Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Comfort Zone

A wise man (Lao Tzu, to be precise) once said: "A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar", which is all well and good, but doesn't translate too well into the modern world in my opinion.

In many ways, I have always been in the "no pain no gain" school of style. Not that I'm willing to torture myself but I tend to make an effort. When I'm at uni though, engaging in scholarly pursuits of my very own, I'd be an absolute fool not to highly rate comfort. I don't even do a great deal of walking around campus but comfy shoes are a no-brainer.

For me, there are only two options for comfy flats:

Bloch Ballet Flats

Good enough for dancers, good enough for me. Every colour under the sun, and a world of comfort. Effortless class.

Here's my completely over-worn (but still standing and still very much adored) cappuccino-coloured pair:

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Melissa Flats

Comfy, adorable rubbery goodness. Surprisingly versatile. And who doesn't want a pair of shoes that smell like bubblegum? Yes, really. (P.S. They're also available at ASOS)

These are my very own beloved pair of the 'smoky orb' style, but a fair few of the others (particularly the beige buckled) are on my wishlist:

Stay comfy, it doesn't make you any less of a scholar in my eyes.

Ciao for now,

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Good Vintage

The problem with my blog... (or at least, one of them) is that you only get to see a couple of aspects of my style. It's a lot easier for me to write about high street and designer items than it is one-off pieces, like those I've accumulated from sample sales, fashion shows, thrift stores, charity shops, vintage shops, boutiques and pop-up shops, my travels, and inherited items.

However, we live in the age of have-anything-any-time. Vintage shopping takes on a whole new dimension when you can access it via your trusty laptop. It's hard to know if an item has the right 'feel', the right look, the right fit, but there's no harm in browsing, and the beauty of vintage is that you never know what you'll find!

My Vintage is a site that seems dedicated to making vintage as accessible as possible. It gives you the option of searching by colour, era or size and has a range of designer and non-designer pieces and therefore a whole range of prices too. I love the 'Search By Era' option, and personally find the jewellery on offer to be particularly beautiful - I'm especially partial to a nice vintage brooch.

 Art Deco Handmade Stained Glass Crystal Swallow Brooch Handmade Reproduction Baroque/Rococo Swarovski Crystal Cameo Bracelet Reproduction Round Green Stained Glass Art Nouveau Brooch

Vintage Reproduction Silver Swarovski Crystal Lizard Bracelet  Monochrome Enamelled Dragonfly Vintage Style Brooch  Classic French Vintage Style Framed Cream Enamel Brooch

For similar finds in the real big wide world (well, in London at least), I head to the legendary Portobello Road Market (also my personal purse and clutch heaven), or to the antique shops and stalls on Islington High Street and Camden Passage (just off Upper Street, detailed in this link).

Rokit have been a staple of any London vintage shopper's list for quite a while. I personally visit their Covent Garden and Brick Lane outlets most often. Little did I know, trawling across the big smoke is no longer an issue due to their presence on the good old worldwide web. I will always love Rokit most for its leather goods - in particular bags, belts and shoes (below: Chanel, Bally) but more recently, for their astonishing array of leather shorts. Yes sir, there is indeed such a thing as an astonishing array of leather shorts - see for yourself.

In both the real world and the virtual one, I also visit Absolute Vintage for pretty dresses and cosy jumpers, and Beyond Retro for, well, everything. I got one of my favourite vintage finds - a cream satin and lace pencil skirt - from their branch just off London's Oxford Street.

Granted, these are some of the more 'commercial' vintage outlets (hence their web-readiness) and so can't offer the same bargains that smaller outlets, charity shops and thrift stores can, I know. They also sometimes deal more in 'reclaimed' garments than genuine vintage finds, but if you have money but no time (I have neither, boo-hoo), these are a great option as they minimise the trawling through endless rails (the most fun but most time-consuming part of any vintage adventure).

So take a trip to the past using the technology of the future and really upset the space-time continuum. I'm off to perm my hair, watch Back to the Future and crush on Marty McFly.

Ciao for now,

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Night Shift

It's pretty common for me to notice patterns in my outfit choices. Firstly, because even I have to admit that I don't deviate much from what I like (note to self: take more risks), and secondly, because I think I have one of those brains that really just likes noticing patterns.

I've recently noticed that my go-to outfit of choice for nights out seems to be a shift dress and nude heels. Not convinced? Allow me to elaborate. Presenting Exhibit A...

My friend Jeremy's 21st Birthday

This white chiffon shift with the embroidered neckline detail is just wonderful and was an impulse buy from the ever-trusty Topshop. The nude clutch is by Billy Bag. I also wore my nude court shoes from ASOS, featured in my post here. The facial expression is courtesy of one too many Cosmopolitans - shhhh!

And Exhibit B:
My 21st Birthday Outing, a few weeks later:

This black sequinned t-shirt shift was a last-minute panic purchase from ASOS, by Mink Pink. My word, am I glad I trusted my impulses on this occasion. I wore it with a pair of nude Balenciaga strappy platform sandals, which I got from a sample sale a while back.

Both dresses cost in the region of £35-£45 (I believe the Mink Pink one was reduced from around £90), so neither broke the bank - no wonder I could afford such a lovely holiday.

All in all, I think the moral of this sweet little tale is that a) impulse buys can be some of the best, and b) having a go-to style isn't always a bad thing. If it works for you, stick with it!

Ciao for now,

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

"the girls in their summer clothes pass me by"

Hello, hello. I'm back. In case you'd forgotten who I am (and let's face it, I wouldn't blame you), I'm apparently the worst blogger in the entire world. Just a quick note to say many thanks to the people who have still taken the time to check the blog over the past few months. I could give you a billion excuses but really, I just think your patience is commendable - I'd have given up on me long ago.

One of the many reasons I've been horribly absent is that I've been on holiday. The Mister and I made a somewhat last minute decision to stay at Le Meridien Hotel & Spa 5* resort in St. Julian's, Malta, and it was just perfect - here are a few pictures. I see this as a sort of last hooray for summer style, as Autumn has reared its actually-not-very-ugly head here in the UK. (Think conkers and falling leaves, as opposed to grey skies and drizzle, which I'm sure are just waiting in the wings for now.)

Frolicking in St. Julian's bay, wearing Topshop on Topshop
(forgive me o fashion father, for I have sinned.)

Faux-vintage bathing chic, courtesy of H&M
(robe) & New Look (bathing suit).

St. Julian's bay.
Streetlights and railings and quaint Mediterranean charm.

I don't know who Basil is, but I'll always
appreciate thoughtful street art.

Balluta Bay.
I really recommend the restaurant left of the arches - Barracuda.

The view from our balcony.
Just beautiful.

Me clambering over rocks in a much less ladylike manner than
the pictures suggest, at the blue lagoon, Gozo.

The bay. It was just so pretty,
I couldn't stop taking pictures.

The phenomenal blue lagoon.
I've never seen water so perfectly clear.

Other than that, the Summer just seems to have passed me by. I've had a very busy few months - I finished the second year of my degree, passed my exams, turned 21, went to Paris for the first time since moving there as an eighteen-year-old and whilst there, saw my first ever opera, and moved to Singapore and then moved back (a long, not-very-interesting story about graduation, job prospects, finances, etcetera etcetera). Later this week I'm going back to Leeds for my final year.

So, I guess my final request for this post is that you stay posted for more posts on all of the above. And in turn I promise to not use the word 'post' so much.

Ciao for now,