How to Wear: January

Good Morning Readers

I hope you have all had good January’s. Mine has been interesting to say the least. Little did I think that it would include a four day hospital stay for Pneumonia! I’m feeling a lot better now, but it did take me, and my whole family by surprise. The one good thing that came out of the experience was that I actually got a chance to read (not much else to do in hospital!) so I’ve made a good dent into one of my New Year Goals.

Due to that stay, and the week preceding my admission when I wasn’t feeling well at all (I thought I had the flu), I’ve not really been wearing anything that exciting. I did make a couple of cheeky purchases though.

One was a fantastic pair of jeans from a boutique local to me, Quattro Rich. They are a pair of Twist & Tango jeans and the perfect burgundy red colour – something that will go very well with a lot in my wardrobe. Not proper ‘denim’ but more of a heavy cotton twill, they are so flattering on the leg. Quattro Rich stock a lot of Twist & Tango bits (these jeans have unfortunately sold out) but it’s always worth giving Ivy and her team a call to see what they have, as she does offer a mail order service. The best bit about these were that they were a sales bargain – thank you January.

Another item I got was actually some underwear. I have to admit it’s been a struggle finding underwear to wear that’s comfortable whilst nursing. I have been massively put off nursing bras since I had a bad bout of Mastitis in the Autumn (I partly blame the fact I got it on a bad fitting bra I had from a well-known Mother & Baby retailer, even though they measured me. Turns out they measured me hugely incorrectly!). Since then, I have been wearing some vests from H&M which have been great, but lacking in support. I was then looking for something of a similar ilk, and came across this vest. What can I say – life-changing! Not only does it give you good support and good access, plus feels so nice on – the straps are so comfortable – it slims your silhouette so clothes look better on. A miracle in a vest! Granted, they aren’t the cheapest option around, but for something I have worn EVERY DAY, the cost-per-wear is low. Once I’m wearing something other than jeans and a sweatshirt again, I’ll post a picture of the difference it makes underneath clothes. Really, I can’t recommend these enough if you are nursing, or about to be as I know some of you are.

Finally, I had my first outing in a new pair of boots. I succumbed and bought a pair of Topshop Magnificent “Sock” boots. I own a fair few midi skirts and dresses, plus cropped jeans/culottes, and had read that these would be perfect to update them for winter. The reviews weren’t wrong. Very comfortable with a good heel hight (I had to size up but I often do in Topshop shoes), they are great boots – perfect Cognac brown colour and a modern toe shape. The purchase was made all the more sweet as I had a credit note burning a hole in my purse. Win Win.

Apologies again that there aren’t more pictures of me. I am on the mend, and come the end of Feb, I’m sure I’ll be back again in full health. I’ll be back soon with what to buy in February… Until then!

Erin xx

 

What to Buy: January 2016

Well HELLO Readers and a Happy New Year to you all :)

As Rebecca announced earlier this week, she is back blogging and I’m happy to say that that means I’ll be resuming too. I’ll be writing the usual two posts every month, but I may also dip in here and there with some anecdotal pieces.

2015 went by in a flurry of renovations and baby arrivals, so I’m hoping that the 2016 pace slows a little to let us breathe and enjoy. The start of the New Year invariably heralds “resolutions” and whilst I like the idea of starting afresh, I’m loathed to call them resolutions, as they are more than often broken before the month is out. Like Rebecca, I’ve given myself some “goals” which I’d like to try and live by for the year (and beyond), by and large, plus five seem achievable. Here they are:

   
So I know you are thinking, what has this got to do with “What to Buy”. The second of the goals is key for me. I’ve (and actually we’ve) just got too much stuff. I’m in the process of a real edit of my clothes and I’ve started to read this (fulfilling another goal!) which just cements my feelings (after having first read this too and resonated with most of it – Rebecca and I are obviously on the same wavelength here ;) ).

