Monday, 30 December 2013

Pyjama Day

After a seemingly endless search for some silk pyjamas I think I might have finally found the perfect pair!

It's been a long and arduous trail that has involved electric shocks and static hair - as a result of trying on synthetic satin nightwear. Who knew it could be so hard to find some nice pyjamas?

Thank goodness for H&M! These black pyjamas with white trim (pictured left) might be 100% polyester but the fabric feels a lot more like silk crepe than some of the super-shiny styles out there and I love the fact they come with shorts rather than long pyjama bottoms.So chic and just £19.99 - who'd want a onesie, ey?!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Liberty Print Presents

I really enjoyed watching the Channel 4 documentary on Liberty of London in the run-up to Christmas. There really is nowhere quite like Liberty. With the eclectic mix of Art Nouveau prints, exotic interiors and cutting-edge new design talent, all housed within the confines of the famous mock-Tudor building off Regent Street, Liberty really is a destination shop. Where else could you find a giant grizzly bear toy alongside this season's must-have Christmas decorations?

I love the heritage behind Liberty and their print archive looks like heaven to any fan of vintage textiles. Recently, I was particularly lucky to spot a vintage Liberty scarf in a charity shop. Its bold design suggests it's from the swinging '60s - and unfortunately it's age shows in that there were two small tears along one edge. For just £5 it was still a great buy and my lovely Mum skillfully sewed it up for me and wrapped it up with my Christmas presents. To complete my Liberty print haul, my sister made me one of her signature zip brooches and covered a diary in one of my favourite bird prints.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas You Filthy Animal!

The best Christmas film of all time? Without a shadow of a doubt for me it has to be Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. New York must be the perfect place to spend Christmas - especially when a plush hotel, endless room service and daddy's credit card are involved. As for a rainy Florida - what were his family thinking?!

I used to drive my family mad watching this film on repeat - and I'm glad to see it's made it on to the Christmas TV schedule today. Not only that, but Three Eleven have only gone and made a Kevin McCallister Christmas jumper (pictured left, £50).

Merry Christmas you filthy animal - and a Happy New Year!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Dear Santa...

With just 2 days to go the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on! Today's the day those hapless boys who haven't a clue what to buy all rush out to the shops. For me the prep is over with all gifts bought and wrapped, and whilst I sit snuggled up in a blanket watching Love Actually for the umpteenth time Santa should be busy loading up his sleigh - not wandering aimlessly around department stores. At least that's one man we can rely on to provide the perfect presents!

Now I've been a very good girl all year, but something tells me I'm not going to find Prince Harry holding a cute puppy under the tree this year - but that said anything is possible at Christmas!

Honestly I'll be happy with some Jimmy Choo perfume and a Liberty scarf. Merry Christmas and I hope you get everything on your Christmas wish list. xxx

Friday, 20 December 2013

Pull a Cracker - Jo Malone Style

It just wouldn't be Christmas without crackers to start the day off with a bang - but let's face it, we've heard pretty much every Christmas cracker joke there is going. If you ask me it's about time this festive staple was given a shake-up with desirable treats to fight for over Christmas dinner. Cue Jo Malone...

Nothing will make your Christmas go with a bang like a Jo Malone Christmas cracker. No plastic jumping frogs and so called 'magic' calculators here! Inside you'll find little treasures even more desirable than gold frankincense and myrrh - that's miniature bottles of Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Hand & Body Wash, Lime, Basil & Mandarin Cologne and Orange Blossom Body Cream. Divine!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Fringe Benefits

Taking inspiration from the likes of Zooey Deschanel and Foxes I've been and had my Rapunzel-esque locks chopped. OK, OK, it might not actually be that noticable given that it's still waist skimming in length and I had to stand up whilst the hairdresser worked her magic with the scissors - the main change is that I've had a blunt fringe cut back in.

I've never been one to mess around with colour too much, sticking with my natural dark brunette colouring, but looking at Alexa Chung's plaits I might just be tempted to break out the brightly coloured hair chalks next.

Monday, 16 December 2013

J Crew Jewellery

God bless America, home of the brave and land of some of my favourite brands! What's more, those generous Yanks don't keep all the good stuff to themselves. First they gave us Banana Republic, Forever 21 and Victoria's Secret, and now J Crew has joined the ranks and followed their compatriots over to our shores.

