What Is A Shacket?

It's a reasonable question, no? I for one was pretty confused. Having only just come around to the word "jeggings" (However, I refuse to spend time with anyone who owns a pair - sorry not sorry) the idea of a "shacked" seemed pretty ridiculous. At first I thought it was a hipster term for sh*t jacket. But no...

full outfit details at the base of this post

Turns out shackets are pretty damn useful. It's a thicker fabric than a shirt, but lighter than a jacket.  This one from And Other Stories (part of the H&M group for those who haven't shopped their before - think of it in the same way that Massimo Dutti is for the Zara group) is rapidly proving it's worth. 

I'm wearing with all my other usual basics - and it also looks really cool with floral maxi dresses (on that subject this dress from Topshop's new season is firmly on the wish list...) and trainers... It'll be incredibly handy when it gets a bit warmer, but also looks good layered under a coat for winter. I've put a few of my favourite finds above - but I think my one is the leader of the pack...

full outfit details at the base of this post

On the subject of trainers I've finally succumbed to the blogger craze and bought the Isabel Marant Barts. First it was the Stan Smiths (which I still regret not buying) and then these took over. Saying that I categorically refuse to spend £265 on trainers unless they have done super power like get rid of cellulite or can make me fly... As usual I spent a week stalking Vestiaire Collective. By stalking I mean obsessively setting alerts, not trusting the alerts so checking myself, and bartering like a MOFO. Eventually I swagged a pair for £96. I've been keeping an eye open and if any of you are a size 37 then these are still available in white, and these in a size 7 in black. I hate myself for being such a fashion victim, but hey... See all their offering here.

full outfit details at the base of this post

The top is new too, also from And Other Stories. You can't see in these pictures (and forgive me but it was way too cold to take my coat off) but it has a lovely scooped back, have a look here. I'm finding this style of top really useful at the moment. Whilst I'm still working on my Victoria Secret-like body for Spring which has been a lifetime project alongside my Haagan Dazs appreciation, tops with an open back are incredibly flattering. I mean, who can have a chubby back, really?

I don't mean the side bits, most people are a bit fluffy around the edges. I mean the actual centre of someone's back is never fat. So we should show them off. I'm currently eyeing up this plain white one and this black silky one is super flattering. I'd wear them exactly as the models do; with jeans and either trainers or low heels. I've put a few other finds above, none of them are very expensive so give it a go... Ooh and as a side note I can wear a normal bra with mine as the cut out stops just about the bra strap.

full outfit details at the base of this post

Other key bits to this outfit - which really is my default weekend look - are a good pair of slim fit jeans. Mine here are from Paige, but I've recently discovered Jigsaw's denim offering and it's very good - check it out here. Both choices are butter soft; smart enough for a shirt and jeans but hard wearing enough for every day use. I treat my jeans badly (tumble drying most weeks) and they come out fine - I've had this pair for about 2 years.

Last but not least my bag. This was a Christmas present from the lovely team at Liz Matthews who look after Hill and Friends. Emma Hill (not the blogger) who is the genius who made Mulberry cool moved on and created her own brand, and this is the result. The bags are meant to be fun yet purposeful; my one (named the Happy Satchel) is the perfect example. It fits my life in, structured enough not to lose shape and always get noticed. It's love.

Outfit details (click link to shop)

Photos by Amelia Allen Photography, taken using the Canon 5D available at John Lewis.


Our Little Bedroom

This post has been a long, long time coming. I can't believe we've been in our new home for over 6 months now, it still doesn't feel like we've got it together. Neither of us had Hampstead on the original list of locations to live, truth be told we'd assumed we couldn't afford it. But, on one rainy day I took a phone call from an estate agent who told us about this place. We saw it that day, fell in love with it's quirky-ness and two weeks later we were in.

The flat is in an old hospital smack in the middle of Hampstead Village. The compromise was space. Our bedroom is teeny and therefore when furnishing it we had to be super clever with what we chose. Like most people in our position, neither of us had anything decent to bring furniture wise so it meant starting from scratch - which was both brilliant and slightly scary financially. 

We spent ages trolling through shops and sites for the right furniture, we knew we didn't want Ikea but also couldn't afford the luxurious "bateau lit" I'd spotted in a boutique in Paris (totally unrealistic, but thats what spending so much time on Pinterest does to you). It wasn't until we looked at Habitat that we really felt a brand "got" us. Their stuff seemed to combine the quality and the requirements we needed from furniture = we can't have it fall apart after a year, we have a small space and we need  places to store things. So, here is what we got... (small spaces, it turns out, are a nightmare to photograph - so do check out my Instagram Stories for a live tour here).

