Wednesday, 29 April 2015

NYDJ Jeans Review | Light Wash Skinnies and Sequinned Breton Stripes

Sequinned Breton striped top, light wash NYDJ skinny jeans, pointed flats
I think it's true that finding the perfect pair of jeans is a bit like finding the holy grail (almost impossible, in other words). I have to admit I've wanted to try some of the well-known pricier brands for a while but haven't for fear of making an expensive mistake. One of those brands was NYDJ - known for their comfort as well as their Lift Tuck Technology® which is "designed to make you look and feel a size smaller". I was asked to review a pair and, as with all my brand collaborations, the review is 100% honest (but this time I want to really, really stress that fact).

The best thing I can say about these jeans is that I honestly haven't wanted to wear anything else since I tried them on. Except for going to bed, exercising or needing to change for something where jeans weren't really acceptable (and showering!), I've pretty much worn these skinny blue lightweight denim jeans every day for more than a week, they're so comfy. In other words, everything I'd heard about NYDJ was true, and I can totally understand why women swear by them. continued >>

Sequinned Breton striped top, light wash NYDJ skinny jeans, pointed flats
They are unbelievably comfortable. As comfortable as wearing pyjama bottoms or leggings, despite them being skinnies. These are officially the comfiest skinny jeans I own, and that's thanks to the stretch. Nor have they lost their shape in all that wearing. I'm really rather pleased with what the Lift Tuck did to my derrière (see photo below!), and the other thing I like about these skinnies is that the ankles aren't too tight. I quite like a little looseness around that part of the the leg and it means when you roll them up they're the perfect width, which I think is a lot more flattering than super-skinny ankles.

As far as the styling goes, I'm so glad I got this light blue wash as they're a great colour for the summer and look good with just about every pair of flats I have (correction: every pair) - a hard task for flats. On this day I kept it simple with my sequinned stripe Breton top and pointed toe block heel flats with a slick of red lippie.

Sizing: NYDJ recommend you go a size down - I was given a pair one size down and another two sizes down to try - I kept the smaller pair, so don't be afraid to go TWO sizes smaller than your normal size. I'm also a little heavier at the moment so that's another fantastic thing about the stretch: if you put on a few pounds you can still wear them because they'll stretch with you, unlike most of my other skinnies (which I can't physically get on at the moment).

So there you go - a glowing review, and deservedly so in my opinion. I know some people don't like stretch in jeans, but if you do (and especially if you're prone to a bit of weight fluctuation in the bum/thigh area like me) then I honestly can't recommend NYDJ enough. They're worth every penny.

Are you a fan of a bit of stretch in jeans, and have you tried NYDJ? Do let me know in the comments!

Sequinned Breton striped top, light wash NYDJ skinny jeans
Sequinned Breton striped top, light wash NYDJ skinny jeans
Light wash NYDJ skinny jeans, pointed flats
Sequinned Breton striped top, fishtail braid
Jeans: c/o NYDJ | Top: Les Petites (similar) | Shoes: Daniel Footwear | Sunglasses: c/o Lulu's (similar) | Earrings: Asos |  Nails: c/o NYDJ | Lips: Barry M Lip Lacquer Crayon no.3 Mandarin | Fishtail braid: By Rosie, my niece

Shop the look:

Catherine x
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Disclosure: I have written this post in collaboration with NYDJ. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Monday, 27 April 2015

London Sightseeing Outfit for Spring | Longline Blazer, Cropped Trousers and Brogues

Comfy sightseeing outfit: Longline blazer, layers, navy trousers, white brogues
London in the spring can be the perfect time to go sightseeing (warmer than winter and the tube trains aren't stiflingly hot yet), but the weather can be unpredictable. When we were up last weekend it was a gloriously sunny day but pretty damn cold, only a few days after Londoners had been enjoying unseasonally warm temperatures of 25C.

Luckily I got my outfit almost spot-on, but to be honest I would have liked a pair of gloves. (My feet stay perfectly warm without socks from all the walking, but my hands really suffer...!) I wore enough layers - roll neck under my floral scuba t-shirt, longline blazer - and the navy cropped trousers and white and silver brogues were both comfy enough to last me all day through a great deal of pavement-pounding. The hat of choice (I feel naked without one these days!) was my cotton flat cap which I like with the curls because it stops it looking too masculine - like adding florals under a blazer. I've mentioned before I'm a fan of outfits with both masculine and feminine aspects, especially good if you're worried about looking too masculine chic.

If you like to be comfy when sightseeing (who doesn't?) but don't want to wear sports shoes, spend as much as you can on a pair of stylish lace-up flats that have a cushioned or rubber sole. You'll get comfort without having to sacrifice style from a good quality leather upper and support for your feet while you're pounding the pavements.

