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If Only: Outfit of the Day 40#

I think this one may require a little more imagination than most, as I really wanted to throw together something as smart and sophisticated as this Roland Mouret jumpsuit with slouchier, slightly boho pieces such as the headband and peacoat. I myself struggled to see whether or not my idea was working until I threw in the Alexander Wang tote bag, but now, I have to admit, I love it.

19-sep

1. Roland Mouret Agena Silk-Marocain Jumpsuit. £1,195. Available here.

2. ModCloth Right to the Point Flats in Black. $34.99. Available here.

3. Urban Outfitters Leaf Chain Clip Headband. £18. Available here.

4. Free People Topped in Fur Peacoat. £198. Available here.

5. Alexander Wang Rockie Textured-Leather and Calf Hair Tote. £1,025. Available here.

6. Free People De Petra Osiris Necklace. £325. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 27#

The instant I saw this dress, one thing came to mind: Venice. This thought was closely followed by a second; the reason behind the first: Indiana Jones. More specifically, that scene in The Last Crusade when Indie first meets Elsa in Venice, and – and I know that this is an inaccuracy on my part – but while I have seen that movie a thousand times, and I know that she wore a grey suit during that scene, in my mind, I always recall her as wearing a beautiful white dress with a collar.. like this. I couldn’t even tell you why. This dress is the perfect replica of what my imagination has created for Elsa’s character (perhaps she wears a dress like it elsewhere in the film, because it’s so clear in my head!). It’s a beautiful, classic, vintage-style design, with a flattering, figure hugging cut and that beautiful belt detail, reminiscent of what we are seeing on the runways right now. With such a crisp white dress, I decided to go to town with accessories, from a vintage-style headscarf (I’m picturing a tuft of a coiffed quiff visible beneath the silk), the bold splashes of orange and mint, and the subtle pink lip that matches that bracelet perfectly, I’m pretty damn pleased with the final look… now I just need for someone magical to manifest it for me immediately!

6-sep

1. Altuzarra Calvino Satin and Crepe Dress. £1,170. Available here.

2. Rupert Sanderson Romantica Patent-Leather Pumps. £475. Available here.

3. Valextra La Scala Textured-Leather Clutch. £670. Available here.

4. Toast Tabitha Bracelet. £. 22. Available here.

5. I Love Ugly Samuel Watch in Mint. £70. Available here.

6. River Island Black Oriental Print Satin Square Scarf. £13. Available here.

7. Accessorize Arrow Head Long Pendant. £7. Available here.

8. NARS Lipstick in Catfight. $26. Available here.

9. Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner. $19. Available here.

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June Wish List

It’s that  time of year when I am thinking about holidays, and while I now days always venture further afield than what good old England has to offer, I do love spontaneous road trips to out lovely seaside-resorts with my friends… when I stick around for long enough to arrange them, of course. For those of you who have never stopped by an English seaside town, all of the picturesque stereotypes are true: colourful beach huts line the sea front, from whatever spot of the beach you stand on, I can guarantee that you’ll hear an ice cream van singing merrily, and seagulls will try (and usually succeed) to steal your ice cream/fish and chips/mug of coffee. Here in England, we’re mad about pinstriped deck chairs and colourful wind shields (a necessity here, I’m afraid), and as lovers of beach-side co-ordination, these colour schemes can’t help but seep into out clothing, our accessories and the unnecessary clobber that we simply must take to the beach with us, in case we get bored (or is that just me?)june-wishlist

1. Sunnylife Ipanema. Beach Towel. £39.95. Available here. A great place to start on the beach-side wish list, is of course, a beautiful beach towel. Because yes, it really does matter just how cute and fashionable the piece of sand-covered fabric on which you lie, is. Most of the time, your choices are either bland, bright or childish printed towels, or those striped wicker mats that cut into your elbows when your trying to read on your front. It’s nice to finally stumble across something pretty that doesn’t scream ‘I’m a beach towel’, because of course, no one wants that.

2. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Flo Stretch Dress. £940. Available here. Again with the yellow… it seems to be my clothing colour of choice lately (though I wear it surprisingly rarely). This is a beautifully cut dress is so flattering for big-bummed, small-boobed ‘pear shapes’ like myself (always a challenge.. no one wants to balloon the pear!), accentuating a tiny waist.

