Monday, 31 December 2012

this year i bought...

In total this year I've bought (deep breath): 9 bags, 11 pairs of shoes, 2 bikinis, 1 ring, 7 tops, 4 jackets, 6 knits, 1 purse, 7 pairs of trousers, 1 skirt, 2 necklaces, 1 pair of shorts, 1 bracelet and 1 pair of sunglasses. Gulp. Admittedly, however, not all of these have proven worthy investments: the Zara floral trousers which I went off after about three wears, for example, or the ASOS Dicker-esque suede boots which really didn't measure up to their namesake. Nevertheless there have been many more good buys than bad in 2012, and I've definitely made some additions to my wardrobe that won't be leaving any time soon. Here are my absolute favourites, the ones which I'm confident will stand the test of time.


Acne Pistol boots /

(Available here) A true classic, I'd been longing for these for no less than 6 years when I finally succumbed (thanks to Kurt Geiger's 25% off promotion) back in March. I've never regretted going for it and they will remain my number 1 go-to boots throughout 2013 and beyond.


Topshop Unique bomber jacket /

I wanted this jacket so much after seeing it on Sabrina Meijer that I checked the Topshop holding page for it up to five times a day for nearly four weeks, hoping desperately that it would be restocked. I had pretty much resigned myself to never getting my hands on it when, lo and behold, it appeared before my eyes and I clicked it home in a millisecond. I love it to bits.


Dogeared Karma necklace /

This little gold-dipped beauty hasn't left my neck since I bought it in April. This year I haven't bought much jewellery at all; whereas I used to pile on a different set of necklaces each week, now I love having a few understated pieces to wear everyday.


JW Anderson x Topshop bat jumper /

As soon as I saw the first images from JW Anderson's hotly anticipated Topshop collection I knew I had to make this bat jumper mine. It's beautiful, fits like a glove, feels very high quality and goes with anything and everything. I'm really looking forward to the next drop of JWAxTS in February.


Burberry Sefton heels /

Walking into the Burberry outlet at Bicester Village was pretty much like stepping into my dream home. I wanted literally everything, so it was truly an exercise in self-restraint that I came home with only these beauties. Not only are they beautiful but they are also very comfortable, adding up to pretty much the holy grail of footwear in my eyes.


Cambridge Satchel Company navy satchel /

I'd had my eye on a Cambridge satchel for quite some time, so when this mini beauty in my favourite colour of all time popped up in the ASOS sale, resistance was futile. It's beautifully understated and really is the perfect daytime bag.


Jordan Askill for Topshop heart ring /

As with my Dogeared necklace, this understated ring has become an everyday staple for me. I absolutely love the soft rose gold plating, the simple heart shape and the engraving on the inside.


Whistles Marlon quilted leather jacket /

The perfect leather jacket is not easy to find. Over the years I've collected leather jackets in all colours of the rainbow, cropped, fringed, metallic, studded and sleeveless, but I had never quite found the perfect everyday leather until this baby came along. Even at 25% off it wasn't cheap, but I'm so pleased I held my nerve and went for it because it really is a keeper.


Mango ankle cuff heels /

These Mango beauties were undoubtedly my shoe of the summer, earning their cost per wear tenfold and proving the perfect accessory for absolutely any outfit. I'm counting down the days until it's warm enough to wear them once more.


KG Kurt Geiger leopard mini bag /

Finally, a new addition to my wardrobe which I'm sure will become a future classic. I'd lusted after this little lovely for months before making it mine, and I can't think of any outfit it wouldn't look great with. Here's to many more purchases like it in 2013. Happy new year!


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Sunday, 30 December 2012

this year i'm wearing...

As 2012 draws to a close, I thought I'd take a look back at what I've been wearing this year...

January /



Back in January I relied heavily on my trusty navy fisherman jumper to get me through the winter, and accessorised everything with a belt. The black Topshop satchel I picked up in the post-Christmas sales featured in pretty much all my outfits, and my yellow snakeskin clutch (another sales find) added a little colour here and there.


February /



In February I picked up Mary Katrantzou's tee for Topshop after managing to resist the amazing lampshade dresses (although I haven't worn it since). I snapped up my Marant-inspired tie-dye jeans from Zara and proceeded to wear them solidly for the next few months. My trusty leather gilet featured heavily, as did my Kurt Geiger patent spike heels.


