Friday, 13 December 2013

Hip Shapes And Bristol Fashion Has A New Home

Yes, that's right - Hip Shapes And Bristol Fashion has a new name and a fancy new look.

Just click here to be redirected…I’ll see you there!

Niki x

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Goodbye, Hip Shapes and Bristol Fashion : Hello, New Blog!!

This next post has been a loooooooooooooooooooooooong time coming but it's finally here. I’ve just spent the last week and a half working solidly to make the HUGE changes to my blog that I’ve been talking about doing for yonks!

Yes, Hip Shapes and Bristol Fashion is about to look very different -  It’s been given a major face lift and a fancy new name.   Drum roll please…

Please welcome...

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my styling tips, inspirations and travels with you all and I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve had from you over the years, but the longer I blog and the more posts I write, the more I feel that Hip Shapes and Bristol fashion doesn’t reflect me as much as I would like it too.

I’m not talking about the content - not at all; it’s the overall look and feel…it’s very much an extension of my business and website, not me as such (although, yes, I guess in a way I am my business and I’m possibly missing a trick, marketing wise).  Style Studs and Lace was born out of a need to create a space that felt like me; that would enable me to connect with you betterIf you're worried that the content is going to change, then don't.  All the features from Hip Shapes are here to stay; in fact I intend to make things more focused, so it should be an all round better blog.

I’m not too sure how best to make the transition from one blog to another (any advice is VERY welcome) so I’ve decided to leave Hip Shapes and Bristol Fashion live for now, but will no longer be posting here.  I’ll be really sad if I lose any of you on the way so have tried to make following Style Studs and Lace as easy as possible.

I will be transfering my bloglovin followers across in the next couple of days and there are plenty of other ways to follow - just click on icons below to start following!

I’m so excited to share my new blog with you and really hope that you will continue to follow me as I continue to grow and develop the blog!


With the recent demise of Google Reader, I can't help thinking that Google Friend Connect will be next in line to get the chop.  Have you tried adding the widget to a blog recently?  Well it’s virtually impossible to find - if that’s not a signal that it’s being faded out then I don’t know what is. With that in mind, I have decided not to add GFC for now so please follow me using the above.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sorbet Sanctuary

Having an outside space to call our own is so important to Al and I, so when we moved to Bangalore we were determined to find somewhere to live that had a balcony or terrace.  We couldn’t imagine living in India and not being able to make the most of the beautiful weather! 

It took us three weeks to find our apartment and it’s the main balcony that won us over, it overlooks a park full of trees and is on the corner of the apartment block so we’re not over looked by anyone.  It’s our little haven away from busy Bangalore…it’s perfect.

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to enjoy our little haven as the apartment block was completely covered in scaffolding for a few months while it was repainted.   I couldn’t quite believe the scaffolding that went up; these guys would climb it effortlessly, with a bucket in one hand and a brush in the other – madness!
We didn’t realise how much we loved our little space until we couldn’t use it, but thankfully the scaffolding came down about a month ago and since then we’ve been slowly bringing the plants back out and have done a mini make over.  I say mini as all we’ve really done is paint the old plant pots in sorbet shades (inspired but the painted houses all over Bangalore) change the light fittings and add some solar lights, but it's made a huge difference!

We love having our little sanctuary back; the best thing is being able to watch the sun go down with homemade cocktails…

Monday, 17 June 2013

Three Ways To Wear : Simple Jumpsuit

I normally photograph my three ways to wear inside as I’m not that comfortable posing outside the apartment; I get enough attention being pale and blonde without posing in front of a tripod in three different outfits!   Photographing three different looks on our balcony isn't easy either thanks to its small size and awkward shape, but yesterday it was drenched in the prettiest sunlight right before the sun went down, so I frantically changed into, and photographed, three different outfits before it set.

