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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Have I found my perfect evening shoe already?

I'm thinking no I can't have, as it's August and I have only just started thinking about evening shoes for Winter (well, sort of....)   No in all seriousness, I have just started thinking about donning tights and starting the eternal quest for shoes that you can wear with dresses for nights out that don't make you look like you're going to work or a wedding. 

And (obviously they have to be multi functional....  err hello) that will go with jeans and coated skinnies, dare I say leather trews and do everything bar make tea.  (oh and midi skirts, I forgot my new found love of the midi - the one I have that is)

If I say I've been looking for years and have yet to really find any, then the chances of me having stumbled across a pair by accident isn't high. 

Actually to be fair - I do have a pair of amazing shoe boots from Zara that are now coming up to 5 years old but and it's a big but, the heels are vertiginous.  I almost get a nose bleed when wearing them, they are taxi shoes to say the least.  So as perfect as they seemingly may be and I have worn them to death over the last four years as I have found bob all else to fit the bill, they're not perfect.

And I've been on the hunt for years and found none.  Either too high or too bulky or two frumpy or too just plain old wrong diddly. 

I had in my head (amongst a whole load of other tripe) that I'd love a pair of Aquazzuras.  Which are ridiculously expensive and even then aren't perfect so that was never going to happen. 

This is the sort of thing that I thought I had in mind. 

Sexy Thing Suede Ankle Boots from Aquazzura £465


 Look how fab with a midi ish skirt - can you see where I was going with these?



Or even more preferable but I couldn't even find them in black (admittedly it was a half hearted search at nearly £500....), would be the Belgravias.

Aquazzura Belgravia sandals £495



And to be honest, I hadn't done much else about it.  But shopping today with the 9yr old (school shoes done - Clarks, hats off, you were amazing.  I reckon less than 10 mins in and out, everyone happy, shoes bought and Superdry School bag done - bought by herself with saved up pocket money.  Can't think where she gets it from), we happened to see these in the window of Nine West. 

Be still my beating heart. 

Nine West Jaiden in black ponyskin £125


And here they are.  These were the last ones left in my size and looking at this pic I am totally and utterly kicking myself for not having bought them. DAMN THIS SHOPPING BAN.  

They are the perfect heel height for every day and for being able to stand up all night.  Not too high and not too low.  But, as the lovely SA agreed - they look like high heels.  What on earth is there not to love about them.  AND they're not that expensive.  Ok so they're not cheap but when you think how versatile they could be, they're really not too bad at all. 

Dare I say - dare I say I actually prefer them to the Aquazzuras?  


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Alternatively there are the flat Aquazurra options which are the fashionistas favourite (no, these haven't quite reached the home counties yet - don't know about where you are?) and fortunately I can't indulge as a) they've sold out more than a sold out thing and b) I have my Hobbs Delphine shoes which aren't the same but are too similar. 


And thanks to lovely Alex at The Frugality I've seen these at New Look which are an amazing tribute/absolute rip off of the Belgravias.  Alas they have nothing similar in a heel at all.  BOO.




Still have to do a trawl of the High Street to see what other options we have as I clearly can't have peaked so early...... And I can't even believe I'm thinking of tights already.  I was a Brownie - always be prepared.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. 

So I also got to do a good old try on of the wrap coats/dressing gowns that I featured yesterday.  All will be revealed tomorrow. 

Glorious to see the sunshine back - making the most of being able to wear my espadrilles which I have been so so so pleased with. 

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Silky vest - Cos
Silk Scarf jacket - Zara
Straight leg distressed jeans turned up - Zara
Champagne and silver espadrilles - Penelope Chilvers 
Tan bag - Prada
Stone necklace - Anthropologie 

Tomorrow I am dog sitting for one of my best friends.  This will be interesting to say the least.......

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nightwear you can leave the house in.

Because if Jaeger sell it - the epitome (to me anyway in my former city working days) of grown up chic - then it can definitely be classed as proper outer wear.  Actually to be fair, it was Joseph who first ignited my love of all things that look like dressing gowns.  

And that's what we're talking about today - the dressing gown that's a coat. 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, rather than me yabbering on and not describing it remotely accurately, here's a pic. 

Joseph Double Cashmere Lisa Coat £695 



Yes, in a moment of delirium earlier, I did actually contemplate changing my name to Lisa just so I could justify a coat purchase. 

But fear not.  That ludicrous idea needn't happen as I have come across more than one that are a ton cheaper.  I'm sure they're not going to be as fabulous quality and a couple of my very good friends have the above coat in black and I'll be honest, it has more than lasted the test of time and still looks fabulous on both of them. 

