Things what I bought in the sales

So January is FINALLY over, I’ve been paid (thank god) and I’m ready to embrace the new season. Sorry you’ve not seen much of me lately – I’ve come good on my New Year’s Resolution to do more exercise and have been out running pretty much every spare minute of my day.

So, what have a bought in the sales? Well beside a lot of neon running gear, which I’ll spare you the sight of, quite a bit actually…

You’ve seen these already, the Isabel Marant Bennett wedge high top:

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These are already proving their worth and have been worn many times. They tick all the boxes for me. A good buy!

Zoe Karssen ‘Homme’ hoodie:

20140131-125104.jpgI’m wearing this as we speak. I picked it up half price in the Matches sale and I love it. So comfy while being fitted and still slightly edgy so I don’t feel like a total slob.

Hobbs Lulu dress:

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I’d been stalking this dress for a while and when it dropped to £50 I bagged it. A great work basic.

Jewel of Liberty silk scarf:

20140131-125758.jpgSometimes an item just speaks to you. I spotted this scarf when I was mooching in Liberty just before Christmas and I just fell in love. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure, but I’ve never liked tea anyway. I got it at half price which I was very pleased about. I’ve worn it a few times air hostess style but I’m looking for inspiration to tie it in other ways if anyone has an idea!

Me&Em Ruched Cowl Neck Dress

Me&EmI have the short sleeved version of this dress in navy and it has been so useful that I couldn’t resist the forest green long-sleeved version. I’ve said it before but these dresses feel as close to wearing your pyjamas to work as possible – perhaps I shouldn’t be so pleased about that, but in my world comfort is king!

James Perse Tank Dress

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I’ve shown you my James Perse dress before, but I am so pleased with this one, it really is a ‘take you anywhere’ dress with the right accessories – not bad for £50.

Dune Nins boots

Dune NiinsThese were a bit of an impulse buy while roaming the Selfridges sale. They have a very definite look of the Rag & Bone Newburys but were about a tenth of the price. I’m finding them very useful on evenings out when I want to look a bit glam but can’t face cold feet (i.e. 9 months of the year).

Comptoir des Cotonniers wedge boots

Comptoir

Irritatingly these boots are now cheaper than they were when I bought them, but I have had so much wear out of them I can’t begrudge £20. They are fabulously French chic and easy on the feet. What’s not to like?

Charles Phillip Slippers

CPSAnother buy you already know about, my fab tartan slippers. Impractical and a bit ridiculous, these make me happy every time I look at my feet!

Rich and Skinny jeans

R&S

These jeans were a lucky TK Maxx find. I always find my best buys in their clearance section which either means I have hideous taste and am hopelessly deluded or that the general public are less appreciative than I. I prefer the latter option. These may have knocked my Goldsign Virtuals off the top of my jeans hierarchy – they are so flattering. There were a few different Rich and Skinny styles in my local branch, so could be worth a look.

Dr Denim solitaire jeggings

Dr DenimI needed black jeans and I was all ready to spring for some premium denim but was struggling to find what I wanted. I know my favourites The Dressing Room stock this label, and Deryane the manager knows her stuff, so I thought I’d give the Solitaire jeggings a whirl. I’m really glad I did! When they arrived they were TINY. I genuinely didn’t think an actual human could wear them, but man, do they stretch. The rise on these is high, as in up to my navel, but I love that as there is zero danger of flashing my pants. They keep their shape remarkably well and for £30, I’m made up.

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Happy New Year!

Hope you’ve had a slightly more auspicious start to the new year than I have. Let’s just say the January detox hasn’t quite got underway due to the consumption of a much needed restorative bacon sandwich. Last night Mr TMT and I ventured out on NYE for the first time in 5 years and ended up in a painfully trendy bar where the cocktails were served in the sort of flasks I used in physics experiments and everyone had a ‘directional’ haircut. It was good fun – the ‘ironic’ music they were playing could have come straight from my iPod – but my head is a little sore this morning.
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Such an occasion necessitates a new dress, don’t you think, and as luck would have it I stumbled across one while doing the (third) round of the Selfridges sale. I bagged this James Perse tank dress for the knock down price of £50, reduced from £250.

20140101-122717.jpgIt doesn’t look that exciting but I’ve been looking like a dress like this for a couple of years. I had a fab maternity version from Isabella Oliver that I absolutely loved and have been looking for a non-maternity equivalent ever since. It will be really versatile as I can glam it up with heels and jewels for most evening occasions or sling it on with flip flops and a denim jacket in the summer. I wore it last night with a chunky chain collar necklace from Coast and a pair of metallic ankle boots that I bagged in the Dune sale. I didn’t feel too out of place among the hipsters, so it can’t have been too bad that or I’m delusional. Here is a very low quality drunken photo, featuring my husband’s thumb.

20140101-123403.jpgYou get the idea…

Back soon with my style resolutions and a round up of my sales purchases!

