When I fall in love with a pair of shoes, I wear them to death. I buy several pairs in all the colours and wear them to death too. I only wish I could get hold of a few more pairs of these boots!
At £10 a pair from Lidl I wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting cheap looking shoes, blisters, the, to fall apart quickly. Turns out I was completely and utterly wrong.
They look much more expensive than their cost. They are well made, the soles are thick, the heels substantial. They are nicely lined inside, with the only blister being caused by a three-hour wear with no socks.
And they’ve lasted well too. I’ve worn them to university pretty much every day, with a country-lane walk to boot. I’ve wandered about town for hours in them, travelled on trains in them, really put them through their paces – and they still look great. This is all the more surprising if you consider my very dodgy gait. I roll my soles as I walk. I’ve destroyed a pair of shoes in a single school day before, I’ve cracked the wooden sole of a (£80) pair of boots in a fortnight. So for these to look virtually as good as new, with very little erosion to the soles and heels, is pretty damn good.
Perfect thrown on with jeans and a jumper for lectures, equally as good with a dress and tights. I love that the brown ones match my satchel too!
Do you have a favourite pair of winter boots this year?
I posted last week about some of my favourite moments in Rugby (though there’s now a new one to add, go Japan!). This week it’s time to showcase my lovely England shirt a bit more.
Kitbag have kindly sent me over a new England shirt so I can #WearTheRose, and I’ve discovered that wearing skinny jeans, high boots, rugby top and red lipstick is one of my favourite looks. Who knew?!
I initially panicked a little bit when I opened my parcel, noting that my requested Size 10 had been mysteriously replaced with a Size 18…now either I have a mis-sized shirt or these come up veryyyy small. As it is it’s a little baggy, but I doubt I’d have squeezed into a 10. Something to bear in mind if you are ordering! Having said that, this is the first women’s rugby shirt I’ve owned as I’ve always opted for a men’s fit before. This one is nicely shaped, still relaxed and baggy and (I say very proudly) still spotlessly white.
Safe to say this won’t be coming to university with me, as I know damn well I’d wash it with my socks and it would be grey by the end of the World Cup…
I’ve pair it with some skinny jeans, high boots and a red lip – because RED LIP. I’ve also got freshly cut hair (which since it was cut wayyyy before Italy is a relief!), and you’ll be pleased to know the roots/”ombre” look has been sorted since these photos were taken.
Now all I need is a reason to go out and celebrate wearing this. Come on England!
Are you getting into the spirit of the World Cup? I have to say London was definitely buzzing for the opening weekend!
I rarely write wishlist posts, which is silly really – I have many wishlists on the go at any one time. There’s my ultimate lust list of things I’d LOVE. There’s my wedding wishlist safely housed privately on Pinterest. There’s my season wishlist of clothes that I’d love to update my look with. It’s the latter I’m going to share today.
I’ve put together an inspiration board, I’ve pinned countless pins, and now I’m also going to blabber on about it. Realistically I don’t have the money to buy myself a whole new wardrobe, so I’m trying this virtual shopping lark. Talking about it might help. It might result in a massive online shopping spree. Only time will tell…
The main thing I’d LOVE over the next few months is a new coat. I’ve recently gotten rid of a lot of coats due to my weight loss – including my beloved cape. A new cape is very much wanted, the nicest one I’d spied so far is this one, but the one-size-fits-all puts me off. I’ve just gotten rid of one that’s too big, so the last thing I need is another! I’ve also been eyeing up the Zara coat for months, but I’m not convinced that this cut is the most flattering on curvier figures…
New Look is my go-to for seasonal pieces, and with a gift-card burning a hole in my pocket I’m not sure why I haven’t picked up any of these yet… The scarf is gorgeous, a standard-sized one of my lovely Zara one of last year. And the oversized tunic is almost perfect. But the zip?! In past experience these only get cold and uncomfortable so I’m not quite ready to shell out the cash…
And finally, suits. I’m now applying for graduate roles and whilst I do have an interview outfit or two, I’d love a brand new one. This grey tweed skirt is gorgeous, though being Michael Kors is completely out of budget. The Oasis shirt is also lovely, though I have tons of pussy-bow blouses already! Realistically my go-to interview outfit is probably already a tweed skirt and pussy-bow blouse, some things never change season-to-season!
