City Break Style: Budapest

Fashion

Despite heading to Budapest to attempt the half marathon, i was also there for a few days to enjoy the city, which of course, meant fitting in a few outfit pics along the way. As we all know, fitting a decent amount of clothes and shoes into 10 kilos of luggage is NO mean feat, but i did manage to get a few of my fave bits at the moment, into my lil Ryanair carry on bag – don’t panic. For anyone thinking of going on a city break this time of year, the weather makes it the perfect time to showcase autumn fashion whilst still managing to catch a gin al fresco – which is exactly what we did (apart from the day it rained NON STOP but hey, can’t have everything can ya?). 

Oversized denim

Ok, im a huge lover of denim, be that a dress, a jacket, jeans, or a shirt, im all over it tbh. I spotted this super cute oversized denim shirt in Zara and to make it a lil different it comes with a brown waist belt. I tried it on and immediately loved the fit (the sleeves are a little bit rouched as well). Ive just paired this with tailored but kinda slouchy (is that even a thing?) black trousers, trainers and my super cute beaded Matalan grab bag (and a bloody huge glass of wine). This top would
Also be fab dressed up with a mini skirt and boots and if u take the belt off it’s long enough to be a lil oversized shirt dress, perfect with scraped back hair and big earrings – it’s a must-buy really! 

Maxi shirt-dress

I just love this and wore it twice when we were away, once in the day and once for an evening meal. I was after a long sleeved maxi dress to take away with me (and one that would be fab for different events in the autumn) but i dunno about you but im kinda done with the long flowery dresses now and wanted something a little more structured and a lil more sophisticated. I fell in love when i saw this in Zara – the pleats at the back are just everything. With it being a block colour it’s so easy to play around with and style how you want. I dressed it down in the day with trainers but still kept it quite glam with my accessories (this Zara plaited hairband is also fab to quickly dress up an outfit) and for the evening, i switched my trainers for these lil green Topshop mules but then pulled it back a bit with a leather backpack and my hair up (otherwise i probs would have been a little bit TOO overdressed for the curry and wine night that was on the agenda). But basically what I’m trying to say is that you really can play around with this however you like, it’s kinda like a blank canvas but a super classy one – if you catch my drift. Im literally already seeing this with chunky boots and a jumper layered over the top for when the weather turns all christmassy. Can weather be christmassy? Idk but you know what i mean. 

Tartan trousers

Ok i kinda picked these up in Zara on a whim – you know them feels where you CBA with the changing room queue so u just grab anything and run to the till before the world and his wife decide they wanna buy stuff too? Well, yeah i did that. But am i glad i did! These fit perfectly all over (some random gal even commented on how great my arse looked when i wore them in manchester lol – true story) and i love how they flare out at the bottom rather than just fall as a straight leg. I wore these for daytime style (we had various city break things to do and sights to see) so dressed em down with chunky trainers and this cute, beige oversized tee. When the wear gets colder i’ll most likely replace the tshirt with a jumper or sweatshirt and maybe some heeled boots? All underneath a trench, probs. Ofc these can also be paired with a lil bralet or crop and a pair of heels if you need an occasion outfit. BETTER STILL – you can buy the matching blazer and go full power dress (if i had the money, i would totally do this).

Richard Allen Blouse

Every time H&M collabs with another designer am there knocking on the door because, it’s always fab. This time it’s Richard Allen and the prints and pieces are insaneeee. I’ve bought a few bits from the range but i think my fave is this monochrome blouse cos it’s just so easy to wear and really ticks that jeans and a nice top box. Here i’ve just worn with jeans, trainers, black bag and then statement earrings for a lil bit of contrast but i’ve also worn it with white wide leg trousers and heeled boots which is a fab combo as well.
It’s sophisticated but not boring and just quirky enough to dress down or up, i love it. Im tempted to buy some black leather pants and the matching scarf for a killer outfit. Just need an occasion so i have an excuse…

