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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

How to brighten a grey day.

Throw more grey at it. 

And.. proving that I may finally have lost my tiny mind... let's think of Spring. 

I know, I know, shoot me now but yes, I am already thinking forward to next Season. 

Ok so not totally but if we're looking at items to invest in now, if we can also wear them through into the Spring, surely that's a win win and instant justification?  (she says as she's off to Bicester tomorrow and should really have one eye on next season... It's called being sensible... yeah right).

And grey is the perfect colour for now with black, navy and berry shades.  But it also works perfectly with white, camel and khaki into the Spring (to be fair I'd also wear those in the Winter as well - really is a super versatile colour). 

I had been on a mission for a black longline blazer but the obsession with pale grey was re-ignited last week when I went to meet the lovely team at Me+Em and realised how much more versatile it can be than black.  It's randomly much easier to team shades of grey together than it is shades of black - as in I think with black you need lots of different textures to create an interesting outfit but with grey, there are so many colour alternatives from light to dark that work so well together. 

The joy of a longer blazer, I also think, is that they can be preppy with trousers, loafers, chelsea boots and a jumper/shirt combo.  Or much more laid back and verging on city boho (I have just made that utterly rank phrase up... you can all virtually punch me) with a loose tee or jersey shirt, jeans and sneakers.  More on trend (I say that - to be fair, it's probably more mum on the run.  Running away from the kids that is, to lunch with the girls or drinks/dinner with The Husband or just down the road for a minute's peace with a hot cup of coffee that hasn't been microwaved five times) with a cashmere jumper, loose blouse, leather leggings and statement ankle boots.  TA DAH!!  They work on every level. 

I was very lucky to be asked to select a couple of items current season at Me+Em to keep and first off, the blazer was a no brainer.  Wore it literally the day after I got it and will definitely be wearing it again tomorrow to Bicester.

Flannel Longline Blazer £215


Another flannel version but a more tailored style.
Grey Flannel Blazer £109 from Mint Velvet

Boxy flannel jacket with wool at M&S £59  Absolutely love this shape with wide leg trousers.  Would also be the perfect jacket for culottes.

A darker grey at Boden and again we're more fitted.

Chelsea Jacket £149

Longline at Joseph.  This is a blow the budget option but considering its versatility and what a classic item it is, if you're looking to invest in a jacket/coat, this could definitely be worthwhile.

Joseph Oversize Wool Melange Blazer in Grey £495  If you hadn't noticed, I am all over the looser style at the moment.

Lovely and slouchy but still with a tailored edge at Topshop.  Perfect starter for ten (well, fortysix....) if you're not looking to invest but want to try the look. 

Tall Jersey Boyfriend Jacket £46  Also available in regular.

A flannel like texture at Dorothy Perkins with their brushed Boyfriend Coat (which they do in other colours as well). 

Grey Brushed Boyfriend Coat - was £49 now £39.20

Again at YAS although this one is verging onto slightly more of a coat (as is the one above with hindsight but ideal if you do want it as more of a coat than a jacket.  She says stating more than the obvious.  Sorry...!)

YAS Monday Coat £140

Similar again at Topshop - this time with a zip fastening which does give it a slightly different feel. 

Slim Pocket Coat from Topshop £59

Similar shape but double breasted and more of a texture to the weave at Banana Republic.

Mixed Tweed Double Breasted Coat £180.  This is now definitely intocoat territory but I think the tweed gives it a lighter look than a heavy wool.

Double breasted again at New Look £39.99 (they do this in lots of other lovely colours by the way). 

More of a coatigan version now which would work just as well into the Spring as well, again at Mint Velvet.

Grey Textured Coat from MV £159  I think this would also be the perfect evening jacket/coat cover up.  Those that are more difficult to master than you think.

Collarless now but again with texture and Dorothy Perkins still have up to 30% off everything, finishing tonight, Tuesday.  So a great deal as well.  This is the sort of coat that actually works ridiculously well in the Winter with a scarf.  Or a polo neck.. or I like a collar over it as well.  Pretty much my favourite neckline in summary.

