Monday, 28 October 2013
The Major Primark Haul
Last week I went on a mission. There's usually a stand-out dress every season in Primark and normally I struggle to find it in my local store. I'd spotted this tartan dress (below), clearly inspired by Saint Laurent, months ago and knew I had to have it. I was dubious if my local would ever get it though. Once I knew a rough idea of when it was due instore, I contacted my friend who kept an eye out for me at the Edinburgh store. She said they would get it before my local as it's a massive shop. Rather than wait all that time, then miss out on it, I decided it would be easier to go to Edinburgh myself. Now, I'm here to talk about clothes, but a 'quick trip' to Edinburgh isn't really an easy or cheap thing for me even although it isn't too far away. Despite being in the capital almost every weekend in my Uni days, I've only been a handful of times in the 11 years I've been ill (and several of them were for mandatory bridesmaid dress fittings, eugh).
This time, I needed the wheelchair and my Mum and sister to help. It's a long and expensive bus journey and we only went to Primark, got lunch then home again (and this took all day and an early start). Despite this, it's wonderful for me to get to see something other than the street I live on and it's difficult to explain to someone who hasn't been in this situation really. However, I'm rarely in a place like that with busy streets, lots of people, on motorways, in amongst the hustle and bustle. It's something I completely took for granted before, as one would, but it's a rare thing for me now. I don't pass by fancy shop windows every day and regularly go weeks, only speaking to my family. I'm not saying it's always a pleasant experience to get out, for example we waited ages for lifts from floor to floor (can I please request that able-bodied people use the stairs or escalators instead of taking up precious space in the lift?) and people often do not see you in a wheelchair (one day someone is going to land in my lap), so you're knocked about and hit. Although, I seriously should get paid to sit in my wheelchair in front of an item that isn't a good seller. Once I'm parked there "out of the way" all of a sudden it's the most desirable item in the shop! I get rude stares that I'm 'in the way' with people leaning over me and edging me out of the way more and more. It's annoying, but something you have to take on the chin and I've learnt to deal with over the years. So complaints aside, it was a somewhat momentous trip for me and one that I'm hoping to attempt maybe 2 or 3 times a year, to give me that different perspective, a bit of a life and you know, to get what's hot in Primark!
Back to the clothes, the black-watch tartan one (below) was the one I most wanted and thankfully we weren't in the shop too long before I spied it. There's 5 storeys to the shop and we applied a somewhat methodical approach to browsing. In Dundee I'm well aware of 'my' designated areas (where I'll find dresses basically), but I'd say it was less defined here. I found the black one first and grabbed it anyway. It zips up the centre back and there's a gap at the back (above the top of the zip) before a button/loop for the collar. It's a shift style with princess seams on the bodice and quite high waisted. I'm always a bit wary of wearing tartan (being Scottish) because it seems like I'm trying to be overly patriotic or making a point and you know I'm usually a sucker for kitsch or floral or animal prints, so tartan is a little different for me.
The crisp white collar and black bow at the neck, made it feel much more 'me' and I didn't feel at all awkward wearing it the other day (you can see the whole outfit here). Along with these two tartans, there's a brighter red one, that I wasn't as keen on, so didn't get. I bought a size 20 in both (£15 each) and although it's quite loose on the waist, it just fits my bust. The Saint Laurent one, if you can believe this, will set you back £2545 at Net-a-Porter! Ok so it's got studs on the waist, is silk lined, pleated and of a heavier weight wool, but could you ever imagine paying that for a wee dress? Yikes! I'd love the Swarovski encrusted tights they wore it with on the catwalk, but they cost £675! I'd probably just die on the spot, if I stuck my finger through them!
Speaking of tights, the hosiery and lingerie departments in Edinburgh are possibly the size of the entire two-floor Dundee store! There was so much to look at. Something I haven't photographed here are some plain black tights my Mum bought herself. She ended up liking them so much that she insisted I buy a pair too and now I'm desperate for another couple! I struggle to find thick black tights that are comfortable, don't roll down at the waist, fit around my bum and hips and I like them high waisted. Under the bust Simon Cowell style! They are £3 for one pair and called something like 'velvet touch' 120 denier. The waist is smooth so doesn't cut into the skin and I was surprised at how comfortable they were and they didn't roll down at all. The legs were a little long for me, but seeing as I love everything else about them, I'm willing to forgive that. I'd definitely recommend them.
What I did buy in Edinburgh were two pairs of Disney tights! They were £5 each and considering I probably own 100 pairs of tights, that's more than I'd usually pay for one style. However they are fabulous! There's these thicker comic strip ones, which I haven't tried yet.
Then these amazing sheer nude tights with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the back. I wore them last week and thankfully didn't stick my finger through them! The pictures fill almost the whole of my calves and look like tattoos. Cool huh? You can see me wearing them here.
I honestly didn't think they would fit, especially once I had one leg in...it seemed like no chance my other leg would get in. However once on, they were pretty comfy (not the comfiest, but not the tightest either) and they didn't feel like they'd rip if I sat down! Loving them!
I'm not sure if these are available in all stores, I rarely visit the hosiery dept. in my local as it's a bit of a skitter to go up another floor. Sometimes they have tights in amongst the clothes and usually I just see those. I'm certainly going back for another pair of the black if they have them. Onto socks and I don't wear them often, but couldn't resist this little set. Unicorn socks! £2 for all three pairs.
Then I found these jammie bottoms reduced to £3, with bicycles all over them. They seemed to only have one size left (and plenty of them), so I grabbed a pair. You can never have too many pj's can you?
