Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blue & Neutrals

I love this Peter Pilotto top and as much as I want to clash it, it think it should be the centre piece...

You know what - just realized I paired this Acne jacket with it before - must be something right about it then. ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Lunchtime Treat

Sorry for the lack of recent updates, not been that well and way behind on work... Therefore this one is going to have to be a quick one, too, I will try my best to do much better really soon!

Old offer-favourite ASOS is giving not only 20% off selected items but until 4th April you'll get another 20% off their so-called "Happy Items". 

Boden is running its last week of up to 25% off - this time we're focusing on tops, workwear, swimsuits, accessories and shoes. Check out this cute silk top, down to £59.25 from £79.

House of Fraser is promising a 2 day brand event: starting from today 5pm until Friday 30th March they are giving 25% off selected branded items.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Brights

A few years ago all I ever wore were trousers, usually jeans. Thrown on with a top and a cardigan, this was my uniform. I might have had a couple of skirts or dresses in my wardrobe but they very rarely saw the light of day. I certainly only ever wore them with heels.

Nowadays I am in dresses or skirts almost every day and it is unusual for me to wear heels. Throwing on a dress and a pair of boots in the morning is my no-brain-needed-getting-ready-routine. I instinctively know what I like to see on myself and usually don't have to keep changing bits of my outfit to be happy with it.

Getting into trousers or more statement-led jeans these days is therefore something that sits slightly outside my comfort zone and whereas I know what to put on with a skirt or dress, this instinct kind of eludes me.

It therefore took me a couple of tries to find the right top to go with these pink Topshop skinnies. I decided that for their first outing I'd stay clear of pattern and just block some summer brights.

Jeans, Topshop, SS12
Top, Primark, SS12
Necklace, H&M, SS12
Blazer, Topshop, SS??
Shoes, ??

Friday, March 23, 2012

Colour Splash!

The sun was out this morning so I decided it's time for another step into the springlike direction. Out came my fairly recently acquired Versace dress. With it still being cold in the morning, boots and tights were a must but I think that the dark within the print tied this together nicely.

Dress, Versace
Necklace, Marni @ H&M
Boots, Dune

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Double Print

Apart from pastels, print is probably my favourite trend this season. Doing the top to toe thing - or even the double print - can be tricky.  I think the key is to have a colour match within both prints (I'm sure, this is how my mum dresses, so not a new concept).

I love this Jil Sander paisley skirt paired with the Nina Ricci top and think it's an outfit that can be taken from office to bar so easily by just swapping shoes and handbag!

Get to the details @ Motilo by clicking right through!

Blue Poppies

So it almost feels like spring. And I wore an almost-spring outfit (as opposed to almost wearing a spring outfit). The dress from H&M is in a fine jersey so I layered with a black longsleeve top, chunky Boden cardigan and, you've guessed it, boots. I love the slouchy pockets on the dress and the poppy/cornflower print.

Dress, H&M, SS11
Cardiga, Boden, AW11
Necklace, Topshop
Boots, LK Bennett

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Girly Pastels

How have I not yet posted more about my favourite trend this season?!

Could it be that, although I am getting dressed in soft hues in my head, in reality a look out the window usually results in me pulling on the black tights & boot combo. Pastels on top of that don't really work. [let's challenge that!]

Anyway, in preparation of what will be very soon, I went a bit "all-over-pastel" on both highstreet and designer budgets. What do you think?

Highstreet - total spend £245

Highstreet Pastels

Miss Selfridge tie dye dress
£69 -

River Island green jacket
£65 -

ASOS stiletto high heels
£55 -

ASOS oversized handbag
£40 -

Dorothy Perkins flower ring
£8.50 -

Dorothy Perkins stackable ring
£7.50 -

Designer - total spend £4,045

Designer Pastels

Roberto Cavalli multi colored dress
£860 -

Acne suede leather jacket
£1,100 -

Brian atwood pumps
£485 -

Jil Sander shoulder handbag
£595 -

Aurélie Bidermann vintage bangle
£785 -

Zoe B. Ltd clear earrings
£220 -

So which one is your favourite?

Wednesday Lunchtime Treat

Blimey, another week gone again?! I just had to fork out way to much to get my car MOT'd so shopping is pretty much off the menu for the next few weeks. Well, maybe if I found a real bargain...

