Athleisure: putting comfort first with Daniel Footwear*

Have you dreamt of a time when comfort would be fashionable? For years we’ve longed for a trend that puts comfort first— and it seems that time has now come!
Dig out favourite trainers because we can now step out in sports shoes, leggings, loose-fitting tees and even jogging bottoms all in the name of Athleisure – officially our favourite EVER trend.

It’s not quite as simple as rolling out of bed and throwing on some mucky trackies and suddenly looking like a catwalk model though. Whilst the basics of this look are comfort classics you’ll need to style it right to create a perfectly polished look. Here we explain the basics of Athleisure to take your look from slob to sleek.

Your comfort essentials:

Make sure these pieces are in your wardrobe:

Trainers: forget heels, this trend all about a great pair of trainers.

Leggings or joggers: we’re not talking any old gymwear here- invest in a pair of branded leggings or jogging bottoms that are tapered and cuffed for a close fit.

Sports tops: cropped tops and hoodies are perfect when paired with a pair of leggings or jogging bottoms and bomber jacket. If you’re not quite ready to show off your tum opt for a loose-fitting sports jersey with mesh detailing.

A bomber jacket: HUGE in 2016 and set to be even bigger this year the loose-fitting bulky shape of a bomber is a must for creating this look. For a feminine look choose fresh pastel shades.

These comfortable essentials can be combined together for the ultimate sports-luxe combo or worked into other outfits. Why not wear your trainers with a flirty feminine day dress? The juxtaposition will cement your status as the ultimate fashionista! Ash trainers are the perfect choice with a selection of sports-inspired styles to help you effortlessly conquer this look.
Whilst these are your essentials, this trend is fabulously versatile and you aren’t restricted to the above. Also, keep our golden rules in mind:

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! sportswear is generally quite plain so make your outfit pop with jewellery… think 90s throwback gold hoops and chokers or delicate gold necklaces.

Wear a coat: one of the easiest ways to take your look from gym to street is to wear a coat. Whether it’s a loose-fitting vintage-inspired denim or bomber jacket, or a longer open duster coat they’ll add to your look on cooler days.

Cover your bum! If the thought of wearing leggings fills you with dread tie a checked or denim shirt around your waist. Acting as a super-cool bottom-covering skirt, it’ll tie in with your look without cramping your style.

Keep your workout clothes separate: if you are going to the gym keep your workout wear separate to your athleisure wear so you don’t to cross-contaminate fashion with fitness.

What do you think of this trend? I’m all about the trainers right now and those star print Ash ones are top of my wish list!

end

A miniature London city guide*

Don’t get me wrong, I love living near Bristol but sometimes the bright lights of a bigger city come calling. London is one of those places that always makes an impression no matter how many times I visit – it really does live up to the hype. Whether you’re planning your own trip to the capital this summer or just want to know what the city has to offer I’ve put together a miniature travel guide to get you started!
Where to stay

London is crammed with amazing hotels and staying in them doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Z Hotels are awesome for those wanting to stay close to the city centre on a budget with branches in Soho, Piccadilly and Shoreditch to name just a few. They may not be the most luxurious accommodation but they’ll definitely do for anyone looking to spend a few nights here.
If you don’t fancy staying in a hotel there’s always the option of an Airbnb. There are some amazing looking rooms and apartments close to the city centre with additional perks such as being able to cook your own food and save money on eating out all the time.

Places to eat

Although pricey dining out has to be one of the biggest perks of London. There’s a little bit of everything here- from traditional British dishes to something more exotic like Lebanese or Mongolian cuisine.

I love to eat healthily as much as possible but visiting the capital is as good an excuse as any to treat yourself. The Breakfast Club is a must-visit, and once again you can find branches all over London, including Canary Wharf and London Bridge. The breakfasts here are legendary with a menu that includes all American pancake options for both veggies and meat-eaters, yum!

In the evening I’d recommend Ping Pong Dim Sum. This is a favourite amongst bloggers for good reason as they serve some of the best Asian dishes that you’ll find in London – with amazing cocktails to boot! Try the Hong Kong Colada served in a bamboo cup for a touch of something special.

Things to do

With so much to do there’s very little opportunity to get bored in London. Whether you’re planning on heading off the beaten track or seeing all the usual sights the entire city is your oyster.

The National Gallery is one of the most spectacular buildings in London and is home to some truly amazing collections. Even if you’re not an art lover it’s great to experience a little of London’s cultural side and free entry is an added bonus too.

For Harry Potter fans like me the Warner Bros Studio Tour is a must-visit. Located just outside of Watford it’s well worth venturing to especially now that the Forbidden Forest has been officially unveiled.

Lastly no London city guide would be complete without mentioning the amazing Madame Tussauds. Fancy rubbing shoulders with Kim Kardashian, David Beckham or Lady Gaga? Madame Tussauds is your chance to do it! There’s even a new Fashion Week experience to explore where you can hang out with the likes of Cara Delevigne and Kendall Jenner behind the runway.

