Fashion and Shoes

Fashion and Shoes

In an ideal world I would have a cupboard full of handbags allowing me to choose a different one for each outfit and occasion. Sadly I do not have large walk in wardrobes and need to be practical. I need to choose a handbag that will suit my lifestyle. It needs to be able to go from day to night and be big enough to hold everything I need. If you are going to splurge on just one bag you need to be sure that it is perfect. There will always be special occasions where you need something a little different but a good bag will last you for ages and suit all your outfits.

HandbagThese are some things to take into consideration when choosing a handbag in order to get the perfect one for you.

How to pick the perfect handbag

Think about:

1. Colour of the bag

The colour and design of your handbag should be versatile enough to go with more than one outfit. Think about the colour of the clothes you wear most often and pick a bag that will go with those. Choose colours like tan, taupe, cognac or black. These are neutral colours that will go with most outfits.

2. Body shape

A handbag can be used to accentuate your line and improve your body shape. If you are curvy from the waist down choose a small handbag with a short strap. This can be tucked under the arm and draws observers eyes upwards. If you are small and slender a large bag will look good. Ladies with large bosoms should choose a larger bag with a longer strap to help take the eyes lower. If you have an apple shape a small bag with a pattern and a short strap will keep the focus on the top half of the body.

3. How much you need to carry

Think about what you need to carry in your handbag. Do you need lots of room to carry stuff for your child or do you just use your bag instead of pockets to carry your keys, phone and purse. Do you need zipped compartments inside to keep things safe and separate? This will determine how large the bag should be and what it looks like inside.

Handbag4. Places you need to take it

Will you be taking your handbag to work, out shopping or to casual and smart events. For work and casual events you just need a stylish handbag to suit your outfit. Try shoulder bags, hobo bags or slouch style. Just make sure the colour of the bag goes with the outfit. You can easily find a handbag that will take you from day to night. For more formal parties and cocktail events you may need a special evening bag. Look for beaded styles or envelope clutch bags for a touch of elegance.

HandbagRecently I have been trying to find a bag that I can use for both day and special events. I managed to find this Mango Pebbled Cross Body Bag from House of Fraser which is ideal.

I love the detailing and decorative tassel on the outside which make it look unique and individual. It is also the perfect size to hold everything I need in my handbag. I usually carry my purse, phone, keys, diary and a collection of odd receipts. The receipts seem to breed by themselves, put one in and all of sudden you find six at the bottom of your bag. The shoulder strap makes it perfect for carrying around as well. I think it is the perfect bag for the winter and party season and love it. What do you think? I would love to know what you look for when choosing a handbag. Do comment and let me know below.


When you have a dog you have to take him for a walk whatever the weather. My dog, Eddie, loves his walks and gets very excited when he knows it is time to go out. He casts longing glances at the door and then at me, telling me he knows it is time. When I make a move to put my shoes on he will leap about happy that he is going. I love taking him for walks in the sunshine. At this time of year it is lovely walking down the lanes, with hedgerows and fields on either side. There is always something new to see, different birds or flowers. Often I see rabbits far ahead of me, running into their burrows as we approach. The dog rushes to greet them but always seems bewildered as they disappear. We love going on long walks and exploring the country park.

King charles spanielWhilst is is Summer the weather is still unpredictable. Last week we had glorious sunshine, today it is grey and blustery and the other morning I opened the door to take the dog out and it was pouring with rain. The sort of rain that makes you think that monsoon season has arrived, it pours down relentlessly soaking into your clothes. The paths are full of puddles and you soon find out if you have any holes in your shoes. There is still nature to be seen, the rain brings the snails out in force, gliding along the path unaware of the danger of being trodden on. These are days when you rush home, eager to get in before being soaked to the skin.

SnailWhile I was walking I soon realised my coat was not up to the job. The water soaked though quickly leaving me wet and shivering. The dog was fine, he had a coat that fitted perfectly keeping his fur dry and reducing the smell of wet dog when I got in. I realised I needed a lightweight waterproof coat. Lightweight so I did not get too hot, the weather was still warm but able to keep the water from my skin. Luckily Trespass came to the rescue with their Gerwins Womans Waterproof jacket

Tresspass waterproof jacketI love the blue colour of this jacket and think it looks stylish, the yellow zips adding a bit of contrast. It will make me look smart when I am out. It is also waterproof, the fabric will withstand 5000 mm of rain which will keep me dry even on the wettest day. There are other great design features as well, the hood is fully adjustable which is brilliant. I often find that hoods are too big for me and flop over my eyes so I can’t see where I am going. With this coat I just pull the cords and the hood fits perfectly. The coat is breathable to breathable to 5000mvp and windproof. This means I do not get too hot on a warm day or too cold when it is windy. It also has underarm vents so you can let air in if you do get hot. Best of all the pockets are water repellent and have zips which means no more soggy tissues when I am out in the rain. The only issue I found was that the zips were a little stiff when I first got the coat, but now they are fine.

Tresspass coat

I can now take my dog out whatever the weather and stay warm and dry which is ideal. I do hope that it remains sunny though, I would rather walk in the sunshine than the rain.

I was sent the coat in return for an honest review.


