The best designer jeans – many on sale!

I live in jeans. Years ago I would only ever buy Diesel jeans, then Hudson became my brand of choice, and more recently I fell in love with the J Brand Selena jeans. I wear a lot of jeans from high street stores too like H&M and Zara – but as I get older, I once again learn that valuable lesson, that less is more and it pays to invest. The softness of the denim and cut of a designer brand really is superior.

As luck would have it there are MANY sources of great, cut price brand name jeans. Here I’m pretty much sticking with my favorites – J Brand, but Bloomingdales for example has LOTS of other brands on sale. It’s also worth noting that in the US – text BLOOMIES to 25666 and you will get a 20% discount code for signing up to texts which can be applied to jeans already on sale.

First I’m including two pairs of J Band Selena jeans which are not on sale, just because I love the wash for summer – the first pair has distressed hems and the second pair is a lovely light blue wash.

J Brand selena decoy wash J Brand Selena

Now my next port of call for great discounted designer jeans is always TheOutnet.com – I found these gems today.

Both these J Brand Selenas are on final sale with an extra 40% off.

J Brand Selena the outnet

Bloomingdales has the J Brand Selena on sale here in a variety of washes – don’t forget the extra 20% too by texting BLOOMIES to 25666

Stylebop.com has the Selena in one of my favorite washes – undertow – and starting today there is an extra 15% discount applied at checkout.

I was looking for a pair in white and managed to find these at a store I’ve never used before – elevtd.com – use welcome15 for an extra 15% discount on this distressed pair.

Others that I loved at TheOutnet.com include these bargains – the 835 distressed mid rise from J Brand discounted by 56%

j brand 835 mid rise jean

The Kick from Current/Elliott reduced by 55%

Current/Elliott Kick flares

The J Brand mid rise crop in black discounted by 56%.

J Brand crop in black

As I say Bloomingdales has a plethora of jeans on sale right now so check them out here!

Which are your favorite brand jeans? I’ve been reluctant to stray but I’m sure there are other brands I need to check out!

Here I am today in a pair of J Brand jeans from Bloomingdales. They are SO soft and stretchy – no gaping at the back either. Totally stupid to wear heels though on a hot spring day!

Jeans – J Brand // T-shirt – Mango // Shoes – Marks & Spencer (welcome20 in the US for a 20% discount)

Shoes – Zara (old) // Jumpsuit – Uniqlo // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Proenza Schouler

Top – Target (old) // Culottes – Uniqlo // Boots – Rag & Bone // Bag – Coach

How to wear joggers out of the house!

I know many of you swear that joggers, or sweatpants, are for indoor, slobbing in front of the tv, use only. Many are I agree. I have some lovely slouchy Reebok joggers that are so soft – but their shape is massively unflattering and only my immediate family will ever get to see me in them! However, I do believe that if you select the right shape – maybe slimmer in the leg, with a proper cuff at the ankle, then joggers can look great for casual wear. In fact you can even try heels with them – a step too far for me.

My favorite inspiration for wearing joggers comes from Sincerely, Jules. She wears them with absolute cool and aplomb.

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I also love these looks.

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I really love the idea of a pair of off white/cream joggers but they are hard to come by. I found these at TopShop, which look great.

TopShop joggers

I have an old pair of Zara camo joggers but these look amazing – I love the stripe down the leg. It’s always promising when an item gets great reviews!

camo joggers

Uniqlo are a great goto source for joggers. Always great quality and a great price. These are similar to the pair I am wearing below.

Uniqlo grey

I absolutely LOVE them in the olive.

Uniqlo olive

So here I am in an attempt to look effortlessly cool in my joggers 🙂

joggersJoggers – Uniqlo (old but similar here) // Shoes – Golden Goose // Top – AllSaints // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Balenciaga

So have I convinced you that they can be worn outside, or do you still think they are for sofa slobbing only?

Today I’m feeling quite bright and springlike, now we just need the sun again so I can get back into sandals as opposed to boots!

Gap top CollageBoots – TopShop or Nordstrom // Jeans – J Brand Selena // Top – Gap // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

The pinstripe blazer

I absolutely love the warmer weather. It means the coats can be replaced with a blazer. A blazer can transform an entire outfit. If you pick one that fits well they are beautifully flattering. I find they give me shape by enhancing my shoulders and giving me a waist. I stand taller when I wear a blazer – and you can’t beat a striking pinstripe blazer when you need that extra pizzazz.

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(images via Pinterest)

I own the first two here from Mango. They are amazing quality and in the sale. I am wearing the navy today – and it’s what I would call chalkstripe rather than pinstripe, and it has a pop up grey felt collar. It’s now just $47.99.

Mango pinstripe jacket

The grey is lovely – I don’t normally go for double breasted but I love wearing this one with black or grey jeans and this is now just $39.99.

mango grey

I’m probably going to order this off-white jacket as it is perfect with blue jeans for spring and just $39.99 – reduced by 60%.

mango white jacket

This grey blazer is reduced to $128 from $321 on Asos and I love the darker grey.

