Style icon: Alexa Chung

The wardrobe, the hair, the sarcastic humour, the clothing line, the quirkiness, here’s just a selection of the many things I can’t help but love about British fashion icon and personality, Alexa Chung.

You may have heard of this wise and witty woman from her big break hosting for MTV, or maybe her book titled ‘It’, or even more recently from her ever growing self-titled clothing line ‘Alexa Chung’. In her early years before her MTV days, she participated in modelling for a few well known brands, thus becoming exposed to the fashion world directly from the designers. She became enthusiastic about the industry whilst she was hosting for MTV, and eventually she began experimenting in collaborating with different fashion companies. One name she worked for was Vogue, where she narrated and was the main star of her documentary all about the fashion industry and how to get into it. Also her collaboration with M&S, where she curated her own archive line using a variety of different patterns and designs from decades of M&S’ clothing line.

Nowadays, you may come across her clothing line in your nearest Selfridges, online, or on her well known Instagram page. She launched her brand back in May 2017, and since then she has launched many different collections, season after season. Her ideas take the chic and dramatic textures, patterns, and shapes from high fashion, and apply them more subtly to everyday streetwear for that perfect range in between these two sides of fashion. Along with her intelligent ways of bringing together high fashion and streetwear, she still succeeds in making her designs 100% hers in reflection of her own style, personality, and heritage.

With heavy emphasis from the 70’s and 80’s, it’s clear to see where Chung’s main fashion inspiration comes from. Some of her items look very much like they’d came out of an 80’s prom; traditional cuts of dresses, but applied with obscure patterns and materials, such as a simple maxi dress embellished with funky chunky sequins. Or say, a pinafore style dress with ruffle details, made out of lilac coloured PVC.

Now for a mini haul! For Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive 3 items from her collection that had each been on my wish list since pretty much the start of time. From my Mam and dad, I got the black t-shirt with a small ‘lonely hearts club’ logo in white, bordered with its own little lonely heart. This I’d considered buying a few times, since surprisingly, I didn’t actually own a black t-shirt (shocker) but now I can say I have a black t-shirt, and a very good one for that matter.

Also for Christmas, my boyfriend decided to be an absolute angel and get me the other two items I’d been eyeing up. Firstly, I’d been gifted a similar t-shirt to the first one, but this version was white and had the heart enlarged and drizzled with pink glitter, hard to resist right? I have a hot pink leather skirt that goes so beautifully with it, so if I end up posting a lot of pictures on Instagram of this exact outfit over and over again, I’m sorry not sorry in advance.

Finally, because one mega gift wasn’t enough, he decided to add in the blue and white gingham tote bag which I like to call my ‘Dorothy bag’. Alexa had created this bag in collaboration with American Express, in honour of the “Small Businesses Saturday” campaign, encouraging people to shop with local businesses more regularly. Now when I was rambling on about the bag to him, I said “oh my gosh, it would be perfect as a springtime bag!” However, I’ve had the bag for about 4 weeks now, and I’ve used it pretty much everyday that I’ve had it. It goes with everything, is great for any occasion, and it just adds a little extra something to your outfit, plus it’s just so cute to look at and gets many compliments when out and about!

Thank you for reading this blog post, I love getting to actually write down my thoughts and opinions on my favourite fashion icons X

How I style midi skirts (even when it’s snowing!)

December is finally upon us and so that means 3 things; Christmas, freezing temperatures and celebrations. With these three factors in mind, it can come to a time in the midst of this month where you realise you have nothing left to wear. You need something you can rely on no matter what the weather, occasion or your mood: so here I’d suggest a midi skirt. They’re comfortable, longer than the average skirt and can be styled for any occasion. Here is how I’ve styled 3 different midi skirts for three different occasions that will hopefully give you some inspiration to enhance your winter wardrobe.

Here’s a picture from when it snowed for the first time this year, and my instant thought was ‘oh no, how am I going to stay warm today’. If you are in a similar situation to me and your nice jeans are in the wash, then I recommend a slightly longer midi skirt. This three tiered one I purchased a few months back from Primark done the trick quite well for me, as it also has a slip underneath it for that extra layer of warmth. The midi length (although this one is slightly longer on me) covers the majority of your legs, but for extra warmth, I simply put a pair of burgundy knee high socks on underneath for warmth and an additional pop of colour, however plain black tights would look cute too. The tiny white polka dots against the sheer black tiers make this style skirt suitable for day or night, however for this very very cold daytime look, I decided to put my winter boots on which I got from New Look, topped with my oversized red coat, a scarf for extra warmth, and my bucket bag by my side.

