Sample sale shoe purchases

27 Mar

I’ve had a brilliant couple of days getting stuck in at London’s sample sales, and I’m the proud new owner of three amazing pairs of designer shoes, eeek!

Yesterday lunchtime, I headed down to Penelope Chilvers’ store on Duke Street, Mayfair, for the end of season clearance. The sale had been going on for a few hours, so it was nice and calm by this point, though I think I probably also missed some of the best gems from earlier on in the day. However, I picked up a new pair of ‘Dandy’ slippers in corduroy – very school-uniform chic, and therefore very ss15!

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I also bought some gorgeous leather sandals, which I can’t wait to wear. They’re super-soft and I hope I’ll have them for years to come.

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These shoes were just £30 each – bargain!

Obviously, being in the store, I couldn’t resist a look at the latest, full-price collection. I LOVE these neon safari boots…

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£239, Penelope Chilvers

However, this was just a sale-shopping mission, so I’ll save my pennies for the boots another day.

Then, today, I had the day off work, so I set my alarm early and headed to the Connaught hotel for the Charlotte Olympia sample sale. I almost didn’t go because I think a lot of her heels, while beautiful, are simply too high for me! But then I thought, it’s a work day, so maybe it won’t be as busy as a weekend.

Boy was I wrong! I arrived on the dot of the 10am start time – along with the rest of the women in London! People with VIP invites were allowed into the sale an hour earlier, so I could see them coming out with their purchases, and I knew I’d have to wait it out to get myself a piece of the action. So I joined the queue. And queued. And queued. For an hour. The security guards in the hotel found it hilarious that this bunch of mad women was willing to spend this amount of time waiting to get into a tiny room filled with shoes. But did we care? No!

I was keen to get my hands on some flats – Charlotte Olympia’s flats are just gorgeous. The holy grail is, of course, the iconic ‘Kitty’ flats, but I had a feeling these would all be gone by the time I got in. I thought I’d be lucky just to find any flats in my size. When I got in the room, it looked like I was right, until I hit upon three pairs of cute ballet flats in a variety of cute patterns – and they fit me, woohoo!

Then I clocked the size of the queue to pay. Oh boy! So I thought it best to stop hunting for more shoes and join the queue. While I was in the queue, I acquired another two pairs of shoes – one embroidered heels, one flatform sandals. So now I had five pairs in my hands. It was time to do an edit. I whittled it down to one pair of flats and the heels. Now it was just a case of waiting to get to the tills.

But then it happened.

As I was right at the front of the queue, another lady actually crawled under one of the tables and found a stash of the dreamed-of ‘Kitty’ flats, which she started passing to her friend. And I could see they were in my size! I couldn’t leave the queue to look under the table myself (nor did I particularly want to be on all fours!), so I had to watch in agony as the friend tried on two pairs of the shoes I wanted. Argh.

But then…

She discarded them as they were too small for her! Another girl was in there quicker than me with one of the pairs, but I got my hands on the second one. With that, I ditched my other pairs and danced off to the till with just the ‘Kitty’ flats – exactly what I went to the sale for, and what I thought I’d never find. Thank you shoe gods. And here they are…

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It’s been a purr-fect couple of days (sorry not sorry!)

Bethan x

Grey tee + statement skirt = perfection

21 Mar

I’ve been dreaming up new eveningwear combinations today, and I think I’ve settled on this formula: long-sleeved grey tee + statement midi skirt + heels = hopefully a not overdressed yet totally chic look. I think it was partly inspired by this outfit on TV presenter Laura Jackson…

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SO chic! I had a fondle of this amazing Osman skirt in Fenwich a couple of weeks ago, but at about £1,000 (no joke), it’ll forever remain a dream. And I love Laura’s COS knit, but I think that, for spring, I’d prefer a grey tee.

Starting with the basics, then, it was actually a little tricky to find the ideal long-sleeved grey tee on the high street. But I have hunted high and low to bring you these…

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£9.90, Uniqlo

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£14.95, Gap

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£10, Next

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£12.99, H&M

I think the H&M one gets my vote for the loose shape and the perfect shade of grey.

Now for the fun part – statement skirts! Here are my pick…

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£55, Topshop This one is my favourite because, while it’s really beautiful and detailed, it doesn’t scream ‘statement’, so it can be worn with lots of things. I also think it’d be nice with a breton top and flat sandals.

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£55, Topshop

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£50, Asos

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£60, Asos

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£55, Oasis

What do you think of this combo idea?

Bethan x

Nautical chic

17 Mar

I mentioned in a previous post that most of the items I’m coveting for spring/summer are sticking to a navy/black/white/grey/blue palette. Now I realise this might just be because the season’s massive nautical trend has worked its way into my brain and taken over my thoughts. But I’m not too concerned about this – it’s an excellent trend, so I’m happy to follow it.

On the catwalks, rope details, stripes and crisp blues, whites and monochrome were big hits, and they’re so easy to replicate from the high street. Zara has gone to town on this look, as you’ll see below, probably another reason why I like it so much.

Here are a few pieces I think hit the nautical nail on the head…

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£40, Topshop

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£38, Oasis

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£39.99, Toms at Office

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£29.99, Zara

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£25.99, Zara

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£29.99, Zara

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£28, Topshop

Are you ‘on board’?

