Tag Archives: Debenhams

When I Grow Up

It’s Sunday again, officially the start of the week, to me it represents the end of the weekend, kids go back to school, Geordie goes back to work and I go back to well….writing the blog! I’m definitely ready to go back to work now and my baby is ready to join nursery. I’ve been very lucky and managed to have 16 months off work from just before my youngest was born, although surviving on one wage has been a real challenge.

When I was 5 my primary teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I know this because I still have my work book from Mrs Gallagher’s class of ’88 and look at it now and then to critique my hand writing. I answered the question and drew accompanying illustrations of my career aspirations; a hairdresser, a nurse or a waitress. When I ask my little one the same question now her answers are teacher, shop keeper or hairdresser, what is it about lopping off other people’s hair that we find so attractive? Weird.

I’m asking myself that same question again now (for those trying to do the maths that 25 years later) I have had a lot of jobs over the last 13 years. I started my journey into the world of paid employment aged 17 for the local police authority, within four months I was greedy for the money and went from 2 hours a day after college to 40 hours a week and spending my wages within minutes of them hitting my bank account. I’ve just made a quick list and to date I have fulfilled the following roles;

Cleaner, catering assistant, telephonist, receptionist, sales assistant, project manager, administrator, office manager, estate manager, PA and Mum. I can honestly say that working as a hospital ward cleaner was easily the worst to bear. My favourite role so far was working for Puma, however that was purely down to working with an amazing retail manager and a fab bunch of people who made every shift comical.

If I was starting all over again and about to embark on my first foray into the world of work (providing I could find a job in the current economic climate) what would I want to do? Well ideally I’d like to be a published writer sitting day after day in my studio typing my next best-seller, although I think I would really miss having company. Maybe publishing? I could while away the hours reading manuscripts and losing myself plots and characters until 5pm on weekdays very easily, now that sounds like the job for me. Another variation on the books/reading theme would be a librarian but I think with a mouth as big as mine and with such a love of talking I would be getting my p45 quicker than I anticipated! I know I’ll have to grow up properly at some point and most likely stick to a job that I don’t really like but pays the bills and means we can go on holiday, however I’m hoping to knock out a best-seller before I succumb to that fate.

Have you ever known anyone who moans about not having to go to work? I know its absurd isn’t it? Well I will make you this promise, when I go back to work in the New Year I will not dare to moan even once about how long the hours are or how the daily commute is hell or how that woman in HR has definitely got it in for me. Nope not once. Promise.

NaBloPoMo

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The Saturday Strop

I love being a mum, I love seeing my children playing together, laughing and ultimately fighting and pulling each others hair. My girls are still relatively young and we’ve not yet reached the demanding teenage years, although my eldest is doing her best to keep up with the big girls already! She is now forming opinions about what she does and doesn’t want to wear, and how such and such at school has just got the new Lelli Kelly’s to wear with her school Summer uniform and can we buy some? I wrote a blog not long ago about how the kids of today are so much more fashion conscious than I ever was aged 6, you can read it here

Not long after my eldest daughter was born we were photographed for the local newspaper for a shopping feature. That year I went a bit mad when I found out I was having a girl and literally blew the top off my credit and store cards. The Next sale has an awful lot to answer for as their Summer sale happens just weeks before my girls birthdays every year and I considered it a crime to not kit them out for another 12 months. I suppose you have to admit you have a problem when it makes the local news eh? You wont be surprised to learn that it was this attitude that ultimately got me into a lot of trouble financially, but that blog will take some serious thought before I make it public.

One thing I absolutely abhor about shopping with children is that the kids department is always on the top floor of most high street stores. In Liverpool city centre alone I can name and shame the following: Clarks, H&M, Boots, Primark, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams. Even my love of Next’s children’s wear has taken a beating as their kids section is in the basement, yet another lift ride to endure before being able to flash the cash. On behalf of all parents out there struggling to get through a Saturday shopping trip without having a complete meltdown, thank you for adding the saga of store lifts to our worn patience. Anyone else noticed that you end up doing at least two full circuits of all floors before reaching your destination as perfectly able-bodied, child-free people insist on clogging up the lifts despite there being copious amounts of stairs and escalators at their convenience! Arghh, it’s making me angry just writing about it. We all know that kids fashion is never going to be conveniently situated on the ground floor as it doesn’t entice enough impulse buyers, but thank the lord for the likes of Mothercare who are understandably market leaders in child friendly stores. To be fair though the Liverpool city centre store is split over two floors with no lift, but the staff are extremely helpful and I’ve witnessed them carrying many a buggy up the short flight of stairs.

Fortunately the team at the Liverpool One complex has begun to make small efforts toward enhancing family shopping. I have seen staff now casually watching the public lifts and ensuring they are available for people with prams and wheelchairs, rather than those who can easily use the near by escalators and stairs. I understand that this can be a particularly difficult thing to judge, as not everyone has a visible disability, but so far so good.

So to all the parents who can identify with this frustration, if we pool what little patience we have left maybe one of two of us could enjoy a stroll around the shops at the weekend. Failing that accept every babysitting opportunity from anyone daft enough to offer and shop like there’s no tomorrow.

Happy Shopping!

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Hey Good Lookin’

I’ve been thinking about writing an article about my other half for a while and its only the worry of publicly mocking his dress sense that has stopped me. I realised that he gets far more stick on Facebook from his work mates than I could ever inflict on him using fancy words, so here it goes.

