Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Chanel love

Wearing: Topshop jumper Whistles jeans Chanel ballet pumps Primark hat

I feel like this outfit is definitely a summer one, despite the fact that it's jeans and a jumper: I'm wearing my Chanel ballet flats (bought from eBay) and I've got a new summer hat! This beaut is from Primark who I can always rely on to provide a strong accessory (see this post here) and I wouldn't normally pick a black hat for summer but I love the fit of this one. I'm not mad keen on the aztec hatband either but I can live with this or will end up covering it, one or the other!

This is quite a tame look really but sometimes you just want to be easy. This jumper was a tenner in the toppers sale and I absolutely love it, it gets loads of compliments and the peplum hem detail is quite unusual and makes it a little bit more than just a beige jumper! My jeans are no stranger to the blog either and it's funny how into jeans I am at the moment. I think because I don't wear them for work, I can enjoy them more as my downtime go-to, where as when I worked for The Gap and I wore them all day everyday, I couldn't wait to wear something different outside of work.

I can't remember how long I've had these Chanel ballet flats for but I think this is their third summer, I took them to the cobbler at the start of the season because they had pretty much disintegrated and I was not expecting them to be fixable, but luckily they were so they have at least another summer in front of them! I have been scouting eBay for a replacement pair (that was where I found these) but they are all too expensive at the minute. Hopefully I shan't need to replace these for a little while, anyway!

It might not be very clear in these pics but I've re-ombred my hair. I like to go a bit lighter in the summer and then I think probably this winter I'll sack off the dip dye and go for something different, but I'm not sure yet. I do like the interest it gives to my hair which can be a bit boring if it's all a flat colour!

XO Amie

Monday, 25 May 2015

QSW: A demise?

All images via Quiksilver

As a keen surfer who had more than a passing interest in fashion, the Quiksilver Women's line, comprising French-flavoured garments cut for a modern and clean aesthetic really appealed to me. I built up quite a collection of pieces, accumulated over my time working for the brand and even after I'd moved on from there my wardrobe still held the integral elements of that laid back, but still modern and with a touch of smarts styling; the silk blouses, the loose knit sweater, the swing dresses and boxy tees that were an easy part of my daily dresscode.

It's with a touch of nostalgia I look back at these pieces as I fear the Women's element of the Quiksilver brand is no longer; the price points were high to reflect the premium quality materials used and despite a couple of strong seasons there were some definitely underwhelming collections which leads to the Wikipedia intonement: 'As of 2013, the company had lost money for six years straight but was initiating a turnaround plan.'

I don't think that such a plan, if even executed, has been successful as QSW is nowhere to be found (apart from eBay.) It has no presence on the Quiksilver or Roxy websites and even a few independent web stores thrown up by a Google search have only one or two pieces for sale, heavily discounted and usually of the more unusual variety; a racer back best with heavy fringing is reduced by 80% to £7 on one site, for example. My last purchase was a dress that was also incredibly heavily reduced and since, the website has held no trace of this once edgy, interesting and desirable brand.

I'm not sure for certain what has become of QSW; all indications are that it is no longer in production and I think this is a shame because finally a brand that stood for what is quite an extreme sport had catered to women who loved to get into the sea but didn't necessarily want to wear a bright pink hoodie with a heart shaped logo splashed across it afterwards. It's a shame, and perhaps one day another brand of a similar ilk will be able to tackle this corner of the market and make the product stick. I hope so, because I will miss the product that QSW had to offer, and so will my wardrobe.

XO Amie

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Blogger's Guide #8

Dulcie and I at a Harvey Nichols beauty event

For this episode of my 'Blogger's Guide' series, I want to talk about a side of blogging that I touched on in this post; making friends and meeting people through blogging. Blogging can be quite a lonely pastime; I started blogging in 2009 and could never imagine I would end up having a sort of friendship network stemming from the posts I'd publish every day. 

I never really started meeting other bloggers until I moved to Bristol; there wasn't much of a blogging scene in North Devon and in any case, I had all my friends there, so there was no real need for me to want to make any more! When Adrian and I moved to Bristol, however, and I left all my female friends behind, I did miss having that friendship group, and so when I received an email inviting me to Bristol Fashion Week back in 2012, I decided it would be nice to attend. I was so nervous! I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was certain that everyone else would be so much cooler than me and also slightly scary, but I couldn't have been more wrong (about the scary bit; of course everyone was super cool!)

