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Saturday, 31 March 2012

A bargain sandal, a cheeky purchase and general drivel.

I apologise, I apologise, I've not been around.  On the upside, I have been busy, not just taking care of the daily duties of Rugrats/washing/being a taxi service/cook/cleaner and general dogsbody, but I have actually been shopping.  And I managed to leave Bob at home - let's hang out the bunting.  Normal service has been resumed with Fashion Mojo at the helm, getting ready to flex the plastic and do some serious shopping damage. 

Which isn't entirely true - I was very much on a window shopping expedition, fully aware that as it was suddenly glorious beach in the Med weather, the chances of me coming home with something wholly unsuitable for the school run yet fabulous for a night out on holiday with copious amounts of margaritas and a slight sunburn, was high.  It wouldn't perhaps be such an issue if holidays that involved cocktail laden hedonistic nights were still on the cards.  But they're not - in the foreseeable future anyway (although talk of a girls weekend away in September has me mighty mighty excited!).

Anyway, shopping with a friend who did exceedingly well with virtually an entire new wardrobe.  The bargain of which has to be a pair of tan leather thong sandals. 

Now my favourite sandals which I discovered last year (I think they're only two years old actually) are the Sam Edelman Gigis.  I am the fortunate owner of toes which look like fingers.  Which would be handy were I a monkey but as someone who likes her feet to look slightly less simian, they need careful consideration when buying sandals.  I've discovered over the years that anything that has my toes on full show ie with a strap over the toe end of my foot, is a total no go.  Too much toe and if you glanced quickly (after a drink or ten) you would be forgiven for thinking for a millisecond that I was doing a handstand with my hands in my shoes.  Yuck.

Randomly though, a thong sandal or a flipflop doesn't seem to be that bad.  Go figure.  Ours is not to reason why, it is to purchase thong sandals and nowt else.

So imagine my delight when I got chatting to a lady in All Saints (she was admiring the boot I was trying on on one foot and the sandal that I owned on my other foot - I regularly manage to end up talking to complete randoms in shops. I appreciate I am a weirdo).  I asked were her sandals also Sam Edelman Gigis and she said no, she'd wanted them but had found the beauties she had on instead, in...... Marks and Spencers kids shoe section.  For a wapping £12!  Unbloodybelieveable.  Clearly the only thing to do was to hot foot it (pardon the pun) to M&S and yes indeed, here are the utterly bargainous tan leather sandals - ranging from £12 to £14 depending on size. 

And these are the Sam Edelman Gigis

Now the hugely irritating thing is that whilst I don't have enormous plates of meat (for my Gulliver stature), they are a large 6 or a 6.5.  And the largest size in the kids selection is a 6 but it's a very small 6.  Especially in this style - I did experiment and try another couple of pairs of sandals on (which anyone over the age of 12 really wouldn't want to wear but all in the interests of research etc)  and they actually came up bigger.  Typical.  They may look marginally different in the above photos but when they're on your feet, they do honestly look so similar.   I would have snapped them up in a heartbeat if they'd fitted and I wasn't going to cut off circulation below the ankle by wearing them.  Definitely worth hunting down if they're your cup of tea and you are of more diminutive trotter than moi.

I have also come across these from New Look which are obviously pleather for £12.99 and I've yet to check out how convincing the patent bit is in real life.   I do really like the shaping of the sole though.

So I shall be tracking them down to see what they're actually like in the flesh - for no other reason than it's so difficult to get hold of the Sam Edelman ones in the UK in the colour combo that you want.  They retail normally for around £70.  I have a pair from last year and they still look great - I'll definitely get another year out of them and I wore them pretty much constantly all summer  So, whilst not £12/£14, I was pleased with them for a £68 investment.  (actually pictured below in Thursday's pic)

To make up for my disappointing lack of sandal purchase, I treated myself to a summer jumper purchase.  Ok I confess, I treated myself to two summer jumper purchases as I couldn't make my mind up between the bland natural or the bland pebble.  Clearly I was overwhelmed by the onslaught of colour.......   I may take the grey one back.  Or I may not.  These,  I'm predicting will be perfect for Spring days and Summer nights which aren't biblically scorching but too warm for anything clingy.  Have already worn the natural one - pic below on Thursday night. 

Normally I wouldn't buy two of the same thing in such similar colours but this is my favourite shape of top and they both go perfectly with all my existing trousers, scarves, shoes, vests etc.  Plus with my new foray into mutton jeans, these are exactly what I need to, a) tone them down and b) mumsy them up a bit.

Rectangular Linen Sweater from The White Company

(how the hell doesn't she have biro on her white sofa......)

Now briefly on to what I've been wearing 

Thursday - lovely day shopping

Print silk jersey dress - this is ancient and I can't remember it's official name - DVF
White straight leg jeans rolled up - Zara
Rose gold Gigi sandals - Sam Edelman
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Vanilla Roxanne - Mulberry

Thursday night - The Husband was out so a Girls night in.  Lovely, lovely evening!

Natural linen rectangular sweater - The White Company
Floral skinny Leigh jeans - Topshop
Gold flower cuff - Etsy
Gold flower earrings - Etsy
Tan wedges - Sam Edelman

And a close up of the wedges as these were one of my favourite purchases of last summer.  Wonderfully comfortable, only slight downer is they're insanely high and do have me tottering on the brink of tranny territory.  But they're so gorgeous, I don't care.

