Saturday, 31 December 2011

Au revoir, 2011!

Wow. How has this year gone by so quickly? I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow it will be 2012 - my mind is literally boggled. But since it is now the last day of 2011, I can't help but look back on the past year... Cue sentimental reflections and a whole host of New Year's resolutions - this year has been amazing, and 2012 will be too!

I suppose the first thing that springs to mind now is that 5 months ago, on the 1st August 2012, I set this blog up and finally found a release for my fashion obsession. I have been realistic with it I think, I mean I certainly didn't expect to be on the level of bloggers like Susie Lau with thousands of followers and pageviews - right now I am just incredibly proud to have my little band of followers and to have had people commenting. Every comment has made my day. I am also proud that I have stuck with blogging, and dedicated my time to posting something new almost every day (usually when I start things, I get frustrated and give up quickly). It has been 5 months now, and as well as seeing my pageviews go up, I have been able to see my own style develop and hopefully you have too, as well as seeing my writing develop. This blog and these 5 months have decided one thing - I am now more determined than ever to make it as a fashion journalist. I absolutely love writing about fashion, and am determined to make a career out of it. Vogue, here I come.

As well as blogging, 2011 was a year of many other achievements, both personal and academic. Firstly, I completed my AS levels and got 4 As and 1 B, setting me up to do extremely well this year with my A2 subjects and (fingers crossed) get a place in my chosen university - Birmingham. I have also received offers from all 5 of the universities I applied to, and am now in the comfortable position of choosing my top two. On a more personal note, one of my little dreams came true.. I saw Kylie live, front row, she looked at me and smiled.. Yes, I love Kylie - don't judge me. Now my next dream is to actually meet her! I also had an amazing time in India back in April, and then in Madrid in August, so yes, 2011 was an incredible year for me.

Now, looking forward, I can only hope that 2012 will be just as good. Already I have things to look forward to - a trip to Madrid with college in March, my 18th birthday in April, finishing my college study in June and hopefully earning a university place in August. But somehow, the thing that excites me most of all is the sheer potential that 2012 presents. Anything could happen, if I just work hard, take chances and basically grab life with both hands, which is what I intend to do.

It's traditional at this time of year to make resolutions, and I have made a few..

1. Get into Birmingham university by working hard and getting the best grades I can.
2. Still maintain a good work/play balance though.
3. To keep on blogging!
4. Never to wear the same outfit twice.
5. To actually save money for when I am a poor student.

These are my resolutions, what are yours? I hope 2011 has been just as good a year for you as it has to me, and that 2012 is amazing too! Just to wrap up the year, here are my favourite outfits that I have put together - any favourites of yours?

Happy New Year! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Friday, 30 December 2011

Fashion Confession

I frequently suffer from stylist's block.

Or at least that's what I call it when my little mind can't seem to conjure up a decent outfit. When I just end up standing in my room, wardrobe doors thrown wide open, drawers pulled out and possibilities littering the floor, and deciding I have nothing to wear. It's like a writer staring at a blank page - it is not that I lack the components of a good outfit, just the inspiration..
I have whined, moaned and generally complained about this complete mental blank many times when trying to explain what led me to create some of my more 'eclectic' looks, because they are produced with even less planning than my usual ensembles. On a good day, I will have had an idea the day before, then fleshed it out at some point in the previous evening/in the morning while showering and simply have to locate the pieces I want. But on a day when stylist's block strikes I literally cannot put the items together, and end up grabbing clothes in a last minute frenzy, relying on sheer instinct. And then really hoping it works.

I only thought to make this confession today because another, less common strain of stylist's block struck me down today - one that might have to be renamed blogger's block. Like usual I opened my blogger tab, read the new entries on blogs I follow, commented on a few and got generally up to speed with it all, then went to compose a new post and simply froze. I haven't been out, I haven't bought anything, no celebrities are greatly inspiring me right now... I got nothing. So in a vague attempt to pull myself together and write something, I decided to share one of my greatest afflictions (with a bit of a nudge from Becca I'll admit - credit to you dear). Sincerely hoping this isn't too personal/boring/unrelated to style. FASHIONFASHIONFASHION. There, now nobody can say I didn't mention la mode.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Successful sale-diving.