Whilst though I am purging a lot, mostly through eBay and then Charity Donations and local Facebook groups, I’m not saying I won’t buy a thing throughout the year. That to me is unachievable. I can however be clever in my purchases, hopefully favouring things that will last, or at least go with 50% of my wardrobe, therefore making them hard workers. There will also be some seasonal additions I’m sure. I’ll be looking carefully at my current clothing stash before purchasing anything to see if something I already own does the job of filling a fashion need. As I go through this edit, I’ll let you know how I’m getting on, and my approach to how I’ve found/done it, if that’s of interest… Ultimately, I’m hoping the clean out will just make like that little bit easier – it’s certainly got a LOT busier with two small men in my life!

On to January purchases then… These are some things which I’ve seen on emails and some in store that I think will work hard for you all year, starting now.

Fur Gilet

   

H&M // New Look

These are showing no let up, and with the milder winter we seem to be having, they are a great addition to your wardrobe to throw over a jumper and some jeans to give it that extra edge.

Roll Neck Jumper

 

Uniqlo // La Redoute // H&M 

I’ve learnt to love these over the past couple of months. I favour a turtleneck kind of style, or if it is a roll neck, it needs to be in Merino or some such other fine wool to keep the bulk to a minimum. They are a wardrobe saviour IMO – again, something to slip over skinny jeans or leggings with boots or pumps. Go for a size larger than you’d usually wear to balance out the slim silhouette on your lower half.

Chelsea Boots

 
Ash // H&M // ASOS 

Actually a boot style that I don’t own, Chelsea boots automatically make a casual outfit look smarter. The right pair can also work well with dresses and skirts too. Just make sure that the sole has a thin profile.

Cross Body Bag

 

French Connection // Cambridge Satchel Co. // Topshop // M&S

This style has come into its own for me in the 7 months since Oscar was born. Wearing him in the sling, or at least pushing him in the buggy whilst trying to hold Calum’s hand, called for a new bag solution. From the small and neat, to the larger, yet practical, you won’t be sorry for making this purchase. Having your hands free is a revaltion!

Long Sleeved Dress

   

ME&EM // Topshop

Something that can be worn now, with a jumper or waistcoat and boots, or into the spring with sandals, pumps or wedges, the long sleeved dress is something of a wardrobe updater. Keep the style either maxi, or a midi-length that works for your height to avoid frumpiness, but don’t be afraid to play with patterns. Block colour is obviously the classic choice though to make sure you get the most wear out it it.

So there you have it… five things to seek out if you can brave the shops and you have some Gift Cards perhaps burning a hole after Christmas. I’ll keep you posted with my Edit progress. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. In my head, I’ll be done by the end of 2016, but that does include the rest of the house too, not just my wardrobe. I’ll also let you know how I’m getting on with the rest throughout the year too.

It’s nice to be back! Until the end of the month…

Erin xx

 

 

 

How to Wear: October

Morning Readers!

A super-short post this morning as October seems to have whizzed by in a flurry of birthdays (mine), Baptisms (Oscar’s) and illness (all of us!)

I spent the day of my birthday at one of our local National Trust properties with the boys and my Mum, and true to form, I wore denim and khaki.

 
Next up was Oscar’s Baptism. A wonderful afternoon spent with our closest friends and family to celebrate his birth. The service was lovely as it was just us after the main Mass of the day (being Catholic we didn’t want to make the Baptism part of the whole service for those of our non-Catholic friends & family…). I wore an Off-White dress from & Other Stories which I loved. Again, so nice to be able to dress up for the afternoon. Oscar wore a Gown made by my Mum from the remnants of my bridesmaid dresses which she also made. The plan was for him to wear my Christening Gown but he was too big for it unfortunately!

   

 
 The other thing I’ve been trying to do is wear all of my old jeans and purge those I’m not happy with. These are two of the keepers – some bootcuts and some Indigo Skinnies. (My obsession with stripes knows no bounds!)

 
 And lastly, a very exciting Birthday Present…

   
It’s already made me move around more than I would normally, and I took a call on it yesterday… Weird!

I’ll be back soon with What to Buy in November… ;)

Erin xx 

The Fash Flash: A NY (capsule) state of mind

One of the things that has struck me about putting my Autumn capsule together has been the positive and lasting effect capsule wardrobe planning has had on me. This Autumn marks my 12 month anniversary of building and living with a capsule wardrobe. I honestly don’t cheat and if you don’t see it on here I don’t wear it – everything else gets stored away, donated or sold. Sometimes when I’m building my wardrobe at the beginning of a season I feel frivolous updating my wardrobe and spending what amounts to quite a bit of money in a short space of time but while I was away recently it came to my attention that I have become really choosy about the pieces I buy. More than a few times I was heard saying ‘I’m going to leave this, I don’t love it.’ – Words to live by people.

