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Blanket Wrap
Accessories, Coats & Jackets, In My Wardrobe, Tried & Tested

Winter is Coming. It’s Time to Wrap Up.

Blanket wrap, throw, shawl, poncho, horse blanket…call them what you will, this season there’s definitely no shortage of oversized scarves in heavy fabrics that will help you add that important extra layer of warmth. Damart set me the challenge of styling up the Dogtooth Wrap for the colder weather, and I knew immediately this look had to be all about the layers. These wraps are brilliant over your usual coat on days when you know you’re going to be facing sub-zero temperatures.

Damart wrap

I teamed the wrap with a lace-up top from Primark, the Missguided Lena coat (still available in lilac and pink), black Old Navy rockstar jeans (the best cheap jeans in the world) and Clarks Hamble Oak brogues in pewter. This is my second pair and they’re still the comfiest brogues ever.

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The joy of these wraps is you can throw, pin, and wrap them around yourself in all manner of ways to suit the weather. One minute, it’s like a poncho over your coat (I prefer to tuck it under the lapels so the coat shows, especially if I’m wearing colour like this one), the next minute it’s more like an oversized scarf, tucked up around the neck. I’ve also seen them look great belted a little like a waistcoat; a good choice if you’re concerned that all the layers will drown you a little.

My other big reason for loving these wraps is that they are a joy when travelling. I hate getting cold on long flights but I also hate packing a big coat just for the journey. I’ve always worn a big scarf for flights and now I’ll be upgrading. This is way better than the horrible blankets that get handed out in economy class! It stays in place over the shoulders, you can easily fasten your seatbelt over the top of it, and your hands remain free for important entertainment selections (ahem, and free wine guzzling). On top of that, you’re far more likely to get use out of it at your destination if, like me, you always slightly underestimate the weather when you get there.

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One final bonus? These babies come in one size, so whether you’re buying as a gift and not sure on size, or you have a tendency to yo-yo between sizes, you can rest assured this will fit!

Disclosure : The wrap was a gift, however I wasn’t paid to write this post

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Accessories

Arm Candy – a friendship bracelet from Links of London

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It’s taken me a while to jump back on the friendship bracelet bandwagon. I made dozens of the knotted ones as a kid – in fact I remember selling them at school craft fairs, and even forcing my dad to wear one that I’d painstakingly made for his man-sized wrist. Now they’re back, but this time around we’re not just talking embroidery silks and the odd wooden bead. Friendship bracelets have gone high end, and high priced, in silver and gold with charms, neon threads and precious stones. And the best way to wear them is ‘blogger style’ – piled up on one wrist with more bangles and bracelets (and your Michael Kors rose gold watch) in a close-up pic with your favourite clutch bag. Something like this (lols)…

Links of London bracelet

To test-drive the look- and hopefully reignite my love of friendship bracelets – the lovely folks at Links of London sent me a Silver Friendship Bracelet to try out. They have bracelets ranging from about £100 to £4,000, mine was the Mint, Grey and Yellow friendship bracelet on a silver base, which retails at £140 but is actually reduced to £98 at the moment.

You may have spotted the bracelet in a previous post. I wore it a lot on holiday when my style tends to step down a few notches in favour of laid-back comfort. This bracelet worked perfectly for that, it made a little statement without looking too in your face on the beach. Plus, it matched the beach towel. Can’t ask for more than that.

Links of London friendship bracelet

I love that this is a bit more of a grown-up take on the old-fashioned knotted friendship bracelet. At nearly thirty, I’m not sure I can pull off a wrist full of macrame, but I can definitely do sterling silver! I don’t really wear much fine jewellery, but this is a nice compromise – made from fine materials, with a more casual feel. There are dozens of options on the Links site, so if you want to treat yourself or a loved on to a new bracelet or friendship bracelet charm, get shopping (or start saving)!

Disclosure: The bracelet was a gift from Links of London

modoeco_specs
Accessories, Uncategorized

Going Green with my glasses

Going through the contents of my bag the other day reminded me that I’d yet to blog about a recent discovery that’ll be right up your alley if you like your accessories practical, ethical and beautiful…and if you wear glasses! The brand in question is Modo Eco, who’re responsible for my latest pair of specs. I have a tiny prescription and only need my glasses for time spent in front of the computer or TV, so I’ve always worn glasses rather than contact lenses. They’re easier to take on and off as needed, and as far as I’m concerned, any excuse to accessorise works for me!

Now, the idea of recycled glasses may conjur up visions of scouring charity shops for the one pair of old specs without a prescription that resembles staring through the bottom of a glass bottle, but this is something a little different and more fashion conscious, so I was really intrigued to be invited recently to try some frames and find out more about the ethos of this ethical brand.

