Friday Frock O’clock

Right now, ASOS has 25% off dresses. When they’re already well priced, that means super bargains are there for the taking. Instead of outdated wintery styles as you so often get in mid-season sales, there are some dresses perfect for stocking up on for summer holidays and events, so I thought I’d pick 4 favourites today.

Embroidered cutwork dress // Origami heavy satin dress // Open back dress // Graphic floral maxi dress

Happy Friday readers,


The Fash Flash: Maternity Jeans Reviewed

I’m going to talk more about maternity clothes and how I have been dressing in general as the weeks go on, but I wanted to dedicate a post to something that has been a gigantic effort and huge pain in the behind, maternity jeans. It’s a key wardrobe element and often one of the the first things you might buy (2nd for me) as jeans can be uncomfortable at the best of times, let alone when they start digging into this invisible passenger that is filling out your belly. I write this at 20 weeks and up to last week when I last tried I could still wear my jeans, (these New Look skinnies I reviewed a while back,) as they are plenty stretchy enough around the waist and quite soft. But I need a belt to hold them up which isn’t great and sitting down is really not comfortable at all. So, I have canvased Instagram and done a fair bit of personal research and wanted to bring you the results here for anyone who is looking, or might be in the future. Please do add your comments and suggestions at the bottom!

The first thing I did was ask you guys. There are a lot of places that do maternity jeans but I wanted to see where the popular ones were and hopefully reduce my shopping efforts. (I hate jeans shopping at the best of times.) So I asked Instagram for your recommendations and here is how the recommendations panned out:
Gap 8
H&M 10
Topshop (Leigh) 8
New Look 5
Seraphine 3
Mamas and Papas 3
JoJoMamanBebe and also got 1 mention each.

Gap, H&M and New Look came out top of the pile by far, H&M being the winner, with New Look closely behind them. Your advice was invaluable too so I have shared a couple of comments that I felt were useful here. It’s worth remembering that one pair might not do all the way through as your shape changes, ‘Under bump Topshop ones were fab for me, but now at 33 wks everything is going over bump for sake of comfort’ and there were quite a few people (despite those people who liked Topshop,) who complained about them, ‘Some Topshop jeans fall down, others are ok. It’s trial and error!’. Under bump jeans were also deemed as good for ‘post partum wobble!’. Another reader suggested ‘Find one pair that fit you well then hit eBay for the same style’, although I wonder how second hand would stand up to the repeated wash and wear that is necessary with mat jeans? One other tip that Rachel gave was that they sell out fast, so if you see a pair you like buy them or order to try at home as if you go back they might not be available. I saw lots that I could have bought online and looked good but they didn’t have my size.

I decided that I wanted an ‘under the bump’ style because the majority of my pregnancy will be in summer and I thought it might be hot with a top layered over a bump band if I went for an over bump style. One gripe when shopping was that some shops do exclusively under (Topshop) or over (H&M) bump styles and you often can’t find the same wash or style in both (hello Mamas and Papas.) I found a lot of them lacked detail, even simple things like contrast stitching and as a result looked like jeggings. New Look and Gap under bump jeans waist band extended all the way around (as the over bump styles do,) which I wasn’t as keen on as they don’t look ‘normal’ from the back. My biggest problem however was finding the wash I wanted. I wanted a skinny jean, dark indigo wash (so it could be dressed up or down,) and prefer a bit of subtle fading or distressing than a block dark shade. It was almost impossible to find decent colours with a lot of paler ones or just generally cheap looking washes. A lot of the advice I received was to size down too which I didn’t – I tried on mostly size 10 everywhere, but having said that I wouldn’t normally fit a size ten Topshop jean so perhaps there is something in it! Here’s what I tried…

Number of pairs tried on: 13
Number of shops visited: 7
Number ordered online: 3

M&P Dark indigo wash under the bump skinny jean £36
I happened to try these when Pete and I were browsing Cots and they felt so comfortable straight away with a nice skinny style and contrast stitch. I actually went onto buy them but found when I got them home that the waistband at the back started to gape. They were falling down the minute I sat or bent over in the them after only having them on for 5 minutes, so I took them back.

