Topic: Shopping

Best Invention Ever, Fold Up Raybans

DSC_0534

Best invention ever, honestly even better than sliced bread. What could you need more on those unexpectedly sunny autumn days than to pull a tiny little case from your bag with sunglasses inside! I am so impressed with how small the case is, the size of a pack of cards. The Raybans foldout and just look like regular ones, they are nice and sturdy so only you would know their secret. I think they are really neat to have in your bag for winter as they don’t take up much space like traditional sunglasses cases. I don’t mind having a large case during the summer when I know they will be used everyday, but for the colder months I need that space for gloves, scarf and hat! Rayban Wayfarers have been my go-to staple style for many years, they are such a versatile shape and suit all faces. They are undeniably cool in a Blue Brothers way! It’s hard to believe they have been popular since they were first made in the 1950s, true style never dates. This pair have polaroid lenses too whic protect your eyes. I got these from Vision Direct who have a full range of Raybans in all shapes and sizes. The history of the Wayfarer is rather facinating, they were the first plastic sunglasses moving away from traditional metal frames. They have also been featured in more movies than you could ever imagine from Risky Business starring Tom Cruise to Robert Pattinson in Twilight. I do have a bit of a sunglasses collection but this is a style I always stick with no matter what trends come and go, I was rocking them in 2011 in this post. I really think they are up there with the style classics, are you a fan?

DSC_0530

DSC_0535

  DSC_0536

DSC_0538

 

Events: Home Sense Opening Manchester

DSC_7662

This morning amidst a rather long queue of eager shoppers, I went down to see the opening of the brand new Home Sense store in the Manchester Arndale. The store is right next to sister brand TK Maxx and true to the company ethos packed full of gorgeous things with reasonable price tags. The loveable Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton was there to cut the ribbon and declare the store open. No need for me to ramble on, I took plenty of photo’s so you can see for yourselves. I am sure there is something for everyone from lust worthy glass wear, cheerful garden ornaments, rugs, sculptures and even doggie shampoo!

DSC_7716 DSC_7706 DSC_7725 DSC_7701  DSC_7629DSC_7702DSC_7721 DSC_7627DSC_7699 DSC_7626 DSC_7625DSC_7705 DSC_7624

Outfit: Vivienne Westwood Leopard Dress from ShopStyle + Review

DSC_7604

Wearing: all Vivienne Westwood – Red Label leopard print dress c/o ShopStyle, Melissa Lady Dragon shoes, Accessories lilac bag & gold orb belt.

Today’s outfit post is a little different that usual as I used the shopping site ShopStyle.co.uk to find and purchase this summer outfit. I have been playing around with the site for a while now, so when I was asked to trial the site for review I jumped at the chance. Lets have a look at some outfit snaps, then I will get onto the review, scrolly, scrolly…

DSC_7605  DSC_7617

My aim for this outfit was a to find a dress that would see me through summer, one I could dress up or down. Ok so electric blue leopard print might not be everyone’s idea of versatile, but I can wear this for day with bright accessories like I have here, or add black stockings and stilettos with a little clutch for evening.

This actually wasn’t the first dress I ordered, first I had ordered an Anglomania dress and Melissa shoes, there was a big mix up drama but that wasn’t ShopStyle’s fault it was the vendor site Vestiaire Collective, I bought through. I will leave that for another post as I really want to focus on my positive experience with ShopStyle, what it is and how it works. Basically Shop Style is an online shopping service, it scours the interwebs for items on your behalf, basically allowing you to shop multiple sites at once. All you do is enter your search criteria or select from the bar on the right (See below). I typed in ‘Vivienne Westwood’ then clicked ‘dresses’ and limited my budget to £100 and under. ShopStyle then showed me a selection of dresses matching my criteria. I would usually look at about ten sites individually which I knew stocked the designer, this meant I just had to look at one site. I was really pleased with the search results, it threw up sites I would usually check Yoox, TheOutNet, ASOS etc and also included some I didn’t even know about. It also allows you to shop by ‘sale’ so you can find things which have been reduced, guarantying a bargain. Once you see an item you like ShopStyle redirects you to the site where the item is for sale so that you can view full details and make a purchase. ShopStyle only directs you through to sites, it is then down to the individual website to deal with your purchase.

