Saturday, 29 January 2011

Winter wardrobe malfunction

This week rather than a lust item, I have more of a must item. A new winter coat.

I had my first pregnancy wardrobe malfunction yesterday. My main winter coat – the one I turn to when it is properly freezing outside (and shown in this post) – is now too small. My bump has grown quite a lot this past week or so and the buttons on my coat have been under increasing strain. One has already popped off and another has been literally hanging on by a thread. That thread gave way in an embarrassing way yesterday morning.

I was stood on the upper deck of a bus, just about to walk down the stairs and the driver was a little more over-zealous in applying the brakes than I expected. As I reached to hold a handrail, the strain on my coat was too much and the metal button flew off, through the air, down the stairs and onto the lower deck with a clatter. Thankfully it wasn’t packed but still, a metal disc flying through the air from the upper deck caused a bit of a kerfuffle with my fellow passengers! I then had to follow it downstairs, with a very red face, and announce that it was the button off my coat (and a very kind man scrambled under a seat to retrieve it).

It took a while for my red face to fade!

Even once I sew the buttons back on, I still won’t be able to do it up. So I have a winter coat but I can’t button it up...which sounds like it could be ok but I had to road test it yesterday in freezing cold weather and it’s not ok at all.

But the idea of buying a maternity winter coat that will just be for the time left this winter seems ludicrous. I tried to look around the high street yesterday to see what’s left in the sale (not much) and whether I could maybe get a coat that is a different, looser cut that I could wear in future, not just while I’m pregnant. Turns out that even though it’s still winter, don’t even contemplate buying winter coats at the end of January. As far as most shops are concerned, spring is here and coats are unnecessary!

I've spotted one that would be perfect, from Red Herring Maternity at Debenhams, and it’s a very reasonable £69. But I am still undecided. I think I may need to experience another week of zero degrees with a coat flapping around in the wind and see whether my resolve to not buy any ‘unnecessary’ maternity wear dissolves in that time!

Red Herring Maternity dark grey frill front swing jacket - £69

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A hint of spring

I know it can be really irritating at this time of year when we’re still in the depths of winter, covered in layer upon layer of clothing, and fashion magazines have already turned their attention to spring. Every magazine is bright and light and full of new season spring fashion. Yet out on the streets we’re still trudging around in our winter clothes, freezing cold and finding it difficult to remember what sunshine is (if you live in the UK you are, anyway!).

As much as I try to fight against it and not fixate on the next season when the current one is not done with yet, little by little my fashion thoughts start to turn to lighter clothes and being rid of the multiple layers. Even the idea of going out with just a blazer instead of a winter coat becomes joyful! Single layers of clothing...just a dress, without layers underneath and on’s almost mythical after so long buried in clothes!

And this week I received an email about the Asos ‘Spring Haze’ collection, a 70s influenced collection. I could just picture sunshine and warmth looking at the clothes. Some are divine and I’m itching to add them to my wardrobe (the spot mesh t-shirt in particular). And most of it is on sale – which is always a bonus!

I promise not to fixate on spring too early...this is just a momentary lapse until at least March!

Spot mesh t-shirt - £24 

Spot shirt dress - £35 (please try and ignore the ridiculous glasses!) 

Oversized woven panel shirt - £24  

Pleated sleeveless maxidress - £52

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Wearing black at weddings

I’ve had an email from an Edna reader – who is also pregnant – about the tricky question of how to wear black to a wedding.

She's bought this little beauty from Topshop which is quite Vivienne Westwood in its styling and she has a pale pink corsage to wear with it. This in itself will look gorgeous...but the wedding is next month, so a cover-up of some kind is needed. And what about other accessories...and should she try to brighten it up any further?

Whether you wear black to a wedding really depends on the type of wedding. An outdoor wedding in the height of summer may not be the time to bust out the head-to-toe black...not that this means you should fall head first into the dreaded ‘wedding pastels’ either!

But wedding dress codes have changed so much and what you wear really depends on the time of year, time of day and type of occasion. My wedding party was in the evening in a function room of a pub (Mr W has told me to point out that it was much fancier than this sounds!), so a head-to-toe black outfit was not something to raise a single eyebrow. And winter weddings often mean a different style of dressing anyway – so that you wear darker colours and richer fabrics.

