Friday, December 1, 2017

Over easy

Olive T-shirt dress c/o Tobi / Ivory sweater dress c/o Tobi / Black lace bandeau from H&M / Wearing NYX Deep Purple lipstick

I was talking to a coworker the other day about how she was agonizing over what to wear for an office event and how easy it must be for guys to just pick a suit and go each day. This is one of those situations where she was looking for someone to listen to her rant, instead of offering solid advice, so I agreed.

But in reality, no. Looking put together can be super quick and effortless as a woman. Throwing on a dress? That's even easier than putting on a suit! So that's why I've lined my closet with mostly versatile pieces that look casual and comfy on their own, but can always be dressed up with a blazer and a good pair of heels. When I know that all my pieces go together, it's hard to ever be poorly dressed.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Could've been the wine

Off the shoulder sweater c/o Tobi / Plaid skirt from Suzy Shier / Gold necklace from H&M

I'm a strong supporter of the "work smarter, not harder" notion. And part of that is knowing how to go about your day-to-day life with minimum effort for maximum results. Even the smallest things can make a big difference. Like that trick where you leave a knife at the edge of the sink if you plan to use it again so you don't have to wash as many utensils. Or buying a thick oversized sweater so you don't have to wear a bra underneath.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Emulating on-trend and on-budget looks


If you love fashion, you probably love shopping for fashion too. The trouble with shopping is it costs so much money! The latest lines are due out in the next few days, so now is the time to figure out how you’re going to get the look you want for less. There are several ways you can cheat the price tag in the stores. Here are just a few of the best ways to do it!

Do Your Homework

Every fashion lover knows what’s on the catwalks at the start of the season. That look will filter down into the stores with only a few amendments. In the time it takes for your favourite styles to hit rails, you can start figuring out how to emulate it without paying too much for it. Most new fashion ideas stem from trends that came before. Is there anything in your closet already that might hit the mark?

Make sure you’re on the newsletter lists for each of your favourite fashion brands too. This means you will get to see what will be coming into the store before it arrives. It gives you the chance to figure out where you want to buy and what you need to buy before the excitement and impulse take you over.

Make Some Space And Make Some Money

Your closet can only cope with a limited number of fashion items. This means the new season simply won’t fit unless you have a clear out. Auditing your clothing doesn’t take too long. Simply make piles of skirts, pants, blouses, tops and so on to see what you already have. Pull out the items you don’t wear.

Photograph everything you pull out so you can list it to sell it. Not only will this clear out space, but you’ll make a little bit of money to fund next season’s look. Replacing instead of adding to your collection can help you to keep your closet in usable order. If you can’t bear to part with it, consider accessorizing or customizing to bring it up to date for next season.


Buying On Budget

Most stores carry very similar looking items. It’s down to your creativity to put those things together to create that perfect on-trend look. Some stores will produce better quality versions of the fashion items you’re most interested in. Of course, they might charge more for it too. Set your budget early on. Now you can shop around and make decisions based on affordability as well as quality.

While new fashion might not be in the sales, there will be plenty of other items that are. If you’re not shopping for those, don’t buy them. Save more money on your purchases by using vouchers and discounts like the ones at DontPayFull.com so you can get more within your budget. Finally, limit your purchases to ‘must-haves’ and try not to be distracted by bargain items you really don’t need.

Increase Your Budget

Aside from selling your preloved fashion items, you could take on some overtime, a second job, or start a side hustle to make more money for shopping. You might start your own blog, or maybe photograph the latest inspiring fashion trends you spot. Why not offer friends and family a makeover in exchange for a fee? Of course, if you’re creative and crafty, you might even produce your own line of accessories.


Putting It Together

Once you’ve sourced the wardrobe essentials you’ve been saving up for, it’s time to turn it into that perfect outfit. You’ll need to accessorize and find the right footwear, headwear, and handbag to match. Chances are you’re creative enough to mix up your fashion and put together two or three different looks. Ideally, you’re already shopping with that in mind. Sometimes you can become the master of many styles with just one or two wardrobe essentials.

The trick to mastering a new look on a budget is to not rush into your purchases. Test ideas (and cosmetics) before you buy. Shop around and see which stores stock the best quality basic items. Then do your best to find a discount on that ticket price! Happy shopping.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mastering your style


I think that people can overcomplicate how to throw together an outfit. "Do these pants go with this blouse? Does this bag match? Are these shoes too much?" Let's pause for a moment. You're not putting clothes together. You're putting an outfit together.

I get caught in that trap too - I see inspiration on the runways, blogs, streetstyle, and magazines, but I get flustered trying to put all my favourite styles together. The trick is to decide on a theme, instead of trying to smash different looks together. Then, the pieces fall together a lot easier.

The Bad Girl

You know the kind of look: a lot of dark colours and shades, especially black, which gives all of the outfits an edgy look. However, you will notice that there are also pops of colour into the looks, especially when it comes to hair and makeup. One of the easiest ways to mimic the bad girl style is to wear a black bandeau top with some skinny black jeans. The more distressed the jeans are, the better! Finish the look off with some strong red lipstick for a touch of glamor.



