Back to the scene of the crime
My entire youth that is.
Topshop Oxford Circus. I have not been back for years. Well I have but I've walked in and it's been like the scene of a disaster movie - just too busy. Or I've only had five minutes, gone down those famous escalators, got to the bottom and stood there, surveying the masses and thought - five minutes is not going to cut it.
But yesterday, one of my closest friends and I decided to have a complete treat of a day (post trying to persuade yr 4 boys that they should finish their holiday project on Food Chains and Food Webs. Next holiday, we've decided we're tackling the crisis in the Middle East. Cannot possibly be more difficult) and went to London for the day.
On Tuesday, I did a huge clothes cull that I am sending to a local wardrobe exchange place to sell and I had a plan. I knew (ok I vaguely had an idea...also known as winging it) what I needed and I was ready to shop. I wasn't going top end - I was looking for some fillers to make me fall in love again with the basics in my wardrobe.
First stop - early doors at Topshop. Now if you get there when it opens, it honestly is like a wasteland. We were virtually the only people in there. Headed to the changing rooms with armfuls of clothes.
So what were the success stories?
Midi skirt result. I had sort of cheated and have been putting together a blog on these (which I will still bring you as this isn't going to work for everyone) so had seen this online the evening before.
Absolutely adore it. PROPERLY midi length on me. Which is a novelty and a half Will be amazing with heels and a little tee (which I think I may well wear on Friday or Saturday night) - or dress down during the day with ankles boots, loafers or sneakers. I am so chuffed I can wear a skirt like a normal height person. This is the size 12 skirt and it is very fitted on the waist (a waist which I don't have).
Here I am in the size 10 tall.
And the top I have on in both of the above pictures and am seriously in love with. I have the size 10 on in both of the above pics.
Fine knit pointelle jumper £25 in navy.
And at the time I specifically asked if they had any other colours.. and she said no. Well SHE LIED. Sob. They also have it in a pale pink which I would have bought in a heartbeat as I think it would be so amazing with the khaki above. And of course sold out in my size online....
But I did hit paydirt with some black trousers. Which I wasn't planning on buying as they didn't have my size. They only had the 14.
Well. Ok so they don't fit me as they should but the 12 (which I tried on in the grey at home - yuk - and the khaki instore - much much better fabric) was very fitted on my waist. I guess, from looking at the pic, this is how they're supposed to be worn but I'm not comfortable with them. It also made them really short - I much much prefer slightly lower on my hips and not Simon Cowell style, hoiked up under my boobs.
Being tall, it's really hard to get a pair that are long enough so ironically, trying on the 14 was a complete gift. I couldn't give a hoot about what size they are - I think they look great.
Mensy trousers £42
Mensy trousers £42
And there they are on me - yes they're loose, but this is exactly the sort of look I was going for. I think, being tall, the oversized dimensions are absolutely fine.
And for comparison this is probably what they're supposed to look like if you wear the right size - the khaki ones in the 12. There is NO way the 10 would do up round my post 3 baby waist or lack of it. For me, at 5ft10 these are too short and for me at 43, they're too restrictive round my waist. On order - one zimmer frame.
I also headed to & Other Stories and bought... tees. Now I can't find them online so I'll bring you these another day as I have some other gems to report.
Oh - and some not so gems.
So there has been a lot of positive press about the Alexa Chung range for M&S. I won't lie - I completely forgot that it had launched yesterday but that meant it was a lovely surprise when I went to M&S today and there it was in all its glory at the front of the store. Now I do believe it's sold out in lots of sizes at other stores and online. Head to Bluey. Tons left.
I'm also going to throw it out there that I was slightly sceptical. Actually that's not fair. I am a massive MASSIVE M&S fan. I genuinely feel it's one of those brands I have grown up with and with which I a huge affiliation. Plus I've always championed them on the blog as I think most people are often confused by their offering and they have some amazing products. Seriously over the last couple of years, I have unearthed some complete gems.
And I love the idea that they're trying something new with Alexa. I'm not going to lie - at 43 I admire her style, but there are other people that personally I think, would have been more appropriate to collate a collection from the archives. Loads of fabulous women with a greater style heritage than she has and basically more fashion mileage. But I appreciate they're trying to win over a demographic of which I am necessarily a part.
I genuinely hope it is a massive success for them and to throw my support behind the new label, I went and tried some goodies on.
As you can see from the pics - this was of my own volition and not in way, affiliated with any M&S PR. I'm not going to apologise though as it's not all bad.
But I will say, their sizing is all over the place. I will also say that it's not just M&S that is guilty of this (looking at you Topshop and my bag of clothes that I bought yesterday which ranged from a 10 to a 14..). However you would be forgiven for thinking that within one collection the sizing could be uniform?
Well no it isn't, but fear not - I have done some of the trying on for you. Not a huge amount as Instagram is flooded with pictures and frankly most of it is just not me. Lots has a very eclectic vibe to it and if there's one word that you could never describe me as, I would think it would be eclectic. Basically, to be completely fair to her and M&S, it's definitely all very Alexa. It's archive, it's vintage, it's 70's and 80's. And some of it is fabulous.
Just not all of it on me.
But I had success to start with and more trousers. These are THE most amazing fabric. They look super smart but they are loose and flowy and lightweight. Perfect for Spring/Summer and Autumn. For work and for play. Now I sized up again - going back to the Topshop trousers. These are supposed to sit high at the waist which I find incredibly uncomfortable and restricting. There are however, two sets of buttons on the waistband so it does give you the option to tighten them if you did want them to sit higher. For me, the lower they sit, the longer they are and when you are a Daddy Long Legs, that is a bonus.
Here I am in a 12.
And I have just ordered the jacket which looks amazing here and I completely overlooked in store. I think as a suit this would be fabulous for lunches and just dressing down. It may well look car crash on me - fear not, I will let you know.
And the jumper that I have on above. The perfect fitted but flattering cable knit navy jumper. The only reason I didn't buy this was because I had bought the Topshop one the day before and it is on the slightly thicker side. I'm sure I'll regret this in the Autumn mind you.
And then finally.. the one thing I didn't expect to buy but couldn't leave there - the Trench.
God knows I need a coat like a hole in the head but this is amazing. It has the most fabulous navy and red lining, it is in my beloved khaki and it is the most unusual shape. None of the pictures I've seen remotely do it justice. It's totally sold out online but they had it in every size today in Bluewater.
This is me in the 12 - it's massive. I bought the 10 but could possibly have got away with the 8. However being tall, the extra fabric is always appreciated.
Finishing with not my finest moment. I don't even know why I tried this on as (I believe I have already blogged about) I am not a frilly girl. Forget the frills though, I don't wear stiff cotton shirts. I am too casual Ok so actually I'm too lazy (and too inept) to get the iron out. And these would need a LOT of ironing.
I couldn't even get the damn thing on.
My mistake for trying a 10 to begin with. That sort of put me off. I couldn't face even attempting the 12 as it had purely strait jacket connotations after I managed to get the size 10 off.
Don't let me put you off - it's The Harry Blouse at £35 and should look like this.
Has anyone else seen the collection? Have you purchased? Would love to know your thoughts on it.
So finishing with outfit from today - another of the three hush pieces that they're donating 30% of the sale to, during the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign.
Faux leather joggers - ASOS
Blazer - hush
Red Soho Disco bag - Gucci
Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Tomorrow, I shall be back with my other adventure from my day out yesterday... it involves shoes... Can't wait to write it. And do the extra research in the morning. Who doesn't love a bit of shoe porn?