Well, I can’t believe I’ve made it here. One whole year without buying a single item of clothing (minus a few pairs of tights). This time last year I was on my last minute shopping dash to pick up a couple of pairs of trousers and some underwear to help me make it through. It’s been quite a year – a good year for myself and God has blessed me in many ways; but it has been a difficult year for many of my friends and family – I wish them all a much, much better 2013.

I’ve been thinking about what I might have learned this year from my challenge and there are a few things:

1. I still love clothes and dressing up. I’m not sure that will ever change.
2. I don’t miss buying clothes when I can’t. If I were stuck on a desert island it certainly wouldn’t be clothes and shopping that I’d miss.
3. I know for sure that buying clothes isn’t the path to happiness, fulfillment or self-improvement.
4. My bank balance is a lot rosier – I probably have wasted too much money on clothes in previous years.
5. I know I have a decent amount of will power and sticking power – if I set myself a challenge I’ll be buggered if I’ll fall at the first wavering of temptation.

I am a little excited about hunting down the items on my shopping list but it will be interesting to see how long the buzz lasts. I know I’m going to miss writing this blog, even though it’s been a pain in the butt sometimes. You never know, I might find something new to write about – I’ll let you know.

So, for the last time, here is today’s outfit and my party frock for New Year’s Eve…

Shirt – Whistles; vest top – Abercrombie & Fitch; leggings – Jack Wills; boots – Ted Baker; scarf – present knitted by my stepdaughter



Dress – French Connection; shoes – Kurt Geiger




{December 30, 2012}   29th December: Window shopping

So, many people have been asking me when and what I will buy when I start shopping again. I hadn’t felt in a particular hurry to get back in the habit… until I went virtual window shopping down Marylebone High Street, London, and discovered Polyvore, which is like virtual cut-and-stick-dress-up – I’ve been wondering how fashion bloggers do their online scrapbooks for ages and now I know! So I’ve spent most of today dreaming up my shopping list for 2013 and putting it all together on Pinterest and Polyvore.

When I do go shopping, which I think might actually be in the first few days of 2013 (come on people, the sales are on), I shall be taking a list and pictures, to stop me veering off the true path of ‘investment’ into ‘bargain frivolous’. Closet Strategy gave me this idea after her 3 month abstinence from shopping.

So on my list will be the actual or a fair substitute of:

1. Dress: Oxblood shirt dress, All Saints

2. Skirt: Bold print, Agnes B. Love, love love!

3. Long sleeved top: Emerald cowl neck, All Saints

4. Short sleeved top: asymmetric drapey affair, Helmut Lang

5. Jacket: Velvet ‘posy green’, Comptoir des Cotonniers

6. Possibly when I’ve lost a few post-Christmas pounds… trousers: ‘Lovestory’ cords, J Brand

7. Bracelet: Wrap around belt style, Agnes B

All Saints shirt dress Agnes B skirt


All Saints sweater Helmut Lang top CdC jacket

J Brand cords Agnes B bracelet





{December 26, 2012}   25th December: Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas all! I hope your day has brought joy and celebration. I spent today opening presents from Father Christmas with husband, my stepdaughter and grandson; going to Church; cooking and eating lunch; visiting my stepson, daughter-in-law and other grandchildren; exchanging text messages; and finally, sitting on my sofa in my PJs while the rest of the house sleeps, stuffing my face with chocolates. It’s funny, by Christmas Eve I feel a little sad because I know it’s nearly all over, even before it has arrived; but I know Boxing Day tomorrow will feel like the second day of Christmas.

The pre Christmas events continued last week, requiring effort in wardrobe planning. I’ve had December’s US InStyle to help me, even down to what to wear on Christmas morning to open presents. Yeah – like I’m really going to put hours of thought into that one. This year I mustered husband’s PJ bottoms and a PJ top I’ve been wearing as outerwear. Just another couple of outfits to make a special effort with – Boxing Day tomorrow and New Year’s Eve; and general packing for heading down to see my parents and brothers in a couple of days. If we can make it past all the flooding in the South West.

