Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The only way to spend a day off is shopping.

As pretty much everyone in England knows, today is the day of the public sector strikes, which is a bit of a blessing in disguise for students - day off! But I have technically lost valuable lesson time.. Shockingly, that doesn't bother me too much, since I was incredibly glad of the lie in, and a chance to get some more Christmas shopping done. It's not even December and I am already making excellent progress on the gift front, aided by the fact that today was payday too! Here's what I wore to brave the Christmas shoppers again..

Dress, Blazer, Shoes & Earrings - Topshop; Tights - Primark; Faux Fur Stole & Bracelet - ASOS; Bag - Tous; Ring - Parfois.
I decided that if the weather is going to be deceptively light and spring-like, I can be too! Hence the thin tights, summery dress & light blazer - although the faux fur stole is a definite hint towards winter. I was also feeling quite ladylike today, as you can probably tell, and my wardrobe lends itself quite well towards that.. Again, like many of my recent outfits, this one was actually pretty simple, consisting primarily of a dress & blazer, but the accessories lend it a more luxe feel and definitely stop me blending in to the background. One final comment about today's look is that the simplest addition to an outfit can make it or break it - the dark berry lipstick was a last minute thing, but without it, the look wouldn't have had the same pop. If you were wondering, I have used Boots' 17 lipstick in Rich.

As I said, today I got some more Christmas shopping done (aren't I organised?) and currently have the major parts of my mum's, dad's and granny's presents in the bag. Hopefully this current trend will continue and I will have all of my Christmas shopping done in a few weeks time, so that I am not freaking out about it come December 23rd or something stupid like that... But since today was payday, I let a few little presents for myself slide into the shopping bags too..

Accessorize were having a little seasonal event, where everything was 25% off, and this supersweet little wishbone bracelet found its way into my hand, then exchanged itself for a very small amount of money - and I'm not even sorry! You can never have enough jewellery, especially cute little bracelets like this that can either be worn alone for some simple styling, or stacked and layered up.

Next up is an impulse buy of the highest order - this amazing Topshop faux fur hat! I never used to be a 'hat' girl, but this year, much like maxi dresses, I have woken up to the fact that there is a hat out there for everyone - maybe even several. I saw this one in store, and was firstly drawn in by the faux fur, something I am going crazy for right now, then the colour (actually an amethyst kind of hue, not that it looks like it here) and then the temptation to try it on was too strong. Unfortunately, it looked pretty darn good, considering I thought I couldn't really pull off hats, and I decided to say what the hell, and buy it anyway. For one, I had just seen how much money was in my bank account after getting paid, and could definitely afford it, and secondly, this will do many jobs in winter (keeping my head warm, disguising bad hair days and revving up my cosy, practical outfits). Thirdly, you only live once. So why not treat yourself once in a while, and live that life as stylishly as possible. I am now in love with this hat. Even if I feel a little Russian in it... Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tally ho!

After reading Susie Bubble's post about the Ralph Lauren Rugby Tweed Run yesterday (well, it took place at the weekend, I just only caught up yesterday) I felt seriously inspired to work some farm-girl chic - especially after seeing the photos from the event! Check out Style Bubble here for a serious tweed extravaganza, and to see the inspiration for today's belated homage to the Ralph Lauren..

Blazer, Shirt & Boots - H&M; Shorts, Socks & Ring - Primark; Tights - New Look; Earrings - Topshop.
A slightly strange light here.. but moving past that, you'll see I have dressed for the country club today. I had been contemplating doing the double with my tweed pieces for a good while, but I didn't have the guts to do it, despite watching it become one of the hottest fabrics for daytime. Then, like I said, I realised I had missed the Ralph Lauren Rugby Tweed Run, and missed out on a top notch day out cycling around with others dressed equally beautifully, and I decided to go for it. I am glad I did - while I did feel like I should be off on a hack with my fellow horse-riding friends, I also felt quite de rigeur and standout. Dressing smartly never hurt anyone, and as one of my friend's said, tweed is very Chanel. Score. I got a couple of compliments on my outfit too, which only goes to prove that she who dares, wins. Every time I step outside the box and try something a little different, I get complimented, but playing it safe never gets me as much attention. Basically, you know you're doing something right when people are commenting on you.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Monday, 28 November 2011

I'm free, I just spent all my money.

Today was of course another Monday, which I was rather unimpressed about. Mainly because this means I haven't had a lie in in days (after starting work at 7am both Saturday and Sunday). Consequently, when I was woken up at 6.30am I decided it would be more fun to go back to sleep for a bit.. then I woke up again at about 7.10am - I have to leave at 7.35am - and panicked. Big style. Cue frantic running around room, throwing on clothes and jewellery, practically slapping on the warpaint and trying to dry shampoo my hair into some semblance of nice-ness. Now you can be the judge of just how well I respond to intense pressure-dressing!

