Monday 24 September 2012

Autumn/Winter #PassionForFashion

Autumn / Winter is my favourite time of the year for fashion, so when I was contacted by Money Supermarket inviting me to take part in their Passion For Fashion campaign, it was a no brainer! I was asked to create five different Autumn / Winter looks – party, casual, office, outdoor and first date – with a budget of £200 per look using UK online fashion retailers. The aim being to locate good value products and make savings where possible. 

My outfits took me absolutely ages to create but it was really fun!
Please read on to see my take on all five looks....

Playsuit - Urban Outfitters - £38
Jacket - Republic - £30
Necklace - H&M - £34.99
Wedges - Republic - £20
Bag - Zara - £19.99
Lashes - Matalan - £3
Lipstick - Topshop - £8
Nail polish - Topshop - £6
Lace socks - River Island - £4.50

TOTAL: £164.48

I felt like this playsuit was excellent value for money because of its potential versatility in the autumn / winter months. Not only can it be dressed up, but it could also be used as shorts for a more casual look when teamed with an oversized knit. I have chosen to keep the colour palette fairly simple for this look with a black and white theme. Rather than just wearing the wedges as they are, I would pair them with these lace socks. I really like the socks and heels trend at the moment and feel these lace ones completely change up the look – simple wedges suddenly look like lacy shoe boots. All for a mere £24.50 in total for both the wedges and socks (I found this to be cheaper than most pairs of shoes when scouring the web). The wedges were a bargain sale find from Republic where I also found this lovely jacket for a mere £30. I was really shocked by this price as I feel that it looks a lot more expensive. Every party outfit needs a statement piece of jewellery. I saw this H&M necklace – which is a little pricier than I’d usually pay for H&M jewellery – but it is well worth the investment as it would be perfect for December party season and New Years (it would really transform a simple little black dress). The Zara bag was just £19.99 and is another versatile product for this season – I would have plenty of use for it day time too and it wouldn’t look out of place in the office either. And being a party look, fake lashes, lippy and a splash of nail polish add to the look subtly without outshining the main talking points of the outfit: the playsuit and necklace. 

Dress - H&M - £34.99
Bag - Accessorize - £35
Jacket - Boohoo - £35
Heels - H&M - £29.99
Nail polish - Topshop - £6
Underwear set - Topshop - £26
Necklace - ASOS - now reduced to £16!
Stockings - Tesco - £9

TOTAL: £191.98

For a first date, you want to make an effort (after all, it would be nice to score a second date) but not go too overboard. I feel that this outfit encompasses the smart casual look well. The dress could be worn everywhere – meaning that you will get your money’s worth in no time at all – and it is a great transitional piece as not only does it look wintery, but it also wouldn’t look out of place in the spring / summer months. I feel a bit naked without jewellery and loved the simplicity of this ASOS necklace which has been reduced down in the sale since the first time that I saw it. In this country we can’t really survive autumn / winter with bare legs, so I chose out these lacy stockings to give my make-believe date a nice surprise. I always feel so much more confident when wearing a nice underwear set – plus it’s fun knowing what’s underneath when he doesn’t! ;) For a splash of colour, I added a floral handbag, H&M heels and some nail polish in a closely matching shade. I love the berry red kind of colour – especially around Christmas time. So that the outfit didn’t appear too girly – or too formal for a first date – I toughed up the look with a leather jacket. I couldn’t believe that this jacket was only £30 from Boohoo! It looks so much more expensive and would get so much wear across all months – not just the autumn / winter ones.

Blouse - Zara - £29.99
Mary Janes - Tesco - £15
Skirt - Urban Outfitters - £30
Satchel - Bershka - £25.99
Blazer - Yayer - £50
Tights - Topshop - £4

