Well, I've read and absorbed all the fashion advice of what trends are current this year and I've chosen to go along with some of it and blatantly ignore other bits. Some trends I'm adapting like the fun fur trend - I think it's all a matter of it's got to suit you and your lifestyle. So to bring my wardrobe up to date for A/W 2014, I have decided to go with the following :


Faux Fur

Right, so I'm passing on the turquoise fur coat which makes me look like Sully and infact I'm avoiding faux fur coats all together as they basically make me look mahoosive. I did try and I failed spectacularly. Instead, I have an inky blue pom pom dangling off my bag which makes me smile .....




... and a faux fur snood thingy which seems current and fun but isn't some scary colour which gives me panic attacks and doesn't add pounds on to you. It does however swivel around a little so if you end up with one of these, don't forget to cut off the inside tags or they will eventually end up on the outside and annoy you.



Patchwork Jeans

I can't afford the MiH Phoebes - I'm not sure I would buy them even if I could because if truth be told, I have a total love hate relationship with my existing pair. I just think I have more flattering jeans but then again, I don't have many pairs which are as comfortable. You with me? For some reason, they just look like a pair of baggy jeans on me and on everyone else, they look great. Hmm. But back to the patchwork jeans - I like them as they inject a little something to the normal pair of blue jeans. They add interest. You've already seen my own diy pair below.


Jigsaw Silk Shirt, Zara Jeans (patched up), H&M Shoes & Bag


Skate Pumps

I had the cheetah pony hair skate pumps from Next last year and I've gone for the ASOS felted wool skate pumps this year. They're grey - they blend seamlessly in to my dishwater coloured wardrobe. Enough said.




Adidas Stan Smiths

This is my autumn footwear fad following on from the summer Birks footwear fad. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge that having the right pair of shoes just pulls your look together and makes you look that little more current. Let's also factor in the major comfort factor and that they somehow miraculously seem to go with everything. Love.


Big Cardigan

Mine is a cheapy from Primark. I scoured various shops but many were too big, too bulky and basically did very little for me. I chose mine on the grounds that it was neater fitting around the shoulders and I went for the smallest size they had. It's not too long, it has pockets and I'm happy. However, mental note to self not to wear it on Bonfire night #firehazard as it is acrylic. But in it's defence, it works for me, it's light, it's warm and it gives me the look I want. When it pills like crazy, it will become a housecoat for those cold winter mornings and besides I'm not allowed the heating on just yet. 


Primark Cardi, Uniqlo Shirt, Mih Paris Jeans


Blanket Scarf

Popular last year and popular again this year. I picked up a cheap and cheerful from Primark this year. and it probably won't be the last I pick up this season. Mine's acrylic but it was £5. I looked at the equivalent in Zara and they are £20+ and also acrylic. So I figured, I can spend £5 on my scarf and I will beat myself up less when it looks truly awful at the end of it's shelf life at which point I will donate it to a friend as cat bedding #upcycling


Primark Scarf, Hush Goldie 2 Jumper


Pointy Statement Shoes 

Pointy toes are still going strong so I nabbed my Office Kaos pair on in the summer when they went in the sales - one benefit of having hay fever preventing you from sleeping at 4am in the morning! Some people have gone with the Office Vibrant and New Look Aquazurra lookalike lace up lovelies - I've gone with witchy poo shoes #Halloween


Office Kaos Shoes, Will-I-Am (neighbour's cat)


Hat

I actually really like hats. But I don't like wearing them that much. Some make my forehead itch and because I have a fringe, this usually gets pushed down over my eyes and I end up looking Cousin Itt. But I still buy them and I still keep trying but I just don't spend a lot on them. They usually add a little flourish to an outfit and take it from boring to less boring.


Primark Fedora (similar here)



Puffa Jackets 

I'm not going for full on puffa wuffa style - I'm sticking to the old tried and tested Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jackets. I have my existing black collarless one which has been pulled out again and is dragged on morning, noon and night currently. This has definitely proved to be one of my best buys .... and my sister facetimed me from Hong Kong to say she had bought me a navy collared one as well which she is bringing me back as a present #lovesisters  By the way, these are so light and squish down so well, they are brilliant for layering under inadequate but fashionable winter coats.




