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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I've made a right pig's ear of this

This dressing for not quite Summer but a tad warmer than Spring.  When it can get cold in two nanoseconds.  Not to mention rain.  Anyone would think this was a new weather phenomenon, rather than it being essentially the majority of the Summer. 

We have hit that classic time of the season when I hold my hand up and say CONFUSED.  Spring, sorted - last couple of months, have been great and I've loved my clothes.  Have adored the discovery of the love'em or hate'em culottes.  Ditto jumpsuits.  Plus the fact that I've been able to haul out a load of old faithfuls from my wardrobe to accessorise these.  Oh and none of them were expensive so win win all round.  

And when it comes to super warm Summer days when all is needed is a pair of shorts and a loose top, then check check check.  I have an abundance of these to wear.  Bring it on. 

But for this inbetweeny, need to start getting the legs out to acclimatise them to get rid of their plucked chicken look, I am stuck.  I'm sure this isn't a problem many of you have.  I have discovered this year, as well as being their usual shade of blue, the blue legs seems to have taken on a dull grey tinge from their hibernation over the winter months.  Just marvellous.  If I were auditioning for the part of the Tinman's slightly cellulite ridden mother, I'd be a shoo-in.

I only seem to be able to wear suede or leather midi skirts and they are WAY too expensive to trot out on an average bombing around the house day in half term.  Plus they are too warm to wear during the day every day.  Perfect for Summer nights (I know people disagree but honestly, I've never found it that warm in the UK if you're outdoors regardless of how scorchio it gets during the day) 

But I digress - I need another option.  Something that covers my knees, as what I'm essentially looking to do is break my legs in gently, but not as long as even cropped trousers. 

Pedal pushers aren't an option it seems, so the obvious choice would be culottes. 

And I am so unbelievably late to the party with these.  Denim culottes.  So late in fact that - quelle surprise - that the ones I wanted have sold out.  God forbid I should have made my mind up in time to buy them.  Yes we're talking about the H&M ones which are a direct copy of the Rachel Comey Legion ones I said way back in February I absolutely loved. 

Oh no - classic *me* mistake in that I think about something for so long and convince myself I don't need them.  Only to realise I do need them - officially can't live without them but of course, after my extensive procrastination, they're no longer available.

These are the babies I finally decided I had to have.  from H&M and a tenth of the price of the Rachel Comey ones which had sold out anyway.  I am (I know I've said it before) a Tool.

Now, they do still do them in white, which I may well order (just as I need some more it would be rude not to) but I had had my heart set on the blue denim.  

So maybe these will work?....  Wide legged jeans £39.99

They also do look quite long - though hopefully they'll be shorter on me as I have legs of a giraffe.  So obviously I went a hunting to see what else there is out there.  Ones that are perhaps shorter and will fill my "inbetweeny" need.

Dark Indigo Denim Culotte from Karen Millen £90

Moto Raw Hem Culottes from Topshop £38 Now the review says these are quite soft in their fabric which they didn't like, but to me, I think they'd drape better as opposed to being Lazytown stiff in their look.

But are those two above maybe too dark and heavy for the warmer weather?  Let's face it, yes.  So maybe these ones from ASOS in a lighter weight denim are better for what we're looking for today.  (can you see this is a running commentary of my thoughts on the matter?  One of the reasons I love writing this blog - not sure if you have noticed, but I do use it as a sounding board for my ramblings......) 

ASOS White Denim Culottes with side pleat £55 (no they're not white but the brand is ASOS White.  Just in case I was the only one who was mildly confused by that...) 

Other pale versions that might be better for Summer, I've found at JCrew.  The Husband is off to Florida tomorrow and I have done NO LIST.  Now I know I didn't find anything great to buy when I went to NY in January but I think we can blame it on the fact that I missed two days proper shopping with my girlfriend and the fact it was minus a gazillion degrees. 

