Weekly round up: Date Night Outfits

I’ve had a very busy week this week with lots going on in the evenings and leaving no time to blog, so I’m going to make this a ’round-up’.

Last Friday Hubby and I were due to go for dinner with friends to an Iranian restaurant called Soltan in Putney.  Neither of us had eaten Iranian food before and we weren’t disappointed – it was incredible tasty, although I have no idea what it was that we had as our part-Iranian friend ordered for us.

I wore a cardigan/jacket which I’ve had for ages but haven’t worn as I couldn’t find a top to wear underneath it.  The jacket is from the Next January sales (about £12 I think), the vest was £4 from Primark and the jeans are my trusty New Look Inspire dark denims.  The jacket is a sort of boucle knit with pink and shimmering flecks going through it.  The look made me feel chic but also modern.

Iraninan with the Ghodse's

On Saturday morning I awoke to find that hubby had made us a lovely breakfast of boiled egg and soldiers – the perfect way to start the weekend!

Breakfast made for me

On Saturday night Hubby and I had a date night and I used it as an excuse to get dressed up.  I wore my black velvet Boden pencil skirt with an embellished cardigan from Monsoon which I’ve had for about 4 years and at the last-minute added my thick black patent leather belt to match my patent platform courts from New Look.

Boden pencil + Monsoon cardi

 

On Monday we went to Tony Roma’s in Kingston for Monday night endless ribs – mmmmmmm, yummy.

I wore what I’d been wearing to work all day as I didn’t have time to change.  I got this dress in the January sales from Monsoon and the shoes are my nude favourites from Marks and Spencer.

Work outfit - burgandy dress

Cold has stopped play – some work outfits from last week

I’ve been suffering from the really bad cold which is going around, which means that I have been living in my p-jays since Sunday, so with little to write about and no back log of saved ideas generated yet, I thought I’d give a round-up of a couple of outfits from the end of last week

 Thursday’s work outfit

 As I haven’t ironed for what seems like a millennium, by the end of last week I was struggling to pull suitable work outfits together.  The company I work for has a dress policy, but depending on the department you work for, depends on whether it is followed or not.  Sometime the policy isn’t even followed in the same department – it’s all very wishy-washy to be honest. 

I work as a PA to a Company Director and as I regularly have to meet and greet guests from reception I always like to ensure that I dress smartly Monday to Thursday, and that sometimes extends to “dress down Friday” if we have a VIP visitor coming in.  I generally stick to dresses and skirts for work which I can dress up or down with jackets and cardigans if I’m going out afterwards.  Dresses are my favourite though as I feel that they are so easy to just pull on and go!

Anyway, due to general malaise on the ironing front, I was only left with couple of ‘dress down Friday’ style skirts and a dress which needed the button sewing back on (I always plan to do stuff like sewing on buttons at the weekend, but then Monday rolls around and it’s still not done – note to self: must get better at planning my personal time!).  I was already running late and so struck with a mild panic I turned to my Tim Gunn mantra and decided to go with a dress-down Friday skirt and “make it work”.

  Work outfit - thurs

The sweater was another outlet bargain from LK Bennett in Portsmouth (£19 from £99 if I remember rightly).  It’s a gorgeous silk mix fine knit with ¾ length sleeves.  I put a navy Primark vest on underneath for modesty/warmth (air-con battle at work anyone??).  The skirt is from White Stuff and I’ve had it for a while.  I usually wear it with funky coloured tights and my Duo brown riding boots.  This time I added my purse friendly and amazingly comfortable caramel court shoes from Marks & Spencer.  These little beaut’s are a mere £19.50, they look exactly like the LK Bennett Sledge Court, as worn by every member of the Middleton family (even the dog; it’s true, I saw it on Mail Online…..) but most importantly I can testify that they are so comfortable that they can be worn for an 8 hour-long girls night which includes about 4 hours of dancing.

