Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Week in Pictures

I didn’t manage to do one of these last week, mainly because I started my new job and life’s been a bit of a blur! I don’t think I’ll be doing one of these every week anyway, my life isn’t really that interesting. It may have to become an occasional monthly round-up. Last week I did take a few pictures though:

Jessica Alba’s bikini body. Ok, so this is not a picture of my world, but it is affecting my world, so it makes it onto the list. This recent holiday snap of her looking amazing is my motivation to get myself to the gym at the moment. How can she look so amazing after two children? I have no children and she totally puts me to shame. So envious!

On the Riverbank. We went for a long walk the other day, more in amazement at the fact it was actually above minus figures and a bit sunny than anything else. This river is near my house and it’s a really peaceful place to walk. It also holds happy memories for me, as my wedding reception was held at a venue overlooking its banks. But although its April, most of the trees are still bare of leaves, which goes to show how unseasonably cold its been.

 Headboard idea. We’re looking to move house in September, so at the moment I’m getting engrossed in interiors magazines and blogs, dreaming up decorating ideas. I came across this really cool and quirky idea for a headboard made of weathered rowing boar oars (via Buzzfeed). I absolutely love it, although I have no idea where I’d get all the oars from to make it! Maybe eBay?

 View from my new desk. So, this is where I’m working now. I love the building because its so light and modern. The block is part of a new development that’s taking place in the town where I live and part of my job will involve marketing this and other business developments in various quarters of the city that are being developed. Pretty amazing! We’re up on the top floor of the building and you can see a panorama of the city and the canals spread out, its really inspiring. I love being surrounded by natural daylight when I’m working.

First Frap of the season. It’s been far too cold for anything approaching an iced coffee for more months than I can remember, so I made sure to toast the new-found sunshine with an ice-cold frappuchino as soon as it peeked out from behind the clouds! 

Oooh, New Shoes Alert! I may or may not have accidentally found myself at the doors of my nemesis, Primark, this week, looking for a lightweight weekend bag (before I found my dream weekend bag, here) and I may or may not have found myself buying a couple of pairs of shoes!  I didn’t mean to! But they were soooo cute! I can’t seem to resist the lure of a bargain either. The first are a pair of nude jelly sandals with rose-gold spike details on the straps (beyond cute! And an amalgamation of some of my favourite-ist things, namely nude, plastic, spikes and rose-gold. And they were something ridiculous like £3.00. So you see how its meant to be!). The second pair are smoking slipper-style flats in a tan leather with cut out details. Too nice to leave on the shelf.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Can Black Tights Ever Be Sexy?


A while ago, I asked you the question: Are Leather Trousers Ever Okay? In the end, we decided they could work, even for those of us without chopstick legs. And I got over my fear of them and bought a pair, which I’ve practically lived in ever since.

Now I’m asking: Can Black Tights Ever Be Sexy? This is a dilemma that’s been at the forefront of my mind for a while now. Here in the UK, the cold snowy weather has been dragging on and on into spring, and its only just lifted. The temperatures have been arctic here right up until last week, so if you were going out in the evening tights or blue, frozen legs were your only two options.

I’m definitely getting older, too. I used to be quite happy to freeze in the name of looking alluring, but now I don’t seem to be quite so willing to forego the comfort factor. I am now even of the age where I wear a coat when I go out clubbing (shock horror!), something my 18 year old self would have laughed at.

So tights at night are an extension of this. Determined to find a way to be stylish but still cover up, I have made it my mission to track down some examples of ladies rocking stylish outfits with the addition of black tights:

On paper, pairing a lightweight, summery white dress with opaque black tights should not be good, but this outfit really works. By pairing the dress and tights with tasselled black shoes, a neat little black cardigan, and a black beaded purse, this ensemble manages to be elegantly monochrome rather than a mess. I plan to copy this outfit!

An example of how all black can still look chic. This scoop neck black jersey t-shirt dress, quite a casual outfit is dressed up for a night out with the aid of some super-long silver chains, a decorative mirrored bangle and a studded black leather bag. Sheer black tights and leather ankle boots help connect the look up while keeping the overall feel of the outfit glamorous. This would be the perfect outfit for going to a gig in.

Love, love, love this very cute outfit. It takes a OTT ‘sexy’ piece  - a tight, fire-engine red bodycon miniskirt- and tones it down and prettifies it with the help of a casual logo tee, a cute black bow belt, some chunky ankle boots and of course the black tights! It completely changes the vibe of the skirt, so it becomes an uplifting pop of colour rather than something raunchy. I completely love this girl’s styling.

A bit more of a gothic take on black tights, but I had to include this cute little emo girl, because her use of layering is genius. She’s taken what looks like a standard, strapless LBD and layered a white, handkerchief-hemmed vest and some strings of pearls over the top to add interest. Combined with interesting black lace-pattern tights and black ankle boots (sensing a theme here!), the result is a really interesting and unique outfit.

Black tights do high glamour! Combining a fitted black minidress with gorgeous silver sleeve details with spike metal bracelets, sky-high silver platforms and a simple black clutch fives this outfit a classy twist, and this lady legs that seem to go on forever! This outfit is extremely sexy so banish any thoughts of black tights being mumsy and unattractive.

This is a gorgeous outfit, complementing the black tights with cherry-red, military style shorts, a cream-and-tan striped skinny jumper, an oversized mink knit scarf, black bag and- my favourite touch, a pair of nude courts. Its never occurred to me to pair black tights with nude shoes, but in this outfit, it really works. The mix of hues here is masterful!

A really cute pairing of black tights and black patent Mary Jane shoes with a grey knit pinafore dress and a black vest underneath. I like the subverted innocence of the pinafore shape with the lower cut. Also, doesn’t she have amazing hair? 

