Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cropped Trousers & Footwear?

I love cropped trousers with pumps. It's a look that's smart enough for work, yet practical and easy to wear for the rest of the day. Here's my usual look...
H&M Cropped Trousers £9.99
Dune Patent Ballet Pumps - £55

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Helen in her stripes

On the stripy theme again, I'm loving this look that Helen sent me this week...
Helen's sporting a striped Warehouse top layered under a black Topshop top. Leggings (also from Topshop) and amazing LK Bennett boots, finish this look.
Helen tells me that although she got her boots in the LK Bennett sale, they were still an investment piece.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Pastels in the Garden

My almost 8 year old told me my photos are a bit boring so I challenged him to make today's pictures more interesting. So here is today's blog as directed by schoolgatestyle junior!
Long Shirt - Primark
Skinny Jeans - H&M
Black Ballet Pumps - Clarks

Sunday, 26 February 2012

And the winner is.....

In true Oscar style, it give me great pleasure to announce the winner of my February competition....LYNNE DOUGLAS! Lynne wins the February Carmine Beauty Box, which contains 5 lovely beauty products (3 of them full size). Well done Lynne and hope you enjoy your prize.
Thanks to everyone for entering and the good news is that I've got another competition starting on Wednesday with a gorgeous scarf as the prize...watch this space for more information!
Just in the door from a day out in Newcastle, Co. Down. The sun was shining and we had a picnic with our coats off. It was actually warm - in February?
Cardigan - New Look (old so linking to a similar one)
Jeans - H&M
Scarf - TK Maxx
Pale Pink Top - Gap (link to other colours)
Boots - Fly

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday Night Out

Today, the limelight goes to Claire in this gorgeous dress from Dorothy Perkins.
Dress - £38
Claire's away for a girl's weekend of chilling out and pampering. Jealous....moi?
I'm loving this VB inspired dress with pocket detail and exposed zip on the back. The necklace is also from Dorothy Perkins but no longer available online. If there's anything you fancy on the DP site, there is 25% off this weekend using code 'DPVIPH' at the checkout.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Primarni baby...

In my college days, I worked in Primark - or Primarni as it's become known in fashion circles. I worked in one of the branches in the South of Ireland and down there, it's called Penneys...could never work that one out?
My strongest memories of working there involve folding and hanging endless Ireland t-shirts with 'Give it Lash Jack' emblazoned on them. I worked during the Summer of Euro 1990 and those awful Ireland football t-shirts were our biggest seller that year!
Primark has gone from strength to strength since and I've come round to shopping there again for inexpensive tops, cardigans and scarves. Here are some recent great buys from Primark...starting with the brilliant zebra scarf. A steal at £4...


Gorgeous fine knit long cardigan with button detail - only £5!
My lucky sheer tie neck blouse - £7
Another sheer tie-neck blouse - this one in a purple paisley print £5 in the sale
Love this one - the photo doesn't do it justice
It's a lace-type top in a stone/mink colour.
Great with a white top underneath. Current stock - £6
So Primark is my recommendation for today's Frugal Friday post. f you've not been in recently, I recommend a visit. I promise it won't break the bank. :) 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Thursday's Wish List - ASOS

Those of you who read regularly will know I'm a big ASOS fan. In my opinion, it's the best online clothing site out there. It combines a range of well known brands like Warehouse, French Connection and Oasis with its own ASOS brand, then adds in free delivery, free returns and a price range to suit all pockets...what more can a girl want! 
Here are my current picks from the ASOS website...
French Connection Kick Flare Trousers - £47
Leather Ankle Boots with Zip Detail - £55
Oasis Heart Print top - £35
Emily & Fin Floral Dress - £30
I would wear this over jeans rather than as a dress - such a lovely print!
ASOS Patent Loafer £38

French Connection Jersey Top - £38
Looks plain from the front but has a gorgeous twisted detail on the back

ASOS Tailored Cropped Trousers - £30

Yumi Printed Mac - £35




Have a great day everyone :)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Dyeing for Black Jeans

What's a girl to do with nice jeans that have faded a bit about the knee? I have two pairs of dark blue skinnies that I don't wear anymore. Meanwhile, I'd been looking for a pair of black skinny jeans. The lightbulb moment happened when I spied clothing dye in the shops the other day.
It took three cycles of the washing machine (don't tell DH!) and one box of black dye and what did I end up with....dark navy jeans. It could only happen to me!
Despite the lack of blackness, I'm wearing them today with my black ankle boots, long black cardigan and my now famous Tesco top!


