Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Contrast Sleeves.

I remember last winter really wanting a Trench coat with leather (or pleather) sleeves but I didn't get round to buying one after missing out on a sale bargain on the Debenhams website (I get very depressed when I miss out on a good fashion deal) but with a deep love of both the colour Khaki and this seasons military and camo trends, my head was turned slightly by a River Island khaki jacket with pu sleeves I spotted whilst out shopping last week.

Two of my daughters have recently acquired camo jackets which I no longer deem age appropriate especially as I wore them first time round and there is a fashion rule about that, so I felt this would be more fitting and I instantly regretted not buying it as soon as I got home.

Fast forward six days and after constantly talking about said River Island jacket and watching most sizes go out of stock online on an almost daily basis due to its purse friendly price tag, OH presented me with one of my very own! I wonder if constantly nagging about a Celine Phantom or Chanel 2.55 bag will mean that I will get one of those aswell? Doubt it.

The leather contrast sleeve was first seen on the Burberry catwalk and show's no sign of disappearing just yet with the fashionista's favourite, Zara doing their own version of a khaki contrast sleeve jacket for £89.99 as seen on style sweetheart Olivia Palermo and I swear I hadn't seen these pictures before I fell in love with the RI jacket....

Olivia shows how versatile a jacket of this style can be whether out walking the dog in casual denim and leopard ballet pumps (the perfect school run look) or by teaming the jacket with a ladylike bag and heels for a spot of shopping or meeting a girlfriend for lunch.

Primark are also doing a budget version as seen on Avril of School Gate Style but you might struggle to get your hands on one as they are currently fetching more than their worth on ebay and seem to be sold out in most stores!

Meanwhile over in New Zealand, Michelle of Me My World My Style has been rocking the same Zara jacket as seen on Olivia P! (Thought I was looking in the mirror when I saw her t-shirt ha ha).

And here is me in mine, trying to cover my face has hadn't put my make-up on at the point I was deciding what to wear!

Jacket - River Island. Breton Top - Boden (similar in the sale here.). Scarf - Louis Vuitton (similar here). Jeans - Paige at Donna Ida (similar here). Boots - Oasis (similar here).

If you are looking for something similar but prefer the styling of a classic mac, then Helene Berman has a leather sleeved Trench exclusive to The Outnet and it is gorgeous!

Faux leather-sleeved twill trench coat by Helene Berman
Helene Berman at theoutnet £155.

Do you like the contrast sleeve trend? How would you wear yours?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Choosing the right dress for your "fruity" body shape.

While every lady is an individual, and can dress how they want, there are some collected wisdoms about the most appropriate types of dresses for women of a certain shape type to wear.  Because there is so much choice, even if you follow this guide, the actual dress you buy will be individual to you, and therefore you shouldn’t feel that you are being forced to dress according to a rule. Your personality can still shine through! In this article we look at the fruity ladies- by that I mean apple and pear-shaped gals.

If you are an “apple” shaped lady, then some or all of the features you exhibit are a larger bust, broad shoulders, narrower hips, but a less defined waist. Don’t immediately think you’ve got to go for only black. Instead look for what we call “body-balancing” aspects on a dress.  See how you look in a dress with an asymmetrical neckline, perhaps a one-shoulder dress.  And yes, it can be in black if you insist!
The death knell for apple shaped ladies is puffy sleeves, or having big stuff up top, and then a slim bottom. I suggest that you can camouflage a thick waist by having a dress that skims round the body without defining the waist.  Go for an empire waist dress which has a raised waist.
Apple bodied girls should avoid halter neck and boat necklines because these accentuate your broad shoulders. Scoop or even strapless necklines can do the business. Or try soft, rounded necklines with a nice narrow bodice.  But on the subject of bodices, stay away from heavily embellished bodices. I think the best neckline for a full bust is the V-neck or a plunging neckline as they make the body appear less round. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!!

Ok, onto pear-shaped ladies. The main traits of your lovely pear shaped body include some or all of the following;  wide hips and thighs, narrower shoulders, a wide bottom and a smaller bust.
Black and skimming is the best option- that’s because the easiest way to balance a bottom-heavy figure is to choose a little black dress that skims over the lower half of the body. Simple. Also consider fuller skirts that will disguise heavy hips, while showing off your waist. I suggest that you try a fitted halter or strapless silhouette which accents your trim upper body. Again we want to have some balance here, so go with a full or A-line skirt or a ball gown. Yep, I said ball gown. Don’t knock it you’ll look sensational. An A line dress is slightly flared that has a silhouette resembling the letter "A".  

