Navy Dickens and Jones duffle coat

Grabbing a bargain in the January sales is probably the best thing about (what is for me anyway) the most miserable month of the year. It’s also the perfect opportunity to invest in a new winter coat because let’s face it, UK winters can last well into April! A while ago I saw a navy wool coat and striped jumper paired together in a magazine and it just looked so chic. From then on I was on a mission to recreate the look so when I spied this Dickins and Jones navy duffle coat on sale at House of Fraser marked down from £199 to £53.55 I had to have it…what a bargain! Dickins and Jones is not a brand I’m too familiar with, and as I was shopping online I had to take a bit of gamble with the sizing…I ordered a size 10 and find it a fairly generous fit…I could comfortably wear a thick jumper underneath without feeling restricted. The quality of the coat is superb, it’s quite a heavy coat which is probably why it’s the warmest coat I own…it keeps out the harshest of cold winds. The only slight gripe I have is that the popper fastenings come undone easily – every time I get out of the car the bottom ones pop open, so hook and eye fastenings would have been a better choice, but the three toggles do keep the coat together snuggly.

A while ago I saw a navy wool coat and striped jumper paired together in a magazine and it just looked so chic. From then on I was on a mission to recreate the look.

While browsing the sale section on the House of Fraser website I found this striped jumper (also from Dickins and Jones) which had been reduced to £15.75, and even though I already have quite a few striped tops they just seemed like the perfect pair! The cute bird detailing on the front sealed the deal! I think my fondness for striped tops is due in no small part to their versatility…they can be worn so many ways: with a pencil skirt, tailored trousers and, of course with jeans which is probably my favourite combination. For a double splash of colour I wore my red Marks and Spencer shoes paired with my Mila Blu handbag.

Dickens and Jones navy hooded duffle coat

Mila Blu red leather handbag

Dickens and Jones navy duffle coat

Dickens and Jones striped bird jumper

Navy striped Dickens and Jones bird jumper

Mila Blu red bag and Pia ring

Dickens and Jones stripe jumper

Coat and jumper: Dickins and Jones, jeans: Gap, shoes: Marks and Spencer, bag: Mila Blu, ring: Pia.


Did you pick up any bargains in the sales? I’d love to hear all about your best buys! Let me know in the comments or tweet me @thestylesplash!




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Red Jasper Conran Debenhams coat

Although I love shopping for new clothes I have been making an effort to get more wear out of items I already own…it’s easy to forget what you have when it gets stuffed in the back of the wardrobe. This red J by Jasper Conran coat is one of my favourites and I do get a lot of wear out it. I bought it a few years ago in the height of Summer, which may seem like madness but I often buy clothes out of season because you can pick up such bargains. As well as the colour, I was drawn to the flattering fit and flare cut and the quality of the fabric, which is quite heavy so it hangs nicely. Under it I’m wearing a leopard print dress from Zara, which is another item I’ve owned for some years. I tend to wear it more in the Winter because it’s too short for me to wear without tights – it looks fine standing up but sitting down reveals a bit too much thigh! As the neckline is quite low I chose a big chunky gold necklace from Wallis. Red and leopard print worn together make quite an impact so to tone it down a little I opted for a black bag and some knee length black boots.

Red J Jasper Conran coat

Zara leopard print dress

Wallis gold chunky necklace

Leopard print Zara dress

Black Mila Blu bag

Coat: J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams, dress: Zara, boots: Pied a Terre, bag: Mila Blu, necklace: Wallis, sunglasses: Karl Lagerfeld.

You can see how I styled the dress and the coat a few years ago here and here.

Do you try to get maximum wear from your clothes or do you regularly have a purge and buy new things? I have to admit that I’m terrible at getting rid of clothes. Let me know in the comments!


Thanks for reading!


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Yellow boucle jacket and Zara lace skirt

About a year ago I became mildly obsessed with getting hold of a Zara yellow boucle jacket (exactly like this one) but alas, Zara had sold out. So I did what most disappointed fashionistas do and turned to Ebay. Of course most were wildly overpriced, but I did manage to find a size medium for a reasonable price. Now I’m sure most of you know how Zara’s sizing is not, ahem, exactly on the generous side, and while I have several Zara jackets in a medium that fit me just fine, boucle is a tricky beast….not only was it too small, I could barely get the sleeves on my arm! It pained me to return it after all my hard work and I was about to give up when I found an identical one by CMNC (also on Ebay). Ok it’s not Zara but when it comes to high street labels I don’t see the point in being fussy. Having learned my lesson I ordered a large, and while it fits there’s not much room for expansion!

The crazy thing is after trying so hard to get hold of the jacket I then didn’t wear it until last week! I’m going to let the weather take some of the blame for that and move swiftly on! I must have felt a little Zara-deprived because I paired it with this Zara lace skirt (which I’ve worn before on the blog here), and by that time I was on a roll with digging long-forgotten items out of the wardrobe and from under the bed…I remembered I had a lovely pair of ankle boots by House of Harlow and a very handy black leather bag that I hardly use. To go the whole hog I opened my jewellery armoire, took everything off the hooks and found a pretty yellow stone and diamante necklace with the tag still attached…*hangs head in shame again*…oh well, better late than never!

