A Casual Wish List*

Apparently this weekend is a wish list weekend in the land of Laura, goes like that sometimes doesn’t it? New season stock is starting to land in the shops and with slight hints that Spring might be on it’s way I’ve started to think about how I’d like my wardrobe to be looking in the coming months. I’ve never really put much thought in to a casual wardrobe before now, my attention tends to go on my smarter or “trendier” clothes and dress down days end up being jeans and whatever jumper is clean at the time, but I’ve found myself drawn to a more laid back look during my browsing recently and thought I’d pop some of my favourite finds down to both provide inspiration and hopefully find out where my readers head to shop for their relaxed weekend clothing and accessories.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday I’ve got a bit of a thing for backpacks at the moment and I think they are the ultimate accessory to complete a casual look. Much like yesterday I was once again drawn to the metallic offerings on the high street with this Mi-Pac pebbled silver one with the one that has made it to the top of my list.

Breaking away from my usual attraction to either black, camel or grey coats I think this orange number from Bonmarche would be perfect for Spring weekend wearings, especially when paired with mid-blue skinny jeans (pair featured also from Bonmarche)- perhaps it is the slightly brighter weather, or that I’m just generally happier and more in love with life at the minute but bright colours are definitely the way forwards.

My obsession with Monki is probably my worst kept secret right now and whilst I am seriously wanting to own pretty much everything from their latest collections it was this ringer tee caught my attention straight away. Again perfect teamed with skinny jeans and with it’s fun and positive slogan (and the fact it only costs £10) this is definitely going to feature in my next Monki shop visit. As this last week has proven to me I am actually incapable of leaving the shop without making a purchase. Two visits in to Cabot Circus in the last seven days saw me leave with a piece or two (or three) each time. I may as well just had them my bank details and tell them to empty my account!

After spending years avoiding them I’ve become a bit of a trainers junkie. My real weakness is Converse but these embroidered beauties from Ego have wormed their way in to my heart. They would be the perfect way to make a subtle nod to the embroidery trend and I think they’ll look perfect with jeans, denim skirts, denim dresses…just about everything denim in fact. A bargain at £29.99, I really can’t justify another pair of shoes right now BUT I am sorely tempted.

Where do you head for your casual wardrobe needs? I’m still fairly new to actively seeking out more laid back pieces so guidance would be welcome.

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Re-discovering Debenhams*

During a shopping trip in to Broadmead with my mum recently we were musing over how before Cabot Circus was opened nine years ago the highlight of any retail therapy spree was undoubtedly Debenhams. Back then it was this huge, glamorous department store that we could spend hours in. We often did actually, starting with the beauty counters at the bottom and working our way up to the children’s department at the top, along with a pit stop in the restaurant. These days we often neglect to pay it a visit, tending to stick to the Cabot Circus end of the shopping area but every now and again we venture in- lured by a window display or special offer and wonder why we don’t make our visits more regular.

Not only does Debenhams stock it’s own in house brands (Red Herring was a frequent label seen in my adolescent wardrobe) there are also concessions galore- the likes of Oasis, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Add in to this the many designer collaborations such as H! by Henry Holland and the well stocked beauty hall with all of our favourite brands under one roof as well as the extensive range of homewares (again in-house brands, designers and well known brands alike) and you realise you really do have it all in one place.

Of course then there are the promotions, regular discount events in store and online (and often discount codes on top of that such as those found at https://www.discountpromocodes.co.uk/debenhams). I really do need to stop neglecting the shop so much and make a conscious effort to give it more custom. It’s one of the longer surviving shops on the Great British High Street, so with it fresh in my mind I’ve popped together a wish list or two to remind myself- and my readers what there is on offer.

Beauty wise I could have gone on forever as there are so many amazing looking products out there at the moment. The Urban Decay Moondust palette is a long standing fixture on my wish list, joined now by these two sets from the KVD x Toofaced sets that I’ve seen popping up on beauty blogs lately and am totally smitten with. It’s been a while since I fancied a new perfume and whilst I have no idea what it smells like (a reason to visit Debenhams next time I’m passing) I love the bottle for Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Kiss- he always produces the most beautiful packaging.
Fashion wise I am diggin’ the embroidery trend right now so this dress by Red Herring and the trainers from the Nine by Savannah Miller collection were both immediate additions to my wish list. I’m also having a backpack revival right now and this H! By Henry Holland metallic number caught my eye instantly. Lastly I’ve already made mention of my desire for a leather jacket and whilst my budget definitely doesn’t stretch to the real deal this Miss Selfridge biker style jacket is currently 30% off and a steal at just £34.30.
Whilst I was browsing I couldn’t resist putting together a little homewares wish list too (I’m seeing it as a mood board of sorts for when I move out again). It’s unashamedly girly and had to feature my dream kitchen gadget on there even if I might not get to own one for a good few years- or decades yet.
I’m feeling some serious love and a sense of nostalgia for Debenhams right now, do any shops provoke that kind of reaction for you?

Dear Debenhams, humble department store and icon of my youth, I do promise to stop neglecting you from here on out…am I forgiven?

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A Transitional Wish List*

Now we’re safely out of January it feels like Spring is on it’s way. I mean, I know it’s not and we are still in the depths of Winter (and storm Doris) but there’s something about getting that first month done and dusted that makes it feel like the end of freezing temperatures and frosty mornings is in sight. It’s also the time when the majority of retailers start to have their major new season drops causing my already rather large wish list to grow dramatically. Here are a few pieces that I’m currently loving that can be as worn easily in the Spring as they can right now.

