Black velvet jacket and culottes

There are some trends that come around every Winter, velvet being one of them. It’s easy to see why this luxurious fabric is so popular: it’s soft to the touch, comfortable and easy to dress up. And yet, it took me a while to warm to velvet. It’s not always the most flattering fabric – body con dresses in thin, cheap versions should be avoided.

A couple of Winters ago I had my heart set on a black velvet jacket, but despite my best efforts I couldn’t find one that I liked. Most of the high street offerings were baggy and unflattering. I didn’t have a massive budget so I decided to bide my time. I’m so glad I waited because I found this jacket in a charity shop for just a few pounds! And then not long afterwards I picked up one in burgundy for a bargain price too 🙂

Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

…I had reservations about ordering these velvet culottes but as soon as I put them on I knew they were keepers.

A velvet jacket adds a touch of luxe to any oufit and works particuarly well with lace, frills and ruffles. (I wore this jacket over a red lace dress for a wedding in March.) In the run up to Christmas those after work parties can mean dashing from office to bar…yep, that’ll be me next Friday! Although I still haven’t decided on my outfit, this jacket is a strong contender. I will probably wear a dress or jumpsuit, but for more informal after works drinks these culottes would be perfect. I’ve got to be honest, I had reservations about ordering these velvet culottes but as soon as I put them on I knew they were keepers. They’re as comfortable as pyjamas…and they have pockets 🙂

Worn together, the black velvet jacket and culottes look like a suit, making it an office appropriate look.

I love co-ords because you wear them as a set or break them up. Well I’ve taken the reverse approach with this outfit. Worn together, the black velvet jacket and culottes look like a suit, making it an office appropriate look. There’s a slight difference in the fabric making the culottes appear a little lighter and shinier. This showed up more on the photos as we had to use the flash, even though it was only 2.30pm…I really miss the sun! It also started to rain just as we stepped outside – you can see rain drops on my jacket in some of the photos.

As it was such a dull day I wanted to add some colour to the outfit, and what better shade than bright red? I’ve worn this red frill bouse more than I thought I would. You may remember it from the Style Not Age October challenge when I teamed it with coated skinny jeans and trainers.

Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

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Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

I’ve switched the tote bag for a clutch, which is all you really need for a quick day to night change. Of course, you could also substitute the blouse for a camisole if you feel too trussed up, but I’m loving high neck tops right now. I’m looking forward to trying this velvet duo with a black lace Victorian-style top. The clutch is actually the multiway bag from Zara, which can also be worn as a belt bag or shoulder bag. I love this three-for-the-price-of-one approach so much I bought it in black too!

Black velvet jacket and culottes, Zara multiway bag

Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

My new favourite earrings

The red and black combination gave me the perfect opportunity to wear my new earrings that I bought at the-Bias-Cut pop up in London a couple of weeks ago. I’ve got so many pairs of tassel earrings but these are by far by favourites. They’re so light and comfortable that I forget I’m wearing them. If only all earrings were like that!

Are you a fan of velvet? Would you wear it top to toe?

Black velvet jacket and culottes, & Other Stories red frill blouse

Next velvet jacket (from charity shop, similar) | RJR.John Rocha velvet culottes from Debenhams (similar) | & Other Stories blouse (similar) | Mila Blu tote bag (similar) | red shoes (similar) | Dark Horse earrings (from the-Bias-Cut) | Zara multiway bag (worn as a clutch)

 

Last week’s favourites were…

Maria of Passion Fruit, Paws and Peonies, Lisa of Coast to Coast and Bettye of Fashion Schlub!

 

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Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

Have you ever seen something on someone else that you absolutely have to have…only to discover it’s completely sold out? Well that’s what happened with this Monki jaguar jumper. I saw someone at work wearing it, but as I didn’t know her I didn’t like to ask where she bought it. So I did what any obsessed fashionista would do and googled all the obvious search terms…”turquoise leopard/tiger/cheetah jumper”…and low and behold, google images came up trumps.

I took a bit of a gamble because it’s a small and I’d have preferred a medium. But I reasoned that I could wear a minimiser bra and breathe in.

Ok, so now I knew it was from Monki, but then I found out it had long since sold out. Groan. But still not content to let it go, I turned to eBay, and after months of searching I found one. After all that you’d think I’d have snapped it up there and then…except it was priced a fair bit higher than the original RRP, and that jars with me. It’s akin to people buying concert tickets purely to sell on at inflated prices. Well I blinked and it sold. You snooze you loose kinda thing.

