River Island

Sneak peek: River Island AW16

Call me a genius or call me cheeky but I recently had a brilliant idea! I could do with buying a few new work outfits and I really need an awesome new bag but I have no idea what to buy! I had a quick browse in the shops a week ago and was SO overwhelmed with the sales, especially in Zara where it seemed the entire store was on offer. Woah! But really we only have a few weeks left before AW16 takes over so there's no value in investing in trends of the moment, and we don't have long to wear summery things! I have my festival outfits just about sorted but I'd rather save my money now and wait to buy things I can wear for the next 6 months...
The September magazine issues usually give an overview of upcoming trends so you can scope out the first autumn drops right away, and fashion week in September is the perfect time to scout street style from editors and bloggers. I've browsed catwalk trends but by the time they hit the highstreet, they've been moulded and shaped into something much more wearable. I want to know now! So I had the brainwave of stalking the #AW16 hashtags on Instagram and thanks to the lovely people that managed to attended the press days and also the in-house designers behind the ranges, I've grabbed a few snaps of the upcoming collections! And let's start with River Island because they seem to channel trends in the most wearable yet desirable styles, and unlike Topshop, you don't see someone in the same outfit at every turn. The quality is top notch too.
Now I can't WAIT until autumn! There are so many things I love below, from the continuation of this season's retro patch trend into bright embroidery of florals and slogans. I'm definitely going to invest in more denim and upgrade to a pair of seriously statement ankle boots. I fancy taking my bomber jackets of this season and learning how to embroider a slogan onto the back or customise with the perfect patches, and I'm SO drawn to that pink puffa coat! 
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Credit: notjustanoutfit, its.reb, georginameehan, romydfonseca, itsdaniellehunter, elle_nl, emthomp7, rhiannonvwhyles, ashleyveraart sachabelle, deepalipatel, clemfieldsend, nadyia.stylist, bobbleheadmo, stellamagazine, fashcatherine, ajr1987

AW15 at River Island Style Studio, Birmingham Bullring



I don't know about you but I think this season is seriously on fire in the style stakes. We've had a long slog of '90s, and let's not forget last winter's sugary pastels, so it's really time for something a little less cutesy. I've read a few people say they're not into this season's '70s throwback but I'm SO into everything! It's so much more accessible and in fact flaunts styles that you might not originally associate with the era but maybe are already wearing. The stylists at River Island headed to their new Bullring store to share their latest collection with local bloggers and I popped along to get the low-down.

The event was hosted in the new Style Studio; a fabulous lounge separate from the main store, with plush sofas, huge mirrored changing spaces and a complimentary fresherment bar. In fact the whole service is complimentary and anyone can book in for an appointment with the superb Birmingham-based stylists Laura and Afsheen, be it for an event you have coming up or just to try a few new styles - and you can book in online.


First up we had a talk through the AW15 range by London stylist Danielle, and you can see the edit in my vlog below! There are so many takes on the '70s trend that are actually extremely wearable, from the Victoriana blouses with their high collars and lace detailing, to fringed ankle boots that sit a little bit higher with a chunky block heel. We were guided through the suede capes, mini skirts, peasant detailing, and of course fur upon fur. The blouse Danielle was wearing above went straight into my basket and I've even bought my mom one for her birthday! Danielle styled it oh so well with cropped flared black jeans, ankle boots, the cute neck tie and the statement belt.


I just adore the chunky leather bags and tan colours. What's not to love! There are so many ways you can incorporate this trend subtly into your wardrobe with a few select pieces and feel totally refreshed for the new season.


We were let loose on the store and I browsed around with Laura, spending more time chatting than shopping! 99% of the time I shop alone and my eyes only flit across the rails as I consider things that truly stand out to me, rather than actually exploring styles I may not have tried before. I tried on a few things that I never would have considered before, including the outfit below, and I can totally see the benefits of a hat transforming an average hair day. This navy suede cut-out cape was absolutely amazing but just out of my price range, though I did buy a whole selection of things. A few new blouses for work with neck ties and lace detailing, some suede ankle boots, and a statement fringed bag. With these added to my office-appropriate work trousers and camel coat from last year, I feel so ready for autumn.


