28 October 2014

What's in my bag?

I've seen a couple of these posts lately and thought it would be a fun thing to do! To be fair I think the contents of our handbags are going to be pretty standard, we all need a means to pay for stuff so you are sure to find a purse, gotta to carry the car and house keys, I doubt I'd survive the day without my phone, sunglasses are a must and then there are the make up essentials! So here's what's inside of mine.

The bag of the moment is the H&M fringed bag . The purse is very special to me as the husband trawled the shopping Malls in Dubai to find the Louis Vuitton store to buy this as a gift when I was pregnant. My favourite sunnies are my Rayban Wayfarers. The make-up bag is Ted Baker, my lovely bestie Rachel bought it for me for Christmas last year. It doesn't actually hold that much make-up.....it's more of an emergency kit as you will see below! Some Trident gum to combat the coffee breath...lol! A big old bunch of keys and I'm good to go! Here goes with what is in my emergency kit!

Yes, that is a corkscrew you can see, having got caught short without one once, I don't intend to ever let that happen again ;0) We have the usual hand sanitiser, hand cream, Ibruprofen, I also like to carry a travel size deodorant and a Jo Malone scent sample.....just in case! The make up consists of a Mac lady blush which can double up as a lippy, my current favourite lipstick which is Revlon pink in the afternoon, a chapstick and a neutral Revlon eyeshadow single for the odd occasion that I may need to touch up! These bits and bobs wouldn't be much use without a compact mirror, which was courtesy of House of Fraser Linea. I carry a pair of earrings.....I feel bare without them so I carry a spare and also the hair grips and hair band which are as much for my DD as they are for me! So there we have it! I would love to know what you carry in your bags ladies.....any top tips for anything that you have found is a must have to carry around??

So, we need something to lug all of this stuff around in, these are a few of my practical picks from the high street, I'm sticking with the neutral colours and everday styles! First up is my absolute favourite as I am having a grey moment and this is a great size for everyday. This River Island (via ASOS) is top of my lust list!!

I am a sucker for any bag with a chain handle....this one is on my Christmas list! This one is also leather from H&M.


Love the colour of this Mango oxblood handbag, great shape too!

Marks and Spencer have a great selection of bags! I love the style of this bucket bag, it also comes in a lovely neutral taupe colour, although they describe as grey?!

Marks and Spencer tan messenger bag.....perfect for the school runs when it pays to have your hands free!

I would find this Marks and Spencer navy  messenger bag very useful too!

Metallics are a great neutral too! A bang on trend backpack from Topshop!

No selection would be complete without a bit of animal print....I've gone for a bit of snakeskin in black and white from Rebecca Minkoff via The Outnet

There is my handbag round-up of what I am loving out there at the moment, good job Christmas is in the not too distant future ;0) Which is your favourite from all of the above......is there a new handbag on the agenda for you?

I am only sharing one of my outfits from the past few days as I am conducting a little experiment which I will share with you next time! As you can see my top pick of bags from River Island would go perfectly with this!

Topshop oversize cardigan (current, here)
Marks and Spencer crew neck sweater (old, but similar here)
H&M patchwork jeans (current, here)
Adidas Stan Smiths (via eBay, but you can purchase here)
Primark scarf (Autumn 2013)

As always I love reading and responding to your comments.

Wishing you all a great week, I shall be back soon with that little experiment I mentioned!

Michelle x


21 October 2014

High street statement coats....all for less than £30!!

At this time of year my complete and utter downfall is the coat! In any shape or form I am obsessed. After all, on the school run who see's anything but your coat? After a recent trip to Primark I reckon their coats cover every trend! After much perusing of Pinterest I have found a homage to each of these coats in Primark all for less than £30.

The Primark style steal version £20.

I love, but I can't justify as I bought something very similar from Uniqlo last year that I really need to get the wear out of this year!! Great outfit inspo though!

Next up....the teddy statement coat

This coat came in a couple of other colours but the gray was my favourite! This one was just £22.90, reduced by a couple of quid for some reason, which is excellent for a statement coat you don't want to pay the earth for!! 


Here we have the check coat inspiration.

