What’s Next For S/S 11

Posted in Daily Outfits, Fashion.

I was delighted and somewhat surprised to be invited to the Next Bloggers’ Event last week. I never really think of myself as ‘fashionable’ – I love clothes and putting outfits together, but I usually just choose things I like and hope for the best. When I heard the event involved a ‘styling challenge’ I was excited and a little apprehensive, but determined to give it my best shot.

I arrived in Leicester at 9.30am and was thrilled to finally meet Take Ten founder Sarah, who’d flown down from Glasgow the night before. As we waited, it was easy to spot the bloggers as people poured from the station. There were brogues, sheer shirts and satchels aplenty as we boarded the huge bus which took us to Next HQ, and I had fun chatting to Winnie and Kristabel as we made our way.

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Breakfast took place outside the mock shop, where the team style the layouts and window displays for all their stores.

After nibbles and coffees, we settled down to listen to the Next womenswear designs as they took us through the Spirng/Summer 2011 collections. Next has never been part of my shopping routine, but after seeing some of the wonderful pieces they have coming up, I know I’ll be a regular visitor!

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A few of my favourite pieces, hastily snapped.

After the breakfast briefing, an ominous rail was wheeled out – the styling challenge was upon us! We were each assigned a piece to style and as I eyed the white blazer with trepidation, I was relieved to hear my name called for the white lace top. Until I remembered I was wearing a black bra…

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The challenge pieces – I love those wide leg denim trousers. 

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The mock shop before we started our challenge…

Now, being given free reign to run around a shop with armfuls of clothing and shoes hanging by their straps from every finger has long since been a dream of mine. But in reality the styling challenge was quite stressful! The lace top was lovely, but I needed flesh coloured underwear (why didn’t I listen to Tyra? ALWAYS flesh coloured underwear on a go-see!) and a cami underneath it… and in the absence of both those things, I needed something to cover most of it.

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… and after! 

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After much grabbing and discarding, buttoning and unbuttoning, I finally settled on my look. Everyone said the trousers were ‘very me’, which I’m sure was a compliment! Having a professional photo taken was rather unsettling – I’m not the best of models when it’s just me and my tripod, so it was all a bit uncomfortable! It turned out okay in the end though, and I am pleased with my look. I’ll definitely be purchasing a pair of these trousers.

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We finished the day with champagne and chatter. It was lovely to meet Iris 

After wolfing down some food (mini versions meant I had a fish pie, beef stroganoff and mushroom risotto, followed by sticky toffee pudding. Everything should come in miniature), the winners of the styling challenge were announced. My favourite look was Shini’s – she worked her magic with the high waisted jeans.

In true fashion style, I had to jump in a cab and hot foot it to the train station to catch my transportation home. Clattering across the platform in 4 in heels, cape billowing behind me, I wondered if I’d finally made it as a working fashionista… until I realised I needed to run for it, and exploded through the doors of the train cursing ‘bloody ‘ell!!’ and removing my shoes in a most unstylish manner. Maybe not then.

Huge thanks to the folks at Next for having us, and to Jenny at Spreading Jam for keeping us all happy and organised.

32 Comments

Pearl Westwood

What a fun post, Ive been reading some of the other girls and looks like you all had fun. What has surprised me most is how everyone managed to find a look which was totally their style yet from the same shop! I have to admit to a total act of snobbery and say I never buy from Next as I have found the quality appauling, but maybe I should give them a second chance it sounds like they have really great stuff! BTW the trousers, in fact the entire outfit is very you, and very fashionable xx

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Kb

Aaah I love your look, I don’t think I quite saw it properly on the day (I remember you trying stuff at the front of the mock shop, ah memories). It’s great you managed to cover the bra, I did take Tyra’s advice and made myself ‘model perfect’ on the day, but didn’t end up reavealing too much after all that!
I think I ate a few too many miniatures…very deceptive!

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slowdownapproaching30

What I have loved about reading everyone’s posts on this next event is how pro-active Next have been in dealing with bloggers! It’s certainly a positive way to enlighten people who might now normally shop in Next. Think you did a fab job on the styling front! x

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Rachel @ RooPaprika

What fun. I don’t normally rate next, but it’s nice to see them doing stuff with bloggers.

The professional photo is lovely. Random comment time but rather weirdly you look like a younger version my Mum (that’s a compliment she was a model when she was younger), she’s a West Yorkshire girl too, there must be something in the water…

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Hannah

I’ve really been enjoying all these post you and all the bloggers have been putting together and seeing your outfits!!! I think my favourite was Jazmine’s, Kit’s and Charlie’s!! Yours is lovely, the trousers are a really nice length and I was properly laughing about the whole black bra fiasco!!


Hannah xx

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Harriet

Those pro picture of you are stunning – you are clearly a natural model!

I agree, I think the look is very ‘you’ which is nice. I’ve loved seeing all the different ways everyone made the looks their own.

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KLEE

love the trousers! and the top in the first photo looks AMAZING. definitely going to be checking next out, never a sentence i thought i’d say after working there haha! xo

wakeupbuttercup.blogspot.com

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Vicki

im sooo gutted i couldnt go! sounded like such amazing event! but hopefully we’ll get to meet up at london fashion week! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

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Laura.

I think Next are really stepping up their game. which is good for me as I get 25% off!

I have read a few entries on this day and it sounds like fun. It is cool to be invited to things like this!

You all looked really good in your outfits. And I agree all very ‘you.’

http://aforteforfashion.blogspot.com

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Alex

It sounds like such a fab day. Next have been off my radar for so long but I’ve popped in a couple of times recently and have been really impressed. That blue print dress might have to be purchased when it hits the stores!

I like how well they deal with bloggers although the style challenge sounds more like hard work than fun! Love your look though – nice work on covering up the bra!

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SabinePsynopsis

You’ve done so well, Jen! I read about the challenge on several other blogs and realised I would have been quite stressed to put an outfit together (so maybe in the end quite relieved I didn’t manage to go, although we could have finally met). Love the professional pictures of you, too. xo

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vint junky

Ooooh i was just over on shini’s blog and thinking was thinking ‘eep, i would have been stressing!’ so i’m glad you mentioned it Jen ๐Ÿ˜‰
I think you look great in your professional shots too (would have been stressing AGAIN!)
Really enjoyed reading your commentary of the day…especially the end…that i can relate to!
x

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Rebecca

ahh it looks like you had so much fun! I love the outfit you put together too!
I never think of Next when it comes to clothes shopping, I always had it down as dull workwear and when you go in to a store there are always SO many clothes you can’t pick things out! I might go and have another look though! x

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Sherin

Sounds like it was so much fun! Isn’t it just amazing to hang out with so many other bloggers.

I love how you styled the top. I agree: the trousers are indeed ‘very you’. You’re wearing them so well.

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Nicola

I quite like those wide-legged dungarees that the show-and-tell woman is wearing. They’re kind of wrong, yet… right.

It sounds like a fun day. It’s funny to think of how seriously bloggers are taken by big brands. Normal people getting involved like this just wouldn’t have happened pre-internet.

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LUCY.

Hey Jen! Looks like you had a great day! I’ve nominated you for a stylish blogger award! Just check my blog for details!
Much love xx

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Helen

This event looked so much fun! I love that blue dress with red dots on it that I can spy in one of those photos.

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