29 January 2014

I Have A Plan!!!

Oh yes indeedy I have a plan, which I think is slightly cunning & has a guaranteed 100% success rate!!! So whilst we are all being tempted by the gorgeous new spring collections that are making their way into stores & online I am trying (ok I can't say totally succeeding but I am trying!!) to keep focused on the main event.  Yup not the gorgeous new pastel & spring colours that are tempting me but by the fact that our 'winter' as we know it has yet to arrive.  

Yes that's right you've heard it here first snow is on it's way, as I've been told by an extremely reliable source (well more reliable than the weather forecasters that's for sure!!) a local farmer, who has told a friend of my sister's, who has told my sister, who has told me that we are due a serious shed load of snow come the end of the month.....whoop whoop I'm already 'panic' buying as I type & essentials.....chocolate & alcohol supplies have now been fully replenished ;-)

The last few years have seen our winter's become almost unbearably cold with last year snow still being on the ground at the end of March & I seem to remember tonnes of the stuff from the New Year to then....in fact as someone who gets as excited about a snow day as a birthday even for me the excitement was beginning to wear off during last year.

However, I digress....back to my plan.....not to see how much alcohol & chocolate can be fitted into the house at any one time but to be prepared for the bad weather in another sense....yup I'm talking fashion of course.  As for the past few winters whenever we've had serious amounts of the white stuff I've never felt properly dressed when going out to play!  Of course this could be due to the fact that I've yet to find a waterproof & warm blazer that's going to stand up to the test of freezing temperatures, snowball fights & sledging :-) But this year I am determined to look more stylish when braving the elements so no more waterproofs or short quilted jackets but something warmer, longer, stylish & that has a hood!  No I've not lost the plot....I'm talking parkas, something I decided to invest in with part of my birthday money.

Now before I take a look at the best parkas to catch my eye, you might be thinking where does the 100% foolproof plan come in.  Well here it is.....if we are lucky (& I use the term loosely) enough to avoid said snow then of course said parka will also come in pretty handy for walking the dog, braving the rain....of which we seem to have had a year's rainfall already, I'm even seriously thinking of investing in an ark if it continues!!  Plus of course for those of you departing on ski holidays a parka would make a great coat to travel in & step out in when not wearing your ski suit & finally here's the clever bit.....if we don't have any snow then you can thank me, because lets face it sods law after investing in said parka in preparation for the snow you can bet your bottom dollar it's not going to be putting in an appearance any time soon!

So let's get onto the the parkas that have got me crossing the other side from blazer to warm coat!!!  Of course the one I've brought has gone into the sales & now sold out so I can't show you that one but the ones I'm about to show you all made it onto my maybe list & better still are all still available :-)

So first up instead of the tradition khaki colour that everyone thinks of when you hear the word parka I'm loving this navy fur trimmed one from Only which immediately stands out for not being the normal colour you would expect.






ASOS also have some great parkas & I love this cocoon one, with the dropped hem & stunning thick fur trim.  Plus it's available in three gorgeous colours.






Also Available in Black




And Stone




If however, those don't float your boat then how about this one from Next, which is available in a faded khaki colour & looks fab teamed with some boyfriends & pumps come the warmer months when there's still a chill in the air, not to mention the impending April showers!!!






This next parka from Oasis also caught my eye as I love the fact that it has a faux fur lining, I mean SERIOUSLY how snuggly would that be & whilst it's available in three colours I'm absolutely loving the natural shade teamed with navy & tan.














If however, you're not feeling the love for a full on hooded parka as it seems a bit too school coatish for your liking then there are some great non-hooded versions too.  Like this quilted parka from ASOS, which looks stunning with the faux leather trousers they've teamed it with but would look just as great dressed down with some boyfriend jeans for a more relaxed vibe too.






Next also do this great biker style jacket, which is available in two colours & would make a great alternative to a mac for those of you that fancy a rain coat but want something a little more dressed down that can be slung on at a moments notice.










