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Transition Your Wardrobe

Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

One advantage of the distinctly unseasonal weather is that I am already actively plotting my new season wardrobe,  Usually I would be glossing over such things because I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to look at them in any form of heat

I’ve spied a few things recently that I believe qualify as anchor pieces.  Specifically those pieces that allow you to segue effortlessly into the new season because they work just as well for now in this transitional period as they do for new season proper.  To avoid disappointment I won’t be looking at soft suiting which is a key trend for next season that I can’t quite get on board with.  I think it’s something to do with coming of age in the nineties when going out out in a suit was the thing!  I had a pretty amazing silver suit from Warehouse which was worn on repeat including to celebrate my 21st birthday.  It was still hanging in my wardrobe when I met my now husband, where he promptly dubbed it my spaceman suit!!  I had clear early warning that he would not always understand my sartorial choices but I digress.

First up is this vibrant trench from H&M.  They are calling it red but for me it’s very much fiery sunset orange.  Either way it is the perfect slouchy silhouette and is heavy enough to be worn through even the chilliest Autumnal days. It also looks way more expensive than its £59.99 price tag which makes it a shrewd now buy.  Plus it’ll keep some of this endless rain off.

H&M Trench Coat - £59.99

H&M Trench Coat – £59.99

If you are a fan of this sunburnt orange then may I recommend this  French Connection dress. Still summery enough to wear now as a dress, later you can throw over your favourite pair of jeans with  a biker jacket or blazer.


French Connection, £85

Pleated midis are not going anywhere but they have got bolder.  For an instant update add pattern, like Louche’s floral print version (which I may have just picked up at one of my favourite local boutiques Lilac Rose).  If you aren’t a floral lover then try Next’s midi with its geometric print.

Skirts earn their place as a transitional anchor because they can be worn now with a simple tee and sandals or trainers, just add boots and sweaters for Autumn proper.  If pleats aren’t your thing or you want to make the skirt your centre piece (it’s going to be mine) just go for print or patchwork.  I am coveting Second Female’s navy gold spotted version.

Also on my wish list is Numph’s suede zip front skirt, somewhere between slate and a softer hue.  I can see me wearing this now with a slogan tee (yup they are still here)  and with a jumper and boots for leaf kicking later.   Both Second Female and Numph are available from another local favourite boutique, Karabo.

H&M Hot Pink Slacks - £12.99

H&M Hot Pink Slacks – £12.99

Block colour is still current to make a statement.  I’ve opted for these slacks (slacks?!?! I know I was pondering who on earth who still used the term slacks the other week and now I know, it’s H&M).  Brilliant fit and stretch plus a side zip is always more flattering for those of us wanting a smoother, flatter tum.

H&M also has two more of my wants/must haves.  The first I picked up this weekend and have already worn twice.  It looks like a tee because of its soft cotton body but the addition of statement balloon sleeves compete with tie, in a cotton/poly mix elevate it to so much more. It’s a proper top with interest, pair it with jeans and some jewellery and you are ready to take it almost anywhere.   It’s also great to give balance to pear and apple shapes.  Please please can you do it in some more colours H&M?

H&M Balloon Sleeve Top

H&M Balloon Sleeve Top – £17.99

The other is this hot pink cotton jumper, weighty enough for cooler days but still able to wear now for those rainy summer days.

H&M Hot Pink Sweater - £34.99

H&M Hot Pink Sweater – £34.99

This kind of jumper always make me hanker for a beach house somewhere and imagine myself in white cuffed skinny jeans, on the beach with a dog, you know Jennifer Anniston rom com style.  Just me?

T Bar Shoes

So to footwear.  I have come to the stage where almost all of my staple, waterproof shoes have given  up the ghost at the same time, but I find buying more sensible shoes slightly dull and I am definitely not ready to crack out the boots yet, it is still officially August.  Enter the T Bar shoe, which are going to be everywhere.  They bring polish and poise but with a bit of fun and look great dressed up or down.

All the transition - H&M Balloon Sleeve Tee + Louche Skirt

All the transition – H&M Balloon Sleeve Tee + Louche Skirt

Here’s me in the bolder pleat and paired with the statement sleeve tee, proving their transitional fashion points.  What are you most looking forward to updating your wardrobe with?


SYW’s Little Black Book of Leamington

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by Emma No Comments

When friends and family visit, they all praise Leamington for its varied and different shops and individual feel. I am always proud of my adopted town (I have lived here 11 years) and am passionate about supporting our high street with its unique mix of boutiques, independents and larger retailers. The Love Leamington campaign is an initiative which I hope will help prevent more independent retailers being forced out as a result of the recession (I am still mourning the demise of Comme Ci Comme Ca and Tiger). So here, as part SYW’s response to the #Love Leam challenge is a run through some of my Leamington favourites, old and new. The key that binds them all together is that personal touch and service you get, one thing is for sure wherever you go in Leamington there is always a warm welcome.

