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.

end

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.

end

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?

end

Gift Guides: Girly Gadgets from Mobile Fun

If anything, my love of gadgets has grown over the last twelve months and I’ve added quite a few to my collection. Most recently I was sent some girly gadgets from Mobile Fun (who partially kickstarted my collection last year) and I thought I’d do some mini reviews of the products as they’d all make great gifts for gadget girl you know.
First up we have the drop and play wireless speaker from Olixar*. This genius little product allows you to play music wirelessly via your smartphone without any need for Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi connection. You quite literally plop your phone on top of this speaker and it amplifies the music without compromising on quality. At £12.99 this is a great stocking filler and portable enough to put in your handbag for a party or for taking away on holiday.
This next product is the ultimate girly-girl gadget- the Hyper Pearl Compact Mirror Universal Power Bank* is, as the name would suggest, a compact mirror and power bank in one. It’s small and lightweight so you’re not carrying a dead weight around with you, and the fact you can touch up your makeup and charge your phone with one product is perfect for someone like me who otherwise chronically over-fills her handbag. This costs £21.99 and is capable of fully charging your phone, it comes with a protective pouch, and handily the mirror also lights up so you’ll never be unable to check your teeth for lipstick (trust me, this is essential if you’re me!).
This Olixar universal Smart Phone Photography Kit* has been a big hit with both Bob and myself. For £19.99 you get a neat black roll wrap containing a 3-in-1 lens kit, a pocket sized selfie stick, a mount and a tripod. We’ve had greqt fun testing this out taking pictures of our kitten, upping our selfie game and generally being idiots. Definitely a product for anyone seriously in to Instagram or who just wants to experiment in the capabilities of smart phone photography.
Last but not least we have another power bank- this time the Kit 4,100mAh Portable MFi Lightning Power Bank* in Rose Gold. I’m a fiend for power banks as I have an irrational fear of being stranded without phone battery and this one is great. This little powerhouse can fully revive your iPhone or iPod and will give your iPad a serious boost should you find yourself in need. It also looks super sleek with it’s Rose Gold finish and would make for the perfect stocking filler for pretty much every female I know. It costs £19.99 and thanks to it’s lightning charge connector will bring your device back to life instantly. It also boasts a long standby life which was it’s real selling point to me- I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve gone to use my old portable charger only to find it’s all out of juice.
What are your must have gadgets? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. If you are looking to up your tech game then I highly recommend Mobile Fun, I’ve used the multiple times outside of blog reviews and have always been impressed by their competitive prices, range of products and speed of service.

end

Gift Guides: Ideas for Him under £30 with Red Candy

Every year when I sit down to write my gift guides I find loads of ideas and inspiration for the women of the world but really struggle when it comes to the men. Thankfully there are websites such as Red Candy who come to my rescue by supplying a whole host of fun and affordable gifts and gadgets to appeal to just about every male I know.

I’ve worked with Red Candy several times over the year and they’ve been kind enough to once again supply me with some items to feature in this gift guide. I used Bob as my inspiration when browsing this time and picked out some quirky gift ideas, all costing under £30 which I knew would appeal.

The first item I picked out was this Diplodocus Dino Mug* which I’ll admit was as much for my benefit as it was for his. I’m a sucker for a good mug and this one, with it’s hidden ceramic dinosaur was right up both of our streets. At £11.99 this might be more than I usually pay for my mugs, but as a gift (and for the sheer novelty factor) it’s worth every penny.
I fell in love with this Planter Bot* the second I saw it and knew it would make the perfect home for the lonely looking cactus lurking in Bob’s house. I also know that my brother would really appreciate this, he’s a fan of anything robot or comic book related and this fits in to both of those categories. This little chap costs £13.75 and if you wanted to pad out the gift a bit you could always pick up a cactus or succulent to go in it.
Coasters are always in short supply around these parts and the second I saw these Cosmos ones* I knew they would be the idea addition to Bob’s home. He’s a massive space nerd (by his own admission) and absolutely loves these- at £10 for a set of four they also work out quite bargainous too.
As well as the items I picked out for this post I’ve also popped together a few more ideas for budget friendly gifts for guys as Red Candy is a real treasure trove for shopping for blokes. This barely even scratches the surface of what’s available so do make sure you check them out if you’re having a struggle- and it’s not just for guys, I’ve compiled myself a massive wish list of things I’d like to add to the home (both my parents and Bob’s!)

clock | lamp | terrarium | mugs

end