Monday, August 31, 2015

Switching seasons

Even though summer is showing its last tanned legs and trading roles with a pair of black tights for the colder weather of autumn to take centre stage, there's still a tiny bit of warmth and sunshine to go for September. As we're knocking on the door of September tomorrow, it's time to make the most of our summer wardrobe whilst we still can, and yes even if your tan has faded.

I'm not sure about any of you, but I certainly haven't seen a lot of sunshine where I live in the north west of England this summer, even though the weather reporters predicted it to be one of the best yet *queue eye roll*. Not only has this made outfit planning over a ten minute task in the morning and a constant debate slash argument with yourself if what you're wearing will be safe to wear for the day, but self tanning is practically impossible to master when the threat of rain keeps creeping up on us. For instance, you can't go walking around in that new bang on trend suede dress you just bought for half your wages. Oh no, for that treat of rain could turn into a random thunderstorm which will eventually leave your tan looking as though it's in the middle of a breakdown with orange tears rolling down your legs, and with this smudging into your suede dress there's just no chance that stain would come out.

Simple to say, summer hasn't been a very good one for us Brits. However, we can either let this defeat us and bring the jumpers to the front of the wardrobe, or keep going with the summer trends and bring a little essence of floral patterned dresses. I for one see floral dresses as a statement for both summer and autumn styles, as long as you follow the correct colour palette and partner with suitable shoes. Burberry showcased bohemian floral boho maxi dresses for A/W 15 in 70s orange and camel tones, which has been an upcoming trend for the end of summer and makes it's way into autumn. Most models on the catwalk embraced a pair of tights with the floral numbers so lets make this style part of our casual wardrobe.

The new autumn range for H&M proved successful for a colour palette with darker tones with a little pop of contrast, as I picked up a jump-suit to wear casual or formal for only £14.99. Along with an unexpected khaki number from my work (TK Maxx) at only £9 with my discount, i've added two floral garments into my wardrobe which ill be wearing for both summer and autumn.

The thing I like about this dress and jump-suit is the fact the colour palette and earthy tones are acceptable to wear for autumn too so I'm definitely getting my money's worth. Right now the legs are out and the sandals on, but these garments will look just as bright with a pair of trusty (and at times life saving) pair of tights and a tailored monk shoe.

I'm probably not the only one to say they miss summer immensely, and it's not even technically over yet. All I want is the radiant heat from the sun, the big blue skies and an ice cold cocktail to drink from, but alas we're British so there's not much we can do about that. Hello autumn, goodbye summer, see you next year!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Winter wardrobe prep

Struggling for the first look into A/W 2015? Already deciding which coat to buy to be your trusty pal through winter? Just take a quick look at these A/W minimal style mood boards. A perfect, modern, and not to mention comfortable look for the colder months to come. It doesn't hurt to be prepared.

For the perfect choices for your wardrobe, check out Atterly Road London and House of Sunny. The tailored styles of these brands allows you to stay right on trend whilst still soaking up the best quality around for a decent price. We knew the winter coat wasn't coming cheap, so why not treat yourself to one which will last for the next 10 winters instead of just the one each year.

Monday, August 10, 2015

To be vintage or not to be vintage? That is the question

If you’re having trouble picking a side or simply don’t know which to fight for, let me ease your struggles and persuade you to go vintage.

There are 2 types of people. People who like second hand shopping, and those who despise the thought. For some it’ a magical kind of treasure hunt where you could search for hours upon hours and never get bored, as long as there’s a 50p steal at the end of it. For others however, it’s a simple straight (and occasionally objective) answer of no without even being able to reason with them how much cheaper, unique and quirky second hand shopping is. If you’re reading this and believe you belong in the no tribe, then bare with me and let me try and reverse your thinking.

I myself was once a member of the no category, yet now I can say a good quarter of my wardrobe is second hand or vintage. Of course I had the typical and mainstream conclusion of “it smells” and “someone could have died in those clothes” (FYI very very unlikely) but these stupid thoughts held me back from even speaking of vintage.

Skip to present day and I’m an eager visitor of vintage shops such as Pop Boutique on Liverpool Bold Street as well as other individual and charitable shops. As well as having a paid job, I make sure I volunteer for a local charity shop once a week which I’ve been doing for the past 3 years now, so my wardrobe pretty much welcomes a new member each week from going to work there. Through designing the charity shop window each week my eyes are very quickly opened to how (with the correct colour scheme and accompanying accessories) vintage and second hand clothing can look like a normal, if not better, shop window.

Only when you experience vintage can you truly appreciate it. My first visit to Pop Boutique opened my eyes to a whole new world I never knew existed in the back streets of Liverpool. The creek of the old floorboards and the miss match of contrasting décor added to the whole atmosphere of experiencing a unique and rustic place. The way the clothes were all hung so delicately around made me practically scared to touch the ancient wool in case I’d somehow burn a hole through it with my fingers. Only then do you suddenly realise and gratify how amazing vintage really is, that you’re petrified to touch it or even breathe on it.

