The Fash Flash: Wet Weather Style

Since I’ve been on maternity leave, I have barely used our car. Firstly I wasn’t allowed to drive post c-section and also, Chorlton has everything I need within walking distance. We also have one very old car that Pete uses to run to work and my three door car. So we can continue to re-do the house and because we don’t really need 2 cars right now, we’ve opted not to to buy a new one (as we had planned) when Bea arrived. Why am I telling you this? Because it left me in the market for a new coat. Coats are cheaper than cars.


Joules Waterproof Parka £129 // Petit Bateau Iconic Raincoat £132 // Boden Rainy Day Mac £119
Seasalt Snowdrop Coat £140 // Seasalt Dayboard 3 in 1 jacket £150 // Helly Hansen W Kirkwall Rain Coat £100

The particularly warm and dry September and most of October we have had meant I didn’t really think about my need for wet weather gear (who was I kidding, I live in Manchester!) But after getting soaked through to my skin pushing the pram back from a baby class 2 weeks ago, the search came sharply to the forefront of my mind. I wanted an actually waterproof coat, but something that also looked stylish. Perhaps unusually, I also didn’t need something super warm as I have a heavy duty waterproof(ish) parka that will be coming out in my winter capsule. This was more of a spring/english summer/autumn piece.

I actually made my first purchase (this Boat Coat) from Seasalt after being recommended their coats but I was really disappointed by how frumpy I felt in it. It just wasn’t ‘me’ and although I like lots of their coats, none really fitted the bill. Next I combed the slightly more fashion led brands like Boden and Joules and google searched, which led me to some surprisingly good looking options.


Boden Short Rainy Day Mac £110

After spotting someone wearing a lovely yellow coat I was reminded of my yellow raincoat from ASOS. Now that it’s stood the test of time and remained one of my favourite jackets, I decided it was time to invest in the real deal and purchased the yellow one above. It arrived yesterday and I LOVE it. It’s got grey detailing, playful oversized buttons, a fleece lining (not too thick, but cosy) and smart pleat detail to the back. I opted not to get a longer length as they just don’t suit me and I don’t mind getting my legs wet.

So readers, do you do rainy day outerwear? I like the Helly Hansen Mac here too for city types.

Happy weekend!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Splish Splash

Before even the first day was done of my Capsule wardrobe for Autumn, I realised i had made a grave omission (for Manchester dwelling anyway.) No wet weather gear. For autumn walks they are a must but there was enough torrential rain last week to make me want to wear wells every day of the week so there is going to have to be an amendment! I’ve bought a waterproof coat (more on that soon) and am digging out my Hunters. In the meantime, here are a few I found for you guys to waterproof your wardrobes with…


Joules flower print // Dark silver Chelsea boot wells, New Look // Joules Dog print
Strap detail wellington boot, Ted Baker // Original slim zip wellington, Hunter // Studded biker wellies, New Look
SeaSalt tideline Wellies // Hunter Tall stripe wellington boot // SeaSalt Yellow deck wellies

There are styles here for fun, city dwellers and pretty prints – all the bases are covered.

Are you a welly wearer?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

25% off Whistles with Grazia


Bea Cashmere zip knit, Whistles

I wasn’t going to mention this discount this year but then, as I so often do, I decided to buy something rather last minute before the discount expires and thought some of you might appreciate the reminder! I wasn’t going to spend any money on knitwear for my capsule wardrobe (coming right up!) but every year I do always buy a great quality piece of knitwear so when I saw this one I couldn’t resist. It’s a nice change from the grey/navy cashmere I already have and ticks the box for another big AW14 trend… brights with black. You can’t immediately see but it also has zip sides perfect for breast feeding access!

