I was doing the ironing and I'd just taken my joggy bots out of the laundry bag and was just checking to see if they had shrunk by trying them on when I had a brainwave. I was going to see if I could work this sports luxe trend. As the Grumps likes to point out "I am easily distracted".

By sports luxe, I'm going by Frances' definition of :

"... think sports clothing shapes in luxe fabrics worn with heels or mixed with sharp tailoring. This is not an 80's shell suit look, this is grown up, glamorous sportswear with a luxurious elegant twist".

Hmm .... well thankfully the Isabel Marant for H&M joggy bots hadn't shrunk in the wash so that's my sports clothing shape bit sorted. I also have my Tesco F&F ivory shell top with it's clean lines which I'm passing off as sharp tailoring and lastly, I have my M&S snakeskin heels from last year for the worn with heels bit. Here goes ....

Tesco F&F top, H&M joggy bots (old), M&S heels (old)

Hmmm. Not quite feeling it yet. Something is missing. How about a parka? Yeah. Now I'm feeling it a bit more  .....

Topshop Parka (old)

.... and the finishing touch .... a baseball cap!

Was the cap too much? Sheesh. I always over do it. But that was fun. Well it was more fun than the ironing :o)

Like the Grumps says - I am easily distracted!


Last note : 

  • Replace the heels for some trainers or Birks and you have a perfectly normal workable, wearable, walkable in outfit. Baseball cap optional :o)
  • The Isabel Marant for H&M joggers are from last year's collaboration and from the boys section. They go a bit baggy at the knee after an hour or so of wearing which unfortunately make me look a bit Nora Batty. I also cut the bottoms of them off because I was being a bit daft and didn't know what I was doing. They are now consigned to homewear. You live and learn .... you live and learn :o(
  • If anyone can recommend some nice charcoal slim cut jersey (not too thin) joggers which don't cost too much, don't bag too much and don't have any zips on the bottom, I would be most grateful. Thank you.

Last year I saw some Seed Heritage espadrilles on Jamie-lees blog Mademois-elle. BIG love. A plainer take on the Chanel espadrilles which flooded the blogsphere.

So I was over the moon when Topshop produced the Koala espadrilles. But first I had to get my head around all the colour combinations they had (unfortunately no ivory and black) and I finally settled on the black. 

And when I went to hit the buy button - they had sold out in my size online and at my store. Pffft! Undeterred, I found out the Grumps was going to London and hatched a cunning plan. A plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel*. I did my homework and armed with a list of where there might be some pairs in London, I set my poor London based niece to task on my shoe mission. She was also instructed to pay for them in cash so I could exchange them should something go wrong  - see I even had a back out plan in place! Then on the Monday evening when the Grumps was in London, they needed to do the exchange. Cash for Shoes. It was so well planned and thought out, I gave myself a pat on the back.

What I didn't plan for however was the fact that I didn't like the way they looked on my feet. They fitted, they were a perfect untouched pair, really soft suede and leather but they made me look like I was doing P.E. at school - remember the little black plimsolls that you had to change in to for P.E? Bad. Very bad. And if looks could kill, I would have been ten feet under when I fessed up to the Grumps that I didn't like them after he had hauled them back from London for me. :o(


So I was over the moon when Next launched these two tone leather espadrilles which looked like the perfect dupe for the Seed Heritage espadrilles. 

I couldn't order them fast enough. They came and I was so excited! I carefully unwrapped the first shoe and oh the disappointment! They were a dull (greyish) cream leather rather than a light ivory which is what I wanted them to be and they were a bit gappy. However, after I tried them on again, I appreciated the fact that they were leather lined and and the insole appears to have extra cushioning so they're kind to your feet. But the colour was off. I could have lived with the slightly gappy if they had been the right colour but they're not. So back they go.

So near yet so far (for once I don't like grey).

So I think this is telling me something. That I am not destined for any Seed Heritage dupes and that I need to move on.

