#JanuaryJoy – Clear out your wardrobe

I’m not using this prompt to give you a prescriptive list of methods for clearing out your wardrobe. (We’ve done that before and if you would like some pointers read michelle’s detailed post here.) Instead, I’m using it as an opportunity to share with you my experiences of my capsule wardrobe. I started it in September but only blogged about it in October, inspired by Caroline over at Unfancy.com and driven by my post-natal style wilderness.

Before we start, if you want to read about my original choices, here is a link to the AW14 capsule wardrobe reveal post. I’m going to take you through what I chose now and what I actually wore…

Starting with the tops. As you can see there was a lot that went unworn here or I didn’t wear much. As I bought a lot of cheap stuff there was a lot I didn’t wear because of the quality – that top left t-shirt from Forever21 was dire, and the top middle sweat I wore quite a lot and still love, but hasn’t washed well and has gone out of shape. The big sloppy oversized tee’s were a real winner. That happens to be a style I like and was super-forgiving on my changing shape. I must have worn that wine coloured Zara TRF number (all links in the original post,) twice a week for months. The Superdry sparkly logo top (bottom left) was a surprise winner too – it had a bit of sparkle to cheer me up but was a flattering weight of waterfall and longer in the body, also a bit more flattering. And the cream v-neck zip front top was great for feeding and looked a bit smarter if I was going out.

The things I didn’t wear were for 3 main reasons. 1. They were too fancy for the occasions I had to get dressed for ie. there weren’t many occasions I needed to dress up for in this time period. And 2. The weather really scuppered my plans – I didn’t wear the pink cashmere Whistles jumper at all as it was too warm and only wore the other knits a couple of times, but I haven’t marked them ‘worn once’ as it wasn’t a failure on their part or mine in choosing them, just circumstance with the weather. Lastly, reason number 3. was that I didn’t need them including in my capsule in the first place but I panicked and thought I ‘ought to have’ a chambray shirt, for versatility, for example.

Moving onto the bottoms… I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, lest of all me who lives in jeans, but I basically wore the boyfriend jeans everyday, then moved onto the skinny jeans as soon as they were more comfortable and as the weather turned too cold to bare my ankles. The joggers were a surprise favourite again – probably not that stylish, but great for bumming around the house in and just being super comfy. I hardly wore the skirts or dresses – I think they were optimistic in how I would feel about wearing that style given my new shape. And the black skirt was an error. I never wear black and I bought this because I couldn’t find a striped or grey one anywhere. Error. Oh and that khaki jacket? I wore it every day that was dry. A brilliant buy for the transitional weather.

On the shoe front, I LIVED in those trainers. I know they’re not for everyone, but I love them and I’ll definitely be including fun fashion trainers in future capsule’s. The over the knee boots I would have loved to wear (and tried to for a dinner out,) but amongst the extra stone of weight I was still carrying at that time, some of it was mysteriously distributed on my calves and I feared for my circulation so gave up. Sad times. ;) I didn’t wear the leopard flats as much as I could have because (again, online shopping error,) I settled for a cheaper pair I didn’t fit very well and they feel too big so I always reached for the trainers first instead.

So, what have I learned from the whole experiment? Before you ask, I didn’t cheat. I went all the way through to Dec 1st (probably further,) without dipping into my stored clothes (barring my holiday when I had to wear different summer clothes obviously.)

1. I DO NOT NEED MANY CLOTHES. Really. I knew I could get away with a lot less than I had, but really, out of the 35 pieces, I could probably have lived with about 20-25 pieces. That’s the moral of this exercise for you all to think about… how many of the items in your wardrobe do you actually wear? I suppose that could seem wasteful given the amount I purchased and that bothers me more ethically than financially as they were low cost items on the whole. But a lot will be worn in future, it’s just not right for now. And that may not apply when I have to incorporate work clothes into my wardrobe again.

