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Why Marks & Spencer should be your shopping destination this season...

Marks & Spencer stripe embroidered long sleeve blouse - £29.90

Marks & Spencer stripe embroidered long sleeve blouse - £29.90

In the trend-driven industry that we occupy, there are a handful of stores on the high street who dominate the market. ZaraH&MTopshop… These brands are the first to mind when in search of the season’s must-have pieces. And for good reason. These fast fashion stores have saved us a pretty penny throughout the years, offering both trend-led designer-inspired pieces as well as wardrobe basics we couldn’t be without. But maybe it's time an 'old' favourite comes back into the fashion front row...

Enter Marks & Spencer.

While it excels in the food department, its clothing range has previously failed to hit the mark among the masses, even after collaborating with fashionista Alexa Chung, her ranges have failed to help it's declining sales. But this year Marks & Spencer has revamped its under-performing clothing section, starting with a Spring/Summer collection which is led by the current bout of trends and style. Featuring statement sleeves, asymmetric skirts, ruffled shirts, an abundance of florals and high-waisted trousers, the SS17 collection is more trend-driven than ever before but at great affordable prices. 

When shopping instore and online recently I am surprised by the amount of items that I want to buy. The it piece of the summer, peasant blouse with embroidery (as I am wearing), was £29.90 and currently sold out (see white version here). Other items I saw and liked were great summer dresses with sleeve and embroidery detailing, a bold stripe skirt, bright coloured blouses great for work and evening, and also some fabulous shoes. I have tended to focus on the M&S Collection range, as this seems to be the one that has upped its style steaks, so no buying from Per Una! By focusing on classic shapes and incorporating modern aspects, you’ve got something for everyone in one shop again. 

I think you will be surprised at the stylish new pieces on offer at Marks and Spencer currently, here are my picks of the current range online, let me know if you have brought anything from there recently;


1. Looks as good as a designer pair of trainers 


2. Bargain Summer dress


3. Spotty evening blouse


4. Grab a summer cover up bomber


5. Embellished big bag


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the glitterati

The invitations have started rolling in and the diary is getting packed out for pre-Christmas dinners, drinks and events. Does this fill you with dread at the thought of what to wear to every do? Fear not, I am here to help with my easy guide to party dressing...but beware it does involve ALOT of sparkle!

Sequins are the easy option to dress up something that already exists in your wardrobe. If you can't afford a new outfit, but want something that makes you sparkle but not looking like a Christmas tree, then try some sequins this season. It's a way to look glam without putting too much effort in, as the sequins are doing all the work for you. You can't over do the sequins this season, head-to-toe is the way to go! Sparkle is an essential element of party dressing, but it can be more chic to be selective. Accessories pack a stylish punch, so invest in a fabulous sequin clutch bag or statement heel's for a more subtle touch of shimmer. Follow my pinterest board for inspiration - Sequins & Sequins

Velvet has been bubbling under for a few seasons but it is no longer underground and the high street is awash with it. Alot of the items can be worn as daytime pieces too, so once worn for your evening Christmas parties then ensure that it keeps being worn. What appeals to me most is jackets, boots or dresses that don't cost alot of money but brings any outfit upto date. Velvet is the perfect festive fabric and a Christmas dinner party is the perfect excuse to invest in a velvet dress in an unexpected colour. But go creative and look for embroidered or embellished details as these look more expensive, more fashionable and I believe will have more longevity once the trend dies out. Follow my pinterest board for inspiration - Velvet 2016

Ruffles were on trend throughout Summer so it was inevitable that the trend as going to continue into Autumn/Winter. The bolder the ruffle the better! Whether they are framing your neckline, accentuating the hips or falling off the shoulder, they are definitely a dramatic statement detail. Plus you don't need too many accessories because the ruffles do all the talking! There are lots of folds and flounces, including ties at the neck, ruffles on sleeves and frills on dress hems. Think different textures, fabrics, prints and darker colours for the Party season. Follow my pinterest board for inspiration - 2016 ruffles

 

Remember it's time to go "out out", pull out those killer heels, that red lippy, drink copious amounts of wine and sparkle in your sequin number like you've never sparkled before!

my glam party edit:

1. Sequinned top, H&M £29.99

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Spotlight on &Other Stories

Last week I attended the opening of &other stories brand new store in London at 72, Kings Road. Their other store on Regent's street has been open for a couple of years now and is a regular shopping destination of mine. Whenever I mention the name &other stories to clients or friends, not many have heard of it, so shhh! I'm sharing a big shopping secret here!

