Sunday, 21 December 2014

How to shop the Next sale

Queuing outside in the rain in the early hours of the morning is probably how most people view the Next sale. Each year the daily mail relish in photographing sale highlights of which you can guarantee the Next sale will take centre stage as prams are piled high with discount baby clothes and men stand guard over their partners hauls. It's all a bit bonkers.
Above: Bonkers
Of course, should you wish to join the masses and make front page you're more than welcome, however should you wish to be a sane human being then I feel that my tried and tested method is considerably more suitable. I've lost count how many years I've been shopping the Next sale; it's now 
somewhat of a Christmas tradition. You can keep your carol singing and mince pie- I'm off to Next!
In the name of research I have just rummaged through my obscenely full wardrobe (four tops one hanger) to highlight/ show off my Next sale skillz. At the moment I have 22 Next sale items in my wardrobe not including items packed away for summer or shoes, underwear and accessories as I'm too lazy to count them. This includes four blouses, three pairs of fleecy pyjamas, two coats and a very glitzy vest top. While this figure is not that extortionate it is wearable; throughout the year I have worn all of these items as opposed to hoarding 'bargains'.

The following tips are by no means fool-proof, if they were I'd most likely be some sort of sale guru with a book deal and a biannual conference spot at an event in Miami. As it is I'm just a girl who likes to go shopping with her mum and get a wardrobe that only looks like it cost the earth.

Like anything worth doing preparation is key. I'm one of those obsessive types who is constantly checking the new in sections of websites, Next admittedly makes this harder for you as they don't seem to appreciate this. Next if you're reading this, give a girl a break and put all your new in products on one easy to read page- searching through the different categories for this information irritates me to no end. 
Try and compile a hit list either in your head or on Pinterest which is made for mental shopping. This may seem obsessive but if you know what the items are just from the print or colour you are already miles ahead of Lindsay who is slowly being overwhelmed by choice.
If in doubt you can't go wrong with a next directory and post it notes. It's literally hours of fun. 
Also try to familiarise yourself with the product. Dressing rooms won't be open on the Next sale days and nobody wants to be the person trying on in the middle of a busy store. If you know what size you are in Next garments it makes things ten times easier.  

I mean this in the nicest way possible of course. I just fail to see why you would feel the need to spend the early hours of Boxing Day morning queueing. If I remember correctly there's this little thing called the Internet where you can access the Next sale from the comfort of your bed. Use it. It may change your life.
Typically I get to Next around 9ish (that's a Stanley Family lie in) and yes there are still clothes there. Proof that there is no need what so ever to be so impatient. Experiment with the new hair gadget your Grandparents got you, bake cookies, send cookies to me or just sleep. Anything but queue.

For some reason sales freak people out. I have friends who actively avoid sales. So much so that if a shop has a sale on they will run straight to the tiny corner of non-sale stock as if the rest of the shop is red hot lava. Madness. If this strikes some similarities with your own shopping habits then fear not I'm hear to help. A bit of mess should not put you off shopping- I'm pretty sure it bares a striking resemblance to your bedroom floor anyway.
If you've done your research shopping in the Next sale shouldn't be overwhelming. I personally like to treat it as a test because I have an unhealthy competitive nature. I race getting off trains and also when shopping. Sorry to keep going on about Lindsay but she is going down. You got this. 

Okay so you have a bag full of goodies and Lindsay is rocking herself in a corner. You are a winner... well almost. Its time to get organised. Amateurs at this point would go straight to the till and pay, but you my friend are not an amateur. Instead you are going to find a quiet area and go through your items. Evaluate wear-ability. Anything gold lame is a no. Same goes for scarily high heels. You're not going to wear them so you're not going to pay for them, yes? While I fully believe sales are a great way to experiment with your style you need to have some boundaries or we'd all look like an Absolutely Fabulous reject.
Don't be afraid to return clothes if when you try them on they are not what you expected. It scares me how often people don't return clothes, go in your pyjamas if your that lazy. I don't know about you but I'd rather use the money from the top that makes me look like a blueberry to buy a skirt that makes my bum look insanely good.To me that's fashion maths. 

