Category Archives: John Lewis

Dressing Pins

I spotted this dress months ago when I was in Paris for work. It’s by Gerard Darel .

I love the design with the hearts, the colour (Blue) and sleeves. I am also wearing it with no jacket, a first for me.

The temperature is up!

Lengthwise it is just right for us taller beings.

I had it on my wishlist and decided to wait for the sale. Being so busy I managed to forget about the dress until a very late online browse at John Lewis. I was meant to be buying clothes for the children. Virtual space enabled the dress to drop into my basket, reduced too!

Trouble is the dress requires too many pins. I should have read the online review from the lady in Cheshire. It’s no longer there……

Pinned at the side on the attached belt, double pinned at the bust, (no office cleavage for me) and pinned at the back of the neck. I’ll be adding “make trip to tailors” on my ever expanding ‘to do list’ this weekend.

Dress: Gerard Darel Graphic Hearts
Bag: Anya Hindmarch studded bag
Shoes: Jones the Bootmaker Celeste
Pins: John Lewis

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Cleanin’ Out My Closet

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I hope I’m not tempting fate but a glimpse of the sun at the weekend and I’m bidding farewell to winter. I love putting away the heavy jumpers and pulling out the tshirts and sandals. Well, I love the idea of it, the reality of folding masses of woolies is rather tiring and creates lots of fluff (I hate fluff!) My dad is a fellow clothes lover and had a real life nightmare last autumn when he realised moths had infested the clothes he’d been storing for winter. I’m learning the lesson and have bought a stock of moth proof bags from John Lewis to store all my jumpers in as well as a few packets of lavender sachets to be extra sure.

La Bambina had great fun “helping”. She loves the Hoover (unlike her mama) and cooed gleefully as I vacuumed out my wardrobes and shelves, sun streaming in through the skylights. It did make me laugh as she kept crawling back to the shoe cupboard to play with my Sam Edelman rose Adenas. She was stroking them for most of the afternoon (much more like her mama!)
Sam Edelman Adenas
Among the bags and boxes I was delighted to be reunited with these sandals I have had for years but could’t find anywhere last summer.
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Having decided it is spring no matter what the weather says, over the past few days I’ve been wearing summery clothes with leather jackets and scarves for warmth.
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M&S beach trousers, navy Gap pocket tee, black studded Sam Edelman Frankies. I wore my black Zara leather jacket and an old cotton navy scarf with a thin white stripe I’d forgotten I had for the school run and an after school trip to the park.
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These leopard jeans are such a beautiful colour but I struggle to know what to wear on top. Here I wore them with a very old cotton jumper from New Look which has buttons down the back and I pleased La Bambina by wearing them with the Adenas. I wore my Mint Velvet creamy leather jacket on top to pop out.
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I love these harem / pyjama style trousers from Topshop (last year or the one before) They’re easy to wear and don’t go baggy after a day of rolling on the floor playing. I think I have a plain cream tshirt shaped hole in my wardrobe as I had to dig out this very old draped top from Joules and a H&M beige vest for underneath. Please let me know if you have any recommendations. The cowl neck accentuates my bosom so I put my DvF Kenley cashmere scarf on for decency and my Mint Velvet jacket for warmth.

A red kind of day

A red kind of day

Finally today. I bought this red leather jacket from Massimo Dutti last year when I was pregnant. I wore it a fair bit then fell out of love with it. Today I am wearing it with a LV rip off leopard print scarf (the” Mumsnet scarf”!), black studded Sam Edelman Frankies and a black maxi skirt from Gap (another non-maternity pregnancy buy – amazing how it still fits now after accommodating this bump!)
Kurt Geiger silver Moves
In other news, the Kurt Geiger order arrived. The silver Moves stay. Easy to wear, I know they’re comfy, will go with everything and didn’t break the bank.
Sam Edelman Alvins
The Sam Edelman Alvins almost stayed. I love the print, the texture, the fit and the brightness. But the colours just don’t fit with most of my clothes and so I’ve reluctantly returned them. I would highly recommend them as an alternative to the M&S ones I linked to yesterday.

Tomorrow I will write a blog on my final new purchases for a while – some Zara trousers and a dress.

I’m off for a driving lesson while my dad babysits and conducts a moth security assessment on my winter wear.

Surviving Disney

I’m just surfacing after a long weekend in Euro Disney.

I realise that some people love the place.  Indeed some adults enter so far into the “magic of Disney” that they can be witnessed unashamedly pushing kids out of the way to have their photos taken with Dumbo (yes, this happened) I am not a fan of queueing (that’ll be the Italian blood), shouting (oh, children having fun are noisy), freezing (-3) or starving (the food is truly appalling even in the big chains)  I had to have some Time Out to deal with my irritation at not being able to get an even vaguely decent cup of coffee in France.  Eventually I treated my caffine addiction shakes with mulled wine.  Having said all that, we had fun. I don’t have any snaps of me with Goofy to prove it sadly but I did enjoy seeing my little one so excited.

