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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Item number 3 for April

And hold on to your horses ladies, as I've gone off piste..... 

....I'm embracing the pastel. 

Yes, you read that right, I have been exploring all things sugary and sweet.  And it's not so saccharine, I have truly been surprised. 

The colour that I have chosen to go for is lilac.  I loathed lilac.  Properly hated it.  I remember looking at a gorgeous house years ago that we considered buying and when we went for the second viewing the current sellers told us, very excitedly, they'd repainted their bedroom that week.  It was lilac.  I cried.  (I was 8 months pregnant at the time to be fair, nothing was making a lot of sense).   Needless to say we didn't buy it. 

And since then, nearly 8 years ago, my feelings towards lilac haven't changed.  Poor, inoffensive, never done anything to hurt me, lilac. 

Until now.  The lovely Frances over at School Run Style has THE most stunning lilac TopShop jumper (which I know that Joanna at Poppy's Style also had but hers shrunk.  Oops) and when we met for drinks a while ago she had it with a navy shirt.  Oh it looks lovely on her I thought.  But I wouldn't wear that.

Well..... I'm not even going to bother to make excuses.  I am now the proud owner of a lilac jumper. (not the same one!)  Which I love.  Which was my (very considered) final purchase of the month. 

Firstly I tried this on in Zara and I did like it but I wasn't sure about the cable detail and surprise, surprise, the stitching was already coming undone at the vents of the side.  I know it's not expensive but it's not supposed to be disposable.  Zara PLEASE sort it out. 

Zara detail knit Sweater £17.99

Ok - admittedly I do think in this pic it does look better than the one I bought - that I will give.  BUT it doesn't in the flesh, it's just a good photo and the ones from today with jumper that I have bought are bad photos... Also this is a much thicker jumper and I really did want a thin one I could wear under a blazer.  Oh and plain - wanted to be able to wear it with my print trousers (it looks so so lovely, the one I bought, with the Zara print trousers)  And it was falling apart (and acrylic - now I'm not a fabric nazi at all but if I had the choice I would prefer a cotton knit, for sure)

Decision made (although I am now of course tempted to go back and get it another colour for the A/W... will hawk it in the sale and get it for thruppence) 


I then ordered this from M&S which is a different sort of lilac - more purple than I wanted (I am now an expert on shades of lilac - who would have ever thought).  It is a lovely cotton but quite a thick cotton.  I wanted it super thin - John Smedley merino style thin but in cotton.   For the record, these Blue Harbour jumpers are amazing amazing quality in both the crew neck and the round neck.  My usual clothes snob of a Husband buys at least one of these every year and will grudgingly admit they are *perhaps* his favourite.  I've just treated him to a pink v neck one.  Honestly they are fab for a bargain price. 

Lavender Blue Harbour Jumper £17.50

And I happened to stumble across this one.  It actually had some money off it the other day so I think I paid about £14 for it.  Totally totally love it.  Perfect colour - looks utterly gorgeous with navy, tan - love it with leopard print and looks fantastic with all shades of denim. 

ASOS Crew neck jumper in Lilac £18

And here we have it in all its glory on me.  This is a size Small.  The XS was just too tiny and fitted but I do have a broad back and wanted it looser.   I love love love this outfit.  I am so sold on lilac I can't believe.  However the one jumper is enough for me for sure - just don't be surprised if it features quite heavily in my wardrobe from now on! 

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Lilac Jumper - ASOS 
Faded vintage skinny jeans - Zara
White collar - Cos
Navy duster coat - H&M
Ponyskin cheetah print skater shoes - Next
Stone Maxi Zip Satchel - Anya Hindmarch

They also do it in other colours as well - I love this jumper for 100% cotton and less than £20 it's amazing.  

(very tempted b y the black and grey pack for only £27.....)

Ice Blue Crew Neck in Cotton £18

And in a pale salmon pink now £13.50

Now not exactly pastel but I do think this is a lovely neutral shade that would work well all year round as well as looking fab teamed with pastels. 

Oatmeal jumper now only £13.50

I also did try on a lovely pale lemon (sorry - Amarillo Candy - obviously) in Mango.  This was gorgeous, I loved the colour and think this shade would work really well in my wardrobe actually.  Love this with black and grey - also looks great with navy.  An ideal backdrop for leopard print and breton stripes as well.  What's not to love?

I was looking for something not as loose and not as fine a knit but I loved this a casual throw on jumper.  Other colours are available. 

Linen Sweater Mango £29.99  These jeans are haunting me.... (would also look amazing with the lilac.....!) 


So as you can see it's a bit of a departure from my normal foray.  But I think it is a colour that will go, randomly with so much I already have in my wardrobe colourwise.  Has anyone else dipped into the pastel pond yet?

Outfit from yesterday, complete with wheely bin in the background. 


