Thursday, 26 May 2016

Short and Sweet

&Other Stories Dress (SS15), Primark Sandals (SS12)

Last year,  I bought the infamous &Other Stories Porcelain midi shirt dress. I loved the sharp blue colour with the white porcelain print and I also loved the relaxed shirt style. However, I didn't think it actually worked on me. The fit was okay and I know it was more maxi than midi on me but even with a couple of inches off the hem, I still had that niggle that it wouldn't be right but I couldn't put my finger on it. This is how it looked.

July 2015

I dragged it out again recently with the intention of Ebaying it but I thought I'd try it once more just to make sure that I wanted to get rid. So I pinned up the hem by a couple of inches and looked in the mirror and thought - yup - it still doesn't look right. And then I thought I'd try something a little different and decided to pin it up by about another foot so it was above the knee and I found I liked it. Infact I liked it a lot lot more (infact I thought it had a touch of Sezane about it). Suddenly I wasn't overwhelmed by a mass of bright printed fabric for my frame so I took it to the dress alterer's and got it hemmed. 

Aubin & Wills Tote, Primark Sandals

Short and sweet and nothing that hacking a foot off the hem won't fix!

So what do you think about my drastic cut? I know one thing, it's much easier to wear now and I've actually worn it.


Last Note :

  • I never tie the drawstring tight - I find it uncomfortable and this way it kind of skims the natural contours of my gently undulating belly.
  • I don't really like tie waist dresses where you have a removable belt. I much prefer a drawstring one where the tie is incorporated in to the dress as this stops the fabric shifting out of place (no tugging up and down). I can't do with the fiddling - life's too short.
  • I don't run the risk of stepping on the front hem of the dress when I go upstairs now.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Quick OOTD : 25/05/16 Blazer

F21 Rucksack (similar here)
J Crew Linen Tee (these do actually wash well)
Zara Jeans
Next Felted Skater Pumps (2016 version here)

That moment when Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman says to the snooty shop assistant, "BIG Mistake. BIG HUGE!"

My thoughts exactly when I stepped out on the school run this morning. It's May, it's freezing and I'm off to put my coat on!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday Musings

Monday Musing 1. Grubby Trainers

I love white trainers - they're the only colour of trainers I truly get on with but my Stans are not looking so white these days, they've taken on that wonderful hue of "Mixed Wash Grey. You know when you find a white sock that has infiltrated the dark wash by accident - yup, that colour. And my grey felt skate pumps looked a bit errr dirty for a better word when I dragged them out to wear the other day. The white sole and trim most definitely needed a bit of a clean. And it's not just my trainers which need a bit of a scrub up - George's have seen some playground, footie action too. My solution. Magic Eraser. You can get the official JML ones here or if I pass the Pound shop, I pick up a packet of theirs and it seems to do the trick too. Doesn't work on stitching and laces though. That would be asking too much.

Before and after

Can you see where I started on the toe of the bottom trainer? Magic.

Musing 2. Jigsaw Lorna Espadrilles.

I said I had a crush on them on a previous post. Well instead of sitting and twiddling my thumbs pining for them like a lovestruck teenager, I did something about it. I ordered them and I got on with wearing them. Better to order than to not order at all and they sell out. It's a new proverb. Really. It is.

Musing 3. Whistles Lola Dress.

A plain navy dress with sleeves which comes to the knee in a contemporary shape and hides lumps and bumps and has pockets. I love it. Whistles have 20% off at the moment so this is a good time to nab one. And it's a good work or play dress. I know I've tried it with all kinds of different shoes and accessories but apologies no outfit pics taken today - I was out for most of the day. Looks fab with trainers, Birkenstocks, my new Jigsaw Lorna espadrilles and also grown up heeled shoes for a work look. And it's a polyviscose mix which means, da da dah ..... minimal to no creasing. And yes I know, I know .... it's a #buffetdress

Musing 4. Friends 

Make it a point to get in touch even if you're busy. I'm guilty of letting everything else get in the way but stay in touch, have lunch and have a laugh and giggle together. It's better and cheaper therapy than a therapist. Shopping is good too :)

Mocktails & Raspberry Prosecco

Salted Caramel, Blackcurrant & Sloe Gin (Mine) & Raspberry Parfait Slabs. Deelish.

Musings 5. Chocolate for Grown Ups

I was stood in the petrol station waiting to pay and a bar of chocolate caught my eye. When something is called "Superb Salted Peanut Caramel" and it costs nearly £2 for the pack, you buy it and dream that it will be good. I ate it. It tasted like a Snickers bar. #sucker

And that's it folks. Just thought I'd just mumble that lot out.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Culottes Love In

Last year, I stuck my toe in the culottes pool. And I liked it. I actually liked it more than I thought but I think it was also down to the fact that I had bided my time and decided how I wanted to wear them - with trainers and with bare legs. I also decided on a denim like pair so the transition in to something other than jeans wasn't going to be too traumatic and that decision actually worked very well for me. 

