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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Heaven is finding a hole in your wardrobe

Well the good thing about doing this blog is that it has actually encouraged me to scour the dregs of my wardrobe for things that I haven't worn in an age.  I'm sure there is a statistic that says something along the lines of us wearing only 20% of our wardrobe, 80% of the time  (or am I getting confused with the 80/20 eating rule - 80% of the time watch what you eat, the other 20% of the time, go for gold on whatever takes your fancy.  Which is never a banana or an apple) 

Even if I have just made that up, I do think there is some truth in that we tend to wear only a small selection of our wardrobe on a daily basis.  I'm certainly guilty of it.  My reasons tend to be that I keep stuff for nights out (ie "best"), I shy away from anything that has to be dry cleaned (I'm hugely lazy - my washing bin is full of stuff that needs to be taken to the cleaners) and I simply go off certain things (or I get tired of wearing the stuff that it goes with)

So today I thought I'm make a concerted effort to wear something I hadn't worn in a while. Not a hugely exciting day but certainly a pleasant one.  Pilates (a lying down form of exercise - what's not to love?), followed by coffee (if you haven't gathered by now there is a lot of coffee happening in my life.  If only one could make money out of it, I would be rolling in the green stuff.  Alas I seem to just spend it)  and a general day of chores and the whirlwind that is being Mrs Taxi to the Rugrats after school.

Black and off white striped cashmere longline jumper (not a dress as it's completely see through) - Joseph (total bargain from Bicester last year.  Unfortunately I think Joseph has shut there which is pants)
Indigo Baxter jeans - Topshop
Black and grey leopard print scarf - Zara (this is something I unearthed from the depths of my wardrobe) 
Black double breasted jersey blazer - James Perse (Second set of dregs - this is such a lovely fit and so comfortable, don't know why I don't wear it more.  Think it's the double breastedness of it.  I just prefer single breasted)
Black Madonna ankle boots - Ash
Fuchsia Roxanne Tote - Mulberry 

Now there is actually another fantastic reason to get diving into your wardrobe and see what you don't wear.  I discovered a couple of dresses that I don't wear in the winter when I easily could (and move away from The Uniform) but don't have any boots/shoes to go with them.  Can you imagine my distress and despair at realising that to make the most of my wardrobe - ok so in reality merely wear a couple of dresses out of season but allowing a bit of poetic license - I was going to have to go and find some new boots.  Gutted.

Inspired also by My Lust of The Day yesterday (which has only gone and disappeared off the website) and picturing all the different avenues I would now be able to go down following my new love affair with dresses, I set off to find some perfect boots (this may or may not have been what I mean by "chores" earlier....)

Here's where I admit to being on the insane side.  The boots that I found were ones that I might have bought and returned twice before.  There is method in my madness however, fret not.   I originally bought them at the beginning of last season - £260 from Carvela.  Which, frankly, was a hideous amount for a pair of boots from errrr Carvela.  However they fitted perfectly, were the right heel height and I was going out for a big day/night in London and every other pair of shoes/boots I had were too high (gotta love the justification) 

However after two wears, the covering of the heel started to come off.  Not for £260 it doesn't. Took them back.  They assured me it was a one off. I ordered another pair.  Ditto after two wears.  Back you go, expensive yet slightly crap boot.

However they are now down to £79.  And with the discount voucher KGWELCOME10 to use online, a further £20 off. (works on all purchases over £50 if anyone needs anything from Kurt Geiger online)  

They also will be perfect for a day out I have on Friday.  A once in a blue moon, shopping, lunch, drinks and then more drinks, full day pass out with grown up people in the London Town.   I am of course the only moron on the planet who actually buys new boots to wear for a shopping trip.  Just something else to add to the list of insanities that can be chalked up against my mugshot.  I am therefore clearly on a shopping ban on Friday and shall be shopping vicariously through my friends.  You heard that here first. 

Now for the boots.   Admittedly they look a bit dull in this photo. Hmmm, I do recall them looking a lot better on.   They're arriving tomorrow so we shall see.  The other slight fly in the ointment is that I had bought them (twice) in a 39 but they only had a 40 left (what was that I was saying about insanities?  Eejit.  But an eejit with a credit card.  Deadly).  Will report back tomorrow.

Kurt Geiger Carvela Warner Boots

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What I wore today and My Lust of the Day

I love Tuesdays like today.  Total fail at going to the gym (ok admittedly I did make it to the gym, I just didn't make the Spin class. I didn't make any class.  Rugrat three was booked into the creche and as it's the highlight of his week (not that he's told me, but he doesn't scream any more when he has to go in so that's clearly somewhere on the way to highlight, no?) and so it would have been rude to make him miss it.  I happened to bump into a couple of friends and so a lovely coffee was had by all.   Lucky or what?

Home to whizz up a cake for one of my lovely lovely friends who very kindly had us all over to lunch at her house for her birthday where she'd put on the most amazing spread (yes, thanks again J for making us all feel so inadequate...!!)  What a great indulgent way to spend an afternoon, I feel blessed to have such great friends (and only one glass of wine so you can't even blame the schmaltz on that)

Back to reality with a bump though and Rugrat One has her Brownie Promise tonight.  Not tempting me with a brown and yellow palette for the summer, it does have to be said. 