The Power Dresser

To nail the ‘power dresser’ look, you just need to dress like you mean business. So don’t be afraid to go big and bold. From bold flowery patterns, like the ones seen on Ruby Road clothing jackets, to slightly more urban-inspired khaki, there is nothing that a magazine’s stylist won’t use when creating a power dresser look. But one thing is for certain - the models rock whatever they wear no matter what style it is. One of the easiest of power dresser looks to try is Beyonce’s outfit from the Flawless music video. All you need are some cut-off denim shorts and a chequered shirt. Scrunch up your hair and crank up your attitude to top off this grungy look.

The Preppy Look

When you think of the preppy look, you will probably associate it with the-girl-next-door styles. If you want to try and achieve this look, it’s a good idea to go for sophisticated clothes, such as pencil skirts and smart cardigans. This trend also seems to favor clothes that have a slightly vintage feel to them. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a big handbag, so it’s a good idea to make sure your accessorizing is on point when you go for a preppy-inspired outfit. Oh, and don’t forget some cute nude gloss on your lips.



The Quirky Fashionista

Take note, there's a big difference between mismatched and quirky! If you are new to eclectic fashion, you might prefer to keep things simpler with some delicate touches.  Just choose big and bold colours and really wacky hairstyles. You’ll notice that lots of models wear leather pieces, so start saving so you can afford a quality leather skirt or a sleek leather jacket.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer Style Rules: Your New Capsule Wardrobe Sorted


The countdown to summer is on. With temperatures rising, vacations on the horizon, and a host of new trends appearing in stores and magazines, there’s no better excuse to revamp your wardrobe. If you’re keen to inject some summer style, here are some tips to help you create a chic new capsule wardrobe, which will ensure you look the part, whatever the occasion.

Choosing materials

In the summer months, it’s all about keeping cool and feeling comfortable, as well as looking fabulous. It’s all very well sporting an incredible outfit, but you don’t want to be restricted by what you wear or be in the situation where you’re counting down the seconds until you can get home and change. When it’s warm and muggy outside, stick to light materials, such as cotton and linen. Avoid anything too heavy like wool or leather, and opt for styles that aren’t too clingy. Natural fibers are best for hot days, especially in the city.

Colours and tones

Summer is great for fashion lovers because the rules are much more relaxed than in the cooler months. Almost anything goes when it comes to colours and tones, and you can embrace everything from neon brights to subtle pastel shades. Vibrant colours like canary yellow, hot pink, and cobalt blue work brilliantly for tropical vacations while softer sorbet hues of mint, rose, lilac and lemon are perfect for formal occasions, such as weddings or a day at the races. Whatever the season, it’s always a good idea to consider your skin tone when choosing shades. Try different colours on, and see what complements your complexion. You want to aim for tones that make your skin glow and your eyes shine bright, rather than those that wash you out.



Hero pieces

Every season has its own selection of hero pieces. In the summer months, designers are all about enabling you to look chic without feeling uncomfortable. This year, there are some great alternatives around if you don’t want to go down the well-trodden route of wearing shorts and skirts in the summer. Jumpsuits and culottes are everywhere, and you’ll also find a range of dresses adorning the store windows. If you’re not a fan of the mini, opt for midi or maxi styles. Go for jersey or cotton for a laid-back daytime look. Summer isn’t summer without some vacation staples, so don’t worry if you’re not ready to part with your Daisy Dukes or your white skinny jeans just yet. You can update your look by trying out the latest trends on your top half and adding some seasonal accessories. This summer, baring your shoulders is all the rage, so team denim cut-offs with a Bardot or cold-shoulder top and some vintage style studded sandals. Round off the look with an ear cuff, some stacked rings, and an anklet.

Personalizing your look

Fashion means a lot to many of us. Most of us take inspiration from magazines articles, catwalk shows, and Instagram feeds, but that doesn’t mean there’s a limited range of items you can wear each season. There’s no rule about trying something different or mixing and matching pieces to create a unique look. The beauty of fashion is that we all have our own interpretation of style. If you’d rather stand out from the crowd than blend in, you may be keen to add a personal touch to your wardrobe. You can do this by using your unique style to put items and looks together, but you can also use your creatively to create custom jewelry or bespoke items of clothing. If you want to turn up a party knowing that nobody else will be wearing the same outfit, this is a good road to take. You can bring even the most basic, minimal look to life with a statement necklace, some eye-catching earrings or a breathtakingly beautiful watch. You can also update your clothing collection. If you’ve got an old denim jacket lying around, for example, why not refresh and revive it by adding some embroidery, sewing some personalized patches on or experimenting with coloured dyes?


As summer approaches, it’s time to start thinking about putting outfits together, dressing for the weather, and experimenting and having fun with fashion. When the sun is beating down, comfort is everything, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be stylish at the same time. Opt for light materials and pieces like wide-legged trousers, culottes, skirts, and maxi dresses. Mix and match trends, celebrate your individual style and don’t be afraid to add some personal touches.

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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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