Sunday, 30 November 2008

Still 232 days to go: Zebra Stripes

This is what I spend my weekend watching - my son's football team.
My son, Joe, is back row third from the left and my husband, the team manager is far right, back row.
My eldest son (not pictured) refereed the match.

232 days to go: Pink

I make no excuses for my head to toe pink outfit.
I love pink and so what I'm still (not) a rock star!
Don't worry I toned it down with a black hat, black gloves and black coat when I went out Christmas shopping.

Black Boots - Zara
Pink skirt - Boden
Pink long sleeve top
Black thermal t-shirt
Pink cardigan - Primark
Scarf - I can't remember

233 days to go: Stripes

It was so foggy here today (Saturday) you couldn't see one end of the football pitch from the other. But still my little one managed to score three goals.
I wore
Brown Boots - Clark's
Brown trousers _ M&C
Brown top - eBay
Multi cardigan - Karen Millen
Scarf - magazine gift

Saturday, 29 November 2008

My final Capsule Wardrobe List

I have finalised my Capsule Wardrobe List for next week.

For anyone new to the blog, the challenge is to devise a Monday - Friday wardrobe from 10 items.
You can also have one coat, five accessories (excluding rings if they are normally worn every day) and one bag.
Hosiery and underwear does not count.
Workout gear does not have to be counted but only if used for working out.

1. Gap jeans
2. Black Skirt
3. Multi-coloured dress
4. Cream long sleeve top
5. Red Long sleeve top
6. Black Tank/Vest
7. Red Blouse (you haven't seen this yet)
8. Red Shoes (new eBay arrival)
9. Brown Sparkly Shoes
10. Brown Boots

Coat - Blue Wool Jacket with Faux Fur Collar

Five Accessories
1. Gold ear-rings
2. Brown and gold scarf
3. Red Scarf
4. Black and red spotted bag (purse)
5. Brown scarf

Friday, 28 November 2008

234 days to go: Capsule Wardrobe Countdown

There are just three more days of November left which means three more days to plan your Capsule Wardrobe for next week.
I am struggling with the shoes.
I will have to limit it to two pairs and make sure each pair will go with as many combinations as possible. Yesterday I had a plan but after sleeping on it I have made several revisions.
What a struggle to be
1. Stylish
2. Warm
3. Comfortable
I have tried to use Imogen's plan as a guide and now wish I had more coloured tops.
Still, it will be fun.
Today I am trying to finish my NaNoWriMo novel. I got 1,800 words done before 6am and 7am this morning - just 2,500 to go.
I wore
Black Boots - Tesco
Red and Black Skirt - eBay
Black long sleeved top and cardigan - Primark
Scarf (worn as a belt)- M & S

Thursday, 27 November 2008

235 days to go: Workthatwardrobe today Robert Downey Jr tomorrow

Some more eBay swaps have arrived in the post.
After reading all about Kasmira's yellow shoes this summer I longed for a pair.
And after scouring the auctions I found some.
They aren't leather but then I am a vegetarian so shouldn't really wear leather anyway.
And, can you believe it, they are a perfect fit.
I need cheering up.
1. It's raining.
2. I have mountains of boring admin to do.
3. It's Parent's Evening for my eldest son tonight.
But whatever the weather I have my very own sunshine now.
And another dose of feelgood came when I saw this picture of Robert Downey Jr in Liverpool with Jude Law last weekend.
He is wearing the same Matthew Williamson scarf I got free in InStyle magazine.

Today I decided to tie it in a bow to keep my neck warm.
Where workthatwardrobe goes today, Hollywood stars follow tomorrow.
So with my new yellow shoes I will bow out for today.
I wore -
Skirt - Noa Noa
Aqua long sleeved T - C & C
Navy sweater - Zara
Navy Tights - John Lewis
Yellow Shoes - eBay
Scarf - Free with InStyle magazine

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

236 days to go: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Camera

It was a very early start today and I took the picture outside because the light just wasn't right inside.
I was in such a rush I didn't realise there were rain splatters on the camera until I downloaded the picture.
Ah well!

