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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Get Shorty!

I love summertime - sun shining, the grass smells nice, birds tweeting and when it comes to fashion, most people find it easier to dress for summer season. I however don't. With summer, comes choices: no longer is there a coat to hide under, no opaque tights to cover the multitude of sins - its well 'n' truly the time to flash the flesh and start showing off those lovely clothes that you've been hiding in the back of the wardrobe all winter (I also do this to hide new purchases from the OH?!?!)

Apart from the obvious positives with summer: the heat, the sun, the opportunity to sit outside all day and night - it also gives us ladies the freedom to break free of the jeans+jumper cycle that we all wear through the dark and dismal months. We can stretch the inner fashionista: go bare legged, show the arms, raise the hem-lines and experiment a little more freely. Now, I don't know about you, but for this very same reason, I often find its also a hindrance.

I'm a relatively indecisive person at the best of times, I can barely choose what sandwich filling to eat at lunch, let alone what I'm going to cover my entire body in. But normally, in the winter months, I find it a little easier to handle: jeans are my staple, I often go for the layering look - thin crew neck t-shirt, layered with a slim fit jumper, possibly chuck a cardigan on there but I cant do that in summer. During the horrid winter months I often find myself waiting, with baited breathe, to see what the designers are bringing out for the next years spring/summer season and often find myself drifting away on cloud of chiffon.... but when it comes down to it, and the sun starts rearing its "Pretty" head I tend to go to pieces. Until now....

Introducing, my key to spring/summer dressing: The short. Ooooo I love these things - their
like some sort of love child of a skirt and trousers.... dreamy! The best things about these little wonders is their versatility. I have spent many a hour thinking of different ways to wear them and to try and fit a pair into every kinda circumstance. This post is too introduce all you lovely ladies to the short - we all know how the thought of flashing the flesh can strike fear into most women and wearing the "short" is more often than not, a complete no-no - unless we're padding around in the privacy of our own garden. So check out my quick "how to" guide and lets push the boundaries a little:

Working wear:
Wearing Shorts to work doesn't come without rules. "Some" offices might not appreciate this look, but to me, I think this is a smart, cool and stylish way to be cool in the office and personally, when u know your looking good, you feel good which can only improve your day to day work ethic. The 2 main styles that are more suitable for office wear, are either "paper bag" waisted shorts, or high waisted. The legs of the shorts have to be loose and at a mid- thigh length, almost to the knee. Make sure the short legs have pleats down them and ALWAYS make sure they are crisply ironed. Team them with a neutral top and in neutral colours,and chuck on a short waisted blazer for when your in a meeting, but remember to ram the style up with over sized, in your face jewelry. This is my fail safe way of making people take notice but in the most conservative way.

Lunch with Friends:
You've made arrangements to meet your friends for spot of afternoon lunch with drinks, its the age old problem, of what to wear that's going to show off to your friends, look stylish and cute but that's also practical enough to trawl the shops afters. Think Culotte type shorts. Baggy legs, mid thigh to short in length, but the ones that quite often resemble a skirt - these are ideal as they re the epitome of comfy - loose enough, if like me, you tend to over indulge after a nice lunch out with friends, or even if you get little hot and swollen walking round the shops these shorts will not constrict you, with the flow of the fabric they will have you looking cutsey and comfy all day long. Think Patterns, such as bows, or polka dots, team them with a simple vest top and some cute, low strappy sandals and you are well away.

First date/date night
Dressing for a "first date" or even for "date night" with the OH, is always a dilemma - you wanna be sexy without looking TOO provocative, you wanna be stylish but without being too stylish you scare him off, playful without looking too loose - the list is endless. Normally dresses always go down well however, I think us girls are looking for some more diversity with our outfits this is where the leather short holds its own. This look is personally my fave - leather just exudes sexiness and just wants to be touched. With these leather shorts from ASOS.com they have a slight ,laser cut pattern at the rim - its all about the attention to detail. If choosing a cut out detail make sure you team with a simple, stylish top, think maybe in a crop style to show a little flesh, and then go all out with the heels - like this pair - straps ahoy work well with the sexiness of the leather - surely this will make the boys wink. Jewelry must remain simple and well chosen - no-one wants to be clanking around too much.

