Fashion | How to Wear a Culottes Jumpsuit

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Cardigan: New Look, Culottes Jumpsuit: Gap, Crab Bag: Zara (last Season), Lace Up Flats: New Look (Last year)

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The first culotte jumpsuit I saw this year was actually in Anthropologie by a brand called, Saturday/Sunday. Its a brand that I love anyway (my jersey jacket is from there) and this jumpsuit was in the prettiest powder pink. I looked at that and knew instantly that this is the kind of look I want for this Spring and Summer.

Its quite an odd one in terms of style. Ideally you need to be willing to wear heels depending on where the end of the trouser portion ends. In the case of this pair with the wide flare it works far better with a heel but failing that a flat with an up the ankle tie works just as well.

You have to be able to balance your outfit and thats really the key difference between an outfit that works and one that doesn’t. For me I actually have a longer torso than my legs so high rise jeans (although a shining beacon to my stomach – which is never good) paired with a shame tuck is far more flattering than a low rise pair and a longer T-shirt.

In the case of culottes you are balancing out the shorter, wider bottom portion of your outfit and often the best bet is to make the top half as streamlined as possible. This particular pair are great because they tie up in the middle but you can always add a chunky belt to pull that part of the outfit in.

For me however, I need a little of that draped fabric on top, mainly because I’m also big busted so for me I’m just balancing out either end of my body so culottes on me don’t even really need the balancing act!

Still, that being said I have to still keep the bulky layers to a minimum to avoid looking too chunky overall. This soft, lightweight cardi is ideal, although out of stock now, something similar is always a must have for your wardrobe and its so wearable! Now if only we could cure bobbling, we’d be laughing!

 

Gymwear & wellness | How our workouts have progressed…

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Top: Next, Bomber Jacket: Next (old) Leggings: Gap, Trainers: New Balance: (Old)_DSC0483_DSC0487

Our exercise journey so far…

Starting a new regime can be quite the adjustment. For us, we went from sitting on the couch and eating terribly to working out every other day, eliminating most sugar and bad foods from our diets and being more conscientious in our day to day decisions.

In a short period of time we have seen a range of changes in our life, from wellness to the beginning of fitness its been an interesting adventure….

Sugar – time to break up?

The most interesting thing has been to see the way our energy levels have been ruined by an over dependance on sugar.

On the days that we go back to bad eating habits (the dreaded cheat days) the day following is never as good, we lack energy and can find ourselves often lethargic. Honestly, the biggest change has been energy levels.

Energy

I honestly thought that I would spend most of my time yawning (A big concern pre joining was… we will be so tired! We won’t have any time!) honestly, that has not been the case. Even better nights at the gym have given me much more energy in the day time, I don’t even yawn as much! Joined up with losing that lethargic feeling my body has felt more peaceful, more aligned if you are into that type of thing.

I believe it must all come down to being more active as ultimately I’ve started giving my body its needs rather than what my brains wants.

What about those cravings?

Pre gym I decided to slowly give up sugar and minimise how much I ate. Was I successful? Not at all, in fact I was quite the opposite. During the days when we had been off of exercising (We managed to get a cold and two sick bugs within the first three weeks) I found it easier to eat badly. Also if we popped off the bandwagon for a weak moment (A night of drinking for example left us eating chips and pasta and the next day left us craving sugar with less resilience) we found it harder to be strong with our healthy eating. However, when we stuck to less food in general, no alcohol and fruit as our sugar source it was much easier and effortless to maintain. In fact perhaps the old adage is true, you don’t miss what you don’t have.

Lessons learnt so far?

  • Always wipe down the gym equiptment
  • Routinely wash your hands after a work out and use the hand sanitisers in the gym throughout your workout
  • Don’t buy bad foods and you won’t eat them
  • Throw out any bad snack foods that are in the house
  • Make sure you have lots of healthy snacks on hand

Whats next?

Honestly whats next is to keep going… You can’t see much change in my body in the photos above but thats another story for another day but I certainly see much change in my mind and myself internally.

Exercising and being dedicated to a slow building programme has been really beneficial to our mental health. Its made us feel so much better about ourselves and even better, its manageable and addictive. That sports high is something I had completely forgotten that I was in love with. Honestly with the repeat injuries I thought I just couldn’t exercise but in reality its just that I needed to find another way to exercise, to reach those highs.

From here it is onwards and upwards! We are increasing our weights, our reps and are continuing to push forward to achieve our healthier living goals. We know its not a quick fix but honestly we feel so much better just showing up, it wouldn’t be possible to stop.