Black silky tunic top - Zara
Straight leg jeans turned up - Rock & Republic
Black ponyskin skater shoes - Next
Leopard print coat - Fenn Wright Manson
Sierra Necklace - Stella & Dot
Black Diego bag - Alexander Wang

So I've hope we've all been enjoying the sunshine.  Which is a good thing as from tomorrow it looks like, down South at least, we are in for a deluge of rain.   Fear not.  I have a cunning plan...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A list of unadulterated lust.

Haven't done one of these for ages.  Stuff I love.  Stuff I've bookmarked to blog about.  Or just buy.. although I have to say the purchasing this year (I know it might not look it) has been curtailed hugely by the introduction of my new rules. 

I am a total magpie. I constantly see things which I love and which I could wear.  Alas, money and wardrobe space, not to mention the fact I only tend to wear one outfit in a day, means that there is much I love that I neither buy nor wear. 

However the fabulous thing about writing a blog is that I no longer just have to try and persuade friends to buy them so I can shop vicariously (as some things are just too gorgeous to leave in the shop) or bore The Husband to tears with these amazing shoes I saw that I can't justify purchasing (obviously his ears always do prick up at the last bit)  There are things that I find that I either 
  1. Intend to put on a blog but never get round to it.
  2. Are just a one off that I find
  3. Forget to put on a blog 
  4. Want to share before they sell out
So after a couple of weeks with the small things where my downtime has involved window shopping and online wishing, here I have a list of loveliness that I hope you enjoy.  All come highly recommended. 

Trim Textured jacket £49.99   From Mango - there are so many gems in Mango at the moment, I may need to do a dedicated Mango blog but in the meantime, following on from yesterday, I think I may actually prefer this jacket.  Much more useful in your wardrobe as it would go with so so many other things. 


Now I'm just going to throw in here pale grey jeans.... This I will be back to. 

Super slim fit Elektra Jeans £39.99 also from Mango 

Scarf - I love my Hot air balloon scarf from Lily & Lionel which I got last year.  This one, I have to say I love as much - could easily be your nod to all things pastel with the pale blue. 

Parisian Print Scarf - Lily & Lionel at Matches 

Shoes - now I have my heart set on gold mid heel courts (yawn, I know, I shall cave this week hopefully) but in the meantime, I keep coming across gorgeous flats. 

These I love so much.  Totally infatuated with. Not sure if they'd work in my wardrobe as they're a departure for me and I'm not sure why I like them, but like them I do.  (I may have dreamt about this last night and it's a really good job I'm busy today as otherwise I'd be on my way to a Hobbs to pick these up) 

NW3 Delphine Pump £129 from Hobbs

And yes I am still on the sliders front - shoe wise, I reckon I can justify those above (seeing as it's not exactly sandal weather for the majority of the year) but these an excellent toe in the water of slider land. 

Before I show you what I've found, I will interject that I am mighty hopeful of seeing The Duchess of Cambridge in a pair of these shortly.  Apparently she's been told by The Queen she needs to look more regal... Well.....Taken in 1961.  If they were good enough for Liz.....

ASOS Federal Leather sliders £20

Also love this colourway - pale blue and tan 

Totally on a sandal roll now with these from Sol Sana Minimalist Flat Sandals £71

Clearly it wouldn't be a lust list without at least one dress and whilst I was perusing Atterley Road the other night, I was reminded of how useful a breton dress would be.  They assure me on something else I read that this is a good length.  I also would consider dressing this up with my gold pegasus necklace, black and blue snakeskin sandals and black clutch bag.  I may be onto something here....  As it would look just as fab with any of the above sandals.  Or even the black stripey shoes and the little black blazer....  ooooh.

Ichi Lucu Dress £42

Or, no doubt a better quality at obviously an inflated price tag, a black and white number from By Malene Birger.  Which I would consider, if it weren't dry clean only.  Hissy, hissy, hissy fit. 

By Malene Birger Rashmika Dress £215

I toyed for ages at the end of the Winter over an amazing Kenzo dress that would have been way too short for me, hence I didn't cave but on having a good old nosey round Atterley Road I found this and think for the summer it could be lovely - not that I'm actually trying to find a dress to go with those shoes.... 

Jackets - I've made no secret of the fact that I am mildly obsessed with all things jacket.  I love my quilted cream one from Zara last year and this one is just as perfect from - yes, M&S of all places. 

Textured Jacket with wool £79.99

Staying with all things cream, this is gorgeous at M&S.  Looks and feels like silk.

V-Neck Long sleeve Blouse £27.50

Hopefully you can get an idea of how silk like it is from this pic - it's a much more interesting top in the flesh that they've lead us to believe in this photo. 


At River Island there were a couple of lovely things that caught my eye.  I have totally zero need for this coat but it's a lot more D&G than River Island (in an exceptionally good way...) 

