What I’ve been buying lately

Hello my lovely, patient, neglected Reader. I’ve had some nice Instagram comments asking when I’d be blogging again, so here’s a quick post from me. We are coming to the tail end of the January sales, but there are some great buys still to be had. Here’s what I’ve been buying lately, that’s still available online:

1. TOPSHOP | Black cashmere blanket scarf | 100% cashmere | £60 (was £125)

I’ve a few black scarves, but not a plain black cashmere one. I’m fussy, it had to be big – scrawny scarves are sad. It had to be good value. So, I found this, which I am wearing right now:

2. BANANA REPUBLIC | Jaelyn leopard print sandals | £32.99 (was £65)

Lovely quality, reasonable heel height, adjustable ankle strap… 

I never like to spend much on summer sandals (for obvious reasons, living in London), so these were just right for me. 

You can buy these online or, for a slightly lower price, in store. 

Sorry if you hate seeing feet…


3. MANGO | Skinny Paty5 jeans | £9.99 (was £19.99)

Size down (and breathe in if Apple shaped), but these are v flattering. Also, due to the polyester content, am hoping they won’t fade as quickly as my other black jeans. I bought size 8. I am loving black clothes, a lot, right now, and like these jeans for day or night.  
 4. & OTHER STORIES | Metallic silk blouse | £33 (was £65)

This blouse is quite, well, blousy, so size down. And again. I bought size 34 and have worn it out to dinner with my husband, a few times, already. 

Not the best photo of the blouse.  I was at a great restaurant in Notting Hill / Kensington called The Shed. Great food – British tapas, and each dish was a delicious surprise.  
5. & OTHER STORIES | Metallic honeycomb silk mini dress | £24 (was £79)

A very dear friend has a big birthday this year, so I’ve bought this dress to wear to her party. Planning ahead. By months and months. Nothing wrong with that. Right? 

I bought size 36 and I am wearing a vest under the dress in the photo, so it doesn’t hang quite right from the bust. I didn’t intend on sharing this photo, so, you know, look kindly.   

As you can see, the dress is fairly short. Probably too short if you are any taller / long legged than me (I’m 5’5″). 

A great, modest option is to wear it with trousers, as per the & Other Stories styling. 

6. BODEN | Lille heels in black suede | £38.70 (was £129)

I didn’t think I needed these shoes as I have so many, already. However, after trying on the red (disappointing colour – think faded poppy), I decided they would be a great evening / party shoe. They take too long to get on and off, for work, if you wear commuter flats. But… For the evening or a party, lace them up and on they stay. 

As with all Boden shoes, the quality is fabulous, and these are quite foxy with the heel height and lacing. These will go perfectly with the above mini dress, I think. 

Mine are still on order, so here is an Instagram photo:    

Stock availability keeps changing, so check back, if you can’t see your size. 

7. Zara | embroidered evening bag | £9.99 (was £29.99)

Oh, kill me now. This is reduced to £10?! Well, good news for you, frustrating for me, since I bought it at £23.

This bag looks far more luxe than the price suggests. Plus, it looks great with a red or maroon manicure. Here they are, next to a v cool, but painful, pair of Zara shoes. ‘Twas ever thus with their shoes. 


 There are a couple of shoes I am pondering from Russell & Beonley, especially these Clara ones. But, I have heel blisters and can’t try them properly at the moment, and their irritating “no refunds or exchanges” policy means I can’t afford to risk buying them and finding they don’t fit.   


I did this post on my phone, so I hope you can see it OK. Cheerio!

By |January 29th, 2016|blog|0 Comments

The only thing I’d buy on Black Friday is…

This J Crew No 2 Pencil Skirt in Double Serge wool. It was a good buy, when reduced to £65. However, with an extra 30% off, using GETSHOPPING, today, it’s A Great Buy.  Most of the Black Friday sales are hype, but an extra 30% off J Crew sale items, sometimes yields a Proper Bargain. Or two.  Re sizing, I need a size 0 (vanity sizing ahoy) , and I can speak to the wonderful quality. As can some of my friends who have also happily bought this skirt.