A favourite of America's first lady, J Crew is well worth a look if it's a label new to you. I particularly love their range of statement costume jewellery. You sure know when you've got this white paste-set beauty hanging around your neck (pictured left, £165), but boy it's worth it!

White goes with everything, right? I'll be wearing this necklace, my first J Crew purchase, throughout the festive season whether with a cocktail dress for Christmas drinks or to add a little sparkle to a relaxed jeans and jumper combo.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Merry Christmas Jumper Day!

Friday 13th December is now officially Christmas Jumper Day - and I make that the perfect excuse to publish a pic of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, aka the most famous Christmas jumper wearer of all time...

Calm down ladies and let's all take a moment to remember the happy time before Helen Fielding bumped off her leading man, but when Christmas jumpers weren't an ironic style statement but an annual embarrassment to be endured. Fast forward 10 years or so and Colin actually looks quite the hipster, brooding in his Rudolph sweater. Who knows, maybe this was the turning point when we all decided novelty knits were actually OK after all? However much we all drooled the dripping wet white shirt Mr Darcy look, it was never going to take off as a viable menswear trend.

Whatever its appeal, the Christmas jumper is now being lauded as the saviour of the High Street as we all rush out to buy one, but before I invest in a novelty knit I need to clear one thing up - is it the point to find the most garish knit known to man or is a nice Nordic intarsia acceptable?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Spot the Difference: Smoking Slippers

I may be only 5'3" but I still love flat shoes. You don't have to put up with pinched toes or snapped heels when comfy smoking slippers and ballet pumps are this stylish. Even Victoria Beckham has given her bunions a break of late by taking baby steps over to the flat side. For the festive season you can't beat these Jimmy Choo navy and bronze brocade slippers, but at £425 a pair they could easily take up your entire Christmas budget, so to make sure there's still turkey on the table I've found a great budget option. Nine West have a strikingly similar pair of brocade slippers reduced from £95 - £49 at Kurt Geiger at he moment. Can you spot the difference?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Hello Possums!

There's nothing like a dame and Stella McCartney knows it! Why else would the designer be so eager to secure the services of our all time favourite antipodean to turn on the Christmas lights at her Bruton Street store?

Speaking to Vogue ahead of the switch on Stella said: 'The brief is to have fun. I have been dying to get Dame Edna for so long, I'm chuffed.' And she was lucky to get her - Dame Edna Everage is quite in demand at the moment, but managed to squeeze in another glamorous public appearance in between farewell shows and rubbing shoulders with royalty.

If she/he hadn't been able to make it at least we know Stella would have made a great stand-in.
Look closer - yes, this is none other than Stella McCartney paying homage to Dame Edna complete with purple wig and butterfly-rim specs! Come on, we've all done it, haven't we? Well I'm happy to admit I used to attempt to entertain my family with bad Dame Edna impressions. No point denying it when there's video evidence!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Magic & Sparkle from M&S

December is here and the advent calendar can at last be opened, but for a lot of people it's just not Christmas until that bright red Coca-Cola truck has heralded the start of the holiday season. Love it or hate it, the truth is that adverts are becoming more and more a part of the Christmas countdown as brands compete for our attention with catchy tunes and a whole host of famous faces in a bid to get us to part from our hard earned cash. This year Morrisons may have Ant & Dec and John Lewis may have Lily Allen and a very cute story of the bear who'd never seen Christmas, but in my humble opinion it's Marks & Spencer who've stolen the show with this extravaganza of an ad starring Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, David Gandy and Helena Bonham-Carter. Ooh, love the shoes!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Elfin Craft Christmas

Before you venture up into the loft to dig out that dusty old box of Christmas decorations, take a look at the new designs from Elfin Craft on Etsy. Ok, it's not December yet but if you want to deck the halls with handcrafted, contemporary Christmas decorations this year you'll need to get your orders in sooner rather than later!

A rag wreath crafted from strips of floral or plaid fabric makes a great shabby-chic alternative to the traditional - and very prickly - holly version, and I love the Christmas tree decorations made from brightly coloured buttons and coiled zips.

Needless to say, I've already made a head start on my Christmas shopping at the Elfin Craft shop. At only £5 for a unique zip brooch, I think they'll make perfect stocking fillers. There's an assortment of colours and styles to choose from and they look lovely pinned to a hat, scarf or coat collar.

With gifts like this to make they're certainly going to be busy at the Elfin workshop in the run up to Christmas!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hunger Games Capitol Collection

I can hardly keep my eyes open to write because I've been burning the midnight oil reading The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - not just so that I can catch up with all the hype and see the film adaptation along with everyone else when it is released this week, but because I can't put the book down!