Don't miss my vlog below for the low down of all the trends and a peek at the clothes up close! How do you feel about the '70s trend?

What I Actually Bought in the January Sales

Well it's a quite ironic titling this post as January sales when all of this shopping was done before the month even began! I've enjoyed seeing the posts from bloggers with their sale favourites but thought it would be useful to show what I actually ordered with my own money. Isn't the early payday such a killer - hello 6 week month!

I haven't even visited any shops as I just haven't had chance due to not taking any work holiday, so all of this was purchased online and in a somewhat frugal way. I tried to only look for things I had on my wishlist already or clothes I could wear over and over again for work, rather than spending hours scrolling through the sales for purchases I was never planning on buying in the first place! The rule 'if you didn't buy it full price, you don't need it now' was definitely in my mind.

River Island - I had a River Island spree because I recently found I actually fit into their tailored trousers in a certain size. It is SO hard and long to go trouser shopping!  I’ve ordered about ten pairs of ASOS black trousers at a time in the past and none of them would fit properly. These sale items are all for work though as I would not wear proper trousers and blouses in my chosen wardrobe, and never did when I worked in fashion. I have said a few times that I struggle with my office dress code because I found it hard at first to find my style within the 'rules', but have now defined the objectives as 1) items you can mix and match, and 2) items that do not need slips underneath or jackets to shield from the chilly office air-con. I am tempted by a Topshop suit as my first ever suit, but I’m not ready to part with the cash just yet and I missed the ones that went into the sale. (NB: just as I typed that, I had another check and for the Topshop navy suit below, there were size 8s available in the jacket and trousers! I’m not sure they will fit but I’ve ordered them to store so can easily return if not. I’m otherwise great as keeping receipts and new things in the bags as I constantly return things. It’s a common error to buy something and hang it in your wardrobe, before realising a few months down the line that you just didn’t have chance to wear it!)

Lavish Alice - Funnily enough I forgot I purchased these Lavish Alice culottes until now! Lucia has blogged about how much she has loved her pair this year and had so much wear out of them, which definitely appealed to me as I tend to look for work clothes that I can wear over and over without the quality fading. They will add a much needed style injection compared with your average black trousers, and I’m hoping they aren’t too cropped so I can wear normal ankle boots with them and not have too much leg showing. I am tempted by the navy pair but the black will be slightly more wearable, so I’ll see how they fit. I have a feeling culottes are one of those trends that surface one year but aren’t truly adopted until the next. I found an airy black pair a few months ago for £5 in a Dorothy Perkins sale and wore a floral pair from Boohoo all summer!

Kurt Geiger - I’ve also absolutely loved my lace up Choies heels this year and even considered buying another pair! Why hasn’t the high street came out with an amazing lace up pair? eBay and cheapie international sites are awash with them! I spotted these Miss KG pairs earlier in the year and snapped up some sizes in the sale, the chosen site being Debenhams as I had a £30 voucher I got from Buyapower earlier in the year to use up, and the actual Kurt Geiger website couldn’t deliver for around two weeks. They have arrived and are beautiful quality. I'm SO tempted by the snake skin!

Debenhams - I was watching Lily Pebbles' December favourites and usually my thinking is ‘Why buy a shower gel for £12 when I could buy 12 at £1 and last an entire year!', however I was so enabled by her description of the Rituals Hammam Body Mud! I suffer from blocked sinuses around once a month and it will take weeks before clearing momentarily at a random time, and I don’t want to take constant medicine. Any products that make my shower steam do even more wonders for my painful head are very attractive to me! I had £10 of points on my Debenhams beauty card so I did get this set for just £7. They had another set at a higher price, but I especially wanted the mud Lily picked out. I’ve loved her Vlogmas videos! It’s so relaxing to watch someone else’s life, like a mini soap opera with a lot more taste. 

I’ll let you know how these fair! I’m considering posting some of my work outfits but might cart all of my things to my mom’s house one weekend and photograph lots in one go. Maybe I’ll make it into a video!

