When Did You Last See Red?

Shoes £70 at Aldo

Shoes £70 at Aldo

It was the unlikely event of a random Next Directory being left on my mum’s doorstep which started all this. She and I were having cheese on toast at the kitchen table, wondering when the weather would lift and pondering ways to wear our summer dresses prematurely without looking utterly ridiculous (I’m always up for looking ridiculous in the name of fashion while my mum thinks wearing skirts in winter is “draughty”) when the Next Directory caught my eye. A casual flick through the hundreds of pages – it’s now bigger than an encyclopedia – revealed something so unexpectedly fabulous, I nearly choked on my crusts. Red boots. Not dark red or cherry red but unashamedly all over tomato primary coloured red boots. They were ankle boots, chunky heeled and suede-ish and there wasn’t a hint of hooker about them.

You don’t believe me do you? I can see you wincing and backing away from the screen. Or are you just scrolling down to see if there’s a picture of them?

Bag by Loeil.com

Bag by Loeil.com

Well, they really weren’t hookerish at all and styled with the worn in denim and bed head hair of the model, they looked as fresh as a daisy. I knew I had to have them but I didn’t get them there and then (it’s my mum’s fault, she offered me pudding) despite the very reasonable £68 price tag. It was a huge mistake. I spent a weekend in Rome dragging my boyfriend in and out of shoe shops in search of red boots and berated myself as I saw image after image posted on Instagram showcasing similar boots doing their thing with a matching slick of scarlet lipstick or an oversized mannish overcoat. There was no doubt about it, the red ankle boot was where it was at and when finally another fashion blogger posted a picture of herself in the very Next boots I’d spotted all those weeks ago, I went into a blind panic. While my boyfriend was in the shower, I went onto the Next website. Now I’ve been to Rome several times but that doesn’t justify shopping online from the hotel room – nobody in the history of shopping goes onto the Next website when in Rome. “You’re very quiet… are you doing your social media-ing?” called out the boyfriend. Naturally I called back that I was texting my sister.

The Next boots were sold out in every size but 8.

Boots £75 at Top Shop

Boots £75 at Top Shop

I think a red boot in a size 8 might be a bit too much red boot but I’m sure those remaining pairs will find happy homes in the end. As for me, afore-mentioned blogger tipped me off that Top Shop did a very similar boot and so having learned my lesson the hard way, I immediately purchased myself a pair and later on informed my son he had kindly bought me my birthday present while he was at school that day. He wasn’t very pleased – “Mummy, do you know what the hottest colour of the season is?” he demanded. “It’s pink.” Turns out the clever clogs had looked at more than just the article I wrote for S magazine a couple of weeks ago.

Knotted belt £29 at Cos

Knotted belt £29 at Cos

So anyway, the boots are on their way and I am contemplating dusting off my Ruby Woo by Mac lipstick because bright red suddenly seems very modern and it’s a simple way to update exactly what you are wearing now until it’s warm enough to go full throttle on the spring garb.

Shoes £108 at Loeil.com

Shoes £108 at Loeil.com

And yes, pink may very well be hot right now but if the pink doesn’t feel quite right with your vitamin D starved skin in the doom and gloom of late February, then please give red a go because a little splash of it goes a long way, it doesn’t have to be top to toe and it doesn’t have to be next to your face if that feels too scary. There is a red for everyone and I won’t hear otherwise, but that said, if you get the wrong red for your skin tone, it can be very wrong.

That’s why accessories are the answer to this trend. There are lots of gorgeous red dresses and tops out there if you have the nerve but if you don’t then go for the pop. It really works as an instant brightener – a bit like Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – just look how lovely this page looks with the odd bit of red here and there. Personally I’m hoping, with eye-catching bright red feet, people will be far less likely to notice my split ends and the irritated skin on my face.

Top £19.99 at Zara

Top £19.99 at Zara



My book SHOPPED is available to buy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Shopped-Story-Secret-Shopping-Self-Discovery/1910463302

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The All New Stars and Stripes

I think it’s fairly safe to say that the familiar image of the American flag is enough to strike fear into even the most brave of hearts currently. That the prints to emerge as the favourites of all the many patterns on offer (overshadowing the perma-present animal prints and classic polka dots) are the components of the star spangled banner, is nothing short of ironic. After all, the spring 2017 collections were designed way before the eyes of the world turned to Washington D.C. last November.

