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Getting a Pixie Cut

Getting a Pixie Cut

by Clare Mansell

A couple of weeks ago I finally did something I have been toying with for ages, I chopped my hair off and went for a Pixie Cut! The last time I had short hair was 9 years ago and I started considering going short again about two years ago when Laura at Side Street Style did hers.

It took a while to get used to the idea and then another five weeks to get an appointment with my stylist (ahhh!) so by the time I stepped into the salon I was really really ready for the chop!

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I have had this post sitting in my drafts folder for at least a year, whilst I have tried unsuccessfully to get a photograph of me that showed a little of my new natural highlights. My lovely whisps of silver are often stubbornly hard to capture in a photo and I just didn’t feel I could write this post without something to back up my story of why I have ditched the hair dye for good. But today some photos of a friend’s wedding were posted online and you can just just make them out, so I can finally share my story…

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We’re brand ambassadors for JJ Jiraffe

When Alice was born one of my friends passed on a lovely bundle of baby clothes which included a brilliant pair of multi-coloured leggings. Alice has worn the leggings continually since we gt them receiving lots of compliments from people in the process. They wash brilliantly and (I think) make her look like a mini rock star. The company who made them are called JJ Jiraffe and so when Vicky who handmakes the clothes started looking for brand ambassadors we jumped at the chance to apply.

Luckily both Theo and Alice were selected and so we’ll be helping Vicky over the coming months by promoting her lovely clothes and sharing a few photos of the kids wearing them. Alice was first to receive her clothes bundle. Inside it was this fabulous rainbow coloured jersey dress…

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….Along with some amazing black and white dinosaur leggings. You may have seen the email which circulated on social media recently from a mother who wrote to a store asking why she couldn’t get dinosaur print clothes for her little girl? After that email Vicky decided to create her own dinosaur themed garments for girls and tracked down a lovely monochrome fabric which she now makes into leggings and dresses.

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Our third item was a scoop fabric bib. When we started weaning we bought a hard plastic bib from the supermarket which split after a few weeks use, I really didn’t want to buy another and have the same problem again, so I was intrigued to see if JJ Jiraffe’s fabric one would do the job. We took it away on our recent boat holiday in France and it worked brilliantly. The placing of the poppers on the back of the bib keeps the scoop open (far better than the rubber travel ones you can buy) and it can be wiped clean or washed in a machine. It also folds properly flat for travel.

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If you are looking for brilliant original children’s clothing and want to support a lovely small business, do pop over to the JJ Jiraffe facebook page and have a browse.

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In search of the perfect capsule wardrobe

One of the things I loved about being pregnant was my capsule maternity wardrobe. Every item of maternity wear I owned got worn and got worn often. Every morning I reached into the wardrobe and plucked something out, I knew it would fit and if I needed a dress for an event, I had a choice of two or three all of which I liked. It’s the same on holiday, restricted by what fits in the suitcase, you wear what you have and life is simpler and choices faster.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about capsule wardrobes recently, partly after watching videos of people who have joined the tiny house movement in the States (and slimmed down their possessions accordingly) and partly because of the amazing people who take on the challenge of buying no new clothes for a year. I think we all probably have too many clothes, if you are wearing some, some are in the ironing pile and some are in the wash and you still have a full rail, that’s probably more than you really need, right?

The more I have been thinking about it, the more I have started to realise that buying new clothes isn’t actually about solving a problem of what to wear, it was more about an incessant consumerist tic. Even though I try my best, I literally can’t go for a week without thinking of just one more item I need for my wardrobe or browsing websites to check (usually after an email) that I’m not missing an essential sales bargain. As bloggers we play a small part in fueling this hunger, a few days ago a post popped up on my Facebook timeline about a blogger’s new outfit which I then spent 15 minutes browsing online, when honestly I don’t need any of it… or frankly suit that blogger’s style.

I’m not quite sure where all this thinking is taking me, but in the last two months my more thoughtful approach to clothes has already started to pay dividends. Although I’m quite systematic with clearing out things, a few weeks ago I did a massive clear out of what’s on my rail. Lovely tops which were too short to wear, dresses which just aren’t my style anymore and trousers that looked great on the hanger, but rubbish on me. I’ve listed or donated about 30 items already and bought only three since June. The result is that I’m rediscovering pieces and wearing things I had forgotten and everything seems to go together better.

I’m still not quite at the capsule wardrobe stage (I counted and I reckon I have about 12 summer tops and most capsule wardrobes including this one are around 8 0r 9) but even my moderate wardrobe slim down has been an interesting experience, helping me realise that against all logic, reducing how many items of clothing I have, has actually made me feel like it’s increased the options of things I have to wear and I’m much happier with what I own.

Next year I’ve been thinking about a challenge to take on and part of me is intrigued by the idea of buying no new clothes in 2017 and if not no new clothes, could I manage for instance, just one item a month? Or could I be brave enough to decide on a capsule wardrobe at the beginning of a season and never add to it? The thought is scary and liberating all at once….

PS – Caroline of the Unfancy blog sums up what moving to a capsule wardrobe has done for her brilliantly. “The more I’ve limited my choices in my wardrobe, the happier and more creative I’ve felt. It’s so refreshing to open my closet door and find a clutter-free zone, filled with all I need and nothing I don’t.”

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Mini Street Style Review

Mini Street Style Review

by Clare Mansell

A few weeks ago I discovered Mini Street Style, a brand of children’s clothing which unusually encourages its customers to engage in the design process of each season’s collections via voting and feedback.

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The clothes are all inspired by London and international street style and every quarter they produce three ranges of kids fashion, Sports Deluxe, London Eccentric and Vintage. I loved the idea of getting customer’s to vote on which lines go into production and was keen to see what the clothes were like.

Founder Ruth Peters says she really wanted to make Mini Street Style a social experience and loves the fact that people are starting to engage with the brand.

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The current range has a strong geometric theme with bold colours and camo prints. There are skirts, dresses and leggings for girls and t-shirts, sweatpants and jackets for boys, but a lot of the items (with a few obvious exceptions) are unisex. The range is limited with only 28 items in the current season, but the idea is a strong one and I hope that as the brand grows they’ll be able to diversify their offering.

Theo was kindly sent a pair of the Mi sweatpants (£29.99) and the Camo Bomber (£38.99) to try, both made from 100% cotton and both comfortable and well made.

 

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Although Theo’s not 5 for a few months, he is quite tall so I requested age 5-6 on both his garments. The bomber jacket was a perfect fit, but the sweatpants came up a little long, though I was able to turn over the waistband to shorten them a bit and the length hasn’t deterred him from wearing them…. or practicing his street dance moves on the mean streets of rural West Sussex (whilst Jim kept one eye out for any approaching farm machinery).

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Though the range is a little limited at the moment, it is great to see a children’s brand thinking innovatively about how they design their items and engaging with their customers to help the company grow. I’ll be watching Mini Street Style’s Instagram feed and their website to watch as they grow.

You can get an incredible 40% off Mini Street Style clothes by using the code “maybushstudio” on their website.

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