Saturday, 31 August 2013

McArthurGlen Designer Outlets - Ashford

The huge bags make it look like I bought a lot more than I actually did :-/

Left: Shirt from Abercrombie and Fitch (kid section). RRP £42, I paid £14.99
Right: Shirt from Ralph Lauren. RRP £80, I paid £34.99

Left: Shirt from Ralph Lauren. RRP £70, I paid £24.99
Right: Dress from French Connection. RRP £72, I paid £14

If you don't mind buying thick jumpers at the height of summer and short shorts in the dead of winter, outlet shopping might be for you. To be honest at such good prices, they are for everybody. 

Being back home from uni for the summer and for the first time having a car with me, I spent quite a bit of my time shopping. Although my bank account whimpers my wardrobe is thrilled with its new additions. First stop on my summer spree was the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford. 

Outlets by the McArthurGlen group can be found all over the UK and Europe. Whilst they offer Prada, Versace and Missoni outlets elsewhere in Europe (*wishes home was in Italy), here in the UK the brands on offer are a bit more modest, think Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger, Jaeger etc. Please note that even in the UK, the brand selection at the outlets differ. The best one in my opinion seems to be the one in Cheshire Oaks because some of the brands includes Burberry, Mulberry and Joseph. Luckily its not too far from Manchester! 

Since the last time I went to the one in Ashford, about 3/4 years ago, the outlet has massively improved. The addition of a Jaeger and Reiss outlet store made it even more necessary for me to pop down. But the most impressive thing about this outlet is that it holds Abercrombie & Fitch's first European outlet store! It may be a bit basic inside but it has the classic A&F smell.

Unfortunately, my trip to the outlet was a quick stop so I only went to those three stores, French Connection and Ralph Lauren with the latter two having a lot to offer. Here is a quick summary: Jaeger was still out of my budget, everything I liked in Reiss was not in my size and A&F had a average selection of women's shirts (I was on a shirt hunt). I wanted about £500 worth of stuff in Ralph Lauren but could afford a lot less and French Connection had an amazing selection of dresses on sale (crazy reductions eg from £140 to £30, if only I was on a dress hunt). 

The main purpose of making the drive to the outlet was to maybe one day finally wear a shirt to hospital because I just feel like people are more likely to trust a doctor in a smart shirt. So I picked up three and couldn't resist the French Connection Dress. The shirt from A&F is actually from the kid section! 

I made an overall saving of over £175.


Blue at Sea

Dress/French Connection; Sandals/Primark

I love this dress from French Connection! It is one of those things that doesn't look great on the hanger but transforms into awesomeness once tried on. Due to my body shape (God failed to give me more curves), I tend to prefer clothes that flow rather than cling and this dress does just that. 

 The best thing about this dress was the price. It was originally £72 but I got it at the French Connection outlet store at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Ashford for just £14. Bargain! Will do doing a quick post about my summer haul soon.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Last one from the Côte d'Azur

Top/Zara; Shorts/eBay; Jewellery/Primark

This is my final post on my trip to the South of France. These shorts were all over the blogosphere this summer. As much as I loved them, I wasn't keen on buying them at the Zara price so bought them on ebay for just £5. I wore them with a Zara cami that I bought the day before I flew out. 


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A walk in the park

There gets to a point when you feel a bit guilty after several days of indulgence. The Boy's friend's dad (hope that makes sense) is a chef and he didn't do my weight any favours during our visit. Imagine 2/3 course dinners every night for a week, with wine and second helpings of any of these courses upon request.

One evening, after yet another delicious meal, we decided to explore the surrounding woods.


It was great to finally be burning some calories. Whilst the boys threw rocks in an attempt to cause some sort of landslide, I dawdled aimlessly behind them. A walk is always so refreshing after a filling meal...

I let the boys lead the way, so that they could walk through any spider webs first! 

After walking along up and down hill for several kilometres along dirt paths, we finally reached the stream we could hear. Time for a quick photo op!

Sunglasses/Primark; Peplum Top/Primark; Scalloped-hem Shorts/Topshop

After an unnecessarily long discussion about the velocity of the stream (science geek alert!) with our resident engineer in training , we hopped to the other side of the stream and took the long route home...


Then ended the day with more wine and drinks at a friend's pool party. C'est la vie!


Monday, 12 August 2013


Top/Zara; Skirt/Primark; Boots/Topshop

Last week, I was in Liverpool with Frances and Laura for the get pampered event at the Met Quarter in Liverpool. Really enjoyed meeting up with the girls again, it's such fun going 'blogger' things with like minded people. The evening was fun with Prosecco (yay!), Patisserie Valerie cakes, make overs and various brands to talk to.

My top from Zara was a recent purchase from their sale for £10. I loved the unusual cut in a style I have never tried on the quite stiff material. Kept it simple with a black skirt and my Topshop boots.

Currently away in Grenada enjoying the sun and chilling on a beach somewhere.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Dipped in yellow


As much as I love the seaside and the fresh air it brings, during my trip to the South of France I preferred the option of lounging by the pool with a fully stocked fridge nearby. So in a place where everyone had a pool in their backyard with an array of delicious food and drink a few steps from my lounger, I had little urge to go to the beach. However it seemed ridiculous to be in the Riviera and not go to the beach at least once, so that's exactly what we did. 


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Travel | Photo Diary | The French Riviera

This is another one of the posts that I've been hoarding. It's a few snippets from my trip to the south of France in June...Enjoy! 


Monday, 5 August 2013

Mellow Yellow

Top/H&M; Skirt/Zara; Boots/Topshop

When I wore this to Liverpool, I didn't realise it was going to be a very hot day, so by the time I took these pictures in the late afternoon, I was melting. I bought this from a Zara summer sale about two years ago which I rarely ever wear. It's so bright and yellow is one of my least favourite colours to wear but paired with a black top and my Topshop boots, I was very comfortable wearing it. Now packing for my trip to Grenada with my family, I cannot wait to be away on a beach relaxing. Although I have final exams to tackle, so my choice of books on the beach will be legal related garb.


Saturday, 3 August 2013


I really do not know how I have never been to Liverpool in my five years living in the north. It's a city break I have always discussed with friends but we never get round to it and keep postponing it. However, after a very lovely blogger dinner with Laura from Heroine in Heels, Frances from Frances Cassandra and Rose from Ro's Tinted, Laura invited us to come with her to the Urban Decay event in Liverpool. So we headed down on the train for a day out. After a really stressful week, it was exactly what I needed. It was nice to forget about the mountain of work and pages of emails I had waiting for me in Manchester for a day. Liverpool is only about 40 mins on the train from Manchester which I did not realise and it cost about £7 to get there so it was not an expensive break. Frances also knows Liverpool very well so it was nice having her there to show us around and take in all the sights around the docks. 

First up, the Urban Decay counter at Debenhams for a blogger event to check out a new collection. Urban Decay is one brand I really wanted to try for the lipsticks and eye shadow palette. From a glance at their foundations I don't think the colours would be great for my skin tone. The event was abit confusing but we got stuck in and had our make up done. We all ended up picking the same lipstick - a dark purple shade. I forgot what it's called but I need that lipstick in my life. 

Lunch at a pretty independent teashop where we had soup and sandwiches. 

Doing what us fashion bloggers do best. Pictures on the docks. 

A beautiful city indeed. 

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