Wednesday, 23 July 2014

From Britain to Barbados with Debenhams! #britaintobarbados

zara jacket phase eight dress styling challenge
topshop beachy desert boots phase eight dress
zara jacket phase eight dress styling challenge with debenhams
phase eight dress zara jacket
topshop desert boots beachy zara jacket phase eight elise ellipse dress
zara jacket jewelled detail long ombre hair daniella draper rings

Wearing: Phase Eight dress c/o Debenhams Topshop desert boots Zara jacket Gap hat Daniella Draper rings

When Debenhams got in touch and asked if I would like to take part in a styling challenge, I was both excited and a little nervous. The brief was to style a look; specifically a maxi dress, to be worn both in Britain and in Barbados. I was lucky enough to be able to choose the dress and a pair of sandals from the extensive collection on the Debenhams website and this made me feel a little less nervous, as I was sure I would be able to find something that worked with my own personal style. So often maxi's are floor length and brightly coloured, neither style of which features highly in the way I like to dress! So I was thrilled to find a summer-suitable dress in black from one of my favourite brands, Phase Eight. This elise ellipse hem dress is a maxi with a twist, it is long at the back (like a mullet!) but shorter at the front so you can show a bit of leg and not feel that you look stumpy (something maxis always make me feel, as I'm fairly short!) Also, no risk of tripping over the thing as you're striding along; fashion and function is perfectly paralleled here!

To style the dress for the British climes, I paired it with a jacket that would be completely unnecessary given the tropical heatwave currently gripping the UK; I actually took the 'Britain' photo's last week as the dress arrived before the shoes did and I wanted to get started. However, usually even in the British summertime a jacket is handy and this lightweight one from Zara is perfect to throw over the dress for evening. I added my ever-present straw hat and kept my jewellery minimal with a vintage bangle and Daniella Draper rings. I added the desert boots for a festival vibe and to keep the look quite casual. This would definitely be a day look that I would reach for; I'd probably swap out the boots for ballet pumps but I have worn my ballet pumps so frequently on the blog I thought it would be nice to show some different footwear for a change!

carvela kurt geiger kommand strap sandals
phase eight elise ellipse hem dress carvela sandals gap hat zara bonjour bag
asos sunglasses zara bonjour bag carvela phase eight
zara bonjour bag whistles spike ring

Wearing: Dress as before Carvela Sandals c/o Debenhams Zara bag ASOS sunglasses Bracelet as before Hat as before Whistles ring

Now, I've never been to Barbados so I wouldn't really know what to expect other than it would be hot! In retrospect I would probably tie my hair up as I think I would get far too hot with it loose and sticking to my back, ugh! This aside, I think this could be a good look for strolling in the city or chilling at the beach (although I'd kick off the sandals for that part!) 

This dress is such an easy wear, you just chuck it on and you're good to go. I love this simple dressing, and I think when you are off on holiday it's important to have things you can just throw on and not worry about having to match with other things; you can just go and enjoy the holiday. I have quite eclectic style and I love to add in a quirky accessory; I have also styled these sandals with a wicker basket bag for a more traditional beachy look but I love the element of fun that this bright red bag from Zara brings to the outfit. It's playful and actually a really great size for everyday. 

The Carvela sandals are definitely my new favourites; they have the perfect heel height to make them comfortable to wear all day and because they aren't a flat they dress the look up a little. I like the gold hardware especially and referenced it in my jewellery choices. The spike ring from Whistles adds an edgy vibe.

I really enjoyed this style challenge and I think I've managed to make each look quite different; I was worried that with the dress being such a simple piece that both looks would be too samey but I think I managed to make one dress two outfits!

XO Amie

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Instagram Week #29

instagram, ipanema giveaway, body shop, perfume, toast, bangles, chanel  vintage shoes

New (to me) Chanel // Perfume Empties // Fave hand cream // Outfit // New Uniform // Sunset // GIVEAWAY! // Prepping blog posts // Credit Crunch find of the week!

Finally, an Instagram round up that doesn't include too many pairs of shoes! I had to share this vintage pair I bought from eBay; after all, they are Chanel, and also amazing! My vintage Chanel shoe collection is looking quite good now but these are definitely my favourite pair!

