Fashion Panic

A Day At Bicester Village

Designer clothes and accessories; nothing divides the blogosphere more than whether you're a bargain hunter, vintage rummager and recycle queen, or whether (like me) you can't get enough of luxury brands, and will scrimp and save until the new Gucci bag is yours!

Well, what if you could combine both! Impossible I hear you say...well not anymore! I'd seen quite a few of my fave bloggers go to a magical place called Bicester Village. I'd presumed it was just another luxury shopping destination, with brands such as Loewe, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney (to name just a few!). But it was when I saw Lindsey (from www.ropesofholland.com) style up her new Celine shoes, that I noticed she'd mentioned how much of a bargain they were - this is when I discovered that Bicester Village was not just an amazing place with all the top designer brands in one place, oh no - it was an outlet village, with amazing discounted pieces from all of my favourite designers!





 Living up here in Manchester, I had literally no idea where Bicester was (ashamed at the lack of my English geography) but discovering it was in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside gave me an idea. My mum had wanted to go away to a spa break for months, well, what better than a break in the country! We booked in the local spa and golf resort  which was just 10 minutes from the village itself and set off for our stay-cation. It took just 2 and a half hours from Stockport, and we chose the most beautiful weekend (temps were 32c!). If you're a Londoner, you can get the train direct to the village which takes under 50mins! 

 We arrived on Sunday afternoon and it was super busy, and very overwhelming. Every single store in the beautifully designed, quaint shopping street is filled with an incredible, luxury designer. I literally did not know where to start! There were brands that I didn't even realise had outlets, such as Valentino and YSL - it was like being a kid in a candy shop (or a Lauren in designer heaven!). My mum bought a discounted Radley handbag within 10 mins of arriving; it had an amazing 60% off with an extra 10% on the Sunday that we were there.




Although it was busy (it was the weekend), it wasn't cramped as the main shopping street is lovely and wide and perfect for window shopping. There were plenty of places to sit and get some refreshments; ice-cream was a must have in the hot weather! We spent 3 hours browsing, trying on and and admiring all of the incredible outlet priced collections. The best thing about the Village, is that the pieces are only last season, not years old like some outlet places I have been. Most have been on sale within the past 6 months, or are currently on sale on the designer's websites. You feel like there must be a catch, but there isn't! It's just beautifully curated collections, in stunning boutiques with fabulous prices!

I have to say, that although I went with a Balenciaga bag, my favourite boutique had to be Gucci. I say 'boutique' but it was more like a 2 floor super store - just huge! Again, despite it being a busy Sunday, Gucci was so big, that you had enough room to browse and not feel rushed. The bags were to die for, with most having at least 50% off the RRP. I was definitely torn between several amazing accessories, but in the end, Balenciaga stole me heart.


It was love at first sight with my little navy tote. I paid just over £300 (RRP £630) which although is a lot, I knew I would use her for years to come; the perfect summer carry bag. I later found the larger size still on sale on net-a-porter which just shows how good the stock is! I had such a wonderful day at Bicester Village, and only wish I lived nearer so I could go every week! I will definitely be back, and it is 100% worth the journey if you are a big designer fan! 

Thank you to the wonderful staff and everyone at Bicester Village for the perfect day shopping with my lovely mum!


Hero Piece - Heritage Check Blazer

There comes a time in life (cough*late twenties* cough) when you have to start thinking more sensibly when it comes to your wardrobe. No, I don't mean the actual wardrobe (Ikea obvs), no I mean the contents; my favourite thing in the world; clothes. 

Things become rather boring, and bills, rent and food are slightly higher in importance than those Gucci loafers you've been eyeing up for 2 years. Having a roof over your head and paying your council tax (who knew!?) are more at the top of the priority list. Ironically, me and Mus moved back in with my parents to save for 6 months, 2 years later and we're still here...However, we're getting ready to move out again and my priorities needed to change.

Long story short; I've had to really think about what I buy.



First world problem, I know. But, I've worked since I was 15, and spending money on clothes and accessories has always felt fine! In reality, Mus and I need a house to ourselves again, and although I've got a smaller budget, with the right attitude I feel I've slowly come to terms with the fact, less is actually more.