This year, I'm going down the culottes path again and infact the first thing I decided to wear this year on one of the few warm days we had was my culottes. They offer you the whole bare leg thing without making you feel too exposed. And it also means for some of the lazy girls amongst us - you only need to shave/remove hairs and tan up to your knees :o))

Anyway, I was in M&S the other day and spotted some dark denim (quite minimalist style) culottes and I tried them on with a little white shirt that I had spotted previously as I liked the short  boxy proportions of this teamed with the high waisted culottes. I thought it very Brittany Bathgate if she was to put her foot in M&S. This isn't a great picture as you can't see the detail on the culottes and I don't have her svelte like proportions and I'm older by a good 20 years but you get the jist.

I'm trying a size 10 in both items here. I also heard there was a rumour that Marks & Sparks were having one of their 20% Family & Friends days coming up so I thought I would bide my time. Well my friends, that day is upon us and the discount code MAY16A12 can be used. And as luck would have it ... my shirt is not available online (what time do you people seriously wait up to to get your orders in????) but my culottes are.

And just to stick another pair of culottes in to the equation, I found some in Tesco F&F yesterday. Again, not a dissimilar fit and quite flattering on but a slightly lighter weight denim at a great price. These come up big in a size 10 so I sized down to an 8 (and I am so not an 8) and they fitted very similar to a size 10 in the Marks & Spencer's ones. Whoever said M&S was generous in sizing wasn't talking about their culottes for sure as they are just on the cusp of tight but I think the denim will loosen. I did bring the F&F ones home with me and I will be ordering the M&S to compare to see which are my favourites but I think M&S just have the edge on the styling but we shall see.

And whilst I'm ordering ... I'm going to pop a bottle of Alpha H Liquid Gold in there. I need all the beauty help I can get these days and it's one of the few beauty items I actually repeat buy so I might as well stock up now #ageisunkind

3. Cos Frill Detail Stripe Top (love, love this)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Inbetweeny Days

So we have glorious sunshine one day and piddling rain the next. However the temperatures are still in double figures and for that we should be grateful. So what do we wear on days like this? I chose this.

Staying on the dark side but with a sheer jumper to keep the whole look a little less February and a little more May.

Zara bag (black & blue version here)
MiH Jane Jeans (similar here)
Golden Goose Trainers (similar here)
H&M Loose Knit Jumper (similar here)

What do we have. A khaki tank racer vest which I picked up in H&M recently. It's one of those which skims the body - I'm past the days of cling. Well well past the days of cling. And as it's not too flappy, it's okay for layering under my old H&M loose weave jumper I picked up a couple of years back. H&M seem to specialise in these kind of knits and do a different style from year to year. The MiH jeans were picked up on ASOS for less than you can imagine and so consequently, I felt a little more happy getting chop happy when I hacked them to the length I wanted. They are a funny shape - loose but still with a kind of flare but I can do this look so much more than the skinny kick flares The little bag - I've already extolled it's virtues here and the GG's are a present I bought myself for Christmas. 

What was I saying about H&M always doing some version of these mesh jumpers? Well this appears to be the SS16 offering. A little longer in the body but still has that loose weave to let the wind blow through.

2.Mango Panels Leather Sneakers

And these have been popular on IG from what I gather. For those who like a touch of leopard and their trainers/sneakers pre-distressed a la Golden Goose style. 

3. Next Star low Tops

These are actually from the girls section in the Next Directory. I spotted these a little while back and had a little chuckle and thought nice one Next! If you have a young daughter who's a bit of a little fashionista, you could do worse than buy her a pair of these. Or bearing in mind that they do go up to a size 7, you could buy them for yourself if your size is available. I think there are some canny ladies out there who have already snapped them up for themselves. 

4. Uniqlo Premium Linen Mesh Jumper

Good old Uniqlo comes up trumps with a nice loose weave summer jumper. This comes in a variety of colours (the white and navy are particularly nice). Shorter in the body like my black one - this would be fab teamed with culottes. 

5. H&M Racerback Vest

This actually comes in a plethora of colours. I have the khaki and of course, that colour way is sold out online but they do seem to have all colours in store when I've looked. They are a loose fit and are particularly kind on doughnut loving tummies.

6. Converse Trainers

These are in white and mouse. That's the colour way description they've been given and again, these are another pair which have that much coveted distressing on them. I rather like these - they're still very neutral and look a little loved.