Topshop Maternity MOTO dark vintage Leigh underbump £38
These were very tight and stretchy like leggings which I didn’t like, but they did have a contrast stitch and different leg lengths (mine are on the short side but I still preferred the 32 leg, so tall types wouldn’t do here.) After a few laps of the changing room and some bending/sitting the bum was sagging already so these were not a favourite for me.

GAP 1969 demi panel always skinny jeans £44
I love GAP jeans so was keen to try these. The only problem I had was availability. I could only get a pair to try in ankle length and they were SHORT but otherwise they were great. Great jean material, no sagging, and a slightly deeper ‘underbump’ band (although it goes all the way around) style that was a better shape on me. If I can get another pair in a better length these are my second choice and I’ll be looking out for a ‘summer’ style even though they were the priciest I tried.

Mamalicious Slim leg jean £38
These were considerably bigger than expected (in a size ten) and the leg wasn’t as slim as I would like. In the right size they might have been better, but I had found my winner by this point and didn’t persevere.

New Look £20-26
New Look’s offerings I didn’t test as vigorously as the others as I just couldn’t find a wash I liked. They are cheaper than most (look on ASOS as well as instore and online at New Look.) and very soft but availability was poor (online too,) and they are cheaper in finish/look I felt.

H&M Overbump (‘high rib’) £29.99
I initially discounted these completely as I found instore that there were only overbump styles but after seeing how popular they were from your Instagram recommendations I thought I’d give them a go. Over bump definitely gave me a better shape to look at and H&M came up trumps with the wash options and look of jeans rather than jeggins too. My one comment would be that they are VERY low cut for the actual jean bit before the bump band starts meaning you might be stuck with longer tops with it. This is both good and bad – good because the jean part is very tight around the hips and waist which means they stay put instead of falling down but in a size 10 (which fitted) I found it really tight and uncomfortable just above my pubic bone and bump so I sized up to a 12 (still super tight) and the discomfort wasn’t a problem. They are also amongst the cheapest! Winner!

So there you have it readers, the result of my extensive investigations. 1 week on having worn the H&M pair a LOT, (including long periods sitting down and walking around over the weekend,) I’m still impressed. They haven’t stretched excessively or gone saggy around the bottom and they are ridiculously comfortable. It’s is however a very personal decision and I’d love to hear your opinion readers, and any tips or recommendations you have. Hopefully this will be a really useful resource for those yet to need it!


PS. If you still want more advice or brands to try, Hello Baby Blog posted about her Top 6 Maternity Jeans here.

Triple Temptation: Biker Jackets

Striped biker jacket // Blush tweed biker jacket // Floral biker jacket

As spring rolls around I’m already thinking of bright colours and lighter layers but while the temperatures hover up and down, layers are exactly what is called for. These pretty and punchy jackets are perfect for layering with a scarf at the weekend, or smart trousers and a shirt into the office. You know how I like double duty items!

What do you think readers?


The Fash Flash: Spring Sunshine…

Yellow texture blouse // Multi floral elbow sleeve top // Bright Jacquard dress
Cocoon Coat // Boxy Jumper // Cropped Boucle Biker Jacket
Mirror print tunic // Drape front playsuit // Colour block tee

A couple of weeks ago I went shopping to pick something up and immediately noticed that 3 or 4 shops had transitional collections featuring yellows. Everything from pastel to acid to chartreuse to bright to mustard, it felt like such a breath of fresh spring time air in the gloomy depths of winter. It really does feel right now like it’s darkest before the (spring) dawn.

Some of the items I have picked here are full on, out-and-out yellow, but quite a few are mixed in with much more subdued colours that make them a little more appropriate for the still gloomy season and also better for yellow-shy skin tones to try out.