Coat, Jeans & Boots - New Look; Earrings - Miss Selfridge.
Okay, ignore the double chin - I'm blaming it on the angle, not an OD on cake. Anyway, today the beautiful new coat came out! I absolutely love it - not only is it super-flattering, but it is ridiculously cosy and the details are just too cute. It looks especially good with this very du jour burgundy jeans because they are a little bit different. This whole outfit was a bit of a rush, so it is a little simple, but it is, in my humble opinion, a failsafe winter outfit, revved up with some seriously cute boots. It is a little bit of a New Look fest, but that only goes to show how versatile and mix-and-match-able their pieces are - kudos to them.

Today, something else new came through the letterbox (well, nearly - it didn't quite fit) to cheer me up..

Apologies for the seriously weird camera angle - it looked normal on screen! But anyway, if you read my post a week or so ago where I was continuing my knitwear obsession and lusting after Christmas jumpers, you will probably recognise this little ASOS beauty.. and you will know how much I fell for it. It was a little pricey, I was a little poor, and it was going to have to wait until payday - and then ASOS had a 25% student discount thing, and I discovered £50 I didn't think I had.. So obviously I bought it! And I am ridiculously glad I did, it is even more wonderful in the flesh wool. Super soft, thick, warm and just downright sweet all over, I can't wait to break this one out. Oh, and just check out the close up on the pattern - reindeer, snowflakes and little yellow stripes. Gorgeous. Is it too soon? Possibly. I'm feeling like I should wait until December, to avoid Christmas overkill. But once I have released this piece, be prepared to see a lot of it. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Star Style Obsession - Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley

This model-turned-actress is probably one of the most beautiful girls on the planet, meaning that she could make little to no effort with her clothes and still look incredible. And no, I'm not jealous at all.. Anyway, the fact remains that despite being naturally stunning, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley has a seriously gorgeous wardrobe and pretty much always looks incredible, whether relaxed and off duty, or ramping up the glam factor for a red-carpet event. Her enviable figure is always showcased to perfection, and her makeup is perpetually immaculate - but that's not the reason I want to be her. I want to be Rosie because she simply oozes high class sex appeal - not raunchy in a Good-Girl-Gone-Bad-Rihanna kind of way, but she just is sexy, classy and gorgeous all in one. Never does this girl look over the top, or innapropriate, and her knack for dressing for the occasion is something I am currently trying to develop. But anyway, as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, so here are thousands of words about the lovely Rosie!

Here's an oldie, from a little bit before Huntingdon-Whiteley fever struck, and even a few years back it is plain to see that she has incredible style. And look how well that outfit would translate to now - a Hollywood-style red dress screams glamour in any timeframe, and just how fashionable is fur right now? This is a timeless starlet look, and suits her literally down to the ground.

This trend-driven outfit is one of my favourites - it was a bit of a risk that paid off in a stunning way. There aren't many who could pull off that lime green (I couldn't, and so the envy increases..), but on Rosie it just looks striking and beautiful. The sheer skirt is a clever way of showing off those mile-long legs, but in a subtler way, and incorporating an on-trend maxi - kudos.

Jaw-droppingly gorgeous, right? That dress fits her like a glove, and the midnight blue hue is stunning. For once in my life I will admit that less can be more.. the fact that she hasn't overloaded this dress with accessories, and has pulled her beautiful hair back only makes it more striking. Bravo. 

Another simple, satin-effect frock on show here, and this lingerie-style one is simply divine. The blush colour coordinates perfectly with her hair and skin tone, and again the simple styling lets all the focus land on Rosie and her natural beauty - this look is faultless.

Rosie does boudoir-sexy again to perfection - I adore the corset detailing on the top, and the stunning fabric of the skirt, which is also a perfect length to balance the outfit and stop it being too much. Here I also love the fully loaded curls and subtle, flattering makeup that literally make Rosie smoulder, in the most gorgeous sense of the word.

As one of the new M&S girls, Rosie is obligated to wear their dresses from time to time, and she does it to great effect! I honestly can't imagine anyone looking better in this optical illusion dress, and even though it is available to us mere mortals I wouldn't want to take her on and attempt to rock it. It makes her already enviable body look even more perfect, emphasizing her curves perfectly.

Of course, it's not all party-perfect dresses, Rosie does like to try more adventurous pieces, like this faux fur beauty. Personally I would have at least opted for tights underneath, but her bravery must be applauded. And to be fair, she does have amazing legs, so she has the right to show them off!

Now here's a winter look I would love to imitate. Carbon black, while being a little done-to-death, is a classic, and easily updated with a mix of textures, a la Rosie. Adding in a cute hat and super-luxe bag just makes the outfit even more stylish and takes it to another level, fashion wise.

This just proves that she can look amazing in anything. She's wearing jeans and flip flops for crying out loud - only a statuesque beauty like Rosie could manage to look on trend in flip flops, and not like they just put on any old ugly sandals.. I think the sheer shirt and uber-luxe bag were the necessary additions to level out the casual vibe the sandals exude here.

