Monday

[Craving] My Sale Picks and Purchases

And so I'm back, after an amazing holiday.  It took us 30 hours, a 5 hour drive, 2 plane journeys (totalling 15 hours), a bus replacement service and a train - but we did it! South Africa was incredible and leaving it was extremely hard, particularly as all our friends are out there for New Year.  My first Christmas away from my family was tough, but I couldn't have spent it with better people and can confirm sunshine does make up for lack of mince pies and stockings. Above are a couple of pictures but I'll talk about that another time, for now - it's all about sale shopping.


Ben and I are spending today sorting our stuff out and sale shopping, we braved Oxford Street this morning (total fail, as we couldn't find our sizes so came home and bought them all), so I thought I'd share what we've splashed out on already (mainly me, and one from him...)!  First up is something I managed to get my hands on whilst away, the Whistles Cable Knit I've had my eye on for months.  I also made a cheeky purchase of this basic leopard print tee, as I'm stocking up on long sleeved tops at the moment as they're so easy to wear.

Next is a pair of double monkstrap shoes from Kurt Geiger, which I spied in Elle in October. For £69, they tick all the boxes for me - smart enough for work, fun enough for play and most importantly: flat enough to move in. The J Crew jumper was a must at £60, merino wool so super soft and perfect for work (but saying that, will look fab with my weekendI haven't bought the Cambridge Satchel yet, but I've never seen this colour before and it's reduced by £50 - what do you think? I've been after one for ages and have a thing for rose gold... Phew thats me done!

Last up, Ben's purchase. We saw them in Liberty first in a different colour and then came home and found a brown/burgundy version on Mr Porter. These double monk-strap loafers are exactly what he was after.

I really hope you have a fabulous New Year celebration and can't wait to get started on blog stuff for 2014 - 2013 was a good one for me, and with several big occasions happening next year I'm hoping the next will be even better. We're off to Soho House tomorrow night for dinner with friends, so New Years Day will no doubt be a solemn affair...
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Sunday

[Advent] The Perfect Festive Jumper

I don't mean to boast but I think I have just stumbled upon the best Christmas jumper in the world ever. On Monday evening I was mindlessly checking emails when a Selfridges one came in, with this jumper. Cue 3 minutes of oohing and aahing as I discovered a new name, Needle and Thread.


After some worthwhile research it seems the brand are very, very good at Christmas glitz.  There is a barely a piece in their collection which doesn't shimmer.  This jumper is just gorgeous too, I absolutely love it. Whilst the dresses might be a little bit out-there for me, the sweats are incredible.  Either way, I've found what I would absolutely be wearing on Christmas morning if I wasn't currently sunning myself in SA... Sorry, don't mean to boast (actually, I do). Please buy it, for meeee.....
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Friday

[Advent] Have a Hat Trick

Hats are something quite new for me, I have quite a big head and so am always far too embarrassed to try any on in public... But this year I managed to find one and have found it one of the most useful pieces in my wardrobe...


For a start, it's great for bad hair days. It totally frames an outfit in my humble opinion, I find that the outfit images I'm coveting most are all of girls wearing them.  The first one I've picked out for you is a simple black fedora from Liberty, you really can't do wrong with something like this. Next is something for someone a little bolder, and a cracking £22 it's a brilliant way to test out a look. Well done, River Island for this leopard print beauty. Finally I love the bold colour of this ASOS one - a statement, colour block and fashion thumbs up in one. Perfect Christmas gift for any fashionista who has everything... but the hat.

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Thursday

[Advent] Silly and Sensible Stuff

If you're looking for a Christmas jumper for someone (or for yourself) and don't want to go down the silly route, this J W Anderson jumper is perfect. There is something really rather timeless about it too - retro calenders have never gone out of date have they?  Sure, it's £275 quid - but it's also merino wool so super cosy.


Somehow this got me thinking about all things on the other end of the spectrum: silly presents - which is timely as I am struggling to find Christmas presents for my Dad and ultimately go with something like this.  First up is something perfect for a friend who's still mourning after their Movember moustache - paperclips. Thoughtful and useful, perfect? Next is something good for the tea drinker in your office, and possibly a Beatles fan: submarine tea strainer. And I've managed to find something for the person in your life who just has one too many, a cocktail mixer assortment. Last but not least, I totally understand how ridiculous these are: Christmas pudding bin bags. I saw these in John Lewis and just couldn't resist.
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Tuesday

[Advent] Pump It Up For Christmas

This year pumps changed from what people with no style at all wore, to what people with every bit of fashion sense wore 24/7.  Championed by Celine and followed in droves, everyone wanted to get their hands on them.  Harrods sold out of one of their deliveries in 10 minutes over the summer.  The leopard print ones became the statement piece of the February LFW, followed by their tartan print upgrade in September LFW.


