Tag Archives: Style

What I Wore: Casual Weekend Wear

17 Jan

Outfit

For casual weekend wear comfy jeans are a must. Topshop Leigh jeans are my all-time fave. They’re skinny, soft and fit perfectly. They also come in tons of shades and styles so I have an endless supply of options.

I teamed them with this gorgeous mint green top from The CityRack. I love the delicate colour and the chiffon like fabric feels amazing on my skin. I’m forever buying plain-Jane tops as they can be worn with anything to create different effects time and time again. But this one has added mesh stripes to give it that extra oomph of detail.

For me leather means black, from boots to biker jackets, black is the only way to go. However, when this cream alternative was posted through my door by the lovely people at TCR I was astounded. Never before had I thought leather could work so well with any other colour. I do feel like I’m betraying my trusty blacks but this is a welcome refreshment for the zesty spring days ahead.

I’m a sucker for a bargain. I didn’t need anything for Christmas, so I most definitely didn’t need anything after Christmas but ‘need’ and ‘want’ are two very, very different things. When I saw these gorgeous suede boots from H&M reduced to a mere £7 from £35 I just had to have them. Perfect for day or night, these are a great investment piece – black boots will never go out of fashion – well that’s what I told myself anyway. I also bought a heap load of other unnecessary but had-to-have stuff in the January sales – I’ll show you more of my buys soon :)

~x~

January Blues

13 Jan

The second Monday morning in January. Christmas is long-gone, there’s no excuse to eat chocolate at 10am or open the bottle of Baileys at 11am; the frosty cars, snowy rooftops and icy roads no longer have that festive feel without the reflection of the sparkling lights glistening from the decorative houses; and our bank balances are looking a little wounded and traumatised from the end of year attack. The optimistic resolutions made a mere 12 days ago have already been slaughtered and fully dismissed and we’ve succumbed to the reality of normality with very little to look forward to. It’s no wonder they call January the most depressing month of all, *sigh*.

Feeling the force of the January blues? Fear not – fashion can help you get through it all; fashion can help you get through anything.  A new year lends itself to a new wardrobe and this month it’s all about grabbing those January blues by the balls and working it. From interiors to the catwalks, this season it’s all about pastel shades. We’ve created a gallery of gorgeous blueberry hues that are anything but miserable and leave you feeling refreshed, looking great and totally ready for the year ahead.

See – January blues aren’t always a bad thing!:

 

Pastel Blue/Pale Blue/Light Blue

1. Alarm Clock – Laura Ashley

2. Earrings – Asos

3. Jug – The Oak Tree and Acorn Company 

4. Double breasted coat – Miss Selfridge 

5. Shirt – Topshop 

6. Bralet – Topshop

7. Knickers – Topshop 

8. Cushion cover – Cath Kidston 

9. Ankle socks – Topshop

10. Illamasqua nail varnish – Debenhams 

11. Satchel – The Cambridge Satchel Company

12. Watch – Asos

~x~

What I Wore: Sunday Best

18 Oct

What I wore: Sunday Best

Weekend shopping with my boyfriend in Primark. He spots this blouse: “Christ! My Nan would wear something like that.” Me: “Ooo I quite like it actually.” Here’s where our fashion differences begin. More often than not if he goes out of his way to say how utterly disgusting a garment is, I will indefinitely purchase said garment. Not to be ‘different’ or to ‘prove or point’ but he genuinely picks out nice clothes – that he doesn’t think are nice. Nonetheless, he does buy me great Christmas and Birthday presents with little help.  Okay, a lot of help.

I’m so glad the ladylike preppy/ posh/ prim and proper look is back. The vintage, retro, church-goer style is my all-time fave. Elegant, sophisticated and stylish without being too flamboyant, slutty, OTT or just plain weird.

I decided to layer this gorgeous flower printed chiffon blouse over a plain white vest and tuck into this navy pleated skirt. I’ve always wanted a skirt like this; simple, pretty, can be dressed-up or dressed-down and it’s so darn swishy (yep definitely a word).

Casio watch silver and purpleAll about the accessories.

I have fallen in love with my new hat. I seem to always buy hats and then they end up at the back of my wardrobe gathering dust, but this one is staying firmly on my head for the foreseeable. For some reason black bowler hats make me look a bit too Pete Doherty-esque so I really like the deep navy colour of this one and, paired with this navy bag, you can’t ever say my outfit doesn’t co-ordinate.