This brings me nicely (sorry for the ramble) on to my hero piece of the entire year, let alone season; my heritage check blazer from H&M. I bought it in January for £39.99 and I've probably worn it at least twice a week. It's a mixture of on trend, classic and versatile, all of which adds up to perfection. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you'll know it's heavily featured in flay lays and the odd selfie, this is because it honestly is my fave go-to piece. 

In this post, I wanted to show how it really can last all seasons. Due to my new job and utter rubbish-ness (is that a word!?) at being a blogger, I actually shot this back in Feb, when the weather was a lot cooler and the blazer on it's own wouldn't really suffice. Layering is a massive SS17 trend, but I started to layer back in winter, when the good old UK weather never knows what it's up to, and you can be freezing one minute and boiling the next. I think lots of thin layers work best. You want to keep a nice silhouette and not look like you're just trying to beat the hand luggage weight on EasyJet (we've all been there).

I started with a long sleeve tee, added my babe of a blazer, and finished the look with another hero piece of mine, the beige trench. I brought it into 2017 with a good earring, an off the shoulder pose and some kitten heel boots. 


All of these pieces are great for mix and matching. Each will look acceptable on its own, but worn together, create a thought out, classic look. I go through phases with fashion. I sometimes want to look all "Oh I just threw this on" and other times I want to look polished and chic. I think this is a mix of both, and the statement earrings just make it more "on trend". I added a belt just to show what you can do with just one blazer. 




At the moment I'm wearing the blazer over little vest tops and mom jeans. I recently wore it with some wide leg black pants which, despite my worries of looking like a "mum", it worked really well! It's all about experimenting, choosing pieces that you know you'll wear again and again. This blazer will be in my wardrobe as long as it lasts and it's the best £40 I've spent!



Blazer - H&M (similar)
Trench - Next 
Jeans - Next
Earrings - Mango (similar

Sorry...

Hi guys! Just a little update as to why I have been a shockingly bad blogger of late. I started a new job last month, but also still freelance for my old brand too; basically I have no free time to blog right now, but cannot wait to get back on it when I'm slightly more...settled! 

Love the new job, so it's all positive, just feel awful for saying I would be back, then not post on here for 3 months! I'm still on IG every day at @fashion_panic - and for all you brands out there, I would still love to collab!

Thanks for sticking with me - I still love the blog life! 

"Sartorial Marmite"

Yo yo yo; I'm back! Ok apologies, I totes didn't know how to start a blog post, since I've not written one in over two months. Clearly thought the gangster greeting was appropriate...

So, as I so eloquently mentioned; I'm back and I have actually shot some new outfits for you  lovely lot to take a look at. The first of which involves a trend that hasn't appeared in my repertoire since the early nineties. That's right, the good old dress over jeans. The sartorial marmite, you will either lust or loath this familiar duo. For me, it perfectly embraces the femininity I so often lack (I never wear dresses) with the more on trend, street style queen masculine vibes that we've been seeing from fashion week.


Although I had spotted the top fashionistas out and about in layered look, I hadn't actually had any firm plans of recreating it myself until a recent collaboration with one of my old faves, Dorothy Perkins, where they mentioned their new "must have" dress. I was immediately drawn to the colour and bold floral design and although admittedly not something I would usually go for, I felt the bizarre need to style it! It's no secret that green was big on the SS17 runways last year. This has led to an abundance of the sassy shade sprinkled throughout our high streets. 



 This particular bold shade (I googled, apparently it's "shamrock" pretty apt considering it was Paddy's day on Fri, oh I do love to be topical!) fits well into my wardrobe. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see I'm not exactly a colour connoisseur, but this green complimented denim (which is pretty much a daily occurrence in my OOTD's so is the ultimate goal), was a great length and fit (baggy, but slim) and I also love the abstract take on floral. So pretty much a great allrounder! I  teamed it with my raw hem mom jeans, kitten heels and added a little bit off sass with my DP biker. Obviously finishing the look with my new JW Anderson Pierce bag, which is the new love of my life (sorry Mus) which immediately takes it to another level, even if I do say so myself!

