Saturday, 28 February 2015

Using accessories and a blazer to jazz up your "boring old jeans"



Being in the middle of no-where can be a good thing...unless you don't know where the middle of no-where happens to be, in which case you're just lost.

It is for this reason that I (finally) find myself sitting in a pub blogging, whilst my son is at a party at a leisure centre somewhere not too far away (although I don't really know where that is either). After dropping him off, I looked for a supermarket, thinking that I could spend my time productively by doing the food shopping, except that I couldn't find one which is quite unheard of because there are Tescos everywhere (and an app no doubt to tell me, but without any signal that wasn't going to happen).  And then I ended up down various unlit country lanes which just doesn't happen 2 miles from a City Centre, which is where we live. Everywhere there is in the middle of somewhere - even if it's a slightly dodgy, somewhere.

Anyway, on to the clothes. For some reason, I don't tend to wear my boyfriend jeans during the winter but yesterday I made an exception. I quite like the wash on these Hampton boyfriend jeans from Jigsaw (£79) - they look worn in but without any of the effort and of course they are much roomier than skinny ones, which is nice. They do come up huge though. I'm wearing the 24" and even they are roomy.

I bought my striped sweatshirt, also from Jigsaw for £14 in the sale a few weeks ago (that's one purchase that I did allow myself) together with a necklace from a friend, GAP belt, Zara boots, Boden blazer and Kate Spade bag.  All of these are well worn favourites but I know from experience that wearing a blazer plus a few of my favourite accessories can make all the difference to an outfit, even if it is just made up of boring old jeans.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Doing the dosey doe in my dungarees! Do drop by for a laugh!



Tuesday can be a tricky day of the week. It's a bit of a no-man's land type of day. It's far enough away from the last weekend to have forgotten how good the weekend may have been and not close enough to the next weekend to look forward to. So, I feel that it is my duty to provide a little bit of Tuesday hilarity and the way I've done this is by dressing up as a four year old.

I came to have these H&M (£29.99) super stretch dungarees in my possession as I picked them up for a friend and I thought that I would give you all a laugh in the process.

These "ultra slim leg" style dungarees are a size 10 and they really do need to be super stretch because I can safely say that the super stretch is nearly at breaking point! I love dungarees and have had several pairs - albeit between the ages of about 4 and 22. But given that I am now double the age when I last wore them, I'm thinking that they are probably best left last seen in my University photos.
Having said that I'm not knocking dungarees as a trend. Anything that's denim and comfortable gets my vote and I've seen some great ones in Next (£35). This style from New Look are currently out of stock, which may be testament to how great they are....

For those who are about to tell me that I look a complete plonky head believe me, that is something that I know already!!!


Monday, 23 February 2015

An outfit for every occasion you're likely to come across this spring/summer....

Before I went away, I had lots on with style parties, speaking to a group of soon to be 6th formers and styling individual clients, as a result of which I had lots of clothes in the house. So here are a few shots of some outfit ideas that I put together in a quick 15 minutes that I had spare. 

I have covered a few of the trends for the season and given some ideas and tips as to when you might wear them.  There are also some more classic looks, some print and some colour. If I'd had the time I would have taken lots more photos as there are some great things starting to appear in the shops...


Outfit 1 - Heading for the office

GAP real straight trousers/ Boden jacket (£38.70 instead of £129) / Limited Collection M&S bucket style bag (not on the site at the moment)/ Primark shoes (OK so maybe a little high for work but maybe not).

Style tip: I love these GAP real straight trousers, they suit lots of women, are machine washable, have some stretch in them and are a lot cheaper than their Joseph counterparts. As to the bag, bucket bags are a huge trend this season and the lovely bright colour does wonders for livening up a darker outfit. The shoes, which I've shown before, are a great Sophia Webster copy.


Outfit 2 - Smart but trendy

Warehouse crepe jogger (£30)/ M&S Autograph shoes (£45)/H&M patterned blouse £12.99)/ H&M longline shirt (£14.99), H&M necklace.

