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Shop: Brass Pineapple

20 May

Yes people, Independent Shop of the Week makes a return… in the form of Brass Pineapple all the way up in Kendal, Cumbria after a lovely weekend spent in The Lake District.

The Urban Dictionary definition… Brass Pineapple: Given name to objects stolen from pubs in retaliation for expensive drinks.

brass pineapple

In actuality it’s a cute little shop just off the High Street, started by two designer friends who met at Carlisle University. They make unique upcycled dresses through combining different prints/fabrics/pieces:

brass pineapple dresses

Inside the shop they also have unusual accessories and homeware such as lego/domino rings and records that have been melted into bowls!

I instantly fell in love with this polka dot and paisley number, and it was a real bargain down from £20 to £10!

polka dot paisley dressI styled it with a Primark black leather and gold metal belt, black tights and Office chunky leather lace up boots. The boyfriend took  me on a cinema date and told me I looked like “Maid Marion biker style”….. boys eh?! To keep warm I added my Zara leather jacket:

car ootd (I wish this was my car!)

zara leather suede bagZara Leather and Suede Bag

office heeled bootsOffice Lace Up Boots

Is my Biker Maid Marion look a hit or a miss?! Let me know in the comments!

I’d love to blog about more Independent Shops so let me know your favourite and I’ll pop down and write a review.

LDNshopaholic xxx

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OOTD: Tartan and Aztec

27 Nov

So today I was in a bit of a crazy mood and decided on this print combo. It made me pretty happy!

Tartan scarf: Car boot sale (Best find ever at 30p!)

Grey Cashmere Jumper: Ebay

Aztec Leggings: Urban Outfitters

Doc Martens: Office

Black Suede and Leather Bag: Zara

Nails: Rimmel Lycra Pro in Celebrity Bash

Spike Bracelets: Topshop

Earrings: GOGO Philip

What prints do you like to wear together? Have I taken it a step too far with my print on print action?! Let me know your thoughts!

Trendwatch: Arm Party

2 Aug

So you may have noticed a new little icon on my side bar: ‘Bloggers Do It Better‘. In the words of its creator: ‘It’s a movement. An initiative to showcase real girls, with real style, wearing real trends.

Every month bloggers are challenged to wear a trend and this month it’s the ‘Arm Party’. Here watches/bracelets/bangles/cuffs are worn simultaneously and get to have a rather good time together. Then all the bloggers posts are linked up on the BDIB page and we get to see how real people wear the latest trends – cool idea right?!

My favourite arm party is ‘The Stacker’. This generally consists of piling up every bangle I own (I don’t want anyone to feel left out!).

First in lovely metallics, which go with everything:

All of the above – H&M

Styled for a night out:

Dress – Primark (£5)

Shoes – Topshop (£75)

Belt – Primark (£2)

And then it’s time for its quirky relative, the coloured plastic bangle. I personally love putting them all on one arm:

Neon and Metal Bangles – H&M

Chunky Blue Bangles – Miss Selfridge

Silver Ring – H&M

Black Ring – Primark

Gold Detail Ring – Primark (£2)

Or if that’s a bit too much, separate them on to both wrists:

Suede Shorts – Topshop

Colour Block T-shirt – Primark (£8)

Gold Leaf Ring – Topshop

I love the Arm Party as it’s a way of standing out and being on trend without having to splurge. Just pull out whatever you have in your jewellery box and you’re set! (All of my bangles are from 2007)

How do you wear yours?

LDNshopaholic xxx

Motel Rocks My World!

17 May

So, you’ve got a massive night out planned…. to celebrate the end of exams / your best friend’s birthday / a hen do. But alas, amongst all your clothes, you have NOTHING to wear. The right dress makes you feel a certain way… gives you confidence, makes you stand out, but doesn’t wear you. After four years at university (that’s a minimum of 3 nights out a week), and now a regular London clubber, I decided to share my secret…. Motel! My go-to brand for finding the perfect going out dress.

They made an impact with their stripey (with a hint of floral) bodycon numbers (trust me, you know the one I’m talking about), and have since created a variety of prints which are unique yet wearable.  The dresses fit in all the right places, reveal just enough flesh and are TOTALLY AFFORDABLE! Too good to be true?! Indeed… I don’t know how they do it!