What I really like about this bag is that it you can wear it over your shoulder with the long strap or clip it off and use the black woven handles and pop it on your arm like a right old granny/Victoria Beckham.  I also like that they’ve put black and navy together. Where’s the rule book that says black and navy can’t be seen together? I’m wearing black shoes and black tights with a navy skirt here and I think it works. What a rebel.

To finish off the look I’m wearing my favourite Casio watch. Casio watches are all the rage again but this silver one with a purple/burgundy face is just a little different from the rest. The best thing about this watch is not only does it show the date, have a stopwatch, have an alarm and tell the time but it only costs £13.75 (RRP £27.50) from The Watch Hut! However, it’s the wrist strap that won it for me. Ah the wrist strap. I have peculiarly small wrists so finding a watch that fits and is not a ‘My Little Pony’ version is some-what tricky. If I find a watch I like, I can guarantee it will not fit so I then have to have links taken out or punch another hole in it so it doesn’t fall off and smack me in the chops as I’m waving goodbye to my Mum. With this watch simply pop the clip open, slide down to the desired position and clip into place. Perfect no matter what your wrist stature. I also like that it’s a ‘mini’ version meaning the watch face is slightly smaller so it doesn’t eclipse my entire arm.  This watch will go with all my outfits and, as you can see, I’m wearing this SILVER watch with a shirt, bag and shoes that all have GOLD detailing. I repeat: What. A. Rebel.

Alice Bryan Fashion Beauty and Style Blog

Blouse and Skirt – Primark
Shoes – Dorothy Perkins
Bag – The CityRack
Hat – H&M
Watch – The Watch Hut

~x~

Fashion: What does it mean to you?

6 Aug
 
In the eloquent words of Coco Chanel, “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” The power and importance placed upon the style industry, in today’s world, has subsequently sparked debate concerning the superficiality of fashion and its purpose within everyday life. With bountiful designs on the catwalk starting to be recognised as aesthetically pleasing pieces of ‘art’ – is it that clothes merely act as a materialistic surface or does the embodiment of style and trends reflect a connection with the deeper, inner self?
Characterised as the conscious arrangement of colours, shapes and movements in a manner that affects our sense of beauty, ‘art’ has naturally extended its scope to the sensational and innovative world of fashion. Through the fabrication of fascinating, evocative and avant-garde garments, designers strive to create beautifulness and magnificence; with the ultimate goal of producing a positive and up-lifting impact on the world we live in.

As a creation of beauty, it would be foolish to believe that fashion is not significantly established on a surface level – yet surely an emotional connection exists, as well?

Think about the spring in your step when parading a new pair of fabulous heels, or the excitement in the pit of your stomach when you catch sight of an incredible dress in a shop window! The power of fashion is how it makes us feel; it stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the conception we have of ourselves or the image we want to have. As Ralph Lauren expresses, “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” Without a doubt, the style industry is a world of imaginings and fantasy; one which has the capability to recreate new atmospheres and, so, manipulate our perception of the world and how the world sees us.

The notion of clothing as a means of communication with the outside world has meant that fashion has developed into a crucial part of self-realisation. For that reason, the way in which we choose to dress, directly functions as an extension of our personality. As individuals, we are proudly saying ‘this is who I am – this is my culture- this is my profession’, through the symbolic nature of fashion. Ultimately, the style world enables a person to break the barriers of conformism and, alternatively, connect with something that resonates within them. Fashion, unquestionably, is an expression of identity.

Even those who have little interest in fashion, what you choose to wear – unconsciously or otherwise – gives the people around you a sneaky peak into your personality and frame of mind. It’s true, how many times do we snuggle into a sweatshirt when we’re feeling relaxed and laidback?

It’s not about people being a slave to fashion; it’s the way in which fashion serves people. Miuccia Prada wisely reflects,“Fashion is an incredible instrument, because it’s an instant way of saying and seeing things. People on other fields envy the speed of fashion and its ability to capture things, and even if it’s superficial, it’s still telling you something.” It seems that the style industry will always amaze and inspire us through its glamour and sparkle, but only because it connects with the people they design for. In the face of fashion, identity is everything.

Do you agree?
~x~

What I Wore: Wedding Guest

2 Aug

“I do.”

wedding

Every wedding I’ve ever been to, I’ve been a bridesmaid. Gorgeous outfits which are carefully handpicked for me, tailored to my body and perfect-for-purpose. There’s no decision-making involved, the bride tells you what to wear; you wear it, and if people don’t like the dress, who cares? – blame the bride. A bridesmaid’s dress is less of an outfit; more of an accessory to the overall wedding theme.

