Category: Fashion

Armadillo, Armadillo, Armadillo!

Photo of a gold coloured necklace with an armadillo

How cute is this armadillo necklace from Elsie Belle?!

Elsie Belle have little stalls at St Nicholas Market and the Harbourside Market, which is where I first discovered their cute, vintage inspired jewellery.

Photos of jewellery on a market stall

I fell in love with this unusual necklace before Christmas, but decided that I couldn’t justify getting it for myself. I thought about it on and off for over a month, and still wanted it. So as soon as I saw their stand at St Nicks last week, I made a bee-line for it and hunted out my favourite! It was £13 on the stand, but it seems they are a pound cheaper online (though bear in mind P&P is £3.50).

Photo of an armadillo necklace

Its such a sweet little necklace, I don’t regret buying it at all. It adds a bit of fun to everyday outfits without being too over-the-top. Adorable.

Have you bought anything from Elsie Belle?

Black, White & Burgundy Ethical Outfit

Photos of clothing items in black white and burgundy colours
Monochrome shirt dress with obi belt, £124 (was £155), by Outsider

Burgundy leather bow handbag, £22 (was £30) From Rockit

Vintage ’70’s Genie Lamp necklace, £14, from ASOS Marketplace

Vintage ’90’s patent bow flats (size 7), £19.99, from ASOS Marketplace

I’m a big fan of raiding second hand shops and charity shops looking for interesting clothes and shoes. I love the thrill of finding something completely different and unexpected – you can’t go vintage shopping with a shopping list as such, you have to roll with what you find which is why its fun.

Although I’ve spent years rooting through charity shops and junk shops looking for goodies, I’ve not really shopped online for vintage before (minus a few eBay related disasters). I spotted a competition running on a new site called Style-Is, asking bloggers to post an ethical outfit, so I thought this was an opportunity to have a look!

Style-Is wants to encourage people to shop for clothes in ethical ways, and promotes brands who produce goods that are better for the environment and/or humanity. Its a really great idea for a fashion site and its pretty new so it has potential to become much bigger. They have some really neat clothes and accessories on the site you can buy (don’t be put off by the really expensive items it lists by default though like I initially was!). I found a super cute cat tea towel I may just have to buy…and these gold-tone mouse earrings!

I love the dress I found on the ethical clothes site Outsider – it reminds me of a grown up version of Wednesday’s dress from the Addams family, only its also work appropriate! The black patent flats look comfy and cute, and the necklace is really unusual, and adds a bit of charm and interest. I really like the burgundy bag from Rockit: it has a sweet bow detail on the top.

Where do you shop for ethical clothes? Have you visited Style-It? Are you taking part in the Style-Is ethical outfit competition?

The Twin Peaks Look in 2012

I’m a huge Twin Peaks fan. I’m an addict: I watch both seasons at least twice a year. If you’ve not seen it, I can’t recommend it enough and its on Netflix, so there really is no excuse not to check out this David Lynch masterpiece!

For those of you who are unfortunate enough not to know about Twin Peaks, its a TV show from the late 1980’s that follows the investigation into the murder of a teenager called Laura Palmer. Its full of dark humour, surprising twists and scary moments.

One of the things I have come to love about Twin Peaks are the ’80’s costumes. The female leading characters really rock knitwear: think fitted jumpers nipped in at the waist, the chunky sweaters and manically-patterned cardigans, worn with knee length skirts, brogues and low heels.

Audrey Horne

Collage of pictures of Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks
Audrey Horne is one of the most glamorous characters in Twin Peaks. She really rocks the fitted jumper and skirt combo, in fact she makes it an art form! She’s always perfectly made up with cherry lips and porcelain skin, like a 1950’s movie star.

Donna Hayward

Collage of pictures of Donna Hayward from Twin Peaks
Donna Hayward isn’t as glamorous as Audrey, but she certainly has an extensive sweater collection! Donna has less fitted clothes, opting for looser and longer jumpers, and fitted shirts. She wears darker, plummy lipstick and shadow to frame her eyes.

Getting Audrey & Donna’s look for 2012

I’ve been looking for some up-to-date versions of the clothes the Twin Peaks ladies wear, and I have struck gold with one of my all-time favourite brands this season – Louche. Louche are available from several smaller boutiques in Bristol, including the wonderful Fox and Feather on Gloucester Road, who are currently stocking these awesome Twin Peaks-like clothes:

Gianna Cardigan by Louche

Photo of a red and black cardigan
Available from Fox and Feather £39
I *adore* this cardigan so much, I’m going to struggle not to rush up the road and buy this – its so perfectly Twin Peaks! Even the pattern plays homage to the Red Room.

