Fashion | The Valentines day dress and the dress not suitable for summer…

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That dress though girl….

We all know I’ve let myself go a little as of late. I’ve let good dressing, and a great pair of heels fall to the wayside in search of comfort, minimalism and a more simplistic me but guys, that’s not me at all.

This Valentine’s Day me and Josh pulled out our A game for once. He’s taking me away for the weekend and I’m returning the love in way of outfits.

Yeah, you heard me. There’s nothing quite like a good outfit to say, I love you and thank you … I know I’m beautiful. 

_DSC0427_DSC0444 So why isn’t this dress for summer? Well heres the thing, I bought this dress for summertime, a classic breton stripe and funky sleeves? I had all the plans to wear this in Rome this September, a simple bag and sandals, I was so sure this was my dream summer dress. The only problem? Its winter weight, in scuba material in fact. So of course instead of packing it up in prep for summer, I’ve pulled it out to wear right now for a valentines get away! And yes, I am wearing it bare legged with christmas penguin socks. Who said seasonal socks can only be worn at Christmas? _DSC0431_DSC0443

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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Affordable Fashion | Not shopping so I can plan to shop?

AW 2016 Next Clarks

Striped Sweater, Red Shirt, Blue & White Check dress, brown suede boots, chambray T shirt, blue and red skirt

AW2016 dusky pink and grey

Cropped Pink Shirt, Grey striped cardigan, grey check trousers, dusky pink mules, pink wrap skirt, lace up boots

AW2016 initial thoughts

Trainers, Grey swing top, grey fitted dress, white top with flared sleeves, green suede skirt, green and yellow patterned skirt

No Shopping?

It can be the hardest part of a capsule and certainly the hardest thing for those who emotionally shop and thats the idea of giving it up. Why should you give up the fun of fashion? To plan it of course!

As we know I love the stores who release their next seasons early and they are perfect to start gauging the season ahead. What trends are the high street going to be taking part in? Most importantly of course, what do you (or in this case, I) want to see in my own wardrobe moving forward. If you follow my Pinterest board+ you’ll see glimpses of this but I wanted to share the pieces and styles which are already high on my list.

up close textures and colours

Olivia Burton Watch

Soft & Irresistible textures

Of course my first go to was comfort, style and great fabrics. A ribbed knit dress? Yes a thousand times? Velvet in Autumn and Winter all the way! Least but not last plaid is always my favourite in thing to wear in Autumn and Winter. On top of that I’m still weighing up which Olivia Burton watch I want. Honestly, I originally wanted the Marc Jacobs one in black but considering the price, Olivia Burton is a way better choice for an uber beautiful watch.

suede and patterns

All that suede

I got this suede obsession from my mum, so lets just say it, “This means I’m allowed all the suede items right? You can’t get mad at me?” She probably can, //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js“>but can she say no to this face from the other day? Unlikely.

I’m living in suede during the AW16 season it’s already been decided. One thing I’ve not decided on, a long suede coat (not floor touching, don’t freak out) or a short biker style jacket. One thing I’m sure on is it will either be this green above or the rich brown. Also that skirt is so going on my to buy immediately list.

chambray shirt and skirt

Denim & New Shapes

Do we remember how much I wanted to introduce new shapes into my wardrobe? Last AW I choose to be more edgy, reality is this, the only edgy things I really wore were my black and white coatigan from Long Tall Sally (It was so comfortable, who doesn’t like being wrapped in a huge blanket?) and of course my tunics which meant leggings and jeggings were so much more wearable!

In regards to my picks above I love the twist on this chambray T-shirt, the pleated pattern skirt which can go from work to the party and that pretty red top at the beginning of this post with a tie? Both cute, fun and 100% unexpected for me getting dressed in the morning.

AW16 Accessories

Pink suede bag, Black super soft scarf, Black and silver belt, light brown hat

Finishing touches

Accessories are the key to any look, I have poorly ignored them this year so far (I can’t actually believe how little effort I have put into my outfits) but this year I am going to be changing that all up and it started with a pendant necklace from Accessorize. A small thing but it reminded me of all that I have always loved. Unique bags, fun hats, unusual belts and warm, scratchless scarves (usually in leopard print, I won’t pretend) have always been the backbone of my looks and I’m bringing it back this year!