2. Quality over quantity is a worthwhile investment. I know, I know; Lots of people baulk at spending £100 on a pair of jeans. But if you wear them 5 days a week, why the heck not? Equally, you could spend £20 and save the rest. That’s up to you, I’m just saying that if you remove all the unworn/hardly worn items and the money you spent on them from your clothing budget, think what you could get for the money…

3. Do not settle for quick fix items. A lot of the items I didn’t wear were because they weren’t right in the first place. Often I had something in mind but struggled to find it and settled for something similar that ended up being something I disliked, precisely because it wasn’t what I really wanted.

4. On the post-natal/breastfeeding front, I learned 2 things. Regarding the feeding, I didn’t have to modify my wardrobe much once I discounted my favourite item, the dress… those with buttons are ok, but the styles weren’t really me – I like t-shirt and shift styles that would have been tricky. Other than that, as long as a top is loose enough to lift or won’t pull out of shape if it’s stretchy, you can do the whole pull up thing to feed. The most discreet way is to use a vest underneath as many of you recommended but it was too hot for many of the months, so I just used Bea to cover my tummy and maybe a muslin tucked under her if I felt really exposed or self conscious. When it comes to post-natal style, I think I only really needed  a few really nice tops that were loose and comfortable, decent jeans that fitted and were comfortable, and flat slip on and off shoes that were comfortable – sense a theme there?!

So would I do it again? Yes. Definitely. I am doing right now and I’ll share my current capsule with you as soon as I have time, (it takes a while to compile these posts.) I’ve created a new winter capsule that I anticipate I’ll be wearing until the end of February at least, but whether I’d be so strict about a set number of pieces and a 3 month time frame, I don’t know. I think a one in one out policy is more sensible and infrequent shopping as our seasons are difficult to predict. Just think, if you had to remove an item from your wardrobe every time you bought one, either to store it for a future season or to bin it, would you think about whether the one you replaced could be reworked, whether it was worn out and really needed replacing, or whether the new item was worth losing an old one? I think it will really help me keep my purchases in check. I’ve actually enjoyed having less, spending less and shopping less! I’m having too much fun with Bea!

So what do you think readers? I’d love to hear if you did it, or if you’re inspired to try it – even if it’s just to pare back your own wardrobe.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must-have: Your Christmas Party dress


Dress, Marks & Spencer, £45

This year I’m looking for a Christmas dress that doesn’t break the bank as it’s likely I’ll wear it for all of 5 minutes before losing patience and opting for something more baby friendly. I was pretty taken with this gorgeous tulle number from M&S which at £45 fits the bill perfectly. The deep v-front is loose enough to pull down for feeding and I’m thinking it’ll look great with a jumper over it on colder but festive days if I want to dress up and look fancy sometime. It’s the nod to the festive season my Winter capsule needs so look out for it featuring again here soon…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

How to Wear: November

Morning Readers!

We are now less than a month away from Christmas. Really?! I feel like I’ve wished this year away due to things that have been happening both at work and at home, so I’m really looking forward to slowing things down a bit so we can enjoy the Festive Season countdown. Having a Toddler really does give you a renewed sense of joy for the season (if you ever lost it, I’m not sure I did!) and I’m loving creating all our own family traditions.

But, on to what I’ve been wearing. I’ve been quite bad at recording the outfits as I did last month, but here are my favourites – taking into account some of the items I had on my What to Buy list earlier this month.

First up – Over the Knee Boots. I had these from two years ago, with a wedge heel that I picked up from Zara. I love that they can be dressed up or down, and here I’ve dressed them down with jeans for work on a Friday.

Anyone that follows me on Instagram will know that I’m a big fan of stripes. Mostly these are the classic Breton combination but sometimes I do branch out and this dress is an example of that. A gorgeous Orange-Red, the same colour as one of my favourite lipsticks (Nars Red Square), this is actually a dress size bigger than I usually take but it was the last one left in the whole of London and actually, the fit it really nice as it’s a Kimono-cut anyway. Really easy to dress up or down. I’m wearing it for a day in the office here, but I have worn it to a dinner with bare legs and heels. I like to try and get as much wear out of my clothes as possible so tend not to “save” things for best (unless it’s a gown of course – not sure my fellow commuters would cope with that on a Monday morning!)

