A week of style prompts with Lucy Harbron

Hello hello, I’m back with a new post and this time it’s a collab! A dear internet friend of mine, Lucy Harbron, proposed the idea of us recreating a series from Man Repeller, in which we give each other not-so-typical styling prompts for each day of the week. Each of these themes were peculiar enough for us to think outside of the box for what to wear for the day, yet because we’d proposed these ideas for each other it was quite personal and fun to do. I’d highly recommend having a look into Man Repeller’s posts on this if you’re looking for a different approach to getting dressed in the morning!

Friday: Shuffle Lana Del Rey and wear something inspired by the song it lands on

Starting off on the right foot, I was so happy about the subject for day one. Lucy and I both share a great admiration for Lana Del Rey, if it wasn’t already obvious. I was quite thankful that when I pressed shuffle on the singer’s Spotify that the song “High By The Beach” from Honeymoon came on (especially since it’s one of my favourite albums too).

My Shrimps X Warehouse dress seemed like an obvious choice that I simply couldn’t resist. Not just in it’s whimsical sea bed print, but also in its tie back feature and it’s ruffled hem that finishes just above the ankle, which takes me back to walking around in Alicante last summer. I wore it on top of this oatmeal coloured puffed sleeve top that I simply can’t fault. It gave me a bit of extra warmth whilst also making the summertime feeling dress seem a bit more staying at home appropriate (sadly). I feel like the song itself presents a feeling of frustration and finally picking up and leaving, which I feel like the combination of these muted colours also reflects on.

Saturday: Dress like a rich, bratty toddler

When I looked at the theme for this day I got very very excited and it’s a bit embarrassing. I’m all for cheesy and over the top pieces, especially those that don’t follow the shape of a woman’s body. For me this top is the embodiment of a childish character that gets dressed in pieces that contradict how careless that child is. This taffeta style top from Topshop was the perfect option for day two, along with my trusty gingham trousers also from the same shop.

Sunday: Style up your pyjamas or something that feels like nightwear

To be honest I found it quite difficult to work with this theme, not necessarily for the theme itself, but just simply because my pyjama section does not contain a single item without some form of damage done to it. However, lockdown did have me invest in two pairs of joggers (which is the first time I’ve worn a pair in probably 6 years) and so this pink pair from Topshop were the perfect candidate.

My most favourite way of styling up these joggers is with this little pink wrap top, you guessed it, also from Topshop. I’m a huge fan of monochrome styling in a colour format, and these two shades really compliment each other very well. I also admire the ballerina off duty vibe that they give off, which is a mood that I’m always aspiring towards yet I’m nowhere near flexible enough to actually live it out.

Monday: Clash as dramatically as you can

Ah yes some print clashing, nothing new to my style but something I never get bored of. So when I was thinking of what type of print I’d like to feature that would make quite a statement, there was simply nothing more dramatic than this pleated monkey skirt from H&M a few years back, and yes they are in fact wearing crowns. As for the top I went with this ruffled oversized Peter Pan collared shirt from Primark. These two pieces were very much opposites alone, but combined in their neutral tones they fused together quite well.

Tuesday: Dress as your alter ego

I was in a right pickle over this theme for a few days, which also led to me realising how 2D of a person I actually am. I couldn’t quite think of an alter ego for myself that I didn’t already share so publicly anyway, so I decided to go for my fashion alter ego, a Chanel girl. It might come as a surprise from this Molly Goddard tulle Shrimps beaded bag loving gal, but I do have a bit of a soft spot for the minimalist and formal outfits of the Chanel and Dior models. Not so much for the trendy things featured in recent seasons, but more of the nautical/wartime/New Look of the decades past.

Wednesday: Let your 16 year old self dress you

Wednesday’s theme was quite ironic because although it’s obvious that I take elements from youthful styles, I actually had nothing in my wardrobe that represented my 16 year old style that well. Sophie four years younger was mad over skinny jeans and off the shoulder tops, both of which are almost extinct in my wardrobe today.

However, younger Sophie also really appreciated a pinafore and shirt combo from time to time, which she would go on to appreciate more and more as time went on. There’s one burgundy corduroy pinafore that I do still have from this period, as it holds fond memories of me begging my mam for this one quite pricey pinafore from topshop for months before she finally caved in and got me it. However, I went for this more pinky toned cord pinafore from Primark to suit with the shirt a bit more, which I got from Miss Selfridge a while back.

Thursday: Wear something inspired by a Monet painting

I was SO excited to wear this dress that I’d recently purchased from Zara, and this prompt gave me the perfect reason to wear it. It’s taffeta like texture makes it drape beautifully and it gives the sleeves even more puff than usual. The beautiful shade of pink in the flowers brought to mind the similar imagery used in Claude Monet’s work, especially when surrounded by earthy shades of yellow and green.

