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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The next item on my plan for world domination

AKA my A/W wardrobe but that doesn't make nearly as impressive a title.  With hindsight it does make more sense though... But I can't be bothered to change it now, so moving swiftly on with the big reveal. 

Actually it's not even a big reveal as I mentioned it last week (this is going well today, isn't it?) but on further consideration of my plan that I highlighted yesterday - ie getting together an excellent A/W wardrobe that will mean I am super organised and make the most out of all my clothes, these are definitely a must. 

We're still on the black theme but this time we're talking essential trousers - well, jeans.  We're also talking leather.   Ok, so some people may be talking leather but personally I'm on the pleather hunt.

There is definitely something to be said for leather.  For sure.  One of my closest friends last week, when we went to the Chiltern Firehouse for lunch, had these newly purchased beauties on.  Oh my lord alive, they were amazing on her.  Absolutely amazing.  In a different league from the M&S ones I tried on (sob).  I do think though that you need to have a beautifully rounded derriere for these, as opposed to my blobby, pancake landslide of a behind.

Claudia leather panel leggings $495 from Club Monaco (not available online in the UK but do go and have a look at their new shop at Sloane Square - I can't wait to go and have a look - armed with my definitive "not to be strayed from" shopping list, of course) 

However never fear if a) you didn't want leather b) you want to cry at that price and c) you're slightly scared of the leggings aspect of these.  Big fat yes to all three from me.  I have found what I think is a pretty darn fabulous alternative.  

These from Esprit are much more jean like - pockets on the rear for a start (this was the major downfall for me and my flat behind on the M&S ones - well one of the many downfalls if I'm honest.  To be fair, the major one was the fact I couldn't do them up) - a million miles more flattering on the majority of people. 

And *hyperventilates here as a tall person* they do them in different lengths.  Pure unadulterated joy. 

Now there is me saying last week - oh I can't find any faux leather jeans at all and hey presto, I find two other pairs at Esprit. 

( I know we're all about the black today and I won't lie - this is not my favourite colour but I have two friends who absolutely love - seriously love love love it, and to be fair it is the most amazing Autumnal shade - these are perfect if you're slightly concerned about the Suzi Quattro side to black leather trews.  Me?  Nah.  Bring on the rock chick.)

Or the plain ones (they do these in different lengths as well *still skipping here*) 

And whilst we're on the subject of faux leather - (they do actually have some real leather trousers which you can look at but to be honest, the faux leather one look a gazillion times better and are a third of the price AND go in the machine) at the bottom of the screen when I was looking at the above, I spy the following "Things you might also like"

Well what do you know - I think I do.  Black and leather looking?  If jeans aren't your bag then these are definitely an option.  

Esprit faux leather top with a jersey back £45  How perfect with jeans - either smart or casual?  This would have been a perfect option for my Big Outfit lunch out last week. 

Ditto this dress which reminds me of a cross between my Sandro dress with leather panels and my Me+Em swing dress from last year.  I got so much wear out of both of them - this would be perfect for pretty much any occasion.

Also LOVE this which has massively irritatingly gone out of stock in between me seeing it and posting. Not surprisingly really as it is so fab.

However I think my favourite faux leather item - seeing as I am in love with all things dresses is definitely the Sweatshirt dress.  Genius.  This would work for the pub or out for dinner with heeled ankle boots, ideal for the school run in either biker boots or sneakers and opaques (dare I mention we could still have bare legs with this weather?!) 

How fab is this?

Esprit Sweatshirt Dress with faux leather skirt £39.  All those issues of what top to wear with a skirt?  GONE! 

Or in the black. (I prefer the grey although the black may look better in real life - I'm not digging the almost sheer tights and boots combo - personal taste of course)

So there we have a round up of faux leather - the starting point having obviously been my Must Have pleather trousers with all the rest being a "nice to have" or a pretty great alternative.  So where do you sit on the pleather trousers?  Still happy with your coated jeans or are you wanting to up the shine ante like me?  Or do you fancy a skirt instead?  Clearly my inner goth is rearing their pleather coated head, desperate to get out - I'm loving it all.

