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)

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a fabulous 2016 to all of you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement throughout 2015. I hope to try and keep you amused and entertained with my fashion highs and lows, travel, and musings throughout 2016.

Incredible to think I’m entering my 5th year of blogging and I couldn’t say that without you guys who continue to read my posts. Thanks!

disco divaJacket – ASOS (on sale here) // Jeans – ASOS (on sale here) // Shirt – AllSaints (old but extra 20% off sale here) // Boots – Sam Edelman (on sale here) // Bag – Gucci

 

OOTD catch up!

Yes it’s chaos here! Last week of school done – with the odd day off sick for Poppy – uuurgh. All healthy now thankfully so we are ready to throw ourselves into the festivities! So far we have tickets for Star Wars, and an intimate gig with Lloyd Cole lined up – I’m not sure which I am more excited about. Lloyd possibly – especially after singing his greatest hits full blast in the car yesterday! So before we all sink further into the festive mayhem here is a quick outfit round up from the last few days!

H&M fur coat, Everlane, Proenza Schouler PS1, Golden GooseJacket – H&M // Jumper – Everlane // Jeans – Zara // Sneakers – Golden Goose (40% off here) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

jumper dressJumper – H&M // Faux leather trousers – Zara (similar here) // Boots – Isabel Marant x H&M (old) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

zara blouseJeans – ASOS // Blouse – Zara // Cardigan – Zara // Boots – Acne Jensen (some colors in sale) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

Bells are ringing

Bell bottoms that is…Every so often I tire of my skinnies and boyfriend jeans and crave the leg lengthening, slimming bell bottom. flares 7 flares 6 flares 5 flares 4 Flares 3 Flares 2 flares 1

Here are my picks of the season to help you emulate these amazing Pinterest images.

These were the first to catch my eye from Zara

Zara flare

For not much more you can have a pair in leather.

Zara leather

I settled with these from ASOS as they all have elastic waists – not much to complain about there!

These are Blank NYC pull on cotton mix and come in waist sizes so you can be more accurate with fit.

Blank NYC pull on

Sods law the ones I am wearing today are now reduced – Blank NYC faux leather pull ons. I’m in a 29″ and they are perfect.

faux leather Blank NYC

These crepe flares are fabulous – super comfortable and swishy!

crepe flares

I also ordered the jersey ones to try – I found these slightly looser in the thigh with less of the extreme bell bottom cut. Also now reduced! I tried a US 8 in both of these and again they were spot on.

jersey flares

I nearly got sucked into the sequin legging crew again this Christmas, but I have to say I far prefer these H&M glitter flares on me. I bought a medium and they are amazing. Lovely and fitted through the thigh and that elastic waist will be a life saver over the festive period!

glitter flares

These are similar but gold rather than silver sparkle – also more of a wide leg trousers than a true bell bottom. Again fabulous in a medium on me and the elastic waist makes them like pajama bottoms for Christmas day! I think both would look super with sneakers or a dressier shoe.

Glitter wide leg trousers

And finally here’s how I’m wearing the Blank NYC faux leather pair today. I certainly need a heel with these – my Newburys are high enough but my Sam Edelman Bradleys will be perfect.

Flares - JoannaFlares – Blank NYC from ASOS // Jumper – H&M // Boots – Newbury from Rag & Bone

You may have seen this on Facebook and Twitter but I want to thank Deborah from Fabulous after 40 for my lovely feature. I am truly honored and flattered! You can read my interview here.

Finally some outfits from the past week – it’s too bloody warm here!

culottes 2_edited-1Boots – Sam Edelman Bradley (on sale) // Culottes – Faux leather River Island from ASOS // Top – AllSaints (old)

IM sneakesrJacket – AllSaints // Shoes – Isabel Marant (TheOutnet.com) // Jeans – J.Crew // Shirt – J.Crew (old)

Zara knitShoes – Stella McCartney (NAP Sale) // Knit suit – Zara (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney (NAP Sale now further reduced)

 

 

Catching up

I’m home and just recovering from my jetlag! Fortunately it is Hugh’s 7th birthday today so I have had lots to get on with to take my mind off my fatigue. This might be the most excited I’ve seen him yet for a birthday. We’re heading for burgers and milkshakes today to celebrate then he has a party tomorrow with his classmates. Oddly enough it has snowed today here in Atlanta – as it did 7 years ago when I left the hospital – a rare occurrence here in March but I remember it all so vividly!

