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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Not entirely sure these will work.

As I try them every season (these or tassel loafers) and they look totally and utterly pants on me.  

In my head - I am going to look like Alexa Chung.  

In reality - I look like a middle aged frumpy saddo.

So why I think this year will be any different, hell only knows.  Especially as in my head they're going to be part of the perfect Spring outfit with boyfriend jeans.  Which are errrrrrr not materialising (I do have a whole stack more to try on though - fear not, I will leave no boyfriend jean unturned).  

I'm working on the basis that now that I actually am middle aged, these will suddenly elevate me to the realms of hip old lady as opposed to mumsy and meh.  (oh yes, I can hear you guffawing hilariously from here) 

Undeterred, I have compiled a list of beauties that I need to try on.  First issue (ok first issue is avoiding looking like a refugee from The Archers but let's swerve that) is finding ones that I can wear without socks.  A thorny subject - should they be worn without socks?  Personally I'm going for yes.  With socks (and ankle on show be it with the elusive boyfriends or straight legs rolled up or 7/8ths skinnies) I fear it is a style statement that is just..., well just too stylish.  In a Shoreditch kind of way.  Which isn't me.  There are people I know who can definitely get away with it, but not entirely sure I am cutting edge enough for it.  Or gamine.  And not look out of place in Hoxton.  (who am I kidding, I know I'm not) 

So without further ado let's crack on with the gems I've sourced. 

Firstly starting with a classic pair.  I do have it on good authority that these are soft enough to be worn without socks.  Not sure whether this does include the patent but being from Clarks, one would expect them to be exceptionally comfortable (or is that just me?) 

I love the colour (I absolutely love the colour although not sure it will love lily white me...) and I love the styling.  Perfect amount of detailing, perfect masculine edge to them but with a slight delicacy to them.  Not sure we can do much better to be honest.  

The Hamble Oak from Clarks in Nude - £54.99 

But there are other options, as ideal as they look. 

Boden (I know, I know, I was lead there to look at the jeans and there was a ton of other stuff I actually like.   Go figure.  Please please don't worry - it's all very unBoden.  There isn't a fun lining in sight I promise)

These in white and green are just gorgeous. (and I wouldn't say not to the tan if I'm honest)  A much scarier £110 though.  And white suede?  Oh how we laughed - only in a Boden catalogue (or a White Company catalogue come to think of it)  But they're still lush (if I weren't such a slattern)

Another great option and slightly more practical are the Langbury Brogues from Dune  a more palatable £69.00.  And (for me I know) a flattering apricot shade. 

They look like a lovely buttery leather as well but not entirely sure you can tell from a photo (it's me projecting my hoping they're buttery leather, clearly...)

A similar colour but not so similar price wise, are the classic Martha brogues from Grenson at Style Passport   Grenson are a traditional British Brogue manufacturer so these really are a heritage piece - think a cheaper Churchs.  If you think you're going to live in them for years, then these are probably a great investment.  As my inner Elle will clearly kick my inner Alexa to the curb come the summer and strappy shoes are all the rage, these wouldn't really be the best use of my cash at £180.

A cheaper version in a delicious mole shade of suede are these from White Stuff.  A not too shabby £59.95 and they get great reviews online.  I think I'm personally looking for a lighter colour I think but these are an interesting option to look at. 

Slightly left field but these are a version of a classic from H by Hudson.  The Charlie White Multi at £125.  These look like completely stunning leather (in my experience, Hudson shoes always are and a pretty good buy I'd therefore think).  I think I may be after a single tone but I shall give these consideration.  I may however have Brogue overload....

Now for my off the wall ringers - these from Hobbs I have a soft spot for.  At first I thought, barf, no, but the more I looked at them, the more I thought, hmmmm, yes I could.  Definitely.  I clearly am developing a random fetish for leopard print shoes (still hankering after the red leopard print kitten heels from Zara...).   However not exactly an impulse purchase at still £99 in the sale.  Does make the Zara ones seem like a steal though.  Oh darn it.