So I carried on looking, and after a few more months I finally bagged one at a much more reasonable price. I took a bit of a gamble because it’s a small and I’d have preferred a medium. But I reasoned that I could wear a minimiser bra and breathe in. Yes, that’s how badly I wanted this jumper! It’s a bit snug around the armpits but not constrictive, so I’m happy 🙂

Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

The elusive Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt make the perfect partners. It’s almost like the skirt had been patiently waiting for it all this time.

Wearing it with jeans wouldn’t really have done it justice; after all my detective work tracking it down I wanted to make more of a statement with it. It was a very grey and miserable day, much in need of a colourful outfit. So I paired it with this purple A line skirt that I’ve had stuck in the wardrobe for ages. I loved it when I bought it but always found it hard to pick a suitable top to go with it. It needs a fitted top that doesn’t overhang and obscure the belt and pockets. Well this jumper is certainly fitted, and it’s just the right length. The elusive Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt make the perfect partners. It’s almost like the skirt had been patiently waiting for it all this time.

Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

I felt quite pleased that I’d created a completely new outfit from a mixture of old and preloved pieces.

Turquoise and purple is one of my favourite colour combinations, but I decided to add a third. I matched the pink in the jumper’s motif with a pink bag, jewelled beret and rose quartz bracelet. The lion doorknocker ring adds to the fierceness and contrasts with the sugary pink elements.

Only flats and chunky heels are feasible on waterlogged, muddy ground, but that doesn’t have to mean boring. These Kurt Geiger studded ankle boots are years old but the studs make them feel that little bit extra. And we all need that sometimes, don’t we? I felt quite pleased that I’d created a completely new outfit from a mixture of old and preloved pieces. Sometimes those turn out to be the best 🙂

Kurt Geiger studded ankle boots

J by Jasper Conran pink bag, Kenneth Jay Lane lion doorknocker ring

Monki jaguar jumper

pink jewelled beret

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Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

Monki jumper (from eBay, similar) | M&S skirt (old, similar) | Kurt Geiger boots (old, similar) | J by Jasper Conran bag (old, similar) | beret from Asos (old, similar) | Kenneth Jay Lane ring (old, similar) | Azuni earrings (similar) | handmade rose quartz bracelet (similar)

 

 

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Happy Tuesday! I hope your week got off to a good start 🙂 Welcome to the 100th Style With a Smile link up! As this is a milestone link up it seems quite fitting that it’s a special one. The last seven days have been pretty hectic, but in a good way. As I mentioned in Sunday’s post, I’ve been to London twice. On Wednesday I travelled down to the Bias Cut’s pop up shop, where owner Jacynth launched her own collection of cashmere sweaters.

I can never come away from one of Jacynth’s pop up shops empty-handed…show me fabulous clothes and I simply can’t resist!

I’ve been a big fan of the Bias Cut’s ethos and Jacynth’s mission to end ageism in the fashion industry for several years. I was even lucky enough to model the A/W collection for the website a couple of months ago. Jacynth carefully curates the pieces and only selects the most flattering designs made to high ethical standards. I can never come away from one of Jacynth’s pop up shops empty-handed…show me fabulous clothes and I simply can’t resist!

On this occasion I treated myself to something I’d had my eye on since I first saw it online. This gorgeous Pom bugs jacket wasn’t in stock when I modelled some of the A/W collection, but when I saw it on Shirley I was all heart eye emojis! Luckily for me there was one in my size so it was meant to be! I adore the bug embellishments and little tassels. What you can’t see (because I forgot to get a photo of it) is the beautiful lining. I just love everything about this jacket! Sadly it’s now sold out but there are other equally fabulous jackets still available (like this one that I adore!).

My bargain blouse

I teamed my lovely new Pom bugs jacket with skinny glitter jeans and a gorgeous Hawes & Curtis blouse that I found in a charity shop. It must have been my lucky day because I found three of the same design in different prints in my size. The blouses fit perfectly, and best of all…they only cost £3.75 each! What a find! They are fitted at the waist and have a little stretch in the fabric so they’re really comfortable. I’m obsessed with pussy bows at the moment too!

