9 Fashion Tips To Help Define Your Trans-seasonal Style

How to fashion yourself now…

Jenna Lyons

For most, September is the hardest month to dress oneself. Of course this makes sense – it’s the time of uncertainty for dandies and fashion concerned clothes wearers. We have been so busy honing and compiling our summer wardrobes, taking to Pinterest and Tumblr for street style inspiration and then shopping accordingly, that we haven’t even given much thought to the 2014-15 autumn/winter catwalk shows that we watched back in February.

I personally feel like, just as I truly got into the swing of my fashioned summer self – lots of shorts, printed trousers, Birkenstocks, camisole tops and a general laid back Celine inspired approach – were the shops displaying winter garb too warm to wear and the magazines discussing new coat trends far too early to invest in.

Yet, in London, August just gone, it was far too chilly to be sporting shorts and camisole tops, however, not quite the season for tights and boots. And, here we are in September, the appearance of the sun is slightly unreliable, but there is a much warmer temperature than the previous month. Indeed, we have reached the time in the year when our summer wardrobes need to be adapted slightly to contend with the colder mornings and evenings and days that may not be as bright as they were in the height of summer.

It is the transitional seasons that I find to be the most intriguing in terms of fashion, particularly the summer to autumn as opposed to winter to spring. The glossies are fatter and more overwhelming than ever. The spectrum of styles and trends worn by street style icons varies more vastly than ever and the commuters that I see every day in London are a mash up of ankle boots worn with dresses, cut off shorts with kimonos, to coats with sandals.

The transitional seasons can bring about uncertainty because the season hasn’t actually managed to synch itself with the edits in the fashion magazines – there is no definitive fashion rhetoric stating that this is what should be worn NOW. The silver lining of this very short lived moment in fashion is, it is our time to shine – to wear whatever we want, to interpret the trends that we loved of the summer just gone and piece them together with the purchases we have made for the coming winter season.

My approach to defining my look and streamlining my wardrobe for this ‘in-between’ time is almost like creating a capsule collection of garments that include pieces from my summer wardrobe, pieces from my winter wardrobe and a few pieces that I have purchased specifically to hack these trans-seasonal dilemmas. I think the challenge is to feel as though you are dressed appropriately as well as fashionably and so far, these nine tips have been my solution…

1.Wear your mum jeans till you can’t wear them any more…

street style fashion spring 15 shows

When in doubt, don’t we all just opt for jeans? I know it’s not very creative, but this is the perfect time to really value mum, boyfriend and tapered jeans. I only wear these more relaxed fit jeans at an ankle grazing length and with heeled sandals, stilettos and shoes that tend to expose the foot as opposed to cover it. The combination of the shoe and a bit ankle on display helps to keep these relaxed fit jeans a little more sexy. I generally don’t enjoy wearing jeans in the height of summer and feel that these particular cut jeans are far too casual for my winter wardrobe, so the transitional seasons are perfect for ankle grazing jeans with stilettos. So I am wearing these mothers as much as I can right now!

2. Wear ripped jeans till the winter fairytale calms the distress…

ripped jeans street style fashion

The distressed jean is back – a little more refined than it was in the early noughties and maybe not as long lasting as it was in its last fashion reign. The 2014/15 winter trends are dreamy, sleek and refined, think shift dresses and long boots at Gucci, cinched waists and pencil skirts at Balmain and the Sicilian fairy tale at Dolce and Gabanna. It seems pretty that ripped jeans won’t be cutting it for much longer.

3. Don’t Cover Up to Soon…Hold off wearing tights and boots 

Leather culottes

My mother once told me, “Stay away from tights till October and boots till November.” I don’t always take her fashion rules on board, but adopting my respect for fashion and dress from her, I do like to consider them. Ankle boots, of course I will wear with a skirt or a dress throughout summer and autumn months, but I will not wear them with jeans and most certainly won’t wear my boots with tights – that’s far too much protection and coverage too soon. If it’s raining so heavily that a court shoe or a sandal is out of the question, I opt for brogues, driving shoes or slip on sneakers and if I can’t get away with wearing a skirt or dress without tights, then I simply go for a smart trouser.  I think a  wardrobe should change and transform as the seasons do. If we  start wearing tights in September, the likelihood is we’ll be wearing them till March next year and where’s the fun in that? With the midi skirt back in fruition this winter, who needs tights anyway?