Friday’s Outfit

Dress down Friday saw me wearing my Boden dark denim A-line skirt, a multicoloured vest from Next with a Gap cardigan and my brown riding boots from Duo.  The belt was a bargain from Primark for about £3!  Normally, I would have worn this outfit with the vest pulled out over the waistband of my skirt – a hangover from always trying to cover my bum!  However, I decided to tuck it in and stick the belt on and I was really pleased with how it looked.  It’s amazing how my brain tells me to dress in a certain way in an effort to hide my lumps and bumps but in doing that I can often end up looking bigger than I really am.  The sartorial equivalent of putting your head in the sand…..

Friday work outfit

 

Here’s where you can buy the items or similar:

BLENHEIM SKIRT  Product Image Product Image

Everyday A-Line Skirt  Camara Tan Leather ladies-boots list 

 

 

1991-2000 : My Fashion Wonder Years

It took me a long time to learn how to dress my shape and find my own ‘style’. As a young child I was a total princess and most of the photographs of me from then see me styling up my outfit with plenty of accessories – something which hasn’t changed to this day…..

Accessorising from a young age

Accessorising from a young age

However, my brothers were my best friends and living in a tiny village we spent summer after summer going on adventures and camping out. As I moved into adolescence and my body was changing I was ashamed of it, I didn’t want to be different to them and I spent many of the oncoming years coving myself up in shapeless tracksuits and t-shirts which only accentuated my curves and size, rather than hide it as I wanted to.

I have always harboured that passion for clothes though, and would dream about all the things I would wear when I had the body I wanted rather than the one I had. Despite winning a place on a highly sort after fashion course, I continued to shackle my body with bit, baggy and unflattering clothes. I never really liked anything I owned, it was all purchased because of what it covered. I had a self imposed ‘uniform’ for work and an array of huge jogging bottoms and men’s polo shirts (mostly from my uniform from the pub I worked in part-time) for casual wear at the weekends.

This carried on well into my 20’s. When I started at the company I work at now back in 2000, I was informed in my first week that they had a dress down Friday policy. The thought of this evoked the same fear I had when we had dress down day at school– only it was every week. I had one casual top which wasn’t part of my ‘work uniform’, but wasn’t a pub polo top. And I wore it with a long black skirt – every Friday! (I met my husband at work, and he still talks about my Friday top!)

Sometime in 2002 I became of a TV show called “What Not To Wear”. I will not beat around the bush, Trinny and Susannah revolutionised my life! By watching that programme, and seeing women who sometimes matched my body shape and size, end up dressed in really lovely clothes opened a floodgate for me. I sat up and realised that maybe I could wear something like that. Slowly but surely, different items made it into my wardrobe – a form fitting t-shirt here, a fine knit cardigan there. I was finding my feet and losing my fear.

Then in 2005 they released a book called “What You Wear Can Change Your Life”, and that was it – I was off. This book was all about what sort of colours suit you best, and when I’d worked out what I should be wearing I headed out shopping – literally the same weekend I read it. I remember walking into Primark in Tooting High Street (one of the first one’s open in South London at the time) and it was like the Trinny and Susannah gods had waved a magic wand – I literally got 3 skirts, 6 cardigans, a few scarves to compliment each of the looks, a couple of gorgeous tops which looked like they were from Monsoon rather than Primark. I still remember the elation I felt on that trip to this day. I’d found my style and what sort of colours suited me and I literally wore those clothes until they fell apart.

Since then I’ve never looked back. I only ever wear clothes that make me feel good and never just sling something on for the sake of it. If I wear sportswear at home for housework (or actually, shock and horror, working out!), I always change to leave the house and would never walk outside in it. My husband sometimes despairs that we can’t just jump in the car and go somewhere without a quick change, but he tells me he’s glad that I make those extra efforts with my appearance.

Red top + Denim skirt

I’ve attached a picture of today’s dress down Friday look, and were all sale purchases. The top is a couple of years old and is from Phase Eight and the indigo denim skirt is from Boden. Tights are from M&S (best ones by far!) and the ballet shoes are from New Look.

I’d love to hear what stylish outfits you wear on dress down Friday at work!