Monday, 17 December 2018

Christmas Styling With Monsoon

The festive season can be a bit of a sartorial nightmare. With office parties, family get togethers and quick after work drinks (that can turn into a long night!) you not only need a Christmas wardrobe that can get you through party season in style, you also need it to be versatile, comfortable and something you can rely on! Luckily, Monsoon have you got you covered. This year, their party collection has something for everyone. From statement pieces that will make you stand out in the crowd; to beautiful accessories that can dial that work wear up from zero to party hero!

For me, the Christmas season is definitely about wearable pieces that make you feel amazing. Most of my parties are mid-December, meaning I’ve already indulged in a few mince pies and several selection boxes, making it really important to get flattering, great quality pieces that can fit easily into my wardrobe. Working with Monsoon this Christmas has been a little bit of heaven. They really do have all aspects covered! I wanted to make sure I chose pieces that reflected my style, the occasion and were something a little bit special.

The first look on my list, was something to take me straight from the office to the party! It is the busiest season after all, and with time in short supply, something that was easily adaptable is a must have! Polka dots have been 2018’s hero print. Lasting well into winter, this pretty print is the perfect way to stay on trend; so the Daisy Dot Skirt was the piece I turned to. This skirt can easily be worn with hiker boots and a knitted sweater for a day time look, and then be transformed into the perfect party look by just adding a few details. To transform this into a night time look, I turned to one of AW18’s biggest must haves - sequins! This classic embellishment is now the only way to go when you want to shine! This Shilpa Sequin Top is one of Monsoon’s most versatile pieces. Easily worn with a pair of mom jean and some heels, it’s equally at home teamed with the spotty skirt and some incredible velvet platforms (more about those later!). To finish the look I added some chic hair clips (it’s all about doubling up!) and a circular evening bag - outfit compete! 

Next up was the annual Christmas Eve pub crawl. Not as raucous as it sounds; it’s actually become one of my favourite traditions. My childhood friends come home and we go to our local haunts. This is always a tricky one to style, as it involves walking in freezing temperatures, and then boiling next to the fire in a busy pub! I wanted something sparkly, but also stylish and comfortable. The Saturn Sequin Midi Dress ticked all the boxes. Its delicious golden sequins skim over any lumps and bumps and it hangs beautifully. Although stunning on its own, I wanted to make it a little more ‘pub friendly’ so decided to embrace the layering trend add the Charlotte Cowl Neck Jumper. This instantly makes the look more casual, and almost looks like I’m wearing a skirt, making it a totally new outfit; something that can be done with so many dresses! Teamed once again with my hero accessories; the stunning blue velvet Vanya Platforms, which instantly make the look modern and topped of with the Vienna Circular black bag - the perfect Christmas Eve look!

Finally, it’s the big day itself - Christmas day! For this look, I wanted something a little bit special, but something that I didn’t have to think too much about. Enter the Tanya Shooting Star Embellished jumpsuit. This stunning one piece is the perfect way to look effortlessly chic, with very minimum effort. You don’t have to worry about separates or what will go with what; just throw on this beauty and you’re ready for the festivities in one fail swoop! The beautiful embellishments make it feel Christmassy, without going OTT, and the wide legs and sheer sleeves ensure it is flattering for every figure. I kept the accessories simple; just two hair slides and the Vanya shoes to wear underneath this floor length work of art!

So there you have it. Three festive outfits, that can also be used as a mini capsule wardrobe. Mixed together with what you already 
have, you’ll have enough looks for many Christmases to come!

Tell us about the pieces you’ve chosen;

I’ve chosen pieces that immediately caught my eye. I love sparkles, but also like them to be ‘wearable’, so nothing ‘too much’. Pieces that can be worn again are my favourite!

I love to pick and choose trends. I like to keep up to date and modern, but love a classic twist, especially pieces that can last for years to come.

How will you be styling them this festive season?

I will be styling the pieces in various ways, but mainly in looks that can be worn in more than one way. Versatility is what it’s all about for me. Being able to wear the clothes again and again is always a bonus!

How will you wear them in the New Year?

All of the pieces I chose can be worn in so many ways. The polka dot skirt and cowl neck jumper are probably the easiest to ‘dress down’, but I know I can throw a leather jacket over the jumpsuit and make it a more causal look!