4. Throw some black trousers into the mix…

Black trousers street style

If you’re opting for a little more elegance than jeans can offer, but are also avoiding tights, like myself, how do you stay warm and tasteful? Tailored trousers! Like jeans, a pair of simple black trousers are trans-seasonal, but they have a slightly more mature edge on jeans. They look sexy and sleek paired with stilettos and smart and androgynous worn with loafers and brogues.

5. Smarten up your maxis….

olivia palermo stye

You can call them maxi skirts and dresses I suppose – but something about the word maxi reminds me of summer and floatiness. Full length skirts and dresses paired with a chambray or denim shirt or a simple round neck jumper lengthens the longevity of a garment mostly associated with the sun. Biker jackets naturally toughen up this typically feminine garment. Wear these full length skirts and dresses with heeled strappy sandals, peep toe heeled shoes and even boots – Olivia Palermo has nailed this look to a T!

6. Replace your camisole vests with tops that cover your decolletage…

Miroslava Duma

As versatile as those camisole tops were for the summer, it’s time to phase them out. You’ll find yourself needing a jacket or a cardigan to cover up wearing these thin and strappy tops – which can be unnecessary fuss, unless of course, your cover up is adding something aesthetically to the style of your ensemble. Never underestimate the good of a great t-shirt to tuck into jeans, culottes, midi skirts or a pair of tailored trousers. And if you’re looking for something a little more pulled together, opt for shell tops, sleeveless or short sleeved. These tops and tees won’t expose too much of your décolletage, therefore you can wear them without a jacket or scarf during the early months of autumn, but still have your arms on show whilst trying to hold on to summer.

7. Don’t be all buttoned up just yet – opt for a casual shirt…

Miranda Kerr in double denim

On the days when it is slightly cooler, maybe too cool for a short sleeve, I opt for a casual shirt. My first choice is denim, but chambray and oxford and even my fiance’s shirts will make the cut. I pair these shirts with skinny jeans and a strappy heeled sandal or stiletto. I know in the midst of the winter I will head to Zara and purchase myself a shed load of smart, sharp and will-dress-up-any-ensemble- Celine-esque shirts and blouses and I will wear them right through till March. However, in the warmer months I like to keep things a little more relaxed than my winter wardrobe.

8. Show off your waistcoats This is a waistcoat’s prime time…

Olivia Palermo Waistcoat

This is a waistcoat’s prime time! In the colder winter months I will wear a waistcoat over my shirt and beneath my coat, which is great for those that see me indoors and coat-less, but not so much when I am running about outside in the cold. If you want to give your waistcoat, which is a seriously cool garment, some serious airtime, now is the time to do it. For me, it is still too warm to wear a leather jacket and I feel too stuffy in a blazer. I am still flitting around London in short sleeve tops and tees without any outerwear at all. But if I want to add a little something to an ensemble, I pull out my waistcoat and throw it over over a shift dress or a shirt and jeans ensemble. Never have I worn it so much!

9. Say goodbye to flippy sandals…

birlenstocks

Stop wearing your strappy flat delicate sandals and opt for a heeled sandal, a heavier and chunkier sandal or Birkenstocks. Strappy sandals are just a little too easy breezy for this transitional autumn period and boots are too wintery, so now is the time for peep toe boots, ankle sandals and shoes in colours or material you fear to wear in the winter. I say wear your Birckemstocks now and keep wearing them till you go off them – if you haven’t already. I think I have already gone off mine!

 Be charmed, stay inspired!

Be On Trend, Dress for the Season and Keep Warm…

…in this cold British Spring 2013…

Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2013
Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2013

The weather is said to be the most disengaging topic of conversations ever. It’s definitely the most thoughtless and uninspiring of conversations, ideal for filling silences and the perfect small talk with people you don’t really care about, but where fashion is concerned the weather is a big deal. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter; if there’s one thing that fashion is dependent upon for its success it’s these four elements.The seasons are indeed what keep the fashion wheel spinning and in turn keep us fashionistas from going crazy, because let’s face it, we fashionistas depend upon change. In the winter we sit at our desks at work fantasising about balmy summer evenings after a day in the office spent on roof top bars overlooking the capital adorned in the latest spring summer trends, with Tom Ford sunglasses perched on our noses and polished toenails peeping out of strappy sandals. Once summer eventually turns to autumn we romantacise about being tucked away in cosy pubs protected by overwhelming woolly jumpers, jeans tucked into long boots with our winter armour of scarves, hats, gloves and the latest statement coat piled up beside us. Of course, us Londoners are unfortunately more familiar with the latter.