I am also hosting a giveaway on behalf of Ipanema flip flops this week with the prize of a pair of flip flops to the value of £50! Check out the post below for full details and how to enter; the prize is ideal for the heatwave week of weather Britain is currently enjoying!

I got some new work uniform this week in the form of this silver foil skirt. It's so pretty and also great at reflecting the heat! I love the way it moves and catches the light. I think metallics are a really easy way to add interest to your look, especially for someone like me who doesn't wear much colour. Metallics can really lift a neutral look and make it more edgy.

I've talked a bit about beauty on the blog this week, too, with a post around my favourite Body Shop perfumes (which I've used up!) and another absolute favourite, the Hemp hand cream. I'm on the look out for some new perfumes now!

XO Amie

Monday, 21 July 2014

Giveaway with Ipanema!

ipanema flipflops giveaway offer

You might remember a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Ipanema flip flops. They have very kindly offered to giveaway a prize to my readers of a pair of flip flops up to the value of £50! Enter using the widget below and good luck!

 XO Amie

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Current Favourites

Current Favourites: Wax Burner , Topshop 'Hayden' Boyfriend Jeans , Chanel Shoes , Kindle , Straw Hat

I think I had plans to write a 'favourites' series on the blog and keep it regularly updated with latest greatest finds, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside as when I checked back I had last blogged a 'favourite' based post in July 2013! I featured a pair of shoes (see here) which I did indeed almost wear out over the summer, they were certainly a favourite.

It stands to reason that any favourites would include a pair of shoes, and my current faves are these Chanel loafers I picked up from eBay. They weren't cheap (well, not too bad for Chanel) but I couldn't resist them. No one had bid on them so I put a bid on and forgot about it, then promptly won them! I love the colour, the leather is super soft and the punchout interlocking C logo on the top cap is amazing. They are very comfy, and I know they will be an 'all year round' shoe that I will keep forever. If my Chanel ballerinas are anything to go by, these will just get better with wear. Love!

I am really crushing on ripped denim at the moment. I'm loving cut off hems, raw edges and rips, and these Hayden boyfriend jeans were on my list of pairs to get hold of. They went into the sale in Topshop but sold out in my size; however last weekend Adrian and I went back to Devon for a quick visit to see his mum and dad, and on the Sunday we had to go into the local town, and of course it was worth looking in the Topshop there and I found a pair in my size for £15, which is great!

The final fashion-related favourite is my straw hat. Every summer without fail, out comes this hat and I wear it pretty much daily, it's looking a bit tired now but I couldn't bare to get rid of it. I am sure you'll have seen it many times on the blog so apologies if you can't stand the sight of it!

Two un-fashion-related favourites are my wax burner, which is a good alternative to scented candles. I was given some wax melters in different scents which you can mix together or burn separately to create bespoke fragrances. I love these because there is a huge choice of scents, that you don't often find with scented candles; such as bergamot, champagne, the scent of the beach, and so on. Also they work out much cheaper, each melt burns for several hours and you can normally burn it twice before the scent depletes, and a box of melts costs £6 (you fill the box with melts that you'd like) My local supplier of these is an amazing bathing and cosmetics shop in Weston aptly named 'Stinx' but you can buy them online here.

Finally, I am also really enjoying reading on my Kindle at the minute. I don't really like Kindles; I'll take a proper book over an electronic one any day; but they are useful in that I can spend my lunch hour reading without having to drag a huge tome to work and back each day, so I can sort of see where the appeal lies. If I was to go on a beach holiday I can imagine this would be something I would use; when Adrian and I went to Portugal last year I got through 4 books in the week we were there so if you do enjoy reading it would definitely take up less space in a suitcase!

XO Amie

Friday, 18 July 2014

Products I've used up #6: The Fragrance Edition

perfume, beauty, body shop, white musk, smoky rose, moroccan rose

Body Shop Moroccan Rose , White Musk Sun Glow , White Musk Smoky Rose

It's not often I blog about fragrances I've finished, because I have a few which I usually rotate to ensure maximum longevity; perfume is so expensive, after all! However, I've got a few from The Body Shop which I have recently used up so it seemed a good idea to share my thoughts on them.

The best thing about The Body Shop perfume is the price point. From my point of view, I'm yet to find a fragrance I love enough to commit to spending a substantial wedge of cash on; I was almost on board with YSL Elle which is definitely one of my top faves but at around £90 for 100ml it's not a cheapy. Similarly, the Chloe by Chloe fragrance which smells amazing is also another favourite but again, it's around £60/£70 for the full size.

