Tag: Matalan

Ever heard of women’s clothes retailer Tobi?

No? Me either…until they got in touch and asked if I’d like them to send me 3 items of clothes and style them my way. I thought about it for all of 0.3 milliseconds before snapping their hand off!

Tobi is based in the US but they offer free international delivery taking 8-9 working days. It does mean waiting a little longer for your order than you you may be used to when shopping online, but a bit of pre-planning should help to avoid any disappointment.

So, what did I go for?

Firstly these floral jersey flares.

I’m a big fan of easy to wear statement trousers and these definitely fall into that category. They’re pull on style with an elasticated waist and a pleasingly flarey flare! These trousers will work for year round wear (except on rainy days, no-one needs a soggy hem!); I’ll add wedges and a loose vest top in summer, and ankle boots and a jumper in winter. For in betweeny days, a denim jacket will be perfect too.

Tobi floral flares outfit

Clockwise, from left: Tobi floral flares, New Look crochet hem vest top, Matalan crochet shoulder bag, H&M denim jacket, New Look pink suedette wedges.

My second choice item is these leather look flared trousers (a bit of a theme here!) I have some faux leather trousers, and some coated leather look skinnies which I love, so I thought a different cut would be a good idea to add into my wardrobe. Unfortunately they’re not very long in the leg, so wearing super high heels (which would be my preference) is out of the question (I can’t stand to see a short flare with a high heel), but a pair of cuban heel western style boots and a print tee will also work well.

Tobi flared leather look trousers outfit

Clockwise, from left: Tobi leather look flares, H&M (men’s) skull print tee, eBay red fringed bag, Office ponyskin leopard print boots

The final item I was sent by Tobi is this gorgeous wine coloured flowing fabric dress. I was thinking this would be beautiful for summer holidays, but it’s unfortunately very short on me (and I’m not that tall, I’m 5ft 6 inches) so I’ll be wearing it as a tunic top instead. I’m thinking it would be great with a pair of wet look leggings and some statement heels for a night out, or maybe dressed down over battered denim shorts in summer.

Tobi cold shoulder dress outfit

Clockwise, from left: Tobi cold shoulder dress, River Island leather look leggings, ASOS embellished clutch, ASOS ankle strap sandals.

*These items were sent to me free of charge by Tobi, Opinions and styling ideas are my own.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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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

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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

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Bedroom inspiration

Whenever I get back from staying in a hotel, I’m always really dissatisfied with my own bedroom. I know hotel rooms aren’t reality but it doesn’t stop me wanting a bedroom makeover!

Probably the easiest and cheapest way to revamp your bedroom is with new bed linen. So when Yorkshire Linens contacted me about their bedding, it was like the stars aligned (or they’d been inside my head!) I’ve been having a look around for some inspiration to jazz up my own bedroom, and picked out some favourites. I’d actually never heard of them prior to their email, but  Yorkshire Linens duvet covers are great, with something for all tastes, and the prices are really good.

This one is really cute, with lots of different colours you could pick out as accents in the room

Yorkshire Linen Love duvet cover

I like the idea of an Eastern style bedroom with lanterns and throws

Yorkshire Linen elephant duvet cover

Same with this one, I think it would work well in a Moroccan theme

Yorkshire Linen ethnic duvet cover

This is really cheery for spring and summer in an all white room

Yorkshire Linen bright stripe duvet cover

And this is very opulent (although a little bit impractical for me I think!)

Yorkshire Linen grey matt satin duvet cover

Now on to Asda’s George at Home range, which I’ve bought from before and always been happy with.

Traditional tattoo print – say no more!

George duvet cover tattoo

And this is just stunning, I love the colours and print

George geisha duvet cover

Finally to Matalan, again a first stop of mine for homewares.

Leopard print, because, leopard print!

Matalan leopard print duvet

More leopard print, because, leopard print!

Matalan bright leopard print duvet

I like the colours in this and the way it’s styled with grey accents.

Matalan grey and yellow blossom

My bedroom actually needs a complete overhaul; walls stripped, floors stripped, THE LOT, so I can’t invest at the mo, but it’s good to know what’s out there so I can start planning an overall look.

And, of course, when I finally get round to it, there’ll be more interior inspo images and photos of the end result!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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That’s a wrap!

I’m a huge fan of shawls and wraps for winter months. I drive to work (and everywhere, really!) so I don’t need a big winter coat, and I find that layering suits my needs much better. Winter coats are too cumbersome and hot.

