A '70s Spring

It's so exciting to share this post! In the history of my blog, which is eight years old now (woah), I don't think I've ever had any professional, high quality photos to share with you readers that keep me tapping away at my keyboard year after year. Back in the day, blogging was purely an unheard of peek into a stranger's wardrobe, whereas now it's an editorial feast of content and collaborations. I'm never going to be a camera whizz although I do take some photos for work, but I'm better at reviving a photo through heavy editing rather than capturing a desired shot. Not that that would matter as a blogger as it has to be other people behind the lens, and that's usually my mom during an odd weekend! Working full time means I know I wouldn't get the use out of a snazzy camera sadly so I potter on with what I have.

A few weeks ago local photographer Emma Christina got in touch to see if we could work together to shoot some looks for her portfolio and for my blog. Yes please! I was chuffed to have a chance to post some really fantastic shots where you can see my outfit properly and I can really get down to explaining why the devil I'm wearing what I am.

Emma was absolutely lovely and we had such a fun time chatting and then taking photos around Birmingham. I brought a bunch of outfits and tottered to different 'typical' blogger settings. We actually stumbled across the amazing car by chance and tentatively took some photos while looking out for any approaching owners! I didn't have any qualms even though a few passers-by were watching us - I just pretended in my mind that I was a model on  a real shoot! Emma was so slick and encouraging too and I felt really at ease, and these photos look more like Made in Chelsea than made in Birmingham! I'm so pleased, imagine if all my posts were like this! Maybe I need a photographer boyfriend ASAP.

Onto the outfit, and how could I not wear these new purchases as my favourite ever trend comes into play this season! This outfit is literally my soul breaking free from a life of office wear. If I could step aside from the daily grind and just live day-to-day wearing exactly what I could - and still hold down a job - it would be this! I watched the movie Dazed and Confused just about a million times when I was a teenager and bell bottoms are the most comfortable yet confident thing to wear. I bought this Missguided pair as soon as I saw the perfectly executed print and they are so high waisted that even the shorter crop top will suit. I found this cute crochet crop top in Primark of all places and I like how it steps away from the '90s crop trend.

Thank you again Emma, this is the best post ever! I'll be saving this outfit for a certain trip next month though - I'm going to New York!!! Good bye life savings, hello life long dream. I'll save that for another post though - watch this space.

IMG_1482 blog

Missguided Trousers, New Look kimono, Primark crochet crop top, New Look choker, River Island heels

The Camel Skirt of all Skirts

Oooh I have a very welcome addition to my wardrobe! I've been waiting for the shops to bring out a Kimmy K-esque maxi skirt for ages and even considered making my own, but trusty Missguided came to the rescue and brought this offering to the table. They have a few of these longline skirts that are just perfect with any crop top, draped blouse, bandeau bralet, ribbed polo neck; anything really! As it is so long and high-waisted, you can afford for it to be just so damn tight, and it's nothing a smoothing skirt can't help if you want an even sleeker silhouette. This stretch jersey is unforgiving! No matter how much I try, accessories just really annoy me and I don't wear print very often so I prefer to make a subtle statement with strong key pieces. This is quite different to a time when I only wore dresses because separates felt too casual. The effortless vibe soon becomes just that - effortless! Taking an hour to get ready is simple when you can throw on these fuss-free yet stand-out pieces and hit the town as soon as possible.

American Apparel Crop Top, Missguided Skirt, Next Heels

The Khaki Continues...

Happy Sunday! Let's celebrate with a weekend-worthy outfit I snapped when I was heading out from my mom’s. You might remember this from an earlier outfit as each item was £5 in the Missguided Black Friday sale! The set is still online though and also in black. It’s quite possibly clear that I order from them all the time; they just have such a constant stream of new things that there’s always five or more items I have my eye on constantly. You do have to pay to return things but often there’s a discount code around so you make your money back if you do have to send a few things back.

