Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Look for Less - Lanvin Pom Pom Sandals

If you spent all last summer lusting after Rachel Bilson's California cool girl style, but just couldn't afford her highly desirable Lanvin Pom Pom Sandals, even when they went in the Sale, fear not bargainista's, because High Street Shoe Heaven has been bought to you, yet again by Dune with their very own version of the espadrille soled summer hottie for only £55!

Available in two colourways and with a bargain price tag, why not buy both and just like Rachel, let your sandals do the talking and keep your whole look simple with denim shorts and plain t-shirts or simple summer dresses!

Dune Pom Pom Sandals £55Lanvin Pom Pom Sandals £239 or in White & Gold £239.


Monday, 30 May 2011

The Only Way is Boot Camp, "no carbs before marbs" and 40 yr old "Sam Cam" rocking a bikini!

When we first saw the introduction of Gemma, the glamorous and feisty car saleswoman at the beginning of series two of "The Only Way is Essex", I was shocked, but in a good way.  It was refreshing to see a larger lady in amongst the stick thin, boob jobbed,  model girl stereotypes that make up a large majority of the cast and Gemma, along with Nanny Pat and Lydia and Marks Mum's, brought an interesting twist to the show and proved that the programme isn't just about the young and beautiful Essex inhabitants.

Go for a chunkier shoe to balance out your look and a lightweight cropped cardi to cover your upper arms please Gemma!

Gemma is obviously a woman who has pride in her appearance no matter what her size (whether you are a lover of long blonde hair extensions or not), but Gemma has decided to shape up for summer by going to Boot Camp whilst the rest of the cast spend time in Marbella.  Gemma's weight problems apparently stem from a miscarriage followed by a painful relationship break up, but it appears that she has decided to shed some pounds for health reasons, but we can all understand how easy it is to comfort eat after life changing set backs and then how hard it is to break that cycle.  I bet it won't be long before Mick is happy to accept Gemma's homemade Apple Pie if she carries on with her fitness regime!

Over the past few months other stars of the show including Mark Wright, Lucy Mecklenburgh and Lydia Bright have all hit No 1 Boot Camp to tone up ahead of their annual pilgrimage to Marbella and it was obvious how much weight Lydia had lost by time the second series hit our screens just a few months after the first series ended.

Lydia showing off her new figure and taking "Poolside Glam" to the max in Marbs!

Meanwhile over in Marbella, the female members of the cast soaked up the sun at the Ocean Club with the Daily Mail reporting that Amy looked bloated in her swimsuit!  Is it any wonder that Celebrities aspire to the stick thin, lollipop head look, when a national newspaper makes such a statement?  Perhaps the reason why they made such is a comment is that they have the somewhat skinny Ms Liz Jones on their payroll who is more likely to eat her Revive face cream than a decent meal, but I hasten to add, Miss Jones also reigns from Essex so who knows, perhaps she will get a starring rolein season three!

A girl after my own heart rocking a leopard print swimsuit!

No signs of bloating in a white fringed one piece.

Over in the Meditterean clubbing hotspot of Ibiza, Samantha Cameron is a 40 year old proud to show off her bikini body and quite rightly so!
The Cameron's flew to the sunshine island via Easyjet in an effort to "keep it real" whilst the majority of the nation are left wondering whether they can even a afford a flight on a "bucket airline"!

Do you think the Essex Girls are using up all their baggage allowance on bangles?
Do you intend to take Poolside Glam to the max this season?
Is Gemma feeling the pressure to slim down like her co-stars?

On a slight change of subject can I just mention the problems that I am having leaving comments on certain Blogs, namely teawithonesugar, snowystylista, bonbonandpearls and fashionpearlsofwisdom. When I leave a comment it asks me to sign in time after time after time, it is most infuriating and I can only think that these are blogs that have word verification on, so please girls I am reader but I can't find any solution to this problem, sorry.  Is anybody else having the same problem?

Net-a-porter (UK)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

One Dress Two Ways - Reader Style Challenge

When Jo contacted me from Spain via Twitter, for some advice over summer dresses and what styles would work best for day to evening dressing, it made me realise that even if you live in a warmer climate, you still need to have hard working pieces and wardrobe staples that you can turn to, no matter what the event or the temperature.

I was then on a mission to find a dress that would work both for her lifestyle, but also for mine, and one I would be putting on my summer wish list for holiday evenings but that I could happily wear during the day for a trip into town and with white being a massive trend this season, I opted for a simple French Connection style that can be worn for so many occasions and that would work perfectly with many different coloured accessories.

Just like the Little Black Dress, the Little White Dress can be just as hard working during the summer months ahead and apart from the day to evening option, my choice could also be worn for the office with a cropped boxy jacket or cardigan and court shoes or worn with bright, bold coloured shoes and accessories to encompass this seasons love of colour blocking.

