Autumn Hues & Brown Boots

This is not the outfit the day started with - as it got colder and wetter outside, the cardigan & scarf were added and boots replaced pumps. Even though the weekend is to be warmer, today has a real feel of autumn to it and my colour scheme kind of fits that..
Jersey Cardigan - East
Blush Top - Dorothy Perkins (last seen here)
Jeans - French Connection
Scarf - Passigatti (local boutique)
Boots - Marco Polo (from TK Maxx - last seen here)
Close up of my necklace which pulls the colours together well and gives a bit of a focal point to the outfit. I can't remember where I got this one - it's an oldie.
And by request, here's a a round up of some similar brown ankle boots 
currently available online in my favourite shops:
This first pair is the closest in style to what I have but I'm including a range of heel heights and colours so hopefully there's a pair for everyone in this selection:
Hobbs Outlet £139
Boden - £129
(more of a grey/brown colour but in fact, that makes them more versatile than brown)
Zign Brown Boots - Zalando £75
River Island - £70
Esprit (not leather) - Zalando £69.95
Marks & Spencer - £59
Marco Polo - Zalando £149
Dune - £85
Hope you like my brown boot choices...enjoy your weekend and don't forget to enter the competition - only 24 hours left before I draw a winner of the £100 Fat Face gift card. 


Pluck & Devour

Tonight I was invited to the launch of an extended range of millinery & jewellery by local designer, Grainne Maher at House of Fraser in Belfast. Before I show you the stunning head pieces (one of which I modelled for my outfit shot below), I want to show you some of Grainne's laser-cut perspex jewellery range, which retails online and in House of Fraser Belfast, under the brand name Pluck & Devour (website here)

As well as these designs, Grainne has butterflies, owls & howling dogs, more of which you can see on the website and in store. The prices are amazing for such unique pieces that have already got celebrity fans. Selena Gomez wore a 'bark at the moon' piece when she presented the MTV EMA's recently..
Alongside this very affordable range, Grainne is a master milliner, creating unique and incredible head pieces. Here are some of her perspex creations that were being modelled on the night:
and of course, I took the opportunity to try out the pink one myself - it was by far my favourite of the night...and toned in well with my outfit too

I had great plans for a dress tonight but the heavens opened about 30 minutes before I left the house so the M&S shoe boots came out of storage! Blazer by ASOS, neon pink top from H&M, Miss Selfridge black skinnies & the necklace is an oldie from a local boutique.
As always, I got to meet some other bloggers at the event, Katrina from Sugahfix, Gemma Louise from Champagne Lifestyle, Student Budget and Sara from Belfast Beauty Love. Show them some blog love girls!
What do you think of the Pluck & Devour pieces? I'm thinking they might make a good giveaway prize....let me know what you think! Now, off to bed with sleep badly needed. Night All!


Autumn/Winter Wish List - Part 1

The turn in weather this week and the impending return to school has got me thinking about what items to add to the autumn/winter wardrobe. Having a limited budget means I need to shop carefully, buying just a few key items that will tie in with what I already have, while giving a nod to the key trends of A/W 12.
Wallis Camel Military Coat - £65
The military look is in the shops again this winter. I'm not normally a fan but I love a nice mac and this coat is a nod to the mac but warmer. I always buy a winter coat every year. I love how you can throw a nice coat over anything and you look 'together''s the ultimate forgiving item of clothing.
Vince Camuto Brass Lead $69.99 (approx £45)
I am so in the market for a pair of grey/taupe ankle boots. The other week, I came across Vince Camuto's website via Poppy's Style. They have an amazing sale on at the moment but unfortunately don't deliver outside the US. However, they tell me they are coming to the UK very soon in a tie up with Kurt Geiger. In the meantime, my US bestie may be taking a delivery on my behalf...I'll be in touch Megan! 
Purple is huge this autumn winter. It's one of my favourite colours so I'll be investing in a pair of jeans like these ones from H&M. As with most autumns, jewel colours abound so bottle green, deep reds and vibrant blues are in all the shops.
Owl print is the pattern to purchase right now...there are lots of gorgeous options out there including this scarf from ASOS:
Owl Print Snood - £12
And had you heard about the Marks & Spencer Owl Print dress that sold out in days just the other week? Hopefully more stock will arrive soon but if you can't wait - it's available on eBay at a vastly inflated price.
M&S Limited Owl Dress - £35 (out of stock currently)
Which brings me nicely to one of my A/W resolutions. I am going to wear more dresses. Watch this space! I've already got one in the bag - which I'll be sharing with you soon. I want to get hold of the Owl one above too (please PM me if you see it back in stock!) and I'm on the look out for a third - still undecided on style/colour but it will be quite casual for day to day wear.
Final trend for this post - studs. It seems like nothing is safe from a stud or fifty this autumn. Zara have this great shopper which nods to the trend without being a health and safety hazard..
Zara Studded Shopper £59.99
or you could go full-on with these gorgeous studded pumps from Topshop:
Vivid Patent Studded Ballet Flats - £28
I'll be sharing more picks from the high street in the coming weeks. Do let me know what you've got your eye on too. Oh, and next week is going to be a special one on School Gate is back to school week after all! Keep an eye out for some feature posts and a great competition too x


