Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recently I'm Wearing

Another week, another 600 or so miles travelled. The whole splitting my time thing has been getting a touch weary of late, so it's a good thing I had a legit excuse to avoid it as we head into a new week. I'm actually in London as this goes live, hopefully with a positive outcome on one or two things I'm up to. 

Topshop jumper, Zara skirt, New Look boots. Since buying this jumper in the late summer, the only thing I regret is not picking up another colour way- it's the perfect autumn jumper for me- long enough to wear over slimmer bottoms, but short enough to tuck loosely into a higher waist, it's a jumper, but not so heavy weight that I can't wear a jacket over it comfortably.... oh and it's got multicoloured rainbow thread through it. Ahem. 

ASOS tunic/blouse, H&M leggings, Spanish pashmina, Clarks flats. This top has been a bit of a favourite since it landed from an ASOS sale last year. whith a colour and buttoms part way down it's a touch smarter than my usual tunic styles, but super comfy, easy wear and a touch different with it's batwing sleeves. I'm looking forward to breaking out my winter boots to wear with this comnbo too, if I can prise the flats from my feet. 

Topshop flecked tee, Primark denim leggings, New Look boots. When I put this outfit on, on a dreary work morning, I had visions of the beautiful and effortlessly stylish Michelle of Daisybutter who wears slim trousers and ankle boots so well. Alas, I seem to be lacking in the slender legs department and I've vowed not to wear these beloved boots until I can get my legs back in better shape. 6 months of a drug regimen that dehydrates so much I was warned not to indulge in hardcore exercise (I ignored the warning, I paid the price, I learned my lesson), have left me feeling uncomfortable with my body in many respects, and looking back on some pictures I tried to take of a 'proper' outfit last week made me realise I'm going to have to find new ways to get back in shape until running is on the cards and I'm somewhere close enough to a swimming pool.

Hero&Cape tee (yes, this one!)
Au contraire to the feelings brought out with last outfit, I can't help but smile when I see and wear this t-shirt. Gold 'tasche and bowler hat.... come on!
I really enjoyed putting some thought into styling the t-shirt, and it was a fab reminder that whilst to some, the cost this t-short might seem a lot, that you value for money is not just about what something costs in the first place. My last Her&Cape t-shirt has survived infinite wears and washes, and continues to be a favourite, and like that one, this is another original piece of design work. In some respects I think the internet has devalued original pieces of intellect- Artwork, words, ideas, knowledge. Just because there are free options doesn't mean there is no value to it, and maybe a few more of ought to be thinking of the value of these things. For me this is a constant issue as the business I'm involved in trades on knowledge, trust, and sometimes a non-tangible product.

Topshop Cat Scarf, H&M wool coat, Clarks flats
The first real chill in East Anglia as I departed for London this weekend. I was rather glad of my coat then although being unused to the balmier London temperatures, I've subsequently spent the rest of the week throwing said coat off in hot sweats!

Primark dress, ASOS shoes, Spanish scarf.
My dress of choice for the interview I had on Monday for pretty much the job of my dreams. I have EVERYTHING crossed, and hope my flash of colour and winning personality made a good and memorable impression.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Why I'm Off Fashion Magazines

Today, I want to talk about this. Because this is why I'm no longer prepared to buy and read one particular fashion magazine.

Yeah, I really did see this in one of the most known fashion magazines in the UK. Seriously. There are several HUNDRED things wrong with this but first and foremost, can I just say. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? 

I'm going to be honest and say, right now, me and my body are not having a harmonious relationship. It doesn't look, feel or behave quite how I would like it to just at present, and I know that for some people, it's a difficulty they have to face every single day- whether through illness (mental or physical), disability or through lacking confidence in themselves or their body image. I'm fortunate in that I know what I can- and am doing to improve this relationship, but reading things like this in the press, it reminds me that as a society, we have a seriously long way to go in improving general attitudes to how we view our bodies and their functions. 

Firstly- why should we want to make ourselves look smaller? There are a lot men and women who would gladly gain a few kilos. For health reasons, and those who are slender, who prefer the idea of a more curvaceous figure. So Fash mag, screw your ideals. 

Secondly- Er buy my clothes a size up so they don't fit properly? Purposely spend money on something that might provide me with a one season wonder look and then wonder why on earth I have a wardrobe full of clothes that I would just LOVE if only they fit properly... Yeah, great. Really savvy. 

Thirdly- WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. Yes, I'm still wondering who on this earth thought it would be ok to promote women trying to make themselves look smaller. As someone who spent so many years hearing others speak untruths of me that I started to believe those untruths, the continued bombardment of any kind of negative message such as this one, has GOT to be a bad thing? 

