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Category Archives: Fashion Bites

Life & Fashion Bite: The Cosmopolitan Lingerie Show!

On Monday night, me and a couple of girlfriends headed across London (in the cold!) to the Cosmopolitan Lingerie Show! The venue, One Marylebone, is actually a church, and was floodlit with vivid pink lighting and looking rather impressive! Heading upstairs, there were plenty of stalls to peruse, a hair styling station and a nail bar, as well as free fizz (I don’t think we can call it champagne…!) and delicious macaroons at the Ann Summers’ stand by the door!

IMG_0191There were freebies galore and I won some brilliant scarlet ruffle knickers in a lucky dip! Unfortunately, they’re too big for me, but I might just have to let that go and wear them anyway…although I’m not sure it’s a very sophisticated look…maybe it I have a cancan party to go to! We’ll see!

IMG_0402The fashion show took place downstars and there were vivid pink cocktails (Trying to pretend to be Cosmopolitans I think….) and plenty of delicious canapee’s! A couple of rather tasty waiters bringing them around as well…

IMG_0197The first half of the show began with a speech from the founder of the ‘Coppa Feel’ charity – This charity is admirably striving to promote breast cancer awareness and really trying to spread the message to girls, women and even men that checking your breasts thoroughly and regularly is really vital in catching Breast Cancer early. The disease affects thousands and can be cured if caught early, but sadly, it so often is missed and is only treatable – as the founder of the Charity demonstrates – she was diagnosed in her early 20s but it was caught too late and she lives with it today. I have a great deal of admiration for both her and the charity, and think it’s a really inspiring message…I’ve been touched in my life by cancer of several forms, Breast Cancer being one of them, and I know the vital importance of checking yourself often…Not that I have much to check!!

I absolutely adore lingerie, and I’m a big fan of matching sets! I always buy the matching bottoms for my bras, normally in a couple of styles and pairs so I can wear the bra more than once between washes (dry clean only does not get washed after every use! I am not made of money!) So I pretty much fell in love with almost every set that was paraded through the audience…take a look:

Lingerie 1Lingerie 4I love the florals that are showing in the spring lines, especially these three, I want them all!!

Lingerie 2These reds are gorgeous, and I’m madly in love with the set on the right from Gossard, but they don’t have my size..!!

Lingerie 3All of the lines were showing a lot of this turquoise/teal green for their spring collections, and I think it’s a stunning colour…but guess what? Not in my size!!!

Lingerie 5It was great to see some ‘plus size’ models…I don’t really like the term to be honest, and these ladies looked fabulous…aside from anything else, they get to wear the lovely lingerie and I can’t because I’m TOO SMALL!!

After the first half of the show, we had a browse back upstairs and had our nails done! Can’t pass up a quick manicure opportunity! I visited Rigby and Peller, who I have always loved, but can’t often afford, and they have some simply stunning nightwear (lingerie as well, obviously) in their current lines…beautiful silk robes and chemises and little lacy nighties and slips. I wanted to climb inside their racks (no pun intended…!) and spend the night!

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Picked up our gift bags as well, and boy are they great! They really delivered here…hair products, make up, a couple of pieces of lingerie and a lovely nightie from Freya (Which is too big, but I’ll survive!) as well as a few little snacks; Popchips (my absolute favourite savoury snack at the moment!) and some divine little hazelnut pralines from Cadbury’s…mmmm!

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Second half of the show was ‘after-dark’ themed I guess…we got a lot sexier and some more to-die-for sets on show….:

Lingerie 6I’d happily have all of these please…

Lingerie 7I can’t be entirely sure whether they’re advocating a sort of lingerie-party-wear look for evening dress, of whether its artistic styling….I hope it’s the latter! As much as I could ALMOST wear the middle ‘outfit’ out, it’s a bit see through when you look closer!!

Lingerie 10

Lingerie 9I won’t lie to you, I was a bit more interested in the Trench-coat that the lingerie beneath, but I think the sequinned set on the left is a great little ‘festive’ look!

