Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The New Classic

I don't think I'm quite ready for the monochrome trend to go away just yet. Black on black has been my calling card for years, and I am totally in to the whole all white thing, so it just makes sense that I'm all up in this stripped back minimalism sticking around. Shapes, textures and cuts have always been more interesting to me than colour, and when it comes down to it, it's the stripped back basics that I constantly find myself returning back to time and time again.

monochrome style
black pilmsoles
blue hair
monochrome style
clutch bag
Glasses- Alain Mikli at Pretavoir
Dress - H&M
Waistcoat - Zara
Nails - Swoon
Jewellery - Primark (Yes, my bracelet says what you think it does.)
 Clutch - New Look
 Shoes - New Look

I've had this H&M dress for ages. It was an impulse purchase that's become a no brainer piece for me. It's taken me to London Men's Collections, days in the office to holidays and no doubt will come down to LFW with me this season. It's all about how it's accented. I can't even begin to think of how long I've wanted a long waistcoat (I kind of love the 90s art teacher vibe it gives up) and it's been worn nearly every day since I picked up this beauty. To pull it all together it's about some simple accessorise including this graphic portfolio clutch from New Look (perfect for fitting my ipad and the rest of the hot mess I lug about on a day to day basis) and some weaved plimsoles. It's easy to wear classics that never really go out of style.  Of course I still want to have a bit of fun - so I've pretty much put on all the rings in the world (I especially love the little twig thumb number) and a slogan bracelet. Yes it says what you think it does. I love the fact I've got different letters to play with (28) so I can subtlety tell the world to "Fuck Off" if need be.  I don't really think I need much colour. I've got blue hair and nails to match, so I think the fresh palette helps make it stand out.

I love playing with my clothes as much as the next gal, but there's something nice about returning to your stapes. What classic pieces can't you live without?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Holly Fulton X Radley returns for another collection

I completely lost it when Radley first launched their collaboration with Holly Fulton last November. Flat out lost it. When I found out Radley were taking Ms Fulton for another spin it was all I could do to stop my brain from flat out melting out my ears.

Never before has a collaboration given me a full on transformative view of a brand. Last year it was all reds, blacks and whites, taking in to account Fulton's trademark graphic signatories. This year they've moved away from clutches, going for more practical bags (I love an optional long strap me) while keeping everything that made the last collection so great. Oh and don't worry, they've kept the scottie dog.

radley x holly fulton
radley x holly fulton
radley x holly fulton
radley x holly fulton

Inspired by Fulton's love of pop art, the collection introduces new shapes (including the shopper and my personal favourite, the canteen) in bright fresh colours in navy and bright blue. Of course I'm going to love this. It's ticking infinite boxes for me. Continually Radley are challenging me to think that they don't just make bags for mum's but also something even the most discerning fashionista would love.

The collection launches September with prices ranging from £129 - £279. So you sold on Radley yet?


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Black & Blue

I've never really got my head round office dressing, probably cause I've never really had to "do" office dressing. I know smart casual is the standard rule of thumb but it seems to change it's meaning place to place. Given the first opportunity I'd gladly wear pajamas to the office. While it's maybe not the most practical, I opted for the next best thing. God bless the luxe jogger.

sports luxe
statement necklace
blue hair
checked flooralain mikli glasses

Top - Obscure Couture
Luxe jogger - Debenhams
Shoes - &other stories via TK Maxx
Necklace - Zara
Glasses - Alain Mikli via Pretavoir

I know, I know. Even after all this time it feels like a hard sell. "But Claire, jogging bottoms are for the gym" (say my imaginery nay-sayers) but if sliders get to be a thing, I'm getting to wear my comfy trousers as office wear. It seems like a fair trade.  I paired it with an old school Obscure Couture tee (worn backwards as I love the higher neckline and print detail), a chunky necklace and my new flats. Totally in to the fact I can see my toes through them. And the gold detailing. Kind of smartens everything up a spot.

 I don't know about you but I'm all about casual dressing. I'm just not built for heels every day (who is?) though I don't know if I'm quite ready to invest in a wardrobe entirely of joggers. Who am I kidding, I'm already half way there.

How do you get around office dressing?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Get Happy with Clinique #HappyHour

August can only mean one for us Scots. Okay, well other than the end of Summer (already??) it's officially Fringe season, transforming the capital in to the festival city once more. I've got a love/hate relationship with the Fringe from years of living in a Glasgow/Edinburgh limbo. I love all the shows that come in to town, how vibrant the city feels. I'm not so in to the fact that I can count on my bank balance taking a major hit.  What better way to celebrate festival season than a house party hosted by Gemma Cairney, the fine folks from Clinique and easily my favourite Fringe act of all time?

