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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The thing about uttering the words "spending ban"...

.... is that all you therefore see are gems of deliciousness which simply have to be yours.  Now the sensible thing would, obviously, be to steer clear of all shops. How hard can that be?

Pass.

Ok so in my defence, as I've mentioned, it's half term this week and so I'd rather poke forks in my eyes than take my three anywhere near a shop (the supermarket is a necessary evil as a) I can get a coffee and b) it takes an hour and can be classed as an "activity".  It's all fun and games chez moi)

Therefore a quick trip to Bluewater was par for the course last week and I have to say, I impressed myself by steering clear of all the higher end shops.  But a quick nip into H&M for "research" purposes wasn't going to hurt anyone was it?  Well no, apart from my wallet.  Fail. 

To be fair I didn't go mad.  And I am so pleased with my purchases (that's an absolutely pathetic defence, isn't it?  Am almost embarrassed to write it.)  

But sod it, here they are - one of which you've already seen.  The tartan scarf.  Look away now if you don't like anything that's acrylic.  This is 100% of the hideous man made fibre.  But.  But but but.  Honestly it's not that bad.  I did have to look at the label to see what fabric it was as it's not that vile, don't stand near a naked flame, scratchy acrylic.  (well not to me it's not anyway) 

Can't find it online but they did have quite a few instore with another scarf in a similar colourway.  Yesterday there was a photo of me wearing it but here it is close up.  (let's ignore the exceptionally unironed bed linen it's on.)



And secondly, for me, a real gem of a find.  An A/W alternative to the Zara linen t shirts that I live in a lot of the year round.  Zara do them in a longer sleeve style but they've never quite worked for me.  So I was over the moon to find this one in H&M.  I had assumed it would be online but no - hissyfit - can't find it on there at all.  Which is a bummer as I'd really hoped to order a lighter cream one that they didn't have in my size instore. 

It also means this is a terrible photo as I papped it very swiftly so I could get on with the blog (and yanked it out of the laundry bin - clearly proving my prowess as a domestic goddess today.) 

£14.99 from H&M.  I've worn it recently with a long sleeved Baukjen longline tee underneath and I was over the moon with it.  I've really struggled this year with tops that will go under blazers and coats that are casual enough to wear daily, go in the washing machine and hide my muffin.  Oh and that don't cost £50 each.  This one is the perfect layering top.  I'm beyond pleased with it.  Expect to see it a lot. 


Another small purchase which I again, am very pleased with is this scarf from a clothes party I went to on Thursday night.  Another Taylor Stephens party (email me on doesmybumlook40@gmail.com if you'd be interested in hosting a party.  I've mentioned it a ton of times but they really are a great night out.  As I always say - wine and shopping, what's not to love?  Actually having said that, I'm hosting another party in Dec but am having it during the day.  There will be cake (of the mince pie variety).  Which is obviously the next best thing to wine.)

So here's my £9 purchase.  Taupe scarf (actually a shawl but I wear it as a scarf) edged in gold pyramid studs.  I think it's a pretty good bargain.  It was not hard to persuade me to part with my credit card.  I've already worn it twice and see it being a staple in the months to come.



Finishing with my outfit from Sunday.  Total dress down day for me, just being a glorified taxi driver dropping the children and the husband off at various sporting events and then family over for the afternoon.  Not a lot of make up going on.


Khaki skinny rib longline vest - Joseph
Khaki and bone oversized jersey tee - Next
Stone skinnies - Dorothy Perkins
Tan knee high suede & leather boots - La Redoute
Olive star scarf - Scarf Envy

There are no photos of yesterday and today as they're of me in - wait for it...... - a dress or a skirt .  Determined to finally do my bit for the FrOctober cause.  My final day tomorrow in another dress.  I'm not going to lie - I've struggled.  More on that very shortly.  On the upside, I haven't been shopping...... *polish halo*.........

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Finally - a dress!