I wore....
Black Boots - Zara
Black Tweedy Pants - M&Co
Black Shirt - Boden
Pink Tank - Pure
Scarf - M&S

237 days to go: Sun and Fun in Liverpool

What a busy day!
After working in the prison I travelled to Liverpool for the final of the Mace and Jones Short Story Competition which was organised by Martin's firm to celebrate Liverpool's Capital of Culture.
I used to work on the PR account at Mace and Jones before I started work at the prison so it was nice to be invited to the launch back in July.
I hadn't entered the competition but my friend Cathy did. And she won. The announcement was at St George's Hall and presenting the prizes was Professor Phil Redmond, the creative genius behind Grange Hill, Brookside, Hollyoaks and numerous other television projects.
The theme of the competition was justice and Cathy had written a short story about the hairdresser who visited Ruth Ellis shortly before her execution.
Cathy wrote the story after meeting Herbert (whose new television series is out shortly) and plans to convert it into a play.
I am sure she will.
Cathy's partner is my very good friend Peter and after that we were invited to a reception organised by the Valencia Tourist Board.
We had our photograph taken in front of a sea and sand backdrop which was fun and I came home with a Goodie Bag including a Paella Pan!

I wore
Blue Boots - Whistles
Blue and white skirt - Gap
Red T-shirt - Primark
Red sweater - Zara
Red Scarf - M&S

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Guess who's had her hair cut again?

It was the photo shoot yesterday and I had booked an appointment for a blow dry but couldn't resist asking for a shorter cut.
This is the length I had originally planned to go for but I did it in stages to prepare me for the shock.
I wore three different dresses for the shoot. This one, a navy blue one and my NaNoWriMo dress.
I will have to wait and see which they choose.
The photo shoot took nearly three hours and they will only use one or two pictures but the picture editor has promised me a disc with all the photos on it.
The article will appear in the February edition of Essentials magazine so I shall keep you posted.

Monday, 24 November 2008

238 days to go: Capsule Wardrobe Challenge Countdown

There is just one week to go before the first annual Capsule Wardrobe Challenge!
I know it sounds rather grand but hey, it might catch on.

The rules are fairly simple.

Between Monday December 1st and Friday December 5th you are permitted to select ten items from your wardrobe which must be mixed and matched for your working week and this includes SAHM's whose working week is spent doing the most important job in the world.

All major items including shoes and outer attire must be limited to 10.

You may choose five accessories (these include bag/purse, jewellery, scarves etc)

You are allowed one coat - more than one and you must count it as part of your 10 items.

Underwear and hosiery are excluded - use as much or as little as you wish.

So far we have 10 takers (notsupermum, Michelle , Sheila, Andrea, Kristen, Mrs Makeover, Imogen , Kayleigh and Kasmira
If you need some help then Imogen has kindly suggested a sample capsule wardrobe which can be adapted using your own wardrobe.
Please post your daily wear on your blog and link it to this post so your readers know what you are doing.
Today I wore...
Brown Boots - Clark's
Pink Skirt - Gap (with tulle petticoat)
Belt - form Karen
White Ruffle Shirt
Pink Cardigan - Zara

Sunday, 23 November 2008

239 days to go: A crime of fashion

I couldn't resist today's title after reading Martin's blog which records last week's event at Cafe D'Art.
Martin Edwards is one of the UK's finest crime writers and I feel honoured to be the subject of today's entry.
And while we are on the subject of crime it got me thinking that Sunday's look really was a crime of fashion. My only excuse was a migraine.
I wasn't too happy with my choice of attire but believe me, getting dressed was a major achievement.