Avoid a dress that will accentuate your hips, so pleated or gathered fabric at the waist are no-nos. As for colours, you must be getting bored with black- so maybe go for dresses with light colours on top and dark colours on bottom lower down. This will bring the gazing eye up and away from your wider bottom. What will also work is an all over print dress. The key here is to show off your upper body.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Mid Season sale round up!

It only seems like five minutes ago that the new season stock was hitting the shop floor and already we have the chance to grab an "on trend" bargain or something for the forthcoming party season at a reduced price with some mid season sales already starting and you know how I adore a bargain so what's not to love?

Jones Bootmaker - up to 20% off Leather Bags.

Loving the "Artie" across body saddle bag which looks far more expensive than it really is and will no doubt age beautifully, was £59 now £49 and who can resist a leopard print handbag to add a touch of glam to your day time looks with the "Tally" tote bag, was £89 now £77.

2. Full Circle - with up to 70% off and an additional 15% off of sale prices at checkout using code EXTRA15 and with  free standard delivery you'd be a fool not to snap up this fur trimmed blazer with detachable collar..........

  Was £135 now £40.50.

Oasis - up to 50% off a wide range of clothing, shoes and accessories.

Scuba Peplum Top

Peplums have featured heavily again on the catwalk for ss13 so if you haven't already got one, now is the time to grab one at a bargain price and wear for nights out with a leopard print or leather pencil skirt. Was £25 now £15. View all Oasis sale here.

The White Company - 20% off womens dresses and childrens clothing (excluding babywear) using code AB226 at checkout. 

Shop here.

Baukjen  - 15% off in celebration of Fashion Week using code LFW15 at checkout plus the clearance sale continues..  


Shop here.

Warehouse - up to 50% off 

Spotty Animal Blouse.

Shop here.

Are you planning any purchases in the mid season sales?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The fastest wrinkle fighter ever?

It was back in July when I first got asked to trial the new Avon anti-ageing treatment, Anew AF-33, hailed as a new wonder product I couldn't wait to get started but had to put my start date on hold as I had read on the packaging that you may have to be careful when using the product if you were spending prolonged amounts of time in the sun and with my holiday to Marbella looming, I knew it would have to be something I started upon my return just in case their was any sensitivity, I just didn't want to take any chances!

Avon say "100% of women showed results on fine lines in just 2 weeks. Overnight skin looks more youthful.  In 3 days gives a natural looking wrinkle reduction and in 2 weeks helps fill creases to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines".

With a face that with each passing day is closely resembling a map of Spaghetti Junction you can see why I got really excited by this product, hailed as their fastest working wrinkle fighter and having only just recently started my trial, I can already see results.

To celebrate the products recent launch, Avon have a special offer on the product, normally £30 you can give this anti-ageing treatment a go for the special offer price of just £20. I will be posting up the results of my 28 day trial at a later date but in the meantime if you do buy it, make sure you let me know what you think!

Buy the new Avon Wrinkle Buster online here.

Kelly Brook new season collection at New Look.

Last seasons Kelly Brook collection for New Look didn't really do it for me.  It was all a bit 1950's in style and that is not an era I am a fan of, but this season see's a far more sophisticated and trend led capsule, consisting of leopard print, peplums and lace all with fantastic price points.  Stylist Mark Heyes even described it as "very D&G" and I have to agree even though a lot of the shapes wouldn't do a lot for my figure it is affordable fashion perfect for the forthcoming party season.

Suba Peplum Dress £34.99. Red Lace Peplum Top £29.99. Lace Shoe Boots £29.99.  Bow Print Top £29.99.

Have you checked out the collection yet?  Any pieces made their way onto your wish list?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Eileen Fisher Autumn Event.

If you find yourself in central London tomorrow and fancy making some super autumn and winter collection additions to your wardrobe plus benefit a very worthy cause in the process, then pop on into the Eileen Fisher store at either their Marylebone or Covent Garden locations for a glass of bubbly and canapes plus £25 off Event Day purchases!

