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