I styled it with my well loved white floral lace tights from Topshop, as not only does the floral theme continue, but the white lace texture is also reminiscent of the washed out white skies he would commonly feature. I also teamed this look with my beautiful floral tapestry slingbacks from Primark that I need to get more wear out of. It’s also came to my attention that this is the only outfit from this post that features shoes, so I’m a bit fearful of the post lockdown period where every shoe I own feels brand new and it’s blisters central over here. I’ll make the most of my pain free feet whilst I can.

Friday: Power dress to the max

Last but not least we’ve got the Friday power dressing extravaganza. I was actually not feeling to well this day, so I wanted something that still felt ultra put together, yet wasn’t too restraining in any of the wrong places. The combo of pink polo neck and my beautiful Saturday jumper is one that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, so I thought that the white cord skirt would act as a nice compliment to the pink heavy upper half. Finished with a Topshop blazer that I recently purchased from depop, as well as my ride or die Shrimps bag, I certainly felt a lot more put together than I had been for a few times during lockdown.

So that’s it from me for mine and Lucy’s week in outfits posts, now is your chance to take a look at Lucy’s post to see what prompts I gave her! Hope you enjoyed reading this and I’ll be back sooner than you think.

Love,

Sophie

Sewing basics: everything you’d need to start sewing

Hello hello, I know its been quite some time. If you didn’t know, I’ve been working on a new venture over on youtube where I’ve been sharing some of my fashion design projects, which I’m glad to hear that you’ve been loving! Along with your kind words theres also been a few questions surrounding resources, where I find fabric, what patterns I use etc, so I thought that I’d create a collective guide to if you’re wanting to start out with making you’re own pieces whilst answering a few recurring questions.

Machines

Choosing a sewing machine is a lot like choosing a car, it needs to do the job whilst being reliable for many years to come, and it can get costly. Now thankfully you don’t need to take out a loan for a sewing machine, but the general price point for your everyday domestic machine is still in the £100-£200 mark. Most machine companies have been household names for decades which your older family members might be familiar with, but Id say the two most reliable for beginners are Brother and Singer.

I myself started out with a brother as my first proper machine that lasted me a good 3 years of intense fashion student based labour which it definitely was not built for, but for everyday fabrics it works wonders. I currently have a heavy duty singer which was around £250, which is built to tackle even the more difficult fabrics like denim and leather. Although this type of machine is more expensive, and it won’t provide much of a difference in performance with household fabrics than a machine for £100 less, it is worth the investment if this is something you’re looking into making more of a dedicated hobby.

Recommended Machine: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/janome-hc1200-sewing-machine/638245-1000

My Singer Heavy Duty machine: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/singer-4423-heavy-duty-sewing-machine/598937-1000

Patterns

Patterns are the building blocks to that garment that you’ll use as a sort of stencil when cutting out your fabric. When you have an exact idea in your head of what type of item you’d like to make, it can be quite tricky to find the right search terms or even just to find a place to start looking. A lot of pattern brands haven’t really advanced much in the last 10 years and so you’ll easily find that many of them feature silhouettes that aren’t very suited to today’s preferred styles, but the brand Mccall’s has began to tailor more of their newer patterns towards a younger audience. their prices are usually around £10 each and every pattern booklet will contain 3 variations of designs to suit whatever you’re wanting to make down to an exact style.

Best website for patterns: https://www.sewessential.co.uk

You can also try and find some vintage patterns through eBay or Etsy (and charity shops when they open back up), if you’re wanting something a bit more detailed or of a certain time. I’ve only used vintage patterns until I got to uni, since they’re super affordable and practical when you’d want to be spending your money on a nicer fabric. The only thing I’d note when looking through vintage patterns is that the sizing on them might suggest that a 10/12 is the smallest size, when in fact depending on the time of release this could be the equivalent of a size 6 today, due to a change in the sizing system a few decades ago. Also be aware that the pattern that you’re buying does in fact have your size in it, as many of them that have been used previously by and individual may have been cut out in their exact size that might not be yours.

Fabric sourcing

Now this is a topic that I’ve definitely had the most questions around, and that is where I get my fabrics from. Of course prior to lockdown I had my few favourite fabric shops (and good old boys for when you’re really on a budget), but adapting to working from home has meant that I’ve discovered a few online shops that are worth taking a look into. My current two favourites for the price point and variety are:

Fabricland

https://www.myfabrics.co.uk/

When buying fabric online it’s of course very difficult to see for yourself how the texture will look, how it feels, etc. However many websites will note if a fabric has any stretch in it and what type of garments its best suited for. Most household pieces can be made best with cotton, polyester, or poplin, and 2.5/3 metres of such will provide you with enough to suit nearly every type of project (of course varying depending on lengths of garments, if theres any gatherings or smaller details, things like that). These types of fabrics are usually around the £5 a metre price point, but some go for as cheap as just over pound a metre if you’re lucky. If you’re just starting out then id also recommend avoiding any stretch fabrics, or projects that would require stretchy materials for that matter, as stretch fabrics are super fiddly to work with and if you’re paying good money for fabric then you would want your project to go as smoothly as possible.

