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Project333 – Capsule wardrobe challenge

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Welcome to my Project 333 Blog Post.

Saying it’s a challenge is a bit of an understatement, especially in Ireland. Trying to curate a capsule wardrobe with just 33 items, in our climate, is nearly impossible! When it’s not raining it’s raining, or raining with the occasional bit of sunshine, followed by rain and yes, sometimes even snow. All in the space of an hour! So I’ve been following the rules of the project 333 challenge loosely. In other words, instead of including my basic long sleeve tops (Thermals etc.) or outerwear (Winter Scarves, jackets) I’ve decided to only feature the items that will be a part of my wardrobe for the whole 3 months.

‘So why start a capsule wardrobe?’ I hear you ask. Well…

 

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The comfiest, sexiest, maternity dress ever!

When I found out I was pregnant, I’d came across a blog that recommended sorting through your wardrobe and removing any item of clothing that wouldn’t fit you past the three month mark. Anything that didn’t stretch or that wasn’t comfortable, I packed it away or donated it. (I was ruthless when it came to giving away clothes)

Thankfully I was so *bloated 8 weeks into my pregnancy that I looked like I was about 5 months pregnant anyway, so  It was very helpful when it came to sorting through everything.
*This will calm down at about 10-12 weeks, don’t worry 😉

So with my wardrobe cleared and after investing in some key maternity pieces, like the dress above, along with a few donated maternity tops and jeans (Thanks Julie ;*) I practically lived with a capsule wardrobe throughout my pregnancy.

And it was awesome!

Every morning I’d go to my wardrobe and be able to choose something that I knew would fit me well, look good and be comfortable. I saved so much time and energy by not fretting about stuff fitting. It was great for boosting my confidence in my every changing body.

After Finn was born, I kept up the capsule wardrobe way of life and used the lack of pregnant belly as an excuse to invest in some more key pieces. 😉 These replaced the maternity wear that I’d packed away and also substituted for the clothes that still didn’t fit me.
Once again I had a small range of clothes that were comfortable, fit well and made me feel confident in my postpartum body.

So here I am 11 months on and slowly but surely I’m fitting back into a lot of my pre- pregnancy wardrobe. I got a couple of things altered to fit my new shape a bit better and I’ve also given away more stuff. Over the past few months, I’ve come to realise that I will never be size 6 again, nor do I want to be! It’d take a LOT of effort and  I’ve more important things to enjoy, like, you know, my baby.

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Hello, Finn! Yes, you are awesome! <3

So what is the Project 333 Challenge?
In a nutshell, you take 33 items from your wardrobe and wear them for an entire season (3 months) The aim is to help you be more organised, save time, boost your confidence and to be more with less.

I opted for a mix of everything, from dresses/skirts that could be worn with or without tights, low top DC’s and knee high boots to blazers and leather jackets. Throw in a few accessories, some cosy jumpers and half a dozen pairs of jeans and you’re all set. Sounds so simple! But yeah, It’s harder than it looks!

Like I said. I didn’t include any basics (long sleeve thermals etc.) belts, or (Winter) scarves, but you could add them to your accessories if you’d like. You don’t count underwear or pyjamas and you’re only allowed to wear workout gear to work out.

The Spring /Summer ’16 Pantone palette consists of a lot of pastels as well as a couple of eye catching pinks. I don’t really do a lot of pink, so this was another challenge I was looking forward to 🙂

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A lot of spring/summer trends this year consist of 70’s inspired suede, flamenco frills, floral prints and marled knits.

When I was prepping for my spring capsule wardrobe I invested in a few light jumpers that would work great for layering. As we’re into March now and still clinging onto the last bit of winter, layers are a must!

But I also included some chunky knits because, lets face it. It’s cold!


Stripes never go out of style and are great for any season.
I also added a floral pront shirt as well as a classic chambray shirt and a peach satin blouse.

I’m a huge fan of a good pair of jeans. You can’t beat the confidence boost that a great pair of jeans create. Jeans shopping is one of the most boring activities on this planet, but when you find that pair that make you feel like a million dollahs, it makes it all worth it.


