Saturday, 31 December 2011

today i love... 2012


Just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I'm not feeling so great today so I'll be seeing in 2012 by snuggling up with a scented candle, lots of tea and my favourite-ever book, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Influence. Here are a couple of my resolutions for 2012...

  • Keep up my resolution from 2011, which was to wear heels whenever possible;
  • Be a little more like Clémence Poésy;
  • Stop buying shoes that don't fit just because they're beautiful;
  • Try out some new make-up looks;
  • Keep making the blog bigger and better.

Thank you so much for reading my blog in 2011 and I hope you have a fantastic 2012!

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this year i bought...

Thought I'd share a few of my favourite purchases of the year...


When I saw these beautiful Ambush boots on the Topshop website six months ago I had no idea they'd turn out to be perhaps the brand's most lusted-after item ever. I just knew they were the perfect budget alternative to Acne's Pistol boot (the original is still on my long-term wish list). They have proved a very worthy investment and I even bought a second pair just in case I ever wear them out.


This beautiful leather gilet from H&M took me four weeks to track down. I found it on the website but it was unavailable to purchase online; I then scoured my local stores for it before calling up customer services three times and finally finding it in the Regent Street store. But it was worth all the effort because I'm completely in love with it.


I love a chunky knit and I love navy, so it was perhaps inevitable that I'd fall for this beautiful fisherman knit from Topshop Boutique (still available here). It's cosy and lovely but still a little bit masculine, and goes with absolutely everything.


I have a lot of problems with shoes because my feet always seem to be in between sizes, so I was very happy to learn that Next still stocks half-sizes. Admittedly I wouldn't ordinarily shop in Next, but I'm very glad I chanced upon these beautiful shoes, for a mere £22, because they quickly became one of my most-loved pairs: they fit perfectly and, oh, I do love a bit of snakeskin.


I'm generally a big fan of high street copies of designer classics (see the Ambush boots above), but in some cases it just has to be the real McCoy. After hopelessly lusting after a pair of classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers for months on end, I finally went for it and haven't had a single regret. Provided I don't sit on them, I'm sure they'll prove faithful friends for many years to come.


After frequently wearing a pair of cutout faux leather shorts in 2010, in 2011 I went in search of a bona fide leather pair. In May I stumbled across a picture of the perfect zipped Topshop pair and thereafter frantically checked the website every morning waiting for them to arrive. When they did they were even more perfect than I could have imagined, and despite the fact that they are teeny-tiny and require a fair amount of courage to wear, I love them to bits.


Ahead of the launch of H&M's Fashion Against Aids collection, I posted a selection of my favourites and declared myself desperate to get my hands on the amazing silver clutch. So on a trip into London I was delighted to find a whole stack of them just waiting for me. The roomy size, the £9.99 price tag, the lovely shiny silveriness and the neon green zip: it's accessory perfection.


Reduced from £85 to £30, these beautiful black Topshop heels are one of my best bargains of the year. While other shoes have frequently failed me, this lovely leather pair has never let me down. I adore the extended platform (which makes them super comfortable), the elastic panel and the elegant shape. I wear them so much I'm a little worried they may not make it to 2013, but I just can't stop.


One of my more extravagant purchases of 2011 was this ASOS perspex clutch for £65. Despite the price tag I fell immediately and inexorably in love with it and I still can't get over how beautiful it is. It never fails to amaze people whenever I use it ("Is your clutch see-through?!") and I'm confident it will remain a chic and elegant accessory throughout 2012 and beyond.

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Friday, 30 December 2011

this year i'm wearing...


As 2012 tiptoes nearer, I thought I'd take a look back at some of my outfits from 2011...

January



Back in January I was getting a lot of use out of my newly-purchased peach leather skirt, often teaming it with my leopard heels (a Christmas present from 2010) as well as a slick of lipstick (usually Rouge Dior in Trafalgar Pink or Mac Viva Glam Gaga). For my birthday party I bought a beautiful navy one-sleeved dress from Topshop and carried my beloved perspex clutch (a birthday present from me to me). I had also recently snapped up my Primark mesh heels for a mere £3 and I certainly got my money's worth out of them.


February



February saw a lot of use of another birthday present: my white leather Topshop clutch, while my black Primark courts (which I found for £4) were definitely the shoes of the month. I also bought my first watch in about ten years, a gold mannish style from ASOS, and it barely left my wrist throughout February, even earning itself a place in Grazia's short-lived "This week you bought" feature.


March



March saw me alternating between turquoise and lilac nails, as well as buying a turquoise laptop case from ASOS (which I used as a clutch). My skinny silver belt from H&M saw a lot of use, but sadly my favoured Primark mesh heels met their end when the heel snapped under my desk. RIP.


April



Borrowed a toffee-coloured jumper from my sister and teamed it with peach lips on the day that I shared a lift with one of my crushes of the year, actor James Anderson (aka Dr Valentine), at Holby City. Also at that time I debuted my DIY leather-sleeved trench (a sleeveless Primark trench over leather jacket) in homage to Burberry Prorsum. At the end of April a bizarre heatwave saw me busting out the shorts and sunglasses and relying on my trusted array of little leather jackets. I found the black Topshop fringed one in the sale and fell immediately in love with it. Also purchased in the Topshop sale were my black peep-toe heels, which have barely left my feet since.


May



In May my shoes of choice were the recently-purchased River Island black ankle boots, which proved a faithful friend whatever the weather. I developed a crush on citrus nails thanks to Chanel's Mimosa yellow shade, and also bought a bright orange Topshop lipstick. After spying my perfect pair of Topshop zipped leather shorts on Columbine Smille's blog, I was delighted when they finally arrived online and ordered them straightaway. I also bought my Next snakeskin heels for a mere £22; they quickly became one of my most-used pairs of shoes.


June



June's most significant purchase was the Topshop Ambush boots, which continue to sell six months later. I certainly loved them from the first moment I saw them and wore them at every opportunity. My Isabel Marant-esque mesh top from Zara made a lot of appearances in June (at least until it shrank in the wash), as did my treasured gold neck collar from ASOS. I also got my hands on a DSLR, which at last resulted in much improved outfit photos.


July



With the heat rising, in July I took the opportunity to wear my favourite leather shorts whenever possible, while also buying a similar - but more daytime appropriate - pair from ASOS. Thanks to Christopher Kane I had a brief flirtation with neon green and wore a lovely lime draped ASOS dress to the Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition. I also picked up my leopard-panelled black Zara tote in the sale, which went on to become one of my favourite bags for daytime.


August




I discovered the benefits of taking photos outside in August, and even braved bare legs to work when the sun (briefly) came out. I lusted after a classic pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers but settled for a lookalike ASOS version, only to later succumb to the real deal. Despite the temperature, I stubbornly wore my fluffy Topshop Boutique cream jumper on multiple occasions. I also got a lot of use out of my silver clutch with neon zip from the H&M Fashion Against Aids collection, and wore a beautiful thigh-split snake-print Zara dress to my friend's wedding.


September




Bought a lot of knitwear in September, despite the fact that it was unseasonably warm: silver coated from H&M, fluorescent pink from Zara and chunky navy fisherman-style from Topshop Boutique. Meanwhile, my Ray-Bans barely left my face and I spent four weeks tracking down the sensational H&M leather gilet which was to become one of my best buys of the year. I uploaded my favourite look of the month (bottom right) to Topshop's Tumblr and was happy to see it grace their page.


October



A crazy heatwave at the end of September saw me wearing hotpants to a barbecue on 1st October, and meant that coats were still off the agenda for most of the month. My Primark sleeveless trench, however, saw quite a few outings, and I made the most of still being able to wear shoes without socks. Top buy of the month was probably my Kurt Geiger black perspex clutch, which has since proved a failsafe accessory.


November




November saw many a use of the beautiful cream/white oversized knit I bought from Elin Kling's new brand Nowhere, as well as a return to lipstick-wearing (I never seem to want to wear lipstick in the summer). The weather was still very mild, but the coats gradually came out and I bought a cosy oxblood knitted scarf from Topshop to fend off the chill in the mornings. My trip to Manchester in late November saw me buy a lovely snake-print shirt from Zara, as well as the silver and gold H&M bracelets which have adorned my wrists most days since.


December




In December I gave up on my old black coat and bought a new slim mannish style from ASOS, which I've worn rather a lot since. Inspired by Elin Kling, I took to wearing an old navy velvet belt with my jeans and bought my first pencil skirt, leather with a slit, from H&M. And as we head into 2012 my continuing obsessions with animal prints, knitwear and leather are showing no signs of waning...

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Thursday, 29 December 2011

today i love... facebook

You can now 'like' my blog on Facebook to be the first to know about new posts, my fashion inspirations, Instagram photos and more. Just click on the picture below or on the 'Facebook' link in the blog header at the top of the page.



Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin' too...

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today i'm wearing...




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


Wore quite a few of my Topshop sale finds today (jumper, bag and belt) as I headed out for yet more sales shopping. I don't often wear all black, but I think this red snakeskin belt adds just enough colour.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

today i'm inspired by... zara.com

Ordinarily it really annoys me when online stores display their clothes only on a model within an outfit and not on their own. It seems to me that only showing an item alongside other items means you can't get a feel for it individually: you only see it in that one context (plus it makes cropping them into nice clear images on my blog much trickier). However, I have to say that I do rather approve of the way Zara styles the clothes in their online store. It's for the same reason that I always used to love checking out how the shop assistants dressed the mannequins in my local Topshop: sometimes the way an outfit is assembled can make you see an item of clothing in a whole different light. Anyway, while browsing Zara.com today I discovered that there were in fact quite a few outfits I wouldn't mind wearing (funnily enough I never seem to feel that way about ASOS' pictures: they just annoy me). So I thought I'd share my favourites with you as a little inspiration at this tricky between seasons time of year. The best part is that many of the clothes below are in the sale, so you can splash out guilt-free (all available at Zara.com). Of course if I were designing an online store, I'd show both the item on its own and in an outfit: the best of both worlds.





Pictures: Zara.com

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today i bought...




A belated Christmas present from me to me... I had to order another size of these sensational Kurt Geiger Amp boots so they didn't arrive in time for Santa to deliver them, but nevertheless they are certainly alleviating the post-Yuletide blues. Black, pointed, patent and with an elegant spike heel... aren't they just perfect?

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

today i'd love to wear...


Zara satin studio blazer, £69.99 (reduced from £99.99); Zara denim shirt, £22.99 (reduced from £29.99); River Island seamed PU trousers, £25 at ASOS (reduced from £35); Topshop Portabello tan strap metal detail ankle boots, £60 (reduced from £120); KG Kurt Geiger Eclair large pouch, £15 (reduced from £30)

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