What would Elizabeth Taylor wear to work?

The magnificent Elizabeth Taylor, easily one of my favourite celebrities, and one I have been wanting to do a “What would Elizabeth Taylor wear to work” post on for a little while.  There are many things I like about her: her wit, her courage and her self deprecation.

Classic quotes from Elizabeth are “Big girls need big diamonds”, “If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.” and, my personal favourite “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

Also, despite making her living from being supremely beautiful, she was happy to be photographed like this:

This is why she's always been my favorite!  Liz Taylor. ( and my Mom looked so much like her)!

Anyway, you get the picture: I am a big Elizabeth Taylor fan, and when I found the below photo of her, I built an outfit board around it.  So, what would Elizabeth Taylor wear to work, had she an office job?  This:

What would Elizabeth Taylor wear to work?

The individual pieces that make up this outfit board are:

CARAT | Eternal 4 prongs setting simulated diamond studs | 1 carat | £134

It’s Elizabeth Taylor, so diamonds are essential, here.  Elizabeth would have worn bigger, “realer” diamonds, but this is a high street blog, so Carat simulated gems will have to do.  Not such a hardship to wear them, anyway – these earrings look just as good as the real thing.

CARAT | Eternal 4 prongs setting simulated diamond studs | 0.75 carats | £106

 

 

J CREW | 1035 Single button jacket in Italian stretch wool in black | Italian wool with stretch | £288:

1035 single-button jacket in Italian stretch wool

 

MASSIMO DUTTI | Fringed silk shirt with bow in ivory | 100% mulberry silk | £54.95:

FRINGED SILK SHIRT WITH BOW

 

J CREW | Paley trouser in Italian stretch wool in black | Italian wool with stretch | £158:

Paley pant in Italian stretch wool

 

LK BENNETT | Fern Aurora Print Point Toe Court | Aurora printed fabric upper, leather lining and sole | Heel height: 9cm | £180:

LK BENNETT | Fern Aurora Print Point Toe Court | Aurora printed fabric upper, leather lining and sole | Heel height: 9cm | £180

 

MILLI MILLU | the Midi Zurich in black, green & off white grain | Calf leather outer, cotton lining | £475:

MILLI MILLU | The Midi Zürich in black, green and off-white | Calf leather outer, cotton interior | £475

 

 

You can talk to me now: I’ve removed the Disqus comment system

Reader, I have had a couple of emails saying that its hard to comment on this blog, as the Disqus comment system requires you to create an account with them etc.  That’s it, its gone.  What is the point of having something on this blog that makes it harder to use?!  No point.

That’s all.  As you were.

By |September 15th, 2014|blog|12 Comments|

Essential kit for work: the 20 things you need in the office

For all those times that you suffer a mishap on the way to work, like snagging your tights, or just want to touch up at work if you are working back late, or decide go somewhere for drinks and dinner after work: you need an essential, or emergency, kit for work, and here’s the 20 things I actually use and think one needs in the office:

1) a medium wash or cosmetics bag (nylon bag from Muji for £7)

Nylon cosmetics case

Nylon cosmetics case

 

2) Lucas PawPaw ointment, 25ml tube (£5)

This is a wonder of a balm, for scrapes, burns, dry skin, chapped lips (I suffer from the latter, under fierce air conditioning) etc.  Its both soothing and healing, and I have several tubes stashed about in various places.  You can also buy this wonderful stuff from Amazon:

 

 

 

 

3) Sally Hansen Insta Dry Top Coat (£5.99)

This clear varnish dries quickly, and is perfect for stopping snagged tights running, as well as restoring the gloss to your nails or nail polish.

 

4) Muji Nail clippers (Large for £5.50)

To trim broken nails and loose threads.  These Muju ones are fantastic, and they have a case to collect clippings.

Silver Nail Clippers

 

5) Haryali slanted tweezers with comb (£4.80)

To remove and tidy straggly eyebrows that you notice and bother you.  I find the flouro lights in any office toilets are grim, but are great for this.  These ones are great, and I have a couple of pairs.

