Sunday, 26 June 2011

The weekend the sun shone

This weekend in the UK we had much better weather (hurrah!). I have so many lovely summer clothes waiting patiently on their hangers, tags still attached, that I was quite relieved the weather had finally arrived to wear them! On saturday, hubby and I took a trip to a little village called Hythe that I love for the cute little homeware stores and nice pubs to have lunch in. It was warm but a bit windy so I wore some dark denim ripped skinny jeans from River Island, dark brown wedges from Next and my new Zara shirt smock style top. I finished this look off with a dark brown studded belt also from River Island, and an oversized gold butterfly necklace from Primark.

On Sunday, I went to my mother and father in-laws as it was their 30th wedding anniversary. I decided to wear my new Topshop orange shift dress - I bought this a couple of weeks ago and have been dying to wear it! As the dress is such a statement colour, I decided to keep the accesories simple - I wore my brown wedges again and the same gold butterfly necklace as yesterday. I am totally in love with the colour of the dress, I have been really drawn to orange and coral colours this summer, and I like the simple shift style, with draping at the top. The back of the dress has a long statement zip which I really like too.

Hope you like the photos, my house rabbit Woody was out playing as well : ) xx

Thursday, 23 June 2011

It's vintage darling...

In the past few years, vintage clothing and accesories have taken off in a big way. ' Oh this? It's vintage darling...' has become the oft muttered phrase of many a Hollywood superstar on the red carpet. Wearing vintage is not only cool, but a necessity if you are to cut it as a grade A fashionista. With the likes of Lilly Allen not only wearing vintage (and looking fabulous), but going so far as setting up her own vintage shop, the time has never been better to invest in a bit of vintage-chic for your wardrobe.

With this explosion of old-but-still-good fashion comes a new breed of shops, probably not on your high street, but tucked away on a different type of shopping street. Look out for the rustic style cafes and tiny art galleries and a vintage shop will not be too far away! We no longer have to haul ourselves to London to invest in this look, vintage shops are popping up everywhere, you just need to know where to look. The web is a good place to start:

This website is particularly helpful and lists vintage shops by region (UK only). Ebay is another good bet, with the prospect of many happy hours spent trawling the lists of vintage items and memorabilia.

If you are a vintage virgin, I would suggest starting with a few accesories. I have been a fan of vintage for a few years now and I have to say, I still find it easier, and prefer to add vintage accessories to my modern looks rather than wearing vintage clothes themselves. That is just my personal preference, however I do admire the amazing vintage outfits that fashionable girls all over the globe put together so effortlessly. Vintage clutch bags are always gorgeous, as are vintage shoes and jewellery. My latest vintage purchase came via ebay:

I love my new (old) cowboy boots! I have wanted some cowboy boots for ages but I didn't want new ones, I think worn in, soft leather boots look so much better! This pair cost me a bargainous £14.99 (including posting and packaging) and look amazing on. I cannot wait to wear them, although I think I will have to wait until it cools down a bit (It won't be long, I am in England after all!)

Monday, 20 June 2011

Bags of style

Today I arrived home from work to a lovely surprise... my Claireabella bag had arrived! It was even better than I thought it was going to be, and will be perfect for the summer as well as the next time I take a trip abroad! I hope you love it as much as I do, and if you would like to make like a whole host of UK celebs and grab your own, you can do so by clicking on the following address:

Can't wait to take it on its first outing!! xxx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Shellac is my new best friend

I have worn acrylic nail extensions for as long as I can remember (it must be a good 9 years now). I think nails are important and say a lot about a person. I certainly feel a lot more professional and groomed when my nails are perfect and sporting the latest colours. Recently however, I have had an about-turn in terms of the way I want my nails to look. I have started to prefer the shorter, squoval look - more natural and smarter looking too I think. I guess working in a secondary school, I have grown tired of the look of mega long talons with super sharp edges (the kids adore these!) and I guess also, as we get older our tastes change.

So, I took the brave step of having my fake nails removed. Deep breath, breaking out into a sweat, gulp! I then researched nail artists in my area and found a fabulous local lady who specialises in all kinds of new techniques over from the US, in particular Minx and Shellac. I have since had Minx on my toes and Shellac on my nails. And I am converted, one hundred and ten per cent! The Minx on the toes (a foil that comes in a gazillion designs, melted with heat and applied to the toes, lasts at least a month on feet) is so special looking and has earned me many admiring glances and comments. The design I chose literally looks like molten gold - so gorgeous on bronzed feet in the summer! The shellac on the fingernails applies like a polish but cures like a gel. It does not smudge or chip and lasts a full two weeks (when you need a replacement due to re-growth). This comes in many colours and of course the classic french mani. Today I had my colour changed over to a gorgeous warm red shade called 'Hollywood' (see photo).

