Thursday, 29 November 2012

Checked coat with wool

I spotted my friend Sally in this coat yesterday and thought what a fab coat.  Simply had to tell her that I liked the coat to which she promptly blurted out that it was from Marks and Spencer.  I was quickly reminded of the news a few weeks ago which reported that clothing retail sales from M&S had declined while sales at Primark was booming urging me to write a blog post on Quality vs Quantity Fashion.  I said to her that one Primark shopper interviewed about their preference for shopping there remarked that Marks and Spencer was for "ole birds".   We both had a good laugh and resolved that we both must be old birds then as I have several coats in my wardrobe from M&S as well.  

I have to say that the online picture of this checked wool coat really doesn't do it justice and I would not normally go for a grey coat but the subtle burgundy colours in this woollen coat really lifts the coat and I simply love the furry texture of the outside -  lovely to look at and gorgeous to the touch.  Because the sleeves does not reach as far down to the wrist  you can team with a roll neck long sleeve in burgundy which just picks up on the coat's colours.  In fact Sally wore hers with a burgundy layer and a grey felt hat.  Most important to me and as I said to Sally, "I'm sure that I'll be seeing you in this coat for many winters to come".  

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Christmas partywear with a shine

First Lady Michelle Obama is not the only one who recycles outfits.  I do it every year especially at christmas time with all the festive parties with my name on it. More and more though I find that sometimes outfits that looked smashing one year ago are not as flattering now.  Maybe because I've put on a bit of weight or the novelty has worn off or maybe I've just gotten a little older and wiser -  I don't know.  Now I make sure and try on my outfits way in advance to avoid hitting the high street a day or two before a party to panic buy an outfit.  When I look at outfits bought in desperation I usually shake my head and wonder "what was I thinking!". But vanity masked as desperation can make us ladies do strange things.

I especially want to get it right for the office party so no harm in having a few backup outfits.  This year I want to stay clear of black party wear as this colour is simply starting to dominate my wardrobe as far as cocktail dresses .... so enough with the dresses. I'm going for a fancy top and casual trousers.  Less is soooo much more as this sheer metallic lace top with a lined body shows.  This look is simple, chic and so fabulously feminine with the ruffles at the neckline - perfect if you are going straight from work to party.

Christmas gifts for him

We constantly blog about gifts for her on this blog and don't pay much attention to gifts for him.   Let's rectify that now because with Christmas soon upon us I know I am in need of some ideas myself.  This 100 % cotton howick multi stripe robe is a superb gift for dad, husband, partner or boyfriend.  What's great as well is that they come in a variety of colour combinations so you won't be spoilt for choice.  

By default clothes is usually the first thing that comes to mind when shopping for him maybe because I shop so much for myself.  When I want to mix it up a bit I go for technology accessories as men never tire of their boy toys and I know my limits when it comes to choosing electronic gifts for my husband. Who knows better than them exactly which type or model of phone or laptop they need.  Boy toys accessories includes iphone case, laptop bag which are much cheaper options for me anyway. Think practically about his needs and I'm sure you'll come up with even more ideas.  

Today's online bargains

Psychologically it's always a great feeling when you grab yourself an online bargain.  Here are our picks on bargains online for today. But remember bargains like these don't last very long and there is nothing more disappointing than not having it in your size. Click now to have a look  Who knows what you may find.

This sleeveless graphic sleeveless shift dress reminds me of the swinging 60's with its geo printed fabric, shape and length.  As it is the winter months, I would pair with black tights and knee high boots.  Come summer it would be a fabulously playful mini dress for showing off some legs.

This classic shift  Betty Barclay dress is made special with a feather print.  A comfortable dress with a slight stretch that would suit most body shape. 

The cricket jumper is no longer just a sports garment but has transcended the boundaries of cricket to trendy fashion jumper.  Not without its sex appeal this cropped cricket jumper has a low v-neckline making it perfect to wear over a tee in winter.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Unique and festive fashion dresses

What do these dresses have in common?  They are all simply cut dresses in appealing colour mixes - very ethnic and festive looking and I can see myself in all of them.  Most importantly they are all available from House of Fraser where you get free shipping when you spend £50 or more.   These dresses differ in price, quality and label.  We have dresses from the Lauren of Ralph Lauren brand  SodaMix  and Izabel of London    ranging from £24 - £155. So which frock do you fancy adding to your wardrobe this winter?  If you like bright, colourful mixes and unique fashion then these are three dresses tick all those boxes.

