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Thursday, 3 September 2015

It's not all glamour

Not that I'm head to toe in glamour every day but I will admit I do give some thought into what I wear (just in case you hadn't realised...)  I still maintain it's as easy to put on something that matches as opposed to dragging something out of your wardrobe that doesn't. 

But I will fess up that come every evening (and it's embarrassingly early chez moi, if I don't have to pick up any children from swimming, Cubs or Guides etc I'd say around 6pm) I derobe.  I throw on the slobs.  And I LOVE my slobs.

I call them slobs but to be honest, they're actually really quite smart (as in I I wouldn't get arrested or, I'd like to think, even raised eyebrows for wearing them out).  They're so "smart" I fling them on in the morning and will happily go to the supermarket (I am a 7.00am supermarket fan, I know I know, random but try it - you will never go back) and take The Husband to the station in them (usually stopping for petrol with zero shame..) and will happily dog walk in them and not be worried about who I meet. (am I the only person who meets THE most random people whilst out dog walking?)

Joggers.  If you do not own a smartish pair of these and you don't live in them come 6pm every evening, I swear you don't know what you're missing.

I have my absolute favourites that I cannot recommend highly enough (mainly because they're such great value for money as they last and last and last and look as good after the gazillionth wash as they did the first day I bought them.)

However others which I'm considering.  I did buy the Whistles ones but they look like they've been lining the dog basket compared to the hush ones that have been washed more.  They are bobble and stretched.  They really haven't lasted the test of time I'm gutted to say. 

Goes to show it's not all about the money.....

Love the idea of different shaded ones from Topshop which would go with black, white or grey.

Salt and pepper joggers from Topshop £28



Khaki now - the perfect colour (which I may or may not have mentioned once or ten times) which goes with everything)
Khaki Twill Joggers from New Look £14.99





Bargain of the day has to be these ribbed waist utility joggers from New Look were £24.99 now £9.00



Cargo joggers also in khaki £22.99




And in the black also £22.99



More black now and these would work for every day as well as throwing on in the evening. 

Wrap front jogger trousers from Topshop £30



Super casual, super comfy from ASOS in again, trusty black.

ASOS harem pants in jersey £18



These I officially adore.  These I would actually wear out.  With a black cashmere jumper and my Golden Goose trainers, these would be amazing.  Actually I'd even wear with a cream blouse, black blazer and black stilettos for the evening.

ASOS woven cuffed trousers with side stripe £35



But my favourite favourite ones which I wear constantly and wash every couple of days - fling in the machine and then the tumble dryer (these honestly have been washed more times than I can remember and are still as good as the day I got them.)  Most importantly for jersey trousers - no "knees" and no bobbling.  

Long Harem Trousers from hush £49.50



I wear this with my Dolman Sloppy Joe which again - is simply perfect. £40



Spookily......(CLEARY not a hush model and no I didn't know they had the same outfit....this is, like I say, after I have worn it pretty much every day for the past two years.)

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Black vest - hush
Charcoal Dolman sweatshirt - hush
Black harem pants - hush

Another no rain day (I cannot believe how lucky we've been) on hols - long walk down to Thorpeness for lunch and then a row round the Meare followed by a Treasure Hunt round the town (admittedly an abandoned treasure hunt as I was the only one who was actually enjoying it...... we WILL be picking it back up in the morning....).  Movie night with the kids and wine and The Husband cooking, as I slob out in my now revealed outfit!

Tomorrow though, it's due to be dodgy weather wise so..... swimming in the rain it will be.


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The need for slouch


Anyone else feel that Autumn is really just around the corner?  As in tomorrow?  And with the advent of shorter days and the evenings drawing in, I start to hanker after slouchy knitwear.  So yesterday we had the more fitted variety - not fitted fitted but definitely ones that you can wear under a blazer.  As opposed to loose numbers.  Today we're talking about looser versions.  Ones that you can wear on Sunday and eat your body weight in roast dinner.  

More oversized than yesterday's counterparts but we're not into chunky territory just yet.  Still a thinner style which again you can layer under and fling on a huge scarf with for Autumnal every day chic.  I like to wear these over skinny jeans.  

Some bargains still to be had at M&S whilst the 20% offer is still on.  Finishes tonight, Wednesday at midnight.

V Neck Swing Jumper from M&S was £35 now £27


Or a longer version - this would look sublime over leather leggings.... 

