Outfit: TBT – Making No Effort At All

Black Beach 5

Oh, how much I wanted to be on holiday today!

That lovely Spring cheer I’ve been going on about? Gone. Hopefully just temporarily, but it’s rained solid for 2 days, it’s cold again, and worked sucked today. So I haven’t been in the best mood. Especially since the last couple of weeks have been so lovely! How cruel the British weather can be, giving you all that hope but bringing out the sunshine, then snatching it away again at the drop of a hat! I’d actually gotten my mac back out and was considering packing my boots away for a while, but no, looks like I’ll be getting a bit more wear out of them yet. All that bright sunlight last week had had me hankering for my Summer frocks and bare legs, so much so that I found myself flicking through my photos from our June holiday – big mistake. I was already yearning for a bit of warmth, so looking back at these pictures just made me want another holiday so much it almost hurt! It looks so warm! And I look so relaxed! I’d kill to be back there right now, far away from rain and work and all those irritating people that seem intent on spoiling my day.

Another thing that I want back from these photos? That incredible ability of a holiday to make you feel a million bucks even when you’ve just scraped your hair back and thrown on an ancient Primark smock! I am not looking good at the moment. The damp air is playing havoc with my hair, my skin is all pale and dry and I’m feeling particularly tired and pasty – not exactly a confidence booster! Even on the days when I got up early enough to make a bit of an effort I end up looking like a bedraggled, drowned rat by the time I get to the office, and some days, as I step into the hideous strip lighting of the lift on my way home, I catch sight of myself in the mirror and can’t help thinking ‘OH MY GOD, WHO IS THAT OLD LADY???’ Yep, I’m in serious need of a bit of vitamin D, that’s for sure. Just look at me in these pics – I’m nearly a stone heavier, clearly made zero effort getting ready, and yet I look as happy as can be. Literally, could not give a crap about my hair, or the size of my belly or the fact I haven’t straightened my hair. The power of a tan and some R & R!

P1000474BlackBeach1Black Beach 7Black Beach 2Black Beach 6Black Beach 4Black Beach 3P1000483

PLEASE TAKE ME BACK TO CRETE, MY SANITY DEPENDS ON IT!! Ok, maybe not my sanity, maybe just my complexion. Still though…. priorities…..!




Saturday Shopping – Cute Cropped Cardigans @ Collectif

Despite the fact I own so many 50’s style full skirts and dresses, I only actually own one cropped cardigan. Just one! This isn’t so bad in the Winter, when I can tuck my cardigan into the waistband or layer over a dress with a cinched in belt. But in the Spring or Summer when a cardigan is simply a cover up rather than a key part of your outfit, only having regular length cardigans becomes problematic. I normally end up tying them at the waist, or even forgoing one altogether in the hopes it will stay warm – not likely in England even at the height of Summer! Yep, a cropped cardigan is the bread and butter of the retro fashion fan’s wardrobe, so it’s about time I resolved this problem.

That problem is exactly what I was pondering this morning while doing my usual Saturday morning browse, and no sooner had I hit Collectif I started to wonder if they’d somehow wiretapped my head and were listening to my very thoughts, because there before me unfolded a whole darn array of them! I often have this suspicion about Collectif, to be fair, but their timing this time really is uncanny. Only problem now is, how many which one should I buy??

I’m particularly enamoured with the sugary sweet teal and pink combinations, which seems to be somewhat of a theme in their newest collection, but those darling pearl buttons on both the Jessie’s are also tugging at my heartstrings somewhat. Decisions, decisions! You can find all these and more here….

Which one would you go for?




Fantasy Friday – Christian Louboutin Pigalle Follies Calf Caviar Cerise

Well, I don’t know about you, but over here in The Midlands Spring has finally sprung for sure – the sun has been shining, the sky is blue, the cherry trees are all in bloom. It’s blinkin’ lovely truth be told and hasn’t half improved my mood! I’ve mentioned on several occasions before how badly I suffer from SAD, and all this brightness and daylight and flora and fauna sprouting everywhere is having a really positive effect. I just can’t stop smiling! I almost skipped into work today, and let me tell you, I don’t often do that…! It’s not just me though, everyone I know seems to have had their spirits cheered in the last few weeks and there is a sense of happiness and frivolity and the promise of fun in the air that is just darn infectious.

