Archive for the ‘Trend Alert’ Category

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10 trends to get you excited about Autumn/Winter 2013

By Lauren Bravo on August 11th, 2013

All good things must come to an end, and that means summer. But it’s ok, because autumn is waiting in the wings and by golly, is she well dressed…

I’ve always felt that September is the real New Year. It’s that back-to-school feeling. Every summer I planned to arrive back for the autumn term transformed – new hair; new school shoes; new Ellesee rucksack.

Now that we’re grown up the September resolutions are still there, but it’s more about going back to style school – remembering how to put proper outfits together, after a summer of slouching about in increasingly creased cotton things and sandals like a beach urchin. Silhouettes become a thing to consider. Layering is an option again. There are exciting textures to play with, and exciting jumpers to wear on all those exciting nights in watching Downton with a blanket on your knees.

Autumn Winter 2013 is already looking mighty fine, and she’s not even here yet. Tartan, cocoon coats, mind-spinning animal prints, leather in shapes you’ve never seen leather before… here’s a preview of great pieces to keep your spirits up when the temperature drops.



Affordable Fashions, dresses, Features, Sleeves of the week, Trend Alert

Sleeves of the week! ASOS tartan shirt dress, £35

By Lauren Bravo on August 6th, 2013

Autumn will be here before you can say ‘pac-a-mac’, so embrace the new season’s bonniest print now…

ASOS tartan shirtdressAs I was sat yesterday, watching rain sheet down the office windows like the deluge from a less-fun log flume, I had a pang. A pang for autumn. “In only a couple of short months,” I thought quietly (because people clobber you if you say this stuff out loud), “I’ll be wearing a coat and eating custard again.

“I’ll stop getting messages that say things like ‘Hampstead Heath! 30 mins! Bring inflatables and a portable volleyball net!’ and we will all simply stay in with a blanket on our knees and watch X-Factor and have a snooze. I’ll stop moisturising my armpits like the Dove adverts tell me to and have time for important things, like finding out what this season’s snood will be and affixing kooky brooches to my hats.

“There will be new prints to embrace, ones that don’t involve flowers or flamingoes. The magazines will tell us that elbow-length leather gloves are going to be big, the way they do every September, and maybe, just maybe, this year they actually will be.”

The new print I have chosen to embrace first – because the Edinburgh festival is now in full swing, and Scotland tirelessly proves itself ahead of the fashion game year after year by being cold enough for A/W trends months before London finally shakes off the smell of overheated crotch – is tartan. ASOS is going fully Westwood for tartan this autumn (that’s Vivienne, not Tim) and I’ll be following along in their wake like the lovechild of Malcolm McLaren and a thickly carpeted chain hotel just off the M73. Heck, even the Queen’s at Balmoral.

This sheer shirt dress is a nice way to ease yourself into the richer colours of autumn without sweating it out in a jumper just yet. Team it with bare legs, big necklace and clumpy shoes, then wait patiently for leather glove weather to arrive. It won’t be long now, kids.

Available end of August

 



Affordable Fashions, dresses, Features, Opinion, Sleeves of the week, Trend Alert

Sleeves of the week! Neon animal tunic dress, £38 Topshop

By Lauren Bravo on July 17th, 2013

Nightshirts are the new minidresses, it seems. But they have sleeves and look foxy so that’s a-ok by us

Topshop neon tunic dress £38Every time I’ve been into Topshop recently, I have touched this dress and gone, “ooh!”. Sometimes I pick it up. Once I even made it as far as the changing room, before the sight of my gleaming red face in the mirror told me I was already far too sweaty for a ridiculous full-scale exertion like lifting my arms over my head then bringing them down again.

(As a side note here, will Topshop ever learn that proper air conditioning in their changing rooms would drive up profits by about 500%? I’m no Alan Sugar, but even I have clocked that customers are more likely to buy a garment if they don’t have to wring it out for underboob sweat at 30 second intervals. I bet that’s on page one of the Business Studies textbooks: ‘Don’t make your customers perspire against will’)

But glands aside, I love this dress. It looks vaguely like a man’s nightshirt from the turn of the century, in kickin’ fluoro animal print – if Tommy Steele had been in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this is what he might have worn. It’s also a far more accessible version of that mens-shirt-bare-legs thing that has only ever been successful for post-coital women in films, and it’s plenty flimsy and bright enough to look summer-appropriate but with sleeves that will see you right through the autumn.

