Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Wardrobe Angel needs your hair care tips!

Wardrobe Angel reporting for duty. Aged 9. Strong hair game. 

In January I talked about giving my hair the chop. I'm going to renege on that chat and go long. Now, the only problem is that my hair literally looks like Brian May when it's down and after 4 years of GHD torture, my hair has inherited a halo of fuzz. At my niece's 1st birthday a couple of weeks ago there was much hilarity at some old pictures my sister Penny had unearthed of me basically feeling up trees and flowers in what can only be described as some pre-blogging pose premonition shots. Now the photos are here for you to laugh at but what I'm most interested in is my HAIR. Aged 9 it was awesome!!! Poker straight, amazing colour and in fab condition. My Dad implored me during my teenage years to "stop messing with yourself and leave your hair alone." Bloody hell, it really pains me to say this but Tom Roper was right. My hair now verges on black, which I don't mind, however it's the condition I am worried about - it ain't pretty. I love how my 9 year old hair is just flipped over on one side my head, all nonchalant and GLOWING. It is a cascade of hairy wonder!

No trees were harmed in the taking of these photos....

SO - join me on my hair restoration journey over the next few months as I try to reclaim my crowing glory. First up I'm booked to have a coconut oil treatment at my hair dressers next week. I've also been reading up on Hairburst and Hairfinity and googling what Kim K uses on her tresses (only washing it twice a week seems to be her top tip.) If you have any "get my hair back to aged 9 awesome" tips then please leave them in the comments below. This is what we're dealing with people, prepare for the halo....

This is a product free, halo heavy day. 

PS - if you look really closely at these pics you'll see my red nails - started young, eh?! AND I'm wearing a white denim skirt. I happen to have a Preen white denim skirt hanging in my wardrobe right now. Those style seeds were sown early!

Stay hair happy! Til next time... x

The Wardrobe Angel

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

How much discount do Teachers get this Easter?

So the Easter holidays are upon us! Rich and I spent last night listing our top 5 egg choices (the creme egg got my number 1 spot, despite my dairy intolerance!) During a school holiday period my mind always turns to teachers. My Mum was a teacher all her working life. I remember coming downstairs, stuck on a homework problem, to see her sat marking piles of books at 8pm at night. This happened on Sundays as well. And school holidays. A teacher friend texted me the other day with woes of having to re-apply for her teaching job along with the gift of her hours being cut! Notwithstanding the endless assessments and criteria check boxes she had to keep on doing on her students, bookending her teaching day, she was pretty pissed off. My sister-in-law, Janet, who so excellently writes over at Words That Can Only Be Your Own, left the teaching profession at Christmas for a myriad of reasons including stress. 

I have never wanted to be a teacher. At uni the careers officer told me that with an English degree it was either teaching or journalism. Journalism - ok, sounded great, Teaching? No. Way. A uni friend went into teaching because he didn't know what else to do. He trained, taught, then tanked it and went into physiotherapy. But it works the other way - my friend's brother went into banking out of uni, then turned to teaching later on and has found his calling. 

Half my friends are teachers, both parents were before they retired and a fair few clients hold the responsibility of stuffing information into tiny minds. So with the utmost respect for all those engaged in reaching Government targets whilst trying to get everyone to listen and the homework marked, this Easter 

I'm giving all teachers 10% off any Wardrobe Angel service. 

If you are a teacher and want to go back to work post-Easter rockin' and raring to go with a really awesome wardrobe to boot then drop me an email to with Teacher 10 in the subject line. 

Please share where you see fit. Thank you!

Stay wardrobe happy....til next time

The Wardrobe Angel

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Oxfam Decades of Vintage Fashion and Style #VintageFaceandStyle

The search is on at Oxfam for 4 lucky fashion bloggers to be the faces of four decades of fashion at their online shop. I’ve chosen to pitch my stylish tent in the 1980s; supposedly the decade fashion forgot. Notwithstanding mullets, the 80s have had their archives plundered for plenty of things over the years: peplums, jumpsuits and shoulder pads (yes, I’m looking at you Balmain).

I popped out in November 1980 and my love of the subsequent decade has never gone away. I've wrestled with 60s shift dresses whilst being mistaken for a pregnant woman on the tube, dismissed 70s flares and meekly attempted 90s grunge in the midst of growing an hourglass figure, but it's the shapes and textures of the 80s I keep revisiting: defined shoulders, double breasted power jackets, patent, high pointed stiletto heels and the odd raglan sleeve.

Vintage 1908s jumper and clutch, coat and shoes from Sue Ryder, Topshop Mom Jeans, Mikey earrings

For me as a stylist there’s no shame in loving the 80s; it was the decade which understood my figure for what it is. Fashion finally offered women tailoring that helped them get a sartorial foot up in a man’s world – Melanie Griffith epitomises this in the film Working Girl. And how can anyone forget Cindy and her tribe of Supers, giving us the gift of the original “strong not skinny” body type?

Oxfam, I’d love to be the face of the 80s; it’s time to set the record straight and let the 80s back into the fashion fold.  