If you haven't tried Minx or Shellac yet, give them a try - they may just change the way you do your nails forever!! xx

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Object of desire - £40.00

The playsuit: a simple little item that every girl should have in her wardrobe. Easy to throw on, easy to dress up and down, suitable for all occasions. I have just spotted a gorgeous kimono sleeve playsuit on asos. com that I need in my life! Tapping perfectly into the oriental trend, a perfect item for summer xx

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The day I met Gok Wan...

I love Gok Wan. Have done since he burst onto our screens a few years back. I love the way he takes high street clothes and customises them to give them an air of designer and individuality. Well today, in London, I walked past an outside cafe and did a double take... sitting at his Mac, Mr Wan himself!! I had to stop and chat, he was really friendly and told me he was working on his new book and enjoying the sun ( a rarity recently in Britain!) He was kind enough to let me take a snap on my iPhone... : )

London Style

Let me cut straight to the chase: style in London is incredible. In my opinion, the best in the world (OK I am a little biased being British and all!). I have been to Paris a few times and admired the effortless chic of the men and women gracing the streets of the left bank, the Marais and Boulevard Haussmann, I have been to Milan and again admired the classic, designer efforts of the ladies there. I have not yet been to New York although this is on my fashion wishlist for the near future!! So I have been to quite a few fashion forward cities and yet I still believe London to be amongst the very best. The sheer energy, eclectic and individual style is enough to secure London the award for most stylish. Women in London really know how to mix it up, the rules are non existent, and a perfect balance of designer and high street is readily achieved.

I have been reminded of our incredible home-grown style today as I attended a course for work at the Barbican. Amongst all the other educators in their smart suits and shiny shoes, I like to think I stood out a bit in my old faithful, ripped at the knee jeans, classic navy blue tee, bright floral cardi, my new Primark sandals, skinny plaited belt and D & G sunnies! The only part of my outfit that gave me away was my bright red lanyard and show pass! On the way home, reading the latest copy of Grazia, I started thinking about the hottest styles to be seen in right now; some I have, some I am still to acquire. So here goes...

1) Colour blocking

So easy to do and so effective - as simple as teaming a bright silky t shirt with a skirt in totally opposite colours. Hot colour combos include pink and orange, blue and green, yellow and blue. For those who are less confident with really bright colours, why not try one bright item, such as a bright dress - teamed with simple accesories and a tan, this looks fantastic. Even adding a colour pop bright bag to an outfit will tap into this trend and add an element of fabulous!

Orange shift dress - £35.99 Zara

Pink pintuck dress - £40.00 Dorothy Perkins

River Island Brights! - £various

2) Stripes

Ever since Marc by Marc Jacobs launched their striped silk dress in beautiful summery colours, the high street has been awash wish similar designs. The midi length is fresh and new, perfect for a summers day with gladiators or wedges.

The original Marc by Marc Jacobs design

Similar coloured Primark design - £11

Gorgous jewel shades in the River Island dress - £29.99

3) Prints

This summer prints are everywhere (again!) and once again, there is a staggering array of designs to choose from. Ditsy florals have been pushed out and replaced by larger, bolder blooms. Graphic prints a la Erdem are storming the high streets - my particular favourite right now is the bright graphic print immortalised on dress and skirt in Zara (see picture below), and already worn by a whole host of celebrities including Denise Van Outen. How best to wear this bold designs? Dresses look fantastic, partciularly with simple accesories, letting the dress do all the work. If you are less confident about a particular body part, play up another, e.g, a graphic print top will look amazing with simple black skinny jeans if you are not confident enough to wear print on your bottom half. Don't forget shoes as well! Shoes are an easy and attractive way to introduce a splash of print into your outfit and get you noticed for all the right reasons.

Zara graphic print skirt - £29.99

Asos dress- £45

River Island Maxi - £32.99


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Shiny shiny super light summer pout!

When summer arrives (slightly warmer, slightly lighter for longer days = summer in Britain!) I always feel the need to go lighter with lip colours, in terms of colour and texture. This summer, we have been absolutely spoilt for choice with a whole range of new prodcuts hitting the shelves. Having purchased a few to try, I thought I would share my favourites : )

Lip Saviour 1) Clinique chubby stick moistursing lip colour balm

I love this product so much! I love the idea that it is a pencil and this makes it really easy to apply. The colours and all very wearable and perfect for summer. Also the fact that it is a balm is great, it is really soothing and feels great. I can't stop putting this on!!

