Sunday, 30 September 2012

A-Z of Fashion Trends: C

C is for Cobalt Blue, according to Glamour Magazine's article on Winter 2012 Fashion Trends Worth Noting.

This is one trend I can definitely get on board with, I love this colour. Glamour offer this advice as to 'how to get the look' - "Introduce this electric shade of blue to your wardrobe and tone down with carbon black wardrobe staples. If in doubt start off with a cobalt blue heel or handbag for a trial run."

So starting, as suggested, with the shoes: the spiked Jeffrey Campbell courts (an Office exclusive)  have the dual positives that they tick two big trend boxes, while the Red or Dead heels (also an exclusive, this time for Schuh) take a slightly more classic approach the the fashionable colour.

If handbags instead of shoes were preference for a splash of cobalt, either of these would do the trick. The metallic Zatchel (£99) brings an extra touch of shimmer to an outfit, and the Marc Jacobs shoulder bag (£350) is perfect size for carrying a number of essentials! 

For those feeling a touch more confident in their cobalt wearing, a progression to a good blue top item may be recommended - the Donna Ida blazer (£150) is a great way to look smart but still on trend, and the Zara sweater (£35.99) is perfect for more casual days.

Anyone that has read this blog before may know by now that dresses are my favourite thing, so I had to include a couple for good measure. For anyone really wanting to embrace the blue, I like this cheeky skater dress from New Look (£22.99), and I think this figure flattering Coast dress (£125.00) is just gorgeous.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Money Supermarket - Passion for Fashion

I do love a good outfit challenge, and I just got wind today of the money supermarket challenge to put together five outfits suitable for different occasions - a first date, casual, work, party and outdoors - for less than £200 per outfit. The details of this fun competition can be found here.
However, like I said, I just discovered this competition today and it closes tomorrow - cutting it a bit fine to get five outfits together! But here is what I came up with:


Dress  - Sugarhill Boutique - £52.00 Shoes - Rocket Dog - £54.99 Bag - Yumi - £35.00 Necklace - Hero and Cape - £20.00 Tights - New Look - £4.99 Hair Clip - Matalan - £3.50
Total Cost - £170.48

I love this yellow dress from Sugarhill Boutique, definitely pretty enough for a first date but without being overly showy or dressy (we don't know if we like the chap yet!), and I stuck to black accessories to let the yellow really pop. 


Jeans - New Look - £14.99 Jumper - Sugarhill Boutique - £55.00 Bag - Gorjuss, Totally Funky - £49.99 Shoes - Converse - £44.99 
Total Cost - £164.97

I've avoided a lot of accessories here because to me casual means really casual - so comfy jeans, sloppy jumpers and the ultimate in casual footwear.


Dress - Sugarhill Boutique - £55.00 Tights - Matalan - £5.00 Bag - Yumi - £25.00 Boots - Asos - £85.00
Total Cost - £170.00

I know this is the third outfit I've used Sugarhill Boutique as a main part of the outfit, and it's not that I haven't looked elsewhere, I really have, but I keep heading back here because their stuff is just so good! The heeled brogues give them a more feminine twist, and they and the tan bag mach the detailing on the dress, with cream tights to keep legs warm. 


Dress - Dorothy Perkins - £55.00 Necklace - Accessorize - £12.00 Bag - New Look - £19.99 Hair Clip - Accessorize - £18.00 Shoes - Iron Fist, Branch 309 - £35.00 
Total Cost - £136.99

I'm completely in love with Iron Fist shoes.


Raincoat - Yumi - £55.00 Boots - Rocket Dog, Schuh - £45.00 Hat - Topshop - £14.00 Leggings - New Look - £12.99 Jumper - Lavish Alice - £23.00 Shorts - River Island - £35.00
Total Cost - £184.99

I would imagine that trousers would make a more obvious choice for outdoor wear, but with my short legs I find that trouser legs trailing in the rain just leave me soaked - these thick leggings would be a much drier alternative! The warm woolly hat and jumper should leave you feeling toastie enough, with the raincoat simultaneously keeping off the worst of the wet weather and injecting a splash of colour on grey days.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Alexander McQueen Outfit

I had so much fun with the £50 outfit challenge, I thought I might have another go at creating a fantasy outfit without the financial restrictions. So what would I wear if money wasn't a concern? Alexander McQueen! Beautifully created high end fashion pieces with a punk rock edge - what's not to love?

1 - Victorian Pink Lace Jacquard Pencil Dress (£885) 2 - Felt Wool Black Sculpt Jacket (£1575) 3 - Embellished Skull Peeptoe Black Shoes (£495) 4 - De Manta Floral Print Satin Clutch Bag (£315) 5 - Enamel Black Skull Bracelet (£165)

Usually when creating my fantasy outfits I will pick a dress first (nearly always a dress, I know there are so many trouser/skirt/top combos that would be amazing, but at heart I'm a dress girl!), and work from there, but for me it's the jacket that is star of the show in this outfit. This is just absolutely gorgeous - the peplum style waist is guaranteed to give a flattering curvy shape to the wearer, the high quality materials (25% cashmere!) and full lining evoke a sense of luxury and warmth, and the asymmetrical fastening and stand collar just give it that bit of edge.

