Inflated high street or discounted designer?

I headed into H&M for a browse on Friday after seeing their new Studio line arrive online. I have to say I don’t really get it. I often see items from H&M on other blogs that grab my attention, and then when I see them in real life they seem overpriced for the quality – especially over here in dollars. Paying $200 for a coat from H&M is just something I would never consider. It got me thinking about several high street retailers who now offer ‘higher end’ lines – like Zara and their Studio range, and J.Crew with the Collection range. Their prices are inflated – in fact often extortionate in the case of J.Crew Collection. Personally I would much rather spend $200 on a heavily discounted piece of Isabel Marant on TheOutnet.com than in a high street store. How about you?

I did grab a couple of mohair knits from H&M that I am extremely happy with – very little, clothing wise, makes me happier than an oversize grey jumper! Sorry I can’t see it online but this is a small – it fits HUGE!

grey jumperThis khaki cardigan made me feel like a young student again so it came home with me too! It’s described as ‘yellow marl’ online but it is definitely green!

kahkiThese are a couple of items that I liked from the Studio line but still wouldn’t part with my hard earned cash for them.

This weekend bag is well made and large but $349!

IMG_5115I love the colors on this coat, but again I think it’s expensive for H&M at $199. Plus to those of us in the know it is easily recognizable as H&M.

IMG_5116Fall has arrived in Atlanta and we are enjoying amazing clear skies and sun. I’ve even had to dig the cardigans out this week for a couple of cold mornings.

blazerJacket – Linen regent blazer J.Crew // Jeans – J.Crew (25% off with SHOPNOW) // T-Shirt – ASOS // Shoes – Vince Nina // Bag – McQ (similar here)

If you are partial to a pair of snakeskin shoes I spotted these in H&M which are fab! (Can only see this version online)

shoes

camel cardiganShoes – TopShop Kaiser // Jeans – J.Crew // Top – Mango (similar here) // Cardigan – ASOS // Bag – Rocco (similar here)

kiwi blazerDress – AllSaints Pia (old similar here) // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jacket – Linen Regent blazer J.Crew // Bag – H&M

Last of the summer purchases

It’s Labor Day weekend here and unofficially the end of summer. However, our climate means we will be wearing shorts well into October. This means I can take advantage of some of the current end of season sales and wear what I buy instead of stashing it away to be forgotten about till next summer.

Top on my list were some new dungarees. I love wearing them over a tank in the Fall and they are a great transition piece.

This wide leg pair are on sale at ASOS and reduced to $33. I am going to patch up the rip at the top with an iron on denim patch (these are fabulous!). Who thought that a rip there was a good idea?

wide leg dingareesI love the frayed ankles on these – it says they are full length but maybe on someone less than 5’4″. I love the tapered leg that will look great with hi-tops. Also on sale here.

Asos vintageI’ve admired this maxi dress all season. It will work well with sandals and ankle boots as we move into cooler weather. Add a denim jacket on top for a full on Fall boho vibe. It’s now half price and available here on the Mango site or here on ASOS. Amazon also sell Mango (I think they must distribute for them in the US) so check out the stock here too.

Mango dressSo along with this skirt from J.Crew, which is still 50% off the sale price using code SHOPNOW that is all my summer purchases made. Roll on Fall – I have my eye on lots of sheer tops and jackets!

skirtYesterday I threw on a dress. When I think about being comfortable I often think about picking jeans, but I swear a good dress is the key to easy dressing!

dressDress – ASOS (old similar here) // Sneakers – Adidas Superstars // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco (similar here)

 

How many pairs of sneakers does a girl need?

Hmm well replace ‘need’ with ‘want’ and it seems to be never ending! I’ve had a love affair with sneakers/trainers since I was young when I cherished my Dunlop Green Flash. My Mum would whiten them for me, which inevitably resulted in crusty shoes, as you were in effect putting white paint on them that cracked once it dried! I soon moved onto Converse and they were my staple at University – I had a green pair and a lilac pair. Of course once the 90s arrived it was all about the Adidas Gazelles. Interestingly I still have Gazelles and Converse in my collection – but no Green Flash! Do they even still sell them?

