It's the Options blog

Apologies if you had thought it was about hot chocolate, it's not (do they even still make them?  With hindsight, I think they were at total waste of 40 calories anyway. 

So the idea for this blog came when I was shopping in half term with the 10yr old.   I learnt a couple of years ago that you unless you buy kids clothes, especially for girls, as soon as they come out, by April/May there is only height of Summer stuff left.  Which is great if you're off to super sunny climes but for the majority of days in the UK, a strappy beach dress doesn't quite work.  That's without even factoring in buying clothes for a 10 yr old girl.  That don't make look like a toddler or a hooker.  

Zara is all I have to say to you - they are amazing when it comes to tween clothing.  She loves it, I love it and it's really well priced.  Plus the quality for the money wipes the floor with the adult ranges. 

What they do, which is perfect when you're looking to buy outfits, is they have great ranges which you can mix and match.  Trousers, tops, tees and shorts, along with jackets, all neatly arranged in colour palettes with co-ordinating patterns. 

Co-ords for a 10yr old - absolutely perfect.  So she has a top and shorts set in a khaki floral print, a pair of khaki trews, a cream lace tee and a cream jersey blazer.  And she's set.   They all make different outfits, they work together, they work as separates.   Plus, throw in the denim shorts and jeans that she already has and that's her Summer wardrobe done.  Last year and over the A/W she was loving yellow so she has a couple of tops which work perfectly with the khaki and cream that we've just bought. 

Lessons in how to build the perfect wardrobe from a 10 yr old (with only a smidge of guidance from Mum...).  

I have to say I would happily wear most of it myself, especially the matching khaki top and shorts (ok maybe not in "shorts" but certainly in a slightly longer skirt....)  This is not my daughter by the way!  Shamelessly stolen from the Zara website, but how cute is this?




For me, there is something about a matching ensemble that = smart.  I don't know why, it's my inane matchy matchy inner elf, punching 70s hippy chick Farrah in the face and making himself known.

These come into their own with regards to their versatility.  Infinitely more useful than a simple dress.  The number of different outfits you can recreate from just two items, combining them with old faithfuls, is extraordinary.  They're also the ideal starting point for a capsule wardrobe, so are great if you're not sure about how to build up a set of outfits. 

Principally you start with a matching top and bottom.  You then think of options that will go with each piece and from there you can build up a set of outfits that you can mix and match.

To make it easy, I'm starting with black and white.  The Danes love a bit of matchy matchy.  And there isn't a lot more versatile than monochrome.  Perfect for putting with the obvious black and white, but also a great match with denim.  For me , this would be my first choice for a weekend away wardrobe.  Easy, simple, clean lines and a no brainer as to what you can put with it.  Plus most of us already have lots of black especially in your wardrobe, so with all of these, I'd also put in, a little black sweater, a black blazer, white shirt, denim jeans, black leather skirt, black silky shirt and black or white skinnies.

Buy two of these sets and... well, frankly, that's just showing off! 

Vila Wide leg trouser with vertical Stripe £25



And the shirt, again £25




Vila Textured Shell Top £22 This outfit would work for a Special Occasion or could be separated and dressed down with ballet flats, sliders and sneakers.




Vila Textured Mini Skirt £18




Vila Mono Print Sweat £35  This is possibly my favourite.  A pair of sweatshirt fabric pieces which should theoretically be consigned to casual land but worn together with the right shoes and hey presto, you suddenly have a smart outfit.




Vila mono print sweat skirt £25



Moving away from monochrome but I still think this is as versatile.  Just add navy and white pieces to it and you're all set.  As an outfit on its own, it's also so so pretty.  (yes I may have ordered to *try*.... at these prices, it was rude not to.) 

Vila Digital Print Shell top was £28 now £14



Vila Digital Print Skirt was £38 now £16



Moving on now to colours that are perfect for when it's not yet scorchio.  Again, a black and white print makes it easy to mix in with other things you'll already have in your wardrobe. 

Graphic Rose Print Top £38 from Warehouse  with the bottoms 



Graphic Rose Print Trousers £42 from Warehouse  Whilst this is quite a wintery look - I think with a black tee or a white jumper, it would be perfect for Spring.



Now the pyjama look is still rocking on.  No I haven't done it as you can't do all of the trends all of the time but I do love it on other people and I should probably think about the value it could add to my wardrobe.... (although I am still being haunted by the need for dungarees... you have been warned.....)
Somerset by Alice Temperley Pocket Floral Shirt in Multi £79





And the matching trousers - £89



Finally I wandered into Oasis the other day - I'm not going to lie, it's somewhere that I don't go into much at all.  Why?  Wellllll, I'm not sure.  I've always found it a bit of a nothing shop, which is an awful assumption as it's simply not true.  But have I ever seen anything in there that I think wow?  Can't say I have.  If we're talking high street comparisons, I've always preferred Warehouse, Zara, Mango and even Next.  

But maybe I've been missing a trick as they have sets galore which work really well as an outfit or as separates.  And lots of lovely colour which is perfect for the Spring.   It's also so easy to add in your old billy basics that on their own aren't that exciting - put with a print top or bottom and they can be transformed. 

So starting with a full on butterfly print.  This would make a lovely dress but the skirt could be worn with a myriad of coloured tops - a silky plain blouse for the evening or work.  For day wear, this worn with a thin knit coloured jumper would be perfect. 

There is a choice of bottoms to go with this. 