Left to right: Jumpsuit - French Connection / Heels - Russel and Bromly / Tan belt - Warehouse / Ring - House of Harlow / Earrings - Accessorize / Denim Shirt - from a friend / Leopard print sandles - Zara / Leather jacket - Topshop / studded belt - Topshop / Studded sandles - Office / Earrigns - Topshop / Sunglasses - Rayban.

This jumpsuit has been a favourite of mine over the last couple of years - I love its relaxed style and its versatility.   There’s something about wearing a jumpsuit that makes me feel you know what I mean?  I’m not sure what it is, maybe it’s because they look best with minimal styling?  They follow the ‘less is more’ rule and I guess that’s how I’d define chic. 

I know they’re not to everyone’s taste, but if you put the time and effort in to finding a style that suits you I guarantee it will become a wardrobe favourite in no time. Do you like them?  Can you see a jumpsuit becoming one of your wardrobe staples?

Friday, 14 June 2013

Lusting Lately : Dressing Up For Download, Illustrated

Yep, I know; this post isn’t going to stand out from the crowd.  The festival season is under way and my Feedly home page is bursting at the seams with festival related posts; but I’m sorry, that’s not going to stop me throwing my festival post into the mix. 

Every year, a group of us pack up and head to Donington for four incredible days at Download festival.  Listening to my favourite music, with my best friends, not worrying about anything except which stage we need to get to next = bliss!  Yes the loos are pretty horrid, the weather’s un-predictable and there is little chance of a hot shower but that’s just part of the fun…no really!  It’s amazing the hairstyles you can achieve with a bottle of dry shampoo and a backcombing comb!!

I love planning what to wear (yes, as un-rock and roll as that might sound, one of my favourite things about festivals is the dressing up) it’s a chance to ramp up my style a little and wear things that I wouldn't wear at work - hello pink hair tips, studded belts and fringing!

But before I get too excited, this year Al and I are unable to go – we love Download but India’s a  little too far for us to pop over just for the weekend.  So yes, there are tons of festival fashion posts floating around the internet and you probably don’t want to see yet another, but you see this post is really for me.

If I can’t go to Donington then Donington will just have to come to me…the sound track to my weekend will be everything from Iron Maiden to Alice In Chains and Bullet For My Valentine and my wardrobe will look something like this…

I may not be there in person, but I’m so there in spirit!
I want to thank my friend Nay for doing these totally awesome illustrations, I just love them!  We’re going to do some more collaborations over the next month, so watch this space.  But for now, go and check out her beautiful blog.  Go.  Now!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Eco Chic

My recent post about changing our shopping habits focused on encouraging you to make the most of the clothes you already have, to make informed decisions when making new purchases and to spend the maximum you can on one great quality item rather than two or three of lesser quality.  I also wrote about how to pull together a capsule collection of clothes, but what I haven't mentioned, is shopping ethically.

One of my readers made a valid point saying that spending more for an item of clothing doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it’s not been produced at minimum cost to be sold for maximum profit, and asked me if I could point her towards some ethical fashion retailers.

Now before I continue, I feel that I need to be open with you; I have to admit that I rarely seek to purchase clothes that are ethical or eco friendly and I don’t really know much about this area.  I shop the high-street all the time, both for my clients and myself, as it’s the perfect place to source great items without having to stretch your budget beyond your means.  But at the same time, this doesn’t mean that I don’t shop responsibly.  I shop responsibly by making sure that I love the items I buy, that they fit well, are versatile, slot seamlessly into my wardrobe and will be worn again and again.

But yes, I know there is more that I can do and I couldn’t ignore your requests for more information, so after some lengthy research I’ve pulled together this post for you.  It lists some great online resources where you can find out more about ethical fashion, along with a list of ethical, eco friendly and sustainable fashion retailers that are producing some great collections and my favourite ethical fashion blogs.  I’ve even picked out my favourite pieces to prove to you that eco chic really is chic…because let’s be honest, I can’t be the only person guilty of thinking ethical fashion is all hippy and hemp?