Grey Bonded Collarless Coat from DP was £65 now £45.50

This coatigan is very similar I think, to the 3.1 Phillip Lim military coatigan I have had for 8 years.  Darker grey now but with a camel edging which I think gives it that light touch.

Buttonsafe Wool Blend Overcoat with Cashmere £120 from M&S

Another take on a coatigan but a very different style (and one I may have mentioned I quite like...) and again, easily wearable into the Spring with a pair of jeans, white tee and sneakers.  Or ballet flats. 

Vila Waterfall Coat £80

Double colouring now, like the Me+Em one which I like.  I think it adds to the texture without adding bulk.
ASOS Coat in cocoon fit with panel detail £95

Weekday oversized cocoon coat £90  Simply adore this styling of a paler grey and white.  What further Spring inspiration do you need but this?  Ankle boots and a huge scarf for the Winter.  Am I selling the appeal of these?!

So there we have my homage to grey cover ups which aren't heavy coats and will definitely take you into the Spring as well.  And are perfect for this randomly mild weather we're having this week.  I can't wait to wear mine tomorrow.  Think with black... hmmm or maybe wine.... or even navy actually....

It was navy and black today.  Jumper from Boden from last year.  The now classic Off Duty Jumper.


Black longline tee - Baukjen
Navy Off Duty Jumper - Boden 
Black coated jeans - New Look
Buckle boots - Toga 
Black fringe bag - Jerome Dreyfuss

I'm off out tomorrow night as well and have a cunning plan to transform last year's blouse into this year's bang up to date outfit.  (she says, again sounding like a tool.  But you know what I mean.)  For tuppence ha'penny (well, about a tenner).  Off to put a blog together so we have one for tomorrow.  You can all thank me then.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Those little things you drag out year after year

Now since I've become a shopping expert (yes I am sitting here crying laughing at that - what a total JOKE!)... 

I should say - since I've spent way longer than anyone possibly should, thinking about clothes and wardrobes and boxing in a slightly more clever way with what I acquire and keep, I have noticed that there are certain items that I wear year in and year out. 

Lots of obvious basics but some more on trend items which last for at least a couple of years, if not more (a trend these days isn't necessarily a one season wonder anymore at all.  Except for dungarees.  Hmmmm.) 

And one of these, which came to my rescue yesterday, is a pair of black heeled ankle boots. 

Mine are from Sam Edelman and I have had them for three years now.  And in fact, I've worn them three times in the last couple of weeks.  I wear them with boyfriend jeans, straight legs turned up, skinnies and they're perfect with midi skirts.  Love the proportion in the Winter of a midi skirt and a heeled ankle boot.

So whilst we're limping to the end of discount craziness, it would be rude not to see if we can take advantage of the dregs of the offers, it being Cyber Monday (said no calendar ever). 

Starting though with mine that I've actually found online, very much reduced (clearly very old stock) and not in all sizes.  But not anything to do with Cheapskate Monday or whatever it is.  Just a good old fashioned bargain from two seasons ago.

Sam Edelman Margo Boots were £207.99 now £135.19  I cannot begin to tell you how comfortable these are.

Offer with Mango extended to the close of play today - 5CYBER15 for 30% off.  

These are gorgeous and would work especially well with skirts and wide leg cropped trousers (obviously all types of skinnies).  They seriously are super versatile. 

Buckled Suede Ankle Boot from Mango £89.99

More buckles and super high now but prepare yourself for a bargain.  Today there is 50% off at Shoescribe.  FIFTY PERCENT of A/W stock (some brands excluded, obviously.. duh.  But not Togas or Golden Goose.. Or Marant.. Or Acne...) 

Michael Michael Kors Ankle boots were £240 now £120

Still staying high but these are a complete classic. 

Elastic Panels Ankle Boots from Mango £49.99 pre discount

Similar but with a lot more detail and back at Shoescribe.  (Lordy I LOVE these.  It was a mistake looking at Shoescribe.  A big big mistake.) 

