Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Contests and Giveaways, Department Stores, Events, Fashion Tips, Features, Spotted in London

Shiny gets styling with M&S!

By Daisy Buchanan on August 16th, 2013

Here’s what happened when Shiny Style were asked to help style competition winner Alec for a celebratory dinner in store at M&S…

 

Alex looking smart in his suit.

Alex looking smart in his suit.

Alec told us he wasn’t exactly a fashion fan, but as soon as we clocked his height and posture, we knew he’d be a dream to dress. We were tempted to steer him towards a very formal suit that he could wear to weddings and smart parties, but he told us he was actually looking for something a bit more casual and versatile, that he could wear with jeans on a night out.

We knew the range for him was M&S Limited Collection, which specialises in modern, slim fit cuts which look great on younger guys. Limited Edition pieces tend to start at a a fairly reasonable price point, so we had a bit more styling budget to play with – we even managed to find shoes for Alec.

It didn’t take long at all to find Alec’s dream suit – a dark grey two button number that set off his broad shoulders a treat. After trying a classic white shirt/red tie combo, we talked him into a very light lilac shirt  – because purple is for guys too…

The piece de resistance came in the form of a bright purple floral embroidered pocket square and matching tie. The pocket square gave the traditional pieces a modern feel, bringing the look right up to date while referencing a vintage, gentlemanly look.

The day was so much fun that we’re tempted to spend our weekends hanging about the M&S menswear department and seeing if there’s anyone there we can help out. Obviously, we would have been completely helpless if it wasn’t for the brilliant members of staff, who knew everything there is to know about fit and style.

Meeting Alec was a true joy – he should feel very proud of his achievements. We hope he had as much fun as we did, and that his partner enjoys the results during his special dinner.

Follow Alec @prozacprince



Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Fashion Tips, Features, Gallery, Get the look, Jewellery, Trend Alert

Statement necklaces: the next generation

By Lauren Bravo on July 4th, 2013

They’re bigger, bolder, and your neck is going to be aching even more. Grab some Deep Heat and embrace the next generation of statement necklaces

If you’ve got a crick in your neck this summer, you’re not alone. As one of the most prevalent trends of the year, massive, scene-stealing necklaces might be taking their toll on the muscles but they’re still a mercy for those who, like me, use costume jewellery to compensate for the fact they’ll probably never be Mayor.

And the good news for chiropractors the country over is that necklaces aren’t shrinking any time soon. The next generation of statement necklaces will be just as big and bold, if slightly less brash – less adorning ourselves with items called “neon warrior”, more precious stones, interesting textures, and a divergence between intricate craftsmanship and things you could have glued together yourself after a rummage in that dusty shoebox you optimistically keep “craft materials” in.

Here are 10 we love:

Box chain rhinestone necklace, £25 Topshop

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Because once the neck strain finally outweighs to style points, we’re predicting a return to more delicate, but still dramatic, pieces like this trinkety number from Topshop. Beautifully colourful without being faddy in neon, it’ll look perfect with bare shoulders on balmy holiday evenings.



Accessories, Fashion Tips, Features, Nostalgia, Wardrobe stories

The five weirdest things I’ve found while clearing out my wardrobe

By Lauren Bravo on July 1st, 2013

In two weeks’ time I’m moving out of the flat I’ve lived in for three years, and in which I have accumulated about 30 years’ worth of possessions. Here, after some very stiff competition, are the five oddest things I’ve found in my wardrobe.

 

clogsThe clogs, 2010

Do you remember spring 2010? The Icelandic ash cloud, the coalition government, and the biggest destructive force of all – me, in these bad boys.

You’re forgiven for forgetting, as infinitely more important and less, well, wooden things were going on, but for several months in 2010, clogs were a thing. The blame lay with Karl Lagerfeld for designing them, Alexa Chung for wearing them (note: a woman who never needs to walk up the stairs on a bus), and to a far lesser extent me, for singing their praises on this very website.

At the time I was skint, living on Pizza Express vouchers my parents used to send me from their Tesco Clubcard points, so when I found these in the Brighton Barnardo’s shop, my brain neatly overlooked their supreme ugliness in favour of the fact that they a) were undeniably clogs, b) were my size and c) were £14. And reader, I wore them. My ankles have never been more toned, or more regularly almost broken.

The verdict: Charity shop, so they can stop clogging up my wardrobe. Sorry.