Lingerie 11

Lingerie 8Cute little pieces but all I could think was “Why is the model in red wearing an eye-mask…like you’d actually SLEEP in that underwear?!!” I’m not a fan of Ann Summers, and lots of ruffles and too much ‘kitch’ but they’re quite cute and if they’re your taste, head over to Ann Summers!

A really fun night, and some great looks in the lingerie department for the Christmas and Spring lines coming up. Definitely check out the new Freya, Rigby & Peller and Gossard lines, they are to die for! And Curvy kate is great for the curvier ladies out there…absolutely no use to me but…D-K Cups rejoice!

And, as a special treat for you all, I picked up a couple of Discount Vouchers and I’m going to share the codes with you all!

Get 20% Off Full-Priced Lingerie at Gossard until 14th November: Enter ‘COSMO20’ at the checkout!
Get 10% Off Figleaves’ Erotique Collection until 11th November: Enter ‘EROTIC10’ to claim!

So although there seems to be some ‘prejudice’ against people with little boobs and small backs (Okay, full disclosure, I’m a 28A…) I just adore lingerie. There’s nothing like wearing a stunning matching set to make you feel really good about yourself. Even though no one sees it (unless they’re lucky!), it’s really great to feel sexy underneath all day long!

Fashion Bite: Autumn Staples

Fashion Bite: Autumn Staples

Now that i’ve got my Autumn/Winter colour palettes down, it’s got me thinking about the staple pieces and looks for the new season!

My first priority when the weather gets cooler is always warmth. I get cold easily and nothing makes me more miserable, so staying toasty and warm is my main priority; but I like to look good whilst doing it! I could get all bundled up in ski-gear and not dive a damn, but I’d rather not…so I’m looking at ways to layer and cover up whilst still looking good and stylish!

I have my colours…now I need the Pieces!

Cable-Knit

I’m loving cable knit this season, and it’s everywhere and in every fabric and style. You can get thick, chunky cable knit pullovers, or fine, fitted cashmere. There are cardigans and v-necks, crew-necks and roll-necks, but whatever your weave of choice, cable knit is a must!
Cable Knit
Open Cable Knit Cardigan in Grey – Massimo Dutti. Carrie Jumper in Cherry – Crew Clothing. Cocoi Cable Knit Top in Dark Grey – L.K.Bennett. Classic Cable V-Neck in Cerulean – Crew Clothing.

The Jumper-Dress

I’m sure you’ve all caught on to my love affair with Hush by now, and they have a gorgeous selection of jumper-dresses, in all shapes, fabrics, styles and colours, so you’re spoilt for choice. But it’s not only Hush, they’re being featured in many a line this season, and it’s not hard to see why. We all want to be warm and cozy, but why stop a sweaters and jeans? You can be feminine, chic and still stay warm with a cute little cashmere tunic and some thick tights and boots. Super chic and still toasty warm!
Dress
Felted Wool Dress in Burgundy – Hush. Cable Knit Maxi Sweater in Natural Cream – Massimo Dutti. Long Sweater Dress in Dark Charcoal Marl – The White Company. Bobbina Pointelle Knit Dress in Cobalt – Reiss.

Corduroy

I used to be against corduroy, but I’ve grown to love it recently. It’s thicker and therefore warmer than jeans – why do you think farmers wear it? – and this season it’s available in a huge variety of styles and fits as well as a great range of vibrant tones that have turned it into a statement piece and a staple for this season!
Cord
Skinny Cords in Ecru – Hush. 1969 Real Straight Cords in Ruby Wine – Gap. Skinny Corduroy Jeans in Charcoal – Jaeger. Cord Skinny Trousers In Ink Blue – Toast.