Here the skirt is on me, w a Gap merino knit:


If that doesn’t tickle your fancy…  Another useful buy in this cold weather, is this Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jacket, which is brilliant layered under wool coats, as per the bottom picture (you can just see it peeking out). The sizing is a bit small, so I need size M.  This jacket is normally £39.90, but is now £19.99.  Stock is limited online, but you might have more luck in store.   


A rare, quick post from me ????.  Hope you have a great weekend, Reader!

By |November 27th, 2015|blog|2 Comments

My current 10 favourite beauty buys

I am a longtime drugstore lover, and two of my favourite places to spend time are Boots and Superdrug.  I’m always on the look out for great products, at a fantastic price, and I love reading about other people’s favourite budget beauty buys, so I thought this might appeal to some of you.

I don’t have either the time or the skills to sort through the plethora of budget products that are available, so I look and see what I Covet Thee and Sali Hughes recommend, as well as listen to what my friends are buying and loving.  From this long list, I have bought and liked the following.  Mostly from Boots, as I love their points scheme:

 1. Serum: Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful™ Super Serum (£20)

I tried the L’Oréal Revitalift Laser Renew Super Serum 30ml that Sali recommended.  I thought it was good, but I have dry skin, so prefer something richer.  So, I moved on to another of her recommendations, the Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful™ Super Serum, and much prefer it.  Its rich, moisturising and smells faintly of orange peel.  What’s more, it keeps my face feeling soft all day.  When this serum runs out, I will re-buy it.

Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful™ Super Serum - Boots:

2.  Sunscreen that moisturises: No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Facial Sun Protection SPF 50 50ml (£14.50)

I was using a moisturiser with SPF, rather than a sunscreen that moisturises, and realised I had it the wrong way around for summer.  Friends love UltraSun, but my eyes get irritated easily, so I thought I would try this as its hypoallergenic.  I also bought it as apparently anti aging sun protection is a good idea.  Its great – I can put make up on over it, or wear it alone.  It doesn’t feel dry or chalky like old SPFs used to, and I don’t break out or feel greasy.  I haven’t burnt, either.  Both my husband and I use it daily.  Another product that I will re-buy.

No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Facial Sun Protection SPF 50 50ml - Boots:

In winter, I tend to use less SPF, and my favourite moisturiser with sunscreen is Simple Kind to Skin+ Protecting Moisture Cream SPF30 UVA/UVB 50ml £4.99.  Again, this is a light sunscreen that feels moisturising and easily layers with my serum and CC Cream or foundation.

Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Moisture Cream SPF30 UVAUVB 50ml - Boots:



3.  CC Cream: Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting cream £9.99

I saw that Lisa Eldridge used this on Sophie Dahl to create a natural look and, since Bourjois foundations are a good colour match for me, I thought I’d try it.  Its light coverage, but very flattering in blurring / smoothing over my various blemishes, is moisturising and lasts well.  I’ve bought another tube (No 31 Ivory) for when it runs out.

Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting cream - Boots:

4.  Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation £9.99

Sometimes I like more coverage than CC cream, so I bought this foundation due to I Covet Thee’s recommendation that it was even better than Chanel Vitalumiere, which a make up artist said I should use.  I have both shades 51 Light Vanilla and 52 Vanilla.  I was using mainly 51, as that matches my skin.  However, since doing this post, I’ve looked closer at my photos, and realised that I probably look better with a darker, warmer colour, so have switched to 52, mixed with just a little 51.  This is a very moisturising foundation that feels lovely on dry skin, all day, and has a reasonable amount of coverage (I understand that for full coverage, you need Estee Lauder Double Wear).  I will continue to buy this foundation.

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation | New Packaging - Boots:


5.  Brush: Real Techniques Stippling Brush £11.99

I am not a skilled make up artist, so blending with my fingers does not work for me.  Instead, I put some CC cream or foundation on the back of my hand, in a line, and put a little on this stippling brush, and apply it in short, quick strokes. I won’t be going back from using this sort of brush as it makes a huge difference to how well my make up is applied.  Its actually faster for me, now, than blending with my fingers.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush - Boots:

6.  Blush: Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush £22

This isn’t such a budget buy, but I use it daily, so am including it for completeness.  The importance of blush, is a recent discovery.  Without it, I look pale but unwell, with a little (less is more), I look healthy and fresh.  I like cool tones, so I use Smouldering Plum.  I would buy a cheaper one, but find blush so tricky to choose, and use so little, that I will stick with this.  I just use a big, cheap blush brush to apply it.

Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush 6g - Boots:

I also have the Applebloom Pink blusher from & Other Stories, but its so pigmented that I don’t know how to apply only the little that I want.   Their make up is excellent, by the way, and browsing in their stories is one of my favourite retail experiences.  The stunning colour range, stylish packaging, the set up to allow you to experiment – its always so enjoyable to shop there.

7.  Mascara: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara (waterproof in brownish black) £5

I’ve tried other mascaras, but I’ve never found a better mascara than a Maybelline waterproof one.  By better I mean, no flaking, no running, long lasting, not clumpy.  Even better, they are cheap.  Especially when you buy them on eBay.  A waterproof brown/black, which is what blondie me needs as black looks too harsh and aging, is almost impossible to buy in store in the UK, for some reason, so I look online.  Maybelline always do a lengthening mascara like this (which I layer according to how much mascara I want / the volume I feel I need), so I’ve had various incarnations over the years, but this is the current one:

8.  Concealer: L’Oréal Paris True Match Touche Magique Concealer £8.19

I have a few concealers, but this is my favourite, and most used.  I tried the famed YSL Touche Eclat, but the colours aren’t right for me.  This product is a Touche Eclat dupe, in a range of colours that’s much better for yellow toned me. I use Ivory Beige.  This is a medium coverage concealer, I would say.  As to coverage, a point that I saw Lisa Eldridge make in one of her videos is that you should wear the lightest skin coverage (eg foundation / CC cream) possible, and just focus on concealing any problem areas with a heavier concealer.  She said that’s a more natural, flattering way to wear makeup, and I agree.

LOreal Paris True Match Touche Magique Concealer- For flawless complexion - Boots:

The other good concealers that I sometimes use are:

  • Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer £7.99.  This has a round sponge applicator that is wonderfully easy to use.  If I only want light coverage, I use this.
  • SEVENTEEN Phwoarr Paint £5.49.  This is industrial strength concealer.  Just dab, from the pot, onto where you need it most, as its the incredibly effective at concealing.  However, it gets caught in the creases under my eyes, quite badly, so I need to keep an eye on it throughout the day.  So, I use as little as I can, only when I need it.
  • Sali Hughes recently raved about the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.19, (which was a reader tip) so I am wearing today (I tested the Fair colour) and will buy, too. When I can find a new tube in store – it always seems to be sold out.

9.  Lipstick: 

Get comfortable.  I love lipsticks, and only wear cool toned (ie blue based, not yellow based) reds, berries and pinks.  My favourites are lined up and swatched, here:

From top to bottom they are:

L’Oreal Paris Perfection Color Riche Lipstick in 302 Bois de Rose £8.19:  This is my favourite, day time natural looking lipstick.   It gives me a rose pink lip colour that’s low maintenance.  It stays on, and isn’t drying, but you don’t need a mirror to touch it up.  Its currently on sale for £4.82 at Amazon, and £4.99 at Tesco.  Here it is on me (not sure why my nose is as pink as my lips…  Just sneezed?)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Stick in 128 Starry Eyed £4.99: this is a great berry colour, that’s I tend to wear more in the cooler months.  It feels nice to wear and looks lovely.  You can see Lisa Eldridge using it in this berry lips tutorial.

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in 010 Plum: this lipstick is slightly more vibrant than the Rimmel above, and it lasts beautifully.  Annoyingly, its discontinued, but you can buy it on eBay .

Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Wine £5.49: This is one of the more moisturising matte lipsticks, but the colour is a little bright, so I only wear it when that’s what I want.

The Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks £6.99 are often raved about by beauty bloggers, and I love Pleasure Me Red, although I wouldn’t be sorry if they changed the name.  Its a very glamorous red lipstick, quite traditional, but its a beautiful colour and wears well.  It does require touching up, but not too often.  This is it on me:

Maybelline Color Drama lip pencil in Red Essential £4.99: I tried the famed Nars lip pencils, and liked them, but did find them a little drying.  Then I read that I Covet Thee actually seemed to prefer the Maybelline Color Drama lip pencils, and that Red Essential is a great alternative to Nars Cruella, which was the red I thought would suit me best.  These pencils do require touching up, as you can be left with a ring of colour, if you are eating, for example. However, they are a fantastic, pigmented lip pencil for when you feel like a rich, matte colour that you can apply precisely.  I can’t find any helpful photos of me with this lip pencil, so you’ll just have to trust me!