March /



My best buy of the year was made in March, namely my beautiful Acne Pistol boots, which have barely left my feet since. I also invested in probably my other most-worn shoes of the year, the Mango ankle cuff heels, and luckily the weather warmed up enough towards the end of the month for me to wear them.


April /



Made the most of the weather remaining reasonably chilly in April by getting a lot of use out of the black fur coat I found in the Zara sale, and also snapped up a lovely white blazer I'd had my eye on for some time. Also managed to resist most of the Marni for H&M collection, but did come away with my amazing ski goggle-esque sunglasses.


May /



A heatwave in May meant the leather shorts came out early, as did the white jeans. Also making a few appearances were a new pair of pink snakeskin jeans and an old khaki shirt which reminded me of a certain lightweight Isabel Marant jacket. My purplish Kurt Geiger perspex clutch earned its place as my favourite accessory of the month with multiple outings.


June /



In June my Topshop nude strappy heels became a firm footwear favourite, while the unseasonably cool weather at least allowed me to wear the new knitwear I invested in early. I also bought some mannish patent loafers which I wore with ripped jeans.


July /



A fringed leather skirt snapped up in the sale and an oversized metallic navy American Apparel clutch were two notable additions to my wardrobe in July, seeing me through the summer months alongside my trusty Ray-Bans. I also invested in the Zara silver-edged black tote which would soon become a trusty staple in my bag collection, and my troupe of printed jeans grew to include a velvet-embossed blue leopard pair.


August /



August saw my first (but by no means last) trip to Bicester Village, which perhaps inevitably resulted in my first pair of Burberry shoes: tan, buckled and beautiful. Also joining my shoe collection were the black version of my trusty nude Topshop heels and a flat Dalmatian-printed pair of sandals, which would become my go-to on hot days.


September /



JW Anderson's Topshop collection, which landed in September, saw two highly prized additions to my wardrobe: the classic white shirt, and winner of my favourite knit of the year (beating off stiff competition), the bat jumper. I wore these with white jeans and open-toed sandals in the last days of summer, and later my favourite cross-strap black Topshop heels were dusted off when the weather cooled and teamed with my new dip-dyed hair.


October /



In October I bought two particularly beautiful jackets which remain the pride and joy of my outerwear collection: the Topshop Unique army bomber and the Whistles leather beauty. I wore them with my super-soft black cherry knit and accessorised with my favourite pairs of sunglasses on brighter days. Late in the month I also snapped up my beautiful little navy Cambridge Satchel Company satchel.


November /



My trusty red lipstick made a few appearances in November, teamed with my two favourite jackets and a large collection of knitwear, including a super cosy cashmere-mix grey hoody. I added to my bag collection with the Topshop black croc tote I'd had my eye on for some months. I also bought the beautiful rose gold Jordan Askill heart ring which now resides permanently on my finger.


December /



Lots of leather in December: my favourite buy of the month has been my Topshop Boutique navy pinafore, which has proven to be perfect for both day and evening, with or without a tee or jumper underneath. I also succumbed to some sumptuous velvet slippers for off-duty days. I still haven't stopped wearing my Unique bomber jacket to death, but I'm more fickle when it comes to bags; the Kurt Geiger mini leopard beauty I got for Christmas has moved the top of my favourite bags list and will almost certainly stay on my shoulder throughout January, if not the whole of 2013. The same goes for my beyond beautiful Whistles courts.

So, I hope you've enjoyed getting an insight into my daily wardrobe in 2012, and that you'll come back for more in 2013!


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Friday, 28 December 2012

today i bought...







KG Kurt Geiger Lollidrop bag /
Laura Mercier brush set /
Bumble & Bumble stylist editions set /
Marc by Marc Jacobs laptop case /
Next vase /

Some of my Christmas presents and sale purchases so far. I'd wanted a Diptyque candle for ages and I'm not disappointed with this fig beauty; I'm burning it at the moment and it smells heavenly. The Laura Mercier brush set is possibly my biggest bargain of the year - 9 amazing brushes for a mere £33.50 - and the Bumble & Bumble set was also amazing value at £15 (both from Space NK). I love a little luxury make-up, too, and this Chanel lipstick and Benefit set definitely qualify for that. As for the MBMJ laptop case, the KG leopard bag and the Whistles shoes, they were all reduced and all had been on my wish list for quite some time. It's safe to say I had a very merry Christmas. What did you get?


