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Sequins no more

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had been planning a night out with a friend and had bought the “Two-Tone Sequin Bodycon Dress” by Top Shop in anticipation.

That night out was meant to be last Friday and was to have been the December BNO at Pink Punters, but for one reason and another I had to drop out and not go. If I’m absolutely honest, then I have to admit that cold feet was one of the reasons.

The dress

The dress

On Sunday, after I got back from the Take Five fair at Woking, I thought I should try the dress on again in order to decide once and for all if I should keep it for another time or take it back for a refund.

I tried it on, and it was really easy to get into. I particularly like the fact that the zip is long, robust, has large metal teeth which do not jam or snag, and also has a long tag on it which makes doing it up on your own quite easy. So many dresses with back zips are a real struggle to do up on your own and seem to be designed for someone else zipping you up.

Once on, it is really comfortable and fits me absolutely perfectly across the shoulders; it almost feels as if it was tailor-made for me. However, I simply can’t escape the fact that this dress simply does not flatter me and is really rather shapeless. Despite being a size 14, I think that it makes me look a lot bigger. I also feel that, although the flip effect is fun, it only takes brushing against something to alter how it looks and make it look messy. So, really, I just don’t think it’s “me” because for one thing I would be stressing about that all the time!

Dress + jacket

Dress + jacket

As a result, I think that it really has to go back for a refund which I will be doing ASAP as I only have until 29th December to get a refund according to the receipt. That means I either have to brave Basingstoke’s Festival Place on the last weekend before Christmas or else brave it immediately after Christmas when the sales are on. I’m not sure which will be more busy and stressful!

I also tried the Snow Leopard Faux Fur Jacket that I bought from Select Fashion. I think I will keep that because I really like it and it’s so glamourous. I’m sure I will be able to wear it next time I have a night out. It’s certainly nicer than that overcoat that I bought which I have never worn and, with hindsight, I think I probably never will either.

Dragonfly earrings

Dragonfly earrings

Finally, just as a follow-up to my post about the Take Five fair at Woking, I went on Amazon last night and found a lovely pair of Dragonfly earrings that look to be virtually identical to the ones I declined to buy at £19 at the fair (and which the seller had been asking £20 for initially). They cost me £15.20 including postage. Just shows that you have to keep your wits about you when attending fairs and know what is a bargain and what is not.


Update:

The earrings arrived today and, in fairness to the seller at the Take Five fair, I should say that these are smaller than the ones he was selling. However, they are hallmarked silver and I’m not sure if his were. But they’re just the right size and I really like them. So expect to see them in a future pic!

 
 

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Black Friday

On Friday I had the day off and decided to go shopping to look for a party dress as I am going out with a friend in a couple of weeks for a night out and need one.

Stripe Sequin Dress by Next

‘Stripe Sequin Dress’ by Next

The first that caught my eye was in Next. I spied it on a wall poster and then spent ages trying to find it on the racks because it looked really good in the pics and I thought it was worth searching for. Eventually I found it on the other side of the shop. I hate that. As it happened, they didn’t have it in my size – there were only two left and one was way too small and the other too big. Also it was £75 which was a little more than I was planning to spend, so I mentally marked it as a “possible” and moved on.
It’s on their website listed as “Stripe Sequin Dress” but currently showing as sold out.

"Two-Tone Sequin Bodycon Dress" by Top Shop

‘Two-Tone Sequin Bodycon Dress’ by Top Shop

The next shop that I went into was Top Shop, and two dresses caught my eye. One was a simple black dress with silver woven into it that I really liked, but they didn’t have my size.

