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Striped dress
Clothing, Dresses, Skirts, Ways To Wear

It’s Time to Think Twice About Stripes

“Horizontal stripes make you look wider!”

How many times have you heard that? In fact, how many times have you said it?

It’s one of fashion’s biggest myths. It’s been proven time and time again that it’s a load of rubbish, but many people still seem to be convinced that the moment they put on anything striped it’ll somehow completely alter their body shape. Luckily, despite the unnecessary fears, stripes still manage to be one of the most enduring style essentials. This season, the vertical stripe has risen up the ranks, so if you really, truly can’t get it out of your head that horizontal stripes are evil, there’s a look for you too. Everyone should have something fabulous and striped in their wardrobe, so to help you choose your perfect partner, here are five of my favourite striped finds to wear right now.

ASOS striped dress

This ASOS dress (£65) has been haunting my dreams ever since I first saw it. Sadly, it’s one of those dresses that falls into the “if only” camp because the backless cut means going braless, and that is just not something I can do. But would I love it as much if it didn’t have the low back with the bow? Probably not. If you’re able to go without a bra, please buy this and send me photos of you looking wonderful so I can live vicariously through you.

Missguided striped jumpsuit

Combining my two great loves for this month, stripes and culotte jumpsuits, this Missguided number (£35) would definitely make it into my basket if I had any occasion to wear it (I really don’t, I’m an old lady and I don’t get out much any more). Maybe I could get away with it for work if I put a blazer over the top? For those who like a runway-inspired bargain, it’s worth noting this is a dead ringer for an Alice + Olivia number that’s still selling for £150+.

Chicwish Striped Maxi Skirt

I have a couple of Chicwish skirts and they are fabulous, so I’m sure this amazing maxi (£36) would follow suit. Yes, it’s absolutely bonkers and there’s a serious limit to the amount of occasions you could wear it, but given the price, aren’t you tempted? For those wishing to be just a tiny bit more practical, there is also a midi version (£30).

bodendress

You may not think this is a true stripe but Boden calls it “multi retro stripe” and since I’m basically having an affair with Boden right now, I will take anything the website says as gospel. There aren’t many days of Summer left to wear a sundress like this one (£45) but when has that ever stopped me buying dresses before? Someone please drag me away from my laptop before I do something stupid.

Oasis Striped Palazzo Pants

Wide-leg trousers are a big deal right now, and you don’t get a better way to try the trend than these Oasis trousers which are only £10 in the sale. Everything about this style is leg-lengthening and super chic. The only problem is the fact the hems will get grubby within seconds of putting them on. Also, nude underwear at all times!

panache anya bikini

You thought you were getting out of here without a bikini? Oh no my friends! Panache’s strapless bikini tops are the stuff of absolute wonder for anyone with a larger bust, and the Anya striped bikini is the latest addition. These cup sized styles aren’t the cheapest but they’re really well-made, and manage to be both supportive and comfortable. The above image is from Bravissimo, which has the bikini in the sale. If you can’t find your size there, Figleaves has more options but they’re all low stock so get a wriggle on!

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In My Wardrobe

What I wore to London Fashion Week

Apologies if you’ve already seen this over at Catwalk Queen, but I thought it was worth a re-post for those who didn’t know I’ve returned to the team over there. My London Fashion Week outfit plan is pretty simple. Keep it simple, blend in. Obviously it’s important I don’t turn up in tracky bottoms, but I have no desire to be snapped by every street style photographer going, nor do I want to be the one everyone stares at. I tend to adopt a wardrobe of mostly black items, topped with blazers and handbags big enough to hold all my fashion week junk. The problem is, by day 3 or 4 I get bored and attempt to be a bit ‘creative’, having seen other people trying out silly trends and OTT pieces. This is when I end up doing stupid things – like putting on silly hats and ending up looking like I’m in bad 1920s fancy dress. But, life’s too short to take fashion seriously, and you learn from your mistakes. You’ll see what I mean on day three…

Day 1: Giles Deacon Gold dress, River Island blazer, Linea Pelle ‘Dylan’ Medium Tote, Primark belt, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson necklace, New Look shoes.

Day 2: Alannah Hill dress, Stella McCartney for H&M blazer, Dorothy Perkins shoes, Wallis bracelet, Linea Pelle handbag (again).

Day 3: Florence & Fred lace top over Supertrash black ‘Dramy’ dress, Marc Jacobs shoes, Miss Selfridge cloche hat, Primark bee pendant.

Day 4: Primark graphic print dress with bow belt (also Primark). Accessorize tights, Shelly’s flower flats.