The impact the weather has on our state of mind, our being and of course our wardrobes, especially our wardrobes is spectacular. For those that live in countries where the seasons are clearly defined comes a sense of clarity, winter; comforting and protected, autumn; melancholy, settled and reminiscent of the summer, spring; new, refreshed and enthused and summer; alive, liberated, contented and of course, happy. In London right now we’re not quite sure what to feel, we’re not quite sure of the season and we’re not quite sure what to wear, let alone what clothes to buy. It’s mid-may and it’s fair to say the UK is still very much fantasising about Summer…still waiting tentatively for a long enough stretch of good weather so we can put away our winter clothes, prepare our summer wardrobes and finally start investing in all the summer trends we’ve been reading about since September 2012. However, it would appear that the sun isn’t ready to put his hat on just yet, which means us Londoners aren’t taking ours off.

At the end of March I spent four days in Barcelona, the weather was glorious and although it wasn’t the height of summer or even officially spring, it was warm enough not to wear a jacket. So bright and sunny was it that it frequently tempted me into spending a ton of Euros on summer clothes in all one hundred Zaras located on La Diagonal. But I refrained, because I knew it was some 16 degrees colder back in London and that it was far better to have the money in my bank account as opposed to hanging in my wardrobe. After a fabulous four days with my partner, eating Tapas and drinking sangria with the sun beating down on our faces, sipping cocktails on the beach and strolling along the boardwalk as skaters swooped by us, the thought of returning to London filled me with dread. After my partner and I split up a year ago we got rid of our flat and were living separately, which meant returning to separate homes. It meant returning back to reality, the nine to five job that took away my liberty to sit and eat Tapas for hours should I want and stroll along the streets taking in my surrounding as opposed to marching from point to point, always with something to do, somewhere to be, some appointment to make. And of course, it meant returning to the cold, back to boots and coats with scarves and hats. As we sat on the plane mid-flight I willed the temperature in London to have at least reached double figures, but the captain confirmed that the temperature in London was four degrees!

I went to work the following week with that sense of ‘Is this as good as it gets?’. At the time I hadn’t realised I was probably suffering a mixture of holiday blues with a bit of Seasonal Associative Disorder. I was feeling so great in Barcelona and it was though I was crashing. I remember saying to one of my colleagues, who’s young, bright eyed, bushy tailed and not even been working a year yet, ‘I deserve more than this.’ She said to me, as though I were crazy, ‘Like what?’ Through fear of sounding old and depressing I said nothing, but secretly I knew I needed a change. I was beginning to feel like I was in a rut, which isn’t particularly like me. Did I need a change of job? Surely not, I love my job.  Did I need a new project? I knew that couldn’t be it…I have my blog, which I also love and I am still writing my novel…albeit slowly. I was enjoying working out, which I felt good about, momentarily – so what was it? Then one morning, after checking the weather on my phone, hoping it might have changed from the night before when I first checked it and disappointed that it hadn’t, I dressed myself in the weather appropriate ensemble I had prepared the night before; a black long sleeved midi dress, with tights and black suede wedged boots. As I maneuvered myself into the black tights that have been protecting my legs from the cold  I realised I had grown to resent them and once I had hooked and zipped and tied my feet into the black boots I enjoyed clomping about in all winter, I realised I have grown sick to the back tooth with wearing boots. It’s Spring Summer 2013 and I should have been prancing around in  a monochrome skirt, something yellow and an ensemble worn with a pair of metallic stilettos. Of course a major part of being well dressed is being dressed appropriately and knowing how to dress for the weather is paramount, so resentfully and fearful of the weather, I headed to the office that day in my tights and boots feeling warm, but still far from fabulous. That evening I went for after work drinks, I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror of the establishment I was drinking in and remember thinking that I looked far too covered up, which is all well and good for winter, but surely not for spring, even if it was only four degrees and raining outside! I ended up removing the tights and suffering the cold and I am not generally one to endure the cold for aesthetic purposes.