A couple of my favourite Motel dresses at the moment are:

           

The Katy in Tropical Hawaii (£32) which is very feminine and would stand out in a bar whether it’s in London…. or Ibiza! And as I like their bolder prints, I couldn’t resist the ‘out there’ Cosmic print shown here on the Blake dress (also £32). The sheer excitement of wearing the universe is slightly overwhelming!

If you’re not a fan of the Bodycon dress, then fear not, Motel have a huuuge range of playsuits, fit and flare dresses, as well as trousers, tops and knits. My favourite playsuit is the Grace in Wallflower (£48) which could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. I also LOVE the fabulous Jordan Jean in Black and White Stripe (£52), perfect for my inner rock chick…*sigh*.

   

If you’re eyeing up these lush lovelies and thinking ‘I want a piece of that!’. Well… the lovely people at Motel are running a competition, along with the amazingly talented Wah Nails, to win an item of clothing of YOUR choice!

Here’s how to win:

So, for example going clockwise from the beginning, the first three are: Triangle, Tropical Hawaii and Wallflower, you could also mention the designs which feature the prints e.g the Jordan Jean and Gypsy Playsuit in Pretty Rose. To enter click on the image above and post the names of the designs on their wall.

You can also enter to win £200 on their website, and 10 runners up will receive Models Own Goody Bags!

Good Luck!

Trendwatch: The Crop Top

10 May

Anyone who remembers the ’90s hears the word crop top and thinks of the following girl bands….

Yes it seemed cool at the time (along with those buffalo/adidas trainers…) but looking back on it… not so much!

However, this time around… the crop is less girl band and more fashionista. As waistlines have moved up, I’ve found myself wondering how exactly to tuck in my long length tops into my skinny high waisted jeans without creating a paunch… and how to give my ladylike Whistles Carrie skirt that modern edge. I soon came to realise that the answer to several of my S/S ’11 issues is… the crop top!!!

We’ve seen several celebs working the look since it was seen on the S/S ’11 catwalks and if anything it’s only convinced me that the crop is a secret staple item.

Image courtesy of Chictopia.com

So I’ve put together some of my favourite crop tops on the high street. First up is the ‘bralet’, ever so lady-like and often worn with high-waisted denim shorts and oversize vintage cardigan. It also looks great with a volumous skirt or paperbag trousers/shorts.

ASOS Wide Strap Bralette (£30), Topshop Denim Longline Bralet (£22), Funky Divaa Floral Bralet (£14.99) and ASOS Gingham Cropped Corset (£25)

For a more casual look there’s the cropped tee and I’ve cut some of last seasons longer length tees into crops and teamed with my Topshop Kristen Jeans. I think the following tees would contrast fabulously with a high waisted skirt such as this ASOS chiffon maxi skirt. After all fashion’s about mixing it up and having a bit of fun!

ASOS Contrast Binding Crop Top (£15), The Orphan’s Arms ‘Morris & Co’ Crop T-Shirt (£30), and the not so High Street, but ever so cute and reasonably affordable, House of Holland Cropped T-Shirt with Leaf Print (£55)

Lastly… there’s the bandeau. It takes a bit more confidence to pull off this crop.. but it’s still do-able. I’d wear one with an open sheer blouse, perhaps knotted with a pair of jeans. They are fab for festival season and would be equally good for a night out on the town.

From Republic: Soul Cal Deluxe Stars & Stripes Bandeau Top, Miso Hook and Eye BandeauSoul Cal Deluxe Bird Bandeau Top (all £7.99). ASOS has this retro Rust and Nude Striped Bandeau and Topshop has an array including the Coral Stripe Bandeau (£10), Pink Tie Dye Bandeau (£12) and  Cream Floral Lace Bandeau (£16).

What are your thoughts on the return of the crop top? How will you be wearing yours? I’ll try to post some crop top related outfit posts later in the week.

Freebie Friday – Chelsea Girl

5 May

How awesome was April? Fab weather, bank holidays and the Royal Wedding! Being the first Friday of May (how did that happen?!), it’s FREEBIE Friday!

And this month it’s all about River Island‘s Retro Chelsea Girl label.

I first spotted the label at Westfield’s Big Fashion Wardrobe and since then I stumbled upon their pop-up shop at Selfridges.

   

             

Chelsea Girl was the first fashion boutique chain (established on Kings Road in 1965), which eventually became River Island in the 80s. It’s popularity peaked in the 70s and the collection really fits in with this season’s return to Seventies style. The collection is being trialled this Summer, but if sales are good Chelsea Girl may well be here to stay… so get shopping fellow-lovers-of-previous-era’s!