I added a couple of skirts for those rainy days. Tights dry so much quicker than jeans and fleece lined tights are the best invention ever! So WARM!!! Add a pop of colour with an awesome skirt and a leather jacket to add a bit of edge and you’re dressed for the day! 🙂

The skater skirt below is one that I got adjusted after my pregnancy. I got the waistband taken off and got it replaced with a plain black elastic waist instead.
I’m really happy with it and it fits great.

The Jaquard skirt was a gift from my sister. It featured in another blog post here.

My mother in law bought me this dress a couple of years ago and it’s one of my favourites!
I even wore it until I was 7 months pregnant! It fits great and you can’t go wrong with a little black dress. Any colour looks great with it 🙂

The green and yellow dress is from Zara. You can read about it here

A black leather jacket is a staple for any wardrobe. Ross bought me this for my birthday a couple of years ago and I love it. There’s nothing like a leather jacket to make you feel instantly bad ass. 😛

The tan blazer is versatile enough to go with a multitude of outfits and it’s playing a big part on the street style scene! This one belonged to my sister and she picked it up in Dunnes Stores. It’s lined with a floral patterned cotton and is lovely and warm.

Shoes, shoes, shoes. Like I mentioned above, I tried to cover every type of weather. I have nude heels and my trusty black ankle boots, tan Chelsea boots, my knee high leather Clarks boots and a pair of flat top DC’s.


These bags are great and they’ve featured in a number of blog posts already. They hold all the essentials.
The necklace goes with a lot of outfits and the colours match the spring palette for 2016. The scarf again so many colours in it, it’ll jazz up any outfit.

So as you can see, I tried to cover every type of weather and event over the spring months. I could have added more accessories if I’d left out a pair of shoes or a pair of jeans, but to be honest, I don’t usually wear a lot of jewellery, a few sentimental pieces and that’s about it and sentimental jewellery isn’t included in the list of 33 items.

So there you have it.

Hopefully you’ll find the links in this blog post helpful.
Project 333 has definitely helped me stay confident in my changing body and it’s saved me time and money. I’m not sure if it’s since becoming a mother (I’d rather buy clothes for my baby) or whether I’m now content with what I have, but I now walk into a shop and I don’t feel the want or the need to buy anything as I have everything I need in my 33 items.
Highly recommended for you budding minimalist’s out there

– A x

What I Wore: Travel Essentials

So I finally got my holiday!

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We went to Crete to visit the in-laws for 17 days. It was our first time travelling with a baby and we were so anxious and worried about the plane journey that when Ross’ brother asked us what we had planned when we eventually arrived, we stared at him blankly. We actually had no idea! I couldn’t think past the plane journey! Long story short, we fed the baby on take off and landing and pretty much every time he tried to winge, we shoved the bottle right in there and he was happy! SUCCESS

One thing I hate about travelling, no matter how organised I am, is the fact that you somehow always end up with a duty free bag full of crap that you have to cart about. You never have the time to repack jackets and jumpers and books and ipad/phones etc. that need to be screened before boarding! Add to that all the gear that one needs for a tiny little human and the last thing I need is to be wearing something that’s not comfy, versatile and sling friendly. Not to mention the fact that I had to plan for the return home in mid October from 25 degrees. Yeah it was a challenge.

But without further ado (or ranting) 😉


I’m always hot and flustered in the airport but it’s always chilly on the plane and I wanted something light that would keep me at the right temperature especially when wearing a baby! Having to remove layers if I got too hot (especially with a sleeping baby) was a no, no so I decided to go with this light little sweater, I’ve had it for a couple of years now and it goes with practically everything! It’s light enough for summer and very easy to layer over and under for autumn/winter. It has leather detailing around the neck, on the shoulder and on the elbows and it’s so soft and comfy. It was perfect.