The Ankle Boot

I adore ankle boots and they’re all over the place this Autumn. In leathers, suedes, velvets…and with buckles and cut-outs and high heels and flat heels. It’s almost worth getting them in every colour and style imaginable as they can be the focal piece of any outfit. Just make sure you wear ankle-crops to really show off your boots – chelsea, cut out, jodhpur or side buckle. Whatever your look, there’s a boot to go with it!
Boots
High Heel Ankle Boot With Straps in Black – Massimo Dutti. Leather Ankle Boots in Blue – & Stories. Carnaby Boot in Praline – Boden. Leather Ankle Boots in Red Dark – & Stories.

Masculine Tailoring

Especially with the monochrome colour palette, a sharp cut shirt with fitted blazer and straight leg trouser is a look with which to make a statement. Be bold and ultra-chic with hard lines and crisp, contrasting colours. It’s all about the shirts and the jackets; tuxedo, blazer, crop or a full-on overcoat can be the item that brings an outfit together and sets you apart. There’s a reason that men’s suit’s have never gone out of style, a classic look shouldn’t be messed with, but why should the boys have all the fun?
Masculine
Straight Wool Trousers in camel – Massimo Dutti. Tulip Snake Silk Print Shirt in Indigo – Reiss. Bethany Jacket in Mulberry – Hobbs. One Button Blazer in Black – & Stories. Classic Drape Shirt in Cream – Jigsaw.

Accessorize, Accessorize!

It’s all very well layering up, but they accessories are what finishes the job. Scarves, wrist warmers, snoods, hats…well they’re all seasonal musts, but this season, make them the statement piece…the central focus of your whole outfit. Wear a vivid-red scarf and wrist-warmers with your monochrome shirt and jacket…throw on some animal print to liven up your neutral look or even just focus on the details and ensure that your belt matches your shoes and bag and that each different element fits in seamlessly with the rest of your outfit. Whatever you choose to do with them, just remember that the accessories are the key to staying warm and looking good this Autumn.
Accessories
Textured Knit Mittens in Ecru – Hush. Erin Hobo Bag in Oxblood Red – Toast. Narrow Leopard Print Belt – Massimo Dutti. Tuck Stitch Snood in Taupe Marl – The White Company. Leopard Contrast Scarf in Blue – Anthropologie.

Cover these simple staples in a variety of this seasons colours and you’ll be sure you have a wardrobe where you can create a thousand outfits with the minimal effort. Classic looks are classic looks for a reason, but you can always make them your own!

Style Bite: Autumn Colour

Style Bite: Autumn Colour

Autumn has well and truly arrived! The temperature’s dropping and it’s about time to delve back into hard work and a fresh start. Summer’s gone and we’re all back at work, Uni or school and it’s time to get organised, but more importantly, it’s time to break out the Autumn/Winter wardrobe and give our beauty regimes a good shake-up!

One of the biggest signs of Autumn is the leaves starting to fall, and bursting into a vivid array sensational colours. But as the trees shed their leaves, we need to start packing on the layers, and if nature can have a colour make-over, then so can we!

So, for the beginning of my Autumn/Winter Series I’ve opted to follow in nature’s footsteps and begin with colour!

Wine and Berry Blast

The hedgerows are bursting with the seasonal crop of blackberries, plums and red currants and there’s nothing like a warming glass of deep red wine to warm the blood as the weather grows colder. This Autumn, I’m loving shades of burgundy, plum and deep reds and purples. A great way to bring some colour to your life and brighten up the days and they grow drearier! I’m feeling a romantic theme in style this Autumn, and the deep burgundies and purples are reminiscent of renaissance royalty!

BurgandyHenley Dress in Burgandy – Hush. Limited Edition Berry Quad Eyeshadow – Lancome. 1969 Legging Cords in Ruby Wine – Gap. Nail Lacquer in Pomegranate- Crabtree & Evelyn. La Laque Nail Laqueur in Black Tulip – Yves Saint Laurent. Wool and Cashmere Wide Neck Sweater in Garnet – Massimo Dutti. Velvet Ankle Boots in Red – & Stories. Byrony Shoppe Handbag in Red – Somerset by Alice Termperley. Narrow Buckskin Belt in Burgundy – Massimo Dutti.