A quick mention goes to the polar bear socks – aren’t they adorable!?! A definitely must have…
What are you lusting over for AW15? Are you having a style shake-up or sticking to what you know?
You know when you spy a piece of clothing in a shop and you just know it’s perfect? You keep thinking about it, you ponder over your finances, you even turn down a drink after work to save towards it? That’s exactly how I felt about this dress.
I first spied it in my local Topshop. Then again on a mannequin in a store in central London. Then a girl on my train was wearing it. But every time I logged onto the website I changed my mind (it looks hideous online!). Eventually I got told to go and try it on. And once it was on, well there was no question. I was having it. No matter that Topshop don’t accept Love2Shop vouchers so I didn’t technically have the money. It’s my perfect dress.
The fit is perfect. The Size 8 (!) is baggy enough to look relaxed, yet fitted enough around the shoulders so I don’t look like I’m wearing a (brightly flowered) sack. It doesn’t gape at the top, doesn’t sit too low, doesn’t have to be worn high-necked. The length at the front is an inch above my knee – the perfect length as it looksfine with bare legs, or thick tights. At the back its slightly longer and whilst I was originally planning on chopping it even, I’ve come round to it. And the quality is great – which at £38 I was expecting! A thick material that is in no way see-through, doesn’t bobble, won’t develop any pull-threads, I can’t find anything about the dress I dislike.
So far I’ve stuck to wearing with bare legs, sandals or flats and my cream satchel. I wore it on our trip to Devon to meet up with family (whom I hadn’t seen for many years!) and felt comfortable, stylish and still practical. I know for a fact it looks great with boots, having tried some at the BigBloggerConference courtesey of Shoeaholics (these ones – I was desperate to win them in the #shoefie comp!), and I can’t wait to whip out the thick tights as the weather gets cooler.
And it matches my dog. Kinda...
It’s having clothes like this in your wardrobe that make you look forward to crisp Autumnal air and wandering through crunchy leaves….
What do you think of this dress? What’s your favourite Summer to Autumn transition piece in your wardrobe?
Last week I talked about my makeup bag for Italy, this week it’s the clothes. I had a real struggle with year as I’ve lost a lot of weight but didn’t want to buy a completely new wardrobe. Consequently quite a few items are being altered by safety pins…
Obviously I’ve thrown a satchel in there. Me and W are sharing just one checked-in bag I’ll be taking a carry-on case – so my satchel as to squeeze inside (thanks EasyJet!). I’ve gone for my smallest one. An 11″ in London Tan, it’s a complete classic. Buckles to prevent pickpocketers, justtttt big enough to take my camera and snacks, it’s probably an ideal travel companion.
Taking these photos it’s blatantly obvious how much I like floral prints. We’ve got floral playsuits, floral dresses, floral skirts. I’ve always liked changing for dinner on holiday so despite not being in a ‘posh’ hotel this year I’ll be continuing to do that. Nothing fancy, but a dress thrown on will make me feel like I’m making a bit more effort.
I’ve thrown in a couple of ‘nicer’ evening options too, in the hope of a romantic meal or two. My lace skirt from Marks & Spencer has to be one of my favourite items, but I rarely wear it as it always seems a bit OTT. I’m planning on pairing it with delicate sandals and a black cami. Another of my nicer outfit is a version of this dress from Asda, only with (of course) flowers on it. The cut of the LBD was so flattering, I’m really looking forward to wearing this one with gold accessories.
Daytimes are more casual. Shorts, cami, done. My denim shorts have been saved from the last time I went abroad (three years ago), although they were far too tight and I had to size up. Oops. This year this smaller pair are far too big, I still need to locate a proper belt for holding them up. I rarely wear shorts, so wasn’t too impressed with the rest of my pairs being unwearably huge – but extremely happy to realise I now fit into a few of my younger sister’s clothes. Yep, stealing clothes from a fifteen year old… My daytime tops are one of this year’s top finds – £8 in New Look (pre-discount), perfectly fitting, light material, but thick enough not to show off what colour underwear I have on. I found one in every colour (and two black ones…). I’ve also thrown in a single bikini, just in case we manage to squeeze in a day for sun worship. All I can say is thank goodness for tie-side styles, or I’d have had to have bought a new one of these too!
