Friday, February 26, 2010

Good day sunshine


This month, I've mostly been shopping at H&M. I just can't help myself. Every time I step inside the store, I see something else to buy! And this particular body-con dress has been catching my eye for weeks.

Its cheery floral print is a breath of fresh air during a week that's been wet and miserable. With its flashes of coral, peach and lemon on a vibrant cornflower blue, I'm picturing bright times ahead with sunshine and smiles. And, if a purchase can conjure that up, it's worth £12.99. Happy times ahead!

For now, add tights and a denim jacket and you're sorted.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

True blue


Here's some more detailed shots of the denim jacket Victoria Beckham had slung over her shoulder last week. (Btw, if you like the photo of my Sport Relief T-shirt competition entry, please say so by becoming a fan of TK Maxx on Facebook and adding your 'like' against my pic. Just click here. Thanks you!)

I love the jacket's pale, soft denim, the shapely fit, the bib front, the puffed shoulders, the marbly buttons and the price. Just £24.99 from H&M.

A more elegant take on the classic denim jacket, it looks as good with a LBD as it does with jeans and a T-shirt. It's a spring/summer staple for sure.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happiness is a wardrobe full of Sonia Rykiel


Shopping the Sonia Rykiel pour H&M launch yesterday was a military operation. I was up at dawn with my cadets, the Stickman, Em, Mr Em and fellow Sonia devotee Kirsty. Getting there before the 0900 hours opening, we joined the queue and did a reccy of the shop layout through the window.

A few hours later, with three H&M stores visited, I was down by more than I'd care to mention but I was up by 4 sweaters, 2 cardigans, 1 vest top, 1 jacket, 1 dress, 1 skirt, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of tights, 1 pair of socks, 1 bag, 1 scarf, 1 brooch and 1 doll (pictured above and below)!

And, to reward my troops for a successful mission, it was off to the Hummingbird Bakery for tea, coffee and cupcakes. A good day's shop, I'd say. Hope you got some Sonia goodies, too!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sonia Rykiel pour H&M part deux launches tomorrow


Don't forget Sonia Rykiel pour H&M launches tomorrow! The queen of knits brings her iconic striped sweaters to the high street with this second collection for H&M. Look out for classic Sonia touches like slogan knits and cute bows on tops. There's even a range for children and a Sonia doll, too! This latest designer/high-street collaboration hits 200 H&M stores worldwide, bringing colour and Parisian joie de vivre to what's been a very wet week. See you in the queue!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TK Maxx Sport Relief T-shirt challenge: Part II


So, this is the tee that TK Maxx sent me (minus David Beckham) for the Sport Relief T-shirt challenge.

I decided to get a little creative with Goldenballs using the following bargain-tastic items in my sewing box:
Giant bag of red sequins - 50p from a Selfridges sale
Blue lace ribbon - 20p from a jumble sale
Sewing hoop - 50p from a car-boot sale

With sequins for the star and lace ribbon for the stripes, I'm really pleased at how my abstract US flag has turned out. It references both this season's Americana trend and the Beckham's Stateside home. Plus, getting Victoria to model my customised tee was a stroke of genius! (See yesterday's blog.)

If you like my entry for the T-shirt challenge, please support me by becoming a fan of TK Maxx on Facebook and saying that you 'like' my photo (click here). Thank you! x x x



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TK Maxx Sport Relief T-shirt challenge


Take one David Beckham T-shirt.
A handful of sequins.
A length of lace ribbon.
And the stella sewing skills of Bargainista Fashionista.

And what do you get?

Victoria Beckham rocking the Americana trend.

OK, I know that the colours of my abstract US flag are a bit kooky, but there's a good reason why the star is red. You see, this is one of the official Sport Relief T-shirts designed by the Beckhams - and, just like Comic Relief, the key colour is red. The whole Beckham family have created T-shirt designs for Sport Relief 2010 - from Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz getting creative with spray cans to David showing off his football skills.

The T-shirts, made from 100% Fairtrade-certified cotton, start at £9.99 (for adult sizes) from TK Maxx, with at least £5 going to Sport Relief.

So, why is Posh modelling my customised tee? Well, TK Maxx challenged me to create an outfit styled around a Sport Relief T-shirt that incorporated the hottest trends for 2010. Entries get added to TK Maxx's Facebook page, where you can vote for your favourite look. The one that receives the most 'likes' by the end of March is the winner! My entry? Victoria Beckham working this season's double denim look. Please click on this link to vote for me! (Just become a fan of TK Maxx to say you 'like' my picture.)

Victoria wears:
Sport Relief 2010 cotton T-shirt (customised by Bargainista Fashionista), £9.99, from TK Maxx.
Denim jacket, £24.99, denim shorts, £17.99, and heart tights, £3.99, all by H&M.
Gold-plated Meadowgrass charm bracelet, £285, by Alex Monroe.
Metal belt, £1, from the Special Items range at Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Sequined shoes by Emma Hope (stylist's own, circa a/w 2006).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

True romance


Who needs flowers when you've got frills and flounces? H&M gives the statement shoulder a softer edge with the romantic ruffles on this cute coral cardie.

The overtly frilled shoulders remind me of flamenco dancers and flowers in full bloom. Just looking at it makes me happy. It's from H&M's Divided range and, with the current 20% off promotion, it's £15.99 instead of £19.99 - a small price to pay for happiness! The fabric - a fine cotton knit - is a little on the cheap side, but I'll luxe it up by swapping the buttons for something prettier. And, if coral's not your colour, it also comes in grey and black.

