Tag Archives: Diaries

Tales from a personal shopping life 2/7|What I love in House of Fraser|

As you all know I have been writing these tales for awhile now but today it is going to be a little different. I have been home for a few days with terrible earache and sore throat and it has made me realise how much I love being at work (my lovely personal shopping suite).  I do love the store (House of Fraser Manchester) and all of the people! Instead of sharing with you all of the things I have sold to customers I thought I would share all of the things that I would like (in my wardrobe!)

I will also include a few mini obsessions as well. (there will a jumpsuit or two and sparkly pumps)

Whistles is always a must visit department in store, Miss Gemma Randles is always on hand to help and is now in charge, which is great news.

I do love a Whistles jumpsuit (I have a few) but there is always room for one more, and this could be one of them.

Whistles Tie Front Dungaree Jumpsuit £110 here (was £160)

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We all need a good sweatshirt especially as summer doesn’t seem to be making an appearance! I am thinking I could wear it to fly to Canada in a few weeks (always thinking about outfits)

Whistles Hummingbird Sweatshirt £75 here 

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You have all heard me talking about Isabel Marant, well this dress definitely has the same vibe. I have tried it and it looks great with ankle boots and pumps.

Whistles Anna Wrap Dress £95 here 

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We are all hankering after a Gucci open mule and this are  a great alternative and apparently very comfortable (reliable source of information)

Whistles Lister Open Back Loafer £160 here

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As you all know I love platform sneakers at the moment, they are very comfortable and look cool with most outfits. This pair is by far my most favourite! (I do need these pumps in my life)

Carvela Lupo Silver Flatforms £89 here

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I have introduced many customers to Hallhuber, a German brand, with great quality. (also it’s not available anywhere else in Manchester) The style is easy but on trend. If I was going to wear a cropped white jumpsuit it would be this one.

Hallhuber Cropped White Jumpsuit £119 here 

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If you have a special occasion then this is a dress to try. I had a customer who was having a registry office ceremony and chose this dress.

Hallhuber Cocktail Dress £169 here 

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Pretty tops are always useful especially when they have a boho vibe.

French Connection Mara Top £59 here 

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Good summer dresses are always hard to find, either the cut os wrong or the fabric too heavy. This one suits everyone!

Warehouse Dress £45 here

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This one has an open back and is flattering on most people.

Warehouse Floral Open Back Dress £45 here

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Biba Fit & Flare Dress £49.50 here (reduced from £99)

This dress has a great scoop back and exposed zip.

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Need a pop of colour?? and a new bag (who doesn’t need a new bag?)

Aspinal of London Mini Marylebone Tote £297.50 here (reduced from £595)

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If the mini isn’t big enough then try the medium!

Spinal Of London Marylebone Tote £425 here (reduced from £850)

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So many things to choose from……………………..come and see for yourself.

 

Tales from a personal shopping life 30/3/………its cold shoulder time!

Hello again it is midweek already!

Today I have been for a welcome trip into Manchester to carry out a little research!! Yes that does mean looking at clothes but it is all in a good cause!!

I did find these trousers in Zara and I was dubious about how they would look on but I do love them. I am thinking that a cami top and a pair of Valentino’s will complete the look.

Zara Cropped Trousers £29.99 here 

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As always I have had some very interesting and lovely clients pass through the personal shopping suite. (House of Fraser Manchester)

Monday brought me a young lady who works in the nuclear industry, she needed quite formal workwear but still wanted to look cool. She was very happy when she walked away with her goodies in the pink bag.

Whistles Helena Crepe Jacket £140 here

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Linea Soft Tailored Skirt £49 here 

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Next was a young lady who had decided to go back to university to complete a Master’s, her husband was sick of the “I have nothing to wear” chants everyday so bought a gift card as a surprise.

She was an absolute delight to work with as she was so excited about everything.

