Monday, 30 December 2013

New Years Eve Party Dress Picks

First of all sorry that I've been a bit quiet recently, it was very busy on the run up to Christmas between family visiting and preparation, but I'm sure everyone was in the same boat and now things have quietened down a bit I'll try to be a bit more regular with my blogging!

But before things go completely back to normal, there's still New Years Eve to get through - for many the biggest party of the year so it's a night that needs a suitable party dress! Here are a couple of my favourites at the minute!

It's really one of the last nights where we get a real Christmassy party vibe before depressing winter settles in and two great ways to take advantage of that are with sparkles and colour!

I love the Motel Gabby Sequin Plunge Back Dress (£58) because nothing says 'party' like sequins! The long sleeves make it a warmer option for cold nights but the plunging back still helps show off some skin and give this a sexy edge!

The deep red of the ASOS Bardot Jacquard Tulip Dress (£65) gives this one a real festive edge too - a sexy santa ready to party!

Od course, New Years Eve parties come in all shapes and forms and I think that the Miss Selfridges Teal Flapper Dress (£170)  would be perfect for impressing at a more sophisticated evening's bash, whereas the very cute Topshop Strip Prom Dress (£80) would be perfect for an informal but still fancy do! 

Unfortunately I'm not planning a big night out for New Years Eve this year, so I would look highly overdressed in any of my picks!

What are you wearing for the last night of the year?

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Perfect Winter Collection by Mistral Clothing

Since I have my hands full this week trying to get my Christmas shopping organised, I have something a bit different for you today - a great guest post introducing a fabulous and winter-friendly fashion brand - enjoy!

The Perfect Winter Collection by Mistral Clothing

Every year around this time, sweaters and knitwear make their ways out of the wardrobe and onto the streets, but there is a lot more you could do with your outfit this year.

Here we highlight some of the most beautiful clothing that you can add to almost any outfit:

Scoop Neck Diagonal Seam Peplum Ladies Cardigan 

Winter clothing is often emphasised with a number of layers; not only does this keep you warm but it is great to blend colours and materials. This cardigan is a great example to give your outfit that texturised and fluted feel. It is a beautiful blustery colour too which would look great with a slightly lighter coloured underlay.

Plain Tights – Fig Coloured 

Made from a thick cotton, your legs will be well insulated and look striking. Built to outlast the wintery chill, you can add another subtle tone to your outfit which can be mixed and matched with a number of different styles and colours. Fig is a beautiful winter colour and will not look out of place among your knitwear.

Multi Spot Wellies 

With snow an inevitability according to most weather reports, wellies are a must-have and what better way to wear wellies than a spotted pair? Practical and original, these wellies will see you through snow, rain, slush and mud whilst walking the dog or having a stroll to walk off the Christmas turkey. Comfort and quality is important too, and these wellies have that in abundance. They look great with tights, leggings and jeans too.

Women’s Scarf – Tree Print 

Scarves fly off the shelf around this time of year but it is equally as important to have a scarf that can be worn throughout the seasons and keep you warm in the winter and still be fashionable in the spring and summer months. This lightweight tree-printed scarf is finished in another versatile fabric, which will fall beautifully around your neck onto a Mistral coat or cardigan.

Be prepared for the chill of winter this year, and look gorgeous in the process with a seasonal wardrobe courtesy of Mistral Clothing.

Bio: Thomas is a keen blogger covering all subject matters; anything from Fashion to Sport. With an interest in so many things, Thomas has worked for a number of publications, one of which was the BBC.

Friday, 6 December 2013

BHS Christmas

I remember a time when TV adverts were just a sign that you had chance to put the kettle on before the rest of the programme came on.

Then, as more people seemed to be watching TV on demand or by catching up on previously recorded shows instead of watching live, adverts were often fast-forwarded or missed altogether.

But for some reason, that all gets turned on its head come Christmas time. I don't know if it's because we are all looking for gift ideas, we are all caught up in the spirit of consumerism, or that shops just put more effort into their advertising at this time of year, but it seems this year that the Christmas Adverts have got more people talking than anything else on TV at the moment!

John Lewis seem to be the first to have started this trend, with people counting down to the first airing of their ad this year and may tears shed at the lovely animated tale of Bear and Hare, but plenty of others seem to be following suit and coming up with their own mini-movies.

One that I have been loving at the minute that I think deserves more attention is the new BHS advert:

I've always loved BHS for Christmas gifts, but I do sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with choice when Christmas shopping! Th advert not only highlighted spot some fantastic gift ideas for pretty much everyone I need to buy for this year (including a couple of things I wouldn't mine finding in my own stocking!) but did so with a real sense of magic and wonder and fun that is integral to any big shopping spree at this time of year!

Did you see anything on there that you'd like to find under your tree in a few weeks?  

