SCHOOL GATE STYLE

Belfast-based, clothes-loving, shopping-obsessed, mum of 3. Wearable fashion on a budget for busy women

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Morning in Magherafelt

I'm sure some of you are going 'Maghera-where'?? Bear with me - it's not a sponsored post or anything like that. It's just that a couple of my choir friends live there and they've told me all about the amazing shops. But Belfast folk reckon Magherafelt is HOURS away so I took up the challenge of proving it's possible to have a morning of shopping in Magherafelt on a school day and be back in Belfast in time for a 2pm pick-up.

For non-local readers, Magherafelt is about 40 miles from Belfast heading north west and it is known for having a great selection of small, locally owned boutiques. I found out on my visit that pretty much any brand you'd pick up in Belfast can be found within a few hundred yards of the main street. But what brought me there this week are the amazing sales running at the moment with tons of 70% off bargains - the benefits of having friends in the know!

I arrived in the town at about 10.15am and my first stop was Sarah Jane Boutique:
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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hush Alice Dress

A quick post to let you know how I got on with the Hush Alice Dress. I ordered it ages ago when the sale started. Because it was sold out in S and M and the reviews said to size up, I ordered the L. It arrived...and was huge!!
As well as being too big on top, it was too long also - very frumpy looking. So I sent it back and asked to be called once they received my return, in the hope that the S would be back in stock - and it was!
It was a huge improvement - less material in the sleeves, a better fit over the shoulders and neater on the bust. All very helpful for a dress that has the potential to start pregnancy rumours (I'm NOT!)

Wearing it today with a fur gilet:
And today's full outfit...
Hush Alice Dress - as before
Black Ash Jalouse (current Ash version here/similar less pricey version here)
Silver Star Necklace - Joma
Black Coat - Gerard Darel via DejaVu
Leopard Scarf - via eBay

After the drop off, I spent the morning in a gorgeous location - General Merchants over on the Upper Newtownards Road.
I can highly recommend it for breakfast though if it's the weekend, get there early as it's super busy. I went for the Melbourne Breakfast:
and my friend opted for the Waffle 15's:
Both were delicious and the coffee was great too. So great in fact, I'm making plans to head over there again next week.
Until next time...
Ax
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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

What I've Been Wearing...

....and a tassel boot update!

Firstly, the boot update. I ended up buying a Zara pair from my blogging friend Joanna (Poppy's Style)! I had made up my mind to hold out and play chicken with the M&S ones knowing there'll be a mid-season sale soon. But then I happened upon the Avenue 57 preloved page on Facebook yesterday (dangerous) and found Joanna selling these ones:

(side note for my sister/sister-in-law and sister-in-law's sister - I'm NEVER getting a cat so don't worry about my tassels!)
I'd actually seen these Zara ones when their sale started in January but I dithered and before I knew it, they were gone. So you could say, they were the first ones to pique my interest way back before I blogged about them. They'll arrive with me in a week or so and I'll report back then. I fully expect to wear them about four times and never on the school run but how GORGEOUS are they? And when they're preloved, different wearing rules apply :)

Moving onto what I've been wearing and I should say that I share most of my outfits on a daily basis over on Instagram so apologies if you've seen some (thought not all) of these already. I know that I have many readers who just read the blog but also, I know Instagram can be a tricky one to keep up with people on...so many pictures to scroll when you should be in bed asleep...
(or am I the only one who ignores this advice?)
Anyway, back to the outfits, starting with some checked scarf action in the form of my Mango blanket scarf from a couple of years ago (I think?) It's a great scarf though very big so I don't wear it as much as I would like to.
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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Thoughts on Marks & Spencer

Since my last post about the tassel boots, I made a point of going to visit M&S to try on (see the video here!) but I also wanted to challenge myself to have a proper look around the store in case I was being unfair in my assessment of them in that last post. You see, apart from underwear/PJ's and some jersey basics, I've not bought anything to write home about in M&S in the past year. Will SS16 be a season to remember - for all the right reasons?

As I made my way into the Sprucefield store, I remembered that it's the size of their stores that is part of the problem. It's overwhelming - even for a seasoned shopper like me.
Immediately on my right, I had Autograph, which is always worth a look. On the opposite side of the store, it's Limited Edition. In between these two brands, there's Per Una and Indigo...two brands that I can no longer bring myself to look at. Too many patterns! Oh and not forgetting M&S Collection, Classic and Twiggy. Exhausting!

I started with Autograph and admittedly, spotted some gorgeous classic, structured pieces like this coat:
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