We can in fact blame Angelina Jolie for this blog.  Random I appreciate but in my infinite wisdom I decided not to send the two boys to football camp this morning and thought that the cinema would be a better idea, taking the 7yr old's best friend as well.  And as riveting as Maleficent was, I couldn't help but think about my new leather midi skirt and what coat would work with it for the A/W (I know I know but the adverts were dull and I'm weird). 

It got me to thinking that I had seen online a couple of gorgeous coats that would work - those of the dressing gown variety.  Now I've always shied away from them - particularly the Joseph one and to be honest, the eye watering price tag hasn't helped. 

But being thick of middle, I'm not great with belted coats.  I feel that if don't have a waist, all belting it in the middle does, is highlight the fact I go straight up and down with no shape.  

However I do think that the drape of the coat and the slight pulling in at the back with the weight of the belt may very well look fab over a midi skirt.  It is my mission tomorrow when I go out with the 9yr old (the boys are definitely definitely going to football tomorrow - we do now so need some space from each other!) to see if my theory remotely works. 

In the meantime though, throughout the rest of the film (which is excellent by the way) I had managed to recall where I had recently seen a couple of gorgeous camel and grey coats in this style - Jaeger and Mango.   Also reminding me that they were an exact replica of the Joseph Lisa that I have loved for so long. 

Here is the Jaeger one:-

Double Faced Wool coat in camel £399



They also do it in Berry (and black) 



Special mention goes to the beauties at Mango.  These look amazing.  Then again, I will say that Mango have developed the most exquisite website and so most things look gorgeous.  But then again last season, loads of things were.  I shall do a show and tell tomorrow - can't wait to go and have a touch and feel of all their new season stuff.

Lapels wool-blend Coat in light grey £119.99


In dark grey £119.99


And in camel.  Swoon.  (also love this sweater and shall be hunting this down tomorrow - all in the interests of research) 


Another more substantial version that I found was at Oasis. 

Oasis Textured Long Black belted Coat £98





I have to say - with some reticence - bobbling coat from last year still very much on my mind - I am going to have to try the Zara one.  But I fear if it does bobble, in this style it will look like I have slept in it.  Literally. 

Long coat £159.99



Ignoring the shoes that I am drawn to still but am staying firm on Not. Buying.....

So tomorrow I get to go to a real live shop with real live clothes.  Ooh I could crush a grape. 

To say we all have cabin fever is rather an understatement - I'm not even going to mention the weather.  Suffice to say I'm officially over it. 

On the upside I get to wear some of my favourite clothes from last season.  Oh with my new Jalouse boots.

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Navy and white top - Whistles 

Real Straight jeans - Gap
Boiled wool emerald green coat - Zara
Beige Jalouse boots - Ash

All I'm going to say is please let it stop raining...... But whilst we're on the subject of all things cosy - coats that look like dressing gowns.   Yay or nay?

Monday, 25 August 2014

When I say tassels and fringes...

....you would be forgiven for thinking that I had perhaps lost my mind to the rain, cabin fever and children and had decided a blog on pole dancing outfits was on the agenda but no. 

I'm in shoe mode.  Partly shoes on the brain as I have yet to subject myself and my credit card to the horror that is School Shoe Shopping for all three kids (I genuinely feel slightly sick thinking about it.  There really is absolutely zero upside to that escapade is there?) 

Clearly I'm not talking sandals here.  Nope I am talking full on shoes - yup we are firmly cemented in all things Autumnal as I sit here typing listening to the rain lashing down.  Even the iPhone weather app has given up and just thrown in 100% chance of rain.  All Day.

And apparently it's going to do the same tomorrow.  Well - after nearly three weeks of 24/7 with my kids, as much as I adore them, with not even 10 mins on my own, I will admit I can't WAIT to send the two small boys off to football camp tomorrow morning.  One on their own is as much as I feel I can handle right now! 

In the meantime however, I am absurdly and unjustifiably smug with myself that I haven't bought anything.  However, I have itchy fingers to say the least and planning on my A/W wardrobe is a great distraction (from me screaming at a child as another nerf bullet/foam football/trashpack small creature smacks me on the head)

And I was looking back through my photos on my phone and hey presto, I had totally forgotten (fickle, moi?) about these shoes I had papped from a Grazia in the hairdressers yonks ago. 

Now I got a lot of wear last year out of my loafers and Oxford lace ups and it seems that flat shoes are THE shoes to be seen in this season - or at the very least ones with a demi heel (do you like my made up heel height?  I think it works...) 