The April 2015 issue of Vogue included a special feature on the sudden rise and allure of vintage shopping. The spread included the go to vintage caves whereby you can find all kinds of different pieces to suit whatever your needs. For London top stores included Found & Vision and Blackout II, along with the most popular and charitable Oxfam. Although you’d assume vintage is more of a casual and individual style which people adapt to their personality, some ladies often opt for a vintage wedding gown over a new one. Halfpenny London are exactly where you’ll need to be heading if this is what you want on your special day. You’d judge that a vintage wedding dress would already have memories of someone else’s big day so you’d presumably want to pick a gown completely new to own a memory all of it’s own. Yet adding memories to an older gown can be just as romantic, and becoming more popular amongst young women. Head on overseas and Paris, the fashion capital, embraces vintage just as much as we do. Gabrielle Geppert is a must for spying the perfect vintage tote bag, along with being blown over by an all-modern glossy interior to make the vintage products look practically brand new.

Let’s not forget we’re in the year 2015, and that means internet, internet, internet. Just because you’re shopping vintage doesn’t mean you always have to go on a scavenging hunt down the back street shops. Asos Marketplace is a great example of where to buy vintage online, not only does it source inexpensive vintage clothing but also lets you search endlessly at the comfort of your own home. If you’re a mobile guru then Depop offers you to sell second hand clothes and items as well, with certain profiles dedicated to selling vintage clothing. Believe you me, I’ve made a fair share of profits from that app, it’s definitely worth the try. Just don’t the person who puts £5 postage on a vest top please. 

The queen of vintage at the moment has to be Dawn O’Porter. With the crown (vintage of course) on her head she’s managed to accomplish her own vintage inspired clothing range called BOB, after the 60s popular hairstyle. What’s significant about this clothing range is that it’s not actually second hand, they’re brand new garments inspired by the different vintage items Dawn holds in her jam packed vintage wardrobe. So for you who still fear the vintage and quake in your off the peg boots then fear no longer as options are coming up for you to at least look vintage even though you just can’t bring yourself to buy it.

“This old thing” a show made and presented by Dawn describes, absorbs and investigates the whole plethora of vintage and seconds hand shopping. Not only does she show you the best classic gems out there and tries to persuade virgin vintage shoppers to go second hand (a bit like me to you right now), but she also adapts garments to be altered and embroidered onto to add your own label or modify it to current trends. So whether you choose to cut, sew or rip, make sure you check out “This old thing” on 40D to give you some hints and tips, or follow Dawn on Instagram @hotpatooties.

For the moment the 70s seems to be a trend that’s taken over the summer, and why not go a step further and actually buy something that was worn in the 70s. You can’t go wrong with a kaftan inspired by the 70s, but you can go a little better with one ACTUALLY from the 70s. This might be a step too far for some, but for others it’s a step in the right direction to being the most individual girl on the street.

With memoires that have already treasured a moment in a whole different era, (maybe even before you were born), why not buy a vintage shirt and embrace the different emotions and feelings that shirt has gone through. From bad days to good days that shirt has probably been through more than you have already. I hope to see you peering through Pop Boutique’s window very soon and hopefully if you’re brave enough, to touch that old door handle and open the door to a world you’ll regret you didn’t discover sooner.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Unleash the inner interior designer

After finishing University in May for summer, I set myself two tasks. One, to get a job (achieved, TK Maxx to be precise), and two, to re-decorate my whole room (achieved and staying tidy)!

I blame my 7 year old self for choosing a dusty pink carpet which if you look at it in one way awkwardly ruins the simple colours of the room, however in some ways works against the greys and whites. All I can say for sure is that I won't be letting my 7 year old have a room with a fitted pink carpet.

My moto for a room? Let the accessories to do the talking, no matter how loud, bright or weird they are. Watermelon cup holders, rhino candle holders and wooden hand ring holders, let these strange and wonderful items give the room some character. Although I do love a room with colour, especially the thought of navy, there's something about a nice bright bedroom that calms your senses. Add in a glimmer of copper on the ceiling and some beautiful frames to treasure holiday memories and you've got a room that will feel lived in as well as looking as though its come off Urban Outfitters website.

I've done it okay, you've caught me. I've gone nature obsessed in my new room. Flowers, cactuses and real life fish have all taken proud place in my new little crib first door to the left upstairs. One of my favourite areas of my room is what I call my blogging corner. A corner that would get anyone inspired to write about fashion. A snazzy mood board, a pair of cool pen holders, a jazzy lamp, and oh don't forget that cactus, all have a part to play when I'm thinking of the perfect post. Hope this one's another for you all.

Now don't be shy, grab a paint brush and get arty with your rooms. Yes, decorating isn't the nicest thing to do, in fact it's probably one of the most annoying things to do, but take it from me if you've done it yourself you will appreciate it even more (aka will keep it tidy). Thanks to all this I think I'm going interior design crazy and obsessing over everything that says interior, maybe a career path option or many a sudden urge - who knows?

