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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Touch of Sparkle...

I'm not talking full on sequins here (although they do have their place and we can deal with that another day!), but there's nothing like a touch of sparkle to make you feel special on a night out or add interest to a daytime outfit.

I prefer subtle sparkles, and love the shimmer of the Whistles fine knit top below that I bought in the sale last summer, to jazz up a pair of jeans for a casual evening when you want to wear something different, but don't want to look overdressed. This was to go out for pizza and drinks with Mums from school last night:

Whistles Sparkle Knit - SS13 sale
Necklaces - Z at Accessorize (AW14)
Mint Velvet Double Zip Black Jeans (AW13) 
Shoes - New Look (AW14)
Khaki Jacket - True Religion SS14

Whistles has a similar navy version for this season:

Sophia Sparkle Knit £85

And this super soft sparkly crew neck sweater comes in a range of colours:

Annie Sparkle Knit £65

I also love this one from Oasis, so cute with the bow at the back:

Oasis Sequin Bow Back Jumper £40

Mint Velvet has this chic layered knit with subtle sparkle:

Black Sparkle Layer Knit £89

Or add some sparkly shoes to an all black or neutral look, like these jewelled beauties from Boden:

Jewelled Pump £129

Boden also has this stunning glittery bag, perfect for the party season:

Zip Top Clutch £69

A scarf is also a great way to add a touch of sparkle - I really like the colour of this sequin embellished scarf from Marks & Spencer:

Per Una Sequin Embellished Striped Scarf £15

And finishing with my favourite, it's way too much money, but I LOVE it - it is sequinned but still looks relaxed and not too over the top. I am adding this to the birthday wish list which is my only hope and even then the likelihood is so tiny it's basically non-existent:

2nd Day Jumper With Sequin Panel

What sparkly things do you have in your wardrobe? As always I would love to hear from you!

Abbi x

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Outfit Post: Black Blazer, Animal Print Shirt and Skinny Jeans

Last week I ordered this classic black blazer from Whistles with the Grazia magazine 25% discount  (see post here) and it arrived the next day!

Double Faced Jersey Jacket £95 Pre Discount

I knew that I'd be keeping it as I'd already tried it on a few weeks ago and had been patiently waiting for the discount code. In fact I like it even more than I remembered - it's made of a thick waffley jersey material, so can look smart if I need it too, but not out of place worn with boyfriend jeans and sneakers for a more dressed down look.

I wore it straightaway to a meeting on Friday:

Blazer - Whistles (above)
Skinny Jeans - Zara AW13
Shoes - New Look AW14
Scarf - Zara SS13
Rucksack - Mint Velvet AW14 here

And I wore it again on Sunday to go to the Harvest Festival:

Blazer - Whistles 
Animal Print Shirt - Maison Scotch at Yard (local boutique)
Jeans - Zara AW13
Ballet Pumps - Topshop AW12

And here's a closer look at the animal print shirt which is new season at Yard. It's a perfect relaxed slim fit and looks super smart under a blazer but also fab at the weekend under a grey sweater:

Have you invested in a classic black blazer? Would love to hear from you...

Abbi x

Saturday, 27 September 2014

School Run Essential: Parka

Last week my second article appeared in Dorset magazine (October issue) featuring Mums at my sons' school in their typical school run outfits. Almost all the Mums I interviewed said that their key transitional item at this time of year is a parka coat. It ticks all the boxes for this time of year being both warm and showerproof as well as stylish. No longer just for dress down days, the parka has been given a modern and on trend refresh.