Now here’s a little sneak peak into something I’m going to be featuring in December – Metallics. I’ve been a big fan of the Whistles Carrie skirt since it was released but pleats really does nothing for my hourglass shape – especially at that tricky midi-length when you don’t have the slimmest of slim legs, which I don’t.

However, I found this skirt and it was love at first sight once it arrived – not to mention it was an £11 bargain. The wide elastic waist helps as I found I could pull it down slightly to sit at the top of my hips rather than my waist which helped make it work for my shape. Again, I’ve made it work-appropriate here with a jumper but it could very easily be glammed up too. It also comes in Gold (which I’ve bought too) and I can’t wait to wear it in the run up to Christmas, maybe even on Christmas Day if I’ve not worn it before that (my Christmas Day outfit always has to be new!)

I’ve had this skirt in my wardrobe for a few years now and it really fits one of the items I said you should look at buying in November. It was from the H&M Conscious collection and I love the drape that the silky fabric gives it. I’m wearing it with stripes for a different take.

There’s nothing like a bit of leather to add a bit of interest to your wardrobe and this Marks & Spencer Limited Collection shift from A/W 2007 still gives that. Although I’m breaking one of my rules of not wearing all black here, I’ve paired it with a Navy coat, and Navy and Black is a colour combo I’m really enjoying at the moment.

Finally, a casual outfit with the jumper I mentioned earlier this month. I had a Monsoon voucher, and there was a discount on it, so this beauty became mine. The wool is really soft, and even though I’m not a fan of a polo neck (my chest is not forgiving for a polo neck) this funnel neck is the next best thing. The embroidery really is lovely, and I love how the blue is picked out with the shade of these MIH Pheobe jeans. Sparkly shoes finish it all off. A great weekend outfit.

So, how have you worn November? Did you get your hands on any of the bits? I bought one of the Christmas Jumpers – can’t wait to reveal which during December ;)

Erin xx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

What to Wear: On the Beach (when you just had a baby)

When I was pregnant I put on 2 stone. Not bad going at the time I thought, considering I certainly didn’t deprive myself and everybody tells you about how much of it is not just baby but placenta, fluid and the rest (I’m sure my boobs weighed an extra few pounds each…!) Post baby I lost 1 stone in the first 3 weeks, then it appeared the second stone wanted to come to Florida with me and was staying put.

At 3 months post birth, I wasn’t feeling too bad about it. Sure, if I looked at myself too long in the mirror I wasn’t that keen on my new shape, but equally, I was too busy and too realistic to expect anything else. Nor did I have any interest in dieting in those early weeks of breast feeding in case it affected the quality of my milk for Bea. That left me with a small problem. What on earth do you wear on the beach when you have just had a baby and are not feeling as confident as you usually would?

It wasn’t just about my weight, but the huge breast feeding boobs I was now lugging around, and although the stretch marks I had are largely faded, I didn’t want to show them off and add to any insecurities I had, or get them in the sun for that matter as that could have added to any lasting scarring. So I looked for a high waisted, bra-sized bikini (I really hate swimsuits as I get too hot in them) and headed to figleaves.com

Happily they had several high waisted styles and even strapless styles like I chose that are made for BIG boobs. Throw in a floaty sheer shirt for hanging round the pool and my maternity shorts (my itsy bits pre-baby cut-offs were just not going to cut it,) and I was sorted.

I wanted to share this mainly to suggest the bikini style I went for and recommend Figleaves (I bought a few styles, including a fold down bikini too that was nice but not quite as stylish, and their delivery/returns service was fab,) but also because there are lots of bloggers on the internet pinging back into shape post baby, which is great if you happen to be one of the lucky few who do the same. But if you’re not, then I wanted to show you how it really is and how you can feel good still in that amazing body that just made a baby, and one day will look like it never did.