(Probably not) made in Chelsea

You’ll have noticed by now I’ve curbed my spending (a bit) in pursuit of a lovely new handbag. Broadly speaking, it hasn’t been that hard, largely owing to the fact I have quite an extensive wardrobe, but there is one item I’ve had a yen for – a pair of Chelsea boots. I remember having a pair from Ravel (remember them?) when I was about 8 or 9 and loving them, and just lately I’ve been thinking they might be the solution to all my footwear problems (so, just like every other pair of boots I’ve ever bought then?)

At first I thought I might get the Russell & Bromley Cadogans, which I’ve wanted for a couple of years but, being a constantly evolving creature, I have now decided they are too shiny.

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The Grenson Jessies are very similar but less shiny and I really like these, but I’m not yet totally sure whether I want brogue detailing or not.

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If I were going to opt for brogue detailing, these Balenciaga Arenas would be the dream. Well, if they’re good enough for Kate Moss…

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From the sublime to the ridiculous but also pretty sublime, I saw this beautiful blue velvet Penelope Chilvers pair in the flesh at Matches the other day. They are sumptuous, but I need to remember my lifestyle is not one into which a pair of velvet boots would easily fit.

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A surprising contender from M&S here – the navy elastic insert adds a bit of interest and I always get on well with an almond toe (I have weird pointy feet).

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If I could have any boots at all it would be this Saint Laurent pair, but they would eat quite heavily into the bag fund and I’d have to get the Gucci Disco (the cheapest on my shortlist – what a hardship). They are pretty special though.

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I’ve always had a good success rate with Dune boots, and I like the low ankle on this pair. Not the most exciting by any means, but I do like them.

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And onto the ones I’ll probably buy – the Dr Martens Kensington Flora. I used to love my DMs as a kid and I think I’m ready for my first adult pair. This is a nice entry level option before I graduate to the 8-hole.

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They also come in burgundy, which I really love, but would that be limiting? I don’t know.

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So which do you like the best? Please don’t say the Saint Laurent…

The Flat Pack

Well I never! The sun actually shone over London for pretty much the duration of the bank holiday weekend. Planets must have aligned or some shiz. Anyway, I hear it will be raining again tomorrow, but in honour of the three days of actually-fairly-average-for-this-time-of-year-but-gratefully-received weather I will be posting today about my favourite summer staple – the flat sandal.

Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection, so I thought I’d show you a few of my favourites! This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I have several hormonal chin spots and really don’t want my photo taken. Oh no.

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First up are this neon pair from Topshop. Neon never seems to show up properly in photos, but these are bright! I love these so much, they seem to go with everything, and they really enhance a tan! I regret not buying the pink and yellow they did too.

20130527-192319.jpgThe nearest I could find were these MM6 beauties, not cheap at £215, but hey, the sales are coming up!

20130527-193059.jpgThis leather tribal pair set me back a massive £3, brand new, at my local car boot sale. I love these on holiday as they are super light and have foam soles, so make a more sophisticated alternative to flip flops. They jazz up my cropped denims a treat and also work well with a Breton dress.

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This Antik Batik pair would work just as well and are currently on sale at £59. I love pink and orange together – the perfect zingy colour combo!

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These were my only purchase from last year’s much feted H&M collaboration with Marni. The prints didn’t really do it for me but I knew I had to have these beauties. I love how shiny they are but I’m not convinced they don’t make me look a little cankletastic so I usually wear them with a maxi.

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Silver sandals are so versatile and these Dune gladiators would add interest to the simplest summer outfit. I’d wear them with boyfriend jeans and a stripy tee.

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I think everyone needs a pair of jewel encrusted flats in their life! These River Island ones saved my bacon at a few summer weddings during my second pregnancy and now I always sling them in my bag when I go to one, so I can slip them on when I’m bored of my heels sinking in the grass/dancing/just plain too drunk to stand in heels.

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This Karen Millen pair are so elegant, I think they’d be the smart option for any summer event. Pain-free chic gets my vote every time!

leopard This leopard pair from Boden are among my very favourites. They are really comfy and I love the strappy, cage-like effect. I’ll even forgive them the dodgy tan lines!

all ba

This All Black pair are a simpler style, but just as chic! I’m very tempted by these. They’d be perfect with a black column maxi.

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These Nine West gladiators were my first foray into the world of the flat sandal (flip flops excepted). They pre-date my husband and I love them nearly as much! I remember buying them on a shopping trip with my mum – she talked me into them. Ahead of her time, as always!

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If you’re after your own snakey sandal, the Studio Beat from Clarks could be the one. I really like the chain detailing on the front strap and the way the pattern continues onto the heel – the devil is in the detail when it comes to flat sandals!

gigis

Ah, Sam Edelman Gigis. The eternal blogger’s cliche. And, just like the Michael Kors watch before them, I’m a fully signed up member of the club. My rose gold pair came to me via the Outnet for a very reasonable £37. They really are as comfortable as everyone says!

