Category Archives: Fashion

Shopping in Blues and Greys

I hold my hands up.  I have bought some new clothes.  I have blown the budget.  Yes – I’m now having to do a packed lunch for work because I have spent my lunch money as well.  However – I have made some lovely purchases, so I thought I’d share.

My first purchase was this gorgeous coat by John Rocha for Debenhams. I got it in the 20% sale, so it was under £100.  Bearing in mind my last expensive winter coat lasted nearly 6 years and cost me £200+, I was fully prepared to make the investment again.  Makes more sense than buying a coat each year, which is what I was doing.

I wandered into Debenhams and there it was, calling to me.  This is what it looks like in the catalogue.

rochajohn-rocha-debenhams-coats-designer-grey-ribbed-collar-coat

I chose not to wear the tie. For some reason, these types of “dressing gown” ties aren’t very flattering for me, so when I wear it, I tie it behind me.

My second purchase was this lovely cardigan from Mint Velvet.  I’m unlucky lucky that Mint Velvet have a concession stand in the department store opposite my office and, quite frankly, I would buy almost every piece, every season, so I often just have to step away.

No matter how many pictures I took, I couldn’t show this cardigan in its true, soft, gorgeousness.  Here is the pic, alongside my new coat.

coat and cardigan

Ahh, you spotted the scarf!  Yes, I may have bought a scarf as well. I’m not a scarf kind of girl, but I thought I should.  This blue and the slight off white looked like it may tie in with a lot of my outfits, so I took the plunge. I have worn it twice in the last 2 weeks.  I think I love it.  This was a Mint Velvet purchase too. £35.

Last pic is a close up of the scarf, which I think is really pretty (hence my overdoing on the photographs) and my last purchase, was this gorgeous bird print tunic/top from Mint Velvet which I wore out with my River Island Plether strip tight skinnies and ankle boots.  I really like this outfit (photo taken just before I left, in the dark, so apologies).  It felt dressy, without being too dressy and whilst all the other nursery mums were wearing dresses and heels for a cocktails, I felt a little edgier, a little younger (despite actually being the 2nd oldest there).

scarf and bird

The bird design on the top, pretties it up a bit and the fabric is shiny, so definitely a going out top.

There you have it. My October purchases.  Purchases that make me very very happy.

 

The Beautiful, Beautiful Bracelet

I had the most marvellous delivery on Saturday.  Well it technically was delivered on Monday, but due to various children’s illnesses, my husband didn’t get around to do the trip to the Post Office to pick it up until Saturday morning.  Oh, but what a marvellous delivery it was.

This, my lovely readers is the Katia Silver and Thread Bracelet, ordered from Bloom Boutique on Notonthehighstreet.

Behold it’s marvellous beauty and shinyness.  It’s described on their website as “A bracelet made of coloured, reinforced cotton strands onto which are threaded polished sections of silver, knotted a solid compact silver clasp”.

I saw it on an email sent to me notonthehighstreet, as I’m now on their mailing list after purchasing a personalised anniversary print for Hubby for our 10 year anniversary.

As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with it and had to have it, so I ordered it that afternoon.  For those of you familiar with my blog and my twitter, I’m DEFINITELY  not an impulsive purchaser, so this was a rarity in itself.

Some of the jewellery on this seller’s page reminds me of Stella and Dot, similar contemporary and well made pieces.  I may be back to peruse further.

Now all I need to do is find a reason to wear it.

Look at it’s loveliness.

Bloom Boutique Katia Bracelet

Katia Bracelet clasp

I purchased this bracelet myself, so if you want a similar piece (or the same one in lots of different colours) then go to Bloom Boutique.

 

 

Baukjen, Phase 8 and H&M

It’s been a wee while since I did a fashion post, so thought I’d pop a few pics up of recent pictures.  I want to do a post about my skinny leg work trousers and the new H&M t-shirts which have fulfilled a long required need, but maybe another day.  Today we talk Baukjen, Phase 8 and H&M cardigans.

I do require quite a strict set of rules when it comes to clothing.  Specifically that they should not be creasable, not require ironing AT ALL and (until recently) be machine washable.  The last rule has been relaxed of late, partly because so many of the lovely Mint Velvet clothes I have bought all require hand washing, but when you’ve got 2 or 3 they can be hand washed together and I now hang them up in my downstairs shower which is never used, so there is less hassle. However, I can’t be doing with ironing.  If it can’t be washed, hung on a hanger, dried and then put straight in the wardrobe then it will be worn once.  Frankly I don’t have that kind of money to burn.

So this first purchase was bought a while back (I know this because when I found the pics I had long hair).  I bought it during the Baukjen sale and liked the entire outfit so bought it all.  The belt had already been purchased, see here, and as I had been initially reluctant to buy such an expensive belt, it came as some relief to create a second outfit that I could wear it with and get some more use out of it.  The top is a polyester material which drapes well.  It’s end of season, but Baukjen do many tops in a similar fabric and I’m sure this will be redesigned again.  The skirt is still available and is called The High waisted Pencil Skirt.  They refer to it as “heavy weight Ponte” which is Viscose, Polymide and Elastic.  It’s basically thick and stretchy, so perfect for winter (and summer as it turned out).  I did think that getting it high-waisted would kill two birds with one stone and flatten my tummy, but I did struggle to get in the damn thing to start with. I bought a Size 10, but often the waists don’t fit (well certainly not from some stores like Miss Selfridge and River Island) and I did panic that I would have to return it for a 12. Baukjen skirt The trouble was that the skirt fitted everywhere else really well and I was worried that going up a size would stop it from being clingy.  As it turned out I just needed to try it on in the morning (after dinner was a bad idea) and if I hoiked it up high enough I could pull the zip up and then readjust.  The look is definitely worth it and it wasn’t uncomfortable at all.  I’ve worn it quite a few times to work, although not on the days I cycle in (obviously).  I wore it on this occasion with a pair of flat black heels, but have also worn with a higher heel as well.

My two second purchases were from Phase 8.  A store that I have sidestepped for years because it just screamed “50 YEAR OLD” to me, but either they have started making more contemporary clothing or I’m just getting to the stage where a 2 piece skirt suit looks appealing, I don’t know (I’m joking by the way.  No 2 piece skirt suit for me, thanks!).  Anyway, again in the sale I picked up two dresses which I would not have purchased online for fear that the hemline was too short, or it made me look dowdy.   The first one is the Luna Print dress (still available) with a flattering empire line flower design in stone and white jersey.  It is very flattering for me, sits just above the knee and doesn’t swamp my small boobs.  The sleeves are also a bonus as they cover that part of the arm nobody is that keen on when they are 40+.

The second dress is the Edith Pleat Front dress (also still available) and is a lovely soft grey jersey, gathered in the centre of the dress. Perfect to dress up or dress down and very flattering.  It does bag a little around the boobage area for me, but not enough for me not to wear it. If you have more up top, then this dress is incredibly flattering.  Here it is …

Phase 8 Edith

I have had these two dresses for a while and then we had the Brugge trip looming and the prospect of only 2 days and a night there, ending up with a meal at the Wolsely in London at the end of it.  I wanted to pack very lightly and these two dresses fitted the bill.  I wore the Grey one out during the day and for the evening at a restaurant and then planned to wear the flowered one the next day, through to the evening meal and changing my comfortable walking shoes for a pair of navy blue strappy sandals.  I just needed to zing both dresses up with a bright cardigan and I took to twitter for suggestions on what colour.

I ended up going for the colour first suggested as I had dreamed of wearing this colour one day and I thought it would look good.  Quite a few others mentioned it, but I was also suggested fuschia and yellow as other options.  This was the colour…

cardigan

Yep. I went with mustard.  Purchased it for £9.99 from H&M which was a darn sight cheaper than the slightly more greener (and probably wrong) cardigan at Hobbs for £69.