Pop Art Butterfly Shirt from Oasis was £38 now £26.60



Or the t-shirt style top 

Art Butterfly Woven Front t-shirt was £28 now £19.60




Bold Butterfly print trousers were £42 now £29.40



Bold Butterfly flippy skirt was £38 now £26.60 Now this does look as if it could be navy but it's listed as a "matching item" so I'm assuming they are all the same colour... I did see a whole butterfly collection grouped together instore so my money's on them being GO!




This is more summery but the top would be perfect on its own with a pair of jeans and flipflops on a lovely warm day but looks just as great dressed up with the matching skirt.  Little blazer and skinny jeans and this is the easiest outfit to turn to when you can't be bothered to think about what to wear for a casual night out.  For super casual and laid back, add ballet flats.

Oriental Blossom V Front V Back top from Oasis £28


Oriental Blossom Pencil Skirt £40 Which would look fantastic with a cream, black or pale pink blouse - for work, for dinner, just lovely. 




So all in all, I think there's hopefully something there for everyone.  The perfect solution to all those different outfit occasions where you don't want to have to buy loads of new things for your wardrobe but with the addition of just two things, you suddenly have a whole new set of opportunities. 

Finishing with outfit from yesterday.  And before anyone asks, no I did not have bare ankles.  Feeling every bit of my 42 years with popsocks to the rescue.  Hair, trying to recreate the Australian Labradoodle puppy hair so I can be one of those owners who looks like her dog (who will hopefully be here end of May beginning of June.... ) And yes, I am joking. (or am I....?!)

Untitled

Camel and navy striped top - M&S
Trench coat - Banana Republic
Straight leg jeans turned up - Jigsaw
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe
Dune Monogram scarf - Louis Vuitton
Navy patent and suede Chester loafers - Russell & Bromley

Today I am painting the table legs of my newly refurbed dining table.  All the glamour...... (followed by 3 hours at football and swimming after school.  Is is feasible to have a glass of wine on a Tuesday night?!  The Husband is out at an important networking event.  Which happens to involve whisky tasting.....)


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CONVERSATION

27 comentarios:

  1. An interesting array of outfits to ponder over. Some of them are fabulous and would def. wear. But I must admit I think I will still end up buying dresses for the summer.

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    1. I'm tempted by the black and white sweatshirt combo actually..... but yes, it won't stop me wearing dresses, that's for sure!

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  2. I have a new dream. Vila clothes. I absolutely love them! More than the RI bag? More long-lasting & more mileage do you think? (Desperately trying to find excuses to purchase *both* here....
    Lu xx

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    1. They're gorgeous aren't they? Imagine the RI bag with the black and white Vila outfits.... ooooh

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    2. Stop It! My mind is working overtime!
      Lu xx

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  3. on the subject of dungarees I've bought the H&M ones & think they're great ! always said I'd never wear something if I wore it the first time round - but here we go !!!

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    Replies
    1. YAY!! I'm going to get mine tomorrow.... x

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    2. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. Guess what I got.....??!!!

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  4. I love zara for my almost 9yr old. We just did a large order after h&m failed to deliver the order we placed. It just disappeared from
    The system. Said pending for two weeks and then nothing! Zara I ordered on the Friday and it was delivered Saturday and she's over the moon with all of it. We have the shorts you posted and now considering the top as well.

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    1. Oh it's just fabulous, isn't it?? And for boys too....

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  5. My kids have outgrown practically everything & so this month is going to a mammoth spend on them! Sob! Mama will get the scraping of the barrel! I love the striped outfit! x

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    1. Oh noooooooooo. I only buy mine the bare bare minimum as they wear clothes so rarely (the boys especially - they'd live in their football kits or jamas if they could!)

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  6. Love your camel and navy top, do you know if its still available? Love the colour combo xx

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    1. Oh I don't think so as I got mine in the sale before Christmas I think. Have a look on ebay maybe?

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  7. Love your classic outfit. Am struggling to find navy and white Breton tees - Boden's are too short on me, and even Me&Em's aren't quite right...wanting something not tight but semi-fitted. Without spending a fortune! That striped culottes/shirt combi is FAB. I might just place an order.

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    1. Hmmm Massimo Dutti? Tho I'm not sure if they do a classic stripe this year. Ooh I know, I did like the JCrew one which isn't too expensive and is great material x

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    2. Or just thought, try Petit Bateau. Or Saint Martin which I think they have on Atterley Road at the mo. I'll do a breton round up for you shortly love xxx

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    3. Thanks hon! Will check it out.

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  8. Agree Zara for kids is fab. Not sure I can do the matchy-matchy PJ look. Love your hair like that though.

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    1. I agree for lots of people (probably me included...) it does work better in principle..... x

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  9. Hiya,
    I loooove Zara for my two girls! Are you going to do a what-to-wear-to-a-spring-wedding post at all? I have a wedding to go to in 8 wks where I dont know anyone and have no idea what to wear. Thought I would just wait for your blog to tell me. x

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    1. Yes, I am more than aware that I have THREE First Holy Communions in June which is round the corner so I need to get my skates on with dresses. I'll get onto that next week, I promise xx

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    2. I've just had an email to tell me that Self Portrait dresses are back in stock at Selfridges... I know you were looking at them a while ago!

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    3. Thank you - off to check them out xxxx

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  10. Hi Kat, do you know if warehouse have any discounts at current? Ps: love your blog x

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    1. Hmm I don't think they do at the moment which is a bummer. They have some amazing stuff this season. (and thank you - hope you carry on liking it!!) xxxx

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