What to Buy: March

Morning Readers!

So supposedly Spring is upon us, and whilst the cherry and magnolia (my favourite) trees are blossoming, it’s doesn’t feel very Spring-like. I spent the day in London with Hubby on Saturday celebrating our 5th Wedding Anniversary and it was certainly fresh!

However, the shops are full of all things Spring so here are a few of my favourites to add to your “What to Buy” lists this month.

Frills

  

M&S Shirt (instore only) / ASOS Dress

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with frills. I love them, they hate me. I’ve managed to make them work in the past by wearing a vertical frill, or a frilled hem, but anything up top has been a no-no, just adding bulk to my shoulders and chest that I certainly don’t need. I now know that if you are over a C cup, frills aren’t your friend, but I’ve found a couple of options this year that do actually work. I’d suggest sizing up in the M&S shirt but both are nice nods to the trend (and in one of my favourite shades).

Nana Shoes

  

Topshop / Mango

These are marmite and the men in your life won’t understand them, but they ARE comfortable and crutially, give a little bit of height. It’s taken me a while to accept these, as I’ve not found a pair I’ve LOVED. Something about the elastic on the front toe puts me off, but this Topshop pair is more of a ballet pump with a heel. Plus, they go with everything despite the print. I’m all about comfort these days, especially as I have to walk at least four miles a day now I’m back to work, so these are a nice in-between style.

Kick Flare Jeans

  

ASOS / Topshop*

I’m talking of the cropped variety here, not full length – they’re still a little 90s for me – but don’t underestimate the leg lengthening qualities of these. Wear now with boots and into Spring/Summer with trainers/wedges/espedrilles. *The Topshop version I’ve linked to are the Tall version but stores have the regular version in stock.

Nike Cortez  

Available at ASOS

Hands up who had a pair of these in the past? That’ll be me at university. A white leather pair with blue swoosh. And my goodness did I love them to death. Those paired with a denim button up a-line skirt were my uniform. The Cortez seem to have had a resurrection of late and metallics, colours and the fresh white (from Forrest Gump fame) all feature highly for this Spring/Summer. It must be my comfort quest coming out again, and my “Original” trainer obsession, but I do love these.

Embroidery

  

Zara / Zara / M&S

There’s a caveat here. There is some AWFUL embroidery around at the moment IMO (Zara I’m looking at you) but also some very wearable styles if coloured stitching is your kind of thing. I love the dress featured here but I hate the fact the back is sheer. What’s that all about? How does one wear a bra comfortably (can you see a theme here?!) Personally, I’m not into oriental things (or Bomber jackets – see Chest issues above!), but there’s no denying the detail on this jacket is gorgeous (and a good price point). 

I hope this has inspired you a little as to what’s around. It’s a bit of a weird season in all honesty, but the above items are definitely my favourites!

Will be back at the end of the month…

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

 

 

 

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…

 

What to Buy: August

Morning Readers!

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

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

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

The Boyfriend Shirt

 Topshop / Boden

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

Culottes

 Leather / Black

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

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

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

Suede Skirt

 Jaeger / M&S

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

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

Embroidery

 Sequin Jacket / Skirt / Coverup / Shirt

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

Statement Flats

 Studded / Snake / Red

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

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

Erin xx

What to Buy: July

Happy Friday Readers!

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

To the Beach!

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

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

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

Striped Dress / Hammam TowelOff the Shoulder Dress

Palm Print

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

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

Dress / Playsuit / Jumpsuit

Yellow

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

Shoes / Skirt / Top

Pink

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

Bag / Shoes / Skirt

Monochrome

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

Shoes / Sweater / Dress

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

Erin xx

How to Wear: May

Morning Readers!

I do hope your second May Bank Holidays have treated you well and that you all had lovely long weekends. It’s utterly amazing to me that we are pretty much six months into the year. My hubbies birthday in June marks the mid-way point for me and we are fast approaching that – it’s going to be nice to (hopefully) be able to slow down for the second half of 2015.

I’m hoping that by the time you are reading this I’ll have had Bubba No. 2 who is extremely late. It’s therefore in that vein that I’m posting a quick “How to Wear” as to be honest, my May has consisted of only a few things on rotation.