Pedro Garcia ankle boots were £330 now £165

Bargain of the day though, from Pimkie at ASOS.  20% off with the code CYBER.

Pimkie Pointed Toe Heel Ankle Boots £28.99 pre discount  I have to say, these may well be my favourite pair out of all of them.

Lower and pointy again, also at Mango.  These are eminently wearable and would work really on an every day basis too.

Buckled boots £49.99 pre discount

More pointy and a mid heel at ASOS - 20% off.  I should have more patent in my life I think. 

ASOS Revenge Pointed Kitten Heel Chelsea Boots £45 pre discount

Another not vertiginous pair of heels from Clarks and 20% off with the code BELIEVE. 

Kendra Shell £85 pre discount

And now for some ringers.  These aren't as classic as the others but I do love a pair of statement boots (just in case you hadn't noticed...).

Chie Mihara Ankle boots were £230 now £115

Or... (and most of you will HATE these!)  Toga Pulla heeled boots.  My best friend has these and they are honestly, truly truly amazing.  Look fabulous with a skirt. 

Toga Pulla ankle boots were £360 now £180

And of course, the ultimate in ontrend but these will transform old pieces from your wardrobe into a brand new outfit.  Mine have rescued many an outfit in the past couple of months.  Mine were from Zara but these are even cheaper, especially with the 20% off at ASOS.  They don't look as high as mine which makes them even more attractive.

ASOS Easy Going Pointed Fringed Ankle Boots £65

So here we have me in mine yesterday.  Lovely afternoon/evening at a Christmas Drinks party.  Very relaxed (I had had sequin trousers on but felt I was perhaps peaking too early... maybe I'll bring them out on Wednesday on our girls night out) - silk pussy bow shirt underneath the leather jacket.  First time I had worn jeans in almost as long as I can remember.  Have to say I didn't love them but it was one of those days when no outfit worked and I had 10 minutes to get ready.  I'm just not feeling the blue denim love anymore.  At.  All.

Hair had completely died after the catastrophic escapade that was rugby in the rain on Sunday morning.  Old school bun ring came to the rescue.


Pussy bow blouse - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Margo boots - Sam Edelman
Pleather jacket - ASOS
Fur scarf - New Look
Clutch bag - Coccinelle

So is anyone else feeling completely defeated by the Black Cyber Weekend malarkey?  Or even worse, does anyone feel guilted into doing some Christmas Shopping?  I still have a stack of things to get for the children (I've got most of the extras but things from their list, I have neglected to touch... Lego Dimensions, trainers, some Nerf gun that you can assemble yourself... I have looked - admittedly not with the hugest amount of effort and I can't see any discounts on any of them.  But I did get Fifa 16 *punches air.. goes back to researching clothes*).

On the upside, I think I might be going to Bicester on Wednesday.  Sneaky extra trip as someone threw an entire bottle of wine over The Husband on Friday night when he was wearing a white Ralph Lauren shirt.  It's cheaper to drive all the way to Bicester to buy another one that it is to pay full price.  Of course, I could perhaps spend the rest of the evening looking at Cyber Monday bargains and find one that way.. but a trip to Bicester with friends sounds like a much more exciting option, no?  That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

It makes sense to aim high

So apparently it's not Black Friday, seeing as it's Sunday, hold onto your hats gals, it's Cyber Weekend *weeps* (I also wept when it took NINETY minutes to get to Asda yesterday to pick up the blasted Fifa 16 that I saved a whopping £15 - max - on.  However it did almost buy my complete bargain of a furry scarf from New Look which I can't wait to wear.) 

However I am determined that I will not be undeterred by the bargains that are out there and I was thinking (as I was sat in traffic yesterday on route to and from Asda...eating a box of Matchmakers - I don't even like chocolate much but I was starving and I had hidden these in the boot.  Don't ask.) that it would be an excellent idea to have a look at leather jackets.  