Head on over to whistles.co.uk to see if theres any thing you don’t want to miss and use the code WH25AW14 for 25% Off with Grazia UK. You have until midnight 6th October – that’s Monday!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. Did I mention the jumper is called ‘Bea’?! ;)

AW14 Capsule Wardrobe update

So, a little while back I told you all I was going to have a go at making and living with a capsule wardrobe for Autumn and I’ve been working on it ever since. Thats right, it’s been the best part of a month! I’m probably guilty of over obsessing about it but there seemed at times to be a lot of pressure on getting the items in my capsule wardrobe right. After all, if I am to do it properly then there will be no bailing out and reaching for my larger wardrobe upstairs when I feel uninspired. Why be so harsh on myself? Well, the more I’ve thought about it the more the idea of living with less appeals and I want to see if I can crack it for future seasons. It means less time wasted shopping (which I truly don’t enjoy as much any more,) less money wasted on disposable fashion and less wasted clothing in my wardrobe. I reach for the same pieces day in day out, so why not be more considered and edit out (or not let in in the first place,) those unused or seldom worn pieces?

I’m 99% there now and I’ll be sharing my capsule next week, but for now, I thought I’d share some of the thought processes and decisions I’ve made so far. Just to recap – the whole process is inspired by Caroline’s blog minimalist fashion blog un-fancy.com where she documents her outfits from a 37 piece wardrobe.

Post-natal specific ideas…

I need way more tops than bottoms – to cater for those leaked nappy/dribble/full on puke moments without washing 3 times a day. They also need to be washable and (I may yet be foiled on this front as I have oped for quantity over quality,) good quality items as holding a baby close all day results in pulled necklines and creased fabrics 24/7.

Bottoms are harder to find while my waist is still AWOL so I might as well choose fewer pieces that work for me now and be more creative on the top half. As a result you’ll see I have upped the number of tops in my capsule and scaled back the bottoms.

Breast feeding clothes get easier… I have found quite a few *smug face* normal tops that have buttons or zips in handy places to help with feeding, but equally I will never be a cardigan fan so I have embraced the idea of lifting my top/jumper instead as winter is a-coming and I love knitwear.

My shape is changing rapidly, mainly around the middle, going from mum tum to flatter, then just fatter and wobblier then before, so that has been a big consideration in the pieces I choose – both flattering my shape for now and giving thought to how it will (hopefully) continue to change.

General thoughts

It’s hard to make a capsule wardrobe with colour. I got half way through my wardrobe planning and realised I had a sea of grey clothes as the top image shows. Whilst I love grey as a neutral, a few weeks in and I’d be totally bored of it. It also didn’t give any nod to the current seasonal colour trends to keep me feeling up to date and I had no pattern in there either. Cue a re-think.

I also found it really difficult to plan for the next few months (Sept-Dec) in the middle of the Indian summer we have just had. I factored in a couple of lightweight knits but just couldn’t comprehend autumnal days and winter temperatures. Now the weather has changed it’s brought my need for heavier layers sharply into focus and I’ve found it much easier to plan.

Shoes are really hard to narrow down! I don’t consider myself a shoe fiend but I do have quite a few pairs and know how useful they are to change the feel of an outfit. Joggers with heels? Date night. Joggers with trainers? Urban cool. Joggers with brogues? Hipster. However, I’m resisting heels and going for practical choices and trying to think about what colours work – so I don’t end up with a brown and a black pair of boots if one will work just as well.

Money and get out clauses!

Just in case some of you are wondering how much I’m spending on all of this, I’m allocating myself a budget of £500 and I want this wardrobe to last me until January. That may seem like a lot but I would normally spend at least £100 a month (although more often cumulatively like this) on clothes and once complete there will be no shopping until the next wardrobe. I’ve also used every discount code and voucher I could find (always more abundant at the start of the season,) to keep costs down. And as a result of ally he clearing out, I’m also selling some clothes and shoes on eBay for the first time ever – I’ll let you know how that goes!

Lastly, I’m going to allow myself a get out clause. In case of a very cold snap I’ll allow myself to switch 2 tops, 1 pair of shoes and one pair of bottoms or coat if I need to.

I’ll be sharing my full wardrobe plus links to where everything is from next week. Are you trying the capsule? Do any of my thoughts ring true with you or have you made any modifications?