Prosecco punch, crisps and popcorn and more orange than you could shake a stick at, the scene was officially set for Clinique's #HappyHour. Packing the flat filled with the best of the Fringe, musicians, dancers, actors and all sorts, Clinique invited us to make ourselves at home. Eating millions and drinking prosecco al fresco? Consider it done!

Other than setting up an amazing instagram booth with their signature chubby sticks (I tried ALL of them) they had some cracking music and performers in to keep us entertained. Frisky and Mannish are notorious, and easily one of the best acts of the Fringe going. Subversive, quick and insanely talented, I've had the suffragette song from Mary Poppins stuck in my head ever since.

I can't believe the Fringe is coming to an end this year already, I feel like I haven't had a chance to see anything. I've got a list as long as my arm of acts I'd love to see and fingers crossed they'll be coming on tour once more.  Have you ever been to the Fringe? Who's been your top picks?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Top 5 Unisex Fragrances I can't get enough of

Few things are more personal than perfume. Finding "the one" is an ongoing battle of flitting between dusky florals, bright citrus pops and dark musks. For me though I've always leaned towards something a bit more traditionally masculine, and apparently I'm not alone. 33% of male cologne purchases are made by women to wear for themselves. Less common but still prone to happen, we're seeing men play with some of the darker scents that would be seen traditionally for women (Guerlain, Tom Ford) and pinching them for the bathroom cabinet. The death of "women's" fragrance is long overdue, so here's my round up of the Top 5 Unisex Scents out there right now.

1. Jo Malone - Wood Sage & Sea Salt

I don't think I've ever fallen in love with a scent so quickly as Jo Malone's newest cologne - Wood Sage & Sea Salt. Inspired by the British Seaside, Wood Sage & Sea Salt is simply put, gorgeous. A real musky fragrance with some grapefruit and the the definite smell of salt. The dry down is gorgeous, with this really fresh and salty sea air finish. It's understated and sexy and I don't think the 4th of September can really arrive fast enough. 

2. Tom Ford - Black Orchid

You can take your pick of Tom Ford's perfumes, but Black Orchid has become one of my firm favourites over the years (second only to Tabacco Vanille.) It's dark, heavy and just hits all the right notes for me. It's a really spicy scent with just a hint of sweetness (notes of chocolate and course some sweet florals in for good measure.) 

3. Chanel - Pour Monsieur

My boys signature. Considering he's not really a big citrus fan, this one turned out to be a bit of a curve ball. That said, Pour Monsieur is a classic since it's launch in 1955. For me the main hit I get from it is lemon and basil, though there is just enough spice brought in to it to give it some nice depth with ginger being a pretty key player. I love pinching this when I can't find my TF (or I just fancy something with a bit more zest.) As you might have guessed I tend to lean more towards muskier scents so sometimes it's nice to change things up with something a little fresher. 

4. Penhaligons - Sartorial

Inspired by the tailors of Saville Row, Sartorial is a crisp, clean masculine scent. It's got a ton of my fave notes - black pepper, leather and a nice metallic edge to round it all off.  The lavender dry down is gorgeous.  This was the fragrance that got me in to Penhaligon's and I've never really looked back.

5. Serge Lutens - Un Bois Vanille

This is the one the boy steals from me,and is probably the sweetest perfume I own. I don't tend to go towards sweeter perfumes as I tend to find them really sickly and they never feel right on my skin.  This woody vanilla is the perfect gourmand with just a hint of coconut and black licorice. It's a totally delicious perfume and lasts for AGES. If have a sweeter tooth when it comes to your perfume, this ones for you.

Just missing out: Penhaligon's - Iris Prima, Tom Ford - Sahara Noir, Kiehl's Forest Rain, Guerlain - Shalimair.

There's a real trend to what I tend to go for. Licorice, leather and spice, and for the most part I tend to steer away from traditionally sweeter florals.  I would say, with the exception of Jo Malone, most of these fragrances are better for the evening. I'm prone to layering on a bit of Black Orchid in the morning so consider that rule thrown straight out the window. For me though, I find that fragrances that market themselves traditionally towards men tend to work better as unisex scents. I feel they tend to have a bit more depth and steer away from overly simple and saccharine finishes. As a general rule though I'd ignore the advertising and go entirely by your nose. Perfume should be something you love wearing and feels like you. For me, some Tom Ford and a red lipstick are all I need to feel prepared to face the day. It's an armor of sorts.