I noted in my last post that this skirt is a super-smoothing yet light material, and the slight shimmer makes for the most streamlined silhouette! The khaki obsessions continue and I would recommend following @khakistyles on Instagram if you are as into this colour as much as me! I think at this rate I’ll be sick of it by around April, just in time for summer. Since wearing midi skirts for a good year, I’ve totally shyed away from any mini lengths. The longer, the better! This skirt is just that bit longer so shows off the slimmest part of your legs. I’m on the hunt for a maxi skirt next, although with the news ‘70s trend hitting the highstreet, I feel like we will all be in draped paisley and denim bell bottoms soon!

It's all about the suede at Missguided

I've finally got iCloud on my laptop so yes, I have been living in the stone age! But this does mean I can grab photos from my phone easily and share them - sweet! Indeed I don't have much time to be a technical guru, hence why I've never invested in a fancy camera or got all snazzy with my old YouTube channel editing. I'm quite a private person so as internet fame can grow so huge now, I just want to talk to the like-minded gals out there and chat about outfits and being 25! Alas I can never go back to the days when I first started my blog and the blogging world was such a tiny, scattered community, but I did just read a few of my oooold (circa 2008) blog posts and have felt all nostalgic! If only I could rewind back and relive the fun.

Anyhow, random exert aside! I must remember I am now a working woman striving towards the next steps on the career and life ladder (or jungle gym as Sheryl Sandberg would say), and I'm riding a shift from those little party dresses to something a big more sophisticated. Fashion is going this way at the moment anyway, as bandage dresses make way for ankle length pencil skirts (I'm looking at you Kim K - where can I buy one?!), but I'm trying to channel a little more business bitch/classy/sassy into my life. I still feel like I have to make an effort to feel a little more sophis rather than just waking up like that, but does anyone really wake up looking their ultimate?!

This Missguided Berryana skirt caught my eye right away, which wasn't hard as I literally visit that site every day. It's like my lunchtime commencing ritual. I've been mostly wearing midi dresses for nights out this year and pencil skirts would be right up my street if there were more out there in any material but polyester-stretch. I'm also quite full in the hip/bum area so it can be tricky to find one that fits. Don't even get me started on trying to find slim fitting work trousers!

I first bought the nude colour of the skirt and it is truly a gorgeous camel colour. I wore it to a 'casual' night with a friend where we drank many cocktails at a cool bar, ended up at a '90s r'n'b night we vowed not to go to, and ended up at an underground reggae club. I'm not about to now say 'and it was the perfect outfit!' because I dont't think there is a perfect outfit for that varied night, but it was awesome and felt quite nice to be wearing something I deemed quite laid back as it was essentially a plain skirt with a £4 H&M top I bought for the gym! I can see this outfit really isn't laid back but hey, it is slightly!

This week I also ordered the black and the red versions, but the red looked too much like velvet and somehow I don't think black really does a lot for me now my hair is lighter. I almost forgot, I also ordered the matching top to the nude skirt, which has such a gorgeous halter neck shape. I haven't tried the set on together as it may be a little too much of one thing, but the top is lovely in itself and will look fab with high waist jeans. I really have the urge to slash and rip the knees of all of my jeans, eeek!

I also adopted a berry lip that night, which was Rimmel Addiction lip liner - a very brown, rich nude, leaning toward the warm mauve side, and MAC Diva lipstick, which is a deep plum. At one point it smudged everywhere and almost looked like I had cried a tear of lipstick (embarrassing!) but overall it stayed put all night and I rather liked wearing such a bold lipstick and feeling very put together. Gosh sometimes I think I look so different from Saturday mornings running my errands with no makeup on, to the base I throw on for work at 7am, to the truckload of products and colours I carefully apply for evenings out!

Sometimes I think is that me, because I look different in each different mirror?! Is that insane? There are some mirrors in my house that always show things in an unflattering light, but some where things are OK! And then I catch myself in a shop mirror and think, did I think I walked out of the house looking like this?! I think the issue is I only have a small vanity mirror in my room and often step out the house without really seeing myself! So sometimes I don't really know what I look like nowadays - does that make sense? Haha this post is all kinds of random :)

#suitupandplay from Missguided

Last week I received a fabulous challenge from Missguided to style up a playsuit for the festival season. I'm not sure of others but when I get an email from a brand I already love and actually buy things from (literally constantly!), I'm over the moon! Like a dream trolley dash, I perused the playsuits and chose the beautiful Rigonda Playsuit. I don't need to go into how much I buy from Missguided as it's one of the sites I check almost daily, have a constant wishlist on the go, and would probaby choose if I could only shop from one place forever more. They're stepping up their game in quality and I'm all for it!

