HJ Hall Sock makers since 1882

HJ Hall are a true Midland heritage story. Founded and still based in Leicestershire, the name HJ Hall has become synonymous with the finest quality in socks, both for males and females and for a range of uses, from fashion to highly technical, sturdy walking socks. They also developed the ‘soft top’ design which was designed and created to alleviate problems caused by tight elastic around the top of socks. These are now celebrating more than 25 years in production and are a clear market leader in their field. Softop™, and the brands Diabetic socks, are the only socks endorsed by The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. All Softop™ socks come with an unconditional 6 month guarantee of wear. When it comes to socks, HJ Hall know their business.

HJ_HALL_about_us

I was keen to try some of the socks for myself, especially as I love products that are manufactured in the Midlands and so have a local slant to be proud of.  I also suffer from diabeties, so have to be extra careful when it comes to caring and looking after my feet. I was sent some beautiful products from the fashion socks range, these combine really pretty modern designs with the characteristics that make HJ Hall socks so special.

51YVnNOs+AL._SX342_

Many of the fashion socks range are made from supersoft bamboo. This makes it supersoft, but also gives the socks anti-bacterial and deodorising properties too. This allows your feet to breathe when you are wearing the socks, super important as the weather turns colder and we wrap our feet in Uggs, wellies and other types of boots that do keep them warm, but can also make them sweat. These socks are also friendly to the environment as Bamboo is a sustainable resource.

I love my HJ Hall socks

DSCN9180[1] DSCN9183[1] DSCN9185[1]

With Christmas coming up, and with socks being a well known favourite gift for dad, grandad and other male relatives, I would definitely recommend adding a touch of luxury to a Christmas stocking this year with a pair of socks from HJ Hall.

Currently loving Yoshi Bags

A must have product that every well dressed woman needs is a good leather handbag. Once upon a time the rule was that the bag must be black – elegant and timeless, a piece that would only look better as it aged. But Yoshi Lichfield, a company which combines Osaka based inspiration with classic British design, offer sound proof that these days colour rules when it comes to making a statement with your leather handbag.

Yoshi bags are a company that are actually based just up the road from me, in Lichfield, Staffordshire. They design bags to die for, with clutch styles, satchels, holdalls and messenger bags – they even have a collection based on the nation’s favourite biscuits, with a Bourbon body bag/clutch so realistic you could find yourself nibbling corners when the hunger pangs hit. Yoshi bags use great quality leather in a brilliant range of bright and beautiful colours;- blues and green, fig and tan, red and mushroom shades. My personal shade though, is the lovely mustard yellow.

I was asked to choose a bag from the wide Yoshi range to review, and, of course, I opted for the Starley Saffron leather Hobo bag, from the Carnaby Collection.  This is a stunning, everyday bag that is big enough to comfortably carry all those essential items. This bag has a slouchy design, making it something that you can carry whilst wearing your jeans and casual clothing.

Starley Saffron Leather Hobo Bag £85.00 GBP click to visit Yoshi Lichfield

Starley Saffron Leather Hobo Bag
£85.00 GBP click to visit Yoshi Lichfield

The bag has a zip top fastening. Inside the bag there is a  zipped pocket for additional security, a slip pocket which would be great for storing Oyster cards and bus/train passes and a mobile phone pocket.

DSCN8594

The bag uses the softest Nappa leather which makes it really supple, it is also fully lined which just adds to that feeling of quality. The Yoshi Lichfield signiature is embossed on the front of the bag, but this is not ostentatious, but done in a classy, discreet way.

DSCN8589

DSCN8591

The bag has a handle, but also comes with an additional extended strap. It also has a beautiful duster bag with a lovely printed design – think Orla Kiely style prints.  And, as for the colour, it is just lovely, and can be matched to quite a few different outfits, with both matching and clashing colours.

DSCN8588

Using my Yoshi Bag with…

Jeans, camisole and The Stig.

12033228_820564064708363_5880866655550761790_n

At the Bikefest with Joe

12003988_816571335107636_1095783407531194095_n

DSCN8616

With a boho dress in Blackpool

DSCN8662

With my Studio 8 dress

With my Studio 8 dress

With huge thanks to Yoshi Bags for sending me my gorgeous Starley bag for review purposes.

 

Review – Tassel Kimono from Pretaportobello

I was recently introduced to the online fashion market Pretaportobello. The concept was inspired by the quirky fashion of London’s famous and iconice fashion markets such as the Portobello Road Market, Spitalfields, Camden and Brick Lane, where vintage bargains can be found along with pieces from news and upcoming designers.

blogimage-copy

The website is a small family business run by three sisters, two of which  have children so there is a real sense of ‘mumpreneurship’ about the concept! What they have put together is just brilliant, an Aladdin’s Cave of a site, with unique products from independent designers and a host of original fashion and designers that you just cannot find on the high street. But the site is more than just your average shopping site where you fill your virtual basket and head to the checkout.The sisters also want to make the atmosphere and experience of shopping at these iconic markets accessible to everyone. So, with this in mind, they have created the ‘Haggle service’, which allows you to barter in real time to ensure you get the best price, as well as the Marketspace services which puts you in direct contact with independent designers and small businesses.

Georgina Cooper, one of the founders of Pretaportobello

Georgina Cooper, one of the founders of Pretaportobello

As a market magpie, I love the idea of Pretaportobello. In the days when High Street fashion can often be more of the same, it is a great idea to offer something new and different, and I have been really impressed with the brands that the site offers. Some of the names are gaining a cult following, like Alphabet Bags and Brat and Suzie, and you can get fashion from the likes of Jovanna London, Stott and Scott and Mod Dolly, jewellery from Mara, Selection Six and ECW, and accessories from the likes of BYMY and Ismad London. (This is just a snapshot – check out the full list of sellers on the Brands page.)

I was sent the gorgeous, vibrant Tassel kimono from the PPB brand (Pretaportobello’s own accessories and clothing label) to review and style. This is a lovely piece, a tasseled kimono in white, with an oriental birds and flowers print all over. The design is sleeveless and comes in two sizes, s-m which is UK 8-12, and m-l which is UK 14-18. I opted for m-l, but was a little worried the fit wouldn’t be great. I need not have worried – it was perfect!

PPB White Oriental Tassel Kimono £35.00 click to visit Pretaportabello

PPB White Oriental Tassel Kimono
£35.00 click to visit Pretaportabello

This is such a versatile piece. The website says it is perfect for festivals, which I totally agree with – you could wear it with jeans or cut-offs for a boho look. If you add a shift dress and heels, this could take you on a dinner date, skinny jeans and a camisole would work for Friday night at the pub, or over a bikini or swimsuit for a holiday look. All would work brilliantly.

DSCN6911[1]

DSCN6916[1]

If you love your fashion to have an edge, Pretaportobello is definitely a place that should be on your radar. It is a treasure trove of wonderful fashion.

Find out more

Check out the about page (http://www.pretaportobello.com/about-us.aspx) to find out more about the brand.

Check out the Haggle page (http://www.pretaportobello.com/haggle/) to find out more about the Haggle service.

Check out the brands page (http://www.pretaportobello.com/brands/) to find out more about the designers Pretaportobello stock.