Category Archives: Fashion

Polka dots and fruity shoes

10th June 2015

Monochrome is a big trend for Spring/Summer 2015, but add bright accessories for a pop of colour this holiday season.

polka dot dress, Oliver Bonas

You know when you get back from holiday, you’re really broke, and you tell yourself ‘that’s it, I am never going shopping ever again’?! That was me a week ago. Unfortunately I found myself in Cabot Circus at a loose end for an hour (I was on a top secret filming mission which I will be able to tell you about soon). Being left unattended next to all the lovely shops resulted in the purchase of this dress (£59) from Oliver Bonas.

polka dot dress from oliver bonas

It looks like a simple shift dress from the front, but it’s got this lovely cut out detail in the back, which makes it a bit more special. There’s something a bit French about a pretty polka dot dress – it looks like something my style crush, Rachel Khoo, might wear!

Polka dots are very much my go-to print, as they’re flattering and easy to wear with other things like florals and block colours. They were all over the catwalks at Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2015, who showed it with a Spanish inspired twist, combined with some bold florals. I decided to work mine with fruity coloured accessories because I love a taste of the tropical on a sunny day.

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I picked up these colour block heels from Primark (£12) this week. Not only are they fabulously bright, but they’re wide fitting with super comfy padded cushions that sit on the ball of your foot, making them really easy to walk in. I’ve worn them so far with this fab polka dot print, but they also work well with turned up jeans and a bright tee.

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After adding them to my shoe rack, I realised that this wasn’t the only fruity pair of shoes I own. I just love pink and orange footwear! You might think they’re not as versatile as black or brown shoes, but I love a contrast shoe, so these have all gotten a lot of wear.

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How will you be wearing your polka dots this season? Leave me a comment and let me know! 

The military jacket

6th June 2015

Miitary and utility chic is a huge trend for Spring/Summer 2015 – but you don’t need to go top to toe to get the look…

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Working a relaxed military jacket on a blustery day in Germany

When I first saw the full length trench coats and khakis on the catwalks at Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren for SS15 I thought, ‘oh here we go, one of those blokey trends that won’t work at all for me’, and promptly switched off. You see, when you’re petite, anything too severe can make you look like a small child who has borrowed their parent’s clothes; meaning that the clothes wear you rather than the other way around. However, a trip to Cologne in Germany, where all the girls work army fatigues with biker boots and jeans in a cool way, made me reassess my opinion.

Primark Khaki jacketJacket, €12, Primark 

I picked up this loose khaki jacket on a windy day in Cologne to keep out the cold as we explored the city. The turned up sleeves and big lapels were what I liked about it; it felt slightly more finely fitted than most parka styles and wearing it with long gold chains and skinny jeans added a feminine touch.

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Top, Primark; jeans, Tu at Sainsburys; shoes Deichmann Germany

I also did something I never do on this holiday, which was wear a pair of white jeans. White jeans, rather unfairly I feel, have a reputation as being ‘mum jeans’ – something you wear after a certain age. I don’t know whether it’s the slow advancing of my years, or the fact that everyone on the Continent wears them, but I decided it was time to change this perception. It also contrasted well with the military jacket. Also, here’s a tip for fellow shorties out there – Tu at Sainsburys does a great range of short fit jeans starting from just £12. Why has no one told me this before? It’s the high street’s best kept denim secret! (Psst – don’t judge me on the shoes – I had been walking all day and these were the only things I could get on my trotters by the end of the day!)

Travelling does make you re-evaluate trends; I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to work that military jacket at home, but seeing all those stylish Germans in them made it seem natural. International fash-piration? It’s just another excuse for more fabulous holidays, surely?!

Twenties girl

30th May 2015

Tassels, red lips and a jewel headdress made me feel like a real life flapper girl. And the occasion? Eurovision, of course!

1920s flapper dress Eurovision

My Eurovision look – inspired by Electro Velvet

Those of you who follow my blog regularly will know that I’m a Eurovision superfan and this year all my dreams came true – I finally got to go and see it in person. The 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest was held in Vienna, which really is a city of dreams, with grand 19th century architecture and everything seemingly edged with gold. This photo was taken in the lobby of our hotel, the Josefshof, just before we set off for the competition at the Wiener Stadhalle.