Plaid Shirt

This is technically a replacement after handing over an old one to my god-daughter as it no longer fitted me. #ohwheredidmywaistlinego? Mine is from Uniqlo and I've basically replaced like for like in terms of colour. This is my shirt alternative when I don't fancy wearing one of my regular blue ones besides plaid seems so right at this time of year.

Uniqlo Plaid Shirt


Burgundy Boots

I just fancied a pair of burgundy boots. I've done the beige suede ones for the last few years, I don't particularly get on with black ones, so a happy compromise in my books is a pair of burgundy boots. Apart from the colour, they looked like they were a heeled boot which I could actually wear and walk around in comfortably. The sole is quite cushy which makes them a pure joy to walk in and the slightly banana shaped heel also helps me look a little taller. And the leather? Oh you should know  by now how much I like shoes which are made of squidgy soft leather and these are most definitely that. Basically, I like them for their slight quirkiness. I found these on Yoox - I spend far far too much time on there browsing shoes #dangerous.


Web by Gaimo Boots (sold out)


Grey Jumper



Grey jumpers - they're basically a wardrobe staple but not all grey jumpers are the same and so I can justify this one because I don't have one that looks like this. Besides which, I wear them all the time and I never tire of them!  And this one is gorgeous and soft which was a very welcome surprise as it didn't look like it would be. I like the moss stitch front with the contrast sleeves. It's on the right side of slouchy without overwhelming. I can't tell you how well it wears and washes as yet as it is a bit of a newbie and I'm going easy on it ... because I love it. And you will see it a lot on this blog as and when I blog as I have just realised I have not blogged for nearly 10 days #lazybones

And I think that's it! Oh yes ... and a few outfits which I've worn featuring some of the mentioned items.


Hush Jumper, Zara DIY Patchwork Jeans, ASOS Dialog Plimsolls

Uniqlo ULD Jacket, Adidas Stan Smiths

Primark Blanket Scarf, Hush Jumper Burgundy Boots

Primark Fedora, Adidas Stan Smiths

ASOS Dialog Plimsolls

Uniqlo Plaid Shirt, Adidas Stan Smiths


-----------------------------


And the things which I'm passing on (or rather I'm not having much luck or have decided it's not for me).

  • Faux Fur. They don't really suit me or I've just not found the one. (Disclaimer - I have the right to retract that statement should you see me in a faux fur jacket/coat).
  • Culottes. I don't know how to wear them when it gets really cold but I'm not sure they are really me. I know knee high boots are one way round how to wear them and can look fab but realistically speaking - I don't have the energy to go there. (Disclaimer - I have the right to retract that statement should you see me in a pair of culottes).
  • Pleather/leather jeggings/pants. I've not found a flattering pair yet. (Disclaimer - I have the right to retract that statement should you see me in a pair of pleather/leather jeggings/pants).
  • Pointy Boots. The ones I like are too expensive. So I'll leave that one alone. (Disclaimer - I have the right to retract that statement should you see me in a pair of pointy boots because I caved).
  • Statement Coat. Not bothered. (Disclaimer - I have the right to retract that statement when it turns up).

Last thing. Before you go with a trend or get sucked in to buying a garment that you love which you have seen on someone else, take a step back and breathe. I have one thing that I do before I hit the button usually, I picture myself in the said garment sat at home and picture myself objectively and say "does that look like me?". "Is that me in a pink dress/yellow coat/cowboy boots/neon jumper sitting there sipping my Earl Grey (insert preferred beverage)?" If it's not .... walk away. It's saved me from a couple of unnecessary purchases.

Or you could buy it and return it after you've realised it's not you. Which is also what I do :o/






Right. We're in mid October, the temperatures have dropped and the shops are now filling up with Christmas jumpers. To get the best of the pick, you need to start now. Personally I'm not going down the Christmas pudding or robin on the front kind of jumper but I'm partial to a bit of Norwegian, Scandi, Sarah Lund chic. Or even a bit of Fair Isle. A bit like the one  Talisker is getting (but maybe a little less colourful). 