3. Topshop. Red Square Stone Studs. £6.50. Available here. These earrings would look great with the yellow Preen dress above, don’t you think? Unfortunately, I have never been lucky enough to find a metal that does not cause a reaction if worn in my ears (not even gold, sadly), and so earrings are a big no no for me, but perhaps… they could be turned into clip-on’s? I think I’ll have to start searching Pinterest for that particular DIY blog post… or of course, I could risk failure and attempt to figure it out for myself? Hmm…

4. Dune. Celia Peeptoe Wedge Court Shoes. £59. Available here. A beautiful pair of elegant, sleek white wedge shoes. These can be worn with any summer dress, which I adore (and in terms of packing your suitcase, it’s so much more practical). Not ideal for walking along sandy beach fronts, but stick to the esplanade and you’ll look great.

5. Kate Space. Cuba Street iPhone Case. $45. Available here. Kate Space… one of my favourites. Get your phone ready for the beach (and have planned a carefully sand-and-sea-free environment in which it can enjoy your holiday) by ‘dressing’ it in this illustrated ‘Cuba Street’ phone case.

6. Prada. Cat Eye Acetate Sunglasses. £230. Available here. This year, sunglasses trends are all about colour, pattern and drama, and Prada are, of course, leading that trend with their stylist new collection, my favourite being these cat eye, red-and-tortoiseshell glasses. Great for adding a touch of old Hollywood to your look. Think of Marilyn Monroe’s beach style.

7. Michael Michael Kors. Hamilton Saffiano Leather Shoulder Bag. £218. Available here. New wish list, new handbag. Usually, I prefer for my handbag to go big – out of necessity, obviously (is it just me who can’t read the word ‘obviously’ without Alan Rickman’s Snape temporarily commandeering my usual brain voice?). I generally need a bag that can hold my camera, laptop, kitchen sink, several layers to accommodate for our fickle weather, make up supplies, pen and paper, and other ‘essentials’ of a photographer/writer/art-and-gadget creative, but when there is sand involved… no. Key, phone, a novel (which can be tucked under my arm, along with my beach towel), are all I need… ok, slight lie, there is always the canvas tote beach bag, but that doesn’t mean that there is not also room on my shoulder for this little red Michael Kors bag.. you know, for my house key and phone. And literally nothing else.

8. Newgate Clocks. The New Ritz in Sleepy Blue. £25. Available here. Perfect for that seaside wake-up call at the start of a long drive (if you’re from the Midlands), to the sunny south coast. Or that was a typical start to the annual seaside holidays of my childhood, anyway. I’m a grown up now. My parents aren’t going to drag me out of bed anymore – not that they ever had to, as far as a holiday was ever concerned.

9. France-Tastic Voyage Travel Bottle $34.99. Available here. I know that flasks are more of a winter travel necessity, but for me, as a coffee addict (it’s been two hours since my last cup of coffee.. the cravings are strong), the need for a constant supply of caffeine is very real, and so road trips and long drives (short drives, a nip to the corner shop, crossing my hallway.. anywhere, really) without a drop is simply impossible.

10. James Read. Gradual Tan for Body. £24. Available here. I’ve never really been one to delve into the world of fake tans, being far too fearsome of the dreaded Tango TOWIE look to try, but I’ve heard good things about James Read’s Gradual Tan collection. Great for those who, like me, can’t sit still for long on a beach and would prefer for their skin to remain pale and therefore healthy, youthful and melanoma-free.

11. Mischa. Continental Wallet. £85. Available here. An alternative to the tiny Michael Kors handbag, I suppose (a house key could easily fit in a wallet… but a phone?), this gorgeous blue and white print purse would look great used either as a wallet or, when possible, a clutch bag. Imagine, this purse with the Dune shoes and yellow Preen dress… it works, yes? Or the dress, shoes and red Michael Kor bag, for that matter… choices, choices.

12. Zara. Blue Mini Skirt. £35.99. Available here. This skirt would look so cute with the white Dune wedge sandals and Prada sunglasses above… though a shirt would of course have to be found to complete the look. I should have added a shirt to this wish list.

13. Urban Outfitters. Berlin Boombox in Pink. £60. Available here. When I was about six, I wanted a pink boombox almost identical in my imagination to this one. A few years later, I wanted one of those stereo bags. I never gave into either of those desires (or rather, my parents never did), and I’m quite glad about it really. I mean, they are both equally ridiculous inventions. Nevertheless, this one is adorable, and so a small part of me can’t help but think that maybe I could somehow make it work… no, no, definitely not, but it’s here nonetheless.

14. Chan Lu. Wrap Bracelet. £128.73. Available here. Nothing screams backpacker chic more than a wrap beaded bracelet. Especially if they are handmade. I can guarantee, however, that no true backpacker would ever be seen wearing a £130 bracelet when one could be made from a bit of twine and some plastic beads instead… imagine just how many hostel nights could be paid for with that money! Still, it’s beautiful, and I would wear it all summer long… probably forgetting to ever move it onto the other wrist, resulting in unfortunate wrap-bracelet tan lines.

