March Fashion Haul: Monsoon, Primark, Zara, Laura Ashley, Topshop, Ted Baker

Monday 17 March 2014

Hi Dolls!

So, as I mentioned in part one of my not-so-little March haul, it's been a shopping-tastic few days since I got paid at the end of last month. Over the last couple of months its been Christmas and my husband's 30th, plus lots of solicitors bills and house moving expenses to save up for, and paying off my credit cards, so I've actually been holding back on the shopping.

When I got paid, I was in one of those awful moods where I just...had! I ended up dashing into town at lunchtime (I hate the high street on Saturdays, which is why I buy a lot online) and literally doing a smash and grab job! I got a few new items from Primark, Topshop and Zara, plus a few that I've also ordered online to show you.


Leather zipped skinnies

£34.00, Topshop

After having a long, agonising debate with myself a while ago about if I could pull off leather trousers (see my post 'Are Leather Trousers Ever Okay?' here), I decided to go for it, and since then I've rarely been out of them! They're a really good option for winter nights out, when its just too darn cold for a dress.

This is actually the second time I've bought this pair of trousers. I had a pair last year, but embarrassingly enough, last time I put them on, they split!!! It wasn't a split at the seam, it was horizontally across the actual leather on the knees, which was odd. I hope it was more to do with the leather drying out in all the freezing cold weather (my wardrobe is built into the wall and can get very cold and damp), and not to do with my fat ass...or knees...!!?!

Anyway, these trousers were such a favourite of mine and got so much wear that I decided to repurchase them! They fit gorgeously and are just beautiful. Here's hoping this pair survives longer!

Neon yellow workout vest

£6.00, Primark

Navy and grey jersey shorts

£3.00 each, Primark

Grey and neon gym socks

£2.00, Primark

I've got a definite love-hate relationship with Primark. Periodically, I swear that I won't go in there and then I always end up crumbling! Its the only store where I feel like I can pick up whatever I like (although it adds up fast, doesn't it?) and its so good for plain basics or really on-trend stuff that won't be around for long.

Lately, their workout gear has improved so much. It used to be awful, but now they use proper sports fabrics and its just as good as the running gear I usually get at Decathlon. I'm doing a lot of exercise at the moment, so its nice to freshen up my workout clothes as sometimes it feels like that's the only thing I wear!

I loved this neon yellow vest for a splash of spring colour, especially since I have started going to 'Ravefit' classes, where you get to dance around with glowsticks! It's got reflective stripes on it as well for running, and its a nice, lightweight breathable fabric.

The socks were a random purchase - they're one of those things you never really think about, but all my sports socks are quite old and grey now, so I plan to replace them with these. They have cute neon slogans on them reading 'I Heart Gym' (not quite true in my case...) and 'Tone Up' and things.

The shorts are really more for lounging about at home in but I'm sure I could wear them for running if the weather ever gets warm this year. I liked the slouchy fit and at £3.00 I picked up a navy pair and a grey pair.

Black and white breton stipe t-shirt

£6.00, Primark

A girl can never have enough Breton tees, right? Well, I don't think so, and even though I literally have a drawer full of stripy long sleeves, I picked up this one as well. I like to layer them under things in the winter, and they're useful for dressing down bolder pieces as well as matching with skinnies or shorts for a casual weekend look. This one is cream with a skinny black stripe, but if you look close to the fabric it has little neon pink flecks. I got a size 8 but its still big and must be designed as a looser fit, so it will be a good match with tighter bottoms.

Black and white stripe mod dress

£11.00, Primark

I must have a thing about stripes, because this black and white dress with three quarter sleeves appealed to me. I like the boxy, mod-style cut and think this will play equally well with bare legs or black opaques. The material is like a heavy crepe and its a loose fit again, so I bought it in an 8 (I don't like things to be too baggy on me). There's a cute keyhole cutout at the back neckline tied with a black grosgrain ribbon. To me this looks a lot like something from Hobbs, but what a price! I thought it would be good for work or for play.

Cream and multi boyfriend t-shirt

£10.00, Topshop

My Pinterest feed has been cluttered up lately with pics of stylish ladies all wearing these boyfriend style t-shirts, loose fit with a rolled up armband. So I couldn't wait to add one to my wardrobe! This Topshop number is a lovely soft drapey fabric. Its cream but speckled all over with little neon dots. I'm already imagining a million different outfits using this!