Only three days ago I was distinctly disappointed by the slightly rubbish sales this year, and determined to avoid them and focus on my wishlist instead.. Well. With much of my wishlist accounted for and (hopefully) winging its way over to me now through the great British postal system, that idea went out the window when a slightly impromptu trip to town took place today. That and the fact that my purse was full of money just begging to be exchanged for gorgeous things.. Since it is definitely still winter and it was raining quite profusely earlier, I went for a more wrapped-up look this morning..

Cape & Earrings - Topshop; Shorts - Primark; Boots & Clutch - New Look; Tights - F&F at Tesco; Gloves - Accessorize.
Well, I say wrapped up.. my top half was definitely cosy in my beautiful cape coat (which is making its second appearance of the winter!), but I decided to take it in a bit more of a smart, ladylike and almost retro direction. Hence the tailored shorts, diamond-pattern tights, knee high boots, oversize clutch and smart gloves - I can't tell you how dressed up I felt! The chic gloves were the element that made me feel most retro-fabulous, since they were my little hint to Audrey Hepburn and that time when no lady went out without her gloves... I did spend much of my time elegantly pulling them on and off though, to get money out of my purse, to try things on and to use my phone, which leads me to question their practicality. That won't stop me wearing them though! I am not going to lie, I got quite a few looks in town - I suppose that the retro gloves, very loud heeled boots and cape had something to do with it? But ah well, this just means my look was a success - I got noticed!

I did mention that today's foray into the sales was a little more successful, and it really, really was. In my opinion I snapped up some real bargains that are also perfect for the coming SS '12 season, and I honestly don't know how I didn't find them on Boxing Day!

My first finds came in Topshop, in the form of some of their gorgeous jewellery.. I had been admiring this fox ring for many months, but the price tag always put me off, so when it was on sale (half price!) I snapped it up. And then I spotted this statement necklace, with its distinctive twisted, almost Celtic design - perfect for adding an edge to any otherwise plain outfits. Topshop, I love you.

 This dress is so stunning, I could probably write a whole post dedicated to it.. and I just might if there is a slow day. But anyway, I found this in River Island, and there was only this single, solitary dress on the rail, on sale from £60 to £25.. I was very lucky that it happened to be in my size. Basically, as soon as I saw this amazing dress I knew I had to have it - literally only the other day I was saying how much I wanted a 20s, flapper-esque dress, and this one just presented itself to me. I literally adore how flapper-girl it is, and how intricate and delicate the beading is. It's this embellishment that makes it look way more expensive than it was, especially the scalloped, embellished hem. I'll stop raving about it now shall I?

After the amazing discovery in RI, I stumbled euphorically into New Look, only to have my excitement increased by finding these stunning shoes - the perfect thing to team with my new dress, as well as many other things, and only a tenner! Shot-GUN.

The last things I picked up were some ridiculously cheap tights from Primark, the mini-dot ones to replace the ones that were mauled by the dogs up at my granny's house, and the circle-pattern ones simply because they look pretty cool.

So yes, I would say the sales have definitely made a better impression this time around! That's not to say the stock wasn't 99% ugly/out of season/just not my thing, but this time I managed to find the diamonds in amongst the coal.. And as if that wasn't enough, the first item from my post-Christmas online spending spree
was waiting for me when I got home.

My incredibly scruffy, battered and well-loved Topshop blazer, a faithful companion of the last 18 or so months has been worn practically threadbare, and is now being replaced by this gorgeous, brand-spanking-new blazer from ASOS. It is very, very similar, only slight differences in the sleeves, pockets and lining are noticeable, and it fits like a glove. I am looking forward to getting just as much wear, love and loyalty out of this baby over the next year or so..