And huge apologies for being so tardy with a post that I had promised earlier in the week.  Last week till half term (which I both look forward to and dread in equal measure.  Don't we all? I have such high hopes - normally ends up being completely car crash.  Am setting my sights very low this time round - merely hoping it doesn't snow) and so was trying to get my jobs done before I devote myself to my gorgeous offspring.  Ish. 

But finally here it is.  Me in a dress.  Now I will admit, it was for a very good reason.  A wedding.  I had sort of resigned myself to wearing an existing dress as, as you may or may not have noticed - ha ha, I'm not exactly a dress wearing person.  I'll be honest, I struggle with them and so going out and buying another one that would sit in my wardrobe for errrr, well forever, seemed slightly foolish. 

However a lovely Twitter friend, Becca, mentioned that she was going to set herself a challenge to "rock a frock in October for post-natal depression" and set up a blog - The FrOctober Blog . Would I like to have a go? 

As it was for such a great cause and as it had been on my mind for a while to perhaps try and  break free from my comfort zone (there is a blog on that coming soon), I jumped at the opportunity to take part.  And thought it was only right that I should buy a new dress that I would then wear again.  It's Christmas round the corner and whilst I hardly have the most fantastic social diary planned (oh those were the days), I do have a couple of great nights out to look forward to and there's Christmas Day and New Year's Eve to think of.  (I am a freak of nature I appreciate in that I absolutely love NYE.  Yup.  Freak) 

I thought the best plan was to try and find a plain dress that I could team with different accessories to get more wear out of, rather than a more distinctive one that I personally wouldn't feel I'd be able to wear lots. (tis a random issue that I have.  I full expect to be seated alone on the weirdo bench with regards to this one).  This could also be a ridiculous excuse to finally acquire the most stunning necklace that I've wanted for ages (and has proved worth it as I've already worn it twice!)

So here's the dress.  And yes, how dull does it look. 




But it's exactly what I was after and is the most perfect foil for my favourite necklace which I have lusted after for months and months.  If you are after an all year round necklace, I can't recommend this highly enough.  Dressy enough to make a casual dress evening worthy, but would look just as great with a white tee, jeans and a blazer for an offduty day look.

The Pegasus Necklace from Stella & Dot  I could literally buy most of their stock.  The most wearable jewellery there is at the moment, for me anyway.


And here is the outfit at the start of the day. 



Black ruched jersey dress - Patrizia Pepe
Cream and gold jacket - Zara
Black clutch with gold chain strap - Tory Burch
Black shoes - Zara
Chocolate leather and gold chain detail bracelet - Hultquist
Gold Pegasus necklace - Stella & Dot 

The dress was great, although note to self.  I should perhaps have thought about something so clingy without some scaffolding beneath.  Now I am fully aware that I am not large by any stretch of the imagination but I did have to spend most of the day after eating, breathing in.  My stomach muscles are not my finest attribute, it has to be said.  I was also ever so slightly hungover and so thought it would be a great idea to line my stomach with a huge noodle meal at Busaba Eathai before the wedding.  Think snake having swallowed a dog.  Not one of my better ideas.  I stopped caring pretty quickly but it goes without saying, I shall be investing in some control underwear before wearing again. 

I did though love wearing a dress and am so pleased to show my support in however small a way, for PND and the FrOctober cause.  Better late than never mind you (procrastination rears it's ugly head again - blast you) but I think I'm going to finally get my rear into gear and see if I can rock a frock for the rest of FrOctober (a woeful 3 days I appreciate but this is someone who never ever wears a dress....)

So a round up of what I was wearing for the end of last week.  A night out for a Stella & Dot trunk show at a friend's house (hence I've had a recent look at what's on offer and shall be doing a round up of my wish list shortly.  It also would have been rude not to wear my new Pegasus necklace surely?!) 





Black loose drapey jersey tee - Whistles
Distressed paint splattered jeans - Zara
Washed black suede jacket - All Saints
Chocolate leather and gold chain detail cuff - Hultquist
Black suede and patent boots - LK Bennett
Gold Pegasus necklace - Stella & Dot
Snakeskin clutch - Michael Kors

A casual day on Thursday, very much dress down.  And with a couple of new additions which I shall be doing a round up of this week. 





