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Category: Fashion

4 Stages of Outfit Envy

I love clothes, I love fashion and I most definitely love to shop! For the past couple of days I’ve been using my spare time to scour the web in search of a top that I saw a lady wearing at playgroup. So far my search has been fruitless but it has got me thinking about the dreaded feeling of outfit envy which I find myself coming down with far more frequently than I’d like. I’ll run you through the 4 stages I experience during a bout of outfit envy.

  1.  Admiration – That moment you spy a garment from across the room being modelled perfectly by someone other than you. It starts with admiration; for the clothing and for the person wearing it for styling the look.  Well done to them on finding such a gem. You may even vocalise the admiration by giving the wearer a compliment, after all, a compliment can always act as a mood lifter.
  2. Resentment – Unfortunately it doesn’t take long before the admiration fades and resentment, albeit irrational, starts to set in. You go from thinking the other person is a  bit of style icon for finding such a beautiful piece, to being a bit peeved that you didn’t snap it up first, especially considering the amount of time you put in to browsing potential purchases. I mean; why do they have to have such amazing clothes when I have ‘NOTHING TO WEAR’!
  3. Investigation – How do you get over the resentment? Go on a full scale hunt for the item: sit down, get comfortable & make Google your best friend. Use every search term you can think of, utilise specific shopping search sites and visit retailers you think would carry the piece in their collection. In this stage motivation is key in leaving no stone unturned and keeping the faith that you too can achieve #OutfitGoals!
  4. Compromise – All that optimism you had in the investigation stage has started to disappear and you’re now worried that you have lost this particular battle of style wars. Do you now admit defeat? Of course not, you start thinking about a compromise. You could find a similar garment to the one you originally wanted or you could reward your efforts by spending a few pounds on a piece you’ve been lusting over for a while. Which ever way you decide to compromise; you will find that your mood is substantially higher now you have reached the final stage and outfit envy is over. 

Do you ever find yourself suffering from outfit envy? Is there a fine line between admiring someone else’s style and being jealous that it isn’t you rocking that look? Or am I just living in an irrational, and slightly self-obsessed, bubble. Let me know in the comments section.

Me&I is Fun Fashion for Us

I love discovering new brands; especially when it comes to fashion. Like many mums; I tend to now put a lot more time, effort and money into ensuring little one’s wardrobe is brimming with beautiful pieces than splurging on glamorous garments for myself. At least once a week I fall in love with a childrenswear brand that was not already on my radar. I’d love to buy items from every one of them but, until I win the lottery or discover a money tree, I’m unable to try them all.  When we got the chance to test out cool Scandi fashion brand ‘Me&I’*; I jumped at it!

With a range of fun and quirky designs to choose from; I was spoilt for choice and spent more than a little while deliberating over which two pieces from the collection to pick for little Miss.  At 16 months, baby girl is lucky enough to fit in to their baby organic range as well as the kids collection. So with this in mind I selected a piece from each range; the ‘raining hearts’ bodysuit from the former and the ‘Dino’ tunic from the latter.

From the moment the delivery man handed me my parcel;  I could tell, even from the bright packaging, that I would be pleased with what lay ahead. And pleased I was. The first thing I noticed was how utterly soft the fabric was; the label said organic cotton but they felt akin to silk and oh so stretchy too, making me hopeful that she’d get longer wear out of them.

  • Raining Hearts Bodysuit – This long-sleeved bodysuit, pictured above, is so incredibly versatile. Part of the gender-neutral baby organic range; the striking print makes a big enough statement to be worn as part of an outfit rather than just an undergarment/base layer. The breathable organic cotton has been a lifesaver during the mini heatwaves we’ve experienced recently and it’s been so handy to just pair it with leggings when going out to playgroups or trips to the park. Each time little one has worn it she has been complimented by many parents whom I’ve then directed to the website. I love the idea of ‘raining hearts’ as it’s such a wonderful concept – the world needs more love and what better way to add more than via showers of rain! At  £20, it may seem a bit expensive for ‘just a bodysuit’ but it’s well worth every penny considering the look, feel and versatility of it. It can be used as: an undergarment, nightwear during the summer and as the statement part of an outfit. I’m contemplating getting the little joggers in this range next.
  • Dino Tunic – Girls can like dinosaurs too! I might not have to tell you that but if most retailers are anything to go by you’d think boys had a monopoly on them. So, ever the one try and dispel stereotypes, I tend to buy cute girls dinosaur items if  I see them. This bright cerise pink tunic is fab. Made in a ‘terry’ towelling style; it can be used as a post-swimming/beach cover-up as well as a fun everyday outfit to play in. Like many teething babies and toddlers; little one’s dribble is resembling Niagara Falls at the moment meaning we are having to change dribble soaked tops regularly. However, when she wears this, the towelling nature means it’s soaked up and there’s no need for an outfit change until bath & bed! At £21, I feel this outfit offers great value for money as it’s currently long enough to be a dress and as she grows it can convert to a top. The stretchy lightweight cotton allows it to be worn throughout many seasons and can be worn layered up or on it’s own.