Finishing with my outfit from yesterday.  I totally caved on wearing boots - I love this weather, I really do but I am gagging to bring out my old Autumn favourites! 


Cream silk sleeveless blouse - Zara 
Boucle jacket in navy, cream and khaki - Zara
Jeans turned up - Earl
Navy Newbury boots - Rag & Bone
Medium Marcie satchel in whiskey - Chloe

Tomorrow I'm starting my course on Autism all morning and then a total treat afternoon of drinks in London with The Husband.  Oh my lord - have just thought - what on earth to wear?!  Off to check the weather forecast - have a good evening everyone x

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Are we getting any nearer to our perfect A/W wardrobes?

Well done you if you are, as I normally hit perfect about two days before Christmas which is precisely two days before the Big Sales begin.  Queen of Hindsight, that's me. 

This year however, I am determined it will be different.  I am going to be organised.  I start with thinking I'll be organised - there is always a vague plan on the go but I'm a tinker for getting distracted.  I am a total magpie when it comes to new things.  

No. More. You've got to start off optimistic, haven't you?  The chances of me sticking to this, I am realistic enough to know, aren't high, but you've got to at least start out with high expectations.  

I am planning on being focussed with a capital F this season when it comes to buying things.  I am determined to stick to a plan this year.  

And to stick to a plan, I need to actually have one.  There is nothing I like better than starting a plan (the fact I may have a teensy tiny reputation as a starter not a finisher, I'm going to gloss quickly over...) and so I intend to take a good look at my A/W wardrobe and work out what holes there are. (if any... oh there must be some....) 

Today I'm going to start with point number one of the plan. 

Black.  Ok not specifically just black but I think one of the best places to start with a plan for a seasonal wardrobe is with a colour scheme.  It doesn't necessarily have to be one specific colour but if there is a common theme amongst your clothes, then it does make it much easier to put outfits together and get more wear out of your wardrobe.  

I love black.  I know, I know, the older you get, the more flattering navy is and don't get me wrong, I love navy too (this may be point 1b) and I'm giddy that now it has become acceptable, nay full on trendy, to wear it with black, but black on its own, I don't think I'll ever be able to give up.  

To me, it is the epitome of easy style and elegance.  It comes back for me, to years ago when I read an article (which I rehashed last year) on What makes the Parisians so gorgeous and the first point was they are always heard to ask "Does it come in black?".

So I have great plans for black clothes but starting with the most important part of a Winter Wardrobe - The Bag.  (this maybe/obviously shares first place with The Boots but for the sake of today's blog, we are focussing on all things handbag.) 

Finding a fabulous black bag is hard.  There is a reason why I still regularly use my Marc By Marc Jacobs Faridah Hobo bag that I bought from Kurt Geiger on South Molton Street when my middle son was 4 days old.  He's 8 on Monday.   I had been looking for as long as I could remember for a black bag that I just adored and I had never really found one. (actually I did have an amazing Russell & Bromley rectangle/trapeze handbag about 15 years ago that was also a backpack - don't ask, it was fab honestly, with an amazing metal swipe clasp thing at the top that I LOST)

It was love at first sight with Marc Jacobs and I have loved it every season since.  The only other black bag that I've truly loved is the black Diego by Alexander Wang which I still adore but I will confess, is the proverbial black hole in which to find things.  And is there anything more irritating than not being able to find your keys in your bag in a hurry?

I say I like a leather bag and to be honest, it is the leather bags that for me, last the test of time, but if you're looking for a quick injection of something new into your wardrobe, then there are some fab pleather ones out there. 

Starting with the new bag range from Atterley Road.  Hugely annoyingly their 20% off stuff has just finished, but I'm sure there is always a percentage off voucher that pops up on their website for your first order.  I'm not saying it's an idea to use a different account maybe if you're already ordered from there but...... 

Atterley Road Katie Zip bowling bag £30

Pieces Black Mabyn cross body bag £45 Also at Atterley Road 

Cross body again at New Look - love this one. No it's not leather but for less than £20 it's a bargain. 

New Look Double Zip X body bag £19.99

A tad (!) more expensive but just lovely from Tory Burch. 

Thea Chain Cross body bag £325 - not sure how this works cross body but well, I'd love to try! 

Obviously I have to include some Marc by Marc Jacobs as it has been my favourite over the years. 

Love this tiny cross body bag. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot to Handle Hoctor bag - £220

There is a leather variety similar to the Atterley Road bowling bag that I love and is a really good price for a leather bag (especially if you manage to get a discount) 

Selected Femme Em leather tote £140

Now I wonder if something slightly larger and slouchier might be a good call.  Shoppers are all the rage at the moment (dear god I sound like my mother) but suffice to say, they're popular. 

I'm rather liking the ponyskin texture of this one. 

ASOS leather and ponyskin handheld bag - £60

Aldo Sebok Shopper Bag £45  This again is an alternative to the totally plain ones out there.

Having done slouchy - there is definitely a more structured bag shape hole in my wardrobe.  I'll be honest, I have been hankering after a Sophie Hulme bag for seasons now. 

This is my favourite - the classic tote but in a mini size (still able to fit A4 in though.... not that I've checked or anything...and yes, this is what they call mini....) 

Sophie Hulme Mini tote bag £649.99 (most of my car engine weighs less than the gold hardware on this bag by the would get a work out simply by carrying it around.  Think of it as gym membership.)

But that is an eye watering price and there are other structured options out there. 

This isn't leather but there is lots of detailing for the money. 

Dune Darton Bag with padlock detail £69

And a combo of the best of both worlds I think - a bit structured with a bit of slouch. 

Somerset by Temperley Ilton Shoulder bag £150

However saving my favourite for last and this is top of my Wish List. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot to Handle Bentley tote £445

And yet again, I have only touched the tip of the iceberg with regards to the plethora of gorgeous black bags out there.  I may have to do another blog on them - any in particular you'd like to see?  What's your favourite black bag out there at the moment?

Finishing with photos from the last couple of days - Sunday - wow that was warm.  I have to say, not struggling too much with the Rugby watching so far - I'm sure it will be a rather different story come mid October.....


Striped tee - Maison Scotch
Navy waffle blazer - Next 
Saxby boyfriend jeans - ASOS 
Leopard print skater shoes - Next 
Medium Marcie satchel in whiskey - Chloe 

And yesterday 


Black crepe sleeveless top - Zara
Indigo jeans turned up - Jigsaw
Leopard print coat - Fenn Wright Manson
Black Delphine pumps - NW3 by Hobbs
Medium Marcie satchel in whiskey - Chloe 

So tomorrow I shall be back with more black.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but are there any fellow lovers of all things noir out there?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

And we're all about the extras

If anyone hasn't noticed I am obsessed with accessories.   Now to be fair, I do count shoes as accessories (and therefore boots, sneakers, sandals and everything else designed to be worn on a foot) as that's where they can be found on most websites.  Under the heading "Accessories". 

Which is interesting as I would term an accessory as an extra to an outfit and to be fair, shoes are pretty much an integral aspect. 

But we're clearly talking semantics here and suffice to say, I am totally in love with anything accessory wise. 

And whilst we've got our 30% off code at Mango, valid till Midnight this evening, it would be rude not to have a look to see what would make it onto my wishlist.  (code is still 5WEEKEND and all prices are pre discount) 

First and foremost (as that's what where they have it) let's talk footwear.  You may have noticed that I snuck in a pair of new boots this week (more on that shortly, I promise - I have mentioned that they were numero uno on the wishlist so it's not a huge surprise I'm sure) so I am pushing the limits and then some to justify another pair of shoes. 

But if someone was looking for a pair of stilettos, then this mid heel pair would be top of my Lust List.  Ideal height and style to wear to work and they'd carry you well into the evenings and out at weekends too. 