Bad Hair, Boat Trips & Boucle

Headed to the Ards Peninsula on Saturday with the kids to make the most of the good weather. The holidays are coming to an last! It's been a fun summer but I'm ready for the routine again and I think the kids are too. After lunch at The Spinnaker, we boarded the Strangford-Portaferry car ferry for some bad hair photos. 
Now, it does look like my daughter's trying to climb over the side of the ferry in this photo and given her form last week down by the River Shannon, I can understand your concern. But she was just looking over the edge....I think. In any case, she's still with us. I think I need to completely stop taking blog pictures near water!
Today I wanted to wear the cream boucle jacket I picked up at Pearl's Clothes Sale. Some days, it's just like that...I decide on one item and build the rest of the outfit around it. I've tried this jacket with a few different combinations and it works best with pale colours underneath. So I teamed it with my pink lace top that I picked up in TK Maxx recently - great for throwing over a vest to take away the bare look - you can see it better on this link.
We headed to Mount Stewart once we got to Portaferry, for a walk around the gardens and the lake.
My LK Bennett Annina Bag (last seen here) came along for the trip. H&M bootcuts and M&S ballet pumps completed the outfit.
Posing by the lake because 8 year old told me to...he's getting very bossy when directing these blog post photos :)
What have you been getting up to this weekend? Hopefully you've found time to enter my competition for a chance to win a £100 Fat Face voucher. Thanks to everyone who's entered so far - have been overwhelmed by the response! Still a few days left to enter on the link here - good luck! 


Competition Time - NOW CLOSED!

A big thank you to the team at Fat Face for giving School Gate Style blog readers the chance to win a £100 voucher to spend online or in-store - and what a great time to win as not only is the sale still running, the new autumn/winter stock has come in - you'll be spoiled for choice. Here's how to win..
  1. Check out the new Fat Face stock online right now and comment on the blog below, telling me your favourite item(s)
  2. Make sure you're a fan of School Gate Style on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and/or Google Friend Connect (all four will give you four entries!)
  3. Sign up for the Fat Face email on this link
Competition closes at 9pm on Saturday 1st September and the lucky winner will be announced on the blog on Sunday, 2nd September. What a lovely way to start the new school term :)

To help you choose a favourite item, here are some of my picks..
School Satchel
Multi Stripe Scarf
Tania Tunic
Mira Stripe T-Shirt
Coloured Straight Leg Jeans
Can't wait to see what you all chose - remember there is a great range of 
Menswear and Childrenswear to pick from too. 
Good luck everyone!


Pretty Birds, Yellow Shoes & the End of the Sales

Is it just me or are the end of the sales a bit disappointing? I took a quick look at the Warehouse sale rail today, expecting everything to be well reduced and was surprised it wasn't. Lots of items were only marked down by about £5 or £10. One blouse was still £35. Seriously's almost September - you're running out of time to sell this stuff off! Dorothy Perkins was similar - lots of items still £25+...maybe my penny pinching expectations are too high! Tell me if you know when it's all going to be cut to £5 :)
As I felt like a bit of colour after a few days of grey/blush/black, I wore my Linea bird print dress/tunic today. 
Close-up of the bird print - love this dress (last worn here)
Today was a chance to catch up with some great friends - Claire in the morning and Colette in the evening <hic>...I also met a new friend, Tricia (thanks for the bikes!) and had my nails done again with the lovely Alicia at Bliss Nails.
Wearing my H&M jeans turned up (the dress doesn't seem to suit full length jeans - not sure why?) and I stuck to flat Hobbs loafers as I had lots of running about to do - here's a close up of the shoes:
Will leave you with the ridiculous and impractical blush & black shoes I resisted buying in Dorothy Perkins...they look rubbish in the website photo but are gorgeous in real life. Only £15 but seriously...where would I wear them?! Talk me into them please!! :)