Shoes. Oh shoes! I wouldn’t consider myself a shoe person, yet I have loads of the bloody things. At time of writing I’m currently at four pairs of sandals (+ one pair of casual flipflops), one pair of flats and one pair of trainers. I don’t want to imagine the look on W’s face when I try to pack those so somehow I’ll have narrowed it down by the time you read this. I’ll definitely have my new sandals from Deichman – so comfortable!
I’ll travel in jeans, so I think I’ve got pretty much all basics covered. My holiday will be almost over by the time you read this – so if I’ve forgetten anything I’m sure you’ll have heard about it over on Twitter. Any excuse to go shopping…
Are you off on holiday this summer? What kind of clothes do you take away with you?
Playsuits have never been top of my fashion list. I always pretty much avoided them, thinking they were odd, would never suit me, would be a nightmare when I needed the loo. The latter point still exists, but I’ve discovered that I really, really like them!
Turns out they are super flattering on my curves and save me from the embarrassment of constant threat that a blow of wind will flash my knickers to the world.
I’ve picked up my three from New Look and despite them being all different sizes (8-12) they all fit really well. The quality of material is good, and the patterns are great – all of them should be wearable throughout the year.
My newest addition is a shirt-style playsuit, silky, very floral with slightly longer sleeves – I’m looking forward to wearing it in the winter with thick black tights. It did state that it came with a tie belt, but my order was missing this (I’ve had problems with every single New Look order, anyone else?).
My other two are the same style, just in different patterns. And completely different sizes, one being a 12 and the other an 8. The 12 is too big, admittedly, but at £5 (slight rip in the arm reduced it further) I couldn’t say no. The darker pattern makes it ideal for dressing up or down, and I’ve worn it to go ‘study’ in Costa. Read: blogging whilst W does revision. It’s easy to throw on a top underneath (and realistically, I should be doing that with a 12!), tights and lats for a casual look – and it goes perfectly with my new bag. The bag deserves it’s own post because it’s just so PRETTYYYY, but there’s no prizes for guessing where it came from…This outfit took me from hours in Costa, to park picnics, to rugby-watching-down-the-pub, and I’m wearing it for a team away day too. It’s love.
Smart, pretty, comfortable and no risk of losing my modesty, these are fast becoming my go-to pieces. They’ll definitely be in my suitcase for Italy!
Are you a fan of playsuits? Have you seen any nice ones lately?
It’s taken me a long time to feel completely almost comfortable in my own skin. A big part of that was losing weight, but the fact that I’ve finally identified my style isn’t insignificant either.
Bodycon will never be something I will feel myself in, neither will something that is high-necked. Much as I love classic cream coats, I know the colour washes me out. Midi skirts might look fab on most people, but unless they’re from the petite range they just look like I’ve shrunk something floor-length.
But there are things I’ve found that do suit me, some surprisingly so. Playsuits have become one of my favourite things. Pretty and (more often than not) floral, yet without the worry of flashing my knickers on a windy day. Shorter skirts – the legs that I’ve spent years hiding are getting flashed a bit more, and not just in (several pairs of) thick black tights. Sandals don’t make my legs look short and fat. And I’ve found jeans that fit and look half-decent – as long as they are properly skinny and high-waisted. Pencil skirts for work are great, once I safety-pin the waist in. Black needs to be balanced out with colour. Pastels don’t work for me, but brights do. Surprisingly red doesn’t clash with my slightly ginger hair.
So, how do I reckon you should go about finding your personal style?
Ditch the fashion magazines for a bit.
Use them as inspiration of course, but don’t slavishly follow trends. I know damn well ripped jeans are ‘in’ right now, but I’m not buying a pair.
Take your mum shopping.
Or a close friend, just someone who’s style you admire, who is completely honest, and who you won’t to kill halfway through the day.
Identify your favourite bits.
I have a dress which I have owned for seven years (it was the first bit of clothing I chose myself on a shopping-with-friends trip at 14). It has set my style in my wardrobe, I know the shape suits me, as do the colours and the pattern style (and, W take not, it’s not floral!).
Pick your favourite part of your body and highlight it.
For me, I always want to highlight my waist as I have a true hourglass shape. I have a lot of belts, thick and thin, and I wear one with most dresses – it’s especially useful having lost weight as I can bring in clothes that are too big!
