Showing posts with label Clarks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarks. Show all posts

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Does anyone else dislike slippers as much as I do? If so, how about these as an alternative?

Slippers? Yuck. Don't shoot me down in flames but nope, I am not a slipper fan. I think that it comes from feeling "undressed" if I'm wearing slippers - as if I'm about to go to bed and that's not good, especially if it's part way through the day. They don't really finish an outfit off.  If anything they kill it off. Huge socks are preferable to slippers in my view but they lower the tone of your outfit too. Did you know that there's an equation for slippers? Well there is and I really didn't just make it up:

OK outfit + slippers = totally ruined outfit PLUS you're wearing slippers  

I do have a pair of ankle height Uggs that I wear indoors but it's not quite cold enough for those yet. So currently I'm wearing my Stan Smiths inside and really that's not so good, largely because they come outside with me too. No, what is needed is a "house shoe". And skater style trainers make the perfect slipper alternative with my Topshop pure cashmere tracksuit bottoms (£250) that you will find me wearing about 90% of the time in the evenings*.

*Did I say pure cashmere tracksuit bottoms? In my dreams! Crikey I'd trash those before I'd managed to tuck my tummy in them. No, what I mean is these Topshop neppy joggers (£25), which I do wear a lot when I've done for the day. Interestingly the 3 reviews on the site all give them 5 out of 5. They are lovely - warm and fleecy inside plus they come in different colours and also in the petite and tall ranges too.

Anyway, until the time comes that I need to resort to the Uggs, I may well be heading towards the Marks and Spencer children's department for these slip on shoes (£18) which will work really well with my (non-cashmere) joggers and a chunky polo neck jumper. This style will also make a jumpsuit work inside the house, as well as tapered style trousers and jeans. So whilst they may not be your first choice of footwear with these clothes when going outside, they're a whole tonne better than slippers inside.

I know that these Clarks glove candy shoes (£30 in the sale) will be a real marmite item but I really like the combination of the colours. They tap into my obsession with grey felt and they just feel a bit Scandi. I'm going to nip into town tomorrow and try them on. They may not work at all but that's all part of the fun.

And surprise, surprise, I really like these Mint Velvet charcoal glitter Alice trainers (£89), also available at John Lewis. It's all in the sparkle of course, rather than the price - but perhaps they could be one for the sale. 

Some of you may already have skater trainers from the summer which you could revive as a slipper alternative. But for now, I'm off to investigate....

PS By the way, did I tell you that I don't like slippers?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Diamonds in the (white) soles of her shoes...

Outfit: Jigsaw boyfriend jeans and Next mono point shoe, both current (although I can't find a link to the Next shoes right now), Mango jacket, LK Bennett bag, Whistles jumper (not so current)! 

I can't promise you diamonds in the soles of your shoes but I can promise you white soled shoes.

Each season there are the main trends and then there are the sub-trends and within those trends, the micro-trends. This season white soled shoes are everywhere. I've not read anything about them - not that I can recall anyway - so in that sense they're not a main trend but in the same way that a few seasons ago all dresses suddenly seemed to have exposed zips, many styles of shoes also come with white soles. I love them for their fresh, modern look.

If they haven't already, no doubt white soled shoes will now jump out at you wherever you are but for now, here are just a few examples of what's around at the moment...


I love a good brogue and the addition of a white sole has given them the update that they needed. Whistles has the Fayley shoe (£150) and there is a similar style at Dune (£69) which are peppered with holes - lovely and spring like!


Clarks has the Griffin Milly (£45) which comes in a few different colour ways. There are similar at Dune which come in a lovely shade of yellow. Again, a loafer is a very classic style and the white sole makes all the difference, making them fresher and lighter.

Skater trainers

Clarks have this Coll Beach shoe in pale yellow (£55). I tried them on earlier today (see below) and whilst they came up quite wide on me, they have the potential to be very comfortable. A real "go to" spring shoe if you're more of a casual, laid back, trouser kind of girl.


