Fashion Panic

My February Designer Must-Haves!

Last month I worked with 'Hardly Ever Worn It' to curate my top picks from their fab selection of second hand designer pieces (I guess the name gave it away!). Whilst browsing the delectable collections, I found that although I was picking this season's must-haves, I was also (inadvertently) picking some bloomin' good wardrobe staples. Having not shared on my blog for what feels like years (it's actually only been 4 weeks...) I wanted to start off (okay mid-way off) February in style and share with you what I picked. Just to let you guys know; this isn't sponsored, I just genuinely fell in love with what I had chosen from their site!

Tailored BlazerIf there is only one thing you buy this season, it has to be a blazer. Tailoring will always be in style, and this Stella McCartney single buttoned longer length jacket will elevate your daily look to the next level. 

Skinny Jeans Skinny jeans are back! Yes, 2018 is all about denim, and these naughties faves were seen all over the SS18 catwalks. Team with practically anything; a pair of Victoria Beckham classic low rise, mid wash jeans will add a fresh take to your spring/summer wardrobe.

The 'It' BagThe ‘new’ it bag of the season; the hammock bag by Loewe is the one you need on your arm in 2018. Subtle, yet chic, this modern classic will quietly let people know you are ahead of the trend.
The TrainerTrainers are not going anywhere this year - this time the bigger and chunkier, the better. You can’t go wrong in a pair of Chanel white sneakers, perfect to wear with mom jeans and a chic blazer.

Chic Black Bag -  If you want to invest in a bag that won’t just last a season, it has to be this Gucci top handle black leather tote. Practically perfect in every way; from the sleek gold detailing, to the size, which is large enough to fit everything in, this classic design will make every outfit look elegant and 'put together’.

New Year, New Me? Hell Yes!

Happy New Year guys and welcome to 2018! I don't know about you, but the general consensus for 2017 wasn't great. Most people seem to be glad to be rid of it, and if I'm honest, I am too. Don't get me wrong, there were some brilliant times too, but a new start is just what I need. I hate to speculate or get too excited about things (ever the optimist!) but 2018 'should' have some exciting things in store; number one, buying our very own house. Yes, at the grand old age of 29, Mus and I are finally in the position to get our own home. After years of studying, saving and living with my parents (every young couples dream!) we have been approved for a mortgage and can now make an offer on the house of our dreams. Okay, so we've seen 6 houses so far, all of which were less than dream-like, but just the fact we know we can makes it rather exciting (slash nerve-wracking!). 

I'm also concentrating on 'me' - yup, the cliche term is actually becoming a reality this year. I am back at CBT (therapy which can help anxiety), I'm starting pilates and running again and most importantly, I'm being 'kinder' to myself. Anxiety is a bitch. No way around it, it absolutely sucks. I've been avoiding things, putting off getting help and generally living a miserable, anxiety ruled existence. Last year I had a very bad 2 week period of severe anxiety attacks, and I decided enough was enough. Just before Christmas I started to see my new NHS CBT therapist, and although I know it won't be easy, I'm ready to get better for good!

Now onto the blog side of life. My love of fashion and styling has never faded, unfortunately for me, the love of Instagram has. It's no secret that most people have been affected by the new algorithm, including moi. I no longer see my friend's posts, and the posts that I do see are usually 3 or 4 days old. This is not only disheartening, but also has a very real impact on what I post and when. I used to be able to post any time of the day, and my followers would see it eventually, now, I'm down to 1 post a day, usually in the evening, as I know that's when most people are online. It feels like a gamble, and I know it will impact on my collaboration and work. However, Instagram has created some incredible opportunities and friendships, and I'm not ready to give up yet. I'm going to be a posting daily and keep my fingers crossed that people see and enjoy my content!

Whatever you have planned for the next 12 months, remember that you can achieve anything if you believe you can (sorry to sound like a walking cliche!) and my number one rule for 2018; don't compare yourself to others!

