Celine!

Could we just take a brief moment to applaud the style genius who is Celine Dion’s stylist? I have to say that her creativity and eye for colour is something else! I love each and every single one of these outfits. She certainly knows what suits her an is unafraid to explore shapes and fit. Check these lovely outfits out!

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Where to shop – tips

When it comes to shopping on the UK high street compared with other countries I’d say we are pretty spoilt for choice. Whether you like to stay on trend with the latest looks or are looking for something a little quirky or different you’ll be sure to find something you love and within your budget. We are at a time in fashion where you can look great for less with some of our most loved brands creating stunning pieces at great prices.

Having lived in London for many years there were certain brands that I could bank on to find a gem for an occasion or to simply freshen up my wardrobe. Now with internet shopping being so conveniently at our finger-tips, finding what you need online saves the trip to multiple shops and trying on item after item. Personally, I prefer trying on what I buy and saving myself the annoyance of having an item delivered and finding the fit isn’t right (especially if I’m pressed for time). I also like feeling the material, looking at the finishing and judging the quality before making a purchase.

If like me you don’t mind shopping in stores then sample sales are a great way to find good quality clothing at a great price. I follow ldnfashion.com who always has the latest sample sales on their site. They often share sample sale dates and location for brands such as Reiss, Temperley and Mulberry but to name a few! So do check it out.

Speaking of Reiss, they also have an outlet website where you can find items for both men and women at a discounted cost, you can access the site here.

For special occasion wear Karen Millen has an outlet site where you can find wedding guest ready dresses too.

If you’re looking for boutique brands as well as some more established names such as Diane von Furstenburg then check out coggles.com  they have a great selection of men and women’s designer fashion plus homeware all at reduced prices.

Lastly all over the UK you can find entire outlet shopping centres that have many of the well known brands covering sportswear, beauty, women’s fashion and more including London Designer Outlet Wembley, Freeport Braintree in Essex and Bicester Village in Oxford. There are many more around the UK and Europe, you can find the full list of them here.

I hope you find this helpful!

Claudia x

 

Spring look

Although spring is finally here the weather seems to be undecided with rain, our wardrobes however shouldn’t be. I’m pleased that great fashion is affordable and you can look effortlessly chic and classy regardless of your budget. Quality is important however and if you are looking for longevity with your items its worth the investment to part with the extra pounds.

There are some great spring/summer pieces on the high street at the moment and I’ve picked up a few that I’d like to share with you.The earrings I’m wearing are from Mango. For a while I wasn’t wearing jewellery and instead stuck to studs and a watch to keep it simple but I increasingly find that jewellery adds a little something to your outfit especially if you wear your hair tied back like me.

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Just to mention some of the things I have included in this blog are current season so you should be able to find them in the shops. My shirt is from h and m, if you’ve read some of my other posts you’ll know that I love a good shirt lol, I bought this because I’ve been looking for a blue stripped shirt and I like the length of this and the comfortable fit, it could double up as a nice beach shirt when teamed with denim shorts and some flip-flops.

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My jeans are from Levi, I bought these in New York last year and I haven’t found this exact colour in the UK but any skinny leg jean can be worn to achieve this look. I’d also wear a wide leg jean with this too, (especially the sleeve) whether tucked or untucked this look can be worn during the day and in the evening.

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My orange/red shoes are from Rupert Sanderson, I also wore a pair of white court shoes from Aldo. The Aldo pair are pretty old but you needn’t search far to find a pair of white court shoes this season for sure, Kurt Geiger have a lovely pair that are rather dressy; have a look at them here. Although these aren’t white these Whistles courts will also work with this outfit. Heeled mules are also a great look with skinny jeans, these Aldo ones in tan are cute!

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Thank you for reading 🙂

Claudia x

Spectrum

This came to me as I looked around town this afternoon; what is our fascination with wearing black? Is it that we find comfort and warmth in this rich colour. A shade that requires no need to match with another colour and takes little effort in the morning. Whether it’s faded, leather, patent, linen, wool or cotton in Europe we simply love wearing black. It can make a bold statement, it’s certainly flattering on all skin shades, and it can convey a sense of mystery too.

BUT there’s something bold and adventurous about playing with colour. That red jacket, those deep purple shoes and that bright yellow bag. Why don’t we venture into this utopia of colour and dare to cloth ourselves in shades brighter than the melancholy tones that automatically blend us into our surroundings?

I know that there are those to whom this entire post doesn’t apply but for others it’s the difference between wearing a bright lippy, changing their nail colour to something slightly more daring or simply opting not to wear those ‘safe’ black jeans (again!).

When packing for a beach holiday I seem to be able to weed out all of my neon, florals and brighter shades out of my wardrobe without second thought, so I definitely think my clothing choices are heavily dependent on what the weatherman says. Rain seems to just create an instant desire to slip into neutral shades like grey and black often completed with denim.

Over the past few years I’ve experimented with colour a lot more. Why not? Variety is the spice of life after all (where clothing, lippy’s and shoes are concerned of course lol). There are enough mundane and drab things in life, let not your clothing be one of them 🙂

So if you’re reading this and thinking this is sooo me then try introducing some colour on your next shop, it won’t be instant but overtime start to wear your brighter shades. Don’t wait for summer there are lots of brands that do great winter knits in some fab colours.

Keep an open mind, be brave and don’t get a black winter coat this year. Live life in colour (gosh that sounds cheesy! Lol)

Hope you’ve had a lovely day

Claudia x

Quality vs. Cost

If you’re a regular shopper you would have seen stores such as New Look and Primark taking inspiration from the designs of premium brands like Chanel and Valentino (to name a few). More often than not the difference is rather obvious, like the use of fake or real leather for example.

In London it’s easy to find some real bargains but it’s also easy to collate a large amount of substandard items that bubble shrink or lose their shape after a few wears.

But how do you know if an item of clothing is of good quality? Check the label, what is it made from? Is it pure cotton? Pure wool? Real leather? Genuine leather has a distinctive smell to it. What’s the finishing like on the item? If it’s a shirt check the cuffs and edges for a clean sew, try it on and check how well the collar sits. If it’s a pair of trousers check that the waist fits well, test the zip, does it have a good fastening such as a button or a hook? When a good pair of trousers are true to size they will usually feel snug with just a hidden zip and hook and eye. YKK make the best quality zips so check for their branding on zippers.

When it comes to deciding whether to buy a quality item or a cheap item, opting for the more quality item works out more cost effective in the long run. Why? Because it’s likely that the cheaper item will soon need replacing whereas the quality item may only need a much smaller investment such as the cost of dry-cleaning.

So what high street retailers do I trust when it comes to quality at a good price? First and foremost French Connection; they combine quality and value effortlessly. Next is Hobbs, yes I know what you’re thinking lol but these guys aren’t just for the over 40’s they have some great classic pieces. I do prefer their accessories and shirts but I bought a great pair of snake-skin white pumps from there in the summer and they are by far the most comfortable shoes I own. Gap, Banana Republic and Reiss also have my vote. When you’re out (and have the time) try the shops you wouldn’t usually enter. Marks and Spencer have some great gems in their Limited Collection and Autograph ranges.

But let me stress that I speak purely on experience, don’t rule out all the other stores to purchase your wardrobe essentials. Mixing and matching quality items with basics is great. You must always cut your coat according to your size; buy what you can afford and upgrade when it’s financially viable for you to do so.

Hope you’ve all had a fabulous weekend!

Claudia x