It's probably wrong to categorise The Hunger Games as another teen series, but I like to think this one could actually get young readers hooked on dystopian fiction before they move on to discover the delights the likes of George Orwell and Margaret Atwood have to offer. But enough lit crit for now.

With the detailed descriptions of clothes and the importance placed on fashion and image in the Capitol it comes as no surprise a lucrative Catching Fire clothing line is going to be launched to coincide with the film's release. A 16 piece ready-to-wear collection by The Hunger Games' costume designer, Trish Sommerville, goes on sale at Net-A-Porter on 25th November. Of course, harmless flames have not been invented yet, but hardcore fans will no doubt love the arrow motif t-shirts (£60) and matching jewellery, but prices do go up to £800 for a dress, targeting Net-A-Porter's share of the luxury market.

Psst... Look out for Lucas Hugh sportswear in the film. Apparently the London based brand was chosen after they came up in a Google search for 'futuristic sportswear'.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Theresa's Tartan Army

Vivienne Westwood always makes sure there's plenty of plaid in her collections, but this season we're taking up the tartan more than ever. It doesn't matter whether you're the model of the moment or the Home Secretary, everyone loves a Vivienne Westwood suit...

Looking at these pictures one has to wonder whether Theresa May has been taking style tips from Cara Delevingne after they were both spotted wearing the very same £1190 suit, but remember Theresa's been spotted wearing Vivienne Westwood pieces numerous times before - so much for being anti-establishment!

On the high street Primark, Topshop and Zara have all produced their own tartan suits. The Zara version (pictured above) comes in at £79.98 - that's £49.99 for the jacket and £29.99 for the trousers. With budgeting like that George Osborne had better watch out. Then again I'd much rather have a Mulberry bag on my arm than that battered red briefcase.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Victoria's Secret is Out...

It sounds like the Victoria's Secret show lived up to its billing! Angels including Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn and Doutzen Kroes all appeared in outlandish lingerie designs whilst Taylor Swift sang her broken heart out - but it was Candice Swanepoel who stole the show. Nominated 'Arch-Angel' she was bestowed the honour of wearing this year's bejewelled Fantasy Bra.

The annual Victoria's Secret show has become famed for these showstopping pieces. More jewellery than lingerie, Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Tyra Banks have all been Angels entrusted with the task of modelling the world's most eye-wateringly expensive bras.

The creation sported by Candice is reported to be worth a staggering $10 million - that's £6.3 million! Well, it does feature over 4200 precious stones including a 52 carat pear shaped ruby!

Fantasy Bra: The Facts

There have been 18 Fantasy Bras since the first was made for Claudia Schiffer back in 1996. However, the Fantasy Bra didn't become a feature of the Victoria's Secret show until 2001, when a bra worth $12.5 million was worn by Heidi Klum. The most expensive ever Fantasy Bra was Gisele Bundchen's ruby and diamond creation worth $15 million - now that's enough to give anyone heart palpitations!

Somehow I don't think too many Christmas stockings are going to be filled with Fantasy Bras, but Victoria's Secret always have plenty more affordable lingerie lines in store.

The Victoria's Secret show will be broadcast 10th December on CBS - sorry boys, you'll just have to wait...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Are you Ready for Isabel Marant?

Are you poised and ready to join the queues outside H&M? Buzz has been building for what seems like months, and now the Isabel Marant collection is all set to go on sale tomorrow - that's Thursday 14th November. Available online and at just 250 H&M stores worldwide, you can guarantee it won't stay on the shelves for long. However, I do suspect that a great deal of the stock sold will end up on ebay in the hope that items will attract bids of five times the RRP. Two years ago when all we could think about was Versace for H&M I did get the silk crocodile scarf I wanted a day or so after the launch, but that was pure luck as you can never guarantee what you want will be left after the scrum.

If you're willing enough to brave the crowds then look out for this chain scarf. At just £29.99 it is one of the cheapest items from the collection, but I think also one of the chicest. A statement piece like this can easily transform a plain old outfit into a going out ensemble. It has that rock chick edge Marant is renowned for, and I bet you anything Kate Moss owns something similar.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Soho Silver Nails

Along with all the latest goss from Katy Perry this month's
Glamour magazine comes complete with a great free gift. Nails Inc. have teamed up with Kate Spade to produce a fab collection of nail polishes, and there are full sized bottles of silver, gold, red and black worth £12 to collect. I wanted to get my hands on the Soho Silver, and after rooting through the shelves of magazines in three different newsagents I finally found one!

