Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Making Up is so Very Hard to Do

There are two types of people in this world - those who would never forget to put their makeup on in the morning, and those who barely remember. I am in the latter group, desperately trying to get to the former. And my ever growing supply of cosmetics is testament to this. Right now I can see $200 of purchases on my credit card all with the aim of making my face look better. Oh, well, and my nails.


So, what does one spend $200 on?? Well, my current absolute favourite purchase is Bobbi Brown's Favourites palate. It has 4 lipsticks and four eye shadows in, well, a dinky black pallete. Complete with decent mini-brushes. I bought this in the belief that if I could bring sensible colours (a cream highlighter eye shadow, a latte esque shade, a beautiful dark brown for lining, and a sandy shimmer shadow for being exciting) to work in my handbag, I might drag my arse to the toilets in the morning and actually use it. Well, I've managed that twice so far. And right now, it's even sitting beside me at my desk at work, and I'm still not using it. BUT, don't let that put me off you getting it. It truly is beeyootiful.


Bobbi Brown is doing an ace job at snatching all my cash right now. I also succombed to her amazing shimmer grey gel liner. Now, there is one look that I do a lot (well, on weekends), and that is attack my eyes with as much black kohl pencil that they can take - MAC make a brilliant one for this. It works very well for me - punky mixed with dresses is fab. But if I ever want to make a bit more of a grown up statement, enter bobbi brown's grey liner stage right. It is beautiful, easy to apply, and potentially very dramatic. It doesn't have enough of a "smudge factor" for my liking, but this might make some people like it even more.


I also got a sandy shimmery lip gloss from Ms Brown. This is the only one of her products which I'm disappointed by. I think I was kinda bullied into this one by the sales girl, and whilst it is perfectly nice, it is far too sticky for me to enjoy wearing. Instead, I bought two lipglosses from L'Oreal's Nude Glam range that manage to somehow be glossy, not sticky, and not have those awful sparkly bits in them (too tacky for words).


Bobbi Brown might have heavenly makeup made for grown up ladies, but she doesn't really cut it in the beautiful packaging front. For that, my friend, let me please refer you to Nars. Nars has been around forever (well, 10 years plus), and was always seen at the luxury end of the world for me. But, I do have this fantastic event tomorrow night, and I'm wearing a navy sequin dress. Now, normally I'm not a matchy matchy girl, but I just know that having dark eyes with a hint of blue shimmer will look amazing. And there's only one place I know that does that - Nars. (Okay, I've just thought of another - Barry M's glitter dust might give the same effect, but it's a lot of work and not masses of staying power). Nars has the most amazing blue-black eye shadow cut with blue shimmers through it, and I'm planning on attacking my eyes with it in order to create a true glamour puss look. Plus, the packaging is black and rubberised, just screaming class and fabulousness.


However, my entire Nars shopping trip wasn't a success - I am such a victim at the makeup counter, and I should never open my mouth. I usually know what I want, and why on earth I feel the need to ask for the opinion of others is beyond me. This tme, with the dark dark eyes, I am really needing a shimmery, icey pale pink lip, glossy - I know you are thinking no, and that is too much makeup, but trust me, it will look twenties and gorgeous. Anyways, the guy at Nars instead recommended that I get a nude lipstick. And when we're talking nude, we're talking skin tone. I know what he was talking about, and if I was just going out with friends or to a great bar, yes, I would look amazing. But I'm going to a conference with middle aged men where the chat will centre on contracts - nude lips will just be out of place. But somehow I succombed, and now have a beautifully packaged creamy nude lipstick that makes me look like the cover of an i-D magazine. I did manage to say no to a similar lipgloss though, as a sign of strength.


So, morals? Expensive eye shadows are amazing, but cheap lip glosses are better than the pricey thanks to the billions they spend on science so that our hair won't stick to our mouths.


Monday, October 29, 2007


Another American Apparel post. For some reason, even after the last debacle I had with ordering from them, I decided to do it again. What on earth was I thinking? This time it took 4 weeks to arrive (no apology when I called them to chase it up), they sent me the wrong colour of cardigan, and they charged me wrong! Complete farce. I have tried to call up their customer service, but got a message telling me that there was no one there to take my call, and to leave a message. This was 3 hours ago, and no one has called me back. Sigh. I do honestly think that the London warehouse might be staffed by imbeciles. It is incredibly disappointing that a company that has such a strong commitment to employment values has such an incredibly poor record in customer service. Either they aren't getting the training, or they are just plain idiots. Either one is frustrating. The love affair is over.


(Notice how this poor experience has meant I didn't even comment on the clothes. That's how badly I feel right now about this company.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Coming back from the wilderness after a couple of months, there have been a number of changes in the fabulous world of fashion blogging that are worth noting. I am loving Splendicity - what a nifty site. It's a fantastic new portal featuring some of my favourite bloggers, including the lovely girls at Painfully Hip. I also discovered the great Fashion Chicks there - blog after my own British High Street heart. WhoWhatWearDaily has the scoop on the best star style out there, and is compulsively addictive.


Being broke at the moment (as ever really!), I am getting back into my creative side. BurdaSew are advocates of the open source sewing movement. I'm not sure what that means, but I do know it means sewing patterns are available for downloading and printing out. Cool. Now, if only I had a sewing machine. Details, details.


I'm invited to a fabulous black tie do for work in a few weeks time, so I'll need a great party dress. I'm thinking the navy sequinned flapper dress from Kate Moss Topshop, along with black tights to make it more demure, curly hair, a flapper head piece (what are those things called anyway?), and crazy black eyes. Mmmmmm.


Okay, and finally, what am I crazy about right now?


My new prada esque grey patent heels. They have a chunky heel and thick elastic acting as a mary jane strap and are far too cool for school. Plus, I can walk in them.


The 40s. Oh, Atonement and Keira, how you have influenced me. Wear Clinique cranberry cream lipstick heavily blotted to get that fantastic berry lip and no eye shadow.


Wide-legged jeans. No, I don't own any, but man I wish I did.


American Apparel. Again. Yes, I know, as ever I'm addicted to a store that sells over-priced, vaguely ethical goods. This time, it's grey t-shirts and sweaters that I'm craving to wear over either overdyed skinnies or wide legged jeans.


My navy skinny jeans. How did I get by without having overdyed jeans in my wardrobe. Only problem is that I can't wear white with them at the moment. Doh.





Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well, I haven't blogged for quite some time, since I've been away in Africa, and then without laptop for about a month after that. My Dell finally arrived on Tuesday, so this weekend will be spent tidying up the blog and getting my technology house in order! Can't wait to get back to writing about my impulsive shopping habits though!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm not going to be posting for the next month as I'll be in Ghana working in a Liberian refugee camp. Wish me luck, and I'll be back at the beginning of October!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

keys, purse, mobile, lipstick to go

I have a largish bag that I end up filling with rubbish. Yesterday I thought I had lost my mobile - it was only at the bottom of my bag. Therefore, I'm actually super pleased that small bags are making a comeback. My ideal one is a "belle" from Mulberry - shoulder strap, brown leather, and stylish. My little sis says she can't stand tiny designer bags - they smack of people who want a label and they can only afford the smallest thing they offer, instead of spending their money on something actually nice, but this Mulberry's too classic for that nonsense, right?

Yes I went wading in the paddling pool in my jeans, didn't you?

Whilst Style Bubble thinks these Topshop jeans are going to be easy and ubiquitious, I think they are brilliant and fantastic. Okay, so black is universally thinning, but wet-look adds a zillion pounds, so I'm sure they won't be flattering on my shape (maybe any shape that isn't Kate Moss-esque twig legs), but so what? Fashion can't always be pretty, can it? And this season, according to The Times, we should all be warrior women anyway...

Right now I'm trawling the net for a picture of New Look's PVC dress - that is one warrior woman item that I don't want to miss.