My #matalanmoments

Fashion

This month, id promised myself (and then promised again) that i wasn’t going to buy any clothes AT all. With saving for a mortgage and a few *ahem* costly summer plans in the pipeline, plus a love for weekend cocktails, i really couldn’t afford to be buying any new bits (as much as id lusted at new high street collections and had to give myself a talking to when ASOS randomly announced 20% off sitewide – 1st world probs, i know). So when Matalan got in touch to gift me a few bits to style, i counted all of my lucky stars that i was going to get a chance to experiment with a few new pieces, ready to transition into autumn. It wasn’t an easy decision (i wanted everything, naturally) but eventually i chose my winners and i’m super excited to show you all:

Red denim jacket and skirt co-ord:

I know this dreamy two piece had to be mine the moment i spotted it – super cute and easy to dress up or down (up with a little crop and heeled boots) or down like i have here with trainers and a little black off the shoulder top. Obviously, you can wear as separates as well and im going to throw the jacket over a slogan tee and straight leg jeans with black ankle boots for an AW vibe and the skirt with bare legs, sandals and a tied white shirt for the last of the summer sun (ive got this ready for winter with chunky knits, tights and docs as well!)

Beaded wooden handheld bag:

I just LOVE this. Im obsessed with handheld bags because i just think they immediately bring a touch of chic to any outfit and this one is just so cute. I’ve dressed it up with maxi dresses and down with jeans, trainers and sweatshirts. It’s fairly sizeable as well so fits all my handbag shit in (you know what i mean ladies) and yeah although quite a summery look i think im just gonna wear all through AW as well. Im already picturing an oversized blazer style coat, tailored trousers, trainers and this bag.

Mustard trousers:

Another piece that stood out to me because of how easy they’d transition from autumn into winter. Ive worn these loads just casually with chunky trainers and a sweatshirt (also fab with converse!) but here im styling for that slightly awkward time between warm and cold weather we’ve got coming up with metallic birkenstocks, and a spotty blouse.

Flowery blouse:

I just LOVE the autumn colours in this, it’s floaty and super cute. I sized up with this so i can actually wear it as a dress as well (im thinking barely there shoes and a cute clutch) but for the daytime I’ve styled both underneath dungarees (pictured here) and tucked into mom jeans with veja trainers and a backpack. This is going to be an autumn staple of mine for sure.

White straight leg jeans:

Every gal needs a pair of white jeans in their wardrobe i feel like they’re in and out like nobody’s business and they’re also super easy to style. I’ve replaced my skinny ripped pair with these high-waisted matalan straight leg beauties and honestly they’re just so damn comfy ive worn them LOADS even just with a hoody and doc martens! To dress up you can pair with a flowy white blouse and mules or for everyday style a slogan tee and heeled boots are a winner! White jeans don’t have to just be all about summertime style, either. For winter im going to pair these with a trench and stan smith’s or a cute bomber and some pointy winter boots and i can’t wait!

Thank you so much to Matalan for the gifted products and for kick starting my autumn wardrobe – you should absolutely definitely 100% go browse for yourselves!

The fine art of: Jeans and a nice top

Fashion

For any group of gals planning a ‘smart but casual’ occasion, be that cocktails with the girls, a date night for your fave food or even a daytime baby shower or birthday party – the dress code is always the same. Jeans and a nice top. Sounds so simple, right? WRONG. This is the most elusive outfit there has EVER been, with finding that ‘nice top’ a virtually impossible task that only the really lucky can achieve. And don’t even get me started on the jeans. It used to be the trusty skinny with a pair of heels, but these days I feel we’re moving towards the baggy quirks of the Mom, boyfriend and straight leg, with the good old skinny Joni jean (if you know, you know) taking a back seat in the wardrobe. When it comes to ‘jeans and a nice top’ I feel like good old trusty blue is usually the best choice (black or white will immediately dress up the outfit, which is handy if the occasion is a bit posher than your average denim). In my opinion, jeans and a nice top should always be paired with low-mid heels or a pair of heeled ankle boots (pointed toe elongates the legs FYI) to keep the outfit from being less footballer’s wives and more cute n quirky.

