[Trend] Bagging A Bargain

Apologies for the mini hiatus, I've been a little bit behind but am trying my best to put together some cool stuff for July. I know I've already talked a little bit about sale time, but last week I actually went shopping (as in, in the shops not online) and spotted some absolute beauties that you would never have seen in sales a few years ago. Gone are the days that sales are about flogging the stuff that didn't sell - there are some very good deals to be had at the moment.  Particularly it has to be said, on handbags. And by handbags I mean that bags you've seen everywhere and have been desperate for, but they've always been waaaay out of your price point.

Phillip Lim Pashlis 40% off at my-wardrobe / 30% off at Net A Porter (photos via Pinterest)

I recently became the proud owner of a Phillip Lim Pashli.  I bought it spontaneously and felt so guilty about it I vowed to sell it immediately.  However, having realised quite how handy it is (not to mention how many looks of approval I get when I'm wearing it - vain I know) I've decided to keep it.  I keep a pretty firm tab on the number of bags I have, mainly because I think it's the one item you just cannot scrimp on.  A handbag says a lot about a person, and a faux-leather one just won't do.  Sorry.

Alexander Wang Rocco 30% off at Matches / 45% off at The Outnet (photos via Pinterest)

I had a good look around (admittedly a bit for myself, just in case) the shops and found some excellent deals on handbags that will out do the test of time.  The important thing is to find one that isn't too trendy, and works for you. By "works" I mean "fits everything you need in it, for whatever you need it for."  I have about 6 overall, and I don't allow myself to buy one unless I sell one (yup, I parted with a lovely Anya Hindmarch to make way for Phillip, sob). 

Paola Cademartori handbags 30% off at my-wardrobe (photos via Pinterest)

So, here is my list of styles I've found which are hugely popular and somewhat timeless.  Starting with the Pashlis, which are 40% off at my-wardrobe and 30% at Net A Porter. They're cross body (free arms, yay!) big enough for your laptop, but not too big to be a pain - any bags like that will work really well. In the same vein, this Anya Hindmarch Ebury tote is 30% off at Matches. Very classic and work appropriate if you are in a more corporate field.

Sophie Hulme Mini Envelope 30% off at Matches (photos via Lucy Laucht and Not Just A Pretty Dress)

A more recent bag staple is the satchel.  What used to be a dated "dad bag" (maybe thats just me) is now a respected, required addition to your wardrobe.  There are a few around, the main players being people like Sophie Hulme and Proenza Schouler. The former has styles that are heavily reduced on the market for around £200, such as this one at Matches for 30% off. If you have more of a budget then the Proenza Schouler PS11 ones ones are just so beautiful, and will not go out of date - Net A Porter have a petrol blue one for 30% off, 40% off at Browns and (OMFG) Harrods have got 50% off theirs. Check out this Mulberry one for 50% off at Net A Porter too...

If you're able to be a little bolder with your choices (read: free enough to wear something "fashion" on a regular basis) then Alexander Wang Rocco is a style that has been around for years, and doesn't seem to be rushing out of trend anytime soon. Matches have them for 30% off, and amazingly The Outnet has the traditional black colour for 45% off.

Proenza Schouler PS11 Minis 50% off at Harrods / 30% off Net A Porter 40% off at Browns (photos via Pinterest at The Fashion Guitar)

I guess overall what I'm saying is, now may actually be a good time to buy something you've wanted for a while. What I do is, throughout the season, add items to my wish list/basket.  When the sale starts I have a list of things ready to go... Enjoy!


[Trend] Doing Anything for an Espadrille'

I have a new obsession.  It's been brewing for a while.  Last summer when I was working at Vestiaire there was one item we couldn't keep on the site longer than five minutes, Chanel espadrilles.  For that reason, my stubborn self refused to get "into it."  Friends would "ooh" and "aah" and beg me to keep some on hold if they came in, but for some reason it went straight over my head.  

Then, as if I'm born to be the person late on the bandwagon (it always happened, I was the girl who liked Barbies at 10 - too old - and got into Take That just as they became uncool) the trend hit me smack between the eyes.  And now I'm obsessed.  And you can't find them anywhere. FABULOUS.