I ignored most of the underwear as there's no chance they do bras to fit me, but I spied in a corner, a range of shapewear. I've never tried shapewear before and most of them didn't look too appealing (all-in-one shorts with ahem a 'handy' hole to pee through). However I've been on the lookout for something to wear under my little black dresses, just as a 'smoother' really.
Obviously I don't have anything to compare this to, but I'm quite happy with it. It was £10 which isn't the cheapest thing you'll find in Primark, but in other brands you'd expect to pay two or three times as much for a similar style. It's a smooth slip which goes over underwear (including your bra-I know some are open at the bust) and there's no hem for a seamless finish. I got an 18/20 and it's a good fit on me. I'd imagine you could go tighter, but this is comfortable for me and I don't feel like I was breathing in all the time. I think sometimes the skirt rides up (not rolls up), but I've been completely unaware of this as it still feels comfortable. I wore it under my tartan dress and it definitely made the dress fit better than without. I also wore it under my pencil skirt (to follow...), and besides the plaster of getting the skirt on over the slip without the slip riding up, it provided a nice smooth line. Perhaps it's not reshaping me so that others would notice, but it certainly makes me feel comfier and more confident and is nowhere near as restrictive as I'd imagined. I doubt my local sell these, certainly not as many different styles, but I haven't specifically looked.
Onto the pencil skirt and I love my black lace Swan by Clements Ribeiro one. However, I accidentally put it in the washing machine and the lace shrunk while the lining didn't. Oops! The lining now hangs a couple of inches below the skirt and it's been sitting on my 'must fix' pile for months! So I've been trying to find a replacement and this is exactly what I was looking for. I didn't necessarily want plain black and this one has a brocade type print in velvet and it's an elasticated waist that just pulls on. It's a nice strong fabric with a little but not much stretch, so it doesn't cling, but really pulls you in. Wearing my tights, shapewear and this skirt the other day I couldn't help but wiggle when I walked and sitting down, I kinda wanted to lunge at the chair without bending! I'm loving this skirt though...it was £8 and also came in a lighter grey or white with black detailing. You can see my whole outfit here.
Then, I realised the other thing I'd been hunting for was a Little Mermaid t-shirt. I realised we hadn't seen any tops, t-shirts, leggings and knew they had to be hiding somewhere. Edinburgh has this weird lift system though, that on the 1st floor (womenswear and home I believe), we came out and all we saw were dog outfits, some home stuff and onesies. Oodles of onesies. There was a wall behind the counter which we knew we couldn't get behind, but then we discovered if we got in the lift at a different area, it took us to more womenswear (obviously behind that wall). Strange and this was the point we were getting exasperated with the slow moving lift! So Mum had already looked in Dundee for this tee and they didn't have it (I believe they do now though) and I was at the point of paying twice the price for it on eBay, but thankfully we saw it. There weren't many sizes and usually I'd size down on this, but even the 18 or 16 looked huge, so I got the 14. It fits fine.
You have to check them though because of the way they're flat screen-printed. Some have been creased or have loose threads which have manipulated or obstructed the print. I love the colours in this and obviously Ariel, but am not at all keen on the high neckline. Something I might have to remedy. This one was £6 and they had a white My Little Pony one which looked cute but they didn't have my size. I also saw a really cute cropped grey sweatshirt style top (I think it might've had short sleeves) with MLP printed all over, it was gorgeous and I'd have snapped it up if it wasn't cropped.
What else? Oh the jewellery! I never look at the jewellery in my local now as it got really boring and they've now given up and shoved it up the back of the store. In Edinburgh they had tonnes of Limited Edition stuff and I wish I'd got more, but my Mum was getting impatient and rushing me at this point (plus I seemed to be in the way). The prices are a little higher than the regular range, so I was sad to see some necklaces had bits missing or damaged. I've got a couple of necklaces stuck in my head that I wish I'd got, but the one I did get was this unusual jewelled dude with a curved perspex back. I liked the plastic backing, it gave it an almost futuristic feel. This one was £8.
Then I got two hairbands at £4 each. This wide jewelled and pearl one will go with my necklace.
And this thin, ruffled one will save many a bad hair day!
And that's it for my Edinburgh haul! The only thing I couldn't find was this £8 floral dress. They only had a few left and none in my size. They've gone fast as they just hit around the time I was there.
When Mum had been looking for the Ariel t-shirt for me, she got me another four prints of this style of dress and I was so excited as I'd been hoping to get the heart one, which has 3/4 length sleeves. I already have a black/white floral one, green tile print one and probably more that I've forgotten about! I've worn the older green one here and here, the black floral here, grey tile one here and hearts here.
When we got to the checkout in Edinburgh, we realised we'd spent 2 hours browsing (I didn't try anything on) and that was us being pretty quick! Lunch was required, so we popped into John Lewis and you get such a great view in there as you're up so high and it's all glass. I love Edinburgh as it's so unique that you have Topshop and H&M on one side of the street and a proper castle on the other! Where else can you get that view and contrast? The tram lines were a bit annoying (quite wide and deep) for the wheelchair, but it'll be nice to see an end to the constant works, it feels like (and actually has) dragged on for years. Mum and I would love to go back to see The Lion King which is on at The Playhouse and stay overnight and do a spot of shopping the next day, but I doubt it's something I can afford before Christmas (sad face). Like I said, it's nice for me to get a change of scene and do something different. Is anything going on your wishlist from this post or have you got anything already? Let me know x
image 1 Vogue, image 2 + 3 Net-a-Porter, stock images Primark.