One of the many things I like about blogging- and reading blogs across a huge variety of areas, themes, topics and personalities, is that I get a healthy mix of opinions and images. I love that I see beautiful women with varying styles, shapes, outlooks and opinions every day. So... everyone needs to be smaller- yeah, not today thanks. 

I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this. Hit me with your opinions folks. 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

What I Wore This Week- The Hero&Cape edition

Remember this? Alex of Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks and I styled off these amazing Hero&Cape T-shirts from their first collection, aside a few snags with fit, these have proven to be beautiful, original t-shirts, unlike anything else about, and the kind of t-shirt that brings a bit MORE to the party.

With the latest shiny new collection recently released- The Offbeat Collection- including a wider choice of t-shirt fits and styles, and as ever some impeccable and original designs, it shouldn't really surprise you that Alex and I decided it might be time to do it all over again!

T-shirt, Hero&Cape £25

When I first decided to grab some pictures (thanks to T and the new garden setting), I was desperate to get some pictures of my new trousers (yes, those ones) that I've pretty much been living in when I'm not bundled up in thick cosy tights, so here they are. My new favourite Uniqlo trousers!

T-Shirt, Hero&Cape
Trousers, Uniqlo
Flats, Clarks

Things I like about this- throw on a blazer and tuck in the shirt, and I'd be happy going to work, throw on my biker jacket and I'd be just as happy people watching and coffee drinking (what I ended up doing). More things I like- a t-shirt that's long enough to wear over something low rise without constantly showing the world my back/behind/stomach. It has a GOLD MOUSTACHE and a bowler hat.

A few things the more observant amongst you might have noticed.... not my usual location! These are the first pictures taken in the garden of the new house. I'm not living there full time so I doubt there will be many here, but I have, as it were, christened the place!

The new style of tee that Hero&Cape are using! Isn't it amazing?! The last time we did this, both Alex and I were a little disappointed that the t-shirt itself wasn't all that flattering for either of our shapes, but a new finer jersey, a wider neckline and shorter sleeves on these new styles make all the difference. FYI I'm wearing a size S, which equates to an 8 apparently. I usually wear more like a 10 but this fits well and I wasn't looking for something to over sized. MAJOR thumbs up that the very lovely people behind Hero&Cape have taken they're product to the next level.

I'm definitely not blonde. I've been trying out darker colours on my hair since April, and this is the latest one. A slighter cooler brunette. I'm not sure I'm sold on it though. I like my hair dark, but struggling to find something that's warm enough without being borderline red. Help please? Any suggestions would be most welcome!

And I'll leave you with Alex, and how she styled it this time.... don't forget to go over and check it out


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weather Girl

As some of you might know from Twitter and Instagram, I'm spending a lot of time presently on the M6 up and down between Cumbria and East Anglia. Whilst this weekly trawl has it's down sides, one of the upsides is the varying weather I get to see on journey's and through the week... Thought I'd share some recent favourites...

Cumbria autumnal leaves

Lancashire rainbows

Weather coming in on the bay

Another M6 stopover. In the rain. 

The sky on FIRE in Cambridgeshire

What have you seen that's left you awe struck this autumn? The weather really inspires me sometimes, watching the changes that are inflicted upon us from the sun, the rain, the wind, and the light. Geeky? I don't care.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

I couldn't not share this, it was a truly needed after lunch treat this week!

A touch of background, Herman is the sourdough friendship cake thing that did the rounds, except we kept ours going, fiddled with a number of recipes for making up the cake, and decided as cakes go, they're pretty good and have to a better sweet treat than chocolate or bought sweets/cakes etc. This little version was a desperate there'snothinginthecupboardsbutweneedcake version made with part ground almonds/part flour, and with a dollop of raspberry jam in the centre.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Buying Better- Quality Not Quantity

Earlier in the summer I mentioned I was on a mission to buy better- spend a little more on better quality items of clothing in order to find better value. Remember this?

Well I'm pleased to report that it's going well, Having done a fair bit of wardrobe clearance  I've been moving towards a more grown up approach to replacing items- find things that suit a broader range of occasions and realising that I'll never be a fashion-type who can get away head to toe trends all the time. 

A few recent purchases. 

Ankle length trousers, Uniqlo 

2 more pairs of £11 denim leggings that will last approximately 2 months. Or... a pair of trousers that can be dressed up or down, worn for work or shopping or play, with flats or with heels, cost £29.90 and are more likely to last 2 years. For me it's a no brainer, ankle length trousers have been on my hit list since I saw my mum rocking them recently and realise they could be a perfect non-denim addition to my own wardrobe. Uniqlo are my go to for reasonable basics- they're not the cheapest on the market, neither are they the most expensive, but they're fits come in a good variety of sizes AND half sizes, and past experience with their items tells me that cost-per-wear will be exceptional. 