In the times it's taken me to "get it" a few other houses have piped up with their take on the look.  Mainly Valentino and Celine.  I'm struggling to decide in my aspirational mind which ones I've prefer.  Apparently the Celines are the most comfortable, but are the Chanels the timeless ones.  The Valentinos look most likely not to last, they are made from lace after all.  But they're all just so cool.  I've been collecting up pictures in my summer feet Pinterest album for a long time, but have put my favourite pictures in this post.  As you can see, you can wear them with just about anything.

I do think part of the crush we're having on them is due to how unavailable they are.  Only last week I was walking the dog down Sloane Street and noticed a pile of people outside Valentino.  Apparently their latest batch had come in, and some of the crowd had been there since 6am. On a Wednesday. SAY WUT.  

I've been looking around and there are some very good alternatives.  I kind of refuse to do "copycat" things now as then you look exactly like one: a cheap version of the look you're really trying to be.  But I've found a few general espadrilles that I really like that won't break the bank any where near as much (especially as so many are now on sale) - or you can super cheap and get these Topshop ones for £16. Here you go:

If you're dying for a pair, do try out resellers as they do come up.  You can sign up for an alert on Vestiaire when a pair come in (although sometimes even that isn't quick enough - saying that they do have a couple of Celine pairs at the moment) and sites that run on pure consignment model (theredore have better control on knowing when things come in) like Covetique can do waiting lists if you contact them directly.  Otherwise, it's the usual Matches (v good deals, I bought these for £24) and Net A Porter bunch you need to check on to on a daily basis...  Good luck!



[Outfit] Out On The Tiles (Print)

On our last night in Palma (sob) I wore a dress I'd bought months earlier in Zara... I can remember it being a horrible, cold. winter day in London and I bought it to cheer myself up and look forward to sunnier times.  It was from Zara, and I loved the almost mosaic tile print and the fact it looked like a cropped top and skirt from the back...  I've seen it in stores still, but I can't find it online anymore - although this one is a beauty for anyone who is interested...

I don't often wear really bright colours, but when it comes to summer dresses I totally transform all rationale.  I noticed this when I was packing my suitcase to go home, my shorts tees and tops are all greys and blues and neutrals but the dresses were all vibrant prints!  It's not intentional but I think my inner-colour-lover comes out when the sun does too!

This dress is super fun, I feel really girly in it (another unusual thing for me, given that I spend 99% of my time in boyfriend jeans).  I've picked out a few others I've got my eye on below.  The sandals yet again are Topshop - seriously, if you're able to buy one pair of shoes this summer get these. For £28 you really cannot go wrong, I'm gutted I missed the brown versions! Sunglasses, as pretty much always - Jimmy Choo x Carrera, I get so many compliments on these it's ridiculous!



[Outfit] Palm Prints Continue in... Palma

Here is my outfit from my first night in Mallorca, when we headed into town and drank some of the strongest G&Ts I have ever, ever seen.  I've got a bit of a palm print obsession going on, so when I saw these silk shorts from Reiss I knew I had to have them. I did what I usually do and pondered over them for too long, so when I eventually decided I wanted them it was a bit of a man-hunt across town to find them in my size. They're perfect for summer because (besides the obvious: they're shorts) they are a little bit smarter so you could wear them to a drinks in the evening and not feel too casual. Excellent price too...

Reiss Felix Shorts / Reiss Crochet Top / Whistles wedges, old (similar styles here and here)/ Rayban Aviator Sunglasses

The top is also Reiss, and once again it was one I'd been after for a while. I waited for weeks for this to come back into stock and when it finally did it was almost celebration worthy... I'd been after something like this for a long time; easy to wear and looks great when you've just piled off the beach and need to throw something decent on - which is exactly how I've been wearing this.  It's crochet but not too see through, I'm wearing a usual white bra underneath and it looked really nice. The top seems to have sold out everywhere again now, sorry - but they have made a dress equivalent here.

