Cosy Coats for Autumn/Winter

I love Autumn, especially days like today as I’m sitting here with the sun streaming through the window. It’s not really cold but it’s getting that way. The mornings are a lot fresher so we do need coats or at least big cosy cardigans to throw on now.

I like to be warm. I’m not one to suffer the cold gladly. In the Winter I’m layered up… camisoles, long sleeved tops then a jumper, in fact this year I’m thinking of buying thermals! Yes I’m turning into a granny but I hate being cold. No shivering for me I’m afraid!

Right now I’m looking for those all important warmer clothes for the school run. Standing on a school playground or outside a classroom is no fun when the wind is howling, the rain is lashing and you’re not wearing the correct attire! I want a new coat. I have smarter coats but they’re more suited to days out, not the school run. What I need more than anything else right now is a nice warm coat that I can just throw on and off easily, but I don’t want something scruffy, I want it to look good too.

While looking online I came across website Esprit, a clothing brand I HAVE heard of but never shopped in. Not sure why really, I guess with so many clothing websites all fighting for our attention some can get lost. Or we tend to shop in the highly advertised stores, but Esprit had some lovely coats for all occasions, I was impressed… here are some of my favourites…

espirit coat

How cosy does this look? If this had a hood I’d be buying it immediately! I like it’s longer length.. I bet it’s like wearing a duvet!

coat espirit

Love this tweed coat, the shades of green and blue would look especially lovely with jeans. What you can’t see too well in this pic is the glittery thread running through. Although fab for dressing up, this is not what I’m looking for for the school run. Not cosy enough.

cosy winter coat espirit

I NEED cosy and warm and definitely need a hood as I don’t do umbrella’s…. not on the playground anyway! Considering all my requirements, I want to go for this one (above)… it’s pretty perfect and ticks all the boxes. It has some great features like the belt, which can give me a nice cinched in waistline. The all important hood.. this one is soft and furry which is what I want. I’m also loving the buckle on the collar, this will be perfect when it’s freezing, windy and I want to feel all snug! I love it. It is quite pricey at £125 but for me, I will wear a coat for years so it’s a good investment.

I have a coat which I go back to year after year that I’ve owned for about 16 years! That sounds crazy doesn’t it? There have been years when I haven’t worn it so I guess it’s had a rest here and there and I’ve bought loads of coats since, but nothing really compares. It’s the warmest coat I own, without a doubt. A classic black, smart, brushed suede style and I just love it so much. But it doesn’t have a hood.

I wonder if the above coat, if I buy it, will take over in the favouritism stakes? I think it could give it a good run for it’s money!

*Collaborative Post

Christmas Party Dresses

Next week, I am going on my first proper ‘Work’ Christmas party since having my children! And I’m so excited!

I’ve only been back at work properly since March of this year and I love my job. I’ve been out of the whole office environemnet for a long time and I’d forgotten about things like the office Christmas party! It almost sounds comical saying that… conjuring up visions of naff parties in offices or restaurants where everyone gets drunk and embarrasses themselves! Ha well I’m sure I’ve been to some of those in the past but this one is going to be a very grown up, sophisticated affair (we hope) as my boss has organised a fantastic night out in a very exclusive, swanky hotel for dinner, drinks and dancing.

I can’t wait.

We have decided to book a room too and really spoil ourselves for a change… it’s going to be such a treat!

But first things first, what am I going to wear? It’s dressy, but we don’t necessarily need floor length numbers. We’ve been discussing it for a while now in the office and everyone is buzzing with excitement and talking about what they are going to wear…. we’ve had some of the girls in the office ordering online and having multiple dresses delivered to work…. which means we’ve had a few catwalk shows this past week! I haven’t seen anything that’s taken my fancy though.

I do already have a dress I might consider wearing. It’s Ted Baker and I’ve only worn it once and it’s gorgeous, but a bit plain. I think because it’s Christmas, I want something a bit more…. well, sparkly, or Christmassy!

So I’ve been having a look online, although preferably I will purchase from a store so I can try on as I go, I much prefer doing it like that…. can’t be dealing with ordering, then waiting for delivery, then it not being right, then having to order all over again! How annoying! I’m hitting the shops tomorrow, but I have had a quick look online at the high street stores and these are some of my faves…….