 

The fantasy fedora, 2011

Proving that you don’t need many years hindsight to identify a purchase as ridiculous, this black felt fedora (I am calling it a fedora; I don’t know if it really is a fedora or if I just want to use the word fedora because it sounds more ‘fashion’ than trilby) was bought in the Topshop sale just after the Christmas before last. I thought it was androgynous, enigmatic and bookish, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what its magic was.

My boyfriend solved the mystery the next day, when I arrived in Edinburgh for Hogmanay and he confirmed I looked exactly like Terry Pratchett.

The verdict: Keep, in preparation for the Discworld-inspired Dior collection that I’m sure will be happening any season now.

 

The ballroom dancing shoes, 2007

ballroom dancing shoes“Oh,” you might reasonably ask, “did you used to do ballroom dancing?” No, I have never done ballroom dancing. Unless you count breaking out the odd salsa move at Favela Chic of a long-ago Friday night. But not knowing my foxtrot from my elbow was never an obstacle to me cracking out these babies. They were discovered in Absolute Vintage off Brick Lane in my first year of uni, when my craving for all things vintage (musty) knew no bounds, and 45 per cent of the floor of my tiny halls of residence room was a carpet of pre-loved footwear. In fact, so great was their tea dancey, end-of-the-pier appeal that I bought a pair in silver too.

Because they were designed for go-go grannies they were insanely comfortable and I would regularly march them to the pub, the post office and the kebab shop, hoping someone would spontaneously ask me to dance, like something in a nauseating indie film. Nobody did.

The verdict: Recycling bin. These did too much bopping to The Klaxons to be any use to anybody now.

 

The quilted bed jacket, 2005

Cardigans and I have always had problems. Like the friendly aunt you secretly suspect hates you, their cosy, cossetting ways fail me every time I try. In a cardigan, I am instantly Lorraine Kelly – hence the devotion to the alternative cover up in our Sleeves of the Week series.

In 2005 I was 17 and dressed like a much less successful version of Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, mainly in lumpen vintage frocks from eBay. I was unpretty in plaid, unpretty in polka dots and unpretty in an awful lot of polyester. But by far the worst time was summer, when adolescent angst about my upper arms meant May-September were one long mission to keep myself concealed under anything slightly edgier than a cardigan. The best success was my 1950s bed jacket – quilted, pistachio-coloured with little puffed sleeves, I thought it was the last word in summer elegance and happily sweated my way round town, confident I had beaten the curse of the cardigan.

My friends, always quick to point out the incongruity of my wardrobe choices, referred to it as “the duvet”.

The verdict: Keep, if only for future occasions on which I might actually be bed-bound.

 

The woolen polo neck poncho, 2010

I went to Bristol for the weekend in May 2010, anticipating balmy spring weather, and it was very, very cold. So very cold that it induced me to buy an emergency black knitted polo-neck poncho from a charity shop – which I’m sure we can all appreciate is very cold indeed.

The verdict: My eyes! My eyes! Has the bonfire stopped smoking yet?

 

@laurenbravo



Accessories, Behind the bag, Designer Fashions, Designers, Fashion Crush, Fashion Tips, Features, Handbags, Nostalgia, Opinion, Style spotlight

Behind the bag: the Osprey tote

By Daisy Buchanan on June 13th, 2013

Osprey-tote-bagLucy plotted this purchase carefully online. She wasn’t thinking ‘mummy bag’. She wanted something classy, classic, summer in the Hamptons, old school power bitch with a Filofax. But now the cream exterior is smudged with biro and stained with mustard, and the interior is a different, even more distressing horror story. She imagines an official government bag inspector rifling through it in dismay, ignoring the shinier signs of success (iPad, Marc Jacobs wallet, Chanel lipstick – in a colour that’s no longer available, but still) and shrieking with horror at the tampons who escaped their cellophane to roll in the bag dust like dirty hippies. And what of the other monstrosities? Nude Topshop ballet pumps with a busted seam that have started to smell ‘curious’. Camus to look cool, Jilly Cooper for luck and an old, unread Vogue doing the job of a document folder. Seven foil wrappings which once held falafel wraps from Leon.