Reiss Felix Shorts / Reiss Crochet Top / Whistles wedges, old (similar styles here and here)/ Rayban Aviator Sunglasses

The wedges are a few seasons old from Whistles (I bought them in the sale at Christmas time, the joy of going on a winter sun holiday is that everything sunshine related is super cheap in the UK), but I have found some similar ones from Mango here if you're after something similar, or Whistles have another suede strap style available now here. Below are some links to my outfit and some alternatives to the bits that are sold out. If you don'do a buy the shorts - they're a total winner!



[Craving] It's Playtime for Saletime!

This week was really supposed to be all about my holiday, but then a little email arrived in my inbox that said simply "The Net A Porter Sale Is Here." Oops.  Scrap all plans to hunt for dress for a wedding in September, and channel all energy into hunting down the best bargains.  Sale gets a bad rap, generally. It's thought of as the time that girls mindlessly pour into shops and pick up a pink tutu for £50, because it was reduced from £500.  Or at least I am sure that's what the majority of men think... It's actually a brilliant time to shop wisely - spending high street levels of money of better quality clothing.

So, here are my picks to show those men exactly the opposite. It can be a fantastic opportunity to pick up the basics you really need. Take fantastic basics brands like T by Alexander Wang, Splendid and Zoe Karssen - all up to 50% off on Net A Porter now... Lets start with a few obvious purchases; this grey racer back from T by Alexander Wang is a must, breton stripe tee (with cute little parrot detail) from J Crew, similar style from Kenzo (this gives me such nostalgia to a t shirt my mum had in the 80s) - and you can get your slogan tee fix with these "up all night" and "monsieur" tees from Zoe Karssen. Oh, and that Good Morning Toyko sweater that everyone went nuts about is also in the sale (weeeeeeeeee!) reduced to £105. Then you have little summer pieces you'll wear endlessly like these J Crew espadrilles, now half price.

Shoes wise there are a few pairs I can't believe have gone on sale as they're eternal fashion favourites; the Acne Cypress boot (any self respecting A lister has them), Carven bow tie heels and the J Crew "fugly" embellished sandals  - these really are a bargain.  Likewise anyone looking for a wedding outfit shoe should heavily consider these Gianvito Rossi and these Sophia Webster pumps. Similar with bags... it's not very often you see Charlotte Olympia's stuff so heavily reduced, not to mention the Alexander Wang Rocco everyone knows and loves. The Sophie Hulme options and Anya Hindmarch are pretty remarkable too... 

So, if you're thinking about buying anything for any occasion this summer - do try the sales first. It's not all the stuff thats left over from the previous season - some places even buy in stock especially for saletime!  Enjoy!


[Outfit] Opportunist Door Snapping

Unfortunately my usual wonderful photographer Nancy didn't come on holiday with me (although in fairness, it might have been a bit odd for her) so it meant I had to rope Ben into it.  To his credit, he was very patient about it - any blogger will know there is a line between asking someone to take a "quick snap" and the "perfect snap."  One problem is finding the perfect spot... so I couldn't have been more impressed when Ben spotted this green door on the streets of Palma and voluntarily suggested it would be a great place to do some blog shots...

I'd been saving this dress for my holiday, it was bought in a rather spontaneous fashion... When I got home for a night out in Los Angeles and couldn't sleep with jet lag.  It was reduced down to £18 and in truth it's one of my absolute favourites... I'm now going to be wearing it all summer, and then with my little cropped tops when it gets a bit cooler (which I've also drunkenly bought in bulk for about £5, see them here).  I forgot to take pictures of the back (what I really mean is, I didn't want to test Ben's patience asking for more photos) but it has lovely little spaghetti strap details, have a look here.

The sandals are an equally proud purchase from Topshop. I've been wearing them constantly since the sun came out.  I bought the black but since I've been managing to walk around all day in them (1 inch heel = win) I'm now after the brown, at £28 you really cannot go wrong!  There are some similar white ones on ASOS too which I've been thinking about - if anyone has them, can you let me know if they're comfy? If so, you've got yourself a deal! As for make up, there is none. One of my favourite things to do on holiday is to let my skin breathe. Especially in the evenings as it has suncream on it all day... Speaking of suncream, I tried out a face one from Guinot - never been more impressed, it has cover up in it so you need nothing else on!

