Back to black

I’ve experimented with all sorts of colors and patterns yet I always come, as ACDC say, back to black. I love how dramatic even the most basic black outfit can be made to look with a great bold lipstick. I’m still obsessed with flares – I find them so flattering and this pair from ASOS are so comfortable and have a great high rise. I decided to try and play around with some proportions today so I have a longer sweater on under a shorter jacket. This bag has become my favorite this winter – it’s so comforting on freezing days!

All blackShoes – Nike AirForce Ones // Jeans – ASOS // Jumper – ASOS (navy version here) // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Stella McCartney // Lipstick – Nars Bette

 

It’s snowing – let’s get the faux fur coats out quick!

I have previously bemoaned the short winters here in Atlanta. I love winter dressing and try to make the most of the winter months. Today we woke up to unexpected snow flurries so I quickly changed my planned attire (I always select my outfit the night before to prevent harassed mornings!) and grabbed my over the knee boots and faux fur for extra warmth. I love a good faux fur and there is so little opportunity to wear them that perhaps having 3 in my closet is overkill, never mind the AllSaints shearling that made it’s way to my home late last year!

I love faux fur so much I actually have a Pinterest board dedicated to it. In my opinion the blogger Maja Wyh and Kate Moss wear fur the best. They always look incredible and never anything close to a character from Monsters Inc.

fur 1 fur 2 fur 3 fur 4 Kate fur

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MW fur 6

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(Images from Pinterest.com)

So here I am today with a hastily thrown together outfit with one of my beloved fur coats – an old Zara one.

Zara fur editedCoat – Zara (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Lowland // Jumper – H&M (in sale)// Scarf – Zara (old) // Leggings – H&M // Lipstick – NARS Liv

Fortunately for those of us still in cold climates many faux fur coats are now in the sale. Here are some of my favorites – just click each image for more details.

VEro moda fur asos

Unreal fur ASOS

Mango leopard fur

Mango faux fur

ink mongolian ASOS

H&M fur 3

H&M fur 2

H&M fur 1

ASOS white fur

striped fur

 

Back to the grindstone!

The flu bug has left the house! Hooray! All have returned to school which means I have to drag my sorry arse back to the office! Wasn’t sure what to wear today and in the end I opted for what I am calling ‘polished comfort’! Stretchy crepe flares which have an elastic waistband – so they are basically tailored sweats, sneakers and a shirt and jacket. Trying to channel Emmanuel Alt again with my tie waisted jacket which was a complete bargain in the sale at H&M.

flaresSneakers – Golden Goose // Flares – Asos // Jacket – H&M // Shirt – Mango (old but similar here)

A must have coat that is now 50% off!

I much prefer Mango these days to Zara. Zara still grab my attention with their shoes, but for coats, tops and dresses I always have far more luck with Mango. I find their sizing more generous.

This coat is now 50% off in their sale. It’s a beautiful cocoon shape and not too long. Yes, yes I know I have the M&S checked coat (which is now also in the sale with lots of sizes left!) that I also love (and wore here) but trust me this purchase is warranted as the two coats are very different! Take note of the coated jeggings too – cheap as chips (just $12.59 on deal now!) and wonderfully stretchy and comfortable from H&M – I highly recommend them! I’ll certainly be buying the gray while they’re on special offer – I’m comfortably in a US 10 and H&M tend to fit tiny in my experience.

Still at home with a poorly girl so hopefully will have time to blog more than an outfit soon! In the meantime today we are binge watching old Survivor series!

Mango coat

Back of coatCoat – Mango (now 50% off) // Jeggings – H&M (on deal now)// Boots – Toga Pulla // Blouse – Zara (old)

Unexpected movie days

I’m watching the end of The Devil Wears Prada snuggled up on the sofa with a poorly girl. She’s on the mend but while I have her home its lovely indulging in some chick flicks with her.

Needless to say I have spent most of the time in sweats but decided that the doctor may prefer it if I turned up dressed. I took advantage of the warm weather to get the ankles out with my new Zara shoes. They are fabulous Prada tributes! I hope this isn’t the end of winter though as I am still in boot and coat mode!

BretonJeans – Zara sale // Shoes – Zara // Top – J.Crew // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Zara shoes

 

A new children’s tv presenter?