When and why I bought new summer Gap basics …

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As we all know I’m rarely short on basics and loungewear. In fact right now I’m also not even close to being short on sportswear either so why purchase two more new basics? Is this a shopping addicts cry for help?

What’s been the most interesting regarding undertaking capsule wardrobes in order to find my own personal style is sometimes not quite believing what you find.

If I get straight down to honesty as much I can talk about needing a great pair of jeans, or a structured dress my true happiness lies in soft cotton pieces that drape around me like the secret hippy I am.

I love soft brushes cotton, I love pieces that cling and fall and never strangle my insides and that’s why this year I picked up two new ‘basics’ because however basic they may be to you, to me they are an essential staple of my own personal style. 2017 is the year of fashion honesty as well it seems.

The culottes jumpsuit

A potentially controversial piece, when I first saw the blue version of this in GAP and my true style desire this uber soft pink one from Saturday/Sunday at Anthropologie I fell in love so quick and deep I knew that this was going to be the look for me this SS.

Before Christmas I actually purchased a similarly shaped number from the Next Sale, a loose blue beach pullover version I couldn’t have been happier with the shape on me. The tied up waist to give me much needed definition, the leg length I could work with flats, sand wedges and heels. I also love the ability to accessorise with a thicker plaited leather belt and a short in the waist structured jacket like this one+

100% Annie hall meets Indian jones but lets be honest I’m totally on board for that.

The casual jersey dress

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There was a bit of a toss up when it came to this number in fact. One that I’m sure I’ll rectify with the next money off voucher whether to have this dress with the longer sleeves and v neck or to have it’s tied up sister in an almost navy blue. I ended up choosing this particular one for several reasons.

Firstly I love a good v neck it works perfectly on my body shape breaking up my heaviest area. 

Another plus is this came in tall, ensuring that yes this midi dress will be a midi dress on me! I’m also a massive fan of this baseball shirt hem … I’m looking forward to polishing this up with a jersey blazer and ballet flats and making it more casual with sandals perhaps in a great pair of leather wrap ones … on the weekend I can pop on a baseball cap, tie my chambray shirt around my waist with flat trainers for errands and coffee (tea) runs.

If I’m honest for my first two (besides sandals) purchases for SS I’m so pleased with them both. They add something insanely wearable and realistic to an otherwise daydreaming set of left overs from last year! 

When it comes to your basics be it t shirts and jeans or casual dresses or shorts and shirts what’s your go to basic every year?

Fashion | What to wear on a rainy Spring day…

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The one thing I particularly hate dressing for whether it is Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer is rain. Whether its cold outside (slightly easier) or hot (nightmare) being able to layer successfully, keep dry and look alright when you get to your destination can be a complete nightmare.

Now, honestly I spend more time researching this on blogs and Pinterest to say that I have found the ultimate solution, but I have at least found this one, Jeggings, a linen tunic (although whose to say I won’t wear it as a dress) a denim shirt and for more layers flat trainers/or waterproof boots and a lightweight jacket (I love either the khaki mac or a bomber jacket.) As when we took these photos it wasn’t raining (although it was supposed to) I also added this plush faux fur scarf from Zara last year, it adds quite a bit of bulk to my frame but I love it for feeling snuggled without getting too hot either.

All in all this outfit has been ideal recently as the weather gets warmer and we approach spring I think this might just be the way to go, light, airy layers all of which dry off quick!

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Spring and Summer Fashion | Building Your Wardrobe around your LIFE, Activewear

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Last week we kicked off SS17 with thoughts about building a wardrobe which works with the life we have as opposed to the one we see in magazines in blogs.

It’s been a turnaround year for me planning wise, but one which has ultimately helped me greatly. That actually, if I plan for the life I actually lead and intend to lead then perhaps I won’t spend hours just staring at my clothes but actually wearing them!

If we rewind back to my original capsule year I really worked on building my dream wardrobe and not just any dream wardrobe but one that would actually work with my lifestyle. While we bought a house, planned and executed a wedding however, I forgot the fundamentals of this practice, to plan, to develop and to keep my life in mind.

This week I want us to focus on “What’s needed to undertake all the tasks I do every day…”. Firstly a recap on the places I go every day,

–          Work (Smart/Casual Office)

–          Potential Meetings/on site/showcases

–          Drinks/dinner out

–          The Gym

–          Casual Weekend Wear

With that out of the way what does this lifestyle dictate? Well several things, I don’t need loads of pairs of heels, black tie clothing or anything over the top fancy. I do however note that I am looking for more timeless pieces, by fall this year I’m going to be 27 which is putting quite a few things in perspective (more on that in another post). For fashion I want to continue focusing on buying less but more quality items and on being realistic and considered with my money.

