Tuesday, 30 July 2013

today i'm inspired by... mija








There's nothing I love more than discovering a new favourite blog. I'm pretty picky so there are only a handful that I like, but when I fall for one, I fall hard. My latest obsession is the work of a very beautiful German girl named Mija, whose effortless sense of style is nothing short of inspirational. Like all the stylish girls I follow, her signature look is pretty laid-back and simple, with a focus on really great basics and really knockout accessories. Mija peps up her wardrobe of ripped skinny jeans, soft washed out tees and sumptuous oversized knits by slinging a Céline Trio over her shoulder and stepping into some Marant or Alexander Wang boots. I adore her perfectly bleached hair, her penchant for revo sunglasses, her love of a perspex accessory and just generally her laissez-faire attitude to fashion. In short, I kind of want to be her. And that's pretty inspirational, no? Check out her blog here.


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Monday, 29 July 2013

today i want... zara pink coat



Let's get one thing straight: I do not like pink. I would go so far as to say it's my least favourite colour to wear. It's too girly, cutesy, adorable. Those are not adjectives I want associated with the way I look. That said, sometimes it's exactly those connotations which can make wearing pink interesting; you have to wear it with some real attitude, and really good styling, if you're going to manage to subvert them. Carven's pink cocoon coat for A/W is a perfect example of how baby pink can suddenly, unexpectedly, look fashion-forward: it's oversized and mannish, and worn with defiant hands in pockets. Zara's budget version isn't quite as nonchalantly cool, but it's still super pink and super girly, therefore just as inviting for those who are up for a fashion challenge this autumn. I like how it's styled on the site, with white jeans and fierce patent black ankle boots. It would look equally good with black leather trousers, a grey marl tee and Ray-Bans. Or perhaps shoulder-robed over a little black dress and strappy heels. In short, play down its femininity and you may just have found the perfect, fashion-forward autumn coat, all for under £80.


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Sunday, 28 July 2013

today i love... pose



I actually joined Pose a couple of months ago now, but I thought I'd just flag it up in case you're not aware of this lovely little fashion app. It's basically a more modern version of Lookbook.nu (remember that?), designed to give you a quick and easy stream of outfits you like for a fashion inspiration fix on your phone (but can be used on desktop browsers too). When you sign up you'll be given a quiz asking what kind of styles you like and it'll suggest a few people for you to follow. Then you can search for your favourite bloggers or browse by item, style, location or even weather to help you decide what to wear that day. If you're a fashion junkie like me then I highly recommend it. And once you've signed up, don't forget to follow me! (You can always click on the black "P" in my blog header to find my Pose profile.) If you're on Pose already, let me know your username so I can check out your looks too!


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Friday, 26 July 2013

today i love... sunscreen


We may be over the peak of our heatwave now (I know I shouldn't say it, but... phew!), but that doesn't mean that sun protection is any less important. In fact, I think that wherever you live and however old you are, you should at least be wearing a facial sunscreen every day. Up until recently I'd only been wearing SPF15 in winter and 30 in summer, but having lately become slightly obsessed with beating the first signs of ageing, I'm now graduating to SPF50 all day every day (I've heard this one is good). This may make me sound old, but I can't tell you how much it annoys me to hear/read about young girls forsaking sunscreen altogether so that they can get a deeper tan. Or, even worse, going on sunbeds. I mean, how stupid can you be? Ageing is one thing, but skin cancer's quite another matter. Anyway, enough of the lecture. I'm sure I'm preaching to the converted with you lovely readers. What I would like to do is share 5 of my favourite sunscreens. I've tried out quite a few lately and the above have all got my vote for one reason or another. To be honest, they all do what they say on the tin, so what I'm really marking them on is scent, ease of application and packaging. Have fun in the sun, and stay safe, kids.

It's worth pointing out first of all that this has a 3* UVA rating out of a maximum 5, so keep this one for touch-ups on the beach only. That said, it is great for exactly that purpose: it sprays straight onto wet skin, meaning minimal faff with the towel = minimal sand grains everywhere. It gives limbs a sensual sheen and smells exactly as you'd expect: the standard sunscreen scent, only somehow more grown-up and classier.

