Reproducing a $700 sweater for less than $100!

I absolutely fell in love with this No.21 sweater after seeing Alex wear it for her Red Magazine photoshoot! Unfortunately it has a MAJOR price tag – $695 here at Nordstrom and $462 at MatchesFashion.com (thank goodness for UK delivery to the US!).Alex Nordstrom N0 21

I was really debating ordering it from Matches as I couldn’t shake it from my mind – you know how it is. Then I got chatting with Sue. We all know how ‘crafty’ Sue is with her jean patching and hemming etc. Well she reminded me that I have a sewing machine. At least I remember buying one – I’m pretty sure it is collecting dust in my basement! She suggested that I get crafty too – so here is her thrifty solution to the conundrum of throwing money away vs. achieving the same effect for less than $100!

Meet the striped Mango sweater for $69.99

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…and here is the ostrich feather trim for $20 from Ebay.com!

festher trim

There’s actually tonnes of different trims to choose from – some are like the above, others are more like boas, and some have fluffier turkey feathers added too – so you can trim it as you please. Maybe black feathers are more up your street?

I’ll let you know how I get on once I’ve re-learned how to thread my machine:) Thank goodness for those home economics classes!…and thank goodness for thrifty friends like Sue!

 

 

 

My summer uniform

Looking back, I feel like every summer I have miss calculated my summer closet. It gets hot here. Really hot. I forget how hot, so every spring I design my closet around 70 degree temperatures, not 90 degree temperatures. Plus, when planning my vacations I imagine beach clubs, reclining on yachts and sitting under fans on patios drinking cocktails. Foolish – this never transpires. We have 2 small children so I end up covered in sand, ice cream and spf, and again it is always too hot to care about ‘dressing up’. Last year I took ‘going out’ clothes to Spain and ended up living in denim shorts and tees, or a t-shirt dress. This year I am aiming to be more practical from the start. My closet will consist of shorts and tees – no more scuba dresses – which look great on but are ridiculous in the heat.

Thankfully J.Crew have 30% off using SPRINGSTYLE today and here are some of the items I have in my virtual cart!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE J.Crew’s denim. It is fabulous quality and for some reason their cut fits me really well. I take a 29 in most styles – be warned J.Crew embrace vanity sizing plus their denim does give – not too much – but I always wear their jeans 3-4 times before washing as they soften up beautifully. I have their denim shorts from previous years and here are my picks from this season – all with 30% off too!

White denim shorts are a must as an alternative to blue denim. Just fabulous with tanned legs and tan or silver sandals.

white shortsThese distressed boy shorts have a higher rise than others I have tried and come in the perfect summer wash.

high riseThis is probably my favorite pair. Again the perfect amount of distressing and you can wear them turned up or with the raw edge. They a lovely and stretchy too so you may want to try a size down for a snugger fit.

crowley washI have this pair from last year and they again relax beautifully with wear. They are a really lightweight denim and the perfect pair of beach shorts.

dark von washFinally this denim pair is a lighter wash for those of you that prefer a lighter denim for the summer.

bradbury washWhile we’re at J.Crew you should definitely take advantage of the 30% off – here’s what’s on my list today.

I’ve been hovering over this shirt for a while as I love the fact it is classic yet doesn’t have buttons all the way down it. It will look amazing over leather pants, skinny jeans or dressed down with a pair of denim shorts. I may well pull the trigger after seeing how amazing Laura looks in hers today.

bib shirt

These jeans are the perfect amount of distressing and the denim is lovely and stretchy. The reviewers love them too! They are already reduced and then there is the extra 30% off on top!

corbin washI adore this boyfriend shirt. I think I am starting to follow a more classic look with my clothes!

polka dotFor me it is the color of this popover which really appeals – the lavender will be stunning over sun kissed skin.

popoverNow these jackets are not on offer – but I am wearing my navy one again today – it really has become a staple in my closet. I adore the popped collar on it. I’m waiting for the kiwi to come into stock but I’ve also fallen for the metallic version – I love how it is styled with all white.

kiwi metallic regentMy obsession with J.Crew has led me to investigate Madewell – their more grown up, less preppy sibling. After seeing Sincerely Jules in her shorts this weekend I felt obliged to order them and try. Nordstrom have also started stocking Madewell which is great news as they ship internationally and their customer service and returns policy is fantastic.

madewell.jpg_effected

fatigue shortsI’m also obsessing over this peasant top which is currently on sale.

peasant topI just love the grey wash on these denim shorts too!

greystone wash

 

So there’s a lot to choose from but at least I feel I can still have some variety with my shorts and t-shirt combinations!