I wore...
Brown Cowboy Boots and Black Skirt - Dorothy Perkins
Silver Top - H & M
Grey Jumper - Espirit
Scarf - Mag gift

Saturday, 22 November 2008

240 days to go: New York, John Lennon and My Hat

It was a freezing Saturday this weekend and I was still cold as I drove my eldest son to referee a football match.
On the way we travelled through the Penny Lane area of Liverpool, immortalised in the song of the same name.
And as I passed the fire station where "there is a fireman" who "likes to keep his fire engine clean", it came to me - my faux leather Baker Boy hat.
I had bought it in preparation for my trip to New York in 2002 when I ran the New York Marathon to raise funds for Marie Curie Nurses.
Although I wasn't a Beatles fan, my pal, Peter (see him with Sir Paul McCartney here) was.
I sat opposite Peter for years at The Liverpool Echo and as he is one of the world's leading experts on The Beatles I gained an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Fab Four.
So when I was getting ready for New York I promised Peter I would get my photograph taken in Strawberry Fields in Central Park.
I bought the hat to add a sixties swing to the photo.
The added bonus was that the hat was very, very warm.
After dropping my eldest son off at his match I returned home to dig out the hat.
And beneath the cold blue suburban skies I watched my youngest son's soccer game.
I couldn't resist posting some of my snaps of New York - Happy Days!

On Saturday I wore....
Brown Boots - Clark's
Brown Trousers - M & C0.
Cream thermal top - Autograph
Black thermal t-shirt - Debenhams
Scarf - Matalan
Faux Fur Coat - Charity Shop

Friday, 21 November 2008

241 days to go: Vote For Magazine Shoot Outfit

I need your help.
In February my husband and I will celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary and we have been interviewed by a national women's magazine which is writing a feature on the subject of marriage.
On Monday a photographer is coming to take our photograph for the magazine.
Now I have that perennial problem - what should I wear?
And that dear readers, is where I hope you will help me.
You have already seen a vast amount of my wardrobe over the past five months.
And you probably have a better objective view of what works for me.
If you could take the time to vote for your favourite outfit or a mix of any already pictured I would be very, very grateful.
And of course in January you will have the satisfaction of seeing your style advice in print in the form of the outfit I will wear.
If you would like to help please leave a comment or email me at

Today is my last fling in a skirt before the weekend when it will be jeans and woolly pullies.

Have a great one.

I am wearing
Shoes - Next
Tights - Tesco
Skirt - ASOS
Vest - Thermal, M&S
Cardigan - Primark Cashmere
Necklace - Gift
Brooch - Old

Thursday, 20 November 2008

242 days to go: Animal Magic

I took this skirt, hitched it up to my armpits and zipped it up making it a short dress.
Last time I loved the faux fur and red together so tried to experiment with the colours and lengths.
Both the colour and the texture of the faux fur collar seems to soften the polo neck and makes me feel very cosy and warm as I settle down to catch up with my NaNoWriMo novel - 35,0999 words so far!

Shoes - Clark's
Tights and Collar - Tesco
Skirt/Dress - eBay (Oasis)
Black Polo Neck and Belt - New Look

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

243 days to go: Dressing By The Book

Today started at 5.30am when I got up early to get my 1,7000 words in for NaNoWriMo before leaving for work at the prison at 7.15am.
When I arrived in the Prison Library at 8.15am the lovely librarian Ted had a cup of coffee waiting for me which gave me enough time to prepare for the class - a guided travel writing exercise. This was followed by an exercise on writing opinion pieces - and there was no shortage of those I can assure you.
The afternoon was spent working with the magazine group and helping a guy write a booklet for Mothers Against Violence.
I raced home to get changed (my husband was looking after the children) and realised I had forgotten to take my photo today (which is why you have me with no make-up on). Then it was back out again to interview the crime writer Martin Edwards in front of an audience at Cafe D'Art about his latest books - Dancing For The Hangman about Dr. Crippen and Waterloo Sunset , a crime novel set in Liverpool.
The picture above shows Martin, far left with Tony from Pritchard's Books and me at the wonderful Cafe D'Art.
I first met Martin about four years ago when I was working as a PR Consultant for Mace and Jones Solicitors where he is head of Employment Law.
I had read several of his novels before I met him so it was a great thrill to work with him.
Next week I will be attending an event organised by his firm where the winner of their Short Story Competition will be announced.
If you want to know more about Martin you can read his interview on my other literary blog.
As I was a bit nervous about speaking in front of a group I looked into my wardrobe for a confidence-boosting outfit and this blouse just screamed "wear me" which I did and it all was well!