Have a great weekend readers,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#MomStyle

Have you seen the new ‘Mom Jeans’? When I was looking for boyfriend (or more aptly named by Warehouse Girlfriend‘) jeans recently, it was suggested I ‘take a look at the Mom jeans which are really similar’. They weren’t similar at all – they were high waisted and reminded me of the eighties – a look a flat-stomached teen could perhaps pull off in Shoreditch, but not for me. It got me thinking about how we stereotype mothers in the fashion stakes, whether it’s imagining a frazzled woman with spit-up on her shoulders or a Boden wearing middle class mummy. As I’m giving so much thought to my own capsule wardrobe right now I got pretty put out at the thought fashion is no longer aimed at me and can be seriously impractical at times.  (Who am I kidding? I’m a good 10 years above Topshop’s target customer profile!). Luckily for me there are loads of fashion trends right now that fit perfectly with my requirements of pram-pushing, baby carrying, new-body style and I thought I’d share some of the key pieces that I love from both a fashion and everyday reality perspective…

1 // 2

Joggers
Yes, the humble sweatpant (re-named ‘joggers’ to avoid the mental image of sofa lounging and baggy bums,) is bigger then ever. Re-imagined in drapey fabrics and new prints for work wear or going out, the good old jersey type is also a winner for every day. Wear with flats by day and pointed heels or sandals by night and unexpected tops like a buttoned up blouse for serious style credentials.

1 // 2

Fashion Trainers
Massive at the last fashion week in Spring and not going anywhere as a trend, this look is steadily filtering through to the mainstream. Perfect for pram pushing, keep it out of slummy mummy territory by choosing statement finishes like reflective metallic silver, neons or brights, and old school classic styles like New Balance, Adidas or Nike.

1 // 2

Boyfriend Jeans
I did end up finding a pair during the search I mentioned above and have lived in them since. Once you’ve got the right fit for you, they’re super comfortable with an air of off-duty cool. Boyfriend jeans just like joggers can be dressed up or down and are much more forgiving than skinnies if your legs aren’t as ‘skinny’ as they used to be. ;)

If you’re interested, I’m always collecting images of looks I love on my Pinterest Street Style board for outfit inspiration, take a look!

So what are your go-to wardrobe items that you turn to day after day and make life easy? I’d love to hear…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Warehouse AW14

Two weeks ago I was invited to view the Autumn Winter 2014 fashion trends in Warehouse. It served as a good idea of some of the big themes for fashion this season and so I thought I’d share the looks styled for the evening here with you and the trends I picked up on and liked the most. As an aside, Warehouse has always been one of my go-to high street stores. Although it’s up to the minute and aimed at a young market, I find the quality is good and the pieces fit well – great for a fashion fix.


Jason Lock

Surprisingly for the darker colder months, there are still a whole lot of pastel shades going on. I loved these fluffy coats and check out the dress below right -its actually printed leather and quite the showstopper close up, without being a bank breaker.


Jason Lock

I’m a big fan of sporty fashion and street style looks are still going strong with parka’s, joggers in drapey fabrics, more leather and the perennial neutral, animal print.


Jason Lock

My favourite looks were the new ‘co-ords’ – matching prints worn together as separates. It looks really modern and fresh in boxy shapes and big bold prints.

Jason Lock

Less my style but a look that is classic and going to be really big this season is the 60′s influence. Think shift dresses, a-line mini’s, shorter hemlines (for skirts and cropped tops or knits) and block colour.


Jason Lock

So readers, it’s fashion friday, are there any looks you would recreate here? And can you guess which one I’ll be wearing this season?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Post Natal Style Dilemma’s

I’m tempted to follow that title with ‘what style?’… I certainly feel like I’m in the fashion wilderness right now. I know lots of women simply don’t care what they wear after a baby because they are too tired/sore/busy to even think about it and I totally get that, but for me, feeling well dressed (not necessarily smart,) is what helps me feel good about myself. With a new and different body, the biggest eye bags I’ve ever had and a slightly hazy and emotional take on life due to tiredness, cheering myself up with my wardrobe was something I needed to do.