Monday, 12 November 2012

kenzo poncho - style that last

Last week we were on about price vs quality with the whole Marks and Spencer vs Primark revenue profits debate that was filling the airwaves.  This week I have been looking for key winter warmers to add to my wardrobe and found this kenzo poncho which just screams buy me, buy me!!!!  Its full of all my favorite earth tone colours and the geometric ethnic design is simply glamorous.  If you want to add drama and style to your look then here it is.  In fact no one would really care what you wore under this poncho as their eyes will be fixed on this designer poncho itself.  Unique fashion accessories wouldn't be absolutely necessary but a copper bracelet would go a long way in adding depth and detail to this look. . 

Made from a blend of fabrics including 15% wool, I could just see myself wearing this poncho for many winters to come.  As much as I try, I can't help myself, I am a quality girl and if I added only one new item to my winter wardrobe this would be it.  Call me naughty but this poncho goes on my christmas list which I will leave carelessly lying around for my husband to see just in case he was void of ideas for christmas gifts for her this year.  Better yet I can have one of Santa's little helpers (my kids) whisper it in his ear. 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Michelle Obama recycles victory speech dress

Another US Presidential election and Obama emerges victor.  I can't say that I have been following the debate as far as political issues put forward by the Democrats and Republicans are concerned.  But I am now up with the political lingo as far as what swing States are.  Remarkably as I stood in the kitchen doing the washing up yesterday, oblivious of the radio playing in the background, my pores suddenly raised as Obama's victory speech suddenly penetrated my consciousness.  What a prolific and charismatic speaker, I thought, making a mental note to have a look at the speech online. 

While Barrack Obama’s speech is simply hair raising to hear, being a fashion blog we are more concerned with what Michelle wore aren't we ladies.  Click on the video below and you will see Michelle clad in a Michael Kors metallic raspberry coloured dress. If you have been following the first lady and her unique choice of clothes and fashion accessories you would recognize that she wore this same dress in 2010 at a military event.

What I always admire about the First Lady is the way she cleverly uses her attire to send a message.  Michelle started off on her husband's campaign six years ago wearing off the rack designers like Donna Ricco which sent a clear message that her lifestyle was attainable, that she was an ordinary american citizen.  Yes she has worn big name designers like Thakoon Panichgul, but also sent less recognized designers like Maria Pinto rocketing into the limelight by showcasing her custom made sheath dresses on the campaign trail.

Now she recycles a previously worn dress which is a clear political statement that we are living in hard economic times and we simply must be frugal; a reflection of the austere economic measures ahead for the American economy.  I have to say that I like her style and can't wait to see what message she will be sending with her choice of inaugural dress.  All Kudos to Obama's political advisers and campaign managers, they have certainly paid attention to every political detail (including what Michelle wears) in securing Obama another four years in office. 

Click here for more Michael Kors dresses

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Quality wardrobe or quantity fashion?

Marks and Spencer and Primark have been very much in the news today with regards to profits.  The bottom line is that revenues at Primark is up while clothing sales at Marks and Spencer have seen a 10% drop in profit according to reports I'm hearing on the radio at the minute.  Reporters have taken to the street and are asking shoppers with Primark bags why they choose to shop at Primark as opposed to Marks and Spencer and the comments have been "better value for money" , "up to date fashion", "Marks and Spencer is for old birds", "cheap stocking fillers" and simply "price".  Interviewees have also commented that they are not bothered by the quality as for them fashion changes so quickly that they are happy to chuck purchases once the fashion changes in six months.  

So what's your take on this- are you a quantity or quality person?  Are you happy to buy one quality item or prefer to walk out the store with five items for the same price?  Me, I'm so keen on building a wardrobe by adding quality clothes that would last and last that I find it hard to buy throw away fashion.  That's not to say that I've never shopped at Primark.  Years ago it must have been around 2007 I bought a black and white striped roll neck as well as a wool blend orange swing coat from Primark which I still wear today.  Now whenever I pop into Primark, I'm always very cautious as it is very tempting to fill my basket up with items that may not wash very well so I can certainly see the attraction for younger shoppers on a budget as they carry a fun and funky range which may not always have the longevity factor but is appealingly trendy.

