An Essex Girl Walks – my very small part.

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I recently had the great pleasure of meeting and walking (a tiny bit) of the Essex Way with the inspirational Juliet from An Essex Girl Walks as part of her 4 day trek walking the entire 81 miles of the Essex Way from Epping to Harwich. It was a very, very muddy and wet day – I managed 3 miles of slipping and sliding before I had to leave and head back home to do some work. The 3 miles I walked back on my own to my car were nowhere near as interesting and fun as the 3 I walked with Juliet! 
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Juliet and I half way through the mudfest.  Think Glasto with more mud!
Juliet – like me – resents the Essex Girl stereotype and instead of just moaning about it to anyone who will listen (err like me!), she actually got up and did something about it.
 
Her aim was to raise funds and awareness for Essex Women’s Advisory Group, whilst challenging a stereotype that does no woman any favours; least of all those of us who were born, or have moved to and love, or are bringing up our beloved daughters in Essex.
She’s just published her blog on the walk and it’s so worth a read. I really really enjoyed my brief time with her and hope to spend much more time with her soon.
One of the motivations was the Oxford Dictionary Definition of an Essex Girl.  This definition perpetuates such an awful misogynistic stereotype. I have always been aware of the stigma and actually chose to move here still (and I am from the beautiful West Country so I am very choosy on where I live!).
Here is the definition. Spoiler. It’s not great…..

Essex girl

noun
Brit. derogatory.
A contemptuous term applied (usu. joc.) to a type of young woman, supposedly to be found in and around Essex, and variously characterized as unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic.

– The Oxford English Dictionary

What do you think?  Personally I am proud to be a (relatively new) Essex Girl and love this stunningly beautiful, enormous and varied county. #IAmAnEssexGirl.  Surely an Essex Girl is just a ‘girl from Essex’?

 

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Introducing the new Starry Scarves

It may be feeling a lot more springlike out there but watch out, this trans-seasonal period can be a tricky old time.  You don’t want to still be bundled up in big coats and scarves, but it’s still not quite warm enough to chuck off the layers and put the scarves away for another year.

An easy way to feel a bit more springlike, without actually freezing to death with no coat (is it just me that once the coats go away, they stay away until the autumn?) is to add a brighter scarf.

And we’ve got the perfect new colourful scarf for you.  The new Scatter Star Scarves add vibrant colour whilst still being a brilliant size and weight for the season.

The classic star design has been reworked and taken up  to a whole new level of style. Deconstructed and full stars combine with stylish paint splatters to create a distinctive and vibrant scarf in two beautiful colour choices.

Available in two colours; a more classic Navy, Red and Camel and a slightly punchier Teal, Orange and Pink.  Both just £13.

Teal Orange and Pink Scatter Star Scarf £13

Navy, Red and Camel Scatter Star Scarf £13

But don’t just take our word for it – look at the lovely Joanne modelling hers over on the Alice’s Wonders Instagram.

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Utility trousers and a huge scarf; an easy outfit for a lazy Sunday.

Such a lazy Sunday today, sometimes it’s just what we all need.

Husband off to sunnier climes on a business trip (it’s a hard knock life), so youngest two and I went to the cinema before dragging a very tired nearly teen out for pizza.  A certain someone had been to a 13th (non) sleepover and had come home very tired and grumpy – anyone who has seen my Insta stories today will have seen the hard cold facts of what apparently no sleep whatsoever does to a 12 year old.

These khaki utility trousers from Topshop two years ago have been a mainstay of my spring and autumn wardrobes.  So much so that I actually stalked a pair on eBay and bought those as well in case these wore out (have checked and there aren’t any available at the moment, but it’s definitely worth setting up an alert).

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Scarf – Alice’s Wonders £13
Denim Jacket – Gap (old)
Tippi Sweater – J Crew
Utility Trousers – Topshop (old) similar here and here.
Grey Skater Shoes – ASOS (old) similar here.

I haven’t worn this checked scarf for a while, it was nice to have a break from my usual monochrome and actually wear a bit of colour. But don’t worry I’m sure it won’t last and I’ll be back to black tomorrow!

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The trousers are from a couple of years ago and Topshop aren’t doing the same ones again this year, but they do have these – which are very similar, but with a slightly different waistline.

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I also saw these from Fatface –  which is not somewhere I look particularly often, apart from for PJs.  They do THE best PJ bottoms!

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They come in several colours; including charcoal which I am tempted by, and also in lilac which I am strangely drawn to, although I fear they may be a tad grown up for me (which is odd as I am 42 so you would think I was a grown up really!).

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So a couple of options there – if I see any more I’ll be sure to let you know as I find I’m often asked about them.

Thanks for reading.

Cathy xxx

 

In the navy. An OOTD featuring tassels.

Not that sort though, sorry!  Or actually not sorry, really, as no one is ready for that…

Banishing the post holiday blues with a much better type of blue – my new navy French Connection crepe tank, a gift from my lovely mum for my birthday. It’s always a risk buying clothes for others – but she got this absolutely spot on.  Well done Mum!

