Saturday, December 21, 2013

M&S Bloggers' Secret Santa: part II

 

So you saw what I bought as my gift for the Marks & Spencer Bloggers' Secret Santa. Well, this is what I received…

A Ren Mini Gift Set for me and Spencer the Teddy Bear (see what they did there?) for Bargainista Baby. Anyone visiting my blog recently will notice that I've got a new little fella in my life, so it's very nice for him to be included in my Secret Santa gift and perfect to get some pampering products, too.

If you haven't visited Marks & Spencer's beauty department recently, check it out. As well as its own-label products, it now stocks some of my favourite beauty brands including Ren, Nuxe and Bliss.

Right, I'm off for a soak in the tub with my Ren goodies. Thank you Secret Santa – and thank you M&S! If you like the look of my gifts, they're now 50% off. Bargain.

Talking of bargains, if you've got babies to buy for this Christmas my top tip are these M&S Stacking Cups. They're a steal at £3, reduced from £6. Bargainista Baby has a set and they're awesome. They're so much more stylish and interesting than others I've seen, and great quality, too.

Friday, December 20, 2013

M&S Bloggers' Secret Santa: part I


I was sad to miss Team ELLE's Christmas party last week. Not only because it would have been fun to catch up with everyone, but because they did a Secret Santa. I love Secret Santas.

So when the online team at Marks & Spencer asked me if I'd like to take part in its Bloggers' Secret Santa, I was more than happy to oblige.

Assigned a blogger to buy for and a budget of £20, I did a bit of sleuthing to check out their style. This girl is cool! Black is a staple of her wardrobe, while statement jewellery cements her look. So I chose a black leather cuff from Marks & Spencer's Autograph range for £17.50. It's a little bit edgy and, thanks to the gold hardware, a little bit luxe.

I do hope she likes it as, along with the rest of my Christmas shopping, it was done in five minutes! But that's the advantage of purchasing online, it's quick and easy. So, if you've left your present buying until the weekend before Christmas, visit Marks & Spencer online now – there's lots of deals, offers and bargains to be had.

Btw, the Scandi wrapping paper pictured is also from M&S and it's now half price at £1.75. Being a perfectionist gift wrapper, I love the cutting grid on the reverse of the paper. Genius idea, M&S!

Come back tomorrow to see what I received as my Secret Santa gift.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Converse All Star for Bargainista Baby


There's a sneaker divide in our household. While the Stickman favours Superga, I'm a Converse gal. So to get Bargainista Baby on side, I got him a pair of mini Converse. (I'm shopping early as babies seem to grow so fast!)

Normally, I'd head to the Converse shop, which is above and part of the Size trainer store on London's Carnaby Street. But, as it's internet shopping for me right now, I visited Size online instead and got a pair of Converse All Star Ox Infants in red for Bargainista Baby. (They're going to look so good in his Christmas stocking!)

OK, £23 might be a little extravagant, but I think it's important to pledge trainer allegiances early. Anyway, there's plenty of room for him to grow into these considering he's not even crawling, let along walking yet! And, it goes without saying, Bargainista Baby is going to look so cool in his mini Converse.

Now, while I don't want to be too matchy matchy with my son, I did need a new pair of Converse myself. So I picked up a pair of Converse All Star Ox in white (£45) as my current Converse are so many shades away from white it's embarrassing. And Bargainista Baby, I'll try not to wear them when I've dressed you in yours. Promise.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Want a stylish wash bag? Thought so


Need inspiration for Christmas gifts? How about this Joules toiletries bag for starters. In the brand's distinctive florals, it's a reasonable £20. Plus, there's body wash, scrub and lotion to boot.

I love the design of this Joules toiletries bag. It reminds me of the style of handbags I heart right now, which look like two zip-up clutches that are sewn together. (My favourites are these from & Other Stories, Whistles and Zara).

A decent size (27 x 19cm), it's great for organising your toiletries. The two separate compartments mean you can keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lenses and solution in one and your make-up in the other. And, made of a laminated PVC, the floral print is stylish rather than twee with a contrasting pink checked lining.

