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Thursday, 26 November 2015

On two counts today.  Firstly, Black Friday.  GAH.  Seriously, why?  Well, we all know why.  Buy buy buy is the main idea.  

And it's so hard not to get totally baffled by it.  Tomorrow I will be back with my "how to survive Black Friday guide", but for the moment, I have another "issue" to contend with.

It's the thorny issue of a black coat.  I may have mentioned that I think this is a really hard item to find.  So many of them just look meh.

I have one.  And it's not even a coat, it's a cardigan really.  

But in the Spring/Summer/Autumn, I live in my black blazers.  I have two, one which is more fitted and one which is on the oversized side and I cannot get enough of them. 

And, as if by magic, it suddenly struck me, that's what I need - a winter version of a black blazer.  The criteria is exceptionally simple, it needs to be tailored, it needs to be sleek, it needs to be a longer version of a blazer, not too thin but not too thick.

How hard can that be?  Oh my lord, I am so confused.  This should be easy but once you start looking at them, they all merge into one. 

Let's start.  And firstly, 20% off EVERYTHING at ASOS with the code CYBER.  Go forth and shop.

ASOS Ultimate Slim Coat in Tall £50  This has two buttons.. and I think I only wanted one.  Plus is it more coat than longline blazer?  Can you see what direction this is heading in?

We have one button at Zara (clearly zip all reduction from them.  OMG I lie - 20% off outwear, jumpers, cardigans, tees and boots.  Back online at 10pm tonight) and I love the look of the fabric but a) it doesn't look fitted enough on the shoulders for me and b) it's too oversized.  Fitted is the key here.  Well - at least vaguely tailored.   But I am a big fan of Zara online styling (I appreciate this is marmite for many).

Hand made Coat from Zara £79.99

Lovely and fitted but this time, too many buttons.  I am changing my name to Goldilocks.

Miss Selfridge Classic Black Coat £70

Now I have to say I love this and usually I'd love the alternative fabric on the lapel.  But knowing my predilection for pleather/coated/leather jeans this season, I fear it may look like a bad suit when worn as an outfit.  Which is a shame as otherwise it hits the mark. 

PU Collar Slim Fit Coat from Topshop £95

Fitted with texture now - the shape is definitely along the right lines.  But I'm not sure about the texture personally... I love it, don't get me wrong, but I'm looking for a winter blazer and not a winter coat (clear as mud there, I appreciate).  And of course there's the button thingy...

Selected Femme SFGRY Classic Coat in black £140

This one is hitting a lot of the right points.  But it looks like it's a but unusual on the fit.. too short in the body for her?  At 5ft10, I can't see it's going to be any better on me.  It just looks too small for her.  BOO.

MAX&Co Docile Coat £230 

Classic Coat in Black from Gant £295  But has this one again got too many buttons?  Does it turn it into a coat? (well clearly, it is a coat. Duh.)  Buttongate again.

Now this one doesn't have enough buttons.  I should just give up, shouldn't I?!

Sesto Wool Blend Coat from Reiss £295 BUT from Selfridges so use SELFCEE for 20% off.

So on talking to The Husband about this (he does actually have an interest.  Well, he doesn't but he does try and loves it when I ask for advice.  To be fair, he's normally a winner when it comes to coats), he suggested I was looking for a Crombie.  Good thinking Batman. 

I suggested this.  He regretted getting involved. 

Wool Cashmere Crombie Coat from Jaeger £399  With 25% off (to be honest, I would possibly be looking for more than this...) GRAZIA25.

The other thing you shouldn't do when looking for a coat is throw yourself upon the mercy of google.  Because if you just put in "long blazer" you may find the perfect item.  By Versace.  Actually it's not even Versace Versace, it's diffusion Versace which means I wouldn't have to sell a child or a kidney.  Merely eat beans for two months.  Which is tempting.  There is 20% off though if it's your first order (6WTKT at checkout), which would mean maybe beans for a month and a half.  What's a bit of extra methane between friends?

Versace Collection long blazer in black £635 I even have these boots (well, I have the Zara version...)

Also found this one, although handily, I think (know) it's too oversized for what I'm looking for.  Definitely after a fitted one.

Joseph Oversized Man Coat  £565 - again from Very so again, 20% off.  Plus you do have the option of spreading the payment over three months.  Ideal for budgeting if you do want to buy an investment piece. 

However I have found exactly what I want... in navy.  Pah.  However I MUST be able to find something that I love at All Saints as I am determined to take advantage of the 30% off this weekend with the code CYBER.  (pretty darn good reduction compared to most)

Isara Coat in Ink from All Saints £358

And again - All Saints have hit the exact nail on the head for me, the silhouettes are exactly what I had in mind.  But again - IN NAVY.  Boo schmoo.  There is black again on the collar.. but it's not enough.  I really wanted black. 