It very quickly dawned on me, I wasn’t in a rut, I didn’t need a change of job or a new project, I needed a change of season.  When I am feeling low or less than confident, it’s fashion that I turn to make me feel fabulous. Of course reading a book, writing and such all make me feel great internally, but I am sure most fashion lovers will agree, when going out to face the big bad world, an ensemble that makes you feel fabulous can make this very normal part of living a whole fabulous event. And I will put my hands up and say, that one of the things that makes commuting everyday that little bit sweeter, that bit more fabulous, is wearing an ensemble that I have taken a bit of time to put together and that I love wearing. It makes the train journey, the visit to Starbucks, working in the office, going for lunch, taking meetings and socialising after work that special. And even more so, when I’m wearing something new! But I wasn’t shopping, because it was too cold to buy spring/summer clothes and I didn’t want to waste anymore money on winter clothes, just in case spring did decide to settle in, so therefore I had nothing new. On the other hand I had grown bored and almost angry at the winter clothes the weather still required me to wear. I had developed, what I have coined, Fashion Associative Disorder – caused by the lack of change in season and therefore the lack of change in wardrobe

Instead of getting angry, I accepted this as a fashion challenge and I embraced it. The challenge being, how to look current and on trend, whilst in season, without the weather necessarily correlating with the weather? So, like I would with the turn of any season, I began to select the trends that most suit my style; for the season I have opted for Marc Jacobs Monochrome, so accessible and depending on what garment you buy, doesn’t need to be particularly seasonal and won’t necessarily date too quickly. Yellow, think Louis Vuitton, often associated with spring and summer, but again, purchasing yellow tops as opposed to trousers or skirts, makes this an easier trend to implement into an ensemble and make it look current, without looking too summery or feeling too cold. The perfect trend for UK weather right now has got to be what I am calling ‘the new denim’ – I might have read this term somewhere, just think Philip Lim’s New York runway s/s 2013. This trend is perfect for me, because I love denim, but always fear it can be too casual – this new reworked denim has changed wearing denim on the upper body entirely, denim shirts have become smart and sexy in soft kimono sleeved tops or cropped and boxy soft denim t-shirts. Another key trend I have adopted this very cold spring is the graphic digital print partnered up with a complimentary, but again slightly different print, again inspired by Marc Jacobs.

Once I decided the trends I would be wearing, I decided how best to implement them in this barely even tepid UK weather. I avoided purchasing garments directly associated with spring, so instead of buying little skirts and dresses, trousers to light to keep me warm and floaty tops too summery to be appropriate just yet, I purchased tops and blouses and trousers of a substantial material. I bought myself that soft denim Philip Lim inspired kimono sleeved top from Zara and I wear it with leather trousers and metallic Terry De Havilland wedges – an outfit that nods quite nicely to this seasons’s key trends. I have also found playing with colour is a great technique to make an ensemble appear spring-ier and current, without necessarily having to compromise on warmth from the garment, so I bought jeans from Zara in beige and khaki green and pastel pink and bright yellow blouses, which I have worn with some new black stilettos from Zara, a black blazer and my staple black Chloe handbag. I have also entered into a little monochrome madness, but I justify this with the thinking that monochrome printed shirts and blouses will never date. In fact, I entered this monochrome trend toward the end of last year with a few shirts from Zara and then continued with a birthday ensemble that consisted of a black and white printed vest top tucked into black and white Marc Jacobs inspired trousers, all from Topshop, worn with a black Marc Jacobs handbag and red Miu Miu wedges. And last, but by no means least, my absolute favourite spring summer purchase, that makes me feel fabulous no matter how warm or cold it might be, is without fail my Tom Ford sunglasses. I am now coveting more spring-ier shades for wardrobe pieces that allow a high cost per wear; a handbag, ideally the grey Prada Saffiano bag or the 31 Hour Phillip Lim handbag, of which colour I am not quite sure. And I am still struggling to find a spring jacket that blows me away, it needs to be lighter in weight and in a neutral or pastel colour, but what I have found once again, is that fabulous feeling and that is what’s most important!

The weather is not only affecting wardrobes and our state of minds, but its affecting retail sales and clothing companies are just as desperate to see the spring officially kick in as much as we are. But in the meantime, if you’re feeling this seasonal slump or think you might have a case of my Fashion Associative Disorder, I say embrace the fashion challenge and shop your way out of it! Nobody quite knows how theraputic retail therapy is quite like a fashionista and if it gives you that fabulous feeling, surely that’s all that counts!