Eileen Fisher is an american designer who motivated by her own wardrobe needs and a desire to put design ahead of fashion, created a new breed of clothing that acts as a go-to system for the modern woman's wardrobe. 

For more information on the brand you can check out their website at

12f uk slideshow slide 2.large

Make sure you have a glass of bubbly for me and keep up with event news on twitter @EILEENFISHER using #EFAutumnevent.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Retail Therapy

I had a lovely day out with two of my daughters today.  The eldest has a week off of work and the middle daughter was around also (having returned from working in Ayia Napa and all the drama that involved), so I suggested we spent a few hours together with a trip to Maidstone for a nice Costa Coffee with the ulterior motive of needing to pick up a couple of bits I can't get hold of locally.

I will travel miles for a decent cup of coffee as sometimes I really crave one (oh how I need a Nespresso machine in my kitchen).  I also needed to get a couple of bits for Charlie, a grey school jumper and just a cheap pair of joggers from H&M for him to throw on after school when he changes out of his uniform.

Naturally we had to have a little browse around the shops looking at things for us first and I saw a fab Breton top in H&M.  OK I know another Breton top is the last thing I need but I blame the exposed zip at the back.  I don't know why I still love exposed zips but I do .......

I had also been lusting after this H&M necklace for a while now......need I say more?

A pair of slipper shoes were high up on my autumn and winter wish list and I fell in love with these leopard print beauties in River Island and at only £28 how could I resist?

I needed the approval of my fellow fashion friends and got a resounding "yes" to my question of "should I or shouldn't I?" on both Twitter and Instagram, so took your advice obviously and lets face it, the Louboutin version won't be gracing the bottom of wardrobe any time soon, well not in this lifetime!

And as a little bit of stud work is very much a current obsession of mine and even though I don't "do" cheap handbags and will probably never go anywhere to use it, I just had to have it after seeing one in the window........

Hopefully that mini haul will keep me quiet for at least a week, oh and we were about 15 minutes into our 20 minute drive home when I realised I hadn't bought either of the things I wanted for Charlie, the whole reason I suggested the trip (along with a decent coffee) in the first place.
A serious case of #mummyfail and big time #guilttrip

So tell me, have you ever gone out with the intention of buying something for one of your kids but came home with something for yourself instead?

The White Company

Monday, 17 September 2012

Winter Wardrobe Staples - The camel coat.

Having done so many series on wardrobe staples on the blog over the years, I almost feel bored of trying to get you all excited by the building blocks of any stylish womans wardrobe, white shirts, jeans, black court shoes etc but as winter approaches it is a whole new ball game when it comes to classic closet pieces that will not only last you a few years but will give a completely new look to your winter wardrobe.

If you haven't already got one, this season is the time to invest in a classic camel coat as spotted on  many a celeb. Take Katie Holmes for example, she was rarely seen without her Max Mara number last winter whether shopping in New York by day or covering up a one shoulder evening dress for a night out, so on a cost per wear basis you will certainly get your money's worth if you are able to invest in the best.

Maxmara camel hair coat £1,058. Buy here.

If you don't have a grand to spare on new season outwear and are looking for a more purse friendly option, I first spotted this camel coat on the Monsoon website a while ago and recommended it to somebody on Twitter a few weeks back. With its High Street price tag it certainly deserves a place in any stylish woman's wardrobe and by that, I mean mine!

Monsoon Wilfred Coat £149. Buy here.

Is a classic camel coat on your A/W wishlist or do you already own one?



Friday, 14 September 2012

From Slummy to Yummy - Style Advice Service

I feel as though I have bombarded you with my clients style advice requests of late but it seems just like buses, they all come at once!  If you are looking to "up the ante" on the school run and are a young mum who is lost in a fashion wilderness, then this could well be the blog post for you!

Here is what Katie said: I am in my early thirties and work from home, PA, freelance writing and social media stuff, so whilst I am busy working I see no one except the school run and school clubs where I want to look better than the other mums!  I love fashion full stop but I never have the guts to wear it myself.  Ideally what I want is a wardrobe where I can grab this and that and they just go together! What is it, effortlessly stylish?"

So after a few more email exchanges and armed with an idea of what Katie already has in her wardrobe I set to work on a few looks that consisted of items that could be mixed and matched in other ways from the three looks I have put together.