shopstyle1111

It is a social site, so you can ‘heart’ things you like, read trend based articles and browse look books – making the experience even more fun. The only negative I found was that sometimes the items you click on were not available anymore, so I think they need to keep things update more frequently. I got a bit annoyed at one point where everything I seemed to click took me to non existent pages. Other than that it worked really well and saved me a lot of time. I will be using ShopStyle again, they also allow you sign up for tailored sale alerts, so I will get an email when things from my selected searches go on sale. All in all, I think it is a really useful tool. It can also be helpful when you know you want something, but aren’t sure what. You can search ‘Statement necklace’ for example and it will give you a wide range of ideas for inspiration.

All in all, ShopStyle is a great search tool, saving you time and helping you find exactly what you want at the best price.

$(KGrHqN,!lcFFyqSoN0UBRl8g,qC5g~~60_1

My frock on the mannequin, image from Yoox.com

Have you used Shop Style? Does this kind of website appeal to you?

Things for the Alternative Bride

PicMonkey Collage1

Don’t be getting the wrong idea, there are no wedding bells for me just yet, however I have been talking to a few people about weddings and how traditions are changing. Rock and Roll Bride is a fabulous blog documenting how creative weddings can be these days, reflecting the couple not just traditions. J MASKREY recently launched her new online store, with it her bridal range. I absolutely love the idea of a bride carrying a box clutch and rocking a pair of glamourous shades instead of a veil! Her crystal encrusted body jewellery would look really pretty but edgy too and who wouldn’t want to walk up the isle in these incredible shoes! Click here to see the full J MASKREY range

PicMonkey Collagepan

When it comes to wedding gifts I know toasters and crockery are traditional, snooze! Wouldn’t it be lovely to create something which the couple could treasure? I thought a charm bracelet such as the Pandora ones would be a wonderful gift, each guest could choose a charm. Padndora also do leather thong bracelets and necklaces suitable for men so it’s not just a gift for the bride. Click Here for Pandora Charms

SPRING TRENDS from JOHN GREED JEWELLERY

Spring is now officially upon us and even though the temperatures aren’t quite up to scratch yet, it’s time to start decking out your spring/summer wardrobe and jewellery collections to match.
The days are getting longer and lighter, so it’s a great idea to reflect this in your style and bring a bit of a spring into your outfits. Take the opportunity to introduce brighter colours and statement jewellery pieces to really make your outfits shine. There is a range of gorgeous colours and styles to enhance your spring wardrobe from John Greed, aimed at giving you a fresh, updated look. Let’s take a look at the hottest trends for spring 2013…

Oriental

The sumptuous and beautifully crafted oriental trend was a massive hit on the catwalk from designers Emilio Pucci, Etro and Prada. Elegant Japanese kimono silhouettes and delicate oriental blossoms were seen gracing the runway. The Pandora Spring Summer range follows this catwalk trend closely, focusing on the delicate and pretty cherry blossom flower. This flowering tree is famous for its stunning foliage which captures the very essence of springtime. Adding Pandora’s new range to your spring wardrobe is the perfect way to channel this trend with an extra bit of sparkle.

L to R:
Pandora Pink Cherry Blossom Flower Stud Earrings – £35.00
Pandora Pink Cherry Blossom Murano Charm – £30.00
Pandora Pink Cherry Blossom Multiple Flower Ring – £65.00

Floral

One trend that really epitomises spring is the timeless floral. These were rife on the catwalks this year, with prints and 3D flowers adoring the garments from Vivienne Westwood and Chloe. There are some stunning pieces of jewellery that will help compliment this trend, dainty floral jewels in soft colours are perfect and will accentuate this feminine look.


L to R:
Trollbeads Silver and Gold Daisy Bead – £252.00
Pilgrim Silver and Crystal Desert Flower Ring – £29.99
Pilgrim Marguerite Gold Plated White Leather Wrap Bracelet – £29.99

Sixties

The swinging sixties are coming back to the high street for Spring Summer 13! This means pops of colour and kooky motifs, mixed in with monochromes are going to be all the rage. The catwalks of Moschino and Michael Kors were full of mini-skirts, A-lines in vibrant patterns. Channelling this look is a sure way to bring some spring into your wardrobe; picking the right bits of jewellery will make sure your outfit is complete. Wearing eccentric pieces such as the Soda Pop button bracelet will ensure your outfit embodies the cultural sixties.