There's the Draedia from Aldo (£50), which I have and which I'm quite fond of but sadly the weather hasn't facilitated in the wearing of these. The style has been around for ages but more in a "buy them from a rack hanging on the beach front" type of way, rather than a silver, sparkly type of way. The great thing about Aldo is that they do a 4.5 and 5.5, which is handy.

Another example is the Dina sandal from Miss KG (£55) - again more white soles but this time mixed with a lovely bright pink.


Kurt Geiger has the Krypton style (£110) and I've seen others in Dune, Primark and Carvela.

So, there we go. Not a terribly obvious trend but something that seems to have slowly crept up on us. It's something that's very accessible to us all and a quick wardrobe update, plus a whole load of sensible looking shoes have suddenly started to look a whole lot more attractive and that's never a bad thing.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The five "go with everything" pieces for spring/summer that will last year after year...

There are a few things that come around each spring/summer that will go with pretty much everything and will come to your rescue on many occasions. Whilst that's also true of plain white T's and such like, I couldn't face a wardrobe full of them, so I wanted to bring you things that you would look at and really like - not only because they do a great job but because they are also lovely in their own right.

None of this is revolutionary and I'm slightly concerned that  it will come across as patronising but for those not in a position to start from scratch every season, these should last for years.  And going back to basics is never a bad thing. Sometimes it's about shopping smarter not harder and having a good plan of attack, rather than a random scatter gun approach. The pieces that I have suggested may need to be tweaked to suit your own shape but hopefully they should act as a guide....

1. The go with everything necklace...

This one is from Jigsaw and costs £49. I realise that's on the pricey side for an everyday necklace but with its neutral colour this one works with so many things and it will still look good in ten years time. It has a lovely sparkle about it which is just enough but not too much for those who don't like full on bling.

2. The go with everything top...

Remember I said this post wasn't revolutionary? Well this is one such top that is anything but revolutionary but it has stood the test of time and can be worn with anything from jeans to silky track pants and heels, to a printed skirt or with cut offs on the beach. It's one of those pieces that straddles the generations, social events and budget without blinking an eye. Over the years my favourite ones have come from H&M (£12.99 - top) and Jigsaw (£39 - bottom).

3. The other go with everything top...

Tops can be tricky little fellas. They may be OK for work but not for home, and vice versa, for wearing in the evening but not the day time and some are hugely expensive. So a lace top like this one from Warehouse (£36) (or something similar as the one I was after initially has sold out) transcends all of those beautifully. If you can think of something working with both cut-offs and also at a wedding, then you know that you're on to a winner.

4. The go with everything shoe...

A tan shoe is another great summer "go with everything" piece whether it's worn with rolled up boyfriend jeans or a pretty dress. With all things 70s being so huge, they're having even more of a moment than usual. I like tan because it works so well with lots of base colours and it's less harsh than black but a white shoe can work really well too.

I like these from Clarks (£65) which are very Hobbs NW3 looking in their appearance. Some prefer more of a covered sandal for work and these offer that. They are also heading slightly towards a peep toe boot style which we've seen more of over the past couple of summer seasons, so whilst it's a slightly different look to get one's head around, I think that this style will be here to stay.

For a white option, the Nancy sandal from Topshop (£45) are pretty good.  They also come in black - for those who can't be persuaded by tan or white.  

5. The go with everything jersey blazer

For my final item it was a bit tricky to know whether to go with a pair of trousers, a skirt, a dress or a blazer but in the end I've gone with a jersey blazer because it's good for in or out of work and it can do such a great job of lifting outfits, making them look that one notch smarter than what may lie beneath! Add in a printed scarf and some sunglasses and all will be well with the world.

I like this Whistles one (£95) but GAP and Next usually have some good jersey options too, which aren't too expensive. The Whistles 25% discount (WH25SS15) is still valid.

And I wanted to include this just because I love it. I saw it in Cos (£135) earlier in the week and loved it because of it's stripes and also because it has a pink stripe down the back which is so pretty. I thought that  I might be able to sneak it in as my "go with everything" coat but I know that some would baulk at a striped coat, so I'll leave it on the sidelines for now!

