Monday, May 8, 2017

Realize to Accessorize


This summer, it’s all about what you are accessorizing your clothes with rather than the clothes themselves. We’ve reached a point where it’s not so much the print or the cut of what we are wearing that are to stand out to those interested in what we are wearing, but the bags, jewellery, hairstyles and shoes that we are pairing with it. These things can make or break an outfit, and you need to ensure that you’re getting it right on point to make an impact during the warmer months.

Bags

Realistically speaking, you want to go for something that’s both practical and fashionable; something that will see you through a couple of summers rather than being wasted on just one. For this to happen, you will need to invest in something like Italian leather handbags - something that offers versatility as well as staying permanently in style. It generally goes that the simpler the handbag, the more likely it is to work with any and every outfit that you can think of. It’s a bag like this that you need to have on your side when the warmer weather hits and your outfits can vary dramatically from day to day.


Shoes

When summer comes, we’re looking for comfort and style mixed up in one. Sandals are good for this, as are low-level trainers - if you are looking further than these two options, then you’re going to be in a sweaty mess. Make sure that you go for breathable fabric, such as cotton, for the trainers, or a good hard-wearing material such as leather for the sandals. The last thing you want is for your shoes to fall apart before the season has even ended!

Hair

There are so many hairstyles which are just suited to the summer. Braiding and plaiting your hair hasn’t gone off trend since it first began, and won’t for a good long while yet. Studying some tutorials on YouTube and other video platform sites may help you to learn just what you need to do to put together an effortless look where your hair is concerned. Whether it goes in an updo or remains hanging around your head, most of the attention from your outfit can be diverted to your locks and what you have decided to do with them. This isn’t a bad thing - if you’re struggling with what to put on, simply drawing attention away from it and focusing on what you’ve done with your hair can be a great distraction.



Jewellery

This is something that can be styled to your heart’s content - as little or as much as you would like. Go all out with chunky fashion statements or keep it minimalistic … whichever one you decide to go for will work this summer. We have finally reached a point where shops are stocking tremendous amounts of both styles of jewellery and everything in between, so it’s not so much what is in style this summer, but what is in style in your own life - what you make work for you.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The weekend suit

Blue velvet top c/o DressLily / Nike Lunar Stelos / Boyfriend jeans from Joe Fresh / Black blazer from H&M

As much as I like having seemingly endless choices of what to wear, I find myself envying how easy it is for guys to throw on a suit and recycle outfits on loop. The other day, someone asked me what kind of suit I would wear if I had the option then. After a bit of reflection, I realized that I have a weekend suit - something that I wear on Casual Fridays that carries me through to the weekend. 

I started off wearing this outfit on Fridays because it's a good mix of polished and comfortable (when I change into my work heels). But why stop there? Why does grocery shopping on a Saturday mean that I have to look like I rolled out of bed? 

I think it's funny when people say that I look put together because they have no idea how much laziness really goes into what I wear. I live in these boyfriend jeans when I can because they provide enough eating space to conquer a buffet. Don't be fooled by the blazer - I'm fake fancy. 

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fashion through the ages


Incorporating history into your day-to-day look can be a minefield, but in essence it’s relatively easy to do; history is what makes up our fashion, and there is no one thing that you are wearing on a daily basis that hasn’t been experimented with before. From shoes to hair accessories, jewellery to trousers, for the most part we are just reusing styles that we have seen in generations that have come before us previously - so what’s the problem in drawing inspiration from days gone by?

1950s

This was the original post-war era - a time when people were still high on the freedom after the end of the Second World War and embracing a lot of the change that this terrible event had brought. In terms of style, especially women’s style, it was a time where sexuality could be expressed through the wearing of flirty, floaty, fitted styles which emphasized all of the assets that they wanted shown off. There was a lot of emphasis on patterns, especially polka dots, to bring out a style that it would previously have been too taboo to have done - to draw attention to yourself and your prowess was frowned upon in the years leading up to the war. The advancement of feminism through this era, especially with help of women during the war effort, is definitely reflected through the clothing that appeared - it’s almost like it’s cute but dominating. It still hasn’t fell out of favour and is a great style to fall back on (or initially pick!) for an dress-up occasion like a wedding or a ball, and thankfully the dresses are still relatively easy to get a hold of should you wish to go with one of them - which is highly recommended.