Bethan x

New jewellery trend I love

14 Mar

I’ve got a bit of an obsession with these amazing ‘between the finger’ rings from Van Cleef & Arpels…

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I always like it when jewellers find new ways to update classic items. In the past, I’ve jumped on board jewellery trends including ‘front and back’ earrings, ‘midi rings’ and ‘hand harnesses’ (though I’ve never succumbed to any kind of belly chain, thank goodness!). I still wear all of them now, which just proves that jewellery you love never really goes out of style, even if it is a trend piece.

I think I first spotted these between the finger rings being made by the amazing Delfina Delettrez. Here are a couple of examples from her…

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How cute is that little bumblebee?

The idea is that the gold band sits under your finger so the detailed bit pokes out between two fingers, giving a subtle but still really interesting look.

However, while these might all be super beautiful, they’re a little out of my price range (or rather a lot when it comes to the Van Cleef & Arpels, at tens of thousands of pounds per piece).

The high street seems to be a bit slow in coming up with its own versions, but I predict there’ll be loads of these popping up in the next few months. And, luckily, I’ve tracked down a couple…

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£8, Asos (along with a handy pic demonstrating how it looks on the hand).

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£5.62, Miss Selfridge

So come on, high-street stores, what have the rest of you got?

Bethan x

MiH sample sale heaven

11 Mar

It’s my second week in a new job (which is going really well, thanks!) and I am loving the new location. I’m right between Oxford Street and Bond Street – so you can imagine the daily shopping possibilities (or terrible temptations, whichever way you look at it).

Aside from all the excellent high-street shops – South Molton Street, just wait until payday, then I’m comin’ for ya – I’ve found I’m in the perfect place to make the most of the designer sample sales at The Music Room, South Molton Lane.

Last week, they scheduled the perfect one for me – MiH Jeans. I mentioned in a previous post how much I love these jeans, so this was ideal. Jeans were about a quarter of RRP, so a real bargain as I know I’ll get loads of wear out of them. So let me introduce you to my new purchases…

First up is the Phoebe boyfriend jeans.

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These are a great fit and super comfy. I especially love the huge turnups with the selvedge detail…

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And of course, the requisite little bird motif…

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My other purchase was this super-soft light denim shirt…

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So comfy, so versatile, and a total bargain! Gotta love these sample sales. Tomorrow’s an Alice Temperley one, which I think might be considerably more expensive, but it can’t hurt to look, right?

Bethan x

My spring wishlist

8 Mar

It’s happened. All it took was one day of sunshine in London to get me thinking about my spring wardrobe wishlist. I love it when the last of the autumn/winter stuff has finally cleared from the shops and the shiny new spring stuff is in, looking all cheerful in its bright colours and floral fabrics. It might not be warm enough to wear sandals yet, but now’s the time to snap up the good pairs before they go.

Here’s what I’m currently coveting (lots from Asos, which regular readers won’t be surprised by!). I’ve also noticed I seem to be favouring a palette of black, white, grey, blue and navy – a bit of a departure for me, because I tend to be drawn to bright colours, but I think this will help me mix and match more, so I’ll need to buy fewer pieces overall…

1. A 70s-style boho maxi dress

ss15 wishlist

£55, Glamorous at Asos

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£148, Free People at Asos

2. A navy jumpsuit

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£50, Asos (I love the cutout back detail on this one)

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£50, Asos

3. Ankle-tie flats

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£45, Aldo at Asos

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£20, Asos

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£45, Next

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£55, Office

4. Chic black leather sandals

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£28, Asos (I think these would be perfect with the D&G-esque dress from my previous post)

5. Breton top

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£35, Hobbs

6. This insanely pretty dress

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£49, Reiss (can you believe the amazing price?!)

Plus, I’ve just run out of my favourite Jo Malone perfume, Wood Sage and Sea Salt, so I’ll be replacing that.

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£40 for 30ml, Jo Malone. It’s the second bottle of that particular scent that I’ve used every drop of – almost unheard of for me as I tend to get bored of perfumes quite quickly.

And I’ll be heading to Gap or Uniqlo to stock up on new-season T-shirts – a staple I need for every summer.

What’s on your new-season list?

Bethan x

I spy an amazing D&G copy…

3 Mar

Dolce & Gabbana’s ss15 collection is one of my favourites for the current season. I’m in love with all the red flowers, embellishment and sexy senorita touches. So you can imagine my pleasure when I was browsing through Asos and came across this little number…

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It’s by Yumi and, when I was looking, was reduced to just £29. Check it out here.

Don’t you think it bears a striking resemblance to this number, as modelled by Kendall Jenner…

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For a high-end to high-street transition, that’s not at all bad. I like the sandals Asos have styled it with for summer, but for now, make like D&G and pair it with your trusty black ankle boots (and bare legs if you can stand the cold). I love D&G’s floral boots, but if your budget can’t quite stretch to the multi-thousands, I think a plain black pair will do – and it’s a perfect way to eke out the last bit of wear from a winter favourite.

Anyone else seen any great designer tributes they’d care to share?

Bethan x

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