2. APIVITA sunscreen face & body milk SPF30 / £18.80 at Marks & Spencer
I've raved about my newfound love of this brand before, and this extends to their sunscreen, which is suitable for both face and body. (Has to be said I'm not sure on the UVA star rating, so might be worth double-checking this before you buy). The texture is quite creamy, so it does need some rubbing in, but at least this means you can see where you've put it; I often find it a little too easy to forget which bits you've already done with an invisible spray. Smells lovely, somehow like a good old-fashioned sunscreen should smell. Beware of getting it too close to white clothes, though: its yellowish colour will stain (although it comes out with good old Vanish).

This has some very bad reviews on Boots' website, which surprises me, because I used it throughout my three-week trip to Australia and had no problems. I bought it mainly because I was travelling alone and worried that I might not feel comfortable asking people I didn't know that well to rub cream into my back. The aerosol nozzle means you can spray at any angle = back done with minimal effort. The can runs out fairly quickly, but it's nice and cheap, so that's not too much of a problem. It also comes with a 5 star UVA rating and leaves a lovely oily sheen on skin.

This sunscreen is infused with shimmering pearl particles, the idea being that they'll catch the light and make you look slightly less pale. I've used this several times and I'm still undecided on how I feel about the shimmer effect. Initially, inside, your limbs look subtly pearly and I loved it. But later in the day I caught sight of my legs in the harsh sunlight and they just looked glittery: not ideal. So not for all over the body, really: maybe just shins and arms. But this sunscreen's saving grace is its scent: truly divine. Smells like a 5 star holiday in a bottle (that's the monoi oil, I believe). Worth using for the scent alone. 4 star UVA rated.

This one wins out mainly for the appearance (which is nicer in real life than in the photo). Love the retro packaging; love the two-tone ribbons of moisturising cream. Also smells utterly fantastic - of coconut and holidays and just pure escapism, and is a 4 star UVA rating. You might again risk staining clothes as it's not transparent, but I think it's worth the risk, especially at this pretty reasonable price.


And one to avoid... La Roche-Posay Anthelios for Face. So disappointed with this, as it's a lovely fluid texture, but it smells absolutely disgusting. Seriously. I had to wash it off. Steer clear at all costs.


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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

today i'm wearing...






Zara jacket /
Topshop Boutique tee /
H&M shorts /
Kurt Geiger bag /

Not much to say about this outfit really, so instead... Congratulations William and Kate! An exciting day to be British!




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Monday, 22 July 2013

today i love... whistles a/w'13











Pictures / Whistles.co.uk

It feels somewhat ridiculous to be writing about autumn-appropriate clothes on the hottest day of the year. Right now the thought of wearing a woollen knit and leather trousers kind of makes me want to throw up, but on any other day this thought would fill me with joy, so I'm going to power through. It's one of the great ironies of fashion in Britain that while we shiver away in February and March the shops throw bikinis and sunglasses at us, and by the time we finally get some sunshine, the summer stock has been cleared away and it's back to coats and scarves and heavy-duty boots. Such a trivial thing as the weather couldn't get in the way of my love for these clothes, though. As you will no doubt know, my brand-crush on Whistles reaches ever more stratospheric heights by the day. If you're not aware, it's far and away one of the best brands on the British high street (available to international customers, too, thanks to ASOS). The price point is a little high for me, so I tend to buy a lot in the sales, or focus mainly on the cheaper accessories than the clothes. This autumn/winter may present a challenge to my bank balance therefore, as the clothes are simply divine. Back in February Whistles became one of a handful of British high street brands to show at London Fashion Week, presenting its absolutely sensational autumn/winter collection to the press. The lookbook pretty much sums up how I'd like to dress. At all times. Always. (Well, OK, maybe not in this heat. But at all other times). The above campaign shots should tell you all you need to know: the Céline-worthy minimalism; the checked trousers and mannish coats; the ponyhair clutches; the sumptuous knitwear (that cream angora beauty = hell yes)... I could go on. But I'll let the collection speak for itself. Click here to shop it all.


