Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Librarian looks

I'm back after a very lovely few days in Bristol, staying with a friend. But more on that later..
This shoot was inspired by all the books in our house. We are a family of voracious readers, and books quite literally litter every surface!
The whole idea for this was my favourite black trousers dressed up in three different ways - all with a slight 'librarian geeky chic' influence. These trousers (which I 'appropriated' from my mum) are both incredibly comfortable and are that perfect ankle grazing length when turned up.

In the first outfit I paired the aforementioned trousers with a vintage pink (although it looks more like tomato soup red in the photos)  jumper that was my great grandma's. It has intricate beading all across the shoulders.. The shoes were for christmas and the necklace is vintage. The belt was my mum's.

In the second ensemble, I used a pink silk top (Is it a shrug or short sleeved bed jacket? I'm not sure..) from ebay and a simple grey long top. The grey Mary Janes are from New Look and the long pearls are my mum's. I'm also wearing my silver 'buckle bracelet.' Much featured and much loved -  bought at a local market.

For the third variation, I added a silk shirt (You knew one had to appear at some point!). It's a Saville Row, again from ebay, and like the trousers is supremely comfortable. The little silk shrug originally came with a matching fifties dress, but after my mum disastrously tried to dye said dress it had to be thrown away. * Cue silent sobbing from me * The blue hat is another from the great collection of my great-grandma's, which I have mentioned many times. The 'clutch' is a leather case which I think is actually a gentleman's vanity case which belonged to a great-great-grandfather of mine! (As mentioned before, family of hoarders!)
Apologies for the horrible, flaking nail varnish throughout. I only noticed it after the shoot!

And now for a brief summary of my time in Bristol... We went to Bath on saturday and visited the most amazing vintage shop called 'Vintage to Vogue'. We disappeared down a tiny alley, and entered an alternative world full of Chanel sixties shoes, Jaeger blazers and countless other treasures!
We also stumbled on a market with some vintage stalls, and found a genuine Biba (!) blue silk shirt for £5 and a fifties green Betty Barclay dress that makes me feel like Scarlett O'Hara! (Even though it is totally the wrong time period, but big skirts always make me think of Gone With the Wind.) Hopefully both items will be appearing on the blog shortly...

Other adventures included experiencing 'modern art', a bit of charity shop purchasing and visiting nice cafes. Ah... Cafes. My friend and I went into a rather upmarket deli/ restaurant/ cafe to order coffee. To which the waiter replied "You? You're not old enough to have coffee!" I was tempted to reply by saying "Well actually I'm a diehard coffee drinker and usually prefer home ground beans, especially a nice organic Kenyan mix. However, on this occasion I have decided to order a cappucino in this cafe, at this counter. I'm sorry that I don't fit the description of the average customer here. But I believe its a free country?" But instead I just smiled sweetly and said yes please, I would have a coffee thankyou, before ordering a chocolate macaroon to go with it.

However, this and various other reactions by adults during the day made me think about perceptions. Was the security guard in Habitat (an interior design shop) keeping an extra eye on us because we were teens? Did the woman tut at us in an arts and crafts fair because she assumed we were going to cause trouble?
I suppose the fact that my friend and I chose to visit places that are a little less used to having two teenage girls wander through their doors might have been a contributing factor, but it seemed a little unfair to me. It was quite obvious that we weren't there to cause havoc. As my friend joked afterwards, we should have had badges made saying "We are nice teenagers, we shall not bite or cause trouble - in fact we actually want to enjoy this art/ food/ bookshop (delete as appropriate) just as much as you!"

What do you think? Do you/ did you ever feel judged by the fact that you are/ were a teenager? Or do you  ever find yourself having a stereotypical view? ( I know that even I'm a little guilty of judging others sometimes). I would really like to hear your opinions.

 I am going to be away at the coast until saturday with no internet access. Yes, I know - I have been neglecting my blog a lot this holiday... Oh well, hopefully I'll to return with lots more shots on the camera!


Molly said...

beautiful outfit! and you have such pretty eyes

tough girl said...

Lovely photos!Love your blog so much!Following.


Catherine said...

Aww. This reminds me of the house I grew up in! We had bookshelves in every room. All arranged by genre— Children's books upstairs, music books near the piano, hardcover fiction in the dining room . . . It's so comforting to be surrounded by books!

That leather case/clutch is lovely. I liked it even more when I learned it was your great-great-grandfather's. Vintage from family is the best.

I think people are unnecessarily agist however old you are. I'm a little young for my job (and look young) and have noticed that people will sometimes speak to me like it's my first day on the job, so I take care to dress older/more sophisticated. That way I don't look like some college freshman who just wandered into the office. I guess all we can do is politely change their minds. Your idea for badges made me laugh. Keep drinking your coffee! : )

- Catherine at Littlehouse of Style

Tastes Like More said...

Love this outfit! The trousers are brilliant and I love the combo in the last 4 photos. You have such a striking smile!