Resources (links)
  • Great tips for how to wear vintage from A Pair and a Spare
  • Find out the ethical and environmental ratings of our high street retailers here
  • Great eco magazines:Green my style and eco chic magazine
  • A fantastic site for inspiration on re-working old outfits and keeping clothing waste out of landfill sites: Redress
  • Estethica is founded by the British fashion council and showcases ‘the growing movement of cutting edge designers committed to working eco sustainably’

1. Best of British Cream Cable Knitted Jumper GBP 129.00, Dark Pink Herringbone Skirt GBP 89.00. / 2. Chelsea Boot GBP 185, Black White & Pink Check Wool Cocoon Coat GBP 299.00. / 3. Black Tailored Suit Jacket GBP 199.00, Black Tailored Turn Up Trouser GBP 129.00, Black Brogues GBP 165.00. / 4. Long Ivory Deep V Wool Coat GBP 299.00, Grey Tailored Trouser GBP 129.00.
Fashion blogs

Ethical Fashion Blog
Eco Fabulous
Very Nice Threads
The Good Wardrobe
Oxfam Fashion Blog

And what about my favourite eco pieces?  Well, there were so many to choose from, but here are my top picks...

Eco Chic
Of course, there are other ways to make responsible style choices such as reworking old designs...

1. / 2. / /
 ...buying second hand from charity shops or vintage boutiques, hosting swishing parties or even hiring a wow dress for your special occasion.  All these things keep clothing waste out of landfill sites but not only that, they also give you something unique to wear – win win!

So you see there are endless ways to make a difference.  So what will you do?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Look Book : Ditching Jeans

This post is for Sarah who commented on my last look book saying:

“I would like some advice about jeans. I wear them all the time and would like to try new things. So... What can I wear INSTEAD of jeans?”

How many of you find yourself wearing jeans over and over?  I mean if you think about it, they’re super practical, they work for both day and night and (if you have the right fit) they’re comfortable to boot...why would you wear anything else?

Well, apart from the lack of variety in your wardrobe there are so many other great alternatives out there that aren’t even getting a look in!
Alternatives to jeans

Try to choose items that are just as practical, comfortable and versatile as your jeans so you don’t find it too hard to integrate them into your wardrobe.  To begin with opt for neutral colours, but as soon as you get used to wearing something that isn’t a pair of jeans, try adding some bright colour or patterned trousers into the mix. 

I promise that as soon as you add something that isn’t a pair of jeans to your collection, you’ll have so many more options for both everyday and going out…you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Alternatives to jeans

As usual, if you have anything you'd like me to help you with then email me here, I'd love to hear from you and to feature your question on Hip Shapes!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Links a la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

Hip Shapes And Bristol FAshion made it into the IFB's weekly round up!


Always Be Prepared

It may well be the Scout Motto, but any good fashionista knows that preparation is the key to impeccable style. Whether it be DIYing the latest fashion trends, beautifying yourself, finding the best deals, studying up on classic prints, or getting everything ready for the oncoming season, for most of us it actually takes a lot of effort to carry of that effortless chic. This week's roundup has almost everything you need to get your summer preparation going so you can have a wonderfully chic season!

Links à la Mode: May 30th

SPONSOR: Shopbop Real Style Salvatore Flats, Sol Sana, Matiko, Ileana Makri, Karssen, Meredith Wendell, Blanca Gomez, Band of Outsiders, Vera Wang Flats, Genevieve Jones, & Red Valentino

Friday, 31 May 2013

Pretty Inspired : Beautiful Hampi

We’ve visited so many beautiful places in India, but Hampi has to be one of my favourites, it’s such a peaceful and beautiful place and it’s not too far from Bangalore.  Well, I say it’s not too far, but back in the UK we wouldn’t even consider going this distance for one night, over here however, everything is so far away that you kinda get used to travelling long distances.

The trains in India are great, they’re super cheap are rarely delayed and they pretty much go anywhere.  One of my favourite things to do (and yes, I’m aware of how unsafe this is) is to stand in the train doorway, which is often left wide open, and watch India pass by – it’s beautiful.