I have been writing this post, on and off, for a WEEK!, and since swatching my favourites, I have been to Boots and bought Loreal Color Riche Matt 430 Mon Jules £6.99.  This matte deep raspberry is a great, modern alternative to red lips.  This is the first new colour that I had bought in months.  I’m very taken with it, as its very long lasting, and isn’t as drying as some matte lipsticks.  By way of reference, on the below swatch, my Rimmel Kate Moss 107 lipstick is top, the Loreal 430 is middle, and the Rimmel 128 is bottom.

This is what it looks like on me, along with all the other makeup I have mentioned.  I’m slightly cringing at posting such a picture, but then what’s the point doing a beauty post like this if  you don’t include pics?

Another dark pink matte lipsticks I have, and sometimes wear is Limited Collection matt lipstick in mulberry £6.00: The colour of this lipstick is divine, its a wonderful deep raspberry, as good as they make it.  However, it is a little drying, so I need to moisturise my lips first.  This is it on me:



10. Eyeshadow: Autograph Ultimate Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Sun Gold £9.50

I do use a few different eyeshadows, depending on what colour or finish I want, but my current favourite is this long lasting, flattering eyeshadow stick.  I have tried the Lancome and Estee Lauder versions and haven’t been hugely impressed by their staying power, and ability not to crease.

Ultimate Wear Cream Shadow Stick | M&S:

If I want a slightly darker eye colour, the Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather Effect eyeshadow in Creamy Beige £4.99 is incredible.  Its a cream, with no shimmer, and once it dries, that’s the end of the story.  There’s no other product I’ve found that’s as good, but this is the only colour in the very limited range that I like.  The rest are garish.  I bought a lighter, metallic coloured one but it wasn’t much chop.  The Creamy Beige is a Rolls Royce product.  Photo from here:

If you want a powder eyeshadow, this is great for a very pale, nude eye look: No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Matte Calico £7: this particular colour is a very pigmented eyeshadow (more so than some of the other colours), so it is great for covering tired red eyes.  Putting it on makes me look instantly more awake.

If you are still up for more of a drugstore fix, I also use:


Thanks for reading, Reader, have a beautiful day.


By |September 29th, 2015|blog|6 Comments

More lovely new season things

I have been trying to write a post about all the budget beauty things I buy (and love), but the photo uploading experience on the WordPress app is dismal, so who knows when I will be able to post that.  In the meantime, I have a moment on my laptop, so am quickly writing about some more lovely new season things I have seen.

1. ZARA | Black wool cape | 75% wool, 25% polyamide | £79.99 (size S)

Like Eve, I saw and admired this Stella cape on Laura of WIT, however, its £965:

So, I did a search on Zara, and found this:


This is what it looks like on me (size S):

Maybe you can see it better w this filter... Great #wool #cape from #Zara, shoddy photo.:

Its lovely and elegant, and dramatic in a chic way.  However, its not heavy weight wool and it isn’t lined.  So, its best for cool, not cold, weather, and I am going to ask my tailor how much it would cost to line it, as that would make it easier to wear.

2.  MASSIMO DUTTI | Burgundy lace up flats | £69.99

I don’t wear burgundy, as I need a more “blue” red, but these are just so lovely that they may appeal to some of you:

the workwear edit (@theworkwearedit) • Instagram photos and videos:

3.  MASSIMO DUTTI | Printed silk twill shirt | Viscose / Silk | £49.95

I went into Massimo Dutti a second time, but my phone has run out of storage space (must be the 7965 photos I have of my children), so have to use a website photo.  I don’t tend to like many prints these days, but I like this one as its very subtle.  Also, this top is an opaque viscose silk twill, which feels lovely.  Pure silk would be preferable to me, but this is both well priced and very elegant.  Although it looks like it would need to be tucked in / shortened, unless you like your tops long or are tall [envy].


