Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Where to buy Novelty Christmas Jumpers?

We are spending Christmas in our new home this year with just our immediate family – yippee!  No travelling, no parents and no commitments other than eating and drinking far too much for 72 hours – I cannot wait.

I have spent Christmas Day for the past 38 years with others and as such it’s always been the norm to ‘get dressed’ for Christmas Day by 10am.  I have always been made to feel that you dress up on Christmas Day for the lunch/afternoon and lazy evening.  But I hate that mid afternoon slump on the sofa whilst in a dress/heels or trousers too tight, so this year I have a solution for our family: Family Christmas Novelty Jumpers!

So off I went to search for ladies, men’s and children’s jumpers …… BRICK WALL.  You can buy lots of men’s Christmas jumpers, you can buy lots of cute baby Christmas jumpers, but I am struggling to find a women’s Christmas jumper for me (not sweatshirt) and some for the boys (age 5 and 8) .. I could buy a small men’s jumper but why can’t I find a size 10 ladies jumper with a silly something on the front?

Perhaps over sized is the way forward to allow room for my full tummy come 4pm?

Here are my selections for the best Christmas Novelty Jumpers 2012: 
UPDATE .. as I went back to look at my choices that I’d found, I quickly put out a tweet asking why I couldn’t find anything suitable .. and low and behold within 1 minute I was directed to Christmas Jumper King – it’s a HEAVEN for someone like me trying to (embarrassingly) dress us for Christmas Day!   And shortly after (10 seconds) I had another tweet from Funky Christmas Jumpers

So here, from Christmas Jumper King are my top finds.  Shall be making a purchasing decision very soon so we can wear them to a few family events throughout December - why ridicule ourselves just on one day of the year?
Delivery - £4.95 (one price regardless of order size)

 £34.99 - for him            £24.95 for her

And here from Funky Christmas Jumpers are my family finds for our novelty Christmas jumper wearing month.
Delivery  - €7.95 (one price regardless of order size)

 €39.99 - for him                  €39.99 - for her

The question is, should we wear ALL the same jumper or each family member different?  I’m kind of loving the same jumper for all members idea .. what do you think?

Oh and as for the other jumpers I found?  Pah, no comparison when you have the two sites mentioned above.

I'll post the jumper/s of choice on Avenue 57 closer to the time.


Monday, 29 October 2012

Talk to me about hats

I hate this time of year, it does nothing for me or my hair.  I often see women looking so good in hats, but when I try them on it does something very strange to me – I look weird and have yet to find a style that really suits me.  I have the beanie, the trilby and the good old fashioned bobble hat but I look like a simpleton in all of them.

I need a hat/many hats as I have hair that does not like the wind or the rain and I’m always cold.  I get ready each morning, do the school run and end up looking like a scarecrow for the rest of the day – so I really am in need of a hat/many hats to hide the straw hair.

I also have a problem with hat hair … what do you do?  I wear mine for the morning school run, get home and take it off and I either have a nice rim around my hair where the hat has been or it’s static and fly away with NOTHING to be done other than stick the hat back on for the rest of the day!

Here is my (pathetic) current selection of hats that I own ...

Here's me in my hats (actually what I've seen from these photos is the beanie hats look better than the structured trilby or baker style hat - I never knew that prior to taking these photos!).  Maybe it's because the grey beanie (which I've always hated as it sits TIGHT on my head) goes best with what I'm wearing?  If I had a more formal outfit on then perhaps the trilby would look better?

So onto hats I want to buy and if I could look as good in them as the model does then that would be a bonus!

This isn't dissimilar to the one I own but I think mine is too small for my head - I love the style of this (and mine) but I think I need a bigger version like this one.

I love everything about this - style, colour and the feather detail .. what a bargain too!

On this model it looks cool, trendy and funky .. on me it would look too big for my head and not quite so 'casual' even though styled.  My cream one is a bit big and it just points upwards making my head look even longer than it is .. perhaps a less structured beanie like this one is the way forward?

I've seen so many women at the school gate in these and each one looks amazing - I am seriously tempted by this style for the season ahead.  It's waterproof and stylish - win win.

Not dissimilar to the one I own but this is less fussy and I like the style - see comment above
My friend with the most amazing face and hair wears these all the time and looks so chic (Parisian) - I would be wearing a hat for practical reasons (it's raining and/or it's cold and windy) - this hat would serve no purpose other than looking stylish (and perhaps keeping you a little warm with good ear coverage).

I am rendered speechless at how gorgeous this looks with the scarf .. or is it my girl crush on the model?  My black beanie had an over sized bobble on it last week but I figured I look clown like so I snipped it off.  Perhaps I shouldn't have and then I could be a hat twin for this picture.

