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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Classic Item: The Trench Coat

Way back in the spring I was looking to replace my ten year old trench coat (see hereand despite an extensive search I couldn't quite find one that ticked all the boxes. I think the main problem was that most of the ones I tried were made of a fairly stiff material and felt quite formal, which is fine if you need to look smart for work, but I wanted one that would look just as good dressed down with jeans and trainers. I obviously abandoned the search in the summer, but happened to see this one in Paris in August, when I wasn't looking for one at all:

Zara Flowy Trench with Camouflage Lining £59.99

I knew straightway that it was THE ONE. For a start, it's a proper camel colour which I prefer to all the lighter beige trench coats around, and more importantly the material is flowy so it feels more casual and easier to wear in a variety of different ways. I also like the modern twist from the camouflage lining:

With hindsight, I'm so glad I've bought it, as with the unbelievably mild autumn weather I've worn it so much and have decided not to get a new winter coat this year, or maybe get one in the sales as I'm sure there will still be lots around. This is how I've worn it dressed down, for a walk at Stourhead en famille this week:

 Scarf - Zara AW14
Trench - Zara AW14
Grey Sweater - American Vintage AW13
Jeans - Zara AW13
Trainers - Stan Smiths
Rucksack - Mint Velvet AW14

And slightly more dressed up for a meeting the other day:

Trench - Zara AW14
Scarf - Zara AW13
Grey Jeans - Zara AW14
Boots - Office AW12
Rucksack - Mint Velvet AW14

And if you're looking for a slightly more structured/smarter trench coat this Topshop one looks really good on, it's a really thick material but isn't stiff:

Topshop Premium Trench Coat £150

And if you do like a trench coat to have a stiffer material I would still recommend this one from Marks & Spencer which has excellent reviews and is a proper camel colour:

Buttonsafe Pure Cotton Belted Trench Mac with Stormwear

Do you have a classic trench coat in your wardrobe and where do you think is the best place to buy one?

Abbi x

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

An Alternative to Jeans: Hush Zip Cargo Trousers

If you end up wearing jeans a lot, as I do, both for work and play, it's sometimes good to have an alternative that works just as well for everyday. For me, it's the zip cargo trousers from Hush, which I've had for a while, but I don't think they've featured on the blog before. Beautifully soft and a lovely slate grey colour which goes with almost anything, they are easy to throw on and look equally good with heels or dressed down with trainers. I'm mentioning them now as Hush are having a mid season sale with 25% off 25 different styles until the end of the month:

Zip Cargo Trousers £59.25 from £79

And here I am wearing them yesterday for an annual shopping trip to buy clothes for Mr DF:

Zip Cargo Trousers - Hush
White Top - Zara AW14
Gilet - Mint Velvet AW13
Blanket Scarf - Zara AW14
Grey Boots - Ash Jalouse AW13

There's a couple of other gems in the sale that are worth looking at too. I have the Rosie dress in navy from last year and it's such an easy dress to wear casually with tights, boots and a scarf over the top:

Rosie Dress £48.75 from £65

This shirt is now a great price - I love the teal colour and it would look effortlessly chic with jeans:

Iris Shirt £36.75 from £49

And I know it's another grey jumper, and I am addicted to them, but this one has a really unusual texture and pattern:

Diamond Knit Jumper £56.25 from £75

And a great wardrobe staple - a slouchy blazer for the colder months in a soft jersey that is both warm and comfy:

Winter Shawl Blazer £44.25 from £59

And there's also 10% off everything else at Hush with the code OCTEVENT

Do you have a great pair of casual trousers that you wear instead of jeans?

Abbi x

Monday, 27 October 2014

Style Trend: Faux Fur Coats

Faux fur is one of the biggest trends for autumn/winter 2014 and it was literally everywhere on the high street when I went shopping last week, from coats to jackets, bags and even shoes. A couple of months ago I had my heart set on a faux fur coat, especially after seeing a picture of this gorgeous one from Whistles, I thought it looked very old Hollywood glamour and the lilac colour gave it a vintage feel:

Kumiko Faux Fur Coat £275

When I finally saw it in real life it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's a beautiful coat, but I didn't feel it was special/different enough from some of the less expensive ones around. I also knew I wouldn't get the wear out if it to justify such an expensive price tag. I'd love one to wear with evening outfits over the party season, and although I would wear it dressed down with skinny jeans and biker boots, I could see it was only going to be an occasional coat. So, I decided I wouldn't get one at all, until my Mum casually mentioned that she'd bought one last year from Marks & Spencer (she's so fashion forward!) and had hardly worn it and I could have it for the winter. What a result, the perfect solution! Here I am trying it on, not necessarily what I would wear it with, just what I happened to be wearing when she dropped it off:

