Monday, March 31, 2008


It appears that spring may finally have sprung in these fair Isles and about time too is all I can say. The sun is shining, it isn’t cold (I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say it’s warm though) the daffodils are blooming and someone is mowing the lawn so the smell of freshly cut grass greets you when you step outside. My mind is filled with outfit possibilities for the rest of the week filled with colour to match the sunshine.

Of course now I’ve said that it will be back to grey skies and rain tomorrow in which case the colours will be a welcome addition to the day.

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing my new boots and shoes
…reading US Glamour & Red magazines
…watching my sales items on eBay
…listening to Weird Al Yankovic
…eating flapjack
…shopping on eBay

Outfit: Black & Brown & New Boots

I’m sure these boots will work better with a casual outfit but I was dying to wear them.

Black pencil skirt – Long Tall Sally
Brown t – Tall Girls
Brown cardi – Luxuriously Tall
Black tights – Silkies
Black & brown boots – ASOS

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Marketing (And A Short Review of Clinique Makeup)

As a consumer I believe that absolutely the best way to market a new product is to give people a free sample of it. You can tell people how good something is until you’re blue in the face, but if they can try it out for themselves, chances are they will go back and purchase the full-size version. Clearly the advertisers agree with this: just open any women’s monthly glossy magazine and check out the countless perfume scented pages, makeup samples and shampoo sachets that can be found inside any given issue.

From the manufacturer’s point of view, giving away a free sample with another purchase is also a good way to showcase a new product to your existing customers. An example of this is the Bonus Time offer that Clinique are currently running in Boots stores in association with Cosmopolitan magazine.

You get a box of sample size goodies with any two purchases from the Clinique line. I was in my local Boots buying a refill for my Super Balanced Compact Foundation so I figured I would buy two at the same time and claim my free box. Included inside, amongst other things, is a small tube of Lash Doubling Mascara, and a Colour Surge Eye Shadow Pallet. I have not had any experience with Clinique makeup products other than the foundation I just started using, but based on these two samples alone I am a convert. The mascara has a specially shaped brush that tapers towards the end making application easy. The eye shadow glides on and stays put all day.

I’m not sure I will buy the full size products regularly as the mascara is £12.50 and the eye shadow is £14, but I may be tempted to splash out on it occasionally now that I know how good it is.

Outfit: Saturday Night

We were invited to a friend’s wedding reception last night and I had a new top to wear. It was an eBay bargain – just £6.99 rather than the £55 it should have cost new. The light is not good on the picture so I’ve put a shot of the top on its own. I put a black jacket over the shrug to go out in, but ended up shedding it and the shrug once the dancing started.

Black sequin corset top – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Black trousers – Tall Girls
Black shrug – New Look
Red shoes – Next
Red heart pendant – Claire’s

Outfit: Saturday Errands

I was running errands yesterday morning – going to the Post Office to post my ebay sales and doing housework. So it was just jeans and flats and a casual top.

Dark skinny jeans – Gap
Shoe slave t shirt – Marks & Spencer (black sleeves and waistband added by me)
Black cardi – Long Tall Sally
Silver flats – Faith

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why I Love: eBay

Everyone loves a bargain and there are certainly plenty to be had on eBay. As a girl who loves clothes and an all round shoe and boot addict, I am constantly searching for tall clothing in my size and for shoes and boots that are often elusive in a size 9 on the British high street. But whatever it is you’re looking for, you are likely to find it, for eBay is a treasure trove of junk, bargains and items that may no longer be for sale elsewhere.
So just what is the hook that makes eBay so addictive, and not just to buyers? The answer is two fold. People love to shop. And there is an undeniable thrill of purchasing something you love. But here it’s slightly different: eBay is a competition. You compete with other buyers to win the item and then you get the rush from buying it at the checkout. But since eBay is mail order, you then get a second bout of excitement a few days or a week later, when your item is delivered to you in the post. It’s like someone has sent you a gift. And let’s face it, a pair of shoes or the latest book you’ve purchased is always going to be more exciting than a utility bill or credit card statement.
Now as much as I love to bid on an item on eBay, I think that selling things is just as exciting, if not more so. When you’re bidding, there’s always that chance you will be outbid and the price will go above what you’re willing to pay. But when you watch an item you’re selling, several things happen that I think are pretty great. First, you know how many people are watching the item. Second, once the bidding starts the and the price goes up, it’s gratifying to know that all that money is coming straight to your Paypal account, rather than being deducted from your credit card. And thirdly, it’s like an endorsement of your good taste that someone else wants to purchase something that you have previously bought for yourself.
I like to think there’s a bit of a trader in all of us: we like to sell things to make money and we love to grab ourselves a bargain when shopping. And it is the same the world over; hence eBay is so successful worldwide.

