Fashion Thoughts | The worst first day back at work outfit ever.

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Monday evening, post Christmas I had planned my first day back work outfit. Comprising of  Denim ‘mum jeans’ a white t shirt, chenelle cardigan and no idea on the shoes, I figured mentally, this is the one, this is the look, perfection.

When I woke up however, I found myself pulling on tailored sweat pants, a shirt with cats on it and a striped sweater. Staring myself down In the mirror for approximately ten seconds I quickly shed my kooky mix of cats and trousers/pants that were far too casual And I once again stared into the abyss of my wardrobe and figured….

I’d do better, taking off all my clothes again And reverting to my pre planned outfit. The mum jeans without the cool, Leandra factor. I still felt like I looked ridiculous as I pulled on argyle socks and brown ankle boots but somehow I stuck with it. Perhaps this was as good as I was going to get on the first work day of the year.

It was not a good idea as it turns out. I’ve never looked so unlike myself as I did that day. Nineties jeans and an equally dated fabric? In one ensemble had I woken up in a parallel universe? None of which felt a stitch like me. Arriving into London it only got worse, cold and shivering I lost the one patch of myself and femininity – a half tucked white t shirt to prove the world I actually wasn’t bloated this day. Look at that flatish stomach! It’s almost like free lypo!

In my dreadful search for a quick, cheap fix I ended up with ribbed grey sweater with 30% off in Dorothy Perkins.

The jumper itself is not bad, in fact for slightly shorter, more petite girls I’d pair it up with leggings and knee high/over the knee boots. I’ve now already determined its future come spring is to be worn as a coat over a chiffon, pleated skirt, it’s two side slits revealing the pleats and what I hope will be the prettiest ever floral design you ever did see.

Layering myself into this new sweater, I caught myself in Victoria stations bathroom and had a small smile for myself, this sweater isn’t half bad for a £15 emergency buy, maybe this won’t be so bad…. Well, perhaps it wasn’t but having lived through the late nineties and two-thousands I felt a little backward, like an awkward flash back, the eighties jeans, the early two thousands crew neck, the chenelle which was iconic to my childhood? The argyle socks people I feel like I’d had a personality crash am I me? Or am I someone else?

I was back to work again, and whereas a few days ago where sitting on my bed I’d had an epiphany about the next campaign, what I learnt my first day back was different, my eyes won’t de puff unless I wake up past seven am, I can’t get dressed before six and learning to meditate on the trains is going to take a lot of work.

Another lesson learned? Always pack an extra jumper, the odd £15 adds up fast and never trust Jess to work out how to get dressed in the first day back.

Fashion | How to wear your summer kimono in winter…

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Its finally the Monday before Christmas! Honestly, I’m not sure either me or Josh feel all that Christmassy yet. As I write this up on the Saturday before we are both watching Muppets Christmas Carol and I am in new Disney, Bambi PJ’s (obviously). It has become somewhat of our own Christmas tradition in fact, A muppet Christmas Carol and new PJ’s, hopefully with disney characters.

Part of this years oddness is it our first ever at home, just the two of us. It makes the event a little different to normal years of going to our parents and Grandparents and so have set aside a couple of our own traditions. A christmas day walk before lunch (post champagne however), christmas movies or more exact movies of our past, this year we intend to watch muppets again, Chanel fours 1998 straight to TV movie of Merlin, Love Actually and About Time and finally of course new christmas day clothes, PJ’s all the way….

Before Christmas however, you need a different type of outfit, one acceptable for outside and general company, thats where this post comes in. One of my favourite silhouettes at the moment is the high waist, soft harem trousers with a tucked in shirt and belt, in Marrakech I called it Annie Hall meets Indiana Jones and I’m still a little bit obsessed.

Whats not been helping our Christmas spirit is this warmer weather… it doesn’t feel like Christmas. However, in its place are outfits like these, where you can wear your summertime Kimono in the depths of winter.

Like many, I love a good jacket and this green kimono from Zara is the perfect jacket for an outfit like this, it takes an oversized polo and harem trousers and makes the outfit fun again. For my own figure it also gives me a little more shape by cinching my waist in. So how do you wear a kimono in winter, well, its as simple as layering your clothes whether that is sweaters and long sleeved T shirts or pulling a shirt over a tank and the kimono also works great on black colours as it breaks up the outfit without breaking the silhouette.

