Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weekend wear

I have a confession. I kept the White Company 'fluttery sleeve' sweater (or whatever other awful name it had).

It feels nice - be gentle with me!  I also feel that the fluttery sleeves help to balance out a wider pear shaped lower half(?).  Because it is short sleeved, I layered it over a basic black long sleeved Gap 'Body' t shirt.

I wore it today with my new coated 'jeggings' (help! - my wardrobe is turning into a showcase of badly named items...)  Not that you can see the coating sadly, but refer to my earlier post here (Third pic up from bottom) for better shot.

Also worn was my White Company grey heart print scarf and the long suffering Primark black lace-up wedge boots.

Yes I know, it all looks black... sigh. Promise will use a public changing room for the next pic!

I have a beauty buy to report on also. These shadow liners from Boots No 7 range are rather fab. Especially given the time of year and the fact that there may be a smidge more socialising to be done than normally occurs in my mundane existence!

I bought one of each as couldn't decide.  However, it was a triple points weekend - and if you bought one you got one half price (or something) so it seemed a good deal.

I especially like the grey one as it has sparkles in. :-)  Me. Sparkles. Fairy lights. Sad!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The prettiest things

Oh, I am a sucker for pretty things at the moment!

Continuing my quest for all things Christmassy led me to Poundland (the tackier the better where baubles are concerned I say! Although they were surprisingly nice).  While there I found some oh-so-cute little fairly lights to adorn my screen, pictures, desk, kitchen.... you name it, they would be perfect anywhere. And at £1 a pop?!!  (Last year I almost bought some on Amazon for about £9 and I thought THAT was good!)  I am planning to stock up - and at that price will be having 10 times as many as planned last year  - for same outlay :-)

Here they are (with apologies for the crumpled quilt cover in the 2nd photo....oh dear,  ironing is strictly on a 'needs must' basis nowadays....)

I also must share some fab earrings I found in M&S the other day.

They are (again, blush!) M&S Woman and silver plated.  £6.50. Look really good I think. I don't normally wear hoops but I do like these, and they look better in real life!  (My photography skills - or lack of! again.)

I saw a lady wearing some like it (may have been the same model) on the bus from the park and ride the other day (unlikely source of inspiration I know...) and admired them.  Lo and behold M&S came up trumps again.

Finally a tutorial for the 'long' snood - which admittedly requires a bit more fiddling than comes naturally to one such as me, so there are are a few more steps (only a few) than the the 3-step 'bung on head' approach I employed before. For your amusement here goes:

Snood in question is the reversible stripe snood from the White Company (tres toasty). Worn with White Company navy 'diamond insert' jersey dress (tres flattering).  Have a bit of a thing going on with White Company at moment. So much so that I've just received a £10 gift voucher!  (Then again, probably so has everyone else on their mailing list - times are hard!!)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sparkle. (I declare it's time for Christmas.)

I am usually rather a humbug when it comes to Christmas, too much expense, too much stress, too much tat. But this year, something's different, something's in the air... and I am feeling exceedingly Christmassy!  This only happens about once every 20 years, and I last enjoyed Christmas circa 1984 so I am going to make the most of it.

As to general festivities, decorations and sparkle, I can normally take it or leave it - but this year I am going to 'deck the halls'.

I heard Wham!'s 'Last Christmas' while at the shops yesterday and that's nailed it: I am now officially in full Christmas mode!  (Sad I know, but that's me.)

To enter into the spirit of it, I found some great sparkly things while wandering around the shops yesterday. This may suggest that I am going to 'deck' my person as well - but fear not; honestly they don't look that bad or OTT in real life (I hope!)...  They just appealed :-)

H&M Sparkly scarf - £7.99

H&M Sparkly tights - £6.99
think they are navy. But my eyesight has come out in sympathy with my photography and I'm not so sure.... 

Today's outfit below:

Another purchase from H&M - cream jumper - £14.99, and tear drop pendant from the White Company.  With navy cord M&S Woman (it pains me to type that) skirt. Primark wedge ankle boots.

Right.... now I'm off to find my Wham! CD.....

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Notes from a shopping excursion (with snood 'tutorial')

I ended up in the city today, the plan was to have a coffee, a croissant and buy candles.

The reality was have a coffee (way hey!), a cheese scone, but no candles...... but instead buy several scarves, a jacket, 3 jumpers and a necklace.  Must try harder.  In my defence I won't keep everything, I like to try it on at home before finally deciding.

Although on that note, I have a treat for you.....drum roll - decent photos!! (Well, decent-ish for me, i.e. you can just about make out the colours of the garments!)

I decided to have a little experimenting with changing room photography, the results as you'll see below, are variable. Some (changing rooms) are so dimly lit and garishly decorated you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a house of ill repute.