Quite frankly what I need to do is plan!
Lets start with the easy stuff, The Gym. Myself and Josh aim to go (every other week at the moment we seem to get ill but hopefully by summer we won’t get so interrupted!) every other day (roughly) So that is either four or three times a week.
I have read a lot about how when you start you have clean work out gear each day but how often that can fall to the wayside, however saying that, lets pretend I wear something clean everytime this is what I need.
Four pairs of bottoms & four tops and one pair of trainers, that’s it. Nine pieces!
Now because I also go swimming that will actually push that number up to a 13 pieces (2 x two pieces)
1 x Primark 3/4 leggings
H&M grey muscle T
New Balance (basic Trainers)

Big Feet? Why you should buy your sandals now…

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(Clarks Sandals Left+ Right+)

The sad fact of the matter is, if you are rocking size nine feet or larger, now is probably the first and last time you are going to be able to secure your summer sandals. Especially if you have a desire for flat, practical shoes.

In the autumn and winter you needn’t worry as quickly but in terms of the summer months? You have to make a plan and get your shoes tied down and fast.

If you think I’m joking I received my first pair in the mail last month (These cheap-ish flats from Clarks+ – I have sent these back, being as they are too flat for my feet) and after having decided they were not for me I found a further two pairs to send to my Mum and Nanna for inspection. My mum fell in love with the heavier soled pair pair whilst my nanna preferred the others and also informed me that she had bought hers two weeks prior!

See? It pays to get them in early, but why? because last year I didn’t get any, frankly because there were none! It seems that the unfortunate truth for any of us with difficult feet or bigger or smaller feet means far less choice, but seemingly no less demand. Therefore however much I wanted to wait them out for the next sale it just couldn’t be on the cards, although I may be keeping an eye on this pair+ just in case.

If you want to know about the two pairs I will more than likely review them later in the year. Upon first wearing they are both nicely cushioned and comfortable although even in the wide fittings they probably won’t be enough for anyone with very wide feet.

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Fashion | The pink velvet midi skirt

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Firstly one photo? Yes… one photo. When we took this photo it was just before it chucked down with rain and it was also freezing… I don’t believe my face does justice to how cold it was!

On the other side I’ve also been really struggling with blog photos of late. As we continue on our gym journey I’m really feeling and seeing a discrepancy between my body and how i feel inside, thats most likely a post for another day, but it does explain the lack of photos on this post.

I have been in love with midi skirts for a while now and while I have a gingham one for the summer months, when I saw this pink velvet number on sale in Anthropologie I knew it would be a worthwhile wardrobe investment for evening wear and the colder, winter months.

Although I wouldn’t say it photographs perfectly, in real life it is quite lovely! (Also I probably wouldn’t suggest the crazy thick jumper I’m pairing with it either – unless like me you were freezing, even under sherling!) For a night out a pair it with a thinner black top and blazer, this would streamline the look or for something more relaxed a simple white t shirt can never be forgotten! If I remember correctly I also got this on uber sale, reduced from £98.00 to only £29.99… bargain or what?

In which a gymphobe tells you to, just do it!

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“Well I’m excited to wear my new leggings….Even though I just took the tags off and they are grey… sweat patches be damned.”

(A thought from one of my first sessions…)

My decided meaning for the Nike slogan, “just do it” occurred to me on a very busy Saturday in Oxford Circus, London. 

Having gotten over my initial – “I do not belong in a sport-shop, period.” fears, I had just asked the kind salesman in Nike for a pair of men’s, *gasp* vomero 12’s in their bright blue and I was feeling unnaturally chipper and upbeat.

The thing is, I’ve been doing a lot of conquering of my fitness fears of late. 

Breaking free from the 11 year old, secondary school fear of exercise god, at 26 I had finally started beating away the, too big for exercise demons I seem to have picked up somewhere along the line of mandatory leotard wearing at age 14. And now, finally 15 years later I have finally started understanding the Monika, “just do it”. 

The fact that the unfit don’t just get struck down by giant chocolate lightening bolts the moment we enter the gym is a god send and although I have to wear men’s trainers, there are somehow running shoes for six foot tall, accident prone women who apparently have a thing for neon blue.

Just do it of course, is the key. You want to loose weight? Then just do it! Want to lift weights until you look like John Cena? Then just do it! 

Need to ask the all too attractive men in Nike about trainers for post- stress fractures and broken ankles then just do it! Own it! And one day soon you might feel even braver! 

