That Bucket woman- A Bonmarche Review

I’m not very good at taking my own advice. I get a fair few number of emails from readers asking me where to shop for clothes and I always tell them not to rule out any stores because you never know what you may find, even if you only find one gem in five years- still keep going in.

One shop I never go into is Bonmarche. It’s my mother’s favourite clothing store. My mother is 82. I am not. My mother used to be a C&A fanatic but since they closed down all British stores some years ago, Bonmarche has taken up the gauntlet and she gets all her embroidered tshirts and microfibre jackets from there. They would never have anything suitable for a bright not-so-young- thing like me. Or so I thought.

I was recently contacted by Bonmarche to review an item and my first thought was “Yehright” but before I hit send on the “yehright” email I thought I’d check out the site. Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised. Not knocked off my seat by the edgy fashion forward styles, more raised eyebrows that there were items there I would actually wear. Like this dress…

 Mrs Bucket1

Mrs Bucket4

…from their David Emanuel range. I’m trying to stay away from mock wrap front dresses but they work so well for the big of boob that they’re hard to stay away from. I wore this today and might even have gotten away with not wearing a vest underneath if I wasn’t on my way to church and trying to exercise a little modesty. A comfy dress in a great length and fab print. My only complaint is that a longer peplum would have given the dress a better, more on trend silhouette and maybe balanced out my big boobs a little more, but I’m very pleased with it and will be wearing this frock until its threadbare.

PS- I must remember to remove the bucket from my photo spot. No-one wants to see that. Apologies.

The Fresh Princess

Fresh princess

Jacket- Courtesy of Simply Be

Jeans- Courtesy of Simply Be

Tshirt- Apartment 349

Boots- Old Evans, dyed red

I wasn’t really sure this outfit worked when I first put it on, but by the end of the day I felt it was a shame to take it off. I first saw the jacket at a Simply Be preview event and fell for it immediately so it was only a matter of time before I snapped one up. The jeans are from their Truly Wow slim leg range and fit like a glove. There are seam along the back legs that  I initially didn’t like at all but they really do help these jeans to fit snugly without being too tight. However much I love the bomber and jeans, the jewel in the outfit crown is the tshirt…

VC_store_image_white VC_store_image_greyFrom first click to shopping cart within a couple of minutes. Never has a tee spoken such volumes about my youth as this. Like many people I grew up watching the Cosby Show and as a child with no sisters I would dream of being adopted into the female heavy Huxtable household, with big sister Denise and twin sister Vanessa (we’re approx the same age). Later on I got hooked onto the Fresh Prince and loved Will’s school blazer with the funky lining and did a similar thing with my schoolbag. This tshirt was coming to my house, come what may.

I was a little doubtful the XXL would fit but it fits perfectly. Most of the sizes are sold out but there are still some XL and XXL left- grab them while you can and join me on my retrospective ride.

Vivian and Clair- Apartment 349


When life gives you lemons…

… wear them!


Another summers day, another photo in the garden.

This dress is my second favourite piece for this summer and it comes courtesy of those lovely people at Simply Be. The print is gorgeous and as if that wasn’t enough, the detail at the back is superb.


It comes with a neon yellow belt with a bow on the front but I’ve swapped it for the red belt to tie in with the red shoes as I didn’t want textbook co-ordination. I think it works.

Hoping for lots more sunny days so I can wear this dress a few more times before autumn.

Dress- Simply Be

Belt- ASOS (old)

Shoes- Evans (old)

Bright Trouser Bravery

I talk a good game but deep down I’m trying to slay my inner naysaying voice. I’m always saying how much I love bright colours and crazy patterns but I’ve never had the guts to wear brightly patterned trousers. I don’t mean patterned trousers with a black or navy base, I mean bright- like below.


Why are my eyes closed? Maybe I was so taken by the beautiful summer sky that I just had to close my eyes in awe. Or maybe I just love to mess up photos with my bad blink timing.

Colours don’t really come much brighter than chartreuse. I was immediately drawn to the print but had to think twice about wearing it in a pair of trousers.  Fat legs and bold prints command so much attention and make so much noise that I wasn’t sure my world ready for that much volume. I’ve seen other bloggers in patterned trousers and they look great but  I usually stick to solid bright colours for my own pins. Well when Simply Be gifted me with these trousers I decided to dive right in and crank up the volume a little louder by teaming them with the brightest top I could find. I wore this outfit to the Simply Be Blogger Takeover event (more about that in another post) and I have to admit, felt so self conscious that I took a cab to the train station rather than risk rush hour ridicule on the bus at 8.30am. Chicken? You betcha. The yellow belly didn’t last long and by late afternoon I ‘d forgotten about my amplified legs and was strutting around like I owned the planet. In fact, I’m planning to find some more brightly patterned trousers as I’m now a changed woman. Can you recommend any? My thighs have found their voice and its deafening.

