Friday, 31 January 2014

How To Style Dungarees | With A Bejeweled Beanie & Polka Dots

beanie, polka dot blazer, dungarees & red brogues
I have to admit I haven't really worn my dungarees since the summer, but when I saw this outfit I immediately pinned it for future overalls inspiration. I probably would have tried the shirt and a neck bowtie with it except for the fact that my shirt was in the wash, and I've been wearing the Primark white gem beanie so much since I got it before Christmas that I was desperate to swap the black hat for my bejeweled beauty. (And at £3 full price it certainly knocks the socks off the Markus Lupfer tiara beanie which is nearly 50 times the price...!)

So Pinterest wins again. But I still think that taking inspiration from others' outfits and "making do" with what you've got results in some new and interesting combinations. Sure, I wore my red brogues and a blazer like Beth did in her outfit, but it's not a direct copy I'm glad to say (and that would be a bit boring, wouldn't it).

I haven't seen many bloggers wearing bejeweled beanies - do you have one, or would you consider getting one? Let me know (oh and please don't forget to vote for me in Fever London's model competition - details at the bottom)!

beanie, polka dot blazer, dungarees & red brogues
Bejewelled beanie & polka dots
Bejewelled white beanie
Please don't forget to vote for me to model for clothing brand Fever London! You may have voted already (thank you so much!) - don't forget you can vote for me once every 24 hours. Go to this link:

Just two steps: "Like" their page, then click "Vote" for me :)

Fever London Model comp

They want the winners (one from each size category) to model their SS14 collection of vintage inspired clothes - if you remember on any other day (till 19 February) to vote again pleeeeeeeeease do so - thank you thank you thank you! 

Catherine x
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Shop my look! You can't buy the Primark beanie online (in store only) but here's some alternatives for you :)

Beanie: Primark, Dungarees: Asos, Blazer: Marks & Spencer, Brogues: Asos, Nails: Nails Inc Hampstead Heath

Linking up to: Visible MondayMonday BloomMonday MingleFunday MondayTrend Spin Link-UpWardrobe WednesdaysStyle SessionsWhat I Wore WednesdayAll Things ThursdayFashion InformantThree-Fer ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Vote For Me To Model For Fever London + 2014 Blog Goals

Fever London Model comp
Today I'm asking for your help once more my little lammies: I've entered a Facebook competition to model for clothing brand Fever London and I'd *love* your votes please. I mentioned it in Monday's post so some of you may have voted already... thank you so much (and don't forget you can vote for me once a day - see below)! Either click the image above or go this link:

Just two steps: "Like" their page, then click "Vote" for me :)

It's their Perfect Fit Competition through Facebook and there will be five winners, one from each size category. The brand are looking for women of "real sizes", and as there's no age restriction either I think it's a brilliant idea! They want the winners to model their SS14 collection of vintage inspired clothes and it would truly be a great big tick on my Blogger's Bucket List to do this.

Just one thing: you can vote once every 24 hours, so if you remember on any other day (till 19 February) to vote again pleeeeeeeeease do so - thank you thank you thank you - MWAH! 

Talking of Blogger's Bucket Lists...

Modelling for a brand would be such a big deal - it's something that I couldn't possibly have contemplated doing when I started this blog, especially at my age! With writing the blog my confidence has grown over the last 2-3 years, and now it's something I definitely want to do, and will be actively pursuing this. So it's number one on my Blogger's Bucket List that I've been thinking about for a while, which is currently a list of blog goals that I want to achieve this year.

It'll be my first year blogging full time, so I need to plan for the whole year. And why not have a mixture of realistic and wouldn't-that-be-great-if goals? Here's the list!

1. To model for a brand or publication

At least where the pictures will be seen somewhere other than my blog (website, catalogue, magazine, etc.). You never know, if everyone votes for me every day in the Fever London competition it may come true...!

2. To become the most successful over 40 fashion blogger in the UK

This is subjective, I know, but I'm fiercely competitive (in the nicest way, of course)! My competitive streak simply makes me strive to continually improve. Hence wanting to win this competition.

3. To transfer my blog over to Wordpress

I want it designed so it's exactly to my specifications. There's only so far I can go with Blogger and I feel I've got to the optimum point with it.

4. To promote the Accentuate The Positive Project more. 

I launched this project last year following the much-read and talked-about How To Make The Most Of Your Best Feature post, and it aims to get women to be proud of their best bits and show them off to the world. I've had many amazing women contribute already, and I need to commit more time to getting the message out there. Please take a look and join in if you haven't already.

5. To get in the top 250 fashion blogs on Bloglovin.

I'm currently no.305 - so close to breaking the 300! If I'm in the top 250 by the end of the year I'll be so proud of myself [insert cheesy grin here].