Are You A Perfect Woman (Read Cold Selfish Bitch)?

StyleDash linked today to an article at the Washington Post that overdressing and looking too chic these days is a sign of being self-absorbed and vapid, citing the upcoming film of the Nanny Diaries as evidence of these sentiments. Is it true that being endlessly chic and put-together - perfectly blow-dried hair, heels everyday, toned to perfection, glamourously bronzed, wrap dresses from DvF and IT bags from Prada and Marc Jacobs - is a sign that you're a bad person? Certainly the effort that goes into looking that good is high (although internet shopping at Net-A-Porter has certainly cut down on effort - a few clicks on a Sunday night can relieve anyone's wardrobe nightmares, but is hell on your credit card), and now it seems it isn't even worthwhile. If we assume, and I think that it is fair to say that it's true, that we dress for others, be they men or women, and that apparently the general consensus of today is that this overdressing is distasteful, nay, immoral, then surely these high standards that women are setting themselves are counter-productive. Instead of demonstrating our capabilities to reach perfection, they are demonstrating the apparent emptiness of our lives. A bit of undone, a bit of imperfection is far more chic, apparently. And this I agree is true, though not because it displays a moral integrity, but because it demonstrates a certain level of imagination, and of acceptance, and of individuality. However, the point of this post is not to say what is wrong or what is right, or whether women who manage to maintain the highest standards of grooming, but to raise the question of women - why can we never get it right? Why do we hit ourselves the hardest? Why is it that being perfect is now a demonstration of lack of morals? Where is the acceptance? I'm not one for burning my bra or doing it for my sisters, but sometimes even I am amazed at the capacity for womenhood to continue to be so self-harming. Please, let's find something to celebrate in ourselves, rather than continue to belittle any woman who acheives success in something.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

new place to go!!

I love discovering a new site. It's one of the great joys of blogging. Of cousr, sometimes you can get lazy, and just keep going to the same places every day, so every so often I head off to one of the various blog catalogs and check out fashion pages. this is how I came across the fantasticness that is Faking Good Breeding. As well as giving great fashion commentary, Meg's also been giving advice to new bloggers and share her experiences. Fashion and blogging in the same place? I love it.

fashion in the workplace - what not to wear

Whilst my all-consuming passion is fashion, that doesn't mean I don't still have a day job that is just about a million miles away from that. I work a corporate job that varies from being fantastically exciting and mind-numbingly dull. It is also dominated by white, middle-aged males. I'm not sure that my company understands the importance and impact that Generation Y will have on the workplace, but I'm certainly feeling the weight of them not understanding.

Getting dressed in a way that pleases me takes time in the morning. Time that I don't have - I would rather sleep in for a further 15 minutes than stare at my wardrobe. Furthermore, a wardrobe full of smart shirts, knee length skirts, and black trousers leaves me cold. Given the choice between smart black flats and ridiculous blue patent heels, the heels win every time. My work wardrobe consists of clothes that I used to love and have now downgraded to "work wear". I can't take pleasure in the clothes I wear for work, because the pleasure I take in clothes comes from the very reason that they are not suitable for work - imagination, creativity, juxtaposition. Oh, and mini-dresses and shorts. Which are very not safe for work.

Obviously I know that image in the workplace is important. One of the most senior women I know wears dresses and heels every day. I know that this is a conscious decision because they only time I've seen her out of her uniform and in flats and trousers was a day with no meetings. She wears this to set herself apart in her very male-dominated world. I have always believed in the importance of expressing my feminity in the workplace, and, to a certain extent, my youth. Am I being uncompromising by not taking on the uniform of shirts and trousers that I can wear for the rest of my life. Penelope Trunk has a great post about being dressed appropriately - basically being dressed as people would expect you to be dressed, and how important image is in your career. That message really resonated with me, since I was out with a senior manager for dinner a few weeks ago, and he said that he loved my dress sense, and my "kooky" style. That's great - I love when people "get" what I wear, but do I really want to be seen as kooky in the workplace? Personally, yes, but not if it detracts from people thinking that I'm actually capable of what I do. And I'm not sure that that's a possibility. Asking people to figure out what I wear rather than blinding accepting it is asking too much, and in my heart of hearts, and more importantly, in my head, it seems I still have some changing to make. To wear a black and grey uniform to me is compromising my sense of self, but is it too great a compromise for the sake of being taken seriously and given real responsibility? Probably not. I'd love to have feedback from some of those "in the know"....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Season Most Wanted

Even though I'm going away for my favourite shopping month, that doesn't mean I don't have my eye on a couple of key purchases for this season.

1. A leather jacket. Miss Selfridge have this one which I think is v Mike + Chris styled - am thinking a great birthday pressie. Team with with my new dress from Topshop, tights, and boots. Perfect Saturday chilling.

2. Schboots. Black, patent, cool, and bound to be impossible to walk in. Great for with shorts and mini-dresses. Yes, I'm not giving up mini-dresses. These aren't patent but are from topshop.

3. Double strap shoes. Yup, these are going to be big. I'm also thinking black patent, though pale colours with dark tights will also look fab. Think those fab pink satin Miu Mius for inspiration. Though my budget is a little less flexible!! These ones from Topshop are also not exactly budget at £75.

4. Ribbed tights. Warm, wooly, and leg lengthening. A pair in black and a pair in grey please.

5. Chunky wooly, well, thing. Yes, some sort of knitted item that will keep me warm. I'd like it to be rather shapeless please, and then I can belt it at the waist with my minis/shorts etc. Contrast of volumes etc. In fact, I had the perfect shapeless knitted item two seasons ago, but when I moved house, it seemed to disappear unfortunately.

6. Flat leather boots. This pair from Topshop are perfect. Am begging for them for my birthday pressie.

7. Oversized white shirt. I have a billion white shirts, but another one is definitely required. Ironically, I actually found the perfect oversized white shirt on Saturday in Primark of all places, but since I was shopping for Africa (yes, the whole continent), I ignored it. How unwise.

8. Grey skinnies. Like all jean trends, I'm late again. I just got my black skinnies. And they have an annoying "creep" habit (meaning they creep down from being low-rise to being way too ultra-low rise and I might flash), but I still really want them - just maybe not Topshop B's. Tuck them into my either knee high flat leathers, or some cute ankle boots.

9. Ultra-short Uggs. This is just a weather thing. I live in Scotland. It gets cold and miserable. Being able to put your feet in warm furry boots is a good thing. And ultra-short ones are good for tucking your skinny jeans into. Either chocolate brown or black please.

10. Oversized woolly hat. Like those floppy big ones that Keira Knightley wears. I haven't been able to find one yet that I like, but I'm on the look out. Instant "scruff-chic".

Saturday, August 11, 2007

market drivers

It's an old cliche, but hemlines are meant to reflect the stock markets. But who knew they were predictors? With every fashion editorial calling an end to micro-shorts and mini-dresses, did they predict that the FTSE and Dow would slam today? Does that mean if I keep doggedly wearing my leg-flashing numbers, stocks will start to rise through sheer force of will. I'm hoping yes...

Susie Loves Cakes

Two via postss today - very lazy blogging, but what can I say?

Susie at has a great post today. She really is a girl after my own heart, although she somehow manages to pull of the silver leggings that I want to but just can't. She has a great post today about combining her two great loves - fashion and food (mine too!), and has a series of outfits of what she wears to eat where. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that post? In an ideal world, I would be able to host afternoon tea parties where the girls would wear nice dresses and mary janes. Sometimes, I think I was born in the wrong era.

Secondly, Catwalk Queen brings us the rumour that Anthropologie is looking for a UK site. Oh please pick Edinburgh!! Yeh right, my heart knows otherwise. But since Anthropologie is just about my favourite online browsing place ever, and a great source for the above mentioned tea dresses, I would just about pee my pants if they opened up in the UK.

