Showing posts with label Warehouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Warehouse. Show all posts

Monday, 20 November 2017

It's the sequinned top post!

OK - confession time, this is clearly an old photo - but I still have the top! 

If there's one top that screams Christmas it's my black - slightly naked of sequins - sequinned top from H&M, which must be going into its third or so year now.

True, it sheds sequins wherever I go but given that I love sequins - (not glitter....especially not when a child is shaking a pot of it. I still haven't got over our eldest spilling a pot of red glitter all over the house when she was about 4. I was still finding it in July) - then I don't mind at all.

Here's my round up of my favourite sequinned tops. Just add jeans, a pleated skirt, dungarees, wide leg trousers, coated skinnies, culottes - basically anything will go with one of these - and in any setting. Which makes it a really easy top to wear - despite it being all things shiny and not seeming, at first glance, to lend itself to anything other than fancy pants occasions.

Sequin top Warehouse (£42) which also comes in blue (below)

The trick to buying any sequinned top is to feel it on the inside before you buy it. Exfoliation is, as well all know, a good thing but not when you feel it being done all evening by something that resembles a brillo pad. Check for a lovely lining which will avoid that brillo pad feel. 

This same gorgeous top also comes in gold (below). I have given it a good once over and for me, this top is a real gem.

Now I love the idea of this asymmetric sequin top from Mango (£35) for a black tie event with some wide legged trousers and maybe even, dare I say it, with some trainers. Or if that's a step too far then some flat velvet shoes, if (more) sparkles aren't your thing. Then maybe wear it with jeans or with a skirt on Christmas day.

                               Assymetric sequin top | MANGO
Now there are sequins and then there are SEQUINS and this turtleneck from Other Stories (£49) definitely falls into the latter category. I love this top. It's just divine! Please someone buy it and send me a picture of you wearing it.

This Oasis sequin tinsel sweat (£38) is also a fabulous option. I first saw it when I went to visit the refurbished House of Fraser in Sutton Coldfield. It's slightly less fitted than some of the other options and maybe slightly* less bling than some of my other choices.

I cannot convey enough my love for a sequinned top, shining like a star in an otherwise dark and wintery wardrobe. It always holds such promise of a fab night out!

* this is a relative term because all sequinned tops, by definition, are bling.

Friday, 3 November 2017

House of Fraser - but not as you know it!

When I've shopped at House of Fraser in the past, I'm not entirely sure that I've thought of it as a shopping "experience". Generally it's more of a functional and box ticking experience - which is fine, that's what lots of department stores are about and in fairness, I wouldn't necessarily expect much more than that.  

So when I was asked to pop along to the newly refurbished Gracechurch store in Sutton Coldfield, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But, and I know that some might think that I'm bound to say this, I absolutely loved it. So I'll explain why - but obviously as many of you quite possibly don't live close to Sutton Coldfield, I've included images of some of my favourite pieces that I think might appeal, irrespective of where you live.  

Luckily I arrived just in time for "elevensies" or really "half-past ninesies" but let's not split hairs. As Caffe Botanico was situated on the ground floor (like your thinking there House of Fraser) I thought that it was a very good place to start. In my humble opinion you can always tell a lot about a place from its café - and if at the same time you can get interiors inspo, even better. I've definitely got a thing for herringbone at the moment, so I loved this area.  And if it's grey herringbone with a splash of bright yellow, even better.

And as well as the gorgeous cakes on offer, I loved the grey metro tiles, which is handy as we're having our bathroom re-done next year so that's two lots of tile ideas that I now have. 

Now this is one mighty cake display. I must admit to having a couple of Italian pastries but I kind of accidentally ate them before photographing them. You will obviously be pleased to hear that they were delicious though.

And although I am absolutely not a coffee fan, I do love a frothy milk - the frothier the better because actually I don't really like warm milk - just the froth. This one was spot on and the girl brought it over to me which I thought was a really nice touch, particularly for elderly customers or for those struggling with children and pushchairs. And the girl was lovely "You're having a cappuccino without the cappuccino aren't you?" 

