Cool as Chloe but on Half the Money

Sometimes I look back over the previous season catwalk shows, it helps with inspiration and direction whether it’s blogging, outfit planning, shopping or working with a personal styling client.  Obviously this close to the summer, and hopefully some sunshine (fingers crossed) I’ve returned to the SS16 catwalks, which really aren’t that old any way, and there are a couple imprinted on my mind; Isabel Marant, Temperly, Stella McCartney, McQueen, J Crew – OK so more than a couple, but the one that I really loved, and so does the high street, is Chloe.

We’ve already seen the cool kids such as Suki Waterhouse and top blogger, Aimee Song, wearing key pieces from the SS16 Choe collection at fashions hottest festival, Coachella.

(Images via Pinterest)

It’s easy to see why Chloe’s summer offerings would be the first choice for most, especially if you have the cash burning a hole in your pocket.  It’s got the perfect mix of festival with a 90’s edge, there are peasant blouses teamed with raw edge denim, floor sweeping maxi dresses and skirts in rainbow colours, styled with over-sized knits and an updated version of the tracksuit.

(All images via Pinterest)

I think it looks so fresh and above all easy to wear, a style straight off the catwalk that we can all, and should, steal by shopping on the good old high street this summer.  Here’s how at some of my favourite fashion haunts.

The LRD – Little Red Dress

So we’ve had the LBD, I think everyone has a special little black number in their wardrobe. We’ve also had the LWD – the little white dress, slightly harder to wear than its darker counterpart but equally as beautiful, and now we have another addition to the family, yes the little red dress, also known as the LRD – natch!

You would have to be colour blind not to have notice this flirty little number, they are all over the high street and every online retailer has an extensive selection too.  Of course red is a daring colour, many people shy away from it and not just because they can’t bear the ‘lady in red’ jokes, but because it makes a bold statement.

Red is actually a great choice of colour for well, everyone, regardless of what you might think about hair colours or skin tone.  It’s a bit like hunting down that perfect shade of red lipstick – there is one out there for everyone.

Where a LBD may some times feel very formal, an LRD can match your occasion be it formal or casual, you’ll see what I mean below, we’re talking cotton, lace, bodycon, maxi, floaty – it’s a red sea of endless options.

 

Can you see how much gorgeousness is out there right now?  I’m just a little bit in love with the pleated Hobbs maxi and the casual vibe of the silk tie neck from from Boden who, pardon the pun, are just on fire at the moment!  And although my personal favs are a little on the pricey side there is most definitely something for every budget.  Just check out H&M , this dress is only £14.99 and has been a massive hit after featuring in their summer campaign, it’s got all the hottest trends in one item, we’er talking off the shoulder, tassels and red –  it would be rude not to buy really.

 

 

Of course people will see you coming but who doesn’t want to stand out in a crowd sometimes, and beautiful, bold red is fashions hottest way to do it.

Tweet, Instagram or message me an pics of you in your LRD.

Arm Candy fit for the Beach

 

We’re not far from May now, which really marks the start of summer.  If like me you’re already dreaming of warmer climes, crystal clear seas and white sands you’ve probably also been shopping for ‘holiday essentials’ at any spare opportunity.

Bikinis, sandals, beach cover-ups, they’ve all been available on the high street and online for some time now, so the next item to tick off your capsule holiday wardrobe is the beach bag.

When I buy something I like to get maximum usage out of an item, something that I can use at home and away, so the perfect beach bag purchase this summer is the straw or raffia bag.  Now I know this is essentially not anything new, but with the likes of beautiful British brand, Rae Feather making straw beach baskets and even clutches the most desirable (not to mention instagrammed) bags on the summer scene, I can promise you will not be saving this bag purely for beach holiday purposes.

If you’ve not yet discovered Rae Feather you only need to look through your Instagram feed to see a whole host of fans.  Rae Feather believe that with simplicity comes longevity – music to my ears!  We all want those timeless pieces in our wardrobe that we look to use again and again, season after season.  They also offer a fantastic monogram service so you can really make your bag your own, with initials and even choosing a colour way for the stripe details….Their monogram clutch is high on my birthday wish list.

Just take a look below to see how you can take this piece of arm candy from bustling city to beautiful beach life.

(All images via Pinterest)

So if you’ve got some room left in that suitcase of yours now is the time to hit the high street and bag yourself a little straw number.  It can also double as a great piece of hand luggage with plenty of room for storing your duty-free purchases…Happy Holidays.