Outfit 1 was for two parties in one day, both housewarmings – one friends, one family: Jumper – All Saints; skirt – some shop in New York; boots – Bertie

Outfit 2 was for Christmas Eve, doing last minute bits in preparation: Dress – Superdry; leggings – Jack Wills; long slippers – gift from husband

Outfit 3 was for Christmas morning: Top and bottoms – Jack Wills

Outfit 4 was for the rest of Christmas Day: Top – Whistles; skirt – Karen Millen; scarf – Christmas pressie from Santa; boots – River Island.



{December 14, 2012}   14th December: Advent

I love Christmas. I love the build up over Advent and the sense of anticipation for the special day. This year I haven’t ‘felt’ Christmas in the usual way – not going into the shops much anymore, I’ve not been exposed to the tinsel and piped-music fuelled retail extravaganza. Rather, instead of getting caught up in the commercial side, I’ve been remembering the nativity story and birth of Christ, and what that means. We had our staff Christmas service and dinner at work yesterday, and it really was special. We even had a little awards ceremony and I won the award for ‘most enviable wardrobe/ fashionista’ – which was really sweet and one that I could have certainly shared with a number of stylish colleagues.

What I really enjoy is the number of different gatherings people organise and the chance to see friends and family – we’ve not got a single free weekend in December. And of course that brings the fun of planning party outfits.

Outfit 1: Dinner with husband. Top – Jack Wills; jeans – Diesel; belt – Spitalfields Market; boots – River Island

Outfit 2: Work Christmas do. Vest top – Armani Exchange; leather skirt – second-hand; shoes – LK Bennett

Outfit 3: Charity silent art auction. Dress – Karen Millen; bolero – Coast; shoes – Kurt Geiger. This was a fantastic event – we all had to create and take a work of art and then bid in a silent auction, enjoy some canapes and sing a little karaoke. Husband and I made three pieces of art and won two. The event raised around £3500 for the local food bank.


{November 28, 2012}   28th November: Fashion by osmosis

The power of the subliminal is amazing. The other day at work, my colleague and I were commenting on a picture of Elle Macpherson, looking super-hot in leather trousers – I think she was featured in one of those tedious “celebs who we sanction as attractive *despite* being over the age of 40” articles. Lo and behold, the following day the same colleague pointed out that it was like I had pretty much done my best to wear the same outfit as La Macpherson. D’oh.

My trousers are not, however, leather but a waxy effect material. I was quite chuffed to get them on, to be honest, as I had bought them when I was a few pounds lighter.





















Jacket – Firetrap; white tunic – Whistles; trousers – Mexx; boots – Bertie


{November 21, 2012}   21st November: Birthday bleatings

Last Friday I endured yet another birthday. This year I took myself and husband off to a conference at a church in Hampshire and treated us to a few nights in a B&B. The conference was refreshing and inspiring, and the B&B was a beautiful family home with the most charming and hospitable hosts, plus amazing fruit salad and French pastries for breakfast. We even had real coffee in our room.

The good thing about going away is that you have to plan and pack with precision before you go, so getting dressed is much like when you were a child and your mum or dad chose your clothes for you.  My lovely colleagues bought me some earrings for my birthday so I had no trouble in picking jewellry.

Cardigan – Comptoir des Cotonniers

Vest top – Ted Baker

Trousers – Karen Millen

Shoes – Jones

Bracelet – craft faire, Kenya

I faced my biggest wardrobe challenge this week – deciding what to wear on TV for an interview on BBC Breakfast, about a campaign we’re doing at work. Now, obviously the most important thing is having something decent to say but deciding what to wear comes a close second. On my way home from the office to hurriedly pack a bag before I headed up to BBC Media City in Manchester, I planned my outfit; only to discover that the pink pussy bow blouse was still in the laundry basket.