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Flying the flag: Electro Velvet for the UK

In honour of this year’s UK entry, Electro Velvet, I decided to compliment their Great Gatsby inspired staging with a little style homage of my own.

Since 1920s fashion isn’t one of the key looks this season, my usual high street go-to stores weren’t much help this time. I stumbled upon this dress almost by accident at Bohemia, a sweet little vintage shop on Picton Street in Stokes Croft.

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One fabulous 1920s headdress plus one patient husband…

T-bar dolly shoes with a respectable heel would be the ideal footwear choice with this dress but since I fully intended to dance all night long, I opted for these pointed flats from Primark, which were loads more comfortable. The headdress was a charity shop find from a few years ago, which I’ve been waiting for an occasion to wear. Now that it’s had one outing (and a lot of compliments) I’m definitely going to work this into more outfits this summer.

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My outfit for the semi finals also included a vintage fascinator and polka dots

Working the 1920s look doesn’t have to be all about fancy dress – with a coloured heel and perhaps a leather jacket, a flapper dress like this can look modern and stylish. The only downside of it was that I kept getting stuck to other people as the tassels also act as hooks and attach to buttons. Still, it was a good way to make new friends on the dance floor!

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Eurovision inspired nail art

Of course, no Eurovision outfit would be complete without the proper nail art – your country’s flag worn proudly on every nail. There is no such thing as OTT on this one very special night of the year. These were hastily done after a drink or two so they’re not an ideal example, but you get the idea.

Next year’s contest will be held in Sweden and, while I may not make it in person again, we’ll certainly join in with Europe’s biggest party!

Summer holiday flat-spiration

13th April 2015

Heels are fabulous most of the time, but when packing for a summer holiday I can’t do without a good pair of flats to go exploring in…

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Above: Top – H&M, shorts – Zara, bikini – Primark, necklace – Dorothy Perkins, bangles – Primark, sunglasses – Take That tour (oh yes!), sun cream – Garnier, after sun – Monoi de Tahiti (amazing stuff!), nail polish – Nails Inc, suitcase – El Corte Inglese (Spain) and shoes by Superga

The sun is shining, the birds and singing and it’s time to book a summer holiday! Is there anything better? I doubt it! This year Mr Jones and I are making a road trip I’ve always dreamed about; we’re going to the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna! Along the way, we’ll be stopping in Brussels, Cologne and Munich – and who knows where else we’ll go on the way home? That’s the beauty of road trips.

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Above: Hat – Dorothy Perkins, top – vintage (SW Bloggers clothes swap!), jeans – Tu at Sainburys, bag – Karl Lagerfeld, shoes by Superga

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It seems appropriate, then, that the shoes I’m taking are equally European. Italian shoemakers Superga have been going for a rather incredible 100 years, making vulcanized rubber soles known for their comfort and quality. They’re weather-proof, water resistant and breathable – so no stinky soles in the bottom of the suitcase!

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Superga have just opened a new store in nearby Bath, so they invited me to pop down and check out the new collection. It’s a casual shoe and the shop has an equally relaxed feel, which is nice.

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They’re really proud of their Italian heritage, which you can see by the in-store displays – red, white and green shoes perched on a Vespa – you can’t get much more Italian!

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They have ranges for men, women and kids, so the whole family can be matchy matchy if you so desire! (The tiny ickle children’s shoes were adorable!)

The best thing about it for me was that they come in a really wide variety of sizes, including ones that fit my little pixie feet (size 35, a UK 2.5)! It’s really hard to find decent shoes for adults in my size, so this was a real gem of a find for me. They’re also quite compact, so they would be a neat little holiday shoe you can squeeze into your hand luggage and slip on and off easily at the airport if you need to.

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So that’s my shoes sorted – now I just need to collect up the rest of my looks for what I’m hoping will be an epic trip. Happy holidays, everyone!

Disclosure: Superga gifted me both pairs of shoes, but honestly at £40-£50 a pair I thought these were a real bargain for the quality of shoe you’re getting and would probably have bought them anyway if they hadn’t been so kind.

 

 

My Bristol Fashion Week in pictures

31st March 2015

Last week was one of my favourite weeks of the year, Bristol Fashion Week! As usual, I was down at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for the week on PR and social media duty.