Doesn't take a mathematical genius to work out (which is handy as I am not.  By any stretch of the imagination) that the greater the cost, the bigger the discount.

Still rather taken with the notion of a some sort of black jacket/coat alternative and since Polly Vernon mentioning a biker and a fur collar, I have become rather obsessed with the notion.  Therefore I am going to see if, yet again, I can scratch the itch that is the leather jacket.

I've said it once and I'll it again, the biker jackets at All Saints are perfection.  And with 30% off, on the High Street, it really doesn't get better than that, as they have the same styles year in, year out (rarely going into the sale and if they do, you can guarantee your size is sold out.  I have to size up in these as well, especially if you're planning on wearing more than just your underwear under them).

And my favourite is the Cargo in a black/grey leather.  Now I love a biker jacket but there can be, alas, a fine line between fabulous jacket and Danny Zuko.  I think it's something to do with the shininess of the leather and how silver and in your face the hardware is. 

So this, in a black/grey is the ideal solution. 

Cargo leather biker jacket from All Saints in black grey £298

Saying that, they've just bought out a new one which is in a vintage black which I think pips it in my mind.  Oh I love this - the quilting detailing - just superb. Now this would make an ideal Christmas present, no? 

Astor Leather Biker Jacket from All Saints £348  Yes, this one goes straight to the top of the biker jacket pops.

Alternatively, they have a more unusual (but still a classic) green version. This one is slightly looser with more detailing but definitely one you would be wearing for years and years. 

Balfern Leather Biker Jacket from All Saints £298

More buckles but back to the classic black at Mango with a great price.  I will say, that after All Saints, I think Mango is the best leather on the High Street at a very reasonable price.
Another variation on the biker theme is to have a combination of both leather and suede.   For me, this softens black leather especially which can sometimes be quite harsh. 

Buckles Leather Jacket from Mango £139.99 pre 30% off with code 5BLACKFRIDAY15

Adore the collar detail. 

If you still feel that a full on leather number is just not feminine enough, then one that is a suede/leather combo can perhaps work better - seems to have a softer edge to it?  Love this one from Vila at ASOS.

Another with a suede edge to it.  A more generous cut than some of the very fitted versions.

Selected Feline Black Leather Biker Jacket £230

Now most biker jackets are a cross front style, err ie biker, but that can equate to a lot of fabric at the front.  So the plain zip up ones might be better for lots of people.  

First up, need to say ignore the purple dress.  Ignore.  This isn't a pairing that floats my boat.  But the jacket in a different setting would be superb.

Speziale Leather Panelled Jacket was £239 now £179.30

Collarless again but I love the epaulettes.  These scream "I need a fur collar".  Or any scarf. 

Selected Isabello Collarless Leather Jacket £190 pre 20% off at ASOS.  (although I do think is perhaps too big for her?)

Paired back now at Mango with just the basic biker shape but with a more elegant edge perhaps. 

Zipped Biker Jacket £119.99 pre 30% off making this a great price for a classic leather.

However if you don't want to invest in a leather jacket than feast your eyes on this.  Pleather.  Would you know?  Well, from this pic I absolutely wouldn't.  The perfect little extra in a deliciously Autumnal shade of wine.  For a snip of the cost, even without the 30% off - and frankly, with the discount, it would be rude not to. 

Mango Zipped Biker Jacket in wine £39.99 pre discount

I am determined to wear mine more (chocolate leather from All Saints that I'ver never quite got to grips with... I think it's the not being black actually.... But now that I have my new fur collar from New Look to go with it.  Pics tomorrow.  It's marvellous!  For less than £20...)

Quick outfit pic now from Friday night.  Christmas drinks party.  Was going to wear a dress but it wasn't back from the dry cleaners in time (SEE WHY I HATE DRYCLEANING.  Put it in on Tuesday, foolishly assumed it would be done by Friday.. oh no.  Saturday.  Ugh).  So the sequin tee made an appearance. 