 

 

Jewellery with a Personal Touch

It’s almost the weekend, that’s right peps we’ve made it through another crazy week.  It passed in a bit of  blur for me, although I do remember the sunshine at some point, shame it never lasts!

One part of my week that sticks clearly in my mind was speaking to an incredible Mum who juggles bringing up a brood of three, aged 1, 11 and 12, along with designing and making some beautiful bespoke bracelets…Phew!

Now I’m a self-confessed magpie and I’m drawn to anything that is big, bold and shiny, but for me jewellery also has to be personal.  It might tell a story about you or mark a special occasion, and not only is it there to compliment your outfit but it can quite often become a conversational piece.

Jess from Aceci Bracelets is someone you just take a liking to instantly, she has that aurora thing going on and you can’t help but be drawn into her.  For me this is what makes the bracelets she produces so wonderful.  She’s creative in her own right an on hand throughout her bracelet design process to give input, but is all ears when it comes to her customers and customising their precious new purchase.  Jess seems to really get a sense for the people she is designing for, and speaking from my own experience, added another level to my bracelet to help mark my special milestones (see below).

I’ve know Jess for many years, but it was only recently that I learnt about her business which she started after going on maternity following the birth of her son, Cesar. I’m so impressed with her drive and enthusiasm for the business, alongside the way she balances this with being a mum and the fact that her jewellery is just gorgeous!

Want to know more, here’s a Q&A with the busy lady herself:

What inspired you to start Aceci Bracelets?
Since a child I loved being creative and making pretty things. I invested a lot of time sewing tiny beads onto fabric to make beautiful patterns, making wedding bouquets out of amazing vintage brooches, anything that create something beautiful to look at but never had the confidence to put it out there.
My bracelets began last year when i saw a model with an armful of silver bracelets and thought “I could make that”.  With encouragement from my Husband I shared it on my Facebook page, and I have been making them ever since.   I’m completely humbled by the response and shear number of orders that I have had.

How did you come up with the beautiful Aceci name?
As my bracelet orders kept coming I realised they needed a name. I found this hard but looked around for some inspiration, infront of me were my 3 lovely children, Ava, Cesar & Marci.
The name Aceci was born, a perfect merge of my children’s names.

How do you and your customers collaborate to create a bracelet?
I can honestly say that I have loved making every single one of my customers bracelets. People have been sold by the idea of each one being unique and the fact they have sentiment. Usually charms are chosen that represent a lost loved one, children’s initials and things that really reflect their personality. If I don’t already have the charms then I will do my very best to source them. Obviously they follow the same pattern but I will never repeat a design. The different beads and charms mean each one is bespoke and a one-off.

Tell us a little more about you.
I finally married my partner of 9 years 4 years ago, we have three beautiful children. Two girls 11 & 12 and a little boy who is just about to turn 1!  Before maternity leave I worked as Sales Manager at a bridal boutique and loved it.  I enjoy working hard but always wanted to work for myself and still enjoy being a mum.  Aceci has given me the opportunity to bring up my son at home, without having to put him in nursery and most importantly I have found a job that I love. Every bracelet tells a story about the wearer.  To be able to make that and bring people joy is an honour.  I am proud of what I have achieved so far and this is only the beginning.

Where can we find you?Up till now all of my orders have been through my Facebook page or recommendations, so I have now set up a website and recently opened an Etsy shop.   I can be contacted through any of these means and start discussing design requirements.  I can post worldwide and have just completed my first international order to Australia!

What you like doing when not working?
I like to relax by the sea. I’m not far from the Essex Coast so can be on a beach within 15 minutes!  I fell in love with Italy after honeymooning on the Amalfi Coast.  My husband and I try and go back as often as we can.  I love Italian culture and cuisine so can often be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm.  Otherwise I spend time with friends and family, and still have a huge passion for weddings so I’m currently also studying to be a Wedding Planner.

What’s next for Aceci Bracelets?
I would love to try some bracelets in gold and rose gold – I think they would look stunning.  I’m also working on ideas to add colour by using turquoise stars, brightly coloured beads & pearls in time for the festival season.  I would also love to make them in sterling silver but I think that part of the positive response I’ve had with them is that they are affordable whilst designing a custom made piece of jewellery at a high street price.

