Where d'you shop ....

(94 Posts)
HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 19:40:32

... when you're not old, but not young?
Not poor, but not rich?
Not thin, but not all that fat?


After a period of enormous frugality I have some money with which to revitalise my rather sad old wardrobe. I do some dress-making and really love vintage stuff, so that side is kind of covered.

But I still need some of the basics - jersey tops to wear with skirts, knitwear, jackets, shirts - and don't know where to go!

I'm mid-30s but feel about 50, and I'm not big enough to need a Specialist Shop but my days of Topshop and River Island are long gone.

I need things that are really good quality so they'll last and last (the period of enormous frugality is likely to return very swiftly!), but I had a look at The Outnet and £70 for a T shirt seems a bit steep.

Any recommendations gratefully received!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 20:05:31

Oh Lawks - I just remembered someone on MN mentioning Toast, so had a look - £115 for a jersey top shock ?!

Maybe I actually am poor after all grin

mysteryfairy Sat 11-May-13 20:18:07

I get basic jersey tops from Isabella Oliver, now Baukjen, not nearly as spendy as the ones you've mentioned but still enough that I always make sure I have a decent discount code or it's sale time.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 20:19:22

Never heard of them mystery, which is just what I wanted! Off to look ... how does the sizing come up??

superbagpuss Sat 11-May-13 20:23:11

supermarkets, h&m, m&s for work stuff, internet for special stuff, gap for jeans

its difficult to find stuff I like at the right place as apparently I'm too old for my look - I'm early 30's but haven't really changed my style in the last 15 years out of work, I should probably grow up sometime sad

mrspaddy Sat 11-May-13 20:23:16

I shop in a mixture of places. For a good dress I like Hobbs. Also Monsoon.
However if I was in need of filling my wardrobe with basics I couldn't pass Marks and Spencer or Wallis or Debenhams.

Then for more colourful or seasonal items/accessories I would go to Peacocks or Primark (but I wouldn't get the essentials here).

New Look is good too. Fair on sizing.

Enjoy your shop smile

mysteryfairy Sat 11-May-13 20:25:12

Oh by the way I might count as old (41), probably do count as thinnish (need an 8 in Isabella Oliver tops), am reasonably comfortable finance wise so might not be exactly the right sample but I love both buying clothes and getting a bargain.

I think whistles is good for tops. I got a nice sweatshirt of theirs the other week via Asos. Original price was £65 but was £35.10 in the sale and 98% cotton. Their sizes are generous.

Worth looking on eBay for brand new items from brands like whistles and jigsaw for basics at miles less than in store prices.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 20:25:24

I've tried H&M stuff but it always washes really badly and I feel really shabby - like I could get away with it if I were a size 8 22 year old, but being a size 18 34 year old am on the back foot, if you see what I mean sad

I'd forgotten Hobbs and Gap! Excellent....

mysteryfairy Sat 11-May-13 20:26:18

Isabella Oliver/ Baukjen sizes are generous and jersey is v stretchy and forgiving

superbagpuss Sat 11-May-13 20:26:50

mrspaddy do you find new look not generous in the 'up top' department? I find them very tight in the chest area

superbagpuss Sat 11-May-13 20:28:04

haunted h&m is hit or miss, I get string tops or fitted t shirts there for under suits as they fit well and come in nice colours but are cheap to replace when looking worn.

littlediamond33 Sat 11-May-13 20:30:31

i love next.they do everything,sizes good, quality good.their clothes are what i would describe as fashionable and classic.

mrspaddy Sat 11-May-13 20:30:41

Hello superbagpuss.. ha ha .. I have the opposite problem. size difference between top/bottom (smaller on top) half so find them ok.
Actually I was in ASDA the other day and there was a lovely floral blouse with lace centre and you know it was really lovely. I am expecting at the minute and bought a gorgeous Hobbs dress and haven't worn it yet.. will be a long time. It had little circle designs on high neckline and cuffs.... ahhhhhhh

scarlet76 Sat 11-May-13 20:48:04

I am 36 and would describe myself pretty much as you do.
I like Hobbs NW3 collection, French Connection, Gap, M&S limited collection, Next, Topshop and Boden (no patterns though!)

Celticlassie Sat 11-May-13 20:51:04

H&M for basics (jersey tops, etc); Oasis / Warehouse / Zara for the rest.

