Friday

[Trend] Sweating In The Pink

Isabel Marant Good Morning Tokyo Sweater, available at Selfridges here

A few weeks ago I blogged about essential long sleeve tops and mentioned a new-in pink slogan tee from Whistles, similar to my own grey one from the season before. It's been on my mind ever since and when I found this image on Pinterest of a similar Isabel Marant style (which I scoured the net for hours for and could only find at Selfridges, win) it got me thinking that I should be looking into this trend...



I've since noticed a surge of pink jumper loveliness, again on Pinterest (yup, massive theme here - I'm obsessed) and have decided I really do need to buy into it. The IM one is brilliant, the Whistles is a nice alternative - and I also spotted one by Claudie Pierlot in the window of the Kings Road store (my new French label crush, check it out if you haven't already)... Slogan sweaters all kind of started (correct me if I'm wrong) with Brian Lichtenberg, and he has now got a Feline sweat in pink - so surely this is a sign.


Pink works so well with denim-blues, greys and all over the neutral tones so although it can seem super bright, it can easily become a staple. Ok so the options aren't super cheap but I have a funny feeling I'd live in it for a long time, so Price Per Wear would be good. Ergh, help please - what do you think?
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Sunday

[Outfit] Pre Spring Pastels


I've been beating my winter weather blues by booking holidays for this year and clearing out my winter wardrobe ready for spring. I've been ruthless, I'm even selling a Mulberry Roxanne I love more than words. I just feel it's time for a change... I've also been carefully picking out bits for the new season, perhaps somewhat prematurely but I can't tell you how nice it was to try new bits on for this post - no matter how freezing cold I was taking these photos!


I bought the skirt a few weeks ago from ASOS, I fell in love with the unusual print. It now comes in black too, which adds a little gothic-something to it.  I've been wearing it quite a bit with my Topshop chambray shirt and cropped Reiss jumper (which is now half the price I paid for it, grrrr) with ankle boots, so it's actually working as a sensible February purchase more than I could have hoped for! That said, after about a minute I was too cold to take any more and came straight back inside to the warmth!


The halter neck is literally my new favourite thing ever. As soon as I saw this on the Whistles lookbook I fell in love with it and gave out a wail of excitement when it arrived on my desk. I've now bought it in both colours - cream and pink. Ok is £95 for a top but it's so unusual and I love it, and the super soft woolly fabric feels amazing on.  Plus, I suspect if I waited for summer it would have completely sold out as there are very few left online now any way. I cannot wait to wear this with some denim shorts after a day on the beach. I also spotted someone in a street style picture at LFW wearing something similar on top of a white shirt - haven't tried it yet but will let you know how it looks on a real person.


The shoes are my old faithful Jimmy Choos, worn them to death. It's difficult for me to find comfortable heels what with being a size 3, as I'm still a very normal weight so my poor feet have to balance a lot of weight into not a lot of surface area on the ground. They are called the "Abel" and are the only pair of stilettos I've found that I can run (slight exaggeration) about in all day.  Fully recommend. Now all we need is some decent weather, so I can do more than prance around my kitchen dressed like this!
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Friday

Happy 3rd Birthday South Molton St Style

South Molton St Style turns 3 today and is now officially the longest job I have ever had. But what a job it is! This year was the year everything kind of panned out for me - I feel like I found my feet in terms of the amount I post, what I post about etc. It's been really fun and I'm so grateful to everyone for visiting as without you lot I wouldn't get the opportunities I do to do some cool stuff, or inspiration to write about the things I do. So thank you. I've had quite a few emails recently about starting a blog, so I've tried to write a few tips for people - things I think would have been handy to know at the very beginning.



Be yourself - Blogging around a day job is hard, so you've got to want to do it otherwise it will just end up becoming a chore. Make it easy for yourself by blogging about something you are naturally passionate about - so that writing a post is as fun as talking to a friend about the same topic.

. Be patient - If you start a blog today, it won't be a "success" tomorrow. However there are loads of things you can do to help you start on the best foot such as good design, fitting social media presence, etc. I've put a few ideas on pitch&post here - but also Blogosphere Magazine here have a really good section on tips and tricks.

. Be nice to other bloggers - Sadly in this industry some bloggers like to put others down, I'm not sure why - it's usually jealousy (someone else is working on a brand they like, worries about their own traffic...). Trust me when I say being nice to everyone around you will get you further - the ugly personalities get caught out and end up being the ones who miss out. Don't fall into the trap.

. Be professional - When you get to the stage that your blog is working with companies and brands, you need to remember you're dealing with professionals and they need to be treated that way. If they're giving you something make sure you give something back as you have set out with them. Likewise, if a company is trying to get you go beyond what you have agreed with them then you need to push back - politely. Blogging is still a very young industry, so don't mistake someone trying to bend the rules for someone just not understanding how it all works.

