Conquering some demons

And no I'm not talking navy shoes.  I'll save that fly in the ointment for another day.  Today, I am going to get to grips with tops with skirts.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this is a hard thing to get right.  

It also covers off sensible shopping as these can be super versatile and worn on a whole variety of occasions.  So, what sort of bottoms do we need tops for.  For a starter A line skirts.  Can't be anything really that you have to tuck in - well it can but I can't make these work.  It's all about the silhouette and mostly, if I tuck something in it creates bulk at my middle which is the thickest part of my body - I don't need attention drawing to it.  Plus it bags out over the top which again, makes me look thicker.  Something fitted that tucks in but is slightly looser at the waistband can work but the best sort of tops are those which skim the body and sit just below the waist over the skirt or trousers. 

I've found that these are the most flattering and the easiest to wear.  And in the true sense of making a wardrobe work for you, it's occurred to me that with a couple of these tops, I can make use of a whole load of bottoms that I don't wear that much as I have so little to go with them. 

Specifically my A line leather skirt, a new little A line leather short skirt that I picked up just before Christmas (that is just crying out for either over the knee boots or warmer weather to wear with bare legs and sneakers), my pleather peg leg trousers and all my boyfriend jeans. 

I have found the fitted black polo neck from Jigsaw invaluable (well, I've worn it twice.... but twice that I wouldn't have had any other tops that worked) and I also managed to find a fitted black crepe top with coated sleeves that is years old from Cos, which worked fine with my pleather trousers for Boxing Day.

But really, that's it.  Everything else I have is of the boxy variety.  Which is my favourite kind of top truth be told (and yes, I do keep coming across oodles of these so shall do a whole other blog on them - they are simply the ideal tops to have in your wardrobe to cover both all occasions and a multitude of sins) 

Earlier on in the season I really couldn't get to grips with these sorts of tops at all - hence I have had such limited wear from my A line leather skirt but suddenly, the penny has dropped and I've managed to source some that I think will really work.  Lots of these tops will also work with pencil skirts - something again that I have been asked about and whilst I think it's easier to tuck a shirt or blouse into a pencil skirt, I know sometimes it looks less worklike if you have a smooth line over the top.

Starting at Reiss again.

Rex Lux Navy fluid batwing top was £95 now £79.  Also available in ivory.  Love this colour with black on the bottom.  Smart enough to wear in the evening but also perfect with jeans. 

A similar shape in a print this time - great colours to take you into the Spring.  I would team this with either black or navy bottoms but it would look just as great with any denim or even white jeans. 

A perfect example of not judging a brand by it's name, I wouldn't normally look at Planet in a million years.  But this top with a black leather midi skirt would be perfection.  Much more DVF to me than Planet. 

Another lace one from again Planet.  Again, put this with black pleather peg leg trousers and a pair of strappy sandals or ankle boots and I defy anyone to know where it's from.  Or I love the idea of it for a night out in the Spring with distressed boyfriend jeans and some point black courts.

If we're looking at lace though then this one has to be my favourite from Coast. 

And a slightly more modest lace number from Coast again.  

Another number from Planet.  If you look closely it has a lizard print texture to it - this would look so great with boyfriend jeans and flats in the Summer - for now, throw on a blazer and some ankle boots.  For £15 it's silly not to try it.  However do not look at the styling of these.... think of it with a different set of clothes!  This would look fantastic again with leather - either looser trousers or any shape of skirt.

Me+Em have a fantastic sale on.  

And this is a hugely popular colour which looks great with black, navy or (my fave) tan/camel. 

Twist Next Tunic in plum was £58 now £29

Also available in black, dark blue and this Springlike grey marl

Another option from Me+Em in black which would be perfect just skimming over the hips. 

Crossover top with long sleeve was £58 now £29

If you are blessed with a cleavage then this may work for you - similar to the ones above but not asymmetrical.

John Lewis Twist Front V neck top in light toast was £29 now £20

A short sleeve drape version with a slightly higher neckline at LK Bennett in black. 