So much happened during the week that it’s hard to condense it down into just one blog post so I’ll give you a whirlwind tour via some of my favourite Instagram snaps of the week…

Dress: Miss Selfridge, shoes, River Island

Dress: Miss Selfridge, shoes: River Island, necklace: Dorothy Perkins

This was my outfit on day 1 of Bristol Fashion Week. White on white is a big look for this season, but I couldn’t resist popping in a bit of colour with some orange accessories because I’d feel dull without it. I was a bit self-conscious in white as it doesn’t hide much and I think it would’ve been better with a tan, but this look got the thumbs up from BFW host Mark Heyes and the stylist team backstage, which made me feel loads better about it!

Lucy wears outfit by Oasis and shoes by Topshop

Lucy wears outfit by Oasis and shoes by Topshop

My next photo of the week is of our lovely host from this season, Lucy Watson. She wore this on day 4, but we took the photos of all her looks on day 1. This was one of my favourite of her outfits of the week, but to be honest she looked amazing in everything she tried on…makes you sick! Lucy was loving monochrome stuff this time around, and said she was a big fan of the 70s trend – she was scarcely out of her platform sandals all week, so they must’ve been comfy!

Repost from @arabellachi - festival fashion backstage at BFW

Repost from @arabellachi – festival fashion backstage at BFW

I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the backstage team this season because I was front of house a lot of the time, but I did spot this on model Arabella’s feed and thought it was a super look on her. She and Charlotte make a great model duo and really brought the looks to life. I adore these floral festival looks, but first I need to get those abs before I’ll even attempt this look…!

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Hair do by Tomlinsons

At the start of the week, I spent some time with our Bristol Fashion Week makeover models, who all had a complete hair transformation at Tomlinsons in Clifton. Having watched them all emerge as beautiful swans, I decided this ugly duckling needed some hair attention too, so I booked in with them on Friday and had a little makeover of my own. I had a full hair colour with balayage and a big bouncy blow dry. A change of hair can really change your mood, and I felt so much better after this, it was worth every penny!

Mark gets matchy with the carpet

I’ve saved my favourite snap for close to last – Mark Heyes took this after realising his suit matched the BFW blue carpet! Not only is this my favourite snap of the week, it might even my favourite snap of all time!

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Repost from @faberimbued – interviewing folks on the blue carpet

And speaking of carpets, here’s a little snap of our lovely BFW blue carpet interviews! We had a bit of an E-Online thing going on, for which I acted the part of Giuliana, except I’m fatter. No one was safe from my intrepid microphone and we asked all the key trend questions for this season. We made a little Fashion Week video which we’ll be sharing soon, so watch this space…

All in all, it was a fabulous Fashion Week and I was thrilled to be a part of it. What were your favourite looks for this season?

Spring/Summer style with Jaeger

22nd March 2015

The weather is warming up (not a moment too soon) so it was a perfect day to check out the new collections at Jaeger in Bath today with a few of my favourite bloggettes.

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Left to right: Karen from Mission Style, Nina from Le Shop, Fritha from Tigerlilly Quinn, Lori from Wild & Grizzly, Josephine from Style by Josephine and Gaby from Voila Styling.

Jolly’s is a bit of Bath institution – it’s got to be one of the oldest department stores in the country, having opened in 1823 and, although it’s now part of House of Fraser, it retains that luxury tradition and Great British style that it’s always been known for. It came as no surprise to me then, when I heard that Jaeger – another paragon of classic Brit fashion – has a concession inside this very store.

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This spring, their womenswear collection draws inspiration from renowned artists Barbara Hepworth and Paul Klee, with sculptural tailoring and striking prints taking centre stage.

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One crucial trend for this season will be military/utility styling, and Jaeger is doing this functional tailoring incredibly well, with structured safari style dresses and skirts, like the one I’m wearing above. I plan to take this skirt up a few inches, since I am a shorty, but I think on someone tall it would work very well!

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If you like your pastels, you’ll also find something to love here, since their collection contains a lot of pink and peach tones right now, as well as baby blue.

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One thing that really stands out about Jaeger is the quality of the garments. The price point may be slightly higher than many high street stores, but the craftsmanship that goes into them is worth the extra spend. Skirts and jackets are beautifully lined and there’s not an errant stitch in sight. You really do get what you pay for.

