NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 STYLE FINALIST BiB 2014 STYLE

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sporting the dressing gown look.

Warts and all.  So as promised, I have returned from trying on and I have good new and bad news.  

Starting perhaps with the 9yr old's comment on me trying the very first one on - Jaeger I apologise, you got the brunt of it. 

"Mummy, it just looks like a dressing gown".  Out of the mouths of babes.  She had no idea that that was also my concern too.  A rather large concern if I'm honest and yes, we were all right to be worried. 

There are ishoos with these coats that's for certain.  Don't thank me all at once but I have done a swift round up of them with pics, including of me looking less than svelte and the 9yr old shaking her head in pity. 

Let's crack on (as there is good news at the end - it's not all doom and gloom) and start with one that is bad for me BUT it would be fabulous for those of a more petite build.  The dimensions of the coat are just made for shorter people, there's no other way to say it. 

Here's how it looks on me.  Just not enough fabric - it's just too mean looking for someone as big as me.  Or to be fair, that may be my interpretation of it, I think I was looking for something a bit more statement. 

To be fair, it doesn't look so bad undone but this was a Large..... Very short on the sleeves.  And the most random thing was the belt didn't seem to have any loops to go through.  This could of course have been me being a muppet.  High chance.

Jaeger Double-faced coat in black £399

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But done up - you can't quite see the full elastic band round a rolled up sleeping bag effect but it wasn't flattering to say the least. 

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And how it should look:-



However, I also spied this one which is also Jaeger and obviously more expensive - ouch - but it's a gazillion times better in my opinion.  For a start the belt actually attaches to the coat.  And I can't find it online for love nor money.  I swear it said it was reversible (which was quite random as it looked to be the same on the inside as on the out so why you'd want to reverse it I have no idea).  And I'm sure it was Jaeger (maybe not quite so sure now though... ) I do know that alas it was £450.  But oh my lord it was gorgeous. 

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And Lesson One I learnt from the day was - the bigger the lapel, the more flattering the coat when done up - it gives more shape if you're thick of middle (just to make me sound really attractive) as it creates the illusion of shape.  When I am actually a tube.


More success again at Mango.  This was the one that had the most positive feedback from the original blog and these are definitely worth looking at.  They're lined and of a sturdier build than the much more expensive and thinner Jaeger ones which are very similar looking (the black one at the top - not the grey one). 

Randomly - the thicker the fabric, again, the more flattering it was belted.  I think because it gives more structure as opposed to just clinging and highlighting the layers you're wearing underneath and those lumps and bumps (muffintastic) that most of us have.  This was also a better fit for me and would be even and would work for most heights as the difference in sizing is huge. 

I'm trying on a large here - the medium and small are much much smaller. (well, as they would be but smaller all over as opposed to just being smaller in width, if that makes remote sense?)  

They only had it in this colourway. 

Mango Lapels Wool Coat £119.99

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And how it should look:-


My faves are the camel and they grey though - swoon, but alas they didn't have in store.

What they did have in the camel though and again, I spied quite a few of this - more food for thought and definitely another trend to explore, was a cardigan version. 

Now, this is where I can see how you draw the line between coat and dressing gown.  The thicker the fabric and a lining will move you straight into coat category.  Unlined and a thinner fabric leaves you hovering perilously close to dressing gown territory. 

Undone - again, not too bad at all for a cardie.  And a bargain for less than £30.  In other colours as well.

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This is cemented in stone when you do it up.  Oh hello muffin - let me highlight you for all the world to see.  Now admittedly I do have a (very thin silk) jacket on here and so it's probably more bitty underneath that normal but that doesn't get away from the fact it's just vile.  And it looks like a dressing gown.

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Also found one at Next which I preferred with the collar - although I it did remind me of the waterfall cardigans from four or five years ago.  However a bang up to date version - lovely texture and shade and really not too bad undone.  


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Done up on the otherhand - there are no words.  I thought perchance it may be slightly more flattering if I didn't layer one side over the other.  I think we can safely say the answer is no.

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Perhaps not so coincidentally there aren't any pics online of it done up on a model.... that may just be my wishful thinking...


But here we end with some good news.  Good news in that I have found one I LOVE.  Bad news for my credit card.  And bad news for the October ban which I had been considering as, come Monday (12.01am) I am ordering this baby.  I love it.  I am totally ignoring the fact that it's from Zara so the quality will be iffy.  I aim to wear this to death and if it bobbles, then I shall be taking it back (I should have taken the coat back but I loved it so much and it had sold out....). 

At the mo though, I have to say, I think it's up there with the £450 Jaeger one (ish)

This really would work better on someone tall - anyone that much shorter, it would come to mid calf and you would definitely be sporting the *just out of the shower* look.