The train to Hampi is perfect - you can leave on a Friday night after work, sleep overnight and arrive first thing Saturday morning.  The train back is the same time Sunday evening, giving you two whole days to explore, relax and take in the breathtaking surroundings that consist of boulder-strewn hills with hundreds of ruined temples scattered amongst them.

I think it’s the peacefulness and the stunning landscape that I find so inspiring; I can just switch off from everything and drift away to somewhere tranquil – it puts me in such a creative space!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe

My recent post about changing our shopping habits has struck a chord with a lot of you, it seems I'm not alone in thinking the time has come to change how we see our wardrobes and how we shop.  

Brilliantly, quite a few of you got in touch asking for advice and suggestions, and even gave some of your own – it's great to hear from you and to hear your thoughts; I love writing this blog but when you take the time to get in touch and join in, it’s even better so thank you!  The most popular question asked was how you create a capsule turns out that a capsule wardrobe is like the holy grail of styling!

So, what is a capsule wardrobe and why is it worth investing time and money in one? A capsule wardrobe is a hard working collection of clothes consisting of timeless staple pieces that fit beautifully and mix and match to create outfits for any occasion.  These pieces cannot be high trend items that will date quickly as they need to form the foundations of your wardrobe for years to come.

Get it right and you will be able to build and develop your style effortlessly and will find yourself spending less money on fewer items, yet will have many more outfits to wear - sounds good, right?

It all started back in the 1970's, when Susie Faux (the founder of Wardrobe) came up with the concept of a capsule wardrobe.  The idea was then championed by Donna Karan in the eighties when she launched her 7 Easy Pieces collection which consisted of staple pieces that could be layered over black body suits and opaque tights to create outfits for a variety of occasions.  It was pretty radical at the time and a rather more conservative approach to styling and shopping than had been seen previously. 

Today I feel the idea of a capsule wardrobe has been lost slightly.  There is so much cheap clothing available on the high street and so much choice that a capsule wardrobe containing only a few key pieces is so far from many people’s minds.  Why would you only buy one pair of trousers when you could afford to buy three cheaper pairs?

The reality is that while you might think that having a wardrobe bulging with clothes will give you more options, it won't.  If you keep adding pieces to your wardrobe without much thought or because you don't have anything to wear, you're not solving the problem, you’re only making it worse.

How many of you have a wardrobe full of clothes but have found yourselves saying 'I've got nothing to wear'?  See, it's not the quantity of clothes in your wardrobe that matters; it's the quality and versatility. 

So, where do you start?  I don't really like to give too many rules or constraints when advising my clients on their wardrobe and style, but I think that as I’m discussing how to pull together a capsule wardrobe, it is probably beneficial to have some kind of guidelines to go by. After all, the concept has been covered by many of the top stylists out there - so it is well thought out.
  1. Spend more, on less.  I'm not encouraging you to spend above and beyond your budget; I'm just suggesting that you should invest in the best quality that your budget will allow, rather than spending it on lots of cheaper, poorer quality items that won't last and will need to be replaced often. 

  2.  Invest some time in finding the right items. We're often so busy that buying clothes becomes something that we have to do quickly. This combined with such affordable prices probably means you make the decision to buy with little thought – does it matter if it’s not quite right when it’s so cheap?  Doing this will mean you’re compromising on an excellent piece for your wardrobe that WILL be right and will last longer.  Putting the time aside now to find the right pieces will save you time in the future.

  3. Think about your lifestyle and how you split your time.  For example, do you work full time or are you a full time Mum? Maybe you're a combination of both? Now ask yourself if your wardrobe is proportioned accordingly?  When you're building your capsule wardrobe it's important to make sure you're building a collection of clothes that suit you and your lifestyle - there's no point in having is a wardrobe full of clothes waiting for an event that may never happen. 

