Autumnal Pinks

I am not a pink person. In fact, I’m not really a colour person. I always end up in blacks, whites and – my favourite colour of them all – grey. I’ve had to ban myself from buying grey jumpers, it has got that out of control. But autumn is just such a colourful time. The leaves are putting on a firework display of reds, oranges and yellows and we haven’t even set off the real sparklers for the 5th November yet. So this is my attempt to put a bit of colour into my monochrome wardrobe.

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Not only am I absolutely not a pink person, but it isn’t a very autumnal colour either. Spring and summer yes but autumn? No. But this dusky rose Topshop jumper absolutely fits the bill. I love how the colour is slightly unexpected, but still fits in. And it’s a great option if, like me, yellow makes you look a bit sallow and red is just a bit too bold. Baby steps. This jumper has an amazing fit – comfy and relaxed but still slightly fitted, and it can look smart if you want it to. It’s also not too heavy, so ideal for these warmer autumnal days we are still enjoying.

I am also completely in love with this H&M scarf. It is so soft, so comfy to wear and so cheap! And it looks perfectly autumnal without being stereotypically so. The mustard yellow brings it straight into the season, along with the dusky rose pink I am loving so much. It’s also not too heavy so, again, perfect for these crisp autumn days.

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So if you buy one thing this month, make it colourful. Or at least slightly so. We are going to have plenty of time for monochrome when winter rolls round.

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The Classic White Shirt

Hello everyone – remember me?! I accidently took a bit of a blogging break. Not for any particular reason, I was just being busy (and lazy). Thank you so much to everyone who has still been viewing my blog (I know you are out there!) and to those who have commented and followed in my absence. Please do leave your links in the comments section so I can come and view your pages too!

But anyway, down to business. I took these photos a while ago, on a particuarly blustery day in Brighton, but I’m still so in love with this shirt that I had to share it with you.

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I am not a ‘shirt person’ at all. I think they’re uncomfortable, a bit boring and just so frumpy. But then, according to fashion law, a white shirt is a wardrobe staple and I look on enviously to all those who pull them off. I have searched long and hard for one that I actually like and I think I have finally found it.

It’s this little baby from Topshop. Very simple, not too expensive and even if you don’t like this style, they’ve got hundreds of variations on the Chambray Shirt. It’s so soft and looks great tucked in for a slightly smarter look or just loose and casual. If you are worried about looking a little frumpy in a shirt, opt for something with big pockets and distinctive buttons in a more utility style. It just adds a little more interest and, in my opinon, doesn’t make you look like you are office-bound.

Plus this shirt will carry me straight into autumn. And on a side note, am I the only one quite excited about the prospect of pumpkin spiced lattes, cable knits and Halloween?!

The Lazy Oaf Striped Tee

When in doubt, always opt for stripes.

It’s still a little too chilly to just don a t-shirt, but when layered up they are absolutely perfect for spring. And I just think this cute (and quite colourful) little tee is perfect for those sunny spring days.

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This striped find is from Lazy Oaf, a really fun London based label. They have a really quirky selection of clothing, which has a very quick turnaround with plenty of ‘new in’ items all the time (so if you love something – grab it!)

Their clothes use bright colours, bold patterns and are often inspired by cartoons. This is quite a tame offering from their collection, but I love the pop of pink around the neck and on the sleeves. There, unfortunately, aren’t that many sizes left for this tee, but they’ve just released this ‘killer whale’ version if you want to get your hands on one.

They aren’t the cheapest at £30, but the t-shirts are very high quality and the material is actually quite thick. Perfect for when you desperately want to dress for summer but the weather hasn’t quite caught up with you yet!

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Recent Purchases

I’ve accidentally been a bit spendy recently. Not necessarily an enormous shopping spree, but just a book here, a blanket there and a couple of clothing items… before you know it you’ve amassed a nice amount of new “stuff”.