On a side note, I've just signed up for iShape. iShape is a great online tool for trying to get fit - it is an online exercise tracker, giving you a w schedule and a little log for putting everything in. I absolutely love it, but they refuse to let anyone outside of the US sign up. I can sign up for the 10 day trial, but always get booted when it comes to processing my credit card unfortunately. If anyone knows of a way round this, I'd be interested....

Reinforcing the Stereotype That Everyone in Fashion is Just Plain Mean

What has Faran done? In what appears to be the most commented post ever on Fashionista, Faran admits that she gives people faux compliments on their not-so-put-together outfits. What has sprung forth is a tide of, well, 80% disgust, though some of the comments are so mean in themselves, they don't exactly redeem the commenter. Obviously she's raised a sore point in people's hearts, and to be honest, I have to admit with being with the crowd on this one. Saying fake nice stuff to people just to get closer so that you can laugh at them is just plain mean. If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. As one commenter said, it is a question of manners.

I've noticed over the last couple of months that Faran is posting less and less, as her army of interns and co-bloggers rise in prominence. Even so, has she alienated enough of her readership to make a difference? Do we care if people who bring us fashtastic news aren't really so nice themselves? Without saying anything too libellious about Anna Wintour, but not being particularly nice hasn't exactly hurt Vogue, has it?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

autum collections

I've really not thought through my shopping for this season whatsoever. The autumn collections are starting to come through to the stores, and some of them are fabulous (hello warehouse!). I'm loving the big belts, the continuation of patent, and the grey tights that are everywhere. I'm less enthused that the Topshop style teams don't seem to have been talking to each other, and have managed to produced the same collection twice - glam rock and groupie (although groupie does claim to love silver leggings - score!). However, I've managed to time my shopping incredibly poorly this year. Right now I'm broke, thanks to going away to Ghana. September I'm away, and that's the month when the best stuff is around. October I'll still be paying off my Ghana bills and I'll also have shopping ennui from being around so much poverty, and then November is party season which is all black, satin, and shiny, which I don't love. Basically, I'm going to miss this fantastic season. Grr.

lohan dichotomony

A while ago the lovely StyleIT put a link to my little blog. Naturally I am delighted by this (who doesn't adore a bit of linkin' love?), and I was over there browsing when I came across these amazing photos of Lindsay Lohan for Jill Stuart - good spot! These new photos, and the Pop cover, are completely fabulous and are a complete dichotomy of the complete confusion that seems to be LiLo's personal life. She comes across as self-assured, in control of her image, and a mix of sophistication and self-knowing which seems so far away from the tabloid chaos that we see on Perez, TMZ etc. Shame. Will either sets of images live on in the public conscience?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

fashionably networked

Whilst flicking through techcrunch the other day I saw that a new fashion social networking place is starting out - stylemob. It's not the first of its kind, but it might be worth keeping an eye on. I'm interested to see how it takes off, but given most of friends are distinctly less "online" than me, am debating the value of the network for me. Maybe I'll add all my top blogs as friends? Other sites in this arena include stylediary, shareyourlook, and shoutfit. If anyone has any experience of any of these networks, I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

marie claire strikes back

Normally, I can't stand Marie Claire magazine. The whole po-facedness of featuring fashion along with women overcoming challenges in Ethiopia just didn't sit with me. It should because I'm a reasonably well-informed lady on the international front, and I am off to Ghana in a few months to work in a refugee camp, but there was something so smug about Marie Claire that just didn't work for me. However, I was in the airport yesterday, and I couldn't face NW or Company's low end, party girl approach, and Marie Claire had themed its whole magazine around LA. Plus, Nicole Richie's hair is so great on the cover that I'm going to get mine cut like that as soon as I can. Anyway, long story short, and I bought it. First thing I noticed was that I had read it in about 20 mins. No joke. However, what blew me away was that the fashion was actually amazing. The 101 ideas section featured the most fabulous LA-themed style stuff that was just amazing - highlights will come later. I've actually kept the magazine as a future reference!

underwear and overwhere

Also on the Primark trip, I discovered the craziness that is £4 underwear sets. Yes, you read that right. How crazy is that? And its not like the underwear is ugly either! Admittedly, it is a touch too padded (I know I'm a B, but I don't need to feel bigger than that, thanks), but fits reasonably well, is comfortable, and I was able to get about 5 sets that are quite pretty. How fantastic is that? Normally I'm a die hard Marksies girl, and I've been dreading the bill, as I'm about to throw out reams of greying pants and bras, but their range has left me cold the last couple of months, and now I've been able to use ethically-questionable production to tide me over until they start to produce something that is actually pretty, rather than functional.


After agonising over the sheer awfulness of the American Apparel silver leggings versus the natural cool factor (which would win out - being the centre of attention, or looking like a silver sausage?), I have been saved! Sort of. Whilst wading through the chaos that is Primark on a Saturday afternoon, my sister managed to find a whole rack of silver leggings! Yes, the cut isn't perfect, it's actually even less flattering than the American Apparel ones. They give me a camel toe. But they are only £6. Which is £22 less than the American Apparel ones, and cheap enough to take a chance on. Lovin it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

seasonal vainiac

My boyf mentioned to me the other day that I was "wearing a lot more make up". What he actually meant was that I've become a lot more vain in the last couple of weeks. The reason for this is summer. I love summer so much that it inspires me to make an effort, to actually brush my hair, put on a bit of blush and mascara, that sort of thing. Winter is so depressing that I can't be bothered. Of course this is ironic, because it is the winter months that I look rubbish in and need the most help for! Anyways, here's my guide to great summer stuff:

* Nivea fake tan. I've tried a good number of fake tans, though none of the expensive, St Tropez esque ones. However, I have no need to - Nivea fake tan fades in fast, has never streaked for me, doesn't smell too funny, and in the morning I wake up the colour of a week (at least!) in the south of France. Perfect.
* I am currently using Johnson & Johnson's Holiday Skin as my tan top up. However, I have come to the scientific conclusion that it is pretty rubbish, on account of the fact it takes longer to sink in than my fake tan, and the colour comes up patchy. Also, I always end up with white hands and feet, though I'm not sure the blame lies with Holiday Skin or me. Anyway, I'm eager to try and new brand, and I've heard good things about Dove, although my allegiance with Nivea might also play a part in my decision making.
* Maybelline Dream Mousse - wow! I knew my sister was a big fan of this stuff, but hadn't tried it myself until it was on offer for 3 for 2 and my local boots. I got the bronzer, a blush, and a shimmer. I love them - the texture and consistency is so brilliantly light and soft that they are fantastic. I probably should have got the bronzer in a shade darker (I went for the middle one as I'm permamently afraid of looking, well, orange), but it goes on like a dream. The only thing I would say to improve this is make the colours stronger - the blush is a bit of a pale, girly pink, when a stronger colour is actually much more flattering.
* MAC lipstick in Sandy B. I tracked down what lipstick the makeup artist used to use on Marissa (Mischa Barton) on the OC, and came up with this. It's a gorgeous, slightly shimmery peachy colour that is perfect for summer - underplayed, works well with a light tan (or maybelline top-up!), and is extremely flattering.

Once I start buying make-up I can't stop, so I also got a coffee coloured and a coral lipgloss. These were particularly weird purchases for me, since I usually can't stand lipgloss, putting it in the club of bootleg jeans, pointed toe black boots, and pale blue/pale pink as things that nice, boring girls use, and therefore I won't. Yes, I know, gross generalisations, and I've probably offended half the people who read this, but such are the risks I take. Anyways, the lipglosses have turned out to be a fun enough addition to my face, and are mercifully unsticky.