. Be realistic - Just because you own a brand's handbag and you've posted a photo on your blog about it, doesn't mean they need to work with you. Brands don't owe you anything, if they choose to work with you then congratulations - you've earned it. There is nothing wrong with approaching a brand and showing them how you've covered their products and telling them how much you love them. Where it does fall down is when bloggers become expectant. No. Just no. 

. Be confident - You might have read my post about a troll I had commenting on my blog. It wasn't very nice, in fact it really set me back with putting photos of myself on the blog. It was only when I spoke to one of my best friends about it that I really felt better. She said "but the reason we like your blog is because it's all about you, it's genuine and you're a real person in real clothes." We did an outfit post straight afterwards, because she's totally right.

. Enjoy it - The most important thing. If you aren't, have the confidence to make bit changes to make it work for you. Take it from someone who knows; when it's enjoyable it's pretty damn awesome.

Thank you again, as always, to everyone who has ever visited my little piece of the online world. It sounds like such a vacuous comment, but it really does mean so much. 
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Tuesday

[Craving] Top of the Shops


Not sure about you, but Topshop and I have a fairly tempestuous relationship. We're good for a few months, then it starts getting a bit rocky - things don't fit me, things expose too much skin... Usual fashion problems. I'm lucky enough to live pretty close to the Oxford Circus store, but the trouble is so does half of the population of Japan and Spain on most weekends when they're over visiting the capital. It gets so busy so I often just can't face it, and until recently I didn't really trust the sizing enough to order online.


However, I got a voucher for my birthday (ages ago I know) and popped on to the site for a look at their new season collection. Last year I ordered some boots from the store, and was so impressed by the online service it gave me a new found hope. I've had some great recommendations about customer service from friends recently, so armed with their sizing info I took the plunge and went straight to their new in section.


Above are my favourite picks and I still can't work out what to spend my voucher on... Topshop has gone back to doing what it does best - creating "complimentary"versions of designer styles. Take this check coat, these miu-miu-like shoes, or this £25 studded tote which is a dead ringer to the Alexander Wang, Rocco. They've even created a much cheaper version of the Whistles stripe dress that everyone craved last year, here for £70. The pinstripe dress is also a total winner, this is a firm contender as it's perfect for work. The pool slides will no doubt be a favourite with the fash pack too as they're so incredibly cheap! 

Hopefully my little round up has helped you pick out the best of the bunch, if any of you have any of the above let me know as I still can't decided what to buy... 
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Monday

[Travel] The Andaz in Prinsengracht, Amsterdam


As mentioned, a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be taken to Amsterdam for 24 hours with SuperTrash and stayed at The Andaz. I wanted to give the hotel it's own post as it was just such a good place to stay. When our schedule was at hectic as it was all we really expected was a place to rest our heads, which is why being put up in such a lovely place really was an extreme surprise.


From beginning to end, The Andaz was brilliant. It is situated in Prinsengracht by a beautiful little canal on a typically Dutch street, very pretty from the outside considering it used to be a public library! When I first walked into the room I was a bit confused as to where the shower was (as it's behind what appears to be a mirror) but aside from that loved the quirky decor - very similar to any of the Morgans hotels if you've ever stayed there. Fully equipped with everything from shampoos to Nespresso machines (oh and soft drinks in the mini bars are included, total win) I couldn't have been more impressed.



We ate there for dinner and breakfast in the Bluespoon restaurant and both were outstanding - so much food we didn't really know what to do! Breakfast really did put the 'b' in buffet - everything available from freshly cooked hot options to fruit, muesli and meats. For anyone looking to "do" Amsterdam for the weekend, it's smack bang in the middle of a lovely area with shops and cafes very nearby. More historical location like the Anne Frank museum are a short walk away (though do book ahead as it was fully booked when we tried).


All in all, an extremely worthwhile visit - fully recommend! Amsterdam was super easy to get to with a 50 minutes flight from Heathrow to Schiphol - and as terminal 5 is such a doddle these days we were door to door in a couple of hours!

*Rooms are available at The Andaz through Mr and Mrs Smith from £237 per night here

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Sunday

[Trend] Cream Of The Coat Crop


This weather is horrible. Absolutely awful. Last night I took Lopez for a walk and we were both blown across the street! I have never seen anything like it... However, it does maintain the need for winter clothes shopping - spring doesn't feel like it is coming anytime soon. I promised myself I wouldn't buy a new coat this season, but having seen an influx of cream and white pieces around I don't know if I can hold myself back...

