Belfast Fashion Week with Wish Want Wear

As a busy mum, I don't get out much (this week being an exception!) so it's not practical to have a huge amount of going out clothes in my wardrobe. I was aware of dress agencies that rent out gowns, but I had no idea that it was possible to rent something less formal for a special night out.
The benefits are obvious - you get to look amazing in a designer item for one night, all without the designer expense. On top of that, you don't end up with a wardrobe full of once-worn items.
I was asked to attend Belfast Fashion Week on the same day that Wish Want Wear asked me to try out their designer rental was a match made in heaven.  
Wish Want Wear is the UK’s leading designer dress hire website. It was launched in September 2011 and stocks a range of renowned designers including Temperley London, Sass & Bide, M Missoni, Just Cavalli and Halston Heritage. So I jumped on their site for a look at all these gorgeous designers and to see how the process works.
I was able to search by date of rental, garment type, size and occasion and the best bit is that for many of the items, there are photos of real people wearing them, which I found so useful and this ultimately helped me chose my outfit - an Alice by Temperley jumpsuit. With an RRP of £585, the rental for 4 days was just £50.

 It arrived with a courier the day before my event so I had plenty of time to decide how to style it. Inside the box, my jumpsuit looked brand new - it was even labelled and covered in plastic and came with a pre-paid returns label. I should say that I had the option of ordering a second size in the same item for no additional charge. I was confident enough that the 12 would fit me but isn't that great if you're in-between sizes?
In case you're worried about spilling a drink or some food on your item, specialist dry cleaning is included in your hire price - WWW can tackle most minor damage without any further charges to you.
Without further ado, I give you my Belfast Fashion Week outfit...
Jumpsuit - Alice by Temperley from Wish Want Wear
Pleather Jacket - H&M
Black Peep Toes - River Island (7 years old!)
I can honestly say that I felt a million dollars in this - it was such an easy outfit to wear..pull it on and you're dressed. No matching up of separates. I'm *so* getting a jumpsuit in my life after this experience!

The only sad bit was that I had to pack it up to send back but in fact, it's quite a distinctive piece and realistically, I would only wear it a handful of times if I owned it. And that's why rental makes so much sense. 
Thank you Wish Want Wear - I'll be back!
Disclaimer - Wish Want Wear provided me with a complimentary rental but I was not obliged to blog about the experience. All images and opinions are my own. 


Belfast Fashion Week - High Street Show SS14

I'm just in the door from Belfast Fashion Week and my head is buzzing and the credit card is panicking - so many gorgeous outfits. Here are some of my favourite shots taken tonight and I'll update you tomorrow on my own outfit, though if you've been following on social media, you'll have had a sneak peek already! 
This is a picture heavy post, I'll warn you now!
First time ever getting reserved FROW tickets - the excitement!
FROW selfies with That Belfast Girl, Gemma-Louise
Debenhams @ Castlecourt 
Dorothy Perkins @ Castlecourt
Laura Ashley @ Castlecourt
Wallis @ Castlecourt
Gap @ Castlecourt
Marks & Spencer
United Colours of Benetton
I hope you like my selections - lots of SS14 trends represented here - pleats, florals, neon and distressed denim. Personally, I'm loving all the jumpsuits and think that last Next one or the Wallis one further up would see you through a few summer events very nicely. 
Out of all the brands, the one that impressed me the most was Mexx - it's a brand that's had a resurgence recently and they have some beautiful pieces that are well priced.
Now it's off to bed with me but I'll be back tomorrow at some stage to share with you my Belfast Fashion Week outfit.
Thank you to the Fashion Week team who worked so hard behind the scenes and to all at Cathy Martin PR for organising a great 10th anniversary show!


Stripes and Sparkle (& formal dress update!)

At last - it's the Johnnie B sparkly shoes in action! I wore them on Saturday with a striped jacket from Esprit that I got at the end of the summer sales last year. The jacket has gold trim so I've not worn that much as I felt it needed a nice gold necklace. Then I remembered I have a jewellery was a bit of a duh moment!

Jacket - Esprit (similar here, here & here)
Navy Emma Top - Boden (similar)
Jeans - Autograph @ M&S (thrifted)
Glitter Flats - Johnnie B @ Boden
Necklace - SGS Shop
Sunglasses - TK Maxx
I need to give you an #OperationFormalDress Update! The one being sent to me arrived and is absolutely perfect in every way. I honestly might have cried with relief when I tried it on. It sounds extreme to cry over a dress but I really was worried! I knew I could pull off an average dress but at important events, if I'm not happy with what I'm wearing, I struggle to relax and enjoy myself. Well I can assure you that there will be muchos relaxing and enjoying ones-self on Saturday night! 
Saturday morning sees the start of the preparation....with nails by my friend Catherine, followed by make-up by the lovely Lynne at Effortless Beauty in Moira and hair by Gemma Managh - Session Stylist. Both of these ladies are beautifying me free of charge as they read the blog and wanted to be part of my special evening so please show these fairy godmothers some Facebook love!
Back next time with what I wore to Belfast Fashion Week. What a week....


Getting ready for Belfast Fashion Week 2014....

