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When I was 17 Topshop was THE place to buy the latest in tummy-baring FASHION clothes. As soon as I learned to drive I’d skive off school early on a Wednesday (sorry mum, I was only missing sports – honest) and drive into Cheltenham town centre to spend my Saturday job’s wages.
Always amounting to £80, £50 would get thrown in the way of the till with £30 reserved for petrol, food and Archers and Lemonades so I’d have somewhere to wear the clothes I’d just bought… Teenage priorities, am I right?
But then I had kids and my whole approach to dressing myself changed. I wanted to cover my soft stomach more than before, needing to wear things that gave easy access to my boobs. All clothes had to be comfortable, easy to wash and fairly baggy on the belly, plus be reasonably priced so I could spend most of my budget on nappies and coffee to keep me awake.
I went from buying jeans called Baxter (my first ever pair from Topshop: they were grey, I adored them) to having a friend with a baby called Baxter. I was more Breton than bare midriff, preferring durable jersey over dry-cleanable silk. Well-ensconced into a habit of shopping only at the GAP sale, I thought my days of dressing with fun and abandon via Topshop were over.
Until I turned 32, got bored of jersey and realised that actually, it is possible to dress to your personality without having to have your bellybutton pierced (thank-you Chloe and Erica for prompting me to come to that conclusion).
And surprisingly, Topshop has been one of the stores that I’ve since returned to time and time again.
OK, so I can’t go in-store without being in awe of the strong brow game rocked by the girls in their early twenties who inhabit the shop (God, I’m such a mum), but what I lack in scouse-brow I make up for in wisdom. And by wisdom I mean wrinkles.
So I give you these absolute classics I’ve bought from Topshop lately, items I’ve purchased safe in the knowledge they’ll last me through til Spring and for a couple of winters to come. There’s cashmere! There’s comfy denim! There’s sensible! Sorry there’s no scouse-brow, though.
One thing Topshop does really really well is a solid jumper with a twist. this monochrome jumper (£35 in the sale!) is similar to the one I’m wearing here and I love this neppy jumper (£34), not just because anything with ‘neppy’ in its name makes me giggle. For something a bit more colourful I adore this pink sweater (only £24!) and I adore the sleeves on this blouson jumper (£32).
On the bottom half I’m enjoying ‘vegan leather leggings’ at the moment (translation: they look as good as the real thing so you may as well save your pennies) and Topshop have two pairs currently in the sale: these (£15) and these (£12). Leather-look leggings might seem like they’re the domain of younger women but trust me… they suck EVERYTHING in and are mega warm, too. Win/win. Shoe-wise you want the red Hoochie boot (£79). Pure sass in a shoe: they’re amazing and I swear red (like leopard print) is a neutral. The jeans I’m wearing are the Hayden (£40) – perfectly high-waisted and slightly baggy on the leg as I like them).
Surprisingly Topshop has proved really good for cashmere, with this hooded sweatshirt I’m wearing (£59 in the sale) a stellar example (it also has matching joggers). I’m also in love with this cashmere blend jumper, as well as this very well-priced grey version, and I love the fluted sleeves on this one.
The coat I’m wearing here (and literally every single day since I bought it) was fleeting and is now out of stock, but try this for something very similar (£59). It’s so comfy and goes with everything. My finger is also hovering over this teddy bear jacket, which I’m reliably informed will be back in stock soon, and how great is this faux fur?!
More jumpers: I always wanted a Joy Division tee when I was at Uni and I’ve finally scratched that itch with this sweater (£35) which is 100 times cosier. I love it! I wear it with this camo ‘shacket’ (£45) which is another item that I’ve been meaning to add to my wardrobe forever (I’ll remove the cosy lining and sling it over dresses in the summer) as well as these Orson jeans (£42) – high-waisted again these are slightly slimmer in the leg and straddle the line between comfy and smart really well.
The shoes I’m wearing here were Kurt Geiger a couple of seasons ago, but try here for something very similar.
Vivre la Topshop (for mums)!
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