[Craving] ASOS Floral Coat

Rachel Wang, Nylon Magazine photo via Street Peeper / Caroline Flack

I'm most probably extremely behind the times here but I've fallen in love with an ASOS floral jacket that I feel has been following me for the last few months.  The fact it is now 50% means it is chasing me even faster now... First my friend at got it, and I knew it was good then.  Then Caroline Flack wore it out (which left me unsure, I don't always love her style)... But then one of my fashion heroines Rachel Wang from Nylon was spotted in it (above).  That sealed the deal for me... So I bought it.  It's quite lightweight and perfect for this sh1t grey weather... And for £40, you can't go wrong... Buy it here.

unknown source / photo via Crazy Style Love


[Essential] Denim Cut Off Shorts

It's been ages since I did an Essential post, so here you go: In case I didn't post about it enough (note the sarcasm), I went on holiday recently to Marrakech.  Its only when you are actually packing (the night before) for a trip that you realise the pieces you are missing - and for me this gap is actually something I feel I should I bought about 5 years ago. A total staple, the denim cut off shorts are the kind of thing every girl needs to be able to wear in the summer.  They suit everyone - just like denim does - its just about finding a pair that best fits you.

Possibly the easiest things in the world to wear, mainly because they match up with your other basics alongside the trend pieces that inevitably pop up for summer.  I've been trying to hunt down a pair on Vestiaire Collective (day job) as I think a vintage pair are better - for me the whole point in these is that they look a little worn... Here are some other tips I picked up:

Pocket positions - simple but easily forgotten. The back and front pocket placements can actually make the difference between feeling fat and thin in a pair of trousers or shorts.  Basically, front pockets should always be diagonal otherwise they 'line up' your thighs and look odd.  Ideally they should cross over from the centre of your leg to your groin (apparently).  On the back pockets should always start below your widest/pertest part (ooh-er) otherwise they make you look bigger than you are.

How low can you go? -  Basically the lower you can handle having the waistline the more flattering they are as they elongate your tummy and sit at the least fatty part of most women.  Even if it means going a size up (which most people do) to get the 'hang' right, it's absolutely worth it.

Stick to the same brands - If you can't get in one brands jeans, the shorts won't be right either.  The fit remains the same on the hip and waist measurements.

Leg length -  Not all of us have the legs for those teeny, weeny shorts.  According to my stylist friend, the best fitting jean shorts sit 2 inches below the widest part of your leg.  For that reason its often better for you to buy a pair of jeans in a thrift store or charity shop and amend the length yourself.

They are perfect for every occasion, from pairing up with your Hunters for a festival to mixing them with a silk cami vest top for a sunset-type evening night out.  I also love them paired up with bright green and reds - silk shirts are the easiest way to add a block of colour.  New brand love Splendid is great - have a look at theirs here. Total winner.  I am yet to find the perfect pair, I'm going to go and try 100s of pairs on over the weekend at Urban Outfitters (who have hundreds).  Here are some others I have found on my search:

Joes Jeans - Fairly new to the UK market, Joes are fab. What you can't get from the pictures if how soft the denim is. These jeans are lush.
Paige at Matches - their Jimmy Jimmy shorts are AMAZING. I've only just discovered these jeans properly and will never look back. The JJs are just long enough to cover the widest part of your leg, so very flattering.
J Brand at Net A Porter - J Brand have a different woman in mind to other denim brands. A skinnier one. Saying that, their slouchy boy shorts are an exception to the rule. Perfect for anyone looking for quality jeans aren't too short.
Gap - An old faithful, Gap's denim took a bit of a dip but is back with a vengeance. Love their boyfriend style shorts.

For image credits and more denim short images have a look at my Pinterest account here.


[Outfit] Marrakech Weekend Part 3

The final post from my trip to Marrakech, I promise!  Conscious I'm dragging this one out - but it was such a good weekend with two of my best friends and more to the point it was lovely to have the chance to wear clothes I'd bought in the mere hope of some summer in the UK. Excuse the picture quality, my friend Georgie snapped them on my phone quickly before we went out.