Tweezerman-Haryali-Pro-Eyebrow-Tweezers-Hair-Tweezer-Eyebrows-Slanted

 

6)  Mitchum Powder Fresh Antiperspirant (200ml for £2.99)

No explanation needed, really, although I will say that Mitchum is unbeatable.

Mitchum Advanced Women Powder Fresh 48hr Protection Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant | £2.99

 

7) Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter Lotion (50ml for £2.50)

My favourite moisturiser is this Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter Lotion, the main moisturising ingredient of which is shea butter.  It smells subtly delicious and absorbs well, despite being quite rich.  Perfect for hands, arms and legs.

Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter Lotion 50ml £2.50

8) Maybelline Lash Stiletto waterproof mascara in brownish black (£2.99)

A blondie like me needs brown / black mascara, and this is the best one I have found.  I have used it for years.  Despite the tacky packaging, the product is excellent: no flaking, smudging or running.

MAYBELLINE Stiletto lash waterproof mascara in brownish black | £2.99

 

9) Marks & Spencer Autograph Soft Kohl Eyeliner in brown (£6.50)

Soft, pigment rich eyeliner that stays on all day.  Do a sharp line or smudge it for after hours.  Personally, I tight line with it, and have it in the navy, grey and brown.

Marks & Spencer Autograph Soft Kohl Eyeliner in brown (£6.50)

 

10. L’Oréal Paris True Match Touche Magique (£8.19)

This is a great dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat, which I don’t actually like, as the colour is too pink for me.  This range of concealers, however, is very effective (I want full coverage for concealer), and is great for those who like a more yellow based selection to choose from.

LOreal Paris True Match Touche Magique Concealer | £8.19

11) Denman hairbrush compact (£3.29) 

A mirror and a good hairbrush.  I have one in most of my handbags, too.

Denman Hairbrush Compact D7 - Boots | £3.29

 

12) L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray Volume Excess (75ml for £2.39)

 

13) Batiste Original Dry Shampoo (200ml for £2.99)

Hair getting greasy or flat?  This is great for drying it out and, also, adding texture.

14) Boots blonde hair grips (£1.49) and clear hairbands (£3.75)

Sometimes one’s hair is impossible to deal with and just has to be fastened down or tied back.

Boots Essentials Blonde Blending Hair Grips | £1.49

Buy Invisibobble Hair Band in Crystal Clear | £3.75

 

15) Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes (56 pack for £2.47)

What can’t you clean and refresh with these Pampers baby wipes?  Not much, in my experience.  These are the best I have found at cleaning shoes, removing spills from clothes, cleaning hands, removing make up.

16) Murine Dry & Tired Eye Drops (15ml for £3.15)

If, like me, you wear contact lenses, your eyes get quite dry and irritated at the end of the day, so eye drops are essential for work.

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17) Elastoplast waterproof and padded plasters (20 for £2.70)

These are the best I have found for when you have either cut yourself or have blisters from new shoes, and the strong adhesive keeps them on all day.

 

18) Ibuprofen (Pack of 16 for 35p)

Headache, hangover etc.  Say no more.

19) Safety pins (50 for £1.50)  

The perfect quick fix for gaping shirts or fallen hems.

20) Polo mints (6 pack for £2)

These mints contain peppermint oil, which is very soothing for an angry stomach as well as good for a sugar hit.

 

Jordans Luxury Nut Bars (3 X 45g bars for £2.20)

These Jordans Nut Bars are my preferred snack or light meal replacement, and I also take them when travelling.  I loathe peanuts, which are the cheapest nut, so are found in abundance in most nut products.  These bars are peanut free: they have, instead, almonds, roast hazelnuts and pecans.

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So, there you go, Reader, I think that’s the essential kit one needs in the office.  If you’ve found anything else I should add to the list, please do let me know!  Otherwise, thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend.