So infectious, in fact, that even the like of Monsieur Louboutin himself seem to have caught the bug! Just look at these:

Pigalle Follies Cherry
Pigalle Follies Calf Caviar Cerise, Christian Louboutin, £495

Have you ever seen a shoe that summed up the start of Spring quite so well, I ask you? I certainly haven’t! I’m a huge fan of cherry prints anyway as they embody that playful, retro ‘pin up’ style so well, but these are something else – all the style and glamour of the Pigalle style but with a young and fresh makeover, I’m quite frankly bowled over. It’s not often I’d be so enamoured with a white shoe, or even something quite so kitsch (erm, dinosaur handbags aside….) but just how darling is that print against the iconic red sole? I don’t think I could resist going full on 50’s in pairing them with a white sundress and a slick of red lippy, but they’d work equally well with a classic jeans and cami combo. Simply adorable, I think that’s the best adjective for these – adorable.




Outfit: The Tea Dress to End All Tea Dresses

WARNING: It might be Spring already, but those awful indoor outfit shots aren’t quite over…. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You know how I’m always going on about how much I love tea dresses? Well, you probably haven’t absorbed that much to be fair, I know most of the time when I’m talking most people just hear ‘Blah, blah, blah, tea dresses….. blah, blah, blah, my dog…… blah, blah, blah, more tea dresses, blah, blah…..’ Anyway, if you have been listening out there, you won’t have failed to notice that a tea dress in the winter is  pretty much like uniform to me. I even wrote this post about wearing one every day of the week once! On those mornings when I wake up and it’s dark and grey and I don’t feel like going outside it’s just so easy to throw one on over a pair of tights and still look as though you’ve made an effort!

It’s no wonder they’ve remained a constant in the fashion world since they first appeared in the 40’s thanks to their versatility, but these days they come in so many shapes and styles that finding the right one can be tricky. I should know, I’ve sampled an absurd amount of them! The more classic styles with a longer hemline can have a tendency to look a little frumpy on some, and some are just so darn short they actually border on obscene, losing that demure, vintage aesthetic I love so much. Thankfully I have managed to track down the perfect one though, and isn’t it just always the way – it’s actually an ancient Primark number that I’ll have no hope in hell of replacing if it ever gives up on me!

Tea 1Tea 3Tea 4Tea 6Tea 7Tea 2Tea 5

I absolutely love everything about this dress, from the sweet leaf print to the cute puffed sleeves. It’s an extremely flattering cut which skims over any lumps and bumps just so, and while the shape and details are typical of an authentic 40’s frock, the more modern length is just right on me. Seriously, I don’t know what I’ll do if this frock ever dies on me! Oh wait, of course I do, I’ll stalk it forevermore on eBay and moan about it right here! You’d better cross your fingers the dress lasts, people….



In this post: Tea Dress, Primark (Similar) – Ankle Boots, New Look (Similar)



Pssst…! Sale Tips – VIP Week @ Dorothy Perkins

Good old Dotty P’s. Not often a store I think of as one of the most exciting in the world. It’s the kind of place I shop for basics or work wear usually. A good old reliable. Still, it’s earnt it’s place in my list of ‘worth a visit’ places when I’m on the lookout for something new, and for good reason. Firstly, it’s very affordable, and stocks things that are, let’s say, realistic to a person like me who is in no way a stick thin 22 year old who can pull off anything – the hemlines are sensible, the fabric is normally of good quality and not likely to cling on any surplus lumps and bumps, and it isn’t the kind of shopping environment that makes you feel too old and uncool to shop there (i.e it isn’t oppressively hot, full of super trendy styles not many people can actually wear and with music so loud and up tempo you wonder if you accidentally wandered into a club – yes Topshop, I’m looking at you!). Secondly, there are a few pieces that I’ve bought over the years that are so loved I’d happily, and often do, buy a new one every time it’s released in another colour. I own their Eden jeggings in 4 colours and will continue to buy them till they no longer exist. They have an incredible ability to create the perfect, floaty, work blouse – I have 3 in white, mint and nude and wish to god I could fit some more on my clothes rail – and they also seem to have the same knack for creating cami top that fit just right. In short, while they probably wouldn’t be the first place I’d think of if I was in the market for a new party frock (which may actually be a mistake since online you can now get Paper Dolls, Chi Chi and plenty of their own gorgeous prom style dresses) it will definitely remain a firm favourite that I’d miss terribly if it disappeared (which it actually has in Birmingham City Centre, with only concessions in department stores left – please come back Dotty P!)

My all time favourite thing about Dorothy Perkins though? They must be one of the most generous Brands out there when it comes to promotions, with VIP and Fashion Week discounts offered regularly throughout the year! This week was one such week, with 25% off everything – YES EVERYTHING – for the whole week, and I’m mightily irritated with myself for not noticing sooner as it ends tonight! Perfect jeggings and prom dresses aside I’ve been mostly drooling over their oodles of pink and coral offerings thanks to the feel of Spring in the air, but there is plenty to choose from so head over QUICKLY if you want to take advantage!

