As a dresses girl, my main issue with the spring months of the year is that whilst the weather’s no longer arctic enough to warrant woolly tights, it’s still far too many degrees below ‘acceptable to have bare legs’ temperature (someone please explain to me how all these bloggers and fashion week attendees don’t get hypothermia when posing tightless in February?!?). The return of the sunny weather though makes me want to bring out my summery dresses but my version of transitional dressing (which is basically thinner dress + black opaques) doesn’t work with all my summer items (brogue boots, tights and a spaghetti strap dress is not a ‘look’ anyone should be working, not even in a 90s revival way) so it’s important to pick items that will work.
One of my staple items last summer was this white cotton dress from Oasis. Whilst it looks great with ballet flats or strappy red sandals in the summer, I think it works equally well styled with black opaques, brogue boots and a statement necklace from Tatty Devine’s AW13 collection. For a bright pop of colour I’ve add yet another bag from my Cambridge Satchel collection (it was on sale so I feel I’m allowed!) which also matches the tones in the necklace. My trusty brogue boots that I bought several years ago finally fell apart last week but thankfully (as the end of February is not the time to be trying to shop for winter boots!) I managed to find a near identical pair in the Bertie sale. The Essie nail varnish in ‘Parka Perfect’ which I’ve raved about previously brings a nod of winter coolness to contrast with the orange and reds.
Teamed with a fur coat and a scarf to keep out the chill, this is a perfect outfit to bring a bit of summer cheerfulness to those cold but sunny spring days!
As Manchester is for once bathed in glorious sunshine which makes my thoughts turn to spring, it seems a bit unfair to still be banging on about all things wintery but as I’ve *finally* got my hands on some full size bottles from Essie’s Winter 2013 collection, I thought it would be rude not to share some swatches!
First up is ‘Toggle To The Top’, a dark red glitter in a dark red base. This was my first experience of using Essie polishes and I have to say, despite the gorgeousness of the colour, I was a bit disappointed as it chipped horrendously and for £7.99, I want something with a bit more durability. Determined not miss out on having such a lovely shade on my nails however, I decided to layer it over two coats of Barry M’s ‘Red Wine’ which not only gave it staying power but also means that the polish will go much further! The above photo is two coats of ‘Toggle To The Top’ over two layers of ‘Red Wine’ and sealed with a top coat. The glitter distribution in the polish is fabulous and gives a sophisticated sparkle to brighten up dull days.
The second polish I bought from the collection is ‘Parka Perfect’ which is a greeny grey shade with a subtle shimmer. Although my best description of it as ‘somewhere near the colour of blu tack’ doesn’t perhaps make it sound very appealing, this is one of my favourite polishes for a long time and I’ve already stocked up on a couple of bottles before it’s discontinued! Unlike ‘Toggle To The Top’, I had no chipping issues with this polish (I’m typing this wearing a five day old application of the polish and aside from a little wearing at the tips, I’m still chip free!) and it’s so flattering on the nail. The above photo is three layers and a topcoat although you could probably get away with two coats on smaller nails.
So whilst my first foray into the world of Essie polishes was a mainly positive one, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing out to buy more in future unless the shade was spectacular or different enough to warrant it.
In a change to my normal pastel hues, today’s outfit has taken a turn to the darker side to reflect the doomy skies and torrential rain of Manchester! Now I love a good collaboration, especially when it means I can buy the signature styles of labels I love at a price that doesn’t break the bank so when Carven collaborated with Petit Bateau back in 2012 I snapped up a couple of pieces from the range including this amazing collared dress!
I’ve teamed the dress with boots that I bought in the Aldo sale, my trusty ‘Downing’ satchel from The Cambridge Satchel Company and my Katie Mullally peg necklace which has become a firm feature of my wardrobe! My nails are painted with Essie’s ‘Toggle To The Top’, a glittery dark red, part of their Winter 2013 collection which I’ve *finally* managed to find in full sized bottles!
I love the combination of navy blue and burgundy as it always makes me feel very chic which given Carven’s French homeland seems very appropriate! Ooh la la!
I’m not sure if it’s a rebellion against the dullness of January but I can’t seem to get enough of pastels at the moment (I’m also partly blaming Miu Miu’s S/S 14 campaign…). I picked up this turquoise (or ‘petrol’ as the website called it) leather pencil skirt and fluffy knit jumper from Topshop back in October and have been wearing them to death ever since! I always find Topshop very inconsistent when it comes to sizing, which is a shame as they had some really brilliant pieces for A/W 13, so I almost never tried on the skirt as I assumed, like previous Topshop pencil skirts I’d tried, that it would fit very oddly. Reader, it fitted like a glove (or at least a glove that gives you enough movement to walk and sit down in) and I’ve since bought an identical one in black.
I’ve teamed the skirt and jumper with my trusty Dune brogues, Essie nail polish in Parka Perfect and my Katie Mullally peg necklace. I love this necklace as it’s so unusual and it always picks up compliments whenever I wear it! I’m busy debating whether to invest in some New Balance trainers at the moment (another fashion ‘trend’ I was rockin’ at least 10 years ago along with dip dyed/ pink hair) and I think this pair from ASOS would go perfectly.