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: September

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

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

The Coatigan

 

Next / New Look / Boden

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

Gypsy Dress

 
Monsoon / Topshop / Zara   

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

Pussy Bows

  
Monsoon / House of Fraser / ASOS

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

Block Heels

   
Topshop / Topshop / Topshop / M&S

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

Cropped Trousers

    
H&M / Zara

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

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

Erin xx

How to Wear: June

Happy Monday Readers!

Hope you have all had good June’s. Mine as you probably will have guessed has been spent introducing our new Bubba to the family and learning to be a new Mum again. My goodness you forget! However, the tiredness and lack of sleep is much MUCH easier to cope with second time round ;)

This week is set to be a scorcher which I’m pleased about as it’s No 1 sons birthday and it means we can make good use of his present (a playhouse!). Can’t wait to see his face once Rich and I have managed to actually put it up :/
Now on to how I’ve worn June…

First things first. It’s been a joy not being in Maternity Clothes but… dressing has not been without it’s challenges. Oscar is exclusively breast-fed which I didn’t do last time down to several reasons, some beyond me, but it’s meant I’ve had to learn what to wear on the top half – something I didn’t have to do with Calum. Also, it’s massively surprised me how quickly I’ve been able to get back into about 50% of my wardrobe. Again, not something that happened quickly last time. It must be those extra 500kcals a day that BF is supposed to burn. OK, some of my waisted skirts I can’t do still, but wearing my old jeans (and some new ones) has felt amazing. It is “9 months on, 9 months off” after all and I still have a way to go to my happy weight but I’m much more relaxed about that (that’s a whole other post in the making!)

The M&S Limited Edition jeans have made an appearance as have my Gap Always Skinny… Worn mostly with Shirts for ease.

Jeans M&S / Top Zara

Jeans and Shirt Gap / Sandals Topshop

Jeans Gap / Shirt Zara / Shoes J Crew

Jeans M&S / Shoes Clarks / Shirt Primark

The other item that’s made an appearance is one of this seasons must wears which is of course the Jumpsuit. I’ve got a couple that are a “shirt” style at the top which works perfectly, and actually, they aren’t as tricky to navigate as people think. I found wearing a sling with one on much easier too.


Jumpsuit H&M / Shoes Clarks

As I mentioned at the start of the month, shirt dresses are a great option, and I’ve worn a couple of those too. This New Look one was great… Easy to wear and feed with even if it did crease (damn that Viscose!)

Dress New Look / Shoes Dune

Finally, I’ve been wearing a new summer favourite colour a lot – Khaki – and easy trousers with BF tops – getting dressed quickly with a Toddler and less-than-a-month old bubba is a must!


Top Zara / Trousers Dorothy Perkins / Shoes Topshop

Sling Hana Baby / Shorts F&F / Shoes Dune

Vest Next / Trousers Zara / Shoes Topshop

*Please excuse no make up in any of these photos. Time is of the essence!

So that’s June peeps. The Longest day has been and gone and we’re now over half way through 2015. Unbelievable.

See you back here in a couple of weeks for what to buy July – they’ll be some “buy now, stash for AW15″ bits making an appearance ;)

Erin xx

What to Buy: May

Morning Readers!

I totally was not expecting to be writing this post so apologies its late, but Bubba No.2 still hasn’t deemed it appropriate to make their appearance (perhaps they are taking after Princess Charlotte and have decided to be fashionably late too).

It’s not going to be a terribly long one though, as to be honest, I’ve mostly been ensconced in getting back into our house after a 4.5 month hiatus whilst we had an extension done, and not perusing the shops in favour of decorating and moving back in (we are now back in! YAY!). There’s nothing like a deadline (or hard stop as I’ve come to say thanks to my US colleagues) to make one more productive. If however you wanted advice in choosing the best grey for your walls, or which flooring to choose for a kitchen, then along with Rebecca, I’m currently probably your woman.

That being said, there are a few trends below that I think you’ll need to jump on sooner rather than later if you’d like to wear them over the warmer summer months…

Broderie Anglaise

M&S // Whistles // French Connection

I remember my Mum making me dresses using this beautiful fabric when I was younger but in my early teens I rebelled thinking it was way too “babyish” and pretty to be wearing at my age. I’m now eating humble pie. The prettiest sun-dresses are made from this lovely fabric, and the best bit is that it’s 100% cotton meaning nice and cool for those scorching days. There’s nothing nicer than crisp white with denim and sandals for a purely summer feel.

Ghillie Flats

New Look // Topshop // Office // Next

So named as they are the shoe that Scottish or Irish dancers wear, there is no getting away from them this season. They literally are everywhere. I have the New Look and Next pairs here, but the Topshop version are a great alternative and come in three colour ways, and I have it on good authority that the Office versions are very comfortable. Great to dress up a look and still wear flats – either for the office or otherwise.

