Thursday, 31 January 2013

Paint the town red...

...or what to wear out when the weather is rubbish! I never know what to wear when I go to the pub- I am always torn between going for extreme comfort (jeans and a jumper) and wanting to get slightly dressed up. Finding a balance can be tricky, especially if you have to spend any time outside, before or afterwards. I decided that my new lace skirt from Monki (yes Monki again!) would be the perfect way to glam up a plain top and add a bit of interest to a more practical outfit. This leather biker jacket has long been a favourite of mine and the cropped length works well with longer skirt lengths (and particularly well with black semi sheer maxi skirts it seems!)  ;) I think I was trying to pop my collar up here but I'm really not sure!

Black lace skirt, red top, leather jacket, black tights and boots 1
Leather jacket: New Look, top: Matalan, skirt: Monki, tights: Tesco, boots: c/o Spartoo, awkward pose: model's own
This top is the red version of the one I wore in this outfit which I bought as I loved the white one so much. It's impossible to get a flattering photo of but I love how it drapes and the looser sleeves are perfect for going between the blustery outdoors and the stifling heat of the pub. 

Black lace skirt, red top, black tights and boots 2

The lace detail of this skirt (I love the fact it is called Doris!) is stunning and although the length is nearing maxi rather than midi on me (I fell foul of model leg length delusions again!) I think the sheer overlay is more flattering way to wear longer lengths, for people like me who  have stumpy rather than willowy legs with a midi length.  I love the fact that the lace also seems quite versatile, I think it looks fairly elegant here but I imagine it would look equally fab, all grunged up...

Black lace skirt, red top, black tights and boots 2
Also, scalloped hems ROCK...
This red lipstick is an old favourite- seen first in this blogpost from May 2010 (!) and it is quite a bright blue-red which gives you the perfect scarlet pout. My vow to wear more of my lipsticks is definitely working! These photos were taken the day before I finally got my hair cut and I think you can tell it needs cutting here- it got so long and wispy. Luckily the 'swoosh it and pin it' method helps to disguise its less than pristine style...

Red lipstick

What do you wear to the pub? How do you disguise a bad hair day?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bouclé, fur and lace...

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I love a good coat. I have one in nearly every colour under the sun but luckily there is always room for one more, especially one as lovely as this. I bought it from Topshop in the sale and although I can't see it online, my local branch had quite a few left in store. I love the sixties swing style of this and the fact that it makes me feel like Blair Waldorf is a massive bonus. Just FYI, if you are thinking of buying it, definitely size down, there is a lot of material!

Coat: Topshop, dress: Warehouse,  shoesStylist Click court shoes c/o Spartoo, tights:Falke c/o MyTights
I love love love the fact that this a bouclé coat trimmed with faux fur, it just makes me feel so darned glamorous, a very difficult thing to achieve when you are being attacked by gale force winds at every angle. Unfortunately my nail varnish let the side down by chipping every 5 minutes and looking downright awful, considering how much I loved the other shades in this Opi collection, I was really disappointed- sort it out Opi!

I picked this dress up when I was sale shopping after Christmas and I absolutely love it. Warehouse have some amazing clothes in at the moment and I loved everything about this dress from the length, to the cute collar detail and delicate lace sleeves, this is definitely a dress that is going to get a lot of wear...

MyTights sent me these gorgeous Falke tights to review and they were the perfect match for the dress. I have worked with MyTights before and they really are great, I had a seriously difficult time deciding which of the tights to review. Falke tights are wonderfully made and these are no exception, I can't wait to wear them to work, I think they will look great with a plain shift dress. I think the reason I love this outfit so much, is the mix of textures, there is something really quite glamourous about it...

What clothes make you feel glamourous? Did you pick up any bargains in the sale?
P.S. This post was done in collaboration with Spartoo and MyTights

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Russian roulette...

