'Surprise Surprise' ... yes I do have red hair, come from Liverpool and I can't sing! I think you may need to be of a certain age however to appreciate that opening line.
Oh la la, I do love a surprise. Sadly, most of the time I tend to me more of the surprise giver than the recipient.
My husband's excuse is that unless he has 'a list', I never like anything that he buys ;-) He has a point!
I was therefore delighted to be approached by BONMARCHE with the promise of a surprise gift. The timing actually couldn't have been better, as I received it the day I returned from our mini break at The Pig Hotel. It was lovely to come home to a treat after being spoilt.
Packaged in a super cute black and white polka dot box, I was treated to a 'swiss dot' blouse from the new DAVID EMANUEL COLLECTION. I must admit when I think of David Emanuel, like most, I either think of Princess Diana or his fabulous stint in 'The Jungle'.
I was pleasantly surprised and can honestly say I've worn this cute little top at least once a week since it arrived. It's been easy to pop on over skinny jeans and styled with loafers for a stroll around the shops and equally dressed up with shorts and heels for evening drinks in the sunshine. Perfectly chosen for me, as I love the pretty pistachio colour as well as the shape, and actually the size 10 is a perfect fit. I spotted a very similar top (albeit in white) in Oliver Bonas in London last week and it was nearly three times the price, in the same fabric. In fact Bonmarche now have this little top available online in a few different colours for autumn retailing at £22.00.
I was also treated to some cute make-up, a David Emanuel collection of pretty lip gloss and nail polish duo, both of which I am wearing in my photos. Not forgetting macarons - Patisserie Valerie no less and no, they didn't last long enough for me to photograph them.
Bonmarche isn't a high street store I am familiar with, however I have 'googled' our postcode and we do have stores locally in both Weymouth and Poole. I would probably match the brand to a slightly older demographic and understand that the sizes in the David Emanuel collection range from a size 10-24.
I really do believe that fashion should be for everybody, and if you love clothes then you can usually find something in most ranges, that can be worked into your own wardrobe. As much as I personally love M&S, the majority of people I speak to find both the store and website difficult to navigate. Comments such as 'lost their way' and 'catering to too many different styles' spring to mind. Perhaps then sometimes it is better to stick to what you know and with their re-brand earlier this year Bonmarche have gone about 'getting to know' their customer base and designing collections to suit.
I had a nice quiet hour on my own, with time to make a latte and sit down to browse the site, as well as enjoy the macarons! Having seen the choice I would probably compare some of the pieces along with Matalan and some of the supermarket clothing lines. Not everything is to my taste but there are bits and bobs that I could 'trendy-fy', as well as a few cute basics that I would usually run into Matalan for; a cheap and cheerful polka dot dressing gown in 100% cotton, little slippers and some cute ditsy print pj's. The must do better categories for me would be the accessories and shoes, none of which are to my taste.
I am however all about cosy as we move into September and the coats would make up my top picks. I can always style a funnel neck coat with a nod to the sixties and faux fur is everywhere for this season. Plus two little coats in the sale for less than £35!
This post is with thanks to Bonmarche and Kirsty!