Where are your favourite spots in London? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

end

Spring/Summer transitional style wish list*

This time of year can be really tricky to dress for. Despite the fact it’s May it hasn’t exactly been the weather for bringing out the little sun dresses and yet wearing knits and ankle boots really doesn’t appeal.

There’s also the matter of under-pinnings. In spring and summer, we often wear lighter fabrics that can show up every lump, especially bra straps and hooks. Invest in a front fastening bra: not only are they easier to take off, but it gives a more seamless look from the back. With no hooks digging in either, they’re a much more comfortable option for warmer days.

I haven’t been inspired enough to start shopping for my Summer wardrobe yet- it’s hard to imagine myself wearing the camisoles and strappy dresses I’m coveting when I’m yet to shed my winter coat but nevertheless I’ve been browsing like a trooper and have popped together a little wish list of some (in my eyes) perfect transitional pieces from two of my favourite retailers.

Tee, Hoodie, Skirt and Camisole Dress: Monki | Loafers and Denim Jacket: ASOS

Layering is a life saver at this time of year and it’s something I’m trying to embrace myself. I’m absolutely loving camisole dresses at the moment and despite their flimsy appearance, with the addition of a t-shirt, denim jacket or even the humble hoodie you have the perfect way to wear it even when the chill in the air catches you off guard.

Midi skirts are also great at this time of year! I pop a pair of tights on with mine to keep off the chill- there is no way I’m braving bare legs right now (in fact, I rarely ever do). If the weather does suddenly hot up then you have a swishy, cool and laid back outfit ready to roll. Perfect with both a fine knit top or a pretty camisole and offering more coverage than the ever-popular mini skirt, for me the midi is a wardrobe staple.

Shoe wise I always struggle at this time of year. I’m sick of my beloved ankle boots by this point and not anywhere near brave enough for sandals. Loafers and trainers are good transitional shoes. Neither look too heavy but offer some toe protection against frostbite! Given that I’m a huge fan of the embroidery trend it’s no surprise that this ASOS loafers made it on to my wish list.

How do you combat the mixed weather at this time of year? It’s hard work when one day you have 20 degree sunshine and the first tan line of the year…and yet the next day it’s back to shivering and wondering why on earth you didn’t think to pack a jacket!

end

A Cox and Cox Homewares Wish List*

If you’ve spent any length of time reading my blog you’ll have worked out by now that I have a thing for homewares (thanks Mum!) This went in to complete over-drive when I was living in my flat and now I’m back in the parental home I’m yet to reign it in, spending an inordinate amount of time planning ahead to when I move out again.

I have a regular selection of sites that I like to browse, Cox and Cox being one of them- and it’s from there that today’s wish list came about.

It’s all a bit cliche but right now I can’t get enough of clean design with a girly twist. Pinks, greys and copper are seriously floating my boat and if I could deck my future abode out entirely in these colours I would be a very happy girl.

I dream of having wooden floors that I can cover in big, luxurious rugs, statement chairs for curling up and reading in with piles of blankets all around in complimentary shades. I’d even be prepared to part with my currently favoured bold printed bedding in favour of pastel quilted pieces- again accessorised with a blanket and cushion mountain to make my bed the cosiest place on earth.

In my head I have visions of high ceilings, bookcases rammed full of my favourite reads and a couple of cats roaming around just waiting to curl up on my feet. In reality what I’m likely to end up with is a small flat with haphazard furniture, a couple of small rugs, novelty printed bedding sets and one cat that prefers to chew toes rather than curl up on them and keep them warm.

At least I have the internet to keep my dream alive!

What would your ideal home look like and where are your favourite places to browse for homewares and inspiration?

end

A Reminiscent Wish List*

I’ve been taking a few trips down memory lane recently, most likely triggered by my rapid approach to the big 3-0 [five days to go!]. I’ve been looking back at all areas of my life, and that includes some of the sartorial choices I made as I was growing up. I went through a phase when I was maybe 16-19 when I shopped almost exclusively at “skate shops”. Probably because my brother was well in to his skateboarding so most trips in to town involve a pit-stop in to one of these- as a result my wardrobe was mostly made up of logo tees, hoodies and ridiculously flared jeans.
I look back on these days with fondness, those were some crazy times and I had a lot of adventures and I think because of that there will always be a place in my heart, and wardrobe from some of my most worn brands at the time. With that in mind I decided to pop together a little wish list featuring some old favourites and new discoveries. Nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia, right?

All items available from Skate Hut

Obviously style and fashions have come a long way in the last decade or more which delightfully means that whilst my old wardrobe would have very little place in with my current collection of clothes, these items are much more up to date and would work quite happily with a lot of what I own- especially my beloved denim pinafore (hands down the best fiver I’ve ever spent).

Do you ever look back at your past fashion choices? I do like to every now and again and now I’ve un-earthed this little phase of my life I’m keen as to get some of it back…I’ll start happily with the Vans sweater and Hype tropical print dress.

Questionable flared jeans no longer necessary!

end