Wardrobe Rehab


Ok so I have to admit that I’m pretty late to the mule game. It was more than two years ago I saw their revival come down the runway and TBH my reaction was ick – thoughts of the 90’s, Barbie, Carrie Bradshaw and that infamous click clacking. The pointed versions literally made my skin crawl. As such, my appreciation for a durable wardrobe stopped me jumping on the bandwagon immediately, preferring to spend my hand eared cash on yet another pair of tan flats. However, over the summer, as if by osmosis, they’ve come to grow on me. Not just because my arm is super bendy in the warm weather, but because this year’s iteration of the mule (or was it last year’s? I am clearly so behind!) is a touch more substantial and grown up, down the peep toe boot end of the spectrum as opposed to the barbie shoes end. They’ve got block heels for one, and wide straps that reduce the click clacking. And guess what? They’re surprisingly comfortable! I like to wear mine with cut off shorts, a white shirt and a leather jacket – the perfect transpersonal (thanks autocorrect) trans-seasonal outfit. You can even opt for ones with a little sling back like I now have in tan, thus straddling the line between mules and boots. Sadly they’re probably not that good worn with tights as the weather gets cold, but I’ll cross that bridge (probably in jeans) when I come to it.

Thoughts on mules? Are they going to be part of your next wardrobe update or are you still feeling ick about them? Or were you onboard from the start? Or do you like the click clacking sound? So many questions!

Mules www.apairandasparediy.comMules www.apairandasparediy.comMules www.apairandasparediy.com

Above: Whistles and Carvela (more of a peep toe boot!) (black is cute too)

Other fun styles: Tibi, River Island, Jeffrey Campbell, Schutz, Tony Bianco, Steve Madden (more on the boot end).


Although having a mismatched wardrobe is entirely a first world problem, it can be a very real problem. At least, it was for me before I  adopted the ‘four ways‘ rule (part of my Wardrobe Rehab) – by attempting to make sure that everything I buy goes with at least 4 outfits in my closet before I pull out my wallet. For all you serial shoppers out there, it can also be a useful tool for post-purchase-justification, but that’s not really the point is it now… Although I give most of my closet the four ways treatment, I wanted to share with you one item that’s surprised me by becoming one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe – the backpack.

a pair and a spare four ways to wear a backpack

Backpacks are one of those things your mum always tells you that you need, but since the huge poo brown brick of a backpack I was made to wear throughout high school I haven’t really been able to go there. Skip forward a few years and I’ve done a complete 180, helped primarily by a black leather one from Whistles that has pretty much become an extra appendage since I added it to my cart. I must say, it has done wonders for my posture – my mother would be proud! And what’s even better is that when I wear it I get a sense of schoolgirl-esque nostalgia that adds a shine to the day (sans detentions and being constantly told ‘if only you’d apply yourself!’). Recently Whistles sent me this silver backpack from their new SS14 collection, and I thought what better way to test it out than to put it (as well as my own black backpack) to a classic four way?

a pair and a spare four ways to wear a backpack

Whistles Verity Rucksack (in stock in silver soon), Whistles Portland Rucksack

A few other fun options:

$$$: The Row, Alexander Wang. $: Topshop, New Look, Asos.

a pair and a spare four ways to wear a backpack

Outfit 1: Whistles Portland Rucksack, Witchery Sweater (like this), Whistles Silver Skirt, Madewell silk shirt (Like this), Chelsea boots, Asos fedora

Outfit 2: Whistles Verity Rucksack, Topshop white teeWitchery Sweater (like this), DIY neoprene skirt, Zara booties, Asos fedora.

a pair and a spare four ways to wear a backpack

Outfit 3: Whistles Portland Rucksack, Whistles silver skirt, Macgraw blush blazer, Topshop tee, Asos fedora, Witchery flats (like these)

Outfit 4: Whistles Verity Rucksack, Topshop white teeWitchery Sweater (like this), Witchery fluted skirt , Asos fedora, Witchery flats (like these).

a pair and a spare four ways to wear a backpack

Outfit 5: Whistles Verity Rucksack, Witchery Sweater (like this),  Madewell silk shirt (Like this), DIY cut off denim shorts,  grey fedora, Chelsea boots.

Outfit 6: Whistles Portland Rucksack, Whistles silver cami, Whistles silver skirtWitchery Sweater (like this), Asos fedora, Chelsea boots.

a pair and a spare four ways to wear a backpack

Outfit 7: Whistles Portland Rucksack, Boda Skins leather jacket (another here), Witchery Sweater (like this), Whistles silver cami, DIY neoprene skirt, Zara booties, Asos fedora

Outfit 8: Whistles Verity RucksackBoda Skins leather jacket (another here), Witchery Sweater (like this), Whistles silver cami, Crew Jeans, Zara Booties, Asos fedora.

Interestingly the silver backpack appears just as wearable as the black one I have, although if you’re dipping your toe into the whole backpack shenanigans I’d probably choose a neutral tone to start with, then start experimenting with prints and intergalactic metallics.

On another note, I’m so looking forward to watching the Whistles AW14 show via their livestream, I love that you don’t have to actually go to the shows to get a touch of fashion week. Make sure you tune in next Monday 17th at 11.30 am GMT here to watch it!


The holidays are a time for reflection, a time to ask ourselves the big questions. An overindulgence in family, friends and daze inducing turkey often makes one stop and think ‘What’s important to me?’, ‘Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?’, ‘Where do butterflies go when it rains?’ or (probably) ‘How is it possible that I ate a whole carton of caramel popcorn?’. With so many deep philosophical conundrums for pondering (or arguing – after 5 glasses of wine – if your family is anything like mine), the last question you want to be asking yourself during the holidays is ‘How do I dress in the holiday spirit without looking like a christmas tree that’s been decorated by a blind Moulin Rouge dancer, or Mark Darcy?’. Fear not! There are plenty of outfit options for the festive season that don’t involve fairy lights, jingle bells or snowman sweaters. Stylebop and I recently got together to create an outfit that’s a slightly more subtle nod to the season of excess – a simple palette of red, white and black, with a side of bling (of course).  Not quite Santa’s little helper, but as close as I’m willing to get without an appearance fee.

Classic colour combos Classic colour combos Classic colour combos
Classic colour combos Classic colour combos

Wearing: Fausto Puglisi dress via  Stylebop, leather jacket via  Stylebop, necklace  via  Stylebop, Tony Bianco heels, Clutch (like this one).

Photos: Luke Casey