Near where I live there is a boutique, Katie & Jo, whose eye-catching window is currently resplendent with midi dresses by new design team Rixo. The display is so unselfconsciously upbeat that every time I walk past to buy a pint of milk or a coffee, I find myself slowing down and just staring, wondering which of the three I would have if I was made to choose. I stop short of pressing my nose up against the window but that’s only because of my age, otherwise I would. Similar images catch my eye on Instagram (most recently pieces from label A Postcard from Brighton at boutique Lolly and Mitch) and it is those which slow down my scrolling action to press ♥. Suddenly hard lines and monochrome don’t feel right, they’re just not as fun or as easy on the eye.

As discussed last week with all the frothy evening gowns in Hollywood, we need distraction and colour right now and stars and stripes can’t help but raise a smile. Think of a stripey, starry thing – candy canes, deckchairs, a clear night sky, pyjamas, disco balls, a well done star sticker under your homework and breathe – you can tell I’ve started going to yoga. Not thinking about Donald Trump now though are you?

This is quite a bold statement to make and many of the colours are bright so if stepping out in a print is departure enough, then wear the statement in your accessories. There are lots of starry scarves to choose from on the high street but this one from Mango features softer more spring like colours – just in case winter lets up… you never know.

Finally, a word of warning, these stripes aren’t your everyday Breton variety so look before you leap! Avoid looking like a clown by keeping your outfit close fitting rather than voluminous – voluminous is fine for floaty dreamy stars but a flyaway vertical stripe could stray into escaped convict territory so think neat. The only other suggestion I would make is perhaps don’t wear your stars and stripes at the same time. Personally, I’m going for the stars this season because as I said to my six year old son when he pointed at the lines on my forehead and asked how he could get some ‘stripes’ too; you have to earn those. Now I wonder if I can get Botox with a Groupon voucher?

Marc Jacobs earrings £55 at VeryExclusive.co.uk

Marc Jacobs earrings £55 at VeryExclusive.co.uk

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Don’t Mess With My Frou-Frou

A few weeks ago I awoke to several messages from my friend Sarah From The Pub* offering her thoughts on the procession of evening frocks unveiled overnight at the Golden Globes. Admittedly this was the start of awards’ season but since she doesn’t do this usually and I was stuck at home unexpectedly with an ill child, I was thrilled. I settled myself down with a cup of tea and had a scroll through the globe gallery of gorgeousness. I could immediately see why this year’s red carpet had provoked a reaction – instead of neat columns of black and nude, there was flounce after flounce of floral frill.

For years now at these occasions we’ve seen beautiful but yawnsomely safe designs which refused to break the mould or put it out there. I’ve pounced on the occasional jumpsuit or cape attachment worn by an Emma Watson or a Gwyneth Paltrow so exciting did it appear in the crowds of plunging necklines and spangled see-through mesh. But then eventually even those became ‘done’ and the red carpet readiness was suddenly so dull I longed for someone to get out of their limo clearly not ready at all, or wearing something they had to borrow at the last minute from their mum.

Well this year, it has all changed – the gowns we are now seeing on the most camera friendly of the species are girly, fussy and frankly completely over the top – I love it! And it’s fascinating because as we know, fashions are a reflection of our time; the designers’ reactions to what is going on around us. Whatever your political inclinations or thoughts about the loss of the most feted male pop stars of the seventies, eighties and nineties, we can agree there has been some seriously hefty stuff going down in the world. It’s a fact that hemlines lower in times of economic hardship yes, but this has gone several stages further; it’s as if the Hollywood memo to award nominees said ‘Dresscode: Upbeat and Colourful. #DisneyPrincess #windowboxes #Quality Street’.

