Cardigan of Doom

I’ve developed something of a lip product addiction, which does not on the surface seem to have much to do with cardigans. But it does. I think about which lip gloss to put in my handbag more than what shirt to wear (an unheard of anomaly) and lust after the clicky packaging on Chanel lipsticks with, admittedly, too much enthusiasm. It’s a bit extreme, a little shallow, and not like me. Or, it wasn’t like me.

The version of me with the laser focused lip preoccupation wears more make-up all the time. She wears dresses and tights more than jeans and jumpers. And only uses tote bags to carry her groceries back from Waitrose. One year ago me had a lot of cardigans. A cardigan for every day of the week, and then some. This had everything to do with being a high school teacher, because adding a cardigan to skinny jeans and metallic flats was my conception of a cute, professional, yet still recognizably feminine, and not completely irrelevant person.

When teaching started to become that thing that will be my job for a while, instead of that thing that I’m doing in between cool and creative writing jobs, a slow creeping terror began to set in. It was subtle and kind of had a poltergeist demon whisper thing going on.

“…this over air-conditioned classroom is the only place you will experience human interaction and it will be with children with the intellectual capacity of grapefruits….”

“…your only creative activity until you retire in 40 years will be to slightly differentiate the same curriculum year after year…and no one will care…”

And other funny things, like

“…you might die here. Wearing a cardigan…”

Hahaha. Not hysterical at all, really. Honestly, eating toddler ravioli cups for lunch was also getting to me. But it was the closet full of cardigans, shoving my over-indulgent dress collection into the dark dusty recesses that most clearly signified the need for change.

Fast forward a year, and I live in the greatest city in the world with amazing friends, hobbies (!), and an unscheduled freedom that gives me time and space to be spontaneous, adventurous, and wear all my dresses. With full awareness that this is a temporary state of being, I’m soaking it up for all it’s worth. Part of me knows that the cardigans are waiting in the aforementioned recesses. And their day may come given the student loan statement I’m currently ignoring. But that day is not today. And there is also a glimmer of hope that another sartorial future awaits.¬†Fingers crossed for lots of hats.

HoT goes to BoB

While I have clearly been nothing but super involved and fascinating since I touched down on British soil I do occasionally just sit in my comfy bed and kill time on the internet. Because I am a human. But somehow even my downtime found a way to keep life interesting. After a carelessly written, but fortuitous tweet I won a contest for a lovely handbag and tickets to the Best of Britannia expo! So off I went to Farringdon where the Farmiloe Factory Building had been transformed, with market lights, an inflatable awning, and a gin food truck into a multi story pop up department store.

 

 

Here British brands and their British goods propped up colorful and charming stands with everything from printed cushions, furniture and motorcycles, to the satisfyingly traditional wool wares, brogues, and fascinators. And then there are some of the only high heels manufactured entirely in the UK, by Yull, which happen to be completely adorable- I’m a little obsessed.

The links are to some of my favorite brands and products that I ran into at the expo, but there are so many more fantastic ones- I didn’t even tell you about all the sock companies! You can browse the comprehensive list by clicking here. If I could only manage to get invited to a hundred more weddings and races then I would basically be best friends with Jess Collett and sleep in her hats.

The rather incredible venue.
Jess Collett and a few of her beautiful headpieces.
A signature Yull court shoe.

The day out was made even better by the interruption of a cold and delicious locally brewed beer and the yummiest pulled pork sandwich I’ve had this side of the Atlantic from the very cheeky food truck,¬†Pulled. The beautiful handbag, from Ally Capellino, that started it all, is not in my hands quite yet, but I very eagerly anticipate it. I may or may not have been very cross with an evangelist who came to my door when they were not the mailman with my bag.

Cheeky sandwich signage.

Of course I can’t forget all the fun I had with Roohani from Scarlett of Soho, which is essentially London’s answer to Warby Parker. You get to take home and test out four different frames for five days, mail them back and order the ones you like best, with your prescription of course, at a very reasonable price. I liked these so much I almost walked away with them on my face, but they stopped me. And they have sunglasses, too! (I’m trying to find the picture I took – will update this post when I do.)

Special thanks also must go to Uber London, without whose tweet and support of Best of Britannia this whole amazing day never would have happened. Also they are great and pick you up from clubs in Shoreditch when you realize how old you are.

This year’s expo is over, but they do plan to start having them more frequently, and you can shop all the British brands all year round.

*This post is not sponsored by anyone. All my favorites are genuine.