Purchase update

My Isabel Marant ear cuffs arrived and I have to say I’m really thrilled with them – they’re just a bit of fun but add a touch of edge to my outfits. They’re also very comfortable so a winner all round.

They’re back in stock on Net-A-Porter and for £24, I think they’re an affordable update.

IMG_2976.JPGP.S. apologies for scary close up – I’m off to wax my face!

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What I got for Christmas (and a little sales wish list)…

Bit late in posting this – as usual, the festive season chewed me up and spat me out a shadow of my former self. I’m secretly quite glad it’s now January and 11am drinking is frowned upon once more.

I was very lucky to receive some beautiful things for Christmas, the first of which being these J Crew shoes:

Collection lace-up caged pumps

Collection lace-up caged pumps

They had their inaugural wear on NYE and while they weren’t like walking on air exactly, I was able to dance all night and walk home in them, which is more than can be said of most of my shoe collection. Yes, they are pricey, but I think really special occasion shoes are worth the investment. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable addition to your shoe collection, you may like the next pair Santa brought me, as they’re now in the sale:

Kurt Geiger Jamie Black High Heel Sandal

Kurt Geiger Jamie Black High Heel Sandal

I haven’t worn these Kurt Geiger sandals yet but they’ve been very comfortable when parading about the house. I have a smart dinner to attend next weekend so I’ll probably wear these with either leather leggings or a LBD – I’ll report back on the comfort factor.

Alexander McQueen De Manta Printed Clutch

Alexander McQueen De Manta Printed Clutch

I’ve wanted a De Manta clutch for, ooh, forever, and this diamond print,  monochrome version is perfect for me. It’s currently sold out as it went into the sale, but if you’re after one, keep checking back for returns as it’s a great price for a forever bag.

Elsa Peretti charcoal-colour Bone cuff

Elsa Peretti charcoal-colour Bone cuff

Last on my gift list (other than the usual DVD box sets) is this stunning Tiffany cuff. This is another item I have had on my wish list for years so I was just thrilled to add it to my jewellery box. My lovely husband did very well this year!

So, what have I got my eye on in the sales?

Jigsaw Pheobe Shearling Tote

Jigsaw Pheobe Shearling Tote – Was £149 Now £74

This plush shearling tote is stunning in real life. I have lots of small cross body bags, but I am a bit lacking in the tote department. This would be handy for those days when I need to carry a little bit more!

Rosemunde Short Sleeve Lace T-Shirt  - Was £77 Now £53

Rosemunde Short Sleeve Lace T-Shirt – Was £77 Now £53

I already have this top in navy and I get loads of wear from it – I love this plum shade, it would look great with black skinnies in the evening, or teamed with a pencil skirt for the office.

Isabel Marant Silver-tone ear cuffs

Isabel Marant Silver-tone ear cuffs

I’ve just ordered these ear cuffs after having them pinned for a while as I noticed they were on sale. I always wanted more ear piercings, but wasn’t badass enough (and getting my navel pierced at a festival with the predictable consequences put me off a bit) so these are a good compromise!

So, what did you find in your stocking? Or have you snared any great bargains in the sale? I’d love to hear about them – comments in the usual ways!

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!

Denim dress in action

Today was the inaugural wear of the Espirit denim dress.
20140322-152843.jpgWhile I concede it will be approx. 1 trillion times better when worn with bare legs and sandals I do quite like it like this. I’ve had the slip-on flats for a while but I don’t think I’ve featured them on here – they were from the Next clearance section and were a bargain £18, for leather. Don’t mind if I do.

So what do you think? Please don’t all say farmhand, the comedian I married has already said it once today, and also criticised it as another iteration of dungarees (a pair of which I have also recently acquired, much to his chagrin).

Outfit:

Dress – Esprit
Scarf – Isabel Marant
Shoes – Next

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.

