Monthly Archives: September 2011

Made in Chelsea?

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I have some serious shoe-lust going on at the moment for chelsea boots, and it appears that I’m not the only one.

My beautiful Austrian friend and I were talking at a party at the weekend and she told me about a pair she’d seen in Office for £85, but that she couldn’t really afford them at that price (recession or no recession, when the hell did shoes and boots get so darn expensive?!)

So instantly my nerdette radar went off, and I promised I would find her a pair at a cheaper price, so that she can eat more than potatoes for the next three weeks. My brief is:

  • chelsea boots
  • flat
  • black
  • size 5
  • under £85

And here’s what I found…

First up it’s Topshop where I found these ‘Angsty‘ chelsea boots for £65. Ooh, lookie, they’re so shiny! I have to say I was pretty amazed to find that the increasingly-expensive Toppers were cheaper than those in Office.

Fashion maths:

  • Angsty: £85 – £65 = saving of £20

After some more searching I found these babies in Marks and Spencers of all places (one of those shops where I wouldn’t normally check for anything other than work trousers, but that I’m pleasantly suprised by on occasion, and where I end up buying most of the shop!) Anyway, this Autograph pair came in at £59 – a whole £6 cheaper than Topshop.

Fashion maths:

  • Autograph booties: £85 – £59 = saving of £26

Next up it’s ASOS – gotta love this place for the bargains. The cheapest of all the boots I found were here. The first is a classic round toed pair called Alibi for £50 – and they’re real leather too. Also here I found an almond toed pair with contrast heel called Andre for £45 – also real leather, sort of chelsea boot meets cowboy boot.

Now, I don’t know if the code is still valid, but our pals at ASOS were offering 20% to celebrate London Fashion week. Just in case it is the code is: HAPPYLFW.

Fashion maths:   

  • Alibi: £85 – (£50 x 0.8) = saving of £45! (Or £35 without the discount)
  • Andre: £85 – (£45 x 0.8) = saving of £49! (Or £40 without the discount)

So these are my suggestions for my friend, although whilst I was at it I found some others in different colours, which I couldn’t resist sharing.

1. Miss Selfridge – these brown brogued beauties are called Alpine. They’re real leather and come in at £58. I loves a brogue, so the combination of this with a chelsea boot makes me dribble a little.

2. Zara – I’m still loving tan at the moment, so I couldn’t resist showing you these, which I saw in store a few weeks ago and have been thinking about ever since! They come in at £59.99, and are also real leather. My friend might also like these as they are also available in red, and she has a collection of lovely red shoes.

So there we have it. Hopefully my friend will have happy feet and still can eat with my suggestions. My only worry is, with all these amazing boots tempting me,…will I?!

Working 9-5 – part 1

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Although I love shopping, there’s one area that I’ve always disliked. I know, but don’t desert me just yet dear friends! The bit of shopping I don’t really enjoy is buying work clothes. I’m sure I can’t be alone in that.

I’ve always thought it a bit odd that I hate shopping for the clothes that I probably wear the most. You’d think one would put more effort into them than anything else. Unfortunately I find two things:

  1. Clothes that I used to wear outside of work that I no longer like end up being relegated to my work wardrobe. I know – this feels like blasphemy to a dedicated fashion nerdette, but it’s true.
  2. In a bid to spend not much money on work clothes, I usually end up buying basic tops – resulting in an endless black-trouser-coloured-top combo. How unimaginative.

So how do we sort out this sorry state of affairs?

When it comes to jazzing up the workwear wardrobe, contrary to what a lot of shops try and tell us (I’m looking at you, Warehouse) unless you work in fashion or design, or are a professional tennis player, shorts are NOT acceptable for the workplace! If I turned up in a pair of shorts to my office, I would give at least two members of staff a heart attack, and those who didn’t go into cardiac arrest would have asked me if I’d been drinking! So I need to find suitable alternatives to snazz myself up a bit.

It has therefore become my mission to banish grey trousers, pinstripes and those dreaded basic tops and funk up my work wardrobe.

