The Hundred Pound Haul…The Massimo Edit

I feel I should begin this post with an apology and a caveat that I use the word ‘haul’ in the loosest sense of the word. Round two of the Hundred Pound Haul and we’ve already made a, somewhat elementary, blunder. As it turns out, Marks and Spencer was an excellent choice for our first go – attainable and affordable enough to get a decent ‘haul’ for the set price of (yes you guessed it) one hundred pounds.

(If you haven’t already, get up to speed on the idea behind the Hundred Pound Haul HERE).

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that we recently returned from our first family holiday to the South of Spain. Traditionally us girls tend to go a little crazy in the ‘Massimo’ Boutiques (they’re literally on every street corner down there).  It’s just so bloomin chic and designer-esqe but at great prices! To cut a long story short, whilst in the throes of sunshine and sangria, we decided that a dedicated ‘Massimo’ hundred pound haul would be just the ticket for our second go…what could go wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong. You see, as stylish and as (relatively speaking) affordable as it is, you ain’t gonna get much of a haul out of our self-imposed hundred pound limit! Consequently, (and not really wanting to dip our toes into the sales) our ‘haul’ has become more of a ‘two piece pick’ of the new season styles. You live and learn and we will try to do better next time (hangs head in shame)

About Massimo Dutti

Some of you may, some of you may not know about the wonders of Massimo Dutti. As a northern gal, it’s not a brand we stumble across very often (which is why I take every opportunity afforded to me when in Spain). A Spanish brand through and through, Massimo is from the Zara family – the chic big sister to Zara’s playful brand of fun and flirtation and I seriously cannot get enough of it’s cool paired back aesthetic!

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

My Picks

  1. White Cotton Shirt – You quite literally cannot go wrong with a crisp white shirt. There’s just something so ‘Cindy Crawford’ about that all American, denim and white shirt combo. Incidentally, I have just purchased a pair of gents Levi 511’s which, when paired with a white shirt just makes me come over all 90’s Supermodel! (disclaimer…In no way am I so delusional that I believe I actually look like Cindy, Christy et al – just let me put that out there). This is a shirt lovers dream…stiff cuffs, side splits and that arm detail takes it to a whole other level while remaining ‘office appropriate’. Post baby I generally take a UK size 10-12. I purchased the shirt in a size 12 which I would say is pretty accurate but it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s definitely a slim fitting piece.
  2. Velvet Bow Front Mules – My very first pair of designer shoes had a kitten heel (Prada circa ’99). When I bought them I was envisaging Audrey Hepburn, silk headscarves, the Riviera. Unfortunately, when I look back at pictures, all I can see is a slightly dumpy teenager, unshakably confident that she was a dead ringer for Victoria Beckham! (I mean really…Victoia Beckham in kitten heels? As unfailingly chic as she now undoubtedly is, this was unheard of in the 90’s)! I digress. The point of that story was to illustrate that since those Prada kitten heels, I have shall we say, rather lost my liking for that style of shoe. This shoe shouldn’t do it for me…shouldn’t but it does. What can I say, the romantic in me sees these as some kind of modern day ‘Slipper and the Rose’ (does anyone remember that film? Oh, so good! ) Cinderella shoe. On the  Massimo Dutti website, these are called the ‘Black Slingback, High Heel Court Shoe with Bow Detail.’ Now quite clearly they are neither a slingback nor a high heel (although I suppose the latter does depend somewhat on your interpretation of the word high). I can assure you that they are indeed, as the pictures show, a (surprisingly comfortable and easy to keep on) kitten heeled mule (no slingback). I take a UK size 5 and these fit perfectly.

