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Anthropologie has been one of my favourite shops for quite a while. I first discovered it when a friend of mine who was living in New York, bought me the most beautiful set of 1930’s inspired plates. When I visited New York, it was always on my list of places to visit, now Anthropologie has come to the UK, I am pretty delighted.

The other day I wasted forty minutes or so gazing at everything in there, I would forgo a spa day for a couple of hours in Anthropologie, any day of the week (I don’t like steam rooms or walking around in my dressing gown and always feel like I have joined a religious sect) but…give me some beautiful printed tea towels and some lovely shoes that I can’t afford and I am happy.

                               Maressa Heels by Chocolate Schubar £138.00

Maressa Heels

                              Emiliana Suede Heels by Farylrobin £158.00

farylrobin-cedar-emiliana-heels-product-1-759849890-normal

                              Eivissa Suede Heels by KMB £118.00

Elvissa Suede Heels

                               Ellington Yellow Print Flats by Cleo B £128.00

Ellington Yellow Flats

                              Zoe Wrapped Heels by New Lovers £168.00

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Southwold is a small seaside town in Suffolk, it has a great sandy beach, coloured beach huts, a pitch and putt and a fantastic lighthouse, the same lighthouse from ‘Grandpa in my Pocket'(a CBeebies programme, that you may have been forced to watch by a small child). Southwold has no arcades, no kiss-me-quick hats, no burger vans, no amusements, it’s all about nostalgia, a seaside town paused in time. If you Google Southwold, apart from the numeous holiday cottages and B+B’s, you will see some unfavourable articles about the locals being unfriendly and resistant to change. You will for sure stumble upon an article about a family being told they were not allowed to eat their packed lunch on the pier and an elderly couple who were told to put their Victoria Sandwich back in their Tupperware dish, as they were fobidden to eat their own food there too! In fact Southwold was labelled the snobbiest town in the UK back in 2012 as the residents objected to a Costa Coffee opening, they lost that battle, there is now a Costa and a Tesco Express. But aside from the posh people (there’s a lot of them) and the visiting celebs… Chris Evans, Michael Palin and Twiggy. Southwold is really nice and has one reason I love going there (apart from the fish and chips) and it’s a shop called Collen and Clare.

Southwold_Beach_huts

BEACH BOUND Southwold Hell Yeah Bag £49.00southwold bag

Collen and Clare is at the beach end of the high street. To give you an idea of the high street fashion shops in Southwold, there is Crew, Jack Wills, Fat Face and Joules, so your perfect getaway if you own a yacht, but if like me, you don’t (the nearest I have been to a yacht is when I pedalled dangerously close to one in my pedalo), you will still appreciate this wonderful shop. I have only been to Collen and Clare a handful of times, but it is a real shopping destination, with lots of gorgeous things to buy. The store interior is pretty lovely, all battered floorboards, wide windows, a glass and wooden antique display cabinet and space to move around. Some of the prices are high, but you will find plenty of pieces that are not too steeply priced. They feature brands and designers like American Vintage, Petite Bateau, Max Mara and Diane Von Fustenberg and have they have fantastic jewellery and bags. The women that work there are friendly and clearly love their shop and it’s labels. So if you are visiting Southwold this spring or summer, ditch the family at the beach for an hour or two, brief them in the do’s and don’ts of picnicking and visit Collen and Clare.

ESSENTIEL Merino Comfort Knit £67.50essentiel-merino-comfort-knit-p5228-11187_zoom

Ugg Sandal £135.00UGG-shoes southwold 135

PETIT BATEAU Spot Boat Neck Top £53.00petit-bateau-spot-boat-neck-top-p6610-14220_zoom

Spring looks like it could be here, sunny but still a bit cold is acceptable and if you have been shopping this weekend, you may have noticed that the last few winter coats have been reduced and will soon be gone forever, (NB now would be a good time to get a winter coat for next year).

If you are in the market for some new clothes for spring, what would be the wise thing to shop for right now?  In my opinion the best investment is a shirt. Spring will be the ‘season of the shirt’ you mark my words! Shirts and blouses are everywhere on the high street, they are easy-to-wear, you can find great printed styles for going out and more subdued options for work and… they are fantastic for hiding lumps and bumps. They can be layered under knits, worn under a pinafore dress  or tucked into a full skirt or pencil skirt, or just worn with jeans, (flares, boyfriend or skinnies take your pick) If you were watching Zoe Ball on the One Show last week you would have spotted her wearing this lovely swallow shirt by The Kooples  a similar one can be bought from Warehouse (pictured below) and for even more affordable options try H&M and Primark and of course, charity shops are a good place to look.