15. Hope & Greenwood. Tuck Box. £40. Available here. For £40, this is an overpriced extravagance if ever I saw one, but being an item on sale at Selfridges, I suppose it’s to be expected, I suppose. Still, there’s plenty to go around, so shared between a group, this could become a cute little addition to any beach-side summer picnic. Just throw in some Pimms, and your picturesque English picnic is complete.

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April Wish List

Springtime is (almost) upon us… or so I keep whispering to the beautiful floral tea dresses that have been waiting impatiently in my wardrobe for far too long. There’s nothing worse than wet tights in the rain, after all. Every change of season, I try to resist the inevitable style stereotypes of dark colours in winter, brights in summer, neutrals in autumn and, of course, florals in spring. Every change of season, I succumb almost immediately. It’s a weakness of mine, I know. I’ll work on that… In the mean time, however, I have been perusing the current sales and new gems of the best online shopping hubs to find my spring ‘must have’s’ for you to enjoy.april

1: Christian Lacroix. Naked Life Cushion. £95. Available here. Do I need yet another cushion? Probably not. Would it go with my current decor? Definitely not. But, oh, to own a cushion featuring not only such a true sentence for any English person (it’s struck a definite cord of recognition, like an acknowledgment of our ongoing struggle with the need to wear clothes when in the privacy of our own home), but to own a cushion that says naked… I can’t think of a single person I know who wouldn’t be compelled to comment as soon as they saw it.

2: Floral Vintage Style Watch. £7.33. Available here. I don’t know I’m always looking at watches, seeing as I have never worn a watch but for during my secondary school exams. I have my phone, that will do… but this one is so pretty. I am a bit of a sucker for collecting pretty things that I will never use.

3: Ciate. Best Sellers Nail Polish. £9 £6.50. Available here. I know they say ‘never judge a book by its cover’, and that should apply to packaging too (how often have we been duped by promising looking merchandise only to find a 99p store quality mess inside?) but my hot pink nail polish as now dried up and separated and clumped together beyond all help, despite the best efforts of our good friend Mr Polish Thinner… I could buy the same, usually trustworthy Topshop varnish… or I could allow myself to be tempted by this equally pretty, but different bottle. Yes, this is a big decision to make on a Monday evening.

4: French Connection. Feather Light Yellow Trouser. £75 £29. Available here. I once dated a guy who declared that no one could pull off the colour yellow, and for about a year after we broke up, I avoided the colour like the plague. His words were seered across the front of any sunny hued garment like a bad DIY-Punk shirt. Lately, however, I’ve been venturing into the most upbeat colour that it is possible to wear, and I should never have allowed him to convince me that it such an unflattering no-no. Especially as he never even saw me wear yellow. It was around about the same time that I spotted in an online Zara sale, the last few (plus-sized) pairs of a yellow, tailored suit trousers. Had it not been for the sizing issue, I’d have snapped them up straight away, regardless as to certain opinions. I searched for a similar pair for months and months, to no avail, but now, finally, I have spotted a style that trigger that same over-excited, ‘I must possess you’ feeling. Yellow trousers will be my Summer’14 look.

5: Bea & Dot. Two-Steppin’ Out Dress. $109.99 $32.99. Available here. This one took me a while to figure out my feelings about… love it, hate it… hate’s a very strong word.. dislike it? Like it? I’m still not entirely sure, but it’s definitely adorable with a potential to be upgraded downgraded altered to adorkable.

6: Blessed Type. All You Need is Love Wall Print. Prices start at £6.11. Available here. No place can be home to me without lashings of creativity peppered across every surface. I think many of us are the same, no? For some, that means bookcases stacked high with beautifully bound, well-read books, collected lovingly over the years. For others, that would be their own gallery of their personal artwork on display, while some may prefer to collect the art of others. I would be a combination of the tree, and lately, my decor attentions have keenly turned towards typography artwork and ‘motivational’ posters. Luckily for me, Etsy is full of beautiful options for me to fritter away my hard-earned money on.

7: Paperchase. Garden Mix Hand-Stitched Notebook. £10. Available here. In this tech-mad world, while yes, I do spend about twelve hours of every day in front of my computer – leaving it alone only to pick up my camera – I do prefer to get my ideas down onto good old fashion pen and paper rather than using the thousands of note-taking, schedule-planning, mood-board-making apps, websites and software that we have to choose from. And at the end of each exciting day, I like to sit down, and write it all down in my journal, my deepest, darkest secrets, my ugliest and silliest thoughts. For this, I always need the prettiest notebook, and for several years now, I have been using Paperchase exclusively for this necessity.

