Fashion: My Favourite Coat (well, one of them)

Coats are one of my favourite things to online shop, and I’m always so jealous looking over OOTD posts at this time of the year.

 photo Autumn Walks 13_zpspq48v8px.jpg photo Autumn Walks 16_zpszjngiyvm.jpgYou see, being on the shorter side and having curves (despite being a size 8) makes finding a flatting coat quite difficult. Boyfriend coats? A total no-go, they make me look straight all the way down, and a lot bigger than I actually am. Add in pale skin tone and auburn hair and you’ve got a bigger problem. Cream/camel are difficult colours for me to wear despite them looking SO lovely on other people.

One of the coat styles that does suit me, however, is the cape. All hail the cape!

 photo Autumn Walks 9_zpsofwxcjzu.jpgFlattering whilst skimming my body (seriously, a godsend when I slightly indulge – the morning after my latest trip to Mac & Wild I nearly got offered a seat on the Tube…). Ideal for layering. Perfect over jeans and over suits. I’m sure you get the message, I love me a cape.

I have a couple of styles, actually. A heavier one from Debenhams in a more military grey design that I really do love. I actually had a Large many years ago, and hunted down a Small on Ebay last year – yet the bigger size is in storage for future years when I may need the extra room (and nope, that’s definitely not a sign of an impending announcement, so breathe mum!). I also have more of a blanket-wrap style cape, in a plum/berry coloured tartan. It’s something I need to wear more often!

The one in these pictures was a birthday/Christmas present of 2015 and came from H&M – and it was an absolute bargain if I remember correctly. Once I’d hunted down a size 6 (!) because it was quite ridiculously oversized.

 photo Autumn Walks 15_zpsgxy9wnlv.jpg photo Autumn Walks 2_zps48ypyrr5.jpg photo Autumn Walks 11_zpsz8x4o9oo.jpg photo Autumn Walks 12_zpsb1ktpoig.jpgThe material is thick without feeling heavy, and the slight pattern on it makes the coat seem far more expensive that it actually is. It’s also worn extremely well, and apart from the fact I split a hot chocolate down it last week it looks pretty much brand new. Teamed with black skinnies, boots, a trusty satchel and cosy knitwear it’s become my weekend uniform.

What’s your most-worn coat? 

Fashion: The Tartan Skirt

I dress pretty much the same most of the year. In summer I’ll pretty much always wear a dress (or shirt/top combo) and sandals. When it’s colder, I favour skirts, jumpers and ankle boots. Plain things aren’t really my bag. Think floral prints, patterns that would be more at home on a pair of curtains.

 photo Tartan Skirt 4_zpsuwos8smc.jpg photo Tartan Skirt 5_zpshal8ehwg.jpgWhilst a capsule wardrobe would never work for me, equally I rarely have that “I have nothing to wear” feeling. When I buy clothes I think these though. I buy basics, or I buy things that I know I really love. I leave things for a few days, and if I can’t stop thinking about it I go and buy it.

This tartan skirt is one such example. I came across it randomly through one of the (1000+) blogs I read, fell in love, and then realised the post was published in February. Searching on Ebay proved fruitless, so I tried to forget about it. Then I spotted it browsing through my local Topshop’s sale rack. In a size 16. Que searching through EVERY Topshop I passed for a few weeks (quite handy, it was during our flat-hunting week so there were a lot of stores). I eventually found a Size 10 on Oxford Street. Still a little too big, but perfect for tucking in a jumper and perhaps wearing to devour a huge Sunday Roast.

 photo Tartan Skirt 2_zpssbw0th0p.jpgIt pairs beautifully with so many of my jumpers; I’m currently loving the shape of this grey one (I have the same Primark jumper in about five colours now!). It looks great with flats or heeled ankle boots. It’s a flattering length – short, but not bum-flashingly so. And the material is so soft, it’s almost cosy to wear. Definitely an Autumn/Winter essential in my eyes.

Are you a fan of tartan? What’s your go-to look for Autumn/Winter?

Fashion: Building a Workwear Wardrobe

Disclaimer: I have a LOT of clothes. Despite sending off a total of five binbags to a charity shop over summer, selling another bag full on Ebay, and chucking more than a fair few odd socks, baggy knickers and bobbly bras, I have far too many clothes. I’ve taken over more than my fair share of the wardrobe, I have three under-bed boxes. Yet all the things I currently own do get worn.

 photo Workwear Outfits 5_zpsldfjftmh.jpgAs you might be able to tell, this isn’t about building a capsule workwear wardrobe.