Sunday Style

You know I'm partial to a good high waisted jean. Well RIP to my Topshop Jonis as the fabric literally laddered and they are sadly no more. I considered getting another pair as I love the warm blue colour, but my hips don't lie and they were telling me that like other Topshop trousers, I just don't seem to fit them. The Joni jeans aren't quite denim either and so I have returned to my old faithful River Island Tube Pants that I picked up last year. They have lasted, they have kept their shape, they are just amazing. Very, very light denim rather than a stretchy denim-coated fabric. They also have smooth seams, as some jeans I find are too structured in different places so automatically don't fit certain shapes.

ASOS crop top, River Island Tube Pant, ASOS clutch bag, River Island heels

I was all set to slash the knees of these jeans now that I've had them for a while. I'm looking to get another pair in a different wash or try out the American Apparel Easy Jean. However my nan stopped me with the scissors, deeming ripped jeans as not 'smart', and it made me hesistate! Do I want to take scissors to the most decent fitting jeans out there? I've seen a few tutorials and like the fact that if you DIY a pair then you can place the slashes exactly where you want. It makes sense to do this on an old pair, so I'll hunt for my next high waist favourites before picking up the grater again.

Tumblr inspiration

Bralet Starlet

I've always said that in the spring, I only seem to wear jeans or trousers. It's not quite warm enough for bare legs and the air can be prone to a gust of wind, so black tights and skirts are not something I gravitate towards. In fact I haven't worn tights in around a year! I've veered towards midi dresses, maxi skirts, or high waist trousers for day and night, and I just got this ASOS Luxe pair. On the site they are more of a cool pink but in real life they are a blush colour with a slight metallic print. The chunky waist band makes for a more statement, definite high waisted fit but take note: they are rather prone to creasing! I've worn them to work with a blouse and pointy flats but can throw them on at night with a baby bralet. I've tried a few of these and I'm not really lucky enough to fill this one sans bra, but I think they're a new favourite for itty bitty gals like myself. I got this Topshop navy version as the material and cut is much more structured so when you cover your midriff, it's not quite like wearing just a bra. It's also only £22 which I thought was pretty decent for Topshop standards!

While writing this I almost forgot about these shoes! For months I was looking for an upgrade of the classic ankle strap heels, and these are the full throttle version from River Island, with a platform and chunky velcro strap. They sold out right away but there are similar styles here, and after a season of dainty heels, I'm back in platforms!

High Waist Heaven

Hi guys! It's Saturday night and I am staying in with a Pretty Woman DVD, tasty treats and a Google Reader (RIP) full of Tumblr posts to space-bar through while gossiping with my housemate. We have been shopping all day and I picked up some strappy sandals, a nude maxi skirt, a crochet dress and a neon sports bra for bargaineous prices at New Look and H&M. Yay!

I've been wanting to show you my 'daily' look which I've been wearing basically all the time to work - high waisted skinny jeans and ankle strap pointed heels; these are from ASOS. I work in an office where there is no dress code so this won't be deemed office-wear traditionally but wearing trousers/pants and small heels makes me feel pulled together and ready for the day ahead. I've tried all manner of high waisted jeans and the River Island tube pants are my favourites because the denim is stiffer rather than elasticated so there is a smoother, matte finish so they fit without being stretched to fit. I found the Topshop Joni jeans were too big in the waist and too tight elsewhere or vice versa, and the AA Easy Jean were again too stretchy, but that's just me. As a rule, Topshop trousers rarely fit me very well - some shops have certain standard shapes that they size all their clothing to and Topshop just doesn't suit me argh! Also I haven't had a haircut since October seriously and my hair is getting really long! I was contemplating dying the tips blonde for fun...

I repainted my nails white too as the American Apparel green was just not the shade I wanted it to be; maybe I had too many coats. White is a new classic and makes all jewellery look great, but next time I'm thinking of going matte red. My ring is from H&M and the hand chain was £1 in a New Look sale. Never pass by a jewellery sale!

