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 

 

 

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!

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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