And of a similar design is this lovely zip detailed parka from Mint Velvet but be warned you might have serious trouble deciding on which colour to pick because quite frankly I could easily go for all four!


















Or how about this one from Mango?  I love the stand up collar & detailing on the shoulders.






And finally what about this faux leather sleeved one from Zara, which seems to incorporate everything...khaki, faux fur, leather & a hood!!.






So what do you think?  Are you feeling the parka love & couldn't live without your parka come the freezing temperatures or have you yet to invest in one?  

Finishing with a quick round up of my outfits from the last few days.


Outfit One




Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Pearls - Brought in Majorca
Jumper - Gap
Leather Cuff - Banana Republic
Wax Effect Jeans - Zara
Boots - Boden


Outfit Two




Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Necklace - Zara
Jumper - H&M
Bracelets - Massimo Dutti & Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Oasis


Outfit Three




Coat - Zara
Draped Top - Gemini-Woman
Leather Cuff - Banana Republic
Jeans - Massimo Dutti
Shoe Boots - Next


So do you think I'm tempting fate & by investing & getting my snow look sorted we're not going to be seeing any of the white (or yellow come to think of it!!) stuff this year?  Plus how do you like to wear yours?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the perfect snow outfit.

Have a great few days, I don't think any snow is predicted to fall before my next blog but who knows!!! See you at the weekend when I'll be looking at the next essential item of my snow suit....any guesses?!! :-)

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26 January 2014

Playing Dress Up

If you're anything like me you'll love getting parcels in the post, so when Gemini recently asked if they could send me some of their latest Sandwich Clothing to style I didn't hesitate in saying yes immediately!! 

Sandwich Clothing base their designs on clothing to be worn by women for everyday practical life & so not only is their clothing easy to wear it also incorporates some of the latest fashion trends as well as containing exquisite elements of beauty and detail.  So I'm sure I don't need to tell you but as soon as my box of goodies arrived through the door I was beyond excited as I excitedly tore open the packaging :)

Now before I show you the clothes I must just show you the lovely packaging that Gemini package all their deliveries in - chic & effortless, which pretty much sums up the brands stocked & sold by Gemini.




First out the box was this gorgeous crackle effect printed dress.  Super comfy for wearing on an everyday basis, whilst being flattering & showing off your curves.  Not to mention incorporating the pastel trend that is set to be HUGE this spring.

Plus it's a great dress for styling up or down, which for my first look I've simply teamed with some black shoe boots & a simple bracelet.


Style One




Dress - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Shoe Boots - Next


For style two I thought I'd rock the dress up a bit & have teamed it with my leather biker jacket, an old Zara scarf & some chunkier ankle boots.  I love how easy it is to add a more dressed down vibe to the dress, whilst still feeling feminine & love it teamed with my biker.


Style Two




Leather Biker Jacket - Zara
Dress - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Boots - Zara


Next I've teamed the second item out of the box, a grey Sandwich Clothing jacket with the dress & changed my black tights for grey together with some grey ankle boots.  Of course me being me I was always going to totally love this jacket but honestly it's such a lovely piece that will go with so many things in your wardrobe & is incredibly easy to dress up or down.  I absolutely LOVE the frayed edging & texture.  Plus it's also available in cream, although hubby is already trying to hide the credit card!!!


Style Three




Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Dress - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Boots - Oasis


Next up I've teamed style three with a simple scarf to add another dimension & layer.


Style Four


 


Scarf - Zara
Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Dress - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Boots - Oasis


Concentrating back on the dress again & going for a more dressed up feel I think it looks stunning when teamed with a pale pink blazer & pearls.


Style Five




Blazer - Zara
Dress - Gemini-Woman
Necklace - Handmade
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Boots - Oasis


Of course if you read my blog on a regular basis you will know that not only do I have a huge love affair with any blazer/jacket but I have a HUGE weakness for scarves too & this Sandwich Clothing one goes perfectly with my grey skinnies & pink blazer.  Plus I couldn't believe my luck when this gorgeous pink Sandwich Clothing top matched my jacket perfectly, I absolutely love the slightly loose fit of the top & it's such a fab top for dressing up or down.