Rayner wide-leg jeans from JCrew in crescent wash £138

And in white also JCrew £138 (although I have to say, I would prefer the H&M ones...)

I could of course make him go to Madewell... 

We can actually get hold of them from Shopbop - someone talk me through Shopbop - do you end up getting stung with taxes?

Madewell Wide Leg Culottes from Madwell $128 or £85 ish though Shopbop. Love these pockets. (and the shoes.  I have an ankle strap shoe fetish to explore)

Have to say these are rather gorgeous - another pic here.  I would definitely wear these in the A/W with ankle boots.  Also still available at Madewell online (do they ship to the UK? and no they don't have them at NAP where they do have some Madewell stock - at hugely inflated prices of course) 

Wide leg culottes $128 (yes same as above but different angle)

But top of the crop for me would be the Urban Renewal Vintage Re-made Denim Culottes for £55 from Urban Outfitters.  Surely these are the ideal cross between a skirt and shorts, I love the casual look to the fray edge and the patchwork effect denim but with the dart front smarter edge to the top. 

And then we have different colours (not in denim now, we're just talking culottes)  I'm currently having a slight mental block when it comes to these - I'm not going to lie.  I don't think a dark colour is going to work.  Too "worky" (absolutely ideal for work mind you, if we are going down that route) or just too smart looking.  The idea is that I'm after something for every day.  For dress down casual, for throwing on with a tee or a little jumper.  Like I said - a jeans alternative.  That isn't shorts.  Or a mini skirt. 

But a paler, more summery colour perhaps?  White isn't floating my boat.  Too clinical?  But a beige..?

Toast Felice Culottes £95  These are a double layer version.  Love the black tie. 

Or would it beyond the realms of sensible to buy a print pair.  Now here's an idea.   I know I've had these ones on before as part of a co-ord blog and they are in fact here with the matching top but I am really liking this for every day styling.  Super easy to wear and you can easily ring the changes for an evening out with different shoes.  Alternatively a more preppy day look could be ballet flats and a blazer.  I am all over these. 

Vila Stripe Culotte £22 Totally sold out at ASOS now but you can still buy at Next.  (and you can also get the matching shirt for £25)  

But CALL OFF THE DOGS - just had an email from Atterley Road with 50% off 50 Summer Essentials and the Vila Striped Culottes are included in them.  That's my mind made up for me!  Off to see if they have the shirt as well (otherwise I'll just order that from ASOS for delivery tomorrow. YEEE HAAAA.  We do of course know they're going to look pants, don't we.....?) 

Stripy Culotte was £25 now £12.50

There'a another very similar pair at New Look but I'm going in for the Vila ones I think.  (I know)

White Tie Waist Stripe Culottes £17.99

Ok I'm on a roll now at ASOS.  These are another great idea, especially if you don't have a khaki pair of bottoms in your arsenal. 

ASOS Drape Culottes with Utility Detail £38

And these look like they cost a lot more than £22.  A linen and viscose mix so ideally you will get the texture from linen with the functionality of viscose.  This colour would be ideal for flinging in to your Summer wardrobe to go with all your neutrals. (and leopard print, I love leopard with red) 

ASOS Linen Culottes in tomato £22

Alternatively this is a rather nifty idea from ASOS.  This I like.  This I like a Lot.  I love this so much I think I might have to order it. 

ASOS Jumpsuit with culotte and shirt detail £50 in navy.

So I've started this blog in a confused fashion but have managed, as I often do, with a plan.  Black and white striped sets are going to be purchased.  I can't wait to wear them now - suddenly in my head I have so so many options that they will work with.  White tees, grey tees (ooh I may have snagged an amazing T by Alexander Wang grey plain tee at TK Maxx last week when stocking up on doggie things), grey or black jumpers.  Right now I'm officially wondering how I lived without a pair of these.  

