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The summer sale season is in full swing, with many retailers reducing some of their summer stock. Is it me, or, did the sales start earlier than usual, this year? I know they are normally staggered over a few months.

There are some fantastic bargains to be had. For example, if you’re a lover of designer wear, I’ve noticed the likes of “Net-a Porter” and “Harvey Nichols” have dropped their prices by 80% on some seriously key pieces. There really are some very tempting discounts on offer. I, on the other hand, am more of a high street girl, but it doesn’t hurt to look for inspiration!

I had been eyeing up a few pieces from the beginning of the spring/summer season but didn’t give in to temptation. A few of the items have long gone.. Unfortunately, that’s the risk when you don’t buy straightaway. Nevertheless, I did still manage to get a discount on a few items, so patience is key.

I also think if you wait, you will probably know if you really want/need that item. I must admit, in the past, I’ve bought the odd pieces that have sat in the wardrobe with their price tags intact never to be worn (not many) – which is not good at all, especially now, when we are aware of the harm this mass production of cheap clothing is doing to our environment. Most of us are now steering towards more “eco-friendly” brands.

I ask myself a few questions when I’m about to jump in and buy!

· will I get a lot of wear from this?

· will it make the transition to early autumn, or the following season?

· will I still love this in six months, or, a year or two’s time, and beyond?

I love a piece that serves me well – whether that’s a classic jacket, dress or kimono.

Here are a few sale items that are still current. They may inspire you if you’re looking for something similar: –

Lightweight dressing gown – full price £25.00 – paid £17.50

With the sweltering heat that we have been experiencing lately, plus, being a woman of a certain age, I decided to have a look around the sales for a full length, lightweight dressing gown. I was after one that ticks all the boxes, doesn’t feel or look cheap, lightweight and easy to wear, as well as being easy on the eye! I came across this one from Debenhams. It is from their “Collection” range. I tried it on quickly in the shop, over my dress, settling on a size 12 to 14. I have found it to be generous in size. It is indeed a lovely satin material, gorgeous colours, plus, you must agree, a lovely floral pattern. And, it is comfortable to wear. I have since read on the reviews that it washes well too.

Aldo (Debenhams) Tan ‘Urebrilith’ Wedge Sandals – was £75.00 – reduced to £24.00

These sandals are such a bargain. I have been on the lookout for a pair of strappy wedges for a while, to complement my summer outfits. They looked quite high when I first saw them. However, when I tried them on, they felt very comfortable. And, the proof is, I have worn them to “all day” events and my feet haven’t hurt at all! The leather is good quality, too!

Zara printed kimono with embroidery – was £69.99 – reduced to £19.99

I first spotted this Kimono months ago. Being on the pricey side, I decided to wait to see if it would come down in price. Weeks later, when I was having a wander through the store, I was thrilled to spot it in the sale, with a £15.00 sticker on it. When paying for it, the staff member said there was an error with the price. The kimono was supposed to be reduced to £29.99. I was lucky as they honoured the £15.00 price. How lovely of Zara!

This is such a comfortable statement piece. I love the light material, colours, print and embroidery detail. It’s meant to be oversized, so I was pleased it was a medium to large.

It is very eye catching and fun to wear. It can be dressed up or down. I have received compliments each time I have worn it! I’ve paired it with a dress and jeans – and, it’s great over a swimming costume on the beach!

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/printed-kimono-with-embroidery-p05860040.html

H &M Palazzo trousers – was £19.99 – reduced to £7.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pants are a great alternative to a maxi skirt. I did alter mine, as they were a little too long. Oh, the joys of Wonda web!! I have worn them with brown and cream camisoles which I also purchased from “H&M”. Perfect for holidays, or warm weather. They’ll also look great with a sweater when the weather turns cooler in the autumn. So, a great transition piece.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsered post.  All items are my own.   Thank you.

Summer’s here!!  Following my “de-clutter”, I am now able to see exactly where to spice up my “warm weather” wardrobe.

I’ve added some additions, partly spurred on by my June holiday to Majorca, which I will share with you.  I hope it helps, particularly if you are looking for a few pieces yourself – now the sales have started.  I’ve noticed there is still new stock arriving daily – too tempting!!