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Boots

So I’ve been a little bit naughty on the footwear buying front this week. Following my post on my quest for over the knee boots earlier in the week, a Google search came up with these, in the ASOS sale, for £20. I have never ordered from ASOS before and I have to say, I am very impressed with the service. My order was processed on Easter Monday and dispatched that day. They arrived at my office on Wednesday. From the picture I had thought that the boots would be made of a leather-like material but they are softer and more of a fabric feel than faux-leather. But that doesn’t matter. They look fantastic on and most importantly, come right up to my knees. I’m already planning an outfit around them for sometime next week.

New Shoes

Isn’t Ebay fantastic? After chasing my parcel around town for the last two days, I picked up my latest shoe purchase from the post office today. A pair of brand new, leopard print pumps, from New Look, for £8.99. And aren’t they fabulous?


As I was browsing the BBC website this morning, I came across this article about a site called Styleshake that allows you to design your own dress. This is not a new concept by any means; Steve Madden has allowed you to design your own shoes for a while now. But this site promises to make and deliver your dress within 10 days. First up, you choose your own design or you can browse designs that have been created recently by other people. There are 6 sections of the dress with a range of options for each part. You can choose your fabric too: cotton, silk or metallic silk are available in a range of colours. The site has a size guide so there is the option to either use their measurements or submit your own for no extra cost. And there is a free alterations service once the dress is received should it not fit quite correctly. Prices are £79-£149 and so if you are looking for a tailor made dress without the tailor made price tag, this could be the option for you.

Outfit: Rainy Friday – Green Jacket

Taking inspiration from Kasmira’s week of bright things, I thought I would go for something a little more colourful today. I’ve had this jacket years and I thought I had donated it to charity already, but the other day I found it languishing at the bottom of my out of season wardrobe and thought it would be perfect for spring. If spring ever arrives that is. So although it’s cold and rainy today I’m wearing the jacket as part of my outfit and add my winter coat over the top when I go outside.

Teal cord jacket – Oasis
Black polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Dark skinny jeans – Gap
Teal boots – Faith

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Outfit: Black & Silver

I didn’t have much time to plan this outfit last night so it is somewhat cobbled together from what was handy in the spare room (the boots and t shirt), the jeans I wore yesterday, the belt I had on last night and the sweater & scarf that were easy to grab from the wardrobe. And I think it turned out pretty well despite the lack of thought.

Black sweater – New Look (charity shop)
White t – Long Tall Sally
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Black boots – Tall Girls
Silver belt – Primark
Silver scarf – gift from a friend
Silver hair clip – Boots

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Outfit: Green Boots

On reflection, suede boots were probably not the best choice of footwear now that it’s raining outside. But they are my favourite boots and I was longing to wear them as I’ve not had them on for a while.

Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Green suede boots – River Island
Green zig zag scarf – Per Una at Marks & Spencer

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Outfit: Pink & Brown

No picture yesterday. It was Easter Monday, another bank holiday in the UK. I wore my blue empire line top from Dorothy Perkins with a white long sleeve t underneath (it was cold and there were more flurries of snow), with dark skinny jeans from Gap and my blue Ethel Austin flat shoes. I didn’t do anything particularly exciting, just the weekly shop at Tesco in the morning and then running a few errands in the afternoon to buy a wedding gift for a friend and a new alarm clock for me, as my old one picked this weekend to die.

So, on to today: I decided to stick with the pink theme (read: couldn’t be bothered to change over my handbag) and so planned an outfit around these shoes that I haven’t worn for a while. I only have this one pair of sling backs and they work best with a skirt as the hem of your trousers gets caught between your heel and the shoe if you wear the shoes with trousers. I knew it would be cold again so I opted for a knitted dress, but I now wish I’d put a long sleeve layer underneath it as I’m a bit chilly (story of my life!).

Apologies for the picture quality – the sun was shining in and so has made the whole thing rather dark. I’ve put up a picture of the dress on its own so you can see it more clearly.

