Belfast-based, style loving mum of 3. Fashion, Lifestyle, Food & Fitness

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Khaki & Stripes...

I am accumulating an impressive number of stripy tops but instead of saying 'ENOUGH woman!', I find myself looking for variations on the theme to justify buying more.
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Michael Kors opens in Belfast!

I love opening up the summer bags again and discovering the clothes you put away the previous Autumn. I especially love finding things I bought in the sale at the end of the summer and that weren't worn much. This green boucle jacket from Zara is one of those items - I only wore it once last year.
This photo is a week old - hence the lack of winter coat/hat/scarf/gloves - what's happened to our weather??!! But last summer Thursday was glorious and the mother in law and I went into Belfast as she had a few messages to do and doesn't like driving herself in.
Green Boucle Jacket - Zara (SS14)
Cream Textured Top - Primark (got a curry stain on it that evening and is now in laundry rehab...and it's not looking good...please keep in your thoughts!)
Navy Quilted Bag - Dune @ TK Maxx
Navy Pumps - Anna Field @ Zalando

I should point out that this is not a sponsored post at all - we just happened to arrive in Belfast on the very day (and hour) that the Michael Kors shop opened in Victoria Square - it would have been wrong not to have a look?!
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Damart Pink Coat

You read that right - Damart! I've featured them before and it's my pleasure to do so once more because they've produced a real humdinger of a look book for SS15. The brand is typically aimed at an older demographic and they are famous for their thermals but they're also innovative and have in the past few seasons succeeded in looking beyond that demographic with some amazing styling and photography. Here are some of my favourite images from this season's lookbook..
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Monday, 27 April 2015

Breton & Denim Dress Perfection!

I was in Belfast the other day and happened to wander into Joules. I'll be honest, it's not a brand I've looked at for a couple of years and I only went in because my mother in law was looking for a cream fleece. So my expectations were low but I was pleasantly surprised and ended up buying two items.

First up - stop the breton hunt..Joules is the place to get them! While I love my Boden bretons, I find them a bit short in the body so when I found a hole in my cream/navy one, I wasn't really rushing to replace it with one of the same. I googled alternatives in the form of Petit Bateau and Saint James and they do look amazing and they are a wardrobe staple worth investing in...but something was holding me back. Then I saw Nikki wearing (and raving about) a Joules one on her blog and made a mental note to look into them when next in town.
Joules Creme Stripe Harbour Top

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Friday, 24 April 2015

A jacket that's not a blazer.....in black AND cream!

As soon as I'd found myself my transitional coat, the weather perked up considerably and I decided I needed a short black jacket that wasn't a blazer. I think I was mostly prompted by this post from Andrea where she showed some amazing Pinterest photos of black blazer style jackets with khakis. Totally sold.
I had a hoke about online and found this one in Next which ticked a few boxes. Next day ordering meant it was at my door about 18 hours later. I will never tire of this service!
What appealed with this jacket is the open front, the loose collar, the band around the waist that gives it a bit of a bomber jacket look from behind - it's just a bit different and even though it's unlined, I think it's worth the £38 price tag as it's a lovely weight of material and a great shape. I'm trying my best to model it here...
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Alternatives to Denim Jeans


Every now and again denim jean fatigue hits and I find myself at the wardrobe wanting to wear something different. So for 3 days this week, I did just that and thought it might be useful to share these alternatives to blue or black denim jeans.
First up is Wednesday's outfit - I was at the gym in the morning and then went straight from there to my friend Kate for a deep tissue massage so it was all about the comfort in jersey harems and slip-on trainers.
Faux Leather Biker Jacket - Dunnes Stores (AW14 - similar leather/non-leather)
White V-Neck Top - Gap

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Avarca Sandals from Palmaira Sandals De Menorca

It's seems that for many of my readers, it's finally warmed up enough for sandals. Not the case in Belfast I can confirm but nonetheless, I'm getting prepared for when it does and I've a new addition to my (more extensive than anyone *really* needs in Belfast) sandal collection in the form of these Palmairas Avarca sandals.
Now I love a good back story - Palmaira Sandals De Menorca was established in 2013 by two sisters, Lisa and Tracey, and Lisa's Menorcan partner, David, after many years of wearing traditional Menorcan sandals themselves. The Menorcan Avarca sandal must be made by hand on the island of Menorca in the traditional method for it to be granted an authentic seal of approval & all of Palmaira Sandals De Menorca's sandals have this stamp, having been made by local village workers in an ethical way.
I played it safe with my first pair - these are the Black Studded Leather Palmairas (also available in white and taupe)

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The perfect transitional coat?

I've been struggling to find the right coat for the current weather. Probably because I had such a clear out when we moved - I seem to be missing something not too heavy, but more substantial than a blazer. I also struggle with blazers generally - I feel like a bit of a knob in them at the school gate if I'm honest...like I'm wearing half of an old business suit I used to wear pre-kids...is that just me?

So what I've been looking for over the past couple of weeks is a loose fitting, black coat. Lightweight, not too much going on in the way of buttons/belts...I already have a couple of macs and I'm bored wearing them. Something a bit like this..