On Friday I was willing the sun to shine – it worked for one day and then rain, rain, rain all day yesterday 🙁

GuccisShoes – Gucci // Jeans – MiH (just $88 here reduced from $250) // Top – Mango

Today, as I mentioned, I’m back in my Regent blazer. How did I cope without it?!

Regent blazerBlazer – J.Crew // Sneakers – Nike from J.Crew (similar here) // Jeans – J.Crew (currently on sale) // Top – AllSaints

A couple of great buys

Yesterday I talked about Eve and I pointing out great buys to each other – in fact she did it again last night darn her – she was off to bed and I was on my first glass of wine – a dangerous scenario. Eve unfortunately isn’t the only bad influence who leads me astray. Today I’m wearing a sweater that I first saw on gorgeous Hollie on Instagram, and my fabulous coat is one Kat raved about.

The sweater is TopShop, I bought it here through Nordstrom. I absolutely love Nordstrom for their no quibble return policy – I have never once been asked why I am returning an item – they just take the item and refund the money, no questions asked. Great customer service.

The coat is Warehouse who currently offer free shipping and returns to the US. Just be prepared to wait – my coat took almost 2 weeks to arrive. It was undoubtedly worth the wait – I love it. Most sizes are available in low stock so be quick! Fortunately mine arrived at the same time as our mid-30 degree Fahrenheit temperatures!

TopShop

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury Charcoal Suede // Jeans – H&M // Sweater – TopShop or Nordstrom // Coat – Warehouse

I’m off to Charlotte tomorrow for a wonderful friend’s wedding so keep an eye on Instagram for wedding outfits!

 

The celebrations continued…

How did it get to Monday again? My weekend flew by as they always tend to do these days with all the activities we have to cram in for the kids! Friday night, however, was just for me and the Husband. Another wonderful celebration of 16 years of marriage – great food, great company and great wine at Abattoir – our special place where we love to celebrate our special times.

anni collage IMG_0957I wore my AllSaints dress that I bought back in the sale. It is a deep navy and the silk feels so perfect for a date night. There was some BIG hair going on too! The shoes are currently 33% off at Nordstrom – get them while you can – they are the MOST comfortable heels I own.

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Shoes – Sam Edelman Anastasia // Bag – H&M // Dress – AllSaints

Today it’s back to work and the beautiful Fall weather has arrived in Atlanta – gorgeous sunshine with no humidity. To celebrate I decided to air the Stuart Weitzmans for the first time. These are the Leman that I harped on about back here. I love these shoes. They are true to size and fit perfectly, not to mention the leather is gorgeous.

SW1 SW collage

Shoes – Stuart Weitzman Leman // Trousers – Mango (now on sale) // T-shirt – J.Crew (similar here on sale plus extra 30% off with SHOPFORFALL) // Jacket – J.Crew (25% off with SHOPFORFALL) // Bag – H&M

Do you have any new Fall favorites yet?

 

Sam Edelman does Rockstud

You have all seen images, I’m sure, of the beautiful Valentino Rockstud.

rockstud 4 rockstud 3 rockstud 2 rockstud 1 valentino_rockstud-shoes Valnetino

 

In my opinion it is a shoe that is a simply stunning combination of edginess, simplicity and refinement.  But expensive.

Now you can get a version at high street prices thanks to Sam Edelman.

First I tried a version of the stiletto in Nordstrom – unfortunately the vamp is too low and narrow for me, and my pesky little toe wouldn’t oblige.  Still they are gorgeous and I was very sad to have to leave them behind.

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I have, however, ordered the sandal version.

Here’s the Valentino:

Rockstud sandal

And the Sam Edelman Gabriela, available in nude, black and pewter:

Sam Edelman Gabriela

This next sandal that caught my eye is actually incredibly reminiscent of this Isabel Marant sandal from last year:

Isabel Marant sandal

The Sam Edelman Dion is available in black, nude, tan and off white.  I love the thong strap and I’ll be trying this as soon as I see it in store:

Sam Edelman Dion

So there we go – call it a copy or a tribute, I’ll be rocking the Sam Edelman version of the Rockstud this summer!  I’m more than happy to wear a good imitation and Sam Edelman’s shoes have always served me well.

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T-shirt – AllSaints Tiko t-shirt // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Pants – Zara (old) // Bag – Boden Canonbury clutch (on sale)

 

Leopard print sneakers 

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Succumbing to the pink jacket trend.

Pink, pink, pink – it’s been everywhere in AW13, starting with the Marks and Spencer pink duster coat that set the world alight across the Atlantic (okay so not technically the ‘world’).  I resisted temptation as lets face it I have more coats than ever deemed necessary living in the Southern States.  As time has marched on, and the Spring season starts to hit the stores, it seems that pink is here to stay for a while…and I have started twitching for pink.

