Sunday, 31 May 2015

Boho Braids and Surviving in Style

The problem with festivals isn't so much the weather. Well maybe it's the weather. And the overpriced warm beer. And let's call it the toilet too. I'm a lady of creature comforts. I like hot and cold running water, not sleeping on the ground and reliable wifi. I know. Being in a city has ruined me and as a result, I'm the guy who pays a premium for a toilet that flushes. And I have no regrets.

But that doesn't mean I still don't want to enjoy myself. I like getting out of Glasgow. Hell, half an hour out of the city and we have some of the most beautiful scenery you could shake a stick at. I love BBQs, picnic, hiking, staying up late night under the stars - the whole 9 yards. I jut like to do it while taking a bit of the city with me.

Top - Primark
Crochet Top - New Look
Skirt - Beyond Retro
Shoes - Debenhams
Hair - BLOW

Glamping is seen as cheating, but really it's no different to a caravan holiday. You still have a proper bed and if we're completely honest, it's much preferable to sleeping on the ground. Most things are. So if you're like me and want to get out the city but aren't quite ready to go full on Bear Grylls then glamping might be exactly what you need.  With some gluco tabs to fight hangover, dry shampoo (or braids from the braid bar), solar powered phone chargers and some bluetooth headphones you can get ready to face the world.

Which is why Get the Label are running a competition for you and 3 of your friends the ultimate glamping getaway. With 2 nights in the wigwam holiday glamping site of your choice, £75 worth of vouchers for Get The Label and your own glamping survival kit (I'm not going to lie, it's pretty spectacular), you and your besties will be armed with everything you need for a weekend getaway. It literally take 2 minutes  to enter and ends the 14th of June. So what are you waiting for? Time to get glamping!


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Black and Blue No Brainers

We've all got our wardrobe no-brainers. The things that we can pull on without much thought or effort and still make a vague imitation of a human being. For me, this means retreating into familiar bruise coloured palettes, boxy shapes and classic staples. 

Top - House of Sunny
Jeans - Topshop
Necklace - Marks & Spencers
Shoes - Topshop

A good pair of strappy sandals? Check. High waisted jeans? Way ahead of you. House of Sunny top, well it's a crime that I haven't featured them before now. Every fashion week, without fail I head to Topshop Oxford Circus and fawn over HoS. Everything is simple, elegant and super easy to wear, and bonus points guys - Made in Britain. If you're into classic minimalism, say hello to your new favourite brand.  I am dying for them to get a concession in Glasgow's Topshop (do you hear me guys?) because it really is the kind of brand you need to try on. I nearly passed up on this top before trying it on because I thought it would make me look like a huge rectangle. In a bad way. And what a loss that would be for my wardrobe. It's become my new failsafe "I'm an adult" top that isn't a button down oxford.

What's your classics?


Friday, 22 May 2015

Braid bars and Clutch Bags

It's bank holiday weekend and while sitting in bed and binge watching Grey's Anatomy is tempting (super tempting) you'll be doing yourself a huge disservice. Glasgow is essentially turning it out at the moment, what with the launch of a dessert parlor on my doorstep, braid bars and bag giveaways, it's giving you every reason to get up and go this weekend.

First up it's St Enoch Centre with their Handbags and Gladrags event running the 23rd and 24th. Celebrating the finishing touches of any outfit, they'll have in centre giveaways. With gift cards and beauty goodies you'll be able to pick up something pretty spectacular from any of their retaillers. While H&M might be my usual stomping ground I couldn't help picking up a novelty trashy bag. "Follow Your Heart" indeed. Floozie scratch a particular itch with their kitschy red and pink colour combos. And let's face it who doesn't need a heart shaped bag?

Dress - H&M
Necklace - Joy
Bags - Both Floozie @ Debenhams at St Enoch Centre
Shoes - Topshop

Festival season is hotting up and obviously Glasgow's hottest style and colour bar BLOW (it's official as of last week guys, BLOW are multi-award winning) for braids, cider and styling as Topshop roll out west for a Finneston high street take over.  Magners cider have drinks on tap for that true festival vibe, with personal stylist Alice Mccolm on the floor between 10-6 to answer your style questions. BTW guys - it's going to include a lot of fringing. Topshop's personal styling service is free all year round and can find you the perfect outfit from a night out to a full revamp. Gusto will be on hand with a bunch of desserts to chow down on as you enjoy a complimentary braid bar for one weekend only.  How often do you get a chance to get your hair did by one of the best hair stylists in Scotland?  Oh yeah, and the chance to win £100 to spend in Topshop? HALLO. 

For me though my weekend is looking to be a host of family dinners as well as the annual Eurovision binge watch (don't try and pretend you don't love it.) Basically, the perfect end to a weekend of shopping a hurr. What's your top picks for the Bank Holiday weekend?


Monday, 18 May 2015

All Hail the New British - Boden A/W 15

All Hail the New British. Boden is doing what they do best, celebrating timeless British style with a mix of elegant and contemporary lines. From their staples of classic basics and eclectic prints,  Boden are leading with their best fashion foot forward for a highly covetable collection that reads as love letter to the history of British style.

You couldn't swing a cat without hitting someone wearing Boden's Best Selling Alice shoe this season that fast became a favourite among fashion bloggers (guilty as charged) and it looks like Boden are setting up for an equally strong Autumn/Winter. Bags and shoes remain particularly strong (there is a novelty taxi bag that I've got my eye on) but their collection of coats and jackets are a real stand out. As a quintessentially British brand it only makes sense to play to your strengths, and with Boden's mix of brushed wools and tweeds, they'll have you praying for cold weather so you can crack out your coats.

There was a main trends were towards bold graphics, eclectic pastels and a rather spectacular limited edition Made in Britain collection. From the bold and the bright we have big textured blue furs, velvet trousers and statement bags, while those looking for something a bit more demure can look towards tapered trousers, pastel no-brainer ponchos and embellished pumps. The Made in Britain collection though was gorgeous though, taking the best of British style, making them from the finest fabrics for a limited run of 100 of each piece. A military inspired midi skirt, a waxed parka and one particularly fine red coat were the real hero pieces of this exclusive collection which is sure to sell out fast.

Overall, it feels like Boden have curated the very best of British style for the Winter season. From 60's A-line skirts,  70s suedes and 80s punk leathers mixed with more contemporary prim and proper WASP styling and effortless minimalism, they have managed to tick more boxes than you knew there was on the call sheet. They still make the best basics on the market, but this Winter be prepared for Boden to be one of your top fashion stops not on the high street.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Illamasqua To Be Alive - Spirit Palette

When it comes to make up boxes, there is usually one colour distinctly lacking, so naturally Illamasqua decided to embrace it for their Summer collection - "To Be Alive."  Blue can be a tricky bugger to pull off at the best of times, but in High Summer where the market is dominated by dewy skin and sparkling shimmers, Illamasqua shirks the usual trends. And really would you expect anything else from Illamasqua at this point?

The full collection is the very anti-thesis of Summer with it's frosty cool tones - from pearlesent polishes to shimmering glosses, but there was one stand out piece that I kind of sort of totally needed to buy.  The Spirit palette truly is a thing of beauty and why blue may not be the easiest colour to pull off on the old peepers, this palette provides everything you need to create a dramatic alternative smokey eye.

In truth I've been in a bit of a make up rut. If it wasn't some variant of a brown or eyeliner it wasn't going anywhere near my eyes. But then I was missing out so much what I love about make up. I love playing with colour and experimenting, and for someone who is more often than naught seen with a red lip, there's got to be some way to add a bit of flair to the face. The spirit palette is exactly what the doctor ordered.

The palette contains four intense colour eyeshadows with both matte and creamy finishes.  The shimmery cream (Awaken) is a perfect base product and has this lovely metallic quality that makes it look gorgeous under the light, however it's the powder eyeshadows where this palette truly comes in to it's own. There's a matte navy (Refine) and a matte royal blue (Inspire) which pretty much set my heart a fluttering. The navy in particular is just so true deep navy and it might, might have been my fave if it wasn't for this spectacular iridescent white eyeshadow (Cascade.) Seriously guys, pictures cannot truly do justice to how beautiful and shimmery and all around perfect it is. In fact, it was swatching the white that made we want to take the palette for a spin in a first place.

The Spirit palette truly is a gateway drug to the rest of the collection including a pretty amazing blue lipstick (which part of me would love to try) and a super girly and feminine gloss. At £34 for 4 shadow you're getting a gorgeous palette with intense pigmented eyeshadow. I personally would use a primer under them (hell, I think you should use a primer under anything) to keep it in place. Paired with their navy eyeliner it's a proper treat. If you're still feeling a little bit cautious I urge you to go check it out and swatch for yourself (my closest Illamasqua counter is Debenhams in Glasgow) and prepare to fall in love.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Oh Joy! Oh Joy!

Joy's homeware guys. Who knew? I certainly didn't. Hell, until the press day I was completely unaware of Joy's homeware and gift offering - associating them more with lovely vintage inspired dresses and prints. Turns out that this carries though in to their homeware and it is AMAZING. OOLA - the High Summer AW15 collection has a range of fun, quirky and kitsch pieces that I'm a sucker for.

I've been going a bit crazy for the trout shaped vase over on instagram - and who could blame me - but she really is just the centerpiece of a super fun and diverse collection. It feels like walking in to your Gran's home but with a contemporary twist. Rose gold pineapples for jewellery, crystal puffer fish and ice cream cone vases and bowls and tiny fish salt and pepper shakers are sure to me favorites this Summer. I can think of more than a fair few of my girls who will be going utterly gaga for the novelty homeware goodies when they hit shelves.