4.  ZARA | Stretch poplin top in blue and white | stretch cotton | £29.99

Classic cotton blouse, but the tie detail makes it quite “on trend”, in a discreet way.  A lovely Instagram follower said she bought it and wore it with some navy trousers and felt like it was quite a modern outfit.  Fab!

Image 3 of STRETCH POPLIN TOP from Zara

Image 4 of STRETCH POPLIN TOP from Zara

Here’s the photo that I took of it:

Very pretty blue and white #striped #knotted top @Zara. Classic, but also v this season.:

5.  H&M | Polyester crepe lace insert blouse | £24.99

I do not normally write about polyester, as I generally dislike it and can’t wear it without feeling clammy.  However, I am making an exception for this top, as its so elegant, and looks very designer for less.  I think it would be perfect for a special evening event (a work dinner), where the cost per wear wouldn’t justify anything more expensive, but you still want to look chic.  I think this is the top for that sort of remit.  I can’t find it online (H&M, why do you have SUCH a mismatch between instore and online stock?!), but this is it in real life.  You need to size up at least twice.  I squeezed myself into a 10, and it was not good – I needed a 14.

This thick (polyester) crepe blouse is elegance itself. Look at those sleeves . £25 from @hm . But size up. Twice.:


Thank you for reading, Reader, hope you are enjoying a sunny day.

By |September 29th, 2015|blog|0 Comments

Lovely new season things

Sorry if you are seeing this twice – I had a problem with my website.  I will not bore you with details.

Greetings, Reader!  It’s that time of year when the new season pieces are now in store, and it’s getting cold enough to envisage wearing them. Some lovely new season things I have either seen are:

1.  H&M | white cotton blend ruffle blouse | £24.99

This blouse is striking due to the price. Ha! No, it’s because it’s a simple shape, with a minimal ruffle that runs down the front, making it interesting and a little retro, but not completely fussy. Admittedly, it’s semi sheer, so a cami underneath is probably needed.

Search as I may, I can’t find it online, but it’s new in stores, so hopefully will come online soon.  If you would like a higher neck, and more frills, there is always this viscose/polyamide shirt, too.



I seem to include their shoes in my blog posts fairly often, as I’m appreciating good quality shoes more and more.  Also, I’m becoming like my grandmother, bemoaning how hard they can be to find. I happily buy some “on trend” shoes, as long as they are a good price, and don’t expect them to last forever. However, my classic shoes I keep for years. And years. As such, I expect them to be comfortable and fine quality.  Here are the ones I’ve seen and especially admired at Jones:

Carmen heels | Ponyskin leather upper, fabric lining | heel height: 8.7cm | £79

Who doesn’t love ponyskin? These heels come in leopard print Ponyskin, or the plain black glossy Ponyskin. I have leopard print heels. But am very tempted by the plain black ones. I love wearing all black, but like to make sure I am wearing a mix of textures: Ponyskin, fur, suede, cashmere, wool etc.

You can’t see the glossiness of the fur in the below photo, but look at the clutch to get an idea.

Speaking of the clutch…

Après clutches (w shoulder strap) | leather outer | 10cm x 27cm | £35

What a great price for a leather clutch! It comes in black (not online), seen above, or leopard print or leopard print:

Isla | grey lizard leather heels | Leather upper, vinyl lining (hmm) | heel height: 9cm | £89

It’s easy to find grey suede, which I adore, but grey leather is a rarer beast.  These shoes are sharp.  They come in black, too.

 I love grey heels – softer than black, but great with navy, greys, black, white / cream, colours. Really versatile, as per the below pics (from Pinterest):


Morten ankle boots | Leather upper and linng | heel height: 7.3 cm | £120

I love how sleek and minimal these boots are. plus, they look v wearable with that heel.  I’m planning on getting these, when they go on sale.

You could wear them to work with trousers, like Caroline Issa, or with dresses or skirts, like the bottom photo (from Net-a-Porter):

Gabby flat loafers | leather upper, synthetic lining | £89

I really like the minimal detail on these. Again, the plain black Ponyskin ones are my favourite (over the leopard print), and I like that they are patent leather, apart from Ponyskin on top. That’s where my suede and Ponyskin shoes show the dirt and wear most, so being patent may make these more durable.  