Faux Fur Coat - Marks &Spencer AW13
Black Jeans - Mint Velvet AW13
Black Boots - Jigsaw (Ancient)

So, let's have a look at what Marks & Spencer have on offer this year. First up this classic black one, actually the best black one I've seen:

Faux Fur Coat £89

And very chic in cream:

Faux Fur Coat £89

And this one from ASOS was in and out of my online basket as I love the stripes and think it would look fab with an all black outfit:

ASOS Faux Fur Coat in Mono Stripe £85

ASOS has a really great selection, I also love the vintage look of this fur coat:

ASOS Vintage Faux Fur Longline Coat £90

And a shorter one in a gorgeous grey colour:

ASOS Vintage Faux Fur Coat £70

There are lots of leopard fur coats around, these are my favourites, although I can't do this much leopard myself, but do think they look amazing on other people:

River Island Faux Fur Leopard Jacket £100

And this one is such a fantastic price and is as good as some of the more expensive ones:

New Look Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat £41 from £54.99

Topshop also has some gems, starting with this black one:

Crushed Faux Fur Throw On Coat £125

And for a real statement fur coat, I absolutely love the colours on this patchwork one:

Topshop Patchwork Faux Fur Throw On Coat £89

So, are you embracing the fur coat trend or do you already have one? If you don't like faux fur coats, look out for my post later this week on fur accessories!

Abbi x

Friday, 24 October 2014

Stocking Up on Cosy Knitwear at Yard

With the clocks set to go back it's the perfect time to stock up on cosy knitwear, and my favourite place to do this is at Yard, my lovely local boutique. Whether you are looking to update your wardrobe basics or invest in something really special, Yard has everything from oversized cardigans, modern sweatshirts, perfect chunky knits and classic luxe pieces that will last you for many winters to come. It was so hard to choose as I think this is their best collection yet, but here are my picks:

A classic grey jumper is the easiest way to stay chic this autumn. This one is a mohair mix, so is lightweight but super soft and cosy. I love the twist from the subtle silver sparkle around the neck, which I have actually covered up with a scarf, but couldn't resist my favourite star scarf in these fabulous colours:

Grey Jumper: Des Petits Hauts £135
Scarf:  Becksondergaard £69
Jeans: Maison Scotch £115
Boots:  Alpe £95
Grey Bag: Nat & Nin £150

Sweatshirts continue to be a huge trend and they are so easy to wear. I love them layered over shirts - this slouchy one from American Vintage has been very popular (it also comes in charcoal grey)

Pale pink sweatshirt: American Vintage £85
Grey Jeans: Maison Scotch
Boots: As above
Bag: Nat & Nin £180

Oversized cardigans are a huge trend this season, and can also be worn between seasons instead of a coat. I love the striking colours of the one below - just wear with skinny jeans to balance out the proportions. I've also included this fabulous leopard print sweater (which has faux leather star patches on the elbows) - it's always such a stylish print and goes with almost anything!

Maison Scotch Abstract Print Cardigan - £190
Maison Scotch Jeans - £125
Becksondergaard Star Tan Belt £49
Maison Scotch Animal Print Shirt £70
Maison Scotch Leopard Print Sweatshirt £89.95

Next up is Kathryn, looking gorgeous in her choice of  a classic, dark bottle green fine knit with a beautiful scarf in green and blush tones:

Scarf: Becksondergaard £85
Jumper: Marie Sixtine £69
Boots: Seven Boot Lane £160
Jeans: Amazing Woman £90
Bag: Becksondergaard £45

And in the picture below, Kathryn is wearing an oversized lightweight cream jumper by Great Plains - a best seller and a practical wardrobe staple, ideal for layering:

Jumper: Great Plains £70
Jeans - as above
Scarf: Great Plains £35
Boots: as above

Another of my favourites, this  striking mohair jumper in classic Breton stripes, it's so beautifully soft, I didn't want to take it off! Perfect for frosty mornings or winter walks and has a cute matching scarf!

Jumper: Des Petits Hauts £150 
Scarf: Des Petits Hauts £70
Black Jeans: Maison Scotch £115
Navy Bag: Peach Pink £199

And I haven't mentioned the C word on the blog yet, but the Christmas collection will be in store soon and here is a sneak preview - this stunning jewelled shirt featuring sheer back and sleeves, perfect for wearing in the evening with jeans and heels.

Blouse: French Connection £125
Black Boots: Hudson £110
Jeans - Maison Scotch £115

Have you got your eye on anything from the autumn/winter collection?

Have a lovely weekend and half term!

