Worst buys of the winter

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DISCLAIMER: I do actually believe that it is possible to wear any of these items and look AMAZING. But equally, I believe the majority of us mortals will fail at that. 

Every year when it starts turning really cold and the trees all go bald, we all compile a little list of items of clothing we will need to see us through the winter looking Cosy and Stylish.

Cosy and Stylish is one of the hardest adjective combinations to pull off when choosing an outfit because everything cosy is usually a bit lacking in the style department (think fuzzy socks and cashmere onesies) and our favourite stylish items can be rather impractical when braving the elements in the winter (think cropped angora jumper).

Truly Cosy and Stylish pieces- the rare items that can claim the two adjectives- also tend to be wallet-busting. A good winter coat or leather boots don’t come cheap, which is why it is of UTMOST importance to THINK BEFORE YOU BUY.

Every winter a number of ‘statement’ items make the rounds on fashion columns and blogs because, let’s face it, us fashion writers can’t peddle Black Peacoats and Sensible Shoes and expect to get any readers. But the majority of these “season must haves” are usually not practical, not useful, and, crucially, not affordable.

So, in the interest you keeping you, my darlings, warm, looking good and in full possession of your savings this winter, I have compiled a list of things you should AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, when shopping for your winter gear this year.

Aren’t I simply a doll?

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Monday Wish List: Hats

It is easy to fall into an outfit rut in the winter. Nice coats are quite pricey which tends to limit our range of cool outerwear. Also there is the imperative of keeping WARM AND COSY, and that is something no fashionista should ever sacrifice.

So I find that accessorising becomes even more important when faced with cold weather constraints. A great scarf and chic leather gloves will go a long way. Because my main winter coats are black, I try to mix it up with some splashes of colour in order to avoid looking like a giant walking raven.

One of my favourite winter accessories has to be the Humble Hat. This little pieces of wool or felt can make or break any outfit and can take a girl from Winter Drab to Cool Fab.

Here are a few of my favourites:

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Bring an extra touch of SASS with this wonderful geo-print number from Asos. Wear with a bomber jacket and nigh-tops for maximum Cara Delevinge-ness

Named after me, this Reiss hat is called Ava. I like to wear it with a knee-length black overcoat and leather boots to pretend I’m Carmen Sandiego.

Can you ever go wrong with Missoni? This black and white beanie goes with everything, even pyjamas. Style in whatever way you want and you will still look LUSH.

This Marc by Marc Jacobs neon beanie is bang on trend. Neon, yes; beanie, yes; Marc Jaconbs, YES! How can you go wrong? (Note: redheads are particularly well-suited for this hat).

And to add a little glitz to any drabby winter look, just add this huge and obnoxious BLING from Topshop!

Which one is your favourite?

Victoria Beckham’s Red Cross Donation (and a useful insight into her wardrobe)

The big news today is that Victoria Beckham has donated over twenty boxes of her own personal clothes to the Red Cross in aid of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines two weeks ago.

If you have been too engrossed reading fashion blogs over the past two weeks and missed news of the typhoon, then you might be horrified to learn that it killed over 5000 (latest count) and left MILLIONS homeless and without access to food, safe drinking water or shelter. So it was an incredible gesture of Posh Spice* to donate all those clothes to the Red Cross, which is providing invaluable emergency relief to countless families in need.

Beckham’s donations went on sale earlier today at the Kensington branch of the Red Cross store, and as you might expect it has been a total a total frenzy. The pictures on Instagram shoe a queue of crazed fashionistas going around the block and the Daily Mail has reported at least one fashion face off over a black and white silk shirt-dress.

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MW, a London-based fashion enthusiast spoke to The Coolture Club about buying some nice black Dolce & Gabbana trousers from VB’s sale: “They’re just plain black formal trousers,” she said. “We were only allowed one item per person (crying emoji). I would have bought three pairs, but there was the limit.”

“I arrived like 45 minutes after it opened so the good stuff was gone,” she added. “Stuff they were really cheap as tops were £25 and trousers were £50; shoes and suit sets went for £100. I guess for men it was really worth it as you could get an Armani shirts for £30.”

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After carefully scrutinising the items on sale (the ones I could find pictured online!), I have to say that though I admire Mrs Beckham’s generally impeccable taste, I can only hope she kept the good stuff at home. Ladies, some of this stuff is bad. And not just bad, some of it is AWFUL. Like the denim and diamanté Victoria boots (see slideshow above).

Though of course, in 20 boxes, there is bound to be a lot of wonderful stuff, and even the crazy stuff, like the pale blue flowery scarpin, will sell for tonnes of money! It would be great if more celebs would follow in the Beckham’s footsteps and donate clothes and time to causes such as these. Though MW didn’t spot any memorabilia hunters she did say that Posh’s old Spice Girls items and some of the more iconic dresses would be auctioned off later.

There is still time to make it down to Kensington to back yourself some fashion bargains or celebrity memorabilia pieces. It’s for a good cause.

If you can’t make it down but still want to help the victims of the typhoon, visit the DEC Appeal page for more info. The DEC Appeal is a good place to donate because they represent a consortium of Britain’s biggest charities who them split the donations between them. Check out their work, and maybe lend a hand!

*For those of you born after 1995, before marrying David Beckham and becoming an award winning designer and Fashion Icon. Victoria (née Adams) used to pout in a band called the Spice Girls wearing questionable black slip dresses. She was known as Posh Spice- though i can’t really explain that because she was neither posh nor spicy. But there it is; the nickname stuck. I urge you do look them up, their single Wannabe is a thing of genius. 

