The Pink Pumas

I’ve gone from wanting to collect all the pretty high heeled shoes in the world to being completely obsessed with trainers. I’ve built up quite the little collection and seem to live in them outside of work, but that doesn’t particularly justify why I felt the need to buy another pair a couple of weeks ago…my defence is simple, they were calling out to me (and on sale). It just had to be.

Dress: Pull&Bear (here) | Trainers (here)

Literally the day after I ordered these trainers they went back to full price, but hands down I’d pay it. They attracted a lot of attention on Instagram when I posted them and a few people wanted to know what the platform is like. In a word, subtle. The sole is a bit thicker than your average trainer but not obscenely so- the perfect hybrid trainer/platform in my eyes and they are so damn comfortable too.

This whole outfit/hair style combo feels a little bit 1990s to me. I never thought I liked the choker neck trend but since picking up this dress a month or so ago I might be converted. It was a bargain in pull&bear at £12.99 and it’s made in a really stretchy jersey so the neck doesn’t feel restrictive. I was a bit concerned I might feel too exposed- as I’ve explained before I’m not at my most body confident right now, but it drapes in the right places and actually manages to be vaguely flattering.

And body confidence does remain a big issue and a lot of the time it’s a real effort to wear anything but my baggiest clothes. Not that they are so baggy any more. Things are starting to fit me again, a blessing and a curse. Great I can suddenly wear half my wardrobe once more, a curse because it makes anorexia turn my brain in to even more of a battleground therefore taking a whole lot more energy and determination to power through. But there’s always a nap for that. I find naps are a great healer.

Despite this I’ve felt hugely positive lately, in a way I really haven’t before. Life suddenly feels exciting- I don’t want to be governed by my insecurities and control issues any more. There’s so much that I want to do an experience and there’s nothing going to get in the way of me doing that anymore. I’ve been my own worst enemy for half of my life, it’s about time I let this go. For good.

(Accidental tangent there, oops!)

Back on track- what do you think of this outfit? Anybody else a complete trainer fiend?

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Dressing up flats: a guide*

Whilst heeled shoes are well known for being glamourous, formal and stylish, comfort however isn’t something we would associate with our favourite party shoes. We have probably all sworn never to wear them again, but along comes the next big night out and your favourite stilettos come out to play again. Can flat shoes ever be stylish enough for a big night out?
With brands such as Melissa shoes hitting the footwear market by storm it appears comfort might finally be at the forefront of designer’s minds. Daniel Footwear investigates:

(shoes from a selection at Daniel Footwear)

Formal flats: backless loafers
Whilst they look good, your office heels aren’t the most comfortable shoes you own. If you’re looking for a stylish alternative then take a break and opt for a pair of backless loafers. A great choice that rids you of blisters and discomfort whilst still oozing formality. Originally made popular by Gucci, other brands have since replicated the trend making the loafer one of this season’s must-haves. Choose a black pair and wear with plain-coloured culottes and a chic sleeveless blouse.
You can call them an investment as you can also wear them as part of your off-duty style — a light-coloured loafer works great with loose-fitting, light wash ripped jeans and slouchy t-shirt. Bring the look together with a chic tailored blazer for a look that successfully bridges the gap between smart and casual.

Glamourous flats: embellished sandals
Say hello to embellished sandals! A summer must-have that adds glitz and glamour to any outfit. Many A-listers have walked the red carpet in their sparkly flats. The worst thing about them is that they can only be worn in the summer — step out in them in the winter and prepare for some strange looks and exceptionally cold toes!
Whether you are on vacation or just at your local beer garden they’re perfect for channelling that beach-to-bar look. Keep the rest of your outfit formal or smart-casual at the very least — wearing them with jeans is too casual for a night out with friends. Instead, choose feminine dresses and skirts in cool colours and delicate prints.

Stylish flats: the pointed flat
Ballet flats are our forever friends – a pair of shoes that have been life savers for years now. From work to play, is there anything this super-versatile shoe can’t do?
It’s time to step it up a notch. The pointed pump is the ideal choice for a night out as it is not just comfortable — it’s this season’s must-have shape. For extra evening glamour choose an embellished or lace-up pair to add detail to your look.

I’m a big advocate of flat shoes for any occasion- I can’t even remember the last time I wore heels to work and I always get instant regret if I venture out for the night in a pair. Whilst personally I’m not a fan of the backless loafer on me (how other people pull it off I don’t know) a pair of pointed ballet flats are high on my wish list!