It takes three coats to achieve an opaque finish, but it dries really quickly so you can get it done in no time. Can you believe the finished result is even shinier in real life than it is in the picture? It almost looks like I've glued tin foil to my nails - dazzling is not the word! It's a great look for parties and as Christmas draws closer I'll definitely be trying it out with the new snowflake effect polish from Nails Inc.

Note, I would recommend using a top coat for longer lasting results as I found that it does chip easily without.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The History Girls

You only have to look at the latest crop of weathergirls in creased cocktail dresses to work out that dressing for TV must be an absolute nightmare. Along with the horror of the camera adding pounds to contend with, certain prints can come across fuzzy on screen whilst anything to showy will ultimately distract the viewer from what you are actually saying (hence I never know what the weather is going to be like). Maybe you really do need a PhD before you can get it right!

Both Dr Lucy Worsley (left) and Dr Helen Castor (right) found perfect camel coats to wear whist fronting their latest BBC 4 history programmes. The 3/4 length belted camel coat marks somewhat of a change for Lucy Worsley, who is usually to be seen in brightly coloured vintage inspired coats  - that is when she's not decked out in period costume, of course. Constantly questioned as to where she buys her coats, Lucy kindly let's us in on the secrets to her on screen wardrobe over on her blog and reveals the coats she buys for TV appearances must be one plain colour and available on the British high street for under £250. As for Helen, I think I might just have found that classic camel coat in the Best of British collection from Marks & Spencer.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

More Bang for your Buck at Zara...

No question Zara have some gorgeous winter coats in stock this season, but for a high street store they don't fall within every girl's budget - especially when there's an expensive festive season to plan for. With an average price tag of £120-£170, I had to double check it really did say £29.99 on these double breasted wool coats (pictured below) - surely they'd accidentally forgot to print the number 1 in front and I'd be left red-faced at the checkout! Thankfully they hadn't made a mistake and I bagged myself a real bargain.

Part of Zara's new rage of items with 'Special Prices', you'll find v-neck jumpers for £7.99 and trousers for £12.99 alongside this coat, which is available in grey, green, black and navy. And before you ask, no they haven't scrimped on quality - the coat is fully lined and even has the added detail of an inside pocket. Wonder how many people have been tempted to buy it in all four colours?

Friday, 1 November 2013

All Saints Day

Where better to shop on All Saints Day than erm AllSaints?!

If those Singer sewing machine shop window displays aren't enough to draw you in their dark arts will soon do the trick. A grey and black colour palette is never boring in the hands of AllSaints and anything with a skull motif is fine by me!

Of late it's the quirky knitwear designs with signature ladders, cut-outs and asymmetric sides that have grabbed my attention.

The Pirate cardigan (pictured left, £88) is a versatile piece that can be worn wrapped or draped, and it makes a welcome addition to my winter wardrobe.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Mighty Purse that Charges your Phone!

Forget the Higgs boson, this is the scientific breakthrough we've all been waiting for... yes, finally someone has invented a clutch bag that can actually charge your phone!

Gone are those nights when you loose your friends in an impossibly busy bar and can't even call a taxi home because - surprise, surprise - your phone is out of battery.

All that drunk texting and Instagramming of selfies sure saps up some juice - but now we'll always be able to write that late night status update without a worry. Mighty Purse have come to the rescue with their range of cute leather clutch bags (pictured left, £84.99), complete with charger and enough room for the essential cash, cards, keys etc. A Mighty Purse indeed!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Cream of the Crop

If white is for weddings, is cream the colour for christenings? Well it certainly looked like that was the case at St James Palace on Wednesday, as Kate, Pippa and Camilla all coordinated their cream outfits with little Prince George's christening gown.

George's christening gown is in fact an exact replica of the silk and lace outfit commissioned by Queen Victoria during her first pregnancy in 1840. Worn by each of her nine children in turn, as well as by successive generations of royal babies, the once white silk gown has turned cream with age and is now deemed to fragile to be worn.

As for the Duchess of Cambridge, she once again turned to McQueen for her frill-fronted cream suit, whilst her sister chose a perfectly coordinated cream trapeze coat by Suzannah Crabb (£750).

