Friday, 18 April 2014

Harrogate Haul

Hello, everybody!

Sorry I didn’t post last week; I recently restarted painting so I was working on one of my first pieces of art since secondary school.

This haul is from a few weeks ago when I booked a couple of days of work to go home and spend some time with my parents.

My mum and I went into Harrogate for the day and I couldn’t believe how amazing the shopping was!

The mid-season sales had just started so I managed to get lots of great bargains.

Gingham Dress – Topshop - £20 (Sale)
Floral Pastel Tunic – Topshop - £10 (Sale)
Cream Top – Topshop - £20 (Sale)
Nude Ballet Flats – Primark - £4

I wanted to buy into the gorgeous gingham trend of SS14, hence this lovely long sleeved smock from Topshop.

I also adored the floral pastel print of this short sleeved tunic, which will look fab dressed down with leggings and ballet flats (like the cute nude ones pictured) for the Spring.

I then purchased an oversized, structured cream tee to pair with a pencil or mini skirt for smart casual occasions in the new season.

Giraffe and Floral Lunch Boxes – Cath Kidston - £8 for Two

This one’s a bit of a random one but, since I started working in the Fossil office, I’ve been cling filming my sandwiches for lunch every day and stuffing them in my handbag. It’s not very hygienic and I always end up with super squashed sarnies.

When I saw this pair of lunch boxes in Cath Kidston, one with giraffes and one with flowers, I just knew that they had to be mine! Goodbye, rubbishy sandwiches – hello fresh yummies!

Additionally, I picked up a few bits for my upcoming holiday to Alicante with Kane.

Denim printed cami, hot pink floral dress and strappy aztec number with flipflops that compliment the colour ways in all three pieces? Yes, please!

Denim Printed Cami – Primark - £5
Hot Pink Floral Dress – Primark -£6
Strappy Aztec Dress – Primark - £8
Ikat Flip Flops – Accessorize - £8

Travel Bottles – Primark - £1

I also got the little travel bottles that Primark have on sale for a quid; they are the perfect size for a week away and really convenient because you then just simply throw them away!

Sherbet – Wetherby Sweet Shop - £2 for Two
Candy Letters – Wetherby Sweet Shop - £1

The final purchase was some sweeties from Wetherby’s sweet shop. We stopped off on the way home and I’m so glad that we did! I got some old school sherbet and candy letters.

I loved them - and the whole day in general!

(What's your favourite piece from this haul? Have you shopped in Harrogate before? Thanks for stopping by! Katie-xo)

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Grey Ikat

Happy Saturday, everybody!

This is the first weekend that my boyfriend and I have spent together since February, so we're trying to make the most of it!

Last night we had a lovely meal and drinks at Frankie and Benny's (I might have been a little tipsy!) Then today we went into town, did some shopping and saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the cinema. If you haven't seen it yet then make sure you do so! It's a good one.

I thought I'd throw on something super casual this morning; when I know that I'm going to the cinema, I tend to steer towards the comfort factor more than anything. I don't understand it when people get massively dressed up just to sit in the dark for two or three hours (unless it's a first date and you want to make a good first impression!)

I personally prefer to dress down so I can curl up on my seat, hence this OOTD!

My sister bought me these ikat printed leggings for my birthday last September and I thought it was about time that I dragged them out of the back of my wardrobe. After all, monochrome prints are hot for SS14 after being seen on designer catwalks such as Holly Fulton and Erdem (read my full trend report here).

As the leggings are quite fussy and make a statement all on their own, I thought I'd pair them with my new slouchy grey knit jumper in order to keep the colour palette classic.

I then added my new sandal-boots, or sandoots as people might start calling them. I bought these babies in the Topshop sale last month (check out the haul post here) and I'm head over heels in love with them. I adore how unique they are as a concept for a shoe; they're a cross between sandals and boots, therefore great footwear for the Spring period.

I then thought I'd add a bit of shine through my metallic Fossil bag and silver jewellery - isn't it amazing how accessories can dress up and complete an outfit?! Without accessories, I'm convinced that my outfits would look incredibly drab. 

I also wore the watch that used to belong to my Grams. It has a beautiful white leather strap, which complimented the creamy-white hue of my printed leggings.

The final touch was my black leather jacket - a staple for any girl's wardrobe and perfect to combat those chilly April winds.