@laurenbravo



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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:



Affordable Fashions, Fashion Crush, Fashion Tips, Features, Festivals, Opinion, Sleeves of the week, Style spotlight, Trend Alert

Sleeves of the week! Boohoo.com tasselled jumpsuit, £30

By Lauren Bravo on June 26th, 2013

Shake those tassles, baby. This week we’ve discovered a jumpsuit to jump at (but not into a tent, thanks)

Tassled Sahara jumpsuit Boohoo.comDespite every fashion journo urge in my body bidding me otherwise, I am not going to tell you to wear this jumpsuit at a festival.

It may be pure, louche, rock and roll, with its theatrical tassels and Oriental-inspired monochrome like the lovechild of Stevie Nicks and a sexy dressing gown, and every media publication in the country might currently be falling over itself to jam ‘festival’ references into every other paragraph, but I’m going to resist – because everyone knows that the most important criteria for festival dressing is ease of public urination, and jumpsuits are the enemy of the toilet trip. You can do all the artful layering and directional trousers you like, but if there’s no direct route of access for a she-wee at the crucial moments, you will end up with a rep as “angry naked squatting lady” or a bad case of cystitis, or both.

But luckily for the rest of us sleeve-fanciers, not everyone is at a festival this week. Or all summer, even, unless Edinburgh counts. So on behalf of all the indie bush squatters, let’s wear this fantastic jumpsuit to a bar, or a restaurant, or indeed anywhere indoors with proper loo facilities, and give those tassels the shimmy they deserve.

Sahara jumpsuit, £30 Boohoo.com



Affordable Fashions, denim, Fashion Tips, Features, Festivals, Gallery, Style spotlight, Trend Alert

Go shorty: eight great pairs of shorts you can buy online

By Lauren Bravo on June 25th, 2013

Short and sweet, short and studded, short and stretchy and loud – we’ve got ‘em all, and you don’t even need to leave the house

Shopping is one thing. Shopping in summer is another thing, and shopping for teeny shorts in a 3ft x 3ft sweat box with fluorescent lighting that makes you look like one of the pasty boy scouts from Moonrise Kingdom is quite another altogether.

Which is why we’ve rounded up eight awesome pairs of shorts that you can buy online and try on in the comfort of your bedroom instead. Some classic denim, some beaded boudoir shorts, some print, some embroidered, one pair that looks like something the twins from Fun House might have worn for a big night out on the Skelter Belter.

The trick with shorts isn’t about the length or girth or whatever of your legs, it’s just about getting a pair that fits perfectly – no bunching, no pinching, no needing to stop every 30 seconds to fish them out from between your legs where they’ve ridden up like a theatrical curtain. I mean, we all know that the girl who “walks like Rihanna” in that The Wanted song is simply suffering from a bad case of disappearing crotch denim. So find a pair that hugs you real nice.



Beauty, Fashion Tips, Features, Get the look, Opinion, Opinion peice, Trend Alert

What does your selfie say about you?

By Lauren Bravo on June 17th, 2013

Let she who is without selfies cast the first moan! But if selfies could speakwhat would they say?

Classic pout

“I’m a traditional gal. I don’t deviate. like mild peri-peri on my Nando’s, and Paul McCartney is my favourite Beatle.”

Extreme pout selfie

The extreme pout

Extreme pout

“By playing with the proportions of the conventional photographic pout, I am making a comment on the nature of our society’s obsession with lip-to-face ratio. Also, look at me all minxy.”

Satirical pout

satirical pout selfie

The satirical pout

“This is what people do in selfies, yes? I’ve heard it is, but I can’t be sure as most of my time is taken up with poi swinging, not using Facebook and working on my quinoa recipe blog, Keen-a for Quinoa.”

‘The shoes’

“As this is only 20% a photo of my shoes and 80% a photo of some floor, so you’d be forgiven for commenting, “Hey! Nice floor!”. But that isn’t the intended response.”

‘The legs’

“Legs can’t be narcissistic, right? They’re just legs! Lovely, practical legs! Legs for climbing mountains, dancing a merry jig or, on this occasion, casually lying prone on a sun lounger under a light coating of shimmery body oil.’

the mug selfie

The mug

‘The mug’

“You think this is premium Venezuelan java. It’s actually Robinson’s Fruit & Barley. Now let’s read some Sartre.”

‘The mirror’

“Isn’t this a lovely toilet? Look, they have those nice quilted paper hand towels and everything. Try to focus more on my sassy outfit and less on the fact I’ve just urinated.”

