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Sunday, 23 November 2014

It's my favourite outfit alternative

...which I have seriously neglected recently.  I have been so overwhelmed by my jumper obsession and let's not forget my pleather trouser mission (which still hasn't come to any sort of fruition by the way... we do know I'm going to find the perfect pay in May, don't we? Just in time to boil alive in them) that I have totally forgotten how useful the perfect top can be.

When I say the perfect top, this does in fact cover a rather wide set of options.  Basically though, it's something that isn't a jumper, it's definitely more of the blouse/shirt/err top variety and can normally be worn over skinny jeans or tucked into a skirt. (ditto culottes, which I haven't quite got around to buying...)

It can be the ideal layering piece for during the day but to be honest, my focus at the moment really is for those ever so slightly dressy occasions where a jumper just won't cut the mustard, plus it can be too warm.  Never mind how thin they are, after a Sunday lunch with friends, dressy lunch during the week with a cheeky glass of wine in a pub, you can get warm.  I can hear someone at the back shouting "middleaged women's problems" and hell yes, they're probably right. 

I will fess up, I do indeed have a heat regulating issue.  I get warm very easily.  I would like to point out that this has been happening forever and I don't think there is any big change on the horizon but who knows and if there was, then it's a perfect opportunity to buy More Tops. 

Friday was a prime example - I had a lunch out with girlfriends at a very smart local restaurant.  Jumper was a no no and I put on a couple of dresses but they were so short with sheer tights for the daytime and just too dressy with black opaques and then what shoes?  It just wasn't working although I was very pleased with my jumper dress in the end.  A casual dress with sheer tights and Toga Pulla boots, leopard print coat thrown over the top and I was happy with that.  But that really was the only option in my wardrobe, dress wise (shock. horror) 

It did make me think - ooh skirt opportunities but ideally, as I was doing the school run afterwards, the ideal outfit would have been that old classic of jeans/trousers and a "TOP". 

Let's go Top Shopping.  Great thing about these is that they also work for work.  Put with your pleather or leather trousers (that every other bugger seems to own) for nights out.  I've also been asked on more than one occasion - what tops work with a leather skirt.  Well these ones would.

Love this Drape front shirt from ASOS.  The ideal foil for bling or a scarf or a print skirt or trousers.  A fabulous blank canvas. 

ASOS Drape Front Blouse £28

Very similar but in khaki and with a collar £28

I love these as they hide a multitude of sins around the middle which, let's face it, aren't going anywhere till the beginning of Jan (let's be positive...)

Right, I'm on a roll now - the black and the ivory (collar versions) are in the sale - now £21  This would be perfect over a black leather pencil skirt.

And in the ivory (I'm not going to point out these trousers.  Oh no.  I swear it's a conspiracy.....) also reduced to £21

Adore this with jeans (or those blasted black pleathers I don't own) and it would do a double whammy as it would be fab under a jumper as well.  I love a top that works hard for its keep.

ASOS Blouse in navy £28

Staying with plain but now a shade of silvery grey - gorgeous Christmas shade that would look perfect with a glitzy necklace. 

ASOS Top with Detail and drape front. £30

Another plain blouse here in grey - no it's not cheap but it would last you for eons.  With black pleathers (YAWN) and huge statement earrings, versatile shade of charcoal. 

Gerad Darel Sheila Muslin Silk blouse now with 30% off at £101.15

Seeing as I can't get hold of pleather bottoms, I'm wondering about wearing it on the top.... I have so many pairs of great skinny jeans that would work for a dressy night out - this could come in super useful.  And it goes in the machine *fist pump* (this honestly makes me not mind spending extra as it means I'll use it so so much more) 

Whistles Top with faux leather trim £125  I'd like to just point I won't be wearing it with white shorts, in case anyone was wondering)

Now I don't do dark green as it was my school uniform and I'm still scarred by it but I love this swing top (I would probably wear a vest under it as it's slightly revealing at the back. )

River Island Green Checked swing top £30

One of my fave tops which I could actually have worn on Friday and totally forgot about (this blog has been very helpful in reminding me what I do in fact own and could rewear....) is my black silk pussy bow blouse from Zara that I bought about 6 years ago.  I love it and still wear it every year.   A cream version would be an excellent addition. 