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

How to Wear: October

Looking back at the outfits I’ve worn this month, I’m quite surprised to see that I’ve inadvertently been following a couple of themes. Mostly, I’m quite lazy in preparing what I wear on a daily basis, taking the time I spend in the bathroom of a morning to figure out my outfit. However this October, I’ve been following one of the many Blogger/Instagram challenges that are out there, this being a #nynystyleproject. It’s actually made me feel a little more prepared for the following day, and the prompts have certainly made me think about what I have in my wardrobe, rather than wearing new favourites on rotation, which is often the case.

I am though happy to report that I actually did practice what I preached earlier in the month and managed to squeeze in some jeweled and faux fur bits too.

Starting with shoes, as that is a passion of mine, mine during the working week have mostly been pointed. My new ASOS flats have worked really well for busy work days, and I really like the pointed lace ups I picked up from Next (another rule followed – Burgundy!). The R&B Vixen’s were a sale buy this summer but still a bit of a splurge.

Weekends have been a very welcome mix of casual. From rips and skaters with cashmere, to Wellies (love these short Boden ones) and my old-faithful Converse, it’s been really nice to dress down. I’ve also noted that Rebecca has mentioned Skaters and Wellington Boots this month too, so it’s nice to be able to wear these trends.

As I said though I have managed to squeeze in some Faux Fur and some Jewels. Faux Fur was worn as a gilet over a relatively simple outfit of a Breton top and coated jeans for a day of Agency meetings and an evening out, and then a Jewel encrusted shirt was worn on my birthday. My Mum always told me that you should wear something new on your Birthday and this fitted the bill nicely, being a recent J Crew (new with tags!) find on eBay for a tiny fraction of the original cost after lusting after this new season one but absolutely not being able to justify the price-tag.

Finally, I must share today’s outfit, if only to say BARE LEGS in almost November. What’s with that? I’m definitely not complaining. I’m a big fan of this inbetweeny weather. Makes my commute so much easier.

So what do you think Readers? Good choices for what is probably my favourite month of the year?

Erin xx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

What to Wear: Capsule Style Post #1

It’s been 2 weeks that I have officially been wearing my capsule wardrobe now, or at least since I revealed it to you all, so I thought it was time to share some outfits on the blog. This isn’t what I have worn everyday as I don’t always have Pete around to snap a photo, but it;s a good representation of the styles I have worn so far. I hope to keep bringing you new outfits every couple of weeks or so throughout the capsule period showing you different ways I wore it.

So let’s start off with one of my favourites… probably because it feels the most ‘me’, baby or no baby. I wore this outfit shopping with Pete and felt pretty presentable. Dare I say, normal!

Henley dress // Leather Jacket (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

Henley dress // Leopard slip ons // Military jacket

Here is the same dress, worn to Grand Designs Live. I needed to be comfortable and casual for an all-day expedition with a baby in tow, and this outfit fit the bill perfectly.

Grey Knit (old) // Khaki Joggers // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1

This outfit was for swimming! It was a miserable day (as you can see,) and I was dreading being all cold and wet in the changing rooms afterwards so I pulled out something cosy and comfy. Somehow these trainers always make the comfiest outfit look like I made a lot more effort than I actually did. As you can see, I’m LIVING in this jacket.

Sequin long sleeved top // Boyfriend Jeans // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1 // Leopard belt, GAP (old)

Here comes the jacket again! And my go-to uniform… a tee and boyfriend jeans. A lot of the combinations in this capsule are a variation on this theme. I love the metallic trainers and sequin embellished tee giving this outfit a real kick of personality though.