Now, onto the hard bit. The top. If you’re opting for a high-waisted pair of jeans (I always do) then you can either style with a little bralet or crop top with maybe an oversized blazer over the top (keep your shoes casual if this is the case) or you can go all out with a bright organza top, off-the shoulder or one-shoulder blouse (big earrings are a MUST in this case IMO) or even a boyfriend shirt, either tucked in and secured with a belt or left loose with the sleeves rolled up. A slogan tee is also ALWAYS an option but if you are looking to keep it casual on top, maybe lose the rips in the jeans and make your heel slightly higher (I’m thinking stiletto style pointed ankle boots) and don’t be scared to go a little bolder with a slight sparkle to your jewellery, a sleek topknot, oversized hoops and always a handheld tote or micro grab bag to soften the look. aaaand breathe.

In a nutshell, what I’m trying to say is that the jeans and a nice top scenario will forever be the answer. Dinner, drinks, birthday party, baby shower, hen do, you name it, it’s the girl code that we’ll all follow but never really, truly crack.

SKINNY TAN SAVES LIVES: my go-to glow this summer

Fashion

It’s probably safe to say that i’m a fake tan addict. There’s something about having a lil golden glow that just makes you feel READY and realising the impossibility of affording 25 holidays a year for ultimate upkeep, i have found a best friend in Skinny Tan.

Being the fair, blonde gal I am (not hating on the pale gail’s out there btw) Ive been using Skinny Tan products for pretty much ever (after the school days of streaky orange legs caused by tan wipes and the familiar spicy smell Johnson’s holiday skin, of course) and so when they asked to gift me some of their new products i might as well have just emailed back ‘TAN ME NOW’ in the subject line. Yes, i was excited. 

From gradual tan to instant bronze and even tinted sun cream and aftersun, the guys at Skinny Tan have been doing BITS with their new product range. Ive always been an advocate of their gradual tan as i find with their super thick mitt it goes on with a flawless finish, absolutely no patches and doesnt smell either. This develops over night like a dream ready to wash off in the morning and ta daaa, you’re glowin’. However, my current FAVE product in the range is the coconut tanning mist – literally the first tan ive ever seen like this. Simply spritz the refreshing, clear mist all over (i dab with a mitt to avoid patches) and go. It develops as you wear it and smells amazingly of coconuts. It’s cooling qualities are just fab for sweaty summer days and you don’t smell like a walking biscuit. Winner. 

I’ve also been lucky enough to try Skinny Tan’s SPF range which was whisked away with me to Lisbon – a spray on sun cream with gradual tanner plus a tinted aftersun was perfect to cheat a little with the holiday tan and feel top dollar in them holiday selfies. I was also gifted the gradual face moisturiser and mask (they contain aloe vera and are SO moisturising) which build up a subtle glow for the complexion (i put this on about 3 times per week and i swear i don’t even need foundation day to day). 

There’s also a few non-tan products to try from the Skinny Tan range such as the melting moisture balm which goes on like an oil and makes sure alllll those dry bits (elbows am lookin at u) don’t go patchy and the colour of your tan stays gorge for ages as well as the fab exfoliating mitt, which, if you’re a serial tanner like me, you’ll know the importance of when it comes to avoiding a patchy, streaky disaster. 

I’m even more in loveeee with Skinny Tan than i was already after trying all of these fab new products and i can’t wait to try out more from the range – they make tanning super natural, easy and quick, perfect for us busy gals that just crave a bit of glow. Try for yourself if you haven’t already! #fakeeverydaybrighter 

*i was gifted skinny tan as part of a brand collab but these opinions are my own. 

How to wear: Styling a Maxi Skirt

Fashion

You’ve probably noticed that BIG this summer is the maxi skirt, but taking the plunge to wear one can be difficult, especially if you’re a little unsure about how to style one. I’ve heard SO many people say they wouldn’t suit the maxi skirt trend and I think it’s because they can be perceived as a little bit too done up, but the truth is they’re literally the easiest thing to wear with trainers. One that i’ve found to be so so versatile and one that i’ve worn loads this summer already is this cream tie waist linen skirt from Nasty Gal. Above, I’ve styled with leopard print and trainers for dressed down office casual and below I’ve channelled a holiday look with studded sandals and a leopard hair band. I didn’t want to overcrowd the skirt so I’ve kept it simple with a pop of pink and plain white bag. If you are a little wary about experimenting with a maxi skirt, why not just go for a plain block colour and style around it? I’ve also worn this dressed right down with a pair of chunky pink converse and a grey, oversized sweatshirt. There’s loads you can do if you bite the bullet and style it up for yourself.