Hair had to be waved for the third time in two days.  What once was hair is now straw... Randomly it used to hold a wave really well (this is done with a wand not the Babyliss curl secret thingymajig) but now, it drops out after an hour or so.  Absolutely no idea why at all - I need to find a super strong hold mousse or something?  Any suggestions would be gratefully received. 


Sequin tee - H&M
Black tux blazer - hush
Black leather leggings - hush
Black fringe boots - Zara
Black clutch bag - Tory Burch

We've done rugby this morning, now off for a quick lunch before a Christmas party at friends.  Has been an exceptionally busy weekend after a ridiculously busy week so am very much looking forward to catching up on the chores (ie washing - oh my lord, it's reached epic proportions) and a couple of hours of peace and quiet.  Does anyone else miss time on their own?  What used to be called loneliness is now called luxury.

AND FINALLY - Shoescribe now have a sale on, so... lots of Golden Goose sneakers reduced.  I have reordered and am sending the ones I bought back.  Saved £130!  Oh my lord, I've also just seen the knee high leather boots.  50% off.  *walk away from the computer, walk away from the computer*....

Friday, 27 November 2015

How to survive Black Friday

Well - my first piece of advice would be, swerve it.  BUT (and who are we kidding?!) it would surely be rude not to take advantage of some of the amazing offers that are out there?

I think we should play them at their own game and definitely make the most of the offers whilst they're around this weekend. 

Especially as you're more likely to get what you want now, than wait for the sale when it inevitably will be sold out. 

Is it possible to snag a bargain? 

Well, I have come up with some rules that IF you follow, you shouldn't make a mistake.  To be honest, these are generic shopping rules but I find somehow, my brain (what's left of it) decides to take a sabbatical and I turn into a headless chicken and buy EVERYTHING when there's an offer on or there's a sale.  Because it's a bargain. 

So before you go in - I would maybe have a read of these.  No, none of them are rocket science, but sometimes it does take a reminder to remember them.
  • If in doubt stick to a colour palette  If you don't have anything else fuchsia pink yet decide on the spur of the moment you HAVE to have that jumper - you may find that by Monday, you'll realise you didn't.  Do not impulse buy a colour you don't usually wear *stares at green coat hanging in wardrobe and weeps*.
  • Know your lifestyle.  That skirt is marvellous.  Seriously how often will you wear it.....on the school run, at playgroup, in the supermarket..... Do not buy something that you don't usually wear just because you "might" or you "should".  You won't.
  • And on that subject, only buy something if you can think of three occasions when you will wear it.  Go on.... (and you can wear almost anything on Christmas Day, I've discovered)
  • Sticking with three - you must be able to make three outfits with it, from things you already own in your wardrobe (that skirt you want for example.. will you need new tops, new boots and a new jacket/coat to go with it??!  Put the skirt back.)
  • "Don't you have one of those already?", courtesy of The Husband.  Buy three black polo necks but make sure they're all different shapes, sleeve lengths, knits and go with different trousers/skirts/for different occasions.  The same black jumper shape in a black cable knit does not count.  Buy it in a different colour instead (from your colour palette...put that pink jumper back.  By the way, I now really want a pink jumper!)
  • Would you buy it if at the same reduced price if it was full price in Zara...?  Are you just buying it because it's a bargain?  Do you REALLY love it?
  • And my fave (which I'm sure someone told me on here actually and I have shamelessly stolen and added to my list) - if it doesn't look as good on as the outfit you wore into the changing room does, don't buy it.
This clearly is not an inexhaustible list but it's a good start to stop yourself stocking up on "bargains" that are only a bargain as there was 30% off.

My other advice would be - make a list.  If you don't have one already, make it now so you can hopefully box clever come the January sales.  Your first port of call should be to always check items that are on your list.  Change your list regularly, add to it.  There are certainly things at the start of the season that I thought MUST HAVE and didn't splurge on, that I now think - meh... I can live without them.

And speaking of that, I have two complete treat purchases to report on.  These, I have wanted for months and the want is still definitely a NEED.  