Fashion | How to make dressing for a holiday party easier

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Velvet Jacket+

When it comes to Christmas dressing I find that most people are in one of two minds. The person that dresses up for christmas and the person in PJ’s (or as close as). That being said however, when it comes to the christmas party there is often a whole other set of rules for what to wear.

Depending on what you want your outfit to say the Christmas party can often be a sticking point. Do you go smart casual or go full on, wear all the velvet and sequins you can get your hands on?

Personally I like to go simple, one thing to change the regular into the irregular.

When I saw this velvet jacket I knew it was perfect for the Christmas season, relaxed like you’re going casual, but velvet so you know your dressing up for once it actually makes getting dressed easy!

Finally I have the key, the dressed up jacket! Other dressed up options of course is a sequin jacket (hello sparkles), The silk bomber, Applique velvet jacket,  also I am officially in love with this sequin bomber jacket! Who said Christmas party dressing wasn’t easy?

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Fashion | How to feel 100% Blogger

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Hat: M&S (forever ago), Sleeveless Blazer (SS2016) New Look, Oversized sweater: George ASDA, Leggings: H&M, Lace up Boots: Clarks

This is the blogger outfit to end all blogger outfits. The sleeveless blazer (ok, that particularly is a tad behind the times), the brimmed hat, the long jumper and slim trousers (or in this case, leggings) just screams blogger.

Maybe its just the hat. Josh always tells me when we are in store that the wide brimmed hats are blogger hats. He’s a husband in the know I tell you. I’d like to tell you something else uber exciting. Like this outfit is how I was inspired by all the colours in Morroco but decided to go in a different direction but thats a post for another day, one sneak preview? Wizard get ups and bathrobes.

You are intrigued I knew it. Until then if you want to get dressed like a blogger… May I suggest a hat?

Gilmore Girls Style and Shopping…

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(I’d rather be in Stars Hollow T …. Oh, yes I would…) 

If you’re a big Gilmore Girls fan I’m sure you watched the show this past holiday weekend and if you love your fashion and have maybe perhaps dressed like a Gilmore Girl in the past you were probably thinking a little about the clothes.

Now I’ve only watched it through once (and cried through the last two on and off… don’t ask. something about it being the end ok?) but it got me thinking about dressing like a Gilmore. Gilmore Girls style has always been fun and lighthearted and thats always been rather appealing so I’ve picked some lighthearted and fun clothes below to lighten you’re shopping fashion for a bit? It wasn’t until I started that I realised I should have split them up in seasons but….. I reckon you’ll do ok with what I’ve got 🙂

Fall-winter

Star embellished jeans: Zara, Embelished Sweatshirt: Zara (sensing a pattern), Check Shirt dress (I really, really want this.) Zara Crab Bag: Zara, bobble hat: Anthropologie

Spring-summer

Pink coat (must have) Miss Selfridge/via ASOS, Patterned shirt: Zara, Suedette boots: ASOS, Patterned Skirt: Anthropologie (love this so much) & Sweat pants with silver stripes: Next

As you can tell I’ve not gone straight up copy cat style but rather, what is GIlmore Girls style?

What I was majorly impressed with was that they never changed the innate DNA of the girls style in the new series. Rory, yes her style has changed with age to a degree but Lorelai? Her style stayed so true, slogan T’s, unexpected outfits for a 40 something … Dungarees anyone? and just fun. None of that was forgotten and for that I was so thankful.

If anything Gilmore Girls is a far better reflection of therealjlow’s out there. Its not so trend led, it moves on slowly but still takes its cues from our pasts. For instance we never got a slew of over the knee boots and shame tucks instead its stayed true to the characters.

To choose my favourite part of Gilmore Girls style its this, its whimsy. I want to be approaching my 50’s still wearing a sweater covered in patches, wearing cat PJ’s and dungarees. If my future kids want to embarrassed by me, well I’ve already decided the amo and yes that includes, “I’d rather be in Stars Hollow” slogan T shirts.

