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Friday, 21 November 2014

And the floodgates have opened.

Bring on the glitter.  I don't mean the tinsel variety but I could maybe go a sparkly jumper right now.  The Husband came home yesterday bearing gifts of stollen slices from M&S (are they better than the mini stollen from Lidl?  Well in my expert experience as a stollen connoisseur, my advice would be if you are a marzipan fiend then the M&S ones are for you as there is a swamp of almond delight in the middle of them.  The Lidl ones are bitesize - which isn't great for portion control or of course that could be just my non-existent willpower and have more of a hint of marzipan about them as opposed to a full on frangipane whack around the head)

Haven't got stuck into the Mulled wine yet (and I have to say, Lidl Gluwein laced with extra booze is rather good), am saving that for tomorrow night and my Hunger Games movie marathon with the 10 yr old.

But after my sequin frenzy yesterday and today, getting into the whole Christmas spirit marzipan-ing and icing cakes for the Christmas Fair, I'm now all focussed on the Christmas jumper. 

I have looked at the slightly more comedic Christmas numbers which may float some people's boats but personally, I'm more magpie about the whole metallic knitwear affair and love a sparkly number. 

Bring on the bronze, silver and gold, bring on the sequins, you can keep your Reindeer pics and comedy jobs, I'm now thinking of ones that I can wear out to the pub for a Christmas night out. 

No need to add jewellery with this one.  Love it with the leather leggings here, would also look fab teamed with a leather or pleather skirt or just throw on jeans for a more casual look.

Sportmax Code Feritos Flat Paillettes flower Jumper now £81 was £135  At My Wardrobe which still has 40% off EVERYTHING.  I honestly daren't look properly. (ok maybe I will tomorrow)  Found this as I love all things Sportmax.

How great do these look with a skirt? 

Sportmax Code Feritos Brushed Cotton Embellished Jumper now £81 was £135

A jumper with personality.... you won't get ignored with this, it could have its very own postcode. 

2nd DAY Glitz sequin jumper now £114 was £190 

Slightly less Lazytown is this one from Religion at ASOS.  Ok when I say less Lazytown, I am assuming you're not going to wear them with the matching trousers...... (which on their own with a plain black top would be fabulous)

Religion Woven Sequin Jumper Co-ord £75

But if you're after something slightly more conservative then M&S don't disappoint.  Don't forget the 20% off using the code NOV14EM 

Long Sleeve Sequin Embellished Tunic £35 pre discount in Deep Purple (this makes me giggle)

And in black 

The other option to sequin (and this is very very similar to the silver jumper I have) is a metallic jumper.

This one from New Look looks like an absolute bargain at this price.  I know I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with my (lack of) pleather jeans or trousers but I think these would be a perfect match for them.  Actually you may notice that most of these have a pleather or leather bottom of some description adorning the legs.

Black Foil Ombre Jumper £22.99

A silver version is available from True Decadence for an absolute bargain at £12

Love this shade of almost pale bronzey gold. (they also do it in a burgundy and a black) 

Vero Moda Shell Pink Glitter Jumper £26 at New Look.

A fluffy version at Warehouse

Warehouse Sparkle Jumper £32

Again at New Look but this time, a plain jumper with some sequin detail added on. 

Navy Embellished Cluster Jumper now £20.50

More subtlety at ASOS - I love the colour of this.  Something slightly refreshing about the paleness of it against a see of full on glamour and glitz.  This with faded jeans for Boxing Day would be a sure fire winner for me.  Or I love the idea of this with grey (or yet again black leather but I think we've established, I'd wear any of these with leather) 

ASOS Jumper with Embellished Neck and Cuff £40 in Nude (if you can zoom in on this, the detailing of the sequins is gorgeous)

However the one I simply cannot stop thinking about and I got a sneak preview of this on an email eons back and I thought ooh.  Now I am Obsessed. 

