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Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Queen of Returns ... Strikes Again.



Every year at the beginning of the new season, I go a bit mad. I get a bit giddy kipper over all the lovely new things coming in to the shops and online and lots of things make it home with yours truly. Then a week or three later ... they leave. Usually after I've woken up, smelt the coffee, tried them on at home and done a fashion twirl or three in the mirror. Then I think, what on earth was I thinking and bag everything up and return to my sweatshirts and jeans. Want to know what some of the items were which came and went? I'll tell you about ten of them ... I can't remember the rest (there's been a lot).


Exhibit 1. 



So, it pains me to say this ... incase any of you take on board my views ... but I didn't keep the New Look strappy lace up sandals. I really did like them at the time I blogged them and I even went so far as to bring a pair of the black ones home with me too after that. Then I dug out the pair of sandals I got at Christmas which I've been saving for the summer and the love I had for the two pairs of New Look ones disappeared. Just like that. They were also very flat when I compared them to my existing sandals and I know from past experience I have a couple of very thin soled sandals which I don't wear often as they are just not that comfortable. So back they went. However, I do have to say that the leather is very soft and is therefore very accommodating of those like me with fat feet.


Exhibit 2. 



Ahh! The must have folk top from Next this season. I ordered a size 8 (one size down) as it looked like the kind of thing that had the potential to swamp me and guess what? It swamped me! I received the ivory version first as the navy was on a delay. After trying the ivory, I cancelled the navy. It might have been better in a size 6 but I am over the tassels now and besides, the worry of washing it and wondering how my tassels would come out was too much for me. Let's move on.


Exhibit 3. 




I really really like this. A stripy oversized shirt. I wanted a change from my usual blue shirts and I thought stripes would be the way to go. I still genuinely love it but alas the length of it does not love me - it is stonkingly long on me. I look like I'm wearing a nightshirt and I did think at the worst, I could keep it as a night shirt but to be honest I'm a Pj bots kind of girl. But I still keep trying it on when I see it and guess what? It still looks like a nightshirt on me #walkonby


Exhibit 4.



During a moment of madness when I was in Next looking for a birthday present for my MIL, I came across these kitty slipper shoes in the children's section and tried them on and bought them. Next day I returned them. To give them their dues, they were very comfortable. And I haven't totally lost my marbles - I've got a secret soft spot for the Charlotte Olympia Kitty slippers which are totally out of my price range. However, these Marc Jacobs flats might be my next moment of madness purchase ;o) as they look a bit badass kitty.


Exhibit 5.

Next Dungarees


Yup, I tried dungarees. I put them on. I had a good laugh. I packed them up and returned them. To be honest, I did order them partly out of curiosity and to see whether I could rock this. Err ... not these ones anyway. These were a particularly bad fit on me as I seemed to be able to stuff two bolster cushions down each side of them as well. I have now decided to shelve the whole dungaree idea but true to my nature ... can I put a disclaimer here should I find that ever elusive super comfortable and super flattering pair?


Exhibit 6.



Flares. Oh lovely flares. I really thought I was going the whole flares route this summer but I am now having a rethink. I have a pair of ASOS mini kick flares which are okay but I don't think they are the real deal. Then I managed to nab a pair of the M&S flares which were flying off the internet as fast as you like. They were a lovely fit apart from the six inches or so extra at the bottom. Can I be bothered to do a hem job on them? No. So back they went. But I have to say, they really do have a lovely high waist, they hold all your bits in and they are one of the more flattering pairs I've tried on ... they actually beat the MiH Marrakesh which I ordered one morning at 3am when I couldn't sleep and I was obviously in never never land. #Wendy


Exhibit 7.