We realised that we may as well go with a king size bed as the size difference was only going to make for an awkward space against the back wall (when we'd picked the shelves, see below). We wanted a bed frame that wasn't going to break the bank but also wouldn't go out of trend. So we chose the Tatsuma, here. We chose it in the oak colour as it matches the wardrobe rail I'd already picked out here which really makes no sense to have as it takes up way too much space on the landing, but it was just something I've wanted since seeing Lindsey have the same.

As an aside, one thing I am absolutely thrilled with is our mattress. We did a lot of research and had heard about the various companies that give you an decent mattress and you pay for it over time. I was a bit hesitant (I'm always cynical of new concepts) but we found one on Eve that looked really good, here. In truth we ended up being gifted ours but hand on heart with the difference it has made to our sleep and comfort I would happily pay ten times the amount for it. I look forward to coming home to it after a holiday, no matter how plush the hotel - because our mattress is better. I cannot recommend these guys enough (the mattress arrived in a day too, which should not go unnoticed given the common wait times for home stuff) - check them out here.

We knew we needed units next to the bed as we both have quite a lot of stuff, but taking advice from an editorial Lucy did we went against side tables as you can't store things above or below them. We didn't want to overwhelm the room with tonnes of furniture either. These "ladder shelves" are perfect. They're white so they don't stick out and make the room look cluttered, but they do make the most of the space. Find them here, for £75.

For the final touches we bought a white-edged mirror to both bring some light and create the illusion of space to put above the bed, here and some copper touch sensitive lights (saves faffing around for switches) here. I also decided it was time to invest in some decent linen so upgraded my sheets to Elizabeth Scarlett, here and bought some huge faux fur cushions from The White Company sale here to give the bed some extra "luxe." As a final treat we bought a little tray so I can work in bed without ruining the fan on my laptop (apparently 50% of laptops die because the fan at the base of them is blocked when people use them in bed) here

Hope you enjoyed that little insight into our home, the next project is deciding what to do with the double height wall in the living room. Shelves of pictures?! Help!

This post was in association with Habitat and Eve Mattresses. All images, product selections and text my own.


My Forever Coat, And Other Faves

The last few posts have been focussed on me buying new things, so I thought I'd do something about the staple pieces I live in - rather than anything new (ok, there is one teeny new thing but I wasn't expecting to shoot when I took these pictures...). Having had an enormous clear out recently, it's really made me see what pieces I couldn't do without - and some of them I haven't even blogged about!

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

To name one of them, this silk shirt has been glued to me ever since it arrived. It's from Jigsaw, a brand I rediscovered last year after mistaking it as being for older women (living in an era I wasn't ready to embrace). It's so easy to wear; I pair it with jeans tucked in or out. It was perfect over Christmas as it feels like you're wearing your pyjamas when you actually look like you've made an effort... I love the cut of the lapels, they're super flattering and make the shirt much more modern. Lucky for you it's now in the sale, here.

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

The coat is also Jigsaw, and has been on my blog and Instagram a lot. It's just so damn good; much like the shirt I can wear it all the time be it for work or play. It's also incredibly warm (although you do need a scarf as the cut obviously leaves your chest uncovered) being made from British wool - which somehow makes it even more of a worthy purchase... It's in the sale and Jigsaw themselves have sold out (unsurprisingly) but John Lewis have small sizes here.

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

My jeans are from Paige, and having shopped around over the years I always seem to come back to these guys. Before the blog I would never, ever have considered investing in denim but having seen the difference in the way they last, feel and wear I'm 110% sold. It's always worth having a look in the sales for these because department stores don't seem to be able to shift the quantities they bought. Selfridges in particular still have a really good selection, here

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

My boots are from L.K.Bennett and I wear them with everything. They're wide enough on the ankle to look good with skirts, but close enough to fit under jeans. More to the point I can wear them all day, which never happens to me with heels as I've got teeny feet meaning heels stretch my arches and hurt really quickly. They haven't gone into sale, and neither should they - find them here in a few colour options (but I find the "grey smog" the most useful).

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

Last up, my steal of 2017 (we're two weeks in, but sod it). I'd been after a Gucci belt for ages but struggle with the idea of paying £200+ for a belt. So, I set about stalking them for a month on Vestiaire Collective until this one came into my life. It was listed for £120, but I haggled hard (using the Make Me An Offer function) and got it for just over £70... I'm absolutely delighted with it - it will be worn a lot. Here are Vestiaire's current offering, and do bother to sign up and set up an alert so you get an email or text the minute one lands on the site - although if any of you beat me to the tan coloured one (here) I'll kill you...

Outfit credits (click link to shop)
shirt = as worn, Jigsaw (in the sale)

Photos taken using the Olympus PL7 at John Lewis here.
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