7.6.10

lit chic



Betsan, from Caemarthan, at the Hay Festival on Saturday.



The event is so fabulous: picture the energy and buzz of a great music festival, but with people of all ages co-existing in peaceful harmony. It's positively Utopian. The town itself is totally charming: the Used Book Capital of the World. But then, outside the village, is a new, virtual village that springs up, for a brief time each year, complete with floral gardens to rival the Chelsea flower show. Smack in the middle of a farmer's field. And then, inside tents, instead of catwalk shows, you get these amazing talks with the best writers and personalities of our time. Ranging in price from free, to up to £8, tops.

It's a Woodstock of the mind. Glastonbury, only more quiet. With a touch of fashion week thrown in.



Last year, it seemed, everyone wore black. This year, it was all girly florals, and/or peachy pinks and reds.



Have you ever felt like you've worn the wrong thing to an event? I, too, had planned to wear something really sweet and floral. Instead, in a moment of style insanity, I paired a big baggy masculine top - my Zara breton top which was so 'right' in recent weeks - with big baggy masculine H&M nude shorts (which look great with something more fitted on top).

Baggy top + baggy bottom + stick legs = Total Glamour Don't.

Where did it all go so wrong for me, stylistically?



It all started out so nicely. Mr. Dot woke me @ 6:30 Saturday morning, to leave London @ 8:30 to arrive @ noon @ his parents' house in the countryside, lunch with his dad at a lovely pub nearby while his mum went to a wedding, then go to events @ the Hay Festival starting @ 2:30.




Knowing we were only gone one night, I figured I'd post, shower, throw a few things in the bag, and off we'd go. But, due to bad time management I left my self 20 minutes to shower, with five minutes to dress and pack.



Panicked, I threw everything in a bag, and as we drove away, realised I'd packed three pair of short shorts, about 17 pair of underwear, four flowery dresses, but no tights, leggings, or trousers. Luckily the weather was gorgeous: a bit too hot at times, and later, some welcome summery pre-storm clouds that never actually turned to rain.



It's rare that I let my outfit 'ruin' my day, and this weekend was so absolutely, magically perfect in every way, (lunch with his father was divine: what is better than local English asparagus, in spring, in a country pub?) that it only made a small dent in my being able to be 'present'. Because, in the end, that's all that really matters: being happy, here, now, with whatever conditions life throws at you. It was good for me, actually, to feel so unstylish: I became invisible. It allowed me to 'street stalk' to my heart's content, and appreciate the different ways that other women got it so right.





I've been trying to think of another time I can remember getting it so horribly wrong. Have you had that experience? The closest I can come to the feeling was Bridget Jones when she wore that Playboy bunny costume to her parents' friends' party. Altho, frankly, it wasn't really that bad. And besides, come Sunday, I was back in my favourite floral dress, feeling at one with the world.

18 comments:

Caryn said...

I'm sure you still looked great Jill. Love your photos. Glad you enjoyed the festival.

The strange name that eventually makes sense. said...

ahh once again outstanding photography... great to look at on a rainy/sad day. :)

rebecca said...

Ahh, I wish I'd been there! I've wanted to go to the hay festival since I was little (:
I'm sure you looked lovely! You're just exaggerating :p

http://itscohen.blogspot.com/

the style crusader said...

oh i LOVE these photos! oh my gosh. when i told fred about this story (you wearing something that made you unhappy) he just looked at me like 'that is so you!' it is sooo me. one year we were in sweden in the summer and his parents got us tickets to go to the opera in stockholm. i brought this dress in my bag to change into (because i just wanted to wear jeans during the day) and then i realized i just hated the dress, couldn't wear it, and i couldn't wear the jeans either. it was chaos for about an hour while i stomped around shops in stockholm feeing miserable... and then finally realizing i was acting like a nutcase and it so did not matter what i wore. fred was so perfect though and didn't even mind. so yes, i definitely get that way sometime.

my favourite outfits from this selection are the 1st and the 2nd from the bottom. that open back on that dress is insanely gorgeous! i've seen one at UO recently similar to that but don't know what i'd do about the bra situation. it looks so insanely gorgeous though! xx

polka dot said...

haha! 'the bra situation': i got lots o' shots of the backs of bras - lots of open back dresses. women got really creative with the bras, too: lots of black peeking thru light dresses, or a contrasting colour... kind of underwear as outerwear, worn under outerwear. with a twist.

i loved your stockholm opera story. there must be something wrong with me that i find comfort in other people's disaster stories.

rebecca: you've got to go! i forgot to say: they now have a tent village, too: just across the river, a five minute walk across a bridge. it's cheap as chips, the whole thing. festivals cost sooo much more.

strange name... sweet caryn.. thank you! xo

Roz said...

I so wish we could have got to Hay festival, but my parents have promised we will attend next year! Hay is beautiful all year round, but your pictures and wonderful writing make it sound so perfect during the festival. I think I might try and just generally visit it during the summer. That floral dress with the open back detail is great, and I can definitely see the trend emerging!

Oh & did you get my email?

http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

BRUNCH UNDER THE SUN said...

I love your photos, I would like to feel the summer in London, and not cold like here!!!

Some Style... said...

oh, yes all the time kinda! either i am to dressy or to un-dressy! hehe or i am too cold or i am too warm! looks like you had a great time afterall!

Style Odyssey said...

you could not have possibly looked that bad. we all know that feeling, though. if we're confident in our own skin, a fashion misstep won't unravel us. :)
lovely floral ensembles on these english roses! assumably most of the women here are english...it's the perfect combination, plus summertime outdoor festivities- heaven!

TheKiwiBex said...

I love the open-backed blue dress too, but sadly braless is just not an option for me...sigh.

Juliana Noronha said...

im from brazil, and i love your blog!!! xoxo

Platform Princess said...

Jill these shots are great! I'm loving the first girls glasses- very Katy Perry. The girl in the wool jumper's hair, the open back blue dress, the brocade flower dress... it's endless.

xo

Susan said...

great photos- as always!
xoxo

franki said...

One of my best friends had a spur of the moment birthday party and told me she wanted everyone to get really dressed up. Being a faithful friend I turned up in a super glam dress and heels only to find that everybody else had gone down the more dressy/casual route. Even the birthday girl had decided to tone it down! (Clearly I didn't get the memo...) It turned into even more of a Bridget Jones moment when I spotted a friend (who happens to be a model) looking crazy beautiful in a simple pair of skinny jeans and a leather jacket - she just looked me up and down and gave me a really sympathetic (or pitying) smile. CRINGE!
I guess this stuff is supposed to make us stronger... xxx

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where that cut-out back blue dress is from? I've been wanting one like it forever!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Where is that blue dress from? I LOVE it...

Kazuko said...

oh, that reminds me of that pool party i was going to with friends (all guys). they had been to one of those parties before, so i asked them what i should wear. they said: "nothing special, it's a pool party - just wear a bikini, throw on your shorts, flipflops, take a towel and there you go." so i did and i was horrified when we got there and the place was full of beautiful people wearing sequinned kaftans, mini fringe dresses, high heels etc. and i didn't even wear make-up :(

London 1 said...

Where is that dress from?