Category Archives: Fashion

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

2017 saw some changes for my husband. He picked up an arm injury and had to give up the gym and his beloved kettlebells and so instead, he took up running and has started to become competitive with himself. He’s signed up to do a few 10k races, and knowing him, he will be doing half marathons before we know it. A change in his physical activity levels means he’s feeling good about himself again, and that alone deserves a new outfit. We took a look at what men’s fashion experts Jacamo had to offer.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

Before we became parents he was a dedicated follower of fashion. He had a thing for Ben Sherman shirts and good blue jeans, a look he was keen to revisit. He chose this short sleeved check shirt from Ben Sherman. It’s made from navy and green checked cotton with a buttoned down collar. It cost £50 which is about average for a Ben Sherman shirt and I think it’s reignited his love for the brand (which will make buying birthday presents easier this year).

As it’s winter, he needs a nice warm jumper to keep him cosy. I picked out this twist texture knit by Label J (£20.35) in charcoal. It’s a great addition to his wardrobe and can be dressed up or down. It looks good over his new shirt and is great with jeans. It’s really comfortable and I’m slightly regretting only getting one jumper now. He will wear this to death over winter.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

No new outfit is complete without a new pair of jeans. I do love him in dark jeans, I think they look so much smarter. These Delta tapered jeans from Union Blues have a little bit of stretch in them, making them a little bit more forgiving than jeans usually are. The jeans also come with a leather belt, a really good range of sizes (and half sizes) and are just £25 a pair. He’s pleased as punch with them and they look brilliant with his nice Jacamo boots.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

It’s so nice to see him in new clothes and feeling good about what he’s wearing. The range of sizes which Jacamo stock, means that he can find jeans which actually fit him well without having to spend a fortune. He’s delighted with his new outfit for the New Year. What do you think?

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

Check out the new season of men’s fashion on the Jacamo website.

Note: I was sent these items from Jacamo for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Storm Bloc Socks – specialist sports socks

Storm Bloc socks are designed for strenuous outdoor and sporting activities. Whether you’re walking, running or down the gym, these socks have been designed to be comfortable and hard-wearing. My husband has recently taken up running and he’s out walking the dog several times a day; so he put these Storm Bloc Socks to the test to see if they were as good as they say they are.

Review: Storm Bloc Socks - specialist walking socks

These Storm Bloc socks have been made with BlueGuard – an industry-beating anti-abrasion yarn that has been scientifically shown to last 46 times as long as a standard branded sports socks. Sold by the Sock Shop, they are so confident that these socks will last the distance, that they offer a lifetime guarantee on Storm Bloc socks. The socks are perfect for sports, running, walks, hikes and camping.

The cotton rich Storm Bloc with BlueGuard Sports Crew Socks are terry cushioned for comfort. They’re designed to help absorb impacts and reduce fatigue. They have ribbed, elastic legs, reinforced toe seams, extended heel areas and a built-in arch support. Breathable woven panels are positioned help regulate moisture and heat during activity.

What did my husband think? They were certainly comfortable and well cushioned. He liked the ribbing and the seams which helped stop the socks from slipping and “walking off” his feet when he walked and ran. He said it was hard to say if they did absorb much of the shock of running, but he did feel they added a little bit of bounce.

Review: Storm Bloc Socks - specialist sports socks

They certainly look the part. They are warm and comfortable for walking and running without being too hot, sweaty and synthetic. The socks do wash well and haven’t gone baggy or anything after the few wears and washes they’ve had.

They cost £13.99 for two pairs from the Sock Shop, but they do come with a lifetime guarantee.

See the full range of Storm Bloc Socks on The Sock Shop website.

Note: We were sent these Storm Bloc socks for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

My Mum wardrobe is pretty pedestrian. I like to stick to a selection of basics which I can mix and match without having to think too hard about things. I like to be comfortable and I like things which aren’t too fussy. I’m weirdly hard to please when it comes to clothes and if I’m ever going on a nice night out, stepping out of my uniform puts me in a right “does my bum look big in this” panic. 

With the changing of the seasons, I knew I needed to freshen up my wardrobe. I definitely needed a new nice top to wear on nights out and some shoes for my recent break away to Ribby Hall in Lancashire. I had a look at what JD Williams had to offer and I was pretty pleased with what I chose and what good value for money everything was.

