Tag Archives: autumn

Pencil me in

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So, pencil skirts are a bit of a classic and a wardrobe staple, especially in black. After the swishiness of pleats and chiffon over the summer, they are having a bit of a moment as we come into autumn winter collections, which are a bit more about structure.

Also, a colleague asked me to find her a plum/purple skirt, but whilst we’re on it and there are so many beauties to choose from in so many great colours, I can’t help but add in a few of the others that I am loving.

Purple passion: Finding purple was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated! I found these two in New Look at £19.99 each, and this tube skirt from River Island at £20 (also in tres AW11 ochre.) For something a bit different (and if my friend is feeling a bit more flush) I also found this layered lovely from Coast for £78.

I have to say that my favourite is the second New Look skirt – you can’t see that well from the photo, but it has a slit on one side (v sexual), and is also availabe in black, red and jade. And it’s a bargain!

Best of the rest: There are squillions of pencil skirts teeming in all of the shops! Buy me, they shout, BUY ME! ASOS alone has over 30 styles to choose from. Phew! I’ve chosen the few that are making my eyes fat because they are so eye-candy-ful!

These are my faves from ASOS – the first two are the same style in different colours. I particularly love the cherry red – both a reasonably priced at £35. Be warned, this is a midi: it will shorten the legs of more petite girls. Avoid ankle straps, dolly bars or t-bars on your tootsies: it will shorten the leg further, no matter how tall you are. The third is a classic dogstooth, super chic, priced at £35. Although I loves a dogstooth, I’d be happier with parting with cash for this baby if it was a properly woven check, rather than a check print like it is.

I’ve also had my eye on this first Topshop number for a while – I particularly like the PU trim at the top. It gives waist definition without a belt. Nice. It comes in at £30 and is available in this turquoise colour, plus black, burgundy and mid-blue. I also spied this sweet lace number at £40 – go ladylike chic with a pussy-bow blouse and courts and you’re ready to rock and roll.

I am a big fan of independent labels, and I couldn’t possibly do a post about pencil skirts without a nod to the fabulous Vivien of Hollway, who specialise in retro 1950s style pieces. The Wiggle pencil skirt comes in classic black, navy and black satin, plus six, read it, SIX different tartan/checks. That happily ticks the heritage box! It’s priced at £35: you won’t see any of these babies in Primark, so you can stand out from the crowd for a reasonable price!

Enjoy the structured look…! x

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Wedding, done!

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So, after much searching, I finally did that thing that men say women do when shopping and we say that we don’t: I went back to one of the first shops I visited. Sorry womankind, I don’t mean to set a bad example, don’t chuck me out of the sisterhood!

The store was Mango, the dress is ace. What actually happened was that I saw the dress in question a previous trip, but wasn’t in my size. After no success elsewhere, I then insisted on dragging my friend around every Mango we could think of in Central London until I found it in a medium.

So voila, the dress that does it all:

  1. Doesn’t look like I’m going to a prom
  2. Avoids black (and white, chill brides!)
  3. Not too short
  4. …or too casual…
  5. …or too worky.
  6. And I can only hope that no one else gets the same dress.
It also is purse friendly at £44.90, which also made me very happy. When I saw it, I thought it screamed autumn wedding, so here it is:
 
 
I’ll be wearing this badboy with these simple courts that I already own – they are called Arnoldoa from Aldo. I bought them before they went in the sale – they’re now £39.98. (Grrr. Sale envy.) I also will accompany with this wee bag from New Look – a steal at £12.99. (But frankly they have loads of nice bags at the moment at reasonable prices, so there were a whole host to choose from.)
 I also chose a blue pashmina (£6.99 from H&M – sorry it doesn’t seem to be online) to go over my arms in the (likely) event of cold. It exactly matches the blue colour in the pattern on the dress. Kiss my face.
 
I decided against a hat, and opted for something a bit more practical for a wedding in Northern Ireland…
 
 
xxx
 
 

Wedding guest appearance: mark 2

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So with the wedding only a few weeks away, the hunt is still on to find a nice dress.

Attempts 3 – 5: I am currently loving concessions ranges – and Closet at Dorothy Perkins usually gives me plenty of loveliness in classic shapes, bright prints at reasonable prices. I challenge anyone not to swoon! So off I popped with a friend and tried a host of different dresses, some of which included the following:

I liked the coral pleated dress (£48), but although it looked really nice and I loves a tea dress, I felt it broke rule 4 (too casual). Similarly, the purple fit-and-flare frock (£42) looked lovely, but felt a little bit too worky (thus breaking rule 5). Nightmare.