* Sponsored by

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Koalabi Boots

Winter seems to be well and truly upon us, and a warm pair of boots is a must in this cold weather!
While Uggs have been the sheepskin boot of choice for many for a good long while now, I've recently discovered another Australian company to rival them!

Koalabi create similar high quality sheepskin boots, and have recently come to the UK! Their footwear is suitable for all weathers as they are insulated to keep the cold out but also absorb excess moisture, letting your feet breathe.

As well as this, the fleecy lining of the boots moulds to the shape of your feet, making them incredibly comfortable to wear. I know I'd love to get my feet into a pair of these this winter!

The pair I'd most like to get myself into are the classic short boots in 'purple raisin'. At £109 these come in quite a bit cheaper than their equivalent in Uggs, and are available in a range of other colours if purple isn't your thing. I also really like the red and blue ones as I do like a bit of colour on otherwise grey days, but if you are more of a boot traditionalist you can also get these in more common colours such as chestnut, black and chocolate. The classics also come in a long and extra short variety, but I think the 'short' ones are just the right length for me!

The classics are not the only range available from Koalabi though, they also come in a variety of styles including buckled, buttoned and laced - here are some of my other favourites!

Do you think you could be tempted to consider an exciting new brand over a more established one?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

What does the fox say?

As it is definitely getting colder, I thought it would be a great time to introduce two fashion statements of note this winter - a need for warm cosy scarves, and a love for cute foxes! I've combined the two to bring you some of my favourite foxy fashion statements currently available!

The fantastic Louche Vixen Fix Scarf is from The Joy Store for £18, a long and lightweight scarf perfect for wearing loose to show off the illustrated design to full effect.

The bright and bold Esprit Fox Square Scarf, available from Asos for £18.50, is a definite head turner, giving a laid back but warm look!

For those that prefer a more traditional knitted approach to a winter scarf, you couldn't go too far wrong with this stunner from Yumi (£19.99), and the Topshop version (£20) is similar but with an Arctic Fox instead for an extra wintery look!
Have you succumbed yet to the fox print trend? What is your favourite foxy piece?

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Awkward Christmas

Christmas is my favourite time of year so when I was asked to take part in the F&F Awkward Christmas campaign I jumped at the chance - anything festive gets me really excited! The idea is a simple one, send in pictures of your favourite Christmas fashion items as inspiration! 

Much as I love a good crazy Christmas jumper, it's become such an obvious move now that it doesn't seem like any real effort towards festive fun has been made... anyone can take ONE Christmas item, like my old favourite reindeer dress or seasonal cardigan....:

But the real joy, to key to making it really awkward, is in the layering! Reindeers ON reindeers! This is not a Christmas outfit that just fell together, oh no, this takes a serious lack of taste! 

It should of course be teamed with a some form of festive headpiece, a santa hat or something out of a cracker perhaps! It's definitely the look I'll be going for on Christmas morning - how about you? 

If your festive wardobe is lacking so far, there's still plenty of time to add to your clothing collection and have so many great options to choose from!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Latecomers Secret Santa?

I know there's a lot of Secret Santas and Christmas Swaps already organised for this year, but a lot of these seem to have closed already for applications, so as someone who can't think about Christmas until Bonfire Night is finished, I've missed out on signing up to any.
I know I can't be the only one who is disorganised, so if anyone else would like to take part in a big Christmas swap then I'm only too happy to arrange it!
If anyone is interested lease just leave me a comment, or drop me an email at
I'll leave applications open until the 25th November, and send out match details on the 26th - If we call the last posting date 15th December that should leave plenty of time for shopping! I'm going to suggest a £10 budget, as it's enough to buy fun things without breaking the bank for most people, but if anyone has anything different in mind just say and I'll do my best to accommodate!
Hope to hear from you!

#BritishBloggerSelection week 2 - Q&A

If you saw my last post you'll have read all about #BritishBloggerSelection - a group of bloggers posting each week on a set topic. This week the post is a Q&A, with questions set by the organiser Ellie. So without further ado, here are my answers! 

Question One: Why do you like blogging?
There are very few people I know in the real world that are interested in fashion and other girly things that I can talk to. I work in a predominantly male environment and get bored of hearing football-talk so it's nice to have a little space where I can talk about the things that interest me! 
Question Two: How did you come up with your blog name?
I liked 'fantasy fashionista' because that's the only place I'm really fashionable - in my fantasies! A combination of finances, restrictive work dress codes and lack of confidence means most of my actual outfits are far from groundbreaking!
Question Three: Where from the UK do you come from?
The cold north! Yorkshire, to be more precise. 
Question Four: Favourite colour?
It changes all the time! At the minute I'm loving autumnal rusts and mustards, but give me a week and it could be something completely different! 
Question Five: Do you like Lana Del Ray?
I'll be entirely honest here and say that I don't really have a strong opinion one way or another - I don't know enough about her! 
Question Six: Hidden Talents That You Have?
I unfortunately don't have any particular skills or talents I'm afraid! I might have to work on something special for next time I am asked this! 