Unfortunately for me and lots of other new mamas out there, it’s flipping difficult. I’ve got a double whammy of factors to consider, not just the mum tum and my still rapidly changing shape, but the soreness I’m still feeling post c-section. I’ve no waist to show off right now, and lots of things I would normally choose to sit lower on my waist or hips are too sore to wear for long or at all over my scar area. Fortunately that is improving day by day. Then when I find something that works for these issues (like my beloved t’shirt style shift dresses,), you can guarantee it doesn’t work for feeding in too. And don’t get me started on ‘breast feeding tops’ – the majority are dire, or simply not my style.

All of this led to a mini melt down (on my long suffering husband,) about how unattractive I was feeling and made me realise something had to give. I had been wearing old tee’s and tops (that didn’t fit,) my maternity jeans (no longer flattering,) and leggings (whilst breaking the cardinal rule by combining them with tops that didn’t cover my bum.) I’d been feeling even more morose as I realised that I couldn’t even shop the new season due to my changing shape and feeding restrictions. Whilst trying to save money on pointless purchases that I thought wouldn’t be needed for long, I was actually making myself unhappy by consigning myself to ill-fitting, inappropriate clothes!

By happy coincidence I happened to stumble across a blog on capsule wardrobe planning (Un-Fancy) which really speaks to me right now. I’ve talked before about packing for holiday and making sure you have pieces that work together by choosing a similar colour palate, then they can be combined in loads of different ways, so the idea of a capsule wardrobe wasn’t new to me. And giving it some thought has been a real eye opener…

I’ve realised for the foreseeable future my shape isn’t likely to change massively. I may or may not loose weight secondary to breastfeeding, but of my friends who did BF, I’d say more kept their ‘insurance blubber’ (what I call the extra pounds many women carry post baby that insures their breast milk against possible improbable cake famine,) for the duration that they fed, than those who were fortunate enough for the pounds to fall off. I’ve also realised that my usual ‘style’ isn’t that conducive to having a tiny baby. I need clothes that are comfortable to sit/lie/roll on the floor in, that wash easily and quickly, that don’t have hazardous embellishment on that might prevent me cuddling 24 hours a day and that are forgiving to my new shape. Oh and my favourite garment, the Dress, is pretty much out. Aside from that, I love the idea of having an edited selection of pieces that I can quickly get dressed from, feel good in and spend time on my life instead of fretting about how I look. And there’s the small matter of money – this way I hope I’m striking a happy medium between not spending anything and feeling rubbish about myself, and splurging on a wasteful short-term solution.

Some of the items I already have that will work for AW14…

So with Caroline’s blog and theory as a guide I have decided to create a capsule wardrobe for the next 3-4 months. It’s not an ideal time to start as I often find the weather in the UK is transitional in September and October, with as much chance of a crazy day or week of warm weather as freaky frosts, so it will be a tough job. As my circumstances are likely to change (I do hope I’m not wobbly and BF forever!) I don’t want to spend a fortune on this and Caroline champions using items you already have in your wardrobe for some of your capsule wardrobe. I’ve been surprised at how much of my wardrobe I can use already when I had a good look at it all. As you can see, I’m sorted for knitwear and found that I have historically invested in wardrobe classics and staples but I’m lacking in everyday jersey pieces. I’m using her tips to clear out my wardrobe (and the boxes and rails upstairs!) and find what is still good for me. I need to let go of things that I’m never going to fit again (hello wardrobe of 2009!) and get tough with the things I won’t normally ‘throw’ because I feel bad getting rid of clothes that aren’t technically ‘worn out’. Who am I kidding, I don’t throw the worn out stuff sometimes!

So over the next week or two I’m figuring out my capsule wardrobe for September to November/December, starting with the pieces I have and figuring out where the gaps are. When it’s all finalised I’ll share it here with you. I really want to start doing some what to wear posts again too so I will do some kind of periodic posts on the outfits I’m getting out of my wardrobe.

So readers, have you ever created a capsule wardrobe? Do you think you need one? or are you struggling with your wardrobe after a baby? Give me a shout with your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS, let me know how much you spend per month by completing the poll below…

Triple Temptation: Boho kaftans

Good Morning readers! Sorry for the lack of posts – I’m having some camera trouble which has been getting in the way and Pete is on his official paternity leave so we are out and about enjoying Bea. I’m sure things will get back to normal soon. Bear with me!