Now that's class don't you think?


Photo Credit : Debs (Talisker's owner)


Alternatively, I would be quite happy with this one ....




Cheer up love! It might never happen!


------------------------------



Last Note :

  • Debs - do you take human orders?





Remember my patchwork jeans from the other day? When I finished playing dress up in front of the camera, I switched it all down to this.



Primark cardigan, Jigsaw silk shirt, Tatty bag, Jigsaw pompom keyring, Zara jeans jazzed up, Adidas Stan Smiths



Same basics but now school run ready! Because this is how I really roll.



-------------------------------


Last Note :

  • Silk shirts are not just for best - just wear them! They are fab under a cardigan or jumper for keeping you warm - somehow the warmth from a woolly transfers better through silk to your skin! Honest!
  • Stan Smiths. Go ... with ... every ... thing.







Adidas Stan Smiths, Susie Ho Bracelet, 



Nghghghghg. Ngghghghg. Nghghghghgh. Nghgghghghhg. Grrrrrr. Nghghghghg.


Those weird tortuous noises? That's me fighting the good fight with all my might against getting a pair of Adidas Stan Smith's and failing miserably. I mulled over and rationalised that this was one shoe trend I wasn't getting in to. Heck I even pinned High Fashion Goddess Phoebe Philo with said Stans on my Pinterest last year and still I managed to resist. Infact I told myself - just don't go there, don't get sucked in! I even said on a previous post that I was eschewing the white trainer trend! And then for no good reason, I pulled in to Schuh and said to the Sales Assistant, do you have a pair of these in a size 4 waving a pair of Stan's in the air. She checked and she did. And I thought to myself "so let's see what's all the fuss about!" fully believing I would not be swayed by them at all. And so I tried them on ... and bought them. And have worn them with everything ever since!

Like I said, I fought the good fight but we are talking shoes at the end of the day and with shoes, I am powerless to resist.


Nghghghghg. Ngghghghg. Nghghghghgh. Nghgghghghhg. Grrrrrr. Nghghghghg.














So I've got it in my head that I want some patchwork jeans ....

Stylonylon                                                        The Frugality

Schoolrunstyle                                                  Wearing it Today


.... and I know I'm only a couple of years or so behind the times but I needed to digest and get my head round them. If I had been ready for them a year ago, I would have had the H&M skinnys with the raw edge hems as sported by our lovely Frances above from Schoolrunstyle and Laura from WIT blog. But I was slow off the mark and when I decided that I was ready to take them on ... they had sold out. Soddus Lawus. Anyway, H&M are doing another pair this year but I wasn't sure about the placement of one of the patches (picky I know). And then MiH put out the slim Phoebes with the nineties patch. I liked them too but not the price. 

So I decided to take matters in to my own hand and conjure up my own pair and at least I can put the patches exactly where I want them.

So I took a pair of Zara distressed jeans which I thought would be suitable for the project. I then went to the fabric odds and sods box (new use for a Matches box) and picked out some choice pieces of denim.

Good use for a Matches box


Basically, when George or Ben have totally trashed and outgrown a pair of their denim jeans, I cut them up and save the straight pieces of denim so I can patch up my own jeans or as I did last weekend, I patched up two pairs of George's old jeans to give them a little extended shelf life. And they look pretty cool consequently.

Then I cut some patches to the size I wanted. I forgot to do this but you should try to round off the corners to prevent any extra fraying.

Iron your patch before you cut to ensure that it is even.


I pinned them in to place and started sewing them on by hand.



And on the other leg ....

Try and pick some interesting pieces with a little distressing


Note that I chose some dark denim to make sure the patches stood out against the jeans and to add a bit of interest, I also included a lighter patch where I basically used the reverse side of some denim.

Ta dah!


Jigsaw silk shirt (old as the hills), H&M bag (ebay), Zara jeans (modified), H&M Courts


Anyway, not too shabby a job even if I do say so myself and I like how they give a plain outfit a little interesting lift.