Question Seven: Celebrity Crush?
I have a soft spot for Chris Hemsworth - it's not the muscles, honest, it's the eyes and smile! 
Question Eight: Favourite Blog Of All Time?
It's such a tough one and I think I answer this differently every time I'm asked it but at the minute I'm really loving Becky Bedbug - not only is her blog beautiful to look at but Becky is adorable and hilarious! 

Question Nine: What made you want to join #BritishBloggerSelection?
I don't get to spend as much time networking and on twitter etc as I know a lot of other bloggers do so I thought this would be a really nice way of getting to know other bloggers in our own cosy little community! And to that end, if you are involved in #BritishBloggerSelection I'd love for you to leave your links in the comments so I can come say hello!

Saturday, 2 November 2013


This is just a little post to tell you about a fun new blogger project you can be part of!

Ellie from Little Vintage Camera thought it would be a great idea to get as many British bloggers as possible to participate by all posting on a similar theme each week.

The posts can be of any kind; fashion, beauty, baking, anything - guided by a key word!

The theme for this week is Halloween but I already did my Halloween posts before finding out about #BritishBloggerSelection so haven't marked them as such - but I'm looking forward to finding out what next weeks these is!

If you would like to be included, just email Ellie at with your fist and last names, blog name and blog URL to be included on the list!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween Nail Art (for those who can't do nail art)

I will willingly own up to not having any nail art skills to speak of. In fact, I can hardly get one colour on neatly. But Halloween is a time to put in a bit of extra effort and I've found a way to get Halloween friendly fingers without any artistry or special equipment is these very easy bloody nails! 

You just need two colours, one blood red (which can be bright or dark depending on preference for freshly drawn blood or old dry blood!), the other can be anything really though I tend to for for something neutral, even fleshy. I've seen this look work brilliantly over black nails too though!

First paint your nails all over with your base colour - I used one of the L'Oreal Resist & Shine Titanium Polishes (not sure of the name, if it has one!) that most closely matches my skin tone. 

Then just daub on your bloody splatters and drips with your red polish. You could probably get a more defined look with dotting tools or thin brushes but I've always just used the polish bottle brush!

OK so this isn't the most convincing attempt I've ever made of this look but you get the general idea! 
What do you think?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween Fashion - New Look T-Shirts

If you saw my last post you may have spotted some cute little ways of adding a Halloween twist to your outfits - but if spooky jewellery and creepy accessories are a bit too subtle for you, then a way of being more obvious in your Halloween participation without opting for a full-on costume is to adopt one of these cute Halloween-themes T-Shirts from New Look:

Lets Hang Out - £17.99 Pumpkin - £7.99 Skeleton - £14.99 Bite Me - £7.99 Trick - £7.99

I think my favourite is the Pumpkin - what about you? 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Halloween Fashion - Jewellery and Accessories

Much as I love Christmas, it's not as fun to dress up for as Halloween. As well as the more traditional full costumes there's loads of ways in which spooky twists can be given to an everyday outfit!

Here are a few of my favourite halloween accessories this year:

My picks for Halloween Jewellery this year come from Cheap Frills - the horror-inspired black and white jewellery would make great outfit additions any time of year but would be particularly suited for Halloween. The Corpse Bride necklace (£8) is a brilliantly creepy alternative to a more traditional cameo necklace, and the Mr & Mrs Frankenstein earrings (£8) have a fabulously retro vibe. but my favourite is the Wednseday Addams Neckalce (£12) - my childhood hero of weirdness and creepiness!

Jewellery aside, there's plenty of other cute accessories for creating a Halloween mood - one of my favourite options is the Pumpkin Beanie (£12) from ASOS is more cute than creepy but still undeniably halloweeny, and the same could be said for the rather adorable cross-body pumpkin bag (£18). The Spiderweb eyelashes (£5.99) are a very subtle and pretty way of spooking up a Halloween outfit!

* Images taken from respective websites

Friday, 11 October 2013

Who's That Girl?

It's the day we've all been waiting for - new episodes of New Girl hit UK TV tonight!
I can't wait, it feels like it's been so long and I'm really looking forward to a lot of things this season, mainly to see what happens with Nick and Jess (soooooo cute!), but one good pull of the show is always Zooey Deschanel's adorable outfit!

To celebrate the return of my favourite show, I've been asked to put together a new girl inspired outfit from Debenhams. I absolutely love Jess's style, so this challenge was right up my street, I'd love to hear how you think I did! 

Jess's fashion choices tend towards the girly and fun, and there's not much she seems to like more than a cute red dress! This Yumi Dress reminded me so much of the one she wears in the into sequence, one that I associate so completely with her and her bright personality! It has the same 3/4 length sleeves, pleated skirt and fitted top, but the slightly darker colour and the leather-look neckline give this dress more of a 'UK Autumn' spin on Jess's Californian Summer original.