Do you have any great tips for what to wear sightseeing? Do share in the comments!

Comfy sightseeing outfit: Layers of longline camel blazer, navy trousers, flatcap
Comfy sightseeing outfit: Longline blazer, layers, navy trousers, white brogues
Navy cropped trousers, white and silver brogues
Comfy sightseeing outfit: Layers of longline blazer, floral top, flatcap
Blazer: Asos | Roll neck: Asos (similar) | Floral t-shirt: c/o George at Asda | Trousers: Asos | Brogues: c/o Kelya Shoes (similar) | Flat cap: Debenhams (similar) | Sunglasses: c/o Lulus (similar) | Bag: Accessorize (this is a great alternative - zips right up for safety)

Shop the look:

Catherine x
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P.S. Like this post? You might also like seeing the flatcap styled another way on another trip to London last year!

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

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Some of My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - April 2015

Some of my favourite fun and fabulous links - April 2015
As this is the fourth Sunday in the month that means it's time for my Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links! Some thoughts on being a redhead, beautiful shots of Japan and an extremely tired dog. Enjoy, and Happy Sunday :)

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If you're stuck about what to wear in spring, just take a look at this French style outfit by Jessica. Easy to recreate and always chic.

Need some images for your blog? Here's 550+ royalty-free stock photos to download.

Forever Amber
"Things redheads are sick of hearing" by (Forever) Amber is utterly, utterly brilliant - whether you have red hair or not. Shocking and hilarious all at the same time.

The best April Fool I (nearly) fell for.

Kristin looks absolutely incredible in her absolutely incredible, what-a-bargain designer embellished jacket.

Calla in Motion - Japan
I've always wanted to go to Japan but these images of Japan from Lindsey's blog make me want to go even more.

A post that every brand should read if they wish to work with bloggers: Many marketers still don’t understand the role of bloggers.

And on the same lines: if you're a blogger who's tired of being asked to work for free, sign the #NOFREEWORK petition.

Rachel the Hat - grey waistcoat
Rachel shows us exactly how to style a long grey waistcoat (vest).

Felicity and Lauren of Pretty Posh Oh My Gosh were the lovely blogging duo that won my category at the UK Blog Awards - they really deserved it, have a read of their lovely post about winning.

These 10 golden rules for making working from home a success are really, really good (much better than your usual working from home tips).

And finally... this dog sums up how I'm feeling right now:

Catherine x
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P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy March's Fave Fun and Fabulous Links!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog Posts, Friday's Fab Favourites, Sunday Funday

Friday, 24 April 2015

Blogging Tips | Branding For Your Blog in Quick, Easy Steps: #1 Get a Favicon

Not Dressed As Lamb | Branding For Your Blog in Quick, Easy Steps 1. Get a Favicon
As many of my blogging tips post are quite lengthy and packed with a lot of information, I thought I'd do a mini-series of posts giving you tips in quick, easy steps. Hopefully you'll find these very simple and easy to implement straight away (that's the idea, anyway!) and to start with I'm doing a series on branding for your blog.

Branding is important to reach, interest and maintain your audience. Brand consistency in marketing is one of the most important contributing factors to a company's success because it constantly reinforces their identity to their audience. Blogging is no different!

I'm starting with what might be the easiest, quickest way to start branding your blog. I've mentioned this before in other posts and on social media, but it's an important one to mention again:


What's a favicon...?

A favicon - meaning "favourite icon" - is what appears on the tab next to your blog name at the top of the browser window. Having your own logo or avatar (one that is consistent with your branding) as your favicon will set your blog apart when your readers have many tabs open in their window. The most platform for blogs is Blogger, and if you use Blogger you will automatically get a generic orange favicon that so many blogs have.

Blogging Tips | Change your Blogger favicon

Why do I need a favicon...?

Unfortunately, this favicon - or any generic or blank icon - won't do anything to make your blog (brand) stand out from the others. It's the marketing equivalent of Apple forgetting to put their apple logo on the back of their mobile phones, or McDonald's failing to add the golden "M" arches on motorway service station signs (yes I'm using massive brands as examples, but recognising them by their logo alone is everything)!

The logo or avatar you choose has to be recognisable when it's a tiny favicon (16x16 pixels only), so choose something that'll be consistent to your brand and recognisable at that size. The initials or first letter of your blog name in the same font you use in your header, for example, would work.

Without checking, I'd place a ton of money on Apple using their apple logo and McDonald's using the golden arches as their favicons (if I'm wrong do tell me in the comments).

How do I add a favicon to my blog...?