Brown knit dress – Long Tall Sally
Brown tights – Dorothy Perkins
Brown & pink sling back shoes - Faith
Pink belt – charity shop

Monday, March 24, 2008

Over The Knee Boots

I have become obsessed with searching for over the knee boots. It’s not the over-the-knee-ness I’m really interested in – I have no ambitions to look like Jacqui McQueen from Hollyoaks, believe me. No, it’s the height of the boot that I am after because on me, over the knee length boots reach up to my knee. Having worn my green suede boots (which have turn down tops that can be pulled up) for a season, and now my black flat riding-style boots which have extra height in them, I have been spoilt and ordinary ‘knee-high’ boots feel like mid-calf height to me. There are many pairs of faux suede boots to be had on ebay but I am not sure I want to pay £14.99 for shipping, this is ebay after all and you’re supposed to be getting a bargain, right? Besides, the seller is in China and doesn’t have the best feedback rating. I may cave at some stage and buy as it’s proving difficult to find any suitable boots elsewhere. In the meantime, does anyone know where I can find extra tall boots?

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing warm clothes – the snow is back
…reading the May issue of Company magazine (which was delivered to my house on 21st March)
…watching ‘Firewall’
…listening to Shania Twain
…eating caramel eggs for the last time this year
…shopping for boots that are tall enough to reach my knees

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Outfit: Easter Saturday

Another quiet day, I spent the morning wondering around town looking in the charity shops. Not much doing though so no new shoes today!

Grey wool & cashmere sweater - Zara

Jeans - Gap

White t - Tall Girls

Silver belt - Primark

Grey boots - Ethel Austin

Friday, March 21, 2008

Next Tall Range Update

Earlier this week I told you about the new Tall range that is being stocked at Next. I can now confirm that it is currently only available online and via the Next Directory. However, the customer services representative that replied to my email said that stores are stocked based on customer demand so all you tall ladies out there, go and ask for the tall range in your local store!

Outfit: Good Friday

Well it’s a bank holiday here in the UK so I’m just pottering about the house doing the washing and baking caramel shortbread. It’s cold and windy and keeps raining outside so when I ventured to the local shop earlier I needed to be warm.

Red polo neck sweater – Luxuriously Tall
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Black boots – Tall Girls

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grumpy Old Blogger!

Yes I am! And to prove it, I have an article featured on Amber’s site right now.

Brantano Now Offering Online Shopping

That’s right, after years of only detailing where to find their stores, the Brantano website now has a shopping facility. There is a good range of size 9 and 10 shoes available, and, as in the stores, you can search by size so can see immediately what is available in your size. This is great news for all us larger footed ladies. The shipping is a standard rate of £3.95 and unfortunately they don’t offer international shipping at present.

Outfit: Classic Pink

So as promised, I’m back to my classic black sweater and dark jeans, but with a pink twist. The scarf I made from a vest top that was too short so I chopped it up to make a scarf.

Dark Long and Lean jeans – Gap
Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Pink scarf – made by me
Pink shoes – Faith

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Outfit: Pink Boots

This is likely to be the peak of my pinkness – since this sweater is the brightest pink item I own. I’ve a feeling it will be back to a subdued black top and pink shoes tomorrow.

Pink sweater – Dunnes
White t – Tall Girls
Jeans – Next
Pink belt – H&M
Pink boots – Bertie (BT2)
Pink bangles – Accessorize
Silver bangles – Scope
Pink pendant – Scope

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Outfit: Grey and Pink

These shoes are so comfortable yet I don’t wear them very often. So as it’s ‘pink week’ for me, I thought they deserved an outing.

Grey wool rib polo neck – chain store seconds
Grey wool skirt – Gap
Grey rib tights – Next
Pink leather & suede shoes – Clarks

Monday, March 17, 2008

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing pink
…reading ‘Theodora’s Baby’ by Penny Culliford
…watching Neighbours as I’ve not seen it for a week or so
…listening to ‘The Passion’ by Adrian Snell
…eating whatever I buy at Tesco today
…shopping on Ebay! Because I can.

Outfit: Pink Thrift

I’m having a pink week this week as I haven’t worn anything pink in ages. And it’s not fair to neglect my wonderful pink shoes. But the week had to start with an outfit including my new shoes from Friday. And the shoes are not the only item to come from the charity shop...