BinksToEnlightenment Sat 11-May-13 23:36:02

Warehouse, Oasis and occasionally Mango for my basics.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 12-May-13 00:03:56

i like american apparel for t shirts n vests
zara, mango, all saints
h&m are sometimes great especially for jersey
next if you are insanely picky

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 07:37:06

Thanks everyone - really helpful! Some shops I'd either never heard of or had completely forgotten existed.

grin @ 'Next if you are insanely picky'! Just standing on the threshold of Next makes me eyes bleed. I don't know why but I always associated them with brown and orange confused

ProveYourLoveToMe Sun 12-May-13 07:38:52

Boden (with a discount code) for basic Ts and tops.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 07:45:32

Ooo Prove how does one go about getting a Boden discount code?

I've discovered Phase Eight on my internet travels - they seem to have heaps of jersey tops but interesting ones. Anyone know how their sizes come up? (I shall be doing all my shopping from the sofa).

ExcuseTypos Sun 12-May-13 07:53:34



Their other tops can be a bit pricey, but I love their basic t shirts. They wash really well and keep their shape.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 08:00:44

Excuse - Oh that's perfect - and they have some tops with 1/2 and 3/4 sleeves too (I have the Arms from Hell).

Brilliant brilliant.

I am so excited - This is a once-a-decade chance to have a total wardrobe overhaul and I have to get it right with long-lasting stuff that won't date, because seriously I've no idea when I can do this again!

Anthracite Sun 12-May-13 08:01:56

Debenhams. It caters for everyone.

Bertrude Sun 12-May-13 08:04:21

I find Phase 8 to be maybe an inch smaller all round than Monsoon - if that helps you! For me, I can wear a size 16 monsoon comfortably, whereas Phase 8 a size 16 just fastens but an 18 is too big.

I have similar clothes issues Haunted - I'm a 16-18 depending on the shop, budget nice but not awesome for every day wear (I save the real cashf or shoes and bags!), and I'm 29, therefore I'm very interested in the thread!

Chandon Sun 12-May-13 08:05:12

I am 41, and have the same problem.

Have recently discovered Mint Velvet, hit and miss but it is a bit more modern than, say, bOden and Joules and no nasty polyesters, mostly viscose and cotton. Though Joules quality is top.

TU (sainsbo) do basic cotton T- shirts of a quality that is comparable to GAP, when GAP was still good.

Jigsaw seems to be getting more expensive and flimsy (unwearable, cannot do see through anything).

Atterleyroad have nice (pricy) selection online for my age group.

Need more ideas!

ExcuseTypos Sun 12-May-13 08:08:55

Glad you like them haunted

Enjoy your shopping- I'm excited for you!!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 08:09:34

Bertrude that's REALLY helpful, thanks! Monsoon is quite big on me (oh the excitement when I bought a size 14 dress :D) so Phase 8 for jersey tops should be OK in a 16 ... I might order 'pairs' of sizes and send back the non-fitters.

Never heard of Atterleyroad - I'll have a search!

Have you chaps heard of Pure Collection? It's a bit pricey but I'm investing in some pure cashmere (never thought I'd say those words) - I want some 'lifetime pieces' if you see what I mean.

I am just SO fed up of having a huge wardrobe of crap stuff that doesn't quite fit and is not very good quality. It makes getting a dressed a bleeding nightmare. I'd rather have say 4 dresses, 4 skirts, and a range of tops and knitwear, and all of it really, really good stuff.

I was having a chat with my Gran a while back and she said when she was my age, clothes were expensive - hand-made, tailored, one-offs or saved for - and so you cared for them, and it was easy to look good in a dress that someone had fitted for you and that didn't get left on the bathroom floor. That's kind of how I'd like to be.

Plus - I have always tried never to shop in sweatshop places, and the awful, awful events in Bangladesh have made me determined not to sad

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 08:11:06

Thanks Excuse smile

I'll report back!

My DH is going to find this hilarious. For weeks I've been saying 'when my ship comes in' and he said, 'You're actually going to wade out to meet the ship and push it straight back out again, aren't you?'

Yes, DH. Yes, I am.

Disclaimer: I am also doing some Sensible Stuff <checks mother cannot see thread>

preggersbycheggers Sun 12-May-13 08:20:39

We have a local shop here with lots of lovely clothes.

They stock the following brands. Might be worth looking at as you are same age and size as me although right now I'm heavily pregnant and also haven't bought clothes for ages!

Great Plains
White stuff
Nice things
Mudd and water.

duende Sun 12-May-13 08:29:25

Uniqlo is also good for basic tops I think.

