Category: Clothes Maketh the (Wo)man

Its my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to…

its-my-birthday-and-ill-cry-if-i-want-to

Image from Etsy seller Sassy Baby Applique

A slight bastardisation of the Lesley Gore song lyrics, but as I’m not having a party it’s the most appropriate. And I have cried. On and off since Friday. It’s my first birthday without my Dad and I miss him. I miss his daft jokes where he pretended not to know the date or how old I was. I miss how he’d play me up and tell me I wasn’t allowed to open my presents early, even if I wasn’t going to see him on the day. And I miss him phoning me up, and the excitable tone of his voice when he used to say Happy Birthday to me.

I know it’s to be expected, with it being the first Birthday since he died, but I didn’t expect to feel this bereft. This is the worst I’ve felt since his funeral at the end of September.

I’ve had such a lovely weekend too, of live music and old friends and new friends and Christmas market and food and husband. But sometimes feeling happy can make you feel even more sad when it hits.

Anyway, not to be a complete misery guts I’ve busted out some season appropriate clothing – wearing my new velvet boots (present from me to me, via Primark) and my new sequin sleeve top (present from me to me, via Everything 5 Pounds) and I’m trying to have an ok day, even though I’m in the office. I’m also wearing red lippie because it’s fierce and my Dad’s watch so I have a little piece of him with me.

birthday-outfit

I’ve had lots of birthday messages from lots of lovely peeps and I have all my cards and pressies to open when I get home, and the lovely husband is taking me out to dinner.

You know what though? I’d give it all up for 10 more minutes with Dad.

Normal (more upbeat) service will resume soon. Thanks, as always, for reading. x

A love letter to Matalan’s A/W designers

I’m a big fan of Matalan for clothing (and homeware, for that matter) but this season they seem to have really excelled, with so many great pieces that I just had to buy. They’re great value, good quality and very wearable; what’s not to like?

A plethora of tops are now hanging in my wardrobe; the selling point for a lot of these, for me, is the sleeve shape. I love a good bell sleeve top! Along with new skirts and boots too.

Black and white check – £14

black-and-white-check-blouse

Also in navy and plum

blue-and-pink-check-blouse

Flare sleeve smock with neck tie

tie-neck-blouse

Long shirt; love the colours in this

longline-shirt

Off shoulder ditsy print

floral-bardot-blouse

Not sure if this is a dress or long shirt, I love it regardless

black-and-white-dalmatian-print-dress

Leather look skirts; £14 each (so I bought three colours, obvs) These genuinely don’t look like fake leather, which can be horribly plasticy and shiny.

Suede touch buckle boots – (a “take” on a designer style, I love the western buckles)

western-buckle-boots

In truth I could easily have bought more (and may well do in the future!)

Are you a Matalan fan?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Boohoo blouses

Anyone else hate the word “blouse”? It seems so cringey and ancient and old fashioned. But it’s the best way I can think to describe the tops I’ve recently bought from Boohoo.
So, what is a blouse? In my mind it doesn’t have buttons and is of a slinky fabric, like a crepe or a none naff polyester. Or a crinkly cheesecloth. Or silk (which is just too much of a ballache to look after so tends to sit crumpled up in my washing basket for an age until I get round to doing some handwashing). It’s a pull on style and not fitted. Something floaty and airy. Good for eating. This is how I’m defining blouses in my wardrobe.
Onto my buys. All from Boohoo and all in the sale. Very pleased I am too.

boohoo-high-neck-ladder-stitch-floral-blouse

The ladder stitching down the front and on the sleeves is see through in between, which I realised when I spotted my bra front in a meeting with my sales director this morning! It’s not very noticeable though, and I don’t have much to flash anyway. It fastens at the back of the neck with one of those tiny fiddly buttons, which I didn’t handle very well at 8am today!

 

boohoo-kimono-sleeve-embellished-blouse

 

 

I adore the kimono style sleeves on this one, and the gorgeous clashing colours. It’s quite ethnic in style and pattern, and has some dangling coin decorations and chunky orange beads sewn on.

 

boohoo-cheesecloth-boho-tunic-blouse

 

This, to me, is the ultimate boho blouse – cheesecloth, embroidery and tassels have one quite similar in cream that I’ve worn heaps. Perfect with black skinny jeans and suede boots during colder months, andbattered denim cutoffs and sandals in summer, it’s a timesless style that will never date.

 

Have you been buying anything new recently? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

Off the cuff at Zara

(silently congratulating myself on my oh-so-clever post title!)

I’m a big fan of a quirky cuff so when I spotted some interesting arms at Zara I placed an order and crossed my fingers.

On arrival I selected the most pleasingly flappy items, and here they are for your perusal!

First up, these basic-with-a-twist long sleeved tees. The fabric is very fine, so may need layering over a contrasting coloured tee for colder days. They’re slightly ribbed and the fabric basically isn’t stitched on the inside of the wrist, giving a slight flare. Burgundy is a winter fave of mine anyway, and the black is just worth having, because.