Style tip: Blue shoes seem to be having a moment right now. There are another pair in Limited Collection at M&S and New Look have some too. I love different shades of blue and the blouse layered over the longline shirt, which is 100% cotton, is a modern take on a layering combination. The shirt reminds me of the Me & Em one, which costs a lot more.


Outfit 3 - Classy culottes!

Cashmere striped jumper M&S (£79)/ Shoes as before (not a perfect fit for the outfit but you get the idea)/ Warehouse faux leather culottes (£42)

Style tip: Culottes are also having a moment right now. Don't worry if you've worn them before, they can be done again. Topshop has some great cream pleather ones and Primark have some that look much more expensive than they are - great if you're not sure and don't want to commit too much money to them. I would happily wear these to a wedding with a Chanel inspired jacket but equally they can be dressed down with this cashmere M&S jumper, which is lovely and soft.


Outfit 4 - Saturday morning out and about

Sequin heart jumper H&M (£14.99) again not online at the moment but it should be in stores/ Dune lace up ballerina shoes (£85)/ GAP high rise skinny jeans (reduced to £16.99 from £44.95)/ H&M bracelets £3.99

Style tip: High rise jeans can be harder to find but GAP have some at the moment, as do M&S Limited Collection and H&M. These grey ones have a lovely finish. The lace up ballerinas were first around last season and these are a lovely pair. New Look has some for around £20 so again, a good place to start if you're not sure. Sequins are of course an all time favourite - as are hearts - so this jumper is a winner in my book.


Outfit 4 - Gorgeous geometrics

H&M textured weave coat (£29.99)/ Shoes as before/ Warehouse lace panel top (£32)/ Warehouse crepe jogger (£30)

Style tip: For those who like prints but aren't big into florals, a geometric print is a good alternative and this coat is a brilliant price, looking much more expensive than it is. There are various "rules" when it comes to wearing prints, especially when it comes to their scale, but if you like it, try it and don't worry too much about said rules! The crepe joggers (Next also have some) are a comfortable, relaxed fit. A lace top is a really useful addition to your wardrobe - the weekend alternative to a white shirt - it goes with everything and looks more feminine. Contrasted with denim or leather, it makes a great look.


Outfit 5 - Laid back chic

GAP marled joggers (£32.95)/ GAP fluid relaxed t-shirt £14.95/ M&S Limited Edition sling back mule (£35)

Style tip: These joggers are even more laid back than the crepe pants above but I like them with these M&S heels, as well as the obvious trainer option. The shoes, which are fairly utilitarian in their design, are like a summer version of a boot. They also come in a stone colour. I like the yellow in this outfit which peps it up and also. I styled them with a grey biker jacket, which too was from GAP.


Outfit 6 - Kiddies' birthday party

GAP high rise jeans and Dune lace up ballerinas as before, with H&M bird print patterned blouse (£19.99)

Style tip: The colours in this blouse are just that little bit different. As to it's shape, it is slightly A-line with an inverted pleat in the back which again makes it look much more expensive than its price tag would suggest.


Outfit 7 - Off to a "do"!

Warehouse paint print waisted dress (£45)/ M&S shoes as before/ Boden Westminster bag (£110)

Style tip: I've seen this dress on a few people and it's really lovely - great print, fab shape, good price - a real box ticker! Personally I like the mismatched blue of the shoes and bag but it would be easy to ring the changes with other colours.


Outfit 8 -A day at the beach

Boden blackberry dress (£49) with a selection of shoes from Primark to include bright yellow pool slides. silver Birkenstock type sandals and floral deck shoes.

Style tip: This dress is a really lovely summer option from Boden. All of these shoes are fairly casual but the dress could be dressed up with a navy blazer and accessories in coral/red/yellow/silver/gold to make it more work appropriate. It has a good length to it, which is preferable to some (me included!)

Hope that helps with some ideas. Let me know what you think. x

Thursday, 19 February 2015

It's a good job that I didn't give up swearing for lent.....



Remember that I said learning to ski was made easier by the fact that I don't really have much choice in the matter? Scrap that. It's a load of twaddle.

