31 January 2013

Boyfriend shirts & Blazers.

It's cold at the moment.  Where I am in York is not only cold, but windy and rainy and generally a hostile place to be. Brrrrr.

Recently though, I have found a small sense pleasure in identifying clothes that will help keep me warm without making me resemble a caterpillar.

A word-of-mouth tip from a friend yesterday informing me of an "Everything for £5" vintage shop in town helped me come across a treasure trove of christmas jumpers and tat. However, something there was a lot of was SHIRTS. Shirts everywhere.  They were lacking decent stuff in the women's "section" (the shop was more like a glorified jumble sale, but beggars can't be choosers) so I gave up and went to browse the men's. Within minutes I'd found a checked flannel shirt that was clearly way too big for me and fit the bill exactly - I was going for cosy, not fitted.

I wore it today with the two bottom buttons undone, tied up a-la cowgirl, pairing it with a black flippy skirt, some gold jewellery and warm boots. There's something liberating about making a boyfriend shirt (okay, it's quite literally a boy's. shirt.) more girly. I like to think I looked more stylish than walk of shame, but you can't win them all...

Blazers, right. In the same shop the male friend I was browsing with picked up a long-line grey tweed blazer that was too narrow for him at the shoulders.  His loss was my gain. It'll be fab for the winter to spring weather cross-over when layered with thin tops/jumpers, and it manages to look androgynous without looking like I'm dressing up in my Dad's clothes.

The point of the article is, more petite girls - I'm running out of euphemisms for small chests here, sorry! - can get away with the androgynous look.  Even though I'm aware Agyness Deyn was successfully rocking this look years ago, I have only just decided to embrace it, and it's good fun.  With the right accessories it can really add an edge to an outfit without looking like you've tried too hard which is perfect for someone like me who's mantra at the moment is "If I can get away with it, that's enough."

NOTE: If anyone comes across a similar "Everything for £x" shop - STAY CALM. Lots of the stuff there will be absolute rubbish, but the fact it's all cheap as chips means you'll see everything through rose-tinted glasses. Be savvy.  Think to yourself: would I still like this if it was double the price? Lots of these offers are non-refundable; imagine how annoyed you'd be if you got home, took off the rose-tinted glasses and hated what you'd purchased. Fine, a fiver isn't a lot, but that's still a cheap bottle of wine from the co-op...
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23 January 2013

Peter Pan Collars.

I do love myself a peter pan collar, I have to admit.

They make a shirt more feminine, and immediately prettify dresses.

The first celebrity that comes to mind in the classic word association game if you yelled PETER PAN COLLAR at me would be the lovely Zooey Deschanel, followed by old-school Blair Waldorf. These girls are adorable and their dress sense isn't too bad either.  What I'm trying to say is that you could do a lot worse than being compared to Zooey and Blair donning a peter pan collar.

Where the concept of calling a rounded collar a "peter pan" collar originates from, I'm not entirely sure, especially because whenever I think of Peter Pan I think of this guy:




They seem to be slowly falling out of fashion in favour of sparkly or statement collars, which seems a shame, so with this in mind I've scouted out some collars that remain flying the flag for all PP lovers out there.

Oh, and did I mention this collar highly favours small-busted girls? I didn't? Well, it does. Busty girls really struggle with this style, so make the most of it!




This dress is super pretty, and I love the little flower and bead embellishments. Students get 10% discount with an NUS Extra card, and this will be perfect in the spring with a cute cardigan. Wear with boots during the day, and cute flats in the evening. Or vice versa, depending how fancy your respective boots/flats are!

2. Navy Lace Insert Jewel Shell Top, £15






















This top is by Kelly Brook and again, I adore the jewels! This would be absolutely perfect with a pair of jeans and heels, matched with a blazer. The lace insert really finishes the whole look off. Make sure you wear a cami or something underneath until it gets a bit warmer, because the back is sheer...

3. Alice Leopard Peter Pan Collar Playsuit, £25



Apologies for the terrible quality, but I wanted the image to be a similar size to the others! I love this playsuit because it's sophisticated whilst giving a nod to the animal print trend. The three-quarter sleeves are spring-friendly, and there's always the option to dare to bare or keep things covered up (I'd personally risk getting the legs out, otherwise you run the risk of looking too conservative).

4. Red Owl Print Peter Pan Collar Peplum Top, £8


Rather awkwardly I have just checked and this product is out of stock... BUT, may I just give New Look a round of applause for managing to incorporate a peter pan collar, peplum, and OWLS into one piece of clothing? Pretty impressive.  This kind of top can easily be dressed up with a bodycon skirt or dressed down with jeans.

5. Limited Cream Pearl Teardrop Collar, £19.99.



And if you're wearing a plain top/dress but feel lost without a cute collar, thanks to retailers everywhere, there is hope. Hurrah!