Monochrome and digital print pairing, inspired by Marc Jacobs…

Monochrome Madness
The new denim, playing with fabric and totally on trend t
his season, inspired by Phillip Lim…
New Denim
Incorporating lighter  colours into an ensemble,
inspired by the Fendi 2013 colour palette
Springing into Colour
The game changers,  the absolute staples that will define your
summer wardrobe from winter everyday
with great cost per wear value…
On Trend, In Season and Warm - British S/S2013
Be charmed, stay warm, stay fashionable and stay inspired!

My Thing About Stilettos…

 

If you’ve picked up a Vogue magazine, scoured the Street Style pins on Pinterest or admired the spring summer 2013 ad campaigns of the major fashion houses in the last six months you will know that the stiletto is back and with a vengeance. These days you rarely spot the likes of Olivia Palermo, Kim Kardashian and the the recent addition to my fashion radar, Miranda Kerr, out and about without donning these ever so simple, ever so classic, yet suddenly ever so chic shoes. In my fashion lifetime, which consists of twelve years, defined by the period of time in which I have been a contributor and a consumer of fashion goods afforded by my own pocket as opposed to my parents – this is not the first time the stiletto has been coined ‘chic’. When I say chic, I am not referring to the days when the stereotyped Essex girl claimed this pointed heeled shoe in white leather. No, the stiletto has reigned once before within my fashion life, with a lot more fashion kudos than the Essex girl was rewarded, and if my memory serves me correctly, this was circa 2001.

I remember it categorically. It was about the time when I was studying Performance Art Management at the Brits School and dating a French man 13 years my senior. The pointed stiletto I owned a plenty, mostly from Faith, a few pairs from Ravels and one pair from Karen Millen, complete with matching handbag. I wore them to feel grown up, elegant and worthy of dating an older man. I wore them in pink with a wooden heel,  black mesh with a leather toe cap, silver with a metallic heel, monochrome with a white toe and black heel (which would have been perfect for the trends of the coming spring) and my very special pair from Dune, in gingham check red and white.  On their debut, I wore these shoes with an asymmetric little black dress from Miss Sixty. It was Monday night and I was at Ten Rooms. Indeed, it was about the time when Ten Rooms was the hot London night club and the ultimate place to be Monday nights. That particular night, the night I wore my gingham check shoes to Ten Rooms, John Legend was just launching in the UK. So fresh out of water was he that he required an introduction from the master of ceremony for his performance, which won over the hearts of me and my friends . That was the era – my era, when stilettos were the only shoes you wore.

However, if you weren’t a fan of John Legend nor a fan of the live music scene in London night clubs in the early noughties, then a better reference point to draw upon for any fashionista will be Sex and the City. In 2001 Sex and the City was into its third year. Carrie Bradshaw, my ultimate icon, idol, maybe even professional guru at the time, was flitting all about the streets of Manhattan in these delicate stilettos. And, like I said, she was my life coach, therefore I flit about the streets of London in stilettos too! During this period I wouldn’t have been seen dead without my stilettos, but like all trends, the day came when the pointed shoe was ‘so last season!’ And after becoming very mindful of getting my heels stuck in drains and in between decking and mastering the art of walking on my tip toes when visiting homes that boasted parquet flooring, the stiletto disappeared. In fact, the stiletto didn’t just disappear or slowly fade out, they were thrown out, considered hideous, unfashionable – those items that you’d look back and think, ‘God, I can’t believe I ever wore those’, and very quickly the world became adverse to the pointed toe, pointed heel and all.

Nothing quite confirms you’ve got a few miles on the clock like witnessing a trend complete a full cycle, however the stiletto is back, and in its second term in my fashionable life.  Although the world hasn’t gone stiletto crazy just yet, by Spring 2013 it’s likely that fashionistas will be getting their heels stuck in drains, sunk into grass and ruining parquet floors left right and centre. But, the stiletto uptake has been slow. Stilettos were on the shelves of high street stores as far back as 2011. That may not sound particularly long ago in real life, but in fashion years, two years ago is a long time. I remember because I bought two pairs of stilettos that year, a pair from Zara inspired by the Christian Louboutin Helmut shoe and a pair from Office with gold spikes on the back of the shoe. But I found I never really wore them and by 2012 I had forgotten about them entirely.