My second choice was this gorgeous Joe Browns Blazer. Though Jess's style is feminine, she does often make the effort to look a little smarter and more professional, especially at work. This jacket strikes the perfect balance between 'sensible teacher' and 'quirky fashion lover'.

Jess matches pretty much any ensemble with one of what seems to be a huge collection of ballet flats. She seems to have them in all colours and often chooses ones that contrast or clash with the rest of the outfit. But black are always a good choice, and one Jess often turns to herself - I thought these would work best considering the amount of different colours in the detailing on the jacket, as well as the lovely red of the dress.

So what do you think of my outfit? Would Jess wear it? Would you?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Design your own bags!

Over the summer I fell in love completely with the sweet pastel coloured mini satchel bags from Brit-Stitch.

This love hasn't abated with the change of weather, but this season its the bright jewel coloured leathers that have really caught my eye.

Recently though, Brit-Stitch have started offering a service to make these gorgeous little bags even more exciting, a design-you-own service!

There are two sizes of bag to choose from, the half-pint (the mini one that has stolen my heart), and the milkman (also very handsome but not quite as cute!). You then get to choose three colours to cover the sides, straps, buckles and body of the bag.

Here's my ideal bag for the autumn!

Isn't she beautiful? My ideal little bag would set me back £80, which for a customised and beautifully made bag seems like a very fair price. Unfortunately not something I can treat myself to just yet, but it's not too long 'til Christmas now and this is going firmly on my list!

Do you like the idea of choosing the colours for your own bag? What would you have gone for?

You can follow Brit-stitch on twitter here and like then on facebook here.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Autumn Jacket Wishlist

Summer is now definitely over, and though it's not quite time yet for the big winter coats, its definitely time to start thinking about investing in a new jacket to see me through the Autumn. Here are a few that have caught my eye.

The first one is from Joe Browns (£59.95) and I love it's colours and think that the shawl collar would be perfect for protecting your neck from the wind! I wasn't intending on including a leather jacket on this list - they could easily have a post to themselves! - but I fell for this New Look (£69.99) one, the brown really matches the colours of the season as well as being that but more unusual. My next choice was the short parka from Topshop (£55.00) - great for a casual look with a military twist!

The River Island offering (£65) is another great autumn option, and a rain jacket like this one from Yumi (£55) will definitely come in handy! Finally. showing that cute autumn jackets can also be very budget-friendly is the £19 duffle coat from George from Asda.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Dressing Up Occasions - Theatre

There are so few occasions in my every day life where I get to get really dressed up so when I come across one I grab it with both hands! One of the few events where you get to step up your game a little clothing wise is a trip to the theatre, and this is likely to be my dress-up venue of choice now that we are coming to the close of wedding season.

I've been mentally planning a theatre-going outfit, just in case, with the help of en eHow article on appropriate clothing for a performance. Firstly they gave the answer I always hope to receive, that a dress is the preferable choice. They suggest that 'All colours are acceptable, but black is the classic choice', and though I completely see why black is a classic choice I've opted for something that has a touch more colour - adding a lighter touch without losing any of the subtle sophistication of black.

Jewellery wise, the article suggests that 'diamonds and pearls are the most traditional', and the John Richard earrings and bracelet from Debenhams fit the bill nicely. The neckline of the dress doesn't demand a neck adornment like a lower cut one might have so I have decided to forego a necklace - I don't want to over-do it eHow does state that 'no jewellery at all is better than jewellery that looks cheap'.

The final piece of advice offered is that female theatre attendees should 'take a structured handbag or clutch in a colour that goes with your outfit, and wear heels that complements your bag', so I thought that the Debut Navy shoes and matching bag would suit each other perfectly as well as complementing the dress.

So now I have the outfit, I just need somewhere to wear it! I've been scouring upcoming shows and one that has really grabbed my attention is a run of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Noel Caward Theatre.

I love Shakespeare anyway, always have since 'Much Ado About Nothing' in school, and have been lucky enough to see some wonderful performances over the years. The main draw to me of this production is the idea of seeing David Walliams as Bottom. It's always nice to see a familiar face in a show and I think he's hilarious so I'm sure this would be a great night out as well as a goodreason to get all dressed up!

Can you think of any other great reasons to get dressed up? Or any other great shows I should try to get to?

* This post was sponsored by 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Liebster Award!

I've been nominated for the Liebster award by HelloEmski, which is so exciting as I've never been nominated for anything like this before!

If you aren't familiar with the Liebster award, here are the rules!

  1) You link back to the person who nominated you
  2) You answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the person who nominated you
  3) You pick 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to nominate
  4) You ask 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  5) You go to each nominated person's blog and let them know you've done the post


1) What made you start blogging?I work in an all-male environment and really felt like I needed a place where I could talk about girly things like pretty dresses and amazing shoes! 

2) You can only eat one food for the rest of your life, which food is it? It would have to be some kind of cake. Maybe Carrot Cake, so it's healthy! 