Zio sequinned turtleneck from By Malene Birger £325  At this price I should probably try and be less obsessed.  (and it's even handwash....... my slight concern is that I might look like Metal Mickey's Gran)

Are you a sparkle fan at Christmas time?  What's your special outfit that screams festive?  I have to say, I do love love love my silver metaliic jumper.  Getting it out tomorrow which will herald the start of the Seasonal Celebrations for me. 

Outfit from yesterday.


Black polo neck jumper - Zara
Tan leather skirt - Zara (which I managed to spill olive oil on doing the kid's tea. It's RUINED!  ARRGGHHH) 
Black opaques - Topshop
Black textured coat - Zara
Leopard print wedges - M&S
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe 

So I'm off out tonight for a dinner party.  Bring on the food - I've also been out for a lovely lunch with girl friends.  Tomorrow I'm going to try and fling to Bluewater in the morning as I have a gazillion things to return and then as I mentioned, I have a date with the 10yr old late afternoon watching both the Hunger Games movies before we go and see the third on Sunday.  We were saying with the girls earlier how much we actually love staying on a Saturday night now that the kids are much better company.  Doesn't stop me loving going out on a Friday night though! 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

It can't be true....

... that's there's only about a month till Christmas.  HOW?  How is that even possible?  Am I the only one who still a) thinks it's sort of the middle of October and b) doesn't feel remotely Christmassey?

But there is no denying that it's round the corner, in fact it's only *really* days away (yes I hate myself for typing that.  You are all obliged to hate me too)

Which means I have to do it.  I have to release the sequins.  We've done sequin trousers but this is perhaps the last opportunity (ok so maybe I'm being slightly overdramatic there...) to look at the sequin dresses. 

These might seem like a bit of an unnecessary luxury but I'd like to disagree.  I would go so far as to say these are a Wardrobe Classic.  Ok so you're not going to wear them to the pub but these are the perfect little dresses to have tucked away to drag out for those super special occasions.  Which can easily include Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.  These work as well with ballet flats and opaques for a more casual dress down look as they do for a full on, dressed up to the nines occasion.  

Having said that, some perhaps don't (just thinking of my own personal backless number which is not exactly opening presents around the tree appropriate....). 

But let's start with the ones that do.  And lo and ho ho ho behold, there is another 20% off voucher from M&S.  Code is NOV14EM.

These are eminently wearable every day or for a far more glitzy affair. 

There's also a sleeveless version at Autograph which would take you easily into the Summer. (which is risible seeing as I can't get my head around Christmas yet) 

It doesn't necessarily have to be full on sequins.  There's something very McQueen about this dress with sequin detail from M&S. 

Let the discounts continue and let's take full advantage.  Another quick look at FCUK (I had the Serpent sequin dress from there eons ago which I wore for about 5 years - a total faithful) where they do a great sparkly number. 

This one would last you forever.  Yes it's more expensive but the quality will be in a different league from the M&S one and it's definitely worth getting your 20% off while you can.  Code is NOVFC20.

When I was talking about those dresses that won't really work for a more casual affair - this thing of beauty was the sort of thing I had in my mind.  A work of art. 

On the whole Cosmic bandwagon - this is pure elegance. 

Again if you're looking for something more understated with just a little bit of embellishment, there is a real 20's offering at FCUK. 

Clearly the whole party thing isn't working for the retailers as Atterley Road also have 20% off their party edit until Friday night.  Don't mind if we do.  Code is PARTY20.

For a start, they have the gorgeous Cosmic FCUK Midi dress in black.  Which is slightly less Moulin Rouge than the gold one (don't get me wrong - I love a bit of full on glamour - it would have to be gold all the way for me) 

Obviously it would be rude not to mention the dresses at Mango as they still have their 40% off two items until Nov 23.  30% off if you buy just one item using the code 6DISCOUNT for both.

Now if you find most dresses are too long for you, then Mango is the place to look.  For short dresses as they are super short.  But then wouldn't it be dull if you could rely on a brand for consistent sizing, so they've done us all a favour and have made their long dresses super super long.  Go figure.