The ‘new hair’

“This is legitimate. I have new hair! I must garner opinions! If a tree falls in the forest and nobody comments on its new hair, does it really exist?”

sleepy selfie

The sleepy

‘The sleepy’

“It’s pretty hectic, being me. But please don’t be associating my tiredness with the same sort of tiredness that produces eye bags and sleep farting and a little trail of crusty drool on one’s face. Mine is a different, sexy tiredness. Je suis fatigue. Look at my artfully rumpled hair. Are you imagining me in bed yet?”

‘The dopey’

“Geez, I’m so ditsy y’all. I didn’t even mean to take this – I was trying to pay my council tax using my online banking app, but before I knew it I’d snapped myself looking adorably gawky with my mouth slightly open. Still, shame to let it go to waste.”

‘The sneezy’

At the time of going to print, this wasn’t yet a selfie trend.

the dopey selfie

The dopey

There is a boyfriend in your photo

“OH LOOK I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!”

Your heads are bent together coyly

“NO I ACTUALLY DO I SWEAR”

His face is partially obscured because he is nuzzling your neck/kissing your cheek

“SEE? I AM SO ADORED.”

The arms’-reach, almost, just about, could feasibly not be a selfie

“But it obviously is.”



denim, dresses, Fashion Tips, Features, Nostalgia, Opinion, Sleeves of the week, Trend Alert

Sleeves of the week! Topshop print stud denim shirtdress, £65

By Lauren Bravo on June 14th, 2013

It’s floral, it’s denim, it’s studded, it’s a shirtdress, it’s a bit 90s, it’s a bit 70s, it has sleeves. We call this one ‘the box-ticker’.

Topshop flroal denim shirtdressDenim shirtdresses are having a bit of a moment. At least in our hearts, if not in da clubz quite yet. They’re cousin of the giant denim shirt, in which I always like to imagine I will look like a happy lady in an advert, sighing wistfully in the doorway of an empty room with a smudge of paint on her nose while a knitting-pattern-handsome man brings her a cup of tea. But in reality giant denim shirts make me look like one of those women who writes love letters to men on death row, so the fitted denim shirtdress is an appealing compromise – more waisted, less wasted.

This Topshop print stud number is the second denim shirtdress to feature in Sleeves of the Week, and it’s a deserving specimen. We’ve seen 80s-does-50s many times, but who knew 10s-does-90s-does-70s would be so brilliant a combo? In a colourful feathery floral, it manages to be both summery and wintery at once and so will never leave you in seasonal purgatory, trying to waft cold air down your tights in a Caffe Nero loo. It’s even got sturdy poppers, meaning no button-popping fear for the ample of bosom. Add a floppy hat and the biggest necklace you can find.



Affordable Fashions, denim, Fashion Crush, Fashion Tips, Features, Gallery, Get the look, Trend Alert

Eight pairs of dungarees you won’t look ridiculous in

By Lauren Bravo on June 12th, 2013

So you suddenly want to wear dungarees? Us too, don’t worry – here are eight of the best pairs on the high street. Buckle up.

It’s snuck up on us, the dungaree thing. A few months ago they were an outside contender, an unlikely style triumph compared to everything else summer 2013 had to offer. Though if my methods of trend prediction followed the same logic as my methods of betting on the Grand National (choose the one with the funniest name), I’d have been onto a pretty good thing.  Yes, dungarees are suddenly a thing we want to wear.

It happened almost overnight; I just woke up one morning a few weeks ago and shouted “dungarees!” cheerfully to the wall. But of course, woman cannot dress on concept alone, and there’s a potentially long path of trudging through shops and wailing in changing rooms and looking like Valerie Singleton and standing in returns queues before you reach the Cair Paravel of summer styling. By which I mean, rocking dungers (we can call them dungers, yes?) with no Playschool or Bob the Builder comments whatsoever.

To ease the process considerably, I’ve rounded up eight of the most wearable versions from the high street and the internet for you. Blue Peter badge optional.

 



Affordable Fashions, dresses, Fashion Tips, Features, Get the look, Opinion, Sleeves of the week, Trend Alert, Weddings

Sleeves of the week! ASOS botanical shift dress £60

By Lauren Bravo on June 8th, 2013

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow… on this lovely ASOS shift dress? Botanical and be-sleeved, it’s our pick of the week.