Multi-use Bags

Mango // Topshop // Gap // ASOS

Not the most technical of terms I realise, but what I mean here are those bags that can be just as easily used on holiday for the beach as they can for work purposes. OK, so the basket is probably less of a work bag, but some of you may have dress down Fridays, so why not?! I really like the Mango option – ticking both the boho and monochrome boxes for this summer. I actually have a version of the Gap one below (in thinner stripes) to use as a nappy bag for No 2 since some lovely people bought me this as a gift (in a different colour) which I can just drop inside it :)

Off-the-Shoulder

Dress // Warehouse Top // New Look Top // Jumpsuit

There’s no getting away from it, a bare shoulder is where it’s at right now. I wouldn’t condone this look for work, but for a weekend look, or even for something more dressy, showing your collarbone and shoulder is quite easy to do. I really like the ease of this New Look top as it’s not clingy and therefore you aren’t in 80s Fame territory. The same goes for the Warehouse one – it’s a a good price point to try out the trend too. Styled with some of this seasons wedge sandals and a denim skirt or flares, you’ll be good to go for embracing the 70s thing that’s around at the moment.

Jungle Drums

Topshop // Warehouse

Apt that this is actually the colour of one of the rooms in our new loft extension, but there is something quite fresh about a palm print, and this season doesn’t disappoint. The Warehouse dress below is so eye-catching in the flesh – and easy to wear. The Topshop shirt dress could also be a winner – especially in the BF stakes. We’ll have to see.

Occasion Dresses

Karen Millen // Topshop // Karen Millen

Lastly I thought I’d share a few “occasion” dresses I’ve seen as we are headed into Wedding season. If I had something to go to this summer, I’d be wearing one of these, probably one of the Karen Millen ones as I seem to have become obsessed with the retailer of late. Their summer collection is amazing, not least their new Art Atelier collection. Stunning.

So there we have it readers. Before I go I thought I’d just mention that the Shirt dress I had talked about in March is now available at The Outnet. Let’s see if it lives up to the picture I have in my head!

Have great week’s all, and hopefully next time I post, I’ll be able to share some exciting news with you ;)

Til then (…and wish me luck)!

Erin xx

 

How to Wear: April

Hi there Readers!

Since I’m still feeling OK, and there isn’t a Baby No. 2 quite yet, I’ll share what I’ve been wearing throughout April.

It’s been hard to wear the trends I recommended at the start of the month and to be honest, I now can’t wait to wear a few of the bits I’ve been saving for post-baby, so today’s post is more about how I’ve done Maternity wear.

Mostly, I hate the Maternity stuff that’s in the shops and I’ve favoured my regular clothes (with Maternity trousers) or things that have been made for me by my clever Mum.

Shift dresses and jeans with jumpers or shirts have been the uniform of choice. Dresses certainly worked fine for an Easter Sunday Mass and work events that I had this month. I have focused on the shoes though as it’s been a great excuse to get some wear out of the fabulous flats there are around at the moment (a caveat here are the Boden Alice Shoes seen in the picture above bottom left – heels for a few hours are manageable ;) !)

The gorgeous weather has also meant bare legs which has been wonderful. I love the fact that summer is just around the corner. These sandals from M&S tick the gladiator trend box and are really easy to wear. I went for the Beige but they come in a lovely Rust colour too. 

My last day in the office for a while was celebrated by dressing up a bit (despite the fact it was Friday and we usually dress down) in a Next Shift dress (my usual size) from last year and some Office flats (sadly sold out on line but I’m assured more are coming). A nice sunny yellow to start my Maternity Leave with :)

So… not that inspirational I’m afraid but I got through the month nonetheless.

Before I go though I wanted to share a fantastic service that Karen Millen offer and I experienced last week. The reason I know about this is because I had seen some press photos of their Atelier range, and some of their Brave New Stripe dresses leapt out at me.
I then received an email from them with a link to the collection and I decided to book a MyStylist appointment so I could take a peek at some of the pieces. Rachel was amazing. So friendly on email before, and during our session, nothing was too much trouble. She wasn’t even phased when I turned up almost 9 months pregnant!


I tried on a few things (with a bit of imagination!) but I loved the Atelier Brave New Stripes collection (funny that ;) ) especially this Navy and Cream silk dress and coat set. Below are some of my other favourites.

Red Maxi / Yellow Kimono
  Green Maxi

Trousers / Bag / Shoes

Rachel was warm, welcoming and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her. She also even asked me before the appointment what my coffee order was, AND there was breakfast waiting. Amazing service!

Sitting and chatting to Rachel also made me look again at the Karen Millen collection as a whole and it opened my eyes as to how the brand has changed from the “studded and slinky” persona I had earmarked it with from the early 2000s. I’ll definitely be looking in there more now. If you are in the area then don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with her. She comes highly recommended!