Ikat Print Leggings - H&M (Last Season)
Slouchy Grey Knit Jumper - Topshop
Sandal-Boots - Topshop (Sale)
Black Leather Jacket - Vintage
Metallic Handbag - Fossil
Silver Heart Necklace - Tiffany's
White Leather Strap Watch - D&G 

I'm really enjoying my weekend so far and I hope you lovely lot are, too! See you soon!

(Do you like my outfit? What are you up to this weekend? Thanks for stopping by! Katie-xo)

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

I'm a Unicorn! Bleach London Hair Dye Review

If you've seen me in person recently, you'll know that I'm championing unicorn/My Little Pony hair.

Yes, folks - my hair is currently pink. (PINK!)

I've never dyed my hair a crazy colour before. The closest I got was the purpley tint on my brunette do last year, but that didn't last long.

I've been blonde, I've been brunette, I've been a redhead - heck, I even went through a gingery stage back in the day.

But when I read about this new semi-permanent dye that could give a gal a hair update, enough to eliminate boredom without the pressure of having to commit long-term, I thought: why not?

Bleach London is a London-based hair salon that specialises in colour. They currently sell their own-label products in the salon, as well as in Boots and online. This bottle of semi-permanent dye is a mere fiver, and comes in a variety of colours; from 'Sea Punk' to 'Tangerine Dream'.

I chose 'Rose' pink as my first experimentation.

You wash your hair as normal and then apply the dye after towel drying. You just apply it where you want to see the colour - whether it's just a few strips here and there or, if you're feeling brave, all over your head.

As it's my first time with pink hair, I decided to just colour the ends to start with. I'm going for a bit of an 'ombre' effect, with this still being on trend after transcending numerous seasons.

You leave the dye on for 15 minutes, then simply rinse it out with water. It lasts between 2 and 10 washes, therefore fades with time.

I'm so happy with the results! The pink is quite pastelly and subtle enough not to change my look dramatically, but prominent enough for people to notice and comment!

It's also quite summery. I definitely want to try the 'Parma Violets' one next!

As Bleach London say, life's a bleach and then you dye...

(What do you think of my new hair? What colour would you try? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

Friday, 14 March 2014

March Haul

Happy Friday, everybody!

It's been a while since I treated myself to shiny, new things. Therefore - behold - shiny, new things!

I always like to have a little splurge around this time of year when the Spring/Summer collections start to filter their way onto the high street.

The most popular trends from the SS14 catwalks that I've seen in the shops so far are pastels, gingham, structured tailoring, texture, utilitarian chic and digital prints.

I bought into pastels last S/S, but my first pastel purchase of SS14 is this checked beauty from H&M. I liked the shirt so much that I bought a scarf from Primark in practically the same print and colour way!

I also got a summery photography print tee to wear with my denim skirt and a basic black boyfriend tee to throw on with my geometric print leggings.

Pastel Checked Shirt - H&M - £14.99
Pastel Checked Scarf - Primark - £4.00
Photography Print Tee - Primark - £5.00
Black Boyfriend Tee - Primark - £3.00

Then I needed some new sunglasses in preparation for the sunshine that we'll hopefully get this summer! I absolutely adore these leopard print sunglasses from Primark, as well as these black ones with round rims which make me look like an oversized bug!

I also grabbed a bit of bling; I'm in love with midi rings, in particular, at the moment and Primark has some super cheap!

Leopard Print Sunglasses - Primark - £3.00
Black Round Rimmed Sunglasses - Primark - £2.00
Gold Midi Rings - Primark - £1.50
Gold Leaf Ring - Primark - £2.00
Gold Triangle Earrings - Primark - £1.00

I'm a big fan of the monochrome trend too, which seems to have transcended the last couple of seasons. Therefore, I couldn't resist this gingham monochrome smock dress from New Look. It's so cute and a great piece to wear through the transitional period from A/W to S/S. I can layer it with chunky knits and leggings, or strip it right back with just bare legs and a pair of converse.

Monochrome Gingham Smock Dress - New Look - £17.99

I also found these bad boys in the Topshop sale; they were the only pair left so it was meant to be! They are quite unique as far as shoes go, as they are a cross between boots and sandals, but that's why I like them! I always say it's better to embrace individuality, than be afraid of it because it's different or out of the norm.

I'll be giving these a go, anyway!