Eden Skirt by Louche

Photo of a black and white skirt
Available from Fox and Feather £39

Juno Top by Goldie Boutique

Photo of a white blouse
Available from Fox and Feather £35 (ON SALE NOW!)
I can just see Audrey wearing this, while she wafts around the Great Northern Hotel causing trouble.

Sheri Skirt by Louche

Photo of a skirt with red hearts on it
Available from Fox and Feather £39

Luca Penguin Cardigan by Louche

Photo of a cardigan with penguins on it
Available from Fox and Feather £48
This is a Donna cardigan with a modern twist – I can’t see Donna wearing a cardi with penguins on it, but the shape is perfect.

So what do you think of this modern take on the Twin Peaks look? Are there any TV shows you’d like to emulate with contemporary fashion?

Xmas Party Outfit Challenge

FashionVouchers.com is running a special ‘Xmas Party Outfit Challenge’ for bloggers at the moment. The challenge is to put together a Christmas party outfit for £100 from any of the shops featured on the Fashion Vouchers website. There are three prizes of £100 of vouchers to win, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed about this entry!

My outfit entry:

Collage of pictures of a Christmas party outfit
I’ve picked items that have a dark, gothic feel, but tried to make it a bit more festive with some sparkle on the dress, the nails and some forest green. The shoes and bag are both sueded for a bit of texture to contrast with the dress’ smooth and sparkly look. The nails are purposefully clashing with the green: I love pink and green together!

Get the look:

All the items are from Missguided.co.uk

Vanella Cross Over Bodycon Dress In Deep Green, £29.99

Sadira Suede Skull Clutch Bag In Black, £16.99

Barry M Nail Glitter in ‘Pink Sapphire’, £2.99

Jenine Suede Studded Platform Shoe Boots, £49.99

Outfit total: £99.96

What do you think of the look I’ve put together? Have you taken part in this blogger challenge, if so, please let me know so I can have a look!

Indie shop love: Portabella Bristol

Photo of Portabella Bristol

I feel really lucky to live where I do. Bristol is such a vibrant city, there is so much to see and do. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the UK I’d rather live. I’m fortunate to live right next to one of the most thriving independent streets in the UK: Gloucester Road, which has a fantastic selection of interesting shops and boutiques.

I personally believe that its important to support local shops and independent retailers. They give us variety and a sense of community we cant get from chain stores. They also provide employment, often on more flexible and understanding terms than large companies can. Many independent shops support young designers and producers, and help them on their way. Without this step up, many interesting designers would probably struggle to get exposure or the patronage they need to actually start a career.

With this in mind I want to give a bit of blog love to some of my favourite indie shops and boutiques. Most of these have online shops too, so even if you don’t live in Bristol, you can still enjoy them! I’d love it if you could share the love for your local independent shops too, why not join me and share your favourites with the world?

First up is a special favourite of mine, Portabella on Cheltenham Road.

Portabella

Address: 186 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, BS6 5RB
Website: N/A
Twitter: @PortabellaShop
Facebook: Portabella
Collage of images of the interior of Portabella

Portabella is a gorgeous little boutique, just a minute’s walk from the end of Gloucester Road. It has a great selection of womenswear, accessories and jewellery. What makes the shop special for me is a combination of the stock they choose and their fantastic service. I have bought two of my favourite ever dresses from Portabella, and I get asked where I got them from almost every time I wear them.

The clothes they stock are beautiful and follow trends but not laboriously so. Their style is classic and quirky combined. They manage to blend a variety of looks together, and they always have strong colour themes which excites me when I shop in there. They only stock a small number of each item, and once its gone, its gone – so its worth checking in there regularly as stock changes all the time.

They have excellent service too. Alex is lovely and runs their Twitter account and is really helpful without being pushy or ‘salesy’ if you know what I mean! I spotted a fox jumper on their Facebook page today, Tweeted them, and went in and picked it up this evening after work. I got to the shop late but they stayed open for me and let me have a look around: now that is what I call good service!

Have a look at what I picked up on my latest visit to Portabella (I’m still coveting a dress with foxes on…Santa?? Haha):

A rather foxy jumper by Sugarhill Boutique

Collage of pictures of a jumper with a fox on it
Such a cute jumper! Its a lovely fine knit that’s really soft and light. I’m really into my novelty knitwear so this was a great addition to my growing collection. £45

Burgundy tunic for winter by Influence

Collage of pictures of a burgundy tunic
A simple burgundy/oxblood/claret/whatever coloured tunic I’ll be layering this winter. Its very soft and finely knitted. They are in bright blue and black versions too. £12

Grungy dress by Influence

Collage of pictures of a jersey dress
A grungy dress that sits just below the knee. I liked the simplicity of the shape of this dress and the textured pattern with the splashes of turquoise. £26

Please share your favourite indie shops and boutiques with me!