So again, I may not be around in May but who knows!? Enjoy the long weekend we have coming up. We’ll be moving back into our house after four months of destruction and change. I. CAN’T. WAIT! :)

Erin xx

PS: The Boden Autumn Preview was also released last week. There are some pretty nice gems to be had ;)

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

 

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

How to Wear: January

Morning Readers!

I hope you have all had good January’s and that the month hasn’t been too long for you. I was lucky enough to have a week in NYC last week (although I wasn’t with my family, boo) which broke up the month a little, but I normally suffer from the “extra long month” syndrome like most.

I do hope my #JanuaryJoy post at the beginning of the month helped to elicit some pleasure though, especially since my recommended buys were all under £40. Here’s how I wore a few of them…

Sparkles and Leather

I mentioned the H&M Sparkle shirt a couple of times – once in January and once before that in October. It’s very J.Crew-esque in my opinion and a great length to wear with skinny jeans or leggings. I’ve paired it here with Black Skinnies but have also worn it with a skirt. A great buy and there are still a few larger sizes left, although I have seen them in-store too.

I know that Leather Leggings weren’t officially on my What to Buy list, but wearing them with an Oversized Jumper was, and that’s what I’m doing here. This was is a charity shop cashmere men’s find which I love, and brought warmth easily at the beginning of the month whilst at Chessington Zoo for the day. These leather skinnies are old from Zara, but there are plenty about – check out my post earlier in January where I’ve commented where the best place to get them is.

Lace and Oversized Jumpers

I actually bought the Green Lace Insert Next Dress I featured for a Black tie event that I had mid-month. I didn’t fancy something long, and I had found these Carvela Red Shoes (now sold out) in the John Lewis sale, and although not usually two colours I’d wear together, I found the green was dark enough to carry them.

Whomever invented the Oversized Jumper was a genius. As I said, I wear this H&M one (now sadly sold out in all three colours online) as a dress with tights and boots, or as I have done here with Skinny Jeans. This was the perfect Travel outfit. I had a Stripe Long-sleeve t-shirt on underneath it so I could de-layer on the plane, but I was grateful for the jumper, and Parka, when I got to NYC! The cold there is BITING!

Embellished Shoulders

Now THIS jumper I actually found in Zara in NYC as I wasn’t quick enough to nab it from my own list at the beginning of the month, and I love the detailing on the neck and arms, plus the fact it’s machine washable. What I don’t love in retrospect is that every darn thing catches on the jewels. Note to self – do not wear with a snag-able blanket scarf. However, it’s the picture on the right that will draw your attention… ;)

Yes, I’m going to be a Mummy again! I’m now six months pregnant with bubba No. 2 and we can’t wait. I had a rough start this time, something I wasn’t used to as I sailed through the whole nine months the first time round, but after week 16 or so, I began to feel better. The second trimester is definitely being more kind to me :) The day this picture was taken I actually ended up walking about 70 blocks in NYC and felt fine afterwards, although a little stiff the next day I must admit.

I am going to continue to write the What to Buy posts at the beginning of the month, and still continue to the How to Wear whilst I feel OK, but these may lessen off. I’m also without the majority of my wardrobe whilst our house is renovated. I feel a little like Rebecca in the lead up to having Bea with all the house improvements and impending deadline :)

So, there we have it – the news is finally out, although I suspect a few of you may have guessed in my lack of waisted items which I love. Do follow me on Instagram for some daily updates if you like. I’ll be back next week with my pick of what I’ve seen of the New Season. Until then…!

Erin xxx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

#JanuaryJoy: Refresh your Style

Hello Readers!

HNY to you all. 2014 was certainly a blur but I enjoyed the pace of the final two weeks where I had the time off work to spend with Hubby and son. Returning to work on Monday was a big struggle!

I know I didn’t recap what I wore in December but I’m sure you were all too busy enjoying your festive periods to care anyway ;) Thank you to all those of you that joined in with #fffestivefun – it was lovely to see your interpretation of the daily prompts.

January can be a bit of a mixed bag. With the Media serving up initiatives like Dryathalon (all for good causes though), the inevitable return to the norm (be that work, school or just regular life after the buzz of Christmas) and the fact that it can be so long until Pay Day for some, it’s not surprising that January is often billed as a depressing month.

However, fear not! This month’s What to Buy features some great pieces that you’ll mostly find in the remains of the Sale, and as some of you may be on a budget, nothing exceeds £40. Coupled with Rebecca’s #JanuaryJoy, we can make this years Jan a bright one!