Lucy sometimes finds life in London so overwhelming that she wishes she could climb inside her giant bag and wait for someone to discover her and look after her, like Paddington. Or she could set up home there – it’s no darker or smellier than her Clapham house share, and it’s much cheaper. Perhaps she’ll throw it into the sea and go to her parents’ in Dorset for a bit. She remembers walking around their hall, arms outstretched, feeling for wifi like a Knightmare contestant, and thinks again. She hitches her giant bag higher on her shoulder and its padlock narrowly misses the face of a passing cyclist. In London, you need all the weapons you can get.



Accessories, Fashion Tips, Features, Opinion, Opinion peice, Sunglasses

When is and isn’t it acceptable to wear sunglasses?

By Lauren Bravo on June 6th, 2013

Nobody likes the knob in dark glasses on the tube – but it’s not always as simple as ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. Here’s a handy checklist to help you know when to put them on and take them off

 

In a small shop: acceptable

In a big shop or department store: unacceptable

Cat eye sunglasses, £10 ASOS

£10 ASOS

In the pub: unacceptable

In a restaurant: unacceptable

In a club: unacceptable

round retro sunglasses Bank Fashion

£8 Bank Fashion

In the car: acceptable

On the bus: acceptable

On a train: borderline

Flower sunglasses Urban Outfitters

£20 Urban Outfitters

On the tube: unacceptable

In the entrance to the tube station: acceptable

At the top of the tube escalator: acceptable

In the middle of the tube escalator: grey area

At the bottom of the tube escalator: unacceptable

Purple pastel sunglasses M&S

£9.50 Marks and Spencer

In the daytime: acceptable

At sunset: judgement call

After dark: unacceptable

River Island tortoiseshell sunglasses

£16 River Island

In bed: unacceptable

***

(If you are visually impaired or have other health reasons: acceptable. Obviously.)

 



Accessories, Fashion Tips, Features, Gallery, How to Wear, Opinion, plus size, Weddings

How to be the wedding guest everyone loves (and hates a bit)

By Lauren Bravo on June 5th, 2013

Never mind what to wear on your own wedding day – what the hell do you wear on everybody else’s? Luckily, we’ve rounded up more than a few ideas.

Weddings! WEDDINGS! ALL THE WEDDINGS! Wait, aren’t you meant to be at one RIGHT NOW? The sun is out and with it, thousands of twenty and thirty-somethings in suits and crumpled fascinators standing around queasily on railway platforms, picking marzipan out of their hair.

Far harder, really, than the question of what to wear on your own wedding day is the question of what to wear on everybody else’s. Are black and white still banned? Will sugared almond shades look adorably winning or like you’ve crawled out of Mothercare? Are floral head garlands pushing the Pinterest agenda just a BIT too hard?

Factor in multiple matrimonies in a single summer and you’d be forgiven for giving up and Skyping in your attendance from beneath the duvet. But let’s not lose our sense of perspective – there are free booze and profiteroles at stake, remember.

The way I see it, you can either be the guest everyone loves – tasteful, appropriate, elegant but not scene-stealing – or the guest everyone sort of hates, because you’re rocking an incredible outfit they never saw on their endless trips from Monsoon to Coast and back again, and the photographer keeps stealing you aside for separate photos, muttering “this will be really bloggable”. Or you can strive for a delicate balance of both.

Weddings are costly enough, without you having to buy a pile of pastel polyester that you’ll never wear again. So forget the nuptial standards and just choose something wonderful instead – you’ll look so much more comfortable than you would in identikit pastel pink Reiss. Go loud, go proud, and then go home after the Grease Megamix.

Clean t-shirt maxi dress, £58 Topshop

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I am obsessed with this dress. Mainly because I know there is little in the world that would suit me less than this dress, and so I want everyone else in the world to wear it on my behalf. It comes in a beautiful, wedding-perfect colour spectrum of cornflower blue, coral and turquoise, and with its juxtaposition of slinky Japanese satin and t-shirt shape it’s all business at the top, party in the bottom. You’ll be the envy of everyone in a badly fitting multiway bra.

 



Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Fashion Tips, Features, Footwear, Gallery, shoes, Style spotlight, Trend Alert

The greatest summer sandals on the high street

By Lauren Bravo on May 28th, 2013

Blister plasters at the ready! The sun is out (well, it was yesterday) and we’re stocking up on sandals

We’re all wincing this week, right? The first properly sunny weekend of the year is like a siren call to get your toes out, and so we dutifully fish last year’s sandals from the bottom of the wardrobe and prepare to limp our way around town until the buggers have stretched themselves comfy again.