Breton tee - H&M
Faded straight leg jeans rolled up - Zara
Tan leather belt - Primark
Navy blazer - Zara
Tartan scarf - H&M
Burgundy wrist warmers - H&M
Burgundy Superga
Chestnut cross body bag - Campomaggi from Plumo

Another night out on on Thursday at a friends house for a Taylor Stephens clothes Party.  Small purchase made which I wore home and wore the next day. 



Beige linen tee - Zara
Coated black jeggings - Dorothy Perkins
Pearly King & Queen jacket - Phase Eight
Black suede & patent ankle boots - LK Bennett
Tan leather cuff - Mulberry
Gold Serpent necklace - Stella & Dot
Tan De Manta clutch - Alexander McQueen

And finally for Friday, it's starting getting colder....... you can tell - I'm into the layering.  I am a huge huge fan of layering - anyone else?  I find the best way to get the most wear out of my wardrobe all year round. 




White longsleeved jersey top - Baukjen
Dark beige linen top - H&M
Grey and beige blazer - Zara
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Bea wedge trainers - Ash
Burgundy wrist warmers - H&M
Dark beige gold studded jersey scarf - Taylor Stephens (loving this!) 
Stone Maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch 

Now it is half term and so hopefully I shall be able to encourage the kids to do their homework (which in reality means watch tv/play on the Ipad/not kill each other.....) whilst I get a spot of blogging in.  Got loads up my sleeve to blurb about!  Hope you had a great weekend and are keeping warm.  It's brass monkeys out there. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Be still my beating heart.

No sorry, it's not the dress thread that I promised - although I do recall mentioning that it may be gazumped by a more pressing piece of news that was delivered today. 

Have you ever kissed your delivery man?  Because today, for the first time in as long as I can remember (can't say first time ever as I do fear I may have been tempted before but am happy to report it's never "actually" happened... she says......) I had to hold my self back from jumping on him as I was so beyond giddy at what he was delivering. 

I had finally caved to ordering the Ash Beas in the prune, taupe and black.  The ones that I had talked myself into and then out of again (x a gazillion), that I first saw a month or so ago on the Ash website. 


Now obviously they didn't sell them on the Ash website (why would they? Duh.)  Some lovely lady commented on here that she had found them for me on the Harvey Nichols site and I managed to also track them down at a great looking boutique called The Dressing Room in St Albans.  But I still procrastinated.....

However following my super TK Maxx trip and deciding that I didn't need a new jacket purchase after all (till next month obviously. Ok maybe I can eek it out till Dec. hmmmm) - the purchase of new plum coatigan and stripey jumper doing the job instead, I decided definitively that there was a new Ash wedge trainer hole in my wardrobe. 

Of course by the time I had adequately farted about with my fickle decision making process (I am truly truly woeful, of that we are all aware), were they available in my size anywhere?  Were they heck.

Cue manic calling around of everywhere that I knew had ever stocked Ash, including head office, the two Ash shops in London and about a dozen boutiques & dept stores that I was aware sold them.  Nada.  Zilch.  "Oh the ones that she has slung over her shoulder in the ad?  Yeah we get loads of phone calls about them.  Can't get hold of them for love nor money".  Oh just great. (my language was slightly more fruity in the comfort of my own home, I will admit)

I could get hold of them in the Bowies in the same colourway but not the Beas.  Now as an Ash obsessive (slash saddo) the Bowies are not what I wanted.  They are slightly (to my mind a lot - to a normal sane human being, every so marginally) beefier, for want of a better expression.  They're much more solid (as clearly the Beas are unbelievably delicate. Not.)  But hell they were just not what I wanted.

Sob. 

I was gutted (as well as fickle and woeful, we can also add melodramatic to my list of attributes).