If you find something you like, buy several and in all colours. I have five of the New Look shirred waist dresses in various patterns, and two pairs of their high waisted jeans. I do the same with H&M lace tops (praying for them to come in this year as I need to go a size down) and Primark cardigans.
Don’t spend a fortune on one dress, but instead buy several cheap ones and splurge on a good coat or pair of boots. I always find that spending a bit more on belts mean they don’t look beaten up after a few months. I’ve got a huge amount of satchels – a decent bag would always been on the top of my splurge list!
Stock up on basics.
For me this is white shirts, black tights, and lace tops (see above point regarding H&M). I’ll always have an abundance of these in my wardrobe, but they will go with anything else I buy. And throwing on a pair of skinnies and white shirt is an effortless way to look presentable when I really can’t be bothered!
But above all, have fun with it. Experiment. Try on bits you love but wouldn’t normally dare to wear – you might be surprised. Don’t buy things just because it looks cute on your friend, don’t feel pressured to follow trends. Wear what you want, what you feel comfortable in, and I guarantee you’ll look great.
I’ve really enjoyed finding my own style over the last few months – though my bank balance hasn’t been impressed. Let me know if you want a haul post at some point! What’s your day-to-day style?
I’ve been looking for my perfect LBD for the longest time. I’ve always been a bit funny about black dresses as they don’t tend to be hugely flattering on an hourglass shape so I’m pretty hard to please. I don’t want high-necked, but I don’t want to be constantly readjusting to preserve my modesty. I don’t want it too short or too long. No skater-skirt, no bodycon. Not see-through, not lace, not clingy. Yep, just a short list of requirements here.
I’d pretty much given up until I opened a parcel from George at ASDA a few weeks ago. I’d been asked to choose a few dresses and I was intrigued by this kimono shape (I actually ordered a patterned one too). Turns out its hugely flattering, incredibly well-made (thick material, it’s an absolute bargain!) and I’m in love.
These pictures don’t do it justice. I was slightly tipsy (as was the camera-man), and these spiral stairs were the only place with just enough light. The angles are slightly dodgy, making me seem like I was slightly exaggerating in my post last week, and the colours a bit orange-y (though yep, my hair is ginger and still wet!).
This dress proved perfect for a chilly BBQ partnered with red accessories and a red lip (my party look in action!). I’m looking forward to adding lacy tights and heels for a night out, and I can imagine it looks great with sandals too. I’m almost tempted to buy a back-up, especially as it’s current half-price at just £8. And the perfect bonus? It packs really well, surviving being shoved in my case last-minute. If this isn’t the perfect LBD, well, I doubt it exists!
Do you have a favourite party dress? Have you ever bought clothes from a supermarket?
After a stressful few weeks at work, top of my list was relaxing. Limited screen time, less electronic devices buzzing incessantly at me to action something, and plenty of fresh air. I certainly managed that last weekend!
My dad’s 50th, a hired cottage sleeping 10, family friends and dogs, it wasn’t as relaxing as I had planned but I certainly felt rejuvenated. Days started with helping my mum cook massive fry-ups and debating where to spend the day. The majority of the weekend was taken up with trying to wear out children and dogs. Basking in the sun on Saturday. Discovering that 18 miles on a bike (bought when I was 8!) stuck in fourth gear is impossible (my bottom remains bruised). Sheltering from the cold with on the Sunday. Giant bowls of chilli and tortilla chips. Sending the men outside to BBQ, ferrying food through windows so we could eat without shivering. Sunday roasts. Practicing first aid when play-fighting meant eye brows hit sideboards (it’ll be a lovely scar). Hide and seek in the huge hired house. Board games, films, plenty of baked goods. A pretty perfect weekend.
Apart from being chased by cows, and trying to stay standing as my dog hurls himself to the end of his lead after sheep (the far end of the field I hasten to add, I wouldn’t risk walking him close to sheep!).
Diet ruined, plenty of baked goods were consumed. A customised birthday cake from M&S was as delicious as it was huge, despite the disturbing green icing. I made some delicious Bounty Flapjack (recipe to come soon), Dad whipped up Peanut Butter Brownies (at 6am…the smell was a killer waking up!), and W made an amazing Malteaser Tiffin that I’m slowly trying to get the recipe for!