Outfit details HERE

Carousel Ride Flats, Clarks

I do love a bit of leopard print, and cliché or not I think a leopard print pair of flats is as much an essential pair of fallback shoes as a black pair. These were by no means an 'expensive' pair of shoes. At £29.99 you could buy 2 or 3 much cheaper pairs that look similar, but having fully cemented myself as a Clarks addict in the last 6 months, I've come to appreciate that it's what you don't see- the soles- which are rubberised and cannot be folded in half, and the soft cushioning inside that ensure I can't feel each individual piece of gravel digging through into my feet. Again, cost per wear on Clarks shoes so far- off the scale and with regular 20% off discount codes, I've never actually paid full price for my shoes. 

Bra, Rosie for Autograph (Marks & Spencer)

Friends have laughed a plenty at my penchant for pretty underwear, understanding perhaps why I chose to by from a brand that has long been known for it's underwear and placing importance on regularly being fitted and not always assuming I'll be the same size, but not so much why I love silk, lace, pretty colours and fine details. You can't see it, after all. But good underwear- and not just well fitting underwear, but beautiful pieces, they show in the confidence it gives you- the smile that says I know something that you don't, and makes you feel feminine- wherever you, whatever you're doing. Worth £22.50? Every time. I'm in the process of overhauling my underwear drawer as I have a few bras on their last legs at the moment, and I've taken to purchasing one new bra each month. This sage green silk and french lace beauty... my favourite yet. And yes, there are matching knickers. I prefer to keep those off the blog.... call it a gift for T. 

I feel I should probably clarify, I'm not banishing Primark/Supermarket ranges/name your fast fashion brand from my wardrobe, but I've fallen into the trap of buying too much from just that sector of the market before now. Instead, my budget pieces have been a couple of trend lead items that I'll enjoy wearing for now, but won't be sad to drop off the end of the rail come spring or summer once they've been worn and washed and are beginning to fray or fade. 

This t-shirt is part of the outfit I'll be wearing this evening for an event in the City that I'm super excited about, you might recognise it from my Nigeria outfits in July. It's an Asda special but something a little different fir me. 

Would love to hear if anyone else has recently become less enamoured with fast fashion and cheaper clothing, hit me with how you're moving away from it or ideas you've had for mixing it all up. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Recently I'm Wearing

So yeah... the WIWT addiction roles on, but the comments and views would suggest that my posts here collating what I've been wearing recently go down rather well. This edition features a couple of new purchases, more on those after the weekend.

 Topshop flecked tee, Zara skirt, Primark Cardigan, Clarks Flats
George at Asda knitted tunic, H&M leggings, Clarks flats, Spanish scarf

I'm loving this cheap and cheerful knitted tunic from Asda at the moment, it's great for cooler dry days with a pair of flats and some decent quality leggings and is such an easy wash and wear. The Zara skirt is my old faithful (remember THIS) and lives to see another winter. It's been a big reminder to me that sometimes you get what you pay for- this skirt was not expensive at £9.99, but having also seen a £6 version in Primark, I almost didn't buy it. Safe to say not much that I've purchased 2-3 years ago from Primark has lasted as much wash and wear as this simple skirt!

 Primark Jumper, Uniqlo ankle length trousers, Clarks flats
Primark t-shirt dress & belt, New Look boots (as below), Spanish Scarf

These Uniqlo trousers are an absolute DREAM. A great purchase last weekend, they're comfy, easy to care for and a really easy way to do casual but elegant and avoid denim. my favourite wear so far has definitely been with a light weight jumper and flats, but I'm looking forward to donning some simple heels and a loose fit shirt for a smarter update.

Clothing at Tesco dress, Primark belt
New Look boots

These boots are going to feature heavily, I can tell. They were the only pair left in store, and actually a size bigger than usual, but I snatched them off the shelf to try on regardless, as I tend to wear heaftier socks with boots anyway, and behold, they fit. The Tesco dress is a nightmare to capture as the fabric is ever so slightly shiny, but considering it cost me NOTHING, yes, NADA using Tesco clubcard vouchers in their Clubcard Exchange event this summer (more on this and the dress HERE).