But all hail the Google machine.  Oh how I luffs ya.  I came across, on about page 3, a random site (that maybe everyone knows apart from me) called Spartoo who sell a full array of Ash shoes, including my holy grail Beas.  Whilst I was worshipping at the altar that is Google - in for a penny, in for a pound - I also managed to find a discount code for 20% off (enter AUTUMN20 till Oct 31).  I know, I know, I need a life, but honestly I skipped around like I'd won the lottery (for about half an hour.  Ok maybe more....) 

And here the are in all their glory (for some people to hurl at - I appreciate they're not everyone's cup of tea)   They don't actually look that bright in real life (which is a shame actually as I quite like them like that - they're more muted which is probably far more useful)



And here I am wearing them today (obviously - and with the new jumper that inspired the purchase.  Breaking every single one of my sacred shopping rules there.  What's that about rules being made to be broken?)



Blush longline ribbed vest - Miss Selfridge
Striped jumper - QED London (TK Maxx)
Charcoal Baxters - Topshop
Grey lace knit scarf - Plumo
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Bea wedge trainers - Ash

Tomorrow is definitely D day (that's for dress - nothing else more exciting unfortunately). 

Hope this has been of use to anyone who's after some Ash and either hasn't been able to track them down in their size or who has been waiting for a discount code!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Before a self imposed shopping ban...

... it is obviously the law of shopping to go bonkers and have a complete splurge. 

Now part of my splurge was for a wedding I went to on Friday, which was so fantastic and as it involved a dress purchase - yes you read that correctly - a D R E S S purchase, merits a blog all of it's on.  Tomorrow, my friends, tomorrow.

The rest - well, part of it - is still in bagged up, sitting there in the spare room, winking at me every time I go in, daring me to keep it.  But I'm being super practical and just holding fire to see, once I get round to writing the Christmas list (of things I have to purchase - alas not a wish list and hence a self imposed shopping ban), if I can justify in keeping the entire stash of booty.  

(and ok I will admit I may be waiting on an - ahem Ash - order to be delivered as well....... I caved, I caved, I am useless.  And beyond excited!) 

However there are a couple of beauties which I am more than happy to share.  And clearly they're keepers as I've already worn both of them twice.

So firstly we have this fantastic jumper from H&M.  I spent an afternoon last week, perusing the shops for great basic (not an animal motif in sight, most of you will be thrilled to hear) jumpers.  Which don't cost the wrong side of £50.   Of which I found not very many, as you can imagine.  But I have one great one to report - can't find it online which is a complete bummer as I would have loved to find it in other sizes. 

Perfect fabric mix - feels gorgeously luxurious as it has an angora content but is a polymide/viscose mix.  Small enough wool element not to feel itchy (my jumper bugbear) in the slightest.  Great shape for anyone who ever has a muffin moment (and let's face it - we all do, don't we?).  Not fitted, but not baggy and oversized - slightly nipped in at the bottom, so super flattering.   Lovely button detail at the back.  And an incredible £12.99.  

Not that it is another reason to buy it, but have to add that this jumper is able to withstand a large lashing of white spirit.  Which is necessary if you are dumb enough to stand against a newly painted white gloss door frame whilst admiring your friend's new bathroom.  Which I was.  Apologies to anyone at school pick up today who was treated to an overwhelming whiff of white spirit - that was me.  Tool.

And on top of that, the photos look unbelievably dull.  But trust me, it's a great little basic jumper. 





Secondly - now these are a lot more marmite.  Tie dye jeans. (barf, I hear you all cry)  I was completely lusting after the Isabel Marant versions in the summer, but at over £200 they weren't a realistic option for a fashion item which is highly likely to be a one season wonder.  And then they sold out of my size, so it was irrelevant anyway (makes it so much easier when an OOS notification makes your mind up for you) 

I will therefore admit I was somewhat  giddy (and a small glass of wine with lunch may have contributed to this I freely admit) to stumble (not literally - twas only a v small glass of wine) over these beauties in H&M.  

