Next up on my Christmas Shopping List is Mango and Zara. To be honest Zara left me feeling a little disappointed as they failed to deliver on frocks that had the wow factor, but more on that later. Mango on … Continue reading
The blog theme continues on from my River Island Top 5, I have for a while now thought myself too old for Topshop but given that it is the season to be jolly I wanted to check out their Christmas … Continue reading
At last it feels an appropriate time to start talking about party frocks for the forth coming party season. With pay day round the corner and the work do imminent I’m going to post a series of blogs featuring my … Continue reading
I’ve just been watching ITV1′s Christmas Shopping Wars and was intrigued by its arguments related to consumer shopping habits.
It was the section regarding virtual mirrors that caught my eye, it seems the future according to technology company Cisco will have us using mirrors which use augmented reality, online, social networks and camera’s to try on our clothes virtually. Not sure what I mean take a quick peak to this video which demonstrates.
I was utterly intrigued by this, how realistic would the experience be? The technology apparently allows you to see how the fabric would fit your body and how it would move, but what about feel appeal? For many of us tactile types, the feel of the fabric is as important as the look of the piece so how would this technology over come this?
The journalist demonstrating the mirror in tonights programme showed us a less than attractive pink jacket which she described as “too bright” which led me to think about whether the technology could distort the colour of the piece and would it be able to truly show you how the piece would look against an individual’s skin tone.
Further research showed that the Cisco Style Me mirror is on trial at the John Lewis Oxford
The magazines seem to be full of this seasons “It” coat, a rose pink generally oversized very straight coat.
And while pretty to look at I can’t help but think it’s not very practical.
Until last winter, my first on the school run, you would generally have known me to be the mum wearing THE most unpractical coat ever. Generally not warm enough, or with no hood, too short or too long. Even with guidance from my best friend I still choose style over substance purchasing one of those Aztec print oversized scarf come cape things. Her words still resonate with me now “that’s going to do your head in every time you need to pick the baby up, it’ll just fall right off your shoulders”.
Well, she was right! It annoyed the hell out of me and is residing somewhere in the back of the hall closet.
So when I look at these pretty pastel pink coats, I remember my lesson from last year and instead opt for something more practical but let’s face it the coat I choose will still need to be stylish.
I’ve trawled the latest releases and these are my high street lust have’s which tick the stylish and practical boxes.
No girl should be without a parka, and not the ’80′s type the boys rocked when I was at school, the parka of the season comes from River Island at £110
It looks super snugly, warm and has the single most important thing a mum on the school run needs…..a hood! After trying to do battle with a buggy, tantruming 4 year old, wind, rain, a brolly and a tree I have now decided that ALL coats for the purpose of the school run must come with a hood.
While my Aztec wrap thing from last year was not the most practical, I am drawn to capes but must insist ladies that if you have any need to pick your child up (my two year old flatly refuses to walk anywhere) please ensure the cape of choice has ARMS in it.
This one from Zara at £129
Is super stylish, it has a hood and arms my only advice if you are wide around the bottom this is not the coat of choice as anything finishing at your widest point will only make you look bigger.
A very traditional style of coat seems to be having a bit of a moment this year, the duffle coat features in most high street collections. Great for those with little shaping to their hips, this straight classic style coat looks good for work as well as the school run.
My stand out favourite is this Moleskin Duffle from Boden at £129
It comes in four different colours, in sizes up to 22, it has the all important hood and massive pockets for all the essentials you need for the kids. Zara have done a great grey duffle coat but to me while cute it reminded me of those “proper school coats” mum used to make me wear, stand out from the crowd in this bold orange number.
My final choice is this puffa coat from the Gap at £99.95
Puffa’s just look so snugly warm but be careful as they will add width so not great on bigger frames.
The coat I’m opting for this season is this one, from you guessed it Zara and in my colour Navy although the green looks lovely too.
And before you jump to conclusions, yes it does have a hood it’s in a sneaky pouch thing in the neck of the jacket. Why this one? It’s great for the school run as well as work so I can get my price per wear out of it.