First up was ladies footwear. I confess to being a little bit sniffy about Crocs, they’re not known for being the most attractive shoe in the world, but I’d heard very good things about Crocs Flip-Flops. Having spied them on the JD Williams website for just £24 for the pair and I couldn’t resist. 

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

I chose the navy Crocs Kadee II Ladies flip-flops because I knew they would go with everything. They are so comfortable and they have little raised beads which feel like they’re giving your feet a little massage. I’m a total crocs convert now and they’ve had so many compliments. 

My next little footwear treat were these lovely Lotus ladies Portelli trainers which were reduced from £51 to £36 – a total bargain! Lotus shoes have a great reputation for style and quality. I really loved the look of these trainers. They’re stylish and colourful but understated. They will also go with almost anything.

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

For the last few years I’ve been looking at Joe Browns tops and thinking about buying one. I have ummed and ahhed for so long because I am so fussy. What will the quality and material be like? How are the sizes? Will they be as good as they look? After much deliberation I opted for the Joe Browns Winter Floral Gypsy Blouse (£39).

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

This Joe Browns blouse is similar to something I already have, so it wasn’t too much of a leap into the unknown for me. It fits really well and the quality is great. I’d be very happy to buy another Joe Browns top in the future. It is as my friend said, something that I’d not normally wear, but she said I looked nice in it, so I’ll take that and wear it to my birthday bash next weekend!

I was pretty pleased with my little splurge at JD Williams. I’ve got some lovely new things which I can save for nice relaxed nights out over the autumn. What do you think about what I’ve chosen?

Note: I was sent these items for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

Now that the nights are drawing in and summer is giving way to autumn we are starting to wrap up a bit more against the autumn chill. The small-ish boy has a good selection of slippers and slipper-socks in various styles and with different characters on them. He loves them and so do I because they keep his toes warm on our cold floors. We’ve spent the last few days on holiday at Ribby Hall in Lancashire and whilst we were there we put a pair of Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks to the test.

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

This newly licensed sock range from Heat Holders includes two Marvel favourites – Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. The Spider-Man socks are bright red with a fleecy brushed lining on the inside. They are adorned with the spidery superhero’s famed iconic spider symbol. They also have Spider-Man symbols on the soles of the socks which provide extra grip for kids who like to run about on my wooden floors.  

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

The boy really loved these. He’s a big Spider-Man fan so they hit the spot before he’d even put them on his feet. He really enjoyed the grippy soles and put them to the test in our holiday cottage. I knew they were a hit when I discovered him wearing them in bed. Plus they were the first thing he put on his feet when we got back to the cottage after a busy day. 

These Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders socks are available in kids sizes and cost between £7.99-£9.99 (on Amazon) depending on the size you need. Heat Holders are supposed to be the warmest socks in the world. They have a tog rating of 3.1 which is pretty cosy!

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

With the release of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” over the summer; these cosy socks are the perfect present for spidey fans, especially now there’s an autumnal chill in the air.

Find out more about Heat Holders on their website.

Note: We were sent these Heat Holders for review purposes, all images and opinions are our own. This blog post contains affiliate links.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

The small boy, who these days is not so small, starts Year 2 in just under a fortnight (where has the time gone etc etc). He needs new school uniform, but the thought of spending hours of our precious summer together trawling through various shops buying various bits of uniform and kit fills me with horror. Better to buy it all, or almost all in the same place at the same time. Last week we popped to Debenhams and did just that. 

If I was fancy I’d talk about our Debenhams School Uniform “haul”, but I’m old-fashioned for that. Instead we just went shopping and bought a big bag of school uniform. Hopefully enough to see him through until his next growth spurt. Debenhams School Uniforms are currently 20% off in store and online, something we took full advantage of.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

This will be his fourth “school year” (School Nursery, Reception, Year 1 etc) so this is not our first time at the school uniform rodeo. We know what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

We bought a new warm padded school coat (£18), 6 pristine white polo shirts (£5.60 for a pack of two), 2 pairs of slim fit trousers (£8.80), 2 pairs of flat fronted trousers (£9) and 10 new pairs of grey socks (£4 per pack of 5 pairs). All we need are a couple of jumpers with the school logo on and we are ready for the start of the year. Our shopping trip cost us just under £63, that’s including the 20% off!

I was really pleased to find some nice slim fit trousers. I always think the flat fronted ones make him look like a junior accountant, so we bought some slim fit to try out. Like most children, he is very hard on the knees of his trousers. If he’s not falling over and grazing his knees, he’s crawling along being a ninja superhero or something. 

