Fashion Panic

How To Style Polka Dots With Baukjen

At the grand old age of 29 (ancient obvs), I finally feel as though I know 'my style'. Gone are the days of fast fashion and ridiculous trends (we've all seen a few of those - knee high gladiator sandals anyone!?) no; now it's all about timeless pieces that work well within my current wardrobe, and that I know I will actually wear.

 I've been a "blogger" now for 3 and a half years; I've seen brands come and go, I've fallen in love with new labels and I've lost some respect for others. In the day and age where ethical fashion is the hot topic, it's more important than ever that we buy pieces that are well made and sustainable. When I was introduced to Baukjen, a luxury clothing brand created by the lady herself (pron Bow-ken, believe me I struggled with that one!), I immediately spotted items that I needed in my collection.

Made up from a mixture of classic staples (the shirts and jeans are to die for!) and sprinkled with 'on trend' pieces, Baukjen has hit the spot when it comes to creating a wearable collection. I chose some incredible pieces; black boyfriend jeans which fit like a dream, a timeless black blazer amongst other bits that I genuinely wear all the time

But in this blog post, I wanted to tackle something that I don't normally wear; a skirt! Having already received my items, I knew the quality and fit were on point. The luxury side shines through with the elegant, yet simple cut of the pieces, the quality of the fabric and the generous sizing. The sun was shining and I was feeling a little brave - I ordered their new polka dot midi skirt! In my head I was ready to back track, and stick to styling my usual "uniform" of jeans and a blazer, so it was more than a pleasant surprise when the skirt of my dreams arrived earlier last week. 

The thing that makes this my favourite skirt is the shape. It skims over every lump and bump and creates and elegant and ultra feminine silhouette. I've still not lost my 'Christmas weight' and had been feel a little crappy, but this skirt made me feel like twirling around (as some of you may have seen on my Instagram stories!). I knew I had found 'the one' (sorry Mus!). I was so genuinely excited to style it up, something I'd not been feeling lately. To be honest, it styled itself. I chose 2 very different looks, for very different occasions, something I hope you will enjoy!

First up; casual! Let's be honest, I work from home 70% of the time. I wear my gym clothes (but never go to the gym) around the house, and then whack on some jeans and a blazer if I'm off to a meeting/pub/meeting friends. I wanted something that was easy to throw on, but had an 'on trend' feel. Enter the marmite shoes. The chunky trainer is the one this season. Admittedly not the most attractive shoe, I am besotted. Teamed with my Baukjen grey knit and beloved pierce bag, it was super easy to look like a Scandi style queen!

Next up; more of a "I've made an effort" look. I felt very French in this one. The classic white shirt and beautifully tailored blazer completed the look (with my trusty basket bag finally out of hibernation!). The shirt is so simple, yet does so much. It fits like a glove, again, incredibly flattering. It was also easy to roll up the sleeves and it didn't crease (very important for me!).  The blazer is just perfection. I have worn it with jeans 2 or 3 times a week since it arrived. It's long line, so again, covers the right bits, whilst enhancing other ares - perfectly designed for women. I felt the skirt did all the hard work for me, and I had so many compliments on both looks.

I feel like it's easy for me to say the all the brands I work with are "amazing", but with Baukjen, it genuinely feels like a family affair. From the thank you note in the parcel, to the elegantly wrapped clothes, you feel like you are buying from an exclusive store. The brand is passionate about comfort, style and ultimately make YOU feel incredible. From the very first email, I fell in love with the ethics, ethos and style of Baukjen. I feel lucky to be able to work with such a fabulous brand, and I know all of the pieces will be in my wardrobe for a long time to come!

Mother's Day At Aintree Shopping Centre

It's not often that my mum and I get the chance to spend a sunny Friday together. No, not just because we live in Manchester (the sun shines here occasionally, I promise!), but because we're both very busy ladies #girlboss. So when the opportunity came to have a little day trip to Aintree, I jumped at the chance to celebrate Mother's Day a little early with my favourite person.

The Aintree Shopping Park is just 40 minutes down the M57 from Manchester, so really not far at all - it's situated just near the famous race course and just 20 minutes from Liverpool, one of my favourite cities. With free parking, fab brands and great places to eat, we were both excited to get there!