I realise I’ve just played into a simple marketing slogan but at this point I don’t care. I’m a gym-adrenaline junkie and I know it. I want to lift weights like the scary men in the free weights section, get arms and abs like The Bella Twins and you know how that’s gonna happen? 

Because I’m just gonna do it.

*have you got gym/workout fears, or just starting a new workout? Let me know below I want to hear all about your exercising adventures! (& Cheerlead too because I’m going all out!) 

Life over fashion | How to plan a Wardrobe part 1

Shopping posts

(I’ve already been scrolling through the highstreet looking for fashion inspiration… Although I’m still planning on channeling Lorelai from Gilmore Girls.) 

As we approach March, my favourite fashion planning month I’ve thought long and hard about how to have both fashion and clothes enjoyment whilst simultaneously having the most amazing LIFE possible.

I say LIFE in capitals because in order to compete with an array of full time blogs you often spend an awful lot of it, shopping, online and off when really you want to be on the beach or you want to be walking to the pub or going on a cycle ride. You shouldn’t have to choose. After all, shopping should be a teeny tiny amount of time in our lives and yet somehow, unchecked it quickly takes over. Just like I’m addicted to sugar to make myself feel better, I am also addicted to shopping as a cure. In my worst moments, I stop eating healthily, stop exercising and with it my shopping goes up and my LIFE (please tell me, are you annoyed by the capitals yet?) fulfilment goes down.

What I realise now, in emotionally shopping I’ve given up my life in the pursuit of ‘happiness’. Perhaps we are making it over dramatic, I still hang with Josh, still go out, I’m not a shut in, yet I can’t help but wonder if there is more out there for me?

Myself and Josh have made ourselves a bucket list. Following a rough year, 2017 for us is a recovery year. Making a long list, its simple living, lots of movement and exercise actually, far less hiding and far more exploring. Along with this we want to make the rest of our lives fall around our plans. I’m looking into compact cameras like this one+. (Although apparently the Panasonic is amazing from 2016 reviews*)  Finally having a camera we can just pop in a pocket and go? Amazing!

I want that same get up and go feeling from my clothes as well. After all, can it be that hard?

The key of it all comes down to planning of course. Planning can make the greatest wardrobe, this I’ve learnt from all my capsules in the past. Funnily however, it was the parts of the process which I missed out most often which I now find myself reaching for.

What does your lifestyle need?

We can go over the term need until we are blue in the face, after all, I know I have. However, it is the lifestyle needs I so often overlook. Recently I culled a Zara basket for instance, from 12 pieces I wheedled it down to these three but I still had to look at it and wonder, that top.. it’s a gorgeous colour, it’s a fun shape but actually what the hell would I wear it with? How often? Same with the sunglasses, I always wear cat eye glasses and usually the same three on repeat, the black ones from Tatler and their tortoiseshell sisters and my large brown ones from Urban Outfitters, do I need another pair of the same? I had also begun planning my look earlier in the year, purchasing a gingham midi skirt which is scarily similar to this new one from Zara (and I also have a feeling is the same skirt my boss purchased last year…) However, when I put it on I automatically reach for wedges or heels… the only problem being I’m a flat wearer 99% of the time so although I love all these flared skirts will they actually work for me in the main?

It’s really tripped me. Now as I look at the clothes that I already owned and what I’m looking at purchasing I have had to ask myself big questions… are these a dally day dream in terms of a look? Am I actually shopping for me and my life or thinking just in terms of blog content?

If anything blog content is often a decided factor when I shop too much on a whim. Whereas when I plan it out, it all becomes far more usable. So how do we become better planners?

Planning (part 1) 

Thankfully people like Caroline from un-fancy and Anuschka from Into-Mind have us covered in in depth plans to make our shopping so much easier, but there are plenty of ways to become more savvy when it comes to updating your wardrobe, or even starting from scratch. The key is to find a preferred method which works for you. Mine has come down to the simplicity of making lists;

Starting with,

What do I need to live my life to the fullest?

Beyond obviously thinking of what you want to do (go on walks, go to work?) you also need to know what clothes work for those activities. Kind of like not finding yourself in the gym wearing moccasins and a sundress. (yes, I witnessed a man working out in moccasins… it was strange.)

  • Flat shoes/sandals for walking and running around the place (they need to be both smart and uber comfortable)
  • Smart clothes for work meetings
  • An outfit for going out onsite/showcases/events
  • Work out gear for the gym/swimming/cycling/hiking (walks)
  • Casual Saturday/Sunday Wear
  • Cool, light layers that are easy to throw on (and also into the wash – no dry cleaning thanks!)