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Pom Amsterdam jacket from the Bias Cut (sold out) | Hawes & Curtis blouse (from a charity shop, similar design) | Mango skinny glitter jeans (similar) | Jennifer Hamley Mini KT bag (now sold out but new collection coming soon!) | Zara hat (similar) | Kenneth Jay Lane ring (old)

A surprise blogger meet up!

And look who I bumped into at the pop up…Jacqui, Anna and Valerie! It was such a lovely surprise to finally meet up with them after being friends online for so long 🙂 Meeting up with other bloggers is so much fun…I need to do it more often! Jacqui was with her lovely goddaughter Esther who takes her blog photos, and she kindly took some group shots of us…thank you Esther 🙂

 

Last week’s favourites were…

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots and Grace of Color and Grace!

 

This is where I link up!

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates links which means I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps towards the running costs of the blog and is very much appreciated.

 

 


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Blogosphere Festival 2018, leopard print faux fur coat

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my posts from the Blogosphere Festival in London yesterday. It was held at the Landmark Hotel directly opposite Marylebone station, so very easy to find. It was the first time I’d attended Blogosphere so I had no idea what to expect.

Living in Cheshire makes it a bit of a trek to the capital, so to make two trips a few days apart is highly unusual for me.

This was actually my second trip to London this week, as I’d travelled down on Wednesday for the Bias Cut’s pop up shop (which I’ll post about later in the week). Living in Cheshire makes it a bit of a trek to the capital, so to make two trips a few days apart is highly unusual for me.

The weather’s been dreadful this week, which made deciding what to wear even more difficult. Trains can either be swelteringly hot or cold and draughty. The tube however, is always oppresively hot and stuffy. All of this poses a style dilemma!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, leopard print faux fur coat

I’d put two outfits out the night before so I could decide on which one when I got up in the morning. My alarm was set for 6am so I’d laid everything out. I decided on a loose metallic mustard batwing top (first seen here) with black high waisted skinny jeans. The top is loose and not too thick, which is ideal for travelling in. I topped it off with one of my leopard print faux fur coats. It may seem a bit extravagant to have three, but they are all different styles! I haven’t worn heels for ages because my feet have been aching so much, but these wide-fitting ankle boots are ok for walking moderate distances in. Thick socks help too 😉

This flower wall was like catnip for bloggers, so just as well it was double-sided!

The hat was both the cause of, and the answer to the problem of a bad hair day. It wasn’t behaving at all that morning, and by the time I arrived at the hotel it was totally flat and limp. I would have felt a pillock wearing a hat indoors all day, although it was tempting! It definitely made for better photos. This flower wall was like catnip for bloggers… just as well it was double-sided! I really want one in my house!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, leopard print faux fur coat

Meeting up with Suzi

I was looking forward to meeting up with Suzi (aka Alternative Ageing) more than the actual event. We first met at the 3040 Blogger Meet two and half years ago and have stayed in touch ever since. It was wonderful to spend the day catching up with Suzi. We chatted about veganism, menopause and the TV industry (Suzi was a journalist before training as a nutritionist and starting a blog). Her book, also entitled Alternative Ageing, has just been published and is available at Amazon…put it on your Christmas wishlist!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, Suzi Grant Alternative Ageing

The other three panels just confirmed what I already knew: don’t promote a product you don’t like just for the money and don’t buy fake followers.

There were four panels throughout the day discussing different topics – two in the morning and two in the afternoon. To be totally honest, I learned very little from these. The Importance of Audio was one that didn’t really apply to me, but as I knew nothing about podcasts, I did learn a few things. The other three panels just confirmed what I already knew: don’t promote a product you don’t like just for the money and don’t buy fake followers. That really was it in a nutshell. But we all know that already, right?

I actually learned more chatting to Suzi who really knows her stuff, and is incredibly tech savvy. She’s also very generous with her knowledge. That’s what I love about the blogging community – especially the 40+ blogging community – everyone is so helpful and supportive 🙂

Blogosphere Festival 2018, Vionic shoes stand

I had a chat with the Vionic team and tried on a pair of ankle boots that were so comfortable. The way they support the arch and take the weight off the ball of the foot is genius. My size eights look humungous…made worse by wearing skinny jeans. If only someone would design comfortable shoes that make big feet look smaller!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, Vionic shoes stand

There was a steady queue for the hair styling. I gave up waiting in the end because the last panel was due to start and I was only going to put my hat on anyway. Those beach waves will have to wait!