So in between dashing around for lunch with Hugh, collecting cakes and balloons and dropping dogs at the vets I thought I’d take 5 mins to catch up on some outfits worn recently. The weather is not conducive to planning right now – when I landed on Wednesday it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit and today it is in the high 20s and snowing!

I’m making a special effort for the birthday boy and decided to wear a dress for lunch with him – he looked petrified this morning when I threatened to wear my onesie 🙂

Uniqlo 2 Uniqlo dressDress – Cashmere dress Uniqlo (in sale) // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Lowland in Currant

Yesterday I was incredibly jet lagged and fuzzy and needed the comfort of sneakers and dungarees.

dungareesSneakers – Nike Air Max // Dungarees – H&M // Tee – J.Crew (old similar here) // Cardigan – ASOS

Before leaving for the UK it was all about the flares. I wore these in London too and they felt fabulous!

FlaresSneakers – Nike Air Max // Flares – Northmore from ASOS (just $39 in the sale!) // Jumper – Boden Off Duty jumper (reduced in the sale now!)

Finally one from the camera – it seems so long since I wore it but I love the pink!

fur 2 fur 1Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury boots // Jeans – Zara // Jumper – Uniqlo cashmere crewneck // Fur – Zara (old)

Off to school now! I better be on my best behavior for the birthday boy 🙂

 

Catching up

I really do love heading back to Bury for a few days. As much as I miss my Husband and children it is really lovely to be a sister, a daughter and an aunty, without worrying too much about being a wife and mommy as well! Last night I got the chance to be a friend too – and an old one at that. I met up with an old school friend who I last saw a couple of years ago. It’s really lovely to catch up and giggle together. Even with all the months and miles between seeing each other it’s still as easy as ever to reconnect.

It was absolutely foul weather – no surprise there – so I opted to wear my cosy AllSaints Haff jumper, M&S flares and new M&S tan pointy toe pumps. I know the flares keep disappearing out of stock online (as of this post 8 and 10 regulars were available online) but both Bury and Bolton had plenty on the racks over the past couple of days. The pumps are gorgeous – I love the cognac with the flares – and they are super pointy with a great mid size heel so they very wearable. They are also available in black and a lovely pale blue.

night out

Today I was woken by my gorgeous 3 year old niece, Alice, who was here to take me shopping again – she’s a girl after my own heart 🙂 We headed to the Trafford Centre where it was guaranteed to be warm and dry!

The other day I purchased Poppy this stunning Next dress, that my Mum immediately said was ‘very Ted Baker’ and I agree. It is a beautiful print and I knew instantly that Poppy would adore wearing scene from the English seaside. Today it was my turn to spoil Alice and I snapped up the identical dress for her. Apparently it is a ‘princess dress’ and she hasn’t taken it off yet! I’ve a feeling these are going to sell out really fast.

Next dress v1 One very happy 3 year old:

Alice shopping

Alice

I’d forgotten how fabulous Next are for children’s clothes and I nabbed this dress for Poppy too while I was back in there. It’s lovely and floaty and less than £20! She’s definitely not a pink girl these days so this blue is a little more ‘grown up’ for her.

IMG_1923

Of course I had to head into M&S again – this time for restocking my knickers 🙂 Some of their lingerie is gorgeous and their fabulous Brazilians are currently 3 for 2.

IMG_1924

I also got a quick snoop around the clothing and fell in love with this camel coat in particular. Boy do I wish I had need of spring coats in Atlanta!

M&S coat 2 M&S coat

M&S is FULL of colour and I fell for this coat – I was so tempted – but once again I have absolutely no need for it in Atlanta…I might have justified it somehow before I head to Manchester on Thursday!

M&S coat lime

I loved this display of bright summer macs too – again the yellow one is stunning.

M&S macs

Another pair of boots caught my eye too – I just can’t walk by the boot section and not look! It’s a problem…They are a gorgeous square toe boot with a buckle across the front. I think these are the perfect shoe boot to wear with flares this spring. They are also available in navy – its great to see more navy footwear available!

M&S boots

While Grandad was perusing the men’s section Alice and I got some selfie practice – she’s a little pro!

Joanna and Alice 2 Joanna and Alice

Selfie

outfit 1Boots – Dolce Vita Haku // Trousers – Zara // Jumper – AllSaints (old) // Jacket – Uniqlo biker puffer // Scarf – ASOS // Bag – Alexander McQueen (similar here)

Tonight we all feel like celebrating – my Dad has just handed his retirement in, and at almost 67 years old his working days are over…well my Mum has a list for him at home but she might take it easy on him for a while 🙂

My first shopping trip back in the UK!