I love this so much I am going to buy it!  It comes with matching gloves for another £5 too - I do love to make a prat of myself at times and with this hat and matching gloves I can do that AND keep warm!  Oh and don't you know Christmas is coming and it's the perfect time to be gearing up for novelty clothes - watch this space .. novelty clothing blog post coming soon - hoorah!

However, even though I like to play the fool once in a while you will not ever see me in this ever - if it looks this bad on the gorgeous model what hope is there for us normal folk?

What style of hat do you wear in the cold winter months?  I would love to be inspired by your hat choice - please post a photo on Avenue 57 and show us all your style


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

F&F Limted Edition Bum and Tum Jeans – tried and tested size 8-20

F&F have recently launched a range of 'Bum and Tum' jeans that have been specifically designed to lift and hold in all the right places to give an amazing shape. They're available in black and blue from sizes 6-20 with both a Bootcut and Skinny option, and are £25.

So when they approached me about road-testing them I jumped at the chance.  But as I represent only one body shape it wouldn’t have be a fair (or good!) test so I asked other ladies on Avenue 57 if they would like to join in and here are the results.

Mini Conclusion

Fiona - Size 8 Black Skinny
Verdict: Fantastic quality, true to size but long

Debs - Size 8 Blue Bootcut
Verdict: Great quality, long leg, true fit

Mary - Size 10 Black Skinny
Verdict: Great fit but not skinny enough

Vicki - Size 12 Blue Skinny
Verdict: Fantastic shape but but size up

Sue - Size 14 Blue Skinny
Verdict: fantastic quality, too long and very small

Nicola - Size 14 Black Bootcut
Verdict: Great shape but too small and too long

Lorraine - Size 16Blue Bootcut
Verdict: High waistband rolls down, need to size up and very long

Alison - Size 18 Black Bootcut
Verdict: Too tight, need to size up, fantastic fit on bottom

Fiona - Size 20 Blue Skinny
Verdict: Bad cut, poorly designed, too long and too small

Sam - Size 20 Black bootcut
Verdict: Great quality but too long and too small – size up

Full Reviews and Photos

Size 8 – Black Skinny
Verdict: Fantastic quality, true to size but long

Review: When the jeans first arrived I was very dubious – they looked TINY on the waist.  What I didn’t realise is that when you put the jeans on the waist is meant to be small to help suck you in!  I managed to get the jeans on with ease and the high waist really held me in.  It felt strange wearing such a high waist because I’m used to wearing low rise only but after a few minutes I really liked the feeling and it actually made me stand taller!

I can’t say I noticed any specific benefits on the bottom area, they did fit nicely though.

The jeans are long in the leg.  I have a 33” inside leg and they were good for me.  I’m not sure how anyone under 5ft 9 is going to make these work for them, unless they take them up.

I wouldn’t say the jeans were ‘skinny’, more of a straight leg jean.  I could wear with heels/flats but I couldn’t have worn with knee high boots, the jeans wouldn’t sit neatly inside the boot.  They did look great with an ankle slouch boot though.

Size 8 - Blue Bootcut
Verdict: Great quality, long leg, true fit

Review: I’m 43 years old, 5ft4 and my bottom half is a size 8. I have quite short legs and my problems areas I would say are my mummy tummy and my thighs.

My hopes were that the Tesco jeans would improve these areas, although they are actually jeans for bums and tums. As far as I am aware my bum is ok.  I struggle with skinny jeans because I feel short and dumpy. Perhaps I should have tried these instead of the bootcut to prove I can actually wear them but I went for the safer option that I thought was more likely to look ok.

 They were quite difficult to get on because of the high and fairly tight waist, but I could get them on so not too much of a problem and they fit well. At first they felt quite tight but they are also quite stretchy and after a while they began to feel comfortable. I am not used to wearing high waisted jeans and I don’t think my tummy appears much smaller in them. That could be because the material is denim which is quite bulky anyway.

The material is good quality and the jeans look a lot smarter than your average jeans. I am thinking I may be able to get away with wearing them with a jacket to visit clients. This would be great for me as I travel a lot by car and need to be comfortable.

 As I mentioned I have short legs and the jeans are quite long for them, but this isn't too much of a problem as I tend to buy jeans long and wear heels as I don’t like the ‘dumpy’ look. Perhaps if I’d opted for skinnies I would have also tried flats and maybe I could have persuaded myself that my legs don’t look so bad after all.

My conclusion is that I like these jeans very much. They fit well, they feel comfy and I don’t think they look too bad either. A 9/10. They will get a lot of wear.


Size 10 - Black Skinny
Verdict: Great fit but not skinny enough

Review:  I was initially surprised to discover the jeans were high waisted, I have not owned jeans like this for a long time.

