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23 June 2015

Reviewing

The time has come to review my favourite Spring purchases. These are the bits that I've found the most versatile over the last few months. As we haven't really had a long spell of really good weather so I shall have to review high summer later.....assuming that we are in for some hot weather at some point! It would seem that Topshop and Zara are where I have found most of the best bits so far. I'll start from the top and work my way down. First up being outerwear, my favourite Spring coat has been this Topshop duster/trench. Great with jeans and a tee when a top layer has been needed, also really loved it over my Pull & Bear dress when I wore it a couple of weeks back here.



Hands down this jacket from Zara has been my favourite. This is going to be one of those jackets that will be so wearable all year around! Now sold out online.

Zara jacket £59.99

Next up....love these shirts from Topshop. I've worn these on numerous occasions and look forward getting a lot more wear out of them. The shape of them is just so perfect for me, if they came in other colours I would snapping up more!





Neat fit chambray white shirt £29

Onto the bottom halves.....Zara totally have these covered this season. I was so desperate to find a pair of chino's last year. This year I managed to find 2 pairs of trews that have now well and truly ticked the chino box! 





These Zara jeans are the best pair of jeans I've bought in a long time! These are also no where to be seen on the website now.

Zara jeans

My favourite skirt...I loved it with opaques and boots when I bought it back in February, but boy it is really coming into it's own now we can go bare legged.....as you will see a bit further down!

Jack wills skirt

Jack Wills, sold out

This Topshop dress has been an absolute winner during the tricky transitional weather, loved wearing it with my Stan's, looks great with sandals now the temps are rising!


Topshop dress, current

Last but not least, the footwear. These Vans skate shoes have been brilliant! I love them so much that I am currently contemplating buying them in leather as I have had so much wear out of them, the leather ones would be great for rainy days, I am a tad precious about getting the canvas ones dirty!

Style - Minimal + Classic: Vans classic slip-on | & Other Stories


It's been good to do this little end of Spring review as it's made me ponder a bit on my purchases and it strikes me that they are all classic items that will stand the test of time and come out year after year. That certainly tells me something about how I shall be looking to shop in the future, especially now I aim to buy less. The almighty clothing cull is still going on, I've removed another 15 or so items from my wardrobe this past week. I been reading another great destuffocating book (thank for the recommendation Sue) called The life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo which has really helped me let go of somethings which I have been dithering about. It's really helping me to shop my wardrobe a lot better too and it's keeping me out of the shops, my purse is breathing a sigh of relief, I can tell you!

Onto what I have been wearing. I started off the beginning of last week in York on a little trip with my mum. Here's a quick changing room selfie of what I travelled in. 


H&M top, past season
Topshop trousers, past season

Whilst I was in York, I did have the pleasure of meeting up with my lovely blogging chum Susie So So and it was have been rude not too have taken advantage of her amazing photography skills here! ;0)


Mango dress, sold out online


Zara jacket, ancient
H&M top ancient
Zara flares, past season


Topshop shirt, past season
Sainsburys Tu skirt, past season




Mango top, past season
Jack Wills skirt, sold out


Jigsaw bag, via eBay

Anyone else do an end of season review? Have you worked out your best bits yet? I would love to hear which have been your favourite pieces of the Spring season!

As always I love reading and responding to your comments.

Be back soon!

Michelle xx


14 June 2015

Recycling

The hardest part about doing my lifestyle cull has been parting with things that I have some kind of emotional attachment to. Sometimes, some things are just so special that even though they aren't quite right, don't fit or that you simply aren't really in love with, yet you just cannot let go of them.

My sister bought me this sweatshirt for my birthday last year. I was so blown away by this gift as she has very little spare cash as she is a single mum bringing up 2 kids on her own. We had come to an agreement that we only buy gifts for our children's birthdays. What made this pressie extra special for me was that it was such a lovely surprise. She works in the Menswear department in Primark and when I popped into see her one day, I just happened to mention that I liked this Coca-Cola sweatshirt, I didn't expect for a moment that she would remember, let alone buy it for me. For those of you that know me, know that my relationship with my sister can be described as a bit up and down at the best of times, so I know you can imagine how incredibly touched I was by her gesture. Unfortunately the sweatshirt wasn't the greatest shape and I didn't like it on me that much but I do love it because of the thought she put into it. It actually reminds me of when we were younger and our parents would take us to the local pub with a beer garden as a treat on a sunny Sunday evening.....I always chose Cola even though I hated the sensation of the fizzing in my nose, anyone else remember those days?

I digress....back to the sweatshirt.