So going back to the question I have so many sneakers now that I cannot ever say ‘I need those’ when it comes to a new pair. I have running shoes, sneakers for fashion and even sneakers-to-wear-with-work-out-gear-when-I’m-not-actually-working-out, as my husband duly noted this morning. Due to my rather large collection of sneakers, these days I tend to wait for the sales to add a new style, or a new color, to the mix. Many of the sneakers you will see in the sale are the same style as the new season, but just a different selection of colors. So unless you are buying high performance running shoes you won’t be missing out on any new technology!

Nike very kindly just sent me a code for an extra 20% off clearance – BACK2SPORT. Some of my favorite casual sneakers are the Nike Internationalist. These are currently on sale so you will get your extra 20% off making them just $48, reduced from the regular price of $85. I have a couple of pairs at home and I can vouch for their comfort.

Nike-Internationalist-Womens-Shoe-629684_302_E_PREM Nike-Internationalist-Womens-Shoe-629684_303_E_PREM

 

This navy pair are slightly more but have to be my favorite for the Fall, and you’ll get the extra 20% off too.

W-NIKE-INTERNATIONALIST-FO-QS-807148_400_E_PREM

 

While on the Nike site I fell hard for thesebright red but I adore Air Max! These would be amazing with black skinnies and a black cashmere sweater.

W-AIR-MAX-90-ULTRA-ESSENTIAL-724981_600_A_PREM

 

If you are looking for some serious running shoes you can’t go wrong with the Lunar Flyknits. I always go up half a size at least for running to give me plenty of room in the toe box. These are in the sale, in a couple of colors, reduced from $150, with an extra 20% off too!

WMNS-NIKE-FLYKNIT-LUNAR3-698182_007_E_PREM

 

Now for the classic New Balance. Take a look at these images and tell me they aren’t cool!

pinterest 4 pinterest 3 pinterest 2 pinterest 1

 

My favorite New Balance 620s are on sale on the New Balance site reduced from $79.99 to $59.99. I found a discount code for you too! RETAILMENOT will get you 12% off plus free shipping. How could you say no to green and bubble gum pink?

630 green

 

Or navy and apple?

630 navy

 

Finally – (not on sale – don’t shoot me) – I spotted some amazing colors new on the J.Crew site. These always sell out super fast as they are custom colors unique to J.Crew. I’m definitely getting my hands on this olive and pink pair.

620 JCrew

The classic navy pair are gorgeous and a little more subtle.

630 JCrew navy

 

I wore a pair of my 620s yesterday, then I forgot to take a photo of them! I was dashing from one place to another and, take it from me, they added a little pace around the supermarket!

On Friday I made the trip to IKEA. One I try to do only x2 a year. This time of year is NOT the time to go as every GA Tech and GA State student is there trying to furnish their abode for the next year! As a side note I used to be quite a snob about cooking utensils and pots and pans – but IKEA do some fabulous pots and pans and baking ware!

WatermelonTrousers – Zara (old) // Shoes – TopShop Kingfisher // T-shirt – H&M

Today it’s back to work. I dropped Stella, our white boxer, at the vet today to have a mast cell tumor removed. Very common in boxers but still I hated leaving her there!

JCrew blazerShoes – Vince Nina (on sale here and here) // Jeans – J.Crew (sale) // Top – Mango (sale) // Jacket – J.Crew Regent blazer // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco (similar here discounted)

 

Preparing for our vacation!

Yes it’s that time of year again! It sure rolls around quickly once the children have finished school! Next week I take them back to England to see my family – always fun for the children to catch up with their cousins. I just hope the weather cooperates so they can play outside. It will also help with the challenge of packing for 2 climates, as after England, we are off to Istanbul and N.Cyprus – not known for their unpredictable weather – it will be predictably scorcchio.

Right now Poppy has a pile of clothes the same size as my pile – not bad going for a 9 year old. I think we may have to adapt from ‘what I want to take’ to ‘what I need to take’ – especially as I will be lugging luggage around by myself until my husband joins us!

Before I share my recent outfits I wanted to let you know that the Vince Nina shoes at Saks have been further reduced to $151 – a steal for a fabulous pair of flats! My indigo pair arrives tomorrow and I called them this morning to apply the new price instead of returning and reordering – always worth checking first as most stores will price match within 10 days of an order being placed.

Vince Nina indigo

 

So here’s what I’ve been wearing this week before a quick change into pool gear in the afternoons!