I wore (am)
Navy Boots - Whistles
Navy Tights - John lewis
Skirt - New Look
Red top - Primark
Navy Sweater - Zara
Black Boots and tights - Tesco
Black Skirt - Matalan
Blouse - Sara Berman
Necklace - Virgin Vie

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

244 days to go:Brown and Orange

There are a few remnants of autumn left on the ground in the form of brown and orange leaves which inspired today's outfit.
I wore...

Brown Boot's - Clark's
Brown Trousers - M & Co.
Multi dress - Autograph
Brown Cardigan with new buttons I sewed on - Gap
Scarf - Free Gift

Monday, 17 November 2008

245 days to go: Red Monday

I love this dress but haven't worn it for ages.
I go it off eBay last year and it is a DVF dress. Allegedly!

It came with a tag so I have to assume it is and it certainly feels good quality.
I wore it today to brighten up one of the greyest days of the year. It just doesn't seem to have got light today.
But that wasn't a problem as I had a lovely day.
I was leading my monthly PR Workshop at Train 2000 and met six inspirational women who have or are about to set up their own businesses.
I love to hear the stories about what motivated them to make such radical changes in their lives.
It isn't always the easiest option to set up your own business but I have never met anyone who said they regret it. Not yet anyway!
I wore...
Red wool dress - DVF
Brown Cami - M&S
Boots - Whistles
Necklace - Top Shop

Sunday, 16 November 2008

246 days to go: This is why I don't knit anymore

Another Sunday, another football match. Or two.
My 8-year-old plays at 12.30pm and my 13-year-old at 2pm. It is a long afternoon especially as my husband is the manager of both teams.

Today I am delegated to peanut butter sandwich and flask making duty before following on for the first Match of the Day.
I need to be warm, warm, warm.
There is no other reason why I would wear this sweater other than it remains underneath a coat and it is the warmest item of clothing I own.
As you can see it is not a great piece of work.
I made several schoolgirl errors when I made this.
1. I bought the wool off eBay because I thought it was a bargain.
2. I couldn't find any patterns that used that particular wool.
3, I decided to go ahead with a pattern I had for some totally different yarn.
4. I never checked the tension. Doh!

With it I wore...
Jeans - Gap
Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Scarf - mag
Underneath I have two long sleeved t-shirts (aqua and cream form M&S and C&C)
Jumper - as previously discussed!
Bracelet - my daughter's.

247 days to go: Another scarf freebie

I have been dying to wear this new scarf since it arrived through the post.
I haven't bought it - it came with the latest issue of InStyle magazine and there should be just a few more weeks to buy the magazine (and grab the scarf) if you live in the UK.
The scarf is called "Butterfly" and designed by Matthew Williamson although I had to cut out the large white label as it kept sticking out.
I love the colours, which are perfect for both winter and summer, and there is a lovely gold thread running through which can be accessorised for the evening or for a glittering awards ceremony to say Thank You.

So I wear it today to receive my "I Love Your Blog" award from Imogen which I will pass on later this week.
Although today was a football day it was quite mild here so I wore....
Cowboy Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Jeans - Gap Curvy
Long Blue Camisole - Dorothy Perkins
Kaftan - My Wardrobe Today
Cardigan - Zara
Scarf - Matthew Williamson

Saturday, 15 November 2008

248 days to go: PTA Quiz Night

It was the annual PTA Quiz Night tonight, an event which is always great fun.
We got some points deducted from our teams because there were more than eight of us but it was a great evening.

We take our own drinks and nibbles and from 7.30pm until midnight we catch up with the grown-up gossip we can only hint at in the playground.
We also answer a few questions and make lots of money for the PTA funds.
The only problem is having to bring the empty bottles home for recycling.