Yes, I really did order a culottes playsuit thingy. I just felt like it! And strangely enough, it wasn't as horrific as I thought it could be. It's quite thin (my bum! my bum! my eyes! my eyes!) and it's a touch long and a bit low on the old cleavage front and though it doesn't sound like it has a lot going for it, it did somehow sow the seed that this might be something I want to investigate further. And because I also knew I would feel a little too "exposed" with such a skimpy top half and then I didn't want to bung on a cardi and kill the whole look, I think a sleeved version might be the way to go. See! I have given this considerable thought! So this one is going but another might come in its place yet.


Exhibit 8.




Boden seem to be in the habit of knocking out a pair of must have shoes each season. The current ones are the Lille lace up strappy pumps. I ordered the navy and the service was quick and the shoes arrived and I was a little non plussed by them to be honest. I think they are certainly a statement shoe and they look lovely on so many other people but I didn't love them on me. And they were a little uncomfortable on the ankles. And then I started to get nit picky (which is good as it makes me return things rather than live with them and niggle me to death) but I didn't like the way the laces were stitched. But that's because I was comparing them to the designer versions out there and the precision stitching on their laces and that was being unfair. So back they went too.


Exhibit 9.




I decided to send back the M&S flares and put my money towards a pair of Levis 501 CT jeans - the new cut and tapered version. They looked a little rubbish on me and I actually looked better and felt more comfortable in my old Zara jeans. Well money saved is money saved. There was a part of me that said, it would have been nice to have a pair of Levis in my life again (the last time round was Nick Kamen era) and I liked the fact that these would be more tapered so hopefully more flattering than regular fit Levis 501s. And maybe I chose the wrong finish for me or the wrong size - I sized down two sizes (going by the fit that I was after) but they did nothing for me. The thing to remember is, everybody suits different things and I'm not saying these were bad - they just didn't work for me.


Exhibit 10.


All from ASOS - I love ASOS Premier!


Errr ... these are just some of the denim pieces that have flitted in and out of Maison So So in the last few months. Let's face it, I live in jeans so of course I would naturally investigate the options out there. From left to right - yes, that first pair are are a pair of cropped wide jeans. They did nothing for me but I loved the silhouette on the model. The next pair are the parallel straight leg jeans which were plain weird on. The denim midi dress was too long but if I'd been 5ft 4, I would have kept it - it was really nice. Then came the flares - the skinny MiH Marrakesh and the regular MiH Marrakesh were both too long and too much of a bother to alter. The fit was okay but not enough to make me do a whoop de whoop. Basically you don't know till you've tried and I tried and I tried.

Errrr and there were also ten thousand pairs of boots and shoes from Next from their clearance section. I couldn't find all the pics but let's put it this way, there was a pair of over the knee boots in there which I ordered when I wasn't right of mind (probably after I'd been deprived of wi-fi for a week in Wales).

So that's it. Surprisingly, I did have some successes. Yes I did! But that's another post for another day methinks.

So, have you all fared much better than me? Or are you a challenger for my Queen of Returns title?






Thursday, 26 March 2015

New Shades



Last year, I bought these. I thought they were fab and tinted with a smidgeon of sexy green coolness. Well, I'm sorry to say, they have now been usurped in my affections and my new favourite pair are these.


What? These rather unassuming boring black sunglasses? These are better than last years? Yes honestly .... look!


Want a better look?

H&M Sunglasses


Look at that soft sexy pinkness. These are da bomb. These are da blush pink sexy bomb! L.O.V.E. 

And I even paid a whole £2 more than last year's pair for them too! They were a whole £5.99.

But unlike last year, there is a link to them here online! Wonders will never cease!

So .... see you here for next year's new favourite pair eh?





Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Maje Guillaume Sweatshirt





Maje Guillaume Sweatshirt, H&M Jeans, Susie Ho Bracelet


So today's forecast is dark blue jeans with a hint of bright sweatshirt. Hmmm.

So it seems that my jeans are an excellent barometer of the weather about to happen. Yesterday I wore black jeans and it poured it down and it even threw in a smattering of hailstones for good measure. Today, I am wearing dark blue jeans which means the weather will hold out, probably no rain and a mixture of sun and cloud. Move over Carol - I'm after your job.