But once the wounds have healed it’ll all be worth it, because sandals are really great this year. From totally flat to modest block heels and wedges, from space age perspex and clear plastic straps to fully earth-mother buckled leather styles, there’s a world of casually chic padding about to be had – and flip flops have never looked so mediocre.

So free your toes from the thong and let them wiggle freely in a pair of these strappy delights.

Hedley sandals, £45 ASOS

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The perfect shade of canary yellow, the perfect single strap, the perfect mini heel - if these Hedley sandals from ASOS don't bring the sunshine out, nothing will.



Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Department Stores, Designer Fashions, Trend Alert

Trend Alert: Geometric Prints

By Ashley on May 22nd, 2013

Prints are everywhere on the high street right now, and geometrics are owning the chic end of the market. Not to be restricted to wallpapers or ties, geometric patterns are making a big appearance in fashion terms too. There’s something very pleasing about these 1960s-inspired patterns, bringing a burst of colour and structure to otherwise simple items.

Here’s the top ten geometric garmets we are coveting right now.

Mad Men Collection Shirtdress £85

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Spread collared shirtdress with buttoned placket. Long sleeves with buttoned cuffs and tie-front belt. Designed exclusively by Banana Republic in collaboration with Mad Men® costume designer Janie Bryant. Banana Republic



Accessories, Designer Fashions, Gallery

Shiny Gallery: 60s-influenced looks… yep, more Mad Men

By Ashley on May 19th, 2013

It’s a decade full of timeless looks, which means it’s never too far from our high streets – but let’s face it, will Twiggy ever look uncool? From monochrome shifts to paisley and patent pumps, the clean-cut chic 60s look is big news this season, with fashion’s continued love for all things retro. And what’s not to like about striking a passing resemblance to anyone off the Mad Men set? (style icons and sex appeal in equal measures).

Here’s our top 10 items channeling the 60s look.

Pencil Skirt in Retro Daisy Print £32

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Made from a cotton stretch fabric, high fitted waist skirt featuring retro daisy print. Tailored darts and kick split to hem. Asos



Accessories, Fashion Tips, Features, Footwear, Opinion, Opinion peice, shoes, Trend Alert

The death of the ridicu-shoe: will unwearable heels just trot away now please?

By Lauren Bravo on May 17th, 2013

When even Victoria Beckham hangs up her heels, it might be time to come back down to earth…

Purple Coleen Fonda heels Littlewoods.com

£55, littlewoods.com

There’s a thing in fashion, and actually in lots of other things such as water features and Mr Whippy cones, known as the ‘trickle down effect’.

Most people will tell you this is the process by which trends work their way from the catwalk down through the rungs of the fash ladder until they reach the high street, the market stall and eventually the bargain bin. But I prefer to think of it as the process by which the powers that be decide on the next big thing, and then we steadfastly ignore it for five years until we’re ready to accept it into our wardrobes and lives.

Midi skirts, for example, were pushed doggedly season after season, while we all stuck our fingers in our ears and sung “la-la-la-la-la” like an obnoxious toddler, our thighs still in chilly minis until 2011. At least they finally got their moment in the sun, though – wide-legged jeans have been supposedly ‘on their way back’ for almost a decade now, peering through the windows like an uninvited loner at the skinny party, and they’re still showing no sign of getting an invite.

So it’s in light of all this, and with a big whoop of much joy on behalf of my bunions, that I tell you stupid heels are finally going. BUH-BYE, bizzarro-stilts! So long, pain trotters! When even Victoria Beckham – the woman for whom being eight months pregnant in Westminster Abbey called for a pair of brutal six-inch stillies – is proudly showing off her flat Church’s boots on Twitter, we can confidently call time on the reign of the Ridicu-Shoe.

And ohhh, what a tedious reign it has been. Excellent for Compeed and gin distilleries, less successful for feet and female moral. What looked edgy and daring in about 2007 has now become the hallmark of the identikit, hobbling lady on every high street from here to John O-Groates. I’d like to present a graph showing the inverse relationship between average heel heights and the number of us chasing down criminals in the street to perform a citizens arrest, but I’ve been too distracted by my throbbing toes to collect the data.

Of course I’d like to stress firmly here that I am not anti-heel. No siree. I’m not heelist, or indeed heelphobic. Some of my best friends are heels. I’ve worn heels in the snow; heels on the beach. I’m the patient who once held up a trip to A&E because I didn’t want to arrive in flats.