There is so much going on (what we might at any other time, refer to as ‘too much going on’) this season that we’re too distracted to even notice the cut or shape of the gowns. The trend is think of embellishment, any embellishment… and wear it… preferably lots of embellishments all at the same time. So, ruffles, corsages, sparkles, stripes, bows, lace trims, even pretend trims at Gucci (as seen on Clare Foy), are all on the menu. Try looking at this page with your eyes half shut and it looks more like a line up for Strictly Come Dancing doesn’t it? I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, as you know I love the Strictly exuberance, but what can it all mean? We are living in worrying times for sure but there is probably worse to come and what then for our wardrobes? I can’t help thinking if the red carpet displays any more colour and froth, the bottom is going to fall out of the accessories industry. This look may be full blown frou-frou but no stylist worth their Choos is going to advise further adornment – you can have a clutch bag for your lippie and that’s your lot.

This girlyness, this soft sugary dressing is refreshing in its unexpectedness. It’s in keeping with La La Land and raindrops on roses and Beyonce being pregnant with twins – it may not be your thing, you may not give two hoots, but it’s something positive, a bit of frivolity with your breakfast. It’s women in their forties dressing like 6 year olds and breaking all those stupid rules. Now that’s progress…

*In fact I met Sarah in the building we both lived in… which wasn’t a pub.

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The New Year Statement

Usually in January one’s mind is preoccupied with how best to get shot of the Christmas tree without major damage to the paintwork or histrionics from the small people who quite rightly think a world without twinkling lights and garish baubles is a more boring place. January is always a more boring place thanks to the return to work and the now almost obligatory ‘dry’ that gets stuck in front of it. The one upside of this is that where February was once just about admitting the gym membership you bought in January was a waste of money, it now feels like the end of the rainbow, rather like a fortnight away in August or free parking just off Oxford Street.


Not to be applied liberally but if positioned carefully, a ruffle can work wonders. They’ve become pretty much de rigeur at this point so you’re really going to have to embrace them you know.

January is also a good time to have a clear out (reportedly the most popular time to ask for a divorce – if you didn’t get it for Christmas that is) but if you’re not planning to dispose of your spouse this year then why not instead focus on the tangled web you’ve weaved in your wardrobe? Don’t feel bad, those clothes with which you have fallen out of love or which no longer look good on you could make a fresh start elsewhere and then everyone is happy – making space in your cupboards feels good I promise. Plus, there are sales out there and if we don’t clear the rails soon the left over stuff will only appear on flash sales sites and then at TK Maxx (haven’t you read my book yet?*) so let’s get the best stuff while it’s still stylish.


It doesn’t have to be vertiginous but this season footwear does have to be show-stoppery because if you’re going to put your best foot forward it might as well be in the best possible shoe.

We all know by now not to go mad in the January sales, to buy sensible classic pieces which will last rather than fester and curdle unworn in the darkest recess of your wardrobe. That’s all very well but it’s not much fun and dressing should be fun – in 2017 we’re going to need some fun. Along with a positive mental attitude and an unwavering belief that this is going to be your year, if you haven’t done so already then buy into some of the fashionable statement detailing which appeared last year and is set to continue well into Spring. There are plenty of them and they are now reduced (everything here is at least 50% off) so what are you waiting for?

♥ PINK ♥

There’s going to be a lot of colour injected into next season but pink is a pretty place to start. Besides, very few of us have the pallor at this time of year to head straight for acid yellow.

It’s going to be cold and wintery for at least another six weeks so it’ll be worth another look around the sales. Those trends that didn’t make the cut for 2017 are the ones you can kick to the kerb (although off the shoulder still works, cold shoulder cut-outs are starting to look a bit tired), or take to the recycling. I’ve picked out a few gems here but be quick, I’ve replaced drinking alcohol this month with eating (more) cake and (even more) shopping online so these pieces won’t last long!


In a few months these gorgeous jumpers will look tame as deconstructed tops find their way from the ‘street style’ fashionistas onto our high street. Wring the last bit of CPW (Cost Per Wear) out of your sequin dress or skirt by wearing a big cosy knit over the top.


If there’s one thing you invest in this year, then make it a big ol’ fancy sleeve. Banish all thoughts of the inherent impracticalities because by the summer we will all be wearing our lunch on our sleeves. Start eating dry food only and you should be OK.

And in case you have any partying left to do this winter, or if like me you simply cannot resist something which looks as though it shimmied straight out of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet, then this… this is just too good to leave to the teenagers at Top Shop. Happy New Year lovely readers!