I'm not entirely sure I can justify a pair - I can tick the tassels box (things you never thought you'd type) with my navy Chester loafers from Russell & Bromley and the bargain sales leopard print and black patent loafers from Zara (I would not have paid full price for plastic - no way jose). 

Anyway, these are what has got me all of a flutter and put the cat amongst the shoe pigeons.


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I've never heard of this brand before and no, they're not cheap but boy do they have some gorgeous shoes.  Here they are online.

Primo Amore White Studs from Portamento store £179




Primo Amore Taupe £179 from Portamento  Also love this colour.



Or another gorgeous option in white and gold £179.99




I had mentioned before that I like the idea of white shoes with darker Autumnal colours and if you're thinking of trying out the look then these from ASOS are perhaps a better bet than the more expensive Portamento ones.  No they're not nearly as nice in my opinion but they're an amazing buy for the money and certainly look a lot more expensive.  A real classic actually with a fringe and a tassel - two for the price of one.  When you see what the others cost, you realise what a great bargain these are.

ASOS Marathon Leather loafers in white £35


They also do them in a grey which may be slightly less out of our comfort zones....£35



Tasselled Moccasin loafers from Zara £49.99 in navy (although they're not leather.... Zara, come on... £50 for non leather shoes?)



We can however rely on Clarks to come up with a classic and love the twist here with the dark green. 

Busby Folly in Dark Green £69.99 (is it me or have Clarks put their prices up...?)


They also do a rather striking black patent leather, again £69.99


My favourite flat shoe from Clarks though, has to be the Hotel Chic which sold out last year - yup, totally sold out, so if you like it, nab it.  

Hotel Chic in Interest Leather (someone got bored of thinking up exotic names when it came to describing leather here...) £65




If you're looking for heels than there are some in the sale now at Portamento.  I absolutely love these.  Perfect for work and play (if you don't mind tottering around in heels for play - certainly great for a lunch or date night!) 

Portamento Camilla were £189 now £151.20





But the surprise of the season so far for me, is the from Clarks in Oxblood.  I honestly think if you said these were from Anthropologie or Plumo, or even my newly found Portamento - I'd believe you. 

Blues Melody in Oxblood leather £79.99



And they also do it in a Black Combi leather too.  Love the contrasting heel on these.  In fact, I prefer these to the oxblood ones. 





So how do we feel about manly shoes?  I know you're either a yay or a nay and never the twain shall meet, but they do seem to be more prolific every season.  The choice this A/W is endless - classic loafers and those with a slight twist above, to your traditional brogues and those that have just a nod to the original.  Pointed for example - ooh now pointed shoes.  Well that's a whole 'nother blog for another day.  Oh wait, I'll have to go and look at more shoes?  Gutted I tell you, gutted. 


For the time in forever (yes I have been listening to Frozen on loop.  Actually I will confess, this may be by choice now - even the kids have started saying - oh mum, no, not Let it Go again....) it was too wet to even contemplate trying to stand outside to take a photo so I resorted to bribing, this time the 6yr old to sit on a stool to take the photo.  Hence the blur.. bless him. 

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Bat sweatshirt - Zoe Karssen
Khaki linen cargo pants - Topshop
Chocolate leather jacket - All Saints
Black ponyskin skater shoes - Next 

I am now off to do bathtime and then retire with a large glass of red wine followed by a homemade curry (by homemade I mean courtesy of Patak's and Rachel's Coconut yog - honestly divine and offensively easy) and try to get my head around the fact that it truly does look like Autumn may have arrived.  

Sunday, 24 August 2014

If you held a gun at my head...

............. and asked me to write my A/W list then this would be it. (oh GO ON THEN)

Also known as The First Draft, this is where we all start (well, me anyway) to panic.  Shops are full of things of much gorgeousness.  But, do you peak early or do you play seasonal roulette and hold out for even better stuff that floods the stores in early October and onwards.  Or will you have missed out on your perfect coat, jeans, jumper or boots as nothing else is quite as perfect as those ones you spied in August but they've now sold out and you can't get anything as good for love nor money. 

Of course this is all highly irrelevant to me as I am on a spending ban and so absolutely nothing shall be crossing my credit card until September.  And dare I mention it, I had a rather random notion the other day of continuing it into September.  

Yes you read that right, September.  This may of course be that I have come home from holiday with a Ryanair sized suitcase which would normally last me for a weekend and I made it last (ok so I had a couple of extra woollies sent) for a fortnight.  And my wardrobe seems like an Aladdin's cave.  

Plus the weather does seem to have turned and as I've been wearing shorts and skirts (something I never thought I'd type) for months, all my jeans, jacket and scarves look as enticing as a whole set of new goodies.  