Nursing dress // Pony spot flats // Monica Vinader necklace

This one was worn for a family get together for Pete’s Mums birthday. I wanted to dress up a little and it was still warm, so the point flats added a bit of extra smartness too. Do I love this photo? No. Can I see the extra baby weight and mum tum? Yes. Am I trying to give myself a break 12 weeks on? Yep, trying. *Grimace*

Navy funnel neck knit // H&M Henley // Skinny Jeans (similar) // Leopard slip ons

And lastly, this weekends outfit – a perfect Sunday outfit in my book. Skinnies, flats, a chunky knit (worn over a layering top with buttons for feeding access) and no coat as it was warm enough to go without. I like wearing knits layered instead of coats in the winter.

So what do you think readers? How are your autumn wardrobes going?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. If you’re new here, Welcome! Here is my whole capsule wardrobe and why I’m doing this.

AW14 Capsule Wardrobe: Reveal

So here we are, finally! My 35 piece post-natal (breastfeeding orientated) capsule wardrobe.

I realise we are already in October, but I have been wearing this wardrobe as I built it, since the beginning of September and I plan for it to see me through until Dec 1st. I’ve decided that I will then ‘refresh’ it by swapping out a couple of lighter pieces for more winter appropriate items and then I hope I might make it through until the end of January.

(Why? – Because I want to live lighter, save money, and wait to buy more clothes until my shape has settled down post baby and maybe, I don’t need access to my boobs every 2 hours!)

My 35 pieces comprise:

  • 18 tops. (7 tee’s/lightweight tops, 3 dressier tops, 7 jumpers and 1 coatigan/wrap outer layer.)
  • 9 trousers/skirts, dresses and jackets. (2 jeans, 2 joggers, 1 skirt, 2 dresses, 2 jackets.)
  • 8 pairs of shoes/boots. (2 trainers, 2 flats, 3 boots and 1 pair of heels.)

Oui Oui tee // Sweatshirt zip detail top // Zip top

Grey oversize tee // Blurred leopard top // Grey v-neck sloppy tee

Maroon stripe knit // Red shell // Oversize wine tee

Navy funnel neck knit // ‘Love’ stripe light knit (old) // Angel Sequin Knit (old)

Bright blue tunic shirt // Grey Knit (old) // Chambray (maternity) shirt (similar)

Sequin long sleeved top // Pink Cashmere zip knit // Aztec wrap (old)

I went heavy on the tops for ease of changing them post baby sick related incidents. Only 5 of these are tops I already owned as so many of my old wardrobe wasn’t suitable for what I need right now. The majority are cheap and cheerful however, from Forever 21, H&M, Zara and Warehouse. The more expensive brands were purchased with vouchers and discounts and are items I know will last beyond my current needs. There are no massive revelations here for breastfeeding as I’m pretty down with the vest under a top manouver now, but most are looser to enable easy lifting or I don’t mind stretching the bottom of them in the case of this old Moschino top. I really don’t like cardigans so stuck with looser sweaters I can lift, as per my usual style.

Skinny Jeans (similar) // Boyfriend Jeans // Print joggers

Khaki Joggers // Nursing dress // Ruched jersey skirt

Leather Jacket (similar) // Henley dress // Military jacket

Only 2 dresses here as I struggled to find dresses I would wear and were my style, that also worked for breastfeeding. My bottom half has been my problem area as I have found it hard to find Items that are flattering, comfortable and practical for the mum-tum/post c-section scar tenderness and crawling about on the floor with a baby. And only 2 jackets as I’m banking on not needing my heavy parka until December.

Leopard slip ons // Pony spot flats // Nike Air Max 1

Ankle buckle heeled boots (similar) // Brogues (similar) // Leopard heels

Over the knee boots (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

I could have included way more here but I was ruthless. You’ll notice there is only 1 pair of ankle boots but I knew I would seldom wear a heel, so these combine the two. The reason these boots look battered is because they are – they are super comfortable, warm and work with lots of items, so they easily earn a place. The top row are all new. Fancy trainers for some sneaker style, leopard pony skates as another trend-led flat and I just fell in love with the black and white pony spot points – to elevate casual outfits that little bit. I only allowed myself 1 pair of true heels as I supect I’ll rarely need them. Those boots bottom left? They’re over the knee boots. That’s right, over the knee. I had them and they’re bang on trend this season so I opted to include them as they make an average outfit super-sexy in 2 seconds flat whilst being flat and truly comfortable.