Ahhhh the chance to pull the inner boho queen out - The festival season! One word that is quite often heard when talking about festivals= MUD. Obviously this is not EVERY TIME, but one must cater for rain or shine - SHORT SHORTS!!!!! weather is bad, team tights with them. Weather is good - whip the tights off!!!! we're all winners. The look for the Festival is simple. Try to be a little less put together and let your inner gypsy queen take hold. Denim is key, distressed is ideal. Short crop t-shirt/vest styles, throw over some boho inspired fringed cardigans, or if the weather clouds over, a nice practical parka (the leopard print ones are spesh nice!) team with some floral-esque rayban sunglasses - fringed/strappy sandals or heavy duty biker boot if the mud is around and your giving Sienna Miller a run for her money!

Hopefully I've given you all an insight to the different side of shorts - often the forgotten choice and seen solely as beach wear, its now time to try it out and see how many different ways you can wear shorts!
Until next time.

*All images courtesy of http://www.asos.com/*

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Thank Frock it's Friday!!!

As some of you lovely people may know and noticed on my blog, I am a huge supporter of the "Thank Frock it's Friday" campaign that is being run by the very lovely Lottie of "Lottie Loves" blog fame.

The history behind the campaign started when Lottie started a discussion on Twitter about how us women should be embracing our feminine side and wear a dress on the May Bank Holiday. After the immense response she received, she started the regular feature on her blog to get us ALL wearing dresses every Friday. "WHY" I hear you ask??? Well there's no real reason for you to take part and there doesn't even have to be an event - just quite simply change out of those same old jeans you always put on, no walking around the house in your PJ's (Yes.. we all do it) and don one of the prettiest dresses you own and let the magic begin.

I instantly loved the thought of this idea, I've always been a "dresses kinda gal" so worship the opportunity to put something a little more feminine on, however I have kinda fallen into the typical "office" work wear trap, by donning trousers and your standard shirt - I mean, I have no-one to impress, I'm there to do a job and that's it. However after reading Lottie's rather fabulous post, I thought about how What I wear, whether it be at work or at home, reflects my mood and how I see myself?

The Trousers and shirt combo is smart, clean and apt, but it does little for my feelings and morale - most of the time I don't feel energized, sometimes this is down to the lack of sleep, but mostly I feel a bit, well, errr unattractive. This pretty much is the same for when I am meandering around the house - my normal uniform: jeans and T-shirt (and a paint splattered one at the moment due to all the decorating of the house-Attractive non?!?!) is not really the most inspired outfit if truth be known - so in the name of "trying something new" I decided to don a dress and change it up!

As soon as I changed into said dress for work on Friday, I instantly felt a little more prettier, granted, my hair was STILL a mess, and that spot on my chin hadn't disappeared but actually, I kinda felt good. Once make-over was complete (layering over annoying spot!), I hate to say this, but I felt pretty.

Pretty is not usually the word I'd use to describe myself really, I'm rather "different" looking but not now... YES I was pretty... and I was feminine...... normally, I wonder whether I actually have a pair of legs - but lo and behold, the dress has indeed given me a pair of legs, and a not too shabby pair at that. I held my head high and had more of a smile on my face - the compliments that came my way made me feel a little more confidant and I seemed to hold myself a little differently. Even after the one occasion, I was hooked - considering the dress was already owned by me (possibly only worn once prior to this!typical woman!) and the feelings I felt came naturally, this was a sure fire way to improve ones mood for free (to me, the same feeling is quite often acquired by 3 or more bottles of wine, expensive)

I practically look forward to every Friday, and now, I know that I don't HAVE to limit my dress-wearing to only Fridays, but I kinda like the routine of it and the fact I feel rather special for one day. It's amazing to think that one very special lady, and her thoughts and opinions have changed not only mine, but many other women's outfit choices. Even if its only for one day, we can all go around looking stunning, feeling gorgeous and oozing confidence.

So come on, join the revolution, grab those dresses, change the habit and become "A Lady" - Also, please pay the lovely Lottie a visit at her site: http://www.lottieloves.com/

Until next time....

