January Sales: Some of My Sale Purchases and What to Buy Now in the Sales

Happy start of the week everyone. The sales have been on since last year, but I believe now is when the seasonal sales get really interesting.  The stores have now further discounted sale items and this is the right time to strike!  In my opinion, this week is a great time to get some genuine bargains, especially if you are looking for a relatively expensive item such as a new leather jacket or a fancy new coat. The downside is that your size may have sold out, however, it is worth checking other stores that may carry the brand or even the original brand website several times as sizes do come back on.

Substantial buys such as leather jackets are staples and less susceptible to change in the swift winds of fashion. A leather jacket you may buy in the sale today is likely to be severely discounted but will still be bang on trend for the rest of the year and beyond. The store may release it again with silver buttons instead of gold in the new year, but when you see it next month for full price you are going to mighty pleased with your gold-buttoned jacket!

In this lookbook, I have showcased two of my recent favourite sale purchases from COS. My love for sweater dresses is eternal and I am happy to add this pale grey A-lined number to my collection.  The band across the back is my favourite part of the dress and its neutral front makes it perfect for accessorizing with a variety of pieces.  I have teamed it with a pretty scarf my mother got me from India (bless our lovely mothers who always come back with presents), my high heel navy boots and my favourite tan coat. This dress can literally be worn with anything and its generous shape is a Godsend in terms of comfort and wearability.

The second sale purchase is a cream longline sweater vest that I have been looking at for a long time in the store. I don’t know if you do this as well, but I often find myself eying something up in a shop – knowing I love it and will wear it often – but then not buying it  – but still looking at it every time I go into that shop or look online.  It’s like a buyers paralysis in terms of executing the purchase but a stalkers determination in viewing it regardless! Back to my vest; I have teamed it with jeans, brown boots and my teddy coat for a cosy and warm outfit I have already worn a couple of times over.

Of course, I have been checking out my favourite websites for sale items (my friend calls me the ‘What’s on sale Guru’) but unfortunately, as the saying goes, ‘Even a bargain costs money’ and I can’t have it all. I can, however, point you in the direction of some of my top items on sale in case you in the market for something similar.  Below are five of my high street favourites on sale:

Ted Baker Shearling Biker Jacket – stunning jacket that will be a staple
Karen Millen – A great work coat that will go with everything – extra 20% on top of the sale price
Reiss – gorgeous wear-anywhere dress
Zara – Lovely going out dress in the summer, and in the winter with a polo neck underneath
Karen Millen – A party staple that will serve you well! There is an extra 20% on the sale price

 

 

 

 

 

Monki coat – it’s fun and has a detachable collar in a funky faux fur
Reiss – A short coat in the supposed colour of the upcoming season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothes and accessories:

Dress – COS (this colour is sold out online but you may find in the store)

Coat – Massimo Dutti

Boots –

Bag – All Saints

Sweater Vest – COS 

Boots – Frye

Teddy Coat – Warehouse

Jersey Long sleeve Animal Print Top – H&M

 

 

In Hat and Boots: My Current Favourite Coffee and Sandwich in Town

Happy Monday everyone! One of the best parts of waking up in the morning has to be drinking that first cup of tea or coffee that gently nudges you awake as you propel yourself into the demands of a new day.  I am a lover of tea and coffee in equal measures  – they each have their rightful place in the day and my palate usually dictates which one I will have next. I have found that the weather has a definite impact on my hot beverage of choice and in the cold, my desire for a good cup of coffee increases manifold. The cold also increases my preference for hot food and a cold sandwich for lunch seems about as attractive as wearing opened toes shoes in the snow.

Recently, I have discovered ‘Black Sheep Coffee’ and I am bowled over by their coffee.  ‘Black Sheep Coffee’ have quite a few branches all over London (and apparently opened their first branch in Manchester recently) but I only tried it for the first time a month ago and I have been hooked ever since. I ask for an Americano ‘crazy hot’ with lashing of hot milk and it is made to perfection every time. I go for their lighter coffee (they offer a choice of lighter or darker coffee bean) and it the smoothest coffee I have had in a long time.  My cup of coffee at Black Sheep is always a great one so if you are a coffee enthusiast and have never tried their coffee – make sure you check it out!

Moving on to my current favourite hot sandwich of the moment – ‘Joe and the Juice’ may be famous for their fresh juices but their ‘Spicy Tuna Sandwich’ has my food heart at the moment.  They make it by toasting a thin crispy bread that is filled with a lovely tuna mix tapenade and whole jalapenos.  The sandwich packs a nice spicy punch and if you like that sort of thing – ask for extra-spicy (they will charge a bit extra for it). The warm toasted crispiness of the bread and the spicy flavours make for a surprising great tuna sandwich that has me wanting one every day. Even my husband, who doesn’t count himself as a great fan of tuna, finally gave in and tried it and now he is hooked as well!