Friday, 25 October 2013

Addams Family Value

We're hurtling towards Halloween faster than a witch on a rocket-powered broomstick, so better stock up on sweets and start planning a suitably scary costume. I'll confess when I saw this contrast collar blouse for £10 at Primark my first thought was how very Victoria Beckham - but now looking at it puts me more in mind of Wednesday Addams.

What? Wednesday's still a style icon - and she had that pout perfected long before Posh came along! For the easiest (and cheapest) costume ever all I'll have to do is plait my hair, crack open the white face paint and wear this blouse with a black skirt. There's just one problem - my Nephew thinks this blouse makes me look like a nun and bursts out in uncontrollable laughter every time he sees me wear it, whilst my Nan says I look more like a strict school ma'am. Charming! You can always rely on family for a good insult. I'll start working on my unamused scowl...

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Kate Spade Spell Check

When I read that Kate Spade's latest collection of accessories had been inspired by a love of books, libraries and academia I couldn't have been more excited - that is until I saw the spelling...

Have you spotted the glaringly obvious error? Yes, it should be Austen with an E if they're referring to the author and not the state capitol of Texas! Oh dear, better call the copy editor.

Spelling errors aside, a library index is a lovely idea for a quirky handbag - but it's guaranteed any book lover who's bought the bag without giving it a second glance is not going to be happy, and at $298 purchasing the 'Required Reading Index Organizer' is one pricey mistake to make.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Kelly Looks Lovely in Lace

Kelly Clarkson may have failed to get Jane Austen's ring on her finger, but she looks blissfully happy now that Brandon Blackstock's put a ring on it.

It was revealed that American Idol winner Kelly and Blackstock had tied the knot when she tweeted the news: "I'm officially Mrs. Blackstock. We got married yesterday at Blackberry Farms in TN, the most beautiful place ever!"

As for the dress, the bride wore a beautiful gown by Temperley no less.Pipping designs from Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa to the post (or rather, alter) the v-necked, lace 'Jessamine' dress is from the Iris collection won out in the end. That's the same collection Made In Chelsea's Millie Mackintosh chose her 'Bluebell' wedding dress from when she married Professor Green last month.

Looking at Temperley brides it comes as no surprise these wedding dresses are so popular. As for Kelly's 3 back up dresses, that's a bride's prerogative.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Booty Call

Looking for the perfect pair of winter boots? Problem solved!

Far sexier than the 'man repelling' DMs and heavy tread boots we're seeing everywhere this season, these monochrome lace-ups from Faith still have that sought after 90s vibe - but with the addition of a block heel and pointed toe.

I'm soled (sorry bad pun) - especially seeing as they've got 25% off at the Debenhams Blue Cross Sale this weekend!

Faith Lace-Up Ankle Boots, WERE £65 NOW £48.50 at Debenhams.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

It Must Be Love

When reality star Lauren Conrad took to Instagram to announce her engagement to William Tell this week she probably expected everyone to be dazzled by the suitably huge diamond on her immaculately manicured ring finger - but that's not what has caught everyone's attention...

A picture may be worth 1000 words, but just to make sure the world knows she's in love, Lauren chose to spell out her feelings by wearing a Sydney Evan 'love' ring alongside her engagement rock.

Stealing the limelight from that sparkler, it's a 'love' ring every girl now wants on her finger. The 14 carat gold and diamond set ring sells for $860, and has already been spotted on the likes of Rihanna, Lily Collins and Sarah Jessica Parker who are all fans of Sydney Evan's jewellery - but there are more affordable options out there too. I love this Sterling silver ring from Little Treasures (pictured left), WAS £70 NOW £35 at Amazon.

A 'love' ring would definitely make a quirky alternative to the traditional diamond engagement ring.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Wool Week Knits

Knitting needles at the ready - Wool Week is here! From 14th-20th October all sorts of events will be taking place to promote the Campaign for Wool, including free fashion knitting workshops at the Oxford Street and Edinburgh branches of John Lewis.

However, if like me you just end up with a tangled mess every time you attempt to knit something, you could always take the opportunity to buy some new winter woolies.

The 'Wool School' initiative has seen fashion and textiles students from around the country competing to have their knitwear designs sold at stores including Topshop, M&S, Brora, Barbour and Jigsaw - so look out for the winning designs inspired by knitwear traditions of the British Isles when they go on sale this week.