Then I saw this dress (pictured) and it absolutely wowed me. It’s listed on their website as “Two-Tone Sequin Bodycon Dress” and is sequinned all over, but the sequins are reversible. On one side they’re silver and on the other side they are a bronzey-gold. You stroke the dress to flip the sequins over, which means you can draw your own patterns and designs on it. Even better, it fit me perfectly when I tried it on.
My only reservations were the price (£68, and sadly not in the Black Friday sale) and the fact that it is a little shapeless and not especially flattering. However, the reversible sequins swung it for me and I bought it.
Now that I have it home, I’m not 100% sure I’m going to keep it due the aforementioned issue of it being a bit shapeless. I’ll need to try it on again and have a really good think about it and then decide. Maybe I will post a pic up of me wearing it for the purposes of critique and opinion.
If I do keep it and do wear it for my night out, then I’ll have to be careful that people don’t doodle on it, or draw a cock on my back! 😀

I then popped into Select Fashion. I like their stuff (as I have mentioned in the past) and can often pick up something nice in there for a reasonable price.
On this occasion, I saw a Snow Leopard Faux Fur Jacket that I rather fell in love with. At £34.99 it was a bit of an extravagance, but it should go with a party dress really well. Also, it turned out that it was eligible for 25% off due to Black Friday which means I ended up being charged £26.24 which softened the blow somewhat.

'Gold & Grey Mesh Flower Print Dress' by Quiz

‘Gold & Grey Mesh Flower Print Dress’ by Quiz

The next shop I went into was Quiz, and this is where I struck gold as far as a bargain was concerned.
I spotted a lovely dress that I was immediately drawn to as it had an Art Deco vibe to it (in my eyes anyway). I’ve since found it on their website where it’s described as “Gold and Grey Mesh Flower Print Dress”. I decided I should try it on, so did so and whilst I was in the changing room I took a pic of myself in it.

Selfie time!

Selfie time!

I was really happy with the look and the fit. The price was marked as £75 but it had been hand-amended underneath to £49.99 with Tippex and biro. I checked the other dresses to make sure they were the same, and they were. I also noticed a Black Friday sign saying “£20 off all original prices” but I wasn’t entirely sure what the final price was going to end up as it was unclear which price they’d be taking the £20 off.

After rather a long time queuing for the till, where it seemed they needed two people to operate one till, I got served and initially they wanted to take £20 off the un-discounted price of £75 and charge me £55, but I pointed out the £49.99 price. They were initially a little sceptical (I wasn’t offended – it’s possible somebody could carry around a bottle of Tippex and a biro), but when they saw all the dresses were similarly amended they honoured it. And then they took the £20 off that price as well, so I got it for £29.99 – barrrrrgain. That pretty much made my day I can tell you.
Looking on Quiz’s website shows that the on-line price is £59.99 so I definitely did well there.

By now my feet were starting to hurt and I was beginning to feel a bit “shopped out” so I stopped for a coffee, and then went looking for a handbag. However, I didn’t find anything I liked and my feet were really starting to complain by now so I decided to head home.

Casual

Casual

What I should have done when I got home is take proper pics of me in my new purchases, but I was quite tired by then and I didn’t feel like it.

However, I did take a pic of myself in the outfit that I had been “out & about” in, to go with the selfie I took in the car (which you will already have seen on Flickr).

I’m pleased with how this outfit turned out. The vest top (which is from New Look) is low enough to give the impression of cleavage, but not low enough that you can see the tops of my breastforms. It’s a close-run thing though. The short-sleeved cardigan offset it nicely too. Also it made it easy to try on dresses as I only needed to remove the cardigan, which is what I was aiming for when I put the outfit together. Mission Accomplished there, I feel.

So, all in all quite a productive shopping trip and I think I’m well on the way to getting an outfit together. I just need to decide on shoes, bag and accessories.

I’m hoping that I can get away with existing shoes. I have one pair of very elegant heels but they are agony to walk on within five minutes, so they’re instantly ruled out. The red ones from a previous pic might be contenders if matched with a red bag. I’m not sure if they are dressy enough but they’re certainly comfortable enough. Otherwise I have some black court shoes that have figured several times in these pics which might do the trick too.

 

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Holy Crochet!

“White Crochet Fringed Hem Top” by New Look

I mentioned in my last post that I had gone out shopping after I had done my makeup. I popped down to Festival Place in Basingstoke (Amazingstoke!) for a spot of Retail Therapy.

I bought this “White Crochet Fringed Hem Top” by New Look which cost me £22.99. It’s not something I would normally buy, but I really liked it and I thought it would be something I could wear with different things maybe.