And hey presto with the super long (and super glam - again, this isn't one for peeling sprouts in) 

Discounts are this year's gifts that keep on giving.  Let's not forget the 25% off at Boden and that makes a big difference when you're looking at some of their more expensive statement dresses. (code is A54H)

Another less full on version in a navy - an unusual colour for Christmas.  Love the festive nod here. 

Wow Party Dress £199 (this is new so there are all sizes left which I can't say about so much Boden stuff.  I am still lamenting those pewter metallic jeans.....) 

Finishing with one which isn't sequin but I'm flinging it in as it's metallic.  Navy and gold.  Utterly stunning, this is so so so not me but there is something about it I love.  It has a fantastic 60's vibe to it (plus I have gold shoes which would look amazing....) 

Are you treating yourself to a new party dress this season?  Are you a sequin fiend like me?  What's your favourite dress look for Christmas?   Do not worry if you're not a dress person. I have some more Christmas sparkle up my sleeve but in a much smaller dose.  You're not going to get away that lightly.......

Finishing with my outfit from yesterday. 


White collar - Cos
Navy Jumper - Uniqlo
Patch jeans - Mango
Check coat - Hobbs
White leather tennis shoes - Zara
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe 

Tomorrow I shall be icing 80 Christmas cakes (not on my own....!) for the school Christmas fair and then out for a lovely lunch with some of my best friends.  Can't wait.  It has been a long week.... Ooh and then a dinner party at friends' tomorrow night.  Should be a good one (I feel some more dresses coming on.....) 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The boots I couldn't make work

We're talking about the classic Chelsea boot.  I love the idea of these - the bringing up to date of a timeless piece of footwear.  These work really well with our skinny jeans that I'm sure most of us have oodles of in our wardrobe, teamed with a slim fitting longline coat or peacoat.  I think they look great with boyfriend jeans, continuing the masculine theme with a mannish blazer on top.  You could even wear with a skirt... I'm thinking perhaps A line above the knee, little jumper and drapey loose coat.

The classic ones are great but awww lord, they didn't love me.  I tried on so so many as I think they are such a great addition to a wardrobe in being able to wear some more on trend pieces.  Classic boot plus quirky coat = great outfit. 

Except that I looked like Max Wall in them.  However thanks to the wonderful people at Penelope Chilvers, I have found a twist on the trend that works perfectly for me.  I mentioned Penelope Chilvers on the blog in the Summer when they asked if I'd try a pair of their leather espadrilles and since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength.  They've opened their second stand alone store opposite Selfridges on Duke Street, their shoes and boots have been seen on the Duchess of Cambridge, Alexa Chung and a host of Fashion Editors and other celebs.  And now little old me!  I have discovered my perfect version of the Chelsea boot which they sent me and I am loving.

The Cubana boot in Conker £299

No they're not cheap but the leather is like butter, the detailing is exquisite and you won't find the same thing lining the shelves of the High Street.  It's rare to find a pair of boots that are a classic but are still unique. 


It was a toss up between the Conker and the Black but I don't have a pair of brown leather boots in my wardrobe so choosing these was a no brainer.  

The Cubana Boot in black £299

There do also do a classic Chelsea boot too online in a range of more traditional colours but I love the navy suede at £269.

Whilst the Cubana work for me - I think because of the little heel and because they're not super flat - there are still some flatter ones out there that I think are great. 

And handily, if you are in the market for boots or shoes then Clarks currently has 20% off all women's shoes and boots if you spend over £70, using the code BOCT14.

These are from the Orla Kiely range and are that little bit different. 

Orla Daphne £160

A pointy version may work better for some, these almost have a 60's vibe... hmmm or maybe they're slightly more 80's?  Whichever they're definitely more ladylike than the more traditional boot that I think has a rather masculine vibe (I'm not going to say Max Wall again but....) 