Vita Vine Coat in ink/black £298 from All Saints pre discount (check out those boots.  Swoon.  Swoon swoon swoon. *do not need, do not need, do not need*)

So, just in case you do want to start shopping before the weekend - just to recap:-

ASOS - 20% off - CYBER
All Saints - 30% off - CYBER
Selfridges - 20% off - SELFCCE
Finery - 30% off everything - discount applied at checkout
Atterley Road - 20% off full price items - SKIM20
Boden - 30% off - 3Y7L or 7H9S
Kurt Geiger - 20% off - no code needed
Clarks - 20% off full price adults - BELIEVE

And an extra 10% off at Black (where I got my wrist warmers, scarf and hat from and can't recommend highly enough.) with the code DMB10 from 27-30 Nov.  They are offering 20% off 500 items.

I'll definitely be back with some suggestions for how to not buy everything (she says optimistically..) and can report back on my lovely morning spent in the Me+Em store in London.  I may also have "popped" into Selfridges... (Nutella jars scored *punches air & then realises how much of a rip off they are and punches self in face*).


White layering top - Me+Em
Navy merino jumper - Uniqlo
Navy cropped cigarette pants - Me+Em
Stan Smiths - adidas

Really looking forward to tomorrow morning in Earlsfield with the lovely Ann Lou of London.  Will come back armed with lots of Christmas present ideas for sure.

So what do you have your eye on for Black Friday?  Do you have a cunning plan?  Is your name Baldrick?

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Cross body time

Is this a cheeky post that hopefully The Husband will see if he's in any need at all of present inspiration?  


It is also the ideal small bag for all ages - seriously, my 11yr old would love any of these (hopefully she'll be super happy with a Superdry version... being 11 and all that) - and I don't know anyone who wouldn't make good use of one of these. 

So whether you're looking to treat yourself, looking for inspiration for your Christmas list or still have lucky female relatives to buy for, I am sure you will find some ideas here that float your boat. 

First up, we're looking top end.  And LK Bennett.  Now I had seen some fabulous monogrammed versions of these from the uber fashion glitterrati (NFI'd here) and thought - oh hello, they are slightly more than marvellous, what a great idea. 

Can you buy them?  Can you heck as like.  You can enter a competition to win one (worth a shot) but how easy would it be to sell the stickers to monogram them yourself?  I'm not saying that a certain lady called Anya who may or may not have the surname Hindmarch may have already come up with this idea but I'm not sure you can copywright sticker initials?  

I appreciate these aren't going to be for everyone....

And lots of you will probably prefer the plain versions.  There is something slightly more grown up about them, I'll give you that.

25% off voucher flying around with Grazia which makes it a good idea to buy now as opposed to waiting to just before Christmas... GRW25

Mariel Grey Saffiano Crossbody bag £145 - I know this isn't cheap but I actually don't think it's too bad a price for LK Bennet..

Call off the dogs though - I have found the website that made the stickers and you can buy them on your own!  I have emailed them and waiting for info back.  Still waiting... but the contact info is on the link if you'd like to email them yourself. 

So as well as the grey - I am also loving their other colours.   Actually I'm not going to lie, you can keep the purple but the orange is fabulous. 

And obviously the black... 

Slightly larger with the Cathy Saffiano Leather cross body bag £175 also from LK Bennett and price pre discount.

Another option that can personalised and is just perfect for every occasion is The Cloud Bag from The Cambridge Satchel Company. 

Love this taupe colour - although they call it Walnut.  Which I can see.  £115  The Small Cloud Bag.

I do though also love The Small Patent Cloud Bag in Oxblood £115.  This isn't actually that small at 23cm in length I think.

But my heart still lies with the Soho Disco bag from Gucci £650 in Tabasco red.  This is from Selfridges where... drum roll... there is currently 20% off with the code SELFCCE.  However (of course there is obviously a "but") it's not off everything.  And "not everything" includes my beloved Gucci bag.  SOB.  But I may have a little look later, armed with a glass of gluwein.  Just because it's Wednesday.

However fear not - I have found some great alternatives which are slightly more budget friendly and we should not be forgetting the discount weekend of all discount weekends that is upon us imminently.  Black Friday.  I will be back with more info on this tomorrow (seeing as it starts on Thursday.  Obviously) 

But some bargains are already to be had and there is 20% off everything at Whistles.  Yes, EVERYTHING.  

