As classic colour combinations go, red, white and blue takes some beating. A good chunk of my wardrobe seems to consist of variations on a breton theme and I’m always on the hunt for the perfect stripe. I love nothing better than teaming these timeless tops with some dark denim and colour popping accessories to create simple, stylish looks which can be worn pretty much anywhere. The above outfit consists of an H&M top which has been a wardrobe staple for many years and is as close to perfect as any I’ve found on the high street (to the point where I repeatedly chastise myself for not buying in bulk!) and a Topshop denim skirt that I bought at the end of last year which looks equally good with tights as with bare legs and has also been worn to death (and it has pockets which I LOVE!).
In my head this look is ‘classic with a twist’ so I’ve tried to keep the colour palette fairly restricted so that the hints of red really ‘pop’. My beautiful barrel bag gifted to me by Cut Make Trim (which I’ve raved about before here. Still haven’t learnt to not overload it though…) is perfect for this outfit as its timeless shape and colour compliment the neutral base pieces of the outfit.
My red Lotta From Stockholm clogs are another piece I’ve previously blogged about and I love the pop of colour they bring to the outfit and the leather ‘buckle’ detail on the toes echo the shapes found in the barrel bag.
If there’s one word that I can’t stand when it comes to fashion it’s ‘kooky’ and even just typing it makes me shudder and want to vomit in my mouth a bit. I’m all for having fun with fashion and injecting personality but for me, ‘kooky’ conjures up reductive connotations (see also ‘adorkable’ and ‘anything recommended by Zooey Deschanel’) that only serves to belittle and infantilize those it is applied to. Thankfully, Tatty Devine’s creations although whimsical, never manage to cross into this territory. Their ‘Dog On Wheels’ necklace whilst cute, is simple enough to be extremely wearable without crossing the line into the dreaded ‘K’ word (and dachshunds are definitely in this season if Orla Kiely AW14 is anything to go by…).
Finally I’ve added slick of MAC’s ‘Lady Danger’ lipstick (could there be a better colour for making you looked a bit more with it when you really can’t be bothered?) and a couple of coats of Barry M’s ‘Coral’ nail polish to pull the whole outfit together.
As a bit of a reader treat (it’s Bank Holiday weekend, what else is there to do but a bit of internet shopping?!), the lovely people at Cut Make Trim have offered a 15% discount on their beautiful bags to the first 50 readers who enter ‘highheelsandrecorddeals’ in the voucher code section of the shopping basket on their website (oh and they do free delivery too!).
Now I’m not generally one for overly themed outfits (dressing like you’re a character from a Wes Anderson film doesn’t count) but as a Yorkshire lass, I couldn’t let the weekend pass without a homage to ‘Le Tour Yorkshire’ which is dominating the TV this weekend and showing the world exactly why Yorkshire is the best place on Earth!
People may criticise the disposable nature of ‘fast fashion’ but I very rarely buy things that I only plan to wear for a season and so even when buying at the cheaper end of the high street, I try to pick pieces that have longevity. I purchased this bright yellow Primark dress several years ago (and in several colours) and it’s still a wardrobe staple that can be worn with bare legs in the summer and a pair of black opaques when it turns a bit cooler. Primark can be very hit and miss and when buying from there I tend to stick to natural fabrics such as cotton or wool as they tend to last longer than man made fabrics and not look ‘cheap’.
I’ve teamed the dress with cream Topshop heels for a 60s vibe and I’m keeping the yellow theme going with Barry M nail paint in ‘Lemon Ice Cream’. No celebration of ‘Le Tour Yorkshire’ would be complete without some snacks and a limited edition bottle of Yorkshire’s finest sauce, Henderson’s Relish, is the perfect accompaniment (it’s seriously good sprinkled over popcorn).
Although I’m not the biggest cycling fan, the last two days spent watching the race travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in England has made me very proud of my home county and for those of you not familiar with ‘God’s Own County’, I definitely recommend a visit – Vive La Yorkshire!
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.
It’s no secret that I have a bit of a thing for the styling of Wez Anderson films and Moonrise Kingdom in particular. As the start of this week clung on to the last vestige of summer, I decided to channel my inner Suzy Bishop (minus binoculars) with this ensemble.
My dress is from Topshop and my shoes are from Dune. I bought both at the start of spring so they’re no longer available in store although Dune do have the same style of brogues in updated colour ways for A/W13 here which I’m quite tempted by for the party season. I liked the Topshop dress so much that I also bought it in a couple of other colours (if it ain’t broke… etc) and have spent a good chunk of the summer in them. My bag, which has featured on this blog before, is from The Cambridge Satchel Company and has pretty much been worn to death over the last few months! My necklace is from Tatty Devine and I love the trompe l’oeil effect of the digitally printed perspex jewels!
When it came to my nails I wanted to echo the jewel tones of the necklace so I loaded up my nail tips with a few coats of Barry M glitter polishes in Aqua, Yellow Topaz and Rose Quartz and then added a top coat. Pretty pleased with the result!
Now, whether or not I should be using a 12 year old fictional character as a style icon when I’m nearly 30 is a whole other debate but seeing as Orla Kiely also seems to be firmly on the Suzy Bishop bandwagon if her S/S14 collection is anything to go by, I don’t think I’m quite willing to give her up just yet…
I do love a good statement necklace so when Sarah Angold’s collection for Freedom at Topshop launched a few weeks ago, I knew I had to add one of her Perspex lovelies to my wardrobe!
Whilst pieces from her mainline start at around £300, prices for the Topshop limited edition seven piece necklace and earrings collection are £30 – £60! Considering that all of the Freedom at Topshop pieces are still handmade by Sarah and her team in her workshop and come with their own identity number, I think paying a little bit more than perhaps you normally would for Topshop jewellery is justified as these have ‘investment pieces’ written all over them!
I love the nod to art deco which the collection has (and reminds me of the much lusted after Charlotte Olympia Pre Fall 13) and the way the iridescent perspex parts catch the light. The collection is exclusively available at Topshop’s Oxford Circus store as well as through their website and I’m currently online stalking the Line Necklace in the hope that it’ll one day end up in the sale as I’d really love to add another piece to my wardrobe!
As the contents of my wardrobe and book shelves will attest, I have something of a love affair with charity shops. The hunt for a bargain and the thrill of discovering buried treasure amongst the tat is hard to beat although since the explosion in ‘vintage’ fashion emporiums, unless you’re prepared to trek to some far flung towns (I’ve always found Yorkshire east coast seaside towns the best) it’s become difficult to regularly strike gold. Plus, if you’re looking for something specific then charity shops aren’t always the best route (or generally open at 3am in the morning when you decide after a few drinks that you simply *must* own cocktail glasses covered in pink flamingos for example. Drunk eBay purchases are probably a whole different post actually…). Thankfully, since 1995 (which means it turns 18 this year) eBay has been filling all your drunk/ difficult to find purchasing needs!
Although I will confess to not being a hardcore eBayer (I really should start selling as well as buying on it but I find things hard to part with on the basis that I might suddenly need one of the million vintage scarfs/ bags/ necklaces I’ve amassed over the years) I have found myself using it more and more now that the thrill of charity shop treasure is a mere distant memory. So, as a way to celebrate its 18th birthday I thought I’d share some of my favourite finds.
eBay Treasure Exhibit A – The One That Got Away:
We’ve all been there – you see something in a magazine and try to track it down but it either sells out before you can find it or when you do, it’s out of your meagre student budget. This is the story of this dress. I saw, I hunted, I failed. Or I almost failed. Because, dear reader, I not only found it but I found it IN MY SIZE and IN THE SALE. But of course that would be too easy and for some unknown reason (possibly panicked madness as it was nearly closing time) I DIDN’T BUY MY DREAM DRESS – the dress that I then spent 8 years trying to track down. 8 years of trawling charity shops, stalking ebay and buying dresses like this which although lovely still isn’t *the* dress. Whilst some people use ebay to find the most amazing vintage pieces (I just never seem to have the luck with ebay and vintage – where are all these 50p chiffon treasures which people eulogise about?!?), I use it to stalk my lost loves. So after 8 years and pretty much giving up I finally found it last week. For £2!!! And it looks as fantastic as I remember it looking and fits so well I may actually have done a little dance when I tried it on (I always have eBay fear when buying clothes I can’t return which is probably why I tend to just buy brands I tend to know my size in. I’m not sure I could take the emotional distress of finding something amazing and it not fitting…). It just proves that occasionally patience pays off and that if you see something, love it and can afford it, buy it!
eBay Treasure Exhibit B – The Cheer Yourself Up Purchase
I’ve a bit of a love for owls. I’m not sure when it became my ‘thing’ but before the mass of woodland creatures found their way on to clothing last A/W thanks to Burberry Prorsum I had a lot of owls, including the delightful little Lea Stein brooch above. This is a classic eBay ‘stumble across’ purchase (I was probably searching for ‘Owl Brooches’ trying to track down a Topshop copy of this which I didn’t realise was a copy at the time) and was bought as a way of cheering myself up after narrowly missing out on getting a job I really wanted. With hindsight I’ve probably had more joy from the brooch than I would have had from the job!
eBay Treasure Exhibit C – The Nostalgia Purchase
Thanks to a Scottish mother and a granny called Maisie, I grew up reading Aileen Paterson’s ‘Maisie’ books about a feisty Edinburgh-based Scottish kitten (obviously). The illustrations (also done by Aileen) of Maisie and her adventures were beautifully drawn and whilst searching for some copies of my childhood favourites for my best friend’s little daughter, I found this sweet little brooch of one of the characters from the books for sale. Handmade by Aileen herself and dating back to the 1970s it’s a beautiful and nostalgic addition to my wardrobe which reminds me of happy childhood days.
ebay Treasure Exhibit D – The Oh God That’s Rather A Lot Of Money But They’re My Dream Shoes Purchase
Most of my eBay purchases and bids are for small amounts but for these Miu Miu Deco Patent platform heels I slightly broke the bank (but they were considerably less than they’d originally retailed for). From their AW07 collection, I’d lusted after them for years but couldn’t afford then on my student budget. Once I had a proper job and slightly more money for lust purchases I began hunting for them in earnest. I finally tracked down a pair to an ebay seller in the US and after a lot of research to check they were genuine I took the plunge and purchased. Up until that point they were not only the most I’d ever spent on eBay but also the most I’d ever spent on shoes so I was a bit nervous but they’re honestly ridiculously comfy to wear (or at least as comfy as heels that high can be – I’m still convinced I’m going to take a tumble and break my ankle one of these days) and once you see and hold them in real life you can understand why they cost so much to begin with as the craftsmanship is amazing. I never understood when people said an item ‘felt’ expensive before I got these and I love, love, love how they make me feel when I wear them!
So that’s a brief history of my eBay purchases over the years but I’m sure there’ll be many more to come! In celebration of their 18th birthday, eBay have been putting together an ‘eBay Stories’ campaign and Sophie Ellie Bextor (owner of possibly the best legs in pop) has put together a video of some of her favourite eBay buys!
I know I might be turning 30 at the end of the year but I still got *stupidly* excited when Vogue UK announced back in January that they were going to launch Miss Vogue– a UK equivalent of their Teen Vogue brand. I’m well aware it’s been a good while since I’ve been in the target demographic for ‘teen’ versions of mags but nevertheless I was still a devotee of the much mourned Elle Girl well into my twenties and I’m currently loving all things Rookie based.
Although I’ll happily devour the latest issue of Elle or In Style and gaze at the beautiful editorials of ‘Things I Will Never be Able To Afford’ there are large chunks of content which never connect with me at all. Possibly by now I should be a career focused home owner with the sound of my biological clock ringing in my ears but for me, and an awful lot of other people I know, it just hasn’t happened yet and our lifestyles and interests still seem more in tune with our teenage selves than those of A Proper Grown Up. Whilst being stuck in school all day has been replaced by being stuck in an office and I now have *slightly* more disposable income than my younger self, my pay packet will still never stretch to being clothed in head to toe Miu Miu, Prada or Chanel. This fact is not something that greatly worries me and I’m more than happy to view their latest collections in the pages of monthly glossies simply to admire the skill and creativity behind them as well as seeking inspiration for ways to achieve similar looks on a more modest budget.
The balance between high fashion and low budget is why I got so excited about Miss Vogue as with a parent magazine so devoted to amazing fashion and highlighting upcoming talent, its younger spin off must surely be the perfect place to fuse these elements with editorials featuring looks at a budget more suited to its target demographic. Sadly, it seems like the team behind Miss Vogue didn’t get that memo…
On first look, Miss Vogue seems to hit the mark. The cover is graced by model of the moment and Instagram favourite Cara Delevingne in customised Topshop Unique (highlighting just how much talent the British high street has in terms of design at the moment), the ads are more Miss Selfridge than Selfridges, there’s a feature on Meadham Kirchhoff and an article by Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson. So far so good until you get the editorials which feature a majority of products I could only afford with a bank loan. And bonus. And maybe selling a kidney. We all know that Miu Miu sell amazing sunglasses but just how many 15 year olds (let alone nearly 30 year olds) can afford them? Or how many teenagers have a ‘Fairy Godmother’ who would shell out £3,300 on a Dior ring for them?! There’s also an article on how to dress for an internship which again assumes that a) you have enough money to work in London for little or no wages and b) you’ll have enough money left over to shell out £345 on a jacket. Recession chic clearly hasn’t hit the Miss Vogue offices.
Miss Vogue has the potential to be amazing but its debut issue falls short of the mark. It feels rushed, almost like the afterthought of the June issue brainstorming session when they couldn’t decide what supplement to give away free that month. For every great article such as the Meadham Kirchhoff profile, Miss Vogue will then undermine it with a vacuous piece on how someone once dated the son of a rockstar. I mean seriously? Have an article on girls who are in the band rather than just dating someone once removed from fame! If you are going to focus on interns, maybe expand on what interning actually involves, the higher education courses to aid a career in the industry and not what shoes to wear to what meeting. Give role models to aspire to instead of the offspring of 90s celebs!
There are some amazing women working in fashion right now, the British high street with its designer collaborations has never been hotter and we have creative institutions such as Central Saint Martins that are world-renowned. Thankfully where a lot of magazines fall short, there are now enough brilliant bloggers and blogs, such as Rookie, around to pick up the slack and give coverage to those designers, brands, inspirations and budgets that the mainstream magazines overlook. Maybe hoping for a fashion magazine that offers sass as well as style is too much to ask (a British equivalent of the now defunct Sassy for example) but it really, really shouldn’t be.
So, I was going to make my first ever blog post one of those introductory ‘look at me!’ type of affairs and then I got distracted by these Topshop beauties:
In my head, they’re the embodiment of Tarantino’s True Romance in shoe form and provide the perfect pop of colour for dancing away the (hopefully to come) hot summer nights. Come pay day they will be mine! Accessorizing with Christian Slater is optional…
And speaking of all things True Romance inspired, it gives me the perfect opportunity to link to a demo of Pris’s song of the same name, enjoy!