The Lidl Denim Shirt

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I first spotted the Lidl denim shirt at the press day way back and knew it was going to be one of the hero pieces of their new clothing collection.

Then I got a tip off that it would be in shops during the week of the 11th May but when I couldn't get to Lidl that week, a lovely friend I've met via Avenue 57 offered to buy one for me as she'd seen them in her local store. I met Tanya last week for a coffee and finally, it was mine!

For all the clothes I never wear...The Zip Yard!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

This seemed like an apt post to follow on from the shoes I never wear post. I am as ruthless with my clothing as I am with my shoes but like all women, I have a few lovely items tucked away in the wardrobe that I love but which don't fit me or my lifestyle, so an approach from local company, The Zip Yard, got me wondering if I could be more creative with these items.

Now for starters, I had no idea that The Zip Yard is a local company - started up here in NI about 10 years ago. Since then it has extended the franchise right across Ireland and the UK with plans to take it further afield in the future. You can see if there's an outlet near you on this link
I've used the company in the past for dry cleaning and minor pieces of work like hems and zips but I genuinely never realised that they have talented seamstresses working in each of their outlets that can perform miracles with pretty much anything in your wardrobe that you don't wear anymore. Time to challenge them with a couple of mine....

Challenge 1 for the Lisburn Road shop was to make a wearable piece out of this dress by Darling, a sale buy a while back that, in truth, is too tight for me across the hips and although I love the print, it wears me...but I adore the yellow!
Challenge 2 was this jumpsuit, another sale purchase, this time by a favourite brand of mine - Maison Scotch. But I've struggled to wear it at all as the buttons are really awkward to open and close - no joke with a jumpsuit!
The guys in the Zip Yard suggested that I turn the dress into a top, shorten the sleeves and vent the sides to give more hip room!
It makes such a difference and this transformation got me thinking about other dresses that I rarely wear and what lovely tops they would make. The cost for shortening the dress while keeping it slightly longer at the back, introducing side vents AND shortening the sleeves was just £20 - which, given I got the dress in a sale for £15, makes this bespoke top a complete bargain.
With the jumpsuit, I'd considered replacing the buttons with a zip but I had reservations about the all over print, so when it was suggested that I split it into a separate top and trouser, there was a bit of a eureka moment - two items of clothing from one sounded good to me...

I just know I'm going to wear these separates so much more than I would have worn the jumpsuit. The cost here was a little more at £30, as the trousers had to have an elasticated waist added and I also wanted the tiny cap sleeve removed from the top half.

Since these photos, and because I was so delighted with the results, I've been back to the Zip Yard with my Only patch jeans....which deteriorated in recent weeks and now expose way too much of my left knee. I'll share the results of this when I pick them up later this week.

And if you want a further taste of what The Zip Yard can do, That Belfast Girl worked on this project too - transforming a vintage blazer into this waistcoat!

Photo credits - Jude Malone Creative

Disclosure - The Zip Yard covered the cost of the dress and jumpsuit alterations and paid me for the time spent writing this post. However, all the words are my own and I was not obliged to blog if the alterations were not to my liking. Thanks for supporting the local brands that support this blog!

To All The Shoes I Never Wear....

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

(sung Julio Iglesias style)
It's a fess up post to celebrate the shoes I never wear. I'll start with explaining that I come from a family where shoe addiction is rife. Where shoes are bought regardless of occasion or comfort - but purely because it would be wrong not to and mostly because they're in a sale of some sort.
Since marrying my parsimonious husband and moving further from the shoe addicted siblings and mother, I've definitely curbed the buying but I'm a still a sucker for a good shoe sale and have always had a decent collection of shoes I never wear. Yup - NEVER!

So when we came to move house in December, there was a massive shoe cull...between my back issues and the fact that we were moving to a smaller house with less shoe storage, I consigned and charity shopped about 30% of my footwear - mostly the high or uncomfortable ones. But believe it or not, I *still* have shoes I never wear. I'm sure you do too - in a straw poll of my friends, everyone admitted to at least 1 pair they can't bear to part with.

Well here are my 5 pairs....soon to become 2...
Left to Right -
1 Next Leopard Mid Heel Courts. Loved these when I bought them but I got a negative comment on the blog when I wore them once and it put me off think I'd be wiser to that by now but clearly I'm not.
2 Boden Pointed Flats - I obsessed over these and watched them like a hawk until they were well reduced at the end of the season. Bought them, wore them once and that was it. They're too narrow for my foot and I have very little blue in my wardrobe so I struggled to match them.
3 River Island Tan Strappy Heels - Look amazing, are actually quite on trend at the moment but they are too high, too narrow and too small for me. Sale purchase gone wrong...I might have had lunch with a drink before I bought them.
4. Hobbs NW3 leather loafers - no idea why I don't wear these. The heel is a bit of an untrendy height but these are beautifully made - leather lined, leather soled & uppered, so I can't bear to part with them. I will wear them before the week is out - I promise.

Finishing with the ones I'm wearing - the Coast Valentino copies. These - I love to look at. Bought when my back was at its worst and I couldn't even manoeuvre my foot into them. I think they were a kind of therapy for me at that time.
Once I was able for heels again, I attempted to wear them to an event and couldn't walk for a week afterwards. Hell on Heels...but how freaking gorgeous are they? I'm allowed one pair to look at surely and I think the girls would enjoy them when they're older...and look - a rainbow appeared on the floor when I put them on. It's a sign!!
So I'm selling the first 3 (LEOPARD ALREADY SOLD!), keeping the last 2. Full details on my wardrobe sale shop page on this link.

Call Off The Navy Jacket Search!

Monday, 18 May 2015

I've spent the last few weeks searching everywhere for a casual navy jacket. Who knew they were so hard to find? On an aside, having a list of items you need for your wardrobe is a great way to focus the mind when you go shopping. It was great the other day in Zara (where there were no navy jackets at all!) as it meant I held off buying randomly. But I digress...

What was I looking for in a jacket? Well, preferably jersey, a bit fitted, no lapels...I wanted casual and not like a work wear piece.

Well focussed mind no more while shopping as I found what I was looking for yesterday - in New Look. Now it only ticked two boxes as it's got lapels but it's such a lovely casual shape on so I'm not concerned about it looking too businesslike.
Perfect for this time of year and only £19.99. So I didn't stop there..
I picked up this cream top (I definitely needed one of those) for £7 in the sale - just loved the pretty arm detail. Can't find it online.
And I also got two pairs of jeans - these sale ones for £13. Again, not online sadly.
And these full price ones at £24.99
But having tried both pairs on, I am going to return the full price ones as I don't like the colour and where the knee tear is.
Speaking of knee tears, my Only patch jeans finally tore too much for me today while en-route to get the kids. Awkward knee exposure at the school gate resulted!
But here I am before they tore properly...
Pink Coat - Damart
Blue Oversized Top - Mango (AW14) Similar here
Jeans - Only (AW13) Similar here (on sale)
Navy Ballet Pumps - Zalando
Pink Blush Phoebe Necklace - SGS Shop

Off to The Zipyard with them tomorrow as I love them too much.

Hope you've had a great Monday. The winner of the Mulberry purse has been announced on Facebook and on the competition post on this link! Congratulations lucky lady!



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