I met some wonderful girls at that event and off the back of that I started to find out about events more proactively and make an effort to attend. It's hard when you work full time but as I built up a network of contacts and found out what was going on in Bristol, it became easier to go to different meetups or events because I would usually see a familiar face there. I've never been very good at doing things like that on my own; but with my camera and notebook to hide behind I got a little braver and really started to enjoy myself. I have interviewed Lydia Bright from TOWIE and Jamie Laing from Made in Chelsea, met stalked Helen Adams from Big Brother at a beauty event (and spoken to her!) taken countless photographs, had beauty treatments, sat on the front row at fashion shows, had my portrait illustrated, listened to guest speakers and had a couple of cracking goodie bags! Of course these are perks that blogging has allowed me and I never thought I'd ever be able to attend events like this, let alone write about them on the blog!

Without sounding too saccharine, forgoing all of the celebs and goodie bags, the networking and making contacts, the best part of all of this has been making friends. Meeting gals of a similar age to me with similar interests, sharing blogging tips, attending Christmas parties and having fun. I came to a new city with no friends at all, and although I have made some amazing ones through work and via mutual friends, it was in those first few months of moving up, settling in and trying to be brave enough to want to mix with other bloggers that I really felt that my blog had achieved something; that despite just writing about what I was wearing or the shoes I wanted to buy, I had met new and lovely people and they were interested in what I had to say! It was a lovely feeling.

If you are new to blogging, I really recommend that you do a little research and try and find out if there are any other bloggers in your area. Perhaps more established ones, who might know about events you can attend or any planned meetups. You can use all the social media tools at your disposal; Twitter is fab for joining in blogger chats and Facebook has a plethora of blogger groups that you can join to find out more about things going on in your local area. You can make contacts, network, and, perhaps most importantly of all, maybe even find some new friends.

XO Amie

Friday, 22 May 2015

Ankle ties

Sandals £12 Primark

I often speak of my tendancy to avoid Primark, not because I'm a snob, but because I really feel that I'm 'over' the whole 'fast fashion' revolution and quite clearly Primark makes no bones about the fact that this is what it's ethos is about. I have to admit that I do visit from time to time to replenish my vest stocks and also the socks and undercracker sections are often worth a gander but I rarely venture into the clothing or shoe sections when I visit the store.

The reason for this is fairly simple; I don't like wearing non-leather shoes for one, and I don't like the feel of a lot of the cheaper fabrics so beloved by these high-fashion, high turn over stores. It's not just Primark; I'm the same in H&M, Topshop, Zara, I have to like the look and feel of the fabric before I will invest. Likewise, I find myself looking with scrutiny at prints and patterns and, if they don't match up or look 'off' on the garment, I'm really not interested. Even the most luridly patterened 70's dress or shirt has a depth of print to it and you'll often find that the high street falls behind on such things. 

As with all posts of this ilk that I write I feel to prefix a Primark purchase with the things about Primark I don't like is a little ironic, however, you can find a gem or two on occasion and it was these woven leather sandals that I spotted and snapped up on a recent visit. I wouldn't normally go in for an ankle tie; I don't feel that they are flattering really as they tend to cut off the leg a bit but I liked how these looked with rolled up jeans and they are unlike any other style of sandal I own, which is just me making allowances for buying them but at least I'm not buying on repeat as I have been known to do! 

These sandals are also really comfortable and they are leather which is why I bought them; I don't like to wear faux leather shoes as I don't find them comfortable and hence why I usually avoid the Primark shoe section, I have seen similar styles to these in Toppers for £25 so at half the price they seemed like a good deal. Now I just hope the sun continues to shine so I can get some wear from them!