I was and am wearing 

Nude oversized thin knit jumper - H&M 
Khaki skinny zip jeans - By Malene Birger
Tan ankle boots - Acne
Fabulous finches scarf - Mulberry
Brown leather cuff - Warehouse
Tan leather rivet cuff - Mulberry
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Tan shopper - Zara

My Lust of the Day has actually been inspired by the hugely glamorous girls I had lunch with today.   I've mentioned it before but I am very guilty of knowing what I love and loving what I know.   As my life doesn't change very much on a day to day basis, I find it very easy to live in the same uniform.  Actually since starting the blog, I've become more acutely aware of it.  As i've struggled to find a vein in which I feel comfortable dressing on a day to day basis, I think once I found my comfort zone, I've become just a little bit too comfy in it.  

Skinny jeans, check.  Boots, check.  Loose boxy top, check.  Scarf, check once, twice and thrice.  Or blazer, check.  Large bag, check check check.

It wouldn't have occurred to me to wear a dress today.  I lie.  I may have worn a dress.  But I would have worn it over skinny jeans with ankle boots.  See?  I've been indoctrinated by the Church of Skinny Jean.

So when my Grazia came flying through my door this morning and there was a 25% discount voucher in it, as I couldn't hop along to my nearest Whistles, I had a quick flit online whilst the Rugrats were having their tea. 

And I think I've found something that might just work.  A Dress.  That I will actually have to wear With Tights.   Ok so the chances of me wearing it also over skinny jeans is high (first outfit in my head was of it over skinny black trousers and my Ash Madonna wedges.  Big Fail.)  But I could still wear it as a dress (although that does leave me with a footwear issue for day time........  Cross that bridge later on.)  For now this can stay as a Lust which I may purchase.  Plus it goes into the washing machine (something I'm slightly obsessed with, which I'll explore in further detail another day.  Yes the thinking behind it probably is as dull as it sounds)  £95 from Whistles.

Thank you for the inspiration girlies.

Monday, 27 February 2012

What I wore today & a Mutton moment

Mondays never seem to be the highlight of my week.  I did manage to convince myself (had a real battle there, not) that I should get on with some paperwork and go to the supermarket rather than flog my saggy behind at the gym.   Tomorrow I Will go to the gym.  Rest of the day, coffee with a friend and then just weekly chores - wholly uninspiring but necessary. (chores and the coffee of course)

All cheered up muchly though by my new scarf which I am getting scarily attached to.  (clearly still hasn't been ironed.  No surprises there.)

Today, for the first time in a while, I did have a Mutton moment though.  The distressed, faded, ripped jeans.  Caught sight of myself in a mirror earlier and thought, oh my lord, that's not working.  Not sure whether it was with the boots or the leather jacket or the whole outfit together but I do think that the hole in the jeans has got to go.  No, I know it definitely has to go.  I will get them repaired though, I had most of the holes (which were there when I bought them much to The Husband's disbelief) stitched up last year.  They had started looking less designer holes and more "you're too fat for your jeans" holes.  The knee "hole on purpose" was still bearing up quite well so I left that one.

But a year on, they are now just too knackered (along with the owner of the jeans) so I'm going to relegate them to Summer jeans.  They're such a great fit and I, like most people I'd say, do struggle with finding the perfect jean.   I reckon with a smart loose white t, a little tweed jacket and some flat glads or toe post sandals (or even ballet pumps), a very distressed (yet without holes) jean could still work. 

Just need some more sun now please!  So here's my verging on Mutton outfit, never to be seen again. 

Burnt orange fine knit jumper - Cos
Knackered straight jeans rolled up - Zara
Chocolate brown leather jacket - All Saints
Tiger print scarf - Dorothy Perkins (I am so tempted to wear this tomorrow as well......Need. Help.)
Tan shopper - Zara
Tan Rockafella boots - Russell & Bromley

And a close up of the boots which have been one of my best buys of the last 3 years.  I bought them 3 years ago, or actually it may have been 4 years ago....... (Bum. another week, another set of brain cells down.)   Any which way, they are still in very wearable nick and have definitely been worth the money.

Only other exciting thing I've done today is a cheeky online order of some basics tops (and obviously sneaked a jumper or two in as well) which I have high hopes for and will report back on.   All in the interests of research....... (fabulous reasoning or what?)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

What I wore last night

Again, another brief one as Rugrats have just been ushered into bed and dinner is needing to be cooked.  Steak chilli with chorizo - comfort food much needed, feeling ever so slightly delicate today after a fantastic evening out last night with friends.  Hence very relaxing day today (for relaxing, read totally lazy), movies and mooching.

This photo was actually taken at about 2am and the fact it's vaguely in focus is a minor miracle.  Ditto the fact I was able to stand up long enough to take it.   Clearly it's not one of my best. 