LK Bennett Axel top was £55 now £40

I'm not going to mention the word Crop Top as god forbid, the last thing I would ever advocate at my age (Gwen Stefani being an exception) is flashing my midriff.  I didn't do that at 16 so the chances of me doing it at 41 are non existent. 

But a crop top dare I say it, does work quite well with a higher waisted skirt or pair of trousers.  There are ones out there which aren't as cropped as I recall from the 80's.  These ones are designed just to sit at the waist as opposed to flashing a boob if you got caught doing the Mexican Wave. (which admittedly isn't something that happens very often/ever these days)

French Striped Cropped top from French Connection was £40 now £28

This isn't in the sale but sometimes it's better to pay that little bit more to get something perfect.  I actually think this is really good price from Reiss anyway - especially as it's something you could wear all year round.  This would look amazing next to leather and just as good with a pair of faded indigo boyfriends and some black strappy sandals. 

Sparkle Metallic High Neck Top in black £69

Also available in a copper £69

And one I'm going to throw in for good measure - again not in the sale (this is going well, isn't it?) but I think this one has real mileage.  Plus it fits perfectly in with my New Year's Resolution for fashion.  Can anyone guess what it is? 

Anyway, this one I love.  Good strapless bra needed (M&S are the best I've found). 

Seymoure Black Bardot Top £110

It's tucked in here but I actually think I'd prefer it fitted and smooth over an A line skirt or culottes... Yes I fear there is a sniff of the Olivia Newton John's about it, so I'd maybe avoid wearing a) to fairgrounds, b) if you have short blond corkscrew curls and c) with leather leggings.  Apart from that, I think you'll be ok.

Hopefully that gives you some options.  For me, I reckon I think I'm going to have to try the non sale (DOH) Seymoure number from Reiss.  Thinking ahead to my new rules..... (I have high hopes of lasting till at least the end of January... pfft)

Today I managed to achieve utterly squat.  I lie - I managed to persuade the 10yr old to empty the dishwasher "But why should I?  I don't like doing it".  As you can imagine, I soon disabused her of the notion that it was my calling in life and since I have done it precisely 112 times since they broke up from school, it's about high time she got stuck in with some chores. 

Oh and I managed to cut the 8yr old's hair.  Which, as anyone who perhaps has a child with Autism and sensory issues will tell you, is an achievement worth celebrating.  For both of us.  Mine is a glass of wine (I held off till 7pm which is a miracle in itself) and his is to stay up slightly later and wait for Daddy to come home  (who I think *may* have be on his way back from work via a libation station....) 

We didn't make it to London as everyone was very late to bed last night, the trains were operating a Saturday service, it wasn't set to go above 1 degree all day and the boys were ensconced in front of their new Xbox happy as larry and moaning about having to leave.  It didn't take much persuasion for me to remain at home all day - such a treat.

And I am polishing my halo at not having bought anything in the sale yet.   The 10yr old and I are definitely off on a shopping marathon tomorrow.  Ikea first (lord help us) and then we're going to hit Bluewater.  Surely I can't come back with nothing....... (am off to make my list now)

Just to prove, I do dress down and do have Uggs that are older than my 3rd child here I am in all my casual glory. 


White longsleeved ribbed tee - H&M
Black and white jumper - Hush
Yellow Scarf - Hush
Grey Lola Joggers - Whistles

Tomorrow I'm going to do a blog on all the things I've seen that I think are excellent buys.  Not to be missed out.  Obviously replete with justification (just in case anyone needs it...) 

Would love to hear about your sales bargains - I can't be the only one who has been unbelievably abstemious.

