Transitioning, Winter into Spring

Transitioning, Winter into Spring.

With the clock brought forward I think it might be safe to say it’s officially Spring unless if we get a surprise snow fall like last week.  AnyhoO positive thinking only, I’m here to show you how you can shift your cozy Winter looks into wearable Spring trends.

Now let’s face it although it’s officially Spring the air is still quite chilled so put aside your double breast coats  and opt for a wrap around wool coat. It’s lighter in weight, keeps you warm when there’s a chill and looks great opened up with a T-shirt or blouse teamed with Jeans or Khakis.

I love wearing lighter tones in the warmer months so when I spotted this lovely 1960s checked coat in my local vintage shop, it was love at first sight. I teamed this coat with an oversized acrylic neck piece from Marks and Spencers, a chocolate brown vest top and a caramel bootcut and black patent shoes. A casual smart look to combat the chills and welcome in the warmth.

Scroll down and check it out!

1 Neck piece – Old Marks & Spencer – similar 

2 Vest top – Marks & Spencer – similar 

3 Trousers – H&M – similar

4 Coat – similar

5 Shoes – similar

 

Thank you for stopping by, don’t leave without saying hello.

Rx

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

 

Londoners what’s happened to the weather? For a moment there we had ‘summer’ oh well, it was good whilst it lasted, however, please please do not discount the British summer just yet not until you’ve been to lavender picking at Hitchin Lavender Farm. Yes, lavender picking!! I escaped the hustle of London and headed to the countryside at the weekend and I’m predicting lavender picking will be as big as when knitting became ‘the cool thing’ to do. You remember about 10 years ago when we were seeing grown men and women knitting on buses, on the tube, anywhere and everywhere.  Basically prior to Saturday, the word lavender brought up images of purple rinse grannies, pot pourri, and retirement homes. I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I did ok let me explain.

 

The Farm

 

Hitchin Lavender is a lavender farm attraction situated between London and Cambridge. It has around 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick from. At the price of £5.00, you can wander through purple fields and cut your own lavender bunches. They provide scissors and a brown paper bag to put your bunches in. The colour is spectacular, as well as the fields of lavender, they also grow sunflowers and for £1 each you can cut your own. The farm has some amazing views of rural Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and there are many interesting walks surrounding it. The fields are in full bloom in June and July,  then in August, the sunflowers come into their own. Inside the 17th century barn, is a range of delicious home made cakes available, you can also browse through the range of products and choose from a large variety of lavender plants on offer.

Style

 

I had never heard of Hitchin Lavender farm, so I googled it to see where we were going and when I saw the purple fields I had a change of mind on the outfit as I saw a great opportunity for a full on photo shoot. Lol. My poor friend had no idea what she had let herself into. Much to my surprise, most people were also there to capture the beautiful rows of purple hues that seemed to go on for miles. I kept my outfit very simple, although it’s a great photo opportunity I had to remind myself that it’s a farm. Making sure my shoes were sensible and also to keep to a neutral palette that compliments the surroundings. So my vintage inspired ASOS jumpsuit was perfect. Wide leg trousers with a cut out back paired with a hat. Although I didn’t wear the hat much it was very useful in storing the lavender I collected.

 

ASOS Jumpsuit – similar

H&M – Hat

 

Do’s / Dont’s

 

Do take a camera/phone camera

Do wear trainers or wedged shoes

Do keep your clothing simple

Avoid strong perfumes, there are a lot of bees and wasps

Avoid high heels

Avoid very short length clothing.

Hitchin Lavender was the perfect day out, ideal for families and tourists wanting to get a taste of the English countryside. I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Visit before the end of the summer,  you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Thank you for stopping by, it’s always good to hear from you so make a comment, take a look at other posts or make suggestions for future posts.

 

Rx

Vintage versus New

Vintage versus New

 

Are you bored with the current trends? Are you worried someone might have the same outfit as you for New Year’s Eve?  Lol….If your answers are yes to all of the questions then you need some vintage pieces in your life.

I’m a vintage lover at heart, I can’t quite remember at what age I started wearing vintage but it’s something I’ve always loved.  One of my favourite things to do on a Friday morning is to hit Portobello Market by 7:00 am,  with a lattè in one hand and with the other have a good rummage through the market stalls for vintage pieces. The excitement of vintage shopping comes from buying items of clothing that have the feel of exclusivity of a custom-made piece, but for less of the price.  There’s nothing I love more than searching and investigating items and finding masterpieces amongst all the duds. However, I am very much aware that what I describe as my favourite thing to do is most people’s worst nightmare. Browsing through the racks at a vintage stall can quickly loose it’s appeal to a newbie especially if they’re struggling to see which items are authentic or not.