Finishing with my ridiculous, never going to happen, but oh how I love them.  Not £415 enough love them, but I just think they are perfect.  Which completely contradicts everything I've said about having a masculine edge to them, with classic detailing.  These are, in fact, more a homage to the brogue.  Maybe it's the fact they look so so so comfy (or that I'm addicted to Boardwalk Empire.  Perhaps that)

The Marcell Lupin 

A round up of what I've been wearing the last couple of days.  Have been just loving the milder weather.  I am beyond ready for Spring!  Please excuse the random filters - am getting to grips with Flickr where I now have to host to post.  


Navy and white breton top - H&M
Indigo straight leg jeans rolled up - Jigsaw
Navy knitted peacoat - Zara
Tan knee high boots - Jigsaw
Indira necklace - Stella & Dot
Wine wrist warmers - H&M
Sunglasses - Dior
Chestnut Lily - D&G


Navy jumper - H&M
Distressed straight leg jeans rolled up - Zara
Buttermilk leather trench coat - Vintage from Greenwich Market
Indira necklace - Stella & Dot
Tan Rockafella boots - Russell & Bromley
Chestnut Lily Bag - D&G


Off white blouse - Zara
Washed indigo jeans - Boden
Greige suede western ankle boots - Zara
Black belt - Prada
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Brown leather cuff with chain detail - Hultquist

So lay it on me - thoughts on brogues........

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My name is Kat...

.....and I am a Sales Addict.  If we're going to be pedantic about pinpointing my affliction - perhaps a more accurate statement would be - My name is Kat and I am a Zara Sales Addict. 

I was about to type "in my defence" but really, I don't have a defence.  I will hold my hands up and say I am rubbish.  Zara isn't even that expensive full price for goodness sake.  But there is something about nabbing a bargain in the Zara sale that I am an absolute sucker for. 

Actually on second thoughts I am going to say - In my defence - as I can completely (!) justify my splurges. 
  • I have already worn nearly all of the purchases.  At least once.
  • They are perfect for wearing in the Spring/Summer
  • They were all items that I have similar-ish on a wish list
  • They were cheap (scraping the barrel here but it's true)
  • It was coming up to my birthday (desperado justification but it makes up the numbers)

Unfortunately online there is only one top left instock but I would say it's definitely worth while trawling your local Zara.  The last two I went to had absolutely tons of sales stuff left.  Get there early when it's pristine and I reckon you can snaffle a great bargain or two.  And let me know!! 

So starting with what's left online - Studio Blouse - now £17.99   Only left in an XS but mine is only an M and is absolutely huge.  I've never seen a blouse with such long sleeves. 

Here it is on me 


Next another cream top.  This one was £17.99 as well.  I never actually saw this in store as I definitely would have bought it (or maybe I wouldn't as it was £49.99. hmmm) 


Here we another lace top - this time very much for the summer.  It's in a peach colour.  Which sounds ming a ring ding, but it's a version of nude that's much more flattering on my skin tone.  My sequin jacket and coated skinnies were this shade last year.  Perfect with a little vest underneath.  I know that I actually struggle for tops on very warm sunny days and this will work so well with a myriad of outfits.  £17.99. 


This was a super bargain at just £9.99.  It reminds me hugely of an Acne top that was out last Spring (which wasn't £9.99 funnily enough) but regardless, it's a really useful Spring easy every day wear top.  And also would look great on a night out.  Close up in second photo so you can see the relief of the velvet.  This again, I didn't see full price as I would definitely have bought it.  A perfect slightly fitted top, so not baggy but not too fitted that it hugs bits of you round the midriff that don't need hugging.  Maybe not the perfect neckline for everyone but a great shape for most women. 



And lastly - a brief nod to my newest style crush that I mentioned.  This looks great with my new jeans (report soon)  and new navy Zara blazer.  Not very me.  But I have a plan...... £9.99.  So it would have been rude not to. 


Finally here we have the outfits from the weekend.  A full report on relevant bits I got for my birthday (and boy are there some relevant bits - I am a very very lucky girl) in due course. (nothing like stringing it out, is there?) 


Beige linen vest - Zara
Cream lace top - Zara
Washed indigo skinny jeans - Boden (these are new and my god they are a revelation.  No belt needed.  All Day.  No sagging on the bum.  And properly cut with no muffin in sight.  Full report coming soon.  I may have more than one pair....) 
Greige suede western boots - Zara
Earrings - bought from a friend
Leather cuff - Hultquist
Gold link bracelet - Made from Whistles
Black clutch - Tory Burch

On the fantastic Aldeburgh beach.  And it was proper sunny as well.  Just for my birthday.  Bliss.  Probably my favourite place in the world.


