The pleated midi skirt of dreams

It may not have seemed like it last week when we were wading through snow and trying to avoid frostbite, but Spring really is just around the corner, and I for one have been getting super excited about what that means for fashion. Not by total coincidence, I've also been feeling a little spendy of late, and so it felt like the stars had aligned when the lovely Intu Chapelfield PR team got in touch and asked if I wanted to take part in their latest blogger challenge. 

The task was simple: pick out a key fashion piece, and style it in two different ways using items already in your wardrobe. Armed with a gift card, I accepted the challenge, although I'll admit it wasn't as easy as I'd expected. Turns out there were so many amazing SS18 pieces in the centre already (and I shopped before the snow came, so god only knows how much temptation there is in the centre now...).

After more trying on than I think I've done in actual years, several moments of hanger-induced crisis, and some seriously static hair, I finally found the midi skirt of dreams in H&M. I've really been loving the  fashion for midi dresses and skirts and it's something I've been on the hunt for for a while, so naturally this was the perfect fit. It has an elasticated waistband (perfect for big meals), asymmetric hem, and a pleated navy and cream pattern which somehow manages to be both classic and eye-catching.

The brief was to style the skirt up and down, and I knew exactly which items from my wardrobe I would style the skirt down with as soon as I set eyes on it.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with trainers, and I can never work out with these particular ones whether I prefer them bright white or a bit dirty; either way, I always prefer the opposite to how the trainers are when I grab them from the wardrobe. Knowing I would probably have the same response on this occasion, I opted to embrace the lilac trend (not that you can really tell from the photos) and picked out some lilac socks to wear with the trainers, so that whatever state they happened to be in, they wouldn't look as dirty as they would with a pair of white socks - does that logic make sense to anyone else but me?

As the colours in the skirt verge on monochromatic, I injected some colour into the outfit with this amazing yellow shopper from ZARA; unfortunately this is now a few years old, but it is the perfect sized bag for the weekend, particularly as the weather is starting to warm up - if you're anything like me you'll be carrying round spare layers for the next couple of months just in case, so this is ideal.

I popped a grey jumper on with the outfit to allow the skirt and bag to take centre stage, but I'm thinking it would also look fab with a bright orange jumper. Perhaps the bag will need to be toned down just a little as I'm not usually ~that~ extra, but you get the gist - any suggestions, hit a girl up.

Skirt: H&M* | Earrings: Lisa Angel* | Jumper: H&M | Bag: ZARA | Socks: H&M* | Trainers: Adidas

If you've seen my previous blog post, you'll know I'm a lover of ankle boots and ever since I picked these up online, I've been obsessed. Naturally I wanted to use them in a more dressed up look, but I really struggled with what to wear on the top half. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I'm more of a cosy night in, than a wild night out kinda girl and so I don't actually own a lot of 'nice' tops. I had intended to pair this with a beautiful white shirt, but as the skirt is actually cream - something I didn't fully realise until I was in a changing room with 8 different white shirts and blouses - a white shirt made the skirt look dirty. Having failed to find a bright top with the right kind of silhouette (owing to the fact that I am a perfectionist to the extreme) I opted for this one from ZARA, which taps into the 80s trend due to the ruffled sleeves and slightly exaggerated silhouette. 

I completed the outfit with a bag from New Look which was already part of my wardrobe, and bought the most amazing earrings from Lisa Angel to go with it all; I kid you not, they've left my ears on only a handful of times since buying them. They're the kind of wink face statement earrings I've lusted after for a long time, and as they were the last pair in this colour in stock, I'm calling it fate. 

Skirt: H&M* | Earrings: Lisa Angel* | Top: ZARA* | Necklace: Missoma | Bag: New Look | Boots: Lily Lulu Fashion

Come summer, I'm looking forward to wearing these outfits (without the jumper) with some heeled sandals (the more minimal the better) and possibly also with some backless mules; the jury is still out on that one though, so watch this space. 

In the more immediate future, I'll be wearing one of these outfits at the Norwich Loves Fashion event on the 17-18th of March at Intu Chapelfield. If you're stuck in a bit of a new season rut, or just fancy picking up some fashion tips, come along! There'll be lots of inspiration and lots of brand specialists on hand to help put you in the right direction! 

(This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Intu Chapelfield. I was very kindly provided with a gift card to pick out a SS18 staple, however all styling and opinions remain my own. All items purchased with the gift card are marked with an asterisk for clarity.)

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