Tag Archives: Matalan

Fun in Next!

I will be traveling for the next few days – wending my way from Bury to Kyrenia – so there’ll be no blog post for a few days.  To make up for it I’ve done two today.  I couldn’t wait to tell you about my exciting morning;)

Mum and Dad took the children out for the day so I got to have some ‘me’ time in Bury with the shops that I miss.  M&S, River Island, Primark and Matalan were all on my hit list.  However, I was completely side tracked by Next.  What a revelation!

Well in all honesty I had seen some of my blogging friends wearing some great items from Next recently, so I knew I had to take a look while I was here.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery no?  We are all inspired by what we see in other blogs – and I’ve already bought Avril’s shoes, now I have Hollie and Eve’s jacket, and I think Kat’s jacket too?

For the trip I decided to give two fingers to the weather and wore all white, with my Boden leather jacket.

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T-shirt – Zara TRF linen t-shirt with pink flower (old – can’t see it online in the sale but it may appear again) // Jeans – H&M (old) // Scarf – Boden chincilla pinspot lightweight scarf (I love this and want the acid lime one too)

Here’s the gorgeous Next jersey biker jacket in grey.  I tried a 12 to start with and it was huge so ended up with a 10.  Both Hollie and Eve All Worn Out have this.  It is the softest, snuggliest jacket ever – perfect for Bury – maybe not so much for Atlanta and Cyprus.

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I then spotted these great harem trousers in white.  Some of you may like these – they are not low slung at the crotch – but have quite a tapered leg, others of you may not – as, with most white jersey, you can see the pockets.

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I’m not normally a blouse person at all.  But I was immediately drawn to this.  The leopard print obviously caught my eye, but the colors are also lovely – greys, white and blush tones.  The shape is great too and very forgiving for the muffin top.

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With the jacket it creates a good day to evening outfit.

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The top with skinnies.

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Next up I saw this blue jacket.  I loved it immediately.  It’s a really flattering cut, lightweight and washable too.  I also love the neckline.  Oh and I totally love the fact it was only 28 GBP!  I think Kat has this.  It didn’t photo well at all – I think Next in Bury has the darkest changing rooms ever.

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Finally the shoes.  I didn’t get them – I wanted to – but the toe problem reared it’s ugly head again.  I loved these and realized that I don’t have any navy heels at all so I could completely have justified them – but the little toe just wouldn’t behave.  They came in grey too.  I’m afraid I can’t see them online but I think they were about 28 GBP.

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So all in all a fun trip to Bury – I even managed to grab coffee with my sister.  I didn’t make it to anywhere else but Next I’m afraid.  A good job I think really:)

 

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No rest for the wicked.

I’m sneaking in 5 minutes to myself to do this post.  Remind me – the other day I said things slowed down in the summer?  Not so today – camp, dentist appointments for the kids, lunch, then a play date here for Poppy.  Doesn’t sound too much does it, but I feel like I’ve already earned my wine.  I’m telling you stay at home Moms/Dads are goddesses/gods in my eyes.  I do not have the requisite levels of patience to do this every day:)  Having said that I’m having much fun watching them wear each other out in the paddling pool outside.

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Pants – Matalan (old) // Sneakers – Converse charcoal // T-shirt – Zara (old)

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Some punk inspiration.

I walked into the kitchen this morning to the sound of ‘You’re my favorite waste of time‘ – not sure if it was the Owen Paul version or the original version, but here’s the Owen Paul version from ’86, which I remember well.

After a bleary couple of seconds wondering why Nick Jr. wasn’t on the t.v. yet – I realized it was my lovely Husband’s way of reminding me that 22 years ago today, over a couple of Newkie Browns in The Central Bar, he announced he was ‘infatuated’ with me.  I remember the whole day so vividly – from bumping into him in the library, to the Moscow Mules, to the shock and delight of discovering he ‘was into me’ (I told the story here last year).  He was, and still is, the antithesis of every other guy I had dated – non-conformist, smart, sensitive and charming (not sure how many of my exes read this – they might not anymore!) – I had a pretty good feeling this one was a keeper.

As the summer of ’91 progressed, our relationship hit the fast track.  Within a couple of months we were planning our first vacation together.  He was studying for his PhD in Byzantine History so it seemed natural to head for Turkey – somewhere I had never been before – but I was excited to have my personal tour guide.  Our first overseas adventure was thrilling – back packing down from Istanbul, via various Roman ruins (and bars), to Side on The Mediterranean, where we drank Efes in the sun.  It was the trip that sealed the deal for me – he was the ‘one’ – oh and he was hot too – look at the hair and those soccer playing legs!:))

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These next photos made me giggle.  They are some of the very few we have from the early 90s as most of our photos were stolen, along with other items, from the container when we moved here.  My love of harem trousers must have come from him – here we are at my Graduation Ball in 1992 – he was dressed in Turkish, tailor made, harem trousers with a tailcoat – and had more jewelry than me:)

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Love the photo bombers in the back:)

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So today, unintentionally, I realized I could be accused of channeling one of his favorite bands – The Clash.  Happy ‘when we started dating’ anniversary my lovely…

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red and tartan

Jacket – Zara // Trousers – Zara tartan trousers (old)  // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Polo shirt – Matalan

 

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Comfy sneakers.