Modo Eco uses recycled materials to make new, stylish frames in various styles. They come packaged in recycled cardboard, and for every pair of glasses bought, a tree is planted.

The frames are 95% recycled plastic / stainless steel, but they don’t look any different from most of the designer ranges in stores. You’d never know the plastic in my purple pair was once something else entirely. They’re also not overtly branded, which I much prefer to having big flashy logos down the arms of my specs.

The glasses I went for were 110249, a classic rectangle frame in purple. The same style also comes in tortoiseshell (which I loved, but didn’t work with my colouring) and there are lots of other plastic and steel shapes, some with detail and quirky touches, others more traditional and subtle.

I love that this range has a good mix of stylish, fashionable frames and not just one or two very ‘classic’ designs. The brand offers everything that rival fashion glasses brands do, with the added bonus that you’re doing a little something for the environment.

There are 24 styles of Modo Eco frames (male and female styles) available in your prescription at Vision Express stores. Prices start at £99.

Disclosure: My Modo Eco glasses were a gift, but I was not paid to write this post and the views are all my own.

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Accessories, Dresses, In My Wardrobe, Tops & Tees

August obsessions: fascinators, fragrance & frocks

With the sales finally coming to a close, I should be getting excited about new season shopping, but to be honest with you, I’m a bit scared by all the shearling gilets and harem pants, so my mind is still on Summer. With a foreign holiday in less than a week (yay!) I’m still indulging my swimwear obsession and hunting down things to buy in Duty Free, and also looking for some quirky last-minute finishing touches to a number of late Summer wedding outfits. Here’s what’s on my mind at the moment…

Dylan Medium Tote in ‘Concorde’ $435 at Linea Pelle

Dylan is my one true love. I have gone on and on and on about this handbag for far too long so apologies to those who’ve seen me blog about it before. It has everything I like in a bag (shoulder and cross-body straps, subtle hardware, lots of zips, a lovely leather and a funky lining) and now they’ve gone and made it in purple. They do this just to taunt me, I’m convinced. One day, there’ll be a UK stockist and / or a $200 discount. Please?


Womanity Eau de Parfum £38 – £60 Thierry Mugler at Debenhams

I used to be incredibly unfaithful to fragrances, until I found Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf and I thought I’d found my perfect perfume. Then I made the mistake of spritzing this whilst in Debenhams, and I think I may have found something I love even more. I’ve never liked Thierry Mugler fragrance before (Angel smells awful on me and Alien is just ‘meh’) but this is just gorgeous. Quite fruity and fun, but with something really special hiding underneath that stops it smelling like every sickeningly sweet celeb perfume on the market. Apparently it’s caviar…whatever it is, it works.

Black ruffle swim dress £35 at ASOS

What a surprise! A retro swimsuit! Despite the fact I have swimwear coming out of my ears and only a week or two a year to show it off, I bought one of these the moment I saw it. It’s a dead ringer for the Betsey Johnson and (*hides*) Juicy Couture retro cossies I’ve been eyeing up, and a tad cheaper than the Esther Willliams swimsuit I just couldn’t justify buying given that I already have the bikini. Making this in larger sizes for ASOS Curve seems like a no-brainer to me, so here’s hoping that’s on its way.

Neha black zip front cutout side shoe £20 at Boohoo.com

I went to Boohoo’s Autumn / Winter press day a couple of weeks ago, and the models were all wearing these shoes. The pictures don’t really do them justice. I am blessed with terrible cankles (this is not one of those imaginary body hang-ups, I really do have oddly thick ankles!) so ankle-straps rarely do up on me, and if they do they look terrible, so I’ve never really been able to try chunky gladiator heels or shoe-boots. These are the closest I can get – lots of detail on the vamp but the zip allows a bit more wiggle room. And they’re only £20. Fab!

Collection Evening Cape Dress £175 at Gant

I love the unexpected glam of a party dress with sleeves. In a room full of girls in strapless and one-shoulder frocks, it really stands out. Plus this shade of green looks amazing on just about everyone. I’d team this with a good basting of St. Tropez tan, metallis shadow and fake lashes, some very OTT gold jewellery (perhaps a knotted collar or some big Pat Butcher earrings) and killer heels or wedges. Now, which way to Studio 54?

Nail Polish in Purple Grey £5 at Models Own

Someone is currently selling a bottle of Chanel’s limited edition ‘Jade’ nail polish for £200 on eBay (er, good luck with that). Clearly, Chanel nails are the Ones To Have, and the latest must have from them is ‘Paradoxal’, being touted as the perfect greyish purple. Of course it’s impossible to get hold of. Luckily, Models Own have an alternative so close in colour that you’d be hard-pushed to tell the difference. Don’t believe me? Just look for yourself. At £5 instead of almost £20, it’s a no-brainer, and mine’s winging its way to me as we speak!