Jacket: Evans

Top: Made by me

Trousers: Simply Be

Shoes: Office

Bag: H&M

Mercy, mercy me

Loving my new dress. This frock scores bonus points all over the place for being comfy, a great length, and needing minimal ironing, but its highest rated features are without a shadow of a doubt, the pockets. Dresses with pockets rock my world and this one is shaking things up for sure. I only have two other dresses with pockets and they’re in steady rotation for work as being a teacher, they’re perfect for always having a pencil sharpener/ rubber/ detention slip to hand. There are not enough dresses with pockets around and am considering adapting some of my favourite work dresses to include pockets, I value them so much.

This dress (minus belt) comes courtesy of KSY Plus which is a relatively new online retailer with a good line in youthful affordable pieces in bright colours and a variety of different fabrics. The mercy dress as worn below is one of my favourites and is  also available in navy. I’m hoping they will repeat it in other colours as it truly is worth having in every colour under the sun.

Mercy dress, $75

Evans Styling Challenge

I’m always up for a challenge so when Evans set me the task of styling this snake print dress for their blogger challenge I jumped to it. It’s only recently that I’ve made friends with animal prints as I used to avoid them. Now we have come to a mutual understanding- I’ll embrace you into my wardrobe as long as you’re not too loud and attention grabbing. So here we have snake print in monochrome tones. This I can do. I decided to err on the side of caution and not wear much jewellery apart from a pair of my favourite earrings. I think this busy print is all the accessorising I need. I really dislike wearing black or grey from head to toe so I thought I’d break it all up with burgundy tights and a vintage clutch with flashes of burgundy on it. If you ever catch me wearing head to toe black you know I definitely woke up in a bad mood and you should bring me cheesecake. Immediately. Where cheesecake is not instantly available chocolate is an acceptable alternative.

This is my second foray into animal print territory and I’m liking it more each time I try. The dress is comfy, stretchy and the snake print has the added bonus of disguising any creases so it doesn’t need much ironing- what more can a girl ask for?

Dress: Evans

Waistcoat- Very Old New Look

Shoes- Evans

Bag- Thrifted

Tights- We Love Colours (I think)

Earrings: Etsy

And so to bed

Hands up all of you who saw the pyjama trend on the catwalk several months ago and thought- oh heeeeeell no, these people are crazy (my hand is raised). Hands up all those who eight months later found themselves buying into the same ridiculous trend that they lambasted earlier (my hand is still up).

Never say never. The omission of revered collar, patch pocket and matching trousers stop this blouse from being overtly gentlemanly pj-ish, but theres no denying the catwalk influence. The shape of the blouse says daytime, the satin print and contrast piping say bed. More of an air kiss towards a trend rather than a full on passionate embrace. Still, this is from Elvi not Topshop and I don’t think Elvi has ever passionately embraced any trend at all. The only thing I don’t like are the shoulder pads in it but at least they can be removed easily. Whoever heard of pyjamas with shoulder pads in? These people are crazy.

Blouse, £45- Elvi

Clements Ribeiro and Evans

Two days til launch!

This week I attended the blogger preview for the new Evans and Clements Ribeiro collection, Swan and finally got to see, touch, feel and try on this eagerly anticipated range.

…. understanding different proportions and different needs behind a desire for fashion that is not different from the high fashion consumer…..

– Inacio Ribeiro

The striking thing about the collection is the bold use of colour. Prints feature heavily and there’s a print for all tastes whether you like your patterns subtle, quirky, bold or bright.


I tried on a few of my favourite pieces and I especially liked the look of the coat over the striped floral dress, although I have not photographed this combo. It clashed but it somehow worked really well.

LOVE the dress

LOVE the trousers

The coat-  *drop*.

Fellow fatshion bloggers!

The collection is available online from Saturday March 31st and in selected stores from Monday April 2nd. Sizes 14- 32, prices £25- £99.

One Dress

One Stop Plus have gotten me well into the summer mood by gifting me with this bright orange dress which is perfect for marking the official start of British summertime. Clocks go forward tonight in case you forgot……

The style of the dress is nothing we’ve not seen before, but I love love LOVE the colour. It’s also available in pink, purple, black and white. I didn’t check the size chart before ordering but I usually wear a size 26, and this 26 fits perfectly. The only thing that would make this better is the addition of pockets but I’m a little biased. Dresses with pockets rock my world but even without pockets this is still causing a considerable  commotion.

Other details: Jacket- Evans, Bag- H&M (both old), Shoes- thrifted, Earrings- Rachel Stewart.

A Different Kind of Animal

It’s very hard for me to disassociate animal prints from the Bet Lynch character in Coronation Street even though I don’t even watch it and its been years since she was in it anyway. Every now and again though, I call a truce and show the print a little affection. On this occasion the love is being spread in the form of this dress, courtesy of  Lovedrobe. In fact, its more than just affection, I think we’re having a full blown relationship as I’ve only had this dress for 10 days and I’ve already worn it three times. It’s easy to forget it’s animal printed as the print is large, abstract and multicoloured. And tasteful. Just what I need to cut all ties to a fictional character of questionable style.

Dress: Lovedrobe at Evans, £38

Belt- Asos

Shoes- Evans

Vest- M&S