So yes, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley is beautiful. Yes, I want to be her. We've covered this already. To wrap up, I just want to say how much I want to hate her for her looks, but because she's not lazy with them, and seems like a genuinely lovely person, I simply can't. That and the fact that I read in an interview that she loves toast makes her a bit of a hero to me. For your information, I love toast. But that's irrelevant. Anyway, since I am being called off for dinner, I'll satisfy myself with saying that I hope you now see why Rosie is one of my style obsessions - her fuss-free, fully loaded looks always hit the mark and I literally dream of looking that good. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Let the Christmas shopping commence.

It's officially under a month until Christmas, so it is only right that I got myself into gear and started buying presents for people today. Unfortunately, instead of hitting town at 9am as soon as the shops opened (like I like to, so it is quieter) I had work this morning, so my first attempt at gift shopping was highly stressful - so many people! And I left my bank card at home, meaning I was only left with whatever cash I was carrying (not much).. yet another stressful occurrence. However, the trip was pretty damn successful as a first go. Today I wore..

Top - H&M; Cardigan & Ring - New Look; Shorts - Blue Miss; Tights - River Island; Shoes - Topshop; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Necklace - Rock N Rose; Earrings - Primark.
This was a case of come home after work, throw on clothes, dash off to town - yet again, thank goodness for my extensive, adaptable wardrobe. I simply cannot stress enough how much I love the compatibility of all my clothes.. Anyway, today's objective was to be warm, casual and comfortable for braving the shops, all of which were achieved by this outfit, especially the uber-cosy cardigan! I am also a little in love with the necklace - it is literally gorgeous and adds a quirky edge to the entire ensemble. Oh, and no comments on the hair. It was up from work...

But of course, today wasn't just successful because I managed to get dressed & go out, I was a girl on a mission. A mission which is now partially completed. I have bought the first part of my Mum's present, and my granny's - but no pictures, that would kill the surprise factor! Of course, you know me well enough that when I go to town I cannot resist spending money on myself, and despite limited funds I made a major purchase.

I had had my eye on this gorgeous 60s-style coat in New Look for ages, but had been putting off buying it because it was a little expensive, and I already own 4 coats - so I deemed it an unnecessary purchase (I know, unusual of me) and managed to walk away from it in the shop time and time again.. Until today, when they had seasonal offers going on and it was 30% off. I let myself try it on, and upon seeing how flattering, cosy and simply cute it was, I gathered together my remaining money and let myself buy it. Crazy. Now I can't wait to wear it out - I know what I'll be wearing on Monday!

Since the coat took the remainder of my cash, I didn't buy anything other than the presents, and it (well, except for a good hot chocolate in Costa..), but that's not to say this is over. Urban Outfitters had recently had a 20% off everything event online, and I may have gotten sucked in.. Urban Outfitters is one of my favourite shops to go into, even if I never ever end up buying anything, because it stocks so many little concessions, as well as books, cute homeware and even CDs, as well as having an incredibly relaxing atmosphere. Even though you don't get the atmosphere online, I still loved the feeling of actually getting something from there - and my items came in the post today. Good times!

First up, this amazing khaki cutout shirt dress. I was drawn to it instore because it is such a simple, yet striking piece - perfect daywear. However, the slightly ridiculous (in my opinion) price tag put me off.. however, when it was on sale at a much more reasonable price I couldn't say no. Even after the splurge on the Versace dress, I can always use another dress. I will readily admit that it looks a little shapeless on the hanger, and when on a belt is necessary to stop me looking drowned in it, but a simple skinny belt is enough to make the dress perfect.

I didn't stop at the dress either.. Once I get started, I'm off! You probably know by now that I absolutely adore socks & tights, and since it is the season of the multiple sock (to prevent frostbite) I have been stocking up on cute pairs. Ankle socks are especially cute with ankle boots, or platforms, and I honestly had been searching for the perfect pair for a little while, when I found these two. Firstly, the metallic glittery pair were simply too awesome for words. Picture them with 70s-esque platforms, with or without tights, and a party dress - Christmas party perfection. And with the next pair of socks they had me with 'fairisle', then made my day by making them ruffled. This harks back to my knitwear obsession, I think.

So, all in all today has been pretty good. A successful Christmas shop, and more beautiful additions to my ever-expanding wardrobe! Roll on payday, and the next shopping trip! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Friday, 25 November 2011

Term keeps ticking by..

And this week is over as quickly as it began.. I still have a monster to do list, it is progressively colder, and I have work at 7am tomorrow (and Sunday!) - only one thing could save today. The realisation that it is exactly one month until Christmas!! I swear I don't usually get festive fever, but this year I have gone crimbo crazy and cannot wait for the big day.. I know, I know, it probably won't live up to the hype of all the Christmas adverts, time spent shopping for gifts & wrapping them frantically, replays of festive tunes and the expectations that are always hinged on the 25th December, but I am determined that it is going to be pretty damn awesome. And I got a little bit of Christmas into my outfit today by continuing the outbreak of sparkles, this time in my fave dolly shoes..