White longline vest - Joseph
Breton jumper - Zara
Parka - South by Littlewoods
Brown Mardy boots - Caterpillar
Cross body bag in chestnut - Campomaggi from Plumo
Sungalsses - Dior


Off white blouse - Zara
Paint splattered jeans - Zara
Navy blazer - Zara
Greige suede western boots - Zara
Earrings - bought from a friend 
Gold link bracelet - Made from Whistles
Black clutch - Tory Burch

And here sporting one of my birthday presents, so a sneak preview - a fabulous Goat Library cardigan in Marigold.


Khaki longline tee - Joseph
Beige light knit jumper - H&M
Marigold swing cardigan - Goat Library
Black coated jeggings - Dorothy Perkins
Black Ohio ankle boots - Pied a Terre
Leopard print scarf - Louis Vuitton
Black pocket cross body bag - M&S

That has to be the end of the Sales bargains.  Surely?  Is there anything left out there?  I'm banning myself from stepping foot in a Zara until they're cleared it all out.  Could someone please let me know?  I'm bound to find something I *have* to have..... 

Last chance to Rock up in Red for the British Heart Foundation

Following on from this post , as I am not the most organised person on the planet (noooo really?) and I wanted to be able to do a round up of my favourite red things, I'm going to postpone the final decision on who has won the Radley bag

To win the bag, all you need to do is post a pic of you (or a family member - the 8 yr old photographer chez moi is desperate to get involved.  She has her heart set on that bag!) in something red.  Either email me on or post on Twitter with the hashtags #rockupinred and #dmbl40.  

As it's Rock up in Red Day on the 1st Feb, I thought it would be fitting to announce the winner then, so you have until Thursday of this week to wing your pics over to me. 

Have had some great ones so far, please do keep them coming.  The British Heart Foundation is a cause very close to my heart - my father and both grandfathers died of heart related diseases and anything that I can do to promote awareness of the charity, I'm more than happy to get involved in.  And I hope you are too. 

If you're struggling for ideas of how to rock it in red, then I've come up with a couple of suggestions. 

The head to toe red look doesn't work for me unfortunately.  But a red accent - oh I can definitely do that. 

And combining it with my favourite print - leopard?  Yes please. 

So starting with my favourite favourite piece.  From Zara.   This season I think it's my inner Audrey H who is screaming the loudest to come out and play so pointed heels may well be significant in my SS agenda.

Another easy way (and yes, another fave of mine), the Breton.  From My Wardrobe

APC Rouge Merino knit Breton top  £145

One can never have too many bracelets.  And what an easy way to completely change the look of an outfit with a pop of colour. 

McQ Alexander McQueen Red Razoe Triple Wrap bracelet - £65

Now I will hold my hands up and say this, for me, is an exorbitant price to pay for a beach dress (Primark is my personal fave)  But then my beach holidays are few and far between these days.  However were I to be going on a super glam beach soiree, then this would solve that problem of beach to bar easily.  Actually I think it would pass for a great summer party dress for this country!  Maybe not such a foolish purchase. 

Heidi Klein Red Mumbai Twist Maxi Beach Dress £219

Wouldn't be a post on accents without me including an old faithful.  The Scarf.  The butterfly scarf that I posted ages ago from Warehouse seemed to go down a storm and I can see this one being equally as popular this Spring. (on proofreading this, I've just realised absolutely stunning and versatile this is...... the perfect tie in as well with all that burgundy/wine ya de ya from AW.)

Rose Print Scarf 

Now this orange red is a colour I simply can't do but this is a great SS dress for those who work but want a versatile dress to be able to go straight out after work in as well.  It's also a great basic dress that could work for a wedding or a christening and then be used in a work wardrobe afterwards.  Reiss dresses are always good for that sort of thing. 

Venna Flame Boat neck dress 

And so there we have it.  I could go on and on and on but I'm so keen to see what you guys are able to come up with.  Any red items out there that have caught your eye?  Busy planning my outfit for Friday as we speak. 

I'll be back later today with the final (and dear Lord this has to be final) sales goodies.  And only because they are actually goodies.  See you later this afternoon. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

If you thought jeans couldn't get worse.....