All I can say is that it's a good job that I didn't give up swearing for lent. Or chocolate. If I had, I would have been one big fat failure about an hour into the day. This is a picture that I took yesterday whilst sitting outside a cafe after refusing, point blank, to ski any further. There was no discussion about the matter. By that stage the skiis were off and there was no way that they were going back on until I decided that I was ready to move (I should make it clear that this didn't hamper anyone else. I was very happy to be left alone and quite frankly I'm pretty sure that they were happy to leave me alone!)

The refusal had been preceded by a pretty spectacular fall down a slope which caused a less than dignified rant at myself, the slope concerned, the skis and anything else really. Mr SG might argue that it was also directed at him, although I think that I managed to communicate through the swearing that it wasn't. Anyway, today was another day and all that but it did take a few hours, a swim and some fizz  (plus the coke and mars bar above) to convince me that I really did want to give it another go. Grrrrrrrr.


Just to reassure you, I didn't go out wearing this Sweaty Betty headband but I did promise that I would share some looks and this definitely goes down as my Olivia Newton John "Let's get physical" impersonation from the 80's - well either that or Margot Leadbetter from the "Good Life."

Aside from that I'm wearing a Primark running jacket, Adidas half zip top which is slightly thicker and a GAP running top underneath. But today it was much colder so it only just about did the trick. Back to the sweatshirt tomorrow.


Now when it comes to the Apres ski look I have kept it very understated. There was a risk that I could have brought a whole load of clothes that were completely wrong so, knowing how I prefer to dress after a long day of exercise (albeit not skiing), I just stuck to comfort. I have seen many a pair of leather trousers, a leather mini, lots of pretty tops and nice dresses with heels but that's not for me this week. Instead I'm wearing Next harem leggings, the chunky roll neck jumper from Boden, Stan Smith trainers and my favourite star purse from GAP.

And whilst no-one would covet my Apres ski look, or my Nevica (throw back to the 90's from Sports Direct skiing gear), one of our party has admitted to having fanny pack envy - oh yes the 80's are still going strong in my wardrobe. It won't be long before the funk belt, the fingerless gloves and the frosted lipstick are making an appearance.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What not to wear on a skiing holiday - rocking Simon Cowell and socks with flip flops!


Mum, you look like you’re sitting on the toilet, slowly” came the words of encouragement from the 7 year old at the end of day two of our skiing holiday. “You need to work on your speed.”  And there I was, thinking that I was doing OK. Apparently not.  

There have been a few tense moments, a little bit of swearing, times when I would far rather have been at home, or anywhere else frankly but as I’ve said before, I have no choice, which in some ways makes the whole learning to ski thing easier.

Now I know that a huge amount of you will be seasoned skiers and that there is very little that I can offer in terms of suggestions for clothing, things to take and so on but for those who are just embarking on a skiing journey of their own, there may be one or two things that I can offer.  I did quite a bit of research before setting off  (ie speaking to knowledgeable friends) and this is what I’ve concluded so far….

My waist bag, which due to being known as a “fanny pack” in the US has caused considerable hilarity, is hugely useful. I bought it at H&M (£7.99) and I use it to hold the key for the locker in the boot room, a lippy, some money, chewing gum, our key card and some tissues.


I tend to start quite early to get some practice in before the lesson starts (well, for the 2 days that we have been here!) do my ski lesson, have lunch and then ski all afternoon, which means that I get fewer breaks than the experienced skiers who have hot chocolate stops along the way in the morning. So I’ve started to carry peanut M&Ms with me. Good for a sugar hit together with some protein and they don’t melt in my pocket.

I’ve rocked some pretty good looks so far too, I think you will agree…


Simon Cowell – look at the high waist band on those trousers. In the above photo I'm wearing an H&M  sports top (£14.99), which is made from wicking fabric which comes in handy when you're sweating due to being permanently petrified. I've also linked to the H&M women's sportswear, which is definitely having a moment. There are some fab tops and jackets, together with printed bottoms and some great accessories. 


And as for another look...


Flip flops and socks – the ultimate fashion faux pas but handy for wearing to the boot room.