You could still opt for the pastel pink coat, but they only look good when pristine and without dirty foot prints from toddlers mucky boots.
The 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place in LA on Sunday night and let’s face it where there’s a frock and a red carpet I’m there analysing the pictures and watching the red carpet coverage trying to decide what I loved and loathed.
As its predominantly American programmes that feature I admit to having to google one or two of the ladies featured but thankfully those who stood out have got the presence necessary for me to know instantly who they are.
My favourite frock of the evening was worn by Kate Mara, the older sister or Rooney.
I think this J Mendel white piece is subtle, sophisticated, sexy with the top of the dress giving a real interesting twist to the frock. I love the subtle hair and make up which works well, although others tried to rock stripped back and white it just didn’t work. Kate’s choice is brilliant.
Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men looked fabulous in this embellished monochrome number, with simple jewellery and powerhouse red lips it screams screen siren but the modern blonde crop in my opinion gives it the edge.
The final lady in my top three style crushes from Sunday evening was Zoey Deschanel, the simplicity of her pewter gown is a beautiful classic piece. While subtle, it is Hollywood glamour and very much red carpet worthy unlike some of the other dresses I had to choose from.
While not in my top three, three other ladies are definitely worth noting.
Kelly Osborne needs to drop the lilac hair now surely, when she can look this stunning in this Jenny Packham dress it must be time to really deliver the look with a more classic hair colour.
Lilac hair aside Kelly does look beautiful.
One of my red carpet favourites Christina Hendricks from Mad Men brought the glamour as always in this beautiful black dress which accentuated her stunning figure. Christina is very clever when dressing her body, she knows what her assets are and draws attention to them but what I love about her look is that even though she has a large bust she is able to show a little cleavage without it being over the top. The frock goes on to hug all her curves with the lace feature on her shoulders creating a focal point of her collar bone, strong jaw line and gorgeous wavy hair.
Helen McCrory looked stunning and über relaxed in her white halter neck floor sweeper, I love the clutch bag and the main accessory husband Damian Lewis. (Cue unnecessary couple photo for perv appeal) What strikes me about Helen’s outfit in all the images and on the carpet is that she is relaxed and confident, that can only come with an inner body peace. As I say to many clients of mine “once you feel confident in what you wear, other people will see you differently” Helen embodies this.
I was disappointed by Michelle Dockery’s red carpet dress, the Downtown Abbey actress shone at the Nominee’s lunch but on the red carpet I felt a little let down as the dress just didn’t have enough appeal to standout.
Sadly two dresses stood out as being really quite awful (sorry ladies) what made it worse is that I had to google them to find out who they were so that I could acknowledge their terrible taste.
Zosia Mamet’s frock is most unflattering with this awkward black stripe across her boobs
The black stripe draws attention to her bust and makes it look really small, not flattering at all.
Finally Lena Dunham, what can I say, everything about this is wrong. It is not flattering on her at all and is just a giant floral tent making her look bigger than she is.
In conclusion I think it’s safe to say, it’s not just what you wear it’s how you wear it that can really change how an outfit looks. Helen McCrory embodies this with a simple dress worn with confidence or Kate Mara wearing her funky dress with a matching attitude.
While London and New York have been awash with trends for Spring Summer 2014 with Fashion Weeks in full swing, I glance out the window and take in the wet cold weather and shiver..
The thought of next year and warm weather feels an awful long way away.
I last touched on Autumn Winter Trends during a heat wave, which felt like a bonkers time to be talking about tartans, checks, animal prints and warm coats but now it feels a little more appropriate.
The magazines have been talking for over a month now of how to wear the Autumn Winter trends but what strikes me year after year is that the same trends appear again and again with subtle changes that to the untrained eye would probably be missed. I know few die hard followers of fashion, while in general we’ll pick up on trends and follow them subconsciously, but lets face it unless you are an uber fashionista you could buy good quality key pieces in repeating trends and wear them for years to come.