Friday - another blissful day shopping and lunch.  (a last min break for freedom before the onslaught of the Easter holidays - that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it)

Black vest - Primark
Black rectangular tee with cream sleeves - Cos
Red skinny Leigh jeans - Topshop
Tan and black tiger print scarf - Dorothy Perkins
Tan Cypress boots - Acne
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara

And today when it's turned decidedly chilly!  I did start the day in another outfit but changed tops after doing the gymnastics run at the crack of dawn.  Do we think that was our summer?

Long sleeved white tee - Topshop
Oversized cable knit stone jumper dress - Aubin & Wills
Tan skinny trousers - Dorothy Perkins
Beige and black snakeskin print scarf - By Malene Birger
Chestnut battered cross body bag - Campomaggi at Plumo
Chestnut peep toe heeled boots - Kurt Geiger

Finally, thank you so so much to everyone who commented here and on Facebook about the  floral jeans escapade.  Very much mixed opinion but wouldn't it be a boring world if we all liked the same thing?!  I completely agree that in the photo the other day, they did indeed look rather legging-esque.  But I have been assured (as I too think - I do have a pretty much pathological hatred of leggings on me) that they do definitely look like skinny jeans in real life.  Just very skinny jeans!!  They are completely marmite, that goes without saying but they're my jolly nod to Summer and I'll hopefully get a bit of wear out of them.  The Husband thinks they are the most hideous thing he's ever set eyes on............

Thanks for reading and I do love hearing your comments.  xx

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Drum roll..... it's the floral jeans moment....

You wouldn't believe the number of times I've tried these babies on.  Actually don't ask my Rugrats as even Rugrat 3 (at the age of 3 with dummy in mouth) said the other day "not again mummy....."  

Rugrat 1 was no help at all.   I couldn't work out whether to take her sage fashion advice or remember that she's only 7 and thinks a side ponytail, bared midriff (which she's not allowed), one shoulder exposed (ditto) and rolled down socks (knock yourself out with that one) is the height of fashion.  "I think there are just too many flowers for someone of your age", she loftily proclaimed.  I will admit to being ever so slightly offended and then getting a grip as she sloped off to watch Victorious (remembering this is the same 7 year old who wants me to wear a tracksuit to accompany her on her school trip next term.  Enough said)  I did, however, take to hiding from her when I tried them on the next 20 times. 

When all is said and done, they probably are verging on the side of mutton.  There, I've said it and admitted it.  But for £40, I think I'm going to just say, what the hell, and go with it.  Yes, it does go against every fashion rule in my body but I think there are moments when, so long as they're flattering, it might be ok.  And so long as I wear with enough confidence, I may just get away with an Emperor's new clothes moment. 

So no more procrastinating, here is the evidence, in technicolour glory:-

Hell, they look really quite bright in that photo......... hmmm maybe I will end up having a breadmaker moment.......  But I'm going to give it a go.  As a good friend of mine said last week when we went shopping (well, when Bob was out shopping but this was lucid advice which I did take to heart) - would you look back when you're 50 and be more likely to think - I can't believe I wore those, or I'm gutted I didn't wear them when I could have done.   I'm plumping for the former. 

At the moment,  I'm planning on wearing them for nights out, as above (I'm not actually going out here, this was me just bunging outfit on for photo) and am going to see if I can dress them for the day.  I'm envisaging loose boxy black or cream tee (which I do actually have, miracle of miracles) and Havaianas or other flat plain sandals (again which I own - yippee).

Would love to know your thoughts - feel free to guffaw loudly.  The Husband, by the way, thinks I've lost all leave of my senses and is one step away from calling the men in white coats.  Needless to say I may have to keep them for girls nights out.  I think though, at £40, they're a great way to get a completely new set of outfits, utilising what I already have in my wardrobe from last year.  Which, in itself, is a reason to keep them.

On to what I'm wearing today in this absolutely stunning weather.  I will admit I was up at a sparrow's fart this morning and have lathered myself in my gradual self tanner thingy. (new L'Oreal one) I know it's effective, as the inside of my fingers are a dark nut brown.  I also know I'm not remotely effective at applying it, as the rest of my body (bar my elbows of course) is still a whiter shade of pale.  Fail.  I can also imagine that the inside of my rather pale clothing is stained within an inch of it's life.  Happy days in the life of an Irish descendant.  

I definitely do think though, that the way forward for those of us who aren't ready to bare flesh quite yet (it's still goddamn MARCH), is to wear lighter shades of clothing.  Nothing wrong with whipping out the white jeans, just add a pale longsleeved loose top and it's easy to feel cool but not look out of place.  Dark clothes just somehow seem warmer in this weather. 

So today:-

Nude vest - Primark
Creamy beige (again, this is Unicorn allegedly...) cowl neck top - FCUK
White skinny jeans - Next
Tan leather ankle strap flipflop sandals - Gap
Bone and shell collar necklace - By Malene Birger
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara

See you tomorrow!  Am going shopping (primarily to take back all the crud that Bob bought last week....) so may or may not have something to report.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

What I wore today and My Lust of the Day

Well apparently we should make the most of the weather as come the weekend, back to typical March averageness.  Actually it will be April so let's keep our fingers crossed for none of those shower thingies.  I really don't do rain very well. I don't do rain at all, if I'm honest, bar looking at it from the inside of a bar with a large drink in my hand.  Preferably with a roaring fire and someone babysitting my kids, with no self imposed curfew.  In those circumstances, bring on the rain. 