 I picked up the jeans in Penneys/Primark. They’re one addition to my winter capsule wardrobe that I’m currently arranging (Watch this space)

They’re soft, stretchy, comfy and just all an all round great pair of jeans. I’ve been practically living in them since I bought them. Not bad for €13!!

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The shirt underneath was nice and light and added the perfect layer under the thin jumper. It also added a softness to the overall outfit.

 The bag cost me just €3 and it’s the perfect size for our passports/boarding cards, wallet and phone. It’s amazing how much stuff I was able to fit into it. It’s an awesome colour too!


  Best bargain, yet!

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I practically live in my DC’s. They’re the comfiest shoes around. I’ve owned so many pairs over the years and they’ve really lasted, great quality shoe. These are just one of three pairs that I own. (I’m a little obsessed)

  Baba’s first holiday!

Sweater with leather detail (old) – Penneys:  Similar here, here and here

Green Khaki Jeans -Penneys: Similar here, here and here

Zip front shirt (Old) -Penneys: Similar here and here

Orange cross body bag – Penneys: Similar here and here

Shoes (old) – DC Shoes, Similar here

Diary entry… The joys of parenting

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He gives you this look that makes you think you’re the most important person in the room. Of course, you know that’s complete crap, because the dog is present and the dog wins the attention span wars…. everytime.

Still though, he looks at you, deep into your eyes and reaches a hand out to you slowly. He moves it closer to your face.
You think to yourself ‘he wants to make himself familiar with my features and learn the shape of my face’.
He places his palm on your cheek and you melt and for a split second all is well in the world.

Then he gives you an almighty dig in the nose.

You can’t get angry with him because at that very moment you realise that he still hasn’t developed full control over his limbs and putting your face down to him was a silly, silly idea! You sit there recoiling in pain, and cursing yourself. That one was an eye waterer for sure, you know the stinging sensation that travels up to your brain? YUP!

You sit there on the ground in front of your oblivious baby bouncing up and down with delight and blowing raspberries at his little plastic friends, in his wheel of neglect. You look at him being all cute and perfect and adorable and you think…. FML.

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RUKM1130

– A x

Essential delicates for the small-busted, postpartum momma.

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Hello all you sexy mommas!

Pregnancy is beautiful and it’s certainly got it’s perks (pun intended)

But then pregnancy ends, you may or may not have breastfed and before you know it your perky, voluptuous new boobies have returned to their pre-pregnancy size… yay.
On the plus side, after almost a year of sharing your womb with a tiny human, you finally have your body back and your breasts are almost your own again! YAY!!!!
If you’re thinking about revamping your underwear drawer. It’s a nice excuse for getting out of the house and leaving your man savour some quiet baby time 😉

It’s recommended that you wait for 2 months after weaning or giving birth (If not breast feeding) before you start investing in a new bra and “It can take up to a year for those excess underarm bulges to disappear”, according to the lovely lady who took my measurements.

So what next?

I had it in my head that I needed an underwire bra to offer me support and a bit of lift (Especially now) but then I looked in the mirror in that changing room after an hour of trying on and adjusting different bras and I was like, screw it, who needs lift! Before I got pregnant and indeed throughout the whole pregnancy and during breastfeeding, I lived in braletts.
‘A bralette is a bra without wires or molded cups, think on par to a sports bra, but without the intensity to hold you in.  They have thin or lacy straps like a regular bra, and provide a reasonable amount of support for small to average busted women.  Microfiber, lace, or a cotton blend are the common fabric contents.’ – BraFitAdventure

They’re comfy and they offer more than enough support, they’re sexy (especially when worn under a shirt with the top button left undone.) I didn’t have to wait until two weeks before having my baby to purchase nursing ones as there’s no pesky cup sizes and they’re relatively inexpensive. So I dug out a few that I’d packed away and purchased a few more inexpensive ones. Et Voilà! Comfort, support and no bulges. I wasn’t trying to squeeze myself into anything! The freedom was liberating.

As stated in the link above: ‘If you are between a 30A to 38 C you can get away with it.’

They’re the comfiest thing in the world and you can get so many different types!