As you can see I have spent quite a lot of time pulling this together but I am so excited to start curating again and coming back to the styles that I really want and love. Sometimes its fun to go out of the box but most of the time? The classics are perfect with me.

I’m now off to put everything in my basket, bulk at the price and then start cutting down the options but I think you can guess, suede is going to be all over this season.

Fashion | WHY YOU ‘COULD’ HAVE SEPARATE WORK AND HOME WARDROBES

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Bomber Jacket: Next, Khaki Shirt: Next, Z Collection Necklace, Accessorize (Potentially still in Sale), Blue stitch Skirt: Next, Lace up Flats: New Look (no longer available online 😦

We have established previously how clothing affects our mood and splitting my wardrobe with home and work has made good progress in showing that this idea is true.

You could have a separate wardrobe.

Why only could? What works for one might not work for all and similarly you perhaps don’t have the cash to splash on multiple clothing personalities.

If you do however, or feel like you would like to try out two separate wardrobes then here is why you should . . .

  • A work wardrobe (only used at work) immediately puts you in the right mindset the moment you wear it.
  • Its gives you more of a divide between ‘home’ you and ‘work’ you.
  • Allows you to enjoy all your clothes by giving them a purpose
  • Lastly it allows you to set a precedent for yourself at work, as a professional in which field you are in.

Purpose became a huge factor to me recently. After only two weeks of wearing these exclusively for work, when I put this outfit on the other Sunday for these posts I instantly felt wrong wearing them out in Maidstone. It appears that I was already busy associating my clothes with my days and honestly, I already feel better for it.

Another side of this is relating back to A Season Of Style I wondered how I would be able to have different style sets without feeling out of whack, or pairing them together and finding odd combinations. This feels like the answer, my work wear can have one vibe and my home wear can have another.

I’m not entirely sure how that looks quite yet but I’m thoroughly enjoying wearing certain clothes for certain occasions. It puts purpose to my purchases and it already makes me feel better especially when I found this scuba fabric skirt with stitch detailing and this great staple shirt in a stretchy khaki my work wardrobe started falling into place. Almost this entire outfit is from Next and I actually love this store for work staples. Its easy to get bogged down with of the moment trends but Next have always led me right with smart and affordable corporate pieces.

I have a sneaking feeling in fact that this might not be the last of Next Work wear in my future . . .
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Pre AW15 thoughts

So following on from last weeks Long Tall Sally post this week with have next! Next are always one of the first UK stores to release AW pieces and they are also one of my favourite catalogs to read! Don’t ask me why, I think it has something to do with how they set up collections where all the pieces work with one another, its a little bit like when you read the Elle and Vogue specials of the catwalks where you can actually see a little bit of the story behind the collections. I think that’s my favourite part so I can imagine my outfits for the up coming season. So of course to up keep tradition I thought I would share my ideas and thoughts on Next’s initial collections so far! To Cape of not to cape?

£28 +

I have already got a cape from a few years ago but you know when you see something in a new colour or pattern and suddenly you think you need another? I think thats what I have so of course I can’t just go yes with this idea but I really love a great cape. In the heart of winter they won’t give you enough warmth but in the meantime during autumn I love these for autumn walks around the park or over a fancy dress for nights out. Longer wrap skirts

£26 +

I am loathed to want this because a grey skirt never really screams practicality but I love the look of this! I have been thinking about a longer skirt length for the new season, I had initially thought about black but I love this wrap detailing! I think being tall as well will mean that I could pull his length of but you never know until you try! This whole outfit???

find the details here!

I adore the seventies fashion its true, I love the fringing, the suede and the warm colours and this outfit is no different. I am hesitant because I am sure that this style probably isn’t quite right for me but I adore the idea of a great pair of modern flares to be pared with the seasons classic camel coat.

Collared cuteness!

Navy Dress, £40

Honestly I think I am too busty for these types of dresses now, but I love the cuteness, the lovely pattern and the style in general. If you think this is a look for you I super suggest ankle boots with a bit of sock poking out! Can we ever be too old for cute ankle socks with ankle boots? I think not.

These Boots!

£110

Knee high boots? Yes please!!