So what do you think readers? There’s no claim to being some kind of fashionista here, but I hope you’ll enjoy seeing how I wear these for everyday, easy style. I’ll try to do a regular update including a selection of recently worn outfits. Oh and the budget? I was doing really well until I splurged on the Cashmere knit, but I’m justifying that because it’s probably something I would have ended up buying for the December onwards wardrobe and it made no sense to buy it later when there is a 25% discount now. (Until tonight!) So the total came to £650, (£150 over budget) but I don’t feel bad about this as I’m selling old pieces on eBay to cover some of the excess and clear out my wardrobe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts? Anything you like here? How is your wardrobe looking for Autumn?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS wondering why I’m doing this?

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…

Friday (not a) Frock O’clock


Baujken jumpsuit £99, Shoes & clutch Baujken, necklace Whistles // H&M jumpsuit £29.99, Tote and sandals H&M, bracelet Whistles

Always a fan of jumpsuits, I was pleased to see they are staying put in the new season collections. This one from Baujken caught my eye for it’s bright shade of blue and the lovely wide v-neck but then I spotted a (much cheaper) version in H&M. It’s not quite as eye catching but a great price if you’re not sure how much you will wear the trend.

Here are two ways to wear it to get you started… styled up for drinks or dinner, or dressed down with casual accessories for end of summer casual cool. What do you think readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

[Girl About Town] What to Wear: To an Indian Wedding

It’s not me sharing outfits today but Victoria. I saw her recent escapades on Facebook and just had to ask her to share her outfits, pulled together for what looked like a fabulous Indian wedding. Victoria is always glamorous and her four (yes, four!) outfits didn’t disappoint so I hope you enjoy looking and perhaps get some ideas for weddings you are attending this summer (or share some of your own outfits.)

I’ve been to a lot of weddings. 37 to be precise, not including our own, and I have four more over the next 12 months. I therefore have a lot of practise in putting together wedding outfits. Some of you that follow me on Instagram may have seen me in my wedding outfit planning efforts. I treat them in the same way I treat work projects – lots of preparation, diagrams and chat about the final product, but all thrown together in a panic in the last few moments, that often works out quite well, but is very different from the original plan. Shhh, don’t tell my boss!

I used to buy something new for each one – a new hat or dress, shoes or clutch… but then I totted up 12 invites in one year, some of them being two or three day events (so you know, you also need a special outfit for the big “night before” dinner and then something fancy-but-hangover-comfy for the morning/day after “survivors” gathering) and seeing as I’m neither a Kardashian nor a Middleton, it all got a bit much for my bank (in)balance and so I started recycling. I now have a pretty good suite of “occasion wear” from which I can mix and match future outfits.

So for 2014′s five weddings I sorted all my outfits out at the beginning of the year and knew exactly what I was going to wear…. and then I realised one was an Indian wedding and I had literally no clue where to start.

Thankfully the bride was on the ball, arranged a number of shopping trips for us less-clued up guests, provided a handy “what to wear, when” guide for the girls and boys for the various events and was kind enough to pick up little bits and pieces for us on her numerous trips to India.

So, here’s a run down of what I actually wore…

Civil Wedding (Friday afternoon)
For the Civil Wedding, the guideline was “British summer wedding” and having checked out the venue (One Marylebone) and spoken to the bride about her colour schemes (soft colours, white and pale pinks) at length I knew exactly what to wear.  I pulled out a dress (special edition Olivia Rubin/Dorothy Perkins collaboration), a white Whistles clutch, some H&M hair clips (as I couldn’t fit a hat in my overnight bag) and my old faithful pink Louboutins (my wedding shoes – still the comfiest heels I’ve worn in five years!) and a fussy H&M pale pink necklace. I had intended to wear some new baby blue ankle strap shoes from New Look, but it was far too hot and I didn’t fancy “ankle-muffin top”.