Look One

Katie told me that she has a denim jacket but tends not to wear it much as she often wears jeans and doesn't want to rock the "double denim" look!  A denim jacket is a key wardrobe piece for anybody young enough to wear one, so I have chosen a pair of this season's berry/wine/rusty coloured jeans to team with her denim jacket which with the current inclement weather will make for a valuable piece of outerwear.

Warehouse check shirt at House of Fraser was £35 now £17. French Connection Rust Jeans from House of Fraser £79. Ollie and Nic across body bag from House of Fraser £45. Tommy Hilfiger Denim Jacket from House of Fraser £110. Linea pull on boots was £85 now £79

Look Two

With a denim jacket and a black puffa coat (which is invaluable for bitter cold weather) and Katie's requirement for an effortlessly stylish wardrobe, it's time to bring in the classic trench coat to add a dash of parisian chic to her wardrobe. As Katie has lots of pairs of jeans and leggings and a huge selection of footwear to chose from, the classic trench can be thrown over any outfit combination and still look great especially if you are short on time in the morning and all you have to hand is a bleach stained t-shirt.

Mango Black skinny jeans from John Lewis £39.99Piped detail Trench Coat from Warehouse £85. Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses from John Lewis £119. Leopard Slippers from Kurt Geiger £40

Look Three

No tendy Yummy Mummy's wardrobe would be complete without an injection of  faux fur to crank up the glam factor in the playround.  Wear it over jumpers, long sleeve t-shirts, check and denim shirts or winter dresses.  The same goes for the Ash Bowie trainer and as Katie is young enough to have as much fun with fashion as she chooses, these will prove invaluable when making an impression with school gate fashionista's.

French Connection scarf £45. Ash Bowie Trainers at House of Fraser £169. Charcoal cashmere jumper at John Lewis £75. Mint Velvet Gilet at John Lewis £99. Reiss Tote Bag £245.

For many women like Katie it is hard to see how to put outfits together and there are so many ways you can wear the pieces featured, it is often a good idea to try out the looks by swapping footwear, handbags and scarves and using items of clothing you already have to achieve a completely different look virtually every time!  Make a list of your preferred looks and stick it inside your wardrobe door to make getting dressed easier each morning.

  • Wear the cashmere jumper under the denim jacket, with the scarf, the wedge trainers and the tote bag.
  • Wear the gilet over the coloured jeans and check shirt with the tote bag and wedge trainers.
  • Team the trench with the pull on boots and across body bag.
  • Wear the leopard pumps with the black jeans, cashmere jumper and across body bag. 

Very often the difference between slummy and yummy can mean getting up ten minutes earlier to straighten your hair before the little ones wake or making an hour for yourself in the evening when you know you can paint your nails and allow them to dry properly before you start making the next days packed lunches.  Being a Yummy Mummy is all about the grooming and not arriving at the school gate with yesterday's mascara giving you a bad case of panda eye or hair so greasy even a tin of Batiste wouldn't absorb the oil slick that is evident down your centre parting!

So you have the style and the grooming advice, now go forth and let the playground be your catwalk!

Mint Velvet

Friday, 7 September 2012

A week in pictures.

Nothing makes me happier than Diptyque especially as these were freebies with purchase.  I've never had Mimosa before, I am easily impressed so this is my new favourite.

Grown up back to school haircut for Charlie.

I never pretended I could sew but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do and this mammoth task took up a few of my evenings earlier this week.

Claudia is currently on a few weeks work experience at More Magazine and they very excitedly tweeted a picture she had shown them of Albert reading More!  This was before he ripped it up! Little git.

The big day finally dawned where my baby went off to Grammar School and I no longer have to do the school run.  I don't know which one of us was more nervous, but we both survived the first two days. Full week next week, so hopefully that will go well.

The glorious sunshine has meant that the Carvela sandals have had lots of wear this week and boy do they sparkle in the sunshine! 

A walk home along the beach after a lunch date with an old friend who now lives in Dubai was beautiful and oh so calming compared to the last time I went down there a few weeks back when it was packed with families and holidaymakers.  It reminded me that one day, very soon, I must grab a book and spend the day down there on my own, no phone, no laptop, nothing but me and the sound of the waves lapping the shore. Bliss.

Space NK