Saturday, 18 April 2015

A question to ponder - will stripes ever have had their day?

It's been a day of four outfits today: first thing I wore running gear, then there was (another) shower followed by an outfit that I had to photograph for a brand, then into yoga stuff followed by another shower and my final outfit of the day, which was this one.

By this stage I was pretty much past the point of anything really - a long run followed by a three hour yoga workshop run by the most amazingly strong, supple, former Birmingham Royal Ballet Dancer left me wondering which was was up. Literally.

In addition to wondering which way was up, I also wondered whether stripes will ever become a victim of their own success. I do love stripes and I am eternally attracted to them like a moth to a flame. As with navy I would wear stripes head to toe day in day out but I'm just wondering whether there is a little "it's spring let's wear stripes" overload going on at the moment. Anyway, that's obviously as far as I got because here I'm wearing stripes, albeit pale blue ones rather than the ubiquitous navy ones. Such a rebel. (As she goes to bed at 10 pm with her mint tea with everything aching!!)

Outfit deets: Whistles jeans, French Connection jumper, Jigsaw necklace, Aldo shoes

Friday, 17 April 2015

Wearing a Topshop boilersuit and tan Jigsaw sandals to an Oasis and Keds launch event - loving their printed trainers...

Yesterday morning I went along to a breakfast event with Oasis, which marked the launch of their collaboration with Keds. After that I was heading to a meeting so I thought that it was perhaps time to road test my Topshop boiler suit (£65) together with the Jigsaw Monique sandals bought (almost entirely!) with the gift card that Mr SG gave to me for Valentine's Day. I have a sneaking suspicion that the boiler suit is now sold out so apologies for including a totally useless link although hopefully it may be useful as a reference point.

And I have to say that I really enjoyed wearing everything. The shoes, hugely comfortable as they were - which is rare for me to say about heels - were cast aside on returning home as we had several other 7 year olds over and I didn't figure that heels were the best option. I kept the boiler suit on though, just swapping the heels for trainers and it was the perfect warmth for a day like yesterday...chilly morning, slightly warmer afternoon but never properly hot.

So as to the Oasis event. Oasis in collaboration with Keds have produced trainers in four different prints (£45), two of which are skater style and two of which are lace ups. Each one has its own "personality" as indicated on a huge road style sign, which you can see in more detail below...

I loved the display - lots of colour and fun involved with the plant pots being covered in the same print as the shoes...

So this is the first design - the Perfectionist,

The second design is the English Rose...

Then there's the Style Hunter...

And finally my favourite, the jetsetter. That's me all right, what with my trips to Wales and the like!

So what are you thinking? Could you be tempted by one of these lovely prints and if so, which one? 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A new season must have - How a pom pom scarf can give some ancient favourites a new lease of life...

We all know that a few good staples can work season after season and year after year and for this outfit I'm going to do a quick calculation of the age of my outfit:

  • GAP boyfriend jeans, mercilessly dumped last year for the Jigsaw boyfriend jeans but now back in favour - 4 years;
  • Hobbs blazer - a rough guess but I would say 4 years;
  • Hobbs pale blue knit - again 4 years;
  • Jigsaw handbag - used to death, fixed by the Handbag clinic, and now back on the scene - 10 years;
  • Boden sunglasses - 3 years;
  • Gold Aldo espadrilles - the new kids on the block - 1 year.
Total outfit age: 26 years

But then this Jigsaw pom pom scarf (£59) came along and turned things around, bringing everything back up to date. This scarf is big, big, big and I'll be able to use it as a great cover up on hot days on the beach. Normally I would go for a brighter option, of which there are many but I just liked this shade of grey and the contrasting pom poms. 

Other colours of Jigsaw pom pom scarf....indigo, navy, pink, shrimp and yellow - almost one for every day of the week!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Nautical, floral and khaki all at the same time? And how can we lighten our outfits when the temperature outside is only a few degrees above zero?

Having come this far down the "it's no longer winter so I'm not going to dress like it any more" track, I've decided that there's no going back. No more Boden polo - which I've pretty much lived in since Christmas, no more boots, no more heavy coats. But when the outside temperature in the morning is still only a few degrees above zero, what to do?

  • Lightening the colours but not the fabric can make all the difference, so these utility GAP trousers look slightly less winter like than the same style but in black;
  • A heavy cotton jumper like this striped Reiss one is lighter in its colour palette and general feel but its weight still offers warmth, so it's great for this time of year and also for when the summer is on its way out;
  • Pointed block heels, again in a lighter colour, are less heavy than a boot but not quite so lightweight as a sandal/slide which it was too cold to wear this morning, although we got there later in the day. And bare ankles are a concession that I can just about handle right now. 