Jacket: Dorothy Perkins
Jeans: Asos
Boots: Zara

Bride: The Wedding Show - My Wedding Tips!

Weddings - For some they can drum up magical memories of romantic gestures, the gathering of family and friends and probably one of the best days of your life. For others, they can bring back the intense stress, last minute deadlines and constant worry that you can feel leading up to your big day.

For those of you who don’t know; I’m married. I do mention my lovely and long suffering Instagram husband, Mus in some of my posts, but I’ve never really gone into much detail and since I got married nearly 7 years ago (I know, SO long) I’ve never really shared with you my wedding memories or even a picture from our special day, or more specifically, 3 days as it was traditional Turkish wedding which pretty much meant 3 times the stress!



So, when the lovely people at Bride got in touch to ask if I had any tips for #BeforeIDo I jumped at the chance to be able to share with you my memories of our special day, and how to get prepared, mentally and physically! 

I look back with fond memories from our wedding. For us, it was perfect, not in every way, but it was fundamentally a day shared by our closest family and friends where we declared our love for one another and celebrated together. I think a lot of couples can focus too much on perfection. I know I did. For us girls it can be a day we’ve dreamed of all of our lives; we’ve imagined the dress, the venue and probably every detail in between if you’re anything like me. My wedding was very different than I had imagined. 


We got married in Turkey on a beach with just 10 people. I moved over and we got engaged. Mus was due to go to the army for 18 months after finishing University, which every man has to do over there, its conscription. Whilst I was getting ready to move back to the UK, they changed the law, which meant you no longer had to serve in the army. We were literally so overjoyed and relieved, that we wanted to celebrate and get married that summer. Long story short, I planned a wedding on my own in a different country in 5 weeks. My best friends were away travelling, so we just had our parents and siblings at the ceremony and just very close friends at the reception, with the plan of having a big UK reception later on that year (that's still never happened!).




Luckily our friends and family supported our decision and my family were on the first flight over. In the end, I got married in a £40 Asos dress, and a £60 wedding dress that Mus helped me choose for the reception. The professional pictures were tacky and it was before Instagram, so no filters! I had roots and did my own make up, but, we had a meal on the roof over looking the sea, mamma mia style and I honestly wouldn’t change one thing. No traditions, no bridesmaids, Christmas trees on our cake (don’t ask, it’s still a mystery) and nothing like I had imagined, but it was perfect.


The biggest and most valuable tip that I can give brides to be, is to enjoy. Enjoy the planning, enjoy the family get togethers and most of all enjoy the fact you are marrying the love of your life. I think so many couples get caught up in wedding fever, that they forget the reason they are getting married in the first place; love. Yes it may sound corny, but appreciate that you’ve been lucky enough to find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. Through sickness and in health, good times and bad, your partner will be there. Easier said than done, when you can’t find the right cake maker, the invitations are misspelled or your dream venue isn’t available - but trust me, it will all come together and you will have the best day.


On a more practical note, I wish I had been told several things. 1) This is YOUR day - You and your partner are celebrating YOUR love together. Families aren’t perfect, but they will be happy if you’re happy. You cannot please everyone. Whether this is the seating plan or who is invited to the evening reception, stay true to yourself! 

2) Have back up plans - It’s very easy to have the perfect picture in your head, but real life is never that simple. Have a plan B or even C for everything. Don’t go over the top with organisation, just have a few choices for cakes, venues, invites. It’s about you two, no one will care about the details, when they see how happy you both are. 

3) Go to a wedding show - I missed out on wedding shows as it was such last minute, but I wish I had been able to go to get ideas. The internet is a wonderful place, but there is nothing like being there and being able to ask specialists in person for advice, prices and even a bit of bargain hunting! 



Luckily for you guys, Bride: The Wedding show is happening at Tatton Park in Cheshire on the 4th and 5th of February - perfect for anyone planning a wedding! Tickets are £10 each and I would have jumped at the chance of going and the location is so so beautiful, one of my favourite places in Cheshire. Take a note book, take pictures and start planning your perfect day!


For more details, visit www.theweddingshow.co.uk/tatton

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