On a more successful front, I received my February Glossy Box yesterday. It was a lovely selection this month and I'm looking forward to using it all...
Bare Minerals Eyeshadow
DuWop Venom Lip Gloss - powerful stuff!
Dr Bronner Organic Hand Sanitizer
Paul Mitchell Smoothing Serum
Posh Shower Gel
Don't forget, I'm giving away a Carmine Beauty Box in this month's competition. Get your entry in before midnight on Saturday 25th February. I'll announce the winner on Sunday :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Teaching them young!

My 3 year olds are definitely following in Mummy's footsteps - they comment on my outfits, play with my make-up and take a great interest in what they wear themselves each day. So today, I decided to employ them productively and get them to take my photo and if I do say so myself, I think they did a great job!
I'm back in the bootlegs today, these ones are from Levi's and are super comfortable but no longer available in this style, more's the pity. I don't find Levi's new range of Curve ID jeans as good a fit on me unfortunately.
Wearing with a cowl neck Yaya Collection jersey tunic from a local boutique. As a pear-shape, I find shorter tops ride up on me, so I'm always on the look-out for good quality, longer line tops and this Dutch brand has a lovely selection in neutral colours. Longer tops are a great year-round multi-tasker as they can be worn with skinny/bootleg jeans when it's cooler and with linen trousers/leggings during the Summer.
I've layered the tunic with a long sleeved white top from H&M - no wardrobe is complete without some good quality white tops for layering. 
The scarf was a gift from my godson - it's from River Island and is one of my favourite scarves.


Off for some pampering today with my Valentine's facial voucher so you're not getting to see my pasty face this morning. It's been over 4 years since I had a proper facial so I'm very excited! Talk tomorrow :)

Monday, 20 February 2012

A Celebrity Look for the School Run

It gives me great pleasure to step away from the camera today and share a photo of one of my friends, Helen. 
A big fan of Zara, Helen always looks on-trend when I meet her. With amazing legs, she can get away with pretty much anything but she totally rocks the skinnies/hightop/blazer look and here's the proof:
Helen's new jeans are from Zara, her navy blazer is also from Zara and her favourite grey t-shirt is from Topshop. Converse from Office
It's such a youthful look and Helen wears it well. It reminds me of some of the celebrity mum 'pap' photos you see online...
Gwyneth Paltrow - accessorised by Tesco :)
Ultimate School Gate Mummy - Elle Macpherson
Imagine getting papped every day on your school run! There are thousands of photos of these two just leaving & collecting their kids. Some pressure to be under every day. Though, with a celebrity look like that, I'll be up early with my camera papping Helen for School Gate Style if she's not careful!
Have a great Monday :)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Stripes for Sunday

Today we had a rare treat - Sunday lunch in The Potted Hen, Belfast. Such a gorgeous day so it was a pleasure to stroll around St Anne's Square and up to Victoria Square for the Craft Fayre.
I love all things stripy....so today I wore a bright striped scarf, along with coloured jeans, my new ankle boots and a grey mac. It was so cold today, despite the sunshine, so what you can't see are all the layers underneath the mac, including my ASOS Blazer!
Scarf - H&M £7.99
Coloured Jeans - Tesco
Ankle Boots - Dunnes
Grey Mac - Topshop past season
Clutch - TK Maxx past season
Claire is in her stripes today also...loving this red & white jumper from Kookai which Claire tells me she paid £3.50 for in a charity shop! I'm not a skirt wearer so great to be able to share a skirt photos for those of you who are.  
Pumps - Zalando
 Here are some more stripes from the High Street that I've got my eyes on...
Warehouse - £35
Dorothy Perkins - £25
Boden Breton Top - £25
Have a great Sunday, see you all tomorrow :)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday Night Out

