Tag Archives: School Gate Style

Next Bomber Jacket – 6 Ways – 6 Bloggers

I love doing collaborations with my friends especially when we all have such different styles. 5 of my blogging bffs and I recently worked together to showcase this fabulous bomber jacket from Next.  It comes in red and grey and I picked the red – mainly because I have the grey Next biker jacket from last year. I didn’t really know what to expect so I was thrilled when I opened the package to find a lovely soft, lightweight, vivid red jacket.  It’s as light as a sweatshirt so the perfect weight for a throw on here in Spring.  Yes it was gifted – thank you Next – but that has not skewed my opinion – I really love it and would have paid money for it.  Look how great all the other girls look too! Next Bomber jacket challenge Lizzy, Fiona, Frances, Avril, me and Michelle!

Many people steer clear of red thinking it is too bright or won’t go with much in their closet.  I had fun prancing around the other day with different combinations to try and demonstrate how versatile red can be.  My outfits are fairly neutral but red is also a great statement color to clash/colorblock with oranges, pinks and blues. IMG_8193 IMG_8187

Dress – Marks & Spencer // Boots – Isabel Marant // Jacket – Next

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Shoes – Nine West // Trousers – eBay // T-shirt – Express (old) // jacket – Next

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Trousers – Express (old – similar here) // Shoes – BCBGeneration // T-shirt – J.Crew // Jacket – Next

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Sneakers – Golden Goose (old – similar here) // Shorts – J.Crew // Top – Phinius AllSaints (old) // Jacket – Next // Sunglasses – RayBan Wayfarer

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Shoes – Marks & Spencer Limited Edition // Jumpsuit – Splendid // Jacket – Next

Make sure you pop over the the girls’ sites to see what they think and get details on how they styled their Next jackets!

LizzyFionaFrancesAvril, me and Michelle! Next Bomber jacket challenge

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Bubblegum pink

What better to cheer up a dreary day than bubblegum pink shoes?

Boden desert boots 1

Shoes – Boden // Jeans – Gap (old) // T-shirt – Express (old) // Jacket – Zara (old) // Scarf – School Gate Style shop

So go on tell – what have you ordered in the Boden sale?:)

Shop the look

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Fun in Forever 21

It was a wet, drizzly morning here so after spin class I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.  What I should have done is finish painting the spare room for when our guests arrive in 2 weeks – what I did do was head to the Mall.  Now it is always dangerous for me to head to the Mall when I am on a spending freeze (self imposed after the Golden Goose purchases).  It is rare I can escape the Mall without something getting lodged in my head screaming ‘buy me! buy me!’.  In order to try and mitigate a complete failure I thought Forever 21 would be a safe destination, firstly because everything is so young I would be in complete mutton territory, but secondly if there was to be something screaming at me it might just be a teeny tiny $20 scream that no one would notice.

Friday morning is the BEST time to be in Forever 21 – full racks and empty changing rooms.  It is essential to try everything as they don’t do refunds here – only exchanges – not sure if this is the same in the UK?  Of course, after muttering ‘spending freeze’, within the first 2 racks I found items that I thought I should try – for the sake of research of course – I’m helping you girls out!  Half way around the store a lovely man said ‘you look like you need this’ – and handed me a bag.  Now some of what I picked up was honestly just for a giggle – if I was going to try things I might as well have some fun.

First up was this denim dress – now I did quite like this when I picked it up – I thought it might be fun with my Dickers or with sandals.  Hideous on and the poppers gaped with my boobs.



But wait it gets worse – next up was this ‘dress’ – on putting it on it has to be a tunic – you could even see it was time for a bikini wax again!  And yes – just confirmed it is a tunic looking here on the Forever 21 site – I’m obviously losing my mind.  Regardless it still made me look incredibly top heavy…



Now I didn’t try the following with the intention of wearing them together, but I had to nip and get my bag of other items, and I wanted to spare the other customers the sight of me in my control underwear.  I do really like both items separately.  I probably need a large in the top – but it was a great sweatshirt material with embellished shoulders – great with jeans.  I also loved the skirt – a gorgeous pattern – but Forever 21 are cheap for a reason – the quality was not good.  The pattern wouldn’t sit straight – for some reason the waistband was crooked, it would have driven me nuts.


Now we’re getting to the ridiculous – a playsuit.  I started to sweat when I realized getting this off was more difficult than getting it on…panic set in when I knew there was no over the head option.



Now this skirt – you may think is complete mutton – but there was something about it that made me take a second look.  With the right top and shoes I think it could be quite nice – I just really struggle to like lace.  The leopard print top with it makes me look like I should be behind the bar at The Rovers.



Next are two tops I LOVED and damn it I can’t see either online – which is probably good as I may have ordered them.  I really liked these t-shirts and I would have bought them were it not for not wanting to spend money.  This one was lovely but I needed a medium – the large was just a tad too big, though would probably shrink in the wash – just $10 – brilliant. (Update online here).