As you can see I'm sort of, but not totally, convinced by this skiing business but I do like my new Warehouse hat which I can't link to because the wi-fi is more unreliable (and even slower) than my skiing - but it's now £5 in the sale. 




Saturday, 14 February 2015

These were handy so I may as well have worn them.....and a dilemma of the very biggest order



I wasn't actually looking for these trousers when I came across them yesterday morning. Instead I was looking for some navy biker style jeans that I have but I just couldn't find them. However these came to my attention and having not worn them for a while, I thought that it was about time that I did. I appreciate, however, that others may think that was not such a good idea and that they would have been best left on the shelf - but I figured that it they were better than being "bottomless".

Anyway, I have a dilemma. In the early hours of the morning we are off skiing and my dilemma is whether I take my lap top and blog, or not. On the one hand, I am pretty sure that I will be able to come up with some great looks (!) next week. My skiing gear is by Nevica, who sponsored the GB team in the Winter Olympics in the 90's - so I can do some great 90's throwback looks.  I also have a Sweaty Betty headband which makes me look like a mixture between Hamble (from Playschool) and Olivia Newton John from her "Let's Get Physical" video. I also think that there's the potential for some good stories. Let's just say that my ability, or rather inability, may result in several embarrassing mis-haps, which it would be good to share. On the other hand I'm not sure that I can face lugging my ageing and therefore, heavy, laptop with me. One way or another, I think that that next few days will reveal my decision. If it doesn't come with me, I shall post a selection of my very best outfits on instagram. See you on the other side!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Three wardrobe basics at a high(ish) price and three alternatives at a low(er) price...



[Whistles jeans, jacket and boots, Jigsaw sweatshirt, H&M necklace, Kate Spade bag]

When I'm out and about in the shops I come across a lot of things, some of which are cheaper alternatives to other things I may have come across elsewhere. A number of pieces like this have come my way recently, so I thought that I would share them with you....

First of all, there's this long line layering shirt from Me & Em (£98) which I have looked at, and lusted after, many times over the last few seasons. The white one is currently out of stock but it looks as though it is due back in sometime soon. However at £98 for a shirt, it's not something that I can square off in my mind. 


However, this H&M longline shirt (£14.99), which also comes in white, is 100% cotton and it will do the same job. I'm liking the saving of £83.01!


For many years, I've been a fan of trousers with a side zip. Although I don't own any myself right now, they are fantastic for ladies who wear tunics as a jeans button can quite often show through them. For ladies with a bit of a tum they are a great option because this style tends to be pretty high waisted, which gives a smoother line. They also tend to be pretty slim in the leg so there's none of that "if they fit around the waist they're like sails around the hips and legs" business going on.

Anyway, J. Crew have just released their Martie pant (£89.50), which are skinny with a side zip....


....now you will have to bear with me on this one BUT M&S  do a style which is pretty similar - these high waisted skinny tube jeggings for £29.50. I asked you to bear with me on this one because any brand that calls an item a "skinny tube jegging" deserves to have them sitting on the shelves until they go into the sale. A less enticing name for a piece of clothing I cannot imagine. My stomach just clenches and then swells at the thought of them. However, the style is great and I bought them for the style party that I was doing the other night and they looked amazing on. So don't write them off either as a result of the name, or the totally awful picture. And for anyone who buys them, rather than the J Crew ones, that's £60 saved.


Phase Eight always stock a side zipped style and they have their Amina jegging (£49) in at the moment. The only thing that I would say about the M&S and Phase Eight styles are that they don't have a back pocket (unlike the J, Crew ones) which can be slightly less flattering but in any event side zipped trousers can, due to their lack of pockets at the front, create a little hint of the camel toe so from that perspective a slightly longer top is better in any event, whether there are pockets on the bottom or not.

Now this style of shoe first seemed to come on the scene later on last summer. Laura over at WIT featured this style from Isabel Marant (£315) on her blog today. Lovely as they are - and she mentioned how soft they were, which is something to bear in mind....


...there's a pretty similar style in Dune for £89, which still isn't a bargain basement price but for anyone unsure as to whether it's a style they will get a lot of wear out of, it's worth investing in a less expensive option first....


