Friday, 30 November 2012

101 Followers!

Yesterday, my Google Friend Connect following made it into triple figures - it's become a bit of a cliche, but I could never have imagined hitting such heady heights when I was turning (metaphorical) cartwheels over making it into double figures not so long ago! So a big thank you to everyone who's followed and supported me thus far - I am still genuinely thrilled whenever I gain a new follower, and truly appreciate and enjoy reading every lovely comment (not forgetting my fabulous Bloglovin' and Hello Cotton followers, of course!). I am planning to launch my first giveaway when I reach 150 (to give me a bit more organisation/shopping time!).


Fittingly, I was already drinking champagne when I found out the news, on board a steam train heading for a Christmas shopping trip in Bath. My mum took this photo - obviously, the decision to focus on the champagne flute rather than me was an, ahem, artistic choice. Sadly I didn't get a chance to take any shots featuring the train's exterior due to some railway scheduling "issues" (which also meant I had a 21 hour day!), despite the fact that I'd dressed up all vintage glam especially, boo.

Anyway, cheers all!


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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

5 More Ways to Wear a Mini on Winter Days

Taking a breather from showering you with seasonal discount codes (more to come later in the week though!) to get back to the outfits... It's been a couple of months now since my original How to Wear the Mini Skirt and How to Wear the Mini Dress (During Daylight Hours) posts, so I thought I'd share a few of my more wintry ensembles from the last few weeks with you.

'60s Shift

Dress: eBay (originally Primark); Top: New Look (Past Season); Boots: Primark (Current - £15 £10)

I created this outfit for "White" Day as part of Forever 21's 21 Days of Style Instagram challenge, layering a black roll neck and tights under a summery shift for a '60s-inspired monochrome look - no way I could resist finishing it off with my new '20s gangster boots!

Lana the Leopard

Shirt and Skirt: Primark (Past Seasons); Tights: Accessorize (Past Season); Creepers: New Look (Current - £19.99)

Yes, this was for Leopard Day - I wouldn't normally take it this far (although you may beg to disagree if you've read my How to Wear Animal Print post!) but fashion should be fun right? This is my first and only pair of creepers - I'm not a big fan of the corrugated plastic sole/huge metal eyelets type (can't shake the orthopaedic associations!) but I loved the cute, feminine feel of these (and no, the leopard print didn't hurt!).

Statement Stripes

Sweater Dress: Peacocks (Past Season); Tights: River Island (Past Season); Boots: Primark (Past Season)

Mmhm, you guessed - Stripes Day! I am a huge fan of the sweater dress, and have been for some years - accompanied by tights and your choice of boots, it's the easiest throw-it-on option you could find for winter dressing, and you can get one to fit any occasion and mood - chic fitted black for work/evening, relaxed for comfort, brightly coloured to cheer you up, or printed/embellished to make a statement, like this one, for those times when you want cosiness without sacrificing your edge!

Chiffon Meets Wool

Dress & Sunnies: Primark (Past Season); Faux Fur Collar & Socks: Primark (Current); Creepers: New Look (Current)

This was Sunnies Day! Living in the UK, I don't think I've ever considered wearing sunglasses beyond October before, but they were all over the AW runways, and I actually quite like the contrast with winter fabrics like wool and fur. This dress is all-in-one (aside from the collar!), but layering a chiffon skirt or dress under a long jumper or short jumper dress is a great way to add interest (or length!), as well as that much-coveted pep-hem.

Knitted Skirt

Skirt and Boots: Primark (Current); Jacket: Primark (Past Season - but there are some very similar styles in store now)

One of my first "free-choice" outfits after the challenge ended! I wore this for a spot of Black Friday shopping and a Cherry & Almond Costa muffin last week. I grew to adore knitted pencil skirts last winter (see this post for evidence), but wasn't convinced by their little siblings until it was too late, so made sure I snapped my first one up early this season! I like the balancing factor of the jacket's thickness and volume, but think the skirt would also work with a fitted sweater or roll neck, or maybe a shirt for a bit of contrast.

More maxi, mixi, peplum and velvet outfits are currently awaiting future posts... plus the introduction of my first pair of disco pants - yay!


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Monday, 26 November 2012

Latest Cyber Monday Offers, including 25% off at A|Wear and Republic, and up to 50% at The Body Shop

Just a quick update on some more Cyber Monday (and Tuesday!) offers for those of you browsing this evening... Don't forget to scroll down and check out all the deals and codes in my other recent posts too.

More deals coming your way on here and Twitter in time for the weekend, so don't despair if you've missed out on any of these... Maybe at some point when I'm not sorting through an inbox full of codes I'll have time to get a personal style post up too.. and eat.. and sleep!

