Author Archives: Belinda WornOut

Cashmere lovers, I’m calling you…

Hello, who doesn’t love cashmere?!  It’s a shame that it’s often hideously expensive, or dowdily shaped. I have lots of classic shaped cashmere knits, but this roomy H&M charcoal cashmere knit (£59) had me heading in store to check it out.  A more modern, interesting way to wear cashmere.  I find that this sort of relaxed fit can work well with fitted skirts or trousers / jeans:

H&M do quite a few cashmere or cashmere blend items. When H&M say “cashmere blend”, by the way, they mean 50 or 70% cashmere with the remaining 50 or 30% being wool. I loathe 5% cashmere being touted as “cashmere blend”. What tosh.

This well priced cashmere is found in the Premium Quality section, which is my favourite place to look for well priced, high quality items. The H&M cashmere is well priced, and I found the quality of last year’s maroon / berry cashmere scarf to be superb. It’s thick, soft and still looks new. So, I’ve high hopes for this year’s cashmere.

Back to the charcoal knit, this is how size S looks on me (can you see how fitted the sleeves are? I think that’s a slimming way to wear big knits):
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I’m wearing the jumper with my J Brand 912 jeans (size 28) and old M&S Autograph ponyskin ankle boots.

I also tried on the cashmere dress (£80):

but even in a size S, it felt bigger than Ben Hur, so probably suited to someone far far taller than me:

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Perfect maternity winter dress, though:

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Finally, another high street store where I have sourced cashmere, is Uniqlo.  Their cashmere is now instore.  You can possibly see from the below camel crew neck (£70), that they have updated the shape, to make it more relaxed, and split the bottom seam.  I will be heading in store to check it out.  They have a limited colour range, but I wore my black cashmere crew neck from Uniqlo a lot last year, so may buy another.

WOMEN Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater

Too good to pass up 

I have young daughters, and am constantly on the hunt for comfortable, affordable leather slip on shoes for them. I have tried Bloch slippers (via TK Maxx) – the quality is lovely, but they fell off. I have tried M&S gold shoes with straps – they look cute, but aren’t very soft.  Then, I was looking at Mango Outlet and I saw these elasticised leather ballet slippers, reduced from £40 to £8. I bought 12 pairs, in various sizes. 

They do scuff, but they are easy for the girls to pop on and off (perfect for parties, soft play and other places where shoes need to go on and off, in haste).  I ordered some clothes from MangoOutlet, for the girls, but was disappointed in them all, so won’t be blogging them:

    

Some summer purchases

I have picked up or seen a few great summer purchases, that I thought I’d share:

1. ALDO | beach bag | £20 (was £40)

This bag will be perfect for our upcoming summer holiday, and being fabric, it won’t snag on anything (I fear that straw will). Plus, it’s cute.   

  

 

2.  MARKS & SPENCER | Exotic floral beach towels | £25

I cannot overstate how gorgeous these towels are. They are huge  (100 x 180cm) and absorbent, so quite heavy, but (in the words of some housework guru. Kondo?) “they spark joy”.  Which is how I decide whether to buy things or not.  My young daughters use them for their swimming lessons (even though the towels are too big. They love them as they don’t get cold) and we will take them on holiday, too.

  
  
3.  FRENCH CONNECTION | floral reef cut out swimsuit | £23 (was £46)

No bikinis for me anymore, but I don’t want something too serious or covered up. This, in medium, is my perfect swimsuit. It’s very flattering. More so than the ruched tummy control ones I tried at M&S. 

  
I needed size M (I hate tight swimsuits), and all sizes are available here, but at full price. If you are near a store, you might find it, there (there were lots at Westfield, recently, for example).  Here’s how it looks on a model:   

 
4.  ST TROPEZ | gradual tan in shower lotion | £9.67 (was £14). 

I’m sure you’ve already seen this product.  I really like it. Basically, you wash yourself, turn the water off, apply  this fake tan, wait 3 minutes, then rinse it off. Frankly, I wait 5 minutes, during which time I do squats, stretching etc so I don’t get cold, then rinse off. I’m hardly mahogany for waiting the extra 2 minutes. I do, however, have a nice, subtle overall glow and my towels and sheets remain white. Also, I’m less “fake tan” smelling than when I use other products. Using it daily, you can build up to a darker colour, but I will use it only every few days as I am happy to be only lightly tanned looking, this summer. 