What a great display courtesy of Dune!

In keeping with other House of Frasers stores the shoe department is  now situated on the ground floor along with bags and beauty which is refreshing for the staff as previously they were located in a dark corner upstairs.

I chatted to the staff in the shoe department and they explained how the store was so much better organised now with all womenswear together, rather than over two floors. The menswear is no longer on the same floor as womenswear and everything is just better organised. In fact the store was buzzing with excitement - everyone seemed to love the open plan feel of the store, the new wooden floor as opposed to the traditional carpet and also how light it is. And importantly, there were plenty of staff around.

Can you imagine my distress, albeit short lived, at Whistles being cordoned off with red and white tape whilst they set up? I was almost as distressed as if I'd witnessed a scene out of Casualty. It was fantastic to see Whistles in a smaller West Midlands town. Whilst it happens in the south of the country, our Whistles' are generally located in the major cities, so this is a real coup. 

It wasn't long before things were definitely starting to take shape in the Whistles department. Plus the store also stocks Joules, Mint Velvet, French Connection, Oasis, Warehouse, Phase Eight and Barbour along with their own house brands, which are really strong.

What I really liked about this store was the size and shape of it. It's very symmetrical and because it's now open plan, it's possible to see from one side to the other. Plus the modern styling of the concessions and the lovely pale grey wood flooring (more interiors inspo) make the womenswear department feel like a large boutique, as opposed to a department store.

There is also a menswear department stocking Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as a children's department with brands such as Barbour, Ralph Lauren and Joules.

I love this jumper from Mint Velvet (above) and this sweatshirt (below) from Maison de Nimes (£39)

Below you can see a little bit of Joules. I always love Joules for some jolly wellies and their general bright and cheery colour palette is always welcoming on a dark wintery day.

Plus there's quite a lot of sparkle at Biba. I love a bit of Biba - you always know where you are with it and there's nothing shy and retiring about Biba.

Ooooh and with all things "floral maxi dress" being so big at the moment, I thought that I'd share this lovely one from French Connection.

After having a good look at womenswear, I headed up to the second floor, which houses another café and the interiors section. I've always rated the homewear at House of Fraser as it has such a great selection of well established brands. Plus Linea always has something exciting to offer.

I have a bit of a thing for coloured glasses and I thought that this set from LSA (£32) were just lovely for when friends come round for drinks - or even when they don't. I have some displayed on a shelf in the kitchen and they make me smile every time I look at them.

There was also a great selection of fake fur cushions and throws. I've been after a grey sheepskin rug for a long time now and they had just what I was after here, so I snapped that up with 20% off at £36.

And there's just something so lovely about new dinnerwear. Again Biba comes up trumps with this range of Biba Starburst Dinnerwear which would look fabulous on a Christmas lunch table.

And this was the other dinner set that I really thought was really rather special. It's the deco peacock range, again from Biba. I realise that my shots aren't quite as good as those on the site but I keep reading that life is all about celebrating the imperfect, so I'm going to run with that. And there was a danger that I may well have had a Calamity Jane moment and knocked everything over, had I moved things too much.

I was also really excited to come across this range which is a collaboration between Ellen de Generes and Royal Doulton. The assistant there was proudly dusting the range, which we had a good old chat about for quite a while.

This has to be my favourite's just all about the message really. We all love giving, and receiving, a bit of kindness don't we? (Kindness mug £10) but equally the "Joy" and "Be Amazing" mugs are stunning too.

And I can't help but love this "Love" range, also from Ellen DeGeneres and Royal Doulton (£35). The tablewear collection is "inspired by both Ellen and Royal Doulton's love for artisanal, yet simple designs." Hello Santa are you listening?