This one is a really soft t-shirt fabric and the cuffs are more of a waterfall ruffle.

And finally this one, which is again ribbed but has a bit of a sheen, and sleeves so long and bell shaped that eating whilst wearing will be a complete no no!

I love the 70s vibe to these and I’m going to pair them with flared jeans, which I’m totally loving right now.

On a side note, Zara’s styling and models really don’t do the clothes justice. They look so bloody miserable and gangly and awkward. Anyone agree?

Are you a Zara fan?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

And the bride wore…black…

I think I’ve mentioned on here that I was lucky enough to be asked by two of my amazing friends to be a bridesmaid at their wedding. Right from the off it was obvious that it wouldn’t be a conventional wedding, so I was totally unsurprised when the bride told me her dress would be black.

its-a-nice-day-for-a-black-wedding

I was also unsurprised at them selecting a gothic venue which would be a dramatic backdrop to a stunning day.

We had the most amazing time. The husband and I, along with some of the wedding party, stayed over on Saturday night, so were able to get a feel for the venue and the surroundings. Sunday, the day of the wedding, was just amazing from beginning to end. The venue, Ettington Park Hotel, has chapel ruins in the grounds which is where they hoped to marry. We’ve eagerly kept an eye on the weather forecast, hoping for the best but fearing the worst for the end of October. We needn’t have worried. It was a really mild day with a light element of mist that gave an atmospheric eeriness to proceedings. Everything went perfectly, from getting ready, through to the ceremony, through to pictures, the wedding breakfast and the party in the evening. I stumbled off to bed at 4.30am full of happiness, love and joy. It was an absolutely fantastic weekend.

I got to wear a beautiful dress, which was bought as a plain purple frock and then custom decorated with black lace.

purple-and-black-lace-bridesmaid-dress

The husband and I had strong shoe game; check out those purple suede boots! (he was one of the best men – there were three)

bridesmaid-sandals-and-best-man-purple-suede-boots

The timing, the day before Halloween, obviously lent itself to themed decorations which could, quite easily, have fallen into tacky territory. It was quite the opposite. Quirky, with little bits and bobs here and there, hand painted bottles and brightly painted pumpkins in little nooks and crannies, lots of black lace and floral decorations. Everywhere we looked there was something to marvel at, subtle spooky skeletons and bough after bough of ivy with 2 full size skeletons in bridal wear positioned in the hotel entrance.

The best thing I can do to give you an insight is to share some pics with you. Just visually stunning.

Photographs by myself, various guests and the amazing official photographer Sassy at Assassynation

Cake by Little Cherry Cake Company

Aside from the sheer beauty and fun of it all, it really was an honour and a privilege to see our dear friends get married. They’re so great together, so right for each other and so in love that not one person in the room could have questioned whether they were doing the right thing, and that’s really what it’s all about. Take away the beautiful outfits, the gorgeous backdrop and the brilliant party, and their relationship is the same now they’re married as it was before. They have a relationship built on laughter, not taking each other too seriously and mutual respect, as well as adoration, and a marriage certificate is just the icing on the cake for them. Being part of their day was such a beautiful thing and I was so touched and excited to be asked; I’ll treasure the memories of the day and their ongoing friendship forever.

Oh, and I’ll also treasure this, possibly the coolest wedding photograph ever!

purple-and-black-gothic-wedding-party-group-shotPhotograph by Sassy at Assassynation

I can’t think of anyone who’s getting married next year, and that makes me really sad. I love a good wedding!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

My new favourite website – Everything Five Pounds!

**WARNING** – this site can become addictive!

So, now I’ve done my bit in terms of protecting your spending wellbeing, let me tell you about Everything Five Pounds. Or, more specifically, what I’ve bought from there!

I’ve read about the website before on various blogs but always been put off by the fact that you have to pay for postage and there are no free returns. But then a colleague at work told me about some boots she ordered from there, and how reasonable the postage was, and that one of the tops she ordered was originally from ASOS and I thought I’d have a look.

Footwear is always a safe bet because sizing tends to be pretty consistent (as opposed to clothing) so that’s where I started.

Stompy clumpy boots

everything-5-pounds-chunky-boots

If you follow me on instagram you may have already seen them. God I love them! They’re so chunky and fierce, mega comfy, very roomy (plenty of space for thick socks on cold days!) and I’ll be wearing them a lot this winter.

Then I got sidetracked by sandals. Yes I know it’s bit daft buying sandals now the temperatures are dropping to single digits but I love, love, love them plus they’re such a bargain and it means I’ll have nice new stuff to wear when next Spring comes around.

L>R Red ankle strap sandals, beige fringed buckle sandals, black fringed chain sandals, beige Aztec embroidered clogs

And I’m going to Fuerteventura for a few days next month so I’ll get a sneaky wear out of at least 2 of the pairs I think. Hurrah!

The order was dispatched really quickly by Royal Mail signed for delivery – all good! And I was so pleased with everything I received, I thought I’d sneak another look and cast my net wider.