I wore
Black Dress - eBay swap
Black Tights - Tesco
Shoes - New Look
Cashmere Cardigan - Tesco
Scarf - marks and Spencer
Necklace - Virgin View

Friday, 14 November 2008

248 days to go: Meet my photographer

I have just finished posting the review of Trinny and Susannah's book Who Do You Want To Be Today?
Who do I want to be today?
It made me think about the process I choose when deciding what to wear and I realised it was through a process of elimination.
I wanted to wear another tulle skirt
I wanted to wear pink
I wanted boots with a heel which were comfortable to wear
I wanted to be warm
So here it is.
Skirt - River Island
Boots - Zara
Tights _ Tesco
Shirt - Whistles
Vest - Oasis
Scarf - Marks and Spencer

And while I was writing the Book Review I realised that the look of the book was not just about the words but the visual impact of the design and photography.
So here is a picture of my photographer who steps in when I can't find the tripod - my 17-year-old son, Sam.
Sam is wearing....
Jeans, Top and Belt - Top Man
Shoes - Converse
Genes - me and his dad!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

249 days to go:

I am grateful to Kasmira for her Masterclass on wearing scarves.
As the weather turns colder I like the warmth a scarf brings to my body and the bonus is that worn correctly (which I don't always manage) it can give a great boost to an outfit with both colour and texture.
This scarf was a gift from my sister in law a few Christmases ago and it isn't looking as good as it should as I threw it in the washing machine and it lost some of its lustre.
But I wore it on the day of my interview for the prison job and see it as my lucky scarf now.
I love this skirt. I bought it in TK Maxx in September 2004 for about £15.00 and when it comes to pounds per wear this skirt owes me nothing.
I have worn it during the day, for evenings out and in both summer and winter.
It is a lovely fine needlecord with a velvety sheen and comes with a length of tulle attached to make it look like a petticoat.
I feel both dressed and relaxed in this skirt. Great for work and for snuggling up on the sofa with my great new Susannah and Trinny book.
I am not a great fan of S&T but have to admit this book - "Who Do You Want To Be Today" - is genius.
But more on the book tomorrow.
Got to get back to work now.

I am wearing ...
Skirt - TK Maxx
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - Next
Jumper - New Look
Scarf - East

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

250 days to go: Frontier Woman

I have to say the inspiration for most of my outfits is, to use one of my childrens’ favourite words, “random,” to say the least.
However, today’s outfit is inspired by the lovely, Andrea Sef.
As regular readers will know, my working life is very varied.

Apart from the freelance articles I write and the two days I spend working as a writer in residence at a prison I also spend one day a week as a media consultant for the women’s enterprise agency, Train 2000.
Train 2000 has a special place in my heart.
It was back in 2003 when I was struggling to hold down a demanding job at the Liverpool Echo and juggling it with caring for four young children (then aged, 3, 6, 8 and 11) that they offered me an alternative – working for myself.
All their services are free of charge so I figured I had nothing to lose.
For three months they guided me through the mysteries of business plans, self assessment, book-keeping and generally boosted my flagging confidence until October 31st 2003 I logged off my “Echo Reporter” tag and became a freelance writer and media consultant.
That was five years and I haven’t looked back since. Three years ago the Train 2000 press officer went on maternity leave and they invited me back in an official capacity.
My work at Train 2000 entails raising the media profile of the organization and the thousands of clients they support into self-employment.
Once I month I run a Do It Yourself PR Workshop where I advise new business owners how to raise their media profile.
I love these workshops and can hardly believe I get paid to meet such amazing women. Women like Andrea.
Last year Andrea attended my PR Workshop after launching her own soft furnishings business.
For years Andrea had made curtains for family and friends who persuaded her to start her own business, which she did with the help of Train 2000.
Sadly for Andrea, after a promising start the Credit Crunch took hold and curtains were no longer top priority for many Merseyside households.
Things had got so bad that Andrea was literally down to her last £10 with a court case looming where she was appealing to keep her home.
Like the good mum she is Andrea didn’t tell her lovely daughter (who was preparing for the Miss Liverpool 08 Beauty Contest).
Instead with a smile on her face and hiding a heavy heart she scoured eBay looking for a cut-price gown so her daughter could go to the Ball.
She didn’t find a gown but she noticed that net petticoats were selling night after night.
When most people would give up Andrea decided “in for a penny in for a pound” and spent that last £10 on yards of tulle.
That £10 turned into £60 and Andrea invested the profit back into more material.
In just a few months she turned over £6,000 and now has her very own eBay shop.
Only one shop in Liverpool was selling petticoats, The Rose and Anchor in Wood Street and when they heard about Andrea’s wares they asked her to pay them a visit.
After examining the vast array of petticoats the boutique owner immediately cancelled their overseas order and placed orders with Andrea.
“I hit lucky with the Prom Season but the business is becoming not only recession-proof it is a growing market with weddings and balls and the growth in the followers of Rockabilly and Burlesque. I am now looking for new premises for a workshop. It is so exciting,” she said.
Having met Andrea I can tell you that her success has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with talent, skill, vision and a desire to succeed.
Although my blog is an advert-free zone I am making an exception for Andrea so visit Andrea's store and take a look.
And after speaking to Andrea I scoured my wardrobe for this petticoat which I wore underneath a summer skirt.
I love the way it swishes and flounces AND keeps me warm.
Wearing it with these boots makes me feel like a Frontier Woman.
If you haven't got one already now you know where to look!

