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My 2014 Utter Fails

Following on from my last post, a reader has asked if I will share my 'not so good purchases' and triumphs with you. Thanks for the suggestion and I'm more than happy to open my wardrobe to you all.

Ok, starting with the bad...


(Original post here)

I don't really do much clothes shopping in supermarkets. I mean, I have all on trying to navigate the food section and what do you do with your trolley if you want to try on? Take it in to the changing rooms with you? However, this little top caught my eye last spring as I zoomed past on my way to pick up an emergency gravy jug (as you do). 

Overall the fit is good and is actually really well made. The fabric is virtually crease proof. So what's the problem? It's the pattern. I always feel as if the top wears me as oppose to the other way round. IT'S JUST TOO LOUD FOR ME. The photo is actually not telling the whole truth here. Had I been a true brunette with a much more dramatic look, I'm sure I would have felt much more comfortable in it. I always reach into the wardrobe for something else. 

A couple of other points about this top. Firstly, it has little covered buttons all the way down the back (so darn difficult to do up oneself) and oh boy they dig into my back when I'm driving. Secondly, I'm sure I saw matching trousers too...enough to send me over the edge I think.

It's a fail at the moment but who knows I might get it to work in the future

££s per wear: £7


I remember clearly trying this on and thinking hmmmmm it's a tad short but hey anything goes on holiday. What was I thinking of? Who buys specifically for a holiday and crepe isn't my idea of a holiday fabric. I was sucked in by the sales. This would not have happened under my new shopping regime. I don't mind the colour although it isn't strictly in my palette. The shape of the dress is ok, actually it's really nice. Had it been long sleeves, I could have worn it with black tights and heeled ankle boots. If only the length had been another 4 inches (it's that short, I kid you not) 

A miserable fail

££s per wear: as I've never worn it, it's the full sale price of £30 


Another flippin sales purchase that I've never worn. Actually I count my lucky stars as I'd originally purchased these before Christmas last year at full price (£70) and saw them in the sale at half price so bought them again and took the others back. Well, what can I say! A shocking purchase on all fronts. I fell in love with the light taupe colour (at least I get a tick for buying a classic neutral) but failing to take note that at the time, hidden platforms were on their way out. They're also really difficult to style. Well I'm guessing they are as I've never tried.  

 A shakes head in despair fail

££s per wear: £35 (phew, it could have been £70) 


This is how it's suppose to look

And this is me!

A more recent purchase, November I think (link here, the other colour ways are in the sale). I love Hush soooo much but it doesn't really love me back. It's just too cool and too laid back for me. And you need to be stick, stick thin to wear it. Take this dress. It really is gorgeous. The colours are me to a tee (burgundy sweater top and navy mock skirt). It's not a bulky knit so that's a plus point and it washes like a dream. I didn't have to buy anything at all to style it - My midnight Ash Jalouse and grey Falke tights are perfect. But the fact that there's no waist definition on the jumper means that I feel huge in that area. It looks lovely on skinny models when you can clearly see she doesn't fill out the tummy area but on me.....no. So I'll always have to wear it with a jacket. It's a fail on the style/fit front.

A sad fail but I'll continue to wear 

 ££s per wear: well I've worn it 3 times so far so that makes it about £20 


Ok so I bought this because of the overly-long sleeves and the perfect knee-length. There's something so decadent about overly-long sleeves - well me being a bit prone to monkey arms, they always feel nice. Must we really talk about the colour and pattern? Big.Fat.Fails. To be honest the yellow is fine (I'm a warm skin tone) and even the black. It's that bloody grey background that makes it/me look as if we've been washed with a filthy football kit and I'm talking the whole team's kit here. Combined with a strong pattern it's not great. I keep getting it out to wear, really I do but nah, there's something better in the wardrobe - always. This is how it's suppose to look!

A pathetically stupid, I should know better fail

££s per wear: full price again £49


Once again, I was drawn towards a design detail - the double cuff. That, and the fact that it's a really thick cotton denim. If you've read my post about body shapes here you'll know that a soft body shape is better in less structured fabrics (or at least those that have lycra in them). I'm a rectangle, straight up and down but quite curvy on top. It's totally the wrong fabric for me. The buttons don't sit straight and by the end of the day, it's positively squeezing the life out of me. Oh, and you only have to look at it and it creases. I still like the double cuff though. Maybe I could cut them off and wear with my faux shirt collars (under a jumper of course).

No words for it - an out and out Fail.