Speaking of Atterley Road, they also have all their Birkie Arizonas at half price too.  And lots of other goodies too.  Including the black dress I posted from the other day which clearly I'm going to have to try too.  Especially as there is free postage above £30.  Duh.  Plus free returns.  Oh happy happy half term online ordering.  Let the mayhem begin. 

Today's outfit.


Grey Easy day Jumper - Boden
Black pleather A line skirt - Zara
Oversized buckle sliders - Zara 

Yes the legs are out, up close the tan is Bad.  But it was another day at home, homework for the children (yes you read that right.  CHECK ME OUT) and an afternoon of play dates.  Glass of wine tonight with The Husband as he's off to the US tomorrow for nearly a week.  Business class staying in a 5star hotel.  As I have half term at home with 3 children and a new puppy... Hmmmmm who's the winner here?  Well seeing as I have a laptop and am right now more in love with my puppy than I possibly could be with a baby, let the shopping begin.  So that'll be me. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Let's call it an investment

So part two of my splurge v save dress fiasco.  Yesterday we did more reasonable dresses - the one pre requisite was that they have sleeves of some variety.   Tomorrow I'll be going to pick up my M&S dresses to see if we can recreate the magic of the black and blue DVF-a-like shirt dress for a smidge of the cost of its designer counterparts. 

Today though, I'm having a look to see if there are any more expensive ones that it's worth investing in.  I say "investing" as buying a more expensive dress can be a classic addition to your wardrobe.  They can be better quality and they can be more generous in their cut which is more flattering for most people but yes, especially for those of us who are taller.  

But is that the exclusive domain of the more expensive dress? 

One thing I do know is that I am much more likely to keep a dress that cost more than a cheaper one.  Is that the only difference?  Well, I have had some (but have tried on more) awful dresses that have made me wary of purchasing more but I have my stalwart little M&S number that has given me new hope. 

Without further ado let's see what the designer end offers.  Starting with a super sensible place - the Sale at Matches.  Now this is a fairy depleted offering at the moment but it shouldn't be too long before there is more sale joy flooding out tinternet.

In the meantime though, absolutely love this orange number.  This, with leopard print.  Love.

Dita Silk Shift Dress from Saloni was £360 now £195

The obvious at Matches though would be to look at DVF.  Of which there is diddly squat left in the sale so we've thrown ourselves in at full price.  But there is free delivery until close of play today with the code FREEDEL (and they do free returns as well so the ideal time to try....) 

Prita Shirtdress from DVF £308

Now this does have shorter sleeves but I'm sure most of you don't have arms that look like they belong to a corpse.  There are only a lucky few of us who have been gifted these.  I love this dress but I've a hunch it's really only good for those less Gulliver in their proportions. 

Scarlet Dress by DVF £338

However my two favourite DVF dresses are these Freya ones - without a shadow of a doubt.  Both will work easily as well in the A/W as well as now.  I daren't have one glass of wine otherwise I will press send... I am totally ignoring the fact that like a complete cretin, I had a £100 off a £300 spend that I didn't use.  The sensible part of me is saying it wasn't meant to be yet but the part that craves pretty dresses is saying LOSER.

So the issue is, which one should I have gone (or will I go) for?  (clearly the right answer is "both"..!) 

Freya Dress from DVF £338  Only problem is I don't know which size would work for me.  I find all of DVF's dresses are sized slightly differently.  The Reina comes up very small - size up unless you want the bursting sausage look.   Whereas I do think the shirt dresses come up larger.  The drawstring waist one though?  Maybe I should order and see whilst it's on free delivery..... (well it would be rude not to, wouldn't it?)

And in the poppy print £338  Have to say if I just had to pick one, it would be this.  I need this dress.

And another different style, again not for those of super long limb I would say.  

DVF Kaden Floral Print Silk Dress £360  Absolutely love this print and these colours.  With cream, nude, orange or pink shoes, this would look amazing for so many different occasions. 

