Outfit post: black, white and burgundy print mix

When I wrote about a Business Casual capsule wardrobe, I always intended to keep referring back to it, to create some outfits using the “key” or “foundation” pieces which are these neutral, classic pieces you see below, as well as some more casual and/ or interesting or statement pieces:

A business casual capsule wardrobe: the key workwear pieces you need

Fast forward to now, and I have just written about the Top 15 printed or patterned workwear pieces, which are:

Top 15 printed or patterned workwear pieces


So…I’ve created an outfit, where I chose 1 key or foundation piece, and added at least 2 printed pieces.  Just 1 printed piece would be too easy: its more of a challenge to use 2 or more printed pieces to create an outfit that’s interesting but still conservative enough to be office friendly.

By mixing a little bit from the first image, and a little bit from the second image, and a “new” bag, I created this black, white and burgundy outfit.  You need to choose either the little black dress or white shell top and black cigarette trousers (or jeans, if your workplace is casual), then add black and white printed pieces, a necklace and a burgundy bag:

Print: black, white and burgundy

This is a colour combination I enjoy wearing quite often, and I find the burgundy is less conspicuous than red.  However, the burgundy needs to be a rich, oxblood or plum coloured burgundy, not one that’s heading towards brown.  To the outfit details!

The individual pieces in this outfit board are:

1) KEY PIECE – BODEN | Ottoman Shift in black | 100% cotton. Machine washable | £79

I have just seen that J5Y8 will get you 20% off, today, with free delivery, too.

KEY PIECE - BODEN | Ottoman Shift in black | 100% cotton.  Machine washable | £79

2) KEY PIECE – PURE COLLECTION | Silk satin T-shirt in ivory | 100% Silk Satin | £79

KEY PIECE - PURE COLLECTION | Silk satin T-shirt in ivory | 100% Silk Satin | £79

3) KEY PIECE – J CREW | Paley trouser in stretch wool in black | £158

J CREW | Paley pant in Italian stretch wool in black | £158

The business casual capsule wardrobe post actually featured the J Crew Minnie trousers, but they are cotton, so I’ve used the Paley in wool in this post as its getting cold, Reader.  I wish it wasn’t so.  By the way, the Paley trousers are the ones in my recent “What Would Elizabeth Taylor Wear To Work” post.  A more budget friendly option is the Boden Bistro trousers in wool (£89 down to £71.20 today).


If jeans are more appropriate for your workplace, or you want to try this outfit out on dress down Friday, you could swap the cigarette trousers out for these ZARA | Slim fit jeans | 90% cotton, 8% elastomultiester, 2% elastane | £35.99.  I have lots of Zara jeans and love them.

CASUAL PIECE - Zara | Slim fit jeans | 90% cotton, 8% elastomultiester, 2% elastane | £35.99


4) ZARA | Big jewel necklace | 65% zinc, 30% acrylic, 5% steel | £19.99

KEY PIECE - ZARA | Big jewel necklace | 65% zinc, 30% acrylic, 5% steel | £19.99

5) ZARA | Short zipped jacket | 43% cotton, 33% wool, 16% acrylic, 8% polyamide | £89.99

These Chanel-esque jackets are some of Zara’s best offerings.  Just terrific, and its hard to think what they don’t work well with.

ZARA | Short zipped jacket | 43% cotton, 33% wool, 16% acrylic, 8% polyamide | £89.99


6) RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Ivy tote in Wine textured leather | Height: 23cm, Width: 34cm, Depth: 18cm. Handle drop: 15cm | £275

Oh you lovely, lovely bag.

RUSSELL & BROMLEY | Ivy tote in Wine textured leather | Double top handles.  Middle zip compartment. Double side compartments.  Popper closures.  Optional shoulder strap.  Internal zip pocket.  Internal smartphone pocket.  Gold hardware.  Red fabric lining. Made in Italy | Height: 23cm, Width: 34cm, Depth: 18cm. Handle drop: 15cm | £275


7) LK BENNETT | Amanda pointed ankle boot in black and white | Kid leather upper, leather lining and sole | Heel height: 9cm | £250

Despite the rather spendy price tag, these boots are selling out fast.  If you check the LK Bennett website, it will now tell you exactly how many shoes are available in each size.

LK BENNETT | Amanda pointed ankle boot in black and white | Kid leather upper (although the tartan certainly ^looks^ like fabric), leather lining and sole | Heel height: 9cm | £250


Thank you for reading, Reader, and I will be back with another print mix outfit post, soon, as I enjoyed creating this one so much.

Print it out: Top 15 printed or patterned workwear pieces

Print or pattern: bold or discreet, large or small, bright or muted, even or clustered, any and all can be great.  Great disguiser of creases and spills, I love print and pattern.  Whether you are courageous enough to mix them, or just wear one “statement” piece at a time, there’s always room in a working wardrobe for a great print or pattern, and here are the top 15 printed or patterned workwear pieces I have seen on the high street right now:

Top 15 printed or patterned workwear pieces

The individual pieces are:

1. HOBBS | Alina Coat in grey leopard print | 58% wool 32% polyester 10% polyamide / nylon. Lined | £349

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:

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.



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.


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.


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|