1960s

This decade is arguably the one that most designers have drawn inspiration from at some point or another during their career - and how could they not? With its sharp, bold and simple designs, 60s fashion is still going strong in some outlets today. It was mainly inspired by Jackie Kennedy at the beginning, with her smart colour co-ordinated suits and perfectly-placed pearls setting a precedent for how women wanted to dress, and by the end of the decade you had powers such as Twiggy and Nancy Sinatra taking the skirts of these outfits higher and higher to express their sexuality in ways that hadn’t been dared to before. So get your block colours, don some Mary Janes and prepared to exude confidence if you want to take it back to the 60s in the modern day - it was all about taking liberties with your style in order to show that you were comfortable in your skin no matter how big or small you were. It was the challenging of the social norm and an elaboration on the feminism that had previously been drawn upon in the 50s, so quite an important time for the movement to continue and develop. It wasn’t anything as grand as the suffragette movement, but it was certainly a way of women staking a claim over their own bodies by managing their style.


1970s

This was a big era for a lot of things - fringing, tie-dye, flared trousers … you name it, it probably made an appearance in the 70s. Makeup wise you could get away with putting any pastel colour on your eyelids and passing it off as fashion, which is totally a great way to be - not really having any style-rules that you need to stick by. The bigger the hair, the better, and it’s like almost anything went. It was following on from the hippy revolution and people were still revelling in the free love (there was a lot of love going around from the 50s onwards, you’ll notice), and ditching the conservative looks. Hey, it was the rise of David Bowie and his legion of monikers, so who can blame those living then for wanting to branch out a bit with him as their idol?

1980s

The 80s saw the rise of quite a few subcultures - most notably the Punks and the Goths. As such, fashion took a massive shift depending on which way you were politically or musically inclined. You had a contrast of people wearing solely black with gothic jewellery adorning every available piece of body; others walking around with partly-shaved heads and a bright mohican in the middle of it; and those who just wore the baggiest, brightest trousers that they could find and equally bright and garish shirts to go with it (most courtesy of companies such as Fat Willy’s and Adidas).


1990s

The rise of the Spice Girls, Microsoft and Apple, the introduction of Friends and Sex and the City, as well as a whole host of other things; what wasn’t to love about the 90s - especially the fashion? As with the 80s, subcultures were rife and as such style varied dramatically. There is a lot of 90s fashion which is making its way into current day trends (you didn’t think that chokers were a new idea … did you?), so a simple look around while outside will throw you right back into this era. For hair, consider how important accessorizing was, especially in terms of how big you could get it; instead of bobbles go for scrunchies, and instead of thinking of miniature hair clips, try to go with something as big and as bold as you can get your hands on. There are certain elements of 90s fashion which have carried through the past nearly 30 years, including the statement prints that adorned shirts everywhere. Think of the characters from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air - there were certain elements to their style that people definitely kept hold of and would more than definitely wear today.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Perfecting girly grunge


Finding your unique style is something that can take quite a long time. A person's style is something that develops over many years, and the route we go down can depend on a lot of different factors. For example, you may find that your personal interests and the kind of environment you are brought up in are what shapes your taste in fashion. Of course, we've all had fashion faux pas in the past - but this is all part of shaping your personal style. But what do you do if you like more than one style at once? This is something that's not uncommon in the fashion world.

Every new season brings with it new collections from the top designers in the world, and with those collections come a brand new set of trends. Once the work has been showcased at major fashion events such as New York Fashion Week, these catwalk styles start to filter down into the high street stores and the shopping malls - which is where the majority of us pick them up. In any given season, you can expect to find three or four major trends that dominate most of the stores. Therefore, there is quite a high possibility that you will take a shine to at least a couple of these trends. The problem starts when we try to follow a trend to the letter, and we end up having to mostly buy two different closets to accommodate all these clothes that won't mix and match. But this can be expensive and time-consuming - and we haven't even taken into account the fact that these trends get easily replaced at the turn of a new season.

If you find yourself being drawn to a pair of juxtaposing trends, you may think that you simply have to resign yourself to wearing just one of them at a time. However, this is not necessarily the case. One example of how you can mix different trends together is the 'girly-grunge' look. For those of us who are a little bit tomboy but who don't want to lose all our femininity, this is a great hybrid-style that is surprisingly easy to re-create yourself. Read on to find out how to master it.



Getting creative with new materials

A typically feminine look usually consists of delicate, floaty materials. Think sheer blouses, ruffled cotton, and beautiful lace. By contrast, a more grungy look is commonly made up of more harsh-looking materials, such as leather and denim. You may not think that throwing all these materials together would work, but providing you do it correctly, you can end up with a great look. For example, why not try layering a distressed leather jacket over a sweet floral blouse? The leather (or faux leather) jacket will give you that sought-after rock and roll vibe, while the floral shirt will mean you still maintain an air of femininity about you. You could even wear typically 'girly' clothes in materials you may have never even considered before - such as trying out a denim dress. Accessorize with silver jewelry, a red lip and dark eyes for a gothic-inspired look.

