Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Animal Print on Your Feet!

1st September tomorrow and I have my first cold of the autumn! My sinuses hurt. It hurts to swallow. And my ears are itching (!). On top of this, a fog has descended on my brain which is making writing a sentence a struggle! So tonight, more pictures than words.

My friend Charlie wore an amazing pair of black heels with leopard print detailing on Sunday night. Thankfully I had my camera with me so was able to capture them for Edna readers (though I've forgotten where she got them from!).

Seeing such a great pair of shoes in one of my favourite prints inspired me to follow up Friday’s ode to the leopard with a focus on animal print shoes. They are everywhere...in every style imaginable, every heel height, every colour. Whatever shoe you want in animal print, they are in store now!

I have two pairs of leopard print shoes that I adore...although the platforms are now restricted to nights out when I know I can sit more than stand.

The blue leopard print flats are from Kurt Geiger; platforms from Office.

These are very pricey and just for inspiration but I saw these in the window of LK Bennett this morning and almost passed out with excitement.

LK Bennett Maryann boot - £250

In fact LK Bennett is a treasure trove of animal print accessories this season...I also love these (but again at £170, I will just be looking at them each day in the shop window rather than buying!).

LK Bennett Jane shoe - £170

Topshop animal kitten Chelsea boots - £75

My friend Lizzie bought these gorgeous jewelled zebra print flats from Next for a bargain £23 but I can’t seem to find them online anymore...though Next do have a couple of great leopard print ballet pumps available on its website.

Nine West leopard print peep toe heels - £80

River Island black ankle boots - £84.99

Irregular Choice Little Miss Oh – £69.50

Karen Millen leopard pony print pump - £120

Clarks Originals Igloo Winter - £49

Not 100% convinced I would wear these but I do think the rockabilly styling would look great on some people.

And please email photos of your animal print shoes and I can post some more...the more the merrier!

Ok, off to bed with some benylin!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Clashing prints & colours

It's another exciting anniversary for me...two months of the Edna blog! I promise (eventually!) not to get excited about every month that passes but at the moment it's all so new and I'm enjoying doing something that I love so much that I feel like celebrating each month that I'm writing this!!

And thank you for reading my ramblings...and for my 20 followers! If you are reading my blog and not already a follower, then please join and boost the ranks!

Back to fashion chat...

Dries van Noten S/S 2010 - photo Style.com

Some days I cannot get enough of prints and clashing colours. On those days, the idea of less is more goes completely out of the window. I want layers of colours and prints and rather than following the adage of taking one thing off before you leave the house, I’m more inclined to put one more thing on! On days like this I feel like trying to channel Dries van Noten and Marni, which is weird because most of the time this is not my style and I find there is a little too much going on. But yesterday was a day for prints and colour...

Outfit is a lot of H&M: my much blogged H&M trousers, a very old (camel!) H&M jacket, yellow H&M vest, Urban Outfitters striped polo-neck, leopard print belt that was a present, Irregular Choice spotty gladiator sandals, M&S handbag, turquoise scarf in bag another present, brooches were from Gap (I think) and Mawi necklace bought on the Cocosa website with a great discount!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Lusting after the Leopard

Knowing how much I love leopard print, my lovely sister-in-law Cathie sent me a link to a Topshop feature on the leopard.

If you’re fan of this print, then tis the season for you because the high street has gone utterly mental for it. If I was in full shopping mode, I too would be going utterly mental and stocking up on a lifetime of leopard print clothing! As the purse strings have been (sort of!) tightened, I am instead just in lusting mode.

One of my inspirations and loves this season is Dolce & Gabbana and the way they have used leopard with other prints, such as polka dot. I know this sounds odd, but trust me, it works.

(photo from www.style.com)

Back down to Topshop with a bang, this is the lust item of the week. Autumn is approaching, which means coats and the need for warmth. This green swing coat with the gorgeous leopard print collar would look great with black skinnies, brogues and a black and white polka dot top (or even a stripe!).

Leopard fur collar green swing coat - £85

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Slips & Petticoats!

The advice I am about to dispense is going to sound like something from your grandma but is actually words I heeded from Kate Phelan, fashion director at Vogue.

Wear a slip. Or petticoat.

In an interview donkeys years ago, talking about buying clothes from the high street, she said that wearing a slip underneath dresses and skirts smoothes lines and bumps and makes the garment look a lot better quality and better fit.