Pink rib polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Black and cream stripe dress – unknown (charity shop)
Pink tights – Jonathan Aston at
Black shoes – New Look (charity shop)
Pink belt – unknown (charity shop)
Silver bangles – Scope
Pink bangles – Accessorize (gift from friend)

Next Launch Tall Range

After years of stocking shoes in a size 9, Next have launched a Tall clothing range, suitable for women over 5’10”. As a tall women of 5’11”, I am understandably very excited about this. What I can’t understand is why they didn’t tell their customers that they were doing it. I receive the weekly email from Next and I don’t think that any mention was made in any of the recent issues. The first I heard about it was when I went on to the Next site this morning looking for a handbag and spotted the word Tall in the list of Womenswear departments.
However, the range seems very comprehensive – trouser suits, jeans, dresses, tops. I would show you pictures but the Next site is a ‘flash’ one and won’t allow pictures to be saved. At present I don’t know whether the range is available in store or just online/mail order. I’ve emailed the customer services department for clarification and will update you as soon as they come back to me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Shoes!

Another charity shop bargain - £4.50 from the St Michael’s Hospice shop on Friday afternoon. I wasn’t even planning to look at charity shops on Friday, I was on my way to buy a birthday card and a tail light for my car before getting my hair cut. But the shoes were just sitting in the window looking at me so I had to go try them on… They are New Look ones and I’m already planning an outfit for them on Monday (weather permitting)!

Boots Essentials Cucumber Cleansing Wipes

As previously documented, I am very lazy, so what better way for me to remove my makeup than with cleansing wipes. These come in a fragrance free version but unusually for me, I am not allergic to the cucumber ones so I buy those as they smell so much nicer. The wipes come in a pack of 30 and cost £2.29 but more often than not, they are on offer: either buy one get one free as they are at the moment, or 3 for 2.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Outfit: Blue Friday – The Remix

Due to my laziness once more, this outfit is a mixture of last Friday’s and what I wore last night. I had to change the jeans today as the dark ones I had on last night got petrol on the hems from the floor at the filling station and are now in the wash. Last night I was out for a pub meal with some friends – it was supposed to be a church meeting but since the chair of the committee will be leaving us soon we decided to eat out for her farewell.

Blue sweater – Florence + Fred at Tesco
Pale Long and Lean jeans – Gap (embroidery by me)
Blue & silver bangles – Oxfam
Silver bangles – Scope
Blue shoes – Office

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I’m In The Mood For Dancing

As part of my foray into the world of local musical theatre, being in the chorus of the production involves an amount of dancing. At the first rehearsal I was advised by my fellow cast members to purchase some proper dancing shoes. After some online research I discovered that there was a shop not far from me, Planet Dance. And they stocked various styles of dance shoes in my size. After trying on a couple of pairs I settled on the ones pictured by So Danca and I look forward to putting them to good use over the coming weeks in rehearsals and then during show week.

Wanted: A New Winter Coat

Yes, I know this is not the best time to decide that I want a new winter coat. Shops have either got all of their new season items in or what’s left on the sale rack is either tiny or large, nothing in between. I think this is part of my whole ‘I’m bored with winter now’ thing that I talked about a few weeks ago. Part of the problem is that I saw the perfect coat at the beginning of the winter and didn’t buy it at the time due to the price. And now I am kicking myself for not doing so because of course it sold out in everything but a size 20 by the time it was reduced in the January sale. It was a tall ¾ length, in a lovely shade of bluey-teal. So I’m vowing here and now: next autumn when I see a fabulous coat that is not brown, black or grey and fits me perfectly, I will buy it then and there because waiting will more than likely mean missing out.

Outfit: Lazy Thursday

This is basically the outfit I wore last night for the rehearsal of the local musical theatre production I am involved with this year. It gets warm in the hall when we’re dancing though so the polo neck was replaced by a blue sleeveless t and on my feet I had my blue flats – as soon as I got out of the front door into the rain I wished I’d put on these boots so that’s why the change this morning. This outfit continues the blue theme nicely too.

Black and blue dress – Dorothy Perkins
Black polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Black leggings – Long Tall Sally
Blue boots – Priceless Shoes
Blue beads – Scope

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Outfit: Blue Dress (Take 2)

I got this dress about 18 months ago in H&M. I was in there looking for a different dress entirely and as I don’t go in very often I had a good look round. I saw this dress hanging on the rail and had to try it on – it was so soft and so blue! Unfortunately, as one of my mottos is ‘Life’s too short for hand washing’ I think it has shrunk a little in length in the washing machine and is now a little short for wearing as a dress. I might get away with it with leggings, I’ll have to try it out. But it’s perfect for wearing over jeans and is warm and cosy for a wet and windy day like today.