My maternity leave started at the beginning of the month – 8 days prior to my due date. I wanted to have more time off post-birth so worked as late as I could cope with my commute. Pretty late it turns out. However, it seems as though the little person had other ideas so May was an opportunity to sort out the house, have copious amounts of Reflexology and Raspberry Leeaf Tea and chill a bit.

It’ll be no surprise that stripes have been on rotation (my Cos Bretons have been workhorses. Non-maternity and so easy to wear and wash. Love them. They have some great colours this season too. Grab one here).


Sorting the house has also meant accessing all my stored clothes and shoes. My leather espedrilles made an appearance (how I covet the Chanel ones but these Park Lane ones from ASOS are perfect in the real world!). It was so nice to dress up this Gap Maternity tunic differently (I’m 40+ weeks in the pic below and feeling mightily fed up!)

I’ve also been rotating a couple of silk tee’s that I picked up in the Uniqlo winter sale. They’ve been great for wearing over Jersey trousers as they are loose and cool. The tangerine shade of this one instantly lifts your mood.  Not the easiest colour to wear but I love it. The other I have is in a raspberry pink. Good deals at £9.99 each. The Uniqlo Silk range is really great and some pieces are on sale now (plus machine washing is fine!)

I must also mention here that my world has been revolutionised by my new ToyShades (mine are the Andersons worn above and below pictured with my big bubba) – prescription sunglasses for £40! Get them here or visit the one-hour lab at Topshop Oxford Circus. All you need is your prescription. The need for contact lenses on ALL sunny days has now vanished. LIBERATING!

Finally, when I’ve not felt like wearing nice clothes (or can’t in actual fact) there’s always accessories in jewellery and shoes. Gaining access to stored things is like Christmas. These TopShop sandals and Hipanema bracelet are good examples 😉

Enjoy the rest of May everyone and hopefully I’ll be with you in a week or so for what I recommend to buy in June. There’s some great espedrilles that will make the cut.

Erin xx

What to Buy: April

Hi there Readers!

Hope you all had wonderful long Easter weekends. The amazing weather we’ve had here in the South of the country this week has made it for me. Days spent outside sans coat, playing with the Little Man, have been wonderful. There’s something really special about seeing your own child play in the garden that you used to play in as a child (we’ve been at my parents house for the weekend). It’s been lovely to enjoy tea and hot cross buns sitting outside in the sun – honestly, I feel like a different person when the skies are blue and there’s warmth in the air.

The weather has actually got me excited about the summer, and herein lies the foundation of my recommendations of what to buy this month. Options for a bit of bare skin aplenty here ladies…!

Strappy Sandals

A fresh pedicure and the sun has made me think of the warmer months, and now’s the time to pick up a pair of sandals that will see you through. There are lots of strappy options around this summer, and you don’t need model-like legs to carry them off. Either in black or tan (both are great basics although tan just pips black for a summer essential), there are easy-on as well as the more labour-intensive versions. I really like the simplicity of the Mango ones (once on I hasten to add, they take a little bit of tying and I don’t do it up the leg!), but the New Look versions are great (and easy to do up). I actually quite like them in the Gold too…

New Look // Next // Mango // M&S

White Folk Tops

Now this is what I alluded to in my last post. The Folk top. I really love them. I really want to look like one of those easy-going models in one, just casually strolling through a field of sunflowers with a horse. But I don’t. Far from it! I have come to the conclusion that it’s because I have a large-ish chest (34D) and they just don’t sit well on the front, especially the ties. Also the voluminous nature of most of them, although appearing to be flattering, just isn’t on me. It is in fact the opposite. Here are the pick of my favourites though. I have tried them all except the H&M one which I will, but I fear it will be the same old story. I love the idea of the Next one with the tassels, but it just stopped short on my hip so that didn’t work. I’d love to know if any of you can make these work – please, let me live vicariously through you guys!

Mango // H&M // Next // Mango

‘White’ Jeans

No, I haven’t come over all Liz Hurley and I’m not going to recommend you go out and buy a pair of tight white bootcut things, but looking online and on the High Street, white jeans are having a moment. The cut is not the only important thing though. Fabric and colour play a huge part. They need to look effortless but not too “done”. This is why Ecru is better than bright white, and a slightly more boyfriend fit is easier to wear. Dressed up with a jacket and tee (perhaps a stripe with Navy Blazer for work) or down in this transitional season with a neutral oversize knit, they are easier to wear than you think. Maybe not the best thing if you have a toddler in tow, but you can still work them into your wardrobe… all important date night with the other half perhaps…?