I'm still looking for the perfect pillar box red nail varnish for my toes, and I keep meaning to revarnish my nails in nu rave pink, but so far, I'm feeling fairly put together.

top search terms

My boyf does something with internet marketing, so I'm sure he could give me lots of advice about what words I should be using on my site to generate hits and all that - useful stuff no doubt, but in the meantime, if I judge what's cool by how many search terms lead to me, then its a toss-up between nu rave, kate moss, and topshop. A while ago, Jordin Sparks was my search term killer keyword, and for a while it was kirsten dunst, but that's tailing off. silver lame dress/leggings lead people to my many posts on american apparel, and there are still people interested in playsuits and fitflops. Every so often I think, "I should try and generate more traffic", and that I should do more celebrity posts, but I'm just not that calculating. Yes, a future in marketing is not calling my name!

street stylin

A couple of great pieces on street style today. Firstly, Painfully Hip's Amber seems to have exactly the same taste as me. Well, no, Amber actually has better taste, but anyway, everything she picks out I love, and today's wardrobe remix pics are no exception. I lurve the stuff on braces in particular.

Secondly, Fashionista picked up on a piece in the Seattle Times about fashion blogging on street style. (I feel that the sentence went full circle with its references, but oh well). The Seattle Times put together a neat piece how blogs like The Sartorialist are influencing the high street in a simliar way that the catwalks do. A quote which did the fashion world no favours came from Margaret Voelker-Ferrier, a University of Cincinnati professor of fashion design, who said, "People think fashion is from the street, but it's not. It's from the designers who are using the streets for inspiration. So at the end, it's still coming from the designers."

Um, does anyone else think, um, no, in the end its still coming from the street, and this is just cutting out the middle man? (I'm not saying design houses are the middle man and we'd all be just as stylish and gorgeous without them, but you know what I mean!).

Anyway, there are two points to the story - Fashionista's question of whether we are all dressing better on weekends in the hope of the Sartorialist snapping us (nope! Not a chance in Edinburgh, though I should start my own Sartorialist...), and wow, there are a whole bunch of places I should be uploading my style pics to. Now I just gotta convince my boyf to start shooting them.

american apparel finally delivers

Yes, it actually happened. My gear arrived today, and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. The blue hoodie (Lapis) was not quite as bright as it appeared to be in the picture, but is still gorgeous. The summer t-shirts are a good fit and nicely sheer. The hairbands are great and I'm wearing a baby blue one at the moment. The silver lame leggings deserved a whole post of their own (see below), and then there is the silver lame minidress. As its a one size garment, I didn't truly imagine that I would be able to shimmy myself into it, but shimmy I did. Once it was in place, it was a bit skin tight across the belly - you could practically see the fries I'd had for lunch. But it didn't do that nasty thing that strapless dresses do to your decollete and give me chub lines as I call them. It's indecently short and very pencil. I put it on over leggings and thought "yeh, I look good", and then I looked harder. I looked 80s. It is the most 80s silhouette I'd ever worn. And I still thought I looked good? I must be a product of far too many elle covers at the moment if I was now channelling Madonna. I pulled the dress up and it became a bunchy silver boob tube - still cute and wearable, but less of the clinging mini-dress look.

I took the dress off, and felt confused. Who had I become?

Neil Armstrong Called - He Wants His Spacesuit Back

This is the note that I found on my bed when I came home from the gym yesterday. The reason? I had left my silver lame American Apparel leggings on the table, and shocked my boyfriend when he got in. Other choice comments he gave me were "if I didn't know you and saw you in those, I would burst out laughing", and the simple but effective "they make you look fat". Me? I can't decide about them. They do make me look fat, which should be reason enough not to keep them, and they are difficult to wear, and really warm, which isn't good for summer, but there's something about them which makes me want to keep them. Why? Am I a crazy fool? Quite obviously yes. And they aren't even cheap - £28, so it's not as if I can just keep them for fun.

(Chief reasons I am being swayed I am sure are because of all the positive feedback that the website has of them - how easy they are to wear etc. Am beginning to think that everyone who puts feedback up there is (a) either a size 0 or (b) an american apparel employee or (c) probably both!! Even so, there is no reason I should be feeling so swayed by such a vague form of peer pressure!)

Has anyone else worn silver lame leggings? Can they make them work? Are they really the simple every day addition to my wardrobe that I've been looking for?

on the blogs today

ShopDiary has a cute picture of Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter films) in Kitson. Hasn't she grown up and become gorgeous? And doesn't she look like she's really enjoying herself (a good thing, in case you thought I was being snippy)? Fingers crossed she doesn't become LiLo in the next couple of years.

has shown me up again, this time by highlighting Blueprint magazine to me. Blueprint sounds perfect - a hipster guide to decor, craft and style - all the things I want to do but can't! Blueprint is not available in the UK, and since Borders is closing there go my magazine imports, but more interestingly, is published by the Martha Stewart empire. Who knew she could be so supportive of vintage worker gear being turned into cute dresses? I'm loving the wallpaper ideas, which is reminding me I've been in my flat for a year and done precisely nothing in the way of home decor.

the great outdoors

After weeks and weeks of rain in Edinburgh, it is finally sunny today. I was about to head to the gym tonight to take on a hardcore gym class (Body Attack, since you asked, courtesy of Virgin Active), but the sun is making me consider skipping the gym and going for a run. And then, since I'm thinking running, I've also been perusing "what stuff will make me run better", including the uber glam all in black gear from the North Face (I prefer running in shorts than tights. Actually I've never run in tights, so that's a bit of an uninformed decision, but I'm still sticking to shorts for the time being). However, the real impulse buy I want to make is the Nike/iPod NikePlus gear, but that would involve a new ipod, a running kit, and an armband or running top. I don't need trainers because Nike helpfully made a little pouch for keys that would attach to any running shoes a couple of years ago, and I can slip the wireless pedometer into that and slot it into my asics. On review, it would be a lot cheaper to go to the gym and be abused by one of those super perky people. I actually feel sick thinking about the pain and public humiliation that I'm putting myself in for.

Update: it's greener to run outside! less electricity, more carbon friendly

go west

Nine West in Edinburgh closed last week. It may be the effect that I have on Nine West - the one in Belfast didn't last long. I can't say I'm surprised - the store never seemed to figure out who its target market are. And if Fashionista's post on this is right, its facing similiar problems in the US as well. I couldn't afford to shop in Nine West in the UK, though one of favourite ever pairs (black patent peep toe platform heels) I picked up in the US last September. Same number on the price tag, different currency made all the difference. Shoe retailer Aldo does seem to be making a big impact instead, though their website doesn't seem to be the most functional. They've just opened up in Glasgow, and fingers crossed Edinburgh will be soon to follow. Otherwise, I'll be sticking to Office and Topshop, which are great, but only having two places to go doesn't exactly feel like a democracy...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jane Magazine RIP

Jane folded today. I'm gutted. It was like a voice in the wilderness that was always able to point me in the direction of good music and random stuff. I only just paid for my subscription last month - I only got one issue! Plus, it turns out that I'm not very inspirational. Jezebel has a remarkedly insightful post on why Jane gave up the ghost - check out its advertising. And I guess it has a point - t'aint Dior and Givenchy...

Still, the end of an era no doubt. Where will girls on the edge go?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

best of british...

Something I've really been craving recently is some more British fashion blogs - I read catwalk queen and style bubble on a religious basis, but I haven't found anything else that will feed my clothes obsession. Anyone else out there?

