Fashion | How to wear a leather skirt to work & other fashion statements

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(My coat is Zara, The sweater is Zara from two years ago, the shirt: Next, The Skirt: Next, Leggings: Topshop Tall, Boots: Long Tall Sally) 

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As we were walking around the stores in London’s, Oxford Circus one of my best friends, Becky told me of how she had been on the hunt for a faux/leather mini skirt but that she wasn’t sure whether she could wear it to work.

The answer is, in some cases maybe not, but in a lot of cases yes, you can almost always wear whatever you want to work.

Since I don’t own a neutral leather skirt I’m going to improvise with this silver number. Interestingly I bought this skirt on sale for £10.00 in Kent but when I walked past Next in London, I saw the same skirt but not on sale! Even better, it is still available online in silver+ and even better for those of you like Boo (Becky) who would like it in Black+. (Its also not going to break the bank and is perfect for those who don’t wear leather.)

Leather Mini Skirt from Next

So the big question, “How can you wear a black leather skirt to work?”

The answer is quite simple. To make each piece in your wardrobe more wearable you have to pay attention to how you style it. The key, in terms of the leather skirt is subverting expectation of how this should be worn. We all have expectations as to how a skirt like this should look, worn with heels, worn out to drinks or on a date etc but for work none of this applies. For work it needs to be made smarter and so we need to add those elements to the skirt to make it more wearable.

In this case my friend, Boo (Becky) already has a lot of these in her wardrobe. Becky is a big lover of the smart, collared shirt for work and that is the perfect place to start the transformation…

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I don’t often wear shirts like this because they don’t suit me that well, but imagine a smart, starched almost, white collared shirt tucked into your leather skirt with either a cute button up cardigan (and keep it buttoned up – I love this pearl embellished one from Zara particularly) and you instantly begin to look more polished. In this case, I’ve worn an uber thick sweater from Zara but a slightly longer one in a simple colour is great at keeping your outfit polished and put together. You also can often find that thinner layers look smarter than the thick jumper, if its a cold day, its worth saving your pennies for a long lasting cashmere sweater for these days. J Crew do an awesome array of super soft, cashmere for all occasions. Cheaper stores in the UK also include, Marks and Spencer & Supermarket, Tesco.

In terms of the shirt you can make the look more preppy by keeping it fitted and tucked in or loosen the look up by choosing a longer one that has a loose, less structured fit.

The roll neck/turtleneck

My bosses very favourite piece of clothing, the roll neck is also perfect for wearing with a leather skirt. Just take a look here+ at ASOS where if you search the word Leather skirt the looks available to you mainly involve that classic turtleneck look. This type of look also works because it makes you more covered up, something often associated with looking workwear appropriate. By covering up your chest and neck you balance out the over the knee skirt and appear more professional.

Of course, the best thing you can do is add a thick pair of tights, a boot (I prefer ankle boots but just under the knee works as well – over the knee less so). Better still, if you find a look that works for you, you can also wear it in different colours, for instance a black leather skirt and rollneck looks just as great together as this silver skirt will/would look with a grey rollneck.

Shopping leather skirts for work

White shirt from earlier (ASOS), Pearl Cardigan: Zara, Black Leather Skirt: Whistles (In the sale there was also a fantastic wrap leather skirt which was so tempting if I had more money to spend), another which looks amazing is this one+ from ASOS

Go longer

Another colleague of mine, actually the one person who made me so sure that you can wear a leather skirt to work, out at night and even to meetings is my colleague, Zip. Rather than the above knee number she sticks to a classic pencil skirt. I’ve seen her pair it with silk/sateen shirts to over sized chunky jumpers with suede tasseled ankle boots and she always looks phenomenal.

For something which is sometimes only associated with being sexy, worn only for dates and drinks and in St Trinians its actually a fantastically dynamic piece of clothing. On the weekend think about softening the look with a fluffy sweater, or give it some whimsy with a disney T shirt, or make it rock ‘n’ roll with a band T shirt, the options are endless!

Confidence 

The thing you need most is perhaps the hardest to find, confidence.

There is nothing quite like it when you want to make something work for you, whether its getting a new job or wearing a leather skirt to your current one, confidence will always be key. If you’ve not quite got it yet? The best advice is always, fake it till you make it and better still, the braver you are, the more comfortable you will become.

Fashion | Its still cool to wear a dress over trousers. Promise.

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I distinctly remember being 14 and wanting to learn to make my own clothes. Puberty had made me keenly aware that I was not quite like the others. I wasn’t small, petite or willowy like my friends, instead I had already hit 5′ 10′ and my body had filled out so that I didn’t just look plain odd. Big feet, wide shoulders but still no hips (heavens sometimes I think I’m still waiting.) and I wanted to look as cool as my peers, but the stores were not so accommodating, not just in sizing or anything like that but in being more inventive.

