CSSB: Floaty Over-Shirt

This floaty over-shirt was just waiting for me in a charity shop in Preston, just before I went away on holiday with my husband. I picked it up, because I thought it might look smart for going out to dinner with a black spaghetti strap top underneath it. I am glad to say, I was right.

For our holiday, we went camping to Cornwall and the weather verged between black clouds and rain, and hot sultry hazy days. The only thing they all had in common was the humidity. So when it came time to go out for dinner, things had to be light and cool, even late at night.

We went to Tintagel, which was beautiful and filled with gorgeous pubs. This meant I wanted to dress nicely, because it was my holiday and I so rarely get to go on ‘dates’ with my husband, but also I didn’t want to OVER dress. Because, y’know, that’s embarrassing as all hell, when you stick out amongst the jeans and jerseys.



BRAND: Marks and Spencers Autograph


This lovely floaty over-shirt allowed me to strike the right balance. The colours are gorgeous, just the right ones to suit me, red and rich plum colours, trimmed with black. There is a little tie just under the bosom, which gives the top a little shape without it being too close fitting. The long sleeves and the handkerchief hem is light and gives it a little bit more shape.


I particularly love the sleeves on this top, they are light and have a nice bit of detailed pattern on them, but they aren’t too fixed in shape. This means that the underarms aren’t tightly fitted, which allows a little more freedom, and in hot weather allows a little more ventilation, and cuts down on that uncomfortable sweaty feeling!

I’ve had a few tops made out of this sort of synthetic material, and the tight fitting under the arms has been a big problem with some of them. This sort of thin material very rarely has elastic build into it, it’s often pretty rigid along the seams. This top with the short, loose sleeves has been more comfortable than the long sleeved ones I’ve had previously.

For £1, this was an absolutely bargain. Marks and Spencers are rarely a disappointment, and this has been a great choice. It’s strange to think that this might be sold for as much as £15-£20 … I’m not sure I would ever pay that much, but for £1 this was a nice little purchase.

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CSSB: Kitten Heeled Black Shoes

Following on from the little black dress, it’s time to look at the little black shoes.

I have a couple of pairs of black shoes, but I picked up these in January to go to a formal (black tie and party gown!) event with work, and I needed something I could walk in and wear for a whole evening. I found these at the Cancer Research Campaign shop, and they were just £1.99! I think they were clearing out their stock of party shoes, just after Christmas.

Finding these was a stroke of luck on many levels. One, I’m a size 6.5, and finding half sizes in second hand shops is a massive improbability at the best of times.

Second, they were practially new! The tread was unworn on both the heels and soles, and the print on the inlay was unworn. Second hand new shoes is one thing, second hand NEW shoes? That’s unheard of!

Third, just look at them…


Aren’t they just divine? Simple, elegant, not too over-blinged but with a narrow patent strap across the front to add a little extra detail. The toes are narrow, but rounded, so a little more gentle on the tootsies.


Now, normally, I hate little narrow heels. But these were just so comfortable, that I had to give them a shot. The heel isn’t too high, there’s a low enough centre of gravity that I can still walk in them without crippling myself. Sure, it’s narrow, but it is still pretty sturdy for all that.

And last but not least, check out the brand:



BRAND: Footglove (Marks and Spencers)

PRICE: £1.99

I adore footglove. I have more than one pair of this brand, they are simply divine. They have moulded soles, which fit to the shape of your feet, filling out the curve under the arch of your feet. These are, without doubt, among the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.

I am seriously considering never buying another brand of high heels again. These are just so lovely. If I could change one thing about them, it would be that they have this velveteen exterior, which does take a bit of a battering sometimes, when I pack them or wear them for a long period of time.

Guess it’s just lucky that they’re black, so the scuffs don’t show!



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CSSB: Black and Pink Pinstriped Jacket

Wow, I am on a role with jackets recently, and this black and pink pinstriped jacket is going to be a favourite for sometime to come. For starters, it matches exactly with the purple lace top I reviewed a few weeks ago!

I love the dash of colour in this one. The b


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BRAND: Marks and Spencers – Per Una

PRICE: £7.99

Just £7.99, when they can cost as much as £59 new in the store! The light doesn’t really do it justice in this photo, but the jacket is striped in the same shade of pink as the lining! How’s that for daring!

Marks and Spencers became a by-word for ‘frumpy’ a few years ago, but I absolutely adore every second hand piece I’ve picked up from their collections. I am developing a special liking for the Per Una brand especially, which always seems to be a touch more feminine than the standard Marks and Spencer label. This colour was just too perfect to ignore.

They’ve also done something really cool under the collar. Check this out:

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What a cutesy little print! Just hidden away from general view, but there all the same.

This jacket is so comfortable to wear. In the past, I’ve stuck to Dorothy Perkins for jackets, I bought 2-3 on their store card when I was teacher training so that I had things to wear for interviews, but they never quite sat right. They were tight around the shoulders, wrinkled around the bosom, and even though the fastening at the waist was trim, the general effect made me feel a bit like a sack of spuds.

Not so with this beautiful pinstriped jacket – this fits like a glove. The sleeves are the right length, the shoulders drape well and the clasp at the front makes my waist look absolutely tiny!

I really look forward to wearing this. As well as the purple top, this will go spectacularly with my black basic business dress, adding just that touch of colour while still being formal enough for a conference or regional/national meeting.

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CSSB: Cream Linen Jacket

Welcome back to CSSB and this week’s bargain is a brilliant one, a fantastic cream linen jacket from Marks and Spencers.

What makes this one particularly special is that it was bought in a charity shop, but it still had the original tags on!  I love finding bargains like this, things that people have given away without even wearing them once. It’s as good as finding them in the original shop, but you only pay a fraction of the price.

I love wearing jackets, but a linen jacket has been something I been looking for since forever. I have a lovely white dress with a red print flower pattern which would look great for business meetings if only I could pair it up with the right jacket and this one looks fabulous.

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BRAND: Marks and Spencers

PRICE: £4.99

(Original Tag Price: £35)


I love the cut of this jacket. The long lapels, the cluster of little buttons at the front and the curved edges at the bottom of the panels all make it look like a really elegant piece.  I love the lining too – understated but with a touch of personality with the discreet diamond pattern.

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As well as the white dress, I can see this becoming a really versatile piece alongside a pair of white linen-mix trousers that I picked up from Matalan last summer in their sale. They didn’t fit comfortably then, but one year on and a little weight lost and they sit beautifully on my hips. I look forward to trying these out together.

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