Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Ways to Style Boyfriend Jeans | With a White Lace Sweater

White lace sweater, floral shopper & boyfriend jeans
I don't know about you, but sometimes I'll lust after an item for absolutely ages before getting it - especially any kind of statement piece - and for whatever reason I did just that with this white lace sweater from Oasap. It's the perfect accompaniment to my fave boyfriend jeans, and with that warm neck it's just right for a still-quite-cool spring in the UK. This was worn for a Sunday shopping trip, and the tight ribbing of the sweater meant I could go without a coat... thank you springtime! I also did without a handbag and just used a fab floral shopper instead. I only ever really need to take my wallet, phone and lipbalm with me, I don't know why we carry so much stuff in our bags all the time!

Are you coveting any statement pieces right now? Or are you, like me, carrying too much stuff in your handbag... do share in the comments!

White lace sweater, floral shopper
White lace sweater
Catherine x
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Sweater: c/o Oasap, Jeans: La Redoute (similar), Heels: Zalando, Earrings: Asos, Bag: Fever London, Sunglasses: Unknown (similar), Nails: Revlon Lingerie (similar Essie polish)

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Monday, 28 April 2014

What to Wear on a Formal Night on a Cruise | Cocktails, Dinner & Dancing

Red, black & white ombre patterned dress
Although I'm definitely a jeans n' t-shirt kinda girl, I like any excuse to dress up, especially if party wear is involved. But what should you wear on a formal night on a cruise, when there's cocktails, dinner and dancing? This was the question I pondered in order to enter a blogger style-off competition: I'd been cordially invited to a "mock evening of dancing and decadence" on board the MSC Splendida and was able to buy myself a suitable outfit, courtesy of MSC Cruises.

So not a real evening on a cruise, just a pretend one... but going on a cruise is something I've always fancied, and dressing up is my forte - who was I to resist?!

This was my invitation...

MSC Cruise Dinner & Dancing Invitation

With a budget of £150, I knew it had to be a long dress, but I didn't want an overly formal gown if there was going to be dancing. I also wanted something floral or perhaps a tropical print for a cruise, and definitely a full skirt for movement. Two dresses I considered were the blush pink maxi jewelled dress from Asos (beautiful but a little too 'evening wear' rather than cocktails and dancing) and the tropical floral print maxi dress from Zalando (which was more of a summery maxi dress).

In the end I decided on the Debenhams orange floral border ombre maxi dress (£110), and accessorised with the Warehouse white 50s frame clutch (£26) and the Matalan black and white strappy sandals (£15). Total: £151 - only just over my budget... not bad! The dress is absolutely gorgeous and made me feel very elegant - I love the ombre and the fact that the skirt is pleated, plus it's full and it swooshes so that's perfect for dancing.

A beautiful dress calls for some stunning jewellery, so I also added my own beautiful expandable silver and gold necklace and matching bracelet I received from Mark Milton. Really simple, beautiful pieces that, as they're mixed metal, are really versatile. So with the addition of the jewellery that's my outfit (and competition entry) complete - I just need an invitation for real... maybe I'll be treated to a cruise one day :)

Have any of you been on a cruise before, and if so, what did you wear? Were there opportunities for cocktails and dancing - and dressing up? Do share in the comments!

Red, black & white ombre patterned dress
Red, black & white ombre patterned dress
Black & white ombre dress & white clutch
White boxy clutch
Red, black & white ombre patterned dress
Red & black ombre patterned dress
Black & white dress, red hair
Black & white dress, white clutch
Update 29/04/2014: I'm so happy to tell you that I won the competition!!! It was judged by the stylist at Girl Meets Dress who said this about my outfit:
"This is one of those gorgeous dresses that really encompasses what summer themes are all about. The silhouette is flawless with a belt to cinch in the waist, and nude accessories to complement the dip dye effect. Catherine's dress looks like it can be worn in the day or in the evening, which is essential if you're going on a Cruise and need versatile pieces. This is definitely one of those stand out dresses which will turn heads in a room. Very well done!"
I'm a VERY happy (and lucky) girl :)
Catherine x
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Dress: Debenhams, Clutch: Warehouse, Heels: Matalan, Red cuff: Asos, Necklace: c/o Mark Milton, Silver & gold bracelet: c/o Mark Milton, Nails: Rimmel Blue Me Away / Seventeen Monochrome Graffiti Nail Effects

Linking up to: Visible MondayMonday MingleFunday MondayStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayThree-Fer ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites, Share in StyleSunday Style Link-Up


Saturday, 26 April 2014

8 European Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

8 European Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

Continuing my "Bloggers You Should Know" series, I've been absolutely dying to share the European bloggers I follow with you. I can't speak for all Brits, but I'm pretty sure that despite being in Europe we generally don't think of ourselves as European at all.