You see, nobody was really wearing stilettos around the time I purchased mine and although I’d delight in spotting a snap of Victoria Beckham or the occasional fashionite in a Tommy Ton photograph wearing their thin heeled shoes, truth be told, the stiletto wasn’t really making much of a presence on the high street and therefore I wasn’t enjoying them as much as I would have if they were totally on trend and all the rage. I’m not a fashion victim, at least I don’t think so, but fashion is a two way street and no matter how proud one might be to be fashion forward or fashion savvy, part of the reason we all follow fashion is so we can be in it. If nobody else is really getting it and nobody else is wearing it – then the trend doesn’t really work. So I hung up my stilettos…. but only momentarily.

Now I am keen to add to my stiletto collection – a leopard print pair, a nude pair, a red pair and a designer pair. I am wearing the stilettos I already own as and when I can, but let’s be honest, with the violent cold we have been experiencing in England and the recent downfall of rain, sleet AND snow, wearing stilettos is a major commitment that I cannot make at the moment. This is my thing with stilettos, you see, as excited as I am that I grabbed hold of this trend and have been donning these shoes before they become populace, I am only able to wear them on very select occasions.  Reason being, I can’t flit around town Carrie Bradshaw style in stilettos the way I once did. I have become way to accustomed to the support and protection a platform or a chunky heel provides.  I am not used to the ball of my foot being so close to the ground, I am not used to being able to make out a pebble beneath the sole of my shoe and I am not used to relying on such a thin heel to hold the weight of my body. In my late twenties I have also realised, I am not comfortable having any of my skin exposed to the harsh outdoors of an English winter, apart from my face of course, and this includes my feet. I wear boots and brogues and that’s as far as it goes.

I recently went to dinner with a friend who wore a pair of red suede stilettos with a metal cigarette heel. When she arrived I was a little sad that I had opted for a pair of black suede wedged boots instead of my stilettos and admired her commitment. Let me tell you about my friend – she’s tiny, about five foot tall and she wears heels relentlessly. Even to walk around Portobello Market she’ll adorn her feet in the highest of heels. However, as we readied ourselves to head home, she slipped off her red stilettos and swapped them for a pair of Converse. I was flabbergasted, a little disappointed even – but I got it. Stilettos are not a commuters friend and they are no walk in the park. If you’re jumping in a cab, driving or doing something that involves very little walking, dancing or time on your feet in general, then by all means opt for your stilettos, but these shoes will not see you through hard times, in fact they might create them!

So, I wear my stilettos as and when I can. I wear them when I am going for mid-week drinks or dinner and am driving or jumping in a cab. I wear them to the cinema – as just like drinking and dining, you do this sitting down. I wear them on house visits and I recently wore them at a work conference, (not to, because I carried them in my bag) which also involved lots of sitting down. They look spectacular with a pair of leather trousers, and with skirts and dresses stilettos really elongate your legs and give your feet that perfect ballet dancers arch (think Victoria Beckham’s feet in a pair of court shoes). If I’m wearing my stilettos in the daytime I generally tend to pair these very elegant shoes, which can be looked upon as particularly sexual, with a more casual look. As someone who isn’t a particularly casual dresser, but has desperately been trying to pull off the casual sporty winter trends, namely the sweatshirt, the stiletto has been my game changer. Since committing to my stilettos I have bought four sweatshirts and am feeling very proud! These shoes will glam up any sweatshirt and skinny jeans ensemble instantly and appear almost effortless.I say ‘appear’, because only you will know the effort you are making to wear these shoes. Whether it’s  paying extortionate cab fares to and from a location, driving on a night out, therefore compromising on the merriment of alcohol consumption and knowing, if the night kicks off and the crowd gets dancing, you’ll be spending most of it dancing with your bottom on your chair. 

So, for those like me, not braving the cold in stilettos just yet, I say we enjoy the spring in our step for the rest of the winter, come Spring 2013, we might not be able to. 

Victoria Beckham in stilettos

 

 

Stilettos
Tom Ford Black Pumps with Gold Lock #heels #shoes

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Balmain a/w 2012-13 Fashionising for the Girl About Town…

Balmain -Winter 2012-13 Runway Show…

Balmain 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

It’s over the top, I mean it’s very very embellished. I don’t know quite where you’re going wearing those clothes, but if you have the life for it, I envy you.’ Said Cindy Weby Clearly from Instyle Magazine at the Balmain’s a/w 2012-13 runway show.

As I begin to write this post I am realising how ironic and funny life can be…I am even deliberating the theory that life would have it that we are all literally walking talking contradiction – if you’re not, I know I definitely am.