Staying designer but moving over to Selfridges (I may or may not have spent hours and hours looking for dresses - like I said yesterday, it really is a needle in a haystack.  So difficult to narrow down the options as so many different ones could work and so you don't miss out on any, you have to trawl through all of them.  Ho hum.  Thank goodness it's a Bank Holiday and I have a small puppy who is doing a lot of sleeping next to me after being worn out by the children) 

Very similar print style to the DVF ones but slightly cheaper.  Love the shades of this. 

Paul Smith Black Floral print silk dress £265

Michael Michael Kors £160 in black (this one is machine washable)   Also available online in a grenadine (orangey pinky shade to you and me) and a navy.

Another great one from Michael Kors - I would say Marant in style but in a really unusual colour that you'd have for seasons and seasons.  This definitely is for those of us who aren't super tall.  I fear I may have vests longer than this.

Michael Michael Kors Sunari Smocked peasant dress £180 

Going back to navy and I love this one.  Slightly military in its look, this would be just as fantastic with knee high boots in the A/W as it would with either ankle boots, sneakers or strappy sandals now.  Or let's go with mid heel tan sandals for the school run.  I love love love this. (and no I don't have mid heeled pigging anything to wear yet)

Michael Michael Kors Silk long sleeved dress £265

APC Ethnic embroidered crepe dress from Matches £290 Now in my head this will look fabulously Parisian boho - the reality is I fear that I will look like I've been on holiday to Peru and lost my luggage.... However the model here manages to pull it off - but it's a pricey risk to take. 

And there in lies the issue with expensive dresses.  They can be a risk.  It's not so bad taking a punt on a £50 dress that you'll wear once and consign to the back of the wardrobe until it worms its way out into the charity bag.  But an expensive one can keep you up at night, kicking yourself as you salivate over the next season's boots you could have bought. 

The other side of the picture though is a fashion love affair that can bring great joy.  Yes clearly I am slightly sleep deprived and being slightly melodramatic about this but take me on a normal day when I haven't been up at 5am for days on end and I would still sing the praises of a good dress. 

I do pontificate often on the cost per wear element aspect of an item, but (and of course there are always always exceptions to the rules) occasionally it is worth buying an item of clothing that no, you can't wear out to dinner, to a wedding and on the school run, but one that is perfect for all those occasions when a dressy dress is needed.  So yes you could wear it out to dinner, you could even wear it to a lunch and to a party party (I reckon that would come under the heading of out out out...)

Those who know me well will of course be aware that I don't do much without an ulterior motive and I *may* be trying to justify the purchase of this. 

Self Portrait Aurelia £260

Self Portrait Aurelia Dress in navy £240  A shorter version in the navy but for me, the black in the midi style above has my name written all over it.  

But finishing with one I am umming and ahhing about.... should I, should I?  It's back in my size. 

I do think though that the black Aurelia dress is probably more versatile.  Can you believe that these are actually handwashable?  My issue with the last blue dress (apart from The Husband calling it the Alice in Wonderland dress) is that it's so distinctive.  Which means that you're not going to get too many wears out of it.  I think the black one, with different accessories, you'd be more likely to ring the changes and get more wear out of it.  I have one of my best friend's birthday lunches next Saturday - Chef's Table at Roka for the girls which means it's going to be DressTastic.  I then have the round robin of First Holy Communions (clearly I could only wear it to one and yes, I do have other dresses to wear - oi sensible head, get back in your box) and our End of Year Summer Party. 

It's also though, the sort of dress I think you could get away with just wearing to a dinner party.   You could, could't you?

So what would you do?  And what do you do?  Do you think it's better to go more expensive or are do you think you can get as good quality on the High Street.  At the cheaper end of the High Street at that.  

To be honest, I think I've come to the conclusion that it totally depends.  I have looked at my wardrobe and honestly, I think either can be as good, it's totally the luck of what you find.  Which, I appreciate is about as much use as a chocolate teapot but that's the conclusion I've come to. 