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Their pic:-




I've also been pointed in the direction of some others, thank you to some lovely readers who mentioned these.  This looks like a sturdier fabric again which, in my experience as seen above..., means a better fit.  Plus there are belt hooks thank good - which makes a lot of sense.  This also looks like a more heavyweight fabric and I believe it's lined, which, I've discovered, makes it more flattering when done up.  And warmer of course. 

Carla Wrap Coat from Great Plains £140




They also do it in a Whisper White Jacket Version £100


And there we have my roundup of all things dressing gownesque.  Here's the outfit I wore with the coats over - as you can see it is a jacket but it's very thin - however if it worked over this, it would work over anything.
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Off white vest - Cos

Straight leg jeans turned up - Zara
Silk scarf print jacket - Zara
Stone necklace - Anthropologie
Tan belt - Primark
Tan bag - Prada

Whilst we're on the subject of warts and all, here is my pic from the other day - a great photo of how totally pants my hair looks if I just let it dry naturally.  The reason why the Babyliss Big Hair is my total saviour.  Which is now on sale at FeelUnique for just £40.50!   Honestly life changing, I promise you. 

As you can see, not so glam with all the frizz (and let's not even mention my roots.  Oh how I can't WAIT for a couple of hours to myself - Daniel J my beloved hairdresser, I am coming to see you as soon as humanly possible)

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Silk vintage tunic - Monsoon
Straight legs turned up - Rock & Republic
Thong sandals - Zara 

Phew - this post has been a labour of love so I hope it's helpful!  I have been totally consumed the last couple of days with children - oodles and oodles of them both mine and others, playdates, sleepovers, school shoe shopping, Five Guys trips, Tapas, you name it, I've done it.  Well it feels like it anyway......  Back to a classic top for tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Have I found my perfect evening shoe already?

I'm thinking no I can't have, as it's August and I have only just started thinking about evening shoes for Winter (well, sort of....)   No in all seriousness, I have just started thinking about donning tights and starting the eternal quest for shoes that you can wear with dresses for nights out that don't make you look like you're going to work or a wedding. 

And (obviously they have to be multi functional....  err hello) that will go with jeans and coated skinnies, dare I say leather trews and do everything bar make tea.  (oh and midi skirts, I forgot my new found love of the midi - the one I have that is)

If I say I've been looking for years and have yet to really find any, then the chances of me having stumbled across a pair by accident isn't high. 

Actually to be fair - I do have a pair of amazing shoe boots from Zara that are now coming up to 5 years old but and it's a big but, the heels are vertiginous.  I almost get a nose bleed when wearing them, they are taxi shoes to say the least.  So as perfect as they seemingly may be and I have worn them to death over the last four years as I have found bob all else to fit the bill, they're not perfect.

And I've been on the hunt for years and found none.  Either too high or too bulky or two frumpy or too just plain old wrong diddly. 

I had in my head (amongst a whole load of other tripe) that I'd love a pair of Aquazzuras.  Which are ridiculously expensive and even then aren't perfect so that was never going to happen. 

This is the sort of thing that I thought I had in mind. 

Sexy Thing Suede Ankle Boots from Aquazzura £465


 Look how fab with a midi ish skirt - can you see where I was going with these?



Or even more preferable but I couldn't even find them in black (admittedly it was a half hearted search at nearly £500....), would be the Belgravias.

Aquazzura Belgravia sandals £495



And to be honest, I hadn't done much else about it.  But shopping today with the 9yr old (school shoes done - Clarks, hats off, you were amazing.  I reckon less than 10 mins in and out, everyone happy, shoes bought and Superdry School bag done - bought by herself with saved up pocket money.  Can't think where she gets it from), we happened to see these in the window of Nine West. 

Be still my beating heart. 

Nine West Jaiden in black ponyskin £125


And here they are.  These were the last ones left in my size and looking at this pic I am totally and utterly kicking myself for not having bought them. DAMN THIS SHOPPING BAN.  

They are the perfect heel height for every day and for being able to stand up all night.  Not too high and not too low.  But, as the lovely SA agreed - they look like high heels.  What on earth is there not to love about them.  AND they're not that expensive.  Ok so they're not cheap but when you think how versatile they could be, they're really not too bad at all. 

Dare I say - dare I say I actually prefer them to the Aquazzuras?  


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Alternatively there are the flat Aquazurra options which are the fashionistas favourite (no, these haven't quite reached the home counties yet - don't know about where you are?) and fortunately I can't indulge as a) they've sold out more than a sold out thing and b) I have my Hobbs Delphine shoes which aren't the same but are too similar. 


And thanks to lovely Alex at The Frugality I've seen these at New Look which are an amazing tribute/absolute rip off of the Belgravias.  Alas they have nothing similar in a heel at all.  BOO.