Today though, we are looking at the bags from Whistles which are rather fabulous.

Conway Small Chain Pouch from Whistles was £115 now £88

This again isn't small small at all and is the perfect size for every day but not too big to take on a night out.  The chain, I think, adds to the versatility.

Also at Selfridges are these All Saints bags (hence you get your 20% off - I've tried it and it does work). 

Chain Cross Body Bag from All Saints in burgundy £128 pre discount (they also have this in black which is lovely and an edgy version of a classic) 

Another burgundy from Sandro now, which isn't exactly a bargain but the 20% off definitely makes it a lot lot more attractive.  Christmas present anyone?  I still love the double pouch jobs - which this is.  Or I could easily go a triple too...

Sandro Leather Cross body bag £175 pre discount at Selfridges  And I'm definitely coming round to this colour.  Perfect with navy.  Ideal with shades of red as well.

A black version (again the budget is getting blown here) from Marc Jacobs. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs Ligero Double Percy Cross Body Bag £220 pre discount at Selfridges.

And I have had to stop looking as I am definitely going the wrong way on the £££ scale.  

Finishing though with the bargain of the day for sure.

These from Gap are fantastic and and and... 40% off with the code GAP40UK.  No they're not leather but they work out to be a complete bargain.  (by the way - the 40% should work off everything.)

Mini crossbody bag from Gap £24.95 in modern red (their description not mine..)

Actually I think I may prefer the very berry one more.

And loads loads loads more colours online. 

So I have had to stop looking as I'm trying to get my head round all the possible bargains there may be coming up tomorrow or at the weekend.  Not to mention Cyber Monday.  All I do know is that if you want something, Do Not Procrastinate.  I waited for a certain jumper I have had my eye on... stayed up till 12.01 last night.  It had been in my basket at midnight BUT was sold out at 12.01am when I went to check out.  UTTER GITS.  Maybe it's not meant to be....

Finishing with outfit from today.

Cream cashmere boyfriend jumper - hush
Waxed porridge jeans - Boden
Khaki Alan cardigan - Acne Studio
Brown/khaki suede platform boots - Eileen Fisher
Dune monogram scarf - Louis Vuitton
Brown suede bag - Coccinelle

Tomorrow I am off to London to meet up with Me+Em at their Connaught Street shop which I am exceptionally excited and shall report back, having hopefully been able to try on a whole host of goodies.  It makes such a difference, I think, to be able to see what the clothes look like on a "normal" person who can give advice on sizing and length etc.  Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it! 

Plus it does happen to be round the corner from Selfridges...(I'm on a Nutella jar mission) Has anyone snagged anything in the Black Friday mayhem yet?  Any bargains we shouldn't miss that you fancy sharing?!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If you don't want ordinary....

... then I've got yet another suggestion for you.  Today we're again talking about an item that isn't mainstream.  The ideal addition to your wardrobe if you're bored of your usual run of the mill wardrobe.

Yesterday we had fur stoles.  The perfect antidote to a "dull" uniform of blacks, greys and navys with ne'er a print between them.  

But I appreciate that they're not going to be for everyone and so I have another gem to add to your wardrobe.  This definitely comes under the heading of "extra" to me.  Having said that - most of the ones I've found that I love are a neutral colour and so, to be honest, you will be able to get lots of wear out of them as they should go with the majority of your existing neutrals.  Plus, they're actually pretty versatile.  Perfect for the school run/dogwalk/weekend chilling or for in the evening with jeans and scrummy socks (aka slipper socks stolen from your children... not so scrummy chez moi but certainly warm).  And some of them would work really well for a Christmas lunch/drinks party/casual evening out with a pair of coated skinnies (I may have had to order an extra pair of the New Look ones as I'm wearing them so often I worry I'm going to wear them out.  They are seriously as comfortable as trackie pants).

This time we're letting our jumper do the talking.  No, not a print jumper, not even a logo jumper.  We're talking texture.  Fringing.  Tassel edging.  Call it what you will, it's a frilly addition to an otherwise simple piece of knitwear.

Starting with one that I have been ogling over at Topshop.  This is even more gorgeous in the flesh.

Soft Fringe Hem Jumper from Topshop £42

And a crew neck version - Topshop Textured Fringe Crew Jumper £45

Personally though I prefer the M&S one. 

Fringe Hem Jumper with Wool £38

Now if you are a size 8 - go and buy this immediately.  Absolute bargain.  I have this upstairs and am not entirely sure if I can justify keeping it.  I may well keep it after seeing this pic again though.  Love the idea of it layered over a shirt (outfit for the weekend sorted).