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A|Wear: 25% off everything until 10am tomorrow (Tuesday 27th) with code XMAS25

Banana Republic and GAP: 25% off plus free delivery with code GIFT4U until midnight tonight

The Body Shop: 50% off when you buy 4 items or more, 40% off when you buy 3, or 30% off when you buy 2 with code SPIRIT - ends 12pm (noon) tomorrow

Miss Selfridge: 20% off knits until midnight tonight

Motel Rocks: £10 off when you spend £40 until midnight tomorrow with code MOTELGIFT10 (Motel branded products only)

Republic: 25% off party wear until midnight tonight; 30% off selected brands on Tuesday

Enjoy! Off to do my own Cyber Monday shop now... Sainsbury's - oh the glamour! If only they'd deliver their clothes too it might be fun!


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Rihanna's Bullet Bra... and Other Cyber Monday Delights

It's now officially Cyber Monday, the day when, traditionally, the western world eschews work, responsbilities and the hassles of actual shops in favour of a great big virtual trolley dash.

I've been meaning to do another lingerie post for a while now, and more specifically a post on vintage style lingerie. As What Katie Did (suppliers of the reproduction bullet bras worn by Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn, as well as Rihanna on her most recent tour) are offering free delivery until midnight tonight, I thought I'd take the opportunity to combine a little discussion of their wonders with the latest crop of Cyber Monday offers (- scroll down for more from other sites).

What Katie Did have websites and boutiques based in both the UK and the US, and ship worldwide. They produce a huge range of reproduction and vintage-inspired lingerie, hosiery, corsets and swimwear in a myriad of styles (and also stock pin-up style make-up and outerwear), but the star of their collection is undoubtedly the 1950s bullet bra, stitched to an original pattern.


I love the 1950s silhouette (if you hadn't already noticed), so when I found out that I could actually buy (essentially) Marilyn's underwear, it went straight to the top of last year's Christmas list! I got the Harlow (pictured), in peach satin, to maximise wearability, and think it looks fab under a fitted sweater or roll neck for a vintage vibe, but the bullet comes in tons of other colourways, including Rihanna's "Josephine" leopard print version. They're actually very comfortable, and I'd completely recommend them to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in fifties fever (don't worry - you won't stay that shape when you take them off)! The standard version is non-wired and unpadded, but a padded version is also available.

You can also find more subtly-shaped forties-style bras, as well as slightly more 21st century styles, so have a look-see even if you're not hankering after cones! Each order is now being shipped with a free blank Christmas card (and they are super-cute) as well as free gift wrapping if requested, so hassle-free Christmas shopping is assured (or why not make your pre-Christmas self-gift just that little bit more special?!). They're not paying me by the way, honest!

 


More sites to check out if you're gift-shopping (or self-gifting, shh...) today:



Ann Summers: 10% off everything plus free worldwide delivery (no code required, and this one's valid until midnight on Tuesday)

French Connection: Free express delivery until 2pm with code EXPRESS12 (excludes home and gift cards)

In Love With Fashion: 35% off with code CYBERSHOP35 (- this site is well worth a look if you haven't heard of it before)

Jane Norman: £10 off selected lines

Puma: 20% off everything (including sale) with code CYBER20

And the incredible Body Shop, Clarins, Feel Unique, Forever 21, Glamorous, Monsoon, Motel Rocks and Republic offers mentioned in my previous couple of posts are also still valid, so scroll down to grab your codes now!

Undoubtedly, more deals will be released throughout the day, so I'll be tweeting any additional offers I hear about, and/or notifying you if I decide to update this post (follow me to make sure you don't miss out). You are now ready to go forth and shop up a storm. Ready, set... go!


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Saturday, 24 November 2012

UK (and 1 US!) Black Friday Weekend Offers: Update

Normal programming will resume shortly, but I've come across a few more special offers for this weekend that I think you should know about... All (19!) offers in my previous post are also still valid until midnight on Sunday, so be sure to scroll down and check them out if you haven't already, but hot-off-the-press are the following deals...


Clarins: Free gift worth £15 with every order with code FRIDAY12 - if you spend £60 or more, you'll also get a free gift worth over £22 (pictured above).

Debenhams: 10% off with code XL27 (includes sale and offers)

Feel Unique: 20% off selected fragrances, plus free delivery (no code necessary)

Selfridges: 20% off with code SELF20

And if you hail from across the pond, my lucky US readers can get 25% off at ASOS with code BLACKFRIDAYBONUS - outraged that this offer hasn't been extended to the site's home country - who got you where you are eh?

More offer news and codes coming your way for Cyber Monday - dust off your debit card! I'll be tweeting any last minute offers that don't make it into a post, so follow me to make sure you don't miss out on anything.

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Friday, 23 November 2012

Black Friday Fashion, Beauty and Gift Deal Special

Apparently today marks the "official" start of Christmas shopping season (the term "Black Friday" was coined in Philadelphia in the 1960s, if you're interested - it referred to the disruptive increase in shopping traffic on the first Friday after Thanksgiving). It seems the concept has now jumped across the pond, giving us good reason to be thankful for yet more deals and special offers!