However another warm one today and I did, for a brief millisecond, consider sandals, but the hideousness of my trotters soon put pay to that.  I did though, break out the gradual tanner body lotion this morning.  At this rate, I should be fit for flesh exposure come the May half term. 

Happily, (with a touch of self delusion) I do think that it is acceptable to still wear boots in March.  Therefore my outfit looked like this:

Beige linen tee - Zara
Indigo Baxters - Topshop
Black and white cardigan - By Malene Birger
Leopard print scarf - Louis Vuitton
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Gold pine cones necklace - NW3 by Hobbs
Black stud ankle boots - Pied a Terre
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara 

Now for My Lust of the Day.  I really think I do need one of these in my life.   I should start by saying I adore, and have wanted for years, an Alexander Wang bag.  I'm not particularly fussy about which one, a Diego bucket bag would be lovely, but they've always struck me as being not particularly a classic and at circa £700, I would really want to use it for a good number of years.  I am, therefore, ignoring the fact that I've wanted one of these for about 3 years now and regularly think how useful it would be to have one.  Oh well, I completely thought it would be a one season wonder but clearly not.  Check me out, fashion (but without fabulous bag) guru. 

So it's not surprising I was rather excited to see the new bag by Project D (joint venture by Danni Minogue and Tabitha Somerset. If Posh Spice can shrug off her dodgy popstar roots to be taken seriously in the fashion world, no reason why Danni can't.  Actually a lot of her collection is pretty darn fabulous and not offensively expensive either).    I love it.  And I almost love everything about it.  The one ever so slightly irritating (and massively random if I'm honest) issue that I'm struggling to comprehend, is that it's been developed in collaboration with Kenco Millicano.  Now when I first read this a while ago, I genuinely thought - "ooh a new up and coming Japanese designer"  That will be a no.  

Not in a million years did I ever think that it was Kenco Millicano coffee.  Yes, you read that right.  Instant coffee. (I'm sorry, you can polish a turd as much as you want but it still tastes like instant coffee. Not that there's anything wrong with instant coffee.  Well I think there is, but appreciate that a lot of people don't.  And clearly they think there's something wrong with it as they're trying to persuade us that their product doesn't taste like instant coffee.  Clear as mud?  Mind boggling.)

I'm very much on the fence as to whether or not I want to have a bag that is a collaboration with a random coffee make.  Or whether I actually care.  I'm assuming (maybe that's making as ass out of me as I don't know......) that it doesn't actually say Kenco anywhere on the bag.  It's just called The K Bag (although again, I'm not sure it says that anywhere on it and even if it did, would anyone know - or care - that K stood for Kenco?  I do know you get a free tiny pack of coffee with it.  Again, that's not necessarily a positive, surely?)

What I would consider of interest is that they're only making 300 of them and so they're not going to be too prolific.  Which they may well have well been, as they're only £250.  Ok, just to quality that statement, I appreciate this is an awful lot to be spending on a bag, don't get me wrong, but if the quality is as good as it looks and it is a limited run, £250 for a designer bag (I'm completely discounting the coffee connection now, for the record), is a reasonable price. 

The most important point is that it's an absolutely gorgeous bag.  Of course, if the Alexander Wang isn't your cup of tea, then you will think this, no doubt, is mingerama as well.  But I just love it.  It's my inner Chrissie Hynde (another of my "inners". The rock chick in me that the countryburbs have relegated to the loft) just sneaking a peak.  I adore it.   The more I look at it, the more I adore it.  The fact that you also get a clutch inside as well as an extra..... If I could just get past that whiff of coffee........  Exclusively at My Wardrobe.

As I'm writing this, I've just seen it's going to be 23 degrees tomorrow.  Bugger. Even I don't think I can get away with boots in that heat.  Even ballet pumps might be a tad on the sweaty side.  "mentally tries to work out if it's remotely possible to get up early enough to put on fake tan......" (highly unlikely as, rather like in the rain, I don't function well in the morning.  To put it mildly)  Tomorrow's outfit should be interesting!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Bob is on the loose. Hide the credit card.

Missing.  One Fashion Mojo.  My Fashion Mojo is the side of me that knows what she's talking about.  The sensible, put together and competent side of me.  The (admittedly arguably) sane side of me.  The side that's reared her ugly head and has been coming out shopping with me over the past week, is the insane, PMT driven, wake me up when it's over, side. The side that shouldn't ever be let loose with a credit card. 

This side - I'm going to call her Bob as I can't call her anything female as I am bound to offend someone - comes out pretty much at this time every season.  I know this, as there are some complete beauties (read horrors) in my wardrobe that are courtesy of her little shopping escapades.  When my usual Fashion Mojo has buggered off somewhere, bound and gagged, Bob gets her rocks off on the High Street.  

The most annoying thing is that I am fully aware of when she's getting geared up to come out to play.  She even follows rules as to when she's allowed on the prowl.