What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?

From Monsoon - As you can probably tell, I’m a sucker for sequins, and the Rainey Rainbow Sequin Dress is definitely on my Christmas list!

In General -  Definitely some pamper bits; face masks, nails varnishes and bubble bath!

 What’s your gifting fail safe

In my family, it’s definitely a bottle of good quality gin!


Friday, 7 December 2018

Christmas Shopping At Cheshire Oaks

Ahh Christmas...It can often mean time spent with loved ones, day time drinking and plenty of delicious food. However, it can also mean going in to total panic over gift buying, especially as there seems to be more people to buy for each year! Well I may be able to help...

Earlier in the week I was invited down to my favourite designer outlet; Cheshire Oaks. Just a 45 minute drive away from Manchester, and just 30 minutes from Liverpool; Cheshire Oaks is the largest outlet shopping centre in the UK! It has over 145 stores and restaurants, including some of my favourite designer high street clothing and homewear brands such as; Mulberry, Burberry, Marks & Spencers, Denby Pottery, Cath Kidston, Nike, Next and many many more - there really is something for every style, taste and mood!

As well as having 100s of stores offering up to 60% RRP, it's also THE place to eat and shop all in one place. My personal fave is the incredible Cafe Rouge, but they also have some other fab places like Yo Sushi and Wagamama! All this, along with free parking (top tip - head to the back of the outlet, to the multi-story car park, it's super handy and perfectly positioned), the majority of the outlet is undercover, so it's perfect for all weather - great for the very wet day I visited! 

My mission was to find Christmas presents for my family; including my 20 year old brother, 2 teenage boys, a new mum and my auntie who loves luxurious toiletries  - a challenge for any regular high street; so lets see how I got on!

I obviously needed a bit of help with all this present buying, so I asked along my mum (and personal photographer!) along for some lunch and shopping support. We started off by popping to the Costa coffee; setting things off right - with caffeine of course! Then headed straight to the shops! The best thing about Cheshire Oaks has to be the wide selection of stores. I personally love a good homewear store. With the new house, I'm always on the look out for bargains, and I wasn't disappointed. I found some beautiful pieces in Denby Pottery and also treated myself to a pan from Le Creuset; this was within 10 minutes of arriving...we had to remind ourselves that we were actually there for presents. 

First on the list was my auntie who loves Molten Brown. Their store has some of the best discounts, with most things having at least 30% off, and these are current lines too! We found the perfect bubble bath collection, which very handily came in a gift box, for just £35 (RRP £50). Whilst we were there we also picked up some gifts for my teenage cousins. Two gift sets for men, which were just £12 each - 3 presents done in one store! Walking around the outlet, we also came across a beautiful pop up shop selling personalised wooden gifts, something id not seen before. It just goes to show, it's not just  fantastic branded gifts; you can also pick up some really unique personalised presents too!

Somewhere in between the Cath Kidston store and Next, I found myself in the Clarks outlet. They were having a sale, meaning even more discounts on top of the outlet prices - heaven. I found some very on trend hiker boots, down to £50 from £180, so treated myself (again). They had so many gorgeous winter boots, it was pretty hard to narrow it down to just one pair! Next on the list to buy for was my 20 year old brother. He's pretty easy to buy for, as every year he wants Calvin Klein underwear. I usually have to fork out £35, but in the outlet store, I found the exact same pair for just £24 - yas! More or less next door to CK, was one of my favourite stores - M&S. As usual, I picked up a multipack of knickers (obvs) with 50% off - mum also got me some Rosie for Autograph PJs half off too; you really can't beat getting the things you would normally buy anyway, with such great discounts! Wandering round the centre, we also found the incredible festive corner, boasting Europe's largest walk in Christmas tree (not joking!). It felt like a mini German market, and even with the rain, it was busy and packed full of Christmas shoppers! Such a lovely surprise in the middle of the usual stores.