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

#WeddingWednesday - What's in a Name?

Photo taken by Anna Hardy Photography

Thought I'd do a "what's happened since I tied the knot" blog post. Here are some key highlights:

  • I fallen more in love with Rich. 
  • Joyful weeping is still a 'thing'. 
  • I have started to have 'proper' weekends which means NO checking emails, no looking at or listing things on eBay. 
  • We plan tasty meals to cook and which adventures to take around our manor. I even have a note in my phone "buy sensible walking shoes." That's marital bliss right there.
  • I've become more house proud. As I type this there is a guy dousing the office and bedroom carpets with a hefty dose of chemicals to get them clean. I'm obsessed with cleaning the shower screen, we've put up a picture feature wall at the top of the stairs, not to mention the couple of hours we spent 'gardening' last weekend which involved digging up manky rhubarb that was the size and weight of a small child. With orange roots, weirdly.
  • Our wedding is going to be featured on Love My Dress. After asking guests not to put any photos of our wedding on social media I threw all my principles to the wind when this opportunity came a'callin. So here's another wedding pic for you to enjoy...
We used this shot for our 'thank you' cards
  • Long-term conversations have taken place - when to start a family, how we will balance that with me being self-employed. We've even nailed what to call our kids. 
And now for the meaty stuff. I have found changing my name really hard and I didn't expect this and it has thrown me. I happily signed our 1st set of Christmas cards post-wedding Mr & Mrs Brown - it was a fun 'hey look as us, we're married! This is still so original and new!' type thing. Receiving post addressed to Mrs Brown was a novelty at first but then I started to feel as if a stranger was living in the house. Ringing various companies up to change my name I received loads of congratulations from the opticians, the doctor, the dentist. But with each call I got a sinking feeling - I was giving up a piece of my past in exchange for a joint future. The people that I have my pension with require a strange amount of ID for me to change my name on their system so I gave up and left that as Miss Roper. Then I received a letter from them addressed to Miss Roper and I felt a little indignant but happy to see my old name still existed in some form. I was all "but I'm a Mrs now, I'm married, except I'm used to Roper so hoorah old buddy! my old friend! nice to see you! but oh, wait, I'm a Brown now and that is a little unknown and a bit scary so is there another option I can use for now? Mrs (Roper) Brown perhaps?"

I am still Stephanie Roper for work as The Wardrobe Angel and out of work I am Stephanie Brown so some might say I have the best of both worlds but I just don't see it as that 'neat' and boxed off. Calling into my parent's house the other week, my Dad greeted me by saying "Mrs Brown." I visibly palled. Honestly, I feel part of who I was has been ripped away. I never thought giving up my name would be so hard: that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, right? Well, no, because it's not just a name, it was 35 years of my identity. 

Do remember when a Snickers used to be a Marathon and when Star Burst used to be Opal Fruits (made to make your mouth water)? Both tasty confections went through a rename and came out the other side. I'm sure I'll get used to it, that this feeling of separation anxiety for Roper will reside and my residency as Mrs Brown will become the norm. Maybe it just takes a few more bits of post through the door and ordering everyone to call me Mrs Brown until it finally sinks in?

In the meantime, I'm off to raid the confectionery counter. 

Stay wardrobe happy...til next time x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Things I'm looking forward to in March...

I won't be going for this scrunchie tastic look when I hark back to the 80's...

  1. Eee by gum, I was a right tinker last month. Posting seldom and not to mention, late. This is due to lots of "behind the scenes stuff" with The Wardrobe Angel, like starting a subscription service for clients and ....drum roll...starting my own YouTube channel!! I spent loads of time in February learning about what camera to buy and which lighting to use, how long videos should be, plus lots of time practicing filming my crazy face and getting over the idea that my face will be there for people to watch, my words will be there for people to listen and the keyboards will be there to capture any comments on what I have to say
  2. My niece's first birthday. I have bought her a couple of super cute totally non-pink tops from COS. Ok, one of them has a pink pocket BUT they are mainly blue and white, and did I mention super cool?
  3. Easter. Cos EGGS. 
  4. Final stages of planning for our honeymoon. West coast of America here we come! It's a rucksack / travelling type holiday and my wardrobe preparations are well under way. 
  5. Entering an Oxfam Decades of Vintage Fashion and Style competition to be the the face of the 80's on their vintage clothing website. I know the 80's are supposedly the decade fashion forgot but my wardrobe just reeks of it and I bloomin love it. Apart from scrunchies. #VintageFaceandStyle ahoy!
  6. New sofa and rug arriving. For the past year Rich and I have had an assortment of largely uncomfortable seating in our lounge. Our current sofa is Rich's sofa bed which is padded with about 1mm of cushion. We also have a green chair which I love, but again, uncomfortable for anyone over 5,3"due to height ratios when sat. And then there's Rich's reading chair which is the most comfortable chair ever but can only hold 1 bum at a time. So we are awaiting the arrival of this Prussian blue velvet Bluebell beauty from YUM.

Maybe I'll film all my vlogs sitting atop this beauty...