Whenever I wear this dress, I end up pairing it with faux fur of some kind and feeling incredibly Russian- I think it is the rich colour and the fact is it wool but who knows! When the snow covered the ground last week, it was the first thing I reached for and despite the short sleeves I was super cosy. Wearing this dress is always a bit like Russian roulette as it is so unpredictable, sometimes it works and other times I just look like a sausage, hopefully this was the former! ;)

Dress: ASOS via charity shop, faux fur gilet: Dorothy Perkins via eBay, tights: Marks & Spencer, bag: United Colours of Benetton shoulder bag c/o Spartoo shoes: Betty London ankle boots c/o Spartoo
 When our team won the quiz at #SWBXmas, one of the prizes was a Crown & Glory voucher and I couldn't have been more excited. I have written before about how much I love Sophie's accessories and I was super pleased to add these bobby pins to my collection. The colours are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for adding some interest to an otherwise dull hairdo...

 I really love these boots (so much so that I also bought them in brown!) and they kept my feet nice and cosy in all the snow. I have had these tights for years but the pattern is subtle enough to jazz up this outfit without drawing too much attention to my legs (never a good thing!)

What have you been wearing in the snow? Do you have 'unpredictable' outfits?
P.S. This post was done in collaboration with Spartoo

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Matalan style project: workwear...

When Matalan asked me if I wanted to get involved in their style project I couldn't have said yes any quicker. Some of my favourite bloggers have participated in it and I love seeing all the different looks that people come up with for the same theme- it's so interesting to see what pieces everyone is drawn to! I was really impressed by how far my voucher stretched too, I managed to get the top, trousers, blazer and shoes for £50, how amazing is that?! I haven't actually worn this into work yet (hate the snow!) but as soon as the ice disappears, this will be top of the pile to wear! 

Blazer: Matalan, top: Matalan, trousers: Matalan, shoes: Matalan. (all products c/o Matalan)
 You know how much I love bright colours and this blazer is the perfect way to introduce a splash of colour into your work wardrobe, even in the most conservative of offices. The trousers may be a bit too 'out there' for the majority of people but the impeccable cut and the smart top and blazer makes them so easy to wear. I think the thing with jazzy trousers, is to keep the rest of the outfit simple...

I chose this top as I am always looking for thin layers to wear into work. My office goes from being freezing cold to boiling hot within the space of an hour and you need something that helps to keep you at a constant temperature. I love the way this top drapes and the batwing sleeves contrast with the fitted sleeves and make it more interesting than a bog standard white t-shirt. The devil really is in the details...

Tying in the red detail of the trousers with my favourite lipstick of the moment; Model's Own lipstick in 'Red Wine', the perfect shade of pinky red. 

A close up detail of the gorgeous paisley print on these trousers. I wasn't expecting to love these trousers as much as I do but there is something about their unashamed boldness that I just love- they definitely put a spring in your step!


Monday, 21 January 2013

Dress for any weather...

The best dresses are those that you can wear throughout the year and this Peacocks dress has proven a favourite choice even now that the weather is colder.  I swapped my yellow sandals for some slightly more practical mustard flats and some grey woolly tights to keep me cosy. 

Dress: Peacocks, cardigan: ASOS, belt: Miss Selfridge, tights: Primark, shoes: Primark
 My favourite grey cardigan and mustard belt were the perfect match to pick up the colours in this dress and you know how much I love being matchy-matchy!

Slightly bleary eyes courtesy of a nice early morning start! I have been using my Macadamia hair oil set recently (my lovely gift from #SWBXmas)  and my hair has never felt smoother! I will definitely be buying the full size of this once I have finished off the taster set.

These woolly tights always remind me of the ones I used to wear at school all those years ago and they are great for wearing with those slightly shorter skirts and dresses in winter. I love them so much that I have at least 3 or 4 pirs in constant rotation- not bad for a Primark bargain! 

Which dresses do you keep coming back to all year-round ? Do you like being matchy-matchy?


Friday, 18 January 2013

Scottie dogs...

This outfit is made up of items that I wear all the time but haven't actually shown on the blog. I have had this wrap cardigan for years and years and despite being part of a La Senza pyjama set (!) it is one of the smarter cardigans I own and I have worn it nearly to death. I think wrap cardigans had a bit of a revival after Black Swan and when they are as cosy as this, you can see why! These photos make it look like it is the same colour as the skirt but in real life it is much more glittery- I think my black glittery boots would look amazing with this outfit! 