This was my favorite – a gorgeous drapey knit.  Sorry about the rubbish photo – I got all excited because I liked it so much.  It drapes at the back too and the marks are on the mirror not the top.



So a lot of fun was had by me this morning.  I did go and buy more paint so maybe that can be considered painting progress?

Finally I must thank School Gate Style – she very kindly went out of her way to buy and send me this dress from Ted Baker.  It arrived yesterday and is simply gorgeous.  It helps to have good friends around the globe:)  It is sold here but is completely sold out online.  Some Bloomingdale’s do have concessions though.  There is also a gorgeous scarf available in the same print here.




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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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Day to night in burgundy.

Call it oxblood, bordeaux or wine, burgundy is the color of Fall 2012.  It’s everywhere from scarves to boots to jeans.  I love the color and even have hair to match:)  At first I bought a couple of burgundy accessories not wanting to overdo it, but now I have jeans, boots and t-shirts all in burgundy.  It’s even made me hunt out my Chanel Rouge Noir nail polish again, which Uma Thurman made famous in Pulp Fiction.

To demonstrate the versatility of this fabulous, rich color I teamed up with my great blogging buddies – Avril from SchoolGateStyle.com and Fiona from Avenue57 – to style a daytime and evening look in our burgundy jeans.  Our jeans are all different brands and mine are Zara.  They were a steal for $35.90 and have lots of stretch so a really comfy.  On trend, as ever, Zara has a lot of items right now in what they are calling ‘bordeaux’.

My daytime look is VERY casual.  I love wearing burgundy with grey so paired the jeans with my AllSaints decay sweatshirt from 2011.  The scarf is an old H&M that I bought after being inspired by Emmanuelle Alt – swoon – my ultimate style icon – I just love her – we can all dream hey?  The sneakers are my new Ash Alex wedges – pretty much a knock off of the Marant sneakers – but I love the burgundy and coral together – which influenced me to wear my orange Casio G-Shock watch.

I LOVE how the three of us styled the jeans so differently – it’s so exciting to see how different people interpret different pieces.

For evening wear I think I was mainly inspired by my Halloween decorations:)  My AllSaints embellished top is remarkably similar to the ghost hanging next to me!  The jacket is the chic leather biker jacket from Boden that I bought in the sale last season and is now getting worn frequently.  The only thing I might change about the outfit are the shoes – here I have the Sam Edelman Petty boots in British Burgundy – I thought the continuation of color might work but having seen the photos they look too matchy matchy.  Heels would have elongated the look better – ah well – next time!

Fiona and Avril look great – all legs!  Make sure you pop over to their blogs for more details on their outfits here at Avenue57 and here at SchoolGateStyle.com.

I love how the burgundy works with grey and black – it’s fabulous for adding a splash of color and will work great for the festive season.  But it also works as a neutral base color and pairs well with other colors, like coral, and patterns – experiment with it!  How are you wearing your burgundy this season?

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City Hall Bureaucrats…

…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:)

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Styling our Primark jeans!

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!

For more details on Beth and Avril’s outfits hop over to StyleGuile.blogspot.com and SchoolGateStyle.com for some inspiration!

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Channeling the ’80s

Poppy is at first grade camp this week – I can’t believe that school starts back in 2 weeks!  The summer has flown by but it will be nice to get back to a regular routine again and she is so ready to be back at school – she’s really excited to see her friends and teachers again this week.  The only draw back of this camp is that it is only from 9am-12pm so barely time for me to get to the office.  Instead I’ve been working from home which is lovely as it also means I can get a short run in around Chastain Park after dropping her off.  It is fair to say it is NOT running weather here – humid and in the 90s does not feel good at 8am, or at anytime really – but I’ve been twice this week so can feel quite satisfied that I’m actually doing it.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the pool but it really was too hot to be enjoyable so today I think we’ll find an air conditioned activity – unfortunately I don’t think she will agree to shopping which is a shame as I am dying to head to H&M to buy myself these two pairs of jeans.  Both are a blush color but one is snakeskin and the other leopard print – I love them and unfortunately there is no online store for H&M here in the US:(

Today I am definitely channeling the 80s in my pink and grey.  The t-shirt is H&M and has a bright pink exposed zip at the back – it’s a great length t-shirt and was only $13.  I am wearing it with my J.Crew linen scarf from a couple of years ago – wrapped as demonstrated by Avril at School Gate Style – love it!  The boyfriend jeans are Gap and the silver diamante encrusted sandals are Steve Madden from a couple of years ago.  Still taking photos in the basement with a very dusty mirror – the tiling starts this week!

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The Daily Mail!

Super excited and honored to be mentioned by the Daily Mail in the UK as one of the best of the other blogs in their article on School-gate Icons featuring my blogging buddy Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com, along with other great bloggers – what a privilege to be in such great company!

I’ve never been so happy to be called ‘unpretentious’!

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