Day 5: River Island blazer (again), Rise ‘Selena’ dress, H&M studded belt, Red or Dead ‘Addy’ tights (they have grey ‘go faster’ stripes down the back), grey shearling H&M wedge boots, H&M scarab brooch, Betsey Johnson ‘Heart of Gold’ tote.

hitlist_april
Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Tops & Tees

Ten things I love (and none of them are dresses)

We all know by now that I rely a little bit too much on the whole ‘put on tights, add dress, throw on some shoes, leave house’ approach to getting dressed in the morning. But in order not be quite so predictable in the way I dress, I’ve been trying to move away from that. It hasn’t gone particularly well – mostly, I’ve been wearing more coloured tights (oooh, innovative!) and trying to wear a pair of earrings for more than half an hour before I get bored and remove them – but I’m also trying to stop myself from going directly to the ‘dresses’ page when I’m browsing online. I’m finding myself increasingly drawn towards separates – mostly blouses, skirts and shorts – and great statement accessories. Here are just a few of the things I’ve discovered by making that tiny little change…

 

– I’m really hoping Miss Selfridge restock these shorts or have some biggers sizes left in store, because I’m completely in love with them. Not only are they the colour of the season – rust – they’re a much easier shape to wear than the shorter, tighter cuffed shorts of previous seasons. They’d work now with tights and brogues, but could also be worn with bare legs if the Sun ever shows its face again.

 

Absolutely predictable for me, I know, but this bargain cherry print skirt will be killer with a black top, Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes and a pompadour hairdo. The more I see of Henry Holland’s range for Debenhams, the more I love. Lots of great prints, pretty dresses and a big dash of quirky is right up my street!

 

I’ve had my eye on these shoes for ages, since I saw them in a magazine as part of a purple and coral outfit (with purple tights). They looked amazing – like something off the Miu Miu catwalk – and since then they’ve been high up on my wishlist. They’re the perfect example of something that I wouldn’t look twice at while browsing, but having seen them styled to perfection, they suddenly become a must-have.

 

I would never really look at a white coat because of how ridiculously impractical they are, but there are times (weddings, for example) when you need something a little lighter and more special. And let’s face it, at £20 this baby is an absolute steal. If I didn’t think it’d be grubby grey within five minutes of me putting it on, I’d be snapping this up right away.

 

All I can say is Oh My God! If you’re an online friend or you’ve been following me for a while on twitter, you may know about my obsession with a particular Linea Pelle handbag range called Dylan that featured the perfect slouchy leather foldover bag with a cross-body strap. At well over $400 (plus shipping and import fees) it’s well out of my price range, but I lived in hope that someone would do a decent homage. And here it is! River Island have totally pulled it out of the bag – and done so in leather. I’m headed straight in store to get a proper look!

 

I’m absolutely loving these Topshop vests with scalloped edges. It’s a lovely way to make a basic item a bit more on trend (ugh, even if you hate the phrase ‘on trend’) and the shape is really adaptable. I’d go for a bit of colourblocking and wear the rust coloured one tucked into those lovely Miss Selfridge shorts with a big chunky pendant necklace.

 

And for those who don’t fit into Topshop’s teeny sizing, this gorgeous cami from ASOS curve is another lovely Spring update on a classic. I like that the ruffles are a bit softer than those double-layer tops and dresses currently floating about (via Halston Heritage) which can be a bit much on anyone with more than a C-cup bust. This would look great with a couple of long, delicate gold chain necklaces, skinny jeans or cuffed trousers and wedges for a night out. Just add a kimono cardigan / shrug for the finishing touch.

 

Oh look, a retro swimsuit. How very predictable of me! We all know I love a good bit of 40s or 50s inspired swimwear, and this gets my vote for two reasons. Number one – it costs less than £50, unlike most of the more specialist offerings. Number two, the sizing goes up to a 22, which is a blessing for the many women who’ve got in touch with me because they’re looking for easily accessible, curve-flattering vintage style swimwear. Three cheers for Monsoon, who’ve really pulled it out the bag with this baby.

 

Childish peter pan collar? Check! Loud, slightly OTT print? Check! What’s not to love about this top? I’d quite like to team it with something really unexpected, like an electric blue pencil skirt (tucked in) or a pair of tan shorts, rather than going with the obvious and using it for a pop of colour in a black ensemble. If I had the guts, I’d even try teaming it with something in a clashing floral for a catwalk-inspired look.

 

Magazines have been extolling the virtues of ‘crayola courts’ for this Spring, and I don’t think you can get more ‘child doing colouring in’ than these platforms. Yes, they’re a little bit crazy, but life is too short to wear boring black shoes all the time. These babies combine two of my favourite colours, and though I might not have much opportunity to wear them, I’m sure I’d enjoy the rare chances! Plus they’re only £35 and come in lots of other colourways.

summerthings
In My Wardrobe

In My Wardrobe – Summer treats!

