Monday, 30 September 2013

The Best Of My Summer Outfits (My Edit)

Not Dressed As Lamb Summer Outfits Roundup
Here's my favourite outfits from the summer - there may be some you missed, hope you like them!

(Click the post title to go to the original post)

Cutaway top, denim shorts & wide-brimmed hat
1. Summer Dressing | Denim Shorts, Cutaway Top & A Wide Brimmed Hat

Cream embroidered dress & Panama hat
2. Summer Dressing | Styling A Thrifted Embroidered Dress

Pink neon stripes, white skinnies
3. Ways To Wear Neon | Pink Neon Stripes With White Skinnies

Aztec print crop top & red maxi skirt
4. How To Wear A Crop Top In Your Forties | With A Maxi Skirt

Neon & summer jewel colours
5. Highlighter Yellow & Summer Jewel Colours

Panama hat, pink floral dress & black skinnies
6. A Wild Roses Dress & A Wild Roses Clutch

Neutrals & boyfriend jeans with chunky sandals
7. How To Dress Up Boyfriend Jeans (Yet Remain Casual)

Not Dressed As Lamb
8. Not Dressed As Lamb Dices With Death In A Floral Skirt

Pink skirt & denim
9. Pink & Blue Office Chic. With Denim.

Orange, yellow & white
10. Ways To Wear A White Blazer | With A Bright Maxi

Patterned tunic dress, floppy hat & skinny jeans
11. A Dress Styled Over Skinny Jeans | Aspire Style Challenge

Crop top, vintage skirt & fedora
12. How To Embrace The Crop Top Trend In Your Forties

My personal favourite of all the favourites is the last one (above)... it was the first time I dared to wear a crop top, and I received the most fantastic response from you all! It sparked off a chain of events that led to the How To Make The Most Of Your Best Feature post, which in turn led to The Accentuate The Positive Project. Do check out the latter if you haven't yet - and please be brave and take part!

What's your favourite outfit of my summer roundup? Let me know in the comments!

Come back on Wednesday for a fun post that I know you'll be dying to take part in...!
Catherine x
Social Media Icon - Bloglovin+Social Media Icon - TwitterSocial Media Icon - FacebookSocial Media Icon - InstagramSocial Media Icon - Google+Social Media Icon - Pinterest


Saturday, 28 September 2013

AW13 Capsule Wardrobe - Ways To Wear A Winter White Coat

AW13 Capsule Wardrobe - The Winter White Coat
Autumn Winter 2013: it's here. I've finally stopped kidding myself it's still summer - we're not going to get another freak heatwave, no matter how much I wish for it. I therefore decided to get excited about rediscovering all my winter clothes and working out what new items might bring my wardrobe up to date for AW13. So when Marks & Spencer reached out to me with an offer of some statement pieces for this season, I jumped at the chance! Thank you to M&S for a wonderful opportunity :))

I think the foundation for a great winter wardrobe is a stunning coat. Marks & Spencer have a great AW13 range of coats (I could have chosen three or four) but I eventually decided on this winter white bouclĂ© coat which is the perfect choice upon which to build a capsule wardrobe for this season - it's so Sixties-chic and I know white can be an impractical choice but what two colours go with everything? Black and white! I'm not a huge fan of black coats, so white it was. Plus it's not exactly a colour that will date - it won't exactly scream "AW13 ALERT" in five years time, will it...? I also chose a classic peak cap hat from the M&S winter hats collection (and we all know how I love me a hat or two).

So here's two ways I'll be wearing my beautiful new coat this season - the variations on these two looks are endless. One is for daytime with the hat and boots, the other is for nighttime as a cover up over a dress for a night out. Read on for more info!

Black hat, winter white coat & tan boots
Black hat & winter white coat with black corsage
For daytime, a beautiful coat with hat and boots is perfect for an autumnal day, and you can add a scarf and gloves when it's colder in the winter. I kept this look quite neutral with the only colour coming from my tan boots (and hair), but the other star of this outfit is the fantastic black peak cap from their hats collection. Like the coat, it has more than a hint of Sixties styling about it - and don't you just love the textured peak? I'd probably replace the corsage for different coloured scarves in the dead of winter, but while it's milder I have a heap of corsages and brooches that will add the perfect finishing touch to that asymmetrical front.

(In case you were wondering, I haven't chopped off my hair - it's in a ponytail. I wanted to create the illusion of shoulder length hair especially for the hat.)

And the second, totally different way to wear the coat is as a classic shoulder-drape:

Winter white coat over red & blue animal print midi dress

Winter white coat over red & blue animal print midi dress
When the coat is undone and draped over your shoulders (oh yes, I've learned something from attending London Fashion Week), it gives your evening look a bit of a sense of drama. And it makes for a great entrance when you enter the restaurant/bar/dinner party. So again, it being white means it will work with any going-out outfit - and what could be better than that?!

