Crazy sales bargains…

Ooh, it’s my favourite part of the sales – y’know, when the 70% reductions start getting thrown around. Oh, yes, the time if ripe to grab some bargains. I always use the sales to acquire things I’d baulk at spending full price on. I can’t get excited about £15 off a £65 top (looking at you, Whistles), but £300 off a £450 pair of shoes? My interest is piqued.

So, because I’m a caring sharing kind of person, I thought I’d do a little round up of the best designer buys at insanely low prices. Hide your purse and read on…

Christopher Kane peach lace flower cotton and cashmere t-shirt - NOW £50 Was £180

Christopher Kane peach lace flower cotton and cashmere t-shirt – NOW £50 Was £180

This Christopher Kane top was THE tee of the season! I know some don’t like to buy memorable items like this as they are so intrinsically linked to the season they went down the catwalk, but the way I see it, you’re getting a little piece of fashion history for only £50! Harvey Nichols have lots of pieces from the Botanical collection heavily reduced.

By Malene Birger Uminni black jersey jumpsuit - NOW £49 Was £165

By Malene Birger Uminni black jersey jumpsuit – NOW £49 Was £165

I knew I shouldn’t have written this post – I now NEED this jumpsuit. I’ve had my eye on it all season, and here it is, in my size, hugely reduced. I love the silk inserts, which elevate the simple jersey style to something elegant and evening-appropriate.

Saint Laurent monochrome printed canvas skate shoes - NOW £78 Was £260

   Saint Laurent monochrome printed canvas skate shoes – NOW £78 Was £260

Saint Laurent for £78? Yes indeed. And they’re also my size. Snap them up if you’re a 39, if only to stop me doing so!

Isabel Marant Bekett High Top Trainer - NOW £145 Was £145

Isabel Marant Bekett High Top Trainer – NOW £145 Was £145

Another insane footwear deal here – the iconic Isabel Marant Bekett High Top Trainer. These will be a boon come A/W as they are SO WARM. I bought my zebra print pair from Morgan Clare back in December and haven’t regretted it for a second. And dare I say this neutral pair may even be a tad more versatile?

Alexander McQueen classic skull silk scarf - NOW £115 Was £165

Alexander McQueen classic skull silk scarf – NOW £115 Was £165

Another legendary piece her, the McQueen skull scarf. These are so rarely discounted I had to shout about this one – the vibrant orange is so on trend, and come A/W this bright beauty will breathe new life into a navy or great winter coat.

Toga buckled suede ankle boots NOW £97.50 Was £325

Toga buckled suede ankle boots NOW £97.50 Was £325

I won’t lie – money has changed hands and these boots are now in my possession. I pinned them to my wish list WAY back in February, so it feels rather serendipitous to have snapped them up for so little. Frabjous day! I’ll be wearing them all winter long, with super-skinnies and a pea coat, Left Bank stylee.

Issa Wrap-effect silk-jersey top - NOW £88.50 Was £295

Issa Wrap-effect silk-jersey top – NOW £88.50 Was £295

If you did want to invest in something a little more timeless, you’d be hard pressed to go wrong with this Issa wrap top. This top could be fabulous for a wedding with fitted trousers or a pencil skirt and killer heels, or equally it could be a really useful part of your work wardrobe.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Melita drape front jersey dress - NOW £114 Was £228

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Melita drape front jersey dress – NOW £114 Was £228

If you have an event coming up soon, you won’t go far wrong with Anglomania. Viv knows how to dress a woman’s body! I’m sorely tempted myself!

So, lots of designer buys, all at under £150 – don’t say I never do anything for you. And if you needed further proof that girding your loins and playing sales chicken is worthwhile, behold…

Alexander Wang Lovisa Pumps NOW £136.50 Was £445

Alexander Wang Lovisa Pumps NOW £136.50 Was £445

I have wanted a pair of Lovisas for SO long, but I bided my time and pounced as soon as NaP did their further reductions. I’m so glad I did. It’s love.

Right, I’m off to definitely NOT order that Malene Birger jumpsuit. Happy Saturday all!

High Street Hit – Jones the Bootmaker

Now, I’ve got to start off by saying that until recently, I was profoundly prejudiced against Jones. This dates back to c. 1997, when my mother insisted on getting me sensible Mary Jane style school shoes from said retailer, rather than the de rigeur Kickers I so desperately wanted. I embarked on a campaign of hate against those shoes and managed to all but destroy them in a week, procuring my much desired Kickers and destroying my mother’s faith in Jones’ quality standards in the process.

