Friday, 27 January 2012

Little Miss Sunshine

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll know that pretty pastel colours are all over the high street, subtly emulating the creations of catwalk designers. Although so pretty (and appropriately fitting for the warmer spring and summer months), I always find pastels extremely hard to style and wear. Most (if not all) of my bags and shoes are black or tan and quite frankly that's the way I like it! But it's difficult to wear head-to-toe pastel colours and NOT take out your favourite black bag. It looks odd and incomplete.

That was my mantra until I spotted these pictures of Philip Lim's outstanding pastel designs. Spot the tiny black clutch in picture 1 and the black blouse in picture 2! Have my prayers been answered? Maybe. I managed to get my hands on this gorgeous, pastel green blazer from the Oxfam website for a ridiculous £3.79 (perhaps the best bargain ever?) and I had to have it. It's oversized for a casual feel and has a really lovely little draw-string detail at the back which I feels makes it more contemporary. I rolled the sleeves up and cut the shoulder-pads out (I feel bad for doing this to such a excellent condition vintage item but they were HUGE!)

(Urgh, my photography skills are so bad - this looks like a bad eBay ad!)

I'm probably going to style it with black denims, a black top and boots and just wear the jacket with light pastel nails and minimal make-up. Or with a white off the shoulder tshirt and distressed vintage Levi shorts. So much more practical and wearable than these high-fashion (albiet, gorgeous) ensembles straight off the catwalk.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Singing sweet songs, of melodies pure and true

My shopping trip today was very successful and I still have money leftover too! If I get a chance over the weekend I'll upload some pictures of everything I purchased, in a haul. I'm going away for 5 days in February to Hamburg and Amsterdam (cannot WAIT for the bikes!) so I'm trying to be sensible in what I buy - extremely casual/ nothing too uncomfortable!

I'm dying to do a "outfit of the day" but I don't have a good set-up at the moment and my camera is pretty rubbish. Perhaps that idea will have to be put back on the shelf until I get a fancy camera! I'm also in desperate need for a trip to MAC to restock on my favourite make-up. I really want to try Hue lipstick as I am really into pinky/nude tones at the moment.

Anyway, thought I'd do a quick lustlist before bed.

From top left:

Topshop Jamie Jeans
Arran Knit Jumper
Tan Loafers
Floral Backpack
Rayban Wayferer (preferably Tortoise Shell)
Skirt (Don't know what to refer to it as apart from: skirt-that's-longer-at-the-back-than-the-front)
Mini Silver Casio

Night x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

tragic magic, when you can't remember feeling fantastic

I've only been back at university for one day and already I'm swamped with work. I found out that all my exams are in April as well as my coursework and my dissertation being due then too. Bye social life, hello library! At the start of last semester I coined a little phrase that my friends and I now religiously stick by:

"we'll be fine, we always are."

Not exactly the kind of quote reminiscent of Oscar Wilde or William Shakespeare, but a nice little reassurance nonetheless!

My friend and I are going charity shop/ vintage shopping tomorrow so I might do a little haul depending on what I get. I've bought a load of stuff recently so I might incorporate those purchases in it too!

Hope everyone reading this is having a nice day! Oh, and wrap up warm - it's absolutely freezing today!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

No money? No problem! Chiconomics Lesson #1.

Every year I tell myself that I'll keep a little bit of money aside for the long, dark, cold and utterly horrible month that is January. I truly overspent this Christmas but I suppose it is worth it when you see the people you love opening their lovely gifts (whist you helplessly sit there, smiling through gritted teeth wondering why you spent so much on every single last person - just me? I doubt it!)

When it comes to January, there's the temptation of bargains calling your name from the sales racks and new lines enticing you towards that coveted spring/summer wardrobe. And if you're on a student budget like me, you'll know it's not exactly easy to resist.

I'm stilling lusting after a hundred and one items for my wardrobe but with approximately £18 in my bank account, what is a girl to do?

So, I decided to be smart. I thought I'd have a go at vamping up a few items that I already own.

One of my favourite shirts was first up. I bought a pack of gold coloured card corners from eBay for a couple of pounds and stuck them on to the collar of this silk Topshop blouse and I have to say I'm so pleased with the result.

Next, I took the remainder of the card corners and added them to the gorgeous little notepad that I bought for my new semester at University. The notepad was £5 from Tesco, however I do feel that I've transformed it into something that looks a lot more expensive. And, I LOVE that no one else will have it!

I then customised an old pair of Topshop black skinny jeans by laying my favourite Levi denim shorts on top and cutting the jeans into the same shape. I frayed the bottom with a cheese grater (random, but it does the trick exceptionally well) and stuck a embroidered ribbon through the belt loops. A brand new pair of shorts!