With Marks and Spencer, I know that the quality is there so I don't think twice when I'm buying a dress or coat online.  Off the top of my mind I have two corduroy coats, a black pants suits, jackets and several dresses and skirts from M&S.  So I have more Marks and Spencer in my wardrobe than Primark, hope that doesn't make me an "old bird".  I shop from high end to low end as my philosophy is that you can always find a gem anywhere.  It's all about spotting quality because let's face it sometimes you can pay more for the same wardrobe basics because of where you are buying it.   

There is a saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same" and this is so true about fashion as I'm sure you will agree that what goes out of fashion comes right back into fashion at some point. So I'm not concerned that my wardrobe is ever out of fashion because I have clothes in there from ten or more years ago.  For me quality far outweighs quantity but each to his own.  

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The perfect christmas gift for her

Is there such a thing as the perfect gift? In my mind the perfect gift is all relative to the person receiving the gift along with their hopes, desires, wants, wish list and I can go on and on.  Who's giving the gift is also important because while I may have seen the ideal electric kettle to replace my old one, I don't expect that to be my christmas gift from my husband.  When you are buying a gift for a loved one like your wife, girlfriend, partner there is an element of romance involved.  So what is the perfect romantic gift? 

Some ladies have lost utter confidence in their partners' ability to choose them just the right gift and are simply happy to have a voucher for one of their favorite shopping haunts.  But where is the suspense and drama in that?  Sometimes I'm presented with gifts from my husband that I would never have bought for myself and I do wear them and they turn out to get fab reviews from my friends.  So maybe he knows me a little better than I think or perhaps he's just plain lucky - who knows?

The idea with gift giving is simple - just mix it up.  For most of us gift giving is a biannual event for birthdays and christmas.  When you include anniversaries and valentines day then it is four times a year - that's a lot of gift giving!!!  If you are giving jewellery gifts then is has to be more unique and special  to outdo what you have given in the past.   Jewellery boxes, keepsake boxes are all great gift ideas.  A romantic spa break for two can also be priceless.  But with romantic gifts it is not always about how much you can spend.  You simply want to give a gift that would be remembered and treasured for a long time.  

Monday, 5 November 2012

winter warmers

The cold mornings have started and while its lighter outside since the clocks were turned back, I'm grumpier for having to leave my warm duvet covers to get out there and face the cold.  With four layers this morning, including hat and gloves, I was warm enough but with snow in Northumberland yesterday I'm dreading a repeat of the winter of 2009.  So while it is still only early November, for me, winter is officially here.  

While I didn't have to scrape my windscreen this morning, with a reading of 2 degrees on the thermometer,  I had to wait for the heater to defrost it and was begging the car to warm up quickly once I set off.

If you haven't already, it's certainly time to organize your winter wardrobe and bring all your coats, pullovers, and cardigans out of storage.  I've just been pulling my winter clothes out as I need them but I just must become more organized so I know exactly what I'm wearing and where everything is.  You can never have too much of layering tees, cowl neck sweaters, roll necks and thermals.  Though for me thermals are fine once I'm outside but once I get indoors in the central heating it's like I'm on fire, so I'm going to have to reconsider thermals and go more for cotton and wool blends.  

With a 50% flash sale on winter warmers at La Redoute today, I'm on the timer as sale ends in the next 10 hours.  Nothing like a sale to motivate me into action.  Shop now

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

How to dress like Melanie Masson from X factor 2012

I'm really loving X Factor this year.  The talent is phenomenal and I'm especially loving the fashion.  I was gutted when Melanie Masson got voted off in the second week as her natural bohemian 70's look really appealed to me.  From the colourful earthy toned, hippy look in week one to the understated  but equally stately white suit in the second week all complimented by the big hair was a big hit with me.

Achieving Melanie's bohemian chic is easy if the seventies look appeals to you.  First of all wear lots of scarves as this is Melanie's signature look. If you've been following the X Factor you may have noticed that from the auditions stage, Melanie always wore a scarf around her neck.  Not a bulky scarf but a thin scarf looped once around her neck.  At the judges' house stage of the competition, she added even another scarf to her look wearing it around her white jeans clad hips.

Melanie's 70's look is made up of bell sleeved blouses and tops, kickflare trousers and lots of scarves like this ruby rich   patchwork velvet scarf which is just perfect for achieving the Melanie Masson look.  The colours in this scarves are bright and rich but then again there is nothing conservative about Melanie's style including her booming voice which, if you've heard her sing, can certainly fill a room. She also adds further detail and colour to her hippy style with rings.  Munique's copper jewellery ring with accented pink and blue is just what you need to carry off that bohemian fun and fancy look.     

