Supermarket sweep

Now I’m not just saying this to try and earn some extra Clubcard points, but how well are Tesco doing in the fashion stakes at the moment?

I had a sneak peek at their upcoming Christmas collection the other day and ladies, food shopping is about to get a lot more fun…

Bracelet, £10 and ring, £8 from the F&F collection

Floral clutch, £10, F&F

Necklace, £15, F&F

Hang on a cotton-picking minute…

Prepare to dig deeper into your purses, the end of bargain basics is nigh.

If this weekend’s news reports are anything to go by then 2011 looks set to be The Year That Primark Died. Due to a complex combination of economical and global setbacks, cheap clothes are set to become a lot less cheap. And the culprit is the stuff that 15-20% of all our clothes are made from; cotton.

Spending cuts, higher overheads for manufacturers and an increase in demand versus supply have been threatening to push garment prices up for some time now. But the crux of the problem, it seems, has been exacerbated by the recent floods in Pakistan, which have all but wiped out cotton crops; the catalyst in a chain of pre-existing problems which spell disaster for the wholesale prices we’re used to paying.

The increase in VAT to 20% next year is also an impending threat to throwaway fashions, of which Primark is undeniably the champion.

Incredibly, statistics released by the budget chain recently indicate that sales have already started tailing off this year (a sentiment that’s clearly not reflected in the long queues I witness at the tills each time I visit); so perhaps the wind-down has already begun.

Some critics might agree, having argued that we’ve simply had it too good for too long. In other words, we should have heeded the warnings about cheap clothes being too good to be true months ago.

So is this really the end of the outfit-under-£10 era that so many of us have come to rely on? I’m not entirely convinced that this heralds The End for Primark and the like as we know it. Whilst the experts are predicting that cheaper stores will be hit harder than high-end ones next year, fortunately Primark prices are so cheap already that an extra pound or two here and there shouldn’t add up too dramatically. And even so, it’ll still win the price war with the many more expensive shops facing the same hikes.

I for one will still make my ritual visits. Well, all in the name of research…

Trend alert!

Although it seems a long way off right now, one browse through the latest London Fashion Week coverage confirms some definite beauty trends for spring/summer ’11. Amongst the many I spent the best part of an afternoon poring over, the two that particularly caught my eye were violet eyes and gold nails; trends which needn’t only be for the daring amongst us.

Undecided? Take a look at these luscious little lovelies, you might just change your mind…


M&S Essential Eye Palette in Neutral, £5.00

Green People Eco Eye Trio in Plum, £17.99

M&S Essential Colours Nail Colour in Gold, £2.50

Gold Nail Polish Set, Next, £6

Fresh lilac eyes are definitely a spring thing, but personally I think gold nails are an all-year-round type of trend; they’re the perfect compliment to a neutral palette in the summer and are especially glamorous in winter months, when we all need a bit more sparkle.

Keep your eyes peeled for more of these high street treats over the next few months!

Confessions of a spendaholic

Before I start going for it in the Big, Bad Blog World, I just need to confess to a couple of things. Firstly, despite the nature of the blog, I’m no self-certified (or otherwise) expert on fashion (apologies). I’m no die-hard expert and won’t claim to be; hell, I’ve even been to London Fashion Week a grand total of three times now and got it horrifically wrong on the fashion front each and every time. So much so the first time, that whilst in line for the Betty Jackson A/W ’07 show, a woman behind me made a point of ensuring everyone else in the queue knew just how fat my arse looked in my satin tulip skirt (to be fair, she was probably right, but that’s not my point).

Secondly, I’m currently battling a 24-year-long disease which means I can’t actually walk into a shop without walking out without proof of a purchase in hand. This probably isn’t helped by my enormous appetite for magazines, fashion blogs and the fact I actually have to restrain the urge to take pictures of people whose outfits make my jaw literally drop in the street. For the most part, these everyday things are my combined inspiration, and that’s about as far as my expertise on the subject go.

That doesn’t stop me loving fashion though. And for that reason I don’t think anyone needs to be an expert. I just know what I like and try to wear things that make me feel good.

Ultimately, fashion and beauty are about fun, and that’s why I love writing about them. They’re constantly changing, and everyone has their own opinions/interpretations. Plus, who doesn’t like to just look sometimes…

Anyway, my point is that whilst I might not have Vogue-credentials, appreciating fashion through reading/writing and simply observing is something that everyone can do, regardless of budget. So I hope you’ll join me in doing exactly that.