Boxing Day Sales

This post has obviously been written in advance, but I can very much predict what I am doing at this very minute (Boxing Day). I am tired (staying up for Santa, obviously), wearing clothes that stretch (the very idea of trying to get my jeans on would bring me out in hives), grumpy (having lost at all the games yesterday) and more than anything; immobile. And so, I shop.

Boxing Day sales have become a bit of a phenomenon, and how we did it before the days of online shopping astounds me. Who leaves the house on Boxing Day? Who are these people? I remember my sister working in Selfridges on the 26th once and saying that she witnessed screaming, violence and mild torture methods for the 8 hours the store was open. Nothing about this is appealing, and whilst the cheese board exists, I'm not departing the sofa. 

Here is my breakdown of the best sales, and what to buy...

Aaaaaah, the wonderful world of luxury - for less! Sale time is the only time I buy from Net A Porter (other than the bonus days of old) as the discounts are just so good. I stock up on everything from knickers to knee high boots if the price is right. My philosophy is; if its over £100 it has to be a basic colour, otherwise I won't wear it enough... Here are the best pieces I've found so far (ps this post will look a lot nicer if you turn off your ad blocker, as the photos will show up!):

From the bikini that all the bloggers have been wearing here, to the Tods shoes (50% off!!!) that every woman on the planet should own here, Net have it covered. I often get my basics re-sorted for the year, with pieces like this J Crew breton and this grey skirt (loved it since I spotted Laura in it) are just no brainers... think how much you'll wear them. Weekend basics like this Needle and Thread top, and these denim (Chinti and Parker) and navy (Equipment) shirts are incredibly good value for their brand and quality. Useful work pieces like this Topshop Premium shirt are super buys too.

It's really easy to get carried away in high street sales, and it's taken me years to learn not to. You do not need the purple tutu, regardless of the ballet themed hen do you have coming up (in June). Stick to your guns and apply the same rules as you should at full price: don't buy tack. Always check out the fabric label and length of the garment (most of my readers are - too old classy for crop tops and bum-scraping skirts). Here are the bits on my wishlist:

First up, this dress is what I like to call a "hider of all sins" and should be worn with joy after Christmas. Impossible to look fat in it. Thank me later... If you don't own a parka here or a simple black blazer here, please delete me and unsubscribe.They are weekend/weekday staples respectively and are the exact things to buy in sales. This denim shirt is £20, need I say more? This grey jumper screams "winter Sundays" at the top of its voice, and this prairie dress is the one that all the press have been raving about... Lastly lets be honest here, January sucks balls. So, pick yourself up midweek and wear some shoe-sparkle in the office. These and these are a tenner - win!

Ah, my favourite store to visit. Their sale started earlier this year, and boy is it good. The buying team at this department store need a serious high five. They were - lest we forget - the place that put little known brands like Self Portrait and Sandro on the map. Easy to go crazy here, so here is my edit:

When I say crazy, I mean it. Try not to buy all the Self Portrait dresses (which are half price here) and instead focus your mind on my personal favourite, here. Continuing the SP love, this top is absolutely beautiful. Next up, Hanky Panky knickers; I have a few pairs and love them as you always feel good in them. I can't take this brand name seriously after seeing Wolf Of Wall Street, but these Steve Madden heels are an incredible bargain for £44. Lastly, don't forget about the high street brands this store stocks; this Reiss jumper, Whistles top and Karen Millen sleeveless blazer are all excellent buys.

To do the ASOS sale properly takes a day in itself. Trust me, I've just done it. This is a Pandora's Box of sh*t if you're not careful - you have to know what you're buying. I start wish-listing stuff in early December so my basket becomes my sale options... So, here are the pieces I'd already been coveting (below) which stops me even glancing at the 1,000,000 tempting options in the main store...

navy shirt / checked shirt / suede shirt / fringed top / floral teddy / floral maxi

I've only mentioned ASOS brand items as you can find the majority of other things elsewhere. Firstly if you haven't bought from ASOS before, do. It's not like it used to be, it's not just meant for hustling, horny teenagers (nope Missguided does that for the world now) and normal people can buy from there. It won't fall apart in five minutes, I swear. Shirts like this navy cord one, this checked one and this suede one are perfect weekend wear.

denim shirt with pocket / red teddy / green boho topshift midi dress / simple white shirtpaisley top

Further more, denim is an excellent idea from ASOS. I've been swearing by their boyfriend jeans for years now, and these denim shirts (here and here). Dresses aren't half bad either, this one is great for work (could pop a shirt on underneath) and this one is a dead ringer to the Givenchy maxis everyone who is anyone is fashion is wearing. Underwear wise, I'm addicted to ASOS teddies (own all of them). This one is so cute and so cheap, closely followed by this red number.