One thing I love about wearing this skirt is the curiosity it attracts from anyone at a distance or even close up. Yes, those are monkeys wearing crowns. You may be thinking “why exactly is she wearing a skirt with monkeys on?” Well, my wardrobe is flooding with floral prints as well as the occasional star print or heart print, so I thought this uncommon choice of pattern would make me branch out into weirder choices of patterns. Now I know this wouldn’t exactly be everyone’s cup of tea, but the concept is still realistic; take a patterned midi skirt (monkey print is optional) and pair it with a simple coloured top to balance it out, add some simple shoes and you’re good to go for any occasion. This look consisted of H&M’s experimental skirt, a thin jumper from New Look, and some cream converse because I was seeking some comfort on my feet.

Now I’ll admit, I was feeling very kitschy when I was creating this outfit, if you can’t already tell. I always get a feeling of cuteness when I wear this skirt, however I wanted a top to make me look a bit less like a child, so I combined it with this leopard print top I found have in a charity shop to mature the look. To tie the two contrasting pieces together, I added in a chunky brown leather belt, which was also the perfect touch for making the outfit a bit more flattering on my body. For a bit of fun, I chose my multi-coloured and multi-tongued converse as a pop of colour and to push this outfit to a high level of kitsch. A tip in advance, if it’s cold outside, always make sure you have a pair of tights or knee highs that aren’t in the wash, or you will freeze to death. If I were you, I’d also throw on a cute and warm knitted cardigan for added warmth and to finish your cute look.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! X

Topshop x Stranger Things collection review

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Unless for some reason you are literally stuck in a parallel universe, you would have heard that the second season of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things has finally been released. The show itself is a perfect concoction of thrilling sci-fi goodness, childhood nostalgia and of course, early 80’s fashion. I like to think of it as a modern take on the outer space, alien like obsession seen in all the movies from the time, in which Star Wars had took the baton from the moon landing of the 60’s and thus a new theme of inspiration had been introduced. The whole aesthetic of the show is pleasing to look at without the plotline. Viewers have been taking inspiration from the different styles featured in the show, whether it be Barb’s variety of patterned shirts or Lucas’ striped t-shirt and cord jacket combo, there’s a style to suit any personality.

Since the show began, companies have piled up with all kinds of merchandise that we just need to have to get our Stranger Things fix as we waited for the new season to start, whether it be t-shirts, phone cases, or even a classic lunch box. Topshop had caught on this merchandise bandwagon and in recent weeks had been teasing some form of collaboration with the hit show all over social media, even redecorating their Oxford Circus store to look just like some of the well known sets from the show. The idea of a reliable clothing brand producing items based around the entire style and entity of one of my person favourite shows had me ecstatic to say the least, as I’m sure many others were too. However I noticed my excitement over this Stranger Things themed clothing line died down once I got my first look at the collection, so here’s why.

If you haven’t had a glance at the collection yet, let me put it into perspective for you. The range features eight t-shirts, two sweatshirts, two caps, two backpacks, two lunchboxes and a book all about Barb. Now I will admit, I admire some of the designs on the t-shirts, and I like the inclusion of accessories like the backpacks, however the collection as a whole just didn’t live up to my expectations. I mean, did Topshop really need to come out with a basic black t-shirt with the logo printed on it for you to be able to get your hands on it? When I think of this type of merchandise, I think back to when Primark released a collection of t-shirts with Love Island quotes on it. Everyone has seen this merchandise done before (at cheaper prices too), whether it be on websites such as Redbubble or Amazon, a graphic tee featuring the Stranger Things logo isn’t a particularly strange sight today.

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For a brand like Topshop, a brand who typically always delivers that bit more than most other retailers, it was disappointing to see quite a limited range with very little creativity representing not just themselves, but also this widely appreciated series.  When I think of what these two businesses have in common when it comes to their clothing and costumes, I think of attention to detail and relevance. Stranger Things represented the style of the early 80’s in a universal way with it’s wide spectrum in age from the cast, catering to each of their characters individual personalities and how their style would have been categorized at the time, whether it be nerdy, preppy or more mature. When you combine these key looks and styles with Topshop’s quality and designs, you get a well reflected and well replicated collection.

What I predicted would happen when taking into consideration what Topshop already sells and takes it’s inspiration from, would be that they created a line that was based on the key outfits worn in the show, a ‘get the look’ kind of collection (which I only seen once in the whole collection with Dusten’s red blue and white cap being replicated). Think about it, this collection launched in the middle of Autumn, even a week before Halloween, whilst many people are still trying to find a Halloween costume. Even so, if you’re just looking for a good winter coat, why not get the same one as your favourite character from your favourite tv show? The time period when the show is set features all kinds of items that are trending now, in fact, the 70’s and 80’s are huge trends alone and have been for a while now, so anything you do consider purchasing is easily wearable and won’t exactly be outdated anytime soon.

