Monday, 30 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas (and New Year) - The Whistles Camouflage Skirt (and preparing for a gathering)


I think I'm coming to the end of my 12 outfits of Christmas by now. This is probably about the 14th or 15th but hey, whose counting? I have had the Whistles camouflage skirt for a few months but haven't got around to wearing it until now. I really like the blues and pinks in it as, despite it being camouflage, they are really pretty. I bought this pale blue Topshop cropped jumper to go with it as the only other one that I had seen in the right colour was in Reiss and it was ridiculously expensive. The clutch is also Whistles, the tights are M&S Autograph and the shoes are the Lacey court by Carvela. I would include links but everything is pretty much out of stock now.

Mr ...

... has declared that we're not allowed to call tomorrow's get together a "party" but instead it is to be called a "gathering". I'm not quite sure of the reason for this, other than the fact that he was ambushed with the whole idea once the eldest and I had decided that there was going to be a "gathering" whether he liked the idea or not. (Actually he's secretly delighted because for once he won't be outnumbered by women but he just won't admit it.)

In typical husband/wife fashion, we have assumed our respective roles. Mr SG has been to the butcher to buy meat for the chilli - "for the boys" - and has used a Jamie recipe he's had his eye on for a while and which takes five and a half hours to cook.  He has also been to buy beer (and the rest of the alcohol in fairness). This is what I have done so far....

I know! Impressive huh?! But, whilst we're on the subject of being fair, in fairness to me I did also ask Mr SG to buy fizz for "the girls" AND I have made a huge slab of millionaires shortbread. What more does a party need apart from fizz and millionaires shortbread? Exactly! My contribution hasn't taken five and half hours - but it was a Nigella recipe - although I didn't add any "special" ingredient that she may have chosen to add either to herself, or the recipe, to improve it.  This is Birmingham for goodness sake! 

Actually I have done slightly more than that  (I've put some crackers in a jam jar and put up some more fairy lights) but more importantly I should point out that Mr SG isn't miserable at all and is actually a fantastic host. Far, far better than I am. I've taken to putting all the food out and all the drinks in one fridge and telling everyone just to help themselves or otherwise I forget to feed or water them, which is pretty rubbish as a host. It's totally unintentional. I think that I just get distracted with chatting and doing random things like checking that we have enough toilet rolls out.

So with that sorted (I need to stay in Mr SGs good books so that the boys keep away from the millionaires shortbread) I wish you all a really Happy New Year. I hope that you have fun at whatever party (or gathering) you are attending. Here's to much more fun and fashion in 2014! x

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 12 (+1) - An evening sports luxe look and Easter Eggs. In December?!

The sports luxe look has been around for a while now and this is an evening version of it, as in it is made up of sequins, satins and sparkles. With the outfit effectively being made up of a fancy sweatshirt and a posh version of trackie bums, it's a bit of a winner on the comfort front.

The top was from Reiss several years ago now and although I don't wear it a lot, when I do I love it. The trousers are the ones from Topshop that I keep wearing but it's good to be getting my monies worth out of them. The Dune shoes have been my friend for a few years also. Well, sometimes I fall out with them a little bit, particularly at the end of an evening.

This evening our friend posed this question to us: How do you know when Christmas is over? The answer: When Cadbury's Crème Eggs start appearing in the shops. Crazy or what?! Somehow I fear that we have lost the art of living for the moment!

Friday, 27 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 12 - The animal flouro print shift dress and pom poms!

Rather than wearing this Warehouse printed shift dress with a jacket (a bit too smart) or a cardi (a bit too casual), today I wore it with my furry Primark gilet, which was very toasty and comfortable. When we went out I also wore Jigsaw shoe boots and this bright blue bag from Kausar (which is no longer available online but there is an email address for Kausar on her site, so she can always be contacted that way.) I like the size and shape of this bag, just because it's a little bit different.

I don't usually include pictures of the house but this scene made me smile. I was sitting down, my sister-in-law was reading mags and the boys were taking charge in the kitchen. I hasten to add that it was only a snap shot of the day and we did contribute significantly in other ways. For a start we ate the lunch!

The Christmas tree was decorated by the eldest, complete with tinsel and fake snow and she did such a good job. The first time that we did it, it was all a bit random - so one evening she took everything off, including the lights, and started again. Her individual efforts were so much better than our joint ones!

 This was a pressie to my husband last year. Ah, bless him.