Although there are some rules as to which styles and fabric you should choose when looking for a versatile dress, more often than not, it is all about the accessories! The addition of either a statement necklace, a sparkly clutch or cuff  and heels, can transform a look instantly and take you through to evening drinks with ease but always avoid bodycon, draped or structured dresses (although great for evening, they don't dress down well for day) and fabrics that are too casual, by which I mean denim, chambray etc as these don't dress up well, no matter how glamorous or expensive your accessories. 

Floaty, cotton, jersey or chiffon styles work best, whether you have a preference for mini, midi or maxi and with so many trends to choose from this summer, brights, florals or whites will all look fabulous whether at home or abroad.

White Dress French Connection £77Woven Sandal Dune £55Sunglasses Gucci £159Bag £29 John Lewis. Wedges French Connection £120. Kenneth Cole Bracelet £45. Modula Straw Clutch £35.

Are you looking for any versatile dresses to take you from day to evening this summer?

French Connection Limited

Monday, 23 May 2011

Miraclesuit Swimwear Review

When it comes to swimwear, I’m sure I am not the only woman starting to panic about being ready to make an appearance, poolside! Most of us are already in a complete state of despair when we think the kids will be breaking up for summer in just over 6 weeks time and we will either be jetting off on our holidays abroad or taking the kids on trips to the local swimming pool!

Well fear not Ladies! If you need to look 10lb lighter but can’t live without your Cupcakes or Chocolate and are in need of a Miracle, then there may be an easier solution than you think, in the form of Miraclesuit Swimwear!

When I was offered the chance to review a Miraclesuit swimsuit by www.simplybeach.com, I jumped at the chance as I so wanted to be converted to a one piece and prove that you can still look glamorous by adopting a “less is more” swimwear philosophy (going for one piece instead of two!) and with a total of 67 various styles to choose from on the Simply Beach website, it wasn’t easy to pick just one, so naturally I threw caution to the wind and opted for my favourite print, Leopard!

The service from Simply Beach was second to none, and I was amazed that with only a £1.99 postage charge, that the swimsuit arrived the very next day and I was pleased to see that my choice was not only in my favourite fabric but had a deep and flattering plunge neckline and scoop back.

Miraclesuit swimwear is constructed to shape and firm the body without the need for bulky linings and is constructed using an innovative patented new fabric called Miratex, which has three times as much spandex as the average swimwear fabric, thus giving three times the holding power and it really does work! One of my main concerns was that I would feel as though I couldn’t breathe when wearing it, but that is not the case at all, it is decidedly comfortable and most certainly made for a more flattering silhouette.

With a price tag of between £125 to £155 for a one piece, they don’t come cheap, but for somebody like me who usually pays somewhere in that region for swimwear in the sale, the sheer quality of the garment tells me that this would be money well spent and that my swimsuit will become a firm holiday wardrobe staple for years to come, as investment dressing is just as important when it comes to Resort Wear, afterall, we all want pieces we can rely on year after year and by adopting the “cost per wear” theory, it will be a worthwhile investment and you can’t put a price on looking 10lb lighter and the confidence that will bring!

The full collection has something for everyone and traditional swimsuit styles sit alongside brighter colours with ruffle trims, bold prints and also consists of tankini's and cover up's which all provide a stylish and slimming solution to your holiday wardrobe.

Solid Colours


Cover Ups

Are you in need of a miracle this summer? if so view the full collection of Miraclesuit swimwear here and have a happy holiday!

Monday, 16 May 2011

On the Red Carpet & The Runway

Bloody Blogger meant that drafted posts, never got finished at the end of last week, so I am a bit behind with my red carpet and Chanel resort collection updates but with so much fashion feasting for the eyes over a series of events, it is one post that couldn't be deleted and had to be done!

Sarah Jessica Parker attended the  New York Spring Ballet Gala in New York on the arm of her husband, Matthew Broderick.  I have only been to the Ballet once, I was pregnant with my second child, so with hormones racing away, I sobbed my heart out whilst being captivated by Giselle and my love for all things Ballet inspired began, but sadly I have never been again! 
Unlike SJP I didn't wear Valentino, instead a Dorothy Perkins maternity dress, I can see it now, oh the shame!
SJP's dress is an adaptation of a shorter runway version and is far more worthy of a glamorous clutch bag than the across body number far more suited to a shopping trip or the school run, than a red carpet photo opportunity!

After a "big hair" and "colour blocking" outfit disaster last weekend, Cheryl Cole was back to her best whilst attending the Cannes Film Festival.  First in a white slash neck goddess gown by Stephane Rolland, featuring quirky gold pears, later followed by a sparkly mermaid inspired gown by Roberto Cavalli for the after party. 