Asos jacket

This is a beautiful alternative to a blazer from TopShop – I think this would look amazing with leather leggings.

TopShop pinstripe

Another from TopShop but I can only see it on the Nordstrom website here. I love the long lapels on it.

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Now for the pricier versions. A blazer is always worth the investment for a fabulous cut and gorgeous fabric. This is TopShop Unique and lighter weight for the summer.

TopShop Unique pinstripe blazer

This By Malene Birger has matching flared trousers – stunning paired as a suit for a wedding.

By Malene Birger pinstripe blazer

Finally I just love the styling of this blazer by Maje. Less structured than some of the others, again with more of a chalkstripe than pinstripe, and it’s just beautiful. It’s final sale right now.

Maje pinstripe blazer

So here I am in my Mango jacket. I subconsciously chose to wear it for a teacher conference today – the Husband asked if I was having school uniform flash backs!

pinstripe blazer golden goose J Brand selena jeans PS1Jeans – Selena by JBrand // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Top – Zara (old) // Blazer – Mango (on sale) // Bag – PS1 (similar here)

 

 

What to wear with the denim shorts

Okay so my summer bottom half is sorted – denim shorts in an array of washes and distressing – mostly from J.Crew with a pair from Madewell thrown in. So what to wear on top? I have some great t-shirts that I have collected over the years, some well loved and in their natural state of distressing, others newer and more basic like these tanks from J.Crew (25% off with HappySpring). However, I want to wear my shorts in the evening too on vacation, especially as on our flight from Istanbul to N. Cyprus we have the lowest weight allowance ever, so my summer wardrobe has to be capsule by necessity. That means I need some ‘dressier’ tops to wear in the evening – as light as possible too 😉

For me Mango have come up trumps again. I find their tops fit my top half far better than Zara, maybe as they are slightly more generous in my opinion. Here are my top picks – some of which I’ve just ordered so fingers crossed they’ll be here in time for the beach next week!

First this tie dye top is a fabulous basic and a great price too!

tie dye topThis t-shirt also comes in coral and I love the fringing – very similar to this IRO tee I keep seeing.

fringed teeThis is new on the Mango site this weekend – a lighter blue shade of the shirt I have ordered – but again a beautiful soft, boxy, short sleeved shirt that can be worn with harems or a skirt too.

soft pocket shirtMango always do great peasant/embroidered tops and this year they have some beautiful short sleeved ones. I have ordered this blue one just because the color is so striking and different.

blue embroidered topBoth of these are on my list for summer – I can’t choose between them so might need both 🙂

short sleeved top navy short sleevedOr alternatively there is a camisole version which I think is gorgeous for evenings by Kyrenia harbor with a sunless tan and a bottle of ice cold Efes! Mango have even styled them as I would wear them – simplicity at its best.

embroidered cami blue camiContinuing with camis I love this chambray/denim top to wear with white denim shorts.

denim camiFor a couple of dressier tops I have ordered the following black and cream tops – loose and airy for steamy nights in Istanbul.

crochet top fluted hem topFinishing with a couple of peasant tops – another stunning short sleeved one with beaded detail.

beaded topThis is a beautiful simple version that will be easy to pack and wash, long sleeves this time so I can wear it in Bury too before we leave for Istanbul! Always thinking!

embroidery topSo is anyone else balancing variety with luggage allowances!? It’s a challenge but I have to say one I am happy to deal with as previously I have ALWAYS over packed and only worn 25% of what I take – this time will be different! The consolation of course is that I am heading to a country famous for it’s clothing manufacturing – there will be some shopping even if I and the children have to wear it all home 😉

This weekend has been pretty lazy so far. My Husband and I went out for dinner last night to our favorite restaurant which is unfortunately changing hands and will become a steak house – we’ve had some amazing nights there in the years it has been opened and celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and our great friends even got engaged there. It’s been fun Abattoir.

IMG_0791 IMG_0788 IMG_0786Boots – AllSaints // Leather trousers – J.Brand // Shirt – Mango // Jacket – J.Crew // Clutch – YSL

I had lots of lovely comments about my outfit – specifically the lovely long, drapey shirt I’m wearing – again this is Mango and it is currently on sale and also available in a great blue and this beautiful coffee color.

flowy long shirt

On Friday I lived in my workout gear and I am still struggling to move my arms after lots of upper body work! Back on Thursday it was a day for ecru and off white.

IMG_0782 IMG_0777Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury boots // Jeans – TopShop Hayden // T-shirt – J.Crew (on sale plus an extra 30% off with HappySpring)

I’m off to soak up last nights wine with a massive curry – yup I better hit that gym again tomorrow!

 

 

A night out, a day off and off out shopping

It’s MLK Day here on Monday so we have a lovely long weekend. I wasn’t looking forward to it earlier in the week as it was so cold and lashing it down with freezing rain. Now though I am thrilled as the skies are blue, the sun is shining and my windows are open. Spring is taunting us.

On Thursday night I had a lovely dinner with an old friend from my corporate days. It was so much fun to catch up especially as she has got married and is now in the process of changing jobs – my stories felt comparatively dull!