I only ask this question as those of you who remember Floella Benjamin and Brian Cant may see why my jumpsuit and fringed sneakers made me think of them today! I’m ready to step in a present Play Away anytime!

I am head over heels in love with these new premium leather fringe Converse. SO comfortable – I always seem to take half a size down in Converse – these are a US 8 instead of my usual US 8.5.

Converse

My jumpsuit is similar to the navy version that Alex shared a photo of on Instagram. Both are sold out but stalk the navy one – it keeps coming back into stock.

jumpsuitJumpsuit – ASOS (similar here) // Jacket – Maje (TheOutnet.com) // Sneakers – Converse // Bag – Stella McCartney // Scarf – Boden (old – 20% off pants, skirts, shoes and accessories today!)

It’s been a pretty cold week again here so I’ve mainly been donning variations of a theme – coats and scarfs! This coat was an absolute bargain in the Zara sale.

White coatSneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Jumper – Uniqlo cotton cashmere // Coat – Zara // Bag – Proenza Schouler // Scarf – Zara (old)

A weekend packed with cheer competitions is coming up so it’s going to be fun and busy! I can’t wait for all those sequins and sparkles! So much rehearsal goes into a 2 1/2 minute performance!

Get an extra 20% off clearance prices!!

You can get my favorite Stella McCartney fur bag right now with an extra 20% off using code sale20 – it’s already reduced 50% – too good to miss – I adore it and always get complements on it! There’s so much more too that you can take advantage of the extra 20%! Here’s the bag in all it’s glory today!

red coatBag – Stella McCartney (extra 20% off already discounted price with sale20) // Boots – Acne Jensens (sold out in silver but similar here) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shirt – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara // Scarf – Zara (not online – in sale)

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Atlanta after all the snow of the weekend so we headed out for a long lunch.

AllSaints jacketBoots – TopShop Magnificent boots // Jeans – JBrand Selena // Jumper – Everlane cashmere // Shearling coat – AllSaints (similar here in sale) // Bag – Mulberry

The weather was a sharp contrast from Saturday when we all went for a blissful 4 mile walk in the snow! I knew my Sorels would come in handy! This brilliant parka is in the sale too – I love it – so warm!

Uniqlo parkaCoat – Uniqlo on sale // Boots – Sorel // Trousers – H&M

 

Get the glow in January!

I’m sitting here looking out of my office window and it is GREY! In fact almost dark. There is a Nor’easter heading towards us. Fortunately, I think, we are only going to get pummeled by rain as our temperatures are rising. In weather like this I always love wearing my darker greys and blacks, but when it comes to makeup I want my skin to glow with health! I am drinking a lot of water which helps – but you can’t beat some good moisturizer and makeup products at this time of year! I love treating myself to some little ‘feel good’ cosmetics to beat the January blues.

Here are my favorites which I am using constantly at the moment!

Hourglass have become one of my go to cosmetic brands. Not cheap, but their products last forever and do what they say on the tin. So many people have mentioned recently how good my skin looks and I attribute it to this palette. You can use the powder to highlight and apply it intensely on the cheek bones, or apply it more liberally to give an overall glow.

ambient lighting pallette

Buxom lip cream is a favorite of mine. It has an amazing tingly sensation when you apply it which apparently helps to plump your lips. I adore White Russian – it’s a lovely nude gloss that brightens your face.

Buxom lip polish

Recently I’ve gone what I consider to be ‘old skool’ with my skin care. I’ve tried more expensive options but believe me they ain’t worth it. The good old Body Shop comes out tops in my book time and time again. Especially with their Drops of Youth and Oils of Life skincare ranges. I apply this essence every morning after washing and before I put any serum or moisturizer on. It kind of prepares your skin to absorb the moisture.

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This serum is lush. I apply it in the morning and before bed. Super hydrating and it smells divine.