...which is where this style from New Look (£22.99) comes in. I've tried both this style and the ones from Dune and both seem pretty comfortable to me. So that's another £226, or £292.01 saved.


So, that's a little bit of cash saved to buy yourself some other sneaky purchases instead.





Thursday, 12 February 2015

An outfit for any event or occasion - something we could all do with having a few more of.



[Boden waxed skinnies, Whistles boots, Kate Spade bag, & Other Stories top, Reiss jacket, Damart gilet] 

It's always the way isn't it? When I want to blog the most, I have the least time to actually do it, which is a shame as there are so many new clothes out there that I want to share with you. I've started putting a post together with some outfit ideas so hopefully I might get it out tomorrow.

This week I have been shopping for three events and the house looks like a small department store/tip!


In the conservatory I have 30 outfits for the "Camping, Caravan and Motorhome Show" which is on next week. I've always wanted to go to it as I love bijou spaces and seeing what you can get in them. I was asked to style and present the fashion/style element which is new this year but as we're away I couldn't, however I got to do the styling and shopping for it so it wasn't all bad. Shopping for 10 people (2 families of four plus two extras) has been great fun and a pretty mammoth task. I think that my longer than average arms are now even longer after all the bags I've been carrying.


At the same time I was shopping for a Style Party for seven, so that has seen me giving the shops a good going over. And at the same time as that, I was shopping for suits/work wear to take along to a talk that I gave to a group of soon to be sixth formers at a local school. The upstairs of the house is full of skiing gear as we're heading off on holiday fairly soon so although people are always welcome at our house, there isn't actually anywhere to sit.

Today has seen me undertaking various jobs from talking at the school this morning, to sorting and packing the outfits for the camping show, to preparing the notes for the presenter, doing several school runs and going to a parent's evening. I needed a "one size fits all" outfit and this one did it for me - although I must admit to swapping the trousers for Topshop tracksuit bottoms when doing the sorting, packing, crawling around on the floor and labelling all the outfits in preparation for next week.

The trick now is to find a few more "one size fits all" outfits. The boxes that it has to tick are quite long - comfortable shoes, easy to move in bottoms, warm layers but an outfit which isn't a Onesie and a pair of trainers. I think that I may have to give it some further thought.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Re-working a "not quite right" jacket...and a moral dilemma of the Primark thong variety


Whistles boots, Cos jeans, All Saints cashmere jumper, Oasis necklace, Hobbs jacket, Jigsaw bag, Tori Burch cuff, Kate Spade watch 

Oh crikey me, I feel like such a criminal. I never knew that there was such a moral dilemma to be had on returning home, only to find that you've got something in your bag that you didn't pay for - especially when the item in question was clearly put there by someone else.

Today I was shopping for an event that's coming up at the NEC in Birmingham - or whatever it's called these days. As part of that I bought a pair of wellies from Primark, only to find out when I got them home that they had stuffed, right at the bottom of them, a pink thong. Now that caused me distress on many levels. Not only, by virtue of it being a thong, did it look horribly uncomfortable but the fabric was questionable as well. So what to do? Well admittedly if I kept it it wouldn't quite be on the scale of what HSBC have been up recently but a) I don't want it and b) it's not my size. On the other hand trying to return it could prove a tricky one to explain.

Anyway, I thought that you might like to see a pic of some shoes that I came across when in Primark. Sophia Webster inspired shoes for £16. Not bad!


Loving these sandals too. I'm hoping that the shelves will be re-stocked with them very soon as they had all but sold out.


Hmmm, so there are quite a lot of things that I want to talk about in this post, which hopefully will help. First, the boots. These are the Whistles boots that I bought about two weeks ago now and which I have featured on every single post since. I could swap them boots for another pair before the photos are taken and pretend that I haven't worn them but I think that it's good to bond with new purchases without shame!

Secondly, this bag is a Jigsaw bag which is at least 10 years old and which I had fixed by the Handbag clinic. I wrote about the Handbag clinic at the time but thought that re-cap might be useful. They can fix anything, literally anything (unless anyone tells me otherwise). One friend had her Mulberry fixed by them, having been told by Mulberry themselves that it wasn't possible. So if you have a much loved bag that's seen better days, or has been completely trashed and is unable to be used but you can't bring yourself to part with it, it may be worth giving them a call.