With all the excitement around the Glamour Awards on Saturday night I almost forgot to tell you that I'm going to West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week on Thursday night! 
I cannot wait to check out the latest high street offerings at this show from George at Asda, Marks & Spencer, Next and Mexx, amongst others and I'll be sitting front row to catch all the buzz and excitement and share it with you on Instagram & Twitter.
Marks & Spencer
LK Bennett @ The Outlet, Banbridge 
Next - ADORE this dress!
George at ASDA
It's going to be a great night and I was in a total tizzy about what to wear (it's been one of those weeks!) but I have ended up renting something from Wish Want Wear - genius idea and I can't wait to share all about it on Friday. If you want a sneak peeks - make sure you're following me on Instagram & Twitter on Thursday evening!!
Hope your week is going great - I promise sparkly shoes on the next post!


St Patrick's Day in Celtic & Co Sheepskin Boots #realmomstyle

I was going to show you an outfit with my new sparkly flats today but I've moved that post to later this week and instead, I'm showing off my new Celtic & Co navy sheepskin boots on a St Patrick's Day trip to one of our local National Trust properties - Mountstewart:
You may remember that I blogged about my ugg-style boots back in January but as part of my research into other sheepskin boot alternatives, I found out that there is a British company making ethically sourced sheepskin boots in Cornwall. Emma from Celtic & Co got in touch with me shortly after I blogged about my other boots and told me about their Original Celt Boot, which is made from finest quality British sheepskin. It wasn't just the fact that these are made in Britain but these sheepskin boots are fashion with a clear conscience - the skins Celtic & Co use to manufacture their sheepskin footwear are predominantly from British sheep, with a very small proportion coming from Europe & they are always a by-product of the UK & European farming industry which operate within the highest regulations for animal welfare.
So I wore them today to Mount Stewart along with a bit of green for St Patrick's Day and I can vouch for their comfort and warmth. They also feel much more sturdy than my other boots - definitely better suited to day-time, outdoors wear. The shorter style is also more flattering to wear and perfect year round.
Rainy Day Mac - c/o Boden
Jeans - Only @ Asos (similar)
Breton Top - Petit Bateau (similar)
Boots - c/o Celtic & Co

It was a lovely day down on the Ards Penninsula - really felt like spring and I couldn't believe how many flowers were out in full bloom. Mountstewart has it's own micro-climate so it is weeks ahead of most other gardens over here.
Love this shot of me and my Hello Kitty girls hanging out in the gardens..
Linking up today with Very Busy Mama for #realmomstyle. Do have a look on Maria-Jose's blog post to see all the other mums taking part and if you're a blogger, you can add your link too.
Oh and an #OperationFormalDress update - my gifted dress hasn't arrived yet and there's NO post today because it's a Bank Holiday over here - SOB. Fingers crossed it will arrive tomorrow. But thank you to everyone who has gotten in touch to offer dresses. Love you all! 


Sparkly Shoes from Johnnie B

Johnnie B is the teenage range from Boden so the sizes go up to an age 14-16. As this roughly equates to a size 10, quite a few thirty-eenagers and forty-eenagers (see what I've done there??!) have been buying for themselves from this range. I myself bought a fur gilet last year and have worn it lots but for some reason, I've never looked at the footwear. It just never occurred to me until I read Nikki's blog, Midlife Chic, the other week. Nikki had bought a pair of navy Johnnie B pointed pumps and they were a total bargain. So I went off for a look at the Johnnie B clearance section and ended up buying 3 pairs...with no intention of keeping all 3...
Have you noticed the sparkly theme here? I've been looking for a sparkly pair of pumps for about a year as I saw a friend wearing some last summer and I loved how neutral they were but also how pretty - especially in the more masculine slipper shape...
So first up, the multi-sparkle slipper style...
I think these are my favourites. There are tons of colours going on in the sparkle and they're neither gold or silver - a fabulous glittery neutral. Size wise, these are a 40 and normally a 40 in Boden shoes would be too big for me so I'd say these come up smaller than big people's Boden (I checked with Nikki and she concurred with this view too). They are also wide fitting - happily accommodating my wide feet! I tried these on first and they were an immediate yes.
These are the first pointed flat that has fitted me well, thanks to the wide fit. They do gape a little at the sides as you can see in the photo but I'm just so excited that they are pointed and glittery and don't hurt the front of my foot like all the other pointed shoes I've tried...they're definitely not going back! I've worn them all afternoon and the fabric trim around the heel is chafing a little but will wear in after a few days. I'll share my outfit tomorrow so you can see them better!
Last up, the black slipper style...
The pink trim did it for me here - as well as the fact that I have a 'flat going out shoe' gap in my wardrobe...mainly for longer choir concerts but also as an alternative to heels on nights out. seems excessive and unnecessary but I'm keeping all three. Am I mad?? In total, they cost £51 and they are sparkly....every girl needs a few pairs of sparkly shoes, no?
BUT - I'm finding myself wanting a 4th pair - check out these amazing gold brogues:
LOVE them - the same as the slipper shoe - they're a masculine style but the gold makes them much more feminine. there room for a 4th pair of Johnnie B shoes in my wardrobe??
Just one thing on all of these shoes, they're not leather (apart from the navy version of the gold pointed pumps) though the brogues are lined in leather. So the quality is not the same as the women's shoes on the Boden site - hence the lower prices.
So is there a sparkly shoe gap in your wardrobe?? Have I tempted you. Is this confirmation of my (inherited) shoe obsession?? Maybe don't answer that last one...I already know it's a yes....
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