There are many things to consider when choosing an outfit for TV, such as not wearing patterns or stripes, or black, white or red. I finally decided on a Desigual dress, know nfor their crazy patterns, with a yellow Karen Millen cardigan buttoned up to prevent busy patterns near my face. I’m really pleased I made the effort with LK Bennet shoes as they got a sneaky appearance. I think it worked well but seeing pictures husband took of the TV when I was on (!) I realised the small flaws, such as my dress sleeves bunching up underneath the cardi and my cardi having been ruffled following the pinning of the microphone. If I wasn’t on my shopping ban I would have rushed to the shops to buy something new to wear, and top of my list for the new year’s shopping list is now uber-smart work wear.



{November 3, 2012}   3rd November: Darker days

This week the autumn chill has definitely crept into the air. I finally got around to getting my winter coat dry cleaned and I think soon enough I’ll be wearing it, playing the usual game of strip down once I’m on the roasting hot  train.

This week was also a sad one. Husband’s uncle passed away and his funeral was held on Thursday. It was a simple affair, friends and family at the crematorium and then refreshments afterwards at his aunt’s home.

Last night husband and I went with a friend to see the new Jame Bond film, Skyfall. I’ve not been thrilled with the last couple of Bonds and still think Daniel Craig is miscast, but I did enjoy the film – although by the end of it all the women were put in their place. But then Bond was never about female empowerment.


Polo neck – Karen Millen

Skirt – Ted Baker

Shoes – Firetrap



Jacket – Diesel

Dress – Crew Clothing

Boots – Fly 

{October 26, 2012}   25th October: Autumnal cravings

The clothes lust is stirring in my loins… Autumn is traditionally the time of wardrobe replenishment – woollen jumpers, sturdy heels and wide leg trousers in hues of khaki, burgundy and grey. I’ve tortured myself a little as well. After a meeting at Facebook in Covent Garden I was confronted with a full-frontal display from Superdry; and yesterday I picked up US InStyle to drool over on a trip to Cardiff, while I wasn’t watching the at seat TV in the entertainment carriage of the train (First Great Western – how awesome are you?). So there are a couple of things that have tickled, nay pounded at, my fancy.

Superdry eliza hoodie

Tods suede buckle platform shoes

















In InStyle, I found one for the scrap book (left) – perfect for autumn. I’ve had my hair cut recently and it looks roughly like this. Although her’s is much more glossy than mine. Today (right) I cracked open the Tommy Hilfiger skinny cords, along with a Whistles top and Jones shoes. The necklace is apparently porcupine spikes.


I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet, it’s been a mixture of busy-ness and lack of motivation that have kept me away for the last month. A lot has happened, including work trips overseas and in the UK, and buying a house, so please do excuse my no show.

I have been taking a few pics however, so here are a few…

 This was for karaoke with my dear friend who has just moved back down South, after a few years’ exile up North. We happened across a rather seedy little bar, our preferred sort, and got in a number of performances. After a rather shaky start by myself, we aced it with California Dreamin’ at the end… although the audience may not have agreed.

Jeans and black top – Karen Millen; weird brown fake-fur thing – Strawberry Faire, Midsummer Common, Cambridge



















This was for a 50th birthday party. The theme was red, white and blue in line with our year of national celebration – a rarity for Britannia! It was an evening of catching up with friends of old and chatting to new people, such as a lovely, drunk Australian girl. It was also a good opportunity for me to get out this ridiculous pair of shoes that I bought in the sales but barely ever wear – apart from to costume parties. The last time I wore them I was on a hen party, as US trailer trash – again, handy red, white and blue.

Dress – All Saints; belt – Karen Millen; shoes – Nine West

















This interesting creation is great. It’s a multiway affair that you can wear as a dress or a  long cardi, in all sorts of ways. It’s so handy for popping on when I’m in a hurry or haven’t much inspiration – which seems to be most of the time at the moment.

Dress and boots – Ted Baker

I will endeavour to keep a bit more up-to-date during my last three months abstinence from shopping. In preparation for moving I’ve also got to carry out a bit if a purge. I think husband’s going to build me a nice big wardrobe 🙂

Husband and I also celebrate ten years together today – what a decade!

et cetera