Ankle Boots by Rocket Dog | Dress | Denim Jacket

I’d actually wear this first trio of items together as an outfit- loose fit dresses and ankle boots are my current go to anyway and I really love the clunky, almost ugly nature of this patent pair against the print of the Monki dress. A denim jacket has been on my wish list for ages, I’m yet to find the perfect one but next time I’m in town I’m going to give this one (again from Monki) a try.

Jumper | New Look | Backpack

My second trio of objects of desire is more of a mish-mash. I almost didn’t feature this M&S jumper because I’ve seen it on at least 20 other blogs in the last week alone but I can’t help but love it too. I’m also head over heels for the embroidery trend and a pair of embellished skinny jeans is high up on items I would love to add to my wardrobe (but probably won’t because I don’t intend to stay my current clothes size for long). I have no reason for adding the backpack on to this wish list. I have no need for one really, but it is delightfully retro and for that reason alone I want it.
What have you currently got your eye on? Any absolute must-have items for the months ahead? I’ve just seen some gorgeous new arrivals from Ralph Lauren and have a sudden (but not unusual for me) yearning to embrace nautical vibes once more.

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Brand Lust- AllSaints*

In my mind the high-street exists in three distinct levels: affordable (Primark, New Look, H&M, Monki and the like), places to shop when I have some money saved (Topshop, Zara, Oasis, ASOS, Urban Outfitters) and then the “in my dreams” shops (Cos, AllSaints, Kurt Geiger, Reiss, Whistles etc). I can count on one hand the number of items I own from the latter category- in fact it’s just one, a pair of shoes from Kurt Geiger. The others are left strictly for wish list only…they aren’t quite designer but at the same time they aren’t affordable for someone like me unless I wanted to go wild and run up a heck of a lot of debt on a credit card which isn’t my style.

The one brand that gives me the most “I wish I was rich” feels has to be AllSaints. It’s a shop I both love and hate to browse in. I love it because the minimal designs and beautifully cut pieces appeal to me immensely but hate it because I know that whatever I find will remain just out of my budget reach (well, far out of it actually even with a cheeky discount code which you can find here https://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/allsaints-voucher-codes)

I’m forever coveting other blogger’s outfits that feature AllSaints items, particularly their signature leather jackets which is what first drew me to the brand in the first place. With time on my hands as my sick leave continues and a strange desire to torture myself one morning by having a good old browse I thought I would share my current wish list- honestly, when I’m back earning money I’m going to have a dedicated “quality over quantity” savings fund and start building myself a capsule wardrobe of beautiful, minimal basics that will last and last.

Knitwear is definitely an area in which I want to invest as I do spend the vast majority of winter in some variation of chunky knit jumpers or cardigans. What I really like about this AllSaints piece (and you can’t see it in the picture come to think of it) is that it has cut out elbow details which add slight edge on an otherwise plain piece. No wish list of mine would be complete without a pair of ankle boots on it and despite wearing flats 90% of the time I was instantly drawn to this heeled biker boot. They cost almost £200 but are a timeless design that I could see lasting for many, many seasons and could be worn with everything from jeans to dresses. Which takes me swiftly on to this dress- I love AllSaints dresses and how they drape so elegantly. This “oil black” coloured one could be worn quite easily for work and play and it would also take you from season to season with endless layering potential.
I don’t have any particular reason for including this khaki green jacket on my wish list. It was just “I love it purely for how it looks” and that’s that! The trousers however would be the perfect addition to my work wardrobe for when I am in the office. I much prefer culotte style trousers to full length ones, they just feel more me…how great would they look with those ankle boots above? And of course the leather jacket- I could probably write an entire wish list post dedicated to AllSaint’s leather jackets as there isn’t one I don’t like. But I picked this one over them all, and at £328 it is never going to be mine but I will continue to dream.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who categorises shops like this? If someone gave you £1000 and one hour to spend it where would you be heading?

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Wish list- Swatch at House of Watches

How many watches does a girl need? This is a question I have to ask myself every time I catch myself browsing one of the several sites I frequent to get my fix of wrist wear. I already have a rather large collection but upon a recent peruse of House of Watches I’ve found myself coveting a whole new aesthetic in the form of some new designs from Swatch.

Swatch is probably the first watch brand I remember showing an interest in (even pre-dating the “had to have it” Baby G). I’ve always loved their fun and funky designs and cool plastic straps. I recall being very envious when Mum was given a lovely pink Swatch watch for Christmas one year, one that has since come in to my posession- which reminds me I really need to get a new battery for it…

I love a brand that keeps consistent with their designs- they are instantly recognisable yet manage to evolve to fit in with current trends. I’m really taken with the hot pink glitter watch with sparkly dial for a fun and sporty vibe whereas the printed floral ones are great for jazzing up an otherwise dull outfit. It also looks like Swatch are going down a slightly sleeker line with their metallic pink and rose gold offerings- a grown up twist for those who can’t wear, or don’t like to wear a metal watch I suppose.

The watches are also affordable which is good news for me- I’m thinking perhaps my back to work treat to myself will be one of the designs I’ve featured above…I mean, I already own more than a dozen watches but who’s keeping count?

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