However, when has this ever stopped me window shopping... This is *merely* window shopping but, like I said, if you held a gun at my head and literally forced me to make a short list then this is what I've come up with.

Starting as I mean to go on - a leather coat.  Now yes, hole, head springs to mind, but.... well I love it.  I really really REALLY love it.  I may have to try it on, just to prove to myself that it's vile.  And to be fair, I would be really reticent at spending this much on anything from Zara where the quality is on a par with what I'd expect from Primark (saying that, I haven't bought anything from Primark for years but their quality was always as good as Zara for significantly less money) 

But I wore my camel coat to death last year.  And unfortunately it looks like it - to say it hasn't worn well is an understatement.  So I don't exactly *need* a replacement, but..... 




Whilst I was there, I also happened to spy the white leather trainers.  Humble pie on tap if you please, I know I said I was over the trainers but, volte face Queen I am, coming into the A/W, I have been eyeing up my little navy New Balance thinking - there may be life in the old/new dog yet.  I can definitely see how, with an oversized coat, these will work like they did at the back end of last Winter, early into Spring. 

However it's also made me think about the good old tennis shoe.  Oh I know they're Stan Smith rip offs but they are rather classic.  And I do like the fact they don't have a brand to them (something I never thought I'd write..... go figure.  I think it's because I've loved my patent fugly sliders from Zara so much and have, randomly, loved the fact they're not Birkies.  Even though they do have a definite Birkie look about them, actually they are very different.  Ok, differentish)



Of course there is the original which you can now buy and customise.  If you can fathom out or have the patience for the website that is.  Admittedly my broadband speed is the slowest thing known to man and I will try again later (again, in the interests of research) but it's a fancy website (god I sound like my nan) that gives you the hugest selection of classic Stan Smiths and allows you to add whistles and bells too. 

Here is the whole range to look at and salivate over (or get confused)

These took my fancy - maybe slightly easier to wear than white white in the A/W?  Love the texture of the leather as well. 

Oh and if you order them from the adidas website, it seems to give you a chance for 15% off your first order (seems to be a little pop up that well, pops up on opening the site)

adidas Stan Smith Shoes in Chalk White £70



Also very much like the black pair (I'm on a roll now....) I saw these somewhere with white laces and they looked exceptionally cool (this is in my world - this is not something I have any real knowledge of whether black with white laces is cool or on the verge of exceptionally naff..... Hell, who cares, I thought they looked fab).  Actually, stuff the Zara ones, I definitely want black.

Ah but one thing I have learned recently is that the men's sizing does come up large so it's probably worth sizing down half a size if you're buying a men's pair.  I assume the women's are the same as normal (I actually have no idea...)

adidas Stan Smith in black - £70  



Or in the silver.....



Now following on from my black and blue colour combo blog the other day, I've not been able to stop thinking about a crew neck, thin knit (ideally merino wool) jumper.   I haven't done an exhaustive search but I did come across this one which, actually for the Autumn is super useful. 



And the only one I could find in my swift look was this one - prefer the men's jumpers for sure but might try this on in a larger size than usual.  Love the colour and it is the ideal fabric - excellent value for the price as I always say. 






Whilst we're on the subject of jumpers, I happened to come across this yesterday when I was looking at the Me+Em site (oh it was impossible just to look at the shirts) and I have fallen in love with this beauty. 

Colourblock Crew Jumper in navy/grey/almond £88




Finishing with the final piece of my outfit - not that I had intended this to be a one outfit wishlist, but actually it does seem that it's headed that way.  And hey ho, I am approaching yet again the thorny subject of jeans. I shall be doing my usual muffin test of what is on the High Street shortly but I came across these and totally fell in love.  

I only hope they're sightly looser than they look here as I definitely don't want more skinny jeans (this doesn't bode well really, does it but I'm loving the idea)  The patch jeans have been very popular - I myself love my bargain pair from Mango but I'm not sure I recall seeing a looser pair.  Prays to the god of looser jeans that these do what they say on the tin. 

Levi's Made & Crafted 501 Boyfriend jeans £110 from Atterley Road  (sign up to AR emails for a discount)   And randomly the only other place to get hold of these that I could find (including Levi's themselves) was House of Fraser - a couple more sizes in stock there.


To be honest, the more I think about it, the more I realise that I don't really need any new jeans.... Ugh.  What a horrible realisation.  Clearly must try harder.  There *must* be one sort that I don't have... Actually coated.  New coated skinnies in black or even leather (per chance pleather) are definitely definitely on my want/wish/must have list. 