Whilst we're talking yellow, this is a gorgeous jacket.  There is a matching skirt but it's very Very short with a rather nasty bow on the front so I ignored that.  But the jacket is just fab. 

Vicarious shopping here as I do not need the coat but practically had to ask someone to take it off me whilst I ran out of the shop sobbing as I love it.  It's is perhaps the most un M&S coat I've seen in forever especially from Per Una.  Linen with tapestry edge.  I love this shape and I think the wide lapels give you that opportunity for a couple of different looks. 

And now you can see why I need pale grey jeans (well I don't really, seeing as I'm not buying it...) 

M&S Jacquard Trim Coat with wool £99   Don't look at how they've styled it on the M&S website.  It will make you want to cry. (perhaps with laughter).  They "say" in their blurb that it's reminiscent of Dries Van Noten (I swear to god they actually say that)  And then they put their pic.  DVN would be so flattered.  Or maybe not. 

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Finishing finally with something I haven't really tackled this season - knitwear.  The other day the catalogue from Me+Em arrived on my doormat and all I can say is damn them.  I could officially wear virtually all of it.   Although I am not impressed that the majority of their dresses are dry clean only.  For a day dress for your normal person that is just plain irritating.  Apart from their jersey maxis which are all to die for and wash in the machine.  Except that I'm not after a maxi - darn it. 

But I was probably most taken with one of their classics which I've ummed and ahhed over for ages.  The main fly in the ointment being that it costs a lot.  A lot a lot.  And I have a bad habit of doing awful things to good cashmere. 

However it doesn't stop me lusting.   I am loving the idea of a knit hoody under a looser blazer, coat or trench.  Or just in the summer over a thin tee or vest and a pair of turned up jeans.  I feel the opportunities would be endless and shall be bookmarking this idea. 

So there we have my list of goodies.  Unbought.  All of them.  At the moment.... What do you think I'll cave on first.  


French Navy shirt - Hawes & Curtis
Breton tee - H&M
Ballet flats - The British Flat Shoe Company
Trench coat - Banana Republic
Boyfriend Jeans - Hush
Silver bean necklace - Tiffanys
Whisky Medium Marcie - Chloe

Tomorrow I have item number 3 coming for April coming up.  A purchase has been made.  Do we think it's anything on my lust list?  Any guesses....  Would love to hear about any purchases you've made this month (cos I need more inspiration..!) 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The chicken or the egg?

Or, I think they could rephrase that saying as Monsoon or Marant?

Which came first?  The Boho Shop or the Boho Queen?  Because with the best will in the world there is more than a little similarity between some of their clothes.

Now I'm not saying you have to full on embrace La Marant - I know she's approaching 50 (not that you'd ever know in a gazillion years) but a) she's French b) she's impossibly cool and c) I bet she likes a bit of M&S every now and again herself (ok so maybe not point c).  I'm 41 and personally the head to foot boho chic ship has sailed.  

Granted, were I to be spending excessive amounts of time somewhere impossibly warm and glamorous, I may rethink this statement but seeing as I can almost count on two hands the days I spend basking in tropical temps, a wardrobe full of floaty boho beauties is not entirely necessary.  (actually you can make that one hand) 

But a nod to it, paired with outfit makers (ie other clothes to you and me - like jeans and stuff, maybe a cardie), pushing the boat out and throwing on a pair of sandals and a straw hat?  Yes, we can give that a go.  Which is handy as I have a Monsoon silk "vintage" number in my wardrobe that I drag out every year.  I bought this when I was pregnant (I seem to have great success with items bought when I was up the duff, this is true) with son number 3 who is 6 this year.  

I'll fess up.  I'm not a huge Monsoon fan.  I can't even remember why I went in a couple of weeks ago but in I did go and whilst the majority of it is so un-me it's true, there are more than a few gems it's worth hunting down. 

The website on the other hand is utterly rubbish.   What on earth is it with British High Street retailers and their totally appalling websites (John Lewis you are a shining beacon but even then, compared to the Matches and My Wardrobes of the online world, still not that great)   But the Monsoon website?  Holy hell, totally tosh. 

It must have crashed 10 times whilst I've been writing this blog (you know when you start something and wish you'd never bothered? well.....).  The only upside was then being able to go and look at Mango online which is pure unadulterated shopping joy.   Seeing the pics side by side - , Monsoon, if I were you, I would be wholly embarrassed.  I appreciate I am perhaps not your target market (although at 41, WAHM, living in the urban country, I probably should and perhaps could be?) but I struggle to see how these images are showing your clothes in their best light. 

Which is a crying shame as a lot of the clothes are great.  Really good quality, unique (you can argue the toss with La Marant over that) designs and reasonable price points.  

