Workspiration Challenge Week 1

Its been so long since I blogged, mainly due to time, work, a new puppy & a husband who will not take my photos. So I was really pleased when Naomi started this challenge and kickstarted me into a new blog post. There are 10 of us altogether blogging in two groups with with two outfits a day.

Over the next 5 weeks we have all agreed to post our work outfits on themes suggested by some of the bloggers involved. This weeks theme was suggested by Callie and is working the blazer.

Firstly, the other half was working the weekend and is working late last night & tuesday night. So I have had to do the photos myself, so not as good as I would like and I will force him to take the next few weeks. I will also try to photograph this outfit again and put it in another post.

Anyway onto this weeks challenge. I love a blazer! For so many years it was virtually impossible to get a good blazer in a plus size. It was all 100% polyester and old school workwear. Now I have way too many including bagging the H&M Margiela blazer. I love blazers as they give a bit of structure, especially if like me the belt trick is not for you. Blazers are really great for actually giving me a waist. I love the way they can add a bit of formality to an outfit or can be styled that little bit rock and roll.

So todays outfit.

20130205-205258.jpg

Its been the mother of invention tonight, propping up the ipad etc and mirror shots but I think there is enough to give a feel

20130205-205429.jpg

20130205-205707.jpg

The outfit is
Blazer H&M
Breton top – Very South range
Trousers – New Look Inspire
Shoes – Hush Puppy
Necklace – Zara

I love the trousers. They are very skinny and very stretchy. These are my big pair. I ended up buying 3 pairs. So pleased as they came in and out.

As I have let you down on the clothes shots a bit I have made up for it with some accessories porn shots

The shoes are fab especially for anyone with an inner Dorothy complex. Give any outfit a lift.

20130205-210116.jpg

Lastly not only accessory but puppy porn too

20130205-210238.jpg

My partner blogger is Gemma so please check out her post.

The other ladies involved are

Naomi – http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk
@naomi_griffiths

Claire – http://www.amonkeyfatshionista.co.uk
@chattermonkey

Hanna – http://www.thewardrobechallenge.co.uk
@fattyschallenge

Rosie – http://www.aroselikethis.blogspot.co.uk
@rosieroundface

Gemma – http://www.pinkgemmaplus.blogspot.co.uk
@pinkgemma

Sara – http://www.confusedbrit.wordpress.com
@sarascribblings

Beth – http://www.tinkerbellandthelostgirls.blogspot.co.uk
@tinkslostgirls

Gina http://fatfitfine.blogspot.co.uk
@eclectic_gina

Advertisements

Back to Black

I wanted to do a quick post as its been a while since I last put anything up. This is mostly due to just being busy at work, back late, tired and visitors at the weekend.

So a couple of outfit posts and bit of looking forward.

Since my last post we had a bit of a downturn in the weather. Most of you know what a winter child I am, so the prospect of a rainy summer was not all that much of a tragedy for me. So it let me get a couple of sneaky winter leaning outfits in.

I just wanted to show you my Clements Ribeiro shell top for Evans. I love this top. When I first bought them I wasnt sure that I hadn’t made a bit of a mistake. Then I wore the purple one with skinny jeans in NY and have worn it lots since. I was a bit stuck with the black one though. Bit too voluminous to wear with dress trousers and cant wear jeans for work. I tried it with leggings. I like it! Im lucky in that my legs are my thinnest part, so with my Evans high black platforms its an outfit I really love wearing.

20120727-201819.jpg

Shell top – Clements Ribeiro for Evans
Leggings – Evans
Shoes – Evans

Im really looking forward to the A/W collection. The 3 pieces I bought have been worth every penny. This is a rare total Evans outfit for me. I dont buy a lot from Evans these days as I find it just doesn’t do fashion any more, but I will be back for the next collection launch.

I also managed to get a bit of a sneaky A/W outfit in. Im so looking forward to next season. Loads of dark dramatic clothes. Goth glam, embellished baroque to the simple lines of Raph’s last collection for Jil Sander. So this was a bit of a joy.