Dress down to £20 at Top Shop

Dress down to £20 at Top Shop


* My book SHOPPED is available in all good bookshops and on Amazon here:


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What We Really Want For Christmas

Every year on Christmas Eve my darling brother takes himself off to Westfield in Shepherds Bush to do his Christmas shopping. Now to any sane and breathing human being, this sounds like the worst idea since those heat reactive t-shirts which changed colour under the armpits when you got hot. But before you start thinking he is some crazy fool who must want very badly to be out of his own house on the 24th December, you should actually feel sorry for him because my brother’s birthday is on Christmas Day. He isn’t a lunatic and as far as I know he doesn’t pay someone to drive him around Westfield in one of those electric car things which my friend Kerry once insisted we took my son in (we went about 10 metres from Next to WH Smith and it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life).

I know there are women who don’t enjoy shopping, but it’s a safer generalisation that men hate Christmas shopping more. My dad loved it but then he did all his in Sock Shop and Knickerbox in half an hour at Waterloo station. We were well off for socks and pants in my family in the 1980s. I digress. Men find shopping for gifts a faff and when faced with a partner who appears to have everything, who wouldn’t put it off until the last minute hoping for divine inspiration or similar?

I love shopping and the challenge of buying presents and so I look forward to the telephone call from my brother asking for my thoughts on what he is buying his lovely and very fashionable wife. It is my sister-in-law after all who picks out my present – oh I know what side the family bread is buttered.

If you think your other half has yet to drag him/herself out to the shops, leave this blog open on the breakfast table this weekend. The helpful tips start here – you’re welcome.

Once we pass the age of thirty and set about making the most of and then fine tuning what we have at our disposal (both cerebral and physical), it becomes more and more important to surround yourself with beautiful things and things you love (both animate and inanimate) so over the years the slightly crappy furniture, shoes and face creams are binned for something a little more classy. It may just be swapping Rimmel for Mac or Argos for M&S but it’s progress – you may not actually feel all that grown up in your head but society kind of expects you to behave as if you are and taking your consumerism up a notch helps with that. These days however, everyone from Asda to Zara are doing premium ranges providing even the most skinflintish of us with an opportunity to invest in luxury. I know I’ve gone on about the wonderful textures available on the high street this season, but the festive party season is suddenly upon us and now is the time to snap up the good stuff. Better still, hint to your loved ones to snap it up for you. These are my picks of the touchy feely stuff currently on our high street, all guaranteed to have you looking a cut above the rest on Christmas Day.

Final word on the subject: most of us ladies are quite happy with sparkly stuff – it is Christmas after all – it doesn’t have to cost a fortune but if it adds a bit of twinkle to the end of the year, or even just the ear lobes, then I will be happy. I will also be pretty chuffed if you buy my book as a gift but I don’t want to ruin the moment… ahem… the link is below.

A very merry and lovely Christmas to all my loyal readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as I’ve enjoyed researching and writing!

Buy SHOPPED here!  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shopped-Emily-Stott/dp/1910463302





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A Winter’s Wail

Autumn looks so glamorous in the movies doesn’t it? Couples in cashmere beanies laughing with rosy cheeks as they joyfully kick at the leaves on the ground, mugs of steaming hot chocolate waiting for them at home. Then there’s winter – soft sparkly snow falling neatly on window ledges, children making 6ft tall snowmen with carrots as noses. Hmm… it doesn’t really happen like that does it, certainly not in London anyway. You are likely to end up with dog poo on your snazzy boots if you go frolicking through piles of leaves and snowmen simply don’t come in sizes bigger than 3ft and you have to be quick even to catch them at that size before they melt.

However I don’t mind the cold weather, hats are a great excuse to have crap hair and scarves and gloves can make an otherwise drab coat look really rather chic. My one gripe about all these extra clothes is the rate at which my six year old son gets through them. At his school somewhere there must be an accessory mountain but despite the fact it must be made up of at least ten thousand small gloves, it is entirely naked to the human eye. I had initially thought that the £3.99 two pack of gloves at H&M were  a steal until I realised my son lost one glove every three days – not so frugal after all.