Other Sales Worth Looking At

Matches Fashion (a slightly edgier Net A Porter) / Grazia Shop (serious discounts on brands like Sophie Hulme and House of Holland) / Reiss (always a winner, up to 70% off - very good for work stuff) / Whistles (don't forget the menswear) / And Other Stories (up to 50%, and dont forget the Nike trainers)


New York, New York

As my Instagram showed you all, I was in New York for the first week of December. It was a very last minute thing, G was going over there doing an event (here) which I wasn't originally planning on going along to - but when I was approached by Pink Lady to do a campaign (probably as I eat so damn many of them) I thought what better place to talk about them than the Big Apple itself?!

After a frantic round of phone calls, we were on our way; flying with Norwegian for the first time, which I whole heartedly recommend. As it was such a quick visit, we had to cram in a lot. We've both been to New York before but always with work so we made sure we cleared the diaries for a day and had a proper explore.  Here are a few tips of where to go and what to do if you ever only have 24 hours in the city that never sleeps...

Hudson Hotel
356 W 58th St

I've stayed at this hotel before - always find myself leaning towards the Morgans Hotel Group whenever I'm going away. Although the rooms are very small, they're perfectly formed (and they have Malin and Goetz shampoo which is a massive plus). Our room (here) had everything you need and is perfectly placed by Central Park. Ooh, and the coffee is excellent too...

The Brooklyn Diner
212 W 57th St

On my first ever trip to New York I stumbled upon this place by myself. I turned up covered in New York snow grey mush and desperately needed sustenance. I ended up spending five hours in there, talking to the staff (who gave me a list which I still refer to today of things to do in NYC), to locals and to other passers by.

The food is everything food should be in a diner - calorific, oversized and salty. The coffee is probably made from granules, and the orange juice is most definitely from a box. However, the whole vibe in the place is electric - you really feel part of the city. The seats, the bar, the little metal plaques for all the famous people that have been there... You just have to go...

Soho House New York
29-35 9th Ave

It's a complete Instagram cliche, but this place really is rather good. As its part of the Soho House Group, you do have to be a member, but if you stay there you can come and go in the club as you please. I'd never been before and pretty much knew as soon as I walked in that I loved it - itching to go back in the summer when the pool can be made use of! We used it as a base for the day to go exploring....

We started off at Chelsea Market which is a dream for any food (really reminded me of The Biscuit Mill in Cape Town is any one has ever been) with row after row of speciality Italian, seafood, pastry and general gastronomy stores and pop ups. Next was something I inexcusably didn't even know existed - the High Line Walkway. I can't remember the story fully, but an old trade railway line which runs through Manhattan was going to be knocked down and people objected and turned it into a walk path... Beautiful (though the weather certainly made for an awesome

Having walked the full stretch we ended up in the heart of Greenwich Village, we made a stop at the Gansevoort Market. It's a complete haven of cafes; everything from Thai to English (yes, there was a pop up van that did everything from Spotted Dick to a Full English - in fact it was the most popular cafe in there).

I'd never been here before and would definitely recommend it, Chelsea Market is great but this one felt less distinctly less touristy and had a really cool local vibe.

Central Park and the Zoo
64th St and 5th Ave

When in New York, you go to Central Park. You just do. It's two miles of green heaven, especially in winter. Flitting between the ice rinks and the boating lakes with hot coffee (and a pretzel), we ended up spending hours just meandering about.

coat, Hunter / bag, LK Bennett

The zoo was an unexpected visit - but this is what happens when you get up early with plans to visit museums that aren't open yet. It had been years since either of us had been to the zoo, and this one is brilliant! Complete with snow leopards, red pandas and very enthusiastic sea-lions.

I decided on a plan for the sealion, to feed it an apple - or at least get a good photo of it posing with it. Fellow bloggers will know that when you get this kind of idea in your head, nothing else matters. You just need the photo. Unfortunately Sam the Sea Lion decided he'd rather muck around, so here are the attempts and the outtakes...

I have no idea why the last photo tickles me so much, but of the 1000 taken its the one that has me in pieces. He would not swim/sit/stand still. I very much recommend going just to see this guy alone, especially as it's only $12! Details here (and if you go over Christmas there is a 4D showing of the Polar Express - you'll be the only person over 5 in the audience, but its well worth it).