3/4 sleeve tassel jumper from Autograph at M&S was £45 now £18.99

Similar with front fringing at Banana Republic and I actually tried this on earlier in the season and loved it. 

Fringe-front pullover from Banana Republic £65  Rather loving this whole look.  More than a little bit... (oh look - they stole my layering idea.  And I might already have pants exceptionally similar to that...) 

The beginning of the two tone now. 

Spiritual Hippie Jumper with faux suede tassel detail £35

Cable and fringing now.. Fringe Cable Jumper at Topshop £46  All hail the 80s.  Or is more early 90s?

Starting to get slightly less mainstream now..

Fringed Cable Knit Sweater £110 from FCUK

Staring at Stars Boho Fringe Jumper from Urban Outfitters £56

Black and white again at New Look and for me, this is the most wearable amongst all of the more detailed fringe jumpers... It's almost a camo style monochrome (I appreciate that isn't probably "selling it" but I think it's rather lovely).

Black Premium Abstract Roll Neck Tassel Jumper £29.99

More monochrome at Banana Republic:-

Mixed-stitch fringe crew neck pullover £65

Wine now (although they say it's chocolate... hmm this is a berry wine shade to me) 

Pimkie Cable Knit Jumper with Fringing £29.99

Some colour now as well at Oasis. 

Oasis Fringe Detail Jumper £45

And finishing with a total ringer but I think this could really work.  Funnily enough, not massively surprising that it's been reduced and is still available in all sizes... It's not the most manly of jumpers I've ever seen.  But I do think this would be amazing on a lady.  Leather leggings + this = perfection.  Or for dress down days at home or into the Spring with boyfriend jeans and sneakers.  Tis also the perfect jumper for jeans and wellies and a waterproof on a long walk. 

ASOS Cable Knit Jumper was £36 now £27

So are you a member of the fringing brigade?  I do think sometimes, there are only so many days you can wear a plain jumper, especially with plain trews or jeans before the itch for detail takes over. 

Outfit from today.  And yes I did put wellies on to walk the dog in the woods (and a waterproof coat..!) 


Navy and white striped jumper - TKMaxx (can't even remember what brand but I know it's one of their own labels - cheating gits.)
Jeans with oversized turn ups - Zara
Stan Smiths - adidas
Beige and fuchsia camel scarf - Virginia Johnson
Trench coat - Banana Republic
Whiskey medium Marcie satchel - Chloe 

So tomorrow is truly the start of Christmas for me.  Seven year tradition now, decorating one of our local restaurants which is owned by good friends of ours.  A lovely lovely day (ruined marginally by school pick up...!).

Monday, 23 November 2015

It just takes one suggestion...

.... that you read and think hmm good idea.  And then ten seconds later - brain computes and suddenly, you can't live without it. 

Thank you Polly Vernon for your tip in Grazia this week which I bought for the train journey on Friday to London. 


 Until then, I had always been quite smug in my ability to live without a black biker jacket.  Completely fine.  I have looked at them longingly and often but have always just lived with my brown one (which I don't wear as often as I should).  However I then started thinking about how much I wore the very thin (and fabulously cheap at £24) pleather drape front black jacket that I bought from ASOS in the Summer, in the limited time that I have had it. 

And suddenly... hey presto.  THIS is what is missing from my wardrobe.  However before I go biker bonkers, a more cost effective solution may be to just look at the scarf aspect.  Especially if I can find one that means I will wear my brown biker jacket more.

Now you can go top end in these.  You can spend around £200 for Charlotte Simone ones - see Selfridges

Charlotte Simone Popsicle Fur Stole £175 

Charlotte Simone Candy Striped Cuff £150

But personally I wouldn't be spending that much.  Unless these are your perfect "I will wear everyday" Winter accessory or you have an unlimited budget, then I would bag a more reasonable option.  Which frankly, look exactly the same quality and are as unusual or as mainstream as you want to go.

Topshop are Kings of the Hill when it comes to these this year.  Clearly I am looking at these with one eye on my chocolate biker jacket (and maybe giving a "cursory" thought to a black one.. cue idea for a blog shortly).

Colourblock Pull-through Fur Scarf £32

Different shade - Colourblock Pull-through Fur Scarf £32

This one I adore (I am also going to have to see if I can find the jacket.. you can see where another blog is going, can't you?). 

Faux fur tonal stole from Topshop £28

Other options elsewhere and this is slightly different style but may work if you're looking for more of a scarf than a stole.

Jayley Skinny Faux Fur Scarf £30

Similar again but in different shades at River Island. 