And that's my sale-tastic day for you all! The final announcement to make is that I am getting a little broke again.. good thing my paycheck just came through. But while I will miss the fleeting security of knowing I had hundreds of squids stashed in my purse, I am going to enjoy my new purchases so much more. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas is family time.

Yes, Christmas is over for another year, and has been for about 3 days now, but since I spent the big day itself at home with just my parents, there was a smaller, secondary mini-Christmas yesterday that drifted a bit into today as we visited my grandparents. Most of my actual Christmases have been spent up with them, so it doesn't quite feel right unless we do.. It wasn't a big celebration though, and I didn't get any more presents or anything because they had already sent money down, but we gave them presents and we did have a roast, followed by mince pies. Shamefully (for a supposed blogger) I didn't take any photos on this little visit, so all I can share with you is my two looks.

Top & Shoes - New Look; Shorts & Tights - Primark; Earrings - Topshop; Ring - Parfois.
This was my outfit from the 27th - I again went for a mix of dressed-up and dressed-down, since it was a visit with relatives, but only an informal one. These shorts have been in my wardrobe forever and are the ultimate in comfort, which is pretty essential for a long car journey, while the tailored shape and smart grey colour make them pretty sharp and chic too. This blouse is gorgeous, in my opinion, and was perfect for the occasion because it combines a cute bird print, relaxed shape and gold sequin embellishment. I also have to report that these tights sadly suffered death by dog claws and will hopefully soon be replaced by some more mini-dot tights because I do love them.. it is just that I am not the kind of cool girl that can pull off artfully ripped tights - I look less edgy-grungy-cool and more scruffy-mess-that-can't-dress-herself. Sigh.

Top, Shorts & Shoes - New Look; Blazer & Earrings - Topshop; Tights - Primark; Ring - Dorothy Perkins; Bracelet - Accessorize; Necklace - Temporary Secretary.
Here is my second-day look - still quite smart and tailored, and again very comfy (for the long car journey back). One thing I have to say is that I am praying it is just the camera angle making my face look so chubby.. I'm going to say it is, so don't judge me. Anyway, the only other thing to really say about this outfit is how much I love my 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON' necklace from Temporary Secretary. It is definitely my favourite necklace right now and I can't wait to wear it again! I adore the vintage feel with the light green colour and spots, as well as the cool slogan. 

Yesterday and today kind of disappeared without me noticing them to be honest, they vanished in a blur of talking to the grandparents, dinner, me being totally annihilated at Scrabble repeatedly and more chocolate biscuits than I care to remember - and now I have just realised that it is only FOUR days until 2012. How did it creep up on us? Also, that means I go back to college in SIX days. Six. And I still have plenty of work to do, as well as endless revision for exams in approximately THREE WEEKS. Oh fashion gods, help me. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

And the shopping ban is broken!

I'm quite proud of myself. Two weeks without shopping, without buying clothes for myself.. that could be a record. But of course, my challenge was only to wait until after Christmas - so straight after work on boxing day I was out in Taunton, Christmas money in hand and wishlist in mind. Typically, a lot of the things I actually really wanted weren't in store, so I will have to order them online and pay the delivery charges too (grr), but I didn't do too badly. I also refused to let myself get sucked into the sales, because I know all too well that if I start sale-diving I will end up spending all of my money on things I wasn't really looking for (and are probably a bit last season) and not have enough money for the things I really want. Aren't I sensible? Anyway, here is my rather haphazard outfit from yesterday, thrown together at the last minute..

Coat, Shorts, Tights & Shoes - New Look; Top - H&M; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Ring - Topshop; Necklace - Temporary Secretary.
Like I said, a bit of a last minute one, but it could have been a lot worse.. I stuck to a more natural colour palette mostly, then juxtaposed it a bit with the incredibly unnaturally purple bag. The star tights were just a fun way to add some interest to an outfit made up of very simple separates. The best part of the look though, in my humble opinion, is the Temporary Secretary binoculars necklace - it's nice, it's different, it's unusual..

