Tag Archives: LK Bennett

Faux pas

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I have recently been inundated with requests for help finding clothes, shoes and accessories for my beautiful friends.

Fashion maths seems to have been a bit of a hit too – with people finding items they would like but at a price their bank manager does not like, and charging me with the task of finding cheaper alternatives!

By way of illustration one of my friends found this beautiful retro dress (£40) at your beloved and mine, ASOS. On sight of it, we both love the whole outfit so much, that I suggested she should try to replicate the whole look and get the other bits as well.

 

Alas, ASOS let us down by not stocking the accessories shown in the outfit (=severe loss of brownie points) and subsequently elevating the need to find the extra bits elsewhere.

My friend did this, but unfortunately stumbled into (in my opinion) massively-overpriced French Connection. And she found this Maud crop jacket for £85. Whilst it is beautiful, it is also a shed load of money for something that, fashion-wise, will be in and out quicker than a right arm in a hokey-cokey.

So, as fashion mathemagician, I have been charged with the task of finding something similar but at a much more reasonable price. Here’s what I found.

1. LK Bennett – Imagine my surprise when even high-end-high-street luvvies LK Bennett came in cheaper than FC. This little beauty came in at £59.99, which well and truly sticks two fingers up at French Connection, and tells it to go FCUK itself.

Fashion maths:

  • LK Bennett: £85 – £59.99 = saving of £25.01

Although it is lovely and cheaper, I still think that we can do better!

2. Debenhams

Debenhams came up trumps with not one but two possibilities, neither of which were to be found in the bridal department (to my astonishment).

Firstly I found this LK Bennett-alike as part of their Debut range for £40, swiftly followed by this grey beauty in the Star by Julian MacDonald range – in the sale at £32. Nice.

Fashion maths:

  • Debut: £85 – £40 = saving of £45
  • Julian MacDonald: £85 – £32 = saving of £53

3. Oasis and Horses and Riders (!)

I decided that I’d move slightly from the bolero and turned my search to tippets and scarves: much more versatile than a jacket, as you could wear as a scarf, or with coats and jackets as a sort of detachable collar. This totally ups the potential pays-per-wear calculation.

Oasis bequeaths us with this little brown scarf at £20 (also available in a leopard print) and I also found this posh-totty website called ‘Horses and Riders’ (what, what) which gave us this bargainous Dubarry tippet (available in three colours) also for £20.

Fashion maths:

  • Oasis: £85 – £20 = saving of £65
  • Dubarry: £85 – £20 = saving of £65

So there we have it. A maximum saving of £65 – which will give her some cash to splash on the tan satchel and boots so she can complete the outfit.

 

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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…!