What's even better is that this Joules toiletries bag is part of Boots 3 for 2 Mix and Match offer. So buy three and they're £13.33 each. One to keep and two to give away as Christmas presents!

It's the perfect wash bag if you're packing to visit family for Christmas or going away for New Year. What better excuse to travel in style.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

BellField's winter woodland T-shirt


As a new mum, hitting the high street has taken a bit of a back seat for now. Instead, it's all about internet shopping. Luckily, most of the high street is also available online, so I've been sofa surfing aplenty.

In need of a new pair of trainers for when I am out pounding the pavements with the pram, a friend pointed me in the direction of Bank Fashion which stocks brands such as Converse, Superga and New Balance. It doesn't just do footwear though, other labels include Cheap Monday, Superdry, Vero Moda and Zatchels.

So you won't be surprised to hear that instead of trainers, I got a new top! This BellField T-shirt caught my eye with its autumnal colours and cute woodland creatures. I like the fact that a flattering silhouette and wide sleeves make it more stylish than a plain old tee. And, at £18, it's a good educational tool, too – I can teach Bargainista Baby his animals while I'm wearing it!

BellField is a new label for me, so check it out at Bank Fashion. I love the Fair Isle knits and socks and the men's knitwear, too.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Prince George and that aden + anais swaddle


When I started this blog post about aden + anais, Prince George was yet to be born and I was still awaiting the arrival of Bargainista Baby. Now he's here and I'm finally picking up where I left off.

And this is where I left off at the start of July…


Shopping for a baby is a whole new world of retail therapy for me. While I've cooed over Baby Gap many a time, there's so much else to discover.

aden + anais is a case in point. An American label with Australian roots, aden + anais offers the prettiest designs and a more generous-sized swaddle than most (120 x 120 cm). 

And, being Bargainista Fashionista, not only do I love the focus on fashion, the options for multiple uses is great, too, from pram cover to burp cloth to nursing cover to summer blanket to changing mat cover to cot sheet to pram and car seat liners and more. Style and substance? Now that's what I call value for money.

I wonder if the Duchess of Cambridge has discovered this baby brand yet?


If only I'd published this blog post back in July! As it turns out, Kate was familiar with aden + anais as Prince George left hospital wrapped in one of its swaddles. The bird print from the Jungle Jam 4 pack (£44.95) should you care to know. The set features a menagerie of bird, monkey, elephant and giraffe prints.

Within hours of Prince George's appearance in said swaddle, the aden + anais website crashed. And just over a week later, the company had 7,000 orders for it, representing a 600% increase in sales.

But listen up Prince George, Bargainista Baby was a whole 10 days ahead of you in the fashion stakes, sporting the swaddles from the aden + anais Make Believe 4 pack. The red and grey colourway makes for a good unisex choice and I particularly love the bunting and star prints (pictured above).

I've used my swaddles in a multitude of ways. As well swaddling Bargainista Baby, they've doubled up as a cover-up when feeding him, a pram cover when it was sunny and a pretty backdrop for photos, too.

Prince George and Bargainista Baby aren't the only fans of aden + anais. Beyoncé, Sienna Miller, Jessica Alba, Selma Blair, January Jones, Lily Allen and Peaches Geldof are just some of the celebrities who have kitted out their babies in this brand.

Oh, and did I mention aden + anais sells more than just swaddles? With bibs, burp cloths, towels, wash cloths, sleeping bags and blankets on offer, it could be a slippery shopping slope for me and Bargainista Baby. Imagine if aden + anais did baby clothes, too!

Check out the full range at the aden + anais website and look out for great price deals and offers at Amazon, Hamill Baby and Natural Baby Shower.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Get 10% off sheepskin boots at Koalabi

 

Move over Uggs. Hello Koalabi. Keeping your feet warm and fashionable just got easier as luxury Aussie label Koalabi has launched in the UK at debenhams.com and koalabi.co.uk.

It offers classic sheepskin boots (in tall, short and ultra short styles), laced, buttoned and fringed designs, plus heeled leather boots with sheepskin trim. There's also slippers and kids and baby footwear.