APC @ Liberty, £80 / Shorts Zara, old

Just before I went away I popped into Liberty after a meeting and couldn't resist this APC long sleeved tee.  It's one of those pieces thats just uber easy to wear and more the point, with the sleeves it means you might actually be able to wear it at home here in gloomy old Britain!  On the same tangent, the shorts were a Zara purchase about a year ago - that I hadn't had the chance to wear yet.  I love them as they're a nice twist on the denim shorts everyone is wearing at the moment... I was so sad to leave the weather behind, please say this weekend has some more sunshine... Happy bank holiday weekend everyone!


[Trend] In The Mid-st

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my new pencil skirt obsession - I'm yet to buy one, but I have actually found the one I want at the Marks and Spencer press day, cannot wait for it to come out. In the meantime, I have a new crush to keep me going - midi skirts.  One of my favourite bloggers Blair (mildly obsessed with her and her breton/utility jacket combos) wears them all the time, and much like the pencil skirt I'd assumed my bum-and-height combo would make this impossible. However, after posts from friends like Monica this week, I've decided I'm giving it a go.

Blair Eadie's ASOS midi skirt (now £28!!) + chartreuse version

I guess the same rules apply to wearing midis as pencils - i.e.: the shorter you are, the higher the heel you wear with them needs to be.  A friend told me a midi skirt should be 3cm below your knee - so it's worth getting a tailor (or a good seamstress, mums are fab for this) to sort it for you.  
I've picked out a couple that are already fairly popular, the Topshop white neoprene one is everywhere at the moment, and I just spied this yellow and white floral print one - both £48.  I think I prefer ones with prints (unless white, as it ticks so many boxes at the moment and goes so well with denim shirts etc) as they make a bit more a statement. For the 'tougher' of you, Whistles' new leather Katia skirt is absolutely perfect... oooh and don't miss out on often forgotten brands like French Connection, Ted Baker (how much does this skirt remind you of Prada SS12?!) and Coast's efforts on this trend. Decent to say the least... 


[Outfit] Marrakech Weekend Part 2

Continuing the holiday wear theme, here's something else I wore over my Marrakech trip (which although was only a week ago it feels like an eternity after a busy few days).  I took these at our hotel (the Pullman just outside Marrakech) just before we headed into town again - and was joined by a cat we named Shisha, in case you were interested...

The shorts are from the Gap outlet I visited with Dearne when we went to the McArthurGlen centre in Ashford - a bargain £10 and a hell of a lot cheaper than the Tory Burch ones I'd been pining for... The vest is from And Other Stories (sorry, know I'm talking about them a lot but they are that good).

The shoes are my trust Charles Philip, and I absolutely love them. Its so nice to see a little brand do well - I spotted these guys about 18 months ago and they seem to be flying off the virtual shelves at Net A Porter now (shop their collection here).  They are more pricey than the average loafer, but trust me when I say they are worth it for durability and comfort, 100%.

Last but not least, my bag.  Just before I left the lovely Hemmingford Grey got in touch and asked if I could take a look at their launch collection.  Set up by the lady behind figleaves (genius underwear website, which started when buying bras was a nightmare for anyone who wasn't a B or a C) she spent 2 years tracking down the best leather and styles to create simple yet luxurious bags for us busy girls.  I picked out this Arundel shopper which served me extremely well as a beach/pool bag and is a dead ringer for my favourite Celine tote. A total winner.... Check out the whole site here.


[Craving] ASOS' Chloe Style One Shoulder Dress

I have several reasons you should always go to Chloe for ideas, the first being that it's essentially run by a Brit (Clare Waight Keller), secondly they call their entire concept 'sister style' and lastly their carefree, easy wear fashion is exactly what 2013 is all about. Other designers like Isabel Marant, Balenciaga and Christopher Kane get far more press and the high street pieces that pop up due to them appear way more in magazines and e-sites alike.  