Yes I know sneakers are everywhere right now and every blogger, magazine and newspaper, it seems, has featured them – so it’s my turn with a pick of some of my favorites.  I have been a sneaker/trainer advocate for some time and always used to make a point of buying them cheap from the US, when we first started traveling here.  Friends laughed at me when I described my various pairs of trainers that were either for ‘fashion’ or ‘fitness’ – well you don’t want to wear smelly trainers that you worked out in down at the pub!

My favorites were, and probably always will be, the Nike Air Max ’95s.  I had a pair of grey with green and a pair of blue with orange, which I adored and wore both till they fell apart – unusual for me!

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I am also a big lover of hi tops and again Nike tends to be my go to brand.  I love these Dunk wedge sneakers that they have designed.  As you see, like my trousers, I like my sneakers loud!

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Going old school – I love these Vans – perfect with skinnies or boyfriend jeans with a simple sweatshirt for a great tomboy look.

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These new Adidas ones have caught my eye too.  I love Adidas and have a pair of navy Gazelles.  I had a pair of green ones that I hunted high and low for back in the early 90’s when Ms. Moss made them a must have item.  These hi-tops are a grey marl jersey fabric – they look super comfy and I can’t resist grey marl ever – even on sneakers.

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Finally, of course, we can spend a little more should we so wish.  Waiting in my closet to be worn are a pair of Marant Bobby sneakers.  As soon as the rain disappears they will be on my feet – I adore them and they are the perfect color for summer with shorts.

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After Kat reminded me about the Ash Virgins, I took a peek at their new Spring sneakers and I am currently yearning for a pair of Ash Virgin star cutouts in silver – they’d be awesome with boyfriend jeans and my Zara red leather jacket:)

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Coincidentally my past few outfits have revolved around sneakers.  On Saturday night we went out to our lovely neighbors for little get together.  It was a fabulous night, late and indulgent and the kids had a blast too.  I wore my new Matalan maxi skirt, old Gap striped t-shirt, Boden Union Jack scarf (old), Gap denim jacket (old) and white Converse.

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Today I went for comfort, and rain is expected so the Bobby sneakers are still in their box!  I bought these Nike sneakers over a year ago and love the girly pink trim on them:)

Jacket – Boden JohnnieB (old) // Sweatshirt – AllSaints Decay top (old) // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // Sneakers – Nike Air Max (similar here)

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So have you bought into the sneaker trend?  Which are your must haves?

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Matalan and Primark finds.

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Now off to the Trafford Center – Mum and Dad are in the market for an iPad.

 

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The Fourth Doctor.

The thing about blogging is that when you have so many stylish friends in the blogging community, almost every day, in someone’s new post, I see an item that I want too!  The other week it was Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com.  I have rediscovered my passion for scarves since knowing Avril – and not only does she have a great selection but she wears them well.  My Nana taught me how to knit when I was little – I wouldn’t know where to start now – but I distinctly remember knitting a ‘Dr Who’ scarf – I was the Tom Baker generation and a big fan of the 4th Doctor…Anyway before I digress into complete geekdom the point is Avril was wearing this fabulous 8GBP scarf from Matalan here the other week.  A quick email to my Mum and Bob’s your Uncle – a week or 2 later I have one too!  Thanks Mum:)

The colors are perfect – this year’s burgundy with navy, blush, yellow and grey – and it is SO long!  I wore it the other day to the park with my AllSaints sweater, from a couple of years ago, layered over my Boden velvet henley in rose that I just love – it’s really soft and fits great.  The jeans are my Hudson Collin skinnies and the boots are the Frye Jenna studded.  The specs are my lovely Oliver People Wacks in matte blue havana.  A great outfit for a cold day – only problem was that as we stood cheering Poppy on, successfully riding her bike with no training wheels (UK – stabilisers), the sun was beating down and the temperatures rose to 70 degrees – no one else, oddly enough, was in their Dr Who scarf:)

Have been studying other ways to pose in front of the camera – as you can see my current favorite is ‘Looking at your feet’.

I’ve just released the turkey from an amazing smelling bag of brine and herbs.  It’ll be going in the oven in an hour or so and then I can open a bottle of bubbly:)  HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y’ALL!

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