So yesterday, I did the mad dash with my sister (- within school hours) to Bournemouth ( – 2 hour round trip) for a quick whizz around some actual, *real* shops.  Once the puppy arrives on Saturday, I don’t think I will be going any where near any shops for a few weeks.  Hallelujah & Amen for the internet & online shopping!

But, aside from one final pre-puppy pootle, I was also hoping to try on the things I’d seen online, specifically GAP Petite cropped kick-flare jeans and Miss Selfridge’s Petite Navy/Black bomber jacket.  More on those later.

First shopping stop: CastlePoint Shopping Park which is a slightly ‘out of town’ shopping centre, so perhaps could be described as a little soulless.  However, it had the 2 shops I needed to go to, free parking and as it was a beautiful, clear sunny day, no big crowds and with a vast carpark (for 3000 odd cars) it had a great feeling of space/openness.

Armed with my 40% discount, GAP was first on my hit-list.  I was determined to find some fab deals.  Rather disappointingly, the Crop Kick Flares are *not* stocked in Petites in-store. Gutted!  Undeterred, I decided to try on some Girlfriend jeans… just to switch things up a little from my usual skinnies uniform.  I also picked up an armful of other items, again, in regular fit (i.e. non-petite) sizes and you will get so see first hand just how tough it can be out there for us shorties:

This Chevron Tank checked several boxes for me: navy & white & red plus chevrons, what’s not to love?!

GAP Navy Chevron Tank

Sadly, as you can see, it looked bloody awful on me. Did nothing for me at all.  It was too big across the bust, armholes too big and the slash-slit neckline was obscenely low on me (its lifted higher in the pic because my arm is up holding the camera).

Next came this Soft tie shirt dress with its super pretty & dainty cherry print:

I chose to try this dress not just because it’s cute & that I liked it, but the style is something I felt I could get away with, without altering.  Thought it’d be a great dress to wear over jeans; or in Spring with ankle boots; in A/W with opaques & boots and of course easy enough to wear with stans/sneakers… in short, a versatile little number.  Unfortunately, the sleeves were super long on me and the gathered neckline was overly gathered on my petite frame.

Next up was, what I’m calling a Perforated grey Sweat Top – it was in the new collection but I simply cannot find it online to link to it. Sorry!

Cute but just a bit nothingy. Though I love a good sweat top, and the ‘perf’ look, I appear to have a slight thing about ‘perfs’ in fact, but even with the discount it was just another item for the ‘nope’ pile. (BTW, its not shiny, its just the light catching my  white/navy breton underneath).

The Girlfiend jeans: These are a 7/8 length (in regular fit), so I figured that perhaps, just perhaps I could get away with them?

I liked them.  The jeans were comfy with their relaxed fit and already had a double turn-up, so I just turned them up one extra time.  The mid-rise didn’t come to my armpits like so many other mid-rise styles I’ve tried in the past.  Finally, something in the ‘hell, yeah’ pile!  A bit of a surprise as they are slightly “mom” jean-ish, but I need more jeans and wanted to step out of my skinnies-rut.  Plus, they came to just £26.97 after the discount: whoop!

My sister & I then popped into the giant M&S, hoping to find a bargain cosy knit.  However, with neither of us being M&S regulars, we didn’t do very well at finding anything in there, perhaps because it was almost too big a store for us?!  These two caught my eye on the way out:

Cute, sleeveless Navy Pleated hem Shift:

M&S Pleated hem shift

Not the best pic, but a navy shift is a wardrobe staple in my opinion, and with the pleated hem its a nod to both pleated skirts we’ve had in-store for the past few seasons as well as this Spring’s frill trend.

Also spotted this, what appeared to be a lightly quilted, luxe sweat.  However, on closer inspection it was *not* quilted, but a Jacquard Sweat Top:

Its a lot more silvery in the flesh (& I do love metallics), but its *very* wide.  Or rather, appeared to be on the hanger.  I didn’t actually try it on… hmmm, I may need to go back and try this, as I love the whole ‘back to the 90s’ with sweat tops & sneakers thing… bit of a bargain too.

We then drifted into Topshop.  By now, having not had breakfast, done a preschool drop, followed by a school drop and a further hours driving, I needed a caffine fix as I couldn’t focus fully.  BUT… even in my haze, I spotted this Eagle Sweat Top for £30.

Topshop Eagle sweat

Think this may have to go on my wish list.

…and just as we were about to head up the escalators to have a look around the Miss Selfridge this gorgeous top stopped me in my tracks:

TOpshop High neck romantic bouse

Now, this picture doesn’t do it justice – check it out online: High Neck Romantic top as its gorgeous in the flesh.  I have a thing for mustard, which you’ll come to know about me… but yes, the top!  I couldn’t help but fall slightly in love with it.  Then I heard the voice of a good friend in my head “Bean, its only the colour you like, its not what you came for and you have loads of mustard already…” and so, reluctantly I headed upstairs, trying to make myself feel better about saving £40…  Its really very pretty in the flesh!)