Boqueria Soho
171 Spring Street

We found this place by accident when shopping in Soho became a bit much (for some of us). Having done some research it looks like its a chain, but it certainly doesn't feel it. Really nice local vibe, with long communal tables big jugs of cocktails and platters of tapas. Perfect place to deposit a man whilst you pop around the corner and spend to your little dollar-to-pound-exchange-rate-dream-heart's content.

Grand Central Station
89 E 42nd St

It's a complete cliche, but standing in Grand Central Station just has something very cool about it. I've loved it ever since first going, and would happily sit and people watch if I could. The whole "travel" vibe and hustle and bustle is just amazing, and there are a couple of good places to eat/drink there.

Really recommend The Campbell Apartments (walk through Cipranis - just do it - through the double doors and up the stairs; a whisky bar awaits) and the Oyster Bar underneath the station is very good too...

Lastly, having now given it a go myself - I actually do have to admit carrying a couple of apples (Pink Ladies, naturally) in your pocket really did come in handy. I am always struggling to balance my diet on the go and in truth an apple is not only easy to keep on you (I have one in the bottom of most of my handbags) but also very good for you! Obviously Pink Ladies are my favourite - my grandmother always ate them at home and we used to dip them in honey from the jar when I was a little' un!

Thank you so much to Pink Lady for the chance to get over to New York and see my favourite places, and discover some new ones! Flights to JFK with Norwegian start at £330 return from London Gatwick, click here for details.

This post was in collaboration with Pink Lady UK



The Boob Whisperer

It's not very often that you'll get me talking about underwear and boobs on the blog. As a stubborn prude my friends know exactly how to get me to shut up; talking about anything remotely close to nakedness. Over the summer the Marks and Spencers team took me and a bunch of wonderful blogger friends to Lovebox. After a few drinks the subject of bumps and humps came up (can't remember why, but I guess thats what happens when 10 girls get tipsy together on a Sunday afternoon…).

lace padded bra, here / knickers, here

Fast forward a couple of weeks and Rachel at Marks and Sparks had not only convinced me to come and see the new Rosie for Autograph collection but also to get measured by their in house "boob-whisperer," Julia. I had been told she was somewhat of an expert, but nothing could have confirmed it better than the first thing she said to me (before we'd even sat down); "You are a 34C but you try to wear a 34B because you don't like looking large chested." Well… quite.

lace padded bra, here / knickers, here / full set, here

Julia has been working at the company longer than I have been drinking coffee and in that time as earned a reputation as the woman to talk breasts with. Over our coffee she drops in a number of impressive stats such as the fact that Marks and Sparks sell over 100 million pairs of knickers and bras to the nation each year, and that their bra fitters fit 150,000 women every month (the majority of their stores will have their own master Boob Whisperer but if you're looking to buy online (or avoid getting your kit off in "public") you can try their online measurer here).

When she lets you in on just a fraction of her expertise you start to understand why she's so well respected. Firstly, the most important thing is the underband (waist) of a bra. Think of it as being like the foundations of a house… If your band is travelling up your back, it actually means the bra is too big - it should fit straight and flat across your back. If wired, the cup wire should also sit flat under your boobs and not dig. Digging can actually block lymph nodes, which could be linked to a number of medical problems… Obviously spillage means it's too small… Finally, and most importantly for me - don't be tempted to change size to fit the bra. If you have really full breasts, balcony bras will never work for you, so don't be tempted to go up a size to squeeze them in - etc…Equally with plunge bras - if there isn't anything to plunge it isn't going to work no matter what size you squeeze yourself in to...

Marks and Spencer is where I bought my first bra (a lovely 28AA number in lilac…) and will probably be where I buy my last. Having tried to "run away" to other stores, I always end up coming back. There really is just something for all occasions/circumstances… Take this simple white bra (with matching pants), perfect "in the week wear," and then this red and black one, then this black bralet (perfect "I cannot be bothered but you're in the house so I have to make some effort) wear)…

Marks and Spencer have kindly given me £50 vouchers to give out to 3 lucky winners, ready for you to spruce up your underwear for Christmas. Simply tweet your favourite Marks and Sparks underwear piece (search here) to me @annaelerihart and @marksandspencer, and explain why you deserve to win! Winners will be selected on Monday the 21st of December. 