Brighten up the Winter Blues

It’s getting colder, and everyone’s starting to feel a little blue…but blue doesn’t have to be a bad thing! This season, bring blue back in bold and vibrant shades! I’m loving the deep and vivid blues this season, from a romantic midnight blue to an eye catchingly bright, almost electric blue. From the seductive romance of a dark velvety blue to the iconic stand-out quality of a dazzling bright sapphire, blue is the way to go this season!

Blue

Danoe Wool and Cashmere Belted Coat – L.K.Bennett. Nail Lacquer inBlueberry – Crabtree and Evelyn. All About Shadow Quad in Galaxy – Clinique. Jersey Snood in Cobalt – Hush. Amy Dress in Marine – Hush. Wool Scarf Cardigan in Blue – & Stories. Le Pliage Shopper in Navy – Longchamp.

Toasty Autumn Tan

So the summer tans have faded, but we can still bring tan into our style! A classic colour palette, neutral tones and browns are a must this season. Soft, luxurious pale tan to deep dark brown, the animals are all donning their winter coats, so take a leaf from them and echo the luxurious shades of hide and fur that are surrounding us right now. Going neutral doesn’t mean you have the blend in…

tanBoard Large Collar Overcoat in camel – Reiss. Leather Knee Boots in Brown – & Stories. Rich Chocolate Eye Palette – Bobbi Brown. Serum De Rouge in Light Beige – Christian Dior. Luxe Nail Polish in organza – Rococo. Large Suede Tassel Clutch in Stone – The White Company. 100% Cashmere Cableknit Sweater in Brown – Massimo Dutti. Plaid Scarf in Brown – Jigsaw. British Tweed Kilt in Brown Windowpane – Boden.

Back to Black

Monochrome always seems to make an appearance at this time of year, and it’s little wonder why. There’s nothing more striking and bold than a sharply contrasting monochrome palette. Bold blacks matched with shimmering grays can have you standing out from the crowd and a chic combination of crisp white against jet black is both classic and always up to date. And you can really make a statement with monochrome by adding a burst of startling colour in one statement accessory.
MonochromeStretch Cotton Moleskin Jeans in Black – Jigsaw. Dahlia Top Stitching Shirt in Silver Grey – Reiss. Dionne Leather Ankle Boot in Black – L.K.Bennett. Cashmere Shawl in Grey Marl – Hush. faux Fur Mini Bag in Black – & Stories. Sequin Cuff Cardigan in Natural – The White Company. 3 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Smoky Black – Christian Dior. Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Satin – Chanel.

Stick to a few kep palettes this Autumn: Burgandy is vibrant and cheerful, blue is vivid and perfect for the winter weather, neutal tones can be paired with anything and are a softening, classic combination and you can really make a bold statement with a monochrome edge! Stick with a few simple colours and you can create any number of outfits in the blink of an eye, and you’ll be right on trend this season!

Thursday Bite: Get Ready For The Fall!

Thursday Bite: Get Ready For The Fall!

paper-autumn-coffee-books-notebook-290x290I’ve said it before; as far as I’m concerned, Autumn doesn’t begin until next week, so I’m using this week to prepare for Autumn. In every way!

Uni starts back up next week and my French Language course begins in the next couple of weeks too, so it’s time to get organised and prepared for some work!

It’s been oddly warm here in London all this week, so it definitely doesn’t feel like Autumn, but I’m told (although BBC weather may not be as reliable as it would have us believe…) that next week the mercury will begin to drop again, starting the steady slide into winter and the dreaded negative numbers!

With the dropping temperature of Autumn, obviously there is a need for a new wardrobe. Jumpers, scarves, cardigans, boots…the list goes on and I’m totally un-prepared for Autumn so I need to start stockpiling the woollens!

