5 TIPS FOR SPRINGTIME DRESSING

Phew! Now that we’re pretty much over the peak of winter, a lot of us are gonna have our minds fixed on one thing: when will we be able to crack into our spring wardrobe, pleeeease? Soon enough, you’ll be able to ditch the tights, sit outside for lunch, forget the gloom of winter and get on with the year ahead. Hurrah! The days are already getting longer, so get into that fast lane by sorting out your spring style now. Here are five tips for the months ahead…

Discover the Duster Coat, or Something Similar – Duster coats have a lightweight design, ideal for wearing over the garb you have now. Just make a point to ditch your chunky knit jumper, as the extra layers can create too much bulk for a piece of clothing that’s all about looking smart. Various different labels have put out styles that are great for dressing down or going to occasions, and spring usually has a lot of both. A good duster will smarten up your jeans, and present a refreshing change to winter’s short jacket/dress ensemble. If you want something a little more cosy and understated, long cardigans are a good alternative. Here’s a great post on how to style a long cardigan. Whatever your tastes, a duster coat, mac, or similar piece is going to be totally essential for your spring wardrobe.

Stick with Long, Lean Hemlines – Now that it’s getting almost too warm to go out wrapped up in a dozen layers, you’re gonna want a transition, and get used to feeling a breeze around your ankles again; lush. It may sound too simple to be effective, but longer, leaner hemlines are a great way to make the change. The best way to do this is to lose your tights, but keep a long skirt or dress so that you don’t feel too much of a shock. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to start wearing summer’s airy, flirty skirts once again!

Crack out the Florals – Flowers are just totes synonymous with spring. They sum up the fresh starts and beauty we associate with the season, so start digging the florals out from the back of the closet. A floral dress is sure to be the trophy piece, but while the weather’s still warming up, you may want to put it off until you can say with absolute certainty that it’s summer. Still, the weather’s going to be comfortable enough for skirts, tops, jeans and so on. This will get you more tuned to a warm mindset, and get you ready for all the sun that’s on its way, yaaaaaay! 

Let Craft-work Back into Your Life – This is another seasonal tradition that isn’t going to go away any time soon. You know that spring’s arrived when the crochet and lace starts appearing on skirts, blouses, and the hems of dresses. In a few weeks, it will be time to let them all out to play again! While we’re still in the transition period, make sure you’re easing those frills in. Add too much in too short a space of time, and you’ll just over-saturate your outfit. Instead, start off with some touches here and there to give yourself the perfect level of spring dressing. Like, you could go looking for understated decorations on a jacket, and combine the piece with a simple black t-shirt, or a roll-neck. Sleek trousers, either skinny, cropped or wide-leg, but always in a neutral colour, can also be great for balancing out the craft-work in your outfit.

Bare your Feet – You’ve had your feet shut up for long enough. Dip a toe into those fresh spring waters with a good sandal. Gladiator styles are still in massive demand, but these will be better when the summer rolls around. Now, a more standard style will work better, combined with cropped trousers to keep yourself firmly in the right part of the calendar. If you can’t handle these, there are some a lot of boot-sandal hybrids currently on the market which might pique your interest. It can be pretty hard to make these mesh with the rest of your outfit when the days are still fairly chilly. However, they’re always going to beat socks and sandals! Let your feet breathe a bit now, and you’ll be all set for slipping into your favourite heels in the summer.

Getting your spring wardrobe right is all a question of balance. Lighten or lose a few layers, compensate where you need to, and above all else get comfortable and ready to feel a little sun on your face!

Confectionery Cuteness from Billie Jocobina at London Fashion Week

I got lucky. It made me a happy girl. I got given a DREAM job of attending London Fashion Week to write up the shows for ace new magazine PlusMinus. Woweee. I guess good things do happen, if you put in the hard work and positive vibes. I hit the big smoke for 5 days, expectant, nervy and excited with notepad and laptop in hand, and, maaan, it was even better than I could have hoped for. It was pure ace. The gang I worked with became brand new besties over the week, spending 24/7 together in cold queues, rushed coffee shop eatings, all of us marvelling constantly at what surrounded us… some of the ego’s at Fashion Week….say whuuuut?! Crikey. We musta seen around 22 shows in our time there, each one a thrill in its own right. The music, the models, the damn prettiness and skill of the fashion. Yup, a happy gal was I.

