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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Having a storming season

I am talking about you, Warehouse. 

Now here's a funny thing.  I think we could be talking about two separate entities here.  The store and the website.  So firstly, the store... well, to be blunt, it's rubbish.  This may well be my nearest which is at Bluewater and it's frankly, pants.  In all fairness to them, the shape of the store is difficult (long and narrow) but it hasn't been refurbed in forever and looks exceptionally dated. 

They also seem to hold stock that's just a bit naff.  And the problem is, as a shopper, if you find yourself confronted by a host of pretty grim stuff, it's then very hard to see any gems.  It just creates the totally wrong impression - if you don't find anything inspiring in the look and feel of a store, you're far less likely to buy into the image of a brand and aren't going to be that inclined to stay and peruse when there are other shops which are so much more visually appealing. 

Is branding the be all and end all of a retailer?  Well I'm sure there are valid opinions on both sides of the fence but one thing I do think most people will agree on, is that the branding must be consistent.  And when you have a shop that looks like a dog's dinner and a website that has had a total overhaul and is exceptionally impressive, it sends a mixed message. 

So let's leave the store aside and focus on the positives. 

Their website is amazing.  And not just the website (actually to be fair, it's pretty slow so when I say amazing, I really mean their styling and photography.....) but their products. 

I've thought this for a while but yesterday when I was on the hunt for dungarees (a style which they don't appear to be adopting this season but I'll forgive them), I couldn't help but spend way too long oohing and aahing over the best of the rest. 

It also reminded me of a pic I'd papped from a magazine a week or so ago.  Absolutely love this look - to me, far more Stella McCartney than Warehouse. 



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And whilst we're on the subject of denim - there are other beauties I found that definitely warrant exploring in more detail. 

I've come to the conclusion that loading up on denim could be the perfect solution to unifying both my love of the 70s and that more minimal Parisian chic look.  (Fashion idiotic phrase/theory klaxon....)

Here is the dress that piqued my interest. 

Denim Jacket Dress £52  This is ideal for these slightly cooler days plus it doubles up as a jacket/coat as well. 



If you do want something slightly less heavy weight, then they also do a shirt dress in what looks like a chambray fabric.  

Denim Shirt Dress £42




Or a Denim Shift Dress £38 - I have to say this one would be my preference (I actually love the idea of this with the denim coat dress over the top....) 




Next up, staying with denim and a jacket with a difference.  This would work over little dresses, trousers, done up as a shirt over jeans (we're all about the double denim) or layered.

Denim Shirt Jacket £45





Moving on to bottoms now and something I will definitely explore more although I'm not going to lie - I struggle with them.  That'll be culottes.  I'm not sure if it's the length, what top to wear with them...... shoes?  I just don't know but I've so far not been tempted by any.  But I love the look of them on other people and these would be a great pair for the Spring.

Denim Culottes £45




Whilst I struggle with culottes, one thing that I have loved the last couple of seasons is my A line mini skirt.  Mine is leather but I put a suede one on my wish list way back at the beginning of Spring. 

This is the most perfect Suede skirt I've seen all season.  I love the minky grey shade of it.  Yes it's a 70's stylee but the simplicity of the cut and the minimal look to it would work perfectly with a breton and a blazer.  Perfection in a skirt for an amazing price. 



We can also look at occasional wear as well - in the form of separates.  This is easily smart enough for a First Holy Communion or Christening and you can then wear the pieces on their own as well. 

Stripe Knitted Skirt in white and navy £35 (loving the shoes too....)





Or there's a navy version of the skirt... personally I prefer the white one but in reality a knitted skirt over my cellulite ridden behind may not be the best idea in the world.... I'm hoping it's that thick, sturdy knit fabric that they make jackets out of.... (this will be in my dreams of course)




It's also definitely worth checking out their accessories.  Lots of people are always asking me about my Campomaggi cross body satchel and were I not to have that, this is an amazing buy. 

Brown Tooled Leather Satchel £55






Actually, scrap that, this would be definitely mine. 

Brown Vintage Look Cross Body Satchel £52







Jewellery wise, I still have lots to explore this season but this has definitely caught my eye.  

Multi Row Coin Tassel Necklace £16




Sandal porn now and what can I say - leather for £20.  Amazing. 

T-Bar Sandals £20



Feeling the leopard print love still and I have been looking for a pair of pointed animal print ballet flats for forever.  Search finally over.  

Pointed Ballet Pump £35




And be still my beating heart.  Where these would come into their own for me are those occasions when you want to look smart but really don't want to wear heels.  These are just the ticket.  The most elegant shoes I've seen in a very long time for an amazing price. 

Cream pointed ballet flats £35



I could honestly go on and on and on and on.   But don't take my word for it - go and have a shufty.  And let me know what you think?  Is it just my nearest Warehouse that is pap or are they all in need of a new store image?  Perhaps someone knows if that's on the cards?  And do you think they've improved their online offering?

So here we have rather tipsy photo from very late last night.  Fantastic evening and surprisingly I don't feel too shabby today. 


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Print Dress - Sandro
Cut out tan suede ankle boots - Boden

Today was up at the crack of dawn - poor 10yr old isn't well so made an emergency Dr's appt and lo and behold she now has a throat infection.  So from seemingly a full recovery yesterday when her temp went back to normal and she was fine, to full on fever and a super sore throat.  Currently pumping her full of antibiotics, cinema trip cancelled, but popcorn on, movie ready and wine on the go for the two biggest in the family. 

Looking very serious.....

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Easy Day Jumper in grey melange - Boden
Wide turn up jeans - Zara
Grey military coatigan - 3.1 Phillip Lim
Dakota skate shoes - Seven Boot Lane
Quilted leather bag - Zara 

So I have an appointment with Guardians of the Galaxy, fish pie is ready to go in the oven and I'm trying desperately to find a pair of the dark denim dungarees, seeing as they have sold out EVERYWHERE.  Can the person who called Fat Face in Sevenoaks this morning asking about them, please fess up?!  I went in today and they're sold out country wide.  Clearly I'm exceptionally late to the party - off to see if there are any left at John Lewis.....

Friday, 27 March 2015

You have been warned....

.... I have become obsessed.  Despite all my protestations at just "trying" them out and my ridicule of them in blue and thinking only the black would work, well.... I really like them.  The dreaded dungarees of course.

I honestly thought they would work for a couple of outfits but I *think* I've got them cracked.  There are many of you out there who may well be thinking "dear Lord woman.  Do not be allowed near a credit card at certain times of the month.  You are deluded..." but I'm past caring. 

I wish I could tell you how comfy they are. (well I can tell you, but I wish I could convey how comfy...)  And, the one potential issue that was flagged previously of how difficult it would be to take a comfort break in, well I can confidently report that it's not nearly as arduous a task as it is going for a wee in a jumpsuit.  Far less fabric to risk peeing/standing on and as you've got a top on underneath the dungarees, it's not nearly as chilly. 

So yes, I have been wearing the black versions far more than I thought I would and I do think (she says modestly) I've been able to style them in a number of different ways that have worked pretty well (as different as the same pair of bottoms with a bib can be.....ie I've worn a number of different jackets and coats with them.  Whoop de whoop) 

But that, in my book, is the definition of success.  Something that fits seamlessly into your wardrobe and makes full use of existing favourites that you have. 

In fact, I am so over the moon with them (did I mention that they are like wearing jamas?) that I think (she says back pedalling like Michael Jackson on speed) I might have to buy an indigo pair as well.  

Just to get further inspiration and to make sure I'm not losing my admittedly tiny mind, I've had another look on Pinterest and I am now more than quietly confident. 

So, looks that inspire.  Let's go.  These I LOVE.




Love the idea of the big scarf.  I think I'd swap the shoes for flats for every day but I do think they would work for a night out in the pub....



Pure every day simplicity



It does appear that you have to wear your sunglasses 24/7 for this look to work and there is the slight concern I would look more Roy Orbison than cool, sophisticated West Village hipster but in for a penny.... (and I wouldn't be wafting my bosoms around like a nubile young thing either - there would be scaffolding for my albeit fried egg chest and a far more robust tee going on than in this pic)



Starting with ones that I know fit and fit well as I bought the black ones but kept my bargain £10 H&M ones instead.  Except that they've SOLD OUT in my size.  SEEEEE?????  (I'm ignoring the fact it's probably mostly 15 year olds that have bought them.  Details schmetails)

MOTO Indigo Long Dungarees £48



However I've also found these at Fat Face and as we have one locally, I'm going to go and see if I can try them on tomorrow.  They look pretty much the perfect mix of ever so slightly distressed and a great price. 

Fat Face Vintage Dungarees £48  I am slightly concerned they look child sized here.



Also in short supply again at M&S (so someone's buying them....) but there are a few sizes left and they do them in different sizes.  I'm not sure if these are too pale for me, but again, I'm going to see if I can try them tomorrow. 

M&S Denim Dungarees £45



I did try these on (and sized up to a 12 as Next sizing is very random) and they were massive.  They definitely do look better on the loose side but too baggy just gave me a whiff of homeless.  Not entirely what I was after.  I do know though that people have raved about the black pair (the love for the blue denim isn't as bountiful) and these are the same cut.  I would say, buy your usual size. 

Mid Blue Denim Dungarees £35 - alas they don't do a darker indigo pair.  Seeing as they're like rocking horse poo in alternative shades though, these may well have to be tried on.



ASOS Full Length in Vintage Mid Wash £45 - Ok so I like the almost tiny kick flare on the leg (seemingly that's what it looks like....)  I hate the shoes so much I want to cry and I'm not sure about the distressing.  As much as I adore distressing usually on jeans, I feel that on dungarees it gives it a more "functional used for dirty work" look... But I may well be overthinking this (never....)



Curve ball now but this could definitely be an option.... A cross between dungarees and a jumpsuit... hmmmm 

Dahlia Dungaree Jumpsuit with side pockets £60



But for a bargain price, these may just be the ticket from New Look.... if they hadn't sold out in my size at ASOS where I love ordering from as it's so ridiculously easy.  GAH.   Clearly I am very late to the party with the dark denim dungarees, oh ye of little faith. (sold out in my size at New Look too.... someone is trying to tell me something...)

New Look Dark Denim Dungarees £26.99




Oh hang on - I've found another pair.. that are, yet again, sold out in my size.  This is a conspiracy.....

Glamorous Denim Dungaree £42  Now there more sizes available in the Tall version of these... Apart from mine that is....




And then I started to struggle.... Probably the reason why these are sold out everywhere is that in reality, there aren't that many of them around in a dark denim.  I am clearly not the first to have a brainwave of these being the easiest thing to wear and mix and match with your wardrobe, for years. (over egging the pudding slightly there.... )

Did find another pair at Pull&Bear but in my experience, everything from here does come up on the small side.  Not great for Tallies.

Long Denim Dungarees 45.99 Euro (£39.99)


So all in all, now that I know they're going to be difficult to get hold of, I officially NEED a pair.  That's me sorted tomorrow morning - trip to Fat Face & M&S. 

I'm also going to just throw this pic in at the very end - is anyone prophetic enough to predict where I might go next? 



Alas, there is a (who would have thought it) sensible side of my brain that screams "You'll look like an extra on DIY SOS.  Step away from the white ones......"  I usually manage to feed that side of my brain copious amounts of alcohol so it falls into line with the rest of my nutty self - cue me trying white dungarees very shortly.

Break it to me gently... I know, I know, you all think I'm nuts.  Well, I'll be happy and nuts (so long as I manage to find a pair that is.. I have loads of outfit ideas so watch this space)

Finishing with outfit from today.  Friends came over for coffee as I was once again at home with the poorly 10 yr old who finally seems to be on the mend after three days with a sky high temperature but not a lot else wrong with her (but bless her, she clearly feels super rank and just not right).  Had to cancel my highlights appointment which is more than overdue (going on Tuesday thank goodness) but a had a lovely day in with her.  Thank heavens the builders are still here as I managed to do the school run, take the boys to swimming and tennis and bomb to the supermarket (dear lord all the glamour)

Tonight however, off to a Dinner Party at some of our closest friends' house so that's something to look forward to (even if I will have to do my own hair...!) 


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Grey Easy Day Jumper - Boden
White jeans with edging - Isabel Marant 
Black Tuxedo Blazer - Hush
Scarf - All Saints
White cracked leather Stan Smiths - 
Black quilted bag - Zara

So whilst on my hunt for dungarees, one retailer really really stood out for me as having about a gazillion things I could buy. (minus dungarees)  I shall be bringing them to you tomorrow - planning on dragging you all down with me, with my massive wish list that I know load of you will be salivating over as well. 



Thursday, 26 March 2015

Seeing as there is no sign of Spring...

.... and I am sat here dribbling coffee out of one side of my mouth, it being numb having been to the dentist, I may be feeling ever so slightly sorry for myself. 

Also grounded at home with a poorly 10yr old, terrible temperature, dizzy and just in need of her mummy and a day on the sofa under a blanket.  So it would be rude of me not to join her....?!  In between a day of lots of washing, changing sheets, emptying the dishwasher and making spag bol, I am taking the opportunity to do a jumper search. 

Now you may well think, been there, done that, got the video.  And you would be right but I still have not managed to tie down that elusive off white jumper.  Actually that's not entirely true, I do have the perfect Zara jumper from a couple of years ago.  Which is a) falling apart (no surprise there) and be) has a lovely great big mark down one sleeve (the perils of a white top....)

And I need a new one.  So what's the criteria?  Well, not a thin one and not a thick one.  I'm looking for the Goldilocks of jumpers.  A medium weight knit, possibly linen possibly a cotton mix, something with a bit of texture maybe..... I am open on this one. 

I want to be able to layer it for sure.....and ideally the one I have and adore and am in mourning over is slightly gathered in at the bottom, so that would be good too.  

Essentially I will know it when I see it.  Doing a great job of describing this, aren't I? 

I had seen a great one at FCUK and went the other day to try it on but actually I think it might be too chunky.   However whilst I was in there, I thought I'd try some others on, as they did have a rather extensive selection. 

So this was the one I had seen and had loved.  But it's rather on the claustrophobic side for Summer... However a) it's Spring and it's still flipping freezing and b) it's now in the sale at Atterley Road (full price still everywhere else still....) 

White Spring Mozart Rocks Jumper from FCUK was £69 now £34



And here we are on me..... Very serious face.... This is over my dungarees *lazy cow alert*.  I love it, but you couldn't possibly wear a jacket over it plus it's a turtle neck so it sort of defeats the object for me.  Although, you could layer it with a top underneath, but this really isn't what I'm looking for.  However it is a great jumper and an amazing price at Atterley Road.

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Now this I have to say I didn't like as much in the shop but on looking at it again, it's growing on me.....side zip which you can undo... I have a Large here but maybe a Medium might be better (nah, I'll only shrink it, I like it in the Large)  I've just realised this is a version of the above jumper apparently.. not sure I'm seeing a huge amount of similarity ie any....

Mozarts Rocks Jumper £69 FCUK - this is it in the grey (which I have to say I may even prefer to the white - you can see how the shopping just goes wrong in my world, can't you?)





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This one was my favourite but... it's £69 and every one in the shop already had a small pull on the front.  But it was definitely the best for Spring and Summer.  A great throw on jumper that would look as good with shorts as it would with leather peg leg trousers for out in the evening with heels. 




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And then I went slightly off piste.... now randomly I don't "hate" this but suffice to say I shan't be buying it.  (although it's really growing on me.  Note to self.  Do not start writing the blog in the morning and come back to it in the evening after a school meeting and a glass of wine.....)


Ruth Frill Jumper £89 from FCUK.  This is a small which I thought was too small but I think I actually prefer this one on the snugger side.




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So now to what else is out there and this one looks ok but maybe a bit thin for what I'm looking for...
Kin by John Lewis White Melange Jumper £59



This one looks like it could fit the bill from Mint Velvet - I'd size up I think as it does look quite snug here for me. 