Now, I work in the City. Whist I’m not expected to be in a ‘full suit’ everyday, I am expected to wear business attire, carry a jacket, look smart etc. The point of reference I tend to use is whether the guys where ties; they do in my office, so I dress smart(er) to reflect this. My usual go-to is a miss-matched suit, or a tailored dress and light-weight jacket. I also have a few floatier skirts which I tend to through on with more structured jackets, likewise I have a couple of smarter outfits for days with important meetings. I also have my go-to ‘Friday outfits’ – whilst my office doesn’t have formal dress-down Fridays, I have already noticed things do get a bit more casual for the last day of the working week.

 photo Workwear Outfits 2_zpsm49egudq.jpgThe key for me is the fit. If an item isn’t fitting right, it will never look smart, no matter how hard I try. Nothing used to bug me more at interviews, seeing guys in too-short trousers, girls in too-tight skirts. Good workwear doesn’t have to cost a fortune; I’ve had some excellent suits from ASDA & H&M over the years, and I think getting a good fit is far more important than spending a fortune on a pricey label. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since buying a good half of my workwear wardrobe, so it’s bugging me that some pieces (particularly the jackets and grey dress) are a little too big. I’m hoping to gradually replace those bits – but for now I’m finding M&S great for petite-length tailored pieces that don’t break the bank. Machine washable too is a big bonus!

 photo Workwear Outfits 1_zpsybvrfppg.jpg photo Workwear Outfits 4_zpsogvom8nx.jpgThen there’s colour. Even if I’m wearing a black/grey outfit I need some colour in there. Be it a bold lipstick (I haven’t dared postbox red in the office yet though), something from my satchel collection or more ‘out there’ shoes (I have a pair of gorgeous oxblood stillettos, slip them on once I get to my final tube leg and I’m good to go!), I can’t be all in neutrals. My go-to way of adding colour is a cardigan. I can’t go to work without one (damn you air conditioning!), and I have one in every possible shade. Duck-egg blue, navy blue, royal blue, burgundy, fuschia pink, shell pink, cream, black, grey, red, orange, mustard yellow, white…Another way to add colour (and one that I really wish I could pull off more) is jewellery*. Think chunky bracelets, bold necklaces. The perfect way to jazz up a plain shift dress!

 photo Workwear Outfits 7_zps5fwvtccv.jpg photo Workwear Outfits 8_zpsze97qcct.jpg photo Workwear Outfits 9_zpslcorsys5.jpgMore casual Fridays are what fill me with dread. I’m okay with my usual ‘uniform’ – it’s comforting having limits in place. But on Fridays things get a bit more casual. One of my go-to styles for smarter weekends has always been a shirt dress, so I decided to take this to the office too. This dress from JD Williams* is a little longer than I’d like, but cinches in nicely at the waist. It doesn’t gape (essential for work – gaping shirts are the main reason I stick to dresses!), is lightweight (a godsend over the last few weeks, the tube commute has been rather warm!), and goes well with a plain black jacket.

 photo Workwear Outfits 6_zpshkxv7wpj.jpgNow all I need is this tweed pencil skirt (serious heart-eye emoji going on, I love it!). And to stop getting W to take outfit photos at 7.15am, when I’m bleary-eyed and with only half my makeup on…

What is your workwear wardrobe like? Any inspiration for where to shop?


Fashion: Floral Maxi OOTD

As I mentioned last week, I’ve finally got up the courage to buy and (more importantly) wear a few maxi-length pieces. I’ve bought a few before, and they’ve remained unworn and neglected in my wardrobe, before eventually making their way onto Ebay or to a charity shop. Oops. Now I’m wondering why I have waited so long.

 photo New Look Floral Maxi Dress 2_zpswowk3zyv.jpg photo New Look Floral Maxi Dress 3_zpsi0lr670g.jpgIn my defence, I still struggle to find items I would actually wear. I have an inbuilt opinion that they make me look a lot bigger than I am, and that translates to what I see in the mirror. Then there’s the height issue. I’m too tall for the petite range, with them ending just above my ankle bone. The standard range drag on the floor. But once I fell in love with this dress, once I didn’t feel like a blue blob, I popped along to a seamstress and for £10 got 3 inches chopped off the bottom.

From New Look, the size 8 fits well (if slightly snug around the top department, if you get what I mean!). Once chopped it’s the right length, sitting just right with flat sandals. The slit up the side stops the floral print from becoming too mumsy, the belt stops me from appearing too short. Styled up with a hot pink cardigan (which I couldn’t bear to wear in the heatwave in Brighton!), this is becoming my favourite date night outfit. It also made the perfect thing to wear at my engagement party a few weeks ago – just right for a traditional English garden party. Lets hope the weather remains warm enough to wear it for a bit longer!

 photo New Look Floral Maxi Dress 1_zps3vwqc2w9.jpgNow all I need to do is remember to let my hair dry before taking outfit photos in the future…

Are you a fan of maxi dresses? Do you have types of clothing you avoid?