Is there anything as grown up as the B word...?

Oh yes, it's The Blouse.  The favourite of the aged matriarch that, in recent years, has had a revival amongst the younger crew too.   They've worked out, that whilst a crisp white cotton shirt looks impeccably chic, this is until a) you've bent over to tie a shoe lace of a small child and it's come untucked at the back, baring a greying g-string to an unsuspecting (and now gagging) public and is gaping open at the boob or b) you stand up and it looks like you've slept in it, as opposed to having slaved over an ironing board for 20 minutes (I hate ironing.  Seriously loathe it with a passion and am pants at it to boot.  I have singularly mastered the talent of ironing in more creases than there were to begin with.  I am one of those people who doesn't iron.  And doesn't have anyone to iron.  I am an expert hanger and smoother.  I iron one thing a month, if I Have to). 

But the blouse.. that icon of silky, flowy gorgeousness that is comfy to wear, hides a multitude of sins, can be layered under a jumper, tucked in or out of trousers and also goes with a skirt.  Welcome to our wardrobes.  The perfect day to night piece of clothing. 

Oh Classic Item number two.

Why are you so darned hide to find? 

What am I looking for?  Well, same as I was a couple of months ago really.   And haven't managed to find... 

Something in a silky fabric that I can tuck in if needed.  But that I can also wear loose tunic style over skinnies and a blazer.  I'd also like to be able to wear it during the day with trousers (did you note I didn't say jeans...but I do mean jeans as well.)

These are a classic for sure but are easily styled so as not to look like a politician.  Lots of ideas further down the page but am open to more if you have them.. (I haven't mentioned under dungarees.  Which I had said I wasn't going to wear... but seeing as I already have a pair of black ones which will look so great with my new red flats.... And a blouse does work really really well under them, it would be rude not to sport them occasionally.  It does appear they may be making a general reappearance this season too.  Not just on me).

And I have found the best sales bargain of the month (ignoring the fact it's Jan 4th).  At Jaeger Outlet (which I may have become somewhat obsessed with.  Forgot to include the cashmere in yesterday which has ANOTHER 40% off the listed price.  If there was a time to buy cashmere, it's today and it's on the Jaeger Outlet

But even more reasonably priced are these blouses. 

V Neck Blouse was £120 now £29.. BUT it's got another 40% off.  Which makes it ridiculously reasonable for a Jaeger blouse, that's got to be cheaper than Tesco?




And the red - also only £29 down from £120 and that's pre the extra 40% off. 




Another lovely looking navy one at M&S in their Autograph range and I saw these last week instore.  They look a lot more luxe than the price tag would give them credit for.  Personally, I'm looking for something that's slightly longer in the body but then, I am 5ft10 so for normal height people this would be absolutely fine. 

With this, I love the versatility of having it done up for a round neck look and undone to give the impression of a v neck. 

Long Sleeve Blouse from Autograph in navy was £35



And the blush which is absolutely gorgeous.  I've mentioned in the past that one thing I do like to do to breathe new life into last year's wardrobe is to embrace a new tonal colour to liven up the neutrals.  Seeing as the Me+Em jumper from yesterday in blush was sold out in my size (ignoring the price tag...) maybe this would be a much better option.  So stunning with greys.  I also love with khaki as well...

Long Sleeve Blouse from Autograph in the blush was £35



A collar now at Tommy Hilfiger.  Now these aren't the cheapest, but these are excellent quality, generous fits (although I do still tend to have to size up but the dimensions are more generous than in UK brands I find.  Wear your own size if you're not ridiculously tall).  And they're a good reduction.  If you haven't tried the brand before, I bought my first jumper from them last Summer and have worn it loads and loads.  

Cotton Modal long sleeve shirt - was £75 now £53 from Tommy Hilfiger.  A shirt style but in a fluid fabric.  Perfect.



And collarless again but added interest with what looks like a textured polka dot.  In navy.  Perfect with jeans, perfect for work.  Ideal with coated skinnies or leather leggings in black for a night out. 

Cotton Viscose Polkadot Blouse from Tommy Hilfiger was £70 now £49



Very similar shape at Wallis in black with a complete bargain price. 

Black pleated sleeve blouse was £35 now £17  I fear this won't be long enough on me and would give a flash of food baby every time I bend over (not that I bend over a lot, I am at pains to point out but you can guarantee that were I to wear this, I would end up in a situation where I was either bending down or leaning up, giving everyone a view of flesh they need never see).