Furthermore, now that summer is almost behind us (I know…who am I kidding?) I need to over-haul my beauty regimes and make-up bag. I need to say good-bye to the light summer tones and hello to the intensive moisturisers (to soothe the wind-battered skin!) and dramatic Autumnal make-up tones.

So…one hell of a to-do list…But I shall begin as I mean to go on (and I secretly love making lists and plans and over-preparing for anything I can!)

GET ORGANISED!

Flatpack bookshelf assembly instructions: 2 People 1 hour. Bookshelf
Last night: 1 girl, 35 minutes. Take that Ikea!

So I put together my new bookshelf last night. It’s a cheap thing from Ikea until I can get hold of a nicer one; I might steal one from my parents’ house…But anyway, for months now I’ve had a growing collection of piles of books, papers, files and folders in various locations around the floor of my room, and it was getting ridiculous.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the evening enjoying a nice fuzzy-feeling of accomplishment…now all I need is some new stationary for the upcoming academics!

Starting out a new academic year (or term or even week…) organised and fully prepared really sets you up to buckle down and get hard at work. Out with the old and in with the new!

AUTUMN WARDROBE!

I’m not going to deny it, I’ve thrown myself into the acquisition of a new wardrobe with vigour!

I always make use of the Summer sales to grab some bargains on the essentials for Autumn, and I’ve been preparing for this season for a couple of months now!

shop

See my review of Hush’s Autumn/Winter line for all the essentials, and I’ve already put in my first order for the season…currently compiling the second!

Must take a trip to Sloane Square this weekend to pop into Massimo Dutti, Reiss and Anthropologie – who have a great ‘20% off Dresses’ offer on at the moment – as well as all the other favourites to really kick off Autumn in style!

I’ll begin my Autumn Fashion Series next week, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the preparation for it this week! The single best thing about the colder weather (and let’s face it, there aren’t many positives…) is the need for a new wardrobe. And I savour it!

Making use of the summer sales and starting well ahead of the season to get the basics and essentials for the colder weather is a great way to spread the cost and grab some bargains, leaving you the space to splash out on luxury statement pieces when the A/W lines drop!

BEAUTY MAKE OVER!

beauty hall

The most important thing about a beauty regime in the Autumn and Winter months is taking care of your skin. The cold and wind and rain really take their toll and making sure that you have a solid beauty regime is vital to keepyourself looking healthy and take care of your precious skin! After all, skin is for life, not just for Christmas!

I’ve started researching the new products in skin care this season, and I’ve been hunting around for some good deals and trying out all the samples! There’s no point in spending a lot of money on products that aren’t right for my skin and will turn out to be a waste of money…

I’ve started getting quite a few things on ebay at the moment…if you look hard enough, you can find some great make-up deals on completely new and unused products, as long as you know what you want and what you’re looking for!

My biggest MUST for Autumn make up, however, is get in new foundations/powders etc! the sun-kissed glow of summer skin is already beginning to fade an

sampl

d so often people (me included sometimes) forget to change their products with the change in skin tone! I’m off to Bare Minerals’ GoBare Tour this weekend to get ‘re-fitted’ for the coming season. I don’t often wear foundations and many skin products in the summer as they’re heavy and I don’t need much, but when Autumn hits, I need to start wearing a little more!

Take advantage of as many samples, testers, trials and free products as you can before you splash out on a new set of Beauty products for Autumn. There’s no point in wasting money on below-par products or treatments that aren’t right for you. Experiment before you buy, but remember, skin-care is an all important MUST for this season!

Fashion Bite: Hush A/W Collection

It was around about this time last year that I first came across Hush and let me tell you, it was love at first sight!

I love the quality of their clothes as well as the simplicity of the styles and the gorgeous materials that they use! And I was also a very big fan of the Burgundy colour that they featured in last year’s Autumn collection.

So, all through August and the end of Summer Sales, I was eagerly anticipating the launch of their 2013 Autumn collection, and desperately hoping it wouldn’t be a let down after last year’s success.