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sketchers Twinkle Toes Shoes

Light up your daughter's life this christmas with a pair of twinkle toe shoes from sketchers.  I finally bought my daughter a pair last Saturday as she had been going on and on and on about not having enough shoes.  To be fair she was due some shoes as her last pair were quite worn But prepare yourself it is like buying a good pair of school shoes as they retail at between £35 to £40 - that said the look on daughter's face was priceless.

No way were we boxing these to leave the store as she was not taking them off; maybe for fear that I would change my mind.  But it is worth getting the box to take home as there is a little magazine in there and the box is pretty so a definite keepsake box if nothing else.  Deciding on the colour and style was a bit tricky and worth some deliberation but in the end she decided on the Skechers girls groovy baby purple with flower print and sparkly laces.

These shoes are simply magical as they light up like a christmas tree when walking.  When she's not wearing them even I find myself giving them a little nudge just to see them light up.  The ideal christmas gift without a doubt for young girls - the new it shoe for young fashions lovers.

Monday, 29 October 2012

These boots weren't made for walking

What category of shoe lover are you?  Do you do go for comfort, style or a little of both?  Like Cinderella's wicked step sisters we women are prepared to shove our feet in stiletto heels, narrow toe squeezing, bunion burning heels all for the sake of what? - elongated legs and a sophisticated look?  Sounds like a good trade off to me because I know that I am definitely guilty.

These All Saints boots weren't made for walking but they certainly fit the part if you're looking to pull off stay at home mum come fashion diva.  I'm fast becoming a comfort queen as far as shoes are concerned but a girl must have some designer accessories in her wardrobe. The big, chunky wooden heels on these designer knee high boots are so reminiscent of seventies fashion..  Plenty of kudos from me for the solid design and aerodynamic elements that makes these boots so unique and desirable. If heels are your things then these are right up your street.

When I'm buying any expensive item I usually need some endorsement that it's absolutely worth it.  That's where my kids come in as they are the most honest and downright brutal critics pointing out my wobbly bits far too often for my liking.  But I have to say when I slid my feet into these sleek platforms they both gave me the thumbs up.  That was all the convincing I needed that these were the boots for me.

I can't deny I had my suspicions that I would fall over trying to walk in these leather boots but I haven't so far. Been walking around at home in them before eventually taking them out last Sunday for a test run on a  night out with friends with little walking involved. They looked fab but they are high so you won't see me prancing around in them like everyday shoes - totally occasional footwear for me which I pop back into its box when I get home.  I could just imagine that if my wardrobe came alive at night like Woody and Buzz in Toy Story then my other fashion accessories would simply be jealous.

Designer wear is by no means cheap but if you want to look like a fashion diva on a budget then online stores like dress for less must be on your list of stores to visit.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fashion Today by Colin McDowell

"Raindrops keep falling on my head" is the refrain that sounded in my head all of last week as we were treated to torrential rain.  The perfect time for some internet shopping, you would think but as luck would have it, I had to hit the high streets in desperate search of a new pair of school shoes for my son who only discovered that his shoes were leaking once the downpour started.

Since I was already out there I could not resist as you would imagine a bit of retail therapy for myself though not for clothes and unique fashion accessories on this occasion.  Instead I popped into a newly opened OXFAM bookshop and found a massive, hard covered 511 page book entitled Fashion Today written by Colin McDowell.

It will certainly take me a while to get through this detailed interpretation of fashion but short of taking a speed reading course, I intend to slowly engross myself in the subject of fashion over the past 50 years starting with "The Newlook" featuring Christian Dior and other fashion designers and working my way to the last chapter entitled "Fashion, Protest and the War from Within". 

Fashion according to McDowell has been at the forefront of the ideological wars, frequently used to clothe radical attitudes and instantly signal a rejection of the past" (pg 6).  I'm intrigued to find out how social change influences fashion and explore the cultural shifts in fashion which has seen it become part of popular culture globally. Why we wear what we wear and the importance of bending, yielding and adopting fashion trends are all issues that fascinate me.  Hopefully this fashion bible will provide me with some answers.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Jubilee dresses

The Queen's Jubilee is fast approaching and the stores are jam pack with jubilee memorabilia, which reminds me I must find a princess outfit in red, white and blue for my daughter to wear to school tomorrow. She does have a lovely skirt in red and blue that I bought from Boden a while back so that will have to do, just have to find a white top now.