There should not be anymore “chants” with this haul, in fact the Darcy trousers and cold shoulder top are being worn for a night out on Friday

French Connection Darcy Drape Trousers £65 here 

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Oasis Cold Shoulder Top £28 here

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French Connection Polly Plains Pocket Tee £20 here

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Next up was a lady whose first words were “I hate shopping”! thankfully by the time she left she had completely changed her mind. A very happy lady!

Her haul included:

Betty Barclay 5 Pocket Jeans £90 here

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Betty Barclay Fine Stripe Top £50 here

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Linea Knot Front Jersey Top £20.30 here

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One of the recurring themes of the week is “my little blue book” the mockery has set in!! Now I am being asked whether or not I am including everything I spend in it?? Well yes I am Miss Leah!

The time has come “what is keeping me awake at night?” well believe it or not this cold shoulder top by Miss Selfridge, it looks gorgeous on!

Miss Selfridge Lace Up Cold Shoulder Top £28 here

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I still love the white voile top from French Connection (the one with a Parisian vibe) but it is still not on any website (bizarre!!)

Have a great week everyone and I shall catch up with you on Sunday.

Tales from a personal shopping life 20/3/16

Another week closer to summer and pretty clothes!

It has been a great week in store (House of Fraser Manchester), the summer clothes are beginning to make an appearance now. I found two slip dresses on the Mango concession that I can wear now with a knit and later on their own.

Mango Slip Dress £25.99 here (Navy and Dark Red)

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I am sure I will wear one of them tomorrow so watch this space for an update.

You will know that I have quite a thing for cropped flared jeans at the moment and Zara have the perfect pair I hope!! I have just ordered a pair and at £19.99 they are a steal. Once again I will keep you posted as to whether or not they are a success!!

It has been quite a busy few days in the personal shopping suite and as always I have met some amazing people.

Thursday evening brought a fellow accountant which is always interesting. A lovely lady who rarely shops but certainly enjoys it when she does.

These Hallhuber basics worked very well for her she bought black, navy and beige amongst many other things.

Hallhuber Basic Tops £49 here

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Friday brought a lovely young mum who had lost her way and she left feeling amazing, so much so she is back in two weeks for more. She needed smart casual and these are a couple of the pieces she bought.

Warehouse Soft Mac £79 here

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Mint Velvet Pheonix Biker Jeans £69 here

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Hallhuber Floral Print Top £59 here

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Looking at the diary for the next customer I thought it was a lovely lady from Liverpool who had been before, but not at all, she had recommended me to her friend who had travelled from Surrey. What a compliment.

This lady just wanted dresses for the many social events she attends. This was her favourite (she bought quite a few!!)

Lauren Ralph Lauren Nieves Dress £145 here

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My last customer on Friday was also a surprise, she have travelled from Guernsey for the weekend so she could come and visit me after a recommendation.  She wanted a dress for her birthday party but bought a few more as well. This linen dress was for a holiday to Tenerife.

Hobbs Lita Dress £119 here

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Yesterday brought me a seasonal customer looking for a mother of the groom outfit with a difference. It was actually quite easy as she looked gorgeous in this Marella outfit.

Marella Tiapa Jacket £230 here Marella Ema Dress £185 here

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What new obsessions have arisen this week, well I have convinced myself that these shoes will be very comfortable for walking around the store all day!! Confession time, I do that with every pair of shoes that I like!!

Miu Miu Satin Platform Trainers £460 here

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I hope you all have a great start to the week I will see you Wednesday with images of my new toys.

Tales from a personal shopping life 16/3/16…….is it Lima Dreaming time already?

Hello again!

What has been happening instore this week? Well I have been very impressed with the new swim shop, as always Seafolly wins the day for me, I already have my eye on this little number for the beach, is it Lima Dreaming time already??

Seafolly Gili Island Kaftan £48 here

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It has been a little quiet in the personal shopping suite due mainly to “no shows” so frustrating but all part of the job!!