Oh yes, and the sweatshirt. This is a rather bright number for little old me but I can tell you now they did it in grey and I passed the grey over for "framboise". Told you I was a sucker for anything which you give a fancy colour name to. I never said but this was the second item I was holding out for in the Net a Porter sale earlier this year. I managed to get one in the sale but it was too big and the lettering wasn't centred (Miss Picky So So), so back that went and I eventually got mine online from Maje itself ... complete with fancy bag packaging and everything. It all makes the shopping experience that little bit sweeter doesn't it? This sweatshirt is a nice warm one, you know one of those with the fleecy fluffy insides which makes it just perfect for those chilly spring days. And yes it would seem that I am living in sweatshirts going by the last few outfit pics but still it makes a nice change from big woolly jumpers. By the way, you can also say it's officially spring because I have moved on to sweatshirts. I find them too cold to wear in the winter even with a heat tech underneath but they're just right for now.

So like I was saying, no rain, a bit of sun and a bit of cloud for today but I hear the the rain is back tomorrow. Black jeans tomorrow eh ;o?





Maje sweatshirt, H&M jeans, Adidas Stan Smiths


And just incase you like the red sweatshirt, these are cute too ....


First up and first choice is this Rag & Bone one. Now on The Outnet. I love it because the red is quite deep and the navy contrasts make it a natural to pair with blue jeans. Just like my Maje one then :o) I'm taking my fashion cues here and will be pairing with lighter denim as the days warm up. I like the cute little bag too - I can see myself hunting down something similar now.




A little bit more purse friendly is this one from Pull & Bear. Pull & Bear do what they say in Yorkshire, "cracking" sweatshirts. I have my eye on a few but as I was looking for red ones, this one did get my attention as it's rather fun and cheeky. I sometimes think fashion gets all a little too serious. This is one of those hell raising scarlet reds - fabulous for those people who can take these brights.



For those with more grown up tastes, how about this leopard print one? Also on The Outnet - a brilliant place to pick up some of those past season designer sweatshirts at more palatable prices. This makes a nice change from the usual camel shades. This one is a little more kick ass. Okay, a lot kick ass!  :)






Red sweatshirts tempting you at all?


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Springtime



Spot the common denominator in these pics taken over the last week or so.

Zara Coat. Uniqlo Sweatshirt (pre 1970 logo), Zara Jeans (diy patched), Aubin & Wills Tote, Adidas Stan Smiths


Maison Scotch Coat, Gap Shirt, Mih Paris Jeans, Adidas Stan Smiths, Jigsaw Bag

Cos Jumper, New Look Jeans, Forever21 Bag, Next Skate Pumps

APC Sweatshirt, Zara Jeans, Next Skate Pumps

Uniqlo Sweatshirt (pimped up with 1970 logo), New Look Jeans, Zatchels Bag

Isabel Marant Etoile Blouse, MiH Paris Jeans, Office Boots


Have you worked it out? Why don't you compare to when I did this post. Lynne worked it out. Lynne was observant enough to note something was happening in my wardrobe and left a comment on one of my Instagram pics. She said "Is it officially spring then if you're wearing blue jeans?" She obviously took heed of one my previous statements where I declared grey/black jeans for the winter and blue jeans for the spring/summer. Look! Blue jeans galore!

Yup, so it seems that spring has officially sprung. The daffodils are out, the lambs are gambolling in the fields, the buds are budding and I am now in blue jeans. And believe it or not, it's only another week till the clocks go back and it's officially British Summer time. 

Hurrah!

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Last Note :

  • Have you started your wardrobe transition?



Thursday, 19 March 2015

New Look Gold Lace Up Sandals



They've arrived! And I really can't complain. Soft gold leather and not too brassy in tone. Not too much faff to put on and best of all - not too much of the lacing detail.




So, that's me sorted for gold sandals this summer then :o)

Now do I need the black version too :o?


