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






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Saturday, 26 April 2014

8 European Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

8 European Fashion Bloggers You Should Know
Continuing my monthly "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).


So grab une tasse de café and enjoy these fabulous ladies, mes chéris...!


Audrey - Frassy
Audrey - Frassy

Frassy (France)

Audrey is the ultimate American in Paris. One of the first fashion blogs I ever found, I've watched her blog grow and her style develop over the years, but she's never lost the ability to make me smile. Here is a blogger who you can tell loves her work and loves her clothes - and adores Paris. The city is as much of a star in her photos as she is, and it provides the perfect backdrop for her über chic and (somehow at the same time) über funky style. She's never too perfect and she's never (ahem) up herself, and for that I love her.



Iris - Fashion Zen
Iris - Fashion Zen

Fashion Zen (Netherlands)

One of the coolest bloggers in Europe, Iris is what I call pared-down-Dutch-chic-with-a-twist. Often seen in a hat (lots of fedoras and beanies) and a fabulous coat, her colour palette is minimal but there's often a surprise thrown in with a lovely rich tartan or a fierce pair of boots. Like the British, I think Dutch style is greatly influenced by the weather, so I'm often drawn to it - it's not easy to pin down a solid description of what it is exactly, but I know I like it, and it works.



Aminta Online
Aminta Online

Aminta Online (Spain)

I don't think there's anyone whose outfits I've enjoyed more than Aminta's during the years I've been following blogs (my 15 year old niece is also a huge fan). She embodies "crazy cool" and it's impossible to pigeon-hole her style... it's totally and utterly unique and will change radically from post to post. With her amazing collection of wigs (I love her with purple hair) you'll be hard pressed to recognise her if it wasn't for that gorgeous, mega-watt smile she'll flash now and then. Do not miss the opportunity to be totally inspired by her boundless enthusiasm and creativity.



Borjana - Beeswonderland
Borjana - Beeswonderland

Beeswonderland (Austria)

Borjana's most striking feature is that platinum blond crop - but in the time I've followed her she's gone from long, dark curls to a black crop which then went a fiery red, and she seems to have settled (for now) with the blond. This Austrian chameleon wears more statement pieces than I've had hot dinners, and each is as striking as the last. Without that long, perfectly highlighted, curled hair we see so much on the bloggesphere she stands out - and for all the right reasons. I love how it only complements the tailoring and the beautiful fabrics she wears.


Annebeth - The Styling Dutchman

Annebeth - The Styling Dutchman

The Styling Dutchman (Netherlands)

Looking like the long-lost triplet of Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel, Annebeth is another fabulous Dutch blogger. (You may see by the end I really have a thing for the Dutch.) With legs to die for and huge eyes you'll simply get lost in, you're as likely to find her in heels as you are in chic sports wear. Her style is beautifully simple with a lot of black, but she throws in well-thought-out flashes of colour and gorgeous textures here and there - all the time killing me with those big baby browns.


Katerina - Beauty in Insanity

Katerina - Beauty in Insanity

Beauty in Insanity (Bulgaria)

If you're afraid of colour and pattern - be warned... Katerina (who also goes by the name Keit) does both unashamedly. She owns motif sweaters and t-shirts, she owns brights-with-neon colour combinations, and she owns in-your-face layers and accessories. Like Aminta, her style is no-holds-barred - and her playfulness and unconventional attitude towards fashion is what I admire and enjoy about her style so much.


Viktoriya - Tie Bow Tie

Viktoriya - Tie Bow Tie

Tie Bow-Tie (Turkey)

Viktoriya's style is ladylike, enviable and very elegant - a reflection of her graceful stature, no doubt. In each series there's generally one blogger whose wardrobe I would happily steal and wear just as they do, and Viktoriya's is it for the Europeans. She'll rock a classic pattern (stripes, florals, dogtooth) and add it to distressed denim or a boxy jacket, top it with a fabulous hat - and she's effortlessly radiant. The colours are sometimes soft, they're sometimes bright; the fabrics are sometimes tailored, sometimes not, but this is style perfection in my eyes.



Lovely by Lucy
Lovely by Lucy

Lovely by Lucy (Netherlands)

So my Dutch blogger obsession wouldn't be complete without lovely Lucy. If you want to know how to do sports luxe, go NO further - Lucy is the expert. The simplest (barely there) colour palette, relaxed silhouettes and an amazing collection of sports shoes all provide a gorgeous foundation for that show-stopping haircut. She's as instantly recognisable for her brunette blunt-cut fringe as she is for her sneakers; I deeply admire how she has that very cool sporty aesthetic, but never lets it stray into tomboy territory. There's a lovely contrast between her gorgeous, delicate features and the surprise that sports wear provides... not a touch of pink or hint of chiffon in sight: perfect.



Let me know if you've found any new blogs to follow - I hope you have! As I've said before these are my personal favourites; it's hard to choose just eight for these features. Are there any other lesser-known European bloggers you want to suggest? Let me know in the comments!



Catherine

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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




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