Camel pump £39.99 These aren't leather but for the 30% off price, I'd be ok with that. 

Or a classic black £39.99

I am very much looking forward to wearing my Delphine pumps from Hobbs again and these are rather reminiscent of them - the ideal statement flat.  But loving them in a navy version.

Ankle-cuff Mary Janes in navy £34.99 - also available in black.

There are loads of great leather boots and shoes online - I have had to stop looking as I officially do Not need anymore....

Bags however - well.  I don't feel that I've really touched the tip of the iceberg with regards to bags this season.  Probably because yet again, there is that fine line between "need and want"..... 

However if you're not bothered about a leather bag than Mango is the place to look.  

Some really great design features at absolutely amazing prices, even before the whopping 30% off.  

Top of my picks would be this Pebbled Cross Body bag £39.99 in black (also available in a very pale beige)  This is more than a little like the Anya Hindmarch cross body satchels.

I've seen this one in store and it honestly looks so like leather, I had to do the sniff test.

Pebbled hobo bag £59.99

And again, there are oodles of lovely - really lovely bags online. 

However it is in the scarves department where I want to shout CALL OFF THE DOGS. 

This is where the 30% discount comes into its own - no these are not expensive to begin with but with a little bit off - these are akin to the price of a not too shabby bottle of wine.  But these don't give you a hangover and will continue to be just as pleasing the following day and the next day and for weeks afterwards. 

So whilst I said I wasn't going to do any form of tartan outfit, I absolutely love the shades of this.  Nod to all things on trend but much easier to wear in my humble opinion, than a piece of tartan clothing. 

Check Scarf £24.99   I have pressed buy on this - in my basket. 

Actually a silver grey scarf is on my list of things to have - basically I think a (don't all laugh...) pashmina - essentially the same as my camel LV from last year but without the price tag. 

However I am loving this oversized grey herringbone scarf £29.99 (I rather love this whole look if I'm honest) 

If navy is your bag this season (and to be honest if I didn't have a navy checked coat, this would be mine immediately), then this is perfect.  I papped it in Mango the other day actually - hugely popular on Instagram. 

Bicolour check scarf £24.99


Red shades now - Tricolor Striped Scarf £27.99

Actually speaking of grey scarves, this is exactly the sort of thing I'm after. 

Metallic Scarf £29.99 (have ordered this as well just to check it's not ok... that makes sense no?)

And I could go on and on and on - please do take a look if you're after a scarf as there are gazillions of gorgeous ones.  I have a Spanish Roast Chicken dinner to tuck into that The Husband has made whilst I subject him to yet more X Factor.  He has no idea how lucky he is... 

Outfit from yesterday - hangover wasn't nearly as shabby as I thought it might be - total result!  Even managed a glass of wine with my pasta last night.  

As you can see, still loving the boots. 


Paola knit dress in putty - Baukjen
Boots - Toga Pulla 
Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs 

Tomorrow I am going for a power walk first thing - I know I said I had meant to do some exercise the other week, well, hmmm, that didn't happen but tomorrow - bring it on.....

Oh and I also may have ordered one thing from yesterday just to suck it and see... any ideas?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

One of my favourite discounts of the season

Yes, it's 30% off time at Mango.  They did this in the Summer and I know it was hugely hugely popular.  Certainly I did a very large order and then I think they had another day when I may have snuck in some more gems.  I didn't keep it all but the thrill of having a huge box turn up full of goodies was worth the treck to Bluewater to return then. (I probably shouldn't admit that out loud, should I?  Sad or what - please can someone else say they love getting a huge parcel of clothes to try on??) 

But moving swiftly on, I've already had a gander and try on in Mango this season - seen here in this blog post.  But of course there's loads more to drool at.  And with 30% off, it would be rude not to have a little look.... Code is 5WEEKEND 

Actually Mango is one of those stores that instore is pants.  Ours is tiny and they have hardly anything compared to the plethora of goodies that are online.  The website is incredibly easy to navigate and the styling and photos are gorgeous.  Free delivery too and I believe free returns although I've always just taken back into store.