Lolly Dawson in Taupe Suede £57

Speaking of classic - fear not, I present you with the Mariella Busby from Clarks in black leather £80

If you can't decide between a brogue and a Chelsea Boot then Clarks have solved your problem with the Hamble Maze in black at £79.99

I love the cuban heel of the Cubana boots I have (the clue is in the title....) but there are lots of options which also have a heel, however they're a block heel. 

H by Hudson Bronte Chelsea Ankle Boots £160

M&S are on form this season with their leather boots and the Chelsea Boot is no exception with a great block heel version in patent. 

Leather Chelsea Boots with Insolia £69

Also in a black patent, again £69

More Oxblood available at Whistles - Bryton Oxblood flat Chelsea Boot £160

And finishing with my left field pair of not so classic Leopard print non leather ones from Monki.  How cute are these?

Monki Selina Leopard Print Chelsea Boots £40

So have you succumbed to Chelsea Boots yet in the ankle boot department?  Do you have the same problem as me with the Max Wall/golf club effect (and I don't even have feet that big).  If you do, I can highly recommend a pair with a slightly higher heel. 

Here I am in them from yesterday - love this outfit.  

Camel and navy jumper - M&S
Navy dress coat - H&M
Distressed skinnies - Zara
Cubana boots in conker - Penelope Chilvers 
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe 


Great day today at my Annie Sloan painting course with three fab friends.  I simply cannot wait to get cracking on more housey projects.  Put it this way, if it's not nailed down, I shall be painting it.  Actually even if it is, I'll give it a good old go.  Anyone else mastered the Annie Sloan chalk paint gig?  Top of my list of things that must be done are 14 dining chairs, a small kitchen table, two lamp tables, a whole host of mirrors, two steamer chairs and a wardrobe that's so stupidly large we can't even get it out of a bedroom so I'm going to have to just paint it and make it 6yr old boy appropriate.  Not much then..... (I shan't be doing any of this in my new boots..!) 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Breaking us in gently

To the Christmas Frock. 

So.  I'm sure no-one will remember but I *may* have said that I didn't need a new dress this season.  There's no easy way of saying this.  I lied. 

I honestly hadn't planned on buying a new one but..... well, when we were moving bedrooms around, I came across a pair of fuchsia stilettos that I had bought for my hen do from Zara.  This was 11 years ago so this makes them vintage.  They are fabulous.  Yet I have not a lot of fuchsia in my wardrobe (read none) 

Couple this with a Kenzo dress that I had my eye on (literally - it was an Eye dress from last Winter) but couldn't justify getting.  Plus I knew it was ridiculously short so would have been rubbish (the fact it was £200 plus even in the sale may have had more/everything to do with it...) 

And then I saw this dress from Boden.

Eliza Dress was £99 but with the code A54H you can still get 25% off (and it works on EVERYTHING!) 

It arrived and it's perfect.  I love love love LOVE it.  Now I haven't taken a photo of me in it but suffice to say it is great.  I got it in the long and it's still short enough to be cool but not short enough to be indecent.  I promise you, it wouldn't look out of place on Matches or My Wardrobe.

I'm also still loving my Felsted Shirt Dress from Baukjen (earmarked to wear again to a Christmas lunch on Friday) - in fact, on my recent shopping trips, there are a fair few print dresses that I've thought "they'd be super useful".  My plan is to wear them for up and coming dinners I've got and of course there is the Christmas Day and New Year's Eve Dress dilemma for which I need some options.

So, whilst I am the ultimate LBD fan and have a huge soft spot for all things sequin (oh do I have some gems for you coming up shortly), there is definitely room for print dresses in my wardrobe. 

Others that I've seen on my travels include this properly fabulous one from Autograph at M&S. 

This is honestly A.Mazing.  Think DVF for around the £50 mark.  This would work on anyone - if you don't have shape it gives you shape, if you are lucky enough to be well endowed, then this would flatter.

Twisted Front Animal Print Bodycon Dress from Autograph £55


Whilst we're on the subject of animal print (and heaven's knows I love a bit of leopard or snake). I think this one, you could dress up dress down particularly well. 

