Sunday, 3 February 2013

Label Lust: Cheap Monday

Somehow Swedish brand Cheap Monday have only appeared on my radar recently but I can't get enough of the brand's easy, laid back look. They have been around since 2004 but are gaining a bigger following thanks to being sold on websites such as ASOS and in store at Urban Outfitters. Well known for their extensive denim range; the brand's SS13 collection includes jersey separates, dresses, quirky accessories and shoes to lust over. If you are a grey jersey fan you will probably love the collection as much as I do- see my favourites below.

Bailey cut-out back dress

Blaine long sleeve cut-out top

Brooklyn cut-out skirt (Noticing the theme here?)

Sinead zip-up sweat top

Cube metallic heeled pumps (LOVE these!)

Robin scoop back t-shirt dress

As you can see the brand epitomises the casual, 'I just threw this outfit together' look, perfect for the girl who loves fashion but doesn't like her look to be too high maintenance. You can never have enough grey and black items in your wardrobe and they are perfect for everyday layering whilst maintaining a point of interest, e.g the cut out details. Check out the full collection at and shop online at or

Images from

Friday, 18 January 2013

Monochrome magic

Searching for a trans-seasonal look to fill the gap between burgundy velvet and pastel knits? Look no further than monochrome - think crisp whites and sporty blacks with just a hint of colour thrown in, as seen in many a SS13 catwalk collection.

Black and white can at first appear a bit on the dull side; conjuring up images of drab office wear and uniforms but this Spring's take on the look is anything but... young and fresh, SS13 monochrome is perfect for day and evening wear.

Marni, Prada, Proenza Schouler SS13

The high street has gone for this trend in a big way- look for slightly structured items with straight lines in heavy jersey or neoprene fabrics. Mesh panels and sporty details are also key and flashes of red and blue help to break the look up.

For day this black jersey dress looks perfect with a faux leather biker jacket slung over- pick up a bigger size than normal for the sporty look. I am absolutely in love with these Topshop boots and they complete the look with a pair of thick black tights and simple make-up.

(Dress, Miss Selfridge £20, Biker jacket, River Island £70, Boots, Topshop £85)

For evening, monochrome goes a little bit 90's with this black cut out top, tucked into a structured white mini skirt. These grey and white wedge boots keep the look modern and the reversible 3.1 Phillip Lim clutch is the only accessory you need.

Black cut-out top, River Island £18, Skirt, Topshop £35, Reversible clutch bag, 3.1 Phillip Lim at Net-a-porter £335, Wedge boots, Office £55

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Catwalk inspired Christmas

Every year Christmas sneaks up on me and my wardrobe and I have the obligatory panic that I don't own enough clothes to see me through until January 1st. In such moments of panic it is easy to reach for that classic black dress and whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing there are far too many outfit options this Christmas to surrender to the LBD just yet:

Coloured metallics

(L-R Christopher Kane, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Jonathan Saunders AW12)

I love the colours of Christmas: the deep festive shades with a metallic sheen that loosely resemble baubles and sweet wrappers (Quality Street anyone?). Vibrant yet dark shades of green, purple and blue look striking on a simple-cut party dress with minimal accessories needed. Bonus points if the dress comes in a jacquard material, like the green Jonathan Saunders number above.

The printed trouser suit

(L-R Jason Wu, Stella McCartney, Marni AW12)

This may actually be my favourite look of the season: strong, modern and the perfect line between androgyny and subtle femininity. Once again jacquard is the ideal fabric for a structured suit and this looks best worn with high, high heels, big brushed out hair and a lightweight vest underneath to flash a little bit of skin. My love for Stella McCartney's vibrant blue trouser suit knows no bounds but the fitted trouser and nipped in waist of the baroque Jason Wu suit is the most flattering of the lot.

LBD - redux

(L-R Diane von Furstenburg, Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin AW12)

I did say reaching for the LBD isn't necessarily a bad thing and it is certainly isn't if you take the above LBD as examples. Gone are boring, safe black dresses and in their place come the LBD's edgier, all round more exciting sister.

There were a plethora of goth-glam LBDs on the AW12 catwalks and these are just a handful of my favourites. Think velvet, studding, cross prints, heavy beading, peplum detail and my old favourite- leather. Looks most striking worn with bare legs and a pair of spiky pointed toe heels but if you can't bear the cold then tights and some platform ankle boots will do the trick.