New Jeans & Nephews

Another outfit post from Tipperary. I'm back in Belfast now after spending a lovely 4 days with the family and both daughters survived several more walks along the riverside (without blog photos...lesson learned!).
Grey Jeans - Primark
Jacket - Old (last seen here)
Blush Top - H&M (last seen here)
Wearing a mixture of pieces you'll have seen before, apart from the jeans, which I picked up in Primark last week for £5. They're a lovely shade of grey and by far the best jeans I've ever bought there. The denim is stretchy without being baggy at the end of the day, the fit is excellent and the rise is suitable for keeping mum tums in check!
Scarf - New Look (last seen here)
Quilted Bag - Vintage Pintage (see here)
Sunglasses - M&S
Shoes - Clarks
I dithered over the leopard print Primark jeans while I was in last week. Joanna at Poppy's Style wore them so well on her blog here and I like that they are not leopard print really, more of a brushstroke pattern. What do you think? Should I road test them for you?
Today's photos were taken by my handsome godson, Evan, in his first assignment as blog photographer. Evan and his brother, Lewis, live in Tipperary so unfortunately, I don't see them as often as I would like to but we had good times with them this visit. Here's Evan and I doing our Usain Bolt impressions while Lewis gives us a mega smile!
Hope you're having a good week :)


Down by the Shannon

A short post all the way from Tipperary...and yes, about 4 hours driving and a couple of hours of stopping, on your own with 3 year old twins, ensures it IS a bloomin' long way to Tipperary. But we made it here and it's always worth the trip catching up with the family. Here we are on our first day, down by the River Shannon. 
DT1 took the photos while DT2 tried to fall into the water a few times...imagine the headlines...mummy blogger allows toddler twin to fall into river Shannon while ensuring twin sister takes beautiful blog photos...the Daily Mail would have a field day!!
Sandals - TK Maxx
Necklace - Jewellery Stand @ St George's Market, Belfast
So, for my kids' sakes, I gave up the photo opportunity after just a few rushed shots and we headed to a local hotel for refreshments and to use the facilities, which had a rather splendid mirror - just what I'm looking for at home in fact!
As the girls were washing their hands, an elderly (and hopefully deaf) nun walked in and started talking to them. As she walked away from us, DT2 piped up 'Why is that lady wearing a rug on her head Mummy?' Now, here's the thing, how do you explain a nun to a 3 year old? I was stumped .. ended up using the trusty 'God said..' escape from awkward kid questions - 'God asked her to wear it because she's special to him'...and she bought it! But please, any better responses to this and similar questions...share them with me!



A Fabulous Cornish Brand

(Note - this is not a sponsored post!)
My trip to Cornwall introduced me to a clothing brand that I'd not heard of before - Seasalt. Just before we travelled over, I saw a tweet that led me to the Seasalt website and soon I was calculating where my closest branch was - Fowey - a gorgeous Cornish village, 30 minutes drive from where we were staying.
I had a great time admiring and trying are some of my photos:
Loved the jute bags - couldn't resist the People's Republic one!
Wellies for stripe lovers of all ages
There were scarves - lots of them!
This photo is for my sister - saw these socks and thought of you R..
I tried on a few items, though having the kids with me curtailed the trying on a bit. Loved the Shoreline Jacket. With a striped lining and cream waterproof outer layer, it's stylish and practical for the school run. And it was reduced to £50 that day but it's not reduced online. There are a few similar jackets in the sale on this link.
I also took a fancy to this patterned Seaside Mac. Loved the blue & coral colours in it. It's sold out online unfortunately.
They have these long jersey scarves in a few different colour ways. Perfect for brightening up a plain top and jeans, they are reduced in the sale at the moment to just £8. Click here to buy!
More stripes in this top - a lovely combination of teal/turquoise and yellow. Nice change from the usual blue/white stripes and looked great with white trousers. This top is also in the sale at the moment in a few different colour ways, reduced to £15.
I bought one item - though I could quite happily have bought more. But the budget was tight so I chose the item I knew I would get lots of wear out of, all year round. My Sennen coral tunic has been worn quite a bit already...most recently on a trip last weekend to Hazlett House, a National Trust property in Castlerock, Co Antrim:
Sennen Tunic - Seasalt
Denim Jacket - Marks & Spencer
White Cropped Jeans - Tesco
Cross Body Bag - Mandarina Duck
The good news for those of us not lucky enough to live in Cornwall is that Seasalt is stocked in plenty of independent boutiques. In Northern Ireland, you can pick it up in Equus in Moira (I was there last week and they have a great selection with 20% off summer stock) and in the Republic, it's available in Padmore & Barnes factory shop in Kilkenny. Leave a comment if you know of a good stockist near you.
I'll leave you with a photo I found when downloading my Seasalt pictures. It was taken in the town of Fowey just after I'd been clothes shopping. A lovely memory of a beautiful little town..

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