Fashion | Winter warming layers

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Bobble hat: Zara, Scarf: Zara, Sweater with Snape sleeves: Zara, Jeans: New Look Boots: Clarks

(I may have bought an awful lot of Zara for this season.)

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This week is going to be a cold one. Thankfully I’ve run off to Marrakesh (its now going to rain because I’ve said this but…) its gonna be cold in the UK and if its cold then you know what you need? All the knitwear and this most fantastic sweater!

I call it my Snape sweater, the sleeves just make me feel like I’m in a potions lab and I of course love that! Who wouldn’t want to pretend to be a Harry Potter character? I tried looking for it online for you guys but I couldn’t see it anywhere! I love this sweater and I also regret not buying it in the nice biscuit and pink version but thats just my shopping addict self.

Also these jeans? They cost £7.99 for New Look! All I did was take a pair of scissors to them and voila distressed denim! Although the slit knee life isn’t necessarily the most sensible thing on cold days I love how simple it is to customise denim, in fact I suggest all of you take some scissors and make a pair of your own! Especially if you can find a basic pair cheaper than £/$10.

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Fashion |Unexpected going out tops, the best for bigger busts

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Cardigan: New Look, Burgundy top: New Look, Necklace: Oliver Bonas, Black Trousers: Next, Boots: Clarks

Being busty can have the odd upside but in general, fashion and going shopping is not one of them. So much so that Vogue this year declared big boobs to be out of fashion. Despite the fact that most don’t really have the option of taking their boobs off dependant on fashion finding great tops can sometimes be a royal pain.

The best part of this new season however? Suddenly we have options again.

For a long time its been about raising hemlines, but regardless of Vogue we also have tops like this one from New Look which are finally bringing the word flattering back into our wardrobes.

Flattering shapes and styles have been somewhat absent in recent seasons but this top changes that. You have the best of both worlds. The high neckline of a Roll neck combined with the low V which is perfect for minimising that sometimes over powering bust line. Paired out with my tapered black trousers and over the ankle boots and I feel like this look is fairly well balanced. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to share my new Cardigan. I had a distinct hole in my wardrobe post dickens disaster last year (this outfit btw still works great now) and this cardigan was the perfect remedy (+ its on sale!) slightly fluffy and long and warm, pairing it up with this top and trousers made perfect sense to me.

In fact with the up coming party season I think this is a great look, it mixes sexy and tailored with relaxed and unexpected and that, makes the perfect outfit, for the busty and for parties in general.
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Building a closet for life | Holy Mackerel shoe collection

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2 pairs of knee-high boots

7 pairs of ankle boots (3 leather, 4 suede)

1 pair of trainers

2 pairs of brogues

1 pair of loafers

2 pairs of heels

When I began this blog I had in the first year garnered quite a lot of inexpensive shoes that inevitably fell apart quite quickly (although I have an embarrassingly amount of them still stored up in boxes but that’s later in the post). So two to three years ago I started changing my ways with a pair of blue suede boots with purple elasticated sides. From Clarks in the sale it opened a doorway to taking better care of my feet by wearing leather shoes and boots.

Post-ankle break I have continual ankle and foot issues (because the restricted ankle gives me metatarsal pain on top) so after a second load of physio it quickly became apparent that sticking by cheap, badly fitting shoes just wasn’t going to cut it, and so began the slow creation of 15, yes, 15! Pairs of decent shoes.

If I’m honest the moment I thought about this post and started pulling them from my various stashes across the house I felt a little embarrassed. 15 pairs? That is an awful lot. Such a lot that it made me realize how important it is to go through those cheap shoe boxes and be honest with myself as to what anyone really needs in a shoe cupboard and then donate for those who can’t afford size nine shoes, period. After all, we all have to start somewhere.

Although a couple of pairs were c/o it took me a long time to build this shoe-drobe so really I guess I shouldn’t be too embarrassed after all I did so for a reason. To have a collection of shoes which work for all occasions and which can take me through several years (rather than a season).

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When it began

After the first pair, I’ll admit I was a little addicted but only in the sale. The blue suede boots, the red and taupe heels, the pale brogues… in fact the only pair of shoes, which I bought full price? The orange desert boots.