I've rounded up some of the best deals available online this weekend, between today and "Cyber Monday" (most of these offers end at midnight on Sunday, but Monday is traditionally the busiest day of the year for online retailers, so look out for more offers popping up then!). From luxury choccies to outrageous beauty booty to lust-have party wear, I've got you covered (click on retailer names to hop over to the sites)...

1 & 4: AX Paris at Republic, 2: Madam Rage, 3 & 6: A|Wear, 5 & 8: Kurt Geiger, 7: Accessorize

Accessorize: 20% off full price merchandise with code TREAT20

Anthropologie: Up to 10% off home and 20% off clothing and accessories (no code required)

A|Wear: 25% off selected party wear (no code required)

Bliss: 25% off full-size Bliss products with code BLS25NOV, plus 2 free stocking fillers if you spend £50 (no code required)

Bloomingdales (UK Shipping): Site-wide sale - up to 50% off designer clothes, shoes and bags

Boohoo: Free next day delivery with code FREENEXT

Cult Beauty: Free goody bag with orders over £40 with code GOODYBAG, including:

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius (2.2g)
2. Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (15ml)
3. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask (10ml)
4. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil (3ml)
5. Eve Lom Rescue Mask (5ml)
6. DuWop Mini Lip Venom
7. Jouer Cosmetics Mini Essential Lip Enhancer
8. Kai Perfume Oil Vial (1ml)
9. Alison Raffaele Mini Reality Base Foundation

(They also send you fab free samples with any order over £25)

Elemis: 25% off full-size Elemis products with code ELE25NOV

Forever 21: 30% off sweaters with code SWEATERS30

Fortnum & Mason: 25% off Jubilee Marc de Champagne Truffles (no code required)

Glamorous: 20% off with code GLAMOROUS20

Kurt Geiger: 20% off with code KGXMAS20

Links of London: 20% off with code LINKSFNF (plus get a free gift worth £45 if you spend £150)

Madam Rage: 30% off all LBDs with code LBDMR

Monsoon: Free delivery, plus up to up to £60 off dresses, £50 off coats and jackets, £20 off tops, £20 off skirts and trousers and £15 off childrenswear

Republic: Free delivery (no code required)

The Body Shop: 35% off plus free delivery when you spend £5 or more with code SECRET; 50% off hand caddies with code CADDY

TRIA: £65 off their hair removal laser with code HAIRFREE65; £75 off their skin rejuvenating laser with code NEWYOU75

And don't forget you can still get 25% off at Motel Rocks right up 'til 30th November with code VCMOTEL11... Your Litas are calling...


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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

DIY: Studded Dress

As a child, I was crafty in the extreme (there was nothing I couldn't do with an empty loo roll) but spending a year being chased along school corriders and threatened by my GCSE textiles teacher effectively curbed my appetite for DIY. However this post on Hattie's Hideaway rekindled my urges, and in recent months, my obsession with spiked shoulders has grown to a level at which I just couldn't hold out any longer. In the absence of the perfect ready-made studded garment at what I deemed an acceptable price, I finally invested in these studs from eBay (a bargainous £2.85 plus £1.00 postage for 50 studs - I'm pretty sure they'll all be gone within a couple of weeks, so think I'll nab 100 for £3.95 next time!), and got customising...

 
Dress: Primark, Belt: New Look, Leggings: H&M, Boots: Peacocks (All Past Seasons)


Tips and Tricks


  • I chose claw rather than screw-type studs for maximum ease (when working with woven fabrics, you can just poke their little legs through and then tuck them under, without making holes first - with something like leather, I assume screw-backs would be best).
  • Shoulder pads help to maximise visual impact, keep your spikes pointing in the right direction and cushion your skin against the fastenings - I was really lucky that this dress (which you can see in its original incarnation in this post) already had shoulder pads sewn in along just one edge, so it was easy to flip them up to secure the studs, but I'd definitely consider adding my own in future.

How To


  • Decide where you want to position your studs - I wanted a cluster on each shoulder for a bit more impact, but used a baseline of 6 along each top-seam as a starting point. If you want to be a perfectionist about it, get your tape measure out and try marking where you want the studs to go with a highlighter or something (inside) - I was far too impatient for this, but my more haphazard method did result in quite a few errors and re-dos before I was happy!
  • Carefully poke the stud's "legs" through the fabric, flip garment inside out and press legs down and in to secure (I used a knife handle).
  • That's it! Turn your masterpiece inside out and pop it into a pillowcase or "bra bag" on a handwash cycle when it's dirty, but other than that, just try not to poke anyone's eye out!


I'm really pleased with the results, and think this could very easily turn into a bit of an addiction - I already have a mental list a mile long of other things in my wardrobe to attack! And I've got lace, pearls and enamel flowers lined up ready for a day when my newfound inner craftress might be feeling a bit less dominatrix and a bit more Disney princess - watch this space!

How do you feel about DIY? What projects are on your to do list?


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