When I saw Koalabi's Baby Ugoo booties, I knew Bargainista Baby had to have a pair. They're a treat at £39.95, but as his very first pair of shoes I couldn't resist. And they are so cute, coming in a choice of raspberry, navy and chestnut. I like the velcro fastening, which makes it easy to get them on and off little feet.

Can you get shoe envy from a pair of dinky booties? I wanted some! Luckily Koalabi does an adult version in the form of its classic ultra short boots for £89.95. Available in red, chocolate, chestnut and black, I opted for the latter so that I wasn't too matchy matchy.

The ultra short style is great with my skinny jeans and perfect for this clement weather. In my tall Uggs, my legs would be overheating right now, but Koalabi's ultra short boots keeps my toes toasty while leaving my legs cool.

I love the paw print on the sole of the boots and Koalabi's aqua repel, which provides protection from splashes and spills, means I don't need to get the Scotchguard out. Result.

Fancy a pair? Koalabi is offering Bargainista Fashionista readers a 10% discount, so go shop! Your feet will thank you come winter time. Visit koalabi.co.uk and apply the code SUSIE10 at checkout. It's valid until 30 November 2013. Let me know what you get!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The best maternity dress

  PHOTOGRAPHS BY VICTORIA ADAMSON

I've been meaning to post these pictures for ages. They're from the What ELLE Wears blog at ELLEuk.com back in April when Bargainista Baby was about 33 weeks.

I'm very proud to announce Bargainista Baby has now arrived and is a gorgeous Bargainista Boy who is already three months old!

As for this maternity outfit, it's a non-maternity piece from Next. Remember this dress that I got last summer? I loved it so much I got it in both jade and black. And I'm so glad I did.

This dress flattered and accommodated my bump (thanks to the soft jersey fabric) and made me look and feel good, too. That's £32 well spent in my book.

Easy to wear and comfortable, it was perfect for the summer heatwave and saw me right through to the end of my pregnancy. I'm hoping to reclaim it next year as a non-maternity dress again!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Hemmingford Grey bag collection


If you were to create your own bag, what would be important? Great design would be a given. But what about functionality? And cost? Former CEO of Blacks and Figleaves.com, Julia Reynolds has given those attributes a great deal of thought and launched her own label Hemmingford Grey.

Think designer bags at half the price, crafted by artisans from the best Italian leathers. Simple, pared-back designs mean there's no shouty branding or in-your-face hardware, just a carefully edited collection that is luxurious yet practical, trend-led yet timeless, exclusive yet affordable. The average price is £150-£250 (compared to the £900+ price tags of Mulberry's classic Bayswater and Alexa bags, for example).

What is key is function doesn't suffer over style. I've been carrying the Devonshire hobo bag (£220) and the three inside pockets – one zipped – means there's no rooting around the bottom of the bag to find your phone/keys/wallet, while the inside magnetic fastening stops the bag from gaping wide open and revealing all your contents. Add the buttery soft leather, fairly discreet chrome details and its decent size and it stacks up well as a good off-duty bag. Navy is a refreshing change from black or tan, too.

For work, I'd go for the Avonsdale (like Céline but far more affordable at £170) or the Belgrave with its three compartments (£250). What about you? With prices starting from just £30 and a sale on, now's the time to discover Hemmingford Grey. Check out the shoes, too. The £95 T-bar pumps are so cute.

So, does this bag make my bump look big? Bargainista Baby is now 38 weeks so we took a trip to the seaside at East Witterings over the weekend so s/he could hears the waves. The top is from River Island for £25. I just upsized to accommodate the bump.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bargainista Baby's Gap bear hat


It only seems right that Bargainista Baby's very first piece of clothing should be this bear hat from Baby Gap.

After all, it's a bear hat that has carved my online identity, from the days when I blogged anonymously to my Facebook and Twitter avatar, as well as being featured in The Observer Magazine in said bear hat.

And isn't this baby hat soooo cute? Originally £6.95, it's now £2.99 in the sale and comes in a plethora of colours: sunny yellow, coral pink, cornflower blue, bright green, pale grey, navy…

To quote Gap on Twitter, it's "un'bear'ably adorable!"