££s per wear: Hmmm I think I've worn it 6 times tops so £5 

So here are some of my fails. I promise you there aren't many more. Looking back, I can honestly say that each and every one is because I wasn't true to myself. I was swayed by pattern or detail or just plain stupidity.

Anyway, onward and upward I won't make these mistakes again this year. Oooooh I can't wait for 2016 blog post fails. I'll bring you my triumphs another day.

Here's what I wore yesterday. I know I look as miserable as sin but really, I liked what I was wearing. What's with the Casper make-up? 

The jumper is from Atterley Road, since sold out (similar here especially if you size up), jeans are the Molly's from River Island here and tan boots are New Look here, a great Ash Jalouse copy. Leather tote bag is old (similar here - love the fact that they describe the faux leather as vegan. Great marketing!).

So come on, I've shared my fails. It's only fair that you tell me yours.


Until next time.

Donna x
20 comments on "My 2014 Utter Fails"
  1. Love this post Donna!! I agree with you about patterns - I bought several RI summer dresses that were patterned and scuba material - too loud and too hot for me here in the summer so all are off to charity! NO MORE patterns for me! I need to stick to neutrals too I am much more comfortable dressed edgier rather than preppy! xx

    1. I wouldn't put you down as a pattern dresser Joanna - maybe a couple of years ago yes but not now x

  2. Oh utter utter brilliant Donna. I did something similar last year trying to sum up my failures and successes and it's amazing what happens when you stray off the beaten track. Like you, I have a similar shell top from Tesco which I wore the once as it was pink. I was complimented on it the only time I wore it out of the house but I've never worn it again. The white version was a goody though.

    And do you know something? I've always had you as a pattern girl believe it or not. Good luck on the shopping ban. I would have failed all seven days if it had been me on it so far :)

    1. oooh what have you been buying Sue?!!

    2. Yes I remember the pink shell top Sue and you were unsure about it when everyone said it looked stunning. But if you don't feel right, it's not right. I'm drawn to pattern but it really isn't me x

  3. This is great to know. I do it all the time. I have so many clothes and jackets that really need to go. Why is it so hard? Well done on the lack of spends. I have failed as I have purchased a grey coat (current need) that should arrive in the next couple of days. I have also done some nifty Christmas presents swaps too. :0) xx

    1. I didn't count a chunky order for AR though as this was done in December so I'm dining on that for a while x

    2. And why not. :0) I like your' style.

  4. This was great, well done for being so honest. Are you going to sell / donate the items or persevere?

    I would have to look back at my budget posts to recall what I purchased last year & subsequently didn't wear. I can think of a deckchair stripe boden skirt immediately but I got it out of season for £11 for this spring summer so I know I'll wear it loads soon enough.

    1. Loved reading your post today Lou and I'm so impressed that you know to the exact penny how much you've spent x

  5. Genius idea for a post, it's always interesting to see how things work out! I actually really like that Sainsbo's top on you, but I think if you're not comfortable with pattern there's no point trying to force it. The colours are great with your skin tone, though. I am guilty of buying more stuff than I care to think about because I've been swayed by seeing it on someone else/in a magazine/it just looks bloody amazing on the hanger. I kind of blank out the fact that I know I'll look like a dog's dinner in it! This year I will try to be more discerning in what I buy...

    Becky x

    1. It's not horrendous or anything Becky, it's just that I always find something else to wear. The colours are actually ok, it's the print that makes me back off x

  6. Hilarious but I do think you are WAY too harsh on yourself. I would suggest you look good in a plastic bag - you are stunning, tall and slim

    1. Well said Fiona! I agree. I think you're being very, very hard on yourself - but maybe that's why you always look so fab. You set the bar high. Great post x

  7. Loved this post, so true how easy it is to get sucked into buying something just by how it looks on the hanger, or in a magazine, without really thinking it through. You have inspired me... I have a few horrors lurking at the back of my wardrobe which I must get rid off too! Helen xx

    1. Out with the old and the ugly and the downright shocking - that's me x

  8. Great post but I agree that you are too harsh. I've worn far worse outfits, Donna. Lynne xx

  9. Such a great post Donna! I'm also torn when it comes to patterns! I love them on everyone else but just don't feel right in them myself! I've just ordered a checked top from River Island but it will probably end up going back! x

  10. How did I miss this post Donna - love it plus you crack me up! I'm not good with patterns either - I'm not good with a lot of things actually! I think the majority of my fails concern dresses - I buy them (usually in the sales) and then can't be bothered to wear - useless! xx