Sandal Boots - Topshop - £20.00

Now that my debit card has taken a good bashing, I don't think I can buy anything for a while! But this haul should last me a good few months? Okay, maybe not months, but definitely a good few weeks.

(What's your favourite piece in this haul? What will you be buying for S/S? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sun, Moon and Stars

Hello, everyone!

Apologies for not posting last week - I've been super busy with work and then I went to Liverpool at the weekend for my friend's belated birthday.

However, I am back! (With a bang!)

I shot this OOTD a couple of weeks back and meant to upload it sooner - bad blogger! I've noticed lots of other fashionistas uploading OOTD's around the very same dress in my absence, so I hope I haven't missed the boat!

I am, of course, talking about THE sun, moon and stars smock dress from Motel. A little bit 90's print, a little bit's 60's babydoll style, a little bit grungy - this dress is adorable and I'm very much in love with it right now.

As a lot of bloggers have already been styling it, I've tried to go for something different.

In the transitional period between AW13 and SS14, it's tough to get it right with an outfit as the weather goes from one extreme to the next. I put on a jumper and I'm hot, flustered and looking like a tomato; I put on a t-shirt and I feel like I belong in the North pole.

It's all about the layers, people!

On this particular morning, it was sunny but rather chilly. I put on a white long sleeved top underneath the dress, which highlighted the white in the sun, moon and stars print.

I also threw on the thickest pair of black tights I could find and my black cut out boots. I added the white frilly socks to tap into the 90's look of the dress and balance out the prominence of the white in the top half of my outfit.

I decided to keep the colour palette simplistic in order to let the dress do the talking. Monochrome is a key trend this SS14 (read my SS14 trend report here), as well as ice-cream shades.

I added the pastel blue satchel as the colour-popping piece in the outfit.

I also added some silver accessories to dress up the outfit for a day out with friends.

Pastel Blue Satchel - Fossil (*)
Deathly Hallows Necklace - Harry Potter Set Tour Gift Shop
Silver Watch - Fossil (*)
Silver Rings - Emporio Armani

Then my natural-looking make-up and wavy hair adds to the laid-back, casual essence of the look.

Sun, Moon and Stars Dress - Motel (use my discount 'ispytrends' to get 20% off)
White Long Sleeved Tee - Primark
Black Tights - M&S
White Frilly Socks - Primark
Black Cut Out Boots - eBay
Pastel Blue Satchel - Fossil (*)

Have a lovely weekend!

(What do you think to this outfit? Do you like the sun, moon and stars dress? Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)

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Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Apartment at LFW

Last Monday I was lucky enough to spend the day at The Apartment - an exclusive bloggers' event at London Fashion Week.

(Image courtesy of The Apartment)

The Apartment is the brainchild of blogger Abisola (who you may know better as Abimarvel), now in its second year. Set in a fancy, aspirational location, it's a place where some of the UK's top bloggers can drop by in between LFW shows in order to relax, interact with brands and catch up on their blogging.

Fossil, the company that I currently work for, was the official accessories sponsor for The Apartment's AW14 LFW season. This meant that they got their own space in a luxury condo in Mayfair where The Apartment was held, which happened to be the master bedroom. It was decorated with SS14 product and marketing imagery relating to 'On the Open Road' – Fossil’s theme for 2014 intertwined with the company’s 30th anniversary.


There were also retro references in the space through the ornaments and furniture, as Fossil is known for their ‘modern vintage’ values.


Then, as a way of celebrating their 30th anniversary, Fossil decided to have activities going on in the space.

The company is currently hosting a watch tin design competition (which closes 28th February) where consumers can create their own tin artwork for a chance to win $5,000. At The Apartment, bloggers could be a part of this by taking part in tin stamping.

They were also asked to design their own fabric square, which will eventually be made into a 30th anniversary patchwork quilt.

The Apartment was an opportunity for Fossil to showcase their brand and have bloggers engage with their fabulous SS14 product.

(There were even cake pops!)

It was also an amazing opportunity for me, being a blogger myself. I simply had to make the most of it!

As well as manning the Fossil bedroom, I also explored the space, chatted to other brand representatives and met some new bloggers.

Blow, who have a salon based in Covent Garden, gave me a luxe blow dry and then the lovely Ruth at Eyelure did my eyelashes for me.

I also got to swoon over Russell and Bromley shoes and Next and Jack Wills clothing, amongst other fashion gems.