Now if only it came in adult size, too.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A little red dress from & Other Stories

 
 
 PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

I was so excited about the opening of & Other Stories on London's Regent Street back in March. The latest brand to come from the H&M stable, it's so refreshing having a brand-new shopping experience on the high street. A unknown label to discover, a different store interior, a whole new offering of fashion – and beauty.

More colourful and fun than its utilitarian sister COS, but more grown-up and higher-end that its H&M sibling, & Other Stories is a breath of fresh air.

I was there like a shot on the store's 8th March opening date. Fitting into the clothes might be more challenging with a growing bump but the leather bags had me hooked in an instant. And, in fact, sizing up or not, there were quite a few non-maternity maternity options for me, such as this red & Other Stories dress bought for a special birthday trip to Paris at the end of March.

It's the best dressy item I've bought while pregnant as the pleats work magic on a growing bump, caressing my changing shape rather than stretching taut. Plus, I feel so stylish and sexy in this dress (no mean feat when you're expecting).

The colour is an eye-catching red and the style is smart enough for work and glamorous enough for a swanky dinner in Paris (sadly, I have pictures of the food but not me and the dress!).

These pictures are from April's What ELLE Wears blog at ELLEuk.com when Bargainista Baby was about 27 weeks. And I wore this dress again just last Friday as my final work outfit before going on maternity leave. It's amazing because as I've expanded, so too have the pleats – gently and softly so the dress still looks good.

The drawstring belt is a nice detail. Hidden zips in the side seams allow it to be threaded through to create a gathered waist – or in my case, a gathered empire line; perfect for giving a pregnant figure some definition. And with the drawstring belt threading through inside the dress, the back is billowy and cape-like.

Oh, and did I mention that I bought this dress in my normal pre-pregnancy size? No sizing up required. Which makes me think I should snap up the black version, too. After all, it's just £45. What do you think?

For the majority of you who aren't pregnant, this dress looks great without a bump! Check out the pictures on the & Other Stories website. I can't wait to wear mine post-baby – it'll be a chance to rediscover this little red dress in a whole new light. In fact, it gives me another excuse to get the black dress, too!

As for the rest of my outfit, it's that vintage bag and those River Island boots again, plus my Orelia horseshoe bracelet.

If you haven't discovered & Other Stories yet, make it your next destination. The & Other Stories sale is on now so it's even more affordable.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bargainista baby!

PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

I've got some news… I'm having a baby!

So please excuse my absence. I've been meaning to give the Duchess of Cambridge a run for her money with Bargainista Fashionista's maternity wardrobe but, well, this pregnancy seems to have flown by – Bargainista Baby is due next month!

These pictures were taken for the What ELLE Wears blog at ELLEuk.com in March, when my bump was about 22 weeks. It's a lot bigger now!

I have to admit, I haven't bought much maternity wear. This stripy stretch-jersey dress is from H&M's basics range for a mere £7.99. I just bought a size up from my usual dress size and it's still seeing me through to the end of my pregnancy. (I wear it with leggings now.)

And pregnant or not, you can now get this stripy number as a tank dress version for £7.99 from H&M.

I think it's great that stores such as H&M offer a maternity collection as it makes pregnancy dressing affordable. After all, why spend a fortune on clothes you a) won't be wearing for long and b) grow out of very quickly?

But, in reality, I've found H&M's maternity options rather limiting and dull. Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean I've lost interest in fashion. And, at a time when I'm more likely to appreciate natural fibres and organic cotton, I've been disappointed by the polyester and viscose choices that get thrown at me. So instead, I've shopped the store's main collections and sized up in the designs I like.

As for the rest of this look, the kimono top is from Monsoon – a sale purchase from last summer, reduced from £60 to £30 – the vintage bag is from eBay and the boots are from River Island.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Red Nose Day: ELLE's pyjama party for Comic Relief

PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

For Red Nose Day today, I'm joining in with the Evening Standard's pyjama party to raise money for Comic Relief and going to work in my pyjamas. In fact, all of Team ELLE are wearing PJs to the office.

