Friend Friday: Mrs Bossa in 10 Random Facts.

For this week’s Friend Friday, organised by the lovely Kate from Modly Chic, we were asked to give our readers ten facts about ourselves. Up to press I haven’t ‘given’ much of myself on Mrs Bossa Does the Do, so here I go – with bated breath… 

1) When I was 6 years old my main ambition was to be the youngest ever published author. I read the Garden Gang at the time, written by 7 year-old Jayne Fisher, and thought I could do better…! Years later I wrote a complete horror novel and a ‘humorous’ novel inspired by Trainspotting. Both awful, might I add.

Grace Grape was a bit sexy, wasn’t she?!
2) I have a shark phobia. Most people aren’t keen, I know, but my fear meant I couldn’t get in a bath for years…!

3) I’ve done a parachute jump. It was completely out of character – no-one was more surprised than me – but one of the best feelings EVER.

4) I can do the complete rap of ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ by Salt ‘n’ Pepa. No other comment necessary, I feel.

5) I used to do weekly dancing competitions. You know the type: fake tan, sequins, backcombed hair…it’s probably just as well I couldn’t find a photo. I was once in a team called ‘Primitive Desire’, where we wore tiger print and thongs. I was 11.

6) I adore Jewish music, particularly Klezmer (the frantic stuff people can’t help but dance to) and Sephardic/Ladino.

7) Last year I was an au pair. One of THE toughest jobs I’ve ever done – kudos to you mothers!! I will always love that child though – my maternal instinct has been on overdrive ever since.

8) I occasionally ‘tread the boards’, as the saying goes. I once even made it on to the cover of Amateur Stage!! What an irresistible taste of fame!

9) I can rarely listen to cello music without crying. I used to play, but not well enough to make people cry…

10) I am a total Lord of the Rings geek. I could talk about it for ages. This guy helped:

I’m not as bad as some, but I do know some Elvish phrases…What? Come back!!!


"Does Jaeger look better, or have I been with those women too long?"

Can you remember when Jaeger wasn’t quite so cool? 

When I was a child when my mother had a designer dress agency, and I associated the concept of ‘fashion’ with the glitzy women who shopped there. They wore off-the-shoulder batwing t-shirts in taupe and silver, had ash-blonde streaks in their hair, and wore bold earrings in gold and primary brights. (I should mention that it was the ’80s, when I regularly wore cycling shorts – we all lived and learnt, didn’t we?) I became aware of the name Jaeger around this time, and like most people came to imagine that their clothes were for stuffy, middle-aged women.

Since seeing their A/W 2010 collection, that theory has been throughly eradicated.

It’s no secret that Jaeger’s reputation has been on the up in recent times; particularly since the introduction of Boutique by Jaeger, by all accounts a great success with the younger customer. 
Take a look at these items, and see if you can understand the appeal…

There are some lovely touches: the toffee-coloured velvet on this classic dress; the leather lapels on the jacket.

I always feel elegant in a blouse, and the colour palette on this one gives it a touch of quirkiness. All you’d need with the dress is a pair of ankle boots.

Fans of velvet need look no further for their fix…

I love the subtlety of the lace in these trousers – and these shoes could almost give Camilla Skovgaard a run for her money.

See what I mean? Flattering ladylike dresses, beautiful silk blouses and some sleek tailoring. I wondered at first if it appeals just because I’m getting older – if I’m simply becoming more conservative. Maybe that’s true, to some extent. But whatever the cause, I have begun to crave clothes that make me feel comfortable and chic, and all these items appeal to that need. Most importantly, all the classic pieces have subtle touches that keep them just this side of fashionable…

What do you think? Have any labels made you rethink your opinions?

My need for tweed.

After my last Friend Friday post – and with a little encouragement from some helpful readers – I have decided to give some more outfit shots a try. I don’t know if my day-to-day wardrobe will hold up to daily scrutiny, so instead I’ll share with you two of my recent charity shop bargains. On me. And I’ve even included my head in some of them.

Oui Set silk shirt, tweed skirt, both from British Heart Foundation.
I love pussy bow blouses, but this is a more relaxed take:
I think I might be one of the palest people in the world…

So, with this silk and tweed combination, I feel I am well on my way to embracing the heritage chic I so love – and all for less than a fiver. May need to work on the hair though…

What autumn bargains have you discovered…?

4 Jeans-free Ways to Nail Weekend Chic.

So it’s 10am on Saturday morning. Monday to Friday, you’ve wowed them at the office with your unique yet professional style…but what now, at the weekend?

I read an article in Vogue last month by journalist Pippa Holt, who found it really difficult to dress casually; she loved her striking dresses and vintage one-offs, her heels and jewellery, and the whole idea of jeans-and-trainers dressing was an anathema to her. This struck a real chord with me.