Monday, 24 May 2010

Time to Belt up

Judging by the recent weathers performance, it looks to me like we have finally made it to summer.. Yes I know, I may be premature but I'm an optimist! With the sun shining, it makes picking an outfit a little easier, same goes for the English, Colonial look that is being seen everywhere.

The trend that makes you want to sit out and eat cucumber sandwiches and hark on about our lush countryside and architecture, pulling this look off entails the crispness of a rolled-up, camel coloured chino, everyones firm favourite:a pair of sparkling white linen trousers, the carefully and precisely pressed structured white shirt and the correctly tailored dress. but what is key to this look is the accessory that ties it all together.

Now, I'm never one to shy away from a big ol' statement ring or necklace - and normally this would be my "go to" accessory to complete an outfit - but the look is all about structure and crisp, clean lines, anything OTT will confuse and deter. My top tip, step forward: The ever so accessible Belt. Choosing corresponding, matching colours of brown, tan, beige and camel, and team the colour with the right natural fabric and textures: lived in leather, suede's, hessian and thick canvas. Look out for options with Studding, fringing, buckles and lots of metal rivets.

This type of belt will tie in your outfit, finish it off and authenticate the English, heritage look. Plus as we all know, the beauty of the belt is that it will serve you for many seasons to come, for many different trends. I've seen some good choices from Marks and Spencer, Banana Republic, Jigsaw and Topshop - some are more expensive, although a good quality belt will literally serve you a lifetime.

From left to right: M+S £9.50, M+S £19.50, M+S £12.00

From left to right: M+S £9.50, Banana Republic, Banana Republic, Jigsaw £55.00

Why not give it a go and see just how versatile the belt can be this season.

Until next time....

Thursday, 20 May 2010

In my own skin

Ever since I was 15/16 my fixation began. I'd got to that age where I started to notice the way I looked, how I was dressing, how I done my hair and I also became very aware of the people around me - on TV, in magazines, in the news. This was by no means a bad thing, it started my love for clothes, although one burden it left me with, was having a very self-critical eye.

The models,actresses, TV stars were flawless - stunningly coiffed hair with skin that looked as smooth as silk, I used to sit and stare at these women and wonder "how" they were born with such perfection in their blood, and most of all "why didn't I look like that" Before I knew it, and also to cut this story short, I started experimenting with make-up - you name it, I tried it, and more often than not, All at once (don't tell me you didn't try it ;) I became very aware of how the different shades of foundation changed my whole entire look. I often resembled a completely different person but most of all I had the covetable flawless skin - even if, my face was a different colour to my neck!

Throughout the years I have tried many different foundations, concealers, tinted moisturisers and I loved every smidgen of them all. They gave me the cover I longed for and shielded me ,by covering all the imperfections: from pesky adolescent spots to the more adult crater that would often appear at completely the WRONG time. Before I knew it, a part of me was addicted to this creamy saviour - applied first thing in the morning upon waking up, re-touched half way through the day and then again in the evening.... it was a ritual to me, a way of life in fact.

Until that is, I found exercise - as some of you know I cycle to and from work every day, involving a lot of sweating, I just knew my make-up routine was going to have to change. At first, I did try to keep up the daily routine, but before long, boy, did I discover what the makeup companies DON'T put on packaging - DO NOT SWEAT in it!! My skin was horrid, lumpy, dry patches - you get the picture. I started to wonder what my real, natural skin was like.. and if I dared to bare??!?!?

The answer to my prayers comes in the form of Nivea's Natural Beauty Radiance Boosting Moisturiser. I gave it a go cos it was new out, and the shiny pink box caught my eye! After trialling it, the light-reflecting formula instantly brightened my skin and gave me that "summery dewy" look that I'd quite often seen on those lusted after models. I decided, to try and go a whole week wearing NO foundation/concealer etc and just wear the moisturiser and cleanse my skin after exercising. The texture of my skin instantly improved, the "cashmere proteins" gave me the radiance that to be honest, I've only ever seen on pregnant women (and no.... I'm not!) For the first time since I was 16 I actually felt confidant in my own skin and felt I could let the often THICK shield slip and not worry about having to produce the trowel every morning. Now I'm pretty sure there are 100 other products out there that do a similar job but to me, this little pot of pearlescent sunshine has made me happy to have the skin I have and to show it off - I'll never ever be like the models I used to admire but for once: I can be me!