Coat & Top - New Look; Shorts - River Island; Tights - Primark; Shoes & Earrings - Topshop; Ring - Parfois.
Okay, so you can probably guess from the thrown-together style of this look that i didn't have a clue what to wear this morning! Luckily my separates go together pretty well, so my options aren't limited.. Simple, yes sometimes, but today the detailing on the top and the embellishment on the shorts combined with my gorgeous glittery shoes stop the look being dull - even if it is covered by a black coat. Mixing and matching pieces like this is the one of the benefits of a huge wardrobe, I have a practically limitless supply of different outfits. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Today, dreams came true.

I literally cannot describe the feeling. I guess I will start by saying that my curiosity was piqued when my mum told me there was a surprise waiting for me at home - clueless, I waited impatiently to get in and find out what in the world it could be! Well, after the whole eyes-closed-hands-out ritual I found myself holding an H&M box. A small struggle ensued to get into said box. And if you are following my train of thought, you have probably already guessed what was inside... Yes, today was the day that this little shopaholic got her paws on some VERSACE!

As you are well aware, I was crazily excited about the Versace for H&M collection that burst into stores last Thursday, and it won't shock you that I had stalked all the pictures and devised a plan of action for the release day, consisting of my wonderful Mum agreeing to face the online shop head on and try to pick up one of my favourite pieces. However, the 17th came around and although my Mum tried diligently to get some Versace in my life, it seemed we were unsuccessful, and so I resigned myself to the fact that I would probably never own any of Donatella's masterpieces.. Then this happened. There are no words. And not only do I now own Versace, we managed to score my absolute favourite item from the collection..

How gorgeous?? It looks a little bit weird and short hung up on the back of the door, but come on. It's a stunning dress. I am in love with every single aspect of it, from the iconic Versace print to the all over sequins, and from the leopard print background to the simple, flattering shape. Oh, and it looks pretty amazing on. Even on a pint-sized blogger like me, this dress is a perfect length, and has a cut that suits me down to the ground. I will never get bored of this dress, and I could talk about how beautiful it is all day and night, but for now I will settle for saying that if any special event crops up, there is no question, I am wearing it. And with minimal accessories - this dress deserves to make a statement.

And to preserve my Versace in its current flawless condition, I will be storing it in the complimentary, fabulous garment bag that came with the dress - well played Versace, well played. I adore the vibrant print and colour, I am so ridiculously proud to have this hanging in my room that I don't even mind not being able to actually see the dress through it.. 

So yes, today was the day that one of my dreams became reality. I now possess a bona fide designer item, and not just any designer item, it's Versace! Okay, it's a diffusion high-street line, but it contains an iconic print and literally screams high-end. And honestly, my chances of getting a real Versace dress (at least for now) are pretty darn slim. This has made my year. 2011 = AMAZING. I think I will stop rambling now, and let you get on with your lives.. I am just in such a state of excitement that I am not even sure how much sense I am making! I'm off to go admire the dress again.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

A bit of daytime luxe.

After the simplicity of yesterday, I had to do something a bit more interesting today - keep all my friends/fashion critics on their toes etc. That and the fact that I just felt more bold, unusual and seasonal meant that today's outfit became a bit of a trend-driven mix of textures, layered up to give a bit of depth. So go on, here's what I looked like this fine Thursday..

Jumper, Skirt & Rings - H&M; Top (underneath) & Earrings - Topshop; Tights & Shoes - River Island, Fur Cuffs - ASOS.
Told you I went a bit more seasonal and trend driven.. Sequins! They are the hottest party time trend right now, but since I've got no festivities on the agenda (so far) I decided to dress my sparkles down a bit for daytime. And of course, the only way to do that is to add a light knit, peter pan collar, faux fur and polka dot tights. You'd be forgiven for thinking this sounds a bit OTT for a college look, however, because the jumper is a plain dove-grey, I haven't gone crazy for other colours, I stuck to flats and only let the faux fur loose as cuffs it is just dressed down enough. Although I'm thinking that with the addition of heels this could be the perfect day-to-night outfit.. just wishing I had had somewhere to go. Oh, and final little detail - the popping pink gloss takes the look to another, playful level.. This gloss was *free* with this month's COSMOPOLITAN, go snap it up! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

New found love for this hair product.

I have just been dying to post about this since I tried it, and literally haven't found the spare 5 minutes to write more than one little post a day - but here it finally goes! So, from a sheer whim and impulse buy when I went shopping once I decided to try something new, and a little different with my hair. It's coming up to winter, typically the time of dry, weak, uninspiring locks, and I will do literally anything to get that healthy shine gleaming off of my hair. I am now incredibly glad that I found this...

That's right, jasmine. No, I don't just casually get some jasmine flowers and rub them all over my head - that would be weird! I actually just bought a bottle of jasmine oil to use while washing my hair. It's the secret behind the amazingly lustrous, shiny hair that all Indian women posess, they have been using it practically forever, and you can see why. I visited India earlier this year and I would swear that every Indian woman, including the children, had gorgeous locks, and jasmine oil was constantly being touted as the miracle behind it.. Admittedly, I was a tad dubious about putting oil on my hair, thinking that surely an oil would only make it greasier - logical, right? - and therefore held off buying it while I was there.. Then while in the local Asian food market, in the middle of a crazy spice-buying high, I spotted the jasmine oil and just thought 'what the hell'. It took another few weeks to pluck up the courage to use it though.