Rattitude Sun 12-May-13 15:26:18

Yes, yes, yes to Pure Collection. I have bought cashmere jumpers and cardigans from them. The choice of colours is usually good (or suits me anyway) and the quality for the price is excellent!

homebythesea Sun 12-May-13 15:31:24

I think Lands End make quite the best T's long and short sleeves. They are crap for sleeveless- I prefer Primark for vest tops (but size up at least one size) and they wash really well- some f mine are at least 4 years old smile

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 16:29:01

Ooo Rattitude - what the PUre Collection sizing like??? I have a couple of old cashmere cardis from John Lewis and the sizing is a bit mean...

Off to look at Lands End!

Rattitude Sun 12-May-13 16:40:05

I think the sizing is good. I am normally a 12 for jumpers, and a Pure Collection size 12 is right for me (generally fairly fitted jumpers though). I would recommend checking their sizing page though, just to be on the safe side.

They typically have offers where you can get 15% off (minimum). I would recommend register with them somehow so that you don't place an order without getting a discount. If you struggle to find a discount code, let me know as I will try to dig one up for you.

JazzDalek Sun 12-May-13 17:12:36

Seasalt and Boden for basics. I'm 34 and although definitely not rich or even well-off, I can't do cheap high-street stuff any more. And really, with a discount code, Boden is not expensive. A lot of their stuff I do not like (lots of empire-line, some bafflingly awful prints etc), but for basic tops I don't look anywhere else now. The essential long-sleeve tops they have in at the moment are really great and only £12 each with a code (try SIZE for 20% off). I also like that I never pay for delivery or returns.

JazzDalek Sun 12-May-13 17:15:00

Oh yes, Pure Collection are pretty decent.

Also worth signing up to BrandAlley - I have just bought a beautiful Toast summer coat for £69, reduced from £250. It looks exactly what I was after, can't wait to get it.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 17:35:37

Never heard of Seasalt - I'll have a look. And thanks for the advice on codes, this is great!

Jazz one of my favourite sayings is 'Only the rich can afford cheap shoes'.

I've followed this advice for years and my shoes are 90% Clark's <old gimmer> or Kurt Geiger.

Time for me to apply the same wisdom to the rest of me wardrobe...

shockers Sun 12-May-13 18:05:16

I like Seasalt for tops and leggings (I find some of their tunics too long though), White Stuff for dresses, cardigans and blouses, Joules for tops and tunics, Great Plains for going out/ nicer work dresses and tunics and Monsoon for trousers and jeans, with White Company for vests (I buy those once a year in the sale).

That pretty much sums up my buying habits!

JazzDalek Sun 12-May-13 18:05:25

Thought of another - Howies is very good, quality-wise. Too pricey for me at full price, but they have a sale section, called "last in the box", that is worth a look.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 18:08:53

Thanks so much everyone - it really is hugely appreciated


There is one really, really nice thing about being in your mid-30s (and older) - just massively, massively not giving a shit about what's 'trendy', or what everyone else is wearing, or what anyone thinks of your clothes. I know what suits me and I'm going to wear it thanks. I used to feel so mizz that I was always too tall and big for River Island or Miss Selfridge or whatever it is was my school mates wore, and feel free now! FREE!! <mad laughter>

Sorry, went off one one there hmm

shockers Sun 12-May-13 18:09:37

Sorry, I'm 46, size 12 on a good day and comfortable, but not wealthy. I don't buy clothes every month and I do keep my clothes a long time compared to other folk I know.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 18:18:37

See that's the thing Shocker - before I changed jobs, and when I had a BIT more disposable income (but not much!) I seemed to be buying clothes ALL the time, and they were never that nice, or looked after. I wish to emulate your way of shopping please grin

SlinkyB Sun 12-May-13 18:43:33

Ooh, watching with interest as am in a similar position to you Haunted (recently inherited some money and am planning to squander some of it on decent clothes that will last).

I'm 32 and a generous size 14, but constantly trying to get to a comfortable 14/big 12.

My wardrobe is full of stuff that doesn't fit, or look good, and I too end up taking ages to get ready because of it. I'm soooo looking forward to clearing it all out and passing my old stuff down to my niece (who loves getting my hand-me-downs).

I'll have a look at some of the companies already mentioned later <flexes debit card, despite the big cheque not having cleared yet> grin

It's been years since I've looked forward to putting an outfit on!