Lauren x

Blazer - Similar // Cardigan - Similar // Jeans - Topshop // Necklace - Byalona

The New Way To Share and Shop With The Looker App

Is it just me, or does everyone seem to hate the new Instagram algorithm? It's definitely the hot topic of conversation right now, and if you're a blogger, or small business you will no doubt be unhappy with the new (some say very unfair) way in which you get to see your fave feed's pics. I started using Instagram as a way to share my outfits with people, which eventually turned into a fashion blog. The community was great and it was lovely to be able to share style tips with like minded people. Over the last few months, with lost followers, low engagement and not being able to see my friend's posts, it has really started to change my mind on my once favourite app. 

Luckily, there may just be a solution. Looker is an app that combines sharing pictures of your outfits, along with direct shoppable links that can make you commission. It's super easy to use, and you can download from both the apple and play stores. It's simple and straightforward; share you style, follow people who you inspire you and make money from the clothes you sell! It's like all the best bits from other apps, combined into one! 

The best thing about Looker, is that there are no 'likes' or 'followers', no competition, just pure fashion inspo! After downloading the app, you choose people to be on your 'Team'; these are the people with similar styles to you and who you want to see on a regular basis. I must warn you, it's rather addictive! I spotted something I wanted to buy within 10 minutes of having the app (RIP money!), but it's also lovely to be able to scroll and get inspo, without the worry of liking and following, and it's so refreshing! 

We can all probably admit to being caught up in the 'will they like it!?' mentality of Instagram. The constant need for approval is driving people to change their style, or post things that wouldn't normally wear (but will get likes!). To post on Looker, just because you want to, and because YOU like your outfit, feels amazing. You can get inspo from anybody, not just the people that have the most followers, or the one's that the new algorithm will let you see. Looker lets you be true to your own style, and make money along the way! I really do recommend it, especially if you're new to blogging, and worry that you don't have enough followers on Instagram. This is a lovely way to show your style, your own way. 

You can download Looker here (be sure to let me know what you think about it!).

Vintage Shopping With Farfetch

My love of all things vintage started when I was around 15 years old. My Grandma was moving house and sorting all of her old clothes, which she’d kept from the 1950s and 60s. By this point, I was already obsessed with clothes; to me being able to dress yourself and show your identity through what you wear was fascinating; so to see my Grandmother’s clothes that she had worn when she was younger, showed me another side to her completely. From beautiful evening gowns, with hand embroidered designs, to her collection of fur coats (which although I don’t agree with, you couldn’t deny the beauty of the things in the context of the time). To see the quality and unique designs, compared to my own mass produced clothes from the high street was a real insight, and I well and truly had the vintage bug.

Fast forward 13 years and I’m still rummaging through charity shops, and staying up all night searching ebay for those perfect pieces. I’m not going to lie, it can be incredibly time consuming, with very little pay back. I’ve not found anything worthwhile for a good few months, then I discovered the most inspiring collection on Farfetch!

If you’ve followed my Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve bought from Farfetch before. I was originally introduced to the site by a fellow blogger who managed to get her YSL bag at an incredible price; so when I was looking for my J.W Anderson pierce bag, I knew there was only one place to go. Sure enough, I found my bag, with a massive £300 off! This is due to the fact that the premise of Farfetch is to source your designer pieces from boutiques and stores around the world - meaning you won’t always be paying the same price, as each store prices individually, which sometimes equals a big bargain! You’ll also find pieces you wouldn’t be able to get in the UK, so it’s the perfect place for something unique. 