....oh do I have a treat for you.  Suffice to say I'm on my way to rethinking the purchase of boyfriend jeans and am heading for straight legs rolled up (which I've been doing for the past 5 years anyway - there was perhaps method in my madness) and men's jeans (after all I do remember saving up for and loving my Levi's 501s more than life itself).

However as a trooper for the cause, I am persisting.  And I have the photographic evidence to prove it.  

H&M this time - a work trip to London ending with a rather wonderful (and long) lunch with one of my oldest friends who's over from the US.  As an interlude here, shopping in Covent Garden at 10am is one of the most fantastic shopping experiences ever.  You feel like royalty.  Empty!  Completely and utterly empty.  In H&M after 10 mins of wandering around the ghost shop, a Sales Assistant emerged and I asked if they were actually open yet.  Pure and utter bliss. 

So without further ado, let's get on with the hilarity. 

These are what they should look like. 

And here they are on me.

Firstly in my size.  As bad as they look on my behind here, I will admit that these photos don't do the monstrosity of the situation justice.  Horrific.  It looked like my bum was landsliding down towards the back of my knees. 



And this is the size bigger.  Comedy jeans.  They actually come up on the generous size anyway so to go up a size wasn't the best idea I've ever had, but in the interests of research.... They didn't have the size smaller or I would have tried that, but I think that the issue would have been they were then too tight on the calf.  And again, I don't have particularly meaty or muscly calves.  


BUT.  But but but.  I will say that I think I may have sussed that the issue with these in particular for me is my lack of a behind.  The denim is a lovely soft worn denim, there is a choice of leg length and if you search through, there are some different shades of wash as well.  The larger size I tried on was pretty much the perfect level of worn and the ideal length.  I just need more buttocks.

So if you are less of a straight up straight down gal, then I would actually say it might be worth trying these on.  Hopefully not a complete waste of time therefore.  And in the meantime, we can all have a good old smirk at how utterly horrendous I am able to make jeans look.  

If you do try them or have tried them PLEASE do let me know, as I'm sure it would be of assistance to others with different figures who are looking. 

On the upside, I am very happy to report that it wasn't a wasted journey by any stretch of the imagination.  I have a great post to do on some basics that I located and much more excitedly - new boots! 

Firstly, can I justify it by saying that on leaving the house that morning, we were knee deep (ish) in snow.  So I had on my ever practical but hardly glamorous Mardy Cat boots.   In London - not a flake.  Not a penny sized puddle of slush.  And I am booted to tackle Everest.  Surely the only thing a girl can do is buy new boots?  

It so happened that I was tentatively thinking (ie planning) on buying some tan suede Ash style boots for the Spring.  Lo and behold, in Zara, one pair left in my size of a greige (a great colour and honestly not a made up word - we have the world of interiors to thank for conjuring it up I believe - a mix of beige and grey.  Slightly more beige than mushroom) suede cowboy style boot.  In the sale. 

And here they are


Finally here I am - I will admit, ever so slightly worse for wear...... Absolutely pap photograph but gives the general idea.  Wasn't remotely late, hence the 8 yr old photographer was still up. 


Black and white longline vest - Eden
Black thin knit jumper - Cos
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Grey military coatigan - 3.1 Phillip Lim
Greige suede ankle cowboy boots - Zara
Black pocket bag - M&S
Cuff - Hultquist
Mustard and fuchsia scarf - M&S

I am now away for the weekend for my birthday but will be back on Sunday night.   The Husband is in charge of doing the photos.  It will be interesting.......

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Another Style Crush

Actually this isn't a new crush at all - it's one I've had for years but with the recent airing of the new series, I've remember how much I love her style. 

The one and only Dr Nikki Alexander from Silent Witness (Emilia Fox who also is a complete babe in her day clothes as well).  In fact, from my googling of her (I prefer googling to stalking - sounds less deranged) she's very involved in the selection of clothes for Nikki - some are in fact her own, most of the jewellery definitely is. 

It's not a complete shock reveal really though - a large proportion of the time she is encased in skinny jeans and heeled ankle boots.  Sporting a scarf.  Which is very much my safe haven and something I can be found in very regularly.  Ditto her Alex Monroe jewellery she wears.  