Lip Saviour 2) Lancome L'Absolu Nu

This lipstick is marketed as a 'bare lip sensation' and I have to concur with this statement!! It feels so light to wear, completely unlike a lipstick. Like the Clinique chubby stick is feels really replenishing and lasts a fair while too. Lovely : )

I plan to buy the new Maybelline colour sensational next... will upload pics of the results shortly xx

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Another day, another dollar (spent)

Next Wedges

Primark Sandals

Primark top and fruit necklace

Vero Moda Dress £22, Next Wedges £42

Today I went into school to run a revision session for my GCSE class so I decided to reward myself with a spot of shopping for being such a committed teacher!

First stop, Primark. Primark has been particularly strong this summer, and I was determined to get something today with some kind of fruit motif a la Prada S/S 11. Unfortunately the dress I wanted with a gorgeous oranges and lemons print was not in my size, but I managed to pick up a cute and kitsch gold coloured necklace with little bits of fruit hanging off! I also picked up a couple of tops that will look great with denim cut offs, one of the tops in a cobalt blue particularly pleased me and fits in well with the colour block trend that is so popular this summer. Lastly, I picked up a lovely pair of leather tan sandals, not the kind of thing I would usually wear but I think they will look great with dresses and shorts alike.

By the end of my shopping trip I was feeling pretty pleased with myself: I also managed to grab the last size 8 Vero Moda butterfly print dress as worn in the black and red colour by Chelsy Davy! I like the camel/beige colour I picked up a lot, its nice and summery and will suit lots of different occasions. Lastly today, I found some fab dark brown wedges from Next that are simply classic and will last summer after summer. Pics attached of my lovely new purchases! : )

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Teacher in Style: ClaireaBella bags!

Teacher in Style: ClaireaBella bags!: "I just had to add a post about these wonderful bags!! My attention was drawn to these a few days ago when I glimpsed one on a celebrity ..."

ClaireaBella bags!

I just had to add a post about these wonderful bags!! My attention was drawn to these a few days ago when I glimpsed one on a celebrity in a weekly gossip mag! I knew I wanted one straight away, as the bag is roomy, beautiful, and personalised, thus appealing to the narcissistic element of my personality!

With a strong celebrity following, and each bag being produced by hand by one designer, I knew they would not be easy to get hold of, and I was proved right. When I looked yesterday, all stock was sold out, but I noticed that new stock would be arriving in limted numbers at 8am this morning. So, alarm set and laptop in sleep mode ready for a quick start, I woke up almost as excited as if it was Christmas day! And success! My bag purchased, I am one happy girl! If you want to grab your own, you will need to be quick too, (It will be worth it!) see the link below for more details:

Which Wedge?

I am looking for a pair just like this (above)

My new emerald green beauties, £39.99, Zara (also available in blue and orange)

As I watch Waterloo Road (why can I not escape school even when I'm on half term??!) my mind is fixed on two things: where is Mrs Chowdry's sheer camel pussy-bow shirt from, and how the hell am I going to get my feet open toe shoe perfect before next monday??

This second pondering has become more persistant in my mind for the past couple of days as I have just purchased a gorgeous emerald green pair of wedges from Zara and am desperate to wear them to work!

Heels in the work place. Five frightening little words for me. Don't get me wrong I love heels as much as the next woman, frequently stopping in front of a shiny shoe shop window to salivate and dream about making them my own. I am, however, more of a cab to bar kind of girl, little baby steps and a nice comfy bar stool to rest my weary toes and heels! So, wearing heels to work is not normally something I choose to advocate on a daily basis. That said, in summer, something inside flips, and with the almost daily deluge of shiny new shoes hitting the shops, its difficult to resist a nice new pair of heels, that promise to be so perfect with your new summer work wear.

So my answer is quite simple: wedges. I have always been a secret fan of the wedge, and as they never date, they are a financially savvy choice as well. For some reason, I have overlooked wedges in the past in favour of traditional high heels, platforms and courts. For that reason my shoe cupboard contains 50 + pairs of heels and only 2 pairs of wedges. This summer however, the wedge is everywhere I look and I fall more in love every single day! Keen to tap into the colour block trend I purchased a beautiful pair of green wedges the other day, with a manageable 3 inch rafia heel, and a dark brown ankle strap for extra security. Worn twice so far, once around Bluewater shopping centre for 2 hours straight, I can confidently say that they are as comfy as they are becoming. So next Monday on my return to work, I plan to pair them with a simple shift dress, chunky beads and a tan!!

It does not stop there though! I have decided that I now need a pair tan leather wedges (a friend has a lovely pair from M and S for only £35, I am now keen to find similar on the high street). I am also keen to purchase another bright pair, to clash or contrast with other bright items making up my summer wardrobe. Whichever I purchase, I am a self confirmed wedge convert, and plan to fill the wedge shaped gap in my wardrobe this summer, tomorrow if not sooner!!