Monday, 31 October 2011

today i'm inspired by... topshop perfectly polished make-up tutorial

I love Topshop's make-up tutorials because a) they're simple, quick and low-key; b) they're easy to follow; and c) you know exactly where to find all the products used. They are also incredibly effective at making me want to buy Topshop's entire make-up range (the only reason I haven't is because I always buy their clothes instead). I stumbled across this tutorial today and thought I'd share it because it's such a simple, light everyday look. It's not entirely dissimilar to my own daily make-up routine, in fact. And whether you're a beauty novice or a seasoned expert (I like to think I'm somewhere in between), hopefully you'll find a little inspiration here. It's not a show-stopping look, but a failsafe make-up look like this could just prove as much of a daily essential as your cosy coat this winter.


today i'm wearing...

Leather shorts from ASOS; boots from ASOS; bat mask from Accessorize; nail varnish is Nails Inc. in Victoria; bracelet from ASOS.

Happy Hallowe'en! I'm not doing anything this evening but thought I'd get into the spirit of things today by wearing all black with blood red nails. (Okay, I admit, I didn't actually wear the bat mask out in daylight...)


Sunday, 30 October 2011

today i want... miss selfridge faux leather sleeve coat

In my "basics" post on the best coats to invest in this winter, I admitted my current preference for the leather-sleeved variety. Admittedly I am powerless before anything leather, but there is something about a contrast sleeve which really appeals to me right now. Most such coats, however, will set you back upwards of £120. So if you're not quite as sold on leather sleeves as I am, and would prefer to dabble in the trend with a cheaper alternative, then this beautiful Miss Selfridge coat should do you nicely. It won't age as well, given that the sleeves are faux leather rather than real, but it will still keep you feeling warm and looking lovely. Which isn't at all bad for £69.


Friday, 28 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Leather jacket from Topshop; jumper from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; boots from River Island; bag from Miss Selfridge; necklace from Topshop.

I usually plan my outfits in advance to avoid a mad scrabble through the wardrobe in the mornings, but occasionally my inspiration runs dry by Friday and I just throw something on. Today was one of those days, and in retrospect I think there's a little too much going on here. But oh well, you win some, you lose some. Happy Friday!


Thursday, 27 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Leather gilet from H&M; jumper from H&M; jeans from Topshop; boots from Topshop; bag from Zara; watch from ASOS.

Still obsessed with this leather gilet. It just goes with absolutely everything. Perfect as an afterthought to add a little interest to any outfit.


today i love... topshop tumblr

You've probably already stumbled across it, but a few weeks ago Topshop set up a Tumblr site to showcase their favourite pictures of people wearing the brand ( I've been checking it regularly ever since as it's a great source of style inspiration. You'll find snaps of the stylish front row guests at the Topshop Unique S/S'12 show, shots of the head office girls and pictures taken from blogs or in the street. You can also submit your own outfit photos, so yesterday I decided to do so with one of my favourite "today I'm wearing" shots, where I'm in my Topshop Boutique navy fisherman jumper and carrying a Topshop snakeskin clutch (see the full outfit post here). Today I was delighted to see that my picture had been selected and is currently on the home page. As a truly avid Topshop fan and having spent sinful amounts of money on their clothes in my life (you may have noticed that Topshop makes up about 80% of my wardrobe), it's certainly an honour to be featured on the site. So thanks, Topshop!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Shirt from H&M; belt from Topshop (borrowed from my sister); shorts from ASOS; boots from River Island; bag from Topshop; bracelet from ASOS.


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

today i want... topshop ambush snakeskin boots

I already have three pairs of Topshop's Ambush boots (black and glitter, and another pair of black for when I inevitably wear the first ones out). That means I've already spent a ridiculous amount of money on one style of boot. So it's testament to my enduring love affair with snakeskin that I am seriously considering adding another £80 to that expense (god, it sounds bad when I put it like that). But have you seen these?! I am utterly powerless before a snakeskin boot, truly I am. And these have the added bonus of actually being wearable (one of the reasons I love the Ambush boots so much, like so many others, is for the way they perfectly marry beauty with comfort). I am obsessed with my Next snakeskin heels but I admittedly can't run around in them all day. They also may have to be retired when sock-less feet are no longer an option. So I am incredibly tempted to splash out on these beauties. After all, I can't think of anything they wouldn't look perfect with. Darn you, Topshop.


today i'm wearing...

Jumper from Topshop Boutique; denim shirt (underneath) from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; boots from Topshop; bag from Miss Selfridge.

So nice to have my DSLR back. And I love how you can see the changing seasons in the background of these pictures. It's definitely autumn now.


Monday, 24 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Jumper from Topshop Boutique; trousers from Topshop; boots from Topshop; bag from Topshop; nail varnish is Barry M 288 Silver.

I've pretty much worn this silver nail varnish on and off for the last year. I'm obsessed with it. Silver goes with everything and it's the only nail varnish I have which can last two days before it chips. Not bad for £2.99.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

today i love... basics

5. Coats

As the nights draw in and temperatures drop, it seems only fitting to dedicate another basics post to what is perhaps the number one essential for surviving winter in Britain: the coat. And given that the last two winters have been the coldest for some years, with several days' worth of snow grinding our transport system to a halt, I'd say the coat is definitely an item you should dedicate some time and money to this season. As someone who spent literally the coldest weekend ever in Paris last December and nearly lost my fingers after shivering for 11 hours on the Eurostar trying to get home, I'm somewhat an advocate of a very warm coat. Let's face it: winter is no time for breezy trench coats, flimsy capes or even the failsafe leather jacket. What we need is lots of thick wool, sheepskin and fur to wrap ourselves firmly up in. Casting my mind back to this time last year reminds me that I was absolutely obsessed with Burberry's A/W'10 show and the influx of fantastically huge khaki aviator jackets that it spawned. My own sheepskin fellow (see it here) saw me through a lot of cold times last year and I was completely in love with it, even willing the temperatures to drop so that it would be cold enough to warrant wearing it.

This year, however, I'm not feeling any particular coat love. I'm more about the knitwear at the moment, as my outfit pictures will attest. There isn't really one standout coat style that I'm coveting. As with the aviator jacket, while I was desperately hunting the perfect fur coat last winter, now I'm not feeling overly partial to one of those either. I have to say, though, that seeing pictures of Carolina Engman and Rumi Neely in leather-sleeved coats has certainly piqued my desire for a similar piece of outerwear, so perhaps a coat with a contrasting sleeve will be my winter purchase this year. While the jury may still be out, I do have certain stringent conditions to adhere to...

1) Warmth. Sounds obvious, yes. But many of my seemingly thick, cosy woollen coats actually don't keep out the cold all that well. That is the main bonus of my sheepskin aviator: it is very, very warm. So, cropped sleeves are never a good idea (gloves + bare wrists just looks odd), and make sure the fit is nice and snug, too. Wear it around the house for a couple of hours and make sure you feel uncomfortably warm.
2) Colour. Should be black, navy or grey, in my opinion. Even camel, which was all the rage last year, doesn't seem quite up-to-date anymore. While I usually advocate following seasonal trends, with an investment buy such as a coat I'd stick to classic, solid dark colours. The same doesn't apply to fur, of course, but I'd still stick to black, brown or cream here.
3) Versatility. I'm all for stocking up on statement shirts, knits and shoes, but a coat really does need to go with everything. Again, it sounds obvious, but in the past I've fallen into the pitfall of buying a coat which just doesn't look right with quite a lot of my clothes and therefore only gets worn once in a blue moon. Go for a classic shape, minimal design detail (no patterns or quirky buttons) and try it on with everything before committing.

So there we have it. Below I've picked my favourite failsafe coats from the high street for your perusal pleasure. It's not rocket science, but putting a little bit of thought into your winter coat purchase could mean the difference between an impulsive splurge which gathers dust at the back of your wardrobe, and the sound investment which forms the basis of your entire cold weather arsenal.


Saturday, 22 October 2011

today i want... dorothy perkins yellow snakeskin clutch

We're well into autumn now and my love for snakeskin apparently shows no signs of waning. Having lusted after a reptilian accessory for the majority of 2011 (check out my favourite snakeskin buys from back in April here), at this rate it appears I may well be continuing said love affair into 2012 and beyond. Witness my latest serpentine crush: this ridiculously cheap Dorothy Perkins clutch. I've spied the Zara yellow snakeskin clutch on many a street style blog over the past few weeks, and while it is undoubtedly beautiful, it will also set you back £89.99. And although my faith in neutral-coloured snakeskin assures me that such pieces will never date, something tells me that the current fad for snakeskin in all shades of the rainbow may not be quite as long-lasting. So for a mere £18, this baby will fulfil all your temporary yellow snakeskin needs without requiring a serious financial investment. Win win.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

today i'd save on... jonathan saunders vs topshop

I've loved this Jonathan Saunders shirt ever since I saw it go down the catwalk back in February. Now I'm not usually a fan of prints at all, unless they're animal prints. Polka dots, garish stripes, florals... not a fan. But there's something about this classically elegant wallpaper print, modernised with the bright ombré colour effect, which definitely floats my fashion boat. Sadly, however, I'm not really in a position to drop £645 on a shirt. But as is so often the case, Topshop has come to my rescue and produced this fantastic version for £600 less. Admittedly I slightly prefer the colours of the Jonathan Saunders one, but I do rather like that Topshop haven't produced a carbon copy, but rather added a little design difference of their own. I must say, I never thought I'd be lusting after a shirt that's red, yellow, blue and patterned, but hey, fashion is nothing if not unpredictable.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Jumper from Topshop Boutique; jeans from Topshop; boots from Topshop; bag from Topshop.

Details of what I was wearing today. I don't often wear brown at all, but I quite like the battered leather of this bag against the navy of the jumper.


today i want... topshop fringed boucle shorts

I do love a bit of bouclé. Nothing quite says Chanel like a lovely piece of monochrome tweed. Its potential downfall, however, is that it has the tendency to seem a little too prim and polished, and looking like you've tried too hard is never a good idea. So how to toughen it up a bit? Well, frayed edges, like the ones on these divine Topshop shorts, are a good place to start. A tough ankle boot, a bit of leather and a few zips wouldn't go amiss either. I'd team these babies with ankle boots and a little biker jacket or simple knit for day, or dress them up with a blazer, white tee, perspex clutch and a smoky eye for night.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Jumper from Nowhere; jeans from Topshop; shoes from Next; bag from Topshop; necklace from Topshop.

These rubbish photos don't do this amazing jumper any justice, but I'll definitely wear it again once I've got my lovely camera back. In fact, I might be wearing it an awful lot: it is rather perfect.


Monday, 17 October 2011

today i bought...

I'd been eagerly awaiting about the launch of Elin Kling's fashion line Nowhere ever since I first heard whispers of it a few months ago (read all about it here). But it wasn't until I saw the lookbook that I really started to get excited: these clothes were pretty darned beautiful. Even then, my anticipation was tempered by the probability that I would be unable to get my hands on the Swedish line. But on the day of the launch, I took a little trip to the line's vendor,, and to my utter delight discovered that not only do they ship to the UK, but that the shipping costs a mere €5. Five euros! That's less than £4.50. Ridiculously cheap, especially when you consider that places like the Outnet charge £6 for delivery within the UK... Anyway, unfortunately the Nowhere footwear isn't available yet, so I wasn't able to get my hands on the shoes I love, but instead I quickly gravitated towards this amazing jumper (unfortunately it's now sold out). Oversized, almost dress-length, with a cream body and white arms, it is pure knitwear perfection. I have to say I was a little nervous about the delivery, fearing the €5 might be too good to be true, but sure enough, after tracking its progress from Sweden through Denmark and Germany, today, less than a week after I ordered it, it arrived in all its glory on my doorstep. I have to say, I am seriously impressed with And I am so, so in love with this jumper.


today i'm wearing...

Leather gilet from H&M; jumper from Zara; shorts from H&M; boots from Topshop.


Sunday, 16 October 2011

today i love... the best of pfw

Just realised I hadn't yet posted my round-up of Paris Fashion Week... oh well, better late than never! I didn't even do one on Milan: I always think I'm going to, but never get around to it. Frankly, I just don't get excited by any of the Italian designers; the flashy, exuberant glamour of the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli just don't do it for a minimalist aficionado like me. So I thought I'd just move on to Paris, because there certainly were a good few shows taking place in the French capital which floated my fashion boat. One of the talking points of the week was the debut show by none other than Kanye West, and let's just say the fashion crowd weren't exactly impressed by his bling-tastic designs... However, he did provide a stellar front row which included my all-time fashion icons the Olsen twins (see below for what they were wearing). It was also the first Chloé show since previous creative director Hannah MacGibbon handed over the reins to Clare Waight Keller, and I have to say I didn't love the collection. But luckily fellow Brits Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney could, as ever, be relied upon to show the French how it's done. So here's my round-up of the best in Parisian chic for S/S'12...

My favourite shows:

Why I loved it: It's almost impossible not to love Chanel, isn't it? Karl Lagerfeld can always be relied upon to produce a beautiful, dramatic show as the cherry on the cake that is Paris Fashion Week (and a stellar front row). This season it was an underwater wonderland. Karl added interest to what was quite a classic, light collection in simple structured shapes with design details such as zig-zag piping, frayed edges, pearlescent finishes and zips. He accessorised with flat shoes (!) in shiny silver and simple strappy sandals. It all felt very fresh, glowing and fun, with flashes of iridescence referencing Karl's apparent muse, the mermaid.
Colour palette: White; black; silver; pearl; metallic aqua blue; peach pink.
Trends: metallics; monochrome; tailoring; iridescence; ruffles.

Why I loved it: It's Stella's understated minimalist elegance which keeps her die-hard fans coming back each season, but this collection the designer tiptoed outside of her usual comfort zone. A slightly sporty aesthetic showed hints of mesh peeking out from the tops of dresses and beneath trouser suits in crisp block colours, while a motif of waves breaking against the shore added a touch of lightness to many pieces. Combinations of textures like mesh, satin and lace met on simple one-colour dresses, while daring patterns of gingham, checks and paisley broke the mould a little. It was all less uniform and less masculine than Stella has been before, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Colour palette: White; black; cobalt blue; red; dove grey; grass green.
Trends: Sportswear; tailoring; mismatched patterns; mesh; monochrome.

Why I loved it: Aside from the horrible crucifix necklaces (a real fashion hate of mine), this was a lovely elegant eveningwear collection. Beautiful draped Grecian-style dresses flowing off the body; diaphanous layers over sleek bodysuits; impeccably cut dresses with sparkling snakes curving up the frame; tailored separates in simple monochrome; asymmetric pieces in rich jewel colours.
Colour palette: Black; navy; terracotta; white; dove grey; lilac; sky blue; yellow gold.
Trends: Evening elegance; tailoring; monochrome; sheer/mesh; sleek separates.

Why I loved it: Phoebe Philo's Céline show is always one of the highlights of Paris Fashion Week. Sometimes it can be a slow burner for me: I don't immediately love the catwalk collection, but by the time the season in question comes around, I am won over. This time, however, I needed no convincing. Quite a wintry show for spring/summer, Phoebe showed crisp structured separates in warm, rich shades punctuated by stark white. There were structured shirt dresses, leather t-shirts, wide-leg trousers with mesh overlay, cocoon-shaped jackets and peplum tops. A very uniform collection, with hits of shiny black leather on tees and jackets providing texture amidst strong, sharp tailoring.
Colour palette: White; black; forest green; burgundy; scarlet; grey.
Trends: Tailoring; sharp, structured shapes; leather; monochrome; mesh; minimalism.

My favourite front row looks:

... And my favourite show of the whole season? It has to be 3.1 Phillip Lim.


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

today i love... cos

COS (an acronym of Collection Of Style, I believe), the big sister of Swedish high street stalwart H&M, has always been on my lust list since its arrival in the UK a couple of years ago. The home of beautifully tailored, sculptural fashion-forward pieces, every time I see a COS piece in a magazine or adorning a fashionable figure, I never fail to love it. But as a result of the only UK stores being in London, and the prices being a little out of my usual range, to date I've never actually set foot in a COS store. About a month ago, however, they launched their online shop, and suddenly I can view the whole breathtaking collection on my screen. Being a huge fan of Swedish minimalist fashion (it's no accident that most of my favourite bloggers are Swedish), this site is right up my street. There are cocoon coats in structured fabric; simple zip clutches in butter-soft beaten-up leather; soft draped silk shirts in shades of nude and charcoal; shift dresses cut perfectly to the figure; dove grey angora knits; block heeled boots; leather sleeves and pockets on cardigans, coats and tops. Quite simply the perfect capsule wardrobe: timeless, simple and utterly sophisticated. Below I've picked out my favourite pieces from the online store (but let me tell you, I had serious trouble narrowing it down: there wasn't even one thing I didn't love). Yes, the prices are upwards of my normal range, but every once in a while it's worth splashing out. Certainly with clothes that are this beautiful and this classic, it would be a very wise investment.

Leather pocket dress, €89 (approx. £78)

Skinny zip leg trousers, €69 (approx. £60)

Silk printed bra, €25 (approx. £22)

Double pocket clutch, €89 (approx. £78)

Merino roll neck jumper, €49 (approx. £43)

Scuba pencil skirt, €69 (approx. £60)

Leather sleeve cardigan, €125 (approx. £109)

Block-heeled boots, €190 (approx. £166)

Leather t-shirt, €225 (approx. £196)

Graphic knit jumper, €69 (approx. £60)

Colour block purse, €39 (approx. £34)

Double layer mesh dress, €79 (approx. £69)


Thursday, 13 October 2011

today i'm wearing...

Sleeveless trench from Primark; shirt from H&M; jeans from Topshop; shoes from Primark; clutch from KG Kurt Geiger; cuffs from H&M; nail varnish is Barry M 292 Navy.

Realised I'm wearing a super budget outfit today: trench £13; shirt £7.99; jeans £15; shoes £17; clutch £30; cuffs £6.99. A grand total of £90: not bad for a complete look. Well, I've always said it's not about where your clothes are from, but how you wear them.

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