3) Favourite place to shop for fashion/beauty things? For beauty items I'd have to say Boots, just because they stock nearly everything you could want with the added bonus of Advantage Card Points. For Fashion, I think New Look always provides an affordable way to keep up with trends! 

4) What post would you like to do that you haven't already done? I haven't done any outfit posts or really posts with photos of myself in - I'm a bit nervous about it but really feel like I should take the leap as nearly all other bloggers do! 

5) A random fact about yourself is? I'm scared of Butterflies.

6) Favourite item of clothes? Cardigans are really underrated! 

7) What can't you live without? Tea.

8) Somewhere you want to visit? New York!

9) Favourite tv show? I'll admit to being a massive Dr Who geek...!

10) One thing you want to try doing but haven't yet? (Like horse riding ect) I always fancied snowboarding as a lot of my family have done it but I'd end up killing myself! 

11) The ultimate question, dogs or cats? Cats, no question! 

My Questions

1) What made you start blogging? (I know I've stolen this question from above, but it's a god one!) 

2) Who is your favourite blogger? 

3) What are you most looking forward to about Autumn?

4) What will you most miss about Summer? 

5) What is your favourite film?

6) What is your favourite book? 

7) What is the best holiday you've ever been on?

8) Where would you most like to visit? 

9) Favourite high street clothing store?

10) Favourite make-up brand?

11) What would you most like to achieve in life?

The blogs I'd like to nominate are: 

Hope you all enjoy doing it as much as I did!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Topshop Collections: Margot's World

I honestly don't think anyone on the highstreet puts together a collection like Topshop, the theming that runs through each piece, the attention to detail, the ease in which you can put together a complete look just by picking basically any items from the collection are really all second to none. Of their current offerings it's 'Margot's World' that speaks most to my heart - I adore every piece and if I could replace everything in my wardrobe with this collection I would in a heartbeat.

If you are wondering about the basis of Margot's World, according to Topshop it's this:

Step into the sherbert-coloured world where dainty dressing reigns. Inspired by the too cute for school characters of Wes Anderson's imagination, we've created a collection that mixes preppy with a little vintage styling.

Perhaps it is my love of Wes Anderson that drew me to this collection, or maybe it was just the gentle pastel colours and classic feminine softness on display, but whatever it was it really worked!

It would be very had to pin down my favourites from this collection but if I were to just scrape together one outfit from it, and wear it every day, it'd be this one:

It's perfect for the transition into autumn too! What do you think?

Monday, 19 August 2013

Fashion Getaways Blogger Challenge

I recently heard about the newest House of Fraser Blogger Challenge, and thought I'd put together an entry. The idea is to put together an outfit inspired by one of the worlds iconic fashion capitals.

Can you guess where I wish I was going?

If you want to find out the details of the competition so you can do your own entry, all the information can be found here. There's £200 worth of vouchers to be won, and you get to daydream about fashionable holiday outfits so its a win-win really!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Clothing Clear Out

If you are anything like me, you'll have loads of clothes lying around that either don't fit, have fallen out of favour, or just aren't worn a variety of reasons. Over the years I've put aside literally bin-liners of old clothes, telling myself I'd 'get round to putting them on eBay sometime'. But I never have so far and it's looking increasingly likely I never will - I've never found the time, and I'm put off by the many stories I've heard of eBay charges, awkward buyers and things reportedly going missing in the post.

It's got to the point where I need to get rid of things to make space for new, and if I can make a little bit of cash while doing so it'd be a great bonus. But if I'm not going to sell on eBay, what other options are there? I've recently found out that Music Magpie now give cash for clothes!

Only a slight exaggeration! Source
If you don't already know Music Magpie, they've been around for a while now and I've used them in the past when having a CD clearout - I just typed in the number on the barcode into the website and they give you a price for each one. Once you've got everything loaded up that you want rid of, you can arrange for your package to be picked up at no cost and wait for the dough to roll in! You might not get as much as selling items individually but if, like me, you don't have the time or energy for that, Music Magpie is a great alternative!

I don't have anywhere near as many CD's and DVD's to get rid of now as I did a few years ago but one thing I do have plenty of is clothes. To sell my old second hand clothes on Music Magpie, I just have to answer a few questions about the brand and style of each item - then pack everything up ready to be collected!

I'm setting aside some time this weekend to go through my bags of stuff, I'm really looking forward to making some space and hopefully getting enough cash back to buy a new item or two as well!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Feeling Fruity!

As part of my weight loss attempts I've been trying to eat a lot more fresh fruit. To help get me in the mood for it, I've been perusing some of the high street's fruity fashion options.