To conclude, I do like some items from this Topshop x Stranger Things range as individual items, however I just believe that they had so much more potential with this collaboration and yet they repeated what many other companies had done before with Stranger Things merchandise. I like the idea of having an interest of yours printed onto an item such as a t-shirt, however I don’t see the demand for 8 variations of said t-shirt. I hope these two brands collaborate again in future to recreate something a bit more personalized to the show, rather than basic styles of merchandise.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review, I will link the collection below for you to take a look and and decide your judgement on it. Also, I finished all of season 2 within two days and I HIGHLY recommend you do the same, I loved this season and I even think it topped the first one.

Topshop x Stranger Things collaboration: http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/category/topshop-x-stranger-things-7095002/home?TS=1508416729886?intcmpid=CAROUSEL_WK8_TUES_STRANGER_THINGS_1

There’s no such thing as ‘too much’

“Wow that looks insane, but I could never pull it off.” This thought will have definitely came into your mind at least once in your life when it comes to fashion. We know our comfort zones and try to stick to them, very rarely branching out and trying new styles. Why do we do this? Why don’t we all wear what’s on the runway? Today, I wanted to explore this topic, and challenge you to really think about what style is to you.

The first thing I begin to notice when I have met someone a few times is what they enjoy wearing. Sometimes, I can be scrolling through an online shop such as ASOS, I won’t find anything for myself but I will find an entire wardrobe for my friends. So where do these obvious tastes come from? And why don’t we follow the same styles and trends? For me personally, athough I’ve always understood the basics of what I like, my style has always, and still is, continuously evolving and developing. In previous years I’d have often shied away from clothes that were a bit ‘too out there’, yet I’ve learned how to tackle that belief and give myself so many more options with my clothing without taking any consideration as to what others will think or say, so here is why and how it’s happened.

There are many different factors other than ourselves that come into the development and shaping of our fashion sense, which usually takes place in our early teen years. These are often things such as friends, school, trends, hobbies etc. As we are practically new to the world, especially the fashion industry, we’re basically headless chickens in this situation. There may have been times where you have bought something because everyone else in school had it, or your very trendy friend had it, or it’s considered the ‘new thing’. You might not even like it yourself, but you wear it because you’ve been told that it’s what’s hot at the minute. The same rule can be applied when it comes to why we don’t like to try new things, often from the fear of not fitting in or being teased, even possibly being bullied for the way you dress. This still happens when you’re in your late teens, your 20s, even going up to your 30s and 40s. However, it’s not the trend in school that’s making you buy it, it’s the trend in fashion that’s making you buy it.

One clear thing stands out when you compare the last decade in fashion to any decade in the past 100 years, it’s been boring. From 2005 to 2015, there was nothing new, bold or exciting about fashion. With the major development in technology happening at this time, big designers spent more time branding themselves to earn more money than actually thinking and designing well made clothes. The same style jeans, shirts, dresses and shoes had been repeated year after year, focusing on making money from wealthy, beautiful young women who just wanted the label and were willing to pay any price for it. So of course, we had been brought up in a world where there were no standout cuts like in the 70s, or wild patterns and bright colours in the 80s, just very boring ‘fashion’. 

So where does that put us now? Well as you can probably tell from magazines, adverts or social media, we’re finally moving away from this plain phase and beginning to have fun with fashion again. Thanks to the likes of Alessandro Michele, social media and the history books for bringing us back to a brighter, happier time in fashion, and opening our eyes by giving us more opportunities to actually enjoy what we buy. Seriously, how many hours do you spend a day looking through Instagram, searching and stalking other girls profiles just to dig their outfits? 

To sum up, we’re back to a time where you can wear whatever you want and show off whatever type of character you are as a person. Anything is a bold look in this modern day, if you can pull off jeans and a hoodie and feel confident in it, trust me it will show and you will look flawless. If you’re a guy and you want to wear a bright pink floor length dress because you know you can wear it, 100% do it, there’s nothing stopping you. There’s one quote I always hear when it comes to fashion and that is ‘you wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you.’ Don’t let anyone, any brand, or anything try to tell you what to wear or what not to wear, simply keep an open mind and experiment with your clothes, and don’t take it too seriously.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this rather long post, I definitely enjoyed writing it! X

September fashion favourites

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I believe September was quite a good month for fashion, as it is every year. So much happens during this time where I find that my outfits tend to get a lot of influence from. To start off with, I was back at college for my second year, reminding myself that I can’t just walk into my lessons in my pajamas that I had been hibernating in for all of the summer. Then my birthday came around which gave me the opportunity to invest in some pretty funky clothes, if I do say so myself. For my birthday also, my wonderful boyfriend decided to book us a trip to London for the weekend, directly after fashion week where a lot of companies and places were still celebrating, so we had the chance to see some pretty cool things down in the Capital.