Asos' current 50% off 50 essential items is running until midnight tomorrow, so if you haven't ordered yet and fancy any of the currently offered items, get your skates on! My current fave is this cotton jacquard skirt with contrast lining - I think this is such a summer staple and at £17.50 an incredible bargain! [don't forget to check back as offers are refreshed regularly!]


Remember that Boden Riviera dress I told you about last week? Well, I did a bit of measuring and I think it's just going to be way too long and out of proportion on me. Let's hope the lovely people at Boden will give me a petite version next SS-season! This week it's all about knitwear, shoes and accessories, so if you're after a pretty cardigan, preppy jumper, new bag or summer flats, head straight to their weekly deal page - at up to 25% off a few great value for money items to be had. Anyway, I just really fancy their cricket jumper right now. Loving the neutral but the quail egg would be perfect with some pastel items.

Missed Marni at H&M and can't afford the full price thing? One of my favourite high-end low-price places, the Outnet, is offering the cooky Italian label at up to 70% off. Alongside clothes, there are some of their statement necklaces to be found!

Happy bargain hunting and let me know if you found anything!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Silky Green

The pictures really don't do the dress any justice. Not that it's one of those "magic-makes-me-look-amazing-cuts" (it's an easy to wear shift) but the colour is truly stunning and the fact that it is in a semi-sheen silk, makes it feel quite luxurious.

Dress, Reiss, SS11 (?)
Cardigan, Boden, AW11
Necklace, Marni @ H&M
Belt, Warehouse
Boots, LK Bennett

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

I am really lucky to be working in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Not only are there lots of nice cafes, bars and little eateries, there are also shops that provide a bit of an alternative to Britain's great highstreet.

One of the great places I stumbled upon is the Manchester Craft and Design Centre.

Manchester Craft and Design, who runs the centre, is a not-for-profit social enterprise that supports local artists and craftspeople. The artists can rent a studio in the fantastic airy space, use it as a work- and retail space and profit from the footfall the centre enjoys. Disciplines range from jewellery over sculpting and painting to clothing and homewares. The studios are a joy to wander through, most of the items on display incredibly covetable and the artists are usually more than happy to have a chat about their work.

I tend to be most tempted by the jewellery and my personal favourites are:

Wonderhaus - Julia Roy Williams
Jewellery made from perspex, wood or leather. Amazing statement pieces!

images from Wonderhaus

Blac (By Lindholm and Clark)
Handmade statement jewellery mainly made from acrylic that has a distinct gothic feeling to it.

image from Blac

Designers Eclectic
This studio is shared by 5 jewellers: Stephanie Brown, Jane Dzisiewski , Sue Barry, Michelle Appleton and Helen Pickering. I love the mix of the traditional with the new, be it materials or how they are worked.

The perfect place, if you fancy a trip off the beaten track and the possibility of discovering some amazing new talent!

Monday, March 19, 2012

You Jump, I Jump?

Jumpsuits. They have been everywhere. I think it was a couple of seasons ago when we all (well, the ones of us who remembered at least the back-end of the 80's) did a bit of a double-take. Whereas some of the more fashion-forward girls might have been sporting jumpsuits for a while, all-in-ones suddenly went all mainstream.

Nonetheless, it can be a bit weird to put one on (and actually leave the house in it!) for the first time. They are just... different, a bit outside most people's (and mine) comfort zone. 

As much as I love fashion, I am also a very practical dresser and an outfit, apart from appealing to my aesthetics, needs to
a) keep me warm,
b) be comfortable and
c) reasonably easy to get in and out of.

I'd say that jumpsuits at the very least violate one of the points above and that, paired with the "out of the comfort zone being" is probably the main reason why I have had a Next jumpsuit in my wardrobe for over a year and never worn it. (The fact that it's a Next jumpsuit is more than a hint as to how much mainstream these things nowadays are!)

Following my new resolution to un-Pareto my wardrobe, I decided to take the plunge and wear it. It was freezing this morning, so there ballerinas were not an option. I just had to hope that my boots did not make me look too "in the army now". A cardigan at this point were also a must.

Jumpsuit, Next, SS11 (?)
Cardigan, H&M, SS12
Boots, Dune
Necklace, Topshop

Well, I am not 100% convinced but at least the item has earned another few months in my overstuffed closet. I think I am just going to have to re-style, so watch this space...