Now, I will admit, I haven't decided if I'm keeping them yet (ok so I so have - they will get wrapped up for Christmas).  But as they are two things I have had on my list for so long, I feel totally justified in buying them (especially as they both go with lots of things I have had for years and years AND will work especially well with the £20 New Look bargain trousers which = justification right there and none other needed).

Firstly - I couldn't play chicken anymore with the Golden Goose trainers that I wanted. Oh - and here's a piece of extra advice.  It's an idea to perhaps just verify that the thing that you can't live without, is as good in the flesh as you think it's going to be.  (I'm not going to lie - this does go horribly wrong if it is just as amazing as you had suspected it would be and you have to send it back.  Heartbreaking isn't the word) 

But sometimes it does pan out as I ordered both the red suede and the red mesh leather Golden Goose sneakers and the red suede ones really weren't all that at all.  The mesh leather ones on the other hand... be still my beating heart.  Yes there is a metallic tone to them and yes they do look as if they belonged to a tramp. 

Golden Goose Superstar trainers £265 from Shoescribe (zero discount)

They are genuinely so so so so SO much better in the flesh. 


However I did manage to snag a deal AT LAST with my beloved Bella Freud Jumper that I have been salivating over. 

From Selfridges instore FINALLY.  And now sold out (apparently I did get the last one).


BUT BUT BUT - there is a better deal to be had although they've sold out of the 1970 ones but some others left at Coggles with 30% off - code, BLACKFRIDAY (off everything)

My advice would be is that these are tiny.  Mine's a Large.  It's not that large.

My obsession with red continues. 

Bella Freud Black Queen Jumper £270  A much more wine shade than the very tomato shade of the 1970 one (which I very much like and surprised myself)

And there are still some deals to be had on others - lots to choose from with 30 % off at Avenue 32.  

My favourite of the bunch would be Jordan's Eyes jumper (I'm assuming this isn't Jordan Peter Andre Jordan as if it is, I've just been a little bit sick in my mouth and wouldn't give you 5p for this.  Actually I lie, I would.  I LOVE this jumper and it does look even better in the flesh that it does online)

However if we are talking about Selfridges and you do fancy yourself a pair of Golden Goose.  Before they sell out (as they are now selling ridiculously well now and if you tried a pair on, you would know why) then it's worth having a look at them with 20% off. 

Which would I pick?  Well, they don't have my red ones otherwise obviously I'd have bought them in a heartbeat (I could only find mine at Shoescribe, hence I bought them already).

Top of my picks would be either of these.  I have to switch off otherwise I may convince myself I need a black pair (I DON'T and actually they're sold out in my size.  See?!)

So there we have my ultimate buys of the season, that usually I would have waited until the January sales for except both were in danger of selling out (one has!).  BUT I did manage to snag a bargain (completely relative term for something heinously expensive) with one of them and both are my Christmas presents.  

I'll be reporting on Me+Em tomorrow (although they do have a Black Friday offer with 25% off if you want to have a sneak preview) as there's just too much to talk about at the moment.  As well as my lovely morning with Anna Lou of London and a whole host of wonderful ladies at the coffee morning in Earsfield I was invited to.  

Quick here's what I wore... Hair is not surviving this weather.  If it's actual drizzle, it's damp. Or then it's damp and you come in and it's humid in the central heating.  This is worse than Monica in the Caribbean.


Grey cashmere jumper - Me+Em
Grey blazer - Me+Em
Burgundy leather leggings - hush
Black buckle boots - Toga
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss 

I'm now off to get changed for a Christmas party having been driving the children around non stop since 3.15pm.  I think I'm going for more sequins....(and leather and fringing - going against the grain and throwing every fashion fad at the outfit this evening in an attempt to swerve attention away from my halo of frizz).

PS - the only bargain I am way more pleased at snagging than I should be is Fifa 16 for only £25 for the Xbox 360.  I need to get out more.  This is until I go to pick it up at Asda tomorrow and find they've sold out but they're happy to refund me... hmmmmm.