Abbi x

Monday, 20 October 2014

Outfit Post: Blanket Checked Scarf

Finally, I have a new scarf obsession that doesn't include stars! I still love my starry scarves, but I think I probably have enough colourways to last me a lifetime. So this autumn I have moved on to check, there are checked scarves everywhere in varying sizes and colours, and I am particularly loving the oversized blanket versions (see my post last month here for my favourites).

I bought the Zara checked shawl featured in my round up and have been waiting for the weather to turn colder so that I could wear it:

Checked Shawl £19.99

Except, you don't really need to wait for winter! You can just wear them now instead of a coat, and be snuggly as well as stylish.

Checked Shawl - Zara (see above)
Leather Biker Jacket - Zara (old)
ASOS Stripe Jumper (AW14)
Jeans - Maison Scotch at Yard (SS13)
Bag - Nat & Nin at Yard
Boots - Office (AW12)

So, will you be layering up in oversized check this winter? Let me know if one of these is on your wish list!

Abbi x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Autumn Essential: Biker Jacket

Now that autumn has well and truly arrived I am getting lots of wear out of my beloved leather jackets (as long as it's not raining!). Although the bomber jacket seems to have overtaken the biker in the style stakes, for me they are a timeless wardrobe staple, a true investment piece. I have two - a black Zara one which is at least six years old, and a grey Whistles one which I very smugly picked up for half the price in the sale last Christmas. I love the way that they go with everything and take you from day to night effortlessly.

Here I am this week in the black Zara one, and reunited with another old friend, my teal star scarf by Becksondergaard.

Leather Biker Jacket - Zara (old)
Scarf - Becksondegaard at Yard (AW12)
Grey Sequin Tee - Mango (AW14)
Skinny Jeans - Zara AW13
Black Ankle Boots - Office AW12

So I don't need any more leather biker jackets, but if I could have another one, and didn't have to consider the price ( wouldn't that be amazing?) it would be this beauty from Karen Millen - I love the new season update with the shearling detachable collar:

Jacket with Shearling Collar £499

This one from ASOS comes pretty close though, and also has that handy removable collar, this time a fur collar:

Leather Biker Jacket with Quilt Detail and Faux Fur Collar £110

And another favourite, a classic black one with a twist from Mint Velvet, featuring a faux fur lined collar, and I love how they've styled it over a dress:

Black and Neutral Biker Jacket £279

Back to plain black, and the Whistles ones are always stunning and such a classic investment:

Lita Leather Biker £325

And another classic with quilted sleeves from Reiss:

Topaz Quilted Leather Biker Jacket £375

And a quilted one in real leather at an amazing price from River Island:

Black Quilted Panel Leather Biker £100

If you don't want a black one, there are lots of other gorgeous colours to choose from. Love this deep berry colour from Karen Millen:

Signature Leather Biker Jacket £450

And my friend has this one from Baukjen, it's the most buttery soft leather and a stunning midnight blue colour (also comes in kingfisher green)

Monmouth Biker Jacket £399

And in a striking dark teal, and again real leather, love this one from River Island:

Dark Teal Leather Biker Jacket £130

And there are also some great faux leather options around, this is is my absolute favourite from New Look - so stylish:

Leather Look Biker Jacket £39.99

I also love this classic tan faux leather biker jacket from Oasis (also comes in black):

Hannah Faux Leather Biker Jacket £50

Are you investing in a leather jacket this year or do you have an old favourite?

Abbi x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

New Obsession: Stan Smiths

Most of the time I am quite an impulsive shopper (weak in other words!) but every so often a trend will come along that I will really take my time to decide on. So I've thinking about getting some Stan Smiths, ever since they were re-released by Adidas at the start of this year, but I wasn't sure they were me, so it's been a very up and down relationship so far. But now it's definitely on, and even though I am way behind as usual, it looks like they are here to stay and I have become totally obsessed!

Here are the Pinterest images that I've been collecting:

An easy to look to copy, with boyfriend jeans, slouchy tee and blazer:

Such a modern look when paired with a classic trench coat:

And incredibly chic worn with all black:

Another fab look with leather trousers:

Love this slouchy, layered look in neutral tones:

And they look just as good worn with skirts:

And my favourite, with wide legged trousers:

I have only had them for a couple of weeks, but already love how they go with everything, and obviously they are both practical and comfy, a huge bonus for the school run and the general dashing around that I do. And I am wearing them so much it basically makes them free!

Here I am wearing them wearing them this week:

 Duster Coat: Topshop AW14                                         
 Trainers: Stan Smiths                                         
 Navy Knit Top: Zara SS14                                                  
 Jeans: True Religion SS14                                                    
 Backpack: Mint Velvet AW14

So what do you think? Are you a fan or not?
Let me know in the comments!

Abbi x