This Summer’s high street collections have had me both in raptures and totally disappointed in equal measure. I love the floaty fabrics, maxi dresses, pretty florals, retro touches and cutesy, childish looks. I’m not so sold on pastels and pale colours (I’m pale enough – I like a bit of contrast), leather shorts (squeak!) or the myriad of longline godet tops with naff prints that I’m sure will go the way of built in skirt-over-trousers when it comes to trends we’d rather forget in a few years time.

But that hasn’t stopped me investing (or very kindly being sent…) a few pieces for the new season, some of which are below, if you fancy a peek into my future wardrobe!

After a serious investment in wiggle dresses and vintage / vintage inspired pieces last year, I’ve now got a good stock of those styles and have returned to something a bit more bohemian for Summer. I’m all about maxi dresses, little cotton sundresses and statement accessories. I’ve also got my mitts on two things I thought I’d never wear – a playsuit (albeit one that looks very much like a dress until you look closely!) and denim shorts, which so far have only been worn over leggings. I’ve never, ever found a pair of shorts that fit properly, but these are great and a bit longer than the hot pant style ones in Topshop and so on. Good old Dorothy Perkins can always be relied upon to take a trend and mumsy it up just a bit!

I haven’t completely forgotten that retro love – I did give in and finally buy an Esther Williams bikini after going on about them for a couple of years. It was money well spent, the fit is perfect and the style is fab. I can’t say enough good things about the style. And those Irregular Choice cherry sandals I just couldn’t resist for a bit of pool glam – they should arrive Saturday and I’m crossing my fingers they fit!

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Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Dresses, Uncategorized

Buy now, wear later: five new things for Spring

spring_trends_top

The nights are getting lighter and it’s pouring with rain outside, which can mean only one thing, Spring has sprung! We’re finally through (the worst of) the freezing cold days of duffle coats and ugg boots, and we can start planning our warm weather wardrobes. Problem is, most shops have had their Spring stock in for weeks already, and if you want to invest in key pieces, you need to move fast.

To help you decide on what you’ll need to revamp your look (or just as a treat) I’ve picked a few key trends that can be adapted no matter what dress size you wear. Just one of these key items will jazz up all those old faithfuls a treat – but don’t wait around for too long. Before you know it the shops will have nothing but gladiator flats, vest tops and bikinis on the rails!

maxi_dressblack

1. A black maxi dress

Last year I searched for ages for an embellished black maxi and never found the perfect one. This time around I’m spoilt for choice, but my top pick is currently this ASOS version with a dramatic gold beaded panel around the neck. The tiered cotton maxi dresses of previous seasons were often too voluminous to flatter a curvier woman, but I think the ASOS Curve model (left) fills out this more streamlined, jersey dress better than the slim model wearing the mainline version. The dress is £55 and available in size 20 – 26 in black as part of ASOS curve, or in black or khaki in sizes 6 – 20 as part of the ASOS Premium range.

tribal_sandals

2. A pair of OTT sandals

Life’s too short to wear boring shoes, and this season there are plenty of completely over the top options to prove that! From clogs (yes, clogs) to over-embellished gladiator sandals and chunky peep-toe boots, your feet need to be dressed to impress. Tribal sandals (inspired by last Summer’s Louis Vuitton show) are still hot, and this season they’ve got even more colourful. If you need a wide fit, Evans are offering a pair in sizes 4 – 10 EEE for a very reasonable £39.50, meanwhile over at Next, the design team have completely upped the ante this season with the tribal animal sandals for £45.

denim_bikerjacket

3. A denim biker jacket

After seeing Diane in Evans’ denim biker jacket, I knew I had to mention this style again. A biker jacket is so detatched from my usual style, especially a denim one, but mixed with Spring pastels it’s absolutely perfect and I’m sorely tempted to try something new for once! For plus size shoppers, So Fabulous! at Very has a £35 version in an acid wash in sizes 16 – 32. I also really like the pale wash of La Redoute’s version, which is also £35 and available in sizes 8 – 20.

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4. A touch of lace

Here’s a catwalk trend that’s easy to scale up or down to suit. Stella McCartney showed full-on lace jumpsuits, others went down a more subtle route with lace trims and inserts on black or pale-coloured outfits. The most literal translation of the look comes from F&F at Tesco, whose £28 lace blazer (sizes 8 – 16) is a full-on nod to Ms McCartney. On a more subtle, wearable end of the scale is Evans’ floral lace-effect top with lace trim for £27. They styled it for the catalogue with a lacy cardigan over the top, so fingers crossed that’s hitting the shops soon!

nude_dresses

5. In the nude

Much to my chagrin, washed-out, barely there shades are taking over the dark hues we’ve all relied on. Nudes and pastel shades are the key colours of the season, and it’s not a look that’s easy to pull off if you’re pale like me! If you’re blessed with a skintone that doesn’t fade completely into mocha, mink and beige, give one of these dresses a go. Miss Selfridge go simple with a belted tunic for £30 (sizes 4-16) while Curvety pick draped jersey for a plus size option coming in at £49.