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Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Perfect Black Jeans - Gap Forever Stretch

If you follow on Instagram or Facebook you'll have heard me singing the praises of my new black(ish) jeans...and if you're looking for a pair of comfortable, inexpensive, on-trend jeans, you'll want to read on.
I had a casual black jeans gap in my wardrobe. I'm not a huge fan of proper black jeans unless I'm going out - I find black jeans too much like a formal trouser or a legging and I always feel a bit overdressed in them.
So I was looking for something that had a bit of distressing but all I could find were ones with proper rips across the knees (a great look and very on trend but they don't really work on me) or washed out black jeans verging on grey, again not what I was looking for.
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Friday, 10 April 2015

Seven Boot Lane Loafer Perfection

I've had to embrace flat shoes over the past year yet it's so hard to find flat supportive shoes that don't look mannish or old fashioned. And I've realised that you do get what you pay for. So I was delighted to be asked by Seven Boot Lane  who are huge supporters of this blog, to find my perfect neutral flats for summer 2015.
After much deliberation, I chose the Devon Loafer in Nude....
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Monday, 6 April 2015

Gap & Boden Try-On Session...

As promised in my last post, I ordered up as much of what I featured as I could and I'm back after an epic try on to let you know what it all looked like. It's been an interesting process - so often we bloggers recommend tons of items without actually having seen them in real life and there's really no substitute. I promise to do this more often.


First up - the Gap order. From the selection I featured, I ordered the ballet flats, the black cross body and the striped jumper. The Classic Leather Ballet Flats are just as lovely as I hoped - the perfect blush leather and it was a lovely surprise to see they had leather soles too. Sadly they come up small and narrow so I couldn't get my wide foot into them :( but this means they're perfect for narrow footed readers - and I know there are lots of you as I'm always being asked for suggestions. They really are beautiful - properly gutted that they didn't fit.
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Better news on the black cross body - this is brilliant. It's a great size, lots of practical zipped compartments and it's real leather - all for less than £30 (though I've just noticed that it's back up to £49.95 online now) I particularly like the coin and phone pockets on the front - super useful. The strap is easily adjusted and is comfortable on the shoulder. This is going to be kept for sure and it may very well knock my Boden cross body off its top spot.
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Lastly the Striped Boat-Neck knit - which is exactly what I was looking for in terms of weight and colour. I adore the blush coloured cuffs too. This is the size M and it fits great on the shoulders and I like the length but it kicks out a bit at the hip and I wish wish wish it didn't. It's just not flattering on me. A reluctant return and the search continues.
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Moving onto the Boden order now....
The Soho boots in navy are stunning - a lovely height and great colour - made more versatile by the black piping. However, as with the Gap pumps, they came up small...not widthways though - they were plenty wide but I should have remembered that I need the 40 in Boden shoes. In any case it's just as well as I don't need another pair of navy ankle boots. I may have been tempted to keep them had they fitted. Incidentally, they do come up wide on the ankle as per the reviews - something to take into account if you're thinking of ordering. PS I've just noticed they're further reduced to £38.70 right now on this link...
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The Johnnie B Honor top was a close contender...it fitted perfectly around the shoulders and arms and is finished really nicely in a lovely fabric but the peplum effect was not good on my pear shape. It just hit me at the wrong place and was too loose. Such a shame. I ordered the age 16 for info - I'm broad in the shoulder so I needed that size up on top.
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Johnnie B jeans next and I ordered these in the size 30. They're actually not bad - I was able to close them easily so I'd say that size equates to about a 12 but they're more of a square boyish shape so didn't suit my fat arse curves. I'd say they're a relaxed skinny - a bit looser than I like around the lower leg. All in all  - not a bad pair of jeans but not for me.
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Finally, a couple of going out/dressy tops....and here's where the dilemma sets in. I don't really need going out tops in my life but I really love both of them and they're priced so well...what to do?!
The Embellished Floral Top is the most amazing colour. It's definitely a shade that Donna would approve of! The shape is great too though it may be a smidgen short on my long torso? I'm wearing a size 12 and it's a little creased from being folded in the box (which puts me off too).
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The Perfect Party Top is so well priced and I love lots about it - the longer sleeves, the all-over embellishment, the neckline, the shape. It's the sort of top you put on and you're ready to go anywhere - no major accessories needed. It could be dressed up with a silk midi or pencil skirt for an evening or semi-formal occasion but it will work equally well with jeans or black trousers. I also think it's a top that will work for women of all ages so it's one I'll keep for years to come. Add in the fact that it's less than £30 for all those sequins and they're beautifully applied and secure (if a bit scratchy when putting on and taking off). This is also a size 12.
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As things stand tonight, I'm only keeping the black Gap bag but I can't make up my mind on the the two Boden embellished tops... #bloggerproblems


Hope you enjoyed this epic try on - all done after arriving home from a 5 hour trip back up from Tipperary...though I should say I wasn't driving all the time...I had a few stops, including one Retail Therapy one at the Gap outlet where I picked up some fab new jeans - blog to follow!


Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend,


Ax

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