As I mentioned above this top wasn't a particularly flattering shape on me but I didn't want to part with my sisters lovely gift so there was really only one of two things I could do, either delegate it to the stuff I reserve for slobbing around the house in or I could to try and alter it. I took a long hard look at this sweatshirt to work out why it wasn't working for me. Being a man's top the neckline was too high, so that was the first thing to go. Then I realised that wasn't the only problem, it was also that the shoulder seam wasn't very flattering either, so I unpicked the long sleeves. Last but not least I decided the welt on the hips would have to go too, just to balance things out a bit. I did some stitching by hand around the neckline but I've left the sleeves and the hem as a raw edge for that lived in feel.Voila......here is the finished article! 


I know I now have a garment that I'm much more likely to wear......as you can see below! Luckily I have my sisters support.....she wholeheartedly agrees that it looks so much better now than in it's original state. With the 70's style clothing around this Summer, this top fits in just perfectly, it actually goes with so much in my wardrobe as you are about to see after a mammoth trying on session!


Primark top, past season
Zara flares, past season


Primark top, past season


Primark shirt, past season
Primark top, past season


Primark top, past season
Gap original fit jeans, past season


Primark top, past season
Sainsbury's Tu skirt, past season

Lastly my outfit from today.....


Primark top, past season

Amazing what a few tweaks can do isn't it? I think it's fair to say that I am going get a lot of wear out of it in it's current condition? It was the same with this Mango top I bought last year. It was originally grey, I thought it was black when I bought and I really wanted it to be black. A while ago a lovely reader mentioned in a comment that she had dyed her black.....fantastic idea I thought! So I dyed mine. It's now a lovely washed out black and I've worn it much more than when it was grey.


Have I tempted anyone to take a stitch unpick, scissors or some Dylon to any garments languishing in the wardrobe because they just aren't quite right? 

As always I love reading and responding to your comments.

I'll be back soon reviewing my favourite purchases for Spring.

Michelle xx

10 June 2015

Replacements

If you follow me on Instagram, to the very eagle-eyed readers it may look as though a couple of new pairs of shoes have found their way in my wardrobe. Thought I'd best explain this is all down to my one item in, one item out ethic at the moment. I ended up with these Topshop Fig sandals, only because I sadly had to return the London Rebel tan flip-flops that I shared here because they weren't a good fit (the H&M sandals from the same post have also gone to a new home, as I just didn't love them enough!). Such a shame as really liked the style, but the Figs are gorgeous and they filled the flat tan sandal hole nicely. I love the style so much I am very tempted to purchase them in black too......excuse me while I dash of to see what other sandals I have that I can purge!


I find tan sandals so useful in the Summer which is obviously how I had managed to notch up 7 pairs with all different height heels (hanging my head in shame here!). After my wardrobe cull I left myself with 3, the high Kurt Geiger shoe-boots I bought recently, a flat F&F from Tesco's which are a couple of years old now and these Topshop Nano's which I've had for 2 years but I'd only worn thrice as I recall.


I was very attached to the Nano's, again I love the style of them but in reality the are just a tad too high for me for daytime wear which meant I kept passing them over for something else. So I eBayed them to purchase the Topshop Hanoi's which have already proved to be an excellent replacement! They have a whiff of the Swedish Hasbeen's about them for a fraction of the price £28, which is all I want to spend for a nod to the 70's vibe. They are brilliant with my flares and denim skirts. Job-done for less than 30 quid....though if I really love them I think it would be worth splashing out on the real deal!



Right so after doing the shoe reccie I mentioned a bit further up, I did a little tot up of what I have actually parted company with this past week! So far 12 items of footwear consisting of 8 pairs of sandals (including the returned pair and the eBayed ones, another 4 pairs currently on eBay), 3 pairs of shoes and 1 pair of trainers. I've also removed another 5 pieces of clothing (mostly going to my sister again, but also eBaying a couple of bits) as well as 1 bag and 1 accessory. My aim this month is not to spend any of mine or my husbands hard earned cash on clothes, shoes, bags, I'm going to only spend funds that I have earnt through re-cycling stuff on eBay and the like. How do you like my justification? Apart from the Topshop Fig in black there really isn't anything else on my wish list so it looks as though it's going to be a very good start to me cutting back on buying and not ending up with yet more stuff!

Time to share some of the outfits I've been wearing lately....there is much to catch up on! Obviously the new shoes are making lots of appearances but it's also good to see how a lot of my favourite outfits at the moment consist of things that have been a wardrobe for quite a while that I am really enjoying wearing again!