Until next time...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Ooooo La La, bonjour.....

Nope, This isn't Sarah's How To Speak French guide, But Sarah's: boy, have I found you some right French Fancies, Mes Amies!

I think each and every one of us has been trialling a little bit of French chic-ness for a while now, I know I'm just a teeny bit obsessed with a breton stripe top, obsessed to the point that I made a concious effort to find out the exact heritage of the Berton stripe: so my lovlies, the Breton strip originated in Brittany, a French provence that occupies the penninsula between the English channel and Bay of Biscay - which rings true to the nautical theme we often team it with. I have a great love for the Breton theme and lets face it, if its good enough for ol' Coco Chanel it is certainly good enough for me!

Despite my quite OBVIOUS love for those stripes, I quite often have the age old saying "never wear horizontal stripes" ringing around in my head. I'm not the most skinniest minnies and am aware that quite often, my love for the stripes does not ALWAYS love me, so like most of us I'm sure, when you have one of those "unfriendly stripe" days, you can still get the Parisienne chic without the added worry factor - if this sounds familiar - look no further than the divinement, that is The French Factory. I stumbled upon this site from another very lush blogger, and ever since then, I have fallen in love with another Frenchie.

From the exisquite design of the website, to the fact that all the items are hand-made actually in France you can well and truly give Coco a run for her money! A few faves of mine are: small rabbit themed rings (yes, this stems from my natural love for the fluffy ones) to the "rude word" themed range (naughty but nice). The tasty Macaroon themed rings makes me want to lick my own fingers (your all thinking the same right?!?!) and if your having a tea party - celebrate it by having a tea party themed necklace - the list is endless...

Check the site out and let your imagination run wild and do me a favour - when your wearing said "Peu Traite", picture yourself under the Eiffel Tower. On that note, I'm off to buy something from the "Excuse My French" range... cos lets face it - my language skills are a little rusty! Jusqu'à la fois prochaine (Until Next Time......)

Monday, 17 May 2010

A little bit of Adam and Eve..

I've come over all fruity this afternoon, no, nothing sordid, but I have a new must-have buy for this month, and I have a good feeling that it may very well complete my life.... well... until next month that is!

Check out the pure, unadulterated gorgeous-ness, that is, this Azendi necklace, as part of their Forbidden Fruit range.
Just like Eve, I am not sure I can resist such temptation for this juicy little fruit or any of the range for that matter! What I love about this one is the apple has a slight bite out of it - Mmmmm NOM NOM NOM!

Another plus point, is the choice of pendent and chain you can go for - either keep to the same gold chain and pendent or mix it up with a silver chain and gold pendent - personally I like it Au Naturale (all gold) but at £245 its not a spare change purchase, but I kinda reckon its worth it... or at least that's what I'll tell the bank... the OH.... Friends..... you get it! ;)

Go on treat yourself and get fruity with me! You'll find this and many other "I Wants" on the website: www.azendi.com Until next time...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The "T" Word...

For as long as I can remember I have adored fashion, clothes and fabrics, and love to look at the way a colour, shade, fabric or item can change a "look" dramatically, Although that being said, I have always been a skirt or a dresses kinda girl - I like the way there are so many different styles of a skirt: Full and flared, Long and straight, mini, tulip, a-line, cross-over - you name it, a skirt can transform into whatever your heart or situation desires. But one item of clothing CONTINUOUSLY scares me: The Trouser.

That "T" word that literally sends a chill up my spine... Yes, I've worn trousers at some point in my life, but No, I did not enjoy any second of it. Jeans are just about tolerable - but even then, I have only just got into wearing them for roughly 6months. I'm approx 5ft 4, and of what I would say, of average build, but to me, I've always thought I will never be able to pull off ANY of the latest trends when to comes to trousers - I've followed every single "How to.." guide but to no avail... I think I just have "one" of those body shapes and dont have the right "look".