WIthout further ado, let the salivating begin. 

Now I'm not going to say I've already begun to think about the party season... but.... It would be FOOLISH not to have given it a tiny thought.  For it will be with us before we know it (not to scare you or anything)  I do believe I may have been heard to say " I don't need anything new this year...."  Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha.  Maybe I'll try and get through on the dresses I have.  Totally love the Sandro black leather block dress and the Me+Em turtle neck swing dress and am very much looking forward to wearing both of them. 

But another great option would be a jumpsuit and this viscose one looks simply gorgeous for a great price.

Flowy long jumpsuit £59.99

Staying with classic black, I adore, absolutely adore this simple black "wrap" dress.  How perfect is this?  You could let the shoes do all the talking.  My concern is that for someone as tall as me this would barely cover the essential bits and leave not a lot to the imagination but on someone smaller, this would rock.

Crepe Wrap Dress £59.99

You may or may not have noticed I have become dress obsessed and this one fits the bill perfectly.  Ideal for dress down during the day - would be gorgeous out for dinner too. 

Tie Print Dress £44.99

The perfect blazer to go over the above dresses and jumpsuit would be the one I had on the blog on Thursday.  Honestly this is stunning, amazing quality, especially for 30% off.  Crazy price.

Crepe Blazer £44.99

Now I tried on the Whistles version of this yesterday which was lovely but not lovely enough for £500plus.  However I am ridiculously keen to see if this is warm... the hunt for a warm practical (ish - oh totally ish...) coat for rugby Sundays will commence shortly. 

Faux shearling-lined coat £79.99  I simply cannot believe how amazing this looks for the price.  It simply has to be pants in the flesh, surely?  Actually, I am sat here on a Sunday evening watching rugby (HOW???) and frankly, it would therefore be rude not to order this, just in case it does happen to be totally fabulous.  There may be method in my slightly hungover madness.

Obviously I'm not going to get through the season, especially when discussing practical clothes, without mentioning a parka and this one looks gorgeous. 

Military hooded coat £119.99

Mango leather has always been fantastic and is definitely worth having a look at with 30% off. 

Shearling lined leather jacket £169.99

Or this one - swoon. 

Fur applique biker jacket £169.99

Or the Faux Shearling version if you wanted to suck it and see and weren't that sure how much wear you'd get out of it. 

Faux Shearling biker jacket £69.99

Ok so it appears I am officially obsessed with the shearling aviator look.  ADORE this.  Simply love love love this and wish it was slightly longer.  These are all a ridiculous price with 30% off. 

Faux Shearling lined jacket £69.99

Thinking of rugby = comfort and these are top of my must haves for dress down outfits.  Already planning on wearing a pair of these tomorrow. (not these precise ones - I have very similar which are infinitely useful for those totally laid back days) 

Flecked Jogging Trousers £19.99  I'm loving the look with the polo neck - noted.

Now I haven't mentioned culottes yet - one of a couple of big new trends I have to explore (obviously I wasn't going to ignore them!).  Will I or won't I indulge?

Wool-blend culottes £44.99

I did have a quick squiz at jumpers and will be back with more of them tomorrow but in the meantime, as a little bit of a teaser, this one totally caught my eye.  Very like the lovely Hush one I have but at a fraction of the cost, especially with 30% off. 

Monochrom Sweater £34.99

Now I have some Strictly and some X Factor to catch up on so I will leave my picks of the accessories till tomorrow. 

Finishing with the much deliberated over outfit from yesterday - lunch at the Chiltern Firehouse with the girls.  Amazing, amazing day (evening....) This is what I decided on in the end.  More on the boots which yes, are new and I didn't think would arrive in time but did, very shortly. 


Felsted shirt dress - Baukjen
Boots - Toga Pulla 
Camel coat - Zara 
Black Diego bag - Alexander Wang

Off for a small glass of red and some sublime Saturday night tv.  I am bribing the 10 yr old to watch Strictly with me.  Sinking to a new parenting low.