L to R:
Soda Pop Button-Up Bracelet – £6.95
Thomas Sabo Silver and Red Enamel Cherry Pendant – £134
Soda Pop Red Dickie Bow Necklace – £8.05

Monochrome

You can’t go wrong if you’re sporting black and white this season, as monochrome was dominant in almost every designer’s show. Making a statement with jumbo stripes is sure to turn people’s heads, this is a trend that is timeless and arrives almost every other season. Wearing monochrome is perfect for everyone; there are stripes, geometry, checks and zigzags; each pattern and shape of garment will flatter different body shapes. Jewellery for this trend can be black or white, or you could mix things up further by adding splashes of colour like Paul Smith.

L to R:
Pandora Dark Romance Charm Set – £125.00
Pilgrim Philosophy Hematite Plated Triangle Statement Collar Crystal Necklace – £39.99
Pilgrim White Leather Strap Watch – £69.99

Which is your favourite trend for spring? Do you think you will be sporting any of these looks this year?

Review: Miu Miu at Sunglasses Shop

DSC_7356

The sun has been shining this week, even if the wind is icy cold! This has made me very happy as you saw in my Easter Sunday post I was busting out my new shades Sunglasses Shop who invited me to do a product review. I’ve actually shopped with Sunglasses Shop in the past so was more than happy to feature them on the blog. The first thing that strikes you about the website is the huge range of styles and brands, with something for every budget – the cheapest I could find were £8, the most expensive £648! They have a tons of designer sunglasses so there was lots to choose from, I could have sat and got lost in that site for hours, dreaming of sitting on a beach! One thing that made the site so easy to navigate were all the different options for refining your search, by designer, colour, shape, lens technology and price. You can even search by your favourite celebrities style or this seasons trends! This aspect really made the site fun and a real pleasure to shop by. Since I spent all of last year in my cat-eye sunglasses I was keen to invest in another pair with that lens shape but with a different twist.

All I had to do was select ‘womens’ and click ‘cat eyes’ to be presented with a wide selection, then I could choose to refine the search by colour, price, lens type and get this, even by face shape and hair style so I could rest assured my choice would suit me! Very sci-fi! I just think this is such a neat feature as the one thing which makes buying sunglasses online tricky is that you can’t try them on. I have a bit of an addiction to sunglasses so I now know on sight which styles suit me (cat eyes, oversize, aviator) and those which don’t (round lens, small, dainty frames). Armed with this knowledge I put their soft wear to the test, but I couldn’t trick it, each time it came up with styles I knew would look good. For example when I insisted on selecting ’round’ frames, the search threw out only oversized round frames rather than little ‘Lennon’ style ones which I know give me a big round face. So I can really recommend you give this a try.

There were many brands to choose from but the range of Miu Miu sunglasses kept cropping up with styles I really liked.This stunning pair of oversized cat eyes in tortoise shell called Miu Miu 04OS Sunglasses won me over! I liked the vintage style to them and the little details such as the curve on the lens and the gold trim on the arm.

DSC_7358

They came the next day, after I had a confirmation email complete with tracking details. Safe and secure in a well padded box, I tore it open to find the trademark Miu Miu pale pink box. Inside this was a hard case in pink velvet and also a soft case in the same sumptuous fabric. Now I am a perfectionist when it comes to presentation and I simply cannot fault Sunglasses Shop or Miu Miu. The packaging and glasses cases are just as beautiful as the glasses they contained. You would imaging such a heavy, rich velvet to be reserved only for the finest couture, but it gives a simple, everyday pleasure to carry it around in your handbag. The sunglasses them self were exactly as imagined and they suit me to a T. I couldn’t be happier with them or the service of Sunglasses Shop and am pleased I can recommend them to you.

Have you visited Sunglasses Shop? What do you think of the Miu Miu’s?