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Styling My Picks

When I began to envisage styling the look, my immediate inclination was to pair both picks with classic faded jeans. This high-waisted, fitted yet relaxed style is so very current that it gives, what is essentially a textbook look, a very modern and dare I say it, ‘cool’ edge. Now, this is by no means the only way in which you can style these pieces. Velvet is an obvious winner for winter – I can see the mules looking so chic paired with cropped tuxedo trousers, a simple tee and a blazer. The shirt to me is crying out to be paired with leather – a slinky pencil skirt, a killer pair of leather leggings or a classic biker jacket slung over the shoulders. On the other hand, the shirt would be a great addition to a classic workwear wardrobe.

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul - The Massimo Edit | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Stand Out Pieces

Being only August (and really quite muggy) it’s still quite difficult to get a real feel of the new season. That being said, leather (in all its guises) is always a winner for trans-seasonal dressing and Massimo always excel with their offering of buttery soft bikers and swing jackets. Unfortunately, leather would have been somewhat in excess of our budget for this particular haul but do check out Massimo’s leather collection if you’re in the market for a splurge!

  • Shop New Season Leather HERE

Next Up

So, lesson officially learned…choosing an upper-level high street label for a hundred pound haul was short sighted, to say the least, and we very quickly came a cropper. So, with that in mind, we have decided that for the next haul we are going to move away from fashion and have a go with makeup. (I cannot even tell you how excited this makeup junkie is about this one)! We’ve also made plans for both an ASOS and a dedicated accessory haul. Is there anything or any particular store you would like to see? Leave me a comment below, id love to hear your suggestions.

CLICK HERE to read about our first hundred pound haul

*this post contains affiliate links* 

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Pearly Queen…One Jacket, Three Ways

I have a bit of a thing for pearls – I chose them to adorn wedding dress (quite the endorsement) and there’s just something so bloomin chic and regal about those little luminous orbs. Polished and modern yet a true classic. I’m also a jacket lover – sharp blazers, leather bombers, cropped tweed – a good jacket has the unrivaled power to up your jeans and t-shirt game in an instant. So, when I came across this pearl embellished stunner from Spanish brand Uterqüe, I was in heaven (if St Peter is truly guarding those pearly gates then I’m pretty sure he’s rocking this jacket)! I managed to sneak this little beauty through as an anniversary gift (Mr. R & I have just celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary – read about my anniversary conundrum HERE) by proudly pointing out the 100% Cotton label (that was maybe a bit of a stretch but hey, sometimes you have to get a bit ‘creative’ with your reasoning – ha)!

The jacket itself is quite a statement piece and statement pieces (often the pricey ones you really want to get your wear out of) are frequently the items in your wardrobe that see the least action. I’m always guilty of not getting enough wear out of my keys pieces as they are, by nature, so noticeable – nobody wants people to think ‘oh have they got that on again’! So, I’ve styled it up in a couple of different ways – dressed up and down to demonstrate how to get longevity out of your star buys!

The Jacket – Uterqüe

Look One

Denim jackets are a casual wardrobe staple but I think we can all agree that the heavy embellishment easily elevates this style to the next level. Here I’ve teamed it with a wide leg cropped trouser jumpsuit, heels, and my YSL Bag. Finish with a red lip and statement earrings and I think you have a suitably cool evening look with a real rock chick vibe. I can imagine wearing this out for cocktails with Mr. R!

Pearly Queen - One Jacket Three Ways | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Pearly Queen - One Jacket Three Ways | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Look Two

From Rock Chick to Princess Chic. By wearing the jacket draped over the shoulders, it takes the edge off the sweet feminine vibe of this flirty Me + Em number. I’ve styled it with my red Gianvito Rossi pumps and red lips for a more modern look and tied the pinks and blues together with this vintage clutch by McQueen. This look could easily take you out to dinner or maybe even a relaxed summer wedding!

Pearly Queen - One Jacket Three Ways | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Look Three

Such a simple look and one that takes my everyday ‘mum’ uniform to the next level. Here I’ve paired inky blue high waisted jeans with a long line tank, tan belt and white trainers for a sporty yet glam daytime look. Amping up your accessories (an armful of bangles and a cool pair of earrings go a long way) and throwing on a statement piece like this jacket can really transform your daytime style without much effort!