I’ve always been a massive fan of American retailers and though my tastes have changed over the years I’ve been shopping there on holidays (GAP, Macys, the discount department stores, to newer favourites of American Eagle, J.Crew and now, Madewell,)I always come back with a stuffed suitcase. This year it was a finely edited selection and I thought I’d share a few pieces with you ahead of my capsule wardrobe reveal.

Lydia flat (sale instore purchase, but a couple available here) – I’ve been after a pair of animal print flats as a wardrobe classic that will last for many a season for ages, so I snapped this pair up in the sale.

Bite beauty Lush Lip tint in Watermelon - my favourite super-moisturising lipstick in a new rosy-nude shade for Autumn.

Shapeline Bangle set - Madewell. Because my capsule doesn’t include accessories ;)

Transport Tote - Madewell. Remember how I wrote this post on looking for a tote bag? well, really, I wanted this one but I didn’t realise it came in my favourite shade-of-the-seaosn, this dark merlot colour.l (Tip! I got it mongrammed!)

Sunglasses - American Eagle - I forgot mine and we were fortunate to have great weather for much of the trip so I tested out my first pair of aviators with a budget pair while I got used to the new shape on me.

Nike Free trainers (girls range – did you know they’re a lot cheaper and go up to size 6?) – After September Shape up, I’m still intent on getting back to exercise and needed some new trainers. This is the first pair I’ve purchased in the lighter ‘free’ style and The colour works with my capsule too for wearing-around-town trainer days.

Boyfriend shirt – J.Crew – I love checked shirts but already have two in bright cranberry shades so when I saw this one in a fresher blue and white combo that will brighten up my monotone capsule and last into winter and spring, I snapped it up.

Resolution true skinny Jeans – GAP. I always try to save trainer and jeans purchases for in the US if I’m planning a trip and I was finally able to buy a pair in my usual size while we were away, although after all the over indulgence, I’m not sure if I’ll still fit them now we are back. ;)

I’ll be back with more holiday stores too including itineraries, where we stayed and what we did, but let me know if this is looking a lot like your favourite wardrobe pieces now too !

Love, Rebecca

xo

What to Buy: October

Ahhhh, the Autumn. My favourite season of all and the start of the time of year I love the most. What is there not to get excited about? Halloween, Fireworks, Thanksgiving (14 years of working for an American company has rubbed off on me), and then Christmas. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but having children of my own has really made these “holidays” even more special. And to top this all off – the cooler climes and the parties mean clothes I love to dress up in too ;)

October should be the time that you start to think about the winter months, and it’s wise to invest in some pieces that will see you through to the New Year, even if you think it may be a little premature. You and I you know what will inevitably happen. You’ll see it now, love it, and then dilly-dally and when you do want it, it’ll be sold out! (This is what usually happens to me)

Something has struck me this season though. The mid-mid season sales. Huh? We all got excited about the new season drops at the end of August, but in fact, those were just teasers to the pieces that we ACTUALLY wanted. Oh no, those pieces are coming into stores shortly, and the August/early September pieces are now going into sale. Naughty, naughty retailers.

So here’s what I think you’ll regret not at least seriously looking at/trying on, if not buying, for those cooler months. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…!

A Coat 

Grey / Burgundy

Probably a no-brainer, but if you want one that you actually want and/or like, then now’s the time to have a look. This seasons styles range from bright block colours to grey; from Pea Coats to Parkas. Pretty much anything goes. I REALLY like the Zara grey coat – something that would pretty much go with everything, and dressed up or down. I also love a red coat. I still have one I bought from Oasis a million years ago, and will be dragging it out this winter. The perfect colour to pop your outfits. There’s also a red out there for all colourings – from pillar box to burgundy.

