My fellow blogger, Hollie, and I are both great admirers of Gwen Stefani’s eclectic rock and roll style – she always looks perfectly put together. Her make up and hair are always immaculate, even for a trip to the park with her sons. It was while Hollie and I were chatting about Gwen the other day that I realized Gwen is a fan of Zara! I have spotted her in three Zara items just this weekend – who’d have thought it? Gwen obviously embraces pairing high and lower end items – good for her!
Two of the items also happen to be in my closet – no surprise there. The first is the sarong skirt – I love how she has styled this over leggings…There’s a David Bowie t-shirt on Asos that I have been umming and ahhing about for a while now – it could be the perfect tee to replicate this look.
Next up is my jacket last worn here. Now I’m not necessarily a fan of her styling here but each to their own…though if I was Italian I’d wear that t-shirt in a heartbeat.
Finally I spotted this photo of her wearing these Zara pants heading to Chuck E. Cheeses – please Gwen how could you bear to step foot in there? I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.
These photos of Gwen always make me want to to wear red lipstick more often and I’m pretty sure images of her have influenced my choice of attire today.
I’m just starting to feel human again. Those bus stop ladies are quite a riot when you get them in a bar around a bottle (or several) of white wine. Thursday was tough going but it was worth it. I love these ladies!
The leggings I wore are new and a real steal from Nordstrom. It is great being able to purchase TopShop items here now thanks to their partnership with Nordstrom. They were an impulse purchase after seeing them on Martha’s post the other week.
There is nothing like the thought of wearing a bikini for motivating me to hit the gym. So yesterday I went to spin – it was amazing – a great endorphin rush in a lovely quiet class! I hope it is the same this morning – yes I am motivated:)
After spin I was running around like a crazy woman doing last minute errands for the trip – wine was bought, packing was done and finally the Brazillian was accomplished – TMI I know, but I find they are essential when you’re in a swimsuit 9 months of the year. Plus it’s much more comfortable on the spin bike:) If you are in Atlanta go see Larissa at Brazilian’s by Andreia at the Buckhead location – she is amazing – and most importantly – gentle!
To all of you in the US I can only best describe Matalan and Primark as stores similar to Target or Old Navy – cheap, on trend clothing – disposable fashion. I remember Primark as a child and recently it has had somewhat of a revival. Just as we in the States refer to Target as Targét (well at least in my neck of the woods) – Primark is often referred to as Primarni.
It takes some energy to sift the wheat from the chaff but all in all it is worth it. Yesterday I scored 2 pairs of jeans. I know their jeans are fab as I have a couple of their printed ones – the floral ones from last summer being the most worn. Yesterday I got some gorgeous smoky blue/grey striped ankle skimmers (though they actually feel full length on me!), and a pair of cheapo boyfriend jeans – mainly because I couldn’t justify leaving them in the store at just 13 GBP each. Their sizing is definitely a bit hit or miss as the skinnies are a UK 10 and I had to go to a 12 in the boyfriend jeans. There’s a bit more distressing on the boyfriend jeans than I’d possibly like, but then if I use my very vivid imagination and pretend I’m not in freezing Bury, sun kissed knees peeking through the denim, in the Atlanta sun, might work well with them…
I had to head across the street to Matalan – they are normally located in retail parks – as is the one in Bury. I was skeptical as I wandered in but that quickly dissipated and I was overwhelmed with sheer joy! Again sifting the wheat from the chaff was required – but more on a style basis than quality as everything seemed to be really well made considering the really low prices. I ended up picking up a couple of jersey maxi skirts (couldn’t decide between the grey and the black), a pair of pewter silky trousers and some fabulous polo shirts with silky trim. I sized up to a UK 14 on the shirts worried they may be too snug especially after a wash – plus the placement of the pockets made me a bit nervous – but the UK 14s are perfect – loose enough but not huge. I am now smitten with Matalan.