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Thursday, 27 December 2012

today i love... sales shopping



Heading out sales shopping today? The overstuffed rails of this time of year can be a treacherous place, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and more likely than at any other time of year to leave with something we don't really like that much, or something that we do like, but which will forever be confined to last season alone and will quickly be retired to the back of the wardrobe, never to be seen again. So I've put together a little guide of what I think you should be looking out for in the sales, along with a few of my top picks (above), four from each of the categories below. Happy shopping!

Classics /
Two of my sale purchases so far have been pretty boring: basic blue jeans and a hoody for running in. These aren't going to light up my wardrobe, granted, but the sales is the perfect time to snap up those basics you can't do without, since you know they'll never go out of style. Basic doesn't have to mean boring, though: other wardrobe classics might include a slim white shirt, the perfectly cut blazer, some beautiful black courts or a simple tote bag. To ensure wardrobe longevity, keep detailing to the absolute minimum, look for simple cuts and avoid bright colours or prints.

Coats /
I always find the January sales the perfect time to invest in a new coat. The British winter isn't even at its coldest yet, so you'll get plenty of use out of it over the next couple of months. Try to avoid styles that look very A/W'12; I always try to think whether I would have worn it last year. So: something cowboy, Marant-style? Probably not. A classic military cut, or a faux fur? Yes indeed.

Leather /
It will come as no surprise to you that I'm once again preaching the benefits of all things leather, but this fabric has proven over recent years to be a truly trans-seasonal trend. That perfect elusive pair of leather trousers is definitely worth searching out in the sales; likewise a classic biker jacket. Leather skirts and shorts will also stand the test of time, but perhaps avoid tees or dresses, as these may prove a little less reliable in terms of trends. Plus, it goes without saying that a leather bag or ankle boots will always be a timeless investment.

Beauty /
I don't claim to be an expert on beauty, but what I do know is that now is the perfect time of year to stock up on classics. If rails stuffed full of haphazard clothes scare you, then I suggest making your way calmly to the beauty counter instead. My sister and I very nearly spent every penny we owned in Space NK yesterday, due to the ridiculously good value of the half-priced gift sets. Gift sets are in particular worth seeking out, since these are often limited edition so will be reduced, even if what's in them are classics and won't ever be. Perfume sets can often be cheaper than buying the perfume itself, and keep an eye out too for luxurious candles, haircare sets and cleansers. If you don't have a Space NK near you, head to John Lewis or House of Fraser, or even the gift section at Boots.

And what to avoid? I always think it's dangerous to buy anything floral at this time of year. Personally I don't like florals much anyway, but even if you do, they take a new iteration each spring and it can be hard to predict whether what you buy now will stand the test of time. Another trend to avoid, regrettably, is Western, which dominated A/W'12 courtesy of Isabel Marant. While I still love it now, the fact that I didn't love it before makes me suspect it will quickly fall out of favour, so step away from the embroidered cowboy shirts and tassel boots (of course the classic Dicker boots are another matter). Finally, the golden rule of sales shopping: no matter how cheap something is, don't buy anything unless you love it. If you stick to that mantra you can't go too far wrong.


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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

today i'm wearing...


Topshop playsuit /
KG Kurt Geiger bag /
ASOS bracelet /
H&M bracelet /

Was going to show you all my Christmas presents today but unfortunately I've had to pack most of them away, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now here are two of them: a beautiful little leopard bag I'd been lusting after for months, and an ultimate beauty classic: red lipstick by Chanel.


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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

today i'm wearing...







Topshop shirt /
Dogeared necklace / similar here
ASOS bracelet /

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you've had a fantastic day. These lovely Whistles shoes, which I snapped up in the sales yesterday (£75 down from £125) were a last minute Christmas present from me to me. I'll show you what else I found under my tree tomorrow...


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Monday, 24 December 2012

today i love... christmas


Merry Christmas everyone!

Thank you so much for reading the blog this year. It's been so fantastic sharing my love of fashion with you and I hope you've enjoyed it too. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Anna Lou X


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Sunday, 23 December 2012

today i'm wearing...




Zara coat /
Topshop Boutique jumper /
Zara skirt /
Zara shoes /
Topshop bag /
ASOS bracelet /
H&M bracelet /

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!


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