I don’t have rules for my perfect summer outfit.  My favourites are figure-flattering, easy to wear dresses, as well as floaty “boho” midi and maxi dresses, where the material is light enough for the hottest day, and casual enough for a day out. It’s also good to have attire that is dressy enough to transfer from brunch to a garden party, and onto dinner and drinks, with just a few quick accessories added.

I do enjoy clothes that look and feel effortless.  The fit of the garment and quality of material are very important. If those aren’t right, it’s not for me.

Top and trousers – “Conscious” range – “H&M”

I bought these pieces from “H&M, which is one of my favourite high street stores for great fashion and savvy shopping.  This outfit is from their “Conscious” collection, where all garments are made from sustainably sourced materials and/or with sustainable methods.  You can identify this range by looking out for the “green conscious” hangtags.

Zebra stripes midi dress – “H&M”

I bought this dress a little while ago.  After trying on a few sizes, I eventually settled on a “10” (I’m a 12 to 14 gal).

This is such a beautiful dress.  I love the ruffles and movement.  It’s lovely quality – light and cool, and perfect for hot days. It also looks great with a belt or various jackets, or, alternatively, over a swimsuit on the beach.  I know I will get a lot of wear from this dress in the summer months, plus what a great price.  Win, win!!

 Maxi Boho dress “Mango”

 

 

The term “boho” gets thrown around a lot.  Of course, short for bohemian, the term is now usually associated with hip and trendy music festivals, while previously being associated with the hippies of the 60’s and 70’s.  I know there is a saying that you shouldn’t revisit a style you wore as a young girl – but, “hey”, rules are there to be broken.  Plus, I still like this style, hence why this dress really caught my eye.  The colour and print are beautiful, and I love the feminine ruffles.  I had to return the 12 for a 10 as it was a little on the large side (wish that was the case all of the time!!).

White broderie sundress “JD Williams”

Bought this Kimono in the Zara sale for half price! Love it with this white dress

This white broderie sundress first caught my eye on Instagram.  I had been searching for a new white dress for a while.  The material is lovely quality and it is a flattering midi length, with pockets – which I love.  It is a bright white.  I’ve found, with a lot of white dresses, they can look a dull, but this one certainly isn’t – really hope it keeps its brightness.  I’ve had a few compliments wearing this dress from friends asking where I bought it!

Here is a few ideas for you from the new stock hitting the high street.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsered post.  All items are my own.  There are, however, a few affiliate links. This means that I can potentially earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you).  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Going with the understanding that it can be a cathartic process, I decided to have a good old sort through my wardrobe and ‘get my stuff in order’!!

It was a mammoth task which needed to be tackled. This initial job was basically so that I could ‘see the wood for the trees”, i.e. trying to create order, instead of a load of old clutter.

My handy storage box.

This is the perfect time of year to do this – in preparation for the switch from winter to spring/summer – a wardrobe reshuffle, if you like – giving my summer dresses, shirts and tee’s a more prominent position. This was a crucial exercise, especially when space is an issue, which, it is for most.

The first thing I did was to put the winter items to one side, which I know I won’t be using for, hopefully, quite a few months. Some woollens were washed and stored (folded and flat) to keep their shape. Living in the North East of England, sweaters and cardigans rarely stay in their moth-proof storage bags for long, due to the occasional icy blast from the coast. So, they are stored loosely, within touching distance.

My coats were stored to the side of the wardrobe and I stole some space in my hubby’s wardrobe area to hang the rest (he hasn’t mentioned it so mustn’t have noticed!).

All my winter scarfs were neatly packed into a clear perspex box. You can usually buy a pack of three for £10.00 and they are so handy to store stuff in, plus they are clear, so you can see what is in there. I used another to put all my swimming and holiday items in. Prior to this, I’d had everything stuffed in a bag and you can imagine the creased state they were in when I emptied it prior to packing for a holiday – not ideal. So, hopefully, all items will be “good to go”.

It was very cathartic, getting everything in order!!

I put all of my summer clothes on the bed and categorised them – dresses, tee’s, skirts etc…. then I started making piles of items. 1. Keep; 2. Not sure??; 3. Sell (which I’ve never done so far); and 4. Charity Bag.