Topshop - Three Ways to Wear

Whilst maxi dresses I'm sure are wonderful, with all this rubbish weather, summer just doesn't seem to be happening. Topshop are taking advantage of this with their new punky line, filled with black, sparkles, and those fantastic leather high tops. Let me get my black kohl out and channel Sienna Millar. And we thought we were retiring our black skinnies.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

personal care

Although my American Apparel gear still hasn't turned up, I am pretty impressed that Cinnamon from their website left a few comments for me, so at least I know they care - thanks guys!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

dysfunctional to say the least

just when I thought I had my dirty American Apparel habit under control, they've gone and given me a 10% discount code!!! Just plain not fair! Will I take a chance on order from their clunky, archaic ordering system that never works? Will my stuff ever turn up? Its been over 2 weeks since I broke down and mass bought t-shirts, hoodies, and unspeakably short dressses, and it still hasn't turned up, with customer services going extremely quiet as well. Its like being in an extremely dysfunctional relationship that promises so much and delivers so little. Like an ex-boyfriend I once had who always promised he had a surprise for me, and in the 18 months we were together, he never actually told me what it was or gave it to me. I might have kicked him to the kerb, but something tells me my American Apparel love might be much harder to actually beat!

make me stop!

why do I love these boots? No really, why? Maybe Lily Allen would wear them, maybe Lindsay Lohan on a random day, but me? Why would I? And yet, I can't help myself....

I need a payrise!!

crazy craving

For some reason, I'm thinking leather jackets are a "good thing" at the moment. I was converted by a girl I stood next to at the Kate Moss Topshop queue who was tiny, blonde, wearing a cute headband, skinny jeans, and Westwood pirate esque boots at 5am along with her leather jacket. It looked so stylin! This is a great one from Topshop, who recently shocked me by removing their pac-a-macs from the website - I thought they were going to be a summer staple! Man, I was wrong, and have regretted it since then. Brings more meaning to their "buy it now or regret it later" tagline!

shoes shoes shoes

Last week it was bags, this week my massive must have now or I will die obsession is shoes. I am a woman possessed.

These blue patent shoes from topshop are my absolute high priority shoe. They are 10 million times fabulous. Blue, patent, cream, platform, high - what more could a girl want? In winter over grey woolen tights, in summer with just about everything else. I want now.

Brown ankle boots. Okay, lets face it, I'm going to buy just about every shoe from the topshop collection at the moment. I nearly fell out with my sister when she came home with these because they are just so damn perfect, and she knew I was looking for ankle boots. Still, I can't be mad at my sister forever, and instead, I can get even by getting the same shoes as her anyway. Bold? Yes, but that can't be helped. She should have thought of that when she bought them.

I got the most fabulous grey linen tiered/ruffled skirt from Reiss last week, and wear it with a cream top with gold embellishments. Grown up and gorgeous. Whilst I was in the shop, they paired them with claret velvet high heeled court shoes. At first I was like "no way!". Then I became very much "yes please!". The closest I can get in my budget is a pair of courts from office that have a slight glimmer to them - rich, decadent, and very much a necessity.

Yes, I've been meaning to buy white converse for ages. It ain't rocket science. Just go do it.

Summer sandals - I've seen a number of sandals for work - in fact, too many for me to choose from!! I'll need to make a decision and stick to it, but there's been good ones in topshop and office for me to take my pick from. This weekend I think??

My shoe box is heaving though. Before my boyfriend will allow me to go and buy anything, I'll really have to clear out some shoes, and unfortunatley get rid of some. The thought is painful. My main problem is not that I don't wear my shoes, its that I can't even see what shoes I own. If I could do that, maybe I wouldn't need to keep buying them? Actually, that's only a small part of the challenge. The real challenge is that it is only in the last year that I have decided that high heels are a necessity, and most of my shoes previously have been flats. Great, but not exactly va va voom. Out with the practical, in with the can't walk down the street then!

cheap thrills

I went back to Belfast this weekend for my sister's graduation. Much as I love Edinburgh, when it comes to shopping, Belfast has it hands down. I think this is due to the recent urban regeneration that Belfast went through with the end of "The Troubles", but whatever the cause, if you are looking for a quick high street fix, Belfast is certainly your place. With that in mind, I headed in, going first to Primark. I usually am not Primark's greatest fan - the clothes don't fit me very well, they are uncomfortable to wear, I've gone flying down a cobbled hill in Edinburgh due the heel of a pair of boots wearing off in about 10 minutes, and the underwear seems to be a funny shape, but somehow I ended up back in there again. And have got the most amazingly wonderful shoes ever there. £10, and they are perfect. I had been eyeing up a pair on asos, after seeing how Miu Miu were bringing them back, but these are even better.

Since Mary Janes are just the cutest little preppy shoes ever, they had to be paired up with yet another pair of shorts, and a cutesy white shirt. I also got the most fabulous sparkly black sequinned shift dress which has a lovely low scooped back, which adds an extra sense of glam. Put it on over my black skinny jeans and my mary jeans and I am uber uber cool. The only thing that's not quite so uber uber cool is the trail of sequins that I leave in my wake!

grey and cold

It's finally sunny outside, but Catwalk Queen have managed to get a sneak preview of New Look's A/W collection. Following up from yesterday's grey wooly tights prediction, there are more greys and more tights. And the best pair of schboots (their word, not mine!) I've seen in quite some time. Well worth checking out.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

grey woolies

Summer hasn't even started yet, but but Catwalk Queen and Pretty Legit have both picked up on grey woolie tights are going to be back this winter. Celebrations from me. The pair I picked up in Banana Republic last year were my favourite accessory of winter and doing it all again with some very funky chunky platform heels with be fab.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

bags bags bags

I'm not normally a bag obsessive, and I very rarely buy any. In fact, I used a £6 number from primark for about 6 months, and now I'm using last year's white bag. But, every so often I get a bag obsession, and right now I have a couple, and none of them are cheap.

Ultimate wishlist: a black chanel 2.55. I'm stalking them on ebay at the moment, but even I know I can't have one. Maybe when I get a promotion. It would have to be a serious promotion though. Loving them worn crossed over the body with hoodies and converse. Only snag is that I've never seen one in real life, and nowhere in Edinburgh sells them.

Grown up love: mulberry make fabulous, classic bags. I don't do the whole "chloe this season, balenciaga the next" thing, and this mulberry bag just screams classic, I will look great in 20 years to me. Wonderful .

Strange logo-ed love: Faran at Fashionista posted ages ago about her new LV pochette. At the time I was like "ew! logo-crazy!", but strangely, a little voice at the bag of my head was curious. And it still is. I love the idea of something tiny holding my keys, phones, and money that I can just move from bag to bag. I love its teeniness, its size.

What's strange is that I used to be crazy about prada bags, and right now they are leaving me cold.

fourth day of summer

What is with the weather? It's cold, it's wet, it feels like April. What happened to global warming? I'm freezing! Topshop had a great pair of le in store last week! And it means that I can't really justify this great little playsuit from asos. I was thinking dress it up with wedges, down with flipflops, always with wayfarers, and a touch of nu rave bangles (ha of course!) would be fab.

As a side note, it's based on LiLo apparently. The hoodie that LiLo was wearing when she passed out last week was from American Apparel and is now sold out. Drunk is still a good look then!


As I've mentioned many times before, my love for American Apparel is unadulterated. And I know I am not alone in this. If you check out the reviews of their products on their site, people frequently say "I wish this hoodie hadn't dyed my entire laundry green, but I love it anyway!!! Five stars". Like I say, irrational. And possibly the worst thing about their service? The mail order. An order takes about 10 days to get fulfilled if what you want is in stock. But most of the time it isn't, so it can take weeks, even months, before your stuff actually turns up. And yet, like a fool, I still order and cross my fingers that maybe, just once, this will be the time when everything works out. I've been obsessively checking my email for a "your order has been dispatched" email from them for 2 days now. And guess what? Nothing. Why don't I ever learn?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

ankle boots ankle boots ankle boots

Yes, that's what I really want right now, and no one is selling them apart from Topshop. And I'm returning those tonight for not being quite right. I need a great pair to wear with summer tunics and dresses to be a bit of a festival chick. Sunglasses, messy hair, tan, bangles, ankle boots. I have a black pair from Primark, but the sole is so worn away I dread downhills in case I end up on my arse. This actually happened once, so the fear is reasonable. I've tried faith, office, and asos already, and am now running out of ideas. I'll maybe check out shoewawa for inspiration...

fashion is like politics (blah blah blah)

here's a funny one. Fashionista's street stalker today features a girl in yellow tights. And just a couple of months ago, we all said how fugly Kirsten was in hers. Thus proving that fashion is (a) a democracy that allows for differences of opinion and/or (b) fickle and can't make up its mind.

answers on a postcard please.

ps. Fashionista's essay question today was ludicrously easy for one. The irony between maroon 5 appearing in vogue? everyone knows that one.