Thirdly - the jacket. It's a kind of tweedy jacket from Hobbs which could very easily morph into a hunting/shooting/fishing type number if I wasn't careful. And a country rah type I am not! So I thought that if I paired it with more modern bits and bobs, such as a statement necklace, a chunky cuff and skinny jeans and boots, people wouldn't ask me where my horse was when I walked down the street. Try it. It can work pretty well with things that sometimes seem to be taking you down a road you don't want to go down.

Fourthly, most of us have a pair of "scale jeans" and these are mine. If I can wear them for an entire day without wriggling, feeling uncomfortable and needing to take them off, then all is well with the world. When they're too tight, that's when action needs to be taken. I try to wear them once a week. Much healthier than getting on the scales.

Fifthly, I know that I look like I'm wearing a tea cosy but it was cold and for some bizarre reason I like this hat - but not as much one Davina was wearing on "the Jump" the other night and which is now out of stock. Shame. Though not for the bank balance.




Saturday, 7 February 2015

Layering up against the cold in Boden, Oasis, Primark and All Saints


Oasis leather jacket, Primark fur gilet, Boden chunky jumper, Boden coated skinnies, All Saints bag, Whistles boots

You all know what a fan I am of layering. Lots of people like to layer because it means that they can take a layer off when they get too warm. Well that never happens to me but I think that several layers can make a look more interesting (and warmer) than one or two heavy layers. 

Here I'm wearing the toasty roll neck jumper from Boden (still available in the sale for £48) plus my cream Oasis leather jacket and a Primark gilet which cost me £14 about three years ago now. This All Saints bag was bought in an outlet store a couple of summers ago now and it just kind of pulled the black and cream look together - plus it's good for carrying a small child in.

I'm delighted to report that my shopping mojo is well and truly back. Recently I have been shopping for a style party that I'm doing next week, plus the most diverse range of styling projects that I've ever undertaken in one week. Hopefully I will get a chance to share some of my favourite buys with you towards the end of the week. 

Now, on a completely unrelated note, I think that it's important to let everyone know that Wagon Wheels are totally tasteless. I've just tried a bit of one and not only that but they are now tiny! Does anyone else remember when they were so huge that it took a week to eat one? I can't work out whether it's for economic reasons or health reasons that they've made them smaller but if I was so inclined that I need more, I would just eat two. Nanny state. Pah!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

A statement striped skirt - feeling a little bit nautical in the cold...


I was thinking earlier how you can have a pretty much "statement" anything these days - statement necklace, statement ear-rings, statement bag, statement wall. I haven't heard of a statement husband yet - although effectively there is such a thing as a statement wife. Just as a statement jacket is known as a trophy jacket, there's a trophy wife so maybe there will be a statement husband one day too.

Where that takes us I have no idea but anyway, today I was wearing a statement skirt which I bought in Whistles at the back end of the summer when it suddenly appeared half price in the sale. It's really pretty heavyweight so it's fine to wear in the cold and I've layered it up with a sparkly Warehouse jumper - as old as the hills as some of you who also have one will know - together with my Oasis leather jacket that's nearly as old as the jumper - though neither are as old as my face which sadly is getting more creased by the day. If anyone would like to develop a little face iron I would be happy to give it a go.


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Finery - the new brand on everyone's lips. So far I'm liking it very much....

A few weeks ago I, together with millions no doubt, received an email inviting me to register my interest with a soon to be launched online brand called "Finery". The brand is due to be launched on Thursday - you may have read about it in Grazia and the Sunday Times Style Magazine - and so here I thought that I would give a sneak preview of some of the clothes that it has to offer.

Finery's founder, Caren Downie, of Topshop and Asos heritage, sees its position as somewhere between COS and &Other Stories and apparently it is aimed at the post-Topshop girl. Believing that the High Street has little to offer by way of variety - that it is boring - the aim of Finery is to "re-inspire" and to make beautiful things that people just fall in love with.  Apparently the design team were instructed to forget about catwalk trends and instead they were asked to bring in their favourite wardrobe pieces So, here's a flavour of what they have to offer....