Top Row L-R: Coral Bardot Top, £9, Billie & Blossom Spot Dress, £24, Billie & Blossom Floral Dress, £26.25, Camisole, £10.50, Cardigan, £12

Second Row L-R: Clutch Bag, £10.50, Bag, £18.75, Paper Dolls Dress, £37.50, Prom Dress, £33.75, Glitter Shoes, £36

Third Row L-R: Waterfall Jacket, £22.50, Lace Bardot Top, £12, Lace Top, £16.50, Blush Mac, £36.75Blush Trousers, £16.50

Bottom Row L-R: Floral Prom Dress, £33.75, Gold Sandals, £18.75, Blush Skirt, £18.75, Floral Trousers, £16.50, Vest, £10.50

Please don’t buy all the Eden’s though – I need those bad boys in my life!




My Small Boobs and Me


When I was 18 I wanted bigger boobs.

Not crazy big ones, big boobs back then were not what they are now. A double D cup was considered more than ample in those days. Then along came the likes of Jordan and, well the rest is history, as they say… So anyway, I wasn’t after boobs as big as my head or anything, but I definitely wanted more in the bust department. So much so, that for a while I did ponder cosmetic surgery and how I might go about getting the money to do it.

Growing up I was always a skinny child. My arms and legs were a bit too gangly for my body and I was straight up and down. I had knobbly knees and tiny bird-like wrists and ankles and hip bones that jutted out well into my 20’s. Some people seem to think being slim as a teen must mean you had no issues with your image growing up, that you were saved from any mean jokes or jibes and that you must have had an easy time of it, but that just isn’t true. Kids are mean, whatever you look like, and being thin didn’t give me a free pass. I was teased just as much as the next girl, and the easiest thing for them to pick on was my lack of cleavage!

There really was a lack of it too – to be honest, my boobs didn’t really come in till I was about 25! I tried all the usual tricks – push up bras, chicken fillets, good old fashioned bra stuffing – but there was no fooling anyone – there just wasn’t anything there to work with. When I bent down in a flimsy top I wasn’t risking flashing a bit of nipple – you could see all the way down to my knickers for christs sake! Yep, I was as flat as an ironing board. And that meant just one thing to my peers. Boys loved boobs, therefore no boobs meant you couldn’t possibly be attractive, and as much as I’d love to say I was bigger (LOLZ) than that, rose above it and scoffed at their immaturity, I of course soon enough believed they were probably right.

During those years I was not capable of seeing the positives. That I seemed to be blessed with clear skin and had never really had to worry about spots. That I could eat whatever I wanted and never had to be that girl that was always on a diet. That, actually, I was a perfectly ordinary looking person full stop and not the freakish proportions I’d convinced myself to be. All I could focus on was the vast expanse of skin where my cleavage was supposed to be, and I truly thought I’d be far happier in life if only I had boobs.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing though, and these days I could not feel more different. Those days where I could eat what I wanted and sit on my ass all weekend and never put a pound on are looooong gone. I laugh at the younger me who went through a phase of drinking slimming shakes on top of my meals in the hopes I might gain weight – because like a numpty I assumed I would gain it evenly all over and transform into a perfect hourglass shape over night! Oh how I miss that washboard stomach! My boobs did come in the end, and although they’re still a modest size I thank my lucky stars I didn’t tinker with nature and get them done.

There are the classic reasons. It’s nice to wear a slinky camisole without having to worry about bra straps. It’s undoubtedly easier to buy pretty undies when you are smaller in the bust department. I’ll never know that awkward irritation when a man addresses my chest instead of my face, and don’t even get me started on the obvious benefits when running for a bus…..! But there is more to it than that. Whereas back when I was younger I associated breasts with what made you attractive, now I have the opposite fear – I don’t want people to find me attractive because of what I have in my bra. And they just wouldn’t be ‘me’. It’s not that I think they aren’t attractive – I can appreciate a beautiful pair as much as the next person – I’m just not sure I could carry them off. I kind of like being a Wallpaper Wendy and blending into the background (yes me, the girl in a full skirt and heels on a Tuesday afternoon…..) I’m just not sure I could handle the attention an ample bust might bring. I’m already the kind of person who feels like maybe they should apologise for their presence, imagine if I had a huge rack? I’d probably feel the need to announce them as I entered a space, like ‘Oh hi everyone. Here I am. And here are my boobs!’ as if alerting people to their presence might help address the elephant in the room, so to speak. Nope, we’re a happy pairing these days, my small boobs and me.