  

5. SOLTAN | Dry touch SPF50 lotion (sand resistant, water resistant, non sticky) | 200ml|£5.50

I loathe the stickiness of sun screen, so bought and applied this today. I like it. It’s 2 for 8 from Boots at the moment:

  

6. & OTHER STORIES | Black gladiator sandals | £32 (was £65)

Eve’s beautiful dress has just gone in the sale, and so have these. They are a classic summer style, and the quality is terrific. At this, reduced, price, they are an excellent buy. Annoyingly, I have just bought (and worn) some black summer sandals, but I wish I had waited for these. I love the little “good luck” “horse shoe” gold heel detail. If  delivery was free, I’d just order (size 39 in these – size down) them, anyway (I just did an order yesterday!):

   
 
Have a lovely day, and hope the heatwave isn’t bothering you. 

How to build a Georgian dolls house

This is a post I have been meaning to write for a while.  I wanted to buy my daughters a Georgian dolls house, but I couldn’t find any that I liked.  Most dolls houses were too small, too pink, too plastic, too expensive and aimed at collectors (rather than enthusiastic children).

So, I ordered this MDF flat packed house from eBay (£47) and built the dolls house that I wanted:

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The colour scheme I had in mind was this:

It took hours, and was quite fiddly (I’m not gifted at DIY or craft).  However, I am delighted with the result, and its a big, open dolls house that the girls play with a lot.  Here are the photos showing how it turned out:

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Those damned ponies – when will it end?!  Anyway, after some trial and error, the paints that I used were:

Exterior roof: Dulux Urban Obsession

Exterior yellow: Dulux Soft Vanilla (I think!)  The first yellow I used was Ivory from Little Greene and was far too dark.  I kept it for the attic, and chose a paler primrose for the exterior.

Exterior white trim and interior ceilings and hall ways: Dulux Timeless

Yellow room (attic): Little Greene Ivory

Pink room: Little Greene Pink Slip

Blue room: Little Greene Drizzle

Green room: Little Greene Eau de Nil

For the floors, I used a pale wood sticky backed plastic.  The furniture you see is Melissa & Doug doll house 1/12th furniture.

Overall, I aimed to keep the dolls house as light and open as possible, and I didn’t decorate or trim it any more than necessary.  The girls can freely play with it, without reminders not to touch bits etc, and I painted it in colours I wouldn’t cringe at, so we are all happy.  Especially the ponies.

A little summer updating

The clothes that I have from last summer are, really, still all I want to wear, except that I (convinced myself?) that I needed a couple of new things to update my summer wardrobe.  I don’t spend much on summer clothes as, well, you don’t really need to, and I don’t get as much wear out of them as I do my winter clothes.  So… here are my budget buys, and a couple of planned purchases:

1. ASOS | Five Star Leather Flat Sandals in tan | £11 (told you!)

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This is what they look like on me:

These cheapies are mostly sold out, but ASOS have numerous other tan sandals, including these ALDO | Bellia tan thongs | £50 (I have a gold version from a past season and have lived in them for the past few summers):

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Very on trend for this season are these NEW LOOK | Hippie Tan Fringed Flat Sandals | £28:

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Finally, if you are on a tight budget and like the minimal sandal look, there are the ASOS | Fated leather sandals | £16:

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2. MANGO | Scuba Pelmit Skirt in black | 63% Polyester, 33% Viscose, 4% Elastane | £9 (was £29)

I tried, and returned, a similar J Crew skirt last year, as it was too flared.  When I saw this, I thought I’d try that style of skirt again.  Its a keeper.  Flared, but not too flared, and its £9, so if I wear it twice a year, that’s fine.  I’m a size 8-10, but ordered and kept the size 38 (10) as I didn’t want it tight around my middle.

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This is what it looks like on me, sans fake tan!:

As for what I plan on buying, well I have a slim / skinny (not super skinny) white jeans hole in my wardrobe, as my old TopShop Baxters wore out.  I tried some on a Zara, but the cut didn’t work for me.  My dear friend Tracey tells me that the TopShop Baxter jeans are good (aka made of thick denim and cut well) again this year, so I plan to try them, again, soon.

3.  TOPSHOP | Baxter jeans in white | £40:

This image looks quite promising, I think, and pretty much just what I had in mind.  I used to have the 32 inch length, but think I will go and do some trying on, including of the 30 inch length, as I fancy a cropped length.

As to what I am buying to wear until it actually gets warm enough to wear summer clothes…

4.  MASSIMO DUTTI | Leather leggings | £265

I have been quite restrained over the last month, as I am saving myself for these beauties.  I am just hoping against hope that they don’t stretch out of shape, as I like the cut, just the way they are.  Unlike many leather leggings I had looked at, these don’t have an elastic waistband (I approach them with caution) and seem cut for my slightly apple-like shape:

LEATHER LEGGINGS

Here’s how they look on me (in size 10):

"Mmm, not exactly workwear, but did you know @massimodutti made such amazing #leather #trousers? I didn't." Photo taken by @theworkwearedit on Instagram, pinned via the InstaPin iOS App! http://www.instapinapp.com (03/04/2015)

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Have a fantastic day!