However, never one to give up easily, I have taken a look at whats hot to trot on the trouser front - High waisted, Drop Crotch, Hareem, Flares, cigerette and Peg leg are just a few. Judging by the names, I'm certainly not holding out much hope that your average sized and weighted woman will have the "look" to pull them off. But in order to try to get with the times and mix it up a little, Here goes a few of my views- please note, these are just my views, not for everyone:

Now, If I HAD to wear a type of trousers this would be it, and when I was a little younger I used to constantly wear Flare jeans, so when I saw this style pop it's very stream-lined head back into the Trend section, I was more than a little pleased. Little did I know that these once-loved and ONLY trouser shape of choice added approx 10lbs of weight to me, plus theres the trouble of HAVING to wear a somewhat pair of hefty heels to wear with them - I mean, you cant wear them with a pair of flatties with the trousers scruffing along the floor, with you shuffing along like some sort of cousin from the Adams family. My view - fine, if your a super skinny minnie, or if its a dry day and your not walking anywhere - put on a pair of wedges - and your away!
The mere sight of these babies makes me snigger a little, I mean come on, these aren't your average trouser shape, but in every magazine I've seen, the women always look so glam and highly polished - gotta be a good thing right?!?! On first sight these trews look like the love child of MC Hammer and Pampers Nappies, but teaming with chunky, super, sky high heels and slim fit top, these trousers really are simple,stylish and look oh so slick - a definite win for me!
Peg Leg:
Now these good looking trousers look very "Whit Woo" on every model and on every catwalk I've seen, I was just a little bit desperate to try them out. On first sight, I was a little put off by the high waist, silky fabric, and ankle hugging hemlines, but looking into them in more detail, these stylista's work in more ways than one - for work: teamed with a crisp white shirt and killer heels, chunky necklace and rings, and moving to the evening: ruffled,strappy top, standout, colour popping heels and jewelled clutch bag. These are my hot to trot must buy for this year and I have a slight feeling that this style will be here to stay.

I could go on all day+night about the trials and tribulations of trousers and my hatred for them but y'know what, I have it out of my system now and looking forward, I shall give the "T" a go, and would like to recommend that all you girls out there, give these new styles a go, some will work, some wont, but it's worth giving it a go - dont be slave to fashion, find out what trend/style works for you and go with it! Until next time...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Way "Florals" Make Me Feel.....

Its that time of year when once again we all positively beam with excitement at the prospect that the season is changing... to SUMMER! Yes.. that oh so distant word that us English hardly ever say or hear... I can literally hear you all rummaging at the back of those wardrobes for those super short denim shorts at the mere sound of the word, but to me, spring and summer can ONLY mean one thing..... Florals.

The mere sight of the dinky,colourful flowers makes me go weak at the knees, and trust me, if it can do that to my knees, imagine what it does to the soul!?!? Over countless seasons and from practically the start of fashion time, Florals have always featured somewhere - whether it be on the catwalk, in magazines, or on the highstreet - they have always been there, those sneaky pretty little blooms.
And lucky for me, their back AGAIN!

Let me re-create the scene for you: The sun shining high on the horizon, the heat from the sun itself beating down on your skin, warming you to your bones. The smell of freshly cut grass with the sound of birds singing their happy spring like song in the distance.... flowers blooming, dancing around the fields - muti-colours springing up anywhere and everywhere,like a natural patchwork quilt....... This is what I think of when I wear florals - they bring an absolute happiness to the soul: fresh petals drawn on tops, light pink blossoms splattered on dresses - to me it oozes the heady sense of romanticism of summer and freshness and the feeling of innocence.