WildThongsHeartString Sun 12-May-13 20:03:08

I have a few Phase Eight but I find them a bit short in the body. I have bought a couple of gems recently from Principles/Ben DeLisi at Debenhams.
here. I know that the Designers stuff can be hit or miss but the black spotty tiered top on the 3rd row is lovely on, very flattering.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sun 12-May-13 21:31:31

Haunted I am so with you. I am 43 and have been trying to cling on to buying things from River Island, Primark etc. But I just get fed up when things don't suit me, don't fit properly or look awful after a few washes.
I'm going to stop thinking about being trendy and just go with what I like and if that means paying more for less then so be it.

Chandon Mon 13-May-13 07:31:55

I buy things in the sale from Brora and Toast, and imo it is unbeatable in quality. Just saw a picture of myself in my favourite short sleave Brora top, in my mind it is still my " new" top, but the picture was from 2010.

Pure and john lewis are o.k. For cashmere, but nowhere near as good. Cheap cashmere of good quality can be. Found at mypashmina.com, but they o not always have every size. I have a faithful fitted black cardie from there which I bought 11 years ago, and it is still my best black cardigan.

The ENglish climate ( am not from here) has made me appreciate good cashmere!!!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Mon 13-May-13 08:02:41

Oh I haven't look at Brora yet - thanks Chandon, I'll have a peek. And off to look at mypashmina.com!

I bought a Jeager cashmere sweater down from £199 to £60 a couple of years ago and have been obsessed with cashmere ever since. It's literally the only time that I have had a luxury item and been able to see what the fuss is all abou.

I have to be REALLY careful not spend my money before it actually hits my bank account hmm - if I'm not careful I'll end up spending this month's rent instead and getting in a right old pickle.

Slinky we are so in the same boat!! I am so sick of taking ages to get ready because i have piles of ill-fitting clothes I don't particularly like - and way too much stuff, so I can't even SEE the nice things. It's time to cull cull cull, and replace with things I'll wear for ten years.

Chandon Mon 13-May-13 18:47:15

Do wait for the sale.

High class brands do good mark downs, worth the wait.

Toast started an archive sale today, selling things at 80% off..... but site crashed, so prob too late now.

SlinkyB Mon 13-May-13 20:49:15

Do you know what my fear is, though? Is that I will fork out for these more expensive clothes and:

1) shrink/ruin them in the wash
2) Go off them quickly and regret my purchase
3) Still choose badly and end up with ill-fitting clothes, that happen to be more posh

sad confused

My cheque went in the bank today, and I'm off to Reading with my sister and best friend in a couple of weeks, so hoping they'll be able to advise me. Think I just choose unflattering styles because they're 'safe' and what I'm used to.

Are you planning on doing most of your spending online Haunted? I don't like shopping online as like to feel the clothes and try them on first.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Mon 13-May-13 23:59:01

Very jealous about your impending splurge! i went on a similar mission about two years ago and decided to smarten up my look after years of pregnancy/breastfeeding and general scruffiness. I have found some fab fine knitwear in Gap and good jeans from Levi's, also quirky tops from cos - now the only problem is i'm even less likely to do any housework because I'm overdressed [big grin]

Don't buy anything simply 'because it fits' or 'might be useful' or worse 'will fit once i've lost a bit of weight' - only buy if you absolutely love it. It'll take longer but then you will eventually end up with a wardrobe of wearable gorgeous clothes you feel great in.

Don't tumble dry your new clothes and use non-bio on knitwear and silks - method do a fantastic non-bio detergent. It makes so much difference to how your clothes look and how long they last.

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 08:26:04

That's great advice, thanks thanks

Don't own a tumble dryer, so ok on that front, and will pick up some non-bio washing liquid (so used to using bio to get stains out).

I've been so used to having neither the time nor the money since having ds 2.5 years ago, that I just grab stuff at the supermarket. If it fits and doesn't look too bad, I keep it. I think the fact it's cheap means I don't put much thought or time into it.

Had forgotten about Levi's; had a pair in my early twenties and loved them. It's going to be difficult to get my head around spending so much on clothes (had a quick look on some of the links above last night; don't think I could ever justify £70+ on a simple t-shirt!). Guess it's all relative though.

I've been "bra intervened" on the bra thread, and am looking forward to going to Bravissimo soon to get some decent underwear. Anyone here got experience of Pepperberry clothes? Am hoping to get some stuff from there, if I LOVE it of course wink As have gone from a 36D toa 32FF/G.

DewDr0p Tue 14-May-13 09:34:43

Pepperberry is a bit hit and miss ime. I got a couple of lovely summer dresses there last year but some of their fabrics are a bit synthetic-y and weird. It was a bit of a revelation having a sleeveless dress that didn't gape round the armholes though! I've not seen much to tempt me from this summer's range tbh - but it's worth a look!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Tue 14-May-13 09:54:22

Chandon that explains why I couldn't get onto the Toast website!!