Style Six




Blazer - Zara
Scarf - Gemini-Woman
Top - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


I also love wearing greys & pinks together & by teaming the Sandwich Clothing jacket with my grey skinnies & adding the pink top & scarf I feel it brings the right mix of spring without feeling too summery whilst in the depths of our wonderful British winters.


Style Seven




Scarf - Gemini-Woman
Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Top - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


Plus it's so easy to swap the scarf & bring a whole different look to the outfit & it would have been rude not to incorporate a bit of Bet to my dressing up session!!


Style Eight




Scarf - Massimo Dutti
Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Top - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Oasis


Of course the jacket looks equally stunning when teamed with some grey skinnies & a simple white shirt.  It really is one of those go to jackets that you would get so much wear from.


Style Nine




Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Shirt - Zara
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Shoe Boots - Next


For outfit ten I've simply added the Sandwich scarf to inject a little bit more colour & interest.


Style Ten




Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Scarf - Gemini-Woman
Shirt - Zara
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Shoe Boots - Next


Then for outfit eleven I thought I'd dress the outfit down a bit & have swapped my skinny jeans for some boyfriend jeans & teamed it with a simple pair of ballet pumps.  I totally love how the jacket can so easily be styled with dresses, skirts, skinny jeans not to mention distressed boyfriends.


Style Eleven




Jacket - Gemini-Woman
Shirt - Zara
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


Of course the scarf also looks great when teamed with a simple white shirt & jeans, which are items we all have lurking in our wardrobes & is a fab way of investing just a little in two of the main colours for spring.


Style Twelve




Scarf - Gemini-Woman
Shirt - Zara
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


For outfit thirteen I wanted to pair the beautiful twill top with my boyfriend jeans for a more relaxed dress down feel.  I really love that the top has a slight dropped hem at the back & together with the panelling detailing adds just the right amount of interest without distracting from the simplicity of the design.


Style Thirteen




Top - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


And of course I couldn't resist adding the scarf to this look, which when worn with this top looks great too!


Style Fourteen




Scarf - Gemini-Woman
Top - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


And finally I simply had to add my jacket, which in my opinion makes the perfect running around outfit for spring.


Style Fifteen




Scarf - Gemini-Woman
Blazer - Zara
Top - Gemini-Woman
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Brought in Majorca


So what do you think?  Are you like me & TOTALLY in love with these beautiful pastel colours for spring?  I have to admit it was lovely to wear some softer brighter colours than the darker colours we seem to lean to come the darker mornings & nights.

Finally a quick round up of what I've been wearing since my last post, starting with my latest necklace to add to my bling-tastic collection.


Outfit One





Necklace - Zara
Jumper - Primark
Bracelet - Banana Republic
Snake Print Belt - Massimo Dutti
Biker Jeans - H&M
Boots - Oasis


Outfit Two




Scarf - Massimo Dutti
Jumper - H&M
Blazer - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Zara


Outfit Three




Animal Print Scarf  - Massimo Dutti
T-Shirt - Zara
Tweed Blazer - H&M
Leather Cuff - Banana Republic
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Oasis


Outfit Four




Tartan Scarf - Zara
Woollen Coatigan - Zara
Sequinned Breton - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Wedge Trainers - Ash


So are you in love with the pastel trend that's set to be huge this spring?  If so how are you planning on incorporating it into your existing wardrobe?  Perhaps you've already got your eye on a few key pieces or in fact made the odd purchase or two?

I'd love to hear how you're going to be rocking the look not to mention what you think of my styling & which of the above outfits is your favourite.

Hope it's not too wet & windy where you are (although looking at the forecast I think you're going to be extremely lucky to escape the raining today!!).  Have a fab Sunday & see you in a few days.


