Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Winging It

My grandmother came across this unbranded extreme-batwing dress on dragging us into her new favourite shop, Pinc (a random retailer which recently popped up in our local shopping centre, chock full of '70s style chiffon blouses, bodycon midis like my leopard lovely, glitter sleeve parkas and even disco pant dupes), and, luckily enough for me, decided it had to be mine!

You can't beat a statement-sleeved LBD for taking you anywhere and everywhere, and this is the perfect transitional piece to take the baton from my trusty black sweater dress - worn with opaques and flat boots for colder days, bare legs and tan sandals when it warms up, or killer heels and statement accessories for evening! The little leatherette tie-belt will be great for slinging around LWDs, maxi dresses and jumpsuits too... Not bad for under £20!

Dress: Pinc, Boots: Primark (Past Season)

What's your go-to transitional piece?

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Saturday, 27 April 2013

5 Ways to Wear a Black Sweater into Spring

This week, it finally started to feel like spring, but if there's one thing guaranteed to turn on you the minute your back's turned/you leave your brolly at home, it's the British weather (from 20-9C in 48 hours, impressive)... This may be the week I dragged my sandals out of storage, but I'm not packing away all my woollies... A classic black sweater may sound boring, but it will work with minis, shorts, new season mono, spring brights, summer sheers and opaque tights (not quite time to pack those away either) while our new season cropped neon knits still pose a chilblain risk - laidback chic at its most effortless... 

Believe it or not, I'd never actually owned a casual black jumper until this year (though you may have noted the excessively high profile of my grey one), but I've barely been out of this Primark knit since purchasing it a few months ago (you may have already seen it with my baroque jeans here, or teamed with a tutu in my last post). I'm not quite sure how it's meant to fit, but I bought mine two sizes up from usual for the perfect slouchy feel. 

Scarlet Lady

Jumper and Dress: Primark, Shoes: Peacocks (Past Season), Belt: came with some dress or other!

I know, I can't get enough of this dress at the moment (see more of it here and here) - it slots so perfectly into this season's mono-mania! Throwing a casual knit on top makes it wearable for cooler days, and a triple pop of scarlet c/o killer heels, a waist-cinching skinny belt and matching pout adds an instant hit of vintage glam.

It's All Black and White

Jumper, Dress and Boots: All Primark

A slightly more casual, "true" monochrome look...

On the Fringes

Jumper: Primark, Shorts: Topshop, Boots and Hairband: Boohoo

OK, I cheated slightly - this is a different black Primark jumper - I've owned and loved this skinny-fit, statement-shouldered version for years now! Its shape maximises the hourglass silhouette encouraged by the shorts' high V-waisted fit and hip-boosting fringing, whilst the single-tone colour palette, full body coverage and casual fabrics keep it cool (well, warm actually) and classy.

To the Max

Jumper, Skirt and Boots: All Primark, Parka: Freemans (Past Season)

The answer to that eternal (well, since AW12) imponderable - can you wear a sheer slit-to-the-thigh maxi skirt out shopping? Yes you can, even if it's raining. For the perfect grunge-glam balance, you will need: (a) your magic black sweater, (b) flat ankle boots, (c) opaque tights, and (d) a parka.

Operation Bumblebee

Jumper: Primark, Skirt: Marks & Spencer (Past Season), Shoes: New Look + D.I.Y.

Before you start thinking things are getting a bit dull.... When temperatures would render H2T neon more "accident in a paint factory" than "nineties nu-rave chic", black wool tones things down nicely.

Are your trusty knits consigned to slouchy Saturdays on the sofa, or do you let them out to play?

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

How to Wear a Tutu: 7 More Ways

I've been slightly obsessed with the idea of wafting around dressed as Margot Fonteyn since, ooh, the early nineties (playschool me was sooo ahead of Carrie), but my tutu cravings reached boiling point this year, only to be sated by this amazing Izabel skirt, reduced to £8 in the Debenhams sale! The finishing of its satin underskirt isn't the best, and you have to work around a not-too-pretty black elastic waistband, but, at this price, I still count it a gift from heaven!

It's proved a lot more versatile than the Sugar Plum Fairy costume piece you might easily mistake it for too - to be honest, I'd quite happily wear it every day (and if I had come across it in 1991, I'm not sure it would ever have been possible to prise me out of it)! You may have already seen it paired with my new denim Western shirt here, or layered over my Barbie T-shirt dress in this post, but here are seven more ways I've worn it so far...

1. Off-Duty Ballerina

Skirt: Izabel London, Jumper and Shoes: Both Primark (Current), Hair Band: New Look

2. La Parisienne

Skirt: As Above, Top: New Look, Shoes, Belt and Necklace: Primark, Beret: Marks & Spencer

3. Blazer and Bling

Skirt and Shoes: As Above, T-Shirt: New Look, Collar and Blazer: Peacocks, Belt: New Look (from Gilet)

4. Peplum Princess

Skirt: As Above, Top: Primark, Belt: H&M (Past Season), Shoes: Marks & Spencer (Past Season)

5. Sheer Wonder

Skirt: As Above, Top and Shoes: Primark (Past Season), Belt: Peacocks (Past Season)

6. Zip It

Skirt: As Above, Top: New Look (Past Season), Belt: ASOS (Past Season), Shoes: New Look + D.I.Y. (See This Post)

7. Danseuse

Skirt: As Above, Body: Miss Selfridge (Past Season), Belt and Earrings: Primark, Shoes: Topshop (Past Season)

How would you wear yours? Now that it's (finally) starting to warm up a bit, I think I'd like to try moving away from more polished looks to see how it looks with a relaxed jersey vest or crop top, and maybe even trainers... I love the effortless elegance and (surprising) wearability of this ankle-length cut, but I do have my eye on a just-above- or below-the-knee version for summer... and just maybe I'll dare to dig out my frothy pink mini again...? 

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Pinafore Print Clash

In terms of cost-per-wear, this 10-week-old dress is already working out at just 20p an outing (see the full story and a few more transitional monochrome looks here), so I decided to make it work even harder by turning it into this season's must have - the pinafore. I was about to dig out a trusty old black number to slip over my spotty shirt, when my new favourite staple jumped out yet again, begging to get its (hounds)teeth into my dalmatian look!

Dress, Shirt, Belt, Shoes and Jacket: All Primark (Past Season), Backpack: Peacocks (Past Season)

Have you embraced the pinafore yet?

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