A Classic Jumper

My love for J Crew knows no bounds and although my American boss doesn’t know what all the fuss is about (“It’s like M&S isn’t it?”… erm No!), the Tippi Jumper is one of my favourite pieces. Bracelet length sleeves and a close enough fit to be worn smart or casually, the Tippi is a good alternative to a T-shirt for the Spring. These two colours are reduced in the sale and are actually great Spring colours. Uniqlo and Gap are also good places to find really good alternatives, also in Merino Wool.

J Crew / Uniqlo / Gap

An Oversized Knit

These are everywhere and since the winter months firmly still with us, you’d get a lot of wear out of it. I wear mine either as a Jumper dress for work or with faux leather leggings for easy weekend wear. I especially like the camel H&M style – not a massive lover of a polo neck, this is loose enough to be cosy and not make me look too top heavy.

H&M / H&M / M&S / Topshop

Something Lilac

This notorious “Granny” shade is set to be big for SS15. Ranging from the palest purple to something more Neon Parma Violet, it would be a good time to pick up one of these pieces to add to your wardrobe as a nod to Spring, but at AW14 sale prices.

New Look / Clarks / H&M / ASOS

Sparkles

The Magpie in me will never die and anything Sparkly always cheers me up. The F&F flats above have a whiff of Tabitha Simmonds about them. For £7 just click and collect with your weekly shop. Also, I’ve mentioned this shirt before, and now it’s in the sale ;)

H&M / F&F / Zara / Monica Vinader

Lace

Again, lace was big on the SS15 collection catwalks and you could easily nod to the trend early with something you pick up now. Granted, the lace seen on the Runways was beautiful pastels and whites, but really, lace is lace right and these colours are much easier to wear in January…

Next / Next / Whistles / Zara 

So what do you think readers? Will you choose something here to brighten up your Jan? My Month has kicked off with our Renovation Project starting at home – meaning we’ve had to move out for a while. I’ll be back later in the month with “How I Wore” January but please forgive any less than salubrious places that my outfit post pictures are taken from. #realliferules after all ;)

Erin xx

What to Buy: November

Morning Readers!

I’m finding it really hard to believe it’s November already – October seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. Also, I’m not sure about you, but the unseasonably warm weather has slowed my thinking about Christmas. Just last week I was in our garden hosting a Halloween party for 12 toddlers, none of which had coats on. However, true to it’s word, November is certainly feeling more wintery, so here are my picks of what you should be thinking about buying this month.

A Christmas Jumper

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Bird / Bauble / Snowflake / Metallic
Now I know it may sound premature, but I ALWAYS leave it to the last minute and never get my hands on the one I want. I remember last year seeing a Sweatshirt with Christmas Puddings strategically placed in Primark in November, and regretting not buying it as soon as I saw it on Holly Willoughby during Celebrity Juice. FAIL.

But… I’m not normally one for the “Novelty Jumper” so here are some that are Christmas themed, yet still tasteful (in my opinion). Thanks go to a very good friend of mine who pointed out the Joules ones to me ;)  I really like the Bauble one as it has a hint of Markus Lupfer about it without the price tag. The Snowflake one also comes in a more festive red, but I rather like the Navy for subtlety and the Bottle Green one well, this doesn’t just have to be for Christmas!

Moody Florals

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Trousers / Dress / Jumper / Skirt
I’ve noticed a fair few painterly dark and moody floral prints around, and being one of the trends for this AW there are some really nice ways to wear them. From some statement trousers (I LOVE THESE!) to a really easy to wear skirt that could be dressed up or down, now the weather is getting colder, something of this print would really transform your wardrobe. The tiny caveat in the above choices is the Jumper, but the floral embroidery on the sleeves and shoulders was just too beautiful not to include here.

The Blanket Coat

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Navy / Green / Multi-Coloured
Call it what you like – a coat, a poncho or a wrap – the “blanket coat” is a big statement for this season. Now, you could pullthis off by belting a large cozy scarf having draped it round your shoulders, but for some ready to wear versions, these are my High Street favourites. The checks bordered with grey marl is my favourite, perfect to wear over denim or black trousers, but the tassels and colours of the Per Una version take this trend to the letter.

Slogan Sweatshirt

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Kiss / Ciao BellaFeline /  Feminin
These aren’t going anywhere fast, and if you haven’t dipped into the trend already, now is the time to do so. There are some great versions available on the high street, meaning you can take your pick from something that perhaps is personal to you, to something a little more tongue in cheek. So easy to wear, they are the perfect finisher to your weekend uniform.

Over the Knee Boots

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Zara / Russell Bromley
Seemingly everywhere at the moment, the new wave of these boots is much easier to wear. A flat, or small block heel, the lust-worthy Stuart Weitzman 5050’s are still probably among the most coveted, but there are some brilliant (and most importantly) affordable high street alternatives. This Zara pair is amongst my favourites available at the moment.

So, will any of the above items be on your shopping lists this month?

Erin xx