Miscellaneous equipment

Some other basic equipment that you might not have lying around the house or you may not realise you need until you need it (I’ve had plenty of those moments in this lockdown alone), are generic things like fabric scissors, measuring tape, a ruler, sewing pins, the usual. There isn’t necessarily a particular brand id recommend for each of these as anything will do the job really. However one thing that isn’t necessary but I definitely can’t live without are fabric clips. these are great for holding together whatever pieces of fabric you’re wanting to sew together, and they’re less than a fiver for about 50 so they’re totally recommended from me. Other than that, Id say thats all you’d need. Things like a mannequin, pattern paper, or a pattern master (the fancy ruler to make curves too) are totally optional but would be highly beneficial if this is something that you’re aspiring to do more as a practice, so ill link the ones that I got below.

fabric clips: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N49BBDM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

mannequin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Y6L136F/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

pattern paper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sewing-Pattern-Marking-Designs-Dressmaking/dp/B00XNNJSGI/ref=sr_1_2?crid=PI16C65JZ0IY&dchild=1&keywords=pattern+paper+for+dressmaking&qid=1587577235&sprefix=pattern+paper+%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-2

pattern master: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B90F3R0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So that pretty much everything Id recommend when it comes to starting out with sewing. I hope that you might have found this post useful and also Id be super happy to see whether you decide to make something! I’ll be back on this space very soon.

Love,

Sophie

Are you dressing up or dressing down?

Hello once again lovely people, I really hope that things are going somewhat smoothly for you at this point in time. I try to maintain this space to work as a form of escapism for some of you, so I thought I’d tackle a subject that I’ve seen circling around the fashion side of social media recently, which I had also been thinking about too. One of the less serious yet still relevant questions that came into my head once I started to think about self isolating (from a fashion design student / fashion blogger’s perspective) was what am I going to wear for the next few months?

At first I thought it sounded ridiculous and childish to be thinking of more frivolous things in such a climate that we’re in right now. Yet like I’ve said multiple times, fashion for me, and many others for that matter, is what we use as a way of expression and feeling good about ourselves. The same thing goes for doing your makeup, hair, whatever it may be that you enjoy. If we have nowhere to go and nothing to do that’s suitable for dressing up, then should we just dress in joggers and hoodies for three months?

My short answer: it’s all up to how you want to treat this ‘break’. If you’re using it to concentrate on any kinds of hobbies or side pleasures that you don’t always get to flourish in, then you might want some kind of routine to your days in order to feel productive and in control of your situation. It sounds cliche but minor tasks like getting dressed, making your bed, or cooking a proper breakfast can completely change your attitude for the day, and so those minor tasks may cause which side of the bed you get out of in the morning (quite literally too).

Even if it just means that you wear a t-shirt dress instead of a nightie or a loose fitting shirt instead of a pyjama shirt, it’s a small adjustment to feel a bit more ready for the day. What’s stopping you there? If you’ve got a silky smooth slip dress that makes you feel more put together whilst not making you uncomfortable, then why not pair that with a little white t-shirt underneath? That way you still feel ‘office appropriate’ but in the comfort of your own home.

I think that the key thing is to find what suits your change in lifestyle as time goes on, and how long we’re in this position for. I’d say if you want to get off on the right foot then dress for how YOU would want to dress if you were in the right career or you had the ability to wear a particular outfit in your everyday job, because now is your chance. You can wear whatever you want and get on with your career from your living room without the pressure of dress codes or feeling out of place in an office.

I hope that this piece has maybe assured or encouraged at least one or two of you to dress how you want to in this strange time off. It’s little things like this that help us take control of our days when we may feel like we don’t have much freedom at all. So, whether you’re wearing full gowns or joggers and a t-shirt, I hope that you’re comfortable and spending this time as best as you possibly can.

Love,

Sophie x

Sustainable brands you need to know of

Considering how much we are warned of global warming, pollution, and many other worldwide issues on a daily basis, it’s quite surprising how little sustainable brands are vastly heard of (baring the few that have managed to break this system such as Reformation or Sezane of course). Even whilst I was creating this blog post, I was shocked at how hard it was to find fully sustainable or even ethical clothing brands that didn’t have such an unimaginable price tag. Now of course sustainability is all about investing in good quality pieces and you’re paying for what you get, but not all of us can afford the luxury life. Despite the vast searching and messaging to each individual company, here are some beautiful, ethical brands that really deserve the recognition and your pay check (not all of it thankfully).

House of Sunny

https://www.houseofsunny.co.uk

Do you ever see those really unique looking pieces that float around Instagram and you just have to pause and admire the stand out qualities of them that you rarely see on the high street? Yeah, they’re from House of Sunny. Although this brand is small as a team and is still in its youth as an established company, they’re certainly taking the world by storm, one limited collection at a time.

Instagram: @houseofsunny

House of Sunny focuses on creating superb quality garments that will truly not be found anywhere else besides in house itself, and so they’re not afraid to experiment with new design features and modern styles that can be made wearable for the everyday by those who aren’t afraid to stand out a little. They focus on creating small and limited runs of each collection to keep any waste to a minimum, and any sample pieces or items with minor defects that can’t be sold at full price can be found on their depop at a discount.