I always have problems finding shoes that are comfortable for my feet. I have quite wide feet and many fashionable shoes are a tight fit. I tend to do a lot of walking so I like shoes that look trendy but are comfortable to walk in. There is nothing worse than having shoes that rub and cause blisters. The last few weeks I have been trying out Hotter shoes and I have been really happy.

Hotter shoesThe pair of Hotter Shoes I have been trying  were a pair of ballerina pumps called Jewel Shoes. They are perfect for work and walking around town and do look smart. What I like about Hotter Shoes is their shoes are designed with the comfort concept. The shoes have lovely soft cushioning to cradle your feet. The exterior is made with soft leather to keep your feet fresh and the lightweight sole is filled with air bubbles.  Even better they have a generous fit which is perfect for my wide feet. When I wear them I feel like I am walking on air and have a spring in my step.

Jewel Shoes from Hotter ShoesThis particular design of shoes goes with whatever I am wearing, looking equally good with old tatty jeans, smart work trousers or a summer dress. They are ideal now the weather is a little warmer and I am no longer wearing boots. What I did not anticipate was that I would be rescuing hedgehogs with Hotter Shoes.

Hotter ShoesLast night my son came home with the dog and announced he had just seen a hedgehog on the street.  I pulled on my Hotter Shoes and got him to show me where it was. It was literally just a few feet outside my house on the pavement. The hedgehog was happily eating  something that had been dropped on the ground. I was a little worried as it was really near the road. While our road is not very busy, it was the time when people were coming home for tea. We are also very near a main road and I was worried that the hedgehog would get squashed.

HedgehogFortunately I still had the shoe box from my Hotter Shoes. I went in and got it and gently scoped the hedgehog up, putting him inside. We then walked up to our local country park, being careful not to drop the box. The hedgehog moved around inside the box and at one point tried to peek over the edge. When we got to the park I released the hedgehog in the tree line, away from people. He quite happily  climbed out of the shoe box and started wandering around.

hedgehogWe watched him for a while to make sure he was safe and happily moving around. He seemed happy snuffling around in the bushes looking for food and somewhere to go.

HedgehogHedgehogWe left him there but went back a little later to make sure he was still fine. He had moved off from where we had put him and was deep in the woods, happily eating a worm. We only found him because my son heard him rustling about in the undergrowth. Happy that he was safe we left him to get on with things.

Now I can’t guarantee that if you wear Hotter Shoes you will see a hedgehog, but you can be sure that you will have comfortable feet and be able to walk for miles.

I was sent the shoes in return for an honest review, the opinions and photos are my own. I was really happy to see a hedgehog and it was quite a surprise to find one near my house.



Next week is the start of the Cheltenham Festival where you can enjoy the horses jump racing. Ladies Day brings a chance to dress up in your finery and mingle with the crowds, watching the horses thundering round the track. With seven races and the Queen Mother Champion Chase it will be a fabulous day. I would love to go to the races, although Cheltenham is a little far for me to travel to. It always puts me in mind of the film My Fair Lady where Eliza makes her debut. She is dressed in all her finery, her accent is now fitting of the upper classes but her phrasing gives her away. They are all sitting drinking tea, making small talk whilst the races go on in the background and Eliza is telling the story of her Aunt dying. I love the part where she says “Now, what would you call a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza, and what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it, and what I say is, them that pinched it, done her in.”. The scene really gives an idea of racing and the different classes at the time.

If I was going to Cheltenham this is the outfit I would choose. The dress is black with splashes of green to welcome in the Spring. The cardigan is silver to add a touch of colour.

AlisonI would do my nails and toes in a green colour which matched the roses in the dress. The finishing touches would be in the accessories. They are not clear in the pictures so I have found some similar accessories and put them in this picture to give you an idea.

Accesories for the races


The shoes may be black but they are actually encrusted with crystals, similar to these ones. The crystals cover the entire shoes including the heels and look stunning. I matched these with a black studded bag for a touch of rock and a simple black fascinator. The final touch was a pair of earring to match the dress.

Have you ever been to the races? What did you wear?


When I woke up this morning the ground was white with frost. It took me ages to scrape the ice from the window of the car and when I walked the dog I was slipping on the ice. In weather like this you need to wrap up warmly. All to often I come in with cold fingers and a cold nose when I have been out with the dog. My son also takes the dogs on long walks and needs to dress warmly for the winter. He is now fourteen and of an age where he likes to take pride in his clothes. He has discovered designer labels and loves nothing more than deciding which clothes suit him.

When I saw that Surfdome were running a Cosy Kids competition I got him involved. The idea was to find five items of clothing on the site that would keep your kids cosy and stylish this winter. I let him have a good browse on the site and decide on an outfit that he would wear. These are his choices:

Cosy Winter Wear


I think that his outfit is perfect for a cold winters day. Those boots would be ideal for walking around the country park with the dog when it is cold and icy. They would ensure that he does not slip as well as keeping his feet dry. The jumper and hat work really well with the beige trousers and are lovely colours. The North Face jacket is really cosy, quilted and containing thermoball insulation which keeps you warm even in the wet. This is the ideal jacket for going out in howling gales and snowstorms, if you were so inclined. As well as being warm and cosy I think it looks stylish. What do you think of his choices?

This is my entry into the Surfdome cosy kids competition.