ASOS Long Sleeve Sheer Pussy bow blouse £36

I love all things leopard print and in fact I don't have a longsleeved version.....

River Island Leopard Print blouse £30

This is slightly more casual but actually tucked in with a pair of black capri trousers or culottes, I think this could work perfectly for a smarter occasion. 

ASOS Top with woven animal print front now only £18.50

Pink in the sale from Warehouse. 

Warehouse Blurred Animal Print Blouse now only £20

This one definitely needs a vest or cami underneath it (to be fair that does depends on how much going sheer bothers you... me?  A lot)  But I LOVE the colours in this blouse - I think it would be ideal tucked into high waist flared or baby boot kick jeans and a little navy blazer (hardly winter winter wear I know but it would also work with a coat too)  

ASOS blouse in Bright Animal £36  And if you hadn't guessed it, mint shorts haven't made it onto my wishlist this season.  Alas.

I also found the same blouse in a khaki animal print too... but in the sale for £27  See what I mean about sheer?

But I do love the classic "verging on a neutral" of the brown leopard print and this one might have my name written all over it. 

Glamorous (that's the brand name - not me getting witty with my descriptions) Oversized shirt in Animal Print £28  Again - sheer klaxon.

If leopard isn't your thing, then maybe a more unusual lizard print might fit the bill?  I love this shade of blue - would look great with navy, black or grey.  And into the Spring with white would look amazing as well. 

On offer at John Lewis at the mo.  Gerard Darel Shirley Lizard Print Blouse in blue £101.15

Now I'm just going to finish with a couple of camis I've come across that would work well under some of these sheerer tops.  I've found that since my appointments with the gym appear to have hmm errr stopped, that the old clingy vests do a very good job of making my midriff look like a sausage trying to escape its skin.  Something looser may be more flattering until I reacquaint myself with my kettle bell (this will not be happening till after Christmas - of that I am under no illusion) 

ASOS Woven Cami tops 2 pack £20

Finishing with my two outfits from Friday.  They worked out well to be honest but there is only so much longer I can get away with sheer tights in the day time (like not any more to be honest) 


Paola dress in Putty - Baukjen

Leopard print coat - Fenn Wright Manson
Black Boots - Toga Pulla 
Black Diego bag - Alexander Wang

And out on Friday night for a dinner party. 


Silk blouse and skirt - Isabel Marant for H&M

Black Margot boots - Sam Edelman
Black clutch - Tory Burch 

Hope everyone has had a fab weekend. I have been rained on ALL day today but managed to sneak out later on with the 10yr old to watch Mockingjay at the cinema - all sorts of excitement for her.   Off for a small glass of red wine and to watch The Golden Child with the two older kids and The Husband (I bet they last 10 minutes and proclaim it rubbish..!) 

Friday, 21 November 2014

And the floodgates have opened.

Bring on the glitter.  I don't mean the tinsel variety but I could maybe go a sparkly jumper right now.  The Husband came home yesterday bearing gifts of stollen slices from M&S (are they better than the mini stollen from Lidl?  Well in my expert experience as a stollen connoisseur, my advice would be if you are a marzipan fiend then the M&S ones are for you as there is a swamp of almond delight in the middle of them.  The Lidl ones are bitesize - which isn't great for portion control or of course that could be just my non-existent willpower and have more of a hint of marzipan about them as opposed to a full on frangipane whack around the head)

Haven't got stuck into the Mulled wine yet (and I have to say, Lidl Gluwein laced with extra booze is rather good), am saving that for tomorrow night and my Hunger Games movie marathon with the 10 yr old.

But after my sequin frenzy yesterday and today, getting into the whole Christmas spirit marzipan-ing and icing cakes for the Christmas Fair, I'm now all focussed on the Christmas jumper. 

I have looked at the slightly more comedic Christmas numbers which may float some people's boats but personally, I'm more magpie about the whole metallic knitwear affair and love a sparkly number. 

