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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Autumnal Pattern Mixing With Statement Heels

Autumnal style pattern mixing with patchwork denim
There are some occasions when less is more, and (in my case) sometimes more is more... quite often when I'm putting an outfit together I just fancy piling it all on. However, this hadn't actually been my intention here but I love how much busier it looks in the photos than it did in the mirror.

The outfit started with these faaaaabulous red and grey court shoes with a chunky heel - I've totally been embracing the block heel trend this year and these are no exception! If you look closely you'll see that they tick so many trend boxes: blocked heel, colour blocking, pointed toe. Not only that but there's a metallic chrome strip (see below) that continues on the inside of the heel. If that's not a statement heel, I don't know what is.

The shoes were from UK shoe company Pavers, and I have to commend them for such a comfortable pair of heels (I went shopping in them for a few hours and my feet were fine - first wear). The block heel does help with comfort, and I'm always thankful for a trend that's comfy as well as stylish. I love the fact that the red, grey and black pick out the colours in my blazer - this is me at my autumnal happiest!

Are you a 'less is more' or 'more is more' sort of person? And have you found the block heel trend is for you (like I have)? Do you find it makes them more comfortable - let me know in the comments...

Autumnal style colour blocked heels and patchwork denim
Colour blocked heels
Autumnal style pattern mixing with patchwork denim
Autumnal style pattern mixing
Autumnal style pattern mixing
Catherine x
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Heels: c/o Pavers, Jacket: River Island (old), Top: Fever London, Jeans: c/o La Redoute (similar), Bag: Accessorize, Sunglasses: c/o Lulus, Necklace: Gift, Blue/gold ring: Unknown (old), Fingertip rings: Asos

Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites

I have written this post in collaboration with Pavers. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September's Musings Mondays, Helpful Humpdays and Photo Tips Fridays

Musings Monday: fashion rules are made to be broken
Here's September's Musings Monday, Helpful Humpday and Photo Tips Friday posts from my Facebook page. You can Pin these images (hooray!) and I'd love for you to get in on the conversations... everyone's had some really interesting points to make on so many of the posts.

Let me know which posts you've found interesting/useful - and if you have any ideas for future posts (Photo Tips Friday, for example) then mention that in your comment, too! Happy reading :)

Musings Monday: "Real women" - There must be a better term than that, surely...?
Musings Monday: The term "Real women" doesn't sit well with me... It usually refers to the thinking that to be a "real" woman you have to have curves (total rubbish). I've yet to come up with an answer, but... [more]

Musings Monday: Does black really make you look slimmer?
Musings Monday: You may completely disagree with my theory, but take this ultra quick test to see if you agree. I'd love to know what you think to the final question at the bottom... [more]

Musings Monday: fashion rules are made to be broken
Musings Monday: Where on earth did fashion "rules" come from? I think I've broken every single one of them, from L-R: 1. Don't mix patterns (I think I break that one every day) 2. No white after... [more]

Musings Monday: Embracing a "worst" feature
Musings Monday: Thinking about people who embrace their "worst" feature - or rather, what's perceived (by others) as their worst feature. I greatly admire women who refuse to get this fixed or that fixed, not bowing to... [more]

Helpful Humpday: Bitly allows you to create and track shortened links
Helpful Humpday: Want to create shorter URL links? Want to TRACK how many clicks they've had on social media? Use to create short links (it's free). They... [more]

Helpful Humpday: SEO - It really works (I have proof)
Helpful Humpday! SEO: It really works - I have proof. A niche blog started just 17 days ago is already on page 2 of Google search results if you search by its subject (not the blog name). Bet you're wondering how... [more]

Helpful Humpday: Make the lead image of your post the most eye-catching
Helpful Humpday: I'm talking about the lead image in your blog post - make it eye catching! This will be the image that often makes people decide whether to click through to read your post because... [more]

Photo Tips: What DSLR should I buy?
Photo Tips Friday: "What DSLR should I buy?" This question is asked time and time again, and to be honest there's no straightforward answer. I wouldn't recommend buying any camera without... [more]

Photo Tips: Choose your backgrounds to complement your outfits
Photo Tips Friday: A well chosen background that complements your outfit will enhance it and make it "pop" in the photo. You can either: 1. Choose opposites from the colour wheel - a leafy green background will... [more]

Catherine x
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P.S. If you'd like to read more along the same lines, follow my Pinterest boards: Photography Tips and Tricks, Blogging Tips, Social Media, Home Crafts Inspiration or My Musings!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Friday's Fab Favourites

Monday, 29 September 2014

4 Modern Ways to Style a Classic Pearl Necklace

4 Modern Ways to Style a Classic Pearl Necklace
I have to admit, I am a bit of a preppy girl. I'm happy in loafers, blazers, Breton stripes, shirts and sweaters, Blair Waldorf-style hairbands... I've worn them all. But there is one classically preppy piece that I personally don't wear: the choker-style pearl necklace (especially with a black dress). I think it looked superb on Jackie Kennedy but I feel a little too grown up in it - despite my 40-something years.