Maybe with the recent change in weather I’m already feeling nostalgic for the end of summer, or perhaps I’m hoping for an Indian summer to spend with Bea and the earth mother in me is coming out, but right now I’m leaning towards a much more relaxed sartorial style. Floaty tops, bright embroidered touches, cool fabrics and comfortable shapes are what I’m coveting, so I’m looking for the perfect embroidered top to pair with shorts, sandals and sunglasses for summer style.


Monsoon £29.99 // Monsoon £22.50 (sale) // Zara £29.99

They double as beach wear and don’t have to be restricted to summer – the black detailing on the first choice above would transition well into Autumn to work the folksy seventies vibe that will continue to be a hit for AW14. They’re also super kind to a lingering mum-tum and work well layered with a vest for breast feeding.

What do you think readers? Would you wear a kaftan?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Summer Skirts


Midi skirts, both Warehouse // Maxi, ASOS.

It’s fair to say that I am really getting to the stage of being truly fed up with maternity clothes. Dresses are fine and there are plenty of cute ones about, but when it comes to this warm weather I have been living in a pair of denim maternity shorts and vests. Comfy but I’m not feeling like much of a glowing mama. I’m also turning my thoughts to what I’m going to wear post partum, comfortable clothes that make me feel less of a wreck and allow me to wear something on top that is conducive to feeding. I decided a maxi skirt would be good and spied some in GAP (non maternity) with fold down waists that could go under bump now and over after baby, but they are not super inspiring. If you’re in the same boat as me, Seraphine also has a maternity split side maxi in the sale. However I did spot some gorgeous ones in the non-maternity sections (lucky for you guys!) and thought I’d share a couple here.

I’m going to do a feature on style for Breast Feeding soon, but if you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

[Baby} Fash Flash: Changing bags

Now that we’re not getting the Cosatto pram (which came with a changing bag,) I’m starting to think that I can’t bury my head in the sand about changing bags anymore and need to find something to do the job. Trouble is, I’m kind of fussy about my bags and whilst I’m not bothered about finding a bag that is trying to pretend to be a handbag, I do want something that fits my style.

I thought I’d share some of my criteria and some of the better brands and bags I have spotted.

Needs:

  • Wipe clean/waterproof (for pushing the pram in Manchester drizzle.)
  • Reasonably priced ie, significantly less than £100
  • Stylish (puts a rucksack out of the question – not me at all.)
  • Not huge – I’m not a big packer and don’t want to lug around everything but the kitchen sink.
  • Not overtly feminine (I have asked Pete about this and he doesn’t care what the changing bag looks like, but I don’t want him to feel totally silly.)
  • Not too bothered about inserts/included changing bags or bottle holders, but the more expensive it is, the more bothered I would be.
  • Cross body strap for hands-free ease.


Cara Navy stripe £55 // Satchel jumbo dot (navy) £42 // Big slouchy £47 // Amanda quilted, £57.95

Babymel bags are from London (I do love supporting British brands) and have great designs and patterns. I really like this navy spot bag as it will work in winter and summer, without looking silly on Pete.


BabaBing Day Tripper £50

This weekend I saw my girlfriends for a kind of pseudo baby shower (Read: indulgent afternoon tea and dinner out while I grilled them for birth and baby info.) One brought along her 5 week old and this changing bag recommended by 2 of the others there as a unisex option and it has some amazing features, like top access without lifting the flap and a waterproof sealed pocket for soiled items.


Pacapod Napier £85

I’m a real sucker for anything organisational, so the Pacapods really appeal to me. Is it just a gimmick though and will all those compartments just add to access difficulties?


Skip Hop Forma changing bag £65 and grab and go wet/dry bag £13

Also love the chevron print of the Skiphop Forma bag and the wet/dry grab and go bag. Although there’s no cross body strap for this one.

What do you think readers? Got a recommendation I should look into? Roz suggested TK Maxx. What I really need to know is:

What are your essential changing bag contents?

Love,
Rebecca
xo