Knee Length Dress Victory

Due to the Easter break I’ve not had a chance to blog for over a week.  There’s been lots going on but nothing that is really all that interesting to blog about, so I won’t drone on and on.

I did go for a couple of nights out over the Easter break.  On Good Friday we met friends in All Bar One by the London Eye for an afternoon drinking session.  I was slightly concerned about getting totally sozzled, which wasn’t time wasted on worrying as I took 4 steps from the pub at 10:30pm after getting there at 3pm – and promptly fell over!

Our friend picked us up on the way to the station so I didn’t get time to take a photo before we left, so this is me at the end of the night………… I don’t look too bad, all things considered!

ABO outfit

This outfit was a real step away from the norm for me, as the dress, which I got from Dorothy Perkins, barely grazed my knees – I’m definitely a knee’s covered girl.  However, hubby was most encouraging that it was a really nice outfit and so I thought sod it and wore it anyway.  The cardigan is an oldie-but-goodie from Monsoon (literally 5 years old), the belt was £3 from Primark and the boots were from Evans a few years ago.

Saturday was pretty much wiped out because of my gargantuan hangover.  I did manage to refurbish the spare room curtains, but it took every ounce of energy and I was glad to finish and re-claim my place on the sofa. 

On Sunday we, swapped Easter Eggs, pottered around the house and in the evening I met friends in Wimbledon for dinner and cocktails.  I wore my black Dorothy Perkins skinny jeans tucked into my Duo black suede boots.  The top was a purchase made last summer from Wallis and the jacket was from the Next January sale.

Easter eggs

Outfit - Cote 4 Nicola's b'day

Here’s a picture of me drinking a Top Hat full of cocktail! 

Top Hat picture

On Monday we had a real spring cleaning session and then before we knew it we were back around to Tuesday and off to work again 😦

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A Girls Right To Boots

 

Being a woman of the curvy variety, I have the ubiquitous love of handbags, shoes and accessories – because no matter your size – they still fit! But mostly I’m a shoe girl. Even as a young girl I was hooked and used to weep when my feet grew and I could no longer wear favourites in my wardrobe. I vividly remember a black patent leather pair which I stubbornly squeezed my too large feet into for a day out, only to be in total agony within 30 minutes of leaving home.

In my previous post I talked about how I evolved from teenage fashion sloth into a clothing magpie (actually, there is a shocking amount of sparkle in my wardrobe, but that’s probably another blog all together….). A massive element of that transition, which I forgot to mention in that blog, was my discovery of stretchy suedette boots.

I got my first pair in the sale at Ravel for £15 in black microsuede. I took home my purchase, convinced that they’d be going straight back, and tried them on with a long skirt. Hang on, I thought, these might look nice with a shorter skirt. And so I dug out an old impulse purchase from the back of the wardrobe and slung the whole ensemble on.

The next day I went and brought every pair they had left in my size, which was another black, a brown and a navy pair. I literally wore all of those boots until the heels snapped in two!

Since then knee length boots have been my absolute wardrobe staple, and as you can see from a small selection in the picture below, I have a pair to go with every outfit…..

IMG_1634

In the past I’ve brought them from all sorts of shops, particularly the microsuede ones as they stretch to fit your calf.  In recent years my purchases have been limited to Evans and Duo almost exclusively.

I tend to only have minimal success with Evans, as my feet aren’t particularly wide, it’s just my big ol’ calves that cause the problems.  Some of the boots from Evans can tend to feel like my feet are swimming about in them.  Duo, however, are my absolute FAVOURITE. 

Duo make boots in all sorts of foot and calf sizes, catering for women with large or tiny calves.  They only have a couple of stores (or ‘fitting rooms’ as they call them), but their online service is second to none, and even if you go into store I don’t think you can take a pair home that day, they are always sent to you from the warehouse.  Anyway, back to the ‘fitting room’.  The one in Covent Garden is all done up like a plush boudoir.  It’s so busy that you have to take a ticket and queue up to see one of their fully trained fitters.  Every now and then I’ll just go into store and try on some of their new styles so I can get a feel for what fits well on me – just in case a style I like goes in the sale and I know without having to buy all different sizes exactly what fits. 

Once you’ve had your fitting and made your purchase, your sizes are kept on file (although if you’ve lost or put on weight this will obviously change).  In the past when I’ve not been able to get into store, I’ve phoned up the enormously helpful customer service team and they’ve gone through what boots I’ve purchased before and if the new ones I’m looking at would benefit from going up or down a couple of inches in calf size/foot size etc in relation to my previous purchases.  They also have classic styles which remain season after season, some of the detail might change but the shape and fit of the boot remains the same year in, year out.