I have discovered it’s a losing battle. You wrap the little terrors up in all that cheap brightly coloured wool, they moan on the way to school that’s they’re still cold and then when you go to pick them up they come out in a t-shirt waving their coats around their heads gleefully explaining that they last saw their hat on the pirate ship or possibly in the computer room. Finally, at the end of the term the school newsletter solemnly announces that the five truckloads of lost childrenswear will be transported to Africa in the holidays. The children love the drama and outrage of this but not enough to set about rummaging through the lost property buckets to save their lost items. I wouldn’t get so hot under the collar about it only my otherwise small son has a huge head and it isn’t all that easy to find hats to fit it.

So anyway, the lost gloves made me cross until this week when our heating broke down forcing me into a reality check. I am now sitting here in several layers and a pair of Ugg boots I neither remembered nor cared to admit I owned. I can barely move for thick clothes. You don’t see Alexa Chung looking like a bag lady though do you, or Victoria Beckham, and yet they spend most of their time in New York where the winters are far more ferocious. If they can look fab in the freeze, then so can we.

Let’s embrace the opportunity to wrap up in faux fur and velvet, it’s far less hassle than fretting about toned arms and fake tan after all. Yes, there’s hat hair and the dilemma of how to wear a scarf without getting it stuck to your lip gloss, but personally I’d rather that than melting make-up and strap marks. Also, scarves, hats and gloves can be bought for a song so you can have a set for every day of the week. Oh and if you’re wondering, we have found the lost gloves – one was on the pirate ship and the other on the floor of a cloakroom about a mile away from my son’s classroom. I feel I’ve achieved a lot this week – or I will do once the heating is fixed. In the meantime I’m going accessory shopping. Have a great weekend!

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The Glittering Balls

My Strictly Come Dancing round-up is slightly later this year and for that I apologise. There are two reasons. Firstly, Terrible Tess hasn’t had such screamingly awful gowns so far this series and secondly, how do I put this… well, Ed Balls.

Ed and Katya perform their Charleston

Ed and Katya perform their Charleston

Yes we’ve had the comedy contestants before, the Anne Widdecombes and the John Seargants but they were bad and ridiculous and they stayed that way – great entertainment but hugely frustrating for the serious viewers (and judges) who objected on the basis that this is a dancing competition and should unfold as such. Well, this is 2016; the year that we shooed away Europe and ushered in Donald Trump, you think we’re going to get our leotards in a twist about a fake tanned, sequin clad Ed Balls?


Ed Balls and those white trousers

Not likely. You see Ed Balls has charmed us and not because of anything he’s said – he’s uttered a few political jibey type things to the judges – but because he has fully embraced the experience, wears the tight trousers with pride and has bloody well gone on and learned to dance! We’ve had Charleston Ed, Salsa Ed, and Jive Ed and despite some terrifying moments when it looked like he might drop partner Katya on her head or worse, split his trousers, thanks to some clever themed choreography Ed has performed with such enthusiasm, it is hard not to fall for him. His facial expressions are priceless, as are those of his wife Yvette Cooper sitting in the audience. Ed’s moments on the Strictly dance floor are hilarious, heart-stopping and frankly inspiring. Is there anyone out there not thinking he looks like their dad prancing about on the telly? Oh that my own dad were here to see this exhibitionism! A Labour man himself, he would have bust a gut watching this. Talking of which, it takes guts and a remarkably thick skin to be a politician these days, and if you’ve lost your seat and you’re still only 49, well why not do Strictly – what’s the worst that can happen?

But I’m supposed to be here to talk about the outfits… Is it me or do the dresses seem to be less showy this year? I’ve actually been imagining myself down the pub in one or two of them. Ore’s partner Joanne seems to be getting all the best frocks (there’s always one, last year it was Helen George) so she must be in with the seamstresses. Meanwhile, poor Louise Redknapp has been struggling weekly with a dry mouth, her big grins permanently getting stuck to her teeth whenever she does well.

Ore and Joanne - all the best gear

Ore and Joanne – all the best gear

They are all a more approachable bunch of ‘celebrities’ this season and their clothes are echoing that, there are many looks that will translate beautifully for Christmas and the high street has much to offer that wouldn’t look out of place on Strictly. I’ve picked out my favourites. The underwiring and sensible pants are up to you.