Pearly Queen - One Jacket Three Ways | jessicarhoades.co.uk

So there you go, three ways to wear a statement jacket. I hope you like the looks and have inspired you to try styling some of your key pieces in different ways. How do you make sure you get longevity from your star buys? I’d love to hear your tips for getting the most out of your wardrobe.

Pearly Queen - One Jacket Three Ways | jessicarhoades.co.uk

My Top 5 Holiday Must-Haves

We have just returned from our first family holiday so I thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of my summer essentials. Now, I started writing this before we actually left and now I’m back I’m of the opinion that the ultimate holiday must-have (when traveling with a 10-month-old) is as many spare pairs of hands as you can possibly get…summer hols with a baby in tow is a whole different ballgame! So, here are my top 5 holiday must-haves (for those moments where you are not sat under an umbrella with Makka Pakka and Iggle Piggle)…

My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Skin Prep 

When I was a child I would turn purple in the sun. My mum and dad both tanned easily and my brother to this day has the olive complexion of dreams! I, on the other hand, would burn (in patches – I couldn’t even turn lobster pink evenly). Things slowly improved as I got older but the Tan Accelerator by Elemis was the game changer! This product works by stimulating your skin’s natural melanin production and, (shouldn’t matter but does) smells like heaven! I use this without fail before every holiday to ensure that a. I don’t burn and b. I tan safely and evenly!

I’ve mentioned before that I am now super careful when it comes to exposing my skin to the sun and am a real stickler for SPF (check out my review of the TILI Beauty Box HERE). Nothing ages your skin quite like the sun (quite aside from the obvious health implications) and I have found Decleor’s Suncare range to be really quite excellent in prepping and soothing my skin both before and after sun exposure. The ‘Aromessence Solaire Tan Activator Face Serum’ is a beautiful face oil which preps the skin in a similar fashion to the Elemis Tan Accelerator, while the balm just melts into your fingertips on application and feels sublime after a long hard day on the beach! Call it aftersun for the dedicated skincare junkie!

You can find the Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Collection HERE

Skincare Saviours | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Shades 

We all know that the shades maketh the woman. A well-chosen pair not only adds instant glamour to pretty much any outfit but also, truth be told, hides a multitude of sins. Hangover? Insomniac baby? Headache? If eyes are windows to the soul then all of the above have the power to mist things up pretty quickly! If no eye cream on earth will save those peepers then a killer pair of shades are your best friend! My sunglass collection is actually on a list of things to share with you…there are some real corkers including a very retro heart shaped pair by Chloe! My current favourites are my trusty Rayban aviators (an absolute classic-every girl should have a pair) and a perfect pair of ‘fuck off I don’t want to talk to anyone’ tortoiseshell Prada’s!

Summer Shades | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Sun Hat 

I adore Panama hats but we have a somewhat troubled relationship. I managed to lose one over the side of a cruise ship and my husband and I fell out spectacularly on arrival at our honeymoon in Mauritius when my hat emerged, let’s just say, a little worse for wear! (I blamed him obviously). That said there a few things that can take an outfit to the next level better than a well-chosen piece of millinery! This season there has been a plethora of designs to choose from. From the classic to the outrageous – I’m in love with the sequin emblazoned floppy sun hats from Lily and Bean and the pom-pom embellished straw fedoras by Yosuzi are just sensational! As I type they have 50% off at Netaporter – I’m hovering perilously close to the buy now button!

Puerto Banus | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Swag 

Make no mistake, the year of the tassel has arrived. You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice that any fashionista worth her salt is currently to be found wandering the streets of Santorini/Marbella/Sicily (delete as appropriate) bedecked in layers of drippy beads and bangles. Tribe & Fabel make the most gorgeous pendants and the overseas market stalls are awash with brightly coloured pom-poms, tassels and shells I think the secret here is to mix it up and curate your own summer vibe. If you aren’t already then check out ‘Anna Skoog’s’ Instagram (@annamavridis) and prepare to lust after her perfect Summer Styling!