Their fashion line are a mix of retro and vintage inspired prints and cuts. Valley of the Dolls is a slightly younger offering with a distinct Boho Californian vibe. The white mini dress and printed jacket with detachable faux fur collar were certainly my top picks. The main line Louche sees a mix of designs inspired from abstract art - so expect big bold colourful prints and uber feminine floaty 70s florals.

Joy have recently dipped their toe in to menswear with their house brand Hymn (currently with a stand alone store in Boxpark.) It's very quintessentially British with classic well made pieces. As expected I was drawn to the oversized knits and tailored pinched trousers.

It's time to embrace some Joy. I know I'll be welcoming it in to my home and perhaps my wardrobe.

Monday, 11 May 2015

This is not just any press day, this is a M&S press day

I never really saw myself as a typical Marks and Spencer shopper. Or any kind of Marks and Spencer shopper really. My visits to Marks have been limited to a cheeky Dine for Two deal and the occasion rummage in home. I never expected it to be my favourite high street collection for AW. In short, I'm smitten.

Each story for AW15 has something that had me going all heart eyed and high pitched. From Modern Muses playful retro aesthetic to the low key luxury of Entwined, I've never been more excited for Autumn/Winter to roll round. Marks and Spencer have been going from strength to strength under Style Director Belinda Earl's guidance but this season it truly has blossomed. Contemporary shapes and luxurious fabrics are at the forefront of this design led collection. Their are hints of Pringle and Louis Vuitton and even Burberry in what is a pared back and elegant collection.

It's Marks and Spencer, but polished. Everything they've stood for before - quality, craftsmanship and British design are all here, with style icon Twiggy collaborating on a few pieces including THAT massive grey furry coat, but more refined. It's effortless and has swayed me from a naysayer to a full blown fan. I mean, come on, who expected to see a double breasted orange leopard print coat and googly eye handbag at a Marks and Spencer press day?

My favorite collection though which I pretty much will be buying all of, is Entwined.  It's all tactile knitwear - elegant and simple and just the makings of forever wardrobe pieces. I expected to loo through the lookbook and sob at the prices but we're talking £25 - £60 for some really beautiful no brainer pieces. Hardly a bank breaker. I expected all my top picks to be from the Limited collection but was pleasantly surprised to see most of them within the mainline.

The Best of British collection is gorgeous and while we're looking at more premium high street, it really is worth it. There is a pair of navy and silver brogues that already have my name all over them. Now off and away with you Summer, I'm ready for my knits and heavy coats already!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Misguided Lesson in Comfort

London is without a doubt my favorite cities in the world.  Sure it's great for traveling down for work, but it's definitely been a city that has given me clarity and helped me grow with a few fundamental life lessons. Things like someones elses successes don't negate you own, never pack more than you can carry and something I apparently I'd not quite had drilled in to me till this week,  never break in new shoe on a day when you're constantly on your feet. This my friend is the tale of how I destroyed my feet by wearing new shoes to a 16 hour day that had me and my Betty hoofing (and in my case, crawling) around London.

Sophia Bomber - Boden
T-shirt - Cos
Jeans - Bethnal
Lace up pumps - Boden

See that happy, smiling, some may say, serene face? It's a lie. A horrible horrible lie. This isn't the first time I've made the mistake of new shoes on a big day. No no. My first fashion week saw me in one of my favorite heels (and comfiest pair of shoes) for 12 hours resulting in a rather pitiful slog along Oxford Street to pick up flats. Any flats really. This time I thought I was safe. I'd been coveting lace up pumps forever and the ones from Boden are a dream. For the most part, comfy and going with a good 80% of my wardrobe. The rookie mistake however came in around hour 8 where I became very very aware that I was slicing up my feet. Dress shoes aren't designed for long wear. Don't get me wrong, I adore them. They will be a recurring theme in my wardrobe this Summer but more for picnics and dining out with the bae opposed to city hikes. 

The bonus of good shoes and good hair is that you can kind of fluff it up elsewhere in the outfit. As I was getting the sleeper bus I needed a light top that I could change in to, something warm for the evenings and a classic jean. The Sophia bomber is gorgeous, and while I ordinarily would have went for it in navy I LOVE it in white with it's little bursts of orange and teal. I went a size up as wanted it to be boxy and it already has a really relaxed fit. The quilting makes sure that it's nice and toasty without being sweltering - an easy wear piece of casual luxury.

The sore feet and long hours of traveling were totally worth it. The Boden, M&S, Joy and Lazy Oaf press days and events were amazing and I can't wait to share them with you! Prepare to be excited about Winter guys.
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