Statement Pieces for Winter – a wish list

Last year I was all about fashion that allowed me to blend in to the crowd. I was feeling vulnerable and lacking in confidence and my choice in clothes seriously reflected that. This year however, I’m feeling great! I can’t remember a time where I’ve been more happy and more content with my life, and as such my sartorial choices are reflecting that. It seems that any spare time I have is spent browsing my favourite retailers (I’m looking at you, Monki!), blogs and websites such as Lyst for style inspiration and making the most of having an afternoon at home for once I’ve put together a little wish list of stand-out pieces I’m loving.
The run up to Christmas is the perfect time to sport sequins for night and day, and whilst I might be getting ahead of myself a little bit, when you see pieces like this skirt from new discovery and firm favourite LOTD. This is the perfect example of a piece that can work daytime and a night out- just pair with a chunky black knit and flat ankle boots to tone it down or pump up the glamour with some shimmer and heels.
Another multi-tasking sequin piece that’s caught my eye is this pair of jeans from Monki. I’m a big fan of their jeans, in my eyes it what they do best, and this pair would work equally well with trainers and a slogan tee or a metallic top and some shiny court shoes for a smart-casual night out.

Knitwear is one of my favourite things to shop for in the colder months, and despite being an absolute essential it really doesn’t have to be dull. Take something like this cosy knit dress for example- a bold colour and interesting cut means you keep nice and snug whilst still standing out from the crowd. This dress is probably top of my current Monki wish list, if I don’t manage to get my mitts on it before Christmas then I’ll be keeping everything crossed that shopping karma strikes and it goes in to the sale.

Vinyl is big news this season and whilst being a trend that I’m still a little bit scared of, incorporating it in to outerwear makes it seem a little less bondage and a lot more workable. I’ve never really been one to covet a puffer jacket before, let alone anything so shiny, but somehow Topshop have won me over with this number- another I’m hoping might find it’s way in to the January sales.

Is there anything more satisfying than bundling up in a scarf? Much like knitwear, your winter warmth essentials don’t have to be boring- take on the faux fur trend the subtle way with this patchwork faux fur scarf (also from Topshop) and tick off the trend for all things fluffy whilst keeping seriously snug!

it wouldn’t be a wish list from me without a pair of boots now would it? These New Look glitter slouch boots made it in to all of the glossy magazines, and with good reason. Want to jazz up your jeans? Look no further than these designer dupes. A steal at £34.99 they’d also be the perfect party shoes on a frosty winter night.

Are there any statement pieces or trends you’re seriously taken with right now? I’d love to see which highstreet pieces have made it on to your wish list- leave links in the comments below.

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Swan Song

It’s big knit weather! I don’t know how we’ve suddenly zoomed to the middle of November, but here we are in all it’s cold and frosty glory. Now I’m properly back at work I’ve been able to indulge in a little bit of shopping and warm and cosy knits have been top of my list. Of course, Monki was my first port of call and I picked up an absolute gem.

Jumper: Monki (here) | Skirt: Pull and Bear (similar here) | Boots: Miista

I love a good print and this Swan jumper pretty much jumped off the hanger and in to my arms. It was quite the bargain at £25 and is the perfect balance of slouchy and warm. I love the look of a big knit teamed with a pleated midi skirt so pairing the jumper with my old faithful Pull and Bear number was instinctive. Finished off with my default black opaques and my bargain Miista boots which are now several years old and still a favourite this is exactly the kind of outfit I’m living in when not at work.

I’ve been saving hard and I’m hoping for another shopping trip in a few weeks time with my partner in crime, Mum. We’ve gone from seeing each other pretty much all day, every day to being like ships that pass in the night. Life has got so un-believably busy compared to this time last year, it’s still a bit like “pinch me” every time I take the time to sit back and reflect- from being signed off work, under threat of hospitalisation for anorexia and being utterly miserable to working in a new and exciting role, getting my health back and absolutely loving life. I never imagined I would be where I am right now and I wouldn’t change it for the world (except for factoring in Mum time). I certainly never dreamed I’d be in a loving and supportive relationship, or joint owner of a little kitten- a post to come on that one!

Where are you loving for knitwear right now? In a fit of madness I got rid of a lot of jumpers last year so I’m on a mission to have a major wardrobe upgrade.

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Wolford at UK Lingerie

When I think of the brand Wolford my mind instantly wanders to tights- after all, that’s what the brand are most renowned for and until I was given the opportunity to work with UK Lingerie on a post I had no idea that they made anything else.

Turns out it’s not all about the tights after all, Wolford also make a range of shape-wear, bodies, layering essentials and lingerie. I was given the chance to try out a couple of pieces from the range and I was curious if they could do underwear even half as well as they do hosiery.

I find bras really hard to shop for, during the times I’ve been unwell my chest has been non-existant and I’ve lived in lace triangle bras and crop tops. Now I’ve developed some curves again and it’s novel- I have no idea where to begin with shopping for comfortable bras and my underwear selection is incredibly limited. Could the £90 Wolford sheer touch push up bra* be the answer to my problems? In a word, yes!