To help us reach (and beat) our fundraising target Comic Relief, please sponsor us. Want proof that we really are wearing PJs at work? Here's it is.

My shorts pyjama set and my colleague Lisa Rahman's PJs are by Nicole Farhi. I love the ditsy floral print, don't you?

As for my Kate Moss Red Nose Day vest, it's designed by Stella McCartney and is available at TK Maxx for £14.99. All profits from TK Maxx's Red Nose Day T-shirts go to Comic Relief so you can give to charity simply by shopping!

Are you wearing PJs to work today? If so, what pyjamas have you plumped for - faithful flannels, cute cottons or sexy satin? 

Of course, you could always rework last year's pyjama trend. My Marni for H&M PJ set has already been worn in the office. And H&M's PJ outfit is a smart choice. Whatever you're doing for Red Nose Day, have fun.

Btw, this is the Sport Relief challenge I took part in for Comic Relief in 2010. Click here and here to see the Beckhams worn the Bargainista way!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gap's monochrome nautical-print trousers

PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

Monochrome is a big trend this season. And it's a really easy look to tap into. You don't even need to buy anything new if you've got black and white pieces in your wardrobe already.

For style inspiration, see how Team ELLE wears monochrome. My nod to the trend is with these £34.95 super-skinny trousers from Gap. Isn't the anchor print cute? I do like a nautical motif.

I've paired my trousers with a simple black cashmere jumper, but once the cold freeze is over, you can carry on the monochrome theme with a white T-shirt or top. The great thing about these trousers – or 'khakis' as Gap is calling them – is that they'll easily see you into summer. I'm already picturing them with flip-flops!

As usual, I like to make a look my own with jewellery. Gold has been my thing for a little while now so I've layered a vintage locket with my Alex Monroe horseshoe necklace.

And remember when I teased you on Twitter last year with a picture of a receipt for a diamond ring for £35? Well, this is the ring. It's a delicate gold band with four teeny-tiny diamonds set in a square.

It was one of those spur-of-the-moment purchases when you're browsing in an antique jewellery shop (this one was in Honiton), not really expecting to find anything to your taste or budget. So when the dainty simplicity of the 1940s design caught my eye, together with the £35 price tag, it was too irresistible a bargain to ignore.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My ELLE Style Awards hair and make-up look

PHOTOGRAPH BY VICTORIA ADAMSON

For the ELLE Style Awards, the team is really lucky to get a helping hand to look great on the night. This is me pre-outfit with my hair and make-up done, thanks to the amazing teams at Daniel Hersheson and Benefit.

I opted for The B-52 hairstyle offered at Daniel Hersheson's Blow-Dry Bars. A half-up, half-down up-do, there's lots of backcombing, pins and hairspray involved, but it's a lot looser and more casual than a full-on up-do. I had the same style at last year's ELLE Style Awards and I loved it.

And the best part of my Benefit make-up? The false lashes. My make-up artist used the Angel Lash, curled and precisely separated lashes that give a natural, pretty look. They felt so light and weightless. At £11.50, they're definitely worth buying, especially as they're reusable.

Go behind the scenes and see the other ELLE Style Awards hair and beauty looks from the team.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What I wore to the ELLE Style Awards 2013

 
 PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

Forget Fashion Weeks, the highlight of the past month for me was the ELLE Style Awards 2013 – not least because I got to enjoy the Awards dinner with Markus Lupfer (he gave me a preview of his a/w 2013 look book on his iPhone), Holly Fulton and Osman Yousefzada and got a close-up of Kate Hudson in her amazing Stella McCartney red lace dress.

With any fashion event, what to wear is the biggest dilemma. To avoid the stress of finding something new, this year I returned to an old favourite: a 3.1 Phillip Lim dress.

I admit, it's been worn to a previous ELLE Style Awards and many a wedding, too, but recycling a look is often the thriftiest option, especially one that's as well-loved as this one. (There's actually a rather obsessive tale behind the purchase of this dress, but I'll save that for another day.)