Still have to do a trawl of the High Street to see what other options we have as I clearly can't have peaked so early...... And I can't even believe I'm thinking of tights already.  I was a Brownie - always be prepared.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. 

So I also got to do a good old try on of the wrap coats/dressing gowns that I featured yesterday.  All will be revealed tomorrow. 

Glorious to see the sunshine back - making the most of being able to wear my espadrilles which I have been so so so pleased with. 

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Silky vest - Cos
Silk Scarf jacket - Zara
Straight leg distressed jeans turned up - Zara
Champagne and silver espadrilles - Penelope Chilvers 
Tan bag - Prada
Stone necklace - Anthropologie 

Tomorrow I am dog sitting for one of my best friends.  This will be interesting to say the least.......

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nightwear you can leave the house in.

Because if Jaeger sell it - the epitome (to me anyway in my former city working days) of grown up chic - then it can definitely be classed as proper outer wear.  Actually to be fair, it was Joseph who first ignited my love of all things that look like dressing gowns.  

And that's what we're talking about today - the dressing gown that's a coat. 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, rather than me yabbering on and not describing it remotely accurately, here's a pic. 

Joseph Double Cashmere Lisa Coat £695 



Yes, in a moment of delirium earlier, I did actually contemplate changing my name to Lisa just so I could justify a coat purchase. 

But fear not.  That ludicrous idea needn't happen as I have come across more than one that are a ton cheaper.  I'm sure they're not going to be as fabulous quality and a couple of my very good friends have the above coat in black and I'll be honest, it has more than lasted the test of time and still looks fabulous on both of them. 

We can in fact blame Angelina Jolie for this blog.  Random I appreciate but in my infinite wisdom I decided not to send the two boys to football camp this morning and thought that the cinema would be a better idea, taking the 7yr old's best friend as well.  And as riveting as Maleficent was, I couldn't help but think about my new leather midi skirt and what coat would work with it for the A/W (I know I know but the adverts were dull and I'm weird). 

It got me to thinking that I had seen online a couple of gorgeous coats that would work - those of the dressing gown variety.  Now I've always shied away from them - particularly the Joseph one and to be honest, the eye watering price tag hasn't helped. 

But being thick of middle, I'm not great with belted coats.  I feel that if don't have a waist, all belting it in the middle does, is highlight the fact I go straight up and down with no shape.  

However I do think that the drape of the coat and the slight pulling in at the back with the weight of the belt may very well look fab over a midi skirt.  It is my mission tomorrow when I go out with the 9yr old (the boys are definitely definitely going to football tomorrow - we do now so need some space from each other!) to see if my theory remotely works. 

In the meantime though, throughout the rest of the film (which is excellent by the way) I had managed to recall where I had recently seen a couple of gorgeous camel and grey coats in this style - Jaeger and Mango.   Also reminding me that they were an exact replica of the Joseph Lisa that I have loved for so long. 

Here is the Jaeger one:-

Double Faced Wool coat in camel £399



They also do it in Berry (and black) 



Special mention goes to the beauties at Mango.  These look amazing.  Then again, I will say that Mango have developed the most exquisite website and so most things look gorgeous.  But then again last season, loads of things were.  I shall do a show and tell tomorrow - can't wait to go and have a touch and feel of all their new season stuff.

Lapels wool-blend Coat in light grey £119.99


In dark grey £119.99


And in camel.  Swoon.  (also love this sweater and shall be hunting this down tomorrow - all in the interests of research) 


Another more substantial version that I found was at Oasis. 

Oasis Textured Long Black belted Coat £98





I have to say - with some reticence - bobbling coat from last year still very much on my mind - I am going to have to try the Zara one.  But I fear if it does bobble, in this style it will look like I have slept in it.  Literally. 

Long coat £159.99



Ignoring the shoes that I am drawn to still but am staying firm on Not. Buying.....

So tomorrow I get to go to a real live shop with real live clothes.  Ooh I could crush a grape. 

To say we all have cabin fever is rather an understatement - I'm not even going to mention the weather.  Suffice to say I'm officially over it. 

On the upside I get to wear some of my favourite clothes from last season.  Oh with my new Jalouse boots.

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Navy and white top - Whistles 

Real Straight jeans - Gap
Boiled wool emerald green coat - Zara
Beige Jalouse boots - Ash

All I'm going to say is please let it stop raining...... But whilst we're on the subject of all things cosy - coats that look like dressing gowns.   Yay or nay?

Monday, 25 August 2014

When I say tassels and fringes...

....you would be forgiven for thinking that I had perhaps lost my mind to the rain, cabin fever and children and had decided a blog on pole dancing outfits was on the agenda but no. 

I'm in shoe mode.  Partly shoes on the brain as I have yet to subject myself and my credit card to the horror that is School Shoe Shopping for all three kids (I genuinely feel slightly sick thinking about it.  There really is absolutely zero upside to that escapade is there?) 