I tried them on and found they fitted perfectly around the waist, bum and hips. They are extremely comfortable to wear and it was great not to have that 'falling down' sensation every few minutes. I found they did give a good shape especially in the bum and waist area and hid some lumps and bumps that I'd be quite aware of.

I tried the skinny jeans but think they are not quite skinny enough, especially in the calf area, for a regular fitting they were also quite long so when worn with heels they tend to look quite baggy, ie, there is too much material, this may not be the case with everyone though, my calf area is extremely slender so that has to be taken into consideration.

Overall, I found the jeans very comfortable and wouldn't hesitate to wear them.

Size 12 - Blue Skinny
Verdict: Fantastic shape but but size up

Review: I'm normally a big size 10 so opted for a 12. When they arrived I squeezed into the 12. Definitely size up.

Better for special occasions and going out, really pulls you in and made me stand tall.  Straight leg rather than skinny, couldn't fit them in some of my boots.  Wore them for 11 hours and it was such a relief to take them off!!  Would definitely recommend them for party wear and will be wearing again.

Size 14 - Blue Skinny
Verdict: fantastic quality, too long and very small

Review: I am a massive fan of Tesco clothing and was really excited to try these new jeans!

I am usually a size 14/16 in skinny jeans so opted for the size 14s, hoping that the bum & tum lift would do the business! But these jeans are a very small fit, I could not do them up and hence have not been able to take any photos for you to see, which is very disappointing.

They are also a rather long fit. I am 5ft 7” but these jeans would need taking up, they are too long for the average-height woman I think? The cut and feel of the jeans were definitely superior for the price though, I liked the 3 buttons, the rivets and the high waisted cut. So my advice to your shoppers would be to size up and use a sewing machine to take up the hems!

Size 14 - Black Bootcut
Verdict: Great shape but too small and too long

Review: The positives were that they did really hold you in and they were a nice shape and the material was nice and thick and good quality.  They were definitely smart enough for a going out pair of jeans and I did like the look they gave my legs.

The negatives were that they came up small in size and very long in the leg.  I would not have been able to wear them without a really high pair of heels which would rule them out for any casual wear.  Had they been a little more generous around the waist I would have felt a lot more comfortable - as it was and despite the thick waistband, I had an awful lot of overspill at the top of the jeans and the most impressive muffin top ever!

Size 16 - Blue Bootcut
Verdict: High waistband rolls down, need to size up and very long

Review: I got these jeans full of hope for a good fitting pair of jeans. At first I was happy with how they fitted but maybe a little bit tight. They fitted really nice around my bum and thighs.

However with the higher waist band when you sit down this rolls down. I know I have some extra weight around my belly area but this is the type of person that would be buying these jeans to help hold them in a bit.

I would be interested to see how the next size up feels but I have a feeling they would then be a bit too big around the crotch as this pair already has a small bit extra.
In conclusion these jeans for me a fine standing up but not sitting down. I would strongly recommend anyone buying these jeans to sit down in them to see what they are like on you first. It could all just be me and my body shape but I am not a fan of the higher waist band.

Size 18 - Black Bootcut
Verdict: Too tight, need to size up, fantastic fit on bottom

Review: I loved the jeans (black / bootcut)  but found them very tight on my waist - they flattened my tummy but created a bulge above (as you can see by the pictures).  The jeans fitted beautifully around my bottom and were very flattering. I wear my jeans long so the length was perfect, I am about 5'6".  I would definitely buy them but would size up.

Size 20 - Blue Skinny
Verdict: Bad cut, poorly designed, too long and too small

Review: When I first examined the jeans, I was impressed by both quality and colour. It was immediately obvious however, that they were very narrow on the waist for their size and too wide on the leg – they’re not skinny jeans by some considerable margin...they are straight legged. They were also very long, and although I’m 5’7” or thereabouts, there was still plenty of material that gathered at the bottom, making it difficult to find shoes or boots that weren’t mostly hidden by them. It had already been proven impossible to put them inside knee high or calf length boots, as I would normally do with skinny jeans, as the legs were far too wide for that.

Once on, they weren’t entirely comfortable. Owing to their small sizing, they simply pushed excess flesh upwards, and made sitting down in them virtually impossible.

In an upright position they looked good, but I wasn’t comfortable wearing them, and can’t size up as I had the size 20 (which I wear in *every* other brand of skinny / superskinny jeans, so I know the sizing is far from the norm in these ones)

All in all, I would say that the opportunity to present a pair of reasonably priced, decent quality jeans to an extensive size range has been missed. The garment sizing at the waist is extremely small and the jeans are further let down by both the cut and length of the leg. This is unfortunate, as the quality of material and excellent colour had me impressed at the start.  A real shame.