I'm having a moment with necklines as, after placing myself in the Itty Bitty club for most of my life, I'm finally realising the bonuses of having a smaller bust. It might mean I don't fill out anything from Topshop and could never hold up a strapless dress, but I've found I can wear those plunging necklines and teeny bralettes without it being too obscene or having a danger of falling out. I've always had body confidence but I used to not draw attention to my bust, but now I will happily go braless with bralettes and not really think twice about looking tiny-up-top. Rather liberating! So I'm on the hunt for a plunge shirt/top, and I was immediately drawn to the cool straps and low neckline of this playsuit. The soft colour actually lends to the revealing fit as it's not too bright and in-your-face, so you can get away with the cut. Add a floral crown and backpack and I am festival set!

The festival season is fast approaching and I have a holiday booked for mid-July, and then it will be August already! I turn 25 in August so it can come as slow as it likes, but I'm also going off to V Festival so I'll be counting down to that. I shall be packing this playsuit for sure, and will soon be dusting off my co-ords!

Nicole X Missguided Collection Launch

This post almost comes slightly in reverse as the #NicoleXMissguided collection may have been released yesterday, but I have already received my order, tried on, and reordered! As soon as I heard about the collection, I knew it would be right up my street. Nicole smoulders in bodycon like no other and flashes flesh in the most effortless fashion, potentially down to that hot body that rocks her outfits. Bridging the fine line of being sexy but powerful, I need a piece of her wardrobe!

This was all before I saw (and replayed many times) the TV ad and made a mental shopping list, ready to pounce on as many of the thirty pieces as possible. I am no stranger to celeb collections and always find a way to nab the pieces I'm needing. You could sign up to shop the collection first on Monday so I watched my inbox like a hawk and even tweeted @Missguidedcouk before spying the launch email and swooping in. Every piece has that striking *pow* statement, meaning even just one purchase will gift you something special. The sports-lux jumpsuits are streamlined to perfection, the bodysuits and dresses have peek-a-boo mesh to highlight dangerous curves, and the variation of styles means you can shop mini to midi depending on what suits.

I ordered five different pieces, from seriously sexy to sophisticated, and was hoping my expections weren't too high - and they were beat! Missguided offers affordable splashes of fast fashion but have stepped up the quality of this collaboration, with lined dresses, extended hemlines and fabric details of fishnet and mesh that look highend, and that's rare for those fabrics. The white items are solid and wearable, not see through or thin, and the figure hugging silhouettes smooth out for the most streamlined fit. When I tried on my items, I had a few events and gigs in mind (Drake! The Weeknd! TGT!) and decided on the double layer mini mesh dress for nights out, which is actually a slip dress with a mesh dress over the top - I posted it on my Instagram here. I'm still toying with keeping the midi fishnet racer neck dress as the fit is so chic, but I made a reorder to try the mesh panel midi skirt as a timeless staple, and the backless midi dress. I was so impressed by the rich fabric quality and it's often hard to find statement dresses in luxe materials.

The collection has launched globally now and Missguided offer free international shipping too. I went with my usual size 8 in my items and they are true to size. I'll take some snaps this weekend but for now I'll leave you with the lookbook shot in the outskirts of LA - swoon!

Lisbon Love: Missguided

Hi guys! It's been a while, oh yes it has. There's been one thing after another! I've been working like crazy and managed to fit in finishing a book and a small holiday before my laptop broke, so now I'm typing on a new one - not great for the purse! You know I usually go on short breaks with my friends as it's so hard to all get the same holiday dates off work and we like to go somewhere a little more off the tourist track. We were planning on going to Berlin but feared it would be seriously cold, so we booked some bargain flights to Lisbon in Portugal, apparently a hidden party capital. Our equally bargain apartment had a jacuzzi, balcony, and even art on the walls - real art! Huge for the small price and Lisbon was better than we could have planned for, with great clubs on the beach and a few days of non-stop gossip.

