What I Wore – January 2018

‘You don’t need really expensive clothes to look cute’ – Christy Romano

So it’s no word of a lie that since I lost a bit of weight on Weight Watchers (albeit 10 years ago but i’m pretty much manage to keep all 3 stone of it off) it made me become a massive, massive clothes horse. I’ve always loved clothes but when I was bigger, shopping was not a fun experience for me, jeans and trouser shopping was particularly hellish and more often than not I would come home in tears because nothing fit.

Now that I’m slimmer, shopping is a joy again and I can spend hours (and I mean hours – just ask Steph!) trawling through sale rails or charity shops. I’m not the kind of girl who could ever have a capsule wardrobe – I change my mind too much and I like to have choice. I love a bargain and take pride in what I wear so since I was getting asked regularly where my clothes were from on Insta, I created #NewmansCloset and tagged were I get my togs from.

Another seemingly popular series of mine is when I do my seasonal ‘What I Wore’ posts on the blog where I run down what I stepped out in over December/Christmas/New Year seeing as that’s when I tend to go out the most. So I thought, since people seem to like it, I would extend that serious to a monthly run down of what’s been featured on #NewmansCloset for anyone who may have missed it:

So I give you, January:

Conference with work:

IMG_20180111_204850_588Dress & cardigan both George @ Asda

Being honoured to model the gorgeous Missuswolf’s new clothing line:

IMG_20180112_172124_187Jumper by Missuswolf, jeans: Matalan

New jumper from the January sales hanging out in a lift in Eastbourne:

img_20180117_095902_0111316630678.jpgJumper: Next

Out for dinner for my mum’s birthday:

img_20180120_095000_6321295228254.jpgJumper/shirt combo: GAP, necklace: Dorothy Perkins

Meetings in London:

img_20180124_223730_117904558384.jpgJumper: F&F at Tesco, jeans: Matalan

Lauryn Hill at Wylam Brewery (with the gorgeous Anna who puts me to shame style wise):

20180126_215039_0041596092966.jpgT-shirt: Amazon (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), jeans: Matalan, blazer: Rise

 

Buying Clothes From China on Ebay – An Experiment

I love shopping online for clothes, but only from places that I’m familiar with their sizing’ – Brendon Urie

It all started with my sudden need to own a yellow blazer. A blazer being something I consider a staple wardrobe item and with the summer at least trying to creep in, it stood to reason I would need to add a yellow one to my collection. My attitude to shopping and clothes has always been quantity over quality and Primark has ruined any ideas I ever had of the value of clothes, thanks to them, I now hate buying something that had more than 1 digit on the price tag. So I took myself over to ebay to try and find the perfect yellow blazer for 99p.

My search didn’t bring up all that much and nothing was really catching my. What was coming up in my side bar though was a smorgasbord of blazers of all different colours, from China, for £3.26. The cheapskate in me was certainly interested.

I’d heard loads of horror stories about ordering from China, particularly about the sizing but also about the quality of the stuff. I even read that someone ordered some leggings and there was a dead cockroach sewn into the inside seem. Grim. Still £3.26 is not to be ignored and bugs in my gusset was a risk worth it at that price. I added a lovely sunshine yellow blazer to my basket and figured it was so cheap I’d splash out on a few more things from the seller’s store (in this case it was topcolorful2015) might as well make that Chinese postman work for his money. As well as my coveted blazer I also got a green lace dress, a white t-shirt with sparkly red lips on the front and grey crochet detail top altogether with postage totaling a princely sum of £22.80.

The main tips i’d read about ordering from China online was ignore everything they say on their listings about the sizing and go about 2 sizes bigger than what they recommend. So I did just that, bearing in mind the stuff I was ordering wouldn’t look too bad if they were on the large side but utterly unwearable if they were too small, I erred on the side of caution. Being a member of the ’13’ club (i.e my annoyingly shaped body nestles perfectly between a UK 12 and 14) I ordered all my garb in what they were saying was a UK 16-18, which in most cases according to them was an XXL. I placed my order on 29 June 2015 and I waited.

And I waited, and I waited, and I waited some more, then eventually on 23 July 2015 my cheap package of joy thudded through the letter box. So, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, here’s how it all looks:

1. Green lace tunic dress (£1.99)

Green Dress

Green and lace it is, a dress it isn’t. Still wearable as a top though and fits width wise so counting it a semi success

2. White sparkly lip t-shirt (99p)

Lipsshirt

Suffice to say trade descriptions would be interested it taking a look at this t-shirt, what’s supposed to be a sexy come hither lip bite, actually looks like a drag queen’s snarl. The quality is extremely poor as well, it’s not the crisp white cotton fruit of the loom t-shirt as depicted in the picture, it’s off white and practically see through. This one’s getting filed in the B1N sadly.

3. Grey crochet detail top (£1.60)

greylace

Sadly it doesn’t quite give me the slouchy city girl look like the pretty lady in the picture, it would be good if it fell off my shoulders a bit more, but I do have shoulders wider than the average human and it does still fit so a thumbs up!

