Tag Archives: Marks & Spencer

My perfect rain coat

I have just posted this on the workwear edit, but I thought some of our lovely AllWornOut readers might be looking for a rain coat, too.  My apologies for the duplication, if you read both blogs!

I loathe being wet, and decided I needed a rain coat, and that it needed to be:

  • black;
  • smart (ie not overly “practical” looking);
  • affordable; and
  • waterproof.  There are lots of terms used like “shower proof”, “storm proof”, “water resistant” and “water repellent”.  I still don’t know exactly what they mean, but I feel they must offer lesser protection than a “water proof” coat.

So, after hours of shopping online and, even, a little, in stores this is the perfect rain coat for me: TRESPASS | Manhattan rain coat in black | £39.43 (size S).  Here are the website photos:

Here’s how it looks on me (please excuse poor photos – Santa is bringing me a camera for Christmas, once I decide on one…):







VERDICT: This Trespass Manhattan coat is the rain coat for me, as it ticks all my boxes, including having a hood that doesn’t engulf my face.  Its not too thick and its not too thin (its lightly padded).  While its a performance coat, and has a little of that look, I think its smart enough that I could wear it most places.  However, the key deciding factor for me was that I liked wearing it when I put it on, and felt like I could brave a storm and be dry, while still being able to comfortably move around in it.  Now that I have found my rain coat, naturally, the weather has since been mostly dry [sardonic smile].

The rain coats that I tried on and returned were:

– MARKS & SPENCER | M&S Collection Faux Fur Hooded Parka with Stormwear™ | £79 (in size S): This was too thick and bulky.  Also it is water repellent | storm proof, and the sales assistants at M&S couldn’t clarify what that actually meant ie how long and in what sort of rain would I stay dry;

– AIGLE | Rainylong waterproof jacket | £70 (in size S): This was too lightweight: I would have been able to feel heavy rain through it, and I just didn’t love the shape on me; and

– TRESPASS | Alissa Waterproof Outdoor Jacket | £50 (in size S): I ordered this with the Manhattan, and expected to keep the Alissa and return the Manhattan.  However, despite how it looks in the website photos, the Alissa is quite unflattering on me as it really flared out from my waist, giving me an odd shape.

Scruff and polish

I am a magpie and swoop on anything shiny.  Yet, despite its blingy buttons, I don’t wear this coat very often.  I really love the buttons and the gorgeously vibrant colour, and think the shape is quite nice.  Yet I hardly wear it, because its a fairly light wool coat and there are only a handful of days when its not too cold or not too hot.  Its a Goldilocks coat – only for when the weather is just right.  Like today.

And where did I take my Goldilocks coat?  Well, today was an inset day at the both the Bolters’ school and nursery (mercy me!), so we went to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington.  Going on a Monday morning during school term is the best time, Reader – we were actually able to stroll past T-Rex, rather than get carried along in a tightly jammed crowd of people.  It was very nice.  All the displays I’ve seen are really very interesting and entertaining, and the Museum building itself is very beautiful.  Another big drawcard for me, too, if I’m being honest, is Benugo’s (they do the catering) orange and almond flourless slice.  Delicious.

Anyway, outfit is: Dorothy Perkins fuschia wool coat (polish)  |  black thermal top  |  TopShop Baxter ripped skinnies (scruff)  |  Marks & Spencer Autograph pewter ankle boots (I can’t stop wearing them)





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Catching up

I spent my summer in an internet free zone. It was tough but I read a lot more books and baked more cakes that I would otherwise have done. We only went for 3 weeks but ended up staying for 2 months, and it’s lucky I couldn’t blog because I would have been sharing my frustrations at the process of buying and selling houses and my (very dark) thoughts about solicitors! It wasn’t all bad though….here are my boys hanging out in granny’s front garden. My children had a ball – climbing trees, making dens and building bridges, having friends to stay and playing football at twilight. I was a beautiful summer which is good to remember on a chilly grey day like today.




And it was all worth it, and we are now living by the sea which was a childhood dream of mine. It is so lovely here…


Anyway, on to shopping and when I got back to town my mission was to track down the M&S pink coat. I had my heart set on it, and with the help of Rachel Worn Out, it was mine.




Not for long though, as it was just all wrong for me. I can’t do oversized, I look like I’m wearing something from the dressing up box, so back it went and I bought the Massimo Dutti red coat instead. This is much more my style although it needs some tweaking too, the sleeves need to be shortened and the buttons moved. It is not the warmest coat, but I love the colour and it’s perfect for days when I am in and out of the car and don’t need a heavy duty coat (that’ll be most days so). Apologies for the dusty mirror and packing boxes. This is my life now!


md red coat

In other shopping news, I nabbed these Celinealike leopard print pony skin trainers in Gap.


They’re not online but are still in my local branch so it’s worth a phone call if you like them. I went for the blue as they go better with my wardrobe. They also come in black. These are the Celine ones.

celine leopards

I also love this warehouse top I got last week, the print is gorgeous, again I can’t find it online, sorry!


Despite my failure with the pink coat, my daughter is rocking the trend these days, in the Stella McCartney coat I got her last winter. This is the child’s equivalent of a ‘car to bar’ coat as it has no warmth in it at all, so it is purely for days when she is being chauffeur driven! I love the sweatshirt from M&S, and the gold high tops from Mini Boden.

IMG_0521 And the really good news chez Emma is that after 6 weeks of living in chaos with no proper cooker and boxes everywhere, the builders are starting next week and soon we will be living in our dream house. It’s all going to go really smoothly, no glitches or arguments, isn’t it?! I’ll keep you posted!

Red wine

Red, red wine.  How I love it.  But, since I am in charge of little people, my glass of red wine is about 3.5 hours away.  Not only does it taste good, but its a pretty gorgeous colour.  Since I can’t drink it, I will wear it.

Today I am wearing wine coloured skinny cropped trousers from Mango.  Despite me, generally, loving Mango, these are a regret purchase.  They look great for the first hour, then bag terribly  To make matters worse, I have them in both the wine and the black.  I might get them altered, as I have the Holy Grail.  A great alterations guy who is good, close and cheap.  Yes, sometimes the Gods smile down on you.

I am wearing the wine trousers with a black Massimo Dutti coat, and a really beautiful floral print silk Beta scarf.  Its a square shape, which is a bit “air hostess”, but the print was too wonderful and the colours too gorgeous to pass by.  The boots are TopShop Anarchy.





Beta Diamond Flower silk scarf


Mango Cropped super slim-fit trousers

Mango super slim wine trousers


TopShop Anarchy boots (also available in tan)

TopShop Anarchy boots


The girls are horribly whiny this afternoon, so this is the treat I am looking forward to, at the end of a very long, long day.  Cheers!

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Pass the sunglasses

We have been lucky with the weather in Dublin (or the unluckiest people in the world from my 8 year olds perspective) in that we have had no proper snow, but there has been a lot of rain and sleet, and the sky has been grey for as long as I can remember at this point. It seemed like the perfect time to bring out this neon pink J Crew bag that I got back in November. When I opened the parcel, I felt the instinctive need to reach for my sunglasses – it really is bright! But it’s amazing how your eye becomes attuned to a colour, and now, post Christmas, it seems to have grown on me, and I’m hoping that by April I will love it. I definitely think it’s a shade that will look better in the sunshine (I live in perpetual hope of seeing the sun)

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I wore it with my vintage leopard faux fur, which is not as warm as it looks, so underneath I had a Marks and Spencer Heatgen top ( these are very good), Anya Hindmarch navy cashmere sweater and a John Lewis cashmere cardigan, my ubiquitous  Oasis cherry jeans and Aldo wedges.