ASOS botanical shift dress £60Botanical things are usually good things. Botanical gardens, botanical extracts, that odd botanical cola you occasionally get served in hipster pubs. Surprisingly for a word that sounds so much like “botty”, botany itself is a lovely idea – I always like to think that it another life, one in which I’m a sudo-Mitford sister living in a crumbling 1930s manor house, I’d be really into dried flowers and pressing things.

But until that dream can be realised, I’ll settle for a botanical wardrobe instead. And there’s never been a better time to acquire one, as florals have really stepped up their game this season – gone are the mimsy patterns and Cath Kidston clones of yore, and in their place digitally-enhanced psychedelia and photo-realistic prints to bring a slice of nature to even the dingiest urban enclave.

Even better, some of them have sleeves! This bracelet-length ASOS shift dress is fresh as a daisy but far more interesting – with its big, detailed bluebells and foxgloves, it’d be a bit like wearing one of those wallcharts that used to come free with The Guardian. But less papery. Enjoy.



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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.



Fashion Tips, Features, Nostalgia, Opinion, shoes, Trend Alert, Uncategorized, vintage

Five 90s trends we would welcome back (and three we really wouldn’t)

By Lauren Bravo on May 27th, 2013

Cropped tops and tie-dye are all over the high street – so here are five more 90s trends we’ll be welcoming back with open arms

Studded bumbag, George at ASDA

Studded bumbag, George at ASDA

Bumbags

For years now, bumbags have been the sole preserve of paranoid tourists in too-short slacks and giant Reeboks, denied as a bonafide fashion item for anyone with an ounce more personal style. But when I worked on a stall in Camden market, I was obliged to wear a bumbag (black leather, pockety) and I quickly came to love it.

They’re hands-free, but unlike a rucksack don’t give you the look of a world-weary tortoise, plus they’re the ultimate defense against pickpockets because it would take a pretty brazen toerag to go for an iPhone you’re carrying just above your crotch. Opt for neon, metallics or studded leather and wear with warm-bellied pride.

 

Skirts with shorts attached underneath

So you can do handstands without showing your knickers! And a host of more practical reasons, including standing on air vents and avoiding hot weather thigh chafing. Also, they looked pretty rad when I was six.

 

High ponytails Clarissa Explains It All still

There are ponytails, then there are high ponytails, then there are ponytails so high that your hair hangs down either side of your face like a spider plant. These are probably the best kinds of ponytails, because it’s almost like just having your hair down, except three inches shorter and with a big ol’ scrunchie perched on top like a cherry.

Clarissa may have explained it all, but she never taught us the secrets of the high pony. Luckily we worked it out ourselves – flip your hair forward and tie it up at the point on your head where it stops looking like a unicorn impression.

 

Waistcoats (especially velvet)

When I was six, my birthday party outfit of choice wasn’t a frilly pink dress. Oh no. It was a pair of black velvet trousers, a white shirt, and a little velvet waistcoat in mottled shades of burgundy and bottle green, with gold embroidery. I looked vaguely like Little Lord Fauntleroy, but I thought it was the bomb. It was also much more practical for soft play adventure parties and jostling my way to musical chairs victory.

Sweet Valley High Season 1 dvd

Sweet Valley High: The Complete First Season, Amazon

I’d happily herald a return to waistcoats, because they are the ultimate unisex fashion item. Like all the best trends they’re ultimately pointless, unless you’re especially keen to keep your kidneys warm, but they show a certain flair for dressing that can’t be achieved with a humdrum jacket. As for the velvet, I’m sure I’ll meet little resistance when I say that it truly is the fabric of kings. To quote George Costanza from Seinfeld, “if it was socially acceptable, I would drape myself in velvet.” And hopefully soon it will be.

 

Coffee shimmer lipstick

Our Beauty of our Youth series has already tackled Spectacular glitter and 17 Twilight Teaser lipsticks, but there was another shade gracing the grown-up kissers of the 90s that is well overdue a revival.  We called it ‘Sweet Valley High lipstick’ (we also called snogging ‘Sweet Valley High kissing’, such was the Wakefield twins’ influence).

It was not quite gold, not quite beige, but occupied a gleefully metallic spot between them on the spectrum. It was a bit reminiscent of the icing on coffee and walnut cakes, and applied just as liberally. Given we’ve worked our way through every rosy, peachy and berry shade in Boots over the last 15 years, isn’t it time we rediscovered a coffee shimmer pout? We’d have to call it ‘soya macchiato’ now, of course.