I had to hazard a guess as to my size but thankfully got it spot on. I was still dubious about whether I’d find a “real” bra comfortable, or if any bra is worth almost £100. Well, I’ve been enlightened! This is the best fitting bra I have ever owned and it makes my [still lacking] boobs look amazing. It forms a smooth and sleek line under clothing and is supportive without being constrictive. The pads in this bra are removable- but for me they are staying! It also comes with a selection of strap options which certainly makes this bra earn it’s price tag. It’s a great all rounder and I’m hoping that if I come across a white and nude version I’m in the position to buy them both.

The second item I picked out was the Wolford Pure Pullover* which costs £80. This is a seam free, long sleeved top that fits like a dream. Pinafore dresses are a work wear staple for me and I struggle to find streamlined tops to go under them- this one is the perfect length and so unbelievably soft. It’s pricey, more than I could afford to spend on a top if I’m honest but it feels so luxurious and warm when worn- it also washes well, and should I ever be in a position where I have a much higher clothing budget I’d certainly be looking to Wolford for my layering staples.

I also thought it worth a mention- with Party Season around the corner, that the UK Lingerie blog have put together a handy Spanx shape-wear guide to help you get your killer dress looking the best it possibly can. One of the biggest reasons I don’t buy body-con dresses is that it’s so hard to get a smooth finish and I hate spending a night conscious of lumps and bumps. Definitely worth a read if you struggle with the same issues.

What are some of your favourite brands for Lingerie? And where would you recommend to get a proper fitting done?

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Follow the River

One of my favourite things about blogging is getting to champion small and independent companies, helping to spread the word and watch them flourish. I was recently contacted by Follow The River, a clothing company based in Shropshire which started in 2015. Their range of Men’s and Women’s apparel is 100% organic and printed using water based inks. Everything is made in factories that use renewable energy and fair trade labour- I love a brand who care about where their products come from and how they are made, especially when their products are genuinely gorgeous and excellent quality as well.

Hoodie c/o Follow The River | Jeans: Monki | Wellies: ASOS

This is such a great hoodie! The fit is impeccable, I went a size up for a looser fit but it hangs like a dream and looks sleeky rather than bulky as some hoodies are prone to doing. It’s so soft as well, always a bonus! It costs £40 which is comparable to many a high street retailer, the difference here being that you can be assured that your new cosy sweat is as organic and fairtrade as humanely possible.

It’s not just hoodies you’ll find on Follow The River either- there’s t-shirts, vests and jumpers for both men and women all made to the same high standard and with quirky designs that make for the perfect gift for anyone who likes to be comfortable and ethically conscious.

I couldn’t resist photographing this jumper with my glittery (and LED soled) ASOS wellies which I bought for my trip to Scotland, a complete gimmick I know, but they make me so happy!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve discovered any small brands that deserve some love, I highly recommend Follow The River for quality, value and ethics. The packaging also deserves a mention, there’s no plastic here, nope, you can expect your purchase in classy brown paper packaging that adds to the overall experience.

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Gift Guides: The personal touch with Martha Jackson jewellery

I love to give gifts with a personal touch, especially when there are custom options available. My best friend has an unusual first name and I remember when we first knew each other it was near impossible to get anything with her name on off the shelf so it’s always a pleasure to get her something personalised, and the novelty never seems to wear off for her.

I was recently given the opportunity to create a custom necklace from Martha Jackson, a new to me website which sells a whole host of engraved gifts for him and for her. I knew straight away that I wanted to make something for my best friend and after careful consideration I picked out the vintage heart locket.

Necklace c/o Martha Jackson

As you can see from the photos the attention to detail on this locket is just stunning. The engraving sits neatly on the back of the locket and is some of the clearest jewellery engraving I’ve seen.When creating your jewellery there are several further customisation options available- from a choice of fonts through to the length of the chain and whether you want to add an additional charm, or gold or silver letter. You can also include a free gift message with your item.

The service from Martha Jackson was incredibly swift, they offer a standard delivery time of 2-4 days and my necklace arrived within 48 hours of placing the order. Standard delivery is free on all orders but there are express and nominated day options available for an additional cost as well as international shipping.

The locket came packaged in a neat, branded white box ready for gifting and was safe and securely packaged.

The vintage heart locket costs £37, although if you want a longer chain or additional charms/letters then this does increase. For the quality and craftsmanship involved in the item I think this represents really good value, and my best friend, who’s name by now you’ve probably gathered is Trudi is absolutely delighted with her new necklace.

I’ll definitely be returning to Martha Jackson in the run up to Christmas both for creating gifts for my nearest and dearest as well as compiling my own wish list. I’ve got my eye on a rather stunning spinning ring and shall be dropping some serious hints as the big day nears.

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