Below are a few links to different styles and where you can buy them.
I bought a few nursing ones in Primark/Penneys. They’re super comfy and cost about €4 each.

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Blush and Powder Blue Bralette: : €7 & €5 Both Primark

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Lilah Bralette: €22.35 –  Nasty Gal

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Floral Lace- Trimmed Bralette: €9.00 – Forever 21

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Teal Scallop Lace Bralette: €11.99 – New Loo

– A x

Lets talk about the Mooncup

“The what!?” I hear you ask.

The Mooncup. And eco friendly alternative to sanitary pads and tampons. A super handy little device made from medical grade silicone which is held in place by your vaginal muscles.

One of the best things about being pregnant and indeed breastfeeding was the lack of periods, but alas, it can’t last forever. Eventually you have to start reminding yourself to pack the changing bag with your own sanitary products as well as babies. I was a sucker for forgetting!! Seriously. Baby brain does not go away any time soon after giving birth.

I never liked the idea of tampons and on the few occasions that I wore one I was so concious of it all the time. The whole toxic shock syndrome really freaked me out, as my mum got really sick when she was younger. She ended up hospitalised. She always warned me to keep track and change it regularly.

If it wasn’t inserted properly you could feel it and trying to get a dry tampon out and another one back in, especially when it’s not even in the comfort of your own bathroom, is enough to drive any woman to breaking point! It’s one of the most unpleasant experiences a woman will ever… well, experience.

Pads are a much safer option, especially at night, but… Most brands consist of plastic backing. Wearing one for 8 hours in a row or even on a warm day is so uncomfortable. You feel sweaty and gross and they can lead to a small bout of thrush (every time!)

But, ok, back to the Mooncup. Let’s skip to the Pros and Cons

Pros:

– Easy to insert and once it’s in, it’s in, you can’t feel it. Once you do the troubleshooting steps to ensure it won’t leak you literally don’t have to worry about it.

– It’s reusable, so you’re doing your bit to save the planet. One menstrual cycle at a time!

– If it’s not inserted properly, you can take it out and put it back in again. No uncomfortable dryness. Unlike tampons it doesn’t absorb your natural moisture.

– Safe to wear for up to 8 hours. One moon cup can hold up to three times more than a tampon. TSS is still a factor no matter what you use, but it’s more commonly been linked to the regular use of tampons as opposed to pads, biodegradable or reusable and biodegradable tampons or the Mooncup.

– You’re never going to run out. One woman uses up to 22 items of sanitary protection every period. Regardless of your flow, you only need one Mooncup.

– One Mooncup is all you need. It costs around €15-€25 and it’s  recommended that you replace it every 10 years. The average woman spends about €3-€5 every month so assuming you’ve 12 periods a years for 10 years you’re spending anywhere between €360-€600. So it saves you quite a bit of cash.

Cons:

– Having to empty your Mooncup. Let’s face it having to change any sanitary product is a con, but it’s like second nature to a woman and this is no different to changing a tampon or pad.

That’s about it, here’s a video that explains it all:

There’s two different sized Mooncups size A for women who are over 40 and who’ve given birth and size B for women under 40 who’ve not given birth. I recommend seeing your physio and getting a post natal screening before using the mooncup after having a baby. If your muscles aren’t strong enough then it won’t work for you. Pelvic floor exercises will help to get you back to normal but it could still take up to 4-5 months. So don’t worry about it too much, there are other eco- friendly alternatives that you can use after having a baby.

I can’t sing it’s praises enough. It’s a great little invention and it’s made my life so much easier. I’ve saved money and I’m doing my bit for the planet.

Have you tried using a Mooncup? What eco- friendly alternatives have you used?

– A x

Forever Living Aloe Products review

Hi guys!

The lovely Gina Ryan got in touch with me about trying out some of the Forever Living Aloe Products that were suitable for both myself and Finn. As I’m a fan of natural products and eco friendly alternatives I agreed to meet her for a lovely chat and I brought the products home to try out.
I was not disappointed!