Here is my guide to the best ones around at the moment, starting with Topshop where I bought my own parka three years ago. I've had so much wear out of it and it still looks as good as new. Here is the updated version, a real classic that will live in your wardrobe for years to come:

Faux Fur Trim Parka Jacket £98

Next is this parka from Hush - it would be very high on my wish list as I just love the twist from the contrasting fur hood:

Parka £170

I also love the faux fur lined hood of this modern classic from Whistles (and you can get 25% at the moment with Grazia magazine using code WH25AW14):

Donnie Faux Fur Lined Parka £195

A great option in navy from H&M that is both practical and affordable:

Lined Parka £49.99

I'm also a big fan of parkas from Great Plains - this year it comes in dark indigo:

Nosey Parka £120

If you want to steer clear of the traditional khaki, I love this burgundy version from New Look (it does come in khaki as well):

Burgundy Faux Fur Trim Hooded Parka £44.99

Finally, I had to include this waxed version from Oasis, very practical but super stylish at the same time:

Showerproof Cassie Borg Wax Lined Parka £88

And here's an outfit from this week, not in my parka yet, it's still far too warm:

Boyfriend Jeans - Mango SS14
Blue Chambray Shell Top - Mint Velvet SS14
Scarf - Mint Velvet Sale SS14
Sandals - H&M

Do you have a parka and where is it from? Or do you have one on your wish list? As always, I love to hear from you....

Abbi x

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Whistles - 25% Off With Grazia

At last it's here! I've been waiting for the latest edition of Grazia so that I can use the 25% discount code for one of my favourite brands - Whistles! I say favourite - it was my No. 1 shopping destination back in the day when I lived and worked in London and had lots of reasons to get dressed up. Nowadays, I still love it just as much, but find it harder to justify the prices and a lot of the things I like don't really fit into my lifestyle anymore (sob!). So, I have taken to waiting for the twice yearly Grazia discount and treating myself to one thing from the collection - which seems to be satisfying my Whistles craving! I am also trying to use it sensibly to buy something classic that will last - in the spring/summer I bought a grey logo sweatshirt which has been a great addition to my wardrobe, and this autumn I am in need of a black jersey blazer (I have been looking for a while) and have my eye on this one: (All prices featured are pre discount and the 25% off code is WH25AW14, available until  October 6th).

Ella Ponte Jersey Jacket £95

I tried it on a few weeks ago and have been waiting for the discount ever since - jersey blazers work for me as they can look smart if you need them too, worn with skinny jeans and heels, but can also be dressed down with boyfriend jeans and sneakers. That's me done then!

So, what else could I have used the discount code for? So, so many lovely things. Another sensible purchase with the discount would be these classic Chelsea boots:

Bryton Flat Chelsea Boot £165

I especially love Whistles knitwear and this was on my wish list for autumn/winter as I adore the colour:

Textured Marl Boxy £95

And even though I have my logo sweatshirt from the summer, I would love this one in black for the winter:

C'est Chic Sweatshirt £75

I would also recommend their sculptured crepe tops as I have a couple from last year and they are such a smart basic to wear under a little jacket or to show off a statement necklace. They are a slightly different style this autumn, but the same fantastic quality:

Ali Detail Back Crepe Top £85

But it would be boring to only feature the sensible purchases, so I will move on to the one off
statement pieces! Number one on my lust list would be this amazing lilac fur coat (and it makes sense to go for a more expensive item when there's 25% off, yes?)

Kumiko Faux Fur Coat £275

My favourite jacket is my leather biker from Whistles that I bought in the sale after Christmas and although they are a huge investment, they are a great item to buy with the discount code as they will last for years and years to come:

Jett Leather Jacket £325

I'm a huge fan of jumper dresses in the winter and don't need any this year, but I love the look of this luxurious cashmere version in dark grey and it's a good length as well:

Popperback Cashmere Dress £175

I also love all their sparkly knitted jumpers and dresses, but my favourite this year is the foil print sweatshirt:

Foil Print Sweatshirt £95

Also if you are looking for a dress, then this is the time to buy one! I don't need any dressy dresses, but I do love the print of this one, and it could easily be dressed down under a leather jacket:

Lucie Olivia Rock Tunic Dress £195

I will report back on the jersey blazer when it arrives! Have you been tempted to use the discount to buy anything?

