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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

They're not going anywhere.

There are definitely some styles which work for you and which don't.  And unfortunately sometimes you have to suck it and see.  The case in point for me being the casual sneaker style shoe.  (dear lord, could I sound more matronly saying that?) 

This was a very new departure for me last year.  Ok, so I've worn converse for ever and have also been a fan of the Ash Virgins which I've had for about four years.  But anything more casual looking?  Err that was way too down with the kids for an old giffer like me.

And to be fair, first off, I got it very wrong.  In my head it was so going to work, in reality? Nah.  I was sucked in by the JCrew Jenna vibe of a smart outfit with "runners".  Well, frankly I looked like a dick.  Even a pair of navy New Balance I thought I loved - it was a mere crush that developed into nothing more.  Like that really good looking bloke, who in reality was a turd - I went off the New Balance trainers.  I KNEW something so practical looking was never going to be great.... 

However, it was not going to be once bitten twice shy, no way jose. I was determined to be able to find something else that worked.  

This could have gone horribly wrong but I struck gold next time round.  Comfy gold at that.  

Ironically I first started looking at these as I was all ready to hail them as the next big fashion item that I wasn't going to get involved in.  At the start of the blog post - barf - by the bottom of the blog post I had bought two pairs.   Oh and who said fashion isn't fabulously fickle?

I will be honest, I was rather nervous that these would be the shoe equivalent of that second good looking bloke.... but I was worried for nothing.  These ones are more that goodish looking bloke who has the best sense of humour ever and therefore is the one you introduce to your friends and family. 

A keeper.  Not even a one season wonder, no, it appears that my skater shoes are set to become a firm favourite (well till at least next season anyway...)  Yes, there is an interloper in the family with the introduction of the white tennis shoes (Stan Smith's to those who bought the branded versions - my plain, white as the driven snow ones from Zara that I prefer are still going strong) but that doesn't stop me still loving the two pairs of skater shoes that I have. 

And I think they work really well in the Autumn as well.  Will I be wearing them when we're knee deep in snow, well clearly not, but till then, unless it's raining cats and dogs, I shall be still donning the skaters.  

Mine are both ponyskin which I can highly recommend and so I've had a look what others are out there as these are a Season MUST HAVE for me.  Interestingly other people clearly think so too as there are loads of styles I've looked at that are out of stock (Boden and Clarks would you believe.....)

Some great ones at Warehouse which are even better with the 25% off (grazia25) 

Black Ponyhair leather slip on trainer £55 (pre discount)

They also do them in metallic which I love.  These would go with everything, a real neutral shade actually that would life any outfit.

Metallic Leather slip on trainer £55

Other metallic ones can be found at Boden - it's the leopard ones that are sold out.

Slip on trainer (apparently this is the modern term for them it seems, as opposed to "skater shoe...") in metallic £59 

Mine are actually leather and I got them from Next in the sale at the end of last A/W stock but they do have some more in. 

However these aren't leather but do still look good (I had to size up for mine, I'm not sure if this style is the same? Maybe someone knows?!)

Black Leather look high top £24 (their description not mine.. I can't see a high top in sight but what do I know?)  (actually these are also sold out in lots of sizes. meh)

There do seem to be more in the navy felt ones (hell I wish I had these as opposed to those blasted New Balance.  On the upside they'll be fine for the woeful amount of exercise I appear to never undertake.  Ok, so the tiny amount of exercise I aim to do one day.....) 

Borg Skaters in navy felt £24 from Next

More non leather ones at ASOS.

ASOS Dialog Plimsolls £25

ASOS Dexter in Oxblood £28

They also have these in a black £28

They also do a leather version called Daisy which are £40

Another great texture and this time in leather from ASOS - I LOVE the colour of these.  Perfect if you wear a lot of navy, grey or black for that colour injection.  Moc croc and ponyskin - bring it on. 