Now some of you may think that this is ever so slightly odd but before I left the store I went and checked out the bathroom. Now I have specifically used the word "bathroom" because, as I mentioned earlier, I am gathering bathroom inspiration. And it sounds better than saying that I decided to go and check out the loos. Anyway, that aside, they're lovely aren't they?

The official launch event takes place on Thursday 9th November and if you're anywhere near to Sutton Coldfield I would really encourage you to go along for a spot of retail therapy in the nicest possible setting.

Just so that everyone is aware, this post was written in conjunction with House of Fraser but all words and thoughts are my own. I wasn't given a brief as to what, or what not, to include. Which they may well be regretting now....

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Styling "the Faces of the Fort" Campaign...

Way back in August, when the sun was shining and we were all heading off on our holidays, I was shopping for Winter clothes. I have worked with the Fort Shopping Park a couple of times now, either appearing in their previous campaigns, or styling their shoots, and it was great to be styling this shoot, which featured six of their staff members as the faces of their autumn/winter 2016 campaign - "Styled by the Faces of the Fort."

In the shot above from left to right there's , Jamil, a Sales Associate at River Island, Kennedy a Sales Associate at Schuh, Adrian, the Manager at Next, Tiffany, a Sales Associate at River Island, Adrian, Manager at Costa and Tiffany, a Sales Associate at the Perfume Shop.

The brief was to create two outfits for the campaign, one "Winter Warmers" and one "Christmas outfits". This top shot was the first of the two shots that we needed to capture and the outfits were styled to include different prints, textures, colours and trends. The additional photos are my out-takes!

Forgive me but I'm just going to concentrate on the girls' clothes for now! So Kennedy, who is second from the left, is really young, and quite a tomboy and I thought that trousers and a baseball jacket would be great for her but with a silky cropped cami and sparkly shoes for a bit of femininity too.

All of her outfit was from New Look, other than the shoes which were from Schuh  as follows :Crop trousers £19.99, Satin cami £9.99, Baseball jacket £39.99, heart choker £3.99, Glitter shoes £25.99

Demi, who is sitting down in the above shot is very pretty and elegant and loves sophisticated, feminine clothes. Her outfit is from River Island as follows: Blue Coat £75, Black pleather skirt £32, Black suede OTK boots £75, pale blue ribbed top £20. I really loved the blue coat in this outfit and the combination of the pleather skirt and OTK boots worked really well for her.

And finally Tiffany, who is on the far right is wearing an outfit from Warehouse and New Look. She loved the idea of print and layering so the dress and sleeveless coat combination worked well for her and as I'd used boots for Demi, the idea of these peep toe tie boots added something a little different. The details of Tiffany's outfit are as follows: Warehouse printed dress £55, new look sleeveless jacket £19.99, new look lace ups £24.99, new look filigree necklace £3.99

As well as being hard work, shoots are great fun and I love to see how people come to life in front of the camera and embrace it - once they've relaxed and got used to the whole idea. I'm convinced there's an inner star in most people and being styled and having hair and make-up done also helps with stepping off your own world for a day and entering a more glamourous one!

Because the shots were taken a while ago, some items may no longer be available at the Fort, or they may well be in the sale. The Christmas campaign will go live soon, so I'll bring you further shots and outfit ideas.

You can find the Fort at the following:
Visit the Fort website at 
Follow the Fort on Twitter @Fort_Shopping
Like the Fort on Facebook here

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Warehouse midi printed dress...

Tonight I nipped out to a party to celebrate 50 issues, and 10 years, of "Style Birmingham" Magazine. And the great thing about a party? It's a fab chance to rock a new frock. I'm wearing the ink rose midi dress from Warehouse (£59) and LK Bennett zebra print shoes - plus a neon glow.

For a brighter take on the dress, see below....

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The slip dress round 3 - layering underneath and over the top!

I've done two posts now using this slip dress, which can be read here (when it was a sunny day and I wore it with flip flops and a sun hat) and here (when I wore it with trainers and a silky, waterfall oriental print jacket).