To go with it, I thought a slightly fitted dress was needed, to not detract from the lovely shape of the jacket. This knitted pencil dress was ideal - the beautiful black lace effect gives it a dark, slightly gothic feel typical of Alexander McQueen and perfectly in keeping with the rest of the outfit.

I thought a simple black shoe would be the best way to show the outfit to its full effect without overshadowing it with fussy features or clashing colours. The skull embellishment on these 5 inch leather heels is subtle enough to not take anything away from the overall look, while still making a very clear statement: 'These are Alexander McQueen shoes!'

The clutch bag is the most delightfully unique shape - a result of the magnetic fold over corners - and the eyecatching print and luxe fabrics make this a perfectly elegant accompaniment to any sophisticated outfit.

Finally an extra touch of decoration to complete the look - the black bracelet with signature skull motif gives a harder edge to a feminine outfit.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A-Z of Fashion Trends: B

Second in my series based on the Glamour magazine article 'Winter 2012 Fashion Trends Worth Noting' is B,.. for 'Baroque and Roll'.

'How do we achieve this look?' I hear you ask. Glamour tells us: "Too much is not enough!" That's the lavish top line from a flurry of fashion designers all calling us to wear metallic brocade with heavy lace, mouth watering diamante and regal prints (all at once). Layer luxe fabrics and load on the jewels, ladies.

My choice of dresses that fit this trend - the ASOS Dolly Dress (£75) with metallic baroque print, and the Topshop High Neck Jacquard Skater Dress (£120), made of 100% silk in opulent gold and red. 

The Oscar de la Renta ankle boots (£591), in black and gold brocade and trimmed in black suede, have to be the ultimate in baroque footwear. If however you wanted a slightly more subtle way to wear baroque on your lower half, these Mary Portas and Charnos tights (£7.50, down from £15) offer a more everyday option. 

The opulent golds and intricate designs that typify the baroque trend, the sense of showy luxury, can be easily translated to jewellery as can be seen in this gorgeous necklace from Pebble London (£245). 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Boohoo £50 Blogger Challenge

To celebrate getting into their list of top 10 money saving websites, have launched a blogger challenge: To create an outfit from for less than £50. Four winners will even receive a £50 Boohoo voucher, so they can buy their outfit!

I do like a challenge and I'm used to working to a budget so thought I could definitely give it a go! This is my outfit:

I was browsing the Boohoo webpage looking for inspiration when I came across this dress and fell in love with it, so had to make it the base for my outfit. The long sleeves are a welcome addition now that summer is over and the I love the combination of eye catching prints and colours. 

Footwear next, and I think the worker boots make a great contrast with the girly dress as well as being immensely practical in less pleasant weather. 

For the same weather based reasons I knew that tights were a must, and the criss cross design on these is bold enough to make a statement without taking the attention away from the dress. 

Finally, the scoop neck on that dress is practically begging for a necklace to show off, and I think this pretty black cameo necklace will complete the outfit beautifully. 

So how much did I spend? 

Total = £48! 
So if I win, I'd still have £2 leftover to play with! 

If you want the chance to enter, you have until the 30th September, and all conditions, rules and other necessary information can be found here
Good Luck! 

Monday, 17 September 2012

A-Z of Fashion Trends: A

I have been really enjoying Glamour magazine's article on the A-Z of 'Winter 2012 Fashion Trends Worth Noting', and have decided to use this as a base for a series of blog posts exploring these trends. In Glamour's A-Z, A is for 'Androgyny Returns' and their 'How to get the Look' suggestion is: "Reach for the cigarette shaped trousers, pristine white shirts, borrowed bow-ties and brogues. You know the drill!".

Following the Glamour advice, here are some of my top picks to help you complete this look.

Cigarette Trousers

Two classic choices for the cigarette trousers are the black MaxMara Weekend Wool Slim Stretch Trousers (£138.00 at House of Fraser), and the grey L K Bennett Nerine Wool Cigarette Trousers (£155).

White Shirts

Here are the Vivien Westwood Squad Shirt (£265) and Lilly Blouse by Goldie at Topshop (£39). I'll admit I cheated here a little, the Topshop shirt is ivory rather than pristine white but I thought both of these brought a uniquely feminine twist to a classic male staple. 

Bow ties

This accessory be approached in a typical androgynous fashion by simply 'borrowing', as suggested by Glamour, a mans bow tie, such as this one from Swagger and Swoon (£18.99), of for a more playful approach I like this bow tie necklace by Tatty Devine, available at Selfridges (£21.00). 


Brogues are currently a massive hit on the high street and are available at most shops that sell footwear, but these two pairs are particularly striking takes on the classic. The Poste Theodor Brogue Boot (£120.00) and the Frankie Brogue (£69.99) are both available from Office. 