Give them some love in the lead up to Christmas!

Monki Mini Haul

Monki card label

When I saw the Monki shop on Carnaby Street I had to go in – it’s so vibrant and eye catching. I was really pleased that the prices of the clothes and accessories were reasonable too! I did not have long to look around, but a few things caught my eye. As well as lots of on trend pieces in pastel colours and denims, Monki also has a range of slightly quirkier things, like the tshirt I picked up with a design featuring the little black blob characters:
Graphic design on a white tshirt

Detail of tshirt motif

Detail of tshirt

Tshirt detail

Tshirt being worn

Along with the cute tshirt I also bought a new purse with lots of useful compartments, and a necklace with a pair of scissors on it. All were very reasonable, I think all three items came to about £20, not bad at all!

I loved the little characters and detailing on everything in the shop – the little characters even appear on the back of the receipt. Have you been to Monki? What did you think?

Cats in Space

Selection of cat or space themed clothes and accessories
I’ve had a horrible, depressing day. I wish I was seeing my girls (@RoseChild and @Verohari) and going for drinks and food with them; that’s what would really cheer me up right now! But I can’t, so instead I’ve put together my ideal outfit for going out with these awesome ladies. It’s got cats and space stuff. I want it all now, particularly the adorable Lulu Guinness cat purse (£55 at ASOS). You can see all the outfit details over here on the ASOS Fashion Finder.

A few notes:

  • Nails are important! – I want to try the new Model’s Own polishes in their Beetlejuice range as they are sparkly and a bit holographic too.
  • A good sturdy purse is needed to hold all the beer money.
  • Hand cream may seem boring, but my hands are dry at the moment and I need to keep them moisturised (plus that tin is very cute indeed).
  • Flat shoes are essential as we’ll end up walking home.

Here is the inspiration for this look: OMG! Cats in Space!!!.

Cat against a space background

That cat pretty much depicts how I feel at the moment 🙁

OOTD: Pony Dress

Black dress with small pony print

Dress with pony print and knee high boots
Belt with rose shaped closure
Yesterday I had a meeting with some clients at a private members club in Clifton. I did not know what to wear, and had a minor freak out about it. I was banned from wearing jeans and I knew I had to be a bit smarter, but I also had to be comfy as I needed to wear the outfit for the whole day. Members clubs are so male orientated that I felt at a loss for how to dress in a way that would mean I would be accepted (and allowed in) without compromising who I am. After a lot of mulling things over, I decided to wear this dress from Peacocks. Far from being luxe or designer, it was a bit fun without being too silly. At least I hope that is the message it conveyed!

The dress features a small pony print and has two layers: a sheer outer layer and a liner/slip dress in underneath. It came with a naff plaited belt which broke as soon as I tried to use it, so I swapped that for a tan belt with a rose clasp (also from Peacocks). The boots are from H&M in their sale, a bargain at just £10! I think I will cut the fringes off them though as they’re a bit fussy for my taste.

Leopard print flat shoesI opted not to wear the boots in the end and instead wore black tights with leopard print flats, though I didn’t manage to get a photo of the complete look together.

Dress: Peacocks
Belt: Peacocks
Bag: Fossil (from a charity shop)
Boots: H&M
Leopard print flats: H&M
Leggings: Clothing Federation on Park Street, Bristol

Mini handbags

Mini French Connection bagMini French Connection handbag, £4.00 from St Peters Hospice Shop, Gloucester Road.

Brown Fossil Handbag
Fossil handbag labelTan leather Fossil handbag, £3.50 from Marie Curie Cancer Care, Gloucester Road.

Charity shops are awesome. Two handbags for under a tenner, recycling and supporting two brilliant charities all wrapped up into a shopping trip!

OOTD: Spotted Owl

Owl jumper and spotted skinny jeans
Pink shoes
Polka dot jeans: Primark
Owl Jumper: Discount clothes shop in Bristol (I forget the name…)
Necklace: Bonbi Forest ‘In the absence of light
Pink shoes with ribbon trims: Primark

I love the polka dot jeans, but they come with a warning: the blue from the dye comes off on your hands, A LOT. I’m scared to wash them in case all the blue dye covers up the white dots, but then what else can I expect when I shop at Primark? I know I shouldn’t buy things from there, yet they still tempt me in with particular items like these, that I have not seen anywhere else.