What I Actually Bought in the January Sales

Well it's a quite ironic titling this post as January sales when all of this shopping was done before the month even began! I've enjoyed seeing the posts from bloggers with their sale favourites but thought it would be useful to show what I actually ordered with my own money. Isn't the early payday such a killer - hello 6 week month!

I haven't even visited any shops as I just haven't had chance due to not taking any work holiday, so all of this was purchased online and in a somewhat frugal way. I tried to only look for things I had on my wishlist already or clothes I could wear over and over again for work, rather than spending hours scrolling through the sales for purchases I was never planning on buying in the first place! The rule 'if you didn't buy it full price, you don't need it now' was definitely in my mind.

River Island - I had a River Island spree because I recently found I actually fit into their tailored trousers in a certain size. It is SO hard and long to go trouser shopping!  I’ve ordered about ten pairs of ASOS black trousers at a time in the past and none of them would fit properly. These sale items are all for work though as I would not wear proper trousers and blouses in my chosen wardrobe, and never did when I worked in fashion. I have said a few times that I struggle with my office dress code because I found it hard at first to find my style within the 'rules', but have now defined the objectives as 1) items you can mix and match, and 2) items that do not need slips underneath or jackets to shield from the chilly office air-con. I am tempted by a Topshop suit as my first ever suit, but I’m not ready to part with the cash just yet and I missed the ones that went into the sale. (NB: just as I typed that, I had another check and for the Topshop navy suit below, there were size 8s available in the jacket and trousers! I’m not sure they will fit but I’ve ordered them to store so can easily return if not. I’m otherwise great as keeping receipts and new things in the bags as I constantly return things. It’s a common error to buy something and hang it in your wardrobe, before realising a few months down the line that you just didn’t have chance to wear it!)

Lavish Alice - Funnily enough I forgot I purchased these Lavish Alice culottes until now! Lucia has blogged about how much she has loved her pair this year and had so much wear out of them, which definitely appealed to me as I tend to look for work clothes that I can wear over and over without the quality fading. They will add a much needed style injection compared with your average black trousers, and I’m hoping they aren’t too cropped so I can wear normal ankle boots with them and not have too much leg showing. I am tempted by the navy pair but the black will be slightly more wearable, so I’ll see how they fit. I have a feeling culottes are one of those trends that surface one year but aren’t truly adopted until the next. I found an airy black pair a few months ago for £5 in a Dorothy Perkins sale and wore a floral pair from Boohoo all summer!

Kurt Geiger - I’ve also absolutely loved my lace up Choies heels this year and even considered buying another pair! Why hasn’t the high street came out with an amazing lace up pair? eBay and cheapie international sites are awash with them! I spotted these Miss KG pairs earlier in the year and snapped up some sizes in the sale, the chosen site being Debenhams as I had a £30 voucher I got from Buyapower earlier in the year to use up, and the actual Kurt Geiger website couldn’t deliver for around two weeks. They have arrived and are beautiful quality. I'm SO tempted by the snake skin!

Debenhams - I was watching Lily Pebbles' December favourites and usually my thinking is ‘Why buy a shower gel for £12 when I could buy 12 at £1 and last an entire year!', however I was so enabled by her description of the Rituals Hammam Body Mud! I suffer from blocked sinuses around once a month and it will take weeks before clearing momentarily at a random time, and I don’t want to take constant medicine. Any products that make my shower steam do even more wonders for my painful head are very attractive to me! I had £10 of points on my Debenhams beauty card so I did get this set for just £7. They had another set at a higher price, but I especially wanted the mud Lily picked out. I’ve loved her Vlogmas videos! It’s so relaxing to watch someone else’s life, like a mini soap opera with a lot more taste. 

I’ll let you know how these fair! I’m considering posting some of my work outfits but might cart all of my things to my mom’s house one weekend and photograph lots in one go. Maybe I’ll make it into a video!

Khaki Kid | New Look Khaki Shirt & Topshop Jamie Jean

Khakishirty3 Khakishirty3 Khakishirty3

Hi guys, little time no speak! I took these photos (well, my brother did) last week and I don't usually like racking up posts, but I am indeed still wearing this whole outfit whenever I am free. Come the weekend, I actually feel like a different person. It could be all psychological or due to office bathroom lighting, but I almost feel like I look totally different by Saturday morning. I don't splash out on the weekend, but I do feel like I look a million bucks better! Weekend millionaire indeed. Office wear is just never going to be my thing.

This outfit is my AW staple because of the two key elements:

1.  The khaki shirt - There's something about khaki green that fits so well with all of the camel colours this season but is still a little beat up and boyish. Teaming a military shirt with curve-hugging jeans, a pencil skirt or a slick bun creates a contrast that adds a sexy vibe to normcore; the whole subtle, classic, solid trend of the moment. This New Look shirt has just enough of a casual vibe due to the material but the slim fit and neat pockets can keep it sophisticated.