Tell me, is this a sign of the times? When the youngest comes in first thing in the morning and I ask her what the weather is like, rather than looking out of the window, she asks for my phone so that she can check the app. I'm still trying to get my head around that one!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tencel trenches - a much nicer term than "duster coat" which frankly just reminds me of housework...

There's a lot been written about duster coats of late and below I've taken a look at some of the best on the High Street. I don't know if anyone remembers them from the first time around but I had a great one in 1997. Clearly I remember it well. It was from M&S and billowy and I loved it. I'm not sure what happened to that coat but I so wish that I had it now. The way to wear them now - says she being a bossy whatsit - is in a very casual way, so over the type of jeans/shirt outfit that I am wearing above, rather than over a power suit in a very 1980's way.

I was working with this Autograph tencel trench coat (£99) when I did my stint with M&S a couple of weeks ago now. Did anyone know that tencel is derived from sustainable eucalyptus trees? No, me neither. Not until now at least.

So soft white and me don't mix, as I demonstrated yesterday when I threw an oreo ice cream down myself but Autograph have this beautiful trench in soft white for £99. 

Keeping with M&S, there's this Limited tencel coat (£89) in a traditionally classic "mac" colour. 

I love the detailing on this H&M trench (£39.99). The soft draping makes it look a whole lot more expensive than it is. 

Again, rubbish if you like chucking ice-cream over yourself but if you're more sophisticated than I am, this Mango trench (£59.99) could work a treat. I like the collarless fuss free option on this coat.

The Oasis longline drape coat (£120) has a lovely wide, elegant, neckline which is flattering for balancing out wider shoulders or hips.

For a sleeveless option, this Warehouse long split side waistcoat (£65) is a great take on modern trench. I have to say that this one is probably my favourite, just because it is a little bit different. Warehouse has a great selection of duster coats which are definitely worth taking a closer look at if you are thinking of taking the duster plunge.

As much as I like the concept of duster coats, I've decided that I don't like the term.  They just remind me of housework. Urggh. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Dressing for the sun in my "Indian Summers" inspired outfit - in the very loosest sense!

The more I think about what I've written below, the more I realise...well, I'm not sure what I realise. Anyway, all I can say is, please just humour me!

I know, don't laugh, it's only a pair of wide jeans and a white shirt, but this is my "Indian Summers" outfit. I guess that it's more to do with the silhouette and the fact that it doesn't contain ripped jeans, skinny jeans, flared jeans or trainers - as opposed to anything else.

For anyone who hasn't been watching, Indian Summers is a drama which tells the story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India. As you would imagine there's a lot of "no good, argy bargy" stuff going on it and the clothes are beautiful; very stylish and simple, typical of the era. OK, so I was playing crazy golf in my outfit rather than croquet and I wasn't wearing a dress, a hat, or gloves either, but in my head I could see the similarities. Sort of.

I bought these Whistles wide leg jeans (£95 minus the 25% Grazia discount) quite a few weeks ago now as an alternative to skinnies and I held on to them until the timing was right.

The shirt is a Boden one that I have had for a couple of summers and the gold chain belt is from Reiss. The Jigsaw bag is probably ten years old. Incredibly, a very observant instagram follower in Brisbane recognised it as the bag that I had repaired by the handbag clinic a couple of years ago. Impressive!

These Aldo sandals may just have come my way yesterday when it became clear that the sun was promising to shine for a few more days. As you know I've had my eye on them for a while and so far, so good. I wore them for the whole day (they're not very Indian Summers I admit) and they were really, really comfortable.

Loving seeing everyone out and about having fun in the sun. Hope that it continues for many more days yet.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Jigsaw sunnies and a French Connection shirt because the sun is continuing to shine (yippeeee!)...

" I liked your recent blog post." said Mr SG when he came home from work the other day. "You called me the lovely Mr SG. Except the Jigsaw gift card that this lovely Mr SG gave you for Valentine's day was for £100 but the Jigsaw shoes you bought were £149." Okaaaay.  Anyway, all it took was a little bit of explaining and Mr SG got the top or a piece of knitwear for £100 which I would probably trash in one season, or £149 on a pair of shoes that would last me for 10 years? (I have plenty of evidence to back this up.) You see, I was doing the family finances a favour after all.

Now I don't know about anyone else but it takes more than just the first sign of sun before I can even contemplate getting anything out - but today, after the second or third day, I braved it and out came the ankles and a forearm (or two). And as for accessories? Time for the espadrilles - I know, steady on - and the sunnies. Oh there was so much flesh on display in Birmingham today that it would have been easy to mistake it for Rio carnival.