"Baroque Print Skater Dress" by Tenki

“Baroque Print Skater Dress” by Tenki

I also managed to buy a dress not dissimilar to that Mela Loves London one that I mentioned in a previous post, only this one actually fits me. Yay! This one is the “Baroque Print Skater Dress” by Tenki and wasn’t quite the bargain that the Mela Loves London one was because I had to pay £25 for it. But that’s still not bad. I haven’t managed to do a picture of me wearing it yet, but here’s one of it on the hangar. I bought it in Debenhams but I notice that New Look also sell it via their website, which is what I have linked to.

"Woven Shoulder Stitch Block Jumper" by Warehouse

“Woven Shoulder Stitch Block Jumper” by Warehouse

Finally, I found this cool “Woven Shoulder Stitch Block Jumper” from Warehouse for £15. The shoulder panels are sheer and the sides and a band of the sleeves are quite “holey” which means you can show off what your’re wearing underneath (or a bit of skin if you’re feeling daring) which should make it quite versatile. Trouble is that I am going to have to wash it before I wear it because I managed to get foundation all over it when trying it on. Oops.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sizing to flatter

Vanity sizing is nothing new. And no matter how hardened we are to it, there is a secret little thrill to getting into something the next size down. That’s why they do it, of course.

The thing that *really* miffs me, though, is when the sizing is completely wrong the other way and there is no bigger size.

Mela Loves London

Mela Loves London

Now, as you’ll know from my post about the coat, I have absolutely no problems with getting the next size up. But I think that when you sell stuff online you should be realistic and honest about the size. After all, you’re only risking a high rate of returns if you don’t.

Take this lovely little dress that I bought on Amazon from ‘Mela Loves London’. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Unfortunately “little” is the operative word since, despite allegedly being a size 14, it proved to be very much not the case.

Currently a majority of my dresses are size 14 (although some of my 14s are getting a little tight as I have put a couple of lbs back on but those lbs are coming off again) and I have sold, or donated, pretty much all of my dresses that are bigger than that. So I was really upset that I could barely get into this dress. And once into it, I certainly couldn’t pull the side zip up. And it was a little tight across the chest and I hadn’t even got my bewbies on. So a no-hoper really, no matter how much weight I lose.

Despite being an absolute bargain (£10.69 at the time of purchase, but back up to £16 at the time of writing) I’ve really reluctantly had to send it back under Amazon’s excellent Returns Policy. What upsets me the most is that if they did a bigger size I would have ordered it in a flash because it’s such a lovely dress. But, sadly, the only sizes are “10” (sic) and “14” (sic) which I suspect correspond to “tiny” and “small” respectively.

 

 

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Getting Friendly

I had an absolutely fabbo day on Saturday!

I was going up to London anyway as I had another Voice Training session, but about a week or so ago I started corresponding with a really nice guy and since it seemed to be going well, we agreed to meet up after my session. We both agreed we’d just play things by ear and when one of us had had enough, we’d part.

Well, 7 hours after we’d met up we were still together, so something obviously went right! But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The Voice session went really well. I can really feel a change in my voice, and have a lot more control over it now. I still think I need plenty more training but my teacher thinks I am getting to the stage where I could start attending group sessions rather than one-to-one all the time. It would certainly reduce the cost.

Somerset House

Somerset House

So, after the session was over I walked to where we’d agreed to meet and we soon spotted each other. And no wearing of Carnations or anything like that necessary. Isn’t the modern internet age wonderful!

After a nice coffee / tea (respectively) and a good chat, which lasted a good 45 mins or so, we decided to go for a walk which took us through Somerset House where he very kindly agreed to take this lovely pic of me. I’m so vain. ha ha.
As you can see, I’m wearing that sweater dress and boots I mentioned in my previous post.

Much of the rest of the day was a bit of a blur really, but I do remember doing an enormous amount of walking and although the boots are really comfortable and are made for walking (ooh I think there may be a song there!) they were pinching my toes a little and could do with being slightly wider. A pair of boot stretchers may shortly be on order I think.

It turns out I’m not allergic to the Angora in the dress, but boy is it insulative! Despite it being quite thin, I was absolutely boiling whenever we were indoors, even with my jacket off! I think Arctic explorers should be issued with them!

