Snoods, Snake Print & Storms

Back on the blogging wagon today after a weekend away visiting family. The twincesses and I had a 4 hour non-stop drive home late last night so today has been a bit of a write off as we're all exhausted! But I did stick on a dress for the penultimate day of FrOctober and something I've not talked about on the blog before - a snood!
Now I hate the word snood - a combination of a scarf and a hood I think? I currently own just this one but my friend wears them a lot and that's what prompted me to dig mine out again. And I found it was easy to tie and had no long ends to get caught in the car door.
So here's my snood - a River Island one from last season:
And here I am wearing it a few different ways, along with my Zara snakeskin dress, H&M cardi and River Island ankle boots:

In the first photo, I've wrapped the snood around my neck twice - snug and cosy. In the second, it's just wrapped around once and fluffed up a bit for a fuller look and in the third photo, I've knotted it. So they're more versatile than I gave them credit for in the past. Here's a round up of some great snoods in the shops at the moment. 
Penguin Snood by Brat & Suzie at Room 31 - £12
River Island seems to have a fondness for snoods with no less than 48 different ones in stock at the moment. You can see them all on this link but I've also picked out a couple of favourites:

Red Polka Dot (also comes in Navy/Pink) £10
Pink Graffiti Print (also in Green) £10
Another benefit of a snood is that they are great for wearing with closed up winter coats as you don't get any bulk underneath the coat and you've no scarf ends getting caught up in zips - am I the only person who gets annoyed by this? These Next ones look super cosy and I'm loving the three colour ways:
Cable Knit Snoods - Next - £12
Finally, check out these gorgeous prints from ASOS - I want them all!

ASOS Owl Print - £12

ASOS Horse Print - £12
ASOS Pieces Buster Snood - £11
Wrap up warm - especially my east coast USA readers…thinking of you all during this scary storm. Also thinking of my sister in law, Claire who's on a shopping break in New York…except they've not been able to do any shopping and have instead been barricaded inside a rented apartment for the past 24 hours. Scary stuff - hoping they all get home safely to Dublin soon. x


By Request - Curvy Blogs

Fitting in this quick one as I've been asked by so many of you about blogs for curvy girls. Unfortunately, there are not many out there - I guess there are fewer curvy women who are confident about blogging their personal style? I don't know but what I do know is that you need a thick skin to blog - I speak from experience! So here goes...

I recently met the stunning Louise from Style Me Curvy at the Marks & Spencer Ireland AW12 launch. Louise is a plus sized model (not in my eyes but in the fashion industry's eyes). She has a gorgeous blog where she shares pictures from the modelling work she does as well as her own personal style.
I've also followed Ashley over at A Fashion Fixation for a while. I love her style - she luckily lives in warmer climes so is still in her skirts with bare legs…lucky girl! 
Jessica Kane is more than a blogger, she's a stylist, confidence crusader and entrepreneur. You'll love her site - Life and Style of Jessica.

Ariana is in her 20's and I just wished she posted more often over at Fat Fatale Fashion

Allison over at Curvy Girl Chic has such a beautiful blog design and always inspires me with her gorgeous photography

Of course I have to mention Avenue 57, where real women post their own daily photos. It's like 20 or more style blogs in one place each day! And it's more 'real' than a lot of blogs..
It's where I met Fashion Mommy, another stylish curvy girl. Emma blogs about her personal style as well as regularly featuring discounts and deals. 

I hope you enjoy these curvy blogs as much as I do. Please share any others that you know of - there is no one style blog that will tick all the boxes - even my wonderful blog - I know you find that hard to believe! ;) The more blogs you look at with different shapes and styles of blogger, the more you'll get a feel for what you like and don't like and for what might suit you. Till next time...



FrOctober Friday - The M&S Owl Print Dress

Running out of inspiration for the last few days of FrOctober? The Marks & Spencer Owl Print Dress is back in stock (in black). Already a few of you have ordered after my tip-off on Facebook today (thanks Eve!). It sold out in a matter of days when it was last in stock so if you like, order it now! You can always send it back remember..
Limited Collection Owl Print Dress - £35
The word on the street is that it's usual M&S sizing but is neat on the waistband so if you're wider in the waist, you may need to size up.