We've just had an offer accepted on our first house, so although I couldn't resist a little clothes shopping, I was glad to see a ginormous Next Home, DFS, Harveys and a SCS - I was definitely spoilt for choice! So, first off it was Next! The store was modern, airy and so big, you could get lost in it. I found a very appropriate Gin print for mum (and how cute is this Aloe cushion!). Mum herself ended up going home with two cushions, a lamp shade and a new shirt! 

Obviously, I had to have a look in the fashion department. I immediately spotted this floral kimono, a must have piece for SS18. Kimonos have been adored by the fashionistas for a few seasons now, but they have finally trickled down to the high street, making them affordable for everyone! This one from Next is the perfect length, and looks great over a polo neck for the colder months (AKA British weather).

I can't get enough of knitwear, and stripes were everywhere at last week's London Fashion Week. The best thing about this sweater is the cut. It's baggy and oversized, so perfect for tucking into high waist mom jeans for an effortlessly stylish look. I took this one home with me and have worn it twice already (so comfy!). 

Then we were off to Marks and Spencer's, but first coffee! We popped upstairs to the light and airy M&S cafe, which was busy, but we found a great seat by the window. They have great gluten free options for me and mum had the most delicious looking scone and hot chocolate! We were just on our way out, when I spotted the most incredible camel trench - I really don't need another coat, but I gave in and treated myself. Trench coats have been a big thing for a few years now, but they're only getting bigger. They are a classic and timeless piece that is a great addition to your staple wardrobe. 

We then headed back to Next as we had spotted one of our favourite shops nestled on the second floor - Paperchase! We have a large store in the city centre, but I don't get in much these days, so to have a little Paperchase concession was an extra treat. Not going to lie, we spent A LOT in there. From cute little note books to even more homeware, there is definitely something for all tastes!

Finally, we had to finish the day with a cheeky Nando's! By this time, we had been at the shopping centre for over 3 hours - the time just flew by (forgot to add our little detour to the Pets At Home Store to buy George and Ruby a little treat!) and we were starving! We had the choice of Nando's, Frankie and Benny's, Mc Donald's (so temped by the Grand Big Mac!) and a cute little Costa Coffee, also in the Next home store. We needed a Peri Peri fix and we weren't disappointed. The shopping park now has free wifi, so I found it really useful to update my social media during lunch.

We honestly had a fantastic day at the Aintree Shopping Park. Not just the usual stores, but with added gems like Paperchase, it really stands out from the crowd. It's a great place to visit if you want fashion, homeware and food and we'll definitely be back soon!

Top Picks - High Street Blazers

If you follow me on Instagram, you will no doubt know by now that I am rather addicted to blazers. Despite this fact, believe it or not, I've never in the whole history of my blog (a massive 4 years!) dedicated a post to the loves of my life on here! I admit; I take them for granted. I just presume they'll always be there for me...which of course they will. There is undoubtably a blazer for every single day/life event/time of year. Last year, the checked blazer was thrust into the spotlight, when a bevy of scandi babes and French goddesses took to Instagram to display their new fave jacket.

Not to blow my own trumpet (sounds weird) but I bought my first checked blazer back in 2016, and every time I wear it on my feed I feel bad, as it sold out literally years ago. So I thought I would rectify the fact I've not shown the blazer the love and dedication it deserves, and I have put together a wish list of my top High Street picks! Ive tried to vary price, style and colours; as this year any blazer will do. It's the must have jacket for AW/SS18 and you definitely need one in your wardrobe.

I use my blazers for an abundance of reasons. Number one being they're just cool and rocking one will make you feel like you have your sh*t together. Secondly, they are tailored. You can't beat a good pair of shoulder pads to make you look super lean - they are very flattering for ALL figures, and hide a multitude of sins (bonus). They can make an outfit go from drab to fab! I throw mine on over my yoga gear (that I totally wear but never do yoga in) and it appears as though I planned it all along! I'd say as a rule, nothing can ever be too 'oversized' - the roomier the better!

I hope you enjoy my selection; I could have picked about 70, but I narrowed it down to the one's that I would buy right now! Let me know if you have are any questions about styling, prices or anything else that you may want to know about my favourite jacket!

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
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