When I hear the phrase I think French, Spanish, Italian... anything but British. It also gives me the perfect opportunity to showcase my favourite bloggers from across the channel and beyond, and I'll treat you to fabulous Brits another time.

I'm sure that Europe breeds eclectic style - it's not always as straightforwardly classic as you might think. These girls take risks, they enjoy the dressing up part of fashion, they look like they're having fun. You may not necessarily want to emulate their style from head-to-toe, but I don't always think that's the sole point of following style blogs. Sometimes I want to enjoy the locations, or take inspiration from colours they've paired together, or dare to step outside my comfort zone and try on a wig or some ruffles (even just for fun).


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Ways to Wear Floral Trousers | With a Summer Sweater & Delicate Jewellery

Blue motif sweater & floral pants
Cropped floral trousers definitely herald the start of the spring/summer season. These were part of my Fever London shopping spree when I tried on just about every piece in the store at their SS14 collection launch at the beginning of the month - the cute apple motif sweater is so lovely for spring! As the neckline was quite plain I thought it deserved some jewellery, and the perfect piece was this delicate smoky quartz pendant from UK jewellery designer Mark Milton. Those of you who know me well would know that I generally tend to favour bolder, flashier jewellery, but I love Mark Milton's minimalist, modern designs and the fact that they also don't get too "lost" in an outfit. The gold chain and faceted quartz looked stunning against the deep blue knit, and of course I have to mention the fabulous matching ring. With a ring that gorgeous who wants to wear any others on your fingers?!

These pieces would make beautiful gifts for a special occasion, I'd personally be so wowed if a special person in my life gave me these as a gift. 

Are you choosy about what jewellery you pair with your outfits? Are you a fan of bold jewellery or do you prefer delicate, simpler pieces like these? Do share in the comments!

Apple motif sweater
Mark Milton quartz ring
Blue motif sweater & floral pants
Mark Milton quartz pendant


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Ways to Wear Strong Pastels | Mint, Pink & Lilac

Pink, mint & purple
I think the end of April signifies full-blown spring, so we are ON with the pastels, people. And there's no better way to kick-start pastels than with the introduction of some new mint trousers from Marks & Spencer - oh how these tailored beauties have exorcised some demons for me! Long-time readers may remember the Mint Chinos Debacle of 2012, where a bottle of orange nail polish and some brand new chinos both met a fateful death. So when M&S asked me if I wanted to review a piece from their Leading Ladies collection (the TV campaign with Emma Thompson, Alek Wek & co), I couldn't have been happier to see a pair of tailored mint trousers with my name on them.

I'm glad to say those demons have now been exorcised once and for all (I know, I know - so dramatic); this is the best pair of cropped summer trousers you could ever want. They're high-waisted and fit perfectly on my waist, a great length (I'm 5'7" and chose the standard length), and at less than forty quid they're incredible value... top marks, Marks & Spencer. I teamed them with lots of lovely strong pastels, including my pink thrifted sweater, cute woven clutch from Lulus and Anna Lou of London yellow leather studded bracelet.

Pastels have been big news now for a few springs in a row and don't seem to be going away any time soon - are you rocking the pastels again this year? What are your favourite hues? Do share in the comments!

Pink, mint & purple
Pink, mint & lemon
Pink, mint & blush
Aviators & pink
Catherine x
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Sweater: Thrifted, Trousers: c/o Marks & Spencer, Heels: Zalando, Clutch: c/o Lulus, Leather bracelet: c/o Anna Lou of London, Sunglasses: Asos, Watch: Asos, Nails: Essie Turquoise & Caicos

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