So how's my FrOctober been going? I've just continued wearing variations of the FrOctober outfits I showed you here and here so I didn't do a round up this week or last (lack of a camera has also hampered my blogging a bit). Oh and I will confess to the skinny jeans sneaking in now and again…but I'm more more open to wearing dresses now that I've got used to it, so thanks FrOctober for that! 
I'll share the last few frocky outfits in a post next week..using photos from my new camera :)


Autumn Leaves & Cosy Coats

After doing my winter coat post the other day, I took a notion and ordered the Room 31 Effie Down Coat as I noticed there was a 30% off code. That brought the already reduced coat price down to £22 including delivery!
It arrived yesterday and I just couldn't wait to share with you all. Since I featured it on Monday, it's almost sold out - only the XS left which is a 6-8 (I'm wearing the S which I'd say is a small 10). 
(UPDATE : It also comes in beige… and there were some M's left in beige when I posted this blog first but just XS left in it too. Sorry to all but the tiny amongst you)
Vila Effie Down Jacket - £30 (with 30% off using code LFLW)
As I was so snug in my new coat, we headed out to kick some autumn leaves…

Grey Jeans - Primark
Black Ankle Boots - River Island
Scarf - Pull & Bear
Loving the zip detail on the side which give you more room when walking with the coat closed!
And to answer my mum's concerns, I did close my coat and put my hood up…
What I'm most impressed with is that it is filled with actual down & feathers…not polyester. So it's super cosy - perfect for the cold snap coming in this weekend! Well done Room31 on another great product…I'll share photos when the beige arrives. x


An (Early) Halloween Day Out

On Sunday, we headed to the National Trust's Rowallane Garden for their Ghosts & Ghouls weekend. There was loads for the kids to do - pumpkin carving, a ghost trail, petting farm and face painting…a great day out.
I wore the trusty Merrell and welliesskinny jeans by Gok, scarf print top from H&M (last seen here) and cross body bag from Vintage Pintage (seen here).
As we were there early, we got some lovely photos of the girls beside all the pumpkins lined up for carving. When we came back after our ghost trail, there were hardly any left!
Then we headed off to complete the ghost trail. This next gruesome picture was all posed by dummies you'll be glad to hear! Croquet using human heads…thankfully went right over the girls' own heads...
Callum loved it - kept running on to find the next part of the trail. This was one of his favourites (we had to gather the letters in each scene to solve the puzzle - hence the 'N' stuck to the tree!)
I'm looking forward to the half term holiday which starts on Friday. The kids are off all next week so it's a great chance to have a few late mornings and to catch up with family and friends. Also hoping to utilise my new (to me) camera for some overdue outfit posts. I have been lost without a camera this week! Have a great Thursday :)


Ankle Boots Shopping & the Dreaded Wedge Trainer

Yes, it's time for the weekly Ankle Boot post :) After last week's vs Knee High Boots post, I had lots of questions about where to shop for said shorter boots. I've already blogged about my favourites on two other posts so I'm sharing these links again for those of you who may have missed them. I believe most of the boots featured are still in stock:
And now for the ever controversial Wedge Trainer. I featured one of these photos on Facebook yesterday and was bowled over by the response - 87 comments and counting!
Scarf - Matalan £8
Navy Boxy Jersey Top - Dorothy Perkins (similar here)
Jeggings - Warehouse
Wedge Trainers - Matalan £22
I'm really torn over them. The part of me that likes to try new things and challenge what's appropriate for the school run, wants to keep them. But truthfully, I think they are ugly in the extreme. But I thought that of ankle boots with skirts, patterned trousers and leopard print and have come to love all three…
Anyway, just getting the debate going over here. Should I try a different colour or should I just let the wedge trainer train pass me by? Please don't suggest I buy Ash ones…the budget does not allow!