The Topshop bodycon dress (£38) is a fantastically tropical affair, and would seem more at home on some exotic island than the English countryside, but for anyone lucky enough to still have any holidays on the horizon (or willing to rock this bold print in our often chilly country), Topshop have a range of items in the same range to bring some juicy fun to an ensemble.
The Asos dress with the pretty orange print (£38) is a more subtle way of working fruit print but the gorgeous backless detailing still makes it perfect for beachy holidays, whereas the Joe Browns 'Perfect Pear' dress (£39.95) gives me the most 'English Summer' vibe!

And since I always look to dresses first, I feel the need to balance out any suggestions with non-dress options too and couldn't help falling for the incredibly cute fruity playsuit from Mod Dolly (£32). The Apple purse is a juicy delight from Vendula (£7.50) as the Rocket Dog lace-ups (£36.99), also apple-based - I wish these could keep the doctor away! The fruit-embroidered top, featuring the sweetest scalloped collar, is on sale at the moment too, down to £35 from £50 at Asos!

That has definitely got me in a fruity mood now, off to go raid the fruit bowl!

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Evolution of Festival Fashion

Unfortunately this year I am not set to attend any of the big music festivals. All my 'fun things' money was spent on a much-enjoyed holiday last month so my budget won't stretch to another trip away, but that doesn't mean I don't still have a very keen interest in festival fashions!

New Look have created an awesome 'Evolution of Festival Fashion' timeline, exploring how the fashion choices associated with certain festivals in different time periods have evolved, since the early days of the festival (beginning with perhaps the most notorious festival of all-time, Woodstock) to the more recent festival offerings like Creamfields.

Despite my generally girly fashion tendencies, funnily enough one of the events here that I am most interested in in 1976's punk festivals. Though 'punk' happened well before my time, my dad loved punk, played in bands and went to weekend long punk festivals so I grew hearing his stories. He remembers those weekends as being amongst the best of his youth, and though I can't go back to that time to experience the wild weekends for myself, I could at least get a suitable outfit from New Look to pretend!

Jeans * Top * Boots * Jacket * Bracelets
Do you think I'd pass as authentically punk?

If that's not your thing though I'm sure you can put together an outfit to suit any festival style very easily with the help of New Look!

Are you going to any festivals this year? If you could pick any one through history what would be your ideal festival?*

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Summer Wedges from Shoe Zone

The sun is out again, or occasionally at least, and I'm using those flashes of summer weather to make the most of my new very summery shoes from Shoe Zone.

Canvas is the ultimate in summer shoe material - canvas shoes in the winter are a no-no as you won't last two minutes outside without getting soaked down to your feet which is never comfortable, so there's something liberating about being able to wear certain fabrics in the summer. The same applies to the hessian wedge of these which is just the right height to give a little lift without making walking in them hard work - summer is about lazing in the sunshine, chilling by the pool, laying in the park - you want to look good but you want it to be effortless. That's what these shoes say to me.

I found these really comfortable to wear and I think they are versatile enough for a lot of different summer activities too - I chose black as you can wear them with anything!
I really like the ruffle detail on the front too - very cute and gives the shoes a more playful and fun look, as does the pretty floral print on the inside.

These are available from Shoe Zone for only £12.99 with free delivery, and they have loads of other lovely summer shoes too!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

American Beauty Swap

Like many English bloggers, I have a bit of an obsession with American products - I think we just like what we can't have! So I was very excited to arrange a swap with US blogger Angelica of Angelica Discovers.

We settled on a $35 limit and discussed what we would each most like to receive. I mentioned some of the American beauty products I'd often heard mentioned as being ones to watch out for but had never tried - eos lip balms and the Maybelline Baby Lips were two that I'd often read were great, and I also mentioned Bath and Body Works as a store I'd definitely heard of. 

We agreed on a date to send out the parcels and I waited eagerly for mine to arrive - I was so excited when it was delivered! 

Here's what Angelica sent me: 

The biggest thing is the 'country apple' shower gel - from Bath and Body works, just like I'd asked for! This smells wonderful, like apple sweets, and I can't wait to try it out! I also received two very cute handbag-friendly anti-bacterial hand gels too from bath and body works and I love them both - the apple blossom scent is really fresh and clean, and the pink lemonade lovely and sweet. I also got a face spa mask which I'm looking forward to using in my next pampering session - who doesn't love a face mask! 

And that's only the beginning, I also got loads of great make-up products! 

When I originally sent over my 'want' list, I'd completely forgotten to add 'wet n wild' eyeshadow to the list, as it's another thing I'd heard raved about, so I was so glad to find some in my package anyway - it's like Angelica read my mind! I got a 'Nude Awakening' palette which is wonderful as it's very much the kind of neutral colours I would normally wear anyway, and 'Cool as a Cucumber' which has a striking combination of green and purple - two colours I wouldn't have thought to put together but look amazing together in the palette and I'm sure will around my eyes too. The individual shadows - 'Sellout', a gorgeous shimmery purple, and 'Golddigger', a stunning sparkly gold - are beautiful. I was also really happy to receive a Wet n Wild mascara as I'm a complete mascara fiend, as well as the lip products I'd requested. The eos lip balm was not a disappointment - I was sent the 'sweet mint' one and it really is so minty and fresh, it smells just like mint rock and makes my lips feel all tingly as it moisturises them. The Baby Lips have just become available over here but I got this one a few days earlier than their release - I got 'pink punch', which has a sweet, fruity smell and a subtle wash of pink when applied. 