It's all in the shoes

The kind of shoes most commonly associated with femininity are a chic pair of heels. But remember, nailing girly grunge is all about perfecting a hybrid of two otherwise opposing styles. Heels can still work if you are going somewhere that requires you to dress up, but you will need to be very particular about them. For example, if you have a girly dress that you want to add a bit of an edge to, why not slip on a pair of killer studded heels for that 70's glam rock vibe? Otherwise, an easy way to switch up your daytime look is by adding a pair of grungy shoes to an otherwise feminine outfit. One great way to do this is to pair a short day dress or oversized t-shirt dress with a pair of Doc Martens. Docs are the ultimate grunge shoe and easily add an air of coolness to just about any outfit. Be warned, though: they do take a long time to wear in, and you will probably have your feet rubbed raw with blisters during the first few weeks of wearing them! Wear thick socks and persist - once they are worn in, they will be the comfiest shoes you have ever put on your feet in your life. If black Docs are a little bit too much for you at this stage, remember they also come in a huge range of different colours and styles, from floral printed to bright pink. Another must-have pair of shoes to grunge up an outfit with is a pair of Converse sneakers or a pair of Vans. These shoes are timeless and are perfect for everyday wear.


Band shirts

You wouldn't be doing the grunge look any favours if you weren't seen sporting at least a couple of band shirts from time to time. Grunge is a style that emerged out predominantly in the late 80s and early 90s, when punk was ending and giving birth to a range of pioneering bands like Nirvana. So, expect to see many of their t-shirts still on sale, helping people achieve that grunge look even long after many of these bands have disbanded. If you want to go for a authentic look, try and find some real vintage shirts - you can look on places like eBay and Etsy, or visit local thrift shops and clothing sales. You never know, you might just come across an absolute gem! To avoid looking too masculine when wearing your band shirt, try pairing it with a skirt instead, and accessorizing with lots of pretty jewelry. Or, you could even get snap happy, if you think you're a dab hand with a pair of scissors! It is relatively easy to make a regular t-shirt into a tank top, which can often look more girly than an oversized shirt. There are plenty of guides online that tell you how to do this.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Keeping up with the catwalk


If you’re a follower of fashion, you’ll know all about the changing trends. As each season comes and goes, there are new looks to try and a seemingly never-ending list of must-haves to add to your wardrobe. Sadly, most of us can’t afford to overhaul our wardrobes every few weeks, but thankfully, there are ways to stay stylish without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to ensure you look chic for years.

Learn to accessorize

If you don’t have the funds or the inclination to buy a new wardrobe every season, accessories should become your new best friend. With accessories, you can embrace a host of different trends and switch up your look without spending a lot of money. In the winter, use hats, gloves, and scarves to transform your outfits. As the temperature rises, let your shoes, bags, and jewelry do the talking. Using accessories, you can create completely different looks even when you’re wearing the same items of clothing. Take a simple pinafore dress for lunch with the girls, for example. In the winter, team with thick black tights, shoe boots, and a fedora. In the summer, go for wedges, bangles, and oversized shades.


Make a statement

Fashion shows and glossy magazines give us inspiration, but you should never be afraid to make a statement with the clothes you wear. If you see pieces you like, you should buy them regardless of whether they’ve been featured on Instagram or not. We all have our own sense of style, and if your tastes are a little quirkier than that of others, this is something to celebrate and be proud of. There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to taste. What suits one person may not necessarily suit another, and that’s why fashion is interesting and intriguing. If you do like to stand out from the crowd, you can elevate simple pieces to another level by adding your own unique touch. If you have creative talents and you’ve got access to the Singer 7258 sewing machine at home, you can customize your clothing and make bespoke outfits. You can embellish plain knits, add badges to basic tees or even embroider your favourite pairs of jeans.

Don’t throw out your favourite pieces

We’ve all been there. We go through stages of wearing pieces to death, and then decide that they’ve had their day only to find out that the retro trend we loved five years ago is bang on trend for the coming season. If you have items you love, keep them. Fashion is cyclical, and you’ll find that the same trends pop up again and again. You don’t have to keep every item you’ve ever owned but treasure your favourite pieces.

Most of us take an interest in fashion and make an effort to look stylish. Fashion is constantly evolving, and it can be tricky to keep up with the catwalks and stay on trend. If you love buying clothes and putting outfits together, bear these tips in mind, and you’ll never put a foot wrong.