So, my go to solution for the last couple of years has been wearing a mid weight jacket (I have a velvet riding jacket, and a velvet duster coat, or even a lightweight leather jacket) and throwing a shawl over the top. Perfect.

They also double up as an extra layer in the office, which I can wrap up in early doors and then throw off as it gets warmer towards the end of the day (although my boss did refer to one as my dog blanket last year!) Yesterday I was so cold I wrapped it round my legs in a granny style blanket. Cosy!

I bought this one before Christmas, from Matalan. It was £12 and I’ve already worn it loads. I’m always drawn to plummy colours and this works well with my wardrobe.

Matalan plum checked shawl

Last year I had this one too, which is slightly shorter and dressier, which was ideal for a more corporate office. It’s knitted with a crochet edge and feels slightly cape like! I wore it to death, until the trim had started to pull off and it had gone all bobbly. It also comes in cream. Again £12.

One more from Matalan, which they don’t do this year, is exactly the same as the one below, but without a toggle. It’s black with a herringbone trim, and fully reversible on to the herringbone side.

Black herringbone trim shawl

The one shown is from Peacocks current stock and costs £16. The only difference (and I know because I’ve seen it in real life) is the toggle.

I love this one from Peacocks – two looks in one. I’ve been hankering after a tartan one and could be very tempted by this. Must. Not. Buy.

Peacocks reversible check shawl

And also this Aztec cream and blue one which would look great in milder weather with ripped blue jeans and stone fringed suede ankle boots.

Peacocks blue and cream aztec shawl

I received this gorgeous one as a gift from my Mom and her husband at Christmas. It’s a snuggly popcorn knit and very cosy.

Popcorn knit wrap

Here’s me all wrapped up in it – I was freezing!

I ordered both of these from New Look, which are in the sale and down to £18.74 each.

These have the addition of a fur collar and are both absolutely lovely. BUT I don’t really need another one (that pains me to say) and so I returned them. Wah! I haven’t ruled out reordering them if they drop in price further.

This one from New Look is also a good size and colour, at a bargainous £6.

New Look beige blanket wrap

I wasn’t sure if it looked too much like a blanket because it’s completely plain, so that went back too.

(feeling very virtuous, I’m trying ever so hard to be more selective with what I keep from my online shopping sprees for both money and space reasons).

Back to Matalan, who have this knit animal print one (more cardigan/cape like than blanket wrap).

Matalan animal print shawl

And also this ombre one, which would be a good neutral all rounder.

Matalan ombre shawl

Are you a blanket wrap / shawl wearer?

Thanks, as always for reading! x

 

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Mellow Yellow

I seem to be having a bit of a yellow moment right now. Which is strange because it’s not a colour I usually wear (I can’t actually think of anything in my wardrobe that’s yellow).

It started with this dress, from H&M H&M yellow chiffon dressI have a special occasion 40th birthday party to go to next week, where the dress code is long dresses (only for the women, obvs) and I couldn’t decide what colour to go for. Then I had a brainwave that yellow would be a nice change. Spotted this dress on the H&M website and thought it might look nice with my new dark red hair. And it bloomin’ does as well (at least I think it does, so ner).

Followed then by this yellow bikini, Matalan sale (although not online), a bargainous £7 for the set.

Matalan yellow bikini

I only ever wear plain bikinis, as I don’t like the clash of patterns against my back tattoos. This is a nice zingy bright yellow, and half price too. I probably won’t get chance to wear it this year, although may shoehorn it into our Italy trip, weather depending.

And then this dress from Tesco F&F

F&F 60s style yellow dress F&F 60s style yellow dress back view

Which isn’t really me at all, AND it has the offensive gold hardware in the form of a visible back zip (but it’s a subtle gold and I can’t see it!) but it’s so cute and kooky I couldn’t resist. I need to resist the urge to look like an extra from Heartbeat when I wear it!

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Some more sale buys

Here are some of the things I’ve been buying from various places over recent weeks, collated into what looks like a rather greedy list, when I put it all together!

Cheesecloth boho top – F&F

Tesco F&F boho blouse

This is my current favourite item. I love it! I love the tassel neck tie, I love the sleeve width and length, I love that it’s crinkly cheesecloth that you can just wash and wear. And I love that I also got 20% off the £16 price tag. With a pair of battered denim shorts it’s the ideal summer outfit.

