Best Invention Ever, Fold Up Raybans

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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?

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Trends: Summer Daywear Essentials for 2013

With summer finally kicking in, it’s time to start thinking about what additions and changes you need to brighten up your summer wardrobe. From days out to country pubs and the neighbour’s garden party, simple updates can be made to ensure that you’re looking the part over the upcoming months. But where to start?
Finding those summer staple pieces can be tricky, so here are my top summer wardrobe easy updates! From party-wear to office attire, here are the clothing essentials you need for summer 2013.

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 The Maxi dress, as seen on Vivienne Westwood’s runway left and this fab Matalan chiffon number right

Parties

Summer is full of special occasions. Whether it’s a wedding or garden party, there are plenty of events to keep your summer busy. However, before you can let your hair down and have a good time, there’s the important matter of finding that perfect outfit!
If it’s during the day then don’t worry about looking too formal. Think smart-casual but with a touch of glam. One item which always ticks the right boxes are maxi dresses UK. An absolute must for any lady’s wardrobe, maxis are the ideal transition piece for those day events that last well into the night. Tasteful, elegant and guaranteed to impress, couple a pretty printed maxi with tan wedges and a light cardie, and you’ll be good to go!

Cropped gingham trousers from Matalan left, Gwyneth Paltrow wears her crops to the Iron Man premier right

Cropped gingham trousers from Matalan left, Gwyneth Paltrow wears her crops to the Iron Man premier right

Days Out

Days out are a little different. Perhaps you’re thinking of taking the kids to the zoo or visiting the beach. In which case, you  need to dress more practically; clothes which you’ll be comfortable wearing and don’t mind getting dirty. However, that’s not to say that you can’t still be stylish!
Cropped trousers are great way to show that you’re ready for summer. Be they chinos or linen trousers, they’re smart and work well with anything. You could pair them with a vest and a crochet jumper, or wear them with a white tee and chic navy blazer; the choice is yours!

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Office Attire

With work wear it’s about achieving that happy medium of comfort and sophistication. On the one hand you want to give the impression of professionalism, but at the same time, eight hours in tight uncomfortable clothes doesn’t inspire productivity. So our advice is, keep it simple!
A sleek black pencil skirt combined with a gorgeous silk blouse exudes confidence as well as being easy to work in; worthy additions to your wardrobe. Or alternatively you could sport a classic midi with some cute court shoes. Lovely.

(Images: all items from Matalan.co.uk, Vivienne Westwood.co.uk, mydaily.co.uk, fabsugar.com)

Worlds End Berlin – Anthony’s Guest Post

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All images copyright Anthony Thorpe

So, what to say about Worlds End Berlin ? It is bigger than the London store but ironically has way less stuff. There is mainline men’s wear and a few dresses, a good selection of scarfs and a small selection of bags, in the back room there is a sales rail which has some good discounted items.

The store is located at the end of a fashionable street that has APC among a few other select boutique stores.

The staff are really friendly and helpful and speak perfect English so not a struggle at all to find items for you.

The German dress sense is to dress down and not up and few of the youth know who Vivienne is but the store is trying to raise awareness of the brand and seem to be doing a good job of it.

Over all a great place to visit if you are in Berlin but not the Worlds End that I know and love.

Whilst I was there I purchased a grey mountain hat with squiggle lining and a cardigan by intellectual leisure as I fell in love with it,

Intellectual leisure is exclusive to Worlds End Berlin and is made by the team behind Vivienne’s knitwear I am in formed by the staff.

Huge thanks to Anthony for reporting back from Worlds End Berlin for us

What Would I Wear to A Summer Wedding?

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Anglomania ‘Resurrection’ dress, Elevated Tea Garden Court Shoes, Cupid Tiara, Animalier bag; Links of London ‘Hope’ bracelet, ‘Love Notes heart & arrow’ earrings; Breitling ‘Transocean’ watch

I get asked a lot of fashion related questions, one that pops up quite often is ‘What would you wear for a wedding?’. I never really get if they mean what would I recommended they wear for a wedding, or what would I personally wear, because lets face it it would be quite different! Since I like to indulge in some virtual shopping, lets play dress up on my own behalf! To be honest I have worn for weddings past things I would usually wear with the addition of sticking something on my head. Nice frock, pair of heels and the opportunity to wear a hat, what’s not to love! I am in two minds about the whole rewearing for things for big occasions. Personally I’d rather not be wearing the same dress for two weddings, vain perhaps, but I would like my friends to think I made an effort for their big day. In reality I doubt anyone actually notice what the guest are wearing. With that in mind though I would wear the same dress for two big events such as one at a wedding, then at a big party etc. I wouldn’t wear the exact same outfit though,I’d change main accessories to create a different look.

