Friday, 8 August 2014

Classic with a Modern Twist

Regular readers of my blog would be forgiven for thinking that I do little other than shop and lunch with my girlfriends. I do admit that I am a bit of a shopaholic and I hold my hands up to girly lunches / coffee / cocktails being one of my favourite pastimes. However in my defence, the hours I spend knocking plaster off walls, stripping wallpaper and sanding down woodwork don't get much blog-time and neither do the baked-bean on toast lunches because, let's face it, who wants to read (or write) about that?

So back to the good stuff....

My sister Abi's birthday was earlier this week so me, my mum and both my sisters met up in Leeds for afternoon tea and some retail therapy.

Mum, Abi, Kits & Me

I'd read a bit about Le Chalet, a new French themed tearoom on other blogs so I thought we could give it a go. It was okay and the food was nice enough but overall we didn't think it was anything to get excited about.

Now onto the shopping....

First stop was the Clinique counter in Boots where it's currently Bonus Time. I'd had my eye on this pretty Cheek Pop blusher for some time now, so I picked one up in Peach Pop and stocked up on Take The Day Off make-up remover while I was at it.

I was rewarded with this colourful wash bag and miniature versions of the brand's Mild Liquid Facial Soap, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +, Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30, High Impact Mascara and A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins.

I'm loving Abi's new hair colour and she recommended these Bleach shampoos for me to tone down my "blondeness" and make my shade a bit more contemporary.

I'd describe my personal style as classic with a modern twist (although I think the fashion world is currently calling this "normcore"). I have the kind of curvy figure which means following fashion fashion has been pretty pointless since the early 90s (thanks a bunch, Kate Moss) and my hourglass shape, which you would think was perfect for retro fashion, lends itself a bit too literally to 1950s outfits which therefore lose any irony and I end up looking like a Marilyn wannabe.

My solution - developed over the years as a result of feeling awkward because I've succumbed to the latest fad and it really doesn't suit me, or going too far the other way and wearing an outfit which is so "classic" that it makes me look twice my age and I feel frumpy - is to stick to the basics which I know suit me (Hello! Bootleg jeans, Bonjour! White t-shirt) and then keep them current with addition of fashionable accessories, the latest nail polish or an update to my make-up.

The other ingredient to "finding my look" has been to experiment. Trying on things cost you nothing, so if you like something but you're not sure if it's for you just grab it and get in that changing room! If you'd told me a year ago that'd I'd spend this summer in boyfriend jeans or tat my September holiday wardrobe would be built around kimonos I wouldn't have believed you and yet my cute roll-ups are nearly worn out and I'm on-line ordering yet more t-shirts to wear under my latest kimono purchase as we speak.

Ever since I saw these Prada sunglasses advertised I knew that my existing crop of oversized shades needed updating, but that task was pretty low on my sartorial to-do list. However, when I spied these unusual glasses in the Accessorize sale I thought I'd try them on. With thumbs ups from both my sisters and a thumbs down from my mum I had to have them!

We then headed towards Marks & Spencer for the more mundane purchase of a pair of slippers (as I work from home I spend a lot of my time in what I call my "comfy girl" clothes - slippers are an important part of this kind of ensemble).

Of course while I was there I couldn't resist a mosey round the rest of the store and when I picked up this beautiful silky kimono I couldn't put it back down again!

In Leeds, M&S is convenient close to Gap, where I love their tees and I found a really well fitting scoop neck in this unusual shade of "faded red" which works perfectly with my new kimono!

To be honest I'm not really a Primark fan, but my sisters are, so we spent the next half in the new Trinity centre store. When it comes to shiny things I'm like a magpie and I left with a few pieces to brighten up my normcore staples.

Before we know it autumn will be upon us and although I can probably rock my kimonos for a good few months yet my boyfriend roll ups will be consigned to the back of my wardrobe. I'm thinking of trying out some biker boots and maybe a slouchy coat (but being quite petite I'll need to be careful) this winter to give a bit of an edge to my essentials.

Have you had any happy surprises when trying on things that you wouldn't normally? How do you update your classic pieces and have you got your eye on anything in particular for next season?


  1. I really want one of those Clinique cheek pops! Looks like you had a fab girls day out!x