If I could have found it in the store, I would have tried this retro baby. Pure 50s magic in dress form. This would have called for a pair of leather driving gloves, like these cute heart cut-out ones, £22 from Accessorize. Obviously you could team this with a pair of black courts if you wanted something a bit more subtle, but if not, I think these block heeled bow courts, £29.99 from New Look, would set the whole thing off a treat!

Attempts 6 and 7: Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to Topshop concessions we go. But this time it was the biggie – Topshop’s flagship store at Oxford Circus. And this time I had a friend with me to help. They have a great range of concession labels here including Love, CiCi, Orion, Tara Starlet, Wal G, Dahlia, TFNC and, of course, Traffic People.

I tried on MANY dresses here! I won’t go through them all for fear of you falling asleep into a cup of tea and suffering 2nd degree burns on your nose. BUT here are the best of them.

Normally I dismiss Orion as a) being cut for the shorter lady and b) a wee bit expensive, but in the spirit of trying on the whole shop, I gave these beauties a go:

The first is called Julia and costs £67 – it hit the middle of my thigh in terms of length, but looked really lovely on. The cowl neck sewn into the waistband gave me some killer curves. I loved it very much, and this is definitely on my shortlist. Apologies about the dimensions of the pic of the second one – I had trouble trying to get a picture of the white version. Click the link on the name to see it properly. This dress was called Queenie, and at £76 it was one of the more expensive dresses I tried. Although I loved it on, I didn’t seventy-six-pound love it, and white chiffon felt more like cocktails-on-holiday than autumn-wedding. So, if I’m feeling flush, when I go on hols in September I might treat myself to this, and wear with wooden jewellery and a pair of thong sandals.

I also tried, and dismissed these: Turquoise Eva dress by TFNC (£60, too short!); royal blue frilled dress by CiCi (£45, made me look like I had massive shoulders) and some horrendous orange dress (I can’t remember the brand) with a weird cape bit on the back. Just no.

Onward, dear friends… x

When the weather outside is frightful…

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I just have to interrupt the wedding outfit search with autumn-ness.

It’s not like I’m pleased that we had a three day summer (thanks Britain) but I am now past hoping that we’ll have an Indian summer in September and that all my lovely summer clothes can have the tags taken out of them.

Also, loads of places are getting their Autumn drops, well, dropped, and the thought of big cosy arran jumpers and thick tights is making me feel much better about the cruddy weather.

So to H&M, who have a (much improved) fitting room now, where you can create outfits online and save them. I created this little beauty, all of which I intend to purchase:

I especially love the hat and scarf. The only item I might replace is the boots, as I have found these brogue wedges in River Island that I saw a few weeks ago and can’t stop thinking about!

End of autumn/winter dribble session. x

Wedding belles

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No, I’m not getting married, but I’m at that age now where people around me are! And that calls for more dresses (shame) and maybe even a hat.

Now, as delighted as I am about having a bona fide excuse to buy a new dress, dresses for weddings always prove difficult. For a start there are rules, some written, some unwritten. The obvious is that you can’t wear white or cream, not too much of a problem. Some brides don’t like you wearing full length dresses either, that’s kind of ok too. But then to the unwritten. Let’s call them guidelines rather than rules:

  1. You don’t want to look like you’re going to a prom
  2. Is all black ever appropriate at a wedding? Genuine question, I am not really sure.
  3. You don’t want to wear anything too short..
  4. …or too casual…
  5. …or too worky.
  6. You don’t want to end up with the same dress as someone else.

So, the first and second ‘guidelines’ cut out pretty much most dresses on the highstreet. There is, firstly, a destinctly limited range of suitable formal dresses in a lot of highstreet shops – and most, let’s face it, come in black. Argh! The likes of Coast, LK Bennett and others are, sadly, too expensive for me on my little wage (a total bummer as Coast have brought out a replica of a hot vintage monochrome dress (below), as worn by Dannii Minogue last year – but at £175 it’s a little out of my price range.)

The third issue (too short) is even more of a problem for me. At 5’10 even a standard ‘above the knee’ skirt can look indecent on me. Pencil dresses have the bonus of being a bit more demure, but at the same time they can look worky (issue five!)

The added dimension for this wedding is that it is an autumn wedding, which means it will be beautiful with all the changing leaves and a low autumal sunrise to welcome in the day, but also means bye bye chiffon summer frocks, there’s no room for you at this inn.

So my mission is to find frocks of a reasonable price – avoiding all aforementioned pitfalls and looking hot to trot. Go…!