These are words of genius for anyone who cannot afford expensive designer clothes and for those who generally just enjoy a cheap thrill on the high street.

Obviously petticoats and slips have traditionally been used to stop the static between tights/stockings and your clothes (I learnt the hard way about this when I once discovered my skirt had crept up underneath a jacket and I’d got my tights-encased arse on display!). But even if you don’t need them for the anti-static, they are great anyway for smoothing out visible underwear lines, smoothing out any other lumps and bumps you may have, giving you an extra layer if the fabric seems a little transparent, and generally making your outfit look that bit better made.

I’m not going to inflict photos of petticoats and slips on you! There are pretty ones available but what you really need are ones that are non-frilly, good quality, in a range of basic colours. None of which are exciting to look at! My suggestion would be to visit the underwear department at M&S.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Oasis to the rescue

It is a grim view out of my window this evening. A grey onslaught and rain just hammering down. I know we do get obsessed with the weather in this country but there’s a reason....it’s August and we are experiencing October weather. It really is turning into an August in which to take salvage in autumn clothing....as much as I have fought against this.

Which brings me back to camel...I
’m still getting my head around it. I’m starting to get a whiff of the dreaded ‘beige’ from some of the items on sale! And no one pale and pasty ever looked good in beige. So while I was doing my online fashion browsing today, Oasis, one of my favourite shops, came to my camel rescue with a whole page of camel inspiration and different ways to wear it.

I particularly loved this sweater because the black lace collar cleverly keeps the camel away from your face so limiting complexion draining.

Lace sweater - £40

Same with this really pretty la
ce dress at only £45!

I promise that I won’t be having a weekly camel update but given how huge it is this coming A/W, I am trying to either get my head around it and wear it or pop it in the ‘not for me’ fashion bin!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Banishing chilly necks!

Sorry for the miserable blog last night. I’d fallen into the pit of a fashion depression...there were even tears! But as I excitedly reported earlier...my bag has been located and my mini-drama is over!

So back to more pressing fashion c
oncerns. As much as I hate to admit this, a chill has definitely descended over these shores over the past couple of weeks. August is not feeling like August. In fact, travelling home from work in the evening is now a pretty cold experience...balmy evenings have been banished!

One i
tem I cannot be without in this sort of weather is a scarf. I always have one in my bag and feel so thankful when I can whip it out on the way home from work and feel the benefit of its warmth. And, picking the right one can also up the ante of your outfit...you may not even want to take it off all day!

You can spend as much or as little as you want
on them. I always find that they are brilliant to buy in sales...while everyone else is fighting over shoes and handbags you will have the choice of amazing scarves, all at great discounts, and all without a sharp elbow being flung in your general direction! In the past I’ve bought Marc Jacobs and Missoni in the sales by fishing around in the bargain bins at department stores.

These are s
ome of my favourites in the shops right now.

Topshop large
duck print scarf - £16

Wallis choc animal batik print scarf - £15 (&
100% silk!)

Red Herri
ng silver animal print shimmer stripe scarf - £12

Oasis equestrian square scarf - £12

M&S silk lightweight assorted scarf - £19.50

Pieces chain & flower print scarf - £18

Whistles alphabet print scarf - £55

People Tree diamond print scarf – down from £25 to £7

Accessorise gypset floral square scarf - £18

Urban Outfitters luxe animal scarf
- £26

Evans red rose print scarf - £12

Pink Russian doll scarf Meg Mathews at Liberty - £105

Ossie Clark Buena vista silk scarf – down from £195 to £68.25

From dumps to delight

A quick update on last night's miserable blog...the bag has been found! Sweet mother, the bag has been found! A lesson which I can't believe I've had to learn...never, ever put an expensive handbag in the post without getting a receipt!

Thank you fashion gods for smiling on me today!

Ok, proper blog will be posted later.

Monday, 23 August 2010

In the fashion dumps

I am feeling in the fashion dumps tonight. The gorgeous, quirky, sparkly red Vivienne Westwood clutch bag that I treated myself to for my wedding day is AWOL! It’s a tedious story but after using it only three times, the huge gold orb on the front of the clutch started to come off. I tried to take it back to the store to be repaired (admittedly I bought it from My Wardrobe but I thought they would be able to help)...instead I was treated as if I'd walked in and done my business in the middle of the shop!