There are 37 styles of dress varying from printed, to lace and halter neck to trapeze. This shirt dress (£65) appeals to me for its versatility and because it taps into that utilitarian/uniform look which is pretty big this season.


I'm surprised at myself for liking this pink top as I'm not a peplum fan but I love the colour and it is a bit different - plus it looks great styled with these trousers. It's a fairly accessible look to copy so maybe one to give a whirl...


I have a feeling that this 3D flower pencil skirt will be popular because it offers a good length but it allows a little bit of leg to be shown, albeit in a subtle way. It reminds me of the dresses that the A-listers are wearing the moment with the big pants underneath with a long sheer skirt over the top - but this is a much more accessible look. Over a certain age those big pants just don't work at all!


For a jumper, this sheer panel jumper (£45)  offers something just a little bit different - plus I love a wide sleeve which can do such a good job of balancing out wider hips and making arms look slimmer. I can imagine wearing it with jeans or with leather leggings and I like to think that it would be a good all rounder.


As to trousers, I think that these printed trousers (£59) would be just fab in the summer with a fine crew neck knit, a silky t-shirt or a more fitted top.


These Lotus shoes (£119) give you just a taste of what's on offer on the site. They're really different - lots of high block heels, brogues, loafers - quirky styles that could transform your wardrobe in an instant.


Much as I love our High Street and I think that there are fab things to be found, it's good to see something a little bit different (on re-reading this I think that I have used that phrase many times, which Finery would probably see as a good thing!) With a 20% discount with the code STSXFINERY and with free delivery over £50, plus free returns, I think that it's probably worth just having a dabble to see what you think.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Boden and animal print in the snow plus the tale of Mr SG's disappearing wardrobe....he's only got himself to blame.


 [Whistles boots and jeans, Boden coat and jumper, All Saints tote bag] 

I know, it's a poor photo but I like the sun and there's a slightly better photo below where, for once, I think that I look vaguely healthy as opposed to the tonsillitis infected cold ridden creature that I have been of late. My Mum will be relieved! Here I was dressing for the snow - but not in anything that you haven't seen already!

On another note, I have to say that I spent a couple of days slightly concerned as to how I was going to break it to Mr SG that I had donated a very substantial amount of his clothes (about 80% I would say) to charity, without him knowing. 

It all started because he complained that he couldn't hang his suits up as too many of my clothes were in his wardrobe and could I possibly take a look. Which I did. And my conclusion was that it wasn't actually my clothes that were the problem but rather it was his. So I bagged up the rejects and dropped them off for charity before you could say "moth eaten cashmere jumper". Efficient, I think you will agree. 

So finally I told him - but actually the fact that he hadn't noticed probably says all that you need to know. 

"You had some really minging clothes." I think is what I said to him. 

"Which ones were minging?" He asked.

 "The ones that you no longer I own." I replied. "The ones that are currently in bin bags at the entrance to Flo's school waiting to be collected for charity" I added.  To which he laughed and said:

"We both know that I wouldn't have noticed, not as long as you replaced them with something else for me to take from the top of the pile." Which is his modus operandi when it comes to getting dressed. 

So now I have bought him a whole new wardrobe. It's taken hours, I've hunted high and low and over the weekend he will have to engage in his favourite (!) activity - trying clothes on. And then if he likes them, he's going to have to wear them. No more flying under the radar in one pair of jeans, a manky old Fat Face t-shirt and a shabby fleece. Oh no, those days are SO over. Oh how he's going to rue the day that he ever commented that there were too many of my clothes in his wardrobe.








Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Not quite 50 shades of grey but not far off - toning prints and textures



I've had this M&S Limited Collection dress - which you can't actually really see at all, so that's helpful - for a good few years now. I don't really remember wearing it last year so it's nice to resurrect it this year with the addition of this Whistles jacket/cardi type number, which I like because I wear it when I go out and then I leave it on when I come back in - because that's the kind of lazy dressing that I like! Somehow the addition of the scarf makes the jacket feel much warmer. I have no idea why this is but no doubt there's some weird and wonderful reason for it.

