Midi Mania and Jewellery Joy

My husband is NOT happy.  This morning 3 big parcels arrived.


FULL OF STUFF.  Stuff I paid money for.

Yes, I went on a bit of a shopping spree.  Here’s my justification:

  1. Midi skirts and dresses are everywhere right now.  I am 5ft 8in tall, which means that skirts meant to hit an average-height woman just at the knee will hit me 2 inches ABOVE the knee.  I have particularly horrible knees, and my thighs have never been great.  During my brief foray into modelling, during a photo shoot the stylist put me into a white micro-mini skirt.  The first thing the photographer said was “Can’t you make her legs look any better?”  That was when I was 19, weighed 120 lbs, and had been doing step aerobics for 6 months.  That was the best my legs were ever going to look.  So my solution is to take advantage of their length, while concealing their shortcomings. When midi goes out of style, I will weep.  I need to stock up on as many as I can while I wait the 10-20 years for them to come around again.
  2. I love bold jewellery.  If an outfit feels too tasteful for me, I put on a giant tacky cocktail ring.  I’ve learned that the right piece of jewellery can completely transform an outfit, can make a cheap dress look expensive, can make a boring outfit look exciting.  I’ve been admiring these amazing, bold pieces of jewellery in fancy boutiques and upscale department stores for years, but they are always hundreds of pounds.  Well, glory, hallelujah! Someone heard my pleas, because suddenly statement jewellery is EVERYWHERE.  At Target.  At Topshop.  At Dorothy Perkins!  And at very reasonable prices.  Better still, a lot of it is on SALE (more on that later – at the end I’ll give a shopping list and some links).
  3. Everything I bought (with the exception of 1 skirt and a pair of shoes) was really cheap.  Plus (and this is the biggest tip I can give you about online shopping), I found online discount codes for new customers.  I got an extra 15% off – even on clearance items!
  4. It makes me happy!


First up: House of Fraser:


I ordered 2 midi skirts and several pieces of jewellery from their clearance.  I’m really excited about the digital-print midi.  I’ve been watching it for weeks, and even though it’s still pretty expensive, it’s on sale (from £89 to £49) so I decided to give it a try.


Next: Dorothy Perkins.  I ordered a LOT of clearance jewellery:


My favorite items are the very long gold, purple, and coral earrings, which arrive BROKEN.  Now I have to decide if I’m going to try to repair them or try to exchange them.


I also really like the ribbon-wrapped hoops, which were £3.75 (half-price).  I think it’s a simple and great idea – buy some super-cheap plastic hoops off the clearance rack at Claire’s and wrap them with printed ribbon or fabric scraps.


Last, but by no means least, is BooHoo (who I’ve just noticed have 15% off of EVERYTHING this weekend):


Yes, it’s a lot.  4 skirts, 4 dresses, a pair of shoes, sunglasses, and a pair of earrings.  NONE of it on sale!  But, and I cannot emphasize this enough, BooHoo.com is REALLY cheap.


Paula icon print midi skirt: £10, Mindy midi skirts £6 each.


Earrings £6, sunglasses £6, shoes £35 (they also come in black).  I love these shoes SO much, I think they are the funniest things I’ve ever seen, but I have terrible luck with cheap shoes, so I’m just praying they aren’t awful on my feet.

Everything checked, time to try on!


I like the print midi skirt from BooHoo.  I was skeptical – it’s a bit obnoxious (even for ME, which is saying a lot!), but I like the way it looks with a plain yellow T-shirt.

More importantly, I ADORE the shoes!  They are light as a feather, fit perfectly, and are so comfortable that for a while I forgot I was wearing them.  I’m already considering getting them in black as well.



Sadly I can’t say the same for the expensive digital print skirt.


It is overly long (how often do I get to say THAT?), it’s a bit floppy at the bottom, the print is not centered so it doesn’t have the same impact as the photo on the model, but worst of all it is really, really thin.  The fabric is comparable to that of the cheapest skirts I bought, which were only £6 but actually fit better and have more cotton.  This one is definitely going back to the store.

The other skirt I ordered from House of Fraser has its problems, too. I’ve never bought anything from Jane Norman before, as it always seemed like a brand for very tiny, very young women.  Turns out I was right.  This thing is the smallest UK14 (US10) I’ve ever seen.  It fits about 2 sizes smaller.  I took a photo for your amusement:


The good news is that the fabric is quite thick and supportive, so it holds you in a bit and doesn’t show knicker lines.  The bad news is it’s so tight around the knees that I’d be hobbling around like a geisha.  Even though it was only £9, it’s also going back!

