I can admittedly be a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to clothes. I know I get bored pretty easily, or wear things to death, so I tend not to spend a lot on dresses or jumpers that often only last a season or two – even though we’re constantly told to invest in a core wardrobe of classic and investment pieces, this just doesn’t work for me. I love dressing up and putting on something new, so it’s just not practical to spend a small fortune on an outfit I may only get to enjoy a handful of times. That’s why stores such as New Look, ASOS, River Island, Oasis, Marks & Spencer and H&M have become my mecca: comfortable and on-trend clothes that don’t cost the earth and satisfy my need for something fresh in my wardrobe. (Although there are some ethical considerations around this, cheap clothes are my weakness so I try to make up for it in other areas… I religiously recycle, donate all my old clothes to charity, try to take my reusable coffee cup to Starbucks and drive an eco-friendly car.)
The shops I love may not have changed much over the years (apart from Topshop – girl can’t get her butt into barely anything in that store!) but the way I shop has done. Although I love an on-trend piece, I’ve definitely found the styles and shapes that work for me and have learned to stick with what I know: midi dresses, pleated skirts, a cinched in waist and statement jumpers. My current obsession is without a doubt floral midi dresses, including this fabulously kitsch one from H&M with frills and ruffles in all the right places. The mixture of colours lends itself perfectly to being matched with bold and bright accessories (even in the height of winter,) while the dark tone of the background looks amazing with a leather jacket and a pair of boots.
What’s so fab about a floral dress is that you can make it super feminine or rock it up with some edgy accessories; you can dress it up for the evening with a pair of heels, or dress it down in the daytime with some cool kicks. It’s an effortless way to look like you’ve made an effort, when you really had less than five minutes to pull together an outfit. This one was £39.99 and reduced to £18.00 when I got to the till (don’t you love it when that happens!) making it a bargain that will see me through the season guilt-free. I’ve picked up a couple others in the sale I’m sure I’ll be showing you in future posts, so watch this space…
On the flip side, my major weakness is a designer bag. I spent many
of my younger years dreaming of a Louis Vuitton tote or cherishing my
Balenciaga copy, as well as aiming straight for the ‘imitation goods’ as
soon as I landed in NYC, but when I hit 30 I was suddenly financially
stable and fluid enough to make my first big purchase: a black Mulberry
Lily. It was a birthday present to myself, bought with my Christmas
bonus, and it still fills me with pride every time I use it. None of my
designer bags are impulse purchases, they’re long-term and well
considered decisions that I know will retain their value in the years to
come; if you’re clever enough you can actually buy bags that increase
in value over time! (Someone once told me Chanel is a wiser investment
You may have seen this beautiful teal Gucci number pop up in a few
Instagram posts in the last couple of months, and boy does it cause a
reaction… You seem to love it as much as me! I bought this for myself
while in the airport on the way to Bali, after dreaming of it for quite a
few months; if you can’t get it out of your head then it’s something
you’ll know you’ll love for years to come, and it really did stay on my
mind for a long time. (I first saw Leah from Devoted To Pink
with it back in the summer.) I promised myself that if it was in the
airport on our way to our honeymoon that I’d treat myself to it as a
wedding present, giving it added sentimental value and ensuring I’d
always treasure it no matter how tatty it got. It was, I did, and the
rest is history.
I did wonder how much use I’d get out of
a teal velvet bag, but the truth is it goes with absolutely everything
and instantly perks up an otherwise dull outfit. I’ve worn it with
everything from an evening dress to a pair of jeans and trainers and it
works just as well; the shade just seems to work no matter what else is
going on, and the velvet texture adds a much needed flash of luxe. I’m
fully aware it’s a huge amount of money to spend on an accessory, but I
worked hard to be able to buy it and know I’ll still be flipping it over
my shoulder in my 60’s! Sometimes an expensive bag is all you need,
especially when the rest of your look is totally budget.
Are you a fan of budget buys or investment pieces? If you could buy one handbag this year, what would it be?
H&M Tassel Earrings | £7.99 | SIMILAR HERE
ASOS Fur Stole | £8.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Photos Taken By Kaye Ford: www.fordtography.co.uk
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