This outfit is similar to the one above, but this time the grey knit is a jumper dress (complete with Mickey Mouse details). The black blazer its paired with gives the outfit a bit of shape, balancing the looser silhouette of the jumper. Flat shoes, but it’s still a sexy look!

This outfit is probably not something I’d be brave enough to wear myself, but I think its really well done, and as far as making black tights sexy goes, this is certainly a frontrunner!  There’s actually very little of the tights on show here -  just a flash of mid-thigh. Paired with tall, ruched tan suede boots and a high-waisted pencil skirt, an oversized white shirt tucked in with the sleeves rolled up, and a thick diamante choker over the shirt collar, this look has plenty of allure and lots of impact, without any flesh on show other than the forearms! A masterclass in how covered up doesn’t have to mean unsexy.

Finally, one of my favourite looks of the bunch. Here, the black tights have been paired with a buttoned-up light denim shirt and a black leather skater skirt (both of which items I really want for my own wardrobe. The leopard print clutch provides a lovely pop of colour and pattern. Cute black kitten-heeled court shoes complement the girly shape of the skirt. A metal studded belt emphasised the nipped-in-at-the-waist silhouette. What a great outfit!

 So there you have the case for the defence! Black tights can not only complement and outfit and make it sexy, but in some cases, they make the outfit what it is! Long live the covered up approach to being desirable!


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Are 2 in 1 Bags The Way Forward?

I’ve found another amazing bag design that I really wanted to share with you. As is becoming obvious, I’m something of a bag lady. Handbags seem to overload my soul with joy, more so that pretty dresses or even shoes.

 I think its that idea of having a clean slate, of becoming somehow magically more organised and with more peace of mind that a new bag seems to hint at. Also, there’s no worries over fit or comfort - a new bag is not going to silently reproach you if you gain a few pounds!

I absolutely adore the Mulberry Willow bag, which combines a roomy tote with a detachable clutch purse, all complemented with the embossed leather and shiny brass postman’s lock features that declare the heritage and quality of the brand. I love anything with clever multiple uses and would dearly love a Willow of my very own, but sadly being on a realistic wage and saving up to move house means I don’t have a spare £1000 lying about to access one at the moment!

But I found this clever bag with a similar idea behind it when I was browsing the web for a lightweight tote that would be big enough to hold a change of clothes for an overnight trip to London myself and the husband are planning. We’re in town to sightsee and generally be tourists (I’m from London originally, but husby has never been there, bizarrely) and also to go to dinner and the opera in the evening, as I bought tickets for his birthday. 

 So I wanted a bag that would be roomy enough to hold some clothes and overnight stuff, but also light and portable – we’re trying to cram in a lot of stuff, so we’re arriving in London early, but won’t be checking into our hotel until later that day. I will be carrying that bag around with me all day, so it’s got to be portable. I do have a large weekend bag on wheels but its too cumbersome for this purpose.

If possible, I also wanted something stylish, that would look more like a large handbag than a holdall. 

This bag seems to be the answer to my prayers! It is a large leather tote style bag, and the two zips on the front can be opened to make more room as needed. I like the fact the bag maintains a really nice shape when the zips are opened, so they look deliberate, not like a design afterthought. There are also two sets of handles to give you the option to carry it in your hand, or sling it over your shoulder. It also features a detachable inner pouch section that can be used on its own as either a clutch bag or attaches to a long, cross-body strap to make a little shoulder or messenger bag.

Genius! Multiple uses really press my buttons. It’s the perfect bag for me on a city weekend break as its roomy but still looks smart, and I can use the clutch for going out in the evening. 

This bag would also be really great for those times when you go out straight after work -  you could leave the tote part holding your daytime stuff in the office and just detach the little bag for the drinks. Or for taking as your carry-on luggage on a plane, with multiple uses as a beach bag/ evening purse on holiday.

I ordered in the black, because I’m not keen on the shade of blue which is the other option, but I would love to see this in some other colours like a rich coral or a lime green. Like my perfect party bag,  I can see this becoming indispensable (at least until I can afford my Willow bag!)

The bag can be sourced via eBay from seller justforyou-2010.
What do you think? Are multiple-use bags the way forward?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A Week in Pictures April 2013

Hi Dolls!

As a quick way of keeping this blog up to date, I've decided that I'm going to trial doing a picture a day during the week ( as long as I remember!), and then post them as a week in pictures. I've seen a few people doing this kind of thing and its always fun to look at, so here goes....

1) Has spring finally sprung? The past few days have been the first warm (ish. I mean not in the minus figures) and sunny ones since last summer. I spotted some cherry blossom on the trees, which makes my heart sing.

2) My current favourite lip colour! It's a custom blend, dontcha know! A mix of Barry M lipstick in 129 and L'Oreal Rouge Caresse in Cheeky Magenta.

3) Graffiti is usually a horrid thing, but you know you're in a nice neighbourhood when you see this! I spotted this rather charming message on the side of my local supermarket and it made me smile

4) I went to the American candy shop and stocked up on a few transatlantic treats. This won't seem very exotic to any US visitors, but I've wondered for years what these are, having heard about them in all the trashy teen literature and movies of my youth (usually references to stuffing one's pants with them!?). Yum!

5) I took my beautiful little niece to the park to enjoy the sunshine. I lifted her onto the big girl's slide and surprise surprise, she loved it. She's such a little adrenaline junkie. She was fascinated by the first spring tulips coming up.

6) Nails of the week! Beige with a hot pink tip. The shades are Mink and Shoreditch, both from Nails Inc. I'm loving this look!

And how was your week?

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