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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If you don't want ordinary....

... then I've got yet another suggestion for you.  Today we're again talking about an item that isn't mainstream.  The ideal addition to your wardrobe if you're bored of your usual run of the mill wardrobe.

Yesterday we had fur stoles.  The perfect antidote to a "dull" uniform of blacks, greys and navys with ne'er a print between them.  

But I appreciate that they're not going to be for everyone and so I have another gem to add to your wardrobe.  This definitely comes under the heading of "extra" to me.  Having said that - most of the ones I've found that I love are a neutral colour and so, to be honest, you will be able to get lots of wear out of them as they should go with the majority of your existing neutrals.  Plus, they're actually pretty versatile.  Perfect for the school run/dogwalk/weekend chilling or for in the evening with jeans and scrummy socks (aka slipper socks stolen from your children... not so scrummy chez moi but certainly warm).  And some of them would work really well for a Christmas lunch/drinks party/casual evening out with a pair of coated skinnies (I may have had to order an extra pair of the New Look ones as I'm wearing them so often I worry I'm going to wear them out.  They are seriously as comfortable as trackie pants).

This time we're letting our jumper do the talking.  No, not a print jumper, not even a logo jumper.  We're talking texture.  Fringing.  Tassel edging.  Call it what you will, it's a frilly addition to an otherwise simple piece of knitwear.

Starting with one that I have been ogling over at Topshop.  This is even more gorgeous in the flesh.

Soft Fringe Hem Jumper from Topshop £42

And a crew neck version - Topshop Textured Fringe Crew Jumper £45

Personally though I prefer the M&S one. 

Fringe Hem Jumper with Wool £38

Now if you are a size 8 - go and buy this immediately.  Absolute bargain.  I have this upstairs and am not entirely sure if I can justify keeping it.  I may well keep it after seeing this pic again though.  Love the idea of it layered over a shirt (outfit for the weekend sorted).

3/4 sleeve tassel jumper from Autograph at M&S was £45 now £18.99

Similar with front fringing at Banana Republic and I actually tried this on earlier in the season and loved it. 

Fringe-front pullover from Banana Republic £65  Rather loving this whole look.  More than a little bit... (oh look - they stole my layering idea.  And I might already have pants exceptionally similar to that...) 

The beginning of the two tone now. 

Spiritual Hippie Jumper with faux suede tassel detail £35

Cable and fringing now.. Fringe Cable Jumper at Topshop £46  All hail the 80s.  Or is more early 90s?

Starting to get slightly less mainstream now..

Fringed Cable Knit Sweater £110 from FCUK

Staring at Stars Boho Fringe Jumper from Urban Outfitters £56

Black and white again at New Look and for me, this is the most wearable amongst all of the more detailed fringe jumpers... It's almost a camo style monochrome (I appreciate that isn't probably "selling it" but I think it's rather lovely).

Black Premium Abstract Roll Neck Tassel Jumper £29.99

More monochrome at Banana Republic:-

Mixed-stitch fringe crew neck pullover £65

Wine now (although they say it's chocolate... hmm this is a berry wine shade to me) 

Pimkie Cable Knit Jumper with Fringing £29.99

Some colour now as well at Oasis. 

Oasis Fringe Detail Jumper £45

And finishing with a total ringer but I think this could really work.  Funnily enough, not massively surprising that it's been reduced and is still available in all sizes... It's not the most manly of jumpers I've ever seen.  But I do think this would be amazing on a lady.  Leather leggings + this = perfection.  Or for dress down days at home or into the Spring with boyfriend jeans and sneakers.  Tis also the perfect jumper for jeans and wellies and a waterproof on a long walk. 

ASOS Cable Knit Jumper was £36 now £27

So are you a member of the fringing brigade?  I do think sometimes, there are only so many days you can wear a plain jumper, especially with plain trews or jeans before the itch for detail takes over. 

Outfit from today.  And yes I did put wellies on to walk the dog in the woods (and a waterproof coat..!) 


Navy and white striped jumper - TKMaxx (can't even remember what brand but I know it's one of their own labels - cheating gits.)
Jeans with oversized turn ups - Zara
Stan Smiths - adidas
Beige and fuchsia camel scarf - Virginia Johnson
Trench coat - Banana Republic
Whiskey medium Marcie satchel - Chloe 

So tomorrow is truly the start of Christmas for me.  Seven year tradition now, decorating one of our local restaurants which is owned by good friends of ours.  A lovely lovely day (ruined marginally by school pick up...!).

Monday, 23 November 2015

It just takes one suggestion...

.... that you read and think hmm good idea.  And then ten seconds later - brain computes and suddenly, you can't live without it. 

Thank you Polly Vernon for your tip in Grazia this week which I bought for the train journey on Friday to London. 