However two things she does really well which I am aiming to steal steal steal are the blouse.  And the saddle bag. 

Firstly the blouse.  Dear god.  What a hideous word.  Conjures up images of 70's polyester from M&S (or St Michael as the labels used to say - why was that?  And why did they stop? Answers on a postcard please - I could google but I fear I may have used up my allowance on Dr Nikki).  But nay, that is the blouse of yesteryear.  A little taster of a blog I have up my sleeve for next week - the return of the blouse.  Ok for some people it never went away but in my experience it wasn't conducive to being blasted in a 40 degree fierce wash, followed by a roasting in the tumble drier along with 30 muslins, 20 babygros and a sleep sack with vomit on.  Yes, it may have been a while since that scenario took place chez moi but things happen slowly round here.  Heels were my first priority.  

It's also taken me till now to realise that I don't have to carry around a bag that I can fit a weekend's worth of crap in on a daily basis.  This revelation has been nothing short of a miracle - hopefully my first foray into the smaller bag brigade is winging it's way home to me tonight courtesy of M&S and The Husband.  (oh and the M&S bag is back in stock now - completely randomly!) 

Which moves me on neatly to my second steal from the good Dr - the saddle bag.  She has a Mulberry Bonnie which they no longer make (I am aware of this as a friend of mine spent I don't know how long last year or the year before trying to track one down to absolute diddly avail.) 

So why don't we cut the chat and start with the pics - so you can all proclaim me barking mad. 

Paradise Lost (6)
Promotional Shoot (6)
Shadows (5)
Promotional Shoot (1)

And here is the Mulberry Bonnie that Nikki often carries - so often that I can't find a photo of course.  

As that is no longer in production, here is a selection of cross body tan (ish) saddle bags that might serve the same purpose. 

A classic - probably would look better a bit worn in.  They also have a great array of metallic, coloured and textured leather ones.

Zatchels Classic Chestnut Saddle bag £65

I cannot normally rate highly enough the products from Plumo.  Gorgeous quality and often stock which it's really hard to track down elsewhere.  This bag is no exception and is now a known down bargain price.  Lovely. (and yes I'm still hankering after the scarf as well)  

Twist Shoulder Bag from Plumo now £119 from £229

This is now only in stock in the brown which is a crying shame as I think I may well have ordered it in the worn metallic.  How gorgeous for the summer?  Actually I've eyed it up over the years a number of times and it's my own stupid fault for not buying it (what was I saying yesterday?  Moron)
Orelia Cross Body bag from Red Direct at £99

These are far more boho than I personally would go but are great value for leather. 
Kelly Leather Satchel from Vida Vida at Style-Passport - £65

Bazaar Leather Martha Saddle Bag from Style-Passport - £65

Now I haven't lost leave of my senses and just become obsessed with all things M&S (I don't think I have anyway...) but I will pre-empt this next pic by saying that I haven't seen this in the flesh.  And clearly it looks hanging here.  However I do have it on good authority that is a ton better in real life - and knowing the good old photographer at M&S online, I have absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. 

Limited Collection Single Handle Saddle Bag  

Leaving the best to last.  One of those bags that probably deserves an entire blog to itself.  A bag that I've had my eye on for a while now (it was a toss up between this and the Anya maxi zip satchel).  The purely divine Chloe Marcie Satchel at £705. 

Do I love it more than her big sister the Marcie shoulder bag?  Not sure to be honest.  Wouldn't sniff at either! 

So I'm saving my blouse thread (I'm pretty sure it's only me who rates that word up there with "moist".  Wrong words) for next week.  Let the research begin (ok and I may have done some sneaky ordering already..... The sales goddamnit.  They're practically giving stuff away - she says with her crazy sales head on again.)

Finishing with another (dull) snow outfit.  


WHOA - apologies - just cut and pasted from Flickr and it's the first time I've uploaded straight from my phone.  I appear to have added a filter of some description.  Oh well, outfit still looks the same. 

Black oversized jumper - Reiss
Black fringed poncho - Reiss
Leopard print jeans - Primark
Black crocheted beret - Primark
Brown Mardy boots - Caterpillar 
Chestnut cross body bag - Campomaggi from Plumo

Here's hoping there's an end to the snow soon.