I took a risk on some clothes – it was a good risk!

Eagle shoulder short sleeve jumper

everything-5-pounds-eagle-print-mini-2

Retro print blouse

everything-5-pounds-zig-zag-top

Suede platform boots (how I love these)

everything-5-pound-tassel-back-platforms

I’ve been really impressed with the choice and quality so far and can see myself ordering regularly. More deliveries, the husband will be so excited!

Have you ever ordered from Everything Five Pounds? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading.x

 

 

 

A few cheer up buys from the New Look sale

I’ve had a (very) little spend and picked up a few (really) nice bits in the New Look online sale. Now, in no way am I saying that buying stuff to cheer me up makes up for losing my Dad, obvs. But at times of sadness it’s important to still be able to find happiness in things – even if that thing is a handbag!

Beaded clutch bag. Love this. Check out the pony skin leopard print in the middle section. £19.99 reduced to £9.

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Faux fur collar. This will be great over my leather jacket in colder weather. It fastens with a frog clasp to keep it together at the bottom so it won’t fall off. £9.99 reduced to £3.

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“Camo” skinnies. These are very very subtle camo, which I like. The front zip pockets add an interesting touch. £27.99 reduced to £8.

Sales are funny things aren’t they? Most places have a constant sale section these day especially online. And with those pearls of wisdom (!!) I’ll bid you adieu.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

End of sale buys from ASOS

I’ve banged on many many times about how I’m a sucker for a sale, blah blah blah, so I won’t bore you with that again.

But I will share with you the bits and pieces I’ve nabbed in the ASOS sale. How lucky do you feel right now?!

Lemon t-shirt with California print – £8

Brave Soul California tshirt

This could well be in response to the fact that autumn is upon us. It’s a 2 finger salute that screams summer. I’m wearing it today. It’s cute.

Lemon suede touch and patent ankle strap pointy toe flats – £15 with an extra 10% off

See above. I like these a lot. I’m wearing these today as well. They’re rubbing my heels slightly, but fuck it cos they look nice and they make me smile.

Khaki t-shirt dress – £15

I’ve developed a real love for loose fitting and drapey clothes recently, which is good because I no longer have my early 20s figure which looked good in body con styles (thanks a lot greed, laziness and aging metabolism). I have a similar dress to this in black, which I love. This will work into warmer autumn days with ankle boots.

Black tassel capelet – £4.50 with an extra 10% end of sale discount

This is cool; I’m thinking worn over a plain white tee or a black vest a la the website image. It was a super duper bargain and not worth not having (spendaholic logic right there).

Have you picked up any sales bargains?

Thanks, as always, for reading? x

Some purchases from Peacocks

Back in the time before I had put myself on something of a spending ban (or at least severe limitation) while I get my finances back to where I would like them, I bought a few bits from Peacocks.

I actually bought them in store, and then got an email with a 20% discount offer so returned everything and rebought it (that’s just good economics, no?)

Printed viscose top

Peacocks paisley print sleeveless top

This is lovely and light and airy, looks and great with dark denim

Lace up sandals

Peacocks yellow lace up sandals

These are advertised as yellow, but they’re more of a neon acid chartreuse I think (ooh, get me!) I suddenly realised that most of my sandals were beige or black and that I (wanted) needed some bright summer shoes in my life, and these were the answer.

Beaded sandals

Peacocks beaded ethnic ankle strap sandals

“While buying one pair of sandals, I might as well chuck another in,” thinks I. So I did. These had me convinced that I had one ankle which is considerably bigger than the other as the right one felt tight, but they’re more comfortable as time goes on – which means either the leather has stretched or all that hopping on one foot has been paying off.

Dark denim shorts

Peacocks indigo denim shorts

Just because. I thought I’d wear them loads. I’ve worn them once. Must rectify.

All that for the princely sum of £41.60 – pretty good eh?

Oh, and then the sale started and I picked up this fringed black and white Aztec poncho kimono thing (a kimoncho?) for £7.

Peacocks aztec print kimono

Send me links to your latest buys; I’d love to have a nose!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Twit of the Day – silly swimwear buyers, sellers and designers

Being, as I am, on a holiday tip and also being, as I am, less slim than last time I went on holiday, I’ve been shopping online for bikinis. My criteria is simple – minimal tan lines and enough fabric to cover more than my pubic region. What most people would look for in a bikini, no?

ASOS seemingly has other ideas!

All those straps, you’d look ridiculous after a day of sunbathing!

Strappy bikini top

Good luck with wearing a low neck top after sunbathing in this.

Crossover bikini top

Silly bottoms.

I’m no prude but this is verging on indecent.

Strappy bikini bottoms

 

What happens when you wear a strappy top at night or a different style bikini the next day and you’ve got white bands on your arms?

Off shoulder bikini

It’s nice for clothes to be decorative and pretty rather than purely functional, but really?

I probably shouldn’t single out ASOS as I’m sure this kind of daftness is prevalent in many high street shops too.

Is it just me? Or is this just silly?

Twits!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x