By Megan Crosby

https://bymegancrosby.com

Megan Crosby is a young designer from Portsmouth, who’s brand focuses on mid level fashion that is of high quality and at an affordable price point. Megan launched her brand after graduating from the Arts University Bournemouth, creating a debut capsule collection that serves both the satisfaction of beautiful fashionable pieces, whilst offering a guilt-free experience due to the consciousness of the environment.

Instagram: @bymegancrosby

Her brand is centred around bright colours and fun prints, in silhouettes that are super flattering and wearable for either everyday wear or as a little something special for every now and then. She also offers a fully customisable experience, meaning that you can provide your exact measurements or preferences in finer details like zips and closures, to really make that piece just right.

Olivia Rose The Label

http://www.oliviarosethelabel.com

Olivia Rose Havelock is an independent designer that created her ethereal clothing label back in January 2017. A textile design graduate from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, she now hand makes her designs in her Edinburgh studio, with every step of the process being ethically sourced and produced by herself.

Instagram: @oliviarosethelabel

Her romanticised sleeves and silky fabrics are truly gorgeous and are definitely the kinds of pieces that will make you look luxurious and feel luxurious. Each hand crafted garment is made with considerable amounts of care and patience, meaning that these stunning dresses will last you for plenty of events to come.

LackLustre Embroidery

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/lacklustreembroidery

Sick of going into H&M to find cheesy or badly done embroidered slogan t-shirts? Then I’ve got the solution for you. LackLustre Embroidery is a one woman sustainable embroidery business, focusing on t-shirts and patches. Her designs are fun and sometimes cheeky, whilst still making them wearable.

Instagram: @lacklustreembroidery

These t-shirts are the perfect boxy everyday fit, and they’re also made out of 100% cotton, meaning you might end up falling asleep in them later on in the day because they’re just as good as being in pyjamas. Many of her pieces also come in a range of colours, so whether you’re a fan of colour or not, there’s definitely something for you.

Veronica Velveteen

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/VeronicaVelveteen?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=687414340

Veronica Velveteen is a lil independent fashion brand based down in Portsmouth that creates vintage style pieces with actual vintage fabric (doesn’t get much better than that). The brand features plenty of wearable yet exciting pieces that are also super affordable, yet when you think that brands like ASOS or Topshop would charge the same amount for pieces that haven’t been well made, won’t fit right etc, you’d be mad not to check out this stuff.

Instagram: @veronicavelveteen

P.S. wanna be sustainable but don’t really fancy buying someone else’s second hand underwear? Veronica Velveteen creates stunning handmade pieces in luxurious fabrics to make you feel 10/10 whilst also not costing an arm and a leg! That means you could stock up on 3-4 pairs of these gorgeous things for the same price as one ‘fancy’ pair from Victoria’s Secret that you know you are too uncomfortable to wear anyway.

So, there’s my range of sustainable yet affordable brands that I have to share with you today. Please do give each of them a looking into as you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Love,

Sophie x

The truth about designer purchases

Hello again! As I’m getting back into the swing of blogging and I’m currently feeling inspired, I thought I’d speak my mind on a particular topic that I’ve had a lot of thoughts on. Truth being told, it’s a bit of a marmite topic to say the least as everyone is either all for it or they see no point in it, and that topic my friends is luxury clothing.

Bag: Shrimps

Now this will most definitely be a very personal and very taboo conversation surrounding money, and I don’t want to pass off any kind of bragging or materialistic vibe within this piece, it’s just something that I feel like we need to be more open and honest about in order to make money less of a touchy subject and instead make it okay to say you’re struggling and need a bit of help.

Speaking from an honest and personal perspective, I’ve came from a family that has often at times struggled financially and thus growing up I’ve never been showered with expensive presents. Although my family is now in a stable and comfortable financial situation, I know that that’s not the case for a lot of people and the idea of spending money on things that aren’t necessities is just frivolous and a big mistake.

Coat: Shrimps, top: Alexa Chung, skirt: H&M, shoes: Depop (Dr Martens)

That being said, this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had any kind of security. I now have savings and I’m budgeting my student loan, and I’m also working from time to time whenever I’m back home. Yet given this understanding of ‘I am fine for money’, I still have that guilt and caution about spending money and getting back to a past experience, as if it’s ingrained into my head. Yes in a way it’s a good thing, but it’s also such a negative thought process that has stopped me from doing what I want to do in the past and caused me to miss out on some great opportunities.

Now as to where designer items come into this story, as we all know the Christmas and January sales have been in everyone’s face recently. In that past I’d never even cared for looking at the discounts on websites like Selfridges or Net a Porter, as I couldn’t afford it so what was the point? Yes of course there were things that I’d be lusting over but I wasn’t actually considering buying them, it was just too extortionate. Yet after recently organising my savings and realising that I am financially stable, I realised that I could in fact buy these pieces that I’d been looking at for years. So I did.

