Embellishment Queen – Graduation

A collection of occasion dresses I’ve trialled over the past few months to wear for my graduation. All of these are statement, embellished pieces and are composed of neutral/nude shades – perfect for a summer ceremony!

Embellishment Queen - Graduation

From left: Powder pink tulip dress, H&M Conscious Collection.
Nude mesh bodycon dress, Miss Selfridge.
Pearl swing dress, Topshop Limited Edition.
Pink floral prom dress, Dorothy Perkins.

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Floral & pastel co-ordinates

I’ve been searching for a floral co-ordinate set for a while now. I know Topshop has a beautiful shorts and blazer set, as well as River Island. These can however, be quite pricey, with blazers ranging from £45-70 before you’ve even considered the shorts to match. So you’ll believe me in saying that I was truly surprised when I came across Matalan‘s website today, where I could bag a pastel daisy print blazer with matching shorts for just £25!! The blazer has been reduced from £20 to £14 and the shorts, £16 to £11. The only downfall- the blazer was sold out in my size online, and when I checked back a few hours later the whole page ceased to exist. I’m going to visit a store tomorrow and hopefully they will have some left! If not I’ll be gutted I missed out on such a great bargain and might have to just settle with the shorts.

Here is a little moodboard featuring the co-ordinates and what I’d like to dress them with:

Floral & pastel co-ordinates

Give your wardrobe a Pep talk

This season is all about showing off your midriff, whether it be oozing curve-tastic style with the peplum, or bravely bearing all with retro bralets and crop tees. The peplum, with its ruffled skirt at the waistline adds a flattering, sexy edge to dresses, skirts, blouses and blazers. Originally seen throughout the 80’s working well with its shoulder pad sister, the look has seen a breakthrough for Spring/Summer 2012.  Designers such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Jason Wu and Matthew Williamson have  all incoporated these elegantly structured pieces into their catwalk collections.

Kate Middleton wearing a Matthew Williamson peplum dress

via Glam.co.uk, Gwen Stefani wearing a Stella McCartney peplum top

Jason Wu sporting the new silhouette for Spring/ Summer 2012

Jessica Chastain in an Alexander McQueen peplum piece at the Elle Style Awards 2012

Having taken inspiration from the catwalk, the high-street has responded well to the peplum. Here are a few of my favourite finds:

Topshop Petite Peplum Pencil Dress, £48

This dress is so versatile, it can be dressed up with heels and a tan, or dressed down for the daytime with a bright coloured blazer and flats. The scuba material makes the peplum style very perky and structured, creating the most flattering silhouette.

River Island black peplum top, £28

This top oozes quality and style, at an affordable price! This peplum piece can be dressed up with heels and a midi pencil skirt or down with a pair of skinny trousers. The top is also available in white, which could be teamed with a pair of floral skinnies for a summer look.

River Island floral print peplum playsuit

A different take on the peplum, River Island have followed in Jason Wu’s footsteps in taking the trend to the playsuit. This floral number is perfect for summer flirting and cocktails in the sun.

ASOS petite floral print peplum top

Another floral print number, this peplum top can be teamed with jeggings and a white blazer in spring and a white or pink mini skirt in summer.

ASOS Peplum Mini Skirt in Animal Jacquard, £45

Tap into two trends this season with a pastel peplum mini. Perfect for sunny days this skirt can be teamed with a simple white vest or a sheer blouse for an evening look.

ASOS peplum jacket, £35

This pretty jacket will flatter any waistline. Cover up in chilly spring winds with a tailored peplum style, also available in grey marl and purple.

Nauticoco detachable silk peplum, £49

Update any shift dress or pencil skirt from your existing wardrobe with this detachable peplum. Although a little pricey, the price per wear should cover this over time, as this piece can update any look instantly. Also available in other textures and colours.

Here is how I enterpret the trend:



Sale Buys: Grab a bargain

I’ve finally given myself a break from the onslaught of essays and exam prep I’ve been bogged down with. It’s been getting me down so I thought I’d pop out and hopefully find some bargains; knowing the Topshop spring sale launched yesterday too!

Here are just a couple of things I found:


Topshop Metal Clasp Hooded Coat RRP £85 – Bought for £10!!


I know spring sale items are, of course, mostly last season, especially coats. Yet with the awful, april shower weather we’ve been having recently, I’ve been looking for a simple hooded coat that can be thrown over a spring look. I saw this coat in my local Topshop concession in Debenhams. I always find that these concession stores are slightly out of touch from main stores and can be tired and forgotten about. Therefore, they usually have more unique pieces or things that have sold out largely elsewhere. I was browsing through the sale rails yesterday and this piped oxblood coat caught my eye. The colour reminded me of The Kooples ad which was always popping up last year. Isn’t Karolina’s whole outfit just to die for?:


The Topshop coat is perfect to throw on top of a strawberry ice cream shade blouse or shirt and a leather pleated mini for these showery days. It also looks great done up or open, which is useful when the sun makes an appearance for all of five minutes! The clasp fastenings are very unique and I cannot wait to upload a photo of me actually wearing it, as the photo above just doesn’t do it justice.

My second find was an unusual belt I found in the River Island sale. This sale has been running for around 2-3 weeks, so I was really surprised when I found this snake and jaguar/cheetah head gold belt in amongst the snowman socks and knitted berets.

Gold Snake and Cheetah/Jaguar buckle skinny waist belt RRP £18 – Bought for £3!!

I love these belts so much as I enjoy mixing and matching them around the waist with skirts or dresses. I remember when I first purchased one of these skinny waist belts. Anyone remember Angel Jackson’s Jaguar belts? I think this was around four years ago, when Cheryl Cole and her Girls Aloud clang wore them with pride at the Brits. If you do not remember here are a few snaps:

Angel Jackson Jaguar Chain Belt

Girls Aloud sporting their Angel Jackson belts at the 2008 Brit Awards.
Source: FabSugar

I remember it was River Island I visited to grab my own Angel Jackson style belt. They made their own horse chain belt rather than the jaguar version and I received so many compliments when I wore it.

My final find was a lovely black pleated leather skirt in an East London vintage shop. I’ve been after one for such a long time, I’d missed out on the Primark and H&M versions that look amazing on some of the Tumblr girls! Every time I looked they were always sold out or failed to produce my size. So when I found this vintage beauty (even better!) I was gutted when the size was too big for me. After a long deliberative process I bought the size 14 skirt, even though I’m a size 8. The skirt was selling for £10 (bargain!), so surely I could have it taken in for around half of that? I trotted off to my local dressmaker to see if they could quickly work their magic, “No, the material will ruin our machines.” Oh – nice, I thought, really helpful. And with that response, I put my own dressmaking skills to good use and dusted off my household sewing machine. This is the result:

Did I do a good job? Take that stingy dressmakers!

I will be posting new photos in the next couple of days with me wearing all of the items above, so stay tuned!

Finally, just a little something to add to my wishlist. Topshop Alibi Mid Ankle Boots. Waaaaw I’m crazy about these things, they make your feet look so small and cute. The grey verson went into the sale at £35 but I’m really after the black ones. I’ve tried them on everytime I visit the store but I just can’t bring myself to part with £78, especially now the sister pair have more than halved in price. I’ve thought about buying the grey ones and dying them black, not too sure if this will be successful and I’m yet to find a pair in a size 5. So ladies, grab a bargain whilst you can!

Topshop ALIBI Mid Ankle Boots in Grey

WANT!

Topshop ALIBI Mis Ankle Boots in Black