Sangeet/Mehndi party  Friday evening
For the celebrations on Friday evening the guidance for Indian clothing was a trouser suit/Salwaar Kameez/Anarkali or Lengha (a skirt and a top with a scarf) and for western clothing, something bright. On a shopping trip with the bride, I found a nice hot pink and rose gold anarkali (a long floaty dress/top, trousers and a long scarf) which I dressed up with a pair of neon blue pointed courts (super cheap but super comfy from Linzi), some large gold chandelier earrings, some hot pink and gold bangles (a gift from the bride) and a rose gold evening bag from Mulberry.

We were performing a dance to Jai Ho as a tribute to the bride and groom at the event, and as it was incredibly hot and sticky that day, it was a no brainer that my hair was glued up and off my face in a bouffy beehive. It may look fancy, but let me assure you it’s not, I got dressed in a corridor and my hair is held up with a ton of dry shampoo, a gallon of elnett and quite a lot of sweat. Gross! Sorry!
Saturday was a day of rest and recovery for me, not so for the bride who had another two outfits to rock!

Hindu Wedding  Sunday day
The guidelines for this included “any type of Indian clothing, most guests will be in a sari” or if I chose western clothing, to be respectful and make sure it wasn’t too short or revealing. I was worried that wearing Indian clothing might have seemed odd, or offensive, seeing as I’m not Indian, but the bride assured me it was a good idea and even lent me one of her saris – in a beautiful pistachio green, embroidered and embellished in gold. It consisted of a petticoat, a blouse and a long, loooong piece of material which you fold, wrap, gather, tuck and drape around your body.

Thankfully, the bride’s mother had pre-folded and sewed the pleats at the front, so when I arrived (in essentially my underwear at a posh five star hotel (The Grove)  it was only a case of wrapping, tucking and draping in the nearest toilet cubicle (which was thankfully rather plush, considering the venue). I found someone to pin everything in to place so I flashed no tummy (too soon in the year for that!) and to keep everything secure. I accessorised with big gold earrings, a sparkly hair band, more bangles from India (another gift from the bride) and some gold sandals I wore as a bridesmaid 7 years ago, from Faith, which are still going strong! I took along my trusty Lulu Guinness lips clutch for a pop of colour!

Reception  Sunday night
The instructions for the reception, the big finale, were “think black tie – go glam”… now those instructions I had no trouble with! I wore a bargain ASOS dress, that looks way more expensive that it was. I also have it in white, but I thought for the evening’s decor and theme, Art Deco London, the black would be better, as I last wore it at a Claridge’s Christmas party. You may have also seen it on the wonderful Rebecca as well. Great minds think alike and all that!

I accessorised with a box clutch (a fiver in an Oasis sale years ago, and until now, unused, due to its rather unuseful size!) pewter peep toe heels from the Ted Baker sale, also years old but dead comfy, some Swarovski earrings which were a 30th birthday present, a super-bling chunky bracelet – also a 30th birthday present – and again some bangles from India, given away as favours at the Sangeet/Mehndi party.

On Monday I wore pyjamas, lots of Sudocrem and Vaseline on all my sequin chafe and allergic flare ups from all the safety pins and soft, soft socks on my dance-weary feet.

I can’t publish photos of the bride without her permission, but rest assured, no matter what effort we put in, we paled in comparison to how stunningly breathtaking she was. Her outfits (designed bespoke to match each venue, theme and setting), accessories and make up had my jaw on the floor.

When she’s back from her well-deserved honeymoon, perhaps I’ll convince her to give you a sneaky peek.

How do you plan for wedding outfits? Or is it just me that’s this bonkers about planning?

Victoria x

PS! Find Victoria over on her blog Sugar Plum Slipper or on twitter @VictoriaHale.