Tied up for tie dye

River Island two piece, Zara heels, River Island heart hand chain, yourfashionjewellery elephant ring

Sunshine has arrived! I've had a huge dose of vitamin D this weekend and wish it wouldn't end. I wish you could buy time! We had a sunny Sunday in a pub garden and then a few hours lying in the park, and now we are sitting in the garden being accosted by local kitties. After snapping up a dress at 1am last time, I was all over the latest Rihanna for River Island collection and forgoed my Saturday lie in for this matching two piece! An off shoulder crop top? Hello my life! And the matching shorts are light and breezy, almost like a skater skirt. The sea foam green looks great with a (fake) olive tan and if I was after a treat, I would totally snap up the black version.

I got some new mini square nails after a few weeks of really long stiletto nails that may have posed a health hazard if I poked myself in the eye, but I'm not so sure about the green! They are the American Apparel neon shade but they look more like gunge than neon in my opinion! I wish I had got neon yellow so maybe I'll repaint them! I hope you had a long weekend, or if you are a lucky student that your summer has started!

Winter Ways

After a hard and life-changing week, and in a burst of winter inspiration, my housemate and I decided to have a chilly Sunday walk and we definitely felt energised after. Just feeling calm and centred and chilled once a week really helps, especially if you are always on the go like me.

We are all preparing for a very cold few weeks and I'll be snuggling up in my River Island fur coat and New Look snood, definitely layering up a few pairs of tights and leggings. I'm not great at dressing for the cold due to a love of crop tops but I have a few jumpers to see me through!

Also a lovely hello to the girl I met in Miss Selfridge, I love the skirt I ordered, yay!

I Want It Now: River Island Skater Skirts

Hey guys! Now then, I have a rather slightly large addiction to skater skirts and I'm not afraid to say it! In my eyes, you can never have too many, but I definitely have almost too many. I think bottoms are a good purchase as they go with everything and can be worn many times a week, whereas a top can only be worn once before washing and wearing again. I have no hesitation in buying well priced bottoms I like so right now I have a heap that I love wearing. This means a)  I don't have lots of tops and b) I don't need any more bottoms!

However I love these skater skirts at River Island and they are all just £18 and under! They look the the comfiest things ever and I just spotted the tapestry one in the Just Arrived section - gorgeous! I'm really into berry and burgundy right now but I'll try to stay away from the skirt and invest in a burgundy knit instead, but another weakness is leopard print! The dark black version is a great alternative to an actual black skirt, and the right skirt is just the perfect tone and size! Alas, I do have a leopard skater skirt that actually is from River Island, so I can admire from afar but try to focus my shopping attention on other things. Now I just need to find a decent jumper without a cross or skull on it!

Recent pre-autumn buys

Here are a few things I've bought in the past couple of weeks - not a huge amount but each has a special place in my wardrobe heart! I can't wait until next week for pay day to hopefully see if I can buy maybe a new clothing treat - I'm hankering after a gorgeous jumper!

I've mentioned this before but I had my eye on this River Island rucksack for a while but was waiting for any more to pop up. New Look do have a slightly similar and slightly cheaper one but I really like the square flap and front pocket on this and the leather straps. However the drawstring is a piece of rope which looks cool but you have to tie it physically in a knot each time you close the bag, so it's not great if you're paying for something quickly or trying to grab your phone! Also there are no zipped inside pockets so finding anything is a bit of a 'mare. Things get very lost at the bottom!

I'm going to take up the Topshop 3-pairs-for-£8 deal on socks as they have by far the best high-street socks and I'm a bit obsessed with them in ankle boots, creepers or with flats, worn over plain black tights. Cosy, practical and cute - win!

This is the MUA £1 lip pencil my sister recommended - it comes out as a matte rich red/plum colour so very on trend for gothic berry lips this season. It stays put all day too and is much less smudge-friendly than lipstick. And there's  sharpener in the lid! What an ultimate bargain.

I also have a couple of things from some new cross items we have at Motel, and thank you to everyone who helped me decide which dress to wear out on Friday! I put the options out on Twitter because I have no girly opinions in the house I live in now and just couldn't decide. In the end I went with the dress that fitted the best, which I think is a good rule of thumb as you will always look your best if you have the right underwear for what you are wearing and if it fits well. I wore the Zena Dress which yes I already own the same shape in now around 9 different prints and colours! The neckline is seriously flattering so I know they'll just work. Also the Zenas are now a little longer and thicker than your average Motel dress, yay!