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Sunday, 21 July 2013

today i'm wearing...






H&M top /
ASOS shorts /

I've been searching for this Céline-esque top ever since I first saw it floating around the internet several weeks ago. On Friday I finally managed to track it down and I'm totally obsessed with it.




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Saturday, 20 July 2013

today i bought... whistles burgundy fedora


Whistles burgundy fedora /

As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm not a hat person. I never have been. The idea of attending something like Ascot or a posh wedding where hats are a pre-requisite fills me with dread. I just don't think I can pull them off. But last winter I discovered the beanie and it was something of a revelation. From there, I've slowly graduated to borrowing my sister's straw trilby to keep the sun off my face (fight those ageing rays, kids), and the other day it seemed my transition from hat-hater to hat-wearer was complete: I bought this rather beautiful burgundy felt fedora in the Whistles sale. I have to admit I'm not 100% sure if I'll keep it. I just don't know if I can pull it off. Besides, it opens up a whole new accessory world for me that's totally unknown. What do you wear hats with? Do you wear them indoors? Can you wear a hat as well as sunglasses? As well as earrings? Oh, the questions. For now, I'm just going to keep trying it on in the mirror until I make up my mind. But it is good to get out of your fashion comfort zone every now and then, so I'm hoping my nerve holds out on this one. So, where do you stand on hats?


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Friday, 19 July 2013

today i'm wearing...






Topshop tee /
Topshop Boutique shorts /
Tod's bag /
Primark hat (borrowed from my sister) /

I am usually not a hat person. In fact, I don't think I've ever worn a hat like this before. But when I stole this from my sister the other day to keep the sun off my face, I realised I actually quite liked it. I may even have gone on to buy one of my own... Stay tuned.




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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

today i bought... tod's signature bag


Tod's signature bag /

Say hello to the newest addition to my (admittedly currently small) collection of forever bags. When it comes to clothes, I wholeheartedly endorse the great British high street: I think we have some fantastic brands providing us with excellent quality clothes at very reasonable prices. But with accessories, you just can't beat a true designer classic, and this Tod's beauty is a case in point. The bucket shape, the pebbled leather, the chain handles... It's safe to say bags don't get much more perfect than this.


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today i want... july wish list


It's a tricky time of the year in terms of shopping, because just as the weather finally begins to heat up (hallefreakinglujah), all the summer clothes are fast disappearing from the sales and the shops are full of pre-fall goodies. Us fashionably inclined folk find ourselves torn between investing in that sumptuous woollen coat and mohair knit or sticking to buying clothes we can actually wear. I remember the agony I endured two years ago when I purchased the most sensational sheepskin aviator coat in August only to have to wait until October to wear it. (Incidentally, if you are looking for the perfect coat, wait for M&S' Best of British camel textured beauty for £299: it is beauteous). So this month's wish list is something of a mishmash: a dress which can be worn now but with tights later, simple tops for layering, a couple of standout skirts and all manner of beautiful (and transseasonal) accessories. The cream of the crop has to be the Whistles double-chain clutch; you can't see it from this picture but it is actually two identically sized clutches, one black and one oxblood, attached with poppers, so that you can switch and change them up to have either a black bag, an oxblood bag, or half and half. Amazing! The chain is detachable, too. If there's anything which sums up this fashionably indecisive time of the year, it's surely this most versatile of bags. And let me tell you, it will be a summertime miracle of restraint if I manage not to buy it.


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Sunday, 14 July 2013

today i'm wearing...





River Island blazer /
Ann-Sofie Back for Topshop top /
Zara shoes /
ASOS bracelet /

I've had these jeans for almost exactly six years, I realised recently, and I must have worn them hundreds and hundreds of times. Despite the fact that the knee has almost entirely given out now, I love the fact that I've well and truly got my money's worth from them. It kind of makes up for all the things I've bought and worn only once...




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