On Monday I had a lovely lady who had been given a gift voucher by her friends for her 40th birthday. We had a lovely time as she spent way more than the voucher but was so happy to have new clothes to take to London this weekend. She finished off her visit with a mini makeover at the Clarins counter.

A few of the London outfits:

Gray & Willow Split Back Knit £69 here

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Gray & Willow Grassland Print Top £55 here

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Tuesday brought me a double act, a customer and her neighbour!! They are off on a cruise in May but my lady wanted every outfit sorted in advance. The visit was all about her evening wear and we achieved that easily but the really nice bit was she could wear her locket with every outfit. Her husband had recently died and she carried his photo in the beautiful locket, she was so happy that she wouldn’t have to take it off.

Are there any mini obsessions going on at the moment? Well the navy Stefanel jumpsuit that I loved last week doesn’t suit me at all so I am over that one!! I do however love this cardigan. I think this would work so well with my existing jumpsuits.

Stefanel Patterned Bourette Cardigan £190 here

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I have just spotted these sandals on Mytheresa definitely a mini obsession! Isabel Marant often turns into an obsession as we all know!!

Isabel Marant Jemma Suede Sandals £355 here

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Another pair of shoes have just appeared!! Miu Miu please stop torturing me!!

Miu Miu Glitter Trim Pumps £460 here

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I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week and I will see you on Sunday with more mini obsessions!!

 

Tales from a personal shopping life 13/2/16……a trip to Mulberry included!

Well it has been an interesting few days since I spoke to you last, I have been to Mulberry no less!! Not to buy a bag but at their invitation to see all of the new and exciting things that are happening.

It all started with a very packed train journey to Bristol and an over night stay in a nice hotel. It wasn’t a long journey from Bristol to the factory but it is another world. The Rookery is in beautiful surroundings, it is all green fields and sheep!!

The staff are wonderful and the atmosphere is one of excitement, everyone is looking forward to the marvellous things that new designer Johnny Coca is bringing. He joined in July 2015 so his influence is evident. I think we all loved what he did with accessories at Celine!! Did you see the Mulberry Autumn/Winter catwalk show in London? it was dark  and sleek with a punk vibe. These are my favourite shots:

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There are also gorgeous new bags on the way so be ready!! I have my eye on a couple!!!

Clifton in Polished Embossed Croc £945 here

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I also had a lovely pressie a rather elegant burgundy note book all wrapped up beautifully. I carried it all the way home fully wrapped as I hate to spoil pretty wrappings!!

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Friday was a crazy day in the shopping suite with three interesting customers, the first being a gentleman who was starting a new job.

He bought jackets, trousers, shirts and chelsea boots and left feeling very happy, the boots were a revelation which he kept thanking me for!

Ted Baker Chelsea Boots £150 here

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My next lady worked in HR for the NHS and just wanted a smart casual update, she loved this dress amongst many other things.

Warehouse Collarless Pintuck Dress £39 here

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My last lady on Friday was a retired professor who needed clothes she could wear everyday. She also convinced me that pilates is the way forward for stretching without too much pain. She left with several pairs of trouser and tops

Some of her favourite things were:

Linea Knot Front Top £39 here

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Whistles Annie Sparkle Knit £65 here

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Saturday brought me a mother and daughter needing an outfit for a Diamond wedding lunch in London. They both ended up with jumpsuits (and a lot more) for the lunch.

Phase Eight Janessa Jumpsuit £120 here

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What am I loving this week, well that is easy. I have found a gorgeous new outfit for spring. I spotted this Stefanel culotte suit whilst walking around store. I do love culottes at the moment, I am wearing mine a lot!!

Stefanel Crepe Jumpsuit £190 here

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These pumps have filled my head with springtime, the colour is amazing. I will wear them with all of my dresses, jumpsuits and culottes they are PERFECT!!

Carvela Lotus Pumps £110 here

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Paris Fashion Week is now over but I will leave you with some images from the Miu Miu show.

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Have a good week everyone I will see you again on Wednesday.