Two such trends that always seem to come around are animal print and tartan, my advice would be choose the one that best suits you and your personality and invest! At the time spending a lot of money on a pair of good quality animal print boots may seem daunting, but trust me you will get your value for money. If you buy wisely a great investment piece will last for years.
I’ve long found it hard to choose if I am Team Tartan or Team Animal Print, I have bad memories of a tartan dress my mum forced me to wear when I was young so I’ve always tended to steer away from tartan preferring the a hint of animal print to an otherwise plain outfit.
This season there are a few tartan pieces that could tempt me, I think this black and white checked dress with sheer sleeves from M&S is fab. You may recognise it from the ad campaign as Ellie Goulding looks fab in it.
Secondly I like this chiffon dress from Mango at £44.99
The chiffon gives it a more feminine feel than the true definition of the trend which is a revival of 90′s grunge with very masculine shapes. Team this with thick black tights, boots and a warm coat and you’ll be rocking the trend for years to come.
My final two tartan pieces are from my favourite, Zara. Both pieces are very straight in shape, which would suit someone with little definition at the hips. First up this funky tartan shirt
Now this is quite masculine so will appeal to those who prefer a less girly look, but what appeals to me are those funky positioned zips. The placement of the zips will draw attention to your waist and away from other areas, for example if you wish to draw the eye away from your boobs.
This Zara dress is again perfect for a lady with little waist shaping and again would be cute with thick tights or leather look leggings and boots
The panel on the front of the dress will draw the eye up and down, giving the illusion of being taller and thinner which is a great buy at £39.99.
If you are more Team Animal Print there is lots available on the high street, Marks and Spencer have done a fab job with these three pieces (sorry I couldn’t choose just one!)
First up the fab coat from the Limited Collection
I could be tempted into wearing slightly more animal print with this Combi print blouse from Mango.
I love it styled with smart shorts as per the picture but feel at 38 years old i’ll look like mutton, but with a black pencil skirt and heels I could definitely be swayed to be firmly Team Animal Print. Which team are you in?
Yes I know! How ridiculous to be thinking of what we’ll be wearing once the weather turns during Britain’s biggest heat wave! The sun may be shining for now, and the thought (to us) of wrapping up in a thick overcoat feels miles away it is not far from the retailers minds.
Due to the unpredictable weather many retailers have felt the need to pull forward their mid summer sales, which usually clears the summer stock ready for the Autumn lines coming in mid August. But given that the weather has had a mind of its own, many of us only really kicked our Uggs to the back of the cupboard a few weeks ago the retailers have had to react accordingly which I think is to our benefit.
I’ve spotted some great bargains that can be used as Summer holiday essentials such as this Sundress from Oasis down to £20 from £38 which featured in my Holiday Cover Up’s blog.
But there is an ulterior motive for this sudden purge from the High Street and already they, with a little help from the magazines are already trying to get us to think about what our Autumn Winter wardrobe will look like by including it in their fashion spreads and e flyers.
On Saturday and Sunday, two of the hottest days for years I was reading and receiving information on these trends. I was intrigued to see which trends had pulled through from the catwalks but had no intention of running out and buying any of it any time soon.
So my advice at this point, given that I’m sitting here in my shorts, is to be aware of what’s coming up. Plan accordingly, especially if you’re thinking of throwing things away or have a trip to the dry cleaners planned. Make sure you take your favourite winter coat with you and have it spruced up so it’s nice and fresh when the time does come.
Trends that are already pulling through to the High Street are things like wide check tartan seen here at Marks and Spencer and Next.
Fur trims and animal prints play a big part too, so make sure that if you have any old favourites that follow this trend are stored carefully during the summer months in sealed vac packs to maintain their quality.
I spotted plums and warm tones of brown in certain collections at London Fashion which I’m sure will break through to the High Street in time.
Skirt lengths are all on or below the knee in the main, with leather bringing out your inner punk/rock chick and on the other end of the spectrum dark imposing florals are to feature in big bold blooms.
So next time you’re feeling the urge to purge and donate to the latest charity bag that’s been pushed through your letterbox, head these words and donate with care to make sure you don’t find yourself in two months time wondering what you did with that fab fur trimmed coat. Mark my words!
