Friday, 27 May 2016

Last #RTHCapsuleWardrobe Catchup (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)

 Well, we are nearing the end of my first Capsule Wardrobe.  I chose to run my Spring capsule from 1st April to May 31st, so it was just 2 months which felt perfect for my first capsule venture and has been a wonderful experience.
I have learned so much and enjoyed the freedom of thought having the capsule has brought to me.
I hope you've enjoyed coming along for the capsule wardrobe ride, next week will be the grand unveiling of my Summer Capsule (ahem, which i'm yet to decide on) which will then see me through from June 1st to 1st Sept, so 3 whole months. I'm going to make a couple of changes in the next capsule, but shall chat about all things capsule next week.
As for now, here are the last couple of weeks of #OOTD from my Insta feed, which we all know i love to document and keeps me accountable and out of my pj's.

Highlights the past couple of weeks from my capsule has to be my new Etienne Marcel culottes and my yellow sweater.

I'm super pleased with how many different outfits I created with just 37 items of clothing (shoes not included), I don't think i've ever, ever worn a set of clothing as much as I have these past couple of months. But I have to say as much as I have loved this capsule,and i really have, I'm ready for some different pieces, and some sunshine.. C'mon summer!


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

How do YOU spend your money? The Invisible Money Experiement

Back in March I was asked if i would like to take part in a little experiment.
Guinea pig? Me? Sure i said, count me in. What's the catch?
No Catch Payplan said, we just want you to Take part in the Invisible Money Experiment ; spend one week making all your purchases with your card, and then one week solely with cash.
Interesting I thought. I love a good experiment.. Challenge accepted.

What i didn't expect was that i would actually learn a whole lot about my spending habits by doing this.

The idea behind Payplan's experiment:

"Is it true, do we really spend more money if we can’t see it?

With most people purchasing day to day items with so called ‘invisible money’, thanks to credit and debit cards, and the advent of contactless payments; this was something we aimed to find out here at PayPlan"

With a licence to shop, all in the name of 'Research' of course,
Let the spending commence

Week one: Card only
Easy Peasy I do all my spending on card, with lots of internet shopping. I'm like the queen me, i don't carry any cash.
For this week I had some gifts to purchase as it was Mothers Day that weekend, it had also just been our monthly payday so I gave myself a few pay-day treats in the form of some shoes bought online from Mango. I also paid some bills with my card and my sons dinner money via the School Dinners website. It was old mother hubbard also and as the cupboards were bear I did my usual  weekly Supermarket shop online and had it delivered to home. All very easy and nothing out of the ordinary as spending freely with my card is pretty standard.

Second week: Cash only
Not so easy :- See queen reference above. I very rarely carry cash, maybe the odd pound here and there. I never draw money out of the ATM (I sometimes just get cashback when i make card payments) or give myself a monetary budget to stick to, so it was very interesting to have to plan what i was doing and think about how much i was going to spend.
I found myself going to the ATM daily to draw out a certain amount after i had thought through what i would need. I paid for my sons dinner money with cash and all of my shopping was done (but a lot less of it this week) with actual money. There was less to spend this week as there were no gifts required, but i also wasn't buying myself anything as that would require drawing money out, which surprisingly i didn't want to do.

I filmed a vlog for the first and second week to diarise my spending and thoughts as both weeks went on, then i summarised how i found the whole experiment.

I would love for you to come and have a watch: grab a cuppa and a biscuit and come listen to me talk about how easy it is to spend money.
I promise you will find this interesting!

You can find the vlogs HERE

I finished with a final note on my thoughts and findings from the two weeks and how it's actually changed my outlook on spending.

I would highly recommend doing the Invisible Money experiment yourself, go ahead, I dare ya. It doesn't cost anything, its super easy and a real eye opener to spending habits. And if you're like me you will see how you can put some new better habits in place going forward.

Below is an Infographic put together by the clever people at Payplan to show how spending has changed and how people are now more reliant than ever on card and contactless payment..
Its really interesting

So how do you spend your money?

* I had the pleasure of working with Payplan on this collaboration, all thoughts, and shopping sprees are of course my own


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Shopping For my Summer Capsule

As the end of my Spring capsule draws closer and closer I am suddenly starting to think of what pieces i want and need for summer.
Out of all my ridiculous amounts of clothes, summer pieces are something i don't have a great deal of (knitwear i'm practically drowning in, in fact i have some much of the bloody stuff stored in my attic it acts as insulation I'm sure of it). I think it's because the British Summer is never really that sunny, or it's unpredictable to say the least. Its normally rainy with the odd short spell of sunshine. Not very conducive for a summer wardrobe, and definitely not lots of it.
If i thought my Spring capsule was difficult, then you can bet your arse the British Summer one will be even harder. Rain, Sun, Hot, Cold. You name it we have it. Our summer is a challenge at the best of times. but with a limited wardrobe I'm going to have to really think this through.