Black loose boxy t - Whistles
Black tuxedo style blazer - Topshop
Raspberry Leigh jeans - Topshop
Black suede stiletto shoes - Zara
Gunmetal multi strand bead necklace - Day Birger et Mikkeslon
Battered silver cuff - Banana Republic
Bead bullet bag - Coast

See you tomorrow.  (a photo of me today in my slobs isn't going to make the grade!)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Super speedy What I wore today

Unfortunately no time for niceties, as just got back from lovely lovely afternoon out with kids, cheeky glass of wine and need to do quick turnaround for dinner party this eve.  And the babysitter's train gets in at 7.18!

So here's how it went today.  Obviously entire outfit centred round being able to wear new beloved scarf (which, as predicted, is still not ironed..)

Black vest just seen - Primark
Black loose box fit t-shirt with nude arms - Cos (one of my most favourite tops ever.  Will sob when it falls apart)
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger (ditto above but with jeans as opposed to tops) 
Tan ankle boots - Acne
Gold link bracelet - Made
Tan rivet cuff - Mulberry 
Tiger print scarf - Dorothy Perkins
Tan shopper - Zara

Will be more tomorrow!

Friday, 24 February 2012

What I wore today & A New Purchase

Seeing as we were allegedly again basking in verging on tropical (for Feb) temperatures it would have been a sin to wear boots, so today out came the ballet pumps.  As that pretty much is my Spring wardrobe footwear (a blog on which is in the offing.  Not a blog on purely my Spring footwear as that would be mightily dull, consisting of a photo of three pairs of ballet pumps.  Yawn.)

But as it's Feb, I can't quite get rid of the scarf just yet.  I did show willing and put a lightweight scarf on but I'm not ready just yet to bare my neck to the elements.  

Actually I didn't really see a lot of the elements today.  A half hearted attempt at a Zumba class (truly pathetic effort if I'm honest) and then a trip shopping with a longer than intended lunch.  More on the shopping later.

Despite actually getting dressed much earlier, I didn't get home till dark (out with the kids for tea and lots of fresh air.  Them not me).  Hence photo is odd.  Apologies.

Camel silky t-shirt - H&M  (I bought this a while back but realised how great it is and went to see if they had any more today.  Am on a mission for basics and this one would work quite well.  Failed mission though.  All gone.  Bugger)
Khaki skinny zip jeans - By Malene Birger
Black vintage style (ie knackered but it was like that when I bought it!) tweed blazer - Zara
Khaki zebra print silky scarf - Hong Kong (from ebay.  This is actually very similar to/if not the same as a Primark scarf that I accosted a friend about but she'd bought it months before.  Randomly found some seller in Hong Kong who was selling them in khaki and a whole host of other colours.  And it cost about £3 delivered.  Unbelievable.  Always gets commented on.  And I always end up repaying their compliment by telling the entire story as I'm a moron)
Black quilted patent Tilly bag - Jaeger

And now on to the very exciting topic of shopping.  Actually it wasn't that exciting as there wasn't a huge amount of it done (very unlike me) but time was not on my side.  I also (again very unlike me) had the Headless Chicken Approach to Shopping on.  When you either

a) like everything you see, end up buying it all, come home and realise actually you don't like it nearly as much as you thought.  In fact you don't like any of it.  At all.
b) buy something, come home and realise that you'll never have any occasion to wear it (but don't take it back "just in case".  Three years later it's still in your wardrobe unworn.
c) buy something, come home and realise you have three other pretty much identical versions  already (that you've probably never worn)
d) buy something, come home and realise that you have absolutely nothing else to go with it.  And wearing a jumper/t-shirt/blouse out on it's own with no bottoms, shoes or jacket probably isn't an option.
e) have money burning a hole in your pocket and see absolutely nothing you like. 

Today my Headless Chicken Approach was a combination of all of the above but I didn't actually buy anything (polish halo).   Spring/summer was everywhere.  A myriad of styles, colours, patterns and fabrics.  Confused much.   Need to sit down and think about all the options and decide where the holes in my wardrobe are (and think about getting a life along the way.  I actually do sit down and plan my wardrobe.  Saddo alert.  My excuse is that it saves me a fortune in the long run.  Which I then spend on more clothes/shoes/bags.  Obviously)

So in times of dire straits, I returned to a familiar bolt hole and went scarf shopping (well I couldn't come home empty handed, could I?)

Whilst looking online with a friend yesterday at the Dotty P's website (no I'm not addicted, I haven't bought anything else from there) I saw a scarf that bore a passing resemblance to the Talisman scarf by Temperley.  Of course it probably wouldn't be that great in the flesh but as we were passing Dotty P's and I had no extra bags to weigh me down, in we popped. 

Oh how pleased am I that I did!   Completely appalling photo as the flash was on and it needs a good iron (which clearly I'll never get round to doing) but I am over the moon with it.  And the best bit - £9.  It should have been £12 but there was 25% off.  It's not the peachy tan of the Temperley one, it's more of a golden tan but on reflection, that's probably more what I was after.  More tiger and less Tigger.

I shall be wearing it tomorrow.  I may even sleep with it.   

