Sunday, 5 December 2010

Matalan Haul

I was recently invited on a very last minute night out and I literally had nothing to wear.  I know that's a common thing for girls (and a lot of men) to say but I literally had not a stitch to wear as the majority of my clothes are packed away because we're decorating at the moment.  So in my frantic outfit needing state, I jumped in the car and flew around to Matalan to see if I could get something to wear.  Matalan are great because they sell EVERYTHING.  I love it.  I'm classed as "plus sized" but I'm an odd shape so for some things I need to go to the plus sized shops or sections but for others I'm fine going to the, dare I say it, "normal" shops.  The only shop where I am guaranteed to be able to go into and pick up a full outfit from the undies to the accessories is Matalan and I LOVE it there.  Over the last couple of years I think they've really done a good job of making Matalan cool again and I actively encourage my friends to go in, regardless of their sex, age or size because they truly have something for everyone and they have introduced some really great brands within their store that I am dying to try once I lose a few pounds!  Matalan is very reasonably priced too; a lot of the time I find jewellery in there that is very similar to jewellery in shops like River Island for a fraction of the price.  The clothes and shoes are, in my opinion, priced very accurately and they are affordable for all so everyone can keep on top of the latest trends.  The goods you are getting are well made, very good quality and follow the latest trends.
On this particular shopping trip, I was looking for an outfit to wear out that evening.  It was absolutely freezing and raining and I had a bit of a cold so I wanted to make sure that come 3am when I would be waiting in the taxi queue that I would be warm.  I don't go clubbing as much as I used to when I was in college, Ive settled down loads compared to when I was 18 and used to hit the town wearing next to nothing (perhaps that's a slight exaggeration) and stand freezing outside of pubs and in taxi queues!  I tried to keep that in mind when I was looking for something to wear although if I'm honest, I was willing to buy anything I liked even if it meant being freezing as long as I had an outfit to wear for that night!  I live in a city near Newcastle and in the North East we're notorious for going out on a night out without a coat.  Apparently all of the bars in London have cloak rooms but that's literally unheard of where I live!

Of course, in true WhatLauraLoves style, I couldn't just stick to buying something to wear that night, I also picked up a few other items that I didn't necessarily need but wasn't able to resist buying... so get a cuppa and sit in a comfy chair to read if you're in for the long haul... Welcome to my Matalan Haul!
I came across this tunic top with a gorgeous embellished neckline from the Rogers and Rogers range.  I was instantly drawn to it and hoped that it would look just as good on as it did on the hanger.  Ive taken a piccie from the Matalan website to show you as I was in a rush to go out so didn't take a photo before I put it on.
Embellished Tunic Top by Rogers and Rogers £20
I wanted to try this on before I bought it because I couldn't just take a chance when I needed it to fit for my night out.  The sales assistant was really helpful to me as I needed to get a smaller size twice and they went out and got it for me from the shop floor so I didn't have to bother getting changed and unchanged again and again. All I would say is if you are going to buy this top then I would definitely try it on before you buy it because I think the size comes up quite big because of the cut and material it is made out of which is GREAT for bigger girls (but not so great if you're buying online for example, although it just might be me and my shape, everyone is different).  What I love about this top is that it is long enough to cover my bottom, it drapes and gathers at the front and it is floaty which in turn hides a multitude of sins but it is the right kind of floaty, not the pregnant looking kind.  Shape wise, I am quite little at the top but really balloon out around my middle and then I come in again around my bottom.  My bum, legs and chest look like they belong to a completely different person to my tummy!  This top was great for me because it hides my middle and hugs me at the top.  Also, the embellished neckline draws attention to my chest and away from my tummy.  I really think that this top could work for a lot of people, even if you aren't shaped like me, because of the gorgeous fabric, the draping and the way that it is elasticated at the bottom, so it in itself, creates a flattering shape on the body.  At only £20 this tunic is an absolute steal and, since it is long enough, I teamed it with some leggings I already had at home.  I didn't need to buy any new underwear either as I already had items at home that would go great with this tunic so all in all, I saved myself some money that I could later spend on my night out!

While I was looking for an outfit to go clubbing in, I spotted this gorgeous top, again from the Rogers and Rogers range.
Embellished Cowl Neck Tunic by Rogers and Rogers £18
Isn't it just gorgeous?  This top can take you from day through to night time with ease and it oozes that touch of glamour.  Statement shoulders have been big all year and this trend is going to continue for the autumn winter 2010 season so this is the perfect piece to have in your wardrobe.  Its lovely and soft and the cowl neck is so flattering.  Again, it is a tunic style and just covers my bottom, so I would wear it with black leggings or trousers.  I couldn't believe it was only £18 too, this would be so much more expensive elsewhere!

