[Outfit] The best of Marks and Spencer's AW13

It's autumn time, meaning it's my annual clear out. Working at Vestiaire makes you clinical about what you keep and what you pass on. I've become somewhat of an expert, if you don't mind me saying so.  Each season I aim to refine and update what I already own.  Gradually, I'm seeding out the nylon and the man made fabrics and replacing them with quality stuff. Two things I've wanted for a long time (and not to be scrimped on) are a good camel coat, and a pair of leather trousers.

Both items have Pinterest boards on my account entirely dedicated to them (here and here), and I was anticipating eventually spending a lot of money on the right ones.  Helmut Lang, Acne, Carven... but... Marks and Spencer came along. Yup, M&S. The place your gran gets her tights from (and you do too, admit it).  It's not only the place to buy a pink coat this season, the general AW13 collection is damn good (check out the look book here). So, without much persuasion I got hold of both pieces for under £200.

This meant by my current shopping logic (earn back what you spend) I needed to part with £200 worth of clothing. So, I sold an old pair of Isabel Marant heels and a Stella McCartney dress on Vestiaire, put my high street stuff onto eBay and donated the bits that didn't sell (or quite make the grade) to Marks' Shwop scheme - they pass them on to Oxfam and you get a £5 voucher as a thank you. So basically, my two new investment pieces didn't cost me a thing. Result.

The leather trousers are genius, soft leather (and I mean soft) on one side and jersey on the other. I was worried I wasn't quite the right shape (read: too large) for them but I surprisingly feel really comfortable in them... So all in all, I've sorted out my wardrobe, made a couple of quid, donated to charity and got two new amazing investment bits.  Hows that for a job well done?!

Off to Grenada today for my friend Steph's 30th - lovely excuse for some sunshine. Have a great weekend peeps! 



[Craving] White Collar Club at ASOS

A few weeks ago I did a little post on Victoria Beckham's AW13 collection, and have been obsessed with finding a dress in my price range that pays strong homage to her white collars.  The theme has been around for a while (Valentino, Carven, Saint Laurent and Jason Wu all gave the look a go this season too), but mixed with her sharp tailoring the look has been given a new lease of life.

I spotted this dress on my phone at the weekend and it's instantly gone on the wish list. ASOS as usual have created something really special for under £50. In fact with the £8 remaining you can go and a coffee and a muffin to say well done to yourself for choosing something good. I love the shape, the neck - everything. It's perfect for the office without being either too stuffy or too fashion. Do it.


[Outfit] My very own Jaeger Bomb

Jaeger Bomber Jacket, £50 (similar here) / Uniqlo T Shirt, £8 / Paige Zoe Jean, £200 / Whistles Pernelle heels, £60

My boyfriend told me I wasn't allowed to call this post anything to do with a pun on 'Jaeger bomb,' but as usual my stubbornness took over!  Well, if you buy a bomber jacket from a company called Jaeger then quite frankly, it's asking for a bit of wit.  I bought it spontaneously last month and finally - with this weird its-not-that-cold-but-youll-freeze-without-a-coat weather in full swing - it's been perfect time to start wearing it.

Jaeger Bomber Jacket, £50 (similar here) / Uniqlo T Shirt, £8 / Paige Zoe Jean, £200 / Whistles Pernelle heels, £60

Because I am using a poor camera (sorry), you can't really see the fabric but it's effectively lacquered twill. It's very unusual, and hasn't gone unnoticed every time I've worn it. Better still, it was reduced from £250 to £49. I'm really loving Jaeger at the moment, and craving this dress so badly it almost hurts (and it's now in the sale, just to make matters even worse).

 Jaeger Bomber Jacket, £50 (similar here) / Uniqlo T Shirt, £8 / Paige Zoe Jean, £200 / Whistles Pernelle heels, £60

The jeans are now old favourites. Before my blog, I bought jeans in whatever store I felt brave enough to try them on in.  Namely Gap and other 'generously' sized shops.  When IPR introduced me to Paige I was dubious, just how good can a pair of £200 jeans really be? The answer is, awesome. For a start, they fit. And by fit I don't mean I fit in them, I mean they fit me. They don't lose their shape, they're soft as silk. I'm one million percent converted, and firmly recommend you get a pair. Click here to see their range at Matches, mine are the Zoes.