If you look at their comments, Duo have customer all over the world who just come back time and time again because of the quality of the boots and the service.

I’ve added below a picture of my absolute favourite pair of Duo boots.  When I was a little girl, I remember watching my aunt get ready for a night out with her friends and she had this amazing pair of black suede long boots.  Even now if I close my eyes and think really hard I can still smell the perfume she put on mingled with the smell of the leather.  Since then I have always lusted after a pair of my own, but could never find ones that fitted my requirements.  They were either too flat or looked like hooker heels!  Then one day the pair in this picture turned up in Duo, in the Sale!  I think I paid about £60 for them, which if you could feel the leather, you would agree is a total bargain.  They are leather lined in the most beautiful, butter-like pale pink leather and there’s a slight platform at the front which makes them really comfy to wear for long periods.  The only downside to them is the fact they are suede coupled with the miserable British weather.  Despite the fact that I’ve treated them with a rain protector, I NEVER wear them if there is a slight chance of rain because I want them to last forever!

IMG_1638

I think they look amazing with anything I wear, and if I’m going out after work a change of boot into these really makes the whole outfit look classier.  If find myself trotting around like a show pony whenever I have them on, they do something to my whole, living being.  Aside from fuelling my inanimate object love affair, they also look really similar to ones I’ve seen Kate Middleton wearing, and she’s one classy chick!  Here’s a link to a similar pair Duo are currently selling, maybe they can become your favouritest boots in the whole wide world too. 

Laurel Black suede ladies-boots list

Anyway, I’d say have a look at Duo and see if they can make a big change in your wardrobe like they did in mine.  I’d also really love to hear if you have a boot specialist you use when buying boots for large calves.

Have a great weekend,

Kellie xx

Skirting the Curvy Issue

I’ve been searching for a navy skirt for my work wardrobe for months, nothing – absolutely nothing –  out there fits my requirements.  For me the perfect navy skirt must be:

  • Knee length – just below the knee but not on or above it –  but also not calf length
  • A classic, French navy – NOT netball skirt navy (who remembers those awful knickers)
  • Not too trendy and quirky, but absolutely not mumsy either
  • A good quality fabric which won’t look shiny
  • Machine washable!
  • Preferably with a bit of stretch
  • Within budget – at a push £50 max

And here’s the clincher………….

  • available in a size 18-20

On the surface my long running search for the perfect navy skirt would be easily fulfilled by an hour or two shopping or a 20 minute search on the internet.  And yet this elusive wardrobe staple still refuses to make itself known.  And I think I know why.

If you’re of a certain size and shape, trying to locate and purchase affordable, good quality, chic and classically stylish clothes is virtually impossible.  If I wasn’t so worried about my ample derriere and thighs and was willing to pay £90 I could visit Planet and buy a pencil skirt, the only style available in navy.  I could also buy one in a couple of styles from M&S for a very reasonable £26, but I’d also risk seeing my nan wearing it and would probably be so charged with static electricity that I’d probably need my own earth wire.

A quick glance at the online sites for Evans and Simply Be, to name a couple, shows the same thing.  Whilst lots of these stores are really starting to cater well for amazing going out wear and fun, ditzy print dresses, obtaining stylish and classic clothing can be really difficult and often shows up more misses than hits.  And those misses only serve to make me feel bad about myself for not fitting into the ideal size 10 or 12.

There was an article in The Mail earlier this month about a new range of clothes at Evans which is being modelled by bloggers who are proud of their shape and write about their style choices.  After reading the article and trying to ignore the vitriolic comments, I clicked through and read a few of the blogs.  Their confidence and appreciation of what they have got really rung a chord with me, in fact I have since read every blog written by Georgina of FullerFigureFullerBust – such was my admiration.  And whilst I love what they’re wearing and the general air of joie de vivre, the gorgeous fashion depicted isn’t what I wear every day in reality, so I set out to find a blog that did serve that requirement.  But I couldn’t find one.

So ultimately this search is what has prompted me to start this blog, can I be alone in this sartorial dilemma?  So whilst I’m on my hunt for the Mary Poppins of navy skirts, which (I imagine?) will make my work wardrobe complete, I’m going to share some of what I believe to be wardrobe hits with the world wide web, and hopefully a reader or two.