Punching above their weight

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Just a little quicky to inform you of these amazeballs ‘Henderson Sky’ punch-detail lace ups from, of all places, Clarks!

I think these are amazing for summer and will look wicked with the ankle grazer length trousers that are in vogue at the moment. They will look especially good with pastel shades.

At £49.99 they’re not the cheapest – but they are real leather, available in half sizes and two different widths and have ‘underfoot cushioning’, which just sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

I want them. Now.

 

 

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Twice Knightley

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So, I don’t know why but this week I was reminded of a fab outfit of Keira Knightley’s from last year that I was dying dying dying for.

I searched high and low last year for a beautiful yellow skirt like Keira’s but to no avail. Hers was from Whistles and was an eye-watering £110. Now much as I loves a summery frock, I’m also aware that the colour and fabric of said skirt is not exactly what you’d call trans-seasonal, and Britain is hardly a tropical paradise, so I thought it wasn’t really an investment.

But now, it having entered my consciousness for the second time, I have set myself the challenge of replicating Keira’s look, but finding the whole outfit for the price of the Whistles skirt. Remember fash-maths from earlier posts? Well, it’s back baby.

I decided that I’d leave out the belt, as if you’re like me, through the course of the last year you’ve accumulated more ‘free’ tan belts with items of clothing than you could shake a stick at. And I think I could shake a stick at quite a few.

So, here’s my first attempt.

Skirt – 19.99 New Look; Shirt £16.99 New Look; Sandals £60 Aldo

Fash-maths total: £96.98. Hurrah! This is good, yes, but I think I can do better…

Second attempt

Skirt £45 Oasis; Shirt (tie at the waist) £7.99 H&M; Sandals £19 Dorothy Perkins.

Fash-maths total: £71.99

Aside from me actually salivating at those sandals (errrrr, WANT) that leaves a delightful £38.01 to go and buy yourself a cocktail or two and attempt to attract a bloke like Keira’s.

Sorry, Whistles you just can’t beat fash-maths.

Getting fruity

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I loves a quirky print as much as the next girl. Actually that’s a lie, I loves a quirky print much much more than the next girl, like LOADS more.

Birds, animals, flowers, they all are about, but particularly at the moment I’m liking fruit prints.

Cherries, bananas, watermelon, raspberries, pineapples, strawberries, pears and apples. They’re all out there ready to be picked!

So make sure you get at least one of your five a day with my pick of the best,,,

1. Cherry print dress – Coleen Rooney at Very

There we all were thinking that we knew for sure that Coleen Rooney had no taste (or at least no eyes, look who she’s married to) but to my delight, I found this cutie beauty for £49, and it’s summery-er than a jug of Pimms. It is fit, and I want it.

2. Watermelon print vest – MissGuided

MissGuided have made my little eyes water at the sight of this watermelon number. Get down with your bad juicy self in this sheer vest – available in black or white, and all for a purse friendly £14.99. Tuck in.

3. Pineapple print skirt – Yumi at House of Fraser

This pineapple print skirt is not for the faint hearted, but I just love how lovely and summery this is. I’d be keeping it simple with a white vest, tan sandals and layered gold necklaces. The skirt speaks for itself really, saying “hello, I have pineapples on me”. Bottom heavy girls are advised to proceed with caution with this one though. Yumi have a range of clothes with other fruit prints like lemon and apple. Check em out.

4. Apple print top – Select Fashion

This funky apple print reminds me of oldschool Motel clothing, when their USP was kooky fabric designs and not to use as little material as possible. It’s also in my current fave colour and is a ruddy snip at just £8. Available in black/grey and camel/black.

If a full on fruit salad about your person is just too much for you then there are a whole host of nice accessories of the fruity persuasion that you can purchase. As ever, here’s my pick…

Top row, L-R: pear headband, £7 Topshop; Fruit earrings, £6, H&M; Apple neckscarf, £7, Dorothy Perkins; Apple hairband, £7, Accessorize.

Bottom row, L-R: Pineapple fan, £4.50, Accessorize; Pear overnight bag, £39.95, Fruit Tree at Campus Gifts; Fruit charm bracelet, £7.99, Anderson & Webb.

And that’s it. Get fruity. And that’s an order.

Colour crush

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It hasn’t happened for a long time, but I am having a massive colour crush at the moment. Everything I want to buy seems to be in this colour – my mother would call it ‘eau de Nile’ (how very 80s), but essentially it’s a very delicate aquamarine.

To my delight and my credit card’s eternal shame, I’ve gone and bought a couple of bits in this colour already. I realise that pastels are big this spring summer, but there is a destinct risk that I could end up just owning clothes in this colour alone. So to stop me from doing so, I felt I would share some of the lovely bits I’ve seen with you.