  Christmas Party Dresses

I like the idea of a jumpsuit too…..

jump suit

jump suit

 

Embellished Maxi Dress – Lipsy £130.00

Bow Back Floral Dress – Hedonia £85.00

Burgandy Sequinned Dress – New Look £40.00

Gold Sequinned Dress – River Island £60.00

Red Bandeau Dress – Coast £90.00 (reduced John Lewis)

Black Embellished Prom Dress – New Look £59.99

Yellow Bow Dress – Ted Baker £159.99

Black Sequinned Top Playsuit – New Look £29.99

Blue Velvet Dress – River Island £28.00

Black Jumpsuit – Topshop £98.00

 Red Jumpsuit – Boohoo.com £25.00

I’ve included one online item here, and that’s from Boohoo.com who have some gorgeous party wear. I haven’t included ASOS here but they have a very extensive range of going out clothes so if I can’t find anything in the shops, that’s where I’ll be turning… and what I love about them is that once you click to view an item you like, it gives you suggestions on items to wear with it, like shoes, or even bras… as you can see here!

It’s incredibly difficult finding something to wear at times, especially when it’s for a special occasion, and I’m sure that even though I love some of these outfits here, the likelihood of me trying them on and them all looking amazing is quite slim!

But hopefully I’ll find a gorgeous ensemble very soon … I shall keep you posted.

Mama and More

Next – Spring ’15 Press Day

After feeling unwell over the weekend and the early part of this week, and it really taking it’s toll on me, today was just what the doctor ordered for a cheerful pick me up…. a Next Press Day in Central London!

I love Next (who doesn’t?) and having been invited to a number of their press shows before, I have actually become quite partial to them. The lovely people behind the scenes always put on a fab day…. showcasing next seasons delights, providing a delicious array of refreshments and arranging a mini spa area where we can have our hair, nails and other little mini pampering treats, if we desire!

Today, it was all about their Spring 2015 products, brought to us from a trendy building just off Carnaby Street… Great location for a start!

Walking into the event was exciting, lots of gorgeous fashionistas milling around, photographers snapping away and of course, beautiful merchandise. I wandered around having a good look at everything, here are some of my favourite pieces……

next spring 15This oversized armchair immediately caught my eye, the fabric design just screams ‘Spring’ and it was incredibly comfy too, love it

next spring 15 The soft furnishings, as you would expect from Next, were beautiful. All of them! Lots of lilacs and pinks around, with shades of green and teal quite prominent also. Love the knitted foot stool in the top right photo, I have seen a few like this now so I think this is definitely a new trend!

next kids spring 15Onto the kids range. Next can’t do any wrong in my eyes where the kids clothes are concerned. They get it spot on every single time…. I could honestly buy every item they sell for my children! I am loving this stunning lemon print fabric that’s being used in a few pieces for the new Spring ’15 season, such a happy, pretty design! And these cute broderie anglaise wedge sandals for little girls are so on my wish list, my daughter would love them.

next press dayA stop off for some chatting, coffee and biscuits… check these out…. looked stylish, tasted delicious!

Moving on to the womenswear, which is obviously very extensive for each season, but on press day they don’t have every item on display, but rather a selection from each range. There were lots of colours that we’d associate with Spring; shades of yellow and green seemed the most popular.

next spring 15I love this unusual fluffy top, it reminds me of one of those twenties fringe dresses. The mink spaghetti strap dress is ever so pretty in fine lace detail and lastly this beautiful pale lemon suit is divine.

next spring 15Silver was everywhere, especially in shoes. The four pairs on the left here were all definitely on my wishlist!

next spring 15 shoesThese had to be favourites though, just because of those see through heels! So cool and unusual…. gotta have a pair!

next spring 15

This clutch bag deserves a mention also, it’s brilliant, very retro!

next press dayAnd let’s not forget my nails being done – perks of the trade!

I had a fantastic afternoon at the press show. Child free in London’s swanky West End, frittering my time away amongst the beautiful things that we can expect to see in Next stores from January. Can’t wait to buy some!