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Last Note :

  • Yup, I've got my sandals on, on my bed. But they are new and they've not been outside yet. So I'm allowed!



Monday, 16 March 2015

Splurge or Save : Summer Sandals



So are you feeling flush? Or are the pennies are a little bit tight this month? Either way, there's something here to suit your budget :)






With all the current love out there for footwear with lace ties, I couldn't help but notice the cute pair of gold leather sandals on New Look whilst I was having a browse. Well you can imagine how delighted I was when I spotted the somewhat pricier Aquazzura ones on Net a Porter a few days later!  I think there is a bit of lookey likey going on here but I'm not complaining and I've ordered them to try. The New Look ones incase you were in any doubt #skint

And I couldn't help notice the black and gold strap ones too from New Look which I thought bore more than a passing resemblance to the Ancient Greek Clio sandals which come in every colour combination under the sun. So I looked them up and lo and behold, there was a pair there in the black and gold colour way. 

It's a small world indeed.



Saturday, 14 March 2015

1970



Bella Freud ...in Bella Freud (Source)


I would love a Bella Freud 1970 jumper. Why? Because that's my birth year emblazoned across the front so I feel like I ought to have one of these ... and they are a teensy bit cool ;o) But ... but ... they are £280 a pop so I know it's not going to be making it's way in to my wardrobe any time soon. Sob. However, if I should so happen to win that ever elusive lottery, then I'll take one in every colour and let's throw in a smelly candle whilst we're at it. But I've tried not to take it too much to heart and I have taken matters in to my own hands and I have taken the inspiration and set about creating something a little fun. 

I decided I wanted to make a 1970 sweatshirt. I knew I didn't want it to be a copy of the Bella Freud jumper as I thought it would feel a little bit too "poor relation" so I needed to change the fundamental feel of the garment - hence the changing of it to a sweatshirt and besides they are much easier to work with than jumpers #slightcopout. I googled for 1970 style fonts and found something I liked and then I contacted an Etsy seller and commissioned them to create me my "velvet 1970 transfer" in navy. 

So let's take one grey Uniqlo sweatshirt like this. The perfect blank canvas.


Let's take a look at the transfer - this is what it looks like when it arrives complete with instructions. 


Go to your mirror and see where you want to place it.


Helpful hint - I placed a pin marking where the top of the sheet needed to sit as a guideline.


Make sure the transfer is centralised and then lay the "baking parchment" over the top.


And press with a dry iron for around 20 seconds (basically following the instructions provided).


Peel off the backing paper.


And there we have it! One 1970 sweatshirt.


Looks alright doesn't it?



Well I'm pretty chuffed anyway. And it took all of 5 minutes to do!




A Sue Original


Anyway, I've always wondered about the background behind this iconic jumper but only because 1970 has meaning for me. I thought it might have something to do with the fact that it might have also been Bella Freud's birth year but she was actually born in 1961 but on her website, it does say ....

"While messing around on my photocopier I spied the date 1970 printed in the corner of a page of the book I was leafing through. Inspired, I kept blowing it up, then cut it out and pinned it onto my black jumper. It had a rough charm that made me think of the early New York punk scene in the 70's, and Patti Smith"  (source).


A little inspiration goes a long way - yes? Well it inspired me :)


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

Last Note : 

  • The link for the Etsy seller Kaera-Groda who made the transfer is here. And highlighted above too.



Monday, 9 March 2015

WIWLW - What I Wore Last Week



Hmmm. Apologies first but this is not going to be that exciting and you will have seen some of these outfits before but now you will understand why I seem to be posting more last week than what I would normally. I don't often do a weekly round up (like never) but I know a lot of people do, so I thought it would make a good idea for a blog post for me and to see if I have deduced anything by the end of it. So the photos are a bit hodge podge but here goes ....


Saturday.

I'll start off on a Saturday shall I? Saturday 28th Feb actually. The day of the annual bloggy meet with some lovely friends and a chance to stay over in London. I took this pic at home a couple of days before the Saturday when I was trying to decide what to wear. 