By |September 12th, 2014|blog|2 Comments|

Two easy work outfits using the Gap Ultra Skinny Trousers

Reader, I have really missed writing this blog.  I have had overseas visitors and the children on holidays, but now its back to work.  Starting back with two easy work outfits, based on one of my favourite pairs of trousers, the Gap Ultra Skinny trousers.  These are a wonderfully flattering pair of cotton rich trousers, which you can see me trying on, here.  The Ultra Skinny trousers are £39.95, but are currently 30% off if you have a Gap VIP voucher, so its a timely post from me:

Gap Ultra Skinny Trousers outfits

 

I’m branching out and taking into account that many people consider themselves to look better in cool or warm coloured outfits, so there’s something here for everyone.  The individual pieces in these two outfits are:

Warm colours outfit:

  • H&M | Short jacket in beige | 58% cotton, 42% polyester. Machine wash | £29.99.  This is one of the best value buys of the season, as this jacket looks very nice in real life;
  • ZARA | Silk shirt in beige | 100% mulberry silk | £39.99;
  • GAP | Ultra skinny trousers in black | 95% cotton, 5% elastane | £39.95.  These trousers do come up big so size down at least once.  Still, these are one of my favourite trousers to wear and I always feel great in them.  The Gap discount makes them even more appealing, doesn’t it?!; and
  • NINE WEST | Flax5 leopard print courts | Pony skin upper, synthetic lining and sole | Heel height: 3.5″ | £95.  These shoes have one of the best leopard prints around, very like the J Crew Elsie pumps (£358), but for far less.  I’ve seen and admired them in real life, and noticed that the slightly alternative leopard print makes them look more luxe and interesting than some others.

 

Cool colours outfit:

  • M&S | Autograph Large Collar Boxy Coat with New Wool in soft white | 61% viscose, 39% new wool | £71.20 (reduced by 20% today, otherwise its £89);
  • GAP | Cotton and silk shirt in frothy aqua | 65% Cotton, 35% Silk | £34.95.  This pretty shirt comes in various lovely colours and is, obviously, also reduced by 30% if you have the GAP voucher, too.  Silk and cotton blend shirts are one of the best fabrics for shirts, and I buy them whenever I can;
  • GAP | Ultra skinny trousers in black | 95% cotton, 5% elastane | £39.95; and
  • ZARA | Leather court shoe in grey | Upper: 100% goat leather. Lining: 100% polyutherane. Sole: 100% Vulcanized rubber | Heel height: 8cm | £39.99.  I have also admired these in real life.  Grey is a terrifically versatile colour, looking good with so many other colours.  I also love outfits in varying shades of grey.  Not hard to do, but it looks fantastic.

UPDATE: here are large photos of the individual pieces:

H&M | Short jacket in beige | 58% cotton, 42% polyester. Machine wash | £29.99:

H&M | Short jacket in beige | 58% cotton, 42% polyester. Machine wash | £29.99

ZARA | Silk shirt in beige | 100% mulberry silk | £39.99:Image 5 of SILK SHIRT from Zara

GAP | Ultra skinny trousers in black | 95% cotton, 5% elastane | £39.95:


NINE WEST | Flax5 leopard print courts | Pony skin upper, synthetic lining and sole | Heel height: 3.5″ | £95:

NINE WEST | Flax5 leopard print courts | Upper: ponyskin leather.  Lining & outsole- other materials | Heel height: 3.5" | £95

 

 

 

M&S | Autograph Large Collar Boxy Coat with New Wool in soft white | 61% viscose, 39% new wool | £89:

M&S | Autograph Large Collar Boxy Coat with New Wool in soft white | 61% viscose, 39% new wool.  Lining- 52% polyester, 48% viscose.  Dry clean | £89

GAP | Cotton and silk shirt in frothy aqua | 65% Cotton, 35% Silk | £34.95:


GAP | Ultra skinny trousers in black | 95% cotton, 5% elastane | £39.95:


ZARA | Leather court shoe in grey | Upper: 100% goat leather. Lining: 100% polyutherane. Sole: 100% Vulcanized rubber | Heel height: 8cm | £39.99:

ZARA | Leather court shoe in grey | Upper: 100% goat leather.  Lining: 100% polyutherane.  Sole: 100% Vulcanized rubber | Heel height: 8cm | £39.99

Well, Reader, I hope you like the outfits and had a lovely summer, with a smooth start back to work!