20120727-202223.jpg

20120727-202315.jpg

Dress – GAP
Biker Jacket – Simply Be
Necklace – Top Shop

This biker jacket is from Simply Be a few years ago. Its just starting to soften up properly and feel really comfortable. Biker jackets are due to be huge this A/W with lots already appearing in the high street new season drops.

The last thing I have to add is a quick look at my first Etsy purchase. This is a kaftan from Golddust Dresses. They use 70’s patterns and vintage printed Indian cotton fabric. Can I just say this is a lovely lovely thing. It could go so badly wrong but its beautiful. Its quite fitted around the top and the bust and then flows in a gradual bias cut. Its very flattering. I got it to swan around on my holiday to Mexico but its just too nice, so it will get more summer outings and I will definitely be wearing it with the biker jacket and boots in the winter.

20120727-203350.jpg

20120727-203433.jpg

I will do a better post on this with better pictures soon.

I have already succumbed and got the odd bit of A/W from the stuff coming into store. I have ordered a winter coat. This is an M&S Autograph coat that is very Jil Sander in style and very much one of the big story’s for next season. Its a very simple cocoon shape in an amazing Royal Blue. It goes up to 22 but may also fit a bit bigger as its a little over size. The pictures on the web dont do it justice, especially the colour and the shape. Apparently its selling out very quickly, as usual especially in the bigger sizes so if you like the look of it get it soon. I get very frustrated by the coat issue and rarely buy a coat from a plus retailer. They just dont seem to get them right, they are always a bit off, late and the fabric never seems to have an edge or shape if its needed. They seem to make a particular mess of military coats. I really do wish they would realise that some of us suit a strong silhouette and sculptural shapes.

M&S Autograph Cocoon Coat

I also bought this sweatshirt from the Indigo range which really has the odd gem. Again going towards the embellished trend for winter. I think I will wear this with dark jeans and maxi skirts, probably also over a pencil skirt and shoe boots. Again this looks much better in the flesh.

M&S Indigo Embellished Sweatshirt

Firework

After being away for so long I wanted to post again quite quickly. Especially around my Mary Portas discovery.

Last week I went shopping with my friend Paula to get her a wedding outfit. Her first point of call was House of Fraser to look at the Mary Portas range. When we got in there I started to have a moan at one of the assistants ( the guy Mary nearly sacked in the documentary series if you watched) about how disappointed I was that Mary had limited the size range at 16/18, when he said,
“Oh but some of the range now goes up to 20 . . . and with some styles being over sized we have customers who 24 and 26 buying stuff.”

How did I miss this!? I have always liked the Mary Portas range and been a bit frankly pissed off at Mary for abandoning women who want fashion but are over 16.

So while helping Paula to find an outfit I felt it was almost my duty to try a few things on. The range has a lot of well cut simple items but many with a twist or a little bit of edge. I wouldnt even say its aimed at the more mature women. On my second visit this Friday a teenage girl was in there with her mother persuading her to buy sale and non sale bargains for her. The sale by the way is very good. My friend Paula got a fabulous emerald green crepe dress reduced from £130 to £40.

Did `I end up with a sale bargain. Oh no, (well I did a bit) but full price first. I bought the firework print tunic.

20120701-214413.jpg

I broke it up with leggings and some high black wedges to go and see some jazz with Andrew. I really like it. The print is amazing, its very comfortable and hangs really well. I would also wear it opaque tights or tanned bare legs. If your my height 5’4 ish you probably need heels. I also took one without the flash `I think you can see the print better.

20120701-215024.jpg

In regards to sale bargains I also got the volume sheer shirt, a sheer cotton shirt with full sleeves and then went back and got a similar shape dress in a bright yellow and pink print reduced from £130 to £36. Valerie from Blog to be Alive had picked it up on her flying visit to London this Wednesday and it inspired me to go back. I will blog it soon when I wear it.

I would just say the assistants in Mary Portas are brilliant. Its a really good shopping environment and the staff are very knowledgable about the range and what will suit you. They give an honest opinion and look after you very well. Really all you would want from a fashion assistant.

Andrew and I went to The Hideaway which is new jazz club in Streatham, yes Streatham. Its really good, great sound, decent food, bottle of wine for £15 and they get great acts. Last night we went to see The Dirty Martinis which Lea Delaria fronts. A really fun night, she has an amazing voice and is also very funny. This is a pic of her and Andrew.