Although, it is annoying that I can’t wear Lindy Bop’s Ophelia or Vanessa dresses… Seriously Lindy Bop, could you do a girl a favour and stop releasing them in gorgeous new prints every 5 minutes? It’s like sartorial torture!



Fantasy Friday – Kate Spade Whimsies Bags

You know that feeling when you’ve spent your whole life looking for the perfect dinosaur handbag, and finally you spot it??

Erm, well no, me neither actually. Because who thinks they need a dinosaur handbag really? It’s not exactly the first thing that springs to mind when you think of themes for accessories. I can’t really think of an occasion when you’re putting an outfit together and think to yourself, ‘Now, what handbag? Hmmmm. I really feel like a Stegosaurus would go well with these shoes…. If only that was a thing, a Stegosaurus bag.’ But then Kate Spade goes and makes these, and everything changes:

Kate Spade Whimsies Bags, £340


AND WHY DO I SUDDENLY THINK DINOSAURS ARE CUTE??? Dinosaurs are big, scary, toothy, bitey things! Or you know, something a 6 year old boy would like.

Well, these particular dinosaurs are really cute to be fair. They have faces. And look like they should have names. And they are pastel coloured. And I hate myself for it, but I want them. Maybe not to use, maybe just to sit on a shelf and look pretty, but I want them all the same. Both of them, of course. They are clearly a pair and couldn’t possibly be split up…..

Dalmatians aside, I’ve never actually been a huge fan of novelty, kitsch accessories, though I think that might be changing – I bought this handbag for my bestie for Christmas and found myself feeling a little jealous it wasn’t for me. And I have always been quite fond of Collectif’s famous strawberry bag.

But still, dinosaurs? Really??

Maybe I’ve finally reached the stage where Kate Spade could slap her name on a bin bag and I’d still want it. Or maybe dinosaur handbags are actually the new best thing you never knew you needed?

Or maybe I just need to have a stiff gin and take myself off to bed before I decide I also want dinosaur shoes….. I’ll leave you to ponder that one!



Outfit: Wearing White in Winter

Leather Lace 5

So, apparently, you can’t wear white after Labor Day (basically from September onwards to us Brits).

True fact, people. If you do, you will get arrested, or die, or be unlucky in love for the rest of days, or something like that anyway.

Obviously that won’t really happen, because hey, guess what? It’s just another day. It makes no freaking difference what colour (or lack of colour!) you choose to wear – it’s just another one of those stupid rules someone made up once that for some reason we continue to pedal out as if it were gospel. Even though it’s a ‘rule’ that began in the US, we seem to follow suite here in the UK too, as the stores pretty much consistently turn their backs on anything other than black and grey clothes once the Autumn hits – I wrote a bit of a moan about it here. Admittedly, white is a great Summer shade, and I guess it probably began for practical reasons – wearing white does carry a slight risk, in the UK anyway, when the weather takes a turn for the work and you find yourself navigating the commute to work through rain and slush and the smog of city life. However, I’m the kind of person who will manage to soil pretty much any white garment within 10 minutes of adorning it, rain or shine, so what the heck, I might as well wear it all year round!

I’d actually go as far as saying I’m a real fan of wearing white in Winter. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not about to don a flowing white maxi to take the dog for a muddy walk in the park or anything, in fact the idea of pristine white fabric trailing through a dirty puddle makes me twitch a little. But a crisp white shirt or dress paired with black is a look I think looks really sharp, so I wasn’t afraid to pull out that white lace dress I bought last month to wear on our recent trip to Bicester, despite the grey, dreary weather we had that day!

This was a second hand bargain I scored off eBay, originally from H&M. I actually stumbled across it by chance looking for the green one that I bought around the same time, as forest green is a common occurrence in my Winter wardrobe, but I was struck by how pretty the pattern in the lace was so threw a casual opening bid in there and lucked out (this is a game I like to play with myself when I know I shouldn’t really be buying MORE STUFF but I spot something I really like. I simply enter the starting bid amount, then try to forget about it until it ends – if no-one else bids I can make myself feel better by telling myself it was an absolute bargain, and if I miss out I can tell myself it wasn’t meant to be! It’s a dangerous game sometimes though – I don’t recommend playing while drunk for example, who knows what might turn up in the post…!) Despite just challenging how ridiculous it is to suggest you can’t wear white at this time of year, white lace in particular is a rather Summery thing to wear usually – here is my last foray just to demonstrate! – so I was a little uncertain whether or not I could make this work, but you know me, I’ll always have a go! It was less because it was white though, having plenty of experience with H&M frocks I knew it would be far, far shorter than I usually have the confidence to wear, so would have to be worn with tights – but I’m really happy with how it turned out! Monochromatic black and white outfits always have a bit of a sixties vibe to me, and I love how the leather jacket ‘toughens up’ the dress making it seem a little less prim and girly.