In fact to go on a limb I feel as though its only been recently with places like Zara that we are finally seeing exciting, and alternative pieces on the Highstreet. Back when I was fourteen however, I wanted to make something actually outdated for the time. The skirt over trousers look.

I got this idea because I watched an awful lot of Mary Kate and Ashley films and shows, I realise 14 is a little old but once I like something I tend to do a lot of re watching so my fashion style tips were still coming from these out of date sources. In terms of making my own clothes, I never got very far. I hated all the textiles teachers (believe me you would have done too) and honestly I’m an idea’s girl and at the time I just didn’t have the patience.

What I’m trying to tell you all is this, although a certain form or style is outdated it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep wearing it. That’s its not in a sense, wearable. Its the most interesting part of fashion in how the same ideas and styles resurface but they can do so in such different ways. After all current fashion takes after the 90’s for example but it doesn’t feel the same, because its been tweaked and the overall look and form has changed.

Its why a dress over jeans or trousers can still work. It works because its not quite the same, the shapes have altered enough to offer us that and this is where this outfit came from. The simplicity of a dress over trousers.

What i like most about this is wearing a shirt dress open like this almost feels like a cool, long jacket and especially whilst its cold, its always good to find yourself a good amount of layers to wrap up in!

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Tips to making ripped jeans

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Hat: Marks and Spencers (A long time ago), Shirt: Lidl, Jeans: New Look (only £9.99 full price!), Heels: Clarks (A Long Time ago)

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I thought ripping my jeans would be hard. I was also terrified in ruining a pair of jeans, if I bought them especially for this reason. Thankfully ripping your jeans or cutting them is so, so simple, all you need is Youtube and a pair of scissors, I could give you my own tips but honestly you have them all in full colour video!

What I would suggest doing is give yourself time to do it and do it well, measure where you want the slits/holes, start small and get bigger in time. Also make sure you have some good sand paper at your disposal!

In terms of wearing them, I like to keep them casual, I don’t see them working all that well for work, although I have worn an old pair of Zara jeans to work like that but they only have a small hole below the knee, I would wear them with shirts, with hats and even pig tails because I’m just whimsical like that!

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Fashion |Unexpected going out tops, the best for bigger busts

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Cardigan: New Look, Burgundy top: New Look, Necklace: Oliver Bonas, Black Trousers: Next, Boots: Clarks

Being busty can have the odd upside but in general, fashion and going shopping is not one of them. So much so that Vogue this year declared big boobs to be out of fashion. Despite the fact that most don’t really have the option of taking their boobs off dependant on fashion finding great tops can sometimes be a royal pain.

The best part of this new season however? Suddenly we have options again.

For a long time its been about raising hemlines, but regardless of Vogue we also have tops like this one from New Look which are finally bringing the word flattering back into our wardrobes.

Flattering shapes and styles have been somewhat absent in recent seasons but this top changes that. You have the best of both worlds. The high neckline of a Roll neck combined with the low V which is perfect for minimising that sometimes over powering bust line. Paired out with my tapered black trousers and over the ankle boots and I feel like this look is fairly well balanced. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to share my new Cardigan. I had a distinct hole in my wardrobe post dickens disaster last year (this outfit btw still works great now) and this cardigan was the perfect remedy (+ its on sale!) slightly fluffy and long and warm, pairing it up with this top and trousers made perfect sense to me.

In fact with the up coming party season I think this is a great look, it mixes sexy and tailored with relaxed and unexpected and that, makes the perfect outfit, for the busty and for parties in general.
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Fashion | Like Johnny Cash

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Longline Jersey Blazer: Anthropologie, Black Peplum T: New Look, Black Harem Trousers: Next, Red lace up flats: New Look

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Lets chat about trends and the joys of wearing all one colour. Both are the best things you can do and also the most predictable.

Firstly lets talk about the Johnny Cash style of wearing all black. In the right situations an entirely black outfit can be incredibly slimming and make an attractive outfit. During in the winter of 2014/15 I wore an all black outfit similar to this which was broken up with a red belt and my purple hat. Theres nothing more fun than taking a blank canvas and building on it.

In terms of this outfit I created interest with the black peplum and broke up the colour with my grey marl blazer. To make a splash? red flats and a scarf tied around my wrist? we have ourselves an outfit.

Initially when I saw the scarf trend I was apprehensive. Was this look for me? Or was it too trend led to even consider? I took an extraordinarily long time deciding but eventually I felt drawn to the classic silk scarf and loved the idea of playing with proportions and being interesting again. Far less norm and way more abnormal.