This is the easy bit - and it takes less than five minutes:
  1. Go to a favicon generator, e.g. to create a 16x16 .ico file
  2. In Blogger, go to the Layout option
  3. Click on 'Edit' in the Favicon box
  4. Choose and save the .ico file you have just created (that's it)
Don't panic if it doesn't show up straight away. Try clearing your cookies and cache on your browser - it can take a while to show up, especially in Chrome. Your new favicon will show up in bookmarks too which reinforces your brand even further.

If I have a WordPress blog can I personalise my favicon?

As I don't use it myself I looked for a good tutorial on how to add a favicon to Wordpress - this one by Elegant Themes is very recent: How to Add a Favicon to Your Wordpress Website.

So that's it - part one done. I'll be continuing the branding series regularly so look out for colour themes, fonts, signatures, etc.

Let me know if you needed a favicon and whether you're going to get one now - and if you followed my instructions previously, did you find it easy? 

P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy 8 (More) Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid!

Magnifying glass image: Tidy Design | Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab FavouritesSunday Funday

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

What to Wear to an Awards Ceremony | Vintage 1970s Evening Dress (The UK Blog Awards)

Vintage 1970s full-length patterned dress
It's not every day you get to go to an awards ceremony... and it's not every day you get to dress up red carpet-style. As many of you who follow me on social media or who saw Friday's post will know, I was nominated for Best Fashion and Retail Blog at the UK Blog Awards - honoured, proud and excited doesn't even begin to cover it!

If you don't know already I'll tell you straight away: I didn't win unfortunately, but there are so many positives to take away...
  1. I was nominated!! An achievement in itself.
  2. The blogging duo that won my category (Pretty Posh Oh My Gosh) were the lovely girls I would have wanted to win if it wasn't going to be me - they really deserved it and I honestly mean it when I say I couldn't be happier for them.
  3. I met some absolutely wonderful bloggers and cemented some blossoming online friendships.
  4. The husband and I got to dress up to the nines and have a super-flash evening out.
  5. We did a photo shoot at London's Marble Arch with all the pigeons, buses and tourists as backdrop.
I don't think it's a secret that I absolutely, completely and utterly loved wearing this dress: a vintage 1970s evening dress in the most stunning fabric I think I've ever seen. It reminded me of a Gustav Klimt painting, and I also got a wonderful compliment on the night that I looked "very Florence" [and the Machine] - I'll take that! A commuter on the tube also said "nice dress" as he went by, and travelling on the tube in the rush hour was... interesting. I was paranoid about getting the skirt caught in the escalators, but luckily managed to keep it all scooped up and out of harm's way.

The dress was a loan from Scarlet Vintage whom I've worked with before, and thankfully it fitted me beautifully. All it needed was some heels, chandelier earrings and a contrasting turquoise clutch. However, this is not quite how it was originally - the dress actually has a pussy bow neckline (so typically 70s). As I've done on several other vintage pieces before, I tucked the neckline under to make a v-neck which I thought was far more flattering on me. I loved the pussy bow (plus it's so on-trend this year), but I was worried about getting hot as well. I needed at least a little ventilation.

All in all it was a full-on fabulous night, so worthwhile and loads of fun. Thank you to everyone that voted for me to get to the nominated stage, thank you for all the wonderful wishes of good luck, and thank you for supporting the blog and thereby making the nomination possible in the first place. I'm dedicating the nominated certificate that I received to all of you ;)

Vintage 1970s full-length patterned dress
Vintage 1970s full-length patterned dress
Vintage 1970s full-length patterned dress
Vintage 1970s patterned dress with box clutch
Vintage 1970s full-length patterned dress
Dress: on loan from Scarlet Vintage | Coat: Asos | Clutch: New Look | Heels: New Look (similar) | Earrings: New Look | Ring: Old, unknown | Nails: Barry M gnp3 Watermelon

The 2015 UK Blog Awards
The UK Blog Awards - Not Dressed As Lamb, Silver Londoner, Pretty Posh Oh My Gosh, The Fairy Blog Mother
L-R: On the way to the awards with the Silver Londoner (i.e. on the train with the husband); with the winners of my category, the lovely (and deserving) Lauren and Felicity of Pretty Posh Oh My Gosh; with Alice of The Fairy Blogmother

Just a few pictures from the night to show you: We all loved the Alice in Wonderland theme, especially Alice (above, right) who is one of the guest speakers at the 30-40+ Blogger Meet I'm hosting next month - she is going to be brilliant. And a quick mention to all the other lovely girls I met: Felicity and Lauren (winners!), Annie, Natasha, Michelle and Lorna... so good to meet you all!

And don't worry - I'll try again in 2016. Maybe that will be my year :)

Here are some beautiful evening dresses I'm currently loving (oh to have an awards ceremony to go to every weekend)!:

Catherine x
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