TOTAL: £154.98

Office wear is a difficult one. You want to dress smartly for work but at the same time, buying suits can only get you so far. A good suit will set you back quite a bit of money plus it’s kind of restricted to work and interviews. When adding to my work wardrobe, I always keep my eye out for pieces that I can wear outside of work too (this way the items get a lot more wear out of them). I chose out this skirt as it’s such a versatile piece. I feel like it can be worn across the year and dressed up or down accordingly. In this instance I would wear with simple black tights and these Mary Jane shoes that are a mere £15 from Tesco (I kid you not!). Normally my outfit of choice involves either a) a very long necklace or b) a shorter but very sparkly necklace. However when I found this Zara blouse with the amazing high neck detail, I knew that jewellery had no place here. To keep the Victorian neckline the focus of outfit, I would tuck the loose tunic fit of the top into the skirt. For those chilly autumn / winter months, bare arms are a big no no. I fell in love with this Yayer jacket which has a military aspect to it with the buttons, as well as a preppy “school” kind of feel. Keeping with the school theme, I added this satchel which is so much cheaper than other satchels out there (Cambridge Satchel Company, I’m looking at you!) and is a lot more unique with the floral detail. 

 Cardigan - Boohoo - £25
Boots - Boohoo - £40
Dress - Republic - £30
Fleece - Boohoo - £25
Backpack - Republic - £20
Umbrella - Matalan - £5
Mittens - Tesco - £5
Socks - Urban Outfitters - £8

TOTAL: £158

The outdoors is quite a tricky one in Britain because our weather is so varied. One minute it’ll be bitterly cold and pouring with rain, the other it will be quite mild. My outdoor look makes use of layering so you are prepared for all possible types of weather! Seeing as we can’t guarantee dry, warm weather I chose out these insanely cute cat mittens and lacy umbrella. At just £5 each, these items don’t break the bank and can be stowed away in the Aztec backpack when not needed. To keep my feet warm, I would wear these toasty looking socks with these long boots which are a mere £40 from Boohoo. I choose out this dress in particular as although it is used in a casual context here, it can also be easily dressed up with some of the items from my other looks. For the layering part of my look, I would wear this very soft and warm looking fleece on top of the dress and then on top of that, use this Aztec cardigan as a coat. Together, the fleece and cardigan come to £50 and are probably much warmer than a standard coat (which will most certainly be more expensive). 

Cape - Asda - £10
Top - Lipsy - £40
Shorts - Miss Selfridge - £39
Knee highs - River Island - £8
Nail wraps - Missguided - £6.65
Slippers - Republic - £10

TOTAL: £113.65

I took “casual” to mean the sort of autumn / winter look I’d wear when chilling indoors watching movies with friends. Normally around the house I’ll wear denim cut offs with long socks and a cape - so I tried to stay true to that within this look. When being casual at home, I always like to experiment with my nails – whether it be trying new colours or nail art. In this instance I’ve chosen out these very cute nail wraps from Missguided. The Asda cape is an absolute bargain for £10 as since it’s reversable, it’s like having two different capes! To play on the cape’s monochrome look, I would wear with black knee highs (perfect for layering under trousers in the colder months) and this loose fitting, comfy looking white Lipsy top. Normally I would wear a necklace with the top and a belt with the shorts, but I feel like the embellishment on both items already give the desired effect. And if you and your mates decide to go out after all, the glitzy top and shorts will see you through as they are a little more dressy. To go the whole hog with the casual look, I would probably wear some ballet pump style slippers. I was sold when I found these owl slippers online. Lots of slippers online at the moment seem to be wintery themed - what with reindeer print and snowflake print - which does limit you a little bit. These cuties won’t break the bank at only £10 and the best thing? They aren’t autumn / winter specific so can be used all year round. RESULT!

So there you have it. Those are my five looks.

Would you wear any of these? 

Which is your favourite look?

Tuesday 11 September 2012

See you soon!

Seeing as I'm flying to Barcelona at silly o'clock in the morning tomorrow, I thought I'd stop by and say bye as I'll still have lots to get ready tonight! I'm all jittery about my trip which is a mixture of excitement and nerves (I hate flying). It's take-off and landing that get me. I hate it when the plane is queuing on the runway and waiting to be cleared for take off. Just get on with it!

My suitcase is devastation city. I probably shouldn't have spent all that time ironing my clothes nicely! WASTE. I have also packed way too many clothes. I'll need a last minute cull!

At the weekend, I picked up some last minute bits from Westfield which include:

Motel dress

H&M skirt

View from back!

New Look shoes that look like
they should come from Zara!