It's pom-poms galore in our house this Christmas. They are so pretty that I would like to keep them up all year round. Selfridges in London had a whole floor devoted to them. I have no idea how many people they must have had to fluff them all up and how long it must have taken - but it must have been weeks. They are tricky little beggars - but the White Company "open the packet, unfold them and clip them round the back" ones are much easier - although not quite so much fun.

Hope that you are all still having a great Christmas. I'm starting to feel a little full....

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Boxing Day - shiny new white converse and "Robin" the jumper


After wearing heels all day yesterday, and with two young nephews here for the day, there was only one footwear choice for me and that was the shiny new white Converse that I had for Christmas from Schuh. Now I know that it's really uncool to keep them white and that they should be trashed asap but I plan on keeping mine as white as possible for as long as possible - even if that means using the whitener that we used on our Dunlop Green Flash trainers when we were at school.

I've known for a while that the white converse were on their way on Christmas day, together with the nephews on Boxing day, so I asked a friend of mine if I could borrow her Robin Jumper from French Connection to wear on here with jeans and a white shirt.  As I've mentioned before, he has a definite pink breast as opposed to a red one - just in case you were wondering. As he's not mine for keeps he will be flying his way back home tomorrow though, which is very sad...

Later on in the day we headed out for an emergency battery run/let's give the boys a run, trip. So, for that I swapped the converse for Seven Boot Lane Abella boots (now £120 instead of £175), GAP hat and Whistles parka.

The thought of doing any sale shopping, either in store or on-line, just doesn't appeal right now, although my sister in law has just told me that she can get 50% off at Net a Porter all year round. Eeek, that could be dangerous!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - A Christmas jumper for Christmas day!

Happy Christmas to you all! I hope that everyone has had a fantastic day. We have had a brilliant day although I have to admit to being slightly freaked out by the new addition to our family - "Baby Annabell."

For a start, I had to put her face down on the work surface and shove a screwdriver into her back to get the battery cover off before inserting batteries into her. Even though she's (clearly) not real, I found that quite traumatic. Then, when I had to look after her whilst the youngest went to the loo, I found myself putting her music on and covering her with a blanket in case she was cold.  I also put  "Precious", the new "My little pony" from Build a Bear Workshop (hideously ugly), next to her cot to be her guardian angel. Then she opened her eyes and stared at me with blue glassy eyes - and that was totally freaky. As for the cry - it's so real that it makes my heart jump. At least this one has an "off" switch though.

Then I found myself watching the Queen, which I don't usually do, but since a friend of ours was recently invited to the Palace for lunch with her - during which she put her hand on his knee - I felt compelled to watch. Also she looks very like my Aunt, so I feel that I know her. Seriously, children stop my Aunt in the street to ask her whether she's the Queen and when she says no, they ask her if she's sure. Ooh, crikey, it's all a bit much for one day.

Anyway, as to the outfit, I have my friend Sarah to thank for the loan of the jumper. Like me she had had her eye on it but unlike me she didn't faff around and she bought one - whereas now they have sold out. Here I'm wearing it with my recent Topshop trouser purchase and Zara shoes.  It's a great jumper and my Mum has one too - although her cat plays with the fluffy balls on hers!

Today I thought that I would post a picture of a dress that I like. I'm not sure that I would ever actually get around to owning one and it's potentially verging on the border of being too young for me - but I quite like feather dresses. There's a nude one in Coast, a black one in Michael Kors and this relatively decently priced one in Warehouse (£110 in the sale). Knowing me I would sit on a drumstick lolly or something and trash it in one go - but I think that it would be great for a New Year's Eve party.

As to the presents - I think that I'll leave that story for another day! Hope that you all have a lovely evening. x

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Christmas Eve sparkles!


So the five of us did our run this morning complete with elf hats, Santa hats, reindeer and Christmas tree headbands and we did look utterly and totally ridiculous but it was certainly memorable.

I had planned on wearing a different dress today but then decided to go for sparkles so I wore my sequinned sweatshirt dress from La Redoute (now £57 instead of £95) and La Redoute sparkly boots (£89) with a statement necklace from Topshop. The dress and boots (below) are both comfortable enough to wear for the household jobs and baking that I wanted to do, whilst still OK to wear to see friends later.