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22 January 2014

Updating A Classic

So following on from my recent sales post on navy blazers (see here) & my light bulb moment of adding brass buttons to my existing navy blazer, I thought today I'd update you on my little experiment of updating my blazer.

Now for most of us January can be a pretty frugal month as we try to recover from the expenditure & excesses that December brings & whilst I would love to purchase another navy blazer in the sales with brass buttons it seemed ridiculous to invest in yet another blazer (of which I have my fair few!!) just because I now prefer brass buttons to the plain navy ones on my existing & as good as new blazer sitting in my wardrobe....hence the lightbulb moment of swapping the buttons!!!

First up here's a picture, which ok is never going to win any photography awards of said blazer.  As you can see a great classic single breasted number but a little on the plain/office wear side for my liking.




And here's a picture of me wearing said blazer styled with a simple cream polo neck, boyfriend jeans and my new tan boots.




Now being the lazy & impatient thing that I am, I couldn't be bothered nor could I wait until I went 'real' shopping to look for some new brass buttons....as hubby will tell you & no doubt roll his eyes at the thought, once I've had an idea & set my mind to something I generally want to get on & do it straight away.....oh how he loves to come home to the words 'babe I've had an idea.......' NOT!!!  So with said idea fully in mind I decided to go 'virtual' shopping in the wonderful world of eBay, after all if eBay doesn't sell it, it's not worth having!!!

So after a good half an hour or so trawling through the offerings & checking sizes of buttons, number required, plastic or brass & most importantly checking I'd got the best price I had sourced & brought my new shiny buttons....all I had to do now was the hard bit.....wait for said buttons to arrive!!!

But thanks to the magic of eBay and the efficiency (well sometimes!!) of Royal Mail my new shiny buttons arrived within a couple of days :-)




Brass buttons brought from eBay for £6.16 including postage


So after half an hour of cutting off my old buttons & sewing on my new ones here's another award winning picture of my re-styled blazer.




Together with a picture of me wearing said blazer with the same clothing as before.  




Blazer - Zara
Jumper - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Zara


Now it might just be me (after all I'm not sure about you but I hate admitting if I'm wrong!) but personally I think my blazer looks miles better with it's shiny buttons & that the buttons have really helped take it to 'another level' (another term I may utter to hubby on the odd *many* occasion when trying to persuade him my latest DIY idea is a goer!!!).

So what do you think?  Do you agree with me & think the buttons have helped transform my blazer into something a little smarter & more chic?  If so have you got a jacket/blazer sitting in your wardrobe that's never felt right to you & that perhaps a simple change of buttons could be the way forward?   After all you can get some stunning buttons these days which can really transform an outfit.  I'm thinking I might swap some buttons on a plain shirt next....although that's a lot of sewing to do so will need to have a good chick flick to get me through the boredom!!!

Finally a quick round up of what I've been wearing since Sunday & as you'll notice in outfit three my wish came true & I indeed had a 'Cinderella' moment when the Mint Velvet ballet pumps arrived...I'm so in love with them it's untrue!!


Outfit One




Necklace - Brought in Majorca
Fluffy Jacket - H&M
Bracelet - J Crew
Jumper - Gap
Faux Leather Leggings - Zara
Biker Boots - M&S


Outfit Two





Necklace - Zara
Shirt - Zara
Waterfall Cardigan - ASOS
Leather Cuff - Banana Republic
Skorts - Zara
Boots - Zara


Outfit Three




Pearl Necklace - Zara
Shirt - M&S
Bracelet - J Crew
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Pumps - Mint Velvet


So have you been inspired to dig out the old needle & thread & start swapping buttons on your blazers?  Or perhaps you've made simple changes to other items that you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear what you think of my new buttons not to mention any other tips you might have for transforming an outfit to another level so please share!

Hope the rest of the week flies by & as Arnie would say 'I'll be back!'  See you at the weekend.

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