This shoe mission has been aborted :o(

* From Black Adder

I'm getting my head around kimonos at the moment. I think they might be the answer to my summer cover up prayers. I don't like my arms and I don't get them out unless it's blistering hot but I think a light kimono might just do the trick of keeping me cool but covered. 

And so the voices started whispering to me ("kimono, kimono, kimono") especially after I saw Janelle at The Style Eater wearing hers and looking seriously cool and awesome. How perfect is this look?

So I took note and ordered her kimono because I adored the print. And I ordered another one as well which she mentioned because I haven't an original bone in my body.

The kimono worn by Janelle proved to be a bit meh on me. It's a little heavier than I imagined (viscose jersey and lined) and the sleeves finished a little shorter than I liked. The cut was a bit saggy baggy too which resulted in some funny flaps by my hips. It wasn't meant to be.

ASOS kimono (sold out), H&M linen tee, Topshop Jamie jeans, Primark sandals

But the other one? I think this one has something going for it ....

New Look Kimono, Uniqlo IDLF Tee, Zara Jeans, Primark Sandals

A little bit ethnic, a little bit Persian carpet. It is however, very light and there is much less fabric to deal with. This one floats and wafts and that's because it's a mid weight polyester and unlined. But don't go all sniffy on me because it's a manmade fabric - you've got to remember, polyester is virtually crease resistant and as this is not clingy, its not going to make you a sweaty Betty either! The cut on this is also a zillion times better (for me) than the first one. Think about going on holiday with one of these in your suitcase. You arrive, take it out of your case, give it a shake and you're good to go! Wear over a swimsuit, a playsuit, a dress, a jumpsuit or just a vest top and denim shorts! Sorted. Tis a garment of holiday wonder! 

Flip flops = holiday. Wellies = festival.

Besides, I also fancy wafting in to the school playground in a kimono rather than a cardi for a change. Let's live a little eh?

By the way, I'm not actually a kimono virgin. I already have this little lovely. 

Meet my old Topshop kimono in all it's cream and grey glory. It's not often I am grabbed by a print but this oriental brushstroke pattern reeled me in good and proper and it's never let go. My only grumble - it's a shortie. It's longer at the front and more cropped at the back - I wish it was the longer length all way round then I don't need to worry about what my backside looks like. I actually have a secret hankering for a black jumpsuit to wear with it but oh the thought of my backside in a jumpsuit conjures up an image of a bag of marbles. 

But I did wear it to a 40th birthday party the other year with a black dress like this.

ASOS black dress (old), Nine West Shoes (old)

Told you they were versatile didn't I?

So what do you think? Is it a yes for kimonos or are they a Kimo(NO)?

Do you have one? 

Do you need one?

I was going through some looks on Pinterest and came across this one. I pinned it a little while back. Not the most inspired - a stripey top and a pair of jeans but this one is quite interesting to me because I actually have all the components to put this together.

  • Breton with mid blue stripes. Yup.
  • Black belt. Yup.
  • Boyfriend jeans. Yup.
  • Red pointy shoes. Yup.
  • Blonde hair. Err no.
  • Long legs. Err no.

Never mind the last two, let's plough on.

  • Tripod. Yup.
  • Camera. Yup.
  • Timer set. Yikes. 
  • Sprint, pose and dodgy fake smile. Phew!

Johnnie B top, Zara jeans, M&S belt, Jigsaw shoes, Own Garden Fence

Well that killed 20 mins this afternoon :o)


Last Note :

  • The stripey top is my old Johnnie B Breton dress which I had chopped down in to a top because I couldn't leave well alone. Last seen here in it's full length glory!

Handmade by me!

I was feeling quite proud of myself last week that I seemed to have stepped up the old blogging a bit and then Mothers Day threw me a curve ball on Monday. A seemingly harmless chat in the school playground resulted in me spending the last few nights sewing 21 of these padded heart thingies to be sold at the Mother's Day afternoon tea which is being held tomorrow at school. The children can bring in £1 to buy their mums a present and they will also be serving us drinks and biscuits. So not much blogging going on chez Sue's but lots of sewing of padded hearts instead.