To start off with what I’ve worn the most during September are these culotte striped trousers from Stradivarius. If I’m being honest with you, these have been a favourite of mine for the entire time I’ve had them since I bought them in early August. Now it’s quite sad that it’s not (yet) socially acceptable for me to walk to college in my cozy pajama bottoms, but these trousers aren’t far off on the cozy side. The elasticated waist and light material is utterly perfect for the days where you just simply can’t be bothered, just shot these on and tuck a t-shirt or jumper into them and you’re good to go.

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Following on from this, as it was my 18th birthday, I’ve been going out quite frequently lately and so I’ve been relying on the same skirt I got from Stradivarius to tick all the boxes for a perfect night out outfit. First off, it’s pvc, so the concern of anyone spilling their drink on you and ruining your clothes has gone right out the window (in fact, someone did spill their drink on me whilst I was wearing this, I didn’t get a drop on me as the drink literally just rolled down my skirt as if it was a pair of wellies), secondly, it’s red so it goes with basically any of my tops that I usually go out in, and thirdly, IT LOOKS SO GOOD. I can’t describe how much better an outfit looks when paired with this skirt, even something simple like a t-shirt. Just tuck it in and you already look 10/10.

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The next piece that I’ve been loving is this gorgeous mustard coloured turtleneck. I actually picked this up from a charity shop, but the brand is actually a french brand by the name of Etienne Deroeux. What really stood out to me about this jumper was not just it’s bright colour, but how the knit of it is quite unusual in the way that the lines are on a diagonal, which I’m quite drawn to. This honestly goes with so many outfits, but I mainly pair it with the trousers I have just shown, or if it’s a bit warmer outside then I’ll pair it with a dark gray pinafore dress.

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So since it was my birthday and I was in London the weekend after, I decided to buy a few things for myself with the money and gift cards I’d been given kindly from family and friends. Of course I took myself around Topshop whilst I was there and can I just say, I had a field day in their jewellery stalls. I picked up some quirky earrings which was Topshop’s own brand and a statement necklace from the 1970’s resold by a vintage stall. The peak of this splurge however, was a pair of thick, wide leg culottes in this gorgeous burnt red shade. Oh my, I haven’t stopped wearing these. They are the type of item where you’re unsure as to whether you will actually wear them or not, but when you first try them on, you never want to take them off.

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Continuing with the London trip, we made our way to Carnaby. As it was the end of London fashion week, that weekend was when Carnaby really peaked for it’s independent businesses. We got given many little leaflets, magazines, and even stickers, just to celebrate the importance of independent businesses and how far they have came. One place I was simply desperate to go to was Lazy Oaf. I see their items all the time on Instagram and ASOS, yet despite how madly in love I am with their designs, I’ve never actually bought anything from them. When I got in the store I was greeted by a lovely staff member, who I had a great conversation with about their style and their recent collaboration with Dr Martens. After he gave me a tour, he also said they give discount on items if it’s your birthday, so how could I resist! I found this absolutely adorable heart print t-shirt, the cabbage sleeves really did it for me. I have a serious thing for heart prints and so I knew this would fit in perfectly with the rest of my wardrobe.

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The next item I’m including is a dress I bought from the app Depop. I’d seen this floral print cami dress from one of Alexa Chung’s old collaborations with M&S from a few years ago. I was in need of just a simple, black dress, and as soon as I seen this floral ditsy floral print, I knew I had to get it. I’ve discovered that it’s a great transitional piece to move nicely from summer into autumn, as it works perfectly over the top of items such as t-shirts, turtlenecks, thin jumpers etc. I really like the length on this dress too, as it drops right at the knee so you don’t feel too bare or too covered up. This is one of those staple pieces that I know I’m going to keep in my wardrobe for a good while basically until it’s falling apart and I physically can no longer wear it.