I would say that for the last two years I have been on the look out for over the knee boots in suede but the problem? I haven’t found the dream pair as one of my five this autumn I definitely want to find that perfect pair of boots. I would wear these paired up with the seasons T-dresses, flippy skirts and even tuck my jeans in on casual fridays!

this is not a sponsored post, all thoughts and ideas are my own and all images are property of Next PLC

Once upon a maxi dress . . .

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Cardi: Next, Top: H&M similar, Maxi Dress: H&M (Old) Similar, Sandals: New Look (old) similar (totes want these!)

 

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Once upon a time in a far away . . . Maidstone – lived a girl and a great shaped maxi dress. Only one day, along came the dreaded drier who slowly made the maxi dress shrink, up and up and up until it became a tall girls worst nightmare! The unintentional midi dress.

And there you have it folks! Why the skirt of this looks slightly odd! I blame university driers, crafty buggers . . .

Tomorrows outfit today . . .

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Top: Next, Bag: Accessorize, Jeans (Eden): Dorothy Perkins (The ones I’m wearing are their regular length rolled up one I am 5ft 10 3/4, Heels: New Look, sadly I couldn’t find any similar? what!? – if you do find any please do link them in the comments and I’ll add a link up here!

 

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Today I am in leggings and a tunic something like this . . . In the middle of the working week you ask? Why yes, yes indeed because today I have been living the dream and have been out shopping for Phoenix and the Lions Spring Antique and Vintage stock  at Newark’s International Antiques and Collectors Fair. We spent a grand total of five and half hours today collecting some really great pieces for the store and man do my feet want a break!

In fact on the topic of feet I have been missing my heels with a passion! I have lived in flat boots, converse and ballet pumps for so long now that I will do (almost) anything to put on my heels again. So of course date night with the boy has become a weekly thing just so I can wear my many heels for a few hours! (not all at the same time of course – that would be silly . . . or genius?)

Luckily this weekend we are going away to Oxfordshire with my family to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary! So not only do I get to spend time with my favourite people in the world but I also have an excuse to pull out my heels again (and tower over Josh – He must love me!)

Until then for what we got up to (with limited internet I may add – the horror!) Check out the official Phoenix and the Lion Twitter page! we found the cutest pigs that have a fantastic story that’ll all be revealed soon!

 

psstttt . . . I’m wearing this tomorrow! (god forbid I explain the title! – it’s been a long day . . .)

Tough Love and Cut Backs

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I’m having to be careful because I can feel myself slipping again. Slipping back into those bad buying habit shoes. So for the rest of the month it has been re-decided that I need to teach myself some tough love and clamp down on spending again and maybe into next month as well. It happens gradually and I have begun to see where the problems lie in momentary purchases . . .

As a perpetual shopper I have learnt increasingly bad habits over the years since leaving the little town of Hitchin (where clothes shops were short on numbers) going from that to London full time meant that having hundreds of shops at my disposal more than nine hours a day meant that my shopping went up, my cash went down and my style with it! But you knew that!

What perhaps you didn’t know is that I do still feel pressure to bring out new items here on the therealjlow, which is silly really when I set out with the idea that this would be “the real jlow” not the girl who constantly shops because for most people that just isn’t a viable options and really I don’t think it should be. After a year of this blog I decided to try focusing more on quality over quantity and doing more with less so as I caught myself this morning I realised I need to look more in my closet rather than online and in other peoples so from here on out this month (and maybe next) no more new and far more remixed! I’ve also realised that if I have ten minutes I buy more and buy with less thought yet when I go out with several hours a whole afternoon I am far more sensible and hold on to more of my cash. So I’m cutting the spending and upping the time when I do go!

So here goes . . . it’s those blasted pink jeans again!

Sales and I. (Trying to be good in a time of sales)

tall slub jersey

Lipstick: Yves Saint Laurent (the only) Rouge Pur Couture in Le Orange

Clothes: Infinity snuggy thing: Next (old Autumn 2013), Slub Jersey in white: Next Bag: Primarni

I went in the mid-season Next sale. It’s one of those places you know you really shouldn’t go into at these times it’s like the unspoken rule to shopaholics like myself. Go into a next sale? You will come out with stuff you don’t need nor necessarily wear again; it’s just like the unspoken rule. So of course I went in. I obviously love torturing myself with things I can’t and shouldn’t buy.