Well, it wasn’t! I’m thrilled to see the Burgundy make a return and this year they have brought out the Henley Dress, which I bought in charcoal last year, in the rich wine colour!

The other colour that’s new this season is Blue. The Amy Dress, which I desperately wanted in red last year (but sold out before I could get my hands on it!) now makes a come-back in this vivid blue, and I’m rather taken.

As always, there is an excellent collection of tunic and dresses which are perfect for the winter chill – My top picks are The Henley Dress in Burgundy, The Amy Dress in Blue, The Angora Tunic in light Grey and this cute little dress The Rosie Dress in marine/navy Blue.

Dresses

 

What I love about The Rosie Dress is it’s versatility! It’s such a cute dress and could be worn to the office in winter, smartened up with some heels and a Jacket, and worn with a pretty scarf and flats or boots to make it more casual! And it’s available in Burgundy, Blue and Grey. My three key colours for the season!

I’m also loving their shirts; The Freya Shirt and The Classic Silk Shirt are lovely, stylish shirts, and the lightness of their silk makes them great staple items. A must for this season!  Tuck into some cords or Jeans (how about the Skinny Cords in Black, Ecru or Vintage Black?) or for a casual look, or with a smart skirt or under a nice dress for a more formal occasion.

shirts

I just mentioned the Skinny Cords, but I want to elaborate: I’m loving cords for this season. For a long time I had a real thing against corduroy, but this year I’ve developed a sudden love! The thickness of the material makes them lovely and warm in the winter and the casual/smart look of a nice pair of skinny cords is really on trend this season. I shall definitely be investing in some of these…

cords

Which brings me to their boots. Last year I lusted after their Long Leather Boots in Grey, and now they make a return in suede and I could practically burt with longing! At £265, they’re not a cheap buy, but they are absolutely stunning…if you have the means to splash out on a luxury, I would go for these hands down!

boot

My final pick has to be their Pyjamas. Never in my life have I come across more luxurious feeling pyjama sets and now that I have experienced Hush’s brushed cotton PJ’s, I will never go back! I adore the sets, and especially in the Dark Navy/Bordeaux Birdie Print, which I have already ordered! If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to invest in Hush pyjamas; once you do, you’ll never go back!

PJs

 

The rest of the collection is an assortment of the classics, the basics and the staples;

Jumpers and cardigans in a range of designs, materials and colours – I’m loving the Heart Stitched Roll-Neck in Dark Burgandy, the Chunky Waterfall Cardigan in Cappuccino and The Big Sloppy Jumper in cobalt. Some must-haves for the winter wardrobe!

card

Tops and camis galore! I always invest in their camis, long-length vests and long-length tops in any new colours (My collection grows every season and I have a delightful assortment of colours now!) as they’re great value and super useful for the all important winter layering! My big tip is to layer the L/L Stretch Tees or vests underneath the dresses: I like to mix and match the L/L Stretch tee in an assortment of colours underneath the Charcoal Henley Dress and colour coordinate with a bright jumper, cardigan or scarf.

 tops

Last but by no means least, the accessories!

The Cashmere Wrist Warmers are an absolute delight. I’ve had my fair share of experience with cashmere hand/wrist warmers in the past (Every year for as long as I can remember I’ve acquired a new pair from relatives in Scotland) but they do not compare to these offerings from Hush. They are deliciously thick and warm and now available in s great range of colours – I just have to resist buying them all so I can coordinate with every outfit!

acc

The Scarves are always great. What I love about Hush is their continuity through the lines.  They have a few key colours (coincidently my Autumn key tones?) and they feature them in all their product lines and different categories. This means colour-coordination galore! I love to coordinate and now I can have all my accessories in blue and all my outfits can have Burgundy running through them! I could live entirely in Hush and would never be more, nor would I make complaint!