I think the key is that if you choose to wear a black dress don’t feel the need to do everything in your power to brighten it up and make it something it’s not. Try to work with the dress, not against it. Even head-to-toe black can be softened by a mixture of patterns and textures – so perhaps patent leather shoes, heart print tights, a charcoal soft texture jacket, with a black feathered clutch (as with Outfit 1). The different textures lift the outfit so it’s not too goth!

Outfit 1


If you really don’t think head-to-toe black is the way to go for the wedding you’re attending, you can introduce colour and patterns but don’t suddenly opt for a fuchsia pink jacket, matching shoes and handbag just so it’s a bit brighter...unless you’re channeling a 1980s Conservative MP (Edwina Currie should not be your style icon here!)

If you’d like colour, I think softer, more muted colours look chic and work just as well against the black. You could even go for the classic Chanel-esque monochrome look and team the dress with a white blazer maybe in a beautiful soft silk mix for a bit of a 1970s feel. 

Soft tailoring for weddings can also stop your outfit looking too ‘just stepped out of a business meeting’ and looks very feminine.
And for weddings, as much as super high heels look lovely and elongate the legs, by 7pm they’ll have been kicked off and you’ll have your grubby feet on the ground! So I usually go for medium height heels...or wedges (especially when pregnant!).

I’ve shown four possible ways to dress the black dress, including a few accessories – though the big accessory is a pale pink corsage, so I’ve steered clear of too much else as you don’t want your accessories competing against each other.

Outfit 2
Urban Outfitters sheer dot tights – down to £5 in the sale

Outfit 3

KG by Kurt Geiger Loki metallic flats - £49 in sale, down from £120

I’ve only included jackets but another option would be to have a cardigan and belt it...but the difficulty is that with a bump you would need to try and belt it so that it’s more empire line and it’s difficult to know how well that would work with a dress that’s not of the same shape.

I've totally ignored the issue of what to wear over top of all this, as an overcoat is probably necessary at this time of year...but I figure it’s not the sort of thing you splash out on for a wedding and you make do with what you have and sling it off at the first opportunity!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Magical print scarf

Just when you started to think the worst of winter was behind us, temperatures drop and arses start getting frozen off again!
I’ve been living in my grey, slightly sparkly snood since I got it for Christmas but I do think I need to start diversifying a bit! Scarves are one of those wonderful pieces that are both functional but also can make an outfit. And there is a huge selection on the high really no excuse for living in the same one day in day out!
Black magical print frill scarf - £16
This week’s lust item is a wonderfully quirky printed scarf from Topshop. I love prints that often only become clear close-up and you notice amazing details like unicorns, teapots and mushrooms. And for me, it’s refreshing when I’m drawn to a print that’s neither a stripe or a leopard!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Owl of the New Year

I spotted this month’s owl of the month in Topshop this evening. I know, for someone who isn’t supposed to be shopping and spending money, what the hell am I doing on the high street two nights in a row?!

Tonight I was on a mission to find maternity tights and leggings – my winter layers are increasingly digging into my pregnant belly, so I hit the maternity departments of H&M and Topshop (and given I’ve just watched Mary Portas Secret Shopper, can report that H&M had huge queues everywhere and I was almost knocked over by an assistant being over-zealous/aggressive in manoeuvring a clothes rail through the shop! Topshop was on form, very nice, friendly staff and less than a minute to be served).

Anyway, the owl of January is this quirky ring, which is almost a cross between an owl and an alien. Brilliant! Probably something best saved for the evening, rather than a day in the office!

Owl ring - £12.50

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A blue for the January blues!

Over the weekend I took the decision to once again tackle my wardrobe. I’d reached a point when opening the doors every morning was totally uninspiring and I couldn’t find anything to wear, other than a handful of favourites.

So I culled - I packed away clothes into storage, dragged clothes out that needed the dry cleaners and also made decisions about clothes that are already starting to feel snug around the middle and are only going to get worse. I now have three suitcases full of clothes in storage (though admittedly that includes all my summer clothes)!

