Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sale Alert!

The UK website for Urban Outfitters has a lot of good prices on some fantastic pieces right now. here are a few of my favourites:

Skirt - £10

Tee - £14

Shirt - £15 (comes in 5 different colours)

Have you found any exciting sales recently?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Last night in pictures

My table layout, decorated by the picture from the Fashion Moriarty header

Me setting up the photo booth
I had each of the guests get their picture taken with a hat from the prop box. Above is just a selection from the range of sometimes gorgeous, sometimes funny photos that we got. As you can see, the red hat was rather a favourite of the evening! Once all the individual photos were done, it rather descended into chaos...

Issy, me and Evie... yeah

But dinner was a sophisticated and, dare I say it, romantic occasion which went very well. Sam Stern's recipe for bruschetta as a starter, a BBC goodfood spaghetti bolognese and finally a Hummingbird bakery cheesecake for dessert! Unfortunately, most of it disappeared before I could take a picture, but I think the pictures around the table show that everyone was contented.

Oscar & Evie pretending to be married
All of us

Then it was straight back into chaos...
Oscar's reaction to the suggestion that we watch Inception

Friday, 21 October 2011

Fall Uniform (IFB Project 18)

This week, IFB has asked to know what we regard as our 'fall uniform' i.e. the clothes we end up living in throughout the colder months. For me, Winter seems to have arrived already, and very suddenly, so I already know which pieces I like to wear all the time. The outfit above is a compostion of the transitional pieces which I wear when the weather looks as though it could change at any moment, so my outfit needs to be versatile.

Shirt - this really is part of my uniform, if not because I wear it all the time layered up with jumpers, cardigans and blazers, but because it was an old school shirt as part of my uniform then! There are only buttons up to a certain point though, so it's not ideal on its own, however is the perfect staple for mixing into an outfit with a scarf to cover up exposed skin.

Jeans - Some days I have grand plans to make an interesting outfit, perhaps using one of the underused dresses or skirts in my wardrobe. Then I wake up and it's still dark and cold in my room, and these jeans look so inviting draped across the chair at the end of my bed. Some people dislike jeans (Taylor swift says they make her feel 'sad') but really, what's not to love? OK, on their own they aren't that exciting, but with something as versatile as this, the possibilities are endless!

Trench coat - classic, chic, easy to wear and infinitely interchangeable between daytime and evening. It can be a cover-up for your dress on New Year's Eve, or the trusty friend to your work outfits every morning. However you think you's use it, buying a trench coat is a solid investment and I would recommend you buy one if you haven't already.

Accessories - the bag is the perfect colour to go with most clothes and is also just the right size to hold the latest issue of teen Vogue. In this picture you can see my watch (for keeping on top of the time change) and my wallet with the map of the London underground printed on it (to make sure I don't get lost on dark, bleary-eyed mornings). The scarf is less part of the uniform and more part of my seasonal attire. Leopard is very now and a silk scarf can be worn so many ways: round the neck; in the hair; as a belt or any other way you choose. Just make sure the print you pick is on-trend.

As for shoes, my evening option goes well with the silk scarf...

And my daytime can be shown off to full glory or concealed beneath jeans whilst still keeping my shins warm...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

4 ideas for a fabulous party

I love parties. Not the "let's-get-a-6-pack-and-sit-around-in-someone's-lounge" ones, more the whimsy, creative, sparkling, glamorous, memorable, colourful ones. The ones in which everything is utterly fabulous. I will be hosting a party on Saturday, so in the preparations have been stumbling across many gorgeous entertaining and food blogs. I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite ideas, which I'm going to try and incorporate into my dinner party. All image sources can be found through my board on Pinterest

Have a photo booth
Perfect for capturing the best moments of the party, without having to stress about taking any pictures yourself. After all, you have other things to worry about. It can also provide a bit of an icebreaker, especially if you provide hats, scarves or masks for the guests to try on and be photographed in. Alternatively, you could get a few cheap disposable cameras and scatter them around the guests who will capture several completely different perspectives of the event.

Move the party outside

OK, so it's Autumn. Don't let that hold you back, you can have a party outside in mid-Winter if you like! Just tell the guests to wrap up warm and serve lovely hot drinks and food. I like mulled wine for a festive gathering. If possible, you could even have a bonfire to provide heat to everyone with the added bonus of being able to toast marshmallows on it!

Wear something sparkly
As the hostess (or host) it is essential that you wear something striking, but not too difficult to manage throughout the party. Long trains, flowing chiffons and tops that tend to fall down are too risky, so go for a dress or top in an easy cut, but covered in sequins! If you feel this is a little full on for you, just add an embellished waistcoat for a similar effect.


Confetti, balloons, candles, whatever you choose! This is where you can let your imagination run wild as far as your budget allows. One word of advice though, the most striking party layouts often stick to one neutral base colour, like white or grey, and one or two hi-lighting colours like pink or yellow. Otherwise, feel free to run amock in the party supplies store!

Good luck with your event, however big or small it may be!

Monday, 17 October 2011

This time last year...

On Saturday this week, it will be a full year since i put up my first ever post on this blog, 10 places to find vintage clothes. It's come a long way since then, but I still can't believe it's been a full 12 months since I started! This calls for some celebration, which is why I'm hosting a dinner party for this first anniversary. It will have delicious food, fashionable party games (check out the fashion face off game, below, isn't it gorgeous?) and hopefully a photo booth, so that I can share the festivities with the rest of my followers. For now, I would just like to ask a question - what are your tips for a perfect party?