Firstly, I actually have bought this, but it’s super cute and I love the bird print on it (kooky animal prints are all over the hangers like a grandma on a gin bottle, so I advise you to get involved.)

This baby is £28 from Dorothy Perkins (who have had a surprisingly awesome spring drop, it has to be said) and I think it will see me through summer very well. I realise that there are many opportunities to make jokes about the fact that the birds are blue tits, but believe me I have made pretty much all of them in my head already, and none of them merit sharing.

Here comes Zara again, doing the pastel-y business with these lovely patent aqua heels for £69.99.

Now, I know that pastel shoes can look very wedding-y, but I would rock these with some black ankle grazers, a metallic top and a tux jacket to mix things up a wee bit to make you more ‘hot mama’ and less ‘mother of the bride’.

Next up is this nostalgia-enducing ballet wrap from Topshop (£36). It quite simply is one of the cutest things I have seen in 2012 (except that pig that has to wear wellies) and I want want want it! ARGH! It takes me back to circa 1992 when I pestered my mother for a ballet wrap cardigan (even though I did tap dancing, but whatever, I wanted one!)

The influx of pastels and prints in the shops means that we’re in for a girlie time in fashion, so make the most of it by teaming it with a floaty dress and some delicate heels (yep, time to ditch the platforms for this baby!)

Last up is this crop shirt from Miss Selfridge. It says ‘hello holiday’ – which is ideal, as I shall buy it for my holiday. Hurrah.

I would avoid the urge to put it with dark denim shorts – you can be too blue, you know. I’d opt for black or beigey tailored shorts and some sandals. Keep it simple peeps.

But what if pastels don’t suit you? You can always add accents with some cool accessories, and if you’re a bit short on cash they can be mighty purse friendly too. Try some of these for your pleasure:

L-R: Barry M nail varnish in Aqua Moon; Blue polka dot studs, £4.50, ASOS; patent pumps, £15.99, New Look; waist belt, £8.00, ASOS.

Blue bliss. x

A love in – with Zara

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Well, I wasn’t expecting to have another love in so soon, but then Zara goes and gets their spring drop! And it’s amazing!

I have already bought not one but two summer dresses from there and it’s not even summer! Whooooooops!

But they are awesome. First up it was this floral lovely for £49.99. This pic on the Zara website really doesn’t do it much justice – the pansy print on it is so vibrant, and it has a wrap top (great for the larger chested lady) that nips the waist in and it’s made from a lovely floaty chiffon fabric. I don’t think it needs that much accessorising because the pattern on the dress is enough. A pair of neutral heels and a gold necklace. Bob is your mother’s brother.

The next one up was this little vibrant sundress for £25.99 (which will be ideal for both a 30th birthday I’m going to in March AND my holiday. Double whammy, nice!) Yet again, Zara’s website pic of the dress does it no justice at all (have a word with yourself, Zara) – I’ve tried it on with a gold belt and shoes and it looks ace (30th birthday) but will dress down with a few nice tan accesorries and a satchel  for holibob. Oh, we like ’em versatile, we do.

These were the two things that I bought (and the only two, as I’ve just had to spend an eye-watering amount of cash getting some new specs) but there are plenty of other beauties on the lust list. In the coming months I will also be keeping my peepers on these…

I’ll be wanting to pair up this cute openwork sweater (£25.99) with this lovely swishy skirt (£29.99) and sashaying along the beach in bare feet. I’ll be popping one of the numerous free tan woven belts that I’ve accumulated from various other purchases around the sweater and going on my merry way.

These pinkie jeans (£35.99) nail the pastels trend that will be all over your spring wardrobe like a fat kid on a Smartie. They’ll also be ideal for the outfit that I mentioned in my H&M love in post the other week. The juicier pear shapes would be well advised to avoid these and stick to darker colours to slim the bottom half. Either that, or make sure you emphasise your shoulders to balance.

Finally, these nude shoes are awesome. That Mary-Jane strap is very useful when you’ve had a few G&Ts I can tell you. They are £39.99 and would work pretty well with the first dress I bought, actually… x

A love in – with H&M

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After a trip with my bestie to Brent Cross a couple of weeks ago, it struck me that sometimes you are lucky in shops and sometimes you aren’t. That is, sometimes you find so many things that you like, that you have to do shifts in the changing rooms and the shop assistants hate you, or completely the opposite, you find nothing that sparks the imagination.

So, when one of the former occasions arise, I will document the shopping ‘love in’ with a blog post. This time, it’s H&M.