This was what I wore yesterday to go on a course:

Stripe Jersey Blazer - Boden SS11
Grey Tee - Whistles - SS11
Skinny Jeans - Zara AW13
Yellow Scarf - Zara SS14
Yellow Ballet Pumps - Topshop SS14
Yellow Bag - Boden Sale SS14

Abbi x

Monday, 22 September 2014

Wardrobe Staple: Checked Shirts

When it comes to downtime dressing, there's nothing quite like comfy clothing, especially with the days getting cooler and autumn approaching.

Celebrities are favouring checked shirts for their off-duty days - worn over dresses, tees, shorts and jeans - they are totally versatile and an easy look to pull off - just add jeans and ankle boots! Here are some images from Pinterest for inspiration:

Checked shirts look great with skinnies and a leather jacket for a grunge-chic look:

 Neutral, subtle checks are easy to layer with a sweater or a scarf:

Checked shirts look great tied around the waist:

Most of us probably have a checked shirt in our wardrobe, but if not the shops are full of them this autumn and they are an inexpensive way to update your look. Here are my favourites:

I have a checked shirt, bought a few years ago from Uniqlo - they have a fantastic range, I love this mustard colour to brighten up a winter outfit under a plain sweater:

Flannel Check Long Sleeve Shirt £19.90

A traditional red checked boyfriend shirt from New Look:

Red Check Long Sleeve Boyfriend Shirt £17.99

A classic checked shirt from Marks & Spencer:

No Peep Pure Cotton Check Shirt £25

I particularly like the oversized check shirts that are everywhere, like this one from Topshop:

Topshop Oversized Check Shirt £30

And finishing with a fab monochrome version for just £10 from George at Asda:

Check Shirt £10

And this was me yesterday trying to hold onto the end of the summer in white jeans!

Military Jacket - True Religion SS14
Grey Top - Zara AW14
White Boyfriend Jeans - Mango SS14
Sandals - H&M SS14
Backpack - Mint Velvet AW14

So, will you be wearing your checked shirt this autumn?

Abbi x

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Colour Trend: Teal

I may have had a little look in some actual shops last week, and was struck by how much teal is around this season, which is good news for me as I love this stunning combination of blue and green and already have a few things ready and waiting in my wardrobe. Teal seems to work well with everything from understated neutrals to bold brights - teal trousers are beautifully offset with light neutrals (ivory, cream, beige) and the colour works equally well to break up darker neutrals like grey and black.

Here are my favourites of all things teal:

First up, this gorgeous fine knit V-neck from Hush, that is perfect for layering as a transitional piece:

Fine Knit V-Jumper £49.50

And a shirt dress that is perfect for a relaxed, laid back look:

Iris Shirt Dress £79

Love this colour combination in a classic Breton from Boden:

Long Sleeve Breton £25

Teal is a stunning colour for a leather jacket, love this one in dark teal from River Island:

Dark Teal Leather Biker Jacket £130

It's also a fantastic colour for a parka, I would get this one from Oasis if I didn't already have my khaki one (love the contrasting fur hood)

Bella Fur Lined Parka £88

Oasis also has this stunning bird print top:

Peter Ting Bird Print Woven Front Top £38

My Olivia Burton rose gold watch has been my favourite accessory this year and I absolutely adore this butterfly version with a teal strap:

Olivia Burton Teal Butterfly Watch £75

Accessories are a perfect way to inject some teal into your outfit, as the colour goes with almost everything. I have a teal scarf that with black stars on it that I wear such a lot in the winter, but it's all about blanket scarves this autumn and I love this one from Whistles:

Blanket Scarf £75

And wearing teal yesterday - for the school run, then two different meetings:

Black Boyfriend Blazer - Topshop (old)
Grey Zara Top - Zara AW14
Teal Trousers - Zara AW11
Leopard Skater Shoes - Office SS14
Backpack - Mint Velvet AW14

Have you got any teal lurking in your wardrobe? I would love to hear from you!

Abbi x