Rose Ruffle Cropped Jacket £25 at New Look

I was always scared of chunky textures in the past because it’s been drummed into me that added bulk is Just Not Slimming. But if reading so many amazing curvy blogs has taught me one thing, it’s that you shouldn’t be scared to give anything a go, and that dressing to ‘slim’ is not only fighting a losing battle, it’s also bad for your confidence. Your body is the shape it is, and no amount of clever dressing is going to change that. So I decided to buy this and stick two fingers up to the rules! It’s perfect for my ostentatious, girly style, and will be a great cover-up at parties in the coming months.

‘Who is that girl’ rose clip $25 thehoneycomb on Etsy

I’ve got two weddings to go to in September and I really need to pick what I’m wearing so I can order one of these fascinators as the finishing touch. I’ve collected things with butterflies on since I was a teenager (again, predictable, no?) so I love thehoneycomb’s gorgeous combs and wreathes. I wore one of this designer’s floral pieces as a bridesmaid recently, and they’re really beautifully made. Plus it’s lovely to support an independent designer, instead of rocking up in the same M&S or Accessorize fascinator as everyone else!

buyit_now_trends
Accessories, Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Dresses, Shoes, Tops & Tees, Uncategorized

Top Ten: even more ‘buy now, wear later’

There’s no real link between these ten products except the fact I love them and I will be investing in some of them ready for when the Sun finally shows its face! This Summer, I’ll be eschewing the more off-the-wall catwalk trends (jogging pants? Leather shorts? I think not…) for something a bit more flattering.

On the relaxed, bohemian side there’ll be an update on last Summer’s gladiator sandals, pretty maxi dresses, nude wedge sandals, 50s sundresses and vintage-inspired doctors bags. For something a bit more dramatic, I’m thinking chandelier earrings, waterfall frills, graphic print dresses and military inspiration. All these items are available now, so get shopping before they sell out!

Digital gemstone slinky one-shoulder dress £55 at ASOS
With a hint of Alexander McQueen and Peter Pilotto, this dress is perfection if you have the guts to try it!
Cut-out wedge sandals £30 at New Look
A great lattice-style vamp and a comfy but high-rise wedge. Nude lengthens the legs, too.
Waterfall side jersey dress £22.50 at Simply Be
The frills add a distinctive touch to an easy-wear shape. Who said plus size needs to be dull?
Blue swirl print maxi dress £120 YLB at Wallis
Yasmin Le Bon’s amazing, 30s style boho maxi dress is top of my wishlist.
Mischa Barton doctor’s bag £75 at Tesco
Maybe Mischa should ditch the acting all together and concentrate on her fab boho bags?
Maui Atlantis dress £65.99 at Fever Designs
The perfect 50s tiki sundress for holidays and Sunny spells!
Butterfly wing cascade clip earrings £62.50 at The Earring Boutique
Pricey shoulder-dusting chandeliers that look like old Hollywood antiques.
Green thumb blouse £98 Anthropologie
Anthropologie do relaxed beauty like no other – this top is expensive but fab!
Aileen pink tie-dye gladiator sandals £15 at Boohoo
A coloured update on last year’s must have, I lived in the black version last year.
White bird printed military jacket £29.99 at River Island
The feminine way to try the military trend, I love the juxstaposition of styles.
new_blue_top
Accessories, Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Dresses, Featured

Top Ten: The New Blue

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Wearing denim doesn’t have to mean wearing jeans, and this season there are loads of alternatives to the plethora of skinnies, jeggings and boyfriend jeans that are still filling the rails everywhere from M&S to Mango. I know lots of you – like me – have trouble finding jeans that fit, so save yourself the nightmare shopping trip! Shirts, jackets, dresses, skirts – this Spring, the alternatives are endless.

So I’ve put together some suggestions of jean-free ways to wear the fabric. If you’re really brave, you could tackle the double denim trend (yes it’s back!) and team a jacket or shirt with your favourite jeans or jeggings. I prefer to play it safe, though…

For a different take on denim, try 70s style button down dresses, worn-looking shirts (a la Christina Hendricks) or a boob-friendly grandad tunic (wear a good bra and undo a few buttons). If that’s still not for you, why not go for interesting pieces that are denim blue in colour, but made of softer, more pliable fabrics?

I’ve picked some of my favourite blue buys from a variety of shops. Some are high street, some are specialist, so there should be something for everyone. Size ranges are listed with each product, and nothing’s over £60 so there should be something to fit all budgets.

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