For its third outing, on a much colder day than when I wore the dress the first time, I layered a silk printed shirt with a pussy bow underneath it and a Jigsaw bomber jacket over the top. For shoes I wore some heavier Zara flatform  style loafers, which have bit of an espadrille sole to them.

All that's needed to achieve something similar is a blouse or shirt that you like and a blazer or jacket too. As many of you will know, it can work with a slip dress, a shift dress and some styles of sundresses. Sometimes it's just good to have a play and see where it takes you. But anyway, that's the slip dress done for now. I promise.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Wearing print and colour....

For a baking hot day at the (paddling) pool, you can't beat a printed silk dress. OK so the problem might be that I've had this Warehouse dress for so long now that I can't actually find anything particularly similar - which some might think is a good thing - but having not worn it in a very long time, it was good to get it out again.

(Dress: Warehouse, Flip flops: Jack Wills, Basket: Boutique in Guernsey)

I think that's the thing with full on "summer" clothes - I don't buy that many of them, largely because it's rarely warm enough to wear them and so I have them for quite a few years. But then when the chance arises, it's like spending the day with an old friend. Unlike my winter clothes which I rotate so often it's like spending the day with your arch enemy.

Wearing this dress has also made me realise how little print and colour I now wear, compared to a few years ago, but how much I like wearing them. So there's a big note to self... Does anyone else have any "notes to self" when it comes to clothes (or anything for that matter)?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Being part of the "Styled By You" campaign for the Fort Shopping Centre...

I was really excited way back in April to be asked to be one of the faces of the "Styled By You" spring/summer campaign for the Fort Shopping Park in Birmingham. The idea behind the campaign was that three fashion specialists would be chosen to form the Fort Style Squad, to help inform and inspire Fort Shoppers to update their look for the summer months.  

My Partners in crime were model Tom King (you may recognise him from the TV) and local blogger Sophie Neal, who edits the blog Sophie etc . In my role as an Ambassador, I will be hosting a twitter take over one Friday lunchtime in July, as well as contributing to features for the media. 

I've written about the outfit that I wore previously but looking back now all that I feel when I think about the day that I chose it, is pain! It was the day after the London Marathon and the only way that I could walk down the stairs in the marketing suite was to use the handrails and pretty much swing down them like a monkey. But the walking around the Fort was good for me and I loved the outfit that I got to wear for the photo shoot a couple of days later - the Culotte Jumpsuit from Warehouse (£59) and Adidas Stan Smith trainers from Schuh (£56.99). 

The latest news and style tips from "the Style Squad" can be found on the Fort's social platforms  - twitter and facebook, so do drop by for a look sometime. 

Wishing you all a fabulous start to your week!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Photo shoot shots!

I know that it's been a while and that one or two people are wondering whether I've actually finished the Marathon yet or whether I'm still en route, so I thought that I would share with you what I've been up to this week. I plan to do a "post Marathon" post when I have a little more time but for now...

For now, I've been having fun on a photo shoot. It's always lovely when the chance comes along to be in a shoot rather than styling it and having your make-up applied by a professional make-up artist is a fabulous experience. Mind you, I'm rubbish at the more serious shots. I can't help laughing and now that I have lines whatever my expression, I would rather have a smile to accompany them.

I'm allowed to share the clothes but not details of the campaign just yet.  And given that there's a sale on, I thought that I would crack on in case anyone fancied trying this navy Warehouse jumpsuit (£58). With the code TREAT20 it has 20% off. I loved wearing this but I should share that when it comes to sizing, it's quite short in the body so I went up to a 10, which also gives a bit more room in the boob department too. 

I also chose to wear these Snake print Stan Smith trainers from Schuh (£72). I'm such a trainer girl these days. But I do like the mix of smart and casual and of course lots of styles of shoe would work with this jumpsuit, from block heel to stilettos and wedges too.