Leather Lace 3Leather Lace 6Leather Lace 2Leather Lace 4Leather Lace 1

So Winter whites remain a thumbs up from me! How about you?



In this post: White Lace Dress, H&M (Similar) – Leather Jacket, Oasis – ‘Deanna’ Handbag, Dune (Similar) – Ankle Boots, New Look (Similar)


Unlikely Lust Haves – Marks & Spencers

Hands up who thinks M&S is just for old ladies?

Admit it, you do. Maybe not for everything – we all love a Dine in for £10 treat for dinner every now and then, and who can resist stocking up on Percy Pigs at the till? Not me! But for fashion? Definitely for old ladies. Or at least your Mum (Do not tell my Mum I mentioned her in the same sentence I said ‘old lady’, or I will be subject to a painful death and I swear I will take you down with me!) It’s ok, I do too, and I’m someone who really hates being told I have to shop certain places because of my age. Rightly or wrongly, M&S has always had a bit of a reputation for just being a bit ‘past it’ when it comes to their clothing range, and even I have to admit I’m guilty of harbouring the same preconceptions, no matter how many jazzy Christmas adverts and revamps they do.

Recently though, as I pass through on my way to the foodhall (seriously, Percy Pigs, cannot stop eating them) I find myself stopping to look at the odd piece more and more. Admittedly, I haven’t bought anything yet, but I’m starting to feel a little more confident that I might actually find something to spend those vouchers I get every Christmas on something other than food (ok, £10 worth of Percy Pigs….).

Like this, for example:

Rose Dress
Bodycon Dress, £39.50

This rather attractive rose print wiggle dress is just the kind of thing I’d wear. In fact, if it was by Lindy Bop or Collectif, I’d probably have posted about it already!

And this:

Green Dress
Emerald Dress, £79

It’s green, it’s 50’s shaped – it’s basically me in a dress. I would never in a million years have expected to see a frock like this in Marks & Sparks, yet here it is, in all it’s emerald green glory, making me wish it was hanging in my closet!

It doesn’t just stop at big frocks, there are big skirts too, which we already know are my kryptonite. Take this one for example:

Jacquard Skirt
Jacquard Skirt, £49.50

Lovely full shape, jaunty little bow, expensive looking jacquard fabric – pretty perfect if you ask me.

And it gets better:

Floral Skirt
Floral Skirt, £59

Now this one is a stunner! That bold floral print is just gorgeous! If only they sold nice shoes too, and maybe I’d consider myself a customer for life.

Oh wait……!

Bow Shoes
Bow Shoes, £49.50

Now we’re talking! These are right up my street – that sweet pastel colour and huge, stylish bow jumped right out at me the moment I landed on the footwear page. They also come in a classic black and a bright, sunny coral (which I also love) and now I’m starting to wonder why the hell I wasted all those darn vouchers on stupid Percy Pigs!

Lastly, another thing I forget about M&S is that they have a pretty extensive beauty range, and as much as I like to think it’s all Royal Jelly and lavender scented soap, I have to admit that things have moved on in a big way, especially since the launch of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s range. I first laid my hands on a piece at Christmas when my Mum bought their advent calendar – a nudey-pink coloured lip crayon. I really didn’t want to like it – because seriously, is she even from this planet because I don’t think it’s actually possible to be that freaking beautiful – but I was instantly struck by the pretty rose gold packaging, and fell in love with it the moment it was on my lips. It’s thick, creamy texture felt luxurious rather than sticky, and the pretty pinkish hue (Supermodel Smile, if you’re interested) was just the right nude tone to look natural yet glowing. At just £12.50 it is also far cheaper than my usual favourite Clinique Chubby Sticks, so I will most definitely be stocking up on some more, and will be trying out some of her Lipsticks and Lip Shines soon!

So there you have it! Marks & Spencers – more than just bra’s and pasta salad! Next time I’m in the market for a big skirt (which is, you know, ALWAYS) I’ll be sure not to overlook faithful old M&S.



P.S – Percy – I’m sorry I said you were stupid. You’re not stupid, you’re the most delicious farm-yard animal themed treat I know. You know I can’t resist you, you and your fizzy, curly tails! I still love you – please forgive me?

P.P.S – Oh yeah, Mum, I’m also sorry about the old lady thing…..