Tales from a personal shopping life 9/2/16…………….

It is Wednesday again, this year is flying by. Later today I am off to Somerset so that I can spend tomorrow at Mulberry. They have been kind enough to invite House of Fraser personal shoppers to take a peek behind the scenes. I am excited!!

I have had a few great days in store since I spoke to you last, yesterday I had a very funny conversation with a small boy! He asked me if I wore contact lenses as my eyes are apparently “too blue and freaky” to be real. He went on to ask me if I knew the difference between longitude and latitude, his teacher must have fun everyday!!

On Monday morning I had two ladies who were off to the Norwegian Fjords on a cruise and needed cocktail hour dresses. One of them was 5ft and a size 20 and was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to find her a thing!! Two skirts and six tops later she was very happy. Her friend bought five dresses, one of being this Linea dress.

Linea Sara Dress £99 here

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Yesterday I think I set a record, I had a mother of the bride who was a beautiful lady and wanted something simple. The very first dress, jacket and shoes she tried on she loved. She apologised for not trying anymore on but she looked stunning, so there was no need. Quite sensibly she also mentioned that it would work for Ascot.

Hobbs Meryl Dress £169 here

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Hobbs Meryl Jacket £189 here

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There have been NO mini obsession so far this week but if you are going to a wedding or any special occasions then these dresses are perfect for you.

All of these pieces are available in store House of Fraser Manchester.

Whistles Bonded Lace Dress £250 here

I have shown the back view as I think it is gorgeous.

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Whistles Amelia Lace Dress £220 here

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Warehouse Applique Lace Dress £89 here

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As you are all aware it is Paris Fashion Week and yesterday it was the turn of my favourites Chanel and Valentino to wow the world and they didn’t disappoint.

These are my favourites

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Valentino

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I will tell you all about Mulberry on Sunday and no doubt there will be a new bag obsession!! Enjoy the rest of the week.

 

 

Tales from a personal shopping life 2/3/16……………………

Its Wednesday again already and I have a busy day planned, I am off to town as my hair needs a colour (professional not a home job!) and I have few chores along the way but more about them later.

It has been a relatively quiet start to the personal shopping week, Monday and Tuesday brought a refreshes for two lovely ladies but nothing could have prepared me for the “wedding dress”

A few weeks ago a lady called to say she was getting married on Easter Saturday in a registry office at short notice, the reason being she has terminal cancer.

I was prepared to “spoil” her during the appointment, the store (House of Fraser Manchester) had given me a beautiful beauty goodie bag for her and it did bring tears when she opened it.

What a privilege it was to meet her she has such a positive attitude, although still receiving chemotherapy she insists on holding down her job as long as she can. Her time frame is at best the end of the year and at worst a few more months, after a mastectomy she now has secondaries in her liver and kidneys. All of this didn’t deter her from finding the perfect dress just like any other bride to be.

Unfortunately the dress we decided upon wasn’t in her size in store (House of Fraser Manchester) but I did track it down to Selfridges. I walked across to Selfridges (not something I normally do ) with her so she could try it and it was perfect. There were tears and hugs and she has has promised me a photo of the wedding.

Things like this certainly make you appreciate what you have in life, the main thing being your health because without it we have nothing.

Carsyn Midi Dress £299 here

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One of my tasks yesterday was to pick up this dress from Zara, and it does look gorgeous on.

Zara Dress £29.99 here

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As you all know my obsession with ankle boots never fades and this week it is these blue boots I spotted at Finery London. I will keep you posted on the comfort factor!!

Elmworth Closed Leather Boots £125 here

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I finally have my gorgeous sparkly Miu Miu’s back after Selfridges sent them off for repair, the buttons are different but they are still pretty!!

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I certainly felt better after my root tint and a few new blonde bits but most importantly a fringe trim!! I only work across the road from my hairdressers yet my fringe was out of control!! It should never happen!!