So what I’m saying, is I have an on-going love affair with Hush. I feel it’s a fair give and take relationship, I make my monthly (sometimes fortnightly) purchases from them and they continue to offer me delights that make my heart flutter!!

I just received my first box of goodies the other day, although I’m still waiting on one item which didn’t arrive with the rest (Burgundy Henley Dress!!) and I shall be placing my next order very soon – making use of the 10% discount they have so generously provided with receipt of the first delivery!

 

If I could only choose one brand to wear this Autumn (or possibly even for the rest of my life) it would be Hush, hands down.

 

Good job Team Hush!!

Tuesday Bite: Style in a Hurry!

Tuesday Bite: Style in a Hurry!

I woke up late this morning. Or rather, I woke up very early and then went back to sleep…which resulted in me sleeping late!

So, needless to say, I was rushed for time and had to throw a quick look together!

today copy My go-to look is simple: A shirt, Jeans, Belt and Boots. I have hundreds of shirts, jeans and tousers and quite a few pair of boots, so I can throw together any number of different ensembles when I work off this formula!

This was very convenient this morning!

Shirt: Anthropologie
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Boden

The belt I bought in the south of France, but it’s gorgeous soft leather with lovely intricate engravings: My top tip is to grab leather accessories like this in Provence or Italy, as the quality is exceptional and it’s a fraction of the price of a real leather belt in this country!

With such a simple outfit, you can accessorize easily. I added some chunky gold earrings from Ralph Lauren to bring the outfit to life a bit more and a Links of London Friendship bracelet. Simple but effective!Hair 2

My other issue was that my hair was getting a little bit lank. I needed to put it up, but I find that when you have not-quite-but-very-nearly-greasy hair, doing something interesting with it actually disguises rather than draws attention to the state.

My favourite casual but pretty hairstyle.

I love to experiment and play with different styles in my hair and I do a lot with braids and plaits. This is such a quick style but it looks really complicated and it can be messy and casual (As I wore it today) or you can smarten it up and it looks really elegant and sophisticated.

DSCF0838But my ultimate hair saviours today have to be Percy & Reed’s Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. This stuff works like a miracle. You don’t need much and when you brush it through, you could easily have just washed your hair! Superdrug’s non-slip hair grips are also great, they stay put all day and there’s no need to keep fixing your hair every half hour!

Last but most definitely not least; my make-up basics and saviour for a day when I’m in a rush!

Yves Saint Laurent Eyebrow Pencil is divine! It comes with a brush and comb on the end to really blend the liner into the eyebrow and gives great shape and definition without being too heavy or obvious. It’s almost a tint, rather than a pencil and I fully recommend it, especially if you have thin eyebrows like me!

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, the original highlighter: I’m sure everyone’s heard plenty about this, and it will have been reviewed countless time, but I adore it. It gets rid of those pesky dark lines and gives some great definition and coverage to the face when you don’t necessarily have time to do a full coverage!

DSCF0835Benefit’s cheat’s foundation was given to me as a gift and I have never been able to find it again, so I use it sparingly! But it’s a great touch on concealer, is very creamy and light and blends into the skin very well. It evens the skin tone really nicely without having to do a full face of foundation, great for when I’m in a rush and need to hide a few blemishes!

Dior Eyeshadow Palette. I’ve talked about this palette before, so I’ll keep it short. it has everything you need: an eyeliner, a base shadow and two tones of top-shadow to give some eye definition and shape and brightness. Saviour when you’re in a hurry!

So I managed to get ready (albeit a little sloppily!!) in just under 20 minutes, but I wouldn’t have been able to manage it without my tried and tested fall-backs!

Having a few staple items in your beauty and style book, and a few formulas that you can re-work and mix-up is really useful on a day when you don’t have as much time as you would like. Knowing what works in your routines and what outfits and styles suit you means that you can throw something together and slap something on in next to no time! it’s always nice to have lot’s of time to get ready, but sometimes that just isn’t an option!