J.Crew jeansJeans – J.Crew // Shoes – Nine West (old) // Shirt – J.Crew (on sale plus an extra 30% off with SHOPSALE) // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco (similar here discounted on TheOutnet.com and here in the UK)

J.Crew jeans, Zara denim top, Alexander Wang RoccoShoes – Nine West (old) // Jeans – J.Crew (in sale PLUS an extra 60% off with SHOPSALE code) // Top – Zara // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco (similar here on sale)

Warby Parker BanksShorts – J.Crew // T-shirt – ASOS // Sneakers – Adidas (old) // Sunglasses – Warby Parker

Spotted this week…

Following on from my previous post, and just to prove that procrastinating can sometimes pay off – I present to you my sequin skirt that is now on its way to me!  Not grey or blush – but a perfectly beautiful shade of indigo.  I hope it is as gorgeous in the flesh – especially as it was already in the sale and is currently an extra 50% off with code EXTRA50.

J.Crew sequin skirt:

jcrew sequin skirt

Unlike a lot of people I know I have very little blue/navy in my closet but I have definitely noticed myself being more and more attracted to navy items.  It’s such a classy color and many clothes look far more expensive, or even better quality, in navy than they do in black.  Not to mention that it is now no longer a fashion faux pas to mix navy and black.  Hence while browsing on Net-a-porter.com this morning I found myself uncontrollably besotted with these beauties.  My Newbury boot fetish continues.

newbury navy suede

It’s been an odd week to say the least.  An entire week off unexpectedly can certainly mess with your head – I feel slightly jet lagged and totally discombobulated!  We’re off tomorrow too for President’s Day, then I have 3 days at work before I’m off to the UK wooo-hooo!  Having the week off has been lovely as it has meant lots of time with the kids before I go and leave them.  Hugh even fell asleep on me yesterday – it was lovely – I hope he still wants to snuggle like that when he is 18;)

Poppy and I braved the snow the other day – I needed to return some stuff to Zara.

zara1

Me – Sneakers – Golden Goose (similar here) // Jeans – Zara coated blue jeans // Coat – Zara // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco navy nubuck (TheOutnet.com – now sold out, but similar here) // Poppy – Boots – Sam Edelman Louie // Pants – H&M harems // Coat – H&M // Hair band – Crewcuts

Friday I enjoyed a day of pampering, though to be honest 2 hours in the salon followed by a 2 hour facial was probably a little too much in one day!

gg

Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – H&M grey boyfriend jeans // T-shirt – ASOS forever t-shirt // Jacket – Zara (old) // Scarf – Zara (old)

And here is the finished result – much lighter hair – still not convinced – but a nice change regardless.

AS sweater

Boots – Rag and Bone Newbury boots petrol (old) // Jeans – Boyfriend jeans Zara // Sweater – AllSaints Portland Jumper (old)

And finally a new ASOS dress to share with you.  It was in the sale and I’d been umming and ahhing about it all over the Christmas period.  I love the lace sleeves – just enough for me – and it reminds me of the lace sleeves on my wedding dress.

asos dress

Off to clean my mirror…!  🙂

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Spotty bag delivery!

A spotty bag arrived the other day, just in time for my trip.  I have been eyeing these Boden drop shoulder V-necks all season.  Even with a discount code they were great value, but something still stopped me from ordering.  That is until now.  When I saw they were just $34 in the clearance section I could resist temptation no longer.  I can’t get a jumper at Target for that price.  I just love this vintage yellow melange color, and the knit is super soft, and light enough to pair with shorts here in the air conditioning!  If you’re tempted you might want to go down a size – this is a US 6 down from my usual US 8 in Boden knitwear.

drop shoulder v neck

 

Sorry for the photo quality today – a new camera is on my wish list for my birthday (my Husband does read this occasionally).  My little instant camera fogs over with condensation every time I try to take a photo outside.  Even at 8am it can’t handle the transition from the AC house to the heat and humidity outside!   Hence today it’s an office bathroom shot:)  Again I’m wearing Gap – I’m telling you they have turned a corner.

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Jeans – Gap (on sale – plus in the US 35% off all online orders today with GAP35) // Shirt – J.Crew Factory (30% off everything with code SPREE) // Sneakers – Silver Supergas // Spotty Bag – Oil Cloth shopper Boden // Handbag – Alexander Wang Rocco // Nail polish – China Glaze Pool Party

Just two more pre-vacation packages to arrive ready to be packed for Tuesday…can you guess what they are?

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