After hitting Topshop like there was no tomorrow and discovering that pretty much everything I had wanted from there wasn't in store, I dashed along to River Island and managed to get my paws on this..

I had been eyeing up this River Island shawl for many a week, which is why it made it onto my wishlist to begin with, and when I saw it with plenty of money in my purse I just couldn't say no. I love the almost Versace-esque detail and gorgeous faux fur trim - it's perfect for layering to transition into spring (which I hope is coming soon). After RI I tried Dorothy Perkins, but to no avail. Oh, they had the cardigan I wanted, sure, but only in a size 10 or 14. Both of which drowned me. So I continued on to Accessorize, with a bit more luck.

I was originally after the red wool gloves with buttons and edging, but then I spotted the purple pair with their adorable little bows and decided they were just too sweet. Again, I did really want vintage-style driving gloves, but every pair in every shop were real leather - so I'm just glad this wool pair were around because they have a similar style, especially with the edging. This ring was a bit of an impulse buy, but for £3 I just couldn't say no. This is the kind of ornate cocktail ring that adds an edge of class and intrigue to an outfit, day or night, and was basically too gorgeous to ignore.

And that was all I got my hands on in town, but I will admit to making several orders online when I got home.. I now have the shameful feeling that my Christmas money has already been spent. Within two days of Christmas. Oops. I may even have gone over into this month's pay - which I haven't even got yet. Wow. And there are still things on the wishlist, as well as a month's worth of random shopping, Costa trips and general expenses of life. With all this considered, I'm wondering if the challenge was a good thing. Yes, I didn't spend any money on clothes for two weeks, and I'm pleased with myself for that. But as soon as I was allowed to spend I went a little crazy, and spent more than I care to tot up right now (I'd need another vodka to face it I think). Anyway, now all I am going to do is eagerly await my items in the post, and I bet they'll be worth it. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas chez Tara.

First off, I hope you all had an amazing day yesterday - I know I did! Now, brace yourselves for another long one as I share the fun...

I kicked off Christmas 2011 bright and early with my cute little stocking, in the traditional way - aka curled up in bed, still in my PJs and dressing gown. Definitely a good start.

I love waking up to presents...
Good job, Santa.
And these are the goodies that Santa brought me in the night.. I must have been a good girl this year! My favourite thing so far is the super cute Lindt bear - almost too cute to eat. Almost. But not quite.

Once up and dressed (which my Dad didn't believe since it was before 9am), I finally set eyes upon the pile of presents. To combine two joys, here is what I'm wearing, and the presents neatly snapped in one picture.

No, they're not all for me...
Jumper - ASOS; Skirt - H&M; Tights - Primark; Earrings - handmade locally; Ring - Accessorize.
For my 'christmas at home' outfit I tried to strike the right balance between relaxed-in-my-own-home and all-dressed-up-festively. For most of my Christmases we have visited relatives on the big day, which of course required intense dressing up - but celebrating quietly at home this year meant I wanted to be a little more toned down.. To hit that midpoint I opted for my much-loved Christmas jumper (it has never been more appropriate), which I styled up with my sparkling sequinned mini and statement earrings. Oh, and before you ask, the presents are on the sofa because we don't have a Christmas tree. Never have, probably never will.

This is my haul from this year, mostly courtesy of my amazing parents who somehow took my scrambled, last-minute Christmas list, fulfilled it, added to it and made me feel so loved with their finds. Now let me break it down for you...