Ruffles, sheer panels, lace, off the shoulder, long skirts – all the trends are there, it’s almost as if festive dressing has come courtesy of the BBC this year. The way I see it, it is the perfect excuse to dress like the world is your dance floor.

I suspect, as I write this, that Ed may be coming up to his last week – those left in the competition are now very good indeed and scoring tens to his fours. However this is 2016, there are those who believe (my friend Rich mostly) that if Strictly is going to be won by an underdog, someone who was to many a joke even before the spray tan, then this is the year. I have to say I’m tempted to place a bet, there are far more deserving winners but the world is in need of a good laugh and Ed Balls has certainly provided that. Balls – never not funny.


My book SHOPPED is out now and available to buy on Amazon for £8.99 here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shopped-Story-Secret-Shopping-Self-Discovery/dp/1910463302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479904734&sr=8-1&keywords=shopped+emily+stott


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The Clue is in the Texture

If one thing was clear at the Autumn Winter 2016 catwalk shows, it was that this season it is all about how you feel. Not your emotional well being you understand, (the fashion industry doesn’t care about that) but how you actually feel to the touch. Ignore the bombardment of all lengths of skirt from mini to maxi and jeans which are strangulated on the one hand and positively voluminous on the other. This season you’re not to fret about all that because now it is all about the texture of your garb. From fabulously opulent to softly understated, designers have focused on fabrics with no attention to detail spared.

I’ve narrowed it down to five of the loveliest trends which popped up again and again at the shows. The UK high street has responded with typical enthusiasm giving you heaps of choice. This winter if you don’t fancy twinkling from head to foot in jewels that will catch on everything you come into contact with, go instead for head to toe knits for the ultimate in cosy comfortable go-to dressing. Whichever look floats your boat – and who says you won’t love a bit of them all – people will want to touch you.


This detailing will turn you into a serious fashion heavyweight – quite literally. Jewels are weighty so keep any other jewellery to a minimum or your heels will be sinking into the pavement.


Now a year round look, lace suits everyone and doesn’t have to be dressy. Banish any thoughts of looking like Miss Havisham and make like an eighties Madonna or a young Queen Victoria instead.


You don’t want to look like a chaise longue (not this season anyway) so pick and choose your velvet pieces – it won’t be easy though, just look at all this gorgeous stuff. As always, if you’re not convinced then opt for a simple velvet bag or scarf.


My boyfriend is a knitwear obsessive who would wear a cashmere jumper and socks on the beach in high summer given half the chance so this look will be very popular round our gaff. Stick a belt on a sweater dress though if you’re generous of curve, or risk looking like a giant teddy bear.


The sheer look is no longer reserved for evening only. If eyes are the window to your soul, think of sheer sections as windows to your skin; a hint of what lies beneath. I think visible bra straps are fine as long as they complement the colour of the top.

There’s going to be a lot of feeling going on. It’s going to be a touchy feely kinda winter so get practicing your strokes and try not to be arrested in the process.

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The Bewitching Hour

Whether you look forward to Hallowe’en or absolutely dread it, nowadays there is absolutely no escaping it. Even if you’re blissfully child free you still need to have a contingency plan for the inevitable knock on the door at 6 o’clock. If you don’t have some sweets in for the greedy little buggers, there’s the worry that they might chuck eggs at your windows – or worse, stand jabbering on your doorstep all night. If you do and they’re the wrong kind of sweets (last year I heard at least one “I don’t like those” and several more “I’ve already had some of those” – this was Wimbledon after all) everyone ends up pissed off and even more determined next year.

One thing we can all be united on though is the strangely alluring glamour this time of year brings. Yes, the supermarkets are full of nail-catching orange and black nylon but have you taken a look at what’s out there for us adults lately? Gothic inspired pieces are in abundance and I defy anyone not to rock a witchy look. And anyway it’s not often you get to take advantage of having unbrushed hair, a pasty complexion and blood shot eyes – this year Hallowe’en falls on the Monday after half term week for most so the timing couldn’t be better.

