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!

Back in the saddle

Hello strangers, long time no see

I appreciate this is entirely my fault, but life has changed significantly chez TMT and I hope to be doing a lot more blogging over the next few months. Yeah, yeah, I hear you dry, you’ve heard it all before, but this time I genuinely might pull it off. Why? Because I’ve taken a year out from corporate life and am currently a full time SAHM for the next year. My progeny have started school and pre-school respectively this week and trying to synchronise the three different types of childcare I’d need to be able to work was giving me a panic attack and as I am fortunate enough to have the option, I thought I’d do it myself. SO, there probably will be a bit less workwear, though I’ll still be featuring it (I need a kick-ass RTW wardrobe, don’t I?) but hopefully more content as a whole.

ANYWAY, enough of my mithering (autocorrect changed that to mothering, how apt) and on to what we’re all really interested in – fashion. While I might not have been posting, I’ve certainly been shopping, so I’ll start with a few of my recent wardrobe additions and what I thought of them.

First up, I had a bit of a spree at Baukjen. They are so on it this season, I found myself saying the other day that I just wanted to move into the catalogue!

Henfield Bandeau Top - £49

Henfield Bandeau Top – £49

I bought this top simply because I love the way it is styled on the website – easy, simple and chic. I would advise sizing down; I got the small and really I think I could have done with the XS as, while it’s in no danger of falling down, I would still prefer it a little tighter. I wore it recently with ripped jeans and bright pointy flats and felt really good in the ensemble.

Weston Jumpsuit - £99

Weston Jumpsuit – £99

This jumpsuit is so comfortable it should be illegal. I wore this on a night out at a club and felt like I was wearing my pyjamas. It was so simple to style as well – statement necklace and zebra print heels – I was good to go. It was also great to wear the next day with my high tops when ruinously hungover. Unlike a lot of jumpsuits, this one is really flattering on the bum. I got an 8 which is a perfect fit.

Wrap Belt – £69

The last item I picked up was this gorgeous obi style wrap belt. I won’t lie, this is significantly more than I would normally spend on a belt but I fell in love and have worn it a lot. I’ve found it really useful for work, perfect for brightening up a waitress style white shirt, black pencil skirt combo, or lovely over a black or navy dress. I’ve also worn it over a black blazer and cami in the evening with skinny jeans. I would say that it is one size, so while it looks similar on me to the model (I have a 24in waist, shame about the thighs and arse) if you had a bigger waist you may not get the same effect.

Another wardrobe hero I have to mention is this Jigsaw cami:

Silk Camisole - £39

Silk Camisole – £39

It actually looks a lot better on the Jigsaw website (this picture is from the John Lewis site as Jigsaw don’t seem to be Mac friendly), but this cami has been worth it’s weight in gold. I searched high and low for a nice SILK cami with adjustable straps and finally found this. I love it and wear it a lot. Good work Jigsaw!

Another high street hero comes in the form of these jeans:

Bleach Wash New Baxter Jeans - £40

Bleach Wash New Baxter Jeans – £40

I’m normally a bit of a premium denim junkie but I found myself in Topshop trying on a load of jeans and I have to say I was really impressed. These came home with me and I have been really happy with them. They hold their shape really well and are (I think) really quite flattering for a pale wash. Only slight gripe is that they were obviously made for something taller as the rips come a little below my knees but that’s not really Topshop’s fault!

I’ve suddenly developed a real shirt addiction. Luckily Uniqlo have a really splendid collection of shirts to feed my habit without bankrupting me totally.

Denim Long Sleeve Shirt - £19,90

Denim Long Sleeve Shirt – £19,90

Everyone needs a denim shirt, right? Well this is a great one to have, good thick fabric in a lovely dark wash.

Silk Sleeveless Blouse - £29.90

Silk Sleeveless Blouse – £29.90

I’ve been wanting a black sleeveless shirt for a while. To get it in silk for under £30 was the icing on the cake. Tremendous.

Ines Cotton Twill Long Sleeve Shirt - £29.90

Ines Cotton Twill Long Sleeve Shirt – £29.90

This white shirt is from the Ines de la Fressange collection and is really lovely. It is quite long, just covers my bum, slightly oversized and mannish with lovely shaping to the shirt-tails. The fabric is soft and thick. Very pleased indeed. I got a size S in all of these Uniqlo shirts.

Continuing my shirt frenzy with something slightly more expensive, ahem, I attended the opening of the Sloane Square branch of J.Crew on Tuesday evening, where I snapped up this:

Flannel Shirt - £89.50

Flannel Shirt – £89.50

I wouldn’t normally drop this on a cotton shirt but the colours and cut are beautiful and I know I will wear it a lot. Sizing is typically generous, I got a UK 6 and event that is relatively roomy.

Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a handbag to include in this little line up.

Gucci Soho Disco Bag - £570

Gucci Soho Disco Bag – £570

Terrible picture on the Gucci site – will take my own and upload at some point as this doesn’t do it justice! I have to admit, this purchase was fuelled by three bottles of Rioja after a very boozy lunch on Bank Holiday Monday. Note to self, do not drink within walking distance of Selfridges. Anyway, I’m glad I got her as she is such lovely leather and fills the little navy bag shaped hole in my life quite snugly.