 

Warehouse Bird Shirt

limited edition rb

13P02JIVR_4_large topshop shirt

turtle neck floral blouse

 Photos From Top to Bottom

Bird Print Blouse Warehouse £39.00, Ruffle Blouse M&S Limited Edition £29.50, Ditsy Star Print Topshop £30.00,  Turtle Neck Floral M&S Limited Edition £29.50 

London Fashion Week has just come to a close and as per usual some amazing collections came out of London. I think it’s easy to underestimate how creative and exciting our fashion industry is, with the likes of Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Mulberry, Henry Holland, Burberry, Christopher Kane and Gareth Pugh, we do produce great fashion! Just take a walk around any of our cities; you don’t have to look too hard to spot some very fashionable (sometimes crazy looking) individuals pushing fashion boundaries.

All these catwalk trends will be watered down and we will be wearing them in one guise or other next Autumn/Winter. Here’s the lowdown on some of the collections.

Mulberry, Leather was a big trend here… leather dresses, leather pleated skirts, colours like olive, sage, and tan, Military coats and capes, large rose prints, black encrusted sparkle.

Roksanda Full length coats with fur collars, ruffle collars and neck ties, satin dresses, velvet, paisleys, mustard worn with berry and teal.

House of Holland Glam rock inspired… mixing prints and textures (metallic with large photographic prints with animal print with leather with lace and faux fur)

Alexander McQueen Tux like tailored jackets, black and cream lace dresses, see through black dresses with colourful embroidery, black tailored leather coats, Butterflies on everything

Jasper Conran Big bold multicoloured stripes in jewel colours, graphic circle prints, large geometric prints, large stripes in navy and white, oversized coats.

Burberry Mixed big Folk Art floral shirts with snakeskin prints, large check coats and Military style coats and jackets.

Burberry  A/W 

burberry-fw16-1-620x874

Alexander McQueen A/W

APTOPIX Britain London Fashion Week

A model displays a design during the Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter show at London Fashion Week, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

 

 

 

Love it or loathe it, Valentines Day is imminent so there’s no getting away from it. I can count on one hand, well two fingers how many real Valentines Day Cards I have received (i.e. from a secret admirer) and one of those was from my Mum, well actually, my Mum’s friend Derek from down the road, because she knew I would decipher her handwriting, she somehow hoodwinked Derek into getting involved, she probably told him how devastated I would be if I didn’t receive one, I was a teenager at the time, so that’s my excuse!

If you are looking forward to Feb 14th and you have got a date with someone lovely, on or around Valentines Day, then what do you wear to mark the occasion that’s not too obviously lovey dovey? or too Ann Summers? What should you avoid? And what are the best picks of womenswear from the high street, that don’t scream ‘I’M ON A DATE’, but also work for any other evening out?

If you have ever watched ‘First Dates’ try to avoid very high heels, you want to be able to walk to meet your date rather than be carried in on a Sedan chair, so if you wear a heel make sure you can walk, as you may have to walk from A to B, or your date may suggest going to a club 😦 …so put your dancing shoes on, even if there’s no dancing on the agenda. You could even take a pair of these along with you; they come in various colours and prints and will fit in most small bags.

Whether you are opting for a dress or a top, look for comfort as well as style; look for figure flattering rather than vacuum packed. Avoid fabrics and prints that are too in your face, like sequins, geometric prints or animal print. Shirts are probably too stiff and buttoned up for a date, but blouses are a good option and the high street is awash with them at the moment, (but a word of warning) avoid a frilly cuff, you don’t want to be dipping your cuffs in your carrot soup. Jeans are great for a date, but stay away from the ripped or scruffy variety, the darker the denim, the smarter the look. Jeans can look great with a semi sheer blouse and a simple polo neck can look amazing with a faux leather pencil skirt or trousers. Maybe avoid red lace altogether and don’t wear anything with a heart on it, unless you are being ironic.

Check out these beauts.

