How to Wear: August

Hi there Readers

I have a confession to make… I categorically said last month that I’d take more photos of what I wore during August but I have failed at that mission. I’m sorry. To be honest though, it’s mostly been a variation on the recurring theme that has been Summer 2015 – denim and khaki – my Maternity Leave uniform ;)

Stripe Top – H&M // Khaki Jacket – Karen Millen // Jeans – H&M // Trainers – Adidas Stan Smith

The weather hasn’t helped the fact that I’ve lived in jeans either, and I hope it’s marginally better for September as we are off on our holidays – a staycation to somewhere that Rebecca actually recommended. I’m really looking forward to our break as a foursome!

I have managed to wear a few of my summer purchases this month though. Some Snakeskin Ghillie flats made an appearance mid month, and the khaki jumpsuit got an airing.

T-Shirt – Cos // Jeans – Topshop // Shoes – Topshop

Jumpsuit and Shoes – Topshop

I also wore a boyfriend shirt into London for a day of work meetings – perfect to dress up some jeans paired with jewelled sandals.

Trench Coat – F&F // Shirt – Topshop // Jeans – J Crew // Shoes – Clarks

However last week was slightly different in that a) I was able to get dressed up a bit for a friends 10th Wedding Anniversary Party – it felt good to spend some time on my face and hair and wear a dress (albeit a BF friendly one!)

Dress – & Other Stories

and b) I WENT FOR A RUN! 4.19 miles in 45 minutes – not bad considering it’s been 9 months since I did any real running. I’m hoping the motivation will continue.

Running Kit – Nike

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with my thoughts on September purchases. As Rebecca alluded to, there’s some cracking AW purchases to be made now.

Erin xx

Triple Temptation: Boden Coats


Sienna (stripe) coat // (Mint) Pea Coat // Cape

For the first time in what feels like forever, I am REALLY excited about he coming seasons clothes. I think it’s a combination of not being in maternity clothes/post natal and the fact that the summer has been so poor I almost feel like just moving onto crisp autumn days and cosy sweaters for chilly weather, but either way, I’m desperate to start shopping!

As it’s no capsule time yet, I’m trying to control myself, but instead I’m preparing – scouring ally he new collections and deciding what I want and then what will all work together as a great capsule. What I may have to make an exception for is a coat. ever one knows the best ones go early and this year I’m int he market for a new one. Boden’s new catalogue is fab but the coats and accessories are the standouts for me and although I don’t think these pictures do them justice, the options are brilliant. This cape is waaaay more vibrant than the stock image and the Peacoat I’d choose in Navy. Theres also a couple of amazing coatigans.

Have you got your eye son a new coat? I have no doubt Erin will have some amazing options to share soon too!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Instagram Capsule Wardrobe outfits

Today I thought I’d post a selection of recent outfits… so you could actually see my capsule wardrobe in action (see the links at the end of this post for the capsule all together). It’s pretty hard to get a shot where I’m not wearing Bea and most of these were captured running out of the door, hence so many featuring Pete’s feet! ;) Apologies for the quietness round here this week too… I’m actually writing a post about my postnatal body that I just don’t want to rush, so watch this space.

So hot favourites in the wardrobe right now? Boyfriend jeans. Always. Unfortunately this pair has developed a hole in the crotch (hate that word,) but I am NOT replacing them until I can buy a size down having lost some weight. Serious motivation that!

In all honesty, this is pretty much my daily uniform, striped tee and boyfriend jeans.

If it’s warm, this skirt is also getting a LOT of action. It’s one of the most flattering pieces I own at the moment and gives me some shape which is pretty unusual again in this forgiving capsule collection! The tee is great too – just a bit different as it has a slight slubby texture due to the linen.

I’m also loving having so many different blues in my wardrobe. When it’s warm bringing them all together feels like ocean shades – so fresh and summery.

I’ve not captured many work outfits but this one featured a casual v-neck tee doubling up as work wear when it was really warm, dressed up with the pencil skirt and jewellery it looked pretty smart.

I’ve also managed to start venturing out more. Pete and I have been so lucky to have babysitting help from my mum so we can resurrect date night – we were in dire need of it – and it’s been fun dressing up a little and having adult only time. The top outfit was from a cinema date and this one was from drinks with the girls when my New Look jumpsuit got an airing on a balmy evening.

As an aside, this is the only bag I’m using too – £30 white faux leather rucksack from Zara that fits in a  few essentials for Bea (nappy, wipes, drink, snack, shoes/cardigan/hat etc) plus my keys money and a bit of room for small shopping. (this one is very similar and only £19.99!) It’s so good to ditch the change bag!