 Until then, I had always been quite smug in my ability to live without a black biker jacket.  Completely fine.  I have looked at them longingly and often but have always just lived with my brown one (which I don't wear as often as I should).  However I then started thinking about how much I wore the very thin (and fabulously cheap at £24) pleather drape front black jacket that I bought from ASOS in the Summer, in the limited time that I have had it. 

And suddenly... hey presto.  THIS is what is missing from my wardrobe.  However before I go biker bonkers, a more cost effective solution may be to just look at the scarf aspect.  Especially if I can find one that means I will wear my brown biker jacket more.

Now you can go top end in these.  You can spend around £200 for Charlotte Simone ones - see Selfridges

Charlotte Simone Popsicle Fur Stole £175 

Charlotte Simone Candy Striped Cuff £150

But personally I wouldn't be spending that much.  Unless these are your perfect "I will wear everyday" Winter accessory or you have an unlimited budget, then I would bag a more reasonable option.  Which frankly, look exactly the same quality and are as unusual or as mainstream as you want to go.

Topshop are Kings of the Hill when it comes to these this year.  Clearly I am looking at these with one eye on my chocolate biker jacket (and maybe giving a "cursory" thought to a black one.. cue idea for a blog shortly).

Colourblock Pull-through Fur Scarf £32

Different shade - Colourblock Pull-through Fur Scarf £32

This one I adore (I am also going to have to see if I can find the jacket.. you can see where another blog is going, can't you?). 

Faux fur tonal stole from Topshop £28

Other options elsewhere and this is slightly different style but may work if you're looking for more of a scarf than a stole.

Jayley Skinny Faux Fur Scarf £30

Similar again but in different shades at River Island. 

River Island Chocolate Faux Fur Slot Through Scarf was £35 now £26

I love the breton end to this one (my description not theirs).  For me - if you generally keep your wardrobe plain with shades of navy, beige, cream and grey, then this is the perfect little bit of interest, at a great price, to make a real difference. 

Faux Fur Striped Pull-through fur scarf from Topshop £32

Black and white stripes at Florence & Fred at Tesco (this with a black leather jacket would be amazing.  I was going to say "fly" then but managed to give myself a good slap around the face and promise never to even contemplate saying it again...I will pour myself a gluwein shortly and all will be ok with the world again).

F&F Striped Scarf £20

More stripes again which would work in exactly the same way as above.  Just add a camel coat.  Or a navy one.. or a black one.  Or a leather jacket... hmmm.  How about a chocolate leather jacket.... (sold to the lady who hasn't shouted at her children all day in an attempt to not be such a grumpy mum.  Turns out I may be a better mum but I will be pickled by the end of the week as I now so need a small drink.  It's either that or chocolate and alas I don't like chocolate).

Stripe Faux Fur Scarf from Topshop £55

Slightly more unusual at M&S with an oversized patchwork scarf. 

Faux Fur Colour Block Scarf £79 by Lulu Kennedy for Indigo Collection at M&S

If we're talking way out - it has to be a leopard print one.  In for a penny, in for a pound..

Reiss Faux Fur Scarf £85

A more unusual "spruce" shade at hush 

Faux fur scarf £35 from hush (be quick if you want this as all their other fur scarves have sold out... clearly lots of people are more ahead of the game than me!)

Or you can recreate the "Australian Labradoodle" look in a scarf (and yes, I am obviously tempted) with a crimped version aka Mongolian Fur.

Premium Mongolian Fur from ASOS £75

A berry one in the sale from Warehouse. 

Warehouse Mongolian Fur Stole was £60 now £45

But if you're looking for a bargain and want a little extra (for yourself under the tree... 11yr old if you're reading then please, yes, Mummy would quite like one of these.  Pocket money is in your account.. or ask Daddy) then these are what I would head for first. 

Black Colour Block Faux Fur from New Look was £24.99 now £18.74  Actually - on reflection, this is the one with my name on it.  Chocolate leather jacket.  This.  DONE!

Another New Look bargain which looks easily as good as the Charlotte Simone faux fur ones if you ask me.  It all just depends on how you wear them in my book.

Black Colour Block Faux Fur Stole was £24.99 now £18.99  And this one is so perfect, I may be forced to buy a black leather jacket just to wear with it.  Actually it would look completely sublime with grey too.  Ok so two of these for less than the cost of most of the others - it would be rude not to.

I actually tried this one on last year and remember it was fantastic.  Really good quality for the price. 

Brown Oversized Faux Fur Collar £14.99 from New Look

And more bargains to be had at Dorothy Perkins - and varieties that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Black Ombre faux fur stole £18.99

Wine faux fur stole £18 also from Dorothy Perkins

So I have gone from not remotely needing one of these, to wanting about 4 of them.  And actually buying two of them.  Anyone else?!  I am sold with a capital S.  Thank you Polly.  (I think)

Outfit from last week - Thursday I think.  Forgot to feature it before now but these are leggings that I bought in the sale in the Summer which are hanging round my lady parts after 20 mins of having them on.  But they do look good (so long as I wear a LONG top with them...)  Comfortable they are not.