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Should I ever find myself in need of a second pair, I think I’d choose these animal print lovelies, though the Gigi comes in SO many colour ways I’d be spoilt for choice.

So, that completes my run down of my favourite flat sandals. Did you notice the glaring omission? There is one, I promise, and I’ll be discussing that in further detail in my next post. If none of those bad boys tickle your fancy, I’ll leave you with one more pair. Sporty and practical with a hint of Louis Vuitton-style checkerboard detailing….

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Nice, eh? So, what did you get up to in the sunshine? Did you get your toes out? Do let me know!

Monday Morning Lust List – Monochrome Stripes

After a week of patchy blogging, I’m hitting the ground running today. A slightly different sort of lust list today as I am focussing not on a single store, but on a particular trend that is really tickling my fancy at the moment. Monochrome was all over the S/S13 catwalks and this has naturally filtered down onto the high street, but I particularly love it in stripe format. Maybe it’s my inner burglar, I don’t know. Anyway, luckily for me, I’m spoilt for choice!

Prom Skirt, £22 - Dorothy Perkins

Prom Skirt, £22 – Dorothy Perkins

I love the slight volume to this skirt, and the fact that it is 98% cotton is a real selling point – it is so hard to find natural fibres at a reasonable price! I have just ordered this with code DPVC20 (valid until 19 May) giving 20% off. I will report back.

Trench coat, £99.99 - Banana Republic

Trench coat, £99.99 – Banana Republic

I have liked this trench for a while, and it’s now on sale, but of course it has sold out in my size. I will have to do a trawl of the London stores. I’ve not had a Banana Republic trench before but, as I understand it, the quality and cut are among the best on the high street.

Striped knit blazer, £49.99 - Banana Republic

Striped knit blazer, £49.99 – Banana Republic

While I’m on the subject of Banana Republic, here’s another stripey little bargain. I think this would definitely need to be a try on in-store enterprise as I’m not sure the cut would work on me, but I can see it being a really verstaile office cover up.

Striped dress, £39 – Kaleidoscope

I’ve never bought from, or even really ever looked at, Kaleidoscope before, but I LOVE this dress. I think I’m going to have to order it because it ticks all my boxes; crew neckline, slimming side panels and cinching waist band. Click on the pic and check it out on the model, because I’m not sure this shot does it justice!

Cotton striped T-shirt, £22.99 - Mango

Cotton striped T-shirt, £22.99 – Mango

For a more casual take on the trend, how about this tee from Mango. I like the slight twist on the stereotypical Breton top, and I think the relaxed shape makes it really easy to wear.

Tibi Camisole, £195 - Net-A-Porter

Tibi Camisole, £195 – Net-A-Porter

I have my heart set on this cute cami by Tibi. It will have to go into the sale, because even I draw the line at spending the best part £200 on a vest, but I’m pretty sure it would be something I could bring out year after year, and as we only get about 6 days of camisole worthy weather a year in this country it would probably last me into my dotage…

T by Alexander Wang tank, £80 - Harvey Nichols

T by Alexander Wang tank, £80 – Harvey Nichols

A still pricey but slightly less absurd option would be this T by Alexander Wang tank. I’m a big fan of the brand and am building a bit of a collection, but the thing that puts me off here is the ‘off-white’ description. I’d have to see it in the flesh to determine just how far from white it really is.

 

Stripe patent court, £85 - Dune

Stripe patent court, £85 – Dune

Ok, so these aren’t quite black and white, but aren’t they fab? I’ve seen these pop up in a lot of fashion shoots, alongside some real big-hitters. I think the blush/black combo just about edges it for me, but it’s close! They’d dress up a simple shift a treat, or look great with jeans.

So, are do stripes do it for you? Or are you more into florals or colour-blocking? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I love hearing your comments, so do let me know what you think!

What’s black, white and red all over?

No, it’s not a sunburnt penguin, it’s me! Apologies, it’s been a while since I crowbarred a terrible joke into a title, and I was getting the DTs.

Anyway, never one to give up easily, I had another crack at the pleather midi with marginally more success, I hope. I’ve heeded my own advice, keeping it simple with OTK boots, a white shirt and a silk scarf for that all important ‘pop’ *cringe* of colour.

20130314-135305.jpgOutfit:
Shirt – Gerard Darel
Skirt – Unbranded charity shop find, so I shall call it ‘Vintage’
Boots – Dune
Scarf – Alexander McQueen

‘If the goods aren’t for sale…

…don’t put them in the shop window’ is not a philosophy I subscribe to, so when my husband told me he thought this dress was too sexy for our shared workplace, I threw down the gauntlet.

20130221-111217.jpgDress down with flat boots and a casual belt, I think it looks perfectly work appropriate! I am going out after work tonight and won’t have time to change completely post-bedtime apocalypse, so I’ll be swapping accessories and sexing it up for drinks with friends. I will post a quick pic later before I get legless.

Outfit:
Dress – Me&Em (currently half price!)
Boots – Dune (past season)
Belt – Whistles (past season)
Watch – Michael Kors