One of the first shows I saw and fell in love with was a presentation by new graduate designer Billie Jacobina. The presentations are a slightly smaller scale affair with a neat and petite collection which packs a punch and basically, the models pose and parade around a room for a while rather than take part in a big boom-boom runway show. They are kinda cute things these presentations, they feel intimate and you can get real up close to the clothes and models. Heart shaped eyes on me, I tell ya. My heart was pumping outta my chest a bit when the Jocobina one began as it was ALL PIIIINK and pastels, pom-poms, faux fur, jumbo doll jewellery; a sparkly explosion of saccharine kitsch, with, hello?… a Hello Kitty handbag in the mix too! Oh my.

As a graduate of UCA Rochester, Billie showed at Graduate Fashion Week 2016, and went on to be awarded The British Council GFW award which gave her the opportunity to collaborate with a brand in Jakarta and show at Jakarta Fashion Week. She sure is on a winning streak, as she also won the Fashion Scout’s One To Watch Award for SS17 which is a certain sign that she’s only just at the start of a shiny future. Her slogan for this collection was 100% SASSY, and that it was, superbly so. This collection tickled me pink and set off my LFW experience with perfection.

 

Women In The Office; Fashion Tips To Make An Impact

You already know how to get the vintage fashion look. It’s time to bring yourself into this century. We all know how high-pressure office life can be, eeesh, BUSY! Getting the right look for work can make or break your reputation. You want to ensure that you’re wearing an outfit that makes the most impact. Whether you’re aiming for the look of a high flying sassy business woman or shy and prim receptionist, this guide to office fashion is hopefully gonna help you a heap load!

KEEP IT SMART – So, remember you’re at work. The smarter you look, the more seriously people are going to take you. It can be hard to be stylish and smart at the same time, but that’s the look you need to achieve, and you can totally do it. Having some staple blazers to return to is essential, I LOVE blazers. The decision between pencil skirts and trousers is also important. Your choice will show your colleagues a lot about the type of gal you are! 

THE RIGHT SHOES – Equally important are the shoes you wear. It can be difficult to decide between high heels and flats, but it’s a decision you will have to make from the off. If you want people to take you seriously, heels are likely to get you heard. You will tower over your colleagues. Exaggerating your presence can only be a good thing if you’re aiming for the top. If you’re after the retiring receptionist role, flats are the better option, aaand, lets not forget, they’re a lot more comfortable!

THE RIGHT ACCESSORIES – It’s not just the outfit you’re going to need to consider. Accessories are crucial too. Getting the right bag is just a must. You’re going to want bags that can go with most outfits, so brown and colours are always good. It’s also pretty good to own a staple black and a standard white bag. That way, you know you’ll always have something that matches. Think about your jewellery as well. Black Starr Frost watches are sure to get you taken seriously, they shriek of a strong together woman. It might also be worth investing in some staple necklaces. That little bit of glamour will come in handy when you’re feeling uninspired by your office wear. Just because you’re dressing smart, doesn’t mean your outfit has to be boring; heck no!

HAIRSTYLE – Finally, consider your hairstyle. Wearing your hair down is great sometimes, but it’s best to mix things up a little, and it’s more fun for you that way too. A tight donut is often a good choice for the office. It’s a smart, classic, fast style that is sure to stay in without any fuss and leave you looking professional. Off the face, hairstyles are an excellent choice. They reveal your face and help build trust with clients. If your eyes are hiding behind a fringe, they’re going to be a lot less likely to put their money in your hands. Stay conscious that you’re not going to have hours to fix your hair each morning, either. You don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn every day to try and tackle hair pins. Choose a few staples and practice them before hand. Girl, you gonna look DA BUSINESS! 

Meeting Manolo Blahnik; My High Heel Hero

 

blondieanchors_manoloblahnik-copyIt’s true. Some girls don’t wear high heels very often. Some girls prefer to have flat and comfortable feet. Can you believe it? I am not that girl, I mean, heck yeah I run around in my tatty Converse on an average day but, I’m a girl who likes her heels, and walking around a city all day with height is something I am known to do. Call me cray-cray, but I’ll suffer a little if it means I can get my sass on and feel like I’m strutting. I like that feeling. The strut. Not the ache and rub. But I’ll endure. I enjoy wearing heels, I genuinely do.