Monday, 9 March 2015

One to ponder - orthopaedic looking sandals - will you or won't you?

It started with the return of Birkenstocks last summer and since then things have gone from bad to worse. I think that there's a conspiracy in the fashion world. Their aim is to see how many suckers can be persuaded to wear their hideously ugly sandals, whilst thinking that they're stylish.

Well I, for one, am prepared to hold myself out as one such sucker because I really like (some of) them - although I'm not quite sure how it has happened. I'm always a fan of a comfortable shoe and somehow, the gentle exposure to them, the systematic de-sensitisation of ugly shoes in the same way that it is used as therapy to combat someone's fear of spiders, has worked.

Dresses that I previously though I was going to part with are now taking on a new lease of life (in my head at least) with the addition of a pair of sandals such as these. A tan and pedicure are mandatory I think to pull these off. Non hairy legs would help too. Urrgh. Now I'm coming back to thoughts of hairy spiders. Yuk.  So a quick whizz through what is out there reveals these beauties...

The topshop humidity sandal (£26) is a relatively inexpensive option for anyone first dipping their (perfectly pedicured) toe into this style of sandal.

The Holly velcro sandal Whistles (£140) is not an inexpensive option but I think that I may try them for research purposes only...

The New Look embellished ankle strap sandal (£15.99) comes in three different colours and is heading towards a flat form sandal - a style that has been trying for several years to take off in a major way but which hasn't quite managed yet. A bit like tofu really.

Whilst the top three styles are different to this silver Birkenstock (£44.95) these are really where it all began. Right now I've run out of things to say. It happens sometimes - not often - but these have left me speechless.

Good old Clarks have jumped on the comfy, ugly shoe, bandwagon with the Clarks moon sandal (£50) - which sounds like it should be worn around a camp fire whilst wearing cheese cloth - not that I'm dissing that. Sounds like fun to me, especially if marshmallows are involved.

The Clarks slider (£52) are slightly more fashion forward - really they are the Clarks take on the Birkenstock.

In all honesty I'm not sure where that leaves me. What do you all think? I like to be open minded because otherwise we get stuck in that big old fashion rut of "I can't, I won't, I did it before so I can't do it again, I'm too old, it's just not me" etc and before we know it we wear the same things year after year. On the other hand not every trend should be followed slavishly. Then again, comfortable shoes should never be sniffed at. So on balance I'm coming down in favour of the first three styles. As to the last three - maybe not. Until I go and buy some tomorrow of course....

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A zesty yellow and white outfit combination....


Although I work every day, I don't work with clients every day. Some days are spent planning and shopping for events, returning clothes, writing, responding to new enquiries and liaising with brands and companies. When those days arrive I don't need to dress in the same way that I do when working with clients, so that opens up a whole new wardrobe to me of dress down items.

Clearly today was one of those days and I looked to my favourite battered (not in the fish & chip sense) jeans, Topshop yellow T-shirt and white Zara jacket. I love a white and yellow combo as it's so fresh. In fact I'm such a fan of yellow at the moment that I'm trying to work a little more of it into our kitchen.  On raiding the cupboards I found a couple of storage tins from Selfridges which have the requisite yellow lids but other than that all I have come up with are a rubber duck and a tube of tennis balls. I don't think that I'm quite there yet.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Creased chic - it's about time that it came into fashion!

Repeat after me: "My name is Beth and I am addicted to buying cushions."

"There is help for you out there Mother, you just need to admit to your problem first."

Wise words indeed from the 15 year old as I revealed that the large Santa type sack that I had just collected contained cushions. However in my defence I only buy cushions when the sun is shining, so it's clearly not really that often at all. And anyway, I haven't decided whether I'm keeping them yet.