What do you get when you cross a lamb with a sailor? That’s right! YOU GET MCQUEEN

Having been born and raised barefoot on a sunny beach far, far away winters in London always get me down. It’s not just the cold, and the rain, and the wind, and the darkness, and the grey and the glumness, it’s….well, it actually IS all of that that gets me down.

BUT all the warm winter coats and cosy jumpers perk me right back up, and if there is one thing I invest some serious CHA-CHING on is a good winter coat.

If could have ANY COAT IN THE WORLD, I would have this particularly exquisite McQueen number:

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This twill and shearling number is not only stylish, but it is also super warm, perfect for the harsh London winters.

It is also SO FUN! Part sailor, part darling little lamb; now there’s a look that can’t go wrong!

Dress it down with jeans and Chelsea Boots, throw in a nice flannel shirt and you are all set! Or dress it up with a vintage printed dress, particularly in cream/off-white palette with high-heel ankle booties for a night out.

How would you wear it?

 

 

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Who wore it best Ms Piggy or these celebs?

Every true fashionista is always looking for new sources of inspiration, new designers and sometimes even some guidance, and there is no doubt that the internet is an invaluable ally in the Battle to Look Good.

Fashion magazines, blogs (ahem), tumblers and Pinterest are all MUST HAVE tools that can aid even the most stylist dressers. But today I have found the definitive resource for plugged in fashion fans: The Buzzfeed Fashion page, and in particular this post. I think the title speaks for itself: Who wore it best, these celebrities or Ms Piggy?

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 15.51.36With all the the wit and humour that Buzzfeed readers know and love, this post also offers fashionistas the most valuable of all advice:

If Ms Piggy would wear it, then you probably should change.

It is certainly a piece of advice that I will take to heart when getting ready tonight, and carry with me through life.

It is a simple litmus test for any outfit, that can be used to determine how successful an ensemble has turned out. If Ms Piggy would rock it, then do like Coco and take some of it off.

Top Tip: The Ms Piggy Fashion Test can also be applied to determine if you are wearing too much makeup, or if your hair has turned out too big.

 

 

 

Reiss Christmas wishlist

Reiss is one of my favourite British brands. It is effortlessly cool and sleek without being pretentious. I find myself reaching for my Reiss silk blouses more and more, especially around Christmas as a bustling social calendar makes it important to go from day to night with minimal conversion effort (read: look glam by changing in the office bathroom cubicle)!

So imagine my delight when they announced a new Christmas wishlist giveaway. All you have to do is create and submit a wishlist on their website and they will pick a winner each week betwen now and Christmas! Yay, indeed.

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Here is my wishlist. I have submitted it and have crossed all my fingers and toes, and lit every make-a-wish candle I have ever bought from every psychic I have ver visited. THIS is certainly what I want for Christmas!

Make your own wishlist here, and don’t forget to brag if you win!

Shoe of the day: Diane von Furstenberg

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These boots are called Keith. I wish Keith would be my feet boyfriend.

It is very, very cold in London right now and it’s always pretty wet. The time of year has come when any other type of shoe just simply will not cut it; my feet need boots.

And Keith are the finest example of boot on the playground right now. Let’s face it, no one can handle heels everyday, but Keith is stylish enough to make up for the casual lack-of-heel.

Unlike a decent boyfriend, Keith can be yours for a mere £303.26 from Farfetch.

Cheers Diane.

Mary Kantrantzou prepares to drop her e-commerce

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In just 13-odd hours, the oh-so-fabulous Mary Katrantzou will launch her website and e-commerce platform, and I will kiss goodbye to my savings.

This is the designer’s much awaited foray into independent retailing, and hopefully a first step towards AN ACTUAL REAL LIFE MK SHOP!

Mary told Vogue that the website has been A YEAR in the making, so we should expect great things. Appaz, us admirers will be able to buy from an “exclusive, limited-edition range taken from the label’s debut resort collection”. I for one am trés excited- I have a holiday to the tropics coming up and it certainly will not be complete without some MK Resort wear.

So, what do we think, cheries? Yay or nay, to MK?

 

 

 

Wish list: LEATHER

Because it’s Monday, and it’s about to get really friggin’ cold in London, I decided to compile a list of warm leather pieces that will not only keep you warm; they will keep you DRY!

Since moving from the tropics to The Big Smoke, leather has been my best friend, helping me keep the wind and the rain from my ill-accustomed bones.  So, lucky me, it’s a SUPER TREND right now!

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Leather doesn’t get any better than All Saints, and this oxblood shrunken biker is ULTRA! It costs as much as rent, but is so worth it! £398 from allsaints.com

This Oasis quilted leather mini is RYCH. Just retro enough to keep a girl happy, but edgy enough to join a biker gang. Love. £80, available from Oasis

Markus Lupfer’s merino (LUSH) jumper with the sequined lips on it will make any leather look a million times cooler. And any reference to Rocky Horror Picture Show is alright with me. £315, from net-a-porter

Acne is my latest obsession, they are simply too cool for school. This bag comes in two sizes, the the tiny one is just simply darling, non? It’s a snip at £500 from shop.acnestudios.com/

And those red leather biker pants, from The H&M Collaboration That Shall Not Be Named…my one true love. As the poet Cher once said: “If I could turn back time…”…I would certainly make this my priority in that crazy rush sale!