Blue wool & angora ¾ sleeve dress – H&M
Brown long sleeve t – Tall Girls
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Brown boots – Faith
Silver belt – Primark
Brown & silver bangles – Dorothy Perkins
Silver bangles – Scope
Not pictured, but for warmth I am also wearing a brown to beige ombre silk scarf from M&Co.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Outfit: New (Thrifted) Dress

I had to go into town on Friday afternoon to get a new watch battery for the young man so I thought I’d have a quick look in the charity shops whilst I was there. And I’m glad I did as hidden away in the Cancer Research shop was this blue dress. It’s a Wallis one and cost me £6.75. Now I think that’s pricey for a charity shop but the dress is in good condition and it’s so my colour so I had to have it. There was a black fabric belt with it but I’ve replaced that with my own belt today for a more business-like look. I’d have loved to wear it without the sweater but the blustery British weather is making that impossible at the moment. Roll on spring!

Blue dress – Wallis (charity shop)
Black polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Black patent belt – Dorothy Perkins
Black tights – Silkies
Blue patent shoes – New Look

Monday, March 10, 2008

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing blue
…reading ‘Theodora’s Wedding’ by Penny Culliford
…watching Bjorn Again in concert
…listening to Abba
…eating the caramel shortbread that I intend baking tomorrow
…shopping for nothing (unless I spot a real bargain in a charity shop – that’s recycling and giving to charity you know)

Outfit: Nautical Inspired

I have been reading recently about the Nautical trend for spring and Catwalk Queen featured a Nautical outfit last week. With spring promising to be just around the corner for the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d give something similar a try. Typical then, that I woke up this morning to heavy rain and gales. The sun has come out now but it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will stick around and so the addition of the grey tights and cardi will prove to be a prudent one. I used to have some red anchor earrings that would have worked perfectly with this theme, but they are long gone. Instead, I added these that have small boats hanging from them. And I didn’t realise how Next-centric I am today until I typed up the outfit list just now!

Navy dress – Next
White long sleeve t – Tall Girls
Grey cashmere cardi – Marks & Spencer (ebay)
Red belt – Next
Grey tights – Next
Red shoes – Next
Red bangles – Primark
Red heart pendant – Claire’s
Earrings – unknown

Friday, March 07, 2008

Outfit: Blue Friday

I’ve gone for something a bit brighter after all the days of black this week. We were talking about signature items on the Shiny Fashion Forums earlier in the week and I said I didn’t know about a signature item, but blue is probably my signature colour. Do you have a signature colour or item?

Blue v neck sweater – Florence + Fred at Tesco
Dark Long and Lean jeans – Gap
Blue patent shoes – New Look
Blue & silver bangles – Oxfam
Blue rose necklace and matching earrings – BhS

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Outfit: Nail Polish and Shoes

As you know I am not one to shy away from co-ordination – be it shoes and bags, shoes and tops, whatever. So today I thought it might be fun to have my shoes matching my nails. I got these shoes for £2.50 in the Matalan sale in the summer but they don’t get worn so often because I find it hard to pair the colour with other items.

Black polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Blue ‘Left Weave’ Long and Lean jeans – Gap
Burgundy shoes – Matalan

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I believe that moisturising daily is important to keep your skin looking supple and youthful. However, I don’t believe in paying the earth for some fancy shmancy moisturiser when a simple body lotion will do the job just as well. Vaseline Intensive Care Essential Moisture Dry Skin Lotion is fantastic for the job. I keep a big bottle of it by the bed for a night time application (the young man often uses it on his hands too) and a smaller tube in my handbag for when I use a soap or product that dries out my hands, which happens often. The lotion contains vitamins A and E and soaks in well to leave your skin feeling soft and silky. And it costs less than £5 for the larger bottle.

Outfit: Dark Red Nails

I painted my nails in dark red last night using Boots No7 Rock Hard Nail Polish in Dragon’s Blood. It’s a bit more classy than the blue shade I had on over the weekend so it called for a smarter outfit than I’ve been wearing of late on a Wednesday. A classic colour needs a classic outfit so what better than smart jeans and a black sweater. The scarf was a late addition when I saw the frost outside this morning. It was bought on sale for £6 four years ago to wear as a wrap for my cousin’s wedding and has proved useful as a scarf ever since.

Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Dark Long and Lean jeans – Gap
Blue silk scarf – Accessorize
Black and cream shoes – Next (charity shop)