I was however lucky this time. My recent self-teachings of buying more sensibly are obviously kicking in and working more now as I came out with three things, one of which was full price and all of which I have already tried to wear at every occasion. I also held and put back a total of four things one of which was a t-shirt saying “I’m a pretty big deal on my blog” (ok, for me in my mind and hopefully Joshes) but the quality wasn’t great so it got left behind (but this blogger loved it check it out here+) as did the identical tee shirt in a different colour but a size down sure it still fit and looked great but more blue Jess? Really? I’m banning myself from buying any more blue not sure if you’ve noticed but I have had a major influx in blue things recently! But banning! So you’ll probably see it next week – in fact you will because I haven’t posted these photos yet!

tall shoes

Zara Boyfriend Jeans, Top Next, Shoes New Look

Anyhoo a while back (as mentioned here+) I saw these shirts on the site, thought how cute and that I’d love them but never bought one! (Crazy how my virtual shopping often gets literally forgotten) but anyway I saw this shirt and I love it! It’s so comfortable I have been actively stopping myself wearing it all week. However with the weekend upon us I can’t promise I won’t wear it everyday.

It’s my go to.

With the latest comfy sporty trend still going strong I can’t help but feel that this won’t be the last sporty item in my wardrobe this spring! Do you have any go to’s? And check out my day to night look with this shirt here next week!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

 

Fair Weathered Running and Fears

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Simple Summer Sunday: Jumper: Dorothy Perkins (oh, so old) Next alternative, Tee: H&M Basics, Skirt  (£1 fish of a skirt) Similar, Flats: New Look

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It’s that time again folks, its exercise season. I know this because a, I am definitely packing winter weight like an animal that hibernates and B, because I almost got run over by five consecutive runners on the way home last night. And in the dark, over a high level bridge it can be pretty scary. It was almost like being roped into a flash mob. (That’s like a major nightmare of mine, along with people dressed up as Disney characters – *shudder*).

But yes, there are people like me getting fit all over the place! Fair weathered exercisers. I’m personally taking it slow – as in crawling almost backwards through the local pool a couple of times while I wait to get back on that bicycle! It’s just no fun with snow (re: floods) on the ground!

Spring time Denim’s

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From the top: Eden: Dorothy Perkins, Polka Dor: Primark, Fiance Jeans: Zara, Pink! Next – Scroll for links

As well as my trusty Chambray shirts spring calls for thost springful coloured and patterned jeans! Last year it was cropped ‘traditional denim’ and my looser fit floral jeans from TU (which this year are going to re appear as shorts!) but this year im getting back to basics. Coloured denim and maybe the odd pattern . . .

I am still looking for a brighter pair as these are all pretty tame but I am so glad to have already injected some much needed spring colour into my wardrobe! and my first pink thing in a while as well!

Eden Jeggings: Dorothy Perkins.

These jean/leggings are my go to comfort pair and sexy pair all rolled into one! Great fading and comfort is this girls go to piece! Great length and great for both day and night!

Polka Dot: Primark (In store)

Shockingly long for regular length! These fit quite well actually and are comfortable with a great deal of stretch!

Boyfriend/Fiance/husband jeans (whichever applies): Zara

The creme de la creme! These are my go to pj jeans so comfortable it puts all else to shame!

Pink! Next

Great colour and fit for XL ankle length jeans I fell in love with the zip detail the first moment I saw them!

 

I dream of Ice cream . . .

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Pink blazer: H&M Sale (January 2014) Alternative, Tee: H&M Basics, Mint Bag: Accessorize Pink Jeans: Next Leopard Print flats: New Look (January Sale 2014) Similar

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I look really tan and over healthy (and a little bit tired in these photos) and I’m not entirely sure why. How does this happen? It must be all the pink im wearing in this outfit so say hello to my new pink jeans! my quest for pink jeans arrived one day with no warning. Literally one moment I wanted bright coloured jeans and the next pale pink had jumped into my mind and wouldn’t leave.

So first I tried Boden – New would equal great right? Well no. Not for me & my apple shapes but Next did! These ankle skimmers were just what I was looking for and even better they had a great zip detail which meant they were that little bit more different and perfect for updating my wardrobe! Success! So get ready to look forward to seeing these little gems with my striped tunic, long thin sweaters and peplum tops! cause I’m coming for you!