Posts Tagged ‘shopping tips’

Updating your S/S17 Wardrobe

The new season has begun (well close enough!), your are beginning to see your wardrobe in a brand new light, so let the try on session begin.  It’s time to sort and clear again…and then off to the shops you go!

1. Make your list
Look at what you have already, what pieces do you need to complete an outfit? What trends have you fallen for?
Think about your day-to-day lifestyle; there is no point buying clothes that are completely impractical. You have to get the balance between what are you comfortable wearing for your daily activities and what makes you feel good.

2. Set your budget
Do you buy all in one go, or do you like to buy over the course of a few weeks? Be mindful of this as you select your pieces – how much have you got to spend altogether, is each piece worth the money you are spending?
Also, if you are buying on trend pieces, will these carry you into next season, or this time next year? If not, don’t spend too much on these items!

3. Wait out for discount codes and vouchers
Bank holiday weekends are a key time for discount. For online shopping, often you fill your basket, but don’t go straight to buy. Sometimes (if you are lucky!) the next day the company will e-mail a discount code, or alternatively check voucher codes online before you buy. Bringing bags of old clothes to H&M or Oxfam will earn you £5 off your shop.  Downloading apps, signing up to emails, following stores on social media are always good sources of finding a bit of extra discount.  The money is definitely better in my pocket!

discount code

4. Don’t be fooled by a price tag
Sometimes you pay more but when you actually look at the item it is not worth the extra money.  Check the fabric, the cut, matching prints at the seam, stitching and zips or buttons – these are a give away if the item is really worth the money!

5. Take risks
Bring styles/colours into the changing room that you like, but have never tried before.  They may not work but if you don’t try, you will never know.


6.  Be aware of changes
Your shape and your skin colouring changes, even your hair may have changed since last spring.  The cut of clothes changes, sizes change, styles change.  Be open to making some changes in your wardrobe – simple or drastic!

7. Be prepared to return some items
If you are not sure, bring the item home, try it with things already in your wardrobe, and then make your final decision. It’s better to have it with you than take the risk of leaving it behind – you may never find it again!  But always check the stores returns policy before buying!


Now the real test – how many outfits can you make out of your new S/S17 wardrobe?

*images from Pinterest


The Silver Brogue

A few weeks ago I took my favourite pink brogues into the shoe mender to have them resoled.  And to my complete devastation, I was told they are too far gone, nothing would stick, there would be no point.  As the kind gentleman bent my shoe on the sole to show me the damage I snatched them from his hand, guaranteed I would get at least a few more wears out of them!

I have been wearing my trainers a lot recently and now I am ready to come back to my roots.  So I headed out for a bit of brogue shopping.  Just a little note – I call all of this style of shoe Brogue but technically some of the shoes shown are Oxfords – it all depends on the detail on the shoe (Oxfords are lace up, Brogues come with perforations)!  Admittedly there is more to know but that is the brief round up – check out Mr Porter for more!

With limited choice instore, I headed online.  As with any online ordering, I did my search independently, checked Shop Style for anything I’d missed and then googled voucher websites.

These are the brogues I already have.  Admittedly as I gathered these for their photoshoot, I was a little taken aback at home many pairs I have – I am normally quite sensible in my shopping.  But then I realised, not one pair were bought at full price – they were on sale, from eBay, on a weekend discount or bought with an online voucher, so the quantity didn’t seem so bad any more!

And these are the shoes I ordered.

I loved the fringing, but I already own a mint pair with fringing, however if I didn’t I would definitely go with this pair I found in Clarks – and the fringing can be removed for a second look (sorry, I can’t find either of these these online at the moment!).

The side buckle shoe came as a ‘wide fit’ they were far too big.  If I was interested in keeping this style I would have ordered down a size.  I love the metallic but they felt very masculine.

These were the favourite when I put it out to social media.

The Clarks were the most comfortable but I found when I tried them on with different coloured jeans, dresses and with bare legs, they were a little heavy for the style I intended to go with.

And these are the brogues I still want.


These little pink beauties are Dr Martens, and the silver? Well at £295 from Clarks, they are a little past my price range 🙁

So the decision lay with the shoe that was most versatile for me. They needed to suit jeans, skirts, and work trousers and as we head into the warmer weather, be light enough to be worn with bare legs.

Which leaves the metallic brogue from John Rocha at Debenhams.  Priced at £45 but reduced to £22.50 these were an absolute bargain!  I also went with in store delivery as I knew I would be in Belfast so that knocked a little off the price too;)  And as the hole in the sole of my pink brogues grew, I also bought these in the Clarks sale at just £25.

Do you have a favourite?