6. To organise a blogger meet-up 

One that's specifically geared towards older bloggers. I want to do something that'll cater for UK bloggers, maybe those who haven't been to a meet-up before, either because they've been organised by much younger bloggers or, like me, not gone because they're for mummy bloggers (I'm not a mum). I was wondering why no-one my age was organising anything, so decided I should do something about it! I want it to be open to all age groups (no restrictions on who can come), but I'd gear it towards the 30+ ages more and probably hold it in the "middle" of the south of England somewhere. If you have an interest in this please email me with your name, blog URL and town/city so I can put you on my list of people to contact - notdressedaslamb(at)gmail(dot)com - and watch this space!

So that's my goals for 2014 out there in the bloggesphere - I've declared them now so there can be no wriggling out of at least trying my damnedest with my six goals. Thank you so much again for voting and all your fantastic support - I lost my last style-off competition by just one vote (gutted) so every vote really DOES count!!

What about you - any blog goals for 2014? I'd love to know!

Catherine x
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Monday, 27 January 2014

Sportswear as Everyday Wear - With Leather & Patent

Sporty stripes, black leather jacket, blue fedora
This is my favourite new, very retro sportswear-style stripe top that I bought recently from Romwe and have been wearing to death up till recently (there's more to that story I'll tell you about shortly). I love the slight 1970s footballer look to it - a bit "Mexico World Cup 70" in a way. So bringing it up to date with a pair of skinnies, my trusty leather jacket, fab patent loafers and a fedora was just right for a not too chilly weekend. Ta-dah - new favourite outfit. However...

The sad story is that this top met with a washing machine accident, about which I am extreeeeeemely upset and cross with myself. It may not be as tragic a tale as poor Amber's pale pink Topshop skirt story, but I am sad to tell you that the white part of this top, well... isn't white any more. It's a dirty grey. I didn't put black socks in the whites wash or anything like that, I simply used the liquid wash for coloureds (rather than whites) by mistake, and everything from that wash is now grey. It's as easy as that to ruin stuff! I'm so gutted =sniff=

So I've thinking that I'm just going to buy another one, serves me right for not paying attention on wash day. The problem with buying another is, what do I do with the ruined-but-not-really-ruined-in-an-unwearable-way top? And yes I did try to get the grey out, but to no avail :((

If you have any stories of ruined favourite things do please share your sob stories with me!

Sporty stripes, black leather jacket, blue fedora, khaki skinnies
Sweatshirt, black leather jacket, blue fedora, khaki skinnies
Black patent loafers
Sporty stripes & fingertip rings
Blue fedora & neon earrings
Two things to ask of you / tell you about:

1. DON'T FORGET TO ENTER the fabulous Brit Pack Giveaway for £100 to spend at Asos that I'm co-hosting - it's open internationally!

Brit Pack Giveaway - January 2014

2. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE VOTE FOR ME to win the chance to model for Fever London clothing range! They're choosing a winner from every size category, so five girls will get to model their SS14 collection. I'd love to win and show everyone that it's not just 20-somethings that get the chance to do this! 

Go to this link (on Facebook): - simply Like their page and click 'Vote' - that's it.

You can vote once per 24 hours - if you'd be kind enough to vote whenever you remember I'd be so grateful! Thanks so much my lovelies:)

Fever London Model comp
Catherine x
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Leather jacket: Debenhams (similar), Sweatshirt: Romwe, Jeans: Asos, Loafers: Asos, Hat: Forever 21, Fingertip rings: River Island, Chevron rings: Asos, Earrings: Asos, Watch: Asos, Nails: Nails Inc Hampstead Gardens

Linking up to: Visible MondayMonday BloomMonday MingleFunday MondayTrend Spin Link-UpWardrobe WednesdaysStyle SessionsWhat I Wore WednesdayAll Things ThursdayFashion InformantThree-Fer ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (Elizabeth Taylor's Definitely Were)

Why Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
Marilyn Monroe may have sung "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), but the star most synonymous for wearing diamonds had to be Elizabeth Taylor. As a child I was fascinated by two things about the eight-times married Hollywood icon: her violet eyes and her jewellery collection. But is it possible that diamonds really could be your best friend (metaphorically speaking of course)? 

As someone who has never owned a real diamond (all say "ahh") I've yet to find out, but a girl can dream, can't she. The stories behind some of Taylor's pieces are the stuff of legend, and they intrigued me when I was young - and still do. These ones are, in my opinion, some of the best sparklers the world has ever seen.

Elizabeth Taylor: The Taylor-Burton Diamond

The two most famous pieces can be seen above: Richard Burton bought the Cartier Diamond (as it was then known, above left) for $1.1 million for a ring for Liz in the late 1960s. It is a 69.42 carat, inch-thick diamond and was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. It is said that Burton insulted her hands, making her want the diamond - now that's the way to get your hands on the world's greatest rock...! However it was extremely heavy, so she had it set into an exquisite necklace (above right) and wore it publicly for the first time to Grace Kelly's 40th birthday celebration in Monaco. For insurance purposes, when wearing the Taylor-Burton Diamond in public she had to be accompanied by two guards - with machine guns, no less. After her death it was renamed the Taylor-Burton Diamond, and deservedly so.