Now in my head I had written off patterned jeans this season.  I have a couple of pairs - two pairs for winter in the obligatory leopard print - that I thought would get me through.  But, fickle mcshickle me, here I am, falling head over heels in love with another pair. 

I have a feeling that the majority of people will think these ming.  Big time.  And ming whilst bleating like the muttonest of mutton things.  Well I love them.  Feel free to tell me how hideous they are.  The rather conservative husband's face was a picture when he saw them - he thought he hated leopard till he saw these.  Suddenly that leopard print ain't quite so offensive (every cloud and all that).  Have already worn them dressed up and dressed down.





So here's a round up of what I've been wearing since last blogging - bar the Friday wedding outfit, which I'm saving for a blog of it's own. 

New jumper debut!  


Navy jumper - H&M
Navy/black/camel leopard print trousers - Whistles
Navy military knitted jacket - Zara
Black suede & patent ankle boots - LK Bennett
Gold necklace - Day Birger et Mikkelson
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch

And in the new jeans for a night out with the girls. 



Black cowl neck tee - Zara
Petrol, black and off white skinnies - H&M
Black tuxedo blazer - Topshop
Black suede and patent ankle boots - LK Bennett
Black leather corsage necklace - Sportsmax
Black clutch bag - Tory Burch

Now for Saturday night out at a dinner party with friends.  Somehow managed to miss Saturday day outfit. 



Khaki leopard print silk dress - Whistles
Black suede & patent ankle boots - LK Bennett
Black knitted boiled wool coatigan - Ronit Zilkha
Black clutch bag - Tory Burch
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Brown leather & gold chain cuff - Hultquist

Sunday - rather exhausted.  Having got nailed in the rain as well which =  Irish frizz.  Thank you genes.



Gold jumper  - St Tropez (Danish brand) from local boutique
Distressed straight leg jeans rolled up - Zara
Blush & fuchsia Camel scarf - Virginia Johnson
Burgundy & blush knitted coatigan - Clements Ribeiro 
Burgundy Superga
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch

Monday was spent recovering (and I just dragged on the day before's outfit to do the school run, I will admit).  Had another trip to the hospital on Sunday night with RR3 again for his asthma.  Which involved a night of zero sleep.  Monday therefore was a right off, but he is on the mend which is the main thing. 

Today, Tuesday, normal service was resumed and managed pilates which makes me feel a ton better. 


Navy jumper - H&M
Petrol, black and off white jeans - H&M
Navy pleather jacket - Primark
Black biker boots - Kurt Geiger
Tan leather cuff - Mulberry
Black & navy leopard print scarf - By Malene Birger
Black Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs

Tomorrow, I will be back with either my dress and accessory info (beyond exciting for me - another wedding done and dusted and the Christmas outfit sorted) or more new purchase news.... depending on whether the postie arrives....... 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Something you don't hear me say very often.

..... I have found something for the men.  It's something that I don't say very often as The Husband has very specific taste in clothes which normally don't include anything selected by me.  Many years ago we came to the arrangement of me purchasing him a Christmas Jumper.  (which is code for - I came to the arrangement and he just went along with it) 

Fret not, they were never adorned with a comedy pic, but were carefully selected from the wonderful mecca of knitwear on Bond Street that was Pringle.  (actually on reflection, one year there was a navy zip up jumper/cardigan that did have a stag thingymajig - the Pringle logo - on one arm.  I promise it was ok at the time.....)  This was when I had an important job that paid me lots of money.  Many many many moons ago.

Fortunately, as I gave up the job and moved to the country (aka the middle class version of the country which is spitting distance from the M25 - less country more burb), The Husband fessed up that he far preferred the M&S v neck wool jumpers which were about an eight of the price of the Pringle ones.  There were no tears shed by me, that's for sure. 

So years on, the M&S jumper section and myself have an annual reunion as I pick up normally a grey and a navy one to replace the ones from the previous year.  Occasionally I try and sneak in an off piste colour - I think there may be an oatmeal one in there.  I did try a raspberry one I recall.  Lead balloon. 

