All content and photos property of Charlie Elliott (unless otherwise stated). Powered by Blogger.

Florals and Breton Stripes

This is it. I've found the perfect summer jacket. It's light and floral and just so pretty! I've been throwing it over every outfit recently, even those I have to wear an actual coat as well at the moment.

Jacket: Zara (can't find the link, but it's recent!)
Dress: Uniqlo
(Extremely dirty) High tops: Primark
I can't quite put my finger on why it goes so well with this breton stripe t-shirt dress, maybe it's the blue in both. Regardless, I am a happy camper in this pairing. This whole outfit is so comfortable. I wore it to wander around Reading at the weekend while visiting for a friend's birthday. I've never been there before and I couldn't believe how quiet it was! I'm obviously now used to London always being stupidly busy.

Bright patterns, bright jewellery, bright lipstick and nails. Little additions to keep this casual outfit fun which I love. I'm so guilty of finding the right accessory at the bottom of a box of randoms proving that it's always worth having a rummage to find the perfect final touch.

Blue and Yellow

It's pretty rare that I go out out. I'm not stranger to the pub on a Friday, but generally I stay the hell away from central London on a weekend for fear of ordering a drink that's double my annual salary by accident and feeling obliged to pay for it anyway. But last week I acted my age and got dressed up for a night in Covent Garden for a friend's birthday. 

Tee: Topshop
Skirt: Zara £29.99
Bag: Vintage
Bracelet: ?
Heels: ASOS
I bought this skirt from Zara a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't originally sure if I had anything to go with it. So I made my poor housemate sit with me while I tried on every top I own with it. Turns out I have THIRTY potential outfit combinations, so it was well worth the money! I'm looking forward to it being warmer so I can wear it during the day with a turquoise top and grey high tops.

It was actually fun to get a chance to wear a pair of heels and go dancing for the first time in ages! These heels are from ASOS about 4 years ago, and haven't worn them in forever, but this outfit was perfect to resurrect them.

Watch out this week for another one of my new Zara purchases!

How to Wear a Leather Pencil Skirt

Don't be fooled into thinking that leather is just for Autumn/Winter. My pencil skirt is my favourite transition item of clothing in this awful Spring we're having. It's long enough to keep me warm in the wind, waterproof for the rain, and easy to hitch up for some lunchtime sun seeking!

Cardigan: Vintage
Tee: Lulu Guinness for Uniqlo
Leather pencil skirt: Vintage
Studded flats: Jeffrey Campbell
This is an outfit I wore to work recently and it even got the thumbs up from my female fashion phobic boyfriend. I finally found a leather pencil skirt that fits my bizarre small waist/big arse/long legs shape in a great vintage shop in Edinburgh for the bargain price of £6!

I love this patterned tee from the Lulu Guinness for Uniqlo range in the signature LG pattern as it's really feminine and versatile. Uniqlo do some of the best collaborations on the high street, I've also got a few tees from their Laura Ashley range too.

I picked up this red cardigan from my first ever visit to Beyond Retro. Wool and leather always go so well together, and it's one of my favourite texture combinations.

I've got two leather skirts now, how do you wear yours?

Wearing Patterns

Sunglasses: Miu Miu
Jacket: Zara
Dress: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Miu Miu (sample sale)
I love black. It goes with everything and hides a multitude of sins, but it's coming up to Spring and I'm trying to embrace patterns to make things less, well, dark.

When I tried this dress on in Urban Outfitters I fell head over heels in fashion lust. The pattern isn't too garish, so it's perfect for me to gently break in to more adventurous Spring/Summer wear (while wearing it with black, obviously). 

Most importantly, it's a dress that actually covers my bum! Being 5ft 10, it's near on impossible to find a dress that isn't a maxi which will actually reach far enough down my body to retain my modesty, but this one does. It's definitely a keeper.

Since buying this dress I've given in and got some amazing patterned trousers and a skirt, so it looks like I may have broken the seal! I just hope I don't wimp out of wearing them. Watch this space!

Investment vs Bargain Fashion

For so long I have bowed down to the shrine of hard and fast fashion, that is, cheap and in bulk. There's no greater feeling than looking at your bags after a days shopping and rejoicing in the fact that you got 20+ items for practically nothing.

I like adding good quality designer pieces with my high street heavy wardrobe.
Now I'm not saying that I don't do that anymore. You'll see plenty of Primark, H&M and charity shop finds on this blog, and 90% of my wardrobe is made up if affordable high street pieces. But as I've got older and have a bit of a disposable income (not a lot though!), I've started looking to have items that will last over multiple seasons, and more importantly over a number of years. 

Let's do a bit of fashion maths:

1 high street polyester bag = £50+ and lasts (in my experience, a maximum of 18 months of weekly usage).

1 designer handbag = £300+ and potentially lasts a lifetime (most designer stores will always fix or replace a genuine item no matter how long you've had it).

Certain things that I use on a daily/weekly basis need to last and I'm fed up with replacing things so frequently. Frequent items for me include a black handbag, black boots, brown boots, winter coat, summer coat, sunglasses and black flat shoes. Over time I'm planning to get these pieces as investment items, but will not be replacing everything I own with stupidly expensive versions as I don't need to and more importantly can't afford to!

I wrote recently about how to get these items in sample sales, and I stick by this being the best way of finding designer pieces without breaking the bank. I found a pair of Miu Miu real leather biker boots (see first pic above) at one for £70 which is about 90% off RRP, and are hands down the warmest, comfiest boots I've ever worn.

I've also recently bought a couple of full price items (I can't stress enough that I've been saving for these for well over a year to be able to afford them!). My Miu Miu sunglasses and Mulberry Del Rey bag may make my Mum's eyes water, but I know that they will last AND go with whatever high street pieces I wear with them.

What's your opinion on designer vs high street fashion?

Inhibitif Hair-Free Serum

If you haven't seen an advert for Inhibitif, you must have been walking around with your eyes closed. It's been on the front of the Metro, on billboards on the tube, and displayed on website adverts. Well, they certainly know where their audience hang out, because by the time I saw it for the bazillionth time I was convinced. This is a miracle cure. This will save me from body hair woes for the rest of my days.

Well. That's the hope anyway. The serum is supposed to dramatically reduce the appearance of body hair, making it finer and eventually almost invisible. I'm chomping at the bit to start trying this! I love Summer, but it is the bane of my days having to shave under my arms. Doing it so frequently makes my skin irritable and sore which is just as unattractive as leaving them au natural (that's my personal opinion, I have nothing against people who grow their body hair - I'm an Amanda Palmer fan after all!).

For £30 (exclusively at Boots) it's not cheap, but it's worth a go. I'll report back here in a few months to see if it's living up to the hype.

Life: April 2013

Flying over the Austrian mountains
My new hand cream from Liberty
Morning Glory crepe from Brixton Village
Making our mark at the birthplace of Harry Potter

Jeffrey Campbell bargains
Iced tea and cake at Yumchaa
Oompa Loompa takeover at Snowbombing

The roof of the British Museum
My new baby! (more on this soon)
The view from the London Eye

Follow me on Instagram: @charlienin
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review