Houndstooth

So while I haven’t been doing very well at the old ‘blog more regularly’ resolution, I haven’t done too badly on the others. Hell, I haven’t even had a drink since I last posted!
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I ordered this jumper from Atterley Road after spotting it over on Avril’s blog. It’s by Selected Femme and the combination of the jumbo houndstooth print and the great price for a wool/cotton mix reeled me in. Initially I wasn’t too sure – it is very bold and I tried it on when I was really suffering from the post-Xmas bloat, so I shoved it back in the box with a mind to returning it. Luckily I’ve had no time to organise that and this morning on a whim I stuck it back on (having lost most of the podge) and Mr TMT, who has a real horror of patterns, actually remarked on how nice it was. So that was that.

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I’m wearing it with another sales buy; my new Isabel Marant Bennett wedge trainers, which I acquired shortly before Christmas. I’ve hankered after these for so long that when they popped up at a sensible (relatively speaking ) price, I couldn’t resist. The fact that they are zebra print is just an added bonus.

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I’m also wearing another of my new favourite possessions. I found this Kenzo ring in my stocking on Christmas morning and haven’t taken it off. Thanks Santa!

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Outfit:

Jumper – Selected Femme (now sold out)
Jeans – Paige c/o The Dressing Room
Trainers – Isabel Marant
Tiger ring – Kenzo
Labradorite ring – Monica Vinader

Something else I can’t get excited about…

Two reasons why I’m really not a proper fashion blogger:

– I’ve not yet been to J Crew, I may not even go until next week; and

– I didn’t even log on to the H&M website today.

I know, right? It’s blogging blasphemy, but I just can’t get excited about designer collaborations. It’s not that I don’t like Ms Marant – my pink scarf is absolutely gorgeous; and god knows I’ve put those wedge trainers on my Christmas wishlist more than once take the hint Mr TMT – but I can’t help thinking, in the style of Carrie Bradshaw, ‘are high street/designer collaborations all they’re cracked up to be?’.

The general consensus seems to be that when you buy from one of these collections you’re getting a designer piece at a high street price, but what if you’re just getting a low-end high street piece at a high-end hight street price? I got sucked in during the Marni x H&M furore and ordered a pair of silver sandals for £39.99. A fair enough price for leather, sure, but would I have ordered those same sandals at the same price if they’d just said plain old H&M on the label and come tied together with a piece of elastic, rather than in a funky semi-transparent green box? Probably not, is the honest answer – they give me blisters and cankles. I’m not sure which is worse.

I had a squiz at the collection when the images were released (well how could you not – if you’re on Instagram, Twitter or read any fashion related publication you probably felt like you were slapped in the face with it) and while I some of it, paying £200 for a H&M jacket isn’t something I’ll be doing soon, especially when Isabel Marant Etoile jackets start in the region of £280. I’d rather save a little longer and pay a little more for the real thing.

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The gulf between designer and high street has narrowed considerably in recent years. Many designers have fantastic diffusion lines at accessible price points and stores like Whistles and Reiss bridge the gap beautifully, turning out sharp, modern, wearable collections that nod to trends without being as ostensibly ‘AW13’ as the catwalk collections. As a result, for me, ‘designer’ stuff doesn’t have quite the cachet it once did (bags and shoes excepted, natch). Personally, I’d rather spend my £200 on a well made jacket from Whistles.

I also can’t get hugely on board with the philosophy behind the collection – apparently Marant was tired of seeing mass produced, cheaper copies of her stuff churned out, so she thought she’d get a slice of the pie by churning out her own cheaper copies. Hmm. But isn’t £200 for a cotton jacket being a little bit grabby?

Well, apparently not – people will pay more, one is currently up to £427 on eBay as I type. Maybe she should have charged more?

Still each to their own, ‘buy what makes you happy’ has always been my philosophy, and those girls pouring out of the stores clutching their tie-dye totes certainly did look happy, so she’s doing something right, it’s just not for me!

P.S. Isabel, you do know I had a pair of wedge trainers in 1996, right? They were from Tammy Girl.