My new Ugg Australia Gershwins were the stars of my Disney wardrobe. My partner raised an eyebrow and pointed out that they’re just like my Belstaff Chads. They’re not actually. Most importantly they are sheepskin lined. They come higher up the leg too – they are a mid calf rather than ankle boot. They are also bulkier and less chic. They offer the comfort of a regular Ugg but are waterproof and sturdier. I didn’t take any other footwear.

I think I actually prefer these shearling lined Ash biker boots. Somehow I managed to miss them in my furry boot search.

Day 1 I wore grey Dorothy Perkins jeggings, a Uniqlo heat tech (I wear one every day in winter), a Cos angora dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs wool scarf, Ugg Gershwins, See by Chloe bag, Ugg black sheepskin ear muffs and Celtic Sheepskin gloves.

Day 2 was an outfit regular readers have seen before. Olive Zara waxed jeans, olive Baukjen Gemma. The jumper has actually bobbled a bit which isn’t great. I had a heat tech top and long johns and a Zara roll neck underneath.  And was still chilly.

Day 3 I really gave in to the cold. Zara skinnies with Falke opaques and heat tech leggings underneath, obligatory heat tech top, Uniqlo cashmere roll neck, All Saints cashmere cowl neck.   I don’t have any photos of me without a coat on.

Day 4 I was fed up with bulky clothes so tried (& failed) to slim down the layers in Falke opaques under Topshop tie dye leggings with a heat tech top under a Uniqlo cashmere roll neck under a Cos roll neck dress.

My Barbour Arctic Parka did well. I bought it last winter and after another baby it is a tad snug but it really does keep the cold at bay.  I was also exceedingly grateful for a Cos cashmere scarf.  Sub zero temperatures are not the most fun to breastfeed in.  I’m pleased with the Ugg Australia ear muffs too.  They come in a nice box and would be a good Christmas gift.

 

 

Playing Catch-up

Various (minor) domestic dramas and the continued winter vomiting of Older Daughter made last week not one of my better ones. For various reasons blogging had to take a back seat but I did manage to take some snaps, so here is a potted version of last week’s better moments. (You can tell that they are the better moments as in some of them I even have my coat on and am about to leave the house!)

This was actually today, so not last week at all but I wanted to show you the coat I am wearing because , quite simply it has been an absolute godsend in all this biblical rain we’ve been having.

It’s the Oasis waxed parka with quilted lining. I thought the fur on the hood looked a bit scraggy so I took it off mine (I had to take the buttons it buttons onto the hood with off too as they kept catching in my hair and ripping it out – ouch!). I’m currently wearing it with the quilted inner buttoned in for warmth but I can see it being very useful come warmer weather when I can take it out and use it as a raincoat. Okay, it’s not a performance item like say, a real Barbour would be, but it’s had a real testing in the current weather conditions and it’s pretty damn good at keeping me warm and dry. I recommend.

Underneath the parka this is what I was wearing:

Warehouse studded shoulder jumper

White scallop collar shirt from Asos (I think there’s still 25% off on ASOS with )

Black boa effect leggings by American Apparel (old) but similar here

Ann Klein Bristle boots from Kurt Keiger – now reduced to £75

Snakeskin scarf by Armani Exchange bought in States earlier this year

You can’t really see it in the first photo but the boa leggings have got a really unusual finish, part leather, part wet-look, part glitter. I recently dug them out, having not worn them for at least two years and was reminded by how much better they have worn than the various wet-look leggings I have bought over the same period, all of which have lost their coating after a few washes.

Mid-way through last week my M&S kids faux fur gilet arrived (!!). Now this I ordered after Kat from Does my Bum Look 40 recommended it. I think Gina ordered it too. It was pretty good, about an 8 out of 10 I would say but in the end I sent it back because I already own two (real) fur gilets that I don’t really wear enough, hence me digging out this short brown mongolian fur gilet below.

Mongolian fur gilet from My Wardrobe (old)

Viscose military shirt from Kew (old)

Ponte jodphurs from Kookai (old)

Star knee high boots by Day Birger & Mikkelson (old)

Later on I added the Comptoir/Uniqlo short reversible puffa jacket. Although when I bought it I gave more consideration to the colours of the striped side than the solid colour inside,  I actually hadn’t worn it coloured side outwards until today.

Saturday night, was a well-earned and much looked forward to night out with friends at a wonderful dinnerparty.

Wool flannel and chiffon panelled shirt by Tibi (old)

Pleather leggings from Topshop

Sancho Boots by Pied a Terre available from John Lewis

Leather snakeskin and zip clutch by Urban Code from Asos (sold out).