Summer Swag | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Sandles

What says ‘summer’ more than a set of prettily pedicured tootsies in a killer pair of strappy sandals? My nail polish of choice veers between hot pink and a juicy coral and the tan is obligatory! I have never enjoyed a pair of flat sandals as much as I enjoy my Jimmy Choo ‘Wyatt’s’! Black with the glitziest of gold hardware, these babies can take a look from boho to glamazon and are perfect when it’s just too hot for heels (and when you are attending a wedding at 7 months pregnant)!

I’m beginning to be of the opinion that if you are going to spend a lot of money on an item then it has to be both wearable and comfortable! As Coco Chanel said “Luxury must be comfortable otherwise it isn’t luxury”! There are so many gorgeous summer flats out there this season! I’m loving the Pom Pom styles by MABU By Maria BK and you just cannot go wrong with a classic espadrille (though as I said, I do like to see a flash of that summer pedi)! Slides are having something of a moment too. The eponymous Givenchy Slides are a no brainer (pretty sure they would be one of those life purchases) but Topshop have a great selection starting at just £19!

Summer Sandals | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

What tops your list of summer essentials? Maybe swimwear is your thing? A prettily embellished kaftan, a straw beach bag or perhaps a fully loaded Kindle and Gin’O’Clock is your idea of heaven! As always, leave me a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

 

Shopping My Wardrobe – The Accessory Edit

Having babies is an expensive business. Just as soon as you’ve forked out for the ‘big things’ (i.e. the pushchair, the car seat, the cot), then they’ve grown out of them and before you know it you’re in a costly circle of spending and desperately trying to rehouse everything that is now surplus to requirement. So, not only do we have a great big hole in the bank balance but also a house bursting with swing chairs, bedside cribs and baby gyms that our (now 9 month old) has long since outgrown.

This is a roundabout way of saying that the time of the disposable income and of treating myself (succumbing) to the odd luxury splurge are (temporarily) a thing of the past! So, my new challenge to myself is to ‘shop my wardrobe’ and uncover the lost gems that are undoubtedly lurking beneath the boxes and designer dust bags. So, without further ado, here are a few rediscoveries that I shall be attempting to insert into my new ‘mum-drobe’ (Apologies in advance for the overuse of the word ‘classic’).

The Bag – The Louis Vuitton ‘Alma’

They say you never forget your first and I can think of no reason why this shouldn’t apply just as well to handbags as to, ahem, other areas. This timeless tote probably wouldn’t be my first choice today but holds so much sentimental value as it was a gift from my mum & dad when I received my A Level results. The eponymous brown monogrammed canvas is a true classic, eschewing the ‘naff’ tag that comes with so many brand logos (Burberry still hasnt recovered)! Although this bag doesn’t see as much use as it once did I think it’s definitely still relevant to a modern mum wardrobe as it goes with pretty much anything and is surprisingly roomy – I’m pretty sure I can squeeze all the baby changing essentials in here as well as my phone/purse/keys etc. (*sidenote – the mobile phone pocket is not at all conducive to iPhones but I’m pretty sure that this must be because mine predates the whole Smartphone genre (granny alert). I can only assume that the new ones have been adapted accordingly?)

The ‘Alma’ is still available to purchase HERE for an eyewatering £1050!!!! (pretty sure we paid £450 back in the day)

Shopping My Wardrobe | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Belt – Dolce & Gabbana Gents Belt

I love a bit of menswear. Give me a pair of boyfriend jeans, a gents watch, my hubbies shirt and a pair of Gucci Loafers over a floral mini dress any day of the week! I picked up this belt during the ‘Great Dolce & Gabbana Splurge of 2004’ (more on that later) and have worn it every year, without fail since (it’s still pristine)! You would go a long way before you found a belt that looks this achingly chic with a pair of kick flares and a crisp white shirt!