Navy cashmere dress - Whistles
Olive pleather leggings - Zara
Khaki Alan cardigan - Acne Studio
Brown/khaki suede ankle boots - Eileen Fisher
Brown suede bag - Coccinelle

And yesterday for a family party.  This was after a glass or two of champagne, last night.

If you're too pale for a v neck, why not wear it back to front?  And yes, I got the berry hush leggings as well.  These are comfort x a billion, genuine perfection in a pair of trousers.


Charcoal Adele Jumper - hush
Berry leather leggings - hush
Margot black suede & leather ankle boots - Sam Edelman (three years old - had forgotten how much I love them.  The Husband did ask why my 80's fancy dress boots had to come out of hibernation.  Tool.)

And for today - layers were the name of the game. 


Grey longline tee - hush
Mint Mohair jumper - Autograph at Marks & Spencers
Grey cashmere scarf - Black
Grey cashmere wrist warmers - Black
Black coated high waisted jeans - New Look
Black Angelica boots - Seven Boot Lane
Black Harker hands free bag - Anya Hindmarch

And finishing with info of an event I've been invited to on Friday morning in Earlsfield with the lovely jewellery company Anna Lou of London.  Would be lovely to see you there - details on how to get your invitation below. 

Untitled Untitled

What should I wear??!!  And do let me know if you're coming!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Classic black & the Capsule Wardrobe

So yesterday, whilst I said a camel coat was a much requested blog post, I would have to say top of the pops is definitely a black top post. 

Ubiquitous yes.  Easy to nail the perfect one?  No.  Now in an ideal world we would be able to have one for every occasion.  But since we don't all have wardrobes the size of Selfridges (nor the budgets), we need to be able to find a couple that will offer versatility and be the backbone of so many different outfits.   I covered these in ivory the other day and whilst I couldn't live without either, for me, the black is probably the more difficult to pin down.

The other thing that I've worked out is that this is one of the essential items in a capsule wardrobe.  

In fact, whilst we're here, what would I have in my capsule wardrobe?  Another question that I am being asked all the time.   

Seriously - what could I not live without?  Without further ado - the following things are items that I could and do wear, day in, day out (ok so I'd be bored by week four is this was ALL I had and would sneak in a cheeky "guest piece" aka impulse purchase) but these are the items that I come back to month after month and year after year.  This is the Winter Cut.

  • Skinny coated jeans/leather leggings in black (I collect these as wear them day and night.  I don't think you can have too many.  Add another colour as you see fit depending on how much wear you get out of them.) 
  • Boyfriend/looser jeans (I would say actually you can live without these if you don't mind wearing the above day and night. However a pair of these is an advantage.  Colourwise - black, classic blue or I would go so far as to say leather version... which = peg legs in my book.) 
  • Cigarette pants (choose your colour - these can also be replaced with wide leg crops if you're more adventurous.  I didn't say this was going to be simple...) 
  • Fitted black polo neck (add other colours if you're feeling generous, I couldn't live without pale grey and navy)
  • Crew neck black jumper (I also have navy.  Could easily justify a pale grey too)  Others may include a V neck instead of a crew neck.
  • Black silky top (SEE TODAY)
  • Cream/ivory/white silky top
  • Breton top (doesn't have to be navy and white - go black and white/red and white - I will be coming back to these) 
  • Oversized polo neck jumper (how many/what colour/fabric/depends on you. I collect these and wear them so often, I could never have too many)
  • Black dress (LBD obviously)
  • Camel coat
  • Black/navy/grey coat/cape cover up - dependant on your style
  • Black blazer (I also can't live without navy but probably "could" in the Winter... Spring - no way.  But we're talking Winter today)
  • Long/midi cardigan (colour/type of knit, depends on you, as does definition of long)
  • Biker boots (I would also say a lace up type chunky boot is another option.  I wear them so much, I have both)
  • Sneakers (I dare you to try and survive with only one pair)
  • Stilettos (or any other heeled shoe to your liking - heel height and style dependant on taste) 
  • Heeled ankle boots
  • Woolly hat
  • Wrist warmers
  • Scarf (this should so be scarves)
  • Clutch bag
  • Cross body bag
  • Larger handbag
So now we come to lovely options (this list is by no means exhaustible)
  • Knee high/over the knee boots
  • Skirt (how long is a piece of string...I will be back to this) 
  • Leopard print - this deserves a category all of its own as I think every wardrobe needs some.  Be it in the form of a coat, a scarf, boots or shoes, find what works for you. 
  • Leather jacket
  • Fur (of the faux variety)
  • Print dresses
  • Red - see leopard print definition
  • Logo jumpers/sweatshirts
I have pretty much covered my basic list but that's not to say it shouldn't be added to with quality.. I also have some more handbag exploring to do as well. 