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Monday, January 30, 2017

Cosmetic hacks to improve your beauty routine


A lot of people know that there are right ways to apply makeup and wrong ways. But a lot of people aren’t as well-versed in what makes methods right or wrong as they think they are. Let’s take a look at some great cosmetic hacks that can help perfect your beauty routine.

Saving on cosmetics

Makeup is something that people are so often wasting money on. I’m not saying that buying makeup is a waste of money, of course! What I’m saying is that people often end up spending a lot more than they really have to. That’s because there is a lot of waste when it comes to cosmetics.

One of the most common problems is the excess makeup that can be found with most products; the stuff that sticks to the sides or the bottom of the containers that a lot of people just end up throwing away. Don’t underestimate how useful that excess stuff can be - use coins and knives to carefully scrape excess makeup back into use! Another problem is that people often forget that you can get cosmetics for less than your local beauty store is selling it for. For example, you find a Kiko coupon code on www.pluscodepromo.fr.

The magic of spoons

People really underestimate the usefulness of spoons when it comes to a beauty routine. You may, in fact, be wondering what I could possibly be suggesting in relation to spoons. Some of you may have guessed already that there is one particular area I could be referring to, given the round shape of a spoon: the eyes!

A spoon can work really well for eye cosmetics in two ways. The first is holding the spoon so it’s “hugging” your eyelid when you apply mascara. This keeps you from getting mascara on your eyelids if you’re not that accurate! Another way a spoon comes in handy is when you’re creating eyeliner “wings”. Use the handle of the spoon to get the straight, upwards line, then use the curve of the spoon to trace the curved part of the wing. I usually like reading guides more than watching videos, but I highly recommend watching tutorials on winged eyeliner tips - seriously a game-changer.



Lipstick tricks

Lipstick can pose a bunch of problems even if you’re really smart about how you apply it! It seems that even the most beautiful and deep shades of lipstick fade away much faster than they should - and I haven’t even mentioned the mess it can make! Finding lipstick on your teeth is never a pleasant experience, especially when you know that other people must have already seen it! To avoid this, the best thing to do is stick your finger in your mouth. Sounds odd, but trust me! Form an O with your lips around your finger, then gently slide your finger out. That excess lipstick will now be on your finger instead of waiting to cling to your teeth!

Another lipstick trick to make your pout last: hold some tissue over your mouth after applying the lipstick, then dust translucent powder over the area. This helps set the colour without creating a mess!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The sea was angry that day

Boxy striped blouse c/o Zaful / Denim shorts from Target / Sequin bag c/o Dresslily

My recent buys and finds lately have been quite boring. When you spend 5 days a week in a stuffy office, I get more bang for my buck when I buy work clothes over weekend clothes. Blazers in every colour, straight cut pants...boring. So when I saw this blouse, it had been the first time in a while that I had genuinely been excited about clothing. A shirt that I can tuck in and dress up during the office, then dress down for the weekend? Yes please.

Also in an effort to mix fun into my work wardrobe, I've been obsessed with accessories to add a subtle punch to my outfit. And I'm not talking about statement necklaces. When all the "how to add fun to your work wardrobe" guides suggest "bling", guess what - it's not unique anymore. This sequin bag is my new go-to for a truly unique accessory. I love how it adds a classy touch to a boring or casual outfit without being too overwhelming.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Simplicity over minimalism


"So what's your New Year's resolution?"

I've heard this question a lot lately, like most of you have. But I have the same answer as always: "Whatever, who knows - we'll see where the year takes me".

Sure, my answer is 40% laziness, 10% fear of failure, and 30% indecisiveness, but that still leaves 20% for a genuine desire to be more flexible and nonchalant. And there's definitely space to improve. After being asked what my resolution is so many times, sometimes I wonder whether I'm wrong or missing something for not wanting to make a concrete goal at the beginning of the year. But what is this weird form of peer pressure? Why do I feel the need to tell others that I'm setting objectives for myself if I already like the path that I'm on?

Let's compare this to the minimalism trend. How many times have you heard "effortlessly chic"? And how many of us know the real pain behind the scenes of using pomade, combs, and hairspray to get that Instagramable messy "I woke up like this" look. What is this obsession that we have with trying to make it look like we have it all together without putting in the effort?

So my unofficial attitude (I'm not ready to commit to a resolution yet) for 2017 is that I want to really start living with a simplified thought process. Truly going with the flow and not sweatin' the small stuff.