Huge thanks go to Marks & Spencer for asking me to take part in this styling challenge, I have to admit it was nice to finally embrace the cold...! However it doesn't quite end there: they did request that to take part in the challenge I had to give something back. If you live in the UK you may or may not have heard about the M&S Shwopping scheme...?

The whole idea of Shwopping is to encourage everyone to declutter their wardrobes and donate the clothes to charity - I'm having a clear out this weekend and I've already collated quite a pile. You can either take your clothes to any charity shop or give them to Marks & Spencer, who will pass them onto Oxfam. If you take them in this coming Thursday (3rd October), you will receive a £5 M&S voucher off a £35 spend which is brilliant :)

So have you done any shopping for AW13 investment pieces yet? Or what do you have your eye on - is it a coat, hat or boots, or something else? Do let me know in the comments!

Catherine x
Social Media Icon - Bloglovin+Social Media Icon - TwitterSocial Media Icon - FacebookSocial Media Icon - InstagramSocial Media Icon - Google+Social Media Icon - Pinterest
Shop my look!

Coat: c/o Marks & Spencer, Hat: c/o Marks & Spencer, Jeans: River Island, Boots: unknown (old), Flower corsage: unknown, Gloves: Next, Dress: Asos, Necklace: Boots, Heels: Zalando

Linking up to: Visible MondayMonday BloomMonday MingleCreative MondaysFunday MondayWardrobe WednesdaysWhat I Wore WednesdayStyle ElixirPassion for Fashion FridaySunday StyleHat AttackShare-In-Style

Marks & Spencer kindly gifted me this coat and hat. All opinions are my own, however, and 100% honest.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

What London Fashion Week is REALLY Like | My LFW Experience

Not Dressed As Lamb - What LFW is really like
London Fashion Week... I have to admit: I am not a high-fashion, couture or fashion week expert. I do not follow the new collections avidly or watch the live streams. I'm afraid I tend to skip the endless posts about NYFW, PFW or LFW on the blogs that I follow. I personally find them repetitive, image-heavy and nowhere near as interesting as my favourite blogger’s Outfit of the Day posts. So for me to be writing about London Fashion Week and the Simone Rocha show that I attended is out of my comfort zone and a tad (dare I say it)... hypocritical.

“To be writing about
London Fashion Week is
out of my comfort zone”

I never claim to be a “fashion” blogger - if given the choice I say I’m a personal style blogger. But no self-respecting style blogger can be given two free tickets to a show at LFW and not write about it; as a newly-announced freelance writer I have to be able to write about anything. If I can’t write about fashion (of all things) then my new full time career is pretty much scuppered.

London Fashion Week SS14

To explain: I was there as a guest of Mercedes-Benz South West after winning tickets in a competition on their blog, so huge thanks to them for their generosity as they also paid my travel expenses. Although a 6:50am train isn't ideal (bleary eyed, much?), it did get me there in plenty of time. I was lucky enough to receive two free passes to the designer showrooms (where clothes, jewellery and accessories designers show off their wares) as well.

So what can I tell you about my time at LFW? I thought I'd give you 10 facts that you may not have heard if, like me up until last week, you've never been to a fashion week before:

1. The most important thing to know in advance is that Somerset House is all cobblestones. Heels and cobblestones do not mix, for obvious reasons.

2. You have to get used to cameras being thrust in your face at every turn - sometimes they ask to take your picture, sometimes they don't.

“You have to get used to
cameras being thrust in your
face at every turn”

3. Whenever you see a small commotion and loads of photographers gathering in one place, you know a celebrity is making an appearance.

4. There are more crazy shoes in one place than you can shake a stick at.

5. The only way to wear a coat is draped over your shoulders. You never actually put your arms in the sleeves.

6. It's almost impossible to get any decent photos of the models on the catwalk unless you're in the front row so you give up, knowing they'll be on the internet within hours.

7. The show seems to last about 5-10 minutes and is over in a flash, whereas you sit waiting for it to begin for about half an hour after the official start time.

8. I don't know why but I expected more clothes on the catwalk. At least three times as many.

9. Not a single burger van in sight. No idea why.

Not a single burger van
in sight. No idea why.

10. Once you've seen a show there isn't a lot to do except hang around waiting for someone to ask to take your photo, if that's your kind of thing. Or go off to get a burger.

The Simone Rocha show

As I honestly did not know what to expect, I went with an open mind. The theatricality of fashion shows have always appealed to me (or rather, theatrical fashion shows), so I was hoping for something that would make me a little wide-eyed, as opposed to sending me to sleep. And as it happened, this collection had a perfect blend of edge and grace that was enough to keep my attention, and subtle theatricality was present in the clothes themselves rather than the show.

Simone Rocha SS14

The collection was mostly black and white with a few injections of moss green and blush pink which, for a fan of bold colour, strangely appealed to me. There were ruffled dresses with tiered, puffy skirts, boxy trouser suits and cocoon shaped silhouettes with pearl trimming everywhere - giving the black pieces more than a hint of modern day Chanel. The pearls were even present on knee high stockings and worn with chunky flats, they gave the feeling of girlishness without a sickly sugar coating.