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

He’s six and whilst he’s grasped the rudimentaries of getting himself dressed. If he’s rushing he can still get frustrated with fiddly buttons on trousers, especially if he’s getting himself changed for PE or nipping to the loo. We like to adjust the waistband on his trousers so they’re loose enough to just pull them up in a rush if he needs to, but not loose enough to fall down, obviously. Both the flat front and slim fit styles we chose have adjustable waistbands. Phew.

He is also very hard on the white polo shirts he has to wear for school. I’m enjoying them now in their pristine white state before term starts. His polo shirts get washed to death. We like to buy enough so he has a clean one each day and a couple of spares waiting to be brought into circulation once he starts destroying them.

We have tended to buy cheap supermarket polo shirts which often shrink in the wash a bit. I’m hopeful these will stand up to regular washing a bit better than their supermarket counterparts. They do feel like they’re a cut above in terms of quality and doesn’t he look smart (and clean)!

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

As for his new coat, it’s light to carry and nicely padded for the winter months. With an easy zip up the front and zipped pockets so his treasures won’t fall out. He’s thrilled with it and at £18 we have no complaints either. 

We have high hopes that our “haul” of Debenhams school uniform will last the year; or until he grows out of it. I am impressed with the price and quality. Everything seems well designed with sturdy stitching and made from good quality material. Even the socks are thicker, stretchier and more comfortable than the cheap supermarket ones I’ve made him wear. 

If I have one regret, it’s not buying more polo shirts, another couple of packets couldn’t hurt, could it?

Debenhams currently have 20% off school uniform online and in-store now. Visit their website to have a look at their range.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

Note: This post is in collaboration with Debenhams as part of their Back to School Campaign. All images and opinions are our own.

Back to School: Tough school shoes from Jake Shoes

Year One has been HARD on my son’s school shoes. I have no idea what he does during his school day, but he’s worn through the top of every single pair of shoes he’s had this year. Admittedly they’ve all been cheap supermarket shoes made of pretend leather, maybe that was part of the problem. Some pairs barely lasted a month, I think I’ve been making a false economy on the school shoes front. This year I’m trying a different tactic, I’m going to see if a pair of virtually indestructible Kickers from Jake Shoes will survive the year, or at least a term.

Back to School: Tough school shoes from Jake Shoes

We chose the “Kick lo velcro kids” from Jake Shoes. They are a mini version of a of the classic Kick Lo shoes. The Kick lo velcro kids have velcro straps so he can get them on and off easily. They are made from really good quality black leather and have a thick, grippy sole. The leather is really thick hard leather so they will need to be broken in over the summer. He will wear them for a couple of hours here and there and they should be just right by the time he starts back at school in September.

Back to School: Tough school shoes from Jake Shoes

I think they look really smart. He is really pleased with them and was desperate to get them on and run about in them. With the shoes being made from real leather we will need to give them a polish every so often to keep them looking good, especially with his habit of scuffing the tops of his shoes.

What I like about them is one shoe has a green label and the other a red label on the shoe, which will help him to remember which shoe goes on which foot. Something he does still struggle with when he’s not concentrating on what he’s doing.

Back to School: Tough school shoes from Jake Shoes

Jake Shoes have two high street stores, one in the Manchester Arndale Centre and one in Stockport Town Centre. Both of them are local to me, but for convenience I ordered online. It’s good to know that they do have high street stores so close to me, sometimes it’s good to be able to get his feet measured and have him try on a few pairs before we choose a favourite.

The Jake Shoes website is really easy to use, the shoes were delivered quickly and in perfect condition. We chose the Kick lo velcro kids shoes in size 13.5 kids and they cost £53. The price varies depending on the size, starting from £45.

Jake Shoes are specialists in kids shoes. They stock a large range of school shoes, including Kickers, Geox and Timberland, as well as other popular kids shoes like Converse, Vans and Lelli Kelly. Will these Kickers survive the rigours of life on the feet of a six year old? I have high hopes that they will!

See the full range of Jake Shoes school shoes here.

Back to School: Tough school shoes from Jake Shoes

Note: We received these shoes for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Outdoors: Putting Trespass walking boots to the test

We are a family who walks a lot. We love the countryside and although we live in Manchester we have a local nature reserve on our doorstep. Most weekends we go for a walk by the river, or through the woods; and we often take trips further afield. My husband loves to go walking in the Lake District, Derbyshire and Devon whenever he can.