Lilac Rose – 69 Regent Street, L.Spa
I cannot make a trip into town without stopping in at this gorgeous boutique (in fact if I try my husband asks if I am ill!) Offering individual vintage style clothing, accessories and gifts. Staffed by a lovely, friendly, team who are always prepared to help out, offer opinions and give further information on the ranges stocked, which include Closet, Darling and Emily and Finn. Will appeal to those who like classic with a modern twist. Perfect for sourcing that great little dress that will see you through every summer event or for that go with everything pretty scarf. – Also has a shop in Cambridge.

Revolve 88 Warwick Street, L Spa
High on the glamour factor and great at bringing that feel to everyday outfits, that’s how I would describe this Leamington institution. Their window displays really stand out and I long for the lifestyle they depict, whether it’s a pair of suede ankle boots teamed with jeans and statement jacket or a selection of their evening gowns (currently I am coveting a rose gold sequin number). Whether you are looking for an everyday outfit with that special touch or something more formal for a prom, posh wedding, or a day at the races (their recent Cheltenham window was genius), you are in good hands with the Revolve team to help you look and feel a million dollars.

Karabo – 40 Warwick Street, L Spa

Small independent boutique focusing on brands that aren’t seen everywhere, mostly separates and casual dressing. One of my best purchases ever was a quirky take on the waxed jacket by the brand “Not the Same”, practical but still stylish. Great line in shoes and bags, one client I took shopping here bought the most comfortable pair of shoes she ever had. I have an orange clutch purchased here that people often mistake for designer. They have a fab selection of branded jeans including “Not Your Daughters”. My go to place when I am looking for something that lifts me out of the plain old jeans and jumper rut.

Peter Stephan – 98 Warwick Street, L Spa
For jewellery and watches Colin and Sandy bring the personal touch and make you feel as if your purchase is worth thousands even if you are spending considerably less. Extremely knowledgeable and skilled jewellers, they will always take the time to explain the differences in the pieces and products on offer. They will also help give ideas or even narrow down your choices when you can’t decide. Offering good value too, I sourced 3 bridesmaids gifts here well within my modest budget. Perfect for special occasions or just that little treat.

If you fancy something quirky or the latest must have in trendy & fashion jewellery, then Fabulous Collections, 20 Lower Mall, Royal Priors Centre, L Spa.
a recent
discovery is also worth a visit.

Clements & Church – 23 Park Street, L Spa.
The men of Leamington could do with a few more boutique offerings for casual wear but on the smart/formal side they are extremely well served by Clements & Church. Despite the rapid expansion (outposts in Birmingham, Leamington, Solihull & Oxford), you always receive personal service and recognition along with expert knowledge when you visit this store. Offering formal wear including tuxedos, suits, shirts and blazers from tailors skilled in their trade. Only a limited number of each suit or blazer is produced, meaning you feel as though you have purchased a bespoke piece without the bespoke price tag.

Sarah Horne – 86 Warwick Street, L Spa.
As a Chelsea Flower Show medallist you might think this would be home to the priciest flowers on the high street, not the case. The flowers are great value and are superior in quality to others I have purchased. The team are welcoming and happy to lend a hand in choosing from their array of, not only bouquets and flowers but innovative gifts such as the arrangements in china tea cups (a favourite of mine) to the outstanding range of own brand organic massage candles which I have gifted to friends and family and all have raved about them. Also Sarah has teamed up with garden designer Debbie Cooke and they are designing a garden to represent Leamington to be displayed in the Grand Pavilion at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show ( ), how fab is that?

McIntosh & Paul – 133 Regent Street, L Spa.
A gift for that someone special who has everything or that hard to buy for relative, stop in at this local boutique and you are sure to be able to find something that fits the bill. As with all my favourites once again it’s the excellent friendly welcome and knowledge of their products that make it a hit with customers.

When you need a rest from all that shopping, you are spoilt for choice for relaxing with refreshments
As proclaimed by this week’s Stylist magazine, tea is the new coffee and Vinteas, 16 Park Street, L Spa,
has capitalised on this trend, serving from an extensive tea menu in a retro setting complete with mismatched vintage china, I always feel as though I should dress up 1950’s style with white gloves, a pill box hat and a Grace Kelly style handbag. It offers full afternoon teas or just a pot for two. In my opinion no visit is complete without a slice of their red velvet cake, heaven. If tea isn’t your thing you could get the South American vibe by visiting Havana,
48 Warwick Street, L Spa. With its Cuban inspired décor and small but perfectly formed outside areas, I always feel like I am on holiday here. Serving sandwiches, salads and tapas and the best coffee in Leamington, it’s equally perfect for breakfast, lunch or a coffee stop in the daytime or sipping fizz and sangria and dinner in the evening, on Wednesday nights there are even salsa classes. Alternatively you could
try Restaurant 23 & Morgan’s Bar,
34 Hamilton Terrace, L Spa. for a more formal lunch or early evening cocktails. A
gorgeous setting in a restored regency villa, you can almost pretend the bar complete with table service is your own living room (well I can dream can’t I?).

So what are your Leamington favourites? Share them here and on the #loveleam campaign. Don’t know your favourites? Take the Love Leam challenge this weekend. Let’s keep Leamington as a high street to be proud of.