Happy Friday readers, go on and brighten your day :)


#Januaryjoy: Try a new trend

With one eye already on spring I almost rescheduled this post but with the rotten weather we have been having it’s totally appropriate right now. This post also perfectly epitomises the sentiment behind todays prompt. Despite the use of the word trend, this one was more about trying something new for you, plus I always love Michelle’s fashion posts so lets get adventurous! – Rebecca

The fur collar or shawl is an item that has been on my wardrobe wishlist for a few years but I hadn’t got round to actually buying one before now. And it’s not strictly a ‘new trend’ in that in that it’s not nodding to the forthcoming Spring season but it is hot right now and perfect for adding a little winter season luxe to any outfit. Given recent years we’re likely to see the chilly weather lasting right through to March so still plenty of time to get your wear out of them. // Sydney Sadick
Faux fur is a really versatile accessory that can take an ordinary outfit up a notch or two in the luxe style stakes, not to mention adding a little warmth. I’m definitely a layers person when it comes to winter dressing and need the option of de-robing a few if I end up somewhere hot after walking outside in the cool air. With a fun fur collar added to my outfit I can change it up by having it just over my outerwear or looking equally as good over a t-shirt or sweater. //
I’m also really loving the colourful options available right now for adding that extra dimension to an outfit, burgundy and deepest blues being my favourites. //

My top 6 faux fur collar picks…..

Fur roundup, faux fur collar, bloggers, fashion bloggers, florence finds, pocketful of dreams, michelle kelly

1. Adrienne Landau £122 2. ASOS Pink £24 3. Topshop Nude £25
4. Topshop Black £25 5. Monsoon Marjorie £29 6. UrbanCode Grey £43.99

SHOP THE STYLE – Find even more fur collar finds here.

I went for the black collar from Topshop and literally have not taken it off all Christmas. So findettes, what current or next season trends are you coveting or trying out right now?

Michelle xx

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Style Saver: Statement Sweaters

One of the core items I’ve been searching for to update my winter wardrobe is a statement sweater.

Statement Sweater, Florence Finds, Pocketful of Dreams, michelle Kelly, fashion, Fashion Blogger

O’Chic’s Fashion Journey //

My office is freezing so I need items that beat the chill whilst still looking relatively ‘put-together’, I have loads of cardigans but fear I step into granny-chic territory every time I put one on, no matter how gorgeous it is.

Statement to me can be anything from a bright and zingy colour, to a unique and striking pattern or as simple as a luxe fabric. These sweaters work so well with jewels and/or over a shirt or blouse, double protection from the elements whilst still looking gorgeous, it’s all about the layers ladies.

Statement Sweater, Florence Finds, Pocketful of Dreams, michelle Kelly, fashion, Fashion Blogger //

Here’s my top 6 picks, have you seen any you’d like to share with us?

Statement Sweater, Florence Finds, Pocketful of Dreams, michelle Kelly, fashion, Fashion Blogger

Michelle xx

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You’ll find even more statement sweaters I’m loving right now here:

statement sweaters

Triple Temptation: Park it

Blue Fur Hooded parka £85 // Navy wool parka with black fur hood £90 // Snow Rhumba Hooded Parka £190 //

You should all by now know that I am obsessed with parkas. I already own 2 but could totally make room for a navy one in my wardrobe too, and a fur lined one, and a contrast sleeve one… the list goes on.

Today I spotted these darker shades with convincing faux fur trim and fell for the slight twist on a classic. Just in time for the temperatures dipping.

Stay warm readers and enjoy the fireworks!!


PS. I promise I don’t always choose these in price order!

The Fash Flash: Suited and Booted

Where previously I had always thought that knee high boots were the way forward, for seasons now ankle boots have been striding to the forefront of fashion. A few of you have mentioned looking for the perfect pair this season so I thought I would do a round up of a few I have seen, (courtesy of a shopping trip with Francesca for the perfect ankle pair.) Of course you’ll need them in brown and black, ;) or why not try a mid greige shade to work with either tone?

