Monday, 30 March 2015

French Style Denim and Nike Hi-Tops | La Redoute Brand Ambassador Post

Black and white check coat with denim and Nike hi-tops
I've been wanting to wear this French-style look of hi-tops with skinnies since I saw so many girls wearing them like this in Paris last year. I know I'm a little late on recreating this style(!), but as I'm nearing the end of my La Redoute ambassadorship I thought I should get these fabulous black Nike hi-tops and do my own version before it's all over.

It may be the end of March but we still need winter coats in the UK (depressingly!), so I paired the black and white of my Nikes with the black and white of my check coat. A little colour in the form of a purple galaxy snood (long since sold out sadly but I do love this ombre one) and this was enough to keep me warm and comfy for a walk at the weekend. As with my other French style outfits, it may not be an outfit that screams "Parisian chic" but it's the elements of it I like to take away and make my own, and as a long-time fan La Redoute is the perfect brand to be able to do that with.

Are you a fan of French style - and what does Parisian style mean to you? Do you have any French style heroines - modern or classic? Do share, I'd love to know!

Black and white check coat with denim and Nike hi-tops
Denim skinnies and Nike hi-tops
Black and white check coat
Coat: Marks & Spencer | Snood: Asos (I like this psychedelic print one) | Jeans: Zalando | Hi-tops: Nike c/o La Redoute | Bag: Kangol | Earrings: Asos

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

I am a brand ambassador for La Redoute after winning a competition to find two bloggers to represent the brand for 2014-15. The prize included a budget to spend at La Redoute each month. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.
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Thursday, 26 March 2015

9 Ways to Style Vintage (Without It Looking Costumey or Like Fancy Dress)

You CAN wear vintage without it looking costumey or fancy dress! Here's 9 ways to style vintage pieces
I think a lot of people shy away from vintage because they don't want to risk looking like they're in costume or are on the way to a fancy dress party. Don't get me wrong, I love a full-on vintage look (I wrote a post about my favourite vintage-style bloggers and couldn't be more of a Dita Von Teese fan if I tried) - if it suits your personality and your lifestyle, then I say you should absolutely go for it 100%.

If you're more like me, however, and love vintage but don't want to do the stepped-out-of-a-time-machine look, I think there's a simple rule to wearing and styling vintage to make it look modern and less 'costumey':

IF YOU'RE WEARING A VINTAGE PIECE FROM ONE DECADE, ENSURE THE REST OF YOUR OUTFIT - INCLUDING HAIRSTYLE - REFLECTS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT DECADE.

For example, if you're wearing a 1970s shirt with a bold pattern and long collars, don't wear your hair long and straight with a centre parting, or with wide, flared jeans, or with knee-high platform boots. In contrast, DO go for the long straight hair with a 1950s prom dress. That hairstyle is so unlike how they wore their hair in the 50s that you'll avoid the full-on vintage look altogether. I've put together a collection of some of my favourite outfits where I've mixed and matched vintage and modern to give you an idea of how I've tried to avoid that costumey look.

Let me know what you think, and also: Are you a vintage fan? Do you own any vintage pieces that you just don't know how to style? Let me know in the comments!

Vintage 1950s shirt, white blazer & leopard skinnies

1. 1950s silk shirt

Styled with a white blazer and leopard print skinnies (original post)
Although this 50s shirt was a very bold pattern (and a very typical print of that decade), I didn't shy away from some pattern mixing but went for what will probably become 'the' print of this decade - leopard print - in skinny jeans. I could have gone for cropped Capri pants and flats, but that would have made it very 1950s/Grace Kelly all over. I was purposely trying to make it look as non-vintage as possible.

Vintage Black and Mustard Polka Dot Dress

2. 1970s/80s polka dot dress

Neck refashioned. Styled with contrasting bold belt and matching camisole (original post)
This is probably my favourite vintage dress. I changed the neckline to make it more modern because where it crosses over (if you look closely you'll see it's a wrapover style), it came right up to the neck and made it very matronly. I simply unbuttoned the two sides and tucked them under to create a v-neck which straight away made it look less 80s. By adding a bold contrasting belt and matching camisole it doesn't actually look vintage (meaning old fashioned) at all.