I confess, I've never made one of these things before and now look - I've made 21 of them! By the way, I didn't pick the colour scheme - I was handed purple and pink gingham fabric and a bag of stuffing and off I went. Didn't I do well? Feel free to clap.

A couple of things I learnt along the way - I can't machine stitch round a curve so I had to do a lot of hand sewing to get them just so. And another thing is - a chopstick is good after you've sewed up the hearts to prod out the edges. Not too sharp so it won't go through your seams - just incase you come over all Sewing Bee.

And because we had no lavender to put inside them, I popped them all in a bag overnight with a Jo Malone drawer liner sachet to fragrance them a little. Ingenious! I do hope the mums like Lime Basil & Mandarin! 

And because I've been pottering away at home, this is what I've been pottering around in ....

Tesco shell top, Uniqlo cashmere cardigan, Zara scarf, Zara jeans, Costco/Kirkland Uggy Boots

I broke out the Tesco ivory shell top today (first time) but I couldn't ditch the grey habit and went with the old faithful Uniqlo grey cardi. This cardi is a hardworking piece and credit to it, it doesn't pill. I pulled on a few other cardigans to try but somehow this one just feels right when I pull it on. And an old Zara scarf which is a bit of a favourite. I had my friend L2 come round the other day and offloaded about ten scarves on to her and she enquired about this one. Not on your nelly, mate. And did anyone notice anything about my Uggy slippers? The old grey ones have been officially ditched and binned. They gave me 18 months good service of pretty constant wear with a slight reprieve in the summer but I had to finally call time on them. But no fear - I had my backups ready and waiting in chocolate brown suede. 

School run time meant the slippers were swapped for black ballet pumps - can't beat a pair of ballet pumps for ease and quickness and the old Mango jacket was dug out.

Matalan Ballet Pumps, Mango Coat/Jacket

So just a quick post to keep me ticking over and to show you my lovely hearts - can you tell I'm rather proud of my efforts?


Last Note :

  • The Jo Malone Scent sachets are currently Blackberry & Bay. Mine are circa 2012 which were Lime Basil and Mandarin. 

Another garment with writing on it which you can't make out unless I flip the photo for you.

That's the problem with taking your own photos in the mirror but it's still better than a small person taking blurry headless shots shouting "how many more times mummeeeeee?" and me shouting back "Till you get it right son, till you get it right!" Anyway, I need to get that tripod out again and get to grips with the timer function on the camera. You get a 10 second delay during which you have to run to your designated spot, decrumple yourself and strike a pose. Thinking about it - from what I can remember, it was hard work and the success rate was verging on 0.5%. Let's stick with the mirror or I will never blog again.

I actually bought this Ganni sweatshirt a little while back and squirrelled it away. And dragged it out recently as the weather got progressively warmer. I don't know about you but even with a heattech underneath, cotton sweatshirts are not that warm and I am super nesh. A super nesh squirrel. That's me.

I wore it down to London for the bloggy meet and teamed it with black jeans and the Office Namesake boots. When in doubt, go black.

And I dragged it out again this week to see what else other than boyfriend jeans I might want to wear it with when the weather warms up a fraction. I settled on the old Maison Scotch chinos. I love Maison Scotch for their quirky detailing like dandelion buttons and embroidered stars on this pair that I have. I've not bought much of theirs in the last year or so but I do rate their chinos and their finishes. This pair is on that slightly darker side of beige which makes them more wearable than some of the lighter finishes around. 

Ganni Sweatshirt, Maison Scotch Chinos, M&S Shoes

They seem to go well with the leopard heels which I wore last week. I love how fun they are as they make me come over all girly which you just have to do every now and then. 

Then I tried the Topshop Newark sandals .....