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I also love the gel cream from the same range. I love the texture – it’s not greasy at all and absorbs in an instant ready for you to apply foundation.

intensely-revitalizing-gel-cream_l

The body shop Vitamin C range has always been a go to line for me – especially when traveling. Nothing gives you a better boost than applying some of this in flight (I often decant into smaller pots for travel). This one really does make me giggle because it is perfect for ‘grumpy skin’!

vitamin-c-glow-boosting-moisturizer_l

I’ve just reordered this (if you join the Body Shop rewards program it gives you a 10% discount off each purchase.) I love this and use it each day, with or without makeup.

vitamin-c-instant-glow-enhancer_l

I don’t wear a lot of foundation – sometimes I just apply a little concealer on after the above glow enhancer. When I do wear it Hourglass is my brand of choice – I love their Illusion skin tint – it is a little heavier in consistency than the name suggests and you only need a tiny amount for a flawless finish.

hourglass illusionjpg

Most important to me at this time of year is a fab, fab lip color! I am wearing Mac Pink Pigeon today, and my favorite nude color from them MAC at the moment is Kinda Sexy.

Mac matte lipstick

I doubt I will ever wear another blusher than this – NARS orgasm – it’s just the perfect hue for a glow winter or summer.

Nars blusher

A new discovery this season, for me at least, is the NARS multiple stick. I’ve always been a tad scared about application. I run Copacabana gently along my cheek bone and then Portofino in a line slightly below it, BEFORE applying my blush on the apples of my cheeks. I use a firm angled brush to gently blend the multiple and it leaves a gorgeous dewy sheen.

Nars multiplt

And that folks is how I get my glow on this winter! Along with buckets of water!

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What are your favorite products this winter? A great hand cream is always a necessity and I am still searching for the perfect hydrating, non greasy formula!

Finally here are a couple of outfits from the past couple of days. It’s been pretty chilly here!

ASOS coatCoat – ASOS on sale // Jumper – H&M on sale // Jeans – Zara (old) // Boots – Isabel Marant by H&M (old) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Leopard print coatCoat – Mango on sale // Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050s // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Everlane // Scarf – Asos (similar here) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Potatoes?

I realized that yesterday was my 4 year blogversary! I’ve picked one of my very first posts to share – and it’s not a fashion related one either! Thank you all for your continued support and here’s to another 4 years!

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One of the difficult decisions to be made when starting a blog is what to call it.  I thought I had some inspired ideas but when it came to getting the url it appeared others had had the same idea. So when I named this blog Poppy’s Style I was not only trying to make it personal to me and therefore hopefully more unique, but also ‘style’ was used to be all encompassing regarding my style of doing things as well as my fashion style. I want to take the opportunity in this blog to talk about all things I have done, dream to do and even things I have questioned doing…in addition to my passion for fashion.

After turning 40 last year I think I went through one of those ‘oh my goodness I haven’t achieved anything with my life’ moments.  Yes I know I have 2 brilliant children and a fabulous man but what about my achievements as an individual? As I looked back all the way to starting secondary school (middle school age for US readers) certain themes emerged.  I’ve always been driven to do my best, never doubting my academic abilities, but I get bored easily and need variety. In my career, before my current role, I’ve never stayed with a company for more than 2 years – my resume looks awful due to the number of companies listed on there…it took me a while to realize the grass is never greener and actually the corporate life just isn’t for me.  I tried to stick with it as I was driven to keep getting the higher salary, bigger office and better title but as often happens the added responsibility, hours etc. just didn’t make me happy especially with 2 little ones.  I wanted to be ‘SuperMom’ but my heart wasn’t in it and my enthusiasm for work was dwindling which meant I actually wasn’t doing a very good job.

Sometimes I think I ‘failed’ in the corporate world and often wonder what career would have suited me better?  I remember career counseling at school when I was in my early teens and I always dreamt of being a Doctor – a pediatrician actually, but maybe my fear of failures stopped me from pursuing it as only really smart people become Doctors no? So instead of medicine I decided to be a research scientist. In the UK it’s unfortunate that your University discipline is pretty much decided at 16 when you choose your A’level topics – or at least that’s how it was back in 1986.  I was good at science and far more interested in it than any of the humanities and I actually loved wearing a lab coat and doing practicals – I loved numbers too which helps – I still get excited creating formulas in spreadsheets:) Anyway my A’levels were Biology, Chemistry and Physics and I ended up studying Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of St. Andrews.

I had a great experience at St. Andrews and long before Will and Kate ever made headlines I met MM there working in a bar together. I was 19 and he was 24 doing his PhD in Byzantine History. Twenty years on he’s still the love of my life, my best friend and my greatest cheer leader (he was the one that suggested I start blogging), and there are many stories along the way of how we have survived through thick and thin which I will no doubt divulge in later posts. Anyway the point is HE had a PhD – therefore I must get one!!  Yes that was one of my main motivators for applying for my PhD – plus back in the early ’90s there were very few jobs to be had so being a student for another 4 years seemed like a better option than the dole.