The other well-known piece of hers was the Krupp Diamond ring (above right), also given to her by Richard Burton, and now known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. Look at any picture of Elizabeth Taylor after that time and she's almost certainly wearing it; it was sold at auction after her death for $8.8 million. In my opinion it is the ultimate rock, the engagement ring to end all engagement rings... take a look at this close up and you'll see why.

Elizabeth Taylor's diamonds
Whilst it's doubtful that I'm ever going to own a 69 carat diamond ring, I guess the question is: What's the nearest a girl like me is ever going to get? I'm past the stage of getting to choosing an engagement ring, though if George Clooney had a change of heart about much younger women and decided that 10 years younger is the right age gap and a British fashion blogger was the one for him, then I may just get in line - despite my current marital status. I'll happily take my chances there (Kylie is still single so I won't feel that bad for my husband).

It was in Breakfast at Tiffany's that Holly Golighty (Audrey Hepburn - did you need telling that?) said, "Of course, personally, I think it'd be tacky to wear diamonds before I'm 40". So Elizabeth Taylor may well have taken no notice of that particular quote, but to me that's a green light. All systems go with the diamonds - Holly Golightly said so.

In my imaginary quest for owning a sparkler or two, I thought about the practicalities of actually owning (and wearing) a piece like any of Taylor's. Armed guards are not very practical for me down at the supermarket or going out to get fish and chips on a Friday night. So if given the choice, I'm not sure I really could "do a Liz" and demand the world's most expensive rock simply because George Clooney said my fingers were podgy. But I still believe they are a girl's best friend, and I've found a way to make affordable ones your new BFF.

The gorgeous jewellery pieces below are my top picks from Anjolee Jewelry, a website where you get to personalise your chosen design of rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Every piece is available in a large range of sizes, diamond carat weights, gold karats (yellow or white) or platinum, so it creates many price points for each product and allows you to customize any product based on your individual taste and budget. That's what I like: beautiful and affordable.

Anjolee Dreamy Diamond Drop Earrings
I've picked pieces that I think a budding Elizabeth Taylor (i.e. me) would want if a nice little windfall came my way. The Dreamy Diamond Drop Earrings start at less than $250 which, for real diamonds, won't completely break the bank. I'd choose them in white gold and parade them down Sainsburys to do my weekly shop, wearing dark glasses and telling the security guard on the door to "keep an eye out".

Anjolee Graduated Red Carpet Diamond Necklace
If I were ever to find myself on the red carpet (dreaming, much?) I'd probably need a red carpet-worthy necklace. This beauty is exactly that: the Graduated Red Carpet Diamond Necklace. Though even at (a starting price of) just over $6,000, I'd feel extremely nervous wearing it and do that thing that Julia Roberts does in Pretty Woman on the way to the opera and keep touching it to make sure it's still there. But if I ever get the chance to have a man present me with a box with a necklace inside and then proceed to put it around my neck for me (does this happen in real life?), then a necklace like this is the one for me.

Anjolee Millgrain Detail Princess Cut Engagement Ring
Oh, the wonder of a diamond ring close up...! While I let you get your breath back, I thought it would be fun to imagine I was getting to choose my engagement ring all over again and went for this oh-so-fabulous Millgrain Detail Princess Cut Engagement Ring. The antique style, the square setting, the Princess cut - they all make for a mouth-watering piece of jewellery. I can see why Liz wore her diamond ring pretty much every day; name me a girl who can't resist a fabulous ring. This style starts at just over $1,500 and at that price I reckon I could just about cope with the responsibility of making sure it doesn't get lost. 

I'm a simple girl at heart, however - there's so much to choose from on the Anjolee website that I'd probably start with one of their bangle bracelets or a pair of stud earrings. Marilyn said they were a girl's best friend, Audrey said she wouldn't wear them till she was 40, and Elizabeth threw caution to the wind and showed us all how to wear diamonds in style.

I think diamonds and me would get along just fine... there's always room for a new BFF in my life.

Catherine x
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P.S. PLEASE do share your diamond stories - or anything to do with choosing or being given a piece of jewellery, won't you? I'd love to hear them!

Linking up to: Funday MondayAll Things ThursdayFriday's Fab Favourites
Elizabeth Taylor photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Ways To Wear A Black Maxi | With A Fur, Tweed & Leather Coat

Faux fur, tweed & leather coat, black maxi
What really could be better than a coat made of faux fur, tweed and leather? Not much, if you ask me. This is yet another of my favourite statement coats bought last year, and I played it simple with a black maxi and Breton-style stripes. We've had some very cold (but beautifully bright and crisp) days recently, so it's quite nice not having to bundle up against the wind and simply throw on a fabulous coat.

Are you all coping with the winter wherever you may be? Or are you coping with freakishly hot weather that various parts of the world seem to be having...? Let me know!

Leather gloves, faux fur
Faux fur & leather sleeves
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