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Importance of Being Fabulous

You know when you walk into a shop, and the shop assistants are so edgily dressed in the brands goods, and even the security guard is looking you up and down to assess if you *really* belong there... yeah. That. I spent the weekend just gone in London and wanted to a bit of shopping, as you do, and the experience set a lot of thoughts running through my ahead- quite aside the usual ' OOOOOOH CAT SLIPPERS' or 'I. Need. That.'.

Purchase of the weekend for you...

I am not a confident person. This seems to come as a surprise to people, mostly because through necessity, I have learned that you have to have your various public faces in order to remain professional or to meet people in new situations. I wouldn't say that those public faces are entirely different personas to my own, but I think if we're all brutally honest with ourselves, we all have a reserve of something that we use when we need it, to project the version of ourselves that we want or need others to see.

I wasn't the brightest or the best at school or at uni, although I have some strong opinions, I'm wary of areas when I don't feel my knowledge is in depth enough to argue a notion (see- politics), I'm not particularly beautiful or attractive- certainly not in an attention grabbing kind of way, and I won't wow you with stunning wit or awesome impressions.

I can however, make a decent cookie, I speak 3 languages to a reasonable standard, I know how to get my head down and work 14 hour day internships whilst trying to study full time, I can still swim 6KM without too much training and I can make a dress from scratch, including the pattern itself if I have a whole day to myself and the right frame of mind.

Shop assistants can look you up and down as much as they please, and yes, you'll probably wander out of the shop realising that much as you'd like to be the kind of girl who wears the brand in question (FYI the shop was Forever 21 on Oxford street), but do you really want to be that person?

It's taken me a long time to work out who I am and what I want, and the process of learning about oneself is never ending, nor should it be, but understanding who you are really helps to remind you why you're so fabulous, and truly, we all are. I'll forever marvel those who can are academically strong or who have wonderful recall memory, I am never the girl whose phone wasn't charged so she couldn't reply to your text and I've met plenty of people who ask me how I manage life in general when I have a lot on. I'll never be the kind of girl who is dressed head to toe in the latest edgy trends- or even in Topshop/Forever 21/insertcoolgirlbrandofchoice, but I am the kind of girl who can make a £10 dress look good enough to get compliments from a footballers wife wearing several thousand pounds worth of outfits.

It's important that we all remember these fabulous points, because nothing seems to irritate a snarky shop assistant or the horridly superior person on your course at uni or the one that sits 3 desks over and thinks a salary band also equates to the difference between being worthy of common courtesy more, than smiling as you remember the time that you managed to get up, dressed, made up, and to work on time despite waking up 30 minutes before you were due to be sat at said desk/in said lecture. And nothing will make you walk taller than when you remember that yes, yes it is you who has over 250 people interested enough to read what you publish online a few times a week.

The importance of being fabulous- absobloodylutely crucial.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


So you might know the new James Bond movie is coming out very soon, I'm in London this weekend and every second billboard I've seen has been for something Bond related. One brand cashing in happens to be O.P.I. and although I was tempted by the glitter polish, my mum bought me this miniatures which it turns out was a rather lovely thank you gift and so much better than another glitter polish.

Skyfall Minis, O.P.I, gifted

Live And Let Die- GoldenEye- The World Is Not Enough

Aren't the pretty? All of these were taken with Instagram, and I selected the filters to try and best capture the true to life colour of the polish- all three of these have copious amounts of shimmer, sparkle or glitter, so they're hellish to capture.

Both Live And Let Die and The World Is Not Enough are painted over a dark base coat, and and GoldenEye is a 3 coats over a clear base coat. I haven't yet tried the red (The Spy Who Loved Me) but I think it'll be a nice dramatic touch a simple black dress.

I don't usually buy into the various special ranges or collaborations, but in this case, it was a fab gift that I've enjoyed playing with. GoldenEye in particular is like liquid gold, and the gunmetal shade of silver that you get from The World Is Not Enough is amazing. All in all.. THANKS MUM!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat...

Earlier in the year, the lovely people from CyberCandy let me try 5 of their products in exchange for product descriptions. American sweeties... in exchange for a few words of descriptions... if only all jobs paid so well.

Naturally on my chosen hit list were a childhood favourite- Jolly Ranchers. I used to end up with all sorts of American goodies as a kid as we lived near several US Air bases, and my mum had a friend who was married to a Colonel in the US Air Force....

These tasty tasty treats are like a boiled sweet, but the flavour is super intense and they're square!


If you're into your American sweet treats, then CyberCandy is the place for you, I'm currently putting a bit of an order together to treat myself as I've been a bit under the weather this last week or so. They're also a super friendly bunch and have real proper shops in various cities. Go check them out. 

P.S. this is not sponsored, and although the products were provided FoC, they were not provided for blog review/advertising purposes.