Bring on the bronze, silver and gold, bring on the sequins, you can keep your Reindeer pics and comedy jobs, I'm now thinking of ones that I can wear out to the pub for a Christmas night out. 

No need to add jewellery with this one.  Love it with the leather leggings here, would also look fab teamed with a leather or pleather skirt or just throw on jeans for a more casual look.

Sportmax Code Feritos Flat Paillettes flower Jumper now £81 was £135  At My Wardrobe which still has 40% off EVERYTHING.  I honestly daren't look properly. (ok maybe I will tomorrow)  Found this as I love all things Sportmax.

How great do these look with a skirt? 

Sportmax Code Feritos Brushed Cotton Embellished Jumper now £81 was £135

A jumper with personality.... you won't get ignored with this, it could have its very own postcode. 

2nd DAY Glitz sequin jumper now £114 was £190 

Slightly less Lazytown is this one from Religion at ASOS.  Ok when I say less Lazytown, I am assuming you're not going to wear them with the matching trousers...... (which on their own with a plain black top would be fabulous)

Religion Woven Sequin Jumper Co-ord £75

But if you're after something slightly more conservative then M&S don't disappoint.  Don't forget the 20% off using the code NOV14EM 

Long Sleeve Sequin Embellished Tunic £35 pre discount in Deep Purple (this makes me giggle)

And in black 

The other option to sequin (and this is very very similar to the silver jumper I have) is a metallic jumper.

This one from New Look looks like an absolute bargain at this price.  I know I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with my (lack of) pleather jeans or trousers but I think these would be a perfect match for them.  Actually you may notice that most of these have a pleather or leather bottom of some description adorning the legs.

Black Foil Ombre Jumper £22.99

A silver version is available from True Decadence for an absolute bargain at £12

Love this shade of almost pale bronzey gold. (they also do it in a burgundy and a black) 

Vero Moda Shell Pink Glitter Jumper £26 at New Look.

A fluffy version at Warehouse

Warehouse Sparkle Jumper £32

Again at New Look but this time, a plain jumper with some sequin detail added on. 

Navy Embellished Cluster Jumper now £20.50

More subtlety at ASOS - I love the colour of this.  Something slightly refreshing about the paleness of it against a see of full on glamour and glitz.  This with faded jeans for Boxing Day would be a sure fire winner for me.  Or I love the idea of this with grey (or yet again black leather but I think we've established, I'd wear any of these with leather) 

ASOS Jumper with Embellished Neck and Cuff £40 in Nude (if you can zoom in on this, the detailing of the sequins is gorgeous)

However the one I simply cannot stop thinking about and I got a sneak preview of this on an email eons back and I thought ooh.  Now I am Obsessed. 

Zio sequinned turtleneck from By Malene Birger £325  At this price I should probably try and be less obsessed.  (and it's even handwash....... my slight concern is that I might look like Metal Mickey's Gran)

Are you a sparkle fan at Christmas time?  What's your special outfit that screams festive?  I have to say, I do love love love my silver metaliic jumper.  Getting it out tomorrow which will herald the start of the Seasonal Celebrations for me. 

Outfit from yesterday.


Black polo neck jumper - Zara
Tan leather skirt - Zara (which I managed to spill olive oil on doing the kid's tea. It's RUINED!  ARRGGHHH) 
Black opaques - Topshop
Black textured coat - Zara
Leopard print wedges - M&S
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe 

So I'm off out tonight for a dinner party.  Bring on the food - I've also been out for a lovely lunch with girl friends.  Tomorrow I'm going to try and fling to Bluewater in the morning as I have a gazillion things to return and then as I mentioned, I have a date with the 10yr old late afternoon watching both the Hunger Games movies before we go and see the third on Sunday.  We were saying with the girls earlier how much we actually love staying on a Saturday night now that the kids are much better company.  Doesn't stop me loving going out on a Friday night though! 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

It can't be true....

... that's there's only about a month till Christmas.  HOW?  How is that even possible?  Am I the only one who still a) thinks it's sort of the middle of October and b) doesn't feel remotely Christmassey?