Dublin Daytrips – Cos

We don’t have a Cos in Northern Ireland and I long for one.  The thing I love the most about this store, is that they manage to take a basic, and make it look quirky.  The fabric, the shape and the structure of the pieces exude quality. The price tag is higher than your standard high street, but the pieces remain timeless.

CosCosOn my last venture to Dublin, I cleared the rails and brought an armful to the changing room for a try on.  Check out a few of my changing room selfies to see what I mean…

A classic shape but with the addition of a collarless neckline or a simple waistline, the item is transformed.
CosThe simplicity of a delicate colour and sharp lines.

CosCosA new edge on the bomber – longer, classic.

CosMy favourite piece from the collection.  So simple but yet so different.  The fit of this top could suit a range of shapes and sizes and still remain flattering.


Any stores you long to have on your local high street?



Dublin Daytrips – The Streets Beyond Grafton Street

On my last daytrip to Dublin I decided to trawl the streets behind Grafton Street and find the little treasures we sometimes miss. I will happily go to a new city on my own, and of course want to make the best out of the time I have there, so I have to do a little bit of research before I travel.  In my research I could easily find new places to eat and the best coffee stops, but as for a spot of shopping, the regular high street and well known stores all appeared! So hopefully, if you are heading to Dublin, this post will guide you towards a few new fashion spots, and you can pass on any new places you have found!

Brown Thomas BT2

Heading away from the treats of Grafton Street – but of course you will always find something perfect for your wardrobe in Brown Thomas, BT2 or Dune.

The perfect place to begin, head out of Powerscourt and you arrive on William Street.  There are lots of little underground spots along here, my favourite? De La Punc.  Lots of quirky pieces of jewellery, collections by Irish designers and actually a whole host of bits and pieces!

Next up, head down Castle Market and have a browse in the vintage store and boutiques before arriving at George’s St Arcade.  There are a few vintage and jewellery stores in the arcade which I love a quick browse in.  But my ultimate favourite arcade shop is right at the George Street side – a little picture store with images from across Ireland and beyond.

Back out on Drury Street (head up one side of the arcade and back down to come out here!) you will find a charming store, om diva.  As you enter, the collections on the ground floor are from small designers, both local and further afield.  A selection of unique, beautiful pieces.  Head downstairs to explore the vintage collection – back to the welcoming living room feel I talked about before.  I could have happily spent the afternoon in here, in fact I may go back just to do that!  Upstairs continues the local design theme with the most beautiful jewellery from aliquo.


If you don’t find quite the right thing for you in om diva, have a look in their other store, 2nd Space, just opened on Stephen Street Upper with the intention of adding a ‘Fash Caf’ – fashion and coffee?  Okay then!

Also on Drury Street you will find Second Avenue, a place to find pre-loved fashion.  With the perk of being in the basement below an alterations shop, you can easily pick the piece you love and get it altered to fit!  With a tagline, ‘preloved, reloved’, there is no excuse not to buy;)

Back to the High Street, just down from Carousel on Exchequer Street, you will find the Buffalo store.  I don’t think I’ve seen so many metallic shoes in one place.  Heaven!

Any tips for my next trip to Dublin?  Or what hidden treasures do you love in your city?


Always On Trend

In a recent post we talked about basics in our wardrobe.  Much of what was mentioned was plain colours, standard shapes and essentials.  But how can we remain on trend when we only the basics in our wardrobe?  Well, of course that’s where I come in with some styling tips!

1 Jewellery – add some colour or some drama with a statement necklace, keep the look subtle with a simple bangle or go dramatic with an oversized watch

2 Layering – whether this is an obvious addition like a cardigan or a subtle light coloured vest showing below a darker coloured top. A sleeveless jacket over a coat, or the layers that you don’t see to wear your S/S when the temperature still feels like A/W!

3 Tuck and Roll – an all over tight tuck into your skirt, a front tuck into trousers, a roll of the cuff or messy fold of the full sleeve

4 Footwear – flats to dress down an otherwise smart look, heels to dress up your casual jeans and tee

5 Outerwear – add the texture (fur or leather), the shape (bomber or fitted jacket), the colour (swing coat or shawl)

6 Accessories – the giant scarf, the oversized handbag, the pussybow.  I see that patterned tights are returning for A/W16, update now to be ahead of the trends!

7 One trend shop – check the current trends and select one piece to add to your basics collection, something you can easily mix and match with many of your basics

I’ll be talking about S/S16 trends in a future post, pick your favourite colours, shapes and textures and build your S/S wardrobe around this.  If  is a trend that suits you, or you really like, it will maybe become part of your basics.

*images from Pinterest*


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