Me Made May 2016 – Week One

I have been “doing” Me Made May 2016 for a week now, which involves wearing something i made everyday and getting a photograph.

I have completed the first week. The photos are taken by my husband, my PA, the sales manager at Royal Albert Wharf, my boss and my daughter. Thanks for that!

Looking at the seven out fits I must conclude that clothes, in the UK, are always about the weather.

These pictures, taken over seven days,show how the weather affects what we wear. Day 1 (Sunday) was a nice sunny day but not too warm, and we had our lunch outside with stepson Ben, Mel and Maia. By Monday it was really cold again for our visit to the Hindu temple. I had on lots of layers, including a big scarf. On Tuesday (back to work) I wore a jacket over a jumper and my thick tights. But by Tuesday it was starting to get warm. But I am still in the thick tights just in case it gets cold on the way home. By Wednesday, although I have on my jacket I have dispensed with the tights and I have bare legs for the rest of the week. But the lemon jacket and pink cardigan are worn as it is not that hot. But by Saturday (day 7) it is hot and sunny and the kids are in shorts and I have bare arms! My Australian friends and work colleagues find the discussion of weather, and the pure excitement and joy about sunshine, funny. You know how we buy more “soft top” cars than the European countries that actually have warm weather, and “put the roof down” at the slightest provocation. And in our parks you will see us in underwear sometimes, or with our skirts or trousers rolled up to allow the rays to touch our skin. With only 26 sunny days a year we try to get out in it as much as possible.

sunbathing in St James Park
Sunbathing in the park

I also notice that I wear much lighter and brighter colours when the sun is out (and I am someone who avoids black and tries to get colour into the wardrobe daily). The first half of the week it is grey, navy, mid blue and deep red. Then out comes the lemon, light pink and white.

The other thing is about how clothes fit into your life. One day I got a picture taken of me actually working.  I love this picture of an outdoor meeting (on the upper floor of the car park at the Stratford Centre) where I am talking to Kate Hofman. Kate is the CEO of GrowUp box. I want to bring this fantastic idea to one of our new developments in East London. I don’t really like posing as a “model” for the clothes – for me context is everything. My working clothes are more formal than the weekend outfits, but it is subtle difference for me. Weekends are not too slobby, and work is not at all formal. But as the CE of my organisation it is important that what I wear is congruent with our values and purpose (the provision of low cost housing in London, plus property development to fund it).

Grow Up Kate Hofman
With Kate Hofman of GrowUp Urban farms

23 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    You look so pretty in all of these. Great rooftop photo and a handsome boy, too! I am partial to that lemon jacket.

  2. Thanks for providing the helpful context about your life and your clothes.

    Are you exaggerating about the 26 days of sunshine? How do you define a sunny day?

    I’m such a nerd, I found that I wrote 3 posts about solar radiation density.
    http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/search?q=solar+radiation+density
    Does England have a similar measurement capability?
    http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2012/08/some-nerds-go-on-hike.html

    The US DOE, Department of Energy, makes these measurements so we can
    plan energy demand and efficiency standards.

  3. Congratulations on navigating a whole week of original outfits. I too rather go for the lemon jacket, and its partners.

  4. You look very comfortable in your outfits and they are occasion appropriate, I agree with you re the colour black, I have tried to eliminate it from anything I wear near my face, yellow and pink are so your colours they suit you so well.

    The GrowUp box knocks my socks off, it’s a terrific concept I hope it takes off.

  5. We had some of that same sequence of weather out in Bristol – another thing I’ve been surprised at during our 7-month stay here is the lack of umbrellas. People either just get wet and shake it off, or they wait until the drizzle slows down before going out. Very adaptable.

    I love the day 3 outfit!

  6. My boys are in London at the moment and have been telling me about the festivity of sunshine in the park. A few years ago I remember being on the tube and hearing warnings about the need for hydration and to watch out for heat stroke . It was 25 degrees ! We start to worry about this at 35 degrees but I guess the difference us that architecture , and the emphasis on maintaining warmth in London makes warm days into hit uncomfortable days .it is lovely to see such appreciation of the sun .

    • yes good points Mem. We don’t seem prepared for anything out of the ordinary here and get delayed by snow, rain, sun and leaves all the year round.

  7. Lovely pictures – you have a great team of photographers! Really interested in the link to GrowUp Box – inspiring.

  8. Martina

    Love your jacket, but the GrowUp Box is really cool! I have a friend who is on the board of one of the community gardens here (in Boston), and I’m sending him the link.

    • It is such an exciting idea – fish farming, using the fish poo to support the plants and the plants cleaning the water for the fish. All you need is a pump and some fish food and you get fish, herbs and salad.

  9. I love all the color and also the wide range of styles. No one can accuse you of having a “uniform.”

  10. What a wonderfully varied wardrobe! All very stylish and suited to your life!

  11. You have a such great style. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Love the self drafted kimono jacket and skirt and the lemon jacket.

  13. I enjoy seeing these daily outfits, its such an interesting reflection of the varying practical requirements of every day life, filtered by individual taste and style. You have a very versatile and stylish wardrobe, and I am now feeling very fortunate to live somewhere with a more predictable climate ( although I am possibly regretting the lack of opportunities to wear fabulous scarves and jackets).

  14. Stephanie

    Hmm…I could have sworn that I left a comment this morning, but it seems to have disappeared! You look so pretty, K – love the yellow jacket and the rooftop meeting is so interesting!

  15. I avoid black and try to put in color every day too. I wore a sky blue wool winter coat this year and was complimented every single time I wore it and I chalk that down to being the one bright spot in a sea of black coats! My challenge in summer is I burn and really don’t like the sun at all so need lightweight styles that cover me effectively. Linen is my best friend! And as a side note, I use our aquarium water to water our plants. That fish poo is great stuff!

  16. English weather sounds like spring weather in Ontario. I was so happy when they briefly turned on the heat at work today as it was so cold inside. Still waiting for warm enough weather to go without pantyhose or wear short sleeves, but then I run to cold.

  17. This post reminds me of when we visited England a few years back. Our encounters with the English and the weather provided much humour for us. People were complaining about the heat and one chap actually said to us “I wish it would rain.” Being from Australia, we were thrilled with the average temperature of 32 degrees each day. On another occasion, while in Bali, we came across the extraordinary sight of the sun baking English, sitting on the beach in their underwear, with their clothes strewn about. We never, ever figured that one out.

    Lovely wardrobe!

  18. It definitely is all about the weather in the UK.
    We lived in Dorset in the early 90s, and being Australian, I was always a bit nonplussed when my work colleagues would spend their lunch breaks sunning themselves in their camisoles on the lawn in front of our offices on any sunny day possible, regardless of the ambient temperature.

    • Thank you for this observation Paola – it starts in school where we tuck our summer dresses into our knickers and rush out in break time to sit in the sunshine. It is the urgency that is so funny to outsiders, but as you have lived here you will understand how we worship the sun whereas the Australians can take it for granted.

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