Heading back to the bus station I had a quick nosey in H&M. Low and behold they had some fabulous looking boyfriend jeans – that were the right amount of faded, distress and are also described as ‘tapered leg’. So off I went to try them on. I took a 27″ and 28″ into the changing room – I always try the smallest size first so I can be a) elated when they fit or b) optimistic the larger size will work. The 27s were perfect – and still oversize. They really do fit like a men’s jean and even have a slightly lower crotch that some will love or some will hate – personally I love the fit. I think these will be worn often this Spring.
Don’t ask me how I am going to get all this home – I don’t know yet.
For my little shopping jaunt I wore a pair of my new shoes. The Office Nighthawk boots in red – a cheap imitation of the Chloe Susanna boots. I got them for 30 GBP in the sale and I love them. They are great quality, lovely leather and incredibly comfortable – plus my gamble of buying a UK 6 paid off and they fit perfectly. I wore them with Zara camo trousers and an H&M jumper layered over an H&M tank. The scarf is an old Boden jersey scarf that I love.
Now off to the Trafford Center – Mum and Dad are in the market for an iPad.
“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty
that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald color of the year 2013
Now I’m not typically a fan of ‘green’ though I have noticed that I am more and more drawn to it, in fact all bright colors in general. I am in love with the color blocking trend for spring. J.Crew and J.Crew Factory have some great, wearable options that follow the trend, for great prices too. I’m currently lusting over this beautiful yellow mini skirt - a much cheaper option to the one seen in the Michael Kors Spring collection at $695! I’ve promised myself it when I return from the UK, assuming I haven’t squandered all my earnings in Primark.
My new found obsession with J.Crew led me to these lovely café capris, again sale bargains at $30. They were a risky buy as I purchased my ‘wannabe size’ and they’ve been hanging in my closet for a few weeks. With some trepidation I tried them today and they fit!! Hooray!! Given it’s going to bounce up to the 70s again today, and that we are now in the last throws of January, I decided to celebrate and bring Spring forward on the calendar.
The blouse is Ann Taylor. I NEVER shop there these days as I don’t have a ‘proper office job’ anymore. As I wandered past the other day this blouse caught my eye. It’s actually really similar to a J.Crew collection printed top that was crazy expensive (the photo floral print that is no longer available). This Ann Taylor version was just $78, and currently they have a buy one get one 50% off on their new collection. I was really impressed with what I saw – lots of great black and white prints and bright colors.
J.Crew Collection version:
So here’s me today wearing the pantone of the year accessorized with the Zara black court shoes and my fabulous Boden folded leather clutch.
In fact I need a drum kit – do you know why? I am going to be Jack White’s new drummer. In my dreams. He was unbe-freakin-lievable last night. His all girl band were also pretty darn good – and I was mesmerized with his drummer. She has the coolest job around as far as I am concerned. Jack’s stage presence was amazing. We had fabulous seats and could see everything. He moved around the stage with such energy thrashing out hits from Blunderbuss and finishing with ‘Seven Nation Army’ which the audience went wild for – especially me.
All the way through the show I couldn’t help thinking how tall Jack is – but on mentioning this to MM his theory is that he is actually only 5ft and surrounds himself with short women to make him look tall, conjuring all sorts of Spinal Tap Stonehenge images for me:)
An amazing night and my ears are still ringing.
Here are my outfits from yesterday – I was off work as my daughter was still on Fall break – but it was really chilly here so time for the knee length boots to make an appearance! The jeans are Primark, jumper is the AllSaints Godiva jumper, and the boots are Vince Camuto Autumn which unfortunately I can no longer locate on the website.
For the gig I went AllSaints again – Delors pipe leather trousers, Phinius top (both from 2010) and then I decided to match my shoes to my hair with my Sam Edelman Petty boots in British Burgundy:)
I am ridiculously excited about this Sunday evening. No I’m not being wined and dined, nor are we expecting guests…the new seasons of Homeland and Dexter start! How sad am I?
Bored to tears with Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Real Housewives etc…I have recently been exploring the pleasures of On Demand viewing. I have watched Season 1 of Girls, Season 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones (appeals to my inner dork), Season 1 of Homeland plus I am completely up to date on Dexter. The correlation of my increased t.v. viewing with the start of the football season is no coincidence. There is no greater way to watch a mini series than from beginning to end with no commercial breaks – bliss! Now my only debate is do I watch the new season live or should I DVR it so I can enjoy without commercials?…The latter I think!