As for me, I've just picked out this bright blue and red jumper from the Jaeger Outlet (pictured above, WAS £150, NOW £35)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Poppy Appeal

With just a month to go until Remembrance Day it's time to pin a poppy to your lapel. Every year I buy I paper poppy to wear, but I usually manage to either lose it or crumple it within the space of a day - but at Jon Richard they've come up with a great alternative...

In support of The Royal British Legion's annual Poppy Appeal they're selling poppy cocktail rings. Embellished with red crystals, the poppy rings both look stylish and show your support for this worthy cause.

Available to buy now from as well as at selected Debenhams stores nationwide, the rings have an adjustable band to fit everyone and come gift boxed - but most importantly £3.60 from the sale of each £12 ring will go straight to The Royal British Legion so they can continue their valuable work with both serving and ex-service personnel of the British Armed Forces and their families.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Kate Moss' Miss Whiplash Moment

Do you reckon Kate Moss has been reading Fifty Shades of Grey? I think she's more of a The Beautiful and the Damned kinda gal myself, but either way it certainly looks like she's developed a penchant for whips! This is the second time in as many months Kate's been spotted sporting this whip in hand belt. I don't know where she found it but I'm hoping something similar will feature in her new collection for Topshop.

Yes, that's right - if you haven't already heard Kate Moss has been welcomed back into the Topshop fold with wide open arms. After a three year break, Kate is set to return with a new collection for the high street giant in April 2014 and speaking of the partnership Philip Green said: "I am personally thrilled that Kate wanted to come back to Topshop to work with us again. The first time around was such a lot of fun, and she has been sorely missed". Here, here! In my eyes Kate can do no wrong - but maybe that's something to do with her being a fellow Ms Moss.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Isabel Marant for H&M

Now I'm no Mystic Meg but something tells me there is going to be one very long queue down Oxford Street come 14th November. There may still be over a month to go until Isabel Marant's highly anticipated collection for H&M finally goes on sale, but that doesn't stop us doing a little forward planning now does it? Images of the entire range have been released so we can start to take our pick from the Parisian cool collection. There are the oversized boyfriend blazers, skinny jeans and jogging bottoms we'd expect from Marant - but with prices from just £14.99 for a pair of earrings! Here are two of my favourite looks...

Left: Tribal Print Jacket, £199.99; Red Trousers, £69.99; White T-Shirt, £24.99; Embellished Shoes, £99.99

Right: Grey Coat, £99.99; Black Jeans, £59.99; White T-Shirt, £19.99; Brown Suede Boots, £99.99

The Isabel Marant collection will be sold at just 250 H&M stores around the world, so be sure to check where you can start queueing!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Brooch The Subject

For a while it's been hard to find any nice brooches on the high street, so for me it's usually a case of wearing pins that have been passed down through the family or else scouring antique fairs and charity shops for new additions to my collection, as these places always seem to have a ready supply of good old fashioned cameos and the like.

On a mission to prove that brooches aren't just for grannies, or old fashioned for that matter, I've currently got a Wedgewood blue cameo proudly pinned to the lapel of my pink winter coat. Said brooch always manages to attract comment - but not always for the right reasons. For instance, take the time I ventured into my local supermarket...

I can only assume the checkout staff had been given strict instructions to try and make polite conversation with every customer because, let's face it, why else would a teenage boy remark on a brooch? His exact words were: 'That's a nice brooch. You don't often see girls wearing brooches. Maybe it's because they're so old fashioned.' Oh dear! Thankfully I wasn't buying much so I could smile and leave before the poor boy dug himself into an even deeper hole. Heaven forbid he had asked what I do for a living! I suspect he meant well and never intended on suggesting I was wholly unfashionable, but he did hit upon a salient point - why is it more girls don't wear brooches?

Well, maybe the new selection from Topshop will help give the brooch a better reputation. I particularly love these two designs (pictured above, £12.50) - the spiked one is very Mawi don't you think?

Monday, 30 September 2013

Berry Nice!

This winter I'll be making a nod to the berry tone trend with this Zara handbag (£29.99). It may be known as the Mini City Bag but it's still big enough to carry all the essentials - and that's including a brolly and my Kindle. I know, I know, not another handbag - but it's practical, on trend and good value, so what's a girl to do?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Primark A/W '13

After popping into Primark today I have to say their new A/W collection looks like their best yet. Whether it's pink coats, plaid shirts or leather-look skirts, they've got all the key trends covered. The first thing I bought was this monochrome jumper for £14. What a bargain!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Jane Austen's Ring

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single lady in possession of a good fortune must be in want of jewellery - and lots of it! So when American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson got engaged she could think of nothing more romantic than sealing the deal with a ring that once belonged to her heroine, Jane Austen - or so the story goes. But there's to be no happily ever after...