XO Amie

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Take 5: suede jackets

Take 5: suede jackets

1. H&M £29.99 here
2. Topshop £85 here
3. Warehouse £120 here
4. Topshop £135 here
5. Boohoo £15 here

There's no doubt about it, the Seventies are back in a big way and a great way to try this trend is to slink on a bit of suede. Surely the fabric of the decade (or maybe that was polyester?!) a touch of suede can instantly ignite your look with a little of that decadent 70's glamour. Whilst the bohemian fringing is, of course, a festival goers fave, a sleek and simple suede number can also transcend trends and become a wardrobe staple for years to come. I've picked out a few, from either end of the pricing scale too, so whether you would like to invest or you are just looking for a simple piece to trial the trend, there's something for everyone. I have to admit I'm rather partial to that fringed Boohoo number myself, it's khaki not black as it appears in the pic and it's a steal at just £15!

At the other end of the scale there are the Topshop and Warehouse versions, a little more like the classic biker or western jackets that you could wear for longer than fringing is 'du jour' and the Warehouse one especially with it's gorgeous pale grey colouring makes a welcome change from the usual heavy leather bikers; it's a summer evening worthy cover up for sure.

If a jacket is just not your thing, then nab a waistcoat, fringed or otherwise, for a taste of vintage glam. I actually have a vintage suede number that I blogged about here, but if I didn't, I'd be very tempted to invest in one! They make a great layering piece to throw over dresses or oversized tees and add another element to your look. I love a good jacket and I'd wear any of these! 

XO Amie

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Vintage appeal

Wearing: ASOS girlfriend jeans (here), vintage shirt, belt, bag, shoes and jewellery

This outfit was what I wore to go to a local vintage fair on Saturday. It was quite chilly first thing but by the time I walked back it was almost a summers day and so nice to be able to roll up my sleeves and get my sunglasses on! 

The blouse is a vintage Bennetton number I posted about in a chazza find post here. I've worn it since but I think this is the first time I've photographed it on for the blog. It's such a cool print and super grannyish with the beige and taupe colourways. It goes so nicely with my boxy Clarks vintage bag that was also a chazza find, as well as my belt which I've had for yonks.

Of course my fave vintage loafers are getting a bit of a caning at the moment as they are the perfect shoe for this type of weather. They are also super comfy and I love how they look with these ASOS jeans which I also seem to be wearing an awful lot! They are still on the ASOS website here and are such a great fit. I also bought them in another colour as I know I will get the wear from them and they look fab with sandals as well as heels, especially the new metallic lace up ones I recently posted on my Instagram!

XO Amie

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Summer Florals

Pomegranate Rose and Peony bouquet c/o Appleyard London flowers

I love fresh flowers, I think most people enjoy the beautiful aroma and gorgeous aesthetic of a really beautiful floral arrangement. So when Appleyard London contacted me and asked if I would like to receive a bunch from their new summer collection, I didn't hesitate to say yes!

I selected this peony, rose and lavender bunch because that's three of my favourite scents right there, and it's quite rare that you find lavender used in a bunch of flowers-in my experience anyway. I know a lot of people view lavender as a bit old fashioned, a bit grannyish and uncool, but I adore the scent; there would always be bunches of it hanging up at home when I was younger and if I ever pass a lavender bush when I'm out and about I'll always pick off a couple of flowers and put them in my pockets; they make your clothes and hands smell so nice! 

Appleyard London is a luxury florist brand offering flower delivery by post as well as gifts, hampers, wines and plants, making the website a one stop destination for anyone looking to send flowers or more. There are a huge range of beautiful bunches and they range in price from £20 to £80, so there's something to suit every budget as well as any occasion!

The website has a huge selection of bouquets to choose from and with the next day flowers option you can easily order a bunch at the last minute; perfect for gifts or a lovely treat to yourself! There are so many different types of bouquet and you can ensure you tailor your choice to the recipients taste for the perfect gift, with options such as luxury roses, scented flowers, heritage florals or shabby chic styles to name but a few. If you are after a particular colour scheme or type of flower, you can also filter the website to include these particulars, too!

The flowers arrived beautifully and (importantly) sturdily packed in a box, secured with pretty wrap and held in florists foam. These flowers have a 7 day freshness guarantee and on receipt, I added the supplied flower food to the water, trimmed a little off the end of each stem, and put them in my favourite Rob Ryan vase; any excuse to use that!

Appleyard London have offered readers of Credit Crunch Chic a 33% discount on any bouquets (excluding the flowers by post range). Simply enter the code BLOG33 at the checkout to take advantage of this offer!

XO Amie