I’ll be ready for a bit of sofa surfing on Sunday as we have another jam packed weekend with birthday parties and swimming lessons – plus on Sunday afternoon we are having a photo session with Muddy Faces on a farm. Karen who is the photographer is amazing and has a real knack for taking natural, uncontrived photos, and I am so excited about getting some lovely portraits of the children. I refuse to buy the school portraits that have the naff, fake backgrounds on them.
Today I’m wearing my J.Crew shorts in Casablanca blue – these are 5″ ones and were bought in the sale – they are so comfortable and a great length – not too revealing – but nowhere near the knees either. With them I’m wearing my Primark t-shirt with the bus heading to Croydon, with my Zara off white jersey jacket and Sam Edelman Louie boots. I’ve decided if I wear shorts I can wear boots, but it’s still too warm for jeans and boots together.
…make me scream with frustration! Three weeks into the school year and Atlanta Public Schools Transportation System finally agreed to meet with parents to hear our concerns and recommendations. We have been frustrated since the start of the school year due to safety issues, timing, and route changes for the school buses, created by cost cutting. We all know that change is needed at times, and we are all prepared to accept changes, but when common sense doesn’t prevail it is just SO frustrating. After waiting this morning for 45mins for the APS representative to arrive and hold the meeting to reassure us that we were being heard – she sat down and muttered something about ‘I have no more information’ – what do these people get paid for??? It was then left to the parents and bus drivers to try and resolve the issues on each route – thus effectively doing the job of APS Transportation…pah. Not happy to say the least.
Wanting to feel a little ‘fierce’ for my morning meeting I opted for the Zara leopard print capris – what is it about animal print that I love so much? I’m trying to convince Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com to try the Primark jeans that my Mum sent to me – she appears to be contemplating them
I paired these Zara pants with the same t-shirt and shoes that I wore with the Primark jeans - with black oversize Zara t-shirt and black patent Tory Burch Eddies. I need to try some other solid colors with my leopard print though I’m pretty sure black is the way ahead. Haven’t been brave enough to mix my prints yet.
I’m hoping to hit the pool later this afternoon with the children – it’s beautiful here and I want to make the most of the water before pools start closing after Labor Day. While sitting by the pool I’ll be working feverishly with MM to get our new website up and running – the new magazine – MMA Fitness – hits newsstands soon so in order to do my part of the job we need our online presence ready and we’re cutting it fine yikes! Yes mixed martial arts is quite a change from the pre and post natal market but definitely an interesting challenge!
Hair cut time tomorrow – time to get rid of the bouffant look! Very excited – thinking of something slightly different so watch out for photos:)
Knowing that my blogging friends, Avril (SchoolGateStyle.com) and Beth (StyleGuile.blogspot.com), had also fallen under the trance of the Primark floral jeans this summer, we thought it would be fun for the three of us to collaborate and show you our interpretations of styling for these floral wonders!
As you know I really am new to the Aladdin’s Cave that is Primark as we don’t have them in the US, but I made a child free shopping trip there when I was back in Bury in June. I love skinny jeans but I have to admit I was pretty terrified by the floral jean trend. Any pattern for that matter, on jeans, just seemed wrong. Talk about u-turns! I nabbed these jeans at just 5 GBP (about $7.50!) and fell in love with them as soon as I wore them. For the price they are great quality and a fabulous fit, plus given all the colors in them they go with a variety of tops – though I definitely advise keeping the tops simple. The jeans themselves have green, purple, pink, taupe and black in them and I have worn them with tops in all these colors.
Here’s how I styled them back in June in England, I love the casual look here – I wore an AllSaints tank and H&M taupe linen jumper which coordinated great with the jeans.
And here is how I wore them more recently with my pink Zara linen t-shirt from the sale:
For this post I decided to go for a slightly dressier look – though I love that it can easily be a fun, relaxed look without the jacket. The jacket coordinates perfectly – it’s the Boden tipped blazer in blossom – currently in the sale at $88.80 though other colors are cheaper. It is fabulous quality and one of my favorite Boden purchases this year. Under the jacket I’m wearing a simple men’s Gap white t-shirt, with 2-3 year old H&M pink beads. My Tory Burch musk Eddie flats are my favorite shoes for these jeans – nude and simple.