Being fortunate with the weather on Saturday, I spent the day moaning about being too warm in tights and shorts. The sudden cold snap on the Sunday meant I was hugely grateful for my new Barbour Jacket from Repertoire Fashion. It’s actually a men’s jacket, as I find they fit me better (I don’t have to size up and they cover my bottom adequately). I’ve loved browsing the site as they have some great bargains, though sizes are limited so if you see something I’d snap it up pretty quickly!
I picked up a standard Barbour Heritage* in navy, though I’m hugely craving the Merlot Red colour now too. It’s perfect, warm and cosy, protective from the wind, yet it allows me to scramble up/down hills and really get a pace on whilst walking. I’ve always assumed you were just paying for the brand, but the jacket just screams quality. I’m not sure I’ll ever buy a different branded dog-walking jacket again! Just excuse the not-so sensible shoes, my Joules wellies have cracked and I’m yet to find any suitable for my wide-calves…
The most wonderful weekend, quality time with family and friends, delicious food, and succeeding in wearing out the dog. I rediscovered how stunning the countryside is around Leicestershire and Rutland, remembered how I love using footpaths as opposed to more tourist-y country parks, and I’m itching to pick up an updated OS map (the one I use is from the nineties!). Now if only I could have another weekend to recover!
What have you been up to with your weekends lately?
I’ve been attempting to create this post for a while, but taking the photos proved impossible. Laying the clothes out looked pretty horrendous, and outfit posts were a no-go living on my own in a tiny room. I was playing around with my camera over the weekend, snapped these on the clothes inside my wardrobe, and thought they were pretty decent. I will do outfit posts at some point though – issue being these clothes don’t actually fit that well anymore!
Invest in Staples
Whilst there are areas you can save money, there are areas you really should avoid scrimping. A cheap quality pair of shoes or handbag can instantly ruin a look. Plus, cheap shoes often hurt, low-cost bags often don’t last. I find my satchels are a great workbag (surprise surprise) – they look smart, are a little briefcase like, and go with everything.
That being said, I was recently sent a jacket* (something I would usually budget a little more from) from Less Than 10 Pounds and was really impressed with the quality. Thick material and well cut, it fits like a glove. The only issue is it attracts hair like nothing else, I have to carry a lint roller to work when wearing it!
Tailor to Fit
If your clothes don’t fit, I feel it just looks a little unprofessional. Which is why I’m really bothered at the minute as it takes multiple safety pins to tighten my skirts enough to fit – the downsides to weight loss!
Tailoring doesn’t have to cost a fortune – I regularly have to get skirts and dresses shortened, which usually costs about £4-£5 to have done professionally. I’m currently trying to learn to take the waist in on skirts made of lighter materials – I have about 14 skirts needing altering so would sooner give it a go myself!
Save on Basics
I don’t find it necessary to spend much on on items like shirts and cardigans – most of mine are from Primark or Dorothy Perkins. I find the extra £5 or so pounds spent in Dorothy Perkins does mean they last much longer (I still have ones left over from sixth form 3/4 years ago). Cardigans are also where I inject a bit of colour and seasonality into my outfit, so it’s good for them to be cheap so I can have plenty. I think I’m close to exceeding 20 now…
I find going for a tweed or mottled material on sut skirts make it look a lot more expensive that it really is. I find completely plain black/grey/cream items to look a bit boring, but my skirts all cost less than £20, fit well, have lasted, are machine washable and look great.
Make it Personal
Add colour, add bits that reflect your style. I always wear pussy-bow blouses as I find they are much more feminine. I also only wear baggier blouses (mainly as they never need ironing…).
Hit the Sales
Shortly after I was successful in gaining a placement year, the House of Fraser in my home town shut down. I visited on the first day of the sale, and it was hell on earth. Women were physically fighting over clothes, children in prams abandoned. There was even a knife incident on one day. However four hours later (nearly two hours were spent queuing to try on as refunds weren’t available) I emerged with nearly £800 worth of clothes for £96. I picked up some amazing shift dresses (the only thing which really still fits me), jackets, and skirts. Hitting the sales means you can afford better quality and higher-end brands than you would otherwise. I also love browsing in charity shops – my vntage Dorothy Perkins pencil skirt is one of my best finds at £5!
Building up a workwear wardrobe is never going to be the cheapest, but doing it gradually and following some of my tips means it can be done on a budget. Keep an eye out for more workwear posts soon.
What do you wear to work? How do you recommend buying work clothes on a budget?