But actually it's Chloe who came up with the majority of themes for this season: dungarees, chunky heels, metallic heels, white, dropped waist skirts, lace... I could go on for a long time so it's probably easier for you to just view their runway collection on ELLE here...

Chloe SS13 one shoulder dress £TBC / ASOS one shoulder peach dress, £40

Every magazine I open at the moment seems to have the same double page Chloe advert in it, heavily featuring this dress (above). I can't even find it online yet, I've been frantically looking on Browns, Harrods, Net A Porter... so I don't have the joyous task of knowing how far off I am financially from owning it (but did find this AMAZING one in the process). However, I found an absolute gem at the weekend from ASOS. 40 quid. Done. I'm sure it's not identical but it's close enough for me - Happy. 


[Outfit] Marrakech Weekend Part 1

Last weekend myself and two of my favourite people went off to Marrakech for a couple of days (if you follow me on Instagram you'll already know this and it will feel like old news, sorry). Cannot recommend it enough, we got on a very early flight but were by the pool at 1030am (there is no time difference from the UK) and it was at least 35 degrees the whole time. On the first night we stayed in and enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle of London and drank our way through a rather larger bottle of vodka and ate in the hotel, but on the second night we headed into the Old Town - which is incredible.

I'd been before and tried to explain to the girls what to expect, which is virtually impossible.  The main square is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen - we drank their infamous mint tea and watched the sun go down over the busiest market in the world, watched the calling to the Mosques and then ate more couscous that I thought possible. Luckily, I did it wearing this dress which hides a thousands sins...

If you've not been, then expect a slap of culture to the cheeks. First up you have the snake charmers, the dentists on the streets (who will knock your tooth out and then allow you to choose from their selection of teeth - laid out on the floor - which one you want to have knocked in to replace it), the monkeys (they steal stuff, FYI) the fresh orange juice for 4p... In a word: amazing. So much so I seem to have forgotten to write anything about my outfit here. 

The dress is from H&M's new baby And Other Stories. I've bought tonnes of things from there since it's opened and absolutely love it.  Basic concept clothing with a twist - totally up my street. The shoes were a gift from the lovely team at LK Bennett following their event a few weeks ago. I have worn these to death - so comfortable and 100% recommend. They come in hot pink and I'm trying to resist temptation and not buy them... Won't last long.


[Trend] Topshop Takes On Kenzo's Spots

Kenzo SS13

I may be about 4 seasons late, but I'm all about Kenzo at the moment.  I've just bought a tiger tee in cobalt blue from work and literally cannot wait for it to arrive. My friend in the office has this green and pink floral sweater and I've been pining after the matching trousers which are (but given as though we already have about 100 things in common I think dressing in such a bold print might be a bit much, no?). I've been keeping an eye out for pieces in the blue/yellow print as they pass by my desk, but so far the only thing is this jacket which is a little too big.

Kenzo SS13

But (as I blog from the airport gate, we are delayed by 2 hours - FUN) I just stumbled upon this option from Topshop. Delighted - so similar to the vest in the top picture.  Camis seem to be making a bit of a come back (anyone else try this in the 90s, or am I a geriatric blogger?) - they cause bra nightmares (obviously has to be strapless, and all these low-back styles mean anyone with a bust needs to don reinforcement rather than underwear) but when you find one that works it looks awesome.  Possibly the easiest thing in the world to wear - put on some jeans and heels (craving these ones at the moment, Sam Edelman how you slay me) and you're all set. For £25, it's a bargain.

I'm on the fence about how similar the high street should be allowed to be to the runway collections - having read Grace Coddington's book over my holiday I kind of feel that the entire concept of designer fashion has changed... Essentially, fashion weeks now act as 'trend alerts' for the high street to duplicate - fashion has to be fast and accesible and the only way to do that is through the main stream stores... It's a tricky one, and I don't like it when you get blatant rip offs - but something with 'a gentle nod' to a runway piece should be considered a compliment, right?