 If I hadn't just bought the Baukjen jumpsuit that I featured a few weeks ago, I could well be tempted with this one...

Hope that everything is good with all you lovely readers and I plan to be back soon. Thank you for your patience and concern x

Friday, 6 November 2015

The fashion issues we face as the winter approaches - Part 1

Before the weather gets too cold, roll up your sleeves, flash your ankles and enjoy the autumn sunshine (says she as the rain batters the windows!)

When it starts to get colder I've found that as long as I stick to pieces in heavier fabrics, I can still put together a look that's not head to toe jumpers. Silkier tops in lighter fabrics have to go by the wayside for me come the start of September, unless they are layered underneath a whole host of jumpers. So the blouse is a heavy denim one from Zara, the jeans are pretty sturdy ones from Whistles and the knitted sleeveless waistcoat is from Warehouse. There may be a layer or two under the blouse too, just for good measure, which means that I can get away without a "proper" coat.

I would be interested to know what your tips are for keeping warm when the weather gets colder - without sacrificing style. And has anyone actually found any knee highs/pop socks which can be worn with ankle length fitted "work" trousers but which don't stick to them?  I was having this discussion with a friend yesterday as she had spent the previous day trying to run a presentation whilst surreptitiously trying to flick her leg so as to get her trousers down to their proper length as they had stuck to her pop socks. Oh the fashion issues we face as the winter approaches.

Friday, 23 October 2015

One of my favourite outfits. Why? Because it's warm and it feels as comfortable as a onesie!

No your eyes aren't deceiving you. Clearly the 7 year old has been on the gin but in all honesty I'm quite thankful for the "blur". Winter skin at 8am when one is slightly tired is never a good look. However, ugly mug aside, I felt really comfortable in this outfit and as some of the pieces are currently available in store, I thought that I would share it with you and link to them (where possible).

First off, the boots. Well they aren't current but they are from Zara and you can find similar here (£39.99). In fact Zara in general has quite a few similar pairs.

Moving on up... (can anyone else here that song in their head with the same lyrics - the one by M People no less?) to the new billy bargainous jeans from GAP. Personally I think that they are more of a very heavy ponte legging but the fact that they were classed as jeans meant that I got 30% off - so I wasn't going to argue. Lots of stretch, good rise these are fabulous - other than the fact that they're not on the GAP website. They come in three colours though - black, green and burgundy and they have zips on the pockets, just like the ones below. In fairness the styling over the bottom means that they are better with a slightly longer top - unless of course you have a pert Beyonce type butt and then anything goes.

Jigsaw has a very similar pair in black, which again don't seem to be online but these Zara leggings (£19.99) are cut very much from the same cloth, if you'll excuse the pun. And for their price tag they are a pretty fine specimen. I'm not really a legging fan but when they are styled as more of a trouser - somehow I can get my head around them a little more.

Moving up again, I'm wearing the Warehouse sleeveless coat (£69) which I probably ought to take off soon but it's perfect for when I'm in the shops. A coat is generally too heavy but it's too cold to go coat less, so this is a fabulous half way house.

The jumper is a current one by Topshop but it's not on the site (sorry). However it is similar to this one, also from Topshop (£39). The only thing about this jumper is that it's probably too long to see the shirt peeping below.

The shirt that I'm wearing is an embellished denim one from H&M a couple of seasons ago. I really rate H&M for their silk shirts such as this one (£49.99) although I appreciate that the placing of the pockets may be an issue for some....

...and I like this one too, also from H&M (£14.99).  It may be a one season wonder but the neckline is un-fussy so it would sit well under a funnel neck jumper and a little bit of gold never goes a miss in the run up to Christmas. It's definitely more of a blouse than a shirt, without being too OTT so I think that it has legs.

Any outfit that ticks the warm, comfortable and slightly modern look is a winner for me. The first two criteria are the most important but the third carries some weight which is good as otherwise, left to my own devices, I would be wandering around in a Onesie.