ASOS White Whiskey plimsolls £50

More leather at hush and one of the only leopard print ones I could find (I did find a fair few that were either heinously expensive or sold out.  These are very popular and I know why - they are so so wearable)  

Some more at Dune - can't work out if these are leather or not.. hmmm... they might be actually as the black version are (which I love) 

Dune Lutney Slip-on in leopard £60 (this is with a 20% off price match at John Lewis)

Oh and the Leopard print version also looks - oh exactly the same... again for £55.20 RIght - well surely you'd go for the Bertie's no?  The Lutney or the Putney which are identical..... Seriously??!  Dune and Bertie are now owned by the same people aren't they?  Do they think people only ever shop in ONE shop.  I find this sort of thing so so lazy and frankly takes the pee out of the consumer.  Buy the Bertie ones (or on the upside, we'll have two places in the sale to hawk for the same shoe.  Play them at their own game)

Enough of the confusion - back to something far more less controversial.  I had spied some in New Look last week - now they are canvas so they are really only for dry days but they're priced accordingly. 

Didn't see these in store and they're not going to last forever but for £12.99 - these are perfect for dry days. 

As a total aside, if you're worried about cold ankles (I am predicting some cold ankle comments...) then I saw these and thought they looked fab.   They look too great in fact.... Pretty much the perfect Winter Sneaker.  They should have their own blog.  Since finding these, I *might* have become obsessed and not able to stop thinking about them...

Black Leather Hi-tops from Next £45

And as if by magic - here we have me in my old favourites (which I've worn so much, the ponyskin has actually worn away on one little point on the inside of the shoe!  Clearly I have an odd gait on one side)

Very very casual today - I need to not wear this outfit again, I've worn it too much and I'm bored of it.  Which is wrong as I love the individual items, just not the sum of the parts.  Must try harder....


Navy and white top - Whistles
Dark indigo straight legs turned up - Jigsaw
Green boiled wool coat  - Zara
Leopard print skater shoes - Next
Tan bag - Prada

I'm off to get changed as I'm out for drinks with the girls.  I haven't been out in a couple of weeks so I am very looking forward to this.  What to wear, what to wear..... 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Is there such a thing as discount fatigue?

Because if there is, there darn well shouldn't be.  I for one, know that I am guilty of groaning every time another code comes through...... Well what's that about?  Really?  "We're offering you money off, which is something that we never used to do.  We used to make you wait for the Sale.  And that makes us nasty, how?!"

You see, when you put it like that, we should really be embracing these codes.  They're not there to FORCE us to buy things (which I will admit, is sort of the viewpoint I take occasionally. STOP TWISTING MY ARM RETAILERS. I HAVE THE BACKBONE OF A MUSSEL.  Bonkers or what?!) 

We should embrace them and be strong - resist what you don't need and just take advantage of things that you do.  Which is easier said than done, I appreciate.  But these things are meant to try us and if we avoid temptation, we become stronger people...... (repeat ad nauseum.....) 

So.  Today what gems do I have to offer you?  25% off some things of gorgeousness at Hush and a 25% off discount on everything at Warehouse.  (thank goodness I didn't buy that yellow dress)  If I'm going down, I'm dragging you lot with me.

Starting with Hush.  I love Hush, am fortunate enough to be gifted some things by them but am also a very good customer.  

My fave picks from the current 25% offer would be:-

Firstly definitely the cargo pants.  I'm wearing the very similar pale grey pair from the Summer in my outfit of the day from yesterday and I love them.   They get complimented on all the time, they are so so comfy, wash like a dream and are perfect all year round.  

Adore the charcoal pair - in fact I think I prefer these with the zip at the ankle.... 

Zip Cargo Trousers were £79 and now £59.25

THE ultimate house coat which personally I would absolutely wear out and about too. Probably undone (I do tend to look like a Weeble on stilts if I do belt up over too many layers - there has been photographic evidence of this in the past....) but over other snuggly winter knitwear, this would be as useful for the school run as it would in front of the tv, snuggled on the sofa. 

Cardigown from Hush was £95 now £71.25 (this is perfect Christmas present no?  For yourself obviously... )  Also available in a Dark Charcoal but I love this lighter shade of grey.

Not a Weeble insight here (funny that)

I am mildly obsessed with knitwear this year and doing a very good job of holding back.....

But this camel Lattice Stitch Jumper was £75 now £56.25....... love love love this.  Think it would look as fab in the winter with grey, navy or black as it would in the summer with white jeans.  GAH.