Customising your wardrobe is a great way to vamp up what you already own, especially on a student budget! I'm really pleased with the results and have a lot more ideas :) I can't wait. It's so much better knowing that no one at uni, college, work etc will be wearing the same clothes as you, which I always find pretty annoying!

Boy Oh Boy...

Like many twenty-something girls, fashion is a huge part of my life. I suppose I've really only developed my own style that I feel entirely comfortable in very recently. I would describe my style as mildly androgynous and chic. For those who do not know, androgyny can be described as blurring the line between male and female characteristics, particularly in fashion. I like to describe it in leymen's terms, as dressing like a boy - at least that's what I say to my friends.

I guess my love for this trend was inspired by style and fashion guru, Barbara - The Persian Babe (her YouTube channel is to die for - I'm utterly addicted!) Her love for the men's section in high street shops (particularly Topman) allowed me to explore a different shopping experience.

Designers have always made use of gorgeous models to showcase their androgynous collections - think Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn and an old school Linda Evangelista. Also, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj love a bit of androgyny channelled through their alter-egos Joe Calderone and Roman Zolanski.

But that's not to say we mere mortals cannot rock this look too. It doesn't have to be scary or extreme. It can be subtle; as I said, I dress only mildly androgynous. Here are my favourite pieces for 'dressing like a boy':

Barbour Jacket with Tartan Lining - £199 - ASOS

Check Blazer with Elbow Patches - £65 - ASOS

Oversized Denim Shirt - £55 - American Apparel

May Snaffle Loafers - &32 - Topshop

High Waisted Chinos - £38 - Topshop

Basically, think anything tailored such as blazers and chinos, mixed with high collered shirts. Or even a cute floral or lace dress teamed with white socks, chunky loafers or brogues and a oversized denim jacket or parka. Don't be afraid to go scouring the mens section of Urban Outfitters, New Look, Zara and other high-street outlets to give your outfit that boyish feel. This trend will see you straight through spring until summer and if you're unsure, just ensure you keep your hair, make-up and jewllery really girly and feminin. Or take advantage of girly pastel colours which are set to be EVERYWHERE this spring - giving you the best of both worlds!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Ombrè, Ombrè

I realise that this has been done to the death but I wanted to give my opinion and experiences regarding ombré hair.

In my opinion, the ultimate hair trend in 2011 was ombrè (or dip dyed) hair. For those who don't know what ombrè hair is, it can be described as a gradient effect of your hair going from dark (at the roots) to light at the tips. It's safe to say that this key hair trend was captured brilliantly by a number of style bloggers over the past year. Celebrities and models have also given ombrè hair a go with the likes of Rachel Bilson, Leighton Meester and Alexa Chung rocking the look:

In October, I wanted to give this look a try. I've always been quite boring with my hair - albeit, I have sported every shade of brown imaginable and a dodgy set of blonde locks. Upon seeing a few people in university with this look, I could see that it was extremely wearable and I just had to have it. It adds a certain edginess to outfits, which I love. After much research and deliberation, I decided to to have a bash at DIY ombrè. Although successful, the lightened tips of my hair were pretty ginger and brassy and it look an expensive trip to Salon Services (and a day off uni) to fix it. Regrettably, the whole process ended up costing me a fortune and I would have been much better off in both money and time if I had just gone to a salon and had it done professionally. My hair is now very dry and I've had to trim it a few times to maintain a healthy condition. I am however, still completely in love with it and cannot recommend it enough.

Here's a few pictures of my DIY ombrè hair:

The ombrè look I have is quite coppery in tone, which I personally really like. I am unsure as to whether to get rid of this any time soon. As mentioned, my hair is damaged. If I do dye my hair a solid brown colour, I may revert back to ombrè in the near future. It is gorgeous and quite unique in terms of how many people actually have it.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Lustlist - A girl can dream...

Ever go through a stage where you just want to buy everything you see? Well, I am currently going through such a stage and my purse cannot handle it! Justifyably, my current "lustlist" is full to the brim of practicle buys; a pair of leather chelsea boots to add to my collection and a khaki coat (seeing as we still have the wrath of a Scottish winter to endure.)

Not my most materialistic lustlist but I WANT, WANT, WANT all the same!

From Top Left:

Khaki Parka
Vintage Levi Denim Jacket
Tartan Scarf
Navy & White Striped T-Shirt
Oversized Mulberry Alexa
Floral Dress
Chelsea Boots
Underground Creepers
Ear Cuff
Silver Collar
Moschino Belt

A girl can dream...