River Island Chocolate Faux Fur Slot Through Scarf was £35 now £26

I love the breton end to this one (my description not theirs).  For me - if you generally keep your wardrobe plain with shades of navy, beige, cream and grey, then this is the perfect little bit of interest, at a great price, to make a real difference. 

Faux Fur Striped Pull-through fur scarf from Topshop £32

Black and white stripes at Florence & Fred at Tesco (this with a black leather jacket would be amazing.  I was going to say "fly" then but managed to give myself a good slap around the face and promise never to even contemplate saying it again...I will pour myself a gluwein shortly and all will be ok with the world again).

F&F Striped Scarf £20

More stripes again which would work in exactly the same way as above.  Just add a camel coat.  Or a navy one.. or a black one.  Or a leather jacket... hmmm.  How about a chocolate leather jacket.... (sold to the lady who hasn't shouted at her children all day in an attempt to not be such a grumpy mum.  Turns out I may be a better mum but I will be pickled by the end of the week as I now so need a small drink.  It's either that or chocolate and alas I don't like chocolate).

Stripe Faux Fur Scarf from Topshop £55

Slightly more unusual at M&S with an oversized patchwork scarf. 

Faux Fur Colour Block Scarf £79 by Lulu Kennedy for Indigo Collection at M&S

If we're talking way out - it has to be a leopard print one.  In for a penny, in for a pound..

Reiss Faux Fur Scarf £85

A more unusual "spruce" shade at hush 

Faux fur scarf £35 from hush (be quick if you want this as all their other fur scarves have sold out... clearly lots of people are more ahead of the game than me!)

Or you can recreate the "Australian Labradoodle" look in a scarf (and yes, I am obviously tempted) with a crimped version aka Mongolian Fur.

Premium Mongolian Fur from ASOS £75

A berry one in the sale from Warehouse. 

Warehouse Mongolian Fur Stole was £60 now £45

But if you're looking for a bargain and want a little extra (for yourself under the tree... 11yr old if you're reading then please, yes, Mummy would quite like one of these.  Pocket money is in your account.. or ask Daddy) then these are what I would head for first. 

Black Colour Block Faux Fur from New Look was £24.99 now £18.74  Actually - on reflection, this is the one with my name on it.  Chocolate leather jacket.  This.  DONE!

Another New Look bargain which looks easily as good as the Charlotte Simone faux fur ones if you ask me.  It all just depends on how you wear them in my book.

Black Colour Block Faux Fur Stole was £24.99 now £18.99  And this one is so perfect, I may be forced to buy a black leather jacket just to wear with it.  Actually it would look completely sublime with grey too.  Ok so two of these for less than the cost of most of the others - it would be rude not to.

I actually tried this one on last year and remember it was fantastic.  Really good quality for the price. 

Brown Oversized Faux Fur Collar £14.99 from New Look

And more bargains to be had at Dorothy Perkins - and varieties that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Black Ombre faux fur stole £18.99

Wine faux fur stole £18 also from Dorothy Perkins

So I have gone from not remotely needing one of these, to wanting about 4 of them.  And actually buying two of them.  Anyone else?!  I am sold with a capital S.  Thank you Polly.  (I think)

Outfit from last week - Thursday I think.  Forgot to feature it before now but these are leggings that I bought in the sale in the Summer which are hanging round my lady parts after 20 mins of having them on.  But they do look good (so long as I wear a LONG top with them...)  Comfortable they are not.


Navy cashmere dress - Whistles
Olive pleather leggings - Zara
Khaki Alan cardigan - Acne Studio
Brown/khaki suede ankle boots - Eileen Fisher
Brown suede bag - Coccinelle

And yesterday for a family party.  This was after a glass or two of champagne, last night.

If you're too pale for a v neck, why not wear it back to front?  And yes, I got the berry hush leggings as well.  These are comfort x a billion, genuine perfection in a pair of trousers.


Charcoal Adele Jumper - hush
Berry leather leggings - hush
Margot black suede & leather ankle boots - Sam Edelman (three years old - had forgotten how much I love them.  The Husband did ask why my 80's fancy dress boots had to come out of hibernation.  Tool.)

And for today - layers were the name of the game. 


Grey longline tee - hush
Mint Mohair jumper - Autograph at Marks & Spencers
Grey cashmere scarf - Black
Grey cashmere wrist warmers - Black
Black coated high waisted jeans - New Look
Black Angelica boots - Seven Boot Lane
Black Harker hands free bag - Anya Hindmarch

And finishing with info of an event I've been invited to on Friday morning in Earlsfield with the lovely jewellery company Anna Lou of London.  Would be lovely to see you there - details on how to get your invitation below. 

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What should I wear??!!  And do let me know if you're coming!