Mint Velvet Pointelle Rib Jumper in Ivory £69



Now this looks lovely from Oui - but does it just look like a plain old jumper?  For that price?  I'd need to see it in detail and seeing as I'd be bound to get filth on it very swiftly, I'm not sure I want to spend almost £100. 

Oui Boxy Knit Jumper £99




If we are thinking that maybe a plain sweater could work, then the basics at Uniqlo are great.  In fact, I did a trying on session in there yesterday so have a blog up my basic sleeve...

And whilst I was looking for jumpers online (they had a totally pants selection instore), I may have happened to come across this which I've ordered as it's just too good not to.  It also happens to be the only jumper they have in an ivory so that put pays to that theory of there being loads of great basic jumpers on offer.  It appears that's in the A/W only (hence whey there were none instore)

Nubby Sweater £19.99 on offer, usually £29.99



Similar shape at Poetry, which is a new brand they're selling at John Lewis. 

Poetry Linen Crew Neck Jumper in cream £69 (possibly on the thin side?)









Another at The White Company - this is definitely worth looking at with a great reduction.  This is how I would like to look All The Time.  Couldn't be a more hilarious thought as I've mostly got a smear of Nutella or Ketchup somewhere on myself.  (this is down to a small child, I might add, I'm not totally incapable of getting food from the plate to my mouth without spilling it.  Most of the time, anwyay)

Rectangular Jumper in Ecru was £110 now £55 (not sure why they call it this as I have a rectangular jumper from there in linen from a couple of years ago and it's more of an oversized shape, certainly not fitted.)  They also have it on offer in navy, just in case anyone is interested although it's not in the sale.



Sticking with finding sale goodies, I think this may be the one to fit the brief - it's the most similar to my much lamented Zara disaster.  I would, however, want it to be looser than this, so I would definitely size up. 

Whistles Fluffy Box Jumper in Ivory was £120 now £55 (bargain!)  And it doesn't look so much fluffy to me, as textured. 



If the textured element isn't your bag, then there's a similar shape at ASOS. 

ASOS Chunky Jumper in Textured Fisherman's Rib £30 (this isn't over chunky, I wouldn't have said?)




Three gorgeous numbers at Me+Em.  On my non White Company Days, I'd be more than happy to live in Me+Em world.  In reality, I'm slightly too creased.

Me+Em Tubular Airtex Boxy Jumper £69  This isn't exactly what I had in mind - I was looking for something slightly more substantial but it's so lovely, I'll make an exception.




I'd love to see how cropped this is as other than that, I simply love the texture of it.  But god forbid I should flash a roll of flesh at anyone.  No one needs an eyeful of that.  Ever.

Ribbed Cropped Cotton Jumper in Optic White £88 from Me+Em



Lastly, the Boyfriend Jumper in Optic White £88  Oh to be this perky.





Of course the obvious always happens and the odd off piste jumper has caught my eye.  This one in particular doesn't ft the brief (although I do still think you could get a loose coat over it....) but I love it.  

Cheap Monday £50




And as per usual - more confused then when I started.  I've just pressed Buy on the bargain Whistles Jumper at John Lewis which I will report back on tomorrow. (what's not to love about Click & Collect)  Apart from that, I'm definitely tempted by the Cheap Monday one.  Oh and the Uniqlo one.  And The White Company one...... I should put the wine down, shouldn't I?

Speaking of tomorrow - I'm warning you now, I have developed an obsession with the dungarees.  I honestly thought they would be a total one trip pony and I'm sure some of you will think I am totally deluded but they are more than growing on me.  I am really really loving them... I have had this denim shirt in my wardrobe for years and simply cannot get to grips with it.  Layered over the dungers today for a day of slobbing around (apart from my hideous dentist appt, school run and then a school Yr 5 meeting), it was perfect.  They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

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White longsleeved tee - H&M
Black dungarees - H&M
Denim Shirt - Zara
Trench - Banana Republic
Quilted leather bag - Zara
Cracked leather Stan Smiths - adidas

And so I am now on the hunt for a blue pair.  There.  I've said it.  One glass of wine in and I'm off on the research trail.....