Branching out again, because what’s a good blog without a fashion editorial? 😉
So the other week I went to go shopping with a couple of my friends in The Glades, a shopping mall in Bromley town centre.
Most of it is situated indoors, making it perfect for rainy weather (it decided to pour down at about 11 am so we were happy we didn’t have to walk about outside!)
All the links in this post were NOT sponsored, sadly 😉
T. K. Maxx
(The British version of T. J. Maxx – apparently modified to avoid confusion with TJ Hughes)
I don’t tend to buy from T. K. Maxx because a lot of their stuff from well-established brands, which they sell for a fraction of what you might expect from buying directly from the brand, is actually lower quality and made specifically to be sold in places like T. K. Maxx and outlet stores.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t find a great bargain there! I have very specific criteria for my sunglasses (my friends were very entertained by this) – they have to be:
- Wide enough to fit my fat face without pressing into the sides of my head
- Far enough away from my face so that the frame doesn’t touch my cheeks when I smile
- Less than £15 (this girl’s got better things to spend her money on)
- Able to block 100% UV (gotta protect those retinas!)
- Large enough to cover eyebrows
- Flattering. My face is so round that round sunglasses make my face look even more potato-shaped
I hunted around for sunglasses and I found several pairs that I liked, but eventually settled on these beauties.
They tick all of my boxes – they’re wide enough for my face but snug so they won’t fall off; they don’t touch my cheeks when I smile; they block 100% UV light; they’re large and they’re only £14.99! You can find them here (not sponsored).
I love the metal detail on the arms – they make the sunglasses look so much more expensive and they’re pretty sturdy too.
Very happy with this find… That is until I saw this on the label:
After doing my research, I discovered that this warning comes from California’s Proposition 65, a controversial law that ‘requires anyone who manufactures or distributes a product sold in California that contains a material on a list of some 800 chemicals to include a warning label’ (KSL.com) even if the substance isn’t in large enough quantities to do any harm.
Manufacturers then can’t be bothered to take it off when shipping internationally so this label freaks out people from all over the world.
We visited New Look (one of my favourite shops for cheap fast fashion) but the usual aisles of sales racks weren’t there so I didn’t buy anything. I found this top, which I absolutely adore, but I wasn’t going to spend £15 on it. Sorry.
Plus, I have enough t-shirts to last me a lifetime. If you want to check it out for yourself, it’s here (again not sponsored, unfortunately 😉 )
Since H&M was right next door but had no obvious signage, we were worried that we had just walked straight back into New Look!
H&M was more promising than New Look, and I came away with a really nice pair of high-waisted shorts.
These are a light blue stretchy ‘denim’ twill and they’re my first high-waisted shorts! They were £12.99, which I deem as a good investment because I’m going to be wearing these for years.
However, I had to go up 2 sizes from a size 10 to a size 14 to be able to fit in them! Apparently, that’s because H&M don’t follow the standard conversion from European sizes to UK sizes. You can find these shorts here.
Lunch Break: Wagamama’s ❤
My favourite place to eat out atm is Waga’s (as I wrote about in my Sunshine Award post) because it’s really great value for money (the portions are large and not very expensive!) and the service is very quick and usually very good.
We ordered endamame beans and fried duck dumplings for starters – they were soooo good.
For mains, I ordered the Wagamama ramen, which had seafood and chicken in it. I particularly like the broth that comes with it, but of course, it isn’t complete without a dash of chilli oil and soy sauce 😉
We visited Miss Selfridge afterwards, and this pair of boots caught my eye. They were £17, which really isn’t bad, and they were in burgundy (matching a snood and beanie that I own) with this awesome gold band around the heel so I was really tempted to buy them.
However, they’re made from polyurethane and they weren’t particularly comfortable so I didn’t get them in the end 😦 check them out here – but be warned!
I’m not a huge fan of Primark because their rock-bottom prices usually lead to terrible quality and exploitation of workers in other countries, but I think recently they have stepped up their standards – see here. I really wanted a bralette and a pack of hairbands so I decided to give Primark a go.
I wasn’t disappointed!
I found this gorgeous burgundy bralette (there was a black one but the lace wasn’t as cute) and it was only £7 (compared to other bralettes from Gap and New Look that verged on £12)
On the back, there is a rose gold plastic clasp at the top and a thick bra clasp at the bottom. The only annoying thing is that you can only hand-wash it as machine washing is too rough.
The other thing I got was a pack of 60 hair ties for £1, which is the best I could find from anywhere!
The last thing I needed to get was a pair of swimming bottoms – I have a lot of bikinis/tankinis but only one bikini bottom!
Everywhere else seemed to sell bikini bottoms for a pretty penny (upwards of £10) but I bought my bikini bottoms for £4 from Sports Direct, so I knew I had to go back there.
I went in with 10 minutes to spare before closing time at 6:00 pm so I rushed straight upstairs and found what I wanted – a swimming bottom/skirt combination. I always feel too exposed in just skimpy little bikini bottoms so I like having a skirt on top.
Another plus to having a swimming bottom with a skirt on top – you can just walk around in it without having to layer another piece over! Talk about straight from street to beach 😉
This piece cost me £8, but looks like you can get it for less now!
That’s it for my haul – I know I featured pieces that I didn’t buy but I wanted to put them on here as a point of reference for potential future trips.
I’m trying to shop more consciously in all senses of the word – I’m trying to buy pieces that I know I will definitely wear; I’m trying to buy pieces that will provide the best value in terms of the material, the quality of the fit and stitching, the number of wears I will get out of it; I’m trying to buy from environmentally- and socially-conscious brands.
On this trip, I spent a total of £60, which is excellent considering the amount of fun and number of pretty good pieces I managed to get!
I’m interested – which piece/pieces do you like the best? Let me know!