Want to know more? Well you can get in touch with Jess in many ways

her website is www.aceci.co.uk,

she is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/acecibracelets/?fref=ts 

and lastly on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AceciBracelets?ref=search_shop_redirect

Have a lovely weekend.

 

Shady Lady

It’s Wednesday, yes that’s the dreaded ‘hump day’, but hey, it’s mid-week and the glorious sun has got it’s hat on.  Now before we all get too excited the forecast is not great for the rest of the week, but I guarantee the last couple of days with that bright ball of yellow stuff in the sky has had you reaching for a pair of sunnies…Hence today’s blog.

Sunglasses for me are not just summer accessory, more of an all year round necessity, s0 much so my husband calls me Wacko, as in Michael Jackson, who wore sunglasses – a lot!

With this in mind I scour the high street and designer outlet stores for out-of-season bargain purchases.  TK Maxx is one of my favourite haunts and I have managed to find myself Valentino, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses here – what a winner.  But of course early spring is the time when you will find a much wider selection of shapes, styles and colours, with the high street will be ripping off the catwalk looks left, right and center, just wait till you see what Primark has to offer.

If you are considering some new specs for summer but are unsure as to which direction to go have a look at some of the SS16 and FW16 catwalk offerings.

(All images via Pinterest)

You’ve got a bit of everything there, from wild and wacky or cats eye to coloured and over-sized round lenses.  If you’re investing in a designer pair it’s probably safer to go with something classic rather than trend led, obviously you get wear out of them season after season, but if it’s a gift or just a special splurge push the boat out and try something new.

The Chloe huge circle lenses have been a massive hit with the ‘fash pack’ and this has filtered through to the high street, allowing us mere mortals to achieve a high end catwalk look on a show string budget

With all this in mind here’s a few of my favourites ranging from £1 – £200.

Slippin’ and Sliding

Hello Friday, although I’m not feeling so welcoming toward this horrible rain.  It’s weather like this that gets you dreaming about that far flung holiday you have booked, or should get booking.  The next logical thing to start thinking about once that’s sorted is the holiday wardrobe, and today I’m specifically talking footwear.

If you haven’t already traded your trusty Havaianas for a pair of slides or sliders (it can get confusing because a slider is also a mini burger, not what you need when talking holidays)  I’m pretty sure you soon will.

I know some of you are not yet convinced probably because your Dad used to wear Birkenstocks (possibly even with socks) when you were younger, or your other half may have a pair of the original Nike or Adidas slides that you actually despise, but trust me, both your other half and your Dad were way ahead of the fashion forecast…Just take a look below.

Ohhhh I need those Givenchys’ in my life…hint hint (Birthday in July)

There are two ways to wear this look and both definitely need a pedicure after a long winter of being tucked up boots! If you like the Sports Luxe vibe go for the old skool styles, and yes that means copying your partner and choosing the sports brands.  But if you can’t do block black or stripes there are now bold bright versions with palm prints and even cheetah prints….grrrrr!

If you prefer something with more of a feminine edge look to the softer espadrille styles, a less chunky sole and metallic details.  Either way I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the swap as it offers comfort and style – Double Whammy!

Let’s see what the high street has to offer right now.

 

 

 

Feeling Folksy

HELLO!  I’m back, I had a week off, those of you who follow me on Instagram (@notjustadress) will know I went to France, which was lovely and relaxing but now I’m back and feeling refreshed – let’s hope the feeling lasts!

Today I’m looking at all things fashion that are folk inspired. You may or may not know that this folksy vibe has bubbling under the fashion surface for a few seasons now, mainly due to the high end Ukrainian designer Vita Kin. The brand has captured the eye of the fashion elite, Anna Dello Russo can often be spotted in their beautiful dresses, but I’m not joking when I say you need very deep pockets to buy the real thing – we’re talking blouses starting at £900.

(All images via Pinterest)

Luckily this trend has started to filter down to the high street and couldn’t be more perfect for the summer festival season ahead.  It’s slightly different from you usual boho look with big bold embroidery and over sized tassel detailing, but if it is a little OTT for you there are plenty of other ways to inject that folksy feeling into your wardrobe – take a look below.

So with all that inspo in mind let’s look to the mid level and high street brands to see what they have to offer, other than being much friendly on your wallet there are some incredible lookie-likies out there thanks to Free People, Wonder & Weaver and even H&M.

So if this gets you feeling all folksy let me know, I’d love to see your looks or purchases.