This Belt is long gone but there are some amzing logo belts out there including this lustworthy Gucci Number 

Shopping My Wardrobe...The Accessory Edit

The Bling – By Malene Birger Lily Bell Necklace

I’ve mentioned before how much I love the brand By Malene Birger and I just knew when I bought this necklace that it would be one of those things that lived in my wardrobe forever! I always think it’s worth paying that little bit extra for these kinds of pieces – the ones that are really unique! Statement jewellery, like anything, has its moments in and out of the spotlight but this little number can really take an outfit from ‘meh’ to ‘scene stealer’ in an instant. I’m really excited about this rediscovery as I can stick to my mum uniform of jeans & a tee but add this necklace and a pair of heels and it immediately takes it to a whole new level! This brand is another that has skyrocketed in price since I made this purchase – another reason why it’s so exciting to delve into the archives – you never know what gems you might unearth that you would pay an arm and a leg for today!

I can’t find anything remotely similar but there are some lovely Statement Necklaces at THE OUTNET HERE

Shopping My Wardrobe...The Accessory Edit

The Beckham Acquisition

There was a time that I would covet everything and anything that was championed by the ever fabulous Mrs. Beckham.  These shades are a case in point. Does anyone remember the (oh so cool) collaboration between Victoria Beckham, Dane Bowers, and True Steppers? Yep, that was the one that was pipped to the No1spot by Sophie Ellis-Bexter’s ‘Groovejet’. In the video, VB plays a badass chick in a Matrix-style coat, an Audi convertible and ‘those’ Chanel shades! These were sold out everywhere in the UK and it was actually my grandparents who tracked them down for me in Marbella. This is what I love about these ‘stashed at the back of your wardrobe gems’ – everything comes with a story!

Find Similar HERE

Shopping My Wardrobe...The Accessory Edit

The Dolce & Gabbana Affair

The year was 2004. A new designer had just installed themselves on the front line at Puerto Banus. It was the year of Dolce & Gabbana. It was one of those collections that gave you goosebumps, where each and every item seemed to scream ‘buy me’. The look was darkly glamorous – almost goth. Think black velvets, emerald green satin, ruby red jewels and rich gold tapestry. It was a look that was luxurious, regal and so very romantic. In the years before babies and mortgages, when disposable income was just that, I splurged…and then I splurged again. That summer is a distant memory but I still have those treasured pieces and treasured they are…

The Swag…

  • Jewelled clutch bag.
  • Crystal & Leather monogrammed cuff.
  • Leather & Chain monogrammed belt
  • Tusk pendant necklace.

I believe there was also a pair of jeans in this haul which (if I still owned them) I’m pretty sure wouldn’t go over my knees! That people is why, if you’re going to lose all sense of practicality and responsibility, you should do so in the accessory department only!

Shopping My Wardrobe...The Accessory Edit

Shopping My Wardrobe...The Accessory Edit

I hope this has encouraged you to revisit items in your own wardrobe you may have stashed and try mixing them up with a few newer pieces. We all have things that we hang on to because we either paid a lot of money for them or simply because we love them. why not have a rummage, pull out a handful of long-forgotten items and see if you can give them a new lease of life. If your anything like me and need to save a few pennies then it’s a very interesting and worthwhile exercise in self-restraint and imagination!

The Hundred Pound Haul

The Premise

Feeling a bit disillusioned with the process of updating her wardrobe for summer, my mum came up with the (quite frankly genius) idea of the hundred pound haul. Let me explain. Five, time poor, fashion savvy girls are challenged to spend one hundred pounds in a designated high street store with the goal of creating stylish new looks! All items purchased must work in at least TWO ways with current wardrobe staples. Once the mission is complete we all meet up, present our wares, drink Prosecco and hopefully learn a little something from each other’s choices.