In this post I’m going to be talking about some of the Forever Living Aloe Products that I’ve been using these past few weeks.

Aloe Lotion:
A great moisturiser, soaks in straight away and doesn’t leave you or baby feeling greasy. It nice and light on your skin.

Aloe Vera Gelly:

Finn didn’t have too much trouble with his teeth, so most of the time he was quite happy drooling away on his hands or his Sophie la Girafe. But there was one day he was really cranky and irritable as his two bottom teeth started coming up at the same time. I kept this in the fridge so it was nice and cool on his gums. He stopped fussing pretty much straight away. I’m not sure if he was too distracted with what I’d just given him, but I’m gonna say that it worked like a charm because he was fine for the next couple of hours after that.


Aloe Moisturising Lotion: (Purple Label)

An all round great product.

This moisturiser was so light on my skin, it was lovely! Personally, I like something with a bit of UV protection for the day, but it’s perfect as a night cream or as a primer for under your make-up. It also makes for a great hand cream! Like I said, an all rounder.


Aloe Propolis Cream:

My personal favourite product!!

Bee Propolis is used worldwide for it’s medicinal properties. It’s known to be a natural antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti- inflammatory.

Finn had a little rash on his torso which the public health nurse said was a bit of dry skin. I started using this on him after his bath or daily top and tail wash and his raised, bumpy rash cleared right up after a few days. I also used it on his cheeks to clear up the last remaining bit of baby acne, his skin still isn’t 100% clear, but his complexion has definitely improved and the redness is gone as you can see from these before and after pictures.

  Finn’s skin at about 2 months old
  After I started using the Propolis cream Three weeks later and although his skin isn’t 100% clear, the redness has gone and it’s cleared up an awful lot. He’s also not as prone to break outs as he was before

I’m going to try it on my stretch marks and the linea nigra on my belly to see if it’ll help them fade. Watch this space.

It also makes for a great nappy cream, I apply it to Finn every night because he’s in his nappy for about 10/11 hours and we’ve had no nappy rash.

One thing I love about the Forever Aloe Products is their multiple uses. They’re natural and gentle enough for both you and your baby. You don’t need to go buying multiple products for different members of your family. So even though they might seem pricey, you’re getting a lot more for your money. There’s also a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re unhappy with any product.

If you’d like to know more about the products featured in this blog post or about how to become a forever living distributor then you can contact the lovely Gina through her Facebook Page. – A x

Day to Night- Summer Dress

So we’re still waiting for our summer to arrive here in Ireland. But last weekend was Spraoi, a three day annual festival of street acts, art and music. It also marked 5 years since myself and Ross shared our first kiss! D’aww!!!! (It’s ok to be soppy on your anniversary!)

I wanted to wear a dress. Something light and summery and I happened to pick up this stunning little bargain in Zara. 

  

   
   
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t usually do sleeveless, but I fell in love, It’s just so different and it was on sale, so I snapped it up for €20. WIN! 😉

I paired it with a pair of my comfy, reliable sandals from Primark and a yellow clutch bag from Stradivarius.

 
 I love the orange detail on the sandals. They’re so simple yet they add a nice little pop of colour.

       
  
  
The clutch I picked up years ago and I never really knew what to pair it with. Of course that’s all changed (Hello Pinterest <3) I’ve only used it a few times, but it’s one item in my wardrobe that I just can’t bring myself to purge. Believe me, when it comes to my wardrobe, I’m ruthless!

  
To jazz the outfit up for a night out I ditched the flats for nude heels and a dark green blazer from H&M.

   
  

   Like the clutch bag, I’ve had this blazer for a few years. But unlike the clutch bag, I’ve worn it so many times. It’s one of my favourite items in my wardrobe.

  
   

   The nude heels are another wardrobe staple, like the black blazer mentioned in an earlier post.