The cheapo jersey skirts from BooHoo (they have other ones which are a few pounds more, but I was feeling cheap, buying so much and all) are actually very nice!


The waistbands are quite small, which is fine for me, but worth noting.  They are very thin, but that’s okay too because I never wear a dress or skirt without a slip underneath (no panty lines, no sheerness, no static).  These will be perfect for running around with the kids this summer.  I’ll probably order more of them in the heavier, slightly more expensive fabrics for this autumn.

The clearance jewellery from House of Fraser is all quite nice.  Obviously the blue plastic Ted Baker ring is … well, a big blue plastic ring.  They were all on clearance- bracelet £12.50, black ring £6.25, blue ring £4.


The green rings are nice quality and fit my fingers, so I’m happy about them, too.  Great value at £7.50 and £5!



The silver statement necklace from Dorothy Perkins is pretty cool (half price, £12.50), although I think the dangling tassel is a bit strange so I’ll be moving it to the back, on the clasp.


The matching bracelet is nice, too, although I’d never wear them together(£7.50).



These two from Dorothy Perkins are okay (£5 each).


They’re versatile, nice quality (particularly the one on the left), and have impact without being too much.  In other words, too tasteful for me.  I’m already thinking of ways to rework the gold one.

I love the charcoal dress from BooHoo.


It was only £12, fits well, and looks great with the deco pendant from House of Fraser (which was only £10):



I’m torn about the purple dress from BooHoo (seen here with the fabulous earring from Dorothy Perkins).


For one thing, I’ve always disliked this particular shade of purple.  Although it looks good on me, I associate it with crushed velvet and cheap satin prom dresses.  I’m also fairly certain that’s not a shadow across my belly but the outline of the black underwear I’m wearing.  NOT GOOD.  But for £12 it will make a great nightgown.

Here are the two giant earrings from Dorothy Perkins.  The pastel ones on the left (£7) are not my usual thing, but they are pretty and nicely made.  I’ll wear them for a contrast when I’m dressed in something very black and edgy.


The ones I really love are on the right (£8.25).  I have a long neck so I can wear some truly gigantic and obnoxious earrings.  The length is probably why these are on clearance, as they are absolutely gorgeous.

The baseball-style dress is cute, flattering on my giant upper arms, and is not so transparent that you can see my underwear.  It will make a good Saturday dress with my high-top wedge trainers.


My least favorite dress from BooHoo was the most expensive one (at a whopping £15).


I think the print hides my curves instead of enhancing them.  It’s cute with the neon necklace from Dorothy Perkins (half price, £12.50), but I’d only wear it with a belt or a fitted jacket.  Or it may be another nightgown.  We’ll see.

Overall, I’m very pleased with my purchases.  It’s a good thing I didn’t like the expensive skirt, because I just ordered, for less money, 7 more necklaces from the clearance at Wallis.  They will make me much happier.

Since I’m SUCH a nice person, and since I’ve already done the research, I’ve done a collection on Polyvore of 100 statement necklaces under $50 / £30 for you lucky people.  Later I’m going to do a set illustrating ways to wear them, for those who may be more reluctant or unsure.  Good luck and please let me know if you decide to get any of them!

UPDATE: Here is the set I did on ideas for wearing them, using necklaces from this collection:

7 ways with a statement necklace

TWINTIP cotton dress, $45 / Karen Millen shift dress, $250 / Warehouse floral cardigan, $39 / Long sleeve top, $15 / Mango long sleeve cotton shirt / Chiffon shirt, $23 / Merona surplice top / Mango t shirt / Mango maxi skirt, $47 / BKE slim fit jeans / Monsoon long pants / Short mini skirt, $31 / Dorothy Perkins black skirt / Calf length boots / Michael Kors lace up bootie / Even&odd flip flops, $33 / Wallis black heels / Veda Soul platform shoes / T-bar shoes / Bag, $93 / Mango handbag / Ostrich handbag / Zip bag, $78 / BCBGMAXAZRIA handbag / John Lewis , $61 / Wallis zipper bag / BaubleBar pearl jewelry / Zara chain necklace / Wallis chain necklace / Ann Taylor crystal jewelry / Oasis jewelry, $34 / Accessorize neon statement necklace / Accessorize statement necklace / Fiorelli jewelry, $47 / White House Black Market jewelry / Warehouse , $9.33 / Kate Spade earrings / Nickel free earrings / Club Manhattan , $24 / Kate Spade kates spade / Jane Norman leopard scarve, $19 / River Island , $12

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