Ooooo Slinky SO SO exciting. Mine should come in in the next couple of days (though still convinced something will go wrong and I'll get a letter telling me it's all been a dreadful mistake).

I prefer shopping online. I just can't stand being out in the crowds. I'm fairly big (size 16/18) and get hot and flustered. I'd rather try on a pretty dress and discover it doesn't fit in the comfort of my own home than in a changing room where the tiny little salesperson is waiting to sneer at me on the way out with a "no good then?" etc. etc.

But I think I'm going to do at least some of my shopping out and about - I need new shoes, and new bras, so I'll try those on. I will OF COURSE be going to Bravissimo!! Until I went there I was wearing 42DD, and they put me in a 34FF grin

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Tue 14-May-13 09:57:05

Oh and I'm with you Slinky - to me a T shirt is £4.99. The idea of spending £30 on one is insane. But it's all cost per wear, right? I'm currently wearing a cashmere sweater that I paid £60 for (down from £199), and at the time £60 for a jumper seemed wicked. But I reckon I've worn it at least twice and often three times a week for about a year, so that's probably about 20p a wear and I plan on wearing it until I ACTUALLY die.

Also. I earned this. By years and years of slog and toil. And I'll probably never be able to do it again. So there <starts getting angry for no reason> grin

flipchart Tue 14-May-13 10:02:36

I'm 48. I shop at
River Island
Top Shop
Banana Republic
Yoox. ( on line)
Karen Millen
Nicole Fahri
Debenhams. (Red Herring, jasper conran ranges.)

I just usually buy something anywhere if I'm passing and see something I like.

Chandon Tue 14-May-13 11:08:16

it can be worth checking ebay for quality seconds.

I just bought a lovely dress BNWT, RRP299 for £55. A lot to spend on an ebay item, but it is a designer who is not that famous (yet ;) ) and I have another dress of hers that is wonderful quality. It is 100% silk jersey.

I also bought an amazing tweed coat on e bay.

Some designers are way too popular (like Boden, Coast, Brora, Burberry, Mulberry etc.) to get a good deal on ebay, but some lesser know designers go for relatively little money. Or you could search for fabrics (silk, cashmere, merino) and quality items by the lesser knowns will pop up. (I really should not be sharing my secrets!!!)

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Tue 14-May-13 11:28:28

Chandon you are a gem. Start a blog immediately :D

I've just been looking at the Cambridge Satchel Company and they sell good quality seconds half price - I did not know this.

I hope I don't sound massively grabby and spendy and greedy and WRONG <wrings hands>

It's just. Look. I am going grey. I have lines. Surely there are some compensations for not being 25 any more?!

issimma Tue 14-May-13 12:00:30

A lot of retailers have eBay shops where they sell last season's stock. eBay search the company name and they should pop up.

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 19:17:52

YY Haunted, I too am hoping that more expensive = better quality = longer lasting. Your maths is waaaay better than mine though grin

Your last line made me laugh! And glad we are in the same boat, as also worry about sounding full of it when I tell my friends I'm off on a big spending spree (think they forgive me; the money is from my Mum, who recently passed away).

Right, had a quick look at Boden last night, what do you think of these for starters:

wrap top

everyday vest


Typical that the 15% off Boden code has now expired!

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 19:25:26

Ah, it's ok, just found another link for the 15% off sale smile

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 19:29:19

Just checked out the shopping centre I'm hitting up soon, and they have the following stores:

Debenhams, House of Fraser, Reiss, Hobbs, H&M, Zara, Gap, Crew and Fat Face, amongst others. I've got to find some nice stuff somewhere in that lot, right?! Actually, think I'll need more than one day there!

I've never been to a Bravissimo before (country bumpkin) so am very excited!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Tue 14-May-13 21:13:00

Oh gosh Slinky I'm so sorry, and I hope this doesn't sound flippant but I bet she'd be bloody pleased at your enjoying a wee spree. My MIL died recently and DH got a little bit of money that helped us to move. I was so upset when we got the cheque but one of the last things she'd asked us was whether we were going to move somewhere quieter, and it really helped that she would've been thrilled with how she helped us <shy hug> thanks

Off to look at your links! Can I recommend that you go to Bravissimo first and wear your new bra(s!) when you try on stuff - you won't believe the difference those people make to your figure. And don't worry about the bra feeling too tight - it will just fit the way bras are supposed to!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Tue 14-May-13 21:19:32

Really look all those Boden ones. You can kind of tell the jersey is good quality by the thickness of the hemming <scientific>

What colour/print would you get for the wrap top?