Here's a few pairs I clocked along the way, some expensive, some a steal! And I may have finally given in to ordering a pair of the H&M ones just to check them out and see how annoying that annoyingly placed patch (the one near the crotch) actually is. And maybe the off black Zara ones too. All in the name of research of course ;o)




1. H&M   2. Zara   3. MiH   4. Current Elliott





Pinterest (no idea of original source)


That's one of my favourite Pinterest looks from last year. I searched high and low for a scarf like that one in the picture and came close but when push came to shove, it didn't quite cut it. Yes it was grey plaid, yes it was cashmere but it was too small and too floppy. I needed a big big scarf to achieve that look above. So  yeah, yeah, back it went.

I'm trying again this year with the big scarf look. Yes I'm going for the plaid but (1) I've given up being so picky about the monochromatic grey tones (2) I'm not hung up about it being cashmere or wool and (3) I just went with something I liked and thought would work when I saw it. This one.

Primark scarf & top


Now the problem with a scarf like this is the size. It's huge. Which is fine if it's a fine woven kind of scarf and wraps round nicely but this is definitely picnic blanket territory. If I just try to wrap it round nilly willy, it looks a bit like this .....



.... which is okay but personally I don't like my scarves like this. I don't like the squared ends - it all looks a bit neat and too symmetrical and sooner or later, I find one end goes off and does it's own thing and takes a walk round the back and then it all starts unravelling. So how do I tie my scarf my way? Well I will take a break from my cleaning (hence the slobs top which doesn't go well with the scarf) and show you.

Fold your blanket, err I mean scarf in half lengthways.


Wrap it round your neck like this making sure the short end is just long enough to reach your ear.


Tuck it up near your ear.


Bring the long end right round the back ..... 


.... and back round to the front.


Take the long end (which is now shorter) 


 .... and tuck the end in to the top of the scarf. Put your hand through the loop and pull it through a little.



Adjust a little so it's comfortable and Bob's your uncle!



It's easy peasy, lemon squeezee isn't it? Anyway, back to the cleaning .....









Hmmmm. Now this is an interesting one. The Uniqlo pocket silk shirt that I ordered arrived and I had really high hopes for it based on my previous experiences of their silk shirts. And ... it didn't deliver. Why? It was nothing to do with the silk itself - it just wasn't a great fit on me. Or maybe the one I received wasn't a good one? Going by the reviews which all said the shirt was quite loose fitting, I thought I would have no problems with the size small that I ordered. I'd had no problems with my previous ones, so I didn't expect this one to fit any different. However ....

1. It was snug on the sleeves.



2. It gaped at the bust.



3. The buttons were positioned in such a way that with a few buttons undone, it looked either too prudish or too brazen.



4. It just didn't fit as nicely as my previous ones. A little neater and not as flowy which is what I was hoping for.



.... but I'm inclined to think it was just that particular shirt I got that wasn't quite right. I had a little chat with my niece as she ordered one as well and we agreed about the positioning of the buttons but whereas she found it too flowy, I found it too neat. I also have love handles. She does not.

But all is not lost! I also ordered the placket version of the silk blouse (I had been deliberating over both for some time) and this was much much better hence the fact that I think the pocket shirt was an odd dud one. The fit on the placket shirt was just right (you just know when you put something on and it immediately feels good) and even though the button positions were similar, it doesn't feel as brazen if that cheeky extra button was left undone. Infact because of the placket, I can even sew in a sneaky little snap fastener to protect my modesty and no one would be any the wiser.

So look ... no gaping!


Look. Looser on the sleeves!



Look. Looser through the body!




Much better - agreed? This one's a keeper. I had it in mind for a night out soon and I don't doubt it will earn it's keep beyond that. So, all's well that end's well - we got there!


------------------------------

Last Note :

  • Did anyone else order any of the Uniqlo silk shirts and out of curiosity how did you get on?
  • The pocket shirt looks a bit messier as I didn't iron it before I took the photos. I gave the placket one a quick iron as I knew that one was staying because of the fit and just wanted to get a better feel for how the shirt should look without creases.



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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