Whilst in one, and disrobed from the snood, it seemed a good opportunity to do the snood 'tutorial'. It's not really a tutorial. I lack finesse in many areas, and bunging a snood over my head is sadly one of them.  If it ends up looking half decent this is due either to the ingenuity of the designer or some stroke of fortune not associated with my dressing skills.

So - what do you want first - the decent photos or the snood tutorial?

Let's go with the snood - to give everyone a good laugh.

Step 1 - put snood on top of head

Step 2 - pull down over head and face - (excuse shaky photo - literally taken blind!)

Step 3 - pull down to neck and hope it looks half decent - yep that'll do. Fiddling never improves matters (in my experience). 

In no particular order a selection of photos from the day - some items were bought, some not...

New Look biker style gilet - (not bought)

White Company flutter sleeve sweater - bought but will be going back - (what was I thinking?!)

Per Una coat - not bought but liked the look of it

New Look crystal scarf - bought but then hastily returned - the crystals turned out to be skulls (which I hate!!)

M&S Limited Collection trousers - looked OK on the hanger NOT BOUGHT - good grief!!

New Look sweater with crystal decoration - looked OK on the hanger. On? Er... I think not - looks like someone's sneezed over me

River Island Molly Coated Jeggings - not bought - refuse to pay £40 for one season wonder

H&M jacket - like - bought

New Look leopard print sweater - not bought, but hmmmm, may re-visit.

So - what do you think... did I make the right choices?!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

How to look like a sack of spuds

My new cashmere poncho arrived from White Company today, to much glee.

Sadly I was rather underwhelmed when I unwrapped it, for the tissue and the poncho were both very crumpled and looked as if it had come to me straight from the hands of another customer who had returned it with none too much care in the wrapping.  Frankly for £112 I expected better.

Moving onto the trying on session...
Pros:  warm, soft and covers a multitude of sins. 
Cons: possibly also equal boring and shapeless (not to mention, amongst my colour palette, beige is fast becoming ubiquitous).  

Soft as a baby's bum however, and no doubt will be very cosy.  So far so good on the practicality front. I am not 100% convinced that it doesn't make me look like I've gained 10lb overnight however.

Maybe I just need to get used to the loose cape-like look.  Or exchange for a smaller (and hopefully better packed) version...?

At least beige doesn't look black when I take the picture...

Worn with:
 Zara jeans and Primark wedge boots (not that these show up of course!!)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Several shades of navy

My day off today didn't go exactly according to plan (not in a bad way, just different).

Due to the weather I abandoned my plan to go to the nearest city for a bit of soggy retail therapy at the White Company, and headed even further into the rural hinterland instead.

Admittedly this little excursion did not net me any candles (or croissants actually) but did get a lovely lunch and reminder of what a beautiful part of the country we are lucky enough to live in.

Also got to spend some time with OH - which is a rarity as we both work irregular hours. We are like the proverbial ships passing in the night most of the time!

Lunch at The Red Lion.
When it looks this pretty, even I like the snow!
Today it was back to navy and neutrals, and I apologise for the photo which is another of my classic 'no matter what she's wearing it looks black' efforts....  Jacket and trousers actually navy.  (I've tried to enhance it with my picture software, but think I probably made it worse!)

Navy jersey blazer from New Look
Navy long line sweater from H&M
Navy skinny trousers from Primark
Boots from Primark (love these - and so comfortable)
(Code OCD20 for 20% off and free P&P at The White Company)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

It's my bag

A look at some of my daily essentials, carried today in my 'pumpkin' Bayswater bag (should have got it out last week really!)

Clockwise from bottom left:

  • Anya Hindmarch 'Girlie Stuff' pouch (containing the all important cards, tickets, receipts and other essentials)
  • Mulberry circular coin purse
  • Smythson turquoise phone holder
  • L'Occitane Lavande hand sanitiser (I go to some mucky places)
  • Micheal Kors sunglasses from (bargain from TX Maxx)
  • Work pass
  • Guerlain Mitsouko perfume
  • L'Occitane Lavande hand cream (bit of a thing for lavender!)
  • Mulberry yellow pencil case
  • Assortment of pens (I am a total pen freak!)
  • Vaseline 'pink bubbles' limited edition lip balm (get some fast before it's discontinued - it's divine)
  • Leighton Denny crystal nail file (brilliant product)

I was working today but have tomorrow off. Bliss and joy, the schools are back and I can have a peaceful potter. Coffee will be consumed. An almond croissant may even be consumed. (Though I have to say, post summer belated correctional diet is going great guns. I'm eating less. Duh - why didn't I think of that sooner?!)

White Company will be visited. Candles will be purchased:

  • 'Winter' to celebrate the season; and 

  • 'Blanc' because, err.....  my bathroom needs it..

I need to immerse myself in the beautiful, happy and serene things of life. I see enough of the miserable and ugly.

By the way, I toyed with a snood tutorial as someone suggested, but it would be comical!!  If still needed let me know ;-)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

I fought the taupe, but the taupe won

Here's today's outfit...