[Trend] THAT Malene Birger coat

A few months ago I did a piece on the (at the time) upcoming trend for pink coats. I'd like to give myself (if I may) a pat on the back, as if one outerwear trend was to reign supreme it would be this one. In particular, the Zara one, the M&S one (sold out in an hour online) and the (more pricey but more beautiful) Malene Birger one.  Bloggers Ivana and Camille both donned theirs at London Fashion Week, and unsurprisingly they were snapped like there is no tomorrow whilst going show to show...

pictures via Pinterest and Michelle Bobb Parris (wearing the Malene Birger pink coat)

My lust for the trend started with the Carven one; when it walked itself down the runway I dribbled like a teething baby (extremely attractive for all around me at the time). Having had more of a look around, here are some other options to get the look:

I tried to pick ones that have been less promoted in the press, as you stand more of a chance of buying them - they seem to be flying off the shelves.  Pink wasn't a colour I ever saw myself loving but it looks amazing with blue denim (which I live in) and whites and creams. Plus, there is nothing more snuggly than a big, warm coat for winter.

[Outfit] Whistles SS14 Show and some Camo

So we're into LFW now and tomorrow (Saturday) is a busy one with quite a few shows in all sorts of locations. The most interesting one for me is the Whistles show, especially with their extremely corporate and slick location choice in the East End. Their first show last season was incredible, and the camo pieces are the most popular print of the season, so I expect this to be an equally jaw dropping collection. You can watch the show live here

Last week I got hold of the camo trouser and I've been wearing them solid ever since.  For the shows tomorrow I have decided to pair them with a denim shirt, Acne velvet blazer and my trusty Jimmy Choos.  I apologise for the photos but I had to do this on a really basic camera and the weather was awful - dark, rainy, gahhh. Hopefully it isn't like this tomorrow! You might also notice my hair is quite a bit shorter, I went to my trusty Sassoon Salons a couple of weeks ago and got the snip!  I've been going to them for a year now and my hair has transformed - strong, shiny and the perfect colour.  Fully recommend.

Whistles Camo Trousers, £175 / Acne Velvet Blazer, similar here / Jimmy Choo Agnes Heels / Topshop Denim Shirt, £28

Remember to watch the show live here and as a special little extra Whistles are giving all customers an extra gift when they make a purchase tomorrow (Saturday 14th of September).

[Featured] Pinterest for London Fashion Week

Long term followers of the blog will remember when the Pinterest obsession started, because my posting went down by 90%.  Suddenly all procrastination/spare time went on frantically gathering and collecting up images of waif looking women in boyfriend jeans and white tees.  It never really stopped, instead developing into a full blown crush on the image platform. I started one board called Street Style Spots during London Fashion Week last year, and thankfully it seems to have paid off.

Pinterest have asked me (and some of my other favourite girls like Rosie, Naomi, Charlotte and Wendy) to spot all my favourite street style images during London Fashion Week and put them on their dedicated Fashion Week stream, so chuffed to have been asked.  So without further ado, I will start pinning as rather excitingly LFW starts today! As you read this I am on a train back from Paris, no doubt pinning away as I go. Keep track on my finds by following me here!



[Trend] Camo Chameleon

One look that I was super hesitant about this season was the camouflage print, or 'desert rat trend' as my Dad called it whilst on holiday.  I kind of get what he means; the look is clunky, oversize and everything I am trying to avoid.  But then along came AW13's take on the idea and my view changed forever. Here are a few pins of mine from looks I have loved.

As you can see, I'm definitely leaning towards the jackets but thats the one thing I really do not need at the moment. So I had a hunt around for more wearable pieces that I could see myself actually being able to justify buying. Here is my edit.

I was desperately seeking a tee like the one in the picture above, the nearest one I found was this Rag and Bone one at The Outnet. Not quite as green though, so if anyone tracks it down please let me know.

I love the Whistles print, especially on the skirt - a total dead ringing shape to the Carven map skirt I was obsessed with last year and just tracked down on Vestiaire, yay (and so much cheaper than the Christopher Kane one here it must have been based on). Overall, I think it's a trend worth spending money on. Leopard print has stuck around for ages and camo is no doubt the replacement... Do it.



[Competition] Win a trip to London Fashion Week with Whistles

It’s the only thing that gets me through the fact that summer seems to be ending; this week is London Fashion Week.  Cue 5 days of absolute chaos around the Somerset House area, with women looking oddly overdressed at about 10am walking down The Strand.

This is my fourth time ‘doing’ fashion week, and I’ve finally worked out a bit of a routine. For me, the highlight shows are always on Tuesdays and Saturdays and now most excitingly Whistles have a runway show to debut their SS14 collection in the middle of the Saturday.  It’s no secret how excited I am about this, and the lovely team are giving two people the chance to win the ultimate fash-weekend here in London town:

The prize includes two tickets to their Saturday show, £300 to spend in their flagship Dover Street store in Mayfair, a Bumble and Bumble blow dry to get you ready for the day at Radio Hair Salon, plus a goody bag of their products. Oh, and they’ll put you up for the night in the Town Hall Hotel.  Not bad eh? (all the details are HERE).