Some cheap fabrics can be see through and crease like crazy, but the same can be said for more expensive dresses too.  Just because a dress is expensive it doesn't always mean they will use a great quality fabric.  

And once we've found a dress that doesn't crease or fall apart, we then have the teensy tiny matter of whether it fits.  And whether it's versatile.... Suddenly I remember why I never used to buy dresses and lived in trousers.  

The search goes on..... which is handy as we are pretty much housebound for the next couple of days as the puppy gets used to her surroundings, has visitors and does the odd little outing.  As soon as we can put her down, we'll be able to be more mobile but at the moment we have to carry her everywhere.  Need to do research into what shops you can take a puppy into.... (there is only so much football I can take.  Although we've branched out into frisby now as well.....)

This is me yesterday, escaping for an hour or so with the 10yr old and the puppy into town to visit the Pet Shop (rather gutted it's a) too warm to buy puppy clothes and b) she's too small for them anyway) and have a coffee while people coo over her.  I honestly think people are more excited and clucky over a puppy than they are a newborn baby!


Logo sweatshirt - JCrew
Saxby boyfriend jeans - ASOS
White leather sliders - River Island
Harker cross body bag - Anya Hindmarch
Hat - Zara

During my research I did manage to find one place that I was gobsmacked to find some great dresses.  I've looked at them before but they really do seem to be doing from strength to strength with each season and are becoming virtually unrecognisable.  Anyone guess where I'm talking about?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Because we haven't had one for a while...

..oh hello dress blog.  Dilemma time.  Well, it's not really but at least it's a focus (otherwise researching dresses online is like searching for a needle in a haystack - seriously, where do you start?)  

So the issue is... do you go expensive or do you try and find a bargain?  

Yesterday was the tale of two dresses.  Both bargains.  One is a fairy tale and the other has turned into a nightmare.  One from M&S and one from Topshop.  Both under £50 but even at that price, I would still expect buttons not to fall off a dress after one wear.  And I know I can sew them back on but frankly, I don't think I should have to.  

Yes Topshop - looking at you.  Plus, on closer inspection of the dress (which I may just have hung back up after wearing - slut that I am), it is absolutely creased to boogery on the lap.  Which to me, just screams cheap dress.  So it's now a cheap faulty dress that is going back.  And I'm rather gutted about that as I was going to wear it last night.  It filled a great hole in my wardrobe that I wouldn't be surprised to hear other people have too. 

The "not quite warm enough for a Summer Dress" shaped hole.  When you want to wear a dress.  This is coupled with the "too much white flesh on show"  issue and so fake tan is needed.  But with the copious amounts of bare flesh, brings the massive margin of error for cocking up the fake tan.  The more there is to tan, the more there is to make a mess of. 

You can hide your legs under a table for the majority of the evening but the arms - and god forbid the shoulders and back - which are at eye level, need to be spot on.   And the first couple of times you apply your tan, I find is like making the first couple of pancakes.  They never quite work out as well as you'd hoped...... 

Sleeves are your friend.  The advantage of these is that they are also the best bingo wings disguiser ever.  I actually don't mind my arms but the two kettle bell sessions that I did last week haven't exactly made a dent in gravity's sagging from having done nothing for the past year.  Give me a couple of weeks (so it may be months...) though and you can call me Popeye.  In the meantime, I am resorting to the quick and easy option of sleeves.

Which leads me back to last night.  Topshop dress was thrown on the floor in disgust (swear words may have been uttered.  I really REALLY like the print and the shape but for nearly £50 the quality is just not good and I am sick and tired of being expected to accept "disposable" fashion by the High Street) and I nearly threw on some jeans.  But I then spied my good old M&S navy and blue dress that in fact I have only worn once. 

