The Only Boots You Need to be On Trend This Winter

Miranda Kerr in over the knee boots

The winter season does not pass without me purchasing at least one new coat and a new pair of boots. If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely to be the same. How could one possibly miss out on the opportunity to add to our wardrobes items almost as powerful as the handbag, but so much more protective? We don’t!  Today, I want to talk specifically about boots.

I love boots. I am guessing I own around twenty pairs. Most are black, a few tan and brown, some wedged, Chelsea, studded and over the knee. Ankle boots and booties, knee high riding boots or edgy biker chic -you get the picture. Nonetheless, regardless of how many boots I might own and how many varieties I might boast I have the option of choosing from, it recently became very apparent that the majority of the boots in my collection lack the true fashion clout one needs to demonstrate the attitude of the boot this particular winter season.

I realised last Sunday whilst preparing my ensemble for a Monday in the office. I was keeping it pretty simple in a jeans and shirt ensemble – as you do on a Sunday, but was desperate for a pair of boots to ramp up the edge, bring the fashion know how and the bang on trend-ness to what I was wearing. So, I began slipping my feet into the boots all  lined up in my dressing room slash walk in wardrobe (yes, in my new home I have one of these now!) and I realised, I need to step up my boot game at least five fold!

I have every boot you could ever need for whatever the occasion, smart, running around, evening drinks, dressed up drinks, boots to go food shopping in and boots for clothes shopping. Boots that can’t be worn in the rain and  boots to keep you warm. Every single boot, apart from the boots I have decided I need the most, the boot for complete and utter frivolity. 

This winter, boots are on trend in a big way. The same fashion kudos we once got from wearing black stack heeled, round toed ankle boots with a pair of black jeans no longer applies. The shape, the heel, the height, the length, the colour and the entire attitude of the boot has changed. This winter, the approach to wearing boots is to build your ensemble from the feet up, making your boots the major player. And if the boot is the star of this show, then they need to be perfectly on point!  Here’s the boots on my radar for winter 2014-15…

The Over the Knee Flat Boot

Olivia Palermo flat over the knee boots

The over the knee boot literally defined my early twenties. I purchased a pair from Office in the winter of 2009  and wore them throughout the entire winter. Five years later and they are back again! If you want to change up the standard, go to ankle boots and jeans  ensemble, opt for the over the knee boot instead. I recently purchased a new pair of these boots and will only wear mine specifically with black jeans only, as my thighs aren’t exactly pin slim and the length of these boots naturally draws attention to this area of the leg. No need for me to tell you why I absolutely love black. Opt for your over the knee boots black leather as opposed to suede and not only do you get a cleaner and sleeker look, but you’ll love be able to wear these boots come rain or shine.

Black leather over the knee boot

The Heeled Thigh High Boot

Olivia palermo wearing thigh high boots and shorts

In 2010 the world was crazy about the ‘V’ boot. Also known as the Vagina boot – I too was crazy about this boot. They were long, tall and creeping way up our legs till their tops disappeared beneath the hem of your mid-thigh length skirt or worn with trousers, barely showed any of your thigh at all. They were slightly reminiscent of a dominatrix, powerful, commanding and overtly sexual – like many a shoes if this fashion era were. Fashion has refined itself significantly since and the thigh high boot isn’t so eager to make it’s way up to your nether region.

The key to wearing a heeled pair of thigh high boots is, make sure they fit close enough to the leg and ankles. The likelihood is that you’ll want to wear these boots with a midi skirt, another big trend of the season and in my humble opinion long clean lines beneath a midi skirt looks neater and is more slimming. Of course Alber Elbaz’s Fall 2014/15 Lanvin collection says differently. Opt for your heeled thigh high boots in suede to take the sexual edge off, which you are likely to get from a pair of long leather thigh highs and to add extra style kudos, why not avoid black completely and go for a soft grey? I am quite inclined to opt for these boots in berry red – once I find them! Wear these boots in the evening with a shift dress or a pair of high waisted leather shorts or wear with jeans during the day.

