28 April 2013

The Benefits of a Maxi Dress

I don't know about you but with all this blue sky we've recently been seeing it's got me thinking about our impending summer & heatwave (I'm going for the positive thinking angle here - well they do say it can have a big impact!!!).

Now whilst I love my blazers & jeans even I will break out the bear legs come a substantial rise in temperature.  But unless we've had some serious heat to allow my dazzlingly blinding milky white legs to go a sunkissed golden colour (or I've had some significant success in the old self tanning department - i.e. no streaks or uneven patches on the heels/ankles - is it just me but no matter how much attention I pay to this area there's always a level of fail?!!!) then my hem line doesn't rise much above floor level!  The exception to the rule being in the back garden, whilst on holiday or after returning from said holiday!

Which leads me onto the glorious maxi skirt and dress.  Now in my view these have sooooo many positives it's untrue.  Firstly bearing in mind our past glorious summers (not!) even when the weather is shall we say for want of a better word 'a little chilly' you can still get away with wearing a maxi skirt/dress because even though you've got bear legs at least there's fabric covering the whole of your skin which can in times of emergency be wrapped round & tucked in like a blanket if you should be experiencing a severe draft!!!  Of course you could (not that I ever have - but hey there's still time!) even wear some very fetching thermal knee highs under said dress to keep you warm providing of course appropriate footwear is being worn (obviously not a sandal & sock mix) & that the weather isn't forecasting any sharp gusts of wind (so as to avoid a Marilyn moment - without the sex appeal!).

On top of this of course they hide a multitude of sins & mean along with not having to have slapped the old tan on, more importantly we don't need to worry about any re-growth we may or may not have on our legs!  I mean seriously what's not to love?! :)

Now as you would expect at this time of year there is a huge amount of choice in both the maxi skirt & dress department so for this blog I will concentrate on the maxi dress & then post my next blog on some of the maxi skirts that have caught my eye.

So turning to the maxi dress, which have an additional benefit of not even having to worry about what tops to wear with them, you can simply just chuck one on, add some sandals (weather permitting) or maybe some biker boots to 'rock chick' it up a bit if it's wet, add a few accessories in the arm candy department & maybe even a statement necklace & away you go.  And for cooler days just sling on a denim jacket (preferably fitted & shorter in the body so as not to swamp the dress or you) which of course will go with any coloured dress & can be removed should the sun decide to come out & play!

Now if you're like me & have what I describe as 'pale & interesting' skin (or in other words are always been described as 'looking tired' - I mean really is there any wonder I now have a love of fake tan!) then I'm not overly confident in wearing head to toe cream/white unless I've spent the last couple of weeks slogging my guts out 'working' on my tan!  But when teamed with a denim jacket & the right accessories a cream/white dress can look fabulous & come summer time I'm always a sucker for such colours especially when mixed with a bit of lace.

In particular I love this dress from Mango.





I think this would look stunning worn with some gold strappy gladiator style sandals and arm candy to warm the skin tone.

I also love this black and white dress from good old Marks & Sparks.  Not quite leopard print (Bet back in your box) but near enough and again worn with the right accessories would look great either dressed down with a denim jacket for day wear or dressed up with some bright accessories for evening or a special occasion.







The next dress that caught my eye is this black one from ASOS.  I love the simplicity & slight 'hippy/laid back' vibe and think it's another dress that could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.






I also love this one from ASOS, in particular the colour & the cross over top which is so flattering and of course for a different look you could always swap the belt to maybe a gold, or silver or even a tan coloured one.






This one from Mango is also very pretty & I love the colours & would look lovely worn with some tan accessories.






Now I couldn't write a post without featuring a bit of leopard print (sorry it's Bet time!) & think this dress from Wallis, which is currently on offer could look absolutely stunning & of course being grey instead of the normal brown just adds that extra dimension.





And finally I love all three colours of this one shoulder dress which is also from Wallis.  Ok some maintenance would be required on your legs due to the shorter length at the front but it would be worth surely?!














And now after all that gorgeous floaty material, here's a round up of what I've been wearing the last couple of days.


Outfit One




Top - Zara
Bracelets - New Look & Handmade
Scarf - Zara
Jeans - Massimo Dutti
Shoes - Zara


Outfit Two




Top - Massimo Dutti
Bracelets - J Crew, Massimo Dutti & Handmade
Jeans - Massimo Dutti
Shoes - from Majorca


Outfit Three




Scarf - Zara
Jacket - Massimo Dutti
Bracelets - New Look & Massimo Dutti
Top - Zara
Belt (Not Shown) - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - from Majorca


Outfit Four




Scarf - Zara
Sweatshirt - Zara
Bracelet - New Look
Quilted Jacket - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - from Majorca


So what do you think?  Do you spend the summer living in maxi dresses & love the freedom they offer in the non-tanning de-hairing department?!  Have you seen a maxi dress that you've got your eye on?  As always I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great couple of days & I'll be back soon with a selection of maxi skirts that have caught my eye shortly x


24 April 2013

Stealing Olivia's Style!