The bride picked it; she’s happy. It’s not my style choice that’s up for analysis and scrutiny, It’s hers, I can take a back seat; I’m happy. I can rest assured that yes, another girl will indefinitely turn up in the same outfit (i.e. the other bridesmaid), but if anybody dares to be stupid enough to wear a bridesmaid’s dress as a guest then they’ll look the fool, followed by the bride, but I won’t.

So, being a bridesmaid is great, you’re a central part of the wedding unit, without having to do any speeches or saying any of the  ‘I do’s’.

wedding dresses

The next wedding I was invited to, however, I would be a guest. Exciting stuff but scary stuff. I was left to my own devices. No one is there to pick out an outfit for me, it’s just you and you alone battling the shops one by one as you find a suitable outfit for a summer’s wedding.

I did not think it would be this hard.

After extensively searching for a suitable dress I have come to the conclusion that most brands manufacture their dresses into certain categories. The ‘going out dress’ – looks like you’re dressed for a boozy night clubbin’, ‘the day-time dress’ – not special enough, looks like you’ve not made an effort, ‘the work dress’ – boring, unsuitable and again, not made any effort, and then the ‘older woman dress’ –  suitable for the event but not suitable for your age; makes you look 20 years older in a flash. So, if you’re not a bridesmaid what the feck are you meant to wear that looks suitable, special (without over-shadowing the bride) and still ‘you’?*

It’s tricky, very tricky.

I looked for a nice dress for weeks and weeks but nothing seemed to hit the mark. There are nice dresses out there don’t get me wrong but it shouldn’t have to be this darn difficult! I had to up my budget if I was to have any chance of getting a good’un.

Now, I won’t bore you too much longer. So, here is the dress I wore:

ff

frockandfrill

£125 by Frock and Frill.

I got this Frock and Frill dress from ASOS and I fell in love with it as soon as the package popped through my door. It is an expensive dress but it’s worth every penny. It’s not expensive because it’s got an over-priced designer’s name on  the label; it’s expensive because of the material, the detail, and the level of craftsmanship that has gone into hand-making this gorgeous piece. It’s special, it’s still young and still ‘me’, it’s not something I would wear downing shots up town, and I wouldn’t wear it to the office or on a day-trip out to sunny hunny; it’s the perfect item for a wedding.

The great thing about this outfit is that it literally does all the work for you. You needn’t splurge out on big, statement, eye-catching accessories, it would look way over-powering, would take the effect away from the dress and would actually make the item look cheaper/not as special. Less is definitely more.  I wore a simple pair of nude sandals (Dorothy Perkins: Were £45, got them for £13.50 in the sale), a plain silver clutch (Accessorize: Was £20, got it for £10 in the sale), some plain diamond stud earrings (New Look: Were £7, got them for £3 in the sale), and a flower clip in my hair (My sister’s: Free). I painted my nails a nude colour, and did my own St Tropez tan at home. Not only did I get some crackin’ bargains (Just because it’s a wedding doesn’t mean everything you buy has to be expensive/designer!**) but I learnt a lesson. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and buy an out-of-budget dress. I know I’ll wear this dress to a wedding again, I cut back on accessories due to my bargain eye and because it didn’t need a lot nor anything too special, so it didn’t matter too much what I went with. Everybody commented on how nice the dress looked, and I knew nobody would turn up wearing it. You often find copious amounts of wedding guests in ‘Coast’ or ‘Monsoon’ and such like, but with this dress, you stand out from the crowd.

 I didn’t feel uncomfortable either. A lot of dresses are so tight that every move is a challenge. Dropped your lipstick? Tough luck, you can forget about bending down to retrieve it, the dress simply will not let you. It is for this reason I avoided a tight dress, I was going to be in it from 12 until 12 and I could do with breathing in that time. This dress lets you all hang out without feeling self-conscious, its loose fitting means you’ll get no belly showing in the photos and you can dance the night away without being confined to just doing the robot move for every single song. It also means the style and sizing will suit most body shapes. The art deco inspiration makes it bang on-trend and the sparkles make you shine from every angle. I might be going a bit over the top now hey?, it is, still, just a dress, I know. But it’s a nice one, alright!?

This piece is not an advertorial. I wasn’t asked to write this post and I most certainly didn’t get paid for it (sigh), it’s just honest. Frock and Frill have some gorgeous individual items that you won’t find anywhere else. You are guaranteed to look gorgeous in it, the dress does all the work for you and you’ll completely hit the nail on the head when it comes to the do’s and don’ts for wedding guest’s dresses.