While you may not always find a dress with the colours you are looking for try improvising and use the jubilee coloured accessories.  By adding royal blue accessories like a belt, scarf, hat, necklace and earrings, polkadot rings or blue sandals even to this red and white strip dress you certainly cannot be accused of not being a royalist. 

The jubilee street parties are also on and many of you are sure to be getting the barbie out on the weekend if not attending someone else's barbecue garden party.  It promises to be a festive weekend all round with many online stores offering mega discounts and online offers.  If you are looking for your own jubilee dress to wear then here are some bargains you just cannot resist.

Boden - 25 % off all menswear and 20% of all womenswear including free delivery.  Offer ends tonight so get shopping for that jubilee dress.

Debenhams- up to 60% of furniture and beds. 20% off all home, 20% off dresses, 20% off men's polo and tee shirts, 20% off all designer kidswear, 255 off all womens sandals

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Clothes and appliance shopping in one

There's lots to argue about when trying to agree on a house you both like and when you do move in, there are further rows about whether or not you should totally update the bathroom or reuse perfectly good bathroom suites.  But one thing we both agree on is the fact that we need a dishwasher like yesterday as we are both tired of having to wash dishes manually.  What a chore when you are preparing meals twice daily for four.!!!

As usual I have been online looking for bargains not that there is much to be had when it comes to appliances as the competition is great and the margins small.  I must admit it is one of the things I am fearful of buying online unless it is from a reputable seller.  When I think about appliances my first port of call is Curry's or Comet but while browsing the new in categories for Marks and Spencer and John Lewis I realised that they are not only fabulous shopping outlets for clothes and fashion accessories but are great online one stop shops  for purchasing appliances.

I have had a look in the stores and online and have finally decided that I want a heavy duty reliable dishwasher brand like Bosch or Siemens with at least an A++ rating and using not more than 10 litres of water.  This is especially important as we are metered here and this plus the energy efficiency can save us a bundle in the end. Like my clothes I prefer to pay a bit more up front to have it last me a lot longer.

I think we have been procrastinating as we do need a new kitchen but rather than wait until a new kitchen is fitted, I'm just going to go ahead and get myself a fully integrated dishwasher which can easily be integrated in the new kitchen when it comes.  For now I'm simply going to slot my integrated dishwasher into place and use as it could be months before we agree on a new kitchen.

Crossover dress with copper jewellery

Moving house is always a great time to de-clutter in theory. But this is far easier said than done when you are a hoarder like me. There I was having to make split second decisions on what's staying or going as we had to pack in a mad rush. I got rid of quite a lot in the end though in hind sight I felt it would have been far easier to just get the packers in even though I'm not always comfortable with strangers handling my stuff.

Clothes on the other hand is probably one of the easiest things to pack when moving as your clothes are simply transferred on their hangers from your wardrobe to the movers wardrobe boxes and drawers from your chest of drawers are simply transported as is.  Yet because I knew I had a luncheon date at one of Birmingham's finest a la carte restaurant, Edmunds,  a few days after moving, I left nothing to chance and took the precaution of packing my intended outfit this crossover dress by Autograph separately.  I also packed my brown high heeled leather sandals and fashion accessories to avoid the mad panic of finding the right head scarf and jewellery to go with this dress.  My biggest dilemma was deciding whether to wear my copper jewellery to accentuate this ruched wrap dress or my unique pearl jewellery.  In the end, on the day I opted for copper earrings and my bali girl copper bracelet as it was a gloriously sunny day out.

Stripes are such a timeless favourite, which means that this autograph cross-over v-neck striped drape dress will certainly be hanging in my wardrobe (when it's constructed again) for a long time. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ruched orchid print dress

Today is the kind of day when you get up and open up all the curtains in the house as you think that such booming sunshine outside can only mean that all is right with the world and we are going to have a bit of spring weather and a cracking hot summer.

This mornings mail just came through the door and what do you know - yippee a wedding invitation!!!!!!  Not until June though which gives me ample time to put an outfit and accessories together. I am always blessed to get myself an invitation to a wedding every year and I do so love weddings but can't help but agonise about getting my wedding outfit just right as after all it is a camera ready moment especially if you are caught on the wedding video and pictures.   