I said it last year and I'll say it again. If in doubt - wear black. So I did with the Uniqlo black silk shirt, an H&M blazer, black jeans and white Converse. Given all the love for Adidas within the group, I thought it might be a good idea to lay off them that day, so Cons it was. Great idea until it rained in the evening as Marlene and I stomped our way through London looking for a bowl of noodles. Yup, that's the oriental noodle eating blood rising to the fore there! And a special mention for the Uniqlo silk shirt which held up well with minimal creasing - not bad for nearly 15 hours wear including travelling time. 

Anyway, thank you Marlene for helping me take my pic in our usual alleyway err ... I mean courtyard ;o)

Topshop coat, Topshop Baxters, White Converse, Mulberry Bag


Oh yes, that pic above. That's the official pic ;o)  This is the unofficial one where I photobombed Marlene's attempts to take a pic of an interesting building.

As you can tell. I don't get out much.


Sunday

So I had some time to kill on the Sunday morning before breakfast so I played with the timer function on the camera and made the most of the moody greys of the hotel room. Depending on your outlook on life - this is actually soft moody arty greys or this is a prison cell with really nice white bedlinen. I popped on a Toast black cotton jumper which I nabbed for £15 last year in one of their epic sales down from around £100.  Who loves a bargain? I do :o))))  Everything else, I kept the same from the day before. 

Toast Jumper, Topshop Baxters


Monday.

Monday was the day it sleeted, it rained, it beamed temporary beams of sunshine and then it all went back to pot again. Monday was the day I was supposed to be heading to York for a lunch date with friends. It didn't happen. We made it to an indoor shopping centre as basically it was sleeting as we headed out of the door and none of us fancied doing a cold & wet cobble wobble down the Shambles. The parka was protection from the elements. The rest was for shopping comfort and practicality. And the Baxters had been for a quick wash and spin on the Sunday evening. They're earning their keep.


Ganni sweatshirt, Topshop Baxters, Zara Parka, Forever21 Bag, Adidas Stan Smiths


Tuesday.

My birthday. I dressed for warmth whilst I was at home during the day. I quite often wear the ULD jackets as a throw on in the house - they are just so comfortable and light. And there was a bit of colour in the form of the red plaid shirt. Hoorah! And a fleece coat which isn't really a fleece. Honest.


Uniqlo Plaid Shirt, Uniqlo ULD Jacket, Uniqlo Fleecy Coat, Topshop Baxters, Adidas Stan Smiths


And a change in the evening for an early burger date at Byrons with my boys. Yep, that's a Lulu & Co Rainbow jumper that I'm sporting below. I found another one and worked some magic on it and I lowered my standards by a fraction - I just love this rainbow jumper. It's fun!


Matalan Fur Coat, Vintage Leather Clutch, Lulu & Co Jumper, Topshop Baxters, Next Skate Pumps


My concession to dressing up was the fur coat but I changed to the parka at the last minute as I realised I was having a walk across town and it was freezing! It was 4 degrees with a chill factor which felt like minus 4. I zipped up and set off - I am indeed a creature of comfort and practicality. I did put on a bit of lippy on though :)



Zara Parka, Lulu & Co jumper, Topshop Baxters, Next Skate Pumps

Oh yes - I was a bit bored of the usual look to the left poses so I threw some different shapes. And besides I was happy as I wasn't cooking! Yippee!


Wednesday.

I started off the school run with a parka on and changed to the Del Boy coat for the supermarket run as  it's a bit lighter and a little bit less industrial. My parka gets a lot of action so sometimes I try to give it a rest if I'm going somewhere by car. I wore a  tried and tested formula of my favourite tan and black stripe Aubin & Wills jumper with black jeans. I did change the Topshop Baxter jeans for the H&M destroyed jeans today.



Aubin & Wills Jumper, H&M Jeans, Barneys Coat, Converse, Mulberry Bag


Thursday.