L-R Top to bottom: H&M // Kurt Geiger // French Connection
H&M //  Aldo // H&M
Dune // Aldo // Dune

I’d love to know which are your favourites here? Do you prefer brown or black? And have I missed any bargains or fabulous finds you have spotted?


The Fash Flash: 8 items for AW13

Is it me, or is the weather unseasonably warm? I’m not complaining – the longer we don’t have to crank up the heating in the new house the better as far as I’m concerned and it’s also giving me extra time to really think about the best choices to update my wardrobe that are really going to work hard and go the extra mile. I’ve put together a list of my must have items for the new season.

Statement Jacket
As the temperatures drops, even at indoor events you’ll want an extra layer. Perfect for lunch, shopping, work or over a dress for dinner, this is a hardworking piece, worthy of a bit of investment. Day Birger et Mikkelsen Jacket.

Statement skirt.
Skirts are taking centre stage this season in many shapes and forms, but if you want to feel on-trend, try the wrap origami skirt to stand out with a minimal twist on the ever faithful pencil skirt. Whistles Wrap Skirt.

Track pant trousers
Still the trouser style of choice, I resisted calling these jogging bottom trousers. Just as comfortable, look to make them smarter by choosing luxe silk fabrics and bold prints then pair with heels for maximum impact. Abstract animal trousers – Warehouse

The modernist bag
Bags this season are boxy and modern with clean lines and perhaps a hint of a colour block in some. Choose a square shape with square clasp or hardware and you’ll be bang on trend. Messenger bag - Zara

Day dress
After a rather over zealous wardrobe clear out earlier in the year, I’m in dire need of work and day clothes for autumn. As I dress quite casually for work, I’m thinking a great day dress might do double duty with flats for day and boots at the weekend, then even heels at night. Jersey Dress – Whistles at Atterley Rd

The go-everywhere blouse
It’s official, after the reign of the shirt/blouse, buttoned up chic is over in favour of a pretty blouse. Front pattern blouse.

Delicate jewels
More and more, I’m craving delicate feminine jewelry. Choose thin wire-like designs and stacked thin rings for a delicate touch. Tusk necklace - Baukjen

The evening dress
It’s way to early to be selecting a party dress, as this years is going to have to work hard for me, although I do love the lace on this Whistles failsafe number.

What do you think of my selection readers… have you got any must-haves yet this season? I’d love to hear what you’re all buying!


The Fash Flash: Leather

This season, leather is one trend I am determined to get on board with, as it has passed me by for several seasons past while it has been building it’s fashion credentials. Leather is often an investment but the fact that it has been persisting through the last few years (even into summer seasons,) is backing up it’s promise of longevity and so I’m ready to make the leap. I thought I’d round up some of my favourite pieces on the high street now, both budget bargains and higher end luxe items. One last thought for you; If this is a trend you want to try, then buy now as you’ll get your wear out of the piece throughout the season and really feel the cost per wear.

Whistles Joni leather hoodie £350 // M&S Autograph panelled leather skirt £149 // Warehouse drape jacket £140
Leather pony effect skirt, Topshop £220 // Leather box effect tee, Topshop £95
Carrie Leather legging, Reiss £495 // Topshop Leather and denim mix tee £55 // Onyx quilted burgundy leather jacket, Reiss £495

I’m totally in love with that burgundy Reiss jacket, but for a more affordable take on the trend and a double check in the fashion boxes for the blush shade too, you can’t go far wrong with a Topshop ‘box effect’ Tee. Warehouse also wins for wearable style with it’s waterfall style soft looking jacket. What I really want however is a skirt, and again, I’ll be trying to find that Topshop number up there for affordability and style in one.

Have you got any leather items or have you seen any you’re lusting after?