This is the one I am completely tempted to buy....why on earth have I not caved and handed over my 30 green notes for it??!

Close up of the textiles!! 

Onward and forward to the next statement....the powder blue coat

This Primark one is just 23 pounds!! It is more of an ice blue instore. I managed to find this picture on their website where it looks decidedly grey.

The pink coat is still a huge trend!!

This Primark pink duster coat is gorgeous and this one is a bargain at £25.

Which is your favourite? Are you tempted by any of the Primark offerings??

I haven't bought any of the above yet....but I do have another coat purchase to share. I've had this coat for about a month and I haven't worn it until now as I had an idea that I wanted to style it a certain way which meant a 3 week wait to take delivery of the pair of jeans I had in mind!! 

This coat is from Topshop and I lay the blame for this purchase with the lovely Jane from My Midlife Fashion when she featured it in this fabulous style steal. It took me a while to get hold of as it was sold out online but I managed to track it down eventually in a local store....phew! It does go in and out of stock online I have noticed.

My idea was to wear this with a white shirt, I managed to pick one up in the Gap sale for £14.99 (similar here)

I saw these jeans from H&M and knew they would look perfect with this ensemble! Anyone thinking of ordering these H&M patchwork jeans I would recommend that you size up as they come up small, I bought a 30 in the end when I would normally be a 28 waist.

And to complete the look it just had to be Adidas Stan Smiths (buy here)

Here is how I actually ended up wearing when I visited The Pig again today for the 2nd time in a week! It was so good last week, I decided to treat my mum to lunch this week. I did actually swap the white shirt for a vintage navy silk Jaeger shirt after stealing the idea from Susie So So here! That is the great thing about reading other blogs, it sometimes jogs your memory about little wardrobe gems you have forgotten. My mum was thrilled to bits to see me in the shirt as she gave it to me, after her sister had given it to her years previously. Good to keep these vintage treasures in the family! 

A couple of outfits from the past few days.

DKNY jacket (c/o T K Maxx, ancient)
Gap sweater (old)
Uniqlo urban sweatpants (current, sold out, thanks to Sue again for bagging these for me!)
Kurt Geiger Laurel skate shoes (still available, here)
Topshop snood/scarf (Spring 2014)

Topshop parka (old, similar here)
Uniqlo Lulu Guinness sweatshirt (current, sold out)
ASOS Ridley jeans (current, similar here)
Superga (Summer 2014, still available here)
Efurt scarf (old, Hi-Hi Oxted)

Superdry jacket (old, c/o T K Maxx)
Boden Breton (current, here)
H&M jeans (Spring 2014, sale)
Adidas Stan Smiths (c/o eBay but available here)

I could not resist posting a pic of this little poser in her very own statement coat which is George @ Asda, boots and jeans from H&M. I think Gracie is following in her mums footsteps ;0)

Anyone else as obsessed on the coat front as me then?

As always I love reading and responding to your comments!

Until next time.

Michelle x


18 October 2014

Channeling 'The Alt'!!

So! I found this image of Emmanuelle Alt on Pinterest the other day and I had just been thinking to myself that I haven't really made that many footwear purchases this season, especially in light of the fact that I recently flogged 5 pairs of boots on eBay! I have a few pairs of trainers (Superga, Adidas, Converse and New Balance), I'm looking forward to getting the Brogues out again, I have Chelsea boots, biker boots and some Office Ash Jalouse look-alikes, but I don't have anything dressy-ish for a ladies lunch say. Then I saw this picture and the hunt was on.

This is what a bit of research came up with!

Good old Marks and Spencer came up trumps with these Limited Edition faux suede boots with Insolia for £39.50! For me these are the perfect height heel and of course the Insolia makes them perfectly comfy. I have to say the first time I wore these it was raining and considering it was raining they fared really well.....no soggy feet!!

Now for the rest of the style steal! This Wallis military coat would be the perfect alternative to the designer version that the French Vogue editor is sporting above!

Complete the look with these ASOS Ridley acid wash ankle grazer.


My version.