Overall Verdict – The fun prints, high-quality fabric and versatile designs have left me extremely happy and I will definitely be adding more Me&I pieces to little one’s wardrobe in the future. I was so impressed that I would also look in to purchasing pieces from their womenswear collection for myself. The items are true to size yet with enough stretch to last a while and the fabric washes so well that I feel safe in the knowledge it can be washed and worn time and time again. Currently there are no Me&I consultants in  my surrounding area but if there were I would not hesitate to attend one of their events or parties. For now; I will continue to shop via their website.

 

*2 pieces of clothing were gifted to us in exchange for a product test and honest review. All opinions and views are my own.

Where to Find? Petite Jumpsuits

Every year when summer comes and I start to think about what pieces I want to add to my wardrobe; I end up obsessing over jumpsuits and maxi dresses. However, when you’re 5ft3 it can be very difficult to find one that doesn’t drown you! With that in mind; I’ve made it my mission this summer to find a petite jumpsuit I can pull out of my wardrobe for any occasion and can be dressed up or down. So I’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to track down petite jumpsuits.

  1. Very – This online retailer not only houses so many great brands, it also has it’s own fashion range with some killer pieces. It wasn’t that long ago I discovered Very had a petite range but, now I know it exists, my online shopping basket is constantly growing! From strapless to wide leg, there’s a jumpsuit to suit everyone; my fave is this navy floral cold shoulder jumpsuit as it nails 3 current trends with one piece.
  2. M&Co – From the moment I walked into the Petersfield branch and spotted this navy tropical jumpsuit I was in love! So when I noticed it was actually part of the petite collection I couldn’t have been happier. What’s more, it goes up to a size 18 meaning I could actually get one that fits – they didn’t have one in store so I placed my order the minute I got home. Fingers crossed it looks as nice on as it did on the hanger as I’m no mannequin.
  3. Fenn Wright Manson – Okay, so this brand may be at the more expensive end of the high street, but their garments are timeless with a nod to fashion and oozes luxury. This v neck floral culotte jumpsuit caught my eye from day one of the collection launch – it’s definitely an investment piece but one that will pay off. Now in the sale; it’s sure to sell out quickly.
  4. Gap – I have to admit,  as an ex-employee I’m a little biased when it comes to Gap, but I genuinely get repeated wear from the garments I buy there. I’ve heard lots of people say that Gap only have ‘very thin, very tall’ women in mind when they’re designing their collectio.  That really isn’t the case as they have a petite range and stock up to a size 24. I’m loving this navy wrap front jumpsuit which I know will last me an absolute lifetime.

Where is your ‘go-to’ for petite clothing? What issues do you have when picking a jumpsuit? Let me know in the comments section.

Where to Find? Fashionable Fuller Figure Swimwear

Swimwear can be one of the most difficult garments to find. You need something that will make you feel confident even on one of those days, something that says who you are and something that shows off as little, or as much, as you want of your body. We all have our ‘problem’ areas, bits we are self-concious of and some parts we just want to cover-up completely. None of us have it easy finding swimwear but the problem I have is finding fuller figure swimwear that is not just functional, but fashionable too. So I’ve compiled list of some of the best places to track down fashionable fuller figure swimwear.