I’ll be aiming to do a post on creating a capsule wardrobe. So watch this space! It may take a bit of time 😉

– A xx

Dress- Zara, Similar here
Sandals – Primark/Penneys (old), Similar here & here
Clutch- Stradivarius (old), Similar here
Nude Pumps – Barratts (old), Similar here
Green Blazer- H&M (old), Similar here

Chambray and Mint with Lace Details

It’s summer! Well almost Summer, here in Ireland we tend to get the best weather the first 2 weeks of June (during exam season) and the first two weeks of September (Back to school season) Everything in between is a mixture of torrential summer showers, not the warm kind, blustery winds and overcast days. I long for some Vitamin D!

  
But to hell with it! It’s mid July, it’s 16 Degrees and You can’t go wrong with Chambray!

One of your wardrobe staples and definitely an item worth investing in. Whether it’s a shirt, a dress etc. If you search chambray on Pinterest you’ll see from the results just how versatile it is.

  
I don’t usually do sleeveless shirts, but I love this because It’s nice and loose, it’s cool and the lace detail is so pretty!

  Sooo Pretty!!!

I picked up the shorts in Penneys/Primark for €3! Seriously. I’m going back to get a few more pairs. Very few things in my wardrobe fit my I between sizes, post partum body, so obviously I needed shorts for the amazing summer we’re having (Its my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) and I saved €9 on these babies!


They’re nice and loose and comfy, but they still make my bum look good so it’s a win win!

The necklace is old. I picked it up in Zara 2 years ago. As I mentioned in an earlier post. Zara is my go to for amazing statement pieces.



The sandals are from Penneys/Primark and I love them because they’re so understated. I don’t usually do diamanté either, but they can dress up any outfit and they’re super comfy. I’m all about comfort these days! They cost me around €10 and the blush colour means that they go with pretty much everything!


  
Shirt- F&F for Tesco, Similar here & here
Shorts- Primark, Similar here & here
Necklace- Zara
Sandals- Primark, Similar here

Girls Night Outfit Details

Last weekend was my first proper night out in over a year! It was long overdue.
I won’t lie to you, it was fun! So much fun in fact that my head and my voice the next day were a bit worse for wear. There was a lot of talking and laughing and catching up with people who I hadn’t seen in so long. Most of them didn’t even know I’d had a baby! I took that as a compliment 😉

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I wanted to feel sexy but keep it somewhat casual and seeing as we’re still waiting for our lovely Irish summer I decided to keep the shorts, but skip the bare legs and opt for patterned tights instead.

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A gorgeous top, shorts, tights and heels are my go to outfit if I want to feel glam yet laid back. Add a tailored blazer for that sophisticated edge and there you have it!

There’s one rule that I always follow when choosing an outfit. Don’t show too much flesh. If I’m wearing shorts without tights, then I’ll wear something that covers me up on top, or if I’m wearing something low cut, then I’ll pair it with jeans.

You can make an exception for a killer dress, depending on the style and the weather.

I picked up this shirt in Spain last year and I’m so in love with it. The silk is nice and cool and it flows really nicely. I love the detail on the sleeves and the zip detail on the front.

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I’ve had these shorts for years! Right now they’re the only ones in my possession that fit my postpartum shape! So I guess you could say that they were a sound investment and probably only cost less than €10
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You can’t go wrong with a black blazer, it’s a staple for any wardrobe. The blazer is one of the most versatile items of clothing out there and it’s worth investing in one… or six!
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This bag was a birthday gift from a very special friend of mine (Hello China Doll) and it’s perfect for adding a splash of colour to any outfit. It also comes with a cross body and a wrist strap!

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I fell in love with this necklace as soon as I saw it. Zara is my go to for an amazing, affordable, statement piece.
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The shoes! Admittedly they’ve seen better days, but they cost me €20 and they’re still going strong. I’ve had them for about 8 years and they’re still my go to heels. You can’t go wrong with black patent and a cheeky bit of leopard print.

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Silk Shirt: Massimo Dutti – Similar here & here
Shorts: (old) Primark – Similar here & here
Longline Blazer: (old) Primark- Similar here & here
Bag: Mulberry
Necklace: Zara
Shoes: (old) Shoe Rack – Similar here & here