My favourite store of all (on this particular visit) had to be Cath Kidston. It was HUGE and part of Cheshire Oaks' new expansion. Best of all, most of the stock was up to date, and current season. I just don't know how they do it! You could pick up an over night bag for just £15 (Usually up to £65!). My cousin reads my blog, so I won't say exactly what we got her, but it's something that I know she'll love, and that I've seen for full price in their Manchester city store. Just like the other stores at Cheshire Oaks, Cath Kidston didn't feel like an typical outlet shop. It was set out beautifully, everything was laid out in order and it all had prices clearly showed (my pet hate is when there is no price!). The outlet as a whole is so beautifully set out, with lots of space to walk about; it doesn't feel crowded! You can get the latest trends, classic pieces and some amazing food all in one place - perfection.

Our final stop of the day was the Lindt Chocolate shop. I have to say, it was the busiest store without doubt. It was packed, floor to ceiling with delicious chocolates, and I could have stayed there all day. We ended up getting quite a lot, all with 30% off and all current stock - we spent over £20 so we got a free chocolate bar too!!!

We both had a fantastic day at Cheshire Oaks. We spent a good 4 hours wondering around shopping and eating, and really enjoyed ourselves. To make sure everyone gets the chance to do some Christmas shopping, the centre is open from 9am to 10pm during December, so lots of time to shop after work too! And don't worry if you're not local! McArthurGlen have 24 Outlets worldwide and 6 here in the UK; Ashford, Bridgend, Cheshire Oaks, East Midlands, Swindon and York!

A massive thank you to Cheshire Oaks for a wonderful day, and helping me get super organised and ready for Christmas! If you have any questions about a visit to the outlet, don't hesitate to email me, I'd be happy to help you plan your visit!


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Black Friday At Farfetch

It’s that time of year again! The best time of year if you ask me (and not just because it’s my birthday!). No, it’s the Black Friday sales week of course; and this year I’ve teamed up with the only place I buy my designer brands from; Farfetch. If you haven’t seen my blog post from earlier in the year, where I explored Farfetch’s vintage section (absolute heaven!), then let me introduce you to the website that’s been a major designer game changer! Farfetch does what it says on the tin; it fetches designer items from boutiques in far away lands (UK suppliers too), enabling you to get your hands on the best priced, must have designer pieces that you may not be able to find here in the UK stores. I found my beloved JW Anderson ‘Pierce Bag’ with a massive £300 saving, as the boutique it was sourced from was having a sale. Since then, it’s the first place I’ve gone for anything from Gucci loafers, to Loewe dream bags. This time, I’ve been hunting down my favourite pieces ahead of their Black Friday sale. I’ve given you some of AW18’s major trends along with some staples that you need in your life - enjoy!   

Etro Tartan Wool Trousers - Starting off with some absolute gems; tartan pants! If you’ve not seen them all over instagram, then keep an eye out for this winter trend that I’m 100% on board with. Team with a chunky cream knit for the ultimate chic look!

Alexander McQueen Chunky Sweater - Everyone needs a chunky knit sweater in their wardrobe. It’s not only a classic, it’s also the perfect way to to keep warm and chic in style. I’m obsessed with every single aspect of this Alexander McQueen jumper. Yes, it’s pricey, but with the discount, you’re practically making money; as cost per wear over the years will definitely work out well!

JW Anderson Black Disc Bag - If you already follow me, you’ll know how much I love my JW Anderson Pierce Shoulder bag. But this is the new kid on the block, and safe to say I’m obsessed. It’s also super handy over the body bag, something I’ve found I missed with the shoulder bag. Yes to this!

Givency Shearling Jacket - And finally, the shearling jacket to end the hunt for any coat for the rest of your LIFE. It was always going to be a hit with me, from it’s minimalistic design, and the masculine boxy cut; it’s just perfection in the shape of a coat. Top of 
my list!

Stella McCartney Eclipse Trainers - Okay, so I’ve clearly gone mad for the ugly trainer trend this year, but you know, too much is never enough! And I obviously need a pink Stella McCartney pair. I love that they’re just the right amount of “chunk”, but guarantee my dad will hate them!

Calvin Klein Claire Western Boots - Cowboy boots. Slightly marmite-esque, and something I wasn’t super keen on when I saw them on the catwalks. But since I’ve seen how chic they can look (thanks to Instagram) I’m now on the hunt for the perfect pair…and think I’ve found them with these CK dreams! They’re not too Milky Bar Kid, and the black patent makes them an instant classic that will go with everything!


Sunday, 13 May 2018

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!


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.


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 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!

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig