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Sunday, 4 October 2015

So every season I have something I can't get enough of...

... actually I should possibly rephrase that to say at any one point in a season I have something I can't get enough of.

Long cardigans.  Plain.  The obligatory throw on in this weather.  Ok so this is until tomorrow as then it's supposed to pour down with rain.  However for those days when it isn't lashing down and just a crisp, cool Autumnal day, these are ideal.  Layer underneath, throw on a huge scarf, sneakers for now or chunky biker boots when it gets cooler and you're off.  

I could honestly buy one of these in every colour.  They work with either a tee or a sweatshirt or a shirt and jumper layered together.  So so versatile. 

And plain means that they are even more versatile.   Mix it up with a print scarf or print jumper and a whole host of other colours.  Plus they're not stand out on their own which means you will get more wear out of it - the chameleon item in your wardrobe as opposed to a speak for itself cardi which you won't want to wear all the time (don't get me wrong - I still think there is room for one of those too......) 

Starting with my favourite of the lot - a classic black one from Mango.  The trick with these is to balance price with quality of fabric.  I did go to Primark the other day in the search of a cardi which I'd seen a couple of people on Insta wearing - I couldn't find it actually, but I did find a whole host of others.  Though frankly I was concerned at them self combusting when I walked.  The long waistcoat I got was one of the only things that didn't set my teeth on edge when I felt it (but do check out the new ranges of kids stationery, the boys clothes, girls toiletries - a plethora of lip balms and nail varnishes which are amazing - and the wrapping paper, all of which are worth a trip on their own.  Yes I have started my Christmas shopping already - you can officially all hate me now).  

This one from Mango, hits the right spot on all counts.  

Pocket Long Cardigan from Mango £39.99

Absolutely love this.  Very plain and very simple but a lovely knit and a lovely cut.  And a great price.  This is the Medium.


In pale grey this one was also gorgeous. Again, I'm trying this on in the medium.

Ribbed cardigan with long sleeves from Mango £44.99


I then ventured into Forever 21 and couldn't walk past this wool mix one without trying it on.  Again, definitely worth a look - much better in real life than it looks online.

Longline Pocket Cardigan from Forever 21 £28.00


They also do this in a black version which I didn't see instore.  The chances of seeing something online and finding it instore at Forever 21 is..well... that trip to the moon is looking more likely.   Totally impossible.  To be frank, the chances of seeing something in there one week and going back for it the next are totally non existent.

Longline Pocket Cardigan £28

Staying with plain, there are also these at Mango which I didn't see online but look great as well.  
Side Pocket Cardigan in heather grey from Mango £39.99 

And in navy 

For A/W though, one of my favourite colours is easily a shade of camel.  So versatile - I love with black, grey, navy, winter white or khaki and easily worn into the Spring as well. 

A complete treat at hush with the Nina Cardi in brown sugar £90

Now I know I said plain - well to my mind, these are still "plain" in that they're not super patterned...... Plus they're not a myriad of colours - we still very much have a neutral agenda  going on here.

Monochrome Cardigan from Mango £39.99 Love this one with a hood.

And now not even monochrome but block colour again, so hardly a print.  I love these two colours together so simply had to include it, especially as it's such a bargain price.

Vila Colour Block Longline Cardigan £20

And who can resist a stripe?

Striped Cardigan from Mango £39.99

But saving the second best till last...

Striped Long Cardigan from Mango £49.99

This, apart from the black Mango one is definitely my favourite and had I not already bought and worn the Zara one, I would definitely have got it.  Not even I can justify both, alas.


So there we have my pick of what is out there.  I also did try the navy Whistles one on which I included in this post - 25% off until tomorrow evening, last chance saloon guys.  Are you a fan of the long cardigan?  I appreciate it's not going to be for everyone but at the very least, I love them to fling on over my harems and a sweat for nights on the sofa - and with X Factor and Strictly in full swing, there are lots of those.  Cold, dark nights, red wine and snuggly knits make for the perfect Autumn night in. 

One of those nights chez nous last night - The Husband had gone to the rugby club with his brother in laws to watch the rugby (both of whom were sporting Irish tops - I wonder how long it's going to be before he caves...).  Busy day - I subjected The Husband to Ikea (revenge is sweet) and we came home with desks for the boys.  Which the 8yr old built last night, all by himself.  Lego is so yesterday's toy.... The joy of a hyper logical little boy with ASD means that Ikea flat pack is his dream come true. 


Beige thin knit top - Zadig & Voltaire
Grey and beige jersey blazer - Zara
Paint splattered khakis - Zara
Taupe suede Oxford Brogues - Seven Boot Lane
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe

And here I am in my cardigan purchase for this season.  At rugby today and then a couple of hours on the clubhouse balcony afterwards for what is surely the last sunny day of the season.  Home to finish the desk making (him again, not us), an afternoon of more rugby watching (I'm over it now) and a big family dinner with our not so little 11yr old back in the fold, after her week away. (too excited here - even the 8yr old asked if we could buy her a Welcome Home card... who are you and what have you done with my child?)


Grey Jumper - Boden
Black Thea jeans - ASOS 
Boucle cardigan - Zara
Dakota charcoal flatforms - Seven Boot Lane
Black Harker hands free bag - Anya Hindmarch 

So the 11yr old has a day off tomorrow and we were going to go with friends to Chessington but the weather looks abysmal so we've decided on the London Dungeon instead.  To be totally honest with you, I don't know who's more excited - me or the kids...... 

Friday, 2 October 2015

All my favourite things...

....from All Saints.  

I used to buy loads and loads from All Saints.  And then I stopped.  I'm not entirely sure why, I assume it's because there just wasn't enough I loved from there.  

And if you stop looking at somewhere, it sort of falls off your radar.   Well, more fool me. 

But fear not, they are back with a vengeance and I am all over them like a dog on deer poo (if you have a dog and live near a park that has deer you will know exactly what I mean.  If you don't - take my word for it that these are the equivalent of kettle chips to dogs). 

The main reason to do that at the moment is that they currently have 20% off everything using the code ENJOY.  And when their prices aren't cheap, this is a hugely welcome discount *flexes credit card*. 

I first thought of them again when I was looking for knitwear to go over my leather leggings.  That didn't pan out for that occasion but still top of my wish list is the Benton Cape.

This I think would be perfect in the Autumn - yes, even now when it's slightly warmer, as it's a lovely thin knit that is perfect for layering. 

Benton Cape was £118 before discount in the mist marl

For me though, it would have to be the grey marl - absolutely adore it.  Now these do look exceptionally voluminous but in fact, the sleeves are fitted all the way up to the oxter (ok so this is under the arm for anyone who doesn't know this weird word.  Please tell me there are a few of you out there who have heard this?  I have spent my life trying to find other people who called it this growing up.... and yes I know you could just say armpit.  But it's OXTER.)  So you could easily wear a loose fitting chunky cardi, cape or heavy coat over the top.  And it's perfect for a thin layer underneath.

Benton Cape in the grey £118

Moving onto coats.  One of my favourite coats is a boiled wool drape front coat from Ronit Zilkah that I have had for about six years.  I completely love it and am going to be beside myself when it finally bites the dust.  I only hope that these are around as they would be the perfect replacement.  For me, these are more than a fashion item.  This is my favourite style of coat that I have been wearing for years.

Paxx Coat £328 in ink

This one again, I would wear pretty much every day.... simply adore.

Roux Coat in black £358

However I've just realised I don't have a khaki coat... (step away from another coat.  Repeat to self.  Step away from another coat) 

Una Coat in Moss £398 How simply stunning is this?

Now I have always had great success with dresses from All Saints.  Three of my dresses that I drag out year after year for special occasions are from All Saints. 

This one is more casual but it's perfect for during the day and then dressing up for night time.  It's dry clean only which would be my only bug bear. 

Laurel Dress in black £168

They also do this in a khaki with vintage floral style embroidery on the collar.  Love this little addition and adore the elastic ruching at the back of the waist.  So incredibly flattering for giving a little shape without hugging the lumps and bumps on the stomach at the front.  Genius. 

Laurel Colt Dress £188

Love the versatility of this one - reminds me of the Reiss dress I had on the blog the other day but is slightly more cosy.  A layered knitted dress you can wear done up with the zip or undone, depending on the look you want.  Two looks for the price of one.

Drina Jumper Dress £158

And my final dress is another knitted number.  In my head this would happily skim over my lumpier middle section (sod you plank - I am going to start doing them again tomorrow..or maybe Monday) and not cling to it like a reception kid on the first day of school.  A girl can dream... and actually, I do think a ribbedish wool can be more flattering than a flat fabric.  That's my theory and I'm sticking with it.  Plus I'm hoping that the drapey top half would float over my muffin as opposed to highlighting it...

Flik Dress in Cinder Marl £148

It will come as no surprise to anyone that my colour for the A/W is (always) black.   Predominantly black especially when it comes to night out outfits.  And the one thing that I am desperate for - and I know lots of other people are too - are tops.  The impossible to find "going out" top.  Blog is coming shortly on that topic, but in the meantime, this one looks like a perfect starter for ten.  I have one that will suffice at the moment.

Elan top in black £78 and goes in the machine   This is going to be a definite yes for me.  Perfect with jeans for a casual night out but the ideal top for over leather leggings or a leather mini skirt.  Amazing.

Another slightly more casual option but still a great addition to your wardrobe - love the idea of the cinder marl with black leather. 

Heny Long Sleeved Tee £48

So what are your thoughts on All Saints?  I definitely think they've come a long way from their, dare I say it, homeless looking styles of way back when.  Their fabrics and their cutting is, I think, amazing and in my wardrobe, their dresses and jackets have really stood the test of the time. 

Top of my wishlist for this A/W at the moment for sure.  Friday night in here and I'm going to be ordering the Benton cape with the 20 % discount definitely.  Just which colour... (I already know it's definitely going to be the Cinder Marl *punches air*)  Oh and the Elan top.  I'm only gutted they only do it one colour.

And to go with these more expensive purchases I have the bargain of the season so far.  I thought my ASOS Thea jeans at £11 and my ASOS pleather jacket at £24 were pretty good going but hold the front page.  £5 pleather joggers from H&M. 

So good, I've worn them two days in a row.


Logo tee - Captain Tortue
Black Pleather joggers - H&M 
Black Tux blazer - Topshop
Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss

And last night for drinks with the girls - wearing the one Winter top I have that works for nights out.


Black crepe top - Zara
Leather leggings - hush
Black fringe ankle boots - Zara

And today an amazing day (with a slightly squiffy head...) in London with the girls.  Breakfast at The Delaunay, followed by the Louis Vuitton Exhibition and then lunch at Les Deux Salons.  Quick hop, skip and a jump back on the train for school pick up and then swimming lessons.  


Black jumper - Tommy Hilfger
Black pleather joggers - H&M
Grey knitted long waistcoat - Primark
Cracked leather Stan Smiths - adidas
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss

Things I have learnt today.  The Louis Vuitton exhibition is slightly random but actually very interesting and if you can get to it, then I'd recommend.  It's free - even the guided tour is free (all run by, we think, male models.. what's not to love?!).  Yes it's one massive LV PR campaign, but fair play to them - beats a double page spread in all the glossies for interest, that's for sure.

And secondly - wearing pleather trousers to watch swimming lessons on a very warm day in a swimming pool that is housed in what is essentially a greenhouse, is moronic.  I honestly thought they were going to be hermetically sealed to my legs when the hour was up.  Still love 'em though.... 

Tomorrow the 11yr old comes home.  WHOOP!  And we are off to Ikea to choose desks for the 7 and 8 yr olds after footie in the morning.  The Husband is out tonight at a Charity Whiskey tasting evening thingy which will be going on till the wee small hours.  He can't WAIT to go to Ikea......snort.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

When something doesn't quite work out.

*&++(**%**** over the knee boots.

This is to be my final comment on the subject of the blasted things. (she says knowing full well that's a lie.  As do all of you.  I apologise now.)  

To cut a long story short - most of these that I've hunted out aren't the best.

I so thought that this season there would be loads of cheaper options around.  Well, there are, but there aren't that many. 

And I'm gutted to report that the ones I tried didn't really work at all.  SOB. 