How to wear: a lil neon never hurt nobody

Fashion

Now, I feel like plenty of fashionistas have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the neon trend. Whilst (in my opinion) it’s super cute, it can maybe be seen as not so chic if you’re not careful what you pair it with. An all over neon look isn’t really my vibe but incorporating it into an outfit in the form of a lil flash, is super easy and IMO just works. Here, i’ve taken this suuuper bright PLT turtle neck and dulled it down with this Brandy Melville straight black floral midi, Veja’s and a black Zara straw bag, making the neon fit into the outfit, rather than overtaking it completely. I’ve kept accessories minimal with just loose hair and a pearly hair band. Don’t be scared to go neon, just keep it in check!

Ultimate gals night with JP Chenet at White Haus Hair and Beauty

Fashion

With the hottest day of the year bringing sweaty AF hair and non-existent make up, there wasn’t a better time for the fab Whitehaus Hair and Beauty to put on an amazing girl’s night in collaboration with JP Chenet. From ice cold bubbles and bouncy blow drys to nails, eye make up and lip demo’s – this was the ultimate pamper party and MORE than ideal after a day at work. 

A DJ brought the tunessss, the rose was flowing and the salon was decked out with balloons and gorgeous sweet treats, from mini eclairs with pastel coloured icing to macarons and biscuits. Perfect. Being rubbish at doing my own hair in anything other than a straight style, i was made up to have it perfectly wanded. My look was then completed with a fabulous smokey, metallic eye as the girls at White Haus worked their magic on my face.

 I dunno about you but i really can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday evening than being pampered with a champers whilst putting the world to rights with my girl gang. Even better, i got to take a gorgeous (pink!) bottle of JP Chenet to enjoy at home as well as other goodies. Gals (or guys) if you’re looking to be pampered in Liverpool City Centre and want to feel a million dollars at the same time, step in to White Haus hair and beauty, you really won’t be disappointed. Thank you so much to White Haus hair and JP Chenet for a lil bit of #treatmoi. 

What I wore: Aside from Asia, last Thursday was THE hottest i’ve ever been ever, so it made sense to keep in chic in a mini dress and trainers. In my opinion, leopard print never gets old, and here i’ve summered up this AW Zara shirt with bare legs and a mini bag.

City Break Style: Lisbon

Fashion

In my opinion, a city break is all about exploring. Exploring a new city, discovering new locations, tasting local food and using the ‘that’s what the locals do’ to sip vino in a historic square, usually with a fountain and a museum. But not only can you make ‘cultural’ discoveries, it’s also a fab opportunity to go a lil bit ‘out there’ with your style, whether you’re going for Parisian chic, Mary Kate and Ashley New York Minute or taking the opportunity to rock the grunge in Berlin. One tip I always abide by when travelling with just hand luggage is to pack by outfit. One trusty pair of trainers and a couple of pairs of sandals is really all you need footwear-wise and dresses and skirts that can be taken from day to night with a quick refresh of accessories will be your new best mate.

I picked this maxi skirt up in the Zara sale and it was one of those ‘not really sure’ purchases but I went with it anyway and dressed it right down with a graphic tee, Vejas and a cute ASOS micro bag. I absolutely love this skirt now and paired with a black one shoulder top and a pair of block heels or mules, it’s a night-time winner as well.

I’ve already worn this dress once for a wedding with heels but this works just as well with a pair of chunky sandals for a holiday evening out or trainers for comfortable yet feminine day time style (plus it hides ALL of the food babies). If you’re quick you might find this in the ZARA sale, this is fast becoming my dress of the summer and I would 100% recommend.