Anyway, cushions aside, sometimes it's just nice to throw on an oversized shirt, some fitted trousers (both from GAP), a pendant necklace (Jigsaw) and be done with it for the day. I realise that by this time in the day I look slightly crumpled but hey, what's a few creases between friends? It's about time that "creased chic" became a look anyway. It would save a fortune both in time and money when it comes to ironing. Speaking of which, I also received a parcel containing a new ironing board cover and the happiness that it brought me was ridiculous. I clearly need to get out more.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tips for getting dressed in a hurry!


This was one of those outfits that was put together in a humungous rush. It was Saturday morning and I was due at M&S at 10am to work with them for the day. Thinking that I had lots of time to spare - after all 10am is not exactly an early start - I thought that I would do some household chores first, strip some beds, put the washing on and go for a run and then, before I knew it, it was time to go and I still wasn't ready. Anyone else know that feeling?!

In one sense it didn't really matter what I wore because I had to change when I arrived in store. However I did want to wear some flat shoes so that in between presentations I could lose the heels, hence the Clarks sandals

Heading for a tried and tested favourite is always a good plan in these type of situations so I wore my All Saints Pia dress BUT the vest that I had decided to wear (M&S had located me in a lovely part of the store but it was right next to the food hall, complete with millions of fridges belting out lots of cold air. It could only happen to me - and on one of the hottest days of the year) peeped through the slash neck of the dress - hence the huge Zara striped scarf to cover up a look that couldn't ever be passed off as anything other than bad planning. I think that the scarf and bright yellow Kate Spade bag just about rescued the situation.

The All Saints dress is no longer available but for something similar, the textured dress from Hush (£60) may be a good option. A dress like this is such a good back drop for so many other accent colours for bags and shoes, such as bright yellow, hot pink and turquoise and when it comes to scarves and statement necklaces, the world is your oyster. Just watch your vest straps!!!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Our first day in the sun - cut offs, neon and sparkles!


Remember the Clarks sandals from my last post that I couldn't wait to wear? Well I didn't have to wait long. As they were so comfortable, I thought that they would be great for travelling in - and they didn't let me down. 

Whilst I'm away I will try and post (some of us like a siesta, others don't feel the need!!) but I don't think that I will be able to include links. Everything is a bit slow out here! However for anything that is new, I will try and give you as good a steer in the text as I can.

On our way - in Jigsaw boyfriend jeans (I like loose things when I am travelling), the Lacey top from Whistles in yellow bought in the sale after Christmas and a GAP cardi, just in case it was chilly on arrival.

Doing a little bit of outfit planning - which I quickly abandoned as I realised that whilst I may have planned my outfits, there was a risk that I wouldn't have time to pack them, or anything else for that matter!

For our first day away, I went for my oldest cut off denim shorts. Many moons ago they were a pair of boyfriend jeans from Topshop but they were given the chop! The t-shirt I bought only last week and it is also from Topshop. They have  wide range of colours and at £12 I thought that it was good value. It is a modal/cotton mix so I like the way that it falls and it comes in a variety of colours. The Boden sparkly flats have, at last, had their first outing!

Friday, 23 May 2014

From stylish Whistles sandals to totally nerdy shoes in one fell swoop - but for some reason I really like them!

When you fall in love with these Gia block heeled sandals from Whistles but just looking at their heel height makes your eyes water and their cost makes you have palpitations, what's a girl to do?

She goes to Clarks and buys these Sandcastle Art sandals, which cost £44.99 instead. No-one would ever pretend that they are as stylish but at least they are wearable and affordable.  I really like them - true nerdy sandals at their best!

Sorry for the absence for a few days. Thanks to the ladies last night we had a great event and  tomorrow we are off on holiday - so there's lots to be done but whilst I'm away I hope to be able to bring you some outfit posts. Somehow, despite booking the holiday quite late and not really having had any time to myself to shop, I seem to have accumulated one or two new bits and bobs which I will share with you soon.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

An outft of spotty trousers - and pushing the fashion boundaries; just a little!



Spotty trousers - something I thought I'd never wear!

Today I wanted to write about a common theme that I have observed many times - and something that happened to me on several occasions, until I decided that life was too short not to take risks and be open minded about new styles of clothes.