Miranda Kerr in thigh high boots

The Knee High Boot

Gucci knee high boots

Well, there’s not much to say on the knee high boot that Frida Giannini hasn’t already said on the Fall 2014/15 Gucci runway. This Gucci catwalk was almost a master class of every which way you should wear the the knee high boot this winter. First and foremost, the boot must sit directly beneath the knee, it just doesn’t work drifting between calf and knee, and  again, they must be slim and close to the leg to create those clean lines I just love Gucci for. Wear these swinging sixties, mod boots with an A-line skirt, a shift dress or a mini dress and select them in any colour, from powder blue or cream snake skin, berry red, nude or black with a barely there heel for the day and a thick high heel for the evening. Wear these boots instead of a loafer or brogue and wear just as Frida has demonstrated, with above the knee hemmed dresses and skirts. I just adore this entire collection.

 Jessica Alba in knee high boots

The Ankle Boot

Ankle boots street style fashion

Let’s face it, it’s not everyday that we’ll want our pins completely wrapped in leather, so the ankle boot still remains the quick go to boot. However, the shape of this fail safe boot has evolved somewhat. To be completely and utterly on the nose, the ankle boot is just a little longer, sitting slightly above the ankle as opposed to on the ankle. The toe of the boot is slightly more elongated and more pointed. The result is a much sharper, maybe even slightly rockier look, than that of the smart casual feel of the round toe Chelsea boot. The difference in the actual boot is only subtle, but what it will do for your jeans ensemble is massive. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair of these!

Heeled ankle boot street style

The Cut Out Boot

Balenciaga cut out boot street style fashion

 I shunned these boots as the most ridiculous boots ever created! I could NOT get my head around why a shoe worn in the winter, to keep feet from the cold, rain and snow would have chunks cut out of it? Surely the holes defeated the entire purpose of wearing a boot in the first instance? I was perplexed as to why these boots were ever even created. At least, that was my thinking was till I tumbled upon endless pics of the Balenciaga cut out boot all over Tumblr and could not resist how edgy they looked and how much they did for the most basic ensemble. So, naturally I bought a pair. It’s pretty simple really, wear your cut out boots with any and everything. These boots are all about attitude, so wear them when you are prepared to add a little fashion and frivolousness to what would be a typically practical and functional boot. Be warned though, some people still don’t get it!

cut out boots street style fashion

The Cleated Sole Boot

 Cleated sole boot

This boot sits in the same family as the cut out boot. Like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. Right now, I would say I hate them. Of course, I have once said the same about Brikenstocks and the cut out boots and own a pair both. In all fairness, the truth is, I do like the cleated sole boot, I just hate them for me. At thirty years old, I think this is a trend I am going to have to let pass me by. Admittedly, I also said the same about the cut out boot as well. But if you like the idea of stomping around town in the comfort of a cleated sole – it does sound tempting – this boot is indeed for you. Slightly less elegant, more fashion student and Tumblr chic, these boots are perfect for the youthful street style maven.  And if you’ve donned the cut out boots with absolutely no qualms last year, then the cleated boot is a natural progression. I don’t think you’ll be seeing the likes of Olivia Palermo or Victoria Beckham street styling it up in these!

Stella McCartney Cleated Shoes

Which boots will you go for?

My aim is to have them all…because, let’s be honest, I am likely to fall for the cleated boot pretty soon too.

Be charmed, stay inspired! x 

Fashion Editorial and the Digital State of Mind…

This blog was supposed to be about Tumblr, but then I found myself staring at my magazine collection, which has remained untouched for months, and realised this is so much more than Tumblr – it’s my digital state of mind…  

There are still many a people out there that simply choose to reject social media.They refuse to create a Facebook Page, deny how powerful Twitter is,  have never heard of Pinterest, they are likely to hate Fashion Bloggers and still do all of their fashion, music and lifestyle reading in print! As a writer before I am a blogger, I respect anyone that still picks up a print magazine and takes pleasure in displaying them in bookshelves and coffee tables – I do.  However, as a fashion lover, I will be as bold as to say – anyone that is still yet to embrace social media cannot be deemed a true fashion devotee – they are missing out on the whole damn thing.