Resolution: Un-Pareto my Wardrobe

My wardrobe is bursting at the seams. Apart from the actual wardrobe in my bedroom, I have some space in Mr G's (don't tell him), one in a storage space, a chest of drawers (for underwear), various boxes below the bed (neatly separated into categories) - not to mention whatever is left in my wardrobe in my parents' house. 

My dream is a walk-in wardrobe. Colour-coordinated racks and shelves. No, category first, then colour! a floor to ceiling mirror that doesn't need propping up against Mr. G's wardrobe. Deep-pile carpet... 

...Or maybe I'd be happy with just a bit more space and one of those mega-organized Ikea numbers... 

Anyway, I am sure there are people, who have way more clothing, shoes and accessories to accommodate, especially since I have actually already gotten rid of lots over the past few years. The issue here really is that I can apply the Pareto principle to my clothes: for 80% of the time, I wear only 20% of what my wardrobe has to offer. And within those 80% there have got to be items, that haven't been worn for years but that I just can't bare to part with.

My resolution is therefore to either wear it or get rid! If I want to hold on to something, I have to wear it at least once, then decide whether I would wear it again or donate it to friends/charity/... And since I am also documenting regularly what I do wear when I leave the house, this could be interesting...

A hop in the park

Motilo, my favourite new toy, currently have a competition on creating an outfit around this lovely Natasha Zinko ring.

I was thinking a walk in the park around springtime - a very stylish one... Well, below is my look, so if you like it, please vote for me! 

Just click through my Motilo and like my look.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Now that's what I call an Outlet - feat. BFC

I remember going to a "designer outlet" for the first time. I had been looking forward to it for ages, imagining fantastic finds of still-on-trend pieces, future classics and quality goods to which my budget would normally not stretch. I expected big names, big savings, a big smile on my face.

Imagine my disappointment when I saw that the brands offered were high-street's last season items with 70% off. What was supposed to be a treasure hunt ended up feeling like a rummage around the dregs of an end of season sale. I don't want to sound like a snob, but I can afford to shop M&S at regular prices and the sale happens at least twice a year. As nice as it is to get a bit of a bargain, what I really want from an outlet are designer pieced that I normally can't afford. A dress at £200? Yes, if I think it's worth it. £400? Or maybe £800? Generally not. I tried another couple of outlets where the experience was a similar one and then just gave up.

Through in-law visits to Oxford I came across Bicester Village and was hooked. This was exactly what I had wanted from an outlet: high-end names at prices that make them attainable to me.

I won't give a rundown of all stores open here (just check out the list on their website) but I will briefly present the ones I always pop by.

Diane von Furstenberg
Current season's items up to 50% reduced. This is where I bought my failsafe give-me-a-waist dress (think it was a current season, paid £150 instead of £280).

Vivienne Westwood
Clothing, shoes and accessories. Some menswear as well. Here I found a 3 of Anglomania dresses...

ca. £100

 ca. £100

ca. £90

...and recently also a suit.

Jacket under £198
Skirt £98

Clothes, shoes and accessories and a great choice at that.  Some great necklaces and I am sure that will be one of my next purchases!

Bags and purses (incl. men's), some clothes and shoes. I purchased a wallet, that had a RRP of almost £300, for £120.

My go-to for luxurious leather goods, I love their notebooks. Tends to be just previous seasons'. Reductions of up to 50%.

Usually just pop in and back out as I find it all a bit too... garish but during my last visit I came across this dress (down to £120 from £300) and just fell in love with the colours.

Also worth mentioning:
Jimmy Choo
Alexander McQueen
Matthew Williamson
Temperley London
Matthew Williamson

There are many more and if you want, you can easily spend a whole day there. If you are after some high-street bargains then Karen Millen, All Saints and Reiss are worth mentioning.

Another major point of interest over the next few weeks will be the British Designer Collective, who will be at the village from 21st March. Not only will you be able to purchase pieces from the likes of Peter Pilotto and Marios Schwab at up to 60% off but you will be treated to an "enriched journey that surprises, delights and captures your imagination" (BFC).

I will definitely try and get down there in the next few weeks and make sure I report back!

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