1. Metallic H&M dress. Gotta have some Christmas sparkle!
2. ASOS faux cardigan jumper - so cute it hurts a little bit..
3. Kylie Les Folies Live In London DVD. Basically, I love Kylie, and being at this show was the best night ever, so I'm going to relive it.
4. Kylie calendar 2012 - from Santa, because Minne is my idol.
5. Bridesmaids DVD.. pure hilarity, enough said.
6. Breakfast at Tiffany's DVD, I will finally get to watch it.
7. Japanese Doll Tote bag. So sweet, and perfect for cosmetics.
8. Coral clutch bag. Just gorgeous.
9. Burgundy clutch - I picked this out myself and waited patiently!
10. Leopard bag, which is isanely cool.
11. Teacup ring.. the perfect nod to my mini-obsession with Alice in Wonderland.
12. Umbrella necklace. How appropriate for England in winter, or in fact any time of the year.
13. Egg timer necklace - very, very sweet and unusual.
14. Cupcake necklace. I think we all know I love cake.. moving on.
15. VINTAGE 50s Hannah Troy dress. My very first vintage piece!
16. LUSH Angels Delight soap, possibly my favourite soap and only available at this time of year..
17. Versace for H&M handbag - after all the fandango of getting the dress, I'm not 100% sure how Mum got her little paws on this, but I'm incredibly glad she did!
18. Versace for H&M earrings. Ditto these - once again, all hail Donatella (and my mum).
19. Temporary Secretary lucky dip bag & 'keep calm carry on' necklace. I adore Temporary Secretary & the blog too, and can't wait to wear these goodies.
20. Pandora silver chain bracelet. I had a cheapie version of one of these bracelets, but it broke recently and I hadn't gotten around to replacing it.. now I have an actual Pandora one - gorgeous.
21. Gloves and scarf, from my aunt and uncle. Seasonal, practical and pretty.
22. Penguin hand warmer. I pointed this out in River Island - I need a way to keep toasty warm while waiting for the bus!
23. River Island diamante headphone covers. Can't wait to bling up my MP3 with this dazzling beauties.
24. ASOS moose mittens (supposedly from my darling cat). Moose mittens - need I say more?
25. River Island grey dress, which I adore for the almost 20s feel of the straight cut and flicky fabric embellishments.
26. The Hunger Games books.. I have been waiting forever to read these!
27. What's New, Cupcake? book. I am already overflowing with excitement for cake baking.
28. Fashion Box book, full of inspiring pictures of fashion icons. I'll admit to losing myself in this yesterday afternoon.
29. Icons of Fashion from the 20th century book. God, I love fashion.
30. Fashion Doodle Book, basically a chance for me to release the fashion from my brain. Love.
31. Smirnoff miniature - best enjoyed straight, while watching Ab Fab. At least that's how I like it.

So yes, I am a very lucky girl because I got such amazing stuff - I can't quite believe it all myself. Don't even ask me to pick a favourite present, I couldn't do it if I tried! After the present-giving extravaganza we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves, and ended up watching the final Harry Potter, before starting to cook Christmas dinner. Well, Mum and I did, Dad fell asleep (but shhhh, don't tell anyone!). Here's the low down on our festive meal...

Starting off lightly with melon..
My slightly shell-shocked parents & dinner.
My delicious veggie Christmas dinner. Nom.
My hilarious cracker joke.
The meal was topped off by a cake made by yours truly.
And that is basically the essence of my Christmas Day. After that came the obligatory episode of Doctor Who, where I counted the Narnia references, more chocolate than I care to remember and much more Christmas TV while the fire blazed.. Rounding off the evening was Ab Fab - which is comic genius. I love Patsy... And the final moments of my glorious Christmas day were spent watching my idol, Kylie, sing Let It Snow on Michael McIntyre's Christmas Comedy Roadshow - she was stunning. And now I want snow! I will leave you now with this image of me in the evening, before the vodka, but towards the end of the champagne.. Kudos for reading all this and I hope your Christmas was just as much fun!

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Post-Christmas wishlist.

It seems a little Scrooge-ish to be eagerly waiting for Christmas to pass just so I can shop again, but I can't deny it, I am. That said, anyone who's read a few of my recent posts knows I am literally buzzing for Christmas day tomorrow - 1 more sleep, people, 1 more sleep! It's just that after the festive excitement is over for another year, I have given & received my presents and eaten more chocolate than humanly possible, I will finally be free to spend my money again. It may have only been 12 days, but for me that feels like a lifetime. To get me through this tricky time, I will admit to compiling a small mental wishlist, much like a Christmas list, but packed with the items of clothing/accessories I am lusting after and probably would have already bought if it weren't for this little no-shopping challenge (and lack of funds). Realistically I know I cannot afford all of these gorgeous pieces but a girl can dream...