H&M can be a hit and miss shop, and in my humble opinion, their online shopping experience is massively flawed. This time around, we had a hit. My girl spent around £140, got 9 items of clothing, amounting to a vast number of mix and match outfits! Feast your peepers on these, baby.

Top row, L-R: Stripy jumper, £14.99; Navy jacket, £29.99; Green trousers, £14.99; Middle row, L-R: Floral shirt, £12.99; Hooded cardigan, £29.99; Navy jeggings, £24.99; Bottom row, L-R: Black jersey top, £6.99; Tan waist belt, £12.99; Green cable jumper, £12.99.

Some of these (the floral shirt, navy jacket and the navy trousers) I’ve had to replace with similar items because the actual ones aren’t shown on the H&M website (tut tut).

My favourite of her outfits was this cute smasual combo of the navy jacket, the white floral shirt (she actually bought a t-shirt with the same pattern) and the green jeans. She looked amazing (I am now also secretly lusting after this outfit, just with pink jeans instead! Shh don’t tell anyone!) I went to the H&M changing room online, and finished the outfit with a little tan belt and a pair of matching shoes and some sunnies. Tres chic!

She could have also paired it up with that sweet (and bargainous) stripy jumper. The gold in the collar of the jumper brings out the gold in the buttons on the blazer and vice versa!

Another one was a nautical-but-nice outfit, with the navy jeans and the aforementioned stripy jumper. I would slap that lovely waist belt around it too, and tie the colour of the belt in with a tan pair of boots or pumps. To style up, I’d also find a patterned scarf and tie around my neck or in my hair, like the below. (Those fit boots are in the sale at £34.99 as well. Swoooon!)

So there we have it, between us we spent an afternoon making sweet sweet love to H&M. And boy it felt good. x

Birthday suit

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So one of my beautiful friends turns 30 at the end of the month, and in the course of our chats over email at work (naughty) she charged me with the task/honour of finding her a dress/outfit for her 30th that, and I quote, “says ‘I’m 30 and single’ and that makes me feel great.”

As you can imagine I squealed with excitement at a new task. I’ve got up to £100 to spend, and literally no other limits than the above. DANGEROUS!

First attempt

Now, I know I’ve done a post on this before, but nothing shouts ‘hello boys’ louder than a red dress. If it fits well, it will make you feel like a million dollars (that’s £645,802.37p).

So, off I popped into the web-is-phere and found the following super hot red frocks.

I found this first little number from a website called Rockabilly Pinup. It’s a classic retro shape in hot red by Lady K Loves. At £45 it’s a steal, and leaves £55 for me to find accessories! Yes, it’s low cut, but she gave me an open brief. Told you it was dangerous!

Next up is this sexy little dress by Hybrid at ASOS. Now my girl is smaller on top than on the bottom, so she can get away with the fab shoulder detailing on this dress. Slinky and sexy, it’s £85. Luckily I think the dress speaks for itself and a bit of simple jewellery will set this off a treat.

There was another dress – a ruched pencil dress with capped sleeves that I found in Monsoon, but I’ll be effed if I can find it anywhere online, so I will have to come back to this one.

Second attempt

Yes, I know it’s still January, but spring will be here soon, and there’s something delightful about a floaty, girly dress that says ‘I’m fun, and I don’t have a care in the world’. So this was my next port of call – flirty rather than foxy.

Also the dresses must be swishy.

First up I found this gorgeous pale pink embroidered edge dress, which I just love. It’s £65 from ASOS, and I think it neatly mixes ethereal with structure. This leaves spare money for accessories too. Despite all these wonderful things I think I know what my friend will say, and that is “it will make me look naked.” But ya-boo-sucks-to-you, it’s my blog and I think it’s great!

I have recently discovered the independent label Sodamix, who do some amazingly cute dresses at uber reasonable prices. I couldn’t help but go cute AND retro by picking out this lush candy stripe shirt dress. Dribble, dribble. And it’s only £22. Squee!

Last up is this lovely wrap over dress for £45 from ASOS. Floaty, flattering and girlie with a bit of spangle on the sleeves. This will challenge my girl as it’s not the sort of style she’d normally go for. But I’m a naughty fashion pixie, and I’m putting it in anyway!

Final attempts

So the following dresses don’t really fit into any particular kind of category, they are just ones I saw and liked, so enjoy this random little catalogue of other suggestions.

L-R: Orange drape dress, £30, Numph at Joy; LBD, £90, Hybrid at ASOS; Red cross back skater dress, £17, Warehouse; Gingham summer dress, £35, ASOS Collection.

L-R: Purple paisley tea dress, £42.99, La Frock; Blue leopard dress, £95, Coast; White grecian dress, £45, Cutie at Dorothy Perkins; Applique dress, £95, Karen Millen.