Black lace = perfect underwear!

Thanks to everyone who provided me with ideas for my trip via this post

I won't be blogging whilst I'm away but will write about it when I get back, just like I did for Paris. If given the choice between staying in my hotel room using the Internet or going out exploring, it's a no brainer! 


Sunday 9 September 2012

House of Fraser Style Challenge

Recently the House of Fraser team got in touch, inviting bloggers like myself to create an A/W look using items from their website to be in with a chance of winning £200 of vouchers [competition now closed]. I love House of Fraser and thought I’d give it a go – how hard could it be?

And the answer my friends is hard. Very hard. House of Fraser has an impressive and wide range of clothing and accessories online which made picking out only a few items very daunting indeed. And then suddenly I found the most beautiful coat on their website which I just knew I had to build my look around. Here is my entry:


Underneath the coat, I would wear this metallic piece of knitwear loosely tucked into this pleated skirt (minus the belt). The coat would be worn open on top of these but I would clinch it in at the waist using the belt from the skirt to emphasise my small (ish) waist. As the British weather is so unpredictable, I would wear these cheeky stockings underneath the skirt so that if it warmed up over the course of the day, they could be easily removed and kept in my handbag if needs be. I decided to toughen up the look with these leather gloves and these military style ankle boots. I loved the edginess of the gloves with the buckle detail – they would be perfect for those icy cold mornings that will soon be upon us!

My autumn/winter look is heavily inspired by Burberry Prorsum’s A/W 2012 collection which featured knee length skirts and outerwear clinched in at the waist with belts:

Whist I still adore the Burberry coat Cara Delevingne is wearing, I do honestly think that the House of Fraser one I found could give it a run for its money! Not only is it a fraction of the price, but check out that print! Breathtaking.

I picked out these items in particular as not only are they beautiful to look at, but they are also timeless pieces that will never go out of style – so well worth the investment! And if Fashion ever told me that any of my items were “out”, I simply wouldn’t listen. I would continue to wear them and love them the same.

Another great thing about this outfit is that it could be worn anywhere. It’s perfect to wear to work but wouldn’t look out of place for after work drinks. I find it’s smart and comfortable without being too formal.

Would you wear an outfit like this?

Sunday 2 September 2012

How to create your own festival when you can't make it to your favourite festival

Reading the title to this blog post you may be thinking: 

W-O-W... Lucy finally got herself to her first ever festival! 

Alas, I did not. Trust me, I tried. It was an unfortunate mix of some people being away on holiday, some people not being to afford tickets and some people really against “roughing” it in a tent. Sad times. Rather then curling up into a ball, severely depressed, I decided to take matters into my own hands: 

If I couldn’t go to a festival, then the festival would come to me.

For those of you without tickets or unable to afford them, keep reading and let this serve as a guide of how to throw your own fake festival.

One. Get in the spirit of things and dress up.

For my festival look, I am wearing a Miss Selfridge cropped top with fringing and a Topshop backpack (first mentioned here), H&M denim cut offs and ASOS black knee highs. 

And if like me, you’re sporting fringing, SPIN (it’s fun).

Two. Make a “tent” and bring your sleeping bags. In our case, we had to set up indoors as it was raining really badly outside. It mattered not for we had an excellent view of the stage (ha)

And despite not being there, we still "met" some characters...

Three. Make festival wristbands in bright neon colours. 
“Lucy festival” was shortened to “Lucival” (less letters to fit on the wristband).

Four. Eat “festival” food. We had homemade chorizo, butterbean and spinach stew and served it in plastic containers with flimsy plastic cutlery. Keeping it reaaaaal.

And a few picnic essentials that we ate in the tent

Five. Drink lots. We were armed with Brothers, Stella, Barcardi and Captain Morgan. 
And dance like no one’s watching. Throw those arms in the air!

Six. Imitate the band. Even if they’re wearing sunglasses at night in the pitch black. DO IT.

In summary, it wasn’t quite the same as being there, but at least we weren’t soaked to the bone in the rain or struggling to see the main stage! And another benefit? 

It meant the cats could join in too...

I also learnt that one of my cats makes an excellent table. Bless him.