  4. Choose only the items that fit beautifully otherwise you will have spent money on items that you'll rarely wear and will end up needing to replace. We're all guilty of purchasing an item because it looks nice on the hanger, is a gorgeous colour or (probably the most popular reason) because we saw a friend wearing it and loved it.  But even if you love the item, if it doesn't look quite right on you...put it back.   

  5. Invest in a good selection of base layers; the items that are essential for layering, such as camisoles, tights and jersey basics.  It's a good idea to have a variety of neutral colours that match your trousers and skirts
  6. Consider sticking to a colour theme.  Choosing neutral colours will give you the most versatility, but if you're more into bold colours and strong prints then choose some staple pieces that are just that.

  7. Consider your style - there is no point in adding items to your wardrobe that you're just not going to wear.  The magazines may be telling you that a pencil skirt is this seasons must have wardrobe staple, but if you've never worn one and aren't too keen then don't touch one.  Choose something that represents your style instead.

  8. Try to avoid items that are very on trend as these will date far too quickly.  The key to getting a capsule collection of clothes that lasts, is to choose items that will stand the test of time, after all, if you're going to be spending a little more on these items then the last thing you want is for them to look out of date any time soon. Once you have a strong foundation of staples you can start to add the trend pieces, quirkier items and jewellery to add even more personality to your outfits and develop your style.

  9. Don't forget about the accessories!  These are one of THE most important parts of any wardrobe and are often an afterthought.  I have a couple of scarves and a collection of necklaces that I will always wear no matter what the trends are...they are my fall backs.
Your capsule collection.   I've mentioned already that you need to pull together a capsule wardrobe that works for you.  My capsule wardrobe is probably going to look very different to yours, and that's okay. It is very much down to the individual but in general it makes sense to have the following items:
  1. Jeans
  2. Smart trousers
  3. Casual trousers
  4. A skirt
  5. Day dress
  6. Something for the evening
  7. A tailored jacket
  8. A winter coat
  9. A lightweight coat or Mac
  10. A blouse
  11. A shirt
  12. A jumper
  13. A cardigan
  14. Camisoles
  15. Shoes –both flat and heels
  16. Tights
  17. Jewellery, 
  18. A belt
  19. A bag
To give you a little inspiration I've pulled together two different wardrobes below. They both contain most of the items listed above, however I think you’ll agree they’re quite different and illustrate that it’s possible to mould a capsule wardrobe to suit you.

Capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobe 1

Dress / Gray dress / Cashmere cardigan / Military fashion / French Connection long sleeve top / Cardigan / Reiss / Reiss cami top / NW3 / Pied a Terre / Coat / Vest / AllSaints / Ted Baker blue jeans / Whistles pleated pants / Ted Baker black pants / Jeans / Wolford / Cami / Ballet flat shoes / Carvela shoes / Pumps / Gray handbag / Alexander McQueen skull scarve / John Lewis

Once you have your capsule wardrobe sorted, this will form the foundations of your entire collection.

These pieces will be the items that you can rely on to create any outfit you need and will be able to be built on year after year.  

You'll be able to add the less expensive, on trend pieces to this each season, safe in the knowledge that you will always have something to wear with them.  And, as for it being boring?  Not a chance!  You'll be able to pull together so many different might even be fun ;)

So, how does your wardrobe weight up?  Do you think you can start to figure out what your capsule collection will look like?  Maybe you have some suggestions for us or have found some great items?  Make me smile and join in the discussion by commenting below...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Look Book : How To Style Peg Leg Trousers For Summer

A few weeks back, one of my lovely clients got in touch asking for some advice on how to style a couple of pairs of peg leg trousers for the summer.

"I’m looking through my wardrobe at the moment to get ready for Spring/Summer and I’m not feeling inspired! I have loved all the pieces I bought with you in October but there are two pairs of trousers I haven’t worn yet. I’m planning on wearing the two pairs of cropped Oasis trousers I bought with you now that the weather is going to (hopefully) warm up, but I’m not sure what to put them with as they 
are a new style for me."