I totally forgotten about Reiss. Don't think I've ever looked there - I'll investigate!

Of the shops you mention - I personally would avoid H&M (not very good quality), Zara (I associate Zara with size 10 23 year olds, but might be wrong!) and Fat Face (isn't that for surfers who live in Cornwall?!). However, I don;t know what I'm talking about. Hence this thread grin

Incidentally if you are worried about ethical working practices (esp. after the Bangladesh tragedy can I recommend this www.learnvest.com/2012/03/how-to-find-guilt-free-affordable-fashion/ - helps you see who's got it right and who hasn't. H&M used to be well dodge but are getting better (although they still don't guarantee to terminate contracts with unethical suppliers).

Sorry to get all worthy all of a sudden!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Tue 14-May-13 21:19:52



novelsituation Tue 14-May-13 22:19:06

Slinky I managed to get 20% off this evening at Boden with the code "SIZE"

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 22:24:09

Bless ya, fanks for the hug; I loves them, me! You are absolutely right about my Mother, she would never in a million years want me to do anything sensible with the money grin She was wild, fun and frivolous and would totally approve of my impending splurge.

When I told close friends & family I had a bit of unexpected money coming my way from her, if they asked "what are you going to spend it on?" I've replied "I'm doing what Mum would've wanted - squandering most of it on fun times!!" Which made them smile.

So sorry to hear of your MIL, I'm very close to mine. That's so lovely that she helped you move <sneaky hug back>.

Sorry to go completely off-topic there!

Thanks so much for that link regarding ethical clothes; it is definitely something I will be considering with future purchases. The Bangladesh tragedy was horrific, and I hope it's opened people's eyes to what really goes on. We're so fortunate to live where we do, and I'd never put fashion before another human being's safety. Let's hope the manufacturers have all started making major steps to avoid another tragedy.  

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 22:26:16

P.s thanks for the tip about going to Bravissimo first; do you think I'd need to make a fitting appt in advance? Have high hopes of them magically making me lose half a stone !

SlinkyB Tue 14-May-13 22:48:14

Thanks very much novelsituation - that code worked, and saved me another few quid. Bought all three things linked above (wrap top in navy; not sure about Boden prints, don't they get slated on here?!).

By the way, does anyone ever pay full-price or for p&p with Boden?! grin

I've just had a quick look at the Reiss site and like the look of this (and it's in the sale)

nice jumper

Think I need to write a list of exactly what I need to revamp my wardrobe, so I stay focused.

Everyday t-shirts/vests
Decent jeans (Levi's - need to check their ethical-ness though)
Cardigans/sweaters I can dress up or down
A lovely evening outfit for special occasions
Summer dresses (and leggings to go underneath?)

Anything else? I have a really dull pt job, as a civil servant, in a back office function, with really un-fashionable colleagues (not being mean, honest, they'd agree with me!) so not bothered about work clothes too much. I'll probably still grab stuff at the supermarket for that.

Have you had your wardrobe cull, cull, cull yet Haunted? Be ruthless!

Hedwig06 Wed 15-May-13 07:58:35

chandon could you let me know the designers you are looking at on Ebay please I am trying to spend more on quality clothes that will last, but have spectacularly fallen off the wagon this month.

I have had a quick look at Ebay for a cashmere cardigan, something like this cardigan

But I'm not sure if there are different quality of cashmere [thick]

Any helpful tips would be great, sorry for the hijack haunted

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 08:01:17

I've not started the cull yet Slinky - I'm on hold until the money comes in - can you imagine if I started tossing things out and they didn't pay up grin

re Bravissimo - I don't think you'd need an appointment - I've never made one. But you might wait a little while on a sofa, so unless you're getting there really early you could maybe call up?

It absolutely will take half a stone off, you won't believe it. Can I recommend you get at least 2 - one T shirt type one, and one rocket-booster one. It's not until recently that I realised the difference bras make to certain outfits!

Definitely makes sense to make a list - and preferably I guess a wardrobe should be greater than the sum of its parts, so that for eg. all the tops go with all the bottoms, and the cardigans can be worth with dresses or jeans etc.

The one massive massive thing I'd say is GET CASHMERE!!! Honestly, I know I keep banging on about this, but if there is one thing that makes you feel like you're a Proper Lady wearing Proper Clothes it's the feel of cashmere. And it will last you 20 years if you look after it. Most of the big retailers have a cashmere collection.