I invested in a pair this year, but now Whistles have introduced the Lena pump in all her glory as part of their new collection. If you're unsure on what to buy someone for Christmas and know they are a fan of shoes, then look no further than the Lenas. For the bolder try the leopard print and for the more girly try the pinks.


You can wear them with anything and everything: I use them as either a total statement piece with my basic greys and blues, or go the other way and mix them with prints and do a deliberate "clash of the fash" as my friend calls it... Either way, you'll be suitably on trend and most important - super comfortable.


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Monday

[Outfit] Playing around in Plaid

I spent yesterday with my friend De who is over From Australia, and luckily London decided to be nice to us and give us good weather for it (still cold, but dry none the less).  We started off at Balthazar in Covent Garden and then roamed around, had a quick coffee in Soho House and ended up in J Crew.  It was so good to see her and a great way to spend my last Sunday in London this year...


So I picked out some clothes that were ok for trooping around town. I've been meaning to blog about this shirt for weeks, I've been living in it!  I was lucky enough to be given it by Gant as part of their #girlsingantrugger campaign.  It's a mens shirt, and it is perfect for lazy dressing.  It's slightly 'man repeller,' my boyfriend doesn't really get it - but actually, that makes me stubborn self love it even more.


I was bought these boots as a gift from my Mamgu (grandmother in Welsh), they took forever to find but they're so comfortable and the bottle green is an awesome 'subtle standout' colour.  The jeans are old faithfuls from AG, somehow I don't think I'll ever find a pair to beat them. So damn soft and I always feel good in them, yesterday included.  It also helps that I've just had my hair done by the geniuses at Sassoon Salons too - honestly, those guys are magicians. Whats your favourite comfy-cool outfit?


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[Advent] Giving Ben the Brief with M&S

I gave Ben the ultimate task this weekend, to find me underwear I actually liked.  He's a very good present shopper in general, but the idea of going into a lingerie shop alone isn't something most guys particularly enjoy.  So, when Marks and Spencer asked if he'd like to find me the perfect underwear for Christmas I was genuinely intrigued as to how he'd fair...


I had no idea what to expect, although I knew he couldn't go far wrong in Marks and Spencers. I gave him the brief of: If Rosie wears it, I'll wear it (and look the same, obviously), I don't like looking too busty so no crazy padding and that it can't have too many lace bits as I think it looks naff.  He chose this bra from Rosie's collection and I was pleasantly surprised. Like most men, he hates those nude ones as they look "ugly" so this was his compromise as I wear a lot of white. Better still he knew to buy the matching knickers, and to get a lovely super soft cashmere wrap - because when it comes down to it I live in cardigans.  Well. Done. Ben. 

If you're worried about what your other half could get you, send him Marks and Spencers way. Ben was convinced it would be full of 'grandma pants' but actually he had a difficult time choosing between about 4 sets... Check out the whole Rosie collection here.
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Sunday

[Advent] Scuba Skirting with River Island

I'm going to be honest with you. I've turned into a fashion snob. Not in the sense of going totally ridiculous, but if I really want something (and I really do think before I buy, to the extent it's usually out of stock by the time I decide) and there is one thats £15 and one thats £150, I'll probably buy the £150 for quality purposes.  It does mean I shop a lot, lot less - but enjoy my clothes a lot, lot more.  However, ever so often there is something high street I just can't ignore. And at the moment, this skirt from River Island is my exception.


It's made from that scuba fabric (neoprene, if you're particular) so it's got some structure to it (which means, the fact it goes in at your smallest part and flares out = it makes your smallest part look even smaller).  It's pretty enough to be girly, and tough enough to be masculine.  I wear mine with my Celine  Dion tee and my favourite SuperTrash bow loafers, or go the total other way and put it with my Thomas Pink shirt and my J Crew Necklace and bright LK Bennett heels (the only heels that don't hurt, period).  Dressing in December is hard, you've got be warm for one. Then you're expected to wear stuff that you can work in and play in. This skirt is perfect, so grab a pair of Wolfords (and the skirt) and enjoy.
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Saturday

[Advent] My beauty finds for 2013...