It makes sense that fashion and social media walk hand in hand together. Fashion is an industry that finds its foundation in change and trend – a creative expression of human behaviour. Social media is the tool that documents the change, picks up on the trend and is the platform that displays the behaviour. Admittedly, as much as I love the two,  I struggle to keep up! Fashion is quicker, social media develops at lightening speed, trends change almost weekly, my personal likes and dislikes change almost as fast. One week I’ll be in love with Celine’s lux interpretation of the Birkenstock and can’t imagine having my feet in any other shoe, the next week I’ll hate them, consider them ugly and un-sexy and then it’ll be another shoe, another trend, another hashtag and a new fashion blogger to follow!

At least, with a print glossy, you can take your time, refine your shopping list, shop it and feel satisfied for a whole entire month. And that is exactly what I used to do. But, I have developed a digital state of mind. I consume 99% of my fashion editorial via online content. My magazine subscriptions have subsided and each night before I go to bed, I routinely check the weather on my BBC weather app and then flick through Pinterest, Stylecaster or Who What Wear to research the ensemble I will adorn myself in the following day. I absolutely hate to say it, but a Vogue magazine doesn’t seem relevant in terms of style any more. I say style as opposed to fashion, because Vogue is chiefly fashion focussed; if you’re concerned with runway trends, designer’s inspiration and the opinions of big wig fashion  journos and those in the industry then Vogue is indeed your fashion bible.

However, if your love for fashion is more about manipulating and interpreting trends, piecing together ensembles, finding new and interesting ways to wear your clothes then  there’a whole world of Street Style Fashion out there that changes daily and that should not be missed. Imitating Runway looks is too cliche and for most of us, runway looks aren’t usually suitable for our lifestyles – of course Anna Dello Russo would tell you differently.

And since having to sadly make a conscious decision to stop buying fashion magazines, after realising that I just never read them any more, I have noticed my dress changing. I will always have my own inherent style. I will always be the girl that wears lots of gold and costume jewellery – a little less now since I have my beautiful 1920s-esque diamond cushion cut halo engagement ring -I will always love long Naomi Campbell hair and still love being made up. But with so many trends, so many different styles, so many social media platforms and so many different fashion bloggers so readily available and easily accessible at the swish of an iPhone, the way I am fashioning myself changes from one day to the next.

My daily website reads:

Stylecaster.com

Once you start reading StyleCaster you literally won’t be able to stop! There are endless style concerned posts – many written in list formats, featuring images of Street Style bloggers and icons. The StyleCaster’s editorial style is easily digestible with posts like Ten Ways to Wear the Denim Shirt, Ten Ensembles to Copy, Ten Emerging Street Style Bloggers etc. This is the perfect read on the train to and from work, in the hairdressers or the nail salon. Check out StyleCaster for wardrobe inspiration – I do!

StyleCaster image

Mr. Blasberg

Fashion writer, Editor at Large of Harpers Bazaar, Editor of VMan and Vmagazine and too many other credits to mention, Derek Blasberg is fashion’s ultimate Man About Town. He parties with Naomi Campbell, Giselle and Marc Jacobs, he travels endlessly and writes lengthy blog posts accompanied with the most tantalising of pictures with the most beautiful human beings wearing the most beautiful of clothes for his website Mr Blasberg.com. Derek Blasberg’s success and career is very inspiring for any writer that loves fashion. If you don’t mind spending some time online reading then check out Mr.Blasberg.com. However, Blasberg’s website is less street style concerned and more into displaying the world that surrounds fashion, the parties, the travel, the people – most of which emerging fashion bloggers won’t have access to. I check out Blasberg for an instant insight into the fashion world from a perspective that I quite like, although a little envious.

Who What Wear

Again, like StyleCaster, Who What Wear is addictive for anyone that likes to get a little creative when piecing together an ensembles for a Sunday Roast in the pub or needs some inspiration for a holiday wardrobe or wants to see what Olivia Palermo would wear on a rainy summer’s day – this is the site for you! I use Who What Wear to put together my work ensembles for the week, to see what wardrobe items I am missing or just to kill time whenever, wherever.    