However, when I was little I was fascinated by the pearl necklace my grandmother owned; I wondered about how the pearls were formed, harvested and threaded together to create a beautiful piece of jewellery. So a "set of pearls" was something I'd always had my heart set on owning, but somehow thought they wouldn't look right on me. Until, that is, I was contacted by the The Pearl Source, a company that sells thousands of styles of freshwater, Akoya and South Sea pearls.

I was offered a chance to own my own set of pearls from this selection:, and I have to say I was tempted but hesitant - for the reason mentioned above. I'd always wanted white freshwater pearls, so I said yes and at the same time set myself the challenge of styling a classic, choker length necklace in a way that would be more me and less Jackie K. I decided to to create four modern ways to style a classic pearl necklace - here's what I came up with. First, the necklace itself:

Classic pearl necklace with black
I chose the standard length 7-8mm white freshwater pearls and wore them for the shoot with a plain black dress (Mad Men/Jackie K style); it looks lovely, but it definitely needs some zhujhing up. I wore the black dress with all the different ways I've styled it, though I'd actually switch it up with other tops and dresses for an even more modern look. The more you step away from a classic LBD, check shirts or crew neck sweaters with pearls, the less preppy your outfit. Read on for the four different ideas I came up with, plus a few styling tips.

4 Modern Ways to Style a Classic Pearl Necklace | 1. With diamanté brooches
1. With diamanté brooches (pins)

One of my favourite ways to spice up a plain necklace is by adding brooches. I have loads of different types in all shapes, sizes and colours - I especially like these two starburst designs with the pearls. You can add one, two or several, but make sure you don't hide too many of the pearls.

4 Modern Ways to Style a Classic Pearl Necklace | 2. With a spiked crystal choker
2. With a spiked crystal choker

By choosing a very on-trend necklace - such as this one with spikes - to pair with your pearls, you will create your own modern version of a statement necklace. Choose one that is just a tiny bit longer so that the pearls can sit neatly inside it. No one will have a necklace like this; it will be a total one-off... you could add yet another necklace to make it even more impressive. This is my favourite of the four ways to style it - it looks ladylike but edgy at the same time.

4 Modern Ways to Style a Classic Pearl Necklace | 3. With flower corsages
3. With flower corsages (and earrings)

Like brooches, I have a bit of a collection of flower corsages to brighten up outfits. Here I've added two really big ones and some mini corsage earrings... a bit over-the-top perhaps, but why not?! A tip: pin at least one of the corsages onto your top or dress as well to keep the necklace from spinning round.

4 Modern Ways to Style a Classic Pearl Necklace | 4. As a hairband
4. As a hairband

There's no reason you have to wear a necklace round your neck, so why not create a pretty hairband? It's still on the preppy theme (pearls, hairband), but with a twist. A choker is just about the right length for this: drape it gently over your head, then carefully add a kirby grip [bobby pin] at each end and pin up and into your hair. This works much better if you've taken your hair up fully or partly as I've done here - there's something for the grips to hold onto.

Classic freshwater pearl necklace
Classic freshwater pearl necklace (choker)
The pearls

My necklace came in a beautiful presentation box and a certificate of authentication was included. It has the standard "Finesse" clasp in sterling silver (which happens to be my favourite style), and totally reminds me of my grandmother's pearls. The pearls are knotted, and I always remember that my mother told me the way to tell real pearls is by the fact that they are knotted with string. I may not have inherited my own set of pearls and I may not have a daughter of my own to leave mine to, but I have several nieces and I'd like to pass my necklace onto one of them one day.

(But they're not getting their hands on it just yet...!)

Do you own your own set of pearls - a gift, inherited, or did you buy your own? Do you wear them often or have they sat unworn in a box... let me know if I've given you some inspiration on ways to wear them in the comments!
Catherine x
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P.S. The extra pieces I've featured are all from my jewellery and accessories collection - none of them are new and are no longer available unfortunately. But I can recommend Asos for on-trend necklaces, Accessorize for corsages and Debenhams for brooches.

Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It ShineShare in Style, Monday Mingle, Style SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore Wednesday, Passion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites

I have written this post in collaboration with The Pearl Source. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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