Happy friday readers… and expect something meaty next week :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS my work capsule, core essentials, dresses and round-up.

What to Buy: August

Morning Readers!

So far August has been a bit of a disappointment weather-wise. I guess the typical British Summer is “shining” through although we do have the promise of warmer weather in the coming week. Fingers crossed!

The cooler days though have got me thinking about the Autumn and with it the drops of new season stock that are coming into the shops.

The items on this months list consist of some that I’ve posted before (but are still great buys if you haven’t indulged yet) and also some final sale buys which will see you into Autumn.

The Boyfriend Shirt

 Topshop / Boden

Specifically in blue, these shirts feature heavily on press images into Autumn. Worn over slim trousers to balance out the volume or easily tucked into a skirt, their versatility is great. I love the pale blue versions and the Topshop one here has added interest with a hip pocket. I’ll be wearing with Skinny trousers and flats.

Culottes

 Leather / Black

Huge for this current season, the culotte is a modest way to wear a skirt – no flashing here!

A leather pair like these Autograph ones will see you nicely into the Autumn but are equally wearable now with sandals. The Warehouse pair are a bargain. Limited quantities on line but plenty of sizes in store at both Warehouse and John Lewis. I’ve also seen them in House of Fraser for £15. Still a deal at under £20 and the weight of the fabric is just right.

For something a little different and a bit more for now, this jumpsuit is a find. Lovely fabric and print, and very easy to wear.

Suede Skirt

 Jaeger / M&S

This trend isn’t going anywhere and I am still favouring the Midi style. The M&S version is my go-to here but there are other versions to be had. The Jaeger one above is good for the discounted price.

For something even more achievable and for a nod to the trend in a different way, this New Look button through version is great and comes in three colours. Size up to get the fit right so the buttons don’t gape. This style reminds me of being in Year 10 (or Fifth Year as it was called when I was at school). I had a black version back then ;) I know it may be tempting but do try and get a real suede version. The faux one can end up looking a little cheap.

Embroidery

 Sequin Jacket / Skirt / Coverup / Shirt

You may think that embroidery needs to be kept just for summer. By and large this is true but I’ve spotted some very grown up, autumn appropriate embroidery in the shops. Whilst the White “jacket” from Zara above is a summer piece, there’s hope we may have an Indian Summer so this would act as an excellent coverup. The colours are stunning. For true Autumn though, the H&M Trend skirt is lovely – K.I.S.S (can you tell I’m a marketer?!) it with a black polo and boots (the jacket in this sold out immediately!) The magpie in me also loves the Sequins on the Mango trophy jacket. Again, something to throw over even the simplest of outfits for that WOW factor.

Statement Flats

 Studded / Snake / Red

Hurrah! The flat shoe is big for A/W15 and the more statement the better. Here are some that are a nod to that trend in that they can multitask for you – not too out there but still something a little different. I like the Aldo ones as a nod to the Valentinos I covet every year. Another good option are the Russell Bromley Chester Loafers. I picked up a multi-coloured suede bargain in the sales after covering for ages and can’t wait to wear them!

Enjoy the rest of your Month readers. Do share any purchases you happen to make!

Erin xx

How to Wear: July

Happy Hump Day Readers!

I’m afraid that this is going to be a short post as I’ve just been scrolling through my photos for what I’ve been wearing this month and I haven’t taken many at all! If this was about how Oscar and Calum wore July that would be fine, but it isn’t…

A lot of it has been my usual uniform of late, consisting of Khaki, a Shirt Dress or a Jumpsuit.  

I had a KIT day at work (Oscar came with me) during the middle of the month and the Warehouse Palm Print shirt dress worked a treat for that.

I also wore one of my buys from earlier this year which was the leopard print (but actual leopards) jumpsuit from H&M. Again, really easy to wear with the bubba and no real thought needed.


Slowly, slowly too I’ve been able to dig out some of my regular clothes – breastfeeding is good for the waistline! My embellished H&M jeans and skirts have made an appearance. I even braved getting into a swimming costume (a one piece…) for a day on the beach.

Yet again I can’t believe how quickly the month has gone but I promise to document what I’ve worn for August much more thoroughly.

Enjoy the last few days of the month and I’ll be back next week with some new season buys for the cooler climes ahead.

Erin xx

What to Buy: July

Happy Friday Readers!

Apologies for the tardiness in getting this post up. It’s been very busy in the Johnson household. I’d forgotten how days can just morph into one whole week with a newborn – adding a toddler into the mix just seems to speed things up! Whilst I have been in a cloud of Toddler actives, Baby Cafe visits and NCT meet ups, I have been keeping an eye out on what’s in the shops, and there are few things I’d recommend getting your hands on this month – both for immediate use and “buy now, stash for later” wear.