I like to think of it as a historical moment as once you are caught in the wedding video or wedding photos its not likely that they will be thrown away any time soon or ever at all. Plus these days you never know where these photos will end up as you can find yourself tagged in a photo on facebook where the person posting the photo looks absolutely fabulous and you like something the cat dragged in.

It's nice when I can simply wear an old wardrobe favorite but can I take the chance that I won't be double tagged on facebook at two different events in the same outfit.  A bit vain I know but I like to keep my look fresh and unpredictable.  At least the only thing predictable about my outfit is the fact that it will be stunning and unusual even if stunning simply meant a piece of unique jewellery to add tremendous depth and glamour to my wedding outfit.  With this orchid print dress, which is fabulous for concealing stomach and other bulges, all I'm going to need is my munique rock crystal bracelet if at all.  Just have to decide on which colour shoes now. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tribal prints and ethnic wedges

Everywhere I looked today I was treated to delightful ethnic and tribal prints in varying designs and styles. Bright and tropical colours were the order today as it was a whooping 24 degrees out today. Is this the start of a hot summer? Too early to tell really but no harm in getting your summer wardrobe ready in anticipation of those impromptu barbecues and holiday essentials not to mention the London Olympics which is sure to inspire some impromptu barbecues and "limes", to use a Caribbean term. A "lime" is simply people getting together to relax and enjoy each others company.

I am always amazed how once the season changes our clothes changes to match the foliage around us a bit like a chameleon I imagine as we take our inspiration from nature. While bright, bold colours is a unifying factor when it comes to fashion we can differentiate ourselves in the styles and prints that we chose to bring out the best in our fashion personality and body shape.

Ethnic wedges like these Lois Ikat print strap cork demi wedge however is an accessory that is totally missing from my wardrobe and something I simply must remedy as I am finding so many fabulous wedges in tribal prints to choose from online.  These chunky cork wedges are a great alternative if you shy away from colours and print or simply want to try your feet at ethnic chic and glamour.  So when I'm not wearing my gorgeously flat rose leather summer sandals I will certainly be lengthening my legs in one of these stunning wedges.

Monday, 26 March 2012

70's inspired necklace

In my last blog post I talked about my 70's inspired charity find - my striped bell bottom trousers which I was able to team so well with my tiger print necklace.  To take my 70's inspired look to a new level I simply accessorized with this 70's inspired geo print necklace which really finishes the 70's look. 

What stood out for me on this necklace was the geo print and this time I knew exactly what I planned to wear it with which is strange for me. This 70's inspired necklace is made with ceramic printed beads threaded on ribbon and is simple and stylish, just the way I like it. 

These summer necklaces are just perfect for spring summer and I am officially unpacking my summer wear now after that cracking hot weekend we just had.  Click here for more summer jewellery from Munique Fashions


Tiger print necklace

Tiger print accessories can always add that wow factor to your outfit even if you are not a lover of the trend. I must admit I have not ventured out into wearing entire tiger print outfits as either I am simply not brave enough or it just isn't my fashion personality. But tiger print accessories I do love and the more the subtle the accessories the better if I'm honest. 

This eye catching tiger print necklace gives me enough of the trend to appear trendy and feel like a fashionista. I mean not the entire necklace is made of tiger print beads which is perfect for me. The use of circular and rectangular tiger beads in this beaded necklace is just the right balance and accentuated with colourful disc beads this unique necklace simply pops.

I know many a female shopper would ponder and wonder how they would wear tiger print necklaces and with which outfit before buying it. But not me, if I see unique fashion accessories that catches my eye and I can afford it then and there then I buy it. Teaming it with the right outfit will come later. So how did I wear my new found find? 

This is what I like to call my 70's inspired look.  When I picked up this 70's inspired striped bell bottom trousers in a charity shop in Wales for £3 I had no idea that I would be teaming it with this tiger print necklace three year later. But three years later I still have the trousers and have added this necklace to my wardrobe. That's the thing with me I hold on to clothes for years and years so I usually go for quality well made, classic styles that will stand the test of time and changing fashion. 

Take this white top which I brought at a stall at the Queens Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham, I've had this blouse for more than 7 years and would not be parting with it any time soon. Again it only cost me a couple of quid and I didn't even set out to go shopping, but had a browse on the way to my 20 week scan .  My other half was not impressed as he was already there wondering where I was?  I simply can't help myself  when I see clothes, shoes and fashion accessories as you never know what unique treasure you will find to add to your wardrobe. 