This year however, I have discovered gold.  Cheap gold.  But gold nonetheless.  Hello Matalan.  Now I can't lie - I have to say I wasn't particularly impressed with the ladies clothing range - although admittedly I didn't look in great detail.  I was, however, very taken with their homewares (more of that in a bit) and their men's 100% lambswool jumpers.  Identical to the M&S ones but half the price at £16.  Yup, 100% lambswool for £16. 

I picked up the charcoal grey one which The Husband is over the moon with. 


More than happy to go back and get this blue one 



And am going to feign ignorance and try and sneak the raspberry one in too.....  The chances of me ending up wearing it over a pair of grey joggers as hungover loungewear on a wet weekend?  High. 



If any male member of your family is into his lambswool v neck jumpers, then honestly I can't recommend these highly enough.  And size down - an XL in M&S is an L at Matalan - what's not to love?!

Now I just quickly have to share my homeware bargain as well - a carved wooden candlestick for.... drumroll........£8.  With candle costing £1.50.  I got two for pride of place on the dining table sitting either side of a large Lombok glass and stone lantern.  Beyond chuffed. 



Finishing with what I've been wearing since Saturday.  No pic from Sunday as we didn't get home till late after being out all day and the photo is literally too dark to see.  Not a particularly exciting outfit anyway it has to be said.

The first outfit is definitely my new favourite outfit, closely followed by my new coatigan (and of course the Anya which is still making me smile every day)



Striped jumper - QED London
Grey military coatigan - 3.1 Phillip Lim
Blush jersey scarf - Mint Velvet
Beige Kirsten jeans - Topshop
Clay Thelmas - Ash
Black sunglasses - Dior
Stone Maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch



Wine jumper - Dorothy Perkins
Wine & blush Coatigan - Clements Ribeiro
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Blush & fuchsia Camel scarf - Virginia Johnson
Clay Thelmas - Ash
Black sunglasses - Dior
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch 

And today with absolutely minimal make up as I had a complete sneezing fit in John Lewis (trying new Liz Earle perfume) which resulted in my make up being smeared all over my face.  Wiped clean and I look exhausted!  Will try harder tomorrow. 




Silk leopard print blouse - Zara
Knitted camel blazer - Whistles
Indigo straight leg jeans turned up - Earl 
Black velvet slippers - Primark
Stone Maxi Zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch 

Will you be buying an early Christmas present for your husband, brother, dad or son?  Let me know what you think! 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Shopping off piste

Which always happens when I "pop into" TK Maxx.

Now this isn't a shop I've mentioned before I don't think as I truly have a love hate relationship with it.  I really don't buy that much from there but that's probably because I don't frequent it that often.  Mainly as once I've entered those doors, I can easily lose myself for an hour or two and I never seem to have that long. 

However yesterday I had to take the plum wedge trainers back to Matalan (first opportunity I've had to do so) and there happens to be a TK Maxx on the same retail park.

It was a toss up between TK Maxx which was 10 yards away with a big car park outside or Primark which was a schlep around three retail estates and a not entirely salubrious shopping centre.  TK Maxx won hands down.  

And boy am I pleased that I went in there.  I do happen to think that 90% of what they have in there is a ginormous pile of tat.  The stuff is sold cheaply there for a reason - basically they can't sell it at full price anywhere else.  But that's not to say that another man's meat isn't another man's poison (in the positive alcoholic sense of the word clearly) 

However what does happen when I go in there, is that I come out with absolutely nada that I remotely need.  On my list of things that might be useful at the moment are a neutral coat (I'm really hankering after a cream one.  As you do), a dress for a wedding, some black shoots and a new scarf.

Well. 

I came home with a jumper and a completely impractically coloured coatigan. 