Yes I’m here! Back in Bury! I had the quickest transatlantic flight ever on Thursday night thanks to 165 mile/hr tail winds! Unfortunately that meant there was little time for sleep on the flight so I spent yesterday feeling quite fuzzy and jet lagged. Nothing that a good sleep couldn’t fix thankfully. So this morning I was up bright and early ready to head into Bury with my Mum. The weather didn’t disappoint – snow, rain and wind as captured from the car this morning:

downloadFirst stop was M&S where I collected the flares that everyone is talking about. I haven’t tried them on yet but will keep you posted once I do. They are out of stock again online but Bury had several left on the racks in various sizes. Pop back online regularly too as when I ordered mine it looked like there had been a new delivery – so more may be expected. There is also 20% off online right now using this code FEB15EM till the 23rd February. By all accounts they fit true to size. (*update I got 12 regular and they fit great plus there are now 12s back in stock online!)

flaresI was really impressed with some of the clothes in M&S, even in our little Bury store. The shoes were what surprised me most though! These boots are such a fabulous ‘save’ version of my ‘splurge’ AllSaints Alba boot – just £39.50 compared to the more than $200 (in the sale too!) that I paid for the Albas. The M&S version are also available in navy.

platform M&S boots M&S boot IMG_1879 IMG_1878When wearing them you would be hard pushed to tell the difference – and just to prove a point here are my Alba boots:

Alba

DSC_0299

I snagged a great skincare bargain today as well with some Indeed Labs products. They are still listed at full price on the Boots website, but great value with the 3 for 2 offer. Plus the Hydraluron products in my local Boots store were all on clearance reduced to £12.50 from £24.99 AND they were 3 for 2 – so make sure you check out your local stores too!

Hydraluron-Moisture-Jelly Hydraluron

As for what I have been wearing – well warm clothes mainly! I left Atlanta under a snow warning at 15 degrees Celsius and arrived in Bury to sleet and snow so thank goodness I packed the woolies! I did wear my new flares from ASOS the other day for running errands before I left. If you don’t mind distressed jeans these are superb, great value at $38.50, and stretchy with quite a high rise – these are a 29 and fit fabulously.

ASOS flafresJeans – ASOS // Sneakers – Nike Air Max // Jumper – Boden

 They may not fit so well, however, after all the Monster Munch and pork pies that I am planning to consume while I am here 😉

 

Dusting the flares off again

Yes they are back, though for me the great flare never went away. This is me from almost exactly a year ago wearing my Hudson Woodstock flares that I love so much!

jacket-and-flares-386x1024I find flares super flattering especially with a heel – really leg lengthening and slimming with a great bell bottom. The more flared the better as far as I am concerned!

Here’s me in the same jeans from March 2011!

2011Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos from Pinterest – there’s an abundance of great street style photos for flares!

flares 7 flares 6 flares 5 flares 4 flares 2 flares 1I love that this season’s flares also encompass wide legged trousers too, so if you aren’t comfortable with the tight thighs you can always try a pair such as these from Zara – so boho! I love the idea of these with flat, minimal sandals in the summer.

wide leg jeans zaraI’ve recently ordered this pair as I love the idea of a black pair of flares and Zara’s jeans always have a lovely stretch to them too. They’ll be perfect with Stans or heels.

black flaresUnfortunately I can’t find the Hudson Woodstock anywhere these days but they now stock the Ferris flare here which look identical with the hem stitching. I particularly love my Hudsons for the stretch denim and the flap back pockets – they really give your butt a great shape!

ferris flareIf you don’t like the flap pocket then Nordstrom stock the Hudson Angel flare with a classic pocket.

angel flareYesterday, instead of classic flares, I wore a pair of old Zara wide leg jeans. I haven’t worn them for a while and I had forgotten how comfy they are. They are super ‘Mom’ jeans with a really high rise – they keep everything held in!

Cardigan 1 cardigan 2Jeans – Zara (old) // Sneakers – Adidas calf hair (similar here) // Jumper – Boden Off Duty (on sale) // Cardigan – ASOS (now on sale)

Today I am back in the skinnies but I’m off out with the girls tonight and might just dig out my Hudsons for the occasion!

shirt and swaeter mango coatShoes – Vince Nina // Jeans – Zara // Shirt – Mango (on sale) // Jumper – AllSaints (old) // Coat – Mango (on sale 50% off!)

So how do you plan to wear your flares this Spring?