I still tend to buy in the sales, laying in wait for the next deal to make them more affordable I pre game. The moment the new collection launches I do a reckie, which ones do I like and previously what do I need. Then I wait for deals, full on Sales, 15%, 40% you name it and then I go for it.

Do I need that many or realistically what do I or you need…

Need vs. want is a huge part of a capsule wardrobe or anyone’s life when they are trying to be conscientious of what we are consuming. At first I wasn’t so good at the needs vs. the wants in fact I went by what I loved the look of. Reality is heels are rarely needed but a great pair of boots for rain and snow, yes, they should be on my needs list. The problem is knowing actually what do you need and in the last three + years there has been a lot of learning going on.

Now, when I look at this collection I know that the last pair of boots (Black leather lace ups) should have been first on my list. I would never have known that however, if I hadn’t of had a cheap pair of sand boots like that last year. I would not have known that lace up boots? Totally my jam.

Most importantly weather is a big consideration. Rain? Snow or dry winters you have to know what you are preparing for. I have gone through a lot of winters with wet feet. Wet feet help no one but it took me an embarrassingly long time to finally just tough it up and buy leather boots, leather protection spray and just have dry feet.

The problem is always wants vs. needs. I love suede, just like my mum its way more comfortable, way cuter but it hates rain and it certainly doesn’t appreciate snow so really I needed to get myself leather boots.

Another interesting conundrum is what type of shoe I like to wear and where I need to wear them. Ultimately we spend, sadly, most of our lives at work so the main point I’m making here is they need to be smart, or at least smart-ish. Due to this I thought loafers, great, smart shoes the only issue is they take so long to wear in and my feet don’t like being hurt. In all honesty they are still a little bit of a bust but something big came to me this year, you have to wear in good shoes.

Cheap plastic shoes? They don’t take any time to wear in, in fact if they wear in its because they have fallen apart.

What I know is I love boots. Boots are my thing. In fact in posts they might even become my tell. This is Jess, she wears boots. The only thing is we like variety so having one pair it might never work, that’s not saying I’ve not over done it however, so here is my key (specific for me) as to the types of shoes I actually need in my wardrobe.

1 pair of knee high boots

1 pair of leather (waterproof boots)

1 pair of suede boots (hardship guys I want five (I only have four now)

1 pair of brogues

1 pair of trainers

1 pair of heels

Yup, that’s only six pairs of shoes overall. It seems a small amount but really its all we need. Shocking, isn’t it.

Now please make me feel better and tell me you also have a crazy amount of shoes!

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Friday Fashion Feelings | Your emotions v.s getting dressed

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When you write about anything long enough you start to see patterns and trends. Heavens even your topics can get a little staid.

In blogs the worst you find is, “I went to Nordstrom last week and fell in love with this little striped…” yeah, sure you did, simple sponsored post. For me I have begun seeing a different type of pattern, a pattern about staring into a wardrobe void and coming up blank.

The reality is on a day where I can barely get off the couch or string a sentence together is the same day I can’t get dressed either. When my head feels messy or my house is messy, when I feel claustrophobic from our tiny office and trains the less inventive I become, the less inspired, the more monotony of my day to day life the harder it can be to be, ‘creative’.

This outfit is the personification of a bad dressing day. See if you give me date night, I’ll give you my khaki suede pencil skirt and burgundy peep hole shirt with orange suede boots and I’m happy. That is easy and fun but for a casual Sunday? A walk for coffee and a trek through a field and I’m stuck. I’m not a casual dresser. I have friends who can just pull on jeans, a t-shirt and cardigan and just look polished, effortless and cool but I’m not one of those people, if I dress casual then I look casual, nothing polished about it.

So what I am finding on repeat is the struggle of getting dressed when I’m emotionally tired and when I feel a little cramped and for a big word, suffocated. Part of that person starts to struggle with the idea of getting dressed.

Another part of that is not seeing the wood from the trees when it comes to endless fabric and little definition. In contrast this lack of space has led myself and Josh to consider switching up my wardrobe and honestly has led me to consider how we can better manage our stuff and our space to give us the most mental space as possible.

