Cool in camo

It’s festival season and for those of us who are preparing for a cold weekend of camping in the delightful british countryside, a lot of the preparation for suitably warm, yet stylish clothing is already underway.

I’ve been obsessing over all things khaki / army-themed. Camouflage is back this season with a vengeance, but instead of the 90s multi-coloured monstrosities synonymous with Girls Aloud (the early years) and Tammy Girl, it’s all about authentic gear and so I’ve spent the week hunting down the perfect jacket which will not only be warm, but also look great with my various outfits over the weekend.

Ecote Classic Surplus Jacket, Urban Outfitters, £75

However, if you’re not keen to splurge at Topshop or Urban Outfitters why don’t you try Amazon for something half the price?! I found this very affordable cotton jacket which will be great layered up with a black / grey American Apparel hoodie when the sun goes down.


Surplus Lightweight Military Style BDU Mens Cotton Jacket Washed Woodland Camo, Amazon, £26.99

Alternatively, if none of these are for you – do what I did and hit up eBay. I found a fab vintage Superdry jacket for less than £20 and I’m pretty sure it does the trick.

Sophie Hulme : Bold as brass

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Sophie Hulme, double plate tan tote, £535 (Liberty)

If you’re as obsessed with bags as me, then you can’t fail to have already discovered the beautiful creations of Sophie Hulme. A British designer, graduating in 2007, she set up her own label within two months and the rest as they say is history. Now stocked by all the finest retailers – Selfridges, Fenwick and Harvey Nichols to name but a few, this is the result of huge ambition and excellent design.

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Sophie Hulme Black Leather Satchel, £255 (Selfridges) 

Sophie’s bags are characterised by the brass plates which adorn both the large totes and smaller satchels. They signify genuine luxury, but with a tough edge. I found myself gawping when coming face to face with one on the tube recently. They really are beautiful up close! And it’s not only the bags which have been given the expensive brass treatment – I’ve fallen for this chip fork necklace..it’s somehow elegant and fun at the same time. Amazing!

ImageSophie Hulme, brass chip fork necklace, £60 (Coggles.com)

So, if you’re in the market for something special, but understated, this is the brand for you.

Visit Sophie’s website – SophieHulme.com

Go nude for the wedding

It’s that time of year again – wedding season!

Whether you love it, hate it, are taking part in it or are indeed – the bride, there is always the question of what to wear on ones feet. Too high and you’ll be cursing come evening when the dancing begins. Too low and you’ll feel frumpy. Equally, how fancy does one go? To match the shoes to the dress or not? So many questions – eeeek!

Violet leather court shoes in peach metallic, £65, Office

So, there really are no hard and fast rules, but I think the following tips will help. Go down the neutral or metallic route when the summer season hits. You have probably been wearing black for the rest of the year so this is your chance to wear a lighter colour and even brave a bare leg – oooerrrr! (NB. This may be optimistic based on the current climate.)

Darling D soft rose leather courts, £85, Dune 

Steer away from satin or suede as you’re bound to destroy them if your wedding involves any of the following; drunk people, outdoor dining and excessive dancing. (That’s most weddings right?!) All the shoes I have picked have potential for wearing past wedding season and will hopefully carry you through the summer. Viva la nude shoe!

Faith nude leather patent bow courts, £50, Debenhams

Stay classy with Mint Velvet

Today, I want to share with you a brand I love which has been on the scene since 2009, but which (in my opinion) still remains rather an undiscovered secret for the 20-something market. Mint Velvet markets itself as ‘relaxed glamour’, and with a collection comprised of elegant pieces in neutral tones with quality lace, bead and button detailing, it does just that.

Stone embellished top, £69 and mink battered sequin skirt, £149

Set up by three ex-Arcadia employees with backgrounds in establishing Principles and Topshop as leading brands, it is evident that these ladies know their target market inside-out and with highly desirable butter-soft leather jackets and on-trend shell tops, they tick all the boxes.

Foundation lace dress, £129 and Caitlyn print dress, £89

Available both online, at a number of standalone stores as well as being stocked at John Lewis and House of Fraser, Mint Velvet is slowly taking over the world. Prices start from a very reasonable £29 for a silk-front top and top off at around £249 for a leather jacket, so get involved and get classy now!

Mink sequin, £89 and bead top and sorbet cropped jeans, £59

Visit the Mint Velvet website.

Be the ice cream

This weekend, I decided to get my pastel groove on.

Having purchased yet another mint-coloured item of clothing – (the 3rd in as many months – read my post from March), I decided that instead of using them to brighten up my usual black or navy jeans, I would pair them with my new sugar-pink jeans.

And just like that, ice-cream heaven was born!

The reception from my friends was generally positive, but with some inquisitive looks, scratching of heads and finally some practical questions. How can one virtually dress like an ice-cream? The answer is – like this..

Peach + Lemon

Peach Topshop Blouse and Carven Lemon TrousersPeach & white striped casual shirt, £28, Topshop
Carven yellow casual skinny chino, £160, Farfetch

Mint + Choc Chip

Mint Dorothy Perkins blouse and Mole spot skirt H&MMole spotted skirt, £19.99, H&M
Mint sleeveless blouse, £24, Dorothy Perkins

Raspberry ripple!