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24 comentarios:

  1. Kat, have you tried LTS tops? I am sure they might be the answer for those long bodied amongst us. I do like the first Rex Top you linked to, but the darts would be in all the wrong place (too high) and would just make me look wide instead of svelte!
    Lou x

    1. Hmm I haven't tried LTS in years - it used to be horrendous sizing (Even their 10 was massive), poor quality and pretty frumptastic. BUT I haven't had a look in ages and you're right, I should definitely have another look - thanks for the reminder. Might be definitely worth looking at for basics - something which is an excellent idea to stock up in the sales. Thank you xxxx

  2. I am off out to an indoor rock climbing centre Tom for the kids to let off steam so am stealing this outfit Kat as looks so comfy :). But for now I am checking out me and em. X

    1. It was beyond (and is!) beyond comfy. And I defy you not to adore Me+Em. I want all of it....

  3. I braved Oxford Street today and came home with an Isabel Marant sweatshirt from Selfridges that only cost 50 quid! Got a bunch of stuff ordered online from the Zara and Mango sales, much easier than trying to find what I wanted in an actual shop. No idea when it will all get here, mind...

    1. OH MY GOD you lucky thing! That sounds amazing and yes, I did a Zara order for my son and NOTHING has arrived yet. boooooooo

  4. So far I've bought a pair of shoes & wait for it.....some PJs & a fluffy bathrobe! I'm a shadow of my former self! You're going to disown me now aren't you?! Ax

  5. J.Crew for me: 3 shirts (the same style but different colors, lol), pants with a side stripe of sequins and a statement necklace. The sale was too good to miss. Happy 2015 to you!

    1. Excellent haul - I need to check out JCrew sale....

  6. That lace Coast top is stunning.
    I find LTS too big - even the 8 was built for Miranda Hart

    1. It's gorgeous isn't it. And PMSL at LTS comment. It's just all massive, isn't it... They don't even do an 8 in most things (well they never used to anyway)

  7. I'm doing well so far. Have snagged a pair of suede triple buckle boots in topshop for £20 (!), the Nessa cardigan from hush which was must have been a return and the elasticated "bandage" autograph boots in blue and black as I couldn't decide which I loved most!! xx ps are you going to start your interior blog next year?

    1. Oh god I AM SO SO jealous you got the blue boots - they were on my list of things to get and I cocked up. BOO. And how fab is the Nessa cardie - well done you. I hopefully will start my interiors blog, just trying to get my ducks in a row xx

  8. Love the sparkly copper Reiss top.

    Also wondered if you'd seen that My Wardrobe have gone under, Kat? Such a shame, and it was one of my favourite shopping sites. I did fear that might be about to happen when I saw all of the discounts they were giving recently, along with no sign of new stock. I always feel sorry for the staff in this kind of situation too. They were all so incredibly helpful. Sad times.

    1. Yes NAP have taken them over (I'm not entirely sure what that means as it just seems now to go to the NAP site. so what they've taken over, I have no idea.......) But I agree, it was my favourite designer site - but the last couple of years, their buying has been on the random side. Such a shame though

  9. My purchases so far:
    2 Uniqlo cashmere polo neck jumpers (£29 each!)
    Zara oversized cashmere jumper (went down from £129 to £49; love the style and was contemplating at full price but wasn't sure about the quality (I'm my opinion only Zara's jackets/blazers are worth investing in, the rest is a waste of money due to appallingly poor quality), have worn 3 times and am extremely pleased so far)
    Jil Sander for Uniqlo short down parka (£69 instead of £129 (or £1500 from the main collection!))
    Short leather UGG boots (today's lucky purchase from Bicester, £99)
    That's it. So far.. :) xx

  10. What's the sizing like for Me + Em? Have found a potentially ideal dress on there, but unsure which size to pick, do they run small or true to size, generally?

    1. I would say true to size, if not a little on the small side..... Definitely not large!

  11. I got the XL in the Boden jumper - I wanted it super oversized (to be honest, it's not *that* big!) I think the non cashmere ones aren't as big perhaps?! I also now want it in the black... (up there with things I can't remotely justify. GAH!)

  12. Love your blog! Appreciate the success at cutting child's hair requires celebrating! Have an 8 year old son diagnosed with autism and hair cutting is always a tricky. Any handy hints? He's currently rocking the surf boy look!

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