I nearly forgot my really big news I actually went to a Spanish class and enjoyed it. For those who don’t know I spent years living in Gibraltar when I was a teenager and I visit Peru every year (for 10 years now) and although I understand most things I answer in English!! Well enough is enough this year I will be having conversations in Spanish!! Feeling quite proud that I have finally made the move.

Paris fashion has started and I am looking forward to the usual suspects like Chanel, Dior, Isabel Marant, Chloe, Miu Miu ……..the list is endless.

My favourite image so far is from Dries Van Noten, I love the colours.

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See you all on sunday……..

Tales from a personal shopping life 24/2/16

Hello again and it’s another blissful day off! Spring must be in the air as I am having a clear out, all of the clutter is going going gone!

The sun is shining and I know I should be outside but if I don’t complete some tasks, no matter how small, I will feel like it has been a wasted day.

Monday started with a delicious surprise, after a home dye attempt that left my eyes really itchy (not really sure how this happened!!) I trotted off to Waitrose very early to find antihistamine tablets. Unfortunately I had to walk past the bakery section and spotted a lemon yumyum and ohhh was it delicious!! How have I lived my life without them so far?

This is now my mantra “I must not eat lemon yumyums” repeat!

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It has been an awesome start to the week and I do feel blessed that I have such a cool job In House of Fraser with such wonderful clients.

Monday was relatively quiet but I had a mother of the bride, it is always a pleasure to find the perfect outfit for a very stressed mum!

This dress and jacket combination by Phase Eight is a favourite this season

 

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Phase 8 Hattie Dress £116 here Phase 8 Hattie Jacket £120 here

Tuesday was quite a wonderful day I had two ladies who are both regulars so there was a lot of catching up to do and gossip to be shared.

My first lady wanted some new smart casual pieces for when in her words she goes to “golden oldie” events. She went away very happy with new jeans, jackets and tops all things that will mix well with what she already has.

My second lady wanted new workwear, she travels constantly to America and Australia so light weight shift dresses and jackets were the order of the day. The “piece” was this Max Mara Agito skirt and Calamo Jacket with flower detail, it is a beautiful suit and lightweight for warmer climes. I am sure it will shine in Atlanta next week.

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Max Mara Calamo Jacket £350 here Max Mara Agito Skirt £250 here

There was a pretty cool email came through yesterday about HOF Personal Shoppers visiting the Mulberry factory, I can’t wait to go it’s exciting!! The visit is in March so I will keep you posted.

Tuesday also brought a request from the Leeds HOF store to train their new personal shopper, it is always a pleasure to do this especially if they are as enthusiastic as I am about clothes and styling.

The lovely sunshine has turned my thoughts to spring and the new collections! I am always on the look out for cool shoes and I love these platforms from & Other Stories. I can already picture them with my frayed jeans and dresses, I feel an obsession coming on!!

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& Other Stories Platforms £125 here

I am thinking that they would go nicely with this navy skirt from Topshop, obviously I have no other skirts in my wardrobe!!!

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Topshop Premium Wrap Skirt £50 here

I keep looking at backpacks especially one’s coloured blue or orange then I remembered I have a gorgeous blue one that was made especially for me in Peru. It will be out to play tomorrow!

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As you will be aware Fashion Week has moved to Milan and it means that it will soon be time for Prada, which is always one of my favourites. The colours are always amazing and the combinations unexpected.

The Gucci show was earlier today although in true fashion style it did start an hour late. There are so many beautiful looks from this show it was hard to choose  my favourite look, I chose this one simply because the colours are gorgeous and I would wear that coat.

I have posted all of my favourite looks from the show in a different post.

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Back to work tomorrow and more lovely clients to style, now that is something to look forward to………

Tales from a personal shopping life 21/2/16

Here we are again, it’s Sunday already!

To strike a theme for the last few days I am trying to be exceptionally good at not buying everything I like.