But boy am I over the moon with both of them.   So much so that I have worn the coatigan already. (apologies upfront as I know some people utterly loathe the use of this word. However it does what it says on the tin - it's not a coat and it's not a cardigan - it's a cross between the two.  And it's easier to write than knitted coat thingy.  So I apologise - blink quickly when I use it and gloss over.)  I sign that I truly love something.

And the best bit - oh the best bit is the price.  (skips up and down giddily..)

Ok first I'll do the jumper.  Now this is acrylic which to some people is akin to saying it's made from the skin of baby koala bears - as in, unacceptable - but I happen to judge acrylic on a case by case basis.  And this one is soft and peachy as a newborn puppy's bum.  Ludicrously gentle and not remotely scratchy or "don't stand near a naked flame" concerning at all.  Gorgeously buttery knit.  A random make which I know you can probably get on the local market - QED. (there's no RRP which is always a give away of it not actually being a bargain at all) 

But I couldn't give a monkey's chuff, I completely adore it.  The longest arms (which automatically makes it look far more expensive on a Gulliver type person - cheaper brands normally always skimp on proportions, arm length being the main thing) I've seen on a jumper in years and colours which blend themselves perfectly into my wardrobe.  

Snuggly and great for dress down but easily dressed up with heels, skinnies and a blazer. 

And.....£16.99.  They did actually have quite a few in - it's not an exclusive one off by any stretch of the imagination!  


Second super bargain - a *warning - that word's coming up* coatigan from Clements Ribeiro.  Boiled wool (one of my absolute favourite fabrics for outerwear - it never bobbles, it's just the best), perfect fit and I heart beyond heart the colour.  It's actually a taupe colour rather than a pink as it looks in my photographs (M&S are you going to give me a job?  these photos truly do not do it justice) next to the plum.



I shall be wearing this A Lot.  It was originally £189, down to £59 and then proving that everyone has very different tastes (and clearly I have a more marginal taste than most TK Maxx customers) it was on the sale rail down to £37.  I would easily have paid £59 for it but am beyond ecstatic at paying the super bargainous £37!

And here I am wearing it today. I even dragged out a 90's pashmina which it has given new life to (embarrassingly this was actually bought early 2000's I think.  I was a huge pash fan.  Still love them as a scarf worn in a certain way.  It's only when they're worn shawl stylee that they need to be burnt.  Purely my opinion of course) 


Plum jumper - Dorothy Perkins
Distressed faded straight leg jeans rolled up - Zara
Camel Pashmina - So old I can't remember
Tan Rockafellas - Russell & Bromley
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch
Black sunglasses - Dior
Plum arm warmers - H&M
Plum and taupe coatigan - Clemets Ribeiro 

Mad obsessive that I am, I may be taking a pile of Next stuff back tomorrow which I had bought for RR1 and there *happens* to be a TK Maxx right next door.......maybe watch this space.  So are you a TK Maxx fan or is it too jumble saletastic for your liking?  Any bargains you can report? 

And on that note, the X Factor is calling.  Enjoy your Saturday night! 

Friday, 12 October 2012

And we have more coats!

So for someone who doesn't really like coats, I've managed to come up with a fair few options I'd like to wear.  

Let's crack straight on as I have wine to drink and The X Factor USA to catch up on.  (the high brow level of my television viewing knows no bounds.  Car crash TV at it's best.) 

Firstly I do have a penchant for leather as I may have mentioned (despite not actually having bought anything real leather this season.  Ditto studs.  But I am still drawn to them magpie stylee) 

And as I've been very restrained in my outward adoration of them recently, I don't feel too bad in presenting an homage to Zara.  Drool, drool and drool some more.  My only issue is which one do I love the most and which one would I choose. 

One thing I would say, in my experience (and I haven't tried on many of the ones below as they're new stock) Zara coats come up offensively small.  I'm a size 10, although I do wear often a size 12 on top to get the length, but in Zara coats I am normally a large if not an extra large.  Which strikes me as being completely ridiculous but there you go. 