I absolutely love how Beth, Avril and I have all styled them differently – who would have known that statement floral jeans would be so versatile!
I know, I know it’s not my birthday till Friday but my fabulous Mum sent me my present early and I’ve been looking at them on the shelf dying to wear them – so I have – 3 days early:) Knowing how much I loved my floral jeans that I bought when I was back in England, Mum very kindly sent me the Primark leopard print jeans! They are lovely! I can’t get over the quality and fit of these jeans for 12 GBP!! They have a lovely nude background and the spots are almost like brush strokes so not really sure if it’s leopard or cheetah. Regardless, paired with black they look fabulous. Total winners and will be worn throughout the Fall into Winter with black boots.
I paired them with my Zara black oversize t-shirt from the sale and my black patent Tory Burch Eddies:
Much as I have fallen in love with Zara over the past few months I am completely bummed with their customer service. A package went missing the other day with my new trousers – FedEx claim they delivered them – I know they didn’t as I was perched by the door waiting on tenterhooks for the package to arrive! I’ve even walked around the house a hundred times like a mad woman wondering if they could possibly have been moved by a squirrel with a cruel sense of humor. Unlike Boden, who always give their customer the benefit of the doubt and refund or resend immediately, on the rare occasion something goes missing, Zara are completely d*cking me around and won’t refund or resend until they have filed a claim with FedEx – aaaarrgggh!! You wouldn’t believe the time I have spent on the phone trying to talk sense to them. So two multinational companies who make gazillions every year are holding my $130 until they decide whether they believe me or not!? SO frustrating – not to mention I don’t have the camouflage or the oriental trousers in my possession…and sadly I still want them no matter how mad I am with Zara.
Look out for tomorrow’s post – a fun collaboration is in store for you all!
Much as I love blogging it has had its pros and cons. Cons mainly being I am always verging on being skint from seeing and buying gorgeous clothes modeled by my favorite blogging friends, and pros being that I have been exposed to lots of other fabulous brands that I may not have ventured to try in the past – basically resulting in the con. Thank goodness for eBay hey so I can constantly recycle my closet! Anyway my favorite new retail lust is Zara. I’ve always known they were in Atlanta but never bothered to venture in opting to stick with my trusty, quality brands like J.Crew, Boden, AllSaints and H&M. Zara is a tad pricier than H&M but is always spot on trend and being a trouser girl they always seem to have plenty to offer for me. I love how they are constantly rotating their stock. Their sizes are hit or miss but I’m learning to figure them out so I can order online with a little more confidence and benefit from items that haven’t been tried on 20 times, plus they offer free shipping. In the past week or so their new collection has been filtering into stores and online, and I ordered these fabulous TRF snake print trousers which arrived yesterday. They are DIVINE. They are a gorgeous blend of neutral colors – lots of taupe, blush and nudes which means you can wear them with anything from a white shirt to a pink tee. They have ankle zips and, on my legs, finish neatly at the ankle. I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am with them not to mention they were just $59.90!
I just ordered the snake skin shirt – not to wear with the pants – that might be overkill – but as I love the colors and pattern so much I thought the shirt would be great with jeans – black or blue denim. I am truly embracing the animal print trend this season – though I can’t avoid it even when only Bet Lynch and I are wearing leopard print.
Today it is hot, hot, hot and I’m taking it easy in the air conditioning. I find this heat really exhausting so I don’t plan on doing too much today except for a fun dinner with the family and then watching the Olympic Games opening ceremony. Staying in has allowed me to enjoy the comfort of jeans again and I am wearing my Primark floral jeans – best bargain of the year at 5 GBP, along with a sale bargain from Zara – a lovely pink linen t-shirt which incidentally will look great with the new pants! All paired with my trusty Tory Burch musk Eddie ballet flats – the best nude shoes I have. Here’s to a fun weekend y’all and yes I’ll be cheering Team USA and Team GB – I think that is allowed:)