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Statement jewellery - not just for the Oscars & My Lust of the Day

It's Oscar season again.  I fondly remember the days when I used to stay up on a Sunday night and watch it all (well the Red Carpet anyway, which to me was, and is, always the best bit).   Now even with sellotape on the eyelids to keep them open, by midnight I am in bed snoring with the best of them.  Cinderella would be gutted.  

I also remember looking at the jewellery and thinking holy hell, when would one ever wear that?

Well, welcome to middle age!  There have to be some advantages to go along with the wrinkles, lumps, bumps and grey hairs and I've come to the conclusion that statement jewellery is definitely something that's a positive. 

Can't quite work out whether it's jewellery fashion that's changed, whether I've got more confident in my wardrobe or it's my taste that's different, but the older I get, the bigger it gets.  And the more expensive it gets but it doesn't necessarily have to be so. 

Let's talk evening first.  Another positive about moving towards the twilight years, is that people (obviously meaning women)  do seem to get more dressed up.  A number of years ago, a night out would primarily have entailed a hop skip and a jump from work to bars 1, 2 and then 3, maybe some food (ie chips or something else deep fried on a platter) but definitely  just wearing work clothes.

Since having kids though and giving up the paid day job and taking on the 24/7 unpaid one (did anyone else not ask for the job description by the way?  Error), a night out is like a beacon in the fog.  Any excuse to down tools, walk/run away from the mayhem and feel again like a valued (if drunk by the end of the evening) member of society.  

Listening to proper music, not the dulcet tones of Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam or (the disturbingly catchy) Rastamouse.  Eating proper grown up crisps and nuts, not having to sneak Pom Bears (barf) or Hula Hoops from your children to their screams of "they're mine" (just me?).  God forbid, a proper meal without having to share any food with your kids. 

So a treat of that magnitude deserves a decent outfit.  But at the same time, do I really want to spend a small fortune at Whistles, Reiss, By Malene Birger or even Zara for a dress that I'll only wear a couple of times?  This is the bit where The Husband glazes over as he has no idea why I could only wear it a couple of times. 

Let me explain.  I live, work and breathe within a tiny community.  Where everyone knows each other.  Which, I would think, is pretty standard amongst most mums who stay at home to look after their kids.  I reckon that the age of your kids is pretty much the distance in miles of how far you travel away from your home most weeks.  (it does get much better the older they get)   And therefore when you go out, invariably it's with the same couple of groups of people.   As much as you might love Dress A,  you know that you need something new to wear on a night out, when the taxi firm ask you on the phone if he's picking up the lady in the khaki print dress again.... 

There are only so many times you can wear the same outfit with the same people.  

Ok so I could go and buy 5 dresses but I don't really want 5 dress sat in my wardrobe that I've grown sick of the sight of (clearly I do do that.  Everyone does that, but we'll gloss over that minute fact)

Which brings me to the joy of statement jewellery.  Pared down clothes.   Good quality plain dresses, skinny jeans and trousers, a variety of tops for all seasons in neutral colours, ditto jackets.  Ones that you can wear at night and during the day.  Heels.  (I'm a firm believer in heels on a night out and can't be persuaded otherwise.   Not without a drink anyway.  Actually bar a maxi dress in the summer.....)

And you can go to town on the jewellery.  Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and cuffs.  In my book they must be big.  Preferably not worn altogether mind.  Either or (like boobs or legs)

Last year I invested in a great selection.  Sportsmax, Jaeger, Anthropologie, By Malene Birger and Made all coming up trumps for necklaces.

It was in fact the necklaces I found easiest to wear.  Maybe it is my obsession with scarves, maybe it's because my decolletage (seriously? I can't believe I used that word) is starting to get that leathery old lady look (ok so it's not that bad but it's not what it used to be), maybe it's back to the age/confidence/taste/style thingy but I started wearing them during the day.

They were the perfect way to dress up a distressed pair of jeans, toe post flat sandals, plain t-shirt and a little blazer or cardigan.  Without it, quite dull, mummy uniform, but with an interesting piece of jewellery, it gave the outfit new life.   It also meant I could just get away with a good selection of plainer clothes but had a whole array of outfits just by interchanging with different jewellery (and shoes, but that's a whole other blog!)  

Didn't matter if it was a dressier evening piece.  Being older, it looked right, without looking like you'd raided your mum's jewellery case. 

With the Oscars this weekend and the sun today, it was the perfect time to have a look at what was on offer this year.  And there are some beauties about.

Firstly you don't have to spend a fortune.  Following my success at Dotty P's I had a quick look at New Look today and came across this very pretty disc and rope necklace

Which is probably a great starter size if you're not used to wearing anything too big or too elaborate (I've graduated to full on Pat Butcher status)

And this one too.  At £5.99 and £6.99 respectively (and apparently they're on buy one get one free!) they certainly aren't going to break the bank.  I have no idea what the quality is like but I'm thinking they're probably not going to last forever and wouldn't advise going near a grabby toddler with them on.  However they're perfect for Spring/Summer for either day or a casual night out)  Lots of other options for fantastic prices to suit all tastes on the New Look website. 