Whilst perusing the new season offerings this Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ‘Resurrection’ dress really caught my eye. It is bold enough to make a statement itself – that print will pop against black accessories. But it is also simple enough with the monochrome pallet to let bold accessories do the talking. Here I have paired it with brightly printed heels and an attention seeking clutch bag, both Vivienne Westood. With all that going on, I would keep the rest of the accessories low key and classic. These stunning Links of London pieces would be perfect, the little heart earrings and pretty bracelet. I really like the idea of wearing a watch and bracelet together, Breitling Watches do some incredible styles – yes I know they cost a fortune but this is my dream list right! As for the head gear, since this is a pretty full on look I think I would skip the traditional hat and go for this Vivienne Westwood Cupid horn tiara, a bit of fancy nestled in a perfectly coiffed up-do.

Images: Vivienne Westwood.co.uk and Christopher Warton Goldsmith

Events: Home Sense Opening Manchester

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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!

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Outfit: Vivienne Westwood Leopard Dress from ShopStyle + Review

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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…

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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.

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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.

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My frock on the mannequin, image from Yoox.com

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

Sunglasses to Suit Your Mood

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Clockwise from top left: vintage Wayfarers, All Saints Cat-eyes, Nichole Farhi Clubmasters. 

I am so glad the sun has finally decided to put in an appearance, it means we can get out our sunglasses! As with most things I’ve acquired a little collection of different styles, I really like to match my sunnies to my outfits. I think by far my favourite styles are big, thick, black frames as they are easy wear and they go with everything. Above is my ‘handbag’ collection, as in the ones I keep stashed in my handbag. They were all cheap, £20 or under so I don’t have to worry about them getting broken at the bottom of my bag. Last summer the All Saints pair were my staple, such a flattering shape, year before were the Wayfarers. This year I wanted something a bit different and was taken by the Clubmaster style. I was lusting after the Rayban Clubmasters when I found these Nicole Farhi ones. I liked that they had a lower nose bridge and of course that they were only £20 from TK Maxx. I do think my next buy will be Rayban though, as the cheapy £5 vintage ones above don’t offer much protection in strong sunlight so I would like a classic pair of Rayban Wayfarers. Red Hot Sunglasses have some amazing ones and I think their prices are very reasonable, they also have an extra large lens Wayfarer design available which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

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Clockwise from top left: Nicole Farhi, Celine, J MASKREY

Besides from my everyday sunglasses I also have a few pairs of special ones. These were either expensive so I don’t want them clunking around my bag when I’m not wearing them or they go with specific outfits. The ones above are my D-Frames, they kind of have a ‘geek’ glasses feel to them, nice and chunky. The translucent ones are really only for a bit of fancy as they don’t offer any eye protection, whilst the red Celine ones I feel need balancing out with the right outfit. The J MASKREY ones with the crystal kiss are my absolute favourite sunglasses in the world ever, aren’t they amazing!

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Clockwise from top: Gianfranco Ferre, Nike, Miu Miu, vintage Dior

If I want a softer look then I reach for my tortoiseshell sunnies, I have them in a variety of frame shapes from nice big cat-eyes, to oversized honeycombs, delicate gilt trimmed and aviator. One for any occasion really! I tend to wear these with a vintage dress and heels, perfect summer look.

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Finally I have these big, bright D&G ones. Not sure what category these would go in! They are great just for a bit of fun and would be the pair to take to sit beside a pool with a cocktail. I also have this sunglasses chain holder from GOGO PHILIP, I’ve got a real habit of tucking my sunglasses over the neck of my tops – inevitably I end up dropping them when I lean over so this is really useful and a little bit cool I think. All I could use now is a beach…

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Things for the Alternative Bride

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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

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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

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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.

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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?