Topshop coat (Autumn 2013)
Uniqlo merino v-neck (current, here)
H&M jeans (sale, Spring 2013)
Marks and Spencer Limited Edition boots (current, here)

I love this look, it's one you are likely to see me in a lot! I did actually wear this to take my niece (sis was working) on a tour of what will hopefully be her new school. I did a quick change of coat when I got home as I was having a belated birthday lunch with some of my bestie's! We went to The Pig near Bath and I can't recommend the place highly enough......in fact I am off there again next week to treat my lovely mum to lunch!

Outfit same as above except for the M&S leopard print coat, here currently with 20% off

Next up is the school run outfit from Monday

Damart gilet (current, here)
Zoe Karssen sweater (current courtesy of T K Maxx)
Gap always skinny jeans (old)
Nine West biker boots (ancient)
H&M snood (current, here)

And finally Wednesday's outfit. It's about this time of year when my coat obsession kicks in....this is my 3rd coat purchase already this season. I fear there will be more as my next post is all about a few high street bargain statement coats I have come across....bound to result in another coat purchase!! This little beauty is from Mango, sadly not in the current 30% off promotion.

Mango coatigan (current, here)
Uniqlo supima top (current, here)
Topshop Jamie jeans (Autumn 2013, similar here)
Adidas Stan Smiths (mine courtesy of eBay, can buy at Office here)

Would love to hear your thoughts on my style steal, I love reading and responding to your comments as always!

Be back soon with that round-up of fab high street statement coats!


Michelle x


13 October 2014

How am I doing with my Autumn/Winter plan?

I am happy to report I have done pretty well with my plan (original post here)! I have not strayed from the original line up and any additional purchases are all in-keeping with what I originally had in mind! I'll kick off the show and tell with the outerwear purchases! I was lucky enough to bag the M&S leopard print coat with one of the 20% discounts that have been around and not only that, my parent's ended up buying it for me for my birthday! It had it's first spin on my birthday when I went out to tea en-famille!

Marks & Spencer coat (no longer online but plenty instore)
Jaeger sweater (Autumn 2013)
H&M  pleather leggings (current, here)
H&M bag (current)
H&M lace shoes (current, here)

I also managed to bag the Topshop oversized cardy, I got the last one in the shop but I think they have re-stocked and have it in other lovely colours now too!

Tophop cardigan (current, here)
Zara Breton (Autumn 2013)
Gap skinnies (old)
Superga trainers (Summer 2014)
H&M knitted snood (current, here)

Next up it is the selection of knitwear and tops I had set my sights on! My last post was all about the Uniqlo merino sweater research so I've filled the wardrobe gap with a grey v-neck and black round neck. I also managed to snag the Boden raven and grey Breton for just £11.25 with one of their generous discounts and a welcome back £10 off voucher!

Onto other tops.......I had my eye on 2 shirts! Not only have I taken full advantage of those discount vouchers flying around, I have had a lot of luck on eBay recently! One of the items on my list was a Gap denim shirt, however while trawling eBay I came across this one from J Crew and jumped for joy when I won the auction and paid £10 and P&P for it!

The other shirt was also Gap but I didn't get my butt into gear quick enough and by the time I went to order it had sold out! It was obviously meant to be though as I ended up with this Brave Soul red and black check shirt from ASOS which was a bargain also at £15 in the sale (unfortunately now sold out too). Not only was I lucky from the price point of view but I had a lucky escape not ordering the Gap shirt as I saw it in store last week only to find it wasn't red and black but red and charcoal which would not have been in keeping with the plan at all!

Moving on swiftly to the bottom half, I did invest in the ASOS ridley busted knee black jeans (with 25% off thanks to Glamour magazine!) and I say invest as they are possibly some of the best jeans I have ever owned!! High on the waist and with the most perfect amount of stretch, they are the height of comfort as far as jeans go........I would thoroughly recommend! So much so I have also ordered them in blue also!

Zara jacket (Spring 2013)
Whistles t-shirt (old)
ASOS Ridley busted knee jeans (current, here)
Adidas Stan Smith trainers (courtesy of eBay)
H&M bag (current)

And so we reach the footwear! Bearing in mind I have already purchased some black Superga, I felt I needed a casual boot for the rainy days and I knew I was after a completely flat Chelsea boot. I found the Lolly Dawson in Clarks and again managed to get them with a 20% discount thanks to the purchase of the dreaded school shoes! These have been a brilliant buy as again they are super comfy and have been just the job for the wet school run's this past week. The other pair of shoes on the list was a pair of lacey pointed flats from H&M, which have been brilliant for a couple of semi-dressy occasions where neither a boot or heeled shoe would do!

So that was the original list completed.....obviously there have been a couple of unintended but perfect additions on the way! When I got an invite for a Boden clearance, I thought I'd go along for a mooch. I've got to be honest and say I went along not expecting to find anything. Having never been such an event before I was in for a real shock! Such a scrum! It was in the Showering Pavillion at the Bath & West showground, which is basically a huge cow shed where they sell livestock (ok, it's a tiny bit nicer than that.....I may have gone to huge organised raves there about 20 years ago!). Anyway there were rails around the room and lots of tables with shoes, bags and boxes of clothing on. I arrived as it was opening at 10am, it was manically busy and just a case of diving in! This is not my kind of shopping at all, there is no pleasure in picking up something with the possibility of having to brawl for it....people are so fierce when it comes to bagging a bargain. Anyway happy to report that I left after 20 minutes completely unscathed after being fortunate to find something right up my street! I got me a lovely Off Duty black roll neck sweater, once again I have managed not to deviate from my plan as it fits right in. I think it's a cotton mix and was a steal at £25!

Boden sweater
H&M pleather leggings (current, here)
Oasis pumps (ancient)
H&M bag (current)

I have Net-A -Dresser and Fashion Mum of 40 to thank for the purchase of the H&M pleather leggings in the above photo which the Boden sweater. Helen from N-A-D sewed the seed a while ago and Annmarie reminded me more recently about the hole in the wardrobe for which a leather look legging/trouser was needed! I didn't get in there quick enough again for the Next ones (I was just not patient enough to go for the 2-3week wait for delivery) but I remembered seeing something similar in H&M (I purchased and returned these last year....doh!) so I set out to purchase these immediately as I had an occasion in  mind for wearing them as my birthday was coming up.

Also not on the original list but again a fab accessory fitting in the plan was the H&M fringed bag. I had some H&M vouchers for my birthday and I knew straight away I would buy the bag as I've been eyeing it up for a couple of months and had recently seen Joanna of Poppy's Style and Frances School Run style toting theirs, only making me want it more! It is a superb bag for £19.99, I managed to nab the last black one but they also have it in another colourway which I am also contemplating!

It looks like I have had a right old splurge but thanks to some birthday presents/money and eBay sales all my Autumn purchases have been covered! I've purged a huge chunk of my wardrobe on eBay, in particular I had a huge cull of footwear as last Winter I fell out of love with boots once I purchased the New Balance trainers and of course I have practically lived in the Kurt Geiger Laurel skate shoes since I bought them earlier this year so I no longer felt I needed a lot of the boots. I do love to bag myself a bargain and I rarely pay full price for anything and as you can see I have been truly lucky with getting so many discounts on things!! Every little helps as they say!

The plan of action has really come into play over the last week, all of the above outfits have been worn during the past 7 days.....it is safe to say that winter is well on the way now! Here are just a couple more school run outfits that saw me breaking out my parka as it was blowing a gale and lashing down here!

Topshop parka (A/W 2013)
Primark sweatshirt (current, menswear department)
ASOS Ridley busted knee jeans (current, here)
Clarks Lolly Dawson boots (current, here)
Marc Jacobs bag (old)
Efurt scarf (old, Hi Hi Oxted)

Topshop parka (A/W 2013)
Uniqlo shirt (A/W 2013)
Gap always skinny jeans (old)
Adidas Stan Smiths (courtesy of eBay)

I am looking forward to wearing the new purchases over the coming weeks and I love doing the obligatory Autumn/Winter changeover when you stumble over your forgotten favourites of years gone by!

I just wanted to thank everyone who left lovely birthday messages for me on Instagram, I was very touched, it made my day extra special!

As always I love reading and responding to your comments!

Until next time!

Michelle :0)