So how do the likes of Alexa Chung, Janelle Monae, Dita Von Teese, and Kate Moss do it I hear you ask? How do they put an outfit together without looking like they’ve just stepped out of a period drama? Good Stylist perhaps?…probably anyhoO here are some guidelines to help you achieve the same results.

 

The number one thing:  Know the difference between Vintage and Charity / Thrift.
What sets Vintage clothing apart is it is an item that has often stood the test of time and has proven to remain relevant, timeless in style, historical or cultural significance.

Go classic: It’s always best to start off with a classic, basic items such as a 1950’s dress or a 1960’s little black dress. Choose something that can be worn often and most importantly can be mixed with modern pieces. This will stop you from looking like you’ve just stepped out of a period drama.

Pay no attention to sizes: The sizes are very different nowadays and when it’s compared can get very confusing. For example, I am a size 6-8 but fit a 1980s size 10, a 1960 -70’s 12 and a 1950’s 14. This can get very confusing, however, prepare yourself beforehand and know your measurements.

Know your eras
The easiest eras to fit into a contemporary wardrobe would be those from the latter half of the 20th century (the 1960s on ) Anything before that might be considered too costumey if not incorporated well into your personal style.

Why buy vintage over new:
A quality garment or accessory can cost as much as a current couture. (vintage Chanel) So why would someone choose a pre-owned item over something brand new you ask? Vintage is often better made, the older a high-end item the better quality it is. There’s usually more attention to detail, a higher level of craftsmanship, and a tendency for durability that you don’t see in contemporary fashion. There’s also the benefit of exclusivity not seeing someone on the street with the same thing. This is the reason I love vintage so much.

Here is a list of some of my favourite vintage shops in London, go on their Instagram accounts explore what they have.

Found and Vision

Rellik

One of a Kind

The Gathering Goddess

Jane Bourvis

295 Portobello Road

 

I hope this post has opened your eyes into buying vintage. Take a look at how I styled my green velvet 1970s Cheongsam dress. The number one rule is to mix any vintage piece you buy with modern pieces. In this look, my modern pieces would be the ear cuffs and the leopard print shoes. With this outfit, I’m ready to welcome the new year.

 

Thank you for stopping by, wishing you a very happy new year. Keep your eyes out for more exciting posts also check out my DIY videos over on Youtube and please subscribe.

 

Kisses.

Rx

  Dress - Found Vision they won't have the same dress but they would have others that you would LOVE | leopard print heels - ASOS | Ear cuff - Forever21 | Fur coat - 295 Portobello Road | Bracelet - Accessorize  

  Chanel Bag - Rellik

 

 

DIY – Pom poms Cardigan

DIY – Pom poms Cardigan

 

From as early as I can remember I have always fiddled about with my clothing Lol. I remember as a child trying to make my own shoes, turning my cardigan into a skirt and getting very frustrated and crying my eyes out when it wouldn’t work. (Sorry Mummy lol x)

Customising and DIY is something I love, I always have to personalise my clothing often because of my petite frame I would need to adjust the item to fit well. I believe DIY and customising is a skill that every fashionista should have. It makes dressing up so much fun and adds character to the outfit.

My current DIY tutorial is all about knitwear. Now I tend to get a little attached to my clothing and hardly ever throw any piece away. This is one of the reasons why I have never really gotten into ‘trends’ If I buy something it’s because I love it not because of its an ‘on-trend’ item. AnyhoO this is another post coming very soon…

My current favourite item of clothing is this gorgeous red cardigan featured in the photos. I’ve had this for about 2 years it’s a lovely fit, however, has quite a few holes in them. Now I should get rid of it but I think I can get a few wears out of it before throwing it out. Red is such a Christmasy colour and updating this cardigan with pom poms was just so fitting for the season. I teamed this look with a 1980’s tartan kilt, black opaque tights, and vintage Kurt Gieger heels.

To see how I transformed this cardigan please press this link my channel to my YouTube channel. Show me some love by subscribing and leave a comment.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rx

Kilt - ASOS Slingback's - Vintage Kurt Geiger alternative Zara Cardigan - DIY

Midi Skirts for Petites

Midi Skirts for Petites

 

The Midi skirt is everywhere at the moment and it’s in a variety of shapes and forms; tubes, a- lines, low hems, peplums, full volumes, in knits, tulles, woven, neoprene and leathers. The styles and styling options are endless, between the contemporary, romantic, vintage, high-low and everyday looks.

Midi skirts are one of the many styling options shorter women are constantly told to avoid. But honestly, rules are made to be broken, especially a rule as dated as this one. A full skirt like the one I’m wearing in this picture would traditionally overwhelm a diminutive figure like mine. Instead, I worked with the silhouette to my advantage and delivered a polished ‘effortless’ look.