This ASOS jacket is stunning and a great soft shade of pink – almost lilac.  It’s also currently reduced and will be great for seeing you through the Spring.

ASOS pink jacket

If you prefer more of a coral pink this from TopShop is a great choice.  There are only a few sizes left online but check out your local Nordstrom if you are in the US.

Top shop bomber

If you’re currently freezing here in the Polar Plunge, or just dealing with the regular January frigid temperatures in the UK, you may not be quite ready for a jacket yet.  These coats are great options and align nicely with the pastel trend for Spring.

I love this TopShop fluffy coat and this might be my choice…IF I needed another coat 🙂

Topshop fluffy coat

I can’t talk about pink coats without mentioning this cashmere blend coat by Marks and Spencer.  It looks just amazing – the cut, the color and the length.  At £99 it’s a great coat.  Should I order it just to try?

Pink cashmere coat

Whether it’s a coat or a jacket that suits your lifestyle and climate, pink is a surprisingly versatile color and can really brighten up a winter outfit.  My choice happened to be the Zara jacket – mainly as it caught my eye in the sale online – and it may still be available in stores.  Given the cold today I layered it over my denim jacket and really loved how it worked with blue denim – of course it will be perfect with grey and black too, in fact it has a black lining which works well with the usual winter color palettes.

pink jacket 1

Jacket – Zara TRF // Sweater – J.Crew (old) // Scarf – Uniqlo cashmere // Denim Jacket – Gap  (similar here just $25) // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Boots – Sam Edelman Petty

So have you succumbed to pink yet?  If a jacket or coat isn’t for you check out Fiona’s jumper recommendations here.

 

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It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

After a wild, fun night on Thursday, that ended later than expected at 3am, I headed out of the house on Friday to get the tree, again later than expected…The kids were eager to decorate and for the first time ever I let them at it – all except the stringing of the lights that my OCD just couldn’t bear to let go of, not just yet anyway…I have to say they did a mighty fine job.  Even our daredevil elf, Maximus, was suitably impressed.

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While we were waiting for the tree to be delivered I asked the children to write their lists for Santa.  As you can see Poppy was less than impressed for some reason, though Hugh had a blast writing his – I must teach him to do ditto marks next time poor lad!

Lists for Santa

Hat – Nordstrom // T-shirt – Zara (old) // Cardigan – AllSaints // Jeans – Zara coated jeans (similar here) // Boots – Frye Jane Tall boots

The house feels and smells so festive now – I love having the trees up – but it’s hard to believe it really is almost Xmas!!  I haven’t sent cards yet or transferred the kids’ lists into my Amazon cart – thank goodness I had the foresight to photograph them before they were handed over to Santa!

Today I had a good run with Tennyson in the drizzle – the boy is a trouper – 4 miles in the wet and cold was not was not what he was expecting as he bounded out of the door!  I then enjoyed a good old family day watching football and Christmas movies while indulging with peppermint bark and hot chocolate…I think a run will be required most days in this run up to the 25th!

Zara sweater

 Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Diesel Fayza Jogg Jeans // Tank – Gap // Sweater – Zara

 

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The Stuart Weitzman Highland Boot

Following on from yesterday, trawling through boot collections, I stumbled on these beauties again.  I’ve seen them worn on so many other blogs it’s no wonder the only place I can find a good range of sizes is Zappos.com, though Nordstrom and Neiman’s still have some available.  In the UK you can buy them directly from Stuart Weitzman who have plenty of sizes available.

I am in luuuurve with this boot.  A perfect heel height – not too high, yet high enough to lengthen the leg, with lovely stretchy suede to hold your leg nicely without slipping down.  If I had my druthers I’d get the grey/taupe version – super sexy with skirts, but the black is obviously way more practical and maybe even more versatile for my closet.  At $750 they are definitely an investment – but think of the pleasure they’d provide;)

Black Topo

Rosie

Rosie Huntington-Whitely

Ring My Bell

http://ashley-ringmybell.blogspot.com

PeaceLoveShea

http://peaceloveshea.com

Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo

BrooklynBlonde

Brooklyn Blonde

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My boot obsession.

You’ve all heard about it before – I love boots.  Can’t get enough boots as far as I am concerned, which is a shame given the climate I live in.  I can only really wear them for 4 months of the year – that was until I discovered my summer boots – the Newbury canvas boot.

Anyway we’re a long way from summer right now and it is wet, wet, wet here in Atlanta – all be it heading up to 70 degrees this afternoon – totally random weather.  Regardless ’tis definitely boot wearing weather, and though most people here drag out their ‘rain boots’ i.e. wellies when it rains I prefer to stick to ankle boots.  For me my wellies will only ever be worn when trampling across muddy fields, avoiding sheep shit, which rarely happens to me these days outside of Lancashire.