Upstairs in Miss Selfridge, I quickly scouted out the Petite Navy bomber I’d driven an hour for.  I loved it online because of the black detailing against the navy and the jacket did not disappoint in the flesh.  Here I am in the size 6, which was out of stock online:

This jacket is in the petites range & although the 6 fitted perfectly (looks bulky as I have a long sleeve breton plus a box-cardi underneath) it sort of felt too cropped.  In the end, I bought it in an 8, so could have ordered online! There was something weird going on with the pricing in-store: it was marked as £49 on the ticket but online I was sure it was £39.  The girls at the till said if I could bring the discounted item up on my phone they’d be happy to price match – so that’s what happened.  Another: Whoop!

From Castlepoint – we drove into Bournemouth proper which is just an 11 minute drive (according to google maps), and although we had a bit of a disaster with traffic and a couple of wrong turns, it was a straight forward journey.

As we made our way up & down the main shopping drag which consists of hilly pedestrianised streets, we popped into a (much larger than the one we have here in our town) Fat Face: my sister is a big fan of this place. We found a few bargains too.  Some sparkly tights down to £4 (perfect for next winter, not online so can’t link!), a very generous, soft, Monochrome wrap for £12 (no pic – I forgot!).  My sister also found a fab plaid shirt for just £20 which she’ll no doubt live in at weekends (again, not online so can’t link).

We continued onto Zara with a quick bite to eat in hand, but just before we made it, what did we spot more-or-less next door?  Yep, everyone’s favourite polyester palace: Primark.  We stopped in our tracks. Hesitated, but decided to do Zara first & hoped to magic 10 minutes out of thin air for Primark at the end.

Now Zara has a fair few things online that I’ve been eyeing up and yet, I wasn’t overly wowed in-store.  Perhaps because I was under a tight time constraint, or maybe the store was a smaller one /didn’t stock the full range?  I don’t know.  Spotted a few bits but didn’t feel the urge to try any of them.  Like this Contrast Print Tunic:

Zara Contrast Print Tunic

It was just a bit shapeless and the wrong length (I only held it up to myself, didn’t bother trying it) but the Japanese blossom print was oh-so-pretty.

I love metallics.  I love a little block heel.  So you can imagine how I felt when I spotted these beauties:

ZARA Laminated block heel slingbacks

Fabulous (granny) Laminated slingbacks in silver, with silver & gold block heel and only £39.99

Still in Zara, we popped upstairs to their TRF range.  I really liked the look of this Pleated Collar Shirt & may well still order it:

ZARA TRF Pleated Collar Shirt

&  more silver pumps:

Zara Laminated Flats

these Laminated Flats are so fab for just £19.99.  Wow, I am loving all the silver and gold out there and although I didn’t buy any gold or silver shoes on this trip, they will be added to my ever growing wishlist.

Finally, Primark: we did run out of time unfortunately, although, pretty much in the doorway, I spotted this mustard shirt:  I thought it was rather Whistles-esque (Military Patch Pocket Silk Shirt), though for a tenner, and from Primark, its not silk of course but a simply a great budget version.  The true colour is also closer to a golden-mustard, shown better in the close-up pic.

So to sum up, I’d definitely go shopping in Bournemouth again as it was an easy enough A-road drive and for the best part a straight run, not terribly trafficky.   However, would I do it again given school day time constraints?  Probably not, as it was pretty stressful.  We got back at 15.06, but luckily Half Moon’s story time had only just finished with parents still buzzing around gathering up their little ones bits & bobs so I wasn’t late for pick-ups. Phew.  In terms of my mission for going… well it turns out I have to order the GAP crop kicks’s online, and as I ended up buying the Navy bomber in a size 8, I could have ordered that from my living room too!  However, I got to get out & about and had a lovely day with my sis, so it was all worth it.

A busy little weekend lies ahead for our family with our new mini-schnauzer pup arriving.  We’re all so excited and my two little moons have been counting down the sleeps which has been cute to listen to (instead of their usual bickering over who gets to sit on which sofa etc) and no doubt, although we will lose the lovely late weekend starts we’ve been enjoying for the past couple of years (blessed with 2 little late sleepers) I think the puppy is going to be a brilliant addition to our family.  She’s gorgeous: will post a pic soon.

What are you up to this weekend? Any shopping trips planned? What ever you’re up to, don’t forget to kick-back & have a little fun along the way: its the weekend after all! Xx