Monday, January 31, 2011

Outfit: Last Day of January!






Lotus Red Patent MJs

I am excited to see the back of January as it means the days are getting longer and spring is gradually approaching. It also means that the 30 for 30 challenge starts tomorrow. My initial thoughts are that I am going to be OK remixing my clothes, but I will miss not being able to utilise the full extent of my shoe collection. Amber is repeating her shoe challenge from 14th February, and encouraging other people to sign up to it this year. I will do it again I think as it was a good way to ensure I wore all my shoes. Plus, when people accused me of having too many, I could say ‘yes, but I have worn every pair bar [however many were left at that point] since January this year’.

I still have the Capsule Wardrobe challenge to plan for, but I’ll do that nearer the time.

I wasn’t sure what to wear on the last day before my 30 items took over, but I had been looking at these shoes in my wardrobe for a few days thinking that I must wear them again soon, so it grew from there. I love the little fishtail pleat-y thing on the back of this skirt. I forgot to put my lipstick on before I took my pictures, but it’s dark red, a similar colour to my sweater.

Grey waistcoat – Long Tall Sally
Red sweater – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Grey skirt – Long Tall Sally
Grey tights – Primark
Red patent shoes – Lotus (Kaleidoscope) (gifted)
Scarf – charity shop
Silver cross necklace – gifted
Silver earrings – gifted

Total Est. Cost £50

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Outfit: Sunday and a Christening



Sarenza Bocage Dimao boots

No pictures from yesterday. We were busy all day running around preparing for a buffet tea we were hosting for the young man’s family. Our guests arrived and it was a really enjoyable evening. I spent most of it on the floor playing My Little Ponies and Barbies with the young man’s five year old niece.

This morning we went to church for our friends’ baby’s christening. There was a buffet lunch in the church hall afterwards.

Yes I am wearing one of my 30 for 30 items today, but these boots are so fabulous and they go with everything. I hope they will prove to be a good choice for the 30.

Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Black trousers – Tall Girls
Leopard print booties – Sarenza (gifted)
Leopard print scarf – Diamonds and Pearls
Silver bling ring – River Island
Whitby Jet cross – gifted

Total Est. Cost £74

30 For 30: The Item List

Here are the 30 items I have picked out for the 30 for 30 challenge: to be remixed into 30 unique outfits over the next 30 days.

4 pairs pants/jeans:

Jeans and trews

Next bootcut jeans
South (at straight leg jeans
Dorothy Perkins Tall grey trousers
Topshop Tall black cords

4 dresses:


Long Tall Sally grey shift
River Island black and white stripe
Bay Trading beige knit
F+F at Tesco (via charity shop) teal floral

3 cardis:


New Look Tall black
Long Tall Sally (eBay) red
Primark (eBay) leopard print

2 skirts:


Long Tall Sally (eBay) black
J Jasper Conran (Debenhams) denim pleat

2 sweaters:


Long Tall Sally black polo
Long Tall Sally purple polo

1 jacket:


Long Tall Sally black blazer

1 shirt:


H&M blue and white check

4 long sleeve tops:

Long sleeve tops

Tall Girls white boat neck
Forever 21 cream and navy stripe top
H&M teal round neck
Dorothy Perkins blue scoop neck

3 tanks/t shirts:

Tanks and ts

River Island white tank
Dorothy Perkins white t
Long Tall Sally teal tank with lace and bead trim

6 pairs of boots/shoes:

Shoes and boots

Barratts tan flat boots
Arturio Chiang (Century 21) black heeled boots
NOW Discount Shoes red heels
New Look blue heels
Sarenza leopard booties
Priceless Shoes silver flats

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Customer Relations: How Not To Do It

A couple of weeks back I posted a piece praising House of Fraser for their excellent customer services and use of their corporate Twitter account.

Now here’s an example of how not to do it. I would like to stress that my gripes here apply only to the team at the customer services department who deal with website enquiries and orders. The staff in store (as you will see) are extremely helpful and I couldn’t fault them at all.

Last Friday I placed an order with Forever 21. They are a familiar face in the US but they only crossed the pond at the end of last year and currently have just the one store in the UK. So I was forced to use their e-commerce site. The site has an online tracking facility and so over the weekend and all day Monday and Tuesday I checked it every now and then for an update on my order status. (It continued to say ‘New Order’ right through to the yesterday morning.)

On Tuesday afternoon I was a bit worried that they hadn’t even taken the money from my Paypal account (and it was now 2 days into the 2-4 days delivery time) so I phoned them. Turns out, Forever 21 don’t like their customers very much and so they don’t want to speak to us. If you phone the number on their website, you get a recorded message that tells you to check the website for answers or email them, and then it hangs up on you. What is the point of having a phone number if customers can’t actually call you?