 

ElleUK.Com

Needs no introduction, but the digital arm of this fashion glossy is just as successful as the print version. After subscribing to Elle for many years, I couldn’t get to grip with the new design they introduced last year and once my subscription ran out I never renewed it. But I am glad I can still enjoy Elle.com in digital form. The style section covers street style, models off duty and offers style advice. I think Elle have been really good at interpreting the magazine for online readers, so you might not get to indulge in the smell of a new magazine, but you still get the Elle tone of voice.

Having said all that…how could I not purchase the Victoria Beckham August Vogue edition?

Be charmed, stay inspired!x 

Ayesha @COAD

7 Fashion Items You Need to be Trending this Spring!

riped

The Pastel Coloured Coat or Coatigan

And it does have to be pink!

The coat is an instant game changer – so an easy way to adapt your wardrobe to the spring summer 2014 trends is to start with the coat. And although any pastel coloured coat nods itself to the trend – the real trend here is pink and in my humble opinion, the pastel coloured coat needs to be a pink coat. Just Google it and check out the uptake! This is a massive trend for the season and with your perfect pink coat you can be on trend every day!

Fringing/The Slip on Sneaker

Eva Chen ticks two key spring/summer 2014 trends on the list with this amazing ensemble that includes some fringing and the slip on sneaker, oh so a la mode, oh so Celine slash Givenchy!

Eva Chen in fringed - tassel skirt
Eva Chen

The slip on Sneaker – again!

God love fashion, Celine and Givenchy for making this slip on sneaker an absolute key item this spring. The slip on sneaker instantly adds a modern coolness to an ensemble and, moreover, they are totally comfortable and totally functional.  Add a few pairs of these to the winter wardrobe, in leopard, in snake print, in metallic and check! I certainly will!

Celine Check slip on sneakers
Celine Check slip on sneakers
The slip on sneaker
The slip on sneaker with Celine clutch

The pointed flat shoe –  (think stiletto without the stiletto heel!)

Yes! More flat shoes!Thank you Valentino! For when you want to appear a little smarter than you would in your slip on sneakers, slip your feet into these sleek and elegant flats.  I just purchased a pair of pointed flats from Kurt Geiger called Norelle. I realised I needed this flat shoe last weekend when I was piecing together an outfit to spend the afternoon in the pub. It was warm and sunny and I wanted an ensemble that was effortless but still on trend. The ballet pump that I would usually opt for on this type of occasion just would not cut it. Ballet pumps are soooo last season. I ended up wearing my cut out metal chain Zara boots, but now I have another pair of flat shoes trending this spring!

The pointed flat

Gingham Check

Probably my least favourite check ever. Gingham reminds me far too much of table cloths and chess boards. I think it’s a pattern that is maybe just a little too basic for me. Having said that, Balmain has re-merchandised this boxy print and made it super sleek a la Rihanna, in this gingham overkill ensemble complete with bomber jacket. If like me, you’re a little apprehensive about investing in this trend, go for a gingham check blouse or cami.

 

Paris Street Style Feb. 27, 2014 RTW Fall Winter 2014 gingham check
Giovanna Battaglia at Paris Fashion Week

Minty, Sherbert, Baby and Sweet Pastels

‘Tis the perfect season for these sweet and sherbert-y colours! When the sun is shining I become almost allergic to black – I simply can’t wear it! However, in London the weather isn’t quite always permitting. So pastel coats, patent pastel coloured loafers, pastel handbags and such are a great way to take on the pastel trend now. For the warmer summer months go head to toe in pretty pastels and nude shoes. And if that’s all too sweet and nice, add some edge to this trend by pairing soft sherbert pinks and creamy, coral oranges with leopard. Always gotta love the leopard!

