It’s time to buy your cashmere!

29 Aug

Yes, that headline might seem a little premature. It is still August. But in shopping world, it’s practically Christmas. Now’s the time to snap up the best coats, boots and knitwear, because the big hits will be gone by the time it actually gets cold.

I’ve already got my eye on a coat from Zara…

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£89.99, and there are only two sizes left online. See what I mean? You’ve got to act now!

The same applies to cashmere. There’s nothing snugglier in winter than a cashmere jumper. Uniqlo and Marks & Spencer can’t be beaten for affordable cashmere jumpers, but they sell out fast. A couple of years ago, my mum asked for a cashmere cardigan from M&S for Christmas, but they were all gone.

So I popped into Uniqlo this week to check out the cashmere situation. Some sizes, particularly in the more useful colours like grey, black and navy were already gone. So it was time to buy!

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I got a beautiful cream jumper and a navy one. There are still lots of sizes available online (here), but I predict this won’t be the case for long.

I’ve also ordered this black cashmere roll neck from Marks & Spencer

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£79, Marks & Spencer

It comes in lots of colours, but, as predicted, the black one is already low in stock.

So it’s been a bit of an investment week, but I figure I’m set for winter now. (Well, I will be if I can get my hands on that Zara jacket!)

Bethan x

The perfect white lace skirt

22 Aug

This month’s Vogue features a brilliant shopping piece called ‘Slip into the new season’, which has inspired a lot of the things currently on my wish list. It’s all about how to update your summer pieces for autumn – definitely helpful right now when it’s tropically sunny one day, raining the next.

My favourite tip is to pair white lace with black. I don’t currently own any white lace, but I’m picturing wearing a white lace skirt with a black top (t-shirt now, cashmere roll neck in winter), black tights and my Nicholas Kirkwood ankle boots (see previous post). It’s a look inspired by Louis Vuitton’s aw15 catwalk…

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And, luckily, now seems to be the perfect time to pick up a bargain white lace skirt, as there are loads in the final summer sales. Here are some of my favourites…

H&M has some great options

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£17

and…

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£14.99

Next up is Asos,..

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£35, by Missguided

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£45, by River Island

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This one’s £29 by WYLDR at Topshop

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£34 by Goldie at Topshop

And finally…

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£22.50 from Yumi at House of Fraser

Any favourites? I’m having a hard time choosing! Look out for my next post for the cashmere jumpers I plan to wear my lace skirt with in winter.

Bethan 

Is it too early to think about winter boots?

16 Aug

It might still be August, and therefore technically summertime, but it’s not exactly bursting with sunshine in London this weekend, and earlier in the week we had enough rain to last us a whole month. So perhaps I’m not that strange to be thinking about winter footwear already.

I still have my knee-high tan boots from Clarks from last year, and I acquired a bargain pair of patent black ankle boots from Nicholas Kirkwood at a sample sale a couple of months ago. Here they are…

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But I think I might be missing one more style. I was in Office yesterday when I spotted these tan lace-ups…

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They’re by a brand called Ten Points, which I hadn’t previously heard of, and cost £119. I really like the masculine style – I think they’d be great with turned up skinny jeans, or to add some toughness to a dress. They’d also be great on a rainy day (I’m still slightly scarred from this week’s downpours!).

They’re quite expensive, although I don’t mind paying out for quality leather boots, but I thought I’d look around for a similar – cheaper – option.

If you’re a size 7 or 8 (that’s all that’s left in stock), these Milos, also from Office, are great…

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And only £38 for leather. I’m very sad they’re not my size!

These Taylor Storm boots from Clarks don’t have laces, but I like the buckle details…

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£70

I also like these from Next…

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£75

So now all I have to decide is, do I save up for the Ten Points, or go for one of the lookalikes… Decisions, decisions.

Bethan x

Skirts and trainers

8 Aug

I’ve recently acquired a shiny white pair of Lacoste Showcourt trainers…

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You can buy them from Asos. They’re so white and shiny, I daren’t actually wear them outside. But also so comfortable I can’t wait to take them for a spin.

I know they’ll be brilliant in autumn and winter with trousers – skinny or wide leg, jeans or something more dressed up – but for now, while it’s lovely and hot in London, I find I want to wear them with pencil skirts.

This is perhaps partly to do with the recent tube strike situation in London. So many of us have had no other choice than to don our trainers and march across the city. But because we’re heading to work, we can’t wear the jeans and t-shirts we might normally wear with our trainers. So skirts, dresses and trainers are a definite thing (even if some people change into heels when they arrive at work. I don’t!)

Obviously, though, this is not a look solely enjoyed by weary commuters. Celebs and street stylers have been doing it for quite some time (it’s very 90s – and 90s is very cool right now. You can’t move for minimalist outfits worn with Adidas Stan Smiths in London).

Rihanna’s a queen of the look…

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Sadly, for me, my wardrobe’s been a bit lacking in the pencil skirt region of late. So what’s a girl to do? Go shopping of course.

I popped into Oasis on my lunch break yesterday and picked up these two little sale beauties for the not so grand sum of £21. For two skirts!

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Two completely different skirts – one girlie, one sporty – but I think they’ll both look lovely with my new trainers. I can’t find either of them on the Oasis website now, but it’s well worth checking out the final bargains in your local branch.

But what I really wanted was a leather pencil skirt. I found them a bit lacking in the shops I visited, but luckily my faithful eBay didn’t let me down. I’m awaiting the arrival of this M&S Autograph number…

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A great staple that I hope will see me right through winter. So I’ve not done too badly with the acquisition of pencil skirts.