When I did, I was pleasantly surprised. As I already said, winter is traditionally a tough time hair-wise, so any product that will carry my hair through the harshness of the weather at this time is very welcome. This is going to do a lot more than that. Since it is an oil, literally the tiniest bit is all you need - put a few drops in your palm and run your hands through wet hair after your usual shampoo/conditioner routine, then rinse out thoroughly. And I mean thoroughly. Once you're certain you've got it all out, and you're done washing, dry and style your hair as normal, then notice/admire the soft, shiny hair you have acquired. It has literally made my hair silky-soft, and has given it a really reflective shine, so all in all I am impressed.

Basically, the gist of this post is that my new product obsession is jasmine oil. Now, run out to your local Asian market, or google-hunt it.. it is totally worth your while! Love and kisses, Tara xox

I did it - the coat has seen the light of day.

I went back into college today (yes, for my slightly useless half day) after yesterday's sick day, and decided that since I was still ill, it was cold, and it is nearly December, I would break out the closest thing to a coat I own. It felt slightly strange and I did feel incredibly bulked up, but it was actually quite nice to be all cosy and to have pockets. Hm. Practicality is not all bad. But it won't stop me wearing whatever I want, whatever the weather may be. It just so happened that 'coat' was how I felt this morning as I dragged myself up and at it..

Coat, Top & Tights - New Look; Shorts - Blue Miss; Boots & Socks - Primark; Earrings & Necklace - H&M; Ring - Rock N Rose.
Yes, today was another simple day outfit wise, just a quick, cosy combo of classic denims, a floral cut-out top, chunky tights, boots and a coat - but perfect for a half day at college followed by a quick cinema trip with mother dearest. (we are like besties too, I swear) So yeah, today was just a basic one, made up of wardrobe staples layered up - an effective way to fight the winter chill & still look good while you're out and about every day. Not that I'll be this crazy-sensible every day, my outfits will still fluctuate depending on my mood! But for today, I felt sensible, warm and wrapped up in the first official coat day of this season. Now bring on coat number two.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tis the season to be jolly! (nearly)

It's official. The Coke ads are running. They've been selling festive treats for months already. We're edging into December.. It's nearly Christmas! It took a day out of the mill of college, combined with yesterday's blissful realisation that there is only 4 weeks of term left, to make me notice that the festive season is literally almost upon us. It was just the kind of pick-me-up I needed on a day when I was off ill (eurgh) and also got me in the mood to hunt down some seasonal threads...

Yes, this is a continuation of my 'Things I Need In My Wardrobe' posts, but since I can't remember what number I got up to, and it's been a while since I did one, this is essentially going to be a Christmas post. It's a tad early, but hey. One thing I seriously want for the Christmas festivities (besides snow, cake and presents) is an uber-cute Christmas jumper. The kind you traditionally get as a kid, hand-knitted, printed and so kitsch it's unreal - you might call them naff, but I think they are literally the best thing to buy to get you in the spirit of Christmas.

£38, Topshop
To ease you into the seasonal mayhem, this simple, snowflake-print jumper is wintery perfection. It would be ideal to throw on on any given day to add a Christmassy twist to an outfit, either going out of just dossing around the house on Boxing Day for example. But this isn't exactly what I'm looking for, I was thinking of something a lot bolder..

£35, ASOS.
Now, how festive does this make you feel? Makes me want to start singing Christmas tunes at the top of my lungs even looking at it - just imagine the giddy excitement I would get if I actually bought it. This would literally be the perfect Christmas pick me up - love.

£25, Boohoo.
This is a bit of a subtler take on the Christmas jumper, but is no less gorgeous for that. For one, it is reindeer-print, and for two it has amazing sleeves. Plus the £25 price tag makes it even more attractive...

£40, ASOS
This is literally exactly what I was looking for. I'm not even joking - for once I have found the ideal piece within about 20 minutes of looking.. ASOS, I love you. I adore the cute Christmas prints, especially the reindeer (sweetest things ever) and the little yellow stripes which add another dimension to the colour palette. Oh, who am I kidding trying to analyse this? I just want it.

This is a bit of a short Christmas jumper hunt, I kind of broke it off after discovering the ASOS one that I fell in love with.. Anyway, I hope I have whetted your festive appetites and gotten you craving the seasonal knits like I do! My knitwear obsession is unreal at the moment. And looking at these jumpers while trying to be entertaining as I type is only making it worse.. Not that I can exactly afford another jumper right now - especially since it is the run-up to Christmas and I need to spend most of my next payday treating my nearest and dearest to gorgeous gifts. But if there's any money left over after the present bonanza, I know exactly what I'm going to treat myself to.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Monday, 21 November 2011

Four more weeks.

That is my little mantra - only four more weeks until the Christmas holidays! Okay, so they will be four weeks of intense coursework and prepping for the January exams (I have two), but at least it is only four little weeks. That is what's going to get me through this work-heavy, uber-chilly winter. And now those final four weeks have begun, I am not going to break my wardrobe rule either.. I will still not wear the exact same outfit twice! Here's today's offering.