20120701-215919.jpg

A couple of other quick weekend off outfits. This is for my Friday day off hair cut and lunch evening date with my husband.

20120701-220039.jpg

Top-New Look Inspire (top has a split back and is really a good deal)
Trouser – New Look Inspire
Necklace – Top Shop concession

Saturday mooching about in Brixton

20120701-220239.jpg

Top – Clement Ribeiro for Evans
Jeans – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Vintage Spitalfields market
Shoes as ever Havianas

I like this CB top, especially with skinny jeans. Its very cool and comfortable to wear and if there is any left in the sale I would recommend it.

So whats everyone wearing for Unskinny Bop Prom?

Also its Plus North this weekend and if your thinking about going – GO! I met such a great set of women through Plus London, some of whom have now become friends.

Shiver Me Timbers

Its been a while since i blogged last. Partly due to the fact that I managed to catch that lovely chest infection that was doing the rounds. Which really knocked me for 6 for about 3 weeks so most of my fashion was about keeping warm, and then cooling down to counteract the fluctuating temperature that went on for about 9 days. During all this for various reasons I was in work, including a few days at a court like place where I outcoughed the voice of our barrister.

It started when I went home to see my Mum and Dad on Jubilee weekend which also happened to be the Whitehaven Maritime Festival. Whitehaven was once the biggest port in the country after London and was a major trading point. The coast was rife with smugglers at one point bringing in smuggled alcohol. We were also invaded during the independence struggle with America. So lots of maritime history. If you are ever in the Lake District Whitehaven is worth a look.

It was a very hot weekend and I wanted something cool and simple for going around the festival.

20120626-215910.jpg

Shirt – Asos curve
Trousers – New Look Inspire
Hat – Festival Market

I love pirates! I think if I had lived in those hard times I would have had to be a female pirate. I do like the pirate fashion too. I have managed to snag a great shirt from the Mary Portas sale which is very pirate-esque. Im just an 80’s girl at heart. I will blog on the shirt soon, but more on Mary later.

I wore the shirt with my ASOS curve jacket

20120626-220602.jpg

This is a picture of my fantastic dad which though he hasnt got his fashion mojo on is just too good not to share. My sense of humour is very much from my Dad

20120626-220654.jpg

A day later it had really kicked in. The weather had changed and I turned to warmth and comfort layers including my Vuitton Sprouse scarf which was outrageously expensive but in terms of pence per wear has paid for itself many times over.

20120626-220835.jpg

Cardigan- Marks and Spencers Autograph
Skinny Jeans – Very South range
Top – GAP pure
Shoes – Converse
Scarf – Louis Vuitton

By Saturday just gone I was starting to feel myself again so headed off for a day shopping with my friend P.

20120626-221327.jpg

20120626-221401.jpg

20120626-221431.jpg

Jacket – ASOS Curve
Top – Very South Range (now bought another 3 in the sale)
Skinny Jeans – M&S plus jeggings
Bag – Zara
Necklace – Tatty Devine

Paula was shopping for a wedding outfit and I thought it was going to be a hard long day but she managed to bag an amazing emerald green dress in the Mary Portas sale reduced from £135 to £40. We both bought the sheer white shirt reduced from £60 to £30 , and errr I managed to buy a non sale item the firework print dress which I also will blog soon.

Mary Portas now goes up to a size 20 in some styles but as much of the styles are over sized it will fit sizes above. The shirt i bought was a size 16 and I tried on the new no brainer dress and would also get that in a 16.

I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the quality and service. I will definitely go back. The clothes are simple and stylish with a bit of an edge and are high quality. The staff said Mary is responding to customer demand so the more of us that go in there, the more styles that will go up in range.

All I can say is thank god I now dont wheeze like an old spaniel and will crack on taking better blog photos.

Heat!

London has been very, very hot this last week. Im not a summer girl, never have been. Im just not keen on summer fashion. I struggle in summer to combine comfortable, cool, fashionable and London. Im a bit in mourning this week as the amazing vintage fur coat I found in New York has headed off to cold storage for the summer. Im counting the weeks for its return and the lovely AW wardrobe.