Sequins

 

Jacket / Dress / Top / Sweatshirt

What’s not to love about sequins – ideal for the festive season. This bomber jacket will add a certain something to an every day outfit – casual yet special. Or perhaps for something a little less bling, this dress is a nice nod. Get it now whilst it’s in the sale ;)

Fringed Boots 

ASOS / M&S / Zara / Next

Less yes-ha and actually more chic, these are everywhere. Choose a style with a heel height to suit. I can vouch for the M&S Autograph ones – easy to walk in with their “Insolia Technology” and a fringe that’s not too out-there. The Next ones come highly rated too. Keep them black so that you definitely stay away from the Western look.

Wide Leg Trousers 

M&S / Zara / ASOS

These remind me of a time just after university into starting my career and are now back again. The luxe look of a wool pair, teamed with a fitted coat and perhaps even trainers, really appeals. Make sure your top half is fitted to balance out the look.

The long sleeveless Cardigan 

Topshop / H&M / ASOS

Last month it was the long cardigan, now we have lost the sleeves :) I know this won’t be a look that everyone can manage – in my opinion you need to be over 5’5″ to be able to wear this effectively – but it’s a great in-between and layering option. I wouldn’t go so far however as to prescribe a coat in this style, layering under a coat for the winter is tricky. Stick to neutral colours that will tone or contrast with, what you wear underneath.

I must also mention Shearling. Something that comes out most winter seasons, this year sees it featuring in coats, waistcoats and even accessories. Although faux, this waistcoat is a nice nod to the trend – great to throw over a jumper, worn with jeans or a skirt and opaques.

Until the end of the month then… Have great Octobers!

Erin xx

PS: I read with interest Rebecca’s post at the beginning of the week about her Autumn List. I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s new Superfood series, and last night cooked the Squash Dhal for supper. It was DELICIOUS! Winter comfort food without the bulk and calories – sorted as Jamie would say. Give it a try if you can…

 

Triple Temptation: Brown Leather Tote

Now Bea is getting bigger and with the majority of our trips being local, I tend to just grab a nappy, some wipes, a bib and some snacks. So for the first time in a long time, this Autumn I’m not just thinking about clothes, but a new bag that’s not the changing bag.


Reversible vegan leather tote – Urban Outfitters // Zip Transport Tote – Madewell // Brown leather tote- Etsy

In the past, I’ve always favoured medium sized bags, big enough to look stylish but without the weight or size of a bigger bag. This season, I’m thinking about oversized totes, both for practicality and the slouchy style that suits the way I’m dressing right now. It also happens to coincide with the first time I’ve looked at a bag that is brown in years, but it just seems so right as the weather gets cooler paired with berry shades and rich navy, plus mixing leather colours feels very on trend right now.

Have you got a favourite readers? Seen anything similar I should check out?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

How to Wear: September

What a glorious month September has been. Not only has the sun shone, we had a lovely family holiday in Cornwall as a foursome and it’s now the start of my favourite season of all, the Autumn.

The sunny weather has meant that sandals and espedrilles are still featuring in my shoe repertoire, even if worn with chunky knits and jackets – the perfect warm-ish Autumn attire!

Sandals and Espadrilles – Topshop; Jeans – J Crew; Jumper – J Crew; Culottes – Warehouse

My trusty kicks have also had several airings. I know they are essentially both white trainers, and both Adidas, but they make outfits look and feel very different, depending on which style I wear.

Adidas Cracked Leather Stan Smiths; Jeans – J Crew. Adidas Superstars; Chinos – Gap; Jumper, J Crew

We had a STUNNING week in Cornwall and we really lucked in with the weather. On the day we went to St Ives, the beach could have been found somewhere in the Caribbean (this is Carbis Bay for those who don’t know the area). Heaven.


The great weather meant that shorts were on the cards although starts to the day were still chilly. It was a great week and both boys, especially the biggest, loved it. We definitely have a beach lover on our hands ;)

The rest of the month has consisted of wearing the Coatigan I have mentioned before (I love how it goes with my woven wrap for Oscar, perhaps not deliberate…) and also getting dressed up for two Christenings on the same Sunday. The dress was really easy to feed Oscar in too.    Dress – Phase Eight; Shoes – LK Bennett

Finally I got to dress up again on Monday night this week for a work awards do. It felt liberating going out with only a small bag – my first evening away from No.2 since he was born.