Grey marl boyfriend t-shirt

£3.00, Primark

After I'd bought the above, I found that Primark were also selling these type of t-shirts, and I just couldn't resist slipping another one into my basket! This one is a grey colour with darker grey flecks and it feels like the same soft jersey as the Topshop one, but at a much smaller price. I decided not to return the other one because I'm pretty sure I'll get wear out of both of them.

Rope and metallic clasp necklace

£4.00, Primark

Another thing I really like in Primark is the accessories. If you fancy something to spice up a look, its a great place for pieces that don't cost the earth. I really liked this rope necklace. It has three strands of thick braided cord with textured gold clasps running across. I think this will look so good for work or with some summer outfits. It's really bold, which I prefer to more delicate accessories and the monochrome means it will go with anything.

Oversized tortoiseshell sunglasses

£1.00, Primark

It's not the season for them, but I've been lusting after some stupidly big, oversized shades for a while, and when I saw this pair for the princely sum of just £1 I pounced. I think every girl needs at least one pair of ginormous sunnies for when you're hungover or want to project an air of mystery! The big ones always look so glamorous as well - they suit me much better (probably because they hide half my face, but oh well!). At the price they were I thought it was okay to add these to my collection even if the sun isn't shining much yet.

Fine gauge knit and chiffon jumper

£17.99, Zara

I'm so tired of heavy winter clothes and millions of layers all the time, aren't you? It feels as if spring is sort of in the air now, and there have been a few glorious sunny days. I found myself making a beeline for this as it looked so elegant and breezy. I loved the relaxed, slouchy silhouette and the combination of biscuit coloured fine knit and the white chiffon panel at the bottom. I think this looks much more expensive than it was, like it wouldn't be out of place on the Selfridges shop floor. It's also unusual so I had to have it!

Marble print neoprene pencil skirt

£18.00, Zara

I did a double take when I saw this and knew I had to have it! The fabric is a thick, neoprene type and its got this gorgeous, unique marble print on it. Again, I haven't seen anything like it and think its so directional, it could almost past for designer. This is why Zara is my favourite shop! The marbling colours are a dark red and green and a grey, so this will pair up easily with so many things. I can see it for work with a dark polo neck and black tights or paired with a crop top and strappy heels for a night out.


Ted Baker Hip Flask

£25.00, John Lewis

This would make a perfect gift, but I ended up self-gifting (oops!). It's not strictly clothing, but its so pretty I really couldn't resist including it. If you're looking for a present for someone's hen do or 18th birthday or something, wouldn't this make a pretty thing to give? The engraving reads 'A pretty sip to keep at your hip'. Cute, right? Not that I'm advocating drinking. But man, this is just so cute I had to have it!

Cropped boucle jacket

£69.00, Monsoon

I have a serious thing about boucle jackets and am amassing an ever-growing collection. There's nothing they don't go with and give an uptown spin to, and they're as useful for work as they are for play. I blame Made in Chelsea, or a latent aspiration to wear Chanel all the time that my purse can't match, but there's something about these little jackets that I'm very drawn to. This number has a cute black velvet bow at the neckline that I adore, which makes it a little different from the other ones that I own. They've been all over the high street for the last few seasons and I keep adding them to my wardrobe. My ambition is to have one for every day of the week.

Someone once told me that if women wanted to be taken seriously at work, they needed to stop wearing cardigans and put on some tailoring, and I tend to agree. I meet a lot of company owners and similar smart business folk, so I need to look professional at work and this is ideal. I also like that it has full length sleeves as most of the ones I own have shorter sleeves that rule them out for winter.


Grey leopard print chain strap mini bag

£60.00, Laura Ashley

I want a Mulberry Lily so badly. But my other financial commitments at the moment are ruling out saving up the spends for it, so this bag that is clearly 'inspired' by the Lily was top of my list for now. Its from Laura Ashley, which is not a usual brand of mine. I love their furniture (my dressing table post features a dresser from there) but I'm just not aquainted with the fashion side of it and just assumed it was for older people (maybe I'm in that group now!).

I really love the colour of this, I love the muted leopard, I love the ponyskin finish and the gunmetal hardware. It's the perfect companion to my black leopard Alexa! This bag really is beautifully made and I can't do without a strap now so I don't tend to use clutch bags as much. I fell in love with this when I was idly browsing 'chain strap bags' and wishing I could afford a Chanel 2.55 or a Lily. This stood out straight away as very 'me' and I literally had a 'have to have it' moment!

So those are my March goodies, what have you been buying lately?

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