Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Friday Treat: Marks & Spencer patchwork coat

Coat: £55.30, Marks & SpencerPoloneck: £14.95, Muji (instore). Bag: £32, Next. Jeans: £17.99, Gap
I've been after this coat ever since I saw it at the Marks & Spencer S/S Press Day back in May (and quite a few of you have, too!). It came in, then promptly sold out. Then it came in again - I got an email update and bought it straight away. Between then, telling people on Facebook, and it arriving, it has almost gone again. And it now has 20% off (thank you Black Friday) - so take my advice and act quick.

This is also the only slightly Black Friday post you will see - is anyone else finding it all a bit overwhelming?

Coat: £55.30, Marks & SpencerPoloneck: £14.95, Muji (instore). Bag: £32, Next. Jeans: £17.99, Gap
I've been looking at 'teddy' coats for a while, and this fuses a shearling, sheepskin, faux fur and a teddy coat - perfection. I am wearing a size 8 but could still go up a size to fit a chunkier knit underneath. It's unlike any other coat in my wardrobe (and now I have a few, it's a problem) and I love it. Wear with flares and snake/leopard boots for ultimate 70s luxe or with trainers for dress down cool.

PS if you were interested in Black Friday, check out my Black Friday edit of one of my favourite jewellery brands, Daisy London, here (enter BLACKFRI25 FOR 25% off your orders this weekend).

Thursday, 26 November 2015

*Frugal Buy* Gap wool leggings update

Just a quick boring update to let you know I found the Gap comfy pants* online - in all sizes. The most comfortable trousers (as good as cashmere) - they've been styled up a bit 'street' on the site with an ankle boot, which is obviously not how I'll be wearing mine (more like with a cup of hot choc and a certain sheepskin slipper), but trust me these are a great winter buy. I also found a 40% off online code of GAP40UK on Vouchercodes...

Wool joggers: £34.95, Gap
The label also says dry-clean only but I've stuck mine on 30 degrees and they seem fine...will keep you updated.

*My most engaging post this month - sums up everything

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Party shoes you CAN walk in

Images via Pinterest
The once granny shoe of choice has, especially in the last few years, become my go-to style. Yes, I have fallen off the wagon a couple of times, as shoes are my thing, however it's always the walkable ones that stay in my wardrobe. 

There's nothing worse than the fear of wearing your shoes past the first dance, or always having to carry a pair of flats 'just in case' (which in fact I do even with kitten heels often - I'm that bad). 

Luckily for us, the block, kitten and even the micro heel are the shoes of the future and I have seen loads of great ones whilst out on appointments, especially on the High Street (although I would even say to splurge on a pair as a comfy heel is possibly the best investment you can make).

1. Pom pom heels, £36, Next

2. Block heeled sandals, £46, Topshop

3. Sandals, £217.15, Proenza Schouler at The Outnet (only size 39 left!)

4. Velvet pom pom flats, £29, Topshop

5. Lace-up courts, £79, Dune

6. 'Lucy' metallic flat, £450, Jimmy Choo

7. Embellished flats, £85.20, Boden

Oh, and in case you're not interested in walking, or anything boring like that...I did find some 'taxi to party' heels that are a dead ringer for the amazing Aquazurra red fringed heels:

Tassel heels, £65, River Island

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Gap Styld By

 Jacket: £52.99, GapCashmere jumper: £99.95, Gap. Jeans: £17.99 in the sale, GapBoots: Tabitha Simmons (old). Bag: Manu Atelier. Photographs: Eva K Salvi
You may have seen a few pics on instagram of my latest Gap finds. But funnily enough, it was before this project that I actually started going into Gap again. This jacket was the best find of the winter for me - oversized and slouchy, it has also been surprisingly useful in our rather mild UK temperatures.

So when Gap asked me to be part of their 'Styld By' campaign, I knew I'd wear my trusty jacket with some other bits I found in store. I'm a 'preppy' girl by nature, always have been - I'm a sucker for a classic shirt and a crew-neck jumper - so it seemed an easy transition.

Gold shark tooth bracelet: Lucy Williams x Missoma. 'Love' disc bracelet: Astley Clarke

First: a cashmere jumper. I have 2 now (light and dark grey) and their cashmere is one of the best. It doesn't bobble even after years - I always size up so it's a bit slouchy. And these jeans are the perfect flares (I must admit I mainly went for these as I was thrilled that I managed to squeeze into a size 25 but they are also a great fit) - and look surprisingly good with my pointy boots - I've always been a bit worried about a witchy pointy shoe under flares but it seems to work.