 

And three we really wouldn’t…

Heat-sensitive colour-changing t-shirts

Hey everyone, look where I’m sweating! You’d think just pits, but it turns out lower back and between-boob too, ain’t that grand?

 

‘Spice Girl’ platform trainers

They were giant, they were rubber, they came in either black and white or denim and white from Shoe Zone, and they were the only acceptable addition to your stretchy back bootcut trousers and Kappa top. A few months ago they might have made it onto the list above – but since Viva Forever flopped so resoundingly, our zig-a-zig-ah has jumped ship.

 

Fleeces 

In a world where the oneside has been so thoroughly roadtested and vetoed, we simply have no need for the fleece. Carry on hikers, by all means – but the fash pack ain’t joining you.



Affordable Fashions, Fashion Tips, Features, Opinion, Sales and Specials, Sleeves of the week, Style spotlight, Trend Alert

Sleeves of the week! Silver metallic wrap dress, £15 Oh My Love

By Lauren Bravo on May 24th, 2013

Metallics in the daytime? Don’t mind if we do! Long-sleeved but skimpy AND on sale, this Oh My Love dress ticks all our boxes

Oh My Love silver wrap skater dress £15 I’ve always been a fan of glam daywear. In a nonchalantly decadent way, you understand, not in a ‘walk of shame’ way – although we all know that can be plenty fun too. Ever since implementing ‘Fancy Fridays’, where about five of us wore cocktail dresses and suits to sixth form once a week for no particular reason (other than being 17 and by default, knobs) I’ve loved the thrill of wearing something glitzy in broad daylight. It’s probably because I’m terrible at proper dressing up, when then pressure is on and something inevitably always rips or spills or pinches or just doesn’t quite work. Meanwhile the element of surprise in wearing a sequinned top to brunch will always compensate for the fact you look a bit like Danny La Rue.

The trick is paring down a fancy frock with flats and a casual jacket, or teaming luxe fabric with an old t-shirt (I’m quoting this from fashion magazines of course; all t-shirts make me look like a Mum on a charity fun run). This year’s metallics obsession has been great news for us magpies, with even the dowdiest of shoes, satchels, jumpers and trews being given a Midas makeover.

So, onto our star of the week. This shimmering silver wrap dress from Oh My Love scores on so many different points, it’s like it’s auditioning to be the Robin van Persie of your wardrobe. Long sleeves, yes, but still skimpy enough for bonafide summer wear. That now-ubiquitous skater style, yes, but with a plunging wrap neckline for easier hefty necklace co-ordination. Plus, it’s reduced from £39 to £15 in the sale. PLUS, it looks vaguely like a sci-fi outfit from the 60s, which will be useful for all those space-themed fancy dress parties everyone is always throwing.

Give it the tights-and-biker-boots treatment until your legs are ready to come out from hiding (at our estimation they should get a good two and half hours or so in mid-August), then with sandals and beachy hair. Maybe a Barbarella bubble helmet. It’s your call.

 



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.



Affordable Fashions, Fashion Tips, Features, Gallery, Swimwear, Trend Alert

I like big briefs and I cannot lie: Five great high-waisted bikinis

By Lauren Bravo on May 21st, 2013

The temperature’s rising (well, any day now) and so are the waistlines. Here are the best high-waisted bikinis on the high street

High-waisted pants will always be a great divider. Like the spreadable yeast extract of the top drawer (I am sorry for saying ‘yeast’ there), you either appreciate the sultry, structured charms of the high-waisted silhouette… or you just don’t.

“I think it’s creepy when I can’t see your bellybutton,” my boyfriend admits. “It’s like, you might not even have one.”  Which is discriminating against the navel-less, for a start, and also futile because I don’t care a fig – I love big pants. I love their comforting hold-you-in-ness, I love the way they never disappear into places and require hoiking out again behind a post box, and I love the way they admiringly trace the whole shape of my hips, rather than cutting them off in the middle.

Once you’ve gone high-waisted, it’s hard to go back. Which is why I’m also thankful that this season, swimwear designers aren’t skimping on the fabric either. There are high-waisted bikinis to be had all over the high street, and they’re not all the same tired retro knock-offs – there are tribal, tropical, neons and animal prints to add to my bobbling collection of polka dot lycra, plus some seriously great structured bikini tops to go with them.

Sorry, bellybutton. Maybe next year.




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