Blogosphere Festival 2018

There was a drinks area serving tea, coffee and mocktails throughout the day; the blueberry mojitos were delicious! There was a constant supply of food in little bowls, including some vegan options. I tried a yummy vegetable thai curry with rice, and broccoli with quinoa and pumpkin seeds. It wasn’t enough to keep us going for the whole day though, so we popped out to Pret for a falafel salad. During the break for lunch, we weren’t supposed to be in the ballroom where the event took place. But as there wasn’t adequate seating outside we sneaked back in with our salads…naughty!

There weren’t even enough chairs for people to sit and listen to the panels; some were sitting on the floor while others had to stand.

The afternoon session was clearly more popular than the morning. There weren’t even enough chairs for people to sit and listen to the panels; some were sitting on the floor while others had to stand. I’d bought an early bird ticket so I paid £25 for the whole day (which was half price). But those who’d paid that much to attend just one session and not even have a seat must have felt pretty cheesed off. It was also very noisy because not everyone came over to listen to the guest speakers. Given that there were only about half a dozen stands I’d have thought that was the whole point of going!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

…when I saw the piles of Blogosphere magazines on the table by the door, I naturally assumed that they might give us one in the goody bag. But it turned out they were just there to get attendees to subscribe.

There was one other thing that struck me as odd, and if I’m honest a little bit stingy. Now I don’t want you to think that I’m one of those entitled bloggers who expect everything for free. We did get goody bags with a Christmas party game, a notebook and a lovely Dior palette courtesy of World Duty Free (one of the sponsors). So when I saw the piles of Blogosphere magazines on the table by the door, I naturally assumed that they might give us one in the goody bag. But it turned out they were just there to get attendees to subscribe. The organisers not giving paying guests a copy of their own magazine seemed really odd to me.

According to the website it’s £30 for four issues a year or £8 for a single issue. We received one of the magazines at the 3040 Blogger Meet and I thought it was ok but I wasn’t blown away by it. Considering I baulk at paying £4+ for a monthly glossy, I certainly won’t be shelling out £8 for it. I think putting a copy in the goody bag might have got them more subscriptions, but I guess they have their reasons!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

Anyway, all the negative stuff aside, it was a really good day. My trains ran on time, the venue was lovely, I didn’t get soaked (as I did on Wednesday when the tube failed us) and I spent the day with a fabulous blogger friend 🙂

Do you enjoy going to blogging events? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

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Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

Faux fur coat from eBay (similar)| M&S top (similar) | Mango high waist skinny jeans | Principles leopard print ankle boots (similar) | Zara hat (similar) | Messages in Metal necklace c/o

 

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates links which means I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps towards the running costs of the blog and is very much appreciated.

 


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Striped culottes with a simple black vest

I hope you’re not totally bored with my holiday outfits yet…don’t worry, this is the last one! It’ll be chunky sweaters and big coats for the foreseeable future I think, judging by the hideous weather. My Summer clothes are all packed away, waiting hopefully for another holiday sometime soon 😉

Pairing these bold striped culottes with a simple black vest is one of those outfits to fall back on whenever I’m not sure what to wear on holiday.

This is actually the second time I’ve worn this outfit on the blog; the only thing I changed was the bag and jewellery. Back in May, I used my fun straw crab bag. This time I opted for my Skinny Dip bucket bag because it holds more, and the drawstring makes it more secure. Pairing these bold striped culottes with a simple black vest is one of those outfits to fall back on whenever I’m not sure what to wear on holiday. It’s comfortable, light and airy, and requires no ironing. I’ve had the vest for longer than I can remember, but it’s a holiday and Summer favourite, as are these sandals. I accessorised with one of the many pairs of tassel earrings I took on holiday, plus my Style Splash personalised necklace (first seen here).

Do you have pieces that you always fall back on for holidays? I find it makes packing so much easier!

Striped culottes with a simple black vest

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Striped culottes with a simple black vest Skinny Dip Summer Lovin straw bag

Striped culottes with a simple black vest

Bershka culottes (pink version still available) | old black vest (similar) | Ribelle sandals (similar) | Skinny Dip bag (similar) | necklace c/o Messages in Metal (previously seen here) | Asos earrings (similar)

 

Last week’s favourites were…

Jen of Librarian for Life and Style, Cheryl of Cheryl Shops and Darlene of Aquamarina Style!

 

 

This is where I link up!

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates links which means I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps towards the running costs of the blog and is very much appreciated.


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