Category: Clothes Maketh the (Wo)man

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?


Thanks, as always, for reading! x


Holiday buys from H&M

I’m lucky enough to be going on holiday in a couple of weeks (hurrah!) and I can’t wait to escape the British doom and gloom (weather, politics, football – it’s all pretty crap, isn’t it?!) Besides the obvious Brexit shaped elephant in the room, which I’m hoping won’t affect tourist relations, I can’t wait to lie in the Greek sun, eat Greek food and R.E.L.A.X.


In anticipation, I’ve bought a few cheeky bits and pieces for my sojourn to the sun. In truth I don’t really need any new holiday clothes, but when did that make a difference to anything?!

As usual H&M has come up trumps, with some ace stuff which just so happens to be mega bargainous in their sale too.

This playsuit was reduced from £12.99 to just £4.99. It’s a lovely soft fabric, quality but not too thick, with pockets (everything should have pockets, IMO). H&M patterned playsuit

So I might have bought it in plain black and black and white Aztec print too…

A couple of pairs of shorts – black lace reduced from £12.99 to £5.99, and imitation suede with front patch pockets reduced from £12.99 to £4.49.

These trousers, which the husband immediately screamed “pyjamas” at when I asked his opinion, but I think with a tan, a simple cream vest and loads of silver jewellery these will look suitably boho hippie and not like I’ve escaped from some kind of cult (£14.99 down to £5.99)

H&M mustard yellow hippy trousers

And finally, a new bikini, because holiday (bought as separates – £20.98 down to £10.98)

Mucho bargainous – gotta love the H&M sale!

Have you picked up any bargains recently? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading!


My latest obsession – printed maxi dresses

I love a maxi dress, but clingy jersey ones generally aren’t flattering unless you’re stick thin with no lumps or bumps and seamless underwear. Even worse if they’re plain.

I’ve (fairly) recently discovered an alternative – printed dresses in flowing fabrics like cheesecloth, viscose and chiffon. When I say discovered, it’s not like I created them with my own fair hands or anything! And I’m sure they’ve always been around, just that I’ve never noticed them before.

My first purchase was this Mango one from the ASOS sale.

My Mom’s husband called me Hiawatha. That’s fine by me. I love the ethniticty of the print, the boho string ties and the split at the front. The colours are slightly more muted IRL. I’ve worn it with flat beige biker boots, lace up block heel suede platform boots and pointed toe t-bar flats. It will be great with sandals. It doesn’t need ironing (the best bit!), it comes out of the washing machine all crinkled and just dries that way (the beauty of cheesecloth). It’s perfection in a dress.

Next is this dress of dreams from ASOS.

The print is just everything. It’s hippy, gypsy, rock and roll cool, I adore it. The length of the sleeves is perfect. The length is perfect. The swishy chiffon fabric with a slinky lining is perfect (again no ironing). Unfortunately the dress itself isn’t perfect. It’s a button through dress. Button through dresses have a habit of gaping when you sit down, showing bits of tummy and tits that you’d rather keep covered. Buttons also pop open unexpectedly. So, after 3 wears, I’ve decided this one needs some work. It needs some kind of lining stitching on the inside of the button band so there is no flesh flashing when I sit. It also needs the button holes tightening with a couple of stitches. I need to work out how to make this right, because I already miss wearing it (in spite of the fact one of my close friends called me Margot from “To the Manor Born” when I wore it out. For the younger readers or those outside of the UK, it’s a late 70s TV comedy about an aristocratic couple. It’s not a compliment. Fashion heathen.)

Finally, this one from Matalan.

It does need ironing (boo). I wasn’t sure if it was a bit safe and middle aged so I questioned the husband who said it was. In an act of defiance I wore it anyway! It has high splits at either side and a blouson waistband. Toughened up with some studded leather ankle boots and a chunky necklace I think it worked. I’ll also be pairing it with my knee length gladiator sandals for summer (if it ever comes back). I love the colours and it was a veritable bargain (just £16 and I had a 20% off voucher).

I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more dresses of this style, and will be wearing these a lot this summer!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


Packing for a (non) spring city break in France

When I booked our trip to Lyon, I had visions of wandering cobbled streets in maxi dresses and sandals and sitting at riverside cafes sipping cold wine.

The weather has other ideas.

Despite being May on Sunday, Lyon seems to be suffering with same crap weather affliction as the UK. I’ve trawled multiple forecast websites to find something more favourable, but all of them seem to be suggesting cool evenings and showers.


In a confusing state of mind though, in the past two days it’s improved slightly, with the temperatures creeping upwards. Not one to miss any opportunity to make the most of the sunshine, this now means I have to pack for two types of weather, just in case. As I don’t have two lots of luggage allowance (damn you Flybe) I’m going to have to get creative.