To the Beach!

Since Summer holiday season is upon us, and for those of you who have not yet been on yours yet (that’s me, we are off on a Stay-cation in early September), there are some really nice beachy bits to be had, some of which are in the sale (bonus!).

Of course, as it’s me, stripes feature here, and I have to say that the H&M dress is lovely in the flesh. Cotton and just throw on, so perfect to put on post beach or for a relaxed day out. Not good for the Breastfeeding amongst us, but would be good to maybe keep for when you aren’t. I also couldn’t go without mentioning off the shoulder here – HUGE for this summer, the Mango dress below is easy to wear and a great nod to the trend.

I’d dropped a Hammam towel in here too as not only are they great for the beach (quick dry) they are chic enough to wear as a Sarong too. Make sure you buy cotton ones for authenticity. I use ours as throws on the bed as well.

Striped Dress / Hammam TowelOff the Shoulder Dress

Palm Print

I’m obsessed, and it seems as if I’m not the only one. I know I’ve mentioned this before on the blog (I did say I had an obsession) but there are some really nice bits around, not least the H&M print.

There is a gorgeously light cotton shirt in this print (sold out on line but some in stores), and I wore it on the beach last weekend with some crochet shorts when we went down to Dorset. A day on the beach I used to frequent as a child (Knoll Beach, Studland BTW) with my boys and Hubby. A lovely way to make memories of your old memories. Plus it’s National Trust and as members, parking was free ;) The playsuit here is a nice alternative. I also love the Topshop Jumpsuit, but I have one similar from a couple of seasons ago that I will dig out. Get this whilst you can as it is selling out fast.

Dress / Playsuit / Jumpsuit

Yellow

Set to be a big accent colour for AW15 (you only have to check out the J Crew looks from the season), you won’t go wrong in investing in some yellow to perk up outfits come the Autumn. The Karen Millen flats below also nod to the flat shoe trend that is BIG news for the winter. It will look great with the Pink that’s set to be huge, as well as lifting any neutrals you have – it’s always a winner with grey too.

Shoes / Skirt / Top

Pink

The rose tones of this season’s pink make it much more grown up and less “sweet” than has been seen on the runway in the past, and again, can be worn as the main part of an outfit, or as an accent. I really like the Clarks Bag – the leather is divine – and it’s a great size. Not available on line anymore though, but you may be lucky in store.

Bag / Shoes / Skirt

Monochrome

Again, a trend that’s set to be huge for AW15, from geometric prints to simple contrast, black and white it’s where it’s at. Easy to do in a simple top and bottom combo, there are some pieces around that would really work hard come the Autumn. The ease of the Stories silk-blend sweater is wonderful. Pair with slouchy white jeans and you are good to go. I also really like the Finery shoes – the trend nailed in one piece!

Shoes / Sweater / Dress

Wishing you all good rest of July’s. I do hope the weather becomes more summery and less Muggy – it’s doing nothing for my hair at the moment. Monica from Friends when she goes to Barbados springs to mind – LOL!

Erin xx

Summer Capsule Part 3: [Dresses & Round Up]

So I guess this is a kind of Friday Frock in disguise post. The final instalment of my capsule wardrobe! You all know I love a dress and I am finally taking full advantage of not needing 24/7 boob access. I was still feeding 2-3 times a day when I started this capsule and just took it off if I needed to feed when wearing a dress, now it’s just morning and evening so I can wear what I want. I have loved having dresses back in my wardrobe!


Denim dress // Digital print dress

This denim tencel blend swing dress was the first I bought and as my bust settles down it’s looking better and better. The Boden shift was a no brainer for a summer and holiday dress that I mentioned last week.


Jumpsuit // Maxi // Jumpsuit

The only dress that has been pulled from storage is this Gap maxi. I had it last year and hoped to wear it feeding but couldn’t in the end as it didn’t fit. It’s light and super comfortable so it’s a bit of a beater dress for everyday. The strappy tile print jumpsuit was bought when I couldn’t get hold of the Boden one, in hindsight I didn’t need it, but I’ve already worn it to playgroups when we had the recent heatwave and at £20 I don’t care about crawling on the floor!

So let’s do a little overview shall we?

I ended up with 27 pieces. (Don’t forget, this doesn’t include PJ’s, ‘loungewear’, stuff I paint or do the gardening in and exercise (ha!) kit.)

  • 8 work wear items (included in the below)
  • 10 tops
  • 3 knits
  • 6 dresses
  • 2 trousers
  • 2 jeans
  • 3 skirts
  • 1 shorts

And the prominent stores I bought from? Boden, GAP, Hush, New Look, Baukjen and Komodo – stocked in a local boutique and a new ethical brand find to me.