Blooming eck it was cold. It didn't look it though when I got dressed and I pulled out an old khaki parka from yesteryear. The furry hood gives the illusion of warmth - it is a very good illusion. Brrr. And I have blue jeans on for a change as I thought I was overdoing the black. And then I realised I was wearing a black jumper anyway. Hmm.


Primark Parka, H&M Cashmere jumper, Zara Jeans, Adidas Stan Smiths


And because I was doing housey stuff - I got changed. Into some slobs. This is what I often do when I get in from the school run in the mornings. Comfort first and I would also hate to ruin any good clothes with bleach or anything.

Primark scarf, Aubin & Wills ex-hoodie (I chopped the hood off), H&M Joggers, Kirkland Uggy Slippers


Thing is, I forgot the time in the afternoon and had to leg it out of the house for the school run without getting changed back in to civvies. So Zara parka on, Stan Smiths on. And off I went. I just kept a low profile. Can I say about my joggers - these are the boys joggers from H&M I got a few years back. They keep getting shorter and shorter on me but can we just pretend that they are supposed to look like this eh? What's an inch or two between friends? And I'm giving myself a bonus point for the fact that I did at least co-ordinate.

Zara parka, Adidas Stan Smiths


Friday.

Having a flick through Instagram, I spotted Hollie in her Mango jacket from a couple of years back. So out my Mango jacket came. This was bought in 2012 and seemed to be the must have Mango jacket for all bloggers. I haven't worn it as much in the last year or so but I guess that's the way the coat dice rolls sometimes and there are always new coat favourites vying for attention. The Topshop Baxters went back on along with a grey cashmere Gap jumper from 2013. This has been my go to jumper for the last two winters. It's a plain grey crew neck which doesn't irritate or give me double chins like all the other high neck ones do and it's just soft, light and comfortable. A slightly thicker cashmere than the Uniqlo ones - it's a winner. And the grey felted skate pumps again. If any of you are beagle eyed enough, you will have noticed that I have gone back to the Next version of these pumps after having a dabble with the ASOS Dialog pair. The ASOS ones were just too big and cumbersome on me whereas these are just perfect. See - the grass is not always greener!


Mango Jacket, Gap Cashmere jumper, Topshop Baxter Jeans, Next Skate Pumps, Longchamp Tote/Toast Bag


And two bags in action here but in the same colour way (I am consistent in my likes). The first small one is the Toast bag and I tend to use this for school runs where I need to pop in a packet of tissues, a phone and my keys. There's not a lot else which will fit in. And then a change to the Longchamp tote for a quick visit to the shops. The Longchamp hasn't been used for a while but that's more because I prefer a messenger strap on my bags.


So thats it really. But let's see what I have deduced from my round up ....

  • I wear jeans. A lot. All the time actually.
  • I do wear colour - I just happen to wear muted sludge colours.
  • I wore something black every day.
  • I wear flat shoes.
  • I don't like being cold.
  • I don't wear much jewellery. Well only when I remember.
  • I wear mainly black or grey jeans at this time of the year. Black = winter. Blue = summer.
  • I regress to a childlike state when I wear rainbows on my chest.
  • I find it hard to look the camera straight on unless I'm larking around.
  • I nearly always look to the left so my good side must be my right side.
  • I didn't wear anything pretty or feminine this week.
  • I don't do fashion fashion though I love reading and looking at it. 
  • I don't do much in the way of patterns.
  • I am hugely boring and practical in my clothes choices aka I wear a lot of core basics.
  • I sometimes do the school run in my joggy bots. It's no biggie.

The WIWLW idea has basically turned out to be a round up of me in jeans. But we all knew that anyway didn't we? Which is why I don't post what I wear most days. I see a lot more photo worthy pictures on Instagram and these are from people who don't even blog. It's all going on out there in Instagram and Blog world but not in my wardrobe. But it has been an interesting exercise. I might do it again .... in two years time ..... if I'm still blogging.