Fashion Bite: Casual-Smart Workwear

I’m working as an intern for a PR company at the moment, and the office ‘dress-code’ is ‘casual’…
…But then, we’re often going to events or meetings with clients at the last minute, so I suppose it’s really ‘smart-casual’.

Now, I’ve always hated the ambiguity of this term, but it is the only term that fits: so I need to find a way to bring some ‘smart’ to my everyday clothes, so that I can go to an event at The Guardian, or whatever, and not be completely underdressed.

So, I’ve got three basic looks that I go with for work, and I can mix and match and wear different combinations but I know I always look professional but understated and I’m not over-dressed for a casual day at the office!

OUTFIT 1

I love this outfit because it’s fun, it’s relaxed and soft, but with the silk shirt, heels and blazer it still looks smart. It’s versatile; I can wear some grey suede flats which makes it much more casual, and put on the jacket and boots for an instant lift to the outfit. The coloured jeans add a sense of fun and keep it low-key, but the silk shirt gives a proffessional air, and I think that cardigan just brings the whole outfit together – and it’s cashmere, so it’s been keeping me warm in these past few Autumn weeks!
Jacket: Massimo Dutti Cardigan: The White Company Shirt: Reiss Jeans: Boden Scarf: The White Company Boots: Boden

OUTFIT 2

This is another of my favourite outfits. It’s a little more masculine than the last outfit and has a more ‘stylish’ look, rather than ‘pretty’. It’s a classic combination of jeans, shirt and jacket, but it’s such a great combination with thousands of ways to go. Blue jeans automatically say casual, so the black chelsea boots give it a more dressed up look and the patterned silk shirt, tucked in with a nice belt smartens it further. I specify tucked in because I feel that untucking the shirt immediately brings it back down to casual; another demonstration of the versatility of this outfit! Once again, the cardigan brings the whole outfit together, tying with the black boots where the blue shirt ties with the blue jeans. Then throwing a nice black blazer over the top brings the whole thing to a more professional look, as well as adding those all important thermal layers!
Jacket: Massimo Dutti Cardigan: L.K.Bennet Shirt: Reiss Jeans: Gap Scarf: Crew Clothing Boots: Boden

OUTFIT 3

Once again, I find this to be such a versatile outfit. I would wear it on a lazy sunday around the house, but I can so easily dress it up to be suitable for work and anything else that may come my way! The tan jeans with the simple white camisole and pale jumper are very simple and casual, but with the addition of my favourite boots and a nice necklace the whole outfit has a much more put together and smart look to it. Add the jacket and, although it’s still quite casual, it gives a more polished look to a comfortable and casual outfit. Then add the scarf for a burst of colour to lift the whole outfit!
Jacket: Massimo Dutti Jumper: Massimo Dutti Camisole: Banana Republic Jeans: Boden Scarf: Zara Boots: Boden

As you can probably tell, I’m big on staples. I don’t think anyone can have too many pairs of jeans, shirts, cardigans, jumpers, jackets, boots or scarves. And with a variety of styles and colours in these few items, you can put together a thousand and one different outfits!

I tend to find a good thing and then keep going with it: I love Massimo Dutti jackets, and know they are well cut and fit me well, so I get them in a whole load of varied styles and colours!…I loved the style and feels of the Boden Chelsea boots, so I buy a different colour every season! (Or so it seems; I got the black ones last winter and the grey this summer in the sale.)

I have real problems with jeans; I have very narrow hips, so finding a well made pair of good-fit jeans is tricky for me; 7 For All Mankind, Levis’s, Gap and, I’ve recently discovered, Boden are the only places where I can get decent fitting Jeans. So I buy them in all colours!

With a few staple items: Jeans, shirts, jackets boots and an assortment of accessories, you can create hundreds of different outfits to suit every occasion, whether it be a casual day around the office or drinks event with clients. By mixing and matching, you can suit every need and turn an everyday outfit into a smart, stylish and professional look. A classic combination is classic for a reason!