But see how a look can all come together once you have an eye for the right accessories and especially when those accessories are unique and unusual. To this look I added my brown and white slip on high heel clogs, donned my burgundy shades and felt like I was stepping out of vogue even if I was only on my way to pick up the kids from school. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

jewellery gifts for her

I'm always thrilled to receive jewellery gifts.  I mean which girl despite the many necklaces and earrings in her possession turns up her nose up at a unique piece of jewellery?  I do feel sorry for guys though when it comes to buying jewellery gifts as no doubt it must be confusing for them when choosing that special jewellery gift  for their wives, girlfriends or partners as there is so much to choose from.   It's especially hard if you are competing with jewellery necklaces and jewellery gift sets from past beaus, then you definitely want your present to be that much more a unique and special jewellery gift. 

Buying bespoke or handmade jewellery including exotic jewellery like copper jewellery, leather jewellery, eco or recycled jewellery can help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to gift giving on those very special gift giving occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, valentines, christmas and mothers day. 

A great alternative if you know your loved one already has lots of jewellery is a jewellery box as a girl has to have somewhere to store her lovely and extensive jewellery collection. Again with jewellery boxes you can go the extra mile and seek out handmade jewellery boxes which may make her feel that extra bit special as it may be hand carved and different to any other trinket box or jewellery case she might have seen.  My personal favourite are wooden jewellery boxes.  For a more luxurious gift for her, some prefer a velvet lined jewellery box, but naturally it depends on your preference and budget.   Selecting that unique gift for her can't be easy but just showing that you put some thought into buying her a gift that others will be asking her "where did you get that?" is sure to score you points. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Faux fur Cardigans

Faux fur cardigans are fast becoming my personal winter trademark as I find myself powerless to resist buying them.  This morning I got up and I could hear the birds singing which means spring is here or fast approaching.  So why am I still buying winter cardigans? Beats me, but I really like this fur trim cardigan in lambswool (65%) and acrylic (35%).  It's very stylish and at £10.00 in Boohoo's clearance sale, it's great value for money as well.  Bought myself one a couple of weeks ago and have really enjoyed wearing it.  What's great about this cardigan is that it certainly won't go out of fashion and would look just as stylish next winter.  I'm especially looking forward to wearing it under my winter coats.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Brown wool coat by Gerard Darel

I enjoyed my luncheon this week. It was really fine dining at its best with live jazz music being played in the background as we ate.  My only complaint was that I could have eaten more as I had not realized that it was only two courses but never mind, I filled up on bread.  After such a lovely and entertaining afternoon I am so looking foward to my upcoming three course dinner this week end - can't wait!!!

I did end up wearing an alternative outfit to what I had in mind for my luncheon only because it was a very rainy and overcast day so I decided to blend in and wear a black wool dress changing my orange swing coat to a grey wool faux fur cardigan which always looks dressy.  I was warm and comfortable the two most important points for me.

For my dinner on Friday I may opt for a maxi dress with a light wool knit cardigan or an orange top with cream or brown trousers or simply resort to my unworn 70's bell sleeve dress I planned to wear to the luncheon .  So many options but its good to have alternatives though it doesn't matter what I wear for I know that I will be warm in the latest addition to my investment pieces wardrobe - this brown wool large collar coat by Gerard Darel. A bit pricey if designer coats are not your speciality so take advantage now while this coat is reduced to clear. If I don't buy another coat for the next 2 years it is well worth it for I know that Gerard Darel coats will last me a lifetime. But forget how long it will last, the sheer compliments I've been getting  when wearing this coat is enough for me, not to mention I feel fabulous and glamorous - absolutely priceless

Monday, 23 January 2012

ballet shoes

I am so used to shopping online that I even ordered ballet shoes for my daughter online.  But alas they were too big and I had to send them back.  I know that with ballet shoes I usually have to order a size or two larger than her feet but bloch ballet shoes are actually made to size, hence my faux pas as we hadn't had that brand before.

There I was thinking today , where can I order ballet shoes for next day delivery as I needed them in time for her ballet class on Tuesday afternoon.  When suddenly it dawned on me why don't I just try my local ballet shop.  Sounds simple but I'm so accustomed to online ordering that it simply never occurred to me.  I think the problem was that I knew that the ballet shop didn't open every day so I had to call leave a message then call again as the time for my daughter's ballet class grew closer and closer then finally success as someone answered and they had her size in stock.  I was able to get her bloch ballet shoes with the elastic already sewn on.  The pre-sewn elastic is a huge plus for me as I always dread having to sew them on myself.  It's an absolute nightmare positioning the elastic just right and trying to get the needle through the leather.      