Anyhoo, fast forward 17 years (really? REALLY?) to 2014 and I’ve just missed out on some glittery Jimmy Choos in the sale and am lamenting my damn bad luck. A very glam friend links these for me, promising they are much sparklier in the flesh.

Cajun Court Shoes Twenty Four Seven - £79

A trip to Jones is necessitated and lo, I find not only these beauties, but many, many others.

So, in case you too have denounced Jones as not for the likes of you, here are a few styles ticking my fancy. Oh, and did I mention they have a sale on?

Abacus Loafers - NOW £34 Was £69

Abacus Loafers – NOW £34 Was £69

I have to admit to buying these today. I wear a lot of pointy flats at work, as I’m lazy and can’t be bothered with heels. I love the unusual colour of this pair and they are really comfy!

 

Black Label Cello Slingbacks  - £49

Black Label Cello Slingbacks – NOW £49 Was £79

Acne at a knock down price? Look no further! The contemporary shape and monochrome colouring of these make them a great next season buy.

Black Label Capri Heeled Sandals - NOW £29.70 Was £99

Black Label Capri Heeled Sandals – NOW £29.70 Was £99

Another designer inspired buy here, this pair are very like the Alexander Wang Lovisa pumps I have been coveting forever. And suede for under £30? Snap them up before I do!

Karlie Casual Sandals - NOW £25 Was £39

Karlie Casual Sandals – NOW £25 Was £39

If you haven’t yet bought into the fugly sandal trend, here’s your chance to do so for minimal outlay. These leather sandals are great value and the chunky white sole gives them a sports luxe edge.

Iconic Heeled Sandals - NOW £49 Was £75

Iconic Heeled Sandals – NOW £49 Was £75

I don’t quite know why I like these. They’ve got a bit of a 90s flavour about them with the chunky heel. I’m visualising them with something quite feminine, like a lace pencil skirt, to accentuate the toughness.

So, there you go – i certainly wasn’t expecting to find so many great buys, were you? Goes to show I should be more open-minded and not rule out a store on the basis of teenage angst and ancient prejudice! Discovered any surprise hits in unexpected places lately? Tell me about them by commenting below or tweeting, I’d love to hear about your finds!

Sale Lust List – The Dressing Room

As promised in yesterday’s post, here is my round up of hot picks!

Great Plains Summer Breeze Slouchy Cashmere Mix Jumper - Marble NOW £49.00 Was £70.00

  Great Plains
Summer Breeze Slouchy Cashmere Mix Jumper – Marble
NOW £49.00 Was £70.00

Looking ahead to Autumn, a cashmere mix jumper is a great sale buy. This slouchy shape is so easy to wear and will look great thrown on with skinnies and bright trainers.

Paul & Joe Sister Alchimie Long Sleeve Dress - Rouge NOW £102 Was £145

Paul & Joe Sister
Alchimie Long Sleeve Dress – Rouge
NOW £102 Was £145

If, like me, you’re a fan of a quirky print, you’ll love this gorgeous rabbit print dress from Paul and Joe Sister. I actually have a playsuit in the navy version of this print and it is one of my very favourite things, so this dress is super-tempting. It’s another fab trans-seasonal piece as it will look great now with bare legs and a tan, but also really cute with opaques and biker boots when it’s cooler.

Star Mela Long Sleeve Cotton Ula Top - Turquoise NOW £50 Was £78

Star Mela
Long Sleeve Cotton Ula Top – Turquoise
NOW £50 Was £78

This top is perfect if you have a beach holiday coming up – it just screams summer. It’s one of those pieces you can pull out year after year for that Ibiza cool vibe – just add denim shorts, flip flops and a straw fedora!

Great Plains Daisy Maisie Top - Geranium NOW £49 Was £70

Great Plains Daisy Maisie Top – Geranium
NOW £49 Was £70

I don’t really do girlie, but I’m a sucker for a lace top for an evening out. This pink version from Great Plains is just SO pretty – how can you resist? If pink doesn’t float your boat, the navy version is also in the sale.

Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy Skinny Boyfriend - Tigerlily NOW £147 Was £210

Paige Denim
Jimmy Jimmy Skinny Boyfriend – Tiger lily
NOW £147 Was £210

A veritable prince among boyfriends, these are the best boyfriend jeans I have ever had. Comfy and flattering, they’re well worth snapping up at a knock down price. You’ll probably want to go down a size though!