By |September 8th, 2014|blog|2 Comments|

Paying tribute: designer inspired workwear shoes

When designers create beautiful looking shoes, its often the case that the high street then interprets the designs to bring out similar looking shoes.  Tribute shoes, if you like.  So, here are the shoes that I have noticed lately that seem to be designer inspired:

1. BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in black | leather upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2″ | £85

BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in black | leather upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2" | £85

These shoes appear to be inspired by the VALENTINO | Rockstud Leather Pumps in black| Heel height: 10cm |£590:

And how about in a nude colourway…?

2. BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in nude brindle | suede upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2″ | £85

BANANA REPUBLIC | Adelia T Bar heels in nude brindle | suede upper, breathable synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Heel height: 3 1/2" | £85

 

These shoes look to be inspired by the VALENTINO | Rockstud Leather Pumps in light brown | Heel height: 10cm | £590:

Shop Valentino Garavani 'Rockstud' pumps in Biondini Paris from the world's best independent boutiques at farfetch.com. Over 1000 designers from 60 boutiques in one website.

 

3. SAM EDELMAN | Zavier Cut Out Lace Up Heeled Shoes in black | Upper: 100% Real Leather, Lining and sole: 100% Other Materials | Heel height: 9cm/4″ | £149:

SAM EDELMAN | Zavier Cut Out Lace Up Heeled Shoes in black | Upper: 100% Real Leather, Lining: 100% Other Materials, Sole: 100% Other Materials | Heel height: 9cm/4" | £149

These shoes look to be inspired by the AQUAZURRA | Belgravia suede cut out heels | Heel height: 7.5cm | £495:

Aquazzura | Belgravia cutout suede pumps | NET-A-PORTER.COM

 

4. BODEN | Jackie Heels in silver | Metallic leather upper, leather lining and sole | £99

BODEN | Jackie Heels in silver | Metallic leather upper, leather lining and sole | £99

These shoes look to be inspired by the JIMMY CHOO | Attila mirrored leather flats | Leather upper, lining and sole | £395:

Jimmy Choo | Attila mirrored-leather point-toe flats | NET-A-PORTER.COM

 

 

5. RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Tiara Jewel buckle pointy flat in silver | Silver crackle leather, leather lining and rubber sole | £195

RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Tiara Jewel buckle pointy flat in silver | Silver crackle leather, leather lining and rubber sole | £195

These shoes look to be inspired by the MANOLO BLAHNIK | Hangisi satin pump navy | Satin upper, leather lining and sole| Heel height: 10.5cm £650:

<strong>Manolo Blahnik</strong> Hangisi satin pump navy

 

6. RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Charlie point toe slipper flat in black | Leather upper, lining and sole | £195:

RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Charlie point toe slipper in black | Grained calf leather upper, leather lining and sole | £195

 

These shoes look to be inspired by the JIMMY CHOO | Gala mirrored-leather point-toe flats | £395:

JIMMY CHOO Gala mirrored-leather point-toe flats £395

 

7. ZARA | Leather high heel ankle boots in black | Upper: 100% cow leather. Lining: synthetic. Sole: rubber | £79.99

ZARA | Leather high heel ankle boots in black | Upper: 100% cow leather.  Lining: synthetic. Sole: rubber | £79.99

These shoes look to be inspired by the GIANVITO ROSSI | Leather ankle boots in black | Leather upper, lining and sole | Heel height: 10cm |£680:

GIANVITO ROSSI Leather ankle boots £680

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A few points, Reader, on this post:

1. It is not intended to be a snide “oh look at the knock offs” post.  Not at all;

2. None of these shoes are direct copies or are attempting to pass themselves off as designer items, which is quite key here; and

3. I wrote this post as I find it interesting to see how the high street brands often interpret designer items.  As long as they aren’t fakes or copies, it can be a good thing: not many of us can afford designer items, but the designs can be so fabulous.  Interpreting (not copying) these designs is part of the democratization of fashion.  Given that this is a workwear fashion blog based on the high street, you can take it that the idea of “fashion for all” is dear to my heart.

By |August 25th, 2014|shoes|0 Comments|