Yellow boucle jacket and black lace Zara skirt

Lace Zara skirt and boucle yellow jacket

Yellow stone and diamante Matalan necklace

Black leather Ri2K shoulder bag

Zara lace skirt and yellow boucle jacket

Black lace Zara skirt and yellow boucle jacket

Matalan yellow stone ring and necklace

Matalan gold and yellow stone ring

Black leather House of Harlow ankle boots

Jacket: CMNC, skirt: Zara, black vest: M&S, bag: Ri2K, boots: House of Harlow, necklace and ring: Matalan.


Are you guilty of buying clothes only to leave them hanging in the wardrobe with tags still attached? I’m terrible for it…please tell me I’m not the only one! Let me know in the comments!


Thanks for reading xxx


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Apricot poppy print skirt and black top

Well hello! I’m back after almost a month…and the blog has had a major revamp! Going self-hosted had been on my “to do” list for ages, but I’ve finally bitten the bullet and done it. Of course there were a few hiccups along the way… mainly having to put all my images back into every single blog post because they couldn’t be migrated. So far I’ve only gone back a few months but I didn’t want to delay the new look going live any longer! I’ve been excited to show you this outfit from Apricot for weeks. I have quite a thing for midi skirts at the moment and when I saw this beautiful poppy print skirt on Apricot’s website I added it to my bag immediately. It’s a real bargain at only £29. With such a bold print I wanted to keep the top simple so I opted for a black turtle neck blouse (also from Apricot) and black bag and shoes. Even though the weather isn’t really warm enough for bare legs now (we took these photos a few weeks ago) I’ll still be able to wear this skirt with tights and ankle boots through Winter…and of course I look forward to pairing it with sandals sometime next year!

Apricot poppy print skirt and Jasper Conran bag

Apricot poppy print skirt

Apricot poppy print skirt

Apricot poppy print skirt

Red drop earrings

Red and black chunky bangle

Poppy print skirt and black top (gifted): Apricot, bag: Jasper Conran for Debenhams, shoes: vintage, sunglasses: Missoni.


I hope you like the new blog design…it’s still a work in progress really so if you spot any problems please let me know and I’ll do my best to fix them! Thanks for reading!


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Red Herring tribal print trousers Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

I’ve never been one to travel light but going to the same place more than once certainly helps to avoid over packing too much. Over half term we went to Barbados, a place that is very special to us as we got married there, in fact this was my fifth trip there (and the husband’s 15th!) so I knew what to expect weather wise…hot hot hot! The temperature doesn’t fluctuate much throughout the year so light and loose clothing, flat shoes and beach wear is basically all you need. I tend to take the same things with me on every beach holiday, and while that’s practical and thrifty, I’d got to the point where I just needed to add a few new items to my holiday wardrobe to freshen it up without breaking the bank. I was browsing the Debenhams website for bikinis when I saw these tribal print trousers on sale and thought they’d make a nice alternative to skirts. The pattern is perfect for holidays and the fabric is soft and light, they are so comfortable. The flat nude sandals go with everything so they are holiday wardrobe essentials. Barbados is very laid back so I don’t bother with heels – flats are much more practical, especially after a few rum punches!

White M&S lace crinkle skirt Barbados holiday wardrobe

This cream lace skirt and beaded vest is one of my favourite holiday outfits; the M&S skirt is made from a crinkle effect fabric so it travels well, and the vest is very light and stretchy. Again I wore my nude flat sandals and leather cream bag, which is also a holiday staple as it’s both roomy and goes with everything.

Red beach dress and straw hat Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

Simple maxi dresses are great to throw on over a bikini to take you from beach to bar if you don’t have time to get changed. I just added a pair of drop earrings and I was good to go and catch the sunset at the beach bar. I’m never without my straw hat during the day to keep the sun off my face and a pair of big shades to protect my eyes.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe red beach dress

Marks and Spencer Cote d'Azur sundress

This cotton sun dress was a real bargain; I bought it at an M&S outlet for about £5 a few months ago. It has a Côte d’Azur boat theme print which is perfect for holidays. As we were doing a lot of walking that day, which included a trip to the beach, I wore my red and white stripe Fitflops. I love Fitflops because I’m very flat footed and the thick, moulded sole makes walking much more comfortable. This photo was taken on the lookout point at Welchman Hall Gully – the exact spot where we got married back in 2010. It was lovely to go back there again.

Freya melon print bikini Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

One of the new items of swimwear I bought from Debenhams was this watermelon print bikini by Freya. I was instantly drawn to the tropical print, which gave my husband the perfect opportunity to say “Nice melons!” on more than one occasion! Men eh?!

Floozie frill bikini Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

This frill bikini is one I’ve had for a while now but I love the frill detail, which makes it feel less skimpy. It’s by Floozie Frost French – a range stocked by Debenhams, who have a fabulous range of swimwear for curvy ladies. I don’t mind admitting that I had serious doubts about posting a bikini photo (especially after relaxing the carbs intake the moment the plane took off!) but after seeing Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb post some beautiful holiday photos I was emboldened to just go for it. It’ll be quite a while before I get to spend a week basically living in a bikini again so I may as well savour the memory!


What are your tips for holiday packing? Are you a disciplined packer or do you always take too much stuff? Let me know in the comments!


Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely day!



Emma xxx


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