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As well as a fabulous shopping spree, we were also treated to an exclusive blow dry bar at No. 3 Hairdressing on Saville Row. I was delighted to discover that our stylist, Stefano, is a natural curly head like me, so he knew exactly what to do with my unruly barnet! For many of us visiting the salon, it was our first time and we were all surprised how big it was – it looks small from the outside, but they have a whole floor upstairs devoted to making people beautiful! Karen from Mission Style (pictured below) is a regular, so she and Stefano had a lot to catch up on!

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On top top of this, Lancôme were generous enough to gift us all with some treats from their latest beauty collection which, as you can tell from the smiles on the girls’ faces, went down very well indeed…

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I’m looking forward to trying the Génifique serum. As someone who is usually quite stingy with my skincare (Nivea and Olay is about as far as I’d stretch) I’m really keen to see if a bigger budget means better results. I’ll fill you in when I’ve tried it!

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All in all, we had a fabulous day and it was full of surprises. I have to admit that before today I was convinced that Jaeger was perhaps somewhere my mum or my aunt might shop, rather than me, but actually their cuts and colours are extremely contemporary and seeing the new collection made me completely rethink my opinion.

As I’ve reached my thirties, I’ve decided to live by the mantra of ‘buy less, wear more’, so I’ll certainly look to invest in a few quality pieces like these in the near future.

Disclosure: I was contracted by Jaeger to help put together this blogger day and was given my outfit. The views given here are genuine though, so trust me on them! 🙂

Matchy matchy fashion bloggers

13th March 2015

Good fashion fortune comes in twos this season. Time to find a blogging buddy and pair up…

Illustration by Hayden Williams

Illustration by Hayden Williams

On my recent visit to London Fashion Week, I noticed something startling about the beautiful people wandering around Somerset House – there were nearly always two of them. Yes, a fashion double is this season’s must-have look, apparently. It’s no longer enough to be one really dressed person, you need to be two; blogging duos are where it’s at.

I met up with Bristol bloggettes She and Hem, whom I’ve photographed a few times and are delightful to work with. So similar are these two, many people can’t tell where Jo ends and Victoria begins. Walking with them around London Fashion Week was like being in a trilby-wearing, celeb entourage. People were snapping them like crazy and asking if they were twins.

She and Hem at London Fashion Week

She and Hem at London Fashion Week

“Blogging with a partner is fantastic as not only does it mean you have someone to share ideas, blogging duties and responsibilities with but you also have someone with you every step of the way on what is an incredibly fun and, in our case most definitely life changing, journey. I don’t think either of us could ever imagine trying to blog solo,” said Jo/Victoria…to be honest I’m not sure which one said it.

“We support each other a lot (seriously, you should see how many texts we exchange) and that can really help with confidence in all areas of blogging. We also have a heck of a lot of fun as essentially blogging as a duo means hanging out with your best friend and a DSLR all of the time,” said the other one. (Waa! It’s like they’re talking in stereo. How can I not remember which one is which after knowing them for so long…? Jo or Victoria, Jo or Victoria?…I’ll go with Jictoria!)

All of this has made me think that having a double looks like jolly good fun. Who doesn’t want to have a friend with whom you can swap clothes, pose for cute pictures and confuse the hell out of other people? So, if you’re out there, my doppelgänger, I am available for matchy matchy funsies. Call me, ok?

Best blogging duos

In the meantime, here are a few of my favourite blogging doubles…

She and Hem: Obvs. Jo and Victoria are the West Country’s answer to peaches and cream, to gin and lemonade, to…um, well, they go really well together, ok? They both love an A-line dress and a whiff of retro, and have a great knack for making a trend their own.

We are Twinset: I met Sarah (or was it Philippa?!) working on Bristol Fashion Week and it was Mark Heyes who alerted me to the fact that she had an equally chic double! I can’t get enough of their sleek London look.

The Style Rawr: Jade and Tara actually live in different cities, so I’ve never seen them in the same room. (Perhaps they are secretly the same person?) Either way, their blog is a lush mix of styles and they’re fabulous at accessorising.