Apologies for the gap in the advent calender yesterday, yesterday was manic! As I've said a lot this year, I'm fundamentally incredibly lazy when it comes to beauty. In fact, my regime basically consisted of a face wipe and some concealer until I came across Birchbox in the Spring.  Their strapline is 'discover your next everything' and that honestly couldn't be truer for me...


I'm 29, and I'm getting the fine lines and grey patches under my eyes and my skin just generally needs work. I can't get away with not moisturising and I also need to some help keeping things in the right place. Oh and if I don't use some kind of skin-colour-enhancer I resemble a member of the cast of Twilight in a matter of hours... So, here are the things I discovered (through getting them in my boxes) this year:

1. ModelCo BB Cream. As I said, my face needs help these days. This stuff basically helps you not look haggered/hungover when you need it most. I'm addicted.
2. Weleda Skin Food. This is a dream for dry skin. A DREAM. As in, put it on once and you have soft skin for a week.
3. Yes To Cucumbers, Cleanser - It's well known that cucumbers have God-like qualities for skin, but if you're looking for an instant face-detox, make this your friend. The only cleanser I've found that doesn't dry out my skin terribly...
4. Laura Mercier Bath Soak - This stuff is the perfect end to 'one of those days.' Plus the honey-stick like thing you use to put it into the bath is really cool... Oh and your skin feels like silk and you smell amazing. Need I say more?
5. ModelCo Mascara - The only mascara I've found that doesn't go clumpy by about 4pm and keeps my annoyingly flat lashes really rather curly.
6. RMK Lipsticks - I never wore lipsticks but ever since get one in a box over the summer I'm hooked. These ones are super soft and this is my favourite shade
7. Green and Spring Exfoliator - If there is one major lesson learned this year it's the power of exfoliating your skin regularly (3 times a week for me). I put this stuff down to firmer, less wobbly and brighter skin.

If you've got an awkward secret Santa to buy for, or want something for your Mum (when, if like mine, she has everything already) that's not going to break the bank, Birchbox could just save your day. Here's an example of what I got in the November box, and they're doing something fancy. Click here to see subscription details.
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Thursday

[Advent] Take a Midi to the Max...

If there is one look that defined 2013 for me it's the midi skirt.  I never in a million years thought they would suit my short and stubby 5 foot 3 self, but I tested it out with a Topshop buy over the summer and have been hooked ever since. I spotted this Miu Miu skirt at work and it's exactly the kind of thing I want for 2014... 


I'll be pairing mine with simple wool jumpers in winter and tights, then tees for spring - it really is the most diverse fashion item in the world ever. After realising the style suits me, I'm keen to invest in one like the above - you just can't beat a quality fabric piece when it comes down to it. Either let the skirt do the talking and wear a printed/bright one, or buy one in a basic grey/neutral and team with something with a little more life to it.  They're super flattering from all shapes as they come in at the waists and skim over bums and tums... If you're still a bit unsure, test it out with this one from ASOS first for £20.


If you're struggling for something different to buy the girl who has everything, I'm very biased but Vestiaire Collective could be an answer for you.  Buy them a gift voucher and let them choose their own designer item, up to 70% off. This year I've sold loads of stuff (some bits still up for grabs here) and then invested the cash into buying a couple of things like Acne blazers, Kenzo tees and a pair of Louboutins.  Basically Vestiaire Collective is as useful for raising funds as it is my Achilles heel... 

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Wednesday

[Advent] Not So Silly Christmas Jumpers

Christmas jumpers have had a bit of a revival of late and this year is no exception.  I'm a little bit gutted not to have an excuse to buy one this year; the annual jumper-dinner is the weekend after I leave for South Africa.  But, as it's Christmas and I'm feeling nice I thought I'd share my favourite little gems with you...


Lets be honest, if you can get something thats good quality you should.  I spotted these J Crew number in the Regent Street store at the weekend and loved them so much I nearly dived into the pile of them.  For one, it's they're really soft. Like really soft. Secondly, one has a festive LLAMA on it. Because everyone knows reindeer are so 2012, right? Look aside from the faux-camel and then extremely posh-banter-apres-ski-acceptable skier on one of them, these are awesome. Get one, and don't tell me because I am extremely jealous already...
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Tuesday

[Advent] Felt up with a hat on the 3rd

This year has been a year of style refining for me; I now own half of the clothes I did (two house moves means serious clear outs) but am twice as happy with all I have in my wardrobe.  I did this mainly by taking a look at someone of my favourite style icons and how they dressed; what they wore time and time again.  This led me to gain a serious style crush on Sara Strand.