Well.  Total and utter result.  This was less than £30 in the sale and it's the sort of dress that restores my faith in the more reasonable end of the market.   It is pure polyester but of the crepe variety which means it honestly doesn't look or feel cheap at all.  It does mean that it doesn't crease in the slightest and hangs beautifully.  And yet again, everyone thought it was DVF and couldn't believe it was M&S.  Teamed with my blue and black Reiss sandals I was really pleased with my outfit. 

But I have hardly any dresses with sleeves.  And I have lots of occasions coming up in June that I need dresses for.  I am sorted if it's warm - some really great options to wear but if it's on the chilly side and I don't get round to perfecting my fake tan (this actually means me not being so lazy and doing the whole regime properly.  Exfoliate you lazy fool) I am going to want some dresses with sleeves.  

Seeing as I was so pleased with my M&S one (pic at the bottom - yes it is M&S) I thought I'd return to the scene of the crime and see if there were any other gems.  The one good thing about M&S is that they don't make their dresses too short. (Warehouse and Mango...... there are women of a certain age who buy a lot of your clothes and don't want to flash their lady bits at the world every time they bend over).  And the quality is nearly always spot on, especially for the money.  Ok so that's three things. 

Starting with one I have high hopes for. 

Animal Print Shirt Dress from M&S £39.50 in three lengths  I've ordered this with the 20% off (MAY15EM till the 25th May) as in my head it will look great.  I think the sleeves might be too short though and there is a teensy risk with a shirt dress that you look like a Coach driver ..... it should arrive tomorrow so I'll report back.  I also ordered it in the long and that might be granny length.  I'm going to go and order it in the regular length as well.  

The other dress I ordered as, whilst I loathe the styling here, I think this could be a fantastic little dress to have in your wardrobe for the odd dinner out.  And for £16 it would be rude not to try it.  I'm thinking it could go perfectly with my blue and black Reiss sandals.  I think this is very XCos

Tile Print Shift Dress was £45 now £16

Ditsy Spotted Shift Dress from Autograph £55

Now this I think is quite interesting.... slightly concerned that in the flesh it might look like it should be worn over a bikini but in my head, it could actually be quite cool in a Marant boho style?  (I'm slightly hungover....)  This barely scrapes in under the heading of "sleeves"... Maybe one for later on in the Summer.

Mirror Embroidered Yoke Dress  £39.50  I think fab with gladiator heels but just as great during the day with flat glads. 

This isn't really normally what I'd go for and I'm not sure if it's the one but there is definitely something about this one that is growing on me.  Maybe it's that I don't normally do florals..... 

Oriental Floral Kimono Tunic £45

Now the other place that has some great options that you won't find elsewhere on the High Street (always nice to know you're not going to run into someone wearing the same thing) is Atterley Road. 

And in my current obsession with fabrics not creasing, this polyester crepe mix sounds ideal.  It's also unusual to find a black dress for the Summer.  This would also take you through to the Autumn with ankle boots.  Perfect addition to your wardrobe.  Personally I'd prefer a strappier sandal.

Black Crepe Shift Dress from Atterley Road £48   I would love this to be the same fabric as my jumpsuit from Kin by John Lewis.  It's amazing.  Totally uncreasable and comes out of the washing machine drier than when it went in with not an iota of ironing needed.  Don't suppose anyone has tried it?

Another option also at Atterley Road.  Now this is more dressy in my book but if you are looking for a dress purely to wear in the evenings, then this would make the grade for me.  It may well be the shoes that make it super special though, it does have to be said.  They are gorgeous (ponyskin if you look closely...).  And I do have a blog on evening shoes in the making, fear not. 

Atterley Road Black High Neck Dress £48

So moving onto a variation on a theme - black and white.  Yes, I know this is hardly reinventing the wheel but it works.  For me anyway.  I have black shoes.  I have black sandals.  I have black blazers.  Oh and I have black bags.  It makes sense to buy dresses that go with the majority of things I already have so I don't have to then start buying a whole new tranche of accessories.  (yes it was me who typed that.  Clearly it doesn't stop me buying more accessories....) 