Topshop // ASOS // Gap

Citrus Shades

I’m not sure whether I have noticed this more because I am looking for yellow accents to go with some of the makeovers we have done in our house, but zingy citrus shades are popping up everywhere, and I really think they make a Spring/Summer wardrobe. There are shades out there to suit everyone – from the most “ice cream” pastel shades of orange and yellow to the bright neon limes and pinks.  They look wonderful with white or denim, and equally with tan accessories. I love the colour of this J. Crew jumper, and this Whistles print is stunning – perfect for a summer wedding. The Citrus colour that is also in a lot of the collection at J Crew is stunning – would be great with white. I love these shorts.

J.Crew // M&S // Whistles // Zara

A Scarf

Sounds odd I know, but a summer-weight scarf can be a bit of a lifesaver. In these spring months its something that you can put around your shoulders to keep the chill that’s in the air (it’s still April people and although double figures down here, not THAT warm) out, and then come the summer, if it’s large enough, you can even use as a sarong. I love this J.Crew one with the pom poms but just wish the colours were a little less pastel for me personally. A silk one is always a lovely option too – the H&M one here ticks a couple of the SS15 boxes for Citrus and Lilac. You can never go wrong with a Becksondergaard version either. Great length in great colours. ASOS has a brilliant selection.

ASOS // H&M // J.Crew

So readers, I may or may not be back at the end of the month or beginning of next depending on what happens with Bubba No.2. The last Midwife appointment I had confirmed that all is ready to go so it’s just wait and see I guess. I’m hoping beyond hope that we’ll be back in the house before the time comes though. No pressure on our poor builder then…!

Have wonderful April’s all, and I hope that it remains sunny for you for the rest of the month, even if the cooler weather comes back 😉

Erin xx

 

Fash Flash: Denim dresses

It has been oh such a long time since I looked at dresses thanks to feeding Bea (my style just doesn’t lean towards wrap dress or button fronts,) but summer is coming, my capsule wardrobe won’t build itself and feeds are lessening, so I’m on the hunt.


Shirt dress // Patch pocket shirt dress // T’shirt dress // Tie waist dress

I’ve always been a massive denim fan so I’m ready to jump on board the denim trend (Erin says it’s fashionable, so it must be!) so I thought I’d look for a few dresses. I found one (this swingy Komodo tencel dress) in one of the local independents where I live, but I’d spotted a few online too and thought I’d share them here.

Could you get on board with the denim trend?

What to Buy: March

Happy Friday Readers!

Spring is definitely arriving in the city, and my thoughts are turning to less layers and warmer weather. Last week, I spent a few days in Miami doing my Maternity Leave handover with my Boss and it was so nice to feel the sun on my face. To be able to sit outside at 9pm having dinner was wonderful.

There are a few things I’ve been seeing in the shops this month that should make your “What to Buy” lists this month, and I’m a firm believer that if they aren’t snapped up now, you’ll regret it when the weather DOES get warmer to wear them.  I’ve been a little bit inspired by Laura in starting a Summer/Post-Maternity Box with a few things that will see me through the season, once Bubba has arrived.

Classic Kicks

Adidas Gazelle / Adidas Stan Smith / Adidas Superstar / Converse All Stars

I’m not sure about you, but I grew up with classic trainers. Mine in fact were a pair of Nike Air Cortez that were white with a navy swoosh, and they pretty much saw me through three years of my late teens. I mustn’t forget to also mention some white Converse All Stars which I’ve replaced countless times and still have today. The brand du jour though has got to be Adidas and I’m seriously tempted by a pair of Stan Smiths – something I’ve never owned. My boyfriend during my early 20s was an absolute “sneaker-freaker” but only for the classics so I have learnt from him – the shell-toed Superstars are also making me look twice. Great to wear with any outfit from a dress or skirt to denim, they are an easy way to effortless cool.

