Browsing Tag

summer

oasisss
Clothing, In My Wardrobe

You’ll Be Surprised What £50 Will Get You

A little while ago, Think Money set me a challenge to see what kind of outfit I could put together for under £50. Using Love 2 Shop vouchers (which are accepted at a whole host of high street shops) I went on the hunt for a daywear look that would work throughout the Summer.

I started off in Oasis, where I picked up a pair of purple printed culottes. I’m all about culottes at the moment; it took a while to succumb (they reminded me of Brownies and Guides) but now I love their practicality, especially if it starts to get windy! This pair was £15 when I bought them but they’ve actually now been reduced to only £10. They’re such a bargain, I’d definitely recommend them.

outfit3

I teamed them with a simple camisole top with a crossover back that I found for £4 in Matalan. While there I also grabbed a matching pink clutch bag for the tidy sum of £7. So far so good, I’d spent £26.

Then came the shoes. Cheap shoes are a tricky thing, and there’s only really one place I trust to get bargain shoes I know won’t tear my feet apart, and that’s New Look. These wedges give the lift that’s needed with the mid-length culottes, but they’re also comfy enough to wear all day and are a Summer classic. They’re £20 from the wide-fit range. I don’t usually need a wide fit but because they’re sandals I was able to strap myself in tight.

outfit4

This is where things get naughty, because with a total of £46 spent, I really should have stopped. But when I noticed Oasis make a matching blazer to go with the culottes, I couldn’t resist one last purchase with my own cash. This baby was £25 in the sale, and will take the whole look through to Autumn. It’s not strictly within budget, but I wanted to show you anyway as it really brings the look together.

outfit1

Overall, I’m pretty proud that I was able to put this outfit together without a) getting it all from Primark or b) taking the easy option and buying a dress and flats. I was really surprised with some of the bargains in the Oasis sale, and (shhh) ended up going back for some more stuff not long after. I’ve always loved hunting down bargains, so my only issue with this was narrowing it down to one outfit that I was going to settle on. But I’m happy with the results, and I will definitely be getting wear out of this co-ord!

outfit2

Disclosure: The £50 Love 2 Shop vouchers were a gift from Think Money. I wasn’t paid to write this post.

prizebox
Competitions

Win a glamping trip plus loads of Summer survival goodies & spending money

A very exciting looking box arrived a few days ago. It contained a whole bunch of treats that will make Summer trips and festivals just that little bit easier. Containing everything from a solar charger to an energy bar, bluetooth speakers and a filter water bottle, this is Get The Label’s Ultimate Glamping Getaway Kit.

prize

It’s been created to promote a pretty fabulous competition the brand is running in which you could win a chic Glamping holiday (like camping but with more creature comforts) plus £150 to spend at Get the Label and, of course, one of these boxes for yourself.

You might be thinking “you? Camping?!” but you’d be surprised how handy I am with a tent (or indeed a yurt, which I once put up as part of a hen do). I had a fair few camping holidays as a kid, not to mention guide camps as a tween, and even spent two weeks on a campsite in Cornwall in my early 20s. I’ve even had the festival camping experience, albeit only once (V 2002, and I have the sun damage to prove it). I actually like roughing it occasionally, though I have to confess the idea of a posh wooden wigwam with heating and power sockets does sound a little bit more suitable for me now I’m old and grouchy and less able to sleep on nothing but a ground sheet.

If this sounds like your kind of thing too, and if you fancy a new pair of Havs, a bunch of cash to spend on impractical clothing, plus a two night stay at a Wigwam Holidays site, get a wriggle on and enter now – the competition closes on 14th June.

Disclaimer: The box was a gift, and I also have the chance to win a holiday in a separate draw.

kini
Retro / Vintage, Swimwear

This Year’s Retro Swimwear Rundown

My passion for vintage-inspired swimwear has been well documented. When I started sharing my favourite retro styles each year, it was difficult to find more than a handful. Now everyone is embracing high waists, polka dots, vintage florals and halter straps. Obviously this is good news for fans of the look, and since this is still something that people come to this site for frequently, I felt it was time for a 2015 update. Hopefully there’s something here to suit every wannabe pin-up girl, no matter your budget. So let’s just get right into the good stuff, shall we?

lobster-esther

Esther Williams Rock Lobster swimsuit £65 at For Luna

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I discovered that the Esther Williams brand has embraced my love for lobster prints. This literally combines two of my favourite things. These swimsuits are brilliant, and worth the cash if you can afford to splash out. They’re cut to proper vintage patterns and the fabrics are good quality and long-lasting. Be careful with sizing as they can be tricky to wriggle into, if you’re unsure, size up.

ginghambikini

Hollywood gingham bikini top £28 and high-waisted frilled bottoms £20 at Boux Avenue

The red gingham is the most traditional version of this great retro-inspired bikini from Boux Avenue, but they also make a pink gingham version and two different florals. So if this is a shape that you love (and I’m betting with the cute frilled bottoms that it is) you can snap it up in various different colours. The moulded top is available up to a F cup.

nlbikini

Yellow lemon print longline bikini top £16.99 and high waisted bottoms £16.99 at New Look

I love the combo of retro and modern in this bikini, with the strappy cutouts on the high waisted briefs that give it a bit of modern sexiness to go with the full-coverage vintage shape. The strappy detail is a lot more flattering than you think, but only if you buy the right size. Bikini briefs always come up small, and there is nothing worse than a woman in a bikini that’s a bit too tight!