Size 20 - Black bootcut
Verdict: Great quality but too long and too small – size up

Review: I was excited to get these jeans and really wanted to love them. First impressions were good, they are a great colour and feel like decent quality fabric.

I normally wear a size 18 in jeans but even the size 20 in these jeans was uncomfortably tight. I get that the point of them is to suck everything in but I had to lie down to do the zip up which I have never had to do on any other pair of jeans.

I am 5'5 and have quite a short body, so the very high waist combined with the control aspect of the jeans meant that they were uncomfortably tight and I had an unsightly 'muffin-top'.
The jeans are quite long too, I wore some high wedge heeled boots, they would not work with a flat boot as would be trailing on the floor.

I think for someone who is tall and slim but wants to hide their tummy a bit then they would be perfect but for someone who is short and round like me then they just do not work for my body shape at all.

As you can see, the end result is the jeans are long in length and need to be sized up in order to fit correctly from the size 12 upwards.  However, everyone agreed that the jeans were a brilliant colour and most of us agreed that they were of superior quality.  Do you own a pair?  Have you tried them on before?  What did you think?


Monday, 22 October 2012

Top 10 outfits from last week

At Avenue 57 ladies post what they are wearing every day - it's hard to choose a top 10 but I have managed to look at the best of the best and here they are in alphabetical.  These are real women, with real bodies living real lives - women just like you!  Click on their username to see their look in detail, view their profile and more of their looks.

I love this peplum top...

What a dress...

Fantastic shirt...


Emily Jayne
What a dress...

Epic skirt...

Check out the birthday girl...

It's all about the lace...

An amazing dress...

LOVE this oversized jumper...

What do you think of these fabulous ladies?  Which is your favourite look?  If you want to be in with a chance of being picked next week, upload your daily look to Avenue 57 today!


Monday, 8 October 2012

FrOctober – what is it all about?

Froc what?  I know, took me a second glance to understand what was written and a few times to say it correctly in my head.  FrOctober (frock + October – gettit?!) is the idea behind 3 lovely women who met on Twitter and started a challenge as they were all in agreement that they were relying TOO heavily on wearing jeans all the time.  So they took October and frocks and came up with FrOctober !  From then on they made it into a charity challenge and now support  a charity that is close to their (and lots of others) hearts - Post-Natal Depression - PNI ORG UK

So when Avril from School Gate Style asked me if I’d like to join in for fun and to raise awareness, I jumped at the chance I love challenges – see our 30 day no repeat SHOE style challenge.  I also wear my skinny jeans too much so I was looking forward to getting out of that rut and into a new one for 30 days!

Should I be embarrassed to say that at no point did I think ‘I don’t own 31 dresses’?  I actually knew that I did and/or if I didn't I would buy or borrow or just re-style for a different look the ones I do own.  So without further ado how did I get on with week 1?

I’m not the only one taking part from the community on Avenue 57 – there are a few others who are also giving it a go – here they are looking gorgeous in their dresses.

Are you stuck in a style rut?  What’s your guilty item of nonstop wearing?


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

If I could I would

Fashion Union are holding a Pin to Win contest - you basically set up a board on Pinterest and call it  "'Fashion Union Pin It!" - in return you have the chance to win £150 to spend.  I have bought from them before and like their clothing range and lately their site has become very good indeed.  Being 39 now there are still items that I shall admire as my 20 yr old self but if you look around the site you will see some totally gorgeous items that are ageless in my opinion.

In no particular order I am in love (like REALLY in love) with:
I said in no particular order but when it comes to this item it is my first love.  Already visualising over leggings, skinny jeans, leather trousers and/or a flirty floaty short black skirt.
Who doesn't love a retro looking parka?  This is lightweight so it would be perfect for Autumn and in the winter you could pop a little other lightweight jacket on underneath.  I can already see me on the school run in this, skinny jeans and brown knee high boots!
This is absolutely stunning - I want it, I need it!  It would go with 99.9% of what I own in my wardrobe.  I would mainly wear during the day over a summer dress for winter layering.  I have a red dress I would wear this over and team up with some black biker boots - I love to mix up the masculine leather with girlie floaty dress.
I love this so much - I have leggings and faux leather trousers I would wear this with.  Something that can so easily be dressed up or down for day or night.  Adding a blazer and heels would transform it for the evening.  Leggings and biker boots for a more casual day look.
These are fantastic - I would wear these with a long sleeved tshirt, oversized jumper and tan ankle boots.  In the Spring/Summer they could be rolled up and worn with flip flops/ballet pumps/heels.  Such a great colour
Have you been on their site?  What did you love?  Are you on pinterest too?  I am!
Oh and by the way - this is not a sponsored post - I just fell in love with a lot of their stuff today and wanted to share!!