More on these trends I’m sure will follow.
I know what you are thinking, who is Kim Sears? Well to be honest I had to google her name but she is of course Andy Murray’s Girlfriend and with Wimbeldon in full swing (sorry bad pun) I thought I’d check out the Tennis WAG’s (if there is such a thing) fashion choices this last week or so.
I have to admit Kim does tend to fly under the radar a little bit with very few pap type photographs around. Maybe this is a lifestyle choice Kim and Andy have made to stay out of the spot light but I have to say she is a dark horse on the style stakes.
Lets face it the girl is stunning and Andy is clearly punching above his weight, I’m sure it’s his charismatic character she is drawn to or maybe like Victoria Beckham he’s a secret comedian constantly cracking people up with his jokes (when there are no cameras around obviously).
During the Wimbeldon tournament so far she’s worn a couple of little outfits that I really liked.
First up this sunshine yellow dress looks great on her complexion.
I love how she has toned down the brightness of the yellow with a simple denim jacket, I think she looks effortless and chic. I bang on about how hard it is to wear yellow but she pulls this off brilliantly.
Florals seem to be her thing this week, it’s not a great shot but I love the colours in this dress and again it’s teamed with a pale yellow cardi proving that she is a fan colour, again effortless not too try hard at all.
Proving that every girls wardrobe isn’t complete unless it has a staple trench coat in it, I’d hazard a guess that this is Burberry given that the first photo of Kim and Andy is of them attending a Burberry event. A great option when attending Wimbeldon with the obvious weather hazards and potential fashion disasters that could be caused by a sudden down pour, I think Kim styles out the weather here.
Another day another floral dress this time apparently from Zara, another bold colour choice but one she wears well. she seems really comfortable in her fashion choices and seems to favour fit and flare dresses which really compliment her shape.
Some images courtesy of http://www.graziadaily.co.uk
This time last year I wrote one of my earliest blogs, I can’t believe it’s been over a year now that I started time really does fly.
I wrote about hats and fascinators as it was Ascot season and I considered whether to write a similar blog this year but decided I would switch it up a bit and share my likes and dislikes from the day and offer a little advice when choosing an outfit or hat if you are lucky enough to be going to the races this season.
I’m off to Warwick races next week which is a fabulous setting and have pretty much decided what to wear but it certainly won’t be any of these, check out some of the frankly ridiculous outfits and hats from this years Ascot
Some of these are clearly publicity shots, I dread to think that these ladies honestly looked in the mirror and thought “yeah I look amazing”
There were some fabulous outfits, designer to the stars Amanda Wakeley looks great, ok it’s black but that hat is something else a masterpiece and the leopard shoes show she has masses of confidence to wear this outfit.
Very reminiscent of Alexander McQueen in a way which is probably why I like it.
Olympic star Victoria Pendelton looks very demure and demonstrates effectively the rule that your shoes should NOT match your hat…if you wear matching it will shorten you see Autumn Phillips below.
I think Victoria looks amazing, love the colour combination and the hat.
The correct rule is that shoes should match/blend with the hemline of your skirt/trousers and the hat a coordinating colour. The following outfit slightly bends the rules as it has a hint of red in the hat but looks amazing, especially with the minimalist make up and slick of redhot lips.
When it comes to clueless ex Made in Chelsea star Kimberley Garner (if you’re a fan of the show you will remember her as being incredibly annoying and lasting a season) she attended Ascot most days but chose this dreadful look for Ladies day.
You might be skinny love but it doesn’t excuse the fact that you look trampy wearing your undies to such a prestigious event. The Daily Mail went to town on her online dedicating a whole article to how dreadful she looked, personally I’d hazard a guess its been orchestrated by her PR people so I refuse to include the link here.
You can’t talk about Ladies day and not mention a royal, my favourite was Princess Beatrice. Not normally included in Best dressed lists but I think this is lovely on her. The dress is the right shape for her and her hat and hair look like golden tumbling tresses, she looks lovely.