Swedish blogger Sara has the kind of clean approach to fashion that I aim for.  With her simple style and classic pieces, she's really nailed the whole 'street style thing' with her camel coats, leathers and statement bits.  For me, the best signature items she wears are her hats. She's even got me into them, which I never ever thought would happen.


She just makes them look cool.  I love the way they almost frame her outfits (above are classic examples), so I put one on my Christmas list.  My favourite, and most price conscious (errr Rag and Bone, how do you get away with charging £400 for a hat?) one is from Whistles for £55.  It's got the whole AW14/SS14 military thing going on without being too trendy, if I'm lucky enough to own this I'll be wearing it for years... Check out Sara's blog, here.


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Monday

[Advent] 2nd of December, Cosy Christmas Comforts

As it's a Monday night I thought I'd stick to all things comfy and relaxing for today. If you're reading this beyond 7pm, I'll be wearing my trusty Hush pyjamas.  If you're struggling to find something for a lady on your Christmas list, these pyjamas are the best. I've had a few pairs over the years, they're exactly the right combination of comfy, warm and cute.  They've got Christmas Day morning written all over them - highly recommended... 


Pair them up with these Ruby and Ed slippers, some good red wine (this Marks and Spencers' Italian red is gorgeous, I always pick out Montepulciano reds, amazing) and some comfy AS J Crew fair isle socks. Oh, and you can never go wrong with a candle - my sister bought me a Diptyque one last year and I've been hooked ever since...
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Sunday

[Advent] Pinch punch, 1st day of the month...

And so it is Christmas... Cue absolute festive mayhem!  I've decided to do something a little different this year and post a new favourite item (could be something I want, something for someone else... etc) every day until the BIG DAY.  First up is something I treated myself to this morning, after Ella and I pined over it for weeks on end...


I'd not heard of Edith A Miller before spotting this tee on my-wardrobe and am now absolutely obsessed.  She has an amazing way of putting a twist on the breton shirts I;m absolutely obsessed with (entire Pinterest board, here) At £88 I was kind of waiting on Santa for this, but  I used their sale preview code (AW13PREVIEW) so got 40% off = happy, damn days. I am terrible at Christmas shopping... end up buying myself everything I want... Sorry mum/sister/boyfriend...

I literally cannot wait for it to arrive, it's perfect for South Africa (10 days away people, woop) and I know it's going to be an absolute staple - my AW13 update on my breton shirts (needed after shrinking my favourite one after a horrible Lopez-ill-on-bus incident)... It's perfect to wear with my boyfriend jeans (which, cough cough are now £17.50 here) and it's bright, it's patterned and it's mine, all mine!
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Thursday

[Feature] Vestiaire Collective's Charity Sale

Bay Garnett and Camilla Rutherford / Kate Edmondson and Rosie Fortescue

Hope you are well and coping ok with the cold. I am feeling very, very sorry for myself - I'm currently in my pyjamas (the kind of ones you only wear when you know you won't be seeing anyone you know) on the sofa having had a sickness bug for 3 days. It's not fun, and I don't recommend it one tiny bit. But, in more positive news the last week has been super fun for team Vestiaire Collective, as we have been working towards our annual Charity Sale.

Sarah Harris enjoying a manicure


Last week we threw a party at Sophie Gass' salon in Holland Park so all of our friends could come and donate items of clothing for our sale. We've had some amazing pieces, from a tour dress from Jessie J's Alive tour, to dresses from the Fash Pack's very best (see Laura's card holder, Fran's tuxedo, Emma's faux fur jacket and Tallulah's red dress) as well as some great dresses from Rachel Weisz, Gemma Arterton, Rosie Fortescue, Erdem, Zoe Jordan and Temperley. Sales from the items all go to the celebrity's chosen charity, which include the NSPCC, Battersea Dogs Home, Clic Sargent and Barnados.

And so today, everything went live!  Some of my favourite bits have already gone, but here they are:


Please do join in the fun and buy something, it's like true fashion conscious shopping - get something new, support a worthy cause!  Winner!  The favourite on the night was Charlotte Tilbury's long black vintage maxi dress... Which unsurprisingly was the first to sell this morning! Have a look at the full selection of clothing here.

Tiffaine De Lussy/ Jasmine Guinness

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Wednesday

[Craving] Get some of what these guys have...