I began to realize that often what we our capable of writing and putting on or body is often influenced by other external factors and how we live. In terms of a wardrobe it can be as simple as undertaking the 30 for 30 or a capsule wardrobe and for others it could be re organizing our space, giving ourselves more breathing room and in terms of the blog… maybe that means making time for sharing reality v.s. sponsored, v.s. posed.

Fashion | How to dress a little like a flapper…

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Faux fur stole: Dorothy Perkins (2015), Cricket Jumper: Next, Flared stripe Dress: Zara (Summer 2016), Bag: Accessorize (2014) Strap+, Peep Toe Shoes: Clarks (2014)

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(So my bag is ancient . . . at least a year and that in fast fashion is positively in line for retirement, but that funky bag strap? Its available on its own for only £12! It completely made my day when I saw this strap, I love how it looks on its own (although odd just wondering around with the strap) but it works perfectly with this clutch and several others! Best £12 spent ever. Even if Josh thought I was odd.)
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This outfit was actually a stroke of genius, it literally wondered into my life without even really trying, it just came to me! Faux fur and a cricket jumper? yes please!

This AW, fashion has just felt refreshed! Perhaps without buying a new house and planning a wedding I just have more headspace for it, but finally I feel like I can get dressed with at least an inkling of style!

Now mixing in flapper style is perhaps an odd move for me, and yet . .  . this dress from summer just screamed, “I need a long v-neck jumper layered over me! I need to be transformed!” I think I also needed to be transformed and thats why this outfit spoke to me so loudly.

This AW I have even been bringing back various old style staples, V necks have played a prominent role in that. This sweater fit perfectly in that need for things which suit my body shape over momentary fashion choices.

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The Weekend | What to wear and where to go…

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Hallelujah! Its Friday!

I’m going to let you in on a secret, I think me and Josh have this weekend business down pat.

We’ve stopped food shopping on Saturdays (friday nights ftw – we live a wild life) Last weekend we were able to get in blog photos, lay ins, a pub trip, dinner out in Maidstone, catching Dr Strange in Rochester, a walk around Emmetts Garden in Sevenoaks, we made sausage rolls and got in copious amounts of Gilmore Girls (Josh is watching the whole series from the start to prepare for the new series!) that is some serious going!

I have to add that in terms of wellness getting in what you like to do on the weekend is the key to ultimate happiness. Things like making sure we have a walk makes the weekend almost too perfect, in fact it makes Monday pretty hard to stomach, you mean I have to travel on a train? Write things professionally and respond to phone calls and emails? Torture… torture I tell you…

 

Shopping | I accidentally bought the most popular scarf on the planet.

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Hat: Zara, Scarf: Zara

When you were a teenager, did you ever pray that no one else would buy the same clothes as you? When you found something unique you hadn’t seen before did you want to wear it to school immediately and bask in how individual you were going to look? If yes, then thank god it wasn’t just me. (Just a little bit?)

I loved, loved, loved dressing differently to everyone else, never in an out there way but in a way which made me not entirely merge into everyone else. (Although being a foot taller meant that was highly unlikely).

However, growing up, things change. You become less bothered by matching or how people view your outfit (hopefully) so the fact that as I watched yet another woman wonder down Clapham high street in my scarf shocked me when my first thought was, drat.

Somehow I might have bought the, ‘it’ Zara scarf this year. Really I should have known this was going to happen. The thing is, I wanted a camel scarf. Two years ago I bought the Camel waterfall coat and I have loved that timelessness on me ever since. Black and even grey can look a little harsh on me, but light brown and camel? Perfect! Therefore, this year I was looking for a super soft, camel scarf and this one jumped at me, camel with a bit of of pizazz? yes please!

Of course, I was not the only one to have this thought . . .

Have I bought the scarf everyones bought this season? Is this the in, ‘it’ scarf? I think I’m wearing it right now, thankfully its crazy cosy and only malting half the amount that last years red scarf did or my grey, lime and pink one has all over Berlin a couple of weeks back, still I wonder…should i start counting all the women wearing the same scarf as me, or would there just be too many to count?