Thursday, 27 November 2014

Time to Shine

Bling time! My favourite time of the year - the perfect excuse to twinkle and sparkle to our hearts content.  Once upon a time, this would be my cue to become cranky and tetchy as I thumbed my way through glossy magazine shots of strapless, backless, glittering LBDs.   Well no more!  There are ways and means of ensuring that we sparkle as much as the next gal; and let’s face it!  It’s December … you’d catch your death in those strapless, backless numbers!  (It’s official.  I’ve become my Mother)

The wonderful news is that having psoriasis doesn’t prevent you from wearing sequins.  In fact flakes glide off sequins in the most satisfying manner.  The one caveat however, is that as always, you must try on knitwear before buying.  Sequinned yarn can often be quite scratchy, so check the inside of each sweater. 

So on with the sequin show.  Starting with the bling factor for those occasions that most of us have at this time of year … drinks with the neighbours, lunch with the girls, a family gathering, a night out with friends.  Not necessarily occasions that demand full on glamour but at this time of year, it’s nice to make an effort.

For a definite addition of Christmas cheer, how about this Mixed Knit Sequin Bomber Jacket from Zara?  I saw a blonde-haired lady try this on recently and it was simply stunning.  So much so, I rushed to try it on also, but somehow the effect wasn’t quite as good with my darker hair.  (Clearly I am ignoring the styling in this picture)

However, this Sequin Embellished Trophy Jacket from Marks & Spencer could be the answer for the darker haired amongst us.  Either would be great teamed with jeans and a simple tee or white shirt.  Dress up with killer heels or keep muted with a Chelsea boot.
great party option for anyone with psoriasis

Zara have already styled this Sequinned Jacket with a laid back look, showing how easy it is to incorporate sequins into daywear.  It’s Christmas!  Why not?
ideal party wear for someone who wants to conceal psoriasis

To really crank up the glamour quotient, I love the idea of mixing knitwear and sequins.  Just picture any of these skirts teamed with a simple pale grey, cream or black (if scalp allows) cashmere round neck knit.  Add opaques and heels (maybe even over the knee boots?) … and that’s one very sophisticated, very festive and psoriasis-proof look!

great party skirt for anyone with psoraisis if worn with opaques

pair with opaques if you suffer from psoriasis

great party outfit for someone with psoriasis

However, if it’s full-on party glamour that you are craving, there are still options.  In this case, those of us living in Ireland are really winning as we have a secret weapon at our disposal; Folkster.  This store is a treasure trove of sequin delights (all year round) and is a one stop shop for all things gorgeous and glamorous.  (And the good news for those of you living elsewhere, Folkster ships all over the world.)

A party dress you say?  I give you the Sia Dress.  Just add opaques and heels
Ideal party dress for anyone with psoriasis

If you have an LBD, but are nervous about wearing such a dark colour, the addition of this Harlowe Jacket would ensure that all flaking would be disguised without diminishing the sparkle.
Ideal glitzy jacket or shrug for anyone with psoriasis

Next has also come up trumps here with this Dry Lake Silver Sequin Dress.  Ticks all the boxes!

Finally moving on to the Big Day itself; I’m always amused by magazine articles gushing about the Christmas Day dress.  If like me you find yourself in the role of Chief Cook & Bottle Washer each year, then heels and dresses are hardly suitable garb.  (Ok, if truth be told, I delegate the bottle-washing part.) However it is still nice to add a bit of festive cheer to the Chef’s hat, so here are a few tops that would work beautifully with some coated skinnies or if you’re lucky, some leather trousers.

Ideal top for wearing on Xmas Day if you suffer from psoriasis
And in a teal colour

great christmas day outfit for anyone with psoriasis

great dressy top for someone who has psoriasis on their arms
But if all you want to do is stick on your favourite jeans and a slouchy sweater, then how about adding some comfortable bling to your feet?  Just how cute are these White Sequin Detail Converse?

See?  There is quite simply no reason for you not to shine this Chrismas.
Finally, a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends & followers!   And to the lovely lady who stopped me in Heatons yesterday to tell me she loves my blog … a huge, huge thank you!  You seriously made my day.  (And praise the Lord I had my ‘face on’ and my hair straightened)

See you in a few days because we’ve lots more to discuss.   There’s the bling-free range of party wear … I have to tell you about my shopping trip to London with the #DressToImpress competition winner (Banana Republic needs to open in Ireland.  End of!) … and I even have a video of me talking about psoriasis for you all to laugh at my Irish accent watch.  ‘Til the weekend!


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wednesday Wish

Christmas, I hear you say?  Well then it’s clearly time to bring on the bling!  And in this season of giving, what could be better than some bling in the iconic blue box?