American Vintage Rexburg Sweatshirt - Carbon NOW £50 Was £75

American Vintage
Rexburg Sweatshirt – Carbon
NOW £50 Was £75

You all know how I love a sweatshirt! Here is another great autumn basic. The DR have this sweatshirt available in a few colours. Doesn’t it look snuggly?

Rosemunde  Lace Short Sleeve Top - Navy NOW £38 Was £59

    Rosemunde
Lace Short Sleeve Top – Navy
NOW £38 Was £59

Another lovely little lace number here – this Rosemunde top has just fallen into my basket. I have a black long sleeved version which I love, so I’m hoping this will be a great summer equivalent!

So I’ve told you what I’ve bought – how about you? Let me know what’s tickling your fancy in the usual way!

 

 

 

Summer Sale time at The Dressing Room

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware that the sales have started. I may have even succumbed to a cheeky purchase or two myself – more on that to come in a future post!

Anyway, my good friends over at The Dressing Room got in touch to see if I’d like a preview of some sale goodies. That’ll do nicely, said I! So here I am modelling some of the fab bargains you can get your hands on TOMORROW at 9.30am when the sale goes live! If you happen to be local to St Albans, the first 20 customers into the store on the Saturday will receieve an extra 10% off sale items. If not, sign up to the Dressing Room’s mailing list now and check your mailbox on Saturday morning for an exclusive 10% discount code to use online, before 1pm!

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Maison Scotch Grandad Long Sleeve Tee in Blush – NOW £45 WAS £68

This top is a good buy as it’s actually a two in one – you get a grey vest top and the long-sleeved pink one. The blush colour is so pretty and Maison Scotch quality is excellent. I’ve styled it as part of a casual look, something easy to wear when running around after my little monsters rascals.

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Great Plains Jolly Roger Slouch Vest in Seahorse Green – NOW £30 WAS £48

This slouchy vest is another multi-occasion winner. You can style it for a night out with coated skinnies and cage sandals, as I’ve done here, or wear it as a fab beach cover up over a bikini and flip-flops. I do love stripes for the summer!

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Great Plains Lucy Stripe Short Sleeve Jersey Dress in Cobalt Blue/Salt – NOW £38 WAS £55

I know it’s a blogger cliche, but this really is a dress you can dress up or down. The combination of stripes and beaded embellishment mean it can work for a variety of occasions. I’m wearing it with bright ballet pumps for a casual look, but by teaming it with cream strappy sandals and a complimentary clutch it could easily do a wedding or christening.

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Great Plains Shelly Beach Maxi Dress in Navy – NOW £30 WAS £45

This was my children’s favourite outfit. They said I looked like ‘a beautiful mermaid’. Now I don’t know about that, but this is a great easy breezy dress for a sultry day. I found that the print is so standout that it worked best with simple accessories.

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Becksondergaard Blurred Leo Scarf in Bright Orange – NOW £20 WAS £33

The final item I was sent, and the one I decided to keep, was this lovely leopard print scarf. I’m having a real love affair with orange at the moment – so bright and zingy for summer. Not to mention it works a treat with my new favourite lippy!

So, make sure you’re up early to check out the great buys on offer tomorrow morning – it’s one not to miss! And while you’re online click back onto my blog where I’ll be rounding up my favourite picks from the DR sale!

Disclaimer: all opinions my own, though The Dressing Room did kindly allow me to keep the item of my choice.

Swimwear is a feminist issue

I’ve just returned from a wonderful week in sunny Lanzarote. While I was there I couldn’t help noticing the huge disparity between the way women comport themselves in swimwear, and the way men do. The men, regardless of body type, level of sunburn or proliferation of body hair, paraded around like the Hoff in Baywatch. The women were an altogether different proposition. I saw women hiding under kaftans and sarongs, only whipping them off to dash to the pool. I saw women constantly, self-consciously re-adjusting their swimsuits and bikinis. I saw women actually swimming in t-shirts and shorts, less they expose the world to the horror that is their body. And, do you know what? I’m no better. In the weeks leading up to this break I have been in the gym 3 times a week, pounding the pavements even more regularly. Dragging my husband’s weights out from under the bed at 10pm for a few reps of bicep curls. I’ve subsisted predominantly off the Pret Souper healthy soups and forgone many an evening meal. All in pursuit of the perfect ‘bikini body’.