ginghamtoppers

Contrast gingham swimsuit with black bottom £36 at Topshop

Three cheers for Toppers for combining one of the season’s best retro trends (gingham) with a really wearable shape. I’m basically recommending this swimsuit (or New Look’s £26 chevron version) to anyone, but particularly those who say they won’t wear a bikini because they’re conscious of their tummy. Who said a classic swimsuit had to be boring?

floozie

Floozie Green flamingos underwired top £26.50 and skirted bottoms £20 at Debenhams

The Floozie by FrostFrench brand at Debenhams is an absolute goldmine of gorgeous retro bikinis, and picking just one to feature was tricky…but it had to be the flamingos. As a bonus, this range comes in cup sizes, and while that range only goes from 32A to 38E, it’s a lot better than being forced to buy a ‘one cup fits all’ top by dress size. Debenhams cups always run big, so F cup ladies shouldn’t overlook this range either. You might get lucky!

boden

Navy polka dot vintage boyleg swimsuit £53 at Boden

They don’t come much more classic than Boden’s polka dot vintage boyleg swimsuit. It’s the simple approach to retro swimwear, with none of the frills, ruching, or skirting that you see on some of the more dramatic looks, but the classic shape and print make for a tried-and-tested winner. If the idea of putting a swimsuit on fills you with dread, invest in one of these. Boden doesn’t scrimp on quality, meaning you’ll get plenty of wear out of it before it begins to sag or go thin, provided it’s rinsed and dried properly between wears.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 17.11.25

Retro high waisted bikini, from around £3 at AliExpress

If you’re willing to order from China and wait a while for delivery, this baby (which a lot of retro retailers also stock) is floating around both AliExpress and eBay at the moment from a whole host of sellers. I took a punt to see what it was like, and I was pleasantly surprised. The top is not the greatest fit and probably works better for someone with a wider back and smaller bust, but the briefs are a really nice fit and will go with plenty of my other bikini tops. If you’re new to this style and want to test it out without spending a fortune, here’s your naughty bargain!

asosmarilyn

Fuller bust Marilyn Caribbean floral print bikini £34 at ASOS

I’ve become a huge fan of ASOS’s brilliant trend-led swimwear, and surprised by the quality and fit of their fuller bust range. This is one of the best retro-inspired styles for this year; if nothing else I love the name! I love the extended band under the bust that gives it a longline appearance, and the classic high waisted briefs are full on 1050s. That said, if you prefer a lower-cut brief (which can actually look a lot better on someone who’s pear-shaped like me) there are options for that in the same range too.

playsuit

Resort diamante belt playsuit swimsuit £29 at Very

This style works really well on athletic body types or those with straight torsos, as it instantly adds (or enhances) curves. Full coverage shorts are often recommended for pear shapes, but I actually find they look worse (at least on me) than a higher cut style because the straight line across the bottom stops at the widest part, emphasising it. That said, this is a look that deserves a try by everyone, if only so you can dance around your bedroom pretending you’re in a Beyonce music video!

saletop
Clothing, Dresses, Sale shopping, Shoes

Window shopping: Top Summer sale fashion finds!

It’s Summer sales time, and this year’s bad weather means there are even more items to choose from as people are a bit cautious of spending too much on flippy Summer dresses and strappy sandals when most days are still spend in tights and coats! It’s a great time to stock up – particularly if you have a Summer holiday coming – so I’ve picked some of my favourite sale finds to help you along. There are loads of lovely shoes and some fabulous Summer frocks, and nothing on this page costs more than £35 (except one pair of fabulous Carvela shoes I couldn’t resist including). Personally, I’ve got my eye on a pair of fabulous wedges that’ll give height with a bit of added comfort, and a really nice bright 50s dress to wear for my birthday in August. What’s new, eh?!

Gorgeous Sale Dresses

Orange shadow butterfly dress was £40 now £20 Dorothy Perkins
Multi green print contrast prom dress was £75 now £35
Navy fine pleat dress was £50 now £15 Lovedrobe at Style369
Multi-layer dress with beading was £40 now £16 TFNC at ASOS (I have this in blue. The M-L would easily fit up to a size 18)
Stripe frill hem dress was £16 now £10 Peacocks

Fabulous Sale Shoes:

Berry Laser-cut shoe boots was £35 now £10 Style369
Black floral platform shoes with ankle strap was £40 now £17 Dorothy Perkins
Powertrip suede toe perspex heel court shoe was £60 now £24 ASOS
Cleo jewel brooch cherrypie sandals was £60 now £34.99 Schuh
Asses black suede heels with coloured platforms was £140 now £59 Carvela at Kurt Geiger
White woven flat sandals was £30 now £10 River Island
Green clog-style sandals with wood effect heel was £29.99 now £9.99 H&M
Fever metallic gladiator flat sandal was £40 now £20 Miss Selfridge
Rainbow flat sandals with twisted vamp was £37.50 now £15 Poetic Licence at Let’s Buy Shoes
Bow sling-back polka dot wedge was £29.50 now £25 Evans
Strappy wedge was £19.99 now £9 New Look
Menna bow sandals was £80 now £40 PPQ for Office

picks_aug
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!