Snakeskin Boots

Totally understand I'm really late to the game here, but I've finally just succumbed to getting a pair of python boots. I really thought it was going to be a two-minute-trend, but having seen the spring summer collections for next year it looks set to stay… Yes, bright colours and all things fancy are in too (these much talked about L.K Bennett boots are amazing but I'd never wear them - I'm not cool enough!) but I'm sticking to the "leopard print of 2015" and going all snaky…

get the look: suede duster coat, here (on sale!) / snakeskin boots, here / boyfriend jeans. here / roll neck jumper here

I've bought a pair from ASOS (these) that I thought I could wear quite a bit. I'm picturing my new Urban Outfitters oversize boyfriend shirt here (or actually my boyfriend's shirt, this one is ace) with some skinny indigo jeans (if investing, go with Paige here, if not go with Topshop here - and don't worry, everyone goes a size up) and possibly my sleeveless blazer from Hobbs, here. Thoughts?

Heres my little edit of the best I've found: (if you have ad blocker on - tut tut - the links are below too)

For anyone still unsure, I'd really recommend buying these Betty boots from Topshop here. They're £36 and it was seeing friends in these that convinced me to invest a little bit more in the look. I'm going to be making more of an "effort" with my outfits next year, and am thinking boots like this will help me to liven up my look a bit… I'll let you know how I get on when mine arrive…

Lovely Lucy Williams! Get the look: snakeskin boots, here / felt culottes, here / denim jacket, here / sunglasses, here


Christmas A Little Different with Crew Clothing Company

This is my first proper Christmas in the UK for a while, and I'm very excited. Even though I'm off home to my parents for the day itself, I'm insisting on doing everything festive before I do. When Crew Clothing Company got in touch and asked me to share how I'm "Christmassing differently" this year, it's quite simple: I'm going the whole nine yards.

So, armed with my camera and a bucket of Christmas spirit I dragged the boy to Pines and Needles in Battersea Park to get a tree. Choosing one is a very important business (although it took me a while to get him to take it seriously). The decision between a "non dropper" vs a "dropper" is a biggy - do you forsake the Christmas tree smell so that you don't have to hoover every day? After heavy debate we decided it was a chore we're willing to take...

It was unbelievably chilly on Saturday so we were both very much "wrapped up" - I was in my Darlington Coat which I've been living in since it arrived, with my Rondane jumper underneath (as seen here in the previous post). The boy was suitably "outfitted" too, and very pleased with his new Torside Reefer coat and Vintage Chinos

 Lopez came along too, but got himself covered in mud so we head back to the house to clean him up and decorate the tree. We hadn't realised we were both in pretty much identical coats until a friend pointed it out to us, so I made him quick-change into his Hamble Car Coat (super smart, got this a while ago and it's a perfect present because he wears it all, the, time) before doing any more piccies...

We got inside, put the Christmas music on loudly and set about getting cosy - my favourite weekend activity. I changed into my Ailsa jumper dress aka The Most Comfortable Top Ever and he followed suit into his new Padstow Sweater - one of those things every man owns, no? To me it's a bit of a boy-staple...

I mentioned in my last post that we'd created some Christmas punch, lots of you have been asking after it so here is a more detailed recipe (from Gus, as it's completely his territory - I am not allowed near the cocktail shaker and am only just allowed to watch providing I ask limited questions) ...

You will need (to make 3/4):

4 measures of Martell XO cognac
Selfridges Spiced Tea (or similar)
2 measures of Cointreau
Brown sugar
Fresh lemon, cloves and a cinnamon stick

Melt the sugar in saucepan adding 200ml of water, boil down until it makes a thin syrup, keep warm.

Brew the tea with cinnamon and cloves in another saucepan with 200ml of water and reduce to 100ml, add to the the syrup then reduce the mixture until thicker. 

Put 4 cubes of ice in cocktail shaker and pour over Cognac and Cointreau adding lemon juice and 1 egg white, shake well. 

Once cooled add your sugar and tea syrup to shaker and shake well again.

Serve over ice with powdered cinnamon and a twist of lemon to garnish

Cocktails in hand, it was time to decorate the tree (him) and wrap up some presents (me). Crew Clothing Company have some really good bits for the "hard to buy fors" in your list. Who doesn't need a pair of Sunday trousers or some proper winter thick socks with a matching hot water bottle (here - just do it)? I can't reveal too much as our friends and family actually do have these presents coming, but lets just say we're very confident our gifts are going to go down well…

After that we were all set for an evening in; ready for Christmas and even more ready to watch Love Actually, The Holiday and Elf (and quote the films throughout). Hope you're just as prepared for the 25th, and if not do have a look at Crew Clothing Company's gift offerings here, they've got some super bits… 

© South Molton St Style. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig | Illustrations by Faiiint