Often women see other women (quite often younger than themselves) wearing a particular pair of boots, a certain style of jacket or a slightly different outfit combination and love it. Their heart skips a bit, it brings a smile to their face and then they think "But I couldn't do that, I'm too old/short/tall/"x" wouldn't like it/ people will laugh at me/I'm not trendy enough/it's just not me," so instead they stay in their comfort zone of safe pieces, feeling slightly deflated and demoralised - that heart skipping a beat moment having passed them by.

Now that's not a criticism but what I wanted to do in this post was to urge any of you who ever feel like that, just to go for it. It's better to try something new and decide that it's not right, rather than never go there in the first place and feel frustrated - and that doesn't mean being a slave to the latest fads.  Skinny jeans, a pair of heeled boots and a blazer for a night out - it's all do-able. Boyfriend jeans and heels or converse, a printed blouse, a coloured knit, a leather jacket, a sweatshirt, a bomber jacket, a statement necklace, a pleated skirt, a pair of culottes - give them a whirl.

The worst thing that can happen is that you decide not to go down that route but you may just wear your new things with a smile on your face and a spring in your step - slightly like someone from an advert for hairspray or laxatives - but hopefully not.

Friday, 31 January 2014

A leopard print lovely and a Friday night musing

To continue with today's fight against the cold, I opted for a thick Cos roll neck jumper, Reiss pea coat, Gap jeans and Clarks boots. My Boden leopard print satchel gave the outfit a bit of focus and as I spent a large part of the day shopping with our eldest, it also meant that I had both hands free to assist her (OK, to carry the bags)!

On a different note, I've been mulling something over for a while now which is this: the way that brands attribute people's names to their clothes, is pretty cunning.

If I see something - such as the jeans in Whistles, or the shoes in Clarks, both called Matilda - or something with the name Florence, Flo, Floss or Flossie, Lexie, Libby, Ellen, Ellie, Poppy, Ruby, Lottie, Emily, Emilia and so on (I've chosen these names in particular because I have seen all of them used in this way) I am more positively pre-disposed to the said item than if it wasn't given the name of someone that I know.

It's not so much that I would go "Oooh yes, I know a person with that name so I must buy said item" so that I end up wearing a random selection of clothes (well, I may end up wearing a random selection of clothes but that would be for a different reason) but I may look on it more favourably and I will almost certainly remember it - which could translate into a sale further down the line.

So whoever thought of it, it works, just in the same way that naming coke cans did because yes, I was one of those people who hunted high and low to find a can with a specific name on it (only to be beaten to it by the then five year old). On reflection I don't know whether that makes the marketing departments cunning, or me just gullible and a softie!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The positives that we can take away from outfit misses (and an example to illustrate the point)!

OK so just hear me out. I realise that this grey jacket would look better if it was black and that  it doesn't really go with the skirt that well but the problem that I have is this: Given that it's now 9pm, do I not post at all today and simply consign this outfit to the room 101 of "outfit misses", start a new post, or post it anyway and suffer the consequences?
Oh what the hec? I'm just going to go for it - there are always positives that can be taken from an outfit so let's make today's post all about taking the positives out of outfit misses.

First of all let me assure you that I am wearing something under this jacket and that I'm not semi naked underneath. It's just the angelic glow (!) I have about me which makes it look otherwise.

To set the scene, yesterday it was our son's birthday. In the afternoon we went to the climbing wall where I knew, having taken the decision not to climb, it would be freezing. That was to be followed by a quick car journey home and a walk both to, and from, Pizza Express which is probably only 20 mins in total but that's far enough away to have to give some thought about what to wear on your feet.

So, I needed to be warm, without too many bulky layers for the car and able to walk a reasonable distance. I didn't want to wear jeans either - just thought I ought to make an effort for the birthday boy.

I think that hits can be taken from the top half and from the bottom half - but not together. On the top half, the pale blue angora jumper from Topshop (pics and links below) is a current favourite of mine. It's warm, with a good sleeve length, pretty colour and it is quite short in length, so it sits nicely with the higher waistbands of pencil skirts.