Hence, this black and white number from Whistles caught my eye.  And there is 20% off on Whistles at John Lewis at the moment.  It would be rude not to have a look.... 

Whistles Louisa Dress £88 Mosaic black and white 

Same style again in the Bloomsbury Print also now £88

However this one would be my choice.  Especially as I am in mourning for my TS shirt dress. 

Whistles Shibori Spot Shirt Dress now £88  But not in my blasted size and it's £110 everywhere else.  This is not going well....

Still need to look at a couple of places.  Cos and The Finery are always good but certainly with the former, their delivery is so slow (the perils of being part of the H&M stable)   
So my M&S dresses are arriving instore tomorrow.  And I also have to go and pick up the suede skirt which I may have returned and re-ordered with the 20% off making it £160 - far more palatable.  I did panic earlier actually when I went to order it and it had sold out in every size bar an 8.  But they now have restocked in most sizes. 

Here I am in the outfit from last night - out for a dinner party, having plumped for the saviour of the M&S shirt dress from a couple of months ago. 


Shirt dress - M&S 
Blue and black sandals - Reiss
Black clutch bag - Tory Burch 

Do we think it's worth spending that little bit more on a dress or can you truly find bargains at the lower end of the High Street?  Tomorrow I'll be exploring options at the other end of the scale and pondering whether or not it's a good idea. 

Hope you are all having a great Bank Holiday weekend.  We have spent the day playing football in the garden with the puppy.  Certainly not something I ever thought I'd be writing.  Me, garden, football?  Why, yes.

Friday, 22 May 2015

So I would have assumed this was a no brainer...

.. but before I tell you what it is, let's all have a deep intake of breath as I say... Swimsuits. 


Is there anything on the planet more tedious to buy?  Actually having said that, you can throw bras and gym kit into the ring if we're talking about dullarama things to buy, but if we're talking purely the depressing aspect of tedious, jeans come a close second but nope, swimsuit shopping sucks.  Big time.

And to make matters worse, I fear that this is the year I will have to throw in the towel on the bikini.  Maybe if I were jetting off somewhere super warm and wouldn't be chasing after children and a dog ie Mauritius with kids club on tap therefore affording me the opportunity to lie on my sunbed and not have to move.   But I have officially got to the age where moving in a bikini is a Bad Idea.  Nothing quite moves together anymore.  There are parts of me that follow in slow motion - mostly my muffin which does the mexican wave as I walk.  Hence I'm waving the white flag, admitting defeat and have decided a one piece swimsuit is the way forward. 

Especially as this year, we shall be spending two separate weeks on the Suffolk coast and a one piece will be far more useful than a bikini.  Primarily as I spend the majority of the time sitting on a beach watching small people in the sea so a one piece and a pair of shorts, with a lovely top to throw on afterwards to either go to the pub or get coffee and cake is the ideal solution. 

I absolutely know that I'm not the only person who has this sort of holiday - whether it be here in the UK or anywhere for that matter - and I'm certainly not the only person who has said sayonara to the bikini. 

Therefore I would have assumed that a one piece, with detachable straps as no one wants marks, is a no brainer?

Well.  To be fair, there are lots of print and colour options around but I'm after black.  I would love a white one but I am fake tan queen and throw a white swimsuit into the mix and that is nothing but a recipe for disaster. 

So black it shall be and when I was out looking for dog blankets the other day in Matalan (found amazing ones by the way, if anyone is interested....), I saw a pretty darn fabulous one.

Perhaps the fact that it's sold out at Matalan bar in a size 8 (and if you're a size 8, you're probably skipping around the beach in a bikini held together with dental floss) is evidence of the fact that a bandeau bikini with detachable straps is a really really good idea.  You want the support for when you're moving about but when sitting still you don't want to get tan marks.  Surely that's an obvious?  