3.  J CREW | Tippi merino knits | £79.00

I just wrote about the Gap merino knits (£40), which I bought in camel, but mentioned the lack of colour options. Well, when I went to J Crew the other week (with a flat phone, so no photos, sorry) I was struck by 3 colours in particular: midnight blue (photo from when I HAD charged my phone), olive green and the garnet. Oh, the garnet. Gorgeous.  Pretty much sold out online (except for XL) but it’s a jewel coloured beauty, so worth going in store for or checking back online for. I’m asking a friend to bring me back one from the U.S.  I need size S.

   One final re-mention, of the No 2 pencil skirt in double serge wool, reduced to £65, which I showed in my last post.  A friend has since bought it and loves it. Some other friends are buying it, too. A properly thick wool pencil skirt. Workwear heaven.  I need size 0.


I have seen some other things, but this post is too long, so will do another, soon.

By |September 18th, 2015|blog, shirts & tops, shoes|2 Comments

Gap merino knits, now an even better buy

Merino knits can be such a great buy for work, being smarter (albeit less soft and cozy) than cashmere, but still relaxed enough to feel comfortable in.  I have a couple of J Crew Tippi knits, and they are very good. However, I also like full length sleeve knits (the Tippi is 3/4 sleeve) and having differing cuts of knits (the Tippi is quite relaxed in the body), so I also buy Gap merino knits.  

They are £40 when full price (v’s J Crew Tippi’s £80, although there is limited stock still on sale at £39), but at the moment, if you have a Gap VIP voucher / email, they are 40% off.  Well, 40% off if you are in store (reason code is 309), else it’s 30% off online.  

The colour range is more muted than J Crew, and the trickiest colours to assess, online, are the oatmeal, camel, plum and charcoal, which I photographed, below:  

The other week, I bought the camel, which is a warm caramel, and this is what the size S looks like on me. Given its snugness on my arms, and my uncanny ability to slightly shrink my woollens, I’ve exchanged it for a M. That fits me better. 

I’m also wearing the J Crew No 2 pencil skirt in double serge wool (size 0 as their sizing is really generous), which I can’t recommend highly enough. The quality really is beautiful, which makes this a fantastic buy at £65 (on sale).  Someone very clever on Mumsnet recommended it.  

I’m also wearing old Boden leopard print heels. They make lovely quality shoes. 

For examples of someone very stylish wearing merino knits, here is one of my favourite fashion people, Sarah Harris of UK Vogue, and the nearest equivalent Gap merino knit:   


Happy Friday, Reader, and I hope you have a good weekend planned. 

By |September 4th, 2015|blog|1 Comment

The wonder of Alice, and other shoes

I’m a lagger, in marketing terms: the Alice high heel shoes by Boden were an Instagram hit, months ago.  However, dear Reader, they were also £119, months ago.  Today I noticed that they are now £50, so I have ordered them.  I’m both a lagger and a canny buyer.  I ordered them in the navy amethyst, which I expect I will mainly wear with all navy.  Here is the website photo, so you can ooh and aaah.

I have seen lots of photos of them on Instagram, which indcate that the website colours are true to life, which isn’t always the case (eg reds often appear more vibrant on websites than in real life).  If you fancy ordering a pair, it might be worth going via Quidco for some % cashback, too.  Here they are on www.rachelthehat.com:

Rachel the Hat wears Boden Alice Heels. May 2015.

I was very tempted by the black and pewter version, but they were too similar to the & Other Stories black suede T Bar heels I had just bought.  Here they are, though, in case they are just what you need:

Here they are on www.camilacarril.com:

Camila Carril wears Boden Alice Heels. April 2015.

There are MANY photos of the Boden Alice shoes in Pinterest, if you want to see more.  As I mentioned, I already have black T bar suede shoes, which rapidly sold out.  However, if you are a size 37, the sublime blue soled & Other Stories heels (£55) are currently available in your size only:

& Other Stories | Suede Pumps

These aren’t the only shoes I have bought lately, as I also ventured in to a Jones The Bootmaker store and promptly became enamoured of the snakeskin Canada high heeled shoes, now reduced to £44.  I’m endeavouring to only buy leather outer AND lined shoes, as, really, vinyl lining just limits the stretch and comfort factor.  Its not always possible to find shoes I love that have a leather lining, but try I will.

