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Tag: Clothing

Brand Discovery: June 2017

How is it June already?! I’ll admit it; I’ve been a bad blogger recently. Between suffering from both sunstroke and migraines and having family to stay; I haven’t put in as much time as I like to and have even spent less time on social media. However, I still managed to discover a few brands I previously hadn’t heard of. Here’s a quick round-up of the brands that came on to my radar during June. Some of these companies have been around for decades and others are small businesses that are still emerging but they all have one thing in common; I wish I knew about them sooner.

  1. Alpha Betty’s – This clothing brand is still relatively new but I am so lucky to have it virtually on my doorstep. I came across Alpha Betty’s at a rather quirky local craft fair held in a nearby church. Always one for a slogan tee; I was instantly drawn to the range of ‘Hangry’ pieces for children but settled on a nautical looking ‘Made in Southsea’ top for her instead. Currently selling at local events; I can see this brand becoming much bigger, very quickly. 
  2. Evebox –Beautiful gifts bundled together and sent directly to the recipient; sounds good right?! This gifting has only just launched but I have already bookmarked it in my browser ready in preparation for birthdays, anniversaries and even Christmas.  You can select a box based on  recipient, occasion or price and with a range of presents from tea to fine chocolate and luxury skincare  – there are thoughtful ideas to suit many. I’m loving the ‘Luxury Marble‘ one.
  3. Cocobelle Baby – The smell of coconut goes hand in hand with the feel of summer. We were lucky enough to try out this virgin coconut oil to see if it would make a difference on little miss’ sensitive and eczema prone skin. I didn’t know that there was different grades of coconut oil before trying this but I could tell the high quality of this product even on first use. It made her skin silky smooth and helped prevent the awful nappy rash that goes along with teething from getting worse.
  4.  Lancashire Farm – Like many people, even if I take a shopping list with me, I often buy items at the supermarket just because they are on offer. Sometimes this works in my favour and on other occasions it doesn’t. I’m very glad I took a chance on the low fat flavoured bio yogurts from Lancashire Farm – perfect combination of full flavour and creamy taste despite being low in fat. The mango one is definitely set to be one of my fave desserts this summer.

I can’t wait to see which brands and products fly on to my radar this month. Let me know if you are part of a  small business, local company or emerging brand that I should know about.

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.

Brand Discovery: May 2017

Whilst I like to think I keep my finger on the pulse; I know, in reality, there are so many brands and products I’ve yet to discover. So here’s a quick round-up of the brands that came on to my radar during May. Some of these companies have been around for decades and others are small businesses that are still emerging but they all have one thing in common; I wish I knew about them sooner.

  1. Green People – Organic skincare and make-up brand, Green People, have been going for 20 years providing people of all ages with products that will not harm their skin. I stumbled on to this company whilst looking for a solution to little girl’s nasty case of baby eczema and was really pleased with what I found. I’ll be heading back to them in the near future for some make-up remover for me and some suncare for little one.
  2. Ink Rocket – A design-led clothing company that is ethical and sustainable with garments for both adults and children. Their range includes everything from slogan tees to colourful hoodies and even ‘Mummy & Me’ matching outfits. With plenty of cute prints and uplifting messages; I can see this brand really taking off. Personally, I’m saving my pennies for when the baby and toddler collection is launched.
  3.  Decadent Decaf – It’s no secret that I love coffee, but I’ve had to limit my caffeine intake due to breastfeeding. I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses and, as a Hampshire based blogger, Decadent Decaf HQ is only a short way from me. I was after a decaf that would still taste like ‘real’ coffee and boy did it deliver – no wonder they’ve won awards.
  4.  Zymurgorium – PARMA VIOLET GIN – need I say more?! After hearing of this drink on Twitter I instantly knew I needed to track it down & luckily a lovely fellow blogger was able to point me in the right direction – Zymurgorium. This Manchester based drinks company have brew and distil a wide range of delicious drinks guaranteed to induce good times and evoke happy memories.

I can’t wait to see which brands and products fly on to my radar this month. Let me know if you are part of a  small business, local company or emerging brand that I should know about.

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!