My ‘style’ – if what I wear is as cohesive a concept as that – has changed over the last year. My wardrobe contains a quarter of the clothes it did last September, and inevitably fashion has provided me with a few new obsessions – pleated skirts, silk shirts and ankle boots, to name but a few. Somehow, though, I’m still trying to fit all this together; it’s a little like shaking a kaleidoscope until all the pieces fall into place. That’s the fun of fashion, no?

After my first big clearout, one of the initial difficulties – which I’m sure you can relate to – was how to dress for work. I reverted to my default all-black wardrobe, which, though easy, didn’t do much for my post-London mood. I was reluctant to dig out the leopard print skirts and patent green shoes for running around a library, thinking I should ‘keep them for weekend’ – a philosophy I blame my mother for! Eventually, though, I bit the bullet…and I feel all the better for it.

Jess Cartner-Morley inspired me to embrace some colour. Thanks, Jess.

Of course, that had a knock-on effect – I didn’t feel I could wear those clothes at weekend, ‘tainted’ as they were by work. Since I moved to Stockport, we’ve been a little isolated – not always fun, but it does mean you can live in your pyjamas outside of the working week – a comfy choice, but not a particularly creative one! Pippa Holt’s problems were solved by a canny purchase of a casual yet beautiful go-with-everything Céline trenchcoat; us less wealthy types do, I fear, have to take a slightly more prosaic approach…! So the way I saw it, I had to go one of two ways: get more dressed up at weekend (high maintenance) or BRAVE THE JEANS. 

Jeans, leggings, jeggings – all simple steps to casual chic – just don’t suit me; this weekend I wore my mid-calf black Zara skirt to bake a chocolate pudding, and felt ridiculously overdressed. (It also had the unfortunate effect of making me resemble a 50s housewife when armed with baking trays.) So, when having a scout around online, I was pleasantly surprised to see that trousers are strong on the high street, not just in Chloé. I’ve eulogised already about the Asos velvet harems, so here are some of my other high street favourites: streamlined and simple, with a luxurious feel…

Miss Selfridge
French Connection
American Apparel- they need sexier heels than this, though.

Sure, powder blue is a brave choice, but worn with a chic blazer and a fine knit t-shirt, I think I might just get away with it…

What about you? Are you a lucky jeans-wearer?
And can you offer some tips for simple weekend chic?

Friend Friday:Startin' blogs is hard to do

1. How has your blog changed over the months/years you’ve been blogging?
It’s only been 6 months, so it’s changed a lot in one sense, but in another way it hasn’t had time to change much. I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking how it looked, trying different kinds of posts, eg outfit shots, charity shop hauls, summaries of new high street collections, and it helps to do that, I think. I always think that when you’re being creative you have to be prepared to try things that don’t work, to enable you to find your way! I’m still working on that.

I can never resist a chance to show off my bargains. Especially when they look like this one.

2. What was one thing you did wrong in the beginning and how have you changed that?
Well it’s not that long ago, but one thing I have started doing is asking a question at the end of my posts. At first I was concerned with trying to give each post a punchy round-off, but I noticed an increase in comments when I actually solicited the opinion of my readers. It was a great tip!

3. When you visit a blog what’s the greatest turn off? The thing that makes you close the tab?
No one thing: if I feel it’s not my area of interest, if it’s hard to navigate or subscribe to, or if it’s just scan after scan from Vogue, which I’ve just read anyway; an odd one’s fine, but you need to break it up a bit!

4. How did you find your voice?
I don’t know if I have yet! I’ve found it difficult to decide how much of myself to ‘put in’. At first I didn’t feel comfortable putting pictures of myself on the blog either (partly because of self-consciousness, and partly because I wasn’t sure I could do it convincingly), but I have to admit that I find blogs more engaging if you get a glimpse of someone’s wardrobe or someone’s lifestyle. I think blogging calls for a different style of writing, to be honest, and it’s strange getting used to addressing someone and no-one at the same time. I always prefer the posts where I’ve gotten a little ‘whimsical’, though…

Outfit posts: I braved some eventually….

5. If you had three pieces of advice to give to a new blogger what would those be?
     1. ‘Be yourself’ is the classic one. But if you haven’t found your angle, be prepared to try things out until you feel comfortable.
     2…would be a great one that I recently read on Grit and Glamour: don’t feel you have to post every day. I know the content of mine suffered when I tried to write more frequently than I was comfortable with. Plus it then puts you under a certain amount of pressure – and this is supposed to be enjoyable.
     3. Set aside time to interact with other bloggers: engage with them through the posts of theirs you’ve enjoyed, giving helpful comments or ones that spark some kind of discussion. It does increase your traffic, of course, but it’s rewarding in a more social sense – I’ve ‘met’ some fabulous fun people via blogs, and ones who I respect and inspire me. Two of the many such ones would be Veshoevius of Taxonomy of My Wardrobe, and Penny Dreadful Vintage – their blogs are engaging, interesting and really well written. Shout out to you two!

How about you? How did you find your voice? And what are your turn-offs?
(see what I did there with the closing questions?!)