Then we move onto,

What pieces fit into my lifestyle, what’s needed to undertake all the daily tasks I wish to …

Now I could share that today, or…. I could make you wait till next week… because I’m mean like that right?

Till then!

*Also if you too are looking for a new camera? I’m in love with this video from Youtuber, Estee Lalondes wonderful partner, Aslan for all his thoughts… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s3Cpgf5RaE

Fashion | Big Sleeves & even bigger jeans

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Unfortunately only the shirt of this outfit are available (although the jeans are from New Look and only cost, £7!) (the faux fur was from Zara before Christmas, the jacket was onsale from Anthropologie and the shoes are from, Barefoot Tess).

Really this faux fur waistcoat takes pride of place in this outfit. I waited it out on the latest Anthro sale (£30 from £95! Bargain!) I love how cosy it is and I also love its lack of sleeves! That lack of sleeves means I can wear these fantastic wide sleeved shirts which are all over the place at the moment!

Now this shirt is quite short in the body but it actually flatters me really well! (Although perhaps a little see-through.) I’m in love with white shirts in Spring and Summer so this has been a great kick start into the warmer seasons! Now onto these jeans, I bought these a little larger for comfort but actually they have wayyyyyy too much fabric on the crotch. Why are jeans so hard to find in a great, overall fit? A fellow blogger worked with Dorothy Perkins the other day on jeans and I couldn’t help but wonder, should I try out the classic bailey jean again? There is also a great instagram blogger I follow who’s been wearing thrifted paige jeans which look incredible and it makes me wonder, should I spend more on jeans? Are these high in elastic jeans actually good on fit or not?

Oh denim thoughts do they ever end? While I mull it over however, I would suggest that you all purchase a white t shirt with wide sleeves, great with skirts and of course jeans, fitted or oversized.

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Shopping | Pre Spring shopping sweep…

Since Spring and Summer have less trends to follow the potential of pre planning a season of clothes becomes infinitely easier to plan for. Whereas Autumn and Winter always seem to cost me far more in terms of money they are far less cohesive and organised.

In Spring and Summer however I have had great fun in developing a firm and simple style which is easy to reinvent year after year. For the past two years I have kept focused on simple lines and patterns, often a mix of white blue and grey and in keeping with this I’ve been on the outlook of similar timeless items with a couple of stand out pieces to invest in more exuberant, timeless summers.

Here are a few of my favourite emerging pieces…

The simple, timeless and classic

These are pretty expected from me but its always good to have the odd classic piece to carry over year after year.

Classic spring and summer pieces

Gingham Dress: Tu, Sainsbury, Chiffon Shirt: Zara, Denim Skirt: Next, White shorts: Topshop, Blue rain mac: Sainsburys, Paris Haute top: New Look

Fancy Pieces SS17

White Skirt: River Island, Floral Body suit: Zara, Grey pencil skirt: River Island, Yellow backpack: Zara, Blue off the shoulder shirt: Next, Red patterned Skirt: Zara

Fashion | Winter Layers and dark denim

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Pink Sunglasses: Tatler, Black batwing T shirt: Zara, Velore Kimono: Zara, Multi Knit Sweater Cardigan: George, ASDA, Brown Belt: Fat Face, Black Jeans: New Look.

Unlike most bloggers you might read, there is not one piece of this outfit you can buy off the high street right now. From free sunglasses from a monthly magazine to on sale denim from New Look 2015 its all about reusing those past seasons to make something new.

In terms of this look I have been thinking a lot about how to use the colder days to play with layers. Once it gets a little warmer I’m not such a fan of lots of layers, I get hot quickly and I like the freedom of running around unencumbered. So while its freezing (not necessarily so much right now) I’m making the most of it.

In terms of this particular outfit I wanted to play with proportion on the top. I love this jacket but I also know its perhaps a little too boxy for my figure. Trying to see how I could balance it out better I have layered my favourite black, velvet kimono from Zara underneath to elongate my figure where the jacket it cuts it.

One thing I have fallen in love with, within this outfit is the high waist denim and tacked in T shirts, this particular black one is quite voluminous so I tucked it in quite closely I love being able to look skinner than I am. Being an apple shape it is on occasion difficult to wear high waisted jeans because there is nothing worse than having a a giant arrow to the part of yourself you don’t want people to pay attention to and yet, somehow black denim hides an array of sins.

I wouldn’t say I’m a hundred percent sold on the jacket portion of the outfit, but I like the way the jeans and kimono out weigh its heaviness.

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