On that note here are my favourite midis, from tea-length skirts to sexy slit silhouettes, that work for petite frames. (click on the links)

– Go for an A-Line – This should definitely be a go to for all Petites! The mesh-like fabric is longer than the lining which gives the illusion of longer legs. Remember to choose a higher waist to create even longer legs!!!!  At £25.00 you can’t go wrong.

– Wrap it up – It’s always best to have fabric cling on to you and wrap midi skirt naturally shapes your figure in all the right places without letting anything drag. I love the colour on this one gorgeous!!

– Sexy slit – If you got it, flaunt it but not too much there’s a thin line between classy and trashy when it comes to slits. Lol. Elongate your legs with high and low slits. Remember to keep it CLASSY!! x

– The Classic Pencil Skirt – Always a flattering option that shows off your curves. Invest in a black staple piece, but switch things up with pastel hues, leather or sheer fabrics. Zara has a couple of leather Pencil Skirts this season check it out. If you’re going to do leather pencil skirt remember to break it up a little. Do not wear a leather skirt, with leather knee high boots and leather jacket, unless if you’re going for the Matrix look! Eeeeeeeek!

 

Thanks for stopping by would love for you to stay. Don’t forget to comment.

Rx

Skirt - Zara | Blouse - Next | Bangles - H&M |

An old season Chloe shoes

Collaboration – Cuts For Him and Her

Collaboration – Cuts For Him and Her

It’s been awhile since my last post exactly 10 days, that’s equivalent to 10 months in the blogging world. How are you doing, what’s been happening? It’s officially spring I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve been cooking up especially for the season… *giggles*

As many of you may know I love menswear and I’m not ‘shy’ to go to the mens section of any store to ask for the smallest sizes.. The conversation often goes like this, whilst holding a ton of clothing..

Me:  Do you have this in the smallest size?

Sales person: Errrrrr what’s his neck size?

Me:  Neck size, errrrr the same size as mine, small..?!

Sales person:  Ok…how about the sleeve length?

Me:  The same as mine?!.. *giggling at this point*

Sales person:  Huh?.. :-/

Me:  Okay, okay It’s for me just give me the smallest size you have in all of these please..lol

 

This has happened so many times that my local menswear stores now know me very well. I’m glad to say I didn’t have to go through that again when preparing for this shoot.

So last year I collaborated with menswear blogger Cuts for Him on a shoot where I styled model Jenny Kay in one of his suits.
‘What had happen was’ the original plan of the shoot had backfired so we had to improvise, I suggested menswear on women and ‘voila’ here are the results.

Captured by Mista Skee on camera the clothes, the colours, textures and decor of the hip West Thirty Six was just gorgeous.

The trick to making menswear work on a woman is having the balance between masculine and feminine. Masculine being the shape, cut and clean lines of the suit, the feminine being the colour, the accessories, shoes, bags and earrings these add the feminine touch. However do not over do it as less is more when it comes to this look.

‘Burrowing from the boys’ ‘Menswear on Women’ all of these can be fun and super stylish however can also look a little too much if its not styled right. If ever in doubt go for a tailored blazer that can be worn with your favourite pair of skinny jeans as demonstrated in my post ‘Oh Boy’.

 

* Check out the write up on the men’s version of this post on Cuts For Him

 

Thank you for stopping by, I love hearing from you so don’t be shy make a comment and subscribe.

*toOdles*

Rx

Jenny | Suit - FCUK | Shirt - TM Lewin | Shoes - Kurt Gieger | Bow Tie (vintage) - Portobello Market |
Photos by Mista Skee

* The Team *

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy!

I’m a big fan of men’s clothing, and I often incorporate menswear pieces into my outfits. For example items like hats, jumpers, and t-shirts, I always opt for the men’s for the simplicity in shape and cut. It is often less ‘fiddly’ and more streamlined.
However, I have never purposely put an outfit together with the aim of reflecting a ‘man’s look’.

Last month I collaborated with an amazing photographer by the name of Malachi Ajose, I presented the idea of menswear on a woman to him and in true collaboration spirit, he suggested the location and the different shots.
Now, this is not an idea that has never been done, in fact, I did a similar photo shoot last year with Menswear lifestyle blogger Cuts For Him which will be coming out later in the year.
However, this is the first time I have ever styled myself in this way. Bearing in my mind I am a petite frame of 5.1 so I was very cautious in making sure I didn’t look like a 13-year-old boy dressing up in a suit for the first time, (lol) so that was my challenge.

How do I incorporate a suit jacket and tie and still retain an ‘air’ of femininity?

Here’s how I achieved the look, by keeping everything streamlined and boxy I was able to add a feminine touch by wearing a fur hat. This created lovely textures, mixing tweed with cotton, fur, and leather. To finish the whole look I decided to add my favourite pair of skinny jeans instead of smart trousers to give it a less formal feel.