It is owned by H&M and is widely known for it's diversified fashion collections with great attention to detail and quality at an affordable price. The brand has personality, a personality that I love and understand the more I shop there. It has become one of my go-to places online and instore throughout the last few seasons. They offer women a wide range of shoes, bags, accessories, beauty and ready-to-wear to create their own personal style. What impresses me most is that the pieces they design are lasting wardrobe treasures within a affordable price range.

At the opening of 72, Kings Road the store was packed full of models, bloggers, actresses and fashion writers all walking around the store with their fashionable mini bottle of Pommery Champayne. The store is over three floors and has been designed to provide endless styling choices, where beauty and accessories are just as important as clothing.

After milling around the store collecting enough garments to fill a rail, I headed to the fitting rooms to try them on. All around me were feathered necklaces, floppy fedora hats and gorgeous forest green scarves, enticing me to buy them!

After trying on an array of fabulous treasures, including the fluffy white fur coat, a floral midi dress, a forest green polo neck and a burgundy stripe jersey dress, I opted for the grey crew neck dipped hem jumper, at £55 it was a steal!

As for the future of this brand, it's looking bright, strong and at the forefront of current society. They recently did a capsule collection, filled with covetable, easy-to-wear pieces that also had a passionate underlying message. The brand invited five creatives to shoot, style and model the images - all of them transgender. The resulting campaign images broaden and explore the representation of both gender and identity within fashion.

Next for them is a collaboration with fashion design house Rodarte to create a capsule collection, further raising the bar on high-street and high-fashion collaborations. The collection that is due to land online and in store next Spring, will comprise ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes.

I can't wait to get back to the new store in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime you will find me on their website browsing their inspiring fashion stories, just itching to buy more!

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This week I'm obsessed with...

Autumn Winter Midi/Maxi dresses...Edits guide how to wear them...

It's time to throw in the beach towel... it's here! Autumn has landed in September!
How exciting, as now we need to start planning our winter wardrobes and no longer worry about getting a tan and showing all our wobbly bits off. We can now shop for lots of lovely jumpers and cosy up in front of the fire.

After spending the last couple of weeks permenantly attached to my computer creating online look books for many clients for their Autumn transitional wardrobes, I can't help myself but get obsessed by certain items of clothing. Top of my list at the moment is the new dress of the season, the midi or maxi dress.

Seen on the catwalk at Chloé and Etro, the new autumn dress has a bohemian Fleetwood Mac 70's kinda feel . The 70's trend is hot hot hot at the moment and the romantic, little bit-folksy printed dress is bang on the money. It is this season's update from the "boho" look, so no more embroidery, full skirts and smock dresses. More importantly, the new autumn dress looks great with a pair of boots whether it be ankle, midi or over-the-knee. Teamed with a leather jacket or fur gilet for now, then a pair of thick tights and a textured wintery coat for later on in the season. Read my styling tips below for some more ideas on how to give this trend your own style.

Check out my pinterest board for more style inspiration - Midi/Maxi dresses

1. Belting the dress gives it more shape and flatters your waistline

2. Adding some great accessories like a fedora hat will bring the dresses to life and add your style stamp to it.

3. A great jacket could change your look completely. By adding a fur gilet you are channelling the 70's trend. By wearing a leather jacket, you are adding the glam factor.

 

The only issue I have now is which one do I buy?

 

1. Atterley Galaxy Print Dress £115.00

2. H&M Black spot Maxi dress - £69.99

3. Zara £39.99

4. Maje Fulle length printed dress £315.00

5. & Other Stories Scarlet IBIS print dress £69.00

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