Friday, 29 July 2016

OOTD // Keeping things casual

When you see designer bags on Instagram and Pinterest, the owner of the insanely beautiful bag is usually all legs, wearing the most coveted of outfits and skyscraper heels, with the air of having just stepped off the catwalk, en route to their next Fashion Week show. You rarely see a designer bag in a casual context with straight-out-of-bed-hair. Until now that is.

Lazy weekends mean I want to be comfortable in what I'm wearing. My go to weekend staple has to be denim shorts and a tee and / or knitwear. This sort of outfit is great for lazying around the house in, or heading down the road to pick up groceries / going to the post office / other boring aspects of adult life. Simple but effective.

My favourite piece of knitwear I own has to be this sandy coloured number (just £13!). It's fairly light-weight compared to other knitwear which makes it a great transitional piece for spring / autumn / typical British weather and is great for layering with. It's also slightly over-sized which I love as it means it can hang off one shoulder all sassy like.

Jumper - Forever 21
YSL bag - Farfetch
Shorts - H&M (old)
Shoes - New Look (old)

Forever 21 sweater & YSL bag 2
Forever 21 sweater & YSL bag 3
Forever 21 sweater & YSL bag 4
Forever 21 sweater & YSL bag 5

Another personal favourite is this chunky khaki knit. It's not a colour I'd usually go for (it's not black, white or grey for starters!), but it's a lovely deep forest sort of green and looks ace worn with blue denim.

Forever 21 khaki jumper and YSL designer bag

Jumper - Forever 21 (old)
YSL bag - Farfetch
Shorts - H&M (old)

Forever 21 khaki jumper and YSL designer bag 3

Another F21 jumper... this post is starting to feel like it's sponsored by Forever 21! (it's not for the record!)
I just genuinely love Forever 21 and I do pick up 90% of my knitwear from there.

So there you have it. Two looks with a designer bag in a more casual context. Next time I am taking casual to a whole other level, exploring if designer bags and pyjama chic are a marriage made in heaven or not... so it will be interesting gauging your reactions on that one! Do you like designer bags styled in a more casual way? Or do you prefer a glossier look?

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

OOTD // A monochrome look with YSL

When it comes to fashion, I'm a bit of a colourphobe. If you were to delve into my wardrobe, you would be metaphorically drowning in a sea of black, white and grey. I'm all about that monochrome life, you see. The other weekend I got dressed in - you've guessed it - my typical monochrome get-up and ventured to the woods to catch Pokemon for a nice day out.

YSL designer bag and Topshop white top
YSL designer bag and Topshop white top 2
YSL designer bag and Topshop white top 4
Top - Topshop
Jeans - Topshop
Bag - Farfetch
Shoes - New Look (old)

I'm so happy it's warming up as it means I can ditch the tights, boots and knitwear, and feel the sun on my skin FINALLY. I wanted to wear something simple and classic, without taking the shine away from my bag, as it's such a statement piece. And you can't get any more simple or classic than a pair of black jeans. I live in my black jeans. Everyone has their preferred cut / fit at Topshop, but my favourite is the Leigh range as it's not too high waisted, nor too low rise. The top I bought from Topshop a little while ago and it's been hanging in my wardrobe ever since, begging to be worn. And now I'm making up for lost time! I'm loving the off the shoulder trend at the moment - a white bardot top is so much more interesting than a bog standard plain white tee, don't you think?

I love how the bag pulls together the look. Suitable both day and night, this bag is a classic and will never go out of style. Check out that lettering. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before on a designer bag. It's just beautiful. A true work of art.

YSL designer bag 2
YSL designer bag 3

It's a small bag without being a small bag - you can still fit plenty in it. I'm used to carrying around large and heavy bags, so this was a lovely change and I feel myself becoming the small bag convert! I mean, do I really need to be carrying everything but the kitchen sink around with me?! I think not.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this look :) How would you style a bag like this? I have a few more outfit posts lined up with the bag to show it in a more casual context - so watch this space!

* A huge thanks to Farfetch for providing me with this bag of dreams!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

6 ways to style a maxi dress

When it comes to finding the perfect summer dress, it's all about versatility. Finding a piece that doesn't look out of place come rain or shine; that can dressed up or down; and taken from day to night. Here are my top 6 ways of how to style a maxi dress this summer.

1. Is a skirt? Is a dress?
Just because something is labelled as a dress, doesn't mean you have to wear it as a dress. I like mixing up my maxi dresses by wearing them as skirts too. Simply wear a boyfriend tee, crop top, or a shirt on top to give your dress a new lease of life.

JD Williams blue tile print maxi dress 2

2. .... or maybe it's a top?
Same rules apply. But as a top. Why not try tucking your dress into a pair of shorts / jeans / different skirt?

3. Why ruin a classic?
Appreciate the dress for what is is. Particularly when faced with a pretty print like this one. Make the print the main star of the show, and stick to basic and delicate jewellery and gladiator sandals. I adore the layered detail on this top which gives it a two-piece feel.

JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 3
Maxi dress - which can be found in the Maxi Dresses section here

4. Dressed to the nines
Maxi dresses for me are usually casual comfort for those swelteringly hot days. But who's to say that maxi dresses can't be dressed up? Team yours with a fitted blazer / cropped jacket to draw attention to the slimmest part of your silhouette: your waist. Extra style points for incorporating a waist belt!

JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 7
JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 4

5. Embrace your grunge side
Why not try a leather jacket and ankle boots (if unlike me you actually have a pair!) for a grunge inspired twist?

JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 5
JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 6

6. Chilly summer evenings
You know the deal. Day time you are struggling in blisteringly hot weather, but come sun down, you feel the goosebumps pricking up on your arms. A over-sized knit makes the perfect cover up for chilly summer evenings.

JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 8
JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 9
JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 10
JD Williams Blue Tile Print Maxi Dress 11

And that's it for my maxi dress styling tips! If you have any maxi dresses hanging in your wardrobe, dig them out, and experiment to your heart's content - maxi dresses are so versatile and you can get so much wear out of them. Fully obsessed with #ihavethisthingswithfloors on Instagram, I fell in love with this blue tile print maxi dress which reminded me of the prettiest Moroccan tiles. So unbelievably floaty and comfortable, this dress will definitely be getting a lot of use from me this summer!

*Although this maxi dress was very kindly provided by JD Williams, summer dress styling tips and love of maxi dresses all my own!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Finding the perfect dress to last you through the summer - no matter the weather

What type of dress could this be, I hear you ask. A maxi dress? A bandeau? No my friends, I am proposing The Shirt Dress. I love a shirt. But then again, I do love a dress. Now imagine the two getting together and this item of clothing being the result... it's a thing of beauty.

Shirt dress - now in the sale! - which can be found in the Holiday Dresses section here

I own this dress in "cassis" which is a beautiful berry sort of colour, and cries out for a matching berry lip. This dress also comes in khaki and black, which given the wonderful fit and feel of the dress, is making me seriously consider picking up the other two colours to complete the set. Particularly now that they're in the sale for a mere £30.

The sleeves can rolled up or down - depending on what takes your fancy! - and the belt helps to create some shape by nipping you in at the waist. The material of the dress is lightweight and thin - but by no means see through! - making it the ideal choice for summer getaways, day trips and the like.

JD Williams Button Sleeve Shirt Dress 4
JD Williams button sleeve shirt dress 7
JD Williams button sleeve shirt dress 8

For my summer inspired look, I wanted to keep things simple, to let the dress do the talking. It's such a beautiful colour, it makes enough of a statement as it is. I teamed mine with delicate jewellery and Valentino style criss cross flats. However there is a lot of potential to style a shirt dress like this. My top tips:

  1. Wear with lace-up-the-leg gladiator sandals to emphasise tanned pins. Go for a tan coloured sandal to contrast beautifully against that lovely berry colour
  2. Wear with a large floppy hat and shades for the ultimate summer look. Very fashion. Very instagram.
  3. Try a chunky knit on top and ankle boots for an off duty model sort of look. This will transform the dress into a button up skirt for an alternative use 
  4. When travelling or out and about, for the ultimate capsule wardrobe, why not repeat wear another day, but this time with the dress tucked into high waisted shorts or jeans? This will give the dress a new lease of life and will save you valuable suitcase space for bringing back souvenirs and duty free! ;)

Hope you like the dress and that this piece allows you to find inspiration for how to incorporate shirt dresses into your summer wardrobe! On me it's a pretty decent length meaning it's a perfectly acceptable item for me to wear to the office or for other occasions where I need to be a little more covered up!

* Dress very kindly provided by JD Williams but as ever, all opinions are my own!

Friday, 8 July 2016

FESTIVAL STYLE // Palm tree print tee

Festival style for me is all about having fun with colours, prints and textures. My favourite print this season? Tropical print. Think palm trees and pineapples. Tropical print is increasingly cropping up on the high street - so much so, that it's edging it's way into homeware and interiors too, what with copper pineapple ornaments and green leafy cushions. Whilst floral crowns continue to be the go to fashion accessory to complete your look this festival season, why not take the inspired-by-nature look one step further with palm tree print?

My favourite offering on the high street right now has to be this palm tree cami. Super, super soft and lightweight, it's the perfect layering piece, should your festival go from thunderstorms and muddy puddles to heatwave (we can dream!)

For my festival inspired look, I teamed with white cut off shorts and sandals. Forever optimistic, I incorporated peep toe sandals into my festival look as by some stroke of luck, I haven't yet been to a festival where it's been muddy or raining!

I love the different shape of the neckline and straps, rendering it not quite halter neck, but also not a traditional strappy top as we know it either. I find some tops look better worn with a skirt / shorts / trousers [delete as appropriate], however this isn't the case with this top which seems to go with everything! It's a truly versatile piece which looks equally good with crisp white jeans as it does with denim cut offs.

Now I'm festival ready, all I need now is a cider in my hand and a festival to go! Who's with me?