Right - so starting with the ones from Mint Velvet.  This is the classic pic of when good boots go bad.  See it and weep peeps.

I wanted to love these.  The feeling wasn't mutual.

Black Rachel Suede Boots from Mint Velvet £199

Huge apologies if anyone is eating....yes that is my knee throwing up over the top of the boots which cut off at the most unattractive place imaginable.  Who knew you could get knee muffin?  Gravity's a bitch.


Lordy I am sorry about that... suffice to say my knees are not my best feature...

Now these are slightly longer but they were sold out when I went to try them on - in fact they only had one pair in store (not my size but we measured them against the Rachels) as they're online only.  Back in stock now.  These would actually come over your knee.... 

Grey Hannah boot from Mint Velvet £199

And in the taupe 

And then things started going really wrong.  I had high hopes for these but they were huge on the top of the thigh.  They're supposed to be elastic and fit well but these would start falling down the minute I started walking.  They're be round my ankles within 10 yards.  I know they're cheaper but they just wouldn't be worth my while buying at all.  However I do know that others have them and do love them.

For what it's worth, they were a perfect fit on the foot.  Totally true to size. 

Office Eden Stretch Over the knee boots £110


Next it was off to River Island and I have to say these were one of my favourite boots of the day.   On me they weren't over the knee by any stretch of the imagination but they were really rather gorgeous.

Ah.  Now, to be fair, I've just seen that these are supposed to be knee high and not over the knee.... So in that case they were blooming gorgeous.  Seriously seriously lovely.  But I'm not going to lie - I do have a concern about them slouching down during the day.... which isn't what I'm looking for.  Can you starch suede boots?

Grey Suede Knee high boots £110 - gorgeous low block heel and a divine shade of elephant grey.  Would go with absolutely everything.  

They look so so much better than this in real life. 

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These were over the knee but again, they were simply too baggy on the leg.  I don't think they'd fall down as they're leather which holds its shape much better than leather.  I just looked like I was going fishing in them.  Not in the market for waders.  

Black Leather Over the Knee Boots £100 from River Island  These are really good quality for the money.


Next port of call was Aldo where these looked great.... they admitted in the store they were a total tribute to the Lowlands.  

So here's what they look like. 

Aldo Barra boots £120

And they do look very similar.  And I guess they are similar.  But on me, they're just not quite right.  Dare I say they're just too clunky?


And in the black, again £120

And here they are in the black.  They're just not neat enough, not fitted enough on the leg and a bit billowy.  I'm not sure how long they'd stay up either?  


But they are a gazillion times cheaper than the Lowlands.  Which I stupidly then went and tried on in Russell & Bromley. 

Poo bums.

That was really foolish as I've already tried them on about 30 times both here and in New York.  

Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley Lowlands £595

And here they are on me.  Very difficult to photograph but believe me when I say that these are in a different league (as they should be for this price....)  This is over my skinny jeans - the same bulky jeans that you can really see under the other boots but that somehow disappear under these.  They are truly miracle boots.  SOD IT.


Were I to buy them, the dilemma is would I go for the classic black or the Loden.  (khaki to you and me, which they don't sell at Russell & Bromley any more)

Stuart Weitzman Lowlands in Loden £650

I know.  I know I know I know what you're going to say - buy the boots. 

I just might.  Tomorrow I'm off to Ikea, a desk shopping (again - one down two to go) and am beyond tempted to go via R&B on the way back.  Should I???

So here we are today - I hadn't planned on wearing this all day but err, well... I sort of did.  Went for super long dog walk with one of my best friends and then more homework. (seriously, can you see my halo shining from here?)   


White linen tee - Max Studio
Bat sweatshirt with leather shoulders - Zoe Karssen
Charcoal harems - Toast
Charcoal Dakota flatforms - Seven Boot Lane
Black Harker hands free bag - Anya Hindmarch

Lordy I was comfy.  Tomorrow, off out for the day with a friend (sharing the Ikea misery - actually it's my guilty pleasure if I'm honest....), football and beavers after school and then girls round for drinks and nibbles in the evening.  I had planned on being creative with the nibbles.  I fear that my creativity may lie in the hands of supermarket packets......nachostastic anyone?