Thankfully at this time of year sales are bountiful – especially now retailers are gearing up to clear all their boot inventory ready for sandals hitting the stores in February!  One of my favorite brands is Sam Edelman.  I have a couple of pairs of his Petty boots which I love, plus a pair of Louie boots – I’m a sucker when it comes to a fringe.

Petty boots:

Petty

Louie boots:

Louie

p.s. for you Moms with gorgeous daughters out there Sam Edelman have a range of kids boots that I have never noticed before – I LOVE these for Poppy – also currently on sale!

kids louie

LOTS of his dressier boots are currently in the sale and here are my top picks pop pickers…

The Kenley boot – great buckle detail:

Kenley

The Mila boot – 50% off and very Isabel Marant – perfect with coated skinnies:

Mila

The Princeton boot – slightly lower but still a rocking boot with the laced back:

Princeton

I am OBSESSED with the fringe detail on the Mariel boot!  They are available in a gorgeous cream too.

Mariel

Here is another pair that my heart races for – the Martina boot – I adore the corset back of these – 33% off and still plenty of sizes available at Nordstrom.  I might order these just to try…

Martina

And here are my outfits this week – it’s been packed with work, tinsel buying and school projects – oh the glamor.  At least I got to wear an early Xmas present on Monday.

Per Una fur coat

Coat – Per Una Marks & Spencer // Jumper – Uniqlo men’s cashmere dark grey // Scarf – Uniqlo cashmere // Jeans – Zara Camo jeans (old similar here) // Boots – Black leather Rag & Bone Newbury boot // Glasses – Oliver Peoples Wacks

Tuesday was definitely a day where comfort came first:

Gap shirt

Shirt – The Gap // Scarf – Primark (old) // Jeans – Zara // Boots – Zara (old)

Now off to run more errands while it rains!

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The big Thanksgiving catchup.

I’m back…after a brilliant week.  I intentionally tried to avoid the laptop as I was determined not to be sucked in by random Black Friday deals – especially knowing that most brands offer far deeper discounts at other times of the year.  Yes we have been conditioned to go mental on Black Friday but don’t!  You’ll be better off waiting for other big sales – most retailers know we want to spend now but hold out if you can.

The week started with some fun appointments.  Poppy had a layer of pink in her hair – so you can just see it when she has a pony tail.  Less permanent at this age than piercings – and after mine I didn’t want to be too much of a hypocrite when it comes to exploring new looks and self expression.  Lauren at Plum Salon once again looked after us – she is fabulous and I highly recommend her if you are in the Atlanta area.

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It was freezing on Tuesday and it called for some big coat and scarf action.

Unknown1 Zara coat

 

Jeans – coated jeans Dorothy Perkins (25% off everything with Holiday25) // Boots – Dorothy Perkins // Sweater – Boden Westbourne sweater // Scarf – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara

On Wednesday the kids had dental appointments.  Don’t ask me why I scheduled them the day before Thanksgiving.  We had a power cut that morning, due to all the rain and wind we’d had, and I had to go without a shower.  While messaging Fiona and Avril from the waiting room I assured them I didn’t look too skanky with this selfie – no full length photo that day – I’ve enjoyed a break from the mirror:)

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Sweater – Boden Off Duty jumper (last year’s but similar here) // Coat – Mango // Hat – Nordstrom (100% cashmere for less than $30!)

That evening was spent pretending to be a domestic goddess – I chugged a bottle of sparkling while making cranberry sauce, sausage stuffing and then brining the bird.  It was a really fun family night listening to music with the odd random game of chess thrown in.  Chess is our new obsession – I’m still being thrashed by my 5 year old.

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On Thanksgiving Day we had our fabulous friends from Bulgaria over, so we could enjoy an international Thanksgiving.  Neither of us have family here so it was absolutely fantastic to share the day with fun friends.  We talked Communism, music and literature while drinking and eating LOTS.  The best Thanksgiving ever, and I have to say the food was pretty darn good too:)

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The aftermath:

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Yesterday we headed out for a blast of fresh air.  We went to the Georgia Dome to watch the Georgia State Panthers play – a fun day with some tailgating thrown in for good measure.

AllSaints sweatshirt

Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobby sneakers // Jeans – Zara // Sweatshirt – AllSaints (20% off with THANKS) // Hat – Nordstrom // (the jacket below is Next from last year)

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So today it is back to normality – I’m back to running and eating left over turkey:)

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Here’s to my favorite Holiday of the year.  Now to start planning for Xmas – and Maximus the Elf rejoined the clan today so I better be good!

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