Monday, August 3, 2015


Mules- a pair of shoes that even your Grandma has heard of, but unfortunatly the pair known to herself is an old fashioned flat shoe that looks like it's escaped from being a member of the Croc family (aka not the prettiest shoe going). Fast forward to 2015 and the mules have had a much needed update with a block heel adding just enough style to make them a staple shoe for this years fashion. Mules have been stomping around at fashion week for a few seasons now, however only now have I managed to find a pair of this unique footwear.
Debenhams online sale proved the place for success as I somehow managed to grab a pair for only £8 from the Red Herring collection (a congratulations wouldn't go a miss). Not only do they fit into my personal style brilliantly, but they give just the right about of height to keep you looking right on trend yet comfortable at the same time. Between me and you, that means it's easier to walk upright after a few drinks and trudging over cobbled back streets.

One of the best, if not the best quality of this shoe is the fact it has no back, so even if you're a half size, like me, and find it difficult or almost a mission to find a pair of snug fitting heels then mules are perfect for you. Just think about it, no blisters on the back of your feet the morning after... ahh the relief. 
My favourite way to style up mules is by teaming them with a pair of culottes. For some reason the shape and place of cut on the shoes matches the length and baggy character of the culottes making them a match made in heaven. The hint of texture of the snake skin effect gives the shoes a little shine making sure they don't get lost in the outfit, or desolate at the bottom of your outfit. Personally an all black or monochrome attire looks the most smart and professional with this look, but adding splashes of contrasting colour can also prove a fashion statement.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

5 welly steps to the perfect festival style

Body art

Henna is generally a tool and art form that is used to represent and celebrate the end of Muslim festivals, however over the last few years henna has become a popular art tool among other religions and atheists to show off our creative talents. Festivals are the ideal location to unleash your inner artist as you can go as boho as you wish, as long as you don't get too carried away and cover your entire body (and trust me, it's easily done with how addictive henna is). If you're not one to make a fuss then a simple motif of flowers or an enelpohant brings off enough vibe to say boho. I agree that we've all got a creative side, but some arguably are understandably more gifted than others, so if you're struggling with the henna and can only achieve a stick man, then metallic body art is a great alternative and only comes at around 99p per pack, so you have plenty of choice and plenty of shimmer.

Double denim a crime? I don't think so

There's the old fashion folks tale of the crime of double denim and the obscurity of wearing such a despicable outfit, but are missing the point with this trend? Yes, there is the obvious statement of wearing too much denim, a denim coat, shirt and jeans in one outfit can be a little over bearing and a sight for sore eyes. But surely a pair of dainty shorts and a smart shirt partnered together can break this traditional mainstream tale? Alexa Chung has a trade mark for wearing denim, especially with her festival outfits and own clothing range, and this attire has her name stamped all over it. Even throughout last few years "matchy matchy" has been a trend many of us have tried and gained from, so why should matching denim be any different? If you're having trouble or simply scared to look like a walking roll of denim fabric, just simply break up the denim with belts and exposed skin so you don't cause someone to have a near by fatal denim heart attack. 

Clash of the patterns

There's practically no other place or social gathering where you could wear such a clash of different patterns where it could be any more acceptable than a festival. A T- shirt, shorts, wellies and a raincoat walking through town? Don't be ridiculous. A T-shirt, shorts, wellies and a raincoat at a festival? Absolutely perfect. Take it from me, you can't go wrong with an emergency pack a mac as you collide through rain, wind and a LOT of mud. The raincoat can be your best friend, and at times your saviour at a festival. So choose a huge and outrageous design with watermelons plastered all over it, or go cutesy with tiny daisy print, it's honestly up to you. All I can advise is to go wild and let your inner pattern goddess take over.

Give us a twirl, let's see that dress swish

Okay, this is one of those outfit scenarios when you're basically beaten if the weather doesn't behave itself. The perfect conditions are needed, no wind (for knicker revealing problems), no rain (for freezing your tits off problems, and no mud (for any splash back from the wellies onto your beautiful new dress problems). This all seems pretty hard to accomplish in an English summer, but if we can have at least one day of sun you might as well make the most of it. You might even ask why I'd suggest wearing a dress in the first place, but you'd wear a dress to a gig, so why not a big floral statement shift dress for a festival? Partner it up with a posh cat-eye pair of sunnies and people will think you've walked into the wrong place. Look different from the crowd and go for a dress.

That boho style

Simply Google Vanessa Hudgens wardrobe for the perfect mood board to create a festival style she'd be proud of. Arguably the boho queen of the moment, she uses the bralet shapes, crotchet textures and floating fabrics to create a boho style Florence and the machine would be jealous of. If you're not brave enough, or it's simply not warm enough to go raving around in a bralet (lets not even go into spillage problems), then a boho styled kaftan top will offer the same surfise, if not even better to create the best boho style. It's quite effective how one top can say it all and even make the outfit look pretty simple with a pair of denim shorts. To accomplish the whole outfit, a pair of hoop or feather earrings, along with an indian style face sticker in-between your eyebrows would allow you entry into the most boho tribe going.

Of course, these were my outfits planned for T in the Park, but when emergency bi-polar weather throws itself at your for a whole weekend a jumper and pair of joggers are also your life savers. Keep them packed at the bottom of the bag, you'll never know when you'll quite need them.