These sandals can be a killer on the old legs when worn with a skirt or a dress - I am no Kate Bosworth who has a pair of these (seen here) but she also has killer pins. But with chinos like this, they look a whole lot better. This is one of those pairs of sandals where I love them and hate them in equal measure but I won't get rid of them. They edge up the look a little by about 1% in my eyes.

And then we have slobsville look. I had to put the Birkies in didn't I?

And that's what I'm probably going to end up doing the school run in when the weather warms up. Because real life dictates comfort and the ability to keep up with two sprintathon boys. And we can't do that in clippy cloppy leopard shoes with gold heels can we now?

Which just goes to prove the power behind a pair of shoes and what a difference they can make to your whole outfit, your whole experience and your whole day. 

I guess that explains my love for shoes then ..... and gives me licence to buy more :o)

I said I wasn't going to go there with the old ugly fugly shoes. Or so I thought. Until I went to visit my sister at the weekend and she fished out a pair of Birkenstock Arizona lookalikes in lilac(!) and told me to try them on. How could I resist? I needed to see what ugly fugly shoes looked like on little old me.....

.... and they looked alright actually even if they were lilac. Besides, throw enough pictures of ugly shoes at me and eventually I will come round. 

So that got me going on the old Birks hunt then. I saw a few discussions going around and the general consensus is that the black ones are the ones to get. So I got the white.

Because I might be a sheep but I'm not a total sheep. Baaa! Besides, I'm still of the general impression that I don't get on with black shoes unless they're ballet pumps or courts.

They were on offer on ASOS this week and discounted so I put my order in for my regular UK Size 4, Eu 37. They haven't arrived yet but I did have my doubts that they would be too big as I know from previous experience when I've tried Birkenstocks before, they have always seemed too big in my usual size and the UK Size 3, tends to fit better. So I did some extra digging around and then found some on Sports Direct in the size 3 and ordered those the day after the ASOS order. They arrived today. And .... yay! I like them. I almost went so far as to say I love them but I think they need to be worn properly before I can say that. Ask me at the end of the summer to see if these have the been the footwear du jour or they were totally pants.

Now I have to say I got these for a bargain price of £19.99 compared to the £45.99 being asked by most places. These are not the leather ones but the Birko Flor which is their alternative to leather. If you are thinking of buying a pair, have a good look at the composition to see what you are buying. There's usually a £10 difference between the leather and the Birko Flor version - it's up to you - I know some people will only wear leather footwear. I'm not one of them.

Birko Flor upper

Can you see from the picture above that they are a leather look upper? They have a slight sheen - almost pearlescent. Almost. Plus point - they will be wipe clean at least.

I'm expecting it to take a few wears to break these in as it will take a little time to get used to the raised cross arch support. This is the bit which I've never taken to previously and dismissed the sandals as uncomfortable but I guess this is the bit where once you've worn them enough so they mould to your feet, they will turn out to the comfiest things you could hope to wear. Fingers crossed that I will get that far this time.

Another thing to bear in mind - when you're ordering, some places offer two width fittings. The slim/narrow fit is for regular folks including myself despite the fact that I tend to think of myself as having fat feet. I think this is what most stores sell. Their "regular" fitting is for those who are sturdy of foot. Heiffer feet. For all the info you could possibly want on Birkenstock, just head here.

Anyway, here I am commune ready.

Gap sweatshirt, Zara jeans, Birkenstock Arizonas.

Anyone joining me? Or have you already got yours? And if you have - what do you think of them?


Last Note :

  • ASOS still have the white Arizonas discounted as of 20/03/14. But not the black.
  • Sports Direct have the white ones in a limited number of sizes but no black. Just incase you were getting all excited. Because if they had the black, I would probably also be showing you a pair of black ones if I could get them for £19.99. Just to test them out and just to make sure that black really doesn't suit me.
  • Next are offering lookalikes for £20 which look really nice actually if you want the look but not the financial hit. These are a leather upper but the footbed is manmade (a sueded fabric).

Hi there!

Hi, I'm Sue.

Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.


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