The Shirt Dress

alignone

Mango / ASOS White / New Look

I guess it’s no surprise to you all that these are all striped. I think you know me well enough by now, and how my obsession runs through most of my wardrobe. I like the easy feeling of these dresses, that they can just be thrown on either with heels for work (dressed up with a statement belt) or a pair of the aforementioned sneakers. I’m waiting to see what this Iris & Ink version will be like too – it may be a bit too lux for a new Mum, but I do like the idea of the shirt element for easy BF access.

D’Orsay Shoes

Zara / J Crew / ASOS

This is a term I’ve recently learnt, and the perpetrators of these shoes upon having done some research seem to be US brand Vince. Not a new style I know, but they do seem to be more readily available than I’ve seen in the past. I happened to start thinking about this shoe style after going to see 50 Shades for the second time (I know, please don’t judge me, Jamie Dornan is just so HOT!), as Anna wears them in a few scenes. I really like the tassles that give the J Crew pair something different, and I did try the Zara ones, but they are a bit narrow at the front for my wide feet. They are a great option though and a beautiful mix of pony skin and leather for those of you with nice petite hooves 😉 I know Rebecca has also mentioned the ASOS Little Rock ones before (and has in fact worn them recently), and these come in various colours too (all of which happen to be on sale). On the subject of 50 Shades, the soundtrack is FANTASTIC. Definately one to download, although it does now conjure up scenes from the film in my head when listening to it 😉

70’s Denim

H&M / Marks & Spencer

Two trends in one here, since Denim and all things 70’s are around at the moment. Flares are something I’m just getting back in to – it’s liberating for the ankles that’s for sure! I also remember having a button through skirt that I wore A LOT when I was about 16, and it was my Mum’s from the actual 70s, so I’ll have to try and dig that out (nope, I don’t do a lot of throwing away much to the despair of my Husband). The M&S one above has been really popular and it actually sold out on line, but there are a few around in the shops if you call up customer services. These TopShop jeans are a good introduction to flares too if you’ve been a “skinnies girl” until now.

Super Soft Suede

Wrap Dress / Jacket / Boots / Bag 

Another 70’s revival is all things Suede. From footwear, to accessories and clothing, it’s in most shops – both the real deal, and some faux versions. Whilst faux is probably more practical, there’s something very tactile about real suede. I’m hankering after the M&S Autograph Skirt that EVERYONE is talking about (how very original of me) which is due in May, but you can introduce it in lots of ways. For me, tan is the classic shade (who remembers the Suede jacket stage at school? That was 5th Year and Sixth Form in my world) but softer neutrals are a good way to go as well. The Accessorize bag above is one of a few from their new leather range which is gorgeous. The baby blue and bucket shape are very on trend for now.

In keeping then with last month, I thought I’d share another beauty bit that I’ve been using for a while and really do whole-heartedly recommend. I am a big fan of Dermalogica products as my skin can be temperamental – dry one minute and greasy the next – so this range really manages that for me. After a facial last year (where she used Dermalogica products anyway), I started to use the Total Eye Care cream. Honestly, it’s made such a difference to the skin around my eyes and I’ve really noticed a difference in lines and now lack thereof. Now it’s not cheap, but is lasts for AGES.

Hope you liked this month’s recommendations readers. Please do, as always, let me know if you buy anything – I’d love to see your choices 🙂

Have great months!

Erin xxx

 

 

What to Buy: February

Happy February Readers!

Although I do hate to wish time away, as I feel it speeds along so fast at the best of times, I’m glad we are now firmly in to 2015, and thoughts can be turned to Spring, and all the new-ness that comes with it.

The January sales seemed to last forever, and it’s really nice to see the new season stock coming in, especially when the trends for SS15 are not only beautiful, but really quite wearable too.

It’s a tradition of mine since I was at school to buy a copy of Vogue for my Mum twice a year for their Catwalk Report, and this still continues 20 years later! When I was living at home, I used to earmark the pages for Mum who would then make me something from the season (she’s a Bio-Chemist but loves to dress-make in her spare time), and she still uses the pages for her inspiration now.

This issue didn’t disappoint, and here is a round up of my favourite trends of the season.

