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7 May 2014

blogger style challenge with lewisham shopping centre

a couple of weeks back, my local shopping centre - lewisham shopping, got in touch to tell me about the launch of their new centre gift cards. having just rolled the new payment method to over 60 of the centre's high street and indie stores, they wanted to see if i was up for the challenge of testing out the new design with a bit of an undercover style challenge. sorry... was i up for a shopping challenge? me? shopping? "hells yes bitches, bring it on!" is basically what i wanted to say, but instead, graciously accepted and headed off nice and early to beat the crowds on sunday.

did i think to check the opening times of the centre? no, no i did not. did i go to the information desk and attempt to meet with the centre manager for my challenge half an hour before his shift started and the majority of the shops opened? yes, yes i did! while i waited, i hit up costa for some energy, and started to to window shop for what challenges lay ahead. when i finally caught up with him, i was handed my gift card, given the challenge to build a wardrobe based on this season's latest trends, and sent on my way to shop to my little heart's content.

fluffy cardigan £12 | cups £4.99 each | floral maxi £19.99 | emerald maxi £14.99

first up was new look. in the summer time i love to let my inner wild child out, and if there's one store that does boho well, it's new look. lots of neutrals, crochet and embellished sandals were on the agenda, and only failed to disappoint when it came to finding the sizes i wanted. being a local shopping centre, the shops are usually on the smaller side than what's on offer to me in the city when i shop, and sometimes i forget that before heading in; it means incomplete style and size ranges, which is a bit of a shame, because if they had what i wanted and in the size i needed it, then i would have certainly come away with much more than i inevitably did.

i did manage to bag myself two gorgeous maxi skirts for summer though; the emerald one i've had my eye on since last summer, when i was in between two sizes i was unhappy to be in, and now - it seems, although i am still in between two sizes, they're two much smaller sizes, which makes me very happy indeed. the floral number comes with a cute little tan belt that will aid in the keeping-it-where-it-ough-to-sit, while the emerald one may just need a slight nip in at the waist to get it perfect. at £14.99 (emerald) and £19.99 (floral), i'm hardly going to complain though, right?  i also grabbed myself anottttther fluffy cardi. 

well, it's not as fluffy as my others, and it's cream. and, i don't have a cream one yet, and cream is perfect for summer, right? plus, it was a measly £12 on sale from £19.99 so erm, yeah. that's how i justified that one. as i was checking out, i impulsively grabbed myself a new thermal coffee cup for the office, and that floral smoothie tumbler (i have bene hunting for one with a straw for an age!) - each around a fiver, and... i needed them. new look, you did me proud for under sixy quid. four for you new look, you go new look.

wedges £15 | crochet skirt £15.40 | lace tee £8

now, pastels in spring is hardly revolutionary, right, but seriously... some stores are dead keen on pushing the trend right through to summer. totes fine by me. next especially seem to be having a field day with their pinks and whites and grey combos, all teamed with a light wash denim and tan details...so perfectly pastel. but, even for me it was a bit much. i prefer my pastels with a bit of an edge! in bhs' dotty p concession i stumbled across a 30% off promotion on s/s styles, and a bit of leftover sale product from earlier in the season. with fitting rooms hard to find in there, and an epic lack of customer service types to assist, i grabbed at some stuff and prayed to the pastel gods that it would fit me.

i found this purple lacy tee in the sale rack for a pittance (£8) and although not in my size, i think the smaller size will see it be a bit more flattering than the oversized style it's supposed to be (i so don't suit oversized... booooobs). the pale pink crocheted skirt was £22 but with the 30% off came in at less than £16 which i was very happy about indeed! it also came in a white but... white? me? no. i don't have me a pale pink skirt for spring/summer just yet, so i can see both of these bits fitting in perfectly with their sisters currently hanging in my (many) wardrobes!

the cork-heeled wedges are a bhs own-brand, and came in a range of colours. i considered the  yummy teal shade before deciding that coral was probably going to fare me well-er (ha?) for summer, and at £15 were a steal. might actually go back for the teal, because these are really, really comfy, and i am always in the market for comfy summer shoes. all in all, another £38.40 down. the gift card was faring well, even if i was having a bit of trouble using it... 