The last item on my list of recent acquisitions, I’m still waiting for. HURRY UP DHL!

Rockstud textured-leather point-toe flats - £575

Rockstud textured-leather point-toe flats – £575

Today is my fourth wedding anniversary and these little beauties are my present. Off out for dinner tonight and hoping to wear them – apparently an £8 delivery charge means nothing. Sigh.

Anyway, that completes my round-up of recent purchases. What do you think? Any clangers in there? I’ll be back soon with my A/W wish list…

Style Crushed

So with the fashion world abuzz at the opening on the UK’s very first J Crew store tomorrow, all eyes are on the brand’s legendary creative director who took it from zero to hero in the blink of a boldly bespectacled eye.

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Yes, I’m talking about none other than Jenna Lyons. The blogosphere is awash with fashionistas proclaiming her to be their ‘style icon’ and ‘girl crush’, so like the contrary little madam I am, I’m stepping up to be the lone voice of dissent.

Actually, that’s not fair, I do admire her style and I have A LOT of respect for any high-profile unabashed glasses-wearer. She is also evidently a pretty savvy business woman, who certainly knows what people want. However, the madness has gone too far.

My copy of Grazia was waiting on the doormat when I got home last night, Jenna as cover girl, promising to disclose her style secrets within. Oh yes, such gems as ‘dress for your body shape’, ‘nick your fella’s jumper’ (I’m paraphrasing, natch) and ‘try and stick to a limited colour palette when travelling’. I mean, god love her for trying, but it’s hardly new material, is it? I know we’re all reinventing the wheel when it comes to fashion, and yes, I concede, Jenna does a better job than most, but she does have the slight advantage of being over 6ft tall, extremely well paid and with one of the world’s most celebrated clothing brands at her disposal.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my own girl crushes – Kristen Stewart, for example – I bloody love her. Never afraid to be seen without make-up and wearing a hoody, she’s a girl after my own heart. She refuses to get tarted up to nip to Starbucks, but when she does the red carpet, man, does she rock it? But the fact still remains that celebrities have it easier than mere mortals.

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The people I most admire are the ones who don’t get sackloads of free stuff everyday or have an army of hair and make up artists trailing in their wake. Like my fabulous friend L who dresses entirely to please herself in a mish-mash of bright prints and textures that should never work but always do, on a primary school teacher’s salary. Or the lovely K (*waves to Germany*) who always looks effortlessly beautiful and chic in her blues, greys and pinks. Or my colleague E, whose style could not be further from my own – think pastels, pearls, tidy chignons – who looks so sleek and immaculate she makes me feel like Medusa. I know so many stunning, stylish women that this list could go on for the rest of time, so I’ll leave it there. My point is the women I really admire are the ones figuring out their own style everyday, without any help or fanfare. So pay it forward folks, if you see a woman at the bus stop in a fabulous coat, tell her! If there’s someone at work you think has great taste in shoes, let her know. I know nothing makes my day like an unsolicited compliment, especially from a relative stranger (shallow? Me?)

P.S. I do love Jenna really, I just know that if I tried to dress like her i’d be like the Danny DeVito to her Arnold Schwartzenegger (Twins, great movie).

P.P.S. can someone let me know when it’s safe to go to J Crew on Regent St? I have kids to think of so I don’t want to die in a stampede like Mufasa (Lion King, also great movie).

A quick one from me…

I’m just starting to emerge, wincing in the light, from my meningitis fog, so I’ll dip my toe gently back into blogging by showing you a few new acquisitions.

Since I’ve relaxed my spending ban I have picked up a couple of bits, though I haven’t gone too nuts

Much has been made of the J Crew Tippi sweaters, and I didn’t really get the hype – they just looked like another crew neck jumper to me. However, I saw this fish print version on a stylish friend and she looked so fabulous in it I had to snap it up.

20131009-200915.jpgWhen I had it in my hands a couple of days later (super quick delivery from the US) I understood the fuss. The merino is deliciously soft and light, yet super warm, and the cut is extremely flattering. I love the quirky print, though next time I think I’ll get a plain grey. Excellent value at the sale price of £40, I thought. I won’t be wearing it with my Hawaiian print shorts though – sorry to disappoint.

My next buy was this Baukjen Ruched skirt. I had the maternity version from Isabella Oliver and it was so useful, so when Baukjen emailed me a random 43% discount code I ordered it in the grey.

20131009-201644.jpgI’m really pleased with it – the fit is great and it is a delight to wear as it is so comfortable. I think it will become a very useful work staple!

I bought this Hobbs dress on a trip to Bicester. I had liked it at the full price £110 so I was made up to find it there for £30.

20131009-202232.jpgIt’s a bit of a departure from my usual bodycon dresses, but I really love the print and hey, it’s nice to have something to wear on days you don’t feel like putting the goods in the shop window.

The last cheeky buy was a bit more of an indulgence. I got a bonus at work and wanted to make sure I bought something special before it was swallowed up in the litany of child related expenses that seem to absorb my salary like a particularly effective sheet of kitchen roll. I was half toying with getting something sensible, like a pair of sturdy boots when I clocked these little bad boys in Gucci at Bicester….

20131009-202705.jpgWell, who needs practical footwear anyway?