I love shopping full stop, but seeing all of the spring/summer items arriving is just so exciting. Some colour! At last! I’ve made a new rule for myself (which one of these items does break but there you go) – I am only allowed to buy colour. I’m counting white as a colour because I love to wear white in the summertime (quickest way to look tanned), but grey and black are out. Summer is coming and we don’t need any bleak colours bringing us down.

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*Topshop blouse and skirt: So I fell into Topshop and accidentally bought some clothes – what’s new? I am so in love with this diamond pintuck lace blouse, I only ever really wear white in the summer, so to have a new white piece really makes it feel as though winter is at an end. It is perfect for spring because it’s not quite as warm as a jumper, but the long sleeves and high neck protect you from those unexpected breezy days. This Boucle A-line skirt is admittedly a bit more wintery, but at just £26 I thought it was a pretty good price for Topshop, and it’s perfect for when it’s still a little chilly outside.

*Books: I have been quite strict with my Kindle-only rule recently, but I had to get these two in hard copy. This Wind in the Willows is part of Penguin Threads, a collection of gorgeous paperbacks. There are all kinds of classics to choose from in these beautiful covers, from Black Beauty to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore has been doing the rounds on social media recently and that was what drew me in, as I’m not a particular Drew Barrymore fan. I’ve just turned the last page and loved it – but you’ll have to wait for next month’s reading list to find out more…

*Oliver Bonas throw: Isn’t this throw just so beautiful and colourful? It feels safe with the grey and white base and I love the pop of neon. It’s such a fun thing to have on your bed in the summer, and it’s not too thick and heavy so you won’t expire beneath it. Oliver Bonas is one of my favourite shops to browse in anyway, but only recently have I noticed the homeware. The cushions and throws in their collection are really fun and colourful – they’re all on my wish list!

*NYC haul: Tiarnan went to New York last month, and I sent him with a (rather extensive) shopping list. He came back with the Bath & Body Works three wick candle in Watermelon Lemonade which I absolutely love. Oh why can we not have Bath & Body Works in the UK?! He also bought me the Victoria’s Secret Mayfair Pyjamas, which is still the classic shirt and trouser set – but in a lighter material. Perfect as we are going into summer, now it just needs to get a bit warmer…

Little Luxuries to Get Through Winter

Let’s start with a bit of honesty. Winter is a bloody miserable time.

We fantasise about hot chocolates, log fires, building snowmen and fresh days with clear blue skies. Sometimes this is the reality. But there’s also the flip side – forgetting your umbrella, freezing on station platforms and a severe vitamin D deficiency. And on top of that, we’re punishing ourselves with New Year’s resolutions rather than hibernating as we should be. We’ve just had ‘Blue Monday’, and I don’t blame us for feeling a bit down.

So to cheer everything up, I’ve come up with a list of little luxuries we need to get through winter. They’re nothing too crazy, just small things to make life that bit more comfortable. Because after all, it is winter and we deserve a treat.

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*An enormous scarf: And by enormous, I really do mean enormous. I mean so big it could double up as a picnic blanket. I bought one last year when the cold in Newcastle just got too much and I haven’t looked back. They’re great as a scarf (obviously), but are also the best thing to travel with as they double up as a pillow or a blanket. This Christmas, I even snuck some presents home underneath it! I’ve currently got my eye on this one from Zara.

*Gorgeous knitwear: Spend that little bit more on your knitwear and you won’t regret it. Jumpers are my all time favourite thing (and I have far too many of them), but if you’re savvy and buy good quality ones, they will last for years. Topshop is my favourite place to buy knitwear, they have so many cool designs and aren’t astronomically priced. Top tip: try to avoid buying knitwear online, always test the quality before buying.

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*Luxurious handcream: Everything drys up in winter. Chapped lips and dry hands are, in my opinion, the absolute worst. Treat yourself to a lovely handcream and keep it on your bedside table or in your handbag so you actually remember to use it. The Soap & Glory handcreams are my all-time favourites, they sink in super quickly, are the perfect portable size and aren’t too pricey (yippee!). Cowshed is another gorgeous brand if you’re looking for something a little special.

