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