2.  The ripped skinnies - I've been eyeing my favourite high waisted jeans sitting in my wardrobe and contemplating the scissors. But once you chop, there is no going back and I just could not bring myself to! So I invested in the Topshop Jamie Jean as my winter weekend purchase, and I like the sturdiness of the pockets and studs as a change to my jegging-like Joni Jean or River Island Tube Pants. Ripped knees just add another sexy skin flash while being tough and effortless. I have actually turned a corner with my weekend nightlife too and now actually hit the town in jeans, half because you can dress up jeans in a chic way now, and half because some nights are not worth donning a bodycon mini skirt when you have gossiping with your friends to do! I feel just as happy in what I deem as 'casual' wear now as I did in my party dresses of my Motel days. One could argue my super-tight jeans are a version of bodycon, and I still add my tan, lashes, and killer heels, but I'm cool with that haha.

The Topshop Stingray

Hi guys! It's hump day and I'm having one of my busiest weeks at work for a long time, so I prepped my room, bag and wardrobe at the weekend. I've had a backpack for a while but found I never wore them properly on both shoulders as it was a fashion-y bag rather than a rucksack, and you can never organise things properly. When your purse or train pass gets lost in a backpack, you are forever rooting around!

I never usually buy excess bags. I have one bag that I love and use until I need another. But my New Look holdall was weighing down my shoulder and swallowing up anything I put in there, and I happened to see the Topshop Stingray bag online and liked it! Hurray! If I ever go shopping for a bag, I never find one. I popped into Topshop after work one day (not before doing an online store check to see if Bullring had them) and found it to be the perfect not-too-big, not-too-small bag. I like the double zip as I'm always wary of being pick-pocketed and keep the zippers close to the side, and you can wear it with the strap on your shoulder or over your elbow like I tend to do. It fits my packed lunch, gym clothes (if I go!) and all the other random items I deem essential, but never take out during the day. 

Right, I need to get my beauty sleep! Hoping it's a sunny weekend approaching. 

Bralet Starlet

I've always said that in the spring, I only seem to wear jeans or trousers. It's not quite warm enough for bare legs and the air can be prone to a gust of wind, so black tights and skirts are not something I gravitate towards. In fact I haven't worn tights in around a year! I've veered towards midi dresses, maxi skirts, or high waist trousers for day and night, and I just got this ASOS Luxe pair. On the site they are more of a cool pink but in real life they are a blush colour with a slight metallic print. The chunky waist band makes for a more statement, definite high waisted fit but take note: they are rather prone to creasing! I've worn them to work with a blouse and pointy flats but can throw them on at night with a baby bralet. I've tried a few of these and I'm not really lucky enough to fill this one sans bra, but I think they're a new favourite for itty bitty gals like myself. I got this Topshop navy version as the material and cut is much more structured so when you cover your midriff, it's not quite like wearing just a bra. It's also only £22 which I thought was pretty decent for Topshop standards!

While writing this I almost forgot about these shoes! For months I was looking for an upgrade of the classic ankle strap heels, and these are the full throttle version from River Island, with a platform and chunky velcro strap. They sold out right away but there are similar styles here, and after a season of dainty heels, I'm back in platforms!

Lisbon Love: Topshop

Hey guys! I posted one holiday outfit last night but realised I didn't really give all the gossip and happenings while I was away!

We had afternoon flights which are quite rare for Ryan Air deals, so got to Lisbon in the evening and found our way to the apartment of dreams. Waterfall shower, a bath you could swim in, huge went so I was not hitting the bubbles straight away, but we chose our beds, ventured down the mosaic streets to shops to pick up vital snacks and drinks, and managed to have a nap before strutting out for night number one. The great thing about some Euro countries is the clubs don't really get going until after 2am, so it really felt like we were taking our time to get ready, although we didn't know what to expect. We were near an area of bars called Bairro Alto and planned to visit there first to see what was happening on a Wednesday night. I was so ready to wear my new Topshop two piece set which ended up being an expensive £70 when bought together. I can wear the items separately though and they wont be going out of season because palms are such a cult print, plus a high rise crop top is everything and anything I want right now! Justifed?

All dressed up, we navigated a cab to the bars and true to our usual travels, we were totally ovedressed. Well maybe overdressed isn't the word as we were fine as dressing up goes, but we found that students abroad are very casual, and so a bunch of girls carefully treading the cobble stones in our best mini dresses and heels while other party-goes were in coats and jeans means heads are turned! We fended off a few groups of boys saying things we didn't understand anyway and found a bargain bar to sample the cocktails. There were only a few others in there and one of the most beautiful boys we had ever seen. It was literally a case of 'That boy is soooo pretty' and taking a sly selfie with him in the frame, even though he was potentially a teen haha! Never the less, we got talking to their group and they said we had to go to Urban Beach - literally a club on a beach. This was music to our ears, coming from the most central city of England.