I kept the rest of my look simple with a vintage Whiting & Davis clutch that made its first appearance at the ELLE Style Awards 2011 and a pair of suede and snakeskin Chie Mihara sandals that I purchased last summer, post-Latitude festival in Southwold (along with my Aubin & Wills quilted jacket; I'm still mourning the closure of A&W).

It's always worth checking out independent boutiques for designer labels. My Chie Mihara shoes were from Collen & Clare, which stocks everything from Acne to Vaness Bruno Athé. It just so happened there were 50% reductions in store, so my shoes came tumbling down from £195 to £97.50.

They're worth every penny. Ever since I bought my first pair of Chie Mihara shoes, I've been impressed. Chie Mihara makes heels that are comfortable. The ELLE Style Awards was the first outing for my new shoes and there weren't any painful feet to complain of. Perfect for a night of partying.

See what the rest of Team ELLE wore to the ELLE Style Awards 2013, plus read what the team's favourite memories are over the years. I'll leave you with mine…

'As the award for International Designer of the Year was being announced in 2010, I glanced to my left and I saw Burberry's Christopher Bailey waiting to go on stage to collect his award.
I caught his eye and gave him a big congratulatory smile and he smiled back!'

Sunday, February 3, 2013

MiH Valencia jeans

 PHOTOGRAPHS BY SILVIA OLSEN

The sales are a great time to stock up on jeans. Last year, Team ELLE modelled their favourite pieces of denim. This Valencia pair by MiH Jeans were mine. I like the nautical style of the button front and the wide flare – great for making your legs look longer.

I think a classic white shirt always looks strong with jeans – especially if you're wearing denim at work. Mine's the perfect Oxford shirt from Gap, which is made of the softest cotton and is a great buy at £29.95. To finish my jeans-at-work look, I've added a simple black jacket from Banana Republic.

I noticed these MiH Jeans in the sale recently, reduced from £185 to just £55.50. They were available in white, too, for £92.50. Not sure if they're still in store though as they were such a bargain, so let me know if you find a pair – or if you've got any other denim sale buys to share. For more inspiration, see Team ELLE's perfect jeans.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Westfield London £50 sale challenge


I've got a confession to make: I've never shopped at Westfield London… until now. But when I was challenged to spent £50 in the sales there, it was a task I couldn't resist. After all, with 389 stores, from high street to high end, how difficult could it be?

My mistake was going late-night shopping. Even with Westfield London open until 10pm Monday to Saturday (and 7pm on Sunday), I hadn't estimated on the behemoth size of the shopping centre.

I skipped The Village, as I didn't think my £50 would go far on luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, even in the sales, and made a beeline for my familiar high-street stomping ground.

Right now there's great bargains to be had at Westfield London as the end of the January sales sees further reductions. House of Fraser's Blue Cross sale offers up to 70% off, while Gap's final reductions go up to 75% off.

My first ports of call were Banana Republic, Zara and COS. These are shops I love for the quality of the clothing and the ones I seek out in the sale. After all, getting even more value for your money is no bad thing.

It was the latter, COS, that claimed my £50. With 50% off sale items, I got two pieces, both reduced from £55 to £27.50 – it was like buy one, get one free! OK, I blew my budget by a fiver, but with two new buys for my spring/summer wardrobe, I think I've invested wisely for the season ahead.

My first purchase was the caped dress above. Now you know I'm a sucker for a cape, and the caped detail on this stretch-jersey dress makes for elegant-looking sleeves. This is going to be a great spring dress when the weather warms up and the perfect day-to-night piece, too.

My second buy was the cotton-mix shirt below. The gathered neckline is smart without being too formal, giving the classic white shirt a modern twist. And the curved hem, side splits and longer length at the back look good worn loose or tucked in. I can wear it right now layered with cardigans and jackets, then come spring/summer those cute capped sleeves will come into their own.