  1. Bravissimo – I first started shopping at Bravissimo as a student desperately searching for a high street lingerie store which could give a more accurate bra fitting. Pleased with the impeccable service I received; I became a frequent visitor to their stores and sister brand ‘Pepperberry’.  Bravissimo offer a wide range of bikinis, tankinis & one-pieces up to a size 18 with cup sizes extending to a K cup.
  2. M&Co – This brand has always been a winner in my book when it comes to baby and childrenswear but recently I’ve started seeing it in a new light and I’m actually really impressed with the summer womenswear collection. The range of swimwear comes in a multitude of colours and prints with items up to a size 20 and even includes ‘tummy control‘ pieces.  I’ve got my eye on this blue & green tile print cossie perfect for covering my ‘mum tum’! 
  3. Simply Be – Have you seen the TV ad for the Simply Be swimwear? Talk about promoting positive body image; those models look empowered and like they truly embody full body confidence. Their range goes all the way up to a size 38 and encompasses many household names from ‘Curvy Kate‘ to ‘Panache‘. Whilst some pieces are a little pricier than you may be prepared to spend; they look to be well worth the investment.
  4. Forever 21 Ah Forever 21, I don’t know if it’s the bright prints or the witty slogans but this brand really does make me feel youthful and reminds me that I’m still very much in my 20s! With their plus size swimwear collection including cut-outs, tropical prints and mesh elements – there are some pieces guaranteed to attract attention for all the right reasons. I’m loving this bright red one-piece with the word ‘Hello’ across it – definite Baywatch vibes!

Where is your ‘go-to’ for swimwear? What issues do you have when picking a bikini or one-piece? Let me know in the comments section.

4 Cute Fruit Prints

Ah summer; it’s finally here and with a change of weather comes a change of wardrobe. What says ready for fun in the sun more than a playful print?! There are so many lovely patterns available at the moment but fruity prints are always eye-catching and give an immediate summer vibe.  So here are 4 of the cutest fruit prints for this seasons garments.

  1. Cherries – For weeks I’ve been crushing on a cherry print blouse by an independent designer. Since first seeing this top; I keep noticing more pieces I love with a cherry theme. Lots of small cherries in a very ditsy design give a real ‘girly’ feel or you could make more of a bold statement with larger cherries.
  2. Pineapples – Is there a more summery fruit than pineapple?! I keep seeing pineapple prints everywhere; from accessories to interiors. Pineapples instantly make me think of sipping cocktails by a pool so what better pattern is there to get you in the right frame of mind to go and soak up some rays.
  3. Watermelon – Whilst the word ‘watermelon’ makes me think of the famous ‘Dirty Dancing’ quote; the contrast of the pinky red  flesh against the bright green rind is an image that stands out. Often accompanied by slogans; watermelon print tees make a great cover-up for over swimwear during a trip to the beach or a splash at the pool.
  4. Apples – On Children’s clothing; apple prints are extremely cute. There’s something quite sweet and innocent about it whilst being fun. Often found on rompers and dresses; the apple design is one that will definitely be making an appearance in my little girl’s wardrobe this season.

What prints make you feel summery? Let me know in the comments section.

Plus Sized Presumptions

I’ll never be a size 8 and I’m fine with that, it probably wouldn’t suit me anyway, what I’m not fine with is being told that someone ‘presumes’ I need plus size. Whilst I don’t like the phrase ‘plus size’, I have absolutely no problem with being over a certain size as I’m a firm believer in beauty coming in all shapes and sizes – we’d live in a very boring world if everyone were to look and act the same as each other.  The issue I have is with others guessing my size or presuming I want the plus size section whilst talking in a tone that indicates they think I should be ashamed.

Bee in my bonnet? Okay; I could be accused of this. It’s a small thing that niggles at me from time to time but usually I don’t think about my shape. I love clothes; if I had no self-control (or a money tree) then I could happily spend days upon days shopping. I can fit in to garments from nearly any high-street shop but I get the added bonus of also being able to shop collections designed exclusively for a curvier figure.  I just dislike being told where to shop or what to wear based on nothing other than a number.

Why is this popping up now? When I was walking down the street today a stranger handed me a business card and told me to ‘pop in’ sometime. It was for a pre-loved plus size clothing agency for women size 18 upwards. Another time, another place, I might have congratulated the lady handing out cards on her efforts to build business. Not this time though; I was annoyed that she would have been assessing my size as I was happily walking around, pushing the pram and minding my own business. Suddenly my head filled with all the memories of people speculating my size and whether I might “do something about it”.