And for all that effort, yes, I lost 10lbs and toned up a bit, but did that stop me furtively tucking my pouchy little tummy into my bikini bottoms every time I sat down and mithering about my carb intake at every meal time? It did not.

A wise friend recently said that the formula to a bikini was such: Have body. Purchase bikini. Combine. She was so right. If women re-appropriated all that pre-holiday preparation time, mid-holiday angsting time and post-holiday photo dissection time, I’m pretty sure we could cure cancer or something. I propose an amnesty, celebrate your body, don’t denigrate it. Treat it well but don’t punish it for the things it cannot change.

Joanna from Poppy’s Style recently posted a photo of herself in her swimsuit. The feedback has been that she was ‘brave’, but actually, what the fuck is brave about a normal, gorgeous lady wearing a swimsuit? Why on earth shouldn’t she be proud of her body and all its achievements? And why shouldn’t I? I can run for an hour without stopping with this body. I can dance all night in heels with this body. I made two babies with this body. So here it is in all its glory. And if you don’t like it? Well, I think you know what you can do…

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Outfit:

Bikini – Sweaty Betty
Patchwork tan – Model’s own

Mama got a brand new bag

I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Profuse apologies – crazy busy at work and with training for a couple of races. ANYWAY, I’m now on holiday for a couple of weeks so be prepared for a blog deluge!

The sales season is starting and this week those good people at Matches sent me a sale preview code. I really didn’t think I wanted anything, but I thought I’d have a squiz anyway. Big mistake. Huge.
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I’d been fancying a silver bag for a while, but I’d not found ‘the one’. Then I saw this Alexander Wang Rockie. Yes, my beloved Rocco’s baby brother. So sparkly, so pretty, so MINE.

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Flat Out

I’ve been neglecting this blog of late – life has been a bit hectic, but never fear I’ll be back soon with my quest for a holiday wardrobe.

Anyway, I had a request from a lovely lady to show how I wear my Boden silver pointy flats with a pencil skirt, so here I am doing just that.

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Outfit:

Top – Whistles
Skirt – Jaeger
Shoes – Boden
Necklace – Next

I’ve gone for a classic stripes and lace combo here, keeping the palette monochrome with just a hint of colour in the necklace to let the shoes stand out.

I know a lot of people think the shoe natural partner for a pencil skirt is a heel but I think, especially in the case of a tighter tube style skirt, the flats help to tone the look down and stop a tight skirt from being overtly sexy (not always business appropriate, depending on your profession).

What do you think – pencil skirts and flats, hit or miss?

Can I wear a crop top?

Possibly one of the most terrifying trends of the past few years is the return of the crop top. Circa 1998 I was happily trotting around in a Kookai cropped t-shirt with my low slung baggy combats, pretending I was the fifth member of All Saints, but this is 15 years and two babies later so can I still wear one?

To be honest I had dismissed the matter out of hand with a hollow laugh, until I was browsing the Adidas website (looking for running tops for my dear husband’s birthday) when I spotted this:

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I have a bit of a thing for pineapples. I eat at least one a week and just love the look of them. No idea why, but we all have our niche interests. So you can see why this appealed to me. I ordered it thinking I’d just wear it over another vest to the gym, but when I arrived I liked it too much to condemn it to a life as exercise wear.

A pair of high waisted jeans and a boyfriend cardi later we have this. So can I pull it off or am I delusional?

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Outfit:

Cardigan – Gap
Top – Adidas x Farm
Jeans – Goldsign
Shoes – Next

What should I wear to a theme park?

So after several days schlepping through Disneyland Paris and a day at Peppa Pig World with two demented toddlers this week, I feel I’ve earned my stripes on this subject. It’s a question I’ve seen pop up on the style and beauty boards of Mumsnet many times, so I thought I’d throw my two-penneth in.

I’ll start from the bottom up. There are two things that can really ruin a family day out. The first is being unprepared for inclement weather and the second is inadequate footwear. I always, always wear flats on this kind of day. I’m quite comfortable in a chunky mid heel but I wouldn’t consider it for theme-parking.

Another pitfall is wearing a shoe you have not worn for a prolonged period before. I destroyed my feet on a brutally hot day at Legoland last summer by wearing a pair of gladiator sandals. Sweaty feet and multiple straps = the seventh circle of chafing. I recommend trainers (I prefer high top or sporty styles, but I’m sure Converse/Superga would work equally well) for cooler weather or something like a Fitflop (I know, I know, but they are SO COMFORTABLE) for summer. At the moment you could probably pass ‘em off in the name of Normcore.