Here are the links to my whole outfit, and some more similar styles - enjoy!



[Travel] A Few Days in Palma, Mallorca

Roxys Beach Bar, Portals, Mallorca

I can't remember the first time I went to Mallorca as I've been there countless times for so many different purposes; family holidays, girls weekend, romantic break (Ben and I went here on our first holiday so it's a little bit special for us). It really does have a little bit of everything. Ben's mum has a little place in the Santa Catalina area of Palma (you can rent it if you like, here) so it's the perfect place to escape to for a bit of R&R. Although I've visited Mallorca a lot, I didn't really know Palma itself before we came out last year.  Our agenda consisted of two main priorities: sunshine and avoiding every single stag and hen do from the UK (and all that goes with it). 

the biggest G&Ts you have ever seen. at Zanzibar, Santa Catallina

It's a beautiful little city with a lot going for it - all the history, views, restaurants and nightlife you could really ask for.  On our first time we wondered into the old town and to an infamous little tapas bar called Bar Dia - recommend it for "simple style" tapas; nothing fancy but you'll guess by the number of Mallorcans and the possible queue by good it is...  We ate as much calamari, dates with bacon, tortillas, padron peppers and meatballs that we could physically fit into us for around 40€ (£35).

the harbour at Portals Nous, pick a boat..?

The two main beaches we go to are both about a 15 minute journey from our apartment by bus (which costs between 3€ and 5€ return, and run every 10/15 minutes). Illetas is a great spot with a fantastic beach including a little beach "club" called Virtual on the rocks where you can have a sunbed for the day for 20€.  The other has a very different feel as is more within a holiday village called Portals Nous.  Wonder down the beach (through the clearest water you've even seen) to get to our Favourite Bar In The World Ever, Roxys.  It's consists of a shed turned into a bar/kitchen, a handful of beach beds, chill-out playlists (you'll want your 3G working as you'll be Shazaming a lot) and deck chairs.  Just go, you won't regret it. Super fun, and when it gets too hot dip in the water (optionally with your wine glass) to cool down.

More from Roxy's Beach Bar...

As for Palma itself, I can't recommend Santa Catalina enough. It's got an extremely local feel and staying in the area means renting an apartment rather than a hotel.  You can walk to the old town in 15 minutes, and directly in the area is a fab food market (go early to avoid disappointment, and pick out your fresh fruit, vegetables, fish etc), great furniture and nick-nack stores (B Connected is a personal favourite) and coffees (Fibonacci and The Room are great for breakfasts). Bar wise, definitely check out the local-style bar Zanzibar just to see the size of their G&Ts for yourself... They tip the bottle into your pint size glass. Eat beforehand, or your night could well finish there. If you make it past bootcamp stage, Havanna down the road is a great place for an equally strong drink and stays open into the early hours...

Amazing food at Patron Lunares, Santa Catallina

As for restaurants, definitely give Bunkers a go. Run by an Italian with a penchant for surfing (who also cooks all of the food behind the bar, in a kitchen the size of a shower room) the menu is exceptional - we enjoyed thai duck followed by papardelle with venison, followed by limoncello, followed by more wine.  A new discovery for us this time was Patron Lunares. JUST AMAZING. I mean, just look at the calamari. Really cannot recommend it enough, kitchen opens at 8pm - worth getting there early to avoid disappointment.

amazing turbot at Bunkers / forcing Ben into a couple selfie...

I'm back there in August for a girls long weekend, and Ben is doing the same in September. As it's only 2 hours away (unless you fly with Monarch, where we had a 26 hour delay - yes really) I can't recommend it enough.  Style wise, I've got a few outfit posts going out this week but essentially its casual cool. You don't need much: bikini, shorts, tees and some half-smart heels for the evening if you want to. Here was what I packed into my hand luggage:

Flights to Mallorca start from around £40, returns can be found for around £100. Wouldn't recommend Monarch (!) but Norwegian were amazing on our way back - so go with them! Have a look here.
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