I'm so happy with my swap parcel, and I hope Angelica is with hers - We've agreed to do another one before Christmas so if you liked this post there should be another along in the future! In the meantime, if anyone would like to see full reviews and/or swatches of these products please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to oblige! 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Barratts Wish List - Shoes and Bags!

I'm so excited that this week I have been selected to be Barratts Blogger of the Week! To celebrate, I thought it would be the perfect time to explore the Barratts site and put together a little wish list!

As part of the questionnaire, I was asked to pick my favourite item currently on sale at Barratts and despite the hundreds of pairs of shoes available, it was one of their gorgeous bags that I settled on - the floral satchel (£30) was the one that caught my eye, so pretty and summery. It's only one of a great bag collection and I couldn't help but include the LYDC London Handbag (£45) in red too.

But it is shoes that they are most known for and they have plenty to choose from for all occasions - the floral ballet flats (£15) are so pretty, and the Dolcis Wedges Sandals (£28) are a perfect holiday shoe, while the fresh and fruity apple-print courts (£45) make me think of summer.

And unfortunately the summer can't be all about relaxing and having fun in the sun - I think the Hush Puppy Mary Jane's (£40) would be great anyone stuck in an office (like me), and if/when the weather turns sour again, the little pink ankle boots (£16) make a great wellies option!

What do you think of my choices?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

WL Wednesdays: Zaggora Review

I did say a while back that I would start posting my weight loss efforts here in order to help keep me on track. I picked up the idea for weight-loss Wednesdays after seeing it on a couple of other blogs, so here is where I shall be posting any updates, ideas, and relevant reviews. Starting with a very important aspect of my work out outfit, my Zaggora Hotpants*.

I've wanted a pair of these for ages, even including them in my 'fantasy workout outfit', and they've fast become an integral part of my exercise sessions. Firstly, here's the technical bit about how they work: Zaggora's products contain 'celu-lite fabric technology', which increases your core temperature while you work out to help you burn more calories. When tested they were found to increase the metabolic rate of wearers by up to 18%. This essentially makes your work out sessions more effective so that those hard-worked for results come a bit quicker!

Can you see why I was so interested in them?

There were a couple of doubts in my mind about these before testing them out: Would they work? Would they be comfortable? Would they look ok? But I've tried them for a few weeks (I was originally going to do the 'two week challenge' - but injuries and holidays have stretched the two weeks out  over a long time!) and here are my thoughts:

Would they look ok? I normally wear quite loose fitting clothes to the gym as my body still needs a bit of work before I want to show it off too much, but these are not only skin tight (they need to be to work), but shiny too. They're made out of a thick, wetsuit-esque material so as well as showing more of my figure than I'm used to they make a bit of a 'swishy' noise, drawing yet more attention! However, I don't know if it's because they made me really feel like I was ready to work out, but I didn't feel stupid wearing them at all. I wore them with a longish and looser fitting t-shirt which I think helped balance it out, but essentially I didn't feel self-conscious about either the fit, colour, material or anything else, and that's a help. I'd even go further to say that the tightness and thickness of the hotpants helped to 'hold in' some of the more wobbly areas round my tummy which was really nice!

Would they be comfortable? Again this concern was partly based on the tightness of the products, and partially on the 'heat' factor. But I found them good on both counts - perfectly comfortable to wear throughout the workout, and though I felt hot (and I would have been hot working out no matter what I was wearing) it never got unbearable or even really uncomfortable. The other concert was if I'd have to spend the whole workout pulling them up, as find I often do if I ever have to run in tights (not my usual work out wear choice but if I have make a dash for a bus for example!). these look like thick tights, and I worried they'd slip as I moved around a lot but they were great at staying in place!

Would they work? Well, in many ways this is quite a tricky one to answer - I did lose weight, and inches, while wearing these. But I was also doing more exercise and eating less generally so it's hard to say for sure what aspects of that can be attributed to the hotpants alone. So I'll tell you what I can be sure of - these things make you sweat. A lot. I didn't even feel too sweaty while I was wearing them, but when you peel them off you know about it. It would be quite disgusting if it wasn't so cool. It makes me feel like I've really worked hard, like I've really earned that shower. If the levels of sweat correlate to calories burnt then they must be doing something! A weird unexpected side effect of this is that they make my skin feel so nice and soft too - always a bonus! Another thing they did was really motivate me to work out, even when I wasn't really in the mood - a sort of 'well I've got these, I really should' attitude mixed with thinking that if I forced myself to do it, at least it would be as effective as possible! That in itself in valuable!