I'm sure you'll agree, lots of strong Christmas party looks to choose from! Here's my pick of the best high street alternatives:

Blue jacquard dress, ASOS, £85
Black sequin dress, Miss Selfridge (petite), £75
Metallic shoes, Topshop, £78
Suit jacket, ASOS, £65
Suit trousers, ASOS, £45

Catwalk images from

Other images:

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

ASOS BLACK by Markus Lupfer

Not quite sure how this collaboration passed me by but when browsing earlier I came across the ASOS BLACK by Markus Lupfer range and quite frankly, fell in love with it.

Famous for those sequined jumpers and now his fabulous leather pieces, Markus Lupfer's collaboration with ASOS features the latter in a big way for a goth meets baroque collection.

Clockwise, from left
Leather printed cut-out skater dress, £175
Leather print t-shirt, £100
Leather printed skinny trousers, £165
Leather fold-over clutch, £85

These pieces would look best styled with similar prints or other dark leathers: think maroon, emerald green and deep purples. A pair of chunky biker boots and a military style jacket would work wonders with the dress and for those of you not so taken by leather clothing as I am, the fold-over clutch is a more subtle alternative. Wear with a slouchy grey t-shirt, black skinny jeans and dramatic eyes.

The rest of the collection can be found at Don't miss out!


Monday, 12 November 2012


I've barely touched on beauty in the past on this blog, minus the odd nail art post, but in the interest of branching out I wanted to write a little about my favourite beauty products. The title of the post sums them up - hero products I use regularly and feel a little bit lost without. Everyone has a few and I wanted to share mine.

Lets start with hair products. I don't tend to use too many products on my hair as I hate that 'over styled' feel and like my hair to look as natural as possible. However, no ones hair looks perfect without a little help and these three products do just that.

Mark Hill Get Gorgeous! No Knots! Leave-in Detangling Spray is the first thing I reach for after washing my hair. For some reason my hair is prone to knotting and after washing it can be a bit of a nightmare to get a brush through. This detangling spray does exactly what it's supposed to do: untangle my hair without weighing it down. The spray is fairly light, gets to work straight away and can also be used on dry hair if it gets knotty throughout the day, although make sure to spray it from a distance so it doesn't wet your hair too much.

Batiste Dry Shampoo Big & Bouncy XXL Volume is next on my heroes list. I'm sure, by now everyone has discovered the merits of dry shampoo and realised that Batiste make both the cheapest and the best on the market. This particular one has a little extra added to it however and really does give your hair a bit more volume where you most need it. Spray onto clean hair around the roots, massage with your fingers and lightly brush out any excess for volumized yet natural looking hair. Great for using before backcombing too but be careful not to use too much or you won't be able to get a brush through it for some time!

My final hair product comes from perhaps a less well known brand than the others and one I only came across by accident. Percy & Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish is a great product for both smoothing and adding a bit of texture to the lengths of your hair. It also happens to smell rather amazing; rub a tiny amount between your palms and smooth down any flyaway strands at the top and then push the middle section of your hair up with the remaining polish. It manages to be light weight enough not to make your hair feel greasy but thick enough to hold a style and always helps to add a little extra something to my (predominantly flat) hair.

Good quality products that enhance your various make-up styles are hard to come by. I go from one face cream to the next and am not too fussy when it comes to make-up removers and face washes but these two products have earned themselves a rightful place in my heroes list.

The more expensive of the two, Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer is well worth its £16.50 price tag. Again, I stumbled across this product by accident but haven't looked back, using it daily under my eyeshadow. A thin layer of this skin colour primer on my eyelids perfectly holds my eyeshadow in place for the majority of the day without having to reapply and can also be worn on its own to even the tone of your eyelids. Eyeshadow seems to hold much better and come out a stronger shade when worn combined with this primer and the product has lasted me for ages despite me using it most days. I've never been particularly fussed about face primer but this eyeshadow primer is definitely worth using for longer lasting make-up.

If your skin is anything like mine it is liable to become a little shiny throughout the day, especially if you're having a busy day rushing around at work. Fashionista Shine Stopper Translucent Loose Powder, available from Superdrug, is the perfect quick-fix for shine: simply dust a thin layer over your face and all shine is eradicated, leaving your skin looking matte and even. The colour of the powder is fairly pale but doesn't change the colour of your skin and a little bit goes a long way. My handbag feels empty without it.

I'm not sure I could rave about these final two products enough if I tried. Body Shop Moringa Body Butter is literally the best body cream I've ever used: superlative fully justified here. The smell is clean, fresh and gently floral without being overbearing and manages to stay on your skin long after applying. The cream is the perfect consistency for my sometimes-dry skin, leaving it soft but not so soft you end up feeling clammy hours later. Perhaps not the most well-known Body Shop scent but Moringa is definitely the perfect scent for me and this cream is my absolute favourite.