4. The yellow blazer! (£3.26)

blazer

The positives are it fits! Woo! This is probably the biggest success out of the haul, which is great seeing as it was the reason for making the order in the first place. The negative is it’s made from a material that’s akin to that of a cheap fancy dress costume (in this case I think it would be an airline stewardess). As long as I don’t stand near any open flames, under a hot light bulb or walk too quickly, I’m sure it will be fine!

So there you go, one dud but a few successes, all in all not as bad as I expected. If you’re thinking of ordering from the Far East, here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Completely ignore their sizing guides, they are wholly inaccurate
  • Check their feedback; there’s often hints in there about sizing, particularly in the negative comments ‘i’m a size 12 and Large is too small etc’ might help making your sizing choices
  • Postage bumps the prices right up so where as my items cost around £7, postage was £14
  • They also don’t combine postage, so there’s no real advantage to buying multiple items at once
  • Delivery takes about a month so don’t order anything you may need in a hurry
  • The quality of some items is very, very poor, it’s all synthetic material, nothing is soft or cotton, but at the end of the day, it’s cost you pennies, so that’s to be expected

Happy shopping!

The Sweet Smell of My Teenage Years

‘A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting’ – Christian Dior

Ever since I could remember I’ve been on a constant search for my own perfect smell. Perfume always seems to smell amazing on other people, but I’ve never seemed to be able to find something I’m in love with and that I think is totally ‘me’.

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When I was 16 I got the Natural Reactions set from Avon (now discontinued) and totally fell in love with them, especially ‘In the Clouds’. That, and a perfume that the clothing shop Oasis used to do (also discontinued) have been the closest thing I’ve ever been able to find to a smell I think suits me. So imagine my delight to find the entire Natural Reactions set, unused and on ebay for only £15! I swiftly purchased and when they arrived, they smell exactly how I remember them.

In order of least favourite to favourite they are:

20150213_144306 Fired Up – Definitely my least favourite of the 4 (although its still a nice smell) so tend to  use this first and save the  other ones for special occasions, it’s a little on the spicy side for  me, it also seems to be the  most readily available on ebay so I’m guessing most other  people  feel the same as me! It’s more winter and evening appropriate as it’s quite musky, I  think it would be quite heavy for work. Nice for anyone who likes exotic, warm fragrances  though.

 

 

 

 

20150213_144210 Earth Walk – I’m undecided on this one, sometimes I love and it sometimes I’m not overly  keen. It’s very earthy, dry and woody as the name suggests. Again probably better in the  winter,  it doesn’t have that ‘fresh’ and ‘clean’ smells that I tend to gravitate towards. It’s  good for  work and works very well as a day-to-night perfume.

 

 

 

 
20150213_144241 Still Waters – This is way more up my street, it reminds me of a perfume GAP used to do  called GAP Blue and is really clean and fresh. Perfect for any time of year really but  definitely more of a day time scent.

 

 

 

 

 

20150213_144143 In The Clouds – My all time fave! I was so pleased when this one dropped through the  letterbox and as soon as i sniffed it i was 16 again. It’s very light, fresh, flowery and sweet,  it’s ideal for summer and during the day. It’s such a shame that it’s discontinued because i  think this would be my signature smell were it more readily available. I’ll without a doubt  be using it sparingly to try to make it last as long as possible!

 

 

 

 

I’ll be keeping an eye out for these on ebay but with them being discontinued in the late 90’s (and can’t seem to find anything by Avon that they were replaced by) I may have to start my fragrance search all over again and accept I’m not 16 any more!

Don Thee Now Your Gay Apparel

”Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves and, of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times.’ – Betsey Johnson

December is my favourite month of the year. Not only because it’s Christmas and i get some time off work, but it’s the time of year when i go out more than any other month, and that means an excuse to by a shedload of new outfits! My style (if you can call it that) is often very casual, i’m very much a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and i don’t normally get dressed up unless i’m going to a wedding.

It hit me a few months ago when i went on a hen do and for comfort reasons i just threw on a pair of black jeans and a nice top and went out. As soon as i got out i was kicking myself for not making  more of an effort and styling it out in a pencil skirt, all the other girls looked so glamourous and i looked like a scruff. So i’m upping my game this year. I probably only have a couple of good years left in me where i’m still young enough to dress to the nines and i’m not in that ’40 and frumpy’ age bracket. This year, i’m going to town, literally. Here are some of my favourite outfits from the festive season, i’ve tried to add links to each thing (or something similar) where i can!

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 Friday 5th December 2014 – Office Party. Dress ‘Livvy’ by Amy Childs, Statement necklace and black suede look court shoes by Atmosphere at Primark

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Friday 12th December 2014 – Christmas Jumper day at work. Snowflake jumper by H&M, black bootcut jeans from Dorothy Perkins

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Saturday 13th December 2014 – Girls Night Out. Top to toe in Primark!

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Wednesday 17th December 2014 – Works night out. Red Herring leopard print dress (belt not worn)

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21st December 2014 – pre Xmas dinner and drinks with Hubby, bottle green skirt and black jumper from Primark, vintage statement necklace from eBay and peep toe shoe boots from New Look