London, dont let anyone tell you any different is very very oppressive in the high heat.
This summer has been particularly difficult due to my well documented hatred of pastels, frou frou sweety dresses and the majority of prints. I cant do sweet. My lack of natural waist can make me look a touch docker-ish. So with temperatures hitting 29 degrees this week. What the hell do you do? I am boring myself with black though, so I have taken the plunge and bought some colour and prints.

I thought I would share a couple of my heat week outfits.

This is something I bought from Windsmoor sale about 5 years ago. It sat in the wardrobe for about 3 as I couldnt work out what the hell to do with it. When kimonos emerged last year it jumped into becoming a summer staple. Its pure silk and is so nice to wear and cool.

20120530-204623.jpg

Still forcing the husband to take pics and you can see he is still not keen.

20120530-204735.jpg

Top – Windsmoor
Trousers – Very So Fabulous

On Saturday I went to a clothes swap that Katie G had organised. Red bows boutique, claire, sian and sally were there. Always as usual great to meet up with the amazing ladies, swap unloved clothes and gain new free ones ( thanks Sally for the polka dot skirt which is coming to Mexico with me). I unfortunately didnt get any pics but wore cobalt blue jeans from New Look Inspire and the asos curve blondie t-shirt with the jacket in the next picture.

Sunday was my husbands birthday and we went for lunch in One Aldwych. A great deal of 3 course brunch with unlimited Prosecco. Its a lovely hotel and I wanted something a bit more formal but cool and comfortable again.

20120530-205501.jpg

Jacket – asos curve
Top – GAP pure
Trousers – Evans
Shoes – New Look

I wore some harem trousers which I got from Evans a couple of years ago, pre the death of fashion there. They are in a really fluid fabric but are not too wide. I really like the jacket. Its very light and fluid and is a lovely nude rose colour.
We had a great lunch and took advantage of the Prosecco. We were going to finish off with a cocktail in the bar downstairs but it was invaded by the whole cast of Made in Chelsea. Im sorry those who like this but for me, if there was ever an advert for socialism this is it.

Yesterday I think I went a bit mad, but I actually like this outfit. I wanted to clash prints and colours.
I enjoyed it.

20120530-210322.jpg

Aagh my comfort blanket, the ever present Breton top

20120530-210539.jpg

20120530-210619.jpg

Jacket – asos curve (sale)
Top – Very South
Trousers – Very So Fabulous
Necklace – Shape of Lies
Flip Flops – Havainas (pretty much live in them, esp going to work all summer)

That leaves today. Another top that doesnt get enough outings but Im going to wear it more.

20120530-210816.jpg

This is a really interesting blouse. A bit waterfally but a beautiful pearl/dove grey colour with dandelion print in gold. Its a very fluid but still a bit structural in a way I love it. Im now also experimenting with self timer on the photos, so a wee bit dodge.

Jacket – asos curve ( this is the rose one in black)
Blouse – Topshop
Trousers – Simply Be

Its now cooling down, so I may be able to revert back to my usual black and weekend skinny jeans staples.

On a shopping note. New Look Inspire have some amazing bright 7/8th trousers in at the moment. They also have amazing shoes including some great styles in wide fit. I went a bit shoe mental after the clothes swap in New Look and ended up with a pair of peep toe flatforms, gold grecian sandals and a great pair of flatform brogues. I will post on them soon.

Oh my God is that a print your in!

As you know from my previous post Im finding this season very difficult. I am struggling badly with almost every look. The sugary pastel and sugared almond colours, pretty dresses and floral prints being the main offenders. However not too wild about a lot of the other prints either.

But, I am boring myself with one woman move towards a gothish summer and am feeling decidedly left out. So the only thing that I really quite like are the more tropical prints with the stronger colours. I had been inspired by Amy of These Girls turn heads wearing the asos floral trousers with her amazing charity shop find of an Issey Miyake jacket. I saw these trousers in Very’s So Fabulous range and thought I would give them a try.

I was meeting up with some other bloggers (strange now being able to say Im a blogger too) for lunch on Saturday and knew I would get an honest reaction. The ladies being Clare from amonkeyfatshionista, Gina of fatfitfine and Sally of Sallyre I have truly met some amazing women through the blogs and Plus London.

