A few years ago all I ever wore were trousers, usually jeans. Thrown on with a top and a cardigan, this was my uniform. I might have had a couple of skirts or dresses in my wardrobe but they very rarely saw the light of day. I certainly only ever wore them with heels.
Nowadays I am in dresses or skirts almost every day and it is unusual for me to wear heels. Throwing on a dress and a pair of boots in the morning is my no-brain-needed-getting-ready-routine. I instinctively know what I like to see on myself and usually don't have to keep changing bits of my outfit to be happy with it.
Getting into trousers or more statement-led jeans these days is therefore something that sits slightly outside my comfort zone and whereas I know what to put on with a skirt or dress, this instinct kind of eludes me.
It therefore took me a couple of tries to find the right top to go with these pink Topshop skinnies. I decided that for their first outing I'd stay clear of pattern and just block some summer brights.
The sun was out this morning so I decided it's time for another step into the springlike direction. Out came my fairly recently acquired Versace dress. With it still being cold in the morning, boots and tights were a must but I think that the dark within the print tied this together nicely.
Apart from pastels, print is probably my favourite trend this season. Doing the top to toe thing - or even the double print - can be tricky. I think the key is to have a colour match within both prints (I'm sure, this is how my mum dresses, so not a new concept).
I love this Jil Sander paisley skirt paired with the Nina Ricci top and think it's an outfit that can be taken from office to bar so easily by just swapping shoes and handbag!
Get to the details @ Motilo by clicking right through!
So it almost feels like spring. And I wore an almost-spring outfit (as opposed to almost wearing a spring outfit). The dress from H&M is in a fine jersey so I layered with a black longsleeve top, chunky Boden cardigan and, you've guessed it, boots. I love the slouchy pockets on the dress and the poppy/cornflower print.
How have I not yet posted more about my favourite trend this season?!
Could it be that, although I am getting dressed in soft hues in my head, in reality a look out the window usually results in me pulling on the black tights & boot combo. Pastels on top of that don't really work. [let's challenge that!]
Anyway, in preparation of what will be very soon, I went a bit "all-over-pastel" on both highstreet and designer budgets. What do you think?
Blimey, another week gone again?! I
just had to fork out way to much to get my car MOT'd so shopping is
pretty much off the menu for the next few weeks. Well, maybe if I found a
current 50% off 50 essential items is running until midnight tomorrow, so if
you haven't ordered yet and fancy any of the currently offered items,
get your skates on! My current fave is this cotton jacquard skirt with
contrast lining - I think this is such a summer staple and at £17.50 an
incredible bargain! [don't forget to check back as offers are refreshed
that Boden Riviera dress I told you about last week? Well, I did a bit
of measuring and I think it's just going to be way too long and out of
proportion on me. Let's hope the lovely people at Boden will give me a
petite version next SS-season! This week it's all about knitwear, shoes and accessories, so if you're after a pretty cardigan, preppy jumper, new bag or summer flats, head straight to their weekly deal page
- at up to 25% off a few great value for money items to be had. Anyway,
I just really fancy their cricket jumper right now. Loving the neutral
but the quail egg would be perfect with some pastel items.
Missed Marni at H&M and can't afford the full price thing? One of my favourite high-end low-price places, the Outnet, is offering the cooky Italian label at up to 70% off. Alongside clothes, there are some of their statement necklaces to be found!
Happy bargain hunting and let me know if you found anything!
The pictures really don't do the dress any justice. Not that it's one of those "magic-makes-me-look-amazing-cuts" (it's an easy to wear shift) but the colour is truly stunning and the fact that it is in a semi-sheen silk, makes it feel quite luxurious.
I am really lucky to be working in the Northern Quarter of
Manchester. Not only are there lots of nice cafes, bars and little
eateries, there are also shops that provide a bit of an alternative to
Britain's great highstreet.
Craft and Design, who runs the centre, is a not-for-profit social
enterprise that supports local artists and craftspeople. The artists can
rent a studio in the fantastic airy space, use it as a work- and
retail space and profit from the footfall the centre enjoys. Disciplines
range from jewellery over sculpting and painting to clothing
and homewares. The studios are a joy to wander through, most of the
items on display incredibly covetable and the artists are usually more
than happy to have a chat about their work.
I tend to be most tempted by the jewellery and my personal favourites are:
Wonderhaus - Julia Roy Williams
Jewellery made from perspex, wood or leather. Amazing statement pieces!
images from Wonderhaus
Blac (By Lindholm and Clark)
Handmade statement jewellery mainly made from acrylic that has a distinct gothic feeling to it.
image from Blac
This studio is shared by 5 jewellers: Stephanie Brown, Jane Dzisiewski , Sue Barry, Michelle Appleton and
Helen Pickering. I love the mix of the traditional with the new, be it materials or how they are worked.
The perfect place, if you fancy a trip off the beaten track and the possibility of discovering some amazing new talent!