The singer paid £152,450 for the gold and turquoise ring when it was put up for auction by the Austen family last year - that's over 5 times Sotherby's original estimate - but Kelly has never actually managed to get the ring on her finger. No it's not too small, it's actually considered far too important to leave English soil so it's a replica she's been spotted sporting on her ring finger.

As one of only 3 pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to one of the nation's favourite authors the government were quick to issue an export veto after the sale to keep this little piece of our heritage in the country in the hope that a suitable UK buyer could be found.

Before you rush off to count the pennies in your purse, it's been announced that the folks from Jane Austen's House Museum have now raised the total required to buy the ring and put it on display in Austen's former home - largely thanks to an anonymous donation of £100,000.

Sorry Kelly, but this little gem belongs in Chawton, where it is set to go on permanent display alongside the topaz cross and ivory bracelet also once worn by Austen. At least she's taken the news in good heart, releasing the statement: 'The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen's House Museum.' I, for one, can't wait to visit.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Downton's Back & It's Edith's Time to Shine

Downton Abbey is back on our screens and it's time to swoon at all those 1920s dresses. With Lady Mary resolved to stick with her black widow's weeds it was down to Edith to show off some of the sparkle that the Jazz Age is renowned for on Sunday night - and she didn't disappoint!

Bare shoulders on display - now what would Granny Grantham have to say about that?! But with her newspaper editor beau on her arm and a wardrobe full of drop-waisted dresses it looks like it's finally Edith's time to shine.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pippa Packs a Style Punch

Look who's been spotted packing a style punch at the Boodles Boxing Ball! Snapped arriving at The Grosvenor House Hotel for the society bash, Pippa Middleton looked an absolute knock-out in her Catherine Deane knife pleat dress - and the midi length version is still available at for £800 if you move fast.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Aviator Flies Back Into Fashion

Back in 2010 the aviator was the coat of the winter, but it was widely expected to be a one season wonder. Now three years on the shearling-collared coat style has flown right back into fashion. I can't wait to dig my old H&M aviator out from the depths of my wardrobe - but I could easily be tempted to buy one of their new styles.

Left: Beige Suede Effect Biker Jacket, £39.99 H&M
Right: Black Woven Fabric Biker Jacket, £34.99 H&M

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Bum Note from Burberry?

Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of things to love about the Burberry Prorsum S/S'14 show. For starters this has to be the most star-studded FROW of London Fashion Week, but I have to hope see-through skirts worn with Bridget Jones knickers is one trend that won't take off any time soon.

Harry Styles certainly seems to have enjoyed watching Cara Delevingne strutting her stuff on the catwalk - and there's no question she looked stunning in her succession of sheer blouses and lace skirts. Having your knickers on show out on the street, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. We're talking a whole lot more than a hint of VPL here!

Following a summer of bum-bearing denim cut-offs, we're now faced with the prospect of see-through skirts. No need for the X-Ray glasses anymore boys! Of course the catwalk is a springboard for styles to be reinterpreted for real life, so I for one predict M&S doing a roaring trade in underskirts to be worn underneath these otherwise ladylike lace pencil skirts.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Celine Laundry Bag

They say never air your dirty linen in public, but if you've got the cash to splash on a Celine handbag you'd want the world and his wife to see your new arm candy - am I right? But don't you think Celine's new must-have shopper is more than a little reminiscent of those woven check bags we see hauled in and out of the Albert Square launderette for poor old Dot to deal with? Albeit an uber-luxe version, of course.

Who'd have thought the humble laundry bag could inspire something so beautiful? No question this bag is way too good to lug around dirty laundry, but that said a girl's got to show off her handbags somewhere.

Just don't expect these to be popping up on Eastenders any time soon.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve

My favourite thing about the Burberry Prorsum A/W'13 collection has to be the amount of cute heart prints Christopher Bailey sent down the catwalk - providing the perfect offset to the overtly sexy PVC skirts on show. All set to be the must-have motif of the season, even Victoria Beckham has taken a break from promoting her own designs to don the burgundy version of the heart print silk shirt (£495), but at Burberry the cutesy hearts aren't just reserved for the womenswear line, oh no. It looks like Harry Styles loves his Burberry heart print shirt (£350). Who knows, maybe there's a heart on that shirt to represent every heart he's broken?!