Let me know if you find any places that take a fancy to Peter Pan Collars, because they really do seem stark at the moment.
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16 January 2013

Fashion Faux Pas

This post has been almost a week in the pipeline, but it's still very very relevant.

Despite trying as hard as I can as a poor student who really would love nothing better than to slob around in massive jumpers, leggings and big socks ALL DAY LONG (all whilst drooling at Blair Waldorf's wardrobe) to adhere to seasonal trends, I do occasionally get it wrong. Ok, maybe quite a lot.

At the time I'll put an outfit together and think I look good, and then I'll look back and say: "Oh my God, what in heaven's name was I thinking?!" Tagged photos will be swiftly hidden from my timeline, the memories will be repressed, my embarrassing outfit choices utterly dead to me.


But almost a week ago I think I out-did myself. I managed to make the ultimate faux-pas of revealing my undergarments unintentionally.  Nope, it wasn't to give the boys a cheeky sneak peak, or even because what I was wearing was indecently short.  In fact, the irony is two-fold:

1. The dress I wore was a MIDI DRESS.  As in, the dress was cut below my knees, mid-calf length.  And it was clingy, meaning if I had wanted to flash my knickers I would have had quite a job doing so.

2. I chose my underwear based on the fact I was worried about VPL (which, in case any readers are unaware, is an acronym for "visible panty line") - I did match my bra and knickers but was worried my knickers weren't seamless enough, so opted for some big bright pink pants.

After all of this, it seems that my worries were completely unfounded, because it was neither the length of my dress or the texture of my knickers that would be my downfall, but the lining (or lack thereof) that gave me away.

Without flash, in a particular light, at a specific angle, you could catch a hint of my undergarments.

But, alas, with the devil utilised, all was revealed.  It simultaneously brought to light (see what I did there?) my underwear choices and my unfortunate decision to not wear black.

Lesson learned.

To be fair, you CAN wear black dresses with whatever colour underwear you want, usually.  But, if the material is clingy and thin, don't risk it. Just don't.  Otherwise, like me, you will undoubtedly discover your mistake and squeal in embarrassment upon perusing the pictures the morning after, and for a few minutes you'll feel empty and wonder where your dignity has decided to hide.

So, the message is to make sure you think through your underwear just as much as your other layers, and to never ever underestimate the evil powers of a camera.

Here's a picture of all of my friends and I for my friend's 21st, wearing my lovely midi dress (from Ark) with my underwear on show.  Oops!




C'est la vie! Dress safe ;)
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6 January 2013

Tubes, Big Necklaces and my new friend, Abdul

Shock, horror! I am moving away from my alliterative titles for the simple reason that being creative makes my brain hurt a bit too much.

A few days ago I visited London for interviews.  I had two interviews in one day, in utterly different locations, and the whole day was stressful but brilliant.

Of course, this meant I had to put together the perfect outfit, something simultaneously professional and stylish.  I also wanted to inject a bit of my personality into the look.

So, first things first - how to look professional?  This bit was quite easy, as I'd invested in a black blazer from H&M a few months before.  Blazer? Check.

I then decided that I wanted a colour theme, and settled on black and gold (gold is for winners, after all).  I knew I was getting a lovely gold skirt from Topshop for Christmas from my parents, so I just needed to find a top to match...

Which I found in Primark, of all places!  I settled on a white, sheer shirt, with printed black and gold butterflies.  It was super pretty, and an absolute steal at £12!

The base of the outfit down, I then needed to accessorise.  I'm usually absolutely awful at accessorising, so this was quite the challenge.  My friend Chelsea advised me to stand out by wearing a statement necklace (thanks for the advice, Chelsea!), and I thought all hope was lost until I found an amazing black and gold chunky necklace - again in Primark - for £6.

I teamed the outfit with thick black tights and my beloved brown leather boots with a slight heel, and my hair in a ponytail (apparently giving me an "open, inviting face"...) and voila, outfit complete.  I kept my make up simple, with a natural face, a bit of blush, a hint of gold eyeshadow and some pink Elizabeth Arden lipstick.

If you follow the following link you can see the top half of my outfit, with a few of my friends when we went out later that evening to the ever classy "Harvester" http://instagram.com/p/UEwpwAqJc2/

The interviews themselves were fine - the second one grilled me rather a lot, but I think they were just trying to see if I was serious about the internship... I did manage to make a new friend called Abdul, though!  When I got hideously lost I asked the first guy in a suit who didn't look shifty for directions and when he started to lead me down a side street I DID start to panic a little, but it all worked out well in the end.

But what is the point I'm getting to? Big necklaces are brilliant.  If you haven't already got one, take advantage of the sales and go buy one now! It immediately glams up an understated outfit and can be worn for professional purposes, too.  Normally I wear delicate little necklaces, but I think I can be converted.

So why not make an accessory you've always wanted to try (but never quite had the courage to) your new year's resolution?
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