The Body Shop offers gorgeous fragrances at totally affordable price points. I can't remember the prices of the Musk fragrances (one was a gift anyway) but the Moroccan Rose was £7.50. I bought it almost exactly a year ago, and blogged a review here. I haven't used it every day, but I've used it several times a week since I bought it and it's only just run out, representing brilliant value for money as well as smelling amazing! I'm not sure if this one has now been discontinued (this is the downside to The Body Shop; many fragrances are limited runs or seasonal and disappear, never to be found again!) However, on a recent visit I did find 'Atlas Mountain Rose' which is of a similar scent to the Moroccan Rose one I so loved.

I love floral, rose based scents so I was thrilled to be given the White Musk Smoky Rose perfume by Adrians mum for Christmas, which dispels all previous ideas of The Body Shop's 'White Musk' being suitable only for teens (it definitely reminds me of my schooldays via the name alone!) as it's a heady and quite evening appropriate scent. I wore this a lot in the winter months as it was a very easy wear and smelled great. This is still available and I'm definitely going to re-purchase it.

The White Musk Sun Glow was an impulse purchase which I didn't expect to like as much as I did, it's a lighter, more summery fragrance which I wear as soon as the sun shines. It's very wearable and perfect for daytime, sadly I think this one has also been discontinued (WHY!) but hopefully I'll be able to find something similar!

What do you think of The Body Shop products and fragrances?

XO Amie

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Bargain of the day

Toast Basket Weave Bangles Was £25 Now £1

Sometimes, I spot a bargain too good to pass up. Like, for example, these basket weave bangles by artisan brand Toast.  What can you buy for £1? A lottery ticket? Half a cup of tea in a coffee shop? A newspaper? Or, a fabulous bit of sale arm candy? Talk about a good reduction...was £25, now £1. Snap them up here! Definitely sale bargain of the day!

XO Amie

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

All my favourite colours

chanel shoes ballet pumps alexa chung
chanel shoes Gap skinny chino Quiksilver Woman blouse ASOS sunglasses
Pieces leather bag marc jacobs watch
asos sunnies qsw blouse gap chinos chanel ballet pumps shoes
gap white chinos pieces bag marc by marc jacobs watch

Wearing: Gap chino's QSW blouse Chanel shoes Pieces bag Marc Jacobs watch Daniella Draper rings ASOS sunglasses

I used to think I wore quite a lot of colour, but looking back (even looking at my wardrobe!) I can see that's not the case. I had a look back through my blog to last year when these trousers were my fave pair ever and both times I featured them in an outfit post they were pretty much a base for neutral tones; see here and here. It's not that I'm afraid to wear colour, and I accept that it's pretty boring to just stick to neutrals all the time, but I just tend to gravitate towards these; any times I attempt to introduce colour into my wardrobe it just doesn't stick, perhaps given that there is no other colour in there to give it a fair go at becoming a staple part of my everyday edit.

I suppose on reflection there is some colour in there, but it's at the very furthest end of the scale of a neutral; for example; a mustard yellow dress which is so dark it's almost umber, and a khaki green cashmere knit which I adore. But predominately you will find only a selection of white, black, nude, grey, and all the shades across those spectrums in there. Taupe I can do. Mushroom I like. Cream is also a favourite. Bubblegum pink? Not so much.

What I do like, however, is print and fabric. I can go after metallics all day long, and leopard print; why, that's another neutral to me. Perhaps that was why I was drawn to this Quiksilver blouse (found in TK Maxx for £12) the interest comes from the quirky print and luxe fabric which makes this look like the best t shirt ever. I love the style and the way it sits so nicely with the more fitted bottoms. 

My Chanel shoes are certainly earning their place in my shoedrobe, as I barely seem to be able to take them off from one day to the next. I have a few pairs of sandals but I just love these ballet pumps, and I am getting close to wearing them out (ahh!) they just seem to add the right amount of polish to a look which sometimes a sandal can't deliver (I know they did with this look because I tried sandals on first and then switched them out!)

This is my favourite sort of summer dressing, easy and effortless. Which I think is a possible reason I don't wear that much colour; it means everything goes with everything else!

Do you wear much colour in the summer? 

XO Amie