Zara jacket, past season
Zara top, past season
Warehouse sandals, ancient


Topshop dress, current
Zara handbag, current


Uniqlo shirt, past season
Gap original fit jeans, past season
Jigsaw bag, via eBay


Primark shirt, current
Topshop t-shirt, past season
Topshop Jamie jeans, past season (dyed with Dylon black velvet)
Kurt Geiger Laurel skate shoe, past season


Jigsaw bag, via eBay




Zara jacket, ancient
H&M maxi dress, past season


Zara blouse, current though I can't find online
Jigsaw bag, via eBay


Mulberry bag, ancient
Accessorize hat, ancient


Gap skirt, past season
Jigsaw bag, via eBay


Uniqlo sweater, current, sold out online


Gap jacket, ancient
Zara sweater, ancient

It's been another week of not only purging clothing and shoes but also household goods too! We can almost see the finishing line! I am pretty certain that freeing myself of a lot of stuff is really helping me! I feel pretty happy about it. I've got more time as I spend less time looking for things. I am trying to keep in mind whenever I look at something now 'Do I really love this?' 'Does it really make me happy?' and if it doesn't, well it doesn't really deserve a place in my life. Mmm, getting deep here! Do hope it isn't my midlife crisis kicking in! Anyway, that is all from me at the moment, something to ponder on......

As always I love reading and responding to your comments.

Until next time!

Michelle xx


3 June 2015

Happy holidays!


That's the best bit about holidays isn't it?! The memories! My favourite parts....my daughter's laughter ringing in my ears as she was splashing about in the pool, whilst I was engrossed in a bloomin' good book (more about that in a bit). Perfection! Amazing company (the family), lovely food in superb locations and.....ahem, some jolly good shopping courtesy of the fabulous exchange rate at the moment which equates to around 25% off clothing! Didn't I promise I would fall royally off the spending ban wagon once I was in the holiday zone?! I knew Mango & Zara would be my achilles heel whilst I was away so here is where I fess up. First up....my nod to the peasant style this season! Mango Beaded Panel dress, just £19.99, even more of a steal at 19.99 euro! This just happened to be perfect with my KG Kads from last year which was handy as they were the only heeled sandal I took away with me!


A whoosh of wind and I look 3 times the size of the Mango model!


Next up....another Mango dress! Love the simplicity of this little number!


Zara also rendered me helpless, 3 purchases there all told! As I explained.....I blame the fab euro!! Love this 70's style Denim skirt


Then there was this lovely bag! Justification here....I'm not good at mixing metal but this bag is silver and gold!! Yay! Finally something to bring all my metallics together.....whoop whoop! I've already put it to good use!


There is always something you can't find online :0( but it is seriously good in real life!! Zara blouse another item that was just 19.99 euros!


So.....the holiday outfits!! Yep, always the good photographer me??!! Not!! Here's all that I have!! I started out thinking I would do a flatlay of my daytime outfit everyday, which lasted.......well all of one day!!


Uniqlo playsuit, ancient
H&M bikini, past season
Havaianas, c/o eBay here
H&M hat, past season

I'll just get on with it!! Day outfits. Here is the outfit I travelled in.


Mango top, past season
Topshop trousers, current but out of stock online


Havaianas, c/o eBay here
H&M hat, past season
Anya Hindmarch dust/beach bag


Gap dress, ancient
Havaianas, c/o eBay here
H&M hat, past season
Anya Hindmarch dust/beach bag

A few evening outfits


Zara dress, past season
Kurt Geiger Kad sandals, past season


Mango dress, past season


Mango dress, past season
Kurt Geiger Kad sandals, past season

So, there's only half of the outfits....hands up I am totally pants at remembering to take a photo! Must do better next time!!

I am now back on the spending ban after my holiday treats! I read the most amazing book thanks to a lovely reader, (Sarah, thank you so much for bringing it to my attention, I loved it!) I would have to say that I would highly recommend purchasing called 'Stuffocation'. Well yes, I still acquired 'stuff' whilst I was on my hols. Hands up though.....the problem is that fashion is my passion, however since I have been home I've been purging stuff left, right and centre! From this day forward it will be a case of one in one out on the wardrobe front. My sister has been a major benefactor of the massive clearout, let's just say her holiday wardrobe is now sorted! Me and the DH (he's totally on board with it all, no surprise there though! ;0) and, well we have already sorted the gigantic hoarding hole that was our attic, along with the other pit of untidiness, that was the dastardly cupboard under the stairs. We've been through a lot of the kitchen drawers, cupboards, not to mention the over-flowing airing cupboard and we have parted with a lot of stuff! Let's just say that the MIL's table top sale in aid of a Pancreatic cancer charity (she overcame this disease 2 years ago) is full to brimming! We had lengthy conversations on holiday about forgoing tangible goods for experiences and memories. It would seem that we on the same page and are good to go as far as a 'stuff' free life goes. We are already planning a half term getaway in October and many lovely experiences between now and then. The memories will last for a lifetime which was really the message that 'Stuffocation' delivered so eloquently....so thankful that we were open to hearing it!

Right that's enough warbling on the soap box from me for the time being!

As always I love reading and responding to your comments.

Until next time.

Michelle xx