Peg leg trousers are a great item to have in the wardrobe, they’re perfect for work, home and evenings out so they really will get a lot of wear.  But while they might be versatile, there are a couple of things to bear in mind when pulling together your outfits.  Firstly, if your trousers have pleats around the hips or waist then make sure you tuck your tops into them.  If you don’t, the pleats will add bulk under the top and will be unflattering.  And secondly, keep an eye on the length of the trousers; cropped trousers rarely come in leg lengths so you may find they need shortening (or lengthening) a little to fit properly.

My favourite look with trousers like this is teamed with brogues and a little blouse, but as you can see there are plenty of great ways to style them up!

How to style peg leg trousers - Gaynor

NW3 / French Connection striped top / Mango slacks pants / Evening shoes / ALDO block heels / Hobbs ballet shoes / Mint Velvet / Raffia handbag / Zara handbag / Triangle jewelry / Square scarve / Metallic belt / Ted Baker / Topshop waist belt / Polyvore Clipper

How to wear peg leg trousers - Gaynor

As usual, if you have anything you'd like me to help you with then email me here, I'd love to hear from you and to feature your question on Hip Shapes!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Is It Time To Change Your Shopping Habits?

Lately I’ve been thinking more about how we shop for our clothes. 

I can’t deny that the recent events in Bangladesh have been the catalyst for this…how about you?  Did it make you stop and think?  Did you make a connection between what happened and the clothes you have in your wardrobe?  Maybe it was a combination of living in India and my profession that created the link for me?

I like to think that I’m a careful shopper who makes considered purchases, and in my role as a personal stylist I encourage my client’s to think about their purchases too.  Not only do I build my clients confidence but I also make it my mission to change their shopping habits as it saves them money in the long run and enables them to pull together a strong collection of clothes that lasts.

I have always championed a smaller, more concise (and no, that doesn’t mean boring) wardrobe, that’s a healthy mix of long lasting investment pieces and cheaper high street pieces (as well as second hand and vintage pieces - after all, these are the perfect way to showcase your individuality!).  I have never been and never will be someone who’s into fast, disposable fashion – it’s a false economy.  People end up with far more clothes than they know what to do with and to top it off, the clothes that do get worn barely last one wash.  I’m not against purchasing cheap clothing; I actually think we’re lucky to be able to have so much choice with such limited budgets, but what I am against is buying SO much of it, wearing it once and binning it.  This disposable luxury is coming at such a high cost.  People are working in indescribably awful conditions, many recently lost their lives, all so we can afford to have wardrobes bursting with clothes, half of which we don’t need and probably won’t wear.

Hip Shapes and Bristol Fashion has been running for a few years now, and I have always wanted it to be a source of inspiration to encourage you to make the most of the clothes you already have and to make informed decisions when making new purchases…and I hope that’s what I’m managing to do. While I insist on educating my clients about changing their shopping habits, I wonder whether I do enough on here to encourage my readers to follow suit?

Over the next few weeks I’m going to do a series on the blog that I hope will inspire you to think differently about your wardrobe and the way you shop.  I want to prove to you that a hard working capsule wardrobe, built on a foundation of great fitting staple pieces doesn’t automatically mean it’ll be boring or expensive.  I want to encourage you to pull out an item from your wardrobe that you’re not wearing and challenge you to make it work.  I’m also going to illustrate how spending more money on fewer items won’t leave you with less outfits to wear, and will potentially cost you less in the long run?!

We need to see an end to this culture of disposable fashion but to do this; our shopping habits have to change.   So, what do you think?  Are you with me?? 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

In With The Old

I love flowers (I’m a textile designer so I guess it’s to be expected) but while I love photographing and drawing flowers, they don’t often feature in my outfits - I tend to stick to graphic prints or the animal variety instead.  But when the sun is shining and I’m surrounded by beautiful (and exotic!) flowers, I do find myself being more and more drawn towards florals.