V Neck Ribbed Tunic Jumper was £29.50 now £23.60





You can normally rely on Mint Velvet for some lovely slouchy knits and this season, again they don't disappoint.  These aren't loose at the bottom but they definitely oversized on the body with a slight cowl to the neckline which I know some people love and find much easier to wear than a crew neck. 

Sky Marl Batwing knit from Mint Velvet £59




And a navy version £59



Back to super loose now at Topshop.  I've tried this on and it's amazing.  I am so so so tempted to get the culottes to go with it.....  Would look gorgeous with a shirt layered under it. 

Topshop Contrast Space Dye Jumper £36





V neck now at hush in an oversized fine knit - the Adele. 

Adele Jumper in charcoal £70



Or in the iris blue £70



The ultimate in luxury would be the cashmere from hush - oh how I would love these in every colour. 

Cashmere Boyfriend jumper £185 in brown sugar



Gorgeously Autumnal in the berry £185



And the charcoal


A new British brand now that has gorgeous knitwear - Needle.  Sold online, through small boutiques and also at Anthropologie, definitely worth looking at if you want something that little bit different.  They sent me their Clem jumper which is a luxurious pale grey cashmere with a silk swing back.  The ideal cross between dressy and casual.  Perfect for over skinny jeans. 

Clem Jumper from Needle £149 I got the Large as I wanted it to look boxier.  Definitely a success. 



I also love the Alice cashmere jumper which is on offer at half price. 

Alice two tone boxy jumper was £210 now £105 



I shall be wearing my Needle knit tomorrow with charcoal skinnies.  Like the jumpers yesterday - I'm not sure you can have too many of these.... One thing I do need to explore are the layers to go underneath.  

Outfit from today and yes, that is blue sky you can see.  Kids were having a whale of a time in the sea for hours today.  I watched....


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White linen tee - Max Studio
Grey cargo pants - hush
Black blazer - hush
Oversized buckle sandals - Zara
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss

We had friends over last night for a BBQ and I am feeling exceptionally delicate today, to put it mildly.... Had a lovely pub lunch out in the country and shall be getting a Thai Street Food Take Away for tonight with GBBO.  Without wine........

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Autumn version of a tee.


For me, it's the thin knit.  I am obsessed with these.  I don't think you can get enough of them.  I've packed three of them to come away with this week and honestly, I could wear one every day.  They are so comfortable and so forgiving.  

And this for me is key. Yes, yes, obviously top of my list of "things I'll do once the kids go back to school" is "EXERCISE".  

Except that this has sort of been top of my list for the past three years since the smallest started school (I can't believe he's going into Juniors - how did that happen?!) and whilst I did join a gym for years and I did go pretty regularly (under exceptional duress and only because I was paying for it.. I didn't enjoy it.  EVER.  And the having to set my alarm for 6am to book into the class for the following week whilst paying just short of £100 a month for the privilege, finally lost its appeal.  Funny that....) 

To cut a long story short, the muffin has expanded and the stomach muscles have given up the ghost.  I am going to work on this, I shall be dog walking a frenzy now that she's a bit older and a plank (we have to start somewhere, so yes that is A plank.  Maybe two) every day.  Plus at least two sessions of Kettlercise a week.  That's the plan... 

In the meantime - and to be fair generally... life is too short and I am nothing if not resourceful.  I've found a solution.  Hide it.  Under knitwear. 

This doesn't cling, it sits neatly on top of your jeans if you're wearing boyfriend or looser versions - for skinny jeans or jeggings I do have to layer a longline tee underneath and it's thin enough to fit a blazer or more fitted jacket over. 

You can layer over a shirt or a tee (I do this on warmer days in lieu of having to put a jacket on), or wear on its own.  You can add a scarf or necklace for interest or just keep it plain.  Also perfect with a skirt or over a shirt dress for example.  And if all that versatility wasn't enough, you can wear for work, for the school run, for lunch, for dinner (I wear with a leather skirt or my pleather peg leg trousers). 

I think I have just proved that you can never have too many of these. 

With regards to the knit there are also options.  Clearly cashmere would be the ultimate ideal but I also happen to love extra fine merino.  A cotton/silk/wool mix is an ideal option as well. 

Colour wise (yes I can keep going with the justifications for why we need LOADS of these), well this is the ideal opportunity to add a hint of colour to a more neutral wardrobe. 

And that's where I'm going to start with one that's top of my wishlist from Me+Em. 

I adore this blue.  When you have a wardrobe basics that consist of black, navy and grey, this is the perfect little lift and ideal for combining different basics together. 