The Rosie dress is hugely hugely popular every time I blog about it.  A number of my friends have it and I've seen them wear it on the school run with biker boots and out for dinner in the evening with dressy ankle boots.  A very versatile dress.  

Again, this colour (which I "don't do") looks amazing on most people - LOVE it with the addition of navy (even though I "don't like it"....) 

Rosie Dress was £65 now £48.75 in Damson/Navy

Also love it in the Mallard and Black 

There are quite a few more styles in their Mid Season 25% off section and of course there is still 10% off everything else in October using the code OCTEVENT.  It all ends on Friday.  

Moving onto Warehouse and on Thursday I'm heading out for a day with the 10yr old and her friend and no doubt they will want to be allowed to wander free for a short period of time whilst I hover nearby... Handily, I know where they will want to go and Warehouse is very near so my hovering time shall be spent in there doing a bit of show and tell. 

What do I have my eye on?  Well.  Apart from the yellow dress which I had on the blog the other day, I'm planning on having a look at.  Code online by the way is 25grazia.  All prices are pre the 25% off.  Go forth and salivate.

Well starting with this which I don't need as I have my Zara one from three years ago and honest to god it is one of the best things I've ever bought.  I love it - goes with jeans during the day, to full on night out glamour.  I am tempted to get this in case anything happens to my other one -  I wear it that often all year round. 

Black Crepe longline shell top £22  They also do this in red.

On a roll with the black.  This is simply perfect and a total bargain with 25% offf. 

Black Roll Cuff Shirt Dress £46  Again, available in red. 

And I'm not saying that a) I'm obsessed with black or b) that I love things that hide my "must do some exercise" tum but.... How useful would this be?

Black Woven Hem Textured Crepe Top £28

Now I haven't tackled over the knee boots yet, principally as I've never found any long enough to go over my knees.  Which means they will work for most of you. 

Black Leather Over the Knee Boots £130

And it now seems foolish to introduce any colour so in for a penny, in for a black pound.  Super cute black cross body bag.  This does come on loads of other colours (love the dull gold one online)  I will be hunting it down on Thursday along with things that are slightly on the jollier side colour wise.

Black Relaxed Crossbody bag £26

I'll save the rest till Thursday, but in the meantime, if you see anything online that you think I should hunt down and try on, do let me know. 

Finishing with outfit from today. 


Wine and bone Breton top - Massimo Dutti
Khaki paint splattered trousers - Zara
Cream boucle jacket - Massimo Dutti
Jalouse in taupe - Ash
Camel bag - Prada

And tomorrow I was supposed to be having my hair done as the small boys were at football camp and the 10year old went to work with The Husband (she likes it, basically she plays on the computer all day which she's not allowed to do here....). But smallest child has been sick so that puts pay to that.  Ensconced on the sofa watching Pirates of the Caribbean as I type and I can only hope that no-one else gets it...... 

So I'll be back tomorrow I guess! 

Monday, 27 October 2014

By popular request...

... and by virtue of the fact it's something that took me years and years to find and seeing as mine is now a couple of years old AND one of my very good friends has managed to purloin herself the exact same number, may I present a blog on all things black clutch bag related. 

Phew - that was a starter for 10.  I do feel slightly, nay very shit actually, as The rather wonderful Husband last year asked which I would prefer - the black Stella McCartney Falabella clutch bag that he had chosen from Net a Porter (all by himself..) or the Whiskey Chloe Medium Marcie satchel that he had seen on my blog.  And cow bag that I am, chose the Chloe.  Although on reflection, it is only slightly shit I feel, as I have used the Chloe one so so much, I think perhaps more so than I would have used a black clutch bag. (and he did genuinely give me the choice) 

But that's not to say that I don't think a black clutch bag is one of the most useful things you can have in your wardrobe.   It takes all sorts which is handy as there are all sorts available but personally, I've never been able to master travelling light.  So for me, I can't be doing with those titchy tiny pill case size little bags, I need something more substantial. 

And in an ideal world it would have a cross body strap as well - however we all know that the chances of finding something that ticks all the boxes, aren't exactly high. 

