Friday, 19 December 2014

The Perfect Knee-High Black Boots With Stripes and Plaid

Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
I think I've done it: I've found THE best classic knee-high black boots. With a perfect heel and slight platform sole. That are beautifully comfortable. In a great quality leather. That don't gape at the top like wellies. I'm in black boots heaven!

These Bellissimo boots from Pavers are my new, go-to boots to wear with everything this winter - for all those reasons and more. I didn't think it was possible to find boots that fitted my calves so well as I've tried so many pairs over the years. Usually I can't get them done up over my jeans (they're often made for much slimmer calves) or they are wider and fit my calves but then gape at the top. The best design feature of these boots is the little short zip at the top that allows you the room to get them done up over your calf before zipping the top up neatly... End result: no gaping! If, like me, you have calves that are often just a tiny bit too big for most knee-high boots then take a look at these ones, you may find they're perfect for you too. The icing on the cake? The price is currently a very reasonable £89.99.

For my first outing with the boots I wore them with my grey striped blazer (worn a few weeks ago in this post), the winter essential that is the black fedora plus my new plaid rucksack from Asos. I haven't owned a rucksack since I left school in 1990... not something I thought I'd ever own again to be honest! In those days, however, they were made of nasty nylon and in garish colours, not lovely soft brushed cotton like this one. I'm loving the subtly rich colours of this outfit - with the boots it's a win win all round I reckon.

Have you ever been on the hunt for the perfect pair of boots? Do you generally find it easy or difficult to get them to fit you... and have you found THE pair like me? Do share in the comments!

Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
Striped longline blazer with black boots, plaid rucksack and fedora
Boots: c/o Pavers, Blazer: c/o Gemini Woman, Sweatshirt: Asos, Jeans: Asos, Fedora: Miss Selfridge (similar), Rucksack: Asos, Sunglasses: French Connection, Earrings: Unknown, Nails: Nails Inc Black Taxi


Catherine x
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P.S. You can see some more of my winter looks with other black boots here, here and here!

Linking up to: Visible MondayLet It ShineShare in StyleMonday MingleStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesFashion Friday

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

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

6 Last Minute Christmas Party Outfit Ideas | Less Formal Looks

6 Last Minute Christmas Party Outfit Ideas
Is your Christmas Party this week/this weekend/next week? Stuck for something to wear? If your Christmas 'do' calls for something less formal than the Christmas party dresses I featured last week, you might want to try some of these ideas instead. Trousers, faux fur and even jeans are all featured, so hopefully you can throw together a last minute Christmas party outfit with things you already own... that's what I've got to do for my own 'do this Friday!

If you're stuck for something sparkly, see if you can borrow a jacket or statement necklace from your girlfriend, sister, mum or aunt - mums and aunties sometimes have a sparkly jacket at the back of their wardrobe that you can pair with skinnies and fierce heels. I've often let my nieces and sister take their pick from my wardrobe when they have an event coming up.

It's mostly about accessorising and adding a touch of sparkle here and there. Have you (like me) left deciding on your party outfit till the last minute... and do you swap clothes with your friends and family? Are you usually the lender - or the borrower?!

Patterned blazer with shirt & tie
1. Mix it up and borrow your other half's tie (original post)
This is what I actually wore to my office's Christmas party last year: I tried something different and wore a matching shirt and tie combo - you don't have to wear statement jewellery every time. I felt suitably dressed up but we had a meal in a restaurant and drinks afterwards so rather than a dress for dancing, I went for a feminine take on a masculine office classic instead.

Faux fur gilet, skinnies and heels
2. Dress up jeans with faux fur and jewellery (original post)
If your party has a very relaxed dress code (i.e. jeans are acceptable) and you still want to wear your blue skinnies, make sure you add a touch of glamour with luxurious fabrics otherwise you'll end up looking like you've dressed to go to the supermarket. Here a silky blouse and faux fur were glammed up with a heavy layered necklace, and fierce heels are pretty much essential if you're wearing jeans. It'll still look dressy if you take off the fur gilet.

Bird print blouse, gold brocade jeans (over 40 fashion)
3. Choose glamorous jeans and add a pretty blouse (original post)
This is one of the easiest I-want-to-wear-jeans-but-still-look-dressed-up looks. My jeans are a dark brownish black with a subtle gold brocade pattern and are just as versatile as blue denim. With a patterned blouse, great heels and a statement clutch you'll still look like you're ready for a night on the town. Earrings were important for a bit of bling too. I wore an ear cuff - much better than having dangling earrings flapping about your head if you're dancing the night away...!

Purple dress & black blazer | Freak Factory SS13
4. Layer a plain blazer over a statement dress and add patterned tights (original post)
The idea of the blazer here is to allow you to wear a pretty dress whilst toning down its girliness. A straight skirt works better with a blazer than a full skirt, and patterned tights are so much more stylish than plain opaque ones (read my post about my experiment to find which patterned tights are the most flattering). This remains one of my favourite outfits ever... I'd wear it over and over again if I could.

Geometric jacket & all black
5. Layer a patterned blazer over a plain jumpsuit or co-ords (original post)
This is essentially a reverse of outfit no.4 - I wore a plain blazer instead of a patterned one and a plain black top and trousers (a jumpsuit would work just as well) instead of a patterned dress. You end up with a lengthened body from the solid block of colour (very flattering) and the interest is added with a bold blazer and bold heels. Or you could go with plain heels and pick one colour from the blazer... the possibilities are endless with this one.

Black Sequinned Jacket
6. Add a sequinned top or jacket to a plain tops and trousers (original post)
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without sequins - and anything sequinned on your top half will look suitably festive! I kept the rest of my outfit simple and let the jacket do the talking here, though I couldn't resist where heels were concerned and went with my leopard print beauties. Hair down, long earrings (just seen)... you're done.
Catherine x
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P.S. If you like this, why not check out the minis, midis and maxis in my 8 Christmas Party Dresses Ideas?

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

Sunday, 14 December 2014

How to Wear a Leopard Print Coat | With Jeans and a Baseball Cap

Leopard print coat with baseball cap
I think this is the easiest winter dressing gets for me: a statement coat, jeans and a hat. My Zara two-tone leopard and black coat is on its third winter and I don't love it any less than I did when I bought it. I remember I had the idea of wearing a plain black baseball cap with it last winter but never got round to it - I like a good contrast in an outfit so the tomboy style of a cap with a full-on lady coat has always appealed to me. (Why does adding the word "lady" before any other word always make it sound a bit dodgy, or is it just me?!) You don't get much more of a contradiction than a hat worn by American sportsmen worn with a style of coat I still associate with Bette Lynch of Coronation Street ;)

Although I've paired my leopard with blue denim and black (i.e. dark neutrals), I do love pairing it with winter brights as well. Do you consider leopard a neutral (and wear it as such)? Let me know in the comments...!

Leopard print coat with baseball cap and jeans
Leopard print coat with baseball cap and jeans
Leopard print coat with baseball cap
Coat: Zara (AW12 - the one I like the most from what's available now is this one), Sweater: La Redoute, Jeans: Asos, Boots: New Look (similar), Gloves: Next, Cap: Asos, Earrings: Asos (set of 4)




Catherine x
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P.S. You have till the end of Monday to enter my Cashmere & Cotton giveaway if you haven't entered already! You could win a 100% cashmere poncho and scarf (worth £278) - last chance...

Autumn/Winter style: Cashmere poncho and scarf

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