Floral dress & ruffled cardigan

3. 1980s floral dress

Styled with a ruffled cardigan and white trilby (original post)
Another dress, but this time a floral one that I wore with a very modern ruffled cardigan. The summery white trilby is another piece that's not very 80s either - and the same goes for my hair which is what (like the leopard print) is going to become typical of this decade.

Vintage tapestry coat, red brogues

4. 1960s tapestry coat

Styled with grey skinnies and bold brogues (original post)
I was loaned this stunning coat to wear to LFW, and when a piece is this bold you don't need much else. Again, skinnies are the perfect bottoms to contrast with vintage tops, and boldly coloured brogues won't add to the 60s look. I know my hair is a little on the 60s side with the wide hairband, but I think I got away with it.

Vintage patterned blouse, loose blue trousers

5. 1980s floral blouse

Styled with collar tips and loose peg leg trousers (original post)
I like adding statement jewellery to vintage shirts and blouses, and simple pearl collar tips were a nice addition to this (much-worn) favourite blouse of mine. The loose trousers and strappy sandals were the modern contrasts and stopped the blouse going into frump territory.

Layered tanks, vintage skirt and tennis shoes #summer #style

6. 1980s pleated nautical print skirt

Styled with layered tanks and tennis shoes (original post)
I've worn this vintage pleated skirt so many times, and I'm surprised I've found so many ways to style it. For this outfit I added a sporty element - layered tanks and white tennis shoes - to what is essentially a very ladylike piece... is there anything more ladylike or feminine than a pleated midi skirt??

London Fashion Week look: Vintage shirt with statement necklace, trench and skinnies

7. 1970s landscape print shirt

Styled with a statement necklace, trench coat and plain black skinnies (original post)
My first-ever London Fashion Week outfit...! I was determined to wear vintage so the 1970s shirt with cheesy landscape print and massively long collars was my number one choice. Again, skinnies are the perfect contrast to a 70s shirt, and by the time I'd added a statement necklace, a trench coat (timeless and of no decade, by the way) and curled my hair, the screaming 70s-ness of it had long subsided.

Vintage 1940s wrap dress with wide belt

8. 1940s wrapover robe

Refashioned into a dress and styled with a deep belt and white skinnies (original post)
The oldest vintage piece I've ever worn, this was actually a long 1940s wrapover robe with long sleeves, not a dress, that was on loan to me. I styled it as if I had shortened it, which is what I would have done had it been mine to keep. Unless you've got a true designer piece worth thousands I don't think you need to hesitate to alter vintage clothes, so make them suit you with alterations. The pattern is so gorgeous and so 1940s, but a deep belt with massive buckles and a chunky necklace make it look anything but. The modern dress-over-trousers look that I'm so fond of worked really well here. It's so far from a vintage look but the fact that it's actually a 60 year-old robe makes it all the more special.

Vintage patchwork bag, chinos, gingham and denim

9. 1970s patchwork knitting bag

Styled with light wash denim and chinos (original post)
If you're still not convinced about wearing a vintage clothes, why not dip your toe in the water and go for a vintage accessory instead? They don't have to be expensive - this vintage knitting bag cost me all of about £10 from eBay - but it's so reminiscent of my childhood that I had to have it. The light wash denim jacket with chinos and strappy wedges were far removed from the boho look anything patchwork conjures up in my mind, but the gingham shirt is a subtle tie-in.
Catherine x
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P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy my Top Tips for Buying Vintage on eBay!

Linking up to: Visible MondayLet It ShineShare in StyleMonday MingleStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Pattern Mixing | How to Wear Bold, Graphic Prints Together

Mixed patterns: Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt, black trousers and slip on sneakers
So - I'm officially in love with this window pane check jacket as it's the third time I've worn it on the blog in as many weeks. I'm rather partial to any kind of pattern mixing, but bold graphic prints are a favourite and look very modern as well as giving off a sports-luxe vibe. The galaxy/lightning print t-shirt is from Oasap and couldn't be any more funky if it tried.