The first time I met my bloke he was wearing Gap jeans, a Haynes Manual Ford Cortina t-shirt and Fred Perry pumps, all fairly casual, standard items for a 29-year-old guy. I knew he had potential to pull off a range of looks, he’s tall, broad-shouldered and stuck in the 90’s so there was definitely room for improvement. It’s only fair to detail what I was wearing at our first meeting too, Gap Pinstripe Shell top, River Island cropped jeans and Irregular Choice shoes. I could have been more conservative but you only get once chance at a first impression and I thought I’d make a statement, you can probably tell that we’re complete opposites already?

The natural progression for fashion-shy boy meets switched-on girl is that she moulds him into a socially acceptable dresser and broadens his fashion horizons by introducing smart casual garments into his collection of footy shirts and jeans. Also you’d expect that someone with a passion for all things trendy would be in her element starting out with a fresh canvas, however my husband is rather stubborn and the last three years have been something of a battle. If you stopped him in the street and asked him ‘Who’ he was wearing I’m pretty sure he would think you were a pervert.

My bloke likes to wear what he calls ‘manly’ clothes. He’s not into knitwear, suit jackets (when not wearing a suit) or shoes that are anything other than Timberland boots, Onitsuka Tiger Trainers or Dune brogues. Not a bad start really as I’ve never been attracted to guys who take longer than me to get ready for a date. But when sportswear is the ONLY option he resembles a P.E teacher rather than sexy jock. Same goes for trousers really, Gap jeans or combats have been his only casual wear until we reluctantly tiptoed into Next and purchased a pair of sand colour chino’s that definitely didn’t make him look like a JLS wannabe. Clothes shopping with him is like dragging Horrid Henry around Debenhams, you know it’s going to end with someone being in a huff and a Costa Coffee to clear the air.

We were on a roll, a couple of plain white versatile t’s followed, and god forbid, a pair of navy blue espadrilles that he’s had to wear around the house a few times to get used to. Now that I have endured half a dozen of these courageous shopping trips I think I have nailed the approach and can get him to wear a plethora of more stylish items, it’s all about confidence. It’s not really about copying the mannequin in the Zara store window, or forwarding him the trend report emails from ASOS menswear as a hint, it’s simply about making him feel confident in the clothes he wears….. Albeit in slightly more interesting ensembles than a 1997 football hooligan.

What’s so infuriating about this whole situation is that he looks good in everything, I’m not just saying that. I’m very lucky to have a good-looking guy for a husband and I’m well aware of that, but its kind of taken the fun out of watching the metamorphosis from a 1990’s country bumpkin into an on-trend, passionate dresser. I’ve accepted the fact that it’s going to be a long process and that I should carry on bin bagging the washed out and misshapen Superdry t-shirts when he’s at work and replace them with Zara fine knit jumpers. Hope he doesn’t read this!

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The Wild Card

I knew this would happen…..all the way to Debenhams for the beautiful J by Jasper Conran orange flared edge shift that has dominated my thoughts for weeks only to find that it is now sold out. Lesson one in shopping, if you like it buy it right there, right then. I have returned home to glare at my navy embellished neckline shift dress with pure contempt, as if it has somehow secretly corresponded with the buyer at Debenhams to make sure that the superior orange dress would no longer be available, despite the fact that up until a fortnight ago I was head over heels in love with it for its simple class.

Image 4 of ASOS Shift Dress with Laser Cut Overlay

So here is the wild card from the online shopping mecca that is ASOS. Layered shift dress, crafted in a structured wool-blend fabric with a bright contrast underlay. Featuring a high round neckline, sleeveless styling with raglan panelling, an all-over laser cut design with a scalloped hem and contrast underlay, and a concealed zip closure to the reverse. Designed with a classic short shift cut.

What do you think? Answers below please x

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One Store, One Life

If you were only allowed to shop in one store for the rest of your life how difficult would it be to choose? Selecting a store that not only fits your current style and taste but one that also grow’s with you and adapts to changes in your lifestyle would for me, be top of the list right above paltry decisions such as what to name my child and ‘Do you take this man…..? I’ve pondered this question since around 6am and its taken me until now (18.41) to make a final decision. My choice would be Zara because I’m a stickler for tailoring and I love that year on year they produce quality on-trend,  seasonal fashion as well as the classics with a twist. Lets face it, according to today’s budget from a sheepish looking George Osbourne, I’m going to have to work til I die, so I may as well look good doing it, right?

I’m lucky enough I am working for Pixie Dust Merchandising next week and as I’ve been off work for 12 months I desperately need to head into the city tomorrow to buy new luggage and a capsule wardrobe for my foray back into the world of business, naturally my first port of call will be Zara. This transition has come at a bit of an awkward time, apparently it’s Spring yet the temperature here hasn’t reached bare leg status, neither can I seem to let go of my pashmina’s so I suspect I’m going to find it difficult to match my attire to the change of season. But fear not, I have just received a style email from the über chic bods at Zara who tell me that new season twill Capri pants and crochet hem shell tops are now available in store. A perfect combination teamed with a tailored blazer, pashmina and heels (emergency ballet flats in my bag ) Hallelujah!

Now all I need to do is find some stylish luggage from the high street. Hmmm not such as easy task. My options are fairly limited due to time frame and location, so House of Fraser and Debenhams are looking like my best bet. To my delight there is a stunning little silver beauty on offer from Samsonite, however the price tag is one I can ill afford until my work is complete, I will settle for the less glamorous Tripp at Debenhams version until my riches are received.

I shall report back on my shopping trip and see if my purchases match that of my virtual fancy. With a bit of luck no one will get hurt, tally Ho!

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