My Wardrobe gave me instructions and paperwork to send it back to them to try and get it fixed which I followed to the letter but stupidly didn’t use my common sense and get proof of postage from the Post Office. I've since been told it’s essential (which I, of course, now realise but wasn’t told I needed it and just used the paperwork they gave me). Royal Mail is denying all responsibility and told me that in a few weeks time I could apply for compensation...which is a book of stamps.

I am, as at 6.30pm tonight, waiting to hear back from My Wardrobe as to whether they can/will do anything.

So the bag that has massive sentimental value to me (regardless of financial value) has gone...lost, stolen, who knows. And I have had a thorough fashion shafting.

Sorry for the downer, Edna readers, especially over something that is as trivial as a handbag. I promise to pull myself together by tomorrow.

To end on a cheerier note, The Outnet is having a clearance sale, so discounts on top of designer discounts!

DKNY tassel scarf, down from £80 to £16

Antik Batik tunic, down from £200 to £40

Marc by Marc Jacobs sequined heels, down from £337.66 to £67.53

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Domestic Goddess

A slightly different blog tonight...inspired by a weekend of being a domestic goddess. Or perhaps hostage to domesticity! There's nothing like the financial constraints of the last week before payday to encourage domestic activities. I’m almost a bit embarrassed to confess the levels I’ve reached...wishing I could perhaps divulge some more rock and roll type anecdotes. Alas not, instead there has been cake making, scone baking and soup concocting!

So in honour of a weekend spent emulating a domestic goddess, I thought I would post about the adorable new homeware range the designer Lisa Stickley has produced for Debenhams. You know how much I love a designer collaboration on the high street and Debenhams has great ones. Lisa Stickley’s mainline range is gorgeous too – lots of 1950s and 1960s inspired items...and whimsical textiles as well as florals with a twist. Some of it is a little too twee for my taste but I have my eye on a couple of things...particularly this cake tin.

Cake tin - £12

Black & white bird cushion - £12

Home Buttercup teapot - £22

And from Lisa Stickley's mainline collection...

Washbag - £24

Apron - £24

Friday, 20 August 2010

These boots were made for walking

A difficult day in the world of Edna as I’ve come to realise that my heel wearing days are numbered. I’ve spent the day in the world’s most comfortable heels – my raspberry pink Clarks beauties – and still, STILL, I have struggled. It takes me five minutes to walk to the train station in the morning...by the time I got there I wanted to take the shoes off.

I spent the rest of the day quietly crying out for flats. It’s not something that the party feet gel pads would sort out – this is full body pain, weak ankles feeling like they’re going to go over any second, shuffling along at a snails pace type of issues.

I have been phasing heels out of my life. I spend 80% of my time in flats anyway. Heels tend to come out when I know I won’t have to walk very far and I keep some under my desk at work, so I can wear flats to work and put the heels on when I get into the office. I know it’s a cliché but you do often feel more dressed up with heels on.

But, there are some clothes that really only come to life with a pair of heels. My high-waisted pencil skirt only works when I get myself up there. Ditto some of my uber-smart work frocks.

So it is going to be a difficult transition. One potentially fraught with the odd tear and sulk. What may make this transition easier this coming winter is this week’s lust item, these gorgeous brogue style ankle boots (at £88).

Office Mickey Kingston boots

I’ve banged on many times about the powder blue brogues I bought from Office in April and have worn...and continue to wear...to death! The fact that they are now available in boot form makes me want to do a little skip. I’m hoping they extend the colour palette as they are currently only available in four colours....including my favourite, the deep red patent leather one above.

Don’t be surprised, Edna readers, if come autumn you spot some posts with these on my feet.

p.s. the Office Frank leather brogues now come in a plethora of colours....I’m thinking one a month...and even have Mr W’s support in buying some!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Filling the Gap!

Today was the day that Gap entered the modern age and finally (finally!) introduced online shopping. A bit late in joining the shopping revolution but I have to confess to it being a welcome development.

I know Gap isn’t the sort of store that generally gets anyone very excited but season in, season out, they do have some lovely clothes amongst the logo’d t-shirts and hooded tops. I loved their ‘Design Editions’ ranges which were with some amazing US designers – including Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Thakoon and Alexander Wang (although the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is now partnering with J Crew on this project).

And for the past couple of years, Pierre Hardy has been designing a range of shoes for Gap (most of which are very, very high but I’ve picked up a few great flat sandals).