Sugar & Spice: I discovered Madeleine and KayKay via Teen Vogue. (And yes, I am aware I’m too old for Teen Vogue but I like to feel young sometimes, ok?) These two are based in the US and their Tumblr blog offers a really sweet mix of down-home Texas style and LA cool. And they’re so pretty it makes you feel a bit sick.

Have I missed any good ones? Let me know if you’ve found any awesome blogging duos…

Fashionista gets fit

9th March 2015

Witness the fitness! I’ve embarked on a new regime and of course this means new gear is needed…

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Above: T shirt – New Look, Nike trainers – JD Sports, Jawbone activity monitor – available in Argos, leggings – Topshop

Those reading this who know me will know that I’m not a gym bunny. Running around, getting sweaty in baggy clothes is not my idea of a good time. I do attend the occasional Zumba class when the mood strikes me, which I like, but to be honest it’s not very cool, is it? I always feel like a bit of a pillock bounding about in my trackie bottoms to Shakira with a class full of sweaty Betties around me.

This month though, I got brainwashed by an infomercial – surely the arbiters of all things cool?! It was called Hip Hop Abs, starring legendary choreographer to the stars and creator of the Insanity workout, Shaun T. It had a bit more glamour than my usual exercise class, so I’ve bought it and it promises that in six days I will have Hip Hop video worthy abs without leaving the house. Oh yes!

Above is what I’ll be wearing (in my dreams) and in reality, I’ll be getting down in front of my telly every day to see if this thing works. Let’s see if dreams and reality match up! I must admit, I’m sceptical…!

 

Everyday gems

2nd March 2015

Jewellery shouldn’t just be for special occasions; investing in quality accessories that are chic and simple should mean that you’re able to wear them every day…

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Nowadays, I usually shop alone but it was on a rare trip out with my friend Vicky recently that I rediscovered the joy of jewellery. I’m usually quite sparing with accessories and subscribe to the Coco Chanel theory that you should take one thing off before you leave the house to keep an outfit chic. Vicky, on the other hand, is from the more is more school of accessories. It’s not uncommon to see her with multiple rings, bangles and earrings – but somehow it never looks ‘too much’ on her.

This is because she keeps her jewellery dainty. She’s invested quite heavily in delicate, gold plated jewellery with semi precious stones, and it looks great. All her items are mix and match and can be worn with multiple outfits, from a simple jeans and white t-shirt combo, to a more dressed up look for work. She’s definitely changed my view on jewellery in general, and here are some of the things I added to my list on our shopping trip together…

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Vicky actually bought this bangle from Oliver Bonas while we were out and I was amazed to find it was only £26. I actually thought it looked a lot more expensive.

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These little pretties are from the Z collection at Accessorize, which is designed by legendary jeweller Zara Simon. It’s a bit more luxe than their usual collection, but the price points are still affordable enough to allow you to wear it every day without guilt.

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Finally, these little stacking rings from Monica Vinader are truly tempting. The pretty pastel colours of the stones are ideal for Spring/Summer. I’ve got quite chubby little fingers, so I’d have to try it on to see if it would work on me, but on someone with long, lean fingers, these would make a beautiful piece for everyday wear or for a special occasion.

After years of working to the ‘less is more’ philosophy on jewellery, I’m finally coming round to the magpie way of thinking. Time to invest in lots more shiny things to liven up my wardrobe…

Lead image: Thanks to Accessorize. 

 

Bristol Fashion Week back in town

23rd February 2015

The city’s biggest fashion event is back for another season on 25 – 29 March, but this time there’s a twist!

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Bristol Fashion Week returns to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for Spring/Summer 2015, this time presented by Lucy Watson from Made in Chelsea, alongside long-time host TV stylist Mark Heyes.

As well as being a reality TV star, Lucy is a fashion fiend – she’s modelled for loads of top brands, has her own fashion blog and even her own jewellery line, Creature.

I’m so excited to be working with the team again on what promises to be another exciting event. As well as bringing in Lucy, the team have a number of other exciting surprises in store – but I can’t tell you what they are, you’ll have to wait and see!

If you haven’t yet got tickets for Bristol Fashion Week, you can buy them online at mallcribbs.com. Hope to see you all there!

In the meantime, if you haven’t already seen it, here’s a video we made last time…