Speaking of battered denim shorts…
Falmer mid blue denim shorts – Matalan

Matalan Falmer denim shorts

My perfect denim shorts. I find they tend to be either too snug, or too short, or too long. These are ideal; they sit on the hips, are the perfect colour blue and come pre-distressed. £14 well spent (I think I had 20% off as well).

Tan heeled sandals – Deichmann

Deichmann tan heeled sandals

These were a bargainous £8 in Deichmann’s half price sale (a shop that’s definitely worth a look at – they have some crap but the odd gem pops up). I like these with turned up tatty boyfriend jeans; the contrast between laid back and dressed up really works for me.

Boyfriend jeans and tan heels

They’re not leather, but they are mega mega comfy (in fact I’m wearing them today and they’re like slippers. If slippers had heels and peep toes)

Little Mistress midi skirt – Dorothy Perkins

Little Mistress stripe skirt

I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment when I put this skirt on. It makes me want to twirl! It was half price in the DP sale; reduced from £50 to £25. Husband said it looks like something his Mom would wear (I’ve known his Mom for 10 years, and no way!) and I don’t have anywhere to wear it but I can’t let it go. It was all packed up ready to be returned and I retrieved it last minute. Too pretty (and pretty classic too). I’m thinking black Bardot top and black heeled sandals. Luckily enough, I have both!

Black and white stripe dress – New Look

New Look stripe dress

Another one I have no occasion for. Oops. But it was only £15 and is so lovely! One of my very first blog posts was about buying bargains when you see them so you don’t have to go hunting when an occasion arises. Well so far I have a plethora of bargains and sod all places to go! So I think I’ll try dressing this one down and wearing it that way. Or just dress it right up and prance around the supermarket like a loon.

Tooled leather belt – New Look

New look tan tooled leather beltNew Look tooled leather belt

My previous tan jeans belt is getting a bit tight (or rather I’m getting a bit bigger – I’d like to say it’s because I’m wearing my jeans lower than when I bought the belt but that would be a lie). This one was reduced to £7 in the New Look sale and has small metal studs and a silver buckle (silver…hurrah…be gone gold hardware!)

Lace and feather print scarf – New Look

New look multi lace print scarf New Look multi lace print scarf

I like the colours, I like the mix of patterns, I like the £4 price tag. Done. Wore it at Download as the Sunday felt more like March than June <<insert grumble about British summertime here>>

Ah, I do love the sales!

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My current favourite things

Nivea fruity shine lipbalms. These are just gorge on my lips. I reviewed them here.

Nive Fruity Shine

Selling on ebay. It’s such a pain but worth it when you make a few pennies (because that means guilt free future shopping by reinvesting the profit!)

Ebay logo

Rodizio Rico. A Brazilian churrascaria in the Mailbox in Birmingham. Basically a full on meat fest. Men with meat on skewers carve it on to your plate at your table. I took my Dad for Father’s Day. He went caveman!

Rodizio Rico

Platform sandals. Way easier to wear than you expect, because the height of the sole offsets the height of the heel. These are my most recent ones, part of a mini haul from from Matalan.

Matalan brown platform sandals

Turquoise and silver jewellery. Perfect combination, and surprisingly versatile. Looks great with a tan (which I unfortunately don’t have at the moment; thanks for nothing summer 2015). Lots featured on my Pinterest bejewelled page. This one is a recent purchase from ebay (I’m buying as well as selling!)

Silver and turquoise necklace

My Naked Flame balcony burner. A Christmas present from the husband. Fill it with burning gel and set it alight – it’s mesmerising to sit outside in the dark and watch it flicker away.

Naked Flame gel burner

What are you loving right now?

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Summer workwear – a variation on a theme

I’ve been a bit predictable / unimaginative with my work outfits for the last few days. I find dresses so easy to wear in summer – one item to throw on, no colour matching, no waistbands which can be uncomfortable and hot when sitting at a desk all day. All of these dresses are from Matalan, from last year, and all of them are crepe – the easiest fabric in the world to own. Lightweight and crease free, they dry mega quickly and don’t need ironing. I’d have a whole wardrobe full of crepe clothing if I could!