Hardest to describe were the fabrics: looking like something out of a 22nd Century movie, there were highly textured floral plastics, reflective brocade, wet-look material and tulle edged in frills. Most were unidentifiable and non-traditional but nonetheless beautifully eye-catching.

Fabrics were unidentifiable
and non-traditional but
nonetheless eye-catching”

I was totally surprised by the fact that (most of) the models were wearing flats. For some reason I thought models are always put into teetering skyscraper heels to challenge them: “Walk up and down in a straight line, you say? No, we’re going to make it much more difficult than that: Wear these 10” stiletto-heeled platforms. You’ll probably break your ankles on the way down the catwalk and end up flashing your undies, but this is fashion, sweetie”.

Simone Rocha SS14

The most wearable thing about the collection? The knee-length hemlines. As someone who rarely likes anything baring my less-than-perfect knees, I found the absence of micro minis a breath of fresh air. A demure hemline makes quirky features like the little exposed pockets-that-were-really-holes more intriguing than peculiar and the daring full sheer panels more alluring than trashy. I found some of the shapes a little too matronly, but in contrast, others beautifully puffy-skirted and wonderfully feminine.

“A demure hemline makes
quirky features more
intriguing than peculiar”

So what did I love about the collection? Rather a lot, it seems:

  • The combination of white flower trimming, ruffles and tulle.
  • The contrast of ladylike, flattering dress silhouettes in sporty scuba material.
  • The exuberant sprinkling of pearls on every neckline, hemline and knee-high sockline.

Impractical, inexplicable and
unquestionably elegant
  • The soft, subtle whites and nudes.
  • The white embroidered fabric and the white wet-look dresses trimmed in excessive pearl and flower detailing.
  • The final dresses with veils covering the models’ whole head and torso and knotted at the waist - impractical, inexplicable and unquestionably elegant.

Simone Rocha SS14
I guess it’s rare with a lot of shows to like everything, but I wasn't so keen on the combination of Puritan-like dress shapes in black - another shape in black or that dress shape in white would have been fine, but together they just weren't very inspiring. Plus I don't find cocoon-shaped coats flattering on anyone, and if they don't look good on models... I rest my case.

Overall, I fell in love with the fitted bodice dresses which were wonderfully flattering to the female form, and I’m still thinking about all that gorgeous flower and pearl edging even now.

Simone Rocha SS14

I have taken to researching where to buy pearl trimming and a glue gun, and I’ve started my fantasy Christmas list especially for yards and yards of tulle, knee high socks and scuba suits. However the question remains: did I enjoy it? The answer is, of course, yes - absolutely, even in the rain. It was all the better for going with a LFW-savvy blogger friend - it meant I could relax a little about where to go and what to do (I can recommend getting yourself an experienced companion).

I thought it would be just this once that I'd go - a tick on the bucket list. But I've surprised myself in thinking that I may want to go next year. I'm already wondering what I can wear in February with flats...!

Catherine x
Social Media Icon - Bloglovin+Social Media Icon - TwitterSocial Media Icon - FacebookSocial Media Icon - InstagramSocial Media Icon - Google+Social Media Icon - Pinterest

All catwalk images:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ways To Wear A Pleated Maxi Skirt | With A Black Leather Jacket

Black leather jacket & nude pleated maxi skirt
I've been intending to pair my nude pleated maxi skirt with my leather biker jacket for so long, and an evening out in Bath this last weekend seemed the perfect opportunity to do just that. Leather and chiffon is one of those great clashes - the tough and the pretty - that works beautifully.

The very neutral base of nude and black required an injection of bright colour, so my bright blue heeled brogues (comfy enough for walking through a town centre) and floral blouse were the perfect additions. I was in Bath for an impromptu couple of days to review a hotel and write about a little weekend break away - details of which will follow soon - I'll include the outfit I wore, of course!

Have you tried any tough and pretty texture clashes? How about studs and cashmere, perspex and embroidery, or leather and lace... there's just a few for starters!

Black leather jacket & nude pleated skirt
Black leather, nude & royal blue
Black leather jacket & royal blue with red hair
Last call to enter my giveaway! You could win £250 to spend at Aspire Style - ends on Thursday at 5am BST!

Aspire Style £250 Giveaway
Catherine x
Social Media Icon - Bloglovin+Social Media Icon - TwitterSocial Media Icon - FacebookSocial Media Icon - InstagramSocial Media Icon - Google+Social Media Icon - Pinterest
Shop my look!

Jacket: Debenhams, Skirt: New Look, Blouse: Debenhams, Shoes: Zalando, Bag: Karen Millen, Chevron rings: Asos, Earrings: Unknown, Owl bracelet: Accessorize

Linking up to: Visible MondayMonday BloomMonday MingleCreative MondaysFunday MondayWardrobe WednesdaysWhat I Wore WednesdayStyle ElixirPassion for Fashion FridaySunday Style

Blogger Template Created by pipdig