I’ve just snapped up these fabulous pink Nike Internationalists after stalking them for months – they’ll be perfect for future days out.

Nike Internationalist - now on sale at £47

Nike Internationalist – now on sale at £47

Next you’ll be wanting trousers. Theme parks aren’t really the place for skirts, IMHO. Too short and you’ll be flashing unsuspecting tourists, too long and you’ll be stumbling on it as you clamber on and off the log flume. I suppose knee length could work but I’ve never had any success with knee length casual skirts. Comfortable jeans with at least (because no one wants to see your arse) a mid rise are good for cooler weather, whereas I find a cropped version good for summer. If you’re so inclined you could do shorts, but be wary of thigh chafe if you’re not a sylph. Keep the length decent though (see arse point above – underbum is even worse).

I’ve been favouring my new Gap distressed straight legs lately, they feel slightly fresher than skinnies or boyfriends. They are showing as £69.99 on the website but I picked mine up for less than half that on offer in store, so I’d advise checking there. I like the fact the distressed areas are patched at the back (keeps the chill out, said the gimmer).

1969 destructed raw-edge real straight skimmer jeans - £69.99

1969 destructed raw-edge real straight skimmer jeans – £69.99

On top, layers are always a winner. You usually start out on these days at the crack and it can feel nippy, even in summer. Chances are you’ll be in and out of overheated attractions too, so you may need to shed a layer. On my most recent trip I found a vest, short sleeved tee and lightweight sweater a good arrangement. In winter, I recommend a full layer of Uniqlo Heattech or similar (yep, leggings and all). This was my saviour when we went to see Father Christmas at Peppa Pig World. I was deliciously snug while Mr TMT cried like a little bitch all day.

On our trip to Disneyland Paris I favoured these Gap Pure body tees. They’re a great price and my grey one is now coming up on three year’s service and still looks as new.

Pure Body short-sleeve tee - £10.95

Pure Body short-sleeve tee – £10.95

As far as jumpers are concerned, I tend to prefer a lightweight merino knit or a slogan/graphic sweatshirt. Currently tickling my fancy is this little Zoe Karssen number:

Camo cotton-blend jersey sweatshirt - £95

Camo cotton-blend jersey sweatshirt – £95

Coat wise, I would always suggest a waterproof of some description, especially if in the UK. Theme Parks rarely have a great deal of shelter and being wet and soggy is THE WORST. In winter you obviously want your all weather down jobber. Again Mr TMT shivered in his waxed jacket while I was a paragon of smug warmth in my Barbour. How we laughed. Well, I did. This time, it was fairly fresh down in Hampshire so I wore my lightweight neon parka which was last year’s Gap. It was also excellent at keeping the worst off on the water rides. However, I appreciate neon yellow may not be everyone’s bag, so this grey Mango one may be a tad more versatile…

Mango Lightweight Parka - £69.99

Mango Lightweight Parka – £69.99

Bag wise I always take two. A cross body for my essentials (read: iPhone) and a rucksack for the kids’ crap. As my Disneyland Paris wardrobe was a capsule collection of navy and grey I chose this lovely lime number to add a bit of interest.

Twin Henderson - £39.99

Twin Henderson – £39.99

Rucksack-wise, it was my trusty Kanken. This bag has been hands-down my best buy of the year so far. I use it pretty much every day, either as a gym bag or to cart toddler paraphernalia. I’ve got a sensible navy one, but I quite fancy the slightly less practical but gorgeous blush pink. Can you tell I’m having a love affair with pink at the moment? You can currently get 15% off with code BONUS15.

Blush Pink Kanken Classic - £65.00

Blush Pink Kanken Classic – £65.00

I’m probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. Hopefully it will prove useful to someone! And to prove I practice what I preach, here I am at not-so-sunny Peppa Pig World (looking ever so slightly broken by the experience).

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Outfit

Coat – Gap
Sweatshirt – Zoe Karssen
Jeans – Gap
Trainers – New Balance
Bag – Balenciaga

Where the magic happens…

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I’m currently residing chez Disneyland Paris where mes enfants are having a fantastic time and my husband and I are speaking a lot of Frenglish.

Quote of the trip:

Mr TMT – ‘oh look, there’s Peter Pan and Dr Hook!’ I was quite disappointed when the Captain did not break out a rendition of ‘A Little Bit More’, but clearly you can’t have it all, even at Disneyland.

Back soon with some proper fashion chat!