Psyche – Perfect Pitstop for Summer

PicMonkey Collage

It’s nearly summer, well alright how about I rephrase that, its time for the new season! The weather might not be reliable but that doesn’t mean we can’t invest in some cheerful and bright clothes to put a spring in our step. I do love a good shop, both online and in person depending on what mood I am in, but it can be time consuming trailing around different shops and many department stores are a mish-mash of things which aren’t any one style. This is where specialist fashion store Psyche comes in, online or in real life (should you be near Cleveland) it is a designer life style store with the scale of a department store. With 30 years in the business Psyche stands out from the crowd as it retains a boutique atmosphere of carefully selected brands and merchandise, making shopping a thing of ease. I really like the way they cater for every budget without scrimping on quality, prices range from an average of  £50-£200. This is really clever because it appeals to the way most of us shop these days, saving up for one statement, key item and hunting out lower priced pieces to top-up our look.

1363091296Maison-Scotch-Homepage-990x470px

I thought I would pick out some pieces which I would like to be wearing this season. The first piece is this stunning jacket by Maison Scotch as £248.99 it is what I call affordably expensive – something you would save up for, an investment item. I’ve paired it here with an on trend summer look, but it would work just as well with a skirt and blouse for work or over a summer maxi-dress. Prints were all over the runways again, mix them or match them, so long as you cover yourself in them! These Paul by Paul Smith trousers and shirt are perfect for wearing together or alone. You know I am a shoe girl and I am in love with these glittery Ted Baker heels, too stunning to save just for parties, rock them with your summer dresses and even jeans. You can’t go wrong with a clutch bag, this Ted Baker in Peptobismol pink is the colour of the season, such a great pop of colour. Don’t forget your summertime chic with a pair of designer shades like these from Marc Jacobs. The easiest way to update your look is some new sparkly jewellery. I really like to layer up necklaces so these White Leaf designs are perfect for that, with their purse friendly prices you can afford to buy more than one (£19.99-£29.99).

PicMonkey Collagemen1

Not forgetting the guys, here are some top spring buys which will see you into summer. My statement item of choice would be this Polo by Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply shirt £118.99, the patches make the print clashing trend easy. Baseball jackets have been high on the fashion radar for a while now and show no sign of going away so this Lacoste logo bomber is going to be a key piece well into next year. The simple shape means it will work with sweats as well as a shirt and pants. A nice pair of cargo trousers like these again from Polo by Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply are nice change to denim. Keeping with the smart-casual theme these Original Penguin boots have a Herringbone inlay which hones in on the Country Heritage trend. The Aviator is by far the most versatile style of shades, these Gucci ones don’t come cheap but are a great investment as they will never go out of fashion. I think accessories are made to have some fun with, this quirky Paul Smith tablet case is really sleek, whilst the Union Jack Barbour print holdall is practical and stylish. For a colour pop this Nixon watch is a subtle way of approaching colour and at £53.99 it is a great price.

What wardrobe update do you have your eye on for then new season?

Wearing a Red Dress to a Wedding

PicMonkey Collageb

Red is one of my favourite colours, in fact my red dress is one of my absolute favourite pieces. However when I mentioned to a friend that I was going to wear it to a wedding I was met with a gasp of outrage! Besides wearing white – obviously a big no, no, it seems red and black are somewhat frowned upon for wedding guests. Red seen as too sexy, black too morbid. I can’t agree with this at all, I think red is such a cheerful colour and there isn’t a happier occasion than a wedding. The trick is to make the colour more friendly with the right accessories, I wouldn’t say wear a little red dress with back seem stockings and black stilettos for the occasion. Rather I would ‘pretty it up’ using so summery and laid back pieces. To illustrate I chose this stunning red dress from Zac Posen it has such a beautiful cut with a fitted bodice and full skirt. The Calvin Klein Collection shoes instantly give it a more day time and summery look, the colours breaking up the block of red. Adding a bold statement necklace takes eyes away from the cleavage and ads another colour contrast, this one is from Rosantica. I chose a simple and classic black and white clutch from Lena Erziak which ties in with the shoes. As I am not really one for a facinator and up-do, I thought this unique ear cuff from Husamel Odeh would look amazing, shown off with hair tucked behind the ear. The jacket was an easy choice for me, I don’t think you can beat a biker for throwing on with absolutely anything, yes even evening dresses. This luxe Wunderkind snake print makes the perfect update. Very wearable red indeed!

