Yes, Matalan. I know what you’re thinking – “isn’t that just for safe, mumsie work uniforms and v. cute homewear?” – and whilst you’re spot on with the homewear, you’ll be surprised to know that this underrated fashion destination stocks some really contemporary, on-trend pieces at unbelievably affordable prices. And when I say affordable, I mean for nearly every budget. Every piece featured in these outfits comes in at under £20, meaning you can whip up a series of combo outfits without breaking the bank and leaving yourself with that dreaded buyer’s guilt.
And this affordability comes at a very welcome time. As you guys may or may not know, I recently cut down my hours in the office to only two days a week so I could focus the majority of my time on blogging. This has been great; I’ve been able to go to lots of different events, seize major work opportunities and shoot more than I was ever able to when I was committed to my 5 days a week 9-5. I now have the flexibility to work around projects and plan my months ahead, but of course, cutting down to two days a week has meant cutting down on my pay check too. Obviously I make up for that with what I’m going to pay myself from blogging, but still, seeing that previously healthy number dwindle to just enough to cover my bills and a lil’ bit of living was certainly disheartening.
That’s why, alongside being honest about loving my J.W. Anderson Pierce Bag, I really want to champion some more budget clothing options without sacrificing on style. Whilst Gingham had a moment last A/W, this season it’s back with a bang in all its kitsch wonder. You’ll see it popping up in the form of ruffled smocks, picnic-esque dungarees and every variation of oversized. Ushering myself into the trend, I’ve opted for a fairly simple boxy top with tie front detailing, which, when coupled with this black cord mini-skirt, I’ve left undone for that very popular deconstructed feel. Paired with my beloved baker boy hat and some mock-croc boots, this ensemble had me feeling certifiably retro.
The second look was all about celebrating the versatility of a soft shirt. Popping a simple black roll neck underneath and adding a feature, tie belt shows that shirts aren’t only for wearing with trousers. In fact, shirts are perfect for layering and this particular look is great for ticking the smart casual box or, if paired with culottes or some very on-trend frilled hem trousers, is perfect for work when the sun doesn’t decide to shine. Keeping it comfortable, I’ve gone for some simple black jeans on the bottom which I DIYed myself and cut the bottoms off for a raw hem.
The great thing about these pieces is that they can be chopped and changed for a mini-capsule wardrobe, all the while keeping the costs low. Swap the mini skirt in and have the shirt unbuttoned over one shoulder with some high boots and et voila – the perfect, ‘cool girl’ night out outfit. Pop the gingham shirt on with the jeans and some bougie red shoes and you have a super easy but subtly statement date night outfit. The world is your Oyster! Or rather, Matalan is. Not bad huh? Let me know if you pick any bits up in the comments below, or find me over on Instagram and Twitter @chloeplumstead. Until next time my lil’ loves!
This post was sponsored by Matalan, but all wording, imagery and practiced head tilts are my own.