Planning The Hundred Pound Haul

The Store

Marks and Spencer, no longer the sartorial home of your gran or a one stop shop for  Percy Pigs, is having something of a fashion moment. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wary of the fit of trousers and jeans in particular but for pretty summer tops and accessories you really can’t go far wrong.

The Meet Up

We really weren’t sure how this was going to work in practice – did we need to show the complete look or could we simply talk the others through it? What would happen if we all ended up buying the same items (believe me it wouldn’t be the first time). Would we get sidetracked and end up 5 hours later ordering Chinese in a prosecco coma? Nope, it worked a dream – so much so that we’re going to try and make it a bi-monthly event! We chatted, asked questions and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one that left with some great styling tips that would otherwise never have occured to me and there are at least two new pieces on my wish list. On this occasion, I’ve focused on the pieces that I personally chose but I can feature everyone’s choices next time if that’s something people would like to see.

The Haul

I’ll admit, I didn’t put 100% effort into thinking up and planning my haul – I just kind of went with my gut and purchased things that appealed on first sight. Next time I promise I’ll put more thought in but without further ado, here are my picks…

Embroidered Off Shoulder Top

The Hundred Pound Haul | Marks and Spencer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

I had been on the lookout for a summery off shoulder top to pair with jeans or white shorts on holiday and this really fit the bill. I loved the‘Riviera’ blue stripe with the contrasting red embroidery. On the downside, its a little short in the body and I fear it may make a bit of a shelf out of my gargantuan, breastfeeding boobs! Hopefully, I can minimise this with my favourite ‘le tuck’ technique (aka tucking the front of your top into your jeans or shorts) as the top itself is a bit of a winner.

Find it online HERE

Bee Print Split Shirt

The Hundred Pound Haul | Marks and Spencer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Hundred Pound Haul | Marks and Spencer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

I was a little torn with this one. As much as I loved the print (shocking as print usually scares the heck out of me) I wasn’t overly convinced that I could pull off the longer length without looking a bit mumsy. Yet, the fit is so on point and the fact that you can tie the shirt at the front really modernises the shape. The sleeves are such a good length which, for me, is always a big bugbear with most of the M&S offering and the fit over my bust is perfect. I’m intending to wear this over a bikini on my more glamorous days or knotted with a pair of white shorts and my Panama for shopping trips (and a few cheeky cocktails).

This seems to have sold out online but they have other styles in this print HERE

Biker Skinny Leg Trousers

The Hundred Pound Haul | Marks and Spencer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

I’m still umming and ahhing about these. I love the idea and they remind me somewhat of the ‘J Brand Houlihans’ which incidentally, I threw out for being far too big (and then I got pregnant and now nothing is too big)! I digress. In my head, these look great with both heels or trainers, my ‘Me & Em’ Blazer and a plain white tee but I’m still on the fence about whether they’re actually that flattering on the hip area.

Find these online HERE

Drawstring Detail Sweater

Drawstring Detail Round Neck Jumper |The Hundred Pound Haul| Marks and Spencer | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The wild card. I bought this because I quite literally had no simple sweaters just to pull on with jeans – my post pregnancy wardrobe clearout was quite severe and I’m pretty much having to start from scratch. I was quite surprised by how much I liked this given my relative ambivalence. The ties are just enough of a nod to the whole statement sleeve trend without being obtrusive and getting in the way while you’re trying to eat.

Find It online HERE

Ideas I’ll be pinching

  1. Pure Cotton Striped Short Sleeve Shell Top. Find it online HERE
  2. Pure Cotton Poplin Ruffle Sleeveless Blouse. Find it online HERE

Both remind me of one of my favourite brands, By Malene Birger. She makes beautiful (but pricey) summer tops with a twist and these are just so perfect – ideal to style up with cut off denim or white shorts.

So there you have it, the inaugural hundred pound haul. Leave a comment if there’s any particular store you would like us to focus on or maybe you would like to see hauls of specific items or targeted at particular events? Let me know and I’ll do my best to make it happen.   http://convertalinktest.awin.com

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