I’ve been shopping. I was hoping that I could squeeze another year’s wear out of my old winter coat and boots but they are fairly knackered when you look at them in the cold light of day. Then I optimistically wondered if I could put off the purchase until the pre-Christmas sales (or ask for a couple of things for Christmas) but last Friday I spent an hour shivering in my seasonally inappropriate mac and Converse while waiting for a delayed train connection, so I bit the bullet and tried not to think about my credit card balance while shopping.
Ted Baker Lorili Long Wrap Coat I wanted something really smart for work that was also a little bit stylish and could be worn over the top of party dresses without too obviously looking like I only have one posh winter coat. I picked this one because the shape is very flattering to someone with boobs and a bum (I spent all my teens and most of my twenties wishing that my boobs were bigger, they went through a growth spurt in my late twenties and now I find that I wish they were smaller – some of my favourite styles, like a double-breasted military style coat or a classic trench coat, look a bit matronly on a larger bust). I love the fancy lining and the gold hardware, it comes in several other colours including a classic taupe and a gorgeous bright purple – if I had the money I would buy it in a few different colours. Sadly I don’t, so classic black it is.
(This is the most expensive winter coat that I have ever bought, but on the basis that I’m going to wear it at least 5 days a week, 5 months a year for the next 2-3 years, I think I can justify the cost-per-wear).
Ted Baker Lorili Long Wrap Coat – £299
Steve Madden November Black Leather Ankle Boots Ordinarily, biker boots are my go-to choice of winter footwear. I’ll buy a pair every couple of years and wear them to death (5-7 days a week, 5 months a year) and then have a period of mourning when they really become unwearable and I can’t find an exact replacement. This year I have decided to invest in two pairs of winter boots: a replacement pair of biker boots (also Steve Madden and available here) and the November boots – a posh pair of leather ankle boots with a low heel – to wear to work. Apart from ticking all the boxes for practical ankle boots (low heel, leather not suede for durability) I chose these because the gold zips and trim on the heels mirror the gold accents on the Ted Baker coat.
Steve Madden November Black Leather Ankle Boots – £99.99 (but reduced to £59.99 at the link above)
Gymtote Sophia Tote Bag This is a bit of a cheat as I’ve had this bag for a good few months but haven’t had the occasion to use it. I bought it specifically to use on days when I need to carry a lot of stuff with me (including my gym kit!) abut where carrying a rucksack would be a bit of a fashion faux pas – meetings with clients, conferences, checking into posh hotels.
I used it for the first time this week when attending a Social Media & The Law conference followed by two yoga classes at Good Vibes. I was really impressed with the practicality of the bag, everything I needed for yoga fit nicely in the large ‘gym’ compartment and all the stuff I’d normally carry around fit in the ‘handbag’ compartment on the top, with a bottle of water and a selection of snacks in the side pocket. I was also impressed with how nice it looked, particularly in combination with my new coat and bag (gold hard wear on the bag matching those on the coat and bag – I’m sure nobody apart from me notices this but it adds a little spring to my step). I am going to use this as my handbag on business trips as it is very spacious and a sneaky way to get extra storage in hand baggage.
If I could make any improvements to the design of this bag, I would have it remade in leather – it is made of polyurethane and the handles are really, really squeaky (I discovered this when trying to quietly get something out of my bag during one of the key note speeches). I would also add a cross-body strap, because I can happily load it up with a multitude of gym and work items until its really too heavy for me to carry on one shoulder.
GymTote Sophia Tote Bag – £135
Osprey London Leather Across Body Bag My second bag is a small, leather handbag with a cross-body strap and just enough storage space for my purse, Oyster card, iPhone, Blackberry and Kindle. It is also black with gold accents and the cross-body strap is skinny enough not to spoil the line of the coat. I bought it from TK Maxx a couple of weeks ago, they had a good range of colours then but only seem to have it in bright red and khaki online.
Osprey London Leather Across Body Bag – £39.99 Black (in-store at TK Maxx) or £29.99 Red (online at TK Maxx via link above)