straw bowler £5 | ditzy dress £14

wandering the centre for my next inspiration, i noticed a lot of bright colours in the window displays and on the mannequins; i'm a fan of colour, yes, but neon brights? unsure. tk maxx and tiger seemed to be smashing the trend down the throats of their customers by way of clunky and super bright merchandising, and later on in in select, it was hard to miss the palm-tree print and cropped tops and neon clash, oh my!

how i was going to incorporate the summer neon shades into my mainly-twee wardrobe was going to be my next challenge. and then! as if by fate! this ditzy print tea dress with adooooorable crochet collar just about jumped off the rack and into the fitting room, daring me to try her on. with the neon yellow, pink, blue and green all offset by my biggest nemesis (black), it was any wonder i was giving it the time of day. but the collar?! and, it fit so well, and looked smashing on, and if the best i can do is keep my tea party roots through s/s but update for the season, then so be it. i bloody tried, didn't i? and, a girl can never have too many bowler hats, am i right? this white wicker number will adorn my barnet throughout summer, and allow the odd bad hair day to slip through the net. marvellous.

 eyeliner £3.99 | lippies £5.49ea | mascara £6.99 | foundation £8.99 | stippling brush £11.99

to finish the look i headed to boots to update the essentials for summer. in the winter, i am a true porcelain kind of girl. that's make up speak for 'very, very white'. now, while i don't tan all that well, i do like to give the illusion of a healthy glow in the warmer months, so i tend to become a bit more 'true beige' after march. i picked up the rimmel 'wake me up' on offer with some more spring/summery lippies to keep me looking fresh and flawless, and while i was at it (and with the promo running across all beauty essentials), grabbed a new real techniques stippling brush (something i have had my eye on for a while now!), and some new eye tools to make me look amazingly gorgeous (etc), with as little effort as possible. in keeping with the pastels and brights train of thought, i picked up the kate moss for rimmel lipsticks in 101 - a super girly, sugary pink, and 110 - a really bright coral, and because of the offer, grabbed the eyeliner for free... always a bonus! 

so all in all, my day spent trialling lewisham shopping centre's new gift card function was - in a word, awesome. it was a bit of a shame to have come up against so many road blocks as i tried to use it thought; a couple of the stores i tried buying from either didn't accept cards (at all... in this day and age?), or didn't have anyone working that day who knew how to process the payment. in one shop in particular, i had to help the employee process the transaction by telling her how another store had done it. another store sent me away twice while they waited for a manager to come back to work it out for them. it was pretty annoying.

i guess this goes to show how new the function is at the centre, and maybe it's partly my own fault for heading down on a weekend, but it seemed like there should have been more education on how to process the gift card transactions. i don't know if it's the centre management's fault, or the individual stores', but it definitely made my day out shopping a little less awesome

thank you so much to lewisham shopping centre for laying out the style challenge and setting me up for the day with one of their new gift cards. i'll give it a few weeks for the staff to get the hang of the new payment method, then i will be back to finish off the job.

that's a promise.

Add your comment

  1. OMG this looks like the best day, I'm so jealous! I'm in such a major shopping mood at the moment, I seem to be in the shopping centre every weekend ... I seriously need to reign myself in. It's all of the beautiful Spring clothes, I just can't resist!
    Chloe x

  2. This sounds amzing, I want to do this, haha. I think you did an awesome job. It's not always easy tofind the size you need in local shops, I get that as well, and also the shops in the city are usually packed with other stuff you don't find in the smaller ones. But, you did ace!! Love these pieces xx

  3. Ahmahgaahd that sounds like so much fun! I'm loving the lacy purple top and the emerald maxi. Gorge colours x

    Katy | Little Miss Katy

  4. Ala Skrakowski7 May 2014 at 13:25

    Lewisham is one of my local shopping centres, and it certainly helped being so close by at Christmas time, although I find it cramped and stressful. Although it's smaller, I really like the little shopping centre in Surrey Quays - they have a good sized River Island and a biggish superdrug! Love that floral New Look skirt, such good value! x

  5. Polkadot Pink7 May 2014 at 22:45

    Awesome challenge, you scored some gorgeous items! Pretty sweet you still have money left on your card, despite the aggro! xx


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