Out on the high street they're already feeling the love, stocking their own versions of Burberry's heart print designs. I particularly like New Look's take on the shirt, (pictured centre, £17.99). The hearts are slightly smaller making it a bit less obvious you're wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Millie Mack Marries in Temperley

Congratulations go out to Millie Mackintosh and Professor Green who wed in a romantic country ceremony yesterday. The Made In Chelsea star looked absolutely stunning in her Temperley gown and Louboutin heels. I'm always a big fan of Temperley bridal designs, and Millie's wedding dress with lace bodice and frilled peplum skirt from the Florence collection is no exception. For the bridesmaids it was dusky pink, bias cut dresses from Ghost (£195), ironically a style named the 'Chelsea'!

On the topic of Chelsea, somewhat surprisingly Caggie Dunlop and Rosie Fortescue were both spotted arriving at Babington House in Bath for their friend's wedding - putting paid to those reports that Pro Green had banned any MiC stars attending the nuptials. Let's just hope there was no champagne thrown in anger!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Harper Beckham Steals The Show

How cute is this picture of Harper Beckham sitting pride of place on daddy's knee waiting for her mum's catwalk show - and is that a smile from Anna Wintour?

Even if little Harper hadn't won over the Editor in Chief of US Vogue, Victoria Beckham's S/S'14 collection could be relied upon to do the job.

Marking a turnaround from VB, the line focused more on masculine tailoring than on the tight-fitting dresses on which Victoria cut her designer's teeth. But whilst wide cut cropped trousers, white shirts and triangle motifs were the order of the day, there were still enough frilled hemlines to keep lovers of more feminine styles happy. Bring on next summer!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Step Out in Silver Shoes

It seems all I do is wax lyrical about Zara these days, but I figured one more post won't tip the balance too much... well not when we're talking about shiny new shoes!

I can honestly say I haven't worn a pair of silver shoes since way back in the 90s, when I had a pair of square toed sling backs that even my best friend told me were hideous - but I think the time may have come for me to tentatively dip my toes back into the glistening silver waters.

These super shiny pointed moccasins from Zara (£25.99) have definitely brought out my inner magpie. What can I say? I guess shiny things just have the power to cast a spell over some people.

A pair of sparkling slippers certainly never did Cinderella any harm - or Dorothy for that matter...

Friday, 6 September 2013

Autumn's In The Air

The return home from a glorious week down in Devon filled with sun, sea, cider and scones was made all the harder to take with the decidedly winter chill in the air. There's no mistaking autumn is here, so it's time to shake the sand from my sandals and stow away the swimwear ready for next summer.

The black opaques are coming back out along with my new winter coat - which I can't deny I've been eager to give an airing for weeks.

I got my hands on the bloggers' favourite aztec biker jacket in the Zara summer sale when it was marked down from £99 - £39.99.

Spotted on a hot summer's day I could barely bring myself to try it on, but it has turned out to be a wise purchase now I'm ready for winter and starting to see the shops fill up with various similar styles.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bank Holiday Bargains at Warehouse Sale

A big night out inevitably calls for a last minute shopping trip - but panic buys are not usually my forte, so thank goodness for Warehouse is all I'll say. They've always got a great selection of dresses in stock - whether you're looking for something smart, sexy or sophisticated (or a bit of all 3 for that matter).

I found this ombre stencil print dress with zip front skirt and pockets (you've just got to love a dress with pockets) in the sale reduced from £48 - £25. Outfit sorted, panic over! Now to enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend...

Friday, 16 August 2013

Jaeger Style Steal

On a recent visit to the Jaeger store at the East Midlands Designer Outlet this little gem of a skirt instantly caught my eye (pictured left). Not only is the mint green tweed reminiscent of Mulberry's S/S'13 collection but I'd already spotted Caroline Flack and Mollie King looking leggy and lovely in the matching pinafore (pictured below).

So what would the damage be on this 60s style mini skirt? Well, it had been reduced from £180 - £25! Needless to say it's now sitting pretty in my wardrobe. I wonder if there's a matching jacket to complete a Jackie O inspired ensemble?

The Jaeger online outlet is regularly updated with items starting from as little as £15, so I'll be keeping a lookout for more bargains.