And here it is with the outfits I wore on the two days.  Both with my rather clonky but comfortable white Clarks walking shoes, but I took a photo of me yesterday wearing it for work with some black and white flats from Dune.

Grey and cardigan

flower and cardigan

What do you think?   I’m really glad I took the plunge on the colour.  Will definitely try to step out of my comfort zone again.

Coloured Jeans, Baukjen Dresses and Cropped Trousers

It’s been a little while since I shared some of my latest purchases so I thought now was as good as any.  Of course the day after I admit defeat clothing wise and buy 2 pairs of skinny jeans it supposed to be 21 degrees, but I’m still waiting for the temperature to rise. I’m wearing one of them right now.

So, first on the list was this Baukjen dress.  I had some issue with the delivery of the belt, but they resent a new one with no questions asked so I was pretty impressed.  In the end the dress got delivered sooner than planned and beat the belt delivery.  The downside to the ensemble was that the belt nearly cost as much as the dress (£89 for the dress and £69 for the belt) which was very steep. I’ve never spent more than £10 on a belt before and when it arrived in it’s flimsy form I was pretty unimpressed.  However, it suits the dress very well and I’ll have to find a few other outfits for it to work with to get my moneys worth.  Buying on the internet can be so dangerous.  Here it is.

Baukjen Rosamund Dress

Baukjen Rosamund Dress

You may recognise it from the cover of the Baukjen catalogue.  Not very original I know, but it really grabbed me. Unfortunately on my first day of wearing it to work I had the worst day ever (those on Twitter will have heard the story of me “losing it” in a meeting) so I’m hoping I won’t think that every time I wear it.

Then on an “orange pop colour” roll I bought this vest top from H&M.  Looks lovely with my navy skinny jeansH&M orange vest

and will probably look good with the beige purchases further down the post.  I’m not sure of the correct term for it, but it’s gathered and goes up underneath of the bottom of the vest like the old bubble skirts used to.  It’s very flattering on, although not a great photo.

Then there were the 3 purchases from UNIQLO.

I had a girly day out with Pickle yesterday (who’s 5) and we spent a good few hours trying to find something for her to spend her accumulated pocket money on.  In the end we traipsed the entire length of Kingston when she finally admitted that a barbie doll was what she needed (she has at least 15 already).  So, once bought, along with a Barbie Car (I always wanted one!!) she had to endure me doing the same as I tried to find some beige/camel/cream skinny jeans to go with all my Mint Velvet tops or some new flat shoes.  Bless her, she moaned a bit but managed to cope and we happened upon the UNIQLO shop.  I’ve got one in Wimbledon but as all the measurements are in inches rather than sizes I’ve never had time to pfaff about working out what I’m supposed to be wearing.  So we grabbed a couple of different sizes and went for it.

I was *this close* to buying a pair of £70 grey skinny trousers from Mint Velvet last week but decided to hang on until pay day. I’d had to try a size up due to the waist band (always heartbreaking, but better to be comfortable – no one can see the label). Really glad I waited as I purchased 3 trousers for around the same price in UNIQLO.

First up are these UNIQLO ultra stretch colour jeans.  These are called Grey, but they are a bit a beige.  I’ve struggled to find the right beige coloured jeans for ages because most are skin coloured and nobody needs to have an image of what you would look like without trousers on.  Although not obvious in the pictures, these are the right shade and a little darker than most, so I though they were perfect.  They are a little baggy at the bottom but all of their jeans are done in a 33inch length, so even on a long legged me there needs to be some turning up.  I may well take these and the other pair in to my nearest shop for an alteration. I presume they charge for it, I didn’t ask.  Here they are.

Uni Qlo Ultra stretch skinny jeans - Grey

Uni Qlo Ultra stretch skinny jeans – Grey

So I’ve shown them here with a white (crumpled, sorry) t-shirt and one of my Mint Velvet tops.  With my white Clarks casual shoe and a pair of navy strappy heels.  They are very comfortable.