Coat: Shrimps, top: vintage (Pop Boutique), jeans: Topshop, bag: gift

In my opinion, luxury pieces shouldn’t be bought because of their expensive look and the misinterpretation that they give off. When designer items become a trend and people buy into them even though they realistically wouldn’t have even considered buying that item 5 years ago, that’s when it’s a bad decision. Wanting an expensive item just simply because it fits your own personal style and you can imagine yourself wearing it in 10 years time, that’s what’s worth it.

I think that part of the stigma around designer purchases at a young age from other young people is heavily down to each persons background and what their lifestyle is now. Some people work full time jobs and get a steady income that they can easily afford to treat themselves whilst also setting themselves up for the future, whilst others are in education living on student loans whilst trying to get themselves in their dream career in the years to come. Some people live with their parents and don’t have many financial responsibilities whereas others can be the main provider for their household. To some people they wouldn’t even consider spending above a certain amount on clothing, whereas to others they’d have no reason not to.

Clothing is also seen as a pointless thing to spend all of your money on, because yes you can buy a handbag for £10 on the high street. But that same mentality can be applied to anything luxurious makeup, haircuts, tattoos, home decor, cars etc. There’s usually a price difference in these things due to the quality of the item and the care put into them, and especially how long they will last you for. Luxury clothing can be beautiful and practical and will save you a lot of money in the long run if it’s the right type of investment piece, so it’s not always about the flashiness of the new bag either.

It’s not a heavy topic in itself but the circumstances around it can often be similar or different to what you may have experienced, but it’s just a case of leaving people to do what they want with their money. Also money is just paper, yes it establishes things like a roof over your head and food on the table but if you’ve got that then you don’t need to rely on money for happiness. As long as you are okay financially and you can buy that coat or buy those shoes without it having a huge impact on your wellbeing, then fucking do it.

Apologises for the preachy tone but I just wanted to emphasise on how treating yourself does not need to have a guilty connotations along with it. This goes for luxury pieces or even little things like just buying a face mask because you want it. Again, if you’ll be okay without that money in your bank, you may as well buy it.

Lots of love,

Sophie x

1960’s fashion: music, miniskirts and Mary Quant

I’ve recently been doing a lot of research into the 1960’s fashion movements and the construction of how these styles came about and for what reasons, and since I’ve been so infatuated with the decade as a whole, I thought I’d share some of the key subjects that influenced womenswear of this time.

The 60’s saw a fashion focus on the younger generations, particularly on the teenage youth, as the change in music styles had also influenced them to desire clothes that they could move around in. The rising popularity of rock bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, went hand in hand with the frenzy of teenage girls that wanted to be with them and boys who wanted to be them.

Young girls didn’t want to dress as children anymore, and the older styles like Dior’s ‘New Look’ didn’t necessarily offer them much freedom physically, and thus this is where items such as the mini skirt were introduced. The super short manifestation was a bold style, suited to females who enjoyed the freedom of movement, or even to those who were heavily outspoken for women gaining a stronger role in society, in which the miniskirt was a modern style that didn’t fit the typical housewife agenda of the decade prior.

As the hemline was raised it became awkward to wear the traditional stockings, and so full length tights in bright block colours became the new fashion to suit this modern, youthful look. Mary Quant was a key designer for British youth at this time (and is also one of my personal favourite designers to this day) due to her recognition of young girls styling themselves and further feeding back what she saw them wearing in the streets, by supplying them with items such as these block coloured tights in a whole array of colours, which further formed this unique relationship between designer and customer.

Mary Quant was not the only important character in the 60’s love story, as who could forget about Twiggy? In her early days she was often compared to the equally beautiful Jean Shrimpton, who was seen to have more of a mature and classic feel than the young Twiggy, who at first had went by her real name Lesley Hornby. It was once her iconic pixie cut style was created, taking a whole 8 hours of bleaching and trimming in the House of Leonard salon in Wayfair, that ‘Twiggy’ was born.

Her super short cut and her doe eyes that she further brought out with defined eyeshadow, set a modern style for girls to recreate in their own way, to which obviously Mary Quant had supplied with her own makeup collections. Her makeup ranges included palettes that contained everything a girl could need in one item, including miniature brushes for girls to touch up with wherever they go, maybe on the way to a Beatles concert?

The youth quake of the 60’s has fascinated me a lot recently, as the parallels with not just the fashion industry today but society itself is undeniable. Social media helps to fuel our fearlessness of self expression and standing up for what is right, as the many many online movements since it’s birth is too many to count. Brands turn more towards street style and what the customer is wearing, which has usually been found second hand, as the superior fashion houses are lacking in imagination and awareness of what young people today actually want. And thus, history repeats itself.

Thanks for reading through this little homage to the 60’s, I hope you enjoyed it and even maybe learnt something new about this influential decade!

Sophie x

Festive season outfits

Hello hello! It’s been a short while since I’ve wrote on here (I’m currently fully invested in the uni life right now) but I thought I’d take some time to have a good browse at some of the amazing festive season party outfits that are out at the minute. These were all heavily inspired by my 2020 trend forecasting post I wrote back in the summer, but the roaring 20’s is most definitely the predominant theme across all of these looks!