I also made the decision that anything left in my wardrobe was going to start to get worn. No more dresses languishing unloved and unworn in my wardrobe...everything in there is going to get a regular outing!

And I’ve put it into practice this week – for two days in a row I’ve worn dresses that haven’t seen the light of day for some time.

Today’s outfit divided Mr W and do lots of my outfits, in fact! He was unconvinced by the blue frock. We were in Zara earlier this evening and I was trying on coats in the middle of the shop. He said everyone else was dressed in muted greys, browns and blacks...and I stood there in my ‘electric blue’ dress looking like I was on my way home from a rave!! It’s not electric blue...and I think now and again bright colours help to lift a miserable mood and day! A life only in greys and browns would be a very dull existence!

My outfit is an old Cos dress, my new Uniqlo cardigan, polka dot M&S tights, frog necklace from the Laden Showroom and a bracelet from Pilgrim jewellery (and a present from my lovely sister).

I'm also wearing my bargain of the January Kurt Geiger boots, bought for £45 on My Wardrobe and down from £150 (and, as I saw this evening, still on sale for £99 in the Liberty sale!).

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New year nails

I’ve blogged before about Topshop make-up, mainly because the packaging is so pretty and I’m drawn to superficial things like that!! I was, admittedly, disappointed with a lip crayon I purchased from the range because it only lasted about a week...I loved the colour but not it’s longevity! But I bought a blusher at the same time which is still going strong and doing it’s best to put some colour in my cheeks and banish my winter cadaver-like complexion!
I was having a quick look on the site tonight and have totally fallen for a lot of their nail polishes. Even though my nails tend to border on the ok/chipped & knackered looking, I'm still obsessed with nail polishes and have far too many of them and always seem to be on the look out for more. I think the blue ‘Nails in Cloud’ polish is next on the list!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

New year, new accessories

Pregnancy has already had an impact on my lust items of the week. It’s difficult to contemplate buying clothes at the moment when I don’t know how long they will fit...and then how long they'll reside in the cupboard, neglected, until I can one day get into them again...hopefully!

Instead, I find myself obsessed with accessories...and at least accessories help to freshen up what you’ve already got in your wardrobe. This is something fresh in my mind this evening after a three hour session trying to sort out my wardrobe and once again being reminded that I have an epic amount of clothing and only wear a fraction of it! I can feel some sort of new years resolution forming...
A new pair of ankle boots can suddenly make dresses that have been hanging forlorn in your wardrobe look right again and ready for an outing. As can a beautiful piece of jewellery, such as this week’s lust item.

Surrounded double roped grape bracelet by Brook&Lyn - $85 (about £54)
I cannot remember how I came across the Brook&Lyn site. I think the designer was mentioned on Twitter and I looked at her blog and liked her style and loved her jewellery. She’s based in the USA but they do seem to ship internationally, so the jewellery is within reach.

As much as I love the necklaces, what I am really lusting after is a bracelet (my statement piece with the new blouse, black trousers, & red lips outfit!).

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

New season blouses

For someone who has lived in dresses for years, with only the occasional foray into separates, I have oddly found myself obsessed with blouses. All I seem to be looking at in shops at the moment are blouses and its variants. I keep imagining myself looking chic but with a little quirk like this photo from Garance Dore or channeling a little Jill Sander SS11 like this.

I’ve had an urge to streamline my look a little and want chic black trousers, with a loose silk blouse tucked in, a statement bracelet and maybe a bit of leopard print via my handbag...oh, and either bright red lips or nails!

However, given that I’m on the path to getting a bigger and bigger pregnancy bump, I’m not sure how ‘streamlined’ my look is going to be! But I do know that when I eventually buy a few maternity pieces, black trousers and a blouse will be on the list...perhaps even the Topshop number featured below!

Other blouses that have been catching my eye…

Zara printed blouse with bow - £22.99 

Asos pussybow blouse - £30

Topshop maternity feather print open back blouse - £36

Topshop navy sheer spot shirt - £38

Oasis parasol print blouse - £40

Warehouse animal print swing blouse - £40

Reiss military shirt - £55 (down from £110)

Whistles Ginny shirt - £95
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