The Struggle

The real struggle came when tying the tie. The last time I wore a tie was in high school and as many teenagers will tell you it’s uncool to wear a tie the correct way, no one ever wears a tie the right way. Lol
Let’s just say I channeled a little of that high school rebellion in this shoot as the tie looks ‘dodgy’ and the shirt a little big… but ‘what the heck’ I had soO much fun playing dress up..lol
I was very happy at the end with the shots, Malachi has a great eye and was able to capture more than just the clothes, a true artist.
I’ll stop for now and allow you to take a look for yourself. Let me know what you think. I really want to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to subscribe.

Rx

Vintage Fur Hat - Portobello Market | Shades - Chloe | Tie - Primark | Shirt - Next | Jacket - 80s Marks and Spencer | Coat - TopShop | Waistcoat - Marks and Spencer | Skinny Jeans - Zara | Ankle Boots - Kurt Geiger |
Photos by Malachi Ajose

Fur – ‘Faux’ it or against it

Fur – ‘Faux it or against it’

Whether you’re ‘faux’ it or against it, fur always makes a bold fashion statement. With the rapid change in weather, there’s nothing like a bit of fur to update your look and get you warm and cozy for the cold weather ahead.

What’s that one piece of clothing that’s going to take you through the autumn into winter? What item will enable you to smoothly merge your current wardrobe with the cold season ahead? Which item can you dress up or down without it becoming repetitive? If you have not considered it as an option before, it’s about time you invest in a fur stole/bolero. I think this is undoubtedly the new investment piece of the season. I promise you won’t regret it.

The piece I’m wearing here is a 1930’s (real) fur bolero, a timeless piece that has seen me through many winters. It’s also a great throw on piece for formal or casual wear.

On this occasion, I’m wearing it with my trusted H&M double-breasted navy jacket with skinny jeans, for a dressed down casual look.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t ditch that practical boring winter coat just yet. Why not simply add a bit of glam and accessorize with a faux fur/vintage stole.

Thanks for stopping by see you soon, don’t forget to subscribe

Rx

Fur Bolero - Portobello Market | Jacket - Gap | Photos by Mista skee

Vintage Scarf, Kitty Hat, and a Fedora

Vintage Scarf, Kitty Hat, and a Fedora

One of the many things I look forward to during the winter seasons is wearing hats and scarves for those cold early mornings and bad hair days. A stylish headscarf or hat can make all the difference to an outfit. It can make you wish the cold weather would last a little longer. Ok, I’m exaggerating, well it makes it bearable that’s for sure.

Whether you favour a beanie hat, kitty hat, beret, headscarf or a fedora there’s no denying that the hat can make a persuasive or regrettable impression so it’s important to get it right. Though the hat or scarf covers the head it reveals the wearer’s character based on the type of hat they’re wearing.

When it comes to my favourite style it would have to be men’s fedora hat. I prefer the men’s because of the clean lines and often the use of colour blocking.

Try these on for size, how do you style yours?

Thanks for stopping by don’t forget to subscribe.

Rita x

Fedora Hat - Menswear H&M | Kitty Hat - Zara | Vintage Scarf - Portobello Market | Necklace - Portobello Market |
Photos by Cuts For Him

Vintage Special – 1920s Fur Jacket

Vintage Special – 1920s Fur Jacket

I’m a big fan of vintage clothes. I especially love the 1920’s, 30’s fur jackets and stoles. I have also been known to occasional buy 1950’s, 60’s sunglasses.

However, I am always very cautious about not looking like I’m wearing a costume, believe me, it’s a very thin line so easily crossed. Here’s my guide to avoiding looking like you’ve just stepped out of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Lol

I remember I was on my way to buy milk, let’s just say I got home with a lovely vintage piece and no milk..

When styling an item of vintage clothing, it’s important to team it up with something modern and contemporary. This could be in the style of the cut, the colour or the fabric, as demonstrated in these images.

I bought this 1920’s fur Jacket from Portobello market about 3 years ago. I remember I was on my way to Tesco to buy milk, let’s just say I returned home with a lovely vintage piece and no milk.
One of my best vintage purchases to date. It was in great condition, the colour, the shape and most of all for £110 I had to get it. This jacket is best styled casual smart. It’s great with skinny jeans and a favourite old t-shirt with knee high boots, for that dressed down casual smart look. It’s definitely my go to favourite item of clothing, you’ll be seeing more of it in my posts.

Quick question before I sign out …when is it ok to refer to an item of clothing as vintage? I still find it very difficult referring to 90s clothing as vintage. Can you relate? I want to hear from you…

Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to subscribe.

Rita x

1920 Fur Jacket - Portobello Market | Sunglasses - Other Stories | Skinny Jeans - Zara | Bag - Zara |
Photos by Cuts For Him