* Good Lord! Being a woman is so tough. So much easier for men! – Men+Wedding=Suit. Done. No questions asked, no thought given. Dust the suit off, pop any old shirt on, affix a tie and put feet into some black shoes, sorted, now where’s the church?

** Equally, if you do happen to find a dress that is perfect for the occasion and is cheap as chips, go for it, then inform me about it ;-)

Dedicated to Mr and Mrs Fairchild.

~x~

Never be a follower.

15 Apr

Literally everything I stand for. Perfectly written. Brilliance.

Franca Sozzani, 04/03/2013:

“I recently read the memoir of Misia Sert, muse and close friend of Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Diaghilev, Bonnard, Picasso, Cocteau and many more. She discovered talents and supported them economically and morally. She anticipated and never followed.

There’s a part of the book that shows what “understanding the genius” means, or becoming a “worshipper” of someone who has become a recognized genius: “At the time of my youth a few of us loved a painting by Bonnard, a poem by Mallarmé or a ballet by Stravinsky. Today you will find not just thousands, but millions of human beings ready to declare they adore Picasso. What disturbs, and at the same time terrorizes me, is the idea of a “god” of whom their passionate followers completely ignore the precepts…He has been carried by a rising flow that has deposed him on the highest peak.”

Judging because everyone has already judged, and endorsing other people’s opinions only to be on the “right side” is disqualifying. It’s better to go against the tide and be alone with one’s opinions at the cost of appearing “wrong and incompetent”. As Misia underlines in her book: “The public eagerly gets hold of anything that belongs to Picasso, without the voice of the child from Andersen’s fable raising, the child that despite the blind admiration of prostrating multitudes shouted, in his innocence: “The King is naked! “…

She said so because she rightly believed that one cannot possibly create 365 masterpieces a year, and considering that Picasso has even painted various canvasses on a single day, not all of them could be total masterpieces.

Being able to evaluate using one’s own eyes, mind and sensitiveness and not being influenced by trends and the times, and maybe failing to appreciate a true talent.

To make things clear: it’s not that Misia doubted Picasso’s talent, she just wanted to point out that also the great maestros have their flaws and that the sublime must not be confused with the less beautiful. In short, being objective, always, without being influenced by a name but by the quality of the work.

It’s pointless to follow, because, sooner or later, we will be taken aback in any case. We must be sustained by our own thought and if we are really unable to understand, it’s better to say so. Never nod, never pretend. One risks staying ignorant, besides looking like a minor figure following other people’s thoughts.

I recently read the memoir of Misia Sert, muse and close friend of Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Diaghilev, Bonnard, Picasso, Cocteau and many more. She discovered talents and supported them economically and morally. She anticipated and never followed.

There’s a part of the book that shows what “understanding the genius” means, or becoming a “worshipper” of someone who has become a recognized genius: “At the time of my youth a few of us loved a painting by Bonnard, a poem by Mallarmé or a ballet by Stravinsky. Today you will find not just thousands, but millions of human beings ready to declare they adore Picasso. What disturbs, and at the same time terrorizes me, is the idea of a “god” of whom their passionate followers completely ignore the precepts…He has been carried by a rising flow that has deposed him on the highest peak.”

Judging because everyone has already judged, and endorsing other people’s opinions only to be on the “right side” is disqualifying. It’s better to go against the tide and be alone with one’s opinions at the cost of appearing “wrong and incompetent”. As Misia underlines in her book: “The public eagerly gets hold of anything that belongs to Picasso, without the voice of the child from Andersen’s fable raising, the child that despite the blind admiration of prostrating multitudes shouted, in his innocence: “The King is naked! “…

She said so because she rightly believed that one cannot possibly create 365 masterpieces a year, and considering that Picasso has even painted various canvasses on a single day, not all of them could be total masterpieces.

Being able to evaluate using one’s own eyes, mind and sensitiveness and not being influenced by trends and the times, and maybe failing to appreciate a true talent.

To make things clear: it’s not that Misia doubted Picasso’s talent, she just wanted to point out that also the great maestros have their flaws and that the sublime must not be confused with the less beautiful. In short, being objective, always, without being influenced by a name but by the quality of the work.

It’s pointless to follow, because, sooner or later, we will be taken aback in any case. We must be sustained by our own thought and if we are really unable to understand, it’s better to say so. Never nod, never pretend. One risks staying ignorant, besides looking like a minor figure following other people’s thoughts.”

http://www.vogue.it/en/magazine/editor-s-blog/2013/04/april-3rd?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=marketing&utm_campaign=blog