This clutch was a bargain, reduced to £45 on Asos, and I was absolutely delighted with it when it arrived last week. I think this particular style is sold out now but Asos still has some other Urban Code designs, also heavily reduced. This is the crossbody version of my clutch (hmmm, I may have just ordered this one too…..) and I like this stitch detail clutch.

Sunday, the children stopped being ill, it didn’t rain (well, only a tiny bit!) and the sun actually shone and it was a lovely (if blustery) autumn day so we took everyone out for brunch and then went for a long walk (and cake!) at the local National Trust place.

Long sleeved a-line tee from Uniqlo (now sold out online but may still be instore)

Lambswool cowl neck slouchy jumper from Uniqlo here

Black Rats leggings by Sass & Bide (old)

Lady Jenn Boots by Belstaff (old)

Ode to the Rollneck

Warning: if you are not a roll neck fan you might want to skip this blog.  

If there were one item of clothing I could not do without it would probably be the roll neck.  It’s my Desert Island top.  Well, a winter top might not be the best advised outfit for a desert island but you know what I mean.

I am pretty happy in my skin.  I could be thinner, younger and less tired but I am not.  Being happy with how I look makes life a lot easier.  There is one thing I do not like though.  No, tis not my love handles nor my dodgy belly.  It is my neck, the whole neck / top of bust area.  I don’t know why but I just don’t like showing it.  In summer I always wear a scarf and in winter I wear a roll neck. 

With a roll neck on top you can get away with wearing more daring prints on your bottoms, tighter trousers, shorter skirts and higher heels. People always seem to say that those with big busts shouldn’t wear high necks but I have a big bust and am in breastfeeding bras and still find them one of the most flattering things to wear.  (I never wear v necks on the other hand)

I am picky.  I don’t like turtle necks.  They lack the face framing and slimming qualities of the roll neck.  The lack of roll, however thin the material, throws me off balance and makes me look like lamb dressed as mutton.

A turtleneck. Not getting my love.

Here we are talking about roll necks, also known as polo necks and sometimes turtlenecks even though the neck rolls down.  Confused?

The best every day roll neck I have found was from Warehouse.  They do them every year but this year’s doesn’t appear to be out yet (if you find one there is 25% off and free P&P with code Halloween)  I have four black ones – three I wash normally and one I dry clean and save for best.  They hit at the lower hip and the loose waistband means they skim any muffinage and look good with jeans, fitted trousers, skirts and anything that isn’t a skinny jean. 

The Uniqlo cashmere roll necks are good.  They have very good sporadic sales on their knitwear so it may be worth some investigation (i.e. googling) to see when the next one might be.  A few years ago I tried Benetton, Pure Collection, Jaeger, Hobbs and M&S which were all recommended by friends but much preferred Uniqlo for quality and fit.  I have just added this yellow one to my collection.  I love bright yellow with grey and I am going to try it with navy too.

Uniqlo cashmere rollneck

These Zara roll neck capes are brilliant!  They aren’t capes at all, they just have slightly batwinged sleeves.  I stress slightly – I have easily worn mine under my Baukjen Gemma roll neck and had no lumpy / restricted arm movement issues.  In colder weather a Uniqlo Heattech (or two) will fit easily underneath and still allow the top to drape. Zara describe them as turtlenecks but don’t been fooled, the necks roll down and are thus rollnecks.  They are my number 1 winter basic recommendation. 

Zara ROLL neck cape

Baukjen Gemma (again!)

I must mention Massimo Dutti.  I do not like their roll necks on my size and shape but for someone with a smaller chest and flatter tum they are definitely worth a look.  The material feels luxe and they do a lovely range of colours.  Again, they call them turtlenecks but they are wrong.  I have a few from years ago that I used to wear to work in the winter under suits, a look I still really like.

Massimo Dutti ROLL neck

I like All Saints knitwear and have the 100% cashmere Char Roll Neck Jumper in last year’s grey.  They are doing a beautiful oxblood colour this winter.

All Saint Char roll neck

J Crew knitwear is excellent and is definitely worth checking out.  They are doing free delivery and returns at the moment (automatically applied at checkout) and for 25% off try the code INSIDER.  Let us know if you order anything (the WornOut crew love the cashmere tees)

J. Crew striped “turtleneck”

I have not been impressed with the offerings from H&M (bad quality) or Benetton (they bobble v quickly)

Last up the roll neck dress.  I have two black ones from Warehouse which are basically longer versions of their roll neck jumpers.  I wore them when I was pregnant with tights, boots (and red lipstick) and received more compliments than I think I ever have. I have recently bought this one in a navy/grey from Cos which I highly recommend.

Cos A-line roll neck dress

Finally I have a request.  Have you seen a boiled wool heavy roll or funnel neck on your shopping travels?  My mum bought this one from Stefanel a decade ago and I’ve been searching for one every since.  It is like a boiled wool version of the Gemma (I won’t link to it again I promise!)