Cardigan: La Senza (pyjama set!) blouse: NW3 by Hobbs, skirt: Monki, tights: ASDA, shoes: Office
This skirt has been a workwear staple for me, I love full skirts (see evidence) and the dark wool is perfect for adding some gravitas to an otherwise frivolous shape. I bought it from Monki and it is no exaggeration to say that Monki now makes up a sizeable portion of my wardrobe...

The other part? It's crammed with beauties from Hobbs! I love the scottie print on this shirt so much that I also have the dress in the same adorable print. I mean what could be cuter than mini scottie dogs frolicking with a ball?! I think everyone should have a slightly smarter printed blouse in their wardrobe- this one is so versatile but could add a little fun into the most corporate of offices, especially when you have the Monday morning blues!

Which of your everyday outfits never make it to the blog? What are your workwear staples?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Making mini skirts work...

These photos were taken way back at the beginning of October, before I picked up my glasses but I don't know why I haven't posted it yet as this is an outfit I wear pretty regularly despite both the shoes and the skirt being impulse buys. I have to admit, I am awful for making impulse purchases, (especially if I happen to wonder into a supermarket clothing section) and this skirt definitely falls into that category. I saw it on ASOS for a measly £9.50 and figured that even if it did look a bit yellow, with change from a tenner, I couldn't really complain. Luckily, when the skirt arrived, it was gorgeous- the colour is more camel than yellow and the check print is lovely- I never can resist a checked skirt

Coat: Dannimac via my mum, faux fur stole: H&M, blouse: Urban Outfitters, skirt: Vero Moda via ASOS, tights: ASDA, shoes: NW3 by Hobbs
As soon as it arrived, I knew I wanted to pair it with this teal blouse, it seems to go with everything and although sheer, with a camisole top underneath, it is more than work appropriate. I think the trick with mini skirts, is to ensure that you wear a top with sleeves with them, as this makes the shorter length a lot less obvious, even if the sleeves are sheer

A slick of red lipstick and my faux fur stole always make me feel glamourous, even when heading to work, definitely the perfect sartorial pick me up...

Yes, my legs really are that short! Cable knit tights are a winter essential for me and these match these NW3 heels nearly perfectly. These heels hopefully elongate my stumpy legs too, despite the length of my skirt...

What was your last impulse purchase? How do you make short skirts more wearable?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Polka dots and dalmatian print...

Apologies for the darkness of these photos - Mark inadvertently switched to a manual setting on the camera and they all came out looking like they were shot in a gloomy room and even my awful amazing brightening skills couldn't save them. I really love this dress, it was an eBay bargain and I have barely taken it off after its first outing to the #SWBXmas! It was originally a dress in size 18 from H! by Henry Holland (a brand I love) but had been adjusted to a roomy 16, so it is perfect for hiding that post-Xmas bulge ;)

Dress: H! by Henry Holland via eBay, leather jacket: New Look, necklace: New Look, shoes: ASDA
I love the bows on the shoulder of this and the white necklace is fab, it always makes things feel more summery, even if it is grey outside...

I love red dresses and this is made even better with the addition of polka dots  It also has a swooshy skirt - what more could you ask for in a dress?!

When I was trying to find some shoes to match, nothing looked quite right (I'm thinking I need to invest in some white shoes for spring/summer!) but I remembered these dalmatian print shoes which managed to tie in the black and white perfectly! Pattern mixing can be pretty difficult to get right but hopefully this outfit manages to pull it off...

We decided to try a slightly different location for the photos in this post, I think I prefer this to the car park location!

How do you mix your prints? Have you picked up any eBay bargains recently?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Back to work blues...

I think everyone has found the last week or so a bit of a shock if they were off over Christmas and New Year. Going back to work is killer. Although I prefer a routine, when you have been getting up at 11 and lazing around on the sofa all day, getting up at 5 am is very hard to do. Luckily this beautiful tweed dress from Monsoon (favourite sale item?) made my first day back much nicer! I love love love the tweed and the fact it has pockets MADE MY DAY. Please excuse my dazed expression in these photos, this was about half 5 so I look completely slightly dopey...