 White Company 'stepped hem' sweater
Made in Heaven Vienna Skinny jeans
Primark ankle boots
Mulberry bag
Pure Collection snood

Confusion reigns again

Dear Readers,

My name is Ash and although I have a 'style' blog (hollow laugh) I actually don't have much of a clue about style (or colour)!

Case in point - the interminable wardrobe sort-out continues (I doubt it will ever end actually - it's more of a journey through life) and here I am stumped on colours.

I need to ask you:

  • do normal people have a rainbow of colours in their wardrobes - to which they (at point of purchase) were drawn, magpie like (and somehow make them work wonderfully together); or
  • do normal people of my age know what suits them (how?) and stick only to those colours?

I like the grey/ beige / 'greige' / navy / camel / brown... but do they like me?

I've lost count of the number of times I've had a pink / red buying phase, decided later they didn't work, ebayed them (at loss), carried on happily in neutrals for a while, become bored with them, seen something pink again, bought it... and the cycle continues. I guess it doesn't help that I spend a fair amount of time dressed as a giant bumble bee.

As you will see from the photos below my clothes seem to be divided into two camps:

  1. Pink / red / coral; and
  2. The above mentioned 'greige' / navy.  Both work in their own groups but never the twain shall meet - (red and taupe anyone, eww?!)

Anyhow, as you will probably have worked out by now if you have read any other posts, my purpose for being here is not so much to inform anyone else, but to discover what on earth I should wear!!

PS - Both White Company dresses from the other day returned to be exchanged for a cashmere poncho  instead (taupe). I am fickle as well as clueless :-)

Monday, 5 November 2012

The snoods in my life

After much catching up on sleep yesterday,  I ventured out to today to have lunch with friends, run a few errands and generally to enjoy life.

It's been a lovely bright day, but very cold. What better then, than to debut not one, but two,  new snoods?  What a great idea, especially for one who feels the cold as much as me? There's no unwinding or dangling 'getting caught in shredder etc' danger here - merely a swathe of warmth just where you (I) need it.

First - my new favourite item - the reversible stripe snood from the White Company. This one is quite 'long' (in a circular kind of way) and is more like a scarf joined at the ends. When looped, it sits much like a twice wrapped scarf, but without the bother of what to do with the ends.

The next snood, from Pure Collection, is quite different - like a soft funnel for the neck. 

It fits closely - there's no spare length to wrap around, as there is with the White Company one. Just a closely fitting, very toasty cashmere tube for the neck and (in all likelihood come December, in my case) face. 

Snoods - where have you been all my life?  You are my new indispensable accessory.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Remember, remember

...the 5th (or 3rd) of November...

This is a quick post before I head out to work, no Saturday night fireworks for me this year :-(

However, there is a pizza and a large glass of red (or two) with my name on them for when I get back at 1am-ish.  In truth there is more than one pizza. But I don't intend to eat both, they were on a 'buy one get one free' offer...

I've decided to return the White Company blue pin-tuck dress from yesterday - it's just too low necked for me to wear everyday and it's really not smart enough to be a 'going out' dress.

Today I wore another H&M bargain - a longline toffee coloured v neck sweater which is very baggy and yet is only a medium - I don't know what's happening with H&M sizing lately.

Also worn - 
  • White Company jeans
  • black / bronze shimmer scarf bought locally
  • KG black suede wedge shoes.  

I guess the shoes are my version of the divisive 'wedge trainer'. I like them, they are probably not 'allowed' by some style rule of which I'm unaware, to be worn with jeans... but I doubt anyone will be inspecting me closely!!

Yesterday's outfit below:

I'd been on the look out for a navy cord skirt for a while, call me sad but I like them.. 

This little number fits the bill perfectly and was only £22.50. It's described as velvet on the M&S website (dodgy descriptions now, as well as photos?) but is definitely a fine needle cord.

Hope everyone has fun tonight if you're off out to watch firework displays!

Friday, 2 November 2012

New White Company goodies

My order has arrived from The White Company.

So far 2 dresses and 2 scarves.  Not sure about the dress in the first picture. Bit too 'boobtastic' for my liking. Predictably, and sadly though, OH thinks it's great. :-/

I love the reversible snood - really cosy and quite a fine knit so it wraps and drapes well.

Pintuck dress and reversible stripe snood
The navy knitted dress is also lovely - like a long, slightly swingy crew necked sweater. Long enough to wear alone with thick tights, but I think it'll also work over skinny trousers as a tunic. Was a great bargain too - reduced to £77 from £110. It's 90% wool and 10% cashmere. The tassel scarf is huge - more like a shawl really, although it's also a lightweight texture and 'folds down' quite well.

Navy ribbed hem dress (has disappeared from website) and tassel scarf - huge enough to wear as shawl!

It was late before I managed to try everything on so am too tired to decide now. Will sleep on it...

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