SS18 At The Intu Trafford Centre



I vividly remember the first time I visited the Intu Trafford Centre. I was 9 years old and I felt as though I was in a different world, something more resembling Disney Land rather than a shopping centre. From the sheer size of the place (over 180,000m2) to the elaborate and luxurious finish, it was overwhelming as a child, and even now when I walk in via the grand stair case, I can't help but take a picture go "wow". Although a popular tourist attraction, for me, the centre is the closest and easiest place for me to shop. With free parking, over 200 stores with 1000s of brands, an incredible selection of restaurants, a cinema, bowling, mini golf and now with the latest addition of the Sea Life Centre and Legoland Discovery Centre - there really is something for all the family.



It feels incredibly exciting to be working with the Intu Trafford Centre, somewhere I've been shopping for most of my life. As well as being Instagram heaven, it's also a place where I can genuinely find everything I am looking for. From my favourite high street stores, like Topshop and Zara, to my designer 'must haves' such as Gucci and Chloe - it's a place that you automatically think of for any outfit essentials. With their 20 year anniversary coming up, this year the centre are celebrating why they 'Stand Out' from other shopping destinations - for me it has to be the massive selection of brands, the incredible architecture (who doesn't love OTT decoration and palm trees!?) and just the entire experience of shopping somewhere, warm, safe and full of atmosphere.




Last week I made one of my many monthly visits to find my top SS18 picks. I like to find key pieces that can update your wardrobe instantly, without having to make big changes and without costing the earth. I also checked out some designer investment pieces that will last much longer than a season, so let's have a look what I found!


Pull and Bear



Polka Dots -  Polka dots are one of the easiest trends to embrace. They are ALL OVER the high street, and I fell in love with this off the shoulder number from Pull & Bear. Super flattering for every figure; team with high waisted jeans and some trainers for an on trend outfit.


The Round Bag - If you buy one accessory this season, it has to be a round bag! There are many colour and size options, but I loved this over the body small black wicker bag. Perfect for every day, and will go with any style!


Oversized Denim Jacket - Denim is always on trend, but this season oversized jackets are the new must have. Worn over cute summer dresses, or for the ultimate fashionista look, go double denim!

ZARA


The Mule - The mule has been a big summer trend for a few years now. It's comfortable, easy to wear and there are literally hundreds of options to choose from. My new faves are these square heeled mules from Zara. Such a unique and sleek twist to a classic!


Lilac - If you haven't noticed already, lilac is EVERYWHERE this SS18. It's not for everyone, but I went a little extra with this co-ord. I love the pastel hue, but if you're not keen on wearing it, then there are plenty of accessories to choose from too!




Check Print - Gingham was the big hit of last summer, this year it's still around, but has evolved to incorporate all checked prints. It was love at first sight with this chic summer dress; with a flounce hem and button details, it is a dress that you can wear for every summer occasion.

Stradivarius 



The Chunky Trainer - Or the 'Dad' trainer as some people call it; the marmite of footwear! I LOVE them and they were in every store I went in. My faves had to be these sleek white versions from Stradivarius. Team with a summer dress or mom jeans and a tee for casual chic.


The Statement Blazer - If you follow my blog, you know I'm a BIG blazer fan. They have been on trend for the past 2/3 years, but this year the shops seem to have gone blazer crazy. I loved this gingham one, as it covers the check trend too!


Circular Accessories - One of my fave trends this season. Circular accessories are all over Instagram, worn by the insta queens at the end of last year, now everyone can get their hands on the accessory of the year! This cute bucket bag with chrome handles is a great way to get into the trend!


Gucci 


Gucci Loafer - My absolute must have when it comes to a designer investment piece has to be the Gucci loafer. For summer I love the backless versions which are slightly cheaper and have the best Spring colours! 



Classic Gucci Bag - I must admit to indulging in a little Gucci bag, bought from the Selfridges store a few years ago. The staff there are genuinely amazing, and they now know me, as I go in that often. They showed me the new range of classic Gucci print bags that had just arrived, including my favourite 'bee' design, perfect for Manchester Gucci lovers!


Furry Loafer - Okay, I know you won't all be a fan of the furry backless loafer, but if money was no object, I'd have them in every colour! These new in velvet and gold versions are incredible, if not a little OTT!


I hope you enjoyed seeing what I got up to at the Intu Trafford Centre. I genuinely found some amazing pieces, and took home a few of my faves (check out my Instagram highlights). If you're looking for an easy, relaxing way to shop, where you can find a mix of high street, designer pieces, grab a cheeky Nando's and maybe finish off with a film, then head down to one of my favourite places, you won't regret it!