I love the entire collection and think it definitely deserves a look, if not about twenty purchases!! My current favourites include:

Ever so retro Brown Print Dress (£25), Cream Print Skinny Jeans (£35), Patchwork Skirt (£65) and Beige Crop Chelsea Girl T-shirt (£15). And HOW CUTE is the Mini Rucksack (£30)?!

This month the lovely people at River Island have given me a Grey Chelsea Girl T-shirt (it’s a size 12, but would look fab a little oversized on a 6/8/10 too!) and a Chelsea Girl cloth bag to giveaway.

I think I’d customise it, probably turn it into a cropped tee and wear it with my beige high-waisted suede shorts and red platform heels!

There are several ways to enter: comment on this post telling me how you would style the t-shirt if you won it, follow me and retweet my Freebie Friday tweet on Twitter and/or subscribe to my blog! Each one counts as a separate entry 🙂

Good luck, the winner will be announced next Friday!

Have a lovely weekend and do let me know if you make a visit to the shops!

LDNShopaholic xxx



Trendwatch Tuesday: Colour Blocking

29 Mar

As someone who tends to wear black in some form, on almost a daily basis, I wasn’t sure what to make of the colour blocking trend when I first saw it on the catwalk. At Christian Dior, it was holiday central, Costume National made it futuristic, Issa merged colour with Grecian Goddess and Rachel Roy combined tailoring with those trousers/shoes?! (L-R)

What on earth was I going to do this Spring/Summer when black items were clearly going to be nowhere?! This conundrum led me to browsing my favourite online stores…. ASOS, Miss Selfridge and Topshop. I did also look at Mango, Forever 21, H&M and Zara… but all sites failed me and I went back to the old favourites.

I put together some dream colour block outfits… first up Brights at the Office:

I’m lucky enough to have a smart-casual dress code for work so this outfit consists of Moto Seven Eighths Yellow Capri Jeans and Miss Selfridge Sleeveless Drop Back Shirt. To make it more ‘officey’ I added ASOS Oversized Blazer, and made it a little playful with Topshop Winnie T-Bar Espadrilles and the cute ASOS Coloured Bow Ring.

For a night out… I heart this selection:

These Topshop Electric Blue Button Front Shorts caught my eye… I love the buttons! They could be dressed up for a night out or down for daytime. I teamed them with the Cheap Monday Yellow One Shoulder Top, ASOS Polly Leather Court Shoes and ASOS Grosgrain Clutch. Can you tell how much I love this peach/coral colour yet?! I finished off the outfit with a contrasting Large Wrapped Purple Nugget Ring from Miss Selfridge. I think with colour blocking, the outfits talk for themselves so you can tone down the jewellery and still make a real impact.

My favourite outfit has to be this one… I put it together either for a day out at the park or….. shopping!

I thought these Topshop Tangerine Pleat Shorts were lovely and teamed them with this ASOS 50’s tie up shirt. Yes… that’s a nude, collared, cropped shirt with a tie, combined with shorts which have pleats and are a bright colour… six Summer trends…in just two items!!! I added the lush ASOS traditional colour briefcase (The satchel bag lives on! If I could afford it I’d have the Mulberry Tillie in Pale Blue Washed Denim) and how could anyone turn down these Blue Suede Shoes? I’d probably wear a vintage jacket over this look… preferably in yellow!

How are you all wearing colour this season? As the Sun has come out this week I’ve automatically pulled out my peach jeans, pale yellow vest top, cerulean blue vintage cardigan and tan pumps! But even if the sun isn’t out, you can brighten up your day and those around you by colour blocking, it’s somewhat energising wearing all those colours at one time!

Trendwatch: ’70s Style

15 Mar

It’s gradually been becoming more obvious that Spring/Summer 2011 is going to be ALL about the Seventies. From high waisted jeans to palazzo pants, collared shirts to shirt dresses, floppy hats to oversized sunglasses. It feels as though there’s been a Seventies explosion all along the high street.

The real statement pieces are the trousers, and these shapes are not for the faint hearted! My personal favourites are (L-R) Topshop Brown Pleated Extreme Wide Leg Trousers (for play), Vero Moda Flare Jeans (casual cool) and  Topshop Rose Seventies Wide Leg Trousers (for work). To wear these you really do have ‘go for it’ and embrace the trend, generally from top to toe. The jeans are more wearable, but how much fun are the wide legs?!

To make the most of these leg-endary trousers (see what I did there?!), elongate the leg with a chunky block heel or wedge. These are both comfortable and chic, making us feel a little less swamped by the grandeur. Browns such as Camel and Tan are all the rage, and really work well, but you could mix it up with a splash of colour too. I heart the Miss Selfridge Kenah Tan and Red Heel (right) which also come in Orange, Aldo Spiney T-Bar Espadrilles (top left) and Blowfish Garren Cork Shoe (bottom left).

The blouse has been a staple piece for Autumn/Winter 2010, and the 70’s trend embraces our new found love for them. Blouses such as Vero Moda’s Winter Paisley Blouse (right) and Paisley Ruffle Front Blouse (left) are a great way to take this trend to the office, tucked into a pencil skirt and could also be dressed down with jeans. For a more casual look check out Topshop’s Knitted Spacedye Top (centre) which would look great with jeans or wide legs <3.

70’s accessories are just fabulous, whether it’s an ASOS oversized felt hat or HUGE Miu Miu square sunglasses, they are pure joy! Miss Selfridge are doing some gorgeous bits, I particularly like these gold earrings, dreamcatcher earrings, embellished handbag and tan scarf.

If you don’t want to spend too much money, then a great way of wearing this trend is buying a simple camel t-shirt or vest top and teaming with a couple of on trend accessories. Have a look around charity shops for some bargain 70’s earrings, or rifle through you Mum/Aunt’s wardrobes to see what goodies you can find!

Now it’s going to sound like I’m plugging them… haha… but Miss Selfridge have started selling ‘looks’ and I can’t help but love this boho combo which comes in at a reasonable £130:

Mustard knit, pale blue collared shirt, brown suede shorts, wedge sandals… altogether now *ahhh*. The look is kept current with the addition of grey cable socks and more structured/less floppy hat, which counteract what could have been homage to being a Brownie.

After eyeing up all this 70s glory, I think I may have to head out and buy myself some palazzo pants, THAT topshop knit…. and perhaps some chunky tan heels to go with…. oh dear!!

Bring out the Ballerina…

5 Feb

Have you recovered after seeing The Black Swan yet? No, I’m not sure I have either! For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s an Oscar-nominated psychological thriller (verging on twisted horror), based on a ballerina’s rise to become Swan Queen in Swan Lake.

Natalie Portman in THE Black Tutu Credit: The Telegraph

The drama surrounding the costume design has been heavily discussed since the film’s Oscar nomination for best costume design. The use of costumes, by various designers rather than just one, means that Amy Wescott would, controversially, receive the Award rather than Rodarte, aka Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who created forty costumes for the film, including the black tutu featured on the official poster.

Original Drawing by Kate Mulleavy for Rodarte Credit: The Telegraph

Nevertheless, I found the costumes truly inspiring. From the leotards and wraparound cardigans, to the feather embellished tutus and tiaras. It’s what every little girl dreams of and has now filtered into mainstream fashion.

I found myself eyeing up a ‘strap detail body’ from ASOS a few days ago, and ended up buying it in both black and pale pink (it’s surprisingly flattering)! Paired with a black tutu skirt I bought 5 years in H+M, I feel every inch the ballerina. For a more wearable look, team with jeans, ballet pumps and a cardigan for a subtle hint of the trend.

Strap Detail Body at ASOS

Was £15 now £12

Other ballet inspired pieces include:

Lipsy Tutu Skirt Ballet Slip Dress at ASOS

Was £70 now £31.50

ASOS Asymmetric Hem Tutu Skirt (also available in the CURVE range)

Was £34 now £21

One Teaspoon Leather Bandeau Tutu Dress at ASOS

Was £230 now £161

Vibrant Ballet Pumps (In a range of colours) at Topshop

£16

Frilly Tutu Skirt at Topshop


£35

Glamour magazine has also noticed this trend and included a feature, which has some great pieces including this one:

Tutu Strapless Dress at Rare Opulence

£165

MovieScope magazine has a great article on the costumes featured.

The Ballet Blog also has an excellent interview with costume designer Amy Wescott.

Whether you were traumatised or enthused by The Black Swan, don your ballet flats, tutu and leotard, and you’ll embrace your inner ballerina. Girly, graceful and elegant, I hope this trend is here to stay!