Here are the website photos:


These shoes will be great with black, stone and/or cream based outfits.  I seem to gravitate toward plain outfits, with printed or interesting shoes fare more than the other way around, so adding some snakeskin heels into my wardrobe makes perfect sense.  In my head, I will look like (a variant of) any of the below images (from Pinterest):

Cute dress! With different shoes - like bordeaux heels for the evening or fall! SO CUTE

What the stylists are wearing in London: the chic Martha Ward wears a pretty palette of neutral tones of Stella & Dot necklace, Gerard Darel top, Wilfred NYC skirt, Tods bag, Michael Kors shoes and Armani sunglasses at London Fashion Week.   Photograph by Jane de Teliga

Poppy Delevingne in Neutrals, Black Leather Skinnies & Snakeskin Pumps.

This simple red dress, paired with snakeskin pumps. | 30 reasons why Queen Letizia of Spain should be your new style icon http://aol.it/1uLAlYk

Palermo has one of the best shoe collections around, and we love that she favors color and detail to punch up her outfits. These pumps are no exception.  On Palermo: Aquazzura Positano Elaphe Snakeskin Heels ($885) in Multi

I honestly dislike her as a person, but man... she is always impeccable. One of my favorite fashion icons at the moment. Olivia Polermo

One can but dream…


Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend, Reader.

By |August 14th, 2015|blog|0 Comments

The Mango jacket sagas

Hello Reader, I hope you are well and not in need of any jackets right now. Here, in London, though, it’s jacket weather. It normally is, so I find jackets are some of my most worn items. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’d bought a couple of Mango jackets. Here’s how they turned out, for me:

1.  MANGO | fringed cotton jacket | cotton | £19.99 (was £40)

This jacket was kept and is being worn by Eve WornOut and Michelle from My Fashionable 40’s. However, it just didn’t “spark joy” (Marie Kondo decluttering guru suggests we only buy things that spark joy. I think that’s good advice, so I’m following it).  I returned it.


Since, then, I’ve seen someone wearing the white version, so now I’m sorry I didn’t try that:

However, I did keep a black cotton jacket…

2.  MANGO | Textured jacket (AFRICA42) in black | cotton outer | £34.95 (was £69.99) (Size S)

As is often the way, I thought I’d love the first jacket, and only ordered the second to try. Just in case. Yet, I ended up returning the former, and happily keeping the latter.  It’s a little more shaped and formal, but that seems to be what I often look better in and prefer wearing. Especially as I don’t have the most impressive shoulders, and that sharp tailoring really helps.  Another thing that I’ve realised I like, is the texture. That way, when I wear it with plain black trousers, it won’t look like I am wearing a mis matched suit. It will look like a jacket and trousers. 

Here is the website photo:

Here’s how the jacket looks on me (in low light, taken with an old phone 😁):   

This jacket also comes in off white. When I went to return the Mango fringed jacket, I found and bought another jacket…

3.  MANGO | Geometric patterned jacket (ERON) | cotton outer | £25 (was £50) (Size S)

It’s a boXy shape, but, critically, it fits well on the shoulders and has fitted sleeves. Also, it’s slightly cropped. I think it will look great with fitted trousers or pencil skirt. Or, even my faux leather pleated midi skirt.  Here is the website photo:

Here’s how it looks on me:



Thank you for reading, Reader, and I hope you have little need for a jacket right now!

By |July 28th, 2015|blog|3 Comments

Some good buys

Hello again, Reader. Long time no blog to. Ive bought a few things lately, that I thought I’d share with you. 

1. ZARA | Textured cotton patch pocket jacket in off white / Cotton outer, acetate lining | £39.99 (was £69.99)

I adore white jackets, and didn’t actually have one in this style. Full price, I really liked this jacket, but was content to leave it. However, when it went into the sale, I thought it was my opportunity to try and channel a little prim, retro style.  Chic blazers and jackets are what Zara does best. Here is a close up of the fabric. Frankly, a less chunky fabric would probably be more flattering for me, but I really like it anyway. 