I will go in to more detail of my plans and thoughts on my Full Summer Capsule post(Which will be June 1st) but for now.. well it's time i did a little shopping (Squeal).

I am yet to get my summer clothing down from storage, but I kinda know the pieces I have (perks of diarising all your outfits on the internet, you have an archive at your fingertips) and what will be use-able.
I also know the loose colour scheme i am going with for Summer (I find it easier to work with a colour scheme as it makes the whole capsule a lot easier to control) so  I am going fourth to shop with a clear view of what i would like and what i would need.

First things first, before shopping I always look for sales and discount codes where ever possible. I am only shopping once a season now so i need to be savvy (why do i always think of Captain Jack Sparrow when i say that?) and frugal and generally shop smart.
So thats what i do. There are some great sales on at the moment, and even though things may be 'past season' they can most definitely work for my Summer capsule. A great place to start is Shop The Sales, which is a marvellous tool for seeking out some bargains... Take a look..

Dorothy Perkins Sale

 Some key pieces so far 

  • A Khaki Maxi Dress, lots of potential here. Dress up or down, with tan or black and even sneakers
  • A Pretty White Blouse: a little lacey number with a bit of interest.
  • Navy Chino's, yes please. Perfect summer trews.
  • A Denim Jacket. Summer essential, yes?

Next up some inspo from Boden
I love to shop the Boden Sales, I had some of my best summer pieces in their sales last year.

  • Swirly wear it anywhere dress
  • Navy Skirt, again dress up or down and remix with lots of top options
  • Blush Knit, because even though its summer, its still the UK
  • Navy Blazer, a quick and easy way to smarten things up.

So that's a little look in to my colour scheme for my summer capsule! 
And that's all I have for now, I still have some time to figure out some stuff (technical term for get-my-shit-together)

Khaki, Blush and navy are going to be my main contributing colours, with some neutral side notes thrown in for good measure.

I'm also going to be looking at some more pattern (just a little bit) as I had a lot of plain pieces in my Spring capsule, and a bit of a pattern injection would be nice for summer me thinks.

Eeeek, I'm excited to add some new things and wear some different combinations, Spring has been fun but Summer dressing I am ready for you (well ALMOST ready).


Monday, 23 May 2016

Perfect Culotte Wearing Weather

Oh yes it is. Culottes seem to be made for this inbetweeny weather we're having here in the Uk right now. Its not warm or cold, but inbetweeny, kinda like the leg length of these trousers, which are called culottes but i'm not sure if they're actually more of a wide leg cropped jean.... either way i really, really love them. 
It took me a while to come around to the culottes trend after Brownie Uniform memories came to mind from my youth, but as long as they aren't in brown and are a little longer then I think they are now acceptable.
On my culotte hunt i ordered this pair from Warehouse  which turned out to be absolutely dire on me. They just drowned my frame and made we look so wide I thought I suddenly became of oopma loompa stature. Those got sent straight back.
I turned to Shopbop, as although they're American I have to say every time I've ordered from them they've actually arrived quicker than most UK companies (UPS 2 day transit from the US.. It's impressive). And with a gift voucher in hand i got to looking for some culottey options.
My first thought was too these Madewell Wide leg Jeans but alas, not in my size.
So i searched and searched and these Etienne Marcel came up. And me likey.
When they arrived I tried them on straight away, they were wide but yet more streamlined than the Warehouse previous pair, making me less Oopma Loopma. 
They are high waisted which really helps with the leg lengthening too as culottes can be a little shortening, and at 5ft 6" its not a problem I'd ever encountered really, but yes midget status can easily be acquired in the wrong kinda culottes (so i had discovered).
Plus they are really-really comfy, a super soft denim which drapes nicely, but still has that fresh crease to the front which i love for smartening a pair of trousers and giving them some streamline. This only happens when i buy them as i can not iron for shit. My creases would be more like a concertina down the leg, thus missing the point.

Have you ever seen the film  Begin Again with Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo? Well she plays a British musician in NYC and blah blah blah (Its a good film, go watch it), but i absolutely love her style in it. It's so tomboy-esque, so relaxed tailoring. I love it, and pinned it a lot ( see here) for inspo.
Well these trousers kinda remind me of that style she has. I'm very much looking forward to remixing them through summer with a boxy little top too.

 *Culottes: Etienne Marcel
Blazer: Next(old) Try this gorgeous one
*Lotus Shoes (which are sublimely comfy)
*Madewell bag
Topshop Cami Top
Yosa Necklace and Bracelets

So ... Culottes. Thoughts?

Ps If you caught the rather pleasant message on the gate behind me in some of the photos, i do apologise on it's behalf. The gate obviously has greeting issues. Or is just really mean. 

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