Love trips hate packing

I’ve come up with a list of jeans, boots, maxi dresses, tops, maxi skirts, leggings, scarves, a hat, sunglasses, hi tops, sandals, a leather jacket and a denim jacket.

That’s pretty much every eventuality covered!

Now all I need to do is persuade the husband he doesn’t need a 50% share of the luggage space…

I’ll probably be sharing some pictures via Instagram whilst I’m away (free wifi dependant, obvs) so if you want to see what I’m seeing then give me a follow.

Thanks, as always, for reading ! x


Getting shirty

I don’t generally buy shirts, and the honest reason is because I hate ironing! Which means that, invariably, I’ll wear them and wash them once and then they sit in my wardrobe looking at me in an accusatory fashion.

But they’re so useful for this in betweeny time of year that I’ve found my eye being turned.

It started with these two from H&M. Great basics, these actually don’t need ironing (rejoice) and are great for layering underneath a jumper when it’s colder, or wearing on their own now the weather is improving. They were half price in the 50% flash sale a few weeks ago (where I also bought my current favourite dress) at just £7 each.

They don’t look anything exciting, but teamed with skinny jeans and some statement boots I’m really happy with them.

Then, in the most recent H&M sale (which of course I ordered loads from because, sale) I spotted these two.

My husband wears a lot of checked shirts, and when I showed him these he thought I’d bought them for him!

He was pretty disappointed that they’re for me. So far I’ve worn them with indigo straight leg jeans, but they’ll be good with denim cut offs in summer as well as battered pale blue jeans and sandals. Unfortunately these will need ironing (ick) but I really like them so will try and make an exception!

They’re lovely and soft and cost just £7 (top) and £5 (bottom).

Four new very versatile tops for just £26; how great is that?!

How do you dress for inbetweeny weather?

Thanks, as always, for reading!


I’m a sucker for a H&M sale email

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for a sale email, which basically means I’m always tempted by something (sales are just all the time these days! What happened to twice a year?)

I’ve also mentioned that the H&M sale makes my little heart palpitate with joy and excitement, for there is many a bargain to be found.

A few weeks ago was no exception. They reeled me in with a 50% “flash sale” email. Not even any pictures. Just a red block and 50% in white text.

Well, who am I to resist?

It just so happens that, in succumbing to their not very imaginative at all marketing, I discovered my new favourite dress. This isn’t a term I use lightly, as I have a lot of favourite things, but this is just wonderful. Better still, it was reduced from £24.99 to £12.99.H&M floral dress

The dress has one of my much loved features – shirring. The cuffs are shirred, the shoulders are shirred and the waistline is shirred so you can create that poufy blouson style that is so very flattering.

H&M floral dress detail

The colours are delicate but the print is bold, and the fabric is soft and flowing. I wore it immediately out to lunch with black opaques, black suede Jeffrey Campbell-a-like lace up shoe boots and a leather jacket. I loved it so much that I fell asleep in it after lunch (ok, this may have been wine rather than love related) and I already can’t wait to wear it again.

It’s only failing is that it will need ironing. I don’t really do ironing. But I will make an exception on this occasion.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


My weekend in pictures

Hey, how was everyone’s weekend? I had quite a busy one, with two Mother’s Day celebrations, and a night out for a friend’s birthday. As a result I’m rather jaded and tired today – roll on hometime!

On Saturday afternoon we went to a pub about half an hour drive from us, called the Warwickshire Lad, with my Mother in Law for lunch. She’s not big on Mother’s Day, and doesn’t like doing anything on the day itself, so Saturday afternoon was ideal. It seemed a few people had the same idea.

The pub is both traditional and contemporary inside; lots of wooden beams and a big original fireplace mix well with sunny windows and big mirrors for a really spacious and bright feel. The menu is a mix of good solid pub grub and gastropub specials.

I went for honey glazed duck breast with rum and blackcherry sauce and new potatoes. The duck was cooked perfectly, not too pink, a bit of crispiness to the skin and succulent and juicy meat. The sauce was subtle; no over riding flavour of either rum or cherry, but it was sweet and not too thick.

Duck with rum and blackcherry sauce

The husband went for Fillet Steak Boston,. which he was incredibly excited about (steak, scallops and whisky sauce; all box tickers for him) but unfortunately it didn’t quite deliver – the steak was medium to well done, rather than medium as requested, and the sauce lacked flavour. A bit disappointing for a £20 main course.

What wasn’t disappointing was my new most bargainous dress – just £6 from the New Look sale! It has bell sleeves, which I love, and a pleasingly swishy skirt. I matched it with tan suede boots and a tan fringed bag.