I'm wearing the Jigsaw Imogen sunglasses (£55) above which I liked just because they were a little different. They're not too dark so I can keep them on all of the time. For some reason darker lenses disorientate me slightly. No idea why!

I'm also wearing this French Connection cropped shirt (£50) which felt about right for today. It's made of tencel so it's soft and a little bit draped but it has some weight to it too. For me it's an easy no brainer type of shirt.

Before it got too warm I wore a khaki Kew jacket. This one is very old now but if I was starting from scratch I would probably go for the Mango one that I featured on my last post or the Hush military jacket  (£65) below.

I hope that the sun continues, or starts, to shine wherever you may be!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

However you look at this Topshop boiler suit and this Baukjen playsuit, they're still onesies - the disguise doesn't fool anyone!

I seem to have taken to buying onesies of late. They may be hiding themselves behind such titles as "boiler suit"and "playsuit" but it's a thinly veiled disguise that doesn't really work. I may as well just face up to the fact that both of them are very closely related the lovely fluffy, warm and cosy onesie that I am sporting as I write.

First there's this Topshop boilersuit (£65) which I am hoping will be an easy piece to wear with trainers or heels and everything from brogues, to loafers and sparkly sandals, in between.

Just after Christmas I ordered this Baukjen Mia jersey playsuit (£47 down from £95 and it also comes in khaki) which, well at the time that I tried it at least, seemed more flattering than I had anticipated. It could be dressed up or down but I think that I will be heading more for the "down" look.

The lovely Mr SG gave me a Jigsaw gift card for Valentine's Day and I recently bought these Jigsaw Monique City Sandals (£149) which should work really well with the Topshop jumpsuit and potentially with the Baukjen playsuit too - although perhaps not for me.

With my favourite Jigsaw striped top (£39) layered underneath when it's chilly....

together with this Mango military style jacket (£59.99) which is a real favourite of mine right now....

...I think that we're starting to head towards having a casual summer wardrobe wrapped up. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Boho tops - one of my favourite styles of top for the spring and summer and in great supply at Mango...

I know, I'm a big fat cheat. As you might imagine, this isn't a recent photo. For a variety of reasons outfit shots are in short supply at the moment but I wanted to write a post about boho tops, so I've resurrected an outfit from last summer.

Along with this black top from Jigsaw, I also had one from Boden and they were so useful all through the summer that I wanted to add a couple more to my wardrobe for this summer.

As to why they work so well? They can be loose without being maternity like, so they are good for those who want something that skims rather than clings, many have sleeves, the neckline is flattering on a larger bust as it can be left slightly open, they are neat over the shoulders so don't swamp a smaller frame and they work with virtually all slimmer fitting summer trousers/shorts.

I think that the main decision is deciding whether you actually like them or not. So far I've found the best selection to be at Mango. Zara has a few and whilst Boden had a great selection last year this year that doesn't seem to be the case - yet.  But for anyone not close to a City who wants to do a mass on line order, Mango offers the best chance of success.

In all honesty I'm meant to be packing and sorting out for a few days away so I'll keep this brief on words but more comprehensive on the pictures!

For my favourite blue and white colour combination, and for a top with the ubiquitous tassel, there's this 100% cotton Mango printed shirt, (£34.99).

If both tassels and feathers are your thing - and for something not too far down the boho track, this Mango feather print blouse (£34.99) might just do the trick.

The Mango ethnic print blouse (£44.99) is also 100% cotton and it has more of a pretty ethnic/boho/folky look about it.

For anyone just dipping their toe into this style of top, the Mango honeycomb pattern blouse (£29.99) is a nice gentle introduction and not too full on festival chic.

Ditto the Mango embroidery ethnic blouse (£39.99)...

I don't really like to use the word cute when it comes to clothes - or anything other than kittens really - but this Mango floral print blouse is just that.

For some reason I prefer the look of these tops with long sleeves but I'm sure that could change in a flash. So, for a shorter sleeved option, there's the Mango floral cotton blouse (£34.99)

And finally following on from yesterday's post, the Mango lonny girlfriend jeans (£34.99) look a good option in the white jeans department, as do the Baukjen white boyfriend jeans (down to £66 from £95). They have great reviews and five stars too so who knows, maybe they are the holy grail of white "not too skinny, not too see through, not too wrinkly, just the right length, waist fitting" jeans. Not really a tall order at all.

And if I get lost under a whole load of packing (actually I'm more likely to be lost in amongst a whole load of Easter Eggs) then I wish you all a very Happy Easter and for anyone tucking into anything yummy after having given it up for lent - ENJOY!