Here’s the whole summer capsule wardrobe 2015, en masse:


27 is just the number that works for me and I feel comfortable with. Last time I did this I ended up with 35 pieces but I included 8 shoes… so it’s exactly the same. I haven’t done that here – maybe I’ll post a selection on Instagram later today, and I forgot to shoot this top which should be included here. I’m really happy with what I’ve ended up with. I wear all of it, and fairly equally too, weather dependent. nothing feels like a waste or a splurge and my clothes seem to be striking a balance between being functional and fashionable.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and soon I will bring you a few posts on the pieces in action.

Have a fabulous weekend readers :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Summer Capsule Part 2 [Core Essentials]

I think I’m getting to grips better with the whole concept of the capsule and making it work for me, so this season I didn’t have a number of pieces in mind and I didn’t categorise as rigidly as tops/bottoms/dresses, more what the clothes were for. 99% of the time in summer I live in tee’s or lightweight knits and jeans or shorts, so I decided to invest in these a little more this season.

Blue v-neck // Breton stripe // Slogan tee Red stripe and graphic tee

I like to feel summery by a certain point in the year, even if the weather isn’t playing ball, especially true this year, so I make sure I have a few light knits in summery colour ways and plenty of long sleeved tee’s. This year I ‘invested’ in a Boden breton, although with the often available discount codes, it didn’t feel like too much of an investment at all, plus this twist on a breton, actually from the Boden teens range. The grey stripe is almost a light weight sweatshirt material so was great for the early part of spring when I wanted to shake up my wardrobe and for the cooler start to summer we had.


Grey Stripe // Swing strappy top

I’ve also wanted a slogan tee for a long time and loved the vibrant blue of this one from Baujken, which actually was an investment, but again I used a discount code. I also got another, this time v-neck royal blue tee from Hush which I have actually mixed into my work wardrobe with the printed pencil skirt I shared in the last workwear post, so it’s earning it’s place in my capsule.


Boyfriend jeans // Printed Khakis // Shorts // Skirt

For my bottom half options, I decided to be sensible. When I did my first capsule last Autumn, I was a bit obsessed with the idea of covering all eventualities, because of the associated buying ban until the next capsule. This time I just acknowledged that I wear the same stuff all the time and kept it simple. 4 pieces was all I needed and only one, the Hush skirt, was a new buy.

The last instalment will be coming later this week, with knits, dresses and occasion wear and shoes.

Do you think you could get your core essentials down to this number of pieces?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Summer Capsule Part 1 [Work wear]

Hi!

This week, I’m going to (finally, I know!) share my summer capsule. You can read more about my past capsule wardrobes and reasons behind it here. Its been a long time since I did a capsule, the last was in Autumn. I was inspired to start by Caroline Joy over at Un-fancy and she does 4 a year. Her seasons in Texas (and now Seattle, ) don’t quite align with ours and having lived with a capsule for almost a year, I realised I don’t need to update 4 times a year. I added a few pieces to my autumn wardrobe for Christmas, then updated a few tops for spring before the weather started to warm up. This wardrobe I’m about to share has been in effect since about the beginning of May and I plan to wear it until October. I’ll be shopping for Autumn/winter pieces in September when the new season stock comes in.

As it’s Monday, I thought I’d start with my work wardrobe. My capsule has had to include a work section for the first time this season, as I went back to work in March. I’m lucky because I dress pretty casually at work so a lot of my wardrobe is interchangeable, but I do have work staples that I use to smarten up the other pieces I mix in and that give it more of a professional edge.

I have to say, I didn’t give a lot of thought to my work wardrobe. There’s a big difference in working 5 days a week when my philosophy was that I spent so much time at work I might as well look nice while I worked, to working 3 days and just hoping you can find something without food or snot on it that’s passable and comfy and fits your postnatal body! Consequently, I pulled out a few postnatal and even pregnancy pieces and was forced to buy a new pair of trousers that fitted, et voila!

Tops/Dresses


Dress // Blouse // Chambray shirt // Shirt – Monsoon

I have quite a few nice work dresses but I don’t fit them just yet, plus when I initially returned to work and for about 3 months, I was expressing still so needed boob access. This jersey dress I bought and wore during early-mid pregnancy and it’s still flattering now, plus it washes easily and quickly, like the blue blouse that I hardly wore in my AW capsule, but has come into it’s own for work. This chambray shirt was an amazing find by my mum in GAP. I loaned one of hers during pregnancy and wore it open over things but it had a really soft fluid texture with fantastic drape, just like this one she later found for me. It works brilliantly tucked in as a shirt for my own particular style of smart-casual work wear. The remaining shirt is an old favourite of mine. I don’t usually do such blousy florals but it’s colour is bold enough and the fabric thin enough that it’s perfect for summer. As you can see, I always roll my sleeves!