The Whistles jacket is also really soft and warm - not stiff and boardy at all, so that too works for me on an individual level. I love the biker style too.

I love the print on the skirt - though I accept it's a bit of a marmite one - together with the length as it's not too short. If I want to wear a slight heel, boots are the best option for me so whilst there's always that trade off between boots cutting your legs off a bit, the heel height compensates for it and these Lotta Beccles boots from Clarks last year are really comfortable.

Topshop jacquard camo print pencil skirt £38
Topshop pale blue angora jumper £45
Whistles Annabel jacket £155 - grey not available on line

So, having taken away the positives, what would I do differently next time? Perhaps not getting photos taken of myself in an outfit would be a good start as then I could go about in blissful ignorance. I could buy a black version of the jacket to wear instead, except it doesn't exist, although temptingly the navy one does. Perhaps I would wear my cream leather jacket but that wouldn't be as warm, or a black Reiss wool biker jacket that I have but that's a bit stiff. Or perhaps I'd just think "Oh bugger it," wear the same again and not tell anyone. Yes, that's the positive I'm taking away from this particular outfit miss.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Mum on the Run - one pair of jeans, one pair of shoes, four tops - your spring wardrobe sorted!

Take one pair of Gap sexy boyfriend jeans (£49.95) - if you don't like the finish there are other options...

add in one pair of Mango leather strap ankle sandals (£59.99) (Mum you can wear your new Hotters)...

...if these are too high or you don't like the ankle strap look my earlier post on Clarks shoes for alternative non ankle strap/lower block heel options, which as we all know is where it's at right now.

Work in one of the tops below for an outfit which you should be able to wear on a day coming to you, sometime soon!!! Not jumpers, not skimpy vest like tops, these are tops that you could wear with the above two pieces to take you from day to night, into the weekend and beyond (I wrote the "beyond" bit because I wasn't sure how to describe where you would wear the spotty shirt! Cheat.)

Option 1 - the lace blouse

This is a little Zara number. With very pretty detailing around the neckline, it's not too figure hugging and is more skimming than clinging. Although it has a fairly high neck, which in general doesn't flatter curvier busts, the fact that it is sheer towards the top makes it more flattering than it might first appear. Zara has a great selection of lace tops so if this one isn't for you, there may be others that are. Lace and denim, especially beaten up denim, offers that nice contrast in the same way that leather and lace, or sequins and denim, do.

Option 2

Spots tend to be a love or hate thing. Personally, as with stripes, I love them. They signify to me all things spring like. This pink spotted Gap shirt would look great layered under either a fitted crew or v- neck jumper for a preppy look, or under a looser slouchier style knit for a more relaxed look. I think that I will try it with both. It could also be tied at the waist as another option. This shirt currently has 20% off in the GAP sale.

The non-cardi, cardi

I was shopping with a lady on Friday who was banned by her husband from buying cardigans. Whether this cardi/jacket from Mint Velvet would have passed his non-cardi test I don't know but what really appealed to me was its shape.

Bomber jackets are a big look this season but many of them are to OTT - too silk, too printed, too much. I like that this references the bomber jacket shape but that it isn't a bomber jacket at all. Right. Because that really makes sense doesn't it? No, really it does. It doesn't mean that everyone will like it and in fact some will hate it but to me it was exciting because it's a little bit different - slightly trendier (for want of a better word) than the spotty shirt option but less "going out" like than the lace top. With a cami underneath it would be great for those outings that require more than a cardi in terms of style but not the full on silk bomber jacket treatment.  

And finally, the top of the season - the sweatshirt! Worn here with a neon bird print scarf from GAP, this too would look great with the jeans/block heels combination.

One pair of jeans, one pair of shoes and several tops should hopefully kick start your spring wardrobe nicely. Obviously a striped top should be worked into the above and I have one in a box which is sitting very close to me. A Boden box in fact. But that's tomorrow's treat....