Regarding how people perceive teenagers, I can sympathize with you. When I was 15 I went to a fancy restaurant to have lunch with a few friends. We had a long weekend and our parents gave us some money to enjoy a day out downtown. We were not rebellious, disrespectful teens, we just wanted a nice meal out. We were nothing but polite to our server, but he was a huge jerk towards us. He ignored us, would sneer, and basically threw our food down when it was ready. I'm sure he was further ticked off by the crap tip we gave him, but he deserved it! We 'please' and 'thank you'-ed our way through that entire lunch in hopes that he would treat us with an ounce of respect, but no dice.

It even extends when you're in your 20s. When I was 21 I went out with my boyfriend to a very fancy tasting menu dinner. We were easily the youngest people there, and I also had pink hair. This time the server treated us with respect, because unlike the more "successful" and older people, we weren't acting like loud, drunken baffoons. But the other patrons just gave us these sideway looks like we didn't belong.

So, *sigh* when you're young people just assume that you're going to cause trouble. I'm not innocent though, I have judged teenagers, but I usually keep my views to myself and act civil so that they get a chance to prove themselves to be not spoiled and ungrateful brats, because I know that's how I would want to be treated.

Anonymous said...


I'm a new reader of your blog, and I really enjoy it. I'm 23 and live in San Diego, CA. :) When I was a teen, I was also addicted to antiques, thrift store, cafes, old books, and talking with older people ... I never received silent animosity from anyone, but you must forgive them, maybe they've had a negative experience? However, I did always receive surprise, something like -- "oh, you're not as stupid/frivolous/immature as I thought you were!"

Gee, THANKS A LOT! But, as a voracious reader, you've probably read Le Petit Prince by St. Exupery, and I think what he has to say about grown ups is so fitting ... my goal in life is not to be a grownup who misses out on the freshness of younger people, who may be old souls!

have fun on your trip to the coast!
nancy @ sway report

LivelyLibrarian said...

Roz, maybe my favorite post yet!

Cheers from The Lively Librarian

Lemondrop Marie said...

What lovely bookish shots! I love the lace libraian ensemble. I hope that people see libraians as this lovely and stylish (I work in a library myself you see...)

Lemondrop Vintage

Ruxandra said...

I know how it feels to be watched closely.And somwtimes people are right, sometimes not.It's a matter of personality.Happy spring!

Natalie said...

adorable! and i wish i had ur book collection! :))


Ganymede Girl said...

It's so nice to see you smiling! My favorite look is the third one, silk always gets me.

I did feel judged because I was a teenager but I also don't think I was as mature as you when I was 14 so perhaps it was a little bit warranted. Sometimes I am judgmental and stereotype people but usually I don't think about it unless I notice people doing things that fit a stereotype too. Teenagers who go out of their way to talk SUPER loud in public places saying offensive things for the purpose of getting other people to look at/be shocked by their self-perceived boldness kind of ruin it for the ones who are polite because everyone tends to notice the loud/rude ones. Then you start thinking things like "Ugh, all teenagers are so obnoxious". Generally I try not to judge until people open their mouths or do something to give me a reason to think negatively of them.


Sue said...

Stunning as always!!!!!

btw, I do love george eliot!!!

Hannah said...

That wall of books behind you is amazing. I'm completely jealous. The books on my shelves are overflowing, and I'm sure they'd feel a lot safer on that gorgeous book-hotel than they do on my occasionally clean floor.
That black and white picture of you that's second to the end is absolutely lovely and graceful. Your hair looks beautiful.
But I think my favorite overall is the one above it with the glasses. It strikes me as fairly humorous, like a librarian giving the stereotypical, disapproving stare. But in a good way, of course. :)

The Lady Nerd said...

Your description of the perfect "ankle-grazing" pants gave me a chuckle. Back when I was in highschool, we called those "highwaters" and boy did I ever get teased for wearing them! I'm not sure exactly why they were considered uncool, but I would imagine it came from the geeky, outsider kids as they were the only ones who wore them. I could be wrong though. I was never part of that "cool kid-inner crowd." Still, I very much like the colour schemes (I quite like the 'tomato red'! It's a very sophisticated colour, especially paired with black and gold).

I'll admit I never felt judged as a teenager. I usually traveled alone or with adults so I was never a receipient of the withering looks. However, I'll sheepishly admit that I roll my eyes when I see a group of teens coming in our Starbucks doors. It's mainly due to this flippant, I-am-entitled attitude that seems to be reeking forth from that age group. (Granted, this is also in America. Things could be a wee different in Britain) Some are polite, but I notice it's a group thing as well. Teens by themselves, especially if well-behaved, will go undeterred. But put two or more together, and it becomes a gaggle - usually a giggling gaggle (and no one likes that, even in adults). All in all, it's either adults fearing for mischief or just being annoyed at perceived immaturity.