There you have it – two of my current favourite things to eat and drink – especially together. In today’s lookbook, I am wearing a festive hat and my gorgeous shearling lace-up boots and doing what I do best – eating and drinking!  Have a great week ahead and as always, thank you for visiting my blog.

Clothes and Accessories:

Jumper – H&M

Boots – Hudson, Similar – Mango

Jacket – Uniqlo Ultra Warm HeatTech

Hat – Reserved

Bag – Burberry

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day: In a Structured Olive Green Coat

I often hear that once you enter your forties, there are certain clothes you just can’t wear anymore. This may or may not be true depending on the individual, however, my taste in clothes has definitely evolved since I entered the fourth decade of my life. It is easy to find lists of clothes that you are not supposed to wear after a certain age but it is harder to find a list of items you should try post 40.

On the top of my post 40 clothing styles to try would be structured clothing.  Clothes that are meticulously tailored and shaped make an instant style statement.  A structured shape lends itself to showcasing your natural curves and improves your posture.  Best of all – structured clothing helps you excude an air of confidence  that is much harder to achieve with free-flowing clothes.

To quote Dorothy from Jerry Maguire, this coat had me at hello! The structured drape and ruffle on one side of the coat is all this garment needs to be a standout.  I have paired the coat with simple black clothes to ensure that the coat is the star of the show. Bold jewellery and an edgy clutch add the perfect finishing touches to this outfit.

The truth is that I may not have worn this coat in my twenties but in my forties I have the confidence to try structured fashion that doesn’t get lost in the crowd. Therefore, while some clothes may be struck off post 40, the good news is that there are many styles that are just making their debut into my wardrobe.

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook and thank you so much for reading.  Have a great weekend!

(Clothes and accessories: Coat – AQAQ (Not sure if they still carry this coat), Bracelet, ring and earrings – Isharya, clutch – Zara)

Italian Adventure: Holiday Wardrobe in Florence

I have just had the pleasure of visiting Florence (Firenze), Italy over the last few days.  Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The city of Firenze has always conjured up images of breathtaking art and architecture and Florence exceeded my expectations in every regard. The Cathedral of Florence and the iconic Duomo must rank amongst the most beautiful man-made structures I have ever seen.  The sheer size and the beauty of the architecture really has to be seen to be believed.  The Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michaelangelo’s masterpiece – the original ‘David’ sculpture.  The whole family was keen to see this and gazing up at the statue it was instantly clear, even to someone with no knowledge of sculpture such as myself, that one was looking at one of the finest sculptures ever made.  The scale of the works (Masters including Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo) displayed at the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum, was both humbling and uplifting at the same time. Perhaps the most amusing part of the tour was that with every masterpiece we viewed my younger son had the same question – Mummy, what would this cost? My consistent reply was, ‘Son, you do not want to know”!

What I discovered on my trip to Florence:

  1. My first born has an uncanny ability to read maps  – it is both a revelation and relief that we no longer have to rely on my husband to show us the way. For the record – he said that!
  2. I am a slave to the ‘Patisserie’ – if you have a sweet tooth and are a lover of baked goods as I am, then Italy is the stuff that sweet dreams are made of!
  3. Trip to Florence: expensive. Observing your children’s face when they see in real life things that they have studied at school: priceless.
  4. Seeing multiple nude statues with body parts on display will send children into fits of giggles regardless of place or persons around.
  5. The Italians make fabulous coffee, perhaps the best I have ever had.  They also make fabulous cakes, perhaps the best I have ever had. Italians, I love you!

Going on holiday in winter has often presented a fashion challenge for me.  Coats and boots take up a lot of luggage space and travelling with just one of each is akin to having a bad nightmare in my case. Great winter fashion requires achieving that perfect balance of making comfortable styling choices with warm clothing that keeps you well insulated. The one thing that is absolutely essential in a sightseeing trip are flat shoes and I just about managed with three pairs.  I also wore my Uniqlo extra warm Heattech vests under all my clothes and they kept me warm and snug all day. Finally, as I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, I managed to find a lovely bright yellow coat that I took along and greatly enjoyed wearing through Florence!

(Clothes and Accessories: Yellow Coat – Mango, Grey Dress – ASOS, Black Brogues – Kurt Gieger , Check Heattech Leggings – Uniqlo, Bag with colourful Stripes – Milly, Black Coat – Uniqlo, Black Hat with Pompom – Tu at Sainsbury’s, Floral Dress – Newlook, Short Black Boots – Rachel Zoe)