Spot cami, £25, Topshop
Pink jeans, £30,  River Island

And finally, if you can’t find a combo which works, you can always take things literally and wear it as a print! Eat me.

Sugarhill Boutique Shirt Dress in Ice Cream Print, £50, ASOS

Deco delights

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(Flapper dress, Oasis, £75.)

So, I’ve spent the past week hunting for 1920s gear. I’ve always been a huge fan of the art deco style anyway, but as I’m off to The Great Gatsby night at Wilton’s Music Hall in a few weeks, I need something fabulous and so the hunt has begun!

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(Limited edition twin frill dress, Topshop, £85.)

This is proving to be a particularly tricky task. Despite the fact that this style is hugely fashionable right now, finding anything affordable and suitably embellished is tough. French Connection have a wealth of beautifully beaded dresses starting from £200 if you have the budget. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for drop-waist beauties, fringed skirts and sequinned shifts.

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(Pearl queen strappy dress, French Connection, £350.)

Red skirt flirt

(Sunblaze, red lace skirt, Anthropologie, £148.)

My campaign for colour continues as the rain beats down on yet another day in London. Today, I’ve sourced some rather fabulous skirts for you to moon over. As this season is all about ladylike chic and looking well pulled-together, you can’t go far wrong with a statement skirt paired with a simple tshirt or cami.

(Aztec skirt, Monsoon, £42.)

From red-soled shoes to sporting a red dress to a wedding (a definite no-no), the colour is synonymous with sex appeal and flirtatious behaviour, whether intentional or not! So, to counteract this, I’d keep the top half simple or neutral and your heels below 8cm (think a K-Middy special), especially if you’re intending to work this look in an office environment. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re on the pull!

(Carven tweed skirt, Matches Fashion, £277.)

Rock the block

(Cross my heart midi dress, Three Floor, £118)

Need some inspiration for the weekend? Today, I’ve been taken by the colour-block trend. It’s grey outside so I refuse to wear a colour palette of dark, dingy colours – it’s our chance to fight back and reclaim the rainbow. French Connection recently devoted a whole promotion to breton stripes, Marni took on H&M and Whistles’ blog is awash with colourful combos. Fashion just got exciting and it’s all thanks to the block!

(Striped knit with block border, Jaeger, £114)

So, I’ve sourced some of the best colour block items around right now for your viewing pleasure. A few ground rules before you kit yourself out head to toe as Beetlejuice. It’s all about sophistication. You don’t want to look like you’ve had an accident with a paint roller so stick to a maximum of 3 colours or if you’re going for more than 3, keep it tonal. Also, don’t mix and match. Either a top or trousers, skirt or a jacket. Going all-out will result in bag lady comparisons. And nobody wants that!

(Colour contrast skirt, Karen Millen, £115)

Furnish yourself with a Furla

It may have been a while since we last spoke, but I’m back and I wanted to share my recent handbag obsession with you!

An Italian brand which has been supplying bags, shoes and accessories to the masses since 1927, Furla epitomizes understated cool without being flashy, label-heavy or as expensive as half the other designer brands out there. I love the subtle fastenings and good quality leather they use and so I find myself this season hankering after one of their beautiful bags..

Get yourself down to their Regents Street store for some lunchtime eye-candy or browse online..your choice. Here are my favourites!

(Montmartre Boston Bag, Furla, £370)

(Furla, Equestre Large Top Handle Bag, Saks Fitch Avenue, £614.19)

(Globetrotter Messenger Bag, Furla, £315)

Blazing it up

Today’s obsession – blazers! A cheap one can look horrendous, but a well-lined, structured one is the key to sartorial elegance. I have been on the hunt for a new pale pink blazer for summer since my previous one died a death…for now the hunt continues, but in the meantime, why don’t you take a look at the beauties I’ve uncovered en route 🙂

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(Stone fringe back detail jacket, Warehouse, £70)

A few pointers for you too – jersey blazers are a no-no. They’re supposed to smarten your look, not convey the appearance that you’ve rolled out of bed in it, creases and all. Why would you want one which looks like it’s been constructed from an IKEA duvet cover anyway?! Bizarro.

Keep an eye out for fittings. These make or break an outfit. Cheapo buttons make your jacket look cheap. Equally a badly-chosen zip, buckle or toggle will bring an unfortunate eurotrash vibe to your look. Steer clear or buy new buttons!

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(Smoking suit jacket, Mango, £79.99)

Finally fabric is key. Cheap, non-lined cotton blazers from H&M have a nasty habit of gathering in all the wrong places. Scary polyester numbers equally give you a bargain-bin edge. Try to go for something which doesn’t have a shine. Also, make sure the blazer fits. Anything oversized on the shoulder or ill-fitting around the bust/back area completely ruins the lines. I’d err on the smaller side for a more trim, lean appearance. Go forth and blaze!!!

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(Buckholme navy and white stripe blazer, Aubin & Wills, £175)