This is so far out of my comfort zone, Im so print phobic.

20120513-172947.jpg

Trousers – Very So Fabulous
Jacket – ASOS Curve
Top – Gap Pure
Necklace – Spitalfields market years ago
Earrings – Tatty Devine
Shoes – Evans

The photos are courtesy of Claire’s lovely other half Rob. My husband is proving difficult to corner on photo taking duties at the moment.

I do like the trousers. On Very’s website they are down as cigarette trousers, which I would say they are not. I was worried they were leaning towards festival style baggy but they are still fairly slim. These are quite a true fit and I would say are quite roomy, so probably dont be tempted to size up as you sometimes need to on cigarette trousers. My legs are probably my slimmest part though. I am very tempted to get the ASOS Curve floral cigarette trousers to try now.

20120513-173547.jpg

I love the jacket and will probably end up getting the nude rose colour for summer. Curve does do great pieces when they get it right. Even though I did have a complete mare with the delivery of the jacket and asos customer care. It ended up taking over a week to get a next day delivery, and I did end up stuck in a round of endless emails with customer care to get the parcel redispatched. With different people telling me different things, and asking me to reply to emails which then bounced straight back telling me that was an unattended mail box, and to start the circle all over again. The order was quite large cash wise and I was a bit annoyed this took so long to sort out. Ordering on line does wind me up a bit as often due to sizing being a bit all over the place, you end up ordering 2 sizes, paying for it, sending back etc. Delivery should be damn easy. I do miss a shopping experience!

I wore the trousers with a black top as a kind of way of easing myself into it. On reflection I think I would try to wear them with a colour or white next time. I have just got the asos curve classic white shirt which is a great cut and fit and I think I would

20120513-174317.jpg

I like Gap Pure and this a cocoon shape t that has just come in. I probably wouldnt get another. There is a better style in violet, black and white which is a more flattering shape and this did get a bit big and shapeless after a while.

20120513-174521.jpg

Thanks Rob for the great photos.

Last weekend was that delighfully cold snap which gave me a brief opportunity to wear my fantastic NY purchase, my mink coat for 1 weekend before it heads off to cold storage for the summer. Its a vintage coat and is gorgeous. I wore it to the tatty devine sample sale in Brick Lane where I met up with Lauren of the thepocketrocket and Bethany from myarchedeyebrow. I wore it with skinny jeans and a breton top. Roll on winter!

20120513-175613.jpg

I bought far too much at Tatty Devine and I will blog the pieces as I wear them. It was amazing, baskets and baskets of lovely Tatty Devine things at amazing prices. I havent spent as much time as I should around Brick Lane and I also had the most amazing bagel at a shop Lauren introduced me to. As an added bonus I got to have cocktails with Rachie before heading off to meet my husband for drinks.

I wore the great shark tooth necklace I got for work to dress up a navy jumper. It just jumps out at you and was such a steal.

20120513-180117.jpg

So me in a bright print. What next a peach dress possibly involving chiffon or lace?

Err, no. Im still looking longingly at A/W and will be stalking Asos_Clare on twitter to pester for dark edgy pieces.

Weekend Staple

As promised Im keeping it up. Its a grey woeful weekend so I have taken comfort in my signature weekend staple. I love Breton tops. I think I now own about 6. I have even ventured away from the blue and white variations into red and white. This outfit tends to be the norm but I do also wear them with pencil skirts for work and al la Alexa Chung with a Burberry style mac.

20120428-151707.jpg

Photos are once again by the Husband taken with the ipad so a wee bit sketchy

20120428-151906.jpg

Jacket – New Look Inspire
Breton Top – Very South Range
Jeans – Very high waist Superskinny South Range
Necklace – The Shape of Lies
Bag – GAP

You can also get a better look at my lovely little man that I bought in New York. Im so in love with this necklace.

20120428-152240.jpg

Im off now to collect my Asoc curve order from the local newsagents, so will let you know what that is like.

I have also set up a selling blog cruellasells so have a look if you want to. Im selling some Beth Ditto too. Will also put some stuff on ebay.