I've been watching buzzfeed for a few days now, since every so often it has a big impact on my hits. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed at the moment; it doesn't move quite as fast as I would like it to. I guess I'm looking for something that updates that bit faster. The style stories seem to only move once a day, which for me seems rather slooooww. I'm also not sure its picking up what we're all talking about e.g. cutaway swim suits, wayfarers, neon, tote bags. Am sure its constantly refining though.

nu rave ravin cool

iamfashion have a nice feature on neon. I was talking to my little sister about nu rave, and normally we hate it, but every so often, there is something awesomely cool comes along. I'm thinking of investing in either some fabulous plastic banglery, or maybe a pair of neon flipflops. A hot hot hot vivid pink vest would be super fun as well, but I've yet so see one which has the suitable level of zing! Sometimes, in moments of weakness, I even like Henry Holland shirts. But those are very weak moments that pass pretty quickly.

returns galore

As I posted earlier in the week, I had a funny moment and went on a random retail therapy kick. Having gotten everything home, I'm please to say that the short boots are going back. Actually, I'm not happy about this, because I am dying for short boots, but they weren't quite right with bare legs, so heave ho, off they go. The silk dress from miss selfridge is also a no go, but I might exchange it for a similiar top, to keep the patchwork trend going. My sis thought it was super pretty, but if something in my head is saying "no", I should listen to it. I'm also returning a really random dress I bought from topshop a few weeks ago that has yet to see the light of day, so that should help out as well. Bit of cash back on the card is good for everyone.

Wayfarers Galore!!

They're like buses - two come along at once. I bought my fabulous black wayfarers yesterday from after much humming and hawing over whether I should drop £85 on them. Finally decided that it would be a good thing and went ahead. And then, my little sister finds Dad's lost original, bought in the 80s wayfarers (tortoiseshell, not black) in her car, and gives them to me (she has aviators, and no desire to switch). So now, I have two. I officially prefer the black, but the tortoiseshell are free. It's a difficult choice. That, and I can never wear them round my dad, as that would really be stealing. Decisions tonight.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

american classics

So, I finally snapped, and went online crazy with American Apparel. Much as I love them, they do have the worst ordering system ever, and items have been known to turn up several months later, so I'm not sure what I'll actually receive. And certainly the gorgeous t-shirt dress I wanted wasn't available. However, I did impulse buy some silver lame leggings, on account of being an attention seeker. In fact, I went a little lame overboard, and got a silver tube dress as well, which is sure to be returned on account of making me look like a sausage wrapped in tinfoil. But if I don't order it, I'll never know. And then the usual smorgsmabord of hoodies, t-shirts, and dresses. I've also ordered a pair of wayfarers which should be arriving tomorrow in the post. Lame, wayfarers? It's like the 90s never happened...


teenfashionista brought my attention to jezebel recently - it's a new fashion site from those smart people over at gawker. I remember when blogging first started being totally obsessed with gawker, despite its nyc-centric outlook. I also regularly checked out defamer and valleywag. Now the only gawker media site I would ever look at is gridskipper, on account of the tone just being too narky for me, and jezebel is no exception. Although the post smearing their intern, David, was hilarious, and should most definitely have been published. God help me if my writing ever gets that sophomoric. And why oh why did they let him come back to the office after that email??


Style Bubble did a lovely post on the wearability of the Topshop turban, where she looks, well, rather normal. This inspired me to go back to the topshop website and think about investing. Too late! They've all sold out, and we're left with Prada ones instead. No thanks.

random highlights

teenfashionista has done it again. Something tells me she is a girl of a willowy shape, since today she's advocating layering dresses with more dresses and skirts. Not something I would have thought off, but potentially interesting.

In another interesting move, american apparel are trying to convince us that they can be smart with their new shoot on the front cover. AmAp, everything looks smart in black and white - you're not fooling anyone.

And finally, iamfashion have a piece on playsuits. I own one already, and love it so much that I can definitely see myself getting another, this time in a kind of slouchy black. To be honest, my whole wardrobe really revolves around a life I don't lead that moves from beach to coffee to general lazing in the sun. And we don't even have sun here.

after the drought came the rain...

After being strong for at least two weeks and not making any purchases whatsoever, I broke yesterday and got a whole raft of stuff that will mostly be being returned this weekend. Anyway, once a tidal wave is started, it just doesn't stop. So I've been making a list of stuff I simply must purchase this week.

1. Wayfarers. Yes yes yes. In fact, right after I finish this post, I'm going to do it.
2. Highlighter powder. I favour Stila for this kind of stuff, but there might be a good one slightly cheaper from someone like maybelline or l'oreal. Anyway, a shimmer silver colour is great for lifting your face and making you seem bright and wide-awake.
3. Grown up sandals. Essential for work. I've knackered my silver ballet flats, and need a change.
4. Neon pink bra for flashing under a white vest. It might match my nails. I posted on this earlier - an easy way to do da nu rave.
5. This cute rain jacket. Because this summer has rained too much already, so if I purchase a snazzy jacket, it is sure to stop.
6. New bag. I fancy this one from asos. My bags are currently knackered and dying a slow death. Actually, I'm really lusting after grown up bags from Mulberry, or a Chanel 2.55, but this is more in my price range.

I don't think that's too bad. I mean, I do get paid in a few days, which is highly necessary.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

retail therapy

So, today was a very exciting day, with an impromptu wisdom tooth extraction, followed by a bit of a "keep me hanging" career chat at work, which left me a bit depressed. So, being depressed led me to the shops, where I picked up a silk patchwork dress from Miss Selfridge, which I'm thinking will be good for a summer wedding I'm off to in July, and boots, jeans, and a couple of tops from Topshop. I'm not done on my need to purchase, and I've got my eye on a couple more things online, but hopefully I'll manage to restrain myself. The crochet tunic top is particularly cool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

ahead of the times, behind the times

This month's UK Glamour has its usual "high street" story, which, also as usual, has gone for a 70s Americana feel. However, the first picture has the most beautiful cherry print strapless sundress from Miss Selfridge. However, that dress was actually in the shop about a month ago, and now is nowhere to be found. I'm used to fashion spreads being a couple of months ahead of the game, but this is the first time I've actually spotted them behind. My only hope is that it comes back in, because the dress itself is absolutely gorgeous. If only I could get a pic.

Marissa and Summer, where have you gone?

The lovely teenfashionista has a great post on Nanette Lepore, after feeling nostalgic for the OC. Ah, I feel her pain. Every so often I do miss the inspirations that Marissa and Summer used to add to my wardrobe. Preppy, but sort of, well, edgy isn't quite the right word, but never too "together". Because no one wants to be together. Personal favourites were Marissa's fondness for gorgeous dresses teamed with hoodies. The girls wore a lot of shorts, not like now, when shorts are cool, but more A&F/American Eagle high school shorts, which I most definitely live in the wrong country to get away with. I actually do believe that my wardrobe styling is so much better for a warm climate - I am destined to leave these cold British Isles for the sake of better dressing.

widgets for girls

Today's Topshop story comes right from the front page and onto your desktop. Topshop have developed fantastic widgets that sit on your desktop and deliver today's "most wanted" and a click to buy service. I can imagine this creating a whole lot more impulse buys, and other fashion retailers will be following suit. Has Amazon developed one of these with their top 10s (even by genre or keyword) - this looks like a great shopping tool. Now topshop just needs to figure out the whole "outfit suggestions" piece for each item, and they will be sorted.