Saturday, 15 October 2011

I want it!: Jaeger Seam Jersey Dress

I finally got around to watching the final episode of The Hour last night. I had been putting it off because we forgot to record the 5th episode, so there was an hour of vital plot missing from my knowledge. Eventually I gave in because I was comforted by the thought that, even if I didn't understand it, I could still admire Romola Garai's wardrobe. Today, I saw this dress (above) in a department store and it reminded me of the dress Romola wore in several episodes(below). It's demure, but still very exciting because of the colour and I desperately want it! Unfortunately, Jaeger is a little out of my price range... time for a trip to Primark!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Fashion = happiness

Celbrities at the Chanel show (from here)

I saw this photo on my facebook new feed from the Chanel page and it just looked so happy that it inspired me to write a poem. I hope you enjoy it.

I like to wear nice clothes, be it trousers or trench coats or gowns.
I own handbags and satchels and purses, in pink yellow white green and brown.
I savour the touch
of a mock-croc-skin clutch.
And I know I'll be fine
If those boots become mine.
There's now way to fight it
I'm hooked and I like it.
Just give me McQueen
Or Whistles or Preen,
Chanel, Westwood, Zara,
J Brand, Primark, Prada.
I don't have a preference, as long as it's bright.
You may say I'm crazy , well maybe you're right.
Because clothes wear away and time takes its toll,
But there's light in my life if there's fashion in my soul.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Sweetest Thing

Just because I felt like making everyone feel hungry...

I apologise for the random and rather off-topic post, but I just rediscovered this song by U2 and listened to it for the first time since it came out (when I was 4). I'm also in a bit of baking mood, so I made the white chocolate and pecan cookies pictured above. I hope it prompts you to indulge in a sweet treat to help you get through the rest of the week. After all, it is Wednesday.

Monday, 10 October 2011

My outfit today

Autumn is practically upon us! Well, at least the mornings feel like winter but by lunchtime it feels like summer, so logically, we must be somewhere in between. I got way too hot in this equestrian-inspired outfit by midday but it was useful in the freezing morning air. I chose this combination because it featured camel and forest green, two of autumn's best colours, plus I bought the jumper yesterday and wanted to put it to good use. It turns out every girl in the world has the exact same jumper, so I'll be sewing some suede elbow pads onto it to customise. The jacket is an old piece from Monsoon. It has sewn-up pockets which annoys me a bit as I want somewhere to put a pocket-watch, but it does give the whole thing a nice silhouette.

How are you making the autumnal transition?

Jacket - Vintage Monsoon
Jumper - Primark
Tank top (under jumper) - Primark
Jeans - Assign

Saturday, 8 October 2011

IFB Project 16: Morning Make-up Routine

Mid-morning in Paddington, Sydney

In the mornings, I long for a bit of sunshine to wake me up and a shot of espresso which jolts my dress sense into consciousness. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen in English winter, so I can only dream and remember summer in Sydney while I wake up bleary-eyed in the darkness. On days like these, it's going to take me enough effort to even remember where my wardrobe is, let alone piece an outfit together, so my make-up needs to be really quick and simple.
Charity Wakefield in Sense & Sensibility

The look I often go for is a sort of English rose thing. Think Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan et al. My main inspiration for this is the spirit of the Jane Austen heroine, perhaps just after she's walked several miles and is looking rosy in the cheeks. Unfortunately, I don't have any BBC make-up artists at my disposal, so I have to be creative while sticking with the basics.
Over the years, I have narrowed the basic morning routine down to just two products. The first is Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (right). It really works, and my skin feels softer and smoother afterwards. It's a great base for any more complicated make-up looks, but also works fine on its own for any normal day. I adore this as it is rare to come across something which actually does what it says it does!

Once the skin is ready, it's time for a little colour. This can be either on the cheeks or lips for a refreshing look, as though you've just walked in from the bracing wind. I like Body Shop lip & cheek stain because it does both areas and you can achieve various different shades depending on how much you use. It is also better for the average day than lipstick because it will stay on a lot longer without all the hassle of blotting and re-applying.

When this is done, which takes about 5 minutes maximum, you can add eyeliner or shadow (I have a great palette of natural browns and golds also from Body Shop, designed by the London College of Fashion) or perhaps a hint of mascara. In fact you can build on this however you like, but for me, this is perfect for everyday use because it won't come off easily and keeps you looking fresh on those mornings when you really don't feel it.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Peppy Sherlock Theme

I'm getting seriously excited about the new series of the BBC's Sherlock, starting hopefully in January next year, though there is no definite date yet. For those who don't know, it is a modern retelling of some of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, though it is obviously altered and embellished dramatically. It was also the trigger for this blog's name, since Andrew Scott did such a suave performance as Jim Moriarty. Anyway, someone from the great mass of the internet made this video, which pretty much sums up my uncontrollable impatience for more, so I thought I'd share it with you - enjoy.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

My outfit today

Tuesday is just such a depressing day, don't you think? Obviously Mondays can be bad, but at least there is a certain level of promise of the rest of the week in them, plus the chance to discuss the weekend with friends you haven't seen since Friday. Tuesdays have neither the novelty of Monday nor the accomplishment of mid-week Wednesday. They call for an outfit which is both functional for the task of the day, and also adds a dash of excitement to an otherwise decidedly unsexy day. Perhaps a slick of red lipstick or a brightly coloured shoe? Oh, and don't forget the comfort food for mid-afternoon energy slumps.

Trench Coat - Debenhams
Top - Primark
Skirt - SES
Lipstick - No7 at Boots
Galaxy chocolate bar - Mars Company