The Perfect Crew Neck Jumper in Azure Blue from Me+Em £68



Other merino options at Gap in a more muted colour palette.  I'm loving the oatmeal heather. 

Merino crewneck sweater in oatmeal heather £39.95 Interestingly they do these in tall and petite which is very unusual for jumpers.




Seeing as it is the 1 September and apparently the meteorological start of Autumn (I didn't make that up - that's courtesy of BBC News this morning), we really should throw in an Autumnal shade. 

Plum heather crewneck merino sweater from Gap £39.95



Moving onto cashmere now and another colour that I am loving is this dark green from Boden.  This would be a lovely shade to give that lift to an all black or an all navy outfit... Deliciously autumnal yet a change to the sea of mustard and rust that has flooded the High Street by all accounts.  I've likened it to bad 70s wallpaper - it's just not my bag.  This however, is a perfect alternative.  Also great with grey - a combo of pale grey and charcoal and this green would be just gorgeous.  Black shoes and bag.  Oh hello September (frankly now I think it would be rude not to buy this....)

Cashmere Relaxed Crew Neck £139 in jade





M&S have 20% off everything till tomorrow night (Wednesday night) and this includes all of their cashmere.  

My pick would be this pale pink version.  Not typically Autumnal but if who's to say you have to look like dead leaves.  This shade of pale pink with berry shades, or a host of classic neutrals - black, grey or navy looks amazing.  I'm also a fan with khaki...  But lots of other shades online if this isn't your bag.  Plus v necks as well which most of the companies featured here offer as an option.  For me, I simply prefer the crew neck.

Pure Cashmere Jumper was £75 now £60




I haven't tried it but I know people swear by Uniqlo Cashmere.  Available in crew and v neck and in a host of more feminine colours as well as the obligatory set of neutrals.

Women's Crew Neck Cashmere Jumper £69.90 (£5 off your first order if you sign up online) 


Also rather partial to the off white. 



Now being tall, I have sworn by men's jumpers for the past couple of years.  The Uniqlo ones have been my jumpers of choice and I do think they're great.  Like I mentioned, I haven't tried their cashmere, as I've always been super happy with their extra fine merino for £24.90.  They did used to do the exact same in a women's version but this year, there's a looser hem to it - personally I like the slightly gathered hem.  It's slightly more flattering and shaping I find as opposed to a looser all over jumper.

Extra Fine Merino Crew neck £24.90 in black.  I would say the Small is the perfect size 10.  I have a navy one too.  I am GUTTED that the off white is already sold out in a small but I'm going to go and see if I can find it in store.  Be warned.  These sell out ridiculously early on and they do not get them back in stock.  I can't tell you how fantastic they are. 





I also came across a boat neck merino one in navy at ASOS.  Interesting option for a chap but perfect in a smaller size for a woman. I would say a loose 10 is a Small.

ASOS Merino Boat Neck Jumper in navy £30



Have you come over to the thin knit side yet?  Fear not if you prefer something a bit more oversized, I have those coming up in the next couple of days.  These are the ideal tops for over layers with your skinny jeans.  Colourwise, what would be your pick of the thin knits?  I've already got black, navy and pale grey but I'm definitely after the azure blue and I think a pink could be a great option too.  Dare I go bolder than a pale one?  And then there's the green.... (although my school jumper was bottle green.. with a red stripe round the v neck which went with an apple green open neck shirt.  Boak)

Would love to hear your knitwear thoughts and of course any other recommendations you may have.
So we are having a lovely time away here in Suffolk, even with all the revision the poor 10yr old is having to do for her exam next week.  Couldn't have been happier then when The Maths Factor contacted me again and asked would I promote their new 30 Day Maths Challenge. 

Now, I won't lie, I may have slightly dropped the ball with the two boys this holiday - to be honest, we've been focussing on social improvement for the Aspie 8yr old and I'll be frank, I'm not Supermum.  However, this is the perfect opportunity to get back in saddle and get some numeracy under their belt before going back to school next week. 

It also helps that all three can now do some work as opposed to the poor 10yr old just having to head to her room with a stack of papers.  Whilst I get to look at new season stock..... could I be happier?! 

Perfect time for my boys to start with the 30 day Maths challenge launching today - 1st September (although you can start anytime before 30 September).  This is the perfect opportunity to ease them back into "work" mode.  Complete a session a day and they'll earn a tick on their "30 day challenge stone".  30 ticks in 30 days and they get sent a medal.  And if there's anything that my boys love, it's a medal to take in for show and tell. 