Dress French Connection

wonder jersey tie back dress 70

Polo Neck Topshop

topshop-coral-reef-ribbed-funnel-neck-top-pink-product-1-601235300-normal_large_flex

Blouse Urban Outfitters

sparkle-fade-slim-fit-blouse-ivory-0090

Top Topshop

stripe bardot off the shoulder top

Top Marks and Spencer 

scoop neck asymmetric top 25

 

Top Warehouse

warehouse top

Dress Marks & Spencer

Limited Edition Spotted shift dress 39.50

 

 

British summer time comes to an end this coming sunday, so now is a good a time for us girls to think about our winter wardrobes, as it’s getting chillier by the day. If you have been clothes shopping recently, you will have seen some of the major trends and influences on the high street, which are…

Seventies Gilets, flares, mid-length A-lines skirts, faux fur, seventies style shirts, the polo neck, leather or suede skirt, animal print.

Granny Chic Tweed, pencil skirts, funky knits, brooches, pearls, loafers or brogues, high neck blouses and handbags.

Victoriana or New Gothic Black all the way…high-neck blouses (again), over-the-knee boots, lace dresses and blouses, sheer tops, long skirts, anything in leather or pleather.

Don’t try head-to-toe in one trend, all Granny Chic and you could end up looking like Mrs Brown from ‘Mrs Browns Boys’ but try a victoriana high-neck lace blouse, with stonewashed skinny jeans and it’s the perfect pairing.

The downside to buying trend led fashion, is we all want our clothes to last beyond this autumn/winter, but if you choose classic pieces that still fit into a trend, you can’t go wrong. Here are some high street best buys that will last.

Mac or Trenchcoat 

Gap Classic Trench £69.95

Warehouse Pipe Detail Mac £85.00

warehouse pipe detail mac

Loafers or Brogues

 Office Lailah Tassel Loafers £60.00

Loafers Office

The Tote

 Warehouse Leather Unlined Panel Shopper £38.00

red tote warehouse

The 70’s Dress 

Monsoon Tessa Print Dress £49.00 (also see H&M or M&S)

Tessa Print Dress Monsoon

The Biker Jacket 

 Topshop Faux Leather Quilted Detail Biker Jacket £48.00

Topshop Leather Jacket

Striped T or Breton Top

 M&S LIMITED EDITION Long Sleeve Striped Top £19.50

Limited stripe top

Leather or Suede Skirt

 Warehouse Faux Leather Pocket Skirt £38.00

green leather skirt

Leopard Print

Primark Leopard Print Cardigan

Primark Animal Print Cardi

The High-Neck Blouse 

 Warehouse Embroidered High Neck Top £42.00

warehouse high neck blouse

The Ankle Boot or Chelsea Boot

 Clarks Taylor Storm Black Leather Womens Smart Boots £70.00

clarks boots

 The Grandma Coat 

 Miss Selfridge Faux Fur Collar Button Coat was £69.00 now £55.20

miss selfridge coat

Wedding season is here. I have already blogged about affordable wedding outfits and with june being anything but flaming so far, it’s probably hard to focus on a summer wedding or another posh do coming up. If the thought of shopping for a wedding outfit fills you with dread, then maybe you should just buy one thing (well actually two). A pair of statement shoes could be all you need and if you utilise what you already have in your wardrobe and you’re away!

Alice Shoe Mid heel

I have been meaning to blog about these shoes for a while, as I think they are gorgeous. First of all there has been a lot of ‘good hoo-ha’ about the ALICE SHOE from Boden, they come as mid-heels, high heels and flats, and you have a choice of three colours and two prints, Amethyst/Navy, Black/Pewter and TuttiFruitti/Raspberry and Vanilla China Blue Spot and Vanilla Tutti Fruitti Spot. They have all been reduced, they are still not cheap, but you will be able to wear them with so much more than just a wedding outfit. They will look good with skinny or boyfriend jeans, khaki trousers, a jumpsuit/playsuit, mid heel skirt, shift or tunic dress and with a short denim skirt and plain white T-Shirt…the list goes on.boden-alice high heel If you like a high heel, but prefer it to be more substantial, the ERIN HEEL will fit the bill. Other great shoes from Boden are the FLAT T-BAR POINT in Silver Specchio and four other colours. Also check out the EVA HEEL in Lavender Grey, Tutti Frutti or Navy.

boden erin heel

boden silver t-bareva heel tutti_PNKIf Imelda Marcos was alive today, she would shop at Boden.