But there is no denying that it's round the corner, in fact it's only *really* days away (yes I hate myself for typing that.  You are all obliged to hate me too)

Which means I have to do it.  I have to release the sequins.  We've done sequin trousers but this is perhaps the last opportunity (ok so maybe I'm being slightly overdramatic there...) to look at the sequin dresses. 

These might seem like a bit of an unnecessary luxury but I'd like to disagree.  I would go so far as to say these are a Wardrobe Classic.  Ok so you're not going to wear them to the pub but these are the perfect little dresses to have tucked away to drag out for those super special occasions.  Which can easily include Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.  These work as well with ballet flats and opaques for a more casual dress down look as they do for a full on, dressed up to the nines occasion.  

Having said that, some perhaps don't (just thinking of my own personal backless number which is not exactly opening presents around the tree appropriate....). 

But let's start with the ones that do.  And lo and ho ho ho behold, there is another 20% off voucher from M&S.  Code is NOV14EM.

These are eminently wearable every day or for a far more glitzy affair. 

There's also a sleeveless version at Autograph which would take you easily into the Summer. (which is risible seeing as I can't get my head around Christmas yet) 

It doesn't necessarily have to be full on sequins.  There's something very McQueen about this dress with sequin detail from M&S. 

Let the discounts continue and let's take full advantage.  Another quick look at FCUK (I had the Serpent sequin dress from there eons ago which I wore for about 5 years - a total faithful) where they do a great sparkly number. 

This one would last you forever.  Yes it's more expensive but the quality will be in a different league from the M&S one and it's definitely worth getting your 20% off while you can.  Code is NOVFC20.

When I was talking about those dresses that won't really work for a more casual affair - this thing of beauty was the sort of thing I had in my mind.  A work of art. 

On the whole Cosmic bandwagon - this is pure elegance. 

Again if you're looking for something more understated with just a little bit of embellishment, there is a real 20's offering at FCUK. 

Clearly the whole party thing isn't working for the retailers as Atterley Road also have 20% off their party edit until Friday night.  Don't mind if we do.  Code is PARTY20.

For a start, they have the gorgeous Cosmic FCUK Midi dress in black.  Which is slightly less Moulin Rouge than the gold one (don't get me wrong - I love a bit of full on glamour - it would have to be gold all the way for me) 

Obviously it would be rude not to mention the dresses at Mango as they still have their 40% off two items until Nov 23.  30% off if you buy just one item using the code 6DISCOUNT for both.

Now if you find most dresses are too long for you, then Mango is the place to look.  For short dresses as they are super short.  But then wouldn't it be dull if you could rely on a brand for consistent sizing, so they've done us all a favour and have made their long dresses super super long.  Go figure.

And hey presto with the super long (and super glam - again, this isn't one for peeling sprouts in) 

Discounts are this year's gifts that keep on giving.  Let's not forget the 25% off at Boden and that makes a big difference when you're looking at some of their more expensive statement dresses. (code is A54H)

Another less full on version in a navy - an unusual colour for Christmas.  Love the festive nod here. 

Wow Party Dress £199 (this is new so there are all sizes left which I can't say about so much Boden stuff.  I am still lamenting those pewter metallic jeans.....) 

Finishing with one which isn't sequin but I'm flinging it in as it's metallic.  Navy and gold.  Utterly stunning, this is so so so not me but there is something about it I love.  It has a fantastic 60's vibe to it (plus I have gold shoes which would look amazing....) 

Are you treating yourself to a new party dress this season?  Are you a sequin fiend like me?  What's your favourite dress look for Christmas?   Do not worry if you're not a dress person. I have some more Christmas sparkle up my sleeve but in a much smaller dose.  You're not going to get away that lightly.......

Finishing with my outfit from yesterday. 


White collar - Cos
Navy Jumper - Uniqlo
Patch jeans - Mango
Check coat - Hobbs
White leather tennis shoes - Zara
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe 

Tomorrow I shall be icing 80 Christmas cakes (not on my own....!) for the school Christmas fair and then out for a lovely lunch with some of my best friends.  Can't wait.  It has been a long week.... Ooh and then a dinner party at friends' tomorrow night.  Should be a good one (I feel some more dresses coming on.....)