And if you need any more motivation, check out this video from Zaggora, it's called 'women are awesome' and the awesome things these awesome women are doing really puts my 'half hour potter round the gym' to shame - I really need to step up my game if I ever want to reach this level of cool!

And I know just what I need to help me on my way,.... as well as the hotpants, Zaggora do a gorgeous range of hot tops and blazers that would really complete my workout outfit!
Have you tried these? What do you wear to work out in?
* These were provided to me for review.
** I did want to include photos of me wearing the Hotpants, but I had no one to take them for me and really couldn't manage anything verging on flattering my myself - angles all wrong! - so I have used images from the official Zaggora website.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A Model Example - Guest Post

Todays post is something a bit different for Fantasy Fashionista, a very interesting guest post on prejudice in the modelling industry. There's a lot to be said on this subject, so I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
In the fall out from Jourdan Dunn being cut from the Dior Couture show, we explore the issue of discrimination and prejudice in the fashion industry today.
Earlier this month Jourdan Dunn, the 22-year-old British model, was unexpectedly cut from the Dior Couture line-up despite having spent the previous weekend being fitted for garments in preparation for the show.
The model revealed on her Twitter account the reason for her dismissal: ‘Ahahahahahahaha I just got cancelled from Dior because of my boobs!’
The mother of one took the news with a sense of humour and went on to tweet that she was ‘normally told I’m cancelled because I’m coloured so being cancelled because of my boobs is minor :)’.

It’s not the first time that Dior has been called out because of their choice of models. Dhani Mau, from, noted that ever since Raf Simons took the helm at the fashion house in 2012 the selection of models has been ‘almost exclusively white’.
James Scully, a casting director, said in an interview with that he felt the Dior show ‘is so pointedly white it’s deliberate. I watch that show and it bothers me - I almost can’t concentrate on the clothes because of the cast. And, recently, they’re changing from a very diverse, worldwide, multicultural cast to a very Germanic-looking white girl’.
In 2008 Dunn won the impressive, if dubious, title of being the first black model to walk for Prada since Naomi Campbell, 11 years earlier. This is an impressive feat for Dunn in some respects, although it is a shame that it took Prada so long to delve into the pool of hundreds of beautiful black models working in the industry over the past decade.
So was Dior’s issue with Dunn’s voluptuous figure really the reason for her sudden dismissal? Or was it a thinly veiled attempt to uphold the latent discrimination present both within the industry and the brand?
The London-born coltish beauty admits that it’s certainly not the first time she’s been on the receiving end of prejudice within the modelling industry. She told

The Times: ‘A few times I got excused by designers who told me, “We already found one black girl. We don’t need any more.” I felt very discouraged.’

Dhani Mau points out that the question isn’t whether prejudice is still present in the fashion industry, but rather: what is the industry doing to fix it? Runway shows are more than a vehicle to sell luxury bags and

high-end designer t-shirts – every detail represents the designer’s vision, and it’s disturbing when that vision only includes women who all look the same.

But it’s not just the colour of a model’s skin that can see them lose out on work. In 2009 the model Filippa Hamilton was fired from Ralph Lauren reportedly for being ‘too fat’. The company had previously digitally altered her image to the point where her hips measured the same size as her head.

Last year Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, casting director for Victoria’s Secret, decided to comment on the Sports Illustrated cover star Kate Upton, stating that the brand would never use Kate for their show because she was ‘too obvious’ and looked ‘like a Page 3 girl; she’s like a footballers wife with the too-blonde hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy’.

It seems that it wasn’t enough for Neophitou simply to not hire the model; she felt the need to highlight why exactly they would never work with her, commenting on her physical appearance with vitriol.

Less than a year after these remarks the brand hired Upton to model for them after her meteoric rise in popularity - despite her ‘too-blonde hair’ and footballer’s wife look.
Earlier this year Mike Jeffries, the CEO of the clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch, came under fire when comments that he made in a 2006 interview, in which he explained that the brand was marketed to the ‘cool kids’ and that they were being purposefully exclusionary, went viral on social media.
‘That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores, because good-looking people attract good-looking people, and we want to market to the cool, good-looking people,’ he said. ‘We don’t want to market to anyone other than that.’

This absurd remark is indicative of an attitude that has landed the company with a number of hefty litigations. In 2004 it reached a $40 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by Hispanic, black and Asian employees who were allegedly forced to work in the back of the shops.

The issue of discrimination is nothing new and the fashion industry is certainly not the only guilty party when it comes to prejudice. But what is new is the omnipresence of social media and its ability to bring experiences such as Jourdan Dunn’s - and long-forgotten quotes from an at-best misguided CEO in the case of Mike Jeffries - to public attention.

The public can now judge for themselves and, hopefully, speak out and play their part in changing the way the fashion industry objectifies women because of the size of their bust or the colour of their skin.

Guest post written by farfetch