£50, ASOS
My beloved Topshop black blazer is one of my favourite pieces and it has served me well over the past year and a half ish, but even to my eyes the well-worn-and-loved vibe it gives out is now just becoming tatty-and-overused, so the time has come to replace it. This ASOS blazer is simply gorgeous, and very similar to my own, and I am seriously considering treating myself to it.

£40, Topshop
While the ASOS piece is pretty much perfect, I get the nagging feeling that I should stick to Topshop for the sheer quality. I love this black ponte blazer, from the rolled up sleeves to the little mock pockets, but I can't help but feel it would be too long for me...

£36, Topshop
Another ASOS-Topshop face off here.. I love anything embellished, and have had my heart set on a scalloped, embellished top for quite some time now, and this Topshop lace top is simply stunning. I can already tell it will look amazing with so many things, either dressed up or down. Want, want, want.

£49.50, ASOS Salon
But then ASOS Salon threw this little beauty into the mix. It is possibly even more gorgeous with the mint-green hue and beautiful silver embellishment.. It is just the wearability and price tag that are swinging this in favour of the Topshop.

£26, Topshop
I saw these in store in Topshop maybe two or three weeks ago and literally fell in love. Leaving them behind was one of the most tremendous shows of willpower I have ever given, and they immediately went down on my 'after-christmas-when-you-have-money' list. There is no question, these shorts are mine.

£8.50, Topshop
At the same time as I resisted the shorts, I also resisted these tights. You know I love tights, and when I saw these on the mannequin in store I really wanted them. I meant to put them on my Christmas list, but forgot, so now I am putting these firmly on the wishlist. I just can't get over how much of a statement them make with the contrasting sides!

£12, Topshop
While cruising the tights page on for the other tights, I chanced upon this gorgeous pair and decided they were simply too cute. I know, I know, I don't need any more tights, but these will be perfect to cheer me up in January!

£8, Accessorize
I have been looking out for some good gloves for a long time, because I originally wanted some leather-style driving gloves, but non-leather of course. Unfortunately all I can find is real leather and genuine suede, but these from Accessorize just might be close enough to what I want. They are wool, so all man-made, but come in a retro, driving glove style with the cute buttons and edging.

£28, Dorothy Perkins
This cardigan is so Chanel it hurts. And I love me some Chanel. I adore the monochrome colour scheme and chic edging - and I will need something besides my trusty blazer to keep me cosy when the winter-spring-summer transition finally kicks in, which this cardigan is perfect for.

£8.50, Dorothy Perkins
Another thing I can never have enough of is rings. Especially oversize cocktail rings. Don't get me wrong, I love all jewellery, but the perfect ring excites me in so many ways. I love the classic cocktail style of this DP ring, and the mustard colour is just gorgeous and luxurious.

£22, River Island
Collars are another recent obsession of mine, and this embellished one has stolen my heart. We will all need a bit of sparkle once Christmas is over and summer seems like an eternity away, and I really can't think of anything more suitable than this for glitzing up my daily wardrobe.

£20, River Island
I have had my eye on this for a while actually, but never plucked up the courage to buy it, and then the weather simply got too cold. Now that we might finally start heading out of winter again, I'm trying to develop my transitional wardrobe and this would be ideal. I simply love the almost Versace-esque print, and I love faux fur.

£24.99, Versace for H&M
Speaking of Versace... These amazing, summery shorts are my personal favourite item from their next (and final) collection for H&M, and while they don't drop until mid-January, I will definitely be putting aside some cash for them. I just know they will take away any winter blues that are hitting.