Jumper, Top (underneath), Shorts, Shoes & Ring - New Look; Blazer - H&M; Tights - River Island; Bracelet - Pull & Bear; Earrings - TU at Sainsburys.
I went for a bit of heritage chic with the mix of cable knit, tweed and a cute collar for this Monday morning. I layered up because I am feeling under the weather (worse for going in, thanks) and wanted to be comfortable all day. The tones of the outfit work well together because they are from the same autumnal palette, and allow the contrast in textures to be an important part of the outfit. Now for a little close up..

I painted my nails last night and love the colour - yes I love all my nail polishes! It is by MNY, aka Maybelline New York and was a little bit of a bargain too - I think I will be snapping up more of their nail polishes in the near future.. Right, now just a little heads up. Don't expect a new outfit tomorrow, since I literally want to do nothing more than curl up and sleep for the next 24 hours or so. Feeling pretty darn awful. So unless I feel dramatically better au matin, I will stay home, since I was admittedly useless in all my classes today - pointless me being there! So whatever I do drag myself up to say tomorrow will not be a new look, and most likely will not make sense. Now you're prewarned.. gonna go rest up! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Saturday night, I feel the air is getting hot.

I wish. Unfortunately, that's only the lyrics of the song, not reality. And yes, I am aware that it is Sunday (ugh) and not Saturday, but today's post is a little update about my Saturday night.. Hardly a big party, but since it was my lovely mum's birthday yesterday we all went out for a meal at an Indian restaurant in a nearby village that is one of her favourites. You all know what happens when I go out.. I get all dressed up!

Dress - River Island; Blazer - Topshop; Tights - New Look; Shoes & Ring - ASOS; Earrings - H&M; Clutch - present from friend.
Well hello new platforms.. Finally, an opportunity for your fashion baptism. If you can see the size of the heel, you will understand why they have been wrapped up all dormant in their shoebox since I got them - there is no chance of me walking all around college in them, no way Jose! But aren't they pretty? And that should be the main aspect of heels in my opinion.. they should look amazing, and screw comfort. Anyway, I'm glad that going out for a meal gave me the chance to road test these babies since I have been dying to wear them. The conclusion is: they are BEAUTIFUL. Also more comfortable than they look..

I could talk about these tobacco, 70s-esque platforms all day if you let me, but that would get boring.. so let's mention what was going on in my head when I composed the rest of the outfit. First off, I did build the look around the shoes, unsurprisingly. Secondly, one distinct phrase was going around my head as I got dressed - more is more. Hence the pailette front dress (that does make me feel a little like a mermaid) and star print tights. Pailettes, and sequins in general are major trends for the party season this winter since it is all about making a statement and stars are still a hot print, then combined with the 70s platforms.. this all adds up to an outfit that's very du jour. That's not why I did it though, I did it because I felt like it.

I've spent so long gushing about how much I love my shoes (too much) and what I put together that I've barely mentioned the main reason for even leaving the house last night and not spending it like my usual Saturday evenings, watching TV, sitting by the fire & occasional homework - of course, the anniversary of the birth of my mum! Here's the birthday girl with me..

Hoping she enjoyed her meal out and then the dessert, lovingly made by yours truly..

It's not my most successful cake, for starters I didn't have all the ingredients and wasn't convinced by the ones I ended up using, then when removing each layer from the tins they began to fall apart (disaster), and finally I had icing issues. All in all a little bit of a kitchen nightmare (but with less swearing than Gordon Ramsey's), but the finished product isn't too bad - I used icing to hold it all together, and while looking a bit precarious and homemade it hasn't collapsed yet. And besides, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.. and it tastes gorgeous. Nomnomnom. And just in case you're curious, this is no ordinary cake! It is a vegan cake, in other words eggless. Before you ask how it actually works, the secret is orange juice with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in place of eggs - the reaction makes a mixture similar to beaten eggs and makes the other ingredients combine just the same. Even though I didn't actually use orange juice this time (we had none!), I subbed in apple juice and it still tastes fine and dandy. Fashion/cookery rambles over. Comment if you're interested in any of it, clothes, recipe, anything.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Fashion Confession.

It may be November, and blatantly getting into serious winter time, but today I have to confess something that I still cannot do..

I am unable to make myself bring out the winter coats.

1. I have been saying to all of my friends that upon principle I would wait until November to wear a 'proper' coat, since it was too depressing to break one out any earlier - and I stubbornly insisted that it wasn't that cold! Now it is very definitely November, closer to December if I am (depressingly) honest, and they have been asking why I am still venturing out sans coat. Partially, it is because I am reluctant to admit how fast time is speeding by, and that winter is here, but it is probably mostly because I am a foolish, impractical girl. I even tried a coat on the other day in a wild flash of sensibility, but rejected it because it simply didn't go with what I was wearing. There. I admitted it. This is a case of fashion over function. And yes, it's not chic to shiver, and I do own stylish, gorgeous outerwear.. Apparently the style section of my brain is just not developing the 'cold-time' outfits yet..