This scarf has become increasingly interesting to style. From wrapped around my wrist to tied around my hair, tied into my belt its made getting dressed that little bit more interesting again and thats been thoroughly enjoyable.
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Fashion |Three reasons you should belt your scarf

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With a new trend I often find myself debating do I hop on the bandwagon? Or, do I say thats lovely, but no thank you? Both options are good ones but the belted scarf felt like a recycled trend that I couldn’t pass up this round.

For colour/pattern

I regret the populization of the capsule wardrobe for one reason, everyone wants to live in monochrome and by extension the high street is completely void of colour. Over dramatization? No, I just seriously miss the option of colour!

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For shape I love a baggy T or dress no matter how unflattering they are but sometimes you want something flattering without a big neon sign saying, hey, I’m chunky. Belt a scarf in front and you have both killer shape and coverage.

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To be ‘different’

If this becomes a trend, I’m sorry this probably won’t be so different after all but I love any excuse to switch up my wardrobe so at the moment this is a full on go!

And if you want to stand out a little more may I suggest a faux fur Gilet? This particular one is from Long Tall Sally and it is quite frankly the most cozy and cute gilet I have ever and will ever own.

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The Capsule Wardrobe | How to get dressed with Shades of Grey

Yellow Scarf: Accessorize, Wool Jacket: Long Tall Sally, Grey wrap T: Next, White and Grey Houndstooth trousers: Zara, Loafers: Clarks

Wearing various shades of the same colour is quite frankly the easiest way to feel instantly put together. Grey is one of those colours that wasn’t an overwhelming main stay of my wardrobe last year and yet this year its now one of my most abused colour combos.

What I really wanted to stay away from this year was set colours and acidic colours like this scarf however apparently I’m appallingly predictable.

The item to check out here is my shoes! For my Birthday this year Josh very kindly bought me two pairs of shoes, this pair and a pair of brogues as its my intention to wear better quality, more foot loving shoes and this pair are a prime example of this! I particularly love the look of these (especially with smart trousers!) but I need your guys opinion, how can I wear these in a semi-attractive way with skirts and dresses?

The Capsule Wardrobe | The Cats Pyjamas (well, mine actually.)

The Jumpsuit. If you thought risking a playsuit out and about for a whole day was brave then lets talk about jumpsuits.

Possibly one of the hardest things to restyle an all in one jumpsuit gives me more fear than spiders. After all with a capsule wardrobe one of the biggest things you need is remix-ability. On the other hand however having an all in one outfit that you can just throw on for an instant look is an instant life saver.

My favourite part of this jumpsuit is its pattern and tie waist detail. It would be almost too easy for this to be a bad look on me however the fabric falls almost perfectly (I am still a little too tall for this piece).

The best part of this outfit? It feels just like Pajamas. Comfortable and loose like pajamas but meant as something you can wear out. I wore this out to grab food after an incredibly busy day and being able to walk around in something akin to PJ’s it was pretty much the dream!

Winter Capsule Wardrobe | How to wear the same outfit two ways

Pink Jacket: H&M, Grey Dress: H&M (in blue), Black Harem Trousers: Next, Black and Grey Heels: New Look, Grey and Red Coca-Cola jacket: Primark and altered by me, White fuzzy bag: Zara, Pink fuzzy Bag: Zara, Workmen boots: George, Asda.

As probably one of my least flattering outfits (harem trousers and a grey dress tucked in) I have worn this a shocking amount of time during the last few weeks.

Firstly I love this because it is so nice and warm doubling my grey dress up with the harem trousers but secondly I actually love how I can belt this up and with something covering my not so flattering parts (hello tum) I feel kinda quirky and for me that is the key to enjoying dressing everyday. . .

To make this work I have worn cinched in jackets and cardigans all of which work pretty nicely! Here are my two favourite ways to wear this outfit the first is a smarter, going to work look and the second is a more playful weekend look. I like both because they feel more out of my comfort zone than my normal style but I’d like to think that that’s part of the Capsule Wardrobes charm anyway that you learn how to wear less pieces more ways and become more inventive along with them.

That old Chestnut . . . (Dresses, Shirts and Brunch)

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Shirt? New Look! (last year?), Dress: Dorothy Perkins! Currently on sale in stores! Shoesies? New Look (A great £7 investment!)

 

Im going to be honest with you gals and guys I was originally wearing a belt with this outfit, but then Cafe Rouge and a Croque Monsieur happened and I gave up on that dream. Who wouldn’t?

In other news I’m pretty sure we are all sighing a sigh of relief that today is Friday right? Seriously, for a short week I’m glad that there are naps and dinners with my bear on the horizon! If anything this weekend calls for a whole host of film watching, especially when I probably should be preparing myself for next weeks tube strikes! Joy of Joys!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekends! and heres to perhaps wearing a belt next time!*

*the more likely thing to happen will be brunch again, because you know eating trumps belt wearing any day. . .