I hope you approve of my Westfield London sale buys. I'm definitely going back. The shops didn't feel crowded, there were no queues for the changing rooms and with everything under one roof, not even the snow can stop me. I mean, just click here for a list of all the women's retailers. Shopping heaven. What bargains have you bagged in the January sales?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shop the sales at 2nd Day, Shopbop and Grenson


For most of last autumn, I wore my 2nd Day Benne cape. You'll remember I got it back in 2011. The good news is, it's still available. Plus, it's half price in the sale in the 2nd Day sale at £149.50, reduced from £299. I've had so much wear – and compliments – from mine, it's worth every penny. Other stockists to try include Question Air, Sue Parkinson and Jules B.

You might also spot the Diane von Furstenberg Lucy lace shorts I blogged about in October. I loved them so much I couldn't not buy them. Especially as when I tracked them down to Shopbop they were 30% off.

Originally $265, I got them for £119, with customs and duty on top. They were an investment piece rather than a bargain, but based on cost-per-wear they're working out well.

It was the first time I'd used Shopbop, a US-based global online retailer, and I was very impressed. International delivery was free (yes, free!) and my shorts arrived less than 48 hours. And, as customs and duty are calculated at checkout, there's no nasty surprises when your purchase arrives.

The January sales might be a good time to get acquainted with Shopbop. But take note, returns (by DHL) are very expensive – around the £25 mark.

My outfit is all about good, classic pieces. The main staples of my wardrobe if you like. So I can't miss the shirt. It's the perfect Oxford shirt from Gap. Amazingly soft cotton, a nice fitted shape, great tailored details. It looks far more expensive than its £29.95 price tag.

And, of course, my trusty Grenson brogues finish off the look. Check out the Grenson sale for more brogues, loafers and boots.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SILVIA OLSEN

See what the rest of the ELLE team are wearing at the What ELLE Wears blog at ELLEuk.com.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DIY patches by Andrea Crews for Uniqlo


Last month, Uniqlo teamed up with Andrea Crews, a Parisian artististic collective, to create 'Christmas Dream by Andrea Crews for Uniqlo'. A collection of iron-on patches, they enable you to personalise your Uniqlo pieces in an instant.

For Uniqlo's Pinterest page, Bargainista Fashionista customised a Uniqlo jacket with an Andrea Crews patch for one of its Pinterest boards. Here's your quick and easy step-by-step guide to DIY personalisation…


1. Christmas Dream by Andrea Crews for Uniqlo is a collection of iron-on patches in five different designs priced at £1.90 each. Which is your favourite design?


2. I chose to personalise this varsity jacket by G.V.G.V. for Uniqlo's Designers Invitation Project. This style has been everywhere this season and it's a great buy for £79.90.


3. The Andrea Crews patches are iron-on, making it quick and easy to customise your wardrobe. However, I'm going to sew mine on so that it gives me the flexibility to remove it and use it on another garment if I wish.


4. Pin your chosen patch in position. I've placed mine on the spot where many varsity jackets feature their team's initials, but it would look just as good on the yoke, on the arm of a sleeve or a pocket. You can iron it on by turning your garment inside out and pressing on the back of the patch with an iron for 20 seconds or, like me, stitch it in place with a needle and thread. It only takes 5-10 minutes.


5. Ta-da! My finished personalised varsity jacket. By the way, you don't have to be great at sewing as the edge of the patch hides any wonky stitching and, if you like to chop and change your wardrobe, sewing is less permanent than ironing-on so you get multiple opportunities to re-use your patch.

What would you customise and how? Let me know. And let me know what you think of my Pinterest board for Uniqlo, too.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

 PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

Happy New Year! I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas break and are looking forward to 2013.

So, what did you get up to last night? My NYE outfit might have comprised this bead and sequin Club Monaco skirt – if it were mine! Unfortunately, it's $198.50 on the Club Monaco website.

I wore it last month, when Team ELLE was modelling metallics for party season. I love the festive mix of gold and wine. Adding a simple sweater, like this Uniqlo one (that I borrowed from the husband), makes it great for day-to-night dressing.

Click here to see how the rest of Team ELLE wore metallics. And don't forget to look out for metallics in the January sales. They're very wearable if you team them down with something plainer.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails