Saturday, 30 April 2011

today i want... balenciaga eau de parfum

Ever since I first saw the gorgeous ad campaign with Charlotte Gainsbourg, I've been longing to get my hands on the Balenciaga eau de parfum. However I could only find it in online stores here in the UK, and I didn't really want to buy it without smelling it first. I finally managed to sample it when I was in Paris back in December, and it was love at first sniff. But it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that it arrived at last in my local Debenhams store. So I think it might be time to place that beautiful bottle proudly on my shelf. If only so that I can, as the tagline promises, "become a close yet inaccessible woman who strolls under leafy arbors". After all, who wouldn't want that?

Balenciaga eau de parfum, £34 - £75 at Debenhams

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today i'm inspired by... caroline blomst

I know I've been going on about her rather a lot lately, but Swedish super-blogger Caroline Blomst has been pulling some seriously good outfits out of the bag recently. So I just thought I'd share a few of them with you, because they are definitely inspiring the way I'd like to dress right now: simple, classic, stylish and sophisticated. Visit her brilliant blog here.


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Friday, 29 April 2011

today i'd love to wear...

If I had gone to the Royal Wedding...


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today i love... the royal wedding!

Ooooo I'm so excited! In just a few short hours all eyes will be on Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton. I've always been a big fan of our Royal Family and I love that the whole of Britain (and the world) will be coming together to celebrate. I've got my cupcakes made, my Royal Wedding tea ready to brew and I can't wait to watch it all unfold... Hope you enjoy it as much as I will!

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Thursday, 28 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Sleeveless trench from Primark; khaki shirt from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; boots from River Island; bag from Miss Selfridge; bracelet from Asos; nail varnish is Barry M nail paint in 301 Block Orange.

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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

today i'd love to wear...


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today i bought...

I'm obsessed with snakeskin at the moment (see my picks of the best reptilian high street offerings here). So when I saw these lovely silky serpentine trousers in the Topshop sale, reduced from £38 to £18, I just had to have them. I love the black pockets and drawstring detail, and can't wait to team them with my new fringed leather jacket and orange lips for the perfect summer evening look.

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today i want... h&m fashion against aids

H&M's last Fashion Against Aids collection seemed to somehow pass me by, but in the aftermath I often came across street style snaps of people modelling its brilliant leather jackets, shorts and tees. So this time I've been keeping a close eye on the collection release date, and now it's finally here. This is a unisex collection, apparently (though how many men do you know who would carry a silver clutch?) and the price points are not too far off normal H&M prices. It's a colourful, slightly sporty collection, comprising mainly of basic tees, parkas and sweatshirts. But there are a few standout pieces that caught my eye, and below I've shown you my pick of the bunch. I really, really want those silver shorts (though at £39.90 they are a little more expensive than you'd expect) and the amazing Jil Sander-esque plastic bags, a mere £9.99 each. Plus the leather sleeveless jacket, as seen on Columbine Smille. The drawback is that this collection will only be hitting five UK stores (Manchester, Birmingham and three in London) as of tomorrow. And though it's currently available to buy online, a word of warning: don't buy unless you're sure, because if you try to return online purchases in-store you'll get credit rather than cash. Considering how much money I've spent recently anyway (hello new leather jacket) it might have to be a case of admire from afar for me. But if you're a little more economically blessed than I then get your credit card out pronto: it's for a really good cause, after all. Shop the collection online here.

Clockwise, from top left: Leather sleeveless jacket, £79.99; mint green sweatshirt, £19.99; silver shorts, £39.90; yellow plastic bag (also available in white), £9.99; grey shirt/jacket, £34.99; print vest top, £7.99; orange tee, £7.99; silver clutch, £9.99

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Monday, 25 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Jumper from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; boots from River Island; bag from Topshop; necklace from Topshop.

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today i want... dorothy perkins silver ridged cuff

Right now I'm in the mood for strong, no-frills jewellery. I've got no time for little fussy necklaces or piles of rings and bangles. One statement necklace, masculine watch or angular cuff is what I'm looking for. Such jewellery can offset the simplest of outfits, giving any look a touch of edge and interest without being fussy or girly. Recently I've been searching for a silver cuff, after seeing Caroline Blomst's amazing studded Hermès number (see it here). Until now there hadn't been anything that caught my eye on the high street, but this lovely Dorothy Perkins guy might be just the ticket. Use it to elevate a simple grey marl tee, shorts and ankle boots combo to new heights of fashion.

Dorothy Perkins silver ridged cuff, £12.50


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Sunday, 24 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Leather jacket from Topshop; top from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; boots from River Island; bra from Topshop; sunglasses from Topshop; bracelet from Asos.

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today i'm channelling... caroline blomst

Topshop Moto black Leigh skinny jeans, £36; Zara gathered blouse, £22.99; Dorothy Perkins black patent point court shoes, £29; Asos leather keeper detail satchel, £70; Topshop Boutique black cropped zip biker jacket, £175


Happy Easter everyone! Unfortunately I don't have any delicious chocolate eggs for you, but I do have the sartorial equivalent: some lovely outfit inspiration. As one of my top three 'real people' style icons (as opposed to celebrities), Swedish stylist Caroline Blomst never fails to provide some brilliant inspiration whenever I'm feeling like I have nothing to wear (read all about her
here). Looking back through her past outfits I can't fail to be impressed by this lady's ability to constantly look chic, timeless and effortlessly on trend (see them all here). Now that the temperature is rising and the layers are coming off, it can sometimes be hard to stay stylish in the heat. But this is where Caroline's failsafe formula of shrunken jacket + denim cut-offs + ankle boots really excels. Plus her latest outfit, above, demonstrates perfectly how to tackle this tricky inbetween-seasons weather we're currently experiencing. Just pair a bright top with classic jeans and a leather jacket and pep things up with patent heels and a battered satchel. It's simple, timeless and the perfect transeasonal look for Easter drinks with friends.


Picture:
Carolinesmode.com/caroline

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Saturday, 23 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Leather jacket from Topshop; top from Topshop Boutique; shorts from River Island; bag from Primark; boots from River Island; sunglasses from Topshop; belt from H&M; bracelet from Asos; nail varnish is Topshop nails in Zenith.


PS, I wouldn't usually wear the same shorts two days in a row but I'm not at home at the moment and I only packed one pair... it just seemed too hot for trousers today!

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Friday, 22 April 2011

today i bought...

Oh today was a gooood day. Good Friday, in fact (ha). I met a lovely friend for a pot of tea and a beautiful stroll in a sunny park, and then popped into Topshop to snap up possibly one of my best buys of the year so far. (I then had some amazing sea bass for dinner as well, yum). Anyway I love this jacket an indescribable amount. It was one of those see it, love it, buy it moments. Funnily enough only the other day I was reminded just how much I wanted a fringed leather jacket when I saw one of my favourite Swedish style icons, Caroline Blomst, modelling one (see it here). I trawled the online stores and found a rather nice River Island one for yesterday's "today i'd love to wear", but at £140 it was a little out of my budget. So imagine my joy to today discover the most perfect Topshop specimen, the last of its kind and miraculously in my size, hanging on the sale rail. And it really is exactly what I'd been looking for. The fact that it was reduced from £140 to £70 is the icing on the cake. Happy Easter to me!

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today i'm wearing...

Leather jacket from River Island; top from Topshop; shorts from River Island; clutch from Topshop; shoes from Topshop; watch from Asos; bracelet from Asos; bra from Topshop; lipstick is Mac Viva Glam Gaga; nail varnish is Topshop nails in Zenith.

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today i love... snakeskin

I've always had something of a soft spot for snakeskin. Even before leopard print came back into vogue (and it now seems ubiquitous), snakeskin was always there in the background, like a faithful fashion friend. It's a statement print to be sure, but there's something subtler and less in-your-face about it than shouty leopard. It can add edge and texture to a simple clutch or shoe, or hold its own against strong block colours when emblazoned across a tee or dress. My own battered leather snakeskin-print clutch is one of my all-time favourite accessories (see it here). And at the moment the shops are bursting at the seams with all manner of serpentine stock, much to my delight. Once the preserve of accessories, you can now find this lovely print on trousers, jackets, knits and even bikinis. Just remember to team it with neutrals and a bit of leather or faded denim to ensure it's not vying for attention in your outfit. After all I think it's high time we put snakeskin centre stage.


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Thursday, 21 April 2011

today i'd love to wear...


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today i'd save on... isabel marant vs topshop




I've always maintained that you don't need to spend a million bucks to look it. Making Primark look like Prada is all in the styling. And while most of the reason I'm never decked out in head-to-toe designer is because I can't afford it (hoorah for unemployment), I also don't think it's necessary. Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Katie Price and Cheryl Cole are living proof that money can't buy style. Besides, Britain has the best high street in the world, and our shops are second to none when it comes to producing affordable alternatives to designer fashion without compromising on quality. Take these two jackets, for instance. While the Isabel Marant one is undoubtedly gorgeous and, hand-on-heart, I'd probably buy that one if I could, you're not going to lose any style points by opting for the Topshop number; instead you will gain £440. I really rather like both of these, and can definitely envisage either slung over a simple white tee and denim cut-offs, with a nice bit of neon thrown in for good measure. Just perfect for a lovely picnic on this sunny bank holiday weekend.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Leather jacket from Topshop; top bought in New York; trousers from M&S; bag from Miss Selfridge; sandals from Miss Selfridge; sunglasses from Topshop; bracelet from Asos; lipstick is Mac Viva Glam Gaga.


I've just hit 10,000 pageviews so thank you so much to everyone who's ever had a little click around. I really appreciate it and hope you keep coming back for more! I'd love to hear from you so if you ever have any suggestions please leave a comment on a post or tweet me
@AnnalouElliott. Thank you! X

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

today i'm channelling... kate bosworth


Click here to see Kate Bosworth's look

Dorothy Perkins white American flag tee, £18; Asos faux leather trim aviator sunglasses, £15; Miss Selfridge white denim shorts, £28; River Island pink fabric tassel necklace, £14.99; Topshop Aruba natural suede boots, £50; Topshop bead and bangle pack, £12.50

Only the other day I was waxing lyrical about Kate Bosworth's brilliant look at last year's Coachella festival (see it
here). And what do you know, this year she pulled it out of the bag yet again. Dressed simply in white Current/Elliott denim shorts, a Topshop stars and stripes tee, sand-coloured boots and a mixture of ethnic jewellery, Kate showed us exactly how to do summer festival style. What's great about her look is that it's not overly complicated or try-hard, just very well accessorised. Worn the wrong way the tee and shorts could have looked tacky, but her jumble of jewellery, aviator sunglasses and undone hair keep things the right side of cool. So I've chosen a few high street pieces to help you recreate Miss Bosworth's excellently executed outfit. Just remember, it's all about not trying too hard. It should look like you've just run a comb through your hair, grabbed a handful of trinkets from your jewellery box and headed on out to watch the band. If only...

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today i want... topshop boutique sunset floral cami

Floral is the one springtime trend that refuses to die. Year after year, as soon as the sun comes out, we are bombarded with flowery tea dresses, rose-print tops, faded floral jeans and corsages on everything. But I've always been very wary of florals. Get it wrong and there is no easier way to look passé. The thought of a spriggy mumsy tea dress makes me shudder, as do mother-of-the-bride style floral skirts and blouses. So I've always tried to tread very carefully with this problematic print. The only floral item I wear regularly is an oversized chiffon shirt with a faded, vintagey-print, which in my mind manages to sidestep flowers' unfortunate connotations (see it here). But it can still be tricky to wear it in the right way. Thank goodness, then, for exotic florals. In one fell swoop a bright Hawaiian floral puts paid to any mumsy associations and brings the print back to life. This beautiful Topshop Boutique cami is a case in point: you don't need to worry about how you wear it because it can't fail to look fantastic. (I would team it with a nice bit of leather, though, to give it some edge, or maybe ripped denim.) The only downside is that I'm not the only one to have noticed the brilliance of this lovely silk top, and it's all but sold out online. I'll let you know if it comes back in stock, but in the meantime Topshop's new store checking facility will let you know whether you can find it near you (click the link below and select 'Find this in a UK store'). After all, florals this fabulous don't come along all that often.

*UPDATE 21st April* It's now back in stock online. Yay!

Topshop Boutique sunset floral cami, £40


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Monday, 18 April 2011

today i bought...

It's pretty much officially summer now, in fashion terms at least. That means it's very much out with the old and in with the new where our wardrobes are concerned. It's so long to black tights, fur coats, chunky knits and, regrettably, winter boots. My own winter boots, a rather lovely shearling-lined Zara pair, have definitely reached their sell-by date: there's something undeniably bizarre about sunglasses and sheepskin in the same outfit. But it's not quite warm enough for strappy sandals and toes on display. So that's where these beautiful River Island boots come in. I've been wanting some Isabel Marant-esque booties for quite some time now, as they're the perfect style and heel height for daytime, but have never found the right pair - until now. I love that these look just as good with tucked-in skinny jeans and a fine-knit jumper when the skies are grey as they will teamed with bare legs and denim cut-offs in the height of summer. After all, British summertime weather is nothing if not unpredictable.

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today i'm wearing...

Leather jacket from Topshop; top from Topshop Boutique; bra from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; shoes from Primark; bag from Miss Selfridge; watch from Asos; bracelet from Asos; nail varnish is Barry M nail paint in 724.


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Sunday, 17 April 2011

today i'd love to wear...


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today i'm inspired by... h&m promo shoot

I came across this shoot in a supplement with this month's Vogue, and what really struck me about it was that it took me a while to realise it was an H&M shoot. It's a testament to the styling that it could almost just be an ordinary Vogue shoot featuring high-end designers. In fact all the clothes are from H&M, which certainly took me by surprise. I've never been a huge fan of H&M; often I find the clothes to be of lower quality than, say, the stock of Topshop or Zara, and some of it can look tacky and cheap. But they sure do know how to promote themselves, lining up a multitude of celebrities to model their latest lines and producing fantastic shoots like this one. It certainly made me stop and think that H&M might be worth a second look this season (really want the palm-print kimono in the last shot for starters). Also it's worth heading to their website, hm.com/gb, as it's recently had a huge revamp and is now a hundred times better than before (that's not hard, though, considering how appalling it used to be). Be warned, however: if you buy online and return instore, you'll be handed store credit rather than cash. So probably best to pop in to your local shop instead. I know I will be.


Pictures: Vogue UK May 2011 H&M supplement

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Saturday, 16 April 2011

today i bought...

Oh I do love a bargain. There's nothing quite like that thrill of snapping something up at a super cheap price. So my Saturday was off to a fabulous start with the arrival of these amazing Topshop shoes on my doorstep. I'd been eyeing them for some time and when I saw they'd been reduced from £85 to £45 in the mid-season sale, I was very tempted to go for it. But by the time I got around to buying them, the price had been further slashed to a mere £30, much to my delight. They winged their way towards me and I was very happy to discover that they're even more beautiful in real life. Love the soft leather, love the peep toe, love love the elastic panel. Plus they're the perfect replacement for my beloved Primark mesh heels, which sadly met their demise a few weeks ago (the heel snapped off at work... nightmare). Nothing like a shiny new pair to help numb the pain though, eh?

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today i love... coachella

As someone who doesn't like festivals or really hot places, I'm as surprised as anyone to find myself really rather fancying heading to Coachella this weekend. But to be fair, it's not the music or the sunshine I love: it's the fashion. The sunny Palm Springs event is well known for being the stomping ground of many a stupendously stylish celebrity. After all, there's something magical about festival fashion, especially when there's no mud or rain involved. It's the perfect excuse for the stars to show off their endless limbs in cut-off shorts, sling on a pair of Ray-Bans and just generally wander around looking fabulous. Kate Bosworth, who's ever a permanent fixture on my list of style icons, nails this brand of insouciant cool; see one of her flawless looks from last year's Coachella here (wearing Topshop, FYI). But until the pictures of this year's attendees come out, I've been indulging myself by pondering what I would wear if I had the time, money and effort to go. So I've picked out the best that the high street has to offer in terms of Coachella-inspired fashion. I'm thinking denim shorts paired with printed tops; neon underwear beneath casual white tees; feather earrings with messily tied-back hair; silver flats with loose silk dresses; messenger bags teamed with cat-eye sunglasses; a leather gilet slung on when the sun begins to set. Because while we may not have the soaring temperatures, the blaring music or the stunning scenery, there's nothing to stop us dressing as though we do.


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Friday, 15 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Jumper from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; shoes from Primark; watch from Asos; bracelet from Asos; nail varnish is Topshop nails in Zenith.

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Thursday, 14 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

Denim jacket from H&M; white tee from Topshop; top (underneath) from Topshop Boutique; trousers from Topshop; shoes from Primark; watch from Asos; lipstick is Mac Viva Glam Gaga.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

today i'm wearing...

(Larking around on the set of Holby City!)

Sleeveless trench from Primark; leather jacket from Topshop; silk shirt from Topshop;
trousers from M&S; shoes from Primark; bag from Topshop; bracelet from Asos.

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