This latest purchase was inspired by my sweater with the frilly shoulders (again from H&M). I've been wearing it a lot lately and have been thrilled the frills receive so many compliments - I love how it's kept me warm while looking stylish. Hopefully, these new ruffles will be a hit, too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bargain of the week


This Breton-striped tee from H&M has to be the best deal of the week. It's not even £2.99 because the store is offering 20% off one item of your choice until 17th February, so it's yours for just £2.39. That's cheaper than a take-out coffee!

I love its generous, oversized design. Its voluminous, tent-like style looks like a smock dress that's been shaped from a gargantuan handkerchief (in a good way!). I'm wearing mine with leggings now, but come summer it's the perfect beach top to throw over a bikini. And, as well as the traditional monochrome stripes, it comes in coral or grey stripes, too.

If you saw my Tweet yesterday (you call follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bargainistafash), I've got plans to do a little customisation. So, grab yourself a tee and watch this space. Hopefully, I'll provide you with a little inspiration real soon!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The new wedge


Don't you just love it when you spot* a high-street take on a designer piece? These Topshop sandals look like they've been inspired by Chloë Sevigny's wedge buckle boots for Opening Ceremony, but at £70 they're a whole lot cheaper.

In the softest suede and an unusual shade of teal-grey (or petrol as Topshop calls it), the gunmetal ankle straps add an insouciant bike-style edge to an otherwise elegant shoe. Yep, last year's gladiator sandal just got sophisticated.

Trust me, the wedge heel will be everywhere this spring/summer. So, if you don't fancy working the clog, this is the shoe of the season.

And, until Sunday 14th February, standard P&P on all UK orders is half price on the Topshop website (£2 instead of £4). Just enter FEBSHIP2010 at checkout.

* I can't take credit for discovering these shoes - my friend Donna (the owner of that H&M denim shirt) bought them the other day. However, she was kind enough to lend them to me so that I could share this find with you all.

PS. I think these will look amazing with bare legs. Mine are too shameful to show right now, hence the tights!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

French fancy


I do like a bit of trompe l'oeil - especially if it's something knitted. Which is why this Limited Edition New Look dress has rather taken my fancy.

I like how the black and cream knit is a chic take on the monochrome trend, how the horizontal bands create the illusion of a waistline and how the 'fake' collar and bib adds a saucy French air to the proceedings.

And I have to say, I rather like New Look's Limited Edition range full stop. The designs are stylish and trend-led, the quality is good, and the pricing is very reasonable. This cute little number is just £30. And, while the range is only in selected stores, it is all available online.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Checkered love affair


Can you believe I've been blogging for a year already? To mark this one-year anniversary, I thought I'd feature something red as a tribute to that little red cardie that started things off. As luck would have it, I've just bought something in that colour - this cute shirt dress from Howies. Even better, it was in the sale - reduced from £65 to £25.

It's button-through front means that as well as a dress, you can wear it undone over a vest or tee. If I'm honest, I don't love the elasticated hem. Sure, it creates a sweet bubble style, but this rides up a little when you're walking. I think I may just unpick the stitching to turn it into a looser shirt dress instead.

But what sold this shirt dress to me is the fact that it's made of the softest organic cotton flannel (and I do love a bit of organic cotton, as you know). That's one of the reasons why I like Howies - it's the organic clothing company that makes shopping with a conscience cool.

Oh, and, of course, the checks tick the box for this season's Americana trend, too. Yep, alongside double denim, it's a checkered love affair for spring/summer. Red not your colour? This shirt dress comes in blue, too. While for more checks and more flannel, head to Uniqlo where its shirts are currently £14.99 instead of £19.99.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's a boy-girl thing


I wasn't the only person rocking animal prints last season, so were my friends Claire, Tom and Georgia (above). And the leopard print they were loving? A H&M menswear top for just £19.99. One top, three individual looks.

Menswear stores make good shopping territory for women, whether it's an androgynous look you're after or just because you've seen something on a boy that you know will look cute on a girl. Take Gap, for example. It's menswear section is prime hunting ground for girls like my friend Hannah, who shops there for the men's cardies and sweaters. The sizing is small enough not to swamp even the tiniest of frames, while you can be guaranteed suitably long sleeve lengths and less girlie details and colours than what's on offer in womenswear.

So, with Claire, Tom and Georgia working identical tops last season, what's the boy-girl buy right now? I asked Tom to be my Bargainista Boy and to go shopping for a steal that would look as good on him as on the girls. His bargain find? This faded denim shirt (below) from H&M menswear for £29.99. 'The simple, understated design is like Margiela, but obviously far more affordable,' says Tom. 'Plus, the pale denim will look great with a pair of black shorts.'

And, to prove the point that the shirt's got boy-girl appeal, our friend Donna already has one! 'It's a great cut, a good wash and you're not going to see every other girl wearing it,' she says. 'It fits around the shoulders really well - an important thing to note when buying menswear - and it's very Chloé, too.'

Me, I like the shirt's slim fit and the über-softness of the denim. It's perfect for working this season's double denim trend - just team with jeans in a darker wash.

To find the right denim shirt for you, here's a few tips:
1. Choose a fitted style - it will look more flattering, especially for slender figures which can easily 'drown' in denim.
2. Pay attention to pocket positioning, especially if there are pocket flaps. These tend to accentuate the bust, so avoid if you're top heavy. Instead, choose hidden pockets like the ones on this H&M shirt.
3. Go for a pale wash - it's easier to wear with darker denims and will see you right through the summer, too.


PS. Claire's getting married this Saturday!!! Lots of love and luck hon. Denim shirt for the honeymoon? It's light enough to throw over a bikini... x x x

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