Colour me beautiful: Imagine my delight when I discovered that coloured trousers are coming in. Obviously I’m not suggesting that I’m going to leap into a pair of neon breeches and skip into the office, but there are some colours that I think would be acceptable for the workplace, like navy, plum and burgundy. I feel the darker colours are better, personally.

Look at these! The first are from Topshop at £35 – they are available in three different lengths. I don’t know how well you can tell from the photo, but this second pair is purple, priced £24.99 from New Look. I can find their sizes a bit iffy, so I can recommend some trying-before-you-is-buying. I also have to admit to being a fan of these copper palazzos from Zara, but appreciate they wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice (also bottle green, black and blue.)

Pan-dering to our needs: Peter pan collars are all up in fashion’s face at the moment too – I think they add a cuter edge to an outfit, and I will definitely be buying one for my new work wardrobe. I love this classic shirt from ASOS – there are so many ways to style up this simple piece, and it will transcend the seasons, so it’s reasonable at £30. Then there’s this two-in-one dress by E1 London from newly discovered Fashion Union – top value for money at £30. I’d pop a tight fitting basic long sleeved vest in a similar colour underneath to combat the cold so I could wear through the winter. Finally I’ve found this slight variation in this scalloped number by Louche at Joy. It’s £35 and the colours are bang on. I’d probably tuck it into the Toppers trousers above actually!

Needles-s to say: When it comes to feeling good at work, I don’t think you can beat a nice knit dress. I bought a stripey one from Zara for about £9 three years ago and it’s still going strong. Add a pair of opaque tights, and Bob’s your mother’s brother. Rock this Mango boat neck with those tights to make this day-wearable – it’s £39.90 and available in about 6 different colours. Nail a beatnik look with this Kenneth Cole dress (in the sale on the House of Fraser website) It’s slightly pricier at £51, but it’s a silk mix and monochrome never goes out of fashion. That subtle wider black band in the middle will give definition to your waist too. Finally I found this cute little chappy from Dorothy Perkins for £35: wear with pearl stud earrings and some courts and nail the ladylike look.

I feel we’ve worked from 9-1, not 9-5 on this one, so we’ll have a lunchbreak and commence working the 2-5 soon. x

In love with the Hof

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No, not hairy baywatch adonis and crime-fighting, borderline autophile David Hasselhoff, I’m talking about the other HoF: namely House of Fraser.

Now, generally I tend to avoid department stores for two reasons:

  1. Beautiful clothes, but at prices that make my debit card need counselling.
  2. The ever present danger of stealth attack from a ninja beauty counter worker with a perfume atomiser.

But I’ve just been up to Manchester to see one of my besties, and she works in House of Fraser, which we duly paid a trip to in the ritual shopping trip that always happens when we see each other.

After administering a mild tranquiliser to my purse as a precautionary measure, I was advised that, when it comes to women’s clothes in this department store, the higher up the floor, the more expensive the clothes.

Naturally then, I stayed on the first floor.

So, you might ask, what delights did I come upon in the HoF?

First of all, I found this Vivienne Westwood-a-like cut jacket by label Maggie and Me. They seem to only have the grey version online, but I bought it in black for £45. Not bad for a classic black jacket. I happened to try it on with these amazing indigo flared jeans (AW11 – 70s style baby, get involved!) by Therapy, also £45. You can’t see so well from the picture, but these are monster flares – you get a lot of fabric for your money! Voila, I had an outift. So I bought them both!

My bestie is in love with another label sold at the HoF – namely Label Lab. She gets staff discount on this stuff (lucky biatch) but without such a discount, I’m afraid that Label Lab was a tad too expensive for me. They do have some awesome pieces though, and I tried on this funky cyber-print dress, which I may have to buy on my next payday, £49 in the sale, reduced from £70.

I also liked, but somehow failed to try on, this tie-dyed sheer shirt for £30 from other great independent label Vila. My super-stylish friend, of course, already had it and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me saying that she had teamed it up with a white vest top (I’m sure we all own one like this Topshop one, £6) and bleached cut off shorts, like these Vero Moda jobbies(also available at HoF for £28) and looked achingly/enviously cool.

Needless to say, now I have experienced the HoF once more, and have an insider to let me know about all the latest drops, I’ll be keeping my eye on this little fishy a lot more… x