The Shopping Mission

24 October 2014

how to wear a bright duster coat

Some people grow up with holidays at Center Parcs.  I was brought up going to shopping outlets.  I only know about the existence of some UK towns since they have a discount village attached and I was a seasoned shopper by the time I reached my teens; I just love getting something amazing at a reduced price.  My main aim is to find the kind of special piece that you don't know you want until you see it, something that takes luck and determination.   I came pretty close to that moment several times at the McArthurGlen shopping village up in Cheshire Oaks, but alas I wasn't just thinking of myself this time.  I had to put together an AW14 trend edit, selecting my favourite pieces for the season ahead with a £300 budget and only a few hours to visit the 145 shops.  Even though I'd visited about twelve years ago and only really remembered the Burberry and Nike stores (priorities), they've since added a few more brands to get excited/distracted by.  I now know why people love Yankee Candle so much, hello salted caramel!

fashion blogging friends
where to buy discount Nikes
Nike outlet McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
shopping in cheshire oaks
Lulu Guinness outlet store McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
best uk shopping outlets
things to try at Yo Sushi
ASOS burnt orange duster coat

Coat - c/o ASOS
Jumper - Opening Ceremony
Skirt - Topshop 
Boots - c/o Boden
Bag - Next

With a photographer and videographer in tow, I did feel a little bit like I was on The Apprentice but I'm sure that my budgeting skills would impress any boardroom.  I stuck to my formula of wardrobe staples with a twist, so my edit includes a red Lulu Guinness bag, collared French Connection skater dress, frayed denim crop top from Warehouse and a sporty pair of Nikes (that I also ended up buying for myself).  I still can't stop thinking about some of the pieces I left behind, namely the perfect AllSaints motorcycle jacket that fit like a glove.  It's definitely the type of place to buy an investment purchase if you love any of the brands and I shall be saving accordingly for my next visit to any of their locations.  Anyway forget about my shopping woes, you actually have a chance to win my AW14 edit by following McArthurGlen and retweeting this competition tweet, I'd so love for one of you to win!
cool Nike trainers

A massive thanks to McArthurGlen for collaborating with me on this post and testing out my speed shopping skills.  I filmed a video here talking through my AW14 Trend Edit and I think I've finally toned down the crazy blinking/hand actions!

All Things Knitted

22 October 2014

Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition

Now I know the knitwear is lacking on the blog at the moment and my Twitter and Instagram handles may seem a little random.  Please accept my apologies.  If you're not a longtime IWYTK reader (it's been almost six years now, so I wouldn't blame you if you were 'washing your hair' for most of that time) you may not know that I studied Fashion Knitwear Design.  I know what you're thinking and yes it is a thing.  For me, seeing jazzy jumpers with stitches that defy logic and cardigans that hang perfectly is akin to a football fan meeting, well, insert random footballer here.  I'd been looking forward to the Fashion Knitwear: Chanel To Westwood exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum for a while, since it's the most dedicated show I'd heard about in a while.   Consisting of a collection by Mark and Cleo Butterfield (they have one of the biggest archives of vintage clothing based in Devon), everything has been whittled down to produce a clear timeline of 20th century knitwear.  From body-con to bathing suits (yes, knitted bikinis weren't just for posing purposes back in the day), it's all there and a real treat for anyone as obsessed as I am.  

Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition
knitwear exhibtiions in London
Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition
Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition
knitwear exhibtiions in London
Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition
vintage knitting patterns
Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition

For me, the main highlights were in the downstairs part of the gallery featuring everything pre-1970.  As it's a personal collection, there's a real mix of anonymous pieces that might have been knitted for a family member or friend, as well as the less cosy and slightly more experimental knits by Julien MacDonald.  It's easy to forget that so many of the pieces that we take for granted now had to be discovered and the cultural significance of every development.  Jersey was typically used for men's undergarments until Chanel re-purposed the fabric for chic yet practical clothing that allowed women to embrace their new found freedom.  The main vintage exhibit sits nicely alongside the more current, visionary knitwear section plus there's an array of fashion photography and magazine clippings.  Definitely one to visit if you want to learn more about the capabilities of the humble stitch and to wonder what might happen next. 

Fashion & Textile Musuem - Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition

Knitwear: Chanel To Westwood runs until the 18th January at the Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF.  It's not far from London Bridge and my fave brunch spot in the area Village East, so why not make a day of it!

An Afternoon At The Manor

19 October 2014

Outfit with COS collared shirt and See by Chloe denim skirt

Hertfordshire.  It's one of those places that seems like ages away but in reality you can go from the hectic streets of the West End to calm countryside in as little as twenty minutes.  Most people only stick to the inner zones when they move to the capital, but as a girl of the suburbs I know exactly what London has to offer.  On Friday a busload of us bloggers were picked up from King's Cross station, taken past pink manor houses and parts of the Tube line I've never clapped eyes on before arriving at the Laura Ashley Hotel.  The concept of lifestyle brands opening hotels is rather fascinating and even though the interiors are all from one place with such a district identity, it never seemed overpowering.  The grounds were the main highlight for me, we had picturesque views of London and a mighty chess set to play around with.  Of course I had to strike a pose!

Laura Ashley Hotel Elstree
Outfit with COS collared shirt and See by Chloe denim skirt
UK fashion bloggers
Transitional outfit ideas in Autumn
Chie Mihara Geraldie Leo quirky shoes with eyelashes
Transitional outfit ideas in Autumn
Chie Mihara Geraldie Leo quirky shoes with eyelashes


So I might have just discovered the perfect shoes.  There are so many quirky styles about but these heels from Chie Mihara are actually comfortable as well.  If you had told me at the start of the year that I'd be wearing gold heels with an ankle strap and eyelashes, I'd probably look a bit bemused but they work so well!  I loved wearing them with my slightly retro getup, I know the 70s are supposed to be back but I prefer to mix my decades up a little.  My new See By Chloe skirt doesn't seem to be able to decide depending on how I style it, I had a voucher floating around and decided to treat myself to a better version of the denim skirts I already have.  I'm always looking to find improvements of what I own already, a black dress that nips me in at the right places, jumpers that are cropped just so and trousers that make me look like Gisele. I haven't found everything just yet, but I'm happy with my technically perfect outfit that I planned in a few minutes.  Maybe a capsule wardrobe isn't such a bad thing!

Laura Ashley Hotel Elstree
Laura Ashley Hotel Elstree
Afternoon tea at the Laura Ashley hotel
Laura Ashley Hotel Elstree
Afternoon tea at the Laura Ashley hotel
Golden regal single decker bus from 1953


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