Garnier Body Tonic Sugar Scrub is another pretty amazing hero product of mine. Finding the perfect scrub for your skin can be a bit of a nightmare; an endless search for a scrub that is gentle enough not to damage your skin but strong enough to actually make a noticeable difference. This is the best one I've found for a reasonable price and doesn't leave an absolute mess all over the shower when you're finished with it. Use a couple of times a week for smooth arms and legs.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Going hell for leather

If there's one fabric you should be investing in this season then it's leather. Once the type of fabric you wouldn't have dreamt of wearing on anything other than shoes and outerwear, leather has crept its way onto a variety of other clothing items and is more versatile than ever for AW12.

Leather has become highly wearable: find it on t-shirts, skinny trousers, pleated skirts and the little leather dress, as seen on Leigh Lezark (above image). I have no particular preference to real leather over 'pleather': the quality of the latter has improved vastly and most high street stores offer good quality pleather for a fraction of the price of a real leather alternative. Wear with denims, crisp whites, grey marl and khaki for a relaxed day look.

Alexander Wang aw12 

Markus Lupfer aw12

The below are just a selection of all the high street has to offer. I picked up the Zara dress myself this week and it is my favourite new item: a great way to work leather into your smart-casual work wardrobe without going all out.

Prices, L-R:
Khaki panel jumper, Zara, £35.99
Pleated skirt, Warehouse, £40
Panelled leggings, Miss Selfridge, £30
Panelled black dress, River Island, £35
Sleeve detail top, River Island, £30
Burgundy shorts, River Island, £30
Trimmed black dress, Zara, £49.99


Monday, 1 October 2012

The coats the thing

Writing this from my room, trying to avoid looking out the window at the hideous weather. And to think, just under a month ago I was basking in the sun in Morocco. Sad face.

But the rubbish weather does have one (small) upside; it is finally time to crack out a great winter coat or two. I remember thinking how boring coats were when you only really had the option to buy black or grey, waist length or down to the knee, single or double breasted. Not any more!

If you're buying high street you can afford to pick up a couple of different styles in order to keep your Autumn outfits fresh and interesting. Here's my pick of the high streets AW12 offerings:

(Clockwise, from top left)

Navy longline biker jacket, New Look, £54.99
I may be biased as I bought this coat a couple of weeks ago and have been wearing it ever since but navy is the easiest colour to wear this Autumn-Winter. Goes perfectly with the AW12 palette of khaki, oxblood, teal and charcoal grey but also looks great worn over a bright tee or blouse.

Cranberry faux fur jacket, Miss Selfridge, £95
I love the glamorous look of a faux fur jacket but sometimes find them bulky on my petite frame. The waist tie on this jacket rectifies that issue perfectly; wear with skinny jeans, chunky black ankle boots and big blow-dried hair.

Black bomber jacket, Warehouse, £85
I love the masculine feel of this jacket, be careful to style it proportionately on the bottom half to balance out the loose fit.

Mint knitted jacket, H&M, £99.99
Who says a winter coat needs to be in a dark shade? The minty colour of this H&M coat for some reason makes me think of the White Witch from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe... but a nice version. One of the most expensive of my coat picks but will help you to stand out from the crowd and just think how good it will look on a snowy day...

Military contrast sleeve jacket, Mango at ASOS, £99.99
Contrast sleeves are everywhere this Autumn-Winter and this jacket looks like it would be roomy enough to fit over a chunky knit or two. A more grown-up shade of khaki than some on the high street making for a subtle way of adapting the military trend into a working wardrobe.

Black quilted detail jacket, Warehouse, £95
If you still favour a black jacket then this should be the one: quilt detail, nipped in waist and overall a flattering jacket that will work well with the majority of your wardrobe. Make the most of a slim figure by wearing it tied-up at the waist and turn the collar up for that classic Burberry-esque look.

Khaki contrast sleeve jacket, Warehouse, £95
Another great Warehouse coat (they are on fire for AW12!) and this is a perfect casual coat for lazy weekends. Another example of contrast sleeves with the extra interest from the shearling detail on the collar.

Tartan and fur detail jacket, River Island, £85
This jacket caught my eye for it's individuality: tartan detail (a strong choice for Autumn-Winter) paired with a faux fur trim makes for a good combination in my eyes. Wear with black and lots of it  to keep warm and stylish in the cold.