Oh, and have you looked at Jaeger? They have an EXCELLENT outlet section and tend to be forgotten, but their knitwear in particular is second to none. For instance you might like these cashmere mix sweaters in lots of colours, and this is pure silk and down from £140 to £40!!!

I know what you mean re. work but if I were you I'd wear your lovely clobber there, as well. It makes you feel amazing.

I've decided to invest all my energies in your shopping until my money comes in, I hope that's ok grin

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 08:01:57

Oh gosh that's not a hijack Hedwig, especially as I'm banging on about cashmere!!

Hedwig06 Wed 15-May-13 08:14:46

Thanks Haunted I'm off to my local shopping park to have mooch today, fingers crossed I can stay away from New Look grin

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 08:17:44

If nothing else Hedwig remember that New Look were had up for using a UK sweatshop where workers were paid less than half the minimum wage - there you go, a clear conscience on spending your money :D

I think we all need to kind of re-think how we value clothes, in a way. For instance it's more than possible to burn fifty quid going out with your DH to the cinema, getting sweets and drinks, and having a pizza after...well, that fifty quid could have been a silk shirt or cashmere sweater that will make you feel amazing and last 20 years or even a lifetime.

It's all perspective ain't it?

<begins to think should be hired as marketing manager for Whistles>


Hedwig06 Wed 15-May-13 08:35:46

That's true Haunted, my DH has been the cinema twice in the last couple of weeks, buying VIP seats and treats, its cost around £89 and he's taking the DC again this weekend....

I didn't know that about New Look, but as my DD17 has a student card, I'm always buying bits and pieces from there, but I was bought up to buy as much as possible for my money, I'm finding it very hard to change the habit of a lifetime, I make a resolution to myself and then fall off the wagon a week later!

foxysocks Wed 15-May-13 09:36:24

i am 33, definitely not rich, but i am quite thin. am I allowed to post? wink

I am of the buy less buy better school of shopping. i also plan what I need carefully and don't buy anything unless I absolutely love love love it. i tend to buy 1-3 items a month.

I actually have a spreadsheet <geek> where I keep track of ALL my spending. one page for family/household budget, one for DCs, one for my personal spends. this helps make sure I know exactly what I've spent, how much I have left, and whether I can afford something

recent buys have been from the outnet, j crew, whistles, asos, cos, a french company called cashmere rainbow (excellent quality cashmere/silk mix scarves they might have clothes too), zalando, massimo dutti (hit and miss quality on the latter I find), the now defunct style passport

I don't pay full price for anything, I always go through quidco and google for codes pre purchase, I always send back if not perfect.

re: cashmere - I have two jumpers, both cost £20, one in outnet clearance sales and one in style passport sales. cashmere scarf was £23 from cashmere rainbow. you just need to shop clever to get great quality at high st prices. plan well, no panic buying!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 10:00:57

Nah bugger off Foxy wink

Ooo those are all so helpful, thanks so much. I love the idea of having a spreadsheet - I swear half my trouble with money is not really having any idea where any of it goes confused

I've not checked out some of the brands you mention there so shall dash off for a look...

Quick question for those who've used the boden SIZE code - does it work on sale stuff??

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 10:05:18

Oh. No it doesn't sad

issimma Wed 15-May-13 10:52:15

How about starting off with a colours and style day? These seem all the rage here :D Have had colours done and it made culling my wardrobe so much easier. I don't have many clothes at all, but I have an idea of where to start next time I'm feeling flush. Find your nearest consultant by googling house of colour, or give travelincolour or hopefully a nudge.

JazzDalek Wed 15-May-13 16:06:02

SIZE doesn't work on Clearance, but it does work on the already discounted items here, if any of them take your fancy (and these offers change weekly, so it's worth checking back every Monday):


HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 16:43:09

Thanks Jazz!

And if anyone can give me shoe help <pleadingface> I have a thread here...

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 16:45:27

Issima I had always thought those 'Colour me hawt' things were emperor's new clothes until I came on MN and realised folk swear by it! I just worry that I'd be told that I need to wear peach or something. And I wont, so that's that grin

SlinkyB Wed 15-May-13 22:00:42

Evening all! Loving the extra hints and tips, such as:

Don't panic buy
Only buy something you absolutely love, love, love
Do a spreadsheet

I promise to do two out of three of the above wink

That Jaeger cashmere jumper does look good Haunted, I'm just starting to worry a little about the practicalities of owning "dry clean only" fabrics, when I'm a complete klutz I have a sticky toddler running around.