With that in mind, please accept these photos because I was too lazy to do my nails and I don't want to put on the facade that I did anything productive but eat over the holidays. This gorgeous bar ring from oNecklace is my new go-to piece of jewellery though. It's simple, classy, and matches everything.

The gold name necklace pictured was a gift to my mother, who loved how easy it was for this piece to transition from day to night, even to the gym! It's subtle, but poignant. And it comes in a lovely gift box that gives it an expensive feel, but at under $60, it's super affordable.

I've received a couple of oNecklace pieces before in the past and I love the quality of them all. I wouldn't give it a second thought to order from them again. Now if only I could adopt that kind of certainty in my everyday life...

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: UKYS custom shirt tailoring app


Tailor-made fashion is typically associated with a high quality fits, professional experiences, and a high price tag to match. Rarely do I see anything truly worthy of being called "fashion innovation", but UKYS has the potential to shake up the way we consume tailored clothing. UKYS has created an app that takes your photos to create precision measured fitted dress shirts for around $80! And you get to customize your shirt to fit your style preferences.

How it works:

Since UKYS specializes in men's shirts, I went through this process with my boyfriend. With the UKYS app, you start off by choosing the shirt colour you'd like. You then get to choose a series of customizations, including shirt fit, collar style, cuff style, and trim patterns.

Once you're finished your selections, the app plays a video that will guide you through the measurement process. Using a series of photos, UKYS is able to capture your body's measurements, where professional tailors are then able to create your fitted shirt. At a 10 ft distance from your iPhone or iPad, you will need to take photos for your front view, back view, and side profile. UKYS makes it clear that privacy is a priority for them, which is why your face is blurred in photos before they even reach the company. No worries if your photos aren't quite right, because a rep from UKYS will reach out to let you know that the photos need to be redone, so you don't have to worry about processing an order with poor measurements.

The result:

Blown away. I am so impressed by the results. The fit was absolutely perfect, which is especially difficult to achieve with an inverted triangle body type. The cotton material feels like great quality, however the colour was a bit off from what I expected. It looked more like a midnight blue rather than a navy. Overall, I'd order again in a heartbeat. No where else can you get a tailored shirt from the comfort of your own home, at a fraction of the price. I highly recommend UKYS.

Now on Kickstarter, UKYS is looking for backing! At only $76, you can get your own tailored shirt (or get it as a gift) and be part of this revolutionary experience. Seriously, do it. It's so worth it.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Light packing tips for a functional and stylish travel wardrobe


Whether you're looking to pack light for the sheer ease of it or packing light to shop your way through a trip, you don't want to start your vacation with a heavy luggage full of clothes and shoes. Packing for a multi-country vacation with varying temperatures can be tough, but all you need are a few key layering pieces to make it through.

Travelling through Paris, Rome, and Barcelona in two weeks, I was bracing for rain, chilliness, heat, and general touring around. Here are key items that I packed in my medium-sized suitcase (with room to spare):

1. Outerwear: Leather jacket, blazer
A leather jacket is always great because it keeps you dry, warm, and trendy. but for those days where it was warmer or I wanted to be dressier, a boyfriend blazer goes with anything and acts as a great layering piece under or over other items.

2. Shoes: Ankle boots, canvas sneakers
Ankle boots are really the best because they can be worn in rain, dressed down, and dressed up. Touring around with soggy feet isn't fun for anyone. And there's really no question that you'll be doing a lot of walking, so be prepared for it. I packed a pair of lightweight canvas sneakers that easily fit into my luggage and don't bog me down while I walk.

3. Bottoms: Jeans, tights/leggings, skirt
I opted for boyfriend jeans because I wanted to eat my way through Europe with maximum comfort. I also packed a pair of dark jeans for a more polished casual look. Leggings also allow for comfort while touring around and go great with a tunic and those ankle boots mentioned above. Also, have a skirt on hand in case you want to go extra dressy or if you run into an unseasonably warm day.

4. Tops: Lightweight sweater, heavy sweater, t-shirt, blouse
Bearing in mind that I was travelling during the autumn when weather can be rather unpredictable, I wanted good layering pieces for a cozy chic look. As I mentioned with the other pieces, a dressier item is always great to pack, especially because it can always be dressed down if you're not going anywhere fancy.

5. Accessories: Scarves, hat
Leave your wide-brimmed floppy hat at home if you don't want it to lose shape in your suitcase. I'm talking about a cozy beanie here that you can smush into a corner of your suitcase if it isn't necessary. Scarves are always super trendy, so I brought a silk one for style and a knit one for warmth. Both pair effortlessly with the other items that I brought.

Pack light without looking like a tourist. And buy everything else along the way. Happy travels!

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