Olivia-Palermo wearing pink and leopard
Olivia Palermo in Pink and Leopard

Balenciaga pastel clutch
Balenciaga pastel clutch

Creative Denim and Jeans wear

The denim trend this spring is so much more than a denim shirt! It’s denim dungarees, denim skirts and denim on denim – once a fashion no-no now gets all the fashion kudos!Of course most of us will opt for day to day attire, so to show you are super on trend this season, have your black skinnies ripped and distressed and opt for boyfriend and tapered jeans in denim blue to mix it up a bit!

seriously distressed denim - so sexy
seriously distressed denim – so sexy
Double denim
the denim skirt – less predictable

Kim Kardashian wearing black ripped jeans
Kim Kardashian wearing black ripped jeans
The denim jumpsuit – if you dare

More trends to follow…

Be Charmed, stay inspired! x

An Ode to the Black Leather Skirt

An Ode to the Black Leather Skirt

All hail the black leather skirt…

black leather

Although this garment is hardly breaking new ground, it has found its second wind and seems to be the new go to  leather item after the much loved leather trousers we’ve all been rocking since last winter. It’s a fact, the black leather skirt will revolutionise our wardrobes this winter which is why I want to write an ode to it, so it might find itself beneath my tree this Christmas.

Although I own two pretty impressive leather skirts already, a wine red knee length skirt and a black leather tasselled shorter skirt, both from Zara, neither of these skirts quite have the ‘je ne sais quoi’ the black leather mini skirt has. You see the wine red skirt and the black leather tasselled skirts mentioned above are game changers, statement makers that need very little styling to look impressive.

Whereas the black leather skirt is impressive because of its massive impact albeit its simplicity. It has just as much versatility and wearability as the trusted black skirt, be it cotton or wool or even velvet, but with loads more style kudos and loads more edge. It’s what the leather trousers did for the black jeans last winter, you’d always just rather opt for the leather, wouldn’t you? At least I would.

The LBS  (leather black skirt) can translate from day to night and is an easy garment to opt for when jeans feel a little too predictable and familiar. Wear the LBS with a pair of tights and boots in the rain, a high platform shoe for a glamorous night on the town or a loafer or brogue to nod towards the youthful back to school trend. Pair it with a blouse or shirt of any colour or print, make it casual with a jumper or edgy with a t-shirt.  

You can’t go wrong with your simple black leather skirt in the winter. Not too dissimilar to your favourite pair of leather trousers, your favourite LBS will see you through your best and your worst days, through job interviews and first dates, meetings at work and dinner with friends – it will never let you down. And although you won’t be the trailblazer of a new fashion trend, if your LBS is conspicuous enough, it will never go out of fashion either.

Olivia Palermo black leather skirt white shirt black cardigan black tights black clutch bag

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

The Sweatshirt and the Kenzo Tiger Sweatshirt!

Trending #Sweatshirts

It was winter last year that the grey sweatshirt became one of the key wardrobe items to for super savvy street style dressing. The sporty garment, a staple for the gym, once taken out of its context and paired with skinny jeans and strappy sandals or a tailored pair of trousers and brogues seemed risque and innovative. Although it would appear, as seen in these photographs taken by Tommy Ton, that the reign of the sweatshirt sill very much resides this winter 2012-13, we have become so accustomed to the sweatshirt trend, that for super savvy-ness and ultimate fashion manipulation we can no longer play it safe by simply nodding towards the sporty trend with the initial grey sweatshirt. This norm has been accepted and it’s time to innovate once again and push the boundaries. Now the expert sweatshirt wearer creates a more stylised sweatshirt ensemble or selects a more statement making sweatshirt.

Those of you that have adopted the new approach to dress that Vogue has coined ‘Haute Casual’ for your winter wardrobe may have coveted the utmost seasoned sweatshirt wearers donning the, albeit conspicuous, admittedly cool Kenzo Tiger sweater. This Kenzo sweatshirt has indeed become the queen of this evolving sweatshirt trend and will buy you plenty of street style kudos in this fashion jungle. So much so that all 2,000 Kenzo tiger sweaters sold out in just two days and in a matter of hours at the Parisian Kenzo store earlier this year. This sweatshirt literally does all the talking, so you don’t have to do too much to look super stylish in it, no matter its sporty nature. Having said that, in my humble fashion books, the most street style kudos clearly comes from how creative you can get with incorporating this practical and functional sportswear item into a trendy chic ensemble.

