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Friday, 18 April 2014

A Dandelion Print Top, Go Faster Stripes & Butterflies

Floral print top, black stripe taupe pants & flat cap
Our trip to London the other week gave us the opportunity to visit the Natural History Museum and see the butterflies exhibition in a marquee - which in turn gave me the perfect reason to wear my lovely new dandelion print top from Lulus. If ever there was a time to wear a floral top this is it! I don't know if floral prints really make a difference, because the butterflies not only landed on my top a lot (see images below) but also on my cap. To be honest there were so many beauties flying about it was hard to escape them using you as a landing pad...!

A day of walking round London and especially a museum (and getting what I call "museum legs" where they ache because you've been walking about reeeeally slowly) called for comfort - I was glad my white loafers were so comfy, and the black and taupe trousers with the go-faster stripes were so much better than skinny jeans. I know you're really meant to wear heels with this kind of style, but a day of sightseeing meant flats and comfy pants - the marquee was hot and humid so thank goodness I wore loose clothing. You can't tell from the photos, but the trousers are silky soft and I love them and the gorgeous print of the top. Thank you Lulus for sending me this lovely outfit, it's a total winner.

Do you have a favourite outfit that's as comfy to wear as it is stylish? Or do you think you can't have both? Let me know in the comments!

Floral print top, black stripe taupe pants
Floral print top, black stripe taupe pants
Floral print top & taupe flat cap
Yellow & black butterfly
Butterfly

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Style Tips 101 | Using Statement Pieces to Add a Wow Factor

Statement Pieces Take an Outfit from "Nice" to "Wow"
My best style tips are something I'm often asked about as a blogger, and I've usually been quite general with my suggestions. In the past, my tips have included always using a full length mirror, studying your outfit from a photo, and dressing occasion-appropriate (rather than age-appropriate). However, I thought it would be nice to share a more specific style tip with you after La Redoute asked me to enter their competition to become one of their brand ambassadors for a year - how much would I love to do that? They're one of my favourite brands so it would be an amazing opportunity...!

La Redoute recently published their secrets to French style:



... and they tie in really nicely with my style tip. French style is very much about classic basics: a trench coat, ballet pumps, Breton stripes; I love neutral classics but sometimes I miss the mark with them. If I find myself putting an outfit together that just isn't "doing it" for me, I'll look for one extra thing to transform it entirely.

STYLE TIP: If you think your outfit looks bland, always add at least one statement piece. It'll make your outfit go from "nice" to "WOW".

What can I say, I'm a sucker for statements. And COLOUR. That's why you'll always find me in front of my wardrobe pulling out every bag, scarf and bright pair of shoes to give my outfit that "je ne sais quoi" we're all after. So - to demonstrate!

Basic neutral office outfit
I chose a really neutral outfit that would be entirely appropriate for the office (a lot of people wonder how to dress with personality when you've got to look smart). It's stylish but basic: a tailored blazer and cropped trousers, with fabulous, flattering black pointed heels and a real leather, nude bag. However, it needed colour, a bit of zhuzhing up - so I experimented and tried a few accessories. Luckily I have the photos to really decide which looked the best, which brings me back to my previous tip about using photos to judge your outfit objectively. It never fails.

Statement pieces brighten a basic neutral outfit
So I tried bright heels, two different clutch bags, and a scarf. The heels just weren't enough by themselves (despite their multitude of pinks and purples), and the studded clutch was fabulous by didn't do enough to add colour. The orange clutch was brighter and draws your eye up more, but the one I liked the most was the scarf, draped round my neck and belted at the front. This is a way to wear a scarf I've seen many times but never tried, and I think it really works. In fact I was reminded of it when I saw this classic outfit on Carine Roitfeld (who may just be the epitome of French chic I think).

Statement scarf, studded clutch
So in the end I decided on the studded clutch (for a bit of attitude) and the scarf (for a bit of colour). This time I tied the scarf loosely round my neck - it was enough of a statement by itself when belted in the previous picture. The outfit remains entirely office-appropriate, but it has colour and more of that "wow" factor: it's now become chic with just two extra items. These statement pieces needn't cost the earth, either: I paid only £4 (really) for the studded clutch in the New Look sale, and the scarf was no more than £15 (Pieces at Asos). Experimentation is key - and above all, have fun.

What statement pieces are your go-to accessories to make your outfit go from "nice" to "WOW"? How do you zhuzh up an outfit? How do you spell "zhuzh"... zhuzh, jooj or jujj?! I need to know!

Catherine x
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The Basics: Blazer: Next (old), T-shirt: Asos, Trousers: Asos, Black heels: Aldo, Nude bag: Karen Millen
The Statement Pieces: Pink heels: Very, Studded clutch: New Look, Orange clutch: Asos, Orange scarf: Asos



Linking up to: Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Funday MondayStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore Wednesday, All Things Thursday, Three-Fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesSunday Style Link-Up


Monday, 14 April 2014

Fever London SS14 | Polka Dot Top & Geometric Print Trousers

fever London spotted top and loose patterned trousers
As a round up to the fabulous experience that was the Fever London Perfect Fit competition, I attended their SS14 collection launch party at the beginning of April as a VIP guest... I've been loving the perks of winning their competition! Of course I simply had to wear Fever London, and I debuted my navy and red spot print top and tapered geometric print trousers I'd been saving since I bought them when we did the the photo shoot in March. The two prints work beautifully together (all that navy and red is sooo lush), and I love the loose bow ties on the sleeves.

Someone else who'd bought the same top was my gorgeous fellow model (and now firm friend) Liz of What Lizzy Loves - she was the only other competition winner who was able to make it to the party, so we had a glass or two of Prosecco on everyone else's behalf. It was lovely to see Liz and all the lovely girls in the Fever team again who treated us so well at the shoot. We had a bit too much fun trying on a ton of clothes, and I ended up being a typical (deep breath) 'let-loose-in-a-clothes-shop-without-a-maximum-5-items-in-the-changing-room-policy' kinda girl. I inevitably bought a few pieces which you'll see in time on the blog (or at the bottom of the post if you can't wait that long).

(By the way I couldn't help but show off my new crystal drop earrings - I've already bought a another pair in different colours since I got these. I sense a new collection coming on...)

fever London spotted top and loose patterned trousers
Fever London spotted top, crystal earrings
Accessorize crystal earrings
fever London spotted top and loose patterned trousers
Fever London Perfect Fit winners display
Fever London SS14
Above are just a few of the outfits I tried on which some of you may have seen on my Instagram feed - I did buy the (L-R) navy and yellow tea dress and the apple print sweater with the blue floral print trousers, but I had to stop somewhere and somehow resisted the gorgeous peacock print skater dress. I felt awful leaving it in the store ;)

Have you stocked up on summer dresses yet? Or are you trying to be good like me (=cough=) and resisting buying too many, or any dresses at all..?

Catherine x
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Top: Fever London, Trousers: Fever London, Heels: Aldo, Earrings: Accessorize (in store), Cuff: New Look, Rings: Asos




Linking up to: Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Funday MondayStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore Wednesday, All Things Thursday, Three-Fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesSunday Style Link-Up


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