I was in Heathrow on Sunday night – in the new Terminal 5 (well, new to me that is) which is a gleaming homage to all things luxurious.  Mulberry, Gucci, Harrods … you name it!  Their store was there.  And in the midst of them all, sat Tiffany.  Lured as ever by the sparkle, I ventured in to have a little look.  At this!  The Olive Leaf Band Ring, which apparently symbolises peace and abundance.  It’s truly stunning – a piece that would look just as beautiful whether worn with jeans or a ball gown.  Psoriasis on your hands?  Honestly, if you were wearing this, nobody would notice.  Dear Santa ...


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wednesday Wish

I need a black handbag.  Properly need one.  And although I bought a Calvin Klein one during the summer, it was a mistake!  I just never warmed to it; so it will be going the way of eBay and I have resumed my search.  (In the interim I have been reduced to carrying a bag from Parfois – not a brand that belongs on the Wednesday Wish!  Ye Gods, this post is begining to scream #firstworldproblems)

Some time ago, I spotted this little Furla number in the airport Duty Free.  Of course I didn’t buy it at the time (will I ever learn?), but since then it has hovered at the back of my mind.  I think this could be the one!  I love the slouchy hobo shape and I can vouch for the fact that the leather is gorgeous.  Black bags are tricky!  They can so often look dull and boring.  But this?  Well, this ticks all the boxes for me.  Roll on Christmas sales J

Furla Montmartre Hobo


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Psoriasis ... & Other Stories

You know how people say that pets often take on the looks of their owners?  Or is it vice versa?  I sometimes wonder if psoriasis can take on the traits of the person it has afflicted.  I am stubborn; not known to yield easily once I’ve taken a notion; and it looks like my psoriasis shares that trait.  Because sadly, I have once again hit a wall on the road to clear skin.  The second systemic medication has failed and now I’m hoping that the third really is a charm.

At this stage I think I’ve tried almost every type of treatment available for psoriasis.  From topical creams through to biologics, I’ve ‘been there, bought the tee-shirt’ (but the long-sleeved version obviously <winks>).  For my next foray into the unpredictable world of systemic treatments, I decided to throw caution to the wind and signed up for a drug trial.  OK, that sounds way more dramatic than the reality.  The drug in question is being licenced in January and will be on the market next year.   I’m not really being that much of a courageous pioneer!

In preparation for this trial, there were a hundred and one different tests and screenings to be done, but more difficult is the fact that for four weeks, all traces of previous treatments, including steroid creams, had to leave my system.  So, for the past  four weeks the only ‘treatments’ at my disposal have been non-medicated moisturisers and the old faithful staples of Silcocks Base and Emulsifying Ointment.  It has Not Been Fun.  Roll on next week, when I finally get to start.

But hell!  There is no greater truth than ‘When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping’!   I was in London last week for some meetings and truly greater love hath no blogger for her readers, than she go to & Other Stories in the name of blogging research!  I have to concede that by the time I got to Regent St, I was somewhat cranky, sore and tired, so it was a pretty quick scout around the store.  I did however get to try on a few pieces. 

First up was the texture knit sweater that I mentioned last week.  Sweet Divine Mother of God.  I actually snorted with laughter.  Have you ever in your life seen anything so absolutely vile?  Feel free to snigger to your heart’s content!
The model ...

Me ...

Then I tried on this metallic merino wool sweater, seduced as ever by the hint of sparkle.  I managed to keep it on long enough to take a picture, but trust me, if you have psoriasis, this isn’t the sweater for you.  Itch Central.

This rib knit cardigan caught my eye because coatigans seem to be all the rage this season.  And I do like a nice coatigan.  But it was a bit ‘meh’.  Actually, I think it was the lack of pockets that turned me off.  I kept shoving my hands into the seams where pockets should be and I know that this would have driven me demented eventually.  Texture-wise however, it was fine and didn’t irritate my skin at all. 

But then!  Then I put on this psychedelic print blouse and I’m not lying when I say I actually sighed with happiness.  Because the fabric was so light and because it glided so easily over my torso.  Nothing digging in.  Nothing to irritate.  Just gentle material floating around skin that is dry and sore and inflamed.  This, my friends is without doubt, the most perfect shirt I have ever, ever tried on in all my sixteen years with psoriasis. 


Obviously I bought it!  And the great hope is that when the skin clears (because it will, I’m still sure of it!), my feet will be cured, I will join a gym, become trim and svelte (God, sometimes I really make myself laugh!) and then I will also be able to wear it like this ...

So fellow Flakies ... trust me with this one.  If you're suffering from a flare up (and so many seem to be right now) you deserve a treat like this.  And at less than £40, it won't break the bank.  And no!  I'm not being paid by & Other Stories to rave about this shirt.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with the usual Wish, but then next weekend I will be back in London again.  I’m really excited as this is the trip where I get to go shopping with the prizewinner of the Exorex #DressToImpress competition.  Needless to say, there will be a full report.   In the meantime, have a good week.