Today though, a quick look at some black top options.  

Scalloped Silk Blouse from Banana Repubic £75

Another silk option from hush and I particularly love that this is almost a washed black making it that little bit different from other silk blouses out there. 

Essential Silk Blouse from hush £130

Flowy Textured Blouse from Mango £34.99  This is a great example of one tucked in and I think would work with skirts as well... ditto culottes and those wide leg cropped trews I've still got my eye on. 

I think the key with ones that you do want to tuck in is to not have them too oversized and make sure that they're snug on the shoulders and around the bust area to eliminate looking like a balloon (not that you would.....).

Now we're moving onto without buttons.  And these can be worn over so many things - ideal for skinnies and also for straight skirts.  In fact, a really good friend of mine has this in both the black and the cream and wears it over the hush leather leggings.  It looks amazing.  BUT she's about 5 inches shorter than me so the dimensions work.  If you're tall, this won't sit in the right place as it's not long enough in the body but it will be ideal with a looser pair of jeans or trousers.  Probably wouldn't team it with a full skirt though...

Ivy Black Wrap-front top from Reiss £120

Another top that would look great untucked and for wearing over skinnies.  Perfection.  In the other shades of this online, they've layered it with a shirt underneath which looks equally as fabulous.  A great styling tip.

Boatneck top from Banana Republic £34.65

This is a buttonless version that I think would look superb tucked in as - following my rules from above - it's not too voluminous.  I love the idea of this being like a silky longsleeved (not clingy - dear lord it has to be non clingy) tee.  But smarter.  And for the evening. 

Flowy Blouse from Mango £29.99

Another option that won't work for everyone but I love the idea of this with a leather skirt (again, make sure you get a more fitted size as opposed to sizing up) or leather peg leg trousers or culottes (wide leg trews - yes I am obsessed).

Alara Black Lace Blouse from Reiss £135 - and it's handwash.  HANDWASH KLAXON.

Whilst we're on that subject - this could either work or it could look like you've raided the ski-ing cupboard (can I please point out we don't have one of these as we don't ski anymore - well, I don't ski any more and the thought of taking our ADHD/Aspie son who is sport obsessed, has no fear of speed or heights and complete mindblindess, literally makes me want to weep - hence the kids don't ski at the moment either.)  Suffice to say, it could be fabulous or it could be pants. 

Unsurprisingly I love this look here.  And I think with a matt leather or a detailed skirt, this could completely work.  

Clean Funnel Neck Sweater from Topshop £28

Now here's an option... navy and black together in a rather unusual camo print top from Banana Republic.  It's slightly out there but if you have a mixture of navy and black, it will work.  Plus, fabulous for over jeans in the Spring with ballet pumps for during the day. 

Camo Dolman Faux Wrap Blouse from Banana Republic £49.50

I am completely aware that I haven't even scratched the surface with options that could be covered but hopefully there will be a few there that float your boat.  I feel it's definitely something I need to look at in more detail.  Certainly I shall be on the hunt for "tops that go with skirts" - which currently is up there with being THE most difficult thing to source for a wardrobe.   I will be back..

But in the meantime, am interested to know if there is anything you feel that should be added to the Capsule Wardrobe list.  I'm sure I've missed off loads and to be honest, it doesn't begin to cover warm, practical (dog walking/rugby/footie) outfits or those snuggly weekend (for me - from 6pm if I'm not going out, everyday) outfits as well.  Let's be frank - there's not a lot "capsule" about this wardrobe list.  I should perhaps rephrase it "wardrobe essentials".

Outfit from today.  Car crash morning if I'm honest.  The 9yr old Aspie didn't sleep last night that well.  He always sleeps like the dead and really doesn't know what to do with himself if he has broken sleep (common problem apparently).  He does however, know to blame his brother if it was his coughing that kept him awake - a situation not helped by The Husband taking the 7yr old to a rugby tournament when he normally coaches the 9yr old's rugby team.  Hence refusal to go to rugby.  And a meltdown tastic morning.  I have managed to limp through to 3pm and am so in need of a little drink I can't tell you.

Only thing I could think to do with him was drag him out for a long walk.  11yr old was dropped at the station as she's gone on a school trip to see The Railway Children.


Raincoat - Ilse Jacobsen
Black coated jeggings - Dorothy Perkins
Wellies - Ilse Jacobsen
Fleece socks - Ilse Jacobsen
Grey Cashmere hat - Black
Grey Cashmere scarf - Black 
Charcoal wrist warmers - Toast

So I am now off to a family party for the afternoon and need to go and have a swift shower and find something vaguely glam but practical to wear....  Hope everyone else enjoys their Sunday. x