The high street may be at the ready for the stroke of midnight on the 31st to get all the sparkly festive red outfits into the window displays for the run up to Christmas, and perhaps it’s just luck but there are so many gorgeous black pieces out there at the moment, even I’m tempted to go head to toe black and I swore off the stuff three years ago!

I think it’s a great excuse to dress up and also be a jolly good sport (and the coolest mummy ever) simultaneously. Be inspired by Angelina Jolie as Maleficent (or are we off her now?) or Eva Green as Miss Peregrine but take the devil by the horns and go for it this Hallowe’en. These clothes are not only eveningy with an after dark sexiness you don’t get to do (at least not without disapproval) at Christmas but also there are plenty of fairly practical boots and cover-ups so you can still appear to be vaguely sensible. And I only add that in – I’m not overly bothered with sensible usually – because last year I turned up to the trick or treating outing in Wimbledon in full fancy dress only to discover every other adult present was in a khaki puffer and trainers. At least the boyfriend got away with not having to introduce me to anyone and everyone assumed I was some weird hanger-on belonging to someone else*.

This year I am out trick or treating with my school playground friends and there will be at least ten mini vampires and witches under the age of seven. They will be pumped up simply by being out after dark and then there will be sugar. It will be hideous. So we might as well dress accordingly. H&M have thoughtfully provided actually Hallowe’en outfits this year so there’s no excuse. You’ll need a swag bag and H&M’s rucksack couldn’t be more perfect – it even unzips to show teeth for goodness sake, can this retailer be any more brilliant? Yes, it’s going to be very exciting indeed, I love a good cackle with my witches. I for one can’t wait.

Happy Hallowe’en one and all!

*They were half right.

In case you’ve managed to miss my constant reminders, my book SHOPPED is out and available to buy in all good bookshops and here on Amazon:



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Shake Up Your Capsule Wardrobe

Even if we are sad to see the end of summer, most of us Brits feel a tinge of excitement when the nights draw in and there is a chill in the air. For those under twelve it is the prospect of Hallowe’en and all the sugar and orange and black polyester that brings. If you stopped growing upwards over twenty years ago, it is more the thought of the more snug winter wardrobe – the fur lined boots and the cashmere scarves.

Except that it is rarely as simple as that is it? You unearth your box of knitwear either to discover it is full of moth holes or that most of it looks like old chamois leather. Those boots you so loved last winter, they look scuffed and sad and well, not nearly as cool as you’d remembered and that stretch dress, the one with the inner mesh panel that made you feel like Jessica Rabbit – yeah that’s way too tight. Way too tight and actually – quelle horreur – a little cheap looking suddenly? Particularly annoying since it really wasn’t.

The thing is, things change; people change, fashions change and even though it doesn’t feel like it, the cut of jeans change. A year is a long time in fashion. I said a silent au revoir to a pair of dark blue leg lengthening D&G jeans when I was pregnant with my son, hoping I would one day fit back into them. When that day came, far sooner than I could have dared to imagine, I was horrified to find the fit was all wrong and they made me look about eighty. My friend Becs’ favourite pair of white trousers had been her inspiration for her summer health kick. She reached her goal only to discover those beloved white trews were a bootcut from a bygone era.

It happens. Getting dressed can be emotional and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and stay with the safe. I’m here to nudge you into making some small but significant changes that will make your winter outfits current without straining your finances. Here are some suggestions for a quick and easy update:

Bored of your biker? Buy a bomber…

Bomber jacket reduced to £29.99 at New Look

Bomber jacket reduced to £29.99 at New Look

Jumpsuits just not you? Trouser suits are where it’s at..

Trouser suit £100 from asos.com

Trouser suit £100 from asos.com

Sick of your skinnies? Try a surprisingly versatile wide leg trouser…

Wide leg trousers £125 from Reiss

Wide leg trousers £125 from Reiss

Fed up with fitted? Go for a relaxed fit midi dress…

Midi dress £49 from FineryLondon.com

Midi dress £49 from FineryLondon.com

Hate patent? Metallics are way more now anyway…

Metallic boots £79 from Warehouse

Metallic boots £79 from Warehouse

So over pleats? A box pleat is easier to wear, not to mention iron…

Skirt £29.99 from Zara

Skirt £29.99 from Zara

Happy shopping everyone and thanks for following!

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