Clearly I'm not talking sandals here.  Nope I am talking full on shoes - yup we are firmly cemented in all things Autumnal as I sit here typing listening to the rain lashing down.  Even the iPhone weather app has given up and just thrown in 100% chance of rain.  All Day.

And apparently it's going to do the same tomorrow.  Well - after nearly three weeks of 24/7 with my kids, as much as I adore them, with not even 10 mins on my own, I will admit I can't WAIT to send the two small boys off to football camp tomorrow morning.  One on their own is as much as I feel I can handle right now! 

In the meantime however, I am absurdly and unjustifiably smug with myself that I haven't bought anything.  However, I have itchy fingers to say the least and planning on my A/W wardrobe is a great distraction (from me screaming at a child as another nerf bullet/foam football/trashpack small creature smacks me on the head)

And I was looking back through my photos on my phone and hey presto, I had totally forgotten (fickle, moi?) about these shoes I had papped from a Grazia in the hairdressers yonks ago. 

Now I got a lot of wear last year out of my loafers and Oxford lace ups and it seems that flat shoes are THE shoes to be seen in this season - or at the very least ones with a demi heel (do you like my made up heel height?  I think it works...) 

I'm not entirely sure I can justify a pair - I can tick the tassels box (things you never thought you'd type) with my navy Chester loafers from Russell & Bromley and the bargain sales leopard print and black patent loafers from Zara (I would not have paid full price for plastic - no way jose). 

Anyway, these are what has got me all of a flutter and put the cat amongst the shoe pigeons.


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I've never heard of this brand before and no, they're not cheap but boy do they have some gorgeous shoes.  Here they are online.

Primo Amore White Studs from Portamento store £179




Primo Amore Taupe £179 from Portamento  Also love this colour.



Or another gorgeous option in white and gold £179.99




I had mentioned before that I like the idea of white shoes with darker Autumnal colours and if you're thinking of trying out the look then these from ASOS are perhaps a better bet than the more expensive Portamento ones.  No they're not nearly as nice in my opinion but they're an amazing buy for the money and certainly look a lot more expensive.  A real classic actually with a fringe and a tassel - two for the price of one.  When you see what the others cost, you realise what a great bargain these are.

ASOS Marathon Leather loafers in white £35


They also do them in a grey which may be slightly less out of our comfort zones....£35



Tasselled Moccasin loafers from Zara £49.99 in navy (although they're not leather.... Zara, come on... £50 for non leather shoes?)



We can however rely on Clarks to come up with a classic and love the twist here with the dark green. 

Busby Folly in Dark Green £69.99 (is it me or have Clarks put their prices up...?)


They also do a rather striking black patent leather, again £69.99


My favourite flat shoe from Clarks though, has to be the Hotel Chic which sold out last year - yup, totally sold out, so if you like it, nab it.  

Hotel Chic in Interest Leather (someone got bored of thinking up exotic names when it came to describing leather here...) £65




If you're looking for heels than there are some in the sale now at Portamento.  I absolutely love these.  Perfect for work and play (if you don't mind tottering around in heels for play - certainly great for a lunch or date night!) 

Portamento Camilla were £189 now £151.20





But the surprise of the season so far for me, is the from Clarks in Oxblood.  I honestly think if you said these were from Anthropologie or Plumo, or even my newly found Portamento - I'd believe you. 

Blues Melody in Oxblood leather £79.99



And they also do it in a Black Combi leather too.  Love the contrasting heel on these.  In fact, I prefer these to the oxblood ones. 





So how do we feel about manly shoes?  I know you're either a yay or a nay and never the twain shall meet, but they do seem to be more prolific every season.  The choice this A/W is endless - classic loafers and those with a slight twist above, to your traditional brogues and those that have just a nod to the original.  Pointed for example - ooh now pointed shoes.  Well that's a whole 'nother blog for another day.  Oh wait, I'll have to go and look at more shoes?  Gutted I tell you, gutted. 


For the time in forever (yes I have been listening to Frozen on loop.  Actually I will confess, this may be by choice now - even the kids have started saying - oh mum, no, not Let it Go again....) it was too wet to even contemplate trying to stand outside to take a photo so I resorted to bribing, this time the 6yr old to sit on a stool to take the photo.  Hence the blur.. bless him. 

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Bat sweatshirt - Zoe Karssen
Khaki linen cargo pants - Topshop
Chocolate leather jacket - All Saints
Black ponyskin skater shoes - Next 

I am now off to do bathtime and then retire with a large glass of red wine followed by a homemade curry (by homemade I mean courtesy of Patak's and Rachel's Coconut yog - honestly divine and offensively easy) and try to get my head around the fact that it truly does look like Autumn may have arrived.