Jeans£17.99 in the sale, Gap.
Watch: £135, Shore Projects. Camera: £499.95, Olympus Pen E-PL7

Beanie hat: £14.95, Gap. Cashmere jumper: £99.95, Gap. Jacket: £52.99, GapJeans: £17.99, GapBoots: Tabitha Simmons (old). Bag: Manu Atelier
I feel like Gap is really having a moment again, not that it ever went away (there will be another post with some other outfits - there is a boilersuit which I am on the waiting list for, and you'll want to be on it, too).

Friday, 20 November 2015

*SAVE THE DATE* Etsy made Local Pop-Up Store

Gold reindeer stickers: £3.88, Seasprout. Silver ribbon, £2, Molly's Haberdashery. Candle: £16, Ville de Fleurs. All available at Etsy

There's nothing I like more than online Christmas shopping, getting all my bits and bobs from the comfort of my sofa. This year I'm keeping my wrapping decoration to a minimum - brown paper but with ribbon and stickers - Etsy is the perfect place (it's also where I bought loads of obscure pieces for my wedding - tiny grey and white chevron paper bags for confetti? Of course they had them). 

But sometimes you just need to go into a can be a bit bewildering if you don't know what you're looking for, especially with a huge marketplace like Etsy - you want someone to go in and do the edit for you and get a 'feel' for the store (myself and a friend talked about Etsy having a nice 'aura' the other day, we're possibly a bit sad but I think you know what I mean).

Illustrated for The Frugality by Ella Sadika

SO...the wonderful people from Etsy are organising pop-up stores across the UK with items made from local designers all in one place. They will be popping up in Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff and Cambridge to name a few - see the website here to find your local market.

The London one will be in The Vinyl Factory in Soho, 51 Poland Street with free entry, guests will have the chance to get gifts personalised, learn how to wrap like a pro, enjoy coffee and snacks and...? There will be an area curated by myself - and I will be there to say hello between 12pm-2pm on Saturday 5th December. So come, say hi and we can geek out over wrapping, stationery and these plates which I have started collecting...

Plate, £24.98, JimBobArt at Etsy
And if you can't make it down, I thought I'd do a little Christmas edit anyway...

1. Octopus print, £16.54, Dotty Dictionary at Etsy

2. Personalised ceramic bauble, £7.50, Darwin & Gray at Etsy

3. Pom pom cushion cover, £26, Holly and Evie at Etsy

4. Soy candle, £15, Ville de Fleurs at Etsy

5. Animal gift tags, £3, Florrie and Boo at Etsy

6. Letter cushions, £6.50, Darwin & Gray at Etsy

7. Gold spot washi tape, £2, Unwrap Colour at Etsy

8. Personalised storage bags, £14.50, Spudy & Co at Etsy

9. Selection of 'tea' soaps, £12, London Fields Soap at Etsy

Oh and the fun doesn't stop the spirit of Christmas, Etsy are giving away £250 gift card to a Frugality reader (to spend online) - all you have to do is email me telling me how you'd spend your voucher on the site. The competition closes Friday 4th December - but if you're not successful there will also be a chance to 'win my wall' (my selection of curated edits) at the Etsy event! Phew...that was a lot to take in there but hopefully see you on the 5th (no need to RSVP, just come along if you fancy).

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

It's all about those sleeves

Jumper: £29.99, Zara. Jeans: Zara (old). Boots: Tabitha Simmons (old but buy similar here). Bag: £64.50, Aurora London. Photographs: Ella Sadika
We've been playing with proportion for a few years now. And sleeves made a huge comeback in the summer, but now I've totally fallen. True, I've always loved a dress with sleeves but now it's about the bell sleeves in particular. And I love that it has now moved into knitwear, and couldn't resist this jumper in Zara last week.

Obviously, you'll have to avoid spaghetti, ketchup and most sauced based foods (this will probably not be coming with me to Venice), but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Luckily for me, this photo was taken before the really cold weather set in, so we could actually take pictures sans coat so you can see the sleeves. Everyday since this I have been wrapped up firmly in a parka (hood up).

These boots, I must admit, were the biggest indulgence of my life. But I love them and have no regrets, just held back on quite a few nights out! They are like slippers now and add a real flair to a plain outfit - and I always get asked about them. I cut off my jeans at the ankle to wear with boots (hence why these are the Zara, not my MiH jeans, as wasn't sure how they would turn out!), another great idea I stole from Ms Fantacci from Wearing It Today. I went so wonky but the frayed edging means it doesn't actually matter.