I know that the high-street is bursting with clothes and accessories covered in gorgeous florals so it would have been really easy to go out and buy something new to fill the floral gap in my wardrobe, but I always like to remind myself what I have before hitting the shops and it’s just as well...

This top (well, actually it’s a dress that I’m wearing as a top) is about five or six years old and I haven’t really worn it much in the last couple of years.  It’s been stored out of sight along with some other clothes that I didn’t want to get rid of, but knew I wasn’t going to wear again for a while.

Sometimes I wear something so much in the first year or so of its life, that I find I get bored of it.   It still fits and I still like it but I just get tired of wearing it; in instances like this I just store them and re-visit them later.  I carry this mantra through to my job too.  I’m not the kind of personal stylist who says you must get rid of everything you’ve not worn for a year.  If something doesn’t fit anymore, or is way past repairing, then fair enough.  But throwing out perfectly good clothing that you enjoyed wearing?  No chance.
Dress - Warehouse. Maxi skirt - Whistles. Belt - Topshop. Jacket - Topshop. shoes - office. Ring - Republic Of Chic (Bangalore)

It was actually kinda cool to re-discover this old favourite and re-styling it with a new skirt has definitely earned a spot back in my wardrobe.

What about you?  Do you religiously sort out your wardrobe each season, binning things you’re no longer wearing?  Or do you prefer to hang onto them just in case?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Pretty Inspired : Tranquility

A couple of months back a friend introduced me to The Yoga House in Indiranagar, housed in one of Bangalore’s (sadly depleting) bungalows (more on that another time).

Yoga is a new thing for me, it’s something I wanted to get into when we moved here, but other than a few classes here and there I haven’t really got round to doing it much yet.  Despite this being the perfect spot to try it, I’m so head over heels with the setting that instesd of going inside to do yoga, I'd rather stay outside...I think I've just found my new favourite place to blog!

I hope I can re-create a little of this tranquillity when we return to the UK!!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Look Book : Going Out Tops For Katy

I’ve been really enjoying pulling together these look books for you, and it’s just as well as I have a few to do!  This one’s for Katy…

I really want a few nice tops that I could wear in a number of ways.  So, when I go out I don't always want to wear dresses, but I struggle to find an alternative. I have casual, quite plain tops, or smarter work shirts, that I don't tend to wear out because I associate them with work. So could you recommend something that it is funky and a bit special (not too covered up!) That I could team with some trousers and heels for going out but that I could throw a cardigan on top of and wear with jeans and pumps for a day out. Is this possible or am I asking too much from one little top!

No, you’re not!  I think it’s such a shame to keep clothes for best, so I'm all for helping you find tops that you can wear on a night out but dress down for day when you want to.  I’m sure some of your work tops would be great for nights out, but I totally understand you not wanting to wear ‘work’ clothes out of work.  I have a few items that I keep just for work and if I try to wear those out of work, it just doesn’t feel right...somehow I’m not in the right head space. 

I’ve pulled together two sets for you, the first one illustrates three suggestions styled for the evening and the second one below that, should give you some ideas on how you might want to dress them down.  I hope it helps!


Going out top for Katy

Warehouse block top / River Island black shirt / French Connection halter top / River Island sleeveless top / Oasis / Topshop / Oasis highwaisted jeans / Zara lining shoes / ALDO shoes / ALDO shoes / Zara leather handbag / Triangle jewelry / Yellow gold jewelry / Kurt Geiger silver earrings / Zara real leather belt


Going out tops, dressed down - Katy

River Island peplum tank / French Connection silk halter top / Warehouse / Hennes h m cardigan / Oasis flared denim skirt / Topshop petite boyfriend jeans / Warehouse / Topshop suede moccasin / Office lining shoes / Office leather shoes / Joules green shawl / Straw hat / Topshop western leather belt

Don't forget, if you have a fashion dilemma that you need a little help with, or fancy getting your own lookbook then email me here!  And if you need a little more help then get in touch here. Niki x

Friday, 26 April 2013

Being Brave With Neon

I’ve started wearing far more colour recently.  The Indian women always look stunning draped in colourful saris and I feel pretty drab in comparison when I’m dressed head to toe in black.  But while I’m introducing more colours to my outfits, there is one shade my wardrobe’s not too familiar - Neon.   A friend of mine bought me such a pretty scarf for my birthday last year, it's a mixture of nude tones and fluro colours and I love it, but as for wearing clothes in highlighter shades, well that’s a BIG step outside of my comfort zone.