Back at M&S and now with my beloved pussy bow.. These would be ideal for work - would I wear one during the day casually?  Well, do you know what - I have one of these.  I have just remembered even though I'd worn it recently for a Christmas party with leather skinnies.  And I had the bow undone like this.  I think I should just start wearing this more during the day.  Mine is black which they have but there also is a blush version too. 

Long sleeve bow blouse from M&S Collection £28




And in the black again £28  I am absolutely most definitely going to be wearing mine with my black pleated skirt next time I go out.   So that's one less thing on my Wishlist.  TICK!  Oh and if you were pondering whether to get one of these, I have had mine for six years now... And yes it is silk and yes I do handwash (ie on the machine wash cycle) it.  From an era when Zara rocked.

Can we ignore the rather random pairing with the skirt.  I'd be interested to know who would wear this together.  Shopping at M&S..... However it doesn't take away from the fact it's a gorgeous (and highly useful) blouse. 



Berry at Wallis.  This shade definitely isn't just for the festive season.  Teamed with grey or camel (the latter is even more gorgeous if you throw in cream as well) it can be the perfect transitional shade for taking you from Winter into Spring (ignoring the fact that we haven't had Winter yet..).  And you'll already be one step ahead of the game for next Winter.

Berry Pussybow Blouse was £30 now £24 from Wallis



New season at Mango.  I have just got completely and utterly distracted with looking at new stock there (go forth and drool but give yourself a spare half hour)

Tie-neck blouse £49.99 in ink at Mango




Or the white version... again £49.99



Double coloured at Tommy Hilfiger now.  Love this.  Really unusual but what a difference this would make to a pair of jeans, navy blazer, leopard print heels for a night out.  And just as wearable during the day with faded boyfriends and a navy blazer.  Just add sneakers. 

Crepe Bow Blouse from Tommy Hilfiger was £85 now £60



Also at Mango are the new in oversized shirts.  Oh HOW I wish there was one of these in black... 

But then not everyone likes black and so perhaps the china blue will be better. 

Flowy Long Shirt in China Blue £29.99




But again - guess what's going to be popular this year?  Oh yes, that will be blush.  Or Nude as they call it... This with a grey blazer and white skinnies.. For now though, I would love to layer under a grey jumper with black coated skinnies, boots and a grey coat or long cardigan. 

Nude Flowy long shirt £29.99 from Mango - new in £29.99



I have done so many blogs on these over the years, I really have.  And I have only found one blouse (or flowy shirt) that I love.  One that I can happily, hand on heart say I wear weekly.  But as perfect as it is for day wear, I haven't quite round round to wearing it out at night. There's something about a white shirt for the night that reminds me of my silver serving waiting days... hardly the most glamourous of memories, believe me.

Having said that, I have just remembered, I did want to try it with my black skinny scarf which I had totally forgotten about.. hmm maybe I'll do that this weekend for our big family Christmas. 

This the shirt I love and wear so so often.  And yes, it's now in the sale.   And yes, it is very similar to the new in Mango ones above... *eyes up the nude shirt*.

Double Layer Shirt from Me+Em were £88 now £61.60 AND there is an extra 10% off all sale - automatically applied at the till until midnight tonight Monday. 



The one shirt that I have toyed with all season and it's the darned dry cleaning that puts me off (apparently "grown up people" dry clean... this was according to an interesting article I read earlier about how to dress when you're over 40 and we should all be dry cleaning things by all accounts.  Cock.  I knew I'd gone wrong somewhere....maybe this means I'm actually still only 38).  

But with the extra 10% off this is such a bargain.  And I do have a big birthday lunch coming up at the end of the month... (however I could just wear my other pussy bow shirt I've remembered... YES I'm going to do that.  *punches air at taking something else off the wishlist*).  However could someone else who perhaps doesn't mind dry cleaning, please order it? 

Satin Back French Cuff Shirt was £148 now £44.40 pre extra 10% off (even I can do those maths... actually maybe I can't.  Whatevs it's a good buy). 




One thing I have learnt whilst doing this blog is something I've mentioned again and again and yes, I keep forgetting.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this continually?  If you're like me then let's be in it together and remember to not keep things purely for best.  I shall be cracking out my black pussy bow shirt that I have always only worn in the evening, for during the day with a blazer and either sneakers or my (yet to be found...) pointed chelsea boots.  Actually in the meantime, they'll look great with my Toga Pullas and skinnies.  Not to mention them being the ideal shirt to wear out at night or for a big lunch. Now there's a plan, another big tick in the Classics box and one thing less to buy for my Spring wardrobe.  

Meanwhile, no blouse wearing today as I was home with a sick child, bless him.  The 9yr old and he doesn't normally do sickness well at all but has totally taken this bout in this stride.


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Black bat sweatshirt - Zoe Karssen

Black Lola joggers - Whistles
Grey cardigan - Zara
Black Edie leather boots - Seven Boot Lane (now in the sale!)
Pom pom hat - Black 
Wrist Warmers - Black

Another classic done and a timely reminder of DO NOT KEEP THINGS FOR BEST.  I simply cannot be the only one guilty of this?  Although I don't plan on wearing a blouse tomorrow seeing as yet again I shall be housebound with a now not remotely sick child (48hr rule.) so another day of puzzles and Cluedo it is for me.. (I refused to play Nerf guns which apparently makes me mean... Got a 250 piece Where's Wally puzzle for tomorrow though which I am looking forward to more than I possibly should be...).  Obviously just waiting for the other two to drop like flies now.


Therefore I shall have time to be back tomorrow with... another classic or shall I go off piste?  Thinking about it, I've been very distracted today by other items I've thought - YES, that's on the list for Spring and some, which might not be traditional classics, have certainly made their way into "mainstream" and are easy to wear.  

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CONVERSATION

48 comentarios:

  1. You are so right about 'just for best' I have been wearing a sadly neglected sequin skirt in the day for work but with a casual jumper over it and boots so it doesn't look too evening y. Great tip about undoing pussy bows, I have a couple of those, will give it a go, thanks . Staying up for Hush sale this eve!!!

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    1. It's something I think most of us need reminding of! And yes, an untied pussy bow can give the illusion of a skinny scarf and just looks that little bit more "day". Hope you make it work!

      OOh yes the hush sale.. (I'm hanging out for new season...!)

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  2. Hi Kat what is the sizing like on the me+em shirt. Thanks

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    1. I would say it's very true to size. I'm probably an 11 and could do with an 11! The 10 is too snug so I take the 12 which is the smidgiest smidge on the large side but nothing I can't live with (and only large if I'm being ridiculously picky) x

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  3. Love looking at these blouses, impressed with M and S. I wanted to ask Kat what type of jumper or jacket should you wear over the pussy bow shirts? Should it be round or v neck jumper or round neck/traditional jacket ? This is for work. Thanks J

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    1. To be honest, I think either work. Both give a very different look but I would happily wear either.

      With regards to jumpers - again, I think either works if they're undone. I would probably prefer a crew neck with the bow done up as opposed to a v neck but I'm not saying it wouldn't work. Clear as mud?!

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  4. Just treated myself to a gorgeous pussy bow blouse in the Mint Velvet sale - perfect bum disguising length to wear with leather skinnies. (Saw your comments on twitter earlier re; hair frizz. Have you tried the Olaplex treatment that some salons are offering?? I have coarse frizzy coloured hair but its now really smooth and silky after the treatment. Its like a mega conditioner added to your colour. Its made a huge difference to my drying time and hair has great shine and stays silky for days. I think it gets greasy quicker but still only wash every 4-5 days now - instead of once a week)

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    1. Aha, now that is something that I came across in my hours of research earlier! But I can't remember where.. I will see if there is a salon near me that does it.. I can't for the life of me remember where I've seen it! Thank you xx

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  5. Thank you for the link to the M&S black pussy bow blouse. I've been hankering after one since the chic French girl (harlot) in 'Catastrophe' wore one and couldn't find exactly what I wanted...until this evening! I have a variation on the theme, but not quite perfect, so thanks again. I can add it to my increasing collection of blouses (I'm sure the husband will be thrilled - we'll need a bigger house soon)

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  6. Oh my god... Those Jaeger blouses! Just nipped over to the website and all sold out in all 3 colours in size 10! Typical... Unless you happen to know if they come up small? In which case I could try a 12... That's still in stock in red! Never really been a blouse girl (not keen on collars) but these could change my mind!

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    1. To be honest, I think these would be ok a size bigger, especially if they're to be worn over skinnies.. might be an issue if you were going to tuck them in but as a tunic style, I think a 12 wouldn't make that much difference. Surely worth a go?!

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    2. fwiw, the 10 comes up as about a 12. I got the Navy one from gunwharf quays before Christmas.

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  7. I used to love me+em particularly their knitwear.......classic styling, good quality and at reasonable prices. However I stopped buying from them once I discovered that, like Black, they sell products containing real fur. Don't know why a retailer would choose to sell real fur when faux fur is so readily available these days!

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  8. I think saving things "for best" is an age thing, I am 47 and am terrible for it even though I know it's ridiculous to hardly wear something you love and have paid a lot of money for just because you bought it "for best". I have a 16 year old daughter who wears everything the minute she buys it, always looks fab and gets her wear out of everything, I need to take a leaf out of her book.....

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    1. You're probably completely right. Although on the converse side, my kids don't look after anything AT ALL.... am slightly hoping that by 16 they get better at it... Actually that's not true. My daughter is a complete book worm and keeps them all immaculate on her shelves. And she's managed to keep her new room spotless for the last month (since I went in and kept clearing everything she left on the floor... it works!!) So maybe there's hope for the boys..!

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  9. In love with the Mango shirt!, have their returns got any better?

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    1. I used to return instore but our Mango is now closing in Bluewater. So I'd have to rely on internet returns.. are they really bad?!

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    2. Mango online is generally terrible I find..... Delivery painfully slow and returns just as bad! Do we know what is replacing Mango at bluey?

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    3. No idea. *prays to god of Cos or & Other Stories....* I can't think what else we're missing?

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    4. Oh lord I think it might be an opticians... YAWN.

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    5. That's disappointing!! Yawn indeed...

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  10. Hi Kat, As per your recent post, was wondering if you've seen the (new in) Whistles Belmont black pointed Chelsea boots? Think you'd like them. Expensive (£185), but I think whistles footwear is the best on the high street, really excellent quality. Ruth. PS: love your blog!

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    1. AHA! No I hadn't seen them, I don't think they were out the other day as I checked Whistles! They're great but a tad too high for me.. I was looking for just a very slight heel (fussy.com....) I agree though, Whistles shoes are amazing and there is another pair I saw before Christmas which are super summery that I am eyeing up. And devoting a whole blog to perhaps tomorrow.. Definitely on the Disgraceful side but deliciously so. xx

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  11. Ha ha completely get your comment about keeping for best, major culprit but funnily enough was also my New Years resolution and I even started it before Christmas.

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    1. Well done you. I have been wearing my leather leggings during the day which is something I definitely wouldn't have done a couple of years ago... But I can so try harder!

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  12. So weird, just bought two brilliant blouses from La Redoute - their website is a minefield but they've had some gems this year and I bought this in both colours - can wear the bow loose or tied as you describe. And for only £12.50! Bought 8 and 10 to compare, but not much difference in size!
    http://www.laredoute.co.uk/ppdp/prod-324508912.aspx?docid=221815

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    1. oh god their website is just plain hideous. Do they still do a proper catalogue do you know? I used to order loads from Vertbaudet when the kids were tiny. I must have a look as they used to do some really great designer collabs. Great French ones. Blouses sound FAB x

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    2. Yes they still do the big catalogue and then seasonal mini ones, which help to edit it! I bought loads when my daughter was younger too and a few bits for me, but then stopped buying until they started the edited mags. But I read that they are doing a collaboration with Carven next season! Definitely worth a look!

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    3. *signs up now*. And earmarks an hour or two to peruse new season! Thanks for the reminder!

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  13. I am working hard to get over the things for best thing and totally get the no ironing thing, I totally loath it! And dry cleaning - I have been searching for a black blouse / shirt with collar all season and eyeing the black one from Me & Em for most of that time but the dry cleaning...

    Ps am I doing something wrong as I can only pick up your awesome blog the day after you post it!

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    1. I'm not sure I can get past the dry cleaning.... but the quality is so so ace. And the length would be great. But it does mean it's really hard to wear during the day. I am a massive "throw it in the machine on a handwash" queen apart from the one fabric I know you can't do that with is viscose. And guess what this is??! Having said that, I know people are always talking about the tumble drier dry cleaning things.. this may be worth a look?? (can you try it for me please??!!)

      And I mostly post in the evenings so I guess if you were to have a look, you should be able to see it? I think the email notification or Bloglovin definitely goes out the following day. Sorry xxxx

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  14. I am also I total hater of ironing, I did have one of those small hand held steamers that looked a bit like a kettle which was brilliant as it steamed things in seconds. I have a few blouses from M & s and they never need ironing in fact I think one of the ones I own from them was even called a non iron blouse perfect!!

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    1. I got rid of my steamer as I couldn't use it on stone or wood and we don't have any other floor! (it was a floor steam cleaner though and not one of the handheld ones) That's a genius solution! Although the non iron is perhaps even more genius...

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  15. Thanks for two top tips. The me+em blouse which I snagged in the sale and which is making the first day back at work rather less hateful than it would otherwise be. And the Boden leather leggings which were the bargain of the year and which only (reluctantly) left my legs as I dressed for work this morning. Totally agree re not keeping the best unworn but my workplace isn't ready for me in leather just yet.

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    1. Yes, I would say there are only certain jobs where leather leggings would be acceptable..!! (and I don't mean "those" sorts of jobs..! Definitely I could have worn them in my previous life and any marketing agency job for sure. x

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  16. Hi Kat, is there a code for the 40% off on the jaeger outlet ? X

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    1. oh hells bells I think it finished yesterday. I'm so sorry, but keep an eye out as they have it every few weeks as far as I can work out. xx

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  17. I think keeping things for best is definitely an age thing (I will be 55 on Thursday - oops, did I say that out loud?) and was only allowed as a child to have new clothes on high days and holidays and once you had worn them for "best" a couple of times, then you could wear them for other outings too! My downfall with clothes when new is, I can't wear something new that I bought from say Zara, and then visit the shop wearing the item on it's first outing, as I think that the staff think that I have just shop lifted it lol!!! Once I have worn it, I don't have a problem - weird I know, but I thought I would share!x Yvonne

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    1. I have to say I do still live by the code of wear something for best a couple of times and then "downgrade" it to every day wear. I think that does sort of make sense. But I know, the problem for me is that I then perhaps don't wear it as often as I should. As in my head it's still "for best". You know what I mean, yes?!

      However the thing about wearing something into Zara that i've just bought.. hmmm you're on your own there!!

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  18. Is it a turning 40 thing, the blouse I mean? Suddenly for the last year I have built a a small assortment of blouses, after never even looking at one since I gave up the school uniform. But, generally in the winter I find them too cold to wear, although I managed to wear one at the beach on Christmas Day. Two more things: thank you for introducing me to Hush and the Nuxe Prodigieux perfume (should have thanked you ages ago)and also you have inspired me to start blogging again (not fashion, I live in South Italy halfway up a mountain, so its all a bit backwards here. It's been a while, but new year, new beginning and there are not enough...how can I put this...older than 27 year old bloggers around, or if they are I haven't found many. Happy to meet more though! Thanks Kat xx

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    1. oh lordy maybe it's an age thing! Yes, I think it must be. I honestly cannot get of blouses!

      And you're welcome. Will go and hunt out your blog xxxx

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  19. It's definately an age thing; at 45 I'm Sooooo guilty of this! (keeping things for best) I've also just bought a lovely check pussy bow shirt from Limited Edition M & S. Can't beat a blouse / shirt and Marks & Spencer are cowing up trumps :) hope your kids are feeling better soon xx

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    1. RIght - well we can all make a pact together to wear things that we normally keep. But didn't get a chance today as joy of joys, number 3 went down the bug so another day at home. Which means another day tomorrow as well.... ARRGGHH! I'm going to make the most and maybe sneak out with him for a walk in the park and get a hot choc. We never get a chance to spend time just the two of us!

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  20. Ha ha I too have kept for best - but I do wear my leather leggings in the day! In fact I've decided to cull my wardrobe & hopefully only keep what I a) wear regularly & b)what I love So those items that are so-so - hence I never wear them - are going! In fact - do you have any tips on wardrobe culls...I have made a few mistakes in the past! Hope your kids are on the mend now. X

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    1. Forgot to say I too hate ironing. And I hate clothes that crease easily. And I also won't buy dry clean only clothes unless they are jackets or coats - cos they'll only need dry cleaning once a year (is that slatternly of me?) But oh that Me&Em shirt is gorgeous. Tempted - but would chuck in the machine on a delicates wash...

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    2. Ooh wardrobe cull.... I'll come back to that!

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