Things were still going really well, so we decided to have some dinner together. Whilst there I noticed from Facebook checkins that some of my friends were nearby so we agreed to meet up with them after, and my friend took us all to the most amazing bar. It was The Friendly Society in Soho and is all really kitsch with much of the ceiling covered with Barbie dolls and Sindy dolls, all attached to the ceiling with screws through their tummies (bit gruesome), and with disco balls everywhere, and wallpaper that looks like it should be in a child’s bedroom. I loved it!

kitsch kuddles

kitsch kuddles

After a while, my friends moved on, and my companion & I managed to grab a table.

I tried to take a nice selfie of us, but with that a really nice guy sitting next to us with his boyfriend leapt up and offered to take the pic for us. He was so nice. In fact everyone was really friendly there – I guess the place lived up to its name!
He took a pic both without the flash and with it, but the one with the flash came out really badly so this is the non-flash one. Please excuse the fuzzy pic; I did my best to de-noise, sharpen and lighten it, but there is only so much you can do.

Anyway, it was now getting on for 10pm and although I was having a really wonderful time, I really was wilting and I desperately needed to go as I was a good hour or more from home. So my friend, ever the gentleman, walked me to the tube station so I could catch the tube to where I had left the car and I started my journey home.

I had such a great day. As I mentioned at the start, we did a lot of walking. In fact, my feet were pretty sore by the end of the day and when I got home and got the boots off I discovered that one of my toes on my left foot was numb and half the big toe on my left foot was also numb. The next day it still was, and even today (Monday) it is still a little numb so I think I will need to invest in those boot stretchers. But the boots are very new and definitely need to be broken in.

On Sunday I spent most of the day pottering round the house, feeling sore and achy from all the walking on Saturday, and ended up watching a lot of telly. I’m such a lightweight!

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

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Bargains Galore

Regular readers will know that I love shopping, especially when I get a good bargain. Well, in the past week or two I’ve had a positive orgy of shopping resulting in a Smorgasbord of items arriving at my house.

Crew Clothing - Marie dress

Crew Clothing – Marie dress

First up is an adorable dress from Crew Clothing, which has a bit of a story behind it. I first became aware of this one when I saw a colleague at work wearing it. I don’t know her that well, but plucked up courage to ask her where it was from under the pretence of it being for ‘a friend who I just know would adore it’. She was more than happy to tell me, and to try to find the link for me and was really helpful. I don’t know whether or not she was convinced by my cover story, but she has played along with it ever since and hasn’t pried. Which is nice.
She had bought the dress in the sale for £35 (reduced from £65) but sadly they weren’t listing it. However, a bit of googling found the original page and the price had been reduced further to £26. However, they didn’t have my size. Another online retailer was reselling it for £45 but I didn’t fancy that price. So I set a watch on eBay and hoped for the best. A few came up but never in my size, but in the meantime I realised that I was getting into some size 14 dresses when trying them on, so when a size 14 of this dress came up on eBay as “brand new without tags” I bid, figuring that if it didn’t fit now I would slim down into it and at close of bidding managed to secure it for £24 including postage, which I was pretty happy about. And what’s more, it fits perfectly. I’m so happy I’m beside myself, and I intend to wear it tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) to London for my next Voice therapy session. Needless to say I’ll be wearing a jacket and also tights, given how the weather has gone lately!
[Update: There is now a pic of me wearing this dress here!]

Friday On My Mind - Belle

Friday On My Mind – Belle

Whilst I was waiting for this dress to come up on eBay, I was keeping an eye on a similar dress from Friday On My Mind. I’d almost done a ‘Buy it Now’ on a brand new one at £45, but had decided against it and then regretted it, so when another came up, I decided not to let it go. The seller described it as ‘Used but never won’. Unfortunately bidding got up to £37 (inc postage) before the auction closed, which was a little more than I wanted to pay but it’s very cute.

F&F - Tulip dress

F&F – Tulip dress

Another dress I got on eBay, this time in ‘Used, but great condition’ is this tulip dress by F&F. I can’t say I’m that keen on it, to be honest. But at £13.50 inc postage, it didn’t break the bank. I can always put it back on eBay if I find I don’t wear it.