While these tips aren't exactly perfect I hope they help on some level. let me know if you go to the Next sale on Boxing day and how you get on. Did you beat Lindsay?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Blue (Da Ba Dee)

As you can probably guess from the sunny weather, these photos were taken earlier in the month when that big ball of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields (ta wikipedia for the intellect) was still gracing us with its presence. However, my impending trip to Portugal has placed me firmly in holiday mode and as such left me longing to ditch the coats and cardigans in favour of summer dresses and sandals.

Dress: Monsoon, Sandals: Next, Bag: Cambridge Satchel, Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta at TK Maxx

As much as I love my Cambridge Satchel, it does require an awful lot of packing planning for someone who doesn't lean towards minimalistic tendencies. A small purse, lipstick, phone and keys fit perfectly; a kitchen sink not so much. 

Just days after my Cambridge Satchel landed on my doorstep and I realised that my current purse was far too hefty to fit, I spotted this mini miracle in TK Maxx. Rose gold leather and stripes?! Sometimes I do wonder if TK Maxx dabbles in telepathy. I also picked up a Hello Kitty for Liberty Kindle holder so I'm 99.9% sure that I already know the answer to that.

Finally does anyone have any thoughts on bare nails? Recently I've found myself rejecting the polish in favour of the natural look but I'm not sure if it's lazy or chic. 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Food Glorious Food!

My August Bank Holiday weekend consisted of food, food and- you've guessed it- food. This wasn't just pigging out in front of 'Say Yes to the Dress' (I can't recommend this programme enough) but venturing into my home town of Bolton to their annual food and drink festival. A weekend spent feasting on stonebaked pizzas, churros and sloppy joe rendang is bound to be good but when coupled with street musicians and sunny weather (we'll just ignore Monday's downpour, shall we?) you've got a great Bank Holiday weekend on your hands. Fingers crossed I make it back next year to sample all the food that didn't make it into my stomach!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

I'm spinning around


jacket and skirt: Zara / top: Marks and Spencer / shoes: Next

Does anyone else remember the Aswirl Twins who were on America's Next Top Model? Nope? Just me then... The twins 'job' (note the punctuation) on the show was to teach the girls how to twirl, although between you and me none of them managed the exuberant twirls I've achieving above. It's only a matter of time before Tyra is calling me up to pass on my twirling wisdom; a gift this good demands to be shared. 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Her name was Lola



jacket: Oasis / top: Wallis / jeans: Next / heels: Asos / jewellery: Accessorize and Warehouse / bag: Cambridge Satchel Company

For some reason when I woke up this morning I decided to dress as if I was heading to Copacabana beach and not to Asda. I'd like to say I lingered by the pineapples and coconuts for longer than necessary to compensate but I got distracted by chocolate fingers being on offer (£1!). I'll try better next time I promise.

P.S. You can send feedback on the photos to my mum who decide that 'wonky' was artistic... David Bailey is so last year darling!

P.P.S. 10 points if you spot the photo that isn't co-operating with my organisation. I'll start a league table if this becomes a frequent event.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Under my umbrella

dress: Next, shirt: Oasis
Having umbrellas on my dress is probably tempting fate given the glorious weather we've been having recently but I don't care. Bad omens aside, it's just too pretty a pattern not to wear. 

P.S. I apologise profusely for the torrential rain that will undoubtably occur as soon as I publish this post.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

I don't believe it!

Top: Next, jeans: Marks and Spencer, necklace: Accessorize

I don't mean to boast, but when I'm not dressing like a french stereotype I have exceedingly good shopping fortune. Take these jeans for instance, guess how much- go on, I dare you... 

Whatever your guess  I bet on my newly acquired Ted Baker clutch bag that  £3.99 was not your answer (had I not been the one to purchase said jeans it certainly wouldn't have been my guess). Therefore this post goes out to M&S for not only supplying me with Percy Pigs but also offering ridiculously good sale discounts. Did I mention they were £3.99? Bananas. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Bag Lady

Jumper and jeans: Limited Collection at Marks and Spencer, bag: TK Maxx, necklace: Next
In about 4 weeks I will have reached the end of my university degree; the end of all assignments, all exams and carrying this bag everywhere. I bought this bag in my first year of university and since then its stood me well, coping with the weight of my laptop, notes and my lipgloss collection for four years. I think both my arm and the bag straps will welcome retirement though as I'm pretty sure some weightlifters have got nothing on me and my revision material.