£10, Temporary Secretary
The final item on my wishlist (so far) is less of a trend-driven piece, and more of an it's-too-cute-to-pass-up item. Temporary Secretary is a bit of a new discovery for me, and while several bits and pieces are on my Christmas list, I just couldn't make a wishlist without including something from there. This cream tart ring is one of my favourite things on the site because it is just so sweet and original - the kind of detail that makes an outfit unique.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my wishlist. Well, everything I am wishing for right now. I am sure that when I actually hit the shops I will see a million more things that I adore, but these are definitely the things that are playing on my mind right now. I don't even want to add up how much it would cost to buy all of these things, because I know it will just be painful, but that won't stop me lusting after them...

The next time I am going shopping is Boxing Day, straight after work, which I realise is brave since town is bound to be heaving with bargain-hunters stalking the sales, but I am visiting relatives the 27th-28th December, and simply cannot wait until the 29th! I hope that everything I want is in store, because delivery gets expensive, and I will of course be making use of my beautiful NUS card to scrounge some discounts where I can.

I was also wondering what you guys all think.. which pieces would you go for? 

Anyway, it is probably time I shut up now, and stopped daydreaming about clothes and shopping (which is probably a sign of a dangerous addiction to it). It is most likely that I won't be online tomorrow, since it is Christmas Day, and I reserve the right to spend the whole of it unwrapping presents, eating myself silly and generally having fun with my parents. So I'll say it now... MERRY CHRISTMAS!! It means a lot that you've been reading my blog, and I hope you get everything you want tomorrow - have an amazing day! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Friday, 23 December 2011

When Christmas gets strained.

*DISCLAIMER* This post contains unimportant details about my life, a lot of crazy Christmas-talk and general ramblings.

Okay, I will do my best to keep this short and sweet, like a good 'look du jour' post should be, but knowing my tendencies to just keep typing.. Well, you could be in for another long one. Kudos if you read it through. Anyway, so since it is the Christmas holidays I had been planning to spend the majority of it holed up in my cosy house, but I got persuaded out today.. To do the final Christmas food shop. I'll admit now that my effort on the fashion front was low, but judge for yourselves.

Cardigan, Top & Shoes - New Look; Skirt - Internacionale; Tights - Primark; Belt - H&M; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Rings - Accessorize & Rock N Rose.
Since the majority of my time out of the house was to be spent either cruising through the rain/traffic in my little bubble car or trailing around the supermarket gathering festive veg & chocolate, I didn't feel the need to try too hard, and once again relied upon my separates to see me through. After yesterday's Audrey Hepburn obsession, you may have been expecting something a little more pared back, retro and simplistic - but without serious consideration, my wardrobe doesn't do simplistic. It basically just vomits pattern at me until I give in and throw on the eclectic mix.. The one Audrey tip I did play with was the belt, cinching in my waist, and I really think it helped give this ensemble shape, and stop the cardigan drowning little old me..

Now comes the irrepressible rant.. Why did we go food shopping in a busy Sainsbury's TWO DAYS before Christmas? It was madness. Sheer madness. There were so many people with ginormous trolleys that maneuvering ours up the aisles actually felt more stressful than the traffic-packed drive in. And it really did feel like a bit of a free-for-all, especially near the vegetables. Also, they were out of parsnips. Disgraceful. Now we will have to dig our own up out of the garden. (Yes, we live in the middle of nowhere and grow veg. But we are not farmers.) We also now have so much food that I think I may well eat close to my own body weight in Christmas fare, from the actual dinner to mince pies, biscuits, chocolates & random nibbles.. So forgive me if I don't show my face on camera for a few days after Christmas - I will be working off those holiday pounds that I am sure to pile on. But in the face of all this, you know we can all smile and let anything go because... it's Christmas. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Star Style Obsession - Audrey Hepburn

As you may have noticed, recently my complete adoration for the icons of the golden age of Hollywood has been brought to the surface in a way like never before, and while I do love Marilyn, Elizabeth and Vivien, I will always have a soft spot for Audrey Hepburn. Her most iconic look is also one of fashion's most iconic, the go-to style for celebrities worldwide - that's right, the Little Black Dress. Most notable in Breakfast at Tiffany's, her most famous film role, and the one that cemented her as a fashion icon, the LBD is a wardrobe staple for anyone with style and is a classic, timeless look, copied innumerable times. At this moment in time, however, I am ashamed to say that I have never actually seen Breakfast at Tiffany's, although the book is one of my favourites, and every time I read it I picture Audrey as Holly. The film is also on my Christmas list, so I am praying that I find it wrapped up on Christmas morning and can then lose myself in it as soon as possible.. For now, I am just going to share some of my favourite Audrey looks..