Admittedly, as much as I adore the creativity and unpredictability of this new sweatshirt glamour, I am yet to invest in a sweatshirt myself. Habitually, in the winter months I take on a more Olivia Palermo/Victoria Beckham perfectly preened and neat image, seeking more inspiration from runway looks as opposed to street style. Unfortunately the sweatshirt creates a couple of concerns for me; firstly, with such a casual garment I would be very keen to wear a shirt beneath it that can smarten the round neck with a nice collar – this I can imagine would leave me feeling very hot, especially when I am commuting. Secondly, I wear a lot of slim lined coats, which I doubt a sweatshirt and shirt ensemble wouldn’t fit beneath comfortably. Thirdly, I fear that wearing the sweatshirt beneath a cape or the voluminous coats we have seen at the likes of Celine a/w 2012-13 can make me appear particularly top heavy and again, leave me feeling extremely hot.

However, for those of you that are tiny, whose commute does not involve power walking or taking the London Underground, that acclimatise to temperatures quickly, if you are thinking of trying out this new Haute Couture sweatshirt ensemble don’t let my sweatshirt concerns stop you. Opt for placing statement jewellery around the neckline, juxtaposing the sporty garment with a tailored shirt collar or pairing the sweatshirt with a glamorous skirt, evening clutch or an elegant shoe. The key is to play that push and pull game between conformist and alternative, formal against disorderly. And hey, if you can nail this look and are prepared to invest, why not go the whole hog and purchase the highly coveted tiger Kenzo sweater?!

I don’t think this sweatshirt trend is one that will stick with me for long, so I’ll definitely be giving the Kenzo tiger sweatshirt a miss. However, I am keen to try out the trend and am currently on the hunt for a grey Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, that I’ll wear with a white shirt, black skinny jeans and a pair of black pointed court shoes and statement necklace. So, I am still playing it safe with the colour, but with Mickey Mouse emblazoned on the front, it’s still a little quirky and most importantly, easy on my bank balance. Having said that, should someone wish to purchase the Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt for me as a gift, I most certainly won’t say no!

Grey sweatshirt ensemble

Black Neoprene Sweatshirt ensembles

Kenzo Sweatshirt

Anna dello Russo with grey sweatshirt dress

grey floral sweatshirt

Pink Letterman Sweatshirt

Black sweatshirt

Pink sweatshirt with blue peplum skirt

blue, red and grey sweatshirt

Green Kenzo SweatshirtBe charmed, stay inspired! x

Inspired by: PRINT-CESS Mary Kantrantzou

spring summer 2012 runway look by Mary Kantrantzou

If, like me, you’re not tickled pink by the sherbet candy colour pallet seen in the likes of  Louis Vuiton’s spring summer 2012 collection, then it’s likely that you’re all wrapped up in the scarf prints at D & G, blown away by the beautiful floral prints at Dolce and Gabbana or swept off your feet by the oceanic sea star and seashell prints at Versace. The point is…for spring summer 2012, if it’s not lace or leather then it’s definitely patterned or printed.

I’ve never been one to play around too much with pattern and print, at least not since the devastating logo mania nineties, when it was paramount that all my skirts and jeans had to be from Moschino and had to be covered in crazy Moschino prints! (Please don’t judge me…then again isn’t that what fashion is all about? Judge away if you will!)

Since then however, asides from the staple breton stripes and polka dots, my wardrobe consists of a considerably small amount of  print and pattern, mainly dominated by Leopard print, leggings, jeans, a skirt and two dresses, all funnily enough  from Zara. One black white and yellow art deco inspired dress by Holly Fulton (which is possibly one of my favourite items of clothing), a vintage thirties dandelion print dress from Portobello road (which is one of my greatest buys at £5!), a star patterned dress inspired by Dolce and Gabbana’s a/w 2011 collection and a snake print dress inspired by Chloe’s a/w 2011 collection, both thankfully from Primark, as I am sure that by a/w 2012 I’ll despise them both!

With my research into the world of pattern and print I have naturally fallen in love with Mary Kantrantzou and would like to crown her the Print-cess of Spring Summer 2012!

Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2010 
Mary Kantrantzou Spring summer 2012

Mary Kantrantzou ss2012

Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2012 Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2012

Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2012
Mary Kantrantzou a/w2011

 Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2011 Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2011 Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2011

 Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2011
Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2011Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2011

So…fashion is art? x