We all own good stout walking boots for when we go out for an amble. When I broke my ankle when I was hill walking in 1994, the A&E Doctor told me if I’d not been wearing my good boots I would have shattered my ankle completely. His words have stayed with me and I always wear them when I’m walking.

Outdoors: Putting Trespass walking boots to the test

My husband goes on an annual walking weekend in the Lake District each June. His old walking boots had seen better days. He decided to invest in a new pair to break in now in readiness for his miniature expedition. After some careful consideration he opted for the “Source men’s brown boots” from Trespass.

Trespass sell a broad range of walking boots, clothing and accessories, so there were plenty of boots to choose from. Knowing he’d get several years of walking trips out of the boots, he went for a top of the range boot. They cost £79.99, but Trespass had discounted them from £159.99 so he was very happy with that.

Outdoors: Putting Trespass walking boots to the test

The Source men’s walking boots are a sturdy pair of boots. The upper is breathable leather and has been designed using tres-tex technology, which helps to prevent moisture seeping into your boots.

The boots have a steel shank inside the sole, this helps stop any sharp edges from rocks or fragments from piercing the sole and injuring your foot. The sole of these sturdy boots is made from Vibram rubber which is known for being hard-wearing and is ideal for tackling rough and tough terrain.

Outdoors: Putting Trespass walking boots to the test

But are they comfortable? Yes, as he was lacing them up for the first time he said they were really comfortable. He took himself off on a walk down by the river and through the woods and came back smiling. The boots were comfortable, fit really well (he’s a size 10) and didn’t rub. Of course it’s going to take a few local walks to break them in and mould them to his feet properly, but he’s excited about wearing these on his walking weekend in June.

He’s worn them every day since they arrived, just for an hour each morning when he takes the dog out, but he’s had no complaints. He’s walked through puddles, mud and muddy puddles in our local woodland, down by the river and in the nature reserve.

Outdoors: Putting Trespass walking boots to the test

He’s given his boots a quick clean when he’s returned home (because if you look after your boots, they’ll look after you) and he’s had no blisters or rubbed bits on his feet. They’re cushioned around the ankle, comfortable for him to wear and they look great on. He’s very happy.

It pays to invest in good boots. Not only will they help protect you if you take a tumble; but they’re designed to look after your feet, keeping them dry and comfortable over long distances. I’m certain his new Trespass walking boots will be good for several thousand miles.

Visit the Trespass website to find out more about their range of walking boots and accessories.

 
Outdoors: Putting Trespass walking boots to the test

We were sent these walking boots from Trespass for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Mindfun Tees – Adult Colouring T-Shirts

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I’ve had a tough time of things lately. I’ve been struggling to keep my spirits up and to start to heal my grieving heart. Just before my dad died I was sent a Mindfun Tee to review. It sat waiting for me on the kitchen table for a few weeks whilst I was being swept away and dragged under by waves of grief and emotion. 

One day I walked into the kitchen, opened the package and took a closer look at it. I immediately sat down and began colouring.

mindfun

Adult colouring books have been huge in recent years and this is a similar thing but on a t-shirt. Mindfun Tees are unique t-shirts designed to help people relax and unwind. There are lots of designs to choose from and they come with a selection of coloured fabric pens and some simple instructions.

To start, put the instruction card inside the t-shirt so the ink from the pens doesn’t leak through to the other side of the t-shirt. My top tip would be do one colour at a time and leave it to dry. Where I coloured in different colours next to each other while the ink was still wet the colour sometimes leaked a little across the line. It wasn’t a disaster, but if you’re a perfectionist you might get a bit twitchy.

Over a few days I would wander into the kitchen and do some colouring in each day. It really did help me take my mind off things and mentally zone out for a little while. Although I had a whole skull design to colour in, I quite liked just picking out some of the details and colouring them in. 

Once I’d finished and I was happy with it, I ironed the reverse of the t-shirt and it was good to go. Here’s the finished article as modelled by my lovely husband.

Mindfun Tees

I think it looks pretty cool.

The t-shirts they use are lovely, good quality t-shirts. The material is nice and thick, made from 100% cotton and the stitching looks good. There are a huge range of designs to choose from and the prices are £11.99-£23.99 depending on the size and design you choose. The price includes everything you will need, including the fabric pens.

As the t-shirts come in both child and adult sizes, with a number of appealing designs suitable for children, I think these would make an interesting gift for a child, and it would be something kids would enjoy doing, especially if they can let their imaginations run wild with the colouring of it.

