Firstly - did you know that if you want to buy school uniform in store, you have to do so in September. Fact. (I also did, the other night check online and of course there was none. Whereas now there are shed loads.) Pale blue polo shirts. Big fail. (John Lewis, you were my saviour)
But, Mr Marks, I forgive you. It's Christmas. And to me, there is nothing better to get you in the Christmas spirit than a trip to M&S. Not that I normally ever buy anything Christmassy from there but a mooch around is akin to a glass of mulled wine and a large mince pie, accompanied by Shakin' Stevens singing Merry Christmas Everyone (which, after Fairytale in NY, is my favourite Christmas song. Shoot me now, but it is)
For the record, I get exceptionally Christmassy from November onwards. In fact even earlier - I was planning Christmas this year in September (saddo). However, please don't think, for one minute that this means I'm vaguely organised. Hell no, I am that person who a) is still wrapping presents at 3am on Christmas morning and b) writes their Christmas cards in November but never gets round to either writing addresses on them or buying stamps. Essentially I turn into the Grinch come Dec 20th.
But for the moment, I am Santa's little helper - I love it.
And M&S certainly didn't disappoint with some gems that I will be putting on my Christmas list.
I also may have made a small (teeny, honestly tiny) purchase...... (shopping ban going exceptionally well again)
I will preempt my list of goodies by saying that I didn't even attempt to look at clothing (bar kids). I did spy some gorgeous wine/gold geometric print trousers on my way out but was running late at that point.
Firstly, I'll come clean with the purchase. I will admit that I have been hunting for this for a while and it's been OOS in the colourway I wanted. A friend of mine had it and I pounced on her asking where it was from (thank you C!). Very much, I feel, inspired by the Virginia Johnson designs but infinitely cheaper. Different fabric (and quality obviously - what would you expect for a different of £175!) but still I am completely in love.
As per usual, absolutely pants photography from M&S online. I shan't say it again as it goes should go without saying really. Same old, same old.
Pic doesn't do it justice (yawn yawn). This is huge in the flesh. Beautifully rich colours. The Stag Print scarf in Mustard or Purple mix.
And in fact, I was watching Strictly just now and who should be wearing the same scarf but in the other colourway but Fern Britton! If it's good enough at £19.50 for a celeb...... Love this colourway as well but can't justify yet another scarf with wine as the predominant colour. Honestly can't recommend it highly enough though.
Now moving onto bags. I am normally not a high street bag shopper. I have bought two in the past year from Zara - both leather - but that's pretty out of character. I will hold my hands up and say I do love my higher end bags. They get fantastic use and on a cost per wear analysis, I normally stretch the budget to get something I really love (I will say that Bicester is my friend though! It's rare I pay full price not sale for an expensive bag - new baby hormones were the last time I caved I think)
However I came across the cutest cross body bag in Marks that I would be absolutely over the moon with if it was under the tree for me. It's not leather, it's not designer but it is just lovely.
The quality is really good, it's a perfect size, I love the mix of the chain, the boxy style, the two zips on top, the pebbled (not) leather and little lock openings on the pockets. It's clearly inspired by a number of Mulberry bags but I do love the fact that it's not an exact replica of any.
Limited Collection Two Pockets Boxy Bag
They also do it in a red with a gunmetal grey chain and the same silvery grey hardware. This looks so much more expensive than the £29.50 it is. If I were a red girl, I would have bought this in a heartbeat - sod waiting for Christmas. (who am I kidding - as I'm writing this, I'm mentally ordering it - in the black. Christmas is far too far away.)
Whilst I was there, in for a penny, in for a pound, I spied two other bags which aren't what I'm in the market for at the moment, but, if you're after a brown bag and don't want to spend a fortune then I would definitely be checking these out.
Firstly the Limited Collection Eyelet Cross Body Bag £25 in brown or a petrol navy.
And the Limited Collection Snakesin Print Eyelet Bowler Bag. Now at £45 for a bag that's not leather, even I did the proverbial sucking of air over teeth. But on second thoughts, if it's good enough for Stella McCartney (and her non leather bags are 20 times odd the cost) it's good enough for me. It's a gorgeous squishy (manmade) fabric, I defy you not to think it was leather.
Just chucking in here a pair of boots which I papped as I swung by - a fabulous tribute to the Ash Jalouse but for a more affordable £55. They're less of an orangey tan in the flesh, more of a dusty faded tan. The Limited Collection leather high block heel cowboy boot. Can I please point out that the high block heel bit is their description not mine. Definitely a mid heel height in my book!
Now I promise you at this point, I haven't lost my mind. I am trying on kids clothes. At 5ft10, taking photographs of myself, I clearly did look like the men in white coats would be rocking up around the corner at any minute.
And it clearly looks utterly ridiculous over my blazer with this outfit. I had to take it as quickly as possible before someone asked me what on earth I was doing - hence I didn't have time to strip off.
A divine faux fur gilet in a petrol blue mix. It does come with a significantly dodgy belt for someone my height (and with as many layers on as I had) but that is very easily removed.
This is age 13-14 (they would have to be a huge 13-14) and I am beyond tempted to go back and get it. For £28!! Limited Faux Fur Longline (for a child!) Gilet with belt
As you can see, if you are of a more diminutive stature than me (and wear less Michelin style layers), then I think it looks fantastic with a belt.
And so there we have a very quick round up of my smash & grab (only one thing mind) tour of M&S. What do you think? Any other gems you've seen?
A quick round up of what I've been wearing. Excuse the fuzziness of some of the photos. Chief Photographer Number One has decided she's gone on strike and the stand in (6 yr old) isn't quite up to scratch yet. Apologies.
Burnt orange thin knit long sleeved jumper - Cos
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Navy knitted military peacoat - Zara
Jade & mustard striped scarf - Aubin & Wills
Camel Cyrpess boots - Acne
Chestnut Cross body bag - Campomaggi from Plumo
Thursday during the day
Black longline jersey top - Baukjen
Black distressed tweed shrunken blazer - Zara
Khaki skinny zip trousers - By Malene Birger
Khaki & black leopard print scarf - By Malene Birger
Black Madonna stud wedge trainers - Ash
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara
Thursday night - out for drinks with the girls.
Snakeskin blouse - Zara
Black coated skinny trousers - Cos
Pink blazer - Zara
Blush, khaki & black snakeskin scarf - M&S
Black suede & patent leather ankle boots - LK Bennett
Black clutch bag with chain - Tory Burch
Wine jumper - Dorothy Perkins
Distressed paint splatter skinnies - Zara
Wine & blush boiled wool coatigan - Clements Ribeiro
Tartan scarf - H&M
Black Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bea suede wedge trainers - Ash
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Right, off to catch up on The X Factor!