Such bold clashing prints deserved a more subdued bottom half, so I wore black peg legs and sporty slip on sneakers - yes, even I know when less is more ;)

I wore this to a local charity event held at John Lewis last week, and some of you may have seen the hilarious Instagram video we made of me trying on the most amazing sequin jacket from Ted Baker (and how dare anyone suggest that those free glasses of Prosecco had any kind of effect on me. =hic=). You have to watch the video to see exactly what the jacket "does". I'm trying to justify the £229 price tag for something that's purely for entertainment...!

Are you trying to justify splashing out on any splurge items? If so, do share what they are, I've love to know what you're lusting after at the moment!

Mixed patterns: Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt
Mixed patterns: Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt, black trousers and slip on sneakers
Mixed patterns: Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt, black trousers and slip on sneakers
Mixed patterns: Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt, black trousers
Mixed patterns: Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt, black trousers and slip on sneakers
Windowpane check coat, graphic t-shirt, silver jewellery
Jacket: c/o George at Asda (I like this one) | T-shirt: c/o Oasap | Trousers: Topshop (similar) | Shoes: Asos | Earrings: Asos | Rings: c/o kuka-me / Cornish jeweller | Sunglasses: c/o Lulus (similar) | NailsNails Inc Elizabeth Street and Nails Inc Black Taxi (see Friday's post for a close-up)

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Catherine x
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Photos: Silver Londoner | Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style SessionsTurning Heads Tuesday, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Some of My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - March 2015

Favourite fun and fabulous links frmo around the web March 2015
As this is the fourth Sunday in the month that means it's time for my Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links! A little NYFW, how to start a fashion blog, my (Spanish) sartorial soul mate and words from a wise young woman. Enjoy, and Happy Sunday :)

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What I'd give for San Franciscan backdrops like Chelsea's - or her patterned jacket.

I've always been a big fan of Jean Shrimpton and I love Kailey's take on her floral portrait by Bert Stern.

Liz of Delightfully Tacky has some great free printable blog planners to download from her photography website.

Yen's black cape is so beautiful and I'm so in love with those heels. And her accessories.

@mushroomstew Instagram
The best Instagram feed I've found lately? @mushroomstew. Lots of food, fashion, flowers and a fabulous pug or two - every single image is beautiful (you can tell Ashley's a photographer). Her blog is pretty fabulous too.

Possibly the prettiest, softest look from NYFW courtesy of Jess.

I challenge you not to think this is the best post EVER about how to start a fashion blog.

10 things that took Audrey 26 years to learn is like reading a wise old woman's brilliant thoughts on life. Every single point is spot on.

I Let My Toddler Dress Me for a Week - Here's What Happened http://bit.ly/1BxDjHn
I absolutely flippin' LOVED this post about a mum allowing her toddler to dress her every day for a week. Who says shoes have to match?!

Whilst I don't think Kat looked anywhere near as bad as she made out (or even bad at all to be honest), I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who just doesn't suit the boho look.

Mixed patterns done beautifully by Trina - great texture mix too (and check out those two-tone peep toe booties).

Cocoolook blog
I have just discovered THE most inspiring blogger... I think she's my Spanish sartorial soul mate. Have a quick look to see how old you think Carmen is, then come back and read the P.S. at the bottom of this post. Make sure you're sitting down.

As a non-parent I'm lucky to have never received these sorts of comments [in real life], but it saddens me that posts such as Things You Should Never Say to a Childless Woman should have to be written at all.

I never get round to doing all the crafts things I pin but I really, really want to try bleach-spotted fabric.

Finally: Watch this video to take a test to see how much you pay attention: You may end up watching it several times like me... this was so clever.


Catherine x
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P.S. Carmen is in her 50s. What the...????!!!!!!
P.P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy February's Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links!

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