Now I know I preach about sustainability in most of my topics, which I do fully stand by, but it’s highly unrealistic that the everyday person and people who may be on a tighter budget would be able to afford to get dressed up and fancy whilst still being 100% ethical and all the other faff that goes along with it. SO, I’ve combined a few popular online stores that I know people will be confident in the sizing and general quality of the pieces, and so that you can be sure to get a great outfit in time for the festive season.

Nastygal

To kick things off, Nastygal currently have a huge range of party wear available to suit everyone’s styles and shapes, but this blazer did certainly catch my eye! Wear over a turtleneck for a more formal approach, or on its own for more of a bold statement. Maybe you could pair it with this necklace set for some added details? If blazers aren’t necessarily your type of thing, maybe a simple satin dress can do the talking. Either way, both of these looks would be incredible with an oversized fur coat on top.

Missguided

I decided to have a quick browse on Missguided just to see what the options were, and boy they’ve really went the extra mile with the party looks. With an obvious influence from early 2000’s Paris Hilton in mind, this over the top pink organza dress would definitely grant you the best dressed title at the work Christmas do. If you like the idea but you’re wanting something a bit more subtle, maybe this subtle pink velvet mini dress could be a good idea. Alternatively, you could go the complete opposite route and go for this classic suit, in a nice velvet blazer and trousers combo. To keep your feet looking glam too, these diamante heels would definitely tie the whole look together.

ASOS

ASOS is the one that I’d definitely give the highest rating to in terms of nailing that 20’s style New Years outfit. From a matching fringed skirt and crop top set, to an embellished super cropped top that could work over any cute slip dresses, they’ve done a good job. If you really wanted to go fully on theme, then this embellished dress with added feather details is surely what you’re looking for. As for shoes, these star print mules add both comfort and fun to your outfit as you dance away into 2020.

So that’s all of the amazing party pieces that I have to share with you today, be sure to let me know if you purchase any of them! I hope December brings along many fun nights out and a lot of good booze.

Sophie x

3 outfits for 3 days in London

London baby! If you’d already guessed from the multitude of instagram posts this week, I spent Monday-Wednesday in the capital for a uni residential trip with a bunch of course mates. It was a trip dedicated to getting us all inspired and motivated to start designing some fun garments as part of our current module, and now I definitely feel well fed on inspiration. In between the many many many wonderful exhibitions and galleries we visited, I did manage to get a good few pics of some outfits I wore.

Monday

So thankfully we’d got the train down to London instead of the usual coach option, so by around 1pm we were at the hostel and we’d popped out to get some food. Once we’d settled, we headed over to the Tate to get some geometric art inspiration for one of our current modules. If I’m being totally honest, the work there was great, but we were so tired by this point that we just couldn’t really appreciate it enough. (Wait until Tuesday and then it gets more fun).

As for the outfit, I went for this faux leather dress that I’d been trying to get my hands on for over a month now, paired with my favourite Sax Potts style tights and a new pair of boots I’ve invested in for winter. The whole look was pretty neutral, but I think that it looks quite nice with my pale skin.

Tuesday

Tuesday was most definitely my favourite day of the trip (and one of the best days of my life tbh) from start to finish. After breakfast we headed to Dover Street Market where I finally got to see some of Molly Goddard’s work in real life. Then to seeing some Shrimps bags in Liberty, Henry Holland strolling past us, and all of the gorgeous shops in between, it couldn’t really get much better.

Then we went to the V&A to go see the Tim Walker exhibition, which was quite phenomenal and there’s a hell of a lot of photographs to look at for the price of one ticket! Whilst there I took a little detour into the Mary Quant exhibition (I just couldn’t resist) and I was totally satisfied with the vast collection of shift dresses, pinafores and everything 60’s. I ended up spending quite a bit on the Mary Quant gift shop, but I did get an adorable necklace and two pins out of it that I can get my wear out of.

As for my outfit, I went for something a bit more formal yet I chose a more suitable shoe option for the heavy, heavy amounts of walking we did. Aside from my bag, this outfit cost me a total of a tenner from the charity shop, including the shoes! I had to alter the skirt a little in order to be a bit more flattering, but for £2.99 for the set I just couldn’t resist.

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning we payed a visit to the Christopher Raeburn studio in order to get a behind the scenes look into a real life fashion design working environment. Although the brand was not one that I was particularly fond of before attending their HQ, I was quite impressed by their unique methods of producing sustainable and ethical clothing, such as these pieces which have been made from wartime maps that were made to withstand a hell of a lot of damage.

Following on from the Raeburn visit, we headed straight for the Invisible Men exhibition, a show dedicated to the history and evolution of mens fashion that has often been overshadowed by womenswear. As a whole, the collection was so interesting to see the variation of shapes and styles that menswear can obtain, especially when taken from all kinds of backgrounds.