So that's why I've done the research for you and come up with some great options that should hopefully suit everyone.  Personally, I'm going to stretch the brief slightly and see if I can find one that can also be used during the day.  For those lunches (that some of us are lucky to go on once in a blue moon) and those occasions where a smarter bag just makes an outfit (and you don't need to carry around Percy Pigs, bottles of water, packets of Match Attax or the iPad so it doesn't have to be "that" big...)

I love a foldover bag - something that isn't too "evening" but actually could easily be taken to a super dressy affair. 

A few of these to choose from. 

Top of my list would be this from DAY Birger et Mikkelsen at My Wardrobe.

DAY Blacktile leather suede clutch now £131 with the 15 % off but don't forget to use HELLO20 for another 20% off.  

Next would be the textured leather one from John Lewis.   Actually it would be a toss up between the two and going on price, this one would therefore win hands down. (although the above one would go with my Toga Pulla boots better... hmmmm)

COLLECTION by John Lewis folded leather clutch £49

Whistles Leather fold over zip clutch bag £75

However there is also the John Lewis version at a rather more palatable £49.  Now I haven't compared the two in the flesh but - well, I've leave it with you...  The Whistles one is ever so slightly larger - but by so little, I'm not sure you'd even notice.

WEEKEND by John Lewis Mistry Leather Clutch £49  

If you are looking for a smaller one then the Coast Tilly Leather Flap Bag looks great.  Slightly smaller than above and in a textured leather.

Cost Tilly Leather Flap bag £55

The foldover versions are clearly the ones to watch this year.  Another version from Dune. 

And another version at Radley. 

Now I'll be honest, there aren't as many back clutch bags around as I thought there would be.  

However Atterley Road have a great selection and there is 20%, seemingly off everything (yee ha!) with the code FACEBOOK20 until the end of October.

The Stephanie Noir Suede Clutch £35

A similar envelope shape but very different leather.  This would get my vote.  Adore this one. 

Selected Femme Lala leather clutch £80

However the bargain envelope bag of the day has to be this from New Look. 

Black Zip Envelope Clutch from New Look £12.99

For all round usage, the Hayley bag from John Lewis is an absolute winner for the money (the fact that it's remarkably like an Anya Hindmarch bag is obviously purely coincidence.....) 

COLLECTION by John Lewis Hayley bag £49

However if we're looking for a clutch bag to do the talking and one that is a little statement (not a huge one - just a little one....) in its own right, then this Mint Velvet one wins hands down. 

Black Naomi Clutch from Mint Velvet £89

Another ponyskin number at New Look.  A more structured clutch which also has a gold chain if needs be. 

Black Pony Hair Panel Structured Clutch £19.99

And just to make me weep a bit (even though I LOVE my Chloe Marcie) this is the bag that the rather clever husband was going to get me for Christmas last year.  If he's reading, there is always this year....... 

Stella McCartney Falabella Faux Suede Pouch £255 - how fab would this be with my Toga Pullas. POO!

So there we have, as if by magic, perhaps the first inkling of Christmas lists?  Fear not, it will definitely not be the last. 

Finishing though with outfit from today.  A stunning day seeing a fabulously dear friend who I've known for donkey's years.  Here I am in all the glamour of the Ikea car park.  Can I then point out that it took FIVE, yes FIVE hours to get home (usually a 30 min journey)  Hell knows what was happening with the traffic but after travelling half a mile in 90 minutes, we parked up, went to some other shops, got back in the car.  After literally not moving for 45 mins (you know you think you MUST start moving in a mo but no.....) we abandoned car again and went to dinner in Burger King with the rest of Thurrock.  M&S Outlet store (utter tripe), Nike Outlet store (snoozerama) and Smyths Toy store later (you can imagine how overjoyed I was by this point), we got back in the car and the traffic wasn't too bad.   Needless to say a glass of wine was very very welcome when I got home! 


Rad tee - Zoe Karssen
Black Tuxedo Blazer - Hush
Grey cargo pants - Hush
White leather tennis shoes - Zara
Black Faridah Hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs 

Tomorrow kids are all over the place with football and parties, hopefully I'll get a chance to put some blogs together for the rest of the week.  How is everyone's A/W wardrobe going?  I'm not going to say I think I might be done but..... (so so obviously not....)  I have however noticed a theme in mine..... Any idea what it might be?