Lookbook Live - Golden Square Warrington



Last weekend I was invited along to one of my favourite Northern shopping centres; the Golden Square Warrington, for their Lookbook Live event. This super stylish event is running until Sunday 13th May, so you still have plenty of time to pop down if you're local! 


The event is being held just outside Debenhams, and has a selection of fashion and beauty stands where you can get some tips, secrets and have any fashion or beauty questions answered. It's coming up to the time of year where everyone has an event to go to. Whether it be a summer wedding, a family BBQ or just a day out with some girlfriends. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming with the thought of getting more skin on show or upgrading your make up to summer shades, which is exactly what the event is there to help with! There's even a chance to win £150 Debenhams gift card, for the person who takes the best Golden Square selfie!


The weekend I visited had a celebrity stylist helping Golden Square shoppers out with all things fashion, dressing for your body shape and advising on all the latest trends. The four trends that she had picked to focus on for SS18 were; pastels, worked denim, florals and checked patterns. With that in mind, I went on the hunt for some of the top trends within the centre, a hard job but someone has to do it!

Florals


Floral Maxi Dress - Okay, so floral patterns in spring time aren't hard to find, but I wanted to find pieces that ticked two trends; pastels and florals. It was definitely love at first sight when I spotted this romantic flouncy maxi dress in H&M. The stunning pastel watercolour print lends itself perfectly for summer parties or weddings. In fact, I'm a God Mother next month, and this may be the one I wear for the Christening!


Long Sleeve Mini Dress - Another H&M find, was this stunning pastel yellow mini dress. I was drawn to it because of the sleeves. I really dislike my arms, so anything with sleeves is automatically on my hit list. Team this with some chunky trainers and a wicker basket for the perfect SS18 look.


Floral Wicker Bag -  Florals don't just have to be on clothes! I found lots of accessories sporting the on trend pattern too. This beauty is from Topshop and really is stunning.  Wicker bags and baskets are massive for summer, but this embroidered bag is a unique take on the trend and is perfect to add to any basic look, even just mom jeans and a white tee!


Floral Tea Dress - Tea dresses are one of my fave styles. This cute mini dress in cornflower blue from New Look is a great way to add florals into your wardrobe. It has an ultra flattering cut, and the V neck is great for nearly every figure and at just £19.99 it's a bargain too!

Worked Denim


Rainbow Jeans - Worked denim was EVERYWHERE. Literally every store I went in, so it was difficult to pick my faves, but I went with pieces I think were the most 'wearable' and would easily fit into people's wardrobes. Starting off with these stunners! With festival season in full swing, these skinny jeans with embroidered glitter stripes from Topshop are a perfect alternative to the standard shorts/dress look!


Slogan Jacket - My absolute favourite worked denim piece (with the added floral trend too). This slogan, oversized denim jacket from Topshop is a statement piece that will last you much longer than just SS18. It's sassy slogan will make you stand out in a crowd - wear over a cute tea dress for the ultimate 90s outfit.


Striped Jeans - Worked denim is all about that little twist on your usual pieces. Although these skinny jeans from H&M haven't technically been "worked" I just loved the use of the different tones of blue denim against the bright white. Mixing denims is always a good look, so to find it all on one pair of jeans is a winner for me!


Lilac 


Lilac Suit - Okay, so I went a little more focused on the pastel trend. Lilac is THE colour of the season, and I wanted to show you my favourite co-ord from Topshop and how you can wear it different ways throughout summer. First off; as a suit! Bold for some, but a block of colour isn't as scary as you would think. Team with a light vest top (or polka crop top if you're brave!). 



Lilac Blazer -  The blazer on it's own is still a fantastic nod to the pastel trend. I teamed it with my high waisted jeans and a black vest top to make sure the lilac really popped!


Team With NeutralsAbsolutely loved the way they merchandised the jacket on its own, with some beige buckled trousers and an embroidered blouse. Just goes to show that this on trend shade really can go with anything!

What I bought 

I ended up with the beautiful summer mix dress from H&M, this very on trend, line drawing detailed bag, and a classic oversized camel jumper - also from H&M!




I always love popping along to Golden Square. The size and variety of the shops means I can always find things that have sold out online, and the Lookbook live event just added to the warm friendly vibes I always get. For more information about the event, check out the link here

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!

© Fashion Panic

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