Most of my wardrobe is made up with pieces that I hope to own for many years without them dating - or that's the plan anyway. Then from season to season I just update them by putting them with new bits and bobs that I've bought - well again, that's the plan. Now that Mr SG reads this on a daily basis, it's time to well and truly put my plan to the test. Yes, it's time to dig deep. I'm hoping that he's going to tire from reading this flippin' blog sometime very soon.






Monday, 26 January 2015

Something old (jeans), something new (boots), something borrowed (necklace) and something new and blue (jumper)...


[Outfit: Boden jumper, Whistles scarf and boots, Cos jeans, Kate Spade bag, Livto necklace]

I love the very tail end of the sales - the final markdowns, the proper discounts, you know those 70% off ones.

This cashmere button back jumper from Boden (reduced to £44.70 from £189) in pale blue just happened to come my way the other day. Knitwear is lovely but whatever its price, and however carefully it's looked after, compared to something like a sweatshirt or a fleece top which can be washed a million times and still look OK, it has a limited life span. For that reason I try to pick it up in the sale - as with pretty much everything I own to be honest - and then as the years pass I relegate it down the knitwear chain and finally hand it over to our 16 year old. Handy!

I thought that this jumper would go well with lots of different trousers and its slightly looser, relaxed fit works well to balance skinny trousers whilst covering parts that other jumpers just don't seem to cover!

For anyone interested, the jumper is only available in this colour in a 6 and a 16 (although I'm about to return a size 8 as I ordered a 6 and an 8 and the 6 fits me fine.) It also comes in a pale pink colour but that one costs £74.50.

Thankfully I survived the skiing. To be honest I don't have much choice - I have to keep on going so that I'm not left behind by the rest of the family but I think that one or two more accessories may make the experience a whole lot more palatable (tee-hee).


Sunday, 25 January 2015

An injection of colour which should earn its keep and I have a great excuse for a whole new outfit...



I think that it's probably pretty fair to say that we all have a lot of black/navy/grey in our wardrobes during the winter months and it can get a little tiring. Equally it can be tricky to find brighter coloured things and if we do, they stand out like a sore thumb after having been worn a dozen times so we end up getting bored of them too. Which is why I thought that this scarf could come in handy in injecting some colour into all manner of darker things. It was £20, reduced from £80 in the Whistles sale (bought at the same time as the bargain basement boots) and I stuck it with this Jigsaw jersey dress which is about four years old now, giving it a new lease of life. It will also work well with an older, navy, traditionally styled Jigsaw coat that I have, together with plain jumpers - so hopefully it will be worn enough to justify its £20 price tag.

This ruched jersey dress from Baukjen (£99 down to £59) is very similar in its style to the one above and I've also linked to other Baukjen black dresses which may suit different shapes slightly better - there's a wrap one, a v-neck one, a midi length one an A-line one and a very nice leather one too!


Now, despite my efforts to wear everything that I own already without any new major additions, tomorrow I will be kitted out, head to toe, in new gear. Because tomorrow I am going to "learn to ski in a day" and for that, new gear was required.  Can you imagine it? Me learning to ski in a day that is? Although I'm pretty bendy and pretty active, I am rubbish on anything slippery. When I was a kid I only had to see a hill with some snow on it and I would sit down, which the children have told me that I must not do under any circumstances, because I will only go faster. And I don't do speed either which doesn't bode well. True, I've challenged myself quite a bit over the last couple of years - running the half marathon, doing various other forms of exercise and last summer doing the high ropes too. However, the problem is that when I'm scared, really scared, I have to distract myself and I do this by singing One Direction very loudly. I'm pretty confident that my singing is probably as bad as my skiing (will be) so I'm not holding out much hope for anyone, or anything, within close proximity to me tomorrow. Thankfully Mr SG is no longer planning on popping in to "see how I am getting on" (ie videoing me so that he can take the p*** out of me mercilessly) on his way back from a meeting tomorrow.