Here’s how the size S looks on me, when I tried it on 19 weeks’ ago (!):

The jacket is sold out online, but I have seen it in stores. Also, now is about the time we can expect to see some returns reappearing online. 

If, however, this post now has you hankering after a cotton blazer, this MANGO | Frayed hem blazer in white | cotton outer and lining | £19.99 (was £39.99) looks to be a great buy. I’ve ordered the black and am awaiting it’s delivery. A lovely lady on Instagram said she has it and really likes it:

Another good looking white cotton blazer, is this, only available online In L: ZARA | Short structured blazer | cotton outer, acetate lining | £39.99 (was £59.99) :  

2. ZARA | Printed top with velvet bow | 100% viscose | £19.99 (was £29.99)

This appeals to my inner Victorian, and it works just as well with jeans as it does with black cropped trousers or pencil skirt. It sits nicely and, unlike with some other viscose tops, any creasing is not noticeable. It’s a sweet little top that sits nicely and isn’t cutesy. 

3. & OTHER STORIES | T Bar suede blue soled heels | 100% suede upper, leather lining | £55

These are shoes of dreams. I don’t normally talk like that, but despite them being quite high (the website says “8cm” I say “dont think so”), I had to buy them. They are elegant, sexy, classic shoes with a fun flash of blue. And I felt marvellous wearing them. Being suede, I will probably keep them for special occasions, but at £55, that’s fine.  Being quite timeless, I think I will love them forever.    

4. & OTHER STORIES | Broderie dress in green | cotton | £19 (was £65)

My dear friend Eve bought this, and having seen how beautiful the colour looks in real life (more emerald green than grass green ie darker than it looks in the website photo), I’ve ordered my size (which tends to be size 38 in & Other Stories) to try the fit on at home.  This sort of 1940’s tailoring works well for me, and it’s an interesting use of broderie. 


& Other Stories have just added some new sale stock online, including this terrazzo printed silk shirt | 100% silk | £32 (was £64). I’ve seen it in real life and the print is great. Interesting, but fairly subtle.    


5.  BANANA REPUBLIC | ruffle sleeve lace shift | 100% cotton outer and lining. Polyester embroidery | £24.99 (was £85)

This dress was just something I decided to try on while I was trying on other things. My spontaneous dress was a big hit, but, of course, everything else was a dud. Anyway, this dress is utterly beautiful. Very Dolce & Gabbana glamour, but at a silly price, and in pure cotton (the website description is wrong). It’s a slim cut, and the UK10/US6 was fine on me (I’m normally a UK8/US4 in BR). The sizing availability online keeps changing (eg every few hours, it seems), so if you want to order it, keep an eye out for your size. 


Thank you for reading, Reader, and (in this heatwave) “stay cool”

By |July 1st, 2015|blog|0 Comments

Snakeskin flats

I’m all out of clever, today, so will keep it brief and simple. Lace up flats are everywhere, and I’ve been considering many, but hadn’t committed. Some of them: 

  • have quite a lot of ankle strap detail that doesn’t work well for my legs – short calves, thin ankles; 
  • are made of suede – I destroy suede. Sad, but true; or
  • are just a lace up version of pointed flat shoes I already have.

Then, my dear friend Emma WornOut showed me these TOPSHOP Kingdom snakeskin lace up flats (£62). They are a grey based, snakeskin, which is far better for my taste / wardrobe than the more commonly found beige based snakeskin. They also don’t have much ankle detail, and I like how they look when laced up. I still dithered. They look OK in the website photos, but that’s about it:




Then I saw Beth Goodrham of StyleGuile in hers, on Instagram, and I knew I wanted them:

They keep selling out, online, so I went to Selfridges and tried them on. I am a 39.5, but TopShop don’t do half sizes, so I bought the size 40. 


(Excuse my dry looking feet – I was half way through a Footner experience).

They initially rubbed on my feet, where the lace up points are, but not badly or painfully. I get things like that with most new shoes. They are, other than that, lovely shoes that go with lots of my clothes and have managed to some of my more standard outfits look much more interesting and “current”. So, if like me, you like grey snakeskin and are looking for interesting, elegant flats, I can really recommend these TopShop Kingdom ones. 

By |June 3rd, 2015|blog|2 Comments