Next up is B - Baroque & Roll

Thursday, 13 September 2012


You'd have to have been living under a rock to have not noticed the current popularity of owls in fashion, adorning both clothing items and a variety of accessories. I am very happy to see the rise of this trend, as I became a great owl lover after an encounter with a gorgeous eagle owl called Nyra on Western-Super-Mare beach earlier this year. 
Here are some of my favourite owly-clothes: 

1 - Yumi Mini Owl Dress - £45.00
2 - Anna Sui Embellished Puckered wool-blend Cardigan - £410.00
3 - Lavish Alice White Sheer Burnout Multi Owl Print Gold Glitter Vest Top - £12.00
4 - Sugarhill Boutique - Owly Jumper Dress - £52.00

As well as clothing, these cute feather creatures are making an appearance on a range of accessories, from the more obvious choice of bags and jewellery, to this adorable eyeshadow set.

5 - Irregular Choice Twit Twoo Shopper - £65.00
6- Marks and Spencer Owl Eye Palette - £7.50
7 - Burberry Prorsum Embellished Suede Clutch - £895.00
8 - Pia Wise Owl Silver Pendant - £23.00
9 - Accessorise Applique Owl Wallet - £14.00
10 - Oliver Bonas Owl Scarf - £24.00
11 - Amedeo Agate, Cornelain and Gold Owl Cameo Ring - £1465.00

Monday, 10 September 2012

UNIQLO x Orla Kiely

Has everyone seen the results of the UNIQLO/Orla Kiely Collaboration? The combination of simple items in bold repeat patterns is a winner, and the colour scheme on display is perfect for the oncoming autumn/winter period.

If I had to pick a favourite item, it would be the adorable dress:

These are available in a variety of prints, and the price tag, a mere £19.90, means these don't even have to be that much of a 'fantasy'. I love the peter pan collars with the matching cuffs, perfectly contrasting the print and colour of the dress - so simple but so effective. Gorgeous. 

Also available are a range of long sleeve t-shirts, perfect for layering as the weather gets colder. 

The blouses are gorgeous too, a close second to the dress as my favourite item, but unfortunately at the minute there doesn't appear to be as much choice of print. I'm sure there were more a couple of days ago when I so I'm assuming it's a stock issue and hopefully these will be back in soon. In the same boat appear to be the hoodies and stoles that would also both make valuable additions to any A/W wardrobe. 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Kelly Brook at New Look

I surprised myself earlier this year by actually really liking a lot of the New Look items bearing Kelly Brooks's name. The cute prints, summery colours and flattering cuts led to a lovely summer collection,- bright and fun and very wearable.

So I was obviously very interested in scoping out the Kelly Brook Autumn/Winter collection. I'll admit overall less impressed with this collection, but that may be because of my personal lack of enthusiasm for leopard print and peplum tops, both things I know other people love. However there are definitely similarities  between this and the previous seasons offering, most specifically the flirty and feminine 50's style, and there are a few pieces in particular that caught my eye. So without further ado, my Kelly Brook outfit picks:

Despite what I just said about leopard print, these shoes were the first thing I went 'oooh' at, I think because despite the red colour these are a lot let garish that I would imagine leopard-print shoes to ever be. I love these and I can see them working with a whole range of outfit choices, including this combo of high-waisted denim shorts and cute bow-print blouse. 

Kelly Brook must have done well on the shoes this time round, because these lace shoe boots were another favourite feature of mine, and it made sense to team them with the matching handbag. My initial impulse would have been to pair these with a dress, until this lace playsuit caught my eye. My favourite detail of this playful outfit is the cute flower buttons on the playsuit.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Start at the beginning - Lingerie

I remember reading about how french women dress 'from the inside out' - meaning they start their outfit planning by carefully choosing their lingerie then choosing the rest of their clothes to accompany it. It we also take into consideration that apparently over 90% of French women see lingerie as an important part of life, and spend 20% of their clothing budget on these generally unseen items, then it appears I have been severely neglecting this area of my wardrobe.

Though I have never shopped there personally - way beyond my current budget - I remember speaking to a girl at a party who told be all her underwear came from Agent Provocateur. It usually cost more, she told me, than the rest of her outfit put together, but knowing that she was wearing something so beautiful so close to her body made her feel sexy and confident. Since this conversation, Agent Provocateur has been to me my first mental call point when it comes to luxury lingerie. But since this blog is for my fashion fantasies, then it seems like a perfect place to start.

The Margot collection instantly stood out for me, if for no other reason that the wonderful colour. I've always had a preference for coloured underwear, a bit more fun than traditional black or white, and the electric blue lace of this set is definitely eye-catching, though my favourite thing here is the wrapover detail of the bra.

Another coloured set, the fuschia silk and red lace of the Novah collection is not for the faint of heart. Agent Provocateur describe this as being 'for the true lingerie connoisseur'.

The Agent Provocateur web page says the Whitney range was inspired by the 'Traitors Gate' - the notorious gateway into the tower of London - though I can't help but imagine it owes a little also to the runaway success of the 'Fifty Shades..' novels.

The 'bondage' theme is continued here with the Caitlin collection. The ultra-feminine pink French lace softens the affect of the black strapping, giving a strong-but-pretty result.

There may just be something in the French attitude to lingerie, I can imagine If went to work or to do the weekly shop with any of these things on under my clothes, I'd definitely feel pretty good.