I found it really hard to take any new outfits as I couldn't find anything I liked. The last break I had was in September and I ended up taking a few of the same dresses I did then! The only new dress I did find though was this beautiful floral printed Missguided slip dress which I saved for the second night, which tends to be the one where you're feeling the best but have already found your holiday feet. On the first night we realised we loved the place, so we all got dressed up for the second and hit a club with a real tree inside?! I usually stick to bodycon but this slip dress is fitted yet light, with pretty lace detail. It feels super chic and could be worn in a more retro way because the roses are so large (especially for the red version), or with nude heels and a topknot to be a little more modern. And I just saw you can get 30% off today code with hotlist30, sweet! I am literally stalking the Missguided site for the Nicole x Missguided preview tomorrow and hopefully most of it will find its way to my wardrobe! I love having an item with good memories and this dress will aways be my Portugal dress!

Lead the Way

Another sequin dress = another outfit that screams festive! Missguided has killed it this season with so many dresses, I could have opened about three hundred tabs. Do you do that, open up new tabs with things that catch your eye when online shopping? I then eliminate items for synthetic fabrics, stiff seams on smooth-fit silhouettes, and colours that may be see-through. When buying things I always contemplate how the fabric will look, as a cotton fabric does wonders over viscose or polyester. This is why I'm always cautious of Missguided, but this season I have found so many gems.

The dress I chose to invest in was this sequin mini, and quite the dress it is. I love the selection of plunge, lace and embellished playsuits but I would never choose shorts for myself. I'm a dress girl! And this one was less than £40 (I managed to hunt down a discount on top of that too) and had so many pretty features, I wanted to hang it on my wall as a decoration. 

I've seen this panelled mesh designer dupe on a few different styles but the light sequin overlay of the dress give it a smooth finish that reflects the light in all the right places. The colour is a beautiful gunmetal gold which is perfect for fellow redheads. As for the mesh, its a very fine transparent colour so sits nicely against any skin tone and gives that fantastic backless illusion. A dress of party perfection! It is insanely short like most online fast-fashion stores seem to offer, but during Christmas you can stand a little more poised like the fairy on top of the tree, possibly standing by some mistletoe!

Skort Tart

I was having a Missguided browse and among a few bodycon dresses as weekend potentials, I added this skort to my basket. I wasn't too taken with this trend in the beginning as I didn't have anywhere to wear something so short and found the white skorts looked a bit like a paper bag on me. However this tartan cutie is a chic way to wear checks and the black in the print welcomes black tights when the seasons change for good. I really liked the navy and green versions but they didn't have my size, and the red and black was a more casual approach.
'Fraid to say sadly I don't have my mom's garden to take photos in now, so I will be getting crafty in my new area looking for walls, fences and doors. Or some daylight would be good; we are back to leaving the house in the dark and arriving home in the dark, right! I'm ready for those cosy nights though, and really want a fur hat!


Rip Roar

My denim obsession continues and I am now after the perfect pair of ripped jeans. I want them super shredded with multiple white frayed pieces and I'm not sure of the fit; I don't know if boyfriend jeans are for me but I'm willing to try. I'd rather have something tighter at the top and the legs can be a little less fitted, and then rolled up at the ankles with pointed ankle strap heels. I've been collecting images on my Tumblr for a few weeks but haven't heard anything on the grapevine about a shop selling the perfect pair, do you know any?

Of course this is a DIY challenge but I don't have any jeans I could do this to as I want them in a light denim, and any old jeans I have I pass on to my sister or sell on. I will try charity shops as a Plan B but so far Plan A has been ordering the Missguided pair below. They're not quite right as they have no stretch so they are more of a stiff cloth rather than a denim, and they're too small so I think the larger size might be too big! Or I'll sit down and rip them as they have no give haha! There is a definite fine line between shredded jeans from 2003 and shredded jeans from 2013 so I'll keep hunting and maybe settle for some with slashes at the knees only. This pair are almost right but maybe I'll hold out hope for 100% right!