*Top very kindly provided by House of Fraser, love of festival style and tropical print my own!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

My favourite summer eats at Pizza Express right now

Around the time of my birthday I indulged in a few meals out because it's always been one of my favourite ways to catch up with friends. On one particularly hot and sunny day, it felt like salad sort of weather. So just before I paid my first ever visit to the dinosaur park, I stopped at my local Pizza Express who in my opinion, do the best salads. We were seated outside in their garden area - which before now I had no idea existed! - which was lovely and peaceful.

I had their Bosco salad which I always order come rain or shine. You just can't go wrong with mozzarella, garlic mushrooms, spinach, roasted tomatoes and artichokes, topped with dressing and dough sticks. I usually hold off the honey mustard dressing and ask for balsamic instead as I'm not too hot on mustard. It is the most colourful and aesthetically pleasing dish.

For years I always dismissed salads as being highly expensive for what they are and as things that left you hungry. But now I understand. If you pick the right salad - and Pizza Express's Bosco is way up there - it can be just as filling as any other dish. I always appreciate it when a salad includes a little substance in there so it's not just a pile of leaves looking up at you. The dough sticks here are wonderfully 'springy' in texture and all the textures and flavours of the salad work together well. Artichokes are a new addition to this salad which weren't there before, nor were they something I had tasted before. And I loved them. I found the texture very similar to mushrooms and I'm a huge lover of mushrooms.

Around the time of my birthday I got into cheesecake in a massive way. I was never particularly fussed with cheesecakes, now I'm all about that cheesecake life. When I saw that Pizza Express had a honeycomb cream slice which included a layer of salted caramel... easiest decision ever.

As a disclaimer, this is not a sponsored post. I wrote this post - and paid for the meal - of my own accord. For a full menu, you can find this here

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

EVENT // Alice Through The Looking Glass

To celebrate Disney's latest film Alice Through The Looking Glass, an Alice in Wonderland themed pop-up event was hosted in London for a limited time only. People were ripping out pages of the local newspaper - which featured the event - pressing it into my hand, and overly exciting me in the process. When it came to booking tickets it was no easy feat - the event had sold out faster than you can say "mad hatter".

Around the time of my birthday I received two envelopes through my door. One a birthday card from one of my best friends, Alison, instructing me to check out the other envelope. The second envelope read "open me" and inside I found a card covered with flamingos. Two tickets fell into my lap and I found a lovely handwritten message inside, detailing the adventure I was about to go on. Unknown fact about me: I'm the biggest ice queen and don't tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve or let on how I'm feeling to anyone. But when I opened that envelope I must admit, I did have a little cry. I'd kinda got it in my head that I wasn't going because tickets had sold out and I couldn't and then suddenly to be told I was going, was a little big magical. And how someone made that effort for me, and sought out tickets. The card also contained these cute little Alice in Wonderland tattoos / transfers which were the sorts of designs I wanted to get etched when I was in Brighton recently, but sadly the shop had closed up for the day by the time I'd got to it. So now I can indulge in some Alice inspired skin art!

So let's fast forward to the day in question, if I may? My tickets were for the 7pm session on Saturday 21st May. The street in question was near to Spitalfields market and contained these curious little houses, all higgledy piddly, and aged and asymmetrical. It was clear which door was The Door for us:

This script was the basis of your - self guided - tour and messages like this were throughout the building:

Upon entry we were provided with a map of the house (really useful as it was right ol' maze in there!) and playing cards which were drink / food tokens so we could indulge in both "eat me" and "drink me". The food included cakes and biscuits cellophaned in packing labelled "eat me" whereas the "drink me" option was a grapefruit and gin cocktail served in these curious little goblets.

There were different rooms with different activities suited to those of all ages. You didn't have to be an Alice in Wonderland fanatic like me - but it probably helped if you were, otherwise lots of the themes would be quite surreal to you! The decor was dark and sultry - lots of dark corners, room contents lit by candlelight, and huge clocks which I believe to have come straight from the European Alice Through The Looking Glass film premiere hosted in London a few weeks back.

There was a crafts section, photography upstairs in the Queen's boudoir (emphasis on be quick before the Queen catches you and off with your head), Looking Glass type photobooth downstairs where you could transition into your favourite characters (I opted for the Cheshire cat!), and an Escape Room hosted by the greats of ClueQuest.

Instead of painting the roses red, people were having their skin painted with delicate little red hearts. I had mine on my wrist:

My favourite room of them all had to be the croquet up on the roof. Just like the cartoon / film / book, it was pretty nonsensical a game with lots of cheating and laughs, but really fun!

There were different sessions / time slots and we made the most of our 90 minutes. It was a good laugh and perfect for an Alice in Wonderland fanatics like myself! Afterwards we popped into The Diner in Spitalfields for late night hard shakes and burgers. Their choconaut (rum and chocolate milkshake) is deliciously warming, and was the perfect way to end such a memorable evening!

A massive THANK YOU to Alison for tracking down the tickets and letting me experience this amazing event!