Elin Kling's white coat collection - a teddy fur + a classic style

I can't make my mind up on the style, and have been pinning all my favourite to my Pinterest account - but so far I'm think I want a big, comfy one (a bit like the blue Reiss one I've lived in, which unfortunately has just about had it's time now) rather than a fitted one, not sure about you but this weather does not encourage me to wear any tailored pieces... the bigger the better (especially when I've been eating out far too much).

I picked out these ones above as contenders... The Burberry one is a bit of a bargain considering it is made of cashmere, and the Zara is stunning. I love the crispness of the look - spotted quite a lot of them on the streets around Somerset House this weekend. You can also pick up a lot of bargains coat-wise at this time of year as retailers like my-wardrobe, The OutNet and Matches all still have their sales on. So.. no excuse not to, right?

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Saturday

[Feature] Sharing the Love with Marks and Spencer

I think this has been the case for everyone at the moment, but I've really struggled to spend time with the important people so far this year. With the dark evenings and dank weather, by the time work has finished the idea of gearing up for a night is the furthest thing from my mind. As my "poor shows" had gone noticed, I needed to do something nice for the girls to make up for it. So when Marks and Spencer asked if I'd like to take part in their #sharethelove campaign for Valentines Day it couldn't have come at a better time...


When I was growing up, Dad used to make us a Valentines breakfast for my sister and I before school and it was a tradition thats stuck with me.  Valentines for me isn't just about boyfriends, girlfriends etc... It's a nice chance to show those you really care about what they mean to you. Lopez has sent out his presents too - Mum is due her chocolates any second now... Last night I had the girls over for a yummy dinner and catch up all courtesy of Marks and Spencer.



Planning yesterday evening was super fun. For me Marks and Spencer's Food Hall is a happy, happy place and I'll make any excuse to go in there. I always have the voice of the woman from that advert saying "this is no ordinary *apple/cake/ice cream*, it's an Marks and Spencer's..." whilst I'm going down the aisles too.  It was hard to choose what to get, but they are running a Dine In for £20 deal with more food than you can really imagine so we went for that (click here to see the menu, it's insane). M&S supplied us with some fab home pieces to help me set the scene too, from a candelabra to cut little stationary notes (awesome for charades).


Much to the envy of the girls, I spent the evening in my new pyjamas from the collaboration with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (and much to the disappointment of the boyfriend, it didn't turn me into her) while we all devoured the enormous chocolate box, drank our way through a couple of bottles and covered ourselves in face masks. M&S have some gorgeous bits for today (or any day, no excuse needed) - above are my favourite bits from lingerie to soft furnishings. I picked out the takeaway coffee cup and the photo frame as good little bits for your other half or loved one, or for yourself I bought this set for myself in December and absolutely love it. Whatever you're doing today, I hope you have a great Valentines Day. Lots of love!

*this post was done in collaboration with Marks and Spencer, all content and product picks are my own.
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Monday

[Trend] The Sheer Idea of SS14

Last season the trends were a bit scary. They involved having toned abs and being ok with showing them to people (gulp/shudder/panic). Cropped tops were everywhere and it scared the hell out of me and my "normal girl" figure. The closest I got to it was last weekend where I wore this long sleeved cropped polo neck which I took a chance on for £3.50 in the sale at ASOS, with a pencil skirt (here) - which, if you are as timid as me I whole heartedly recommend and there is no doubting that it made me feel quite smug/cheeky for pulling it off. 


However, realistically most people (myself included) can't do cropped. Our confidence just won't cut it. So fashion has been kind and given us another option with the same skin revealing/alluding result: sheer. You can do sheer, everyone can. No need to panic, it's all about finding a style that suits you. What's great is that sheer doesn't mean what it did a few years ago when Alexander Wang (always so ahead of the times that guy) put it in his SS12 collections - it isn't bodycon tight. 


Sheer is demure this season, it's alluding (and mainly pastel colours). It isn't "breathe in and show your sexy bits" any more. Don't believe me? Ask Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartneySass and Bide, Burberry Prorsum and (again) Alexander Wang who have all gone for sedate sheerness, rather than the former idea. It's oversize, it's comfortable - it's wearable for people like us. Winning.