A few shared cocktail jugs later, we hopped in another cab to the mysterious club and found a sea of hanging lights dotted across a beach, with a huge decked walk way onto the sand. Just being at a beach is novelty enough so the twinkling lights were shining beautifully and we walked down the path to a huge, contemporary open space. In Lisbon the clubs will charge around 8 Euro entry, but this is already loaded onto a payment card which you can spend the entry price on a drink. All of your spend across the night is done on your card, and then you pay it off before you leave. This would just be lethal in the UK because having a free reign to buy as many drinks as possible before paying would certainly be abused! But we were chuffed we didn't have to technically pay entry, and somehow swanned into the VIP area. We were soon removed from the VIP area once realised we were random crashers haha, and partied into the wee hours. Even the post-club takeaway stand was a range of barbequed wraps and fresh salads! We actually went back to this club on the third night too as two friends came out later in the holiday and it had to be seen.

I quite like wearing shorts to dance as a slim-fitting dress can often mean you need to keep in check that it hasn't rode up! I am definitely looking towards summer with this two piece and might wear it out on the town once more and then in the summer daytime with white chunky sandals. I think they are the shoes of the summer but I'm holding out for a few months until it really gets sunny, as in the mean time I can't wear open shoes at work due to the smart dress code.

I'm also tentatively looking into getting a great camera as I find it imposible to show how any outfits really do look! I'm thinking a Nikon D3200 or 5100 with the flip out part! If you are a camera whizz, do let me know!

All Access-ories

I'm in a fashion rabbit hole! Autumn is approaching and I am all over the place! I'm constantly thinking about the direction of my wardrobe and at the moment my new needs are 70% smart work clothes, 20% weekend clothes and 10% night out clothes. The nights out are no problem, I'm alllll about the night out looks, but the work clothing is a whole new territory for me. I'm trying to figure out the balance between something smart and understated, but a look that still has a light injection of my own style. Doing 'a total Zara' would be too extreme and I'm in a more professional setting now so fashion statements are not on the agenda. So I've reached a conclusion: I figure work days can call for simple classics, but otherwise it's my coat, bag and shoes that do the talking, especially during the autumn and winter months.

It's the tricky conundrum of halting my shopping and buying much less really. Rather than cultivating a mixture of looks, I have a capsule work wardrobe with looks that I alternate. This is even harder as you need to buy items that can mix and match easily, and the items must be classic styles that you won't be bored by. This means no cute crop tops or skater skirts - it means quality classics. It's actually quite tricky!

I learnt the rule this year that shoes really do make the outfit, and I wanted some killer ankle boots. I've been stalking Next 2 Nowt which is a discount shoe site that is full of Topshop styles, but they're not actually named as Topshop. It's very obvious they are though! I wanted the Arabel boots and after a few patient weeks, they appeared for half the price and only slightly worn. I'm going to guess the shoes are acquired from an outlet supplier of Topshop but these look practically brand new and feel super clunky and tough - definitely a subtle statement.

I also needed a new bag as mine was getting a little too worn, and I tend to fill up any bag I have to the brim. When I found myself carrying round the kitchen sink, it was time for something small! I missed having a backpack and this snake print zipper bag is just the right size for your makeup bag plus a few items, but not enough for the taps, drainer and sink! I quite like putting it on my back instead of slung over one shoulder, and walking to work in my shirt like I'm off to school!

High Waist Heaven

Hi guys! It's Saturday night and I am staying in with a Pretty Woman DVD, tasty treats and a Google Reader (RIP) full of Tumblr posts to space-bar through while gossiping with my housemate. We have been shopping all day and I picked up some strappy sandals, a nude maxi skirt, a crochet dress and a neon sports bra for bargaineous prices at New Look and H&M. Yay!

I've been wanting to show you my 'daily' look which I've been wearing basically all the time to work - high waisted skinny jeans and ankle strap pointed heels; these are from ASOS. I work in an office where there is no dress code so this won't be deemed office-wear traditionally but wearing trousers/pants and small heels makes me feel pulled together and ready for the day ahead. I've tried all manner of high waisted jeans and the River Island tube pants are my favourites because the denim is stiffer rather than elasticated so there is a smoother, matte finish so they fit without being stretched to fit. I found the Topshop Joni jeans were too big in the waist and too tight elsewhere or vice versa, and the AA Easy Jean were again too stretchy, but that's just me. As a rule, Topshop trousers rarely fit me very well - some shops have certain standard shapes that they size all their clothing to and Topshop just doesn't suit me argh! Also I haven't had a haircut since October seriously and my hair is getting really long! I was contemplating dying the tips blonde for fun...

I repainted my nails white too as the American Apparel green was just not the shade I wanted it to be; maybe I had too many coats. White is a new classic and makes all jewellery look great, but next time I'm thinking of going matte red. My ring is from H&M and the hand chain was £1 in a New Look sale. Never pass by a jewellery sale!

A Quest For Lazer

Hey guys! Hmm I'm not sure where to start with catching up with you, I've had a few weeks of busy, busy weekends and busy, busy weekdays. By busy, I mean travelling lots to see family and friends and then keeping all of you fashion shoppers stocked with the latest Motel offerings. In my eyes there's always something productive to do so you won't often find me without a to-do list, and in the past few weeks I've continued to eBay like crazy too. I've made a tidy sum to save for a rainy day so the lengthy uploading process and lunch time trips to the post office do pay off.

I'm hoping I'll have more exciting outfits to share when the weather heats up, but right now we are stalling through a chilly spring and I have stayed true to my spring-means-trousers habit. I think I tend to always go for trousers during this time of year because I don't like to wear black tights when the days are light and breezy, and it's definitely not time to get your legs out yet. Enter my new Topshop joggers, which I actually got on eBay for £6. I was hunting some 'smart' joggers for a few weeks and Topshop only had pairs with graffiti prints, but some searching on good old eBay lead me to these. 

I had so many outfits in mind when pairing these with my ASOS ankle strap nude shoes. I've worn them SO much, literally every day to work, as they add a totally chic twist to every outfit. Kitten heels may be small but they make as much of an impact as towering heels do. They also feel very grown up and ladylike! 

I'm also still chuffed with the Zara lazer leather sweater I managed to find in the Birmingham store. I don't really shop a lot nowadays as I had a much larger disposable income when I was a student, but I am a lucky shopper and always seem to find popular, sell-out items. There are so many things to love about this sweater, from the faux leather applique front to the quilted sleeves to the sheer back panel. It's also the easiest thing to quickly throw on but will look eternally chic, so it's perfect for a grab-and-go outfit that still looks smart. I've streamlined my wardrobe so I can find an outfit in five minutes that will have as much effect as one that was carefully pulled together in twenty minutes by investing in easy pieces like this and not buying filler things like plain leggings or cardigans.

I hope that gives a snapshot of where my wardrobe is in terms of fashion lately; this blog has seen me go through so many different styles and inspirations over the years! You can also see my Tumblr for what I am feeling at the moment but I'm excited to bring more real-time outfits to this blog soon... and maybe with some sunshine too!

Lucky Lace

I was on a hunt for a new dress all of last week for my housemate's birthday on the Friday. You know when you are looking for something and you just don't find it? I was after new shoes and a new dress but couldn't find either! There are no decent heels in the shops right now anywhere it seems. I did a mid-week ASOS order but everything was thin and too stretchy, so it was by chance that in the final hour I found this dress in Topshop. I had this picture that I reblogged on my Tumblr in mind and searched far and wide online for a similar dress, and then I went and found exactly it! 

Hidden behind a rail of bright midi dresses I found this lace beauty and thanked the Gods of shopping! It is nude with a very thin velvety overlay of paisley lace. However when I tried it on, I realised it only stretches in one direction so the sleeves are SUPER tight. Before you put it on, you have to make sure the seams are in the correct place or you will not be able to twist the sleeves once it's over your head! I also knew I didn't want a midi length as it just felt too formal for a cheesy club in Bristol, so I planned on hemming it, but actually in the end I just folded it under once about 10 inches! I'm so pleased I can still wear it as a midi length if I want to, and you can't tell it is folded under at all. They also have it in blue lace too! It was only £36 which is excellent for Topshop and for a longer length, and it should be in my outfit rotation for a long time!

Feeling Flutey

This photo was from the last time I went home against one of my Mom's amazing wallpapers; that lady loves an accent wall! This Flute Skirt from Motel is one of those new items that you almost forget you have because it's not quite worn-to-death yet, and then you remember it is in your wardrobe and you get a little buzz. It's actually a thin white faux leather and for someone with soooo much black in my wardrobe, it's a fresh change! Circle skirts will forever be my fail-safes! 

The first time I saw the polo neck crop tops in Topshop they had all sold out so I snapped up the black and white versions as soon as I saw them! I had to restrain myself from going any more into polo necks as they were an immediate favourite and I just had to hunt for a dress too. I returned the said dress as really, I don't need a 5th black maxi dress no matter which neckline it is! Still loving these crop tops though, and they're a tad warmer than your usual crop top affair!

P.S. If anyone has any advise on saving photos so they appear high quality when uploaded, please do tell me, I would love to know! I think my photos go blurry once they are uploaded x