Looking forward to the weather being warmer and being able to bust this out with bare legs and sandals.

On Saturday night we went to a rock bar in town. I debuted my new Collection Lasting Colour lipstick, which actually isn’t new at all – I bought it months and months ago after seeing it on Holly’s blog (Closing Winter) but haven’t got round to wearing it.

Collection Aubergine Kiss lipstick

Aubergine Kiss lipstick

It’s called Aubergine Kiss and is much darker in real life – a deep black cherry which is very vampy and gothic.

I also wore my new tassel jacket, which is frickin’ awesome, and received many compliments (as well as a description of a gothic Big Bird from Sesame Street!). It was, believe it or not, from Tesco, and reduced to just £20.

F&F tassel jacket

There’s no way I couldn’t keep it. It’s actually the same fabric as my feathery skirt from H&M, but don’t worry, I won’t be wearing them together!

Sunday morning loomed too quickly and I was feeling somewhat delicate, but had to pull myself together to celebrate Mothers Day with my own Mom. She and my sister came over, I cooked baked lamb and potatoes (so much yum) and we drank lots of wine, took lots of selfies and laughed a lot.

A most enjoyable Sunday afternoon and evening.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


Orange is the new…yellow?

Dear Dorothy Perkins,

Back to design school with you!

This is not orange.

Dorothy Perkins ruffle front yellow top

Neither is this!

Dorothy Perkins yellow waffle top

Or this!

Dorothy Perkins yellow v-neck blouse

Even allowing for differences in colour representations on computer monitors, there’s no way this can be described as orange! I should know, I’ve seen it in real life.

Dorothy Perkins shirred 70s blouse

Most definitely mustard. Or ochre. And most definitely on my list of spring buys.

Are you building a spring wishlist?

Thanks, as always, for reading!




How has the Zara sale passed me by?

Zara is one of those shops I never think to look at. I’m not sure why. Probably because it’s more expensive than I like to pay (cheapskate!)


A few weeks ago I was in Oxford shopping and my sister went in to Zara, so I followed her for a nosy. I was amazed at how good their sale prices are – very heavily discounted with loads of items at £9.99 or less!

I couldn’t be bothered to try anything on in store (too much hassle to derobe the layers of winter clothes) so I checked out the online sale when I got home.

I was obviously late to the party, as the sales had been on for 3-4 weeks already, so many items will have already been out of stock or limited in sizes, but I did snaffle a couple of bargains that I’m very pleased with.

Multi coloured tunic dress – £9.99

First thing the husband said when I tried this on was “that’s an eating dress”. Which it is (hurrah!) but not the reason I bought it. I spotted this in store and loved the colours, it has an oriental feel with the pattern and the kimono sleeves and I think it’s a good year round item which I could wear now with boots or in summer with sandals. It will be ideal to take on holiday to wear towards the end of a trip when all the cocktails and yummy cuisine have taken their toll on my waistline!

Ditsy print floral top – £7.99

Towards the end of last summer I bought a couple of pairs of flares that I intend to wear a lot when spring arrives, and I’ve been on the look out for tops that will work with them for that hippy 70s vibe. This one is perfect. I don’t have much yellow in my wardrobe but it will look great with blue denim, and (importantly) it won’t need ironing!

I could have bought lots more if they had my size – not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing!

I’ll definitely be first in line at sale time in future.

Are you a Zara shopper?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x



Poundland bargains (well, obviously!)

Saying you got a bargain from Poundland is stating the bleedin’ obvious, because everything is a pound, obvs!

The point of me calling these things bargains is that they would have cost more elsewhere, therefore they’re bargains in the true sense of the word, and not just in context of Poundland.

Got it?


When I was a kid, going into somewhere like Poundland would have been the height of embarrassment, the stuff of “look around, hope none of your friends see you and run in quickly” nightmares. Strangely, when my brother and sister were younger (there’s a 20 year difference), Poundland had developed an almost cult following among kids, who’d often request to go in after school knowing full well they’d come out with something like a cheap toy or some chocolate. After all, who can say no to spending a pound?

These days I’m all about the bargain, although going in for one thing and coming out £16 lighter isn’t exactly economising, but still. I blame the owners for diversifying so much – they now do make up, jewellery and nail varnish so it’s easy to just pick up a few extra bits.

Anyway, I digress.

Here’s what I bought:

Peacock feather earrings – because, peacock feathers!


Leopard print crinkle scarf – because leopard print!


Enamel bangle – the stones are a pretty pale pink


Silver lurex skinny scarf – ideal for adding interest to an all black outfit (I’m thinking black cami, leather trousers and pointy heels)


Are you a Poundland/Dollar Store/bargain shop shopper?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x