I then pushed the boat out and grabbed a coloured pair in blue.  I’ve now convinced myself that they are lovely (you can be the judge of that) and will keep them.  At £29.90 they are pretty good value I think.

UniQlo coloured ultra stretch skinny jeans - Blue

UniQlo coloured ultra stretch skinny jeans – Blue

My mint velvet top and two different shoes here. Not entirely sure the leopard print works, but I quite liked it. Definitely looks summery with the Clarks and I could easily wear some plimsolls too.

My last purchase was also from UNIQLO and I didn’t try them on.  I’ve resisted crop trousers for a really long time because I don’t really think they are flattering.  They do cut your legs in half and as I have plenty of leg to cut in half I’m not sure why it has taken me so long.  I quite like these.  However I had to do an impersonation of a contortionist to get into them so I’m going to take them back for one with a bigger waist band.  The stretch jeans are clearly stretching nicely for my mummy tummy and despite the same size, these didn’t have as much give. They were £12.90.

UNIQLO cropped trousers - grey

UNIQLO cropped trousers – grey

So that’s it.  What do you think?  Thumbs up, thumbs down?  Finally I will stop wearing my denim jeans and the blue skinnies for a bit.

My Changing Wardrobe

One of the nice things about starting blogging, especially a blog about my age, is that I feel a small pressure to get my act together on the clothing front.  I’ve also got into the habit of reading other bloggers, specifically fashion blogs for my age range, and seeing what things might suit me.

I’ve noted that if you have the legs, but don’t want to “get them out” then skinny jeans, jeggings or leggings will do wonders.  Teaming that with a fitted but flowing top and you have a pretty impressive silhouette.

With this is mind I tottered (actually I clomped, I don’t tend to wear stilettos) over the road to where there is a concession in a department store near my work to see what things I could buy from my new favourite clothing shop, Mint Velvet.

I found this beautiful, transparent top and bought it and wore it last week with my River Island, pleather panelled skinny trousers and high ankle boots. What do you think?

Mint Velvet topWhilst trying on the outfit above (which, by the way, needed a black vest underneath as the white one contrasted with the trousers) I took note of how much my wardrobe has changed.

Firstly, I have an awful lot of work tops that don’t embarrass me. They aren’t perfect, but they are pretty nice and I’ve got a lot of choice, so I can go 2 or 3 weeks without wearing the same one.  I’m still wearing dank, dark and uninspiring work trousers.  I’m not sure how to get out of that rut.  I have ditched the matching jackets though. They are upstairs in storage and I wear cardigans.  It’s taken me a while to realise that my very wide shoulders were really enough without a massive jacket on them.

My going out clothes are more numerous.  Not dresses, that is still in need of improvement, but I have jeggings, the tight trousers, some dark blue bootcut jeans and just generally have more choice.  I have some really lovely tops, almost all are from Mint Velvet.   I don’t go out very often, which is the dilemma I have about my casual clothes as well.

My casual clothes for doing the school run, going to ballet, day time visiting and just mooching around are a bit dire.  Some of the going out clothes mentioned above could definitely be worn but then they aren’t special going out clothes anymore are they?  How do you find a balance between mooching and evening drinks?  At the moment I wear either my dark blue skinnies with a stretchy striped long sleeved t-shirt or one of my jeans, either skinny or bootcut and as we’ve had such dire weather any choice of top is covered up under a summer coat.  I can’t keep doing that though can I?  I’m going to have to give this some serious thought.

For the coming season I’m still on the look out for a proper hippy maxi dress for daytime. Not a v neck neckline or a drawstring at the waist. Basically the ones that were about 2 years ago and I forgot to get on the band wagon for.  This will be perfect for my trip to Spain and allow me to cover up my veiny legs.  I’m also looking for some more flats, but in Continue reading