I am wearing:
Boots – Clark’s
Skirt - ?
Sweater – French Connection (at least five years old)
Cream thermal top
Red Scarf – Marks and Spencer
Petticoat (from an old dress)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

251 days to go: A dress for all seasons

The last leaf flew off my little tree today so I guess it is officially winter here.
I was feeling a little mixed up about what to wear today and decided to premiere a new eBay swap - this Urban behaviour dress.
I feel this will be a dress for all season.
Long sleeve top and tights underneath for winter.
A cami (brown or aqua) and a cardigan for Spring and Autumn.
Just the dress and strappy sandals for summer.
So far I see three people have signed up for yesterday's Capsule Wardrobe Challenge which begins on December 1st - but there's still time!

I am wearing....
Urban Behaviour dress
Tights - New Look
Long sleeve T-shirt - C&C
Shoes - Clark's
Scarf - free with Prima magazine

Monday, 10 November 2008

Join my Capsule Wardobe Challenge

Some of my long term blogging friends may recall that back in July I set myself a theoretical capsule wardrobe challenge.
I had to take 10 items including shoes, clothes and accessories to create five outfits to wear for a working week.
I didn't actually wear them but mocked them up for the blog.
This time I am doing it for real with a few changes.
As the weather in the UK is so much cooler I will not include coats, underwear, hosiery and accessories.
However, the five outfits for Monday to Friday must centre around 10 items and that includes shoes and boots.
I will be setting myself this challenge to begin Monday December 1st when my NaNoWriMo challenge has finished.
Anyone care to join me?

252 days to go: Purple Rain

I sneaked this photo in between showers.
It seemed ironic that on the day I should choose to wear purple it would rain.
One of my favourite all-time films is Purple Rain and when I was a child I loved the colour purple.
When I finally got my own room at the age of 10 my parents let me choose the colour scheme. It was a wonderful opportunity to indulge myself so I chose purple and pink.
Yes I know - but it was 1976!
I am wearing
Brown gilet - Asda
Dress - Tu
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - Clark's
Long sleeved T-shirt - Primark

Sunday, 9 November 2008

253 days to go: The last leaves of Autumn

I grew up in a house with a back yard that had no trees and all I could see out of my window was concrete.
Today there are few leaves left on the trees in my garden.
When the trees are bare that's when winter starts for me.
Spring begins when the buds start to appear on the trees again.
I feel very privileged to look out into my garden and see trees.

Today I wore
Boots - Clark's
Skirt - Zara
Thermal T-shirt - Autograph
Orange Cardigan - Matalan
Scarf - free with a magazine

Saturday, 8 November 2008

254 days to go: A Grey Day

It's football day today.
So it's all about layers and warmth.
Jeans - Gap Curvy
Boots - Zara
Green T-shirt - C&C
Grey Jumper - Espirit
Mint Green Scarf - free with magazine