Another place where there are bargains to be had, admittedly in a different price league, is The Outnet.   I came across these Isharya earrings 

and these Nicole Fendel ones.

One of my favourite sites is My Wardrobe and as well as a lovely full price selection, this 
Kenneth Jay Lane long necklace caught my eye as being very versatile. 

Made have been on my radar for a while - I have a number of great pieces from there and always go down well when I give them as a present.   I've always bought mine from Whistles or John Lewis. 

If money were no object, I think I'd definitely be finding a place for this Marni number in my wardrobe.  Definitely not to everyone's taste (as most of you sit there retching at the screen) 

I just adore Marni jewellery though and can't wait for next week for the launch of Marni at H&M.  Can't believe I'm typing this but I am vaguely considering going along and queuing on the launch day.  Plus I will have a 3 year old with me. Hmmmm been typing for too long.  Brain clearly fried.  

Nearly finished.  On to my runner up and winner of Lust of the Day. 

Firstly, By Malene Birger. I could happily wear all of her jewellery all of the time.  This cuff is such a thing of beauty.  Only reason it doesn't make Lust of the Day is that I find necklaces easier to wear.  However do feel free to drool appreciatively.
And finally, a place where I can nearly always find something that I Must have.  The wonderful Anthropologie.  A necklace which will fit perfectly into my wardrobe.  I just love everything about it and am tempted to get it in the green version as well.  My Lust of The Day

And now I really need to put the kids to bed.  Won't be winning Mother of The Year any time soon, as I've just looked up, it's dark and they're still playing in the garden.  Oops.

What I wore today (brief one!)

Stone the crows, what a difference a day makes.  If I didn't know better I would have said that I'd woken up in April.  Verging on tropical considering we had snow less than two weeks ago.  It would therefore have been rude not to celebrate what might be the first day of spring, by cracking out the ballet pumps and light coloured bag (any excuse).  However, might have been a plan to look outside at the ground before getting all carried away and deciding on an outfit.  Rain yesterday = wet and soggy underfoot.  New ballet pumps = rather bad idea.  

So here's how it went today 

Beige linen v neck t-shirt (just seen) - Zara
Distressed skinny biker jean - By Malene Birger
Grey and beige blazer - Zara
Nude and fuchsia camel print scarf - Virginia Johnson
Rose gold ballet pumps - Zara
Tan rivet cuff - Mulberry
Sunglasses (completely justified today) - Tom Ford
Vanilla (not yellow despite how it looks in the photo!) Roxanne - Mulberry

You can't tell but I am wearing hugely glamorous pop socks which hail probably from somewhere as exotic as Sainsburys or Tesco.  I've spared you a photo.

The Virginia Johnson scarf, as I haven't done a close up of it yet and it's one of my favourite things in my wardrobe.  Hard to convey how lovely it is in a photo!

And one of the ballet pumps as they're new.  In the sale at Zara post Christmas.  A splendid £12.99, down from £49.99.  The fact that they have a leather sole and will need resoling every three wears is clearly something that wasn't relative as I was frothing at the mouth seeing the bargainous price.  Fool.  

Enjoy the sunshine everyone!  Hopefully later, a blog on statement jewellery (well that's the plan......I reserve the right to change my mind and watch tv instead)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

What I wore today & a Bargain Lust of the Day

Miracles do happen, I actually made it to the gym again today.  Not that I broke a sweat mind you - a rather sedentary pilates class.  However, preferable to sitting on my butt drinking coffee ,which has been known to happen one or 100 times on my gym visits.  

And it kept me out of the rain.  Strange old weather today.  Started off not that badly (hence I have sunglasses on in my photo which was this morning - I'm not a complete lunatic) but went downhill pretty rapidly.  Resulting in changing cardigan for a mac.  Due to the trauma of after school activities, picking up kids, dropping them off, supermarket smash and grab, them expecting dinner (really?), I didn't get time to do a photo.

Earlier though was wearing 

Khaki longline ribbed vest - Joseph (one of my favourite and most useful pieces.  Gutted they don't do them anymore, shall be blogging about where to find decent basics.  Once I've done the research that is!) 
Mink and fuchsia hooped jumper - Dorothy Perkins (bargain One)
Stone skinny jeans - Dorothy Perkins (bargain Two)
Tobacco drape front fine knit cardigan - Day Birger et Mikkelsen 
Khaki leopard print scarf - By Malene Birger
Tan ankle boots - Acne
Sunglasses - Tom Ford 
Fuchsia Roxanne tote - Mulberry

More on Bargain One and Bargain Two - the Dorothy Perkins bargains.  I will admit that it's not a shop I frequent that much.  Coming back to what I've said a number of times, I've found over recent years it does pay to invest in better quality fabrics that invariably cost more.  Plus I have my favourite shops that I will always head to, and seeing as I don't spend all my time shopping or surfing the net for clothes (contrary to popular belief), I've become very lazy at heading off piste.