This spotty smock was one of those impulse buys that you’re actually MADE UP about when it looks a lot nicer in real life than on the ASOS website. I jazzed this up a little with a pearl hair slide and neon earrings and then just carried my fishnet shopper which is literally a Mary Poppins bag and fits in everything AND the kitchen sink. I chose this H&M one because if you look closely it has a lil bit of sparkle and I am totally about that life.

I am a magpie when it comes to sequins, sparkle and bright colours and when i saw this ZARA top I knew I had to have it (despite there being one left in the wrong size). Being so extravagant, I knew I had to make sure everything else worn with it was pretty casual so I looked more chilled rooftop drinks in Lisbon and less met gala chic. I paired with my Veja’s (these were my go-to holiday trainers), black linen shorts, a micro bag and drop earrings, throwing my hair up to make sure the area around the HUGE bow wasn’t too busy. This is definitely going to be paired with boyfriend jeans and heels for my next ‘jeans and a nice top’ occasion.

I feel like Birkenstocks are just complete Marmite and you’re either gonna love em and wear them ALL the time (jeans, shorts, maxi dresses, jumpsuits you name it) or you aint gonna go anywhere near them. I’ve taken it one step closer to hippy mum with mine because they have the ankle strap as well but I just love them and they come out every summer. Paired with this super wearable scarf print ZARA top, h&m white linen shorts and an oversized sun hat, this is the perfect outfit to explore in (I added a studded back pack to toughen up the look a little bit and balance out the sun hat).

This look just has 90’s vibes written all over it (just missing the space buns) and you can’t really go wrong with these wide leg linen trousers, whether that’s for a throwback to 90’s girl band days or to dress up with heeled boots and a blouse. This little neon orange ASOS crop just proves why i love a halter neck – so wearable no matter what (this is also cute worn with the maxi skirt at the start of this post!)

You can’t really go wrong with a cami dress and I’m just a bit obsessed with the length and satin sheen on this Zara one (not to mention it’s gorgeous shade of pink). Paired with a little handheld tote, trainers and some FAB tan lines this is just a super simple look that can be thrown together in minutes. I was on holiday so wasn’t arsed about a sangria-induced nip-slip but if you want to be a little more covered in the day time this dress is even perfect for work over a t-shirt or with a sweatshirt thrown over the top.

Believe it or not, I actually managed to fit two maxi skirts into my cabin bag and this was the second. Linen, buttoned down the middle and complete with adjustable belt (ideal for an after dinner situation) I decided to stick to simplicity and just pair with a plain bandeau. I accessorised with a little touch of leopard print (because that’s ALWAYS a good idea), pearly earrings and a white micro bag. I did wear this skirt again with trainers and a Calvin Klein tee and I will be getting loadssss of wear out of it this summer at home. Found on Nasty Gal for about £10 but the quality is fab and the fit is lovely. Another go-to.

How to do: Safari Chic

Fashion

When Meryl Streep, in all her iconic glory, first brought us safari chic vibes in 1985, it was evident that this trend was gonna stick around. Stylish enough to be worn out and about for (a few too many) dranks with the gals and casual enough for that ‘yeah i just threw this on even though I really didn’t’ aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with safari chic style. Give it an upgrade this season with everyone’s most talked about animal print (move over leopard, there’s a certain Zebra in town) and keep your accessories minimal (I matched my shoes and bag completely to add minimal fuss). Chuck your heels off and throw on a pair of Birkenstock’s or Teva’s and you’ve gone from flower wall and Prosecco to casual daytime style in a suuuper hot minute. To get this look, I’ve paired this cute H&M Zebra t-shirt (about £7 – bargain) and a khaki ZARA skort.

How to do: Everyday Crochet

Fashion

Whilst it might scream festival style, there’s no reason why you can’t weave crochet into your everyday wardrobe (‘scuse the pun) whether that’s a lil hint of fezzy vibes dressed down with jeans and trainers (like i’ve done here) or you go full on matching two piece with cute sandals and a sun hat, every wardrobe needs a little bit of this timeless trend. Here, I’ve worn this Zara crop top for brunch and a spot of shopping (the dream) with baggy boyfriend jeans, trainers and a trusty Valentino, but pairing this with a flowy floral maxi makes for a different outfit altogether. Why not have a play, with your very own cro-chet?