Ordinarily I was just searching for dance shops online but interestingly enough I discovered that John Lewis sells ballet shoes though not with the pre-sewn elastic.   In addition did you know that the search term "ballet shoes" and in particular "leather ballet shoes" refers to regular shoes like these cap toe ballet shoes from Lands End below?  I had no idea.  So of course there is always the distraction of being side tracked by your own shopping needs when shopping online.

love label dresses

I can't tell you what a great feeling it is to have food put in front of you rather than having to cook it yourself especially when you are constantly having to cook to feed a family on a daily basis.  I'm attending a formal luncheon tomorrow and a dinner the following week and I'm so looking forward to be waited on. At these rare and special occasions for me all notion of weight loss and diet goes out of the window as I am there to eat and relax.  This always influences my choice of what to wear as my chosen attire must be comfortable to leave me bulge-less around the tummy after eating a three course dinner.

If I opt to wear trousers then they must be lose and comfortable enough not to have to undo a button or burst a button and hurt someone. Planning what I'm going to wear is always a must as I'm usually rushing around sorting the kids before getting ready which from past experience leaves me half an hour so no time for dramas or getting it wrong and having to change with the clock ticking.  The last time I did not plan my attire I ended up leaving the house looking absolutely dreadful and I have the photos to prove it.

For my Tuesday luncheon which is going to be mostly ladies I'm going to go for that girly look and Love Label is one of my favourite brands when it comes to girly fashion for frills, bows and sequine dresses you name it - the whole bells and whistle. This chiffon 70's style dress really makes me feel feminine. I particularly like the sleeves and shape of this 70s dress and you can't get more feminine than chiffon fabric which is light and floaty, perfect for emphasising the sleeve detail.  Most important this chiffon dress will hide all bulges pre and post lunch.

For fashion accessories I'm keeping my jewellery ethnic so it's a toss up between my copper jewellery or my dramatic shell pendant.  

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Womens winter shorts trend

One of the latest fashion trend this autumn/winter is the winter shorts i.e wearing short trousers with tights. I didn't think the trend would really catch on as I could not envisage wearing shorts in winter but since it was proving to be a mild winter by UK standards especially compared to the last 2 winters, I picked myself up a couple pairs including this velvet short trousers

Needless to say that I'm not wearing any shorts these days given our sub zero temperatures over the last few mornings. But if you think we have it bad,  Cordova Alaska with population of 2,200 has been buried under more than 15 feet of snow over the last few weeks.  Click here to read more 

So while we have happy scenes from the red carpet of the golden globe awards 2012 with Kate Winslet winning a Golden Globe for her performance in TV mini series Mildred Pierce and Miss Wisconsin being crowned Miss America 2012   innocent vacationers on the Italian cruise ship are no doubt facing devastation at this time.

So wearing my shorts is the least of my worries these days as I'm sure the weather will pick as it has today.  Just when I took the time to cover my windshield last night to avoid that 5-10 minutes delay while I scrape the car.  It rains. I just can't seem to get it right.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Keeping it slim in winter

Winter is the time many of us are sluggish about getting out and exercising but I'm proud to say I have faithfully resumed my hot yoga. But keeping the winter weight off is more than just exercising, it's also about watching what you eat and I mean this most literally. The choices we make about which foods will spend a moment on our lips but remain forever on the hips is so absolutely important.

Running late on Thursday the first day back o school I left home without my faithful morning smoothie made in my vitamix blender. Not wanting to risk a migraine from not eating on time, I headed to a nearby Sainsbury's cafe after dropping off the kids. As I studied the menu board I realised that the calorie intake was listed next to each meal which was so very helpful as I ended up having a cup of tea and a slice of toast.

It's amazing how when you see that a sausage sandwich is 600+ calories and a slice of toast with butter about 120 calories that you are able to make your mind up quickly. We can always hide our weight under this stunning cowl neck dress by Jaeger which has been reduced to clear by the way and which I'm so getting. But you know when I'm strutting my stuff in this dress if I'm also feeling good about myself I think I will look even more dynamite. click here for other reduced to clear special offers.