Mindfun Tees are launching a campaign called “Outside The Lines”. The idea behind “Outside The Lines” is to promote a sense of not staying inside the box, it allows people to express who they are while helping them to switch off and unwind after a long day. They offer a safe space for people to share their story through their creativity and the Mindfun Tees designs.

The Mindfun Tees are a lovely product at a good price. The simple act of focusing on a creative activity, even for a few minutes a day has been a great help to me at a time when I needed a little distraction. I was pleased with what I produced and hubs liked his t-shirt too. It was a winner!

For more information about Mindfun Tees visit their website.

 

Five Hot Summer Sales Picks

The summer holidays are upon us. Like most people I’m staring into the dark wintery abyss of my wardrobe and wondering what to pack for my summer holidays. It’s time to go shopping for something a bit more summery and a bit less cardigany. I’ve been checking out the Joules sale at lovethesales.com and I’ve picked out my 5 hot summer sales picks for 2016.

Every summer holiday needs a new summer dress. Something you can just as easily throw on over your costume on the beach, or wear of an evening sitting in the hotel bar with a glass of something cold and refreshing. This Sade midi dress from the Joules sale caught my eye. It’s been reduced to just £19.95 and it’s bang on trend with the crochet detail and I do love navy.

joules sale

I love this chic Joules amaris top, it is a loose fitting casual style blouse . This shirt features a rounded collar with frill detail and cuff sleeves. It’s just £24 and could be dressed up or down very easily.joules sale

I live in flip flops over the summer and these are just beautiful. These “Sandy Flip Flops” are just £9.99 and would brighten up any beach wear and look great with jeans too. joules sale

This Joules Lizzie Empire Line Jersey Tunic is just the job for a casual evening out. The panel detailing in this empire line jersey tunic makes it a truly flattering piece that’s great for wearing with bare legs and layering up with tights or skinny jeans once the weather turns chillier. It’s reduced to just £32.95 in the Joules sale – which is a bargain for such a lovely tunic top.

joules sale

My last pick is a new swimming costume. I really like this one the flattering tummy control and adjustable ties give this all-in-one swimsuit a made to measure feel. Very flattering this one-piece wonder perfect for the beach or pool. This is a lovely dark denim colour and it’s a beach bargain at £22.95.

joules sale

There are some really lovely bargains to be had in the Joules sale at lovethesales.com with some items having up to 80% off. Joules is known for it’s bright, colourful eclectic range, and quality clothing, perfect for a summer holiday shop!

= Disclosure: via lovethesales =

Review: Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet

When hubs recently reviewed a Scruffs Expedition Tech Jacket he fell a little bit in love with the brand. He really liked the quality of his jacket and how cosy it was despite being very lightweight. He’s worn it to death over the winter and it’s still looking smart. He was sent a Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet to try out, which was ideal now that we’re moving into (hopefully) warmer weather, here’s what we thought.

Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet

One surprisingly springy day we headed off to our local community farm. It wasn’t warm enough for shirt sleeves so he chose to put on his Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet. It’s a cosy but thin padded gilet which looks great with jeans and is easy to wear.

Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet

There are lots of large pockets which are handy regardless of whether you’re out with the family or at work needing to keep useful things close at hand. It has a large hood which when pulled up would keep his head warm and snug against the elements if need be. Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet is generously sized, this is an XL and we thought there was plenty of room underneath for a nice thick bulky jumper.

The Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet uses 3M Thinsulate technology which provides a lightweight solution to keep your body warm. It is made with hard wearing mini ripstop fabric making this lightweight bodywarmer more durable. The gilet is available in black or blue, we chose the blue with the orange detailing. The stitching is good quality and it seems like a robust bodywarmer.

Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet

Matthew works in a building without heating, so in the winter it gets quite cold and never really seems to warm up until the hot hot days of summer. This is ideal for him to wear whilst he is at work, warm enough to help maintain his body temperature, but thin enough so that he can move about freely without it getting in the way. I think it’s pretty smart looking too, ideal for casual days out with the family as well as for work.

The Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet is priced at £39.95 which we thought was good value for a gilet of this quality. With the thinsulate and ripstop fabric this should last longer than a high street equivalent and will keep him warm at work until summer eventually decides to arrive.

For more information, or to buy Scuffs Workwear, visit their website

Note: We were sent the Scruffs Expedition Thermo Gilet free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.