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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The Details

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this outfit. It’s one of those that isn’t typical “Laura” style and yet it’s one I really liked. As I’m still working very much part time at the moment I’ve really been embracing the casual approach when I’m at home- it’s gone from being a bit of can’t be bothered kind of thing to something that I can relax and enjoy.

Tee: Daisy Street | Jeans: Noisy May at Very | Shoes: New Look

It’s a bit of an embroidery detail overload here but I’m rollin’ with it. The jeans were a bit of an impulse buy to be honest, not my standard skinnies by any stretch of the imagination. I was suckered in by the “sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come” slogan (despite I’m never late for anything, ever!) and when they arrived I was quite taken with the laid back fit. It’s good to change things up from time to time right?

I pretty much lived in this Daisy Street tee last year, on rotation with the three others I own and now the warmer weather is here I don’t see that changing any time soon. I’ve already declared my love of slogan tees so I won’t ramble on but they really can’t be beat.

The shoes were another impulse buy. Enamoured with the floral embroidery and pretty pink colour I couldn’t resist placing a sneaky New Look order a few weeks ago despite my preference for either ankle boots of converse. I’m determined to get the wear out of these though, they are just so pretty (and comfortable) and pretty perfect to bridge that gap between boots season and sandal season.

Ok, so essentially this is a post about nothing much in particular. I just wanted to share the outfit without really having anything to say for myself. I’m still in that re-adjustment period of being back in work, settling in to routine and building up a pretty nice life outside of it too. I’ll try and bring something more structured to the table next time and in the mean time…what have you been buying lately?

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Crushin’ on Converse*

When it comes to casual shoes there is one brand that will always be my first port of call- Converse. I’ve held a soft spot for the brand for as long as I can remember and despite being a complete pain to break in [literally] the blisters are worth it. Over the last few years there has been an influx of bigger, brighter and all together jazzier designs become available and it’s a nightmare for my shoe addict self. Right now especially there are at least a dozen pairs I wish I could call my own, and suddenly my pale pink holographic pair seem somewhat inferior. Here is just a small selection of the pairs that have captured my attention in recent weeks.

[all available on the Converse website]

I’m known for being a bit of a magpie so it goes without saying that half of this wish list is taken up by shiny styles- the glitter hi-tops are probably the pair I’m coveting the most, although they are closely followed by the gold metallic all stars and the plain white with silver detailing.

On a slightly less in your face note the neon pink and polka dots are both very me- the neon pink perhaps the least versatile of the bunch as it’s a tough colour to match with a multitude of outfits, but the polka dots would work nicely with a lot of my wardrobe. And then there is the crochet hi-tops, probably the least practical of the bunch but I’m really taken with the feminine twist on such a casual shoe.

Anyone else crazy for Converse? Which pairs are topping your wish lists right now- and how many pairs do you own? I’ll admit that a large part of my current desire for blinged up sneakers is entirely the fault of Jo at Jo’s Clothes. Her sequin pair are pure joy in footwear form!

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The Hoodie

Before I get properly in to today’s post I wanted to take a minute to say thank you for the incredible support I received on my eating disorders awareness week post. The feedback has been incredible and I truly appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read, comment and share the post on social media. The week isn’t over yet though and there is still plenty of time to get involved. Please do re-visit the post or go straight to the Beat website to find out how you can get involved.
And now on to the main part of my post today- an outfit post featuring one item I never thought I’d wear again, let alone feature on the blog. That item is the humble hoodie, which along with some questionable trouser choices was the uniform of my teenage years (and when I say questionable I mean purple tie-dyed flares…I’ve come a long way!)

Hoodie: Monki | Skirt: Pull&Bear at ASOS (similar) | Converse: Schuh (non holographic version)

See, I knew it wouldn’t be long before another Monki purchased happened- I just can’t help myself. I’ve been eyeing up their hoodies since my first visit in to the Bristol store but held off as I just wasn’t convinced I’d actually wear one. I’m a long way away from the teenage me who felt the need to hide inside a massive hoodie but in the end this mustard yellow won me over and the hoodie came home with me and whilst I haven’t reverted back to living in one, I admit the hoodie certainly has it’s place in the wardrobe.

One way I’ve been wearing it is with this grey pleated skirt. I love the colour combination of grey and mustard and the laid back look this outfit creates. It’s a casual outfit but manages to make me feel a bit more ‘together’ than if I’d just slung on jeans and I’ll always embrace any excuse to wear my converse- their pale pink holographic nature never fails to make me smile (although I wouldn’t say no to this pair).

What do you think of this super casual outfit? Have you re-visited any clothing items from your youth? Between this and my current enjoyment of dresses over jeans I think I might be having a “help I’m almost 30″ kind of crisis!

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