Superdry - Vintage dress

Superdry – Vintage dress

Another bargain was a ‘last season’ offer from TK Maxx on this cute vintage dress from Superdry. I fell in love with it even though it was a Medium and I wasn’t sure that I have the figure for it. It was £16.99 (RRP £44.99) so I thought I had to give it a go. As it turns out, when I got it home, it actually fits (yay me!) but it’s very figure-hugging and I think I really want to get a flatter tummy before I can wear it out. Maybe next summer, since this one is almost over.

Tu top

Tu top

Next up is this top by Tu. It’s nothing special, but it was half price and was included in Sainsbury’s 25% Off sale. So it came to a grand total of £5.25 which in my book is a total bargain. Tops like this are always useful for casual wear.

Body con skirts

Body con skirts

Finally on the clothing front are these two body con skirts I got on eBay. The tan one is H&M and cost £4.45 inc postage, and the black one is Top Shop and cost £5.35 inc postage. Neither have arrived yet so I can’t comment on condition but they look ok in the photos.

Duo - Neva

Duo – Neva

And, at last, the grand finale. I love knee length boots. Always have. However, I have very slim calves so it’s often hard to get boots that fit. My Doc Martens are fantastic but I don’t think I would have the nerve to wear them out in public, so I decided it was time to buy a pair of Duo Boots. If you’re not familiar with Duo, they sell boots in a variety of styles, sizes and calf sizes. So I was able to choose slim calves that fit perfectly.

Unboxing

Unboxing

These are Duo’s Neva boot, which currently sell for £180 (with free shipping). The only trouble is that now they have arrived, I have found the ankles to be very baggy and I’m seriously considering sending them back and trying a different style. Their Aralia boots looks like they may be a contender and are slightly cheaper at £165. Only trouble is that I had been planning on wearing my Duo boots tomorrow, but if I’m going to send them back then I obviously can’t.

Well, I think that’s all of my recent purchases. It’s quite the little haul isn’t it!

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Clothes, Shoes, and Jewellery, Diary, Photos

 

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Wistful envy

I walked down to the local shops today to buy lunch, since it was a nice day. It’s around 10 mins each way, which is just right especially in this weather!

Whilst there I saw a gorgeous girl-next-door type; brown hair up in a neat pony tail, subtle yet perfect makeup, slim yet curvy body, a really lovely dark fitted above knee dress with rose print, block heel shoes. She looked absolutely stunning, but in a very natural and unpretentious way.

The thing is, though, I didn’t feel any desire despite her being what, a few years ago, would have been just my type. Instead I felt what can only be described as “wistful envy”*

Kind of surprised me a little, and yet at the same time sort of didn’t too. It’s all a bit confusing really, but possibly an indication of how my sexuality and mind-state are changing.

(* – I initially wrote “wistful jealousy”, as you can see from the URL of this post. But then I realised after a little googling, and stumbling upon this blog post, that what I experienced was far more ‘envy’ than ‘jealousy’ so I amended it. Although perhaps there was a small element of jealousy.)

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Diary, Opinion

 

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Effortlessly Elegant

Well, that’s the name of the dress from Joe Browns anyway. Not sure if I am! LOL.

I absolutely love the dress though.

 

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Summer at last

Well, after yesterday’s little setback, I had an absolutely wonderful day today. It was sunny all day, and by mid afternoon was 27°C which was rather nice. So after I’d finished watching the British F1 Grand Prix I got out into the sun and took photos in three different outfits. And I felt so happy out there in the sun, and I’m so happy with how the photos came out, that I’ve decided I don’t really care about yesterday.

The dress is one I bought yesterday in Primark. It’s so comfy and I love it, and it was only £7 too! Baaaargain.

I’ll be posting pics of the other two outfits over the next few days. And in the meantime, I edited yesterday’s post to include a pic of what I was wearing.

 

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Here comes the sun

I thought that, since it was such a lovely day today, I would allow some sun to fall on my pale and pasty skin and take an outdoors pic.

Here comes the sun

The dress is the one I got from Primark a few weeks ago. I’m really pleased with it!

 

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