Okay so I admit it I have a HUGE crush on Olivia Palermo, to me she just oozes style & one day when I grow up (as in my head I'm still 18...no sniggering please!) I want to be her.  I love how she incorporates fashion with a classic twist & always manages to look soooo glamorous in the process.  Even when photographed on holiday when spending the day on the beach she looks stunning.  Each year before we go away I always plan on being more 'polished' but I always end up looking anything but when sunbathing due to the lack of make up, sheer heat & the fact my hair resembles Monica's from Friends when they go away & her hair reacts to the humidity!

Olivia always seems to get it right & get that perfect mix of high street with designer fashion, which ok most of us don't have the luxury of being able to afford but generally if you're lucky you can find something similar on the high street.

So I thought I'd have a go at creating an Olivia worthy look & as at the moment there seems to be a huge trend for printed trousers, I thought I would take the below photo of Olivia and see what items are available to copy this look.




Now when someone says printed trousers to me I immediately think it's not for me (well apart from the leopard print trousers I have yet to break out in the summer - but that's different it's part of my inner Bet!) but I love the look of them here on Olivia.  Of course this may be something to do with the immaculate hair, makeup, figure, accessories etc but for me it's also to do with the stylish & classic blazer & accessories she has team it with.

So starting with the trousers, here's what I've spotted on the high street.



















All of these trousers would look amazing worn with a blazer on cooler days & heels as in the picture of Olivia but also on the odd occasions where the sun busts a gut & gives us some serious heat they would also look great teamed with a vest top and sandals.

Moving onto the jackets, as you will no doubt have guessed by now I love a jacket!  I love the fact that it's something I can get use of all year round & can also be dressed up or down & go with a variety of things in my wardrobe.  For me Zara have some amazing jackets, some of which I have been wearing for several years now & they're still looking good.  But in an effort to try & de-Zara myself I have found the following jackets which are all great classics which I believe would last you a lifetime in terms of their classic styling & would look great teamed with the floral trousers a la Olivia.






















Seeing as the trousers are patterned I personally would wear just a simple top under the blazer, which again would go with lots of things & could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion & what it was being worn with.  A new top that Zara have just put online is this simple top which I wouldn't be surprised if they later do in other colours too as I think it's just one of those tops that you can just throw on & not have to think about because of the drapes, which just looks so styled when worn with skinnies & a jacket.







For a more classic, timeless & dressy look Massimo Dutti do this gorgeous sleeveless shirt in two colours.










Of course there are lots of simple plain tops on the high street at the moment that would look great worn with a trousers & blazer combo but these were some that just caught my eye.

Moving onto bags, again there are some great statement bags around without having to pay designer prices.  I love this satchel bag from Mango which also comes in two other colours tan and white.





Or this gorgeous croc effect tote which is also available in brown or creamy/beige.






Or even this studded shopper again from Mango & is also available in beige, black & white.






Then turning to the shoes, whilst Olivia has teamed her outfit with a patterned shoe I quite like the idea of wearing just a block of colour, so have picked the following shoes from M&S.














And in true non-Olivia style, here's my outfits from the last few days.


Outfit One




Jacket - Zara
Shirt - Zara
Bracelets - New Look & Mango
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - Next


Outfit Two




Necklace - Banana Republic
Shirt - Zara
Bracelets - Banana Republic & Massimo Dutti
Belt - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - Massimo Dutti


Outfit Three




Scarf - Massimo Dutti
Top - Massimo Dutti
Bracelets - Banana Republic, Massimo Dutti & Handmade
Belt - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - Next


So do you love Olivia's style or do you have a different style crush?  I would love to hear whose style you love to take inspiration from.

Have a good couple of days & enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! x



20 April 2013

New Season - New Purchases!

So it seems that spring has FINALLY sprung & if you're anything like me it will have made you even more tempted by the lovely summer clothes that are on offer & perhaps start making a few additional purchases.  After all we owe it to the economy to go shopping - right?!!!!

Now as you will have already have gathered I have an unhealthy love affair with most things Zara but in the interests of 'research' *cue coughing fit number one!* I thought I'd take a peak in New Look to see what they were offering this season, thinking that a) most of the things would be aimed at a much younger age group & b) that the bank balance would stay firmly untouched...WRONG!

Oh my what can I say apart from firstly as soon as I saw the words 'buy one get one free' on their jewellery & hair accessories I knew the bank account wasn't going to come out of this unscathed!!!

They had some fab pieces of jewellery too many to mention but with the BOGOF offer meant that I could get some great birthday presents while getting myself some free jewellery - brilliant!

The first thing I brought was a simply chunky silver chain necklace, which for some reason I can't seem to find online but they do show it in the rose gold which is gorgeous & would have also have been snapped up had I not already have a very similar one from Mango.






This is such a simple necklace and I can't believe the weight of it for the price.  At first I was worried that this kind of necklace would look a bit 'gangster bling' if you know what I mean but I actually just like the simpleness of it & think it looks stunning worn with a classic shirt & jeans.