Both gowns were a far cry from some of her X-Factor finals choices, with Cheryl reportedly having been taken in hand by a top Hollywood Stylist, both looks were certainly worthy of any L.A. Starlet or Hollywood Red Carpet.
Her hair was slick and sleek with not an over sized curl or any backcombing in sight. Both looks were finished to perfection with the addition of sparkly clutch bags and classic make-up which let the Gowns do the talking.

SJP also hotfooted it across the pond to the Cannes Film Festival to promote the release of her forthcoming film "I don't know how she does it".  Sarah Jessica wowed the crowd in a floral Ellie Saab gown from the A/W 2011 RTW collection.

France was certainly the place to see and be seen last week with the Chanel Resort collection preview on May 9th, held at what is possibly the most expensive hotel in the world, the Hotel du Cap in Antibes on the French Riviera. 
Hollywood Starlets were out in force as was our home grown fashionista, Alexa Chung along with Gossip Girl star Blake Lively, face of Chanel Mademoiselle, sporting her recently dyed red hair and wearing Chanel Couture.

The Catwalk saw an array of lust worthy pieces that will have you immediately transported to the French Riviera with a collection featuring everything from bathing suits worn with cardigans and pearls to updated, resort worthy Chanel suits in pastel colours.
Along with the classic signature Chanel monochrome were a range of pretty printed maxi dresses and the cutest vanity case style, miniature handbags.
Karl has hardly left a fashion stone unturned with a collection encompassing so many trends, fabrics and colourways.

What was your favourite Red Carpet or Chanel Resort look and do you think Cheryl has finally upped her fashion ante?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Something for the weekend - whats hot and whats not this week!

What a complete nightmare the last few days have been for anybody who uses Blogger?  With three draft posts all due for publication over the last few days, I was losing the will to live as I couldn't open anything up to finish off and add links etc, so some posts will have to wait till next week, and I have incorporated my Style Icon for the week in this post, so forgive me it it goes on a bit!

For anybody who missed my tweet on Thursday morning, here is the only picture I could find of Kate Garraway in a gorgeous Monsoon dress paying homage to the Erdem floral prints around this season.

As with most clothing, it looks stunning in real life as opposed to on the site, and at only £90 it would be the ideal wedding guest outfit if teamed with cobalt blue, red or bright pink accessories. Alternatively, pair it with nude heels to elongate your legs for evening drinks in the pub beer garden.

You all know what a sucker I am for a High end nail polish and that I have managed to secure most of Chanel's new offerings over the last couple of years, even some limited edition colours, but I am not rushing out to put my name on the list for this seasons must have colour, a pale yellow called Mimosa.  I felt a bit too old for Nouvelle Vague and never ended up wearing it. I think with some colours you have to draw the line, otherwise you just look stupid when your 18 year old daughters are wearing the same shade. 
 I would love to wear just one signature colour constantly, but I fall in love with all manner of shades far too easily as I have with this YSL Duo at Selfridges.  The putty coloured polish is very similar to Chanel's Particulere and the blue is dark enough to make me feel that I could get away with it and at only £25 for the two, YSL brings the Catwalk to your fingertips with these gorgeous fashion forward shades.

Manicure Couture Duo by YSL £25. How fab would the blue look with the Monsoon dress?

In other news....

Dorothy Perkins hae launched their VIP week with 25% off of everything by using the code DPVIPE.  Click here to shop!

If your not yet holiday ready, hot foot it over to Warehouse where you can receive up to £10 off selected beachwear.

With my current Kaftan obsession, this Missoni inspired number reduced from £40 to £25 could be winging its way into my online shopping trolley in the very near future!

or get beach ready with Reiss.......

From gorgeous cover-ups to sexy sandals, Reiss have all your holiday needs covered and are currently offering free delivery on orders over £100.  Browse the Holiday Shop here.

I'll leave you with my fashion icon of the week, the stunningly gorgeous Olivia Palermo.  How many of us could look this glam in skinny jeans and flats with our hair scrapped back?  I'm sure I'd look like Davids mad old mother fom Psychoville or Dame Edna Everage, if I went for cats eye shaped sunnies!

I know its hard to believe but Olivia's bag is not designer, in fact its from Zara!  I first saw this bag on an American Fashion Blog months ago and I went straight on to the Zara website but it was nowhere to be found and that was before I got my beloved Alexander Wang, but the bag is now available in the UK from Zara online here and to say I am tempted, is an understatement!  Olivia is wearing the Paige Premium Denim Verdugo Jeggings available here.  Laid back daytime Luxe as only Olivia can do it!

Steal Olivia's style from the High Street....