Now in this time I posted a few tweets, lamenting the general uselessness of F21’s service so far, and most companies, on seeing their name associated with slack service, would immediately get in touch to see what they could do to remedy the situation. Not Forever 21. No. They will just ignore you. (They don’t like you, you see, you’re a customer.) So I tried sending them a direct tweet – something along the lines of ‘Why don’t you want to talk to your UK customers and when might my order be processed?’

On Wednesday I checked with Paypal (who responded within 4 hours) to see if the problem was at their end. It wasn’t. They said they were just waiting on F21 taking the money.

By Thursday morning I was at a loss as to what else to do so I phoned the store in Birmingham. A very helpful young lady called Harriet took my details and said she would investigate and call me back later on.

Half an hour later I received an email from F21 customer services saying that my order had definitely shipped and was in transit. As they still hadn’t taken the money from my Paypal account I was dubious. I replied saying that if that was the case, where was my tracking number and why hadn’t the order status on their website been updated to reflect that? And why, F21, did it take me calling a store for you to reply to my email. Shouldn’t you have just replied anyway? Oh no, that’s right, you don’t like your customers, do you?

As I had not heard anything further by 3pm I called the store again. I spoke to Harriet again and she said she would contact the web team again and call me back with an update. Irony of ironies she called back an hour later to say that she couldn’t get through to anyone (don’t F21 like their staff either?) but she would keep trying and come back to me.

Yesterday morning Harriet phoned back to say she had finally got through to someone and the package was definitely out for delivery and a tracking number had been emailed to me. That email arrived as we were on the phone so it’s clear the customer ‘service’ team hadn’t done it until they were chased. I checked the courier’s website and it did indeed appear to be out for delivery. Finally, yesterday afternoon, a week after I placed my order, I had the package in my hands. Yes, I am very impatient about deliveries, but it is the lack of communication from F21’s end that infuriated me.

I would like to thank Harriet for all her help as she went beyond the call of duty. I will probably not be ordering from Forever 21 online again, though if I am ever in Birmingham I will certainly pop into the store as the staff there are obviously willing to go beyond the call of duty to help out their customers.

Forever 21 need to look at their operations in the UK though. Why have a telephone number on your website if there is no one at the other end to speak to? Why have an online tracking service if it is not going to get updated for days after an order is processed? Why have a Twitter account if the team there is going to ignore any tweets directed at them? Why have an email contact form if that too will be ignored until someone from the store chases it up? Well done Forever 21 web team. You have provided a perfect example of how not to use social media, and how to provide the shoddiest service I have experienced in a long time.

Have you ordered anything from F21, UK readers? US readers, is the online service over there any better? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Outfit: Frocking Friday









Blue OTK

It was quite a novelty to be able to plan an outfit for the office today and know I wouldn’t have to worry about being cold all day. Yes folks, I got my car back! I am £800 down thanks to an expensive part and the extortionate level of VAT in this country, but at least my car is drivable without jerking once again.

I definitely need to remember to put a cushion behind me when working from home though. Three days sitting on a dining chair left me with a stiff lower back, but that was eased yesterday with a cushion and a hot water bottle.

I have had an ongoing saga all week trying to get hold of the final piece for my 30 for 30 items (more details on that story next week) but that looks as though it might finally be resolved today. I will be gutted if it doesn’t fit after all this trouble!

It is still cold out but the sun is shining and it’s Friday! I am in my warm cosy office for the first time all week and it’s nice to have seen some other faces today.

Blue cardi – Ethel Austin
Black dress – George at ASDA
Black studded belt – free with some trousers years ago
Black leggings – New Look Tall
Blue boots – eBay
Silver earrings – Dorothy Perkins
Blue chunky bangle – Diamonds & Pearls
Scarf – charity shop
Whitby Jet cross – gifted

Total Est. Cost £66

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Outfit: Optimism





New Look OTK boots

Day 4 of being marooned at home with no car. I’m kind of used to it now. Fortunately I’ve not had to go anywhere by car this week and it’s a darn good job I can work from home. We had tea at the young man’s parents’ last night – the annual Christmas pudding tea. For some reason we never eat Christmas pudding actually at Christmas – I think it has something to do with there being too much other delicious food at that time of year. So instead we always go for tea at his parents’ sometime in January and have Christmas pudding for dessert. Anyway, they live about a half a mile up the road from us so I can walk up there.

I have a hair appointment this afternoon so if my car’s not ready by then (and at this point I am starting to doubt whether I will ever see it again) I can walk to that too as it’s in the village. I am actually quite excited to get my hair blow dried again if it will look as fab as it did last time.