The exhibition was hosted by the Professor Andrew Groves at the University of Westminster, however you may know him as Alexander McQueen’s ex lover that appeared in the recent McQueen documentary. Of course I had to go up and make conversation with him, and beyond the general talk of the garments included in the exhibition, he also mentioned that when the pair went their separate ways, he tossed out all of his McQueen items as he believed that they were worthless and wouldn’t be valued at anything. (He’s now had to buy many McQueen pieces to include on this exhibition, which could be seen as karma if you believe in that kind of thing).

As for my outfit on Wednesday, I’d packed these amazing croc print trousers that I’d been saving for a fun occasion. With them I went for a more casual white turtleneck to slightly balance it out, however the pvc coat and croc print platform boots did kind of the opposite of this. The shoes were surprisingly very comfy to walk around in, but there was absolutely no elegant way of sitting down and getting back up.

I’m gutted to be back home and back to my usual routine, but I’m definitely feeling tired physically from the amount of walking we did and tired mentally from the amount of information that we had to take in from the hundreds of exhibitions we went to! I might be skint now, but it was so worth it.

Love, Sophie x

Autumn Transitional Outfits

The last time I properly wrote anything on here was at the early beginnings of October when we were starting to head into the autumn transition, so you could consider the theme of this blog post to be a little late, but I’m going to do it anyway since it’s still an indecisive climate in this big old dying world.

So as I’m getting back into the swing of the blog life, uni life, adult life and all that good stuff, I’ve taken a very comfy and practical yet fun approach to my wardrobe lately. I’ve also gotten into a phase of updating and adding to my wardrobe (which I’ll admit here isn’t fully sustainable as a lot of these pieces were bought from the usual online retailers, BUT these are investment pieces that I’ve debated on or a while, and as usual I know that these items will be in my wardrobe for a very very very long time). Disclaimer out there, lets get on with the pieces.

Bright colours aren’t just for Spring you know?

Coat: vintage. Shirt, skirt and bag: Topshop. Trainers: Adidas.

Now some of you may consider this to be quite a ‘summery’ looking colour combination, but when we head into the more darker months, it’s nice to contrast the dull grey atmosphere with a bright and fun outfit. The colour combination of pink and blue is super complimentary and can work on any skin tone, without being so colourful that you look like a rainbow (not that it’s a bad thing!).

As for the warmth of this outfit, you can still get away with wearing the items from your warmer weather wardrobe if you layer it well. Yes, the satin shirt doesn’t provide much protect from a chilly breeze, but if you’re going to shot a coat on anyway on a drizzly day then you might as well make the under layers look a bit more eye-catching. As for the skirt, it’s midi length already covers a bit more surface area anyway, but it’s thick corduroy material is an added bonus for adding both warmth and texture to an outfit.

Remember that an outfit is built up in layers and once you put your coat on, that isn’t the outfit done with in a two dimensional form. If you’re going to a party, it’s highly doubtful that you’ll keep your coat on indoors. Why not put on a shirt with a bit more volume or detail on the sleeve? Then once you take your coat off, you’ve still got an added bit of surprise to what would be presumed as a bog standard shirt.

Rainy day monochrome

Coat, bag and boots: Nastygal. Jumper: Topshop. Skirt: Primark.

Now this general look could have worked more practically with the added use of an umbrella and some tights, but I don’t own an umbrella nor do I enjoy wearing tights most of the time, so don’t listen to me on that one. However, an ABSOLUTE necessity for this time of the year is some form of a waterproof coat.

Maybe it doesn’t have to be a traditional waterproof jacket, but something a bit more exciting that has a fun shape or print is so handy for when you don’t want your coat to ruin your outfit. My Doctor Who coat (as I like to refer to it as) is my most treasured item right now due to it’s practicality but also its unique combination of print on pvc material is something that I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on.

Mixing textures is another overseen technique in vamping up an outfit in these colder months. Now this outfit might just be a jumper and skirt pairing which I’ve just shot my coat on top of, but if you look closer you can see its actually a mixture of pvc, wool knit, denim, faux leather, faux croc, and denim. Each piece stands out in it’s own way whilst still working as a cohesive look, and that’s exactly the type of thing that really makes an outfit look stylish and well orchestrated.

Now doing a complete 180 turn on the first look I’ve shown, this one takes a bit more of a toned down, neutral take on an autumnal outfit. Although each of these pieces all fall under the same colour family of browns and beiges, the variation between shades between each piece makes the outfit look eye-catching from every angle instead of just looking like one big blur. This is a good way to look at monochromatic styling, in that combining different shades of the same colour into one look can section off the body whilst still working well together.

1970’s but make it Autumn 2019

Shirt, coat and belt: vintage. Jeans, bag and boots: Topshop.

Obviously boots are a staple for the autumn period, theres nothing new there. Yet your outfit is from head to toe and so it’s great to draw attention to different items on your body that you may often forget about or not really consider to be the focal point of an outfit. If you’re looking to buy a new pair of boots for the season ahead, try to avoid ones that don’t have a statement feature about them, e.g. a unique material, a bright colour, a fun heel, something like that.