Hobbs Millie sandal £129

Millie sandals, £129 Hobbs

But there is a big difference between the sexy, percussive stride of a really great heel and the debilitating totter of a ridicu-shoe.  For if a shoe fails to do its one, basic function – being a thing you put your foot in and walk on – then it’s not really a shoe. It’s like buying a cup with a hole in it, or a house with no roof. It’s little better than the £400 Louboutin equivalent of those yellow buckets from the Early Learning Centre we used to hold on our feet with string.

But the perfect heel is a rare and wonderful thing – and of course, different for every wearer. For some, it’s one you can dine in, dance in, then march to the kebab shop in; for others, one you can run for the bus in without any fear of stacking it down Kingsland Road (I still have the bruises); for some it’s the barely-there elevation of a half-inch pump, for others a stomper with a whacking great platform.

Personally I’ve always been obsessed with two-inchers. Not mimsy kittens, but sturdy, elegant mid-height heels with a good amount of clop that make your calves look really great. T-bars, Mary-Janes, that sort of thing. On top of a good pair of two-inches I feel powerful and important, like having my own little stage.

Topshop Molly t-bar shoes

Molly T-bar shoes, £35 Topshop

And then of course there are the flats, which finally trickled down and are now set to woosh like a lovely, soothing river into our wardrobes. Brogues have lasted the distance and been rewarded with every colour, fabric and finish under the sun, while jazz shoes, plimsolls, moccasins, proper sporty trainers and Jesus sandals are all still loafing about to help see us merrily through summer.

Just think of all the things we’ll be able to do, now that we don’t have to do it on ridicu-shoes! Maybe we’ll start running for buses when we don’t even NEED to. Maybe we’ll start running, generally. Maybe we’ll just dance harder, faster and longer, then march to the kebab shop without ever having to make foot-pavement content. Maybe giant heels will start looking edgy and daring again, rather than just default.

I wouldn’t hold my breath on the wide-legged jeans though, if I were you.



Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Celebrity Style, Fashion Tips, Features, Get the look, Trend Alert

How can you wear leather? Let us count the ways… Unlikely takes on the hot trend

By Daisy Buchanan on May 1st, 2013

Writer Rachael Krishna explores some leather options. But not in a rude way…

Last October I bought myself a little leather mini skirt from H&M. I was kind of in love with the concept of this skirt: so versatile, so form fitting, I could team it with heels and power dress or with a pair of box fresh trainers for a weekend in Brick Lane. To me, it was a wardrobe refresher. Then my house mate saw it and exclaimed ‘That’s a bit…BDSM Rach…’ With my leather dreams ruined, and feeling more Cat woman than Wonder woman  I retreated into my wardrobe, fearing judging eyes. However, a new season is bringing leather back again, thus I am emerging from my shame ridden hibernation with a whole new leather based out look. Here are my four tips on how to rock leather like never before and shame the neigh sayers.

M&S Autograph Blue leather pencil skirt, £149.99

M&S Autograph Blue leather pencil skirt, £149.99

 

If Grace Kelly went to Cyberdog: We all know what Cyberdog is right? That place in Camden with the flashing lights and go go dancers? Excellent, well imagine if the Stepford Wives, Lady Penelope, regularly went there for a bit of techno and cage dancing. Think bright leathers (all over A/W 2013) pencil skirts and crisps white blouses. Edgy enough to fit in with the cyber crowd, refined enough for them to hit a debutant ball  for a G & T after.

 

River Island Black Contrast Panel Leather Look T Shirt, £16.00

River Island Black Contrast Panel Leather Look T Shirt, £16.00

 

If Twiggy and Viv Westwood had a baby: If only. I’m sure this amalgamation has featured in the rum induced dreams of fashion students across London. The beautiful fantasy that, by means of probably lots of bunsen burners and test tubes, the two fashion icons had a fabulous bubba. But whose style would it embrace? The answer is the best of both worlds. Think Twiggy’s sharp silhouettes combined with Viv’s bold prints and black leather. No baggy shirts, and definitely no monochrome.