If you haven't yet signed up, again in September they're offering your first month for just £1 (usually £9.99).  You can cancel at any time though, to be honest (and lots of people I know also rave about it), the opportunity to have your child do something on their iPads other than Goat Evolution, even for 10 mins a day can be nothing but a good thing in my book. 

I'll let you know what they think of it and how we go with it through the month.

Meanwhile, the sun came out today and we spent the day on the beach and then into town for ice cream (and a trip to Fat Face to buy up the dregs of the sale for the boys.  I was fleeced at Jack Wills for the 10yr old yesterday....).  We have friends coming over for a BBQ later.  

Look no coat!  But one of the much loved thin knit jumpers.  

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White tee - hush
Black merino crew neck jumper - Uniqlo
Khaki cargo pants - Tommy Hilfiger
Black lace up sandals - Forever21
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss

Desperately hoping the weather stays vaguely good as we still have swimming to do ("we" as in the children......)  

Monday, 31 August 2015

Killer Queen

That's what I can envisage people singing, complete with clicky fingers when I sashay in (and obviously I shall be sashaying with the best of them) to a party wearing a pair of these shoes.  Ish.  In my dreams......

WARNING - these are not going to be everyone's cup of tea. 

The irony is, that after completing my research for this (which may have been fuelled by coffee and prosecco so it did go slightly off piste as I went through it...), it became clear that the line between Killer Queen and Drag Queen is a very very fine one....

I am talking full on, "gosh they're interesting", statement shoes.  Or shoe boots would possibly be a more accurate description.

I have a big party this Saturday night when we get back from holiday and I've suddenly realised I have no idea what I'm going to be wearing.  As it doesn't look like Summer is going to be returning by this weekend.  I had potentially contemplated an old but classic Burberry dress and the obligatory cage shoes that go with it, but it's rather bare on top. 

To be honest, sat here, having been SOAKED earlier in the rain ("how wet can we get if we go on a little walk?", I said.  The answer was very) the thought of encasing my legs in thick black lycra, as opposed to going to to battle with the fake tan, is a very appealing one. 

Which got me thinking about other A/W dresses I have and how to ring the changes with them this season. 

Hey presto these.......I need a pair of these in my life.  I saw them in one of the September magazines and I thought they were amazing. 

(remember I said WARNING... well you have been warned... you will either love or hate these)

Burberry Prorsum Lilybelle Fringed Suede ankle boots £950 (ok so I HATE the price clearly)



I love these so so much.  With jeans, with black leather trousers of any shape, with dresses, with just my underwear (joke), these will make any old boring outfit you had seem like a completely new one.   (for two seconds then - ok so a bit more than two seconds as my maths are very very bad - I did just work out if it would be worth buying them and not buying ONE SINGLE THING to go out in at night... the answer is no)
There is also a more subtle version (you can sort of see where this post is heading if I label these "subtle"....) 

Fringed Suede Ankle Boots £695 Burberry Prorsum 





So whilst the nearly £1k price tag means these are simply not an option, surely there are some cheaper options that have filtered down for us mere mortals?


Not really. 

But this is the best of what I could find. (and it went a bit random)

I really shouldn't like these... but there is something about them I'm completely randomly drawn to. 

ASOS Element Fake Fur Shoe Boots £50



These I love.  I absolutely and utterly adore but they don't have them in my size. 

Embellished Suede Ankle boot from Isabel Marant was £585 now £234




These would in fact serve a double purpose as they could be worn during the day as they're not actually that high... now that's food for thought...... OOOH

Casadei Leopard print calf hair and leather ankle boots were £730 now £292







Charlotte Olympia Alice calf hair ankle boots with 60% off were £675 now £270  Genuinely if these were an inch lower I would buy them in a heartbeat.  I would wear them with everything (even my jamas)



I love the Vamp on these but they're simply too vanilla for what I have in mind (that sounds so so wrong)







These are lower but, dare I say it, they're not statement enough for me.  Subtlety be gone.   For most I appreciate these are probably a lot better than the rest. 

Gigi elaphe snakeskin pointed shoe boot with 70% off was £625 now £187



So then I started looking at more shoes than boots.  This isn't particularly what I had in mind but it's where the research led me.....  However the point is that I want to be able to wear these with black opaques.  I'm not sure the strappier shoe works with opaques as you can't see the straps.  Which sort of defeats the point.  Which means that they're a no for what I'm looking for but they are still pretty darn amazing.  And would work perfectly with good old nude tights (of which I am a huge huge fan)

Schutz Nate suede ankle boots were £220 now £99



Daisy Street Strappy Heeled Court Shoes £34.99



A similar leather version at Aldo 

Astevia Black shoes £80




I have to say though, these would get my vote.... if they weren't so high I'd probably get a nose bleed wearing them....