The most exciting thing about this week's Saturday going out outfit is that this week, I actually AM going out!! To a trendy pub! The other notable thing about my night out is that it's a 30th birthday...yes, 30! Someone unrelated to me and almost a decade younger, wants me to party with them. Love you Lucie :) This is what I'm wearing...
Dress - River Island £15 (still showing as £25 online)
This is a taupe/mink River Island dress in a gorgeous silky material. I love the detail on it, from the frill around the shoulders to the waistband and the exposed zip on the back...
Shoe Boots & Tights - M&S
It was reduced to £15 in the last of the sale so that made up my mind! 
To glam up my look, I have painted my nails in No.7 Beanie - a lovely taupe shade...
Also, this Saturday, and on the taupe/grey theme Claire sent me another Saturday night outfit. Loving this tunic with the skinny jeans and toe-out shoes. Looking good girl!
Tunic - Warehouse, Shoes - Similar from Office
Finally today, I got a tip from a friend about one of the Maybelline Foundations. She was using it yesterday and let me try some - I was really impressed so bought it today. Nice to apply and has a lovely texture..here it is..
Maybelline The Eraser Foundation - £10
I promise it wasn't just the 'instant anti-age' line that sold it :). I love the sponge applicator and the colour & texture. Perfect for those busy mornings when you have to do your makeup on the run.
Hope you all have a lovely Saturday night, whatever you do. Tomorrow's going to be a stripy Sunday so send links or pictures of your stripy favourites to schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk :)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Half Term Style

No mad rushing about today as the kids are off school. It's lovely not to have to be out the door at 8.30am. Instead, everyone gets into Mum & Dad's bed for stories and toast. I always remind myself to make the most of these special moments. Puts everything into perspective.
Today's outfit is a chilled out drape cardigan from Episode at House of Fraser (sold out - sorry!), Gap vest in a stone colour, metallic belt from Accessorize, the trusty French Connection Jeans and my Fly Vale brown wedge boots
Meanwhile, Claire sent me some pictures of her half term style.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Finally - Ankle Boots!

I've been following a thread on Mumsnet today as I've been looking everywhere for a nice shoeboot/ankle boot to wear with skinny jeans now the weather is (hopefully) warming up and the long boots are losing their appeal.
I ordered 3 pairs to be delivered and all three went back. One pair went too far up the leg, one pair was too neat and 'tottery' and the third pair was too big & wide and made my feet look like boats! 
Today, I wandered into Dunnes Stores to check out their coloured jeans and as I passed by the footwear area, I spied these <cue heavenly fanfare>

Thursday's Wish List - Topshop

Topshop is one of the few shops I can browse round with my teenage nieces and not feel my age. Yes, there's loads of on trend stuff that I can never wear (cropped tops for example!) but Topshop's got some lovely classic lines that women of any age can wear. Here are my current favourite picks:
Open stitch jumper - £36
Has an open knit stitch so would be gorgeous this summer with a white vest underneath 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Too many coats?

Some women talk about how you can never have too many shoes...or handbags. But for me, it's coats. Give me £100 to spend on one item and I'll buy a coat any day over a pair of shoes. So I'm drooling over this Marie Claire selection of the 50 Best Spring Coats and Jackets, which I picked up on a tweet. Yes, I'm now on Twitter! Follow me please :) @schoolgatestyle
But I must resist as I have some lovely Spring coats already...including this beauty from Karen Millen, bought for me by my fabulous sister-in-law last year. It's about as perfect as a trench coat can get.
Black Trousers - Warehouse
Black Boots - Carl Scarpa
Proof that you just can't beat a good coat for covering up. Doesn't really matter what you wear underneath - if you've a fab coat, you're sorted! Perfect School Gate Style :)
Trench coats are all over the high street at the moment. Here are some of my favourites...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Gorgeous Dresses & Valentines

Today, I took a walk down the Lisburn Road in Belfast for a coffee with the little ones. There's a party dress shop called Beverly Hills, right beside the coffee shop and my two girls just love stopping to see what gorgeous frocks are in the window display. Here they are picking their favourite. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree so they say!
Gilet - North Face, Jeans - H&M, Boots - Carl Scarpa, Bag - Radley
Off now to prepare for the big steak dinner that is all the husband ever wants for Valentine's day. I bought his one off, unique Valentine card for him from Ciara at Smudge Illustration,

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Fat Gherkin

Today I visited Olwyn, trendy mummy and owner of The Fat Gherkin, deli & coffee shop in Moira. We worked together many moons ago and I'm delighted for her & her hubby, that the brave move to go it alone and set up their own business, has been such a success. 
Olwyn's a busy mum of 2, running her own new business, yet still looks effortlessly stylish and is always working a current trend. She wears great colours and prints and never has a hair out of place. And now, she makes amazing coffees. Some women just have it all :)
Coloured Chinos - Primark / Cardi, Scarf, Top - January Sale Bargains
While I was there, I also met another friend, Elaine, who lives locally.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Competition Time!