2. Note, I said 'coats', as in the plural, as in several winter coats. Which I do love. I have at least two serious coats, and a jacket or two after last year's horrible realisation that I owned no warm clothes (cue stockpiling of coats, jumpers and cardigans). So there is no excuse not to get them out, when I actually love them. Maybe this week I will take the plunge?

3. It is cold. Standing at a bus stop at 7.45am makes you realise this. Quickly. Oh, where is my sense of practicality? What I've been wearing may be super-cute, amazingly flattering and incredibly feel-good, but having shivery little fingers and ice cubes for toes is not cool. Again.. fashion over function. Ah well. I'll make a promise I intend to stick to this time - by December I will have worn a coat or two!

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Friday, 18 November 2011

Lightening up my look.

Another week has rolled to a close (college wise at least) and I am now left with just a 7am work shift followed by my mum's birthday celebrations tomorrow, a much-needed lie in on Sunday and more homework than you can shake a stick at! But today isn't over yet.. It's a pretty big day too - children in need! The concert was yesterday (my personal highlight = GAGA!), and the full marathon show is currently playing in the background as I type. At college today I will admit to not really being in the spirit outfit wise - shame on me - but I did buy a cake and give money to people I saw with buckets. Especially the one person who dressed up as Mr Blobby. Kudos. Now here comes my shamefully non-charitable, non-pudsey-ish outfit for the day.

Jumper, Tights & Necklace - New Look; Skirt & Bag - River Island; Shoes, Ring & Earrings - Topshop.
My knitwear obsession continues. This jumper was a piece I recycled from last year's winter wardrobe, because it is simply too cute to throw away/banish to the back of the closet, especially with the little gold beads all over it and the sweet stripes. In order to make this more winter appropriate I have broken out the knitted tights, in a shade of cream that when combined with a full skirt and ballet pumps made me feel like a winter ballerina. But that's no bad thing. Oh, and these glittery dollies were the perfect pick-me-up - everyone needs a bit of seasonal sparkle! (No, of course I'm not getting Christmassy already.. who do you take me for?) Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 17 November 2011

This year is flying by.

How is it the middle of November already???
Time is just running away from me.. I would swear that only a week or so ago I was going back to college in some dubious sunshine, while now I am driving home in the dark and freezing my little socks off while I'm at it! Honestly, I don't know where the year has gone. But as it stands, it is the middle of November and the end of the term (hell, the end of the year) is getting closer and closer. I can't wait. Because with the end of term come cosy winter days - lie ins, followed by cuddling up by the fire with hot chocolate.. and best of all, Christmas. Presents, more roast dinner than you can physically stomach (but I'll give it a good go), family time and cake. Indulgence all round. But let's not get carried away.. it's not Christmas yet! Even if the weather does call for some serious comfort food and wrapping up warm, which I attempted today..

Jumper, Necklace & Socks - H&M; Dress - New Look; Tights & Boots - Primark; Earrings - handmade locally.
See, something terrible happened and I actually dressed for the cold weather. I think the teensy sensible part of my brain must have taken control. And it wasn't a bad thing. I adore this jumper, it is possibly my favourite winter item due to the gorgeous creamy colour, chunky detailing and the fact that while it is thick & warm it doesn't make me lose all my shape. Major love for it. Now I've got to dash off quickly, history essay due tomorrow and I used up precious typing time by rambling on about Christmas... Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A bit of a quiet day.

This grey little Wednesday has a lot more going for it than you would think.. Besides the fact that it is the middle of the week, and therefore half way to the weekend, it was also a taster day at college. This is when all the little Year 11s get to come up and see what college is like for a day, meaning that the actual students don't have to go in - score! For the first time in too long, I got a lie in on a weekday.. and it felt gooood. The only thing wrong with today would have been not getting to try out a new outfit, but never fear, I had a driving lesson so I can once again share my look with you all.

Top, Cardigan, Jeans, Shoes & Necklace - New Look; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Earrings - Accessorize; Ring - Topshop.
Sometimes I feel like I spend too much money in New Look... a head-to-toe outfit like today's is giving me that impression. However, I love the actual clothes to pieces (not literally of course) because they are basic items that have a little twist - bright patterns, coloured jeans - to take them from straightforward and plain to interesting and unusual. Paired together the patterns make the whole look more fun, and the dark red jeans are a little bit different to your run-of-the-mill blue denims. It was a lovely, cosy look for a driving lesson, and I am easing myself into the colder weather with the warm cardi.. I'm preparing to break out the coat now that it is officially cold. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

So the internet crashed on me yesterday.

Which led to about an hour of failed attempts at posting, restarting my computer many times to no avail and eventually getting too frustrated and walking away. This now means that today's post will be packed with double the fashion fun - lucky you..

So anyway, yesterday was the start of a new week after the weekend apparently evaporated.. Somehow between paid work, college work and sleep there was not actually much time for anything else, and before I knew it I was rolling out of bed on Monday morning, half panicking and half overtired. And a little bit ill. But hey, no rest for the wicked  - so I dragged my sorry self around college all day, relying on a bright colour and bold print to distract from my general air of want-to-go-home-and-sleep..