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If you look carefully you can see the front detailing, which I love and really elevates it to something a bit more luxe. It proved the perfect foil earlier this week for the Green and Pink Tassel Necklace (£10); part of the Nature Collection at Alice’s Wonders.

It’s sleeveless so I’m not quite ready to wear it alone yet – instead wore it under a mannish denim shirt.  This did the trick of slightly softening the denim shirt, whilst the denim shirt toughened up the luxe feel of the tank. Plus the Gap Slim Crops that I now have THREE pairs of and really, really recommend.  Not so sure about these boots though, although that’s partly because I live in trainers and these felt a bit too grown up!

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Denim shirt – GAP
Navy crepe tank – French Connection
Green and Pink Tassel Necklace – Alice’s Wonders
Slim crops – GAP
Tan block heels boots – Dune (old)

Thanks for reading…

 

Cathy xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIWT. The Grey Stitch Scarf and a slogan sweater.

It was back to earth with a bump yesterday after a wonderful break learning to ski.  I can’t recommend our resort or hotel enough.  Hotel Cristallo in Katschberg – such a beautiful location and a wonderful hotel.

Anyway, so back to normal with football cheering on and general weekend duties.  I was super grateful for the Grey Stitch Scarf to keep me cosy pitch-side earlier on.  Worn with coated jeans and a grey slogan sweater; which is actually the only slogan item I own, something that must be rectified.

As you can see I’m also sporting a rather old, filthy pair of New Balance trainers (you never know I may wash these one day!). Watch this space…

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Grey Stitch Scarf – Alice’s Wonders
Black Coated Skinny Jeans – Warehouse
Grey Love Slogan Sweater – Gap.  Sold out. Similar in black here or grey sweatshirt fabric here (from a local independent brand).
Blue 420 Trainers – New Balance

Love the androgynous style of the Grey Stitch Scarf, a nod to old school City days with a bit of pinstripe.  This colourway is £14, other colours are in the Outlet section at just £4.20!

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I’d love to hear from you.  Thank you for reading!!

Cathy xxx

Savage Beauty – Alexander McQueen at the V&A – EXTENDED OPENING

STOP PRESS – Opening extended for the last weekend

Due to unprecedented demand the V&A will open round the clock next weekend for the very last weekend of this amazing exhibition.  I was so lucky last month to view this with 3 of my favourite ladies; my mum, sister and 19 year old niece.

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From the early days of his 1992 graduation show – purchased in its entirety by the late, great, stylist Isabella Blow, right up to his final A/W 2010 collection; finished by Sarah Burton (of Royal Wedding dress fame) after his tragic and untimely death, the exhibition is full of iconic pieces and jaw dropping designs.

A highlight for me was the dress worn by Shalom Harlow in his S/S 91 Collection.  A plain white dress to start with; it was spray painted while being modelled, resulting in an incredibly beautiful unique dress.

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A wearable work of art; the dress itself is the centerpiece of one of the exhibition’s most absorbing rooms – The Cabinet of Curiosities.  A room absolutely jammed with accessories and clothing from the entire span of McQueen’s work.

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Installation view of ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ gallery, Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A
Picture credit: Victoria and Albert Museum London

I can’t fully express how wonderful an experience the exhibition is.  If you can at all, then please, please go.  Of course the V&A itself is well worth a visit as well.  I consider myself incredibly lucky to live just a Tube ride away from such an incredibly vibrant museum and could visit every week without feeling sated.

London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.’
– Alexander McQueen, January 2000

One last image – my favourite picture of Alexander McQueen. Such life and vitality.

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Top Sale Picks – some fab reductions!

The Alice’s Wonders Summer Sale is continuing apace – although many lines are selling out, there are still some bargains to be had.

Just a few of my personal top picks:

All the clutches are now half price, down from £18 to £9 – new clutches will be coming for the A/W Collection, so these will not be restocked.

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I personally have both the Coffee and the Black Envelope Clutches,  they’re such a good size I can fit all the rubbish I cart around with me in the evening (no streamlining in the evenings here!), or for a girls day out.

I used the coffee one just last week for a fab night out with the girls – as shown off on my instagram.

The Carmine Fan Necklace is another personal favourite – down to just £9.10.

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The Grey and Amber Scatter Necklace is super pretty, ideal to add glamour to a wedding outfit – or one to save for the party season later on in the year. Now £10.40.

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Talking of the party season – the Jet Black Leaf Necklace would be such a great buy now to have ready for when the nights draw in and the parties start.  Now 40% off, just £8.40 now (also in Cobalt and Chocolate)

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If it’s pure metallics you prefer, you can’t go wrong with the Gold Cleo Necklace; a really striking piece that would easily elevate jeans and a simple tee into the ideal ‘date night’ outfit.

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Finally, I can’t do my top picks without mentioning the most statement of all statement necklaces – my adopted county of Essex has definitely influenced my choice here!

The Pink Crystal Flower Necklace makes such an impact, the rest of the outfit would just need to be nice and simple.  Perfect for ringing the changes and updating old favourites.  Now 50% OFF – £9 down from £18.

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I could go on and on; these are just a few of my favourites, have a look at the SALE and see what other bargains there are!