But I remain optimistic that my car may be returned to me in time to go to the office later on, and so put on a jacket.

Grey jacket – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Grey polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Jeans – Topshop Tall
Black OTK boots – New Look
Purple hearts necklace – gifted
Silver hoops - gifted
Silver bling ring - River Island

Total Est. Cost £101

Plus Size Underwear and Lingerie

It can be difficult to find sexy, pretty lingerie in plus sizes but PlusSize Lingerie is here to help! They stock a selection of Plus Size Briefs in pretty patterns, and with sizes from 12 to 32, they are guaranteed to make any woman feel sexy. The site also offers bras and babydolls up to size 34.

In addition you will find advice and guides on bra fitting, measuring for the correct size and a guide to bra styles. There is also a guide to the 7 signs of a poorly fitting bra, to help you avoid all the common pitfalls of the wrong size bra.

For all your lingerie needs head on over to PlusSize Lingerie, you are sure to find what you are looking for.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Outfit: Imprisonment Day 3





Leopard flats

So I’m still stuck at home without a car. I have my fingers crossed that it will be ready today, but there are no guarantees that the part will have come in.

In an attempt to get some pictures in natural light (I was going to go outside but it is raining) I went into the conservatory. It’s cold in there.

Grey cardi – New Look Tall
Teal polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Jeans – River Island
Leopard print flats – Priceless Shoes (eBay)
Diamante hair clip – Babyliss (Boots)

Total Est. Cost £93

Outfit: Meal Out





Sarenza Bocage Dimao boots

Tuesdays are a bit rubbish, aren’t they? But you know what makes them better? Eating out, that’s what! And that’s just what we did last night. We met my sister and her hubby for a meal at a pub near their house.

Red sweater – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Jeans – Dorothy Perkins Tall
Leopard print booties – Sarenza (gifted)
Silver earrings – Dorothy Perkins
Red beads – eBay

Total Est. Cost £30

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plus Size Dresses

If you wear a plus size you will know that the high street can often be found lacking when it comes to choice, and if you are seeking out a dress for that special occasion it may be prudent to turn to the internet. offers a range of Plus Size Formal Dresses, casual dresses, evening dresses – you name it, they will have a dress for the occasion! You can search by occasion or style of dress, making it easy to find exactly what you are looking for.

The dresses range in size from 12 to 32 (and you can search by size) so even if you are not plus size, it may be worth a look.

As well as a fantastic range of dresses, the site offers style advice and guidance on identifying and dressing for your body shape. This is definitely the site to head when you are looking for a new dress.

Outfit: At Home Again






NL Turquoise flat

The garage still has my car and they called this morning to say they needed another part and it wouldn’t be in until tomorrow, and hey, why didn’t I just direct the whole of my paycheque on Friday to them rather than to my bank account as the part was going to cost so fricking much, and that was before they added labour and VAT and who knows what else on top. I am not a happy bunny right now.

So once again I am stuck working from home, and I will be tomorrow too. The novelty wears off at around 2 days, although I do get to watch Neighbours at dinner time, so every cloud, you know? I knew I would be cold again (seriously, I didn’t warm up yesterday until I got in the shower last night) so I layered up again.

We’re going out for tea at a pub with my sis and her hubby this evening so I’ll be changing for that later on.

Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Plaid shirt – Primark
Jeans – River Island
Necklace – I Am..... boutique
Silver hoops – gifted
Turquoise flats – New Look

Total Est. Cost £103

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stuff I’m...


That I have decided to do the 30 for 30 this time around
The foresight I had to keep a pair of flats under my desk for when I want to go out in the sunshine at dinner time

...Not Loving

That the weather does not look like it is going to warm up anytime soon, but neither is it going to snow
How my eyes water and my nose runs when I’m out in the cold. So annoying!

Outfit: Shoeper Challenge #87 and a Day At Home





George tartan flats

I know I said I had finished the Shoeper Challenge back at Christmas, but I just managed to sneak in one new pair in the January sales. They were reduced to £3 in Asda and I couldn’t resist! As the challenge finishes on Wednesday I knew I had to wear them sharpish or risk losing them.

I am working at home again today as the garage have my car back in, hopefully to repair it this time. I am in layers as I am trying to resist putting the heating on. I have decided on my items for the 30 for 30 so I’m trying to wear things that are not on that list so I don’t bore myself with my 30 items before the challenge starts. I will post pictures of my 30 items next weekend before the start date of 1st February.

Grey cardi – New Look Tall
Grey polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Jeans – River Island
Tartan flats – George at Asda
Red beads – Ethel Austin
Silver hoops – gifted

Total Est. Cost £86