 

Brand New Fashion Led Mothercare

Last week I had the privilege of attending the opening of a brand new Mothercare Store in the fabulous Westfield shopping centre in White City, London.

The shopping centre itself is huge, very glamorous and upmarket, it has a big designer area, boutiques include Burberry, Dior, Armani, Gucci and many more, as well as champagne bars, cinemas and valet parking!

It has all the usual high street favourites too, most stores being very large as this shopping centre is very spacious, and now to add to it’s quality repertoire, it has everyone’s favourite Mummy store, Mothercare.

The beautifully designed Mothercare store.

The beautifully designed Mothercare store in Westfield.

This store is the brands first fashion only store, they have a selection of other items like prams and nursery goods, but here it’s all about the extensive range of quality fashion that Mothercare is known and loved for, from maternity up to age 8 for children.

The store is conveniently situated next to the little play area in Westfield, so you can have a mooch round the store with the promise of letting the kids play afterwards :)

The store is conveniently situated next to the little play area in Westfield, so you can have a mooch round the store with the promise of letting the kids play afterwards! Inside, it’s spacious and well organised with everything easy to find.

The introduction of Mylene Klass’ Baby K range and more recently the Jools Oliver Little Bird range which are both amazingly popular, has added a whole new section of choice and taste for the customer. Both very different, very stylish and have built up a large cult following!

Jools Oliver

The stunning Jools Oliver Little Bird range which is my favourite. Cool and retro, it’s simple and ever so cute. I defy anyone not to find something they like here!

Mothercare has had a lot of bad press of late, probably stemming from their CEO stepping down, but things aren’t as bad as they seem. Employees have all been working incredibly hard over the past year, making changes, bringing new ideas to the business, and the future is looking very bright indeed.

Some new things to look out for are:

  • The Baby and Me events have been rebranded to become ‘My Mothercare’ which is also a Rewards Club where you can pick up some great offers and discounts. There will be ‘Expectant Mothers’ events going on in stores across the country; health visitors, midwives, the Red Cross and expert Mothercare staff will be on hand to give advice on feeding, sleeping, pushchairs, car seats, first aid and lots more. You can find more information on this page on their website
  • Six of their biggest stores have already had a refurbishment, with the rest of the estate following. This will improve the shopping experience of all their much valued customers.
  • They have invested in new media and now have a fantastic Mothercare App. There are iPads in store and a great click and collect service.
  • Mothercare’s main ranges, the baby and toddler fashion collections, have moved on greatly since the appointment of their new Product Development Director.
  • The Early Learning Centre is celebrating it’s 40th birthday this year so lots of fun things happening there to look forward to.

I had a fabulous morning, where I met some of the best and nicest people in PR who work brilliantly behind the scenes for Mothercare, doing a great job and of course arranging this fun, opening event!

For the opening weekend of this new Westfield store they were running a competition named ‘My Mothercare Style Challenge’ whereby customers were invited to create an outfit from any items and pin it on the board, for the chance to win a £200 voucher!

This was my effort!

I chose to create an outfit for my 4yr old twin boys. The t-shirt, jacket, shoes and socks are all from the Little Bird range and the jumper and shorts from the Mothercare collection!

I chose to create an outfit for my 4yr old twin boys. The t-shirt, jacket, shoes and socks are all from the Little Bird range and the jumper and shorts from the Mothercare collection!

And here is one of my boys modelling the outfit….

He looks utterly scrumptious I think you'll agree :)

He looks utterly scrumptious I think you’ll agree :)

I had an outfit each but chose a different t-shirt for H. I didn’t manage a photo of him though as he didn’t want to model for me. Never mind!

Mothercare, to me, is an institution. Maybe because we have a large store very close to where we live and I have fond memories of walking around the store when my babies were tiny! It was a day out! The baby changing facilities and all the gorgeous baby things meant I could happily spend hours in there. I think it’s somewhere we all love to wonder around and probably spend halve our lives in when pregnant and have very young children. They have everything one could possibly need when going through one of the most special times in our lives.

My eldest is 15 and my youngest are 4 so I’ve had much experience of Mothercare and with all the gorgeous clothes they have in for the new season, Spring and Summer 2014, I’ll be sure to be visiting again very soon :)

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