My advice if you're thinking of heading into any actual shops to do any shopping at the moment.. do not bother. We have reached jumble stage.
All the good bits in the sales have gone but nothing has been reduced further yet so we're just at "great big mess" stage. Plus the weather is so utterly vile and hideous the thought of buying anything Summery that I've seen a million times before is just not appealing in the slightest.
I thought I'd have a quick look in Topshop as I was on a grey trouser mission (I'll keep that for another day) and on their "Last Chance" rail, I spied two things that just didn't like look like they belonged there.
And guess what.. they didn't. They were from the Boutique range at Topshop. Which I then recalled I'd seen in Oxford Circus where they have a small concessions area within the main store but they certainly don't have it in stores in the sticks (bar the odd returned item like they had today).
What is the difference between this and their main lines? Ok so firstly the price. Yes it's more. But I would say it's only marginally more. We're not talking Whistles prices...
And secondly, whilst we're talking Whistles, the Boutique Collection definitely has a more grow up feel to it. Cleaner lines, loose shapes, plain block colours, an androgynous edge to it, much more of a Scandi feel I'd say.
But rather than just try and describe it, here's what I would buy (and what I managed to pilfer from the Last Chance rail and DIDN'T buy even though I'm kicking myself now and am going to order instead).
Believe me, having traipsed around Bluewater today and been beyond disappointed with everything I saw, as well as having done a huge Zara order, followed by receiving the black Laurence Dacade boots from Monnieres Freres which I had on the blog the other day and had high hopes for at half price but were just meh meh and a tad more meh, coming across this online (and being able to cop a feel instore) has made my day.
Starting ironically with something that I had principally been looking for today. Grey trousers.
Self Stripe Mensy Trousers from Topshop Boutique £85 and I am slightly more than a little in love with both the top and the shoes.
How are these different from the generic Mensy Trousers that Topshop have? Errr £45 different? Seriously though, I think that these do look more on the oversized size. Alas they didn't have any in store to try although I have tried the normal Mensys and I found them on the small side. I was easily a 12 when I more often than not a 10. Oh and one gripe I do have is that they don't do any of the Boutique range in Tall. Boo.
Or the navy.. these I am eyeing up...(and I will be sizing up).
Tailored Mensy Trousers £85
More amazing trousers which I can't possibly justify as I already have similar but adore.
Stripe Wide Leg Trousers £95
I have declared that this Autumn, I am going to be living in navy and black and so this as a navy top would be the perfect start right now. It's so much more difficult to find decent navy things than it should be.
Illusion Bardot Neckline Tee shirt £28
Speaking of tops, if you prefer a top and bottoms for a dressier occasion, this is the perfect perfect solution. Would be ideal also for those September nights out with leather leggings... And for during the day with jeans. Absolutely adore this (am ignoring the fact it says dry clean only...)
Asymmetric Ring Top £65
And staying with tops but this time we're going casual. Perfection in a grey top. This is the sort of thing I need but don't have. The sort of top that you think it will be easy to find but when you start looking - proverbial rocking horse poo. I adore lyocell which this is - it's so much smarter and easier to wear than a cotton.
Crew Neck Top by Boutique £28
I did today swear that I wasn't going to buy any more Summer dresses seeing as we have had literally three warm days this year (the trouble of Instagram and blogging what you wear...I know exactly how many days I have worn something summery. THREE DAYS PEOPLE). And I still have my Summer dresses to wear. Ok so I don't have a plethora of them but at this rate, they're going to get one wear each.
However... this is an amazing dress. Surely this is the perfect holiday dress. Not clingy, loose, perfect for warm temperatures - enough flesh on show without exposing the Les Dawson knees. I LOVE this.
Off the Shoulder Dress from Tophshop Boutique £69
Now here's a random thing.. the one above - £69, not in my size. DANG IT.
However they then also seem to have this one below.. which, as far as I can see looks exactly the same but they do have in all sizes... hmmmm. No idea. But it means it's meant to be no?
(ok so I went back and read the small print.. different dresses as one above is cupro and dry clean only which I would do as I'm scared of cupro - and viscose. And the one below is silk which says dry clean only but I would happily hand wash. Result. Although the one above also has a curved hem whereas the one below doesn't... So maybe I'll do us all a favour and order both for comparisons. Even though I'd have to order the cupro one in a smaller size.. And while we're here, does anyone therefore know if you can hand wash cupro?).
Off the Shoulder Dress £69 No I wouldn't wear it with these shoes...Flat sandals all the way with this for me. Although maybe heeled mules for evening.
But finishing with the culottes that I had found today that for some reason I didn't buy. "I'll think about it". Well, I haven't been able to stop thinking about them, hence me looking on line, resulting in this blog. These are going to divide...
Wide Leg Culottes by Boutique £85
And here they are on me in a 10... which is on the large side I'd say for a Topshop 10 (bearing in mind that the ankle skimmer skirt that I have is a 12 and I can't actually do the zip up properly without cutting off circulation to my hips). They also look mustard in my pic when they are in fact a pale caramel as above.
I wanted to go away and think about what I'd wear with them. And I just think they'll be super versatile. I need to get them and have some trying on sessions. I was thinking for evening with a white off the shoulder blouse and my Balenciaga glove mules. Or even just for the day with a white tee, biker jacket or blazer and sneakers. Or flat sandals.
So I'm going to order these and the black silk dress. And maybe I'll give the rest of the sales a swerve (famous last words...). Am I the last person out there to give Topshop Boutique some dedicated time? Not entirely sure I'm remotely their target market although I do keep reading that Topshop is supposed to be aimed at all age groups and not just "the youngsters"... Topshop fan or not?
Here's me on the first day of Summer. Seriously? Summer... Sort. It. Out. I'm dressed for October.
The reason for my rather jubilant face is that a) it had stopped raining and the sun was trying really hard to shine and b) I found these jeans in the attic after rummaging for espadrilles that I bought ten years ago. These were bought from Gap on the Kings Road when my now 11yr old was a tiny baby. That'll do nicely thank you.
Black and white striped tunic - H&M
Skinny grey jeans - Gap
Onyx leather jacket - hush
Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Half Moon Bag - APC
Tomorrow it is due not to rain... I am very excited as I did have one item of sales success which I am going to wear. And it's a super sensible sales purchase. The only one I've made. One that will take me into Autumn. I shall be back with my gems and alternatives. So long as it doesn't rain...