Skirts/Trousers


Trousers // Trousers // Skirt // Skirt

My old navy work trousers had had very good use before pregnancy, so I intended to renew them on my return to work, but I’m not yet at my usual weight, so I held off and went to Zara for a different work pair. That was particularly demoralising (when did the sizes in Zara get so small?!) but they did have a good selection of styles in Navy trousers and I found a flattering pair that made me feel smart again. I’d say these get the most use week in week out and were pretty cheap at £24.99! Again the jersey tube skirt was a pregnancy buy that still works now as it was just a size up, and the printed skirt was a postnatal win that came from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and I fit! Yay! The only ‘this season’ addition were these jogging bottom pants, which again, my mum found. A complete bargain from New Look, I think they were £10. They are ridiculously comfy, work for work because of the silky (but not shiny) fabric, tapered ankle and with a tucked in blouse or shirt, they look great.

I wear all of these with either navy pointed flats, or summer sandals, depending on the weather, and of course opaque tights earlier in the year.

To make the whole look a bit more ‘done’ I have a small selection of jewellery I wear for work too – which is quite nice, as I don’t get to wear much at home. I stick with a gold pair of studs and my sparkly ones, plus 2 rose gold pendant necklaces that I have. I don’t paint my nails anymore (although toenails are an essential in sandals I think,) but I do always wear make up to work. Not much, but again, it makes me feel more done and professional.

So here are my tips for creating a functional capsule wardrobe when you are a working mum. I’m making the assumption that you a. don’t want to spend much, b. don’t have much time, and c. would rather spend said time and money with or on your baby. ;)

  • Choose a colour palette and stick to it, particularly for your basics – mine is Navy and blues, obviously.
  • Make sure you have a good look through your old wardrobe and check for any keepers that still fit.
  • Choose fabrics that wash easily, dry quick and don’t need ironing, so you don’t have to get changed before you cuddle your messy baby or toddler when you get in.
  • Think about using things in ways you wouldn’t normally – i.e., tucking in a more casual summer shirt or chambray, and dressing up items like ‘relaxed trousers’ (Read:jogging bottoms) with heels.
  • Make sure you have one outfit or top and bottom option or a dress, per day you work, plus a spare, then even if you only get to do your washing at the weekend, you’ve always got something to wear.
  • Dress it up with jewellery and shoes, and have fun with those pieces as they’re probably bits you won’t wear when you’re off-duty and being mummy who gets clambered all over and needs to wear flats to run round after said baby/toddler.
  • Treat yourself to some new makeup if you’re feeling a bit sloppy or nervous about going back to work. Getting your game face on always helps and gives you confidence. ;)

Ok, I hope you enjoyed that insight and I’ll be back later in the week with my casual wardrobe, knitwear and occasion wear. Give me a shout if you have any questions and i’d love to hear about your work wardrobe and how you approach it!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Blue tile jumpsuit

Friday Frock…

I know, it’s been a while, right?

I’m still working on a capsule wardrobe basis when it comes to buying my clothes (more on that next week) but this capsule I gave myself a free pass to buy something for Bea’s Naming ceremony as it was the only occasion we had looming and I didn’t know what size or shape I would be; (The battle of the baby weight continues…)


Dresses, all Boden – SALE NOW ON!

When crunch time came last week I really struggled. I’m still quite big on top, despite only feeding twice daily now, and my waist has definitely not returned to what it should be, but I have slimmed down a lot. This leaves we with the difficult situation that I need bigger sizes to fit my top half but the bottom halves tend to then be a bit big (which is what happened with the white floral dress here,) and some of my preferred T’shirt style shift dresses still look a bit tent like with my boobs.

I ended up going for this jumpsuit which I wanted to order at the beginning of my capsule but as is often the case with Boden it said it wouldn’t be delivered for 9 weeks. In actual fact it’s been in stock for a couple of weeks now which is probably more like 4-6 weeks after when I was looking so I might actually order next time. The V-neck is flattering, its well made and cool, and I actually felt fashionable! Yay! The other two were pretty but perhaps a bit too ‘wedding’ or ‘formal garden party’ for the occasion.

As used to be tradition… do share any frocks you have your eye on at the moment or think your fellow readers deserve to hear about!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS I actually kept the St Ives print shift too – it was a tad too casual for the Naming Day party, but I love it as a holiday and summer-in-general dress. ;)