In hair news, basically, I'm going blonder. Yep, I thought I'd try and find my natural colour but it turns out it's 70% I'm going to try and embrace it and eventually go grey...but baby steps (and one Lockonego is helping me with - I promise I don't get free haircuts!).

Watch: Rotary. Bag: £64.50, Aurora London (and you can have it monogrammed for £22)

Monday, 16 November 2015

Interiors Envy: Rose Brookes

I thought it was about time for some interiors lust, as the cold weather has really kicked in and we're spending more and more time 'nesting'. This home is one I've been admiring for so long - the sister of my good friend Lorna (whose home was one of the first houses I photographed for my blog here), Rose has impeccable style and taste and I was thrilled she agreed to share some photos of her South London home. 
Rose, with husband Ben and daughter, Alba
After a career working in PR, Rose has just launched a children's interior design service and shopping network Little Look - you'll get lost in its gorgeousness.

This table was a successful DIY project
How long have you been in this house in Blackheath?

We've lived here for nearly 2 years and have been married and become parents (to 9 month old Alba) since being in this house, it's been a busy time! Our house is a Victorian cottage on a sweet little terraced street, Ben grew up in Blackheath and now we both love the area, my sisters live just around the corner and it's a great place for young families.

The log side table in the sitting room was Ben's Christmas gift last year, it was a great eBay find! Although getting it into the boot when I was 8 months pregnant was an adventure!

Where are your favourite interiors stores?

If I need something for the house I generally always head to The White Company and I also love some of the new interiors bits at Marks & Spencer. I also love Scandi design pieces from brands like Carl Hansen, Lassen, Normann Copenhagen and Gunnar Flørning, they are always on Christmas and Birthday lists. Some of my favourite online stores are nordichousecowshedinteriors and rowenandwren.

What are your interiors style influences?

We both love antique hunting, although our tastes are very different! Ben loves scientific finds like the big pyrex lab measuring beakers in the kitchen or the old cogs we found in Italy and I chose the Victorian zinc swans in the bathroom and the old gold shop letters in our bedroom. We also bought a gorgeous little 16th century child's chair after Alba was born which is in our hallway, next to a reclaimed old window frame which is now a mirror. We generally look in antiques barns outside of London to find bargains and we love antiques fairs when we're travelling abroad to find something really unique.

What improvements did you make/want to make?

We've renovated most rooms, drawing inspiration from Scandinavian and New England style. We have some plans to extend but that might be a while off. 

Were you nervous about the dark bathroom? What colour is it?

It's Farrow & Ball Railings. We were nervous but then we visited an interiors store in Burnham Market and they had a whole deep navy room and that convinced us. The style really reminds me of New England where we had our honeymoon.

Knowing your sister as I do, I can imagine you're quite 'crafty' too, did you take on any special projects?

I love repurposing and refurbishing old pieces of furniture. My dressing table is an old computer desk and the toy chest in Alba's room is my parents' old filing box. We made the zinc topped table and dresser in the kitchen by hammering sheets of zinc onto cheap pine pieces and then painting in Farrow & Ball.

What is Alba'a favourite toy to play with?

She loves JellyCat bashful bunnies, whenever she spots them in a shop she grabs one for a cuddle and we end up buying it. She's nearly had me stopped for shoplifting twice!

The wardrobe in Alba's bedroom was Ben's when he was a little boy. I refurbished it with Annie Sloan paint (no sanding required!) and little cloud hooks. 

Where is the rocking horse from?

It's by an amazing artisan craftsman from Denmark called Povl Kjer, each one is hand carved from local wood and covered in sheepskin. It's featured in the Little Look toy category this week.

Fashion-wise, are you a designer or high street buyer?

I like investment accessories (Anya Hindmarch, Jimmy Choo etc) but generally my clothes are all high street.

Anya Hindmarch glitter 'Valorie' clutch - buy secondhand via Vestiaire Collective

What's your most frugal buy?

I think it would have to be a little house I got from The White Company last  January, they were selling off their window displays and the house cost me £1. It's white with a glitter roof and it'll make a great little dolls house for Alba.

What's next for interiors, or do you think you'll stay as it is for a while?

We are planning to add a garden studio in the new year. I love gardening and I'm excited to add to the space with a little retreat. We might add a dormer window into the study one day to make a 4th bedroom if we need the space, but it's a long term project I think.

Do you see yourselves staying in Blackheath for a while...?

Yes I think so, Ben grew up here and it's become a home for me now too. We spend a lot of time in North Norfolk as well, I'm a country girl at heart so it's nice to escape to somewhere more rural.

Thanks for having us round, Rose! You can continue to follow her immaculate style over on Little Look instagram.
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