I’m always pushing my clients and encouraging them out of their comfort zone, so every so often I like to try and do the same to myself…I guess it’s only fair, right?  So, with that in mind, I took myself off to Zara (one of the few western retailers to open in Bangalore) to find a neon item worthy of a place in my wardrobe.  I found heaps of brightly coloured accessories that I’d I’ve gladly taken home with me, but that would have been far too easy, and besides I have a ton of accessories already.  No, it had to be an item of clothing.  I have to admit, I was struggling but then I spotted this cute collared blouse and after trying it on, I was convinced it was the one.

The shape is so pretty and although it’s VERY bright, the print design somewhat breaks up the colour a little.  Of course I had to team it with my black jeans and black pumps (I’m not that over black) but I think it would look great tucked into these spotted trousers or this skirt.  What do you think?  Do you every try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, or is it just me?

Top, Zara. Jeans, Donna Ida, Pumps, KG. Necklace, Diana Porter.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lusting Lately : Studded Fashion

It’s no secret that I love anything that’s studded, whether it’s a studded belt, bag or shoes, they pretty much always feature in my outfits.  It’ll be no surprise to you then, that I’m lusting after all the clothes and accessories adorned in studs!  A lot of the items on the high street can easily be recreated at home - all you need are a selection of studs (I buy mine from here) and a pair of pliers, but some of the things are a tad complicated or would simply take days to do.

The top below is my favourite, it has a late seventies rock thing going on which I’m kinda into at the moment (I’m talking Led Zep, Deep Purple and Sabbath seventies rock, NOT the ‘hair metal’ variety)

Lusting Lately : Studded fashion

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Pretty Inspired : Palms and Frangipani

It was my birthday last weekend and I had a lovely time!  Despite being so far from Bristol, I was made to feel very much at home, here in Bangalore, thanks to a really lovely group of friends and my husband who all spoilt me rotten and made sure I had a great weekend.

On the Sunday, we went to Leela Palace for a lazy day by the pool.  The weather was gorgeous and I spent the whole day soaking up the sunshine, cooling off in the pool and reading this - which by the way, is an awesome book!  You must read it!! 

The palms and Frangipani looked beautiful silhouetted against the sunshine, the colours and shapes they created were stunning!  I tried to capture them on my phone, and although they didn't turn out quite how I wanted, I quite like them.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lookbook : Shirts For SJP

Since posting Lou’s lookbook I’ve had lots of emails from you sharing your wish lists with me asking for my help.  I think this is going to be a great feature and am SO excited about pulling together your look books.

This one is for Sarah (go and check out her fabulous blog for all the local fashion news as well as some great outfit posts) she commented below Lou’s lookbook saying “I want to wear more shirts but with, ahem, a larger chest I find it hard to not look 'mumsy' in them - any tips?”

I actually hear this a lot! Many women feel that they can’t wear shirts or blouses for fear of looking mumsy in them, but there are quite a few styles out there that are great for you.   The key is to avoid too much detailing around the bust like ruffles and pockets, and anything that is going to make you appear broader like epaulettes and puffy sleeves.

It’s also a good idea to keep a couple of buttons undone at the neckline.  Other than that, opt for fitted styles that highlight your waist and if you want to wear looser styles, make sure you tuck them in, to avoid them swamping you and hiding your frame.

Advice : Shirts For SJP

If you have a fashion dilemma that you need a little help with, or fancy getting your own lookbook then email me here!  And if you need a little more help then get in touch here. Niki x