 

Missguided Kyrian Biker Detail Jacket, £47.99

Missguided Kyrian Biker Detail Jacket, £47.99

 

If Tim Burton dressed the Pope: Work with me on this one. It’s a shame that the Vatican probably wont be calling upon Tim Burton’s design talents any time soon, as the Autumn catwalks were full of religious imagery that looks straight out of Edward Scissorhands’ work shop. Big gold crosses, surrounded by jewels and black lace all held together by our fabulous friend leather. If you don’t want to look too much like you’ve just rolled about in your Grandma’s fabric basket, treat this look as more of a statement piece trend than a full body outing; a definite opportunity to invest in a customised leather jacket.

 

Nike Mid Leather Blazer Trainer, £49.99

Nike Mid Leather Blazer Trainer, £49.99

 

If Kelly Kapowski was bitten by a vampire: Tiffany Amber Thiessen spent years captivating the hearts of men across the world, with her tousled locks and all american girl charm. But what if Kelly hung about with the lost boys or had an illicit fling with Tom Cruise’s Lestat.  Go for 90’s teen movie meets  80’s/90’s supernatural horror… tight leather shapes balanced with bright prints and tied together with chunk sneakers. Cute enough to go to The Max, sexy enough to hang with a bitten Brad Pitt.

Follow Rachael on Twitter @RachaelKrishna



Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Designer Fashions, Features, Gallery, Handbags, Opinion

10 fantastic bags you can actually afford. No, really.

By Lauren Bravo on April 25th, 2013

I’m currently suffering from something I like to term ‘Fash bag fatigue’.

Barely a day goes buy where I don’t open a magazine or click through a style site to be told, in no uncertain terms, that unless I’m saving up my council tax and muesli money for a tote I can carry a baby around in, I am missing a crucial fashion gene. It’s not that I can’t appreciate the quilty aesthetics of a Chanel 2.55, or a Mulberry tote, or even those satchels off the Google advert, but I’ve never managed to grasp the dreamy possibility behind the massive great throbbing price tag. Some see design and timeless craftsmanship – I just see a holiday or a Ford Focus swinging from the arms of the elite.

The Sunday supplements, bless their affluent hearts, have made it as far as realising that bags upward of a grand probably aren’t at the top of many women’s shopping lists, so they’ve started giving us bags for £500 instead. Which is marvellous if you’re one of those terrifying 23 year old hedge fund managers you occasionally read about in Vogue, or if your landlord has lapsed into a coma conveniently excusing you from paying any rent, but for the rest of us who don’t have a spare monkey in the bank yet still have to carry our stuff around, it’s not especially helpful.

So here, to prove they do still exist, are some seriously nice bags for under £100. Most are under £50. Some are under £30. Which, unless you plan to take inspiration from the late, great Nora Ephron, who announced that her perfect bag was a bright yellow and blue plastic MetroCard shopper from the Transit Museum in New York’s Grand Central Station (I Feel Bad About My Neck – And Other Thoughts About Being A Woman, 2007 – read it, it’s wonderful), is probably about the best we’re going to be able to do. But at least we can still afford muesli.

Note: I have included nothing from Urban Outfitters, because every bag I or my friends have ever bought from Urban Outfitters has always broken dramatically within three months. If you’ve got an UO bag that you’ve been lugging around unscathed for over a year, please do let me know.

Hardback doctor bag, £26.99 A-Shu.co.uk

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Doctors can’t claim many professional style victories (word on the wards is they’re still wearing Crocs) but they do have some pretty tasty bag heritage. This cheap and cheerful take on the classic Gladstone from A-Shu.co.uk comes in a range of tasteful colours and will ensure that should you ever go to Gloucester in a shower of rain, you’ll be able to cart your brolly around in something stylish. NB: does not guarantee medical knowledge.



Accessories, Ad campaigns, Designers, dresses, Features, How to Wear, Opinion peice

There’s nothing mysterious about style, and it’s for everyone

By Daisy Buchanan on April 19th, 2013

Writer and elegant lady Janina Matthewson figures out that style isn’t about imitation – it’s about dancing.

767779_84202384

 

You are probably not a style icon. I might be wrong about that, after all I can’t see you, but you probably aren’t. There are, in fact, precious few around; although almost every celebrity will be dubbed that at some point in their career, few manage to keep the label indefinitely. Style Icon status can’t really be ascribed until years down the line, long after a person’s ceased to care much about style at all. When someone says, long after you’re gone, “that dress is very so-and-so,” then, I think, then you truly deserve the name.