ASOS Promote Pointed Caged Shoe £45



The theme continues.

Lace up pointed heels from River Island £75





These are simply gorgeous.

ASOS Elko Caged high heels £45



And I ran out of steam.  I'm super hoping that it's because it's too early in the season.  I need full on comedy shoe boots please (as I can hear The Husband calling them - well, not shoe boots - I'm not sure he's remotely au fait with that level of terminology but the comedy bit would definitely feature).  

So I resorted to looking at sandals.  In your face, unashamedly show girl style sandals.  The perennial argument remains - can you wear ever wear tights with an open toe shoe..... Well.  For me, I would have to say no.  But, my super fashionista friend (senior editor type mag person) once wore (and obviously I clocked it) a pair of a gazillion denier tights with a super strappy pair of glad heels.......v short Kenzo dress... and it looked fab. 

And so I did the same thing with a very short black dress, 120 denier black tights and glitter Lucy Choi gladiator sandals. The world did not fall of its axis... and I think they actually looked ok. 

Therefore I present you with the argument... is it ever ok to wear tights with open toe shoes..... (I'm going to stick my neck out and say a pair of american tan one - no.... I'd even go so far as to say I think no with a pair of 15 denier black ones.  But then to be fair, I'm not sure I'd wear a pair of 15 denier black tights ever.  That is my personal taste however....)  With opaques (and therefore not an obvious toe seam), I'm wondering if it would work... 

In an ideal world of course, we would just be able to find a cheaper pair of the Burberrys. 

But these in the meantime are spectacular. 

Tri colour sandals with fringe from Zara £69.99  Alas though I want to wear with black and I don't think this colour combo would work at all.  To wear with black tights, I think there definitely needs to be a good part of the shoe that is also black.




These however.... (too summery for me I think though... I am turning into the Goldilocks of the shoe world)

Black leather caged pom pom shoes from River Island £75



Love these ones so so much but for me, definitely bare feet wear only.  I think the difference between a yay and a nay with tights, may lie in the heel needing to be covered... it needs to be more of a peep toe shoe boot almost as opposed to a sandal....

Brown Suede Lace up Heels from River Island £75




Tan brown strappy heeled sandals from River Island £70  But these are definitely too strappy and too delicate to wear with tights.  Doesn't stop them being GORGEOUS though.


Windsor Smith Gillie Suede Tie up peep toe shoes £87.50



And the ones which do it for me.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE these. 

Daisy Street Black lace up peep toe shoe boots £34.99



Very similar to my Zara leopard print ones (in fact, I could just try them... but there's too much flesh exposed between the laces - needs to be more covered.  Scrap that idea)  With bare feet though - these are divine. 

ASOS Ellery Mae Lace up shoe boots £45





So if anyone is still left reading..... thoughts?  I appreciate this is going to be perhaps a lonely road I'm travelling, looking for these, but genuinely, the more random and out there the shoes, the more wear I've had out of them and certainly the more longevity they've had.  You would (honestly) be surprised at how much wear you can get out of them (I can see the eyebrow raising at the back.  I PROMISE YOU!!) 

Having a fab fab time here on hols still.  Weather was lovely yesterday - great day out with the kids.  We have so missed this place. 


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White double layer shirt - Me+Em
Grey Baxter jeans - Topshop
Black pleather jacket - ASOS
Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss 

And today - boy did we get rained on.  I thought it would be an excellent idea to go for a long walk, not quite anticipating how much it was raining.  Displaying true Dunkirk spirit for 45 mins and then appreciating that pneumonia wasn't going to be fun for anyone and even though our top halves were bone dry, our legs did look rather like we'd been wading in the sea.  Walk abandoned and we went home to change.  

Rain stopped (sod's law or what) so after a trip out for cake and hot choc, the 10yr old and I went shopping.  No I haven't got any make up on.


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Black jumper - Tommy Hilfiger
Off white jeans - All Saints
Black pleather jacket - ASOS
Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Black Mario bag - Jerome Dreyfuss 

We're off out for some supper but I'll be back tomorrow with a wardrobe favourite I haven't explored in a while.