All images Avenue32.com *Commissioned post

Spring Wish List

PicMonkey Collageb

Spring is in the air, all be it amongst the snow, but that doesn’t stop us lusting after warmer climates and lovely new things to wear. I have a stash of bright 80′s vintage dresses which are my summer staples. I can dress them up for work with a blazer or down with a leather jacket but I do like some nice new baubles to make them feel fresh each year. I think my key piece would be a watch, a nice big, statement watch. Definitely influence by Victoria Beckham who always has a beautiful chunky metal strap watch. This Chronograph watch from Swatch caught my eye with it’s lovely brushed gold finish and crystal studded face. It is nice that the fun brand of my youth now offers some seriously grown up stylish pieces. Did you have a Pop-Swatch? For the uninitiated they were a 90′s trend where the watch face popped out so you could swap it with your friends or remove the strap and clip it onto your school jumper, so cool!

I found the watch on the John Lewis website and was surprised at how much they had to offer. I admit it is more of a shop I go to for kitchen utensils but they have some amazing things on offer. Most notably is their vintage jewellery section which draws together collections from Susan Caplan, Eclectica and Alice Joseph to offer designer costume jewellery from the 50s-90s. It isn’t cheap, the stunning Eclectica 80s necklace above is £395 and the Alice Joseph 90s Valentino earrings £126.50, however you are guaranteed authenticity and mint condition. I really want to start investing more in my jewellery collection, I self confess a love for cheap tat, so it would be nice to have some classic pieces.

My other key items are heels and a clutch bag, there is nothing easier for me to pull an outfit together. As you know I don’t do flats unless absolutely forced so my summer sandals would be heels too. These Vera Wang ‘Hinda’ tick all the boxes, nice high but manageable heel and whilst a neutral the tan, white and black mix keep it interesting. They would also be just as fabulous with trousers as with dresses, maybe even shorts if we get super lucky with the weather.  You can’t beat Lulu Guinness for a quirky bag and this ‘Dial M for Murder’ clutch is perfect for a bit of fun.

Finally no new season look is complete for me without some new make-up. I am still loving Bobbi Brown and picked up lots of tips backstage during London fashion week – more of that to come soon. What did prove popular were the new Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks, super easy to use as an eye liner or smudge up for a smokey eye.

What’s on your Spring / Summer wish list?

Commissioned post

Boxing Day Sales Buys & a Mini Rant

Untitled3

 

Look 1: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label ‘Loden Dangerous Animal jumper’; VW GL ‘Gablel Union Jack trousers’; VW vintage elevated court shoes

Look 2: VW GL ‘Fur Bolero’; VW GL ‘Money vest’ top; VW GL kilt, VW GL ‘Sack’ boots – with attractive bruised knees from ice skating

I snapped these photos just after getting back from the sales with my swag. I only took them to show some friends on facebook since they were heckling me (love you guys) and wasn’t going to put the outfits up on the blog until I had time to go outside and take some decent photos. Then I got a bit annoyed with the pressure bloggers are being put under lately, pressure to produce photos which are magazine quality. I started this blog with a pocket camera, taking self portraits in the bathroom mirror at work so I’m pretty sure my photo quality wasn’t the main selling point. Sure I love having time to create gorgeous outfits with lovely back drops, but I don’t write this blog full time, I have a job to do, on top of being sick a lot of the time and don’t always have time to set up photos, let alone find someone to help me do it. So I am flipping the V at the blog snobs because it goes against the fundamental purpose of blogs – the freedom to post whatever the hell you like!

I found the sales a bit rubbish this year – good on one hand since I don’t need the temptation but not particularly exciting. I’d had a few things from Vivienne Westwood on my wish list and was surprised to see them go to 50% right away. Since it was such a big discount I picked up the things I really wanted rather than wait until the final mark downs. My favourite thing by far are the union jack print trousers, they are just so wearable and of course I had to have something in the money print – the ‘vest’ is actually a long sleeve hi-low top. On the practical side (cough, cough) I got the ‘Animal’ jumper – always need more jumpers, and the bolero which is going to be perfect over sleeveless dresses. I have been swooning over the LOVE necklace all summer and was delighted to get this, the crystals are a very pale green which is a nice touch. Huge kiss to my mum for aiding and abetting the VW addiction- she is just as bad as me I swear!

DSC_4340

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and so treats in the sale!