Sunglasses by Therapy £10. Grey Skinny jeans by Biba £48.75. Long Sleeve t-shirt by America Vintage £44. Jersey Ballerina Flats £155 by Repetto. Gold Plated Bracelet £45 by Leslie Danzis.

Are you planning to buy anything this weekend? If not, tell me who has been your Style Icon of the week?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Is Christine Bleakley slowly becoming a Fashion Icon?

Christine Bleakley - is growing on me! I have to admit, its true.

When Christine and Adrian Chiles first took over on the sofa, and GMTV morphed into Daybreak, I wasn’t happy and thought she was more “Beak“ than “Bleak“. I don’t know why because I couldn’t stand Kate or Fiona either, but still preferred ITV’s light hearted morning news programme to the stuffy BBC’s, but I had little time for Christine and didn’t think she and Adrian were as natural presenters as they had been made out to be, whilst fronting the Beeb’s One Show.

Nevertheless, over time, Christine has began to grow on me and I think she is getting more beautiful over time. When she first became a household name, I thought she was all teeth, and dire performances on Strictly Come Dancing did nothing to secure her place in my affections, especially when I thought she may have a thing for Matthew Cutler, who should so marry Alicia Dixon after their perfect dance floor pairing secured the prized glitter ball back in 2008, but since the start of her relationship with Frank Lampard, Christine has really shone, just goes to show what the love of a good man (he is apparently smitten) and the outfit choices of a great celebrity stylist (Angie Smith) can do for your public image.

Christine and Frank are fast becoming the “Jamie and Louise” of my favourite celebrity couples (Frank is of course Jamie’s cousin) and although I can’t see them doing a Thomas Cook advert anytime soon, if they did, I would love it as much as I did Jamie and Lou’s!

Last night Christine and Frank hit the red carpet for the L'oreal British Movie Awards which Christine later went on to host and with 4 outfit changes planned for the evening, I couldn’t even bear to turn over for Gossip Girl or The Apprentice!

Get the Look for Less!

Do you think Christine is fast becoming a UK national treasure since Cheryl Cole jumped ship to LA?


Monday, 9 May 2011

Sack the Stylist

I don't even know if she has a Stylist, but I think its about time Cheryl Cole emailed me for free fashion advice and sacked whoever dressed her up for her Hollywood debut at the first round of X Factor auditions yesterday. 
As much as I would love to be a fully fledged Stylist it doesn't take someone who has completed a course at the London College of Fashion to realise that this whole look is wrong and on so many levels!

Cheryl is a beautiful girl, of that there is no doubt, but the massive hair reminds me of the cardboard dolls I had as a child, the ones where you stick on different cardboard clothes and hair colours and styles!  The high backcombed front, would have worked better if the hair had been tied back, the whole look is just too big.  If you want to channel Jackie O in the hairstyle stakes, you need to stick to a combination of cropped white capri pants, back short sleeve t-shirt, ballet pumps and huge sunglasses to achieve a look of laid back chic, not an attempt at this seasons colour blocking trend, which is far from simple and requires either slicked back locks or natural loose waves.
I love the top and the trousers and the combination of coral and purple, but not the way she has tried to pull the look together with a massive turquoise belt - Yuk! Far better to have worn a skinny gold belt and maybe some gold shoes?  Call a seamstress quick, those trousers are in dire need of hemming!  She looks as though she hasn't got any feet or is trying to disguise a pair of stilts, honestly Chezza what were you thinking?

With Vicky B and her La La Land counterparts constantly making headlines with their slick outfit choices, Cheryl will have to up the "ante" in Los Angeles or risk becoming a laughing stock if she doesn't get her trousers taken up anytime soon!

Rhianna showing us how to work the same colour combination.

What do you think of Cheryls look?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Oranges, Lemons and Runway looks for less at Dorothy Perkins.

After previously posting about all the fashionable fruitiness on the Stella McCartney S/S 11 runway, I have been on the lookout for high street alternatives to get your "five a day" by way of a citrus print, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw a tweet by Dorothy Perkins the other day, featuring this ivory, oranges and lemons dress reduced from £40 to only £32!  Now that really is a Runway look for Less!

Stella McCartney S/S 11

Keep it simple like Stella, forget the jewellery and just add these sandals £40, also from Dotty P's.

DP's really have some gorgeous stuff at the moment, I am so impressed with loads of their online stock, from their new limited edition pieces which are available online and in flagship stores only, to their red lace number with its nod to Erdem as seen on Alexa Chung for the net-a-porter magazine a while back.

Steal Alexa's style by adding these gold Dotty P's flat sandals for day 

and upgrade with metallic heels for evening glamour. 
From Colour Blocking, to Jumpsuits to Palazzo Pants, DP's is the High Street place to be right now and with up to 30% off of selected dresses, there has never been a better time to grab a cute summer day dress or catwalk inspired copy.