The next item I purchased is also not on their website but was a limited collection of various bracelets including a faux leather studded cuff with various gold & silver chain bracelets (I think about 5 in total) for £9.99.  The nearest to the one I brought online is this one, which again is fab - although some might beg to differ, I put the love of the spikey bracelets down to the approaching big birthday!  My son has just rolled his eyes lol when I showed him!






Personally I think I would probably mix these with some more black bracelets but I think they'd really add that rock chick look to any outfit.

Okay so, so far I was on a roll two purchases for free if you take off the birthday presents I had to get anyway, I mean seriously what's not to love!

Next to 'magically' find it's way into my basket was this faux brown leather cuff, which miraculously I can find on their website!






They also do this in black, which if I'm being honest (& will no doubt be of no surprise), I'm also rather tempted to order, after all it's still BOGOF!

Then to complete the BOGOF offer I brought this bracelet, which I think will look gorgeous mixed with others for the summer.






There are a couple of other necklaces which also caught my attention & whilst writing have got me thinking (I mean I'm saving money aren't I with the BOGOG!!!).






I especially love the clashing colours in this necklace & think it could look really stunning worn with a white shirt or perhaps even a clashing colour.






This necklace is also available in silver but for the summer I think I personally would probably wear the gold more although with the BOGOF offer you could of course get both :)

Unfortunately they didn't have the BOGOF offer on their clothes - I mean really can you imagine I may never have emerged, but I did purchase the following items in readiness for the impending heatwave!






I absolutely love this skirt & think it will look stunning with the Zara drapped top (I may have) purchased in three colours, or alternatively you could add just a simple vest top to dress it down & of course some rock chick, chicky rock bracelets and Bob's your Uncle!






And is also available in blue.






The fabric, weight & quality of this dress is amazing in my opinion and will look fab in the summer with a tan but in the meantime I think I will need to start slapping the old fake tan on, on a regular basis so that I don't blind anyone with the whiteness of my skin.

My final purchase was a demin jacket, which if I'm honest I thought my days of wearing were well & truly over, but after seeing how fabulous other ladies on Avenue 57 look, I decided I may still just be able to pull it off & while it's a lot more casual than my tailored jackets seeing as we don't seem to have a heatwave lasting more than a few days if we're lucky, if I'm to get the use of my sleeveless dresses then a little jacket to go over them will do just the trick.  Otherwise it's a cardigan & I don't know if it's just me but when I wear a cardy with a maxi dress I just feel a bit 'mumsy' & my tailored jackets don't really look right with a casual maxi skirt.  So if we now get a full on heatwave lasting the whole of the summer you know why & the denim jacket will remain firmly in the wardrobe :)

So after trying several different ones on I have decided to stick with the first one I tried, which is cropped in the body so doesn't cut too much of the maxi dress off & goes in at the right place to emphasis the waist & wasn't too expensive so that if I chicken out & don't get much wear out of it I won't feel too bad.  And after all that here it is!







So for someone that doesn't tend to shop at New Look my 'research' meant that not only did my bank account take a hammering but that I also got some great new additions to my summer wardrobe at some great prices.

But fear not I have not gone cold turkey this week on Zara, heaven fore bid!  I have in fact also made a couple of sneaky purchases on two items of clothing that I haven't brought for quite a while *cue coughing fit number two!*

Now you will know I have been recently getting a lot of wear out of my Zara Pearl Necklace that I brought a few weeks ago, so as soon as I saw this new addition I just knew I'd love it & that it would just brighten up some of my darker outfits.






This is slightly different in style to the original pearl necklace & for me was a little long, so I have simply cut some of the chain off & re-fixed the fastenings to the shortened ends & perfecto!  You can see a picture of me wearing it below in outfit four.

And finally my last purchase was a stunning khaki linen biker jacket, also from Zara, which unfortunately appears to have also disappeared from their website (the shopping gremlin is certainly not on my side today!), but in case you're interested there's a picture coming up of me wearing it, again outfit four!

Finishing with a round up of what I've been wearing.


Outfit One




Jacket - Zara
T-Shirt - Zara
Belt (not shown) - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Shoes - brought in Majorca


Outfit Two




Necklace - Zara
Jacket - Zara
T-Shirt - Zara
Bracelets - Massimo Dutti & handmade
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - Zara


Outfit Three




Blazer - Zara
Necklace - Mango
Top - Zara
Bracelets - J Crew & New Look
Belt (not shown) - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - GAP
Ballet Shoes - brought in Majorca


Outfit Four




Necklace - Zara
Jacket - Zara
Top - Zara
Bracelets - New Look
Belt (not shown) - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Ballet Shoes - brought in Majorca


So do you ever shop at New Look or like me is it a shop you have automatically dismissed thinking it aimed at the youth of today?  I'd love to hear your thoughts & hear what new purchases you have recently made.

Right I'm now off to enjoy the last of the glorious sunshine & daydream about some new summer inspired outfits.  Have a great weekend x