8: Wu & Wu. Sweet Sweet Fawn-tasy Container Set. $27.99. Available here. I can’t imagine for a moment what I’d put inside these… all of my ‘bits and bobs’ already have little containers of their own, which of course means that I would either have to go out and spend even more money buying various bits and bobs for each container, or I could stock up on sweet treats and periodically refill each tin… or of course, I could use them as cake tins in case I ever decide to venture outside with a baked treat… which would never happen, in which case, these beautiful little tins would be bought purely to gather dust in a kitchen cupboard. When I started these Wish List posts, I never promised that they’d be practical…

9: J Crew Leather-Trim Faux Raffia Sandals. £270. Available here. Regarding the current weather, is this wishful thinking on my part? Probably. Is it too soon in the year to be contemplating buying sandals? Of course not! With the insane amount of walking I do during my summer travels, my sandals never last longer than a single season, and so every spring, I find myself thinking long and hard about which style I should go for this year, watching the trends, determining whether or not to break said trends, contemplating whether to go for something completely different than I have gone before. It has to be said, every year so far, I’ve resulted in buying an almost identical pair of sandals to those that I have bought every previous year, in black, white or brown, depending on which will suit the most outfits… but this year, I’ll say it again, I am determined to break my pattern and purchase a pair of bright, colourful sandals that are more restrictive in my choice of outfits!

10: Urban Outfitters. Fox and Badger Plate Set. £14 each. Available here and here. These gems are sold separately, but aren’t they gorgeous together? I would display them side by side, exactly as you seen them above, on a shelf in my kitchen, with a little cactus in a white pot thrown in there too.

11: Smalldrawing. Mysterious Tropical Island Phone Case. £25.54. Available here. Technically I’m displaying the wrong sort of case for my personal wish list here, as I own an iPod, rather than an iPhone, but let’s overlook that and focus on the pattern… how adorable is this case? How summery and happy and cute! I would buy it now, and use it throughout the summer, and autumn, until the last leaf falls from the trees, by which time I will have inevitably become bored and found a replacement, wintery case instead, because it seems that we live in a world where even out phones need as many outfits as we own. It’s only a matter of time before phone-and-her outfits are a reality.

12: Penhaligon’s Endymion Bath & Shower Gel. £25. Available here. One final treat… because I am running low on shower gel, and this one simply looks so luxurious and sophisticated (as far as shower gel goes) and it probably smells delicious.

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Wanderer

Glamping

I think every girl wants to go glamping (glamorous camping) at some point in her life.. I mean, look!

1 roundhouse exterior wide front door

Technically anyone can go glamping and it can fit all budgets, but it would be stretching it for a backpacker to ‘glamp it’. I mean, it can be enough of a hassle carrying around a tent, sleeping bag, a pillow, a sleeping mat/air bed. For glamping, you have to go that step further. Instead of buying your camping gear purely for practicality, you’re pretty much designing a set for a photo shoot or a movie set. It’s vain camping. If I was on a road trip, I’d go all out with the glamping and fill the Mary Poppins boot with a big white canvas tent, Urban Outfitters bedding, cushions, blankets and rugs, there’s be an adorable wicker picnic basket and Cath Kidston dishes and cutlery on the back seat, bunting and candles in my suitcase and I’d spend hours and hours perfecting it all each night before I could finally sleep on my big king sized air bed. But that would be a bit of a nuisance.

There are now campsites dedicated to Glamping, and some festivals such as the Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire (19th-22nd July) has begun to offer Glamping sites as an option for those who prefer not to get muddy. Canopy and Stars is a very good site for finding a glamped up tent, teepee or hobbit house for a night or two, as is Go Glamping, but its definitely not in a backpacker’s budget. Prices vary greatly but just to give you an idea, a Mongolian yurt for two in Carmarthenshire is currently on offer at £64 a night on the Canopy and Stars website.

Still, it is possible to ‘glamp’ up a normal camping trip, particularly for festivals. The high street is full of more fashion-worthy camping gear around at the moment.

Cathkidston

Cath Kidston is a very good brand for glamping. Her website has a whole section dedicated to picnics and camping, including the tent above and cutlery below.

And Urban Outfitters are brilliant for bedding, cushions and rugs.

Black Rug

Yellow Floral Rug

Pink Floral Rug

Reversible Quilt

Patchwork Quilt

Floral Quilt

So not really a realistic option for serious budget backpackers, just something that girls who love both fashion and travel dream about. Like I said, if I ever buy a car/campervan and go away on a road trip, maybe I’ll glamp it. Or (more likely), maybe I’ll splash out for a short glamping trip somewhere, and save myself the hassle of having to set up my camp site.

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