It’s unlikely we’re ever going to live in a world where people do not judge others based on looks but I hope I don’t have to encounter too many more thoughtless people making presumptions about what plus size means or feels like.

4 Ways to Clear Space & Earn Cash: Wardrobe Edition

closet-jamOkay, I’ll hold my hands up, I’m guilty of having far too many clothes in my wardrobe. In all fairness; I do wear most of the items but there is still an item or few that could go missing and I wouldn’t even notice. Clearly this means I should have a bit of a clear out as there’s no point in holding on to garments that go unworn and with this in mind I started looking into how I could clear some precious wardrobe space whilst earning a bit of cash even if that money ends up going towards new clothing – oops!

There were many more options out there than I first realised but I managed to narrow it down to four.

  1. Ebay – For most people, myself included, Ebay seems to be the first port of call when looking to make a few pennies from doing a spring clean. Whilst the online auction site is able to reach a lot of potential buyers; it can be an extremely diluted market and therefore your items may not attract as much attention as they deserve.
  2. Pretty-Urban – Relatively new to the scene; Pretty-Urban provide a clothes buying service which gives the seller a more reasonable price for their garments than they would get from a ‘cash for clothes’ style recycling centre which pay a low fixed rate per kg. It’s a quicker process than listing auction items and allows shoppers to buy good quality second-hand items without having to get in to a bidding war.
  3. Vinted – It was actually my little sister that gave me the heads up about Vinted. I like to think of it as Ebay meets Instagram; it’s easy to sell your items, you can reach a lot of buyers but it has such an image-heavy layout that it is so easy to browse – I spent a good couple of hours looking at clothes on my first visit to the site. You can achieve a great return on invest from Vinted but it’s only really worth using if you are trying to sell recognised brands and reasonably current fashion styles.
  4. Facebook Selling Group – Nearly every city, town and village in the country has a dedicated selling group on the social networking site. Often named ‘Buy, Swap & Sell in …’; these groups are a quick and easy way to reach people in your local area looking to buy. Bonus points for not having to deal with postage as is customary to either collect or deliver within a certain radius.

Where do you sell on your old clothes? Is there a fashion resell business or website which I should check out? Let me know in the comments section.

Restyling Shirts for Summer

IMG_20170503_203807Any style lover will know that the harsh reality of fashion is that the garments you might love don’t always love you back! That’s the relationship I have with shirts so as a general rule of thumb I stay away from them. To be fair to shirts, it’s not them that have the issue with me, those pesky buttons are the ones that prevent me from incorporating shirts in to my not so capsule wardrobe. However, I can always be swayed when it comes to clothing and occasionally I see a pattern or print which calls my name until I give in to buying.

So what do you do when you have an unrequited love with a piece of clothing? You think of a way to restyle it and make it work for you. If I find a shirt that I really like I keep it safe in my wardrobe until the summer months and re-purpose it as a cover-up; something I can use in place of a cardigan over a basic colourful vest or slightly buttoned over a dress to make it look like an outfit of separates.

Is there a type of clothing you would love to wear but don’t get on with or do you put a twist on things to make them work for you? Share your experiences in the comments section.

 

Debenhams gets a Taste of Mango

Every fashion lover tends to have a few brands which they have some kind of unexplained affinity with; ones that continue to make clothing they lust for season after season. For me; Mango is one of those brands. The combination of classic pieces and fashion items at affordable prices means I became a loyal Mango customer from the moment I started earning my own spending money!

For years I was lucky enough to live in cities where I had Mango stores on my doorstep but my most recent move has taken me to a location where my nearest store is a good hour away. Yes I know it’s not the end of the world and that their entire collection is available to buy with just the click of  a few buttons but it’s not the same. I like to see potential purchases in the flesh to get a better idea of colours, shapes and fabrics.

I need not worry any more – as of today Debenhams are stocking the Mango brand. I read the news in a retail publication a couple of weeks ago but when I had the email this morning to say it was now in stock I was overjoyed as there are a few branches very nearby and plenty more across the country.

Think I hear the high street calling my name!