Can't wait to see what more photos you have! (Thanks ever so much for the birthday wishes. I really appreciated it. :) )

Eli said...

it is the life of a teenager to be be judged. Just stick up for yourself without making yourself look like a little kid. One day you'll be an adult and feel the same way about teenagers!

Ellen said...

Beautiful shots! :D And I loved the bag, where did you get it?
And about the teenager thing.. It is sadly true. Too often adults think every teenager will be destroying, kicking and swearing to other customers. Okay, there maybe are some people who would do all that, but most of us would never even think about that.
Still, I judge all other people nearly all the time on their outlooks. Not that fair, really.

Pearl Westwood said...

Great take on geek-chic! I also just read your fantastic interview on Jill's blog.
LOL I think you should have a 'polite teenage' badge, people do tend to judge teenagers alot, based on the bad apples. Its been a long time since I was a troublesome teen but I think we all get judged at some point, being a busty blond (yep that was a long time ago) I was treated a lot differntly than I am today! Your shopping trip sounded a lot of fun I will have to pay that vintage shop a visit x

Hannah said...

Lovely photographs! xxx


polka dot said...

Ha! That is hilarious! I am so not a teenager, but I can absolutely remember that feeling. In fact - I was just talking about this with someone! - it feels like all my life, I was 'too young' and trying to be older. Then one day I woke up and happened to be older than some of my friends.. I'm not yet at the point where I'll find strangers pre-judging me for being an old grey haired lady, but I imagine that's even harder.

Women older than me have said it's such a strange feeling, to look in the mirror and feel 'that isn't me'. So while it's ridiculous to be pre-judged that way (I love that coffee anecdote) there's some comfort to know that for you & your peers, your 'problem' won't last forever. We old ladies, on the other hand.. for us it can only get worse! ; )

I can remember seeing women 30 and over and thinking that they were a different species from me entirely. That I could never relate to them, especially when they'd say stupid things like 'enjoy it, someday you won't want to be older'.

Sorry to go on - it's uncanny that you've done this gorgeous post on this theme - I was just about to post something similar (similar trousers, and a post on fashion 'age').

Just came here to let you know your interview is up:

as you're on holiday, you might not have realised! Enjoy yourself, and thank you for taking the time to share your holiday with such humour, and STYLE.


Anna Katrina said...

WOW i love these pictures :) keep it up girl!!

Anna Katrina

anni said...

I love these outfits and the first ones shoes are so beautiful ! :)

Cath said...

wow, these trousers have the most perfect cut! and I luuurve the red (pink) jumpsuit. I think I sould start hoarding, in the hope that my great-great granddaughter someday wears my pieces and starts a blog!

Lucy Laucht said...

Thanks for the lovely comment, perhaps you are the next Grace Coddington in the making, send some photos to Vogue!
Lucy Laucht: Daily style & inspiration

Taylor Sterling said...

great photo shoot!! You are so lovely!!

Anonymous said...

These are great outfits!

Anonymous said...

i agree that people treat teens differently. i think the way to handle it is to blow them away with maturity and not take it too much to heart

starcakeastrology.blogspot.com said...

you are stunning!

ThatGirl39 said...

I love those Mary Janes from New Look - absolutely gorgeous photos! How awful to hear of the attitude you received whilst out and about - people can be too quick to judge can't they? I don't remember encountering that as a teen but then that was LONG time ago! I'm sure it would work the other way now though being forty, if I were to go into a place generally deemed for younger people!

Zoë said...

Oh books, books, books!
Beautiful clutch!

Clare said...

Love these outfits, especially the first one and the one with glasses. So jealous you have a library in your house!

tweet tweet tweet


lauren lanza osias said...

i looooooove those pants! omg, i totally need them! beautiful post as always.

be a follower, not a hater

eva-christa said...

I love ur pants and ur shoes great look!
La Bise
'ECH from pAris

Becca. said...

love love love your outfits, vintage is great!


p.s don't forget to enter the prada giveaway on my blog! x

Le garçon avec les lunettes said...

i like so much your style...this outfit is soo cool!!!


Olivia Isabella. said...

Love the grey pussy bow shirt in the last look.
Also, yes, as a teenager it was quite obvious people are stereotypical. However, I feel they have reason as some teenagers do act that way and as an older person, or someone who is not used to such behaviour, I would feel intimidated. So isn't it better for them to be cautious and better safe than sorry? Yet, sometimes I feel that is blatantly obvious some teenagers are not going to cause trouble. To be stereotypical, does it look like you or me are the sort of person to cause trouble? I think preconceived ideas are always going to exsist, so we must use them for good (such as for safety or associating positive attributes to a certain "type").

Anonymous said...

omg the 2nd photo u look amazingly giant...ahahaha loooovin it bt yr face is hiding frm d lights :p

Tessa Brooke said...

Ah, books, books, and more books! I would love to see all those books in a house! haha I love the styles. How do you walk in those shoes? haha

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