It can be tricky when you are unsure about parting with an item. I’ve made the mistake a few times of getting rid of something, and then regretting it. I did try some items on to see if they still fitted, looked good, or, if I could do a quick tweak to make them current and on-trend. Sometimes you come across that little gem that you had forgotten about. You’ve probably guessed that I’m not keen on throwing things out or parting with ‘stuff’ until I’m totally sure.

I use this small basket to store socks and tights in.

Following this mammoth de-clutter, I feel so much better, and know most of my clothes are where they are supposed to be and are easily accessible.

I have made a few updates to my summer wardrobe by freshening it up. It’s great to bring in a few welcome additions and, now, because I’m mindful of what I already have, I can think of items that will complement the new clothes. I am more aware of what I already have, which, has opened some wardrobe/styling possibilities for my old favourites.

The unsure pile – do they stay or go??

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsored post. All items are my own.

Self-tan is occasionally described as the “Marmite” of the beauty world. You either love or hate it. The results can be equally diverse. Upon application, the intention is a lovely sun-kissed glow. Nevertheless, we’ve all experienced the unattractive tango tones, patchiness and streaks, following an application. I’ve also read reviews where the product has sometimes turned green! Plus, there is that all familiar pong of malty biscuits. The best test to see if the colour is good is to do a small patch test, then check the colour in the daylight. This can be a great success or, alternatively, one which you weren’t hoping for. The upshot being a morning spent in the bathroom with lemon juice and a loofah removing said colour!! We have all been there.

Fortunately, tanning products have come a long way in the last couple of years. So, whether you prefer a deep golden tan or a more subtle shimmer, there is a product to suit everyone. The selection for self-tan is huge with everything from lotions, mousses, and handy 360 sprays to popping into your local beauty salon for an all over spray tan. Fortunately, most companies do a fair, medium and dark choice so you can usually find one that is suitable for you. I usually go for the fairest shade – but I have, on occasion, bought the dark shade and mixed a little of it with moisturiser – which can work well, too.

My wish list for a great self-tan is:

  1.  easy to apply, non-messy product;
  2. natural colour that doesn’t go streaky and smell of biscuits (difficult to avoid in my opinion); and
  3.  good price – personally, I’ve bought expensive products that aren’t as good as cheaper versions.

 

To get long lasting results, I have listed a few tips I follow:

  • try to remember to dry brush my body daily (mostly in the summer months) – I don’t have the motivation when it’s sleety rain for weeks on end;
  • do a lot with exfoliation prior to application;
  • when washing, gently exfoliate the whole-body paying attention to feet, knees and elbows – then, use a light moisturiser to the whole body – then a second coat to feet, knees and elbows – this is because these areas tend to absorb more self-tan resulting in an uneven appearance;
  • once the moisturiser has been absorbed, apply a few pumps of foam onto a mitt (like the St Tropez one best) working your way upwards in a circular motion, starting at the feet – sometimes applying 2 coats, if required.
  • while waiting for the self-tan to develop, always wear something dark, though, I find it does wash out of most clothes.
  • rinse off – if the colour isn’t dark enough, repeat.
  • for my face tan I have used ‘Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster’ for several years now – you add a few drops to your moisturiser at night and this, I find, gives a nice glow.

Here are a few reviews of ‘self tan’ that I have used over the last couple of years.

Clarins Radiance plus golden glow booster

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster £20.00 – This is n

ot a cruelty free product.

I have used this, on and off, for a few years. I’m ready to move on and try something new. It does give a healthy glow – just add 3 to 4 drops to your night time moisturiser. There is a slight odour of biscuits – it’s not strong but it is there.

 

http://St Tropez Self tan

St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse 200ml – £28.00 usually £33.00 (Boots) ** Cruelty Free **

I must be honest. This is my “go-to” self-tan!! I have used it for a couple of years. I tend to use other self-tan products when I have run out of this! It’s easy to apply. Simply apply the foam with a mitt, then leave it on for one to three hours, depending on how dark you want to go. It also claims the self-tan will continue to activate for up to 8 hours following application. I like it as it doesn’t tend to stain my clothes. I also use the St Tropez tanning mitt as I find it to be the best for application.