Monday, June 11, 2007

give it up for the brits

Most of the fashion blogs that I read on a regular basis are American in origin, like most blogs in general (yes, I know, I'm ignoring the masses that are chinese and other non-English languages, but if we except those..). I adore fashionista, teen fashionista (a trend, no?), and painfully hip, but I also have a real soft spot in my heart for catwalk queen, with its hip to the high street vibe. Today it features a fab dress from Warehouse, and the cutest madras checked pumps from topshop in a great beach or city outfit. Fantastic.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

stylin in the summer

Every summer has its fantastic trends - crazy things that we will wonder why on earth we were doing them. Well, basically, like any fashion season. I stole these ones from the Observer Woman magazine and added my own thoughts. Better start making a list of things I quite simply must buy.

I wish. Have always wanted to go there, think it will be quite some time before work and bank manager agree that it is a good idea. Keep dreaming.

Luggage on Wheels
They say its all about Marc Jacobs making the wheelie-suitcase cool, I say its all about the fact that you have to check in bags now, so you might as well take as much as you possibly can. Though really, no one should be flying anymore, and we should all be taking the train to France, the boat to the Netherlands, or heading up to Scotland or down to Devon.

No Passport Covers
I always thought these were a waste of time, and am pleased that everyone else has caught up with my authentically battered passport. Mine even has weird stickers all over it from various visas/flights/etc. It seems as soon as one person sticks a sticker on your passport, everyone else thinks its a free for all.

CSS' Sao Paulo Style
Follow in the Brazilian band's footsteps with weird fringes and skin tight denim dungarees. Kinda reminds me of the nu-rave stuff we have already going on, which is pretty unforgiving on anyone who isn't size 6. Ie, really anyone.

Ray Ban Wayfarers
Oh please, we all knew this was going to be big. Still, am fully supportive and have been hunting on ebay for some working with my budget. My dad has a pair from the first time around, but he is surprisingly keen to hold onto them. Maybe its the first time he has officially been in style for a while...

Bikinis are OUT
And bring in the bizarre cut out swimsuit things. No no no. Nothing can make my curvy stomach look worse than additional muffin tops. Stay away unless you are truly toned. And fancy weird suntan lines.

Slogan T Shirts
See, Observer Woman thinks they are in. Fashionista is obsessed with House of Holland. And I just think blah. Can't say I'll be getting involved.

No more "Faux Ethnic Chiffon Cover-ups with Beading
According to OW, its far too Liz Hurley. So so so agree - for me it looks way to Marks and Spencer meets Maldives, and not in a good way. They say get a t-shirt dress, I say head to American Apparel quick smart lady-girls.

Say No to Convincing Tans
I thoroughly support the fake look, only because I'm not going away this summer at all. A real one looks better, but we don't want to resemble Rachel Zoe in years to come, do we?

Airport Novels
They reference something called First Among Sequels, which I aint never heard off. Can't say I love love airport novels - the closest my brain gets to switching off in Marian Keyes. But I do have to say nothing quite tops a great summer read. Personal favourites recently? In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar, Half of A Yellow Sun, by Chimamamanda Ngozi Adichie, and This Book Will Change Your Life, by A. M. Homes.

City Pools
Now this one I so agree with. I would love access to a city pool, or even if Edinburgh had one, but I just don't think it does. (Cue a google on it later tonight). They namecheck a couple in London, New York and LA, but that doesn't really help me, does it?

Basically because they want it to. I second that. But really, what everyone loves in summer is beer gardens with jugs of Pimms. Drunk on a Tuesday? Oops.

Badminton is the New Tennis
Eh? But you can't play it outside. And its not exactly hardcore to hit a shuttlecock. I mean, it's called a shuttlecock! Not en accord ici.

Daniel Craig's Bulge is Not A Good Thing
Because of the unwanted imitators. Not that I should see many men in tight blue shorts this far north.

Ibiza's Over
And has been for years. Get with the programme people!

Apparently Kirtie Allsopp likes them. Great for her. For me, I can't even handle an umbrella without gouging several holes in my head and others losing eyes around me. I'll pass.

Shelter Island
Never heard of it, but apparently the "New Hamptons". Great for them, irrelevant for me.

I've been saying this for years!!! Strawberry is the best flavour. Will most likely always be my favourite summer ice cream, though a magnum certainly has a sense of decadence to it.

Diet Coke Isn't Going to Hit the Spot
They say because the new guys in the ad isn't that hot, and San Pellegrino Limonata is much fancier. Agree the second, couldn't care less about the first, and will still continue to drink DC, even if it is eating away my enamel and causing me to lose bone density etc etc etc.

Bra Wars
Apparently we should all be flashing our fancy coloured bras. Since I posted on neon underwear a few weeks ago, I'm feeling all smug. And will definitely be getting with this trend. Nothing cooler than a bright white tank, some denim and a flash of colour. Plus, it's an easy way to handle nu-rave.

Blogging Is Out
We shouldn't be indoors being snarky. I have to agree. My posts do drop dramatically when the sun is out and barbeques are to be had. Not a full-blown stop, but definitely a cutback. Like a diet.

Magazine Freebie Beach Bags Suck
Agreed. Didn't really warrant an post, did it?

Popeye Tattoos
Apparently a good thing, thanks to Amy Winehouse. People, a tattoo is for life, not just for 07!!!

Bottle Water is so Wrong
Agreed. This will get you Reduce and Reuse points people!

Jelly Sandals
Primark are selling out of their £3 number, Topshop have them in stacks, and fashionista was debating them last week. Personally, they remind me of being 3 and look like they'll give horrible blisters, but you know, if that's what you want to do, feel free. I just know I won't.
From the makers of Heat. Rivalry to Perez.

Liquid Sunshine
Clinque's Up-lighting Liquid. Apparently way better than bronzer. Personally, I'm going to go for something from Stila. I tend to not be so good with anything shiny and liquid.

Lurid Nails
Oh, I'm so on-trend with this. They recommend Barry M, I'm wearing a Barry M candy pink I posted about last week. Love this trend as long as you ladies stay away from green. That somehow makes me queasy.

So there you have it - a failsafe guide for being coo-el this summer. And not a mention of high-waisted jeans in sight.


I've just added a buzzfeed widget to my blog. I first came across buzzfeed whenever my blog hits jumped massively, thanks to being randomly featured on the front page of the site about a month ago. I checked the site out, and have to admit, wasn't that impressed. The stories it was picking up were quite old, and it just wasn't working for me. I checked it out again today, and was pleasantly surprised - it was picking up newer stuff, like Posh Spice's lack of pants this week, and seemed to have a better tracking system. Hence my widget adding. And who knows, maybe I'll benefit once again from the traffic generation.

oh the shape we're in

I am an avid reader of teenfashionista, but I have to admit to being a little disappointed by her recent post on skinny starlets. I think the point that she was trying to make, and maybe I'm missing it a little, so I'd be grateful if she cleared it up, was that a lot of skinny celebs don't have eating disorders, but the fabulousness of fashion does act as an incentive to stay off the ice cream. That I could certainly believe if girls today weren't soooo skinny. Whenever you see a girl who is called curvy on screen, and they are tiny in real life, you can only worry about what the skinny girls really look like. And yes, I know that some people are naturally size 0, but surely that natural tendency for success, acting talent, beauty, and being a size 0 doesn't always go hand in hand. Some of these girls are working really hard to look like that; it is a full-time job of not eating, eating only prescribed meals from a nutritionist, and having a personal trainer come and beat you up afterward. And then, still, potentially not fitting into a sample size. I don't think it's a case nof simply laying off the ice cream. Believe me, I've tried! And yes, catwalk models have a huge part to play in this, as sample sizes get smaller and smaller. Even Kate Moss doesn't look as skinny as she did, compared to the wave of ultra-thin girls.