Pink dress – Matalan
Snakeskin and feather sandals – not sure, maybe ebay? Love these, they have 3 ankle straps covered in purple jewel chips and small feathers, and a tiny wedge heel
Jewellery: Turquoise colour ring – Primark, turquoise colour cuff – gift, silver swirl ring – Camden (present from husband on a day out)
Tortoiseshell sunglasses – Primark
Chunky coin necklace – ebay

20150626_081703

Snakeskin feather sandals

Snakeskin feather sandals

Silver turquoise jewellery

Boho jewellery

Floral dress – Matalan
Red pointy ankle strap flats – Matalan
Multiple rings – H&M, Birmingham rag market, Primark
Round sunglasses – Primark
Freshwater pearls – Mauritius (present from husband when we got married, bought on the beach from a local fisherman)

Summer workwear

Red pointy flats

Summer floral dress

Summer workwear

Freshwater pearls

Blue dress – Matalan
Tan gladiator sandals – independent shoe shop
Brown iridescent glass beads – H&M
Turquoise colour ring – as before (Primark) / amber ring – gift from Mother-in-Law

Blue dress

H&M glass beads

Turquoise and amber jewelery

What’s everyone else wearing for summer?

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Matalan strikes again!

I have blogged before about my love of Matalan and how its full of hidden gems you don’t see everywhere. It would seem they’re going up in the world, having just opened a store on Oxford Street no less. I’m not aware of them having a High Street presence anywhere, certainly not near me, as most of their stores tend to be big spaces on retail parks, so this is a departure for them. It’s very useful in increasing their London-centric custom though, because for those Londoners without a car it’s previously been inaccessible. And, although they offer free home delivery, you can only return to store if something’s not right.

Anyway, it’s been a couple of months since I bought anything from Matalan (big wow!) but I was alerted to a fabulous bag by blogger A Little Twist Of via Twitter and off I went to have a look.

This is the bag.

Matalan hello goodbye clutch bag

 

Matalan hello goodbye clutch bag

I love it. But (eek!) I’m not sure if I will get much use out of it! It’s on the large side for a clutch, I have other black clutches, and the hardware is gold. I have a real thing about gold hardware. Admittedly there isn’t much hardware on this bag, and it’s a subtle gold (rather than in your face yellow) but it’s still there. Now this only cost £9.60 with a discount (£12 full price) so it seems churlish to umm and aah BUT I’m trying really hard to think more about my purchases and only keep stuff I really really love (and will use) in order to keep my wardrobe space and my bank account more in order so I should probably return this.

I’m on the fence.

Oh, and it also comes in white, which Is also very cool, but also has gold hardware. WHHHHHYYYY? Silver goes so much better with white.

So, while I was looking for the bag, and to boost my order value for free delivery, and just because I like seeing what’s new, I had a peruse. And I found this top.

Matalan patterned back detail top Matalan patterned back detail top

Which I liked so much that I also ordered it in red.

Matalan red back detail top

When they arrived they’re slightly different fabric – the patterned one is stiffer while the red is crinkly cheesecloth. And you can’t wear a bra with them, because they’re so low at the back. But I have some of those funny little stick on cup things somewhere – the ones that you hope your partner will never ever see you in when you get undressed because they’re so ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as the idea of not buying the top. You know?

And also, in my ongoing quest for something crochet-ish with a hippy-ish festival-ish boho-ish twist (which I go on every year and haven’t yet scratched the itch) I found this lightweight tassled cream top.

Matalan crochet fringed top

And it’s lovely. It needs a layer underneath it, but that’s fine – a black thin strap vest or bandeau top will be perfect. An immediate entry into my Download packing. All good.

Finally, I ordered this kimono (mine is cream, but not on the site for some reason ). It might be slightly more bed jacket than kimono, but let’s not get caught up in the detail. It does crease, so there’s a very real chance I’ll never wear it again after the first wash (I don’t do ironing, I buy stuff that doesn’t need it!) But it’s super easy to wear with skinnies or denim shorts.

Crochet edge kimono

Having ordered multiple sizes in everything, (avoids disappointment I find) I popped back to my local Matalan to return the stuff that didn’t fit. And I spied some shoes! Low and behold I also had a voucher for 25% off in store, making them a rather palatable £15. They’re not currently on the website, but here’s a pic taken in my lounge.

Matalan brown platform sandals

They’re super comfy – the platform sole offsets the height of the heel so it’s not like walking in high heels at all.

Ooh, I do love a good mini spree! And there’s heaps more nice stuff there too. I won’t rule out another cheeky order soon.

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