Since I found my outfit in record time, I had a little look around in the shoes and accessories section.  In the winter I am a lover of Ugg boots, they are never off my feet but sometimes I feel as though they aren't dressy enough for going on a night out in my local or to the cinema.  This made me want to search for a more smart but casual alternative that could be dressed up or down.  I had originally looked in Primark the week before but the boots that I liked seemed very over priced for the quality so I decided to look elsewhere and I am so pleased I did as it was when I was in Matalan that I came across the PERFECT pair of boots. I'll admit, I've fallen absolutely, hopelessly in love with Matalan's Chain and Stud Ankle Boots!
Chain and Stud Ankle Boots £18
At only £18 these are FANTASTIC quality and exceptionally stylish.  I love the way the gold studs and chain really stands out against the black.  Ive worn these out so many times since I bought them and they always receive compliments.  They're a very good fit and feel so comfortable.  I find it hard to wear high heels because they kill my feet and with this awful weather we've got at the moment I really don't want to chance breaking my neck for fashion so these flat boots are a very welcome addition to my winter wardrobe.  I wore them out with the embellished tunic top the night that I got them and I thought it added a slightly rock edge to my look, which is different to how I usually dress.

Since I'm not really used to wearing proper shoes or boots, I don't have many pairs of socks.  Like I said, in winter i wear Uggs with no socks or wellies with wellington socks and in the summer I live in flip flops or little pumps, neither of which require socks.  So I picked up some cute little black trainer socks and some basic black ankle socks to wear with these boots.
5 pack Black Socks £2
5 pack Black Trainer Socks £2
Just like the other items I bought from Matalan, these socks are great quality and kept my feet lovely and warm all night.  They come in packs of 5 pairs and are only £2- BARGAIN!

One of the things that I love about shopping in Matalan is the way they set out their store (except that in my local store the Rogers and Rogers department is hard to find and tucked away in the corner, but hey, you cant have everything in the world) and they merchandise really well by putting coordinating items together.  When I was looking at the boots, I noticed this gorgeous clutch bag that would go perfectly with it and for £6, I couldn't refuse, despite owning a number of bags!
Black Clutch Bag with Gold Detailing £6
Unfortunately I couldn't find a pic of the clutch bag online so this quickie pic from an outfit of the day post I'm going to be doing will have to do.  Its a gorgeous PU mock leather style clutch in black with gold piping around the flap with a big gold stud in the middle.  Its HUGE and fits in absolutely everything I need when I go out (phone, keys, purse, makeup, hair spray, perfume, comb, etc) plus its really easy to carry as there is a little loop handle that comes with it to slip over your hand.  There is a little zip compartment inside and the front flap secures with a press stud so its really easy to close and keeps all of your belongings secure.
Whilst looking at the accessories, I came across these gorgeous black sequin fingerless gloves which I thought would carry me through winter as a really cute addition to my knitwear accessories.  I'm not a fan of gloves with fingers in because I like to be able to move my fingers together touching each other so that they aren't restricted, if that makes sense, so I usually opt for mittens but I loved the look of these fingerless gloves mainly because they're completely fingerless.  A lot of fingerless gloves still have little stumpy finger bits in which I'm not that much of a fan of.
Sequin Fingerless Gloves £3

These are stretchy so they will fit the majority of people.  I would wear these during the day or on an evening, in fact on the night that I bought them I popped them in my clutch (yes, i really had enough room in there!) and put them on to warm my hands up as I waited for my taxi.  I may be getting boring at my grand old age of 22 with wanting to keep warm but hey, at least I'm stylish!
As I was browsing the accessories, I spotted one of these knitted style headbands and just had to get one.  I've seen a couple of girls at uni wear them and I really wanted to try one out.
Knitted Headband
The one I picked up is so soft and is knotted at the front, kind of like a bow.  I love the gorgeous oatmeal colour.  Anyone with any hair colour and style could make it work. Its just gorgeous!  I cant remember how much it was, I think it was a few pounds, certainly no more than a fiver, so again, a great quality, great value buy!
As I passed the jewellery counter this gorgeous vintage style floral necklace caught my eye and I had to have it- especially when I saw the half price sticker meaning that it was only £2.50.  I love anything floral or with bows on so this necklace is perfect for me.
I'm sure you'll agree I've picked up some gorgeous items here, although I'm probably biased but I do think that there is something for everyone.  Matalan have stores all over the country but if there isn't one near you, check out for your latest fashion fix!
Do you shop at Matalan?
What are you going to be wearing this winter?


  1. I am loving those gloves and the necklace is super cute nice haul :)


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