Burberry Prorsum SS14 / Victoria Beckham SS14

A simple way to start is with a dress like this from ASOS, reduced from £65 to just over £20. If you're after a shirt/top then try this, I fell in love with it when I saw it at their press day last year (and it's resemble to Victoria Beckham's one shouldn't go unnoticed). Or, as above the Whistles Lori tee is a very easy (and work friendly) way to get the look - and think how good that colour will look with your blue jeans... If you've got a little bit left over for the month this Malene Birger vest would be an awesome investment for anyone looking for a bit of Jennifer Aniston / Gwyneth Paltrow chic. All in all, this is a trend worth having a look at - trust me when I say you don't Rihanna's abs to rock it...
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Friday

[Outfit] Denim Dressing for Daylesford

Topshop Denim Dress (similar here) / Whistles leopard print tee (similar here) / Carven bag from Vestiaire Collective / Topshop Ankle Boots / Burberry Scarf

As I mentioned, last weekend Olivia, Briony, Lucy, myself and some friends head down to the Cotswolds for the weekend to celebrate Lucy's 21st (ahem) birthday. We stayed up late, drank too much, ate so much and (some of us) dressed up as our pop icons whilst singing hard into the kareoke machine. It was awesome. 


On our way home we stopped at Daylesford Farm as a little bit of a treat.  Just outside Kingham, this is the farm where all of the Daylesford produce is reared and produced (in case you haven't heard of the chain of delis in London, it's pretty much the place to go for coffee etc).  We gobbled down some fruit bread and flourless toast before wandering around the food and home sections of their shop. Needless to say I came home with a selection of teas, cheese and biscuits.

Topshop Denim Dress (similar here) / Whistles leopard print tee (similar here) / Carven bag from Vestiaire Collective / Topshop Ankle Boots / Burberry Scarf

As I was with bloggers, I felt uncharacteristically ok with doing a little outfit post in public and bribed Lucy to take some pictures of me.  I was wearing my trusty denim dress from Topshop (bought years ago and still going strong, similar here), my Whistles leopard print long sleeve top (a bargain in the sales), my new Carven bag (my Christmas present from Vestiaire), my Burberry scarf (had it for years, my Dad and I have the same one and he likes to embarrass me and play 'twins') - and finally my favourite-boots-ever from Topshop.

Topshop Denim Dress (similar here) / Whistles leopard print tee (similar here) / Carven bag from Vestiaire Collective / Topshop Ankle Boots / Burberry Scarf

This kind of outfit is my weekend staple; comfy casual.  I've bought the dress a long, long time ago and I always find myself wearing it following a day of eating too much than I should - hides a 1000 sins! I really recommend having one, you even have room for more cake in it!
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Wednesday

[Travel] SuperTrash AW14 with IPR & Friends


The last couple of weekends have been action packed so apologies for the delay with the blog posts. I've just come back from a trip to the countryside for Lucy's birthday with some friends, which means my usual 'Sunday blogging time' was replaced with cake, carbs and general calories. So, there has been a little delay on me blogging about an equally fun trip with Marie, Naomi and Tamara to see SuperTrash's AW14 collection in Amsterdam as part of the city's very own fashion week.

Tamara and Naomi doing what bloggers do best / The beautiful city itself

You'd be excused for not knowing of SuperTrash - but not for long. I've been wearing their things for a year or so, but as they only have one store on South Molton Street (wahey) at the moment they pass as an "insiders secret" in the UK. Over in Amsterdam it's an entirely different story. As we wondered around the city en route to visiting the flagship store I spotted at least 5 other outlets in our part of town - and we didn't have time to venture far!


After a quick change at our hotel (The Andaz, more to come on that as it was so good it deserves its own post) and a yummy dinner we were whisked off to the main event.  SuperTrash had taken over a converted factory building on the outside of the city, and to say it was impressive was an understatement. There were hundreds of people there: other bloggers, press, buyers, retailers... and we were front row which was super, super cool.


The runway collection itself was an eclectic mix of teddy fur (yesssssss), cute Chanel-like hats, essential coats and tops, with a little bit of European evening glam thrown in for good measure. I loved it even more than I expected to - mainly because you won't need loads of it (budget busting) to get the look. They hadn't deviated too much from their classic "street style cool" either, I got hold of these biker boots and this awesome cropped jumper when I was in the store, both of which look to be carrying over to next season.


After the show finished, we bloggers did what we know best and made full use of the free bar. The following morning was a wee bit of a struggle. We happily gobbled down the amazing breakfast at The Andaz and lazed about drinking the best hot chocolates all morning before heading home. We also met some new blogger friends, Chloe and Amandine who were visiting from The Netherlands and Germany respectively. It really was a lovely "warm and fuzzy bloggers are so nice" Sunday...

Chloe / Jamaique from IPR / Tamara / me (who despite this photo, was actually invited to this event and not photobombing) / Marie / Amandine

Ooh and excuse the blurry photography - being the total novice I am (3 years in) I'm yet to invest in an SLR. For no doubt better quality images of the shoot - check out Tamara, Marie and Naomi's blogs. Thank you so much SuperTrash and the (always) awesome IPR - a great weekend was had!  And in case you've never bought from ST before, here are my favourite "starter" purchases from their current season:

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