Denim with a Difference

ASOS Dress / H&M Girlfriend Jeans

This take on the Denim trend takes me back a little to my late teens, when I LIVED in a Denim pinafore dress that Mum had actually made me. There’s an M&S Full Skirt that I’m waiting to come into store which looks perfect, but in the meantime, I love the easy look of this ASOS White dress and the patchwork pattern really lives up to the “with a difference” tag. H&M are also on fire with their jeans selection at the moment. If you haven’t tried their “girlfriend” fit I urge you too. Skinner than Boyfriend, but a slightly higher cut (something I prefer now I must admit!) and not too tight on the leg, the silhouette they give is great with flats or heels. This distressed pair would look great with a sweatshirt now, or strappy cami come the warmer weather.

It’s all about the Stripes

Next Skirt / Boden Top / M&S Shoes / TopShop Dress

I really never do tire of a stripe, and they are set to be big this season on everything from clothing to accessories. Bold colours, monochrome or the classic Bretton, anything goes really. This is good news for me, as a LOT of my wardrobe is already stripes, but I am drawn to these M&S shoes (sold out in my size, BOO!) and also this Boden top is very like the Karen Millen dress I’ve been living in this winter. I also love the way that some stores have styled stripes with other prints in this summer – Next, I’m looking at you 🙂 There’s lots of choice out there so just go for a colourway and size that you know suits you.

Fancy Florals

Next Shirt / H&M Trousers / Boden Trainers / TopShop Trousers

As the Vogue supplement suggests, flowers are big news in SS15 and what I really love is that it’s not just one particular print. From big and bold cartoony type prints, to the more chintzy Liberty-esque styles, again, there is something to suit everyone. I personally think the bolder the better, but I think I’m in the same camp as Rebecca here – having grown up with Rainbow Bright as a style icon 😉 I love this Next shirt, especially teamed up with the stripe pencil skirt, and these Topshop trousers, although not strictly floral, really drew my eye in the iciness that was NYC last week. I may just have to get these and store them in my post-baby box to wear come the late Spring.

On the Fringe

J.Crew Top / H&M Bag / Zara Boots / ASOS Bag

Fringing was around last season, but it’s not going anywhere fast, and you can now find it not only adorning accessories, but clothing too. Although I’m not what you’d class as a hippy chick, there are ways to nod to this trend. These Zara boots are a nice way in, as is this J.Crew top, which when worn with slim trousers or jeans, gives just enough movement to satisfy that swish. For something a little easier to wear, the blogger-favourite H&M bag is now back in stock, and although I know this isn’t actually fringing per se, the ASOS clutch has a gorgeous tactile look to it.

Jump to it

H&M / Zara / Mango

It’s so much more commonplace now to see a Jumpsuit in your favourite shop. Actually really easy to wear (although granted, NOT that easy when nature calls) they can be dressed up or down depending on the look you are going for. These three jumpsuits really stood out for me, mostly down to the print on the first two, and the shape of the third. Personally, I prefer a jumpsuit that looks less like a boiler suit, but that’s because I’ve not found a “boiler-suit” one that suits me. I’d be interested to know if any of you guys have.

Now, this is a fashion column I know, but I wanted to just touch a minute on a couple of beauty buys I’ve found and wanted to share, hope you don’t mind. I’m not saying they are must buys, but I’ve certainly found them revolutionary. First up with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I bought this on a flight back from the US towards the end of last year, and have used it nightly, give or take a few misses, ever since. It smells wonderful, and really moisturises my skin. I’ve found with about three months use, texture is better and I do actually look less tired and worn out without make it – a big achievement!

The other is the lip products by Bite Beauty. Now Rebecca mentioned these a while ago on this blog and I bought a couple then (when Cocosa was selling them) and ever since, I’ve picked one up in the US (they are sold in Sephora) when I’ve been there. You can pick them up on eBay, and Sephora now ship to the UK, but my favourites are the High Pigment Pencils (Zinfandel is my go-to) and the Matt Creme Lip Crayons. The colours are mostly bold (which I love) but it’s the fact they are made with natural ingredients, and don’t make my lips feel dry at all that I like the most.

So that’s my tips for February readers. I’d love to see if you bought something from here, or from one of the trends above. Do share if you do, by using #ffWTBFeb on Insta or Twitter.

Until the end of the month… 🙂

Erin xxx

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