This blog has been somewhat of an education for my style, when I started (for anyone who didn't know) I worked in a corporate job and look like I'd been attacked by T M Lewin and Thomas Pink, collectively. I had absolutely zero clue how to dress myself and shopped for specific occasions, buying things I could only wear for certain types of events etc. Other than that I had jeans and jumpers (poorly chosen by your truly). So, two and half years in and I've learnt quite a bit and try and pass it on. One thing I try to preach is buying things are are honestly worth it...


Upon starting the blog I soon spotted a theme of coloured jumpers, oversize shirt dresses and blazers. Having done a little bit of research I realised they were all by the same Scandinavian brand, Acne. At first I couldn't get past the name and thought it was all ridiculous, but then I found a velvet tuxedo blazer in a sample sale and fell in love with it. I soon realised the reason for owning pieces like this, they justify the price in their fit. Plus it instantly gives you some kudos when you walk into Fashion Week for the first time with all the other girls - no matter what anyone says, it is daunting the first time and you are 110% judged on what you wear (by idiots, but none the less it's nice to feel like you fit in).

One of my favourite bloggers, Charlotte, in her Acne best

Acne is expensive, but look around and you can find great pieces in stores (all of mine has come from sales, online stores, sample sales and clearances) - notably The Outnet has a special sale on at the moment, as per my edit below. They've included all of the above, not forgetting some of Acne's classic puff ball sleeve tops, dollar bill prints and unusually cut dresses.


The waffle knit jumpers are textbook favourite for fashion editors and VIPs alike.  The blazers, particularly the denim linen style is a must-have too (I'm smug, I found mine on Vestiaire a couple of months ago for £100) but The OutNet has a few goodies including this classic black tuxedo for £187. For good measure they've also included Miroslava Duma's jacket, and this metallic one below! All in all, a very good sale indeed...

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Sunday

[Competition] Win an £100 Hobbs gift voucher

If there was one brand I wasn't quite expecting to obsess over this year, it's Hobbs.  It has transformed from a slightly stuffy selection of safe workwear and 'meeting the parents' friendly one pieces, to a completely fashion forward premium high-street name (that was a lot of words, sorry). 

image from Hobbs' press day

They've got so much going on, from comfy knits (this NW3 fisherman's/aran knit is an astonishing £80) to perfect sleek and sharp work wear pieces like the Gwen skirt and staple white shirts. Their Audley dress is THE dress for day time to play time for your Christmas post-work parties, and with an undoubtable ode to Carven's white collar club style. You'd have to have avoided all magazines since August not to have picked up on the fact that Hobbs' coat collection is outstanding, but here is my favourite cobalt blue one which is now reduced to £119 (as worn in the picture above). Their footwear isn't half band either, with these double buckle shoe boots (as done by Wang, Ralph Lauren and Gucci this season) are £149. Lastly, the metallic jacket in their NW3 collection is just something I need to own, having seen it in the flesh the £199 price tag is absolutely validated. 


The lovely Hobbs team have given me an £100 voucher to giveaway to a lucky South Molton St Style reader. Not sure where I would even start with deciding what I'd spend this on, but my edit above is supposed to give you a little steering - ooh and they've also got some very Chanel-ish pumps for £69 here, and a great Joseph-like blue/black jumper for less than £50 here...

To enter, you must do the following:

. Follow South Molton St Style on Facebook here
. Send a direct message to the Facebook page with your full name and email address* 
. For an extra chance, tweet your entry linking in my account @annaelerihart and Hobbs' @HobbsVIP (those that do will get an extra entry)

The winner will be picked out of a hat (or possibly a saucepan, as I can't find my hat) at random on Sunday the 24th of November and announced on Twitter. GOOD LUCK.

*entrants will be added to the Hobbs mailing list
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Monday

[Trend] Coats to check out...


Sometimes all it takes is one picture of someone wearing something and you just have to have it. That happened for me today with this pic on Pinterest.  I'd made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to buy a coat this winter, as I'm away for a big chunk of it and am still living in my coats from last year - but I might just have to make an exception for a plaid/check/tartan one...


They're true statements, and thanks to houses like Celine and Stella McCartney everyone is going nuts for them.  It took me a while to get past the fact that my school uniform kilts were suddenly fashionable (who would have ever, ever thought it). The one in the first shot is from Zara here and is £149.00, and a very similar Topshop one here is 60 pounds cheaper at £89. If you need something a little less bright, then Warehouse and M&S' versions are totally work friendly... What do you think?

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