[Feature] Vestiaire Collective's First Birthday

This week we at work celebrated the UK site's first birthday, and as part of it I thought I'd write a little post about Vestiaire Collective in case you didn't already know... We're a luxury reseller. So what that means is that you can buy pre-owned designer fashion at up to 70% off.  Simples. I first heard about it from Briony and Dearne over lunch 2 years ago, and have been hooked ever since.

My first purchase was a pair of Isabel Marant leopard print shoes that I bought for about £75, and my friend Rosie ended up wearing them as part of a shoot we worked on together... They looked brand spanking new, same with the box and dust bag... It was actually the first time I'd bought anything that could fall into the 'vintage' bracket (even though in truth, very little of Vestiaire Collective is what I would call vintage... most stuff is current season, or up to 2 seasons old).

the Vestiaire Collective team (Isabelle, moi, Sarah, Freddie, Charlie and Frauke) - minus our boys Henry and Lopez

The love continued with a couple of Kenzo t shirts, a pair of J Brand jeans and an iPad case, and then at the beginning of the year I took the obsession one notch further and joined the team!  I've been selling on the site too, and genuinely cannot emphasise enough how stress-free it is in comparison to 'other' sites.  Your item is even picked up from you when it sells, rather than those horrid post office queues. In fact the pair of Tory Burch Revas I picked out in the edit, are mine. Cheeky I know but hey... I thought I'd try and showcase the kind of things you can get on the site... Like my stuff. Ha.

It's being a bit of an online institution for people, last night at our party we had lots of people telling us about how they check on it every day and have tonnes of alerts set up for when their dream piece comes in.  It's great fun seeing how quick things go... Celine bags sell within 10 minutes, Kenzo tiger jumpers go in a day and the amount of Isabel Marant sneakers on the site never fails to amaze me... Any way, I wish you all an amazing (SUNNY) bank holiday - 3 day weekend, bring it!


[Outfit] New Floral Obsession

This week has been an absolutely manic one, as we prepare for Vestiaire's first birthday party tonight at Cafe Royal on London's Regent Street.  We've all been very busy putting together the final touches, and tonight you can follow all the fun on Twitter with the hashtag #VCbirthday. What with all the preparations the blog has been a little left behind, so it was only when Frauke offered to take some quick piccies of me outside the office when we were on the coffee run that I had time to even think about doing a post...

I was very kindly given this jacket from SuperTrash a few months ago. I'd been saving it for a wedding (with a cream shift dress, good no?) I'm going to but I decided not to spare it any longer.  We all know how much I love a floral jacket, I've only just peeled myself out of my last one (here). IPR took me to the store, and beforehand I'd been a little dubious. However, I'm now a total convert (not just because the store is on South Molton Street, honest) - they have amazing little pieces like this jacket and a few other things like leather trousers, simple tees and denim. But for me it was the jackets that stole the show, I also picked up this little boucle one that I've been wearing non stop (as my Instagram will show you).

Other bits in the outfit are my easy-wear basics that at busy times like this I am living in.  My new silk shirt from Iris and Ink at The OutNet is an absolute favourite.  You unfortunately can't see from these pictures but it flicks out at the end and is really flattering. For less than £100 (feel it to believe it), I think its a steal... I've posted about the jeans before, they're the Wranglers with the Aloe Vera in. In truth, I've been living in some Hudsons my boyfriend gave me and some skinny Paiges - but my friend at work walked in wearing her Wranglers and it reminded me how much I love them. Softest. Denim. Ever. Perfect comfort clothing, and the fit is good too. 

 The boots were my Christmas present from the lovely Whistles team... I've worn them about 3 times a week since.  Unfortunately they aren't available now, but their new shoe collection is AMAZING and I'm obsessed with their Slammer sandals that I bought a few weeks ago... Check out the whole collection here.
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