To enter you’ll need to get thinking (and quickly, it ends tomorrow); Whistles want you to Instagram your ultimate ‘fashion week essential.’ If you were there (or, if you’re already going) what one thing would you absolutely need to get by? It could be a pair of flats hidden away in your bag, a killer lipstick or a statement necklace… Take a snap and post on Instagram tagging in @thisiswhistles and using the hashtag #whistlesSS14… I’ll be there so let me know if you win!

all photos via Whistles' Pinterest

I’m spending tonight preparing myself for the weekend as I’m going to Paris from Wednesday to Friday to celebrate work’s new investment led by Conde Nast (extremely exciting). Whistles heavily features, as always – but then it would, their AW13 stuff is so easy to wear and well shaped, its impossible not to look the fash-part in them! 


[Craving] Hobbs Maida Vale Dress

Ever so often you see something in store that you know you're just going to have to find a way to buy.  For me, this season it's the Hobbs' Maida Vale dress.  So many reasons but to name a couple; it looks so much like the Valentino dress everyone from Victoria Beckham to Mrs Mark Zuckerberg wore last year that I lusted over, and it's called the Maida Vale dress (the part of town I lived in for 3 years and spent a huge amount of fond time with Dearne who has now gone home to Australia).

 Valentino's SS12 dress / Hobbs Maida Vale Dress, £299

Hobbs have knocked it out of the park for AW13, I stopped by their Kings Road store at the weekend and couldn't quite believe my eyes.  Either I am getting older, or they are getting younger.  Regardless I could happily live in only their collection this season.  I quite literally cannot get over how much I love this dress... Just need to find an occasion to need to wear it now...

NB - If you are in the London area and fancy winning this dress and £3,000 to spend on their new collection, Hobbs Covent Garden opens tomorrow. Here are directions - and there is champagne too, good way to start the weekend!


[Trend] Victoria Beckham's AW13 Collection

Victoria Beckham AW13

Victoria Beckham AW13

I'm not sure about you, but when Victoria Beckham announced a move into fashion I was distinctly dubious.  If anyone else can remember the days of blonde spiky hair, latex pencil skirts and neon/fluoro camisoles then I hope you'll agree. Her first venture into denim didn't exactly excel (with that lovely embossed crown on the bum) despite the fact they apparently fitted incredibly well.  So her debut fashion collection back in 2008 walked the runway surrounded by sceptical industry peeps... Who weeks later were found pouring themselves into the very same pieces!

Victoria's collection embrace all things curve, something you'd never have thought from someone of her shape.  She (and it really is her, her head office is at the end of my road and her team praise her in the pub at the weekend) understand what bits a woman wants to hide and which bits she wants to flaunt.  She gets colour, texture and fit to a level you'd assume she'd been professionally schooled.  Her new AW14 collection is by no means an exception - Mrs B has stepped it up a notch with the addition of some sleek tailoring without losing her trademark silhouette.

It's rare that I really go to lengths on one brand, but I was out shopping for a shoot with a colleague this week and couldn't get over how good her stuff was - expensive but hunt around and quite a few boutiques (and The Outnet here) are selling pieces marked down. I've popped my favourite pieces in the above edit and included a few other bits from elsewhere on the high street I think emulate her collection.

Firstly the Topshop waistcoat, I'm definitely buying this. I've seen it up close and it's long enough for you to wear as a dress so if you find a sleeveless shirt you can totally get the look of the VB one. The Reiss dress gets it too with the texture mix up and the close-to-body fit. The camel hues and sleek two tone style of this new season Whistles clutch has definitely captured the idea, and as spotted by Alex this Zara tote is the perfect example of how easy it is to get the designer's look on the high street. On the subject of simplicity, silk camis will always make me think of Mrs B and Equipment's new venture into tanks has created a beautiful one for £110 over at Net A Porter.

Topshop has delivered well too, with this top and this gorgeous Fedora which 50% of the models donned in her soiree presentation open only to fashion royalty. The Sea NY top from my-wardrobe is absolutely beautiful and perfectly captures Beckham's tartan and textbook white collars.  For £270 it's an absolute bargain. 

Finally, this Zara tee definitely sought inspiration from VB with it's blue fur front and oversize structure - so close you'd think they'd been hiding out in the Beckham showroom. Naughty, naughty.
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