But, maybe, the strength of the size 0 wave is weakening, even if poster girl for all things curvy Drew Barrymore is a shadow of her former self. As Observer Woman featured today on its cover, some women are getting bigger. Two fabulous size 16 girls were modelling swimsuits in their shoot. The girls were absolutely beautiful, though resembling the average size 16 girl, I'm not so sure. All creamy smooth flesh, not a touch of cellulite or lump. Still, it was a beautiful shoot, and in the commentary, it noted the rise of beauties such as Lily Allen, Billie Piper, and Beth Ditto. Since I'm pretty sure that Lily and Billie are both about a size 10, I'm not about to say they're curvaceous, although Elle magazine would, I would definitely celebrate their beauty and aspire to it. Continue this celebration of womanhood, of nature at its finest, and above all, of beauty.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I am addicted (american apparel)

I know that I blog a lot about Topshop, but my actual obsession is with american apparel. Maybe it's because we don't have one in Scotland, maybe it's my love of anything American, maybe its my approval of a "vertically integrated" manufacturing, or maybe it is just blind infatuation, but I love it. I must have been to 10 different stores when I was in New York (hell, they are as ubiquitious as starbucks), and I got a range of t-shirts, sweat pants, stuff. Amateur A-squared. The real cool stuff is the edgy - how did a t-shirt company manage to become to "clubland", so edgy, so gay, so lame, so fashion? I'm sure that using a "youthful" cut has helped - my sizing with them ranges from M in girls t shirts, to xl in shorts - definitely not one for ego-hugging. Plus, their grubby porn advertising is just fabulous, although very not safe for work. I want I want I want. Their UK ordering is shit and over-priced - I'm actually going to order and have it posted to Israel and then here. Random or what. But just check out the dresses, the pants, the hoodies. Personal fave? The silver dress with the blue hoodie over it. Black eyeliner, tons of attitude, and I am set.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

In honour of my fabulous pink nails mentioned earlier today, check out this fantastic pants! If you don't want to commit whole-heartedly to the neon trend, then check out the underwear line from topshop. If you're feeling really daring, a pink or green bra poking out under a white wife-beater will look pretty damn cool.

topshop for charity

Topshop are advocating we all hold charity fashion sales to raise money for the national domestic violence hotlines across the UK. Get together with some friends and sell your clothes, raise money for charity, and get 20% off in Topshop. And if you can't arrange your own, they are holding market events in York, London, Manchester, and Brighton. Shame there aren't any Scottish events, but maybe I'll get together with some friends and see if we can make this happen.

Ugly Betty Lovin

As Ugly Betty draws to a close in the UK, I have to admit my favourite character by far is the wonderful fag hag Amanda. So chic, so carb-addicted, so bitchy, so brill. And Catwalk Queen have a great piece on how us mere mortals can dress in her super skinny dresses and sky high heels. We too can be over-glamourous receptionists.

nu-rave nails

I saw a great beauty spread in last month's glamour of the perfect pink nail varnish - not fuschia, not baby pink, but a perfect, almost candy-flouro colour. Very neon, nu-rave on trend, and I fell in love instantly. Come on, I can't exactly go putting lime green eye shadow on my eyes, can I? Anyway, the colour popped up again on a Fashionista Street Style piece, and yesterday I trailed high and low in Edinburgh to find me the perfect colour. Most were either too fuschia or too coral, but I finally found the perfect one - Barry M's 279. I'll try and get a pic up later to demonstrate the true perfection of this colour. Oh, and my boyfriend hates it. A sure sign of a fashion victory.

Monday, May 28, 2007

fit me up

Like most young women, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I love the effect (hello toned stomach), but hate the effort/pain/boredom that is associated with it. I've also had a complicated relationship with exercise since I can be terminally lazy (I am currently going to my $100/month gym about once a month), but was extremely fit as a teenager (30 hours of sports will do that for ya), and have done crazy ass fitness things, like trekking to base camp Everest. So it is a highs and lows relationship, and since I've tasted the highs, I am too lazy to work back up to get them, and want instant instant results. And what fools us into giving us instant results? Technology. Hence the reason why I'm thinking about ordering me a pair of FitFlops, the MBT-esque fit flop that claims to tone your calves, thighs and bum as you walk. They are currently sold out across the UK, but can be back ordered via sweaty betty and other fine online sports establishments. Even more tempting is the whole iPod/Nike workout pack, which combines my need for a new trainer with a need for a new iPod. I first came across this in New York last September, but was put off back the fact that the running tops were those second skin ones (ew, no thanks. It's bad enough being beetroot and sweaty whilst I run, never mind showing off my "curves"), but an armband will solve that problem. The only is that I live in Edinburgh, the land of the hill, and running outside is a helluva an effort, and I usually stick to the gym (which is itself a nice walk uphill!). Still, a fresh air run is much better for you, and being spurred on by your "power song" might be worth it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

do your bit for charidee

Everyone loves a bit of charity, and I've already mentioned Project Red today, but even more reason to, since Gap and Converse have created a pair of Project Red shoes to wear with your pretty summer dresses or skinny jeans. Go on, get a pair at Thanks to style bakery for the tip.


Last week I took my sister on a trip to the Topshop Style Adviser in Glasgow. Topshop Style Advisers are professionally trained stylists (mine had a degree in fashion and had worked in buying before becoming a style adviser) who serve as a professional shopper for you. It is such a great service! The girls were highly excitable and lots of fun - we were offered water, tea, or champagne before we started, before wandering around and picking up random stuff to try on. You have a small room with a sofa and a couple of huge changing rooms to try things on in, and then, once you are all shopped out (an hour and a half of pure fashion craziness), you finish your champagne whilst everything is gift wrapped and you don't even have to queue. And guess what? The service is completely free! Kate and I were looking for what to do with high-waisted silliness, and were convinced that high waisted jeans with cute tops were a good idea, and that high waisted shorts would also work as well. Having got home, I'm not necessarily convinced (or as Kate said, she has too many novelty jeans with her white ones and her red ones as well), and felt a bit like I had just stepped out of the seventies, so took the jeans back, safe in the knowledge that if a style adviser couldn't convince me they were a good idea, they really weren't. My high waisted shorts are still in the bag - I'm just not sure I'm brave enough to wear them. They do give waist and flatten my stomach, but they are still a little weird on the eye. The funky draped dress is just good for being different, though being strapless, it does give me that weird muffin top around the boobs (how does one get rid of that with strapless tops?). It'll be good for going out and drinking weird cocktails at Tigerlily. As for the shoes, although I think they are slightly orthaedic, they are genius and brilliant as well. Gorgeous. And although I returned the jeans, it was a fabulous day's shopping, and everyone should give it a go. Even my mum's convinced.

out of africa

I'm sure it is the high level of attention that Africa has been receiving in the media recently - Last King of Scotland, Blood Diamond, memoirs of boy soldiers from Dave Eggers and others, the heightened awareness of the conflict in the Sudan - but I've noticed that has also been taking on African influence. Since I'm off to Ghana later this year to volunteer, I can't help but love this look. And yes, I don't know how to put fashion and the so frequent stories of misery that we hear from the many conflict, arid, drought-riven countries of the sub-continent, apart from Project Red, but I just can't help but notice the synergy. Today I read two amazing stories in The Observer coming out of Africa - one about the corruption of US aid that serves to do more for farmers in Iowa than it does for the citizens of Malawi, and another about a group of Nigerian women who are immune to HIV. And if that doesn't fascinate you, then just feast your eyes on this fabulous dresses from Topshop's Zanzibar collection. I actually got the longer sleeved one, since the sleeveless dress is actually a touch too long for my legs. Tights and ballet flats until the weather gets good, and then gladiator sandals and chunky bracelets. Topshop have a fabulous guide to their Zanzibar collection that is really worth checking out as well, if you need a little inspiration.