Bondi Sands, £14.99 (Boots) ** Cruelty Free **

I decided to give this product a try after reading great reviews on the Boots website. Going for the light/medium shade, it gives an instant colour, so you can see where you need to add more. It has a pleasant fragrance of coconuts, but still had the usual faint smell of biscuits. The colour is very subtle but that’s the way I prefer it. It left a nice even tan so wouldn’t rule this self-tan out!

 

 

 

Rimmel sun shimmer

Rimmel London Sun Shimmer, £5.33 (on offer, in Boots – usually £8.00) – Claim they are Cruelty Free

I first noticed this product on special offer in Superdrug and decided to give it a try. It normally retails around £8.00. Though I have noticed it’s always on offer in the various shops that sell it.

I was impressed with the simple application process, the smell, the colour, the longevity, and the fade. The colour, which is a lovely peach brown, is very near to a natural tan when applied. It comes in light, medium (which I used), and dark. I have used on and off for a few years, usually when I run out of my St Tropez bronzing mousse. After St Tropez, the Sun Shimmer is my second favourite, mainly for the application, colour and price.

 

Marks and spencer

AUTOGRAPH Gradual Tan Body Crème- Light to Medium 200ml – £7.50 Cruelty Free

I found this to be a little messy to apply. It does look a little bit scary when it first slides out of the tube, and I was worried the bathroom would resemble a war zone. But once I started to apply it, the tint of the cream helped me to keep track. It did blend in very well and gave me a natural looking tan. The tint gets deeper as it develops. It doesn’t smell as bad as some tanners but, nevertheless, there is that familiar feint odour, though not offensive. I found it to dry very fast, I did layer a moisturiser over the top once it was dry. This was because it did look streaky in places and I found that helped even it out. The tan did fade quite quickly so topped up again after around three days.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsored post. All items are my own. There are however a few affiliate links. This means that I can potentially earn a small commission (At no additional cost to you). Thank you.

“Mint Velvet” Celeste Print Midi Dress – which was £119.00 is now £79.00. Check availability

Time works differently in the fashion world. While most of us are thinking of packing away our cosy woollen sweaters and suede ankle boots, designers are planning for the year ahead.

Checking out the major brands online for Spring/Summer, the dominant colours seem to be yellow, neon brights and neutrals (which I love).  I’ve also noticed a lot of florals, plus, a touch of tie-die. 

Style wise, there are Spring jackets plus repeated themes such as puffy sleeves – very popular in the 80’s.  I remember them well!

Maybe, I’m being a little over zealous, planning which dresses I may like from the Spring outfits currently on display, while leaving the house in warm tights, woollens and big cosy coats.

But, there’s nothing wrong with having a wish list.  While doing my research, I did notice some dresses I’d be excited to wear when the weather warms up.  There are also some options out there that I can wear from now through till Summer.

All it takes to transform an item into a wintertime-approved piece is a little layering action with the help of turtlenecks, cardigans or tights. 

“Mango” Beige Linen dress with a pop of leopard!! Click here to check availability

Now, with Springtime just around the corner, it’s time to check our wardrobes.

“Mango” beige linen dress. Styled with a “Mango” leather short jacket and ankle boots

I try to be organised in my wardrobe (not always succeeding), separating my Spring/Summer from my Autumn/Winter.  I will then go through my current items and decide which clothes I am keeping, or not, as the case may be.

“Mango” beige linen dress styled with my “French Connection” tassled bag.

While perusing the internet and having a wander around the shops, I found two dresses that caught my eye, which I have recently purchased.  I thought you may like to see how I have styled them. 

“Mango” beige linen dress. Styled with my brown “Zara” Jacket – which was a bargain at £29.99 in the sale!!.

The first dress is the “Celeste Print Midi” from “Mint Velvet”.  This is a “fit and flare” style.  The print is floral.  The colours are ink blue and blush pink.  The dress has buttoned three-quarter sleeve cuffs, which I find so flattering. The hem has asymmetric ruffles, which, again, I find flattering and which. I must add, attracted me to it.

The second dress is from “Mango”.  It’s a beige linen mix material, with a flared design and a midi length.  Because of the colour, this dress is very versatile, and I know I will get a lot of wear from it – either with heels or by adding various jackets. 

 

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsered post.  All items are my own.  There are however a few affiliate links. This means that I can potentially earn a small comission (At no additional cost to you).  Thank you.