Theres another thing that you gotta love about this trend, Adaptable is its middle name! We all know what our "summers" are like in good ol'blighty, more like rainy with a chance of sun most of the time, but this is where Florals come into their own. That dress that you pull out of the wardrobe every summertime, that fits lke a glove and makes you feel "oh so special" will work even in the "uncertain" weather - just chuck on some opaques and a cardi and "bobs your uncle": your good to go! Florals will always make "dress down tights" look a little bit more dressed up and special, team it with a waistcoat and your ready for Monday morning's power meeting. Mix and match and let the flowers do the talking!
Bringing this post to more recent times, 2010 has bought florals from the "norm" of a dress and moved itself into trousers - yep, we're talking, full length, in your face, bright, lush floral trousers! read it and weep! not only trousers, but on shorts, hiar ties and clips, rings, necklaces and even socks!
This look is for everyone and I mean it - whether your a girlie blossom girl or a thorned rock chick kinda girl - this is your trend, match your make up to the look - think, sugar pinks, magentas and purples. Trend it with your nails - think, hot pink, tangerines, and mellow yellows.

This is it girls and boys, let 2010 be a floral one..... and while your at it: get yourself rolling around in some fields to get the full effect ! Until next time....

Thursday, 6 May 2010

So what is IT about Lady Gaga???

Well my first post - been a tad nervous for this, all I kept thinking was: how did I know what was going to be a interesting, readable subject??? truth of the matter was - I DIDNT know... but what I do know, is how I feel and what I think, so here goes - hope you all like (christ I feel like I'm back at school!)

When I found out that the wonderful and super talented Giorgio Armani was designing again for the equally talented Lady Gaga, it kinda got me thinking: How is it that someone who is relatively new to the Public Eye (Lady GaGa) get to have someone as iconic as Armani design for her... talk about a fast mover, it also got me thinking... What is it about Lady Gaga???

You cant look anywhere or listen to anything without knowing who Lady Gaga is - hailed as the new Queen of Pop, and known for her catchy tunes and spectacular stage presence, more often than not its her outifts and somewhat extreme sense of style that grabs peoples attention.

Never before have we seen someone with such a diverse and, err shall we say, different outlook on what is considered the latest fashion but what we all universally appreciate, is just how magical that sense of style is. Lets face it, not EVERYONE can get away with wearing some of the mad cap things Miss Gaga wears, this girl has some serious confidence and balls to pull this stuff off. Naturally when I heard that the 80's power shoulder look was coming "back" into fashion I was sceptical to say the least, but oh no, not our Lady - this girl took the "look" and pressed the EXPAND button - she ripped the look up and turned it into something like none of us had ever seen before - needless to say, if i was sceptical in the first place about the whole "big" shoulder look, when I witnessed Gaga doing her own version, I knew that trying to wear this on the weekly shop at Sainsbury wasn't going to be appreciated.. that or any other attempt at the 80's.

So lets look at what Lady Gaga has worn or should I say "hasnt" worn since she exploded on the scene: we've had Bows - made out of her hair, whether it be fake or real, we've had lace, and extreme amounts of it, underwear as outawear, pvc, leather, conical bras, all-in-one body suits, thigh high boots, bubbles, and more recently the grafetti covered Hermes bag (I still feel slightly nauseus even as I'm typing...) I mean the list is endless, but you know what, it has certainly set her apart from every other "in the public eye" person.

Controversial as it sounds, the Lady herself is a good singer and dancer, some might say even average but this sense of her own style and creativity is what is making GAGA a brand of its own. She knows not everyone can wear and carry looks, such as the memorable "Kermit" the frog dress, off, but the Lady is tuning into every womans psyche - tuning into the "what if's" of girls around everywhere and tuning into "attention seeking-ness that is most women - to put it bluntly she is wearing something that most of us would just love to get away with (or in my case, to have the figure for)

When I was a little girl, I wore bows in my hair, I loved my fairy outfit SO much I made my mum let me wear it for a whole week. It was innocence, in the shape of not caring and being allowed to be free in my creativity. Ultimately this is what Gaga is doing, she knows what is considered the "norm" when it comes to fashion but is telling us its ok to push those boundaries and to go with the flow, shes capturing everyone's imagination - love her or hate her, male or female - thats what she's doing and jeez, its got us ALL talking bout her.

Personally, I love her and wait in anticipation at the next outfit she is, or isn't, wearing. So, come on people, grab your bubble wrap, bows and whatever else you can find and go with it... if the Lady can do it, so can we!
On that note, im off to find that fairy outfit.... team it with tights and take a trip to Sainsbury.....

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