The space was decorated beautifully by Abi and her creative team and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there! Thanks so much for having me, guys!

Cream Poloneck Jumper - H&M
Floral Trousers - ZARA
Black Cut Out Boots - eBay

(Have you been to The Apartment for? What do you think? Thanks for stopping by! Katie-xo)

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Top Ten Trends of SS14

Usually Spring/Summer brings us a fresh array of colours, themes and trends after the more sombre, understated Autumn/Winter season. However, for SS14, at first glance it seems like fashion is just extending trends from AW13 - which has already brought us colour-popping pastel shades, texture clashes and quirky fabrics (in the form of tartan, for instance).

It’s surprising how alike SS14 seems with SS13. I personally adored SS13, but mostly because the trends felt loud, proud and individualistic. 90’s was a key era that influenced SS13 fashion which made me feel nostalgic as I grew up as a 90’s kid. There was also diversity; SS13 brought us everything from neon psychedelic to sports luxe.

This SS14, we’ll be seeing a lot of SS13 trends return. But we’ll also see a few new ones! Allow me to elaborate…

1.  Ice-Cream Pastels

Ice-cream pastels have stuck around for a fair few seasons now. They were all over SS14 catwalks such as Christopher Kane and Vivienne Westwood. I have to say, I can’t help but to fall in love with these sugary shades of lavender, mint green, duck egg blue, baby pink and lemon yellow from season to season.

2. Classic Monochrome

Whether black and white is fused together in one piece, or colour blocked using multiple pieces, monochrome is back with a bang. It was mostly used through tailoring on the SS14 catwalks, such as Holly Fulton and Erdem, to create classic looks that screamed chic elegance.

3. Utilitarian Chic

Shapes and essences of 40’s fashion were prominent at some designer shows. Henry Holland models rocked simplistic, belted dresses which reflected the utilitarian feel of the era. Then, over at Orla Kiely, there were pocketed skirts and clean structures aplenty.

 4.  Sparkle and Shine

The metallic trend of AW13 is sticking around for another season. However, it is updated for SS14 through more lightweight fabrics and draping, a la Antipodium and Christopher Kane.

5. Sheer and Sexy

It seems like, for SS14, less is more! Sheer fabrics were all over catwalks such as Burberry Prorsum to Erdem. These fabrics included chiffon and lace with pretty embroidery detailing and, coupled with ice-cream pastels, created a trend that is wonderfully dreamy.

6. Digital Prints

An element of futurism crept onto the catwalks through structured digital prints at Mary Katrantzou and Preen. In fact, the dresses at Preen were so abstract and artistic that they almost created an optical illusion!

7. 70’s Suits

70’s co-ords had already popped up to say hello back in AW13! It seems like you can’t get rid of them - not that you'd want to any way! Whether you rock an eye-popping colour-blocking suit jacket and trousers, like the ladies at Matthew Williamson, or choose a shiny printed short sleeved shirt and shorts, like the ladies at Henry Holland, make a serious style statement these season.


8. Oversized Tailoring

Speaking of tailoring, it’s all about the oversized this SS14. Flute hems on skirts and dresses were a popular aspect seen at New York Fashion Week through shows like Victoria Beckham. Exaggerated hemlines and sleeve proportions were also spotted on catwalks such as Mulberry and Topshop Unique.


9.  60’s Peter Pan Collars

This trend currently filters in and out of the Autumn/Winter catwalks, so it's quite remarkable to see it on a Spring/Summer catwalk! Peter pan collars, influenced by the 60’s era, were cute and adorable at designer shows like Orla Kiely and Henry Holland.

10. All Hail the Maxi

Finally, the maxi is truly going nowhere for SS14. It comes back every Spring/Summer and, rightly so, as it’s comfortably practical and yet aesthetically beautiful for warmer temperatures. Whether you choose a dress that’s long and flowing like a Grecian Goddess, a la Topshop Unique, or a skirt that is fitted with a fabulous fishtail, a la PPQ, wear it and wear it with pride.

Initially, from a distance, it can feel like SS14 fashion is using a lot of past ideas. But, if you have the chance to analyse it in more detail, it's apparent that the trends are in fact evolving to create a refreshing mix of the old and the new – perhaps not as dramatically as they have done previously, but there is still a different spin on things - and this should be celebrated!

(What do you think of the SS14 trends? Have you got a favourite? Many thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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