1)  A month or so into new season stock, Fashion Mojo has decided what is going to work for me this season and she's already earmarked a couple of things that will work perfectly with my existing wardrobe.  I smugly go to purchase them only to find they've sold out.  Panic.  Cue Bob.  Foaming at the mouth at the thought of being let loose with my purse.
2) In Panic mode from point 1, Bob then desperately combs the high street to find replacement items.  
3) Clearly finding said items as fabulous as the original ones is like locating rocking horse poo and Bob therefore ends up purchasing a big pile of tut that vaguely resemble my lust items. 
4) Bob brings replacement items home and find that, as they are only vaguely similar to what Fashion Mojo had originally had in mind, they don't work quite so perfectly with existing wardrobe.  Which is a polite way of saying, they don't remotely go.  At.  All. 
5) The obvious thing would be to take the entire lot back. However Bob thinks the obvious idea is to go and purchase more highly unsuitable items in the hope that they will work with the first set of crap that she bought. 
6) Bob admits defeat when the spare room is awash with carrier bags of said crap and goes and pleads mercy from Fashion Mojo that she'd kidnapped and stuffed at the back of the knicker drawer.

Every.  Season.   It's almost as if I get fashion overload from looking at it constantly.  I blame magazines.  One minute I'm supposed to be all about the print jeans, no, the print trousers, no, the print shirt or print blazer, no, the print shirt/blazer AND the print trousers (never.  ever.  ever.).  This week, finally, it's print pyjamas.  As day wear.  Seriously is it any wonder, as an approaching 40 year old living in the burbs, (ok so just outside the M25, are they countryburbs?) I can get confused.  I love fashion, I live eat and breathe fashion, I'm about to launch a fashion business.  But there is just so much of fashion that one has to just draw the line at and admit it's never going to work.  It's back to the old inner Alexa.  

And the weather doesn't help.  Errrrrrr hello? Knock, knock, Spring?  Where the heck are you?  I can't be the only one who needs more than a millisecond warning before Summer?  I do feel that I am somewhat at a disadvantage, having skin that needs to turn from blue to white before I can get anywhere near a shade of pale pink, let alone something resembling tan.  I can't wear trousers that bare anything more of a cm of flesh, as I look like I'm sporting white popsocks.  Honestly.  Suffice to say not a great look.  As for sandals?   Think corpse.  Needless to say I'm still stuffing my trotters into boots and the odd (sturdy) ballet pump.

So I'm all in a bit of a kerfuffle with what to wear.  I absolutely know I'm not the only one as I have had one or 100 conversations with people asking me what to wear in this weather.   I think I've just about got a grip on it, so long as it doesn't get above 22.  Ish.  I shall cross that bridge when I come to it and shall console myself with the chances of it staying this pleasant for the Easter holidays, are absolutely nil.  I would bet higher odds on snow.

On the upside, it has made my Fashion Mojo thrash her way loose of those knickers, give Bob a big punch in the boobs and tell her to trot on until Autumn.  Focus.  Focus.  Focus. 

I've gone back to the drawing board and am properly thinking about what exactly I do need for  Spring/Summer.  It's so unbelievably easy to get distracted, especially if you are a lover of fashion, as there are so many wonderful new looks out there to try.  It's also unbelievably easy to let your Bob do the shopping and end up with a wardrobe full of unwearable tut that you'll just hate wearing and therefore won't (or will and feel darn miserable).

So watch this space in the coming weeks as I finally work out what I do need and what I'm going to buy.  There's bound to be something I did see at the beginning of Feb that I will kick myself for not buying.  But there's bound to be a lot more I could have panic bought now and regret come July.  Patience is a virtue.  One that Bob doesn't posses.  Kick your inner Bob to the curb and just hold fire.

(At this juncture, I should possibly point out that I'm not a certified sufferer of schizophrenia.  My inner personalities are merely figures of, a somewhat combobulated, speech)

So what I've been wearing in this glorious sunshine:  (can't annotate what I've been doing as smallest Rugrat has been ill, I've had bugger all sleep and frankly I can't remember. Normal service will resume this week, I promise)


Blush boxy thin knit jumper - H&M
Indigo straight legs turned up to 7/8ths - Jigsaw
Nude and pink Camel scarf - Virginia Johnson
Gold chunky link bracelet - Made
Rose gold ballet pumps - Zara
Chestnut battered cross body bag  - Campomaggi at Plumo


Navy and white striped tunic - H&M
White skinnies - Dorothy Perkins (these have been absurdly fabulous.  I think they're 5 years old now.  They don't make quality like they used to....)
Navy blazer - Zara
Silver ballet pumps - Zara
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Gold charm necklace - Made
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara


Emerald green linen tee - Zara
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Jade, khaki and teal leopard print scarf - M&S
Navy blazer - Zara
Chestnut peep toe lace up heeled boots - Kurt Geiger
Tan shopper - Zara


White longline vest - Joseph
Silver metallic boxy jumper - Zara
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Gold pine cones necklace - NW3 by Hobbs
Black and gold stud ankle boots - Pied a Terre
Tan shopper - Zara

Sunday - day spent decluttering.  Am on a mission.  Am spending hours doing it. Nothing is looking vastly different. It's no wonder I prefer shopping.  Tracksuit.  Not fit for public consumption.


Navy and white striped longline jersey top - Joules
Indigo straight legged jeans turned up to 7/8ths - Jigsaw
Off white swing cardigan - Goat
Rose gold ballet pumps - Zara
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Tan shopper - Zara

I'll be back tomorrow.  Promise!   Please do feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions on anything.  (email is somewhere around I believe..)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

All about shoes and my inner Alexa.

Spring is finally here! I did have a scary dream last night that we had freak snow (remember when it snowed in April for Easter a couple of years ago) and bolted to the window this morning but thankfully, the white stuff had stayed away.  I honestly think I would down tools and refuse to leave the house (that'll be my mature, reasonable side coming to the fore once more) until I could venture out in ballet pumps.  

Speaking of ballet pumps and spring weather, a couple of people have asked me if I would do a piece on spring footwear.  Apparently my blog on wedge trainers didn't fill the shoe gap between full on boot and flipflop as it was intended.  Funny that.  I did predict that they would be a marmite item and I certainly hadn't anticipated seeing a charge of wedge trainers on the school run or in the supermarket.  I will admit I haven't ruled them out though..... I just can't thoyle them at the moment. ( Fabulous word that - one from my days living in Yorkshire.  Something you can afford but you just can't justify when you have other things that you'd be better spending your money on.  Having said that, I've just googled it and it doesn't seem to remotely exist.  Hmmm.  Well bugger that, I've been using it for years and it's a bloody excellent word, even more so considering it only exists in my oddbod world.  Clearly my Northern counterparts saw the Southern jesse coming a mile off and are still probably having a huge guffaw at my expense.   Literary genius, clearly I am not)

Back to the case in question.  What does one wear when it just feels wrong wearing full on boots but they'd cart you off to the funny farm if you ventured out in flipflops?

Well firstly I still advocate the ankle boot.   I know it's a boot but there are boots and there are boots (this is the bit where The Husband rolls his eyes and makes shooting himself gestures) This may only be something a woman can understand but, as I say to him, that's like me saying there's only one sort of functional trainer.  An ugly one.  Last year I had the not so pleasurable experience of going to buy new trainers. (as I was doing The Moon Walk which is a full marathon.  Oh yes, all of the 26.something miles.  At night.  In the dark.  In the cold.  I shall say nothing else negative as it is for an amazing cause and does raise a huge amount of cash.  But suffice to say I therefore have nothing else to say on the topic.)  

My old trainers, well, if you can really call them that, were a "fashun" pair of Gola slip on thingies from the mid 90's.  As I may have mentioned once or twice, I'm not what one would ever term, a Gym Bunny.  In fact it's rare to see exercise and my name mentioned in the same sentence unless accompanied by the words "lack of" or "bugger all".   So I dragged my sorry ass into a specialist running shop.  To be greeted by a lovely (soon to be somewhat perplexed) lady who asked what I was looking for.  

"Trainers to walk a marathon in"

"And what sort of shoe did you have in mind", she said gesturing at the wall of trainers behind her. 

And for the first time ever, I had an inkling of what The Husband goes through when he ever comes shopping with me and I ask him which x, y or z he prefers.  That blank expression which reads "but they all look the same"   There I was, knowing I had the exact same look on my face. 

"They all look the same." (I may have muttered something along the lines of "hideous" at this point)

"Well they're not..... (cue lengthy ramble as to their differences at which point I did completely zone out and had to double check I hadn't actually become a man)  So is there a colour you'd prefer?"  

I will admit I thought she might have been joking at this point.  Did she really think I was going to have a preference (bearing in mind that I am, at heart, a black/navy/khaki/camel/beige girl and they don't really make trainers in that jolly, energy inspiring colour palette.  For some random reason....) between neon pink, violet, turquoise, pistachio green or other various rather bright (I was secretly thinking "lurid") shades of pink/purple/blue/green?  All of which were going to get trashed in the mud during my extensive and rigorous training plan I had in mind.

"Right, ok, my criteria is a) I need trainers that don't give me a blister and b) cheap"

And the rest of the story is too dull to continue with (I bought trainers. I still have trainers.  I shall continue to have these trainers until they literally fall apart and I have to go through the whole rigmarole again.  They're white/silver with turquoise go faster bits on the side which don't actually work)  But suffice to say, a valuable lesson was learnt in seeing how other people, who may not share my ridiculous obsession with shoes, see a shoe shop. The moral of the story is:-  Don't take The Husband shopping.  Just take his credit card.

Back to boots.  There are some fantastic ankle boots out there which will serve you well over the next couple of months.  My absolute favourite have to be the Ambush Side zip ankle boot from Topshop

These would look great with skinnies, straight leg jeans rolled up, even under boot cut and definitely under a maxi skirt.  They are a great homage to (I wouldn't be so impolite as to imply copy) the Acne Pistol boot but at a fraction of the cost.  Hats off to Topshop (am having a complete love affair with Topshop at the mo.)  Perfect for those days when it's wet but actually quite warm.  Look great teamed with jeans and a lighter weight top.  And they'll hold their own come Sept/Oct when we have the same issue between flipflop and full on boot!

There are loads of ankle boots on the market at the moment.  Whilst we're here, I'm going to bung in My Lust of the Day as I just adore them.  Perfect in every way, bar the fact they're 5 inches in heel height which elevate me to tranny status.  I don't mind it on a night out but during the day I just look comedy.  Definitely a night out boot (of which I have absolutely zero need)  The Python Wedge Chelsea Boots from Topshop  

Second on my list of options is my beloved ballet pump.  What was good enough for Princess Di, is good enough for me. (actually sod that, I refused to wear blue eyeliner in the 80's let along now)  Completely timeless and I honestly think there is a ballet pump of sorts to suit every taste.  

I would love a pair of tan ones and if money were no object then these Chloe beauties would be mine in a flash.  Actually to be fair, I'd like them more tan/nude and less chestnut so it's sort of handy that they're completely out of my budget.  And even more handily they're sold out in my size.  Everyone's a winner.

Other more neutral and more pocket friendly (although still at the pricier end of the market) are these by my beloved Sam Edelman (worth a trip to the US just to stock up on)  Pic doesn't do them justice. 

Once again though, it's Zara though who come up trumps on the shoe front.  They are having an absolute stormer of a season.  My complete addiction for the past 18 years, having discovered them when I lived in Spain as a student, they are my go to shop for pretty much everything.  I even used to get all of my underwear there when they sold it (and embarrassingly I still have some.  I still wear it.  It's older than my children. I probably deserve better.  Buying underwear however, much to the utter chagrin of The Husband, is up there for me, with the excitement of buying functional trainers.)

Shoes, on the other hand, I could (and might) spend the Rugrats dinner money on.  (there's nothing wrong with baked beans - especially when they're served by a mummy with exquisite shoes on)

So from a classic cheap and cheerful (yet for £40 the leather will, I bet, be lovely) nude ballet pump

to a completely up to date version.  These have sneakily edged their way to My Lust of the Day Mark Two.  Black Ballerinas with skulls  Another totally marmite something but I adore.

The third option is the twist on a ballet pump.  Staying at Zara (it's so easy to and why would you go anywhere else?!), I am again loving and, feck it, I'm having a Lust of the Day Mark Three, Nude and Black plaited flat with ankle strap

Another option for a more casual look is the flat trainer.  Not the kind that you have to go to a sports shop to buy.  May I stress it is completely only my opinion which holds no value to anyone but I'm just going to come out and say it and risk offending someone.  Unless you are on your way to or from a gym or some form of exercise that involves sweat, I feel (strongly) that these should remain in a kit bag. I hold a similar theory with regards to fleeces but I shall quit whilst I'm ahead and move swiftly on.  

The old fave is of course the Converse.  Available in a rainbow of colours to suit every need. I personally have in navy and yellow. 

Another classic is the Superga - again available in a plethora of colours to suit.

Complete classic which you'd get a ton of wear out of over the coming months.  

Newer kids on the block are the Ash metallic numbers in low or high top.  A selection available from Ash

And then we have a whole arena of flats that, I confess, to drawing a blank at, but it would be remiss of me not to mention that they're out there.  A fine example of where the minefield of mutton versus frump comes alive and threatens to blow me out of the water.  Loafers are a prime example.  Russell & Bromley have, in fact, been doing them for a couple of years.   Now I adored these first time round.  I had oxblood beauties that I saved and saved for, from Next.  The consummate height of passion for a 14 year old working on Wembley Market at the weekends to save her pennies to buy clothes.  (maybe I wasn't as cool as I thought, as I remember hankering after an embroidered cardigan from there as well. hmmmm)

However at 37 I could easily afford them and thought they'd be great.  Alexa Chung looked fab in them after all.  And there in, alas, was my error.  Yes, Alexa Chung looked great in them as she was about 10 and didn't live in the home counties doing the school run, taking the kids to Brownies, swimming and jujitsu and joke about taking a bum bag and pound coin holder when she went on a rare night out, Up West (not sure I've mentioned that gem - will save it for another day.  It's really not worth waiting for I hasten to add)

Suffice to say, they epitomised the mutton/frump dilemma.  I didn't look remotely mutton in them.  Hell no, I looked like a retired librarian.  Of course it didn't stop me buying and returning them three times in the hope that one day I'd look into the mirror and see Alexa grinning back at me.  Err, yeah no, that never happened.  Somewhat unsurprisingly.

Hence my lack of enthusiasm at trying moccasin boat shoes, espadriilles, t-bar shoes, the aforementioned loafer (tassel or penny), brothel creepers, brogues, deck shoes or slippers.   There are a myriad of options of all of the above out there, if any of them take your fancy.  I would hate to put anyone off and would love someone to find their inner Alexa.  Mine told me to F off in no uncertain terms. I'm sure yours won't be nearly as rude. 

Very briefly now as I have kids to put to bed.  The tv has done an excellent job of babysitting for the past hour but I should probably step up to the Mummy plate.  Warning - do not be afraid - pictures are bigger.  I am verging on lifesize.  If too big, do let me know and I can reduce.