For most of us, of course, being a Style Icon is unimportant. We’ve other concerns, like what to have for lunch dessert and whether anyone can see last night’s red wine stains on our lips. But we definitely want to feel stylish. We want to feel that undefinable sense of looking good; looking different somehow, in an excellent way; looking like some fascinating being. We want people to fall in love with us at first sight, even if we believe that to be a myth. We want to be admired.

But how do you become an Audrey or a Marilyn, even on a domestic level? Because it’s not really about dressing fashionably. It’s not about dressing well. It’s about dressing as yourself. As the best yourself. It’s about stocking your life in such a way that every morning, with little thought, you can throw something on that’ll have you walking down the street confident in the knowledge that the world can see a little bit of who you are, and that they’ll like it.

There is, of course, an entire industry dedicated to trying to teach you how to be stylish. There are magazines and newspapers and websites. There are catwalks and red carpets. There are personal shoppers waiting for you at your nearest high street fashion store. But at the end of the day, it’s something a person has to figure out for him or herself.

One of the best pieces of shopping advice I’ve ever come across came courtesy of Helen Fielding in her Bridget Jones follow up, Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination. The advice was this: “Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance.” Now, you may or may not be the dancing kind, you may not even be the feeling like dancing kind, but it’s an easily translatable feeling. We’ve all felt it about something or other. The trick is, and it takes effort, to train yourself to expect it as a matter of course, and to hold out until it comes.

So down with buying jeans that are little more than “perfectly fine.” Down with dresses “that’ll do.” Down with “all right shoes,” and “passable tops,” and, “suitable skirts.” We will be dancing in our changing rooms or we’ll be remaining naked.

 

Follow Janina on Twitter @J9London



Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Beauty, campaign, Celebrity gossip, Celebrity Style, Features, Get the look, Uncategorized

With Nails Like This, One Direction Will Date You Too! Little Mix Launch Nailwear Collection

By Daisy Buchanan on April 15th, 2013
Daisy gets nailed!

Daisy gets nailed!

I’ve had a fashion crush on Little Mix since I first clapped eyes on them when Tulisa was using the X Factor as a perfume product placement vehicle, with a subtle arm tattoo.  Jesy, Perrie, Leigh Anne and Jade make the sort of brilliantly bold style choices that inspire us to layer, clash and burn any “sensible greige workwear” that has mysteriously found its way into our wardrobe. After all, greige is clearly not the way to Zayn One Direction’s heart.

Admittedly, I’m not always bold enough to follow their look to the letter – but I love the idea of wearing it on my fingertips. So it was really exciting to hear the girls were collaborating with Elegant Touch.

Working with designer Jenny Pasha and their stylist Alex Knox, the girls have each created a false nail and wrap design reflecting their personalities. Jesy’s black stud effect press ons are awesomely edgy, but Perrie’s alternate stars and sparkle design was the one that won me over.

Elegant Touch Perrie Press On Nails, £6, www.newlook.com

Elegant Touch Perrie Press On Nails, £6, www.newlook.com

The wraps can last for over a week if you look after your nails, and the falsies will keep going for around three days, although they’re perfect for parties and less perfect for writers on deadline (Perrie, if you’re reading this – how do you type?) Luckily the nails come with adhesive backing, so they’re much easier to apply than traditional, glue on falsies – you press ‘em on and peel ‘em off, so you can use them next time you have a big hand based event, like some shadow puppetry or a demonstration slot in home shopping channel.

The nails and wraps are available exclusively from New Look for £6.



Accessories, Features, New Fashions, Swimwear, Tops

Trend ideas – 20 Floral fashion items

By Ashley on March 11th, 2013

With momentary whiffs of spring in the air, putting on a pretty floral number can be more of a statement of “I’m officially now over this drab winter” than (foolishly) leaving your coat at home. And when you do, it’s difficult not to wear a smile when you’re dressed up in floral – whether it’s a busy repeat flower print – Cath Kidston style, or the more abstract digital flower prints springing up on the highstreet. Whichever type of bloom suits you best, nothing can make you feel more feminine than a floral print.

If wearing it isn’t your thing, there’s always accessories which can considerably freshen things up. So, if you’re feeling optimistic of Spring being sprung or feel the need to encourage the blossom along – here’s some floral beauties currently out there for the picking.

Ditsy Origami Floral Skirt £40

Picture 1 of 20

If you have the legs for this beautiful tailored origami skirt - it would be a crime not to wear it. In a ditsy floral print, made from 65% Polyester,35% Cotton. Top Shop




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