Sneaking in at the end whilst we're on the subject of leather jeans and black - remember my black and blue idea?  Take the above wishlist jeans and throw on another pale blue coat (that I may love more than the other one from the other blog... the Hetty from Hobbs - sorry) and voila - the final item on my Draft One Wishlist.  And it's cheaper (even from My Wardrobe!) 

By the way, I haven't included the jeans as they're £695 which isn't even Wish List material - that's Lottery Win fodder. 

Maison Scotch Single breasted belted coat £260



It comes with a free belt and a free bracelet (slightly random but who's bothered?)  




I can't imagine anyone is going to be hugely surprised when I say that compilation of this list wasn't exactly difficult.  What was difficult was narrowing it down to a shortlist.  But, as I say, this is Draft One.   One of the reasons I do like doing these - apart from the fact it's like free shopping, only minor detail being you end up with zero - is to see if in one month/two months time you would still put the same things on your list. 

And if you would, then you know they are meant to be.  

Obviously they'll be sold out though. (other minor/slightly major flaw in my master plan.....)

Finishing with outfits from the last couple of days - I can't believe that this was only Thursday.  Seems like a total lifetime ago already.  Sob.

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Collingwood Jumper - Hush
Saxby jeans - ASOS 
Linen scarf - Zara
White sliders - River Island 

And on Friday - 7yr old took this, his patience isn't the best so it was one photo and then he fled.  As you can see he was part flee when taking the photo hence the blur.... 

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Too much love will kill you tee - Zoe Karssen
Midnight boucle jacket - Zara
Paint splattered khakis - Zara
Leopard print skate shoes - Next 
Black diego bag - Alexander Wang

And yesterday - home at last and out for lunch with the family.

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Silk leopard print top - Clements Ribeiro 
Turned up jeans - Rock & Republic 
Cream boucle jacket - Massimo Dutti
Champagne & silver espadrilles - Penelope Chilvers 
Tan bag - Prada

So spill the beans - my list is by no means definitive - couldn't be further from it - but it's a start.  However it can always be added to..... for the purposes of research... SPILL - what's on yours?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Oh please be September already...

Erm. 

So no, I haven't caved.  But.... I may have to.  The only reason and THE only reason is that they are such a good deal and I have wanted them all year and they would be so perfect for the Autumn and they will only go up in price if I don't get them. 

I loved my shirts last year however I did not love ironing them.  At. All. 

So these layering shirts from Me+Em in a jersey, which I featured once or twice last year are, to me, a no brainer.  A must for everyone and anyone who is planning on wearing a shirt under a jumper or sweatshirt this A/W.  I'm thinking of jumper dresses with these underneath as they're far less bulky than a normal shirt.  And did I mention they'd need marginal (which to me means no) ironing? 

They're now in the sale - they are ridiculously reduced and at this price, I couldn't not do a swifty blog on them.  Ok so I'm thinking these count as basics which means they "don't" count.  I also need to buy a new hoover and a new microwave and in my book, I'm thinking these are about as exciting a purchase as those, surely?  I mean, you couldn't wear these on their own really, they're only actually suitable for layering so that practically makes them underwear.  Which definitely doesn't count as a purchase and therefore doesn't break any spending ban......

Right?........

Layering Shirt in White was £68 now £20.40



And in white and chambray with 80% off - this would be just perfect under navy, black, white or grey. 

Layering Shirt in white and chambray was £68 now £13.60




And this one - well who doesn't need a staple white shirt to go under a black or navy blazer.  The perfect foil for a print jacket for the Autumn.  As ideal with jeans and trainers for the day and dressed up for the evening over capri pants or tucked into a leather skirt. 

Jersey Tuxedo Shirt in White at 70% off - was £98 now £29.40 



And whilst you're there, don't blame if you go and have a look at the rest of their new stock.  I bought a Swing dress from there last year which I cannot wait to wear again.  Excellent quality although not the cheapest.  But mine is a unique and timeless style and was my Christmas Day dress so I felt justified. 

Last couple of photos from hols - actually only one as I'm late for lunch. 
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Breton top - H&M
Midnight boucle jacket - Zara
Saxby boyfriend jeans - ASOS
White sliders - River Island 

We're off to lunch now - new Thai restaurant which we're rather obsessed with and then I need to sleep.  I also need to not be near my children for a while.  Two weeks 24/7 with them has finally taken its toll - I won't lie - the journey on my own *almost* finished me off, only to get home and find that The Husband's lunch had overrun.  Till 11pm....... You can all hear me running for my credit card now, can't you?