Sunday for Mothers Day (lovely relaxing day and then dinner with all three Rugrats and The Husband.  Astonishingly it didn't descend into carnage.  All hail the Smith & Western restaurant in Tunbridge Wells.  Gordon Ramsay it's not but I would certainly recommend for a family outing) 

White ribbed longline vest - Joseph
Khaki button longline 3/4 sleeve tee - Joseph
Stone skinny trousers - Dorothy Perkins
Camel tweed edged with leather military jacket - Jesiree
Khaki and black leopard print scarf - By Malene Birger
Camel Cypress ankle boots - Acne
Tan leather cuff - Mulberry
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara

Monday back to reality and back to the school run.  Then coffee and breakfast with one of my best friends who's just moved into a gorgeous house (where I plan on spending A Lot of Time!)  And an afternoon spent sorting out the quagmire that used to be my boys bedroom.  I went through all their clothes (of which there was an obscene amount) and have sorted everything into seasons and ages.   The first of my spring cleaning bouts.  There will (there must - I'm slowly turning into Stig of the Dump) be more decluttering efforts. 

Black vest - Primark 
Black fine knit long sleeved jumper - Cos
Khaki skinny zip jeans - By Malene Birger
Black vintage style tweed blazer - Zara
Khaki and black leopard print scarf - By Malene Birger
Black Madonna stud wedge trainers - Ash
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara

Today, a lovely coffee morning for Rugrat Two's class at a friend's house.  And then onto brunch at another close friends house.  (acknowledgement of massively lazy morning)  Home to tidy for the cleaner.  I have been heard to say that I tidy for the cleaner so they can spend their time cleaning.  Which is a crock of shit.  What I actually mean is that I tidy so they don't see what an absolute state we live in the rest of the week.  Confession over. 

Navy fine knit short sleeved jumper dress - Whistles
Distressed biker style skinny jeans - By Malene Birger
Beige and navy tie dye style scarf - Cos
Camel knitted blazer - Whistles
Gold pine cones necklace - NW3 by Hobbs
Chestnut peep toe lace up heeled ankle boots - Kurt Geiger
Chestnut vintage style cross body bag - Campomaggi from Plumo

Enjoy the sunshine tomorrow - is supposed to be verging on scorching (for March that is!)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Should fashion and trainer be used in the same sentence?

Let alone adding heel or wedge to the equation.  Well maybe yes, if you're sub 30 and have boobs that stay in the same place when you lie down, but at 39? (forgot to mention I'm now 39.  I do actually keep forgetting but 'handily' Rugrat One sees it as her mission in life to remind me on a regular basis.  This, along with reminding me that Daddy is five months younger than me.  He also thinks this is of great amusement.  Oh how we laugh.....)

It does, however, appear that the wedge trainer (which are strictly not for exercising in. I say that as if I am an expert in exercise.  As you may be aware by now, I am most definitely not.  Let's just call it an educated guess) is everywhere this S/S.

It's probably Isabel Marant whom we have to thank for the plethora of these on the market.  Her Willow Wedge Trainer was the first of many similar editions to hit the market.  

They were a snip at £435 and are pretty much completely sold out.  Errr obviously.  My incredulity at people spending over £400 on trainers leads me to believe that perhaps I'm not the target market for these.  It may also be that this particular style doesn't float my boat.  I don't even care that they're Isabel Marant (which is when I know I 'really' don't like them as even I'll admit I can readily have my head turned by a label)  They just look a bit too sporty.  For example, if you had to charge 500 yards down the road in them, you probably could - maybe even get a bit of speed up and look vaguely athletic. Hell you could probably get a bit of a rhythm going.  Which is about as far away from what I desire in my footwear as is humanely possible.  If there isn't so much as a hint of a totter when you maybe have to just walk fast, let along jog or, god forbid, run, then there is no place for them in my footwear hall of fame. 

So handily the eyewateringly fugly Isabel Marant trainers weren't making any wish list of mine. However I have always had a soft spot for the wonderful European brand (I can't work out if it's French or Italian having been started by a Frenchman and an Italian.  European works) Ash.  Who have been making heeled trainers in fact for a number of years now. I myself own such a pair, the Madonna studded ones, but they don't hold quite the utilitarian trainer-ness of the Isabel Marant ones.  I will happily wear them and don't feel that anyone whispers baaaa behind my back (and if they do I couldn't give a monkeys. I adore those boots!)

Last season and this season Ash have had, what I consider to be, a much more wearable "fashion trainer" (last time I'm using that phrase.  I hate it.  It's beyond naff.  I shall use wedge trainer.  Which isn't a hell of a lot better but at least it does what it says on the tin)

I did order the Bea Hi-top wedge in coral and camel at the beginning of the season as I just fell in love with the colour.  

I tried them on.  Again.  And again.  And again.  And about another 29 times, just in case the 33rd time, I might get a sign from above telling me whether I should keep them or not.  Which, much to my chagrin, I never got.  I loved them, but they just looked a bit wrong.  Actually that's not true, they didn't look wrong per se, I couldn't quite work out whether or not I would continue to love them and they'd grow on me or whether they would be the breadmaker of my shoe collection (This is a phrase that The Husband has coined.  We got a breadmaker for our wedding nearly 10 years ago.  I was convinced it was going to change our lives.  He was convinced it would sit on the worksurface taking up space, looking fugly and gathering dust. It now lives in the garage.  It therefore became one of his favourite phrases in the world, frequently applied to anything that I might like to buy that he thinks is a waste of money.  Smug git.)

I also thought that, as much as I loved the colour, a pretty radical shoe in a bright colour had the propensity to score quite highly on the mutton monitor.  