But I saw something from there in a magazine that caught my eye and so went for a mooch on the Dotty P's website.  And lo and behold, up pops a 20% discount.  In for a penny, in for a pound - what could I order? (diddly squat on tv, The Husband not in from work = fatal fatal combination)

For a starters they had a Tall section and, as any other Gulliver out there will tell you, these are like rocking horse poo.   I had been looking for ages for a stone/beige pair of skinny jeans.  Check.  At £25 pre discount, it would be rude not to give them a go.

Then I noticed that it was free p&p if you ordered over £75.  Being a total sucker for a give away (ie I'm cheap) and given the excuse for more "free" shopping (I wasn't going to be keeping it all.........) I was determined to find more to put in my basket along with the jeans (in a size 8 and a size 10.  A girl can dream.)

The fuchsia scarf was next (which I posted the other day about).  Which I honestly would have kept if it wasn't the exact same shade as a scarf I already had.  (I should put that bit in bold so The Husband might see it, shouldn't I? I sent something back)

To go with the scarf (obviously) I thought I'd give this jumper a go.  For £23, I expected it to be on the nastier side of acrylic but was pleasantly surprised to find it's a majority cotton mix.  And it feels like it as well.  

By this point I was getting carried away, The Husband had arrived home, which just left me enough time to bung another jumper in my basket and check out.  

Next day, package arrived (boy do I love home delivery.  Especially next day delivery.  Your very own Santa, bringing gifts, any day, any season.  I have thought about buying Mr DHL a hat but, as smiley as he is, I'm not sure his conviviality would stretch to a red velvet hat with a white fur trim) 

To be honest, I was expecting it all to be a bit rubbish.  Big shock.  Ok so it's not Joseph quality but it's a country mile away from Joseph prices.  And I have to say, the jeans especially, aren't actually that dissimilar ones from the Joseph (dry clean only grrrr) twill skinny trousers that I've had in the past. 

I do have to mention that I did put the trousers on straight away (the 10) as I was so impressed with them.  Unfortunately within a couple of hours, to say they's stretched was a slight understatement.  I looked like I was on a Weight Watchers advert, demonstrating how many sizes I'd shrunk, by dragging out the waistband of my trousers.  An exceptionally bad look for a pair of trousers that I did actually want to fit.  However took them back to DP's, explained what had happened and that, if I could shoehorn myself into the 8, within an hour or two they'd fit perfectly.  They refunded me for the 10, admitting themselves that yes they do stretch and the 8 would be fine.   V impressed with their Customer Service (and the fact I have a size 8 pair of trousers.)

Plus a big thumbs up to the jumper.  This time I sized up and kept the 12.   I do have giraffe arms and was more comfortable with this size.   It's not what I'd normally go for if I'm honest, but it does slot really well into my wardrobe - I already have a matching bag and matching scarf for it - and for verging on thruppence ha'penny, I'm very pleased. 

Link to jumper 

Link to jeans  (if you do order, order a size down)

Which brings me to my Bargain Lust of the Day which is the other jumper I ordered.  As I'd said to myself I wasn't going to be keeping everything I'd ordered,  I ummed and ahhed about which jumper to keep.  Since one of my New Year Fashion Resolutions had been to have more colour in my wardrobe, I kept the striped one. 

But I do really regret not keeping this one as well, as it would be such an easy piece to wear in the Spring and for cooler days in the Summer.  And would go really well over my raspberry jeans........  One can never have too many neutral basics.  Oh I'm so going to reorder it!

You definitely need to wear a vest underneath it (unless bra on view is an acceptable dress code where you live and work - not so much here) Again I would say size up as I think it looks better on the looser side and it's not particularly generously sized. 

Link to jumper 


My Dotty P's experience has really made me think that there is so much of the High Street that I don't look at, partly due to lack of time, partly due to lack of inclination.  However I think I shall be making time (hard hard life - having to make time to go shopping) as I've no doubt there are bargains out there to be had.  Will be reporting back as and when I find a bargain I think is worth shouting about. 

In the meantime, if you do want to give Dotty P's a go I have found a discount code for 25% off.  Enter  "DPVIPE" into the promotional code box.  Delivery is £4 if you're not as tight as me and don't do an order to get it over £75.  I also take no responsibility if what you get delivered is a pile of tut.  Order at your own peril but hopefully you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.    It's free returns or you can return to store for nothing as well.  

Go forth and shop!  (but do let me know what you buy!) 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

What I wore today

Actually made it to the gym this morning.   Ultimate spin.  Nearly killed me and I may have cheated on the gears ever so slightly (yeah yeah, I'm only cheating myself.  Well it was either cheat myself or throw up. I chose the former - quite wisely I think)

There isn't a photo of me in my gym kit.  And there never will be.  Frankly it's woeful.  Talking yesterday of things that don't hold much prominence in my wardrobe.  Following Coats, is definitely Gym Kit.  In fact I'm not even sure why I'm mentioning it, it has that low a significance in my wardrobe (doesn't even make it into my wardrobe - gym bag, washing machine, back to gym bag)  My legging thingys (do they even have a name?) are from 1996.  Everlast is the brand.  Let's just say they could never be accused of false advertising.  Truly are everlasting.  I have one other pair of kick flare trouser thingys which are from Next and one matching top.  They get washed (a lot!)  I shall replace them when they fall apart.  And that's more than I shall probably ever say again on the subject of Gym Kit!