Jumpsuits. They have been everywhere. I think it was a couple of
seasons ago when we all (well, the ones of us who remembered at least
the back-end of the 80's) did a bit of a double-take. Whereas some of
the more fashion-forward girls might have been sporting jumpsuits for
a while, all-in-ones suddenly went all mainstream.
it can be a bit weird to put one on (and actually leave the house in it!) for the first time. They are just... different, a bit outside most
people's (and mine) comfort zone.
As much as I love
fashion, I am also a very practical dresser and an outfit, apart from
appealing to my aesthetics, needs to
a) keep me warm,
b) be comfortable and
c) reasonably easy to get in and out of.
say that jumpsuits at the very least violate one of the points above
and that, paired with the "out of the comfort zone being" is probably
the main reason why I have had a Next jumpsuit in my wardrobe for over a year and never worn it. (The fact that it's a Next jumpsuit is more than a hint as to how much mainstream these things nowadays are!)
Following my new resolution to un-Pareto my wardrobe, I decided to take the plunge and wear it. It was freezing this morning, so there ballerinas were not an option. I just had to hope that my boots did not make me look too "in the army now". A cardigan at this point were also a must.
Jumpsuit, Next, SS11 (?)
Cardigan, H&M, SS12
Well, I am not 100% convinced but at least the item has earned another few months in my overstuffed closet. I think I am just going to have to re-style, so watch this space...
My wardrobe is bursting at the seams. Apart from the actual wardrobe in my bedroom, I have some space in Mr G's (don't tell him), one in a storage space, a chest of drawers (for underwear), various boxes below the bed (neatly separated into categories) - not to mention whatever is left in my wardrobe in my parents' house.
My dream is a walk-in wardrobe. Colour-coordinated racks and shelves. No, category first, then colour! a floor to ceiling mirror that doesn't need propping up against Mr. G's wardrobe. Deep-pile carpet...
...Or maybe I'd be happy with just a bit more space and one of those mega-organized Ikea numbers...
Anyway, I am sure there are people, who have way more clothing, shoes and accessories to accommodate, especially since I have actually already gotten rid of lots over the past few years. The issue here really is that I can apply the Pareto principle to my clothes: for 80% of the time, I wear only 20% of what my wardrobe has to offer. And within those 80% there have got to be items, that haven't been worn for years but that I just can't bare to part with.
My resolution is therefore to either wear it or get rid! If I want to hold on to something, I have to wear it at least once, then decide whether I would wear it again or donate it to friends/charity/... And since I am also documenting regularly what I do wear when I leave the house, this could be interesting...
I remember going to a "designer outlet" for the first time. I had been
looking forward to it for ages, imagining fantastic finds of
still-on-trend pieces, future classics and quality goods to which my
budget would normally not stretch. I expected big names, big savings,
a big smile on my face.
Imagine my disappointment when I saw that the brands offered were high-street's last season items with 70% off. What was supposed to be a
treasure hunt ended up feeling like a rummage around the dregs of an
end of season sale. I don't want to sound like a snob, but I can afford
to shop M&S at regular prices and the sale happens at least twice a year. As nice as it is to get a bit of a bargain, what I really want from an outlet are designer pieced that I normally can't afford. A dress at £200? Yes, if I
think it's worth it. £400? Or maybe £800? Generally not. I tried another couple of outlets where the experience was a similar one and then just gave up.
Through in-law visits to Oxford I came across Bicester Village and was hooked. This was exactly what I had wanted
from an outlet: high-end names at prices that make them attainable to me.
I won't give a rundown of all stores open here (just check out the list on their website) but I will briefly present the ones I always pop by.
Diane von Furstenberg
Current season's items up to 50% reduced. This is where I bought my failsafe give-me-a-waist dress (think it was a current season, paid £150 instead of £280).
Clothing, shoes and accessories. Some menswear as well. Here I found a 3 of Anglomania dresses...
...and recently also a suit.
Jacket under £198
Clothes, shoes and accessories and a great choice at that. Some great necklaces and I am sure that will be one of my next purchases!
Bags and purses (incl. men's), some clothes and shoes. I purchased a wallet, that had a RRP of almost £300, for £120.
My go-to for luxurious leather goods, I love their notebooks. Tends to be just previous seasons'. Reductions of up to 50%.
Usually just pop in and back out as I find it all a bit too... garish but during my last visit I came across this dress (down to £120 from £300) and just fell in love with the colours.
Also worth mentioning:
There are many more and if you want, you can easily spend a whole day there. If you are after some high-street bargains then Karen Millen, All Saints and Reiss are worth mentioning.
Another major point of interest over the next few weeks will be the British Designer Collective, who will be at the village from 21st March. Not only will you be able to purchase pieces from the likes of Peter Pilotto and Marios Schwab at up to 60% off but you will be treated to an "enriched journey that surprises, delights and captures your imagination" (BFC).
I will definitely try and get down there in the next few weeks and make sure I report back!