Dress: Monsoon, sheer shirt: New Look, belt: Primark, tights: ASDA, shoes: Office
I love pinafore dresses (see here and here for proof!) and I love the fact that this dress can be worn on its own or  layered up with one of my many sheer blouses for a slightly different look. The length is perfect for work and although I felt slightly like a schoolgirl, I think this is one of those outfits where you show a bit of  personality, but it is still appropriate for a more conservative office...

Paired with my trusty black patent skinny belt (I must have about 5 of these!) and my Opi x James Bond nail varnish I managed to make myself feel more pulled together for my first day back. It's funny how just little things like having your nails painted can make such a difference isn't it? 

Hopefully by the end of this week I will have settled into a routine again. Luckily I have some of my best friends coming to stay and a birthday meal and film night to look forward to this weekend, having plans is definitely making it easier to get through the week!

What makes you feel 'pulled together'? How did you ease yourself back into work after Christmas?

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Years Eve outfit- Baroque print bodycon dress...

Even if I'm not going out, I like to dress up for New Year's Eve as it makes it feel like more of an occasion. This year, we stayed in with friends and played board games whilst eating ourselves silly (you may have seen the amazing Mars cheesecake we had!) which was really fun- definitely the best way to ring in the new year! I bought this dress on a whim from ASOS before Christmas as it was on sale and I couldn't be more pleased with it. The material is reassuringly thick and the print is amazing, it reminded me of Dolce & Gabbana FW12, I seem to have been very inspired by designer shows recently! I have always been more of a maximalist than a minimalist but never really dipped my toe into the opulent world of baroque until now. I get the feeling that this won;t be my last OTT print though! 

Dress: River Island, shoes: Marks & Spencer, tights: ASDA
 I wanted to pick up the coral colour in the print and my new Max Factor Colour Elixir lipstick in 'Bewitching Coral'- it is definitely my favourite colour to wear at the moment!
A better look at the print, aren't the cherubs just adorable?! I love the fact that this is not your typical print and the black panels help to make it a bit more wearable. 

For a bodycon dress, this is also quite demure, I love the higher neckline and the length will be perfect for wearing nude tights when it warms up a bit! I bought this a size bigger than I normally would as I wasn't sure how fitted it would be, but definitely buy your normal size! These shoes were a sale bargain from some time last year that I really need to wear more, I love the snakeskin effect...

What did you wear for New Year's Eve? Are you a maximalist or a minimalist?


Friday, 4 January 2013

Oh beehive!

Cheesy puns ahoy! I hate to say it but I felt more than a little bit like Adele in this outfit. I have never been a fan of hers but I can't help but feel that the shape of the dress with the beehive make this something she might wear, even if it is a little brighter than her usual LBDs.  This whole outfit was quite 60s inspired and I actually love how it came out- perhaps a bit 'fancy dress' for New Year's Day but oh well!

Dress: H&M, shoes: Carvela from John Lewis, ribbon: Hobbycraft
I picked up this dress in H&M the other day, when it was reduced to a mere £10 in the sale and I absolutely love it. The length makes it perfect for work and I love the bright floral/tie dye explosion of colour too... I can see this working with a lot of  my favourite accessories, how amazing would this look with my pink shoes?!

The gorgeous burgundy shade on my nails is the 'Die Another Day' shade from the Opi 'Get Bonded collection' which I treated myself to over Christmas and I absolutely love. The shades are fab and I found them really easy to apply. I have always been pleased with Opi products although I know that some people don't get on with them so well. You can see me wearing the gorgeous pale gold 'Golden Eye' shade in my Christmas post and I am sure that 'The Spy Who Loved Me' shade will be making an appearance soon!

THE SHOES OF DREAMS I bought these shoes a few years ago in the John Lewis sale and I really don't wear them enough. They are pale pink velvet with sparkly encrusted bows and although fairly rigid, the perfect shoes to wear if you are having a bit of a rubbish day, these babies are guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

My beehive in close up! I am not one for experimenting with my hair but after I managed to unravel my hair doughnut, I decided that I would use it as a DIY Bump-it and pin my hair into a beehive and I think it worked quite well. I don't like backcombing my hair but I think this worked well as a cheat's way to a beehive, what do you think?

How do you beehive? What are your shoes of dreams?



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