However the more the months go on, the more I do like the idea of them, paring down a smarter outfit for an average day chipping about.  I would wear them with skinny jeans (no shit sherlock) and a blazer (ditto).  They'd look great with skinnies and a loose boxy jumper. (the fact I have a number of these tops as well, doesn't remotely mean that I'm doing a very good job of trying to convince myself I now can't live without a pair of these........)

In my wardrobe, I think the key to making these work and not scream 'give your daughter her shoes back" is to keep everything else quite classic.  I'd probably draw the lines at print trousers (which haven't arrived yet.... ), sports luxe trousers (ie dressy trackie bums which deserve a whole blog topic of their own) or a jumpsuit.  But that could be just me.  Of course it does depend on your style and how adventurous you are, but I've got to the age where if I throw together too many trends at one time, I do get a look of the AbFabs about me.  

The following wedges though, I think could work really well on a day to day basis in most people's wardrobes.  They are a fantastic interim filler between a full on winter boot and a sandal or even a ballet pump.  Goes without saying, we've had Cons and Superga for donkeys years but these seem to be a bit less dress down.  That may well be in my over stuffed, over thought through head, of course.

My pick of the crop

Ash Bea camel trainers

See by Chloe suede and leather wedge trainer

See by Chloe Taupe leather and velour wedge trainer

Ash Bowie wedge in light brown

ASOS Ark Leather wedge

Ash Thelma wedge in clay

Ash Thelma wedge in camel

Shall we take bets on how long before I buy a pair?  Fortunately the fact I can't decide means that if I do finally make my mind up, sod's law says they'll be sold out.

Now just a quick round up of what i've been wearing. 

Thursday night, round to a girl friend's house for take away and drinks.  Remarkably civilised compared to the raucous rabble we usually descend into.  Pat on the back for us and vodkas all round.  Clearly the way forward.

Nude vest - Primark (I must make a trip to stock up on more of these - the best on the high street.  Hoping they still do them.)
Cream (I think they call it unicorn.  Obviously) cowl neck, 3/4 sleeve jersey top - FCUK
Indigo Baxter jeans - Topshop
Cream and gold zip jacket - Zara
Tan Cypress ankle boots - Acne
Brushed gold chandelier earrings - Liz Hurley Beach 
Gold chunky bracelet - Made
Tan De Manta clutch bag - Alexander McQueen

Friday morning was spent in the opticians with an emergency appointment for Rugrat One.  She has eye issues and is normally under Consultant care at the hospital but had a headache so we went in and they spent two hours doing various tests resulting in new glasses and another appointment at the Consultants.  Of course as only a daughter of mine could, she has them ordering in a whole variety of new frames as the ones they had in stock weren't her cup of tea apparently (to be fair they were on the dull side).  So a selection of Pineapple dance studio and Hannah Montana frames are winging their way to our local optician as we speak.  Just like the fabulous selection we all had when we were kids.  Not.  They don't know they're bloody born.

Lunch with a couple of my closest friends and then the usual mad school run dash and a house full of playdates.  The trampoline was in charge as I had a shower and a hair wash before going out that night. 

Fitted denim shirt - Zara
Khaki skinny zip trousers - By Malene Birger
Camel skull scarf - Alexander McQueen
Cream sleeveless cardigan - Joseph
Black and silver multi strand bracelet - 10m2
Gold pine cones necklace - NW3 at Hobbs
Tan Cypress ankle boots - Acne
Chestnut Lily bag - D&G

Friday night, out to celebrate the engagement of a girlfriend, fab night with the girls, cocktails, cocktails and more cocktails.  And a smidge of Mexican food thrown in.  

Black vest - Primark (yes they are that ubiquitous in my wardrobe.  Every girl should have them in every colour.  I am so going to see if they still have the exact same ones and report back)
Charcoal (they do actually call it that as well - go figure.  Dull description for them.  Or one that is actually comprehensible I should say) cowl neck jersey top - FCUK
Black coated skinnies - Cos
Silver, pearl and coin multi strand necklace - Jaeger
Black sequin jacket - Jaeger Boutique
Black suede platform boots - Zara
Black bullet bag - Coast

Today, Saturday, all I can say is vodka is definitely the way forward.  Not a hint of a hangover - I am a woman reborn.  (on the downside, we did end up in McDonalds for tea and a Big Tasty isn't nearly as good when you're not feeling as rough as a badger's arse.  Ok so it's not exactly a downside, but I do believe it's something that needs to be noted)  I was feeling so great that I actually braved the 10th circle of hell - Softplay on a Saturday - and took all three Rugrats plus a playdate for one of them.  I clearly should have been wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with Mother of the Year (I don't think I even raised my voice today.  It's a vodka based miracle) but as that was in the wash I wore:-

Khaki skinny rib longline vest - Joseph
Burnt orange fine knit jumper - Cos
Indigo Baxter jeans - Topshop
Camel and emerald green scarf - Aubin & WIlls
Tan Rockafella ankle boots - Russell & Bromley
Beige trench coat - Principles
Chestnut Lily bag - D&G 

Off for a rock and roll night on the sofa on my tod with the remote control and a bowl of Bombay Mix.  Last weekend of the rugby.  Thank.  The.  Lord.