7. Golden Goose Trainers

Well I had to pop a pair in and the pair I popped in happen to be a metallic pair just because my pair are a metallic pair. But you know what they say about gold and silver shoes - they are a neutral. Believe me ... they are. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Getting Shirty

Adidas Stan Smith, Cecile Copenhagen Top, Grazia

Yesterday was Tuesday. Tuesday is swimming night for the boys and Tuesday is also Grazia drop through the letterbox day. I have a subscription and I've had it for years - it's one of those things you take out when they have a good promotion and a good gift. I can't remember what the gift was, it was a long long time ago and a lot of Grazia's have passed through my letterbox since then and subsequently in to the recycling bin. I also have to admit when I got my Porter magazine subscription, I received an anti-cellulite pack as my promotional gift. Not impressed ... at all. 

Anyway, for the record, the number 2 hot story of the week in Grazia is shirt dresses. Good. Because I came across this cracking little number in Zara. If you've followed me for some time, you will know I love very simple designs like this - a touch of Toast, a touch of COS, a touch of Margaret Howell, a touch of APC. All my dreams in a dress come true (without the price tag). And it's a shirt dress which looks like a dress and not just an oversized shirt as it's slightly a-lined. Oh and did I mention the pockets? It has luverly big pockets :))))

Can you tell how I really really like this?

For summer, I will be wearing it along these lines. It's one of those dresses where you don't need to over accessorise. Simple ... err ... like me.


And these are a few other shirt dresses which have caught my eye : a shirt dress takes on many guises you know and not everyone wants to wear a short blue floaty number like mine!

Uniqlo Cotton Linen Check Dress

This Uniqlo one is a good take on those shown in Grazia. Style with a pair of white trainers to keep the look fresh and young - the Converse in the all white leather particularly appeals. The Jigsaw navy and black backpack is very contemporary and I'm liking the clean lines on it. Or you could go very Margaret Howell SS16 and pair the dress with some Saltwaters. I picked the silver ones here in the "Classic" style with the buckle as opposed to the "Originals" seen here. Both lovely but the buckle adds a little something for me. Oh yes and simplest of all, style with some ballet pumps for a touch of Audrey. And a basket ;o)

Whistles Longline Shirt Dress

This one reminds me a lot of my Vila shirt dress seen here. On the Whistles website, this is styled with the RADA suede flatform sandals in beige suede - it needs something like this to keep it looking modern rather than safari or institutional. I've opted for the black Topshop Wave Flatform sandals which are a little more affordable and come with good reviews. And somewhere I don't normally look but I've seen a few pieces which have interested me - Massimo Dutti. This Raffia tote with the dark finish trims has clean lines whilst keeping the whole look still summery and a simple Mondaine watch completes that look. Or go for a picnic in a pair of silver Supergas and a big check tote. Don't forget the sunnies! These red ones from French Connection are currently reduced and add a bit of welcome colour to the whole look to keep it looking interesting.

Gap Wrap Tie Stripe Shirt Dress

I love the front tie waist detail on this shirt dress which also happens to come in a lighter blue colour way. That little detail hides so many sins - like all the doughnuts I scoff. But it's such an easy dress to accessorise. I like the dark tones on the left with the black hat against the navy of the dress and I like how this would make a perfectly chic city outfit. And then on the right, we have the lighter more fun accessories with the orange sunglasses and the red bag. And the white mules are the perfect footwear to tie the whole look together. Mules are not for you - bob on your Stans!


Last Note :

  • For information, I'm wearing a size medium in the Zara dress and I am a size 10 and 5ft 1.5" and it finishes on my knee. 
  • It's a linen viscose mix and is very soft and possibly a little on the sheer side but you can just about get away with it. But hey I've stocked up on slips (I'm a closet nana)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Buffet Dress

Buffet dress. My term for dresses which have no discernible waist and let you eat all you like. I'm going to be living in them this summer. The one I have on above is one I picked up in February when it was freezing cold outside but I was thinking of warmer days ahead. Yes, I have a very active imagination and I had hope inside of me. Hope for a lovely long warm summer even though I'm a bit rubbish when it's too hot. I'm also rubbish when it's a bit too cold too. I like it just so. #awkwardbeggar

I had a few enquiries about the dress and if you'd like to know a little more, it's from La Redoute. I picked it up when it went in to their sale at the time and then I had another discount code on top of that and it came to not very much at all. However, it has now come back up to full price - but the code SUMMER25 or HEAT should get you 25% off. It's 100% viscose, feels quite light and when it arrives, it looks a little crumpled but it's the kind of viscose which when you give it an iron, the fabric hangs quite well and doesn't crease much after that. Strange but true. It's a generous fit and I did wonder whether I needed to size down but I decided to stick it in the wash and see what happened. It shrunk ... in length by about an inch which wasn't the plan but it still fits me fine. I just thought I'd tell you because that's how I am. Oh ... and I put on a slip underneath it. We don't want any Princess Di moments now do we?

Anyway, I've probably bored you now wittering about this dress and I will probably bore you with more buffet dresses in the months ahead. Ho hum.

Me - probably thinking about buffet dresses.