Skirt –  c/o LK Bennett; Vest – Mango; Jacket – H&M (Sold Out)

I’ll be back next week with October’s “What to Buy” – coats will feature… ;)

Erin xx

PS: I was very excited about the Boden Icons launch that happened this month too and ordered a couple of pieces from the collection, but unfortunately, they’ve gone back.

Cardigan // Dress // Skirt

It’s nothing to do with the quality or fit, they are so well made with quality fabrics. It’s just I don’t think I’m quite ready to “fight for this love”…! (Although if the Mini version of the Brigadier skirt ever went into the sale, I may be tempted to order again…)

Save V Splurge: Work Flats

I am in desperate need of new work shoes and fell in love with these Boden pointed toe flats. They are smart, sleek and a little bit sexy with the addition of animal print. Oh and they’re £125. *gulp* Even as my every day shoe, (and I’m a big believer in cost-per-wear) there are so many other things I’d rather spend my money on right now…

So I was pretty pleased to spot these Clarks Pointed flats over the weekend. They’re very similar, well made and have a lovely cushy sole. And they’re £55. Win – win!

What do you think readers? Save or splurge?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS! There’s 20% off at Boden until tomorrow (Thursday) if you fell in love with the spendy option and want to soften the blow. ;)

What to Buy: September

September. The season of all change. It’s everywhere I look and read – people getting ready for the cooler months ahead and lamenting the end of summer. I actually love the Autumn. It heralds my birthday month (October) and I love those sharp Autumn days, where the sky is a crisp blue, the sun is low and the leaves are all sorts of yellow and rust. BEAUTIFUL!

A change in clime therefore warrants a different outlook on what to buy, especially since the new season drops are well and truly underway. I hope my roundup of what I think should be on your radar is helpful.

The Coatigan

 

Next / New Look / Boden

I’m not usually one for using faddy abbreviations, but this over-garment really has become a thing, and this year I’ve invested in one. Great for those chillier days before the real winter sets in, and thin enough not to get too hot if you are rushing around town or indeed carrying a baby around, a coatigan is great in-between piece. Choose one that is made from a “boiled” wool so that if it does rain, it won’t shrink or misshape, and make sure there is room underneath for a jumper – it’s all about the layering. I love the Boden one – best you can’ guess which one I have ;)

Gypsy Dress

 
Monsoon / Topshop / Zara   

Much like the Boho peasant blouse trend that led the way this summer, the Gypsy dress is going to be one that alludes me I think, although I do love seeing it on other people. There are many stores that have bought into this trend, Monsoon have done it really well with their new Heritage collection, so trying it out will be easy. Make sure the colours you choose are “your colours” – if pastels don’t suit you for example, steer clear. Zara and Topshop are good go-to options too. I also like the look of this M&S one.

Pussy Bows

  
Monsoon / House of Fraser / ASOS

All things 60′s are going to be around this AW, and the Pussy-Bow blouse is no exception. Keep it wearable by choosing a plain block colour to dress up high waisted jeans or or a pencil skirt. Super-chic. **Note of caution here for the larger chested amongst us… these work best on smaller cupped ladies – the bow can just add weight and volume where you don’t want it. There are options like this one though that start at the v on the chest – these would be best if you’d still like to buy into the trend.

Block Heels

   
Topshop / Topshop / Topshop / M&S

From flats this summer, to a heel that we can walk in and stay in all day – thank you shoe gods! Sticking with the 60s/70s trend, a block heel on your shoes or boots will see you well into the Autumn. The Topshop Mary-Janes are a great all-rounder for both trousers and skirts although admittedly the highest of the selection! I love the bow on the leopard print one – great for dressing up a pair of plain trousers.

Cropped Trousers

    
H&M / Zara

A hangover from the summer, don’t put those Culottes away just yet. The cropped trousers, especially those on the wider side, are the now trouser. Along with printed version in jewel colours they will be the staple of your AW wardrobe. Wear with block heels, or dress up even more with a high ankle boot.

So what do you think readers? Will you be investing in anything? Wishing you great Septembers’ – we are now on our holidays but I’ll be back at the end of the month. Until then… Enjoy your shopping! :)

Erin xx

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