*Scented candles: Nothing makes a home cosier than a scented candle. I have a million favourites, but The White Company candles are some of the very best. There’s a huge range of scents, from fruity to spicey to herbal to floral and you can buy everything from cute little tealights to enormous pillar candles. These medium size pillar candles are my favourite, they look gorgeous and smell incredible.

*A new cookbook: Winter is the perfect time for taste testing new recipes – we need delicious food for miserable evenings. Deliciously Ella Every Day landed on my doorstep last week, and I haven’t been so excited by a cookbook in a long time. It focuses on super healthy food that is quick to make with ingredients that are easy to track down and basic equipment. Whether you are mastering a veggie paella or a chocolate fudge cake, nothing warms the soul like food does.

The Pinafore Dress

Pinafore dresses and dungarees are everywhere. They have been for a while. And I’m very happy to admit, I was not at all sure about them when the trend started. Now, I’m in love.

I’m still not convinced that they are the most flattering thing in the world, but there’s just something effortlessly cool about them. When you wear a pinafore dress, you look like you’ve really put some thought into your outfit – but actually you haven’t. You can just throw it on, be warm and comfortable but still look stylish. Win win!

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It was this Topshop dress that changed my mind. Isn’t the colour just amazing? I don’t own anything this shade, and it’s so wonderful for autumn and winter. I also love it because it’s made really thick cord, so it’s actually really warm. Paired with a turtle neck (as I’ve done here), it’s perfect for these chilly January days we’re having.

I like to keep the colours pretty neutral, but stripes underneath it would also look amazing. With boots and a nice big scarf, this will be one of my wardrobe staples until spring. If you’re not a fan of the burgundy, they also have a very popular navy option here.

One word of warning for you, it is very short. So perhaps size up or opt for extra thick tights to avoid any accidental flashes!

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The Perfect Jeans

Today is going to be a chat all about the number one staple in my wardrobe: black skinny jeans. I’ve been having a love affair with a range of jeans for a few years now, and it’s about time I shared!

Topshop make the best jeans. Hands down. End of. Trust me, they will fix all of your jean-related woes. Their selection can seem endless, high-waisted, mid-rise, skinny, boyfriend, mom, ankle grazers, ripped… the list goes on. However, my go-to pair of jeans have been getting some bad press and I want to put that right.

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I am the proud owner of ten pairs of Topshop jeans (I do need them all, and I still want more…!), but the black Leigh jeans are my favourites. They are not like normal jeans though, and this is where people start to dislike them. The material is much, much softer. If you want a pair of traditional black jeans, go for the Topshop Jamies. These are made of a stiffer material, more like traditional denim.

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These are the best jeans because of the softer material. It makes them so unbelievably comfy when skinny jeans are renowned for being uncomfortable. The softer material does mean that the Leigh jeans probably wear the worse out of the Topshop range. The high-waisted Jonis are much more elastic but the Leighs will start to stretch over time. However, I had my previous pair for two years and that’s pretty good going when you wear them multiple times a week, every week.

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The Leighs are also mid-rise, which I really love, particularly through winter. Trends call for high-waisted jeans, but when you’re layered up for the chill, noone can see the high waist! High-waisted jeans are great for sucking it all in, but I find they can get uncomfortable after a while, and going out for a meal in them is obviously a massive no-no.

The Topshop jeans (all of them!) are also the best because of how well they fit. I know this is personal preference, but I know so many girls of all different shapes that love the fit. They are sold with a waist size and leg length, rather than as a standard size 8, 10 etc. So if you have a tiny waist and short legs, they will fit you. If you have a larger waist and long legs, they will also fit you, and so on through every combination.

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I would recommend the black ones simply because of how flattering they are, and this is true of all black skinny jeans. They elongate your legs and make them look slimmer in a way that blue jeans just don’t. Finally, what doesn’t go with black? They make such a great base for any outfit, and can look so much smarter than blue jeans if you need them to.

If you don’t have a pair of these in your wardrobe, you are missing out. Go on, add them to your Christmas wish list…