Hence the title of this post – I studied potatoes for 4 years…the mind boggles that I managed to stick it out and complete my thesis when so many of my peers were abandoning their studies on far more interesting, relevant topics. “The Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Bruising in Potatoes” is the title of my thesis – it was written in a tiny flat, with no central heating and various fungi growing in it (a Biochemist should be thrilled no?) on Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, on one of the first Apple Mac computers. My acknowledgments in my thesis thank my FIL who provided us with many dinners out when the bailiffs were knocking on our door. It was certainly an odd time – living in one of the most glamorous areas in London with zero money to our name.

Well I got my Doctorate and published a couple of papers but oddly enough the most important thing I learned in those 4 years was that I never wanted to see a test tube or a lab coat ever again – I was done with exploring potatoes – the only place I wanted to see them again was on a plate next to a piece of fish. An achievement of sorts but one that only led to more decisions – wrong and right – about how I should earn a living.

Photos show my thesis which sits in a display cabinet collecting dust.

The book

For Mum and DadTitle pageAcknowledgementsGels

Planning for my trip

My trip to England each February is now a regular occurence – I look forward to it so much, and it is perfectly timed to battle the January blues. I have 5 or 6 weeks post Christmas to look forward to seeing my family and friends, and spend the dark, cold evenings with my excel spreadsheet planning what to pack! I actually don’t do too much shopping when I am back in England, except for my pilgrimage to M&S, so it’s always quite a challenge packing lightly for the cold and inevitable rain. I need ‘going out’ clothes, cool yet comfortable footwear for tramping around London, comfy loungewear, and enough layers and good shoes for a couple of long walks with Mum and Dad.

Of course in writing my list a couple of additional ‘wants’ have arisen. The first is this spectacular coat that I spotted on The Telegraph fashion pages online. It’s so Emmanuelle Alt with the tie belt and checks. It comes in two color ways – I’ve ordered both to try but LOVE the mustard. I’m thinking about it for London. I get so hot in and out of stores but I need a coat/jacket. It would be perfect with my JBrand Selenas and TopShop sock boots.

Mustard Mango coat Checked coat

Now it’s FREEZING here today and I’ve been living in my Uggs in and around the house. Mum and Dad have been sending me images of the deep snow in Bury and to say they’ve made me shiver is an understatement. I need to take my Uggs with me – but mine are a very light sand suede. Not made for Bury mud. These however are – and I can even venture out in them – the zips make them a little edgier than regular Uggs. They’ll be perfect for the airport too…justifying purchase….I know….They must be cool as Eve and Michelle both have them too.

Uggs

Now I really don’t need another pair of jeans. At all. How I adore these though. The Diesel Krailey coated joggjeans. I still love my Fayza joggjeans – so comfortable – and the coated Krailey is a little more elevated, yet still super cool.

Diesel jeans

Finally – as an option for wandering the Big Smoke in comfort – how about these stunners? I love flatforms and have a silver lace up pair from Zara last year. This season they have introduced these gold brogue Prada tributes.

Zara gold

So there you go. My spreadsheet list, needless to say, needs some refining. Helped along hopefully as we get closer to departure date and the weather forecast becomes a little more reliable! The first year I went it snowed in London and was FREEZING, but last year I was sitting outside and it really wasn’t that cold at all!

As I mentioned it is the coldest day of winter here today. It’s also MLK day so we’ve all been home. I started the day with a cold, brisk, invigorating run! Then we headed off to watch Norm of the North and out for a late lunch. Much fun was had! I got my new glasses too – I love them – they’re so comfortable!

Here’s my outfit round up from the past few days for those of you not on Instagram.

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Winter whiteJumper – H&M // Jeans – Zara (old in sale) // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // Bag – Anya Hindmarch (old off TheOutnet.com)

Haff dress (1)Dress – AllSaints Haff dress // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Bag – Alexander McQueen De Manta

1_15 Poppysstyle (1)Jumper – H&M (similar here on sale) // Trousers – Zara pleather leggings // Scarf – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara (sale) // Shoes – Adidas Superstar slip ons (similar here)