And as dull as it sounds, they are useful for basics, especially during sales time when they have great discounts.

I briefly mentioned before but Gap recently released a premium black trouser capsule collection, with styles (apparently) to suit everyone. I haven’t tried any of them yet but they are all priced well - £35-£45 - and I’m definitely tempted for the coming winter.

Black trousers aren’t an exciting item of clothing, they don’t fill us with exhilaration to buy them, but they are great to have in the wardrobe and when they fit well they are a good friend to womankind!

p.s. all of this also means that Banana Republic is set to enter the modern age too and will soon launch its new website: http://bananarepublic.gap.eu/

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hostile takeovers

As if taking over 90% of the wardrobe space available in the house is not bad enough (and we had big wardrobes built when we moved in!) I’ve now started to steal my husband’s clothes! He is, as you will imagine, unimpressed.

I particularly focus on his shirt collection and I’m working on one in particular...a blue and white striped, soft linen mix long sleeved shirt. I figure that the rules of ownership mean that if I wear it more times than him over a six month period, then ownership changes hands and it moves to a new area of the wardrobe!

There’s something so nonchalantly stylish about wearing a man’s shirt. I know you see photographs of famous folk wearing shirts as dresses, which just about skim the crotch area, but for the less brave amongst us...and generally those that have to use public transport to get around...it works just as well with clothing on the bottom half...something tight and skinny works best.

At home I’ve been wearing leggings; outside I would throw on some skinny jeans. I like it when it’s loosely done up, so that lots of the bottom and top buttons are undone (though enough done up to keep my bra off display) and accessorise it up with some jewellery.

What I love even more...and have yet to trial because I have not been anywhere near a beach this summer...is a man’s shirt as a cover up on the beach. It’s just so relaxed and something a little bit different to the kaftan look. It looks great just covering your bikini/one piece and après-beach with some shortish shorts thrown on.

And if menfolk object to the hostile takeover of their best shirts for lounging on the beach (selfish, I know) then the high street has cheapy men’s shirts that are just perfect. H&M and Uniqlo to name just two (the Uniqlo one above is £6.99 in the sale and available in different colours).

I may post a photo at some point of the shirt once I obtain ownership...but can guarantee it will never be posted as a beach cover up. Me + beachwear + blog = my worst nightmare!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Keeping it pretty

I know we shouldn’t get too fixated on the surface of things (slightly ludicrous to say, I know, when I’m writing a fashion blog!) but I am an absolute sucker for pretty packaging. I love shops where what you’ve bought is wrapped in tissue paper and put in a pretty paper bag. I go way over the top in gift wrapping presents – first wrapping them in tissue paper, then wrapping paper, and ribbons or string and bows. For me – if not the recipient of the gift! – it makes it even more special to have something so carefully wrapped and you feel like it’s a luxurious gift...even if it’s something from Primark!

All of this means that I adore it when beauty products come in pretty packaging. I know it helps if they also work well but there is something so satisfying about a lipstick with a gorgeous patterned tube...such as the Paul & Joe lipsticks I’ve mentioned before. In fact, if you do ever feel like a treat and like me love a little extra detail, everything from Paul & Joe will appeal to you!

Ridiculous Alice in Wonderland print make-up – I should be old enough to know better!

At the cheaper end of the spectrum, Charles Worthington has teamed up with Erdem to create designs for three of his ‘Front Row’ range of products. Erdem has beautiful prints but is a little out of my price range! I bought the salt spray last night, so I’m not yet sure how well it works. I usually use a Bumble & Bumble one which is expensive but works brilliantly. I use it to curl my hair, spraying it through my hair, twisting and twirling sections into knots and then leaving it overnight (it’s how I did my own wedding hair!). I’ve tried others but they have never worked as well. This is my final chance with a cheaper brand at £5.99...if it doesn’t hold as well, it’s B&B forever!

Some of my other favourites...

The Celia Birtwell range from Boots, that runs from lip balm, to make-up brushes, make-up bags...through to tights (!). Lip balm

Steam cream moisturiser, which comes in lots of different patterned tins, including my favourite, this limited edition cat print from PPQ.

Bourjois vintage printed make-up, which I have yet to see in a shop on the high street but you can get on Asos.

Bourjois blusher

Bourjois eyeshadow

And finally, Green & Spring...the higher end and much more of a treat but I love the birds!

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