What do you think? Unisex fragrances? You in or out?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Something of the witch

I don't think you've truly lived till you find your vintage true love. Mine? It was a charity shop find in Elgin and quite frankly a bit of a wild card. It sparkled. The belt was awful. It was also £4. Little did I know that years later it would become my default dress for when I had no idea what I wanted to wear, I just needed to feel fancy. With a bit of jiggery pokery I would play about with length, draping and hide extra fabric/retro detailing with a chunky belt. It was the beginning of a long enduring love affair and one of my wardrobe staples.

goth fashion blogger
scottish blogger style
style blogger
blogger style

Dress - Vintage
Belt - Primark
Tights - Primark
Shoes - Topshop

I found myself needing to crack out this baby for a posh-do in Jenners thanks to the team at House of Fraser. It was all set to be champagne and canapes and quite frankly I wanted to dress up for the occasion.  After constructing countless outfits in my mind/on my bed and generally breaking down no less than 12 times I knew this guy has to be the one/ And I was glad I did/ It still is the easiest thing to wear and still managed to look good when I transferred in to boots before the end of the night.  It was perfect and for something that I was so uncertain about for so long, it's become a firm favourite. I never quite feel like it's a "this old thing" moment with this (though I definitely trot out that line when anyone asks.)  We're all got our oldies and goldies that we keep forever, and I know this one always deserves a little more love.

Do you have any fave charity shop scores?


Friday, 15 August 2014

Shake it, break it, make it bounce

Perhaps cutting my hair with kitchen scissors wasn't the best idea, and maybe, just maybe I should give it a wee treatment once in a while. Just you know, so it doesn't die. I don't think I'm ever more painfully aware of how terribly I treat my hair till I'm sitting in a hairdresser with someone tackling my mane with a tangle teaser. Yup, my locks manage to even give the holy grail of hairbrushes a run for their money.  And I wonder why it doesn't do what I tell it to?

#BLOW is basically what my hair has been screaming out for. It's a colour and  blow dry concept salon that wants to make hairdressing feel social again. We're talking mimosas, a blow bar where you can natter with your friends and a place that's all about experimenting. Think Bleach comes to Glasgow. 

glasgow salon
blue hair
scottish fashion blogger
scottish fashion blogger

First and foremost their forte is colour, performing gorgeous hair transformations. Add in the best baylage you're going to get in Scotland, hair stencils and some of the most gorgeous smelling treatments ever and you've got my new favourite salon.

For me though, it was about injecting some serious life back in to my hair and I was recommended a signature chocolate smoothie mask. Using products from Milkshake, they mixed up this beautiful conditioning treatment with a smell and texture not a million miles away from brownie batter. Little did I now this is exactly what my hair had been crying out for.

As well as a couple of inches and some long layers sliced in to actually give my hair shape other than just "long" I was treated to a brush brow dry, which was exactly as bizarre as it sounds. The experience is not entirely unpleasant, but there is something oddly surreal about sitting with a salons worth of brushes in your hair. This however was the secret to making my thick and until recently, lifeless hair, bounce.

Other than my hair smelling flat out amazing, the colour felt more even and everything just looked healthier.  Felt amazing to finally have mermaid locks. And while a full curl still won't hold in my hair, it has given it so much more texture and life and all the other good hairdressing terms.

I've never really had big bouncy locks before, but there's something intensely satisfying about feeling your hair bob along as you do. What about you, are you ready to blow?


Saturday, 2 August 2014

No Bones About It

We've all got them. Those safety nets we reach for when our brains feel like melting and we need to armor up.  For me it's always been 2 things. Red lipstick and lots of black. It's like slipping on a glove. While I love playing with patterns and colours, there is something about this that just fits and lends a certain feeling of indestructibility. Or at least that the world is spinning a little bit less fast, enough that you can catch your balance.

Jumper - River Island
Dress - Lazy Oaf
Necklace - Next
Hair Clip - Crown & Glory from Spoiled Brat
Tights - Primark
Shoes - Boohoo

I'm a big advocate in clothes having the power to effect your emotions. To me it's kind of obvious. They can ma you feel sexy, powerful, smart and prepared, or cosy, safe and secure. There's no steadfast rule other than wearing what makes you feed good. For me that just so happens to be head to toe black with a few details. The fact my skull clip from Crown and Glory arrived in the post the same day I was sporting my Lazy Oaf bones dress was a happy moment of serendipity.  I've never been one of those people who "do" their hair (other than a fairly sporadic hair dying schedule) so it's nice to play with clips and crowns. Hell, I was looking through old photos the other day from my days as a redhead (and considerably more high maintenance.)  It very nearly had me reaching for the tongs. And with Honey Pop's wedding only a few short days away it's probably a good a time as ever to play with some new hair styles. I'm not sure what's going to happen as it's been a looooooooooooong time since I've been anywhere near head products. Your mileage may vary, but I'm kind of just hoping I don't melt my scalp off. Wish me luck.
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