With all this being said, I’ve never noticed the vintage collection. I’d always been on to find my latest designer bag, or for some style inspiration (it has an incredible editorial section!). I could kick myself now, as I have been missing out! From Chanel to Hermes; the stunning, collection is curated from the finest vintage stores in the world, and certainly makes a change from rummaging! With jewellery, hand bags and clothes, there is a vintage designer piece for everyone. It did take me a while to decide on what I wanted to style up as there is so much choice, and to see the Louis Vuitton bags and Versace dresses - I was a bit like a kid in a candy store! I finally decided to go for this season’s must have - the blazer. I’ve never bought a vintage blazer before, and I’ve become obsessed with them this AW, so what better time to invest! In the end I went for a classic YSL; with a beautifully tailored fit, and sassy shoulder pads - I’d fallen in love. Each piece is photographed clearly, and you can see all the little details. Most vintage pieces aren’t perfect, so this allows you to buy with full knowledge of any imperfections. They’re also all styled up impeccably and with a modern twist, so you can envision how it would fit into your current wardrobe.

My blazer was coming from Italy, but only took 5 working days. It arrived in the usual Farfetch box (handy tip: if you turn it inside out, can be used for storage!). Inside, it was beautifully wrapped in brown paper, tied with the most stunning vintage silk scarf. I couldn’t believe the boutique had thoughtfully included a little gift, it was such a personal touch and I was over the moon! The blazer itself was better than I had imagined. The fabric was thick and in excellent condition, with only a one inside button missing (which had been shown on the site). It’s my new go-to piece for this season, and it honestly looks good with everything. 

My first (and definitely not last!) experience of shopping for designer vintage on Farfetch couldn’t have gone better. The quality and care that goes into choosing each piece is obvious, and the individual boutique went above and beyond to make the experience perfect. If you’re looking for vintage designer pieces, but are sick of the time consuming shopping, then head over to the vintage section and delight in the vintage goodness (you won’t be sorry!).

French Connection Is Returning To Manchester!

It's safe to say that I'm a proud Mancunian; it's the city I've grown up in, work in, and still live in today. But it's also been missing a little something for the past few years, especially for a life long fan like me. When French Connection left Manchester, I was honestly heartbroken. As a teenager, my cousin and I used to get the catalog through the post (it was the early 2000s, no internet!) and speak for hours on the phone deciding what pieces we would be saving up for. For us, as teenagers, it was an aspirational, luxury brand! We lived for the French chic, yet simple designs, beautiful fitting jeans and the most perfect 'nice tops'. 

As we grew up, FC remained a place for us both to get clothes that we knew were on trend, but would also last; and although at the higher price point of the high street, it was a brand we just kept going back to. I shopped in the St Anne's Square store at least once a month, always popping in on pay day or when I needed some new denim (they have the BEST jeans!). So when the store closed, and although I could shop online, I found a little piece of Manchester had been lost. It's been a few years now, and despite regularly buying my  French Connection pieces online, I still miss the good old days of actually going in to store, feeling the material and getting help and advice from the sales assistants.

Along with my excitement of a collaboration with one of my all time favourite brands, I was also let in on a little secret...a brand new flagship FC store would be opening in the Royal Exchange in the city centre (just a few minutes from the old store). YAS. I literally could not contain my excitement, and I cannot wait to show you the new store when it opens in a few weeks. To celebrate, French Connection are working with several Manchester bloggers, and asking us how our style is defined by our legendary city. We were asked how Manchester impacted on our sense of style. I explained that my city has always been a place of individuality, a place to welcome everyone and most of all a place where you can be yourself. 

With that in mind, I chose an outfit from their new AW collection that reflected that sense of home and comfort, but also had a nod to some of the hottest trends this season. I knew I had to style this incredible oversized boyfriend coat the minute I saw it. It's a piece that has everything that I've come to know and love about FC; a classic, well made piece with incredible tailoring with a modern twist. I worked backwards from that and went with a must have polo neck, some cropped flare jeans and these stunning chunky black leather boots. I felt completely comfortable, stylish and most importantly myself in this outfit. Over the next few weeks, I will be letting you know more information about the new store opening, and when you can visit yourself! For now, you can browse the new AW collection online here!

UPDATE - The new store will be opening THIS Saturday (11th Nov) YAY!
© Fashion Panic

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