Before I go, a few people asked about my navy Dorothy Perkins boxy top that is now out of stock BUT I came across these tops in Matalan yesterday and the shape is very similar. They have a lovely exposed zip on the rear and come in 5 or 6 colours, some of which were in the sale (priced at £5). Great for skimming over mum tum, they are the perfect wardrobe basic:
Zip Back Long Sleeved Top - Matalan - £10
Ok, I'm donning my hard hat…hit me with your wedgie comments :)


By Request - Winter Coats

Thanks for all the requests to talk about winter coats on the blog…not a colourful post but it has got plenty of suggestions and advice for you if you're in the market for a new coat. 
You'll have read me endlessly harping on about the Merrell Wakefield and its 2012 version, the Merrell Ellenwood so I'll not go on about these coats here again. BUT, if a Merrell is not your cup of tea or you have a waterproof coat already, what other coats should you consider for your wardrobe? 
In my opinion, as they represent a significant investment, I avoid bright colours and loud patterns. My recommendations for coat colours are Grey, Navy and Black, in that order. If you've all three in your wardrobe, you'll not struggle to cover up this winter. Starting with grey...
Wool Blend Trench Coat Style
Marks & Spencer £85
Zipped Coat with On-Trend pleather detail
Mango @ John Lewis £89.99
Military Style
John Lewis - £130
Textured Drape with Belt
Oasis - £98
Navy next...
Quilted Navy Coat
Next - £60
Boiled Wool
Boden - £149
In love with this studded sleeve one
Zara - £129
Navy Military Wool Mix
Matalan - £40
And finally, black. Not the most flattering of colours on everyone, which is why it's not my first choice but you can't get away from how practical a black coat is, especially when going out..
Biker Style
Zara - £119
Classic Military
Wallis - £65
Totally Bargainous Down Filled (removable fur collar!)
Vila @ Room31 £30 Use Code LFL30 for 30% off at the till!
Another Bargainous Option (without the removable fur collar!)
Primark - £35
Peplum Military
Oasis - £80 (on offer until 23 Oct)
Finally, some buying tips for winter coats:

  • You've probably seen the theme in most of these coats - nipped in waists! Coats can add bulk so always look for one that has some tailoring or shaping to ensure you don't lose your figure. 
  • Look for nods to current trends like pleather trim, zips and peplums.
  • Buy a coat that looks as good on you worn open as it does closed up. You will want to wear it both ways.
  • Don't spend more than £150 on a coat and google for discount codes for online stores.
  • For more bargainous buying, look for classic coats in grey, navy and black in the January sales.
  • Don't rule out eBay - you could find a wee gem on here for a fraction of the cost as many coats are lightly worn.
  • Don't keep coats for good - I know lots of people with gorgeous coats in their spare room wardrobe. If you can't find a reason to wear them, sell them or give them away - coats take up TOO much valuable wardrobe space!
As always, keep the suggestions coming in for my By Request posts. Send an email to schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk 


Belfast Fashion Week - Show Report & What I Wore!

Knowing I was going to be attending the Belfast Fashion Week High Street show on Friday night, I was keeping an eye out for a great dress to wear, so when I spotted this one in the M&S sale, I snapped it up!
And all was fine until I tried it on the night before BFW…but found the length quite frumpy on a my 5'6" frame. So I cut off the black piece on the bottom and this is how it looked on me. Thanks to Stephen Potter for taking this photo on the night!
I had a great night at the show (and afterwards!). It featured lots of affordable stylish pieces from The Outlet at Banbridge, Benetton, Debenhams, French Connection, Marks & Spencer and George at Asda to name just a few. I'll be featuring some of them on the blog in coming weeks as I think they will be perfect for styling up the school run over the winter. Here's a selection of pictures from the night also supplied by Stephen Potter: 
LK Bennett at The Outlets @ Banbridge 
Outfit from M&S, Armani, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Daniel Footwear at The Outlet @ Banbridge
LK Bennett at The Outlet @ Banbridge
Dorothy Perkins Purple Dress
It was another fantastic show - thank you and well done to Cathy Martin and the team at CMPR who have earned themselves a few days off to recover!
We're talking coats on the blog tomorrow - by request is back again…see you then :)
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