Animal Print Jacquard Tunic Dress - £35 also from M&S a hint of the A McQueen's about it for me.

This one is a pale pink and black and would be super flattering, I've seen it instore. 

Floral Scuba Bodycon Dress £59 also from Autograph at M&S (it's much much prettier in real life)


Another floral print which I saw that I loved (yes I might just have had my pink shoes in mind....) was this from Alice Temperley at John Lewis. 

Somerset by Alice Temperley Winter Floral Silk Dress £160 (it may be silk but it's machine washable.....)

A beautiful Boho number which would work perfectly for a dinner party or during the day with biker or knee high tan or black boots, also from Temperley. 

Somerset by Alice Temperley floral print dress £130 (now randomly this one is 100% viscose but personally I'd hand wash it)

It has pockets.  Enough said.

Bargain of the day though, has to be this animal print dress, yet again from Temperley.  I have eyed this up on more than one occasion and it's fabulous.  However, whichever way I try and skin the cat, it's just too similar to my Felsted Shirt dress. 

Somerset by Alice Temperley Animal dress in camel was £99 now £69 (and yes, it goes in the machine *fist pump*)

Actually I say that was the bargain of the day - call off the dogs, this is.  I have eyeballed this dress more than once, again it would work for any shape, giving you what God didn't.  I've had this on the blog before but it's obviously now become old stock as they're making way for more glitzy Christmas numbers. 

Coast Estra Print Dress was £85 now £55

Actually if you thought these were bargains then I must just mention that My Wardrobe currently has 40% off everything.  Which is unreal.  This is normally their best offer in the sales so it's quite unbelievable that they're giving this much off already. 

And there are some really lovely print dresses it's worth taking a squiz at. (I'm not going to mention the bags.  Or boots - Ash & Uggs galore.... I know what I'm doing when I finish typing this up.  No code required, it's already on the price so no need to attempt to do those sums in your head.

Michael Michael Kors Wrap Printed Long sleeve dress was £140 now £96  

Helmut Lang Ressid Print Jersey Dress was £250 now £150  I love this.  Absolutely love it.  If I could be bothered to fake tan my arms in the Winter.  Which I can't.

I'm keeping all mention of sequins till another day BUT if you are after the green sequin trousers from the other day from FCUK, then Christmas has come early with the code NOVFC20 giving you 20% off all stock. 

And whilst I was looking at the trousers, I also saw a number of print dresses which were surprisingly, even at full price, cheaper than I had expected.  With 20% off, these are really great.  All prices are pre discount.

Stable Jacquard Dress £69 - ideal if full on colour and print is not your bag.  This is a much more subtle option.  And it would still carry you well into the Spring with a pair of black sandals.  (she's clearly brave enough to wear them into the Winter.  I'm not.)

Another dress with very clever draping and ruching which again is much more flattering than a straight cut jersey job.  And yet again, this one has seasonal staying power and would work easily on holiday in the Summer. (or at home for that matter)

Calliope Printed Jersey Dress £75 FCUK

Finishing with Chris De Burgh's favourite - a red dress.  I love the waistband and draped skirt which is ideally suited to both those with a waist as it flatters and gives some definition to those who don't have one (me) 

Wildcat Long Sleeved Dress from FCUK £60 (this is before the 20% off - I could have sworn FCUK was much more expensive than this....)

I haven't touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to print so I will be back in the next couple of weeks with more. 

Finishing with my outfit from yesterday.  Not a print dress but my favourite print jeans from last year. 


Black polo neck with zip back - Zara
Leopard print jeans - Great Plains
Black buckle boots - Toga Pulla 
Black drape front boiled wool coat - Ronit Zilkha 
Black Faridah bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs

Tomorrow I shall be sporting new boots.  A trend I have finally finally conquered.  YES.  Oh and I'm going on my painting course.  Which makes a change from yet another trip to Ikea which I had to do today (seriously I could have it as my specialist subject on Mastermind).  And the sun is supposed to be shining.... What could be better?