Bandeau Swimsuit £18

Now I want plain black (yup getttig fussier by the minute) But clearly that's just me..... I am going to carry on looking but in the meantime, I may have to suck it up and go for a colour. 

Ok so when I say *colour*, closest I would get to that would be black and white (which I appreciate doesn't remotely fit the criteria.)  Not sure about spot though.... and alas, I don't think my boobs are big enough to fill these cups.

Underwired Swimsuit from Next in black and white spot £22

Also available in a cobalt... again I'm not sure if this is me. 

More colour at M&S - maybe I just need to get with the colour this one (but I just want it in black)  And don't forget there's 20% off at M&S until the 25th May (and off everything) with the code MAY15EM. 

Secret Slimming Ruched Bandeau Swimsuit £28

If we're talking flattering though, I think this one would win top marks.  Again, whether or not you could have it bandeau style without the whole lot rolling down and ending up round your waist (not entirely the look I had in mind.... ), I'm not sure. 

Monochrome Swimsuit from Next £25

Now this is black but I didn't particularly want a disco swimsuit (is it that hard to make a plain black swimsuit?  Well, apparently so...).  And again, I am slightly concerned about the whole lot ravelling down by my navel on standing up.... I don't even have any boobs to hold the darn thing up.  

Pour Moi Shimmer bandeau swimsuit £40

Could I stand tiny tiny marks in this one as it's so sweet?  Plus I'm liking the secret slimming bum lifting aspect.....  Not sure if you could take the straps down on this one or the whole lot might fall down with them. 

Secret Slimming Textured Colour Block Swimsuit £35 from M&S 

Truth be told though, if I were going to break my white cherry, then I think it would definitely be for the Topshop Ruched Spot Swimsuit .. .which admittedly I would prefer without the spots.  But I was way too slow on the uptake and that one is long gone.   

Ruched Spot Bikini £36

Actually this is the one I really like but I fear, being tall, that my nipples would be peaking over the top.  Which is enough to make anyone vomit a tiny bit into their mouths, merely at the thought.  This one looks skimpier than the others for some reason (to be fair, the other Topshop one also looks like it's cut for a 12 yr old.  Sob)  It also says to size up.  Which is a great motivational idea.  Said no-one ever.

Double Scallop Trim Swimsuit £36

However finally - after a couple of hours of research (don't say I never do anything for you... she says having done it purely for herself), I may have come up with a two decent options.  Definitely ones to try first and am looking forward to comparing and contrasting the two.  

Bodysculpt Bandeau Bikini at George at Asda £10 (yes, A TENNER)  They have loads of other colours online.  At this price, I could even get into colour...  Or there's a navy... (which is a colour in my book. *clutching at straws*)

John Lewis Control Bandeau Swimsuit £55

Can we have bets now as to which one will be better?  And we do realise that by me buying one of these, it does mean that it will pour with rain All Summer.  I apologise now... (on the upside, if I can't find one that fits, we will be basking in sunshine from this weekend till mid October) 

Finishing with a couple of outfits from this week.  Not hugely exciting but that's because I have been somewhat busy.  With the new puppy.  Our miniature Australian Labradoodle who has taken up so much of my time (anyone who's ever had a puppy is now nodding their head and sniggering) 

So since I haven't been able to blog for a couple of days, as an apology, here's a peak at her.  And no, this isn't a toy.


And far less exciting now, the outfits. 


Navy and white jumper - Whistles
Navy military coat - Zara
Jeans - Zara
White Stan Smiths - adidas
Tan bag - Prada

And then totally cheating as one with the dog as well.  The best accessory ever.


Logo Tee - Captain Tortue
Pale grey cargo trousers - hush
Black tuxedo blazer - hush
Black oversized buckle sliders - Zara

I am ever so slightly exhausted after my 5am wake ups with the puppy but am over the moon that she is at least sleeping through.  Oh and peeing on a puppy pad. I am the font of all things interesting at the moment.  Not....