As to today's gift. I love receiving really pretty notebooks. Shoes, bags and jewellery are great but memories are priceless. All too often life passes in a haze and it's nice to record those special moments, even if it is only occasionally. Each year I encourage (OK, bribe/force) our three to write about their Christmas day. I can remember some Christmas days from when I was little but not many, so hopefully, when they are wise old owls like me, they will appreciate having taken the time to record their memories. Paperchase has a great selection of notebooks and this one is £6.

Hope that you all have a fabulous Christmas Eve. Not long to wait now!

Monday, 23 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - I wish that there was more by way of silk/heels/sequins but tomorrow is always another day!


The plan was, having travelled home from Wales first thing this morning, that I would change into something a little more Christmas like - maybe a dress, maybe with some accessories, maybe even some heels - so as to avoid posting another picture of jeans and a jumper (Primark jeans, All Saints jumper, Jack Wills shirt, Ash wedge trainers). Clearly that plan didn't work.  I did however notice that on Coronation Street tonight, Sally Webster was wearing a nice blue blouse and a black pencil skirt and Leanne Platt had a top with pretty sequinned sleeves - so that might be a good place for Christmas outfit ideas.

Tomorrow will be a different story - I will change 55 times and wear dresses, skirts, sequins, silk, leather and prints; possibly all at the same time. In fact my first outfit will be truly impressive and will include a red flashing nose and an elf hat with a bell on it, in addition to running gear. There will be five of us running the streets of Birmingham so do give us a wave if you see us - assuming that we haven't been carted off by then.

As to today's gift, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a pair of sparkly or metallic shoes so if there's one thing to add to your last minute Christmas purchases tomorrow, they should be it. Dune is a good "go to" store for sparkly shoes and I like this pair which are now priced at £34. An ankle strap may not be for everyone but it looks as though this strap can be removed and I'm sure that everyone will be too busy partying to notice the little loop! Hope that you all have a fantastic Christmas Eve!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 7 - A biker jacket and wedge trainers


We're heading home tomorrow and so for an early dinner out with the family I kept it casual and comfortable with Ash wedge trainers, Primark skinny coated jeans, the Topshop crystal jumper and the Whistles Annabel biker style jacket, which is now in the sale for £95.

For anyone who is contemplating wedge trainers, these La Redoute ones (which now have 40% off and cost £41.40) come highly recommended from the girls I was working with at the Clothes Show. I really like the style of these as they're not too full on in terms of styling. They also come in black, caramel and...

this two tone gold colour, which have 50% and are now £34.50. Both of these colours are really versatile and a nice alternative to black ones, which may start to look a little too stark come the spring.

This picture was taken by our eldest whilst we were on our beach walk today. The sky was beautiful and it was a lovely walk but we decided that being on a beach wasn't really her natural habitat, particularly at such an early hour. Luckily we found somewhere for a drink and a rest and what with that coupled with the stops to take photos, pull up her socks, eat her prawns (sweets) and have a go on a play area I'm not sure that we covered that much ground - but it was very entertaining.

So, on to today's gift. I thought that it would be nice to include something that would see you through into next season. Blazers and biker style jackets have pretty much earned their wardrobe stripes and although bomber style jackets have been around for a while, they are here to stay for a while at least.

I recently came across this Harlow Varsity Bomber from Whistles (£295) and, not surprisingly, I fell in love with its pink colour. When I first saw leather sleeves on coats and jackets I really wasn't that sure but as is often the case with the passage of time and exposure to a trend, it somehow weedles its way into acceptance and then even favour. For now I would wear it with black skinnies and Chelsea boots, moving onto a midi-length skirt and heels for the spring.


This Topshop lurex bomber jacket (£42) is made of the same fabric as my Topshop lurex skirt which I featured earlier in the week. There's no way that I would go matchy matchy but I do like the fabric and at £42 it's a much more reasonable option price wise.