Bearing this in mind there have been a lot of giggles around store in the last few days as I tell everyone that I am going to be very good and I won’t be buying so many things that I don’t really need. I want to end this year feeling like I have saved something instead of wearing it all. It is so easy to get carried away when you are surrounded by clothes and shoes!!! My first test was this small drawstring bag from Whistles, it was only in black in store and I was successful at walking away from it but I have just spotted it in orange on the website HELP It is just big enough for a phone a card and lipstick.

Whistles Micro Sydney Bag £95 here 

whistles-micro-sidney-fringe-bag-orange_medium_04I am really lucky that I get to meet some very interesting people everyday at work, this week has been no exception at all.

On Thursday,I had a young mum who had been given a voucher to spend on new clothes. These appointments are so special as quite often they haven’t shopped properly for themselves for a few years. Watching them transform as they try on the clothes is a pleasure, they forget what is like to look good. All it took was carefully chosen pieces from Oasis and Warehouse and the result was a very happy customer.

I also had the pleasure of finding a prom dress for a lovely young lady, it was very easy, a simple floor length cami dress with beading in grey. She looked stunning and the icing on the cake was mum was going to buy her Jimmy Choo‘s to wear with it. What more can a girl ask for?

Friday brought me more lovely customers especially a very beautiful lady looking for 80th birthday outfits!! She certainly didn’t look anywhere near that age either in her face or her figure!! Her secret I believe is that she does yoga everyday and has done for many years and the fact she enjoys life. For her birthday she was taking 22 members of her family to the Lakes as a treat.

The outfits that I chose for her where full of colour and they absolutely reflected her personality. We discussed different styles of yoga and she made her recommendations for both The King of Peru and myself. Watch this space for the new yoga regimes!!

A photo of my beautiful shells in my shopping suite.

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Another of the weeks mini obsessions is the Chloe Hudson bag with fringing, I think you will agree it is gorgeous.

Chloe Mini Hudson Bag £1395 here

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Whistles are being very torturous at the moment as this top arrived in store, it is lovely but completely unwearable for work until it warms up. I do love fringing!!

Whistles Manderley Crochet Vest £95 here

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Returning to the orange theme (remember the bag) these sandals are also pretty cool.

Whistles Luma Ankle Strap Sandals £175 here

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A lot of my attention is on Fashion week in whatever city it maybe, in New York Victoria Beckham stole the show as always. The lady has great style.

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In London so far these images have caught my eye:

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Mary Katrantzou
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Topshop Unique

Next Milan which I love as there will be Prada, I do love PRADA

I found these sandals earlier on the Prada website, how gorgeous are they?

Prada Sandals £795 here

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Prada sandals

See you in Milan.

 

 

 

Baby blues | My top 20 pieces in pale blue | Winter blues |

Back in september I completely fell in love with this Balenciaga Tube Cross Body bag in pale blue and then yesterday I spotted a coat in Zara in pale blue and the love was reignited.

I have posted by favourite pieces in this colour and I hope you like them too.

Balenciaga Tube Cross Body Bag £695

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Zara Sky Blue Mohair Coat £129 here

Zara sky blue coat

Michael Michael Kors Selma Tote £315 here

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Heidi Klein Sainte Maxime Bikini £160 here

Hedi Klien bikini

Carven Sky Blue Turtleneck £409 here

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Gianvito Rossi Leather Pumps £415 here

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By Malene Birger Callie Mohair Cardi £200 here

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Victoria Beckham Victoria Mini Tote £550 here

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Stella McCartney Falabella Tote £700 here

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Acne Shore Merino Wool Dress £273 here

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Givenchy Lace Tee £500 here 

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Smythson East West Tote £550 here

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Smythson Panama Diary £42 here

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Topshop Cropped Pull On Hoody £18 here

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ASOS Blue Moon Necklace £50 here

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ASOS Side Zip Jumper £38 here

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ASOS Beanie £7 here

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Valentino Rockstud Pumps £415 here

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Velvet Queenie Tee £80 here

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Sensi Studio Classic Panama £108 here

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