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Some Like it Hot

This outfit was my saviour during the heatwave that hit us just over a week ago- it was great at first, the weekend was amazing, but by the time I had to be back in work and even cold showers weren’t enough to stop the sweat the novelty soon wore off.

It always amuses me how much we wish for good weather and a bit of sun and then when it arrives we all have a complete meltdown. I spend much of my time reminiscing over holidays where it’s not uncommon to reach 40 degrees but happily forget that those are made tolerable by air conditioning and not having to deal with real life as well.

Thankfully I’d made a timely Monki sale purchase that somewhat helped me keep my cool. Somewhat.

Dress: Monki | Sandals: Primark | Necklace: New Look

This entire outfit cost under £20 which I was quite impressed with. The dress (and I love a striped sun dress) was reduced to £12, the sandals just £3 from Primark and the necklace is old but was reduced to about £4 in the New Look sale. Actually, these sandals are the best £3 I’ve spent this year, they’re so comfortable and totally saved my feet from melting last Sunday when I was traipsing around Bristol harbour.

Now that the super hot weather has gone I’m almost feeling nostalgic for it. If only real life didn’t get in the way and it was acceptable to sit in the shade with a glass of something icy cold it would be my perfect weather!

Gold star to me for completely avoiding sun burn though- not an easy achievement when you’re this pale.

How did you fare with the heatwave? Love it or loathe it?

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Summer Nights

I actually featured the dress in this post last month in a post where I really wasn’t happy with how things turned out. Thankfully, with the recent bout of glorious weather I had a second chance to grab some photos and I’m much happier with the result.
It’s one of those dresses I bought with a dual purpose in mind, easy to dress down as I attempted to show in my April blog post, and also one that can lend itself to being a bit more formal…and that’s what I’ve tried to capture today.

Dress: Monki | Ankle Boots: New Look

It might be summer (in name at least) but I’m still not ready to let those ankle boots go. I’m still on the search for the perfect, semi-dressy and comfortable sandals- I own plenty of pairs that match one of the criteria but am yet to find the holy grail that meets all three. Please enlighten me on where I might find the perfect pair!
And whilst I’m looking back on my April post, how is that inner critic silencing going? Well, it’s certainly been tested lately as things haven’t 100% gone to plan- not that life ever does, it would be boring if that were the case but I am noticing that I am much better equipped to deal with these hiccups right now. Less likely to internalise and take it out on myself, more likely to let off steam in a healthy manner with a good, old fashioned rant.

It’s not always the case, of course. Sometimes those critical gremlins win out, but given that most areas of my life are vastly improved these days it’s getting easier to rise up again when I get knocked down.

Back to the outfit and this is definitely one I have marked for date nights over the summer. I’ve become quite the fan of slip dresses lately and Monki has a huge selection putting temptation in my path (this one and this one especially). Thinking about it, I’m yet to try Monki for shoes and they have some really awesome looking pairs online- can anyone vouch for the comfort and quality? I feel I’m going to have to try a few pairs on when I’m next in store, hopefully in the next couple of weeks…a shopping trip is long overdue and I’ve been saving hard. Who’s counting pairs of sandals owned anyway?

Incidentally this the first set of outfit photos I took on my new camera- remember how I was asking for advice? I went for the Canon EOS M10 compact system camera in the end and so far I’m impressed!

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Non-Girly Gingham

As well as the embroidery trend there is one other that has really got my attention this season and that’s gingham. I’ve always had a soft spot for the print- as soon as I see it I instantly envisage summer days and picnics in the park. And that’s the trouble with gingham, if you’re not careful you can end up looking like a walking picnic blanket…and I’m yet to find anyone who can pull that particular look off.

Dress: Monki at ASOS | Shoes: TK Maxx

With picnic blanket potential at the forefront of my mind I set about a mission to find a couple of gingham pieces to save to my wish list for future purchasing. Naturally one of the first pieces I found was by Monki, and as luck would have it I was able to make my purchase within five minutes of setting eyes on it.

This dress ticks all of my boxes. Subtle print, pockets, decent length, smart/casual/layering potential…you name it, this dress has it. As with most Monki pieces it also comes nicely over-sized so it’s perfect for days when body confidence is crawling around somewhere on the floor.

The shoes were very much a random TK Maxx find, I don’t go very often and never seem to be very lucky at finding bargains but these brogue/loafer/creeper hybrids were a mere £6 and I really like how they make what could potentially be a very girly outfit take on a bit more edge.

How are you wearing gingham this season?

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