Athena Smock Top £55

Riva Print top £39.99

Fenella Tassle Top now £35

Farah Heritage Kaftan £45

Frida Floral Embroidered Kaftan £45 

Jackets is really where they do come into their own though and last year's were good but I think this year's may actually be better. 

I love this navy one - The Liberty Jacket £59

However saving my favourite till last - oh this is just absolutely gorgeous. 

Rawnie Jacket £89

Speaking of jackets, M&S have got their finger on the pulse this season - even Per Una.  Yes, Per Una.   There are others on the High Street who have cottoned on that Boho is good.

Paisley Print Trophy Biker Jacket £59

And whilst I was in there, it did also strike me that the Indigo Collection may also owe it's existence to the Boho vibe that seems to increase in popularity every year.  They have some lovely little Marantesque pieces at a fraction of the cost. 

Another jacket which I personally prefer to the one above - but then that is very similar to my Zara quilted biker one from last year. 

Pure Cotton Bandana Quilted jacket £55

And in a red mix (LUSH) 

This skirt is beautiful and whilst short, it's not as short as lots out there.  It's fuller than it looks in this picture and is lined as well.  For under £30 it's an excellent buy. 

Pure Cotton Anchor Hem Mini Skirt £27.50

Another decent length for a dress 

Block Print Border Dress £35

Now the other retailer who have totally nailed on all things Boho this season are Mango 

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This jacket has been all over the blogoshpere but not surprising really as it's utterly gorgeous.  I need it like I need a hole in the head (and there may be another one that I actually prefer which I'm saving for the blog tomorrow but it is very different)  The detailing in this is stunning. 

Beaded Quilted Jacket £59.99


This is possibly my favourite piece from Mango in the short dress section. It's so not me at all but I love the idea of it (and the holiday on which you'd wear it maybe slightly more...) 

Flared Print Dress £44.99  I do think this may be on the short side for most of to bomb around the supermarket in so over white cut offs may be an idea?

Ethnic Embroidery Dress from Mango £44.99

A similar dress in different accent colours.  Gorgeous detailing at the back. 

Ethnic Embroidered Dress £39.99

Embroidered Paisley Dress £34.99

Beaded Embroidered dress £49.99 Now I'm thinking that this is slightly too short perhaps if you're on the vaguely tall side but I do think this would look fab worn as a top/blouse over skinny faded distressed skinnies and sandals.  Perfect for this country this summer. 

Exquisite detailing 

More dresses - again I would be perturbed about the length of this on someone as tall as me, but this is gorgeous and for less than £40, a bargain. 

Mosaic Print Dress £39.99

Silky fabric now in a Tie Print Dress £29.99

Finally something that's slightly longer.  The totally random thing here is that whilst the short dresses are really short, the long dresses are really long.  Go figure.

Strapless Long Dress £79.99

Honestly I've been pretty much ok so far without wanting to cave and order anything.  As I mentioned, I don't intend to splurge on the boho theme this season - am feeling the minimalist love a bit more.  But this has totally turned my head.  Oh god I love it.  I really really do.  So perfect for this country with a jacket for cool days or with a hat, sunnies and sandals for a BBQ or even just taking the kids swimming on the weekend.  Am talking myself into it as we speak..... Please don't let it be see through - please please please......

Embroidered Long Dress £59.99

There's also this one - the shoulders of which are very IM inspired - I'm not sure about the waist on this for me and it does look like the proportions are cut shorter than the two dresses above but a white dress is just perfect for the Summer full stop. 

Embroidered Long Dress £79.99

Will you be doing the Boho vibe this year?  I have a pair of printed trousers (the Forever21 ones) which I shall be dragging out and my old faithful silk Monsoon tunic.  And now of course, I have my heart set on the white embroidered dress.   And even thought it's pouring with rain today, throw on some ankle boots with the look and you're still set to go (and an umbrella.. ok maybe it's better to leave it till Spring decides to return) 

Actually having said that, yesterday it was glorious.  Took the kids swimming outdoors in the afternoon which was heavenly (for the record I do Not go in the water with them - I sit and murmur encouraging prompts from the bench on the side, sitting in the sun....) 

Then movie night before back to school today (HOORAH!).  Saving Mr Banks was the movie of choice - the 7 and 5 year olds escaped to watch something else after about 15 mins but the 9 year old proclaimed it the best movie she's ever seen.  I sobbed my way through the entire thing - a truly excellent movie that I had had no real desire to see.  Definitely worth a watch.


Blush silk jersey vest - Cos
Cream jumper - Zara
Khaki linen cargo pants - TopShop
Fabulous Finches scarf - Mulberry
Ponyskin cheetah print skater shoes - Next
Straw trilby - TK Maxx
Whisky Marcie Medium Satchel - Chloe

Tomorrow I'll be back with something I haven't done in ages - a lust list. I am off to salivate over goodies I've seen in the last couple of weeks.  And make sure I've hidden my credit card...