Much more exciting are proper clothes and today I wore 

Black oversized box jumper - Reiss
Distressed skinny jeans - Zara
Beige with black striped thin knit poncho - H&M
Black biker boots - Kurt Geiger
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Gold & quartz earrings - Etsy
Gold flower cuff - Etsy
Tan Shopper - Zara (not seen)
 Close up of the earrings.  Link to earrings
And a close up of the cuff

Happy Pancake Day everyone!  Off to make some more for the troops.  

Monday, 20 February 2012

My Lust of the Day

So I admitted yesterday that I have a scarf addiction.  Which I definitely do.  However I also have a number of other things that I simply can't have enough of in my wardrobe.

On considering this earlier, I did worry for a minute that it might just include every item of clothing and accessory I could think of.  But fear not, there are wardrobe staples for other people that pass me by. 

Coats for instance.  I think I own one.   A functional parka (which has its own interesting story.  Years ago, I accosted a woman in Waitrose and asked her where her, frankly divine, parka was from.  She ummed and ahhed and said she "thought" it was from Littlewoods! I asked her what brand, she said she couldn't remember and before I knew what I was doing, I was yanking her coat down at the back and peering at the label.  I don't know who was more shocked - me or her.   I apologised profusely, muttering something about lack of sleep (thank the lord I had all 3 rugrats with me crammed into the double buggy.  As one did) and she did laugh.  I fear it may have been a laugh of pity but hey ho, I tracked that bloody parka down!  And still have it to this day.  Holding pride of place as The One Coat I own. 

Macs don't count.  I have a couple of those (we're going to gloss over the genuine Burberry one I have with the print on the outside.  Oh yes, you read that correctly.  On The Outside.   In my defence it is the very pale print that -many many many years ago - did look quite lush.  I promise you!  Before it gained its less than salubrious image)

So Coats don't rock my world.  But Jackets?  Oh how I adore a Jacket.  A blazer, a leather jacket, a sequin jacket, a tweed jacket, I don't think you can ever have too many.  To some it may be a question of semantics.   However I will propose that generally, a Coat is something that keeps you warm.  It isn't part of an outfit - generally it goes over an outfit.  Whereas a Jacket can make an outfit.  Clear as mud?

The reason for my rambling is that Jackets are number two on my list of addictions.  I don't have "too many" but I do have rather a lot.  Therefore to justify the purchase of another one would take some serious work (obviously nothing is insurmountable and the chances of me purchasing at least one more before we hit Summer are quite high)

Therefore as soon as I saw this absolutely stunning number the other day, I started the ball rolling with the justification spiel. That moment of scrolling down the page and suddenly something jumps out at you and screams BUY ME.  The most beautiful long Jacket.

But hang on, call off the dogs, it's apparently not a long Jacket - they call it a Coat! 

The Adandes Silk & Cotton Coat - By Malene Birger

The only thing that's stopping me purchasing right now is the creamness (me and mess are good friends unfortunately.  I struggle to keep anything spotless)  and the £500ness of it.   But that's not to say I won't get it eventually.  I can think of already a number of different outfits to go with it.  I even have the same outfit they've styled it with above (down to the leopard print blouse - my singular Print clothing purchase from two years ago, further to my blog I yesterday)

It would look fab with skinny coated black jeans, stilettos, little black top, big statement necklace for a night out.  Or a pop of colour with a loose fitting emerald or fuchsia t-shirt.   And then during the day with 7/8ths faded skinnies or straight legs rolled up and a loose oatmeal/camel/black - any really - t shirt.  Little black or silver pumps.  And even the Alice Temperley scarf from yesterday would look gorgeous with it.  

It just needs a bit more deliberation.  On the upside I don't have to justify fitting it into my wardrobe where it could sit happily next to my Other Coat! 

What I wore today

Back to school and preschool for the rugrats today.  So a day of paperwork, supermarket shopping (with a coffee thrown in obviously) and doing all those little things I should have done last week but didn't get round to!  Hardly inspiring, must try harder tomorrow.

Branching out from my usual uniform of skinny jeans today.  It doesn't happen very often however I think it's something that I should probably do more often.  Is easier in the warmer weather when I can crack out the ballet flats et al but when it's cold, I do tend to live in skinnies and boots.  I definitely think the older you get the more difficult it is to break out of your comfort zone.  Something I think I'll give some thought to.  Anyone else find it difficult to wear something other than your "uniform"?

Navy and white striped t-shirt - Zara
Dark indigo skinny flares - Topshop
Camel knitted blazer - Whistles
Chestnut boots - LK Bennett (these are so so old but are the perfect heel height for these jeans.  Don't get worn often but still have their place.  To say they're on their last legs is an understatement mind)
Fabulous Finches print scarf (their name not mine!) - Mulberry
Sunglasses (on head!) - Tom Ford
Tan rivet cuff - Mulberry
Tan shopper - Zara

And a close up of the scarf.  I think it deserves it!!