Starting with the combined leather jacket.   I utterly love this.  A complete bargain at £119.  Easy to dress up and dress down.  A winner in my book.  I can't wait to see this in real life (it's only just come into stock and is actually already sold out online)  Personally I wouldn't be teaming it with leather or pleather skinnies as they've done here - I'd prefer to tone it down a bit.



Next another nod to leather with this beautiful wine coloured coat with zip detail.  Deliciously on trend with the colour, the long biker style and leather addition.  Completely stunning.  Perfect for all occasions.  Work, casual, day, night.  If you are a coat person, I'd be checking this out. 


This time faux leather sleeves but yum yum yum.  Under £90 for a wool mix coat that looks like it could easily cost twice or three times that amount. 


This however is top of my list and I have been stalking the site like a mad sad thing as they keep promising it's coming back in stock.  I adore this - in my mind I can justify my self proclaimed hater of coats title, as it's a long jacket.  Yeah right.  But bothered, as it's just one of the most stunning coats I've seen this season.  Coat with quilted leather sleeves. 





Leaving my leather fetish aside for one minute and moving onto a winter version of a trench.  I'm proper trenched out this year.  I tried to hunt down the one I that I had become mildly obsessed from M&S only to discover when I did eventually find it that it wasn't quite as fabulous as I'd remembered it.  Disappointing much?  Yes.  So in a strop worthy of my 4 year old I decided to banish any thought of a trench from my A/W wardrobe this year and soldier on with an umbrella instead. 

However there are definitely a few that are a nod to the trench style that have caught my eye.    These work perfectly for all occasions again.  My favourite look is dressing them down with a pair of battered jeans, breton top and some supergas or converse. (or Ash in my case obviously)

Continuing with my homage to Zara.  This one is a complete classic.  (LOVING the boots she's got on as well - haven't seen those online....I am still mildly obsessed with the All Saints full on stud cowboy ones that are probably the most marmite item I've ever posted.)  Quilted trench coat. 



Now please just believe me when I say that the next one is a billion, nay a trillion times better in real life than it looks in these photographs.  Marks & Spencer - dear mother of god, please please PLEASE sort out your online images.  I am beyond mortified for you, I really am.  There is no polite way to put it, they are a complete embarrassment.  And they worst thing is, they've been like this for years.  It surely can't cost any more to employ a vaguely competent stylist or photographer? 

Anyway, I digress.  Ignore the photos.  This is honestly a lovely coat. 




This clearly isn't a photo from Marks ie it looks like a lovely coat you might want to purchase here. 


In a similar vein, this is a longer version of a trench in grey and camel from Next.   If you're looking for a longer coat then this would be my personal fave.  Admittedly not in the most practical of colours but it's not a particularly practical coat bar keeping the cold off. This is not a trench of the waterproof variety.  Also comes in regular, tall & petite which makes it an obvious choice in my Gulliver book.


I think I'm going to save my worshipping at the altar of all things animal till another day as I have Nigella's Italian Chicken in the oven and it's nearly ready.  Beyond glamorous.  We were due to have a dinner party this evening but The Husband had a work dinner put in the diary instead and so we've postponed.  The two small boy RRs are watching a movie with popcorn, RR1 is at a sleepover and I'm experimenting with chicken, peppers & leeks.  Which smell burnt.  Great.  Garlic bread and wine it is for dinner yet again.  (there are worst ways to spend a Friday evening, I will admit) 

A round up of what I wore yesterday and today before I head off to inspect the charred offerings my oven has seemingly churned out. 


Olive & bone striped tunic - Toast
Beige Kirsten jeans - Topshop
Cream sleeveless cardigan - Joseph
Suede pirate boots - ASOS
Beige snakeskin print scarf - By Malene Birger
Leather cuff - Mulberry
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch


Black and gold top - Zara
Distressed paint splattered skinnies - Zara
Biker boots - Kurt Geiger
Washed black suede jacket - All Saints
Gold & black scarf - Dorothy Perkins 
Black sunglasses - Dior
Tan Shopper - Zara

See you hopefully tomorrow!