February's competition has closed and our winner was Lynne Douglas - thanks to everyone for entering. There were 210 entries in total!


Watch this space for the March competition - have a fantastic prize to give away from Warehouse. Full details here on Thursday March 1st!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Saturday Night Out

When you're in casual clothes all week long, it's lovely to get dressed up to go out. No matter where I'm going I always make an effort and wear a dress. This is probably because I get out so infrequently - it's a big deal!
Today I'm sharing with you my most favourite going out dress which I bought in a sale in a small boutique in Tipperary. It's a wool shift dress, fully lined, with beautiful detailing on the shoulders and neckline. My sister, who lives locally, told me to make sure to ask for the 'recession' price and not to mind the price on the tag!  It was reduced to €60 in the sale but I had only €40 cash in my purse. So I took the plunge and asked the owner if she would she take €30 for it and we shook on €35! Result. I always wear with my 100 denier tights from M&S and my M&S Autograph Shoe boots. The link is to this year's version of the boots.
Here's a close up of the shoulder & neck detail:
I can't find anything similar to this dress online but if anyone does, please let me know in the comment box below. I did find this gorgeous ASOS dress though - a classic, flattering, LBD. ASOS are great to buy from, they accept Paypal, have fast, free delivery and free returns. And you never need leave the comfort of your home.
Claire's been in touch this week, this time with her favourite Sat Night dress. Thanks for emailing me on schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk! 
Loving this Matalan Clutch & Warehouse dress. It's now out of stock at Warehouse but they do have a great selection worth looking at and have 20% off all their dresses this weekend. Claire's shoes are from Moda in Pelle past season.


Have a great Saturday night whatever you do. Oh, and I'm running a competition tomorrow so watch for my Sunday blog for full details!

Friday, 10 February 2012

eBargains!

Well, as it's frugal Friday, I'm talking eBay today. 
But before you go 'Ewwww..second hand clothes', did you know that eBay sells lots of new items with many small boutiques and well known brands using it to sell off older stock. For instance, you'll find House of Fraser, LK Bennett, French Connection and Dune shops on eBay, to name a few-a great way to pick up something from a past season.


My best eBay purchases have been from good brands and good sellers.  If you are buying anything of value, always look for 100% positive feedback and a good record of selling on eBay.
I bought this new Orla Kiely bag on eBay at Christmas (on behalf of my sisters in law). I didn't like the current range at OK so searched on eBay where there are a number of sellers that have stock from past seasons. So this bag is an older pattern but was exactly what I was looking for and was priced about £40 less than the 2011 range:


I must of course mention the Mumsnet Scarf. These bargain Louis Vuitton copies from eBay are surprisingly cosy and come in lots of colourways. 
The Mumsnet Scarf


When bidding on an auction, think of the maximum amount you are willing to pay. Wait until 20 seconds from the end of the auction, stick that amount in and cross your fingers (reliable broadband required). That way, you'll not get into a bidding war too far in advance of the finish time, which drives prices up. Or better again, look for items that are 'Buy It Now' and you can do just that!


Here are some of my picks from eBay today....go on, spoil yourself:
Biba Multi-Coloured Abstract Top - £37.50



Linea Denim Tunic - £20


Be still my beating heart - Louboutin Beauties  £449
Zara Zipped Blazer - as worn by Kate Middleton
Ok, so the last two weren't exactly bargains...I'm straying into serious wish list territory and getting totally off the frugal Friday point. Sorry!


Tomorrow, I'll be showing you a couple of going out outfit as it's Valentine's Saturday and love is in the air :)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thursday's Wish List - Next

I've been having a good look around the shops now that the spring stock is starting to trickle in and there is some lovely stock coming in now for Spring Summer 12. 
So I thought I'd share with you a bit of a wish list, because every girl's gotta have something to wish for :). This week's wish list is from Next...
Next Ditsy Print Jeans - £32
Nude Patent Pump - £30

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