It would be easy to write a bomber style jacket off as a trend not worth embracing but an up to date style of jacket is a great way of lifting other pieces in your wardrobe and giving them a completely fresh look - so it's definitely worth giving them a bit of thought (even if you subsequently confine them to the room 101 of fashion no-nos!)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 6 - Camouflage trousers and a Whistles Parka


We made it to Wales and guess what? It's blowing a gale and pouring with rain but secretly I'm quite pleased as I wanted to try out my new navy Whistles parka.  So far so good - it's warm, it kept me dry and the hood is brilliant, which sounds a ridiculous thing to say but it is substantial and doesn't blow off at the first sign of wind. Having looked online at both Whistles and John Lewis I can't see it, or else I would have included a link. And please excuse the dreadful photo - there are only so many times that I can ask the children to step outside into the rain and gales before giving it up as a bad job. I should add that the fact that I'm quite happy about the bad weather isn't at the expense of the rest of the family, who are equally happy to sit around the fire and watch films.
I also wore Gap camouflage trousers today to ring the changes from jeans and the cropped Other Stories jumper is probably one of the warmest that I own. The black ankle boots are from La Redoute and I didn't really have time to faff about with handbags today so I just picked up the clutch I used last night and brought it along for the ride.
As for today's gift  - either for your own Christmas list or to give to someone else - I love these cuffs from Aspinal of London. The top one is the Roma Cuff Bracelet (£79). It comes in several colour ways. The second one is the Venus Stingray Cuff Bracelet (£125). Aspinal has a seriously fabulous selection of cuffs, so much so that I have also included a link to the full collection.  A piece like this can really take an outfit from a plain one, to a fabulous one, so they are well worth the investment (especially if someone else is making it). I did not say that.  


Friday, 20 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 5 - From day time jeans to a dress for a night out...


This evening we went round to see some friends for our annual Christmas get together, which was brilliant. I've worn this Pia dress from All Saints quite a few times recently but never in a dressed up way, so tonight it had the full on bling treatment with an H&M statement necklace, Stella & Dot bracelet, Marc Jacobs clutch and studded Carvela heels.  It made a nice change for the dress to take centre stage as usually it has something layered either under or over it - but at least it is versatile.

During the day I wore jeans, together with Zara boots, Hobbs blazer, Mulberry bag and GAP hat.

We're off to Wales tomorrow so I hope to be able to blog whilst there but if not, I will be back on Monday. With the forecast being rain, rain and a little more rain, I don't think that there will be a lot of heels, flimsy skirts and silk going on.

As for today's gift, I love this personalised iPhone case from Not on the High Street (£25). Some people think that gifts like this have had their day but I love them. Anything that is thoughtful and individual to the person receiving it gets my vote.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 4 : The sparkly skirt and the sequinned pyjamas

Christmas is finally here! I can safely say that because today we went to see my Mum and it is impossible to go to her house and not come away feeling Christmassy. From the star lights hanging in the window to the tinsel, wreaths, mantelpiece decorations, crackers, Christmas tablecloth, dishes of Quality Street and plates of home made mince pies - it's all going on in her bungalow. And best of all she's been to New Look and bought the Christmas pudding jumper that I featured on here not so long ago. Brilliant!
I knew that Mum would appreciate the sparkly skirt look so I wore my navy Topshop skirt together with a roll neck from Cos, a long sleeved top from Cos and Jigsaw shoe boots. Whilst in the car I also wore my Zara sleeveless coat - or long waistcoat - or fur vest - or whatever it's called. The elasticated waist band on the skirt was very good for accommodating the aforementioned mince pies/quality street etc, which turned out to be quite handy.

As to today's gift, I picked these Christmas pudding pyjamas up in Asda yesterday. As yet I have no idea whether sequins will be comfortable to sleep in or not. I suspect not but I'm willing to give them a go! At £11 for the set I think that they are a nice little stocking filler. The top doesn't appear to be available online but there were plenty in store and the tartan pyjama shorts are available  online from George at Asda. There are also full length tartan pj trousers for anyone who prefers them.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 3: scruffy jeans but a slightly less scruffy top!


With two out of the three wise men still at school, Christmas isn't quite here yet.  So, whilst one might imagine that these particular posts should show something a little wow, today it felt like a jeans day. However I fancied a bit of print and colour in my top, as I knew that the cooker would really appreciate it as I slaved away over it.  Also our eldest had four friends over after school and whilst she would never ask me to change into something other than my Onesie, I do think that it is right to bear these things in mind (as she sits here, now in a Onesie).

So, I wore the Warehouse top which I bought in the spring, together with Gap jeans and Zara boots. And you know it wasn't wow, but the heeled boots definitely made it feel a bit more elegant, I like the jeans because they're comfy and totally worn in and the top is nice to wear. So I guess I've squared that one off in my mind and given myself permission to be a scruff bum!

To anyone who was thinking about buying/asking for as a Christmas present, the Calf hair satchel that I featured yesterday, just a word of warning. DON'T! Whistles is going into sale and the Calf hair swing satchel will be reduced from £395 to £195. 

The sale looks like a proper one to me - not a rubbishy old 10% off here and there. There are about 562 items in it to include lots of parkas and coats. There are a couple of things that I have bought/come across this season that people have liked so, just to let you know that the navy blue Ella panel trousers (£40) in sizes 6 to 14 are available, as is the Lita Leather biker (£225 instead of £325) together with the Annabel textured jacket (£95 instead of £155).  Oh golly, I fear that I may have put a spanner in the works for folks!

Now, for today's gift idea. It's this ice crush nailvarnish from Topshop and it costs £6. It is a clear glitter varnish and it's brilliant on a number of levels. You know me, I like a good cheat when it comes to looking polished (sorry for the pun) without actually making too much effort. So here's why I like it...

For a start, it transforms any plain coloured nail varnish into a sparkly one, just by whacking a coat of it over the top. It also has incredible staying power, so that your nail varnish stays on longer than the usual 5 minutes. Thirdly, it makes a less than perfect finish look great. So if you've accidentally scratched or chipped your manicure seconds after finishing it, this will totally rescue it. It's a bit like a printed dress disguising those less than perfect areas, whereas a plain coloured dress can require scaffolding for underwear to make it look perfect.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 2 - Fun accessories

With one child already having broken up for Christmas but with two still at school, there are still school runs to be done. So when I got up this morning, it was more a case of putting something on that was warm and practical - and then dressing it up with accessories - rather than anything else.

As you know, I like a bit of animal print and a bit of flouro, so I used accessories to work them into my outfit. The three quarter length sleeves on the jumper allowed me to throw on a selection of bangles/cuffs in clashing colours and the bright pink Jaeger scarf allowed me to work in some colour in an even brighter way. The All Saints bag brought in some animal print, together with our lunch which our youngest and I smuggled into the cinema when we saw Frozen - which I have to say is not the best film to see for someone who is permanently cold. Our five year old looked at me like I had lost the plot when I asked her whether the film made her feel cold. I just wanted them all to put some more layers on.

So, in a nutshell, accessories are a good way of introducing a splash, pop, nod, whiff or smidge (great names for Reindeers) of a trend or colour into your outfit so as long as the rest of it is plain. Pile them high and bright!

I can't pretend that today's gift idea is a cheap one but you know, the sales are on their way and more expensive pieces can always be used as inspiration for hunting out less expensive alternatives. This calf satchel from Whistles (£295) is something I have looked at on more than one occasion whilst in Selfridges. Just because it's lovely!

Tomorrow I'll go with something a little more accessible price wise!
PS I do realise that in this photo my bag looks like it has feet but hopefully you can see past that - or around it, or through it. That's the problem with not checking anything in a mirror, sticking a phone in the hands of your five year old and asking them to take a photo. Ho hum!

Monday, 16 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 1: The floral jacquard top


Today I'm starting with the first of my "12 days of Christmas" posts. It's fair to say that so far it's not going too well.  I had to abandon today's outfit (just to be sure, this isn't it) as the photos were so blurred. Having said that the outfit was pretty terrible anyway so it's not entirely the fault of the five year old and in a way she saved me. 

You will probably recognise the top from my last post. It's the floral jacquard top from Miss Selfridge and I decided to test out its versatility during a trip to visit our family. The top is fairly short so I layered another top underneath it, in a similar colour to my trousers, just for continuity of colour. I wore it with my favourite "wipe down" Primark coated trousers which turned out to be quite a good move as I managed to chuck flour down myself when rolling out pastry to put on a pie. I also wore a Next long cardi, Zara boots and a Mulberry bag.

I'm also going to include a gift idea in each post - for us, naturally! It will be something that you may like to put on your Christmas list, or buy for yourself to pep up some plainer pieces in your wardrobe or just to have as a back up as an emergency present for an unexpected guest. Naturally if said unexpected guest doesn't happen to be female, or share the same taste, they may just have to be satisfied with a box of spare chocs and you will have to keep the gift instead. Such a shame.

This is one of my current favourites and I have had my eye on it for a while - it's the Coast Kingston necklace and costs £40. This would sit really well against grey, black or navy - so it's a winner in my book.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

In need of a new top? This floral jacquard top from Miss Selfridge may just work....

I am so disappointed that all the Christmas decorations available to us locally are so tasteful. Yesterday I went in search of big, sparkly, bright and if I'm honest slightly kitsch (OK, totally tacky) baubles to brighten up the tree. However all that I could find were white or silver, totally tasteful, wooden shaker style decorations with meaningful quotes on them. What's that all about and where's Woolworths when you need it?

I did manage to find tinsel though - albeit white and silver - so that was a small start at least. I'm now on the hunt for some of that cobweb spray stuff that we used to have on the tree when I was a child. How cool would that be? I can wreck the ozone layer and our lungs all at the same time.

Speaking of slightly gaudy sparkly things, I went out with some friends last night - not that they are gaudy - but this top that I was wearing from Miss Selfridge (£35) most definitely was. I didn't get a photo of the whole ensemble but thought that I would tell you about the top anyway because quite often at this time of the year we can be on the hunt for a new top to pep up jeans/black trousers etc.

This top is part of Miss Selfridge's Floral Jacquard collection, which contains trousers, bustier style tops and shorts. The colours in the pieces are really lovely and if you hover over the images on the site you can see them much more closely. This top has nude, pink, teal, gold and pale blue in it and it's nice to pick up on one of those colours elsewhere in your outfit. There's a zip from top to bottom at the back and the top is lined. The fabric is quite stiff - although not in an uncomfortable way - so if you're after a floaty number this isn't it but it does feel quite substantial and therefore, warm (big plus!)

I also wore these Luxe shine joggers from Topshop (now reduced to £30) which were really like wearing my PJ's but hopefully they looked a bit smarter...


...and these Lacey courts from Carvela now £45 instead of £85. Oddly as the night went on these shoes got progressively more comfortable but I fear that says more about my state, rather than the shoes themselves. I have to admit to feeling slightly delicate today and it's safe to say that there won't be any photos of me appearing for a while yet - although my husband kindly offered to take one for the blog this morning, which I politely declined.
Hope that you are all having a good weekend and good luck tomorrow to all you Bristol ladies who are running a10k race for charity.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Softly does it - cashmere, cable knit and tweeds in pale shades of grey, blue and taupe


I'm conscious that a lot of my outfits have been pretty much head to toe black of late, so today I lightened up a little. There's still not much colour going on, more a palette of pale blues, greys and taupe.

I didn't manage to get around to wearing this tweed Hobbs blazer much last winter, so as it's not too cold at the moment, I thought that it would work fine to my quick whizz into town to do some Christmas shopping. It also allowed me to revert to my default outfit of jeans/denim shirt/grey cashmere jumper, which was a nice change from sequins. Although I fear that they will be making an appearance again very soon....

Outfit: Hobbs blazer, La Redoute cashmere jumper, New Look denim shirt, Gap jeans, Zara boots, Mulberry bag, Gap hat.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Another outfit from the Clothes Show - A Tux Jacket and Panelled Leggings


Just a quick one tonight as now I have finished my five day stint at the Clothes Show, there is lots to catch up with at home!

I wore this outfit on one of the days that I was working. All of the clothes are from La Redoute and the outfit consists of the Jersey Tuxedo Jacket (£41.30), a black sweater (£11.50) and coated leggings  (£11.90).

I have to say that I loved wearing everything. I liked the long line lapels on the tux jacket and also the fact that it was jersey, so it was soft and not too restrictive. The front of the jumper is lovely and silky and it looks far more expensive than its £11.50 price tag. As to the leggings, I liked the fact that the panels were more like coated jeans, rather than faux leather, as I preferred the dull finish to them. Some of the faux leather ones are just too shiny and plastic looking. The other good thing about them is that they have pockets on the back, which means that (on a good day) they could be worn with a shorter top.

Here are some slightly clearer pics of the pieces that I was wearing...

The long line lapels are really flattering, creating a long, lean, line (oooh, don't you love a bit of alliteration?!)

The front of the jumper is silky, whilst the sleeves and back are knitted. This also comes in other colours, some of which have studs on the front.

I've included this picture not so that you can admire the fine tucking in of the shirt into the leggings but rather so that you can see the finish on the panels more clearly.

Really hope that everything is coming together for everyone on the Christmas shopping/wrapping presents/making mince pies front. Having briefly watched a little Jamie Oliver and Nigella, I've given up as they make me feel too inadequate. I wonder, is anyone else off to buy some mince pies and smash them up with a rolling pin and dust them with icing sugar for that home made look, as per the book?!!!!