Top - Lefties; Blazer & Earrings - Topshop; Skirt, Boots & Rings - H&M; Tights - Primark; Bracelet - Pull & Bear.

Like I said, the raspberry sorbet shade of the blouse combined with a slightly camera-boggling zig-zag print was intended to stop me looking too tired, and I think I have succeeded! I am also even more in love with my ankle boots after seeing a celeb penchant for booties emerging - way ahead of them.. okay, level with 'em. This was, to be honest, a pretty simple little look to put together from separates, and it still looks pretty cool.. not quite winter appropriate, but when do I ever dress appropriately?

Now for today's offering, possibly even less practical for the weather than yesterday! Yes, I was chilly, but I loved what I was wearing.
Jumper, Shorts, Shoes & Ring - New Look; Socks & Bag - River Island; Necklace - Topshop; Earrings - Primark.
I went a little tonal today, with the autumnal palette of oranges, maroons and browns.. how seasonal. My absolute favourite part of today's outfit is my amazing Navajo print socks - they add a seriously on-trend twist to the whole outfit and make my little legs look way more interesting. You'll notice I am now a true ponytail convert as well, I've got to admit they are the ultimate in low-maintenance updos that still manage to look good with pretty much any outfit. 

Also wanted to give you all a little close up on probably my most simple, chic nail look so far - this cute nude shade oozes a minimalist, almost Parisian cool. It is a Nails Inc shade which came *free* with Glamour magazine this month (go buy it!) and as well as being a gorgeous, fuss-free colour it is fast drying and easy to apply.. well, Nails Inc is a quality nail polish brand. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Star Style Obsession - Natalia Kills

Yet again I've gotten out of sync with my style obsession posting, apologies for being my disorganized self.. Anyway, just to add to the general confusion and sheer randomness that this post will be, I'm gonna have to change the format a little. No longer can I simply gush lovingly about a celebrity while analysing their style on the street and at events.. oh no. This girl deserves much more. That and the fact that my favourite photos of her are less to do with actual clothes etc, but more to do with fashion as art. 

Natalia Kills is that up-and-coming girl that is being called 'the new Gaga', and you've probably heard some of her (insanely catchy and awesome) music - at least Champagne Showers with LMFAO. But I don't think this is enough to cover the coolness that she embodies. She may go for all out theatricality with her looks, videos and style, but that doesn't make her the new Gaga. 1 - nobody will ever replace Miss Germanotta. 2 - Natalia is not the same as Gaga. Her style is fashion-forward, more-is-more and incredibly arty. Every appearance is a chance for self expression for Kills, and her videos are pure genius. But enough rambling, see for yourself...

Okay, so here I can talk about the clothes because she's at a public event. I'm applauding her bravery for a leather jacket & leather skirt combo (but disagreeing on moral grounds), she's not one to do things by halves. I love her hair too - updo + full fringe + red lip = fierce.

Another appearance, and some more artfully laddered tights. Wishing I could make ladders look intentional like her, I just look awkward and clumsy.. Anyway, I officially love the oh-so-now fur jacket, especially the contrast it provides, and the cross print tee is just the right side of edgy. But it's the sunglasses that steal the look her, they are incredible. Want, want, want.

If the skirt wasn't leather this would be almost toned down.. Black and white seem to be Natalia's go-to colours, and I can understand why - she looks striking, stunning and totally stands out. The baby-pink lipstick here adds a little pop of colour and the updo is again simply fierce. Her attention to detail is faultless, every aspect of each look is considered.

Out on the street and still working the signature black, white & leather combo - achingly cool and edgy, especially with the chunky shoes and statement hat. Something else I adore about this look is the hair, the short, sharp cut really suits Kills.

Now we leave the realm of style snaps and delve into her promo shots, music covers and general coolness..

Every element of every image contains artistry. Her outfits are individual and edgy with a faultless attention to detail - statement sunglasses, jewellery and shoes teamed with ripped tights, leather and black everything give a truly individual mix of the tough and the feminine. There really is no other word for Natalia Kills than fierce

Some of these shots were from photoshoots for her album/single covers, others are from videos and the last two are the actual album/single covers and so they have all been carefully composed, which is what made me say that this is mostly about fashion as art. But in my world fashion is art, it is another way of expressing yourself, your personality through colours, textures, shapes and the image you present to the world - this is something Kills just embodies, she personifies art to me. The fact she is beautiful and striking to start with doesn't hurt. Have I mentioned how much I want to be her?

Basically.. I. love. Natalia. Kills. Even her name is amazing. And she hasn't limited herself to music, she has set out to become a true artist, a style icon and an individual. If you stalk her, like I have a little, she has also created a set of videos called 'Love, Kills' which are amazing.. youtube them. Oh, and if you haven't watched one of her music videos, your eyes have not truly seen. Oh what the hell, here's the video that inspired me to make such an obsessed post about Natalia..

Now go get her album, keep your eyes on her style and expect to see a lot more of Kills in the future.. Love and kisses, Tara xox