Sorry I can't help you with your shoe quest, I'm rubbish as always go for comfort over style, and live in ankle boots in winter, and Birkenstocks in summer. I recently bought these hideous granny slippers which look even more horrific online. 2.3yr old DS exclaimed "Like Nana's!" when I showed him. But I don't care! 'Cos they're ridiculously comfortable.

Oh, thanks also for the tips re: my Bravissimo trip. Dsis and I are planning on getting there early, so will go there first. I too prefer t-shirt style bra's, and will want to get some pretty sets as well.

Am keeping everything crossed that your 'ship comes in' soon smile

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Thu 16-May-13 09:36:18


Brandalley has 20% off everything in the Outlet - I just bagged this Toast coat down from £195 to £47.20!

You'll have to be quick though - a Ghost top I wanted vanished in the time it took me to have a wee!

Slinky I just put my cashmere in the machine on delicates. HOWEVER I have to say I think this shrank my John Lewis cardis, so .... I am now vowing to take better care of them.

I quite like those shoes blush. My pal wears them, but then she's 5 foot 11 and looks like a supermodel and I think she might have actually bought hers from a Native American artisan whilst riding through America or something <sigh>

SlinkyB Thu 16-May-13 21:47:51

Oh dear. I just registered at Brandalley, just so I could take a look at that Toast coat you see, and am seeing lots of stuff I want!!

Looked at shoes, and saw these and thought of you for some reason Haunted? They are quite possibly not at all what you're after, but who knows? (not me!)

Love the coat, btw, looks ace. Your pun on Ghost and vanishing made me smile, too!

Oh yeah, my granny moccasins; I'm using them instead of ballet flats, as they're way more comfy. So, with slim leg jeans, and hoping to buy some tea dresses for the nicer weather we ARE SO going to have. I wish I was 5ft 11 and looked like a supermodel <pouts>

Chandon Fri 17-May-13 07:36:20

You can keep cashmere as new for years and years, if it is good quality to start with, and if you wash it eitehr with special cashmere detergent, OR shampoo ( really! After all, it is made out of natural hair) or, at a push, non bio liquid.

Never wash with biological detergent, ever. It is too harsh. Don't leave to soak for too long either.

It is a bit of a faf, but worth it.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Fri 17-May-13 21:07:07

I made a start today and bought a top from Mint Velvet. £59 which is more than I would normally pay but sticking to the "less but better" mantra.
Also googled and found a code to get free delivery.
It looks lovely online but I have sworn to myself that I won't keep it unless it's great.
I'm also getting some John Lewis vouchers later this month that I'm going to use for new underwear - after being properly measured of course.
See - I'm reading this thread and taking it all in!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Fri 17-May-13 21:44:43

Excellent!! Linky for your top? I need inspiration! I'm still slightly on hold as I have to provide more paperwork before I get my funds <gritted teeth>

However I think this might help calm me the heck down before I start getting stuck in...I got a bit over-excited at first and a bit of a pause will help with sticking to The Rules...

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Fri 17-May-13 21:47:27

Chandon - that's genius re. shampoo for cashmere. I am taking notes!

SlinkyB Fri 17-May-13 22:02:39

Ooh, that is a good tip for the cashmere - will remember that when I buy some! I actually bought some Ecover for delicates/handwash stuff the other day, said it was for woollens, so think it'd be ok?

Going to go back to the beginning of the thread to find the links to good quality cashmere now.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 18-May-13 05:04:59

Sorry but can't link from my phone. It's called the dark navy double layer top. It is a navy and white striped vest with a navy chiffon layer over the top. I'm kind of having second thoughts now as I'm worried it'll show off too many lumps and bumps but we'll see.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 18-May-13 07:33:04

Ooo, I love it. Rather French. I can't imagine it show any lumps and bumps at all with that clever layery thing going on.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 18-May-13 10:20:34

Thanks Haunted I think it will depend how long the top layer is. I don't want it looking like a crop top and highlighting my stomach.

Chandon Sat 18-May-13 13:38:58

Ecover is very mild, so use that ( it is non bio I think?)

Caladria Wed 22-May-13 05:50:56

Uniqlo t-shirts and heattech stuff lasts forever. Better quality than a lot of more expensive stuff IMO. Tabio for tights - I fell off my bike once, grazing my leg, and the tights still didn't ladder. Anthropologie sales are worth checking out.

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