If you’re loving the skirt and trainers look, I’ve picked up loads of inspiration on Pinterest – it’s a popular topic! Here are some of my favourites…

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What these pics have taught me? You can’t go wrong with a black, grey and camel palette (bright colours make trainers feel a little too sportswear), and luxe fabrics make your trainers feel like a smart option. I am 100% going to copy the girl at the cafe. Her camel jumper dress is a dream.

How do you wear your trainers?

Bethan x

AW15: all about the details

1 Aug

I was leafing through Tatler this morning, flicking past the many (many many) adverts at the front of the magazine when I thought maybe I should stop and look back at those adverts. They’re a great early indication of the trends we’re all set to be coveting over the coming months, and a welcome change from the dregs of the summer stuff that’s still lingering in the shops (please now, I am sick of sales. I’m ready for shiny new ranges. Thank you).

I noticed a bit of a trend among the big brands – little details. The shapes, colours and patterns are nothing too outrageous, but each look has a very deliberate detail about it, which is carried across several new-season pieces, and gives them that touch of luxury and ‘recognisability’.

Dior is all about the bejwelled collar…

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While at Gucci, it’s fur trim on wrists and inside shoes…

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Chanel’s adding brooches to knitwear, on necklines and waistlines…

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And finally, Miu Miu has added amazing big buckles to its shoes (Fashion fairy godmother, if you’re listening, I think I’m going to NEED these shoes!)

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Lots of this isn’t available to buy yet (and will cost several hundreds – or thousands – when it is). But that doesn’t mean I won’t be trying to recreate the look from the high street.

For the Chanel look, I’m loving the brooch on a chunky polo neck or cowl neck. I love this knit from River Island…

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£38, River Island. It looks much more expensive than it is, and will go with anything. As for the brooch, I think the best bet is to go vintage or look on eBay to get something individual. I’ll be heading to Bang Bang Clothing Exchange.

Asos has blinged up the collar on this T-shirt, a la Dior…

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And at £17.50, it’s about one-hundredth of the price of actual Dior!

I also like this shirt from Miss Selfridge…

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It’s £15 and only in the petites range.

I’ve spotted a Gucci-esque faux fur trim on these Asos sandals…

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They’re £25, and a great way to try out an autumn/winter trend while it’s still summer.

This Sister Jane dress also has something of the Gucci about it…

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£45.50. It’s so kitsch. And I love it.

And as for those beautiful Miu Miu shoes… The replicas haven’t started rolling in yet (as far as my intense googling can find). But if there’s one thing the high street can be replied upon for, it’s making great copies of the key designer pieces, so I have faith something will materialise.

Come on, Asos, don’t let me down!

Bethan x

The Alexa archives – and how to get the looks

25 Jul

I spent a lunchtime this week very productively clicking through Stylist.co.uk’s gallery of Alexa Chung’s style evolution (click here to see it for yourself). Despite a slightly dodgy start (but then who actually did dress well in 2006?), most of her style choices over the past few years have been bloomin’ amazing, and I find myself wanting to recreate outfits she wore five years ago. And I wouldn’t say that about many celebs.

What’s even better is that she is totally copy-able. Nothing she wears is so out there that you can’t find a version of it. And, to my joy, it seems it’s not all miniskirts – so those of us who prefer to cover a little more leg than Alexa usually does can adopt some of her longer looks. Here are a few of her outfits that I love, and ways to recreate them now, from the high street.

Without doubt, my favourite ever Alexa look is this Bella Freud jumper with grey miniskirt and strappy heels.

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The jumper is past season (and wouldn’t have given you much change from £300) But recreate the look with…

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Top, £65, The Outnet

Or this one…

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£30, House of Fraser

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Skirt, £8, Asos

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Sandals, £75, Office

Next up is this beautiful pink dress…

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A great look for summer weddings. It’s difficult to get something that looks this quality on a high-street budget, but there are some lovely pink dresses out there…

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£52, Closet

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£25, Asos

My third Alex pick is this gorgeous dark denim dungarees and Victoriana blouse look. These is pretty recent, so there are lots of pieces like this on the high street to copy the look. (And the AG Jeans dungarees Alexa is wearing are still available in some sizes if you’re feeling flush)

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My favourite high-street dungarees are these from Whistles…

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£120, Whistles

Pair them with this blouse from Oasis for a totally Alexa look…

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£32, Oasis

Fourth on my list is a great casual look we can all copy. It’s all about quality and fit here – great silk blouse, perfectly fitting white jeans and a go-with-anything pair of monochrome flats.

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My picks are…

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This 100% silk blouse from Zara is just £19.99 in the sale

Leaving plenty in the budget to buy a quality pair of jeans. For me, you can’t beat MiH’s Phoebe cropped style. They’re so soft and comfortable – and just the right length to match Alexa’s. Jeans are always worth the investment…

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£165, MiH Jeans

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£55, Carvela

And finally, this great monochrome look. Every wardrobe needs a leather pencil skirt (or a faux one!)…

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£35, River Island

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£19.99, New Look

This top is actually a jumper dress. But if you tuck it into your skirt like Alexa has, no one will ever know!

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£15, Asos

So go on, grab some Alex style for yourself!

Bethan x

25 per cent off at Office

21 Jul

There’s a 25% off voucher for Office in this month’s Glamour magazine, woohoo! It’s only valid on new-season shoes, not the sale, which makes this the perfect opportunity to check out the latest styles. On my shortlist are…

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Lex, down to £51

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Reset, down to £46.50

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Imagery, down to £58.50

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Kilter, £41.25

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Cecilia, down to £42

What do you reckon?

Bethan x

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