There was simply no other look I could begin with than the aforementioned style genius of the Breakfast at Tiffany's LBD. This really is a flawless iconic look, from the simple, well-cut dress and matching long gloves to the decadent jewellery that totally revs it up - if I can emulate this, I will.

This is literally just too cute. I think it's that little smile.. But anyway, I love this look because it is again so classic. Besides, lace, a cinched waist and a full skirt always looks good! And Audrey has accesssorized it perfectly with that award...

A slightly edgier style seen on Audrey here, while she has returned to all black, the dress is gone and it is the sleek silhouette of a simple long sleeved top and capris that make up this totally chic ensemble. She is well-known for popularizing capris, and when she looks this effortlessly stylish, who can blame her? I also love the very chic ballet pumps, which have been very du jour recently. See, we keep returning to Audrey's classic style..

Again working some chic trousers, this all white outfit is again full of clean lines and simplicity, but the shapes are slightly more complex. I love the accessories here, the obi belt and simple ballet pumps really set the white top and trousers off.

Working a subtle bit of boy-meets-girl styling here and still looking gorgeous, Audrey is rocking one of my favourite style staples - the white shirt. With her signature cinched in waist she still manages to look beautifully feminine, and that cheeky little scarf around her neck in place of a tie is a lovely quirky detail.

I will admit that here we are leaving the realms of style analysis and just entering a world entitled 'Audrey Hepburn is beautiful'. Which she is. And this picture is too gorgeous not to post on a Hepburn-appreciation blog entry. On a slightly fashion-y note I do love the faultless simplicity and careful accessorizing.. but really my favourite thing about this picture is the beautiful pink-ness.

Isn't she stunning? This floral dress is simply amazing, and florals never go out of style. Another thing that always looks good is a simple, chic updo which Audrey has clearly nailed. Oh, and I am getting the urge to go out and get my hands on some good gloves..

Another photo, another beautiful dress accessorized with more chic gloves. One thing we can definitely learn from Audrey is not to underestimate the power of a good, statement-making dress, and not to clutter it up with unnecessary accessories.

This look is one that I think would still work today, with a slightly modern twist. I adore the dress and wouldn't change a thing about it, but to pull this into the 21st century I would replace the gloves with some stackable rings and up the heel height.. that said, I love this ensemble on Audrey.

How ridiculously cute is this? Again, her simplistic approach to styling is showing through, letting the dress do the talking. While some might say that this look needs a bit of jewellery, I think that it only enhances her natural beauty. And don't even get me started on the dog.

There is a running theme through most of Audrey's looks - a simplicity that never lets her ensembles be too cluttered up, leaving the focus more on her than anything else. She definitely wears the clothes, rather than letting the clothes wear her. All of these ensembles would only require a small style-up to be totally du jour and relevant right now, because they are so classic that fashion keeps referencing them. So many of the pieces she wears have become wardrobe staples, such as capri pants, ballet pumps, and of course the LBD - so there is simply no question that Hepburn is a complete style icon. And not just a style icon, but possibly my favourite icon from the golden age of Hollywood, which is saying something when you consider her competition..

I absolutely love her style, and wish I could emulate her looks. In fact, I might try to get a few Audrey references into my current style, so watch this space.. For now, however, while I am holed up at home anticipating Christmas I am just going to ponder how to do that, and pray for Breakfast at Tiffany's to be waiting for me on Christmas Day. Love and kisses, Tara xox