When I first began writing this post I had a future set out in front of me with my partner – marriage, children, a house in Sicily where I’d write my novel and buy beautiful clothes and a house in London where I’d come to see family and friends …of course these are all ideals and I am summarising. Something happened in between the time I started writing this post and I completed it. When I began writing this post I was at a point in my life when I was literally hanging up my dancing shoes and was mentally assembling a wardrobe for myself that resembled neat and clean Celine and Parisian chic, all accompanied with the versatile, sexy but practical court shoe. I was writing style posts that referred to my new refined approach to fashion as opposed to my uniform of little black party dresses and sky scraper heels perfect for partying.

What happened between the time in which I began writing this post and today (the day in which I am completing it) is life-changing. My partner and I split up after seven years. Parties and social opportunities began to arise in abundance, whilst civilised dinners and drinks almost disappeared off my radar.  As did the ties to my future and even my life as I knew it. Ironically, on the top of my shopping list now is a new pair of dancing shoes. Fashion and life is ever so interchangeable, when I began writing Charms of a Dandizette I swore I would never wear a pair of brogues – when I graduated from my Masters and found myself a job that involved commuting daily I realised how impractical navigating my commute in six inch heels was and what did I do? I purchased myself a pair of brogues. I may have written extensively about a recent refinement in my life, and equivocally my wardrobe…but with my loosened ties to my future that I once envisioned comes a looser approach to refinement and a far more stringent approach to having fun.

Of course, the best lives are those that are balanced – so although the glamorous approach to dress finds itself at the forefront of my mind and my dancing shoes and party dresses have once again found themselves at the most accessible regions of my wardrobe…I’ll still keep it cultivated and totally inspired by this alluring and majorly desirable Balmain collection.

After all, isn’t that how every single girl out on the town wants to feel?

Balmain-Fall-Winter-2012-RTW embellished dress and waistcoat runway look

Balmain 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

Balmain winter 2012-13 cream skirt and jacket ensemble

Balmain Winter 2012-13 velvet embellished suit

Balmain Winter 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

Balmain-Fall-Winter-2012-RTW-collection

Be charmed, stay inspired! X

Inspired by: Being Over Shopped or Under Paid!

 

Sometimes you really do just have to see the silver lining…or gold in my case! So here’s my story…

This month I have been fluttering within the realm of social media more so than usual. This of course is fun! It’s great to see what’s out there, I love to be inspired and it’s important to invest into the blogosphere, as I treasure it so dearly.

Au contraire to what internet phobes and pre-historic anti social media characters might say…there really is some good stuff out there and so inspired have I been that much of this months fashion purchases have been enthused  by fellow bloggers.

Most of my social media travels are concerned with fashion and style and I flit between blogs, Polyvore and Pinterest. On my journeys I discover new styling ideas and new looks that I want to try out…I pin them to my  Pinterest board, I blog about them on Charms of a Dandizette and then I look through my wardrobe to see how I can imitate, recreate or incorporate said style into my own life.

The problem, however, begins when in my wardrobe I can’t find the right print trouser, a top that sits the way I want it to or a shoe that says this about me rather than that. I begin to make mental notes, ‘I need to buy this, I have to   remember to buy that.’  Then I come back to Pinterest, to any particular blog post I have bookmarked, Shared or Liked and then I begin to write my shopping list.

The mid-season sales began this month so I made it my point of duty to purchase as much as I could on my shopping list, with a few little extras that weren’t, but were such a good deal that I couldn’t pass them up! As the weather in London has been generally atrocious I have yet been able to wear half the clothes I have bought, so they sit in my wardrobe, tags still hanging off, awaiting their debut!

On Wednesday, whilst listening to a Cafe Del Mar chill out set on YouTube and envisioning myself sipping cocktails on a beach on the continent or at a roof top bar (if I have to be in London) with the sun beaming its rays on me, a promotional email from Kensington Roof Gardens came through, boasting about the great weather this weekend and Roof Gardens being the place to be. Instantly I got excited, if its true, if the weather really is going to be nice…I want to spend the day in some swanky roof top bar, sipping cocktails that are super overpriced, just so I can finally get dressed up in something new!

