead of the pink. Truth is, though, that what makes this dress is the collar detail on it, so I tried to find something a bit different that could echo this, like for instance this beautiful 1960s shirtdress by Etsy seller ZestVintage, or this lovely 1950s dress by Etsy seller dandydigs. Keeping it simple, though, I also like this pretty ‘peach parfait’ dress by ModCloth.

Is that a photo frame with a picture of Jessica and Frank, in the foreground of the first screenshot? Hard to tell, but I like to think so. You can recreate a similar feel with this art nouveau photo frame by Etsy seller sexytrashvintage, or this vintage Italian frame by Etsy seller Italianmemories.

On Jessica’s table we can see some brass candlesticks, similar to this set by Etsy seller RestyledByValerie, or this set by Etsy seller MilkasTreasures.
On a similar vibe is this pretty metal pillar candle holder, available at – probably my all time favourite home decoration shop – Nordic House.
The candlestick on the mantel piece is slightly different, and I like this 19th century one by Etsy seller AbbysTreasures and this set of two by Etsy seller tracinicole.

Speking of lights, I really like the wooden chandelier hanging over Jessica’s dining table. I found a similar one on the website of country living boutique Maisie K, or a very cool more modern version by Etsy designer REGOllc.

teacup bust lamp

Jessica is drinking tea (or coffee?) from a lovely floral cup with gold edging.
I can’t stress enough how much I adore vintage teacups, and when it comes to online resources, Etsy is a gold mine as always.
My vintage picks are these lovely Japanese teacups by seller mstookesmuzes, this pretty mid-century Imperial China set by seller Moonlightdecorator, and this lovely English fine bone China set by seller dscg610775.

Something that attracted my attention, despite being most of the time out of focus, is the golden bust behind Jessica. Of course it is impossible to see who or what it is depicting, but I like to think it might be something similar to this elegant Abraham Lincoln bust by Etsy seller TheVintageTreehouse, or this whimsical Johann Sebastian Bach upcycled bust by Etsy seller embeehat, or this delightful mid century child bust by Etsy seller 4envisioningvintage.

I have also noticed the beautiful green lamp visible in the living room (you can see it a bit better in one of the first screenshots, earlier in this post).
It looks like a double arm ‘student’ lamp, quite similar to this brass desk lamp available now on Ebay, or this lamp shade available by this Washington-based lampshade maker website. Sold by Etsy seller Mamadadoo, I also found these two stunning separate vintage parlor lamps.

In defence of the pleated skirt.

“Murder, She Wrote” Series 1 – Episode 5
“It’s a Dog’s Life”
(Post 2 of 2)

First things first… to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog or share it with their friends, comment or write to me, I would like to say thank you!
I love Jessica’s style and I am just trying to learn from it, and I feel very lucky to have met so many lovely people through this blog. Once again, thank you everyone for stopping by! : )

~~

There are few items of clothing that can be found across time and cultures as easily as one of my favourites: the pleated skirt.
From Renaissance Italy and Victorian England to China’s traditions and America’s Sixties, this style of skirt is flattering to all body types and easily adaptable to many different fabrics and colours.

And yet, there is a slight stigma connected to it. As this 2006 article pointed out, a pleated skirt is often considered stiff, bossy, too old fashioned or even geeky.

Well, I do believe that pleated skirts are great, and if we needed anyone to champion the versatility and beauty of this style, Jessica is definitely fit for the part.

We already saw Jessica with a grey pleated skirt and a brown pleated skirt, but in this episode we can see her wearing two other very pretty ones.

Jessica wears the same outfit in two different scenes, at the beginning and at the end of the episode: a patterned pleated skirt, her usual light blue shirt (which is such a staple in her wardrobe that I feel as I should not speak about it any longer) and a super cool “bomber” jacket.

pleated skirt 1 copy

I am not sure if this is because I was a teenager in the late 90s, but I never ever imagined myself wearing a bomber jacket: that was something only boys did.
My male classmates all had a black one because it was the cool thing to do, especially when riding to school on a silver moped.
Well, Jessica just made me change my mind. Seeing how pretty she looks pairing this sporty jacket with such a girly skirt makes me want to go out and buy one right now.

Partly proving my point, it has been slightly difficult to find a nice burgundy bomber jacket for women. I found a classic one in the menswear at Asos, and one at TopMan, which I would be happy to wear anyway, but all I could find specifically for women was this jacket at Modcloth, which luckily is incredibly pretty (and also available in brown).

Jessica’s beautiful pleated skirt has a nature-inspired pattern in soft shades of pink. It could be floral, but to me looks almost like a paisley print.
I really like this watermelon skirt available at USC and this vintage pastel pink skirt available at Rokit. Of course Etsy is a gold mine as usual, and I really like this 1970 pastel floral skirt by seller FabVintage, and this vintage Laura Ashley skirt by seller LucyRaeRetro.

The last thing to attract my attention is the horse plaque visible on the wall behind Jessica, and I found something with a similar vibe in this vintage wooden horse by Etsy seller 3sisterstreasures and in this handmade running horse by Etsy artist Peppysis.

The second pleated skirt she wears is a beige one, which probably is the same we saw before, but I picked a couple more, just to be on the safe side!

Jessica pleated skirt 2 copy

I like this skirt available at Oxfam, this 1980s one by Etsy seller BritishVintage and this 1970s one by Etsy seller ShoppeAndYore.

It has been a real challenge to find something similar to the white/cream jacket Jessica is wearing. From close inspection, it seemed made of denim but shaped slightly like a bomber, and to find a denim jacket without front pockets has proved pretty much impossible. Any suggestions are welcome!
In the end, I picked a few pretty white jackets which in my opinion have a similar vibe, like this off white bomber and this white denim, both by Uniqlo, this brocade jacket by Asos and this more sporty vintage denim available at Rokit.

Under the jacket, Jessica wears a simple white shirt, like this one by H&M.

I really love the scarf that Jessica is wearing. It’s a beautiful grey-white-pink combination which works perfectly in adding a touch of colour to an otherwise quite neutral outfit. I found a couple of lovely vintage scarves by iconic scarf designer Vera Neumann with a similar colour pattern: this one by Etsy seller Cottagewear and this one by Etsy seller Lea’sVintageRescue.
I also like this abstract scarf available at House of Fraser and, if you have a bit more money to spare, this two tones one by Farfetch.

I could just about make out the shoes Jessica is wearing and I am convinced they are loafers with a tassel on the tip, like these available at Asos, these cute ones by Accessorize and these by New Look. If you’d rather wear a different colour, I also like these lime and mole by H&M.

If you are wondering whether or not a pleated skirt is for you, my suggestion is to visit your local charity shop or the Oxfam website, where you can be sure to find a great selection of fabrics and colours at very cheap prices. In this way you can have a few to try out in different ways, all whilst supporting a worthy cause.

Jessica smiling

Pearls and lobsters.

“Murder, She Wrote” Series 1 – Episode 3
“Birds of a Feather”
(Post 1 of 2)

Fashion Tip learned :
Sometimes a beautiful scarf around your neck or shoulders can look way better than any piece of jewellery.

Life Lesson learned :
Never judge anything by its appearance! Unless you are choosing lobsters in a restaurant.

jessica lobster

In this episode, Jessica goes to San Francisco to meet her niece Victoria which is about to get married. They go out for dinner and Jessica is wearing a total black outfit which I find incredibly elegant and yet very simple to put together.

pearls and lobsters1

Jessica wears a white shirt, with a beautiful white scarf, probably made of satin, judging from its shiny look. We already saw Jessica wearing a white shirt, such as this one by H&M, many times, but what really transforms the look from simple to elegant is the scarf, like this vintage one by Etsy seller Totally Scarves.

Of course she is also wearing her iconic tortoise shell glasses, like these beautiful vintage Anne Klein glasses, from Etsy seller DontUWantMe.

She also wears a beautiful long pearl necklace around her neck.
Real pearls can be very expensive, but of course you can go for more affordable copies, like this pretty faux single pearl necklace at John Lewis or this beautiful 1950s simulated pearl necklace from Etsy seller DollyTopsyVintage.
If you have more money to spare, you can go for a freshwater pearls necklace, like this pretty one available at House of Fraser, or, of course, there is always the real deal, like this gorgeous necklace by Tiffany & Co.

She also wears a black v-neck cardigan and a black pencil skirt. There are so many of these items around that I almost feel like it is superflous for me to make a choice, but I like this simple cardigan by Mango and this very pretty one, wich seems to have a very flattering cut, available at Tilly’s. And for the skirt, I like the shape of this one by Warehouse and this one, available at House of Fraser.

The final touches to this elegant outfit are black heels and a black handbag.

black heels and bag

Black heels are once again very easy to find. My picks are these leather ones from New Look, these court shoes by H&M, these black toe cap heels available at Dorothy Perkins, or, for a more modern approach, these gorgeous faux leather heels available at Debenhams.

I could not see the bag properly, but a small evening bag is a staple in any wardrobe. My picks are this clutch by H&M, this faux leather bag by Forever21, this quirky 1960s vintage bag available at Beyond Retro, this pretty leather bag  and this gorgeous medium leather bag, both available at Yoox.

After all sorts of murderous setbacks, the wedding takes place, and Jessica wears a cute stripey dress with nude court shoes and clutch, which is just the perfect outfit for an informal and yet important family event.

wedding copy

For the dress, my suggestion is to go vintage, where you will find plenty of “shirt-dresses” with a similar vibe. I found this one with 3/4 lenght sleeves at Beyond Retro, this pretty one with short sleeves by Etsy seller ElevenTwentyEight, and this lovely one with long sleeves by Etsy seller BigYellowTaxiVintage.

Jessica’s shoes could be similar to these court shoes available at Top Shop, or these ones at Bhs, but I also like these toe cap mid court by Dorothy Perkins and these stiletto heels available at Marks and Spencer.

Her clutch seems to have some sort of geometrical vibe, so I chose this blush piped clutch by Dorothy Perkins, this asymetric zip clutch by Warehouse and this textured clutch by Aldo.

As per her jewellery, Jessica wears again her pearl necklace (see above) together with a red freshwater pearls necklace. Funnily enough, my grandmother had an identical necklace which she gave me, so I was happy to see it also on Jessica!
I bet you can find plenty of similar-looking ones at your nearest vintage/charity shop. I had a look at Oxfam and found really a lot of pretty and really cheap ones, like this one at only £5, and this one at only £4.

She is also wearing a pair of simple pearl stud earrings. Again, if you want to get real pearls you might end up spending quite a lot, but there are plenty of affordable options on the high street, like this very pretty pair, available at Nordstrom in both white and taupe colours.

Jessica’s biking smile.

“Murder, She Wrote” Series 1 – Pilot Episode
“The Murder of Sherlock Holmes”
(Post 4 of 4)

Even if this outfit is seen in this pilot episode only for a few seconds, whilst Jessica admires her novels advertised as best sellers in the local bookshop,
I absolutely love this screenshot of a smiling Jessica on her bike. I can’t look at it without starting to smile too!

smiling

To bike around Cabot Cove, Jessica is wearing a light brown jacket, grey trousers, what seems to be a striped shirt and a light blue scarf.

bike.def

The scarf is a very simple one, so there are plenty of different choices, however my personal picks are this lightweight casual scarf by Oasis, this linen blend scarf from Nordstrom or, best of the three, this gorgeous vintage chiffon scarf, available at Oxfam for only £7.99.

I can’t see much of her shirt, but I can see what look like striped cuffs, so I looked for a light and casual top like this striped cotton shirt by M&S or this striped Oxford shirt by Uniqlo.
For her trousers, I wanted something classy but comfy enough to wear on a bike, and I think these beige chinos or these grey trousers, both by River Island, nicely fit the bill.

I already discussed Jessica’s “detective” trench coat in this post, but this seems to be a slightly shorter and lighter jacket, and for this reason I chose this jacket by New Look, which also has a whimsical and pretty ‘collar drape’ design.

Bonus accessories: A city bike (and, of course, its basket).

Jessica also keeps fit by going jogging, and I particularly like the velour tracksuit she wears in this pilot episode.

tracksuit copy

It is so hard to find anything similar nowadays! Sportswear manifacturers like to slap their massive logos on blocks of electric colours and hyper synthetic materials, however I found four different options that play with the red-blue-white theme and I think are all very pretty.

The lovely Lacoste red top with horizontal blue and white stripes and the simple Adidas red top with vertical blue stripes are both available from vintage retailer Rokit, whilst the classic Fila blue top with horizontal red and white stripes is from Oxfam and the beautiful vintage red top with different stripes of blue and white is from Etsy seller PastPerfectContinues.

Last but not least, I think this striking red dress deserves a mention:

red stripey dress

Even though we don’t know if Jessica decided to buy it or not after her friends got her to try it on, I personally find it very whimsical and pretty! I found a few similar looking dresses that in my opinion are really fun, beautiful and fresh.

The quirky red shift dress with diagonal stripes is available at Oxfam, whilst the fancy striped dress with draping by Vivienne Westwood (!) is now on sale at more than half of its original price, still not very cheap but maybe worth the investment!
The beautiful maxi red and white striped dress is wonderfully handmade by Etsy designer CherryBlossomDress, and the lovely contrast red and white dress is a vintage piece, sold by Etsy seller Girlwithpaint.