Have a good Monday everyone!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

An initial foray into Print and My Lust of the Day

So print is everywhere this S/S.  Tribal print, floral print, animal print, any print goes.  And apparently if we're feeling really brave we can wear them all together.  Or maybe not.

The older I get, the more Print scares me.  Actually I've never really been a fan.  Fully paid up member of the Stripe fanclub, check,  but I'm not sure that really counts as Print.  And, god forbid, it should be a brightly coloured Print.  I can feel myself coming out in hives just typing this.

It's a classic frump/mutton minefield.  Will that Aztec print make me look like I'm attempting to gatecrash the Student Union? (which would not be a good look)  And that fabulous floral blouse?  Is it really fabulous on me or just a bit old people's home?  I'm not even going to start on the printed trousers which are everywhere.  Suffice to say, pretty much a minefield.

Plus generally, I tend to now want to buy clothes to last.  Like I've said previously, I find the older I get, the more discerning I have to be about the quality and cut of things.  Therefore I want/need/expect clothes to last longer than one season.  And Print can be very seasonal.  The obvious choice of course, is to buy at the lower end of the High Street and enjoy it for one season and then charity shop it.   (or ebay it if you're one of those organised people.  Like me. Not.)  There definitely is something to be said for more disposable shopping.  (contradictory much?!)

But I do find there is one very easy solution. In fact, I could wax lyrical about the beauty and function of them for hours (and probably will over the coming months!)  The humble, delicious, holy grail of outfit solutions - The Scarf.  (aka My Addiction)

I can't think of any other way to so easily add Print into your wardrobe.  It's the perfect solution to instantly update an outfit.  Plus a far more versatile and wearable option that just one butterfly print blouse (that only goes with one jacket etc etc). And they're so easy to wear all Autumn/Winter as well as in the Spring.   Doubling up as a cover up for Summer evenings, you can pretty much wear a scarf all year round.   With the range from Designer to High Street being so huge, it's easy to build up a collection that will last you for years.   

My favourite scarf ever was a huge investment a couple of years ago.   The classic Louis Vuitton leopard print stole.  Eye wateringly expensive but I wear it at least once a week which makes it, cost per wear, utterly bargainous.   The husband would definitely disagree with me, but I genuinely think that leopard print (as a whole - we could find some absolute leopard howlers if we looked!)  has managed to transcend it's Bet Lynch image and is an easy addition to any wardrobe, any time of the year - especially in all the different colourways you can now get leopard print in.

I love it so much that I'd have it in every colourway if I could afford it.  Alas I can't but I do have some inspired versions that aren't the best quality wise, but are certainly fab for a colour/pattern pop.

This season, Zara have some great leopard print scarves in store.  Huge, lovely quality, definite good buys.

Two other higher end scarf designers (and much more reasonable than LV) I can highly recommend are Virginia Johnson (more difficult to get hold of in the UK but worth tracking down if you see a style you love.  The quality, pattern and colours are gorgeous. I have a camel one and I totally heart it.) and Lily & Lionel .  I don't have one of the latter but I know a couple of people who do and again, they're lovely scarves.  (also sold in Whistles as well as other outlets)

Another of my "go to" haunts for scarves is the wonderful By Malene Birger.  In fact, she's a "go to" haunt for a lot of things in my wardrobe, as will become evident.  I have a staple khaki leopard print scarf and a tan and black reptile print one, both of which have been excellent buys.  And have been worn much much more than an item of clothing in the same print would have been.   There does seem to be something about a scarf that makes it easier to wear more frequently than a top say, in the same pattern/colour.  Go figure. (actually don't, just go shop!) 

This season, if I did have a pink scarf hole in my wardrobe I would definitely be purchasing this little beauty.  No doubt  I'll happen to find one later in the season........  I love it.  A definitely contender for My Lust of The Day.

Just to prove that you can add pattern and colour much more cheaply as well, I've found this lovely number from Warehouse  which is a fantastic £20.   (and rather reminiscent of a Mulberry one I got for Christmas!)  Haven't seen it in the flesh but it looks so pretty online.

Whilst we're talking more reasonably priced scarves, if the Virginia Johnson ones did take your fancy then I can highly recommend this one from Dorothy Perkins at a staggering £12!  Ok so it's not going to last forever but you can't go wrong at that price.  

 (and if you look, there are some camel ones as well which are scarily similar to the VJ ones.......hmmmmmm.  They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  And obviously the quality is very different. - she says trying not to think how much she paid for her VJ camel one.)

My Lust of the Day however, is completely not to everyone's taste.   But I do have an inner rock chick that does try to get out (I have a lot of weirdos in there to be fair) and therefore she has chosen this.   The Alice by Temperly Talisman Scarf.  Need. Need. Need.

This certainly won't be my last blog about print, there's way too much of it around this season not to have to talk about it again.  Plus as soon as the sun comes out, all rationale goes out of the window and each season I end up buying at least one massively random item.  And of course, it's nearly always a Print one!!! 

Would love to hear your thoughts below about Print and/or Scarves.  Please do comment!!