Saturday, 25 April 2015

What's In My Bag? Springtime exploring

How's the weather where you are? In Oxford, it's periodically sunny, consistently warm, and there is a gentle breeze in the air. It's the perfect time to roam the city, seeking out new interesting things to do and see. Here are the essentials I like to carry with me.

Sunglasses - I picked these up at an Oxford vintage fair. They were only £5, but the gold arms and ruby frames add what I like to think is a classy touch.

Wallet - this is a new acquisition which was kindly given to me. I love the mock-croc pattern, but most of all I love all the different pockets inside which allow for easy organisation of my many loyalty cards, receipts, and other random items.

Selected poems of Lord Byron - this term is probably my favourite term; on one side of the course we have Shakespeare, and on the other we have the Romantic poets. I'm looking forward to a summer term reclinging on the quad reading Jane Austen.

Phoenix Picturehouse brochure - there are some great deals for students at my local cinema. I'm planning on making use of them soon, as I really want to see Far From the Madding Crowd and The Falling. Which films are you looking forward to in the next few weeks? Share your recommendations with me in the comments!

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub & Vaseline Queen Bee balm - I've become absolutely addicted to this lip scrub. Not only does it smooth my lips (particularly helpful in the fluctuating humidity we have right now), it also tastes amazing. Of course Lush recommend that you follow it up with one of their lip balms, but I find this Vaseline one - a luscious honey-flavoured edition - to work just as well.

Moroccan Mint Tea Body Mist - I went to visit a friend in London over the holidays, and while I was there we visited one of my favourite shops: And Other Stories. I already have a cherry blossom body mist from them, but fancied something new to mix things up. This mint tea fragrance is so fresh, and I bought the smaller size which means it fits snugly into any bag.

Cath Kidston Bag - this was a gift, and is a really good size for not getting in the way but still having enough room. I think it' more of a makup bag really, but functions really well as a day bag as well.

Yesterday our amblings took us to the top of a mound which is owned by Oxford castle. It costs £1 to go up, but that's definitely worth it, as you get a surprisingly wide-reaching view. It's not the traditional Oxford panorama, but you can see down onto the Malmaison hotel's rooftop area, and on the other side the hills and fields outside of the city are visible.

A photo posted by Alys Key (@fashionmoriarty) on
Tell me about your own adventures in your own city in the comments, or on Twitter.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Dressing for Springtime when it still feels like Winter

It's officially Spring! This is great news for anyone who is starting to find their big Winter coat a little dreary. Unfortunately, if your particular segment of the Northern hemisphere is anywhere near as unpredictable as mine, it could remain stubbonly wintry for some time yet, along with some randomly hot interludes and a fair bit of air pollution!

That's why now is the time to begin gently moving away from your Winter wardrobe, but without necessarily making any sacrifices in terms of warmth. Here are my top three suggestions for transitioning more gracefully between seasons than the weather ever seems to manage.

Swap your boots for brogues

I love my big boots. These ones in particular are surprisingly versatile; small enough to walk on short walks, and easy to get on and off thanks to the zip down the side. However, they just don't go with the lighter colour palette I want to be wearing during Spring. They're also a hassle if the weather is fluctuating, because you have to wear fairly thick socks with them. 

Instead, opt for some classic brogue-style shoes. They have the same hard-wearing appeal of the boot, and are practical for all sorts of things. But they're also not too obtrusive on your outfit. The ones pictured above have extra padding for added comfort, and the material helps to keep your feet ventilated - a saving grace if the weather takes a turn for the best!

Swap your woollens for a big shirt

If, like me, you have spent the darker months swaddled in oversized knits and layers of sweatshirts, it can be tricky to remember quite what you did before. The trick is to take it slowly. Going straight from your Argyll to a tank-top is not the answer. 

A big shirt, preferably made of some thick material like canvas, is a life-saver here. It can layer easily, acting as a jacket or shirt according to what's needed. It's also more adaptable because of the buttons. I also like this option because you can accessorise it pretty easily. Here I've added a pin to the collar, which adds a little bit of interest.

Swap your dark jeans for light rinse

They can be the same material, same cut, same thickness, same brand, same everything but the colour. Just because jeans are still the most viable option, you don't necessarily have to wear the same ones. By simply switching to a lighter shade of denim, you can start to move towards that Springtime feel, even if it is too cold to wear cut-offs yet.

So those are my top three, but I'm sure there are countless other ways! Let me know what you do at this time of year (or indeed at another time of year if you're in another hemisphere) in the comments or on Twitter.