So when the V&A announced ‘An Evening with Manolo Blahnik’ I hot-footed it down to that place pronto, to meet in person, the ‘Holy Man of Heels’! After my gorgeous evening here with Cindy Crawford, I know these V&A events are ace; relaxed and informal and a great insight into iconic people. Packed in the small lecture theatre on a Friday night, the audience was, again, mostly women but we were all united, all adorers of this man’s magical SHOES! Swoooon.

Blahnik is a cute guy, a 72 year old Spanish man who gestures so much with his hands that the microphone he was holding was only intermittently near his mouth, so there was a genuine humour to the chat. He was talking with Italian Editor of W Magazine, Gianluca Longo. Watching the two men speak together with moving microphones, neither in their mother tongue was unintentionally and endearingly comical. Blahnik is a funny guy, he reminded me of my German Grandmother with his sweet humour; ‘After the war it was hard, we couldn’t get copies of Vogue’ he said as the room giggled, he too found the funny in his comment.

Blahnik chatted about his inspirations – many from historical references – Italian classicism, museums, ‘I love what the beauty in them tells me’, and old silent movies. His work is exceptionally well-known because of movies and TV. Sex and The city is the biggie which made us all fall even harder in love with his work. His shoes are iconic in status and I adore them. I love them differently to how I love my other favorites; Louboutin’s. Blahnik’s shoes feel more feminine,more theatrical, more enchanting and magical. But I love Louboutin’s equally for their unashamed sexuality and sharpness. I want to own shoes from both designers. OBVS.

Asked why he became a Shoe Designer, he seemed to feel he always had a natural obsession with shoes. He remembers his Mother going out in heels. I guess we all see our Mother’s shoes from close-up when we are young and it triggers a fascination. I personally remember drawing a smiley face into a hole in my Mum’s tights when she was standing doing the washing up. What we look at when we are young goes towards defining what appeals throughout our lives, I guess. Seeing women wear high heels from a youngsters viewpoint, from a low down angle, it would make sense to grow up loving women’s shoes.

‘My idea of fun was watching women in heels, they become something else in them’ Yes. Yes we do. And in yours Manolo, it’s even more wonderful.

 

Shoop-Shoop Shooooes.

Goodness me, shoes are just glorious, what girl doesn’t love them? Like most, I have a pretty sizable collection of shoes. Some I wear to death, others mostly sit there to be admired and slipped on once in a while. I love both vintage and modern shoes, I love sexy high heels, I adore snakeskin and good old leathers, I love glitter and bow details……I also loooove boots, mostly brown boots and 80’s kitten heel ankle boots. With both my shoes and boots I like them to look lived-in and well-loved, I like to look like I walked a few blocks in them, don’t know why but I don’t like the look of brand new shoes, I want my shoes to look as if I have had good times in them. My bedroom is pretty littered with footwear, they are as much ornamental as they are wearable and as with all my vintage pieces, I like to wonder about where the shoes have been worn, who by and how much dancing have they done.

A few of my most favorite pairs of shoes are; my 1920’s silver leather shoes, so flapper, I imagine these danced the Charleston a few times! A great pair for all sorts of outfits that require a feminine and pretty neutral shoe, very dainty and girly, pretty comfortable too.

Another amazing pair are my 1940’s black suede shoes, I call these my ‘Cage’ shoes as they make it look like your feet are in little ornate cages, I love how the foot is pretty much fully on show at the same time as being covered, part of why I love shoes is that ultimately, I think women’s feet look so sexy in them and this pair of shoesies are a great example. These are so classically 1940’s and in stunning condition, you don’t see a lot of shoes like this, a great statement pair worn with a plain dress.

These 1980’s pink and white leather heels are just ace. So definitive of their era and pretty unusual too, great with skinny jeans and a blazer.

These 1980’s black suede and diamante bow slingbacks literally make my heart jump, sooo cute with their over sized bow and so feminine with their open sides and slingbacks…perfect with a black dress.