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This bucket bag… oh my word. I seen this bag when it first came out on Topshop’s website a few months ago and I can tell you now, it was love at first sight. The bag I carried with me throughout the most of spring and summer was a little red handbag from Primark with a cute little gold bee embellished onto the front clasp, however it just wouldn’t work with a lot of my autumn and winter clothes, so of course I invested in this beauty. Now the bag itself can actually fit quite a lot in it for a handbag, and I admire the fact that they included a zipper and a card slot on the inside, with a black waterproof material drawstring on top to keep your possessions safe and dry. This bag now goes everywhere with me and whenever I wear it, I always seem to get compliments on it no matter where I am or who I’m with.

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Now as you may or may not know, I have a bit of a thing for bold earrings, specifically gold earrings. Now I know I’ve mentioned them a few times in this post, but one place I can always rely on specifically for some pretty cool jewellery is Topshop, and once again, they didn’t disappoint. I found this stunning black and gold asymmetric pair whilst I was wandering around on a students shopping night, so not only did I come out of the store with some funky earrings, but I got them at a discounted price too. I’ve worn these so many times over the past month and I keep pairing them with new outfits as an additional compliment. Overall, they’re just a great pair to add to my collection.

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As it’s getting a bit colder now and it’s the perfect time to start layering, I’ve began to notice that I’ve been reaching for the same scarf over and over again. Now I’m quite collective when it comes to scarves, as I like to have a variety of fabrics, colours and fabrics to choose from. However, one scarf that I keep grabbing onto as I’m leaving the door is this thick wool, deep red vintage scarf. Now this may just be a plain red scarf, and no it doesn’t have any kind of fancy pattern or fabric to it, but it’s a classic and that’s why I like it. Sometimes I feel like a simple, block colour piece can actually look a lot better and chic then say a common tartan scarf with lots of wild colours on it. So this scarf has just been my finishing touch to most outfits in the past month.

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I hope you enjoyed reading through my favourites of this past month! X

 

An introductory first post.

I must have restarted this post about 3 times now so to put it briefly, here’s an introduction. Now I could do a formal introduction and give you the basics of me and my life, but that’s boring. As this is a fashion blog, I thought it would be more suitable and entertaining for me to give an introduction to my own personal style, so here’s a few little things I can’t resist when it comes to fashion.

1, Colour is everything.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved dressing in bright colours. I believe that if you want to have a good day, then you should start off in the morning with an outfit that makes you happy. Everyone has their favourite top they just love wearing, but for me there’s nothing that make’s my 9am morning a bit brighter than a literal, bright yellow turtleneck.

 2. Striped tops. 

One thing I love about Parisian style is their attitude towards basic items of clothing, especially a good old striped t-shirt. A woman could walk down the street in a ensemble of basic jeans, some kitten heels or even Converse, topped with a stripey t-shirt and heads will turn at her. There’s something so chic about a stripey top, how it pairs with just about everything and it’s ability to just make you look so… put together, with just a t-shirt!

3. Jewellery, especially earrings!

Everyone knows that jewellery is the key item to compliment and complete your outfit. Just adding that final touch can make you 100% ready to face the day, knowing you put that little bit of extra effort in this morning when getting ready. If you know me, you know I put my pride and joy in my quirky earring collection. I’m not that much of a make-up kinda gal, usually its just some mascara and filling in my eyebrows as I’m leaving the door, but I can assure you I never leave without earrings in, and if by chance I do, I either walk back or even carry some spare in my bag. Earrings are just my thing okay!

4. just keep layering… with scarves.
One thing I really admire about this time of the year is how much more outfit potential there is, and how you can wear more of your favourite pieces at the together. My go-to outfit would typically be a t-shirt tucked neatly into one of my skirts, combined with tights or knee high socks (typically socks because I actually hate tights, and there’s nothing worse than getting a ladder in your tights when you’re not going to be home for a few hours), shoes and a bag. Now when it comes to this time of the year, I like to add a nice chunky cardigan (especially my striped cardigan that goes down to my knees and makes me feel extra tall), a good jacket, and even if that won’t cover me then I’ll shot a coat on over that, topped with nothing better than a good, staple piece that is a scarf.

5. I do appreciate a good floral print. 

I’ve always been a big fan of florals. Like I said about colour, Floral prints can often add a bit of emphasis and fun to your outfit. Take my favourite pair of jeans for instance: without the embroidered flowers they would simply be just some mom jeans from Topshop, nothing interesting, just a dark wash jean. However, add the flowers and you instantly have a staple piece. The flowers drag attention, follow the pattern and you will start off at the root (the knee), then go all the way around to the back of the hip where more of them bloom. Floral print in itself is a great pattern that doesn’t take a lot of effort to pull off. You could wear anything with say a floral t-shirt and you’ll look that little bit more put together.

Well I hope you enjoyed this first post, I aim to write a new post once every week, so thank you for your time this week! X

 

 

 

 

 

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