This morning I woke up, the sun was shining a little, excitement grew a little more, I apprehensively checked the weather forecast, excitement surged through the roof  – lots of sun promised for the capital this weekend! Then I began to mentally plan what I might wear whilst logging onto my online bank account… ‘snake print trousers with purple top, no, black and white skirt with red top Olivia Palermo style, or…’

Low and behold, my bank balance appears on screen and excitement suddenly disappears so quickly it crashes through the floor. All possibilities of debuting ensembles, spending double figures on cocktails and maybe even squeezing in a purchase of a pair of Alexander McQueen wedges I spotted in the sale are out of the window!

As well as laughing at myself right now for spending so frivolously this month and really expecting to afford some glammed up weekend, I am also laughing at the irony o f  it all! Loads of fabulous clothes, nowhere fabulous to  go. Only a few months ago I wrote a piece about my new found love for the court shoe due to its versatility and suitability to my more ‘mature’ lifestyle. It was inspired by my partner who had said to me, ‘What is the point of your money hanging in your wardrobe when you can have it sitting in your bank?’ A comment he had made off the back of me purchasing party dresses and glamazon shoes, which are still boxed away or hanging in my wardrobe unworn because, truth be told, I rarely party!

Admittedly, I didn’t need to shop so excessively…instead of buying everything on my list and then some, I could have crossed a few things off! I put it down to the occupational hazard of fashion blogging and also to my predisposition of seeing the world through fashion tinted glasses.

My weekend is more than likely going to be less fabulous than I imagined…but, the gold lining is, I can stay at home, save on spending, be productive and write! The ultimate question is…can you consider yourself a fashion blogger without partaking in the accumulation of fashion goods?

Here’s what’s been inspiring me…Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Inspired by Paris…J’adore Paris

J’adore Paris

Inspired by a recent visit to Paris…

It’s been a while Dandies and I am feeling somewhat guilty for the length of time that I have been away from my much loved and treasured blog. In my absence I have celebrated my birthday, been to Paris, started reading a new book, which has managed to crawl beneath my skin and has claimed me entirely (indeed I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey), have begun to write my own novel with more urgency than I have the past few years that I have been writing it (yes, I said years!) and have just returned from Marrakech Morrocco!

So, I suppose I should start with Paris…

There are so many reasons that I adore Paris. I generally tend to love cities, but there’s something about this beautiful city that agrees with me so well. The first time I went to Paris I met a French woman at the Cuban Compagnie Cafe in Bastille, she spent a while talking to me and my friends about Paris and London. She said there is something very special about the relationship and connection between Paris and London…this was around the time that Marie Claire had coined those with dual lives split between Paris and London, ever so aptly, the Par – Dons. Paris is a very feminine city and London, its counterpart, is male, she said. Now looking back on her observation and having visited Paris twice since then with her notion in mind,  it seems that her observation explains my affection to Paris so accurately.

Paris, romantic, whimsical and introspective seems to speak to the writer within me…that is me and that I aspire to be. It paints pictures of Fitzgerald, Hemmingway and the expatriate art set that flocked to the city to seek romance, escapism and material for their novels. It illustrates the many fantastic articles I have read about Azzedine Alaia (his clothes I am still not rich enough to afford) and his rise to success ( a tale I can imagine would make a beautiful film) and his unique atelier on the rue du Moussy in Paris. Possibly the only piece of architecture I have ever really looked at and found breathtakingly beautiful resides in Paris…the looming presence of the Notre Dame. The thought of talking hours away in a tiny cafe facing the street and watching the passersby is such a simple yet fruitful pastime and the chicness I could admire forever.  I love Paris for its civility, it’s sophistication, its simplicity, its style –  it’s overall voyeuristic nature and henceforth, its understanding of humanity.

Champagne on the Eurostar
First glass of champagne on the Eurostar
Ayesha Charles headed to Paris
Enroute to Paris wearing my favourite shirt of the minute from Zara
Gare du Nord Paris
Gare du Nord from the hotel balcony

Gare du Nord Paris

Rue De Saint Quentin Paris

Rue De Saint Quentin Paris
Rue De Saint Quentin Paris from the hotel balcony
Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
The Notre Dame de Paris
*sigh* The city of love….Love Birds at the Notre Dame de Paris

The flower gardens surrounding the Notre Dame de Paris
So proud of myself for taking this pic of Gemma at the flower gardens surrounding the Notre Dame de Paris!

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
Ayesha at the Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
It’s ME at the Notre Dame de Paris..
Mmmmm…C’est si bon!

(more Paris pics on the way)

…Paris J’adore! x