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Boots – AllSaints Alba (on sale and now reduced even further) // Leather trousers – J.Brand (old but the same here) // Jumper – Everlane cashmere tunic

Yesterday was my day off and after completing another grueling work out (I will be 20lbs lighter by the summer!) I was lucky enough to have the afternoon with my Husband chatting and walking the dogs in the sunshine.

DSC_0307Sneakers – Stan Smiths in navy // Trousers – J.Crew drapey wool trousers in navy // Jumper – Everlane cashmere v-neck

These Stan Smiths are pretty awesome – yup if you’re counting that’s another new pair.

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Today I took Poppy to the mall. It’s always so much fun to treat her after a good week at school and right now her favorite store is The Body Shop and who am I to discourage cleanliness and personal grooming!?

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Jumpsuit – OAK (on sale) // Shoes – Nine West // Jacket – Helmut Lang (on sale)

And I got to take my new baby out. Really? Who for one moment thought I wouldn’t buy it? I am in love.

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After hitting The Body Shop, where of course we had to buy the limited edition Smoky Poppy product line, we headed to Sephora where I bought the travel sized Hourglass Veil Primer to try. I’ve heard amazing things about this stuff. Lets see if it delivers.

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Tomorrow is my Blogversary – 3 whole years! I still love this little creative outlet as much as ever and my world would be empty without all the amazing friends I have met through it. What will year 4 bring?

 

Back to Black.

I have always loved leather.  Real leather.  I remember Mum and Dad buying me my first leather jacket while we were on a day out in Chester.  I think it was from Lakeland Leather.  I thought it was beautiful – a blouson style in ivory – it was the 80s remember.  In sixth form I got a beautiful black, bat-winged sleeved blouson jacket (still in the 80s) from Whittakers in Bolton.  I got it nicked the first time I wore it.  Gutted.

My taste in leather has hopefully evolved but my love for leather has not changed.  You cannot beat real leather.  There are some good pleathers on the market and I have a couple of pairs of pleather leggings in my closet, but they just aren’t the same…sorry PETA.

I had a great pair of AllSaints leather trousers for a few years but with my constantly fluctuating waistline they didn’t hold their shape well.  My glutes are non-existant and I always felt like I had a saggy arse in them – not a good look.  They went to a good new home via eBay last year.  Since then I have been looking for another great pair of leather jeans – jeans meaning they must have a button and fly, no elastic waists, plus patch pockets at the back – essential for giving shape to that saggy arse.

So, as I mentioned, I stumbled on a pair of J Brand moto leather jeans in Neimans the other day and I had to take the opportunity to try them.  Thinking about them, I cannot stop (Yoda eat your heart out).  I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about J Brand leather – J Brand, Helmut Lang and Theory always seem to top the lists.  No wonder – they are breath takingly beautiful.  I started with a 29″ with crossed fingers, holy smokes Batman they were too big!  The 28″ was perfect on the waist – there is so much stretch in the leather it’s certainly worth squeezing into a size down as they will give.  For the record I take anything from 27″ to 30″ in jeans depending on brand, and I’m normally a US6 in Zara trousers.  Now the only issue with this style was the seam that runs across the top of the knee – sausage links sprang to mind.  Still for those of you with no squidge above your knee they are stunning, and less than $1000 – my absolute limit for leather jeans, which yes is still shit loads, but think about what you can spend on a handbag.

JBrand moto

Having fallen in love with the J Brand leather and now knowing my size I have found what I consider to be the perfect style.  Fly – check, pockets – check, zippered ankles – check, zero sausage casing seam – check.  Here they are – I SO want them.

JBrand jeans

They also come in grey which I think is stunning.

JBrand grey

Compared to J Brand these AllSaints leather pants are almost cheap at $525 (all sense of reality and magnitude becomes warped when looking at items with 3 figures behind the dollar sign), but for me they don’t quite do it as they are missing that all important back patch pocket.  AllSaints are well known for their leather work so worth checking out for almost half the price of the J Brand jeans.

AllSiants

So what do you think – is real leather a colossal waste of money or worth the investment?

As for my attire over the past couple of days I am completely in my comfort zone again – back to being a brunette – I really do have more fun as a brunette, and certainly feel more comfortable, almost radiant:)  To celebrate the visit back to the salon I embraced my favorite color palette – black, black and black.

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Boots – Newbury suede boots // Trousers – Zara coated chinos // Sweater – Uniqlo men’s cashmere crew neck

And the result….a very happy brunette.

brunette

Last night we went out for dinner with dear friends – totally amazing night, 4 hours of great conversation, 1 glass of champagne, 4 bottles of Tempranillo, 5 courses, 1 amaretto and a taxi cab home.

Totally chaotic in my bedroom and closet due to the ongoing packing debacle – please excuse!

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Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Dress – AllSaints charcoal Pia dress // Jacket – AllSaints // Clutch – Target

Leaving on a jet plane tomorrow so please continue to follow me on Instagram till I get back online with my shopping exploits in the UK – mwah!

 

 

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