This is a key investment piece for those days where you want to just shot on a jumper and a pair of jeans, but you know that something is just missing from your outfit. Deciding on a pair of statement boots means that your feet will still be warm whilst also being the key element of your outfit, and that way you don’t have to faff on with any ‘nice’ top with three cards on top plus your coat because you didn’t feel dressy enough.

If you’ve got an item in your wardrobe that you wore for the entirety of summer and you hate to leave in your wardrobe for another 6 months, well then you don’t have to! Any kind of special items like lace shirts, satin dresses, or frilly skirts can easily be worn in this time of the year, if you combine them with the right adjustments. Take this lace shirt, if I wanted to I could add a white turtleneck underneath for some added warmth, or I could even opt for a black one in order to enhance the white contrast of the lace. This way, it’s still adding a bit of depth to my outfit in general, but I won’t be freezing all day.

So, I hoped you enjoyed reading some of these autumn styling ideas that I’ve shared today. I think it’s hard to adjust to a dramatic change in the weather when you haven’t worn any wintery types of clothes in almost a year, so it’s nice to get a bit of advice or encouragement along the way. I’m off to London on Monday for a few days with my uni course, so expect to see some an exciting blog post on some more dramatic outfits next Saturday!

thanks again,

Sophie x

Fashion Philosophie: two years later

Despite the fact that I’m currently living up to the stereotypical ‘student lifestyle’ of being sleep deprived as I’m still feeling tired from my hour long post uni nap, I’m SUPER excited to be reminiscing on a whole two years of blogging! I asked you guys on my insta story the other day about what type of topic that you’d like me to cover on this special occasion and the running theme was to revive some of my outfits and favourite pieces of clothing over the past two years and share my thoughts on how I believe my style has changed, if at all (keep reading to find out).

Autumn/Winter 2017

The period that I’d started my blog in the later months of 2017, seen quite a different style to what I’d wear today.

In terms of silhouettes and proportions I’d say that the clothes were still the same, yet the colour palette was edged towards more darker jewel tones, or it would be a mixture of the primary colours.

At the time I was working on the History of Fashion for my Art History a-level, so I was taking in a lot of references from different periods; particularly eras like the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Spring/Summer 2018

Still continuing on from the last season, I still enjoyed playing with more darker tones, with a slow introduction to some more brighter pieces.

The monochromatic outfit from when I went to Paris is what I believe to be was the start of my love for colour blocking with similar brighter tones.

Another piece that Callum picked out are my beloved Valentine’s Day Dr Martens which took me a whole 7 months to get my hands on. It’s rare that I will wear them out due to their bright white body, but trust me they are very much a well loved pair of shoes.

Autumn/Winter 2018

Ah yes the start of Foundation, probs the best year of my life.

Starting of with the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen in my life which I wore for my birthday. It had everything; the belle sleeves, the stunning bright print, the neck tie detail. I just love that dress.

I believe that clothes not only reveal a lot about your personality, but they can very much show your mood and your attitude to life at that point in time.

At this point I was so happy to be on the same course as my best friends in the same environment and to have another year to get prepared for uni, so my wardrobe naturally got a lot brighter and a lot more fun.

The leopard print coat is one that I wore to death and will still continue to wear to death this year, and the Shrimps X Converse jumper with matching trainers is an outfit that I’ll never get tired of repeating.

Spring/Summer 2019

Not only did I feel happy about how my life was going, but I felt happy about myself.

Getting into uni and getting a distinction in Foundation gave me the confidence that I really needed, and then that reflected on how I felt about myself personally.

I felt just as comfortable in a bralette as I did in a big baggy cardigan (that beloved purple cardigan). And thus as the summer heatwave just never ended, I was happy to get my arms out or get my legs out and dance with some mates from day drinking until I’m the first to say I’m off to bed.

Autumn/Winter 2019

So here we are now, in the present day. I’ve moved out, turned 20, started university, made so many friends and had many new experiences, and so my style is definitely shifting again.

It’s not that I don’t like dressing up in a pink midi skirt with a contrasting green top to match, because I could even wake up tomorrow and feel like wearing it, but right now I just feel more interested in balancing tones and textures and patterns.

I’ve started to introduce a lot more neutral tones into my wardrobe as I find that they’re quite calming colours that work beautifully with each other in this changing of seasons.

A key piece you’ll be seeing a lot of on my instagram is the amazing PVC printed coat from Nastygal that I was eyeing up for a good year before finally caving and getting.

The first time I wore it my dad said I looked like The Doctor, so I’ll now refer to it as my Doctor Who coat.

Thank you!

I know it’s cliche but I’d just like to thank everyone who’s ever read my blog, consistently reads my blog, comments or dm’s me with support or questions or anything to show that you listened.

This blog is my baby and for the past two years I’ve loved being able to talk about whatever fashion related drama or ideas that are on my mind and it’s been even better to hear a great response from everyone.

So thanks again for all the kind words, this is now my 49th blog post and I’ll be sure to be making many more in the future.

Love,

Sophie x